SLIDESHOW EXPLANATION

THE PHOTOS SCROLLING BY IN THE SLIDESHOW ON THE LEFT ARE ORIGINAL AND CAN BE VIEWED OR PURCHASED AT WWW.WIZARDPIXPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

Sunday, May 30, 2010

HUMMER POSING... (not as exciting as you might think...)

THANKS TO ALL WHO SERVE...

MARCO... (POLO) MARCO... (POLO)

       Back when I was working my way through a divorce and plodding along toward retirement from my sweatshop job I used to live in various apartments.  Apartments have a certain appeal to the single man, most notable among them being the possibility of sharing an apartment complex pool with dozens of attractive, single, young women.  Other positives receiving honorable mention in the list of "reasons I rent" were free lawn and appliance maintenance, workout rooms with Nautilus machines, free weights, stationary bikes, treadmills, and stair-steppers, and the anonymity of coming and going without having to actually explain yourself or your drunken behavior to your neighbors.
        The swimming pools and tennis courts were prime attractions for me and a lot of my fellow single divorced friends.  We would congregate on weekends at the watering hole with beer-filled coolers, content to spend the day stretched out on lounge chairs while the nubile young women of the complex tried valiantly to get some sun while ignoring the drunken assholes who seemed to live for the weekends when they could drink, laugh, and stare at them beside the pool.  Or maybe I misjudge their opinion of our behavior... maybe they lived for the weekends when they could strip down to postage stamp sized bathing suits and parade around in front of the terminally horny guys drooling into their beers... I don't know.  All I do know for sure is that it was wonderful from my point of view, and sometimes on lazy weekends I miss those days.
         And then I remember the kids... those rugrats brought to the pool by other divorced parents on weekends of their visitation rights.   Those kids... wearing water wings, dragging around the pool toys... splashing everyone and screaming with those glass-shattering, piercing screams of joy that must have had dogs in agony for miles around... the kids who could chant, "Hey mom!  Look at me!  Hey mom!  Look at me!" over and over and over for hours at a time without showing the slightest fatigue... the same ones who found the game "Marco Polo" to be absolutely the bestest, most funnest thing you could ever do in water!  Those kids...
        My wife and I don't have a pool.  We like to sit out on our screened back deck and play thoughtful games of Scrabble, maybe watch the wild birds on the feeders, and comment about how peaceful it would be if only the kids on the other side of the privacy fence weren't playing "Marco Polo" in a plastic pool the size of a bathtub. 
        Ah... summertime.

RIGHT TO LIFERS IN ACTION!

      Just when you think the Tennessee state legislature couldn't possibly get any more harmful to the residents of the state they take a sledgehammer to a bag of newborns... and smugly proclaim they're exercising fiscal responsibility.
       Sometimes you have to scratch your head and wonder what they're thinking, but its a futile waste of your time to even try to fathom their logic from bill to bill.  The contradictions are as stark and mind-numbingly abrupt as anything you could possibly imagine, and finding rhyme or reason for their actions would require case studies in group-psychosis.
       The state of Tennessee ranks near the bottom in a lot of embarrassing categories nationwide: obesity, graduation rates, infant mortality, etc.  Were it not for a few even more backward southern states we would be right there at the top of all the wrong lists, like a national advertisement for John Belusi's Bluto character in "Animal House"... going through life "drunk, fat, and stupid".
       The infant mortality rate issue is a particularly sore spot for Tennessee, given the fact that a lot of major national hospital and health care companies are based here.  It's not the best PR for your healthcare chain to have your headquarters located in some backwater location that statistically rivals Somalia in the likelihood of a child making it to his/her first birthday.  You'd like to think we could do better than that, right?
        So, in an effort to bring us up to third world status in infant mortality rates the state began a program to promote healthier lifestyles for pregnant women, increased spending for prenatal care statewide, and was making quantifiable progress until...
         Until a group of Right to Life state legislators decided to cut funding for the program that was showing progress in combating child mortality.  Get your mind around that one... The same gung holier-than-thou Onward Christian Soldiers who do their very best to restrict a woman's right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy are now cutting funding for the only program proven to improve a baby's chances of reaching their first birthday cake.  Seems they're only interested in the sanctity of life from conception to actual birth... after that it's an attitude of "pull yourself up by your bootstraps, kids".
         If you look at the amount of cash being tossed around in "projects" and funding for every pet pork sinkhole of every district of the state it's hard to believe a program to improve infant mortality rates would be on the cutting block to balance the state's budget... until you start to look at what part of the state's population might actually benefit from that program. 
         If you're a resident of Brentwood or Belle Meade in Nashville, your baby has a pretty good chance of not only surviving to age one, but will most likely attend private schools, have his own wave runner by the time he's six, and will be a "legacy" student at an Ivy League School if he isn't already too independently wealthy to worry about an education. 
         On the other hand, if you're squirting out a litter of puppies in government housing in Memphis or happen to live in Meth Central Trailer Park in Campbell County,  your baby might be slightly more at risk.  Those state dollars wouldn't be spent in Brentwood or Belle Meade, obviously, because those aren't the problem areas when it comes to infant mortality.  So the real reason the state's budget is being balanced upon the little backs of the Pampers Poopers is because the "wrong" people might benefit from that program.
        Now, if the "wrong" people get themselves knocked up (let's say Uncle Festus climbed aboard his neice's caboose while both were a little lightheaded from the fumes of the meth lab in the bathroom...), well that's just tough shit, Myrtle... deal with it.  Have that precious bundle of joy, get his little ass babtised ASAP, and get the hell out of the food stamp line because we ain't paying for your mistake down here... we've got other priorities, you see?
        There oughta be a law...

FEATHERS FROM THIS MORNING'S TRIP TO THE WETLANDS

                                                         FLICKER IN HER HOLE
                                                                   GEAR DOWN...
                                                                 TOUCHDOWN...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

DON'T YOU OWN A VASE?

I'M TEARING UP JUST THINKING ABOUT IT...

BECK OF A JOB, GLENNY! (when it comes to ridiculing children, this guy's the class clown!)

     A while back Glennyth Beck went into full rant mode, sensitivity meter dialed up to "righteous indignation" because some guy who is writing a book about the Palinator had moved in next door to Sarah's Alaskan hideaway, ostensibly to spy on Miss Wasilla and her kids.  Glenn Beck is nothing if not firm on this one thing:  THOU SHALT LEAVE THE CHILDREN ALONE!
      For several minutes during his conversation with the half-term half-wit from the Frozen Tundra he railed against those who would drag the children of politicians into the mud of public ridicule, saying he never did it with Bush's kids, and he never did it with Clinton's daughter.  You just don't bring the kids into it unless they go into politics, in which case, all's fair in love and war.
      A day or two later Glenn had himself quite a comedy routine going on the airwaves during his radio show.  For several minutes he and his co-hosts chuckled it up about Barack Obama's youngest daughter's innocent question to her father:  "Daddy, did you plug the hole yet?" in reference to the oil leak in the gulf.
     Hilarious stuff.  On and on it went, as Beck mimicked a small child's voice repeatedly asking the "plug the hole" question, then going on to ridicule the level of Malia Obama's education and intelligence.  Really funny stuff, wish you coulda been there!
      Later, when it was pointed out to him that he had violated his one firm rule about dragging in the kids of his enemies, he apologized.  Profusely.  Said he should have known better, as a dad and all.
      I've got a suggestion.  Next time you want to talk about plugging a hole, fix the one in your face first.  If you can't think of a suitable "plug", give me a call and I'll suggest a nice one for you to use.
      What an asshole...

Friday, May 28, 2010

RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHY THROUGH MOTIVATIONAL POSTERS...

