Umm… I guess somebody’s got to say it.
FEMA’s most notable response to the wildfires has been to stage a fake news conference with 15 minutes of notice, and when no reporters showed up (surprise, surprise!), plant FEMA employees to pose as reporters and ask the questions that FEMA wants to answer.
FEMA’s fake press conference: are you surprised? (Crooks and Liars)
US agency apologizes for news conference on fires (Reuters)
This is something to be proud of?
“We can and must do better, and apologize for this error in judgment,” FEMA deputy administrator Harvey Johnson, who conducted the briefing, said in a statement.”
Error in judgment?
But with no reporters on hand and an agency video camera providing a feed carried live by some television networks, FEMA press employees posed the questions for Johnson that included: “Are you happy with FEMA’s response so far?”
According to Friday’s Post account, which Walker confirmed, Johnson replied that he was “very happy with FEMA’s response so far.”
Clearly, so is President Bush.
A spokeswoman for Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who has authority over FEMA, called the incident “inexcusable and offensive to the secretary.”
Yeah, sucks they got caught, doesn’t it?
Beyond death, there is Heaven, and there is Hell, or so believers say.
They say that if you force yourself to believe in ‘God’, you would save yourself from ‘Hell’, just in case precisely such a vengeful god were to exist.
But how would you choose which sect to believe in? None of the thousand or more ‘Christian’ sects on earth believes that what the followers of any other are believing in or doing is good enough. So would it be good enough for the god they worship or not?
Should not a prudent person just choose the christian sect with the most terrifying hell?
Or is that narrowing it down too far? Do we have any reason to believe that of all the millions of discrete religions that have ever existed, one is more probable to be True and Right than any of the others?
Me, I don’t believe. But imagine if each person’s own heaven and hell were not just a figment of his or her imagination, but as real as that of the person on either side, and as real as reality itself.
For believers, these will be a reality. They will not just die, they will pass on, or be raptured. When they come to the head of the line at the Pearly Gates, their misdeeds will be subtracted from their good deeds. Perhaps at that point their own judgment will coincide with that of St. Peter, or whoever or whatever is to pass judgment on them. But then again, perhaps not.
Strike a deal with the Devil? Go right ahead. If you believe in the Devil, you can do that. But he will collect…
Comes The End
There is always a beginning, of course, but we will not worry ourselves about that. There are always so many different starting points. Did my life begin with conception? With birth? Or did it begin when the unique DNA classifiable as ‘human’ first resulted from some random mutation in a single egg cell or sperm?
The end is much clearer. When things come together, we watch them happen, although we are often powerless to react, as in a dream.
Was it ever all a dream, and if so, how did any of it become reality?
The gray mist lifts up from the dank earth, rising to meet the sweet, acrid smoke drifting from the censer. It dances in the breeze, seemingly forming shapes, then as quickly dissipating, before you can say just what those shapes might be.
The flames of the candles flicker, barely lighting the scene.
On this night the dead will walk the earth again, unseen.
The chanting begins, as of old. Perhaps it is authentic, perhaps not. But it has always been good enough to wreak its magic and begin the casting of the spells, the incantation, the invocation of the unholy.
We can see them, the two men, one larger and one smaller. They are wearing dark robes. They raise their hands as they chant, wave with purpose. You can feel the energy growing as the volume of their chant increases.
There is an altar and a sacrificial knife, but you see no tribute, no offering, no victim. There are bejeweled golden goblets of wine on the altar, waiting to be…what?
We see a point of light form at the center of the altar, beginning like the dot of red light of a laser pointer, growing in size, larger, until it is a large ball hovering over the altar. Amorphous in shape, it pulsates. Finally it coalesces, shrinks, and takes the form of a being—Beelzebub himself.
The Devil looks down and speaks to the smaller man. “What is this?” he says, pointing at the wine. “Where is the virgin you were going to sacrifice to me? And what is this wine? That’s supposed to be blood in the goblets.” He points again at the goblets, and they tip over, spilling their contents.
“I think you’re not taking your part of the bargain seriously. I’ve come through with what you needed, and now you’re backing down. I think I should just take back all I gave you and leave.”
The small man starts to bluster and bluff. Satan looks down on him and laughs. “Your time is up, little man. You never did intend to follow through on your promises, did you? But then they never do,” he said, talking to no one in particular.
“Now I will collect,” he says, snapping his fingers. In a white glow, the girl, the man’s daughter, appears on the table, naked, terrified. She then disappears, dissolving into a mist. “She is mine.”
“You can’t do that!” screams the little man.
“Ah, but so I can,” hisses Satan. “You have failed to fulfill your part of the bargain. You have grown increasingly arrogant. Your hubris astounds even me.”
He puts his hands on his hips, inasmuch as a glowing red spirit in the shape of a devil can. “But I always knew you would do this. That was part of the deal, too. It was never up to you. You only deluded yourself into thinking you were able to strike a bargain, that you had free will.”
Now the red glow dissolves and again forms a cloud, then a cyclone. Whirling around, it touches down on the head of the larger man and vanishes within him. He speaks. “It never was up to you. Everything has always been up to me. I knew what I wanted and I had you offer it to me. I knew full well I would win in the end.”
The small man says, “But, but…”
The big man cuts him off. “You’re a fool. Did you really think you could get into heaven with the help of the Devil? I could take you now, but I don’t need to. When you wake up, you will realize that you are the fool of the Nation and the world. Your power is gone. This is your fate.”
The small man whimpers, “You are possessed by Satan.”
Cheney laughs. “You don’t get it, do you? Why would I be possessed by the Devil? I am the Devil.”
The evil laughter echoes through the forest, and the small man sinks to the ground, feeling truly impotent and alone for the first time in his life.
Rosa Brooks of the LA Times has finally come out with it. It’s too late to impeach President Bush and Vice-President Cheney. We can no longer say that the damage is done, and we can wait them out. It is not—they are nowhere near done destroying everything great and good about this country—and we can’t wait any longer.
Both of them are certifiably insane. They are preparing us to go to war with yet another country, as though the last two wars would somehow be won by magically involving us in a third. And not only that, but Bush has already declared that he will start World War III if Iran does not give up its nukes.
Anybody who is both in a position to start World War III and says they will do so clearly needs to be locked up for their own safety as well as ours.
In Washington, the appropriate statutory law is already in place: If a “court or jury finds that [a] person is mentally ill and . . . is likely to injure himself or other persons if allowed to remain at liberty, the court may order his hospitalization.”
My opinion? Bush is planning on involving all of the Middle East in a holy war which will trigger the End Times. Armageddon. This is more than a crusade. He’s decided to destroy the world.
Coulter: We Want Jews To Be “Perfected”
The Coultergeist is up to her old tricks, but of course. She’s just trying to see how outrageously offensive she can be when mere ideas fail her, which they always do. But some things just go without saying.
It helps that she is completely oblivious to what others might think of what she says. Otherwise she would realize just exactly where her politics and bizarre notions place her—in a special insane assylum reserved for fascists with rapidly advancing brain deterioration, of course.
“We just want Jews to be perfected, as they say,” Coulter said later in the show. “That is what Christianity is. We believe the Old Testament, but ours is more like Federal Express.”
“Candidly, I had her on not to talk about politics but to talk about her brand strategy,” Deutsch later told AdWeek . “Whether you like her or not, her strategy is to be extreme and that’s a way to make money. But because it’s her, it drifted into politics.”
“I simply asked her a question, something like, ‘If the world was her way, what would it look like?’ And she said something to the effect that everybody would be Christians,” Deutsch told AdWeek. “I was somewhat baffled and asked if that meant there would be no Buddhists or Jews and I think her words were, ‘perfected’ Jews [would be OK].”
From the CBS story“
- Insert foot deeply in mouth.
- Smirk self-adoringly at the cameras.
How could anyone resist the temptation? Maxim magazine online has taken the opportunity to demonstrate for us just how Anne Coulter herself might be “perfected”, suggesting exactly which upgrades might be an improvement.
Yes, indeed. Remember back during the first election campaign for Dubya, when the Repubs were trying to prove that they could be at least as compassionate as Democrats, but more effectively so?
What happened to the ‘passion’ about their ‘compassion’? Was it never there at all? What I see is lies, vitriol, and death threats against children who have the audacity to recover from life-threatening injuries with the help of a government program intended to provide health insurance to children of working people who do not have employer-provided insurance.
And now the White House has come out in support of the blog that started this and still leads the way. Clearly they have no shame – not that George Bush has ever shown any sense of shame for any of the misdeeds of his life – but really, don’t they realize that the mere fact of trying to cement their relationship with hate-mongers on the right will drive away further the majority, which supports this program?
The only thing I can make of it is that they’ve convinced themselves that the parents decided to have an accident permanently disabling their children simply in order to collect benefits. I’ve always said that when a person imagines such a bizarre thing of someone else, it can only be that they have seriously considered something like that in their own heart.
Graeme Frost should be flattered and mortified that the President has decided he is an opponent and an equal. It says something about the mental age of our own dear Dubya, dropping all the time.
That brain damage from his years of drug and alcohol abuse—compounded with the anoxic episode with the pretzel—is clearly leading into a death spiral of idiocy.
No, it doesn’t make sense to make people with massive medical bills become homeless paupers to pay for only some of their massive medical expenses. Not only that, I’m sure that neocon crackpot pundits would be the first to claim that homeless people don’t deserve health care. If they did, they’d have jobs as neocon crackpot pundits, now wouldn’t they?
Of course, none of these have watched Sicko. It helps to be blissfully unaware that their own coverage is shot full of holes, and private insurance would probably deny all those same claims if such befell their own families.