Smells Like Karl Rove

Jim’s Brain Online: Dirty Robocalls? reports a fake campaign call that’s going around Michigan (I’ve heard about it from one other friend today) calling people up and asking them to vote John Kerry so he will “protect our right to gay marriage.” Jim goes into a lot of detail as to why the call is transparently fake. It was pointed out by another friend on a mailing list where this was being discussed that this is a classic Karl Rove style attack, comparable to the “push polling” that was done in the primary that helped Bush defeat McCain in South Carolina, by falsely insinuating that he had fathered a child on a black woman out of marriage. (In actual fact, he had adopted a daughter with somewhat dark skin; the fake push polls were playing off that fact.)

You know, I was just about going to vote Bush this year, but thanks to this I’m gonna change my mind and vote a straight Democratic ticket.

BTW, if you do vote a straight democratic ticket, double check your results, mm-kay?

UPDATE: Made The ABC article includes rumors provided by the Michigan GOP of bogus pro-Bush calls, in order to be “fair and balanced.” Of course, the bogus Kerry calls are so widespread that two people I know happen to have received them and they’re documented in a large number of Michigan cities, while I haven’t heard of anybody actually receiving the bogus pro-Bush calls; they’re just rumored to exist by the GOP. It’s one of those “hey, both sides are using dirty tricks!” things, where one side can get away with anything, no matter how egregious, because they point to something done by somebody on the other side and insist it’s equivalent. Classic media logic.

Lessig Asks for a Retranslation

Lawrence Lessig notes that the Al-Jazeera translation of the Osama bin Laden text seems at least to allow the reading that ObL is saying that Bush was given 20 minutes’ warning before the attacks occurred at all.

I don’t know a lick of Arabic, but I know at least one person who does reads my blog from time to time. Wanna take a crack at it, Jonathan?

I mean, even if that was what ObL was saying, that doesn’t mean he’s telling the truth…

Anyway, food for thought.

Here’s Dr. Lessig:

As Aljazeera has translated it, near the end bin Laden says this:

And for the record, we had agreed with the Commander-General Muhammad Ataa, Allah have mercy on him, that all the operations should be carried out within 20 minutes before Bush and his administration notice.

It never occurred to us that the Commander in Chief of the armed forces would abandon 50,000 of his citizens in the twin towers to face those great horrors alone at a time when they most needed him.

He goes on to refer to the Pet Goat incident, so we know he’s referring to the morning of September 11. But what does “carried out within 20 minutes before Bush and his administration notice” mean? Is bin Laden saying he gave the US warning (“notice”) before the attack — which would explain the weird look on Bush’s face before he was told the attack had actually occured?

Better Get Used To Calamari

Apparently because we’ve overfished the other species right out of the ocean, giant squid are getting bigger and more numerous, to the point that there is now more squid biomass on Earth than human biomass.

Good news if you really really really like calamari and don’t care much for any other kind of seafood.

Link via BoingBoing.

Personally I think we should sic the Snakeheads on them.


American Heritage Dictionary defines it thus:


SYLLABICATION:il * lib * er * al

ADJECTIVE:1. Narrow-minded; bigoted. 2. Archaic Ungenerous, mean, or stingy. 3. Archaic a. Lacking liberal culture. b. Ill-bred; vulgar.

You know, the Rethuglicans have spent several decades turning “liberal” into a dirty word. Bush is still using the kneejerk Pavlovian fear response to the word “liberal” that they’ve been working on for all that time in his campaigns.

Well, if they don’t want to be liberal, that’s fine. Let them be the opposite. I hereby call upon anybody who feels like listening to some dumb blogger, to start using the word “illiberal” for the politically conservative . If you look at the meanings from American Heritage Dictionary, they’re largely perfect. (3b is neither here nor there, but 1 through 3a are perfect descriptions of what’s wrong with the Right.)

I’m sick of these illiberal people pushing their illiberal agendas on our society!

Are you with me, or are you illiberal?

I thought so!