Wednesday, August 31, 2011


                             Pastor Mike Stahl of Florida

          It's hard for me to carry through on this blogless plan of mine when absolute head-scratchers like this one keep finding their way to my computer...
          I was wandering around the net and found a story on Crooks and Liars about a pastor in Florida, a Reverend Mike Stahl, who wants to establish a national database of known or self-admitted atheists.  He put out this idea a year ago on his blog, but apparently no one noticed it there, so he's repeated it on Facebook.  In his own words:

Brothers and Sisters , I have been seriously considering forming a ( Christian ) grassroots type of organization to be named “The Christian National Registry of Atheists” or something similar . I mean , think about it . There are already National Registrys (sic) for convicted sex offenders , ex-convicts , terrorist cells , hate groups like the KKK , skinheads , radical Islamists , etc..

         And then he goes on to say:

Now , many (especially the atheists ) , may ask “Why do this , what’s the purpose ?” Duhhh , Mr. Atheist , for the same purpose many States put the names and photos of convicted sex offenders and other ex-felons on the I-Net – to INFORM the public ! I mean , in the City of Miramar , Florida , where I live , the population is approx. 109,000 . My family and I would sure like to know how many of those 109,000 are ADMITTED atheists ! Perhaps we may actually know some . In which case we could begin to witness to them and warn them of the dangers of atheism . Or perhaps they are radical atheists , whose hearts are as hard as Pharaoh’s , in that case , if they are business owners , we would encourage all our Christian friends , as well as the various churches and their congregations NOT to patronize them as we would only be “feeding” Satan .

Frankly , I don’t see why anyone would oppose this idea – including the atheists themselves ( unless of course , they’re actually ashamed of their atheist religion , and would prefer to stay in the ‘closet.’ ) .

           The idea here is to shame atheists into hiding their disbelief, I guess.  Or maybe the good reverend would like us on a handy list so he and other Bible Thumpers can come and attempt to convert us to the Good Book.  Stray sheep that we are, we all need a good shepherd like Rev. Mike.
           Or maybe he'd like to see to it that the other sheep shun our businesses, lest they 'feed Satan'...

           Personally, I'd like a national database of ignorant shitheads like Mike Stahl, just so I'd know who to avoid in public and which businesses I should ignore.  It would also be useful to know when two of the members of that ignorance-on-parade list are spawning, so we'd know how to plan for remedial educational funding for their kids.  Trust me on this, any child born in the shallow end of THAT gene pool would need a lot of help from the rest of us...

           What a prick. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


THE RADIATION PIT                                  

           I was going to take a hiatus from posting for a few days, just to catch my breath and see if I still wanted to so this sort of thing with my time... But Mooner poked my nest with a sharp stick yesterday and aggravated me into posting a rant about Michele Bachmann's "joke" concerning the wrath of god punishing the east coast with earthquakes and hurricanes because of wasteful government spending.  I woke up today planning to resume my blog-free week, but then I saw this Alternet article by Joe Conason about Governor GoodHair's money man...

           According to Conason's story, Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons has friends in high places.  One of them is the current Governor of Texas, GOP presidential contender Rick Perry.  Over the years Simmons has donated well over a million bucks to Perry's political campaign committees, and the result of that largess has been quite profitable for Mr. Simmons.
           Harold Simmons owns a company called Waste Control Systems.  Being an astute student of environmental law, Simmons realized that he would be unable to bring radioactive nuclear waste from 34 other states to a site in west Texas unless the laws of the state were modified to fit his needs.  Enter Rick Perry and the Texas legislature.  Here's a quote from the Alternet story:

“We first had to change the law to where a private company can own a license, and we did that,” Simmons boasted in 2006, after the Texas Legislature and the governor rubber-stamped initial legislation and approvals for the project. “Then we got another law passed that said (the state) can only issue one license. Of course, we were the only ones that applied.”

              Environmentalists (and those pesky regulators who are throttling Big Bidness in The Lone Star State...) warn that Waste Control System's radioactive waste dump is going to sit directly above the Oglalla Aquifer, a groundwater system that serves the drinking water needs of almost 2 million people.  Their concern is that radioactive materials will leach down into the water supply.  Not a good thing, even in Texas.

