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...

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Last George Bush Joke?

I sincerely hope not, but this one is definitely a keeper:

After numerous rounds of official Washington denials consisting mainly of "We don't even know if Osama bin Laden is still alive", Osama himself decided to send George Bush a letter in his own handwriting to let him know he was still in the game.
Bush opened the letter and it contained a single line of coded message:
Bush was, of course, baffled, so he e-mailed it to Condoleezza Rice. Condi and her aides had not a clue either, so they sent it to the FBI. No one could solve it at the FBI so then it went to the CIA, and then to MI6.
Eventually it went to the Mossad (Israeli intelligence) for help.
Within a minute Mossad emailed the White House with this reply:
"Tell the President he's holding the note upside down"...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Whew, Am I Glad That's Over!

I just got back from my"full meal deal" colonoscopy. I'd been putting it off for years, and the acrimony starting getting bitter from the Better Half, the retired nurse who goes by She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed. So after my good friend BAC over at Yikes! not only put herself through it, but also described it in excrutiatingly precise detail on her blog, I finally decided to bite the bullet and do it myself.

And like most things of this nature, the anticipation was SO much worse than the event itself (aside from having to choke down that nasty liquid plumber stuff the day before and spending about six hours on the toilet, of course)

The procedure itself was totally painless except for the insertion of the IV, and once the good drugs started coursing through me I was ready. They wheeled me in, rolled me on my side and before I even got a chance to say, "Is it in yet?" it was over.

So bottom line (ha ha), the doc found and excised four polyps that appear to be benign (won't know for sure until the results are back from the lab, but he didn't act very exercised about them -- very unlike the dermatologist who first saw my melanoma; I thought he was going to shit a brick...) and I was home and taking a nap in less than an hour.

So everyone, have a great Thanksgiving. I'll be back before you know it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pardon Me

I mean why not? Baby Doc is soon going to start slinging the presidential pardons around like Van Helsing with a bucket of holy water at a vampire convention. Eventually everyone in the Baby Doc Bush Maladministration will get one, from Dick(less) Cheney all the way down to the guy who cleaned Shooter's shotgun.

Why shouldn't I get one of those blanket pardons along with everyone else? It's not like I don't deserve it as much as those people.

What's that you say? I didn't commit enough serious felonies? I didn't torture anyone? I didn't subvert the US Constitution under the guise of "just following orders"? I didn't cough up a sufficient amount of cash to keep the BFEE afloat for eight years?

Oh. I guess I won't be getting any of that pardoning action myself, then. Okay, fine.

But you and I can do something to put the brakes on it. There's a petition to your congressional representatives that you can sign and put them on notice:

Dear Representative,
I urge you to co-sponsor Rep. Jerrold Nadler's H. Res. 1531 urging President Bush not to pardon senior members of his administration for crimes authorized by the President - and to investigate those crimes both in the House and the Justice Department, and prosecute if warranted.
(1) it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the granting of preemptive pardons by the President to senior officials of his administration for acts they may have taken in the course of their official duties is a dangerous abuse of the pardon power;
(2) it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the President should not grant preemptive pardons to senior officials in his administration for acts they may have taken in the course of their official duties;
(3) it is the sense of the House of Representatives that James Madison was correct in his observation that "[i]f the President be connected, in any suspicious manner, with any person, and there be grounds [to] believe he will shelter him, the House of Representatives can impeach him; they can remove him if found guilty";
(4) it is the sense of the House of Representatives that a special investigative commission, or a Select Committee be tasked with investigating possible illegal activities by senior officials of the administration of President George W. Bush, including, if necessary, any abuse of the President's pardon power; and
(5) the next Attorney General of the United States appoint an independent counsel to investigate, and, where appropriate, prosecute illegal acts by senior officials of the administration of President George W. Bush.
Go on over to and sign the petition.

Even though I have a sinking feeling that it probably won't do any good, I signed it anyway, just to be on record that I oppose those impending presidential pardons.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I Think the Wrong Turkey Got ...

... well, you'll see what I mean after you take a look at this:

Yah sure, yah betcha!

"This was neat," she says at about two minutes in, apparently oblivious to the slaughter of living animals taking place about 20 feet behind her, and on camera during the entire interview.

What is this, 1955? Who the fuck talks like that any more?

