Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Chocolate New Orleans

A little something sweet, for Mardi Gras. Mmm, chocolate...


If you haven't already done so, please consider making a doe-nay-shon to assist Hurricane Katrina victims. A lot of them still don't have any reason to celebrate.

Express your desire to help the St. Charles Avenue streetcars. Show some love for the live love acts. Pledge a quarter for the Quarter.

I thank you kindly!

With thanks to Jimmy Molotov for the chocolicity.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Any Port Company In A Storm

The Bush administration's inexplicable decision to allow a company owned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to run major American ports continues to be a contentious issue for the president days after it was announced.

The 45-day review period that has now been agreed to by the ports company, the Bush administration and his Congressional majority is a mere formality; it has no binding terms, and the president has already made clear he's not changing his mind.

Yep. Despite the uproar about a deal he admittedly was only a party to after the fact, Bush couldn't give a cargo-hold-rat's ass what anyone else thinks.

Amazing. Just amazing. But maybe not, considering the source.


While airport security has been beefed up post-9/11, ports are still gaping holes in the American security fence. They remain our Achilles heel, as
some public figures have long pointed out, but Bush seems content to let the rest of the leg go bad.

So much for protecting the homeland.


One affected port is right in my backyard. I’ll have to go wave at my new neighbors down there sometime. Maybe bring them a sponge cake. Something nice, but not too fancy.

I can’t tell you how very bad and nonsensical this deal is. The UAE was an ally of Osama bin Laden and hosted him on many occasions. Who knows if they’re still friends?

And this plan just plain looks bad.

I'm sorry, by the way, that American objections to the ports deal are hurting some people's feelings, but our feelings of security have to come first. Except for a few presidential lapdogs, the population is overwhelmingly against this.

Republicants who have supported Bush through his many stumbles are starting to break ranks, though some are trying to find a compromise on the port issue. If the president maintains his present course, he may soon have little safe haven from his detractors.

Coming right after Bush took a flogging from his own party on illegal NSA wiretaps (well, ok, there were only a few lashes, and they weren’t very hard), this newest scandal is further tearing
Republicant unity behind him asunder.

Keep up the good work, Mr. President. You’re doing a heckuva job campaigning for Democrats.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Mao Be Wiggin' It

(click photo for better resolution)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Lip Service

The creator of The Vagina Monologues made quite a name and fortune for herself with open talk about the vagina. Now it’s my turn to dive into the subject.

OK, while I may not be an “owner” like she is, I am a devoted “patron,” and I don’t want to hold my tongue on the subject any longer.

I generally disapprove of the non-reconstructive cosmetic procedures more and more women seem to be having nowadays. I say embrace your 32A bust. Tell the doctor to put the collagen away and leave your lips alone.

Well, not all of them.

OK, no more beating around the bush about the modern medical miracle known as
labiaplasty (labia reduction surgery).*

This is no joke. It’s a sensitive topic that has been touched on by the
mainstream media, on talk radio and in other blogs.

Many women resort to intimate reductions because they suffer chronic physical and/or social discomfort due to the disputed region. It’s not a purely cosmetic procedure.

Not all women who have labiaplasties do it strictly for their own benefit, however. Some have it done for their partner (i.e. the person who puts in the face-time downtown).

Obviously, labial excess is just not some cunnisseurs’ personal taste.

What constitutes excess?

If below the waist a woman in a bikini resembles a man wearing a Speedo, that may be an indication. When it comes to everyday apparel, if a woman finds she has to “dress left” or “dress right,” ditto.

It’s not just a visual issue, either. For the partner, having to wheedle through all that wrapping and tissue paper to get to the great gift inside can be a passion-killer. They want to be able to open it quickly, like when people open gifts on TV; they just lift the box top off.

Few women, even those blessed with an out-and-out cunnicopia, actually need a labiaplasty, and no woman should feel insecure regarding her private plenitude. She need only acquire a partner (where applicable) who finds that particular feature cunnilicious.

When all is said and done, people have the right to their preferences in physical attributes, both for themselves and their partners.

For example, some women may find a man’s venous, twitching member disgusting. As an owner, I disagree, but that’s no skin off my proboscis. Hey, I’m not here to force my views down anyone’s throat.

*Link goes to a text page, from which you can link to another page with before/after photos. Don’t go if you don’t want to know!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Salvation Delivered To Your Front Door

The founder of Domino’s Pizza is hoping to deliver more than pizzas to South Florida. Entrepreneur Tom Monaghan wants to bring deliverance to the multitudes with his very own $400 million faith-based town and university.

Personally, I’m skeptical; some faith-based settlements
haven’t gone so well.

Ave Maria (“Hail Mary”), as it is to be known, will be a genuine, full-fledged town. But it will have some distinctive aspects.

True to his devout Catholic beliefs, Monaghan is seeking to keep all pharmacies in town contraceptive-free. On the flipside, highly addictive prescription painkillers will still be available at those same pharmacies, so you can still party.

Since all commercial real estate in Ave Maria is already owned by Monaghan, all businesses will have to meet his approval before setting up shop. A “red light district” seems almost certainly out of the question; for me, that’s a deal-killer.

A centralized retail sector will ensure everything one might need is within walking distance. A very progressive,
green idea, that, but only practical from my point of view if all you need is a newspaper. It’s hard to schlep home groceries for the family or a 52” screen TV in the Florida heat.

Residents will be able to enjoy communion wafers in their choice of crispy thin, regular or thick crust. Extra toppings will be available at no charge; however, the “Eucharist Supreme” will require a minimum donation to the collection plate.

Instead of sipping wine from a chalice during services, priests will drink Mountain Dew from a 2-liter bottle.