             But when you own the governor and most of the Republican legislators in the state, laws, rules, and regulations are but minor obstructions in the path of progress.  And as long as the money keeps hitting his campaign coffers, you can bet your ass Rick Perry will do whatever Mr. Simmons wants done, regardless of the environmental or health hazards to the people of Texas.
              These people are merchants of evil.  The least we can do as a nation is make sure they confine their poisonous scorched Earth policies to the state of Texas.


              Fuck Rick Perry, and Fuck Harold Simmons.

Monday, August 29, 2011


             Okay, I know it's been kinda quiet around Squatlo's place the last few days, but there are a lot of great reasons for that.  For one thing, I've been busy as hell taking, processing, and uploading photos for a handful of athletic events I shot over the weekend.  For another thing, it's good to know people are looking at those galleries, because the orders are coming in and god knows (if she's not too busy sending earthquakes and hurricanes to the east coast) we need the money.
             But really, the only reason I'm not sleeping from fatigue right now is because our buddy Mooner wrote an email to take my pulse.  Seriously.  He noticed that I hadn't posted since Friday morning and wrote to ask if I was okay.  How cool is that?  Like a neighbor knocking on your door to see if you're still alive (then ransacking your house when he discovers you're not home) it's good to have someone check in once in a while.  I'm touched.  Not "touched" like crazy, 'cause that's Mooner's claim to fame, just touched.

             Anyway, I finished uploading some pictures for a triathlon order, then switched over to some news sites to see what the hell's happened since I went into a work coma.  Seems we've had a hurricane on the east coast, like I said earlier.  On top of the earthquake they had last week.  How long before some weak-minded, superstitious twit tries to connect these natural weather phenonena on liberal political policy?  Already done...
             Just like cavemen howling at a full moon, or medieval mobs running in a Dark Ages' panic when the moon blocks the midday sun, Michele Bachmann has taken to the microphone to blame natural disasters on the wrath of an angry god.  Sigh...

               I have no idea why I give a fuck what this empty headed flibbertigibbet (actual word, look it up!) has to say, but this is just the sort of predictable nonsense one might expect from such a mental lightweight.  Floods are god's way of telling us we should cut spending.  Droughts are another.  So are earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, house fires, and a choking kid.  Drop an egg?  Better get down on your knees and pray for god's forgiveness!  It's all part of god's plan to remind us just how feeble and out of touch we are when we turn away from Biblical teachings.  Just ask Pat Robertson.  Or Jerry Falwell.  Or William Jennings Bryan.  Or the folks who locked up Galileo.
               Someone unplug this bitch's microphone before she gets both feet wedged in her mouth.

               I'll be back just as soon as something else pisses me off.  Y'all have a good one!

Friday, August 26, 2011


        Instead of using petroleum based asphalt for roads, driveways, and parking lots, this group is attempting to design a glass-based solar panel for roadways, incorporating power lines, cables, and other electronic lighting systems directly into the highway itself.
        Interesting concept.  In theory (always) it would pay for itself with energy production.


        If you haven't seen it, you can zip on over to Boing Boing and watch Miss America contestants dance around the thorny question, "Should evolution be taught in schools?"
        Someone thought it reasonable to ask if math shouldn't have the same scrutiny by these
mensa candidates.

        You know, my academic life would have been a lot less traumatic if someone had opted to keep math out of my curriculum.  Chemistry and physics were a drain on my GPA, too.  But nothing bit my ass like algebra... so I'm with the pretty women in this video.  Hell no, math shouldn't be taught in schools!
         Mathematics is a gateway drug.  As soon as a kid starts to receive instruction in math, the rebellions begin.  Next thing you know they're cypherin' on their own, figurin' out how to leverage more cash from their parents for beer, cigarettes, pot, condoms, and video games.  Once you've opened that door, it's hard to get over on the little shits.
          My hat's off to the parents of George W. Bush and Rick Perry for managing to shield them from a decent education.  It's obvious they weren't bothered with mathematics when THEY were in school, and it's worked out well for both of them, hasn't it?


              The running joke during Bush's Reign of Error was that you would never hear Bush making a speech at the same moment Dick Cheney was drinking water... the assumption being that even the best ventriloquist can't pull off THAT trick.
              Cheney is now hitting the cable news circuit to promote his new memoir, My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir.  If it were accurately named it would be entitled My Turn to Throw Everyone I Ever Served With Under a Fucking Bus.

