Thursday, July 28, 2016

If anyone is capable of blowing this, it's Hillary!

You know, it should be a no-brainer. Any Democrat with a pulse should be able to mop up the floor with Donald Trump. But if there is any politician capable of blowing this, it's Hillary Clinton.

At some point in our recent history, the two parties absorbed opposite lessons. The Republicans learned to play to their base. keep 'em all wound up and scared, whether it's the fear of dirty hippies with their sex and drugs,

I don't know what that stuff is, but I bet it's smokable! 

or fear of Commies in our midst,

or this terrifying scene,

you keep your base scared to death and tell them that you're coming to save them if only they vote those darn liberals out of the way.

Democrats somehow learned the opposite lesson. Ignore your base. Hell, actively distance yourself from your base. Deny them thrice before the cock crows twice and "triangulate" by staking out a position just a bit to the left of wherever the GOP is at the moment and try to capture that elusive "moderate voter."

Look, a soccer mom!

And no one has internalized this lesson more than Hillary Clinton. At a time when she needs to try to appease Bernie supporters and show the progressive wing of the party that she shares at least some of their values and concerns, she extends to them, not an open hand, but a middle finger in the form of Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Fairly or not (fairly, I think), Wasserman Schultz is seen as public enemy #1 by a lot of Berners, who are furious that she (allegedly) colluded with HRC to defeat Senator Sanders. Schultz became such a distraction that she was forced to step down as head of the DNC. And was IMMEDIATELY hired by Hillary Rodham Clinton. She might as well have said to Bernie's supporters "oh, you hate Debbie? You see her as the personification of corruption? Then I'm with her! Fuck all y'all!"

She has clearly staked out the position that she neither needs nor wants the votes of real progressives because she's confident that enough Republican voters will desert their party because of Trump and vote for her that she can win without us.

Then, as if to drive home the point, she invites Democrat/ Republican/whatever he is now  weasel Mike Bloomberg to speak on her behalf at the convention, trying to lure more centrist conservatives to her campaign.

Is this going to work? It might. Only because Donald Trump is the most loathsome and frightening nominee of a major party we've ever seen. And it god damn well better work, because she god damn well needs to win this thing.

Which means that we need to vote for her. Because she is the lesser of two evils. And no one wants to vote for the lesser of two evils, but when your only legitimate choices are greater evil and lesser evil, you have a moral obligation to choose the lesser. And just a common sense interest in having the lesser evil.

If you are given the choice of a punch in the stomach or a knife in the heart, you choose the punch in the stomach. And no, you're not going to enjoy the punch in the stomach, and no, you didn't deserve a punch in the stomach, but the alternative was so much worse that you'd be a fool not to choose the stomach punch.

Thank you, sir may I have another?

Okay, here's a better analogy. Suppose you are convicted of a crime which you did not commit. And the judge offers you a choice of prison time or community service. And you say "well, I don't deserve any punishment, having been falsely convicted, and I won't dignify this miscarriage of  justice by choosing either undeserved penalty. I'll just let you decide, Judge!" You'd have to be an idiot to do that, right?

Tell us again about how you stood up to that lousy judge! Then we're both gonna fuck you.

So, yes, you do have to vote for Hillary. At least if you live in a swing state. And not because she "deserves" your vote or should be "rewarded" for various misdeeds by receiving your vote. It's not about her. It's about you. And me. It's about us and whether or not wee have to spend the next four years being governed by a childish buffoon with fascist leanings. We're going to have to put up with Hillary for at least four years to avoid that fate. And if we have any sense,  we'll have four years of grassroots organizing to find a primary challenger for 2020. But for now, we have to get behind Hillary, because she's pursuing a really dumb strategy. And if there's one politician capable of losing to Trump, it's Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

whiny baby of the day

Michelle Obama said a thing. So naturally, conservative morons are finding a reason to be all butthurt about it.


Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention has been widely praised as the highlight (so far) of the convention.
No mention of ISIS, but no surprise. Why would she? After all, it’s the bloody handprint on her husband’s record.

Oh. I didn't realize Michelle Obama had married George W. Bush!

Every morning I wake up in a house that was built by slaves.”
I’ll admit I find the line aggravating. But not for the first time; she has delivered the line before.
Why am I annoyed? Not because the statement doesn’t have some element of truth. Was the White House was built by slaves? Sort of. Yes.