The town cathedral will feature a 65-foot crucifix, to prove to everyone that Tom’s God is bigger than theirs. It will be handy, though, just in case Godzilla ambles through town. Or a giant vampire.

A sanctuary (safe house) will be set up for priests who’ve been banished from parishes elsewhere. Amenities will include a 24-hour masseuse, spa facilities, a hand-tossed pizza buffet and onsite childcare.

Parking tickets will be paid off simply through the recitation of 50 to 100 “Hail Mary’s” (depending on the severity of the offense) or by presenting a coupon to the citing officer.

The town’s sole bingo hall (big with the Papist set) will be operated by the indigenous Gamahuchee Indians.

Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a practicing Catholic, will be permitted to open an oil drilling operation inside the town, provided he agrees to govern the entire state by Catholic dogma.

Heretics, er, non-Catholics will be welcome to buy homes in Ave Maria, as long as they keep their mortgage payments up until they die and go to hell.

It’ll be interesting to see how much control Monaghan is able to exert over his dream town. If he indeed expects the populace to adhere to his conservative beliefs, he’ll have to make a lot of decisions about what kind of businesses will be allowed, and what they can sell. Alcohol? Tobacco? Firearms? Sports Illustrated?

And will Monaghan be able to control who comes to town, when the residents may have family and friends visiting from all over? He may quickly find that keeping bad elements from despoiling his holy vision of faith, fellowship and free toppings is not so easy.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

And… CUT!!!

This is about a subject that’s very near and dear to me: The Big Man Downstairs.

I once thought circumcision of infant males was “settled law,” at least in most countries. But apparently it’s not a given.

One former coworker of mine decided not to have his baby boy “cut,” as he said it would traumatize the child. He explained that babies scream bloody murder when they’re being circumcised; considering they react the same way to hunger or dirty diapers, can we really be certain what they’re crying about?

Here’s my traumatic scenario for that youngster: He's in high school, and a cute classmate is about to "make him a man." She gets one look at his uncut alien appendage and says, “You’re not putting that thing in any part of me!” Then she tells all the girls at school about it.

Thanks, Dad and Mom. You guys rock!

There are some grown men out there who feel they were robbed of their little head-hiding hoods when they were just defenseless infants. Helpless babies skinned alive? Oh my!

Some of these guys have gone as far as being “restored,” which entails the grafting of skin onto the, um, unsheathed area. The procedure requires a series of surgeries and costs a minimum of $10,000.00.

Dudes, wtf? Do you want your umbilical cords reattached, or your fontanelles reopened? Leave that thing alone already. It's a done deal.

Should still-uncircumcised men do something about their condition? I’m not going to touch that one now, or ever.

What I will say is that I’m personally grateful my parents made the decision for me. Not only do I not need that appendix of the nether regions, I don’t cherish the thought of having to face a knife-job below the belt as a knowing adult.

I would also like to give thanks and a special shout-out to Jews for popularizing this wonderful practice. To them I say sláinte, which is Irish for, “That’s bris, baby!” (Loosely translated.)


I realize there are cultural differences regarding circumcisions, but right or wrong, a guy growing up in the US (for one) nowadays is likely to have a stigma attached to him if that extra skin isn’t detached from him.

Coming Friday: The female counterpart to this topic.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Fluorocarbonation

Global warming has been blamed for the melting of glaciers, which in turn is shrinking the polar bear’s natural habitat.

But there’s new evidence the bears themselves may actually be contributing to the big defrost.

Some say it’s polar bears’ well-known affinity for a certain
carbonated beverage that’s a factor in the phenomenon.

Just as
cow flatulence produces methane that harms the ozone layer, so do the polar bear’s carbonation-induced belches.

An emperor penguin known as “Tux,” who was a background extra in the hit film March of the Penguins, provided a firsthand account of the polar bears’ detrimental habits.

“Jesus H. Christmas, it sounds like a jackhammer sometimes. They just drink and burp and drink and burp. And with all that caffeine, they of course stay up all night making that racket.”

The shrinking polar bear habitat may soon put the animals on the endangered species list. But at least one other animal won’t be crying about that.

“Who do you think picks up all those empty cans and bottles?,” said Tux. “It’s not them, I can tell you. Just because I look like a servant doesn't mean I am one. Those selfish pigs deserve to lose their homes.”

Monday, February 20, 2006

Respect The Cock

Respect the cock, the hen, the turkey and all other poultry. Also respect geese, swans, ducks and other migratory birds. To not do so could mean your life.

Initially found primarily in Asia,
avian (bird) flu is spreading across the world at an alarming rate. And even as birds and people are dying, health experts still can’t clearly explain how humans contract the illness:

Working at a farm?

Eating undercooked poultry?

Playing “Chicken” with your friends on a remote stretch of highway?

Sharing needles with a chicken?


Ducking your responsibilities?


Being a chickenhawk?

I’d like to know.

To fight off the disease, many countries are doing preemptive bird bonfires, with mountains of animals being destroyed at once. The situation is reminiscent of the hoof-and-mouth culls in Britain a while back. While I imagine the sight would be gruesome to most, the smell might actually entice some barbecue lovers.

One big problem in dealing with the bird flu is: birds travel. They go from country to country and never have to show their passports. They fly right under Homeland Security’s radar.

Until this situation is brought under control, maybe we need to put the birds themselves on an international “no-fly” list. In the US, I’m sure a certain gun-toting, quail-and-buddy-blasting vice president and his weekend warrior chums will be glad to help enforce it.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Bogs Protests Protesters

At the time of this posting, the Mohammed/Muhammad cartoon riots continue unabated across the world. If those protesters were ever trying to make a valid point, it's been totally lost through their senselessly violent and destructive behavior.

