Starting the weekend early…

by matttbastard 

Crass – Christ The Movie

pt 1

 pt 2

 pt 3

Holidaze

 by matttbastard 

A sincere apology to all three of our loyal readers for the lack of new content.  The hectic holiday season has made posting a lesser priority than, er, survival (I’m seriously contemplating converting to Judaism).  Rest assured the new year should bring about more regularity.  Until then, expect only sporadic dispatches from the Triumvirate.

And you thought Dick Cheney jokes were played out

Cheney’s got a gun

Noted without comment:

A lawmaker in this firearm-friendly state wants to help more people get the chance to shoot live animals _ even if those people can’t see.

A bill filed for the 2007 legislative session would permit legally blind hunters to use laser sights, or lighted pointing instruments.

“This opens up the fun of hunting to additional people, and I think that’s great,” said Republican Rep. Edmund Kuempel, the bill’s sponsor.

Johnny and Junior at the End of Days

by matttbastard

What I learned from Left Behind: Eternal Forces:

– Heathen rock stars have spiritual cooties

– (Virtual) cold-blooded murder is ok, as long as

  • A. There’s no actual blood (and bodies disappear)
  • B. The people killed are non-Christian
  • C. Before meeting their demise, non-Christians are given the opportunity to convert, and afterwards a prayer for forgiveness is offered.

– And, most important:

“Muslims are not believers in Jesus Christ” — and thus can’t be on Christ’s side in the game. “That is so obvious”

See, killing rock stars, Muslims and other assorted unbelievers (including teh Joos!!1) is ok (within the context of the game) because they aren’t Christians. Like, so obvious (duh!)

Still, any game Focus on the Family says is “the kind…that Mom and Dad can actually play with Junior” can’t be all bad.

Next up: PC adaptions of the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and the Salem Witch Trials.

Augusto Pinochet

Pinochet

by matttbastard

Perhaps his death will be a comfort to some. But it’s hard not to see it as a final cruel sidestep of justice and accountability. In that way, his demise is a fitting summation of his violent, defiant legacy.

BBC profile

BBC obituary

National Security Archive documents relating to Pinochet and CIA complicity in his ascent to power in Chile

update 12/11: superlative commentary from journalist Marc Cooper, who served as translator for late Chilean President Salvador Allende, the man Pinochet brutally ousted from power. Christopher Hitchens and Randy Paul also weigh in.

update 2: via nadezhda (in comments @ American Footprints) – Tony Karon on Pinochet:

Back in the 80s, as I was coming of age politically in South Africa, the example of Chile immediately explained why it was that the Reagan Administration backed the apartheid regime — because Chile showed that the U.S. cared nothing about democracy abroad, and would actively support vicious tyrants who declared themselves anti-communist. Even the deranged kleptocrat and mass murderer Mobutu Sese Seko, for example, was an honored guest in Reagan’s White House. As the Clash (who also memorialized Victor Jara on ‘Sandinista’) sang on a different track, “If Adolf Hitler, were here today, they’d send a limousine anyway…”

Back then, I believed that Pinochet deserved to die, to avenge all those whose lives he destroyed for no reason other than that their views were deemed unacceptable to his own, a blend of Prussian Military authoritarianism, Catholic crypto-fascism and the economics of free enterprise fundamentalist Milton Friedman.

But we all grow up.

The South African experience taught me that once the leaders of a violent authoritarian regime are stripped of their power, they are forced to confront their own criminality in the eyes of a society that has moved on, repudiating them — and more importantly, simply moving on to build a better society that, in itself, shows the moral bankruptcy of those that unleashed violence on the people in the name of progress and security.

[…]

In its humane handling of Pinochet, in fact, the government of his victims proved its superiority. Sure, his victims would have liked to see him face a judge and answer to each and every charge — Pinochet, while still ruling as the head of the military, created for himself a bogus amnesty. They pursued him to his death, but only via the law. It is Pinochet’s victims who will be memorialized with honor as the old man’s bones are interred. And all Chileans know, whether or not they admit it, that they have created a better society by getting rid of him. Pinochet will have sensed it, too

[Insert Pete Townshend quote here]

by matttbastard

Via Hilzoy: Guess who said the following:

On “a temporary basis, I’m willing to ramp [US troop levels in Iraq] up by twenty or thirty thousand . . . for, I don’t know, two months, four months, six months — but certainly that would be an exception,”

No, not John McCain; new Democratic House Intelligence Committee Chair Silvestre Reyes. Alas, Reyes shares other negative traits with the US political and security establishment:

Reyes stumbled when I asked him a simple question about al Qaeda at the end of a 40-minute interview in his office last week. Members of the Intelligence Committee, mind you, are paid $165,200 a year to know more than basic facts about our foes in the Middle East.

We warmed up with a long discussion about intelligence issues and Iraq. And then we veered into terrorism’s major players.

To me, it’s like asking about Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland: Who’s on what side?

The dialogue went like this:

Al Qaeda is what, I asked, Sunni or Shia?

“Al Qaeda, they have both,” Reyes said. “You’re talking about predominately?”

“Sure,” I said, not knowing what else to say.

“Predominantly — probably Shiite,” he ventured.

He couldn’t have been more wrong.

Al Qaeda is profoundly Sunni. If a Shiite showed up at an al Qaeda club house, they’d slice off his head and use it for a soccer ball.

That’s because the extremist Sunnis who make up al Qaeda consider all Shiites to be heretics.

Wait – it gets better:

And Hezbollah? I asked him. What are they?

“Hezbollah. Uh, Hezbollah…”

He laughed again, shifting in his seat.

“Why do you ask me these questions at five o’clock? Can I answer in Spanish? Do you speak Spanish?”

“Pocito,” I said—a little.

“Pocito?! “ He laughed again.

“Go ahead,” I said, talk to me about Sunnis and Shia in Spanish.

Reyes: “Well, I, uh….”

I apologized for putting him “on the spot a little.” But I reminded him that the people who have killed thousands of Americans on U.S. soil and in the Middle East have been front page news for a long time now.

It’s been 23 years since a Hezbollah suicide bomber killed over 200 U.S. military personnel in Beirut, mostly Marines.

Hezbollah, a creature of Iran, is close to taking over in Lebanon. Reports say they are helping train Iraqi Shiites to kill Sunnis in the spiralling civil war.

“Yeah,” Reyes said, rightly observing, “but . . . it’s not like the Hatfields and the McCoys. It’s a heck of a lot more complex.

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