Friday, April 29, 2011

Terrible Marketing Campaigns -- Old El Paso

Mexico is a big country. And they have the same problems as other places--crime, unemployment, drugs, etc. etc. Just like the US. But judging by the commercials for Old El Paso, the only thing they really worry about is tacos:

Yeah, Mexican people are so obsessed with tacos that when a little girl makes a taco-related suggestion, she's hoisted on the community's shoulders and paraded around the public square like she just scored the winning gooooooooooal in the World Cup.

And, if you had never met a Mexican person and just went by the actors in these ads, you'd think that they were a race of people chiefly distinguished by a) their obsession with tacos, and b) their difficulty in finding simple solutions to taco-related problems. My god, how dumb are these characters, that when someone comes up with a "solution" like "why not have both?" they react as though she just figured out a cure for cancer? They even end these horrible ads with the tag line "true genius, Mexican style." What the fuck? How condescending is that? Like a Mexican couldn't be a regular genius like in math or something, but a good taco-based idea? Well, that counts as being a genius for "those people."

And you'd think after making one of these ads, they might take a step back and say, "you know, this feels a little racist, let's come up with a new campaign," but no. They just keep churning 'em out.

Also, I don't think they have crunchy taco shells in Mexico. When we were there, all the tacos were served in soft corn tortillas. I'm pretty sure the crunchy taco shell is an Norte Americano invention.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mean for the Sake of Being Mean

Foster children would be allowed to get clothing only from second hand stores

Under a new budget proposal from State Sen. Bruce Casswell, children in the state’s foster care system would be allowed to purchase clothing only in used clothing stores.
  Under his plan, foster children would receive gift cards that could only be used at places like the Salvation Army, Goodwill and other second hand clothing stores.

 This guy's a real prick. These are foster children, not juvenile delinquents. These are kids who haven't done anything wrong. These are kids whose parents have either died or failed them so completely that they have to be taken in and cared for by strangers, but I guess Bruce Casswell feels that they ought to be stigmatized a bit more.

And he doesn't even bother trying to make up some justification about how this is a "cost-saving measure" or something. Here's his rationale:

 “I never had anything new,” Caswell says. “I got all the hand-me-downs. And my dad, he did a lot of shopping at the Salvation Army, and his comment was — and quite frankly it’s true — once you’re out of the store and you walk down the street, nobody knows where you bought your clothes.”

Yeah. That's it. This whole proposal is based on spite. I never had new clothes, so why should they get any?Why should they get the chance to feel like they fit in with the other kids? Why should they be spared the pitying glances of their peers?

I also never had new clothes growing up, and I can tell you it's not a good feeling. I still remember when an older kid from our church said to me "hey, you're wearing my shirt!" He wasn't trying to be mean, I don't think, but it stung. It doesn't feel good to think that other kids' parents love them enough to buy them new clothes, while yours dress you in others' castoffs. Sure, it's easy to look back now and realize that they were being fiscally responsible by not buying new clothes, and that probably no one but me cared either way whether my clothes were new, but it still felt kinda crappy. And I had parents. For a kid who already feels stigmatized by being a foster child, this seems like kicking them when they're down.

Congratulations, Idiots!

You managed to get the president to waste a little of his valuable time proving what had already been proven.

Wed Apr 27, 9:14 am ET

White House releases Obama birth certificate

 Great job! Now you've seen it, so all the months of shouting and sign-waving and frivolous lawsuits were all worth it. 

So now I guess we can get down to serious business without the silly distractions. Ha! of course we can't. Now we have to demand our right to see the president's college transcripts!

What the heck is wrong with asking the President of the United States to disclose what his college thesis was, what some of the um, uh, Harvard Law Review papers were that he wrote? I don't care about his grades. --Sarah Palin

 Oh, my God! You'd think now that the whole birther bullshit has finally been laid to rest, that. . . oh, really? They're still not satisfied? This is me feigning shock!



White House releases Obama 'birth certificate'

Cites Kapiolani as location, father's race as 'African'

 Yep, "birth certificate" is in quotes. I don't know why they went with the single quotes, but whatever.


By Bob Unruh
© 2011 WorldNetDaily

The White House today released a copy of President Obama's "Certificate of Live Birth," a document that for the first time claims Kapiolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital as the president's birth place. . .

If the document proves valid, it could answer the questions raised by those who have alleged he was not actually born in Hawaii. But it also could prove his ineligibility because of its references to his father. Some of the cases challenging Obama have explained that he was a dual citizen through his father at his birth, and they contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born citizens.  
Of course it still isn't good enough! You could show them video of Obama's mother giving birth to him on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and it wouldn't change anything. Does this come as a surprise to you, Mr. president? No matter what documentation you show them, you're not going to get any less black. These people can't stand the fact that you are the President and just can't bring themse3lves to admit that you are legitimate. There's no point in trying to reason with them.
"The news media and the political establishment were quick to rush to judgment regarding Obama's eligibility in 2008, without any basis. It would be a big mistake for everyone to jump to a conclusion now based on the release of this document, which raises as many questions as it answers," Farah added. 
See? It "raises as many questions as it answers?" That's so fucking insane. You can't combat thatt kind of crazy with facts and evidence and logic. These are the kind of people who think that the moon landing was fake and professional wrestling is real. Don't try to humor them, don't try to placate them, just ignore them. They won't go away, but at least we don't have to legitimize their insanity.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oh, For the love of God, Will You Please Just Get it Over With!