In an exemplary demonstration of nonviolent resistance, I took to the streets today to protest the protesters.

Oh yeah - it was way out of hand.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Spill DeWine

Ohio Republicant Senator Mike DeWine must be on DeDrugs.

An ardent Bush devotee and apologist, DeWine has suggested that the American people just forget all about this silly NSA illegal wiretapping nonsense.

During a Friday interview with Fox News he said the following:

“You know, there’s been some controversy about whether or not this program is legal or is not legal. I think we need to get beyond that. And the vast majority of American people believe these calls need to be listened to. But we don’t want to have any kind of debate about whether it’s constitutional or not constitutional.
So I think we need to put that beyond us.”

Let’s examine this whopper – which I made the mistake of reading just before bed – for a moment, shall we?

You know, there’s been some controversy about whether or not this program is legal or is not legal.


Yaaaaaa think?

I think we need to get beyond that.


Oh yes, let’s just forget that the president has broken the law. Nothing to see here, unless he got a BJ from Condi.


And the vast majority of American people believe these calls need to be listened to.

Um, Mike, you can’t back that up. Even your own party leadership objects to the illegal NSA program. And what exactly are “these calls” you’re talking about? Legally intercepted calls from terrorists or illegally intercepted ones from private citizens? There’s a big difference; it’s only the latter most of us are screaming about. Oh, and whatever the polls say, in this country we don’t decide whether or not to pursue an investigation of a crime by taking a show of hands.

But we don’t want to have any kind of debate about whether it’s constitutional or not constitutional.


Who’s we? The unquestioning masses of Bush supporters? Of course you don’t, because any cursory look at this reveals that Bush in fact committed an impeachable offense. But a lot of us do want to get into that kind of a debate, Mikey.

So I think we need to put that beyond us.

There he goes again, as Reagan would say. Well if you think so, Mike, it must be a great idea. You wouldn’t steer us wrong where the president is concerned, would you?

DeWine made these statements in the context of a discussion about his call to exempt the NSA wiretap program from the established rules for foreign intelligence surveillance. Which translates to, if your buddy breaks the law, just change the law to render his action no longer illegal, and make it retroactive so he doesn’t have to worry about the law he broke when it was illegal.

I think it’s time for DeWine to shut DeFuck up.

And it’s time for me to go to bed. Goodnight from the angry left.

Militant Madness

America has been poking a big stick into the hornets' nest a lot lately. Though to be fair, the militant elements of Islam are actively looking for a fight, and we're not the only country with a stick.

The
anger over cartoon depictions of Mohammad has spread, and so has the corresponding death and destruction. Anger is often irrational, but this is completely beyond reason. The issue is being milked by protesters to the point that blood is coming from the teats.

A Danish newspaper published blasphemous cartoons, and a few other European papers followed suit. It’s the perfect excuse to vent that long-held anger at all things Western. Burn every embassy and fast-food restaurant you can find. Protest at American airbases, even though we’re not a party to the cartoon affair.

That said, I am disillusioned with the way my country has been exerting its influence in recent years. We’re not living up to our own democratic ideals by a long shot.

The
newly released Abu Ghraib photos shocked me more than the original set did. This abuse is widespread, not just some fraternity pranks by a handful of untrained recruits. But even as we see and hear more evidence, our president insists we don’t torture.

Instead of sticking to generalized talking points, Bush needs to unambiguously renounce the torture that has happened, and that may indeed still be happening covertly, before the world. We lost our moral superiority cherry long ago, folks.

There are those who condemn the leak of such photos as endangering our troops, but it’s the acts they depict that stir hatred. Those in charge should think about acts that may take place under their watch; if they are inflammatory in nature, they’re endangering their own people by committing and/or encouraging them.

If the Abu Ghraib photos were never released our leaders could still deny any such deeds have ever taken place. Critics should consider how the people at the top have essentially forced the hand of the press here. First there were rumors of torture, which were denied. Then came the photos: “See, we told you so.”

My point is, if there’s no torture, there are no credible photos of torture to foment fanaticism and give ammunition to our foes. I hate to think of any American doing that, or of any American suffering retribution as a result of what someone else may have done.

Of course it's not just Americans taking ill-advised actions, it’s our friends, too.


A few days back news outlets aired video footage of British soldiers beating up Iraqi adolescents. The kids were being punks, throwing rocks at the soldiers, who then seemed to blow off steam with blows to the kids’ chests, faces and balls. If you haven’t seen it, the boot-to-groin kick is particularly nasty.

But where few Americans have been convicted of mistreating Iraqis, some British officials have loudly called for the conviction of those involved in this incident. Several arrests have already been made.


We'll still see a backlash from guilt by association, though.

Let’s lay blame where it belongs, whether it is with ourselves, our friends or our enemies. And let’s see that our responses are measured in proportion to the initial offenses. All sides could stand to be reminded of that.

I know, I’m an idealist – shoot me. It wouldn’t be the most extreme overreaction the world has seen lately.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

It’s Time For Carl To Go

You might think this is going to be about Mr. Rove, but it’s not. That diminutive demon spells his name with a "K," like Karl Marx.

No, I’m talking about NPR’s Morning Edition newscaster Carl Kasell.

Sure, he’s got an impressive resume, but he’s got a horrible radio voice. He's a living oxymoron.

Each morning, as Carl reads the news, he sounds as if he’s chewing on a candy bar. His lips smack like he’s really enjoying it, too. The sound effects are very graphic; you can almost picture the chocolate dripping down his chin, and his colleagues getting splashed like they’re in the front row at a Gallagher show.

