kolmapäev, märts 21, 2007

What to Watch Tonight
Friday Night Lights. Watch or I will find you and kill you.

Bones. TV's most entertaining crime procedural series. If you somehow refuse to watch something as good as Friday Night Lights, this is pretty much the best you can do with anything else in the 8:00 hour.

Lost. Finally resolving the question of how Locke got paralyzed. And knowing this show, probably creating like 20 new questions. Still, the second best thing on TV tonight.

And I ask a moment of silence at 8:30 to observe the continued absence of The Knights of Prosperity. I mean, really, do TV audiences have such bad taste that a repeat of According to Jim is doing better than that did?

Yes. Yes, they do.

teisipäev, märts 20, 2007

Marvel June Solicitations
At Newsarama.

Given the amount of solicitations they previewed over the last week, there's really not much new to see here.

X-Men: Endangered Species--Funeral for an unnamed mutant. 2 years later, somebody finally gets around to addressing the consequences of House of M.
Mark Bagley's last full issue of Ultimate Spider-Man.
The Ultimate X-Men vs Nightcrawler--A fight get the impression I'm supposed to be a lot more excited about than I am.
Spider-Man "in his darkest hour"--Oh. Dark. Black. Black costume. I totally get this whole event now.
Sensational Spider-Man brings us the return of Eddie Brock nobody was really asking for. Still, an intriguing premise and I guess they gotta do something with the movie coming.
Mythos: Spider-Man finally reveals Spider-Man's shocking origin. Cause they've never told that story before.
Spider-Man Fairy Tales trying to trick us into buying, well, Spider-Man Fairy Tales by hiding it under beautiful Niko Henrichon art.
Spider-Man Family continues to be published for no particular reason.
Annihilation: Conquest has potential. They've apparently replaced Brian Denham with Mike Perkins on art.
The Initiative 3 has a great cover. I'm glad they made this an ongoing. The concept has pretty much endless possibilities and it's clear there are still a whole lot of things they need to explain.
Black Panther takes the pseudo-Fantastic Four to the zombie Skrull planet. Um, yeah. Okay.
Captain America 27 continues to explore the effects of Cap's death.
Fantastic Four deals the with aftermath of visiting the zombie Skrull planet. Still not feeling it.
World War Hulk kicks off a whole lot of people hitting each other for several months.
Blade vs Spider-Man? Didn't we already do this dance in issue 1? And did I just see the word "gun-arm"? I'm willing to give Guggenheim the benefit of the doubt here but, damn, that sounds stupid and it doesn't look any better on the cover.
Ant-Man fights Dragon Man. Because you demanded it.
Jonathan Hickman writes and draws a Legion of Monsters back-up. That's worth a look.
Mighty Avengers continues to look like a whole lot of crazy ass action.
New Avengers kills Elektra. I don't know why I should care. But Bendis and Yu might be able to make it work.
Nova 3 looks like an interesting peek at the emotional aftermath of Speedball becoming Penance. Too bad Nova's going straight back into Annihilation next issue.
Punisher War Journal--I've been loving this book so far but, Christ, that's an awful cover.
She-Hulk. Giant size Man-Thing. Heh. Like a big penis.
Thunderbolts ends its first arc, most likely with more violence, cynicism and entertainingly heavy handed satire.
Storm in Uncanny X-Men too? When did she start having more monthly titles than Wolverine?
David Finch's X-Men 200 cover kicks ass.
And in trade paperbacks, Marvel finishes jumbling all of those random Civil War specials into collections where they don't entirely fit.
Dr. Fate Cancelled?
Before it even ships. That can't be a good sign. Maybe leading into it with 5 really crappy one-shots featuring characters people care about even less than they care about Dr Fate wasn't such a good plan. They say it'll be resolicited eventually. Gotta wonder what happened there.

UPDATE: Apparently a change in artists is the cause of the delay. So we will eventually be seeing the series, which is good news because Steve Gerber does seem to have some interesting ideas.
Stuff for You to Get
Jesse Malin's Glitter in the Gutter.

Get on that shit.
What to Watch Tonight

If you have to watch something, The Unit is usually a decent hour. Not quite as edgy or exciting as you would expect from David Mamet and the creator of The Shield, but very competent television with a great cast. Tonight is the 8th or 9th time a unit member gets stuck behind enemy lines alone and has to get out.

