Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Taking a Break

I'm okay, I'm just taking a little break from things. I think the Santorum Surge has left me feeling a little wrung out...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Now I Understand...

... why celebrities eschew faux awards on the Internets. It's all a fraud, a beauty contest, and no one knows who is doing the actual "voting" -- or if there really is actual "voting"...

Otherwise how do you explain the absence of me, "your humble narrator"*, from the American Humanist Association list of the Top Ten Sexiest Male Celebrity Atheists...

Brad Pitt? Okay. Antonio Banderas? Okay. Johnny Depp? Well, yeah, okay...

Hmmm, on further review, I am kind of vaguely aware that I am now officially in my dotage, and I am at the age where I do have to make a decision which can have long term -- indeed, lifelong (such as it is) -- consequences: Am I a geezer, a codger, or a coot?

Jeez, it's so hard to make a choice!

But I digress... Or I think I do... Or something...

Oh, and to ensure that I and the American Humanist Association are not seen as "sexist", here is a list of the Top Ten Female Celebrity Atheists

[* Literary and/or film buffs will recognize this as one of the catch-phrases of Alex of Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange. Read the book if you haven't seen the film; see the film if you haven't read the book.]

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Vagina Ideologues

Gotta see it Daily Show video:

Monday, February 13, 2012

I'm Proud to Live in Washington State

Today the state of Washington made history by becoming only the 7th state to legalize gay marriage.

Of course the religious righties lost no time in filing a referendum to put it on the ballot in November. They've got until June to gather 120,000 signatures for that to happen.

But they are on the wrong side of history. The demographics are against them. Well over half of persons under 30 support equal rights for everyone. So it is just a matter of time until this prejudice is relegated to the dustbin of history.

Monday Music Break

Here's the terrifically great British comedy troupe, Monty Python's Flying Circus, with Every Sperm is Sacred:

Once again, it just seems right... It can't be far down the road when even masturbation will be made severely illegal -- with some severe punishments -- if the fundos ever manage to weasel their way into some real power positions. Can't waste all those sticky little protohumans, can we? Although I don't know what they will want to do about all those pesky "nocturnal emissions" that normal adolescents seem to be blessed with to an extraordinary degree.

Damn evolution, anyway!

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Santorum Surge

Jeez, I can't even type that with a straight face.

Now Little Ricky, according to the MSM/SCLM* is experiencing a "surge"... in the polls. Even though it's only a ploy to keep up the appearance of a two-person race. In the ethos of the media, "if it bleeds, it leads". It's always been the job of the media to say "let's you and him fight".

Nevertheless, you know I've been rootin' for Newton, but if by some fluke (i.e., being the non-Romney) he actually gets the nomination, Santorum would be a candidate even easier to beat in November.

Go Ricky go!

[*MSM/SCLM = Mainstream Media/So-Called Liberal Media]

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

I Am the New Number Two

You might recall The Prisoner, a classic television show from the late 60s.

Each week Number 6 (Patrick McGoohan) had to deal with a new authoritarian figure, always named the Number 2, last week's Number 2 having met some horrible end at the end of the previous episode.

So in the frantic scramble by the Rethugs to dethrone Number 1 (Romney) there have been a whole series of Number 2 people. Santorum is only the latest, and is being played up by the suckass media as the new Great White Hope, even though his four victories yesterday were, at the bottom, meaningless since they garnered him exactly zero delegates.

When The Prisoner was airing for the first time, I always thought that the worst job in the whole world was to be Number 2 . He died almost every week and then there was a different guy who claimed, "I am the new Number 2". Who always informed McGoohan that he was Number 6, and then usually died by the end of the episode.

So buh-bye Ricky. You're as doomed as the rest of them.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The Horror, The Horror!

The US 9th Circuit has overturned Prop 8, California's Mormon-driven ban on gay marriage, calling it "unconstitutional". Damn activists in robes, that's what they are. How dare they say that gay people are just as good as "regular" people?

Well, as Kinky Friedman famously said, "I support gay marriage. I believe they have a right to be as miserable as the rest of us."

BTW, here's a chart showing the likely outcomes of this decision:

Monday, February 06, 2012

Monday Music Break

In honor of my team winning the Super Bowl yesterday, here's Billy Joel with New York State of Mind:

Jeez, look how young he looks!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Will Rick Scott Pee in a Cup?

The Daily Show's Aasif Mandvi, while reporting on the State of Florida's requirement that welfare applicants have to take a pee test (which they pay for) and have to pass in order to get welfare assistance, asked Florida governor (Rethug) to pee in a cup:

Scott really isn't really happy about it, as you can tell in this video. Too bad -- fuck him. If poor people can take one before they government money, he ought to as well. I personally don't believe in drug testing without a lot of grounded suspicion that the individual is doing drugs (a little thing called Fourth Amendment is supposed to prevent it, but this is the New Amerika and the fascists can get away with, it seems, pretty much anything).

Still I'd like to see them try to institute drug testing laws that includes all politicians, the CEOs and boards of directors for all corporations that receive federal money. You'd see that plan in the dustbin of history in five minutes...

Friday, February 03, 2012

Out of the Pink and Into the Stink

By now everyone knows about the political "wardrobe malfunction" of the Susan G. Komen foundation and its astute decision to defund Planned Parenthood.

To give them their due, the foundation has now done a complete 180 after the huge public outcry about their obviously political decision, but I will tell you one thing:

I don't give a shit how much they try to backpedal it, the damage is done. I will no longer give one fucking dollar to the foundation. Instead I will glady -- gleefully -- donate the same dollar amount to my local Planned Parenthood office that I previously donated to Cancer Incorporated/Komen Pink Inc.

I really don't care that they have had a much-publicized "change of heart" and rescinded their decision. I know, and we all know, where they really stand.

Fuck 'em.

News Release: Mittens' Kittens

In a not-surprising move today, Governor Mitt Romney unveiled his latest plan to put food in the mouths of the nation's poor.

After his depressing gaffe earlier this week, in which he claimed that he didn't care about the poor in America, former Massachusetts Governor Mittens Romney today said that his plan would take care of two issues at the same time.

"Let them eat kittens," Romney said in an exclusive press conference. "Animal shelters across the country are reporting a record number of homeless cats. We also have a record number of people who go to bed hungry. Why not solve two problems at once?"

Romney claims that the number of kittens that will already be euthanized are of such a number that their rendered protein will serve the needs of the nation's homeless and hungry "for the foreseeable future".

Romney, you will recall, has already demonstrated his disdain for animals kept as pets by the now-infamous cross-country trip in which the family dog was fastened to the roof rack on Romney's vacation vehicle. He has also demonstrated his disdain for the poor in America by his statement that he doesn't really care about them.

Now, Romney says, if the poor can be convinced that the feral cat population can be used as a protein source, all the better.

"It's easy to dismiss a viable source of protein," Romney said, "but studies have shown that the truly hungry will eat pretty much anything if they have to."

There has been no word yet from the American Humane Organization or the Cat Protection Society on Romney's plan.

Limbaugh Unhinged Over Safety Net

Everyone knows about Mint Rawmoney's unintentionally truthy gaffe about not being concerned about the very poor, since they have a safety net.

Of course Rusty Limpdick came unglued over it, but not over its obvious tin-ear deafness to the needs of real Americans. No, this is what he has to say:

...the safety net is contributing to the destruction of their humanity and their futures! Everybody knows what he's trying to say but he didn't say it and he makes himself a target with this stuff. He comes across as the prototypical rich Republican. And it's gonna make it harder and harder and harder and harder to go after Obama because this turns around on him. You know, all these Wizards of Smart in the Republican establishment say, 'We can't have Newt out there! Why, Newt's gonna be the topic. We need Obama to be the topic. We need Obama to be the guy campaign's about. If Newt's out there, it's only gonna be about Newt.' Well, what evidence is there that it's not gonna be about Romney with these kinds of statements?
Everybody knows what he's trying to say here, but you give them 'I'm not concerned about the very poor,' you chop it off there and it could be about anything. I'm not concerned about the poor in the way they're eating. I'm not concerned about the poor and the car they have. I'm not concerned about the poor and where they live. You can do all kinds of things with that. And it isn't gonna be enough to say, (crying) 'You've taken that out of context.' We know what he's trying to do. He's trying to zero in and tell the middle class, 'I'm thinking of you.' But this repair the safety net stuff? The safety net is contributing to poverty. The safety net contributes to poverty. It does not solve it. We've got proof every year since the Great Society and whatever else Johnson named it, starting in the sixties. It hasn't fixed anything.
This is from the official show transcript, to be found over at Politico.

If you don't have the bloviating ass-pimple-draft-dodger and self-appointed leader of the Rethug Party on your side, then what chance do you really have to win an election in November?

Answer: Not much, and that's good for our side. Bring it on!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

We Don't Need No Stinkin' First Amendment!

One more step closer to Fascism. Let's call it what it is.

Today a documentary film crew was not just ejected from a House of Representatives committee hearing on so-called "fracking", but were actually arrested on orders from House Rethugs.

Josh Fox, director of the Academy Award-nominated exposé of the gas industry, Gasland, along with his crew was taken in custody because the Rethugs on the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment didn't want them filming the hearing.

This is a shocking break, not only with congressional precedent but also the First Amendment to the US Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. [Emphasis added]
In the immortal words of Gold Hat, the bandido in the classic The Treasure of Sierra Madre, "Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!" [See Stinking Badges for more.]

Fascism exists where you find it. Suppression and control of the media is one of the hallmarks of Fascism.

I report, you decide.

Book of the Month: The Bitter Waters of Medicine Creek

The book of the month for February is The Bitter Waters of Medicine Creek: A Tragic Clash Between White and Native America, by Richard Kluger

Here, in microcosm, is a sobering illustration of nearly everything that went wrong with the US treatment of America's First Nations people (aka "Indians") in the 19th Century. The Nisqually tribe of Washington State was systematically decimated by the policies of the US government for over 100 years, starting with the shameful and one-sided Treaty of Medicine Creek in December of 1854, and continuing with the death of Chief Leschi, the victim of what can only be described as a judicial lynching the next year.

The chief villain in this story was Washington's first territorial governor, Isaac Stevens, who sadly comes off as a real asshole in the saga. Admittedly -- but this does not excuse his actions -- he was more or less a product of his time, an era when Manifest Destiny meant, at its core, carving a new life for white people out of the flesh of the Native Americans, but Stevens seems to have gone above and beyond the call of "duty" in his treatment of the "savages" of Western Washington who were, naturally and inconveniently, getting in the way of American expansion.

When Leschi complained that the Nisqually were being driven off their land and cruelly forced to live on a non-arable high bluff, from which they could see but could not approach their traditional salmon fishing waters, Stevens declared him an "enemy combatant" and did everything he could to crush Leschi and his followers. A year of skirmishing war ensued, with the ultimate and inevitable outcome that Leschi was tried twice and finally convicted -- on the flimsiest of evidence -- of murder and eventually hanged for his "sins".

Ironically, it was Stevens himself who elevated Leschi to the rank of "chief" -- the Nisqually, like so many other tribes, did not have hereditary leaders, nor did they have anyone who could have been remotely called "chief" in the white-man way of thinking. But Stevens identified Leschi as someone who had the innate abilities of a leader and, more importantly, someone he could manipulate.

Right on one count, wrong on the other. Turned out Leschi was a natural leader, but not the compliant one Stevens was looking for. A year of sometimes bitter skirmish war followed Medicine Creek, until the Washington Territory's official judiciary arm, after two trials, hanged Leschi.

This book is an immensely readable work on the legacy of Medicine Creek, as well as a capsule biography of Leschi, Stevens and a history of shameful treatment of the American Indian in general and the Nisqually tribe in particular.

[Full disclosure: I live about ten miles from the original, historical site of the treaty, and the cousin of a very close friend of mine is the tribal chairperson of the newly-rejuvenated Nisqually Tribe.]