Friday, May 25, 2007

Crist Almighty

Miracle of miracles! I have actually grown to admire Florida’s Republicant governor, Charlie Crist. Believe or not, it’s not so much about parties with me, as it is policies. It's just that one party seems to so consistently be on the wrong side of policy.

So, why do I write in praise of Governor Crist? Integrity compels me. I am willing to criticize my own when they do wrong, and praise others when they do right.


Let’s look at a few things Chuck's said or done since taking office in January of this year:

Crist has
invited state education officials, who were often excluded from having a say in education matters under former governor Jeb Bush, back into an advisory role. (read: informed policymaking)


Crist has appointed Democrats to a number of positions. (read: bipartisanship)

Crist told supporters that an attempt to put a gay marriage ban on the books in Florida was a waste of party money. (read: common sense)

Crist
pushed for paper ballots to be used in elections statewide. (read: fair, verifiable voting)

Crist
wants state documents to use plain language, so everyone can understand them. None of this “Henceforth and forthwith…” crap. It’s Vatican II at the state capitol. (read: transparency)

Crist
supports stem cell research. (read: health and science over myth)

Could it be some of these things that make some Republicants
believe Crist is actually a stealth liberal? I don’t know, but I sure like the idea.

Hey, he has tried to cut property taxes and bring down insurance rates. I’d think consternatives (and everyone else) could find something to be happy about there.

Perhaps Crist’s biggest coup since taking office, however, is nabbing a former Mrs. South Carolina as his girlfriend. Yup. A fella can't help but admire him for that.

I didn’t vote for Charlie Crist, but if he keeps up the good work, this registered Democrat just might do so come next election.

PS: I am looking forward to meeting my fellow Blogger Summiteers this Sunday in O-Town! Wear some suncreen, as I'm a bit shiny.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

You Gotta Eat

Four members of Congress representing both sides of the aisle recently finished the Congressional Food Stamp Challenge. The objective: Feed yourself on $3.00 per day, the average amount a food stamp recipient receives (sorry, no way to not make that sound redundant).

It was a good experiment, as it illustrated just how inadequate the Food Stamp Program is as it exists today. And it would make a good reality TV show; one with a social conscience, rather than voyeuristic, sadistic intent. Though the likes of Nicole Richie or Paris Hilton hardly need encouragement not to eat.

As a vegetarian, I think I could almost make $3.00 work each day (Taco Bell bean burrito: $.89 plus tax; cup of water: free; intestinal fortitude: priceless)... for a few days . But most people aren’t, and couldn’t. The challenge participants did cheat a little here and there. It ain't enough money!

In an interesting sidebar to this story, participant Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) had his peanut butter and jelly sandwich (ingredients bought with the $3.00 allowance) confiscated by the TSA before a flight, leaving him foodless. Have terrorists suddenly moved from WMDs and suicide bombings to murder by food allergy? These no-thrills airlines aren't serving food anymore, yet allow you to bring your own food aboard; has no one informed the TSA of this?

I hope no food stamp recipient has to take a plane anytime soon (it could happen). Or a diabetic. Or any other normal human being requiring sustenance. They may be out of luck.

The Food Stamp Program is apparently just one of many federal entities that needs a policy overhaul.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Happy Days Are Hair Again! (aka Hair I Come)

If it's good enough for disease-ridden little vermin, it's good enough for me. Ahem.

More earth shattering than an AIDS vaccine... scientists have found a way to regrow hair on bald mice. Now mice no longer have the suffer the emasculating effects of being hairless, or comb their few tiny hairs over to the other side of their body to try and fool the other mice.

Could mankind be next?

I've long been at peace with and have embraced my baldness. But I have occasionally wondered, if a "cure" for baldness were to one day be found, would I go back?

I have far too much dignity for a hairpiece and too little money or interest for hair plugs. Further, hair regrowth products are expensive, using them requires discipline, and, often, if you quit using them you will lose what you rogained. Er, regained.

But the ability to regrow and keep actual hair? I don't know.

On the one hand, growing it back would give me more "look" options. I could still shave it off or let it grow out, as my interest dictated.

On the other hand, I'd have to start buying and using shampoo again. I have gotten used to much shorter showers (baldness is my contribution to preserving our natural resources). And there would be more to shave off, should I choose to do that.

Of course, it can take years for a scientific breakthrough to become a commercial product. So don't start lining up for treatment just yet, fellas. For now, we are all stuck with our "affliction." Oh, the pain, the pain.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Baby Got Heat

In about 15 years he’ll be allowed to get a driving permit.

In about 17 he’ll be able to join the military (though he'll be marketed in about a dozen)
.

In about 17 he'll also be allowed to vote.

In about 20 he’ll be allowed to drink alcohol legally.

In about 24 he’ll be allowed to rent a car.

But little Baby Bubba already
has a gun license, as there are no age restrictions on gun licenses in Illinois.

Bubba is 10 months old, in case you were wondering. Is it any surprise we readily give guns to unstable people prone to massacre others if we'll give them to an infant?

If, by now, you don't realize the United States is dominated by misguided gun nuts, you are clearly in a vegetative state.

And if you don't believe there's an unjustifiable disconnect between age-determined rights, responsibilities and privileges in this country, you are nuts.

We are in dire need of a new Constitutional Amendment mandating intelligence and reason in our laws. There's certainly very little right now.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

B-B-B-Bene And The Jer (UPDATED)

Surely as African slaves were grateful for that all-expenses-paid sea cruise to the Americas centuries years ago.

Surely as provocatively dressed women are asking to be raped.

Surely Pope Benedict XVI, in his recent visit to Brazil, said that the native peoples who occupied that region before the conquistadors arrived were "silently longing" for a new faith to be thrust upon them.

Oh yeah. You know you want it, baby.

Surely, they didn't mind invasion, occupation, subjugation and other words ending with the suffix -ation. Nor did they mind the new diseases that were introduced to them at that time. They were
looking for a new direction in life, after all, and were surely grateful that "civilized" man came across the sea bearing all these gifts. (And, come on, they were asking for it - dancing around half-naked and beating on drums like a bunch of goddamn savages.)

Surely I jest! But, sadly, the pope was serious.

This was not a "nappy-headed hos" moment for the pope, either. This was an expression of centuries-old Western imperialistic hubris and self-righteousness coming from the head of one of the largest faiths in the world. And he should be ashamed. I thought he was out of touch, but man, I had no idea...

During his visit the pope also made sure to offend homosexuals in a country that holds the largest gay pride parade in the world, as well as denounce condom use in a country with a high incidence of AIDS cases.

And he offended hot-blooded Brazilians in general with his calls for chastity and abstinence until marriage. In a country named after a pubic region grooming style he said that? As if!

I say it's time to boycott the pope's advertisers and get him fired.

In other "offensive religious leader" news, the Reverend Jerry Falwell has died aged 73. Some will say that God had decided it was his time to go, but I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say you helped this happen.

PS: I posted a similar comment about Falwell on a few blogs yesterday, and apparently at least one reader didn't recognize that I was quoting Falwell himself from his sick, inappropriate words in response to the 9/11 attacks. And they were inspired to send me the following email missive:

Pete ,just a quick note to let you know that you're a stinking Bigot just like your sweetheart,Jerry Fat-so Falwell!!!(who is now in a very hot place) As a good and decent GAY American Christian and a member of all the organizations you mentioned,I'm proud and happy to have done all I could for Mr.Falwell.(ha-ha-ho-ho)

Ah, the perils of engaging in satire. Think I will go console myself with some plump and delicious Irish infants.

PSS: Above commenter has since re-read my words, and recanted his criticism. It's all good.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Ruin It For Everyone Else

When President Clinton agreed to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in 1993, I supported his decision. Not because I thought gays shouldn’t be able to serve in the military, mind you, but as a compromise with what remains an intractable American institution (the military). Mine was a “lesser of two evils/best they’re gonna do” support.

As the years have passed, my attitude has changed. It’s wrong to keep people out of the military because of their sexual orientation, and that should be the official, accepted policy. I think the reasons against are pretty lame, and verge on admitting that the US military machine is an inherently homophobic institution. (How else to explain the current situation?)

John McCain's recent
comments about gays serving openly in the military being an "intolerable risk" to the morale and cohesion of the service are an example. And those comments got me thinking back to a notion I had some years ago.

Ardently anti-draft since at least my teenage years (and while there was not a lot of talk about it then as there is now, I would be required to register with Selective Service like anyone else of my age and gender), I once realized the benefit of being gay in regard to compulsory military service.


They won't take you. Yup, as long as open homosexuality is forbidden in the military, you'll never be drafted. So, overturning this admittedly discriminatory policy has a downside, too.

I'm probably too old to be drafted now (though things change, as needed), but if I weren't, I'd totally feign the gay thing to avoid going to war. Totally. Especially if it were such a senseless, hastily entered one like we're in now.


How to "gay up?" I do have a Depeche Mode CD around somewhere, and plenty of Elton John. That'd be a start, I guess. I'd probably have to get a consultant to round out the presentation, though. A kind of Queer Eye For The Conscientious Objector Guy.

But let's not let it come to that. You fellas lay off your foolish quest for "rights" and "equality;" you're ruining it for yourselves and for us faux-mosexuals out there. Remember, even now, with a war on and a troop shortage, America finds you more disgreeable than they do defeat.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The War On Terror Takes A Vacation

This post's title refers not to the fact that the Iraq Parliament wants to take a two-month recess, but that a known terrorist is walking free in the US and the Commander in Chief in the War on Terror isn’t doing anything about it. Nor is the top law enforcement officer in the land, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Asked yesterday about the matter at Congressional hearings, Gonzo couldn’t even explain why.

In 1976 Luis Posada Carriles and an accomplice took down a commercial Cuban aircraft with a luggage bomb; all 73 people aboard were
killed. I’ll let you read about what he’s been up to in the 30 years since (including additional crimes) on your own.

Long story short, Posada was in a US court recently for immigration-related charges; he’s been
exonerated of those charges and set free. But there are mass murder charges that await him in other countries, should the US decide to extradite him.

It was as if we had a known murderer in traffic court, and let him go after the judge decided he wasn’t speeding after all, because murder was a separate issue.


Extradition would mean handing Posada over to our bestest buddies in Cuba or Venezuela. But another federal judge has ruled, without irony, that Posada could not be turned over to Venezuela, because he may face torture in that country(!) So, the torture of foreigners bothers us all the sudden? When did this momumental shift in policy occur?

Could this administration's failure to turn Posada over (or, indeed, to even designate him as a terrorist) be related to his past work with the CIA? Protecting our own sort of thing? Or could it be that the unwritten policy is to only pursue terrorists who carry out violent acts involving non-leftwing countries?

I know who to ask, but I don't expect an answer.


Man, if Posada don't look like Matlock!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It's...

...a brand new post! The Carnival of the Liberals has left town, and it's just me again, baby. Time to clean up all the empty pint glasses and spent condoms. Liberal carnies are quite a wild bunch, you see. Smell like cabbage. Small hands.

In case you didn't know, I actually published a few really great posts on my secondary blog, Fragmentia 13, during the carnival. Do yourself a favor and check them out!

The first was about some people
doing time.

The second is about some people make
sexy time. It's nice!

And now, to catch up on what's been going on in the world...

It seems that a whopping 25% of American children have no healthcare. Are there no workhouses? No prisons? Why don't these lazy bums just get jobs so they can afford a doctor? Ah, the salad days of the Industrial Revolution.

On May 1 (May Day), a largely Hispanic group of 25,000 held an immigration rally in Los Angeles. Things got out of hand and police went after the crowd with rubber bullets and batons. Police beating Hispanic immigrants, some likely illegal - yes, it was a consternative's wet dream. (The videos are available online for personal gratification purposes, you guys.)

The melee allegedly started when police were trying to clear protesters out of the street, so that traffic could continue to flow. So where are these jackbooted thugs when I'm sitting in traffic because some rubberneckers are fascinated by a car on the shoulder with a flat tire? Beat those people senseless, with my blessing. I am getting hard already.

Democrats put up a large "Mission Accomplished" banner at the House on the same day, the fourth anniversary of President Bush's notorious photo op, to remind America that the war in Iraq is ongoing. When asked about the incident, deputy White House press secretary Dana Perino responded, “It’s a trumped-up political stunt.” It’s not clear whether Perino was talking about the Dems’ banner, or her boss’.

Also on the same day (yup, it was a busy one!), a consternative writer for National Review Online suggested that a coup might be what could save America from its downfall at the hands of liberals. Isn't that, like, treasonous and highly illegal? Where's the consterno outrage? Better yet, where are the charges? That still draws the death penalty, I believe.

Last week, Condi Rice shamelessly met with her Syrian counterpart in Egypt. Why would she appease our avowed enemies like that? Doesn't she remember that America-hater Nancy Pelosi and some of her Republicant colleagues met with Syrian leaders about a month ago, much to the consternation of the White House? (Truth be told, they were only mad about Nancy's visit; they were mum on her companions.) Incidentally, the site of the talks, Sharm El-Sheik (pronounced "Sharmel Shake"), should be be considered as a new flavor of frozen treat at McDonald's. Kind of a hybrid carmel/Shamrock Shake, I'm thinking. No?

Showing once again his very limited grasp of the concept of respect for human life, President Bush has stated that he will veto any proposal that weakens current federal abortion guidelines, as he will not "allow taxpayer dollars to be used for the destruction of human life." Are you certain about that, Mr. President? I understand you see a difference between the unborn and, say, Iraqi civilians, but you really ought to think more before you open your maw. American taxpayers are funding a deadly conflict right now, and you won't do a thing to change that.

And finally, as of press time, Paul Wolfowitz is still hanging on by a thread over at the World Bank, despite the fact that they have found him guilty of a conflict of interest ethics violation. As you may recall, Wolfie used his influence to get his gal-pal an exorbitant salary that tops that of many of this country’s upper echelon officials. An aide of his has already resigned because the resultant scandal made it impossible for him to do his job.

The word on the street is that Wolfie is holding out for an expected bonus of $400,000 before he's willing to step down. Honestly, why don't they just fire the crooked fucker?

This situation reminds me of all the consternatives who deride the Average Working Joe for expecting a pension and other "entitlements" from their employers. Too much gimme gimme gimme, they say. Yet CEOs and public officials who break the rules/laws still garner up to multimillion dollar severance packages. If you're losing your job because you’ve done something bad, there should be no profiting and no deals. Just get the fuck out.

Hey, that sounds like a good idea. See you Friday!