I swear to God, if I hear one more thing about this fucking royal wedding, I'm going to go mental.

Why is it that whenever this stupid, inbred, useless family does anything, the US press has to go gaga over them?

Maybe the English have some sort of good reason to cherish the royals, I guess they have some sort of significance to them, I haven't spent much time in England, I don't know, but we live in America. America. The country founded on the principle of "Fuck Royalty." We had a war so that we wouldn't have to put up with kings and queens, but every time there's news about the royals, we have to pretend that we give a shit about these people?

They do nothing, you know. They have no power, no responsibilities, no authority and really no accomplishments past perfecting the sideways half-assed dismissive royal wave. Although "perfected" is not exactly right, because nobody did the royal wave better than Sadam Hussein. Say what you want about Sadam, the man could wave. That man expressed more power with a turn of the wrist than, I don't know, someoneelse making some other hand gesture, the point is, Sadam was the master of the royal wave. You saw that wave, and you were ready to pledge your loyalty to that man!
Anyway, I just wish they would have the damn wedding and be done with it, and we can go back to being America again.

Monday, April 25, 2011

What Websites Would Jesus Surf?

David Barton, the "historian" whom Mike Huckabee said he would like to force people to listen to at gunpoint, knows what Jesus would think about net neutrality. Forget about the fact that the only nets that existed in Jesus' day were for catching fish, it's pretty clear what Jesus's opinion would be.

David Barton: But we talk about it [net neutrality] today because it is a principle of free market. That’s a Biblical principle, that’s a historical principle, we have all these quotes from Ben Franklin, and Jefferson and Washington and others on free market and how important that is to maintain. That is part of the reason we have prosperity. This is what the Pilgrims brought in, the Puritans brought in, this is free market mentality. Net Neutrality sounds really good, but it is socialism on the Internet. 

The Pilgrims? The Puritans? Haven't we always been told that they came to this land seeking religious freedom? You're saying now they came to bring free markets? Did the concept of free markets even exist in the 16th Century? "Wealth of Nations" didn't even come out until 1776. And the colonies certainly didn't operate in a free market system. They were part of Brittain and thus subject to the crown's mercantilism.

And how is the free market a biblical principle?There's no freedom  in the Bible. In the Old Testament, Israel exists as a theocracy, then as a monarchy. In the New Testament, Israel is under the thumb of the Roman Empire. When was there ever a "Free Market" in the Bible?

David Barton: This is the Fairness Doctrine applied to the Internet, and I’ll go back to what I believed for a long time is: fair is a word no Christian should ever use in their vocabulary. Fair has nothing to do with anything. What you want is justice, you don’t want fairness. Fairness is subjective, what I think is fair, what you think, what happened to Jesus wasn’t fair. That’s right, but we needed justice so God did that for us.

Um, what? First of all, I'm pretty sure that justice is just as subjective as fairness. In some places, it's considered justice to behead the infidel. In other places, it's apparently considered justice to hold a man in solitary confinement for months at a time if he is suspected of giving away secret information. Justice is always subjective. Slavery used to be considered just, now not so much.

Secondly, how is it justice to punish the one person who didn't do anything wrong in order to forgive all the people who did do wrong things? It definitely doesn't sound fair, and I don't see how you can say that that constitutes "justice." Also, what does any of that have to do with Net Neutrality?

See, you said it's "the fairness doctrine" and then said that fairness is somehow bad. I could say it's the "ice cream policy applied to the internet" and then say that ice cream is good and that would be just a legitimate an argument. More so, really, because ice cream actually is good. 

David Barton: This is really, I’m going to use the word wicked stuff, and I don’t use that word very often, but this is wicked stuff. 

This is idiotic. I don't use that word very often, but this is idiotic stuff.

"I mean, this is crazy stuff," Barton said. "This is redistribution of wealth through the Internet and it really is redistribution. This is socialism on the Internet."

Good point. Other than the fact that no wealth is being redistributed and it has nothing to do with socialism, Other than that, though, spot on!

By the way, the Bible seems to kinda like the whole socialism thing:
Remember this verse?
“When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, do not glean what is left; it shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow” (Deuteronomy 24: 21)
That's God redistributing your grapes.
Or this verse?
"During the seventh year, let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what they leave. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove." (Exodus 23:11)

That's God redistributing your land once every seven years.
"When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God." (Leviticus 23:22)
That's God redistributing your crops.
 "At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year's produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied." (Deuteronomy 14:28-29)
That's God redistributing your food.

So honestly, I can't see how you can say that the Bible opposes "socialism" and favors "free markets."

Well, this is going to ruin "Wait,Wait, Don't Tell Me!" for me

For some reason, advice columnist Amy Dickinson was featured in a panel discussion about media bias.
Apparently, she's just horrified at how "left-leaning" MSNBC has become, but she has no problem with FOX.
Also, she listens to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh daily and she thinks it's kinda sad that when Glenn or Rush make up a stupid untrue story, it takes "literally days" before the mainstream media decides to join in.

Also, Mary Matalin tells us a lot about herself when she says that she loves listening to NPR but hates having to pay for it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Danny "Mudcat" Dudek Live at the Northside Tavern in Atlanta,
just down the street from the Chaos Compound

And appearing at the WRFG Festival in 2009

For more Mudcat, visit Cafe' Chaos

Please, No More!

