obama strikes back

Well, it didn’t take the Obama camp too long to strike back in response to the McCain ads we were discussing last night. If the Kerry/Bush campaign of 2004 taught us anything, it’s that you can’t sit back and wait for the truth to surface when outrageous lies are told about you. You have to swing back immediately, and with overwhelming force. And, thankfully, that’s what Obama is doing. Hopefully it works.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

textbook fundamentalist

Salon, I guess trying to make the point that you don’t have to be a religious fundamentalist to be an asshole, has an article today on scientist PZ Meyers. Here’s how it begins…

PZ Myers is a true believer, a science crusader with the singled-minded enthusiasm of a televangelist. A biologist at the University of Minnesota at Morris and a columnist for Seed magazine, Myers has earned notoriety with his blog, Pharyngula, in which he reports on new developments in biology and indiscriminately excoriates those he views as hostile to science, a pantheon of straw men and women that includes theologians, journalists and churchgoers. He is Richard Dawkins without the fame or felicitous prose style.

Currently, Myers is under fire from his university and an army of righteous Catholics over his self-proclaimed “Great Desecration” caper. On July 24, he pierced a Communion wafer with a rusty nail (“I hope Jesus’ tetanus shots are up to date,” he quipped) and threw it in the trash with coffee grounds and a banana peel. The nail also cut through pages of the Quran and Dawkins’ “The God Delusion.” He featured a photo of the “desecration” on his blog, and wrote, “Nothing must be held sacred. God is not great, Jesus is not your lord, you are not disciples of any charismatic prophet.”

Religion is dangerous, he wrote; it breeds hatred and idiocy. It is our job to advance humanity’s knowledge “by winnowing out the errors of past generations and finding deeper understanding of reality.” There is no wisdom in our dogmas, Myers warned, just “self-satisfied ignorance.” We find truth only in science, looking at the world “with fresh eyes and a questioning mind”….

I suppose it’s necessary to have someone out there representing the radical, Bible-burning scientists among us. This guy, however, sounds to me more like an asshole who wants to make a name for himself than a person who really wants to bring people to science, and sow the seeds of tolerance in the hearts of the fundamentalists. Maybe that’s necessary, though. Maybe every cause needs their radicals out there, scaring the shit out of people on the other side, making the moderates look more appealing. Would Martin Luther King have been as effective if not for Malcolm X? It’s hard to say. I still think this guy sounds like a load, though.

Posted in Religious Extremism | 11 Comments

murdock vs. johnson: round three

OK, here’s my third question to the candidates running for Ypsilanti City Council. I’m addressing it to Pete and Rod, as I know that they read this site, but it’s open to anyone running, or, for that matter, anyone who has an idea as to how to improve the dynamic between the City and the Township… Here’s the question:

Regionalization. It’s something that most of us in the City seem to think is a good idea. We want to combine resources with the Township in order to improve service, reduce redundancy, and drive down costs. It seems, however, that many in the Township are unwilling to consider it as an option, especially when it comes to Fire and Police protection. I’d like to know what you would personally do as a member of City Council to change this dynamic, improve relations with the Township, and, ultimately, bring about regionalized services (assuming, of course, that you feel regionalization is good thing).

And I apologize if this question was asked at Tuesday night’s debate… For what it’s worth, I would have been there, but someone in City government, who shall remain nameless, told me it was taking place somewhere else. So, while the rest of you were enjoying the debate, I was sitting in an empty room, waiting for a debate to materialize. The good news is, there was beer where I was. So all was not lost.

[And, if it doesn’t make the comments section too confusing, I’d also appreciate your thoughts on the race for Sheriff.]

Posted in Ypsilanti | 46 Comments

a desperate mccain resorts to lies about obama

John McCain went negative a few days ago, launching a rapid-fire series of negative attack ads that misrepresented and mocked his presidential adversary, Barack Obama. One of the ads, entitled “Troops,” for instance, claimed that Obama had canceled a trip to a military hospital in Germany because, “the Pentagon wouldn’t allow him to bring cameras.” That, of course, is false. The McCain camp has since been forced to admit the lie, but the damage had already been done in the battleground states where the ad ran. And, as no one seems to be demanding accountability, we can probably expect to see a lot more of the same.

The most recent McCain ad, entitled “Celebrity,” is right out of the 2004 Bush/Rove playbook. During that election, as you’ll recall, they took John Kerry’s greatest strength — his being a decorated Vietnam veteran — and turned it against him. By the time they were through with him, Kerry, who had been wounded in action, looked like more of a cowering wimp than Bush, who used his daddy’s connections to stay stateside, where, according to witnesses, he spent his days getting high and chasing tail in Texas. With Obama, they’re going after his popularity, making it look like something that we should be suspicious of…. Here’s the ad:

[As Josh Marshall points out, McCain, by showing Obama bracketed by oversexed young white women, might also be playing to the inner racist of the white electorate.]

So, they suggest that he’s got the gravitas of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. It’s laughably stupid, but I suspect it’s having the intended effect. Up until now, nothing seems to have stuck. First they tried to present him as a
baby mama-having drug user. Then, when that didn’t work, they tried to present him as an effeminate intellectual, or, as they would say, an elitist “fancy lad”. That didn’t work either, though… And let’s not forget the talk of the ““terrorist fist jab”, or the whisper campaign about him being a a radical Muslim who refuses to recite the Pledge of Allegiance… So, now they’ve decided to go with, “He’s suspiciously popular.”

Oh, and if you can believe it, the “Celebrity” ad ends with the following lie…
“Barack Obama… Higher Taxes… More Foreign Oil.”

If McCain is already getting this desperate, one wonders where we’ll be by this winter… Will we be hearing the N-word on Fox news?

Posted in Politics | 13 Comments

who needs fuel efficiency when you have remote operated turret-mounted light ordinance

I thought that it was a prank when my friend forward this to me, but all indications are that it’s legit. A firm called Ibis Tek isn’t just selling armored SUVs — they’re selling “armored SUV(s) with concealed weapons platform(s).” That’s right – the RRV 1501 ‘Jackal‘ has a hidden, remote controlled 7.62 mm machine gun inside! Here’s clip from their marketing materials:

…Safety comes first with Ibis Tek’s Jackal. The vehicle is uniquely configured so that both the driver and gunner are seated in the vehicle, protected from the environment. With the gunner inside the vehicle rather than standing behind the weapon, he is less vulnerable to attacks from stones, bottles, garrote wires, and other non-ballistic threats. Armor installed in the vehicle provides additional AK-47 ballistic protection for the occupants. With the weapon stored in the vehicle until needed, the vehicle appears nondescript and non-threatening. A simple push of the button at the control station located at the front passenger seat deploys the remote-controlled weapons station in less than 10 seconds…

So, the next time you think about flipping the bird at the fucker in the SUV with the “God Bless America, Wrong or Right” bumper sticker, you might want to think twice.

Posted in Other | 11 Comments


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