Saturday, May 30, 2015

Assclowns of the Week #100: Centennial of Silliness edition

     After a long hiatus from this once regular feature, yours truly had originally intended to wait for a truly momentous occasion for the 100th ACOTW (such as a year-end retrospective). But after the week the GOP (hereafter referred to as Chuck's Toddlers) just had, how could your prehistoric porcine resist?
     Especially when the ring on the seedy side of the tracks is piled high with jester's caps?
     And, while several of the GOP presidential hopefuls are on the list, several others who don't have POTUS pretensions made the grade in this anniversary edition, such as Gordon "Chaps" Klingenschmitt (6), who somehow mustered up enough concern for Ireland's gay marriage vote all the way from Colorado he's wishing we could reanimate St. Patrick; Josh Duggar (1) for helping to coin the new word "Duggaring" and former House Speaker Denny Hastert (2) for unwillingly revealing the real reason he became a high school wrestling coach.
     So squeeze yourself into the already-crowded GOP clown car and let's take a spin through this week's Crazy Base World and much, much more!

10) Ted Cruz
     While it would be expected for Rick Perry to take credit for calling on God to relieve Texas of its drought problem of four years ago, this spot is dedicated to Ted Cruz for demanding flood relief for the Lone Star State after Perry's prayers got a delayed, albeit epic "Response". You might recall in October 2012 Cruz voted against Hurricane Sandy relief for the New York and Jersey shore, saying the measure was “symptomatic of a larger problem in Washington – an addiction to spending money we do not have.”
     There's so much to unpack from this steamer trunk full of dildos, KY, porno and crazy undies but let's start with Greg Abbot and Texas wingnuts being literally up in arms just a couple of months ago over Jade Helm 15, or the Muslim Kenyan Socialist takeover of the state of Texas. But now suddenly Uncle Sam's presence is welcome when Ted Cruz needs to posture and preen for the Texas voters.
     "Yeah, y'all, uh, we're gonna put our secession on the back burner over that there ObamaCare and Medicaid expansion at least until we get that flood relief. Oh, an' could you hurry up with them there FEMA camps we used to make such a big fuss about?"
     If President Obama really had a sense of humor, he could offer this solution to the flooding to his wouldbe successor.
     Yeah, you got it. Suck it, Seuss boy.
 
9) Fox "News"
     Media Matters recently did an analysis of CNN's, MSNBC's and Fox's coverage of the Josh Duggar sex scandal and... Well, the graph speaks for itself. Over a period of four days, the Sons of Roger Ailes reported on the story for less than a minute and a half. That averages 30 seconds a day.
     To make this worse, media critic cum right wing nut job Howard Kurtz went after the rest of the media for "piling on" and having the effrontery to mention the Duggars' complex ties to right wing politicians, including virtually every Republican presidential candidate and hopeful. And that's Fox's version of a media critic: To criticize the media for doing its job.
     Yeah, I've every confidence Fox showed this much restraint during the Clinton sex scandal of 1998, which involved two consenting adults and no children.

8) Bill O'Reilly
      I'm sure we all still remember Mitt Romney's comments about the 47% at a fundraiser in 2012. Well, it seems America's most beloved wife beater was channeling President Magic Fruit-O-The-Loom when he got wind of a recent Gallup poll that found Americans are evenly split (31%-31%) between liberal and conservative ideology. This led O'Reilly to pronounce on his bile delivery system The O'Reilly Factor that 50% of Americans are "simpletons."
     As in "pinheads."
     After balefully inflating his neck wattles to cartoonish proportions, O'Reilly then made a strange strangled gurgling sound and blamed Hollywood for dumbing us down and keeping us from formulating a "philosophy of life" that apparently somehow involves neatly dividing people into "Pinheads or Patriots". Because Bill O honestly cannot conceive why anyone would think liberally.
     Shorter Anger Management Class Dropout, "If you don't think like me, you're a simpleton who deserves to be dragged down a flight of stairs by the neck."