              Words can't describe how much I loathe this miserable bastard.  In my humble opinion, Dick Cheney is evil incarnate, the Darth Vader of modern American politics, the CEO of the corporate merchants of evil himself.

           He's happily appearing on talk shows all over the dial to confirm his belief that torturing detainees was (and still is) a great idea, informing us that he called the shots (and not The Decider), that Colin Powell was a stooge, Condy Rice naive, George Tenet was a sniveling coward, and everyone else was weak in comparison to himself.
           He'll sell a million copies, not because people are just dying to read Cheney's account of that dark period of our nation's history, but because scandal and backstabbing sells.  He'll hang around for a year or two, reap the financial rewards of book sales and speaking engagements, then pass the filthy lucre on to his spawnings.
            And America will be cleaning up after the Bush/Cheney disaster for the next fifty years.

          If there were any justice on this Earth, Dick Cheney, George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and about half a dozen other despicable assholes would be in the docket before a War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague.  But there is no justice, and rich, miserable assholes like Cheney just go on book tours and thumb their noses at the world.

          All this book will do is ensure that Dick Cheney dies friendless and alone with his crimes.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


         Mediaite likes to play up the GOP whenever they get the chance, but today they've got a video link to CNN's Jack Cafferty doing what Jack Cafferty regularly does, pitching a bitch.  For whatever reason he decided to comment on the current field of candidates in the Republican Party, and the resulting rant was worthy of anything I've written here about them.
         Referring to one trio as The Three Stooges, he's basically calling them "whackjobs" and intellectual lightweights.
         I love it!

"INSTALLING A HUSBAND" (pilfered humor from an email forward)

 (Like everyone else in the computerized world, I receive a lot of unsolicited crap in the form of forwarded emails.  Most suck like a Hoover, but every now and then one rings true...  Here's the best I've gotten in a while...)

                                         INSTALLING A HUSBAND

Dear Tech Support:    Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.  In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as NBA 5.0, NFL 3.0, and Golf Clubs 4.1.   Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.
Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.  What can I do? 

First, keep in mind that Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an operating system.  Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.html and try to download Tears 6.2 and do no forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update.  If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.
However, remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to
Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0, and Beer 6.1.  Please note that Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Snoring Loudly Beta.
Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install Mother-in-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources).
In addition, please do not attempt to reinstall Boyfriend 5.0 program.  These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.
In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot accommodate new applications quickly.  You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. 
We recommend Cooking 3.0
Good luck!

Tech Support

           (I apologize to the original authors of the above pilfered material...)


           This is about the strangest thing to come out of Africa since Ali's Rope-a-Dope upset knockout of George Foreman in Zaire...
           Apparently, Libyan strongman Moammar Qaddafi had the hots for former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  According to an MSNBC on-line post, Libyan rebels have found a photo album filled with flattering pictures of Rice in the ransacked Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli.
           Secretary Rice had visited Qaddafi in 2008 when it appeared the United States was ready to begin a new phase of improved relations with that oil rich nation, but Qaddafi had already gone on record with his affection for Ms. Rice:

In a 2007 interview with al-Jazeera television, Gadhafi spoke of Rice in glowing terms. "I support my darling black African woman," he said. "I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders ... Leezza, Leezza, Leezza. ... I love her very much. I admire her and I'm proud of her because she's a black woman of African origin."

              Moammar's always had an eye for the ladies... Here are a couple of pilfered pix of his female bodyguards, called the Amazonian Guard:


            And his harem of personal "nurses" made headlines when his favorite, Ukranian Oksana Balinskaya bolted from Libya when the revolution began.

          Of course, you would almost HAVE to be a dictator to attract beautiful women if you look like this:


Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Houston National Cemetery                       

          Okay, I've had to read this article a couple of times to get it straight, and I'm still not sure I understand what the hell these people think they're doing...
          According to Alex DiBranco's story on AlterNet, three Texas legislators (why the fuck is it always Texas???) in conjunction with several Christian military organizations have filed a lawsuit to force VA officials at the Houston National Cemetery to allow references to God during the burial services for veterans whose families have requested that no references to religion be made.
Apparently, the wishes of the vets and their families are secondary to some politicians' efforts to make sure God has a platform at military funerals.  Go figure...

           “It makes my skin crawl that liberals are attempting to drive prayer out of a funeral ceremony for our heroes,” Texas Rep. John Culberson told Fox News, which has given significant airtime to the controversy. “We’re going to fix this so that no Obama liberal bureaucrat will interfere with the funeral of a hero.”

