Tuesday, January 26, 2016

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

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

Rafael Cruz: Public Education Is A Communist Plot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Communist Manifesto wasn't even published until 1848.

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

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

John Dewey?

I'm no expert on John Dewey, but was John Dewey a Communist?

 I mean, his glasses probably were, but was he?

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

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

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

Teddy Roosevelt?!?!?!

Teddy Roosevelt was in on the Communist plot?

The Rough Rider?

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

You rang?

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

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

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

Monday, January 25, 2016

Chutzpah Parade

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

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

"We are praying for you."


Seriously - we are praying for you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Water filters.
You expect them to run this:


 through water filters.

And then drink it.

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

But you're "praying" for them.

Where do you get the balls?

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

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

 His response?

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

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

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

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

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


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

Friday, January 22, 2016

Flashback Friday -- Ass Ponys

I don't remember how I stumbled on to these guys, I don't have any interesting back-story, I don't really know anything about them other than their music which is sort of like if R.E.M. replaced Micheal Stipe with a crazy person. The first album I bought was on cassette (ask your grandparents) and it got stolen from my car. It must have been some kind of compilation, because I can't find it in their discography, but it had the songs "little Bastard" and "Ford Madox Ford" which show up on two different albums. Anyway, what follows is a rather meager sampling as I couldn't find some of their best songs on-line. I'll put a link to the complete "Known Universe" album at the bottom. I think it's their best album and a good place to start if you're interested in this sort of band. Anyway, please enjoy the unfortunately named Ass Ponys:


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Why I'm not laughing at Donald Trump (anymore)

Yes, I know, trump is a buffoon. He's an egomaniacal blowhard who routinely says bizarrely ridiculous things. And he talks like a 10-year-old playground bully. I know, his idea of highlighting the differences between himself and rival candidates is to say "he's a total loser" and "I'm very smart!" And of course, it's hard not to laugh every time this self-parody of a conceited dolt opens his weird fish-lipped mouth and spouts utter nonsense. And it's all the easier to laugh knowing that he has absolutely no chance of winning this election.

But I'm not laughing anymore, and I'll tell you why.

Recently, while flipping through the channels, I saw a couple minutes of an All in the Family episode from the 1970's. And someone asked Archie Bunker whether he had voted for Ford. Archie replies, "no, I wrote in Ronald Reagan." This gets a huge laugh. Huge. Because in the 1970's, Reagan was considered such a loony right-wing know-nothing figure that the idea of voting for him to be President seemed absurd.


 Well, fast-forward a few years, and there's Reagan in the Oval Office.

The limits of what is considered reasonable in American politics, what some call the "Overton Window," a phrase I enjoy because it sounds like a lost Robert Ludlum novel, is constantly, relentlessly, being dragged to the right.

 Remember Pat Buchannan in 1992 shouting "lock and Load!" and "Take back your culture?" Remember how the Republicans were so embarrassed by him that they banned him from the '96 convention? And the best line, as expected, came from Molly Ivins who said that the speech "probably sounded better in the original German." Remember how everyone thought Buchannan was a dangerous lunatic demagogue?


Then remember how just a few years ago, the "liberal" MSNBC started inviting Buchannan onto its airwaves as if he was going to provide a reasoned counterpoint to it's left-leaning hosts? Remember Rachel Maddow calling him "Uncle Pat?" Like, sure he's eccentric and says outrageous things, but deep down, he's just a lovable old curmudgeon. Remember that? Remember how racist he had to get to finally be dismissed from their network?

Remember how up until just a few years ago, it wasn't a common sight to see prominent politicians waving around dangerous weaponry like a bunch of goddamm Ted Nugents?



 For that matter, speaking of Nugent, remember when it was considered beyond the pale to threaten the life of the President? Remember when that would get you a visit from some pissed-off Secret Service guys, not an invite to the State of the Union Address?

Or a jam-session with a Presidential candidate?

So, no. I don't think Trump is funny anymore. Not that he shouldn't be mocked and ridiculed, of course he should. But 4 or 8 years from now, we're going to look back at him and think "that was when the Republican Party was still a little bit sane."
Buchannan was an outlier in 1992. Trump is basically doing Pat's schtick with a little "hey. look how awesome I am" thrown in for good measure and he's leading the Republican field. And the window is moving rightward a hell of a lot faster than it was back then.

Back in the 1990's, Social Security was still considered the "3rd rail of politics," no one would dare touch it. Now the discussion has moved to how much should we cut it, or should we get rid of it altogether?  And if it wasn't for Republicans' absolute petulant, infantile refusal to compromise a single inch, it would have been cut as part of the "Grand Bargain" that the supposedly lefty-liberal Barack Obama had proposed.

Also, in the 1990's, we had an assault weapons ban. Conservative hero Ronald Reagan gave us that, along with the Brady Bill.  Anyone suggesting that maybe we might want to re-instate Ronald Reagan's gun legislation these days is tarred as a "left-wing radical" or something. The idea that basic, sensible gun control would ever be considered an extremist left position would have been laughable a generation ago. As laughable as the idea of a President Trump is today. But I'm not laughing. Not anymore.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Maureen Dowd's latest bizarre column

Okay, this is just weird.
I mean, I know Maureen Dowd is a terrible hack who will come up with any reason to say something shitty about Hillary Clinton, but this is just bizarre:

Reigning Cats and Dogs

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Possible Names for if I ever invent a new cocktail


Bourbon Cowboy

Whiskey Dingo

Seven Deadly Gins

Jean Jacques Ouzo

Comfortably Rum

Tequila Jovovich


Ouzo Fraid of Virginia Woolf?