THERE MUST BE SOMETHING IN THE WATER... (Teachers Gone Wild: Part II)

     Yesterday's Squatlo Rant wasted a paragraph or six on the recent spate of classroom clowns who call themselves "teachers" here in the South... a couple in Georgia who had their students dress up as Klan members (fully robed and ready for action) and another in Alabumble who was teaching geometry via the hypothetical assassination of Barack Obama.  You would think that would suffice for one week's walk on the weird side, right?
      Not so fast, Mr. Peabody... Apparently the state of Florida has decided to enter the Class Clown Contest, and I'm willing to put money on their entry to win it all.  Here's the dirt, every bit of it disputed by everyone involved, and not one word of it verified or certain at this point... But what's the point of having a blog if you can't run with the "facts" as you see 'em, regardless of the reality?  Faux News does it all the time.  Glenn Beck has made a career of it.  It sells.
       Here you go:  According to the South Florida Times, the poobahs at the Broward County Board of Education are looking into allegations that two teachers from Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach interrupted a third teacher's class discussion on the earthquake in Haiti.  Not only did they enter her classroom and interrupt the discussion, but (and here's where the facts get murky) they are accused of having sprinkled a fellow teacher with holy water.
        Holy water.  For those of you who didn't grow up twisted and tweaked by the Catholic Church, holy water (sometimes oil) is a liquid that has been blessed by a priest to render it sacred and sin free.  Believers contend that it cleanses sin, heals the sick, and makes wonderful coffee.  I wouldn't know about all that, I just walked past the indoor birdbath every Sunday when I was a kid, and on certain holiday ceremonies saw a guy in a dress slinging it at the congregation while chanting at them in a dead language.  Nothing out of the ordinary to see here people, move along...
        Anyway, back to our story from the Sunshine State.  Apparently the anointed teacher (a Ms. Rodreguez) was trying to refute a statement by one of her students that the earthquake in Haiti was caused not by shifting tectonic plates but instead was the result of a 200 year old voodoo ceremony in which slaves on the island of Haiti made a pact with the devil to ensure a successful rebellion against French oppressors.  This theory of "what'sa matter wit' Haiti" has been popularized by a full time crackpot and sometime Republican Presidential Candidate named Pat Robertson, whose contributions to wingnuttery and Christian Craziness are too numerous to mention.  Upon hearing his teacher's reply that God's Wrath had nothing to do with the tragedy in Haiti the student accused his teacher of being an (oh my god!) atheist, which she readily admitted was in fact the case.
         At some point in the ensuing discussion the door to Ms. Rodriguez classroom opened and two of her fellow educators stepped in, teased her about "needing some holy water", and then sprinkled her with a mystery fluid from a little bottle or perfume vial.  They deny sprinkling anything, have students willing to testify to that effect, and say the whole thing was a joke.  Ms. Rodriguez has other students willing to confirm her version of events, including the sprinkles. 
        You gotta admit, when it comes to spending valuable classroom time like drunken sailors at the first port of call, Florida's Trippy Trio might have cornered the market on Crazy.  This is pretty good, whether it happened exactly as reported or not.  Currently the Damp Duo are suspended pending a full investigation, and the kids are no doubt enjoying the newfound celebrity that's come to Broward County, known mostly for having dangling chad issues in the 2000 Gore v Bush fiasco.
        It's not my job to sort all of this out, but it sure is entertaining... kinda makes me wish I was back in school.  In my Klan robe calibrating the scope on my sniper rifle while sitting in a birdbath of holy water... getting myself prepared for the adult world.
        

Thursday, May 27, 2010

TEACHING THROUGH ASSASSINATION AND THE KLAN (It's a southern thing, you wouldn't understand...)

      Down here in the south we have a way of getting our kids to understand practical implications of the things we want them to learn in school, and it probably won't make much sense to folks from other parts of the country... but it works well for us.
       Here in Tennessee we pretty much teach to the test.  Ever since Curious George made himself out to be the "Educationator" President (just before 9/11, after which he became the "Decider") and Congress rammed through the abysmal No Child Left Behind legislation, we've been teaching our kids how to pass the tests required by law to determine our schools' future funding.  If the little shits don't learn the answers to the questions we're going to ask them in that test, then our teachers risk losing jobs or pay, or having the school system taken over by gubment outsiders... can't have that.  So, we pound the answers to those specific test questions into their little skulls until we can reasonably expect an acceptable number of them to pass the damn test.  What they retain of that information or how it might possibly be of use to them AFTER the test is not our concern.
        In this part of the country we keep making news for our teachers' methods of getting through to the kids.  About once a year one or two of our teachers here in Tennessee make headlines by having sex with the kids, or by getting caught sexting nude photos of themselves to the track team... the usual stuff you might expect anywhere else.  But the educators in Georgia have come up with unique methods of their own.
        Two teachers at completely different schools in different Georgia counties have recently been placed on administrative leave for allowing their students to dress up in full Ku Klux Klan regalia as part of class projects.  Had they merely allowed "dress up" for their classroom purposes we probably wouldn't be hearing about any of this... But they not only had the kids in Klan robes for their class presentation, they allowed them to go out into the hallways and mingle with other students not associated with or aware of the class social studies program.  Needless to say, some of the students from the student body were upset by this discovery... especially those student bodies of a slightly darker hue than those found under the Klan robes. 
         Now, say whatever you want about the unfortunate turn of events that led to those two teachers' suspensions.  Call them irresponsible, or defend them as misunderstood, whatever.  My question is this:  when they allowed those kids to mingle with the student population in the hallways of their respective schools were those kids in violation of the schools' dress codes?  If so, I say we string them both up.  Maybe at night, out in the woods, with a nice fire to illuminate the scene... preferably one fueled by a wooden cross.  Sometimes you just gotta kill stupid to keep it from spawning.
        Over in Alabama they have their own methods for teaching geometry, and you gotta hand it to this one particular math teacher... he knows how to get the kids to focus.  According to the Birmingham News, Corner High School geometry teacher Gregory Harrison has been suspended and is now required to undergo "sensivity training" after he used the hypothetical assassination of Barack Obama as a math prop to teach angles and trajectory factors.  Can't say that wouldn't come in handy some day down the road, now can you?
        I used to whine in algebra class that I was never going to need algebra in my adult life, and couldn't for the life of me understand why I needed to pass two years of high school algebra to graduate.  I was right about not needing algebra in my adult life... or at least, I haven't needed it so far.  I could damn sure use some of the shit I've forgotten (how to divide fractions, for example) but most of it would fit nicely into Paul Simon's lyrics from "Kodachrome" ("when I think back on all the crap I learned in high school it's a wonder I can think at all...")
        But assassinating socialist presidents and dressing up for the Klan rally?  Now, that's something every kid ought to be proficient in, right Bubba?

YELLOW CROWNED NIGHT HERON WITH CRAYFISH (pix from this morning's stroll through the wetlands...)


                                                         MALLARD IN FLIGHT
                                                      THIS WON'T END WELL...
                                                     DOWN THE HATCH...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

GULF OIL WELL MAP... (What could possibly go worng?)

THINK THE PREZ HAS HAD ENOUGH BP BS...

    According to the legal minds who've looked at this situation, the government COULD step in and swat BP out of the way, bringing all of the resources of the nation to bear on this oil spill from hell... but then, it really would be Obama's Katrina.  Every delay, every failed attempt to stop the leak would be this administration's to explain.  As it is, BP is still getting the lion's share of the blame for this clusterfuck... and THAT'S THE PROBLEM!  We need to stop assigning blame and making certain our asses are covered when what's really being covered are the marshlands and beaches of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida.  Last time I checked oceans were sort of important.  Stop jerking around, take the reins, and FIX THIS SHIT!  Have BP sign a blank check, and whatever you need, whatever costs you incur, add 'em to the tab.

