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Wednesday, February 29

Saturday, February 25

Dance, Monkeys, Dance

Mewling Man-Child Newton Gingrich, worried that his birth state of Georgia might go for Santorum or one of the other Feeble Foursome on Super Tuesday, said that it was essential for each candidate to win their home state in order to stay in the race.

Nice try, Newton my lad. As long as Sheldon Adelson keeps writing checks you'll stay in and be the Circus Geek everyone always wants to see.

Don't know what a circus geek was? That was a guy you saw at the freak show in carnivals or circuses. He used to bite the heads off live chickens and swallow them raw, for the delectation of the paying customers.

That's what you are, Newton, a side show - that's what you all are. A freakish combination of dancing hurdy-gurdy monkeys and geeks, capering at the end of long leashes while the shadowy money men (Adelson, Friess, the Koch Brothers, etc.) call the tune.

Friday, February 24

Mutato Nomine ...

"Muskie is already finished ... (h)e had no base. Nobody's really for Muskie. They're only for the Front-Runner, the man who says he's the only one who can beat Nixon - but not even Muskie himself believes that anymore; he couldn't even win a majority of the Democratic vote in New Hampshire, on his home turf."

- Frank Mankiewicz, in Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72 by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, p. 123 (New York, Warner Books, 1973).

***

This came leaping out at me, here in the far-flung future of 2012. It occurred to me that one might almost say the same about Willard Romney, since the Well-Dressed 2x4 seems to be having trouble getting his Message across that he's the only Republican capable of beating Barack Obama and putting the GOP back into the Oval Office.

Polls? Well, the polls are a good indicator, but they're what economists call a lagging indicator - they follow the electorate, they don't dictate what it'll do (although, granted, predictive analysis has come a long way since the 1972 debacle). Romney expected to do well in the caucus states, but had his ass handed to him. Even in Minnesota, which he won handily in the 2008 primaries.

Which leads us to the upcoming votes in Arizona and Michigan.

The debate Wednesday night was an orgy of mutual masturbation and flagellation, as each of the four remaining candidates alternately slobbered out buzzwords and platitudes to delight the gullible while doing their best to sap or shank or destroy their opponents. It was rather fun to watch, if you were drunk.

The vote in Arizona might be a tie, and experience in Iowa, Nevada and Maine seems to point to an orgy of hand-waving. Based on the other three contests, I don't think the GOP can handle simple arithmetic (of course, one sees that in their economic plans as well).

One of Mittens' staffers crowed that his man was going to win in Michigan, Romney's birth state and the state in which his daddy was Governor. We'll have to see - Willard's done a few things that haven't really endeared him to Michiganders, like opining in 2008 that the auto industry should be allowed to die without government intervention, or more recently that the housing collapse and the mortgage debacle should be allowed to "hit bottom."

Which leads me to another quote from the late and revered Dr. Thompson's book, from Page 130:

"The reason people didn't vote for Ed Muskie here is that they didn't have any reason to."

Mutato nomine, Willard, de te fabula narratur.

Tuesday, February 21

Conservatives Cornering the Market on Stupid


You have to wonder if they sell stock in Stupid, because if they did the price would be going through the roof right about now.

We have Frothy Mixture Santorum doubling down on the Stupid, first by dribbling that the Affordable Care Act will (somehow) lead to - hey presto! - the French Revolution and guillotines. And if that Chick Tract version of the future isn't enough for you, Ayatollah Santorum recently framed his campaign against President Obama as being just like our struggle against Hitler.

The Ayatollah didn't actually come out and break Godwin's Law, but he came close enough.

Ayatollah? you ask.

Yes, indeed. Santorum wants to impose Christian Sharia Law on the United States, stating that he wants the government and the laws to more closely conform to "God's Will" - whatever that is, and however it may be interpreted by that poltroon the Pope I guess.

But he's not the only one who's investing heavily in The Stupid this election cycle.

Newton Gingrich weighed in with the old tried and true Dick Cheney "Vote For Me Or You're All Dead" fear tactics, couching his campaign as a national security necessity, and never mind that Obama's gotten our troops out of Iraq, ordered the hit on Osama bin Laden, and authorized more drone attacks than even He Who Must Not Be Named But Is Actually George W Bush.

A state congresscreature from Indiana refused to sign on to a proclamation recognizing the Girl Scouts on their 100th anniversary, stating that the GSA fosters the homosexual agenda, supports Planned Parenthood, teaches little girls to have sex, and (gasp!) has Michelle Obama as an honorary chairman.

