Saturday, March 31, 2012

Gore-d and KO'd.


(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein)

"I fired him...He's crazy." - Rupert Murdoch, disgraced media tycoon

"(Current TV was) founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers. Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it." - Al Gore, disgraced ex President-elect of the US.

Keith Olbermann's problem is that he has too much backbone both literally and figuratively.

The average human has 5 lumbar vertebrae. Olbermann has six. And that shows in a long career in broadcasting that goes back to when he was a short-lived sportscaster for my local WCVB TV in Boston. A man both blessed and cursed, Olbermann's backbone and courage to standing up to both Republican and Democratic absurdity was and still is beloved by the left and reviled by television executives and an endless conga line of hypocritical right wing Fox "News" cheerleaders who never tire of criticizing his "partisan political statements". Not long before leaving MSNBC in a huff just over a year ago, Olbermann was briefly suspended by Phil Griffin when it came out that he'd donated modest amounts of money to a few Democratic candidates and not disclosing it.

Of course, not mentioned by the "liberal" MSNBC was Fox's nakedly shameless hypocrisy in raising $1,000,000 for the Republican Governor's Association and at the same time another million dollars to the GOP. Still, throughout his career, Olbermann has been held to a higher or more hypocritical standard than his opponents in the right wing. Overrated media critic Howard Rosenberg once wrote in a snot-slathered piece, "Countdown is more or less an echo chamber in which Olbermann and like-minded bobbleheads nod at each other" without once making note of the fact that Fox "News" and many of the Sunday morning bobblehead shows feature largely if not exclusively Republican and conservative commentators similarly bobbing their heads at each other while telling one unchallenged lie after another.

Unmentioned by Rosenberg, also, was the fact that Olbermann and his guests were almost always on the right side of an issue.

Yesterday, Current TV a virtual clone of the MSNBC format that Olbermann perfected and popularized, abruptly and unceremoniously fired Olbermann. Desperate to fill his time slot by Monday night, Current TV's co-founders Al Gore and Joel Hyatt just as abruptly hired whoremonger Eliot Spitzer, whose own show on CNN was the worst in television history since My Mother the Car and Jay Leno's variety show.

Everywhere go Olbermann goes, he's surrounded by disgraced and morally turpitudinous people, which, this writer supposes, is inevitable in the mud pit of television journalism. But Olbermann also has a reputation for helping to found and/or build up networks and to make them not only profitable but good. If one were to trace Olbermann's television career after he left Boston for Los Angeles in late 1984, you'll note he was with ESPN, Fox Sports, MSNBC and, finally, Current TV in their salad days. Everywhere he went, Olbermann earned accolades and won award after award. Countdown, his late, lamented political commentary show on MSNBC and still his high water mark, was one of the highest-rated shows in that network's 16 year-long history.

While I hesitate to describe Olbermann as a liberal, he's nonetheless long become the standard-bearer for progressives and Democrats who have a passion for the truth and for a man who bravely sought out that truth and gave it to the masses not caring about the well-shod toes he stepped on in the process whether it was Bush's apathy toward Katrina or Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign for using racist imagery (one of the few times Olbermann stepped on his dick).

Olbermann's acquiring a reputation for being our Peter Arnett, our Geraldo Rivera. But when Olbermann was about to figuratively open a vault, we were confident it had something in it. Olbermann never revealed American troop strengths and positions on national TV. And Olbermann is more prone to expose racial bias in the media instead of merely stoking it as Rivera recently has done.

It may be hard if not outright impossible for one to feel sorry for a multimillionaire like Keith Olbermann, a man with a monstrous ego not seen since Daniel Webster if his obsessive and often combative responses to mentions of himself as he seeks them out on Twitter are any indication. But he deserves more than a reputation for being someone who's difficult if not outright impossible to work with.

In a perfect world, Olbermann would have a show in which he's allowed to do whatever he wants and is not subject to hypocritical double standards. It's an unwritten rule in the world that you can have a massive ego if you can justify it. His numerous awards, large fan base, overwhelming eloquence and rhetoric and countless tens of millions of dollars he's earned for his employers easily justifies it.

But we don't live in a perfect world because Olbermann keeps getting railroaded or fired by one network after another while heavily-edited videotapes by the likes of James O'Keefe and Andrew Breitbart and the other Alan Funts of right wing journalism change American history at the Congressional level. And backbone, especially a surfeit of it, is just not a prized commodity in the corporate mainstream media of our vastly imperfect and corrupted planet.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Where'd Dick Cheney's New Heart Come From?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Romney Pleads, "For Fuck's Sake, Can't You See What an Utter Fucking Asshole I Am?"


Wisconsin -- On Wednesday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney broke from script once again and blurted out to reporters during a teleconference call, "For fuck's sake, when are you fucking zombies going to wake up and realize what a fucking elitist asshole I am?!"

The 10 reporters taking part of the call were stunned into silence and the former Massachusetts Governor continued.

"Seriously, this has been eating away at me. I just told you what I considered to be a humorous story about my Dad closing a plant in Michigan that cost 4300 workers their jobs and you took it without even a whimper. Seriously, this is really beginning to eat away at me, people. What the fuck do I have to do before you morons wake up and realize I'm an asshole? Stuff my mouth with suppositories and spew baby shit in your eyes? Drink barium from an enema?"

Mr. Romney has in the recent past made outlandish statements that were picked up by liberal bloggers such as when he said that he "liked to fire people and testily told a heckler at last summer's Iowa State Fair that "Corporations are people, too, my friend."

"I mean, I know they're not people, you know they're not people but try telling that to the fucking gawpers that come and see me. Jesus fucking Christ, think about it. Liberals can see me for what I am. Why can't you Republican zombies?"

In his native state of Michigan recently on his way to winning that state's primary by a huge margin, Romney admitted that his wife drove two Cadillacs.

"I thought that would've woken up those idiots. But no-o-o. I crushed Santorum by, what, 900 fucking points or something? Those shitheads loved me more than ever. I guess I would've been elected fucking president right then and there if I drove on stage in a solid gold 80,000 pound Rolls Royce and run over my staffers and some babies."

One of the reporters on the teleconference call tried to steer the conversation back to Governor Romney's health care bill in Massachusetts and the current debate over ObamaCare in the Supreme Court. At this point, Romney snatched up the phone and spoke directly into it.


"And you know what, that's another thing. How come you tools don't challenge me often enough and call me on my flipflopping? That liberal lesbian Maddow's got me pegged. I'm not stupid. I know videotape exists and I know what I said and when and where I said it. I know I've flipped and I've flopped about RomneyCare and everything else like a half-dead mackerel. I know I said I wished it would be emulated all over the country. But one of the few people who really 'gets' me are people like Angry Black Lady, who had her ears on when I said that if you knew what what I had planned for this country if I ever got elected, you'd sooner poke out your eyes with burning splints than vote for me.

"But did you listen? Fuck, no. What the fuck do I have to do to prove to you shitheels that I am an elitist motherfucker who would love nothing more than to personally exterminate 99% of you after Super Tuesday? Huh? Go Charlie Starkweather on this country, shoot a million or two then throw them in the water from my yacht? Huh? Would that wake you all the fuck up?

"Jesus fucking Christ on a foam rubber crutch in the middle of an earthquake, I mocked unemployed people in Tampa by saying I, too, was unemployed! They laughed like the fucking goobers they are. The truth is, I'm more interested in lifting four of my luxury cars than I am lifting anyone above the poverty line. Still, you cheer me on, still, you have fundraisers, still I win primary and caucus after primary and caucus. I mean, what'll it take?

"My religion converts the dead, I hate Muslims, I hate dogs more than Michael fucking Vick and am such an uptight Republican asshole that I'd sooner torture one than let myself get even one nanosecond behind schedule.

"You know what this reminds me of?" Mr. Romney said with a savage gleam in his eye as he stood up, "Remember when that fag Freddie Mercury got up on stage wearing those leather biker outfits and prancing around in assless leather chaps? It was like the poor guy was screaming, 'I'm a fag! Why can't you see that???' Well, this is my Freddie Mercury moment. Watch this."

Romney then slammed down the phone and stabbed in the left eye the child of a potential voter with a solid gold letter opener, licked the blood off it and carefully set it on his desk again before going out to greet more supporters.

Smart, ALEC


Well, we finally may have a reason why George Zimmerman's first line pimp disappeared as soon as he appeared on the news cycles. The Taaffe pulling may have something to do with his criminal past and record as a fellow racist.

Plan B: Joe Oliver, handy dandy allaround stooge and Uncle Tom who's never too proud to refuse having his African American heritage being cynically used by the right wing and, by extension, ALEC, who wrote and helped push Florida's Stand Your Ground law into passage that resulted in Trayvon Martin's needless death. Problem is, the talking heads conveniently never tell you that when Joe Oliver's on their show that they're interviewing one of their own.

And, as is inevitable with the MSM, what is always missing from the narrative is the challenge to Oliver's credibility, like, "How well do you know Zimmerman?" "How long have you known him?" Hell, it was up to Charles M. fucking Blow of the NY Times, a PRINT journalist, a guy's been all over this like Gail Collins on Seamus, to show these MSNBC sock puppets how to do their fucking jobs properly. Even Lawrence O'Donnell, who did ask those pointed questions and then some, never thought to divulge to the American public that he was interviewing one of his own.

Likewise, O'Donnell never bothered to ask why and how Oliver could afford to quit his job to become Zimmerman's press agent. Even though there's no smoking gun, there's already speculation that Joe's getting not only his talking points but an income from ALEC or the American Legislative Exchange Council that helped write and midwife the Stand Your Ground law that Jeb Bush thought would be such a great idea.

Unlike the first goober they pushed in front of the cameras, Joe Oliver makes a much better choice from a propaganda standpoint because, as a former CNN anchor and public speaker, he's very comfortable on a sound stage. Apparently, some amateur detective doing some skullduggery from ALEC's basement discovered that Oliver probably met Zimmerman once or twice at barbecues and thought he's make a wonderful apologist. Hey, Oliver's wife and Zimmerman's mother in law are even rumored to be friends! Presto-change-O, Instant friendship. Who knew how little he actually knew the trigger-happy loser? It's not as if the mainstream media actually ever does its job, right?

Well, Charles Blow had other ideas and he showed up Oliver to be the fraud and charlatan he truly is. In fact, the only thing that Oliver said on The Last Word or anywhere else in the past couple of weeks was when he said, "My role in this just doesn't make sense."

No shit, Sherlock, not unless you're a right wing organization with a lot more to lose than the Sanford Police Department and County Prosecutor's Office combined. And, if there's something remotely resembling a God, there will be a very special place in Hell for Joe Oliver, another black man for sale willing to sell his racial credentials and to blame Trayvon Martin, a 17 year-old and fellow African American, for his own murder.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What About God?


There's a scene toward the end in the 1991 classic, What About Bob? in which Dr. Leo Monroe has had it with his "patient" Bob Wiley. Bob's followed the doctor to his summer home in New Hampshire and ingratiates himself so deeply into Leo's family, he's practically a member. Finally, Leo goes off the deep end, takes Bob into the woods at gunpoint and ties him up, well, Wiley Coyote-style, to a bunch of gunpowder. The classic naif, Bob persists in believing the bomb ticking around his neck is part of his therapy, which Leo calls "death therapy."

But sometimes life imitates art a little too much, as these Bible-thumping whack jobs in SantorumLand recently proved.

I'll get you started: This Assembly of Maniacs is invaded one night by gun-wielding thugs who then proceed to take several children hostage. They shove them into a van then drive to the pastor's house where they then appeared to beat him. One of the victims was a 14 year-old girl who wasn't even part of the congregation but went with a friend who said the church activities were "fun."

As it turned out, the stunt was just that- a stunt designed to "teach" the children about the religious persecution Christian missionaries face when they're trying to proselytize and subjugate ignorant, brown people (such as during the Crusades, for instance, which I'm sure got conveniently left out of the lesson plan).

And these Bible-humping gibberish talkers wonder why they're being persecuted. Well, now they could be prosecuted as well as persecuted since they never got either the child's consent to do this nor her mother's, which is a felony in Pennsylvania and in other parts of the country. What really disturbs me is that one of the thugs they got to carry out this What About God? exercise was an offduty cop using his own service semiauto.

Both Pastor John Lanes and youth pastor Andrew Jordan both say the staged abduction "was never meant to horrify", which just goes to show you how clueless these lunatics are. How the hell is a Columbine-style abduction with masked men and guns not going to terrify adolescents, especially those who aren't in on the prank? And when you take away the shock value, how are you supposed to impart a valuable life lesson like the persecution of Christian missionaries?

Believe it or not, even though they're being investigated by the Dauphin County District Attorney's Office, Pastor Lanes said he has no intention of suspending the "lesson" but added that from now on, he'll get parental permission.

Like Sinclair Lewis said, when fascism comes to America, it'll come swaddled in an American flag and clutching a cross.

Republicans want to:


Begin a neverending nuclear winter with every country whose religion or oil industry doesn't line up with our interests.
Make the water you drink unsafer.
Make the food you eat unsafer.
Make the air you breathe unsafer.
Make unsafer and more expensive the pharmaceuticals you ingest.
Deny you health care you can afford while making you pay for their free health care.
Make your workplace unsafer.
End your right to collectively bargain.
End workers their right to organize and unionize.
Take away your pensions.
End every last shred of protection we possess in the Constitution.
Put you out of a job in the name of corporate "competitiveness."
Put you out of your own home whether or not the bank owns it.
Eradicate public education.
Replace it with vouchers and privatization so your kids can't afford to go.
Repealing Social Security.
Repealing Medicaid.
Repealing Medicare.
Repealing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Repealing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Repealing all child labor laws.
Repealing ObamaCare and the very few tepid reforms in it.
Repealing any animal cruelty laws.
Defunding the NEA.
Impose their religion on you.
Deport hard-working, tax-paying undocumented immigrants.
Impose their definition of marriage on you and tell you who you can and can't marry.
Tell women what to do with their uteri.
Block or remove any and every last shred of protection for the persecuted.
Make racism OK again as long as it's retroactively intended to be humorous.
Make sure the law only applies to Democrats and liberals.
Shut down government so the wealthiest can get another tax break.
Never pay taxes again.
Let the infrastructure rot.
Want to arm everyone to the teeth.
Anything that fattens the bottom line of their employers on Wall St. regardless of financial or human cost.

Yeah, I can see why so many millions of people would vote Republican. And anyone who thinks I need to provide links to reputable news sources to prove these things is already beyond reach.

Connect the dots, people, and wake the fuck up. This is a recipe for Armageddon.

Bad to the Bone


As the saying goes, a picture is worth 1000 words but sometimes links to news items help a little. Such as this item from Chile in which four men, including the one above, were arrested in connection with the beating, burning and slicing attack on Daniel Zamudio, a gay man. Apparently, being "bad to the bone" in NeoNazi circles only applies when going four against one, not during their docile and publicly humiliating arrests.

They not only beat up this poor guy but burned him, sliced off part of his ear and even carved swastikas on his chest. Not one. Several. In other words, Daniel Zamudio is Chile's answer to Matthew Shepard, only worse.


Mr. Zamudio is not expected to live much longer, as he's on life support and the family is waiting for his body to fail before pulling the plug.

It's people like this that make me want to come out of retirement. In fact, sometimes I wish I could witness a gay person being assaulted so I can give their attacker a piece of my mind and whatever other body parts I care to use. You can have all the gay pride marches and lobby for all the equality laws that you want but the fact is, radical right wing fascist homophobes like these miscreants count on nonviolent opposition. And as long as we persist on nonviolent opposition, they will never pay the full price for their hate crimes and will always escape every opportunity to know what their victims feel like.

And, with all apologies to Dr. King, the only answer to intolerance is more intolerance, the only answer to bigotry is a virulent, withering bigotry against bigotry. And, as Stonewall proved, sometimes the only way to wake people up and to let bigots know that you mean business is through violence. Because that's the only language these reactionary reptiles understand.

Monday, March 26, 2012

If Literary Agents Had Been With Us Through History


I've been saying for years now that literary agents with their solipsism, greed, elite attitudes and general, all-around stupidity in matters literary and otherwise, are slowly but surely destroying our literary culture and heritage. What follows below are what some of the greatest writers in history would've faced if literary agents had been indispensable from the outset or if these writers were trying to make their mark today. These are actual responses that I and other writers have heard from literary agents of late as to why we were beneath consideration for representation and this writer has no confidence that his legendary predecessors would've been any more immune.

Dear Mr. Tolstoy:

We have read your proposal for your novel, War and Peace, and, while we recognize its merits, we have to regrettably decline an opportunity to read more. Today's market being the way it is, we simply do not feel we can place a book that's over 100,000 words. We have recently had to decline other massive projects by people such as Margaret Mitchell and Steig Larsen. Our recommendation is to cut roughly 80% of the novel and resubmit it. But we wish you the best luck in all your future endeavors.

Dear Mr. Dickens:

After careful consideration of your book, Oliver Twist, we have to decline your offer to have our agency represent you. As stated in our submission guidelines on our website, and as we'd recently had to tell a horror writer in Bangor, Maine, we cannot with sufficient enthusiasm try to market books that place children in danger. But we wish you the best of luck in your future publishing endeavors.

Dear Mr. Homer:

We have received and carefully reviewed your presentation for your epic poem, The Iliad. We are obliged to decline reading the rest of your project because poetry simply does not sell in today's market. But we wish you the best in all your future endeavors...

Dear Mr. Philip K. Dick:

Re: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

We have read with some interest your proposal in a subgenre of science fiction that you've labeled "cyberpunk." As we have told another writer, William Gibson, your work lacks credibility in that you do not have an internet presence, hence a marketing platform. Today's market being the way it is, if you cannot guarantee at least hardcover sales of 5000 by having a specific threshold of followers on certain social networking sites, we cannot take you seriously. Try setting up accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and try us again. We wish all the best in your future endeavors, etc...

Dear Dr. Johnson:

We've read your submission for your project, A Dictionary of the English Language and, while the erudition cannot be faulted, we have to decline extending an offer of representation. Number one, we do not represent nonfiction and, number two, we must say that your bellicose attitude in uncharitably bringing up the observation that the modern world has taken away an author's patrons and replaced them with literary agents is perhaps the reason why you remain unpublished. But we wish you good luck in your future endeavors.

Dear Mrs. Shelley:

While we think your science fiction project, Frankenstein, has many merits, we feel we cannot wholeheartedly embrace your book with the enthusiasm necessary to place it with a publisher. This is a highly subjective business and while we cannot delve into why we're passing on this, allow us to suggest making the Frankenstein monster a zombie or vampire who's hunted by a historical figure, such as Abraham Lincoln. Good luck in your future endeavors...

Dear Ms. Carson:

We have received your nonfiction project, Silent Spring and had immediately declined it for being liberal, alarmist propaganda. Global warming and effects of pollution are mere theories and there isn't a market for your unsupported allegations. Good luck in your future endeavors...

Dear Mr. Bradbury:

No. There is no market for short stories.

Dear Mr. Shakespeare:

Obviously, you did not read our guidelines on our official website, which categorically states that we do not represent poets or playwrights. Try converting your projects Hamlet, Othello and MacBeth into novels under 100,000 words and make the characters more compelling. For instance, Hamlet's constant dithering and lack of clear motivation left us unsatisfied. Reduce the body count at the end to leave room for a sequel. Just some ideas. We wish you the best in all your future publishing endeavors...

Dear Matthew, Mark, Luke and John:

Thank you for your collaborative biography on the life of Christ. We usually don't give detailed critiques on properties we decline but we were particularly impressed with Jesus' ascent to heaven. Perhaps you'd have better luck placing this biography if you turned Jesus into a zombie (Given the popularity of AMC's The Walking Dead, you'd be smart to jump on the bandwagon). And his ascent to heaven would make him a flying zombie, which would give the zombie subgenre a novel twist. Just something to consider. With much luck on your future endeavors, we remain, etc, etc etc...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Stepford Becomes Pottersville, slight return


Brilliant at Breakfast reader Rob Bush made a great over-the-shoulder catch. He says, "Make sure you watch the Ahmedinijad segment closely to see the subliminal flash of Obama in there.

Right around the 0:39 mark."

Specifically, it's 41 seconds in but he's absolutely right. First you see Ahmedinejad, then a subliminal flash of Obama before it goes back to Ahmedinejad. Check the time stamps of the two screengrabs if you don't believe me.


The intent of this is so obvious, a fifth grader can see it. By implanting a subliminal image of the president in our minds, Santorum's propagandists are going the Sarah Palin route and "suggesting" that our Christian Protestant president is actually a Muslim.

There's no end to the desperation to which Republicans will spelunk in order to scare and startle votes out of people, to so cynically use right wing Islamophobia that got ramped up to epic levels after 9/11. It's this kind of radical Christian, apocalyptic Islamophobia that brings to mind the Inquisition, the Crusades, the reign of terror of Savonarola.

This is the new America, people. And this is how deluded Rick Santorum is: It's not even as if he wants, like Reagan, to transform America into Pleasantville. He actually thinks America is Pleasantville and is trying to turn President Obama into a Muslim secret agent by resorting to subliminal imagery to keep our multicultural country Biblical, black and white and Brycreemed.

And this pint-sized Billy Sunday is Willard's chief rival, people, the guy who won Louisiana last night.

Thought of the Day

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Top Ten Reasons Why Dick Cheney Got a Heart Transplant








Former Vice President Richard B. Cheney recently got a heart transplant and is currently recovering comfortably. Mr. Cheney had over the years suffered many heart problems and had undergone several surgeries, sometimes having devices implanted. But there were several other reasons why Vice President Cheney got a heart transplant. What were they?

  • 10) Cheney's cardiologists realized his old heart was actually a transponder being tracked by the Devil.

  • 9) Cheney's old heart was so bad it beat to the tune of "The Mephisto Waltz."

  • 8) Old heart atrophied from underuse.

  • 7) After first attempt six years ago to harvest his heart, Cheney got tired of waiting for Harry Wittington to die before him.

  • 6) Doctors agreed the plan B heart transplant would be more timely than the plan A of a soul transplant.

  • 5) Superior vena cava too clogged with karmic backlog.

  • 4) Doctors discovered Cheney's moral belief system turned last device into a sump pump.

  • 3) Cheney's old heart never recovered from being pierced in 1963 by Cupid, making him fall in love with money and unbridled power.

  • 2) Science finally able to build electron microscope powerful enough to zero in on old heart.

  • 1) Law of averages dictated a compatible heart transplant donor would be found after all the people that had died over the years because of Cheney.
  • ก็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็ กิิิิิิิิิิิิิิิิิิิิ ก้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้ ก็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็ กิิิิิิิิิิิิิิิิิิิิ ก้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้ ก็็็็็็็็็็็็็็


    Spring has sprung, meaning Republicans will be flocking to their respective campaign trails redefining March Madness.

    Republican Wisconsin Rep. Don Pridemore and Republican state Senator Glenn Grothman have an ingenious solution to domestic abuse that actually consists of something more than "just close your eyes:" Says Yahoo News,

    In Wisconsin -- yes, the same state where lawmakers have introduced a bill penalizing single mothers for being unmarried -- a Republican state representative has come out against divorce for any reason -- even domestic abuse.

    Instead of leaving an abusive situation, women should try to remember the things they love about their husbands, Representative Don Pridemore said. "If they can re-find those reasons and get back to why they got married in the first place it might help," he told a local news station.

    Let's not continue to criminalize domestic abuse on the part of husbands, ladies, let's, instead, focus on their more positive aspects. After all, plenty of battered women are quick to respond to criticism with, "Shut up! You don't know him like I do! I see a side of him that you don't!"

    So, unless Goebbels and Himmler were their fathers, what's Grothman's and Pridemore's excuse for being walking brain stems?

    Trying to burnish his creds at the wrong exact moment considering what happened in Florida last month, Rick Santorum was at a gun range in Louisiana. At some point, you can hear a woman say as he took aim at a target, "Pretend it's Obama."

    I'd prefer to pretend it's a firing squad aimed at Bush and Cheney's black little hearts but, hey, that's just me.

    Geraldo Rivera recently made headlines by saying on on Fox that Trayvon Martin brought on his own shooting death because he wore a hoodie. What's wrong with that argument?

    I give you Exhibit #1, your honor...

    Stepford Becomes Pottersville


    (Tip of the leather and tinfoil biker cap to Towleroad.)

    Rick Santorum (R-Amazon.com) has a new campaign spot up on Youtube and it's so creepy it's actually unlisted (only those with the link can access it here). This tactic during a presidential election is strange. Why would one spend untold amounts of money making a professional-quality campaign ad only to restrict it as unlisted and #2, if you're going to go to these lengths to restrict it, why allow people like me to access the embed code?

    Technically, this isn't a Santorum campaign video because you'll note he never says at the end, "I'm Rick Santorum and I approved this message." So, obviously, it was commissioned and paid for by his SuperPAC yet put up under Santorum's official Youtube channel.

    But that's just the beginning of the strangeness. This is actually a cut above the fear-mongering videos we were seeing from Tom Tancredo and others during the last general election and uses the same "Shit Your Pants if You're a Good, God-Fearing American" apocalyptic propaganda that politicians have been using since LBJ's Daisy video in '64.

    Think of a campaign spot written by Tim LaHaye and directed by David Lynch and that'll give you an accurate preview of what to expect from this one minute and five second-long spot. It starts off with menacing crows (is there any more menacing color than black?) cawing and flying across an overcast sky.

    It then gives us a hodge-podge of images culled straight from American Gothic and Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology" put through a blender with file footage of more End of Times Fox "News" coverage of Iran's latest development in securing a nuclear arsenal that'll destroy our Israeli overlords if we don't do something about them now.

    We see images of Ahmedinjad, a restive Iran and carefully-filmed actors portraying scenes of destitution that I guess the Santorum campaign couldn't find in the real world while an ominous-sounding Don LaFontainesque voiceover actor tells us that, if re-elected, Obama will turn our nice peaceful 1954 Stepford nation into Pottersville.

    High unemployment. High gas prices. A war on religious freedom. In other words, a revisiting of James Dobson's, "Letter From a Wingnut, 2012".

    Back in 2008, Dobby's brief and mercifully only foray into science fiction made these scary predictions:

    * Six liberal justices sit on the Supreme Court after the immediate resignation of John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the later resignations of Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy.

    * Homosexual marriage has been ruled a constitutional right that must be respected by all 50 states.

    * The Boy Scouts have disbanded rather than obey a decision forcing them to allow homosexual scoutmasters. (The Scouts already had been kicked out of public facilities because of an expansion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to cover people who engage in homosexual behavior.)

    * Evangelical and Catholic adoption agencies cease to exist after the Supreme Court rules they must agree to place children with homosexuals or lose their licenses.

    * Church buildings are now considered a "public accommodation" by the United States Supreme Court, and churches have no freedom to refuse to allow their buildings to be used for wedding ceremonies for homosexual couples.


    You get the idea. I guess all these evil, libr'al, homosexual conspiracies will suddenly ejaculate into reality in the last few months of the year after Obama forces us all into gay marriages.

    Santorum is slightly expanding on this dystopian Republican future while trotting out tired old talking points: The economy and job market, which didn't start to suffer under Bush but under Obama, is worse off (Despite the President's ARRA or the stimulus bill creating millions of jobs and freeing up some liquidity.). Gas prices, which spiked to well over $5 a gallon for diesel and over $4.50 a gallon for gasoline under Bush in the summer of 2008 is also Obama's fault (despite it being proven by many, including Fox "News" back in that selfsame summer of 2008, that regulating gas prices is not the President's job and should not be held against him except if he recklessly invades an oil-producing country, then all bets are off).

    Obama is also responsible for a war on religion, which is proved by the mention of his name with images of Ahmedinejad, with whose country we still have not reopened diplomatic relations after over three decades.

    The only truly scary thing about this video is not the comical content but the apocalyptic mindset it betrays. The overarching rationale is clear: If you don't vote for Rick Santorum, then your friendly neighborhood Applebee's will soon feature an obese man playing honky tonk on the piano while mafia henchmen who look like Sheldon Leonard will tend bar, libraries will be run by spinsters named Mary and the Mr. Potters of Wall Street will, uh, run roughshod over Main Street which, uh, is simply impossible to imagine happening before Obama.

    In this, Santorum offers no solutions, no hope outside of "Vote for me" and only complains about problems that largely began under Bush almost four years ago. This campaign ad is so far off base, it makes Herman Cain's "Yellow Flowers" spot look dignified and Fellini-esque by conspicuous relief. It is so bad and so misleading in its content that only those already eating government cheese while cowering in their underground bomb shelters built beneath the rusted washing machines in their back yard and people who wear white hoods could seriously entertain this tripe. It's not so much a campaign ad as a parody of one, something you'd almost see on SNL or the Onion.

    And if you think this is bad, just remember, people: Summer and fall's still a ways off. It'll get better so stock up on popcorn to make in your bomb shelters.

    Friday, March 23, 2012

    Caption Contest


    "Go ahead, George. Try it and see what happens this time."

    Sweet Jesus, I Hate America, Part II


    The first and basic task confronting this nation this year was to turn recession into recovery...The recession has been halted. Recovery is under way... But the task of abating unemployment and achieving a full use of our resources does remain a serious challenge for us all. Large-scale unemployment during a recession is bad enough, but large-scale unemployment during a period of prosperity would be intolerable... Finally, our greatest asset in this struggle is the American people--their willingness to pay the price for these programs--to understand and accept a long struggle--to share their resources with other less fortunate people--to meet the tax levels and close the tax loopholes. - President John F. Kennedy, "The Urgent National Needs" speech, May 25th, 1961

    Few nations do more than the United States to assist their least fortunate citizens - to make certain that no child, no elderly or handicapped citizen, no family in any circumstances in any State, is left without the essential needs for a decent and healthy existence. - President Kennedy, "Special Message to the Congress on Public Welfare Programs", February 1, 1962

    ...or Ayn Rand, Get Your Gun

    When the eulogy of this listing, wobbling, Hindenburg of a democracy is written, it will no doubt point out the irony that the American people who are almost genetically hardwired to worship freedom at all costs are also the same people that allowed their most basic and inalienable freedoms to be taken away with hardly a whimper.

    It's immaterial what the reason(s) was/were, whether it be distraction, fear, apathy, laziness, sheer stupidity and gullibility or an admixture of all of the above. The important thing to remember is the end result, that our once-great nation has devolved from a great, humanitarian state to one in which charity, mercy and Altruism was systematically purged from the state and broken up into random pockets of private endeavor.

    We've long since begun acclimating ourselves to the sad but true reality that indigence has been criminalized. You get caught driving your car after your registration has been revoked because you couldn't keep up with the insurance payments, you get convicted if you cannot afford legal representation better than some disinterested hack from the state Bar Association. If you can't afford to pay the inevitable fine, you go to jail. And if you can't afford RomneyCare in Massachusetts, you lose your $900+ personal tax exemption for "noncompliance."

    So, what's the next step after criminalizing and demonizing indigence? Criminalizing and demonizing any private attempts to alleviate indigence. We're now a gigantic zoo in which there are invisible signs posted that say, "Do not feed the homeless." And this isn't merely here and there but in major cities from coast to coast such as Philadelphia, Orlando, Houston and Dallas, Texas, Las Vegas and billionaire mayor Mike Bloomberg's New York City.

    And even cities too craven to outright ban feeding the homeless still make it so conditional that practicing even this random act of charity is virtually impossible, with excuses including the unknown nutritional value of donated food. Permits to feed the indigent in some cities are restricted to two a year.

    Yes, people, we live in a nation where greed and recklessness in the corporate sector not only goes unpunished but even rewarded and viciously protected by we their victims but any attempts to alleviate the fallout of those ruinous practices is criminalized and give you an arrest record. Doesn't that just make you want to burst your buttons with pride knowing that we have strayed so far from the humanitarian ideals once championed and enacted by the Kennedy/Johnson administrations?

    And let's take a look at that from a bird's eye view for a moment: Medicaid and Medicare are now under fire. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is now being questioned and Republicans like Rand Paul are pissing and moaning about how it infringes on the freedoms of store owners. Hell, FDR's once unassailable sacred cow, Social Security, is even more under fire from the Republican Party and the ever-compliant, moderate right wing cunt we elected as president over three years ago allowed the Republican Party to begin the systematic underfunding of Social Security by slashing the tax rate by 2%.

    Hell, let's go even further back and note that Sen. Mike Lee of Utah saying just last year that child labor laws were "unconstitutional" and ought to be repealed and Newt "Man in the Moon" Gingrich saying just this year that we should take indigent children out of the classrooms and stick them in janitor's closets where they belong.

    The history of child labor laws begins in New England in 1832, meaning radical Republican scumbags like Lee and Gingrich actually want to push us back to the dawn of the 19th/end of the 18th century.

    Meanwhile, Wall Street fuck dolls such as Paul "Voucher" Ryan are drawing up plans for even more tax cuts designed to put nearly $200,000 more in the pockets of people who are already multimillionaires. It's people like Ryan who are so incensed over the tepid reforms of the gin mill class watered-down ObamaCare that repealing it and replacing it with nothing but vouchers has become the biggest plank in the Republican Party's national platform.

    Through unchecked, unregulated greed, Wall Street callously and sociopathically cost millions of Americans their jobs, pensions, 401(k) plans and millions more their homes. Yet, while not one Wall Street firm or hardly even one executive has even been indicted or charged for these economic crimes against humanity, close to 2000 occupy Wall Street protesters have been beaten, tased, gassed, arrested, charged and convicted for protesting these thefts for reasons that are as ridiculous as Bloomberg's excuses for banning feeding the homeless they helped to create.

    And yet this selfsame 1% who are hollowing out this nation like a handful of piranha hollowing out a water buffalo carcass on the Amazon are successfully perpetuating the meme among the Deep South and other festering pockets of misguided conservatism that liberals are the bad guys. The hatred of liberals is so venomous that every day millions of wingnuts or however many are smart enough to use a computer contort their thinking with sideshow tenacity to somehow blame Obama and his fellow Commie liberals for every evil that infests this country.

    Like Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and the progressive tax rate that built the Eisenhower highways in the early 50's that they blithely use while going to sparsely-attended Tea Bagger rallies.

    We live in a nation where several states, most notably Florida, have enacted "Stand Your Ground" laws that allow police groupies such as George Zimmerman to murder unarmed black youths who are trying to run away from them and to do so with impunity. Murder an unarmed African American youth? No problem. Peacefully protest corporate greed? Get shot in the face with a tear gas canister and nearly lose your life.

    Why, such criticism is just unacceptable, said a Captain of Industry recently. Such impotent outrage and criticism positively "incensed" him.

    Many of you blamed Katrina victims for their own victimhood and for having the temerity to have their neglected, bloated, drowned bodies embarrass the poor Bush administration that took 5 days to get water to New Orleans yet we rallied to the aid of San Diego wildfire "victims" by dispatching massage specialists and provided internet access to them. Three years later, elsewhere in California, it made national headlines when luxury cruise ship "victims" were forced to drink stale Korbel for a couple of days and it was yeasted up in the MSM as if it was on a par with the Titanic.

    People, stick a fork in us because we're done. Barring outlawed, random pockets and acts of charity and kindness, we've completely lost our moral compass. Liberals, gays seeking mere equality, activists protesting ruinous financial policies, wars and other encroachments on our civil liberties by government and corporations alike (not that there's any appreciable separation) have been turned into criminals and suspects. I've said it before and I'll say it again: We live in one of the very few nations on earth where you can get put on a wanted poster for stealing a loaf of bread but if you steal billions through risky and reckless speculation and vulture funds, you get your name and puss stuck on the cover of Forbes.

    And if I ever become by some insanely random miracle part of the 1%, it will be my distinct pleasure to immediately become an expatriot, renounce this toxic American citizenship and watch the final tragic approach of this burning blimp of a country, this red, white and blue nest of woe.

    And for those of you ready to make inane wisecracks about helping me pack my bags, let me say this: Whether or not I leave, things will continue degenerating and you will have to continue surviving or succumbing to this nightmare that I've just described. Hating on me or Obama or liberals or Democrats will not make you immune from the inevitable fallout. This nation is killing, poisoning and choking itself on its own bile and you are a mere Matrix battery, an anonymous foot soldier who will be little noted and long forgotten when the secular Armageddon or Judgment Day comes around.

    Thursday, March 22, 2012

    First They Came After Our Papers...


    (Tip o' the tinfoil hat to Mrs. JP for this catch. Luv ya, babe.)

    ...then they came after... our Facebook passwords???

    Yes, folks, this is how much of a funhouse reflection of its former self our nation has become. Now universities and government entities are asking people for their Facebook passwords and deciding whether to give them scholarships or jobs based on what they see. Says the Huffington Post:
    MSNBC reports that some government agencies and colleges are now requiring applicants to give them their Facebook passwords so that they can see what's behind the privacy wall.

    Examples include Maryland's Department of Corrections asking applicants to let an interviewer watch as they log into their Facebook account, as well as some colleges that require athletes to accept friend requests from coaches, according to MSNBC.

    There's not much you can do about Depts of Correction and universities because the US Constitution doesn't apply to them. It does, however, apply to any federal agency that apparently has never heard of an obscure old law called the 4th Amendment (illegal search and seizure).

    Let's just set aside for a minute the absurdity of Facebook acquiring this much power and credibility to the point where it's now become a national barometer for individual moral character or the lack thereof. After all, this overrated website was purloined from the beginning by a dishonest douchebag named Mark Zuckerberg who not only ripped off Harvard University but his closest friends and partners and would later crawl into bed with Goldman Sachs. He's made a billion dollars for every year he's been alive by selling your personal information that you're stupid enough to give him.

    As justly maligned as it is, perhaps the biggest attraction of Facebook to over 750,000,000 users is that it permits the privacy many of us need to let down our hair and be ourselves or be someone we're not and to do so without fear of retaliation.

    Asking someone for their Facebook passwords no matter what's on the line is hardly better or less unseemly than a spam email asking you for that or contact/financial information. Now we're told to give up even more personal information so that you might not get that job or promotion or life-saving scholarship because of that Photoshopped picture you put up nine months ago of Rick Santorum covered with anal lube?

    Long before Myspace, back when Mark Zuckerberg was pushing around a projector for the AV squad in high school, we thought trading a little bit of liberty and civil rights was a good thing when Bush and his jackals were drawing up the Enabling Act USA PATRIOT Act and had set up the Department of Homeland Security. We were told the price of liberty and constitutional protections were necessary if we wanted to continue living in this, uh, liberty-laden, free society. We were told, "Don't worry, you'll get your God-given rights back as soon as we're done with them, as soon as beat them suiciders," and we gulped and said, "OK."

    Because the neocons, working hand-in-hand with the terrorists, ensured the terr'ists would win by ensuring we would live in fear, that we'd wet our pants at the sight of a person darker than us wearing a do-rag or smelling vaguely of falafel. And we were still OK with that even after it became obvious that even after bin Laden was killed reaching for a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea that "the loss of a little bit of liberty was worth every second and then some of the security we got in exchange" and completely forgetting what Benjamin fucking Franklin had to say on that very subject.

    This was still A-OK with many of you sniveling assholes because you honestly never saw this coming, this one inescapable, ineluctable fact: That unchallenged abuse only encourages more abuse.

    Now, the very government that's supposed to honor the Constitution from top to bottom is now breaking that very basic law called the 4th amendment by demanding we hand over what's one of the few things remaining to each person and each person only: Our social network passwords.

    So, vetting references, criminal background checks (CORIs), humiliating drug screenings even credit background checks aren't enough for some people, now they need to know what you say and do when you're on your own time when you think no one's looking or ever will be looking. It's only a matter of time before they continue by asking us for our IP addresses so they can find out where we go online all the time, then, if genetics holds out the faintest hope of being a predictor of future behavior and future job performance, blood tests.

    Bravo, people. I really hope that Bush and Cheney keeping the terr'ists at bay after 9/11 was worth it because now you can say bye bye to the freedoms you took for granted when Clinton was still president.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2012

    Thought of the Day

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    Mr. Mooser's Neighborhood


    This is just a fraction of the information I've been able to dig up with a cursory effort on my newest stalker, Mr. Mooser. I could do the humane thing and just give Sarah Palin the exact GPS coordinates of his house so she can pay him a visit on one of her wolf shooting helicopters or I could be really inhumane and just reveal everything I've found out about him. (More at the bottom.)

    RESULTS FOUND: 2

    -------------
    Lookup results for 207.244.147.34 from whois.lacnic.net server:

    NetRange: 207.244.144.0 - 207.244.159.255
    CIDR: 207.244.144.0/20
    OriginAS:
    NetName: WORLDLINK-1
    NetHandle: NET-207-244-144-0-1
    Parent: NET-207-0-0-0-0
    NetType: Direct Allocation
    RegDate: 2005-07-01
    Updated: 2012-03-02
    Ref: http://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-207-244-144-0-1
    OrgName: Worldlink, Inc.
    OrgId: WLNK
    Address: 1300 SW 7th St
    Address: Suite 112
    City: Renton
    StateProv: WA
    PostalCode: 98057
    Country: US
    RegDate: 1998-06-05
    Updated: 2011-09-24
    Ref: http://whois.arin.net/rest/org/WLNK
    OrgAbuseHandle: RK596-ARIN
    OrgAbuseName: xxxxxx, xxxx
    OrgAbusePhone: +1-206-361-8785
    OrgAbuseEmail: dnsadmin@w-link.net
    OrgAbuseRef: http://whois.arin.net/rest/poc/RK596-ARIN
    OrgTechHandle: RK596-ARIN
    OrgTechName: xxxxxx, xxxx
    OrgTechPhone: +1-206-361-8785
    OrgTechEmail: dnsadmin@w-link.net
    OrgTechRef: http://whois.arin.net/rest/poc/RK596-ARIN


    Now moose, old buddy, you seem to like to kick people who are down, to point your finger at them and laugh, "Ha, ha!" from the safe anonymous shadows of the sidelines like some over-the-hill Nelson Muntz. But the fact is, Moose, that nothing and nobody is anonymous and despite the treasure trove of information I've already gleaned, I still haven't had to fork over even so much as a red cent to get even more personal and specific information, such as the other, seamier websites you troll when you're not obsessing over me. If I wanted to invest that kind of time, effort and money on you, I could discover what brand of tissues you use after you finish short-stroking yourself in the wake of one obsessive/compulsive internet spelunking or another.

    Push me to that and I will do just that. But first, before I continue data-mining the information you've so thoughtfully provided (Don't forget, sport, this is what I do for a living. I don't give just commentary), let me tell you what it's like from my side of the tracks, the side that you like to sneer at with such easy disdain.

    I am not as ashamed of myself for my inability to find a job as you suppose I should be. While it's always angering and frustrating, I do not feel shame because I know I'm doing my level-headed best to find a job both online and in the real world. In the good old days, before your three piece superheroes George W. Bush and his corporate lounge lizards on Wall Street thoroughly sledgehammered this economy, I was usually able to find a job within weeks, if not days, after leaving my old one.

    The fact that I've been unemployed for close to 35 months should not be held against me because sometime in the last decade something very evil happened to this country, an evil that, if viewed through the proper prism, puts the kibosh on the old libertarian myth that every person is in complete control of their destiny. That only applies to those who have a vast fortune to force destiny to their will. The rest of us are just forgotten flotsam and jetsam, wreckage of previous, happier lives after it hit the iceberg into which Bush and his cronies steered us.

    You think it's funny when a man remains unemployed after being able to secure employment with relative ease for the first 25-30 years of his working life, you like to laugh at the man when he's down and troll his every blog post and to try to make funnies (and failing miserably. Trust me, Moosie, leave the jokes to me. I used to sell jokes to the late Rodney Dangerfield when I was a mere stripling of 19 and think of what I can do to you now that I'm 34 years older and wiser).

    I almost (the operative word here being almost) pity you for not being privy to the warmth that comes to my heart when one reader and/or friend or another donates something to our little cause and to help stave off eviction a little bit longer. Thanks to these kind-hearted and generous friends, I stay caught up on my bills and am allowed to continue contributing to the economy as I am accustomed. That's what it means to be an Altruist and a liberal: Knowing that others will pick you up when you are down and earning their trust that you will do the same when you're on your feet. Right wingers will never know that sense of humanity and community because you'd rather adopt a more selfish, Randian mindset of "Fuck everyone but me and my own and if it comes down to it, fuck everybody but me."

    You are a little malcontent who is wasting precious hours of his life that he'll never get back (not that I think you'd use them any more wisely even if you were entitled to such a temporal refund) trying ineffectually to mock the gifts of a writer as an ant would try to mock the sole of a man's shoe. If you have been spared being crushed, it's only through sheer luck, that perhaps you were spared oblivion thanks to a deep sole tread.

    But this is your legacy, to mock those you've never met and never will meet from the relative safety of distance and a presumed anonymity. Before, when you began writing your usually rejected comments tonight, you were merely irksome. But as they continued streaming in, I decided that for the moment, you were worth the time to smite in one way or another. I have so honored you and will continue to do so after I post this when I write to your ISP administrator, xxxx xxxxxx, at the email address you have so thoughtfully, albeit indirectly and inadvertently, provided me (and the information above was current as of today).

    Just as the Rude Pundit's idea of Hell for Andrew Breitbart was to be locked in a steel box with no audience, so I will visit Hell on you by getting your ISP and internet connection revoked for constant harassment and online stalking. I will provide a list of all your comments from tonight (complete with all headers proving they originated from your little hovel off 38th Ave. and 77th Street), and I will let Mr. xxxxxx make a determination as his wisdom sees fit.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a letter to write.

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    To Serve and Protect (with conditions)


    The murder of young Mr. Trayvon Martin on February 26th is something I hadn't touched on because my own rage made me incoherent and coherence for any writer is an absolute must. His murder in and of itself is despicable on its own merits: George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch guy, a frustrated, wouldbe cop with a gun, acts as judge, jury and executioner when he sees a black kid who OBVIOUSLY must've been packing something more dangerous than processed sugar. Shoot first (even after being told not to engage the "suspect") and rightly trust the police won't ask any questions later.

    But it's also the followup, the Three Stooges version of a police investigation conducted by what is obviously a racist police department. Obviously, if the shooter was black and the victim white and a member of the gated community or one of their own, the Sanford PD would go all Alice's Restaurant on the shooter and bring out the choppers, SWAT and produce dozens of glossy 8 x 10s with circles and arrows showing each shell casing.

    This kid could have been one of my own. I have two biracial sons who've just come back into my life. One is about to celebrate his 20th birthday, the other is 17, Trayvon's age. So everything horrible and everything racist that needlessly happens to an African American strikes at my heart because my sons share that heritage. This is worse than Jena, LA, worse than even the Tea Party, John Birch Society and KKK, than virtually anything we've seen in recent years. And those sworn to serve and protect the public interest have made it plain they will protect only certain segments of the population. If you're black and needlessly gunned down, well, you had it coming to you. The Sanford cops, for some bizarre reason, are defending this racist asshole as if their own reputations were on the line, even defending the guy and bringing up one class he took in criminal justice. So, if we all take a class in criminal justice and shoot innocent teenagers, that's our get out of jail free card?

    And make no mistake about it, people: This was a lightning fast lynching, plain and simple. At least black people of antiquity were allowed to hear whatever trumped-up, bogus charges for which they were being lynched. Trayvon didn't even get that. He was walking back from a C store holding a bag of Skittles and the next thing he was dead. If you're like me, it's virtually impossible to imagine a more senseless and needless death, a more innocent victim. There's no wiggle room, nothing to plausibly spin. A red bag of Skittles does not look like a gun no matter how bad your eyesight and if your eyes are that bad, you shouldn't have or own a fucking gun.

