Tuesday, August 31, 2010




COAL ASH DISPOSAL? LEAVE IT UP TO THE STATES...(corporate whores sell their wares)

                                 Aftermath of coal ash spill in Kingston, Tennessee

              They're beginning public hearings in Washington concerning the proposals to regulate the disposal of coal ash from power plants.  Washington, DC, is a long way from my hometown of Kingston, Tennessee, but I bet a few Roane County natives make the trip up for a chance to speak on the subject.
               Last December a coal ash holding pond dike failed and 5 million (!) cubic yards of toxic ash spilled across private property and into the Emory River near the Kingston Steam Plant.  Homes were destroyed, fish and wildlife were killed, and area residents won't know the final tally on health repercussions for years to come.
               Representatives from the utilities industry argue that aggressive regulation of coal ash storage would increase the cost of electricity for consumers, and that it should be left up to individual states to decide how best to handle the waste.
                Environmentalists want the toxic waste handled like, well, toxic waste.  Not heaped into ponds with dirt walls next to neighborhoods and subdivisions.
                Leave it up to the states?  Does anyone remember the outcry from Louisiana natives when a moratorium was placed on off-shore drilling following the BP spill in the Gulf?  Left to the state of Louisiana, there would have been no such moratorium on drilling or fishing in the Gulf.  Money talks, and your silly regulations walk.
                 In the end, they'll decide to table the issue for further study, and what's been going on for decades will continue to go on for another few years.  Eventually, the environmentalists and health specialists will prevail, and the shit will be handled like the poison it is.
                  (heavy sigh...)

Monday, August 30, 2010


                If you keep a blatant lie in media airplay day after day after day, sooner or later the sheep will begin to follow the bait and believe the story.  A new poll released Monday by Newsweek magazine shows that 14% of GOP believe it's definitely true and another 38% believe it's probably true that President Obama "wants to impose Islamic law around the world."  I'm not good with numbers, but I think that adds up to a majority of Republicans sending emails to one another to convince themselves that the President favors Muslim sharia law over our own.
                You could take the same people who answered in the affirmative to those questions and probably find the same folks who think the President was born in Kenya, that man-caused global warming is a liberal hoax, and that evolution is just an "unproven" theory.

                 John Stuart Mill once wrote:  "Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservatives."

                  Too bad Mill isn't around to see this play out in living color on the TV every day...



        No one is knocking on my door asking for foreign policy advice, but if someone were to ask I would offer this:  while we've been dicking around in Iraq and mired down in Afghanistan, the threat deserving our concentrated concern has been brewing in nearby Pakistan.  And what happens there will eventually lead to more harm than anything either Iraq or Afghanistan combined ever presented.
         Natural disasters are a test of any government's capabilities, and when handled poorly or with half-assed measures, they can precipitate civil unrest.  Our own brush with incompetence is now being brought up for attention on the fifth anniversary of Katrina... and ours is arguably the most capable government on earth for disaster response.  If a disaster torn region of the United States could come so shockingly close to anarchy, imagine what is going on in the wake of 20 million displaced refugees in Pakistan.
          Those who are left to their own devices, especially in a nation where everyone is armed with automatic weapons, will take what they are not able to get through reasonable means.  If open revolt is the result of the Pakistani government failure to provide for the safety and welfare of its flood victims, that government could easily fall into the hands of militants eager to acquire nuclear capabilities.
           I'm no foreign policy wonk, but I've known for years that Pakistan ultimately offers a greater threat to our strategic interests and security than do those countries where our best and brightest have been dying in Bush's preventative wars.
            It might be time to ramp up our foreign aid assistance to Pakistan ten fold, to provide clinics, volunteers, clean water, and assistance to keep our puppet regime in control over there.  The consequences of inaction or selfishly inadequate response might be too dire to contemplate.


YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID (but it would be nice if we were allowed to tag them for tracking)

          I'd love for this to be the last post I have to make with the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro as the subject, but I doubt it will go smoothly from here on out...
          There's a story in this morning's Nashville Tennessean about the alleged arson investigation at the site of the proposed mosque.  Local fire and police officials have said it is a case of arson, but the federal investigators have so far refused to classify it as such.  Splitting hairs... when some yahoo dumps an accelerant on a piece of earth moving equipment and then sets it on fire, I think it's safe to call it arson.  I guess they would feel more comfortable calling it a hate crime if the guy had written them a note explaining his motives.
           While a spokesperson from the Islamic Center was giving an interview about the arson attempt, someone reported gunshots had been fired.  Later, a passing vehicle blared the song "Dixie" from a car horn.
            Not wanting to make assumptions here, but if you have the song "Dixie" programmed on your vehicle's car horn, you probably don't lie awake at night wondering how you might make the Muslim community feel welcome here in town.
            There are a handful of mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging troglodytes taking the anti-mosque sentiment a step too far.  Those who have legitimate concerns about traffic or environmental groundwater runoff have a right to object to any project of this size.  But no one has the right to intimidate good people on the basis of their religion. 
             Supporters of freedom of religion and free speech are holding a candlelight vigil at the courthouse tonight.  I'm debating whether or not to attend... This entire situation is getting tiresome, and frankly I'm embarrassed that a vigil seems necessary.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


