mahna mahna .net

Like many personal blogs of its era, this blog is moribund, a casualty of what we might call "the Facebook effect." However, as of late 2015, two things are clear: (1) The Indie Web is a thing, and (2) the re-decentralization of the web is a thing. So who knows? 2016 2017 2018 (!) could be the year this blog rises from its own ashes. Stay tuned!

Friday, 11 March 2005
Ya still think our compassionate-conservative Republican majority has the interests of average Americans in mind? Have you heard about the bankruptcy bill that just passed the Senate and will now certainly pass the House? No? Pay attention.

[link updated to one that doesn’t require login; sorry about that!]
posted to /politics at 3:11pm :: 0 responses
Monday, 07 February 2005
Bob Woodward has long maintained that when Deep Throat dies, we’ll all finally find out who he was. According to John Dean, it all may happen soon:
Bob Woodward, a reporter on the team that covered the Watergate story, has advised his executive editor at the Washington Post that Throat is ill. And Ben Bradlee, former executive editor of the Post and one of the few people to whom Woodward confided his source’s identity, has publicly acknowledged that he has written Throat’s obituary.
posted to /politics at 11:07am :: 0 responses
Thursday, 20 January 2005
“America’s influence is not unlimited, but fortunately for the oppressed, America’s influence is considerable, and we will use it confidently in freedom’s cause.” — George W. Bush

senseless human suffering

[photo by Chris Hondros for Getty Images]
posted to /politics at 2:20pm :: 0 responses
Tuesday, 18 January 2005
There is a fantastic and lengthy documentary series about the Civil Rights Movement called Eyes on the Prize. I am lucky enough to have seen most of it during my public-school education. It’s an amazing piece of work that drives home to “the kids today” just how different America was prior to the social upheaval of the 1960s, and how hard that entire fight was.

Alas, due to the way that our unbalanced system of copyright and “intellectual property” laws function, you pretty much can’t see this amazing educational material anymore. And this isn’t the only bit of our history that big corporations are walling off. There’s more in a great article at the Globe and Mail. The Washington Post has more, but they’ll make you register to read it.

[of course, BugMeNot can help you with the WaPo; this material spotted at Copyfight]
posted to /politics at 1:18pm :: 3 responses
Thursday, 06 January 2005
Ethically-challenged House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has shown the world his true colors once again. On Tuesday, at the traditional Congressional Prayer Service that helps kick off a new Congressional session, DeLay read a passage from the Gospel of Matthew. It has to do with the homes of non-believers being swept away by the mighty flood of Tom DeLay’s God:
And everyone who listens to these words of mine, but does not act on them, will be like a fool who built his house on sand:

The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew, and buffeted the house, and it collapsed and was completely ruined.
DeLay is, at best, an insensitive prick. At worst, he’s the sort of fundamentalist who honestly believes that people who don’t believe in His God deserve to die. In either case, he’s an embarrassment. But this is where we’re at as 2005 begins: Hateful people are running our country.

[spotted at MetaFilter]
posted to /politics at 12:06pm :: 8 responses
Friday, 05 November 2004
People keep asking me what I think about the election. They usually ask because they recall that I studied Political Science and know that I’m a political junkie. They very rarely like what I have to say, and want to argue with me, which is exactly why I don’t discuss politics with friends very much, because I despise political arguments. Especially because, well over fifty percent of the time, it’s clear that the person trying to argue with me isn’t even familiar with the fucking Constitution. Folks, if you want to speak intelligently about the political system that governs your life, you need to go back and fill in the knowledge gaps you earned by sleeping through your civics class back in high school. Don’t come around telling me what Congress should and should not (or could and could not) do until you can tell me who the majority and minority leaders are, what the hell a Whip is, and how committee membership is determined and why it is important. (In Congress, everything real happens in committee, and if you’re not hip to that, you don’t understand what’s going on.) more...
posted to /politics at 3:05pm :: 5 responses
Monday, 25 October 2004
Change comes slowly at The New Yorker. From its inception in 1925 until sometime in the 1960s — I once nailed down the date by combing through old issues in the library at Cal — it didn’t even sport a table of contents. When Tina Brown became editor in the 1990s, photographs and letters to the editor appeared for the first time. (When Spy magazine was still around, it used to print “Letters to the Editor of The New Yorker,” since The New Yorker didn’t.)