7) TLC
     It's hard to understand why, with Huckabeesque tenacity, TLC still hasn't shitcanned the Duggars after the pedophilia scandal involving one of their stars came out. True, TLC executives decided to pull all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting from their lineup but that's a far cry from actually cancelling the program. And it's not as if, in a contagious wave of corporate bottom line damage control, sponsors aren't pulling out faster than Josh Duggar when Daddy catches him in the act.
     And while sponsors weigh financial liability, while right wing politicians weigh political and religious primacy and while TLC weighs financial and PR liability, no one, it seems, is weighing the effect that Duggar's actions had and will continue to have on those poor little girls he'd victimized and molested in their sleep. And until TLC does the right thing, moving as swiftly on 19 Kids and Counting as they had over Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, we should ceaselessly say TLC stands for "Touching Little Children."

6) Gordon "Chaps" Klingenschmitt
     God only knows why the media pay so much attention to an obscure state lawmaker. I'm referring, of course, to former Karl Rove vestigial twin, Colorado state rep Gordon Klingenschmitt. Maybe it's like a train wreck or stopping for an extra beat while looking at a truly memorable freak at the sideshow.
     Less than two months after getting stripped of one of his committee posts in the Colorado legislature, Gordon "Chaps" Klingenschmitt put himself back in the news less than a week after Ireland ratified by popular vote the legalization of same sex marriage. On his radio program, "Giant Man-Fetus Talk About God Real Good", "Chaps" compared gay people to snakes and wished that St. Patrick would make a Herbert West-style reanimation comeback so he can pull all them long, hard, supple, sinewy, spitting snakes out of the Emerald Isle.

      Oh no. No identity issues there, Gordo. 
      Look, a word to the wise: Stop worrying about a lawful referendum in Ireland and Gerry Adams promises not to tell you how to be a fucking national embarrassment in Coors Country, OK?

5) Paul LePage
     It may be that in a more enlightened age, Maine will look back and ask itself why it ever elected Teabagger Paul LePage as their Governor. Then again, that may be too much to expect of New England's most consistently conservative and embarrassing state. Consider LePage's nearly hour-long honey badger press conference last week:
     This bloated product of an unholy ménage à trois between Ralph Kramden and Chris Christie essentially pulled an almost hour-long temper tantrum because the blue meanie Democrats wouldn't pass his nominee Bruce Williamson for Maine's Power and Utilities Commission (cue President Obama to say, "How does it feel, bitches?"). Therefore, in a masterpiece of Republican obstructionism, LePage threatened to veto every single bill with a Democratic sponsor until he got his way. Oh and he also wants to do away with Maine's income tax. And why can't Krispie Kreme deliver, Goddamnit?
     Then, after scarfing down the rotting carcass of a garter snake, Governor Honey Badger wiped his mouth on his sleeve and said House Speaker, Democrat Mark Eves, who's from California, should "go back home" and that Senate Minority Leader Justin Alfond "should be put in a playpen."
     Oh, projection, thy name is Paul LePage.

4) Mike Huckabee
     It's a given that in politics, the nanosecond one person or the other is tainted with scandal, the first instinct for politicians is to snap their fingers at the mention of their name and to deny having known or befriended the one who's fallen from grace. Or at least, that's the way it used to be. Much has changed in Crazy Base World since Tom Delay pretended he didn't know Jack Abramoff existed.
     And if there's anything that trumps the Republican Party Brotherhood and political survival, it's religious primacy and loyalty no matter the cost. And when the Josh Duggar scandal hit the airways and social media, presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee waddled to his steampunk computer and hammered out a defense of Duggar on his Facebook wall. In tried-and-true right wing fashion, he blamed the "bloodthirsty media" for reporting a news item that has repercussions throughout the entire GOP. Since, you know, Josh Duggar likes to crawl into bed with Republican politicians almost as much as his little sisters.
     Mind you, this is coming from the same waddling wad 'o fuck who lambasted the Obamas' parenting skills for letting Sasha and Malia listen to superstar Beyoncé. This is also coming from the same guy who blocked an Arkansas State Police investigation into his own 17 year-old son for torturing and killing a stray dog while a camp counselor. Nowhere in his lengthy and rambling screed had Huckabee, as with Duggar's other right wing apologists, shown the slightest sign of sympathy or concern for the oldest Duggar son's five underaged victims.
     Which is also a tried-and-true hallmark of Republican misogyny.

