Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Still others thought the wreath was "Satanic," as some people believe the peace symbol is really a broken crucifix.
I'm going to put aside the aforementioned community's deed restrictions regarding signage for a moment to make a few points:
*A key message of Christmas is and has always been "Peace on Earth." Look at your Christmas cards, you twits.
*Military families have historically missed this subtlety of the peace message - that peace means their loved ones would come home and be out of harm's way. If they were really thinking, those who wholeheartedly support the military would be the biggest peace activists of all. Instead, they often deride peaceniks.
*Far too many concessions are given to the "offended." "Offenders" have rights, too. The presumption is automatically made that if anyone is offended, their rights somehow supersede those of the offending party. But, as we all know, "offensive" is highly subjective. The easily offended could stand to suck it up for the sake of fairness; instead, they act selfishly, as in Colorado.
*Satanism is a belief system that's followed by many. Therefore, posting an inverted, encircled pentagram (unlike the above, it's an actual Satanic symbol) on one's door should be as permissible in a community as creating a manger scene on a lawn at Christmas.
Deed restrictions, or covenants (which sounds like some creepy Mormon practice) would make a great blog topic of their own, and perhaps I'll do one sometime. Suffice it to say, unless you're raising goats in your yard, or your kids are running a mushroom tea stand, I think your Nazi neighbors should basically leave you alone.
More important to me, though, is the issue this wreath controversy brings up with regard to determining how the "offensive" should be handled. I see a spin-off post coming very soon...
Monday, November 27, 2006
Last week some women held a “nurse-in” at several US airports to protest the earlier removal of a nursing mother from a Freedom Airlines flight. The protest participants, who cleverly refer to themselves as "lactivists," each came armed with a pair of weapons loaded and ready to dispense.
Public breastfeeding is one of those issues that seems to keep resurfacing in public debate. In Florida, the law ultimately sided with mothers, stating that a woman may breastfeed in any location she otherwise has a right to be. To do this, the state had to twist its own laws; there are stringent anti-public nudity statutes here that prohibit even skimpy swimsuits that show off far less than breastfeeding does. (This is in the Sunshine State, of all places.)
I don't think public breastfeeding is an issue the law should get involved with, unless it’s expressly to allow it. When the kid needs to eat, he/she needs to eat. It's not shameful, it’s natural and necessary. We Americans are way too uptight about way too many things, and are too eager to bring the law into the picture.
I am baffled (and sometimes amused), however, by how motherhood causes so many women to lose their characteristic modesty. I mean, many of these women were never the kind to just whip out "the twins" before the other twins came along. Then, all the sudden, they do so regularly and indifferently. Even Suzie Churchgoer (that shameless harlot!).
Hey, I welcome anything that gets people to loosen up, even for a short time.
The indiscreet breastfeeding phenomenon is no match, though, for the birthing videos some families like to share. Hey, wanna see the miracle of life on my 16:9 flatscreen plasma TV with Dolby Digital 5.1? I feel like saying, “No thanks, but I can come back sometime and see videos of your wife's vagina when it’s not all torn and bloody? How’s tomorrow evening for you folks?”
Friday, November 24, 2006
OJ’s “theoretical confession” book and TV special, If I Did It, have been wisely cancelled by Fox. Chalk one up for good judgment, but whomever greenlighted the project should still be sacked.
In the book/show, OJ was reportedly going to explain not how he murdered ex-wife Nicole Brown and companion Ronald Goldman, but how he would have done so, had he done so.
Ok, quit laughing. No, really, let’s cut OJ some slack. I mean, a jury acquitted him, so he really couldn’t be guilty, right? Are you questioning the American justice system?
Though the project has been cancelled, some excerpts have leaked out, including some which I have procured and reprinted here. No questions, please.
OJ’s own words:
I knew Nicole would be coming home late that night, so I would’ve waited outside her place in the dark with a machete I had a homeless dude buy from a pawnshop. Black clothes would help hide me. I would be nervous, not about what I was going to do, but about my time limitations; I had to be at the airport in a few hours for a flight to Chicago .
