Thursday, April 30, 2015

Reacting to Unrest in Baltimore - A guide for white people

As a fellow white person, I feel it my duty to publish a few helpful hints for my melanin-challenged brethren about what not to do when discussing recent events in Baltimore.

1. Don't assume you know anything about the situation. You don't. I don't. Us white folks will never be in this kind of situation, we don't have any perspective to offer.

2. Don't, in any discussion of the events in Baltimore, use the word "thugs." It doesn't matter what you mean by the word "thug." It doesn't matter if, when you think "thug," you picture someone like this:
The word "thug" has been used by white supremacists and their apologists to demonize so many dead black guys , from Trayvon Martin to Mike Brown to Eric Garner that it has become sort of a pseudo-polite version of the N-word. It doesn't matter how you mean it, just don't use it to describe the protestors or rioters or really any black person. Just don't.  Besides, guys who would throw a man in handcuffs into a van, not buckle him in and take him for a "rough ride" are pretty much the dictionary definition of thugs. Although you probably won't hear them called that.

 3. Don't reflexively defend the cops. Sure, the cops in your neighborhood may well be courteous professionals there to serve and protect, but your neighborhood isn't Baltimore. Here's a short excerpt from a recent Baltimore Sun article about their police department:

Over the past four years, more than 100 people have won court judgments or settlements related to allegations of brutality and civil rights violations. Victims include a 15-year-old boy riding a dirt bike, a 26-year-old pregnant accountant who had witnessed a beating, a 50-year-old woman selling church raffle tickets, a 65-year-old church deacon rolling a cigarette and an 87-year-old grandmother aiding her wounded grandson.
Those cases detail a frightful human toll. Officers have battered dozens of residents who suffered broken bones — jaws, noses, arms, legs, ankles — head trauma, organ failure, and even death, coming during questionable arrests. Some residents were beaten while handcuffed; others were thrown to the pavement.

That's 25 people per year WINNING lawsuits against the police dept. Which is not easy to do. Juries tend to believe cops, and it's usually the cops' word against someone who has been arrested, so is likely not to be trusted? The fact that the police have lost 100 suits in four years should speak volume about the level of corruption and violence in the Baltimore Police Department.

4. Do not, and I can not emphasize this enough, do NOT invoke Dr. King to shame those who may be reacting less than non-violently. You only make yourself look like an asshole. Yes, Martin Luther King preached non-violence. And he was still murdered. And the only reason a white person ever quotes Rev. King to a black person is to be extremely condescending. If you invoke Dr. King, you're really just using him as a cover for your own desire to tell black people how they should and shouldn't behave.

5. Don't try to blame the victim. Don't ask "well, why did he run from the police?" Well, when the police caught him, they murdered him, so you tell me why he was running. Why do gazelles run from lions? Sure, maybe this particular lion isn't hungry, maybe she just ate, maybe she has indigestion or just doesn't like the taste of gazelle. But the gazelle has no way of knowing, so he runs. And no one finds it necessary to say #NotAllLions.

6. Don't say "violence doesn't solve anything" or "violence is no the answer." Everyone already knows this. And you weren't urging non-violence when it was the cops killing unarmed black men. It's only when black people get so fed up and frustrated that their rage becomes uncontainable that you suddenly turn onto Gandhi and preach turning the other cheek. (I know that wasn't Gandhi, that was Jesus but I was on a roll)

7. Don't act like the demonstrators/protestors/rioters don't have every reason to be furious.

8. Don't act like a CVS building or some car windows are more important than a young man's life.

9. Don't believe ANYTHING from official sources. The Police Department is going to lie. They will circle the wagons and defend their officers no matter what. And that apparently includes coercing someone into telling a bullshit story about Freddy Gray intentionally trying to hurt himself by throwing himself against the steel walls of the police van. A story which was almost immediately debunked.

10. Don't believe any e-mail forwards from your racist relatives. Especially the one about Gray supposedly having a pre-existing back injury. It is a lie. And even if it weren't, what's the point? Like if he hadn't had this injury he would have survived being beaten and thrown around the back of a van? It would only be a case of police committing assault and battery instead of murder?

11. Don't ask your one black friend, or the one black guy at work to speak for the residents of Baltimore. It's unfair and insulting.

12. Do not watch FOX.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Revisionist History on FOX? I am shocked!

I swear, these people live in a fantasy world.

Fox’s Stacey Dash: No One Would Have Been Beheaded Under Bush

“When George W. Bush was president, the most important thing to him was not to be liked, but to be respected,” she said. “And you better believe no one would have been beheaded when he was president.” 

Oh my Gawd! So no one would have dared to behead any Americans when Dubya was president? Well, let's look at some of the things that people did dare to do while Bush was in office.

