Saturday, April 12, 2008

Two Dead Horses That Need Beating

An update on the bitches: They could get life terms, specifically for the kidnapping charge.

Now while I think the long arm of the law should get the Lakeland 8 into a head lock and give them all a noogie. But life sentences? Seems a bit excessive. (<----Understatement of the month.)

But what I want to know is...where's Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? There should be a march or something to answer this injustice!

An update on the Olympic protests: Just days after IOC President Jacques Rogge used the word crisis to describe the effect of the torch protests, he admits that they still won't (can't?) do anything about Tibet.
Asked specifically whether he would encourage China to open dialogue on Tibet, Rogge said that was "a political matter in which the IOC cannot enter."

"This is a sovereign matter for China to decide," he said.
Which just goes to show you the limits of symbolic gestures.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

How to Free Tibet

Another protest successfully cut short the Olympic torch relay today in San Francisco.

Unfortunately, it failed to free a single Chinese dissident and the net effect on China's human rights policy was

Is it cynical of me to point that out?

The Myspace Mafia

Now here's a true collection of bitches. They beat the shit out of a former friend because of some Myspace slander and videotaped it for all the world to see on Youtube.

There are dozens of layers of immaturity and stupidity here, but none of them absolve these powder puff thugs or excuse what they did. Someone whose experience is limited to high school corridors and cable TV is not prepared to accept that some of their notions about how the world works are largely based on myth.

For instance, we don't live in a Jerry Springer world where trash-talking is a capital offense.

Defending your honor against petty insults doesn't require fists.

Ganging up on someone and administering some street justice isn't a sign of individual strength; it's a sign of collective weakness.

Posting videos of your crimes on the World Wide Web doesn't boost your cred; it makes you look like an idiot and your prosecutor look like a genius.

Of course, by pointing out that these teenagers are weak, stupid bitches, I'm subjecting myself to their wrath. I am, after all, talking shit and by their calculus, should thereby get a beating.

But I'm not worried. Not only is there a criminal trial on the horizon, but unlike the victim in the video, I'll fight back.

If I can take on 31 five-year-olds, I think I can take on 8 bitches.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Protesters are Assholes

I can understand why people all over the world sympathize with Tibet. I can even understand the blame that's being placed at China's feet and all the anger over China's hosting the Olympics.

But what I don't understand are these protesters.

Alright, people...let's think this through for a moment. China is a very bad country because they're beating up (killing?) Tibetan monks (among other things). Because of this acute empathy for Tibetan dissenters, you want to do something but what are you going to do? You can go to China (presuming you can jump through all the hoops) and get in the middle of the fight, but that's not very practical. Especially if you have a job or a home or a life...

So you do what you think is right, you protest. But let's face it, you picked protesting over holy war in China because protesting is going to have minimal impact on your life. You paint a few signs, congregate in the park for a while, refuse to move when the police come, then spend the next few hours trying to get the tear gas out of your eyes...small price to pay for a clear conscience, right? At worst, you lose an afternoon for the good fight and go back to your life.

The problem is that it's also going to have minimal effect on your pet issue too. Back in the day, protesting was semi-useful but it's always been a Pyrrhic victory. In order for the Kent State protest to raise eyebrows, a half dozen kids had to die. In order for MLK Jr's protests to get noticed, the authorities had to attack people with water hoses and dogs.

You'd think that might have been obvious back in the 60s, but in the intervening decades there has been countless protest after protest on issue after issue, and they have resulted roughly in one thing: it made the protesters look like a bunch of assholes and had little to no impact.

Throwing rocks, breaking windows, turning over cars, starting fires, pissing off cops, paralyzing cities. These are the things a good protest accomplishes. They don't stop wars, they don't free people from jail, they don't address injustice. They get you on TV and make you feel good about yourself, but in a practical sense, they just make a huge mess and ultimately accomplish nothing.

When has a protest ever changed a mind?

And while I sympathize with the protesters in a certain respect....why does China have to crush dissent so brutally anyway?....I just wish they weren't such assholes about it.

I mean, you can bully the guy running with the torch all you want, but think --really think-- about how that's going to help Tibet.

On Electoral Fairness

Jonathan Chait makes an important observation on the Clinton campaign's latest tactics, changing the rules after the game already started:
Clinton supporters are spending an inordinate amount of time devising scenarios where Clinton would be winning if the rules of the primary were changed retroactively. Yet all the rules were understood and agreed to by both candidates in advance. The rules are not perfect, but the hypothetical alternatives proposed by Clinton's side -- imposing a winner-take-all system, counting the votes in states with no campaigning or only one candidate on the ballot -- would make the race less fair, not more fair. So, yes, it's possible to imagine different, less-fair rules where the losing candidate would have prevailed. But so what?
My emphasis.

Yeah, fair doesn't mean the loser gets a handicap. Fair means you set the rules and abide by them. That's why a guy whose guilt is practically assured can get a "fair trial" and a contest between the fat-cat Yankees and the low-paid Marlins would be called a "fair game."

Men and Their Toys

This video had me laughing so hard it hurt.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Speechifying Without Profit

A commenter on Marc Ambinder's blog gives the Obama campaign a zinger:
Wow. They've certainly made a lot of money. A lot more than I would've guessed. $52 mill for speeches?

Let's see how this plays with the "working class" white Democrats that Hillary is counting on to give her PA.

Obama should start saying "Say what you want about my speeches, but at least I'm not charging $100,000 for them."

Posted by tinisoli | April 4, 2008 4:19 PM

Clinton's New Food and Beverage Manager

This is classic:
Sen. Hillary Clinton's chief presidential campaign strategist is quitting his post amid criticism of his public relations firm's contacts with the Colombian government over a pending free-trade deal, Clinton's campaign announced.
But wait! Don't start jumping up and down just yet.
Mark Penn and his political consulting firm will continue advise the New York senator's Democratic presidential bid, but Penn will give up his job as chief strategist, campaign manager Maggie Williams said.
It reminds me of that scene in Casino where Alan King tells Robert DeNiro how run the Tangiers without a gambling license or attracting too much attention from the authorities.

Just change your job title and, if you're lucky, the people you need to fool are fooled and nothing really changes. A mob boss with a dozen bookmaking pinches on his record can run a Las Vegas casino, and a crooked lobbyist can continue to run a presidential campaign.