Buckles Under

Okay, now that Jack Babcock and Frank Buckles, the sole Canadian and American “veterans” of the “Great War” (you know, the one that was supposed to end all wars) have finally passed away this month at the ripe old ages of 109 and 110, respectively, can we please for goodness sake, stop commemorating and romantically glorifying the gruesome loss of life that was made in WWI?

By any objective measure, that horrible war was one of the most monumentally futile, stupendously asinine conflicts in all of recorded human history and we should stop pretending that it was undertaken on the elevated moral auspices of “freedom” and “democracy” or whatever other platitudinous bullshit routinely gets inserted into Remembrance Day observances.

It’s perhaps no coincidence that all the “last survivors” of these ancient conflicts end up having been under-age volunteers, desperately eager to escape the insufferably monotonous lives that would otherwise awaited them on the farm and instead compelled them to enlist in the Army… Perhaps to make themselves feel “alive” somehow; ostensibly in pursuit of the same silly notions that we now solemnly venerate as irrefutably noble sentiments.

Fox News Lies

I’m not sure that it’s so much “hate” being expressed by the hecklers as merely a statement of fact. After all, it’s remarkably easy to produce hundreds of examples where Fox News (and not just their opinionated pundits, but so-called “straight reporters”) have been busted for peddling egregious falsehoods under the guise of news.

Funnily enough, while Fox reporter Mike Tobin claimed to have been hit (conveniently off camera as they switched to a view of the rotunda) and the anchor indignantly gripes about the lack of civility, protesters in the background are actually chanting “stay peaceful”… Later, he claims in an offhand manner that a protester threatened to break his neck (although no such thing can be heard on the tape).

Poor Fox… they are just so incredibly desperate to make these folks in Madison fit into their narrative of being hateful, rioting “goons” and “thugs” that they’ve actually resorted to… well, lying.

Palin Withdrawal

Chris Matthews features a video from Funny or Die imagining how the effects of a “media blackout” on Sarah Palin during the month of February might have played out…

The folks at The Daily Caller were appalled that Tweety would promote a video with “sexist and derogatory attacks” on Palin, but evidently, they couldn’t resist posting it either, using the lame excuse of calling out Matthews as their vehicle to do so.

Into the Void…

Christy Clark, the newly minted leader of the B.C. “Liberal” Party, launches into what promises to be a dismal policy void if the insufferably fatuous twaddle of her victory speech is any indication of things to come over the next two years.

What a shame that the alternative on the other side of the Legislature isn’t much better.

Sadly, that’s entirely typical of our politics in this country these days – a “choice” between the lesser of two evils… Although to be fair, “evil” is too strong a word for what’s usually on offer. It’s actually more like electing between the consumption of vanilla pudding or blancmange.

AQ Cyberattack

An irresistibly cute photo of a piglet wearing boots was forwarded millions of times by unwitting Americans, wreaking havoc on computer networks across the country and forcing the near collapse of Internet servers.

Just as ridiculous, insane Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has resorted to blaming Osama Bin Laden and his al-Qaeda operatives for helping foment the revolution in his country by spiking the rebels’ Nescafé with hallucinogenic drugs.

The Rich Get…

Quite a good discussion on taxation policy and its effect on the economy in a global environment.

Chrystia Freeland defends the growing degree of fantastic income disparity in our new Gilded Age on the grounds that today’s plutocrats are, unlike the frivolous aristocrats of bygone eras, “economic meritocrats” preoccupied just as much with the creation of wealth as with its conspicuous consumption.

Armine Yalnizyan from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives makes a great point about structural changes in the economic environment that have upset the rules of the game in terms of the “social contract” average workers may once have imagined they were entitled to reasonably benefit from (and also how the whole “culture of entitlement” can be inverted with respect to wealthy beneficiaries of the current tax regime).

Funny that at the end, Partha Mohanram ends up channelling Thomas Frank…

Walker Punk’d

Embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker gets duped by a prankster impersonating billionaire contributor David Koch. In the process, Walker unwittingly disclosed not only the strategic nature of his union-busting initiative, but a number of embarrassing tactical details as well.

You can listen to the entire conversation here (unfortunately they disabled embedding).

Update: Ian Murphy, Editor in Chief (and prankster) from the Buffalo Beast featured on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.

Ken Finkleman

A very entertaining interview with Jian Ghomeshi on QTV.

Talk about serendipity… Not only have I been watching DVDs of The Newsroom lately, but in this conversation, Finkleman touches on a subject that was discussed in the previous thread’s comments; namely, the “comedic” nature of Rush Limbaugh. Go figure.

Mubarak Obama!

Look for that catchy epithet to rapidly spread like a noxious weed throughout Wingnuttia.

On a more substantive note, the assertion being made by Fox News contributor Monica Crowley is, quite simply, utter balderdash.

Government officials routinely elect not to enforce all manner of nonsensical and/or patently unconstitutional laws that happen to be on the books, but have yet to be formally struck down by the courts. It’s hardly something that rises to the level of being an impeachable offense. Which, given Crowley’s experience as a former Nixon acolyte, is something one might think she’d be quite familiar with…

Update: I had to replace the video from “The Daily Caller” (an ostensibly right-wing version of HuffPo fronted by former Moony Times staffers) because, for some inexplicable reason, they had withdrawn it. So, that’s the reason Larry’s take on the story is here instead.