Man, I'd hate to have to clean that microphone.

Why is it that newspersons always talk funny? Kassel is the Droopy Dog of radio, Brokaw has trouble with the letter “L,” Walters with "R," and Jennings was Canadian.

It’s a sign of their questionable judgment that NPR actually nudged out a guy like Bob Edwards, who hosted the morning show since it debuted in 1979, while letting Kasell stay. Edwards had a deep, smooth and clear voice. And he sounded like he could wait for a snack.

Now it’s not my desire to see anyone in the unemployment line. I just want a less-disturbing voice reading me the disturbing news of death, destruction and mayhem each morning.

Carl could certainly keep some off-mic duties, like writing and producing. OK, maybe he could even keep his job hosting Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! His voice might actually be an asset to the game show buffoonery.

By the way, if you’ve never heard that show, it entails listeners answering news trivia questions for the chance to win an answering machine greeting from Mr. K himself. If you prefer an articulate message on your home machine, you're probably better off having Charlie the local gibbering derelict record it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Saddam On Trial Part V: Hungry Man

Saddam Hussein is back in the courtroom, and back to his grandstanding ways.

In his latest appearance, Saddam has said he’s on a hunger strike. Could it be that his purported
love of Doritos is at an end? Does he find the bland new packaging disagreeable?

Saddam’s hunger strike is reportedly in protest of the treatment he’s received from the presiding judge. That is, the one who has insisted Saddam be civil and stop interrupting the proceedings with endless rants.

The sadistic bastard!

During his last appearance Saddam and his defense team had stormed out of court over this "treatment." They were compelled to come back to court for the continuation of the trial earlier this week.


While some of his codefendants had to literally be dragged into court, Saddam came back under his own power. He'd previously said he would not return; if it comes to that again, I have a suggestion about how he should be brought back in:

Strapped to a dolly, wrapped in a straightjacket and wearing a Friday The 13th hockey mask.

“Take this thing back to Baghdad!”


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Put That Thing Away, Cupid (AKA, You Can’t Spell Chastity Without “Tit”)

Abstinence was not a choice for a shy boy like me in high school, it was an affliction. Or at least it felt like one.

For some present-day high schoolers, St. Valentine has become the patron saint of chastity, and they’re planning to commemorate his day with flyers, t-shirts and special oaths
swearing off the dirty deed until matrimony.

Yup, this year Cupid is finally putting some pants on.

Despite the fact high schools aren’t crazy about t-shirts for a lot of “causes,” or ones with sex-related messages, some of them are allowing students to distribute anti-sex propaganda for Valentine’s Day.

I think these schools need to hand out
my earlier blog on abstinence for the other side of the story. It’s not scientific, but it’s what I’ve learned. Alas…

When I was in high school the faculty didn’t want kids wearing the “Like A Virgin” t-shirts they bought at the Madonna concert, because of the V-word. Isn’t that what they wanted kids to be? Would they prefer a “Like A Skank-Ho” t-shirt?

My school was always happy to present a one-sided, conservative view to us. Celibacy, Christianity (this was public school, mind you) and military service were the favored paths in life.

It was a clear program of indoctrination, and I resented every bit of it.

I’m not saying teens should knock boots. High school is pretty young for that. I wasn’t ready for it then, even though I was ready for it then.

Where I take issue with the so-called “purity” initiatives is that they’re borne out of a slanted religious agenda and/or out of ignorance.

Sure kids should wait, but many of them aren’t making an informed choice, they’re making a choice colored by talk of sin, chastisement, pregnancy and AIDS. Some folks are fine with that, but I don’t like lying to teens, even if it is “for their own good.” I’m still attuned to the adolescent in me.

I don’t think anyone should ever get half the story. Ideally, life’s choices are made with knowledge of the consequences and benefits; the flipside of that is ignorance. And that’s not what we go to school for.

Enjoy your chocolates, kids.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Unmentionable War On Terror

It’s recently come to light that a current FBI employee pilfered, among other things, more than 1000 articles of women’s underwear from residences in Fairfax County, Virginia.

At first blush, these thefts may seem like the actions of a twisted pervert. But they're actually part of a clothing collection program dubbed “Terrorists Hiding Ordnance iN Garments” (THONG), a valuable tool in the war on domestic terrorism fully sanctioned by the bureau.

“Do you remember those two Russian planes that were brought down by Chechnyan women?” said one source inside the FBI. “They had explosives in their bras. We can’t discount the notion that some disillusioned housewife will be recruited to bring a panty-bomb into a football game or a school play.”

In some instances, highly trained FBI sniffer dogs have been used to locate potentially lethal panties within private residences. In other cases, human volunteers from the bureau have done that job.

The president today promised a swift inquiry into who revealed the Fairfax County operative's identity.

“I can’t tell you how damaging this may be to our efforts in the war on terra (sic),” said Bush. Some people want to give aid and comfortable underwear to terrorists. We’re dealing with dangerous folks here. In other words, they’re dressed to kill.”

Added Bush, “If someone from Victoria’s Secret is calling Al Qaeda, we want to know why.”

While the president insists THONG is completely legal, and was authorized by Congress shortly after the 9/11 attacks, the program has its critics.

One theft victim, who asked not to be identified, said, “I spent like $90 on this water-bra thing. I was going to surprise my husband on Valentine’s Day. Now I’m not sure what I’ll do.”

But the president says he plans to continue the program for as long as it's needed.

“Gonzo (Attorney General Alberto Gonzales) and the top brass over at Homeland Security personally assured me that this program has been very effectible (sic) in identifying dangerous individuals. We have no plans of dropping THONG anytime soon.”

