In 1966, at the beginning of the huge buildup of American forces in South Vietnam, a group of Mormon so-called General Authorities (LDS bigwigs, including the recently deceased "Prophet, Seer and Revelator" Gordon Hinckley, then only a member of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles), made an official trip to Vietnam for the Dedication of the Land of Vietnam for the Preaching of the Restored Gospel. In Mormon land, this dedication is a Very Big Deal.
I would guess that it was also considered by the average Vietnamese -- those who were even aware of it -- to be just one more step in Yankee imperialism, since the ceremony took place on the rooftop garden of the Caravelle Hotel, then and now one of the most luxurious and exclusive hotels in Saigon. I couldn't drink there, none of my friends could drink there, and no one under the rank of bird colonel could drink there. Totally off limits to all but the top echelon.
I was in Vietnam later than this, in 1968-69, and one of the Group chaplains where I was stationed was a Mormon (despite the fact that there were probably only two or three Mormons in each of the two battalions in the Group -- go figure). I heard with my own ears his incredible statement that, since Vietnam was so dedicated, it took a war to make sure that God's promise was kept to the poor savages who inhabited that benighted land.
I don't know how much of that was official Mormon Doctrine, but I assume that it was pretty much right on, since this particular chaplain was a scion of Mormon Royalty: His father was one of the General Authorities of the church and the official guru of Mormon Doctrine (he even wrote a book on it). The opinions of those General Authorities on various matters have a similar weight and authority to pronouncements from the College of Cardinals in the Catholic Church.
I assume that since the Communist victory in Vietnam and their takeover of the country, the Mormon missionaries haven't been welcomed back in any number. So much for that whole god-wants-the-Vietnamese-saved thing, I guess.
Which brings me to Mitt Romney (you knew it was coming). His Mormon faith is not just a facet of his existence, it is all of it. There's no way to separate it from him as a person. Or him as a President. Which scares the living shit out people who are aware of the violent history of The One True Church. If he buys into the whole proselytizing at the point of gun thing -- and why shouldn't he? -- then what's to stop him from pulling some weak-ass excuse out of his ass (are you listening, George W?) and invading some other poor benighted land that needs to have The Restored Gospel brought to its savage denizens?
Saturday, September 29, 2012
In 1966, at the beginning of the huge buildup of American forces in South Vietnam, a group of Mormon so-called General Authorities (LDS bigwigs, including the recently deceased "Prophet, Seer and Revelator" Gordon Hinckley, then only a member of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles), made an official trip to Vietnam for the Dedication of the Land of Vietnam for the Preaching of the Restored Gospel. In Mormon land, this dedication is a Very Big Deal.
Way back in 1980, right after his successful anointment at the
Republican convention, Ronald Reagan chose to give the first kickoff speech of
his campaign in Philadelphia. Okay, sure, makes sense – large seaport city steeped in
history, birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution,
and home to Star-Spangled Banner seamstress Betsy Ross. Yeah, Philly's a great
Friday, September 28, 2012
Don't just take it my word for it. Here's Samuel Motherfuckin' Jackson:
Posted by Farnsworth68 at 7:56 AM
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Word comes today that an unnamed Republican senator has put a block on a bill to give disabled veterans a modest increase in disability benefits.
As you all know, I am a disabled Vietnam veteran, so this hits me right in the breadbasket. And it's so typical of the RepubliCONS to do something like this under the cover of darkness, as it were, and hide from the public scrutiny -- the public scorn -- that would deservedly be heaped on him if he came right out into the light of day.
Does anyone need further proof that the RepubliCON Party does not have the best interests of America's veterans in mind?
And the bigger question is this: Are they trying to lose elections? What's going on here?
Well, if losing elections is what they want, let's give it to them. Vote Democratic, all the way down the ballot. Let's get these pond-scum dwellers in darkness out of office as fast as we can.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Okay, put your dirty minds at ease, that's not what I'm talking about.
No, I'm talking about the current RepubliCON dismissive reaction to the polls in the swing states that put Obama ahead -- sometimes WAY ahead -- in the race for the White House. Aside from the fact that these people -- Republican whiny-assed little snotnosed elititists -- do not live in the reality-based universe, I think there's something more to it.
By dismissing the polls in critical states such as Ohio, they are laying the groundwork for a challenge to the election, if not for outright stealing it, the way they did in Ohio in 2004, when all of the exit polling predicted that Kerry would win the state. And by winning the state, win the election, because if you will recall, it was Ohio that put Bush ahead and "smoked" Kerry in the final tally for the Electoral College votes.
And for me the one thing that is almost unforgivable in that election is that the Kerry campaign conceded too early, with the result that millions of absentee ballots and the like didn't even get counted.
I think that's what is behind the current Rethug pooh-poohing of the polling numbers. They couldn't get away with it in 2008, because the Obama sweep was so total that they would have ended up looking like a bunch of fascists or communists, or capitalist pig elitists, or -- well, pick your own poison -- trying to steal an election. Which they would have been.
That's why it is so important to get out the vote, and especially those of you in swing states: Do the heavy lifting to make the margin of victory for Obama so overwhelming that the Rethugs can't skitter by in the shadows, like the feces-eating cockroaches that they are.
Get down to your local Democratic Party headquarters and do some phone calling, do some doorbelling, do some clerical work, deliver some yard signs, make coffee, etc. There is plenty of work to be done, and you will be able to find a job that fits with your schedule, your skills, your personality, your comfort level. Don't be like me after the 2000 "election" when I was bewailing the fact that I could have done more. That's how I became active in the Democratic Party and I haven't regretted a minute of it since then.
This is the most important election of our lives, so let's act like it!
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Yes, it might appear so:
And, yes, he really did say it. But hold on, today it comes out that he was "joking" when he said it.