Before long, Nicole would have appeared. I would probably be expecting her to be alone. When I saw her I would just start shouting and slicing, shouting and slicing. "You think I need you, bitch? I got blonde white girls lining up outside my gate!" Shouting and slicing, shouting and slicing.
"I am The motherfucking Juice. I am the star of Naked fucking Gun, bitch! You do not want to fuck with me! They’re gonna use you for a hand puppet after I’m through with you!" Shouting and slicing, shouting and slicing.
"Oh, who’s this? Your Jew boyfriend? You want some of this too, Schlomo? You picked the wrong shiksa, bro! There you go. Consider your punk-ass self circumcised all over!" Shouting and slicing, shouting and slicing.
"Yeah, just keep barking, dog. Your mama ain’t coming home tonight, or ever!" I would be really lucky if no one heard me.
After I was finished, I would sneak back over to my car, which would be parked a few blocks away. I would toss the machete into the Los Angeles River on the way home; it would be out of the way, but a good place to get rid of the thing.
When I got home, I would try to clean out the car completely and quietly, so I wouldn’t disturb Kato (Kaelin, OJ’s housemate). Afterwards, I would have a quick shower and get ready just in time for the airport limo’s arrival.
That’s how I would have done it. If I had done it. But I didn’t. Really.
Folks, whether or not the glove fit, OJ is still full of shit.
Speaking of racism, I had not planned to weigh in on the Michael Richards controversy, but since it’s not going away, I will contribute a few thoughts.
I think Richards’ words were shocking, and I do not agree with his sentiments. But I am not sure the incident was a “Mel Gibson moment,” either. Comedians have been called geniuses for (arguably) going too far and shocking their audiences. Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor and George Carlin, for just a few examples.
Not to say Richards' words approached "genius" in any way. Not even close.
It may indeed be a double standard, but what comedians say onstage cannot necessarily be given the same weight as identical comments from another person in another context. It’s not to be taken at face value. It’s for shock value. It’s off the cuff (Richards seemed to react in anger, so his remarks probably fit into this category). It’s boundary-breaking. It’s satirical.
For the latter, kind of like when bloggers say they want the terrorists to win.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
This emerging Thanksgiving tradition is made from, drum roll please, turkey, duck and chicken. It’s three! three! three! kinds of bird flu in one. (Since it’s pieced together from different sources, why not call it Türduckenstein, or Frankenfowl? Hey, even the German thing still works.)
Don’t mind me, I don’t eat animals, so all flesh repasts, even those I used to regularly consume, seem like something out of a grotesque horror movie. Tomorrow, I will simply load up on tasty, healthy white carbs.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner, as always. But remember, you can’t spell turducken without “turd.”
Monday, November 20, 2006
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) has once again suggested that the United States reinstate a military draft, and plans to instigate legislation to that effect when Democrats take over Congress in January.
Rangel’s previously stated rationale for this position was that a disproportionate amount of Americans who see combat are minorities or low-income people. Chuck, I’m guessing that would be because a disproportionate number of people meeting one or both of those criteria have joined the military.
As for the reasons behind the disproportionate enlistment, well, let’s first determine then address them. I’m all for that. They could be a family history of enlistment. They could be a lack of viable alternatives for those who can’t afford college or find a decent job. Again, let’s determine and address – not draft indiscriminately (pun intended).
Rangel also feels that if members of Congress knew their own children might be drafted, they’d never vote for war. Um, Chuck, can I chat with you again? I agree, but why don’t you introduce a bill that specifically requires all non-minor children of lawmakers be drafted if a war is started? That way you address the problem directly.
On a side note, I once had an idea that, when a person who has been executed for a crime is later found to be innocent (it does happen), the sentencing judge should be executed. With regard to the draft issue, this is relevant in that it makes the person with power over the life and death of others think really hard about whether the execution/war is the right thing to do.