Rum and Rummer

Gin Lizzy

Brandy Kaufman

Credit Default Schnapps

Hey, screw you. I'm sick! They can't all be gems.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Jeezus Christ, you guys!

I leave you people alone for like one week and we lose Lemmy AND David Bowie?

I better get back to blogging quickly while Keith Richards is still alive!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

I know, I know, I'm sorry.

I know I've been discracefully negligent in my blogging duties lately. Things have been crazy at work and I can't seem to shake this cold/flu thing that I've had forever.

Hopefully, regular posting will resume shortly.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Did anyone not see this coming?

Armed standoff in Oregon endures


What did you think would happen?
What did you think would happen when you let them get away with this shit once? What did you foresee happening when these assholes pointed assault weapons at law enforcement, faced zero consequences, and were able to declare victory and go home?
Did you think that they would say to themselves "boy we were lucky to have gotten away with that. Let's not push our luck, from now on, it's law-abiding-citizenship for me!"
Did you somehow not anticipate that these knuckle-dragging mouth breathers would say "hell, that was easy! Let's find another phony provocation over which to commit another act of sedition."
Just like when the Mujahideen was able to defeat the Soviets, they didn't go home and thank their lucky stars and promise not to ever take such a foolish risk again. No, they said "hey, we defeated one super-power, let's change our name to al Queda and start attacking America!" So of course these assholes are doing this shit again.

Look at this guy:

Ammon Bundy addresses the media at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore., on Jan. 5, 2016.

He's obviously got no fear of being arrested. He's out there addressing reporters like some goddamm football coach or something, they could just grab him up right there. But they're letting him get away with it.

And what is the endgame here? What exactly are these cousin-humping lunatics trying to accomplish? Let's say that by some miracle, the Federal Government slaps its collective forehead and says "oh my gosh, we've been reading the Constitution wrong all these years. Thank God that these uneducated yokels explained to us the proper way to interpret this clause. We, the Federal Government, are not allowed to own any land at all. Well, we must divest ourselves of this ill-gotten property at once!" What happens then? Cuz it seems like there are two possibilities. One, the land in question would be given to the state of Oregon, in which case you're just sending your grazing-fee check to Salem instead of to DC. Or, and this seems more likely, they sell the land at auction, someone much richer than you buys it up and charges you a hell of a lot more than the buck and a quarter per head you've been paying the Feds.
Either way, that land is not going to become some free-for-all, people's prairie where all are welcome to grazr to their heart's content, to each according to his need in this workers' paradise.

Oh, and speaking of things everyone should have seen coming:

Mother Jones:
Ammon Bundy runs a Phoenix-based company called Valet Fleet Services LLC, which specializes in repairing and maintaining fleets of semitrucks throughout Arizona. On April 15, 2010—Tax Day, as it happens—Bundy's business borrowed $530,000 through a Small Business Administration loan guarantee program. The available public record does not indicate what the loan was used for or whether it was repaid. The SBA website notes that this loan guarantee was issued under a program "to aid small businesses which are unable to obtain financing in the private credit marketplace." The government estimated that this subsidy could cost taxpayers $22,419. Bundy did not respond to an email request for comment about the SBA loan.

Yep, scratch an anti-government libertarian, find a user of government programs. . .  okay, that was terrible. But the point is that Ammon Bundy, like most anti-government pig people, is only anti-government until it comes to programs that can help him personally. Then maybe guv'mint not so bad?

Oh, and this also was fairly predictable:

The Huffington Post reports:
In the parking lot of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge - which the militants stormed and took over on Saturday in the name of grazing privileges - a man who claimed to be a body guard for the group's leaders said they are facing worse resistance than Black Lives Matter, a nationwide campaign to end police brutality against people of color.

Yes, the resistance you guys are facing, which could best be summed up as what, mild disapproval? is so much worse than. . . um. . . wait. It's not worse than anything. You people are facing NOTHING. Every protest group in history has faced worse pushback than you, except for the Tea Party, I guess.

"The Black Lives Matter movement, they can go and protest, close freeways down and all that stuff, and they don't get any backlash, not on the level that we're getting," said the man, who identified himself as "Fluffy Unicorn."

Fluffy. . . ? You know what, I'm just gonna skip over that.
Let's just look at a couple of things:

Several Arrests Made Amid Black Lives Matter Protest at Mall of America

Police Arrest Dozens of Black Lives Matter Protesters, Body Slam Man in Ferguson

9 Arrested After Black Lives Matter Activists Shut Down Southbound 405 Fwy Near LAX

 So, no backlash. Okayyyyy. . . .
Jeez, I mean I know you people have a genetic pre-disposition to cry-babyism, but for fuck sake! Many many BLM protestors have been arrested. Many have been tear-gassed, beaten, this is what BLM activists are confronted with:




And, granted, a lot of those protesters were trespassing and/or engaging in disorderly conduct, and many were being black in public, but they were also unarmed. You guys, on the other hand, took up arms against the United States Government, made threats against law enforcement, seized a government-owned building, and you've faced. . . . what, exactly? getting made fun of on the Daily Show? Running out of snacks? The threat of having the power cut off from this building that you don't own and have no right to be in?

And all this for what? To defend a couple of arsonists who have made it clear that they do not want your "help?"

These bastards better do time this time.