1. Nine Fucking Eleven.
Do we really need to go on?

2. Two American contractors were burned, mutilated and hung from a bridge.

3.  Nicholas Berg, an American, was BEHEADED by Iraqi militants, and the video of the beheading was posted online. In 2004. When George W. Bush was President.

4. American journalist Daniel Pearl was BEHEADED by Iraqi militants. In 2002. When George W. Bush was president.

But, yeah. Obviously the rest of the world just respected Bush so much they never would have dared to do those things that they actually did. Oh, and here are a few highlights from Politifact's list of incidents in which other countries showed how much respect they had for America under Dubya:

June 14, 2002: A suicide bombing in front of the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, left 12 dead and 51 injured.
Nov. 9, 2002: The security supervisor for the U.S. embassy in Nepal was shot dead at his house in Kathmandu. Maoist rebels claimed responsibility for the incident.
May 12, 2003: In a series of attacks, suicide bombers blew themselves up in a truck loaded with explosives in a complex that housed staff working for U.S. defense firm Vinnell in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (The contractors worked out of the U.S. embassy.) At least eight Americans were killed in the incident. Al-Qaida was suspected responsible for the incident. This was one of three attacks, involving at least nine suicide bombers and suspected to have involved 19 perpetrators overall.
July 30, 2004: Two people, including a suicide bomber, were killed and one person was injured as a suicide bomber set off an explosion at the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The Israeli Embassy and the Uzbekistan Prosecutor General’s Office in Tashkent were also attacked in related incidents.
Oct. 24, 2004: Edward Seitz, the assistant regional security officer at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, died in a mortar or possible rocket attack at Camp Victory near the Baghdad airport. An American soldier was also injured. He was believed to be the first U.S. diplomat killed following the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
Nov 25, 2004: Jim Mollen, the U.S. Embassy’s senior consultant to the Iraqi Ministers of Education and Higher Education, was killed just outside the Green Zone in Baghdad.
Dec. 7, 2004: Gunmen belonging to al-Qaida in the Arabian Penninsula stormed the U.S. Consulate in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, triggering a bloody four-hour siege that left nine dead. One American was slightly injured in the assault.
Jan. 29, 2005: Unknown attackers fired either a rocket or a mortar round at the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad. The strike killed two U.S. citizens and left four others injured.

What kind of a fantasy world do you have to live in to think that no one would be getting beheaded in Bush was in office? The same fantasy world in which Putin would never have dared to invade Ukraine if Bush were still around. Sure, he invaded Georgia under Bush, but no way Ukraine!

Shouldn't there be some requirement that these people have some tether to reality?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Marco Rubio is right about something. Stop the Presses!

“There is no federal constitutional right to same sex marriage. There isn’t such a right. You have to have a ridiculous reading of the U.S. constitution to reach the conclusion that people have a right to marry someone of the same sex. . . ."

Okay, technically that is true. There is no right to same-sex marriage in the Constitution. There also is no Constitutional right to opposite-sex marriage. There is no Constitutional right to drive a car or walk your dog or wear white after Labor Day.

What there is is an "Equal Protection" clause, which means that if I'm allowed to drive my car, you're allowed to drive yours. You can't say my next door neighbor is allowed to walk his dog because he has a cool German Shepherd but the guy across the street with an ugly rat-dog is not. And if Bob and Jane are allowed to get married, so are Jim and Hank.

It's not that complicated.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Republicans Discover Love for Immigrants

The Republican-led House Judiciary just approved a bill that would make it easier for immigrants to stay in the U.S. Not all immigrants, of course, but some. What makes these particular immigrants different than, say the children from Central America fleeing certain death?

Well, for starters, they're white.
In fact, there about as white as white can be, they're German.

And they're fleeing the "persecution" of having to give their children a proper education.

In other words, future Republican voters!

House panel approves asylum bill for homeschoolers

Erin Kelly, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill Wednesday that would allow people to seek asylum in the USA if they are persecuted by their governments for homeschooling their children. At the same time, the bill would make it tougher for children fleeing gang and drug violence in Central America to gain refuge here. 

Yes, apparently in Germany and other sensible countries, it is not legal to homeschool your children. And in the spirit of that great lady who said "give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses of people who don't feel like they should have to obey their nation's laws. . ." House Republicans are proposing granting "asylum" to German parents who would prefer that their children not learn from qualified professionals.

The Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act, sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, would make it more difficult overall for refugees to win their asylum cases, while opening a category of relief for families who live in countries that outlaw homeschooling. The bill would allow up to 500 grants of asylum per year to families fleeing persecution for homeschooling their children.
 Supporters of the bill point to cases in Europe where parents have faced fines and imprisonment for refusing to send their children to schools outside the home.

 Or, and I'm just spitballing here, but maybe they could just obey the fucking law and send their kids to school. It's really not that hard a problem to solve. Insisting on enforcing a simple law is not really what "persecution" means.

