SLIDESHOW EXPLANATION

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

Friday, September 30, 2011

ANTI-IMMIGRATION LAW IN ALABAMA SPARKS SCHOOL EXODUS OF HISPANIC CHILDREN


           After a ruling that upheld the new anti illegal immigration law in Alabama, several school districts have reported high levels of absenteeism among Hispanic students.  In Montgomery County alone over  200 Hispanic children were missing from classes this morning, and similar percentages were being seen across the state.
           Just a quick question for those of you who might think this is a good thing:  What would you prefer teens do with their time, attend school and get an education (such as it is in Alabama...) or amuse themselves while their parents work on your farms and in your poultry plants?  Would it surprise anyone if crime rates increase along with the exodus with the students from classes?
           Not to suggest that Hispanic kids are any more prone to criminal behavior than any other ethnic group, but that society is better served when children and teens are busy in school rather than left to their own devices for the better part of the day. 
            There were also reports that farms and factories that depend on migrant labor were facing sudden shortages of workers.  Someone in the Montgomery statehouse should make a phone call to the agriculture department in Georgia and ask them how that anti-immigration legislation worked out for them over there... 
             The troglodytes who push this kind of legislation have the support of a lot of people who should know better.  I'm afraid they'll be reminded of the backlash of unintended consequences.

             

VIDEO OF 29 YEAR OLD WOMAN HEARING FOR THE FIRST TIME (grab a Kleenex...)



        Found this over at Boing Boing, this is a short clip of a beautiful young woman hearing her own voice for the first time after having a hearing device implant.
        I'm a sucker for crying beauties, but this would have messed me up had she been plain Jane...

THE REAL REASON THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE IS IN FINANCIAL TROUBLE (and why Republicans are overjoyed at their successful legislation)



           I've been waiting for someone to sum up this clusterfuck concerning the USPS for a long time, and it took my buddy Sir William over at Dumb Perignon to find this video 'splainin' it all in simple terms even I could understand.
           When you watch said video, pay particular attention to the comments explaining the recent legislation requiring the Postal Service to fund the retirement benefits for the next 75 years worth of USPS retirees, and do so within the next ten years.  Want to know why the GOP would create such a catastrophic debt crisis for the Postal Service?  Because it is the largest unionized employer in America, and union busting is what they do best.
          

HECKLERS IN KNOXVILLE TELL RICK PERRY TO STAY OUT OF TENNESSEE


             My buddy Mooner will appreciate this sentiment...  A couple of guys interrupted an impromptu press conference by Texas Governor Rick Perry outside the Fox Den Country Club in west Knoxville, telling him to stay out of Tennessee.  My thoughts exactly, although I probably disagree with their reasoning...
             Seems some folks are pissed because Perry has the audacity to suggest that the children of immigrants be allowed to pay state tuition rates if they want to attend colleges in the states where their parents have deposited them.  Those people would rather have the children of undocumented illegals roaming the streets selling drugs for a living, I suppose... you'd have to ask them, I hate to speak for the mouth-breathing knuckle-draggers.
             But if they want to show up at Perry's events and heckle the jackass, I'm all for it.  In fact, we have a few rotten tomatoes dangling around in the garden if anyone wants to come by and pick up some ammo...

BACHMANN BLAMES OBAMA FOR ARAB SPRING (and PMS, head colds, and the heartbreak of psoriasis)

          Michele Bachmann fends off tomatoes thrown her direction... (well, in my daydreams)

          Nothing like a little revisionist history lesson from the factose intolerant.  Michele Bachmann told a crowd of curiosity seekers (actually, it was a fundraiser, but let's be honest, they're really there to see if she'll say something batshit crazy, and she rarely disappoints...) that the recent uprisings against totalitarian dictators in the middle east is all because of the weak presidency of Barack Obama.
           She went on to compare Obama to Jimmy Carter, explaining:

"Just like Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s didn't have the back of the Shah of Iran, we saw the Shah fall and the rise of the Ayatollah. And we saw the rise and the beginnings of radical Jihad which have changed this world and changed this nation," she added.


           Yeah, if only Carter had helped the Shah of Iran keep his gold-gilded boot on the throats of those damned oppressed Iranians we probably wouldn't be dealing with jihad and Ayatollahs today.  Nevermind the decades of CIA influenced tyranny and brutality in Iran prior to the Shah's removal from power, it was all Carter's fault.  When all else fails, use the thirty year old GOP mantra and blame the peanut guy...
            Some folks see the Arab Spring as a hopeful sign, even if it brings uncertainty to the region.  Senator John Grumpypants McCain was quoted as having suggested that the uprisings had led people in Russia, China, and Iran to question the validity of their own oppressive regimes:

"They continue to inspire the world — and let people know that even the worst dictators can be overthrown and be replaced by freedom and democracy," McCain said.


