And the award for best rant of the week goes to…

… Orson Scott Card. Just to set this up properly, Card (if you don’t know), is an excellent, award-winning writer. He is also a devout Mormon and has never been ashamed of sticking up for what is usually the butt of jokes other Christian sects make amoungst themselves (*hand up* guilty).

That said–wow. This is a rant, but only as Card could write it. I’ll hit the points, but these leave out way too much of his essay.

  1. The courts have given the news media carte blanche, in the name of the First Amendment — but the media are no better than government at exercising unchecked power (emphasis his)
  2. Too many people in the “American” media have lost any concept of loyalty to their country.
  3. I mean, what kind of idiot breaks a hole in the hull of his boat during a storm, just because he doesn’t like the guy at the tiller and thinks the storm could have been avoided?

  4. Muslims in Muslim countries can dish it out, but they can’t take it.
  5. Seeing Kingdom of Heaven this week, I was sharply reminded of the fact that Islam has produced great leaders who accomplished great things. (So where are they now?)
  6. A house divided against itself cannot stand. (The West stands on the brink of collapse from within.)

Flame on, brother. I’d hate to be the poor sap who’s got your mail server in his care.

Booking online has a darkside

Like we didn’t know that. But this guy had one hell of a good time getting back at Orbitz.

I’ve never had anything quite that bad, but I won’t use Priceline ever again. We booked a hotel in Grand Rapids a while back (little work/mini vacation). Yeah, note to Priceline, Walker Avenue is NOT downtown Grand Rapids. Sorry, it may be a small town, but that’s like calling Livonia downtown Detroit.

Christopher Hitchens – Why I'm Rooting Against the Religious Right

Thanks to (once again), David Galbraith for the tip to this article.

A large tranche of the once-secular liberal left has disqualified itself by making excuses for jihad and treating Osama bin Laden as if he were advocating liberation theology. The need of the hour is for some senior members of the party of Lincoln to disown and condemn the creeping and creepy movement to impose orthodoxy on a free and pluralist and secular Republic.

I don’t know much of Christopher Hitchens’ work; I think I need to brush up. Great Op-Ed.

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Michigan Court of Appeals Returns to 1950s in Free Speech Ruling

Damn this state. No, you know what, damn this whole bloody mess. I officially give up.

Backtrack.

The Michigan Court of Appeals (which I believe is in Grand Rapids, since this ruling references Calder Plaza) ruled today that, well, read this:

The Michigan Court of Appeals has declared that nudity on television, even during the safe harbor period, is a violation of Michigan law prohibiting indecent exposure and such laws do not violate the First Amendment.

That’s right, the State can now ban nudity anywhere, anytime, for any reason and it does not violate the First Amendment. (That quote above doesn’t get into the meat of the ruling, whose language is vague enough to cover all forms of artwork.) Read the whole article linked at the end; it’ll make you sick.

Couple that with the draconian announcement by Michigan Liquor Control Commission Chairwoman Nida Samona that, since they got bitch-slapped by the Supreme Court, they’ll now work to ban ALL shipments of alcohol in the state. That’s right, since they can’t keep Vader-like control over the tax revenue they want to extort from consumers minors who order over the internet, no one gets to receive alcohol directly. (It’s for the children! It’s for the children! Won’t someone please think of the children?!?)

I give up.

I give up on my fellow voter. There may be one or two informed people out a random sampling of 10, but I’d doubt it. Certainly there aren’t enough to get rid of the lot that are ruining this country.

I give up on the common sense of any elected official. You may go into it sane, but you certainly don’t stay that way for long (Exhibit A, our esteemed Liquor Control Commission Chairwoman).

I give up on the sanity of this whole damn country. No one seems to have a grip on anything of importance (and you Repubertariacrats can put your hands down, too). From reality television to Terry Schiavo to IP laws, the collective cognitive failure in this country scares the piss out of me.

Is anarchy still an option? Maybe the people in Montana living in the mountains have it right. Or what we need is someone who finally stands up and unites all of us who don’t fall into the neat catergories that the parties have crafted. We need someone who says “It’s broken, to the core. Tear it down and start over.”

And then I wake up and realize that that person can’t exist. The public can’t deal with someone who tells the truth. They want to believe that rulings like today’s don’t censor artists, but instead make it safer for children to watch TV. They want to believe that taking away freedoms they already have make children safe from themselves, instead of making the State richer. They want to believe that the people they put in office are really working for the good of the public. Not me. Not anymore.

If it wasn’t so damn tragic it would be a farce.

Douglas Adams had it right; we are living inside the Asylum.

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