30 September 2006

If a man is beaten to the ground in a soundproof chamber, does he make a noise?

Hidden in the new "enemy combatant" legislation just pushed through Congress is a little surprise: the president can now seize and hold anybody he wants, even a US citizen, for as long as he wants, so long as he says they have " purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States."

Given that they have said for so long that opposition to the war aids the terrorists, how unlikely is it that anti-war troublemakers are going to start disappearing.

Paranoid? maybe...
First they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left
to speak up for me.
UPDATE: I finally found something to cheer me up... Goddess bless Jon Stewart.

28 September 2006

One step closer!

I got my grandfather's estratto del atto di nascita (birth certificate) from the Comune of Loreto Aprutino today (and yes I did write that Wikipedia entry). I am really happy about it, because I was concerned it as going to be the hardest part. I still have to get it notarized - or whatever the Italian equivalent is - but fortunately my cousin is an avvocato (a lawyer).

I was hoping to get my EU passport before my Bulgarian friend... I almost definitely won't be able to do it by January, but I am hopeful it will happen soon!

27 September 2006

Buon compleanno, Totti...

Well, that was a crappy 30th birthday...

The early momentum is faltering, it looks like. Totti's not back to full form and they were without Vucinic, Taddei and Amantino Mancini... whole lotta injuries. Basically it was just Valencia's Moretti going ape-shit and slamming an NFL-style tackle on Marco Casetti that gave Totti his birthday-present penalty kick.

We'll have to see how things go when the side is all back together. But even defense is sucktacular, so things do not look very pretty right now...

...but at least Inter's down too.

They DO mean it

If we're going to be intellectually honest and willing to face the threat to American democracy, I think we have to read what the other side is saying. The research here was done by Lambert, and I point you there for more (h/t to Dave Johnson at Seeing the Forest)

Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ – to have dominion in the civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness. But it is dominion that we are after. Not just a voice. It is dominion we are afier. Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time. It is dominion we are after.

World conquest. That's what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less. If Jesus Christ is indeed Lord, as the Bible says, and if our commission is to bring the land into subjection to His Lordship, as the Bible says, then all our activities, all our witnessing, all our preaching, all our craftsmanship, all our stewardship, and all our political action will aim at nothing short of that sacred purpose. Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land — of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. It is to reinstitute the authority of God’s Word as supreme over all judgments, over all legislation, over all declarations, constitutions, and confederations. True Christian political action seeks to rein the passions of men and curb the pattern of digression under God’s rule. Fortunately, because of the theocratic orientation of our founding fathers, our nation has virtually all the apparatus extant to implement such a reclamation. Unfortunately, the enemies of the Gospel have hand-in-hand eroded the strength of those godly foundations. Thus, we stand at the crossroads.

That above passage can be found in The Changing of the Guard; Biblical Blueprints for Political Action, by George Grant. Published by Dominion Press of Fort Worth, Texas; copyright 1987. Grant is a former Executive Director of Coral Ridge Ministries.

You can read that passage, and many others, here: (see book pages 50-51 - online pages 81-82) The Changing of the Guard.

A more recent post is here and a related post is here. Meanwhile Lambert is sending people here for more:

Americans have long been in denial that there is a movement in the U.S. that seeks to impose a Christian theocratic government; that there is a movement that is effectively using the tools of constitutional democracy, (also known as elections) to end constitutional democracy as we know it; that this movement is growing in number and power. It can't happen here, we reassure ourselves. Americans won't let it happen. But in fact, we are closer now than we have ever been, to "it" happening here.
These people mean it. America is an experiment. Democracy is an experiment. American democracy has not been around very long, and we have never been so perilously close to losing it. All the checks and balances have been removed by allies of these people. They mean it. The leader of the Senate is saying that Democrats hate "people of faith." They mean it. Time magazine puts on their cover a person who calls for murdering us. They mean it. A Supreme Court Justice declares that rulers should be chosen by God, not the people. They mean it. The Vice President is the keynote speaker at a conference where other speakers called for "a new McCarthyism" to bring "terror" to intellectuals, saying "let's oppress them [liberals]," and that "the entire Harvard faculty" are "traitors." They mean it. They mean it.

