Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Cliven Bundy rears his ugly, stupid, crazy head again.

This is what happens when you let this braying jackass get away with it once. He comes back for more.

So with Almond Bundy behind bars, Cliven has apparently stepped up to fill the void, sending this letter to the sheriff of Harney County:

It begins "We, the people of Harney County. . ."

Um, no, dude. You don't live in Harney County. You are not one of the people of Harney County. And the actual people of Harney County have been very clear that they don't want you or any of your family/gun club/Constitution misinterpretation society playing out your civil war fantasies in their county. They want you to stay in your own damn county. Where do you get the balls to act like you're speaking on their behalf?

And he gives notice that the few straggler nuts left in the Malheur Wildlife Refuge "will retain possession" of it.
 Yeah, you'll retain possession as long as the feds are willing to tolerate you pretending to possess it. Once they decide they've had enough of your childish and illegal bullshit occupation, it's game over for you. You think you're going to fight off the Federal Government of the United States of America? There's what, like 5 of you not behind bars? You're going to fight off the FBI, the ATF, the BLM  and whatever other law enforcement agencies the feds can throw at you? You don't have a snowball's chance in hell, you delusional ass.

And then he has the temerity to start issuing demands of the County Sheriff, the Governor and the President of the United States of America! What the hell kind of leverage do you think you have? What makes you think you're in a position to demand the removal of all state and federal policing agents? Why would you think that any of these officials would possibly listen to your demands or take them seriously? Oh, right. Because they did last time. last time you had a run-in with the federal government, you got a bunch of loonies to come to your ranch with assault rifles and the feds backed down. So of course you're going to try it again.

You know, all this could have been prevented if Bundy and his accomplices had been rounded up and jailed in the first damn place. I get that the feds were afraid of having another Waco or Ruby Ridge on their hands, but you can't just do nothing. You could have waited until the minions began to drift away then arrested them individually in their hometowns. You could have thrown the Bundy clan in prison, seized all their assets and auctioned off their livestock. But no. You let them think that they had won. So they did it again. And it's going to keep happening unless Bundy and his cohorts do serious time for this. And, yes, they'll be seen as martyrs by the fringe elements on the right that are a danger to us all, but it's better than letting them look like heroes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

It's the stupidest day of the year,qw=300.pagespeed.ic.qoCOJTh4Ax.jpg

Everything about Groundhog day is mind-bogglingly stupid.
For starters, where in the world did anyone get the idea that whether or not  a certain small fuzzy animal sees its shadow  is somehow predictive of anything? What is that even based on? I'd Google it, but I'm sure it's stunningly stupid and  I just don't care enough. Also, how in the hell would you know whether this particular cute fuzzy animal has seen its shadow or someone else's shadow or a blade of grass, or. . . how could you possibly know what an animal has seen or not seen?

And yet, every year, these idiots dress up in formal wear and watch this rodent pop up out of some hole and pretend that they're doing meteorology.

Which is bad enough, but every year every goddamm news agency in the country sends reporters, actual reporters who probably went to journalism school to report on this stupid waste of everyone's time. And they're not allowed to report what actually happened. They're not allowed to say:

Dateline: Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
A strange ritual occurred today in this quiet little town as a douchebag in a top hat held aloft a large rodent while pretending that it had some effect on the weather patterns of North America. People who had gathered around for some reason that this reporter could not fathom began to cheer inexplicably as if they had witnessed some sort of actual event. No word yet on whether the top-hatted imbecile has been committed to a mental asylum, but he clearly seems to be a danger to himself as well as not doing the local woodland creatures any favors.
No, they have to go on camera and, with a straight face, talk about how we're going to have a longer or shorter winter this year based on some idiot's idea of what a cute fuzzy animal may or may not have seen. And they have to act like there's something to it. "Well, Bill, it looks like old man winter's going to be around a few more weeks since this overgrown chipmunk seems to have seen its own shadow. reporting live from Pennsatucky, I'm Joan Smith. Please give me a reason not to slash my wrists right here on the air."

I mean, I get why they go on the air and pretend that there are radar sightings of a flying sleigh on Christmas Eve. That's to make children happy. But no child gives a fat fuck about Groundhog Day. Even the smallest child isn't stupid enough to think that a fuzzy animal has any bearing on the climate. So who is it for? There can't possibly be adults who enjoy pretending that an oversized squirrel can predict the future, can there?

Also, the groundhog's name is "Punxsutawney Phil." Who came up with that? If you're going to give the animal a name that starts with "P" to go along with Punxsutawney, why not use a name where the "P" is pronounced as a "P," not an "F?" Why not Punxsutawney Pual or Punxsutawney Pete or Punxsutawney Pat? How hard is that?

Also, what is "Gobbler's Knob?"

A crowd gathered at Gobbler's Knob early this morning, awaiting the emergence of the groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil. After a tap of a cane on Phil's tree-trunk cage, his door was opened, and the animal emerged.

The town is Punxsutawney, PA. Why do they say it happened at "Gobbler's Knob?" What is Gobbler's Knob? Never mind, I'm pretty sure I don't want to know.

Gobbler's Knob is a pretty stupid name for a town or a neighborhood or geographical location, but it's probably the least stupid thing about Groundhog Day, the stupidest day of the year.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Bad Decision

Look, I get it. Every network programmer is looking for the next anti-hero. the next Tony Soprano or Walter White, or Jax Teller. I understand that. And I understand if you're WGN, a network best known for being the station that I think still shows the Cubs games? Maybe? Anyway, I get why you'd want to make a big controversial splash for your foray into original programming. I get it. But honestly, this seems like the exact worst time possible to start running this:

Given recent events, is it really a good idea to run a show glorifying anti-government gun nuts? People who have decided that the laws don't apply to them because they're off the grid or they live off the land or are just special somehow?  And do we really want to have as the protagonists of our show a group of heavily-armed rednecks who threaten the lives of law enforcement personnel?

From what I can tell, this show seems to center around a group of people living on land that someone else owns who have decided that their own personal moral code supersedes the actual laws of the land.  And they are willing/eager to take up arms and violently repel anyone who tries to enforce the actual law.

So, WGN, are you really sure that now is the time you want to romanticize these guys? Not that there's ever going to be a good time, necessarily, but still. This really seems like the exact worst moment in history to be celebrating this kind of mindset.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I swear to God, the more I learn about Ted Cruz and his batshit insane father. . . part 4 or 5 or something.

Somehow, Ted Cruz's campaign handlers haven't stopped his lunatic father from speaking in public. So he keeps saying things like this:

Rafael Cruz: Public Education Is A Communist Plot

Rafael Cruz, the father of and top campaign surrogate for Sen. Ted Cruz, claimed today that the country’s public school system was founded by “a member of the American Communist Party.”

Um, what year is it again? I mean, even the Birchers have moved on from the "everything's a Communist plot" motif by now.

Also, America has had public education long before there was any such thing as a "Communist," let alone the "American Communist Party."

According to
 The first public school in America was established by Puritan settlers in 1635 in the home of Schoolmaster Philemon Pormont

And here's an excerpt from the education timeline on ;

First public high school in the U.S., Boston English, opens.
Massachusetts passes a law making all grades of public school open to all pupils free of charge.

African Americans mobilize to bring public education to the South for the first time. After the Civil War, and with the legal end of slavery, African Americans in the South make alliances with white Republicans to push for many political changes, including for the first time rewriting state constitutions to guarantee free public education.

The Communist Manifesto wasn't even published until 1848.

So, which Communist traveled back in time to "found" America's public school system?

The elder Cruz alleged in an interview on the Sirius XM program “Breitbart News Daily” this morning that public schools are brainwashing children into communism as a result of the work of education reformer John Dewey.

John Dewey?

I'm no expert on John Dewey, but was John Dewey a Communist?
 I mean, his glasses probably were, but was he?

Not according to anything I could find online that wasn't from some right-wing hack site like "American Thinker" or "Conservapedia." In fact, he apparently was one of the founders of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, an anti-Communist group with strong ties to the CIA.

But why let the facts get in the way of a good insane rant? Go on, Mr. Cruz.

Cruz spins an imaginative alternate history, in which he identifies John Dewey as the Patient Zero of a virulent depravity known as secular humanism. Dewey, an atheist and (yes) a secular humanist, was also an influential reformer of American education in the early 20th century; Cruz labels him a member of the Communist party. In fact, as Right Wing Watch helpfully notes, Dewey was an “avowed anti-Communist” who advocated that “known Communists should not be permitted to teach children.”
But never mind. This foul doctrine arrived at America’s shores, infiltrated our classrooms — thanks to Dewey, with assists from the Bolsheviks and Teddy Roosevelt — and lured us into a moral relativism that has driven us further and further from our Judeo-Christian origins. And it manifests today in the nefarious educational initiative known as Common Core:

Teddy Roosevelt?!?!?!

Teddy Roosevelt was in on the Communist plot?

The Rough Rider?

My God, this goes all the way to the top! Why even a Senator could be involved. Like Senator Ted Cruz!
Oh, where's Joe McCarthy when you need him?
You rang?

Common Core is not really about standards. That is just a facade. Common Core is about redefining education, redefining history, and attempting to brainwash kids with a secularist view of history, which denies the fundamental principles that have made America great.

God, I wish Common Core was that interesting. Maybe all the hullaballoo would be worth it.

But you know, it says a lot about the Cruz campaign, and the state of Conservative politics in general, that no one has taken Cruz Senior aside and suggested that he maybe tone it down a bit. And I'm pretty sure no one has asked "Ted" whether he disagrees with any of the delirious lunacy his father so regularly spouts. It seems to be taken for granted that this paranoid madness can't hurt his campaign and might even help him. And sadly they're probably right, at least in the primary. He's still not going to win because he's creepy as hell and everyone hates him, but won't be because of Reverend tinfoil.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Chutzpah Parade

Some people have shown an incredible amount of chutzpah in response to Rick Snyder and his "emergency manager" poisoning the citizens of Flint, Michigan, killing at least 10.

First up:
Governor Rick Snyder, the man responsible for poisoning the citizens of Flint, Michigan, actually had the unmitigated gall to say these words as part of his pseudo-apology for poisoning the residents of a city under his control:

"We are praying for you."

Seriously - we are praying for you.

That's the sort of thing you say when a) the situation was not your fault and b) there's nothing that you can do about it, other than appealing to a higher power.

The balls it takes to say "we're praying for you" when you caused this disaster, you knew about it and allowed it to continue, and you could easily fix the problem (not that it would undo any of the damage done, but at least you could prevent future poisonings)!

You could just put the city back on the Detroit Water & Sewage System. The system you took them off of in order to give them toxic sludge instead. You could do that right now instead of wringing your hands and "praying" like "it's out of the hands of us mere mortals, only The Lord can save us now."

Now, to be fair,  he did say more than that he was "praying" for the people he poisoned. He also told some obvious lies:

"we are working hard for you and we are absolutely committed to taking the right steps to effectively solve this crisis," he said in his State of the State address. "To you, the people of Flint, I say tonight as I have before: I am sorry, and I will fix it."

You're not sorry, and you're not gonna fix it. You know how I know? Because of this:

 His aides pledged that, by the end of the week, officials would visit every household in Flint to ensure they have water filters.

Water filters.
You expect them to run this:

 through water filters.

And then drink it.

You have no intention of providing the people of Flint with drinkable, non-toxic water. But you're going to see to it that they have filters through which to run the deadly sewage which will continue to be delivered to their taps.

But you're "praying" for them.

Where do you get the balls?

 A close second goes to Jeb! (the smart one) for shifting the blame away from Governor Snyder aka the man who is to blame, onto government regulations (?)

On ABC’s This Week, co-host Martha Raddatz asked Bush who is to blame for the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and the fact that the city of more than 100,000 Americans had been “drinking, eating, brushing their teeth in lead-contaminated water, while the government was telling them repeatedly ‘it’s safe to use.'”

 His response?

“We’ve created this complex, no responsibility regulatory system, where the federal government, the state government, a regional government, local and county governments are all pointing fingers at one another.” He proposed simply having a “21st century system of rules: Whenever you see a problem, it should become public, there should be transparency instead of trying to cover it up.”

How does that even make sense?
The governor would have liked to have not poisoned a bunch of people, but the rules were just too darn complicated!

So whenever you see a problem, it should become public. . . instead of trying to cover it up? I agree. I think every sane person agrees. But here's the thing. The governor, and his hand-picked viceroy, did see a problem. And there was nothing stopping them from making that information public. But they chose to cover it up. They made a conscious decision to lie and tell people that their water was safe and just because it looks like chemical plant run-off doesn't mean it isn't good healthy H2O, and lead? What's lead? That sounds made up!

They chose to cover up the truth. Which complicated regulation is to blame for that? Which governmental rules stood in the way of Snyder and his tin-pot dictator having the basic human decency to, at the very least, tell people "stop drinking your tap water, it's poison!"

He then praised Synder for having “taken responsibility” and for “rolling up his sleeves and trying to deal with it.” Bush said he should not resign, as he “needs to do what he’s doing, which is to accept responsibility and began to solve the problem,” adding that Snyder has “been a great governor for Michigan.”

 "Brownie, you're doin' a heck of a job," he did not add.