SLIDESHOW EXPLANATION

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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

STONED ATHLETES? PERFORMANCE DEBILITATING DRUGS SHOULD HAVE THEIR OWN OLYMPICS! (Eddie Izzard clip and a related news item)



        Page two of today's Nashville Tennessean's Local & State section (which usually consists of three paragraphs of local/state news, followed by two pages of obituaries and a page or two of automobile ads) has an interesting story concerning a group of Hunters Lane High School football players who are facing expulsion from school for allegedly smoking pot prior to their team's game against Hendersonville High.
        Ten players, mostly juniors and seniors, have been suspended pending the completion of the investigation under the state's zero tolerance policy for drug usage.  Apparently, these young athletes decided to toke up before one of the biggest games of their season, because, as we all know, marijuana gives the aspiring athlete oh-so-much of an advantage in hand-eye coordination and mental acuity.
         Hunters Lane lost the game 38-zippo, but got a huge head start on the post game celebration.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

SENATE GOP BLOCKS MEASURE TO ALLOW SUBPOENA POWERS IN BP INVESTIGATION




         If you need any further proof that the Republican Party in the Senate is eternally beholden to Big Oil and Halliburton, witness this video and realize that a similar measure passed in the House of Reprehensibles by a vote of 420-1. 
         The teabaggers who want to strut around the street with their funny hats and signs will march to the polls in November to vote overwhelmingly to support the party that will never have their best interests at heart.  If you watched the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and think British Petroleum owes us a complete explanation for their actions, both prior to the disaster and after the spill, watch now as Senate Republicans use parliamentary procedure to block a measure that would allow the Presidential Commission subpoena powers in their investigation.
           You won't see this on the evening news.  You won't hear them bragging about it on Faux News.  It's what Republicans do to protect their well-heeled buddies in the oil industry, and they couldn't care less what the victims in the Gulf think of their tactics.

DEATH ROW INMATE'S EXECUTION POSTPONED DUE TO SUICIDE ATTEMPT (had to patch him up to kill him, you see...)

          Right up front I should admit that I find capital punishment barbaric and immoral... and that being said, I can think of about fifty individuals walking around on this planet who don't deserve another breath of air.  But the story of the execution of Brandon Rhode in Jackson, Georgia, is worth reading, if for no other reason than the surreal oddity of the event itself.
           Brandon and a co-conspirator broke into a family's home back in 1998 in a burglary attempt, and while there murdered a man and two of his children.  Both men were tried and convicted of the murders, and both were sentenced to death for the crime.  Rhode's burglary buddy is still on death row in Georgia, and I'm sure they've passed word along to him about the details of Brandon's final days.
           Brandon Rhode was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Sept. 21st, but on the day of his planned execution he slashed his wrists and throat with a razor he had hidden from the guards.  Heroic measures were taken to save his life, and his attorney says Rhode lost half his blood in the suicide attempt.  To keep him from ripping out his sutures or otherwise harming himself, Brandon Rhodes was strapped to a chair until last night when his execution was carried out.
            According to the report from the execution chamber, it took them 30 minutes to find a vein in Brandon Rhode's arm for the lethal injection.  It took another 14 minutes for the lethal combination of poisons to actually take effect and kill the prisoner, during which time his eyes were darting around the room in panic.
             Before anyone shoots me a message or comment asking me how long his victims had to look around before their murders, spare me the righteous indignation and I'll give my "delete" button one less thing to do today.  I'm pretty sure Brandon Rhode earned his day on the gurney.  Yet I'm far from convinced that the methods used or the practice of state sponsored murder have any place in an enlightened society.
              I'm wondering how long it takes to stone a person to death for a crime in Iran... think it takes them 30 minutes to find rocks, and fourteen more to bounce one off of a condemned prisoner's skull?
Wouldn't it have made more sense to simply let Brandon Rhode bleed out when he tried to off himself with a razor?
              If he'd needed a new kidney because of the loss of blood from the suicide attempt, would he have been placed on the organ transplant list prior to his execution?  After all, it would be inhumane to let the guy suffer needlessly before we murder his ass, right?
              I don't have answers for any of these questions, and certainly don't claim any moral high ground in the capital punishment debate.  If he had murdered a relative of mine and their kids I would probably have saved the state a lot of money, ala "A Time To Kill."  But this is just one more example of how botched and barbaric the current system is, in my humble opinion.  I don't think we have any moral standing to condemn third world pissholes for their own barbaric methods of execution when our own are handled this poorly.
              
              In a related story, today's Nashville Tennessean contains an Associated Press article that claims some executions in the U.S. have been put on hold because of a shortage of one of the drugs used in the lethal combination.  Apparently, sodium thiopental is in short supply nationwide.  Tennessee prison officials are reassuring the public, saying we have plenty here in the Volunteer State for the executions we have on schedule.
               If they can't find any sodium thiopental, they could always use rocks...

Monday, September 27, 2010

A PENNY SAVED IS A WASTE OF TIME (best video rant I've seen in quite a while...)

OWNER OF SEGWAY COMPANY DIES IN TRAGIC SEGWAY ACCIDENT (stop laughing, this is serious...)

     Reports from the BBC indicate that Jimi Heselden, the owner of the company that markets and sells the personal transportation Segway vehicle has been found dead from an apparent Segway accident.
      I read this report fully expecting to find it was a product of those guys at The Onion, but it's legit.  The multi-millionaire who had reportedly given over 23 million British pounds to charity over the years was apparently driving a Segway device around his property grounds and somehow lost control and fell to his death from a cliff.  Police found a Segway at the top of the rocks, and Mr. Heselden below.
      

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"ATLAS SHRUGGED" AS THE "I, ME, MINE" TEMPLATE (conservatives and their reality denial)

         My wife has great friends.  In fact, in most cases, I prefer her friends to most of my own (with a few notable exceptions that go back to my high school daze)...
         But without exception, my wife'sfriends are conservatives.  I can get along with anyone, and usually do, despite a lot of lip-biting moments when I find myself vastly outnumbered and unwilling to ruin a great afternoon among (otherwise) beautiful people and their kids... but we avoid political discussions because I have a low threshold for rightwing bullshit.
          Recently, the husband of one of my wife's best friends offered to send home a copy of "Atlas Shrugged" for me to check out, as if exposure to Ayn Rand's trickle down theory of self-reliance might bring me around to a more reasonable train of thought.  She let me know the offer was made in good faith and not meant as a deliberate provocation.
           Tonight I happened to be listening to NPR's "This American Life", like we liberals often do when we're not out hugging trees or saving whales, and one portion of tonight's broadcast was devoted to a story concerning the angst Wall Street stock traders felt toward the current administration's economic policies.  The traders being interviewed for the story seemed all in favor of privatized profits and socialized risk, deriding the recent Wall Street bailouts while enjoying one of the most profitable years in their industry's history.  It seems the current rave among the Wall Street sect is to bemoan everything the Obama administration is doing to protect their interests, while demonizing the man for saving their very jobs and livelihood.
           To those on the right, Obama has been a scourge whose only redeeming social value has been to arouse the wrath of the bigots and mentally challenged who will flock to the polls in November to vote for the teabaggers and frightened Republicans who will carry through on their threats to undo everything the man has accomplished while in office. 
            Those of us who voted for Obama, while deeply disappointed in his abject failure to follow through on promises to provide nationalized health care, end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and close the American gulag at Quantanamo, will dutifully go to the vote in the unenthusiastic manner of those being forced to perform unpleasant tasks... But we'll vote. 
            Hopefully, enough of sound mind and steady heart will show up to keep the nation from being overrun by modern day Neanderthals determined to take us back to the dark ages of our nation's shameful past. 
             Hopefully...    And maybe Ayn Rand's tome of greed and selfishness will find its way back to the dusty shelves from which it was drawn.
           