             Representatives Culberson, Ted Poe, and Michael McCaul, along with Veterans of Foreign Wars District 4, American Legion Post 586, and the National Memorial Ladies, have filed suit to force the funeral director and other officials at the Houston National Cemetery to allow references to God in future military funerals, even if the families and veterans themselves have requested that religion be left out of the service. 
             Those politicians are trying to make it sound as if the mention of God or religion is being banned at all military funerals at the Houston National Cemetery, which is an outright lie.  Families who request religion-free services are having their wishes honored, and that is all that is happening here.  But to those sanctimonious pricks, either God's name is invoked or they're taking it to a judge.  Here's the VA's official response to the matter:

“The idea that invoking the name of God or Jesus is banned at VA national cemeteries is blatantly false. The truth is VA’s policy protects veterans’ families’ rights to pray however they choose at our national cemeteries. Put simply, VA policy puts the wishes of the veteran's family above all else on the day it matters most -- the day they pay their final respects to their loved one.”

          I guess it's not enough that a veteran serve his country honorably, perform his duties to the best of his abilities, and possibly give his life in the process.  He must also be willing to accept the fact that the religious beliefs of certain politicians and organizations be presented during his own funeral services, because that's the American Way.
          A spokesperson for the National Memorial Ladies went on Faux News to tell how sad it was for her and other volunteers to show up at military funerals with the intent of saying "God Bless" only to be told they won't be allowed to bring up God during the services, as if the disappointment she and other strangers to the deceased outweigh the final wishes of that vet and his family. 

           You would think that a vet's wishes in this regard would be honored with respect to his service and sacrifice, not turned into yet another platform for injecting God into the political spectrum of events.  But for some politicians, there is nothing more important than injecting God into every aspect of our lives, including our funerals. 

            They intend to see to it that God is invited to your services whether you like it or not.


          Liberals love to point to man-made global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels as a reason to convert to wind and solar energy systems in America.  And the tsunami that took out the cooling system of the Japanese nuke plant gave progressives a lot of ammo for a campaign to stop the construction of future nuclear plants.
          But finally!  The Gods have provided the Republican candidates for president something to point to for brownie points with the oil, coal, and nuclear energy companies who butter their bread:  the recent earthquake on the east coast reportedly damaged a wind farm in New York, causing a massive wind spill.  That loose wind has gathered off the east coast and is now threatening to strike in the form of a hurricane.
          See what happens when you take the hippie Greenpeace road to energy independence?

          Another report indicated that one of the solar panels on the roof of a home in Virginia shifted slightly and crushed a bug, too.  
           You won't hear the kumbaya crowd talking about THAT, will you!

           In the immortal words of the Republican Party, This is Our Planet and We'll Shit Where We Damn Well Please!

             (no energy executives were harmed during the production of this blog post)


         And I thought only the evangelical wingnutters blamed homosexuals for causing natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes...  Here's New York Rabbi Yehoda Levin blaming the state of New York's new legislation allowing gay marriage for yesterday's earthquake in the northeastern United States.
          Heavy fucking sigh...


                  Lady Volunteers Basketball Coach Pat Summitt

          This is shaping up to be a tough week for fans of the University of Tennessee's athletics programs.  The NCAA report on its violations investigation into misdeeds by the men's basketball and football programs is going to be released today, and advance word has it that former coach Bruce Pearl will be given a three-year "show cause" sentence, meaning any NCAA institution that tries to hire Pearl within that time frame will have to "show just cause" for doing so.  
           Pearl had it going for himself and the program at UT, bringing the men's basketball program back from the dead and turning Vol basketball into a hot ticket again.  He was choosing from among America's finest high school talent, and was more popular than Davy Crockett's legend here in the Volunteer State.  Then he lied to the NCAA about some envelope pushing he did while recruiting high school juniors, got caught, and was forced out by the University.  Pearl is now a pariah among coaches, as far as the NCAA is concerned.
           The basketball court where Bruce Pearl's teams played their games isn't named after Pearl, or any other man, coach or player, associated with Vol basketball.  The court isn't named after an influential donor or former University President.  And it damn sure isn't named after some commercial business that paid for the endorsement.
            The basketball court at the Thompson-Boling Arena on the campus of the University of Tennessee has two words written across mid-court:  "The Summitt".

