Monday, June 1, 2015

Recent Goings-On

A few things that caught my eye recently.

1. All the Congressmen and Senators from Texas and Oklahoma who voted against Hurricane Sandy relief, because we just can't go around willy-nilly spending money to help people just because of some disaster that maybe God wanted them to suffer, hmm? ever think of that? are now suddenly perfectly A-OK with federal disaster relief monies being spent in their states to the surprise of pretty much no one.

2. The folks who are constantly wetting their pants over the supposed "attacks" on their religious freedom and scary scary terrorism decided to attack some other peoples' freedom of religion by terrorizing them.

Armed American Protestors Surround Islamic Community Center of Phoenix


The rally initially was organized by a Phoenix man who says he is a former Marine who fought in the Iraq War and believes Islam is a violent religion. He led about 250 people who carried pistols, assault rifles, American flags and drawings of Muhammad to the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix.

Because there's no better way to show how your religion is superior to their violent one than by showing up with goddamm assault rifles?

And it may surprise you to learn that the organizer of the wave your machine gun at people trying to pray rally is both a coward and a grafter!
I know, right?

Arizona Anti-Muslim Activist Tries To Raise $10M As He Goes Into Hiding

KPNX television reporter Brahm Resnik tweeted on Sunday that Ritzheimer had set up a GoFundMe page to raise $10 million to “protect his family or run against” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

Yes, I have to either go into hiding, or do one of the most public things one can do, run for elected office. Whichever will make you give me more money!

Ritzheimer told television station KSAZ on Friday that he was going into hiding after the rally, which drew hundreds of people, including many who opposed him.
“I’m having to sell my house,” Ritzheimer told the station. “My family’s been threatened, so they’re in hiding right now. I’m having to go into hiding after this because they’re calling for lone wolves to come and behead me.”

Gee, I wonder what it must feel like to be threatened by heavily-armed religious fanatics? I mean, what if they were to surround your church while armed with machine guns?

However, on Facebook, Ritzheimer said in a Saturday post that he would not run and hide but would “hunker down” in his “fighting hole” and “stick it out!”

Yeah, I mean who ever said you were "hiding" anyway? Oh, right. You did.
Also I'm pretty sure that I don't want to know what his "fighting hole" refers to, or how he plans on hunkering down in it.

Driving in the middle of the quiet desert with a clear mind. Writing key notes for my next big announcement. I've decided that if I die, it will be as a free man, and not as a coward. You will not find me in a hole like we found Saddam Hussein. I'm going to keep living free but keep my protection close and near. I'm a Marine and we don't run and hide. We hunker down in our fighting hole and we stick it out! I have a heightened sense of things out here when I'm alone. And I have more PEACEFUL ideas that I want to see take place across America.

And all those ideas involve rubes giving him their hard-earned moneys. Because that's the new right-wing business model. Step1: be a colossal dick. Step 2: ? Step 3: Profit!

 3. Denny Hastert apparently did something untoward at the least with a high-school student when he was a wrestling coach. (How was "wrestling coach" not a huge red flag?)
So now all three House Speakers who led impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton for getting a blow job have their very own sex scandals. And had them at the time they were impeaching him.

4. Politico threw out the ceremonial first bitch of the "shitting on Bernie Sanders for not being 'mainstream' enough" season.

It's not your everyday Americans at Bernie Sanders' kickoff rally

The long-shot presidential contender launches campaign from the People’s Republic of Burlington.

Fuck you, Politico.

Yes, Bernie Sanders is a long shot, but if you look at the polling, his policy positions are firmly in the mainstream, supported by majorities of Americans. Raising the minimum wage? Americans overwhelmingly support that. Equal pay for men and women? Americans like that idea. Taxing the wealthy to pay for tuition-free colleges? Americans love that idea. But, sure you go right ahead and act like only unbathed patchouli-droolers support Bernie Sanders.

 In the afternoon, a “people’s assembly” of hundreds of Sanders supporters gathered in City Hall Park, where dreadlocked guitarists played in the morning and patrons browsed at the nearby Hempest, which advertises itself as the largest organic hemp product store in the world.

Oh, there were musicians? In the park? With bad hairstyles? Oh, clearly Sanders must be a kook!

The People for Bernie rally was organized by several former Occupy Wall Street activists, including Ready for Warren co-founder Charles Lenchner. Activists wearing shirts denouncing fast-track trade authority, fracking and George W. Bush held hands in a circle and used the “people’s mic,”

Right, nothing could possibly be further outside the mainstream than being against fracking, Fast-Track and the worst President since Warren G. Harding.
 Thousands attended Sanders’ rally Tuesday, with attendees spilling out along the park as the venue filled to capacity on a sunny and hot early evening.

But none of those thousands of people were "Every-day Americans," so that doesn't count.

This was, of course, an entirely predictable response by the "respectable" press to Sanders' campaign. Remember what they did to Howard Dean? Dean wasn't among the select group that the punditry had predicted to be candidates - John Kerry, Dick Gephardt, Joe Lieberman, etc. and they just refused to take him seriously. Every discussion about Howard Dean would be about how "wow, he's really raising a lot of money on this new internet thing," and 'boy, people sure are getting excited about this Dean fella" and would invariably end with one talking head saying "of course, he's totally un-electable," and the other agreeing "sure, of course. Totally un-electable." Then they played "The Scream" on a loop and pretty much destroyed his credibility by making him seem crazy.

And Dean wasn't anywhere near as frightening to the establishment as Sanders. So of course Bernie sanders will be treated like a fringe candidate with nutty ideas while the media ties itself into knots pretending that Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina are legitimate, viable candidates whose ideas aren't insane.

So how was your weekend?

Oh, pretty good. Thanks for asking.

Friday evening and Saturday we went to the Candler Park Music Fest. One of the great things about living in Atlanta is lots of free music. Technically, we paid $10 for a wristband that guaranteed admission both days, otherwise we would have had to be one of the first to show up, but admission was technically free. Anyway, for $10 we saw The Infamous Stringdusteres, Leftover Salmon, Southern Culture on the Skids and 7 Handle Circus. If we had stuck around long enough, we could have caught Shoverls & Rope and Drive-By Truckers, too, but instead we went to one of Decatur's free concerts in the square and saw Jugtime Ragband.

It was too dark Saturday evening to get video of Leftover Salmon or Infamous Stringdusters, and by the time we got to Decatur, my phone was out of memory, so here are the two videos that came out okay:

And here is some video that someone else took of Jugtime Ragband, my new favorite band in Atlanta for the moment:

They've added a couple members since these videos were taken. At the show we saw, there was a trombonist, a backup vocalist and a guitarist added to the mix. If you get a chance, you should check 'em out.