Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year Everyone

As we bid a fond farewell (after all, in spite of everything that was wrong with it, it was the year we elected Barack Obama) to 2008, and we are perched on the cusp of a Brave New Year, I sincerely wish that everyone who reads this blog -- my constant readers -- will have a happy and safe and prosperous and peaceful new year.

Catch you on the other side.

--The F Man

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Top Ten "Separation" Stories of 2008

At the end of each year, it's customary to publish the "Top Ten" news stories that affect one's particular axe-to-grind, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State is no exception to that custom.

So here is AU's Top Ten stories:

  1. The Role of Religion in the Presidential Campaign
  2. The Resurgence of the Religious Right
  3. The Battle Over Gay Marriage
  4. The Ascendancy of Rick Warren
  5. Religious Right Influence at Justice Department
  6. Battles Over Creationism in Public Schools
  7. Church Politicking Plot
  8. Defeat of Jeb Bush Referenda
  9. Blocking of 'Christian' License Plate
  10. The Christmas Wars
Go ahead and read the details of these stories.

If nothing else, it will show you that we have our work cut out for us in 2009, to push back against the Xian Fundos who are engaging in a stealth campaign to take over our society, our culture, and our science.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Useful Skill

If you ever need to McGyver yourself out of an arrest situation, here's the answer:

All I ask is that you NOT send this on to Darth Cheney or Baby Doc Bush. We wouldn't want those fuckers to figure this one out...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Turn Your Back on Rick Warren

If you plan to be among the some four million+ people expected to attend the Barack Obama inauguration in Washington DC next month, you need to be aware of this.

When fatboy homophobe fundo Xian preacherman Rick Warren gets up to give that totally unnecessary invocation, send him and the rest of the world a strong and silent message by turning your back.

Yep, that's it. Just turn your back on the fucker. If enough of us do this, it will show the rest of the nation -- and the world -- that we, The American People, do not countenance, do not support and do not approve of Rick Warren's message of hate.

Friday by the Numbers

Total American dead in the Iraq Illegal Occupation: 2500 2513 2532 2540 2546 2558 2571 2585 2597 2605 2619 2641 2710 2737 2758 2788 2809 2826 2865 2888 2906 2959 3006 3018 3025 3067 3087 3118 3132 3151 3166 3189 3210 3233 3245 3266 3299 3316 3337 3358 3387 3409 3444 3504 3519 3546 3577 3592 3611 3631 3683 3705 3725 3738 3760 3780 3795 3823 3830 3838 3845 3866 3875 3881 3886 3891 3896 3908 3921 3932 3943 3952 3960 3974 3987 3992 4004 4032 4036 4177 4180 4185 4186 4189 4197 4204 4209 4217

Total coalition forces dead: 316
Total Iraqi Dead: 900,000+

Number of days since Baby Doc said he'd get Osama Bin Laden "dead or alive": 2662
Number of days since the illegal occupation of Iraq began: 2089
Number of days since "Mission Accomplished": 2066
Number of days between Pearl Harbor and the end of WWII: Only 1347

Number of days that the the Vice President has NOT shot a man in the face: 1049
Number of days that the Bush Twins are still not pregnant with baste-'em-or-waste-'em Snowflake babies: 890

It is still 23 days until the end of the BFEE Maladministration.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Christmas Truce

World War I was a very long time ago, and a lot has happened since the "war to end all wars", but on this Christmas Day I'd like to recall a singular event that took place on the Western Front on Christmas 1914.

The story has all the trappings of an Urban Legend -- and in fact it was on the Snopes website where I was once again reminded of it -- but it's true, and the following comes from a book by Stanley Weintraub called Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce:

[T]he Germans set trees on trench parapets and lit the candles. Then, they began singing carols, and though their language was unfamiliar to their enemies, the tunes were not. After a few trees were shot at, the British became more curious than belligerent and crawled forward to watch and listen. And after a while, they began to sing.
By Christmas morning, the "no man's land" between the trenches was filled with fraternizing soldiers, sharing rations and gifts, singing and (more solemnly) burying their dead between the lines. Soon they were even playing soccer, mostly with improvised balls.
According to the official war diary of the 133rd Saxon Regiment, "Tommy and Fritz" kicked about a real football supplied by a Scot. "This developed into a regulation football match with caps casually laid out as goals. The frozen ground was no great matter ... The game ended 3-2 for Fritz."
The First World War website also carries a lengthy account of the Christmas Truce.