Watch your backs. I mean it.

GW Bush wants us out of Iraq!!

He said so:

23 September 2006

A Timeline of What Could Have Been

I. Freaking. Love. THIS!!!!!

2001: A Timeline Of What Could Have Been
December 1, 2000: Sandra Day O'Connor has a horrifically vivid dream of how the ascension of George W. Bush to the Oval Office would mean the destruction of the American economy, the senseless deaths of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, the loss of American prestige both at home and abroad, and -- worst of all -- the utter dissolution of her beloved Republican Party as, upon being deserted by even the corporate media, it suffers a series of definitive electoral ass-kickings in 2006, 2008, and 2010 before giving up the ghost. She goes on to provide the swing vote that allows the Florida count to continue, thus guaranteeing that Al Gore's election is confirmed. Media pundits attack O'Connor so viciously that she decides to retire three weeks later.

January 20, 2001: Albert Arnold Gore, Jr., is sworn in as the forty-third President of the United States of America. His election is widely condemned in the press as illegitimate despite his solid majorities in both the popular and electoral votes, and despite his high approval ratings...


20 September 2006

Roma 0, Inter 1

Well, that sucked.

18 September 2006

Free Willie!!!

Willie Nelson Cited for Drug Possession

Sep 18, 1:06 PM (ET)

BREAUX BRIDGE, La. (AP) - Willie Nelson and several members of his band were issued misdemeanor citations for drug possession early today during a traffic stop in Saint Martin Parish.

The traffic stop was conducted on Interstate 10 near Breaux Bridge.

Trooper Willie Williams says troopers smelled a strong odor of marijuana when the driver opened the bus door.

During a search of the bus, Williams say approximately 1 1/2 pounds of marijuana and approximately 2/10 of a pound of mushrooms were located on the bus.

The 73-year-old Nelson of Spicewood, Texas; 59-year-old Tony Sizemore of Saint Cloud, Fla.; 75-year-old Bobbie Nelson of Briarcliff, Texas; 54-year-old Gates Moore of Austin, Texas; and 50-year-old David Anderson of Dallas, Texas were issued citations for possession of mushrooms and possession of marijuana and released.

First step!

The FOIA request for my grandfather's immigration records has been received. So, I'm in the bureaucracy. There was some question as to whether I needed some proof of his death, but given that he was born in 1893, hopefully they're just waiving that.

This step will tell me if I even have a hope of jure sanguinis citizenship. If he got his citizenship after 1934, I'm good. But, we'll have to see...

Calcio: Inter you're next!!!

Roma are kicking some serious ass in Serie A this year... though unfortunately so are Milan. I am pretty excited to see how Roma do against Inter on Wednesday, especially given how bad they are sucking so far.

Don't know if the giallorossi have what it takes to go all the way, but this is their year if any one ever is...

13 September 2006

Fear of a Christian Nation

There is a lot of stuff on the Internets today (well, every day, but I'm reading em today) about resurgent Christianity in America. The part of it that gets me the most is my generation (which I personally think of as 25 - 45 year olds -- the people I feel the most affinity with) is really pusing the envelope on this, and really bringing the most reactionary, scary midieval Christianity into the popular culture.

There is this scary-ass grunge Stepford up in Seattle. One of the most personally moving and disturbing aspects of modern-day disciple Christianity for me is the fact that they actually believe something and are extremely loyal to and supportive of one another. I'd trust a disciple Christian with my life - it's not that they don't have personal integrity, it's that their vision of the world is so toxic.