But you're going to find a reason to complain about it anyway, right?

When Politifact came to this conclusion–“We rate it true”– it glossed over this from the White House Historical Association:
Enslaved people quarried and cut the rough stone that was later dressed and laid by Scottish masons to erect the walls of the president’s house. The slaves joined a workforce that included local white laborers and artisans from Maryland and Virginia, as well as immigrants from Ireland, Scotland, and other European nations.”

So. . . . because not all of the labor was performed by slaves. . . . um. . . what is the objection exactly?

Pffft. Those white people hardly did anything. Slaves built the White House. At least, that’s the view of the First Lady.

Ohhhhhh, I get it now. The problem is that white people don't get enough credit.

Whenn the First Lady mentioned the FACT that slave labor was used in the construction of the White House, she should have said Every morning I wake up in a house that was built by slaves, in part. Also by Irish and Scottish workers and local white folks." That would have made the point about how far America has come in dealing with its racism problem much more poignant!

A couple relevant facts: it was 1792. The land for the District of Columbia was ceded to the federal government by two slave states. Slaves lived in the area and were employed in building much of the capitol.
What, then, is the purpose of appropriating the construction of the White House to black slave workers, neglecting to mention other workers?

Um, maybe because the slave labor is the only relevant part of the story? It's like if I tell you the story about the time I met NFL star Dwight Clark and you say, "yes, but don't forget there were other people in that restaurant! What were the names of the other customers? Who were the restaurant employees? Why leave out all the non-football playing people in the story?' It's because the only two people that matter in the story are me and Dwight Clark (who could not have been nicer, by the way. Real class act!)

Why get bogged down in mentioning all the other people who are not pertinent to the epic tale of the time I met Dwight Clark?

Mrs. Obama’s obsession with pointing an accusing finger at the “slave built” White House looks as though it is intended to pour salt in the wound of slavery, to upset today’s African Americans. To remind black Americans today that two centuries ago people in this country were enslaved is to restate the obvious, and her aim to besmirch the image of the White House is callous and calculating.

Yes, if Michelle Obama hadn't mentioned it, everyone would totally have forgotten about slavery by now. And "today's African Americans" would have nothing to be upset about. Except maybe that they keep getting murdered by police who keep getting away with it, and maybe the fact that commenters on your website (and others) keep referring to our first black president as an ape, monkey, or worse.

And obviously, Mrs Obama's point in mentioning this totally true fact was not to point proudly to how far we've come in the last 2 centuries, but to "besmirch the image of the White House?" Whatever that means?

Also, how could it possibly be besmirched any more than it has been by some of its previous residents?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Weirdest Moment of the RNC

Of course there were a lot of weird moments at this years RNC shitshow. From "Doctor" Ben Carson trying to link Hillary Clinton with Lucifer to Melanoma Trump apparently getting pranked by her speechwriters, including ending her speech by getting Rick-Rolled. 

There was the duck dynasty idiot telling the assembled dullards dolts  and dunces  that Donald Trump would "have their back," which is one of those expressions that sounds nice but doesn't really mean anything, and what meaning it has doesn't really fit a guy who has made a career out of stiffing contractors and swindling investors.

There was some screamy minister leading the crowd in chanting "All Lives Matter!" even though he's black, then saying he dreamed of a society where education and good jobs replaced mass incarceration as if he had no idea whose convention he was addressing.

There was this creepiness:

 I didn't have the stomach to watch much of the debacl, but I think the oddest moment for me, of the odd moments I did see was the speech by Scott "Chachi" Baio.  I mean, first of all, what the hell was he even doing there? Do people even remember who he was? And it's not like he's some sort of activist or politically involved or intelligent or employable or anything. But he did manage the oddest line of the entire tiny part of the convention I managed to sit through. He said that Donald Trump was
 “a man doing this from the goodness of his heart and genuinely wants to help.”

Donald Trump and "the goodness of his heart," That's two phrases I never thought I'd hear in the same sentence. It's like one of those things that you just assume has never been spoken by human tongue like "No, that's too many French fries," or "boy, I can't get enough of that Katy Perry!" or "Madam, please! Remove your mouth from my genitalia at once!"

