Friday, October 24, 2014

Nice Priorities, LA Times!

Mama June of 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' reportedly dating sex offender

Los Angeles Times - ‎11 hours ago‎

A dating choice reportedly made by June Shannon, Honey Boo Boo's Mama June . . . might be putting "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" in jeopardy.

Oh, right. Of course, this would put "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" in jeopardy. Oh, and also might do the same for Honey Boo Boo, an actual child who could actually be in actual danger if her mother does turn out to be actually dating an actual sex offender. Also, I'm pretty sure she has several sisters who might also be in jeopardy. But you're right, the big story here is that the show might get cancelled. Nice priorities, LA Times!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Asshole Couple of the Day

Saw this story on Joe.My.God:

Some weird couple from Kansas has filed a petition to have themselves inserted into the same-sex marriage case currently going on in their state. No, not a weird gay couple, a weird breeder couple. Why would they be involved? Well, let's just let their petition speak for itself.

Okay, that's not going to be legible. The couple, Phillip and Sandra Unruh, claim that if two dudes are allowed to marry each other, the state will have violated their 14th Amendment rights, specifically the "due process" and "equal protection" clauses. Now, I would think that the equal protection clause would be one of the major reasons that gay marriage must be legalized, but I'm no attorney or legal scholar. I'm just a regular Joe. So let's see what their lawyers' legal argument are.

Well, it starts out with a bang, when they declare that marriage in Kansas has always been a one man-one woman affair, and gives two citations to back this up. And, I kid you not, those two are:

See Bible, Genesis 2:24 and United States v. Windsor

I don't know what law school teaches you to use the Bible as legal precedent, but I think they should get their tuition refunded.
Actually, I could make a pretty good guess which law school.

Then they make the incredibly legally sound argument that two same-sex people can't fuck a child into existence, so nuh-unh, that marriage doesn't count!

Then they claim that the Unruhs have "invested" in a  marriage contract, and if the plaintiffs succeed in legalizing same-sex marriage, their contract will, um. . . I don't know. It somehow loses its value if the word "marriage" is re-defined in a non-bigoted way? I think?
Apparently, this would deprive the Unruh's of their "property" which is, I guess their marriage? without due process of law? because if two dudes get married, the Unruh's marriage will be null and void?
I'm not sure how something as intangible as a marriage agreement could be considered "property" or how one could be deprived of such "property," but. again, I'm not a lawyer.
 Here's how it reads in legal terms:

“If the Plaintiffs are successful in their causes of action the meaning of marriage will be so fundamentally and profoundly changed that the Unruh’s will experience a taking of their property rights in marriage without due process of law."

 “The extension of marriage to same-sex relationships inflicts profound harm on the Unruhs. For the courts to say that from this day forward marriage in Kansas must be extended to a same-sex couple is and for ever will be deeply disturbing to the Unruhs. . ."

Which I guess is based on the legal principle that no one should ever have to hear or see anything that they find "disturbing." Just as I have a Constitutional right to never see a Tweet from a One Direction fan, or  have to acknowledge the existence of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Believe me, both those things are far more disturbing than this:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Call their Bluff

So some group called "children of God for life" issued this press release:

Children of God for Life announced today that several Ebola vaccines in development for use worldwide are made using aborted fetal cell lines despite the fact that moral alternatives are reported as equally effective.

Yes, I'm sure these "moral alternatives" are just as effective, but these pharmaceutical companies are just choosing not to use them because, um. . . godless liberals? Obviously any big drug company would want to use the most controversial method possible to produce their medicines, that's just Business 101!

"There is absolutely no reason to use aborted fetal cell lines" stated Debbie Vinnedge, Director of Children of God for Life.

Debbie Vinnedge, who is not a doctor or embryologist or any sort of medical professional. her own website lists her qualifications as:

Ms Vinnedge is a nationally recognized author and speaker and has provided written testimony for Congressional hearings on embryonic stem cell research. 
Ms Vinnedge is considered the foremost authority on the use of aborted fetal cell lines in medical products and vaccines. 

There is no indication as to why she should be considered any sort of authority, but goddammit, she just is!

She has appeared on both local and national television programs and has been a guest speaker on major national television and radio broadcasts, including Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes,Vatican Radio, Ave Maria Radio, EWTN, Human Life International and Living His Life Abundantly. 

Her work has been featured in leading Catholic publications such as Our Sunday Visitor, New Covenant Magazine, EWTN Question and Answers, EWTN’s Ethics in Healthcare, American Life League's Celebrate Life, the National Catholic Register, Human Life International Reports and numerous diocesan newsletters and periodicals, including the Vatican’s Medicini e Morale.

Oh, well, if she is recognized as a medical expert by both FOX and the Vatican, well I take it back. She's obviously eminently qualified!

Aaaaaanyway. . . her qualifications aside, this is the important line in the press release:

“It is completely irresponsible of this Administration to put these problem vaccines on fast-track for approval and ignore the fact that a massive number of people may very well refuse them. Why not fast track a product that everyone can use in good conscience?” asked Vinnedge.

Okay, fine. Refuse them. I can't think of a better way to thin the herd. Matter of fact, let's start making all the medicines out of embryonic cells. Let these people put their money where their mouth is. You think the "life" of an embryo is more valuable than that of a grown adult? Refuse your medicine. You've been telling us for years that you think the life of an embryo is more important than the life of a pregnant woman, so it must damn sure be more important than yours. So while the rest of us will gratefully take life-saving medications made from stem cells, you can hold your sick and dying heads up high knowing that you took a stand to defend this:

Monday, October 20, 2014

Right-Wingers love their FREEDOMMMMMM!!!!!!

Why is it that right-wingers, who are always shouting about FREEDOMMM!!! and tyranny and the sacred rights of the individual are always looking for some excuse to jettison civil liberties? Whether it was the cold war, the "war on drugs" or terrorism, right-wingers have always been overjoyed to hand over their precious freedoms in the name of safety and security (unless there's a black guy in the Oval Office, then suddenly they're all libertarians.)

Case in point: Charles Krauthammer  

Pretty sure he's one of these guys.


Charles Krauthammer: Ebola vs. civil liberties

Here's a summary: Aieee!! We're all going to die unless we shred the Bill of Rights!

First, he spends several paragraphs complaining about the Federal Government's response to the virus. Then he gets to the point:

In the face of a uniquely dangerous threat, we Americans have trouble recalibrating our traditional (and laudable) devotion to individual rights and civil liberties. That is the fundamental reason we’ve been so slow in getting serious about Ebola.

Seriously. This country has survived outbreaks of polio, the Spanish Flu, AIDS and cholera, but this disease which has killed exactly one US citizen, this is so uniquely dangerous that we must re-examine our entire approach to governing. 

1. Privacy.
Pham’s identity was initially withheld. In normal circumstances, privacy deserves absolute respect. But these are not normal circumstances. We’re talking about a possible epidemic by an unseen pathogen that kills 70 percent of its victims. Contact tracing is the key to stopping it, we’ve been told. What faster way to alert anyone who might have had contact with Pham than releasing her name? Why lose 24 hours during which people have to guess if they’d had contact with someone carrying the virus?

Interesting. You say privacy normally deserves absolute respect. I don't remember you having any objection to Robert Bork who claimed that there is no right to privacy. I fact, I googled "Krauthammer + Bork" and found nothing but laudatory things you've written about him over the years.  But I guess it doesn't matter since the first time you wet your bed over a scarrrry virus you're ready to chuck privacy overboard any way.

2. Quarantine.
When Duncan was first hospitalized, the CDC said it would locate his contacts and check regularly for symptoms. For the secondary and tertiary contacts, this made sense. But not for those in the inner “concentric circle.” They had had close contact with Duncan and were living in an apartment requiring massive decontamination. They should have been quarantined immediately. 

It’s understandable. Quarantine is the ultimate violation of civil liberties. Having committed no crime, having done no wrong, you are sentenced to house arrest or banishment. It’s unfair. It’s, well, un-American. But when an epidemic threatens, we do it because we must.

I would disagree. I don't think that quarantine is "un-American." If someone has a highly contagious, incurable disease, quarantine seems perfectly reasonable. Ebola is not that type of disease, so no quarantine would be necessary, but if it were, it certainly seems allowable.

It's been done to death.

But you say it is not only a violation of civil liberties, but the ultimate violation. You say it is un-American. Yet you say "do it!" You're that ready to discard (other people's) rights as Americans?

President Obama, in his messianic period, declared that choosing between security and liberty was a false choice. On the contrary. It is the eternal dilemma of every free society. Politics is the very process of finding some equilibrium between these two competing values.

And yet, every right-wing moron loves to trot out the Ben Franklin quote:

As long as the "liberty" being given up is the freedom to die of an easily preventable condition because you can't afford a doctor, then "liberty uber alles!" Until something scary happens, then they demand a government crackdown on all this damn liberty!

Regarding terrorism, we’ve developed a fairly reasonable balance.

spit take animated GIF

Seriously? Everyone's phone is tapped, they can read every e-mail, your library records and internet search history are available for scrutiny and you think we've achieved a "reasonable balance?"

Regarding terrorism, we’ve developed a fairly reasonable balance. But it took time. With Ebola, we don’t have time. Viruses don’t wait. The sooner we reset the balance — the sooner we get serious — the safer we will be.

Okay, fine. But I better never hear you complaining about how the big bad government is impinging on your personal freedoms ever agian.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Very Serious People

These very serious people all hold positions of responsibility and must be taken very seriously when they address very serious issues.

Very Serious Person #1:
SC Governor Nikki Haley  

There are two people in the world who spell their name "Nikki."
One of them is the governor of South Carolina.

SC governor defends Confederate flag at Statehouse: Not ‘a single CEO’ has complained

Wait, that can't be right, can it?

 “What I can tell you is over the last three and a half years, I spent a lot of my days on the phones with CEOs and recruiting jobs to this state,” the governor noted. “I can honestly say I have not had one conversation with a single CEO about the Confederate flag.”

Oh, Geez. . .

Nikki, bubula, you're not supposed to say things like that out loud. You're supposed to pretend that you give a shit about the opinions and feelings of people, even those little non-CEO people, um what do ya call 'em. . . oh, yeah voters!

Okay, so that was one slip. I'm sure everything else she had to say was about very serious ideas and. . .

Haley said that she had tried to improve the perception of the state by ordering employees to answer the phone with the phrase “it’s a great day in South Carolina.” 

Oh fer fuck sake. . .

That's how you improve your state's image? By having your employees recite some bullshit tagline when they answer the phone? Do you really imagine that anyone is calling the state, hearing "It's a great day in South Carolina" and thinking "it is? Well, heck I'm a gonna bring my whole durn business down thar if the days are really that great! It's rainin' cats & dogs up here in North carolina, Im a headin' down south right now! Pack up yer things, ma - we'se a movin!"

This is like how Chic-Fil-A makes their employees say "it's my pleasure" every time the serve a customer. * No one believes them. Everyone knows they're being forced to say that. It's not like customers are thinking "oh, it's her pleasure? Well, shoot then I guess I don't feel so bad about the miserable minimum wage in this state. If I'd  only known that this cashier is doing this job for her own enjoyment!"

But, really, even if people are fooled by your employees insincere catchphrase, do you really thin that erases the history of slavery and racism that the Confederate flag represents? Don't you think that even with this exercise in P.R. genius, people might still be reminded of the more shameful parts of your state's history when they see that flag?

“But we really kind of fixed all that when you elected the first Indian-American female governor,” she insisted. “When we appointed the first African-American U.S. senator, that sent a huge message.” 

You stop that, Judge Judy! Stop laughing! Nikki Haley is not to be laughed at. She is a very serious person!
Just as serious as Very Serious Person #2:  Jeb Bush.

Jeb Bush does not currently hold a position of responsibility, but he used to be Governor of Florida and has, well not exactly thrown his hat into the ring, but he is holding his hat in his hand and pacing around the ring waiting for someone to finally ask him to throw it in.

You can tell how serious Jeb is just by his answer to this question about an actual important issue:

Progress Michigan: Do you think Secretary Land should support the Paycheck Fairness Act?
Bush: What's the Paycheck Fairness Act?

 You know, I'm sure that there are a lot of folks out there who don't know what the Paycheck Fairness Act is. But none of those people is qualified to be the President of the goddamned United States of America!

Oh, I'm sorry. You were saying? Saying very seriously?

Progress Michigan: The Paycheck Fairness Act is a piece of legislation that would ensure women receive the same pay as men...equal pay for equal work.
Bush: Equal pay for the same work, not for equal work—I think that's the problem with it. I think there's a definition issue.

Whoah! Hold it right there!

Am I misunderstanding you, or is your position seriously that women doing the same work as men is not the same thing as women doing equal work? Is that really what you're saying? Like if a male accountant is doing the same job as a female accountant, that's not equal because of course the female accountant's work would not be as good? 'Cuz, um, boobs? Or something? Are you really trying to imply that? Because that's what I'm hearing.

Progress Michigan: So you don't think Secretary Land should support it?
Bush: I don't know. You'd have to ask her.

Really? You'd have to ask Secretary Land what YOUR OPINION is on whether she should support the Fairness Act? Now that's a serious thinker! No wonder he's considered "the smart one."  
George was "the cute one." Neil was "the mysterious one."

And of course, no discussion of very serious people could be complete without
 Very Serious Person #3: Louie Gohmert

Discussing the very serious subject of the miniscule possibility DEAD CERTAINTY!!! that there could be an Ebola pandemic in the US, Gohmert offered this analysis:

“You know, it’s a shame that the CDC head, Frieden, is apparently the commander of the Democrats’ new war on women nurses,” Gohmert opined. “Because, goodnight, they set them up, and then they throw them under the bus.” 

Now, not being a very serious person myself, I really don't understand what the fuck any of this is supposed to mean, but apparently the head of the CDC, at the behest of the Democratic Party, is purposely infecting nurses with Ebola? Because the Democratic Party hates women nurses? I guess that makes sense, I mean why wouldn't the Democrats hate a group made up largely of women who are union members?

“The idiot comes out and says that clearly she had violated protocol,” the Texas congressman continued. “At least in football, they have to tell you what you violated.”

Umm. . . okay. Football. Sure. That just could not be more germane. Whenever anyone doesn't behave the way a football referee would, it's safe to say that person is an idiot. 

And on that note, I think that's about all the very serious people I can take right now.

*Yes, I used to eat at Chic-Fil-A. No, I don't any more. They say they've stopped contributing to anti-gay groups, but the damage has been done. To my arteries.