The current (masterful) editor, David Remnick, has made a few evolutionary changes to the pub himself, but none as striking as the magazine’s first-ever endorsement of a presidential candidate, which has grabbed a lot of buzz today. It’s no surprise who they’re behind — the mag has been relentless in its coverage of the Bush administration’s lies and missteps — but the rather lengthy argument presented (which apparently unfolds over five full pages in print!) is perhaps the best cohesive piece I’ve read thus far about why Bush has got to go. And if, in two weeks’ time, the people of this country return Bush to power, this piece will stand as a fine explanation for why so many will hold their face in their hands and weep for our country, so hopelessly ignorant and misguided, stumbling behind an intellectually dishonest and morally bankrupt leader, into the once-promising light of the 21st century.
posted to /politics at 5:25pm :: 0 responses
Monday, 18 October 2004
Bush’s supporters demand lock-step consensus that Bush is right. They regard truthful reports that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction and was not involved in the September 11 attack on the US — truths now firmly established by the Bush administration’s own reports — as treasonous America-bashing… . Conservatives don’t assess opponents’ arguments, they demonize opponents. Truth and falsity are out of the picture; the criteria are: who’s good, who’s evil, who’s patriotic, who’s unpatriotic… . These are the traits of brownshirts. Brownshirts know they are right. They know their opponents are wrong and regard them as enemies who must be silenced if not exterminated.
Paul Craig Roberts (a conservative) explores how the Right lost its taste for the truth.

[spotted at Dan Gillmor’s eJournal]
posted to /politics at 12:18pm :: 0 responses
Friday, 08 October 2004
“Hello. My name is George Bush and I’m running for President. Please consider my qualifications as set forth in the following resume.”

[spotted at The Morning News … anyone know of a similar document for Kerry?]
posted to /politics at 2:08pm :: 0 responses
Wednesday, 29 September 2004
“I even take the position that sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged.” — Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
He also said, at the same speech at Harvard, that the 17th Amendment — which provides for the direct election of U.S. Senators by the people — was “a bad idea.” Here’s the full report.

[spotted at Fark]
posted to /politics at 4:29pm :: 1 response
Tuesday, 28 September 2004
The onetime musician formerly known as Cat Stevens has a few things to say about where we’re at today. It seems that in Bush’s America, there’s no room for a man of peace named Yusuf Islam.
posted to /politics at 12:28pm :: 0 responses
Wednesday, 22 September 2004
Tuesday night, two members of my reading group told me — with absolute seriousness — that if George W. is re-elected, they’re leaving the country. While I understand the emotions that drive such a plan, I think it’s terribly shortsighted to think that all is lost and the only way to live in peace and sanity is to pack up and get outta Dodge. I’m as upset about the current regime as anybody, and even more upset about John Kerry’s rudderless campaign. But I’m already growing weary of the whining I’m hearing on the left. It seems Jon Carroll is sick of it, too.
posted to /politics at 4:22pm :: 0 responses
Thursday, 26 August 2004
U.C. Berkeley Linguistics Professor George Lakoff has been arguing for years that conservatives are better at using language to frame debates in such a way as to give them a distinct advantage. He’s got a new book coming out on the subject, and this interview is fascinating.
Why do conservatives like to use the phrase “liberal elite” as an epithet?

Conservatives have branded liberals, and the liberals let them get away with it: the “liberal elite,” the “latte liberals,” the “limousine liberals.” The funny thing is that conservatives are the elite. The whole idea of conservative doctrine is that some people are better than others, that some people deserve more. To conservatives, if you’re poor it’s because you deserve it, you’re not disciplined enough to get ahead. Conservative doctrine requires that there be an elite: the people who thrive in the free market have more money, and they should. Progressives say, “No, that’s not fair. Maybe some should have more money, but no one should live in poverty. Everybody who works deserves to have a reasonable standard of living for their work.” These are ideas that are progressive or liberal ideas, and progressives aren’t getting them out there enough.
[spotted on Boing Boing]
posted to /politics at 11:26am :: 0 responses
Tuesday, 13 July 2004
With logic like this on their side, how can they lose?
“It does not affect your daily life very much if your neighbor marries a box turtle. But that does not mean it is right… . Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife.” — Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), advocating a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in a speech Thursday to the Heritage Foundation. (source)
[spotted at The Morning News]
posted to /politics at 2:13pm :: 4 responses
Friday, 11 June 2004
In the wake of Ronald Reagan’s death, most of the press coverage has been fawning. There have also been the expected hatchet jobs by certain leftists who have been waiting for years to dance on this particular grave. This piece in the Chicago Reader is more balanced, but still manages to note most of the ways in which our 40th President made the world I grew up in a meaner place. I also love this particular point:
People believed [Reagan] meant well and forgave the messes he made. Lucky for him, he didn’t get the country into a mess so big that meaning well wasn’t good enough. Sorry about that, George W. Bush.
posted to /politics at 12:11pm :: 1 response
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