How did Scott Baio get invited to speak? From what I understand, not only were all the speaking slots filled, but there were dozens of prominent Republicans begging to be asked to appear. They even had to bump Tim Tebow after he said that he had never agreed to appear and would not do so if asked. So who didn't make the cut?
My sources tell me that the following prominent dignitaires who were bumped, including:

This Chair:

This inanimate carbon rod:

Jim Carrey's butt

Snidely Whiplash

Patrick Starr

And Cthulu


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Itchy and Scratchy School of Journalism

Whilst I was away, this headline appeared in the USA Today "newspaper."

Trump, Clinton both threaten free press: Column

I know Trump has stated that if elected he will loosen the libel laws to allow him to sue reporters who write negative stories about him. That seems like a pretty serious threat. But in what way has HRC threatened the Fourth Estate?

Well, let's see.
Oh, first of all, in the interests of full disclosure, let me once again state that I am no fan of Hillary Clinton. I have a lot of issues with her, but next to Trump, she looks like George Freaking Washington.

Anyway, let's see how the comparison shakes out.

The public’s right to know is infringed if certain reporters are banned from a candidate's events because the candidate doesn’t like a story they have written or broadcast, as Donald Trump has done.

Okay. You'll get no argument here.

Similarly, refusing to regularly answer questions from reporters in a press conference, as Hillary Clinton has, deprives the American people of hearing from their potential commander-in-chief in a format that is critical to ensuring he or she is accountable for policy positions and official acts.

Oh, sure because that's totally the same. . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . wait, what?

"She doesn't hold enough press conferences" is the equivalent of "he bans reporters who dare criticize him?" In what universe?

This is just the latest example of what I like to call "Itchy and Scratchy journalism."

If you've never seen "Itchy and Scratchy," the cartoon-within-a-cartoon featured on the Simpsons, it goes something like this. There's a cat and a mouse. Each episode begins with the cat either minding his own business or trying to be friends with the mouse. Then the mouse murders the cat in some spectacularly gruesome and sadistic way.

 But the opening title sequence of each episode is this:

The lyrics to the theme song are:
They fight
And fight 
And fight and fight and fight.
Fight, fight, fight!
Fight, fight, fight!
The Itchy and Scratchy Shooooow!!!!!

And sure, it's funny. But it gives a completely false impression of what the show is all about. They don't fight and fight. The mouse just eviscerates the cat for no reason other than his own psychotic enjoyment. But if all you saw was the opening, you would think it was some sort of fair fight between equally-matched opponents, both of whom, hate the other.

Similarly, if , like most news consumers, you just glanced at the headline and maybe skimmed the article, you could be forgiven for thinking that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are equally villainous in their treatment of the press.

I remember the first time I noticed this phenomenon. It was during the 2000 Presidentiual campaign, after one of Bush and Gore's debates. The article listed any number of instances where G.W. Bush had lied, distorted, or otherwise told falsehoods. Then they tacked on a bit about Al Gore exaggerating some statistic and slapped on a headline that read something to the effect of  "Both Candidates Stray From the Truth" or something like that.

Anyway, this is why we can't have nice things. Because no one in the media has the nerve to stand up and say "hey, you know what? Both sides don't always do it! Sometimes it's just the one side."

So no one will say "by refusing to even consider a nominee for the Supreme Court, the Republicans have entered in an unprecedented level of partisanship, pointless obstruction, and politicizing of the court." When's the last time you heard Merrick Garland's name on the news? Today, he just broke the record for the longest time waiting to be confirmed, did you hear about that on the evening news? And not only has he broken that record, but he's broken it without a single hearing. It's completely unprecedented, but no reporters have the guts to poin it out. It's just "partisan gridlock," or "business as usual in Washington" and **shrug** what can you do? The two sides just can't get along!

And that's why Trump advisors can say things like this:

“This whole thing disgusts me, Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason,”

or this:

Without it even being a story.

That's why people could keep getting beaten up at Trump rallies without it being a major scandal. They're so married to their supposed "objectivity," that they can't bring themselves to admit that the two parties are not the same, not mirror images of each other. One party has gone completely off the rails and the press stands by and says "Gosh, the emperor's suit is fantastic!"