Then there's Dirt. Yeah. Um...I want to support FX dramas in general and this is the build up to a theoretically intense season finale, but it's just not that good. It's gotten better as it goes along and it's not a total waste of an hour. It's pretty damn close, though.

esmaspäev, märts 19, 2007

Things to watch on TV tonight:
Prison Break--3 episodes left. Sure, it doesn't make any sense at all anymore, but you gotta admit it's pretty entertaining.
24--Jack deals with "devastating news." I really hope it's something more devastating than Charles Logan dying because as much as I love the character, I don't particularly care if he lives or dies at this point. Tonight's hour 14. This is around the point in the season where you stop and realize, damn, they've got 10 more hours to fill somehow. And you pray for the best.
The Riches--Who would have guessed Eddie Izzard could actually act? Like, really, really well. Minnie Driver is saddled with an unfortunately dull character, but especially given the current competition in the timeslot, Izzard alone is worth the hour of your time.

DC Comics June solicitations
That 3-D issue of Action Comics solicited for, what, the fourth time?
And more fill-in art on Batman. At least from a great artist this time. But still, what the hell happened to the Kuberts? They could meet deadlines when they were working the X-Men books. They're doing phenomenal work, but that doesn't matter so much if we never actually see any of it.
A new Superman/Batman arc with art by Dustin Nguyen.
4 weekly issues of Countdown with unsurprisingly vague descriptions.
Another 52 trade with enough extras that you feel kind of cheated for paying for the damn thing monthly.
The Brave and the Bold 4. Supergirl and Lobo. Heh.
Checkmate remains derailed by an Outsiders crossover I have no interest in picking up.
Sinestro Corps. Ethan van Sciver art. That's all I need to hear.
Another Green Arrow series dies and I imagine very few people still care. Looking forward to seeing where Scott McDaniel ends up next.
Jodi Picoult's Wonder Woman run ends, almost completely sucked into the Amazons Attack crossover that didn't sound like her original plan for the book. Seems kind of a waste.
Another intriguing Midnighter issue, this month by Christos Gage.
A Stormwatch PHD trade that I'm pretty sure cuts off in the middle of a 2-part story.
J.M. DeMatteis on Wetworks. Almost tempting enough to pick it up.
Is Marcelo Frusin ever going to draw the interiors of Loveless again? Because their fill-in artists both kind of suck and it's really dragging the book down.
Superman action figures based on Adam Kubert designs. If nothing else, that Bizarro deserves your money.

Possibly June solicitations from Marvel

reede, märts 16, 2007

Veronica Mars Not Canceled?

Somewhat good news.
World War Hulk Art

At Newsarama

Wow. That is one extraordinarily pissed off Hulk. Understandably, given the fairly ridiculous and horribly unjust decision by some of the supposedly smartest men in the Marvel Universe to exile him to space for life.

Tony Stark saw Civil War coming when he fought a bunch of zombies with King Arthur but he somehow didn't see how that plan could go wrong? If this is the characterization of the Hulk we're going to be seeing throughout the event, I've gotta wonder how this one ends without a whole lot of people getting killed. Or where the Hulk can go when it's over.

I realize this is just going to be five issues of people hitting each other but, damn, it looks pretty cool. When Greg Pak's on, he can do some great work (Phoenix: Endsong). When he's off...ugh (Phoenix: Warsong). But this is some of the best looking art Romita Jr's ever put out. So, for now at least, I'm going to hope for the best.
Veronica Mars canceled?

Hopefully this report is premature.

Come on, CW. Really, what else are you going to put on instead?



neljapäev, märts 15, 2007

Comic Book Reviews for March 14, 2007

I get most of my comics shipped to me through an online service a week or two after their release, but I still pick up a few things in stores. So then, some thoughts on a few of this week’s releases and a few older ones I’m just getting around to reading.