            No one can predict the direction a revolution will take, but no one should cheer for the oppressors, as if maintaining a brutal and repressive ally is more important than working to inspire freedom across the globe.  We used to stand for freedom in this country, but over the years let our desire for empire and valuable resources pervert our foreign policy.  Now, that perversion can be directly linked to those jihadists Bachmann was blathering about at her fundraiser.
            Note to Bachmann and those of her tribe: radical jihadists hate us because of our foreign policies, including the decades of oppression our government not only endorsed, but helped finance and facilitate.  Our positions on Palestinian statehood and our blind devotion to Israel's brutal policies continue to inspire legions of enemies in the region.
             Bachmann would have made a fine little British sympathizer at our nation's founding. 

             "If only King George hadn't been such a weak monarch, those freedom fighters in the New World would still be paying taxes to the crown and supplying us with cotton!"

Thursday, September 29, 2011

GROUNDBREAKING AT CONTROVERSIAL MOSQUE IN MURFREESBORO TAKES PLACE (no earthquakes or angry armies of skeletons reported...)





             About a quarter of mile from Squatlo's back porch is a patch of ground that has seen more conflict and controversy than any spot in Murfreesboro since the historic battle of Stones River during the Civil War.  I've written (far too often) about the struggles the local Muslims have endured in their efforts to build a new Islamic Center in this community, and about the small, noisy groups of intolerant folks who have done their best to prevent that construction.  A page was turned yesterday, and hopefully we'll get past the ugliness and bigotry that has marked this controversy.
             About 250 people from the mid state showed up at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new mosque and community center yesterday.  Ceremonial groundbreakings are usually not all that newsworthy, but when you've had to put up with endless court challenges, marching Christian teabaggers, and the occasional arsonist and sniper, a celebration is called for.
             To hear the anti-Muslim zealots tell it, you would have expected members of al Qaida to scatter Hydra teeth on the freshly turned earth, sprouting an army of scimitar swinging skeletons who would rampage through the countryside slaughtering Christian heretics.


            I'm certain there are some in the community who are disappointed Jesus didn't cast down a stray lightning bolt from the baby blue skies just to commemorate the event.  Apparently, the heavens move in mysterious ways, because the groundbreaking was uneventful.  People showed up, applauded, hugged, and a large time was had by all.
            Personally, I hope we've heard the last of this.  Yet another monster church is the last thing this area needs, but the unreasoned hatred and intolerance shown to these people has made a supporter of this one lily white local resident. 
            I wish them all the best, so long as they don't clutter up the traffic between me and my favorite liquor store. 

            But you can bet your ass some in this community will know exactly whom to blame for this new mosque:


           

GOP SOLUTION TO TENNESSEE'S NEXT TO LOWEST VOTING RATES? SUPPRESS THE VOTE!


            According to an article in this morning's Nashville Tennessean (motto: "Turning Trees into Automobile Ads for Over 100 Years!") the state of Tennessee had the nation's second lowest percentage of eligible voter turnout for the 2010 Congressional elections.  Thank God for Texas...
            Only 37.7 percent of Tennessee's citizens over the age of 18 bothered to vote, and those that did voted heavily in favor of conservative Republican candidates, making our fair state even redder than before.  Somehow, even fewer voters in Texas (36.4 percent) went to the polls.
            Experts point to the fact that we had a non-competitive contest for the Governor's office and no statewide Senate race to generate excitement as possible explanations for the low turnout.  The weather was beautiful, but few of us bothered to vote in the Volunteer State.  I have no idea what the weather was like in Texas last November, but it's safe to assume it was smoky and dry, with widely scattered lunatics on the ballot.
             Most people would look at those abysmal numbers and say to themselves, "You know, we ought to do whatever it takes to encourage more of our eligible voters to go to the polls here in Tennessee."  But the poohbahs who run the Republican Party in Tennessee aren't interested in encouraging more voting.  Quite the opposite.  The people in charge of the Republican Party are following the national GOP playbook and doing their best to suppress voting.  And they're smiling all the while, because they know the fewer the votes, the better their chances. 
             If Democrats controlled both houses of the Tennessee legislature and did their level best to suppress likely Republican voters from going to the polls, the GOP reps across the state would be up in arms.  But how would that work?  It's obvious that Tennessee's new photo ID voter laws disenfranchise the poor and elderly, and that rules preventing student IDs from being acceptable identification will discourage college students who are living away from home from voting.  Those are groups that tend to vote Democratic.
             About the only way to deny voting rights to likely Republican voters would be to require IQ tests at the door, or perhaps by making them answer a series of simple American History questions in order to proceed to the voting booth.
              Here's my proposed test for voter eligibility in next year's national elections:

1)  Did Jesus write the American Constitution?
2)  Was Paul Revere trying to warn the British or the American colonists when he made his famous midnight ride?
3)   Is Ronald Reagan an actual saint?
4)   If the Rapture occurs while you are in the voting booth, are you required to press "VOTE" in order to have your selections counted?
5)   Which two of the following three theories has no place being taught in our public schools:  evolution, man-made global climate change, or gravity.