SPF BP STYLE...

I'D HURL IF I WASN'T TOO BUSY YAWNING...

      Got the morning paper opened up for my constitutional... I'd be one corked up mo' fo' without a daily paper.  Guess I'm killing the rain forests two different ways every morning... one paper to distract me while I crap and another on a roll beside the throne.
       What's new today?  Well, lessee... Lindsay Lohan will have to wear an ankle bracelet to monitor her alcohol intake.  That's important, I guess... especially if you live in an area where Lindsay might decide to go for a drive.  Knowing this silly twat she'll probably chew off her leg to get away from the monitor.
       Mindy McCready is out of the hospital and resting comfortably at home down in Florida.  That's good news... Mindy (who's fame apparently involves country music, although I couldn't tell you her noteworthy tune if my balls depended on it) has had repeated issues with drugs and all sorts of psychotic breaks from reality, which almost makes her a perfect Tea Party candidate except for the drugs part.  She was recently healed by Dr. Drew, good as new... until an ambulance was called to her house in response to an overdose 911 call after her full recovery on Celebrity Rehab.  I don't think Mindy's quite ready for prime time, yet.  Maybe they should shackle her ankle to Lindsay Lohan's and let them sack race their way around crack alley.
        Stevie Nicks just turned 62.  Stop right there.  The little hottie every swinging dick in America fell in love with when the covers from those early Buckingham/Nicks and Fleetwood Mac albums hit the shelves just turned 62.  Sixty-two.  I suddenly have an urge to shackle my ankle to Lindsay and Mindy...
        Hey, only 212 more shopping days until Christmas!  Grab the credit cards and hit the "maul"...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"YEAH, WHAT HE SAID!" (proof that no state can out-stupid our own...)

     I opened this morning's paper expecting to find blog material in the local/state section, and again our state legislature has come through for me!  Thanks, guys!
     The Tennessee House of Representatives (same folks who recently brought you the "It's Perfectly Okay to Eat Roadkill" law) just can't stand it when some other state gets a leg-up on them with some stupid shit law... it's like finding out that someone's beaten you to the bottom of the class rank when you've not bothered to even show up for a single class all semester!  How is it possible to be worse than me, you ask yourself!
      Well, our legislature is flat out competitive about stupid shit laws.  Georgia passes a law making it illegal to implant a computer chip into an unwilling human being (not that there was a whole lot of that happening, but hey...) and Tennessee's legislature has to come back with a law making it legal for folks to carry firearms into bars.  Beat that, Peach State!
       Now the state of Arizona has half the country in an uproar because they've passed a law that requires police officers to question whether or not folks out there are in America legally.  If they pull someone over and don't get a good ol' American boy vibe from the Latino behind the wheel they are REQUIRED BY LAW to make that person produce papers proving his legal residence.
       People everywhere are upset.  Conventions scheduled to be held in Arizona are being cancelled.  Entire cities are cancelling contracts with businesses in that state.  Major league baseball is being petitioned to move next year's All Star Game to a less Hispanic-stricken state...
Even the prez has said that his justice department will look into the constitutionality of the law, with an eye toward overruling it through court challenges.  The only people who seem to love the new law are the teabaggers and protectionists who've been screaming about Mexicans for years any damn way...
      Until now, that is... Representative Joe Carr (R-Lascassas) introduced a measure to officially "commend" the State of Arizona for having "the initiative and the courage...to protect their citizens and the borders of our great nation" by adopting their xenophobic new law.  The measure was brought up for a vote and passed by a final count of 67 to 27 in favor of patting Arizona on the back for making bigots everywhere proud.
       We recently had the worst flooding in our state's history here in middle Tennessee.  Our state budget is a wreck.  School systems in every county are having to lay off teachers, bus drivers, custodians, and school staff in order to stay open.  It's not like our elected officials don't have anything to do... it's just that they'd rather not.
       If you've got a batshit crazy law in mind, don't get flustered if our legislature one-ups your law with one of their own that's even crazier... and if they can't think of their own they'll pass a measure to officially approve of yours.
      Cheers, amigo!  Now pass me that beer coaster before my trigger finger gets itchy...

"THE IMPORTANTEST THANG IS, DON'T GET EXCITED..." (heard this advice from a long time veteran to a new employee once...)

SOMEONE SHOULD EDIT IN SOME CRICKET NOISES FOR THE MISSING APPLAUSE... (Faux News at its worst again...)

FAUX NEWS MICROPHONES CAN'T PICK UP APPLAUSE FOR OBAMA SPEECH...

     Sometimes I sound like a broken record... during Curious George's eight year Reign of Error people would sometimes ask why I was so down on the man, and in trying to respond I would often find myself out of breath, literally winded from listing all of the illegal and incompetent things Cheney's Sock Puppet was responsible for as president.  After a few moments I would begin to notice perplexed concern on the faces of those listening, and began to realize the impossibility of adequately responding to such a loaded question without looking like a ranting fool, certifiably insane and ready for a straightjacket in the rubber room.
      The same question was once posed to me on the Social Disease Network Facebook, and after several hundred words listing dozens of well-known events, crimes, and policies of the Bush Administration with which had problems this individual wrote back and accused me of "cutting and pasting" from someone else's published list.  Apparently, having that much material at hand on a moment's notice was beyond the realm of possibility for this conservative... the only way a person could keep track of THAT many acts of malfeasance was through intense research, in his opinion.
      Personally, I could have kept going with my list until this very moment and STILL not be looking for help.  Bushit was a veritable fountain of material... Any glance at the day's newspaper or even a cursory check of the news would provide another dozen reasons to make one rue the day the Soupreems decided to install that idiot in the White House.  The steady drip, drip, drip of scandal is still leaking out about his term in office, and I doubt we'll know the full extent of his culpability for years to come.
       The media outlet most willing to shine a favorable light upon Bush's presidency was Faux News.  No matter what the crime, no matter how outrageous or unconstitutional the offense, the talking heads at Faux could be counted upon to spin the story in just such a way as to give Bush the appearance of being unfairly hounded by liberal critics.  Invade the wrong country?  No problem, they needed invading.  Violate the Constitution by using the CIA to spy on American Citizens?  Hey, if you have nothing to hide why are you worried, Comrade?  On and on...
        Now that Obama is in the White House all pretense of Fair and Balanced is tossed to the curb.  They don't even pretend to hide the spin, just blatantly grab the story and give it a twirl right there in front of the viewers' eyes... and their ratings couldn't be better if they had a monopoly on the dial.
        Their latest "oopsie" came this last weekend, and again they have plausible deniability of any intent to manipulate public opinion, despite the obvious effort to do just that.  Seems Obama was giving a speech before cadets at West Point and at one point in his address made mention of the fact that our troops in Iraq had performed so brilliantly that soon our mission there would be completed and our troops would be able to come home.  The cadets broke into sustained applause at that point and the President looked around the room as he waited for their applause to die down before continuing his speech.  If you look at the official film of the speech you can find this exact moment captured in full sound.  Obama stops speaking, the crowd applauds, Obama waits until they're finished, then continues.
        But on Faux News (where they report and you decide) the applause is strangely absent from the audio of that portion of Obama's speech.  What you see and hear instead, in their version, is Obama making his point, and then looking around the room amid an awkward silence... for ten or more seconds.  Cricket noises should have been dubbed in for added effect...
     Now, the boys at Faux say their microphones either had a malfunction at that precise moment of Obama's address, or perhaps they lost the audio feed for a brief period.  Who knows with modern technology, right?  You ever have any trouble with your television or computer?  Hey, happens to the best of us... what's the big deal?
      The Big Deal is that it's yet another example of a "news organization" manipulating public opinion through deliberate means.  In film footage of a Teabagger protest earlier this year that network showed a much larger crowd on hand for the rally than any other network had been able to find at the event... and it turned out the footage they showed purporting to be from that rally was actually footage from a completely different event in the same location.  When faced with undeniable proof of their manipulation of film clips to influence their version of the story Faux News simply blamed a poor film splicing job by an underling... won't happen again, sorry...
       You know, Jon Stewart often has Daily Show "correspondents" asking totally outrageous questions of people who then respond to completely different questions in the heavily edited version shown later on the Comedy Central show... it's done for comedic effect, and makes the people in the interview look silly as hell through blatantly misrepresenting their questions and answers.  But it's a COMEDY SHOW, and only an idiot would take it for legit news reporting.
       Faux News bills itself as an actual news organization.  It proudly claims to be Fair and Balanced.  They become highly offended ("Shocked, I say!") when criticized for being anything BUT Fair and Balanced, despite a million examples to the contrary.
       If you take out the laughter in film footage of even the funniest comedian's stage performance you can make a person look quite foolish.  Their attempts to make the President look foolish in their coverage of his speech at West Point was nothing less manipulative than anything Jon Stewart and the Daily Show could ever hope to accomplish on Comedy Central.
       Heads should roll...