Please no more poop yogurt commercials. We get it. Your yogurt makes people poop. Do we really have to be subjected to the idea that women sit around talking about poop with their friends all day? Or do women really do that when us fellas aren't around? Oh, good no boys - let's talk about poop! 
I'm pooping right now!

And jeezus, Jamie Lee Curtis! What the hell are you doing pimping poop yogurt? You're a successful actress. You have a career, or you did before these ads started. Now you're just the talkin' 'bout poopin' lady.  
You know, now I can never watch "Halloween" or "Trading Places" without thinking "Oh, hey it's the poop lady!" I don't want to think that. 

Micheal! I'm trying to poop in here!

Also, do we need the arrow? 

That's just gross! And unnecessary. We know what direction food travels. You don't need to illustrate it for us. 
Step one: Food is jumble up in stomach.

Step two: Eat poop yogurt
(maniacal grin optional) 
Step three: Food heads for butt!

Gross! Please, Activia, no more! I'm begging you.

Adding Insult To Injury -- Literally

9/11 Responders To Be Warned They Will Be Screened By FBI's Terrorism Watch List 

The tens of thousands of cops, firefighters, construction workers and others who survived the worst terrorist assault in U.S. history and risked their lives in its wake will soon be informed that their names must be run through the FBI’s terrorism watch list, according to a letter obtained by HuffPost.
Any of the responders who are not compared to the database of suspected terrorists would be barred from getting treatment for the numerous, worsening ailments that the James Zadroga 9/11 Health And Compensation Law was passed to address.

It doesn't even make sense. If you got sick or injured trying to rescue people from 9/11, who suspects that you might secretly be a terrorist?

The provision was added in an amendment added by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) during the heated debate over the bill in the House Energy and Commerce Committee last May. 

So who the hell is Cliff Stearns?

Well, he's pretty much who you'd think he'd be.

 (via On The Issues)
On Civil Rights:
  • Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. (Nov 2007)
  • Voted YES on Constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman. (Jul 2006)
  • Voted YES on making the PATRIOT Act permanent. (Dec 2005)
  • Voted YES on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage. (Sep 2004)
  • Voted YES on protecting the Pledge of Allegiance. (Sep 2004)
  • Voted YES on constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration. (Jun 2003)
  • Voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC. (Jul 1999) 
 The Pledge of Allegiance thing sounded weird to me. I didn't realize it needed protection. According to "On the Issues" this refers to the "Pledge Protection Act"
Pledge Protection Act: Amends the Federal judicial code to deny jurisdiction to any Federal court, and appellate jurisdiction to the Supreme Court, to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of the Pledge of Allegiance or its validity under the Constitution.

I don't know why wingnuts can't grasp the whole "separation of powers" thing. Why do they always think that they can tell the courts what they can and can't review?

On the Environment:
  • Voted NO on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution. (Jun 2009)
  • Voted NO on tax credits for renewable electricity, with PAYGO offsets. (Sep 2008)
  • Voted NO on tax incentives for energy production and conservation. (May 2008)
  • Voted NO on tax incentives for renewable energy. (Feb 2008)
  • Voted YES on criminalizing oil cartels like OPEC. (May 2007) [WTF?]
  • Voted NO on removing oil & gas exploration subsidies. (Jan 2007)  
  • Voted NO on keeping moratorium on drilling for oil offshore. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted YES on scheduling permitting for new oil refinieries. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted YES on authorizing construction of new oil refineries. (Oct 2005)
  • Voted NO on raising CAFE standards; incentives for alternative fuels. (Aug 2001)
  • Voted NO on prohibiting oil drilling & development in ANWR. (Aug 2001)
  • Voted NO on starting implementation of Kyoto Protocol. (Jun 2000)
  • Bar greenhouse gases from Clean Air Act rules. (Jan 2009)

On Homeland Security:
  • Voted NO on requiring FISA warrants for wiretaps in US, but not abroad. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted YES on removing need for FISA warrant for wiretapping abroad. (Aug 2007)
  • Voted YES on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant. (Sep 2006)
  • Voted YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight. (Apr 2006) 
Because if we can't use warrantless wiretaps, how will we find out which cops and firefighters are secret terrorists?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

This is just adorable!

It's just adorable how Sarah Palin thinks that anyone is still taking her seriously!

I just want to pat her on the head and say "very good, Sarah! You're a big helper!"

Also, she forgot to pretend that teabagging rallies are "grass-roots."

Yeah, you are Americans For Prosperity, we know.

Teabaggers In Action -- Michigan Edition

When I first heard about Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's "Financial Martial Law" , I thought there was no way they would actually try to use it. I figured they'd use it as a threat to get municipalities to do what they wanted, threaten to take them over if they didn't fall in line, but there was no way they would actually do it, mainly because I can't imagine this law surviving a challenge in the courts.

I'm so naive.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - In one of his first acts under the new Emergency Financial Management law, which critics have described as a financial dictator law, Michigan's Republican Gov. Rick Snyder stripped the people of Benton Harbor, Mich., of their voting rights and their elected officials last week.

Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joseph Harris took over Benton Harbor's finances last year, but under new powers granted to Gov. Snyder by the Republican-controlled state legislature, Harris has claimed unprecedented authority.
Appointed to takeover the predominantly working-class, African American city, Harris seized control over the duties and responsibilities held by Benton Harbor's elected officials, its commissions, and its financial resources.

I'm waiting to see how many teabaggers show up to protest against this particular bit of tyranny.  Hmm, none yet. Still waiting. . .Oh, here come a couple! 

No, they think healthcare reform is tyranny, an entire city being ruled by one man with virtually un-checked power? That's apparently fine, I guess.

Oh, what about her?  

No, she's upset that elected officials tried to govern according to the principle of majority rule.

So no, no teabaggers seem to be at all concerned about this gross overreach of power by Michigan's scumbag governor. 

So why did Snyder decide he had to take over the city of Benton Harbor?

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reported that Snyder's emergency powers law allowed Harris to take the city's attractive lakefront public land and give it to a group known as Harbor Shores, which has been linked to the local Rep. Fred Upton, a high-ranking Republican leader in the House of Representatives.

Basically, it seems that they want to seize the town's public beach and give it to a developer to build a private golf course/housing tract. Watch the clip from the Rachel Maddow Show below for the full story. 

 So, yeah, congratulations teabaggers of Michigan! This is the guy you put in charge! Way to go.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Penguin of the Year

An Open Letter to 97.1 Classic Hits Radio

Dear Sir or Madam,

     Apparently it falls to me to clarify the definition of the word "classic." As a noun, a "classic" is defined by Meriam Webster as: " a work of enduring excellence," or " a typical or perfect example."  As an adjective, it is defined as " serving as a standard of excellence : of recognized value." In neither usage does it refer to "any song which is older than the legal drinking age."

 Let me give you an example.  The song "Yesterday" by the Beatles is considered to be a classic of pop music. It has been enjoyed by persons of taste for over 40 years. It can be said to have "stood the test of time."
 "Piano Man" by Billy Joel, on the other hand meets none of the criteria for being considered a "classic." No one has ever listened to the song "Piano Man" and thought, "now there is a work which will be appreciated and enjoyed for generations to come. Rhyming Davy with Navy? Classic Joel! Oh, and the chorus? La-diddy-da-diddy-da? Brilliant! Surely this magnum opus will be a welcome addition to the canon for decades!"

If you want to play both the Beatles and Billy Joel, you are certainly free to do so. You could play both Bob Dylan and Bobby Brown if you wish. You could follow Chuck Berry with Katy Perry, it's your station, you can play whatever you like. But then you don't get to call it "Classic Hits." Just call it "Music." Words mean things. 

Thank You.


Monday, April 18, 2011

GA Pastor Has His Priorities Straight

Georgia Church Group Will Pray For Lower Gas Prices 

On Saturday, the Beacon of Light Christian Center in Dublin, Georgia will host a group prayer in an effort to bring down quickly-rising gas prices, according to local news station WMAZ


Wow! First of all, I love the idea that you need to get a big group together to pray for something. Like if you get enough folks praying for the same thing, God's gonna see those poll numbers and finally give in. If the minister prayed by himself, God would probably blow him off. But  a group praying publicly, well God doesn't need that kind of bad press.

Also, why does the prayer group have to meet at an actual gas station? Do they think God might get mixed up? If they held the prayer group in church, do they think God would say "gas? I thought you said Mass! You can certainly understand my confusion, seeing as how you're standing in a church and there are no gas pumps here!"

Then there's the obvious question. If you're going to get your congregation together to combine their praying abilities into some sort of mega-prayer, shouldn't you be focusing on something a little more important than gas prices? An end to hunger, maybe? Cures for horrible diseases? World peace? No, we really got to get this gas price thing under control, then we can worry about wars and famines.

In his defense, the pastor isn't only praying for gas prices, though.
“We are praying that God…will first, stabilize the economy, two, bring peace to the Middle East, and three bring down gas prices,” he said.

The entire nation should host similar prayer vigils, he added.

Gas prices are only the third most important thing that God needs to address.  First, the US economy. That's a no-brainer. If we've learned anything from the Bible, it's that money is the most important thing in the world as far as God's concerned. Then, peace in the Middle East. A bunch of people getting killed is nearly as important as the economy. Then gas prices. Then, if there's time, maybe a cure for cancer? Or whatever, just play it by ear.

So, what effect is this prayer group having?
Gas prices are swiftly approaching $4 there and Mabry said he believes God can help.

This is his third time gathering parishioners to meet at the gas pumps to pray, he told CNN,

This is the third time, and gas prices still haven't come down? Pray harder, you slackers!

Asked what he tells detractors, Mabry said, “I don’t understand how anyone can say God doesn’t have anything to do with the gas prices. God has everything to do with the country.

 Whoa! You're blaming me for these gas prices? I don't work for Exxon-Mobil!

Friday, April 15, 2011

So Apparently I'm a Pornographer Now.

I just got this notification from Google AdSense:


During a recent review of your account we found that you are currently
displaying Google ads in a manner that is not compliant with our program


ADULT/PORNOGRAPHY: As stated in our program policies, AdSense publishers
are not permitted to place Google ads on pages with pornographic content.
This includes photos or videos which contain full nudity or sexual

So I guess something on the Daily Irritant is just too filthy for AdSense. If anyone has any suggestions as to what the naughty item is, I'd be happy to delete the offending picture or whatever. I certainly don't want to be thought of as a smut peddler.

Terrible marketing Campaigns -- T-Mobile

So, someone at an ad agency saw the "I'm a Mac" Apple commercials and thought, "hey, we should do something like that. Something totally like that, only without the humor or charm. We'll even get a guy from the Daily Show to be in it so no one can possibly miss the fact that we're just ripping off the Mac ads."

"And let's get the least charismatic spokeswoman we can find to portray our product. Someone who's young and sorta pretty but still manages too be completely unappealing."
Who is the target market for this? People who detest originality? I would say people who hate AT&T, but that's pretty much the entire human race.

Sorry About That

 I'm not sure what went wrong with yesterday's FOX-related post.
This was supposed to be the first video.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oh, FOX. You Have no Sense of Irony!

How nutty are you when Ann Coulter thinks you're crazy? How nutty do you have to be for Ann Freakin' Coulter to have to step in and be the voice of reason? Well, you have to be "birther crazy," apparently.

Of course, she's full of shit about a lot of things, like "I don't even know if these are conservatives pushing this." or "It's the liberal media. . .   You haven't heard that on Fox News." Especially because like three days later, Hannity had Batshit Bachmann on to say this:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

J. Crew Is Destroying The World!

At least according to

J. Crew Plants the Seeds for Gender Identity

By Dr. Keith Ablow
Published April 11, 2011
Dr. Keith Ablow Dr. Keith Ablow
I guess that's supposed to be scary, but I didn't see how the term "gender identity" would mean anything negative. I thought maybe it had some definition with which I was unfamiliar, but according to, it just means:
a person's inner sense of being male or female, usually developed during early childhood

the totality of physical and behavioral traits that are designated by a culture as masculine or feminine

So how is "planting the seeds of gender identity" supposed to be bad? Oh, just wait! Here's an ominous bit of foreshadowing, "pink toenails!!!!" See, Miss Stone, I was paying attention in Ninth Grade Lit.

A recent feature in J. Crew's online catalogue portrays designer Jenna Lyons painting her son Beckett’s toe nails hot pink. The quote accompanying the image reads, “Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”

Oh, I think we all know where this is going. Next stop, Gomorrha!

Yeah, well, it may be fun and games now, Jenna, but at least put some money aside for psychotherapy for the kid—and maybe a little for others who’ll be affected by your “innocent” pleasure.

I know I'm affected already just from seeing the picture of the little boy's pink toenails. Help, I need some sort of gender therapy or something! Quickly, before I put on a dress!
This is a dramatic example of the way that our culture is being encouraged to abandon all trappings of gender identity—homogenizing males and females when the outcome of such “psychological sterilization” [my word choice] is not known.

Well, you could ask David Bowie. Was anyone ever more androgynous than Bowie in his heyday?

And how did this affect his personal life? Well, he's been married twice, currently to model Iman since 1992, and has fathered a child with each of his wives. (And God knows how many with various groupies.) Hardly an example of "sterilization."
In our technology-driven world—fueled by Facebook, split-second Prozac prescriptions and lots of other assaults on genuine emotion and genuine relationships and actual consequences for behavior—almost nothing is now honored as real and true.

Do they still make Prozac? I thought everyone was taking Zoloft now.  But yeah, he's got a good point. Nothing assaults actual consequences for behavior like Facebook and anti-depressants. Because you could do something totally bad and then Facebook would, um, let you get away with it, I guess? Or something? With Prozac? Anyway. . .

Increasingly, this includes the truth that it is unwise to dress little girls like miniature adults (in halter tops and shorts emblazoned with PINK across the bottoms) and that it is unwise to encourage little boys to playact like little girls.

Okay, you had me then you lost me. I have to agree that dressing little girls in outfits that would be "provocative" on grown women just seems wrong and really just horrible.
But I don't see the problem with a little boy playing with "girl stuff" like makeup or dolls or whatever, How could this possibly be a problem?

If you have no problem with the J. Crew ad, how about one in which a little boy models a sundress?

I don't know, might look kinda bad-ass.

how about one in which a little boy models a sundress? What could possibly be the problem with that? Well, how about the fact that encouraging the choosing of gender identity, rather than suggesting our children become comfortable with the ones that they got at birth, can throw our species into real psychological turmoil—not to mention crowding operating rooms with procedures to grotesquely amputate body parts? 

Riiiiight, because if a little boy were to wear a dress, next thing you know, he's gonna want to get his dick lopped off. It's hard to argue with that logic.

Why not make race the next frontier? What would be so wrong with people deciding to tattoo themselves dark brown and claim African-American heritage?

Um, it wouldn't work? They'd end up looking like this:

And it would take forever and cost a fortune and hurt like hell.

Why not bleach the skin of others so they can playact as Caucasians?

Um, because this:

Why should we hold dear anything with which we were born? 

Yeah, honestly, most of us are perfectly happy with our genders. I personally have no desire to swap my you-know-what for a lady-you-know-what, and I think most of us feel the same way. But for those who are dissatisfied with their assigned gender, what the hell is the problem with letting them try to improve on what they were given?

Why should we hold dear anything with which we were born? What’s the benefit of non-fiction over fiction?
Well, the benefit is that non-fiction always wins, in the end. And to the extent that you take flights of fancy into masquerading through life, life will exact a psychological penalty.
The fallout is already being seen. Increasingly, girls show none of the reticence they once did to engage in early sexual relationships with boys. 

Which is due largely to boys painting their toenails pink. Damn, I wish I would have known that trick when I was a lad! Although, I think that if young ladies are less afraid of their sexuality, that might not be "fallout" so much as a positive development.
 Increasingly, girls show none of the reticence they once did to engage in early sexual relationships with boys. That may be a good thing from the standpoint of gender equality, but it could be a bad thing since there is no longer the same typically “feminine” brake on such behavior. 

The horror! Young people having sex! Oh, I feel faint!

Girls beat up other girls on YouTube. Young men primp and preen until their abdomens are washboards and their hair is perfect. 
Yeah, nothing is more feminine than washboard abs! 
Dude looks like a lady!

And the surest way to develop those abdominal muscles is by "priming and preening!",1225127426,8/stock-photo-a-young-male-primping-in-front-of-a-mirror-19565467.jpg 
Primpin' Ain't Easy!
And while that may seem like no big deal, it will be a very big deal if it turns out that neither gender is very comfortable anymore nurturing children above all else, and neither gender is motivated to rank creating a family above having great sex forever and neither gender is motivated to protect the nation by marching into combat against other men and risking their lives.

Also, if it turns out that neither gender is motivated to grind wheat into flour, or  neither gender is comfortable commanding a submarine, or neither gender is motivated to yodel from mountaintops? All those things could totally happen!  If boys are primping their abs and hair to attract girls, then who's going to march into combat? And who's going to nurture the children if people are too busy having great sex? Great Sex Forever!

Maybe we’ll all have shiny, colored lips, though, and pierced ears and perfect eyebrows and mommies who get applause from their J. Crew friends at the park for parading their sons through the streets in costume.

Their J. Crew friends? You can order friends from J. Crew now? Friends that will applaud for you? I would totally drag a kid through the street in dress if I could get an ovation. My stupid friends almost never applaud me.
Jenna Lyons and J. Crew seem to know exactly what they’re up to. That’s why the photograph of Jenna’s son so prominently displays his hot pink, neon toe nails. These folks are hostile to the gender distinctions that actually are part of the magnificent synergy that creates and sustains the human race [fucking]

I see it all now! Clearly, J. Crew is not really a clothing company, they're just a front for a sinister group of androgynes who plan to turn us all into cross-dressers. Then, when we're all busy parading around with our costumed kids, they will sneak in and win Wimbledon! If Pete Sampras is busy trying on prom dresses and the Williams sisters are beating up Kim Clijsters on YouTube, there'll be no stopping them!

I wonder what Jenna would think if her son wanted to celebrate his masculinity with a little playacting as a cowboy, with a gun? Would that bring the same smile of joy and pure love that we see on her face in the J. Crew advertisement? Or would that be where she might draw the line?

Ooh, baseless speculation! Can I play? Um, what if he wanted to be a cowboy, but it was the cowboy from the Village people?

I bet she would totally be OK with that.

Or what if he wanted to play pirate?

But, here's the twist, he meant Pittsburgh Pirate!

Ooh, I'll bet she would hate that,because her son would be doing something typical of his gender identity group. And we know how much Jenna and the whole J. Crew cabal hate that!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Poker Tips from the President

copyright Mike Lukovich

Budget Deal

So, I guess a budget deal was finally agreed upon by both parties.

 “Never before has any Congress made dramatic cuts such as those that are in this final legislation,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said in a statement. “The near $40 billion reduction in non-defense spending is nearly five times larger than any other cut in history, and is the result of this new Republican majority’s commitment to bring about real change in the way Washington spends the people’s money.”
 A real change? Really? Because the total budget is, according to "The Hill,"$1.049 trillion. Last year's budget was $1.089 trillion. by my calculations, that is a change of 4 percent. You cut Four Percent of the budget and this is your commitment to real change? That commitment sounds about as serious as this one:

Here are some highlights from the budget deal that the Republicans and Democrats were finally able to agree upon:

Summary – Final Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution

The bill provides $1 billion for Food Safety and Inspection, which is $10 million below the fiscal year 2010 level

Cutting food safety? Sure, because no one gets food poisoning anymore. I've gotten it twice in the last two years, but other than me, probably no one.  I'd better check with the CDC:

Food-Related Illness and Death in the United States

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
 We estimate that foodborne diseases cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the United States each year. 

Oh, that's pretty bad.

And we cut Ten Million from food inspection, huh? Granted, 10 mil is kind of a drop in the bucket, but when our food is killing 5,000 of us every year, shouldn't we be spending more on food safety?

What else got cut?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reduced by $1.6 billion, a 16% decrease from last year’s level.Climate change funding bill-wide is cut by $49 million (-13%),

We'll save so much money by just pretending that the climate isn't changing.  That's so much cheaper than actually trying to do something about it!

The CR terminates funding for more than 55 programs, for a total savings of well over $1 billion. In addition, the bill cuts two programs funded in ObamaCare (the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) and terminates the Free Choice Voucher programs).

Wow! You know, Obama didn't get a whole lot of his ideas into the final healthcare bill, now he and the Dems just bargained two of them away? 
Military Construction/Veterans Affairs: Military Construction/Veterans Affairs programs will receive $73.3 billion in discretionary funding – a decrease of $2.7 billion below the President’s fiscal year 2011 request and a decrease of $3.3 billion below last year’s level.

Support our troops!
For the Department of Transportation, the bill eliminates new funding for High Speed Rail and rescinds $400 million in previous year funds, for a total reduction of $2.9 billion from fiscal year 2010 levels. The bill reduces funding for transit by a total of $991 million

Don't worry, we'll just keep invading Muslim countries until we get these gas prices back down! You won't need public transit. Our crumbling infrastructure can handle as many cars as you can throw at it.

The Women, Infants and Children nutrition program is cut $504 million, because who would want food when it's probably going to poison you anyway.
$786 million was cut from FEMA because natural disasters are soooo 2005.
Low-income heating assistance is cut $390 million, because since we're not going to do anything about global warming, no one's going to need heat.

Then there are the so-called "riders," the little easter eggs added to the bill having nothing to do with the budget. Riders like:
Sec. 4030
Prohibits the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from collecting information on multiple sales of rifles or shotguns to the same person.
Sec. 2237
Prohibits funding for capital advances or rental assistance contracts for HUD Housing for the Elderly projects.
Sec. 1284
Prohibits funding for carrying out section 19 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act.
So no helping the elderly stay in their homes, no fresh fruits & vegetables for schoolkids, and no keeping an eye on potential militia gun-nut freaks. All this and still only 4%, huh? Seems like maybe there might be somewhere that we could make some more significant cuts. Hmmmmm, let me think. . . .

Oh, maybe that big red chunk? Maybe we could make some cuts there?

Let's check the House Appropriations Comittee thingie. What do they say about defense?

Defense Funding: The Department of Defense is funded at $513 billion in the CR – approximately $5 billion above last year – providing the necessary resources for the safety of our troops and the success of our nation’s military actions. The bill also includes an additional $157.8 billion for overseas contingency operations (emergency funding) to advance our missions abroad.

Oh, of course. We may not have money to help old people or kids, but goddammit, we gots to have money fer blowin' shit up! 
How about this? Can we maybe institute a one-war-at-a-time policy? Can we we maybe finish one war before we start another? I'd like to see a no-invading-foreign-countries-unless-and-until-they-bomb-Pearl-Harbor policy, but I'm trying to be realistic here. One war. I'd settle for reducing the number of wars to one at a time (including covert bombings in places like Yemen. Yeah, Mr. President, we know about that.)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Rick Santorum is Fucking Insane

"My penis is the same size as my IQ!

Santorum warns Colorado Republicans about addictive entitlements, socialism 

Of course, that sort of thing doesn't even register as crazy these days. 

Potential presidential candidate Rick Santorum — who lost his Pennsylvania Senate seat in 2006 but has been raising his profile as a devout conservative in the last year — warned a crowd of about 100 Republicans that the country they grew up in could vanish if Democrats keep the White House in the next election.

The America in which medical problems lead straight to bankruptcy? That might disappear? I wish! I wouldn't worry too much about that, though.

Santorum related the story of his grandfather, who immigrated from Italy because he yearned for the freedom America promised. But Democrats, he said, are attempting to engineer “a fundamental shift,” and could turn the country into a European-style socialist state in the next few years if they aren’t checked.
Have you ever been to Europe? It's really not a scary place at all. People are happy there. You really have to be an incredibly xenophobic ignoramus for "European-style" to be a threat.   Also, have you met these Democrats? These putzes aren't changing anything.

“If we do not win this election and ‘Obamacare’ goes into effect, America as you know it, as you were given it by your parents and grandparents — America will be gone forever,” he said. “That’s what I believe is at stake. America as you know it will be gone.”

 So how exactly does healthcare reform threaten the American way of life?

The reason Obama’s health care plan threatens the American way of life, Santorum said, is that “once the government has control over your life, over your health, it’s almost impossible to get it back, almost impossible to get freedom back.”
It’s part of the Democrats’ plan, he said. Fox News commentator Juan Williams boiled it down for him, Santorum said. 

Oh, Juan Williams? Juan Williams boiled it down for you, did he? What, was Megyn Kelly too busy?

The answer, Santorum said Williams told him, is that Democratic leaders knew that Americans love entitlements, and that by turning health care into an entitlement the die would be cast. “Once we get them hooked on this entitlement, they will never let it go,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi believed, according to Williams.

Which is why the Democrats specifically did not do that? That's why single-payer was never on the table? They wanted people hooked on an entitlement so they didn't make it an entitlement? Did Santorum hire Lewis Carroll to be his speechwriter?
hmmph! My tea party made way more sense! 

“Think about how they view you,” he told the crowd of Republicans. “They view you no different than the drug dealer views the little kid in the school yard. They want to get you hooked, they want to get you dependent. They want to get you relying upon them for your wellbeing. And once they’ve satisfied you, giving them that drug, that narcotic, then you’ll be reliant on them and, by the way, you’ll also be less than what God created you to be.”

Um, less than what God created you to be? What does that even mean? What exactly was I created to be? And how would heath care make me less than that? It makes no freaking sense? But wait, there's more!

Santorum talked about statistical proof of American exceptionalism — arguing that life expectancy didn’t increase for thousands of years until America was founded, and then it doubled in 200 years.

Wow, really? Here's another statistic you might find interesting. In 1966, the average life expectancy for American males was 66.7 years. In 1967, I was born. Since then, life expectancy has increased to 75.7 years. By Santorum's reasoning, I can take credit for that.

Of course, the increase in life expectancy over the last 200 years might have more to do with Englishman Edward Jenner inventing immunization  Or Frenchman Louis Pasteur developing the germ theory of disease. Or the German Emil Von Behring's discovery of antitoxins. But yeah, probably it's just because of America being founded. Idiot! 
I weep at the thought of living in a country of which my daddy is president!

Why Exactly Are We Supposed to Take This Guy Seriously? 

I haz a plan?

I don't understand why Paul Ryan's budget plan is supposed to be one of the serious options that serious people need to take seriously. Forget for the moment that the plan includes destroying Medicare and Medicaid and whatnot. Just the fact that the plan to decrease the deficit includes lowering taxes on the top income group should automatically disqualify this little snake turd from being taken seriously.

If I'm going over the bills at home and I say to my wife "geez, schmoopie, we're running up some serious debt here. I think I may have to quit my job," she would have me committed. And rightly so. How in the hell does anyone think that you can decrease a deficit by taking in less money? Even if you believed this Milton Friedman voodoo economics prior to the 1980's, hasn't it been thoroughly disproven by the enormous debts the Gipper ran up?

And speaking of Reagan, even he wasn't as big a nut as the teabagger's mythologized version of Saint Ronnie. When he came into office, the first thing he did was slash taxes. (Technically the second thing after having the solar water heaters removed from the White House) But when he saw the deficit ballooning out of control, he realized that he had cut them too much and he raised them  a little. Yeah, Reagan RAISED taxes. Then he raised them again. And again. A total of 11 times. (source)

Heh? I did what, now?

He never did raise them enough to get the deficit under control, but that's not really the point. The point is, even Reagan realized that tax cuts aren't the answer to every problem. Today's wingnut Republicans seem to think that they are. "Oh, the economy is bad? Better cut taxes on the wealthy. Economy's doing better? Time to cut taxes on the wealthy! The deficit is spiraling out of control? I guess we haven't cut taxes enough yet. The last round of tax cuts made the deficit bigger? We'd better cut taxes!" It's ridiculous. Yet, for some reason, we as a society have apparently decided that we need to consider this nonsense as if it were a legitimate solution to our nation's problems. It makes me want to bang my head against the wall until I'm stupid enough to get it.

Religious Values

From Yahoo Sports:

Roethlisberger isn’t living with fiancee because of religious beliefs


Roethlisberger and Harlan became engaged around Christmas, but the quarterback refused to talk about the subject during the Steelers' run to the Super Bowl.

Another revelation in the lengthy interview was that Roethlisberger won't live with Harlan until the wedding because of their religious beliefs. She still lives at home with her parents in nearby Newcastle.

Oh, good for you. Ben! Because we all know that the Bible forbids you to have sex with a woman to whom you are not married. Unless you're really drunk. And you follow her into the ladies' room. That's apparently OK.  Nice values, there, Ben!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Election Fraud in Wisconsin

via HuffPo:

Wisconsin Election Surprise: David Prosser Gains 7,500 Votes After 'Human Error' In Waukesha County

-- In a dramatic turn of events on Thursday, the Waukesha County clerk announced that the vote total announced for Tuesday's Wisconsin Supreme Court race had been mistaken -- and that the corrected numbers changed the outcome of the entire election. 

So basically, Scott Walker's favorite judge lost his re-election bid. Not too terribly surprising, given Walker's  unpopularity. But wait! Suddenly this county clerk found a whole big bunch of votes that she had sorta lost somehow. And surprise! They're mostly for Walker's guy!

There were 3,456 missing votes for Democratic-backed challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg and 11,059 for incumbent GOP-backed Justice David Prosser. Kloppenburg has previously been beating Prosser by just 200 votes of the roughly 1.5 million cast statewide. The new total puts Prosser on a significant path to victory, about 7,500 votes ahead of Kloppenburg.

Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus announced the news in a press conference at 5:30 p.m. local time, sounding nervous and, at times, on the verge of tears. She insisted that there was no foul play in the results and blamed the mess on her own "human error."

Is anyone buying this? What do we know about this Kathy Nickolaus? Personally, I know absolutely nothing about her, but the Google  found this:

via AP:
Nickolaus was given immunity from prosecution in a 2002 criminal investigation into illegal activity by members of the assembly Republican Caucus. She worked for 13 years as a data analyst and computer specialist for the caucus.
She resigned from her state job in 2002 just before launching her county clerk campaign.

So, sure, why shouldn't we trust her? She was involved in illegal activity while working for the Republican caucus? That just screams impartial & trustworthy to me! 

And her stellar record overseeing elections just speaks for itself:

An audit of Nickolaus' handling of the 2010 election found that she needed to take steps to improve security and backup procedures, like stop sharing passwords. The audit was requested after the county's director of administration said Nickolaus had been uncooperative with attempts to have county experts review her systems and confirm backups were in place.

Then there's this from  Daily Kos:

Nickolaus says repeatedly that she imported the data into Access, but through a process of "human error", she "forgot to save".  Then come the tears, repeatedly, throughout her presser.
Here's the problem.  Microsoft Access (any version) doesn't ask you to save. When you enter data into a table, it automatically updates the underlying database.  If you close the database accidentally, the data you entered (or imported, in the case of Nickolaus) remains.  If you stop to take a phone call from your buddy the governor (for example), your data will still automatically save.

So I decided to make a little voting database in Microsoft Access 2010 and 2007, to test her story.

I entered 10,000 votes for Prosser, and closed the database.  No save prompt appeared.  I came back in, and there were the 10,000 votes!  Thanks Bill Gates!  I entered 20,000 votes for Prosser, and did a hard shutdown of my computer.  When I booted back up and reopened the file, the 20,000 votes were there!  Thanks again Bill Gates!
Bottom line: Nickolaus is clearly lying.  Not only did she insist on having her own private system based on some of the most unsecure, pedestrian computing technology available (Seriously?  Access and Excel controlling such an important part of our democracy?), but she apparently assumes that nobody else has ever used Microsoft Access.

So a dishonest election official is apparently trying to commit a pretty blatant election fraud on behalf of a right-wing scumbag candidate. Why not? It worked in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004. There is nothing these people will not do to hold on to power.