             I'm going to submit this suggested test to the next Democratic State convention and see if it gains any traction.
             Texas could just disallow anyone showing up with teabags dangling from their Stetson.

                                                             
           

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

DUBSTEP DUDE (ABSOLUTELY HYPNOTIC DANCER!)



        Found this clip over at Boing Boing and ripped it from youtube to post here.

        I don't care much about dancing, but this guy will absolutely blow your mind!  Give it a minute or two of your time and you're hooked...

QUOTE OF THE DAY FROM BILLY CONNELLY

          Billy Connelly is one of the funniest men alive.  Here's a quote some might not find so amusing:

"If women are so bloody


perfect at multitasking, how come they can't have a headache and sex at the

same time!

       
 
           

FIXING STUPID, MIDDLE TENNESSEE STYLE: THANKS MOM! ("Never noticed that train horn in this song before...")


           A couple of days ago I was zipping through traffic like a downhill skier cutting through Olympic gates when I almost clipped an idiot who wandered across an intersection while fucking with his iPod or Tampod or PadPod or whatever those little earbud thingies are that everyone is now tethered to when they jog or walk.  I was cruising through a long-standing green light, but this future Darwin Award Winner was too busy switching from Gnarles Barkley to Lady Goo Goo to notice he had stepped in front of a 1996 Firebird with lousy brakes.  If not for my cat-like reflexes that young man would be sharing paint and DNA with my favorite car.  I'm not sure he ever looked up or noticed the Angel of Death had passed behind his ignorant ass...
            Another young man (I'll assume it was a different idiot, but there's no way of knowing) wasn't so lucky in Nashville.  According to the Nashville Tennessean (motto: "Look, what do you want for 75 cents?"), an 18 year-old Madison man was walking down the middle of the tracks Monday night listening to his earbuds when he was struck and killed by a CXS freight train traveling 45 to 50 mph.  The train engineer repeatedly sounded the train's horn, but apparently the man never heard it above the din of his little electronic device.
             Of course that's a tragedy for everyone involved.  A family is in mourning today, and that train engineer will have nightmares for the rest of his life about the kid he hit.  I guess the only possible positive society should take from that horrible event is that it's unlikely this kid had time to spawn.  Trust me, anyone walking down railroad tracks in the middle of the night with his ears plugged is not likely to father a Nobel Prize winning biochemist.  Up north they have thin ice to help weed out the slow and stupid from the gene pool... down here we use freight trains and deer stands.

             The other tidbit of "you gotta be shittin' me" in this morning's paper concerns a pair of athletes who have been declared ineligible to play for their high school football team because their mom bitched on Facebook about their messy bedrooms. 
             Apparently, these two stellar athletes had "moved" to a particular area in order to be eligible to play football for a particular high school program.  Only problem was, mom still lived in their old house, and these two actually lived there on weekends.  The TSSAA has rules about high school's recruiting athletes, so they watch closely for any indication that a kid might be relocating just to become a stud on a certain team's roster.  When part of the family takes temporary residence in one county while maintaining a permanent residence in another, it raises red flags.
            But it's unlikely anyone would have noticed this dual address thing if not for mom and her Facebook rant about their propensity for trashing their rooms during their weekend stays at "home".  Someone noticed her Facebook posting, and the ensuing investigation revealed that her two sons weren't really full time residents of the school district for which they played football.  They've been booted off the team, and their school has been forced to forfeit the three games they've won so far this season.
             Let me repeat that... Their high school football team has been forced to forfeit the three games they've won this season because these two slobs didn't pick up their shit and their mom bitched about it on Facebook.
             "Thanks, mom!  Wanna tell everyone how we still wet the bed while you're up?"

              You can't make this shit up...

             

Monday, September 26, 2011

HAPPY TO SEE ME, OR IS THAT A HUMMER IN YOUR SHORTS?

        These photos were reportedly taken in 2010 by customs officials at the Rochambeau Airport in Cayenne, French Guiana, when a French customs officer noticed a strange bulge in the crotch of a Dutch tourist.
        Further inspection revealed that he was attempting to smuggle rare hummingbirds out of the country in his underwear...  pointy beaks and all.




          

ONE DISGRUNTLED FAN'S OPEN LETTER TO THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE: WTF!!!


To the Poobahs of the NFL,

         I'm going to confess right up front that I'm one of your fans who actually prefers college football.  By a long shot, and for a multitude of reasons.  But having confessed my lack of devotion to your version of America's favorite pastime, I'd like to offer a few points you might consider if you'd like to see more fans like me come over to your game.
         First of all, encourage kickoff returns instead of using the kickoff as an excuse to squeeze in a few extra Bud Lite commercials.  Back in the summer you clowns decided that kickoffs were causing a disproportionate number of injuries, so you voted to move the kicking tee from the 30 yard line to the 35 yard line.  Now instead of watching one of the most exciting aspects of football, the open field running/blocking/tackling of incredible athletes moving at unbelievable speeds, fans of your game get to watch the weakest player on each team take turns bashing the ball through the end zone, followed by a series of mind-numbingly stupid commercials.  College football games don't go to commercial following kickoffs, because they've just come back from commercials and they don't see the point in boring fans at the games or viewers at home.
          Put yourselves in the stands with your fans.  Literally.  Go take a seat in the upper deck of a stadium in mid November, when the snow is swirling in bitter winds and your ass is almost frozen to the aluminum.   Sit and look at the shivering people around you after a kicker nails a forty yard field goal as they wait for the officials on the field to get the "all clear" signal from the booth that the network television commercials have finally concluded and the game can resume.  Then watch those same fans continue to shiver for another five minutes after the same little guy boots the ensuing kickoff through the end zone, which is followed yet another series of idiotic commercials.  The fans at your games can't even see the stupid commercials they're required to sit through, adding to their boredom and frustration.  Moving the kickoff spot from the 30 to the 35 was the single most ignorant and fan-frustrating rule change in NFL history.  You couldn't make the game duller without eliminating the forward pass... and considering the rule changes you're making to define a legal hit by a defensive back these days, that's probably in the works, too.
          In the old days, defensive players were taught to knock the piss out of a receiver or running back in order to dislodge the football.  If the player with the ball wasn't looking?  Even better.  Now, defensive backs can't lead with their shoulder pads or helmets, can't strike a "defenseless player", and defensive linemen are routinely flagged (and fined by the league) for having the temerity to touch a quarterback after he's released the football.  They aren't allowed to hit the QB at or below the knees, or touch his precious head, even with a glancing blow that wouldn't disturb a fruit fly from a dog turd. 
           In short, you're pussifying a great game and turning it into something akin to contact tennis.  Watch these prima donna running backs, receivers, and quarterbacks tippy-toe down the sidelines in any given game, waiting for the exact instant when stepping out of bounds will draw an additional fifteen yard personal foul penalty from a guy who can't possibly avoid contact after chasing the man for fifty yards across the field.  Think you're making football fans happy with that idiotic rule?  Once again, it's football, you assholes, not tennis.  If a mother fucker doesn't want his bell rung, he'll get his happy ass out of bounds sooner.  Duh... Think Walter Payton stayed in bounds for unnecessary abuse when he could just as easily avoid a concussion by going behind coach Ditka?  Nope... "Sweetness" knew when to get out of bounds, and he played a long time and had a great career because of that intelligence.
           Another thing, while you're up... Have someone in your league office notify CBS and Fox Sports that the typical fan isn't inspired, entertained, or amused by the thunderous sound of music being blared at them during player introductions, commercial lead-ins, or at every lull in the conversation by the game announcers.  Fox Sports NFL coverage sounds more like the soundtrack to a bad gladiator movie than to a football game.  And these computer generated Transformer Fighting-Bot characters dancing on the side of the screen have nothing whatsoever to do with football and make the game look like something aimed at ten year olds with ADD.
           Drop some of the fucking graphics, too.  I don't need to see updates on every league game, baseball score, tennis match, or dog race scrolling across the bottom of the screen like late-breaking urgent news.  Half the time a fan watching the game on television can't see 50% of his 52" diagonal flat screen because it's cluttered up with needless information from other games across the nation.  We tune in to watch the game we're trying to watch, and if we wanted to know what Cleveland and Baltimore were doing we'd buy the NFL package and watch that fucking game.
          You've got lines on the screen denoting first down yardage, another graphic for the down and distance, a ticking game clock next to a ticking play clock, and at the bottom of the screen you're keeping us abreast of everything except the Westminster Kennel Club's Best in Breed competition.  Give it a fucking rest and let us watch the goddam game we're trying to watch!
           Here's one last "suggestion" you can ignore:  Either do away with official reviews of disputed calls, or speed up the process to about ten seconds of deliberation.  Glance at the replay once or twice, make a call.  No more of this shit where the lead official trots over to Ansel Adams' hooded camera tripod to watch a thousand different replays of the same dropped pass... then trots back to the center of the field to announce that the call made ten minutes ago was indeed the correct judgment.  Football used to include bad calls by incompetent referees, and the fans in the stands knew that was part of the game.  Blind, prejudiced, bribed officials made lousy calls at critical moments of critical games, and we just had to deal with it.  Now, a "disputed call" might be something as insignificant as a six inch difference in the placement of the football after forward progress has been stopped, or something as monumental as whether or not a receiver got both feet down before being knocked across the bench and through the cheerleaders.
           Which brings me to the cheerleaders...  If teams are going to hire strippers and pole dancers for their sideline entertainment, you should at least let them strip and pole dance instead of insisting that they wave pompoms and act like anyone anywhere gives a fuck about their "cheers".
I've been to NFL games.  No one "cheers" with the cheerleaders, like in high school or college football.  They're too busy drooling and staring at the navels gyrating and grinding away behind the benches.  Let 'em strip, mount poles in the turf, hold halftime competitions between the teams' strippers, and make it something everyone can agree is lewd and lascivious, instead of just pretending it's wholesome and encourages team spirit.  Whatever that is.
           There.  Fix it.  You have until next Sunday.  No more touchbacks.  Move the ball back to the 30 for kickoffs, and award a point to the kicking team if the other guys don't bring it out of the endzone.  Put the strippers in transparent wet clothes, rain or shine, or do away with them altogether.  Drop the thunderous gladiator music and 90% of the graphic arts from the telecast, and tell your game announcers it's okay to shut the fuck up once in a while.  No one will change channels if they don't keep talking like politicians on crack.

Disgruntled fans everywhere
          

JACKIE AND DUNLAP ON THE LAST GOP DEBATE... SORT OF...



          They're back, putting out one or two of these things a week now, so pay attention.

          "Crows love blood..."

        

DEBATE OR VIDEO GAME VIOLENCE?

          Found this at Crooks and Liars, credit going to  Bob Rogers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

ROGER AILES WANTS "COURSE CORRECTION" FROM FAR RIGHT AT FAUX NEWS (yeah, right...)

            The sack of shit in the picture above is a guy named Roger Ailes, former media maven and advisor to that pillar of American Presidential integrity Richard Milhouse Nixon, and current CEO of the wholly owned propaganda subsidiary of the Republican National Committee known as Faux News Channel.  In an effort to staunch the bleeding in his network's continuing ratings decline, Ailes has indicated he wants Faux News to make a "course correction" from the far right.
            In the recent past Ailes has told his prime time flamethrowers to "tone down the rhetoric", specifically after the Giffords' shooting in Tuscan.  He's fired batshit crazy xenophobe Glenn Beck, and argued with loose cannon Sarah Palin after her refusal to back off of her inflammatory hate speech in the wake of the aforementioned assassination attempt of Gabrielle Giffords.
            Now, in an interview with Newsweek magazine, Ailes has dropped a few hints that there might be trouble in paradise within the world of towering egos that is Faux News.  For one thing, he says Bill O'Reilly absolutely hates Sean Hannity, apparently jealous over Hannity's AM radio success.  Not a surprise there.  He also stated that he's had to have words with Shep Smith whenever Smith fucks up and says something rational about national politics, because it might not sit well with the teabagger crowd that makes up the majority of Faux viewers.
            Let's get something clear:  if Roger Ailes wants to make a "course correction" for the abomination that his network has made of American political discourse, the first (and most effective) thing he could do is convince News Corp owner Rupert Murdock to completely dismantle Faux News and take it off the air.  Short of doing the right thing, he could immediately terminate everyone currently on the air at the network, with the possible exception of Shep Smith, and start the fuck over with sane folks.
            And lastly, he could find a nice tall building somewhere with an alley not frequented by pedestrians for his personal swan dive.  This man is responsible for much of the hateful rhetoric that is passed along through his infamous talking points memos that the right wing echo chamber parrots at his command, and pulling his own plug would be the most patriotic thing Ailes could ever do for the country.
             Fuck this gasbag and all his horrible little acolytes.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE PARODY OF THE SEVENTH OR EIGHTH GOP DEBATE



        Really, other than imposters playing the parts, this is pretty much a verbatim replay of the last debate.

        Be afraid, America.  Or at least, be mildly amused...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

THE BOATLIFT OF 9/11: LARGEST SEA EVACUATION IN HISTORY



       I didn't post any 9/11 anniversary blogspots, mainly because it seemed like everyone had it more than covered (to say the least...)
       But I received this video in an email a little while ago and thought it worthy of passing along.

       Think the evacuation of allied soldiers at Dunkirk was a massive undertaking?  Try moving 500,000 untrained civilian victims of a terrorist attack in less than 9 hours.

"BABY, SHE DIDN'T MEAN A THING TO ME, I SWEAR IT!" ( confessions of a sleeping dog...)


        
          I've written before of my propensity for vivid dreams, which sometimes manifests itself in actual nocturnal conversations... and how this habit of "talking in my sleep" has often resulted in misunderstandings and confusion.  Well, last night I kept my mouth shut (thank you, Jebus!) but still feel a twinge of guilt I can't explain.
          You see, I had a very (!) vivid dream last night in which I reunited with an old flame.  This certain someone is a person I haven't seen or even thought about in over twenty years, and yet she somehow managed to enter my subconscious long enough for a wild, passionate sexual tryst.  I distinctly remember waking up from this sweaty encounter in the sudden realization that I had just cheated on my lovely (and thoroughly dangerous) wife, and was immediately overcome with an overwhelming sense of guilt.
          I reflexively reached across the bed and touched my wife on her shoulder, and felt an urge to snuggle close and apologize for my dream-me's horrible indiscretion... but thought better of it when I realized I would have to explain myself to a dangerous woman who needs her sleep.  How does one gracefully apologize for having cheated in a dream?  One doesn't.  One never should, of course.