Civil War: The Confession—Ah, yet another in the seemingly endless stream of books Marvel had to put out to provide the satisfaction that Civil War itself failed to give us and to explain the many, many, many extremely important story elements they just couldn’t fit in. Like, for example, what the fuck Tony Stark was thinking. Civil War: Frontline 11 took a step in that direction and Brian Michael Bendis finally makes some sense of it all. Admittedly, the “I realized this was coming while King Arthur and I were fighting zombies” logic is a bit flawed, but the emotional beats of the story are spectacular. As is the art. Structurally, it’s a bit shaky, with one powerful extended monologue taking up most of the issue and then a flashback to a bunch of shouting two days earlier. I see what Bendis was trying to do in terms of setting up the whole “was it worth it?” line but it comes across a bit disjointed. Maybe it’s partly the unnecessary “Marvel Comics Presents The Confession” title appearing for a second time at the start of the flashback. Also, while I realize part of the point was showing the extent of Stark’s reaction to Captain America’s death, he has a couple of horribly awkward, childish and arrogant lines (like the “Uh, yes” and the “You’re a sore loser” bits) that seem out of place. The first part of the story is far better than the second in that sense. Still, it’s a huge step toward rejuvenating the character and it’s probably the best single issue to come out of Civil War.

Up next, a five-part miniseries about characters reacting to the death of Captain America, the climax of Civil War that didn’t actually happen during Civil War. Can’t wait.

Moon Knight 8—Through the magic of Marvel scheduling, Steve Rogers makes his final living appearance here, the week after his death in a story that takes place before Civil War 6, which shipped in January. Not that the Civil War connection here is particularly relevant to Charlie Huston’s story. Though Marc Spector sums up the whole event better than pretty much anyone else has: “People being murdered while you and Stark and your pals play capture the fucking flag. You self-righteous son of a bitch. Coming in here acting like this is anything but your regularly scheduled grudge match to work out all of your differences. All of you. Trying to prove who has the biggest super power.” Always count on the crazy guy to make sense of the riduclous. And we now return to our regularly scheduled Moon Knight story arc, in which we get our obligatory moment of extreme violence and more hints about the return of the Midnight Man. All wonderfully drawn by David Finch in what sadly appears to be his final issue on the title. I read the first arc in the collected hardcover and I definitely get the sense this arc’s going to read better that way too. Hopefully Huston has more in mind for the upcoming Punisher and Iron Man guest appearances than a brief tangential cameo.

Grifter/Midnighter 1—Chuck Dixon wrote this? Really? This? I used to love Dixon’s work. His runs on Detective Comics and Robin were some of the most entertaining books of their time. Exciting, fun and extremely well-paced. The man was a master of the character-driven action story. And now there’s this. A few pages of the Authority fighting monsters inside Midnighter’s head, a whole bunch of melodramatic bickering between team members and six pages of Grifter literally doing nothing? I was oddly looking forward to this series. It sounded perfect for Dixon. But despite a few nice moments, this is pretty disappointing. Ryan Benjamin’s art has never looked better, though.

Wonder Woman 5—I really should have looked through this before I bought it. With Will Pfeifer taking over for an issue, I assumed this would be a lead-in to his Amazons Attack thing. Instead it’s a perfectly competent completely stereotypical fill-in issue. Bit of a letdown.

Coming soon: TV recommendations, music, maybe college basketball picks. Who knows?

Death of the Dream

Yeah…so…Captain America’s dead.

It’s not like that’s what suddenly inspired me to restart this blog after two years. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now and I just haven’t gotten around to it. Since nobody was actually reading this before—and most likely nobody’s going to reading it now either but that’s beside the point—I’ll just quickly say the focus of things is going to be shifting away from what it was to, well, something else. I reached a saturation point with disgust with politicians and I’m not terribly interested in digging into that grave as much anymore. We’re going to be swinging more toward the pop culture route here—TV, movies, music, comic books, basically whatever the hell I feel like. Part of a desperate effort to keep myself writing something of some sort every day.

Anyway, Captain America. It’s been a great book for two years now and it’s a little disappointing to hear that Civil War forced Ed Brubaker to change his plans on the series. Especially given that Civil War wasn’t all that good to begin with. And it seems more than a little silly that the biggest moment of the miniseries is happening here in another book two weeks after the last issue. Just another example of the sloppy planning and execution of the event. Regardless, Captain America 25 is a solid piece of storytelling, clearly geared toward new readers and setting up an arc that’s going to focus on Sharon Carter, Bucky and Sam Wilson. And the ending reveal of who fired the last shot is an extremely powerful moment. I have a lot of faith in Brubaker’s writing, so I’m looking forward to see where he goes with it.