Some people really are persecuted. Gay people in Russia, for example. They face jail time and violence for being who they are.  There are countries in which people are jailed for their religious beliefs. That's persecution. The government not giving you an exception to the law because you don't feel like following it is not persecution. I mean, am I being persecuted because the stupid government won't let me drive 90 miles an hour when I'm late for work?

You wanna know how offensive this bill is?
Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, said asylum has always been reserved for refugees persecuted by their governments.
"Asylum law is not there to protect crime victims, it is there to protect those persecuted by government," Labrador said.

Tea Party favorite Raul Labrador is bothered by it. 
 Do you have any idea how far beyond the pale you have to be to offend a teabagger?

If the law was changed to allow victims of crime-ridden nations to gain asylum, the USA would be unable to absorb the millions of refugees who would flee from countries where gangs run rampant, Chaffetz said.
Chaffetz's bill would make it more difficult for refugees to prove a "credible fear of persecution" to gain asylum in the USA. It would bar taxpayer funds from being used to pay for attorneys to represent children as they seek asylum in immigration court.
The bill would give the Department of Homeland Security the power to make refugees wait in other "safe countries" such as Mexico while applying for asylum in the USA.

Jeezus! Going out of your way to fuck over desperate children so you have room for anti-government nuts from an affluent, peaceful country? That's pretty much the definition of pure evil.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

People Who Will Never Be President. Chapter 10

Chapter 10: Marco Rubio

Oh, Marco, Marco, Marco! You had a shot. I mean, sorta. You at least could've been a player in the primaries. But then you made a mistake. You decided to try not being a complete asshole. You decided to try tracking towards the center waaaaayyy too early. And you said, out loud, that maybe we could try treating immigrants like human beings. How did that work out for ya?

Rand Paul wins CPAC straw poll, Jeb Bush 5th, Marco Rubio 7th


At C-Pac! That's your base right there. The people who vote in Republican primaries. You know, the lunatic fringe. And you finished seventh. It's over for you and you haven't even declared yet! You're polling just below "what if we ran Romney again?" and just above "ah, fuck it, let Hillary have it."

Why are you even bothering to try and run? Are you angling to be someone's running mate? Try and ethnic-up the ticket? Because I think your numbers are too low even for that.
Because you forgot the first rule of Republican politics. A. B. C. Always be crazy. And always be a dick. Until you have the nomination sewn up. THEN you try to seem like a human being.

It's too late now, and you will never be President.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

It's hard to argue with this logic.

Because, if you tried, you'd just be driven insane.


Forcing States to Recognize Gay Marriage Could Increase Number of Abortions

Gene Schaerr /

Um, honestly, I guess I'm just looking at the surface here, but the two seem completely unrelated.

On the surface, abortion and same-sex marriage may seem unrelated.

 However, as explained in an amicus brief of 100 scholars of marriage, filed in the pending Supreme Court marriage cases and summarized here, the two are closely linked in a short and simple causal chain that the Supreme Court would be wise not to set in motion.

Really? 100 "scholars of marriage?"
What University has a department of marital studies?
What kind of degree would one have were one a "scholar of marriage?"

I clicked on your link to see who these scholars were. The first marriage expert cited (for 3 seperate papers) is a professor of ECONOMICS at Simon Fraser University.

The next is Helen M. Alvare, a professor of Family Law at George Mason, who probably knows a thing or two about marriage, divorce, and custody.  Of course, she's also one of the founders of "Women Speak For Themselves," a group whose mission statement claims: "We are women who support the competing voice offered by religious organizations and individuals about women, sex, marriage and family life. " And claim to supoport completely debunked hack "research" - "Even setting aside their simplistic equation of “costless” birth control or abortion with “equality,” note that they have never responded to scholarly research indicating that abortion harms women as well as their children,"
So, I'd take her expertise with a grain of salt. If your scholarship on the subject of marriage includes the phrase "well, the Bible says. . ." you're probably not a serious scholar.

You also include " Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book VIII, which means you're getting marriage advice from someone in whose time it was considered perfvectly normal for marriage to be between one man and one woman, but the man could also fuck boys on the side.

But anyways. . . Let's just go ahead and stipulate that your 100 "Marriage scholars" have the necessary level of expertise. What's their argument? Just give it to me in a nutshell.

In a nutshell: A reduction in the opposite-sex marriage rate means an increase in the percentage of women who are unmarried and who, according to all available data, have much higher abortion rates than married women. And based on past experience, institutionalizing same-sex marriage poses an enormous risk of reduced opposite-sex marriage rates.

Jeez, where to begin?

I guess I would start with "what past experience?" How many examples do you have of places where same-sex marriage has been institutionalized?

And let's assume that you're right. Let's assume that if gay marriage is legalized, that for some unknown reason, hetero marriage rates were to decline. So what? How is that an issue? Bob and Jim can't get married because by some weird logic, it will discourage John and Susan from getting married? So what? How is that Bob and Jim's problem?

Why do you assume that John and Susan's relationship is somehow more valuable than Bob and Jim's? And even if you do make that assumption - which you clearly, unabashedly do - John and Susan are still perfectly free to marry or not marry or do whatever they want with their lives. No one's stopping them, certainly Bob and Jim aren't.

And yes, I'm sure that single women are more likely to have abortions than married ones, most women probably want to wait until they are in a stable relationship before taking on the burden of child-rearing. (did I say "burden?' I meant "blessing." No, wait, I was right the first time) Anyway, so what? First of all, abortion is a perfectly legal procedure that single or married women have every right to avail themselves of should the need arise. And if more abortions start happening, how is that Bob and Jim's fault? 
They get blamed for everything!


The metamorphosis of marriage from a gendered to a genderless institution would send the message that society no longer needs men to bond to women to form well-functioning families or to raise happy, well-adjusted children. That would be bad news for children of heterosexuals on the margins: the poor, the relatively uneducated, the irreligious, and others who are susceptible to cultural messages promoting casual or uncommitted sex.

Seriously? If same-sex couples can legally tie the knot, suddenly hetero parents are going to abandon their kids, because of some sort of societal message that says that. . .um . . .  somehow these people have been unaware that casual sex is a thing? And allowing gay couples to marry will let that cat out of the bag? "Gee, dear, now that two women can marry each other, I suddenly realize that non-marital sex exists, and so I would like a divorce because even though I love you and little Junior, I  just received this message from society that told me, um . . . something about not bonding? Or something? I don't know, I'm poor and uneducated, and also irreligious so I'm easily influenced by, um, things. . . "
Sorry, I was trying to follow the logic there, but I got lost in the weeds pretty quickly. And I think that if I put any more thought into trying to understand this argument, I'll probably go quite mad.

Friday, April 17, 2015

TV Reccomendations

1. Just finished binge-watching Broadchurch on Netflix.

This is a British show that I had not heard of, but stumbled onto somehow. Anyway, it's a murder mystery spanning 8 one-hour episodes. It reminds me a bit of the first 2 years of AMC's The Killing. Multiple suspects, suspicion shifting from one to another and then back again, always keeping you guessing. The show deals with with the nuts and bolts of the police investigation, but also with the family of the dead boy trying to cope and the reaction of the townspeople fearful of the murderer among them.  Sometimes, the emotions can get pretty intense, as you might imagine.

There is apparently a second season that just started airing somewhere, I'll try to find it on demand, but these 8 episodes function as a stand-alone story that (spoiler alert) does finally get resolved in the end.

2. The Last Man on Earth

I don't know how this show is doing, ratings-wise. Fox has been running two episodes back-to-back each Sunday, and I don't know if that's because it's doing so well, or if it's an attempt to drum up interest, or if they're just dumping as many episodes as they can because it's doing poorly. I don't know.
What I do know is that Will Forte and Kristen Scall are two of the funniest people on Earth, and if you're not watching this because the promos looked a bit dull or silly, you're missing out on some really funny stuff.

Episode 1 does drag abit, definitely, because the only person in it until the very end is Will Forte. Will Forte is great, but there's only so much of him talking to mannequins and yelling at God that's going to work. Once Kristen Schall shows up, it really takes off. They've added a few more people including January Jones and Mary Steenburgen and it's just really funny and clever, and it's not "Arrested Development" or "The Simpsons" in terms of inventiveness but it's pretty damn good. And I'm happy that Kristen Schall seems to be finally becoming something of a star. She's been so funny on the Daily Show and as the voice of Louise on Bob's Burgers, it's about time she got a starring role.

3. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

This is anew Netflix exclusive that has been getting a fair amount of buzz. It stars Ellie Klemper (The Office, Bridesmaids) as a woman who has just escaped from an underground bunker after 15 years in captivity. So, besides knowing nothing of the modern world (a la Brendan Frazier in Blast From the Past) she's also in a lot of ways still a naive 15-year-old girl living as an adult.

Klemper is terrific in this role. I liked her on The Office, but I never would have thought she could carry a show like she does. Just her facial expressions alone are amazing. The sheer joy she exudes is infectuous. It would be so easy to play Kimmy as over-the-top ditzy or nutty, but she knows exactly where the line is.


There are a couple of problems with this show. First, Carol Kane, whom I usually love, is wasted as Kimmy's landlady. It's just not a well-written character, her jokes fall flat and it just doesn't work.

The bigger problem is that Kimmy was kidnapped at 15 and forced to live in a bunker with a cult-leader and three other women where, as she tells her new roommate, "there was weird sex stuff," and that ordeal is sometimes played for laughs. As is Kimmy's PTSD. Her roommate once tells her she needs to get therapy because she wakes up screaming and she bites his nails. Which isn't a bad line, but it's kind of offensive that they treat her ordeal as a source of humor.

I've only seen a few episodes, so hopefully that isn't something that's going to re-occur.

Also, Jane Krakowski is terrific as Kimmy's employer. She's used a lot better here than she was on 30 Rock, which is odd because Kimmy Schmidt is also a Tina Fey production.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Is this really how we're going to do this?

Report: Sheriffs Falsified Training Documents For Eric Harris' Shooter

Are we really going to do this? Are we really going to pretend that this was some deficiency in this guy's training?

We're really going to buy this scumbag's story that he couldn't tell the difference between a gun and a taser?

He couldn't differentiate between this

And this?

Are we really going to act like this dirtbag wasn't just itching for a chance to shoot someone?

I mean, the suspect had already been tackled by an actual cop, and there were at least two other real cops on the scene, so there was no reason to go for the taser at all. Bates was not in any danger at all. Neither were any of the real cops, or any bystanders. The only one in any danger was Eric Harris.

And Bates has been a fake reserve pretend playtime deputy since 2008. Five years pretending to be on the job, and he can't tell whether he has a pistol or a taser in his hand?

That is apparently what the Tulsa Police would have us believe.
Sgt. Jim Clark of the Tulsa Police, who investigated the incident as an outside party, said Bates didn’t commit any crime or policy violation, according to the Tulsa World.
“He was a true victim of slips and capture,” Clark said, which he claimed is a scientifically proven phenomenon.
Clark told the media that “slips and capture” occurs in medicine, aviation and law enforcement when mistakes are made during dire emergencies or when someone is under extreme stress. He said the person believes they are doing one thing, but are actually doing something else, saying an officer can go into “auto pilot” or tunnel vision during a stressful situation.
Okay, sure. I'll buy that. Under extreme stress, a person can make that sort of mistake. But this guy was NOT in a situation of extreme stress. The suspect had been subdued. There were three real cops there to handle the situation. No one was in any danger. How was he under any stress?

You want another reason to believe that Bates was the type of guy who would be looking for an excuse to shoot someone?

In Bates’ seven-page statement to Tulsa County sheriff’s investigators, obtained by the World on Wednesday, the reserve deputy states he previously attended a five-day homicide investigation school in Dallas and received “active shooter response training” by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona.

Yeah, Maricopa County. He got his "active shooter response training" from this guy:

So apparently, we're just going to go ahead and assume that this guy just accidentally fired a revolver instead of his taser in a tragic accident, and charge him with second degree manslaughter? I guess I should be somewhat pleased that he was charged at all, but still.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Why are there no consequences for this?

How many Republican Presidential hopefuls were at this meeting?

According to Right Wing Watch: "Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Rick Perry and others."

Yes, the NRA, the only organization with more blood on its hands than the PNAC, held a meeting and these men who would be President attended. And spoke.
At a meeting where this occurred:

VIDEO: At NRA Annual Meeting, Ted Nugent Talked About Shooting Sen. Harry Reid

 Nugent called Reid a "lying prick," but described him as a necessary evil, stating, "If your child is dying and there is only one way to get to the doctor, would you get on Harry Reid's boat to get there? ... I'd get on the boat, get there, and then I'd shoot him."

And this happened:

NRA's Wayne LaPierre On Clinton And Obama: "Eight Years Of One Demographically Symbolic President Is Enough"

And of course, there will be no repercussions for their participation in this hate-and-fear-fest.

Imagine if a bunch of Democratic candidates had attended, um. . . well, there is no equivalent group on the Left. Nothing even close to an organization as disgusting and evil as the NRA.
But for the sake of argument, let's use the ACLU. I have a great deal of respect for the ACLU and I am NOT trying to equate them to the NRA. But to many on the Right, the ACLU represents pretty much all that is evil in the world.

Remember the way they hung the ACLU around Mike Dukakis's neck like an albatross? When Bush 1 was running against Dukakis, I, through sheer dumb luck, was handed a ticket to go in to the auditorium at Cal State Fullerton to see Ronald Reagan stump for Bush. I went in with a group of Dukakis supporters and booed him, don't worry. Anyway, one of the things that Reagan had to say about Dukakis was that he was a "card-carrying member of the ACLU" an organization which he claimed wanted to make it legal for our little brothers and sisters to be used in child pornography.

Obviously, this was total bullshit, but the Bush campaign repeted the "card-carrying member" trope over and over til election day.

So what are the odds that any Denmocratic candidate, or any surrogate, or member of the media will call out Cruz, Bush, Rubio, et al for their love of an organization that helps to make thousands of gun deaths possible each year? I'm guessing the odds are about zero. Maybe Alan Grayson might say something, but I can't imagine anyone else would.