Over the weekend Rangel pointed out that conflicts we may be facing with Iran and North Korea underscore the need for a draft. In other words, he thinks we should accept, as official US government policy, that international diplomacy no longer exists. Just bulk up those troop levels on a permanent basis.
I’m not naïve about Iran and NK; they’re both run by kooks that should not be allowed to have nukes. Come to think of it… well, I’ll just hold that thought. So where do we get military personnel to deal with those problems, if need be? Right now I’m thinking the 100,000+ troops we have in Iraq – some having completed multiple tours of duty there – could have been better used.
OK, OK, shoulda coulda woulda. But to Rangel’s point about increasing US military involvement in the world, perhaps we shouldn’t keep getting ourselves into some of these situations. We didn’t ask for war with Afghanistan, we were thrust into it by 9/11. Iraq was an elective war, however. So inadequate US troop levels caused by commitments that should never have been made mean we need a draft? Chuck that. We need a change in policy.
The change is diplomacy first, pride aside. There are some countries we don’t talk to, and that will always lead to conflict. If we go to war, it must always be a last resort. Some would argue that’s the current US policy, but it’s simply not true.
Some countries can’t be reasoned with. But we need to be able to demonstrate that we have at least tried to do that before starting wars. Wars that require troops. Troops that are people who sometimes don’t sign up on their own, and therefore, as some suggest, need to be compelled into service.
To his credit, Rangel has said that as an alternative to compulsory military service, young people be allowed to choose some other kind of national service. We can debate that, as far as I am concerned; the former, hell no (we won't go!). I do think that if people are given a choice, they’re not going to take the military option. Certainly not when war is underway and/or another on the horizon.Chucky, let’s drop all this ridiculous talk about a draft, shall we? It’s stirring up the base (me, for starters) with thoughts of kids being forced to kill and/or die against their will, and for bad reasons. You know, morally unconscionable stuff like that. Relax, have a draught (pronounced "draft" – see what I did there?) on me, and take some time to think this thing through.
Friday, November 17, 2006
But what if those guys had broken into a Democratic Party office at a different hotel complex? What would scandals now be known by?
Abramoffsuites? (Embassy Suites)
Coinastoria? (Waldorf Astoria)
Foleyarms? (Carlton Arms)
Monica6? (Motel 6)
Plamejohnson’s? (Howard Johnson’s)
Imagine hearing on the nightly news: “And now with the latest on Monica6, here’s Joe Schmoe.” It sounds not so much like a political scandal as an AOL chat screen name.
I guess none of those names slides as easily off the tongue as "somethinggate."
The Dems should have kept an office at an adult motel. At least then we could have had some interesting scandal names: The Pussy Cat (e.g. Nipplecat), The Peek-A-Boo (e.g. Foleyboo), The Halfway Inn (???), The Happy Palms Motel (???), etc.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
The artist formerly known as Cat Stevens is back after an absence of nearly thirty years from the music world. Yusuf Islam is once again serenading the world with his voice and his acoustic guitar, but instead of singing about mornings and moonshadows, he’s singing about Mohammed.
Forget that Lord Humungus guy from The Road Warrior; Stevens (I’m using that name to differentiate the man Islam from the religion of the same name) is the real ayatollah of rock and rolla. He’s got the long, scruffy beard and everything.
Stevens’ new CD came out in the US yesterday, and fans are still lined up outside their local Tower Records for a copy. Of course, since Tower has recently shut its doors, they’ll have a long wait.
But I’d sooner sit outside an abandoned building in heavy rain than buy a copy of the CD. Apart from Rick Wakeman’s wonderful piano part on “Morning Has Broken,” I had little interest in Stevens when he was a full-time secular entertainer. I’ve got even less use for him as an overtly spiritual one.
I was interested when Stevens’ alleged support of the fatwa (death sentence) against Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie caused a John-Lennon-saying-we’re-bigger-than-Jesus-like controversy, and radio stations purged Cat Stevens from their playlists. Then came the album bonfires.