Monday, May 24, 2010

TICKTOCKTICKTOCK... ADIOS, JACK BAUER...

OKAY, RIGHT UP FRONT I WANT TO APOLOGIZE FOR BEING A HUGE FAN OF THIS SILLY SHIT SHOW... I KNOW, I KNOW, IT'S A RIGHT-WINGER'S WET DREAM BROUGHT TO LIFE: ILLEGAL RENDITIONS, TORTURE IN THE FIELD, TORTURE CONDONED BY THE STATE, ASSASSINATIONS, ILLEGAL WIRETAPS, SURVEILLANCE OF AMERICANS BY THE GOVERNMENT, COUPS AND INTRIGUE ON STEROIDS, NOT TO MENTION THE UNLIKELY PLOT TWISTS AND DELIBERATELY PLANTED RED HERRINGS DESIGNED TO KEEP US IN CLIFFHANGER MODE FROM COMMERCIAL TO COMMERCIAL, EPISODE TO EPISODE, SEASON TO SEASON...  AND THE GUY'S FUCKING CELL PHONE WORKS UNDERWATER, IN CAVES, AND NEVER NEEDS RECHARGING... ALL THE WHILE BEING CAPABLE OF DOWNLOADING ALL OF THE PENTAGON'S SECRET FILES AS QUICKLY AS CHLOE O'BRIEN CAN HACK THEM FROM THE ENCRYPTED DATABASE... THE WHOLE THING IS A RIDICULOUS TIME-SUCK, COMIC BOOK ENTERTAINMENT WITH PRODUCT PLACEMENT ADVERTISEMENTS...   AND WE LOVE IT. 
TONIGHT JACK SIGNS OFF FOREVER (RIGHT... AND THE JUDD'S WILL NEVER, EVER TOUR AGAIN, EVER, WE PROMISE, THIS IS IT, BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW BECAUSE WE'RE NEVER GOING ON THE ROAD AGAIN TOGETHER, EVER EVER...)  AT LEAST UNTIL THE "24" THEATER RELEASE IS ANNOUNCED IN A COUPLE MONTHS.  RATED "R", WITH SCENES AND DIALOGUE TOO RACY FOR TELEVISION, IN 3D AND SURROUND SOUND...

AND I'LL BE IN LINE FOR TICKETS.  CAN'T HELP MYSELF.  THIS IS MY ONE ESCAPIST FANTASY SHOW, MEA CULPA. 

C'MON, THE GUY'S BEEN SHOT, STABBED, BEATEN, TORTURED, BURNED, BRAINWASHED, DRUG ADDICTED, HELD IN CHINESE PRISON,  HAD HIS DAUGHTER KIDNAPPED, HIS WIFE MURDERED, HIS GIRLFRIEND MURDERED, HIS FRIENDS MURDERED, HE HAD TO KILL HIS OWN FUCKING DAD AND BROTHER... HE DESERVES ONE OF THOSE PRESIDENTIAL MEDALS OF FREEDOM WE GIVE TO FOLKS WHO BUNGLE CIA OPERATIONS AND INVADE THE WRONG COUNTRIES FOR US...

PREVIOUSLY ON 24...

A POSTER ALAN GRAYSON WOULD LOVE...

SARANATED... (holding forth on all things Sarah)

      A few weeks ago when my computer was still infested with a social networking program called Facebook I made a comment in response to a fellow liberal's blast at Sarah Palin, and in it I cautioned him against dismissing her empty-headed blather and its effect on the national political scenery.
      Seems my friend had basically written her off as a know-nothing demogogue whose fifteen minutes of flame was, mercifully, about to peter out.  But having her own yakkity yak segment on Faux News, as well as an upcoming series called "Sarah Palin's Alaska" on the Discovery Channel has given little Miss Conception a monster megaphone for her daily diatribes on all things political, and she's spouting off like Old Faithful on steroids.
      Her latest reality-starved rant concerns the unfavorable media attention being paid to fellow teabagger Rand Paul after his various statements condemning the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  Sarah feels Rand's pain, and equates it with her own, you see...
     She says she was unfairly criticised by the liberal main stream media, just like poor little Rando, and wants everyone to know just how prejudiced some folks can be to her ilk of modern politician.  Remember how Katie Couric ambushed her with those brutal hardball questions during the 2008 presidential campaign?  I mean, how could anyone possibly prepare to respond on national television when asked to name a newspaper or magazine you regularly read?  Who studies up for that kind of shit???
       Anyway, Sarah says Rand was ambushed in the same manner by Rachel Maddow recently on MSNBC, and accused Rachel of having a liberal agenda.  Well, duh!  She's holding down a prime time slot on MSNBC, for Christ's sake!  She follows Keith Olbermann!  Anyone with cable TV and half a brain oughta know what to expect from those folks, right?  No self respecting conservative would even think of appearing on her show with the expectation of fair play...
        I guess that's why Rando the Magnificent announced his Senate candidacy on that very program prior to the primary election... Yep, he didn't take the easy road and announce on Sean "You're a Great American!" Hannity's show over on Faux News.  He didn't stop by Blowhole Limbaugh's radio show for that announcement, either.  He made it official on Rachel's show, and at the time seemed to like the exposure.  Oliver sudden, though, he's found her to be a tad bitchy with some of her questions...
       Personally, I thought Mr. Paul handled direct questions about his indefensible positions quite well, considering the venue.  Hannity would have blown him on the air, and Limbaugh wouldn't have stopped bloviating long enough to acknowledge Rand was even in the studio.  All things considered, (by the way, Mr. Paul?  That's the name of another news show you might want to avoid... they ask pointy questions, too...) he did a perfectly acceptable "rope-a-dope" impression for most of the Maddow interview.  Of course, it only takes one or two punches to negate all of the bobbing and weaving.  And one or two found their target... right there on the old deer-in-the-headlights button. 
       So Sarah jumps to his defense, saying that the mean ol' liberals just lie in wait to spring attacks like this because they have an agenda.  An agenda.  Can you imagine that?  Pontificating about rolling back modern Civil Rights to some Andy of Mayberry time frame when politics and lunch counters were lily white and uppitty folks knew their place isn't AN AGENDA... it's just the ideal world as seen through the eyes of everyone except those liberal media elites clogging up the airwaves and bushwhacking good men and women who want to rescue Amurka.
       So glad she straightened that out for us, aren't you?

SOMETIMES YOU GET THE BULL, SOMETIMES THE BULL... (matagored)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

TRUTH, JUSTICE, AND THE AMERICAN WAY (Texas style...)

FETUS DOLLS! THE NEW BEANIE BABY CABBAGE PATCH MUST-HAVE KID ESSENTIAL!

     Okay, maybe it's time someone stepped in and called time-out.  Seriously.  Maybe adult supervision is not such a bad idea, especially if those most in need of parental control are in charge of our kids seven hours a day while we're at work...
     Seems there's a high ranking school official in Norfolk, Viginny in hot water.  The principal of Oakwood Elementary in Norfolk has been put on administrative leave while school board officials investigate her involvement in a slightly controversial episode at her school.  Apparently lots of youngsters in Oakwood's third, fourth, and fifth grade classes were given soft, squishy, and very life-like "fetus dolls" to play with and take home, along with a card bearing a pro-life message.  Nice...
     I mean, who doesn't want their nine year old indoctrinated by anti-abortionistas when they could be studying to pass the No CEO Left Behind Test?  
     I won't go into a rant about abortion... it's a worn out, tired, and futile endeavour to even broach the subject and expect anyone to care past your first paragraph.  Once the slightest hint of your position on the subject floats to the surface half of your audience tunes out, puts fingers in their ears, and begins to chant loudly.  I hate chanting... 
     Does anyone anywhere think this is a good idea?  Giving little fetus-like dolls to kids?  Would it be acceptable to extend this pro-active agenda-pushing tactic to other controversial social subject matter?  For instance, would it be okay if we handed every child a dead, oil covered seagull to take home, just to remind them of how nasty off-shore drilling can be for living things?  Would anyone care if their child came home with a campaign bumper sticker and other political propaganda supporting one party or the other?  Would it be cool if your kids were given realistic handgun toys by the NRA to play with on their way home from school?
      This same principal opened teachers' conferences and meeting with prayers, encouraged students to pray during school hours, and basically ran up every kind of red flag any self-respecting school board would need to garner all the wrong kind of attention... and yet, there she was overseeing the distribution of abortion literature and fucking FETUS DOLLS to kids!
      I can see a collective shrug of the shoulders from those on the right, as if none of this would bother them in the slightest... but if the shoe were on the other foot and kids were being ENCOURAGED to seek out Planned Parenthood, or were given pro-choice literature, those same folks would be apoplectic.   Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity would have material for months...
      Our kids can't read, can't divide fractions, couldn't find Italy on a globe if their cell phones depended on it, and basically have the mental capabilities we would expect from lower primates, and this is what one school was doing with its allotment of study time and resources?
       I give up...
     

NOT SURE, BUT I THINK YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG...

POPULAR HAT AMONG THE RESTLESS NATIVES (and they're everywhere with torches and pitchforks...)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

CREATION MUSEUM IN KENTUCKY, AND A BIBLE PARK IN MURFREESBORO... (IT'S AN OLD ONE, BUT STILL DAMN FUNNY...)



This is a couple of years old from redstateupdate.com, and if you watch it you might not realize that these two once attended MTSU and took on local accents and mannerisms before moving to California to become actors.  I think they're hilarious...

I'M WITH STUPID...

Friday, May 21, 2010

I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS, BUT I LIKE LOOKING AT IT...

CONSERVATIVES, RACISM, AND WHY RAND PAUL IS A TYPICAL TEABAGGER

     Here we go... I know better than to open this can of worms, but since Rand Paul and the Teabaggers have already shaken the bait box out under the kleiglights I might as well weigh in with a few of the more obvious truths no one will speak aloud.
     First of all, Rand Paul's assertions (in a letter to his local paper in '92, to the editorial board of a major Kentucky newspaper, and several times on national television in the past 48 hours) that he believes the Civil Rights Act of 1964 overstepped federal authority by requiring privately owned business to cease and desist discrimination on the basis or race, religion, or national origin aren't aberations of his true character.  I think it's quite obvious Mr. Paul believes fervently in his original statements, and had the national media firestorm (and the resulting crawfish backpeddle of the Republican Party) not forced him to retreat ever so gingerly to a slightly less offensive position he would insist to that effect.  Rand Paul doesn't think anyone in authority has the right to make any private business owner do any damn thing he doesn't want to do with his own business.
       Now, before going further with the theme of this particular blog rant, let me point out that Rand Paul's position carried forward one or two minor steps would also mean that he doesn't think the government has any business telling a private business owner or corporation that they have to abide by environmental protections, or rules designed to ensure workplace safety, or product safety, or equal opportunity employment on the basis or race or religion either.  No one has the right to tell a company how to operate their own business, period.  That's Mr. Rand Paul's position, in a nutshell.
      But the reason his attention has been directed to this particular piece of legislation and not toward all of the others listed above goes to the heart of the matter.  The Republican Party has a major problem with race relations, and the Tea Party wingnutters who've taken over the Republican Party flock to them for that reason alone.  Bigotry loves company.  The Republicans are highly offended by this label, as well they should be.  But it's true, nonetheless.
       If you say this in mixed company, Repubs turn into sputtering deniers of the first order.  Not so, they bellow.  Why, some of my best friends are colored! they proclaim.   Besides, Lincoln freed the slaves and he was a Republican, so there!  Yep, and they've even got a Lawn Jockey at the head of the Republican National Committee... got it.
       How 'bout we stop bullshittin' one another for a second.  When the lights go down and the liberals have left the party, the barflies catching that last call for alcohol come clean with one another... and find it cathartic to open up without the shackles of political correctness around their throbbing libidos.  That's when the funniest jokes can be told, with a nod and a knowing wink to one another.  That's when they can kick around the current sorry state of America without wondering if their words are going to come back to bite them in their rascist asses when they sober up.  That's when they are, in a word, themselves.
       I've been in that circle.  I've been there when the lights go down and the crowd thins out and everyone looks around to see if there are any of "them" hanging around... and when they don't see any potential for blowback they open up, assuming by pigmentation and inebriation that we're all together and of the same opinion.  Wrong, guys.
       Ronald Reagan is the patron saint of all things conservative in modern American politics.  Go back and listen closely to his speech on states' rights given in Philadelphia, Mississippi just after winning the GOP nomination for prez in 1980, then remember that he fervently opposed the Civil Rights legislation of the early '60's.  In fact, he switched parties and became a Republican because of that legislation.  If you dig back far enough you'll even find that Reagan recorded a message for the American Medical Association warning that Medicare legislation would mean the end of freedom in America.  Hell, Reagan was the first of these reborn Teabaggers!
        Fact is, Reagan was a sorry fucking president, and a rascist to boot.  The party has had a cynical "southern strategy" for electoral victories based in large part on tortured race relations in the south, and it's worked well for them in national elections.  People who ought to support Democratic positions (labor unions, worker protections, social programs for the poor and disadvantaged) are talked into voting against their own interests, and usually that's done by appealing the basest common denominator of racial prejudice.
       Watch the Teabagger protests.  Read the signs.  Read the banners.  Listen to their speakers and look through the crowd for the people of color in their ranks.
        Rand Paul isn't atypical.  He's merely the most eloquent of the bigots on the platform.  They've taken over the Republican Party, and what scares the Party bigwigs is their unpolished honesty and flimsy attempts to disguise their disdain for anyone not whiter than Pat Boone's shoes...  They wouldn't be any easier to spot if they showed up in hooded sheets under a burning cross.  And they now represent the mainstream Republicans... who are too terrified of election defeat to refute even the most blatantly bigoted of statements from the teabagger express.
     

SHOW US YOUR PAPERS, AMIGO... ("Ve haff vays off mecking you talk!")

AND THE REVOLUTION BEGINS! (election results in total confusion)

       Election results have been tallied in several states in various races for state and national offices and the results are confusing, at best... but what's certain is that a brand new cast of very entertaining folks have been thrust upon the national stage.  Their fifteen minute timer is running,  but some might hang around for a little more face-time than planned.  Like the odor from a litter box, the gift that keeps on giving.
       There's a guy named Rand Paul up in the Commonwealth of Kentucky (do we have 49 states and a commonwealth?) who's making headlines this week because of some sincerely awkward thoughts about a forty-six year old Act of Congress, and that's just the tip of the iceberg with the guy.  Anyone named after the author of "Atlas Shrugged" had to have had an interesting childhood education on the home front.  His daddy is a libertarian hero and Representative in Congress, and I'll admit right here and now his dad has a lot on the ball.  I can listen to him for a few minutes and find myself nodding my head in silent agreement, and that rarely happens these days... but of course, he keeps talking, and the nodding stops and I find my furrowed brow wondering how some folks can make so much sense on one subject and be so totally batshit crazy on the next.
         Anyway, Ron's spawn Rand has been called on the liberal media elite's carpet.  He ran as a TeaParty candidate and won the Republican primary for the US Senate, so that loony toons group now has at least one candidate who will be running in November for a seat in the upper chamber of Congress.  Problem is, despite his overwhelming victory over Mitch McConnell's handpicked choice to serve as junior Senator from the KY Jelly State, Rand's been holding forth about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, specifically bitching about the fed's overreaching control of privately owned businesses.  You know how the government gets all pissy when you won't let folks sit in the front of your bus or eat at your lunch counter?  Well, Rando believes a business owner has the ultimate control over whom he chooses to serve because, after all, it's his fucking business, right?
        He argued, somewhat convincingly, that if liberals want to say that the government has the right to dictate all manner of rules concerning private businesses, then those businesses don't have the right to set their own rules for anything already ruled upon by the government... specifically pointing to the Guns in Bars bills currently being passed in certain states with bored legislatures like Tennessee's.  The government (our state's legislature) says registered permit holders can carry their sidearms into bars if they wanna, and that's that.  But the bar owners are posting signs saying "Oh Hell No They Can't!" and so they're debating whether or not that owner's objections are sufficient to keep the gunslingers out of the bar or if the government's edict allowing said patronage holds sway.  Rand's position seems to be (and it's convoluted as hell, but somewhat valid) that you can't have it both ways.  If you believe the government has the right to determine who a resturant owner has to serve or allow into his bar, club, or diner, then that owner doesn't have the right to set his own rules about other settled issues like firearms or blowtorches or hand grenades...
       Rand's a piece of work, and if he's elected to the US Senate in November his fifteen minutes of fame could last at least six years.  Stay tuned...
        Meanwhile, a Democratic Attorney General in Connecticut is running for the Senate despite having been caught saying he "served in Vietnam" when he apparently didn't.  Hell, even Curious George knew better than to brag about his questionable military service record... doesn't this guy think someone might check?  Heard of the Swiftboaters?  Think they won't look it up, shithead?  Jeez...
        Another Teabagger candidate took it on the chin (metaphorically, sorry...) in Tuesday's election in Pennsylvania.  Sam Rohrer (who's last name makes me think of the number 714 for some strange reason, and my cheeks have just numbed and I can't stand up without shuffling off to starboard... but I digress) lost to Attorney General Tom Corbett in the Republican primary.  AG Corbett has been in the news lately for suing the federal government to overturn the new health care bill recently passed in DC... and now he's in the news for issuing subpoenas to acquire personal information from Twitter accounts that have been critical of him.  In other words, he's suing bloggers for saying nasty shit about his ass.  Which is why I'm not saying anything else about this fine man.  Wish him the best.  Really.
        At any rate, it oughta be interesting in November.  TeaBaggers and Wingnutters and Glenn Beck, oh my!

AND THE WINNER IS....



Thursday, May 20, 2010

THAT'S ABOUT IT...

CBS NEWS CREW INTERCEPTED BY BP AND ORDERED BY COAST GUARD TO TURN BACK, NOT ALLOWED TO FILM ON CONTAMINATED BEACHES



I have a couple of questions:  First of all, what corporation has the right to order a news crew away from a public beach contaminated by that corporation's oil spill?  Second question, since when does the United States Coast Guard take its marching orders from foreign owned corporations?  Anyone???

Oklahoma City hailstorm video... pretty scary!

FROM THE MOUTHS OF BABES... The First Lady meets a worried child

     Yesterday the first lady took a photo op trip to an elementary school in Maryland to promote exercise and good eating habits, but her feel-good story was rudely interrupted (or BEAUTIFULLY INTERRUPTED, depending upon your viewpoint) when an angelic little second grade girl raised her hand to speak to the President's wife.  She said her mommy had told her that Barack Obama was going to send everyone back who didn't have papers.
      Mrs. Obama began to say that it was the job of Congress and all of us to make sure that everyone got to stay and that everyone had proper papers, but her voice didn't carry as much weight as the little girl's when the child very softly replied, "But my mom doesn't have any..."
      To anyone who thinks our borders are sacrosanct demarcations and should be heavily armed fortifications to protect our schools, hospitals, and work places, I offer that little girl's wavering voice and fearful face as evidence that we've taken the wrong path in America.  A child's biggest concerns at that age shouldn't be an overwhelming fear of losing her mommy to jackbooted immigration authorities.
      Again, who would Jesus deport?
      Here's where my liberal "you may say I'm a dreamer" philosophy garners the ire of even the most progressive of my friends and acquaintances.  See, I'm one of those whole earthers who doesn't believe any nation has the moral authority to say who can live on any part of this planet.  Simply because we were born into the land of plenty and a baby in Somalia was born into a third world shithole doesn't mean we can stand in the orchard and deny passage to the starving person at the gate.  And mega-billions in foreign aid and assistance hardly lessen the moral degradation we face when we try to justify a nationalist point of view in regard to immigration.
       No one owns Earth or any part of it, if you believe in a Christian god or a truly moral existence.  No amount of rationalization can take away from the fact that we were blessed by birth and stubbornly refuse to share more than token offerings to the less fortunate.  We stand at the borders, we stand at our gated communities, and we stand at our own fences around our locked houses, ready to defend our property from outsiders.
        I realize mine is an unworkable philosophy in today's world, and thankfully I don't have to stand up and defend this opinion very often because it invites derisive scorn from more pragmatic people.  But, if you want to boil things down to a spiritual level, as so many are so often prone to do when debating issues like abortion, capital punishment, or right to life/end of life questions, you have to include the free movement of human populations in the mix.  What right does any one nation have to say "This is ours, you must stay on your side of the fence!"  How would that play in a face to face with your chosen Savior if he were at the gate seeking asylum or sanctuary? 
        Folks who know me well know I'm anything BUT a religious person.  I don't believe in God, think organized religion is the root of most of the evil in modern society, and basically believe deluded people shouldn't make public policy based on dusty two thousand year old books of bad prose and parables.  BUT, then again, if religious arguments MUST be raised in every other issue discussed, why isn't the moral equivalence tossed into immigration debate?
       Who would Jesus deport?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

SUPER COOL... (LORD HELP ME BE THE PERSON MY DOG THINKS I AM...)

HERE'S A GRAPHIC SHOWING A LIBERAL'S NEVERENDING JOB ON FACEBOOK, RESPONDING TO RIGHTWING EMAIL, AND DEALING WITH THE VAST IDIOT MAJORITY...