         They weren't content with just intimidating area Muslims by destroying the sign at the site of their proposed new mosque and cultural center here in Murfreesboro... now the hate mongers have moved on up to arson.
         Four pieces of earth moving equipment were torched in what police are now classifying as an arson attempt, and an investigation into the hate crime is ongoing.
         Folks, this is a quiet, open-minded community, and home to one of the largest on-campus universities in the state... In no way does this reflect the true spirit of Murfreesboro or the good people who live here.
         Hatred and intolerance are not family values, regardless of the motives.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


          While my wife and I were out covering a local triathlon (225 kids swimming/biking/running) we had no idea an arson call had already been placed from the construction site of the proposed mosque a quarter mile from our house.
            On the way home from the triathlon this morning I noticed a sheriff's squad car next to several automobiles in the gravel drive of the church site, and asked Mrs. Squatlo if she knew what could be the attraction...
            An article in tomorrow's paper says someone tried to torch the machinery that was pushing dirt around on the proposed mosque site.
            Wonder if someone at Faux News would like to comment on how their fair and balanced broadcasts don't incite radical behavior...?

            so sad...

Friday, August 27, 2010


        Sometimes when I'm reading things on the internet I catch myself chuckling and checking to make sure I'm not reading something from "The Onion" or another site known to falsify news reports for fun and profit... But more often than not, what sounds completely unbelievable turns out to be factual.
        There's a middle school in Mississippi (a state long known for its racial diversity and progressive attitudes...) that forbids black kids from serving as class president.  In fact, of the twelve offices voted upon by the student body, only four are classified as "black."
         I shit you not...   here's a graphic showing the breakdown in racial eligibility for each office:

           What year is this again???  Did someone find this in a 1954 student handbook and think it would be "quaint" to publish as a reminder of just how fucked up our school systems used to be?
Nope, this is current, and until just a few moments ago, it was school policy for Neddleton Middle School.
           A breaking news report says the school board has reversed itself and that those "whites only" offices have been opened up to the entire school class, regardless of race.
           I looked at the link to the change of policy and it said the racial eligibility had been rotated between blacks and whites in order to "ensure minority representation."  Here's a quote from that story:

According to the district's statement, reported by WTVA, the practice had been in use for more than 30 years with whites and blacks rotating among offices annually.

"It is the belief of the current administration that these procedures were implemented to help ensure minority representation and involvement in the student body," the statement said.

          Wonder if anyone at Neddleton has noticed the pigmentation of our current President?  Must have been an "even" year if a black guy was eligible...



          There's a new game on the market by the firm Electronic Arts (their college football game is awesome!) that allows gamers to choose to play as the Taliban ambushing American forces.  The basic premise of any war game is realism, so what could be more realistic than attacking our armed forces in the cyber world?  After all, our forces use cyber world technology to pilot unmanned drones on missions to attack the Taliban, right?
           If you can get past the ugly thought of good little boys and girls pretending to be Taliban militants, try this one on for size:  The television network G4 is promoting a new reality show set to air in 10 one hour documentary episodes following a Special Forces "Explosive Ordinance Disposal" unit on duty in Afghanistan.
           "Bomb Patrol: Afghanistan" promises to document the adventures of our bomb squads as they disarm live booby-trap munitions in the field.  Think about that for a minute...
            Why do we watch reality shows?  For the amusement factor.  When a bimbo with fifteen pounds of hairspray holding her coif just so finally has all she can take of that loud mouthed bitch from New Jersey and decides to rip her face off, we put popcorn in the nuker and sit back to watch the catfight.  We watch NASCAR, not for the thrill of seeing guys make left hand turns all damn day, but for the possibility of a wreck happening on camera.  We watch dancers and singers and jugglers and comedians perform on live TV because there's a possibility something awful will happen (other than their lack of talent...)
             Is the idea to glorify our troops in action?  Well, explain how that will work when you film one of them being blown to bits by an IED.
             Oh yeah... if it bleeds, it leads.
             Folks, we aren't that far down the road from showing live executions for our evening entertainment.  Put on the popcorn, honey, they're about to pull the switch!

WELCOME TO BECKISTAN! (Right wingnutter aims to "reclaim" civil rights movement?)

         Every time I read this clown's words aloud I have to shake my head and wonder if his mom dropped him on his little head too often when he was a kid...
         How a guy who makes his living race baiting and saying some of the most outrageous things on the airwaves today could purport to "reclaim" the civil rights movement is beyond me.  He's calling his ego-stroke the "Restoring Honor" rally, and he's timed it to take place on the Lincoln Memorial steps 47 years after Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.  Here's a prediction you can take to the bank:  Beck won't say anything anyone remembers 47 years from now.  In fact, I doubt we'll remember Beck at all, unless he flames out on the air some night as I've previously opined.
          His website is urging people to come to the rally to "help us restore the values that founded this great nation."  Exactly how he expects a gathering of lunatics and teabaggers in the nation's capital to restore our missing values is not exactly clear...
          But Faux News will cover the thing from the first Howdy Do from the podium until the last tea bag has been swept from the National Mall.  Counter protesters will be on hand to add some color to the mix, and if we're lucky they'll all come together and sing Kumbaya arm in arm...