While the president refused to cite examples of who has been targeted by THONG, recent targets are widely believed to include several professional football cheerleader squads and waitresses from a popular chicken wing restaurant chain.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

My New Drinking Buddy

"Domestic beers are wonderful... for me to POOP ON!!!" - Triumph the Insult Comic Dog



Saturday, February 11, 2006

When Will These Dopes Learn?

The Olympics are back, and so are the "doping" controversies.

Every time the games begin, a few athletes are invariably suspended or disqualified for having forbidden substances in their systems. Um, have they not watched the Olympics before?

Athletes, you are going to be tested for doping, and you are going to be
busted if you have been partaking. Don’t you realize that by now?


Are you guys on drugs or something? Oh, wait, never mind.

Look, what you need to succeed in the
Olympics is some LSD: luck, skill and determination.

Seriously, how about showing some sportsmanship, for Christ's sake? I know having your picture on a cereal box is sweet, but come on! There are kids watching.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Picture This: Jack Abramoff And George Bush Walk Into A Bar…

Ever since Jack Abramoff was indicted on federal fraud and conspiracy charges, much of Washington, D.C. has been quaking in its loafers.

Dishonest Abe was a well-connected lobbyist; indeed it seems a new link between him and an important political figure is exposed each day.

Perhaps none is as significant as the revelation that Dishonest Abe, the poster-boy for Republicant corruption, counts President Bush as one of his pals.

Since then,
photos of Incurious George and Dishonest Abe together at a number of White House functions have been much-sought-after and much-talked-about, but rarely seen.


The White House won’t release their photos. What have they got to hide? We already know the two have met.

Some outlets have posted descriptions of photos, but it’s a funny thing about pictures – you really have to see them. Somehow the imagination just never does them justice.


Bush initially tried to deny any memory of Dishonest Abe, but when that tactic became no longer possible to sustain, the White House – which had promised a “thorough report” on alleged connections to the disgrace lobbyist – began to say they didn’t talk about such matters.

Yesterday's release of emails from Dishonest Abe detailing his ties to Bush tightened the thumbscrews on the president.

Even some
Republicants have called for Bush to fess up about his Abramoff connections, but thus far he's hemmed and hawed.

Bush is in part afraid photos of he and Dishonest Abe will be used by his party’s enemies for political gain. He’s right; even though he’ll be leaving office after this term, the photos will still find their way into election-time ads. They will connect Abramoff to Bush and Bush to “Politician X” to show the latter's connection to corruption.


So be itwe all have to choose our friends wisely.

It’s surprising that even in this instant information age the Dishonest George/Dishonest Abe pictures still haven’t made the rounds. But they will sooner or later (I keep hearing a drum roll for some reason). When they do, I’ll take two 8x10’s and a dozen wallet-sized, please.

Or, maybe we should fear those images being released. If they are, the Republicant faithful may go on a public rampage, burning media offices and calling for the beheading of liberals. Hey, it wouldn’t be the first time they became irrational in the defense of their Dear Leader.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Early-Onset Seniority

Before long, you’ll be considered a senior citizen at about the same time you’re a senior in high school.

It used to be 65 was retirement age, and was also a good indicator of “senior” status. Whatever that is.

Over the years the milestone age of senior citizenship has been gradually lowered to 55 and even 50, which is the minimum age for AARP membership. (Strange that such an organization would be courting the “youth” market.)


Even as a thirtysomething, I don't feel safe from the ever-broadening designation of "seniority."

My question is, does anyone really want to order off the senior discount menu that badly? Personally, I can wait.

Americans are
living longer now than ever before. Shouldn’t we be raising the minimum senior age?

Well, I’m off to bingo. You young people behave yourselves. Keep that music down, and don't smoke marijuana cigarettes or have the sex.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

God Hates Jerks: A Guide To Counterdemonstration

If you’re not familiar with the Reverend Fred Phelps, he’s the guy who back in 1998 stood outside Matthew Shepard’s funeral with a sign reading “God Hates Fags.”

Great Christian compassion there, Rev.

Since the US invaded Iraq, Phelps and his inbreeding followers have been
picketing at our soldiers’ funerals, on the grounds that they died fighting for a country that gives refuge to homosexuals and adulterers.

These fuckers must be stopped. Or at least, counteracted. We cannot tolerate this kind of intolerance.

Some states are considering laws against protesting at funerals, which understandably concerns First Amendment supporters. It may be tough to balance freedom of speech with a family’s right to grieve without harassment.

I’m torn on whether or not there should be such laws, and how restrictive they should be.

However…

I do not hesitate in the least to recommend the following guerilla-style counterdemonstration tactic:

Get two of those mega-waterguns – the kind that can hold like a gallon of ammo. Make sure they have a good range and/or good pumping action for a quick reload.

Fill the guns with grape juice, vinegar, urine or water.

Find out when and where the next funeral protest will be held.

On the appointed day, get two accomplices to drive with you to the protest location.

Pull up to the curb where the protest is taking place.

Open your car’s windows and unload the contents of the waterguns on protesters. (Ideally, you’ll be in a four-door, with one person driving, and the two triggermen each at one of the passenger-side windows.) Feel free to shout "Protest this!" or some clever expression during the curbside baptismal.

Drive away knowing you've done something good for your fellow man.


Keep in mind: You may well be arrested, and possibly charged with “assault” or some such BS for doing this. But it’s unlikely you’ll stay in jail long or have to pay much of a fine. And you’ll be a hero to many.

Also remember, the grape juice will cause stains, and you may have to pay for the targets’ clothes. Juice, vinegar and urine will burn eyes and other mucous membranes, so they may get you in more trouble. Water is the safest bet if you’re concerned about the law. On a really cold morning, it might be the worst thing you could hit them with anyway.