This story should give us all hope that we can somehow muddle our way through the crap we're going through, and emerge on the other side in a better world.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

It's now officially Xmas Eve day, and it's snowing again! This will be only the second "white Xmas" in my memory, and we still have to drive some 100k to visit the children and grandchildren today.

So everyone, have a happy and safe holiday, and I'll catch you on the flip side.

-- The F Man

Monday, December 22, 2008

True Christians Should Only Read English

Thanks to a blog entry on All-Girl Army (which I found through the use of the incomparable Stumble Upon), I found another website called Freethoughtpedia which contains an excellent source of quotations from "the godly" about all of us poor benighted non-theists out in the world.

Here are some examples, apparently culled from a lot of places, including message boards and social networking sites like My Space as well as various newsgroups such as alt.atheism:

· The only thing I don't like about them [a bible-publishing company] is they sell foreign language versions of the KJB. I don't think that's right. We know the only true translation is the 1600's version in English. It's too risky for anybody to translate that into other languages. Mistakes can creep in... and that can lead to heresy. True Christians should only read English.
· I honestly don't care about your rights. If it were up to me, all Atheists would be burnt at the stake and or cast into a river with weights tied to their ankles and or placed before the firing squad, etc etc etc.
· Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history. -- Pat Robertson
· The only solution we have to stop gays from recruiting other people is to cut off the source. They need to be taken to specialized containment centers where they will be forced to become straight and accept Jesus as thier [sic] savior and to repent from their disgusting, wicket, hatful [sic], devilish ways. Those that refuse to go can either be forced, or banished from society in other specialized communities where they have no connetion [sic] to the outside world at all. Most would die of AIDS anyway. Anyone who refused any of the answers to make them better would have to be killed or banished.
· Everyone knows scientists insist on using complex terminology to make it harder for True Christians to refute their claims. Deoxyribonucleic Acid, for example... sounds impressive, right? But have you ever seen what happens if you put something in acid? It dissolves! If we had all this acid in our cells, we'd all dissolve! So much for the Theory of Evolution, Check MATE!
There's a lot more, many of them more outrageous than these. Check it out and be prepared to run the gamut of emotions, from laughter to tears to fears, over this display of "thought" that is pernicious in the Religious Right.

We dismiss these people at our peril. These are the same ones who want to take over our school boards, our city councils, our state legislators, and ram their narrow definitions of science, history and theology down the throats of the rest of society.

Our job? Stop them.

Hats Off to Tim DeChristopher

Tim DeChristopher, in case you didn't see the news, is the Utah State student who showed up at the surprise hush-hush ultra-secret last-minute oil-lease auction on some of Utah's most beautiful redrock desert and canyonlands and threw a monkey wrench into the works by overbidding a lot of Big Oil assholes for drilling rights on some of the last pristine wilderness left in the lower 48.

Way to go, Tim!

While it isn't clear whether he will face charges, he did outbid a lot of the big names in oil exploration, without the slightest intent -- or financial wherewithal -- to actually pay for the leases.

The good news is that this is such a serious blow to the BFEE's last-ditch attempt to give away our natural resources that the BLM will have to redo the whole auction.

Which will take at least 30 days.

Which will put us into an Obama administration.

Which hopefully will mean that the whole thing will be dead on arrival.

The Obamas and Blair House

It's traditional for the incoming First Family to be put up prior to the inauguration in the government-owned and government-run Blair House, the official guesthouse for the President of the United States.

Except of course when it comes to incoming president Barack Obama. Nope, it seems that there's no more room at the inn when it comes to those uppity Chicago Negroes coming to town. "So sorry," they were told. "We're all booked up."