                                                          JACK DANIEL STATUE

           It might be hard to find another Tennessean as well known internationally as Jack Daniel of Lynchburg.  Jack Daniel is the best selling whiskey in the world, sold in more than 135 countries around the globe (and highly sought after by those countries where it isn't sold...)
           The campaign to actually have Congress set aside a national holiday in Jack's honor might be a little tongue in cheek, but I'd say Jack's lobbyists have more fun (and a better bribe) than anyone else on K Street.
            The guy was a licensed distiller at the age of 16, and the story goes that he died from blood poisoning after kicking his safe one morning in anger when he forgot the combination.  Had he dunked that infected toe a time or two into one of his huge vats of percolating mash that final curtain might have had to wait another twenty or thirty years to come down on Mr. Daniel.
             Got my doubts about this national holiday campaign, but sure hope it passes.  Wonder if liquor stores would be open on Jack's Day?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


      If you haven't had the pleasure of knowing what it feels like to have neck disks come together on a nerve that runs down your arm, consider yourself blessed...

      But with enough Killians and pain meds, life isn't all that bad after all...

(the lei was sent from our friends in Germany to celebrate their soccer teams' 3rd place finish in this year's World Cup...  the lampshade was just hanging around begging to be included)


                                                             One Sick Puppy

               Saturday's Beckathon at the Lincoln Memorial in D.C. is being touted (by Beck) as "a turning point in America," so expect a lot of turn-signal impaired Teabaggers to be blinking away on the streets of the nation's capital. 
               Beck calls his planned gathering the "Restoring Honor" rally, and he predicts crowds in excess of 300,000 for the event.  It's all planned to take place on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech, which is confusing on so many levels.
               Glenn Beck has been a huge supporter of the Tea Party movement in America, and you would think the teabaggers would be marching in lock-step to attend this gathering.  But there are some who recognize Beck for what he really is:  a showboating demagogue more interested in self-promotion than anything else.
               Andrew Dodge of the Maine Tea Party Patriots said it best:

“Beck takes it outside of the realm of fiscal conservatism into issues that are more emotional and make you wonder if we really want to be associated with this guy,”

               You know, when teabaggers think you're over the top with the tears and on-air nervous breakdowns, you must be pretty far out on that little limb.  Think about it... the tea party wingnuts can't agree on their biggest supporter's motives because some of them have enough sense to recognize a BeckWreck when they see one.
                This guy is a shameless self-promoter looking for a publicity stunt that will help sell his next book, and he's got an entire cable news network's coverage to help spread the word.  And if the crowds aren't a big as expected, you can count on Hannity's crack team of film editors to simply pull crowd scenes from some other rally to splice into their coverage.  Let's hope they have the good sense to avoid using film footage from MLK's speech... after all, most of that coverage was in black and white. 
               Even a teabagger with his mouth full could see through that...


          When word came out of Gainesville, Florida, that the Dove World Outreach Center was planning a "Burn a Quran Day" bonfire despite not having the proper burning permits from the state, I thought it was just another example of a Crusade Mentality on display in the south.
           Now there's a group calling itself "Right Wing Extreme" offering to provide protection to the church before and after the conflagration.  Since I didn't recognize the RWE from any prior wingnutter posts I decided to look their organization up, so I went to their website.
           One of the first things you see on the RWE "about us" link is something called a Code of Chivalry.  Really.  They have a list of chivalrous acts they vow to uphold, including fearing God and witnessing for Jesus, and another that says they should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.  Okay so far...  The fourth "commandment" in their Code of Chivalry says they should be "obedient to the commands of ladies," and another says to not be the revealer of love affairs.  Ooooo-Kay...
            Right in there with the warm and fuzzy "Awwwwww...." moments their Chivalry Code also says they are to "protect the people's right to bear arms."
            Now it's all clearing up.  Some gun nuts in Florida want to make sure a Christian Church has a nice holy book burning event.  And they'll be polite to any women who want to drop by to watch. 
            Wonder what the rules are if a woman tells them they're batshit crazy offering armed protection to a book burning?

FRANKLIN MIDDLE SCHOOL FOOTBALL COACH JUST GOT HAMMERED... (anti-Obama song puts coach out of work)

            While I was out taking photos from the sidelines of a middle school football game, a middle school football coach thirty miles south of me was terminated for emailing his country song to everyone in his address book.  Oops...
             I'm posting the audio of Bryan Glover's country tune, not because I agree with the lyrics or think the song's all that great, but because I'd like folks to be able to hear what the fuss is about.
             You might think living in a county that voted 69% for McCain/Palin would give you some creative wiggle room for your songwriting aspirations... and you'd be wrong.  According to press reports, Coach Glover of the Grasslands Middle School in Franklin, Tennessee sent an email version of the song he co-wrote with another Grassland Middle parent to "99%" of his email contacts.  That included parents and co-workers from the school, and some of them found the song offensive.
              I've listened to it a couple of times, and other than the last line I don't find anything racially offensive about the tune... and the last line is a stretch.
              Anyway, the dude is outta work, and from the sound of his little Obama Bashing song he should have kept the day job.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


FACEBOOK BANS POT ADS (but you can pray for Obama's death all you want...)

