Friday, April 06, 2007

There Is No Joy In Spudville

UPDATE: We've got a new home. Come join us in Shakesville!

Here's some big news for you, my little Spuds...

I've decided to close "The Adventures of the Smart Patrol," and blog exclusively on Shakespeare's Sister. Most of my regular readers check out my posts there as it is, and I'm sure that those of you that only read me here will find plenty of fantastic posts and good discussion at Shakes' place. It just seemed a little silly to me to be cross-posting everything over there, and keep this open just to have "my own place." Add to that the "all new blogger" that will probably kill my cool template along with my very small amount of hits, and it just doesn't seem to make much sense to keep this blog going.

I'll be keeping this up as an archive for a while, and to direct readers over to Shakes' place ("Our" place, now!) from now on.

Thanks for being loyal readers, fantastic commenters, and good friends.

Duty now for the future, Spuds!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I'm Spartacus

Opening up shop again for one post, in support of Melissa.

Thanks, driftglass and BlueGal.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Common Sense Ruuuulz

Harry Potter Can Stay.
ATLANTA - The Georgia Board of Education voted Thursday to uphold a local school board's decision to leave Harry Potter books on library shelves despite a mother's objections.

The board members voted without discussion to back the Gwinnett County school board's decision to deny Laura Mallory's request to remove the best-selling books.

Mallory, who has three children in elementary school, has worked for more than a year to ban the books from Gwinnett schools, claiming the popular fiction series is an attempt to indoctrinate children in witchcraft.

"It's mainstreaming witchcraft in a subtle and deceptive manner, in a children-friendly format," said Mallory, who is considering a legal challenge of the board's ruling. "The kind of stuff in these books — murder and greed and violence. Why do they have to read them in school?"

Gwinnett school officials have argued that the books are good tools to encourage children to read and to spark creativity and imagination. Banning all books with references to witchcraft would mean classics like "MacBeth" and "Cinderella" would have to go, they said.
Countdown to Mallory's next attempt: 10, 9, 8...

They Left Out "Barefoot and Pregnant"

Well, guess what, kids? The "Left Behind" video game isn't just violent and racist; there's another aspect to this game that shows exactly what kind of minds we're dealing with here: (bolds mine)
If you listen to this week’s podcast, you’ll hear me take a moment to note that I was actually offended by some blatant sexism in Left Behind: Eternal Forces. Now, I’d like to start this rant out by stating that I’m not easy to offend—the PC in PC Gamer does not stand for politically correct. I myself enjoy (and often make) jokes that some more sensitive people would consider to be in pretty poor taste. You won’t see me up in arms over the portrayal of women as hookers in Grand Theft Auto, but Left Behind’s brand of sexism left a bad taste in my mouth. What’s the difference?

In Left Behind, you recruit followers by talking to people on the street and increasing their spirit levels. When the level is high enough, they become your “friend,” and can be trained to pursue a number of careers, including soldier, medic, musician, builder, or recruiter/evangelist.

Unless, of course, you make the mistake of recruiting a woman.

Yes, you read that right: women are limited to just two career choices. Welcome to the 1950s, when women could only be singers or nurses. (To be fair, I’m sure if there were teacher and homemaker professions in the game, women could do those, too.) All of the rest of the careers are critical to your success in the game, meaning that if you had a group made up entirely of women you couldn’t succeed, but a group of all men could. Without exception, every female friend I showed these screens to gasped when they saw it. Several used language unbefitting young ladies of stature to describe their feelings toward people who would make a conscious design decision to limit the potential of women and encourage players to pass them over in favor of men. And I have to say, I agree.

Someone please explain to me the difference between this move and making a game where black people can only pick cotton or play basketball while whites can choose from a dozen professions? In my eyes, there is none, other than that this is just slightly less disgusting. For once, I think the ESRB rated a game too low, with a T for teen and the sole descriptor of “violence.” If I were a parent I’d be fine with them playing Command & Conquer-level violence, but there’s no way I’d let my teenage kids play a game that teaches them that women are less capable than men. This is the very definition of bigotry, or more specifically: misogyny.