As if the White House staff didn't know in advance that the new president would be coming to town prior to the inauguration: "Nope, came as a complete surprise to us. Never saw that comin'. Nope nope nope. Oh, look! Is that Haley's Comet???"

My good friend Debby, a strong Democratic Party activist and an Obama delegate to the national convention in Denver, built up a strong head of outrage-steam when she heard of this on the always-valuable Crooks and Liars website, so she called the White House switchboard.

I'll let Debby take over now. Here's her report, which she also posted on the story:

I read through many of the comments and found one by Pericles on 12/13 that lists the dates that other president elects have moved into Blair House. I then posted a comment after calling the White House comment line.
Here is my comment: After reading Pericles' post (12/13) on dates other presidents have occupied the White House, I called the White House comment line 202-456-1111 and waited (forever) to talk to an operator. I told her that as a teacher and a mother that I was outraged that Bush wouldn't allow the Obama family to use the Blair House so the girls could start school Jan. 5th. The operator told me that NO PRESIDENT ELECT had EVER used the Blair House prior to the inauguration. I informed her of the Jan. 1st occupancy date of Reagan, Carter and Clinton and she told me that wasn't true. I said I thought she was incorrect but regardless, it would be the decent thing for a president, who is supposed to be so concerned with education, to not 'leave a kid behind' on the first day of school. The operator then had the audacity to tell me that 'there are plenty of Senators who live in the DC area who could let the Obama family stay with them.' She's suggesting that the Obama family camp out in the guest room of a US Senator for 15 days. I then told her that I had looked at a history of the White House and learned that it has 11 bedrooms, and suggested that the 'guests' who are currently booked into Blair House for Jan. 5 - 20 instead stay with Bush instead.
She said that wasn't an option. I asked her who the guests were: Saudi princes? bin Laden cousins? She started saying 'No', 'No' and talking over me but when I got to 'members of the Bush crime family', she hung up on me.
I guess the truth hurts.
Debby Girl, that's just CRAZY TALK! And don't forget that Baby Doc and the Bush Crime Family still have a little less than a month to ship you off to the tropics for a clandestine filming of Debby Does Gitmo.

Neverthess, kudos to Debby for standing up to the BFEE. You go, girlfriend!

Robin Williams in London

I don't know why John Cleese is in that wheelchair for the intro, but nevertheless, here's Robin Williams on Obama, Bush and the world in general. Funny stuff:

Update: According to this story, John Cleese had knee surgery.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Warren Invocation -- Who Needs It?

By now much has been made of Barack Obama's unfortunate choice of gay-bashing fundo fatboy Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. I've heard the other side -- such as it is -- of this argument: Obama is "reaching out" and being a "uniter not a divider", blah blah blah.

Bullshit. This is the first misstep of the Obama Administration. Granted there will likely be a lot more, but this one bodes ill for the concept of true equality for all in this country under an Obama rule.

And yeah, I know that the benediction is being given by a Grand Old Man of the Civil Rights movement, Joseph Lowery, as if that will provide some sort of bookend for the whole thing.

But lost in all of this hoopla is the fundamental question: Why do we even need an invocation and a benediction at a presidential inauguration? It's not like it's an American tradition. George Washington had a religious invocation at his inauguration, and then it fell by the wayside until 1933, when Franklin D. Roosevelt revived it. Probably because he wanted, like Obama, to be "inclusive" -- and while he was at it, to put to rest the ugly rumors that he was a socialist, a communist, or even -- gasp -- Jewish!

So I say the hell with all of the religious trappings. Let the president be inaugurated to the highest secular office in the land with a secular ceremony.

Oh, and that whole swearing on the Xian bible and the phrase "so help me god" thing? Neither of them appear in the constitution, but I think you can make some good money betting that IBIL* of yours on whether they are.

[* IBIL = Idiot Brother-In-Law]

Milgram: It Can't Happen Again. Or Can It?

I've always been fascinated with the so-called Milgram Experiments, in which ordinary people were coerced into giving ostensibly lethal jolts of electricity to other "participants", at the urging of an authority figure.