The entire Republican caucus in the Virginia state legislature decided to add The Stupid to its state pension fund's investment portfolio by putting together a law that would order doctors to insert a transvaginal ultrasound probe into a woman's uterus if she wants an abortion. Dana Loesch said that women who have intercourse have already pretty much given up the right to complain about anything inserted into their orifice, so why should they complain?

Currently, public outcry is causing them to postpone passage of that draconian little piece of shit, but that's only Part 1 of a triad of bills going through the Virginia Legislature - the others would forbid The Gays to adopt kids, as well as allow a Florida-style "no backing down" law to allow people to shoot first like Han Solo.

Neoconservatives, Fox News warmongers and the "liberal" mainstream media are figuring that Americans need More Stupid - or Stupid 2.0 - if the incessant beating of war drums about Iran is any indication. We let ourselves get fooled back in 2002-2003; are we really going to let ourselves get roped into yet ANOTHER land war in Asia?

Are we that stupid?

Conservatives are banking on that.

Monday, February 20

Having Fun



I swear.

I'm having so much fun in this election cycle that it's almost illegal.

Why?

Well, I'm so glad you asked!

I direct your attention to Arizona, where the anti-immigrant craze has hit amazing heights. The Sheriff of Pinal County, Paul Babeu, has been a very loud voice on the side of those who want to keep those scary dark-skinned Mexicans from sneaking across our border.

But he's not riding that one trick pony, oh no sir. He's also given money to anti-gay groups and talked all the right talking points to burnish his conservative street cred. In fact, he's running for the US Congress in the 4th District, and was a co-chairman for Mitt Romney's Presidential campaign.

Until a couple of days ago.

An allegation surfaced, you see, wherein it was alleged that Babeu allegedly sent his alleged lawyer to a fellow with an alleged affidavit that would swear the alleged fellow to silence ... or else.

Or else ... what?

Or else the alleged fellow would be deported back to Mexico.

And who is this alleged fellow? Simply put, he's Babeu's sweet babboo.

Yes, this Mexican man (who is an undocumented - i.e., illegal - immigrant) is the Sheriff's gay lover.

To his credit, Babeu fessed up to being The Gay, and withdrew his position (heh!) as Mitt's campaign co-chair. He's still running for Congress from AZ-04, though.

But allegedly threatening to deport his boyfriend if he didn't clam up about their relationship may open up the Sheriff to criminal charges, and we shall wait and see.

Pass the popcorn, please.

Friday, February 17

"If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament" ~ Florynce Kennedy

more spot on quotes from Flo Kennedy

same old, same old...

Are we REALLY going to keep this up?

I can't stand these redundant distractions for much longer.

Maybe it's the final test by TPTW?




UPDATE

From Bill Moyers (one of the few sane voices left): FREEDOM OF AND FROM RELIGION

"So here we are once again, arguing over how to honor religious liberty without it becoming the liberty to impose on others moral beliefs they don't share. Our practical solution is the one Barack Obama embraced the other day: protect freedom of religion -- and protect freedom from religion. Can't get more American than that."

His entire commentary is here at CommonDreams

Sunday, February 12

Should Republicans/Christians give up sex if they don't want any more children?

Contraception - Bad!
Pregnancy - Good!

It's good to know that when Republican/Christian Men, especially politicians and clergy, decide they don't want any more children, they gladly give up sex no matter what age they are because they believe 
contraception means taking a life.

You Republican/Christian women, we know you are
only interested in sex for procreation 
(Women don't really need sex for fulfillment or enjoyment)!
Do your part! 
Stay pregnant each and every year or have your husband give up sex.
It's what's expected of your religion and husband's beliefs.
Support him!
Remember! Use of any contraception during Sex,
married or not, by you, your husband or both,
is murder! 

Republicans and Christians,
Ask yourself...



I'm sure all good Republican/Christian men and women in politics and especially certain media either will continue to have children on a yearly basis or give up Sex
to set good examples for their Party, their Base, their Children and their Network.

Tuesday, February 7

If Today's Tuesday . . .

That means that the Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that California's Proposition 8 - defining marriage by statute to mean one-man, one-woman - is unconstitutional. The entire decision of the Court is here, and the Court ruled 2-1.

While this is a victory for the forces of tolerance, modernity and overall good sense, the conservatives who initially backed the measure have gone into their usual hate-frenzy. I confidently expect them to file for a writ of certiorari to the US Supreme Court. Based upon the US Supreme Court's ideological and religious composition and their recent decisions, I expect the Ninth Circuit's decision to be reversed.

(For extra fun points, look at how the Court defines marriage: "... symbolizes state legitimization and societal recognition of their committed relationships." Which is what marriage is, despite what the God-botherers screech about.)

So the war's not over, although a battle has been won.

***

In Syria today, the shells still fall and the bullets still fly. The United Nations failed to pass a resolution calling upon the Assad Government to stop fucking over its own people, mainly because Russia and China refused to back it. Both states have their reasons - Russia sells a lot of guns to Syria and resents any growth of Western influence into the region, while China thinks that it's a purely internal matter.

Meanwhile, the Turks are starting to get antsy about the idea of a civil war spilling across into their country (they're Syria's largest trading partner), and I'm sure there's a lot of Viewing With Alarm in Beirut and Tel Aviv. This will get worse before it gets better, folks.

***

Iran continues to develop a nuclear capacity. Now, this isn't the same as building a bomb; building a bomb requires highly-enriched uranium or plutonium, which it doesn't have. That's what came from our own Secretary of Defense, dear readers. Iran has low-enriched uranium suitable for running a reactor (and has managed to create one - one! - fuel rod element).

But fear is a great motivator. Fear can motivate otherwise reasonable people to buy guns and shoot people if they feel they're being threatened. The US and the EU have instituted an oil embargo on Iran in an effort to economically strangle the country into giving up its nuclear ambitions, and Israel has been making noises about bombing the nuclear sites for a few years now.

Be wary of backing Iran into a corner. It has stated that any attack on it by either the United States or Israel will result in retaliatory action against the Sunni Arab Gulf states - which supply us with a lot of oil. And attacking Iran may cause it to do what it's been saying it doesn't want to do.

Build a bomb.

***

There's an old Far Side comic that has people arriving in Hell and getting a complimentary accordion. Well, Hell might be in North Korea:

Let there be (wasted) light...


The candle is burning low...
Another often overlooked, overuse of fossil fuel. Coal and oil burned to excess to light the night while other methods could save much. Who cares?

This is a compressed 10 minute flight over the east coast of North America.

Watch it in HD and full screen.


Vol nocturne de la station spatiale internationale au-dessus de la côte Est de l'Amérique. from ASTROLab on Vimeo.

Friday, February 3

One in the Pink Makes a Stink

Take a look at the object depicted above.

Go ahead, take a long smouldering gawk at it.

It's a Walther P-22 semiautomatic pistol.

With a pink slide (that's the bit that holds the barrel, and goes back and forth when you pull the trigger).

But it's the pink I want to talk about. Specifically, the reason Walther allowed the slide on the P-22 to be colored pink.

Walther decided to be one of the corporate sponsors of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, a charity dedicated to fighting breast cancer in women.

Now, I have a bit of ambivalence about attacking a breast cancer charity. My sister-in-law passed away two years ago after a long and bloody struggle with the disease, and the SGK Foundation helped out.

But there's a reason to rant now, as the SGK has put its collective charitable foot in it, big time.

Let's follow a few dots and see where they lead, shall we?

First, SGK appoints a new executive vice president, a woman who had earlier run unsuccessfully for office in Georgia on a brutally anti-choice platform. How anti-choice? She was endorsed by Sarah Palin, that's how anti-choice.

Second, there is a change in the Foundation's bylaws to deny grants to any organization under investigation. A board member admitted that the change was solely to target one organization.

Third, enter US Representative Cliff Stearns of Flori-duh, who obligingly starts an investigation.

Fourth - hey, presto! SGK cuts off its grant funding to the organization.

What organization, I hear you ask? Planned Parenthood, the successor to ACORN as Number One on the GOP/US Taliban Alliance's shit list. You see, they don't like Planned Parenthood because it (gasp!) provides abortions, it (gasp!) provides birth control, and (gasp!) it helps poor women get breast exams that could spot cancerous growths early and help them get treatment.

So SGK shuts down about $700,000 in funding to Planned Parenthood. The dots are simple to follow, eh?

Despite the angry denials by the founder and CEO of SGK, it's too easy to see the linkage between the Foundation and the efforts by the Right to shove women back into the Dark Ages. There's a lot of yelling going on, as donors start pulling money away from SGK and sending it directly to Planned Parenthood

The Foundation issued an apology, but still isn't going to give grant money to Planned Parenthood because "it's under investigation."

Perfect logic, isn't it?

Meanwhile, women who are poor and at risk for breast cancer might not be able to get examinations, which means they could get breast cancer and not know it, which means that by the time they do spot it it'll be too late to treat it, which means deaths by breast cancer could go up among poor women.

Which, again, is perfectly logical.

Wednesday, February 1

Florida: Mitt Romney Is All Like

Yes, the Well-Coiffed 2x4 managed to pull out a win against ethical loser and relentless degenerate Newton Gingrich. It was a close victory, 46% to 32%, with Ayatollah Wannabe Santorum and Doddering Fool Paul splitting up the booby prize.

Romney managed his win (still failing to get 50% of the voters) by basically outspending Gingrich by a six-to-one margin. Gingrich got funds from his bagman, Las Vegas Rich Nabob Adelson, and sounded a defiant and downright surly note in his post-election speech. He didn't congratulate Romney, which merely illustrates how classy Newt is.

Mittens collects a massive nut of 50 convention delegates (marked down from 99 after Florida's GOP decided to fiddle about with the primary calendar), which outweighs what Gingrich won in South Carolina and what Santorum was finally given after they unearthed the stuffed ballot boxes in Iowa.

The Nevada caucuses loom now, on February 4th. Romney can expect a massive boost from all the Mormons bused in from neighboring Utah to work for him. Paul is feeling bullish on the caucus states, feeling that he's in with a chance in these contests, and Gingrich will probably be licking Adelson's taint for more bucks.

But at least we poor people in Florida can be granted at least a temporary respite from all of the pointless ads, mailers and robocalls.

A Miscellany

Back in the 1880s or so (1889) the absolute high-tech sound gadget to have was an Edison phonograph, with recordings made on wax cylinders. It was the iPod of its day; astoundingly simple to use, although not really very portable.

Once people realized the awesome implications of the device, everyone clamored to have their voices recorded. There were probably millions of variations of "I sound like that?" all over the place.

In 1957 a box of wax cylinder recordings, some in very bad condition, were found at the Edison laboratory in New Jersey. It took a while, but thanks to modern digital technology, they were able to resurrect the content on the recordings.

One of the voices captured for prosperity is Prince Otto von Bismarck, the Prussian chancellor who unified Germany; another is Helmut Graf von Moltke, the commander of the armies that defeated the French in 1871. There are also songs and instrumental music.

A real blast from the past.

***

In 1976 (before things went horribly wrong over there), an archeologist in Iraq unearthed a tablet that displayed examples of 'wisdom literature,' a collection of pithy sayings that could be used as guides in living. Such things were used as writing exercises for students. The tablet dated to ancient Babylonia, about 3500 years or so ago, Daylight Savings.

One has to do with beer: In your mouth and your teeth, constantly stared at you, the measuring vessel of your lord. (-What is it?) Beer.

(The scientists who are translating this assure us that the cuneiform symbols for 'teeth' can also translate as 'urine.' I'm sure it was a real rib-tickler.)

Another is a bit odd: ...of your mother is by the one who has intercourse with her. What/who is it? [No answer]

Could this be, dear readers?

Could it be that these enterprising scientists may, in fact, have unearthed the World's Oldest Yo Mama Joke?

OH BOY oh boy oh boy (or girl) -- This Isn't Good: Pfizer recalls 1M birth control packs after mixup

"The recall is not related to safety but does raise the risk of unintended pregnancy."

Did they really say this? They really did say that....





via USA Today

WASHINGTON (AP) – Pfizer Inc. is recalling 1 million packets of birth control pills because of a packaging error that could leave women with an inadequate dose of the hormone-based drugs and raise the risk that they will get pregnant accidentally.

Pfizer found that some packets of the drugs had too many active tablets, while others had too few.

The problem affects 14 lots of Lo/Ovral-28 tablets and 14 lots of generic Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol tablets. Both products are manufactured by Pfizer and marketed in the U.S. by Akrimax Rx Products under the Akrimax Pharmaceuticals brand.
Pfizer found that some packets of the drugs had too many active tablets, while others had too few. Oral birth control products use a series of 21 drug tablets and 7 inactive sugar tablets to regulate the menstrual period while providing contraception.
A company spokeswoman said the problem was caused by both mechanical and visual inspection failures on the packaging line. She said the problem has been corrected.
Pfizer issued a statement saying the problem was identified and corrected immediately. The recall is not related to safety but does raise the risk of unintended pregnancy. Patients with the affected lot numbers should return them to the pharmacy.
The affected packets have expiration dates ranging between July 31, 2013, and March 31, 2014. Lot numbers are available at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm289770.htm
The drugs were distributed to warehouses, clinics and retail pharmacies throughout the U.S.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.