Which is why it should be heartening to hear that Chris Cuomo actually said the following to Trump surrogate Paul Manafort:
“I can't move on,” Cuomo said. “Because you keep lying about it, so I can't move on from it.”
Hearing a journalist actually state the obvious, that someone is telling a lie, is about as rare as hearing Pavarotti covering Led Zeppelin. But, of course, the exchange took place during a discussion about Melanoma Trump's plagiarized speech. No journalist (no mainstream, corporate journalist, I should say) would ever call a lie a lie when it's about something important. All we're likely to get from them on issues on importance is " they fight. And fight. And fight and fight and fight. . ."

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Fraud of the Day

Well this is pretty shameless. Some snake-oil company called "GOLO" is pimping their more-than-likely-worthless product in TV ads with this "expert" spokesthing.

Image result for dr. keith ablow

Yeah, that's FOX News's favorite pshychiatrist "Doctor" Keith Ablow.
And they don't even have the decency to point out that he is not a dietician, or a nutritionist, or really any kind of an expert on weight loss. He may not even be a real psychiatrist.

Oh, and if you aren't familiar with his hackery, here's all you need to know about "Doctor" Keith Ablow and his expertise on weight loss: (via Media Matters) he " described First Lady Michelle Obama as too fat to be credible while offering advice to children on nutrition."
Dr. Keith Ablow and GOLO

Okay, I'll bite. What is "insulin resistance?"

Well, according to the National Institutes of Health, it is actually a real thing.

In insulin resistance, muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond properly to insulin and thus cannot easily absorb glucose from the bloodstream. As a result, the body needs higher levels of insulin to help glucose enter cells.
The beta cells in the pancreas try to keep up with this increased demand for insulin by producing more. As long as the beta cells are able to produce enough insulin to overcome the insulin resistance, blood glucose levels stay in the healthy range.
Over time, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes and prediabetes because the beta cells fail to keep up with the body's increased need for insulin. Without enough insulin, excess glucose builds up in the bloodstream, leading to diabetes, prediabetes, and other serious health disorders

Okay, but what about weight gain?

Although the exact causes of insulin resistance are not completely understood, scientists think the major contributors to insulin resistance are excess weight and physical inactivity.
Some experts believe obesity, especially excess fat around the waist, is a primary cause of insulin resistance.

Ah. I see. So according to the NIH, obesity can cause insulin resistance. According to "Doctor" Keith Ablow, it's insulin resistance causing obesity.

And, if you are someone who doesn't know that Keith Ablow is one of the biggest quacks to have ever faked expertise, you might be wondering "gosh, could I have this insulin resistance? Is that why I'm overweight? Here I thought it was all the cheesecake and lethargy, but if this doctor says so. . ." And if you did think that, you might take this quick Cosmo-test to see if you do indeed have a serious medical condition which should really have been diagnosed by an actual physician, but who has time for all that?"

The following are indicators of impaired insulin performance or Insulin Resistance. Review the 10 indicators below to see how many apply to you:
  • My waist is greater than 40” for men or 35” for women
So, if you're a larger-sized person, you can pretty much assume that you have it. 

  • I gain weight easily or have difficulty losing weight

So if you are one of what medical experts refer to as "most people," you probably have it.

  • I have dieted before and gained the weight back

This also puts you into that high-risk category that doctors refer to as "people."
  • I am more than 20 pounds overweight I have low energy or suffer from fatigue I suffer from hunger and cravings
 If you are overweight, that's clear evidence that this condition is the thing that is causing you to be overweight. That's the scientific method in action!
  • I am an emotional or stress eater

So, if you eat because of your emotional stress, um. . . that still counts, somehow? Like your weight gain couldn't possibly be due to overeating just because you tend to overeat! I diagnose insulin resistance!
  • I consume meal replacement shakes, skip meals or eliminate key food groups like fat or carbs.

If you are currently on a diet - Yep, you have it! That's a sure sing of insulin resisitance, because why else would you be trying to lose weight, hmm? Answer me that, smart-guy!

  • My diet consists of more than 30% processed foods

So if you live in America. . . You got it!

  • I am on one or more weight related medications (high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sugar control)

Well, sounds to us like maybe you wouldn't mind being on one more!

So what is this miracle elixir?

". . .a patented, all natural, plant based formula with 10 active ingredients with 3 proprietary mechanisms. These address the triggers associated with weight gain."