3) Scott Walker
     In an amazingly straight-faced article, Business Insider gave us the story of how Scott Walker went to New Hampshire and doubled down on his very troubling statement on the Dana Loesch show about how "cool" ultrasounds were. This was, of course, right after Fox's Neil Cavuto gave Walker the chance to double down on those same statements in which Walker, typically, took swipes at the "leftist" media for quoting him with his own words.
      His incredibly ignorant and misogynist statements wouldn't have been as inflammatory if in 2013 Walker didn't sign into law a bill that mandated ultrasounds for women seeking abortions in Wisconsin. Of course, him saying ultrasounds (and you know he was also referring to the invasive and humiliating transvaginal variety) can only come from a male whom we can be reasonably sure never had one.
     One day someone ought to ask these Women Warriors for their thoughts on a law that forces men to have a probe stuck down their cock holes whenever seeking a vasectomy.

2) Dennis Hastert
Blackmail, n- A conspiracy involving an extortionist, a politician and a known whore, making one in all. -Robert Crawford, The Misanthrope's Manual
     America. What a country. It's one in which a simple high school wrestling coach in the Midwest can rise to second in the line of succession to the presidency. It's also a country of opportunity where that same House Speaker can make enough pelf as a lobbyist to pay $3.5 million in hush money to shut up a sexual abuse victim.
     Yes, just days after the Josh Duggar sex scandal broke, it was revealed that former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, a man who, like his predecessor Newt Gingrich, went after Bill Clinton for a blowjob only to find himself mired in a sex scandal of his own that saw him getting blackmailed for five years. It all started with accounting irregularities that saw Hastert recently indicted by a grand jury for what the IRS calls the crime of "structuring". In the indictment, it showed Hastert funneling unreported funds for $1.7 million in hush money that apparently went to one of his students then-underaged victims.
     This, after all, comes years after a long career in the House that saw Hastert oppose one gay rights bill after another while protecting pederast Mark Foley at the same time.

1) Josh Duggar
      “Our family is like the epitome of conservative values.” Confessed child molester Josh Duggar
     Apparently, conservative family values to the Duggars means, "The family that molests together covers up together."
     Some years ago, one of Josh Duggar's victims wrote about her molestation in a letter that she'd apparently never shared with anyone and instead shoved into a book that was then loaned to a member of the Duggars' church. That letter was then sent not only to the police but to Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Studios which was then sent to the Department of Human Services.
     Even after that disclosure, it still took many more years for the facts to be made to the public. That's because when Jim Bob caught his son walking out of his sisters' room one night, he took him to see Joseph Hutchens, an AR state trooper who's since been sentenced to 56 years in prison for possession of kiddie porn. Hutchens never filed a report.
     Josh was then supposedly sent to a rehab facility in Little Rock that was not for sex offenders. And still, the coverup continues, climaxing with a judge who then ordered all records pertaining to Josh Duggar to be destroyed with no rhyme or reason. And after all this, Duggar will never see the inside of a jail cell or even a courtroom because Arkansas' statute of limitation for child molestation is an absurdly brief three years, meaning Duggar was safe from any legal prosecution by at least a decade even after fondling the breasts and vaginas of five (so far) victims often while they slept.
     As with so many evangelical families, the Duggars proved that if they look too good to be true, they are.

Good Times at Pottersville, 5/30/15


Friday, May 29, 2015

Good Times at Pottersville, 5/29/15


Monday, May 25, 2015

Publish and Perish

(Originally published May 6th, 2015)