The Milgram Experiments happened some 45 years ago, and over the intervening years some of us have gotten fairly smug about the opinion that "that was then, this is now" and it can't happen again.

Guess what? Wrong!

One Jerry Burger, a University of Santa Clara (CA) professor, just two years ago, did what was more or less a repeat of the Milgram protocol, with -- shockingly -- pretty much the same results.

So what does it say about us as a society, us a people, us as the beacon of freedom in the world, that so many of our populace is quite happy to deliver jolts of high-voltage electricity to our peers, simply because "we were just following orders"?

Sadly, to me this does not come as a surprise. The only good sign -- and a surprising one at that -- is that the percentage of people willing to "go the limit" dropped from 84% to 70%. Still way too high, but it does show progress, I guess...

If the President Does It, It's Not Illegal

Or, Resurrecting the Ghost of Richard Nixon.

Leave to Darth Cheney to come up with that quote, live on camera in his soon-to-be-infamous interview with Chris Wallace on Faux News:

It starts about 2:23 into the interview. Watch it.

Santa, the only thing I want for Xmas is to see Darth Cheney and Baby Doc Bush doing the a perp walk as they are dragged before the World Court at The Hague.

Please, Santa, I've been good.

I have...

"...Prohibiting the Free Exercise Thereof"

Many of us who are active in the Separation of Church and State community tend to focus on the first part of the Wall of Separation clause in the First Amendment ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion") and tend to give short shrift to the second part of that phrase ("or prohibiting the free exercise thereof").

Until something like this happens. It seems that a judge down in Georgia (where else, except maybe Alabama) has jailed a Muslim woman for contempt of court because she refused to take off her hijab, the traditional -- and religiously required -- Muslim headscarf.

And it's not the first time this particular judicial asshole has acted this way. As Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (website), said, "What if you're a Jewish man wearing a skull cap? What if you're a Catholic nun wearing a habit? . . . All would be denied access to this judge's courtroom."


Imagine the outrage from the Religious Right if a judge in an area where there is a large Muslim population -- Detroit, say -- banned any individual from his courtroom who insisted on wearing a crucifix.

This is why we have a First Amendment: To keep totally separate the realms of church and state.

This is Freaking Nuts!

It's the most unusual weather for the western part of Washington State that many can recall. Ordinarily we have two or three times a year some snow for a day or so and then it warms up and it's all gone. Right now it is snowing again, and I just measured a 10" depth in my front yard.

And that's after it warmed up -- slightly -- yesterday and we had some freezing rain, which tended to tamp down the surface. Then it froze overnight, which left an interesting thin crust on the top of the snow.

But the bright side of that is that the peanuts that I throw out for the native scrub jays, Steller's jays and my two crows (Cheryl and Russell) tended to skid across the surface instead of dropping out of sight into a drift, so it was much easier for them to scoop them up. That said, it was still kind of funny seeing the scrub jays -- who are the bravest and will come the closest to me, even to the point of taking the peanuts out of my hand -- with crusts of ice on their beaks from digging out the sunken peanuts.

Luckily I have a Jeep Wrangler with four-wheel drive and good snow tires, so getting around hasn't been much of a problem, except for avoiding the idiots who don't have the first clue about driving in snow and ice conditions. And we seem to have a lot of them here.

We're just not used to this kind of thing here in the Wet Corner, and the weather report says it might continue for several more days.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snowed In

We've had a surprise snowstorm here and I'm all but isolated, snowed in with nothing but hot chocolate and satellite television. (Yeah, I know, oh-boo-hoo)

I'll get back into the blogging mode in a day or two. Right now I'm enjoying the novelty of four days of snow. Usually we get snow for a morning that turns to rain and vanishes down the storm drains overnight.

It's also kind of fun watching my fellow townspeople trying to drive in the stuff. Bunch of idiots.

Remember what Farnsworth always says: It's funny until someone gets hurt; then it's fucking hilarious!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Unfair to Dogs

Okay, everyone has by now seen the amazing video of Der Monkey Feuhrer being pelted with shoes at an Iraq press conference:

You can't hear the audio (and even if you could, you likely don't get it), but the "alleged perpetrator" called Baby Doc a "dog".