            Pat Summitt is legendary.  You may not be able to name a single women's basketball player, but it's a safe bet to assume you know at least one women's basketball coach's name.  She's the winningest basketball coach in history, men's or women's hoops, with 1,071 victories to her credit.  Along the way she's collected 8 National Championships (second only to UCLA's John Wooden at 10), 16 SEC Titles, 15 SEC Tournament Titles, 8 SEC Coach of the Year awards, 7 NCAA Coach of the Year awards, has taken her teams to a record 18 Final Four appearances (Wooden had twelve in his storied career).  
             She played her college ball at the University of Tennessee Martin, and they've named THAT basketball court after her, as well.
             But forget all of the wins, titles, and on-court accolades this woman has earned for the University of Tennessee.  Pat Summitt is a mentor.  45 of her former players have gone into coaching.  Summitt has accomplished all of this and is only 59 years of age.  There has never been the first hint of an improper benefit or the slightest notion of a scandal involving Lady Vol Basketball.  She plays by the rules, and she's proven herself to be among the greatest coaches in basketball history, regardless of gender.

             And here's a statistic no one will mention, but I find astounding:  every single player who completed her eligibility under Summitt has earned her degree from the University.  All of them.  In a day and age where kids are used like cannon fodder to bolster the bottom lines of college athletics programs, where coaches induce recruits with all sorts of illegal benefits, and many of those players are casually discarded once their worth to the university has dried up, Pat Summitt stays involved with her kids.  
             I remember hearing one of her former players describing what it was like to play for Summitt, and that player said Summitt would insist that each Lady Vol invest in a day planner.  She would then have her players list off all of their class times, study halls, tutoring classes, basketball schedules, training sessions, and practice times in those day planners.  Summitt would then announce to those women that if she ever asked to see that planner and saw a vacant hour in one of their schedules, she would personally see to it that that player had something useful to do for that unscheduled hour.  And any player who wasn't where she was supposed to be, doing what she was supposed to do, would catch holy hell from the boss.

             One legendary story about her demanding attitude involved the night several of her players decided to skip curfew and attend a party off campus where a lot of drinking was involved.  Summitt had a bed-check policy and was informed that her team was "missing."  The following morning those kids were awakened by air horns, and an improptu practice session followed in which trash cans were positioned at all four corners of the basketball court.  She then ran those players on wind sprint after wind sprint until each and every one of them had hurled into a trash can.  Her little speech about paying attention to her rules probably peeled paint off the walls of that gym that morning...

             Summitt is a demanding coach, probably more so than any other coach in America in any sport.  But her players love her.  She tells them on day one, "I'm not Coach Summitt.  I'm Pat.  Or call me Coach.  But not Coach Summitt."  
             Here's the video released by Summitt and the University of Tennessee in which she reveals her recent diagnosis with early onset dementia:


             No one knows how long Coach Summitt will continue to coach women's basketball, and it could be argued that she's done more than enough for that university and should sit back and enjoy whatever time she has left.  But she'll coach until they take the whistle away from her, and be damn good at it.  
             You can book that.    


        Boing Boing just reminded me again of why we need to keep this little bastard out of the White House, unless he's going as part of a governor's caucus or perhaps as the leader of a clown circus...

         Here Rick Perry is explaining that our current economic stress is just a reminder from God to abide by those Biblical lessons like thrift and "not spending all of the money."  According to Perry, we need to get "back to those Biblical principles"... I guess that means we should execute someone every few days to keep our prison population thinned out, because as we all know, there's nothing Jesus loves more than the Death Penalty.  After all, he knows better than most how well it works.  And if rendering unto Caesar gets to be too much of a pain in the ass, maybe we should get a burning bush or some stone tablets and secede from the Union.

          Fuck Rick Perry, fuck the horse he rode in on, and fuck the theocracy he endorses. 