 
(Addendum: The paperback version can be found here.)
      OK, so the Kindle version of Tatterdemalion went live two weeks ago and after the first day bump, what's known as the curiosity factor, it sold seven copies. Since that day, it's gone downhill. I partly blame myself for that since I have a better instinct for publicity and marketing than an actual talent for it.
     But after endless delays and endless typos I've had to iron out since I'm a shitty proofreader, I can finally say the 100% typo-free print version of Tatterdemalion will go live as of tomorrow (when I'll post the link at the top of this post so stay tuned if you're interested).
     Despite shaving the size of the book down to 446 pages (including two sample chapters of the sequel The Murder Machine), the price point is still higher than I'd like. The minimum I can charge for the book is $15.50 (and that's at cost, with no royalty involved). Lower page count or no, my guess is my publisher Createspace is predicating a large percentage of the overhead cost on the ink, not the paper. Tatterdemalion still weighs in at just over 193,000 words. Only widening the margins, lengthening the line count per page and keeping the font to 9 dpi got the page count down to a more manageable 446.
     But never let it be said I don't have my readers' best interests at heart. So this is my promotional gimmick:
     To anyone who buys the print version of Tatterdemalion, notify me you'd done so and I'll throw in for free either via attachment or snail mail a 10,000+ word Scott Carson tale entitled "The Kid." This extremely rare short story takes place in 1873 when Carson is six years-old but it goes a long way toward explaining some of the events 15 years later in Tatterdemalion and later in The Murder Machine. It has an O. Henry surprise ending. Actually, it packs a lot of backstory into it, including when he first met his future friend and mentor Jacob Riis, the Danish photographer/anti-poverty crusader who became very instrumental at the end of Tatterdemalion.
     So, if you'd rather have the paperback version of my historical psychological thriller, stay tuned and I'll provide you with the link the minute the book goes live tommorrow.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Good Times at Pottersville, 5/22/15


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Twin Peaks Was Never This Weird

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
     Holdover pre-Millennial Yuppies were overjoyed to hear earlier this year that director David Lynch would be at the helm directing the Twin Peaks reboot. Yes, Agent Cooper would be back investigating a single murder and we'd be treated to fresh weirdness in the town of Twin Peaks in which women talking to logs swaddled in their arms and dancing midgets speaking backwards was another day at the office for Agent Cooper. Yet despite the quasi carnival weirdness of his oeuvre, David Lynch could not have envisioned in his worst fever dream the even more disturbing real-life weirdness of the recent massacre at the Twin Peaks Sports Bar in Waco.
     The first sign of the weirdness was the almost complete absence of the word "massacre." True, it paled in comparison to the last massacre, one claiming 80 lives, in that same town involving David Koresh and his mostly white Branch Davidians defying mostly white law enforcement over illegal possession of firearms. But Waco, if it hasn't already, should prove how law enforcement's pendulum as a whole has swung 180 degrees in how it treats white criminals.
     The conflagration at Waco that claimed dozens of lives 22 years ago, many of them women and children, along with the equally reprehensible massacre at Ruby Ridge the year before, seemed to have a mollifying effect on law enforcement. It was as if, from the moment Agent Lon Horiuchi (who inexplicably was present during the Waco standoff in 1993) blew off Vicki Weaver's face while she was carrying her year-old child, law enforcement vowed to be kinder and gentler to white criminals even to the point of putting their own lives at hazard.
     Case in point: The police showed up at the end of the gunfight that saw nine dead men and they reported that some of the gang members had actually opened fire on them. Despite warnings to Twin Peaks from local law enforcement to not host what was obviously a planned event/melee, the Bandidos and Cossacks, two rival gangs, met at the sports bar. A bathroom brawl quickly escalated into a knife fight which quickly escalated into a gun fight. In seemingly no time, bikers were punching, stabbing, clubbing and shooting each other until the restaurant's parking lot was littered with bodies.