Aside from the shoe (which, if you'll remember, was one of the things that the CPM* flogged at the "fall" of the statue of Saddam as being "one of the worst insults" an Iraqi can hurl), the designation of "dog" is of paramount insult in Iraqi society. And, as the title of this points hints at, calling Baby Doc a dog is a paramount insult to dogs.

So what does that poor fucker who actually threw the shoes get for his "treachery"?

It turns out, not so much. Now there are demonstrations all over Iraq for his release, and poor Baby Doc is left with egg on his face and the knowledge that not only do the Iraqis not LIKE him, but his spokesmouth has been injured in the eye from a runaway microphone.

Jeez, that's just too fucking bad, Dina, but...

(I just can't help myself)'s not like you didn't see it coming!

[* = Capitalist Pig Media]

Friday, December 12, 2008

R U Fucking Kidding Me????

Widows and orphans. It's the one demographic that has always been victimized in this nation, to the point where it's now a cliché among my friends who are attorneys.

But it's not so goddamn funny when the VA, despite a law to the contrary, has been dunning the widows of dead servicemembers for the nickles and dimes that they were paid for the last month the veteran was alive.

Way back in 1996 the congress passed the benignly named Veterans’ Benefits Improvements Act, under which the payments made to widows and orphans for the last month of the life of the veteran are NOT recoverable.

My question, obviously, is WHY IN THE FUCK were they even "recoverable" in the first place.

But that aside, it appears that somehow the VA never got the memo, and they've been dunning those widows and orphans relentlessly for repayment of that all-important last month.

Finally someone is doing something about it. And it's about fucking time.

VA Secretary James Peake is quoted as saying, "I agree that this problem must be fixed."

Duh. Here's a toast of microbrew beer to incoming secretary Shinseki, who has a tremendous burden on his shoulders to reform the VA. It's a daunting task, and I give him all props and all my support in his task.

Friday by the Numbers

Total American dead in the Iraq Illegal Occupation: 2500 2513 2532 2540 2546 2558 2571 2585 2597 2605 2619 2641 2710 2737 2758 2788 2809 2826 2865 2888 2906 2959 3006 3018 3025 3067 3087 3118 3132 3151 3166 3189 3210 3233 3245 3266 3299 3316 3337 3358 3387 3409 3444 3504 3519 3546 3577 3592 3611 3631 3683 3705 3725 3738 3760 3780 3795 3823 3830 3838 3845 3866 3875 3881 3886 3891 3896 3908 3921 3932 3943 3952 3960 3974 3987 3992 4004 4032 4036 4177 4180 4185 4186 4189 4197 4204 4209 -- Finally, a week in which the numbers did not go up!

Total coalition forces dead: 315
Total Iraqi Dead: 900,000+

Number of days since Baby Doc said he'd get Osama Bin Laden "dead or alive": 2648
Number of days since the illegal occupation of Iraq began: 2075
Number of days since "Mission Accomplished": 2052
Number of days between Pearl Harbor and the end of WWII: Only 1347

Number of days that the the Vice President has NOT shot a man in the face: 1035
Number of days that the Bush Twins are still not pregnant with baste-'em-or-waste-'em Snowflake babies: 876

It is still 37 days until the end of the BFEE Maladministration.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The War on Xmas

Wow, I almost missed the opening salvos in this year's War on Xmas. Thanks much to Yikes! and Dr. Zaius for reminding me.

Here's an example of one of our propaganda posters:

Check out the War on Xmas page at Yikes! for more graphic examples that you can use in your own campaigns. Remember, if we Secular Progressives won't fight this war, we can't reasonably expect someone else to fight it for us.

That, as you know, is one of the principle differences between liberal progressives and chuckleheaded asshat dickwad neocon chickenhawks.

But there I go, being redundant again...