Jesus, am I ever happy that Obama won this election. Every time I see something like this, it reinforces my glee that we have now,thanks to the resounding Rethug defeat in the presidential election and the hobnailed boot given to Ted "Internet Tubes" Stevens in the Alaska senatorial race, absolutely NO FUCKING CHANCE to ever see a President Palin.

While There's Still Time...

...I've got to get in as many snarks and digs at the current resident of the White House as possible. Thank god for Stumble:

Pole Dancing Mormons to the ... Olympics????

From our Just When You Thought You'd Seen it All file comes this news. I thought it was a joke, something out of, I don't know, the Onion, but it appears to be true:

When we last saw the Mormons, they were attempting to murder love. Having succeeded on that, they’ve apparently moved on to more pressing concerns: getting pole dancing into the Olympics.
From CBS 2 in Salt Lake City comes this report of the newest craze to sweep Utah: pole dancing for fitness. If you remember this fad being big a few years ago, you’re right; I like to picture Utah kind of like the Middle East, where it takes about 20 years for pop culture to spread. The new Pat Benatar cassettes are just hitting Tehran now.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the woman who tries to justify her six-inch stripper heels by saying they’re great for the calf muscles. I’m just [sure] her husband, and his other wives, wouldn’t really mind if she wore them home.
Warning: Clicking on that link will take you to a page that shows Mormon housewives in ... spandex. Be sure your heart can take it.

But I do find it kind of odd that those Mormon housewives in spandex don't seem to be wearing their "holy temple garments". I thought that was a non-negotiable requirement, that all Mormons who are "eligible" to wear them had to wear them at all times... Go figure. I guess when it comes to chasing after that Almighty Dollar, even the so-called simon-pure Mormons aren't so finicky.

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: 314
Total Iraqi Dead: 900,000+

Number of days since Baby Doc said he'd get Osama Bin Laden "dead or alive": 2627
Number of days since the illegal occupation of Iraq began: 2074
Number of days since "Mission Accomplished": 2031
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: 1012
Number of days that the Bush Twins are still not pregnant with baste-'em-or-waste-'em Snowflake babies: 855

It is still 59 days until the end of the BFEE Maladministration.

I'm Back. Sort of...

It's now been 48 hours since I had my wisdom teeth extracted, and I've more or less bounced back to reality. I spent something like 36 of those 48 hours in the P-Zone* and that helped a lot. At this point the real deep pain has gone away and now I'm left with some surface-healing pain, kind of like when you're recovering from something like strep throat.

She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed has abandoned the house (and me along with it) for the day, having had enough of nursing a cranky and recalcitrant patient to last her for a dozen years or so. I just took the last of my Vitamin P* and I'm ready to hit the couch for an afternoon of nodding out over reruns of Maverick, so today's posts may be short and may not make a lot of sense as the morning day wears on.

[P = Percocet®]

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Going Dark for a Few Days...

I'm having all four wisdom teeth out tomorrow. One of my friends said it was because I needed to be toned down a little -- I have so much "wisdom" that I'm a smart ass. Ha ha.

Over the years, every time I went to a new dentist, he'd tell me that those wisdom teeth ought to come out. I always asked why, and he told me that I'd be having problems with them eventually. So they were all right, I am having problems with them now. And I had prided myself on having a full set of original choppers, too. When I went to a dental clinic while I was living in So Cal, my dentist went out and rounded up all his dental buddies so they could see 32 teeth in one mouth.

I guess that it's a big deal in some parts of the country... Who knew?

My dentist has assured me that there will be "nothing to it" and he's already given me a prescription for some dyn-o-mite pain relievers, so I ought to be back on my game in no time.

Before I go, though, I just wanna say ... neener neener neener! Ted Stevens lost!!!!

Joementum? WTF?

What the fuck does Harry Reid think he's doing? Not only did Joementum Lieberman turn his back on the Democratic Party in the last election, he actively campaigned against President Obama with Grampaw McSame. For a while there it looked as if the two were joined at the hip.

So what does Harry Reid do? Rewards the turncoat motherfucker with allowing him to keep his chairmanship of, all things, the Senate Homeland Security Committee(!).

Just when I thought that the Dems were finally, at long last, growing some spine, they up and do this.

I guess they're still laboring under the illusion that they actually need Little Joe when it comes to that all-important 60-vote filibuster-proof majority. It's sad, really, since it would be very easy to do an end run around him with most issues.

With most issues that come before the Senate, there are almost always some turncoat Dems who will vote the wrong way, but that is generally balanced out by the remaining few "liberal" Repugs who, despite their party affiliation, will vote the right way on progressive issues (Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins from Maine and Arlen Spector from Pennsylvania, for example).

I'd like to see the Dems kick Little Joe to the curb. Who knows, depending on the outcome of the three Senate races yet to be decided, it could be that the Dems will win all three of them. That won't give us that holy 60, but it could bring us close enough. Then all President Obama has to do is offer a cabinet post to Spector and one of the two senators from Maine and, voilá, a veto-proof senate -- without Joementum -- after the Democratic governors appoint their replacements.

Then, Harry, can we kick his turncoat-traitor-Benedict-Arnold-Judas ass?

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's Not Just Oxy-Boy and Slanthead

As I posted last week about Mikey the Weiner, it's not just the major stars in the wingnut firmament (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, et al.) that we have to be concerned about. Rightwing radio has an amazing -- and alarming -- control over a huge percentage of available AM radio band, and consequently the radio listening audience.

As a result there are any number of dangerous advocates of vicious rightwing violence floating in that vast liquid sewer of vitriol. Most of them have at best a local audience, but don't forget that a forest fire is made up entirely of individuals trees burning together.

Here's a short slideshow video that Media Matters put together:

Go ahead and read the accompanying story. Some of these pedestrian purveyors of poison I've heard of, others not. Nevertheless, these are among the most dangerously scurrilous attacks on a president that I've ever heard, and they are likely coming from the same people who were whining over the last eight years about the left "attacking" their president.

I gotta tell ya, I've not been one to pull my punches when it came to the George W. Bush naladminstration ("Der Monkey Fuehrer", "Baby Doc", "The BFEE", "the little fucker", etc.), but nothing I've written or said has come even close to the pure distilled hatred that keeps oozing from the slavering lips of this crowd.

No wonder that the trial balloon of the moribund Fairness Doctrine has been floated around several times lately.

Billy Kristol's Big Boner

Note that last word in the headline. Boner. It has two meanings in English, and I think you know which of them I'm talking about.

So, just in case you thought I was kidding in my overtext above the Sarah Palin "Toes" picture, today's Buzzflash columnist PM Carpenter nails Little Billy to the fucking wall:

It's official. Bill Kristol has gone mad. Humbuggingly mad. Wretchedly, distressingly mad.
Ever since Election Day, you see, Mr. Kristol has played his own Elmer Gantry to the GOP's Sister Sharon Falconer. As political flimflammery goes, no problem there.
Yet the boy seems genuinely, even savagely smitten. What's worse, the nation's unrequited love for his comely evangelist has thrown him into an absolutely irrational tizzy. It's a trifle pathetic, but titanically obvious.
Jeez, I hope it wasn't that photo on my blog that pushed the poor boy over the edge. Nawww, he was far gone long before that. He's been mooning around like a lovesick puppy for months now. It's a lot like junior high, when you think about it: The nerd with the adhesive tape holding his glasses together creeping around the fringes of cheerleading practice, hopelessly smitten by that forever unreachable head cheerleader.

Kind of all fits together, in a sad and pathetic sort of way, doesn't it?

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Birth Certificate Flap That Wasn't

It's pathetic, really. This is all they've got?

I'm talking about the big "birth certificate" flap that is being ginned up by wingnut media over whether President Obama's birth certificate is bogus, some kind of a Photoshopped facsimile that obscures the "fact" that he was born in Kenya or where-the-fuck-ever.

Now he's being sued by some knuckledragging kool-aid drinker in the wingnuttery to force him to "prove" that he's a "natural born" American citizen and therefore eligible to be president.

Bullshit. The certificate is there, online, for anyone to see, PLUS the state of Hawaii has certified that it is, in fact, an actual copy of the certificate they have in their own files AND the extremely reliable has verfied that the birth certificate is real, valid and true.

But none of that matters when it comes to the usual game of dirty-pool politics.

Most of this is being promoted by the talking heads mouths assholes of the radical right with their various talk radio shows, but the prime sponsor seems to be one Michael Weiner (aka "Michael Savage" -- I can see why he changed his name...), who has a little-listened-to show (he claims eight million listeners, which I sincerely doubt) syndicated through something called the Talk Radio Network. Other noted stars in the wingnut firmament syndicated by this same network include such wise and notable commentators on the American scene as Laura Ingaham, Rusty Humphries and Tammy Bruce.

In other words, not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

Mikey the Weiner is all over this "issue", almost to the detriment of any and every other issue that he could be talking about. But where was Little Mikey eight years ago when people were asking for a similar documentary proof, specifically where was George W. Bush when he was supposed to be showing up for duty with the Texas Air National Guard?

Short answer: Nowhere to be found. What a fucking hypocrite Little Mikey is. But what can we expect from someone who was fired from a major cable network for attacking a caller who claimed to be not only gay but also infected with AIDS: "Oh, so you're one of those sodomites. You should only get AIDS and die, you pig; how's that? Why don't you see if you can sue me, you pig? You got nothing better to do than to put me down, you piece of garbage? You got nothing to do today? Go eat a sausage, and choke on it. Get trichinosis. Now do we have another nice caller here who's busy because he didn't have a nice night in the bathhouse who's angry at me today? Put another, put another sodomite more calls?...I don't care about these bums; they mean nothing to me. They're all sausages."

The facts mean less than nothing to these people. All they can do, all they feel like doing, their only sexual outlet, lies in attacking the "left", wherever and whenever they can identify them.

So fuck you, Mikey the Weiner. May you rot in whatever hell you happen to believe in.

And all of you people who are part of the Reality-Based Community, here's the 411 on Obama's birth certificate, and likewise, the straight dope on the peripheral "issues" as to whether his mother was somehow too young to be "eligible" to give birth to a child who would be a "natural born" American citizen.

It's all a bunch of fucking bullshit, of course, but the truth really doesn't seem to matter to these fuckers. Give me a break. Even I, the original Pissed Off Veteran, was willing to give Baby Doc the benefit of the doubt between the time of the SCOTUS coup until he proved once and for all that he was the profoundly moronic and irretreviably evil asshole that history will undoubtedly judge him to be. Which sadly did not take long.

On a side note, I wish that the Seattle Air America station, KPTK (1090 on the AM dial), would boost their signal at night. It seems that all I can pick up in those wee hours of the morning, when I am teetering between staying up all night in fear of the American fascists and sleeping snugly in the knowledge that the progressive left has finally won and all is well, are those goddam wingnut stations.

Maybe I should take more drugs. A nice cocktail of Xanax and Ambien might do it...

A New Look at the Electoral Map

We're pretty used to seeing this kind of a map when it comes to displaying the results of the presidential election:

But we all know that, given the inherent biases of the standard map projection combined with our antiquated and non-democratic electoral college system, it's not a true representation of reality.

But all that has been solved by a guy named M.E.J. Newman over at the University of Michigan. Take a look at a cartogram that is much more representative of what really happened in this year's election, this one based on the relative strengths of the electoral vote:

Big difference, huh? He has a number of other ways of graphically representing the electoral map, so check it out.

It will help you think outside the box when it comes to this kind of stuff, and kudos to Mr. Newman for providing it to us.

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

Total coalition forces dead: 314
Total Iraqi Dead: 900,000+

Number of days since Baby Doc said he'd get Osama Bin Laden "dead or alive": 2620
Number of days since the illegal occupation of Iraq began: 2067
Number of days since "Mission Accomplished": 2024
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: 1005
Number of days that the Bush Twins are still not pregnant with baste-'em-or-waste-'em Snowflake babies: 848

It is still 67 days until the end of the BFEE Maladministration.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Church of Latter Day H8te

Unsurprisingly, the Moron Mormon Church, aka "The Church of Latter Day Saints"(!), was in the Big Money behind the defeat of Prop 8 in California. As a result, today there was a demonstration totalling some 10,000 activists in front of the Mormon Church temple in ... New York City!!!???

Okay, I'm the first to admit total astonishment that the Morons Mormons even have one of their "temples" in the heart of Manhattan, but there it is.

Am I the only one who finds it just a little bit ironic that this cult church is coming out against so-called "gay" marriage, a cult church which, only a little over 100 years ago, had a "revelation" from god that their holy so-called "plural marriage" (i.e., polygamy), after being blessed by god and required for those who want to advance to the "Celestial Kingdom" was, all of a sudden, a big no-no?

A little historical fact on the church's prohibition of plural marriage: This "revelation" came about because the Territory of Utah wanted to become a full-fledged State, and the only way it could do it was to swear off that whole polygamy thing, which was anathema to the rest of the right-thinking Christian world.

That revelation pertained only to the secular law, and for many years afterward a large number of church leaders went underground and practiced their plural marriage anyway. This is historical fact, no matter how much the church today wants to put lipstick on that pig.

In fact, Mormon doctrine still, to this day, holds that so-called "celestial marriage" was instituted by god, and the only thing holding them back is that pesky revelation that curtailed it. In fact, Moron men even today can get themselves "sealed" in a temple ceremony to any number of willing women, which will guarantee to all of them, after shuffling off this mortal coil, a place at the table in the Celestial Kingdom.

And this is why so many of the the offshoots of Mormonism, such as the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints, home of wacked-out child-molester Warren Jeffs, not only practice but celebrate polygamy. According to Jeffs and the others of his ilk, the "official" church has been in apostasy after that famous revelation. And they do apparently have a case for believing that.

Anyway, back to reality. This church poured millions of dollars -- mostly through coercing its members in California and elsewhere to dig deep -- into defeating Proposition 8 in California.

Why? Because ironically they are pushing, of all things, a legal definition -- a legal dictum -- that "marriage" is limited to one man and one woman.

Okay, it's obvious that they don't really believe this, not deep down, so what's up with this unprecedented -- and probably unconstitutional -- battle?

My take on it is that they want their boy, The Mittster, Mitt Romney, to be the Rethug standard bearer in 2012, and this is groundwork to show that, hey, despite all you say, we in the Moron Church have been fundamentalist Christians all along.

Never mind all that crap you read about us not believing in the Trinity, about us doing baptisms for the dead (including those who don't want it, such as all of the Jewish victims of The Holocaust), and especially about us not displaying the Christian cross on our churches. We're just like you.

Oh, and there's also another point of Moron "prophecy" at play here: One of their "prophet, seer and revelators" claimed that the church will, in the Last Days (which we have been in, according to them, since 1836 or so), somehow "save" the US Constitution, which will be "hanging by a thread".

I agree that this thread is already there and it's unraveling. But the Morons are NOT going to be the ones to save it. Instead they're there among the rabble and mob, slashing away at it with machetes and blasting it with flame throwers.

It Ain't Over Till It's Over

That's an immortal phrase by the late great Yogi "I never said half the stuff I said" Berra, and it's never been more true than in the state of Alaska this election.

Convicted felon and doddering hump of nasty senility Ted "The Internet is a series of tubes" Stevens has, as of this morning, fallen behind Mark Begich in the vote count.

With something like 20,000 votes left to count, Begich has leaped from a 3,000+ deficit to an 814-vote lead. If this trend continues, it's not only bye-bye to Nasty Ted, but also to the frightening possibility of Senator Sarah Palin.

As tempting as it is to do a "neener-neener" now, I'm going to hold it in until it's official.

Obama on Religion, Church and State

I just stumbled on the complete text of President Barack Obama's 2004 Chicago Sun Times interview with Cathleen Falsani, and it is a fascinating read.

Here are some excerpts:

I retain from my childhood and my experiences growing up a suspicion of dogma. And I'm not somebody who is always comfortable with language that implies I've got a monopoly on the truth, or that my faith is automatically transferable to others.
I'm a big believer in tolerance. I think that religion at it's best comes with a big dose of doubt. I'm suspicious of too much certainty in the pursuit of understanding just because I think people are limited in their understanding.
Alongside my own deep personal faith, I am a follower, as well, of our civic religion. I am a big believer in the separation of church and state. I am a big believer in our constitutional structure. I mean, I'm a law professor at the University of Chicago teaching constitutional law. I am a great admirer of our founding charter, and its resolve to prevent theocracies from forming, and its resolve to prevent disruptive strains of fundamentalism from taking root ion this country.
As I said before, in my own public policy, I'm very suspicious of religious certainty expressing itself in politics.
There's a lot more interesting stuff in this interview, and it ought to be required reading for those knuckledragging Radical Christianist morons on the right who are still, to this day, spouting off on wingnut radio that Obama is a Muslim, he's the Antichrist, etc etc etc.

Not that they would actually understand it, even if by some quirk of nature they were actually able to read it...

Guns Flying Off the Shelves

I always read the web version of my hometown newspaper, to see what's going on in the county where I spent my teenage years and graduated high school, and this morning I found an interesting story.

Guns of all stripe are flying off the shelves of gun dealers, pawn shops and sporting goods stores, in the erroneous -- the insane -- belief that President Obama will somehow try to confiscate them from the hands of Americans and prevent them from buying more.

This is as stupid as it sounds, but that won't stop the knuckledragging redneck morons, there and across the country, from believing everything they've been told by the kool-aid-dispensing NRA, who trots out this shit every election, as regular as clockwork.

Obama is on record as saying "As a general principle, I believe that the Constitution confers an individual right to bear arms", but he also realizes that there are reasonable restrictions that government can place on that right.

The NRA holds the extreme position that any restriction on gun ownership is unconstitutional. Carried to its logical end, I guess that Wayne LaPierre and those of his ilk would have no problem with me and you owning suitcase nukes and rocket launchers. I don't think that even the NRA is advocating that we all have a right to possess those, so apparently they are in agreement after all that some kind of restrictions are necessary.

(And speaking of the NRA, don't let's forget that they were pretty slow on the uptake when, after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the government was confiscating legally-owned and legally-possessed guns from the hands of black people. It wasn't until they were shamed into action that they made a late and pretty unconvincing argument against it.)

Reasonable and responsible gun ownership is a right guaranteed by the US Constitution, but over the years the NRA has been very successful at displaying their version of the boogieman, a "fascist" Democratic president slavering over the possibility that he can confiscate every single gun in this country.

Speaking as a meat-eating gun-toting ultra-liberal redneck myself, this is of course a total bunch of crap. I was at a recreational barbecue a few summers back, wearing my Veterans for Kerry hat, and one of my fellow guests started mouthing off on Kerry and the Democrats wanting to take all of our guns away (you know, the same old story, the same old song and dance).

I said, "Hold it, Luther. Can you imagine any possible scenario in which the Democrats could successfully confiscate every handgun in this country? Your handgun? Any way at all?"

"Well," he conceded, "no, I can't."

"Neither can I," I said. "So let's have some more of those ribs."

I don't think I made a Kerry voter out of the guy, but I do think I pulled some of that NRA wool off his eyes.

Is the Bush Boy Hitting the Bottle Again?

It sure as hell looks like it. Watch this video and you be the judge:

Okay, fooled you. It's a good job, though, and what with everything the poor fellow has been through the last eight years, it wouldn't surprise me at all.

[HT to my good friend BAC over at Yikes! for turning me on to this video.]

And You Thought Michael Was the Funny Palin

Here's what Monty Python's Flying Circus alum John Cleese has to say about Sarah, the other Palin:

[HT to The Truffle for this video]

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I Just Couldn't Stay Away

Okay, my "vacation" from blogging is over. I just couldn't stay away -- there's too much going on.

Thanks to all of you who expressed such good wishes and thoughts when I went on this abbreviated hiatus. The good news is that I'm back!

Longtime readers of this blog know that I am an activist with Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Last weekend I went to our yearly conference in Washington DC, and there's nothing like being around and among a bunch of like-minded activists to clear your mind, reset your inner clock, reboot your internal computer and reinvigorate you for the coming battles.

An added plus was a special "bloggers meetup" on Saturday night of Bloggers Against Theocracy, where I got to have my picture taken with Rev. Barry Lynn, the Executive Director of American United (and who could have had a stellar career as a standup comedian, if he wanted to):

At the meetup, I also got to reconnect with several of my blogger-buddies, such as BAC of Yikes!, Alicia Morgan of Last Left Turn Before Hooterville -- who also just published her terrific new book, The Price of Right: How the Conservative Agenda Has Failed America (and Always Will) -- and DCup from Politits:

There were a lot of other fellow bloggers there, including a number of big names in the blogosphere, which made me feel sort of like an "air-guitar" player suddenly thrust on stage with Led Zeppelin. I'm still in a kind of "blogger groupie heaven" mindset, but here's the complete list:
A deep thank you to each and every one of my fellow bloggers, for everything you do in the fight against theocracy.

Okay, back on topic: If any of you readers of this blog have not yet joined AU, I strongly encourage you to check us out and get involved. Regardless of what you might have heard in the CPM*, the evil legions of the Religious Right are NOT dead. They are not even on life support, despite the drubbing handed out to them in this election. They are still an ominous and looming -- and well-heeled -- threat to American freedom, and AU stands at the bulwark of the defense of those freedoms.

We need your help. It's as simple as that.

You can join us for as little as $25 a year, and there's probably an active chapter in your local area. If there isn't, you can always start one.

Our freedoms are too precious for us to allow them to be swept away by the Radical Christianists, the American Taliban. And they are now too fragile to stand without our help.

[* Capitalist Pig Media]

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Watershed Moment in American History

I spent the evening at The Vault, a local nightclub that had been taken over by the county Democratic organization for our election night party, and it was a crazy time. When Obama won Ohio, the math was unavoidable, that it was only a matter of waiting until the polls closed on the west coast and he officially got the electoral votes of California, Oregon and my native Washington to push him over the magic number of 270.

At ten seconds to eight o'clock we started chanting the "10-9-8..." countdown, and MSNBC on the big screen called the election for Obama at exactly two seconds after 8:00. The place went nuts. It was like New Years Eve on Times Square combined with winning the Super Bowl. My ears are still ringing from the jet-plane-decibel level.

We did it, you and I and everyone else who worked such long and hard hours getting out the vote, in every city, town, village and precinct in the country. A deep heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you.

Senator McCain's concession speech was, ironically, the finest speech of his entire campaign. Who knows, had we seen that McCain during the campaign he might have done a lot better. That was the 2000-model McCain at his finest, the McCain that I thought was gone, the McCain that I missed.

As of this morning, the count is 349 Obama and 162 for McCain. I'd call that a landslide. I'd call that a mandate.

But mostly I call it a clear and unequivical repudiation of Anti-American Republican partisanship, greed and corruption. After eight long years of the most evil maladminstration in the history of this country, Americans finally felt that they'd had enough, finally woke up and ignored the fear-mongering attacks from the Right, finally decided to vote their own issues instead of those ginned up by those slimy muckracking talk radio assholes.

This is only the beginning. There's still a lot of work to do to roll back the horrible results of eight years of the BFEE. We all need to give President Obama the blood, toil, tears and sweat and we need to support him 100% in getting our progressive agenda instituted. It won't be easy, since wingnut radio will try to cut him -- and us -- off at the knees at every turn. Fuck 'em. In the words of Der Monkey Fuehrer back in 2000, we've got political capital and we intend to spend it.

And as for me? I'm taking a well-deserved break. As constant reader mrln commented, I've been working way too hard...

See you in a month or so.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It's Election Day, So...

Get out and VOTE!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sarah Palin Camel Toes

Okay, I'm the first to admit that it likely isn't HER. Nevertheless, here's a jackoff photo for my wingnut readers of Sarah showing "toes":

sarah palin camel toes

[Thanks to Stumble Upon for the image.]

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Three Days to Go -- Don't Relax Just Yet

It's only three days to the most important election of our lives. Barack Obama is ahead in every major poll and it appears that the Rethug party will finally be relegated to the dustbin of history.

Don't believe it for a minute. We can't afford to relax and coast on to Nov 4th. Our enemies aren't going to quit, and neither are we.

Now is the time for all of us to work as hard as we can to get out the vote on Nov 4th and make sure that Obama wins by such an overwhelming majority that the fuckers can't pull any shenanigans and try to claim that his victory was tainted by vote fraud, etc.

Believe me they are trying like hell to pull that off, what with the scurrilous attacks on ACORN, etc.

Don't let them do it! Call your local Democratic Party HQ and volunteer to go doorbelling, to work the phone banks, to do anything and everything you can to make sure that the Rethugs don't steal another election.

Go! Now! On November 5th we'll be toasting each other and basking in the reflected glow of a decisive Obama victory. But it all comes down to you. And me. And everyone else who is sick and tired of Rethug politics destroying our country.

Another Veteran Speaks Out Against McCain

Watch this:

This is how America's smart veterans are seeing the McCain campaign.