"Drop Your Weapons... If You Feel Like It."
     Here's where the weirdness really begins. Thanks largely to social media, when local police finally got a handle on the situation, the aftermath was eerily calm and civilized (not that civilized behavior on the part of US law enforcement should be considered eerie but it is what it is), as best exemplified by the photo above in which a lone McLennan County deputy actually has his back turned to the very same bikers who'd carried out this massacre and who are serenely sitting, chatting and even checking their text messages. The police were considerate enough to separate the gangs (and not illegally pulling them off buses and herding them together to manufacture a confrontation with police as in Baltimore) and were calmly awaiting a bus to take them to the police station for an orderly booking.
     If you do a Google image search using the words "Waco" and "shootout", you will be very hard-pressed, at best, to find a single cop in riot gear, tanks and no photos of white gang members getting shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, beaten or otherwise the images of Ferguson that became iconic. This, despite knowing weeks in advance there'd be a confrontation and after taking fire.
     If any one photo is perfectly iconic of white privilege and of the double standard in American law enforcement, especially when one compares it to photos of the shooting of Walter Scott, Darren Wilson standing over Mike Brown's dead body, the public strangulation of Eric Garner or the immediate execution of 12 year-old Tamir Rice, it's the one just above.
     Most notable was the right wing media's insistence on portraying this epic mass murder as an anomaly carried out by "club members". Local law enforcement, in fact, knew about this fatal confrontation weeks in advance and essentially did nothing but warn the bar owner not to host the event (who then had the nerve to issue a press release condemning the event and vowing to work with law enforcement). In fact, it appears as if Texas law enforcement had already given up and decided to let it happen as a bulletin issued throughout the Lone Star state said, "Information has been received that law enforcement presence will not stop motorcycle gang from completing their mission."
     Which is essentially the opposite of Rudy Giuliani's failed "Broken Windows" campaign in which street vendors, buskers and the like were targeted for police harassment while Wall Street bankers were coddled, their sterling reputations and bottom lines being protected by that same law enforcement during Occupy Wall Street. After all, the whole idea of the NYPD's now illegal policy of racial profiling is to prevent crime, right?

We Whites Are Guilty But For the Wrong Reason
     Much has been made about white guilt of late but pundits miss their pinpoint attempts, which is to say we feel guilty for the wrong reasons. One of the hallmarks of an evolving species is to learn from our mistakes on both a personal as well as a social level so, as George Santayana warned us, we are not doomed to repeat the mistakes of history. After the mishandling on the part of the Boston FBI in the Whitey Bulger case, Ruby Ridge and Waco, it'd be nice to conclude that law enforcement, starting at the federal level, had learned from these horrendous errors in judgment and vowed to exercise more restraint.
     But there's such a thing as responsible restraint and the overtly craven and cowardly behavior we saw in Nevada a year ago when tax dodging racist rancher Cliven Bundy surrounded himself with different white nationalist militia groups who sighted down on federal agents with high-powered rifles. In fact, two of those armed combatants were so radical they were kicked off the Bundy Ranch and went on to murder two police officers in Las Vegas. Obviously, that restraint has been reserved only for fellow whites and not to people judged guilty of Angry Black Man Syndrome (which is the opposite, more violent side of white guilt but that's a topic for another article).
     Yet the national narrative, one that's unfortunately metastasized from within the confines of right wing media are that whites who riot and burn cars after hockey games are just excited fans blowing off steam while African Americans peacefully protesting the murder of one of their own are looting and rioting. While right wingers claim Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin were "thugs" who had it coming to them, even to the point of producing supposedly incriminating photos who weren't actually who they said they were, "highly organized criminal enterprises"/motorcycle gangs who murder each other and put law enforcement and public safety at hazard are simple "club members."
     And let's not forget the opposite of the court of public opinion, renegade public officials who help bring about massacres like the Waco shootout who seriously listen to criminals like Mike Lynch, who was one of the 170 bikers arrested, successfully argue for looser gun control laws.
     Which is another important revelation you won't hear about in the mainstream media.
     What you will hear about are attractive white girls and boys who disappear, phantom black criminals that law enforcement happily chases after like bloodhounds after a scent, unarmed black victims who allegedly reached for guns that retroactively weren't there after all, peaceful black protesters called rioters and rioting, car-burning whites called hockey fans and good ole white boys who simply have to get together once in a while and murder each other to blow off some steam.
     Because white boys will be white boys, after all.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Good Times at Pottersville, 5/19/15


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Good Times at Pottersville, #29


KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

All Time Classics

  • Our Worse Half: The 25 Most Embarrassing States.
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  • Top Ten Conservative Books
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  • The Ten Worst Music Videos of all Time
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  • Links to the first 33 Assclowns of the Week.
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  • #77: ...And Justice For Once edition.
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  • Top 10 Changes Since Anthony Weiner Decided to Resign.
  • Top 10 Inaccuracies re bin Laden's Death.
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  • Top 10 Reasons Why Donald Trump Bowed Out of the Presidential Race.
  • Top 10 Ways Evangelicals Will Prepare for the Rapture II.
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  • Top 10 Reasons Why There Was No Vote on the Debt Ceiling Last Night.
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