A Real Defense of Marriage Act

A number of years back our Congress, in its infinite wisdom, passed something called The Defense of Marriage Act. I won't bore you with the details (you can check them out for yourselves), but suffice it to say that in my humble opinion it didn't go far enough.

Periodically the Christianists -- who apparently agree with me up to a point -- trot out the latest and greatest version of a constitutional amendment to the same effect, that marriage should be based on biblical provisions, religious prescriptions and Christian Nation precepts.

I couldn't agree more. And to that end, I am indebted to John Aravosis over at AmericaBlog, who has posted a list (which he in turn got from The Daily Kos) which, if they weren't so fucking hypocritical about the whole thing, the Religious Right ought to fully embrace.

These are the bibilical requirements, it would seem from a casual reading of the Xian bible, for a "Christian Marriage" constitutional amendment:

A. Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. (Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5)
B. Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21)
C. A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21)
D. Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden. (Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30)
E. Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9)
F. If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10)
G. In lieu of marriage, if there are no acceptable men in your town, it is required that you get your dad drunk and have sex with him (even if he had previously offered you up as a sex toy to men young and old), tag-teaming with any sisters you may have. Of course, this rule applies only if you are female. (Gen 19:31-36)
Bottom line, I'm all for that good ole Defense of Marriage Amendment based on bibilical principles.

So the next time that IBIL* of yours starts spouting off again about this bullshit, all you have to do is whip out the old KJV (which you have already bookmarked with Post-Its at the appropriate pages) and show him that you, too, are in favor of traditional biblical marriage.

That ought to shut the fucker up.

[* = Idiot Brother-In-Law]

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How Five Comic Book Characters Changed the World

Okay, it's time for some fun stuff. How did these five comic book characters -- Superman, Popeye, Captain Marvel Jr, Donald Duck and Spider-Man's nemesis, Kingpin --change the world?

To find out the scientific, sociological and lasting pop-culture effects on the rest of the world of these particular characters, drop by Mental Floss and read 5 Comic Superheroes Who Made a Real-World Difference.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Religion = War

A lot of us with a historical bent have always "got it" -- religious differences cause wars. Fortunately up until recently that's been an almost quaint historical phenomenon, at least from an America-centric point of view.

No more.

Not when the putative leader of the strongest military in the history of the world invades -- embarks on a crusade against -- two foreign countries -- both of whom coincidentally (not!) exercise their faith in a religious doctrine that is fundamentally different from ours -- and says that "god told him to do it"...

Yeah, I'm talking about Baby Doc Bush, Der Monkey Fuehrer himself, and his glassy-eyed reliance on superstition and the supernatural for "guidance". But that's not the half of it.

Larry Beinhart over at Alternet has just started several serial essays on this very topic. The first installment, We're Witnessing the Return of Religion as a Principle Cause of Warfare was just posted today, and we are promised a continuing series. It's worth the read, not only the first article, but I'm also eager to read the rest of them:

  • Looking at God: Belief, Agnosticism, Atheism
  • Belief & False Beliefs
  • Why We Believe in God
  • Why We Believe Enough to Kill & Die
  • What is Spirituality?
  • Morality: What Is It? Where Does It Come From? What Is Its Relation to Religion
  • The Competition Between Monotheisms, Polytheism and Nontheistic Societies
Kudos to Larry Beinhart for taking this on. The rest of us? Forewarned is forearmed.

Prop 8 The Musical

Okay, I'm a little behind the curve on this one. I just now watched Prop 8 The Musical, and it is terrific!

For those who, like me, haven't seen it yet, just take a look:

And yes, Jesus is Black... Jack Black.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Finally, Some Sense Out of SCOTUS

I've railed before on this blog about the whole frivolous lawsuit against Obama because he wasn't a "natural born citizen" of the United States. So I'm glad to learn today that the Supreme Court has refused to even consider the lawsuit.

Hooray for the Supremes. I was more than a little concerned that the Scalitos and their camerati on the bench would actually accept the case and issue one of their famously fascist "rulings" on it. But we can all breathe easier now that they have, surprisingly, acted in the public interest. All of them apparently except for Clarence Thomas... Big surprise there.