Okay, I'm not a harsh judge. Well, not all that harsh, anyway. I'm willing to accept that he was joking, but this just goes to show that Mittens would be better off leaving the jokes to someone else. Like a comedian. Or maybe even just someone with a sense of humor.
Otherwise you just come off as stupid. And Mittens, with all the other shit you've been talking, you don't need any more help looking stupid.
Monday, September 24, 2012
One of the many secrets of the Mormons is the knowledge, common amongst the "Saints", that everything that is written (or spoken as well, I presume) against the Mormon Church has been taken up to an "enemies list" archive in the Wasatch Mountains outside Salt Lake City where it will be used against the transgressor at some future time when The End Of Times has come, the Mormons are in control of everything, and "just retribution" can be exacted against the guilty. They don't like to talk about this, for obvious reasons, but just get one of them alone, ply him with enough alcohol, and you can pry out it out of him. He'll eventually admit it. And revenge is such a hallmark of Christian charity...
Which brings us to a guy named David Twede, who runs a website called (oxymoronically at first glance) MormonThink.com, which is a website, run by Mormons(!), devoted to answering some historical questions about the Mormon Church. Hint: They don't answer them to the betterment of the church; quite the contrary -- check them out.
Twede has evidently run afoul of the Mormon Powers by running a piece that is critical of Mitt Romney. Check it out, both on the news site linked above as well as other sites that are carrying the story.
If they are going to excommunicate (the worst "official" punishment the church can mete out, BTW) Twede for being critical of Romney, then what chance does Harry Reid have? The wheels of Mormon justice must be still grinding away on Harry for his transgressions, but I'm guessing that he's got too high a profile for them to make a Federal case out of it. No, all of Harry's criticisms of Romney are being filed away in that Wasatch Enemies List archive, ready to be hauled out on Judgment Day when Jesus returns to earth (in Jackson County, Missouri, the actual site of the Garden of Eden -- no, I am totally NOT making this up...).
I would guess that my rantings over the years about the Mormons has secured me a place in the archives as well. In fact, I'd be kind of disappointed to learn that I was not there...
Here's a lengthy think-piece at The Nation by Norman Birnbaum on what's really going on with Netanyahu and the Pro-Zionists, both in Israel and in the United States:
Kabuki theater, with its extremely stylized dramaturgy, and the Yiddish stage, with its lachrymose realism, are rarely joined. The Democratic National Convention succeeded, however, in fusing the two. A platform insertion terming Jerusalem the undivided capital of Israel was gaveled through by a visibly unhappy mayor of Los Angeles, reportedly at the insistence of the White House, which sought to silence Republican charges that the administration is disloyal to our unruly client state."Unruly client state", indeed. Netanyahu reminds me of that schoolyard bully who says, threateningly, "Let's you and him fight."
Perhaps we should think instead of the Theater of the Absurd. The administration’s policy is like that of the governments that preceded it. The final status of Jerusalem is to be decided by Israel and Palestine if they conclude a peace treaty. It is almost certain, whoever wins the election, that our embassy will remain in Tel Aviv. Meanwhile, the audible anger of many of the convention delegates nullified the reassuring effect the resolution was supposed to have on those voters for whom Israel’s delusions of omnipotence are their commands. Most are Republican biblical literalists, who believe that the coming of Israel portends the Last Judgment, the conversion of some Jews and the extirpation of the rest. The leaders of the Jewish organizations are remarkably tolerant of the theology of their fundamentalist allies. They are sure, after all, of their unconditional support for Israel—something that an increasing number of American Jews refuse. The Jewish organizations and their leaders become all the louder as their constituency shrinks. A majority of American Jews will vote as Americans, and some of the most self-consciously Jewish of them will do so for the sake of biblical values of social justice—which they find increasingly challenged in Israel. Meanwhile, events in the world reduce the political theater at the convention to its true dimensions, exceedingly small.
He wants so bad for the US to attack Iran that he's practically pissing his pants over it. Never mind the fact that a substantial portion of his own population is against it. We should watch ourselves that we don't get painted into a corner over this.
Unfortunately, if Romney is elected, all bets are off and we are much more likely to engage in that "preventative" first strike that our buddy Netty wants us to.
I swear it's as if they have lost their funny bone -- or more likely, never had one. An Oldie Goldie email has been making the rounds again, you know the one where Obama said he won't wear an American flag pin because he "doesn't want to be seen as taking sides" and wants to change the national anthem to "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing"?
This story first appeared on a site called John Semmens: Semi-News -- A Satirical Look at Recent News in October 2007. As you can see, it was clearly labeled "semi-news" and "satire", but the wingnuttery doesn't care about that. Shit, they probably don't even know what "satire" is. Except for that rubber thing that they gots to have four of to keep their pickup truck up off the ground: "'At? 'At satire. Needs some ayr."
So satire goes flat (get it?) when it strikes the wet canvas brain of the Moron-American Voting Bloc, which is no more capable of nuance and subtlety than an earthworm.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Jeez, can a brother catch a break? When they are not ranting about Obama being a Fascist/Socialist/Communist/Kenyan/Indonesian, they are boiling over with religious rage that he is the fucking Antichrist!
If you ask me, they just might be heading down the wrong path with that one...
And I'm not the only one that thinks this. The humor site, Cracked.com has an insightful analysis as to why, if Obama really IS the Antichrist, he has got to be the worst one ever:
When he should have been breaking his covenant with seven nations and declaring himself God within their temples, instead he bought a dog. When he was supposed to be searing his mark into the hands and foreheads of his worshipers and executing anyone who refused the brand, he was off singing Al Green songs at the Apollo.There's more of this trenchant analysis on the Cracked website, complete with source material links for the skeptics, but it seems as if those of us over here in the Satanist Circle are going to have to look elsewhere for our Antichrist. Obama just isn't cutting it.