Still, this is a man who in his time at Marvel has killed Foggy Nelson and the Red Skull, brought back Foggy Nelson and the Red Skull, brought back Bucky and brought back the third Summers brother we hardly knew anything about. I will be shocked if Steve Rogers isn’t back by issue 50.


kolmapäev, märts 30, 2005

What Liberal Neurology?

Much has been made by some--well, really just by one of my friends and a few conservative radio hosts--of the bias of various doctors involved in the Schiavo case.

The reasoning goes that someone like Cheshire will be more likely to diagnose Terri as non-PVS because of his religious beliefs and vocal opposition to physician-assisted suicide. And if you accept that premise, Ron Cranford might be saying she is PVS because he wants to do some euthanizing.

I don't buy it.

I think it's significant that Cheshire sat in Terri's hospice room and observed her for quite a while but chose not to examine her. Why? Maybe because he knew he wouldn't like what he'd find? I've read his affidavit. He states that he saw no consistent signs of responsiveness but he really felt like he was in the presence of a living person. That really doesn't sound like science.

More importantly, though, I find it much more plausible that a doctor with beliefs like Cheshire's would lean toward a pro-life diagnosis because he wants Terri to live than that a doctor, any doctor, would want to find someone in a vegetative state knowing it would mean their death. I just don't see the upside to that. I don't believe a doctor would be so mean-spirited. I don't think there's an ideology that would seek out the death of patients. It seems to go against the concept of being a doctor at all. It's one thing to support mercy killing. It's another to actively desire diagnoses that could let you kill the patient. I've spent quite a while looking into Cranford's background. His support for euthinasia is indeed well-documented and I think it goes a bit further than most are comfortable with. That belief, though, has nothing to do with his ability to diagnose PVS. He is, in fact, one of the nation's leading PVS experts. He's been studying this for nearly 3 decades. He got game.

Much is made by people who really hate him of Cranford's diagnosis of police officer David Mack as PVS in 1979. 20 months later, Mack woke up. Setting aside that this was 25 years ago and both Cranford and medical technology have improved quite a bit, it's not clear that this was actually a misdiagnosis. It appears to be considered something of a medical mystery how he was able to recover. That recovery, however, did leave him in a state of disability where he and his wife would both come to say that they wished they had just pulled the plug and let him go in 1980. It's a bizarre case, and Cranford may have made a mistake, but that was very long ago and it hardly disqualifies him from offering his expert opinion here or in the many, many PVS cases he's been part of since. PVS is a difficult diagnosis. Some studies suggest it is misdiagnosed very often. This is why so many doctors were asked to look at Terri. And all of the credible neurologists (not including "Nobel Prize nominated" liar William Hammesfahr) said it was PVS. That's got to count for something.

Is it me or does Schindler family physician Jay Carpenter look kind of like Schindler family spiritual advisor Pat Mahoney with a different beard?

For that matter, does anyone else get the sense Jay Carpenter isn't a particularly good doctor?

Among other things, the internist (note: not a neurologist) stated:

a) There's no such thing as a persistent vegetative state.

b) Ron Cranford invented PVS because he wanted an excuse to kill people.

c) Terri Schiavo is awake and responsive.

And yet he seems to expect us to take him seriously or something.

What's up with that?

teisipäev, märts 29, 2005

The Unseen Costs of the Actions of Ignorant Right Wing Assholes II

In my continuing effort to remind everyone that there's more to this than just what appears to have become the right wing asshole equivalent of Sesame Place, I would like to point out that abuse hotlines are for, well, actual abuse complaint. I realize a lot of these people have trouble comprehending the notion of reality, but do they really think they'll be taken any more seriously if 100 of them call in a frivolous complaint than if 10 of them do? Besides, the DCF seems to be perfectly capable of fabricating their own baseless abuse allegations. They don't need help from somebody who has a low enough IQ to think that putting a picture of Terri and a picture of Jesus on the same poster constitutes a compelling argument.

If I were as immature as these assholes, I'd suggest that handing your children over to police to be arrested for trespassing is substantially more abuse than, you know, not abusing your wife.

And I'd tell you that the DCF hotline number is 1-800-96ABUSE and the parents of those children include Scott Heldreth Tete Donahue and Geilen and Chris Keys.

I'm better than that, though.
Respecting the Culture of Direct Marketing

Bob Schindler seems hellbent on testing my willingness to excuse anything he does or says, given his circumstances. I've tried to be very flexible about things. The man is clearly delusion and deeply traumatized.