Why not? Why shouldn't these candidates have to wear a scarlet A and a scarlet N and R? Every campaign ad, every stump speech by any Democratic candidate should hammer on these sob's embrace of the gun-nut fringe. What are they afraid of? The NRA represents, what, about 2 percent of the population? they claim to have 4.5 million members, that's about 1 and a half percent. Assuming that number is accurate, and assuming there are folks who share their point of view but haven't joined, let's say that's 5 million out of a population of 300 million. And as the recent post-Sandy Hook disgrace showed, the NRA doesn't even represent the views of a majority of its members who agree that the gun-show loophole shopuld be closed, and other mild restrictions should be put in place. So why worry about offending the NRA? You weren't going to get the votes of any of the gun-felaters anyway.

It's about time that we call these psychos out, make membership in their sick organization something about which to be ashamed. It's past time that anyone who admits being a member or supporter of the NRA be treated as a pariah. Talking about your NRA membership should be like talking about your online pornography subscriptions.

The NRA is a profoundly evil organization. There have to be some consequences for embracing them.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Quick Thought About COPS

I wonder how many lives were saved by the TV show COPS?

How many of these people would be dead today if the cops hadn't known they were on camera?

People Who Will Never be President - Chapter 9

Chapter 9: Dr. Ben Carson

Dr. Ben Carson to Launch Presidential Campaign on May 4

I have never understood the Ben Carson phenomenon. He is, by all accounts, a brilliant surgeon. But surgeon is a completely different skill set than President.

And Carson has absolutely zero applicable experience. He has never held any elected office, never been involved in politics at all as far as I know. The only qualification he seems to have is his utter batshit insanity.

I mean, no one knew who Ben Carson was a few years ago. Well, not no one, he had written an autobiography and some people knew about his surgical prowess, but he wasn't on anyone'ss political radar. Then he showed up at some prayer breakfast or something, said some shitty things about the President, and suddenly there was a "Draft Ben Carson" movement.

Why? There are tons of people who say shitty things about the President every day, A lot of them make a living at it. Why Carson?

My guess is that they looked at the results of the last two elections and thought "ohhhh. . . they want a black guy!" Combine this with their insistence that their last two candidates failed because they weren't far enough to the right, and Carson fits the bill perfectly.

And since the prayer breakfast thing, Carson has become famous for going on tv and saying the looniest things imaginable to try and shock people and attract attention. He's basically the political equivalent of Madonna at Coachella.

Dr. Ben Carson: America ‘very much like Nazi Germany’ 

And of course, he's a total hypocrite:

Although, it is possible that he's not actually insane, and this is all just a big grift.
And if this headline is any indication, it just might be:

Ben Carson Wants To Get Paid For Making Campaign Speeches

So maybe he's just this year's Herman Cain, another person who will never be President.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Best reactions to Hillary Clinton's Announcement.

Bill Kristol: If They Get To Nominate Hillary Clinton, Why Don't We Get To Nominate Dick Cheney?

Um, go ahead. Feel free. You want to nominate Cheney? Don't let me stop ya.
And if the Dodgers want to replace Clayton Kershaw with a blind quadriplegic, hey be my guest!

Brit Hume: Clinton Can't Win Because People Don't Like Her 'Weird Marriage'

Oh, really? People won't vote for someone with an unconventional marriage? Then how did Alicia Florick just get elected States' Arttorney for Cook County, hmm?

Also, who has a weirder marriage than these two had?

People didn't seem to mind that he called his second wife "Mommy." I think they can get past Hillary Clinton's having been cheated on.

Jindal muses on possible Hillary campaign slogan

“I understand that Hillary is going to announce her candidacy this week,” Mr. Jindal said in his opening remarks at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum. “I wonder what her slogan is going to be? I suspect it won’t be ‘Four more years.’

Ooh, good one! Because, um. . . wait. How could it possibly be four more years, anyway? That would be like if George Lucas had marketed Star Wars with the slogan "If you liked the original. . ."

GOP's Ana Navarro Advises Hillary To Stop The 'Woman Thing': Don't 'Drown Me In Estrogen'

"Here's the problem," the CNN contributor continued. "Hillary Clinton on this woman thing, I think, is lacking subtlety. I don't need her to drown me in estrogen every time she opens her mouth.
"Every time she opens her mouth it's about the granddaughter and Chelsea's wedding and the yoga routines," Navarro opined.

Yes, the voters want a candidate who doesn't care at all about their children or grandchildren. That's why every successful candidate has been a gender-neutral sociopath with no family ties at all.

And you've never seen any other Presidential candidate's family trotted out on the campaign trail!

Judith Miller: Fatigue Is The Big Problem With Hillary Clinton

"Fatigue is the big problem, people think they know her, she's been aroundforever, they're tired of her and the campaign has just begun."