         Because she rarely reads this silly blog these days, I doubt my wife will even find out about my dream-me's philandering ways.  And that's probably a good thing.  She's intensely jealous, this wife of mine, and tends to harbor insecurities for future reference whenever I've managed to piss her off.  Like most women, she has a steel trap mind capable of remembering every last detail of every fuck up I've ever committed, in deed, thought, or word.  She's a beautiful woman with a million admirably qualities, but can quickly cut to the chase if need be... (she's teaching a morning kickboxing class across town as I type, and holds a fourth degree black belt in Wado Ryu)
          I have no idea why my dreams were interrupted by some long forgotten blast from the past, but I'm hoping you folks won't rat me out if you ever meet my beloved in person.
          She won't have a clue what you're talking about, and I'll be in trouble for not coming forward with this information the minute it was up for discussion.  If there's one thing every woman will agree on, they hate it when men keep secrets from them.
          But do we have to confess dreams?  Anyone out there ever felt the need to explain himself after a sleeping encounter with an old girlfriend?
          Where's Freud when I need his ass...?


         

Friday, September 23, 2011

GOP DEBATE AUDIENCES: THE THUMBS DOWN MOB IN ANCIENT COLOSSEUM


           I've been tied up all day processing sports photographs from last night's games, so I'm a little late to the current events party everyone else is already bored with... (and yes, I routinely end sentences with prepositions, and often with propositions, and couldn't care less what Mrs. Banker, my old English teacher from high school, thinks about my obvious lack of grammatical progress) 
           A few minutes ago I watched a film clip from the most recent Republican presidential debate, and again, the debate audience stole the show.  Host Megyn Kelly (who is quickly climbing my shit list for a prominent place near Ann Coulter's right hand) played a youtube clip of an active U.S. military member who wanted to know if anyone on the GOP panel would attempt to rescind the recent Congressional act overturning Don't Ask, Don't Tell.  The soldier in the clip offered that he had "come out" and was no longer required to hide his sexual identity for fear of losing his job, and wanted to know if any of the current Republican candidates would reinstate DADT if elected.
          Before Rick "Frothy Boy" Santorum could respond, several members of the debate audience could be heard lustily booing the soldier's comments.  Think about that... an active member of our armed forces, currently deployed in Iraq, was booed for asking a legitimate question concerning a very controversial new military policy.  He wasn't booed for asking the question, he was booed for having come out of the footlocker in public.

         The more I see (and hear) of the Republithugs who attend these debate Kabuki dances, the more frightened I am for the future of America.  In the first debate I watched as the crowd in attendance cheered Governor Rick Perry's death camp record of executions in Texas.  Then I heard some in the second debate crowd shouting "Yeah!" when Wolf Blitzer asked Ron Paul if society should let the uninsured die rather than provide government funded health care.   Now, I hear some audience members booing an active American soldier for having the temerity to be homosexual in their army.
          I hope these people aren't representative of the Republican base, but I'm more and more convinced that they are indeed the prototypical teabagger voters, the epitome of the "I/Me/Mine" go-fuck-yourself mentality of the GOP.  After the past year of watching them in action at Tea Party rallies, hearing their rude interruptions at Democratic town hall meetings, and seeing their elected representatives attempting to paralyze the American legislative process, I've come to believe that this mean-spirited, hateful attitude is in fact 100% representative of today's Republican Party.
          How could a person  not come to that conclusion?  In what speech, or legislative action, or platform position is the GOP anything but hateful and mean-spirited?  Are you going to point to their pro-life agenda as a sign of compassionate conservatism?  I'll allow that ONLY if you're willing to listen to the litany of violence and threats made against abortion providers and the onslaught of nationwide legislation against women and reproductive rights.
          When it is acceptable policy for the supporters of Republican politicians to willingly urge their elected representatives to allow the poor, or infirm, or elderly uninsured to fucking die rather than allot one dime of their precious tax dollars to their health concerns, we can shrug off the Christian Compassion shroud and call them what they are:  hateful and mean-spirited sons of bitches who ought never be allowed near the reins of government.


          I wouldn't want these bastards in charge of my county's sanitary landfill, much less give them control of all public policy in America.
         

Thursday, September 22, 2011

LISA HANNIGAN PAINTED IN "KNOTS"...



         If you're a fan of Damien Rice you already know about Lisa Hannigan, his incomparable backup vocalist.  This is a strange little video by Lisa going solo...

         I think she has a cool Minnie Driver thing working, and love her voice!

        Here's here harmony vocals on display backing Rice on his hit "Volcano", one of the best acoustic songs you'll ever hear:



ELIZABETH WARREN FOR PRESIDENT! I'D VOTE FOR HER IN A HEARTBEAT!!!



         Want to know why influential Republicans, especially fat cat corporate whores, were terrified of having Elizabeth Warren in charge of the Consumer Protection Agency?  Watch her answer the "class warfare" critics...