WISH I HAD WRITTEN THIS FIRST...

SOUNDS REASONABLE TO ME...

WOULDN'T SURPRISE ME IN THE SLIGHTEST TO SEE THIS GUY HEADLINING FAUX NEWS SOME NIGHT...

THE TEABAGGERS' TREE OF LIBERTY...

     I was just over at Mock, Paper, Scissors reading a post concerning a comment left by one of those knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing types who like to quote selective phrases from the writings of our founders to support their seditious intent... and it made me realize the sorry state of our public discourse.
     Seems some of the wingnutters and folks wearing teabags on their hats have found a quote or two about the "tree of liberty" and how it needs to be watered with the blood or tyrants or some such shit, and they like to point to this quote whenever they try to justify their calls for the violent overthrow of our duly elected president or government.
     Why is it that these same fear mongers had nothing to say when Curious George and his Merchants of Evil were squandering Clinton's surplus?  They didn't squeal like pigs in the trough, they just grunted approvingly and kept on lapping it up... but now that the prez has a slightly darker pigmentation and they can't find his name on a can of beans at the grocery store it's suddenly time to take torches and pitchforks to Pennsylvania Avenue to "take their country back".
      sigh...

TERRI SCHIAVO CASE WON'T DIE, DESPITE PERSISTENT VEGETATIVE STATE...

Some might remember the Terri Schiavo fiasco from a few years past... others have probably tried hard to forget the whole sordid mess.  Unfortunately, it won't go away.
    Just read a blurb on HuffnPuffPost that says the family feud that captivated the nation in 2004/2005 continues unabated, despite Terri's death.  Seems her parents have started a foundation in her name and have been soliciting and collecting donations for  "right to life" issues, and in the process have been paying themselves modest salaries from those collected donations that amount to the lion's share of the foundation's cash.
     Here's a recap, highlights/lowlights from the story:  Terri Schiavo went into cardiac arrest and consequently lapsed into a persistent vegetative state.  After several years without change in her condition her husband Michael, as legal caretaker for his disabled wife, decided to remove the feeding tube keeping her alive.  Her parents sued to block the move, and the case became a headliner for the right to lifers and religious wingnutters around the state of Florida and the rest of the country.  The courts ruled in one side's favor, then the other's, and everyone from the Governor of the state of Florida (Jebby the Kingmaker Bush) to the Prez Hisself (Curious George, played by Dick Cheney's Sock Puppet for this story). 
      Georgie W. even abandoned his beloved brush clearing vacation in Crawford to fly back to DC for a paper signing ceremony on Palm Sunday.  All of Congress got involved, including the Senate Majority Leader from our great state of Tennessee, Dr. Bill "She Looks Fine to Me" Frist, who made a remarkable diagnosis from a heavily edited videotape recorded several years earlier.  It all came to naught, as well it fucking should have, considering the fact that several thousand assholes had decided to step into a very private end of life matter for their own political agendas... but I digress.
      The court battle continued, the Soupreems refused to hear the case (which is what they should have said in Gore v Bush 2000, sparing the world the entire Bush Reign of Error, hundreds of thousands of dead innocent men, women, and children in Iraq and Afghanistan, but again, I digress) and the feeding tube was removed, case and casket closed.  You would think everyone involved in this horrible shitstorm would be embarrassed as hell to even be associated with the case, but apparently you can't keep profits and moral clarity on the same page anymore.
       So now the widower hubby of the Feeding Tube Lady is bitching to the press because the Grieving Parents are siphoning off funds raised in their daughter/his wife's name, and no one is certain who has the right to her celebrity after all these years.
        Can't you just picture the family reunions for this tribe?  "Pass the potato salad, shithead... if it's okay with your lawyer..."
      sigh...

 as a country, do we ever have the common decency to just look away?  Nope, train wrecks are hard to ignore.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

GREAT HORNED OWL IN A NEIGHBOR'S YARD MOMENTS AGO!



Folks I've never met before just rang our doorbell and said there was a great horned owl in a mimosa tree in their front yard, then invited me over to take photos.  Apparently they had seen me wandering around the neighborhood with a camera and assumed I knew what I was doing...

SEEN A UFO? HEAR DEMONIC MESSAGES IN YOUR LED ZEP? FOUND THE VIRGIN MARY IN YOUR DRYER LINT? HERE'S WHY...

Monday, May 17, 2010

And I can't look away...

VALIUM FOR THE SOUL... (my love/hate relationship with feathered critters)

       If anyone were to take a good long look at my family history and make a few rudimentary connections I'm quite certain they would come to the same conclusion I've reluctantly begun to accept... I've become my father.
       My dad used to leave for work very early in the morning (although my older sisters remember a time when he worked nights, that was long before my cognitive memory banks had begun to collect data) and after work in the afternoons he would head straight for the refrigerator for a draft beer, then settle back in a comfortable chair by the picture window to watch the wild birds that frequented our feeders.
       I used to think it was just odd for a grown man to sit and stare at birds.  I mean, if I were an adult (I thought) I would be out driving my car or hoisting a brew with my friends in some smoky watering hole, not peering at birds through a window like a puppy looking out from a cage in a pet shop.
      The only positive advantage to my dad's bird addiction was that it offered me a chance to fulfill my own, which was a passionate desire to shoot and kill starlings.  See, my dad viewed starlings and pigeons in much the same light as modern day teabaggers view illegal immigrants and liberals.
Better off dead... so he gave me a pellet gun, which I quickly mastered, and told me I was free to shoot through my open bedroom window any starling or pigeon that landed in our yard or on his feeders.
       It was like living in an actual shooting gallery, only my targets weren't metal mechanical ducks but real birds... unpredictable, quick birds who might settle in for a meal out in the open or hide behind a feeder turning slowly in the wind.  It was great sport and over the years I got very good at it.  If god in heaven turns out to be avian, my eternal goose is fucking cooked.
       But that was decades ago, and my dad and those pesky starlings are long gone.  I now feed my own birds on my own feeders, and the ancestors of those pesky starlings swarm my yard not unlike illegals crossing an unprotected border.  I could care less about illegals, but I still despise starlings.
       If you were to gaze around our living room at this very moment you would quickly find a cocked and loaded BB gun beside the window to our backyard.  The only thing that's changed is that the gun I had as a child was deadly accurate, and this one, made by the exact same company with the exact same sighting and cocking mechanism, is shit.  I'm not sure you could hit a target if you taped it across the hole at the end of the barrel.
       But I digress... what I meant to say was that I spend an inordinate amount of our meager resources on birdseed and feeders, make my own suet for woodpeckers, and spend untold hours sitting out on the back porch watching birds at our feeders.  I can watch them for hours, or at least would if the rest of the universe would leave us alone.
       I'm sure there's a kid in the neighborhood wondering why on earth an adult man would want to spend his day watching birds when he could be out driving his car to a smoky bar...

ATTEMPT TO RAISE LIABILITY FOR OIL SPILL DISASTERS BLOCKED (guess which party stood up for Big Oil and which party tried to protect the small business owners and environment...)

