Tuesday, January 31, 2012


           My lovely (and dangerous) wife was rear-ended at a traffic light yesterday afternoon by a 20 year-old kid who thought it necessary to announce "I wasn't texting THAT time!" after the wreck.  Probably not what his insurance company would want him to announce following an accident he had caused, ya think?
            Anyway, no one was hurt.  My wife's car slammed into an SUV parked ahead of her Mustang at the light, and the police officer who took the accident report noted the kid had struck her from behind and that collision had driven her car into the SUV.  We'll see how this all plays out in the next couple of days (or months... I have a pessimistic attitude about insurance companies).
            One complicating factor might be that we've cancelled our current car insurance policy and paid a premium to another firm, but our old policy was still in effect and will be for another three days.  A quick call to the claims department of the old company was unrewarding... they offered to work on the matter if we'd only pay the deductible for their assistance.  I heard my wife's "Bullshit!" from the other room, so I knew things weren't going swimmingly on the phone.
             In the meantime, her pony car is crinkled up in the front and the hood won't open for me to examine the radiator or fan assembly.  No fluids seem to be leaking, but they might have dumped out at the light while she and the others waited for the police to show up.  One headlight was crushed and the back end is a mess (wouldn't it be sweet if bumpers on cars, trucks, and SUVs were all designed to meet in accidents?  Instead, her bumper went under the SUV's bumper and did all the damage).

             You would have to know my wife and her relationship with that Mustang to understand how traumatic it is for her to see "The Princess" in less than pristine condition in the garage.  As the coming days drag on and more hassles and headaches ensue, I don't look forward to the general "vibe" in the atmosphere around here.  The sooner they get this thing resolved and she's got her baby back to its previous condition, the better.  As it is, giant slabs of red paint are flaking away from the front and rear of the car, and the hood is buckled up in a most unattractive manner.
             It's not a good thing when The Empress is unhappy.  I'm putting my usual snark on hiatus until this is resolved for my own self-preservation.  I made the mistake of mentioning that, technically, a driver is required to leave adequate room between her car and the car ahead of hers, just in case some idiot rams into her, and received a withering glare for my fucked up opinions.
             Heavy sigh...


          There's an article in the local/state section of today's Nashville Tennessean (motto: "Keeping you up to speed on the General Assembly's bigots!") concerning Sunday's dust-up when Tennessee state Senator Stacey "Don't Say Gay" Campfield was asked to leave a Knoxville restaurant by an owner who refused to serve him because of his ignorant hate speech concerning gays and the AIDs virus.  The article explains what happened, and contains a link to this sanctimonious asshole's blog page, in which he compares himself to Jesus and those brave souls who fought for the Civil Rights movement.
           Here's a passage from his blog for you to consider:  In the 60's my grandfather sat at the lunch counters with the blacks in Knoxville to help break up the segregation of the races. I guess some people still support segregation. Just segregation of thought.

           Yep, Grampa sat with "the blacks".  See?  That makes me okay, right?  Guess that's why he tried (unsuccessfully) to join the Black Caucus so he could cry "reverse racism" when he was denied membership...

            He also had a line or two from the Bible, quoting Jesus: As Jesus said, "If you are not welcomed in a town shake the dust off your feet and move on". My friends and I went to latitude 35 and had a good breakfast.
            Yeah, you and Jesus, Senator, two of a kind.  Funny thing, though.  I don't remember any quotes in which Jesus was judgmental concerning homosexuality.  I do recall quite a few in which he preached love, compassion, and understanding.  I'd get the direct quotes, but my wife and I only keep non-fiction here at Chateau Squatlo...

           I left Sen. Campfield a comment on his blog, but doubt it will ever see the light of day there.  If you find his attitudes and comments offensive, I hope you'll visit his blog post and share your sentiments with the man.
           Not that I hold out hope for the guy, but just because he needs to know his backward attitudes aren't universally shared by thinking people.

Monday, January 30, 2012


         Sen. Stacey "Hungry Hungry Hypocrite" Campfield...

           I've written recently of the troglodyte state Senator from Knoxville who has sponsored homophobic bills in our state legislature, such as the infamous "Don't Say Gay" bill soon to be brought back to the floor of the Senate by this asshole... He's also been in the news lately for comparing homosexuality to bestiality, and defended the recent efforts to protect bullies who hector gays in their schools.  In short, a real piece of work.
           Well, funny thing happened Sunday at brunch time...  Campfield stopped into a restaurant in Knoxville, the town he represents in the state's Senate, and the owner there refused to serve his ass.  Here's a snippet from the Facebook entry Bistro at the Bijou posted after sending Mr. Campfield packing:

"I hope that Stacy Campfield now knows what if feels like to be unfairly discrimanted against." From all that I can ascertain, that was a response to not serving him for his well documented views of ignorance and bigotry towards the GLBT community.

            Knoxville's Metro Plus had this quote from Bistro owner Martha Boggs:
"I didn't want his hate in my restaurant," Boggs said in a interview this morning. "I told him he wasn't welcome here. ... I feel like he's gone from being stupid to being dangerous, and I wanted to stand up to him."