But the antichrist is already supposed to be slaughtering the righteous and governing the world from a throne in Israel by his third year in power. Obama has done nothing but drag his feet and procrastinate about being unabashedly evil deep into his fourth year. Where is the colossal statue of him that springs to life and kills Christians? Where is the fire pouring out of the sky into the eyes of men? I don't even think he's drawn up any schematics. [emphasis added]
Friday, September 21, 2012
Damn that "liberal education" that I got. I had no idea that American History actually went like this:
1500s: The American Revolutionary War begins: “The reason we fought the revolution in the sixteenth century was to get away from that kind of onerous crown.”—Rick PerryRead more here and let's try to cut down on all that weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, okay? It's really bothering the 1% who are busy feasting on roast Passenger Pigeon and wiping their lily-white asses on Dodo feather toilet paper...
1607: First welfare state collapses: “Jamestown colony, when it was first founded as a socialist venture, dang near failed with everybody dead and dying in the snow.”—Dick Armey
1619-1808: Africans set sail for America in search of freedom: “Other than Native Americans, who were here, all of us have the same story.”—Michele Bachmann
1775: Paul Revere “warned the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms, by ringing those bells and making sure as he was riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free.”—Sarah Palin.
1775: New Hampshire starts the American Revolution: “What I love about New Hampshire… You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world.”—Michele Bachmann
1776: The Founding Synod signs the Declaration of Independence: “…those fifty-six brave people, most of whom, by the way, were clergymen.”—Mike Huckabee
1787: Slavery is banned in the Constitution: “We also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.”—Michele Bachmann
Fuck this. Next time I'm gonna fucking demand to be home schooled. None of those liberal "facts" for me!
After all, we all know that facts have a liberal bias.
Even though I tend to find Sarah Silverman obnoxious to the max, here's something you need to watch:
Posted by Farnsworth68 at 4:24 PM
Just so you know, here's a commentary from a former "saint":
Growing up in a devout Latter-Day Saint (Mormon) family in a suburb of Salt Lake City, I knew my religion as well as my name. My mom played the organ in a Mormon temple, I was a Boy Scout, and there was rarely a Sunday when we would miss church. Praying at least three times daily and studying the Book of Mormon were as essential as brushing our teeth or making dinner.The money shot: "For Mormons, there really is no such thing as separation of church and state".
For the first time in American history a Mormon is the presidential nominee for a major political party. And while the Romney campaign has swiftly dismissed questions about his religion as inappropriate and irrelevant, it may seem that much of the media have tiptoed around this topic and have discussed the LDS church in glossy, broad terms. But here's why Mr. Romney's religion is relevant: For Mormons, there really is no such thing as separation of church and state.
And there you have it. Everything you need to know when it comes to casting your vote. Read the whole story to get a "testimony" from an insider about what the
No separation of church and state for these folks. No sireee!
Despite the fact that Mittens has been running for office for what seems like forever, Little Annie Romney is not ready for prime time.
According to a story out of Iowa:
“Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring,” she said. “This is hard and, you know, it’s an important thing that we’re doing right now and it’s an important election and it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt’s qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country.”In other words, "It's all hard and stuff!"
Jeez, why don't you stamp your little Stuart Weitzman-encased foot while you whine, "It's not fair! It's not fair!"
Now I can see why Mittens said he wanted to keep her under wraps as much as possible.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Apparently Rick Perry (R-Moron) knew all along: The driving force behind the movement for church-state separation is none other than Satan, Lucifer, Old Scratch, the Prince of Darkness, Son of Perdition, etc. etc. -- in short, The Devil Himself -- in all His Satanic Majesty, I presume.
Wow, if "speak of the devil and he will appear" is true, then I ought to have a room full of demons behind me right now. Wait, what?! Let me check...
Okay, I'm back. I think we're okay -- I seem to be alone...
Well, regardless, since I have been an outspoken lifelong advocate for maintaining the constitutionally-guaranteed separation of church and state (I've been at it so long that I go back to when Americans United for Separation of Church and State was still called "Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State"), I guess The Horned One got his hooks (hooves?) into me at an early age without my even knowing about it!
Damn, why does this always happen to me? If I'd only known who I was really working for, I'd have made a better deal. For example, I could have made better choices for parents and consequently could have spent a lifetime wallowing in such obscene wealth that I could have had a different Lamborghini for every day of the week, a different supermodel for every night of the month, and a different mansion for every month of the year. Hell, I could even have eaten Passenger Pigeon flambé and wiped my ass on Dodo feather toilet paper.
Sound harsh? Fuck that, that's the way we Satanists roll! Pass me some of that virgin, will you?
I don't care how much he tries to dig himself out of the hole he's in, nothing that Romney can say or do at this point will cover up for the utter disdain that he feels for "those people" -- the poor. In the words of the satirical site, The Onion, he can even apologize to 150 million starving filthy beggars and it won't cover up his true feelings.
So it got me to thinking. Mormons consider themselves to be Christians (in fact, they tend to keep quiet about it these days, but they still consider themselves the only True Christians -- you could look it up).
But we already know that the Jesus of the Bible is as foreign to them as the dwellers on the sun and the moon (Brigham Young said that people lived on both of those heavenly orbs), what with all that peace and love and stuff. For example, see John 3:17: " But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" Recognize Romney in that? Me neither.
But that's okay, I guess, as long as he still hews to the "Holy Scripture" that is the Book of Mormon. Which is replete with such things as:
Ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish. (Mosiah 4:16)For those not "in the know", the Book of Mormon reputes itself to be an addition to and a parallel with the Bible. It even goes so far as to
Ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another. (Mosiah 4:21)
Impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath. (Mosiah 4:26)
They did impart of their substance, every man according to that which he had, to the poor, and the needy, and the sick, and the afflicted; and ... they were liberal to all. (Alma 1:27-30)
Yea, he saw great inequality among the people ... turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted. (Alma 4:12)
Will you persist in turning your backs upon the poor, and the needy, and in withholding your substance from them? (Alma 5:55)
But I digress. It would appear that when it comes to the teachings of the Holy Writ, Mitt Romney is not only not a very good Christian, he's also not a very good Mormon.