But still, why the fuck did he have to go and do this?

I'm not sure if I'm bothered more by the fact that someone's going to profit from these donations--which, by the way, the family is still soliciting even now--or that right wing assholes are being so upfront about how little they actually care about Terri's life. It's just another list of dollar signs for them.

Actually, no, it's definitely the assholery that bothers me more.

pühapäev, märts 27, 2005

This Is Me Being Completely Serious

For all of us whole believe in God, I'd just like to ask that we take a moment to say a prayer for the Schindler family. They were finally forced yesterday to accept that their daughter will die within a week. As angry as I've been about the things they've done and, much more so, the things done on their behalf, they're losing a daughter. After years of right wingers giving them false hope that they'd somehow be able to rewrite Florida law to get what they wanted, I can't imagine how difficult these final days must be for them.

As long as we're at it, pray for Michael Schiavo. He has endured 15 years of pain and at least 5 years of assholes calling him a murderer. He has spent the last week by his wife's bedside, grieving. You can be suspicious of the guy all you want, but I guarantee you none of the sinister motives attributed to him by the prolife crowd--who, I'd like to reiterate, have no legitimate reason to connect themselves to this situation, given that it has nothing to do with the right to life--none of those motives make any sense when you look at the facts. This is a man who has fought for nearly a decade to give his wife what she wanted. The right wing will likely continue to slander him through the midterm elections. The man does not deserve any more pain than he's already endured.

Pray for them.
A Glimpse of the Future of American Right Wing Assholery

Via Knight-Ridder, a conservative political figure spells out for us exactly how he plans to exploit the Schiavo situation in a grossly dishonest fashion, as conservative political figures often do:

"The Schiavo case has further inflamed conservatives' long-standing antipathy toward the judiciary. The charge is that federal judges have defied Congress and sentenced her to death. Some religious conservative leaders, in fact, believe that "Remember Terri!" will become the movement's rallying cry. Gary Bauer, a religious conservative leader and former Republican presidential candidate, said, "If or when Terri passes away, she will become a symbol of conservative anger and disdain for what we see as out-of-control federal courts that are making decisions way beyond what they are authorized to do."

Let me just repeat: "making decisions way beyond what they are authorized to do."

Because the courts allegedly rejected the US Congress' efforts to insert themselves into one family's private medical decision. The courts went beyong their authority. Congress was totally in line though. Right. Makes sense.

See, what pisses me off is that anybody who thinks this has no understanding at all of the law and has no business criticizing judges for anything. If you want to blame somebody, blame the Florida legislature for passing an unambiguous law that clearly states that the husband has the authority to make medical decisions for his wife. The Schindlers were unable to make a compelling legal argument to supercede the power given to Michael Schiavo by law. Judges don't make laws. They uphold them. And yet they blame the courts for somehow overstepping their bounds by not doing something about a private dispute in which neither party is breaking the law. Gotta love the definition of "activist judge" that extends to judges who don't act on something at all. As this case makes abundantly clear, even a conservative Christian Republican judge like Judge Greer will uphold the law and the constitution rather than cave in to idiots screaming about "judicial murder". It terrifies me to think, if they've got a problem with all 30 something of these judges (including the entire federal appeals court for the southeast and the entire Supreme Court), what kind of judges are they looking for?

So just to reiterate: Florida law gives Michael Schiavo the right to make this decision. The Schindlers, as is their right, challenge that right in court. Two full trials are held and Michael wins both and all subsequent appeals. The Schindlers still file motions to stop him. The court follows a strict interpretation of the law. The Schindlers appeal. The appeals court follows a strict interpretation of the law. The Florida legislature passes "Terri's Law", a law they know is unconstitutional and will not be upheld just so they can take illegal action without consequences within the brief window of time needed to declare it unconstitutional. Then Terri's Law is declared unconstitutional. The Florida legislature chooses not to pass another unconstitutional law to prevent a husband from granting his wife's final wish. Republicans in Congress and President Bush decide they know better than the Florida legislature and 19 judges. They ram through a likely unconsitutional law that calls for a new trial in federal court. (This would also be the point where Bush flies home from Texas and goes to sleep so he can be awakened at 1 am to sign it in DC rather than just signing it at 3 am in Texas, which would have made absolutely no difference under any circumstances since no action could be taken until the courts opened in the morning.)A federal judge holds a hearing to determine whether an injunction should be issued to put the tube back in until that trial can be held, as is the proper procedure. As the law dictates, that judge must consider whether the Schindlers are likely to win that trial before taking action to invalidate an existing court order. The federal judge, a 3 judge federal appeals panel, an entire federal district appeals court, and the US Supreme Court all refuse to file that injunction, citing the lack of a chance in hell that the Schindlers will win. Conservative Christians whine like little bitches. Let me just emphasize again that this decision was a necessary first step in the process that Congress apparently forgot about. The Schindlers appeal again. The judges again follow the established legal procedures required in situations like this and deny it.