    This kind of shit happens all the time all over the world. We ourselves have done this wholesale in Iraq and, most recently, Afghanistan. But this is not Iraq. This is not Afghanistan. And we are not a nation of 300,000,000 potential criminals and terrorists. We're supposed to be better than this. And law enforcement, which has been brutally and sadistically cracking down on peaceful protesters at Occupy sites from coast to coast since last September yet does nothing about what is obviously a case of murder so Zimmerman can do this again and again, is supposed to be better than this.

    Please sign the petition, which has almost reached its goal of 500,000 putting pressure on Norman Wolfinger, the 18th district's state's attorney to prosecute what's shaping up to be more and more of a hate crime.

    Saturday, March 17, 2012

    Lack of Familiarity Breeds Contempt


    It's been said, "Familiarity breeds contempt." That's true of voters across the political spectrum this year. The more they get to know the increasingly unhinged Republican Party, the more we hate them. But the opposite is also true: Lack of familiarity can also breed contempt. And that is because we fear what we do not know and what we do not know we tend to loathe.

    And the Republican Party this year seems to be in some scavenger hunt to dredge up the most hateful, spiteful and outrageous things to say and they're turning off droves of reliable Republican voters. Perhaps in no clearer case than the Republican Party turning off centrist and even conservative female voters.

    Let's face it, Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin aside, the Republican Party is still run by the same exact kind of stereotypical old white men in overstuffed leather chairs at the lodge, puffing on cigars the size of Rhode Island, sipping century-old brandy and swapping stories that usually end in some half-forgotten conquest or another. "...and there I was, liberals to the left of me, liberals to the right of me, and I raised my trusty keyboard and smote the demons..."

    Indeed, the Republican Party, which seems eager to accelerate our inevitable slide into a real-life Idiocracy, has been especially hostile toward women in general and not just liberal women. In Texas, Pennsylvania and other states, we've seen the party of small government essentially raping women in the most impersonal and dispassionate way imaginable by insisting on transvaginal ultrasounds. PA Gov. Tom Corbett was even emboldened to say, "Just close your eyes" in response to the outrage from women in light of Corbett's advocacy of mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds before a woman can have an abortion.

    (Note to Gov. Corbett: I guess closing your eyes automatically numbing genitalia works both ways so here's some free medical advice: During your next prostate exam, just close your eyes, cough and think of Reagan.)

    In what's perhaps the most notorious instance of Republican misogyny, Rush Limbaugh called birth control advocate and Georgetown student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" simply because she testified before House Democrats after the Republican majority, in yet another instance of misogyny, refused to hear her testimony. That three day-long, XXX, sex-obsessed tirade, in which Limbaugh ignorantly equated frequency of sex with the amount of birth control needed, cost Limbaugh and his Premier employers over 150 sponsors, many of them the nation's largest corporations.

    Not content with resting on his laurels, Limbaugh then went on a tirade against another woman, Tracie McMillan, for saying in her book that nutritious, quality food simply isn't available to low income people. To Republican rodeo clowns like Limbaugh, whose actual job it is to distract the sleeping bull of public opinion from the real issues, this smacks of class warfare, which is always a touchy point with Republicans who insist that everything is hunk-dory except for lazy liberals who don't want to be pill-popping, multimillionaire child molesters like Rush.

    We saw more outrage from not just the left but from much of the 99% during the Occupy Wall Street that officially kicked off on September 17th last year. Virtually every right wing pundit anxious to use #OWS as a billy club with which to beat over the heads of liberals jumped on the rickety bandwagon to spread every outrageous lie: The protesters shit on police cars, they're on drugs, they're lazy, they're unemployed and unemployable and, in the most notorious instance, the late Andrew Breitbart, the P.T. Barnum of the internet, hoarsely screamed about rape being covered up to protect the integrity of the Occupy movement.

    The war on the LGBT community rages on, with Prop 8 being struck down by a federal court and being, against all reason, appealed all the way up to the Supreme Court. Gay people are still being driven to suicide, beaten and shot and otherwise being attacked and killed off at a frenzied clip across all age groups. In response, the Republican-controlled Michigan legislature almost subverted Matt's Safe Schools Law, which would prohibit bullying of all kinds in Michigan schools, to the degree that a bully could've gotten off scot-free after any attack simply by pulling out the "moral and religion" card.

    All these acts of Republican loathing of what doesn't resemble itself have two things in common: A complete and sociopathic lack of empathy and being driven to the absolute extreme as a means of answering even tepid opposition. And the message the Republican Party is imparting from a municipal to a state to the national level, is simple and impossible to miss: If you oppose our bigotry, we will crush you. And if we can't do that, we will subvert any attempt to protect the victim.

    From the days of the Founding Fathers down to Mark Twain down to Will Rogers to our present day, we've long suspected that the people we elect to public office are some of the stupidest, greediest, most viciously bigoted and ignorant, corrupt, sociopathic vermin ever to crawl across the face of the earth and this is no truer than the latter day Republican Party. In fact, the only thing the Capitol Building needs to qualify as a lunatic asylum is bars on the windows, a looser dress code and more second-hand board games.

    After two plus centuries, one would see that who we elect to public office is a direct reflection of how bigoted and ignorant we are as a democracy. And in the last few years, the Republican Party has become a mere synecdoche and refinement of the misogyny, racism, homophobia and general, all-around ignorance of We the People. And the hot air we feel from Republican campaign speeches is just the harbinger of the whirlwind we're about to reap.

    Friday, March 16, 2012

    The Greatest Joke...

    Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


    ...that was perhaps ever perpetrated on the American public was when Sen. James Inhofe, a reliable Republican troll who looks as if he buys his hair from William Shatner's yard sales, first convinced the people of Oklahoma that he wasn't completely insane. Last night on Rachel Maddow's show, he reiterated that (you would think) painfully obvious fact.

    Pick a topic, an obfuscation, a lie. There's plenty to go around, plenty to pick from, as an interview with Inhofe at any length is wont to do. From distancing himself from the Kill the Gays bill now up for vote again in the Ugandan parliament, to defending Doug Coe, the Godfather of the C Street Gang, to global warming to unfairly attacking Maddow for something she didn't do in 2009 to... Oh, just watch the clip and I'll still be here when you're done.

    OK, where do we start? Well, Inhofe, a man who has gratefully accepted $1,370,346 from the oil and gas industries, is, true to Republican form, blaming the public school system for "brainwashing" his granddaughter because she wonders why her grandfather is so batshit insane regarding global warming. This is a guy, don't forget, who has been so hoarsely screaming about global warming being a hoax that nearly seven years ago he invited the late Michael Crichton, an overrated sci fi novelist and no accredited expert in climate change, to testify before Congress "proving" that global warming was a hoax.

    As Deep Throat told Woodward and Bernstein in that parking garage, "Follow the money."

    He continues championing an obviously homophobic and mentally unbalanced godbag like Doug Coe despite Coe essentially brokering a meeting between three American evangelicals and Ugandan legislators who were about to introduce the Kill the Gays bill that would make homosexual relations involving those with AIDS subject to execution and homosexuality itself punishable by life in prison. Inhofe proved last night what a craven rat fuck he truly is by pretending not to know the name of one of Coe's right hand men who was instrumental in shaping that hateful policy.

    He also tried to deflect a direct question from Rachel about him attacking her in his book over a December 3rd 2009 telecast in which she mentioned Inhofe in relation to the Ugandan anti-gay bill. Inhofe attacked her because he'd obviously only heard, not seen, Maddow, attack him for his brief and baffling trip to the Global Warming summit in Copenhagen where he stayed around just long enough to say to one or two reporters, "Global warming is a hoax and no way is the Senate gonna pass a cap and trade bill," before hopping back on a jet. (Note: The 12/3/09 Maddow telecast was a full two weeks before Inhofe hopped on that jet to Denmark.)

    Inhofe also tried to bill himself as a great expert on Africa, despite the fact that it took a full eight years of ceaseless lobbying by young humanitarian activists to bring his attention to bear on the apprehension of Joseph Kony, the Ugandan martinet who for 26 years has been invading villages, murdering people, turning little girls into prostitutes and kidnapping little boys for his little army. Only in the last few months did Inhofe find it politically expedient to get involved.

    But helping to criminalize homosexuality in an African nation years ago was a bigger priority for him than a man who's already enslaved upwards of 30,000 children.