           I recently wrote that perhaps those on the right might consider giving President Obama a wee bit of credit for holding fast to an aggressive policy that helped oust a dictator from Libya, but knew all along that THAT would never happen.  As I write this the fighting continues, but Qaddafi has been run out of his stronghold in Tripoli and is not expected to hang on to control of that nation.  A committed terrorist on a par with Sadaam Hussein, Qaddafi's exit should be roundly praised by the same people who saw the removal of Iraq's tyrant as the end that justified whatever means or losses we might have incurred along the way.   But they can't find a silver lining, just more storm clouds.
          Now the talking points memo has obviously come down from on high, and everyone on the right is singing the same verse to the same song:  Qaddafi may indeed fall, but we're likely to see an even more radical regime take control, ruling by Sharia Law (cue scary Bach organ music theme song!)
           The Heritage Foundation put out a blog post to that effect, and since then Hannity, Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, and all of the talking heads on Faux have been chanting "Sharia Law" as if that phrase alone is all that's necessary to point out the flaws in President Obama's Libyan intervention.
            You know they've lost their fucking minds when Grampa McGrumpy is the sane voice of reason in the room...  Here's a vid I found on Think Progress in which a compilation of Faux parrots chanting the "Phrase of the Day" is finally countered by Sen. John McCain's trip down reality lane.

             Coddling dictators and tyrants while opposing those who yearn for freedom doesn't sound like a policy the right would normally be happy to espouse, but if Barack Obama has anything to do with ANY DAMN THING, they're against it.  So they rant and rave when Mubarrak is deposed in Egypt, fearing the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood.  They worry that Syria's protesters will depose Assad and leave THAT sponsor of terrorism without a knowable future.  Now they're wringing their hands and twisting their panties because one of the most hated men on Earth is being chased from power, warning (Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid! Fear Sells!) that an even worse brand of asshole will assume control in the vacuum left in Qaddafi's absence.

              Give it a fucking rest, guys.  Face a simple fact:  you'd support wholeheartedly the exact same military action taken by Obama in Libya if it had been proposed by a President Bush or President McCain, regardless of the potential rise of a Sharia Law governed nation in the wake of that action.  Your concerns aren't for political stability in the middle east, but political advantage in the United States, pure and simple.
             I keep saying this, but it's true.  If Barack Obama cured cancer they would bitch because he had put thousands of cancer researchers out of work...  If he walked on water they'd complain that he only does it because he can't swim...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


          Because I can't get birds to buy my prints I sometimes supplement our meager income by covering local youth athletics for teams that request my services.  One of the things I've found that gets more attention than your average sports photo is running an image through a complex process in Photoshop to create "out of bounds" images, where the subject appears to be coming out of a frame in the shot.

          What do you think?

          Original photos available at       



          { I like to stay ahead of the news instead of following reports on various websites or by watching television... and while my methods are unpredictable and usually wrong, here are some predictions concerning this afternoon's 5.9 earthquake south of Washington DC:}
Sarah Palin will climb down from her Magical Mystery Tour Bus to announce that she was disgusted by President Obama's decision to take his family on a vacation during earthquake season on the east coast.  "It just goes to show you how out of touch he is from the lives of everyday Americans in this great nation of ours, with its wavy amber grainy purple mountains and freedoms of speeches."
Michele Bachmann will go on Faux News tonight to declare that unlike President Obama, as president, "I will remain on the job, 24/7, from the day I'm elected as president of the United States until the day I'm impeached for incompetence and mental instability.  No family vacations for Marcus and I while this impending threat of widely scattered earthquakes threatens our nation's capital.  In fact, Marcus vows to 'Pray Away the Sway' as soon as he's elected First Lady!"
Newt Gingrich will appear on the Sean Hannity show tonight to report, "President Obama was clearly warned on Day One of his presidency that this might happen.  In fact, I know for a fact there was a National Security Agency report on his desk entitled: Earthquakes determined to strike east coast of United States.  This president would rather ride his bike or golf, instead of taking care of America's business."
Mitt Romney will issue a statement as soon as his campaign pollsters tell him what the majority of registered Republicans in New Hampshire indicate as their preferred opinion on the matter.  Until then, he'll just remind everyone that corporations are people, too, and people have feelings.
Rush Limbaugh was off the air when the earthquake struck the east coast, but will immediately return to the studios to begin recording his forthcoming rant, wherein he'll blame Obama not only for the quake itself, but the tectonic shift that put our nation's capital at risk in the first place.
Orly Taize (the birther queen) will produce Kenyan documents showing that this was all part of the plan concocted by Barack Obama's mother, knowing that a potentially devastating natural disaster could rally support for her beleaguered son.  The documents will be in the form of a report showing that Obama's mother attempted to purchase yellowcake uranium from a Nigerian prince in 1964.
Glenn Beck will drag his chalkboard out into his driveway, begin furiously scribbling lines and circles around a map of the middle east, and beg passing cars in his neighborhood to please "...for the love of God, pay attention to me!"