So. . . there's no medicine? Just "plant-based" ingredients and "mechanisms?" So it could be practically anything? It could be some sort of herbs that may have medicinal properties, or it could be ground up tree bark and yard clippings? Sign me up!

Oh, and what are "mechanisms" and how do you fit them into a pill?

Take two of these and call me in the morning!

But wait, there's more!
You also get this patented space-age diet plan book!

GOLO's Metabolic Fuel Matrix

So, if I take your sugar pills, I mean plant-based ingredient pills, and then eat a healthy diet with lots of vegetables and such, I could lose weight? Or, and I'm just spit-balling here, maybe I could just eat healthy food, and. . .wait, hear me out on this. . . I could eat vegetables instead of fried pies, skip the pills altogether and maybe still lose some weight?

Gosh, "Doctor" Ablow, you sure are swell. It's no wonder you have the respect of your peers who say things like this about you:

Medical Experts Condemn Fox's Keith Ablow:

"Shameful" And "Unfortunate That He Is Given A Platform"

Medical experts contacted by the Associated Press condemned Fox News contributor Dr. Keith Ablow for his ongoing cable news psychoanalysis of President Obama, his wife, and other figures.
Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, the chairman of psychiatry at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons and past president of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), told the AP that "it is shameful and unfortunate that he is given a platform by Fox News or any other media organization," adding that "he is a narcissistic self-promoter of limited and dubious expertise."
Ford Vox, a staff psychiatrist at the Shepherd Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center in Atlanta, said that Ablow's medical analysis "is really just irresponsible and it's embarrassing for physicians in general."

Well, this will probably be my last post for the week. We have some friends coming out from California and we're going to drive up to Nashville. And we're not coming home until at least one of us has a record contract! See you next week!

Oh, and for the record, I am at least 20 lbs overweight, and get winded watching sports on TV. I am not at all trying to mock or shame anyone over their weight. Probably should have put that up top.

Monday, July 11, 2016

People who Really Want a Race War

thereWe spent parts of last Friday and Sunday evenings at Black Lives Matter rallies here in Atlanta. And I can tell you as a dorky middle-aged white guy, I never once felt at all threatened, unsafe, or unwelcome. There was no hint of violence or hatred in these demonstrations. So if there are violent clashes in the future, it won't be these folks who are to blame.

The people who will be to blame will be those people who seem intent on stirring up a "race war" of some sort. People like former US Congressman and current piece of shit Joe Walsh, who infamously tweeted this after 5 cops were murdered in Dallas:!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_750/article-walsh-2-0707.jpg

It's shocking. Even after all these years of seditious threats from various right-wingers, this still seems shocking. This could not be a more obvious call to racially-motivated violence. Not since the Manson Family scrawled "PIGS" on the walls of the Sharon Tate's home has there been a more blatant attempt to start a race war. 

 Until this:

Then there's this little piece of shit "reporter" trying unsuccessfully  to goad BLM protestors into violence.

The sense of superiority and condescension is just sickening as he asks the woman in the beginning of the video " I asked you why you are (unintelligible) the police and why you're here. Tell me why you are here." He sounds like a cop interrogating a suspect,  or a middle-school vice-principal demanding to see a hall pass, demanding an answer as if  this woman is required to answer to him like he's some sort of authority figure.

I will say this though, kudos to the St Paul police department who sent officers on bicycles wearing polo shirts instead of the militarized body-armor-wearing shock troops most departments use to police peaceful demonstrations.

But the most sickening of all is former New York Mayor and current bag of scum Rudy Giuliani.

On this Sunday's Face the Nation, he had this to say about black lives:

So if you want to protect black lives, then you've got to protect black lives, not just against police, which happens rarely, although with tremendous attention, and which happens every 14 hours in Chicago. Every 14 hours and we never hear from Black Lives Matter.

Jeezus, here we go again. I don't know where this thought process comes from -  a: that it's no big deal that cops kill black people because black people are also sometimes killed by other black people, and b: that it's just somehow absurd to hold police officers to a higher standard than Chicago gangbangers.

“When you say ‘black lives matter,’ that’s inherently racist,” the ex-mayor said. “Black lives matter, white lives matter, Asian lives matter, Hispanic lives matter. That’s anti-American and it’s racist.”