           Apparently, Campfield thinks his civil rights have been violated.  Cool.  Now he knows how gays feel when the man who's paid to represent them in the state's legislative body spends most of his time expressing hateful and harmful attitudes about their lifestyle. 
           I hope every restaurant in the fucking state sends this guy out the door when he shows up.  Maybe he'll think twice before dissing his own constituents with this kind of attitude.


        I called the Bistro but was unable to speak to the owner.  After writing her an email thanking her for her courageous stand against bigotry, she wrote this in reply:
Thank you for your comments, it felt good to stand up to a bully who uses his position as an elected offical to discriminate against his constituents.


        I'd like to encourage anyone reading this to write Martha Boggs and thank her for her actions:  is the address.  Tell 'em Bob at Squatlo-Rant sent you!



 Apparently Italian cruise ship Captain Francesco Schettino has found a new job.

MISS PIGGY RIPS FAUX NEWS AT PRESS CONFERENCE (why do Muppets have better lines than people?)

         Kermit and Miss Piggy were in London for the premier of their new Muppet movie, and at a press conference were asked about the recent controversial statements of Faux News Eric Bolling in which he accused the Muppets of having a liberal agenda.
         Here's Miss Piggy's take on the matter:

“It’s almost as laughable as, ahhh…accusing Fox News as…you know, being news!”

LIBERAL GROUP TARGETS TEABAGGER CONGRESSMEN FOR REMOVAL (Citizens United comes back to haunt righties...)

         This is just wrong... and I fucking love it!  When the Citizens United  decision came slithering out of the Soup-reme Court I was quick to point out that it would mean the end of democracy as we know it, allowing unnamed mega-rich folks to buy our future elections.  Those Super PACs have been hard at work during the nationwide goat-fuck we call the GOP Presidential Primary season, and suddenly those guys who were so much in favor of unlimited spending are seeing their campaigns in constant defense-mode trying to fight off anonymous smears from the other guys' shady groups.  I consider this a fitting result... sort of a goose-gander, pot-kettle sort of thing for Republicans to deal with.
          But make no mistake about it, Democrats will be fighting uphill battles this fall as well- funded Super PACs take aim at progressive lawmakers across the nation.  While it might be fun to watch the GOP circular firing squad primary battles as these Super PACs test out their new wings, we have to know the coming shit-storm won't be good for Democrats or democracy in the future.  Too much money, too little regulation, one fucked up mess on the way to a voting booth near you.
           But here's a little good news for you to consider...  A progressive group called CREDO is vowing to target the 10 worst of the worst teabagger Congressmen this fall, and they're beginning a nationwide fundraising effort for the campaign ahead.
           Here's a clip from the Huff'n'Puff piece:
"We're talking about some of the most odious members of Congress. Even for Republicans these guys are low," said Campaign Manager Matthew "Mudcat" Arnold in a statement.

"We're going to empower local activists to organize their friends and neighbors to lay out the truth about their representatives in the most basic terms," Arnold added. "They are anti-woman. They are anti-science. They are hypocritical, bigoted, and have said and done things that are downright crazy. They've done more to embarrass their constituents than they have to govern or work toward solutions. They are unfit for Congress, and we're going to help their constituents hold them accountable."

The first six lawmakers targeted by the group are Reps. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), Steve King (R-Iowa), Allen West (R-Fla), Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), Frank Guinta (R-N.H.), and Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.). Four more will be chosen by CREDO's members.

          The PAC plans to open offices in each of the targeted members' districts to work with people in the communities who already oppose the legislators.

"We're taking the traditional super PAC model and turning it on its head -- to put power back in the hands of the people, instead of consolidating it in the hands of corporate executives and the ultra-wealthy," said Becky Bond, president of the CREDO super PAC. "Where Karl Rove and the Koch brothers can use shady money from a few hidden donors to fund a barrage of TV attack ads, this super PAC will empower local voters and our list of 2.5 million activists to build a grassroots campaign that is as hard hitting as it is progressive.

"Using innovative tactics, technology, and good, old fashioned grassroots organizing, we're going to kick some Tea Party congressmen out of office," Bond said.

         This is going to be so ugly.  Can you imagine the money that will be raised for this effort, and the money that will be offered by the Kochs and other billionaires to keep these trolls in office?  Enough money will change hands to fund any number of utopian programs, but instead will be used merely to defeat or support targeted candidates.
          Maybe the Soups had this in mind when they ruled on Citizens United.  Maybe it's just their way of adding to the economy, by encouraging unlimited spending by folks who normally would just sit on their wallets while the nation's economy sours.
           Yeah, that's it.   Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito... they're just thinking of the economy!

PUBLIC HANGINGS OF ABORTIONISTS ADVOCATED BY NORTH CAROLINA STATE REP (says he was a little hasty sending that message to the entire general assembly...)