But it's the judges who are the problem here? Scalia wasn't even willing to speak up against the lower courts' decisions. He could have written a dissenting opinion if he disagreed. Do you realize how wrong you need to be when Scalia won't support a Christian conservative moral argument?
The judges were right. The system worked exactly the way it is supposed to. Nothing went wrong here, other than the courts being clogged for years with baseless, hopeless appeals by this family and their rather incompetent attorneys.

I don't really expect the kind of person who respects Gary Bauer to understand that, but I know he does and it makes me sick that he's willing to mislead his followers about it.
Why We Fight

Somebody asked me why this case matters so much to me and what it has to do with the liberal political agenda. That question seems to miss the point, but this is my answer.

Personally, I don't see this as a liberal issue or a conservative one. I don't think of it politically. I don't care if its a Republican or a Democrat, everyone responsible for passing that bill in Congress disgusts me. I think Republicans and right to lifers desperate for a cause to rally around made it political and made it a conservative issue. But this case ultimately has no relevance at all to the liberal agenda, except in the sense that some (Tom Delay) are trying to abuse it to advance the conservative agenda.

It matters to me because I think it's insane that it's become such a national spectacle. Because this attention is the last thing Terri Schiavo would have wanted. Because her parents' insistence on feeding pictures of her in her state to the media destroy any sense of dignity that remained. Because she and her parents have been abused and exploited by polticial activists. Because this is not an unusual situation and it has somehow become one for some people who don't care about the truth. Because I see so many people talk about the situation without knowing a damn thing about it.

I've had to study and research this case very heavily for my job. I've dealt with some of the family members and spokespeople. I know how many lies are out there. I watch people call Michael Schiavo a murderer as he sits crying by his wife's bedside. I watch people say there's been no due process as if there haven't been trials and many, many appeals. I watch people trot out former coma patients and act like it's the same thing. I watch protesters push their children out with cups of water just so they get arrested on camera. I watch so many people who know so little about this and still take a side with such conviction. I watch people who know nothing about the law argue that this is judicial tyranny even though, given the evidence, there was no other conclusion for any of the 30 something judges who have no been involved with it to reach. I watch people who are bizarrely unwilling to even consider that maybe someone in this kind of state might actually once have told their husband they wouldn't want to live on. I watch people give these parents, who have already suffered so much, false hope. They have no legal case. They have no medical case. They cannot win. Their lawyer should have sat them down 10 years ago and explained that to them.

Basically, this case matters so much to me because I find the things that are being said and done about it so incredibly offensive. I want this family to be left alone to say goodbye to their loved one with the peace, privacy, and dignity that thousands of people across the country are afforded every day. That's not going to happen and that's what makes me so angry.
Bringing a Gun to a Knife Fight

What sickens me about this case is that Republicans and activists are using misleading words and distorting the facts (calling Terri a “victim,” etc.) as if this was just another political debate. But they're not fighting Democrats here. They're fighting regular citizens who know a hell of a lot more than they do. The doctors and legal experts trying to explain the medical and legal reasons why this is the right thing to do aren’t used to that and aren’t prepared to fight it. They’re speaking plainly and accurately, as they have been trained and have taken oaths to do. In our media culture, that never works. Look at the way even liberals here are talking about “starvation” like it’s some horrible torture and not an incredibly common and humane way for very ill patients to die.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, this is NOT a right to life issue, no matter how much the right wing wants it to be. This is a case built on two basic questions. Did Terri say she wanted to die in the situation? And is she incapable of recovery? Neither of those have anything to do with the right to life. An impartial court determined after hearing both sides that there was clear and convincing evidence that Terri could not recover and would want to die. You think that judge was wrong? Fine. Appeal it. You’ll lose. But there’s no moral question at stake here. There is no political issue. These people have twisted the situation to create one.
The Unseen Costs of the Actions of Ignorant Right Wing Assholes

There was an AP story that came across the wires Friday. Even if you have heard it, I'm going to say it again because it's disgusting and it hasn't been reported enough. A 24-year-old girl was called to the hospice the other night to be with her dying grandfather. She had sworn to him that she wouldn't let him die alone. When she arrived, it took several minutes to get through the protesters. Once she did, because security was tightened in response to the protesters and the violent pro-life nutjobs, she had to be searched and that also took several minutes.

