Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Fuckin' Texas, Man!


The Texas Supreme Court sided Friday with a family accused of not teaching its children anything while waiting to be "raptured,"


"Raptured." And I guess that when the Rapture happens, God isn't going to take anyone with basic arithmetic skills or knowledge of history.

Look, if you believe in the Rapture, that's fine. You can believe whatever you want or whatever makes sense to you. Why you would think that the return of Christ is imminent, considering that Christians since New Testament times have thought that the end was right around the corner, is beyond me, but you certainly have the right to believe that. You even have the right to make your kids believe that. Maybe you shouldn't, but that's a discussion for another time.

But whatever you believe, you still have to follow the law. (Or, I guess in Texas you don't, apparently). You don't get to neglect your obligation to prepare your children for real life just because you think they probably won't need it.

They probably won't need a basic education because God is coming back and obviously, OBVIOULSY, you are in the top whatever percentile of righteousness that will get to lounge around Heaven with Kirk Cameron while the rest of us are tribulated,  And your kids are obviously also going to make the cut because righteousness is genetic? Or just because God is totally cool with nepotism?

So, okay, you're convinced that the world is going to end next week or whatever and God better not find you solving for X when He gets back, so you're going to spend all your time memorizing Psalms or whatever. But surely, the state of Texas has rules about educating your children, right? Surely, even Texas must have some standards that homeschoolers have to live up to, right?

Texas doesn't require parents who home-school their children to register with state authorities. While families must meet "basic educational goals" in reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics and citizenship, they don't have to give standardized testing or otherwise prove student progress is made.


Oh, fer. . . Then what is the point? What is the point of having "educational goals" if there's no way to tell whether the goals are being reached? What the hell is even the point?

Problems for Laura and Michael McIntyre, who once educated their nine children


Of course they have nine children. Of course they do!

. . . who once educated their nine children in an empty office at the family's motorcycle dealership in El Paso, arose after an uncle told the school district that he never saw the children do much of anything educational. According to court filings, he also overheard of the children tell a cousin "they did not need to do schoolwork because they were going to be raptured,"

You know, when your own brother is ratting you out, maybe it's time to take a good hard look in the mirror.

The family's eldest daughter, 17-year-old Tori, ran away from home in 2006 so she could return to school.


Wow, running away from home so you can go to school! I used to try and think up ways to get out of going to school. I guess you really appreciate the value of an education when yours has been woefully inadequate.

The El Paso district put her in the ninth grade because officials weren't sure she could handle higher grade-level work.

Attempting to investigate accusations of non-learning, school district attendance officer Michael Mendoza sought proof the children were being properly educated. That prompted the McIntyres to sue, arguing that their equal protection rights under the 14th Amendment had been violated and that the school district was anti-Christian.

How does that violate the equal protection clause? Anyone whose children are suspected of not being properly educated could expect a visit from the truant officer. It's like a bank robber complaining because no one else in the bank is being arrested. And I hardly think that wanting your kids to be able to do long division and write a coherent paragraph is being anti-Christian. I'm fairly certain that mathematics and language arts are not forbidden anywhere in the Good Book.

The high court found that 14th Amendment claims were not a question for Texas' educational code.
"Whether their constitutional rights were violated remains to be decided, but it is a question the courts — not the commissioner — must decide," Justice John Devine wrote,

Okay, that makes sense, but. . . um. . . you are the courts. You're the Supreme Court. If you say that the courts need to decide, then decide. It's you! You are the . . . how is this not obvious?

The lower courts may ask for new briefs detailing each side's argument, but there's "a very good chance" that the larger constitutional issues could eventually be settled legally, according to Chad Baruch, an attorney who represents the McIntyres.
Since the case involved alleged educational violations, the justices sent it back to the El Paso Court of Appeals, which can either rule on it or ship it back to the trial court, also located in El Paso.


Come on! You know this is just going to end up back on your desk. Whoever loses in the lower court is going to appeal this back up to you. Meanwhile there's nine kids getting screwed out of a decent education because their parents think they're going to be airlifted to Heaven next week.

Fuckin' Texas, man!

Monday, June 27, 2016

I really don't understand the European Union

so it's weird seeing this monumental, historical event and not knowing how to feel about it. Is the EU a positive, a negative, a little of both? Should England be congratulated or pitied? I really had no way of knowing. Until now.

Sarah Palin is all for the "Brexit," so that's pretty much all I need to know that this was a huuuuge mistake for the UK.


Sarah Palin celebrates Brexit, says U.K. avoided ‘apocalyptic One World Government’

Of course. Because there couldn't possibly be any logical reason. It couldn't possibly be like there's an economic advantage or something. No, it's straight to the One World Government. Of course.

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another...
The UK knew - it was that time. And now is that time in the USA.

Yes. we should also leave the Europe.
Okay, knowing her she's probably just fantasizing about secession again.


Which of course, of course, is again being bandied about by those patriots in fucking Texas.

From Brexit to Texit? Renewed calls for Texas secession after EU vote

U.S. secessionists hankering for 'Texit'

Brexit inspires Texas, California secession movements


 Et tu, Californe?

Then she gets into the really stupid part:

The Brexit referendum is akin to our own Declaration of Independence.

It took some real guts for the Founders to declare independence from Britain. They knew King George wasn't going to let them go without a fight and England had probably the most formidable military in the world at the time. And declaring independence was completely unprecedented. They had no way of knowing how other nations would react. there was a good chance that other monarchies would join in on the side of England to preserve the institution of the monarchy. That's why the Declaration ends with the signers pledging their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. Because by breaking away from England there was a good chance they would lose all of those things. It was a real act of courage, knowing that, as Ben Franklin said, they might all "hang separately."

"Brexit," on the other hand, seems to involve the UK saying "thanks, but no thanks." One nation leaving a voluntary congregation of countries with no one threatening any use of force or reprisals of any kind seems pretty different than the US sqauring up against the most powerful nation on Earth.

Congratulations, smart Brits. Good on you for ignoring all the fear mongering from special interest globalists

Um, I'm not a close follower of British politics, but it seems to me that it was the "leave" side who were doing the fear-mongering, predicting an end of English culture as the UK is overrun with swarthy immigrants.

Oh, and fair warning. . .


Oh, yeah. If you thought this was just going to be one of those times when Palin sticks to just being stupid, you're in for a treat. Because this sentence-fragment casserole is about to get bizarre!

. . . special interest globalists who tend to aim for that apocalyptic One World Government that dissolves a nation's self-determination and sovereignty... the EU being a One World Government mini-me.


 Told ya!

Okay, first of all, I don't know which is a more dated reference, the "one world government" or "Mini-Me."


Way to jump on that pop-culture train at the hottest moment.!

Also, if you're trying to portray the EU as a scary, evil, despotic threat to freedom, maybe refer to a less cuddly movie character?


And also, too, since when do you object to bringing on the Apocalypse? You Evangelicals wait for the "End Times" the way I wait for the next season of Orphan Black


I got all my sestras with me!
America can learn an encouraging lesson from this.
It is time to dissolve political bands that connect us to agendas not in our best interest. May UN shackles be next on the chopping block.
- Sarah Palin

The UN "shackles?" What does that even. . .do you even know what shackles are?

Turns out you have to pretty careful doing an image search for "shackles!" Yeeks!
Shackles keep you from doing things. What has the UN ever kept America from doing?  I mean, we bombed, invaded and occupied a foreign country that had done us no harm and the UN was like "oh, no. Please don't." What freedoms do you think that we would gain by leaving the UN? And anything from the book of Revelations doesn't count.

Oh, and I find it a bit ironic that when it comes to basic common-sense things like Universal Healthcare, or a minimum wage that's a living wage, America has nothing to learn from anyone and you're a goddamm commie for suggest ing otherwise because everything we do is the best. But when England makes what appears to be a collossal blunder based largely on racial animus, well suddenly "America can learn an encouraging lesson from this."


Friday, June 24, 2016

Really, Maureen Dowd? Really?

Check out Maureen Dowd's brilliant analysis of the Trump campaign so far.

Trump in the Dumps

Here is the first line of her column:

Washington — HE won’t pivot. So I have to.

So, yeah. Why bother having any kind of credibility or professionalism. I've made up my mind that I'm going to support this ludicrous joke of a candidate, so if he refuses to stop being horrible, I'll just have to shift my own sensibilities to be able to justify my support of a monstrous clown. It's called integrity, people. Look it up!

Or, to be fair, maybe she's saying that Trump's refusal to act like a respectable human being now that the GOP horror show is over is making her consider "pivoting" away from supporting him? Which isn't really much better. I mean saying, I was going to support this racist, misogynist self-absorbed oaf because  I thought he was going to start pretending to not be racist, misogynistic and oafish doesn't really speak well for you either.

Anyway. . .
She continues.

Having seen Donald Trump as a braggadocious but benign celebrity in New York for decades


Benign? I think you'd maybe have to ask all the people who were thrown out of affordable apartments so that Trump could convert their buildings into expensive condos how "benign" Donald is. Or maybe ask some of the contractors he stiffed or the creditors he left holding the bag when his various scams developments went belly-up how "benign" they consider him.

Having seen Donald Trump as a braggadocious but benign celebrity in New York for decades, I did not regard him as the apotheosis of evil. He seemed more like a toon, a cocky huckster swanning around Gotham with a statuesque woman on his arm and skyscrapers stamped with his brand. I certainly never would have predicted that the Trump name would be uttered in the same breath as Hitler, Mussolini and scary menace, even on such pop culture staples as “The Bachelorette.”

"Scary Menace?" you couldn't think of one more name of an actual scary menace from history to round out your list? You went "hmm, Hitler, Mussolini. . . oh who knows? There probably aren't any more?" You couldn't pull out Pinochet? Or Stalin? Or Franco? Scary menace? That's pretty lazy writing for someone whose work is inexplicably syndicated nationwide.

Trump jumped into the race with an eruption of bigotry, ranting about Mexican rapists and a Muslim ban. 

You know, "benign."

But privately, he assured people that these were merely opening bids in the negotiation; 


Oh. Okay, then. He opens the negotiations with "Mexicans are rapists" and then maybe bargains down to "most Mexicans are sexual assaulters?" His opening offer is to deport all Muslims, but he's maybe willing to settle for "except Kareem Abdul Jabbar?" 

How is that better? Is it supposed to be that he's not really a horrible bigot, he's just pandering to horrible bigots? Or is it that sure, he's a bigot, but not nearly as much as he pretends to be. He's just trying to negotiate an acceptable level of bigotry? Who negotiates biogotry? How is there a negotiation? It doesn't even make sense.

He yearned to be compared to Ronald Reagan, a former TV star who overcame a reputation for bellicosity and racial dog whistles to become the most beloved Republican president of modern times.

Well, he didn't so much overcome those things as the media and our society decided to ignore and gloss over them

 Trump was applying his business cunning, Twitter snarkiness and bendy relationship with the truth to his new role as a Republican pol.

So. . . he's a dick and a liar? Pretty much anyone coulda told you that.

When Trump pulled back the curtain on how Washington Republicans had been stringing their voters along for years with bold promises, like repealing Obamacare, that they knew had no chance, it was a rare opportunity to see them called out.

Yeas, he called them out for making unrealistic promises. Not at all like his totally reasonable proposal to build a giant wall and make a foreign nation pay for it somehow.

His obnoxious use of ethnicity only exposed the fact that Republicans had been using bigotry against minorities and gays to whip up voters for decades.


You know, he's not a performance artist. He actually is a bigot. He's not doing a Stephen Colbert-type parody of Republican bigotry. This is who he is.

The G.O.P. would love to drop Trump now because it prefers a candidate in the party’s more subtle racist traditions.

Um, the GOP would like to dump Trump because he is going to lose spectacularly to an unpopular Democratic opponent. They would nominate George Wallace in a Klan robe if he out-polled Hillary.

The neocons calling Trump a fascist would certainly prefer a more militaristic candidate.

Yes, because who is less militaristic than a fascist? They're practically Quakers!

then there's some blah blah blah, so skipping ahead. . .

He has made some fair points.


He has made some fair points. A lot of our allies do take advantage of us. Our trade deals have left swaths of America devastated.

What? Large swaths of America have been devastated by American companies gleefully shipping good jobs to low-wage hellholes. They didn't need trade deals to do that. No CEO was sitting around saying "Gawd, I would love to move production to Bangladesh, if only Congress would hurry up and approve NAFTA!"

It's not our allies that are taking advantage of us. It's corporate America happily screrwing over the American workers. You think Trump is gonna change that?

And it was a positive move to propose a meeting with the N.R.A. on gun control for people on the terrorist watch list.

NO!!! NO, that's not a positive move. Further legitimizing the NRA's stranglehold on our nation's gun policies is NOT a positive move. Bobby Kennedy did not call a meeting with the 5 families to discuss whether they might give him permission to crack down on organized crime. You don't ask the root of the problem to consider allowing you to try to fix the problem. All you're doing is confirming that they are the ones in control and you're willing to kiss their ring and pretend like this isn't a tragic travesty. You might as well meet with NAMBLA to discuss what the penalties for child molestation should be. The word you're looking for is not "positive." It's "pathetic."

But his fair points are getting outnumbered by egregious statements and nutty insinuations, like suggesting that President Obama is tolerant of ISIS attacks, an echo of the kooky birther campaign that he led, suggesting that Obama wasn’t qualified to be president.
Now Trump’s own behavior is casting serious doubt on whether he’s qualified to be president.


Really. Ya think? Ya think this buffoon might possibly not be qualified for the highest office in the land? Are ya startin' to think that maybe, just maybe this boorish clod might not be the best choice to lead our nation? Really? Are you sure?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

You Couldn't Make This Shit Up!

This whole Donald Trump thing just keeps getting more and more bizarre.

Three days after sending out an e-m,ail blast begging for sup[porters to donate $100k, which should be between-the-couch-cushions change for a supposed billionaire, one of Trump's coterie of weirdo spokespeople went on CNN to declare:

Money is not a problem for our campaign.

Honest to God, this is her LinkedIn profile picture!

Then she had this exchange with CNN host Brooke Baldwin:

“Guess what? Mr. Trump is a billionaire,” Goertz repeated. “Money is not a problem. Yeah, I’m sure all the papers are saying that. The papers need to say something about Mr. Trump: We are winning, he is the nominee in my mind.”
Baldwin noted that Trump was down 5 points in the latest CNN poll.
“That’s nothing,” Goertz scoffed. “
That's like someone going on ESPN and saying "the Dodgers are leading the National League West." And then the host says "well, here's today's standings, and you can see that the Giants are 5 games ahead of the Dodgers." And then the first guy says "Pfft! Five games? Big deal!"

I mean, I know facts are completely optional in Trumpland, and GOPland in general, but how does someone who is supposedly a professional spokeswoman tell such a blatant obvious and easily-disprovable lie on national television? Okay, sure, it's CNN, but there are still some people watching in sandwich shops with the volume off.

Oh, and by the way, look at what this oddball lists as her previous professional experience on her LinkedIn:

Your entire professional resume consists if having appeared on stupid reality game shows, now you're a "senior advisor" to one of two people who could possibly be the next President! You couldn't make this shit up!

Oh, and speaking of shit up which you could not make, this is Trump's actual fundraising email:

How is this matching funds bullshit supposed to be an incentive? Generally, when one does the matching funds thing, it's for funds given to a third party. It's not "for every dollar you give to me, I will also give a dollar to me." That's not helping. If anything, that just seems like you really don't need the little people's donations. If you have $2 million ready to toss into the pot, why the hell should I give you my 10 or 20 hard-earned bucks? Just so you can say that your fundraiser was "the most successful in modern political history?" ( Modern political history, mind you. Even Trump couldn't compete with Constantine the 4th's marketing prowess.)
Seriously, matching funds donated to yourself? You couldn't make this shit up!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Senate Cowards fuck us again.

The shameful spectacle that is our United States Senate hit another new low. After being arm-twisted into pretending to consider modest gun-law reforms, four bills were proposed and all four died like a child facing an armed madman with an AK.  Were they voted down? No. Not exactly. None of them even came to a vote because they couldn't get 60 votes for cloture.

Is there any more pathetic scene than the party which holds the majority filibustering their own bills?
You're in the majority, any bill you don't like you can vote down. The majority party should NEVER have to filibuster anything!

The only possible reason for the majority to filibuster a bill is that they know good and damn well that their constituents want this and they want to reject it without having to stand up and vote nay on the record. These craven, crawling cowards know that the American people want sensible restrictions on gun ownership but they are too afraid of losing their A+ scores from the vile NRA to actually represent the people who elected them. And they don't have the balls to stand up, look their constituents in the eye and say "here's why we're fucking you over. Here's why we would rather let mass murders continue to happen on a daily basis than make any effort to try and stem the flow of blood in our nation's streets."

There is a list of the sick cowards here: http://iammyfather.tumblr.com/post/146259409823/vote-these-fuckers-out ifyou have any doubt whether your Senator was among them. (Hint: If there is an R after their name, then yes.) But how about some recognition for two Senators in particular who saw the epidemic of senseless slaughter and said "hmm. . .what if I could come up with a way to make it worse?"

First: Chuck Grassley. When I saw that one of the gun control bills had been proposed by Grassley, I had a glimmer of hope. Stupid, stupid hope. I thought for a second "have we maybe finally reached such a tipping point that even a kook like Grassley is finally acknowledging that we need some restrictions on guns?" Haha, no.
Here's what Grassley proposes.


       This title may be cited as the ``Protecting Communities and 
     Preserving the Second Amendment Act of 2016''.

So right away you know this is bullshit, because can you really do both? Protect communities AND preserve the right-wing interpretation of the 2nd Amendment? Probably not.

Then there's a whole bunch of mind-numbing legal crap, but the wonderful Igor Volsky sums up the effects of the amendment as:

"It would allow an individual to regain the ability to buy a gun immediately upon release from a period of INVOLUNTARY PSYCHIATRIC TREATMENT. It would also allow veterans who suffer from serious mental illness and are at risk of suicide to legally buy guns (emphasis added. By me.)
So, sure, why should having been locked up in a god damn insane asylum keep you from owning weapons of death? And if our brave young men and women who were damaged in the service of their country want to kill themselves, who are we to try and stop them? All in all, a real piece of shit amendment from a real piece of shit excuse for a human being.

Then there's Jon Cornyn. Volsky sums up Cornyn's amanedment thusly:

"A suspected terrorist will be able to purchase a gun unless the Attorney General can prove in court that the suspect has already or will actually commit an act of terrorism. The accused individual must have an opportunity to contest the evidence against him/her and present their own. All this must occur within 3 business days."

Jeezus, where to even begin?
First of all, it's nice to see a right-wing Republican suddenly concerned with due process for terrorism suspects. Although, not those being held in indefinite detention in Guantanamo, or being tortured in CIA black sites, or popping up on the "okay to kill with drone strike" list. No, only for those who want to buy guns. Then suddenly, Cornyn is some kind of civil libertarian.
Also, if the Attorney General could prove that the person HAD committed an act of terrorism, that person would be in some prison we've never heard of being waterboarded and God knows what else. And it is of course completely impossible to prove that someone WILL commit an act of terrorism. Or any act. It's not possible to prove that I'm going to finish typing this sentence. So basically, anyone who in in the US and outside of prison walls can have any gun they want. Because Freedom, I guess?

And this is what is being proposed NOW. In the wake of our nation's worst ever mass shooting. This is what those fuckers came up with, more guns in the hands of the mentally disturbed and terrorism suspects. That's the response. To make things even worse.

 Apparently, even the Senate Republicans, a vile and loathsome group that includes such walking nightmares as Ted Cruz and James Inhofe, couldn't bring themselves to vote on these, that's how disgusting these two amendments are.

So, we're back to what is somehow, inexplicably, miserably, heartbreakingly considered "normal" in the US. Innocent people being mowed down like Australians at Galipoli  is just considered one of those unavoidable unpleasantries by the people who are actually in a position to do something about it. While the rest of us plead for some, any, effort to mitigate the epidemic, our "leaders" kowtow to the death merchants, send "thoughts and prayers" to the victims and shout FREEDOMMMM!!! all the way to the bank. It's sick and disgusting and it doesn't look to be changing anytime soon.