I must admit, I was responsible for getting Stevens on the no-fly list – through a now no longer anonymous tip – that ended up in his being turned away from the United States in 2004. I was afraid he’d be bringing his guitar, and felt America needed to be protected.
Monday, November 13, 2006
For example, what the hell are "thematic elements?" How does one judge the appropriateness of a movie for a kid, for a relative who's easily offended, or even for oneself with that kind of designation? You're not going to see that movie, young lady. No daughter of mine is going to be exposed to thematic elements!
Then there are "disturbing images." Today's torture-oriented horror flicks certainly have a lot of those. But just what constitutes a disturbing image? It could be someone being dismembered, no doubt. It could also be an obese old person naked or George Bush winning an election. Or any image of Julia Roberts.
A seemingly new edition to the list of film ingredients is "graphic nudity;" the "graphic" part being the recent phenomenon. When I first saw this listed I was intrigued. You mean there's a whole new level of nudity out there yet for me to discover? A graphic level? Va-va-voom. I mean, if you liked nudity, you're gonna love graphic nudity.
Well, turns out the graphic kind was really just plain old full-frontal nudity with a new name. So disappointing. Almost as dissappointing as when the nudity turns out to be a guy. I mean, Jesus, who needs to see that? It's sick and degrading.
Friday, November 10, 2006
So Like The IRS
Tax collectors in India don’t have the balls to do their jobs. Literally. India has employed eunuchs as tax collectors, based on the belief that they are very persuasive and don’t take no for an answer. Not to mention their lovely singing voices and dance moves! It seems India leads the way in providing employment for the transgender community. Move over, Netherlands.
This Townhouse Ain’t Big Enough For The Two Of Us
China’s newest “one” policy applies to dogs, as people there are no longer allowed to keep more than one dog as a pet. The purpose is to reduce the possibility of the spread of rabies. Yes, China boasts advanced nuclear weapons, but has apparently never heard of the rabies shot; only about 3% of dogs there have had them. Ancillary benefits from this policy may be felt in China’s waistline, what with fewer mouthwatering canines around to tempt people into snacking.
Given that the word “final” is an absolute, how can there be more than one edition of Final Fantasy? Moreover, does it make any sense that they stopped making Neverending Story movies?
The Clock Has Stopped
Veteran newsman Ed Bradley has died. As a correspondent for 60 Minutes, Bradley was the “voice of Sunday night.” Hearing him always instantly reminded me that a return to the schoolweek or workweek was not far off. But that was no reason not to like the man. He had his own style; in recent years he conducted many a serious interview while sporting an earring. He was a rebel in a conservative industry. We need more like him.
Service Not Included
I went into a restaurant's men's room last night and saw a sign over the sink reading "Employees Must Wash Hands." I waited like half an hour, but the lazy bastards never came in and washed my hands. I was not pleased.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
But first, I have some political demands:
That Karl Rove be turned over forthwith to the nearest Democratic Party or liberal organization office for trial. The charge? Being a major prick who’s done more than any other hominid in turning American political discourse into static and smear. For starters.
That Rick Santorum (formerly R-PA) be forced to march in the next scheduled gay pride parade, dressed as a stem cell.
That those who support a gay marriage ban be forced to give specifics about why marriage needs to be “protected,” and how an amendment will do that, or shut up forever.
That Bush-supporting, soon-to-be-divorced Britney Spears be like totally sent to fight in Iraq and stuff.
That House Majority Dems sign into law the official amending of the words “Republican” and “conservative” to “Republicant” and “consternative” (or “consterno,” in Bogswork Orange lingo), respectively. The time for House Bill 069-069, aka “The Bogs Bill,” has come.
If none of those happen, I will settle for these:
That Pat Roberts’ (R-KS) long-delayed report on pre-Iraq War intelligence be completed and released by year’s end. Grab a Starbuck’s there Paddy, and order in some Chinese, because you won't be just coasting along anymore. Get to it, beyotch.
That House Majority Dems clean house by enacting tough anti-corruption rules with real consequences that will be enforced in a nonpartisan manner. And do it ASAP.
That, in tandem with the previous demand, House Majority Dems enact the lobbying rules I have previously set forth. (Honestly, they should hire me as a policy advisor. A real ideas man, I have the pate of a James Carville, without the eccentricity. And without the neo-cunt partner.)
That recent efforts to compel the president to appoint only demonstrably qualified candidates for various offices be revived.
That recent efforts to raise the federal minimum wage be revived, but with the “permanent tax cuts for the rich” provision stripped out. I mean, come on.
I’d say our elected officials have their work cut out for them. Let’s start checking some action items off this list, shall we?
PS: A former classmate of mine, a Democrat and Iraq War hero, was elected to the Florida House on Tuesday. Nice job!
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I want the terrorists to win. You betcha. I want them to win… well... wait, are they running for anything? Are they playing a game or something? Something that one would expect could be won? Oh, it doesn’t matter. The point is, I want them to win. I want terrorists to win because I don’t have a problem with suicide bombings, beheadings, religious zealotry or the rest of the wonderful things they bring to the world. Losing friends and loved ones to acts of terrorism would be no biggie for me. And I am not alone in this. The accusations you've been hearing in the press are all true. Many, many other people in this country share the unconventional desire to see the terrorists win. And they my peeps!
I also know for a fact that terrorists around the world are sitting by their TVs and radios with fingers crossed, waiting for today's US election results.
And, as I write this, I am basking in the afterglow of a three-way with Naomi Watts and Scarlett Johansson. (Sorry, no links there. But I can tell you what the order was: First, NW and SJ with me watching; then me and both of them together; then me and NW, then me and SJ. Sigh.)
It sure is fun to make shit up, isn’t it? All the more so when there’s an election at stake, and the unquestioning masses will eat up every syllable of nonsense you spout, no matter how ridiculous or unsubstantiated. Not to suggest that you, dear reader, were ever fooled by any of my fabrications.
As I post this, the polls for the midterm elections are just opening on the East Coast. I voted already, so I will get to skip the lines.
Today’s elections aren’t a referendum on terrorism. I’m not sure they’re a referendum on anything, but if they are, a good guess (or suggestion) would be the unchecked criminal mismanagement inflicted upon the United States (and, indeed, other parts of the world) by our leaders over the past few years.
The worse possible outcome of today would be that, based on the results at the polls, some elected official might end up believing that Americans really aren’t that bothered by all that crap. That the message has not been loud and clear: Enough is enough. Hit the road, all you crooked sons of bitches! Your kind aren't welcome here anymore.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Sing it with me ladies: LULULULULULULULULULULULU!!!
I registered my rationale for supporting a death sentence for Saddam - even though I'm on record as a death penalty opponent - last year, so I won't rehash it here.
In a sign that there may actually be a burgeoning American-style democracy in Iraq, the verdict has moved into an appeals process of indefinite length. It could go on well past the end of Saddam's natural life. We shall see.
I don't have much more to add here, it just seemed like a natural time to close out my "Saddam On Trial" series. It's been a hoot. We've seen questionable use of personification, defendents dragged into court in their jammies, Saddam's personal weight loss program and much more.
Dibs on TV movie of the week rights!
Friday, November 03, 2006
I next found out I was going to be sent to see what kind of dirt I could get on a South Florida Republican called “Mike Farley.” Our intel had it that he was gay, and the notion was certainly something we could exploit for political gain.
I asked why one of our gay operatives couldn’t handle it, but was made to understand that the “Lavender Hill Mob,” as we called them, was already quite busy on Capitol Hill in DC.
Sitting alone in a Palm Beach hotel, I scoured the local gay publications I had spread out on the bed before me. There were a lot of these free papers and magazines around, and they were a good source for finding out where the “action” in the gay scene was.
After picking out a few clubs, I donned the blue jean shorts I had cut from one of my own pair, some construction boots I had picked up at the Salvation Army, and a “wife beater” t-shirt from JC Penney, and headed out into the muggy Palm Beach night.
I got a lot of looks at the places I went, but luckily, no aggressive come-ons. That first night ended without me finding Farley. But the next day was Saturday, and the clubs would be hopping once again that evening.
Saturday night, as I sat sipping a Guinness at “Baxters,” and Pet Shop Boys music fueled the bumping and grinding out on the dance floor, I felt a pair of eyes on me. I looked around, and quickly spotted a gray-haired man on the opposite side of the bar eyeing me.
Holy shit, it was Farley. I had to think quickly. I made definitive eye contact with him, and motioned toward the men’s room with a nod of my head.
Getting up from my seat at the bar, I headed into the men’s room and began to wash my hands at the sink. Less than a minute later Farley entered. He came right to the sink and said hello. I dried my hands and said hello back.
He told me his name was “Mike,” but I could call him “MF,” which he boasted stood for “Man-Fucker.” I made up some bogus name for myself.
Farley wasted no time. He asked if he could “get me off in one of these stalls.” I wasn’t ready for this. I said that’d be nice, but that I’d rather go somewhere we could be alone. His eyes were on fire. He took my arm.
I tossed a $10 bill on the bar on the way out, and then headed off with my “conquest.”
Farley took me to his home, a really nice Key West-style place in an upscale neighborhood. Beautifully appointed. Say what you want about Fo… er… Farley, but the man knows how to decorate.
Too bad he doesn’t know how to hide incriminating items. Farley was out fast after I slipped a powerful sedative into his merlot. I got everything – pictures of him in compromising positions with what looked to be teen boys, pictures of gay GOP parties (you’d be surprised who was in these photos), Farley arm in arm with friends at gay bars. Yeah, a treasure trove of evidence.
One interesting photo showed Farley with a Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate and the head of a large national evangelical organization enjoying each other's "company" at Fantasy Fest in Key West.
The recent leak of explicit emails between Farley and some of his pages (the work of a fellow Democratic operative) was simply the first punch. The coup de gras will come Monday before the election, when these photos are released.
I knocked over a few items in the house – a lamp, a bookshelf, etc. – to make Farley think the incident was a theft. I knew he’d be too embarrassed to make a police report, so I wouldn’t have to worry. It would be a while before he realized such compromising materials were missing – and that the incident was politically motivated.Well, that's it. I’m done. I’m out of the Democratic operative game, and I’m happy. I await whatever legal consequences these confessions bring upon me. I had a job to do, and I did it well. Vive la Democratic Party!
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Here in Florida, Republicant voters will put their pathological dislike of homosexuals aside and vote Charlie Crist into the governor’s mansion. I don’t know or care if Crist is gay, but it sure is fun to think about the possibility of his constituents voting for a man with a “lifestyle” they obsessively despise. What a hoot!
Crist’s Democratic opponent, Rep. Jim Davis, has been MIA on campaigning, partially due to a funding deficit, and doesn't seem to have a chance. Meanwhile, Crist has posted signs bigger than Texas and run nonstop TV ads criticizing Davis’ abysmal House attendance record. Davis’ Democratic rival before the primaries even made an issue of this.
Senator Bill Nelson will keep his seat - a mixed blessing. Dragon Lady Harris is disliked almost as much in her own party as she is by Democrats. But Nelson is about as desirable a candidate as Lieberman, his kindred spirit. There were no good Senate candidates this time around, I’m afraid.
The US Congress is where the real excitement will be. Democrats will regain some seats, though not enough to wrest control completely over from Republicants. However, that number will be significant when there are swing voters on issues that come before the House and/or Senate. Names like Hagel, Voinovich and Warner can’t always be depended upon to vote with their fellow Republicants.
I also predict that the only way there's not going to be big trouble in the upcoming elections is if they are not as close as recent ones have been. Whoever wins, we should all hope they are decisive victories. America seems conflicted and unable to make a firm decision at the polls.
OK, tell me again why it is we want to continue with a two-party system?
More to come after Election Day.