She arrived at his room about a minute after he died.

God, I want to hit something.

So over the last 24 hours or so, I've posted a number of comments at the Washington Monthly's blog about the Schiavo case.

I think they cover the situation pretty well and I'm honestly just way too lazy to bother writing new ones. So I'll be reposting them here under authority granted to me by the Governor of Florida, who, if I understand Randall Terry correctly, has approximately as much power as God.

laupäev, märts 26, 2005

Bob Schindler yesterday: Terri's in her last hours. It's like a concentration camp.

Bob Schindler today: She's putting up a tremendous fight to live. She's doing very well.

God, I feel sorry for this guy.

I really wish his attorney or a doctor would sit him down and explain this is over so he can say goodbye to his daughter with something at least resembling dignity.

esmaspäev, märts 21, 2005

Yeah, I'm just that pissed off

I've said it before, I'm sure I'll say it again: Fuck Tom Delay.

Let me state 10 basic, undisputable facts about the Terri Schiavo situation.

1) Her cerebral cortex is pretty much gone. That doesn't grow back.

2) People in persistent vegetative states have expressions and motions that often fool their families into thinking they're responding.

3) 19 judges have ruled on this case and Michael Schiavo has won every time.

4) Michael Schiavo will recieve no money (actually, disputably, maybe up to $50,000) after her death. He has refused millions of dollars to divorce Terri and give control to her parents, who will then do what he does not believe she would want.

5) This has been going on for 15 years. Congress got involved 3 days ago. That's how much they care about the situation.

6) The courts have found that having the tube removed is what Terri wants, not what Michael wants. This was her choice.

7) No court has found any evidence of abuse and certainly not any evidence that Michael Schiavo tried to kill Terri.

8) Terri Schiavo is not in a coma. She is in a persistent vegetative state. Huge difference. This isn't Pat Boone's son we're talking about.

9) Those videos of a few seconds of apparent response are taken from several hours in which Terri responds only at random.

10) She is not in pain. She does not feel pain. Death by starvation will be painless, peaceful, and humane, however unpleasant it may sound to us.

Turn on your TV. Count how many of these facts Republican assholes get wrong.

Damn, I am so pissed off right now.

kolmapäev, detsember 15, 2004

Wooden Nickel

My first reviews are up at the Avalanche.

Come on. You know you want to know what I thought of the latest issue of Catwoman.

In the House

I'm a big fan of Fox's "House". By far the most entertaining medical drama I've ever seen, at least for the five or so weeks it's been on. But I'm watching last night's episode and the whole thing is built around the idea that Dr. House is never wrong and it's such a big deal that he might be this time. What I don't get is, as far as I can, the entire story structure of every episode has been driven by him being wrong several times, the patients getting worse, then him eventually being right. Last week, a baby died because he gave it the wrong medication. Otherwise, a very good episode. Except for the horrible closing montage of all the characters celebrating Christmas while House plays the piano. That sucked.

Still, watch this show. You will enjoy it. Or I will come to your house and I will stand outside and make loud noises late at night so you can't sleep.

Breaking News: Bush Administration Admits Mistake

Today's NYT front page:

"Missteps Cited In Kerik Vetting By White House"

Gee. Ya think?


teisipäev, detsember 14, 2004

Best Songs of 2004

Okay, so there are 20 of them. Deal with it.

Note that these are in alphabetical order, which I admit is just laziness on my part. Also, I chose not to comment on them simply because, well, beyond "this song is really good," I don't have much to add.

Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) by the Arcade Fire
10 AM Automatic by the Black Keys
Honest Mistake by the Bravery
Tune Out by the Format
Dark Of The Matinee by Franz Ferdinand
Carnival Kids by the Futureheads
Home By Saturday by Hayden
Next Exit by Interpol
Mr. Brightside by the Killers
Nothing To Be Done by the Legends
New World Order by Jesse Malin
Laid A Highway by Tift Merritt
Something Pretty by Patrick Park
Bullets By The Door by Patrick Park
All Wrong by the Perishers
Shut Up And Kiss Me by Pony Up
Rock’N’Roll Lies by Razorlight
Fair by Remy Zero
You Can’t Fool Old Friends With Limousines by the Thrills
Original Of The Species by U2

Though they're not ranked, I think the top five would probably include the Thrills, both Patrick Park songs, Hayden, and either Franz Ferdinand or Jesse Malin.

The main reason I went all the way to 20 is that all of them should fit perfectly on one 700 MB/ 80 Min. CD. Most of them are available through iTunes and are more than worth the dollar. Unfortunately, Honest Mistake and Shut Up And Kiss Me were only posted on their bands' webpages. Both the Bravery and Pony Up are planning album releases early next year, so keep an eye out. A 3-track Bravery EP is available, but this song isn't on it.

In the next few days, I'll be posting best albums and/or best television shows. Enjoy the awesomeness.

My Bonus-size Year-end Spectacular

Note to self: remember this phrase for future use as euphamism for penis.

So this is Christmas and that means it's time for me, like so many others, to tell you what I liked this year and expect you to trust me.

Over the next few weeks, you'll be seeing lists of my favorite movies, music, books, TV, whatever for 2004. Two important rules: 1) This is obviously only selected from what I've seen, heard, or read, so some good stuff will inevitably be left out; and 2) Especially with music, this is based on things I saw or heard for the first time this year either on new albums or on new compilations and soundtracks. Some stuff may actually be a bit older, but I'm going to try to avoid that.

Up first, probably songs. Movies'll come last because I won't even see a lot of the year's best movies until around or after Christmas.

And I swear I'll get back to talking about actual things again soon.

Coming Apart in the Avalanche

Starting Thursday, I'm going to be reviewing comic books every week over at Comic Avalanche.

There will now be a link to it over on my sidebar and I'll likely post reminders when the new reviews are put up.

Check it. Or I'll hunt you down and set your dog on fire.


esmaspäev, detsember 13, 2004

Let's Get This Party Started Right

Josh Marshall's got a long excerpt from a Scott McClellan press briefing on Kerick. I almost feel bad for the guy, until I realize he's voluntarily working for George W. Bush and he's a lying scumbag. The highlight, though, is this moment right here:

Q: Scott, Mr., Kerik said that when he was finally filling out some of those detailed forms, that's when it dawned on him that he might have a problem.
McCLELLAN: That's right.
Q: Would it be better, in the vetting process, to have that filled out beforehand, before he is nominated?

A lot of people, myself included, argued that one of the most compelling reasons to vote against Bush this year was not allegations of dishonesty or deception but the fact that his administration has a rather remarkable record of complete and total incompetence on nearly every level. I think it's time to put this whole Kerick incident near the top of the very, very long list of Bush administration screw-ups.

And to yet again ask 51% of voters what the hell they were thinking.

A Re-Introduction

The season of change continues...

So yeah. It's been a while. Longer than I'd realized. The short explanation is my whole life went wacky in August and I've been home doing nothing for far too long. Now, I'm going to be home doing something. This.

With the campaign over, I might not have as much media laziness to bitch about, but I'll try. To make up for the lack of "How is the Bush campaign getting away with this?" posts, expect a bit more of a mix of subjects around here. There'll be some reviews from time to time, maybe some lists of things I'm liking. Movies, music, TV, books, comic books, whatever I feel like.

I'm driving this bitch and you're riding in the trunk.

Consider Yourself Warned

I'm coming back. Lock up your women and livestock.


kolmapäev, juuli 28, 2004


Have you noticed how CNN's conservative political analysts at the convention are directly on RNC script regardless of the events they're responding to, while the liberal analysts are actually, well, analyzing? Victoria Clarke isn't doing the job of a contributor. She's doing RNC PR work. She's spouting pure talking points. Donna Brazile, while biased, is actually reacting to what's happening and providing commentary. The difference is pretty striking.

At some undetermined point tomorrow, I'm going to lose internet access. Over the weekend, I drive back home and I don't know how much I'll be posting from there on in. Check in every couple of days, though. I'll try to keep things going a little longer.


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