So he's going with the old "people who talk about racism are the real racists" canard? Jeez, it's like these racist pricks all get their talking points from the same -- oh, right!

Then this arrogant open sewer of a man has the balls, the unmitigated gall, to lecture black parents:

If you want to deal with this on the black side, you’ve got to teach your children to be respectful to the police, and you’ve got to teach your children that the real danger to them is not the police, the real danger to them 99 out of 100 times … are other black kids who are going to kill them. That’s the way they’re going to die.

Jeezus Christ! First of all, "you've got to teach your children to be respectful of the police?" Why is it assumed in this country that being disrespectful to a cop is grounds for being murdered? This is America. Once, many years ago, I found myself in an auditorium with a sitting United States President, Ronald Reagan. (long story) A group of us booed him, chanted anti-GOP slogans,. and at one point all raised our hands with our middle fingers extended. And the President of the United States, the most powerful man on Earth, couldn't do a damn thing about it. Because this was America. Well, technically, he did do one thing, he zinged us when we were chanting "We Like Mike" in reference to Micheal Dukakis, he said "see, his supporters can't even find the right rally" which, credit where credit is due, was a pretty good zing. But that was it. No one beat us or arrested us or shot us. Because this was America, where you don't have to be respectful if you don't want to be.
If you're stopped by a police, sure it's smart to be respectful. Also, in a lot of cases, it's the right thing to do because he's just a person doing his job. But if you are being stopped, harassed, treated like a criminal because of the way you look, that cop is really not worthy of your respect. And showing a lack of respect to an authority figure has never been a capital offense in this country.

But what makes the whole "teach your kids respect" bullshit even more disgustingly offensive is that this is exactly what black parents do. Ask any black parent, they'll tell you. Here are a few things that, according to this article on Gawker, black parents have to tell their sons:

Get stopped for a traffic violation: Use your Sunday school manners. Keep your hands where they can be seen, and above all else, do not argue.

Ask the police before you reach for your license. Ask the police for permission to get your insurance card and registration out the glove box. Do not answer any questions. Just do as you are told.

You answer their questions if they ask you with 'yes sir' and 'no ma'am' unless it is incriminating, then you exercise your right to be silent. Don't talk back, don't even slouch, pull up your pants. Be polite, no sudden movements.

And this prick, this champion of police brutality ( Remember "Giuliani Time?") has the audacity to sit there and lecture black parents about teaching their kids "respect?"

And then he wants black parents to tell their kids that the real danger to them is other black kids?

you’ve got to teach your children that the real danger to them is not the police, the real danger to them 99 out of 100 times … are other black kids who are going to kill them. That’s the way they’re going to die.
I’d also say, be very careful of those kids in the neighborhood and don’t get involved with them because, son, there’s a 99 percent chance they’re going to kill you, not the police. And we’ve got to hear that from the black community.

So this vile pigfucker wants black parents to sit down with their kids and say "Son, remember to avoid people who look like you. We black people are tho real danger to you. You know how we are, there's a really good chance that if you hang out with horrible black people like say, your mother and I, or your siblings or any friends from the neighborhood, there's a really good chance one of us will murder you. That's just how we are!"

There are a lot of people about whom I might say "he makes me sick," and usually that's just a figure of speech, but Rudy Giuliani actually makes me physically nauseous. And as long as he continues to lead his living dead existence with enough breath to vibrate his vocal cords, the networks will keep inviting him onto their airwaves and pretending that he isn't a loathsome despicable excuse for a human being.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Alan West is Ridiculous. As if you didn't know.

First they dreamt up the "War on Christmas."

Then they tried to gin up an illusory "War on Easter."

And then an all-out imaginary assault on religion in general and Christianity specifically.

So, if you're a Florida huckster with a fear of getting a real job, you better hurry up and invent a new fake war to pretend to fight. 
I'm on it!

 Yes, ladies and gentlemen, just in time for the summer blockbuster season, Alan West is proud to present . . .


I see something VERY disturbing happening today…

 . . . as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced?
Sorry, sorry. . . do go on.

I’ve noticed something as it relates to today and that which it represents. We’ve seen our move away from Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays, and even Happy Winter Solstice.