            Back when I was a Facebook addict (my name is Squatlo and I'm a Facebook0holic) I used to be amused by the content of some of the fanclubs you could join.  It lost its amusement factor when a page was devoted to gathering members to pray for the death of the president.  I bailed shortly after that page was allowed to remain unmoderated, and I haven't looked back.
             I just read a blurb on Huff'n'Puff Post about the latest FB subject to be banned-- Marijuana.  According to this article, FB bans all tobacco related products, and that would include pot.  Wait...?  Pot?  Tobacco product?  I don't know what they're rolling over there at FB, but my pot daze didn't include tobacco...
             You can form a group to pray for the death of a president you don't like, sign up as many members as you want, and your group will free-speech its way across cyberspace and time.  But you can't show a photo or drawing of a pot leaf?


        According to a column in today's Nashville Tennessean, Thursday is the 90th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote.  Sandra Bennett of the Tennessee Women's Political Caucus has written an essay on the struggle in which she claims the final vote for ratification came down to one young member of the Tennessee House of Representatives who changed his vote because his mom told him to...
         Rep. Harry Burn of Niota, Tennessee, had earlier cast a vote against ratification, but a telegram from home instructed him to vote for suffrage.  You don't go against mom's advice if you want a happy homecoming after the legislature breaks up and goes home.  Young Harry did what any of us would have done, he voted the way mom told him to vote... and because of that, women are now allowed to cast their own votes.

         Atta boy, Harry!


             Today's headlines bring us back to the eternal question:  Which came first?  Half a billion eggs are being recalled due to a salmonella outbreak traced back to two Iowa farms, while 120 people were hospitalized when a chicken distribution plant had an ammonia leak in Alabama.
              Of course, the answer to the chicken or egg question is pretty easy:
                                               THE ROOSTER CAME FIRST, OBVIOUSLY...

Monday, August 23, 2010


            A group called "Go Topless" is trying to get U.S. laws changed so that men and women have equal rights to bare their chests in public.  Yesterday was "parade" day in nine U.S. cities, and the women were to wear only nipple shaped pasties to cover their, well, their nipples...
            The men who were trying to be supportive (sorry...) were to show up wearing bras.  I could do without THAT part of the movement, but the topless ladies thing looks pretty cool to me.
             Group founders Nadine Gary and Larry Abdulla are members of a religious group called Raelians, who believe that human life on earth was created by an advanced alien civilization called Elohim, and that the human form is therefore an expression of art.  According to this report:

Of course, art is in the eye of the beholder, and Gary admits that some guys who attend a Go Topless rally initially act like boobs.   

"Some of them take pictures at first, but then they get used to seeing women's bodies and return to normal within an hour," she said.
            They say if you don't return to normal within four hours you should see a physician...   


NEWS CORP A SUBSIDIARY OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY (Media Matters tries to run ad during O'Reilly's show)

        This video is an ad Media Matters is trying to run during Bill O'Reilly's show on Faux News.  Think they'll air it?  Nah...
        Faux News had nothing at all to say about News Corp's donation of a cool million dollars to the Republican Governors Association.  Imagine how they'd howl if NBC gave a million bucks to the Democrats!  Hannity would have a stroke!  Billo the Clown would be apoplectic!

RON PAUL SAYS IT'S ALL ABOUT ISLAMAPHOBIA AND HATE (and the teabaggers will vilify him for saying so...)

                                                             Ron Paul

         Say what you want about Ron Paul, he's one of the very few Republicans willing to come out and call the anti-Muslim backlash for what it really is:  Islamaphobia and hate.
          During his run for the Republican nomination for President I often found myself in complete agreement with Dr. Paul when he spoke out against our two wars of aggression in the middle east.  He distanced himself from the others on the debate stage by being totally honest with his answers, not cliche' ridden and sound-bite savvy.  He spoke the truth on any issue brought forward, and I admired his honesty.
          Of course, once you dig past the basic libertarian positions and get down to specifics he's a little harder to swallow, but at least he's true to his own ideals... unlike most politicians.
          He's come out with a position sure to make him the target for a lot of right wing flamethrowers:  he says the anti-Muslim backlash against the Cordoba House in Manhattan is pure Islamaphobia.

Ultimately, Paul argues that the opposition to the mosque “is all about hate and Islamaphobia,” stoked by “neo-conservatives” who “never miss a chance to use hatred toward Muslims to rally support for the ill conceived preventative wars”

             Not sure if I want to go back to the gold standard, but listening to Ron Paul might be a good idea for some of those on the right.


         A committee member of the Republican National Committee has finally uncovered the source of all the misinformation about Barack Obama's religious preferences... she read his lips when he was speaking in Cairo, Egypt.
         Here's a direct quote from Obama's speech:

Now part of this conviction is rooted in my own experience. I'm a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and at the fall of dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith.

           I must have missed the lip-reading part where he claimed to actually be Muslim.  That was probably in there with the part about seeing Elvis and Bigfoot playing tonk on a UFO over Atlantis...
           Committeewoman Lehman says we have to read between the lines.  Here's her actual "tweet" on the subject:

            Maybe it might behoove us to take the thumbs off of terminally ignorant people to prevent this kind of thing... Friends don't let stupid friends tweet...

             What I don't hear anyone say is exactly why it would be unthinkable for our president to be Muslim?  Are we okay with a Mormon Prez?  President Romney?  Are we okay with a Jewish President, or a Catholic President?  Why do we draw a line in the silly putty over Islam?

             Apparently, about the worst person a Republican can imagine would be a pregnant lesbian Muslim woman in line with her wife at Planned Parenthood.


       If you've ever been owned by a cat, you'll be able to appreciate this...

Sunday, August 22, 2010




Breaking News: Some Bullshit Happening Somewhere


        A couple of days ago I wrote that Pat Robertson, the host of the 700 Club and frequent candidate for President of the Free World, had spoken out against a proposed mosque here in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, saying that it would be easy to bribe local officials with terrorist money.  Local officials, as  you might expect, weren't happy being portrayed as corruptible rubes.
        Well, Pat didn't stop there.  He's gone on to say that Muslims could take over the city council to pass ordinances requiring public prayer and foot washing, and that girls would be required to wear headdresses to school.  Boy Howdy!  Pat's got his finger on the pulse of middle Tennessee, and we're just barely kicking!
          Reverend Robertson says this isn't about religion, but rather a clash between an eighth century desert culture and a modern view of the world.  Uhhhh... wait, which culture is primitive?  The desert guys or the modern day Bible Thumper Brigade?...
          When I see or hear Pat Robertson speak (and trust me, it's never by choice) modern advances in science and technology don't spring to mind.  Pat's audience isn't all that different than the Onward Christian Soldiers crowd that took part in the Crusades... they just have satellite broadcasts of their lunacy now, instead of preaching from the top of a hill.
           Pat says it's not about religion, and he's right.  Pat's against any kind of competition for the almighty dollar getting a foothold in his territory.  If there was no money to be made in the televised evangelical movement, Pat Robertson would be selling used cars or insurance.
            God's good business here in the buckle of the Bible Belt.


                                              Carl Paladino (dingbat-NY)

             A wealthy Buffalo businessman running for governor of New York has dropped his teabagger hat into the ring in a big-time way, proposing (among other things) that welfare and unemployment recipients live in underused prison "dorms" and take classes on hygiene.
              Back in March,  Carl Paladino (who has ties to the Tea Party) suggested that Obama's health care reform package would kill more people than terrorists killed on 9/11. 

               Gee... just think.  New York has so much unused prison space they could house all the unemployed and welfare suckin' leeches to society, and then we could teach 'em how to bathe properly for job interviews.

                I love the teabaggers!  They make bloggin' fun!


                            " Karrar"  unmanned Iranian plane
           If Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ever needs a job after his current gig as Iranian Poobah runs out, he can always come to America and help name political action committees for the Republicans.
           Yesterday Ahmadinejad unveiled Iran's first domestically built unmanned aircraft, named the "Karrar" (striker in Farsi) capable of carrying four cruise missiles.  He called the new bomber the Ambassador of Death for Iran's enemies... then said it "has a message of peace and friendship."  That message must be hidden inside, like the prize in a box of Jacker Jacks.
            Whenever you read about some new group calling itself the Save the Earth Foundation or Puppies and Kittens R Us you can bet your ass they're really for clear cutting, mountaintop removal, puppy and kitten grindin' smog machines.  The happy names keep the public at bay...
             The Ambassador of Death missile is for Peace and Friendship...
             Shoot, now it sounds so nice I want one, too...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A SQUATLO STORY: NUMBER FIFTEEN "NUN SHALL PASS!" ("I have no quarrel with thee, good sir knight...")

         Back when I was but a mere lad (Squatty) I was routinely held hostage for two weeks of every summer by a group of bitter, vindictive old bags in flowing black habits and beads.  The nuns would descend upon our little church for summer school and the parents of the church's youngsters would dutifully deliver their kids to them for some serious fire and brimstonin'...
          I have already written about my experiences as an altar boy at said church, but this was an entirely different episode in my life's story.  The nuns who would come to our church to teach Bible school every summer were without a doubt the most horrible, repressed, and intolerant women on earth.  They saw their mission in life as a two week opportunity to beat the public schooling out of us, and they were good at what they did.  We were terrified of those old women, ask anyone.
          On one particularly hot morning in the basement of The Blessed Sacrament Church I was afflicted with a terminal case of the giggles, and nothing short of strangulation could have cured me at that time.  One of the nuns (actually, the biggest and most horrible of them all) barked at me with the word, "SILENCE!" and for whatever reason I found this to be even funnier than what had originally started the giggles.
           She stormed toward the table where I was seated and threw a tiny Bible at me, hitting me dead in the chest from about twenty feet away.  The little Bibles were part of our summer education, and it was considered sacrilege to handle one with anything less than reverence... But I guess if you're a sixty year old woman who's never been laid you have your own set of rules about book etiquette.
            Not many people can say they made a nun so mad she hit them with a thrown Bible...

PAYBACK IS HELL (Wikileaks founder accused of rape/molestation...)

          Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

        I was wondering how long it would take before the axe fell on Mr. Assange.  You don't pull on Superman's cape, you don't spit into the wind, you don't pull the mask off the ol' Lone Ranger, and you don't mess around with The Pentagon.
        On the heels of Wikileaks' release of 77,000 secret documents from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and just before the impending release of 15,000 more documents, Julian Assange is reportedly being sought by Swedish authorities on suspicion of rape and molestation.
         Since Assange was applying for Swedish citizenship to avoid the wrath of the Pentagon, it makes sense to have him charged with an offense by the Swedes.
         This reeks, folks... might be wrong about it, and he might be guilty as hell, but from here it looks like bogus charges are being drummed up to silence this pain in the ass before he can release any more damaging documents.
          So far there have been no official confirmations from the Swedish police, only a tabloid mag's headline that Assange was wanted for rape and molestation. 
           Sure is convenient timing for this kind of smear, isn't it?

Friday, August 20, 2010

POT CROP GUARDED BY BEARS (how badly do you want to get high, buddy?)

         Bet there weren't many people out there trying to steal this guy's crop...
Police were reluctant to approach a field of pot plants because the owner had trained bears to guard the crop.
          Stoner Bears.  An excellent name for an alt-rock group!

YET ANOTHER MRI... (it ain't easy bein' me...)

                  Nothing I like better than lying still inside a magnetic field so strong it would pull staples out of a fencepost...

SEEDS OF RELIGION FROM MOM AND DAD (Rev. Graham holds forth on seeding the kids)

                                                    Reverend Franklin Graham

           Betcha didn't know it, but you were born into a specific religion, whether you like it or not.
The son of Billy Graham has weighed in on the question of Barack Obama's religious affiliation, and his theory of how we come to belong to certain religions is, well, interesting, to say the least.
           According to Franklin Graham, it's all about the seeds.  The seeds of Islam, says the good Rev, are passed down through the father.  The seeds of Judaism come from mom's side of the seed bag.  When asked if he believed Barack Obama to be Muslim, Reverend Graham said the problem was that Obama was "born a Muslim" because his father was Muslim, and "the seed is passed through the father."

            But he's willing to take Obama's word on the conversion to Christianity.  Good to know.

            I took a genetics course in college and did very poorly, so I'm not sure how this "seed" thing applies to the "gene" thing we studied.  I've got a question I'd love to hear the Reverend explain:  What religion does a newborn have if the father was Muslim and the mother was Jewish?
            I guess the Mormon seed must be passed down through an uncle or something...

PHOTOSHOP FOR DUMMIES: Endorsement photo "tweaked" a bit...

                                                     Coach Saban and various women...

            I guess if you're trying to get elected in the state of Alabama having the support of the University of Alabama's football coach might go a long way toward giving you an edge in the race.
            Unfortunately for Bessemer, Alabama mayoral candidate Dorothy Davidson, she's gone to some trouble to get that campaign photo she needs... and trouble might be on its way to her doorstep.
            Davidson claims that she received Nick Saban's endorsement three weeks ago.  A University of Alabama athletic department spokesman says Saban never endorsed anyone.  So how'd Dorothy Davidson end up standing next to Nick Saban in her campaign photo?
             Turns out the original photo (taken in 2007) was of Nick Saban and his wife.  The campaign photo of Saban standing next to Dorothy Davidson was more "created" more recently...



Thursday, August 19, 2010


        Is it just me, or does it seem like every time you turn around now you get hit in the face with some mosque/muslim controversy?
        Local officials here in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, have been trying to tamp down the out of town rhetoric concerning the construction of a proposed mosque in my neighborhood.  It was on the front burners for a while because some teabagger political candidates needed an issue to get their names in the paper, but now that the election is over and those candidates have been defeated we can get back to normal around here, right?
         Wrong... Pat Robertson, the reality impaired host of the 700 Club, decided to weigh in with his two cents worth on the issue, and basically called into question the ethics of our city and county's elected officials.  Pat and his co-host made a few comments about how easy it would be to buy off a small town politician in order to get a building permit for a mosque, and that isn't sitting too well with Murfreesboro Mayor Ernest Burgess.
          Here's a transcript of part of the banter between old Pat and his co-host:

"Are you telling me that 200 people in Murfreesboro, Tenn., are able to raise millions of dollars to build that facility?” said co-host Terry Anne Meeuwsen.

“Imagine what $10,000 does to a small, local politician in a small, local town?” said Robertson.

“Obviously a lot,” said Meeuwsen.

“You can corrupt them with $200,000 or $300,000 I understand, in some areas," said Robertson.

                Murfreesboro Mayor Burgess begs to differ:

"There was indication that these people down here in Murfreesboro would be willing to accept a bribe. I really think that is really ridiculous and absurd. I have a lot of other words: condescending, disgraceful, judgmental and even slanderous," said Rutherford County Mayor Ernest Burgess.

               The last time I had something to write about Pat Robertson was when he was blaming Haiti's earthquake on a secret pact Haiti had with the devil.
               He was making more sense when he talked about earthquakes.
               What a douche...

QURAN BURNING TO GO ON, RAIN OR SHINE! (church plans to burn holy books without a permit on 9/11 anniversary)

          The Dove World Outreach Center of Gainesville is planning a book burning for the anniversary of 9/11, and they plan to go forward with their little conflagration despite the city's claim that they have no permit to burn anything...
           Burning books has never been a good idea.  Burning albums and CDs sucks, too, just ask the Dixie Chicks.  Burning crosses has long been considered a little "out there" too... What's next?  Burning heretics?
            The church holding this little bonfire lists ten reasons why the Quran needs to be burned, and one of them (I shit you not) is because Islamic teachings foment an "irrational fear and loathing of the west."
            Why, what's to fear here?  We'll let you come to our shores, build your churches or temples anywhere you please, and you are guaranteed to have the freedom to practice your religion in any manner that suits you, right?  Right?
             We're not like those "other" countries, we're tolerant.  That's why we're burning your holy book, Abdul.  Toss another rack of books on the fire while you're up. 
             What better way to celebrate America's freedom of religious expression than by burning the holy book of a religion we won't tolerate?
              Kumbaya will be sung as the embers die down, bring the kids.

IT'S FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE! (crippled photographer's shots from middle school game)

          This has been a painful week for Squatlo... something has shifted in my spinal column, and pain is radiating down my right arm, very reminiscent of the symptoms that led to a lamenectomy about ten years ago.... Whee!
          Anyway, here are a couple of shots from the middle school team's game I covered.

ONE IN THREE REPUBLICANS BELIEVE OBAMA IS A MUSLIM (the other two thought the pollster was from the Census and refused to answer...)

         A recent poll taken by the Pew Research Center finds that 31% of Republicans surveyed believe President Obama is a Muslim.  That number was at 17% in March, but since that time they've been convinced he's actually a Muslim.

          Of course, an inordinate percentage of Republicans also firmly believe to this day that Saddam Hussein attacked us on 9/11, despite all evidence to the contrary.  The same basic percentage of Republicans think the earth is flat, was created less than ten thousand years ago, and that Joan of Arc was Noah's wife.

          See how well informed you could be if you would just tune in to Faux News every night?


         Think Progress is reporting that Roy Blunt (R-Mo) had this video posted on his campaign website until a reporter questioned him about it, then it was pulled from the website and altered.
          When your best campaign issue in Missouri is to somehow link your opponent to the terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center buildings on 9/11, you're hurting for material.
           In this video you hear the words of Blunt's rival for the Senate Robin Carnahan (D-Mo) while the camera pans across the smoldering remains of the Twin Towers...

           There is no bar too low for some folks to slither under.


                                           The Would-Be Senator from Nevada

         Huff'n'Puff Post is reporting that the Sharron Angle most of us are just beginning to laugh at has actually been batshit crazy for quite some time...
          Back in 1992, Angle weighed in on a "controversy" at a local high school by citing religious reasons against the Tonopah High School Muckers switch to black uniform jerseys.  That's right, she cited Biblical scripture to argue against a football team's uniform color change.
           The Parhump Valley Times reporter who covered the debate can't recall specific verses  Angle used to argue that black was an evil color, but remembers that her side prevailed and the Muckers stuck with their traditional red and white color scheme.
            I almost wish Sharron could upset Harry Reid to join the Senate in November... it would be worth it just for the amusement factor.


          NBC news got an exclusive last night, which might reflect more on their friendly treatment of the administration than to any investigative know-how on their part...  We watched as the last U.S. combat troops rolled across the border from Iraq and into Kuwait.  War's over, everyone's packed and headed home, right?
          Not exactly... see, when we drop by to visit, we never leave.  Bill Maher said it best:

                                "We love you long time!"

          Look at the thousands of troops still deployed to Germany, Japan, and Korea.  When did combat operations end in those theaters of action?  Fifty, sixty years ago? 
          We're leaving behind fifty thousand "advisors" in Iraq.   Advisors.  Just in case they need some advice.


        Cricket noises... that's it.  The sum total of Faux News coverage of the million dollar baby the parent company just dropped on the Republican Governors Association doorstep.

         Can we please desist with the "Fair and Balanced" horseshit, at long last?  Jon Stewart said it best last night on The Daily Show... "The Republican party should be paying Faux News, not the other way around."

         Can you imagine the racket Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity would be raising if MSNBC donated a million dollars to the Democratic Governors Association?  They would be screaming between every commercial for Goldline...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


                 Julianna Margulies shown in "blowing up" mode...

