I think a quick look at the product pictured above will convince you that, among other things, there is no god. To paraphrase Dostoevsky, if there is this sausage link on a stick wrapped in a chocolate chip pancake than everything is permitted, which is good news for most of the subjects of today’s link roundup. Combat! blog writes to you from sunny Washington, DC, today, and in keeping with the general perception of that great city as a lukewarm cess tank of scoundrels, we’ve got a delightful collection of links to people and things that probably shouldn’t do what they do. Warm up your schadenfreudetriebwerk, baby, because Friday is the time to achieve that burst of hate that will launch you into your weekend. Behold!
As you may have heard, the Supreme Court recently ruled that corporations cannot be restricted in the amount of money they spend on political advertisements, since that would A) violate the First Amendment, which applies to things now, and B) maybe prevent our society from being utterly destroyed. Soon it will be a violation of the First Amendment to turn off a Speak & Spell, too. Anywhom, get ready to see a lot more advertisements like this one, produced by Boeing and calling for Real American Tankers. With astonishing speed, “Real American” has vaulted ahead of “get over it” on the list of phrases that will cause my vision to cloud over and transport me into a hallucinatory state in which I vividly experience lighting everyone on fire. Boeing’s ad is a testament to the rapidity with which business and politics can become essentially the same thing. Why shouldn’t we tax our citizenry and then use that money to purchase goods from private manufacturers, all under the aegis of voting and legal compulsion and Real America? The important thing is that corporations be allowed to participate in our discussion of when and how much to do it, just like a regular person who has billions of dollars and will never die.
If you are not a multinational corporation and you still would like to influence the American political and/or legal system, you’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way: by shooting people in the back at church. Scott Roeder, who did that to partial-birth abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, is in the process of arguing his charge down to voluntary manslaughter, on the grounds that the murder he committed prevented the deaths of future babies. Bafflingly, Judge Warren Wilbert seems to be actually listening to that line of reasoning, apparently pursuant to a 1992 Kansas ruling that voluntary manslaughter can include actions taken in “an unreasonable but honest belief that deadly force was justified in self-defense.” Scott Roeder is not an unborn fetus, but other judges have found that voluntary manslaughter can cover situations in which bystanders kill to protect the lives of others. Killing an abortion doctor to protect the lives of babies who haven’t been conceived yet is a reducto ad absurdum eerily similar to the plot of Back to the Future, but that’s how we run our judicial system now. You can murder people on the grounds that they might murder someone who doesn’t exist. Look out, baby Hitler, and also baby future Hitler. Also practicing physicians.
Fortunately, those of you concerned about the possible ramifications of each adult human life you come into contact with do not need to bother with ending them all yourself. We’ve got good ol’ force majeure to do that for us, and what the hand of god knocks down, endemic poverty will finish off. That’s why you shouldn’t give money to Haiti, as former ESPN.com contributor Paul Shirley argues. With an argument eerily similar to the one South Carolina Lieutenant governor Andre Bauer employed in asserting that poor kids shouldn’t be given free lunches at school—right before he was revealed to have gotten free lunches himself—Shirley asserts that aid to help people in Haiti keep living will only encourage people to keep living in Haiti. Its a masterpiece variation on the classic conservative argument that the best way to help people is to stop helping them. Shirley doesn’t work for ESPN.com anymore, by the way.
I’m going to go ahead and say that everyone who tries to convince people not to give money to dying Haitians is evil, but not everyone who’s evil tries to convince people et cetera etc. Some of them just produce hilarious lists. Courtesy of the ever-vigilant Jason McMackin, here’s Lauren Conrad’s list of her favorite books of all time, some of which she admits she didn’t completely read. It seems safe to say that this is a list of all the books Lauren Conrad knows of. For those of you who do not subsist in the deathless hell that is American culture, Lauren Conrad is a “character” on The Hills, the partially scripted MTV reality show about people who are on a reality show. The fame she garnered as a person on a reality show about people on television has allowed her to publish two young adult novels, about a young woman who lives in California and is on a reality show. It should be clear to you by now that Lauren Conrad was never actually born, but sprang into existence as a fully-formed tautology at the age of 23, which means we can cherish no hope that Scott Roeder will go back in time and kill her. At this point, the only thing that can stop Lauren Conrad is an earthquake, combined with the return to journalistic prominence of Paul Shirley. Cross your fingers.