 Okay, hold on a second there. I have been on this earth for 40-some-odd years now, all of those years here in the good old U.S. of A, and I have never, not once, heard a single person say "Happy Winter Solstice." And I used to live in San Francisco. I've spent time in Berkeley. Even the fine people who do celebrate the Solstice don't seem to go around giving solstice greetings to those who do not share their traditions, probably to avoid odd looks and possible hostility from creeps like you.

We’ve become so damaged by the talons of political correctness that it now threatens the very existence of our Republic. And I mean its very founding.

Oh my GOD! Political correctness has built a time machine, and it's going to go back to 1776 and prevent the founding of America! Its very founding!  Or maybe go back a bit further and prevent George Washington's parents from ever meeting? I don't know, there are obviously a lot of details to work out, but it's a pretty scary thought.

I’ve been amazed at how people greet you with “Happy 4th of July”, as if we are celebrating a numbered date on the calendar. If this continues, there will be generations who will no longer know what happened on this day, other than we should have cookouts and shoot off fireworks.

Seriously? You think this is some new development? It's ALWAYS been "Fourth of July." At least since I was a kid, during the late mesozoic era. No one has ever called it "Independence Day" that I've ever heard. It's just like how we say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy anniversary of the birth of the Christ child in a stable in Bethlehem although the odds that it would have happened during December are awfully slim."

What concerns me is that if we continue on the path of not teaching history — and I don’t consent to the revisionist version — nor civics, what lies ahead for this day when we celebrate our American Independence? 
 Well, A: tell your fellow Republicans to quit cutting funding to our schools and maybe they can do a better job of teaching history which they absolutely do still teach, you imbecile. and B: It doesn't matter to what you do or do not consent. You're nobody. And C: I assume that what you meant by "revisionist version" is the more honest, less sanitized version? The version that admits that we might have been in the wrong when we committed genocide against Native Americans and enslaved millions of African people?
This is a big part of what's wrong with America. Our refusal to confront the sins of our past. I am part of a generation that grew up with "Schoolhouse Rock" summarizing the atrocities of Manifest Destiny with cartoon Indians helpfully stepping aside so that white settlers could have a bit more "elbow room."

So it's shocking, but hardly surprising, that textbooks are still being published that state slavery was a mostly benign institution. It's not surprising that a lot of white people think that we purchased the lands from the Native Americans and don't know what they're so upset about. (See last week's Full Frontal with Samantha Bee)

It's why Sean Hannity can insist straight-faced that America is the greatest force for good that God has ever blessed the world with or some such drivel. And it's why Alan West can print something like this without a trace of irony:

Today is our 240th American Independence Day, a significant day not just for America, but for the world.
It was on this day that the true codification of natural rights theory occurred. We declared in our statement of Independence that the unalienable rights of the individual come not from a monarch, a man, but from the Creator. 

You do realize, don't you Mr. West, that none of those rights would have applied to you? 

Yes, the founders declared that all men (and they meant the "men," part, just not the "all.") had inalienable rights, but they also declared that black people were property, that Indians had no rights except to vacate their land when so ordered, and women had no say in pretty much anything.Women didn't get the right to vote in the U.S. until 1920, and that was only because they wanted to dilute the voting power of black men.

In a few months, we are going to elect our first female President. And our national chest will swell with pride over our egalitarianism and commitment to equal rights and blah, blah, blah, and we will dutifully ignore the fact that England, Germany, Ireland and Finland have already had women at the head of their governments while we crow "only in America" like an bunch of ersatz Don Kings.

And it's not just sophisticated European countries.  India elected Indira Gandhi to lead their country in 1966. The Philipines elected Corazon Aquino in 1986. Even  Pakistan elected Benazir Bhutto Prime Minister in 1988. And again in 1993.

Anyway, I got a bit off-track there.

What was the point?

Oh, right. Therer is no war on Christmas. There is no war on Easter. There is no war on Christianity. And there is certainly no war on the Fourth of July, you shabby two-bit huckster.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Flashback Friday - Blancmange

For a couple years, Blancmange was all over "new wave" radio stations like LA's KROQ and San Francisco's Quake.
I was surprised to learn at some point that, not only were they not French, but the name Blancmange comes from Britain's version of Jell-o. 

(I think I may have figured that out from this Monty Python sketch)

At any rate, let us return now to those thrilling days of yesteryear when it was perfectly legitimate for a band to consist of two guys, only one of whom plays an instrument: