Monday, December 20, 2010

DADT Repeal Part 2: It's Like Christmas in December

By "Pintface" Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

The Senate has voted to overturn the U.S. military's 17-year-long "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy, which forbade gay servicemembers from being open about their sexual orientation – under penalty of dismissal. Which saves me from having to write the "It's Time to Use Guerilla Tactics on the Bigoted Apes in Congress" post I had planned.

But here are some of the highlights just in case anyone's interested:

Get gay-straight alliances (the ones that have been allowed to exist, that is) in high schools to organize a "Just Say 'No' to Military Recruiters" campaign. When students are approached or called by recruiters, they would say they won't join any organization that discriminates against people.

In addition to the obvious tactics (slamming the phone lines and email in-boxes of DADT opponents in Congress), registering domain names such as and, for examples, and launch sites that explain exactly why these lawmakers are no different than those who opposed a racially integrated military and will look just as bad in the history books.

Alas, none of this is necessary. Good job, Congress. It's been way too long since I've been able to say that.

Happy holidays to all.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Getting Into the Holiday Spirit, Republicants Do Their Best Ebenezer Scrooge Impression

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

The GOP (Greedy Old Pricks) have delivered on their promise to block an extension of tax cuts that would benefit most Americans because the wealthiest few – Republicants’ primary benefactors – aren’t included. (It should also be noted that many Senate Republicants themselves would be directly affected, given their own high economic stature.)

I’ve long considered Republicants the party of greed (and xenophobia), and they’ve confirmed their motivation by choosing to obstruct all legislation until the über-rich become a little richer.

How exactly will giving a few dollars back to people who already have plenty help the economy? More important: Will you ever give a shit about the "little" guy? Please do be specific.

Merry Christmas, motherfuckers!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bush Senior, Forgetting Disdain for “Draft Dodgers,” Endorses Romney for President

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

In a recent interview with Larry King, George H.W. Bush said Mitt Romney would make “a very good president.” Curious, as during the 1992 presidential campaign and beyond Bush 41 & Co. made much of Bill Clinton’s Vietnam War-era military service deferment, labeling him a “draft dodger.” Mitt Romney also received a deferment – ostensibly for Mormon missionary work.

A “draft dodger” was someone who got called up but fled to Canada (and also someone I admire, for the record) instead of reporting for duty. In a blatant act of political opportunism, in 1992 Republicants and other consternatives broadened the definition to include anyone who was eligible to serve during that time but didn’t.

By that definition, Mitt Romney is a “draft dodger.” (As are Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove, for that matter.)

Perhaps time (or a faulty memory) has softened Bush’s view on cowardly, un-American “draft dodgers.” Or maybe it’s the same old political bullshit (way redundant, I admit it) that you hold your adversaries to high standards, but not your own people, and bank on no one recognizing your hypocrisy? My memory is not that short, Mr. Former President.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tiger Tiger Burning Out, Will You Die Without a Doubt(?)

By "Pintface" Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

2022 is the year experts say wild tigers will go extinct if slaughter by humans continues unchecked. Is it any surprise China, a country that never saw an animal it didn’t want to eat or commoditize, is a major culprit? Chinese poachers looking to profit from a country craving meat, skins, health remedies (here’s the real “ancient Chinese secret”) and trophies are killing the big kitties.

But if counter efforts work, the poachers may find themselves endangered. Here’s hoping!

Facing extinction has got to weigh heavy on the tigers’ psyches. I’ll be surprised if there’s not a spate of tiger suicides (and attempts, as was graphically portrayed in the 1998 Eddie Murphy remake of Dr. Doolittle) in the coming years. More existential poetry and songs penned by tigers, too.

And there are other obvious concerns: Isn’t announcing a date certain just waving a white flag of surrender to the terrorists, who can simply wait out the tigers’ extinction?

PS: Sharks are also endangered. Perhaps some of us can form an alliance with all these declining toothy predators, in which they agree to never attack us in return for help saving their tails from oblivion? Seems fair.

PPS: Tiger ... shark. See what I did there?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Is That a Bomb in Your Underwear, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

By "Pintface" Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Airline security is undergoing its own scrutiny as travelers are beginning to object to increasingly invasive measures. John Tyner made news when he not only refused a full-body scan but also the alternate pat-down option, which includes a manual check of the groin through clothing.

It should surprise no one that Tyner wasn't allowed to board his flight. What's troubling is that the TSA threatened him with a lawsuit and a fine if he left the security area. Let me get this straight: Once you get to security you can't go forward or backward without being checked? Can't decide to skip your trip? What the hell?

Tyner left and his incident is now under investigation ... which is probably just a formality since the cops (or their equivalent in any situation) always side with their own, usually saying they "acted appropriately" regardless of the truth. More of these checkpoint incidents are likely to come, so the TSA itself may need to lawyer up.

With a succession of would-be shoe bombers, underwear bombers and liquid-mixing bombers setting our security protocols – and who knows what these crafty, evil pigfuckers will try next – one wonders how long it will be before flying becomes too complicated a proposition to be feasible for most people.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Consternative Contradictions Part 4: To Insure or Not to Insure (And Whether or Not to Whine About It)

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

In their campaign against so-called “big government,” consternatives are framing the health insurance requirement of the new health care law as a “loss of freedom.” This even though neither they nor anyone else is complaining that we’re required to buy insurance if we drive a car – and that’s most of us. We also have to buy homeowner's insurance and other forms of coverage.

This also even as they complain about the lazy, entitlement-loving, uninsured poor raising everyone else’s insurance rates with ER visits and surgeries they can’t afford. If the disadvantaged can get affordable insurance (also part of the law), the rest of us won’t be subsidizing them(!)

I don’t agree with the health insurance mandate myself (the health care law overall is weak and disappointing), but I’m not going to play the victim card and stoke exaggerated, unwarranted anger amongst the great uncritical masses. Unlike some people.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Consternative Contradictions Part 3: Educational Charity (aka Paying for Private Schools With Public Money)

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Consternatives are the primary advocates for school vouchers, which can be used to pay for private school when parents can’t afford the tuition but don’t want their kids in public school. Florida Republicant gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott recently expressed his support for expanding vouchers, which were sharply limited here after a 2006 court ruling.

The contradiction lies in consternatives ostensibly wanting to fund education for the disadvantaged with taxpayer dollars, while deriding the notion of providing food, shelter and health care for the very same class of people by the same means. The terms “big government,” “out-of-control spending,” “taxing people to death” and “welfare queens” are often bandied angrily about. Why this selective concern for the underprivileged?

Some voucher critics don’t want to help pay for religious schools, and I can understand that. For me, the issue is that vouchers create a barrier to fixing the real problem: failing public schools. (I use similar logic in opposing the drilling of new oil wells in the U.S. – it doesn’t encourage companies to seek the non-polluting, renewable energy sources we should be pursuing.)

Whatever I may think on the topic, I know support for school vouchers is yet another glaring example of consternative hypocrisy.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Americans Should Learn to Talk American

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Recently I saw a bumper sticker that read: “Speak English or Go Back to the Country You Left”

This got me thinking: Why stop at the spoken word when considering who(m) gets to stay or go? Let’s include the written word as well and send away people who write things like:
  • Your welcome.
  • We open at 7:00 everyday.
  • I like you alot.
  • I’m smarter then you.
  • I’ll prolly be late.
Sure, there are people with legitimate learning disabilities, but alot (sic) of this horrendous spelling comes from lazy-ass people who simply can’t be bothered to do things rite.

I bet many of those sporting the above bumper sticker wouldn’t pass a written English test. If not, I say we send ‘em back to wherever their great grandparents came from! Err, I mean, from wherever their great grandparents came. Or at least somewhere I won't ever encounter them.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Secret Behind Tea Partier Christine O'Donnell’s Victory in the Delaware Primary: The Occult

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Dedicated to (now) Republicant Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, from the Chairman of the Board, Old Blue Eyes himself, Mr. Frank Sinatra.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Republicants’ 2010/2012 Election Victory Strategy Revealed!

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

It’s very simple (appropriate, considering the average Republicant’s cognitive abilities):

1. From day one of Obama’s presidency, stall or obstruct every bill, every motion, every vote.

2. At election time, assert that Obama and the Democratic Congress didn’t get anything done.

3. Rely on the largely unsophisticated rabble that is the U.S. electorate not to connect 1 and 2 above, and to
vote Republicant.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A Good, Old-Fashioned Book BBQ Planned for This Weekend

By "Pintface" Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

If someone plans to burn your holy book because they think your religion is evil, what better way to disprove it than to hold a violent demonstration where you burn them in effigy and wish death on their entire country?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Karma Strikes Blockbuster Video

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Back in the 80s, VHS was all the rage, and small, independent video stores were opening everywhere. Then Blockbuster Video came along with its larger (and, by corporate dictate, family-friendlier) movie selection and free membership, and those stores began disappearing.

Can you say “Walmart?”

Now Blockbuster is facing bankruptcy due to the growth of streaming online video and DVD-by-mail. I still have a Blockbuster card, but since Netflix came around, that store has pretty much lost me as a customer. If there is a specific movie I want to watch tonight, I will get it from one of the many rental boxes around.

A visit to the local Blockbuster has become a depressing affair: Half-empty shelves, with much of the stock up for sale as “previously viewed.” Few customers, even on Friday night, when one once might have had to wait in line to rent a video. A wasteland. It’s as if someone franchised Detroit.

I get no joy at the thought of anyone losing their job – especially in this economy – but I can’t help thinking this is the business version of karma (“what goes around comes around”) for the former video behemoth.

So, when can we expect Walmart to get a taste of that karma?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What Experts Won’t Tell You About Preventing Identity Theft

By "Pintface" Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

ID theft is rampant, and so are articles dispensing advice on how to keep it from happening to you. While these are admirable and mostly helpful, there are some obvious tactics they consistently ignore:

Add some dirty diapers, broken glass, rancid dairy products, hepatitis C-tainted syringes and/or anything else generally considered repulsive to every bag of garbage – preferably right on top before you tie it up. (At the very least, you’ll make stealing your identity a memorable experience for the thief.)

Buy a document shredder at an office supply store. Then turn it on and shove a would-be identity thief’s fingers into it while it’s running.

When using an ATM, gas pump, debit card machine, etc., keep a loaded gun in your palm and use it to threaten anyone you suspect of trying to get a glimpse of your card number and/or PIN. It’s your Second Amendment right (USA readers only).

Avoid using banks. Your money is safest in an old shoebox – made of fireproof cardboard – underneath your bed, where identity thieves (and the gubmint) can’t get at it.

Use cash for everything – including buying overpriced drinks on “cashless” JetBlue and Delta airlines. I find that goading flight attendants can be very fruitful, and will only occasionally get you arrested at the arrival gate.

I hope these tips help protect you from becoming a victim of identity theft!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ground Zero Becomes Ground Zero in Mosque Dispute

By "Pintface" Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

I must weigh in on the controversial plan to build an Islamic center just blocks from Ground Zero, the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York. While all Americans have a right to their religious beliefs, and to own property, I feel these plans are ill-advised. And somewhat baffling, considering who is making them.

Muslims, in my view, have more holy sites – about which they are very protective and sensitive – than there are grains of sand in the entire Middle East. They are touchy about who (men vs. women, infidels vs. believers, etc.) does what (dresses revealingly, drives, mixes with members of the opposite sex, worships, etc.) where (Muslim countries, a holy city, mountain, building, etc.), and on what day (one of many holy days throughout the year). They seem hyperaware of what constitutes sacred, and what behaviors are appropriate. So why is the significance of this site lost on some of them?

Not all Muslims are terrorists, and I don’t think the "real" scheme is to build an al-Qaida training facility in Lower Manhattan. But 9/11 is painfully and permanently burned into many people’s memories – not just jingoistic, politically motivated consternatives – and, right or wrong, that horror will always be inextricably connected to Islam. The attackers were Muslims who carried out their (misguided, murderous) deeds as an act of faith, and praised their god as they did it. How about showing some reason and compassion here?

I would not join a lawsuit against the Muslim center, nor would I picket the site. However, I consider this move an insensitive one – a view which probably makes me seem insensitive and threatens my liberal creds in the view of others. We all have our limits, and so does tolerance.

Monday, August 09, 2010

If You Don’t Vote, You Can Still Complain About the Outcome: Why I May Skip the 2010 Election

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

For the first time since I became old enough to vote, I'm thinking about staying home on election day. As I write this, early voting is underway in my state.

Should I care if Republicants regain the majority in this mid-term election? Will I even notice? Congressional Democrats have squandered their majority the way President Bush squandered international goodwill after 9/11.

This Congress did pass health care reform and Wall Street reform, but both in very watered-down forms. (If a Democratic majority can’t get universal health care passed in this country, who the hell can?)

To its credit, Congress quickly jumped into action in response to the Supreme Court’s misguided decision to remove spending limits on political campaigns; the resulting legislation, however, was essentially neutered by its exemption of powerful special interests such as the NRA.

The current Democratic administration has continued and/or defended a number of Bush-era policies, including the Orwellian Patriot Act, which takes away the privacy of ordinary, decent Americans. This administration has also disappointingly kept its promise to forego investigations of the myriad crimes (war and otherwise) and costly mismanagement of the former regime.

Obama's not up for reelection this year, but as the most prominent Democrat, he needs to think about how he's alienating supporters, and how, considering both that and the fact that he's widely reviled on the right, he will keep his job in 2012. It certainly won't be by trying to be all things to all people, and disappointing everyone. He needs to take advantage of the slender majority his party now holds and affect some substantive change before he goes before voters once again.

I left the Democratic Party in 2008 (pre-election), but still voted a primarily Democratic ticket. That party should no longer assume it can "count on me" for my vote. No one should assume disillusioned voters like myself will even show up.

PS: Consternatives may be inclined to say “I told you so” here regarding Obama, but should remember that in their eyes Obama could never do anything right. The push toward DADT repeal and a few other initiatives tells me he can – if guided by the right motivation. They despise Obama as a Marxist/socialist/Islamist/foreign-born liberal. My overall issue with him is that he has not been liberal enough.

PPS: If Obama does not "repent" and change course, I believe there is still hope for this country, with a man called Russ Feingold.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Republicants to Republish Constitution With Tear-Out Pages

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Prominent Congressional Republicants, including a wishy-washy John McCain, are talking about repealing the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – that which ensures citizenship for anyone born within our borders. Naturally, this is intended to stem illegal immigration, an issue that their xenophobic, alien-loathing selves salivate over, especially with an election looming.

I’d support such a repeal ... provided they attach a rider that simultaneously repeals the Second Amendment. I mean, if you're so misguided as to tinker with the single most import document in the country rights-wise, why not? We won’t need guns without so many dangerous ferriners – clearly the cause of most violent crimes here – running around talking their gibberish talk.

Don't fuck with the Constitution, fellas.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Can You Spot the Offensive, Stereotypical Images on This Box of Cap'n Crunch?

By "Pintface" Pete Bogs/BogsBlog
While gulping down a big bowl of Cap’n Crunch cereal (a lifelong favorite, and the “2-for-1” offer was too good to pass up) recently, I found a surprisingly inappropriate Olympics-inspired set of games for sugar-craving kids on the box. See if you don’t agree some of the imagery is questionable in 2010.

Look for a wide, exaggerated smile paired with slanted, narrow eyes and you’ll find someone who is allegedly from Japan. (I’m not fooled; I’d recognize the dog-eating grin of a Chinaman anywhere.)

And speaking of teeth, check out the Canadian in need of dental work and astigmatism correction surgery. (This is what socialized medicine gets you?!) Any Canuck would be proud to be depicted as a fur hat-wearing, gap-toothed, crazy-eyed hayseed on a Yankee cereal box, eh?

I’m surprised they didn’t put wavy “stink lines” around that Frenchman (and an “On Strike” sign in his hand). Sacré bleu!

And thank God they decided to stay away from representing any African countries. Can you imagine? Holy crap!

Perhaps I should stick to cereals more in line with modern sensibilities. Bowl of Cap’n Trade, anyone?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tropical Storm Bonnie Is Obama’s Tropical Storm Bonnie

By “Pintface” Pete/BogsBlog

When the history books are written, Tropical Storm Bonnie will be remembered as President Obama’s Tropical Storm Bonnie. Actually, if it’s remembered for anything, it’ll probably be for having stirred up and spread BP’s oil slick even wider than before.

But it'll still be Obama’s fault. Somehow.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bogs Exposed, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the TSA

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

I recently had my first experience with full-body scanners, the new airport security machines that enable TSA personnel to view any dangerous items you might be trying to sneak aboard an aircraft beneath your clothes – as well as mastectomy scars, false limbs, breast implants, nipple/clit/penis piercings, the size of your junk, etc.

The full-body scanner process is simple and painless, but takes slightly longer than a metal detector, because you have to stand inside the scanner, and the results are not instant (unlike the metal detector’s beep). After being scanned, you have to wait a moment before putting your shoes back on and collecting your personal effects off the floor because they were inevitably scattered by a high-velocity collision with other trays at end of the conveyor belt.

There’s a pat-down option for those who object to going through the scanners – arguably a more intrusive security method, performed by a person of the same gender as the traveler (clearly a policy lobbied for by the radical homosexual agenda) – but I didn’t notice anyone get out of the scanner line.