     Gotta hand it to 'em, they don't mind wearing their corporate sponsorships on their voting sleeves...
     Every now and then you get a Senator who seems determined to vote his/her conscience, regardless of the blowback from special interest groups.  What would you think if you heard of a Republican Senator from Alaska who supported a woman's right to choose, supported stem cell research, who refused Bill "Terry Schiavo Looks Like My Typical Republican Senator If They'd Only Put the Feeding Tube Back" Frist's attempts to employ a "nuclear option" to end Democratic filibusters, and who once voted with the Democrats to pass the State Childrens Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)?  Remember, I said this Senator from Alaska was a duly elected REPUBLICAN.  From Alaska.  Home of The Saranator and Senator Ted "need some work done on my house-bridge to nowhere" Stevens.  Puzzled?
      Well, don't be.  Seems this particular Republican Senator from that Red State Outpost isn't so independent after all.  When push comes to shove she definitely knows who butters her bread, and she stands up for them big fucking time.
       The American Petroleum Institute is alarmed because a Democratic Senator from New Jersey has proposed raising the amount of maximum liability for environmental damage an oil company can be charged from a paltry $75 million to a more realistic fine of $10 billion.  But a Senator from Alaska has stepped in at the last minute to save Big Oil from this horrible fate.  Enter Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Big Oil).
       Think for a moment about that cesspool we used to call The Gulf of Mexico.  Right now there's an oil well a mile beneath the surface spewing out god knows how much oil per second into that body of water, befouling one of the most fertile and productive fisheries in the hemisphere and dumping goop of unknown toxicity on the Redneck Riviera's beaches and resorts.  It might be years, perhaps decades, before the actual assessment of the damage can be quantified in dollars and cents... but what's absolutely certain is that Big Oil and the merchants of evil who control Congress in its name will not come even remotely close to funding the cleanup operation or make adequate restitution to the business owners who will have their livelihoods destroyed.
         Yep, Senator Murkowski might have the bonafides to pass the "moderate Republican" test on social issues.  She's even managed to weasel her way clear of the scandals enveloping other career politicians in Alaska by returning a house she once bought way below market value from folks who were later implicated in said scandals.  She's clean as a whistle, and nice looking, at that.
        But her campaign coffers swell when Big Oil makes a call.  Reports estimate her campaign donations from oily interests have surpassed $426,000 so far, second only to some electric utilities in overall cash-for-Congress levels.  She's in their pocket.  And they're in hers.
       Next time you see photos of that slime ball in the Gulf, remember which political party tried to hold those responsible accountable, and which party hack stepped up to block that legislation.

THEY'RE RAISING CORPORATE CASH TO KEEP THIS RED STATE EVEN REDDER...

PULL UP MY TOMATO PLANTS??? (I'd rather risk e.coli...)

     There's an article in the Local/State section of today's Nashville Tennessean warning folks with little gardens that they might be at risk of some pretty nasty gastrointestinal illnesses if their gardens were contaminated with runoff water from other yards and drainage ditches during the recent flooding here in middle Tennessee.  Not sure how to handle this news...
      First of all, I'm sure Mr. David Cook of the University of Tennessee's Extension Office at Ellington Agricultural Center is well qualified to make such a pronouncement, and he's probably right on the money about the dangers of eating fruit from plants that might have come in contact with water from overflowed septic tanks... But, my tomatoes?  Does he realize how cherished the first tomatoes of the summer really are?
      During the rains I watched the backyard with concern, not because I was worried we might end up on the roof trying to flag news helicopters and rescue workers in boats.  I was worried about my tomatoes.  At one point during the deluge I couldn't even see the tops of the little plants in my garden, and just figured the work I had done had been in vain.  After all, unless they were using snorkels, how could they survive underwater?
       But when the rain stopped and the waters receded I was amazed to find that my tomatoes looked none the worse for the experience, and in fact seemed to be growing quite well despite their time submerged.  So I've been nurturing my seventeen little seedlings like any anxious parent would tend to the kids after a traumatic experience.  I've been hoeing and weeding around the plants, keeping the ground worked so that it doesn't crust over or allow grass and weeds to take root.  I've even fertilized again with warm water and Epsom Salts (a recipe I had my doubts about, but whose results have been impressive).
        Every day now we stroll out to the garden and remark on the growth of the tomatoes and peppers, looking forward to that first sliced tomato with dinner, and later on the in the summer to that first jar of killer homemade salsa.
        Now some guy with a degree wants me to pull up the tomatoes and start over?
        Tell you what... if I'm doubled over the toilet in agony later this summer I'll write back and apologize to the man for ignoring his prudent advice... but I ain't killing my babies.
       

I FIXED THE CAR'S RADIO, HONEY...

A GOOD TAPE TO LEAVE ON TOP OF YOUR PORN COLLECTION (we have to think of the kids, after all...)

A VERY SUBTLE RESPONSE TO THE TEABAGGERS AT FREEDOMWORKS... (fired Geiko spokesman strikes back!)

Friday, May 14, 2010

THIS ONLY NEEDS A NICE OIL SPILL ON THE SURFACE TO BE PERFECT...

GROVER'S UPSET! HIGHLY OFFENDED! FEATHER-RUFFLED! (mission accomplished...)

     If you follow national politics like I do (in other words, if you don't really have much of a life that doesn't involve arguing with idiots about the state of the union...) you're already familiar with a quirky little prick named Grover Norquist.  If you're not aware of Mr. Norquist's past antics, what he's saying lately won't seem all that ironic... So, in the interest of bringing the uninitiated up to semi-speed on the guy, I'll pass along some info gleaned from Wikipedia (which is dangerous, because the info on Wikipedia is about as shaky as Kate Hepburn's voice in "On Golden Pond"... but I digress)
      According to Wikipedia (and it's on the "internets", so it must be true) Grover is currently the President of an anti-tax advocacy group calling itself Americans for Tax Reform.  Their mission in life seems to be to do everything within their powers to reduce the amount of tax revenue collected and spent by the government.  You might have heard of them when the Congress was investigating Jack Abramoff's scandal a while back... the Senate Indian Affairs Committee records indicate that ol' Grover and his group allegedly funneled cash from Jack's wealthier clients to secretly fund lobbying campaigns around the country, among other things.
        Grover was also a staunch supporter of Ollie North back when the good Colonel was working to arm the contras from the basement of Reagan's White House... you might have heard of that little scandal?  Currently Grover's on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association and The American Conservative Union, so you get the general drift of the guy's political philosophy.
        His most famous quote was "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub."  That didn't seem quite as funny when New Orleans was drowning a couple of years later, but again, I digress...
        Anyway, Grover's in the news again this week, in full "whine" mode, because he thinks his kind of folks are being dissed and he simply won't stand for it.  Seems ol' Groovy Grover can't stand the term "Teabaggers" when applied to The Tea Party people.  Regardless of the fact that THEY THEMSELVES were the first to use the term, he's still pissed whenever he sees or hears the salt-of-the-earthers being referenced via this term that also refers to a rather specific act of gay sex...
        Grover was quoted as having said that calling Tea Party bigots "teabaggers" is the "equivalent of using the 'n' word.  It shows contempt for middle America, expressed knowingly, contemptuously, on purpose, and with a smirk." 
        I guess we really should add "Chairman of the Department of Redundancy Department" to Grover's resume after reading THAT quote.
        What I find ironic about this moral "outrage" from Grover Norquist (is that a contradiction in terms, or what?) is whenever I see one of these Faux News promoted astroturf Tea Party Events on television I'm reminded of just how racist the participants portray themselves by the banners and signs they carry, as well as by their actual words.  For Grover to object to the term "teabagger" and compare it to the use of the "n" word is beyond the pale.  This group is accused of having shouted the "n" word at black members of Congress during the recent health care debate at a rally outside the Capitol! 
         Listen, if it annoys ol' Grover to hear the wingnutters and birthers called "teabaggers" I intend to use the term as often as possible from this day forward.  Maybe it'll get to him.  Maybe he'll be tempted to run a nice hot bath and take himself for a swim...
          TeabaggersTeabaggersTeabaggersTeabaggersTeabaggersTeabaggersTeabaggers