Delightful, isn't it?

(Tip 'o the Energy Dome to my buddy Grendel.)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"I Kick Ass For the Lord!" Part 3: The Ass-Kicketh Cometh

I posted about the "Left Behind" Video game a couple of times; and it's cropped up in the news again. Featuring the retailer you love to hate: Wal-Mart!

(By the way, this is a really weird story. Every time the game pops up in the news, it seems like it's the first time everyone's heard about it, even though the story has been out there for almost a year. I can only assume the game's creators have been using crazy purple knockout gas on everyone in the country until they managed to get this crap on the shelves.)

Convert... or DIE!!
Liberal and progressive Christian groups say a new computer game in which players must either convert or kill non-Christians is the wrong gift to give this holiday season and that Wal-Mart, a major video game retailer, should yank it off its shelves.

The Campaign to Defend the Constitution and the Christian Alliance for Progress, two online political groups, plan to demand today that Wal-Mart dump Left Behind: Eternal Forces, a PC game inspired by a series of Christian novels that are hugely popular, especially with teens.

The series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins is based on their interpretation of the Bible's Book of Revelation and takes place after the Rapture, when Jesus has taken his people to heaven and left nonbelievers behind to face the Antichrist.
The article forgets to mention that the books suck. I like how it's only "Liberal and Progressive" Christian groups that apparently have a problem with this game. Yeah.

Get this:
Left Behind Games' president, Jeffrey Frichner, says the game actually is pacifist because players lose "spirit points" every time they gun down nonbelievers rather than convert them. They can earn spirit points again by having their character pray.
HAHAHAHAHA! Mr. Frichner, are you familiar with the theatrical term, "If the gun's on the wall, you gotta use it?" And what a "Christian" message to teach... no matter how many people you kill, a quick prayer will wash your soul squeaky clean!
"You are fighting a defensive battle in the game," Frichner, whose previous company produced Bible software, said of combatting the Antichrist. "You are a sort of a freedom fighter."
You are sort of a buttfor.
A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said the retailer has no plans to pull Left Behind: Eternal Forces from any of the 200 of Wal-Mart's 3,800 stores that offer the game, including just seven in California. The nearest are in Chico and Redding.

"We look at the community to see where it will sell," said Tara Raddohl. "We have customers who are buying it and really haven't received a lot of complaints about it from our customers at this time."
Translation: I'll take it off the shelf as soon as I stop rolling around on this enormous pile of money.
"It's an incredibly violent video game," said Stevens. "Sure, there is no blood. (The dead just fade off the screen.) But you are mowing down your enemy with a gun. It pushes a message of religious intolerance. You can either play for the 'good side' by trying to convert nonbelievers to your side or join the Antichrist."

The Rev. Tim Simpson, a Jacksonville, Fla., Presbyterian minister and president of the Christian Alliance for Progress, added: "So, under the Christmas tree this year for little Johnny is this allegedly Christian video game teaching Johnny to hate and kill?"
Well, at least it will be healthier for little Johnny than something wicked and evil like... *gasp*... Harry Potter!
Players can choose to join the Antichrist's team, but of course they can never win on Carpathia's side. The enemy team includes fictional rock stars and folks with Muslim-sounding names, while the righteous include gospel singers, missionaries, healers and medics. Every character comes with a life story.

When asked about the Arab and Muslim-sounding names, Frichner said the game does not endorse prejudice. But "Muslims are not believers in Jesus Christ" -- and thus can't be on Christ's side in the game.

"That is so obvious," he said.
Yeah... I can think of something else that's pretty fucking obvious.
But Plugged In, a publication of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, gave the game a "thumbs-up." The reviewer called it "the kind of game that Mom and Dad can actually play with Junior -- and use to raise some interesting questions along the way."
"Mommy? What would be better to blow away the Muslims? The grenade? Or the sawed-off shotgun?"

"Oh, go for something smaller, Junior. Use your automatic and just shoot a hole in his stomach. That's the slowest and most painful way to make a heathen die."

And they'll know that we are Christians by our love, by our love!

Immigrant Hysteria

This is just appalling. (Bolds mine)

Union: DHS Raids Grabbed Legal Workers
Union officials are outraged over a massive immigration sweep yesterday, which sent 1,000 Homeland Security Department agents -- some in riot gear -- to meatpacking plants in six states to round up immigrant workers suspected of using fake identification, but may have picked up legal workers in the process.

"Stormtroopers came in with machine guns, rounded [the workers] into the cafeterias, separated identified citizens from non-citizens, and then they took away all green cards and put non-citizens onto buses," regardless of the immigrants' legal status, Jill Cashen of the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UCFW) told me this morning.

Cashen said that reports from all six states confirmed that legal immigrants were among those taken away, and have not been returned. "We're still trying to find out where the buses went," she said. "Children have been left at church day cares. Nobody knows where these people are."
A thousand stormtroopers with machine guns? Holy geez, can you say "overkill?" And not only are the people seized now without green cards or identification, no one knows where the hell they are. Supposedly they were brought to "detention centers." What detention centers? Where?

There are legal immigrants (and, very possibly, American citizens) that have been rounded up in these raids and have vanished, leaving children behind, and for what? Because they worked in a meat packing plant that may or may not have had illegal immigrants working there?
Recently unsealed court documents show that DHS had identified 170 identity-fraud suspects it wished to apprehend, but that the agency wanted to round up as many as 5,000 other workers because it "further expect[ed] to apprehend persons who are engaged in large-scale identity theft[.]" Union officials say the total number of detained workers may be higher than 5,000. (Update: We've uploaded those court documents to our document collection here.)

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has not released official tallies from the raids, but have promised to do so at a 10 a.m. press conference in Washington. UFCW is holding a press conference at 9:30 to discuss what they believe to be heavy-handed tactics used by the federal government.
I don't know what this "identity theft" angle is... to me it sounds as if they're trying to throw in that delicious law breaker angle. "Look! It's okay because they're criminals!" And what kind of "identity theft" are we talking about, here? Are we talking about stealing a person's life savings through use of credit card fraud, or are we talking about a fake green card? How is creating a new identity equal to stealing someone else's identity?

"Stormtroopers" is a very effective word here... let's call this what it is: thuggery and terror tactics. Looks like the Department of Homeland Security is taking tips from the people they're supposed to be apprehending.

More in the Washington Post story:
Worker advocates condemned yesterday's raids, which came without warning. They advised detainees to remain silent and contact attorneys.
And I'm sure they're being allowed to do so.
"These actions today by ICE are an affront to decency," said Mark Lauritsen, a spokesman for the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which sought an injunction in court to halt the raids and planned protests around the country. Federal agents essentially stormed plants "in an effort designed to terrorize" workers, he said.


In an interview, Swift's president and chief executive, Sam Rovit, also criticized the arrests. He said that his firm's practices are similar to those of its competitors and that "everyone in the whole agriculture sector should be worried."

"Swift has played by the rules and relied in good faith on a program explicitly held out by the president of the United States as an effective tool to help employers comply with applicable immigration laws," said Rovit, whose company reported $9.4 billion in sales in 2006. "Swift believes that today's actions by the government . . . raise serious questions as to the government's possible violation of individual workers' civil rights."

Rovit cited promises made by the government to protect employers who voluntarily submit information about workers to a federal program called Basic Pilot, which confirms the authenticity of Social Security numbers against federal databases. Swift has run all new U.S. hires through the program since 1997.

Studies show that Basic Pilot suffers from data errors, has an unacceptably high false-alarm rate and cannot detect fraudulent use of borrowed or stolen Social Security numbers. Congress is hoping to expand the program as part of beefed-up enforcement.
More on Basic Pilot here.

Michelle Malkin, of course, never fails to leap on the immigrant bashing wagon, dismissively labeling concerns over these stormtrooper tactics as "whining."
The New York Times, like many other outlets, runs a large photo of arrested workers' families in tears. Not pictured are any of the hundreds of American victims of illegal alien identity theft whose Social Security numbers were stolen to enable the illegal alien workers to work.

Who will tell their stories?
Well, Michelle... how about you? Why don't you drop the smug sneering and actually prove that this identity theft is a bigger problem than legal immigrants being rounded up, stripped of their identification, and detained who knows where? And while the "hundreds of victims" are not pictured, that horrible, terrible New York Times does say in the very article you link to:
In a new enforcement tactic, federal officials said they planned to bring criminal charges against some of the immigrants accused of using stolen identities. They said the raids were tied to complaints from United States citizens who discovered that their names were being used by Swift plant workers.

“There are several hundred Americans who were victimized,” said Marc Raimondi, a spokesman for the immigration agency, known as I.C.E.


Illegal immigrants frequently use false Social Security cards or residency documents known as green cards when they apply for jobs. I.C.E. officials said the operation focused on immigrants who had obtained documents with identity information corresponding to that of United States citizens, in some cases by buying them from underground organizations that traffic in false documents.
Yeah, no one's talking about that.

You know what I don't see? I don't see you providing any examples of this so-called "whining." Other than, you know, people wondering what the abandoned children are going to do now. Of course, serious discussion might back you into a corner, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

What, Again?

Another kiddie porn addict is busted, and guess what? He worked at a church camp. And more guess what: the guy already has an unlisted phone number; how long do you think it will take this guy to vanish once the Registered Sex Offender "protective" laws kick in?

Ex-Church Camp Leader Faces Porn Charges
COLUMBIA, Ill. - A former church camp leader was arrested on child pornography charges and accused of trying to coax girls, at least one of them a former camper, to pose partly naked or perform a sex act.

Aaron Niles, 20, began chatting with the girls online using the screen names "loverboyniles" and "godrocks30" after working at a Baptist summer camp in 2005, Columbia Police Chief Joe Edwards said Wednesday.
Creepiest screen names ever. "See, this is the one I use when I'm spreading the Word of our Lord, and this is the one I use when I'm trolling for underage tricks!
He was arrested Tuesday on three counts of child pornography and one count of indecent solicitation of a child related to incidents in April and May.

At least one of the girls in the allegations had attended the summer camp where Niles was a volunteer team leader, police said.

Investigators were still combing through Niles' computer Wednesday, but "once we complete this, the potential for additional charges are there," Edwards said.

He said investigators also were asking parents whose children may have attended the Super Summer Baptist Camp in Greenville in 2005 to check their children's computer for Niles' online user name.

Niles was jailed on $10,000 bond. He has an unlisted telephone number in Waterloo, near Columbia, about 15 miles southeast of St. Louis.
I know you're all probably getting sick of me going on and on and on about the sex offender registries, but this is exactly what I'm talking about. All the registries and photo stuffed websites in the world are not going to protect your kids if they're being approached by creeps in a place where they're assumed to be safe.

Granted, it would appear that this guy didn't approach these girls until after they were at the camp, but he was obviously collecting information that he could use in the future for less-than-savory purposes. While only one girl has been confirmed to be a former camper, I'd bet my lucky aggie that they'll find more. To me, this looks like he was planning ahead to protect himself; if he tries something at camp, he's sure to be caught... but if he collects names and goes after them when they're alone and vulnerable...

So what's the answer? I wish I knew. Thorough background checks are a good start when it comes to camps, churches, coaches, and the like, but if the person has never been caught before, it's not necessarily going to turn up anything. Prevention is going to take parents keeping in mind that sexual predators aren't just the creepy guy on the sexual offender website or someone trolling MySpace. Very often, it's the person in the one place you thought you could trust.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Are You an "A," an "RSO," a "MU," or "Other?"

And the Registered Sex Offender Circus continues...

(Please see earlier posts for disclaimer.)
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five

...and another life is ruined. ( link; you'll have to watch a brief ad. The original article is here.)
Wednesday the Utah Supreme Court found itself in legal pickle, as it looked at a case in which a 13-year-old girl who'd gotten pregnant with her 12-year-old boyfriend as simultaneously a victim and a sex offender. Comparing the state's ill-conceived statutory rape laws with those concerning 19th century honor killings, Associate Chief Justice Michael Wilkins told the Salt Lake Tribune: "The only thing that comes close to this is dueling."

As a mother of two girls, I want age-of-consent laws to scare off creepy guys. And since some pedophile groups have made it their cause célèbre to fight for sexual rights, some part of me would like to set the planetary AoC around 28 and call it a day. On the other hand, I shudder to think of my girl getting "protected" by any law like Utah's. When it means treating a kid unfortunate enough to get pregnant at the tender age of 13 as a sex offender, there's something seriously twisted in Mayberry. No doubt after a notorious history as a breeding ground for polygamous megalomaniacal assholes who prey on young girls in hopes of siring the next messiah, Utah's eager not to look too flaccid when it comes to age of consent. (In fairness, megalomaniacal assholes reside in other states, too.)

But let's face it, these laws are a colander of legal worms. Yes, when grown men or women have sex with children, it's a serious crime, but drawing those lines isn't always easy. Given the variance among state laws, what's legal as a consensual act of love between two people in one location can become statutory rape a mile away. Many states try to make mitigate these laws by creating "close-in-age exceptions." For instance, Utah doesn't criminalize 16- and 17-year-old teens having sex with others in their own age group; even 14- or 15-year-olds who have sex with peers fewer than four years older are committing no more than a misdemeanor. Unfortunately, the 13-year-old falls into neither of these categories -- so in the eyes of the law, she's considered a full-fledged sex offender. (Utah's high court hasn't ruled on whether she can be prosecuted yet, but lower courts have held that she can, according to the SLTrib.)
This just goes to show (yet again) how bizarre these Age of Consent and "Registered Sex Offender" laws can be. Simultaneously cast as a victim and an offender, this girl is now branded with the RSO label for life, unless the judge in this case suddenly has an attack of common sense.
The Utah Court of Appeals last December upheld the judge's refusal to dismiss the allegation. At Tuesday's arguments, Matthew Bates, an assistant Utah attorney general, argued the prosecution of the girl was not unreasonable. He said the statute in question is designed to prevent sex with children who are 13 and younger, even if the other person is in the same age group. By passing that law, legislators were sending a message, Bates said: Sex with or among children is unacceptable. Randall Richards, the girl's attorney, argued that prosecuting children under a law meant to protect them is illogical.
Meanwhile, no one seems to be arguing that said sex was consensual. Look, I don't like the idea of 12 and 13-year-olds having sex either, but who is being "protected" in this case by registering this girl as a sex offender? (I'm assuming her boyfriend may also be prosecuted as such; as she is considered his "victim" in this case.) She's a few months away from an age when this act would be considered a misdemeanor (if not completely ignored), but now she'll be dogged for the rest of her life by the RSO Scarlet Letter. She's thirteen. How will this affect her getting into college? Into a good job later in life? Hell, what if her high school decides they don't want a "registered sex offender" in their halls? What if, some day, she wants to rent an apartment?

In an effort to protect children from sexual predators, legislation is being passed that not only won't protect them, but is also categorizing children who have sex as predators. The current laws simply aren't working; they do absolutely nothing to solve the problem. If anything, they are making it worse by making truly dangerous sex offenders more mobile, and more difficult to track. Fortunately, some people seem to be waking up, but it's too little, too late, for many people who carry the mark of the registered sex offender who may not necessarily be a horrific danger to the general public.

But hey, if it's broke, why not break it some more? (bolds mine)
Internet registries of rapists or pedophiles are available in every state, but a new breed of criminal now is experiencing the notoriety of being outed online — people convicted of making or selling methamphetamine.

"It lets the community know that there’s someone like this in their community, because the likelihood of them going back and doing it again is high," said Georgia state Rep. Mike Coan, who is spearheading meth registry legislation. "It’s no different, really, from the sex offender (registry). If there’s one living near me, I want to know it."

The idea of posting the names of meth offenders online is gaining momentum. Four states have put in place laws to create Internet meth offender registries, two are putting final touches on similar laws, and several other proposed bills are in limbo until the state legislatures start the new session.

But critics say the registries raise legal questions, do little to protect the public and may have unintended consequences.

"The problem with these registries is that we’re creating a class of untouchables within our society who cannot rent apartments or secure employment," said Jonathan Turley, a criminal defense attorney and law professor at George Washington University. “When you diminish the likelihood that ex-felons can live and work in society, you increase the chances that they will return to criminal behavior.”
Absolutely brilliant. Take an ineffective concept that amounts to nothing more than a forum for public humiliation of criminals, and apply it to another current "hot button topic." Don't pass any legislation to provide funds and assistance towards prevention, education or treatment; just create an online pillory.
“Unlike other drugs where it is really harmful to you and your family, meth is hazardous to all around you,” said Jennifer Johnson, public affairs officer at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which maintains the state's database. “… That’s why we don’t foresee a heroin or cocaine registry.”

And how exactly are heroin and cocaine not hazardous to all around you? So, I should worry about the possibility of a meth lab exploding in my neighborhood, but I shouldn't worry about people selling coke on my street because it's not hazardous to me? I guess if there's a drug-related drive by shooting and bullets go stray, I needn't worry my pretty little head over it, as they have nothing to do with my family.

Yes, meth is very dangerous and is causing terrible problems all over the country, particularly in rural communities. But that doesn't diminish the impact of other drugs on the same communities. There's a very simple reason why we're seeing this new registry:
Property owners were the most forceful backers of legislation to create the meth registry, viewing it as a tool to screen prospective tenants.

But since the list does not include photographs, lists offenders by the location of their offense rather than their current addresses, and doesn't require them to notify authorities when they move, critics say it is little use to the general public.

"It's symbolic," said Bill Piper, director of national affairs at the nonprofit Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates reform of harsh drug laws. "It makes politicians who are really not doing anything look like they are."

I'm ashamed to see that my state is considering one of these registries. Apparently, they're still "working on the content;" considering if the offenders' addresses should be included on the website. Bad idea.
The American Civil Liberties Union questions the registries on the grounds that they amount to unconstitutional "double jeopardy" by imposing additional punishment on offenders after they have served their time.

A court challenge to sex offender registries on those grounds failed when the Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that they were a legitimate way of protecting the public. But it is not clear that the threat posed by drug offenders will be deemed as serious, said Turley, the George Washington University professor.

He also warned that publicizing the whereabouts of former drug offenders after they are released from prison could put them at risk, including former gang members or others simply trying avoid getting sucked back into the drug lifestyle.

"The registry (with their addresses) would present a clear and present danger to them," he said.

That's not a frivolous concern.

In April this year, Ralph Marshall, a 20-year-old Canadian, found two sex offenders through Internet registries and gunned them down in their homes in Maine before killing himself.

The year before, in August, a Washington man posed as an FBI agent to enter the apartment of three registered sex offenders near Seattle and later killed two of them, authorities said.
But to many people, this kind of vigilante justice is A-OK.

Perhaps we'll start hearing some talk about re-working these draconian online criminal registries when they put together the online "White Collar Criminal Regsitration Database." Or the "Do-Nothing Politician Registration Database." Hey, a criminal's a criminal, right?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

News Flash: Knucklehead Manages to Bang Out Column with Forehead

Michael Medved, Townhall's biggest pinhead, has written one of the dumbest things I've ever read.

No, seriously. It's that dumb.

See, he's trying to raise the old, tired "gay marriage = special rights" canard, but his efforts are so sloppy and senseless, you almost have to feel sorry for the guy. Almost.

He does some hand wringing over Ted Haggard and others that have been caught indulging their taste for that same-sex forbidden fruit. He spouts some "no one would be as ready to forgive these people if it were a heterosexual affair they were involved in" ridiculousness. Apparently, people like it when media figures have gay gay gay affairs... it's those damn hetero affairs that are verboten!
In high profile cases, in other words, we seem far more willing to forgive and forget faithless behavior if that infidelity involves a homosexual connection. This amounts to the granting of a special dispensation, a privileged position, to same sex attraction—giving more latitude to gay relationships than we’d ever grant to straight romances. The justification for this attitude involves the notion that gay men who leave or destroy their families for the sake of homosexual affairs are simply discovering, at long last, their true identities after years of repression– coming to terms with “who they really are.”
Yeah, all those closeted, self-hating gays get all the breaks! They never get publicly humiliated or lose their jobs! Meanwhile, poor Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani had all kinds of affairs, and they never hear the end of it! Why, they don't dare show their faces in public! And poor Jimmy Swaggart... his apology fell on deaf ears!


Spinning wildly, Medved then burbles:
One of the most common arguments for gay marriage also carries with it the implicit assumption that gay relationships count as inherently superior, more durable and more meaningful than their straight counterparts. Andrew Sullivan and many others advocate governmental endorsement of same sex marriage as a means of encouraging more responsible, monogamous behavior on the part of gay males, with their acknowledged tendencies toward promiscuity as part of the notorious and dysfunctional “bath house-and-leather bars” culture. In other words, all that homosexual guys need in order to give up lives of often reckless recreational sex is the right to a wedding license and a traditional marriage.
Yeah, advocates of gay marriage are always pushing that "inherently superior" meme when they ask for "equality." Because the definition of "equality" is "we get more than you." Hey, wait... he used the "special rights," the "all gay men engage in reckless sex lives" and the "all gay men go to bath houses" clichés in just one paragraph. Wow. He hit the trifecta. Someone should give Medved a medal. A really old, used up one.

Then he grabs the wheel, slams it to the right, and heads right into wackyland:
But the advocates of same-sex matrimony fail to explain why the institutions and practices which they believe will work so well in solidifying relationships in their community have failed to function with similar effectiveness for heterosexuals. Gay rights advocates find themselves in the odd position of arguing that legally sanctioned marriage will work better at improving and enhancing homosexual intimacy than it has in strengthening the straight partnerships for which it was designed. In fact, champions of marital redefinition love citing the baleful example of Britney Spears, asking why the pop star should be entitled to two brief, failed, ill-considered marriages, while more responsible and mature gay people can’t win approval for even one. Critics of the status quo also deride those of us who say we’re trying to defend traditional marriage –pointing out that the high divorce and infidelity rate makes it questionable whether this old concept of matrimony is even worth defending.

Yet these same gay rights activists continue to claim that the same institution that has failed to uplift or preserve the relationships of so many heterosexuals, will work magically to enrich the lives of gays. The assumption behind these contradictory arguments seems to be that homosexual relationships are somehow inherently more worthy, conscious, generous, mature and capable of refinement by marital institutions than their unthinking, straight equivalents.

Medved is actually arguing that gay marriage with never work, because straight people can't make it work. And when a homosexual says "hey, I'd like the same rights that you have, after all, why should one person be allowed to go through marriages like potato chips and we're not even allowed a chance," what they're really saying is, "I'm better than you, straight person!"

He then throws a little more gasoline on the fire by sputtering some more tired old crap; you've heard it all before... equating gay marriage to nymphomania or porno addiction... "Man on Dog" Santorum would be proud. But really, he can't top that paragraph above.

We can't make it work, so why should you be allowed to, faggot? Quit getting so uppity!
As the national argument continues to rage regarding the proper social and governmental response to homosexuality, some of the advocates for radical change have unobtrusively but unmistakably shifted their campaign from a request for equal treatment to an assertion of innate superiority. They demand for gay impulses not the same treatment accorded to heterosexual desires, but far greater latitude and acceptance, along with uniquely privileged social sanction and legal endorsement.

Wow. My hat's off to you, sir. You are the Grand Poobah of Duh.

(Via Sadly, No!, who shortened Medved's "column" to:
"Advocates for gay marriage say it would encourage homosexuals to be monogamous, but why hasn’t it worked for heterosexuals? Wait – that’s not what I meant! Homosexuals think they’re better than you!"
As the kids say, Heh, indeed.)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Like School on a Sunday

No class.

I'm sure you all remember the recent dustup between Jim Webb and Prezint Bulldoze McHeartlesson:
At a recent White House reception for freshman members of Congress, Virginia's newest senator tried to avoid President Bush. Democrat James Webb declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized on the stump this fall. But it wasn't long before Bush found him.

"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

"I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

"That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"

"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.
Well guess what. This wasn't simply a situation where Bush happened to bump into Webb and was trying to "extend a nice gesture," as O'Reilly harrumphed. Bush was briefed about meeting with Webb, and cautioned to be "extra sensitive."
But according to Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), Bush was told that Webb’s son had a recent brush with death in Iraq and was warned to be “extra sensitive” when talking to the Sen.-elect. ThinkProgress yesterday spoke with Moran’s office and confirmed the congressman’s statement, first reported by hcc in VA:
Not only did Bush know about it, he was specifically briefed on the incident before meeting with Webb, and was cautioned to be extra sensitive in speaking with Webb about his son.
And yet, even with kid glove handling and specific briefing, he still managed to fuck it up. He specifically seeks out Webb, all frisky and feeling intelligent after his briefing, and gets all pissy when things don't go his way. Webb said something he didn't want to hear, and he immediately got snappish and petulant.

He's either still cranky over the elections, pining for Rummy, unconsciously embarrassed about his lack of military service or just plain old pissy about his biggest failure... but this is a "man" who can't take the slightest bit of criticism.

Webb has been called "classless," a boor," and worse by the Right. Well, what does that make Bush?

For the End Credit Blooper Reel...

Jackie Chan Injured on "Rush Hour 3" Set

Damn it, Jackie... be more careful. Action movies will simply cease to exist if anything happens to you.
HONG KONG - Jackie Chan re-injured his chest while filming a fight scene for "Rush Hour 3," but doctors said it wasn't a major injury, the veteran action star says in an entry on his Web site.

Chan, 52, injured his chest in March when a stuntman wearing the wrong shoes kicked him during the shooting of a scene for his recent action comedy, "Rob-B-Hood."

This time, he was hit by a steel-reinforced wooden table, Chan said in a posting dated Nov. 27.

Chan said he tried to work through the pain, wearing a stunt belt across his upper chest and taking medication, but the movie's producers eventually sent him to a doctor. An X-ray cleared him of broken bones or organ injury, he said.

"I was in a lot of pain because it was in the same spot where I had gotten hurt during the filming of `Rob-B-Hood,'" he said.
Rob-B-Hood. Groan. I love Jackie unconditionally, but these "Hey, it's an Asian guy and a Non-Asian Guy thrust together into a wacky situation for some reason! They're on a collision course to zaniness!" movies just make me shudder. But frankly, Jackie could come out on screen and eat a bowl of cereal for two hours and I'd watch it.

Imagine the Gropinator or one of the other "action stars" getting hit with a table and going right back to work; refusing to see a doctor. Hell, just imagine them doing their own stunts in every film they make, no matter how dangerous. It wouldn't happen. That's why Jackie Chan is the greatest action star in the history of motion pictures. He is. Don't question me.
In the "Rush Hour" series, Chan plays a Hong Kong police officer and Chris Tucker portrays his Los Angeles counterpart, with the movie's humor drawing on cultural differences between the two.
Yeah, its hilarious. Let's go to the tape:
CrankyCritic®: Were you concerned about doing a sequel to Rush Hour?

Jackie Chan: I knew there was a sequel going on after part one finished. I don't think part one was a success. When I look at the film, I don't like it.

CrankyCritic®: Why not?

Jackie Chan: Just different. I am from Asia. I only know Asia. Rush Hour in Asia isn't a success compared to my old Jackie Chan films. Not funny, the action isn't good. For myself I look at and see there's another Big Brawl 20 years ago. Bye Bye. Then just boom, a big hit and I just don't know what happened. Then I realized oh, that's a very typical American film, very local. The dialogue was 'What's up Nigga?'. In Asia the whole theater goes huh? In the United States it's ha ha and everybody claps. From that time I know I have to make two kinds of films, one film for the American market and one film for my own market. My own market has been watching Jackie Chan films for so many years.
Jackie Chan, I love you, and I want to have your babies. So start being a little more careful, huh?

Update: For the record, "Rob-B-Hood" isn't an American flick. The groan was for the cheesy title.