[Many thanks to Dwindling in Unbelief for the BOM quotes]
Posted by Farnsworth68 at 11:35 AM
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
So far Mittens has kind of doubled down on his ridiculous and elitist claims about the 47% while at the same time trying like hell to backpedal his way out of them. While his campaign is long on "trust me I'm rich and I know best" and short on actual details, one thing keeps popping up: Closing so-called "loopholes" in the tax system.
A totally-not-even-careful analysis of that claim results in one inescapable conclusion. The loopholes he wants to close have to be things like the mortgage deduction, the dependents deduction, the charitable giving deduction (unless it goes to a church, naturally) and the state and local (income, sales and property) tax deductions.
In short, the last refuge of the vanishing middle class. But hey, since he thinks that median income in this country is in the $250,000 a year range, it won't really be a burden on citizens. Besides, if you really need some quick cash, you can always borrow $20,000 from your parents...
Even though Obama is ahead in the polls (for now) I'm still having anxiety over the possibility that we are still just one October Surprise away from having a Romney-Ryan administration come January. That's why it is so important that we all do whatever we can to ensure the re-election of Barack Obama. If you aren't already doing so, volunteer for phone banks, do doorbelling, wave signs, anything. Contact your local Democratic Party headquarters and tell them you are ready to go to work. We can't afford to let the Ayn Rand Romneyites win this one!
And don't forget the down-ballot races. It's equally important that we elect Democrats to all offices. In the timeless words of my good friend the retired Navy captain(!), "I don't want a Republican to be elected dog catcher!"
Still think that Republicans have the backs of American veterans? See this and remember in November: Veterans’ Jobs Bill Blocked in the Senate.
My own senator, Patty Murray, has been an outspoken advocate for America's veterans. Her party affiliation? Democrat, of course.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Whoops. Romney dropped the curtain and let us see what he's really about when he was talking to a group of his fellow fatcats at a private fundraiser. By now everyone knows about The Videos in which Romney derided all of us out here in the world of government-tit-suckers who are "victims" dependent on government handouts, blah blah blah.
The magic figure is 47%. This is, not merely by coincidence, the same figure from the Faux "News" meme that 47% of Americans don't pay income tax. They've been harping on that for several years now, completely ignoring the fact that most of the people who pay no income tax also have no income... Talking Head/Spewing Mouth/Professional Asshole Steve Douchbag even went so far as to argue that those who don't pay income tax shouldn't get to vote!
So here I am, an elderly shutin on a fixed income, eking out a drab existence on the dole -- government "handouts" in the form of Social Security and Medicare, my VA Disability pension and a state government retirement pension -- so I guess that I'm in that 47%, too. Pretty much ALL of my income is from "the gubmint". And all of those income sources are apparently "entitlements" that I didn't earn and that I don't deserve and that I'm foolishly squandering on my riotous lifestyle.
Aside from the fact that I do have to pay income tax every year (hey, what's up with that?), I'm smack dab in the middle of that demographic that Romney derides. Jesus, I feel like such a victim... Especially since Romney says, "my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." [emphasis added]
Well, damn. I guess that's what I get for not being a member of the Lucky Sperm Club and instead choosing to be born into a family of "those people". You know, people who were not born into wealth, who had to actually work for a living, who had to go into the military to win WWII (and whose sons had to settle for getting sent to Vietnam as soldiers and not to France as "missionaries"), who were, it turned out, against all odds, exactly the kind of hard-working people who built the economic juggernaut that was the 1950s -- back in the day when the highest marginal tax rate was a staggering 91% on those "job creators" who still managed to somehow limp along and even make money and create jobs for the rest of us.
Yeah, damn it to hell. Maybe next time I ought to make better choices, huh? Take a little more "personal responsibility" in my choice of parents?
Monday, September 17, 2012
Jeez. I was wondering why no one was commenting on my posts. I thought maybe I'd been away so long that the world had passed me by.
No, it turns out that the old way of posting comments wasn't working. Now if you click on "Post a Comment" a new page will open up and you can post from there. I turned off the Secret Word verification. If I start to get a lot of spam or other shit like that, I'll probably have to turn it back on.
Thanks for reading, and especially thanks to Constant Reader doublenickel who took the time to point this out to me.
--The F Man
Posted by Farnsworth68 at 7:17 PM
I need to stop spending so much time on The Facebook... Here's the latest that's making the rounds:
My first reaction was that this is an elaborate and detailed scam by a dedicated troll to provoke a violent response from those of us who support Gay Rights. I'm still not convinced that this is not the case, but sadly now she has a whole "fan page" on The Facebook praising both her homophobia and her blatantly child-abusive parenting skills.
Note that nowhere am I providing a direct reference to her name or her FB page. The alternative explanation to all this is that she is a pathetic fucking loser who is craving attention in the worst way -- and getting it in the worst way -- and the last thing I want is to help provide that attention. If you are on The Facebook, you have probably already seen this anyway, and I'm content to let her stew in her own juices. If she is even a real person... Which I still doubt.
Posted by Farnsworth68 at 2:28 PM
Over on The Facebook, a labeled photo of Ronald Reagan is making the rounds amongst the Moron-American Voting Bloc:
My question to the original poster was this: "So has everyone forgotten that Ronald Reagan ordered the withdrawal of forces from Lebanon after 241 Marines were blown up by terrorists? How was that NOT 'appeasement'?"
It didn't take long to draw this response: "Spoken like a true communist traitor!"
To which I replied: "It's funny that when someone can't answer a question they start with the name calling. But that's okay, I have thick skin. So explain to me how Reagan's pullout from Lebanon was not 'appeasement'?"
After three hours I've received no response. Like that's a surprise. In the words of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, "The truth? You can't handle the truth!"
As I say, it would appear that only Democrats are capable of "appeasement"... God forbid that Saint Ronald could do any wrong...
Even though this song is nearly 50 years old, it still speaks to us today. "The eastern world, it is explodin'..." Indeed.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Since I was old enough to remember it (about 1949), Old Time Radio -- that is the programs that filled up the nation's airways starting in the 1920s and running through a good part of the fifties when they were eclipsed by television on the one hand and music radio on the other -- have been an especially fun hobby of mine.
At one point in my work career I was locked in the basement of the building with no outside windows and an exit reached by a long walk down a hallway, where I "guarded" a server room. My sole job was to be there in case anything went wrong with any of the servers. It never did, so I found myself needing to fill up eight hours of work each day for five days a week. It was in a basement so I couldn't get a radio signal, and they wouldn't give me a television, so one of the only forms of entertainment available to me was Old Time Radio. I made a bunch of CDs of such shows as The Life of Riley, Gangbusters, Red Ryder, Mister District Attorney, Boston Blackie, Lum & Abner, The Great Gildersleeve, Terry and the Pirates, Lights Out, The Inner Sanctum, The Whistler... Well, the list goes on and on, and listening to those old shows, many of which I remembered listening to as a child, like Baby Snooks (I was in the radio audience the night Fanny Brice died--May 29, 1951), not only served as a rollercoaster down memory lane, but actually kept me relatively sane during that period of time.
So stories about the days of the Theatre of the Mind tend to grab my attention, as did this one. It's about the great radio pioneer Norman Corwin striving to have "colorblind" radio -- blacks were as systematically excluded from radio as they were from other forms of entertainment.
The apex of Corwin’s radio career coincided with a profound shift in America’s dominant racial formation, the beginnings of “colorblindness.” By colorblindness, I mean the belief that if individuals and institutions ignored skin color as a signifier and eliminating race as an official category of identity—particularly within governmental institutions—it would cease to matter in American life and all groups would have equitable access to the privileges, opportunities, and freedoms afforded by citizenship.Corwin's push to have black persons trained to talk on the radio backfired in some ways led to the opposite result, as this article explains.
The article is On the Lower Frequencies: Norman Corwin, Colorblindness, and the “Golden Age” of U.S. Radio and it makes for an interesting read and presents a real and unique window into what was going on behind the scenes in radio.
The more things change, the more they stay the same, I guess.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Max Blumenthal has an extensive analysis of the guy behind the anti-Mohammed film over at his website:
The producer of the film is a real estate developer supposedly named “Sam Bacile” who claims to be an Israeli Jew. Bacile told the AP the film was made with $5 million raised from “100 Jewish donors.” He said he was motivated to help his native country, Israel, by exposing the evils of Islam.The American Taliban is hard at work here. The Fundamentalist Radical Christianists are doing everything they possibly can to bring on the Armageddon they want so badly. The sociopathic ruffians behind this project knew that it would create strife among their brothers-under-the-skin, the Fundamentalist Radical Islamists. That, it would appear, was the whole point.
While Bacile claims to be in hiding, and his identity remains murky, another character who has been publicly listed as a consultant on the film is a known anti-Muslim activist with ties to the extreme Christian right and the militia movement. He is Steve Klein, a Hemet, California based insurance salesman who claims to have led a “hunter-killer team” in Vietnam.
Klein is a right-wing extremist who emerged from the same axis of Islamophobia that produced Anders Behring Breivik and which takes inspiration from the writings of Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, and Daniel Pipes.
Free speech ends, or so we were told by the US Supreme Court, with you not getting to yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theatre. Yeah, I know that there's that whole "religious speech" thing, which is supposed to keep government out of religious business, and this was a "religious" film, blah blah blah. But religious speech is not -- or should not be -- protected if someone jumps up in that same theatre and yells, "God told me, FIRE!"
I hope that Klein and his shadowy buddy "Bacile" -- who may not even exist -- are arrested, tried and convicted for provoking these riots and for causing those American deaths in Libya. But sadly I do not see it happening.
Oh, one more thing: That whole "hunter-killer team" thing. Yeah, uh-huh...
Posted by Farnsworth68 at 3:04 PM
Now that the violence and unrest has spread to several other Middle East countries, all based on this "movie", I'm starting to get a little suspicious.
As I've often said, we are just one "October Surprise" away from electing a Rethug in November. Could this be it, starting a month early to allow time for the festering swamp that is Fundamentalism (whatever its religious branding) to bubble over? (Okay, that's a mixed metaphor, but you know what I mean.)
Who is behind the movie? Not much is known about the filmmaker, since he has taken great pains to hide his identity. And that in itself is a clear indication that he knew the strife this film would cause. When he is finally flushed out, will we see that he is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Republican Party? I'm willing to bet on it. But I'm also willing to bet that if this ploy is successful, we won't find out about it until it's too late and the election is over.
Posted by Farnsworth68 at 9:30 AM
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Yep, nuke 'em. That's the sum total of my wackjob cousin's latest email regarding the tragedy in Libya. Of course she went off half-cocked, as it were, and initially identified the putative location -- and of course the putative target -- as Cairo. Oh well, never mind those fact-checking details. If Sarah Palin says it's Cairo, then it's Cairo. Besides, it'll still fry a bunch of Muslims, and that's what it's all about.
Naturally she'll be voting for Romney. Even though six months ago she was weeping and wailing and gnashing her teeth over just the possibility that he -- a Mormon cultist -- could beat her boy Newtie Gingrich. Oh how the worm has turned, and it just displays the pathology of her Obama Derangement Syndrome even more, that she is willing to support a guy she totally hated six months ago, just because she totally hates Obama more.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Republicans and hypocrisy. But I repeat myself -- now it's almost like those words are synonyms for each other. AlterNet has an article entitled "10 Rankest Hypocrisies of Mitt Romney and the Republican Party that is well worth the read.
Here's the money shot:
Romney was a vocal opponent of the auto industry bailout orchestrated by the Obama administration. He famously wrote an op-ed for the New York Times with the title "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." Fast-forward a couple of years to a newly profitable and growing automobile industry and we find that Romney has shifted his position. Today he not only claims he supported the bailout, but he considers himself responsible for its success. He told ABC News that "I’ll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry's come back." That’s a little like Pontius Pilate taking credit for Jesus coming back. [Emphasis added]Seriously. Who in the fuck could EVER vote for this guy? I'm old enough to remember when being a Republican meant something completely different, back in the days of Oregon's governor Tom McCall, Oregon's senator Mark Hatfield and Washington's senator Dan Evans, none of whom would be welcomed in today's RepubliCON party. Welcomed? They wouldn't even be acknowledged.
It's sad, really. It wasn't supposed to be this way, but that's the hand we've been dealt. Now the Democrats have no choice but to double down and call out the lies and the hypocrisy as they pop up. The danger is, of course -- and the Rethugs know this -- that if you pop up and play the Republican Wack-a-Mole game, you'll get the reputation of always being the party of negativity. All they have to have is one more whopper to tell than you have the strength to knock it down, and this is a battle that they will win.
Here's hoping that the Moron-American voting bloc will finally see through the lies and vote in their own self-interest for once.
Here's Jimmy Fallon doing James Taylor and "Romney and Bain" parody:
What is it with the Birthers? They just won't give up, not even in the face of overwhelming evidence that Barack Obama was actually, physically, really and truly born in the then-Territory of Hawaii in 1961. World Net Daily has pretty much given over its entire editorial sections to shrill screeds on the topic from Orly Taintz and her flying-monkey minions.
Like many of us over here in the Reality Based Community, I've been vacillating between being just bemused and totally nonplussed by their neurotic OCD obsession with the whole thing. I've been at my wits end for going on four years now, trying to figure out what the fuck the "Birthers" really want? I've tried asking them, and even the few who will still talk to me (i.e., my wackjob cousin) can't -- or won't -- answer my question.
And to me the question is a pretty simple one: If Obama's mother was a US citizen -- which no one is disputing -- then isn't her son automatically a US citizen, regardless of where he was born? Hasn't that been the law since like, forever?
Well, that's what I thought, anyway, but when I did my own research, it turns out that this isn't such a straightforward question with a straightforward answer. It all depends on WHEN he was born. Over at VisaLaw Immigration Information, I found this:
What are the rules for people born between December 23, 1952 and November 13, 1986?Yes, now it all makes sense to me. Obama was born in 1961, and his mother was just 18 at the time of his birth, and so it is temporally impossible for her to meet the "five of the years after the age of 14" stipulation.
Again, children born abroad to two US citizen parents were US citizens at birth, as long as one of the parents resided in the US at some point before the birth of the child.
When one parent was a US citizen and the other a foreign national, the US citizen parent must have resided in the US for a total of 10 years prior to the birth of the child, with five of the years after the age of 14. An exception for people serving in the military was created by considering time spent outside the US on military duty as time spent in the US. [Emphasis added]
That's why it's so fucking important to the Birthers to establish that Obama was born in Kenya. Or Indonesia. Or where the fuck ever Orly Taintz wants us to believe this week, just as long as it was outside the borders of the United States. By the simple fact that if he was not born in the United States, he is, ipso facto and QED, not a United States citizen.
Jeez. I wasn't expecting that... But okay. what then? Well, I'm more than 100% certain that, not satisfied to strip him of the presidential mantle that he paraded around in so arrogantly, so illegally, so blackly, for the last four years, they will also insist on deporting him as an illegal alien. You know how the whole right wing feels about so-called illegal aliens, and here would be the biggest illegal alien of all, right in their sweaty grasp. He is so outta here!
But wait. First I want to relate a story from my own family. My cousin Jimmy* was born in occupied Berlin, in a German hospital, in 1948 to my uncle, an American soldier who was just nineteen and had been shipped there after advanced individual training, and a young German mother (they were married at the time, but just barely, having just achieved that status before Jimmy was born, in a traditional German Zwangsheirat). He eventually grew up in my home state after his father was discharged and moved his family back to the US. Jimmy graduated from high school in 1965 and enlisted in the Army, following in his father's footsteps.
Unfortunately he had the bad luck to be assigned to the25th Infantry Division near Cu Chi, and after less than three months in country he was shot up severely, ambushed while he was on patrol, injured to the extent that he has to spend a substantial amount of his remaining time in a wheelchair, to the extent that he was awarded a VA disability pension of 100%.
He eventually got married, had two children (that part still worked!), and went on to college (GI Bill, naturally); afterwards he got a job, from which he is now retired and drawing Social Security. He just finished paying off his house and putting his youngest child, a girl, through college. He has two grandchildren by way of his oldest daughter.
Got the picture? Now let's go back at take another look at that immigration law, cited on the VisaLaw page, this time another section:
What are the rules for people born between January 14, 1941 and December 23, 1952?Oh, okay. Whew. That WWII exemption ought to take care of it. But wait a minute, no it doesn't! Uncle Bud was born in 1929 and didn't join the Army until after WWII. He was barely 19 when Jimmy was born. So he didn't meet the residency requirement, either.
As before, children born abroad to two US citizens, with one parent having resided in the US, the child was a US citizen at birth. No further action was required to maintain citizenship.
When one parent was a citizen and the other a foreign national, however, the rules changed substantially. To pass citizenship, the citizen parent must have resided in the US for at least 10 years before the birth of the child, and at least five of those years had to be after the parent turned 16. Because this rule made it impossible for parents under 21 to pass citizenship, in 1946 the requirement was amended to create an exception for parents who had served in World War Two. [Emphasis added]
Wow. Based on the law in effect at the time, it turns out that Jimmy is not really a citizen of the US after all. So it would seem that he will have be deported as an illegal alien along with Barack Obama, and probably lose both his VA disability and his Social Security. This deportation will, of course, come as a wrenching shock and appalling surprise to him and his family, especially his grandchildren. Everyone except for his ex-wife, who will no doubt be glad to see him go...
The only fortunate thing is that he will get to be repatriated to Germany, which has a solid social safety net and which will take care of him. He also still has some cousins there on his mother's side who know him and like him, and who already call him "Jakob"; they will be glad to help him out.
Unlike my old Army buddy Eladio, who served with me in Vietnam and if the same rule applies to him (my memory of his situation is a little hazy after all these years, but I think it is in large measure basically the same as Jimmy's), he will have to return to El Salvador, where things are short in social safety nets but long in military junta dictatorships who work with United Fruit (a partially-owned subsidiary of the CIA) using their US-made military weapons to torture and repress the common people, especially Johnny-come-lately types who have been expelled from the great El Norte.
It will also come as a surprise, I would imagine, to the officials in the Reagan State Department who first issued Jimmy a US passport, apparently assuming he was the citizen that he claimed to be, and that common sense dictated that he was. Too bad for them as well -- I'm sure heads, if there are any still around 30 years later, will roll over that decision.
Now you have it. It's not all so cut and dried after all, is it? You goddam Birthers, you really want to strip my disabled Vietnam veteran cousin Jimmy of his citizenship -- which he apparently never really had -- and deport him? Strip away his Social Security and his VA disability pension? And Eladio's too, as long as you're at it, even though he's been a productive member of society and has run a successful small business in Texas for the last forty years, employing nearly 20 (legal, he assures me) workers?
Never mind, I already know the answer to that. I heard it during the Rethug presidential debate when the audience screamed, "Let him die!"
Even Baby Doc Bush claimed to be a "compassionate conservative". I don't even hear that weak pabulum puking out of the craven vulture craws of any of the new "leaders" on the right.
One final note: Fuck you, Birthers! You are an embarrassment to political discourse and to rational thinking. And to the whole Human Race as well.
Friday, September 07, 2012
If you don't like SOCIALISM:
If you are one of those "self-made" men (or women) who was born in a log cabin that you built yourself and consequently don't like "socialism", then maybe you ought to heed the following advice.
Failure to do so may result in you being labeled a hypocrite.
1. Stay off the Interstate Highway system -- for that matter, stay off all of the public streets. That includes most sidewalks as well. Good luck on getting around, but look at the money you'll save in not paying taxes at the pump for gasoline subsidized by the government, for the car that you no longer have, having given it up when you learned that it was built by General Motors with its socialist government subsidies.
2. While you're at it, stay out of the parks and public libraries. Assuming you could find a "non-socialist" way of getting there.
3. Don't drink milk or consume dairy products -- dairy producers get government subsidies. As do meat producers, wheat farmers, potato growers... In fact you'd better not eat anything, just to be on the safe side. Besides, by eating food passed as "safe for human consumption" by the socialist food inspection system, you're just perpetuating the tyranny.
4. Don't use the postal system. How do you think the Post Office can deliver a letter anywhere in the country for 44 cents? Socialism.
5. Don't call the fire department if your house catches fire and don't call the police if your house is broken into. Those are socialist government entities who exist because of pooled tax money to ameliorate pooled risk. Socialism!
6. Don't draw Social Security and don't use Medicare. This is obvious.
7. If you become unemployed through no fault of your own (e.g., when you are "downsized" by Bain Capital), don't file for unemployment insurance. This should also be obvious.
8. Stay out of the public schools, colleges and universities. Socialism in action, plus breeding grounds for young socialists. But you already know this.
9. In many parts of the country, you also can't use electricity. It's up to you to check and make sure that your electricity does not come from the public power system, such as Public Utility Districts, the TVA, etc. If it does, flip that switch. Ditto for your daily production of bodily effluents (AKA, "piss" and "shit", for those of you who are home-schooled). Don't just flush them into the socialist underworld of community sewers beneath your feet. Use your back yard. Your neighbors won't mind as long as you make it clear that you are refusing to use the socialist government monopoly that is waste treatment. Besides, after a few days of refusing to eat that socialist food which you now eschew and refusing to drink socialist water from the kitchen tap, this problem ought to solve itself.
10. Make sure that your church is not receiving any federal money under the so-called "Faith Based Initiative" program. Those are tax dollars and you know that all taxes are socialist and do you really want you or your church to be tainted by them? I didn't think so.
11. And finally, if you are serious about avoiding "socialism", you really need to do something to stop the largest socialist entity in the entire world from existing -- and that's the US Defense system. It's socialist from top to bottom and at its core -- a blatant redistribution of wealth with an authoritarian top-down command structure. Soviet Russia sound familiar, anyone?
And BTW, good luck on that whole "self reliance and self-defense" thing with those guns of yours. You're going to need a lot of luck existing without the protection of the police or the armed services.
What's that you say? You can't really be expected to actually adhere to all of these?
Yeah, that's what I thought.
Posted by Farnsworth68 at 2:02 PM
Okay, the Democrats convention is over, and while I'm not in the business of picking winners and losers, I gotta say that the president's speech was kind of a letdown.
Of course no one could top Bill Clinton in the "speechifyin'" department, so maybe Obama is suffering from a "pales by comparison" effect. I'm willing to cut him some slack, but I'm a little concerned that his overall lackluster performance will suppress some of the bounce I was expecting him to get from the convention.
Or am I just another whiny-ass liberal who's never satisfied?
I do want to say one thing about the convention, though: If the John Kerry that showed up last night had managed to make an appearance eight years ago, then The Shrub would have been a one-term president and only a footnote to history.
Wow, what a speech! None of that subtly nuanced word salad that Kerry was famous for in the 2008 campaign, when he sounded like he had a mouth full of mush half the time (and a mouthful of shit the other half). This time he came out hitting, and even managed to poke a little fun at himself in the process.
Thursday, September 06, 2012
Once again Bill Clinton shows us why he is the best politician of our generation. Last night's speech was far and away the best speech of his life -- and he's had some great ones. Love him or hate him, you can't deny the powerfully persuasive way he can speak for three quarters of an hour about the nuts and bolts of policy, and do it in a way that even a Republican could understand it.
If you didn't catch it, here it is in full:
Go, Big Dog!!!
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Jeez, I'm not back two days and already I'm laying low. But I've been watching the Dems' quadrennial love fest. The first night was spectacular, with rousing speeches from Deval Patrick, Julian Castro (who bears watching as the potential first Hispanic president of the US) and Michelle Obama.
Of course at my age, I get tired out pretty quickly... All that fire burns me me out.
I can't wait for my WJC* to send me her own diatribe. Not that she actually will watch it, but she can always rely on Faux News to give her just what she thinks she needs to know (and no more).
Posted by Farnsworth68 at 10:37 AM
Monday, September 03, 2012
Even though I've taken some time off, my wackjob cousin hasn't. Here's one of her latest:
Disgusting absolutely disgusting. A few minutes ago Mr. Obama left the White House to board Air Force 1 helicopter. Upon approaching the helicopter the Marine in his dress blues snapped to attention and saluted Mr. Obama. Mr. Obama showed total disregard or respect for the marine refusing to return salute. Mr. OBAMA THE MAN JOINED THE MILITARY AND WOULD PUT HIS LIFE ON THE LINE FOR YOU ANY DAY OR ANYTIME . Out of respect you deserve to return that salute. ACTIONS speak louder than words. We know how you feel about our constitution and our country.Really? Well, you know -- and she should have known -- that I just couldn't let this slide by without a response:
What a lie you tell. And where is he headed, to FT Bliss to parse the military, what an idiot.
Jesus, that's what you are going with now? Now I must conclude that your visceral hatred of Barack Obama knows no bounds.Okay, so after a couple more emails back and forth, one of which addressed the Romney-ignoring-the-troops thing by her saying dismissively that Romney is a busy man and the troops didn't mind:
Oddly enough, the same people who are now slavering over this alleged "disrespect" are the very same ones (WND, Faux "News", Free Republic, etc., i.e., all of the "regular" sources which you seem to cite routinely) who said that Bill Clinton had NO RIGHT to return that same salute because he was a "draft dodger" who had never been in the military.
If you want to consider a REAL affront to the military, take a listen to Romney's speech last night (here's the full transcript, from Fox News so you know it hasn't been edited: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/08/30/transcript-mitt-romney-speech-at-rnc/, in which you will find exactly ZERO references to the troops in Afghanistan, even though he had a virtually unlimited amount of time to speak.
Mr. Romney, those men joined the military and if you were president, they would put their lives on the line for you any day or any time. Don't they deserve at least a passing mention, if not a loud and enthusiastic "shout out" of appreciation for their service?
How about that?
Funny thing on that whole salute business, but I can find no record of any president doing it before Ronald Reagan, not even Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had more right than any other president with the possible exceptions of Washington and Grant. I remember the discussion in my VA "rap session" rehab group around the time that Reagan whipped out that first salute in 1981. No one had ever seen it happen before (and our ages ranged from vets from WWI on up through WWII, Korea and Vietnam), and we were somewhat divided over whether it was proper or just more of that famous Reagan showmanship.
But at the end of the day, the consensus was reached, as I recall, that no civilian, not even the commander-in-chief should salute a military person. Here's our reason why: One of the great concepts enshrined in our Constitution is that the military is always under civilian authority, command and control, and for a civilian, even the CIC or the SECDEF (Secretary of Defense), to salute a military man tends to blur that sharp distinction. For more on this topic, you might want to take a look at an interesting and lively forum discussion on this topic among some current and former service members on Military.com from several years ago, before this became a big current affairs issue: http://forums.military.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/409192893/m/9150000112001.
BTW, you can't tell me with a straight face that, if the tables were turned and it was Obama who "forgot" to mention the troops in Afghanistan in a similar speech that you would be all right with that. I don't for a second believe that. And, on what the troops themselves thought of Romney's omission, we seem to be in disagreement -- you think they didn't mind, and I think that they did. Since neither of us is a mindreader, we'll have to let this one drop, except for me to add that when I was in the Army and in Vietnam, it was nice to have our commander-in-chief acknowledge our service and our sacrifices. It contributed greatly to morale and esprit de corps, and both Johnson and Nixon, consummate politicians that they were, knew that.Hell, yeah, I'll play the Vietnam Card! In a New York minute!
Well, as She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed never tires of reminding me, you can't argue with stupid and you shouldn't argue with crazy... Yeah, true enough, but Jeez, sometimes it's just so goddam much fun!
In honor of all my union brothers and sisters in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the labor organization to which I belonged for most of my working life.
Do you like Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, the 40-hour week, minimum wage, health insurance and the end of child labor? Unions built that.
Posted by Farnsworth68 at 10:46 AM
It's been an ... interesting ... five months (Jeez, has it really been that long? Time flies when you're having fun -- and even when you're not...).
As you know, a close relative has had some medical/psychological "issues", but he's on what appears to be the right combination of meds and things seem to be under control now.
At least he knows how crazy he is and can laugh about it. It would be a whole lot different if he thought the voices were real and the Stellar's Jays were actually taking secret photographs of him...
Anyway, now that the fall election season is in full swing, I will able to get back to my usual sarcastic snarkiness.
Posted by Farnsworth68 at 10:04 AM