  North Carolina State Representative Larry "Hang 'em High" Pittman

           Ever hit "send all" or "reply all" by accident?  Larry Pittman (R-District 82) can relate...
Seems an asshole currently on death row in North Carolina wrote a letter to the editor of a paper there bragging about how cushy he had it while he waited for his execution date, and Rep. Pittman got a little hot under the collar about it and sent off an email to his colleagues advocating public hangings as a deterrent to crime.
           There are a lot of people who favor public executions, so Rep. Pittman isn't alone in his blood lust.  But few of them go so far as to add "abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers" to their list of "front of the line" condemned.
           When you consider that South Carolina, Nebraska, and Iowa have all considered Republican sponsored bills to basically allow for the murders of abortion providers, and that Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn famously said, "I favor the death penalty for abortionists." during his 2004 reelection campaign, it's not a stretch for Pittman to make such an inflammatory statement.

          I'm waiting for some Republican to suggest hanging Occupy Protesters to the list of "gallows eligibility"...


              According to the article 9 of the 10 warmest years in the period between 1880 and 2011 have occurred since 2000.  The average world temp is .92 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than during the baseline period (1951-1980) of the previous century.
           It's impossible to convince climate change deniers that man is influencing the planet's warming trend, but for people who aren't ideological zealots the evidence is pretty clear.  Those who stand to profit from keeping with the status quo are spending incredible amounts of money to poison the debate, but the consensus of scientists and climatologists is overwhelmingly in agreement:  We Be Cookin'!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

PRESENTING "STATIC PUPPY"!!! (I have no idea why I find this so funny...)

         Here's one for anyone who's not above using cute animals for their own twisted amusement...

LOCAL TALK SHOW HOST'S NEW FILM ATTACKS AL GORE AND CALLS GLOBAL WARMING A HOAX ( 'cause local idiots trust right wing radio hosts more than scientists and their "facts" )

         Movie poster for Phil Valentine's "An Inconsistent Truth"

         They say reality has a well-known liberal bias, and one local wingnutter radio host is on a mission to prove reality depends upon the observer.  For those of you who are mercifully out of broadcast range of Nashville's "Stupid-Talk" 99.7 FM, Phil Valentine is a right wing flame-thrower familiar to anyone in our area.  For years Valentine has stayed on the air by making sure the local teabagger rabble is sufficiently "roused" about issues near and dear to his heart: illegal immigration, a state income tax (Tennessee doesn't have one, instead relying on an oppressive sales tax and property taxes to fund the state), and making fun of Tennessee's least favorite son- former Senator and Vice President (and duly elected 43rd President of the United States) Al Gore Jr. and anything he says, does, or endorses.  Since Gore is somewhat famous for his book and film "An Inconvenient Truth", Valentine has come out with a new movie that purports to debunk the "myth" of man made global warming.
           You would have to listen to Valentine's talk show for an afternoon or two to understand just how ignorant this gasbag actually is... My words can't do him justice.  He's an anti-Hispanic bigot, homophobic, Islamaphobic, and about as qualified to hold forth on matters of science as "Otis" the town drunk from The Andy Griffith Show.  If a subject raises the hackles of conservatives you can count on Phil Valentine to be on the front lines making sure it stays in the spotlight.  His show is a broken record of anti-immigrant bashing racism, sprinkled with Phil's "hilarious" ethnic impressions... like his sing-songy Asian voice, or the exaggerated Jesse Jackson impression Valentine uses whenever he needs to taunt or make fun of minority concerns.  He'll break into a stereotypical Native American impression, complete with the requisite "How!" to bemoan reservation casinos or fishing rights controversies.  And his flaming gay persona is oh-so spot on when he wants to ridicule homosexuals or gay marriage.
          In short, Valentine's a real piece of work.  The sound of this troll's voice makes me dive for the radio dial, and trust me when I tell you he's one of the reasons this state has gone from fairly Democratic to solidly conservative Republican in recent elections.  Right wing radio is a primary source of information in this area, and more of our local citizens listen to the virulent hate speech of Phil Valentine, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and G. Gordon Liddy than you might believe possible.
          According to an article in this morning's Nashville Tennessean (motto: "News straight from the Associated Press to your driveway!") Valentine's new film makes fun of people who recycle plastic bottles or drive hybrid automobiles, and panders to the climate change deniers who make up the bulk of his listening audience.  His film claims carbon dioxide is not a pollutant and is not contributing to global warming, and tosses statistics at his audience that the majority of climate change scientists have already disproved. 
          But Valentine, like most right wing conservatives, can't be bothered by pesky ol' facts.  To his ilk, this global warming thing is just a hoax foisted upon us by elitist snobs who want us to disconnect from the electrical grid, park our SUVs, and teach our children that science is a more reliable guide to the universe than The Bible. 
          Here's a film clip of Valentine holding forth at an anti-tax teabagger rally vowing to "take our country back":



Saturday, January 28, 2012

NOT ALL CONSERVATIVES ARE STUPID, BUT MOST STUPID PEOPLE ARE CONSERVATIVES... (forgive me, John Stuart Mill, but this new study fits your famous quote!)

            Two studies in the UK followed babies born in 1958 and 1970, measuring their IQs at an early age (10 or 11) and then following up with studies of their social conservatism at later ages (30 to 33).  Those who tested with lower IQs (average being 100) during their youth had much more conservative and racist social attitudes later in life.

             Listen, if you know any stupid kids and want to confirm this study's results, just ask 'em questions about basic social injustices in about twenty years.  They'll still be stupid, and you'll get a quick introduction to tomorrow's voters.

             How much money was spent on this useless exercise?

             Here's a video BJ sent to 'splain things to those too stupid to know how to interpret the study:


          Boing Boing is a source of many of my posts, and though I've been covered up with photography work the past few days I still manage to make time to check out their site daily.
          Noticed this film trailer today, and thought I'd share it with those who might be interested.
          Made by Pete McGrain and narrated by Woody Harrelson, the film purports to show the devastating psychological manipulation of the modern American public, and features Noam Chomsky, Chalmers Johnson, Michael Moore, and Howard Zinn.
          Give the video a look and see if you think this is something that is way overdue for the American public to see.


        "Under President Newt Gingrich man would go to the moon for the first time!"

Friday, January 27, 2012


Photo of Tennessee State Sen. Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville) taken in his closet

           I've been too busy today to blog, or even read the damn news for that matter.  But a few minutes ago I took a quick glance at Think Progress, which sent me to Huffington Post, which sent me back to my own blog archives, all because of the seriously fucked up individual you see pictured above this post... 
         State Senator Stacey Campfield is one of those people you might expect to find handling poisonous serpents a small, evangelical church way back in the mountains, the kind of guy who would insist the Earth is not more than a few thousand years old, and flat as a pancake, to boot.  He's the kind of guy who would assure you man has never been to the moon, and that masturbation will make you go blind.  In short, he's an ignorant sumbitch, and deserves to be avoided like a case of the crabs. 
          Well, ignorant sumbitches are exactly the kind of folks we like to send to represent us in the state legislature in Nashville.  We've got more of 'em than anybody anywhere, and dozens more who are gearing up to run for office so they can join their peers.  But Stacey Campfield isn't just a run-of-the-mill village idiot.  He's special.  Way special...

           In an interview on SiriusXM radio's "OutQ" show host Michelangelo Signorile, Campfield defended his sponsorship of Tennessee's infamous "Don't Say Gay" bill by lashing out at his critics, and in the process showed the world just how far an ignorant fuck can go in Tennessee politics.
           Here are some of the quotes from that brief interview:

“Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community — it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall.”

“My understanding is that it is virtually — not completely, but virtually — impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex…very rarely [transmitted].”

"What's the average lifespan of a homosexual? it's very short. Google it yourself."

"[Homosexuals] do not naturally reproduce. It has not been proven that it is nature. It happens in nature, but so does bestiality That does not make it right or something we should be teaching in school."

         And here's what he had to say for today's "glorification" of homosexuality:

"Homosexuals represent about 2 to 3 percent of the population yet you look at television and plays and theaters, it's 50 percent of the theaters, probably more than that, 50 percent of the theaters based on something about homosexuality."

        What about those kids killing themselves recently after being tormented and bullied in Tennessee high schools?

 "That bullying thing is the biggest lark out there."

"There are sexually confused children who could be pushed into a lifestyle that I don’t think is appropriate with them and it's not for the norm for society, and they don't know how they can get back from that. I think a lot of times these young teens and young children, they find it very hard on themselves and unfortunately some of them commit suicide."

          Just for the record, this asshole has also sponsored bills to require women to get a death certificate for their aborted fetuses, require them to view sonograms of their fetuses before having an abortion procedure, eliminate pre-kindergarten programs in Tennessee, and allow students to carry loaded firearms on the state's campuses.

           I know a lot of people reading this think they've got the worst state representatives in the country, but I challenge any of you to match this one.





Thursday, January 26, 2012


          I was poking around over on Boing Boing and found an interesting little tidbit of useless information I feel compelled to share with my more twisted and perverted readers (which seems to be most of you).
          Did you know the British Board of Film Classification had an unusually specific method of determining whether or not a penis was too turgid for public viewing in a film based upon the "angle of the dangle" of a peninsula called the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland?  Neither did I...

     "Mull of Kintyre Rule" for British censors... (pecker angle in red)

       Here's a snippet from the Wikipedia entry on the subject:
The BBFC would not permit the general release of a film or video if it depicted a phallus erect to the point that the angle it made from the vertical (the "angle of the dangle", as it was often known) was larger than that of the Mull of Kintyre, Argyll and Bute, on maps of Scotland.

According to Professor John Hoyles of the University of Hull, the guideline was adopted by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) in 1992. Hoyles presented it as "the male performer's penis must never appear more than slightly tumescent". The Scottish lawyer Richard Findlay had previously alluded to it in a 1999 interview with Annette McCann. This test was subsequently adopted by UK television broadcasters and by some print publishers.

           Of course, the Boing Boing article I was reading that referenced this bizarre bit of trivia had nothing to do with erect penises or pornography, but was written about the "angle of concern" London's Big Ben is displaying.  Apparently the iconic clock tower is about a meter off vertical, and some are worried it might topple over at some point.

           "Tumescent" peckers, eh?  Good to know...



          One of the sites I regularly scan for blog fodder is Huffington Post, and regardless of what you might think of their tactics or agenda their content is usually well-written.  But not always...

