Thursday, December 27, 2012

Republican Economic Tantrum

If you read conservative blogs, as I do, you will see the same phrase over and over in comments: "Just Blow It Up." The meaning is quite simple, if they can't own the country they intend to destroy it.

Boehner and the other House Republicans have abandoned any pretense of negotiating or even voting on any legislation whatsoever involving budget, taxes, or debt. Boehner refuses to bring anything to a vote unless it has unanimous Republican support, an impossible goal given the radical wing of the caucus.

It is exactly like the petulant child who grabs the ball and runs home in tears because the other kids won't let him be quarterback. House Republicans have run home and are now hiding in their bedrooms pouting. 

It is their intention, as far as people this infantile can have intentions, is to punish the country for being mean and not electing them to everything. If the economy craters, they believe, it is exactly what we deserve for being such doodyheads.

If President Obama is the nation's father figure then the House of Representatives is the bratty little brother who ruins every Christmas by throwing a temper tantrum.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Romney's Sour Grapes

Driven by hunger, a fox tried to reach some grapes hanging high on the vine but was unable to, although he leaped with all his strength. As he went away, the fox remarked, 'Oh, you aren't even ripe yet! I don't need any sour grapes.' People who speak disparagingly of things that they cannot attain would do well to apply this story to themselves. ~ Aesop, The Fox and the Grapes
Tagg Romney, Mitt's kid, is now saying that Mitt didn't really want to be President.  It is a pathetic, childish, reaction to losing. Frankly, I'd be terrified if I had any money invested with such an immature venture capitalist.

The truth is that nobody spends six years of his life doing nothing but campaigning for an office he doesn't want. Mitt wanted to be President, just not as much as some other members of the Romney Clan.

Ann Romney had convinced herself that her husband was on a mission from God to fulfill Mormon prophecy. Ann struck me as a Lady Macbeth (without the knife) relentlessly pushing her husband to make himself king so she could be a queen.

Tagg Romney saw the riches he could make by marketing his investment firm's connections to the White House. It doesn't take much listening to Tagg to hear the unbridled greed oozing from every slimy syllable.

George Romney's Ghost had been in the background of every one of Mitt's many, mostly failed, campaigns. George's ghost constantly hovered over Mitt's shoulder, an oppressive and depressing burden on Mitt. George's ghost was always there reminding Mitt how bitterly disappointed the father was with his son.

Mitt desperately wanted to be President - albeit to quiet his shrew of a wife, to satisfy his pig of a son, and to stop the spectral whispers in his ear saying, "Can't you do anything right, boy?"

Friday, December 21, 2012

Inside the Mind of Wayne LaPierre

His mind is a scary place to visit but here is what the head of the NRA was thinking during his presser.

"The NRA has refrained from comment..."
(Until we could design a forum with the proper tone of death and foreboding.)
"The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters....They walk among us every day."
(I know this because I see them all the time in our NRA offices and, let me tell you, they are some scary dudes.)
"There exists in this country a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people."
(Remember to visit the NRA store where you can buy everything from 50-caliber bottle openers to NRA baby bibs. And, brand new, we're selling a handgunner's backpack that allows you to easily carry enough weapons and ammo to quickly kill dozens of people. As our website says, we promise it will "heighten your efficiency and increase your enjoyment.")
"Then there's the blood-soaked slasher films like 'American Psycho' and 'Natural Born Killers.'"(Natural Born Killers was produced by Jane Hamsher so it's more evil than all those blood-soaked Clint Eastwood films.)
"I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school."
(There are almost 100,000 schools in the United States so we are talking about creating a new federal force seven times larger than FBI and ATF armed agents, combined. Given my opinion of federal "jack-booted thugs," I plan to oppose this idea if it ever actually is introduced in Congress.)

Wow! The Mayan Apocalypse Happened!

The Mayans got it right. Sure, the whole world didn't end. But the world occupied by a single orange-faced cry baby did end right on schedule.

House Speaker John Boehner concocted an absurdly unworkable tax "Plan B" and when he tried to get the Republican caucus to swallow it they spit it back in his face.

Properly limited, watching an apocalypse unfurl is quite entertaining.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Republican Utopia

When Republicans dream of a perfect nation this is what they see.

A Country Where Guns Are Everywhere and the Government Is Weak
Mogadishu, Somalia
A Country Where God Is Made Central to Everything
The Army of Heaven in Tehran, Iran
A Country Where the 'Homosexual Agenda' Is Defeated
Pink Triangle (homosexual) inmates, Buchenwald Concentration Camp
A Country Where the Wealthy Are Not Oppressed
The Billionaire Store in Moscow, Russia
A Country Where Women's Reproductive Organs Are Controlled by the State
Republic of Gilead, The Handmaid's Tale

Monday, December 17, 2012

According to Conservatives

This is what the modern kindergarten teacher ought to look like.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Modest Proposal Regarding Guns

Conservatives love the Originalist interpretation of the Constitution as expressed by Antonin Scalia which believes the Constitution should be interpreted only as the original authors would have understood it. With that in mind here is how the Second Amendment ought to be enforced.

Absolutely Allowed Weapons
All these conditions must be met.
  • Must have a flintlock firing mechanism.
  • Must be muzzle loading only.
  • Must be single-shot only with no magazine.
  • No rifling on any barrel shorter than three feet long.
  • Reloading time must take at least 30 seconds when done by an expert.
Weapons allowed by the Second Amendment:
Bows, knives, and other non-fire arms.
Kentucky long rifle
This is a blunderbuss.

Weapons Absolutely Forbidden With No Exceptions

A Glock with extension can hold 27 rounds.
  • Magazine exceeding six bullets.
  • Shotguns with a magazine of any size.
  • Nuclear bombs, anti-aircraft missiles, RPG, other military-grade weapons.
  • Any bullet designed to expand on impact (dumdum bullet).
  • Any bullet designed to penetrate body armor (cop killer bullet).
Between these two extremes are weapons allowed as part of a "well regulated militia."  Such weapons may only be owned by active members of state authorized militias. Members must present all weapons monthly for inspection. Weapons may not be sold, gifted, or otherwise transferred to another party. Upon retirement the weapon is returned to the state armory. Possession of a firearm outside of a state authorized "well regulated militia" is a felony. Obviously, law enforcement and the regular military are excepted.

I'm not a fool. This utopia will never happen. There are millions of American gun owners who would happily sacrifice their wives and children, even their own lives, before giving up a single one of their precious guns. The demons have been released from Pandora's gun box and there is no hope remaining to balance the misery.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Lies Gun Nuts Tell

Another school shooting tragedy will start another round of lies from the gun community.

Guns Don't Kill People
Take a highly trained Spetsnaz assassin. Arm him with the best combat knife made. He would not be as quick nor efficient a killer as a dimwitted 20 year-old lunatic with a couple of Glocks. Guns kill 87 Americans each and every day. Guns were invented for the singular purpose of killing. Guns have been killing people with gay abandon for 700 years.

The Victims Should Have Been Armed
Gun nuts love blaming the victims. If only everyone was as paranoid as I am and carried a gun all the time then no one would ever get shot, they think. Most of the victims today were small children and I don't think even the NRA advocates seven year-olds packing heat in the classroom. Although, judging from this story there are some gun nuts who believe no age is to young for children to have access to guns. To be fair, some gun nuts just want kindergarten teachers armed like Rambo. Nor reassuring.

If You Outlaw Guns Only Outlaws Will Have Guns
This is the second oldest canard in the gun nut holster. Probable if best proof this is a lie is Dodge City, Kansas in 1880. This is the Dodge City of Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. Guns were absolutely outlawed within the city limits for everybody but law enforcement. Policemen were authorized to shoot on sight anyone carrying a gun.

Most outlaws get their guns from legal gun owners. More than half of the guns in illegal hands were sold by corrupt gun dealers. "Straw purchases" are where a legal buyer purchase guns specifically to turn around and sell them on the black market. Then there are the gun shows where unlicensed dealers advertise they sell guns with "no background checks required."

The Second Amendment
This is the biggest lie in the gun nut arsenal. The Second Amendment provides states the absolute right to form militia for self-defense without interference from the federal government. The clear structure of the sentence is that the right "to keep and bear arms" is a subordinate clause to the statement that "a well regulated militia" is necessary to the security of a free state. The right to arms is totally restricted by state militia regulations. Period. English Grammar 101.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dec. 13 in History

I am so bored with "fiscal cliff" news, in fact all the news being reported right now. So let's look back at important things that happened on this date in history.

Drake Leaves England
In 1577 left Plymouth, England with orders from Queen Elizabeth to circumnavigate the globe and pirate such Spanish shipping as he encountered. This was Drake's second departure on this mission, he had been forced to return when his sails become befouled in a violent storm and Drake had to dismast his own ship.

Of the six ships that started the trip only one crossed into the Pacific Ocean. But that was the hard part. The remaining ship, the Golden Hind, casually plundered Spanish settlements along the Pacific coast for six months. Drake returned to England three years after departing with over 20 tons of booty for the Queen.

Battle of Fredericksburg
Not a lot of battles are fought in December for obvious reasons, the weather. In 1862, Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia held the high ground overlooking the Rappahannock River. Unfortunately for the Union side, Ambrose Burnside had just been given command of the Army of the Potomac and wanted to prove himself. He stupidly ordered an uphill attack against entrenched positions. It wasn't the worst spanking Lee gave the Union army in Virginia but it was a bloody mess. The defeat earned Burnside the nickname the "Butcher of Fredericksburg" and left the Union army demoralized and nearly mutinous. Burnside resigned his command before the end of January.

Famous Births
Abe Lincoln's wife Mary Todd (1818)
Actor Dick Van Dyke (1925)
Pizza honcho Herman Cain (1945)

Famous Deaths
Nobody famous ever died on this date.

The biggest celebration held on December 13 is Acadian Remembrance Day which commemorates when the British kicked French settlers out of Nova Scotia.

Let's face it. December 13 is, and always has been a really boring day.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The War on Labor

Before the Republican Party absorbed, and then was consumed by the Dixiecrats, Republicans hated workers.

Before Republicans became the Party of God (the White Protestants God only), they despised those children of creations who toiled in the fields and factories.

Before Republicans conflated intelligence and reason with treachery and treason, they believed that laborers were seditious plotters.

Before Republicans ever thought to attack them as communists, they denounced workers who tried to organize into labor unions as unwashed bomb throwing foreigners and anarchists.

The very same people who content that "corporations are people" believe that real people should not have a right to organize unions to counterbalance the power of corporations. Michigan is the latest battleground in the war on workers where an aggressively anti-union Republican legislative majority and governor are working to reduce the rights of laborers in the state to the menial status they hold in Alabama and Mississippi.

Republicans hope Democrats and unions don't fight back because for labor such a fight will be long, hard, and success uncertain. They hope workers will meekly accept being reduced to a lower social class. Republicans also hope if they can suppress labor rights in Michigan, one of the homes of organized labor, they will be able to beat workers into submission across the country.

Such battles are not new in Michigan. In 1932 unemployed workers peaceably marched on the Ford plant in Dearborn. Police and private security fired on the marchers killing four and wounding dozens others. The wounded were handcuffed to their hospital beds.
Workers flee police violence, Dearborn, MI, March 7, 1932

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Thought on the Mayan Apocalypse

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
~ Robert Frost
Katla volcano, Iceland

Friday, December 07, 2012

The Thing Is, I'm Not That Old

I watched "Death Valley Days" when it was hosted by the Old Ranger and not Ronald Reagan, watched "Leave It To Beaver" when Larry Mathews was tiny, and remember when Mary Tyler Moore was the sexist MILF on television.
Even the back of her head was titillating.
I've programmed computers using punch cards, plug boards, and removable storage that was 14 inches in diameter.
It would take more than 5,000 of these babies to fill one 160GB iPod and they would weigh 25 tons.

When I first protested the Vietnam War it was already seven years since the 1963 Lyndon Johnson escalation and 17 years since French colonists were driven out of Vietnam.
The war would continue for another five years.
I've used a rotary dial telephone, a manual typewriter, and those little plastic inserts that allowed you to play a 45-rpm record on a record player.
I've been on car trip vacations before the interstate highway system was constructed when there were water stops on the road over the Tehachapi Mountains because many car radiators couldn't make the crossing without overheating.
Smart drivers carried an extra water pouch too.
I've watched the Yosemite Firefall more than once.
And to me the most amazing advance is still computer spell checkers.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Political Game Theory Revisited

The "fiscal cliff" negotiations are really just a big ole game of chicken.
There are four possible outcomes:
  1. I lose my nerve and turn away and you don't. You win; I lose.
  2. You lose your nerve and turn away and I don't. I win; you lose.
  3. We both turn away. Compromise. No one wins and no one really loses.
  4. No one turns away. CRASH! Everybody loses!!!
"The only winning move is not to play."

When rational people play chicken the only rational result is compromise. But rational people seldom play chicken. Chicken is a game for suicidal maniacs.

Lunatics have a big advantage playing chicken. If you know your opponent doesn't want to die you can recklessly plow ahead confident your opponent will turn away first.

Chicken really gets fun when both sides are insane. Republicans are crazed zealots who would rather amputate their arms than shake hands with President Obama. They might crash the economy just for the hell of it. Democrats confidently believe they will survive the worst possible collision. It's situations like this that remind me of a favorite Mythbusters saying.
Failure Is Always an Option.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Republicans Hate Disabled Children

The UN treaty for the rights of persons with disabilities failed in the Senate solely through the opposition of Republicans. I couldn't figure this out. It takes a particularly cruel variant of Scrooge to knock the crutch out from under Tiny Tim yet Republicans proudly wielded the cudgel. The opposition is irrational since the treaty simply spreads current United States law to the rest of the world.

The public reason usually given is they had to oppose the treaty to defend home schooling, which makes no sense, so I have dug a little deeper.
  1. Black Helicopter Terror. It's a UN treaty. Republicans hate anything to do with the United Nations. They especially fear this treaty is part of a master plot to impose a UN dictatorship on the United States.
  2. Women's Rights. Because some disabled people are women, Republicans fear "Article 6(2) is a backdoor method of requiring the United States to comply with the general provisions of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women." Republicans have fought against women's rights for decades.
  3. Torture Rights. Republicans object to a ban on "inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" in the treaty. Specifically they demand the right to beat disabled children.
  4. Children's Rights. Republicans object to this sentence in Article 7, "In all actions concerning children with disabilities, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration." Republicans want to be able to ignore the best interests of the child.
  5. Birth Certificates. Republicans hate Article 18 that states all disabled children have the right to a birth certificate.
Here are some sources from the Home School Legal Defense Association.
Threat to Family Integrity by William Estrada
Dangerous UN Treaty from
A Danger to Homeschool Families by Michael Farris

The next time someone tells you Republicans are capable of rational thought, remind them of this treaty.

Monday, December 03, 2012

San Diego Dis-Chargers

Every year I find the time to write about my hometown professional football squad. This year my team is leading the league in pathetic.
The KC Chiefs are a horribly coached team of lousy players yet they managed to win the week one of their players murdered his girlfriend and committed suicide while thanking his coach.

The NY Jets used a third-string QB to play the most boring sporting contest of the decade (including the 2008 World Tiddlywinks Championship) on Sunday yet they manged to squeak out a victory.
The San Diego Chargers have gotten so bad even their cheerleaders have taken to mooning them. For the second consecutive week the Chargers had a 10 point lead in the fourth quarter and managed to lose. My team has mastered the art of blowing second half leads. The question is, who is to blame?

Owner Dean Spanos
Like many idiot sons of successful men, Dean is terrified of making decisions. He would rather explain inaction as deliberation than act and reveal himself as a fool.

General Manager A. J. Smith
Smith inherited the job when the man he schlepped coffee for (John Butler) died of cancer. Spanos decided to just give the job to Butler's gofer rather than interview actual professionals for the position. For a few years Smith didn't look too bad because the Charger's head coach, Marty Schottenheimer, was acting as the de facto GM. Even after Smith fired Coach Marty the Chargers put together some fine seasons because of the personnel Marty had accumulated.

A. J. loves to cut proven talent, like All-Pro receiver Vincent Jackson, relying instead on injury prone replacements like Jarad Gaither and Danario Alexander. He is piss poor at judging draft talent. In the six years since Schottenheimer left A. J. has found only four decent players in the draft while his list of busts is extensive.

Head Coach Norv Turner
Norv is living proof the Peter Principle is still valid. He was an excellent offensive coordinator and is a lousy head coach. He is as inspirational as Eeyore on a bad tail day. His inability to manage a clock is legendary. He panics easily and has the killer instinct of a koala. Norv folds up under pressure like a Walmart lawn chair.

Quarterback Philip Rivers
There was a time a few years ago when people were say he was the best quarterback in team history. That was exaggerating. Even when things were going well he tended to whine and pout too much. Now that things are bad and he has become a turnover machine pouting is just about all we see. It's clear Philip has developed the yips. You can see him cautiously short-arming throws he once heaved with confidence.

The real question is whether Philip's psyche has been permanently ruined by the morose Turner and incompetent Smith or can he recover his old swagger under stronger leadership.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

My Personal War on Christmas

I like any holiday whose theme is "peace on Earth and goodwill towards all men." What I don't like is people being very unpeaceable and generating ill will in trying to shove their religious faith down other peoples throats. I'm talking to you, Bill O'Reilly!

What's Wrong With 'Happy Holidays?'
I don't get upset if I hear "Merry Christmas" or "Season's Greetings" or "Happy Hanukkah" (although I don't think I've ever heard any member of the Jewish faith use that phrase). Yuletide is a pagan Germanic festival but saying that word won't piss off angry Christians as much as the phrase "happy holidays."

Everywhere a Creche
Wander about my suburban neighborhood and you'll see dozens of nativity scenes. Some are funny, some religious, some cheap, some expensive. But there is absolutely no shortage of holiday nativities. Why then do Christmas warriors demand government funded nativities on public property? Why do they insist the city, state, and federal governments endorse their religious expression?

Salvation Army Doesn't Care
The Salvation Army is not a charity, it is a church with a unique doctrine that includes hateful discrimination against homosexuals. Their bell ringers smile and wish me a Merry Christmas. I smile and return the greeting but I reserve my charity for more worthy organizations.

What Kind of Tree?
Bill O'Reilly got infuriated at Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee because that state erected a "Holiday Tree," contenting angrily that "Christmas tree is a secular symbol." Funny, but "Christ Mass" sound awful religious to me. Besides, the Yule Tree is a pagan tradition and were originally brought into a house to provide a warm and inviting place for woodland elves to winter.  Holly and mistletoe have similar back stories. "Deck[ing] the halls with boughs of holly" was a pagan ritual to ward off evil spirits carried on the harsh winter winds.

Santa Claus Is a Shopping Mall Ho
Maybe that's too harsh but, really, what does Santa Claus promote except consumerism run amok? The message of Santa is to buy stuff. Buy until it hurts and keep going. Buy until you are so far into debt it will take months to pay it all off and then it is next December and time to do it all over again. Most of the absolutely worthless yet expensive trinkets sold every year are bought during the Christmas holiday. Yes, giving gifts are a token of love but, really, does anyone need a singing fish?
I love you THIS much!