    James Inhofe needs to go and it's inexplicable for a liberal like me to understand why he has such mass appeal with the voters of Oklahoma and why he had been until recently chairing important Senate committees. But the sooner the goobers in Oklahoma wake up and get rid of this Frick and his Frack twin, James Coburn, the better off they'll be.

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

    Mr. Smith Goes to the New York Times


    There's something craven and anti-climactic about former alumnus Greg Smith's op-ed in the NY Times about Goldman Sachs' culture of corruption.

    It's craven because Smith waited until just before his resignation before writing a mass resignation email sent to Goldman Sachs executives early in the morning 15 minutes before the NY Times published a mini tell-all op-ed he never mentioned.

    It's anti-climactic because Smith only confirmed what the American public and our elected officials only knew but couldn't quite prove: That they detest their investors (calling them "Muppets", which, in Great Britain, is a colloquialism for an idiot), the 99% and put manufacturing money out of thin air over the best interests of their investors and shareholders.

    Smith's tale barely has credibility because he was still technically employed at Goldman Sachs at the time he'd written the article and was on his last day when it had appeared early yesterday morning.

    Typically, CNBC and Fox have sent out their talking heads as furiously whirling dervishes of corporate outrage that an insider would merely confirm what everyone on the planet from Matt Taibbi on down already knew. They've already started painting Mr. Smith as the stereotypical "disgruntled ex-employee" while failing to note two crucial distinctions between this volley and anything else that would be said or written by someone recently fired by McDonald's:

    #1, while a mid level manager and hedge fund consultant, Mr. Smith's clients, by his own admission, had investment portfolios worth a combined total of about one trillion dollars. Since he was an executive, we can be pretty sure he wasn't working for union scale or minimum wage and that he was pretty successful at what he did (In fact, he made about $500,000 last year). #2, Mr. Smith also left on his own terms.

    Still, while his all-but-proven claims have some credibility, it certainly would've meant more if this had come from Hank Paulson or Blankfein or Cohn. Yet, what Smith claims is readily supported by allegations from both investors and the United States Congress and circumstantial evidence. It was the next best thing to Wikileaks.

    Still, it needs to be pointed out that Greg Smith helped make Goldman Sachs the "great vampire squid" it became (as indelibly coined by Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi) and that when he made a bundle and when his conscience wouldn't leave him alone (if conscience actually was involved), he decided to, well, bail out.

    Smith is part of a vast problem and offers no solutions aside from telling something we already knew: That Goldman Sachs is bleeding this nation dry from its investors and shareholders all the way down to the average working stiff who lost their job and/or home because of Goldman's high stakes shell games.

    So, thank you, Mr. Smith, for some rare and refreshing honesty but you gambled and lost nothing with your op-ed save for a job reference in your little tell-all tale of corporate greed that a legitimately disgruntled American public already knew.

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

    And Now, A Word About the TSA

    TSA Waste
    Created by: OnlineCriminalJusticeDegree.com

    Sometimes Lightning Does Strikes Twice


    The MA Dept. of Revenue is up to its old tricks again and levied our bank account for every penny I had and then some. Essentially this was my rent money for April. So if we don't make that money in the next 2 1/2 weeks ("Sorry, Eddie, I can't make the rent. No, this isn't an April Fool's joke."), I'm looking once again at being homeless. Those of you who've been reading me for a while may recall this happened to me last June when they stole $754 out of my bank account then told me the only chance I had of getting it back was to provide them with a court-ordered eviction notice.

    The irony is the child support order that supposedly legitimized this latest theft was rescinded, along with all back child support, by the custodial parent the day after Xmas last year. So, even though the order is no longer in effect and the back child support no longer collectible, they're still going after me as if the order's in effect. Calls to their 800 # just resulted in a screaming match and no progress was made and my bank is shrugging their shoulders and are powerless to help.

    So whatever help you can send our way would be immensely, and I mean, immensely appreciated. I also just contracted an ISP and got a house phone at $44-48 a month to aid in our job search and just paid my $45 excise tax with a check I now can't cover.

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    American Exceptionalism


    (By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein.)

    This incident is tragic and shocking, and does not represent the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan.” - Barack Obama to Hamid Karzai after a US sergeant murdered 16 Afghanis, including 9 children in their sleep.

    Usually, when you hear the nauseating phrase "American exceptionalism," it's from right wingers who toss around that $10 phrase by way of justifying corporations rewarding themselves for criminal behavior and often with taxpayer dollars.

    So when one hears Obama offer empty and hideously disingenuous platitudes to our puppet Hamid Karzai by way of sweeping under the rug our oft-reported bigotry that victimizes his people, the increasingly rare thinking person cannot help but come to the conclusion that Mr. Obama has more in common with the right wing definition of "American exceptionalism" than he'd ever publicly admit.

    Indeed, this psycho sergeant who'd obviously come to resent, as do all US troops serving for years on end in foreign lands, the Afghanis for being separated from his family and, bereft of a non-elusive enemy to fight, suddenly snapped early last Sunday and murdered 16 innocent civilians in their beds, including nine children, four of them younger than six. And Obama's attempt to spin this is an isolated incident by one of a few bad apples not only insults President Kazai's intelligence, it insults that of the Afghan and American people.

    What no government will ever attempt to do is draw up some magic number beyond which a string of isolated, non-representative incidents graduates into a pattern of sociopathic and bigoted behavior and Obama's gang on Pennsylvania Avenue and the Pentagon are absolutely no exceptions.

    Indeed, the wholesale slaughter of those 16 Afghanis comes at an extremely bad time as Obama is trying to rip off misleading unemployment figures and hammer the planks into his campaign platform. The mass murder by one of our troops comes hot on the heels of released videos and photographs showing American marines urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters.

    And at more or less the same exact moment as that, it was announced that American troops were burning more than just Bill O'Reilly's book. Namely, there were burning the holy book of Islam, the Quran. The furor that rose over the Quran's wholesale burning that was pathetically termed a mistake by the Pentagon led to the deaths of 41 more people.

    And, as always, there are the drone strikes ordered by Obama that have killed hundreds of innocents in Afghanistan and many other countries such as Pakistan (True to form, both Obama and the CIA have had the audacity to downplay or completely deny all the civilian deaths, essentially calling the indigenous people whose lands we're occupying and/or invading liars.).

    Adding an even more audacious and monstrously ironic counterpoint to this is that half our official apologies have come from a man who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize that he eventually won after being in office for just a week and a half.

    It's long been known to those who care to know that, in violation of the US Constitution, our military is more or less officially committed of waging a Holy War on heathens whether they're Taliban, al Qaeda or innocent civilians just trying to dodge the crossfire. The American military command structure on down has been caught red-handed trying to proselytize the indigenous peoples whereever we're stationed. More instances of Christian Dominionism in the DoD are to be found here but is no means exhaustive.

    It would be a premature stretch to say that this sergeant's motives were religiously motivated. If you're stationed in Afghanistan and you snap and open up full auto on three houses a mile from your base, chances are about 95 in 100 every person you kill will be Muslim. Perhaps it was revenge for Ft. Hood. Perhaps we'll never know.

    But this is certainly not the isolated incident that Obama is painting this incident as. There is a strong streak of resentment among evangelical Christians toward "the unchurched" and those of other faiths or no faiths from their fellow American servicemembers to the native populations whose Islam we've long since discredited as a heathen religion.

    For those whose religions not only guide but rationalize and even justify every barbaric act we visit on these people, it's impossible to get them to see the errors of their ways when their ultimate authority comes from a much higher power than the Oval Office. And the resentment toward "hadjis" (as we call the indigenous in Iraq) is, to a perverse mind, logical: men and women serving multiple tours of duty are separated from hearth and home over people whose religions don't even line up with their own. Once you cross that line, it's virtually impossible to come back into the light.

    The MSM refuse to play up the bigger picture: That we're a nation of ignorant, religious bigots who pull the dog-eared faith card every time a crime is perpetrated on a native person of another faith. Like his fellow God-fearing right wingers, Barack Obama thinks that if he tells the same lies often enough, eventually they'll supplant if not become gospel.

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