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July 6, 2007

universal healthcare, and some laughably feckless untruths

I haven't watched the linked video yet, because I'm at work, and work discourages that sort of behavior.  (As opposed to posting on my blog, which is mandated.)  But TPM has been tracking a little meme outbreak from those commentators on the right side of the aisle that goes a little something like:
Terrorism [is] one of the "unintended consequences of universal healthcare."

As I've not clicked the embedded video, I have no idea as to how these commentators are parsing this meme into a fully-formed thought.  Well, I can guess how they're parsing - the old invisible anonymous collaborator citation thus: "Some people are saying [x]...", where [x] equals a laughably feckless untruth.  But I can't figure out how such an allegation, the link between terrorism and universal healthcare, could be supported in argument.  And unless we've arrived at the day where commentating consists exclusively of blurting laughably feckless untruths, out of context, there must be some tenuous support offered.

And as I have no plans to watch this video at least until tomorrow, I thought I'd just guess.

Terrorism is one of the unintended consequences of universal healthcare because...

...a lowered infant mortality rate means more potential terrorists.

...of hatred of freedom-loving health insurers.

...underpaid doctors need to pick up terrorist side gigs to make rent.

...Can't you stupid citizens see the connection between these two obviously communist belief systems?!?

...it's real hard to blow stuff up when you die in an ambulance between hospitals that won't accept you without coverage.

Hopefully the explanation they give are funnier than those I just made up.  We could use more funny.

And hopefully, next week they will go the one step farther and declare that terrorism is the intended consequence of universal healthcare.  Just so we can keep track of the bad guys.

Posted by mrbrent at 2:41 PM

american apparel takes one below the water line

Sometimes, the prankery comes in small packages.  Like this one, which is a succinct and perfect indictment of a certain retail outlet (currently ubiquitous in certain hipster enclaves) as I've seen.

Like, sixty-seven words succinct.

Good job, Cardhouse, if that is in fact your name.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:45 AM

July 5, 2007

dr bronner's magic soapbox

Dunno why I haven't posted this yet; oh what a goose I am.  But if you haven't already, and you live in one of the areas in which it is screening (NYC now, LA, SF, etc. to follow), please do go see the documentary "Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox".  It's about that soap whose label you instantly recognize and associate with hippies (if you are old enough to remember what a hippie looks like).  It's directed by Sara Lamm, who was a partner of mine (or, of whom I was a partner?) in a couple little theater projects, most principally "Dog & Pony", which really set the world on fire for a bit there (until the world put itself back out).

And it is very much better than "it's about soap" would recommend.  Basically, it's about the family behind the soap, most of whom are/were bigger-than-life.  And while certain reviews have described the movie as a "hagiography", I couldn't disagree more.  The film is deft/deep enough to show that behind every hagiography are some spooky-ass flickers and shadows.  That's my reading, at least - other readings are possible as well.  Sara did a great job, and documentaries are not so easy.  You can read all about it at this website here.

Plus also I am "associate producer" of the film, which is a credit that - even though a credit the motion picture industry would describe as "courtesy" - I am very proud of.

[AN HOUR OR TWO LATER: here in NYC, the last screening is tonight at the Cinema Village, or at least so I hear.  It'll be on the Sundance Channel starting this Friday.  Also, DVDs, soon.]

Posted by mrbrent at 1:33 PM

the vice president's treason

Hello, Thurday.  I decided that the only appropriate response to the commutation of the Scooter Libby sentence was contemplative silence.  Part of the reason for this is that I caught a summer cold at roughly the same time the commutation was announced, and I celebrated our Day of Freedom on my back, with scratchy throat, runny nose, etc.

The other reason for the pause was that everybody had a whole lot to say about it, and it took some time to synthesize my own personal response.  Which, it turns out, is the same as my initial response - "What a load of crap."

However, as we all compare our lists of the ways in which this decision by the president is a load of crap, I'd like to be the guy with the bullhorn, reminding everyone that the crime whose investigation Scooter Libby obstructed was that of the blowing of the cover of a CIA agent, and her fake employer, who was tasked with tracking down the illicit trade of nuclear materials.  Your kneejerk response to that may be, "Why, that's treason!"  Um, yeah.  And through the trial of Scooter Libby, it became evident, and not denied by the defense, that the architect of the public relevation of the identity of one of our spies was the vice president.

To wit, the president has commuted the sentence of a dude who covered up the vice president's treason.

I guess my question to the president would be, "Is it any old treason with whose investigation you will interfere through your pardon powers, or just the vice president's?"

But yeah, in absence of that question being answered, what a load of crap.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:20 AM

July 2, 2007

headlines and the left-hand path

Sure, quoting those headlines from the Yahoo! mainpage is a crutch I've been hobbling on for some time.  It's not the most troubling crutch in my life, believe you me, but it's there, and I try to walk away, but then I wonder, am I running towards something, or away from something, and then the monkey on my back throws me plumb off the wagon.

Except for this time.  Prepare for restraint:

• Bush and Putin meet to discuss ties

I know what you're thinking, and stop it.  I would rather believe that these two gentlemen, and their respective eyeballs/souls, are discussing neckwear and only neckwear, as it is the only topic of conversation during which I cannot imagine Putin rolling his eyes at our president.  Request for mockery and derision denied.  Sorry.

Posted by mrbrent at 12:17 PM

al qaida wants more uniforms

Well, the only thing bad about the vacation (other than the four hours in stalled traffic - stupid border/Tappan Zee) was when the news crept in.  First, there were the car bombs in London.  CAR BOMBS!  And then there was the attack in Glasgow.  GLASGOW!

Even in Montreal, where most are exclusively concerned with eating/drinking/speaking French, a palpable note of panic arose, among the vin rouge and the poutine.  And boy do I love me some panic!

Especially over two backseats full of expired fireworks and one drunk driver wondering why the entire airport didn't explode because he was driving nearly thirty miles an hour!

For the past months, the islamofascists who have declared war on freedom have been led by the Arabian peninsula equivalent of Don Knotts and Tim Conway.  I keep trying to hate them in the manner proscribed by Rudolph Giuliani (after all, I was in NYC on 9-11 too!), but they're just so lovably bumbling, with their sooty faces and wide-eyed visages, holding the remnants of the stick of dynamite, running in place mid-air, immediately prior to the plummet.

Oh I know, the threat remains very real.  But what's the more appropriate response, making fun of the bad guys, or existing in a public and perpetual state of paranoia?  Answer: my way, of course, not the coward's way.

(Apologies to Knotts/Conway.  I cheapen their legacy in the comparison - occupational hazard of the lighthearted-ness.)

Posted by mrbrent at 11:30 AM