And all you mouthbreathing knuckledragging koolaid-drinking dipshit morons on the right who are SO fucking outraged at this?

Fuck you.

OJ Redux

Unlike most people -- and much like his murder-trial jury -- I have never been completely convinced of the guilt of OJ Simpson in the tragic deaths of his ex-wife and her "acquaintance" Ron Goldman. At the best, I could have bought into the whole "the LA cops framed a guilty man" theory and the jury sent a message to the world that they were hip to their shtick, but I wasn't entirely sold on it. Mainly because as a rule, rich people don't do their own killing; they hire underlings to do it for them.

So unlike most people, I didn't take any particular pleasure in OJ's sentencing last week to a substantial prison term for his involvement in that ill-fated misadventure in a Las Vegas hotel a couple of years back.

In other words, no, I do not believe that it was "karma" or anything else that was involved in that sentencing.

But that said, it has always escaped me as to the real reasons why Nicole and Ron met their demise.

Until now.

Tony Elliott over at OpEd News has an alternative theory that makes sense, finally, of those murders. It's called The Goldman Conspiracy, and it is well worth a read, if only to put some perspective on the whole sorry mess.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Obama's Birth Certificate -- Again?

Why is it that this moronic exercise in character assassination refuses to die? Now a couple of wingnut knuckledragging mouthbreathing morons have actually filed a lawsuit over it -- and the fucking Supreme Court may actually entertain hearing it...

And god knows what the people who gave us that sterling-silver gold-plated diamond-encrusted Rolls-Royce-Cadillac of SCOTUS decisions, Bush v. Gore, will do with this one.

The constitutional questions are not evident; they're not even existant: The US Constitution states clearly that only a "natural born" citizen can become president. While the true meaning of that phrase may seem to be up for debate, it really isn't, since that same Constitution really only divides US citizens into two -- and only two -- groups: "Natural-born" and "Naturalized".


And since Obama's mother was clearly and uncontestedly a citizen of the United States at the time he was born, and since from time immemorial the United States has considered a child born to a US citizen to be a citizen, regardless of where in the world he or she was born, you'd think this would be a dead issue, a moot point, a stillborn controversy, so to speak.

But not to the wingnuttery. What they are trying to do is muddy the water, throw shit against the wall, etc etc, in order to turn the Attention Deficit Disorder Moron American Voting Bloc focus away from actually trying to do something to help this country in its time of need.

Besides, as anyone with half a brain and the ability to put one foot ahead of the other on a walk knows, the birth certificate in question IS FUCKING REAL AND VALID!!!

Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. He is a United States citizen.

Period. End of story.

Anyone who does not accept that incontrovertible fact at this point in time needs to check immediately into the nearest mental hospital for some serious treatment -- and I believe, even though it's become sort of passé in the psych world, that a few thousand volts of electroshock therapy might be of some help during the course of that treatment.

Friday by the Numbers

Total American dead in the Iraq Illegal Occupation: 2500 2513 2532 2540 2546 2558 2571 2585 2597 2605 2619 2641 2710 2737 2758 2788 2809 2826 2865 2888 2906 2959 3006 3018 3025 3067 3087 3118 3132 3151 3166 3189 3210 3233 3245 3266 3299 3316 3337 3358 3387 3409 3444 3504 3519 3546 3577 3592 3611 3631 3683 3705 3725 3738 3760 3780 3795 3823 3830 3838 3845 3866 3875 3881 3886 3891 3896 3908 3921 3932 3943 3952 3960 3974 3987 3992 4004 4032 4036 4177 4180 4185 4186 4189 4197 4204

Total coalition forces dead: 315
Total Iraqi Dead: 900,000+

Number of days since Baby Doc said he'd get Osama Bin Laden "dead or alive": 2641
Number of days since the illegal occupation of Iraq began: 2088
Number of days since "Mission Accomplished": 2045
Number of days between Pearl Harbor and the end of WWII: Only 1347

Number of days that the the Vice President has NOT shot a man in the face: 1028
Number of days that the Bush Twins are still not pregnant with baste-'em-or-waste-'em Snowflake babies: 869

It is still 45 days until the end of the BFEE Maladministration.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Listening to God

Headline: "Man says God ordered him to ram vehicle at 100 mph"

The story: Down in good ole San Antonio Texas a man driving a pickup truck (what else, it's Texas...) rammed a woman driver from behind while he was going an estimated 100 miles an hour because god told him that she needed to be taken off the road.