             All I know for certain about this event is that my own adult daughter just moved to the area of the quake in Virginia, and she's already making waves.  Way to go, kid!


         You don't have to be a freak about hawks like I am to appreciate this video.  A tandem pair of paragliders outfitted with cameras and falconry gloves go up over Nepal with a hawk coming in for occasional landings (and treats).
          Pretty cool video...

   The pilot shown in this video has left a comment below, along with the following link:


Reflections from the trees on the other side of the wetlands give this swimming otter a colorful background...

Original nature photos at Squatlo's website:


         According to a Huffington Post article, Dan Tyminski's version of the country/bluegrass standard "Man of Constant Sorrow" was originally intended to be in the soundtrack for "The Big Lebowski" and not "Oh Brother Where Art Thou".  The Coen brothers had approached T-Bone Burnett about gathering up some of Nashville's finest Americana recording artists for the "Oh Brother" soundtrack, but that signature song (and I always think of George Clooney singing and dancing when I hear it) was meant, somehow, to be included in "The Big Lebowski."

         That, I just don't see...


           Two of my favorite movies, regardless!

Monday, August 22, 2011


               Photos courtesy of Think Progress (left to right: US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, David Cameron, Nicholas Sarkozy, and Barack Obama)

           Facepalms, all around...  Don't you just know there are conservatives all over America who aren't joining in the rest of the world's celebration of the fall of the Qaddafi regime in Libya?  Of course, they'll say this is great news, just like they said they were happy Osama Bin Laden had been killed by Navy Seals.  But in your heart, you just know those people were emotionally invested in the failure of Obama's pro-active policy in Libya.  Many of them took proud public stands against the policy Obama and NATO set out for the protection of the Libyan people, and eventually the overthrow of their tyrant.
           If you go to Think Progress and read the timeline of the Libyan revolt, you'll get to read through some of the negative statements made by Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Sen. Dick Lugar, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Mitt Romney, Bill (I'm wrong about everything, always) Kristol, Sarah Palin, and Dick Cheney, just to name a few.  You might also recall that efforts were made in the House of Reprehensibles to limit funding for American involvement in enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya, purely on political grounds.  Yes, it's a long, sordid story of backstabbing assholes posing for the cameras and making counter-productive statements against the President and his administration's policy in Libya.
           And now they get to turn on the news tonight and see rebel forces celebrating in Tripoli, some with signs thanking President Obama for having the courage to lend them a hand in the critical early days of their revolt.
            For the record, Qaddafi still hasn't "stepped down" or been located, but for all intents and purposes his regime in Libya has ended after four decades of tyranny.  And a big part of the credit for Qaddafi's fall should go to Barack Obama.
            Not that you'll hear a lot of praise from those same individuals who were critical of his policy... they'll give the credit to everyone BUT Obama, and then point to the unemployment numbers here in America as they walk away from the microphones.
             It might be time to stop and think about something... when Somali pirates took Americans hostage, it was Obama who gave the order to have them taken out by Navy SEALS.  When information came in strongly indicating bin Laden's presence in Pakistan, it was Obama who ordered the riskiest, most dangerous raid possible for his removal, despite the intense political pressure from his own staff to use cruise missiles to do the job.  And when no one, anywhere, wanted anything to do with getting involved in Libya, it was Obama who saw the humanitarian necessity to stop a tyrant from slaughtering his own people, and helped convince the world community to join in stopping that slaughter.
            It might be time we insisted some of these carping assholes stop referring to the man as a "weak president."  He might not strut around the flight deck in a flight suit and codpiece, and he might not wear cowboy hats to clear brush, but Barack Obama has a lot of international respect for the actions he's taken.  Perhaps it's time we demanded a little of that respect here at home.
            He's fucking earned it.


            I've been watching herons for several years, but this morning at the local wetlands I saw something new...  A green heron perched in a tree several feet above the water, and seemed to be watching dragonflies as they flew around the surface of the water.  Sure enough, just when I was distracted (and blurred the damn shot) he very quickly dangled upside-down from the branch he was perched upon and snatched a dragonfly out of the air.  I was able to recover enough to capture a few shots of the meal going down...


