Four Years

Where does the time go?

So, it turns out, I’ve been at this blogging thing for a bit more than four years, myself.

AndAthenae’s retrospective yesterday got me thinking about what I was writing these last four years.

It turns out that I’ve got some decent stuff buried in the archives at theold place

September 2004:

How big of an asshole is Brooks?

A gigantic one.

To begin
with, he notes that el Salvador faced and “insurgent army” conducting a
“terror campaign.” In truth, el Salvador was beset by a bloody, awful,
twelve-year-long civil war. There was, to be sure, an “insurgent army,”
but Brooks doesn’t expect you to know that the insurgency (a fancy word
for “rebellion” that doesn’t have any positive connotations) existed in
response to a right-wing military government that lived and breathed
oppression. He also doesn’t mention that, this being Central America,
the right-wing military government was aided and supported by–you
guessed it–the United States. As for the “terror campaign,” well, as
noted, the country was wracked by a civil war, the kind of conflict
least known for civility. However, if one is going to count the sins of
each side, the “terror campaign” conducted by the military government
was one for the record books. Simply look at, say, theel Mozote massacre, the murder ofArchbishop Oscar Romero (who was killed while celebrating mass in the chapel of a cancer hospital, for chrissakes), the rape and murder offour American nuns, or thetortures at the Mariona prison.
All of these atrocities and terrorist actions are the responsibility of
the right-wing government and its notorious death squads, financed,
armed, and trained by the United States.

Well, that pretty much
takes care of the terror. There is, however, more to say about the
insurgency. For example, what about those 1982 and 1984 elections,
which Brooks seems to think brought peace to a troubled country (I
mention now that Brooks, lying asshole that he is, provides no context
of why the country was troubled–it’s all about the politics of feudal
Central America, coffee, and the Monroe Doctrine, and that’s something
that you need to look at yourself sometime) and took the fight out of
the left-wing rebels. Well, his assertion is bullshit. He tries to
paint Duarte as some sort of latter-dayBolivar,
but that’s just not the case. Duarte was actually part of the ruling
junta for two years, from March 1980 until the elections of March 1982.
He joined after a coup overthrew the right-wing military government in
1979. That revolutionary group formed a provisional government for
three years, until the country was stable enough to hold elections.
The situation in 1979/1980 was just too damned chaotic to allow for
democratic elections. So, in the time of the provisional government,
some of the right-wing military types were actually part of the
“insurgent army” (Naturally, there wasn’t just one–many of the
left-wing guerrillas were not happy with the provisional government,
and did not lay down their arms–the Duarte junta then used right-wing
paramilitary groups to wage war on the recalcitrant guerrillas.
Confusing, ain’t it?), since the actual authorities were somewhat
friendly, at least nominally, to a number of left-wing causes. He
didn’t just sweep into office in two waves of democracy and then
miraculously end the civil war. Duarte joined the successful coup
faction once they were in power. A great deal of the bombing and mining
and shooting done during the 1982 and 1984 elections was done by the
goddamn right-wing death squads that the Reagan Administration
supported at every turn. Think about that shit for a minute.

also doesn’t mention that Duarte was forced into exile in the 1970’s
because of his agitation for democracy. Who was resistant to the will
of the people? That’s right. The US-backed dictatorship. For the
record, Duarte’s faction was known as the Christian Democratic Party
(PDC). For those of you who, like me, went to public schools, that
means that the United States was officially opposed to both
Christianity and democracy in el Salvador. USA! USA!

Duarte’s elections did not end the war. The war lasted from 1979 to
1992. Duarte’s government turned out to be just as godawfully
repressive as the previous military rule had been–he could not control
the military (his government was, after all, kept in place by the
military, with the assent of the large landholders). The guerrillas
finally got the upper hand when international and domestic pressure
forced the administration of Bush the Smarter to suspend all aid to the
right-wing government (that had “won” elections in 1989), after which
the rebel armies stepped up their attacks. Forced to deal with the
rebels without US aid, the right-wing government of Alfredo Cristiani
invited them to the bargaining table (it was either that or be
overthrown). They were eventually recognized as legitimate political
actors in el Salvador, and the country has been at peace since 1992.
Brooks, the colossal shithead, does not mention the suspension of US
aid at all. He says that “with each succeeding election into the early
90’s, the rebels on the left and the death squads on the right grew
weaker, and finally peace was achieved.” Nonsense.

I’ll bet that
Brooks believes in magic, Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy, too. What
the fuck? Somehow, elections magically made warring factions weaker?
What an asshole. Though he didfinally get around to mentioning
the death squads (naturally, he leaves out the little fact that they
received over a decade of US support).


One more thing–South Vietnam had elections, too. Somehow, our buddies
there never lost, even though they were about as popular as an Andre
the Giant-administered prostate exam.

David Brooks is an asshole of the highest order. I’ll bet he has an eighth-degree black belt in assholery.

September 2005: (on break)

September 2006:

Jon isabsolutely right about the ESPNMNF
crew’s stupidity regarding the Saints’ lone offensive TD last night
(And yes, I just used three different abbreviations in one sentence.
Woo hoo.). I thought it was Tony K. and Mike Tirico, but Stuart Scott
is an idiot by anyone’s standards, so throw him in just for good
measure. For the record, there is a double reverse, but it involves yet
another handoff.

Someone who, inexplicably, gets this right isGregg Easterbrook of TMQ.
However, Easterbrook is so fucking stupid about so many other things,
it’s difficult for me to give him credit, even when he’s clearly right.

–snipped a bunch of Easterbrook-written dreck–

Why is this bullshit in the middle of a column that’s supposed to be about this weekend’s NFL action?

so much wrong with this, it’s hard to know where to start. Easterbrook
likes to show us all that he has a soaring intellect, and that he just
can’t be tied down to the pedestrian task of sportswriting, I guess.
He’s a douche. First of all, it’s a goddamn comic book movie.
You take biology lessons from comic book movies at your own peril.
Second, there isn’t any differential reproduction in the “X-Men” world,
from what I understand, so you don’t have to worry about the evolution
of complex organs. The “mutations” that give these characters their
superpowers are, essentially, justMacGuffins.
Third, he grossly misrepresents SJ Gould’s “punctuated equilibria” idea
as being some sort of “undiscovered natural mechanism that enables
accelerated evolution.” Huh? That’s notwhat Gould meant at all! Fourth, he repeats the stupid saw that can be boiled down to the dumb-ass question “What good is half an eye?”It’s better than none at all, you stupid bastard! Geez. Smarter people than I haveaddressedthisquestion
many times, and you’d think that bullshit question would’ve been put to
bed by now. Finally, he gets around to making a case for Intelligent
Design. What a fuckhole.

You know what really makes me want to cry about all of this? employs Easterbrookas a science writer. Even though he’s beenfucking savaged by people who actually know what they’re talking about.

Can I have one of Easterbrook’s jobs? I promise to be shallow, incurious, and incompetent, and I’ll work for half his salary.

AndSeptember 2007, not too long before I started here:

You wanna see some motherfuckery in action? Go check out the Family Research Council’s “prayer team” assignment this week.

You see, God hates health care for all citizens.
Betcha didn’t know that, did you? For extra credit, look up the Bible
verses they cite as support. Nah, fuck that. I’ll just put them here.

15:26: And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the
LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt
give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put
none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the
Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

Looks to me
like that’s a pretty specific injunction regarding how the Hebrews in
the Sinai were to behave to avoid the plagues and such that Yahweh God
had previously sent on the Egyptians. You know, before he got pissed at
them and made them wander around in the fucking desert for forty years.
But what the fuck do I know?

Mark 12:17: And Jesus
answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are
Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at

I have no fucking idea why they included this one. If
the government (which, technically, is us) decides that health
insurance should be universal and paid for through taxation (like, you
know, all the other fucking industrialized countries in the world),
then couldn’t you cite this verse as support of universal health care?
I don’t get why this verse used in an attempt to bolster their position.

10:10: The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to
destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have
it more abundantly.

Again, I don’t know exactly what these
dipshits are getting at here. This verse appears as part of Jesus’
Parable of the Good Shepherd, where Jesus talks about how he cares for
his flock, says he’ll die for them, and hints at his own divinity.
Also, you could cite this verse as Jesus’ support for medical care for
everyone–wouldn’t that mean having life, and having it more

A little later on in this prayer injunction,
Anthony Perkins (no, that’s really his name) rails against the SCHIP
program, too. I guess he interprets Jesus saying “Suffer the little
children to come unto me,” he thinks that means that Christ wants lots
of sick kids to die so they can go to heaven. Or something.

At least the fuckin’ Christian Scientists are consistent with this shit. No health care for anyone, not just the poor.

You never see these “Christian” Republicans quoting things like
“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my
brethren, ye have done it unto me.” That’s Matthew 25:40, in case you
were wondering.

The Christian religion doesn’t support one or
another political party. I’m not religious, but when I see these
charlatan motherfuckers waving religiosity around as a way to support a
regressive social agenda, it makes me angry. Are there any religious
people out there that are personally offended by these cheap tricks? If
so, why don’t we ever hear from them?

Now, you can’t get sparkling prose like that just any-fucking-where. So throw us some cash!

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