Okay, so when this guy comes up for trial (if he does -- he's been referred, and rightly so, to psychiatric counseling), what are the chances that the Radical Christianists are going to come to his defense, and accuse the state of Texas of declaring war on those who hear directly from god?

Actually, now that I think about it, it would be an interesting hearing. But I've got a sneaking suspicion that those who "really" hear directly from god's lips are going to stay completely away from this babbling lunatic.

After all, if everyone could hear the law directly from god, it would be bad for business. Where would all those tax-exempt contributions to the fundo churches come from if people could actually get the real deal from god him/herself?

A Progressive Primer

Over the holiday weekend I got a chance to catch up on my reading, and one of the books that I read was the well-researched and well-written The Price of Right: How the Conservative Agenda has Failed America (and Always Will) by Alicia Morgan:

This book is a must-read study of how the neocon movement has driven America into the ground by creating, nurturing and perpetuating a number of destructive myths about this country: Trickle-down economics, America is a Christian nation, people are poor by choice because they are lazy, etc etc.

Alicia Morgan dissects each of these myths -- plus a lot more -- and shows in historical detail how each one has been made up out of whole cloth by the so-called Conservative Movement. Which in its current radical form is anything but conservative -- Barry Goldwater himself would not only not recognize today's conservatives, he would also be unwelcome in their midst.

Particular to my own interests, she devotes an entire chapter, cleverly entitled "Let Us Prey", to the Radical Christianist Fundos and especially to their ginned-up defensive position in the totally nonexistent "War on Christmas" waged by "secular progressives", showing how they have skillfully woven a web of lies to "prove" that they are a constantly-under-attack endangered minority.

Even though this book is, in a way, preaching to the choir (she even names her last chapter that), it nevertheless is a succinct and highly readable history-cum-exposé of the Radical Right and their plans to turn America into a nation that we progressives would not only not recognize but also not want to live in.

Highly recommended, not only for you but also as an ideal Xmas gift for that IBIL* of yours who always seems to ruin any family get-together with his wingnut bullshit.

Finally, in the interests of full disclosure, Alicia Morgan is a fellow Blogger Against Theocracy (see Last Left Turn Before Hooterville) whom I know through our mutual connection to Americans United for Separation of Church and State and I am proud to claim her as a friend. That said, in no way does this have an effect on my opinion of her book or my recommendation of it as required reading.

[* Idiot Brother-in-Law]

Monday, December 01, 2008

The McCarthy Gene

It was an interesting title, so I went ahead and read the editorial in the LA Times. As you know, I am of an age that normally, when I think of the name "McCarthy", I don't immediately land on "Tailgunner Joe", but instead I envision Eugene McCarthy, of anti-Vietnam-War fame in the late 60s.

However, I am also a student of history and I know a lot more about Tailgunner Joe than the average person, so it was with a lot of interest that I read the LA Times editorial entitled "The GOP's McCarthy Gene".

Go ahead and check it out. It's an interesting and unique take on the recent (i.e. last 50 years) history of the Rethug Party, and it rings pretty true:

...a less heroic story, and one that may go a much longer way toward really explaining the Republican Party's past electoral fortunes and its future. In this tale, the real father of modern Republicanism is Sen. Joe McCarthy, and the line doesn't run from Goldwater to Reagan to George W. Bush; it runs from McCarthy to Nixon to Bush and possibly now to Sarah Palin. It centralizes what one might call the McCarthy gene, something deep in the DNA of the Republican Party that determines how Republicans run for office, and because it is genetic, it isn't likely to be expunged any time soon.
And it also explains why mAnn Coulter is so wet for the memory of old Tailgunner Joe...