         Alternet has a story that should raise eyebrows across the country, but probably won't.  In an age where our government's "out of control" spending is making headlines (and motivating the lunatic right) you might think people would be freaking out over untold millions of dollars that are spent to promote one particular brand of godliness to our men and women in uniform.  But because that particular brand of religion is evangelical Christianity, you won't hear a peep of complaint.
         If you were to ask the average American taxpayer to describe how they might envision the U.S. military spends money for the religious needs of our troops, most folks would probably talk about the salaries of military chaplains or the sanctuaries constructed for prayer services.  And certainly those costs do figure into the final tally.  The problem is, no one knows what the final tally actually is, because there are simply too many unregulated and unmonitored programs taking place in the name of organized religion in our military budget.
         For instance, $125 million has been spent on the controversial Army Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program, the one that issues the mandatory "Spiritual Fitness Test" for all active military personnel.  Countless complaints have been leveled at this particular exam, even though the military claims the test doesn't promote one form of religion over any other.  Another example of blatant promotion of evangelical Christianity is the "Commanding General's Spiritual Fitness Concert Series" at Fort Eustis and Fort Lee in Virginia.  Millions of dollars have been spent hiring and promoting these concerts featuring evangelical Christian artists, and there are confirmed reports of military personnel being punished for failing to attend those shows.
          The military has a $30 million program called "Strong Bonds" designed to counsel returning troops and their families after extended deployments, which might appear to be money well spent, until you realize that much of that cost is to promote Christian values at special retreats.  One company receives $500,000 in contracts from the Department of Defense to operate camps such as the Oakridge Camp and Retreat at Fort Sill.  Oakridge requires all of its employees to be Christian, screens their opinions on abortion and homosexuality, and requires all military personnel using the facilities to attend pro-Christian meetings.
           The article also includes details about the millions spent on evangelical programs aimed at the children of our servicemen, as well as the troops themselves. 
           When the teabaggers in Congress set their sights on Planned Parenthood or National Public Radio they do so with an obvious religious and political agenda.  If the military were spending untold millions of dollars to promote any particular religion other than evangelical Christianity through hundreds of cash-sucking programs, you can bet your ass we'd be watching Congressional hearings about that outlay of taxpayer money.  But because those programs are universally Christian in nature and promote the religious views of those fiscal conservatives, we won't hear the first complaint about this expenditure.  Not a peep.
            Onward Christian Soldiers is not just a catchy tune.  It's your tax dollars at work, big time.


Clay Bennett's political cartoons can be found at 

Sunday, August 21, 2011


          Mediaite has a story concerning Jon Huntsman's appearance on today's edition of ABC's This Week and in the clip above you can hear the former ambassador to China basically calling out the rest of the herd of Republican loons who are currently running for president.
           When asked about Rick Perry's controversial statements in which he suggested Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's actions would be borderline treasonous if he were to print more money between now and next November's election, Huntsman took a swipe at Perry's infamous threat to lead Texas away from the Union, saying, "I don't know if that's pre-secession Texas or post-secession Texas."
            He also blasted the rest of his opponents for their stated denials of evolution and man-made global warming, saying that the Republican Party could be seen as the "anti-science party" which would be a "huge problem" in the general election.  He took shots at their stance in the recent budget impasse, pointing to their stated willingness to allow the government to default for the first time in history, and even blasted Michele Bachmann's lunatic claim that as president she would drastically reduce gasoline prices for Americans.

            Huntsman sees what Karl Rove and a lot of other Republicans plainly see:  their party has been corrupted by the influence of the radical right, to the point it threatens their electability in the general election if they continue to cater to the willfully ignorant.  In short, Huntsman is appealing to the fringe minority of the Republican base, sane people. 
            Good luck with that plan, sir...

Saturday, August 20, 2011


          Anyone who has spent any time in the southeast this spring and summer knows more than they care to know about cicadas... they've been in your hair, on your plants and trees, dive bombing your lawn mower, and making more noise than teabaggers at a Democratic town hall meeting.
          But Boing Boing has footage of Malaysia's "Empress Cicada", a bug that has a wingspan of EIGHT FUCKING INCHES!  Folks, that's the size of a robin...
          Imagine billions of these mother fuckers swarming your next barbeque...

           Reckmonster, I know how fond you were of our last cicada infestation (being a Michigan girl and unaccustomed to southern charms).  I hope you now appreciate the fact that these things don't call Tennessee "home"...