Let’s lock and load! Happy soaking!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cartoon Violence Claims Another Casualty

A Muslim strongly opposed to the ongoing riots over cartoon depictions of Mohammad has made himself heard. (See my earlier blog on the issue here.)

Jordanian journalist Jihad al-Momani wrote the following in an editorial:

''Muslims of the world, be reasonable. What brings more prejudice against Islam -- these caricatures or pictures of a hostage-taker slashing the throat of his victim in front of the cameras?"

This man, whose first name is unfortunate, was fired from his newspaper job after publishing those reasonable, insightful words.

Back to the drawing board.

Put Your Hand Where Your Mouth Is

Senator Arlen Specter (PA) has been one of the most outspoken Republicant critics of President Bush’s recently revealed NSA wiretap program. He’s balked at its alleged legality, and has even said that impeachment may be a remedy if Bush has committed a crime.

But at the beginning of yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on domestic spying, Chairman Specter inexplicably said it was “not necessary” for sole witness
Attorney General Alberto “Gonzo” Gonzales to be sworn in.

What?

There shouldn’t be an option to speak without being sworn in. We can’t assume any witness’ honesty. If there were trust about the NSA issue within the public and legislative sectors, we wouldn’t be having these hearings.

I imagine Specter has been privately hammered by fellow Republicants over his criticism of the president’s policies. This may have been his concession to them.

Specter also forbade Democrats from playing two videos: one of Bush saying in 2004 that wiretaps require a court order, and another of Gonzo saying last year that it’s not the president’s policy to perform extralegal surveillance.

Does Specter not find these statements germane to the proceedings? Would convenience store security camera footage not be relevant in an armed robbery trial regarding said store?

Typically, these committees are so deferential to authorities and so concerned with decorum that they forget the reason they’re there. It’s almost as if they’d feel rude to hold anyone to account for anything.

Gonzo’s defense of Bush has been very thin, and got no thicker during the hearings. He again stated that Congress gave Bush the power of illegal taps after 9/11 with the authorization to use military force (AUMF) against Afghanistan. That power, not stated in AUMF, is apparently implicit.

He continued to use fear to justify the president’s usurpation of spying authority: "To end the program now would afford our enemy dangerous and potential deadly new room for operation within our borders."

He couldn’t adequately explain why the president didn’t ask Congress for permission to broaden his wiretap powers if current ones were lacking. Actually, Gonzo previously stated that the president had approached Congress and been turned down, proving he knows the taps were not authorized.

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy (VT) pressed Gonzo to explain exactly when Bush determined AUMF gave him illicit wiretap power. Gonzo initially said “from the very outset” of AUMF in 2001, but eventually admitted it was 2004 before Bush first consulted Congress about it.

Democrats did a fair job of questioning Gonzo, though he didn’t provide many answers. Senator Ted Kennedy (MA) was unusually calm. Chuck Schumer (NY) who on the radio sounds curiously like George Segal, was direct as always. Russ Feingold (WI) accused Gonzo of being “deceptive” in his testimony. And Joe Biden (DE) insisted Gonzo get back to him about questions he couldn’t answer.

Gonzo of course blamed the media for misinformation about the domestic spying program. This is a patented Rovian tactic: Lash out at the media to distract from your own culpability; the minions can always be depended upon to follow suit.

Republican Jeff Sessions (AL), joined in the media bashing, and said it was “not fair” to suggest the president and the Attorney General have done wrong – even in the face of overwhelming evidence they have. Remember, when the taps were exposed, Bush’s reply was essentially, “Yeah we did it, and we’ll do it again, too, punk.”

Sessions used a 9/11 pilot’s sister as a prop to underscore the need to prevent terrorist acts. He fails to realize no one’s against that; the problem is illegal taps on non-terrorists.

Sessions was part of a Bush apologist chorus that also included John Cornyn (TX), Sam Brownback (KS) and John Kyl (AZ). These men focused on criticizing the president’s critics, extolling the virtues of the spying program, and basically kissing presidential butt during their Q&A.

Brownback made the mistake of quoting recent statements by Osama bin Laden and other terrorists to point out ongoing threats. In doing so, he reminded everyone of our ongoing failure to capture or kill Terror Enemy #1 and his pals.

To their credit, some Republicants did not just pat Gonzo on the back.

Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) said Gonzo was putting forth a “dangerous argument” regarding the president’s “inherent authority” to act as he sees fit on national security issues. Essentially, he believes that stance could “neuter” Congress and leave the government with no checks and balances.

Specter stated Bush “does not have a blank check” and that, despite his assertions to the contrary, the president had not obtained permission from Congress to conduct domestic espionage.

Chairman Specter plans to hold a few more domestic spying hearings with additional witnesses. But if they too lack sworn testimony and any real answers, they’ll have as little credibility as Monday’s hearings.

If the Republicant record on accountability is an indication of what may ultimately come out of these hearings, the president has nothing to fear. They may just turn out to be a chance for Congress to publicly scold Gonzo, thereby sating both consternative wiretap opponents and consternative supporters. A brief detour before returning to the status quo.

I yearn to be proven wrong.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Where Is The Muslim Voltaire?

The expression “I do not agree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it” seems to have no equivalent in Islam.

The famous quote, based on the words of Voltaire, is admittedly extreme, but so are the acts of those individuals still
rampaging through many countries to protest an offensive cartoon.

Not only is it considered blasphemous to depict Mohammad in any manner (the opposite of Catholicism, which has mad iconography skills), the cartoon in question also shows him wearing a bomb-shaped turban. It was a double-whammy of destructive proportions.

By carrying out or calling for violence
(including more beheadings and 9/11's) in retaliation for a cartoon, those radical elements are actually justifying the stereotype that the bomb image was suggesting. And the perception of Muslims as dangerous fanatics will not change as long as demonstrations like this are associated with them.

Their anger is certainly not something many Westerners can understand, graven image notwithstanding. It's acceptable to be offended when your beliefs are trounced upon, but not homicidal.

Imagine if every political cartoon or caricature, which appear daily in some newspapers, sparked a riot in the West. There wouldn’t be enough teargas or rubber bullets in the world to disburse the angry crowds.

Moderate Muslims of the world, where art thou? It’s time for you to speak out loudly against the violence. It’s time to stand up for freedom of expression and tolerance of contrary views.

Turkey, this could be your chance to win that coveted spot in the European Union you’ve been seeking. Step up and make yourselves heard!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

That’s Just Super

Today is the day. Janet Jackson "Nipple-Shield Revealed" Anniversary Day. Expensive TV Commercial Day. Oh yeah, and there’s a rather big professional sporting event happening today in Detroit, too.

(I don’t dare name it, but it rhymes with, um, “pooper hole.”)

The league that hosts it is very protective of this game, and demands tribute for each mention of it through the electronic and other media. That’s why you see and hear ads that coyly reference the “Big Game” instead of ones that name it outright.

The game has become almost as popular for its halfti… wait, make that, “midpoint performance” as it has for foot… wait, better make that “tackle-ball.”

This year the league hired the Rolling Sto, er, Mick and the boys, to do the midpoint honors. Definitely a safer bet than Janet Jackson, who never had a giant condom as a stage prop or licked her guitarist’s cheek on camera.

And those expensive commercials really speak to the demographic, don’t they? I can’t wait to see this year’s catfight over a crappy American beer spot. Cheap babes and cheap beer are two great tastes that taste great together.

Unless you’re really into the game, you may find Super-Duper Sunday is a great time to hit the movies; the crowds are down and the atmosphere relaxed. If you decide to catch a flick, I recommend either Cra, er, "Collision," or Good Night, And um, I mean, “Night-Night, Sleep Tight, Don’t Let The Bedbugs Bite.”

Friday, February 03, 2006

Smart Shoppers Don’t Wait To Copulate (Post #100)

There are basically two sides to the premarital sex argument – those who say don’t do it, and those who do it. (That’s two sides, not two kinds of people; many people say one and do the other.)

If you’re like George Bush, you take advantage of a global health crisis to push your personal beliefs on abstinence before marriage.

While there’s no shortage of views on the subject, no one’s provided a reasoned argument as to why you should not wait. I seek to rectify that now.

Most people would agree that a healthy sex life is important to a marriage. Since the institution is, ostensibly, until death you do both part, isn’t it a good idea to make sure you and your partner are sexually compatible before signing a lifetime contract?

Car analogies may seem crass here, but would you commit to a lease on a $60,000 car without first – not necessarily in this order – lifting the hood, getting inside it, taking the top down, playing with all the knobs, and taking it for a ride? (Ooh… suddenly I feel so vulnerable.)

I’m not suggesting you cruise town recklessly until you have an STD. Do put on your seatbelt and watch your speed, but don’t let the possibility of a collision keep you off the road entirely.

Sexual compatibility can’t be fully verified by talking about it; you’ve got to live it. You may find out too late that your spouse thinks certain acts or positions are dirty. You may end up with a wife who’s an “angel in the kitchen” and in the bedroom, or a husband who thinks it’s weird for a woman to be on top.

In other words, stuck with a dud.

There are other quality factors to consider, too. If you only ever have one partner, you’ll be like those unfortunate cave dwellers in The Republic, whose awareness of reality is limited to what’s in front of them. You’ll never really know your stuff sexually, and hence get the maximum benefit out of the pursuit, without a diversified education.

The premarital abstinence standard often causes its practitioners to marry too young or too quickly out of sheer horniness. Securing a satisfying sexual relationship first will help lessen the chances of affairs and divorce.

I tell you, if I were still “waiting,” I’d be one miserable bastard, and I’d make everyone around me that way, too. But I know the best way to relieve stress and stay happy is to get that freak on!

Premarital cohabitation, premarital sex’s enabling best buddy, is also recommended. If you marry before living together, you may find your roommate’s habits intolerable. And again, you’re stuck with them.

Wait until you’re married to have sex? Not!

But do wait until at least your late teens, for God’s sake.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Is There A Cure For Male Pattern Stupidity?

“You know, I work a long time on my hair, and you hit it. He hits my hair.” – Tony Manero

Hey, Captain Comb-over, you’re not fooling anyone. And Mr. Toupee Shakur, neither are you.

Genetically predetermined male pattern baldness is something countless men face every day. It may not be the most desirable of “afflictions,” but it’s not an excuse to lose one’s dignity either.

We “follically challenged” men still have a lot to offer. Like pretty much everything other guys have to offer. We just spend a lot less time and money on the “’do.”

Personally, I like it shaved. It's smoove as hell. And women can use it to fix their makeup.

You hirsute poseurs out there with your plugs and your rugs embarrass yourselves and the rest of us.

Bald is beautiful. Embrace it, don’t disgrace it.

"Hello, Do You Have Prince Bandar In A Can?"

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is stylin' and racially profilin' with his new cell phone.

He has a great calling plan, too. Free nights and weekends. No roaming charges. And those Christina Aguilera ringtones are the shit!

What exactly has the Persian President been doing with all his free airtime? Let's look at some excerpts:

"Tell me, what are you wearing?"