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                                  UPDATE TIME...

          Sometimes when I'm stuck in a vehicle and have time to kill I like to tune the radio over to the primitive AM and see what Rush Limbaugh is frothing about.  Today, all that mother fucker can talk about is Elizabeth Warren and this film clip.
          To hear Rush tell it, Warren (and by party connection Obama) don't think any wealthy person is entitled to the fruits of their labor.  All of us who aren't factory owners are equally entitled to that owner's profits, because we paved the roads and educated the workers Warren was talking about.  Warren's philosophy, according to Limbaugh, is exactly the same as Mao's, or Castro's, or Chavez's, or any other socialist or communist who would redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor if given the chance.
          I turned it off when it began to turn my stomach, then flipped it back on a half hour after getting a haircut, only to find Rush still foaming at the mouth about this little sound bite from Elizabeth Warren.
           If the fear from the right can be appropriately measured by the way Rush Limbaugh's balls have sucked up inside his blubber at the words of Ms. Warren, she terrifies those assholes like no other.  He can't shut up about her!

            One more reason I'll gladly write the woman a check if and when she announces for a Senate bid in Massachusetts.  I'm telling you, she might be the best advocate and champion the left has to offer, bar none. 
             She scares the piss out of them, and that, in and of itself is reason enough to support her future political endeavours.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

JACKIE AND DUNLAP CRITIQUE THE NEW PALIN EXPOSE...




     "...PUTTERIN' AROUND ON HIS SNOW SCOOTER..."

SHOULD OBAMA WITHDRAW AND FOREGO THE CAMPAIGN FOR A SECOND TERM?




            I stumbled across an opinion piece by Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune entitled "Why Obama Should Withdraw" and thought to myself, "Well, that's a little premature, buddy."
But after reading his Sept. 18 column, I'm beginning to see some merit in what Chapman has written.
            Consider the sad facts:  Obama's job approval rating is at an all time low, even among progressives and Democratic rank and file voters.  There is an excellent chance that if he is reelected he'll be faced with the prospect of Republicans in control of both houses of Congress.  The American people have come to expect him to capitulate on his stated core beliefs when faced with Republican intransigence, and there's nothing about a unified Republican majority in both houses of Congress that would suggest his negotiating skills might improve.  And lastly, according to Chapman's article, Obama would have to replace vast numbers of his inner cabinet, as almost all second term presidents have had to do throughout history, meaning the "second teamers" would become the starters.  Not a pretty picture.
             I can remember no president in my lifetime who has faced such withering, continuous criticism from both his political enemies and his own base.  Obama's most ardent supporters are now disillusioned and frustrated, and many are openly suggesting that progressives simply sit out the next election to show their disfavor with Obama and the status quo.  The economic outlook for the next two quarters is gloomy, to put it mildly, and there are so silver linings to the storm clouds on the American fiscal horizon.  The stalemate between the parties concerning the debt ceiling and deficit reduction is about to be handled by a "Super Committee" of politicians who are currently under intense pressure from their own bases to hold the line at all costs... not exactly a recipe for cooperation and negotiation.
             Chapman points to "Second Term Blues", the 2007 book by John Fortier and Norman Ornstein, in which they describe the typical second term difficulties some recent presidents have faced, from Nixon with Watergate, Reagan and Iran/Contra, and Clinton with Lewinski and the impeachment witch hunt.
              Chapman closes his article with a nod toward the Democratic Party's most likely successor, Hillary Clinton.  She isn't a member of Congress, knows the insider moves required to survive in the White House vortex, is currently listed by a recent Bloomberg poll as "the most popular national political figure in America today."  And no one in either party harbors any illusions about Hillary's willingness to fight for what she believes in.
               Maybe it's premature to write off Obama's presidency, or to openly urge him to rethink his desire for a second term.  After all, thirteen months is an eternity in politics, and there is no way to foresee what might galvanize the public's opinion of Obama in the near future.  But it might not be imprudent to ask of the man, "Are you sure you even want this job any more?"
               Considering the dangers and stresses involved, who could blame him if he decided to sit out the next election, hand the reins over to his bitter 2008 Democratic rival, and let her deal with the teabaggers, the press, and the Republicans.
               To tell you the truth, I'd be a lot more enthusiastic about the 2012 presidential election if that were the scenario.

