SLIDESHOW EXPLANATION

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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

LIMBAUGH CALLS WOMAN WHO WAS DENIED CHANCE TO SPEAK AT CONTRACEPTION HEARING A "SLUT" (what a mother fucking douche...)



           This is about as bad as Rush Limbaugh's rhetoric has ever been... a new low, even for a guy who would have to tunnel to find a depth he's yet to plumb in political bullshit.  I'm sitting here too mad to even tell my wife what it is I'm yelling about...
            Sandra Fluke was denied speaking time by committee chair Darrell Issa when Obama's contraception policy was being discussed in the House of Reprehensibles, as he seemed to prefer a long lineup of testosterone-sloshing, middle-aged men when looking for "experts" on women's reproductive health.  Fluke, a student at Georgetown Law School, WAS allowed to testify before a committee hearing being held by Nancy Pelosi, however, and her testimony was the source of Limbaugh's sexist ridicule.  You have to listen to the sound bite for yourself to get the full effect...

            Here are a few quotes from the clip of Limbaugh's rant, taken from Huffington Post:

"Can you imagine if you were her parents how proud...you would be?" he said. "Your daughter ... testifies she's having so much sex she can't afford her own birth control pills and she wants President Obama to provide them, or the Pope."


"What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic] who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex -- what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex."


             Several times in the course of this misogynistic verbal diarrhea Limbaugh made a point of saying her testimony implied these women were having "so much sex they needed help paying for their birth control pills."
             Here's a news flash for this asshole and anyone else out there who thinks this shit is funny:
it doesn't matter if a woman has sex ten times a day or doesn't have sex at all... the daily birth control pills cost the same amount per month.  She can be as chaste as the Virgin Mary or as promiscuous as a fat, drug addicted egomaniac like Rush Limbaugh, but the cost of her birth control pills doesn't change.
             If there were any justice in this world Rush Limbaugh would inherit such a shitstorm for this little segment of his radio broadcast it would drive him forever off of the public airwaves in shame.   But Limbaugh has no shame.  His listeners eat this kind of vitriolic horseshit up like ice cream.  And his sponsors couldn't be happier.
             Women could make this arrogant bastard eat his words if they'd only act, together, to force his sponsors to divest of this hate speech programming.
              Why they don't is beyond my comprehension.


GOP PRIMARY RACE FOR ILLINOIS 3RD DISTRICT INCLUDES NATIONALIST SOCIALIST CANDIDATE WHO DENIES HOLOCAUST EVER HAPPENED

                Happy Asshole Arthur Jones of Lyon, Illinois

         Here's a real tool in action...  One of the people running for the GOP nomination to face Rep. Dan Lipinski (D) for the House of Representatives in Illinois is a guy named Arthur Jones, 64, who has an odd campaign theme:  the holocaust never happened and is nothing but a lie put forward to generate income and sympathy for Jews.

          “As far as I’m concerned, the Holocaust is nothing more than an international extortion racket by the Jews,” Jones said. “It’s the blackest lie in history. Millions of dollars are being made by Jews telling this tale of woe and misfortune in books, movies, plays and TV.


"The more survivors, the more lies that are told."

          Using his logic, I guess Jones believes if fewer Jews had survived the holocaust that didn't actually happen, there would be fewer of them telling these self-aggrandizing lies.

          How do you reason with shitheads like this guy?

          According to this article on Oaklawn Patch Jones participated in Nazi marches in 1978, and while he claims in his bio that he's never been convicted of a felony, he does admit to having been arrested for "minor street skirmishes with leftists."

         While he won't say definitively that he's a Republican, he does say that he votes with the GOP about 90% of the time.
          Well, what a surprise...







BANKER'S RESTAURANT RECEIPT PROVES TO BE A HOAX... (we wuz had!)



          A couple of days ago I wrote about a story concerning a restaurant receipt purporting to show a banker's scribbled "Get a real job" note just above a measley 1% tip left for a waitress.  I wrote that this guy was a total prick and hoped (if the story was true) he would be identified and held up for public scorn.
           It turns out the entire thing was a hoax, and much ado about nothing...


  
                   

ANCHORS AWEIGH FOR THE WYOMING NAVY'S PROPOSED AIRCRAFT CARRIER (batshit crazy has a new home...)

                              Lego Aircraft Carrier

           Okay, I take it all back.  I've been insisting that no state legislature can hope to "out-stupid" the folks we have here in Nashville, but I've just been proven wrong.  Apparently, there are some people arriving at the Wyoming statehouse on a short bus, too.


           Wyoming state Representative Lorraine Quarberg (R-Thermopolis) is worried that the United States government is on the verge of collapse.  She and others in the state legislature are concerned about an unspecified constitutional crisis involving the decline of the dollar's value, food distribution, and "potential effects of a situation in which the federal government has no effective power or authority over the people of the United States."
            So Rep. Quarberg has proposed a task force to study the possibility of an independent standing army to protect Wyoming's citizens and property from the resultant chaos.  One of her cohorts, a Representative Kermit Brown, has proposed an amendment to her HB85 (which was adopted) adding this language:
 "conditions under which the state of Wyoming should implement a draft, raise a standing army, marine corps, navy and air force and acquire strike aircraft and an aircraft carrier."
            
             Ohhhh-Kay...  An aircraft carrier full of strike aircraft to be based in Wyoming...

             Funny thing about aircraft carriers... they need a lot of water.  Here's a map of Wyoming, for those of you who might mistakenly believe it lies on the coast of an ocean.



            


                 That red circle is pointing out the largest body of water in Wyoming, which happens to be Yellowstone Lake.  Yellowstone Lake is currently located in a National Park, so there are some serious logistical considerations to take into account if one is serious about putting a full-size Nimitz-class aircraft carrier into action there.  Pretty sure some waivers would have to be granted to make that happen...  maybe a few tourists, bison, elk, and bear would have to be shooed away from the shores as they haul in a Titanic-sized aircraft carrier.
                  Of course, if global warming continues at its current pace, Wyoming might indeed end up as a coastal region, so maybe this isn't so nuts...




                 But at least the good citizens of Wyoming could sleep well at night knowing their interests were being supervised by the best hardware available to today's militaries.  After all, if there's an economic collapse, or a pandemic, or a zombie invasion, you'd want to have at least one functioning aircraft carrier on patrol, right?

                 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE MAKES SANTORUM WANNA HURL ('cause nothin' says 'God loves America' like a politician with a Bible)


          I'd like to think 21st century Americans are enlightened enough to find idiots like Rick Santorum laughable when they suggest our nation needs fundamentalist religious zealots at the helm of our ship of state. But if this GOP primary season has taught me anything it's that you can never underestimate the ignorance and gullibility of the American voter. 
          Santorum (Latin word meaning "asshole") has been on a tear lately, rising in the popular polls as the new Anti-Mitt frontrunner, and making an ass of himself every time he opens his mouth in public.  In the span of two weeks he managed to suggest that our President is a "snob" because he wants every American child to have an opportunity to attend college after graduation, that birth control pills are unsafe for women and lead to risky behavior, and that John Kennedy's speech reaffirming his belief in the separation of church and state makes him want to vomit.
           In a perfect world, (Santorumstan?)  fundamentalist religious leaders would not only rise to positions of authority, but govern.  Every decision on every issue would be resolved with a thorough study of that infallible historical guide, The Holy Bible, and anyone who proposes a secular rationale for their differing opinion would risk being stoned in the town square.
          Of course, I'm taking Rick's positions too far... and realize he's probably not in favor of public stonings.  Yet.  But if he were to appoint the appropriate judges and have his way with Congress there's no reason to believe he wouldn't be in favor of some good ol' Biblical punishments for evildoers.
           The idea of an American theocracy isn't new, by any means.  Many religious leaders have urged our country to take such a turn since it's inception.  But wiser minds have carried the day, and one of those is currently serving in the White House.
            Here's what Barack Obama had to say about Santorum's batshit crazy idea that Church and State should merge:

“Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values,” he said in 2006, in his own Kennedy-style speech on church and state. “It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God's will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.”


             Keep an eye on Santorum.  Leading up to the South Carolina primary I make the prediction that he would turn out to be the leading contender for the GOP nomination, supplanting Romney from this scheduled coronation.  But I didn't thing the bastard could actually WIN the nomination, just be a pain in Romney's ass.  Now I'm beginning to fear there might just be enough troglodytes and Bible thumpers out there to give this tool a shot on a national ticket.
             God help us... that is, if he's not too busy balancing the budget in Santorum's administration.


Monday, February 27, 2012

BILBOARD IN UTAH GETTING ATTENTION (sometimes the anti-war crowd makes waves to make a point)


         An anti-war group in Utah is turning heads with a billboard they've put up in West Valley City, and their cause is drawing attention.  Connor Boyack says the billboard is intentionally misleading (with the word "troops" crossed out and replaced by "the military industrial complex") but that his group's website (http://www.bombiran.org/) is getting a lot of support.
         Here's a clip from RawStory:
  

SINGING BIRD PISTOLS (THIS IS TOO BEAUTIFUL AND STRANGE NOT TO SHARE...)



          The email I received with this video says the pair sold for $5.8 million at auction.

WHEN IT COMES TO WOMEN'S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ISSUES, TRUST OLDER, MIDDLE-AGED MEN TO DO WHAT'S BEST FOR THE LADIES...


         
          From Funny or Die...

"MORMON TRUMPS 'MUSLIM' " IS LEAD STORY HEADLINE IN LOCAL MORNING RAG


           If you take this link to today's lead story in The Tennessean (motto: "We'll print anything in bold type if it will get you to buy a copy of our newspaper!") you won't see the headline I found above the front page fold this morning.  Apparently, someone decided the on-line version of the paper needed a revision, so instead of "Mormon trumps 'Muslim' " you will find "Poll: Romney's Mormon faith may not hurt him in TN".
           Mormon Trumps Muslim.  Really.  That's the headline on the paper I hold in my caffeinated hands.
           Pollsters from Vanderbilt University (pronounced "Vahnderbilt, dahling...") found that one in five registered voters in Tennessee believe Mormonism to be a cult, and those who did were less likely to vote for a Mormon candidate for office. 
           But here's the fun part:  One in four Tennessee voters believe President Barack Obama is a Muslim.  Another 31 percent weren't sure of his religion, while only 39% responded to Obama's religion as Protestant.  (Whenever you ask yourself why so many forwarded emails refer to Obama as a Muslim, remember there are people out there who are in the business of casting doubt on Obama's religion as an election tactic.) 
           That means roughly 56% of the idiots I live with here in Tennessee either think the president is a Muslim or aren't sure, and 25% of them believe Mormons belong to a cult.  Asked if they would sit out an election between a Mormon and President Obama, 17% of those who called Mormonism a cult vowed to stay home rather than vote in 2012.

            If right wing talk radio wasn't as pervasive and persuasive as it is here in middle Tennessee, I would blame this glaring ignorance on genetics.  Like I keep saying, the local gene pool needs chlorine...  But because talk radio is one of the only sources of news and information for a sizable portion of locals, I know who to blame for this deliberate misinformation campaign.
            You can't get through the bubble to communicate with conservatives, especially those in this part of the country.  There's just no way to bring the truth to them in a way they'll understand, because their trusted sources for information don't bother with the truth.

            You can lead a conservative to facts, but you can't make him think.

            Oh, and here's a postscript to the rant...
One 68 year-old rural resident had this to say about the election:  "But if Romney wins it, I will vote for Romney because I will not vote for that... Muslim."   The pollsters made it clear that the "..." in the last quote replaced a racial epithet.  So let's just fill in the blanks, shall we?
            Wanna know why most people around here think Obama's doing a lousy job?  Here you go...
            "But if Romney wins it, I will vote for Romney because I will not vote for that nigger Muslim."

            

Sunday, February 26, 2012

THE BEST GUANO OF THE WEEK, 'CAUSE YOU DESERVE ONLY THE BEST



















86 YEAR OLD WWII VET CARJACKED, CRAWLS FOR HELP WHILE PASSERSBY IGNORE HIM...




          I don't know what's more infuriating about this story... that an asshole would assault and carjack an 86 year-old WWII veteran in broad daylight in Detroit, or that people would walk and drive past him as he crawled from the gas pumps to the gas station for help.
          Aaron Brantley is a retired welder with 8 children (and he says he has "about" 18 grandkids) who was getting back into his car after paying for his gas at a Detroit station, when he was brutally attacked.  His leg was broken in the assault, and he was forced to crawl on hands and knees from the pumps to the station.  A four minute video surveillance tape shows passersby walking by Mr. Brantley without stopping to offer assistance.
          I hate to make regional judgments when I see something like this, and I realize callous, uncaring people aren't an isolated infestation.  But... I can't see this happening in the south.  I've got to believe, if something like this had happened to an elderly man in this area, no one would walk past him as he crawled for help without stopping to assist him.  This just wouldn't happen here.
          And I hate to think there's a place in America where something like this COULD happen.

BIRTH CONTROL PILL FOR MEN DEVELOPED, AND REPUBLICANS WON'T LIKE IT, EITHER...



         An article on MSNBC's on-line website reports that researchers at the Population Center for Research in Reproduction at the University of Washington in Seattle are on the verge of having clinical approval for a male contraceptive that can be taken orally as a pill, or applied to the skin as a patch or cream, or implanted beneath the skin.  Finally, men would be able to "shoot blanks" without using condoms, having vasectomies, or permanently preventing the production of sperm. 
          Apparently, clinical trials have proven safe and entirely reversible.  The chemical compound H2-gamendazole keeps sperm from developing in the testes, but doesn't affect a man's libido and is completely reversible within weeks without taking the drug.

          When you consider how negatively the very idea of birth control for women is received by certain segments of our political spectrum, one has to wonder how this news will be received by conservatives in America.  Just the suggestion of a question concerning birth control had the most recent GOP debate audience in Arizona ready to riot, so the prospect of men taking a pill to prevent pregnancies would probably make them crazy as loons in a squall.



           From what I can gather, Republicans think sex has only one purpose:  to make little Republicans.  Birth control and abortion prevent little Republicans from being born, and without birth they're not likely to know anything about Ronald Reagan or Christ Jesus, which means they'll not get into Republican heaven or get to donate to a Super PAC in eighteen or twenty years.
         And that's just wrong, obviously...



         Look for a convoluted argument against male birth control pills to pop up in a Republican talking points memo in the near future.  The argument would go something like this: If men can take a pill to prevent pregnancies, they'll stop wearing condoms, which Republicans also hate.  Men having sex without condoms will spread diseases such as AIDS and "the clap", and even though Republicans don't approve of condoms (or AIDS and the clap) they realize some Democrats carry such diseases around, just looking for unsuspecting Republican women to infect. 

         They'll oppose a birth control for men because it would lead to guilt-less sex.  And people humping for fun is, well, just wrong...

         Ask Rick Santorum.

      

Saturday, February 25, 2012

25 YEAR NOWEGIAN STUDY OF POT SMOKERS REVEALS THEY ARE LESS DEDICATED TO WORK THAN FOLKS WHO ABSTAIN FROM POT (well, duh!)



         I sometimes wonder who makes the decision to use research grant money to study things that are clearly obvious from the outset...  You know the studies I'm talking about?  The ones with newspaper headlines that say things like "Study concludes drowning victims less thirsty," or "Wealthy people eat healthier meals than the homeless."
         Jeez...
        A Norwegian study has concluded, after 25 exhaustive years of research, that pot smokers tend to be less dedicated to their jobs than those who don't smoke pot.  The study admits that it's possible people who were dissatisfied with their jobs might have turned to pot for comfort, and not the other way around.  There again, a baseline problem.  They should test non-smokers ahead of employment, then track the pot heads after they've cleared the drug screening.


         From personal experience I can assure you that the pot smokers I worked with in the factory were a lot better at their jobs than the straight-as-an-arrow drones we worked beside.  Those of us who came to work with a happy buzz usually jumped right into the monotony of production work, radios tuned to good tunes, while those who were relying on coffee and a danish for their inspiration spent the first hour of every shift trying to get motivated, and tended to listen to right wing talk radio.  We stoners did a jump start on production out in the company parking lot most mornings, finished out daily duties early, and had fewer returns than the people who slogged through the day trying to find a reason to live.
         Hell, we had a great reason to live!  There was another doobie making the rounds at the next break!  Woo-hoo!
         As an added bonus, those of us who were high and suffered minor injuries on the job were a lot less willing to report those injuries to the company nurse for fear of being piss tested.  The company dealt with a lot fewer loss-time injuries when the labor force was stoned...  If we were "less dedicated" to our job, it was only because it was keeping us from maintaining a mellow buzz.  That, and the fact that it's harder for a manager to intimidate people who can't stop giggling at his ridiculous motivational tactics.  Stoners make lousy sheeple...



         I'm going to apply for government grants to see if I can get in on this cash cow.  How about this?  I'll tell the feds I need funding for my study which will attempt to determine whether or not loud television commercials are annoying to bloggers who are trying to think.  I'm pretty sure my own research on that subject will suffice.  As I write this post there is a pig screaming "Whee! Whee!" as it rides a street luge down the highway in a Geiko commercial on the television in the living room.  I can tell you without government cash that I'm highly annoyed.  Where's my check to document this finding?
          I've got a million worthy studies in mind:

"Research funding needed to prove mice don't like the aftertaste of D-Con"

"Multi-year study to follow effects of Jamaican ganja as an appetite suppressant"

"Does tailgating in traffic lead to road rage?"

"Study to determine if college students prefer early morning calculus classes to afternoon naps"

"Research to prove puppies love bacon more than pickles"

           Where do I apply? 
        
            (send message via comments, please... I'm going out back to burn one.
Suddenly I don't feel like working...)


LOOKING FOR PARADISE? WELL, YOU'RE TOO LATE IN ASKIN'... MR. PEABODY'S COAL TRAIN HAS HAULED IT AWAY



          Every now and then I feel the need to remind folks of why I consider John Prine America's greatest living songwriter.  This clip from a 1982 Johnny Cash show ought to help... 

          That's a picker named Vince Gill on guitar, with Marty Stuart on mandolin, and both singing the harmony behind Prine.  INTRO BY CASH.


          Prine was the primary reason I bought my first acoustic guitar at the age of 20.  In the thirty-seven years since then I've not learned much beyond the three or four chords necessary to play his songs (albeit poorly), but damn if I don't enjoy hearing the man's songs from time to time.
          John Prine is my favorite WABAC machine...

         

WANT TO SEE HOW A COMPLETE PRICK FLAUNTS HIS "1%" STATUS? CHECK OUT THIS BANKER'S "TIP" TO THE 99%...

        
           According to this story on Huffington Post, a restaurant in Newport Beach, California is trying to determine the authenticity of the receipt in the photo above, promising to "make it up to" server "Breana" if she can remember the customer in question and confirm that her service was up to the restaurant's standards.
           A bank employee who works for the asshole who signed this receipt with the added "tip" for the server to "get a real job!" took this photo and posted it on his blog, along with the following comments:
Mention the “99%” in my boss’ presence and feel his wrath. So proudly does he wear his 1% badge of honor that he tips exactly 1% every time he feels the server doesn’t sufficiently bow down to his Holiness. Oh, and he always makes sure to include a “tip” of his own.


I work in the corporate office of a major bank for a boss who represents everything wrong with the financial industry: blatant disregard and outright contempt for everyone and everything he deems beneath him. On top of that, he’s a complete and utter tool. At the same time, I’m still cashing paychecks, an admittedly willing—albeit reluctant—cog in the wheel of this increasingly ugly industry, so I’ve created this blog as a confessional of sorts. It won’t entirely clear my conscience, but hopefully it’ll help. I’m sure I’ll get fired eventually. Until then, enjoy.
 
         I'm pretty sure when the shit hits the fan at this bank, the guy who posted this photo and wrote those words about his boss will be seeking other employment.  What I hope happens after that is a little more complicated.
         I HOPE the banker in question is identified publicly.  I HOPE the people who hack for a hobby, maybe someone from Anonymous, find this guy's story too compelling to ignore, and that they make his life miserable.  Well, he's already miserable, that's pretty obvious.  But I HOPE public scrutiny of his asshole-ish ways paint him in a light that can't be tolerated by the bank for whom he works.
         In a perfect world, his bank's main office would be humiliated by this asshat's behavior, and would make restitution to the young lady who got the shitty tip (which is actually less than 1%, if you're one of those exact-about-the-numbers sorts of people, which this guy, as a banker, should fucking be...).   And then, if poetic justice were in play, this banker would find himself looking for work, too.
         Maybe he could bus tables until another banking gig opens up?  Wouldn't that be sweet?
 
         Being a prick isn't a crime, but it ought to have consequences that are as unpleasant as this bastard sounds.  I look forward to hearing how this plays out...   With any luck at all, we'll get a follow-up story, and maybe this shithead will get some much needed sunshine on his arrogant ass.


          

MEA CULPA BLUES... TONE DEAFNESS MUST BE CONTAGIOUS IN THE GOP


         So the news spread that American troops had "accidentally" burned  Qurans in Afghanistan, and riots have broken out that have taken the lives of some U.S. forces.  The Pentagon, seeking to quell the controversy, has issued an apology (we didn't mean it, we replaced the books, won't happen again, please stop throwing rocks at us...?) and now the conservative echo chamber is in full "What the Fuck?" mode because we're trying to win hearts and minds instead of barbecuing them.
         Noot Gingrich, the petulant one, told a fake journalist named Piers Morgan this:
“There’s a one-sided traffic in outrage which we tolerate and, quite frankly, we help enable. I’m not saying, I’m not defending burning the Quran, although the circumstances in which they were being used would strike me as in itself having been blasphemous, because as I understand it, they’re being used as part of a process of passing out messages from people who were in prison. I don’t know all the details.


“What I do know is that we have this one-sided game where our troops get killed, nobody apologizes, and now we’re supposed to be the ones on defense, and I understand General Allen’s in a difficult situation. But if President Karzai is not prepared to apologize for the killing of two Americans by an Afghan soldier, the wounding of four others, I think that this is a two-way street, and we ought to assess deeply exactly what we think is going on.”

          Right-wing prig Charles Krauthammer (a man wound so tight that if he ever tried to smile a mainspring would probably bounce him completely out of his wheelchair and into orbit) was holding forth on Faux News about the apologies coming from the Pentagon and White House, and he was predictably upset by the concept:
“This is a world in which nobody asked the Islamic Conference, a grouping of the 56 Islamic countries, to issue an apology when Christians are attacked and churches are burned in Egypt or in Pakistan. And had we heard a word from any Islamic leader anywhere about the radical Muslims in Nigeria who are not only burning the churches, but burning women and children who are in the churches, when I hear that, I’ll expect my president to start issuing apologies.”

         I'm quite certain these people know the difference between acts of terrorism committed by assholes who have only hate, revenge, and religious intolerance in mind, and unintentionally offensive actions taken by those we've placed in harm's way in Muslim countries.  No one seriously expects terrorists (or governments that are either in league with or terrified of them) to issue formal apologies whenever bloodshed occurs.  The concept of contrition in light of accidental or unintended offensive actions is purely a one-way street, and no one should expect any different.

         But if political points can be scored among that portion of the American public that is proudly obtuse, then count on these blowhards and their propaganda machine to play to that base as often and loudly as possible.
          I completely agree with the concept, guys...  They're killing us, burning churches, persecuting women, children, Christians, and anyone else who doesn't bend to their beliefs.  Got it.
And as of this moment, none of this has been followed by an apology.  You're right about that.
          But is it too much to ask that we simply admit we're not terrorists?  Is it beyond the pale for our government and its representatives to hold itself and our troops to a higher standard of decency when possible?  I think not.
           When we fuck up, we'll admit it.  We might even apologize for the error.  That doesn't mean we're not determined to see a mission though, or that we're showing weakness.
            It's just another sign that we're an advanced society capable of admitting errors.

            Of course, admitting errors is a completely foreign concept to your average conservative right wing blowhard.  They've never personally fucked up in their lives (just ask Noot or Charlie, they'll tell you they're the closest things to perfection ever!) and refuse to admit we, as a nation, have ever fucked up, either.  Well, unless it was something done by a Democratic president, in which case they'll happily point out the mistake... but refuse to apologize for it, because, after all, THEY didn't vote for the sumbitch!

            


         




Friday, February 24, 2012

SHIT GIRLS SAY TO GIRLS WITH BREAST CANCER... (sequel to yesterday's post...)



      Yesterday I posted a video of a cancer patient's worst (and funniest) moments.  Today I was over on Boing Boing and found this one, "Shit girls say to girls with breast cancer" made by and starring Jenny Saldana.
      

BILL MAHER DONATES ONE MILLION DOLLARS TO OBAMA'S SUPER PAC (exercising his "freedom of speech" in a large way...)


         I doubt there are many average, hard working Americans who don't believe the sudden influx of mega-bucks pouring into our current election cycle is bad for American politics and our democracy.  But...  as long as the court's Citizens United case stands, it would be suicidal for progressives to abandon the field to corporate merchants of evil by shunning such Super PAC donations.

         Bill Maher just put a lot of his own money where his mouth is.  At the close of his 'StupidCrazyPolitics' tour show in San Jose's Center for the Performing Arts Maher brought out an oversized check made out to Barach Obama's Super PAC "Priorities USA Action" in the very oversized amount of $1,000,000.   He also put a little not in the "FOR" column...

         For "Kicking Ass!!"

Well done, Sir Bill!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

WHAT THE FUCK IS IT ABOUT REPUBLICAN DEBATE AUDIENCES???



        If you scan any daily paper in America you'll probably stumble across an article in which some Republican lawmaker is proposing to make abortion or birth control illegal, or at least harder to obtain.  The GOP spends more time worrying about fetuses than your average OB-GYN.  Kids who have actually been birthed?  Not so much.
        But someone needs to explain these debate audiences to me.  Last night CNN's John King tried to ask the four remaining GOP presidential contenders a question about birth control, and no sooner had he brought the subject up for discussion the crowd began to boo and heckle.
         Are they booing the mere mention of birth control?  Or are they booing CNN's moderator for asking a question about the GOP candidates opinions on birth control?  Hard to say...

         The live audiences at previous Republican debates have booed a video of a gay active duty US serviceman asking about the possible repeal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell.  They've cheered Rick Perry's oh-so-awesome record number of executions as Governator of Texas.  And they've cheered a hypothetical scenario in which an uninsured patient is turned away from medical treatment and allowed to die.
          The people who attend these forums must be directly related to the fictional characters of Dickens' "Scrooge" or Mr. Potter from "It's a Wonderful Life".  

           Should we assume that diehard Republicans are actually against birth control?  Would an anti-birth control plank on the Republican Party platform actually rally the troops for the GOP?  Or would it further isolate an already misogynistic collection of xenophobes, homophobes, and callous "I got mine, get yours, mother fucker!" zealots? 
             I have to say, if the GOP actually stands against the practice of birth control on religious grounds, and if the Party's leaders have to kowtow to THAT absurd litmus test in order to win that Party's nomination, things are going to get increasingly difficult for Republicans in America.
             When your standard bearers parade across the nation trying to best one another in anti-immigration rhetoric, stand for denial of health services for women, and seem to despise even the most patriotic of America's youth if they dare to ask about gay rights, well, that Big Tent the Republicans talk about is going to have lots of elbow room under it for the true believers.
              These mother fuckers are amazing!

"SHIT CANCER PATIENTS SAY" (this vid is so fucking great...)



           Woody Roseland describes himself thusly on his website:
Woody is a highly motivated individual who passionately pursues a variety of ventures. He is a speaker, five-time cancer survivor, standup comedian, podcaster, student and Denver's best looking amputee.


            I found this video of Woody's on Boing Boing, where a person might find any number of interesting things at any given moment...

PERRY'S NEW HAMPSHIRE CAMPAIGN MANAGER BLAMES BIZARRE BEHAVIOR DURING CORNERSTONE SPEECH ON "RELIGIOUS HIGH" ("I was all messed up on drugs. Now I'm all messed up on The Lord...")



          Remember that speech back in October when Rick Perry (remember Rick Perry?) seemed to be drunk or on drugs as he spoke before the conservative group Cornerstone Action?  Of course you remember THAT one... it was only the funniest thing EVAH, the absolute highlight of this on-going clown circus GOP presidential primary season.




          There was a lot of speculation that Perry might have been more than a little tipsy when he gave that speech, mincing around and smirking at his own humorous delivery.  Others suspected Perry was one or two Red Bull/Vicodin over the line, and real concerns began to surface that he might indeed have a substance abuse problem.  Perry's handlers insisted he was just "happy" to be there, talkin' 'bout his family values and shit...

           Well, now Perry's New Hampshire campaign manager Kerry Marsh has cleared up the confusion.  In a panel discussion hosted by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, Marsh explained that Perry had just left prayer meeting with a group of evangelicals and was on a religious "high" when he delivered the speech everyone was laughing about.

            I'm afraid Cheech and Chong's Big Bambu routine was the first thing I thought of when I heard this campaign revelation by Perry's spokeswoman... 
            "Have you heard the word of God today?... You know before? I was all messed up on drugs.  Now, I'm all messed up on The Lord."
            "Yeah... yeah... I can see that."




          
           

        

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ONE GEORGIA REP WANTS TO PREVENT ABORTIONS AFTER 20 WEEKS OF PREGNANCY, SO ANOTHER REP WANTS TO PREVENT VASECTOMIES FOR MEN


        A Republican state representative in Georgia wants that state to limit abortion after 20 weeks of gestation (claiming that's the cut-off line at which point a fetus can feel pain, despite medical evidence to the contrary), so a Democratic representative has sponsored a bill to outlaw vasectomies unless a man's health is at stake.  Here's a quote from Think Progress:

“Thousands of children are deprived of birth in this state every year because of the lack of state regulation over vasectomies,” said Rep. Yasmin Neal (D) explained. “It is patently unfair that men can avoid unwanted fatherhood by presuming that their judgment over such matters is more valid than the judgment of the General Assembly, while women’s ability to decide is constantly up for debate throughout the United States.”

       Maybe this is the best way to make testosterone sloshing idiots in state legislatures understand their actions... An equally ridiculous proposal should follow every attempt made to drag women's reproductive rights back to the Dark Ages, and they should always be coupled with the offending legislation as a rider or amendment.
        Want to make women have a vaginal probe ultrasound prior to having an abortion?  No problem, as long as men are required to have the same probe shoved up their asses when they go in for a flu shot.  After all, it won't serve a medical purpose in either case, so why not share the misery?

         







WANT YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO LAST? RESEARCHERS URGE "CUDDLE HORMONE" (and you can make your own dose by, you guessed it, cuddling...)


          There's a report over on Alternet about recent findings by a team of researchers at Gonda Brain Sciences Center at Israel's Bar-llan University suggesting that people who are in love have unusually high levels of the hormone oxytocin when compared to unattached singles.  Their report leaves a few basic questions dangling around, though...
           For one thing, they didn't do blood plasma testing for oxytocin on these blissful individuals prior to their relationships, so it's unclear whether they fell in love because they were already bubbling over with the "cuddle hormone", or had elevated oxytocin levels because they were in love.  You'd think a baseline would have to be measured before any of this was published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.
           Regardless of potential flaws in their study, the researchers were able to track down 54 of the original 60 couples six months later and retested the oxytocin levels of the 36 couples who were still together.  They found the same high levels of the hormone present in those pairs who were still involved, while the others tested lower for oxytocin.
            According to the article, the researchers noted behavior between lovers during the testing interviews, and found those couples with the highest levels of the hormone had more physical contact while talking, and seemed more interconnected and responsive to one another during observation. 
            Again, this might have been because they had copious amounts of "cuddle" sloshing around their brains, but could have been because their physical act of touching was responsible for more of the hormone in their systems. 
            The scientists say the hormone is known to enhance bonding, trust, and attachment in rodents, so it's not a surprise that humans who are "in love" would have oodles of the stuff.  The real question is this:  if a couple is going through a rough patch, could a hormone replacement therapy using oxytocin rekindle the fire?  Or could they do their own replacement therapy with a little more physical contact?
             This stuff sounds like something a date-rape creep would want to have around for his victims...  Forget "roofies", just dose 'em with oxytocin and offer them a hug...

          

IF ONE'S "FREEDOM OF SPEECH" IS ONE'S ABILITY TO DONATE CASH TO A POLITICIAN, I'M SPEECHLESS...

          
            One of the negatives that can follow making a minor campaign contribution is that political parties won't stop pestering you for more of your money, no matter how often you plead poverty...
            I've made political donations over the past few election cycles, always keeping the amounts in line with our ability to remain fed and sleeping indoors.  It used to be kind of fun to get a call from some weary individual at a campaign headquarters and to make their day by actually offering a small contribution instead of hanging up on them.  I've worked phone banks in past campaigns, and can assure you it's not a lot of fun to have people yell obscenities at you for interrupting their shower or family meal.
            But my wife and I are living on what some would call a "check to check" basis.  No checks are coming in, to speak of, so we "check" our political speech at the door and limit it to blog rants instead of cash contributions.
            Noot Gingrich has a very wealthy donor in his pocket, and that one donor is contemplating a $100 million donation.  All of the Super PACs combined have only raised $98.5 million during the current election cycle.   Billionaire Sheldon Adelson wants to beat that with one donation.
             I can't offer Obama $100 without skimping on necessities... and this guy can hand Noot $100 million. 
             Freedom of speech?
             Yep.  And I guess I'm the mute in the room.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

JUST WONDERIN'... IS THIS PRESIDENT CHRISTIAN ENOUGH FOR AMERICA? (and if he is, do I think less of him for it?)


          I was wandering around over on Mooner's site and saw his response to a comment I'd left concerning a post he'd written about the Southern Babtists trying to rebrand their denomination (the post also concerned consentual gay sex between species in Mooner's menagerie, and the recreational construction Mooner has to do to make their closet "play friendly", but that's his story and certainly not mine). 
          He mentioned Franklin Graham's remarks on MSNBC's Morning Joe, in which Graham (son of Billy, great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson of a guy who supplied lumber to Noah himself) cast doubt on our president's Christian faith.
          Graham, who has made a lot of money and gained a lot of unwarranted attention by being the fruit of Billy Graham's loins, refused to be pinned down when asked if he believed President Obama to be a Christian.  In fact, Graham said he took Obama at his word, for whatever that might be worth.  He also mentioned that Muslims consider Obama a Muslim, (so if Obama's just out to capture the cross-denominational voters, he's doing well...)

          Part of me wants to scream out, "Well, of course President Obama's a Christian, you idiot!  He tells you that about once a day, mentions it more often in speeches than I'm comfortable with, and by all accounts has lived a fairly 'Christian' adult life!  What do you want, stigmata?"
          But another part of me wants to ask this pompous sack of spider monkey guano what possible difference it makes if Obama believes in the same imaginary friend Franklin (or anyone else out there) talks to at night...

          Here's the problem I have with this:  we've got people pointing at Mittens Romney as if he's an alien because he believes in some incredibly silly shit.  Incredibly silly shit is a big part of his religion, and he's a believer.  Oughta say something about the man to the average voter, but it doesn't REALLY because THEY believe is some incredibly silly shit, too, by and large, and it's hard to be all finger-pointy when you're just as batshit crazy as the guy you're laughing at...

          I'd like to think President Obama lives in a reality based universe.  That he takes his thoughts into consideration with the full knowledge that a lot of people depend on him to make rational, pragmatic, logical, and science based decisions on matters of import.  It would bother me greatly to think the man who sits behind the most powerful desk on the planet not only believes, but is directed by, a faith that demands acceptance of things such as "magic underwear" or "talking serpents".  If you believe in those things, more power to you... as long as that power isn't great enough to destroy the planet at the touch of your finger.
          Franklin Graham's insinuations that President Obama and Mitt Romney might not be Christian enough to earn his vote doesn't bother me in the slightest.  If I were either man I'd consider it a ringing endorsement just knowing I wasn't the guy for Franklin and idiots of his ilk.
           "Not ignorant enough for you, Franklin?  Damn... I'll work on that and get back to you..."

            Wonder how many more generations of humans will have spawn on this planet before we look at people like Franklin Graham with the appropriate amount of disdain and pity?

             Probably quite a few, now that I think about it.  After all, the wrong people are having babies.



         

BETTER CHECK WITH INDIANA REP. BOB MORRIS BEFORE BUYING GIRL SCOUT COOKIES FROM THOSE COMMIE QUEER PLANNED PARENTHOODERS...

               Indiana state Representative Bob Morris (R)

            The Indiana state House of Representatives was considering a bill to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of America, but Rep. Bob Morris declined to sign the resolution, citing that organization's "radicalized" agenda of "promoting homosexuality".  He went on to say the Girl Scouts had "entered into a close strategic affiliation with Planned Parenthood."
             (heavy sigh...)

             You know we've reached the point of absurdity in American politics when a simple feel-good resolution like one honoring the Girl Scouts is somehow seen as an endorsement of a liberal agenda.  From a blog post by Laura Donovan on thejanedough.com, here's a portion of a letter Rep. Morris sent to the Journal Gazette:

“Many parents are abandoning the Girl Scouts because they promote homosexual lifestyles. In fact, the Girl Scouts education seminar girls are directed to study the example of role models. Of the fifty role models listed, only three have a briefly-mentioned religious background – all the rest are feminists, lesbians, or Communists.” Morris expresses uneasiness with the fact that males who claim transgender status may be able to play with the females in the Girl Scout Troop, “just like any real girl”:


“Boys who decide to claim a ‘transgender’ or cross-dressing life-style are permitted to become a member of a Girl Scout troop, performing crafts with the girls and participate in overnight and camping activities – just like any real girl. The fact that the Honorary President of Girl Scouts of America is Michelle Obama, and the Obama’s are radically pro-abortion and vigorously support the agenda of Planned Parenthood, should give each of us reason to pause before our individual or collective endorsement of the organization.”

          The more I hear from Republicans about their objections to Planned Parenthood, the more I wish the parents of those same legislators had used a little more foresight before spawning. 
           For some reason when I read comments like Rep. Morris', I see him looking a bit more like this in my mind:


          

Monday, February 20, 2012

A SQUATLO STORY: NUMBER FIFTY-ONE "YOU DON'T HAVE A HAIR ON YOUR ASS IF YOU DON'T OPEN THIS DOOR AND COME OUTSIDE!"


          I've written before about the notorious Scrabble Wars my lovely wife and I have been waging since we first met in the late 80's, and I've even admitted that she kicks my ass the vast majority of the games we've played.  We've even taken to marking an infamous ledger and looking at it now is further confirmation of the futility of my lack of prowess at the game.  I've written a Squatlo Story about taking Scrabble with us on a trip to Costa Rica... we play a lot of Scrabble.





          But until now I've not told the story of how the game of Scrabble (and copious amounts of tequila) almost got yours truly hauled away in handcuffs one New Year's Eve a couple of years before we married...
          Picture the scene, if you will.  It's about 6:30 in the afternoon/evening, and we're playing a quiet game of full-contact, take no prisoners Scrabble in the dining room of my two bedroom apartment in Nashville.  We have Windham Hill "new age-y" instrumental music purring in the background, so as not to distract or annoy while we think.  Conversation is, quite naturally, at a minimum, as we play.
           Suddenly, the neighbor next door starts pounding on the wall of my living room, letting us know we're making entirely too much noise for his tastes.  We looked at each other in amazement.  Could this guy be serious?  I mean, we couldn't have been less noisy if we'd been practicing "Quiet Mouse" with mute children.
            I shrugged my shoulders and we continued our game.  A few minutes later there was a very stern knock at the door, and when I opened it I was face to face with a Metro Nashville Police officer.  Officer "Rick".  He lived at the same apartment complex and was one of the resident security officers whenever a complaint was called in to the police department. 
            "Can I help you, sir?"  I asked.  I'm very polite in my dealings with people who carry handcuffs and firearms, especially the ones who have a badge and the legal right to haul your butt away on a whim if you annoy them.
            "Yes.  We've had a noise complaint?  May I come in?"  he said, looking past me toward my then-soon-to-be lovely (and dangerous) wife.
            "Sure, c'mon in." I said, thinking to myself "This must be some kind of mistake... noise?"
            Officer Rick came in and looked around the room, and I asked him if he thought our music was being played too loudly.  He didn't.  I told him we had had no way of knowing he was on his way, so we hadn't touched the volume control on the stereo.  If it wasn't too loud now, it wasn't too loud when the asshole next door called in the complaint, right?
            Well, Officer Rick agreed, and said he'd go next door to talk to my grumpy new neighbor, and for us to carry on.  Sorry for the intrusion.  Have a good night.
            He stopped back by to tell us the guy next door was suffering from a migraine, and that as long as we kept the noise to a minimum we probably wouldn't hear another complaint from the man.
            We went back to our game, laughing at our "rowdy" Scrabble warning.

            Two weeks later, Cindy was visiting my apartment again and again we were engaged in a Scrabble game.  The stereo might have been turned up a bit louder than the first time, but not by much, and only THEN because it was New Year's Eve and we were having margaritas.  Lots of them.  But still, I promise you, dear readers, the music was not at all unusually loud.  And it was, again, very early in the evening on New Year's Eve.
            Just like before, there came a sudden knock on the living room wall.  This time the pounding was severe enough to move artwork on my side of the wall...
             I looked at Cindy.  She looked at me.  I looked at my watch... it was not even seven PM, the music wasn't loud, and already we were being "warned" by some asshole to "hold it down"?
Oh, hell no...
            I walked over and pounded on the wall in response.  Then I cranked up the Bose system to the threshold of pain for a few seconds just to give the sumbitch some idea of what "LOUD" really was.  I may have put on a Roy Buchanon CD for effect... "My Baby Says She Gonna Leave Me" is a good one if you want to test the boundaries of sound and pain...

            That's when he pounded on the wall again.  Big mistake.

            I went out the front door of my apartment, walked around the sidewalk to this guy's front door, and began to knock.  Very politely.  At least, it started politely.  I could hear someone shuffling around on the other side of the peep hole, but no one opened the door.
            So I knocked again.  And again.  I stepped back and gave the guy's door a wee kick.  Just a little tap.  Nothing that would alarm anyone.  Much.
            Cindy came over and urged me to come back inside, but by then testosterone and adrenaline were sloshing around with the tequila and knocking didn't seem to be quite the message I wanted to send, so I yelled at the door,
            "Come out here and talk to me, goddam it!  You don't have a hair on your ass if you don't open this door and come outside!"

            I remember this quote exactly, because Officer Rick asked me point blank if that's what I had yelled at the guy's door as I was kicking it.
           Officer Rick wasn't nearly as nice as he'd been the first time he'd come to visit us a couple of weeks earlier.  And he let me know right up front that if I interrupted him again (apparently I was determined to tell my side of the story while he was talking) he would arrest me.  Then he asked Cindy if she was a legal resident of the complex, and when she said she lived in Murfreesboro he threatened to make her leave and go home.  She told him she wasn't going anywhere unless he was driving, because we'd been drinking tequila.
            We were able to smooth over Officer Rick's ruffled feathers, and he went next door to offer apologies for my behavior.  He came back to let me know that if I went to that man's door again and he had to come back to see me, I was going to be arrested for disturbing the peace.
           
             I never actually got a good look at this mystery man with the sensitive ears, because if I was outside he would run (literally) back inside his apartment and start dead-bolting the door.  You'd have thought I was a troglodyte with a club from the way this man hid from my ass...
             I moved from that apartment a month later to join my wife in this house in the 'Boro, and never saw the guy again.  But in my defense, I'd lived there for over six years and never had a complaint about music noise from any other neighbor during all those nights of revelry.  It wasn't until THAT guy moved in next door that I had a problem.  Well, that, and Cindy's influence.  I blame it all on her.  Never had the police at my door until SHE showed up with that damn Scrabble game...

            Yeah, don't mess with a rowdy Scrabble player.  You never know what kind of trouble you're asking for...