"Do you fear me now?"

"Yes, I want for to talk to Mr. Boosh, please. Boosh, yes. Who is calling? Eh, Hazi Ben Laidyet." (muffled giggles)

"Hello, yes, Domino's? I would like for to order 50 large pizzas with double the anchovies, please. My address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."

"Hello, baby. Yes, I will be home soon. Dinner? I don't care. Shit, make falafel again. Do we have to go through this every time I am in a meeting? No, you're right, the affairs of Iran are much less important than your dinner menu. Forgive me - I am only the fucking president of Iran!!!"

"Bogs, is that you I hear, my main man? Let me tell you, dude, if you are bugging my cell phone again I am going to pull your goddamn fingers off slowly and painfully. No more blogging for you, my main man. And I'd better not see calls to my mistress show up on your Web site again, bro. You are not so scary to me, American pig-dog."

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

State Of Delusion

Shut up! Just shut the hell up and sit down. President Bush has done nothing to earn such applause, or a standing ovation!

The traditions of the annual State of the Union address make me impatient.

One news report mentioned 58 interruptions for applause. I think the SOTU should be like a symphony performance; you hold your applause until the end. The audience stood up and sat down again more times than a devout Catholic at an ADHD convention.

I want to get right to the lies!

I say that not just because Bush is our president, but because if you take these speeches at face value, the state of our union is always “strong.” And that’s bullshit.

Especially right now.

We’re in a devastating war with no clear exit. We’ve got one of the most corrupt Congresses in history. We’re reviled worldwide. And we’re fast on our way from a democracy to a dictatorship.

It’s no surprise that none of these were the focus of this year’s speech. Because, clearly, we do suck right now.

Framed by VP Dick Cheney and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who give the term “fat cats” a literal dimension, Bush admirably began by honoring the late Coretta Scott King.

Much like the obligatory “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” introduction, the president eventually worked his way around to, “Tonight the state of our union is strong, and together we will make it stronger,” before launching into national security.

Bush said terrorists want to “use (Iraq) as a safe haven” and are using the “weapon of fear” to accomplish their aims, without noting that he’s the one who made Iraq their safe haven, and that he too uses fear to his own benefit – in last year’s election, for example.

He accused Democrats of being defeatist on Iraq, even as he said “responsible criticism” of the war is valuable. A man shielded from criticism, he cited no examples of this.

During this portion of the speech, the camera showed a close-up of a young female serviceperson, whose disfigured face and quivering lips indicated an unfortunate sacrifice in Iraq.

The president spoke without irony about Iraq needing “accountable institutions” of government, and touched on the nuke-u-ler threat from Iraq.

He said we “remain on the offensive against terrorism” at home, omitting the fact that while airline security has been beefed up, seaports are still widely unsecured.

He touched briefly on his illegal NSA wiretaps, stating again that if someone in the US is talking to Al Qaeda, we want to know about it. No shit, Sherlock. We all agree on that. The issue is using illegal wiretaps when legal ones are fast and easy. He still hasn’t made the distinction.

Finally, he ominously admitted that we are in a “long war” with a determined enemy, terrorists.

On the domestic front, Bush stated unequivocally that the “economy is healthy and vigorous.” He spoke of wanting to raise the standard of living for Americans, even as his own party refuses to raise the minimum wage above its 1997, pre-oil crisis rate. And he mentioned $880 billion that his tax cuts put back in Americans’ hands. I looked at my hands – none of it was there.

He again urged Congress to make his tax cuts permanent. This comment drew the loudest, most enthusiastic applause from Republicants. They really get excited when you talk about putting more money in their pockets! Helping the rich get richer is going to benefit only the rich.

That was followed by rousing applause from Democrats when Bush mentioned his failed Social Security reform initiative. Looking out for their man, Republicants countered with loud booing.

Both sides were united in their enthusiasm after Bush’s call for “affordable healthcare.”

In the evening’s biggest shocker, Bush said, “America is addicted to oil.” His proposed “Advanced Energy Initiative” would involve the development of alternative fuel sources such as corn (a moonshine-based economy?), and the return of old favorites like nuke-u-ler energy.

His talk of “opportunity and innovation” was straight out of EPCOT, without the ticket prices and long lines.

Bush also wants to change “how we power our automobiles” within six years, his ultimate goal being to “move beyond a petroleum-based economy.” It’s a great idea that’s overdue, but do we believe for a minute that his record profit-making pals in the American oil industry will ever allow that to happen? And why are we still trying to drill in Alaska?

The president made a fleeting, oblique reference to the Abramoff corruption scandals, acknowledging that some Americans are concerned with “unethical conduct by public officials.” He went no further.

In introducing his two new Supreme Court Justices, Bush said judges “must be servants of the law.” Meaning himself, presumably.

Speaking on cloning and other controversial procedures, he stated, “Human life is a gift from our Creator.” It’s notable how far this point was separated from any mention of the war in his speech. Putting them close together would quickly reveal Bush’s inherently contradictory policies.

Finally, Bush tacked on a mention of the $85 billion in federal funds pledged to Gulf Coast residents since hurricanes ravaged them last year. With so many people still homeless, and no plan agreed upon for their permanent housing, the money’s not yet doing its job.

On his way out of the chambers, Bush shook hands, signed autographs and posed for pictures with his groupies. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist shadowed him, seemingly attached to him by anal plug. The president feels no need to distance himself from officials under investigation for criminal and/or ethical offenses.

Bush has SOTU follow-up speeches already planned for several states. If they’re anything like last year’s Social Security speeches, the audiences will once again be comprised of people who don’t need convincing. No criticism allowed, “responsible” or otherwise.