          Here's the number one headline that greeted me and my coffee this morning:

                                             "ROTTEN  TO  THE  CORE"
         "Chinese workers making Apple products face shockingly harsh conditions"

          Am I the only person who just envisioned an iPhone with it's little hands held up to a shocked face?

           I had started to pontificate (get all papal 'bout it) on the content of the story, listing off the concerns about working conditions and slave wages in Chinese Apple factories, but then decided the subject matter was too serious for any post opened so flippantly.



            People who read this blog on a regular basis (the three of you know who you are, don't make me point you out) must think I've decided to write exclusively about Republican politicians and homophobic Christians.  After looking over recent posts I can see how one might come to that conclusion...  Truth is, I just write whenever my hypocrisy alarm goes off, or when I sense a basic human rights injustice in progress.  Today's one of those days...
            A group of Christian parents have demanded that the Anoka-Hennepin School District of Minnesota adhere to a comprehensive anti-homosexual agenda in their public schools, including providing "pro-family, ex-homosexual, ex-transgender information and websites to all counselors, school psychologists." 
            The school district was in the process of changing their current sexual orientation curriculum policy in response to requests from area students and spurred on by the suicides of 6 students in less than two years.  A group calling itself The Parents Action League (can't you just smell the burning books and Chanel #5?) insists the Anoka-Hennepin School District maintain the current policy, along with some insulting new restrictions on discussions of "alternate" lifestyles.
             There are groups like the Parents Action League demanding similar curriculum restrictions all across the country these days, including here in Tennessee.  Our state legislature is set to debate a new bill to protect bullies who badger gay students with religious or philosophical arguments condemning their lifestyle, and rumor has it the Tennessee General Assembly intends to bring back the "Don't Say Gay" bill that died in committee during last year's session.
             We're so proud of the serious work they do in Nashville on behalf of us all...  Making sure Sharia Law doesn't get a foothold in our courtrooms, insisting English is the "official language" for all government transactions, amending our school textbooks to remove minority concerns that tarnish the memory of our beloved Founding Fathers, and bashing gays with this sort of horseshit... It's just busy, busy, busy, for the returning Republican caucus.  (heavy sigh...)
              Of course, a blog post like this one or any criticism of groups like The Parents Action League will be seen as yet another assault in the War on Christians.  Look for representatives from this group to get a seat across from Bill O'Reilly any day now, giving bigots and blowhards like Rick Santorum another reason to puff up and bemoan America's moral decline. 


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

SPACE CADET GINGRICH PROMISES PERMANENT AMERICAN BASES ON THE MOON (by the end of his second term in office, no less...)

         From Politico, here's a quote that ought to get you to the polls in the primaries:

"By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American," Gingrich said to applause.

         Noot was holding forth (or pandering, depending upon your distance from the Space Coast of Florida) and went on to add this little turd to the already brimming cesspool of statements he's made in this campaign:

"Does that mean I'm visionary? You betcha,"

         Okay, it bothers me when Republican politicians use the phrase "You betcha!" because I'm instantly reminded that less than four years ago a bimbo from the frozen tundra was added to a national ticket, and THAT was her cutesy little catch phrase.  The last thing we need is for the Pillsbury Doughboy to start doing Tina Fey impressions from coast to coast...

         A permanent American base on the moon...  Haven't we seen how that works out?  Lemme guess... We'll start a mining operation and discover a monolith deliberately buried beneath the lunar surface?  Then some cave dwelling monkeys will beat one another to death with animal femurs?  And before you know it we'll be hurtling through space at the mercy of artificially intelligent computers capable of reading lips?
          What could go worng?



NOOT'S NEW CAMPAIGN THEME SONG (Roomie sings for Noot!)

         From Crooks and Liars, a music video we can sing along with when Noot is speaking!


           Yesterday I wrote about the asshats of the Tennessee General Assembly and the various reasons they deserve to be known as the Worst Legislative Body in America.  I may have to take another vote on that distinction after reading a blurb in Think Progress moments ago...  Here's the open paragraph of the article in question:

Oklahoma GOP State Senator Ralph Shortey is on a mission to finally put an end to his state’s allegedly rampant cannibalism problem. Alarmed after his own research, which consisted of reading a nameless report stating that companies have used stem cells in the production of food, Shortey introduced a bill that would prohibit the manufacturing and sale of food “which contains aborted human fetuses.”

            Apparently, someone gave Senator Shortey a report (which he hasn't produced for the record) indicating some food processing manufacturers are using stem cell research in their labs.  Concerned that he and his Okie constituents might be eating aborted babies was enough to send him to the Senate to introduce a bill banning such delicacies from his lunch menu.

           What probably happened is that Sen. Shortey was sprawled out on his couch the night before watching a rerun of an old Charlton Heston sci-fi movie and became unnecessarily alarmed.   Someone really should see if the guy has relatives serving in the legislature in Nashville.

            I can see the ad campaign now, "Babies: The Other White Meat"...

            (as Eddie Izzard says, "Babies taste of chicken!")




         I don't know how Republicans can even begin to campaign against this president's foreign policy actions since taking over the White House.  First of all, he's pretty much carried out the exact same policies in Iraq and Afghanistan that Curious George had put in place, whether he personally would have gone to war in either theater or not, and in some cases increased the military presence in both wars.  Next, he's been the Commander in Chief who has authorized at least three very politically risky raids by our special forces, and all three missions have been carried out successfully.  What's there for the GOP to bitch about?
        When it comes to pulling the trigger on balls-to-the-wall special operations missions, this president is one cold-blooded assassin in the Situation Room.  Remember when Somali pirates had one of our citizens hostage in a small boat off the coast of Africa?  Obama authorized a SEAL team sniper to take out the pirates.  In an instant the bad guys were fish food and the hostage was back on board an American vessel.  We all know the gory details on the mission that took out Osama bin Laden, but few remember that President Obama was cracking jokes at a Washington Correspondents Dinner as SEAL Team Six flew toward bin Laden's compound the night of the raid.  Now, as he was giving his annual State of the Union speech before a joint session of Congress, another covert mission was taking place, again in Somalia.
         Two Danish Refugee Council workers, one of whom was an American woman in ill health, had been held captive since October in Adado, Somalia.  Obama authorized another night raid, again carried out by the same SEAL Team Six that had removed bin Laden from the terrorist list, and when he finished his SOTU speech he made a phone call to let the American woman's parents know she was safe and on her way home.
          A report from Adado (made to authorities by a terrorist who had been to the camp after the raid) declared nine kidnappers dead and three others "taken"...
          Say whatever you want about Obama's failures in advancing an agenda satisfactory to most progressives, but conservatives and hawks alike will have a tough time attaching a "pussy" label to the guy.  When it comes to making the tough calls at politically risky moments, this president has melons for testicles.
           George W. Bush would be flying around the country in a flight suit with a codpiece displaying scalps from Somalia if he'd been able to plan and pull off even one such special forces mission during his two terms in the White House. 
            Think anyone on the right will appear on Faux News to praise the president for another successful raid?  Yeah, that'll happen. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


          A team of British researchers has examined the effects of psilocybin on the brain using MRI scanners and found that the drug shuts down certain areas of the brain that serve as "reducing valves" designed to filter out external stimuli so that we might focus on survival skills and avoiding predators.  They posit that the drug actually slows down brain function instead of speeding it up, as most of us had previously believed.
          According to their results (in an on-line Time magazine article), certain areas of the human brain seem to limit the amount of information we take in so that we can sort it out and make rational decisions from what we see and hear.  Psilocybin and other hallucinogens slow down brain function in those filtering areas, allowing users to see, hear, taste, and smell the world through a broader window with senses freed.
           Fifteen volunteers were tested using psilocybin via intravenous injections, rather than normal consumption of the mushrooms.  Effects on those not given the placebo were noticed within 60 seconds, and the "high" only lasted for thirty minutes.  Normally, psilocybin takes much longer to take effect, and its effects last for hours.
           Here's a snippet from the article:

Researchers had assumed that the hallucinations and bizarre sensations caused by psilocybin would have at least one part of the brain working overtime. But instead they found the opposite.

“The decline in activity was the most surprising finding,” says Carhart-Harris, “and anything that’s of surprise is usually important.”

Reducing the brain’s activity interfered with its normal ability to filter out stimuli, allowing participants to see afresh what would ordinarily have been dismissed as irrelevant or as background noise. They described having wandering thoughts, dreamlike perceptions, geometric visual hallucinations and other unusual changes in their sensory experiences, like sounds triggering visual images.

Indeed, if we always paid attention to every perceptible sensation or impulse like this, we’d be incapable of focusing at all. This is why it’s difficult to sit still and try to tune in all the feelings and perceptions we normally tune out, but why also, like psychedelic drugs, meditation can make the world seem strange and new.


                      TN State Rep. Joe Ragan (R-of course)      

           I've written before about the proposed legislation designed to protect those who bully gays that our distinguished representatives will soon be debating in Nashville, and apparently at least one of the representatives has chosen to respond to concerns from critics with a convoluted argument that seems to say "So what if bullied gay kids kill themselves?  Who's to say they wouldn't have offed themselves even without the relentless bullying!" 
          Of course Representative Joe Ragan didn't say those exact words.  In a written response to an email campaign against the so-called "license to bully" bill (HB 1153/SB 0760) Ragan wrote that statistics suggest homosexuals commit suicide at higher rates than heterosexuals, and then asked the following question:  “Should society avoid disapproving of pedophilia, prostitution, murder, etc., because practitioners of those behaviors may commit suicide at higher rates?”
          Let's put aside the flawed reasoning that somehow attempts to link pedophiles, prostitutes, and murderers to openly homosexual students.  Let's put aside the obviously ignorant attempt to stand in favor of proposed legislation that would (as it now reads) allow bullies to share any "religious, philosophical, or political views" regardless of their consequences to the learning environment.  For just a second let's just look at the reality of today's world as it relates to vulnerable kids in our local schools.
          Gordonsville High School in Tennessee is currently dealing with the suicide of an openly gay 14 year-old student named Phillip Parker, who took his own life last week after enduring years of physical and mental abuse from fellow students.  Last month another young man at a different school took his life for the same reason.  Kids are dying, and to me it's unbelievable that anyone would object to anti-bullying policies for our public schools.
           But hey, this is the same legislature that spent a great deal of time pondering a "Don't Say Gay" bill in the last session, and rumor has it they intend to bring the same humiliating bill up for consideration in the current session.  
           When you consider the fact that Tennessee teabagger groups have petitioned this legislature to scrub our textbooks of minority concerns that might reflect poorly upon the reputations of the Founding Fathers, then look at the bills the Republicans are promising to bring to committee in the following weeks, it's damned hard to imagine a more useless and embarrassing state legislative body at work in America today.
           I've said it before, but it bears repeating:  Tennessee lawmakers hate it when folks in other states try to "out-stupid" them.

          We're so proud...


         This guy handles this cell phone interruption with about as much class as humanly possible.  I'd love to have seen the face of the offending audience member when Lucas Kmit began to play Nokia's ringtone back to him in mid recital...


        My lovely (and thoroughly dangerous) wife let out a groan from the living room couch, followed by a ten-second stream of vile obscenities capped off by the words, "... mother fucking Republicans!"   I had left the room moments earlier after the conclusion of Jon Stewart's Daily Show, so her unexpected outburst was a bit of a shock.  Usually I'm the one who yells at Republicans on the television.  
         You see, we don't always watch live television these days.  It's so much nicer to simply program the DVR, find something to do while our chosen shows record, then watch them commercial free, fast-forwarding through the "Flo-bot" Progressive and quacking "Aflac" commercials.  There's one featuring a squealing pig on a zip-line now that makes me actually dive for the mute button when it comes on... (confession, I do miss the boner music in the erectile dysfunction ads... still waiting for someone to come up with a mix tape of turgid tunage..)
         Anyway, pretending to be the sensitive, caring husband women seem to prefer, I asked my wife what the matter might be.  She stabbed a finger out at the television and simply said, "THAT!"
          On the screen was a debate stage featuring the final four contestants still on the GOP island.  They were holding forth in a lively, somewhat angry manner, and NBC's Brian Williams was resplendent in his makeup and suit as moderator. 
          "THAT! is supposed to be "Fear Factor"!  Look!" she fumed, clicking the remote over to show me she had indeed recorded "Fear Factor" and not this political crap.  The info button informed us that tonight's episode was supposed to feature live leeches.
           I pointed to the debate stage and said, "There you go.  Leeches.  Whadya want?"

          But I'm glad I sat down and watched the debate.  It's the first one in which the audience at the debate forum didn't cheer or boo or throw vegetables in response to the candidates' positions (Williams had warned them to shut the fuck up or he'd have them all eat leeches or something)
 and I quickly discovered the candidates had decided to take off the gloves and actually attack one another with the kind of vile crap they usually leave to their Super PAC ads. 
          Romney called Noot a shameless influence peddling lobbyist who was drummed out of his Speaker of the House position and made to pay a hefty fine for ethics violations.  Noot called Romney a serial liar and made fun of the fact that he'd only had one wife in his life and was therefore obviously unprepared for the White House.  Rick Santorum said they were both Washington insiders who had voted for bailouts and stimulus funding, and besides, neither of them had compared gay marriage to bestiality.  Ron Paul made sure his eyebrows stayed on during the mud-slinging and said he probably wouldn't make a third party run for the White House, but he hated absolutes and wasn't prepared to sign an oath to support anyone other than himself as the nominee.
         I don't know what anyone else in America thought of their performances, but can assure you there is at least one angry little woman in middle Tennessee who wouldn't vote for any of them under any circumstances after last night.
         When you tune in to see ambitious camera hogs eat live parasites for money, the sight of Republican camera hog parasites just won't do...

Monday, January 23, 2012


    is reporting that about two dozen activists from Tennessee Tea Parties have held a press conference to demand that school textbooks be edited to remove anything that might reflect negatively on our Founding Fathers, such as facts concerning their slaves, affairs, illegitimate children, or genocidal treatment or attitudes toward Native Americans.
             Wouldn't want our kids growing up in a reality based universe here in the Volunteer State, now would we?  Hell, that would just ensure they would become annoying little bastards at family functions and holiday dinners for years to come!
              From an article in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Salon reports that their demands included the rejection of a federal health reform mandate, establishment of an elected "chief litigator" (because the current Attorney General won't sign on to other states' efforts to repeal "Obamacare"), and "educating students the truth about America."  Here's a quote from the information they distributed:
“Neglect and outright ill will have distorted the teaching of the history and character of the United States. We seek to compel the teaching of students in Tennessee the truth regarding the history of our nation and the nature of its government.”

and it continues:

The material calls for lawmakers to amend state laws governing school curriculums, and for textbook selection criteria to say that “No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.”

         In other words, if historical facts indicate certain Founders owned slaves or happened to have been the actual Founding Fucking Father of a child born to one of them (as in Jefferson's case) those little tidbits of information ought to be scrubbed clean from the textbooks and ignored altogether.  It just wouldn't do for our kids to grow up in a world where understanding minority grievances or having access to the truth is part of the educational experience, especially if those truths are going to conflict with the lily white-washed version of things they hear from the guy under the Red Man Tobacco hat at the family dinner table. 

         "When your Uncle Bubba is telling you kids 'bout history, don't interrupt him!  Shit, he's done been through the eighth grade hisself!  Shut up and eat your 'taters!"

         You know, if we work hard enough on it we just might be able to dumb down our textbooks to Texas' levels of idiocy, and within a generation or two our kids might perform even worse on standardized tests than kids from Mississippi and Ala-damn-bama. 
         Aim high, teabaggers!




           Pilfered from Funny or Die, this is a keeper...
           She's not quite "bird-like" enough to pass for the real deal, but this vid is funny, nonetheless.
           What kind of woman enters into an open relationship with a troll like Noot?
           "We're the kind of gals who hate ourselves!  Self respect is just, it's like an abstract concept for me!  It's out there."
           and the best line...
          "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to do my eye Keegles!"

               And a tip of the hat to Tiffany's, while we're up...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

SHOULD A MOM BE ALLOWED TO LET HER 10 YEAR-OLD GET A TATTOO? (and if that's illegal, why are parents allowed to have their baby's ears pierced?)

          A woman in Georgia was arrested after someone at her son's school noticed the 10 year-old had a tattoo on his right arm and contacted the authorities.  It's against the law in Georgia for anyone other than doctors or osteopaths to tattoo a minor under the age of 18, even with the consent of a parent.
          The mother in the case, Chuntera Napier, says her son came to her and requested a tattoo similar to her own, which was a picture of an older son who was killed when he was struck by a car.  Young Gaquan Napier, 10, told his mom he wanted to honor his older brother's memory with his picture and his basketball jersey number.  His mom gave her permission, and someone thus far unnamed applied the tattoo to the child.  Mrs. Napier has refused to name the tattoo artist in question, and authorities say they would charge him with a criminal act if identified.  This article states that the tattoo is crude and has the look of a "prison tattoo", so it is unlikely to have been done by a professional artist.
           In her own defense, Napier had this to say:
“What do I say to a child who wants to remember his brother? It’s not like he was asking me, ‘Can I get Sponge Bob?” Napier said. “He asked me [for] something that’s in remembrance of his brother. How can I say no?”

“I always thought that if a parent gave consent, then it was fine,” she said. “How can somebody else say that it’s not okay? He’s my child, and I have the right to say what I want for my child. I can’t go tell anybody else what I want for their child.”

           When I first read the headline to this story ("Georgia mom arrested for allowing ten year old to get tattoo") I thought the only fitting punishment would be for the kid to have her ass tattooed forty or fifty years from now when she's a doddering old bat who doesn't know why someone is poking her with needles.  Then I read the story, considered the kid's request, and thought it over again.
           Listen, it's obvious that some parents don't always do the right thing by their children.  There are glaring examples of that all around us these days... Kids walking around with their trousers down around their thighs, underwear out in the wind, wearing more bling than you'd find in a Walmart jewelry department case.  When I shoot sporting events at a local high school I see young girls wearing outfits that would have gotten them yanked out of class by the ear when I was  their age.  And there are obviously some well-meaning parents whose religious beliefs are dangerous for their children, especially those who refuse to have their kids inoculated, or refuse life-saving blood transfusions for their children because of their faith.
           For all we know, the needle used to tattoo Gaquan Napier might not have been sterile or sanitary.  But at what point does society have a right to step in for the protection of a child, and where's the line when it's none of our business?
            We've all seen proud parents with infants or very young children who've had their ears' pierced.  I realize a pierced ear can heal and close if allowed to grow back, which makes it different than a permanent tattoo.  And yet, I'm at a loss to explain why one is socially acceptable for an infant or child, and the other borders on child abuse.  If it's okay to pierce an infant's ears, can you have a tongue stud installed while you're poking holes in them?  I think most people would find that outrageous and objectionable.  So piercing ears is cool, but tongues are over the line?  Does any of this make sense?

            What's your take on this?  Was this mom's arrest warranted? 



            Mediaite has a link to a story on Mother Jones about the rise of Reverend O'Neal Dozier of the Worldwide Christian Center of Pampano Beach, Florida, currently serving as Rick Santorum's honorary campaign chairman in Florida.  According to the story:

 In a video posted online, Dozier explains his church preaches “the dangers of Islam and Islamic fascism,” and once proudly boasted that God is “100 percent for capital punishment.” But at the same convention where he made the latter statement, he stated that homosexuality is “so nasty and disgusting that it makes God want to vomit.”

            It bothers me when people speak for God.  I'm sure it bugs the shit out of Her, too... I mean, if I were God and someone put vile words like that into my mouth, I'd consider some serious smiting for the day's entertainment.

         Wonder if there's any chance we could talk Rev. Dozier into joining Pat Robertson for a series of helicopter rides in and out of the Grand Canyon on a really windy day?



         My buddy Mooner was asking Rick Perry (in an open letter to the asshole) to 'splain why God would tell him to run for president, then have the whole campaign turn into an extended episode of "The Gong Show".  Here's a page from Funny or Die in which Rick and God discuss things.

        Very funny shit, right there...