Then there's this new movie and its terrifying depiction of kids worshipping a cardboard cutout of President Chimpy Mc Fuckhead. Ew. This is the president of believes that God talks to him and that the whole country is "Awakening" to his vision of religion. It'd be fucking funny if it weren't depressing and frightening.

11 September 2006

Starbucks and the creationists

I finally got pushed too far. Starbucks ain't never seein' a dime of my latte money again, no matter how damn' convenient they are to my place of employ...

I got to work late, mildly hung over, and sleepy. On the way to work is a Starbucks. It is like a small sin, one that I commit when pressed for time and low on energy. Anyway, I purchased my Venti Nonfat Latte™ and was confronted with the following:

For the record, that quote reads:

The morality of the 21st century will depend on how we respond to this simple but profound question: Does every human life have equal moral value simply and merely because it is human? Answer yes, and we have a chance of achieving universal human rights. Answer no, and it means that we are merely another animal in the forest.

Wesley Smith
senior fellow with the Discovery Institute

In case ya don't know... the Discovery Institute are the people behind the whole "include creationism in science textbooks" movement. So basically, we have Starbucks giving a public platform to a guy who believes the earth was created in seven days and that woman was made from Adam's rib. Charming.

Here are some other suggestions for Starbucks cups, courtesy of punk ass blog:

The Way I See It #187

If killing is right for, say the adult cancer patient, why shouldn’t it be just as right for the disabled quadriplegic, the suicidal mother whose children have been killed in an accident, or the infant born with profound mental retardation? At that point, laws and regulations erected to protect the vulnerable against abuse come to be seen as obstructions that must be surmounted. From there, it is only a hop, skip, and a jump to deciding that killing is the preferable option.

Wesley Smith
senior fellow with the Discovery Institute

The Way I See It #1/2

People recognize this intuitively and are repulsed by the standard bioethical agenda: human cloning, fabricating hybrid beings that are half human and say, half ape, and using cognitively disabled humans in place of higher animals in medical research.

Wesley Smith
senior fellow with the Discovery Institute

The Way I See It #∞

Time will tell whether becoming known as “the Human Cloning party,” will help or hurt the Democrats.

Wesley Smith
senior fellow with the Discovery Institute

The Way I See It #Crazy

Indeed, the government is already flirting with transhumanist fantasies. Thus, “Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance,” a 2002 report issued by the National Science Foundation and United States Department of Commerce, recommended the government spend billions pursuing some of the very technologies that transhumanists crave to utilize in their morphological quests.

Wesley Smith
senior fellow with the Discovery Institute

Oh well, so much for the idea of "rebranding" the blog. Except of course, the idea that I want to live in a secular society... you know, the one with a Catholic church on every corner. Sheesh.

07 September 2006

Crazy religion

Sometimes religious people just make me feel the whole religious enterprise is an evil period of human history that has to end as soon as possible.

Take, for example, this sick specimen of humanity:

On the lighter side, some religious people are just clowns:

Imagine the lives these poor children must live. These are the kids that will inherit a world wracked by war, global warming and resource depletion...

01 September 2006


So, I'm changing this thing around to reflect the fact that the main effort of the next year or so of my life will be to get my Italian citizenship, and all that entails. Briefly, what I will need is:
  • my paternal grandfather's birth certificate from Italy, also known as an estratto dell'atto di nascita
  • my paternal grandfather's certificate of Italian citizenship from Italy, also known as a certificato di cittadinanza italiana
  • my paternal grandmother's birth certificate
  • my grandparents' marriage certificate, with apostille and translation
  • my paternal grandfather's certificate of naturalization, with apostille and translation
  • my father's birth certificate, with apostille and translation
  • my mother's birth certificate, with apostille and translation
  • my parents' marriage certificate, with apostille and translation
  • my birth certificate, with apostille and translation
  • death certificates for both my grandparents and my father, with apostille and translation
Right now, I have exactly... none of those. So I have my work cut out for me. Add to that my intention to be fluent in the language by this time next year, and I will be quite busy.