          Huff'n'Puff Dot Com is having a tough time coming up with hard news, apparently... Accompanying this photo of actress Julianna Margulies (and you know they had to search long and hard to find an appropriate pose for their story) is a blurb about an interview with the Associated Press in which she "blows up" after a question about an oral sex scene in her show "The Good Wife."
           For some reason, I found my libido making connections between the headline (blows up), this photo, and a question about oral sex...
           Must be August, when anything passes as news...


        I was going to post a shot of Ann Coulter here, but because her skeletal visage frightens children I will refrain and just assume everyone knows what the ass-end of a skinny cow looks like...
        Recently, news broke that Coulter would be giving a speech before an ultra-conservative gay Republican group called GOProud.  Given Coulter's shaky past with gay issues, the whole idea of her speaking to an assembled group of conservative gays raised eyebrows.  (Not Coulter's eyebrows, obviously... they're botoxed into a perpetual sneer)  What were those Homocon people thinking when they invited Coulter?  That would be like inviting Don Rickles to emcee an event at a stutterers convention...
         Whatever the GOProud member's motives in asking Coulter to speak (I suspect masochism, but have not confirmed) it has, nonetheless, been noted by an organization called WND, and they no longer want Coulter as a speaker at their upcoming event.  World Net Daily CEO Joseph Farah has "uninvited" Ann Coulter because she's obviously too liberal for their standards.

"Ultimately, as a matter of principle, it would not make sense for us to have Ann speak to a conference about 'taking America back' when she clearly does not recognize that the ideals to be espoused there simply do not include the radical and very 'unconservative' agenda represented by GOProud," said Mr. Farah.

           When informed that her services would no longer be needed, Coulter shrugged it off by saying she didn't care one way or the other, and besides, the WND people were "...nuts on the birther thing."

            So let's set the table one more time:  Coulter enjoys a fabulous empire because she's able to rant and rave about any outrageous thing that falls out of her brain's attic.  She's often been homophobic and cruel in her criticisms of the gay community, which in turn, qualifies her to speak before a gay conservative group.  Agreeing to speak to a gay conservative group gets her fired from another conservative group's agenda, and as a parting shot she calls them "nuts on the birther thing."
             Aren't Republicans fun to watch?

THE FOUR MOSQUETEERS: Intolerance has a home on the American Right

             A day or two ago I wrote that the blowback from President Obama's support for the Cordoba House near Ground Zero would be severe and noisy... and here it comes.
             Rush Limbaugh (you can always count on the biggest sack of shit to make the biggest stink) called our President "Imam Obama."
             Florida's GOP candidate for governor Rick Scott called the Cordoba House "Obama's Mosque" in a campaign video.
             Noot Gingrich compared the mosque at Ground Zero to a swastika at the door of the Holocaust Museum.
             And now a Tea Bagger candidate for the House of Reprehensibles 22nd District of Florida has gone off on the whole concept of religious tolerance, saying the bumper sticker that spells out the word "COEXIST" with little religious symbols pisses him off...
              Allen West is running as a Republican, and here's the little bumper sticker that makes him angry.

      “[A]s I was driving up here today, I saw that bumper sticker that absolutely incenses me. It’s not the Obama bumper sticker. But it’s the bumper sticker that says, ‘Co-exist.’ And it has all the little religious symbols on it. And the reason why I get upset, and every time I see one of those bumper stickers, I look at the person inside that is driving. Because that person represents something that would give away our country. Would give away who we are, our rights and freedoms and liberties because they are afraid to stand up and confront that which is the antithesis, anathema of who we are. The liberties that we want to enjoy.”
                 Mr. West resigned from the military after the tactics he used during a detainee interrogation were being investigated.
                 Guess he doesn't get the whole "kumbaya" thing...


                                                 Dr. Laura Schlessinger feeling wonderfulness...

          I only listened to this cold-hearted witch's radio program one time, but it was enough for me to know a cruel bitch when I hear one.
          A pregnant sixteen year old girl called in and was in tears telling the good "doctor" how tough it was for her, being ostrasized by friends and family, and basically going through this horrible period in her life all alone.  Instead of helping this child feel hopeful about her future, the good doctor spent ten minutes railing about her idiotic behavior that led to the pregnancy.  I turned off the radio and thought to myself, "Who the hell is this woman?!"
          She's been in the news a lot lately, for it seems her mouth has finally caught up with her feet, and inhaled them both.  On her syndicated radio show she used the "N" word eleven times, excusing that vulgarity by saying she hears black men rapping the word all the time...  A day later she apologized for her on-air rant, but did her best to paint herself as the victim of some kind of reverse racism.
           Among Dr. Schlessinger's best selling books is one entitled "Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives."
            I think the final count was eleven, doc...
             She's not going anywhere.  She's just getting off the air so she can say what she REALLY thinks about things.  Freedom of speechy will soon follow.  Wouldn't it be nice if instead of right wing applause she heard the sound of crickets?
              Now, if we could only get Limbaugh and Hannity to go off on a similar rant...