This Just In:

The folks at Soul Train are assholes.

Actually, there’s more to it than that. A fifteen-year-old California high school student took issue with their choice for their annual lady-of-soul award, viewing Ashanti as a less worthy candidate than his favorite contender, India.Arie. So, like any teen with time on his hands, he started a petition at and circulated it to his friends, figuring at most he’d get 100 or so signatures.

Well, it got more interesting than that. He got more than ten thousand. Soul Train was unaccountably threatened by this act, and their webmaster sent the kid an abusive email for daring to question their judgement. Furthermore, they posted said mail on their site (you’ll have to go to the kid’s site to see screenshots of it), though eventually they removed it in favor of the two diatribes currently on their front page — which include references to “white-owned BET,” apparently their windmill du jour, as well as commentary about how anyone has time to organize petitions in a post-9/11 world (presumably, though, finding time to honor artists in the first place is Just Fine for any Red-Blooded, Soul-Train-Loyal American). Additionally, they cast aspersions on this kid based on his “foreign-sounding” name, and seem to view his opinions as meritless since he’s not black. What the Fuck?

Wow. Way to go, Soul Train! For these actions — i.e., having a very silly and very public fit because a FIFTEEN YEAR OLD disagreed with you — we present you with the first annual NoGators Award for Shockingly Stupid Corporate Behavior! Don Cornelius, come (get?) on down!

This just in: All Men Not Created Equal After All

The courts have ruled that the detainees in Cuba have no rights, at least in terms of any recourse through the US courts for being detained indefinitely without charges or access to counsel or even the formal POW label. This is freakish and bizarre. Bush, et. al., would be screaming bloody murder if some other country held our citizens this way, but it’s suddenly just fine if we do it. So much for rule of law.

If you’re not pissed off, you’re not paying attention.

Go here to read the NYT editorial that begins:

The Justice Department all but told a federal judge this week to take his legitimate concerns about civil liberties and stuff them in the garbage pail. The Bush administration seems to believe, on no good legal authority, that if it calls citizens combatants in the war on terrorism, it can imprison them indefinitely and deprive them of lawyers. It took this misguided position to a ludicrous extreme on Tuesday, insisting that the federal courts could not review its determinations. This defiance of the courts repudiates two centuries of constitutional law and undermines the very freedoms that President Bush says he is defending in the struggle against terrorism. The courts must firmly reject the White House’s assertion of unchecked powers.

It appears that whole “checks and balances” thing we learned about back in junior high may not apply after all, at least if the Bush Justice Department has its way.

I suppose bringing Unsolved Mysteries back was out of the question.

Salon reported today that the Operation TIPS hotline — you know, so you can report suspicious activity by your shifty neighbors after they complain about your stereo? — is actually ringing at America’s Most Wanted. The ACLU has a great press release as well.

Think carefully about this. Fox is involved in domestic, citizen-based spying? I mean, the whole citizen-spying thing was creepy enough, but just exactly what sort of message are we sending by having ratings-whore John Walsh’s televised detective magazine involved?

Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?

Dept. of People Unclear on the Concept

Don’t Link To Us! is a compendium of brain-dead sites who seem to think we need their permission to link to their sites. Just to be clear, linking happens by including the address of the site you’d like to link to in an HTML link tag, like this:

|*|< a href="" >NoGators< /a >|*|

which gets rendered on the page like this: NoGators

Links are the essense of the web; free linking is how it got to be the place it is. Promulgating the notion that we need permission to commit this basic act is willfully stupid; these firms deserve our ridicule.