COLBERT'S "BROADEN THE TAX BASE" REBUTTAL




          Found this Comedy Central clip over at Mediaite and thought it worthy...
          Once the GOP talking points memo comes down the tube from the Koch Brothers, all of the current office holders and candidates heel to the line they're given to recite:  "We need to broaden the tax base."  This canard is based on the ludicrous new meme that the poor aren't paying their fair share...
          Whenever Obama or progressives suggest the budget imbalance might somehow be related to the Bush tax breaks handed to the wealthiest of Americans, or perhaps be due to our neverending unfunded wars and occupations, the right can be counted upon to come back with their version of class warfare:  attack the poor and elderly.
           Colbert skewers this position brilliantly, in my opinion.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

SO IT GOES... "SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE" RETURNS TO REPUBLIC'S LIBRARY




             Back in July of this year I ranted (as is my wont) about a decision by the Republic, Missouri school board to ban Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five from the high school library and required reading lists for students.  I pitched a bitch, as I always do when anal retentive jackasses who haven't even read my favorite book decide it's just too risque for today's teens to read.
            Well, apparently, they've had enough flak thrown their way, because they've decided it might be acceptable for that particular book to return to the school library.  However, instead of just admitting they'd been misled by ignorant cranks, these pricks have decided to require parental or guardian signatures before letting the book be read by inquiring minds at the school.  And, of course,  they aren't returning it to the required reading list.
             Every few years some school or school board adopts a policy in which it tries to keep this incredible novel out of the hands of impressionable young people, usually because of crude language concerns.  They ignore the pleas of those of us who have actually read the book, bowing to the Thought Police, the people who believe foul language must mean foul thoughts.
            Slaughterhouse-Five is my favorite novel, and was made into my favorite movie by George Roy Hill (director of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting, among other great films) and should be actively promoted as one of the finest anti-war books of all time.  Instead, the book is attacked on a regular basis by narrow minded trolls who haven't a clue what might be about.

           I guess I should be happy that the book is back in the library again, but have to wonder what kind of world we live in where something this beautiful is thought to be of "no redeeming social value". 
                
           Vonnegut wouldn't give a shit, but I feel an obligation to defend his greatest novel from troglodytes and religious fanatics whenever it's attacked.  If we printed a copy for every kid in America and passed them out in our schools, we'd have a better generation of adults running this country in a few years.
            
            

FROM THE PEN OF CLAY BENNETT








           America's best editorial cartoonist lives here in red-state Tennessee, and his work can be found at http://timesfreepress.com/news/opinion/cartoons/.

GREATEST REALITY SHOW CONCEPT EVER? FILM CONGRESSMEN TRYING TO SURVIVE ON YOUR SALARY...



           Congressman John Fleming (R-La) recently appeared on MSNBC to bitch about Obama's plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, saying that after paying his expenses he has trouble feeding his family on the $400K net profit left over from his $6.3 million dollar annual income.
           These people have absolutely no clue how out of touch they are with the concerns of the average American.

           You want a reality show concept that even I would watch?  Take a dozen Congressmen out of their mansions and gated communities, bring them and their families to typical American subdivisions, give them minimum wage jobs at Walmart and McDonalds and Costco, then film them as they struggle to make that budget work.  Watch them explain to their wives that they'll have to do their own laundry since they can't afford the housekeeper, or limo driver, or the cook who normally handles all the meals and grocery shopping.  Film them as they explain to their kids (Buffy and Skip for this example) that they'll have to give up dressage lessons and their dreams of getting a pilot's license, and maybe even have to cancel that winter cruise to Tahiti the family had planned to take once the weather got nasty in DC.
             I'd truly love to watch Congressman Fleming pushing his shopping cart through Krogers, wondering why in the world filet mignon costs as much for a meal as he makes in a day at Walmart.
I like for him to see what it's like for the average person who has to watch his kids get on a bus for the local public school he voted to defund, instead of being chauffeured to Christ R Us Academy.  It would be oh so entertaining to listen to Mr. and Mrs. Fleming discussing their monthly utility bills over the kitchen table at night after the kids are tucked into bed...
             They have no fucking clue... and they won't get one anytime soon.

"WOMEN IN ART" MORPHS PORTRAITS FROM THROUGHOUT HISTORY


Women In Art from Philip Scott Johnson on Vimeo.

     
         You can view a list of the paintings used in Philip Scott Johnson's film here.

DR. HOUSE (HUGH LAURIE, ACTUALLY...) RELEASES HIS FIRST ALBUM



         Since the first episode aired so many years ago, House has been my favorite television program, week in and week out.  I think Hugh Laurie is an absolute genius, and the surrounding cast and writers offer up brilliant work show after show.
         One of the things you have to take away from that program is the absolute talent Hugh Laurie has on the keyboard.  When you see Dr. House sit down at his piano to noodle away the time between rants and ravings, that's really Hugh Laurie on the ivories.

         You can youtube Hugh Laurie and get a dozen comedy clips like this one:


Monday, September 19, 2011

"HOLD THE GINGER" ( sorry man, you can put that thing away, we're not interested...)

         According to a story on Huff'n'Puff Post, the world's largest sperm bank is turning down donations from redheads due to a lack of demand for their sperm.
         Now, that's just wrong.  If a guy has a money-maker in his pants, he should be allowed the same consideration at the sperm bank as anyone else with a disease-free deposit.  I mean, what's next?  No left-handed donors accepted?  No green eyed fathers needed today, sorry?

          Here are a few great reasons to keep taking the ginger snaps at the sperm bank, folks: