Saturday, October 31, 2015

Real Halloween Monsters

Monsters are real, at least in the following allegedly true stories.

Petar Blagojevich - Vampire
Petar, a farmer in the Serbian village of Kisiljevo, died mysteriously in the year 1725. That was not surprising as most deaths in the 18th century were mysterious. He was buried with church honors and the villagers went back to their peasant lives. Three nights later Petar's son was shocked to discover his father rummaging the kitchen looking for food. The son fed the father who left without speaking.
The son told the villagers. Two nights later Petar returned but his son refused to feed him without an explanation for his being, you know, not dead. Visibly enraged but still wordless, Petar left. Again, the son reported the strange events to his neighbors. One day later, Petar's son was found dead. Over the course of the next week or so seven more villagers were found dead or dying. Many reported being visited by an angry Petar who grabbed them by the throat and choked them.

Terrified villages appealed to a local magistrate named Frombald. He and a priest exhumed Petar's grave. They found a corpse in excellent condition, apparently well fed. His eyes were open and appeared alive. There was fresh blood around his mouth. Most chilling, Petar appeared to be softly breathing. Panicked, they drove a stake into his heart which caused an explosion of fresh blood to flow. They then burned the corpse to ashes.

Fritz Haarmann - Vampire of Hannover
It's post World War I Germany. In 1924, people began discovering skulls and other body parts in and around the Leine River outside Hannover. In all, over 500 bits of human detritus were found, parts of at least 22 people. Police suspected Haarmann from the beginning, not just because of the toothbrush mustache that was common to German psychopaths of the era. When they searched his apartment they found the floor and walls covered in blood.

When Haarmann confessed he said he hadn't intended to kill anyone but that in "sexual ecstasy" he would bite them in the throat ripping out the larynx. After killing them, he would dismember them, remove their organs, strip off their flesh, and decapitate them; disposing of the remains in the forest by the river. Haarmann claimed to have killed ten boys and young men a year since the end of the Great War. He was convicted of killing 24 and, in a bit of macabre irony, was executed by beheading.

Gilles Garnier - Werewolf
The 16th century was the heyday for werewolf sightings in France and Germany. In 1573, children began disappearing near Dole, France. Authorities announced an open hunting season for werewolves. Gilles was spotted with a dead child and arrested. In court he confessed that, being recently married, he had been having trouble finding enough food. One night while hunting he had been approached by a demon who offered to turn him into a werewolf to aid his hunting. He said he killed and ate four children, bringing some of the flesh home to his wife. He was burned at the stake.

Felicia Felix-Mentor - Zombie
Not the lame, modern zombie horde but an actual Haitian Voodoo zombie. Felicia died and was buried in 1907. Twenty-nine years later she returned to home. Nothing is known about what happened to her because she could only babble unintelligibly. Her laugh was coldly soulless. She died shortly after returning.

According to scholars, a bokor, Voodoo priest, can make a zombie by drugging him with tetrodotoxin, simulating death.The bokor would dig up his victim who had been awake but paralyzed during the funeral and burial. The victim would thus believe he had died and been revived as a zombie. Additional drugs to suppress inhibitions and free will keep the victim a willing slave.

Buzz Kills
Skeptics will point out that Petar Blagojevich's vampire corpse was the result of normal putrefaction. Firtz Haarmann was simply a sexual sadist psychopath. Gilles Garnier was mentally ill and his confession was directed by the interrogation tactic of the day, torture. And Felicia Felix-Mentor was not a long lost beloved family member returned but simply a totally different mentally ill woman.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Another 'Debate'

Another "debate" (I don't know what these are but the are not anything like debates), another two hours I did not waste. But I did invest a few minutes reading the reviews.

'Liberal Media'
Republicans love bashing the liberal media and did so very openly last night. Ironically, CNBC is unabashedly libertarian and less "liberal" than FOX news. An on-air tirade by CNBC reporter Rick Santelli started the Tea Party movement. Erick Erickson singled out Jim Cramer for praise yet Cramer has been the sole Obama supporter on the network.

CNBC Talking Heads
Business reporting is where people go when they can't get a job in real journalism. They don't bother researching or knowing facts because their jobs are to make facile generalizations ("The market rose by 100 points today because GE reported earnings one cent above expectations.") on complex microeconomics beyond their ken. As interviewers they are tasked with helping CEOs do PR. Getting a reputation for probing questions of CEOs is a quick way to get fired.

Poor Jeb!
I'm really beginning to feel sorry for Jeb Bush. Marco Rubio pulled down Jeb's pants and spanked his bare fanny early last night. Jeb spent the rest of the debate curled up in a corner weeping softly. Jeb will never be President, the only remaining question is whether he can regain some small dose of family honor before withdrawing.

Most say Rubio. I would say it's St. Cornelius. He is the patron saint of earache sufferers. Given the astonishing number of bald-faced lies told by the candidates and allowed to stand by the ill-informed moderators, I suspect thousands of people were praying for Cornelius to intercede and end their torment. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Trump & Mussolini In Their Own Words

I've described Donald Trump as an amalgam of Warren Harding's womanizing stupidity, Huey Long's down-home country radicalism, and Benito Mussolini's media savvy hatreds. The violence of Trump supporters highlight the Mussolini parallels.
Both Trump and Mussolini had a cult-like following. I don't think Trump is the leader (Il Duce) of a fascist revolution. He thinks he is leading a crowd of supporters when he is really just the figurehead for a rabid mob of dangerous criminals.

We will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with winning. ~ Trump (9/9/2015)
I’m intelligent. Some people would say I’m very, very, very intelligent. ~ Trump (Fortune magazine, 4/3/2000)

This is the epitaph I want on my tomb: Here lies one of the most intelligent animals who ever appeared on the face of the earth. ~ Mussolini
I have black guys counting my money. … I hate it. The only guys I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes all day. ~ Trump (USA Today, 5/20/1991)
These disgusting Jews, I must destroy them all. ~ Mussolini quoted in his mistress's diary
My motto is: Always get even. When somebody screws you, screw them back in spades. ~ Trump
We do not argue with those who disagree with us, we destroy them. ~ Mussolini

International Relations 
When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending the best. They're not sending you, they're sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing those problems. They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists and some, I assume, are good people. ~ Trump's most famous presidential quote (6/16/2015)
I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. ~ Trump (6/29/2015)

An African country universally branded as a country without the slightest shadow of civilization. ~ Mussolini announcing his invasion of Ethiopia.
I would bomb the hell out of those [ISIS] oilfields. I wouldn't send many troops because you won't need 'em by the time I'm finished. ~ Trump (7/8/2015)
Let us have a dagger between our teeth, a bomb in our hands, and an infinite scorn in our hearts. ~ Mussolini
Italian Fascist Blackshirts.
Article about Trump's Thugs.
Donald Trump rally, Richmond, VA, Oct. 16, 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015

Hillary, Hurricanes, and Hubris

A variety of topics.

Hurricane Patricia
That hurricane poised to slam into Puerto Vallarta has sustained winds of 200 mph. That makes it an F4 tornado the size of Texas. One to two feet of rain is predicted and a storm surge well in excess of ten feet added to a four foot high tide. The devastation it will bring will make Katrina look line a spring drizzle.

Hillary and the Seven Dwarfs

I couldn't have done it. Eleven hours of that shit and I would not have resisted making snarky comments, loudly drumming my fingers on the table, and cutting off the inquisitors repeatedly demanding they "get to the point, we only have 63 more shopping days until Christmas." Martha Roby (R-AL) wins the clueless prize for the most unwittingly sexually suggestive question (above). The seven Republicans on the committee came off like they have a collective IQ under 50. All they managed to do is make Hillary Clinton look totally and completely presidential.

Carson Leads Trump in Iowa
Ben Carson, the Party of God candidate for President, has replaced Donald Trump at the top of the meaningless polls in Iowa. Expected as Iowa is the state that gave us Presidents Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. Of course Iowa Republicans would support a man who promises to turn the Department of Education into a Gestapo tasked with purging liberal and non-religious thinking from college campuses.
I think most people, when they fin­ish that course[AP History], they’d be ready to go sign up for IS­IS. ~ Ben Carson
Okay, so the first quote is fake. But the wonderful thing about Dr. Carson is he has so many other crazy statements to choose from

Linc, We Hardly Knew Ya
Not that we really wanted to know either you or Jim Webb. There are many reasons to make hopeless runs for President. Some are grifters (Huckabee, Carson) looking to scam gullible rubes. Some people are unemployed, bored, and just looking for something to pass the time (Fiorina, Santorum), and some people have a particular issue they want to publicize (Lawrence Lessig). I never figured out why Lincoln Chaffee ran. Now, I probably never will know.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Biff Trump for President

I don't know why it took so long for me to see this. Once you realize it your image of Donald Trump will never be the same. Trump is Biff Tannen circa 2015.
Both are billionaire assholes...
who treat women like shit.
Both have weird hair and stick their names on the tip of tall casinos like they are over compensating for tiny, tiny penises.

It's all there. Robert Zemeckis warned us this was coming. He gave us ample opportunity to avoid the moral and criminal cesspool that Biff/Donald leadership would bring us to. We laughed and called it a fun movie when it was really a prescient documentary.

Marty McFly, save us.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Three Crazy Beliefs Some People Have

With the continuing irrational popularity of Donald Trump and Ben Carson I thought I'd explore some other crazy things people believe.

Flat Earth
It's hard to believe there are still people convinced that the Earth is flat, the Greeks figured out it was round over two millennia ago and even accurately calculated the circumference. I've never met a believer (I've also never met a Carson supporter) yet they appear to exist. And they believe there is a vast international conspiracy of governments and scientists to cover up the fact that the Earth's South Pole is actually its outer rim. Many also subscribe to the Domed Earth Theory that there is a solid structure encasing the flat Earth. This guy thinks the dome is made of glass.

Hollow Earth
Okay, you are an advanced scientific thinker and accept the Earth is a globe, but what's inside? Certainly not a chewy nougat center like confectioners hope or a hot iron core like those silly scientists claim. Obviously, it's hollow. The flying saucers we see are not space aliens, because that would be insane, there are people living inside sending vehicles out to see what we surface dwellers are doing. This theory contends that Adm. Robert Byrd flew into the center of the Earth through its polar openings. They also say that Hitler escaped into the hollow Earth.

Geocentric Theory
If you are a fundamentalist who is certain that the Earth is God's crowning creation you can't accept the scientific position that our planet is just a rock orbiting a nondescript yellow star on the outskirts of a mediocre galaxy in a universe with billions of galaxies. No, our planet has to be special. The sun must revolve around the Earth even if that doesn't make any sense. But that is not good enough. According to Robert Sungenis (PhD in religious studies not any science) the whole of the universe revolves around the Earth and all evidence to the contrary are Satanic lies.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Presidential Campaign By the Numbers

The NY Times has published a wonk's wet dream, all the presidential campaign finance numbers in one neat place. Thank you NYT.
Burn Rate
Hillary Clinton's campaign (excluding PAC money) has raise more than twice as much donations ($77 mil) as any other candidate. But she is burning through it twice as fast as anyone else. She also has more cash in hand than anyone else but her burn rate is so high she is going to have to keep up prodigious fundraising just to tread water. High spending helped kill Hillary's campaign in 2008 where she started running out of money in February.

Ben Carson has an even faster burn rate. He is second in total spending, almost two-thirds of what he has raise has already been spent. Rumor is most of the money is going to his fundraisers. He is spending money to raise more money so it can be spent raising money to be spent on fundraisers. This is a known scam rookie politicians fall for.

Bernie Sanders is in the best shape on burning cash. With $27 million cash in hand and a low burn rate, Bernie could run his campaign at this level for six months without raising any more cash.

Political Action Committees
Only three candidates, all Republicans, have raised more money from their fat cat sponsors into their PACs than into their own campaigns.

Jeb Bush, leads everyone in the billionaire butt kissing sweepstakes. Nine digits, $108 million, 81% of all the money set to get Bush elected has gone to PACs instead of Bush's own campaign.

Chris Christie's own campaign has raised a measly $4 mil, his PACs have taken in over $14 mil.

Marco Rubio's PACs have also take in more money ($17 mil) than his campaign ($14 mil) but at least it's close.

Bernie Sanders is the only serious candidate (sorry Ben and Donald) with no billionaire PAC auxiliary.

Million Dollar Donors
In buying politicians, nothing says "I own your sorry ass" like investing a million dollars.

Ted Cruz leads the pack. Ninty-five percent of his PAC's $38 million donations have come in seven figure buys.

Marco Rubio's $17 mil in PAC money comes from a handful of million dollar gifts (77%). Marco also is getting $2.5 million in secret donations funneled though Besilu Stables.

Hillary's million dollar buyers are a little less than half her PAC's donor pool.

Jeb's PACs still have room for more donations as only 24% of his donors have gotten into seven figures. Of course, that also means they can save their cash if they decide he is a lost cause.

Little People
At the other end of the spectrum are the small donors, $200 or less. These people are not buying a president but simply supporting someone they believe in.

Bernie Sanders, unsurprisingly, leads the league in this stat. Over 81% of his donors are from regular folk. Only 1% of his supporters have maxed out at $2,700.

Ben Carson, more surprisingly, is also at the 80% level. Who'da thunk?

Hillary's small supporters make up less than 20% of her donor base. Sixty-three percent have already maxed out.

Jeb's small supporters are a microscopic 3% of his backers. Eighty-one percent have maxed out, meaning they are dead weight on his future donor list.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Democratic Debate: Smart and Genteel

Wow! what a contrast!
A five-hander makes for so much better television. There were adults who want to talk about substantial policies and people who treat each other with kindness rather than childish vitriol.

The Winners
Hillary - Most people agree she killed it. Knowledgeable, personable, in total command of the night. Even conservatives agree she did well but they are trying spin the theory that she, somehow, must have cheated. Hillary probably put to sleep the notion that Joe Biden had to mount his white horse and ride to the rescue of the establishment.

Bernie - Had the big video moment when he spoke up for Hillary and shut up the media by saying, "Enough of the emails. Let's talk about the real issues facing America." He displayed something I had begun to think was impossible, he stated his policy positions firmly without being the least bit mean or angry. If Hillary hit a home run, Bernie hit a stand-up triple.

Anderson Cooper -  He also did something I had begun to think impossible. He moderated perfectly, kept the candidates on point, and didn't ask any dumb-ass questions. (like these)

The Others
O'Malley - Didn't shine as brightly as Hill and Bern but stated his policy positions with conviction without anything resembling a gaffe. He did well but was overshadowed by the two people stage right.

Webb - Most telling for me is how Republican sites like Redstate and National Review liked Webb and thought he'd make a fine "unity" Vice-President along side Trump or Carson. He had a undignified moment when he whined about not getting enough screen time thereby wasting the time he did have.

Chaffee - I really felt sorry for poor Lincoln. He got only nine minutes out of the two hour session and made it seem like too much time.

Enemy Question
Anderson Cooper did take a shot at asking a dumb final question when he asked, "Which enemy are you most proud of?" But with serious, intelligent people such a question can bring insightful answers. 
Chaffee stumbled around his answer but did make clear his environmental focus.
O'Malley said just four words, "the National Rifle Association." Strong and to the point.
Clinton rattled off a laundry list before concluding with "Republicans" to rousing applause.
Sanders gave a shorter list of two worthy enemies including Wall Street.
Webb said the guy he shot in Vietnam. Weird for Democrats but Republicans loved it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Two-Party System Myth

I am not a member of any organized party — I am a Democrat. ~ Will Rogers
One of the great American myths is that we have a two-party system of government. The recent chaos in the House of Representatives is graphic proof that Republicans are not the party in charge but rather a ruling coalition and and fractious one at that. In a parliamentary system, like the Israeli Knesset, the Republican coalition would have four identifiable coalition partners. Because of the myth they are a single party they don't have proper names or symbols attached to them, which I shall now correct.

Three Percent Party - They used to be called the Tea Party but the term "three percenters" is becoming more popular. In the House they call themselves the Freedom Caucus and make up 8% of the body. They are straight up revolutionists like the Trotskites in the old Soviet Union. Their slogan is, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Rockefeller Party - The oldest faction in the coalition they have been around pretty much unchanged for over 150 years. They represent the interests of Wall Street, K Street, and the Chamber of Commerce to the exclusion of anything else. They are about 20% of the House chamber and have been choosing coalition leaders for years. At war with the Three Percent Party, they have pledged to spend $100 million to drive them out of the coalition. They are consistently pro-war, any war anywhere. War means profits. Their slogan is an old one, "The business of America is business." Alternative slogan: "He who has the gold makes the rules."

American Nationalist Party - Once a faction of the Democratic coalition known as "Dixiecrats," they moved over to the Republican coalition in the late 1960's. Notable converts were Strom Thurmond and Jessie Helms. They have expanded their appeal in recent years by supporting a platform of fear of and hatred towards any and all non-whites. Some 15% of the House of Representatives, Donald Trump is their presidential champion. Their slogan is, "Keep America American."

Party of God - Advocates a Protestant version of sharia, where all laws are vetted for their religiosity but not any religion or every religion but just their own version of the Christian religion. They support any war that involves killing non-Christians. They make up about 15% of House seats, Ben Carson carries their flag in the presidential race. Their slogan is, "We will live by the law of God and no other law."

Once you realize the Republicans are a coalition of four separate parties fighting for power everything starts making sense.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Most Pathetic Holiday

I keep forgetting that Columbus Day is a holiday. Today, many Americans are proudly waving an Italian flag who tomorrow will be attending a Trump rally bitterly griping about Hispanics and the Mexican flag.

On this day we celebrate...

an imbecile who miscalculated the circumference of the Earth by several thousand miles. The actual size of the Earth had be accurately calculated by the Greeks 1800 years before Columbus was born and any educated European knew what is was.
a lucky bastard who accidentally bumped into a couple of huge continents that were already known about. Had they not been there he would have ignobly died at sea mourned by nobody except King Ferdinand's bookkeeper. He didn't even discover anything new. The Vikings found America 500 years before Columbus got around to it. Portuguese navigation charts dated 1424 showed Newfoundland and some of the Antilles islands.
an asshole whose first act in the New World was to kidnap some native islanders to force them to guide him to gold. That began a centuries long campaign of slavery and genocide.
the wonders of European civilization. Racial hatred, religious persecution, all the innovated torture techniques of the Spanish Inquisition, the wholesale slaughter of European-style warfare, mass rape, and...
a massive panoply of new diseases. Bubonic plague, chicken pox, cholera, diphtheria, influenza, measles, and scarlet fever were all imported by the Old World visitors. King of the diseases was small pox. The pox coexisted with Europeans for hundreds of years, a certain societal immunity had developed. In the New World, the pox found a virgin population with no immunities and wasted no time ravaging the population. Disease is estimated to have killed over 90% of the native population of the New World.
Syphilis. All that mass rape allowed the New World to pass a present along to Europe. A night with Venus, a lifetime with Mercury. Not exactly balancing the scales but some slight revenge.

Friday, October 09, 2015

The 'Burn It Down' Party

The German legislative chamber (Reichstag), February 27, 1933.
"Burn it down" is a popular phrase with radical Republicans and Tea Party anarchists. Their goal is to destroy the entire governmental system of the United States so it can be rebuilt with them in charge. Hence their repeated attempts to shut down the government. They have impossible dreams of impeaching the entire executive branch and all but three Supreme Court justices that can only be achieved if their small, rump faction gains absolute power.
When you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
This quote also came to mind this week. House Republicans came face-to-face with the abyss this week. Some recoiled in hysterical horror, others reacted with maniacal glee. Many pundits are outlining the procedural options, I want to concentrate on Republicans psychological options.
  • Paralysis - Cling desperately to the status quo, limping along still hobbled by their extremists. Staggering wildly from gridlock to gridlock. If Boehner remains Speaker or Ryan is elected with no votes to spare that will be the sign that Republicans are frozen in their panic.
  • Seek Help - Reach across the aisle to form a ruling coalition with moderate Democrats that excises the radical cancer from the Republican body politic. Rep. Charles Dent (R-PA) suggested that recourse. Even the threat of this might cower the anarchists into order. I think Republicans are too terrified to act boldly or courageously.
  • Surrender - Give the extremists the power they want. Let the infected Republican tail wag the dog. Partial surrender will just be the first step to total surrender.
The Reichstag burned a week before parliamentary elections. Officially, a Communist was blamed but there is evidence that the Nazis burned it down. March elections put the Nazis into the ruling coalition but still lacking a majority. Within weeks Hitler had turned that partial success into total victory. The rest is history.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Carson's School Shooting Strategy

Ben Carson giggles when he describes how he would handle a man with a gun. He would lead a gang rush of the gunman. It would look something like this.

Carson is very brave with other people's lives. Carson was never a Navy Seal or Army Ranger. He never served in the military in any capacity. When honored with the offer of a full scholarship appointment to West Point he refused it.

If faced with the situation I have no doubt Carson would be screaming for everyone to rush the gunman. But he would do it from behind, possibly hiding under a desk.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Bombing Hospitals

The US bombed an Afghan hospital recently. It is a war crime to attack a hospital so, of course, it is a common occurrence in war. Hospitals are soft, undefended, targets so they are easy to hit. Hospitals may have wounded combatants so they are an easy target to up the body count. Killing and wounding doctors and nurses means a town's defenders cannot get medical aid. Also, civilians rely on hospitals, destroying them is an effective terror tactic.

Some examples of war crimes against hospitals committed by militaries.

Nazis and Allies (WWII)
At the start of the war, Germany bomb the Polish town of Wielun. One of the first building to be destroyed was the town's hospital. Allied and Nazi terror bombing of civilian areas of cities included the destruction of hospitals. Defenders of these militaries call it collateral damage due to the imprecise nature of the weapons of the time however there is evidence of the deliberate targeting of hospitals. In the Pacific both the US and Japan attacked clearly marked hospital ships - two Japanese hospitals were sunk.

Bosnia and Serbia
During the Yugoslav Civil War, hospitals were a prime target. Serbs deliberately shelled them in Sarajevo and Zagreb. NATO attacked 20 hospitals during its 78 day bombing campaign against Serbia.

In 2014, Israel announced their intention to bombard the Al-Shifa hospital in the Gaza Strip. It was one of three hospitals deliberately targeted by the IDF during their war against Hamas. Israel, of course, claimed all the attacks were accidents.
Al-Shifa hospital
Al-Shifa hospital
Al-Shifa hospital

Russia bombed a hospital in Hama, Syria last week. Last year, Syrian forces bombed a hospital in Aleppo. They are but two of several Syrian hospitals to have been attacked.

In 2003, US forces used their smart bomb technology to blow up a maternity hospital in Baghdad. In 2015, the Iraqi Air Force bombed another maternity hospital, this time in Fallujah. In between, many other hospitals have been shut down due to the tactical application of explosives.

Both Russia and Chechen rebels have attacked the others hospitals. The rebels have been more aggressive in targeting hospitals.

Again, all sides see hospitals as easy targets. The Taliban has attacked hospitals as well as the Americans.

The American attack on the hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan was deliberate. The Afghan government wanted it attacked and the US military was more than willing to comply. The context of events and the weapon used are proof of that. The US knew of the hospital and its location. Afghan forces had previously invaded the hospital. The AC-130 gunship that carried out the attack is a line-of-sight weapon. It has to see the target to hit it, hence it had to have seen the target was a hospital. The conflicting statements by the Pentagon is merely clumsy ass covering.

No truthful reason for the attack will every be made public but the reason can be easily deduced. The Afghan government viewed the hospital as providing aid and comfort to wounded Taliban fighters and civilian Taliban supporters. They wanted the facility destroyed to ease their attempt to reconquer Kunduz.

US military personnel consider the Afghan people "sub-human, coward scum" to directly quote from a soldier's Facebook page. So, bombing an Afghan hospital is less concerning to them than if they had been ordered to attack a veterinary hospital.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

South Carolina Floods

Some random thoughts on the South Carolina floods.

How Capricious Thou Art
Suggestion: Trust somebody else.
Lots of people are placing the blame for this once a millennium flooding on God. Michelle Bachmann says the floods are punishment for the United States not being sufficiently pro-Israel. Michelle doesn't explain why God would choose the rightmost notch of the Bible Belt for His wraith. Pat Robertson says gay marriage is the reason and God will eventually flood all fifty states - Texas was first, then South Carolina. Given the politics of both of the states He was more likely punishing them for opposed marriage equality.

By the way, Pat, there will probably be flooding in California this winter. I don't have to be a religious prophet to predict this. I just need to know the nature of the cyclical oscillations of water temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

Two Feet
This sandwich is two feet tall.
Parts of South Carolina had over two feet of rain. It's hard to picture how much rain that is. It is two years worth of rain for Southern California. I did the math, enough rain fell on the city of Charleston, SC this week to supply their 130,000 residents with all their water needs for a decade. Except, it all ran out to sea.

Water, Water, Everywhere, Nor Any Drop to Drink
All that rain means, ironically, that the state capitol, Columbia, has no water. Flood waters breached a levee, draining the reservoir that supplies the city with water. I wanted to make a joke here but can't think of one. If God is responsible (see above) than that bastard has a truly sick sense of humor.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Gloria Threw Up on the Bus

Sic transit gloria mundi -- Thus passes the glory of the world. Or, things that make me want to vomit.

Presidential Candidates Urge War With Russia
Carly Fiorina and Hillary Clinton have suggested establishing "no-fly" zones over parts of Syria and threatened to shoot down any Russian planes that violate them. Of course, such an action would quickly lead to war with Russia and the slaughter on the plain of Megiddo that fundamentalist Christians so passionately long for. What is it about lady politicians that they have to prove themselves as a potential Commander-in-Chief by being crazy-ass belligerents?

Massacre Profiteers
As sure as radioactive fallout follows a nuclear explosion, gun dealers jump on every mass shooting to market their most profitable firearms. These merchants of death have souls so befouled even Satan would reject them.

To Protect and Serve and Kill
American police continue their war of attrition against the American people. Police killed 101 people last month. Among them was an unarmed man in a wheelchair and an unarmed man suspected of passing a forged prescription, a misdemeanor. There were three cases where police killed two people during the same incident. Police must feel they have to double up their killings to make their quotas.

Friday Night Deaths
Three high schoolers died of football injuries this month bringing the total for the year to five. On average, 12 American footballers at all levels die every year. And many, many more have crippling brain and body injuries that lead to premature death. Given how much we love shooting people, having a national pastime that kills children is perfectly consistent.

Friday, October 02, 2015

A Well Regulated Militia, Being Necessary to the Security of a Free State

Another day, another mass shooting.
Another round of worthless prayers for the victims.
Another series of statements from rational people that something must be done.
More rants from gun fetishists that the only solution is more guns, more guns, more guns!!
MSNBC interviewed a student at Umpqua College last night who was on campus and conceal carrying a firearm. He and his buddies briefly looked for the gunman before they realized if police saw them wandering the campus carrying guns the authorities would shoot them where they stood. The "good guys with a gun" hid until rescued by police.
Gun fetishists love saying "guns don't kill people, people kill people." Guns just facilitate the hell out of the process. A gun makes it possible for a toddler to kill his mother. Guns makes it easier for someone momentarily despondent to kill themselves (20,000 Americans a year commit suicide with a gun). It would take ninja skills to kill a dozen people with a knife but any dolt can do it with a gun.
There is a rational, fully Constitutional way to reduce this insane gun violence. No, it won't stop all lunatics from getting guns (drunks drive cars). It won't fully keep guns from criminals (crooks steal cars). But it will make it more likely that guns are in the hands of responsible parties trained to use them. The word "regulated" is right there in the Second Amendment. Use it!
But it won't happen. There is too much money in the "guns for everyone" movement. A substantial portion of the population are married to their weapons and I do mean in a sexually deviant way. Gun fetishists act as if regulation is not symbolic but actual castration.

There will be another mass shooting next week, and the week following. Hell, there will probably be a mass shooting somewhere in the United States today, and tomorrow and the next day. And two on Sunday. Ubiquitous guns is one reason the United States is far from the greatest nation on Earth.