Yes. Everyone is sick of Hillary Clinton. Not like the various breaths of fresh air the Republicans have running this year.
Jeb Bush?  There's a new face!
Rand Paul? No one could possibly be tired of watching him run away from interviewers!
Ted Cruz?  Now that's a new star on the horizon!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Saturd80's - Biff Bang Pow!

I think all these songs are from their second album "The Girl Who Runs the Beat Hotel," which is the only album I really remember, although I think they put out a few more. Anyway, enjoy London's own Biff Bang Pow!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Oh, come on!

Do they seriously need to have their own version of everything?

They thought Wikipedia had a "liberal bias" so they came up with "Conservapedia" so they could have their own definitions of words and whatnot.

Then they had some sort of problem with Facebook allowing people to post things that didn't match their wordlview, so they trotted out "ReaganBook."

There's a "Conservative alternative" to the AARP (AMAC).

There were at least plans to come out with a conservative version of the Bible. I don't know if that ever came out, you can look it up on Conservapedia if you're curious.

Hell, there's even a "Conservative alternative" to the NRA! I forget what it's called, something like Gun Owners of America, or Gun Lovers against Sanity, or the North American Man-Gun Love Association, I don't know, but it's for people who think the N.R. fucking A is too liberal.

So, I guess this should come as no surprise:


Alternative 'bestseller list' launched for conservative books

The Conservative Book Club recently editor Christopher Malgisi say the weekly top ten list provides readers an option to the liberal bias of most mainstream media coverage.
Maglisi says CCB is using "hard data" to rank the books compared to the "fuzzy math "formula" used by The New York Times.
"We don't know exactly how they come up with it," he says of the Times, "but we do know that there have been repeated times where there are certain books that we know are outselling books that on their on their list - political non-fiction list in particular - that are doing better that are not being ranked appropriately."

Yes, now apparently even numbers have a liberal bias.

The New York Times tallied up the total number of sales of each book, but we just know that some right-wing screed is actually selling more than whatever it is they say is the top seller.

This is the same sort of logic that led to the "unskewed polls" debacle of 2012. The polls weren't giving them the answer they wanted, so they must somehow be wrong. Or biased in some way. Of course, it turned out the polls weren't wrong or biased, and the only thing the "unskewing" led to was the fun of watching right-wingers jaws drop when Romney lost, because they had convinced themselves that the polls were bs and in the real world, Romney had a commanding lead.

So now they want to apply that logic to the best-seller list. It's especially ironic given the way the right-wing tends to game the best-seller list anyway, buying up huge quantities of books by hacks like Coulter and Hannity to give away as gifts to anyone who subscribes to Buy Gold Weekly or Modern Survival Bunker or whatever. But sure, I guess I see their point. I mean, just look at the obvious bias in this recent political non-fiction top ten list:

AMERICAN SNIPER, by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice. (Morrow/HarperCollins.) A member of the Navy Seals who has the most career sniper kills in United States military history discusses his childhood, his marriage and his battlefield experiences during the Iraq war.

UNBROKEN, by Laura Hillenbrand. (Random House.) An Olympic runner's story of survival as a prisoner of the Japanese in World War II.

KILLING PATTON, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. (Holt.) The host of “The O’Reilly Factor” recounts the strange death of Gen. George S. Patton in December 1945.

BELIEVER, by David Axelrod. (Penguin Press.) A memoir by the political consultant who became Barack Obama’s campaign
 strategist and White House adviser.

LONE SURVIVOR, by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson. (Back Bay/Little, Brown.) A harrowing Navy SEALs operation.

RED NOTICE, by Bill Browder. (Simon & Schuster.) An American hedge fund manager in Russia who became the largest foreign 
investor in the Russian stock market and was eventually expelled
 by kleptocrats who then seized his property.

GHETTOSIDE, by Jill Leovy. (Spiegel & Grau.) The investigation of a young black man’s murder in 2007 raises questions about race
 and the criminal justice system.

THE REAPER, by Nicholas Irving with Gary Brozek. (St. Martin's.) A memoir by a deadly special operations sniper deployed to Afghanistan.

ISIS, by Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan. (Regan Arts.) An American journalist and a Syrian analyst examine the origins and methods of the terrorist group.

I AM MALALA, by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb. (Little, Brown.) The experience of the Pakistani girl who advocated for women’s education and was shot by the Taliban.

I mean, seriously only ONE book by Bill O'Reilly?  And 7 of the ten books on the list were not written by special forces veterans. Plus there are three books written by women, leaving only 7 for the men! And Malala isn't even American! 
Plus, there's no way that a memoir from a member of the Obama Administration could possibly ever really be in the top five, obviously that's a biased count, like they probably count everyone who saw Axelrod's interview on the Daily Show as having bought his book, it's the only logical explanation.

So, I guess I've pretty much answered my own question. Yes, they really do need their own version of everything.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Why I could never be press secretary

Besides the fact that no one is ever going to top her:

And not because no one is going to ask me.

No, I could never be press secretary because of shit like this:

Along with everybody else who saw the video, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said President Obama was shocked and saddened by what was depicted in the footage. He stressed that the investigation was ongoing, but that this was just one more example of how police body cameras could be game changers in holding officers responsible when they choose to shoot people. . .
Fox’s White House reporter James Rosen decided to waste his briefing Q and A period on a series of “gotcha” questions that suggested Obama wasn’t giving Slager “due process” with his remarks because he hadn’t been convicted yet. . .
“You understand that nowhere in your remarks earlier on this subject in the briefing did you take pains to say that the individual who is captured on the videotape, and who now faces murder charges, is entitled to due process, or is presumed innocent until proven guilty, the existence of the videotape notwithstanding, you did not include that in your remarks.”

I could never be press secretary because I doubt I could be a big enough man to not say "hey, I don't come down to where you work and slap Roger Ailes's dick out of your mouth."

How do you stand there and pretend that this Rosen clown is some sort of legitimate reporter?

And, yeah, we all know how FOX is such a tireless advocate for the rights of the accused, and critics of the rush to judgement. Innocent until proven guilty, they always say!

Disturbing Product of the Day

Generally speaking, onesies are cute.

Even when they have pseudo-funny sayings printed on them

Okay, that's not funny at all, but look at that little face!

But this.
What the fuck is this?

Why? Why would anyone think this was a good idea?
Who could possibly think that this is funny or clever or cute or anything other than sickening?

How is this even a thing?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

People Who Will Never be President - Chapter 8

Chapter 8: Rand Paul

The idiot son of the GOP's crazy uncle Ron Paul just announced his candidacy for President. here is the first reason he will never achieve that goal.

Because the very day he announced his quixotic candidacy, this was the headline over at C&L:

Conservative Group Launches Attack Ad On Rand Paul

Yes, the "conservatives," aka right-wing extremists, aka Republican primary voters hate Rand Paul.

As Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is set to announce his presidential campaign on Tuesday, a television ad tethers him to President Obama’s policy on Iran as part of a $1 million advertising buy painting him as “dangerous.”
The ad is a 30-second spot that will run on broadcast networks and on Fox News this week in the first four early primary states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, according to a person familiar with the buy, who provided the spot. It is unusual for an outside group to try to swamp a candidate’s announcement day, but Mr. Paul has been viewed with deep concern by foreign policy hawks for his non-interventionist views. 

Although, if they really have a problem with Rand's non-interventionist views, they could just wait a week and he'll have completely new positions.

Seriously, though, Senator Paul has taken a principled stand on every issue, and that stand is "splunge!"
Which, if you remember your Monty Python, means "it's a great idea, but possibly not and I'm not being indecisive!"
MPS just ran a partial list of issues on which Paul has taken both sides, including:

  • Privacy – He says that he wants to dismantle the entire NSA, but then he had to go on record and vote to reform it and instead, he punted.
  • Drones – Gee, that 13-hour filibuster he references was back when he was principally against the use of drones, domestically and abroad. He is now in favor of drones domestically and abroad.

He can't even give anyone a straight answer as to his supposed libertarianism, recently declaring “I’m not a libertarian. I’m a libertarian Republican. I’m a constitutional conservative.”
Which is not going to help him with any constituency, but might cost him the votes of college freshmen who are halfway through Atlas Shrugged, who were really the only ones inclined to vote for him anyway.

Also, for someone who is supposedly ready to enter the bare-knuckled rough and tumble world of Presidential politics, Rand is remarkably thin-skinned. (see
He's only been a candidate for about two days now, and already stories like this have been popping up:

Rand Paul goes full mansplainer on “Today”: “That would be a better way to approach an interview”

It's another CNBC moment, one day into the campaign as the senator gets nasty with Savannah Guthrie

Rand Paul Gets 'Testy' With Male AP Reporter On Abortion Rights

The Kentucky Republican on Wednesday got into a "testy" exchange about abortion bans with an Associated Press reporter, just hours after clashing with NBC's Savannah Guthrie, whom Paul accused of "editorializing" while trying to correct her interviewing technique.
Geez, this was the Today Show, not Firing Line. Who could possibly get this flustered by a Today Show interview?
Oh, right!

Also, Lindsey Graham hates him, apparently, because he's not a super-macho he-man war-monger like him:

“The best deal, I think, comes with a new president. Hillary Clinton would do better. I think everybody on our side, except maybe Rand Paul, could do better.”
And I think it's pretty safe to say that if you are a Republican, and Senator tough guy prefers Hillary Clinton to you, just go ahead and assume that you will never ever ever be President.