Friday, September 24, 2010

"PULPIT FREEDON SUNDAY" SHOULD RESULT IN "PULPIT PAYER TAXDAY" ON APRIL 15TH (tax exempt status flaunted by area churches)

           If you've followed my rants and raves over the past six months you know I don't have a kind word to say about organized religion.  I have many friends whose lives have been blessed by their faith and to whom church is one of the most important facets of their lives, and I mean no disrespect to their devoted attitudes toward their faith.  On the other hand, I can take a step back from the pew kneeler and recognize when damage is done in the name of God, and have no qualms about holding forth on hypocrisy and lunacy when I see fit to comment.
            Today's Nashville Tennessean has a prominent story (top of the front page) entitled "Pastors will 'bait' IRS with pulpit politics" detailing the nationwide plan by 100 ministers to use this Sunday's pulpit as a platform for political endorsements.  According to this story, only one church has ever been stripped of its tax exempt status for violating the IRS code forbidding endorsements and partisan political activities, a law that has been on the books for over 60 years.  Churches are allowed to mobilize voter registration drives, moderate forums on political issues, and serve luke warm potato salad to visiting politicians without fear of penalty.  But they are threatened with the loss of their tax exempt status if they endorse candidates or encourage their congregations to vote for or against specific reforendums.
             I belonged to a labor union for the vast majority of my thirty-five year career as a truck tire building drone, and labor unions enjoy many of the same tax benefits afforded to churches.  They can mobilize voter registration, but aren't allowed to officially endorse political candidates... which they routinely do.  Labor is one of the Democratic Party's most loyal and dependable allies, and every voting cycle labor mobilizes tens of thousands of activists willing to knock on doors, man phone banks, and do the groundwork that only hands-on volunteers can do.  But when a union president tells his membership whom to vote for on election day, he's basically violating the same tax exempt codes these ministers will be flaunting on Sunday, and should pay the same penalty.
             In an economy as strapped as this one, any organization willing to publicly announce their intent to deliberately violate a law that could result in revocation of that organization's tax exempt status should be welcomed with open ledgers by the IRS, and I encourage the feds to have folks on hand to document the violations.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

DECLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS PROVE BUSH ADMINISTRATION PLOTTED IRAQ WAR LONG BEFORE INVASION

         I remember reading Richard Clarke's "Against All Enemies" a few years ago and coming away with the distinct impression that the Bush administration had cherry picked evidence to support an invasion of Sadaam Hussein's Iraq, and had in fact ordered him to "find" a link between Iraq and the attacks of 9/11.
         Newly declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act now show the Bushtapo plotted the invasion, the strategic methods to be used during the conflict, and the aftermath of the war long before any evidence was found to support a pre-emptive attack on Iraq.  As a matter of fact, British documents suggest the Bush team offered possible scenarios for which an invasion might be plausibly justifiable, including Sadaam attacking the Kurds in the north of Iraq, the discovery of a 9/11 connection, or a dispute over WMD inspections.
          The British documents also show that they intended to follow the United States' lead in Iraq, despite qualms that it might stir up domestic trouble with the British Muslim population.  A few years later British Muslims did indeed bomb targets in London.
           The Bush administration came into office with the intent to foment regime change in Iraq, hell or high water, and the attacks of 9/11 gave them the public paranoia and fear necessary to make that invasion happen.  Everything since has been based upon lies created to justify that regime change.  The deaths of thousands of our soldiers and contractors, the deaths of untold hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women, and children, the trillions of dollars of wasted national treasure, and the neverending debt to be incurred by the surviving vets returning from that conflict damaged in both physical and mental health.
            When will we see the perpetrators of this illegal war punished?  When will they face charges for their crimes against humanity?
             Don't hold your breath.  We don't punish our own for having instigated senseless slaughter, because that condemnation would reach too deeply into the Country Club elite's membership.  They've taken their Presidential Medals of Freedom and their book deals and are happily sipping 12 year old Scotch behind guarded gates.
              I'd like to see them behind guarded gates, but with us being guarded from them, instead of the other way around.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL, DON'T BELIEVE, DON'T THINK (Al Franken's tearful response to our failure to repeal DADT)



         I hope I live long enough to see the day when our current societal prejudice against the gay community is remembered for the shameful stain on our national history that it is... but ignorance and intolerance are harder to weed out than kudzu and chiggers.
         You would think that in today's world, with the majority of the American public voicing the opinion that Don't Ask, Don't Tell needs to be repealed, we could get this done without having to listen to a pop star in a meat suit as the policy's most vocal critic.  You'd think we could simply look at the law and say, "What?  That shit's still on the books?  What the fuck!  Hell no, it's not!" 
          You would think that a president who campaigned on the promise to force that measure's repeal would have the balls to (at the very damn least) issue an executive order to prevent the military from expelling any more qualified, capable members because of this law until the multi-departmental studies of its repeal's effect on our military's capabilities have been completed.
           But no, we have to pull parliamentary procedural schemes to limit debate, toss the repeal in with the entire military funding measure, then hope enough clear thinking men and women of conscience are willing to step forward and do the right thing.  And there aren't enough of those people representing us in Washington today.
            I have no horse in this race, but am ashamed of our government, and utterly disappointed in my president.  Political expediency and electoral fear trump actual courage in today's Washington environment, and a shameful period in our nation's history is prolonged.

A SQUATLO STORY: NUMBER FIFTEEN (my biking experiences and serving to entertain those stuck in traffic...)

     
       

           My relationship with bicycles is a long, sordid tale of joy, betrayal, and bloody pain, and might explain why I no longer own one and haven't actually ridden a bike in years.  I love them, but they obviously don't love me.
          One of my first memorable Christmas's was the year I received a ten speed English racing bike, back when those were the rage, circa mid-sixties.  The saga of the Red Rider BB Gun in "Christmas Story" has nothing on my scheming desires to own one of those bikes, and getting one after being warned that we were having a "little" Christmas that year and not to expect much made it even sweeter.   Trouble started early, as it became evident that I was too short to actually get on my new ten speed English racer without standing on a cinder block or some other step to help my short ass get over the nut-cracker bar in front of the seat.
           But I mastered the fine art of finding suitable elevation for my takeoffs, and landings were a piece of cake:  I'd just slow down with those new- fangled caliper brakes and at the point when momentum began to yield to gravity I would merely put down my right foot and let the bike fall to that side.  Voila!  It wasn't until one of my older sisters showed me what those peddle straps were for that this method failed to achieve a painless dismount.  On that particular day, with both feet firmly clamped into place on the peddles I found I could reach much faster speeds due to the secure footing, but was alarmed to find my usual "stick out your right leg and catch yourself" method of stopping the bike was no longer possible.  I'm sure my sister still chuckles about that nefarious prank, as she does so many others.
            But I digress... The ten speed English racer was the vehicle I crashed in my bloodiest mishap about two years later, when I took a sharp turn at warp speed only to be rammed from the blind side by a charging collie that was chasing me.  My left eyebrow was the first thing to find the pavement, and the ten speed English racer AND yelping collie both landed on my back as I slid down the hill into the gravel on the side of the road.  I had to push the bike back home because the dog had knocked the chain off of the derailleur gears, and because I was bleeding like a stuck hog from the eye.
              My dad was drinking beer on the front porch steps when I came stumbling up the road, and to his credit it's one of the only times I remember him looking seriously concerned for my well-being.  Apparently, the sight of your son's blood covered face and tee shirt can make even the most cynical curmudgeon put down a brew to check out the damages.  He even helped me put the chain back on so I could go back down the same hill an hour later.  The dog was nowhere to be seen, having suffered about as much damage as the idiot on the bike he had submarined.
              But that's not the Squatlo Story I wanted to tell... the worst biking disaster, from a humiliation standpoint, occurred in Dayton, Ohio, about five years later.  I had gone there to live with my sister and her husband for the summer in order to find gainful employment and to put some space between my dad and myself.  My brother-in-law had a beautiful English racer with the very narrow wheels and curled racing handlebars, and he had no problem with me borrowing the bike.
              On one particularly hot day, I took the bike on a long ride toward the only retail market within riding distance, probably to spend my last two dollars on something useless, as is my wont.  I was trying to ride on the side of the street and not in traffic, because in those days it was considered insane to be on a bike in traffic.  Now, you have to patiently tool along behind bikers wearing spandex and those ridiculous "Alien" helmets that strap on the top of their heads like aerodynamic vertical stabilizers.
              So I was peddling down this busy street beside the sidewalk, basically riding in the gutter alongside the highway.  Traffic began to slow, then stopped completely as the redlights had cars lined up bumper to bumper for about half a mile.  Feeling way superior to those dolts in their smelly automobiles, I picked up the pace and began to smile as I flew past all of the stopped cars toward the approaching intersection. 
              It was at about this point that I found and hit one of those rain grates that has slots cut in it to allow storm water runoff to drain from the highway.  Only this storm grate wasn't structured with the slots running perpendicular to the traffic, they were parallel to the road.  Guess what fits just perfectly into a parallel storm grate's slots?  Little skinny ten speed English racer tires.
              I was probably doing about twenty five MPH when the bike slammed down into the storm grate, sending me scrotum first into the handlebars and then over said handlebars and onto the pavement on my back.  A perfect flip of about 270 degrees, from face forward vertical to face up horizontal.  Unlike my collision with the collie, the bike didn't fall on me.  It was wedged quite firmly into the storm grate, as if for the benefit of those folks watching from nearby cars who hadn't actually seen the wreck, so that they might immediately deduce what had just happened.
             To their credit, most of the people in the nearby cars rolled down windows to ask if I was okay, and despite having just racked myself on a curled racing bike handlebar I did my best to smile and assure them that I was perfectly fine, do this all the time, nothing to see here, move along... while I yanked the bike out of the storm grate.
               In an effort to save some shred of dignity I immediately climbed aboard the bike and began to furiously peddle away from anyone who might have seen my trapeze act.  I was riding along trying to breathe again, wondering if I had actually ripped the cods off of my body but not wanting to feel around to check in public when I noticed the red light ahead had traffic at a standstill.  I had powered myself up to a fairly rapid rate of speed in my adrenaline rush to save face and needed to brake for the light. 
            The instant my hand tightened on the caliper brake handle the bike did yet another immediate slamming halt, throwing my already throbbing balls back into the same exact curled racing bike handlebar and sending me back over the handlebars for one more perfect back slap to the pavement.  Only this time the bike DID fall on me.  The cars that had been beside me when I made my first flop were now rolling by, having witness the second one in all its glory, and the same people who had shown genuine concern before were now in absolute hysterics... slapping the dashboard and roaring with laughter.  I swear one guy was on the verge of hyperventilation as he laughed through the passenger side window...
             As soon as I was able to get up again, I quickly discovered the problem... The first crash into the storm grate had bent the front wheel, flaring the metal just enough so that it would catch on the caliper brake pads when they were applied to the wheel.  Instead of gently rubbing along the side of the wheel, the flared wheel simply hit the caliper and slammed to an immediate halt... with every bit as much insistence as if I had hit another grate at full speed.
             I had to push the bike home to my brother-in-law's house, and dad wasn't waiting on the porch to offer sympathic concern.
             It's been a long time since I've been on a bike.  Thinking about getting one.  And an athletic cup.  And maybe one of those faggy Alien hats with the chin straps and spandex.
             Film at eleven...

IF ONLY OBAMA WOULD RENOUNCE LUCIFER, ALL WOULD BE WELL (you can't raise hell without a crank...)

                                     Jerome "Conspiracy-R-Us" Corsi

           Last weekend the king of the wingnutters himself was speaking before a group of like-minded lunatics at the World Net Daily "Taking America Back National Conference" and had something to say that was beyond the pale, even for a batshit crazy son of a bitch like himself.
            Jerome Corsi is what we used to fondly refer to as a "crank" here in America.  We've always had cranks, and usually they served to keep the party lively when things were getting dull during the summer recesses and those rare scandal-free moments in American history.  There would be someone standing before a crowd with a photo purporting to show Eisenhower signing a treaty with an alien from  another galaxy, or maybe they would claim that Jane Fonda was actually a Viet Cong agent assigned to infiltrate Hollywood to make un-American movies...
            Mostly we tolerated the crank element because it's America and you can say any stupid thing you want to say, and say it as loudly and often as you choose.  The only people who CAN'T say really disturbing things in America are the ones who dare to tell the truth.  No chance Jerome Corsi will ever fall victim to that kind of censorship.  He delves only in the fact-free world of conspiracy theories and hate speech.
             Last weekend he was speaking to the choir at this conference, and since he's worn out the birther routine and Swift Boated everyone into a coma, he had to come up with something new and original for his little presentation.  No one would pay to come see him hold forth on the North American Union any more, and if Corsi is anything he's creative.  He told the audience that he'd been paying attention to Barack Obama ever since writing his "Obama Nation" slime-tome, and in all that time he'd never heard Obama denounce Lucifer.
             "I'd like to hear Obama denounce Lucifer." was how he put it, adding "I don't recall hearing him do it."  Which of course means that Lucifer and Obama used to double date, and currently Satan is in the White House embodied by Raum Emanuel or someone close to the throne.
              I've never heard ANYONE denounce Lucifer in a public setting, at least not anyone who wasn't being paid to fleece a congregation or generate call-in cash from the televised evangelical broadcast audience.  Does that mean we're ALL in league with Satan?  Or is this just something that Obama needs to do in order to reassure us all that he's not secretly paving the road to hell with the national treasury's gold.
              Corsi's a piece of work.  If you've ever heard him holding forth on radio talkies with G. Gordon Gasbag or Rush to Limbaugh you know how convincing he can sound, citing his facts and referring to obscure documentation as he spews his venomous horseshit.  But he's exactly what the vast ignorant masses in America yearn for when they look for ammunition with which to bash a guy like Obama- arrogantly holding an office that is, by god, meant for wealthy, older, white guys with fraternity brothers and country club golfers in his cabinet.  We'll never get back to Mayberry, USA as long as THAT guy is running things...  Besides, he's never denounced Lucifer in public, that heretic!
               Personally, I like stories like this.  Somewhere someone is clipping out the article from that conference and taping it to his crowded bulletin board along with the pictures of Eisenhower and the alien and Jane Fonda straddling an anti-aircraft gun in North Vietnam.
               And the beat goes on...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

WANNA BURN A COPY OF THE QURAN? HERE'S HOW IT'S DONE, RISK AND CONTROVERSY FREE...

           Thanks to "Brain Rage" for this one (if you haven't followed Brain Rage, find it listed on the right and go now!  The guy's a wizard, a true star!)

OK, GO (with the best dog choreography since Rumba Dog...)



          

FIFTH? WE'RE FIFTH IN THE NATION? C'MON GUYS, WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS! (go ahead, honey, tell him off again!)

       According to data provided in the new Violence Policy Center report "When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2008 Homicide Data" highlighted in today's Nashville Tennessean, Tennessee ranks fifth in the nation in women killed by men.  Twelve times as many women were killed by men they were familiar with than by strangers, nationally, and 64% of murdered women were the wives or intimate friends of their murderers.
        Nevada led the pack ("You voted for Sharron Angle?  WTF!"), followed by Vermont (maple syrup fumes?,) Alabama (well, now, that makes sense... have you met a woman from Alabama? Or for that matter, have you met ANYONE from Alabama?) and North Carolina (no joke, here... lovely state...)
         But Tennessee?  Where the women are beautiful, hospitable, and most of them have their own teeth?  I don't get it...
          Here's what I don't get:  Why do we keep coming in second or third or fifth in all of these horrible lists?  If we're going to be ranked that high, why not grab for the gusto and take home the blue ribbon?  There has to be some kind of federal fund waiting for the winning state, right?  A domestic violence policy committee with a few billion to toss at the worst offenders?  We could use the cash!
           Okay, instead of just bitching about our "close but no cigar" finishes in all of these OMG studies, I suggest we start a new public initiative here in the Volunteer State.  No longer will we be "nearly" the most obese state in the union, or damn-near the worst in national graduation rates, or have the second worst adult literacy in the country.  We're going to have to make this a priority, set up a commission to study the most likely candidates for failure in all of these categories and encourage their destructive behavior with cash incentives or discounts at area Walmart SuperCenters. 
             I nominate former Senator Fred Thompson to lead a blue-ribbon commission to study this problem and come up with solutions that will push us right over the top in all the bad races.  Fred's been an attorney, so he knows the law, and he's played a District Attorney on television for years ("Bonk Bonk".)
             Get 'em, Fred.  Get us to the top, dude.  We're countin' on you... those of us who can count.
       

Monday, September 20, 2010

MURFREESBORO MOSQUE OPPONENT SETS WORLD RECORD FOR RACE-CARD-PLAYING ("Hi, Kevin" constitutes racial harassment in Kevin's World)



       I've written too many blog posts about the proposed mosque here in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, but as much as I'd like to move along and find another dead horse to kick, this one just keeps begging for another lick or two.
       The rotund gentleman with the twitchy cell-phone finger is one Kevin Fisher.  Since this mosque was first proposed, Mr. Fisher has been in front of the cameras leading marches and rallies against its construction.  I attended one rally to confront Fisher on behalf of those of us who support religious freedom and the 1st Amendment to the Constitution, and heard Kevin Fisher insist that his opposition to the mosque had nothing to do with religion or anti-Islamic sentiment- while standing amid signs painted with the most anti-Islamic quotations you can imagine.  He has filed a lawsuit against county officials, who by all accounts have followed the letter of the law in approving the mosque's construction.
        When a documentary filmmaker named Eric Allen Bell walked up to Mr. Fisher at a Tea Party "Constitution Day" rally and said the words "Hi Kevin," Fisher responded with "You're racially harassing me.  Leave me alone." and walked away.  After another very brief "confrontation" Fisher can be seen on film talking to a police dispatcher, claiming he was the "only African American around" and that he was being "oppressed."
          I'm not sure what part of "Hi, Kevin" constitutes racial harassment in Kevin Fisher's world, but I'm in the dark about most of the man's motivations.  He was photographed being carried off on an ambulance stretcher following the film clip, claiming to have suffered heart trouble from the incident.
           This guy's a piece of work. 

HYPOCRISY ON DISPLAY HERE IN THE VOLUNTEER STATE (he's a real corker...)

                                         Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) with our apologies...

              I've written about Senator Bob before, and best I can remember it wasn't the most flattering article the guy has in his portfolio... but this one will probably be slightly less favorable.
              Back when GM and the other domestic auto manufacturers were appearing before his committee in the Senate, Corker made quite a show of asking the "hard" questions.  You remember the hard questions?  Mostly they concerned the mode of transportation those corporate executives had used to get to the committee hearing.  When each responded that they'd flown to the hearings on company jets, they were scolded for asking for bailouts while wasting company funds on aircraft when much cheaper airline tickets were available.
               Senator Bob's a Republican, and like most Republican Senators, he's quite wealthy.  I doubt he's smelled the interior of a commercial airliner in decades... but that doesn't mean he can't chide beggars when they come calling with caviar on their lapels.  He made quite a show, grandstanding in front of the cameras, and in the end voted against saving the domestic automobile industry.  At the same time those negotiations were inching forward, Bob Corker was doing his best to recruit a foreign automobile factory to his hometown of Chattanooga.  The new VW plant there is a model for modern manufacturing, and Senator Bob will gladly tell you how much work he put into making sure that plant landed in his district.
              Along the way, he managed to scold the United Auto Workers for having had the temerity to negotiate favorable labor contracts over the years, contracts that Corker claimed were the reason the American auto business was in peril.  The fact that repeated collective bargaining agreements had been reached between labor and management didn't phase Senator Bob.  Paying career auto workers top dollar to build quality vehicles isn't in Bob Corker's game plan.  In fact, dealing with unions for any purpose strikes Bob as a quaint throwback to an earlier time when such things might have been necessary, but certainly not in today's marketplace.  If Bob Corker had his way, the American worker would toil for Walmart wages and be happy to have a fucking job... without benefits.
               The point for this rant is this (and thanks for hanging with me to get to this point.)  At a recent ceremony in Spring Hill, Tennessee, General Motors was welcoming over 400 new employees back to the former site of the Saturn plant due to a contract made possible by funds secured during those bailout discussions Corker opposed and voted against.  Guess who one of the guest speakers was for that ceremony?  Yep... Senator Bob was there in all his glory.  Not only did he have the balls to speak before members of the autoworkers, he stood there and took credit for the bailout which he had voted against.
              I guess Bob was surprised to find many of them booing his remarks.  Out loud.  To his fucking face.  But then, autoworkers are like that.  Some of them read newspapers, and a few probably tuned into C-Span to hear Corker rail about their extravagant wage and benefit packages.  Of course, if any of them wanted to read about Corker's remarks and the response from the autoworkers in attendance they might have a hard time finding the story in our local papers here in middle Tennessee.  Not a drop of ink was wasted on this story.  I suppose all the drama about Lady Gaga's meat suit just used up too much space.
               Corker's a manipulative prick, and this is yet another example of his hypocrisy in action.  I hope someone makes a video of this speech available soon.

USED ORGAN FOR SALE: (well tempered, tuned, and ready for transplant...)

        A letter to the editor in today's Nashville Tennessean (motto: We Bring You the News of the World, Which Leaves Us a Paragraph for State and Local News and Seventeen Pages for Automobile Advertising) concerns a viable solution to the waiting lists for organ transplants in America.  That letter sent me to Wikipedia for a few facts to dribble around the following blog post, to give the casual reader the impression I know something about which I am a certifiable dunce.  Nonetheless...

         Tens of thousands of people in America and millions worldwide are on organ transplant lists, with many times that number waiting for tissue transplants.  Those in need of kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs, pancreas, intestines, and corneas wait for viable donor candidates to suffer brain or heart death, and then pray those folks were generous enough to have signed donor cards while living.
          Ethical concerns for the free market sale of organs from willing living volunteers are many, and the practice has resulted in a booming medical tourism market for certain foreign destinations for the rich and powerful.  A few of the facts I gleaned while looking up other things:  The United States made the sale of transplantation organs illegal with the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 (Orwell would be proud) while England waited a few years to pass similar legislation.
           But while we might find ethical reasons for not using the poor and middle class as living organ farms for the wealthy, other countries, primarily in the third world, have no such qualms about buying and selling human organs.  In fact, there are villages in Pakistan that are reported to have 40 to 50% of residents living with only one kidney, having sold the other to provide for their family's survival.  In Iran, the only country to legally allow individuals to sell kidneys, the going price for a healthy kidney is $2,000 to $4,000.  (Predictably, the Economist and the Ayn Rand Institute approved this move... free markets are designed to benefit the wealthy, as you know... sniff sniff) 
           Some might argue that a great potential source of unneeded organs might be in the vast prison systems of the world, and China has that market cornered.  According to the Chinese Deputy Minister of Health, 95% of all organs used for transplantation in that country are from condemned prisoners.  Try not to get convicted of anything serious in China would be my advice to those of you tempted to travel there.
            Of course, we wouldn't do such things here in America.  Not that we find the harvesting of viable organs from condemned prisoners unethical, but because we poison their organs with lethal chemicals prior to their deaths.  Sort of ruins the kidney or liver to have it saturated with "nighty-night" meds...
             I don't know what works, but know for certain the vast number of us who take perfectly good organs with us to the graveyard are not helping the situation.  I truly don't understand why more people don't sign organ donor cards... which brings us back to today's letter to the editor.
             This letter writer suggested a solution to the waiting list problem:  Put those who have signed an organ donor card at the front of the line should they ever need an organ transplant, and those who haven't signed a card at the back of the waiting list. 
              That might encourage the selfish to think a little more broadly about the issue, and benefit society in the long term.
               Me?  I'm signed up and ready to donate, but would place a warning caveat on the liver.  I'm seriously working on that organ on a daily basis.
           

        

Sunday, September 19, 2010

WHY DO WE GIVE FOREIGN AID TO PAKISTAN? (a couple of good reasons...)

                                Flood victims in Pakistan

       Whenever budget issues come up and someone starts into a rant about our government giving away our tax dollars to foreign aid, as if keeping it here would change our tax burden or fix our schools, I have to bite my lip to keep from pulling out a soapbox and going on a full-blown rant.
        Pakistan is a great example.  A flood of epic purportions put 20 million people out of their homes.  If you think about a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina and then about how quickly New Orleans descended into chaos and anarchy, you can understand why a fragile national government like Pakistan's might be endangered by this kind of disaster.
         The government there is on life-support, plagued by corruption and infiltrated by our worst enemies.  It is also a nuclear power, poised on the edge by decades of conflict with nuclear armed India.  The people who want nuclear devices for their terrorist goals are making inroads into the government of Pakistan, and should that fragile government fall, they might acquire our worst nightmare.
         If our tax dollars aren't spent wisely here, and if they're going into the wrong hands there, it's still better to TRY to help in this situation, if for no other reason than to protect our own asses.  If you can't find a humanitarian bone in your body, at least cover your own ass by trying to prop up the government that controls the nukes.
          God help those people... I don't think they can help themselves anymore.

"BURN 'ER! SHE'S A WITCH!" CHRISTINE O'DONNELL SKIPS SUNDAY TALKIES AFTER BROOM BREAKS DOWN MID-FLIGHT

         Late breaking news bulletin:  Newly nominated Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell has had to cancel her appearances on the Sunday morning talk show circuit because (take your pick):  A) she was double booked and decided to honor a previous commitment to attend a picnic at home in Delaware. 
B) she was exhausted and needed rest
C) her broom was in the shop and she couldn't get to D.C. in time for the telecasts

        One of my favorite political pundits, Bill Maher, made public footage of a forgotten appearance made by Ms. O'Donnell on one of his "Politically Incorrect" shows from long ago, in which the Tea Party standard bearer from Delaware admitted that as a youngster she had "dabbled" in witchcraft.
        She went on to say that one of her first dates was with a witch "on a satanic altar."
        Now, her campaign is denying that this latest revelation into the wacky world of Christine O'Donnell had anything whatsoever to do with her cancelling her appearances on Faux News and CBS morning talk shows.  Then they proceeded to offer multiple, conflicting excuses for her absences, further muddying an already bizarre story.
         When tossed into the mix along with her strident campaign to outlaw masturbation and a dozen other loony proposals, you have to admit she's been an interesting candidate this fall.  The more I hear about the woman, the more I'm beginning to think she might be fun to watch in Washington on a full time basis.
           Maher has promised to continue offering clips of her many appearances on "Politically Incorrect" unless she appears on his current HBO program "Real Time."  Anyone familiar with Maher knows he'll keep tossing out gems like this until she responds. 
            Bless his heart... I hope he has a vault full of them.
          

Friday, September 17, 2010

BATTLE OF THE 'BORO TONIGHT! (in some parts of the country, football isn't a religion... we call those people "heathens"...)

                  HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE!

         When two of the top three teams in the state are located ten miles apart and both are coming into tonight's game undefeated, my cameras and I have a calling.
          After shooting middle school and high school freshman games earlier this week, tonight's matchup between Oakland and Riverdale promises to be the icing on the cake.  Blogs and politics can wait, this is football!
          I promise to be more politically minded Monday... (Vols and Gators tomorrow, Titans and Steelers Sunday?  Who's got time to worry about teabaggers and lunatics?)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

PALIN TO CHRISTINE O'DONNELL: STICK TO FAUX NEWS, IGNORE REST OF MEDIA

        If you needed any proof that Faux News Channel is viewed by its supporters as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party, look no further than this article in Think Progress today, in which Sarah Palin, a Faux News "contributor" counsels Christine O'Donnell to ignore mainstream media outlets in favor of Faux News.
        Sarah knows her own brand of inane cliche' ridden patriotic platitudes won't fly in any other venue, so she's advising her Delaware Doppelganger to do what she does, stick to Faux alone for her publicity.  They won't ask the tough questions, won't bring up the truly batshit crazy things she's said in the past, and won't delve too deeply into her positions on things she obviously knows nothing at all about.
         When the most watched cable news network on television becomes that blatantly obvious in its political endorsements, to the point where one vacuous bimbo turns to another with the advice to "stick to Fox", well, you know all pretense of "Fair and Balanced" has long ago been sacrificed on the altar of political power.
           Not sure how we've gotten to this point in America, when newsmen like Murrow and Cronkite worked so hard to maintain accurate and balanced reporting.  But this is where we are... a propaganda machine serves as the right's echo chamber, and promotes its own for public office.
            Everyone else can swim upstream against the flood of horseshit streaming from on high.

"NO ROOM FOR MODERATES" IN GOP MIGHT LEAD TO DISASTER FOR COUNTRY, THEN REPUBLICAN PARTY

       Take a little trip with me... those of us who were involved in the presidential campaign of 1972 might remember that at that time of societal upheaval in America, the Vietnam war was the overriding question that divided families, as well as the nation.
        The war had drug on and on, and television was beginning to bring the death and destruction home to the American public in a way no other war had been covered in the past.  College campuses were battlegrounds, with anti-war protesters seizing campus buildings and holding sit-ins, and several states authorized the use of National Guard troops to bring order to their universities and colleges.
         The Democratic Party underwent a severe upheaval.  Anti-war activists forced moderates to the fringes of the party, and Vice President Hubert Humphrey's campaign was defeated by liberal George McGovern's strident promises to end the war in 90 days.  The party basically purged itself of moderate voices and went "all in" on the anti-war movement.  The resultant election defeat to Richard Nixon was one of the most overwhelming landslides in American history.  The war drug on for another two years, Nixon's presidency self-imploded with the Watergate scandal, and America lost a decade due to political infighting.
           What we're seeing today in the Republican Party is very reminiscent of the upheaval Democrats faced in '72.  The Tea Party uprising has sent moderates packing, and only the most strident and unyielding of candidates seem to have a chance at winning their own party nominations.  Here are a few of the quotes from the past week's primary results:

            Former Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer said, "...unfortunately, I found that many within the GOP have rascist views," and "there is no place for moderates in the Republican Party."

            Delaware GOP candidate Christine O'Donnell was opposed by the full force of the Republican Party, but survived her primary by virtue of an endorsement from Sarah Palin and the support of the NRA and Tea Party Express.  She once said, "Too many people are blindly accepting evolution as fact" and "God created the Earth in six days, six 24 hour periods.  And there is just as much, if not more, evidence supporting that."

             Teabagger Carl Paladino won the GOP nomination for Governor of New York despite having sent racist and pornographic emails (beastiality???) to friends during the campaign, and any news interview with this guy turns into a snarling war of words.  He's a piece of work, I promise you, and is probably on course to defeat Cuomo for Governor of the Empire State.

              Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) warned the party that "overly enforcing conservative orthodoxy will only hurt the GOP" and that the Republicans needed to focus on free-market policies and "not on knee-jerk lurches into anarchy."

              Recently elected Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) parlayed Tea Party support for his success, but now warns that there is "no room for moderates" in the Republican Party.

              With Rush, Sean, Michelle, and Sarah all demanding nothing less than snow-white "purity of essence" with their conservative positions, an unyielding ledger of litmus test issues, look for the GOP to find itself more and more isolated and unable to compromise.  That might yield promising results in the short run, given the economy and the restlessness of the electorate, but will bring the party down in future growth and expansion.
               It's not possible to sustain hate, fear, and intolerance as party standards in today's America.  This November might see the last vestiges of that tired old mantra's success.  Beyond that, the future of the Republican Party is bleak.

               Let the American public get a good look at the loons and kooks this mentality will bring to Washington in November, and we'll never have to look at them again.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WOULD YOU PAY $119 MILLION DOLLARS OF YOUR OWN CASH TO BE GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA? (Welcome to Meg Whitman's dream world...)

        I was just cruising through Huff'n'Puff Post for the last time this evening and noticed a blurb saying Meg Whitman had just donated an additional $15 million of her own money to her campaign for Governor of California, bringing her total indebtedness to her own campaign to $119 million.
        One hundred and nineteen million dollars would sound like a dream finish for most of us... but for GOP candidate Whitman, it's the cost of getting elected to bigger and better things in life.  I don't know what the job pays, but I'm guessing she won't live long enough to recoup this outlay of cash in Governor's salary alone.  So what's the attraction?
          On the same page as the Whitman campaign cash story were three other stories from California.  One concerned the ruptured gas line that turned San Bruno into an inferno, another was the story of a dead man found murdered in the restroom at LAX, and a third story was noting that the current budget impasse in the California state budget was the longest in history.
          Take all that happy news and bundle it around mudslides, race riots, wildfires, earthquakes, and toss in Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen as two of your state's licensed drivers, and what you get is quite a mess to take on... And Meg Whitman wants the job so badly she's spending a king's fortune to buy the office.
           Go figure...

MILITARY COVERS UP SUICIDE OF AMERICAN SOLDIER WHO REFUSED TO PARTICIPATE IN TORTURE SESSIONS (this is a must-read story!)

          The real story of what we've done in Iraq will probably never be fully known, but the drip, drip, drip, of horrible revelations that continue to emerge leaves me wondering why no one of authority has been punished for what was done in our names.
           The latest horror story comes in the form of a blog by Greg Mitchell, a writer for "The Nation" magazine and "Media Fix".  He relates the tale of Spc. Alyssa Peterson, 27, of Flagstaff, Arizona, a member of C Company 311th Military Intelligence BN, 101st Airborne.  Spc. Peterson died early in the conflict in Iraq by what the military called "non-hostile weapons discharge," a common occurrence in a combat region.  Accidental deaths are inevitable in massive military operations, and this one drew little attention from the press.
            A reporter with KNAU, the public radio station in Flagstaff, Kevin Elston didn't buy the government's original report.  After getting no response to multiple requests for more information, Elston filed a Freedom of Information Act request and found that Alyssa Peterson had killed herself with her own service rifle, probably because she had refused to participate in torture sessions and had been reprimanded for that refusal.  A notebook found near her body had been blacked out by the military, and the contents of a suicide note on her body were also undisclosed.
            Peterson was an Arabic-speaking interrogator.  She was apparently appalled by the tactics being used in the Tal Afar prison in Iraq, and complained to her superiors about the unlawful treatment of detainees in those interrogations.  After being reprimanded for her ethical stance, she took her own life.
             Kevin Elston's FOIA request revealed the following:

"Peterson objected to the interrogation techniques used on prisoners. She refused to participate after only two nights working in the unit known as the cage. Army spokespersons for her unit have refused to describe the interrogation techniques Alyssa objected to. They say all records of those techniques have now been destroyed."

              When the full truth of our military and intelligence agencies' actions in Iraq and Afghanistan is finally known, we will wonder why the men and women who gave the orders to torture detainees were never held accountable for their actions.  As bad as the acts of torture are, it is, to me, just as bad that there have been so many examples of misinformation produced and forwarded by the military authorities to hide the truth.
               Think of the Jessica Lynch "rescue", the story of her heroic fight to the last bullet, the beatings and injuries she sustained in captivity, and the ensuing "amnesia" she suffered after the "rescue."  We now know none of that was true.  We were told those things in order to sway public opinion at a time when the war's popularity was beginning to drop and rational questions were being asked about our continued military presence there.
               Think of the Scott Tillman story we were told.  Tillman was killed by hostile enemy fire during an engagement in Afghanistan, that was the official story.  Turns out Tillman died by friendly fire, and the army covered up the truth to sustain public support of the war effort.
                No doubt there are dozens of stories just as upsetting as these out there waiting to be told.  It will take years for the truth to come out, if it ever does, and in the meantime our kids are in harm's way for no discernable purpose other than corporate greed and military advancement.
                 Please take the time to read this story!

TEA PARTY SUMMER TURNS INTO NOVEMBER CHAOS (GOP begins to eat it's own)

        Remember those stories of angry citizens taking to the streets in funny hats, carrying signs and flags that warned the government of a grassroots uprising against all things "government?"  Remember the glee in Republican circles when it became evident that this "grassroots" activism could be easily manipulated into an "astroturf" movement funded by billionaires to do the bidding of the right?  Remember all the dire predictions about a Democratic bloodbath in November?
        Well, the Dems may take it on the chin in November, as is the usual statistical history of mid-term elections against the party in the White House.  But the real surprise might be that the control factor the Republicans had been so sure of mere weeks ago seems to have vanished.
         Last night a wingnutter from another planet withstood the full brunt of the Republican machinery and upset the chosen standard bearer of the GOP in Delaware, leaving the Republicans to basically disown their own party's nominee for the November elections.  No less of an authority on such things than Karl "Brain of Curious George" Rove was left to sputter and bitch on Faux News, no less, about the prospects of Christine O'Donnell representing the right in November.  He blathered on and on about how unelectable the woman was, pointed to her various character flaws and all the other things the Republican BigWigs had tried to paint her with leading up to the primary.  That led to a wonderful moment in which Sean Hannity and Karl Rove found themselves arguing about the GOP's attempt to run the teabagger candidate out of the race.   Later on, Michelle Malkin (the strangest, and most hateful little twat on television, provided Ann Coulter is busy at home...) Tweeted or Twatted that Rove might as well have been Keith Olbermann for criticizing O'Donnell's win.
             When Michelle Malkin and Sean Hannity are at odds with Karl Rove, you get the impression that the wonderfulness of the teabagger movement might suddenly be morphing into an actual benefit for Democrats.  What's needed now is for alert Democratic operatives to use Rove's criticisms of O'Donnell in the November campaign of Chris Coons. 
              This could get interesting.  If voters in Delaware who aren't locked into a party-specific primary system get a good look at this woman, it's highly likely that the Democratic candidate will be successful in November, throwing yet another wrench into the Republican plan to steal back the Senate.
              Remember when the teabaggers were bad for the Democrats?  Ah, how quaint...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

CRYSTAL LEE SUTTON DIED A YEAR AGO TODAY (inspired "Norma Rae")

          One year ago today we marked the passing of one of America's labor icons.  Although she could hardly have known at the time, Crystal Lee Sutton's struggle to help organize the textile mills would be immortalized in the film "Norma Rae."
           We owe the woman a lot, and shouldn't forget that she died of a treatable form of brain cancer while fighting with her insurance company for the needed treatments.
            Raise a toast.

WTF???? I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON IN THIS PICTURE, AND I HOPE I NEVER SEE IT AGAIN...

28 YEARS AGO THE WORLD LOST A PRINCESS (and my first girlfriend, Grace Kelly)

                                             GRACE KELLY IN "REAR WINDOW"

          Hitchcock's Rear Window was made the year I was born, 1954, and I didn't see the film until one late night TV rerun in my early teens... but I fell head over heels in love with that radiant face, those perfect features, and that incredible figure.  I was smitten.
          Don't know if I could name another film she starred in if I had to, and I don't.  But to me she was always the epitome of Hollywood style and grace, the ideal goddess.  Didn't bother me that she married a guy from Monaco and became an actual princess, but it certainly bothered me when I heard of her death 28 years ago today.
           

                  
                Whenever I'm asked to name my top ten favorite movies of all time, Rear Window always makes to top three appearance, regardless of the company I'm in or the state of my sobriety.  I don't care if the special effects during Jimmy Stewart's fall from the window suck, I don't care if the movie drags on and on while they play "Lisa" on the grand piano across the courtyard... all I care about is the way Grace Kelly smoldered when she looked into the camera.
                 She had it.  No one since has come close, in my book.

Monday, September 13, 2010

97% OF REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES FOR SENATE DON'T BELIEVE GLOBAL WARMING IS MAN-MADE ISSUE

           Here's yet another validation for renaming the Republican Party the "Know-Nothings".
Think Progress is reporting that while 97% of all accredited climate specialists in the world support the theory of man-caused global warming, the exact percentage of GOP candidates for the Senate disagree.
           You can't fix stupid...  Actually, the reason so many relatively intelligent people would come to such unanimity despite overwhelming evidence to support the opposite opinion might stem from the prospect of receiving limited campaign funding from the moneybags who care about such positions.
            The Koch brothers don't want anything done about global warming, and almost all of the Republican candidates have signed on to their Americans for Prosperity No Climate Tax pledge.
Freedomworks Contract for America is another organization that is demanding no climate change Cap and Trade legislation.
             Follow the money to figure out why these people are in lockstep toward stupidity.  Not sure how to explain their refusal to believe in evolution...

LOOKING FOR INTELLIGENT OPINION? DON'T COUNT ON NOOT... (Gingrich true to form with "Kenyan" crap)

                                      "Noot" holding forth (talking to his hand again...)

             Every couple of years this pompous asshole makes an appearance and attempts to weasel his way back into the public arena, hoping enough time has passed to make his political resurrection complete.  The right wing will point to him as a highly intelligent elder spokesman, and Noot starts to become mentioned as a possible candidate for the presidency.
             Then he opens his mouth and we remember why he's been exiled to the hinterlands.
             In an interview with the National Review, Gingrich suggested that President Obama's difficulties might be the result of a "Kenyan, anti-colonial worldview."  He goes on to say that Obama "played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president."
              Oooo-Kay...  Here we go with the Kenyan thing again.  As if there aren't enough mouth-breathing knuckle-draggers out there spouting off on this birther thing, we have to have someone like Gingrich come forward and smear the President with some backhanded reference to his place of birth, as if mentioning Kenya in relation to anything Obama might somehow link the birther movement to his way of thinking. 


               "I think he worked very hard at being a person who is normal, reasonable, moderate, bipartisan, transparent, accommodating -- none of which was true," Gingrich continues. "In the Alinksy tradition, he was being the person he needed to be in order to achieve the position he needed to achieve. ... He was authentically dishonest."

                 This is the kind of crap that should remind everyone of just how morally dishonest Gingrich really is, and further extinguish any hope of his political resurgence in America.  He is the epitome of the inside player, a Karl Rovian shithead of the highest order.  We need him around like we need bedbugs.

SPANISH TV REPORTER RUDELY JUDGED BY HER APPEARANCE AT JET'S PRACTICE (just trying to do her job...)

         Spanish TV sports reporter Inez Sainz was greeted with catcalls and harassing comments by some members of the New York Jets at a recent team practice, and she's not happy about it.
         Professionals should be expected to act like professionals, right?  Regardless of the appearance or attire of the reporter, they should remain professionals at all times.
          If Inez needs a shoulder to cry on... hey, this is the volunteer state.



WHAT'S IN THE NEWS? TEABAGGER MAKING STRIDES IN DELAWARE SENATE CAMPAIGN (trouble for fappers everywhere...)

            After spending the weekend shooting a local 10k race and putting 2,400 photos on my website for the runners, I've come back to blogville looking for a good meat-and-potatoes story to get the week started.  Found one...
            Up in Delaware, the locals are fighting for the right to replace Joe Biden in the Senate.  Conventional wisdom had Republican Congressman and former governor Mike Castle beating the Democratic candidate in the general election, thus giving the GOP yet another seat in the Senate.  But there's always the first step of actually winning the Republican nomination to take care of before launching the November campaign, and that's where the trouble has started.
            Teabagger candidate Christine O'Donnell has taken the lead in the GOP primary race by virtue of a quarter million dollar TV ad campaign paid for by the Tea Party Express, and through the endorsements of Sarah Palin, Jim Demint, and the NRA.  (When the NRA speaks, voters listen... they listen to endless radio and television ads paid for by the NRA...)
            So Mike Castle, the Republican candidate that every poll showed winning over Democratic candidate Chris Coons in the general election, might not get the nomination because of a teabagging wingnutter who is polling far behind the Democrat in independent polls.
             To understand the weirdness of all this, consider some of Ms. O'Donnell's previous public outings... She once appeared on MTV's "Sex in the 90's" in an episode called "The Safest Sex of All" in which she criticized masturbation on religious grounds.  Uh-oh... Yep, she was against whacking off as a substitute for traditional sex, not because she favored traditional sex but because she really hates masturbation.
               At the time, O'Donnell was the president of something called "Saviors Alliance for Lifting the Truth" and she said on MTV that you "can't masturbate without lust" and therefore encouraging someone to masturbate instead of having sex would "create someone who is, I was gonna say, toying with his sexuality."
               Well, yeah... duh!
                Hey listen, if some pollyanna wants to whine about abstinence and thump the good book in front of the teenagers, my policy is "knock yourself out."  Ask Bristol Palin how well the abstinence model works in the real world of hormonal teenagers.
                 But when that pollyanna starts knocking my hobbies, hey, it's on!  You're telling me you'd rather having people walking around ignoring their sexual stirrings in every physical way possible?  You really want to live in a world where only heterosexuals in monogamous marriages are allowed to have physical sex?  And even then, those happily married folks aren't allowed to get a quicky jerk in the shower?
                 Lady, you have got some issues!  And I, for one, don't want anyone with those kinds of issues serving in the United States Senate!  I'm thinking of sending a donation to Chris Coons' campaign if  Christine O'Donnell wins the Republican primary.
                  Jeez, where do they find these people?

Friday, September 10, 2010

DOMESTIC TERRORISTS AMONG US... (FBI takes down plot to bomb NC abortion clinic)

            Back when the teabagger rallies were going great guns and a lot of politicians were taking great pains to manipulate that street anger for their own political agendas some of us warned that the heated rhetoric might inspire some wingnutter to violence.  We were assured that if violence did occur it wouldn't be because of right wing instigation, but the liberal-socialist movements of the current administration would be responsible.
            The FBI has arrested a self-described "freedom fighter" in North Carolina and charged him with plotting to blow up an abortion clinic.  Justin Carl Moose (I shit you not... that's his name) knew his conversations on Facebook were being monitored, yet taunted federal authorities:

             In a post taunting the federal authorities monitoring him, he told “all the feds watching me: You can’t stop what is in motion. Even if you bring me in, my men will continue their mission. Furthermore, I will not go peacefully. Do you really want another Waco?”

             In another post he wrote:

“If a mosque is built on ground zero, it will be removed. Oklahoma City style. Tim’s not the only man out there that knows how to do it,” the affidavit says he wrote in July, in a reference to Timothy McVeigh, who bombed a federal building in Oklahoma City.[...]




FBI agents obtained search warrants and started reading his private messages. In one sent to a fellow abortion opponent, agents say Moose wrote: “I have learned a lot from the muslim terrorists and have no problem using their tactics.”

                 I can't help but believe there are consequences for using the kind of hate speech and inflamatory rhetoric that have been the norm this summer.  I only hope those consequences don't involve the loss of innocent lives.  By the way, this dude has a Tea Party "Don't Tread on Me" flag over the door of his home.

CAPE CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 1969: RUSH LIMBAUGH and PASTOR TERRY "BURN A QURAN DAY" JONES

            I know I'm going to catch hell from a good friend of mine who pointed this odd coincidence out to me, because she's a proud alumnus of Cape Central herself.  But for any one school to have graduated two wingnuts of this much notoriety AND FOR THEM BOTH TO HAVE BEEN IN THE SAME GRADUATION CLASS???  That's gotta be some kind of record...

            Here's a challenge:  I dare anyone anywhere to find a high school with a comparable graduation class. 

 (cue the cricket noises...)

A COUPLE OF NEW ONES...


CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR WATERMELON REVENGE


MAYBE IT'S A BACTERIUM IN HER FLUTE? (a possible explanation for Sarah Palin...)

       A recent story on NPR's "All Things Considered" has me wondering if Sarah Palin's beauty pageant prop (her high school band instrument) might not be responsible for some of the batshit crazy things she says and does in public.
        According to this story, a trombone player was having asthma-like symptoms that no doctor could diagnose.  Finally, researchers at the University of Connecticut tested a sample taken from his horn and found traces of mycobacterium, a distant cousin of tuberculosis.  They flushed crud out of his horn with alcohol, and his symptoms cleared up.
        Apparently, all of us were supposed to be cleaning out our horns every so often to prevent this sort of thing from building up inside the tubing and valves.  Personally, I never once flushed my trumpet with alcohol, although I regularly imbibed myself, which might prove just as effective.  In any case, I didn't suffer from any asthma like symptoms.
         Just think.   If Sarah Palin's flute hasn't been flushed since she was tooting around Wasilla as a teeny-bopper with ambition, there's a good chance she's been inhaling all kinds of buggy crud with every performance.  Maybe that explains some of the comments we were blaming on brain damage or stupidity?
          I believe we should insist that Sarah's flute be flushed with rubbing alcohol.  What could it hurt?

FOR ANYONE SEARCHING FOR A PUBLISHER...


BUSH ERA TAX CUTS FOR WEALTHIEST 2% WORTH A PROMISE SIGNED IN BLOOD TO THIS GUY (careful, ladies, he's an obstetrician when he's not pretending to save America)

                                                 Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA)

               According to an article in Think Progress today, Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia is so determined to extend the tax cuts of George W. Bush that he likens his commitment to "God's covenant with Moses" and that he would sign a pledge "in blood if necessary."
               Sign it in blood if necessary?  Since when do we require blood oaths in Congress?  My God, we'd be drained like gutted deer if politicians had to have blood for every promise they made!
               I read up on this "special" fellow and found that he's an obstetrician when he isn't getting paid to fuck up our tax code.  There was something familiar about his name, and then I found what I had forgotten... 
               A while back Rep. Gingrey had the temerity to rebuke the annointed one, Rush Limbaugh, for having criticized Republican leadership in Congress.  Of course, his office was swamped with complaints and calls from the Limbaugh Dittohead Express, so Gingrey did what any self-respecting independent conservative does in these situations:  he went on Rush's show and basically did a full-frontal ass-kissing mea culpa for his criticism of Limbaugh.  If Rush hadn't felt merciful on that particular day, I'm quite sure Mr. Gingrey would still be firmly attached to Limbaugh's ass, like a remora on a shark.
                Yep... making sure the wealthiest 2% of Americans keep every nickel of their hard earned inheritances is so important to Rep. Gingrey he'd sign a promise to extend those tax breaks in blood, if necessary...
                 You're in good hands, ladies...