I don’t have an issue with the scanners; in fact, I think it might be a hoot to be scanned while sporting a serious erection (which poses little security risk to any aircraft, apart from a dirigible). Besides, these scanners allow for greater equality – by making everyone look bald. Welcome to my world, bitches!

Above: A couple of freaky bald-headed terrorists

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Consternative Contradictions Part 2: Selective Anger at Judicial Activism (aka The Constitution Doesn’t Say a Fucking Thing About Obscenity)

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

A federal appeals court has struck down an FCC rule that imposes large fines on media outlets that broadcast profanity. Calling the rule “vague,” the court said such material “should be completely protected under the First Amendment.” Shit yeah!

This is an issue that puts staunch Constitutional consternatives at odds with themselves. They often claim “activist judges” keep law-abiding Americans from having firearms (to which, they believe, the Second Amendment gives them unfettered access) and otherwise “legislate from the bench.”

Yet, they overwhelmingly support court-based prohibitions on speech they find offensive. This, even though the First Amendment does not specifically prohibit “obscenity” and is written so broadly as to allow myriad things people may find objectionable:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

How could a court that laid out standards for what constitutes unprotected speech ("obscenity") – which ultimately led to the FCC rule which has now been quashed – be considered anything but activist? Or for that matter, a court which ruled corporations have the same rights as individuals under the First Amendment? Consternatives, where’s your outrage?

Consternatives certainly are not alone in their opposition to broadcast profanity; many people, including most parents, probably support such restrictions. Nor are they alone in believing broad gun rights are supported by the Constitution. But this “activist court” nonsense is all them.

Activist judges are a consternative construct – a label, like “liberal,” that these hypocrites can pull out when convenient and use to their political advantage among the weak-minded. Fucking assholes!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

BP Plays Games With Our Environment, Vets Take Down the Piñata

By "Pintface" Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Slippery Fun for All Ages
Proof BP knew the risks of offshore drilling has surfaced in the form of a '70s board game called Offshore Oil Strike. The BP-branded game claims to offer the “thrills of drilling,” including such delights as oil spills. (When I hear “thrills of drilling,” I’d rather think of a petroleum-based product from KY than one from BP.) No word yet on whether the game constitutes “admissible evidence” in any current and future lawsuits against BP.

AZ Vets Declare Independence From Corn Chips
An American Legion Post in Arizona has banned observation of Cinco de Mayo. Apparently these vets were insulted that Americans can enjoy 2-for-1 margaritas and free refills on tortilla chips at the local Mexican joint once a year. More likely, they are jumping on the "hate for all things South of the Border" bandwagon that's been rolling since Senate Bill 1070 was passed in the state in April.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Catholic Church, Already Morally Bankrupt, Files for Chapter 11

By "Pintface" Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Longtime haven for and protector of pedophile priests, the Catholic Church continues to look out for its own ass by filing for bankruptcy; this in order to shield its vast wealth from the myriad lawsuits from its sex abuse victims.

There’s nothing that says “I’m sorry” like “See you in court.”

The church is within its legal rights to do this; however, such a worldly action tells us how this allegedly spiritual organization sees itself: as a business. I hope this sinks their credit rating.

The Vatican recently blew a gasket over aggressive investigations into abusive priests by Belgian authorities. In response to these law enforcement actions, a church-run abuse commission took its toys and went home. Did we need them anyway? Self-run investigations are always suspect.

Earlier this week, the church also blasted a member of its own flock, Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, for criticizing higher-ups who protected abusive priests. Abuse schmabuse! There’s a chain of command here, cardinal!

Do all these things indicate a repentant Catholic Church, or one which seeks to protect the status quo?

Unrelated moment of levity: "If you lived here you'd be suffering from a mold-related illness by now." (I am certain that's what the sign at that apartment complex said.)

Monday, June 14, 2010

What's the Buzz? The FIFA 2010 World Cup!

By "Pintface" Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

If you’ve caught any of the 2010 World Cup – being held in South Africa – you’ve been hearing an unusual buzzing noise underneath the play-by-play. The sound is tens of thousands of vuvuzelas being played simultaneously by fans. This “traditional instrument” is suspiciously similar to the Chinese-made, cheap plastic noisemaker horns sold at pro sports games in the U.S. to keep kids amused and adults annoyed.

Some football/soccer teams are complaining about the incessant, deafening noise, TV commentators are trying to work around it and the league is under pressure both to ban vuvuzelas and to respect them as a local cultural tradition. My preference would be to ban noisemakers from all pro sports except tennis and golf. (OK, I am joking, but wouldn’t it be hilarious to blare those things at Augusta National?!)

I understand fans want to show their enthusiasm – remember, football/soccer is the game that some people will literally kill or die to see – and players want to play. I hope South Africa understands it may be passed over for future tournaments if its customs distract players and cause them to believe the stadium is being invaded by a swarm of Africanized killer bees.

Vuvuzela: Beer funnel, dart gun, obnoxious toy or symbol of cultural expression? You decide.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The BP Oil Leak Is Obama’s Hitler Problem

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

The ongoing BP oil leak has alternately been described as “Obama’s Katrina” or “Obama’s Iranian Hostage Crisis” by various media outlets and pundits; both metaphors are grossly inaccurate and uninformed (and could each generate more words than I care to share here).

Now we’ve actually begun hearing calls from consternatives for the president to “do something” about the developing disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Which is amazing, when you think about it: Many consternatives have compared Obama to Hitler simply for pursuing health care reform, yet some now seem to be suggesting the federal government seize control of a private enterprise for the good of the country?

Looking to cement your Nazi comparisons, are you, consternatives? Or would you (suddenly and inexplicably) approve of a government takeover of a major corporation? Make up your fucking minds, people. Better yet, shut your mouths. More pollutants are coming out of them than from that gaping hole at the bottom of the gulf.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

DADT Repeal Part 1: Mission Accomplished (So Far)

By "Pintface" Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

The House of Representatives voted last week to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT), which prohibits gays from serving openly in the U.S. military. The vote came after a years-long fight, and a day filled with revealing comments by many elected officials. Let’s examine some of those remarks:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): “I’m going to do everything I can to support the men and women of the military and to fight what is clearly a political agenda.”

First off, McCain is a senator, so it's not his turn to embarrass himself yet. But more important, does he seriously think a struggle for rights can simply be dismissed as “political?” It’s no more political than women fighting for voting rights or blacks fighting for equal access to schools, businesses, opportunities, etc. I would assert that McCain’s statement itself was politically motivated – the intent being to preserve the status quo and assure his base that he has normal views about this “abnormal” phenomenon.

Also from McCain: “I think it’s really going to be very harmful to the morale and effectiveness of our military.”

We’ve heard phrases like “military readiness/effectiveness,” “troop morale” and “unit cohesion” repeatedly from repeal opponents, but to my knowledge, not one cogent, detailed explanation of how the presence of openly gay troops will influence any of those things. We have been treated to plenty of theoretical alarmist scenarios, however.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX): “If someone has to be overt about their sexuality, whether it’s in a bunker where they’re confined under fire, then it’s a problem.”

Look, no one’s asking to decorate bunkers with rainbow flags, but simply to be able to serve as any other American would. It seems as if Gohmert is suggesting that gay soldiers under fire will pressure straight comrades for a “quickie” in the thick of battle, perhaps using their “gay agenda” to turn some of the latter when death may be imminent?

Gohmert might as well recommend keeping an eye on your wallet when in the trenches next to a black guy, too. (Ok, ok, I know troops probably don't carry wallets into combat, but you know what I mean.)

Gohmert again: “Voting on a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell before the Pentagon’s review is completed says to the military that ‘We don’t care what you think. We’re shoving this down your throat.’”

(Possibly a poor choice of words for a homophobe. Is he a Teabagger by any chance?)

Rep: Todd Akin (R-MI): “So are we then going to then protect and condone homosexuality in the military?”

Homosexuality doesn’t need anyone’s approval to exist; it simply does, and always has. Some people apparently haven't gotten the memo.

Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA): “(Repealing DADT) is the equivalent to turning to our men and women in uniform and their families and saying, ‘Your opinion, your view (sic), do not count.’”

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ): “We’re going to say, ‘No. We don’t care what you say. You (presumably straight troops) can die for us on the battlefield, but you have no input into this process.’”

Have we even heard from active-duty military on this? And I don’t mean the chiefs of staff, but the rank and file servicemembers? Well, there is this one opinion from an Iraq War vet:

Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA): “(In Iraq) my teams did not care whether a fellow soldier was straight or gay if they could fire their assault rifle or run a convoy down ambush alley and do their job so everyone would come home safely.”

I have heard unverified statements that the younger the troops are, the more accepting they are of homosexuality overall. But has a poll been taken of all current military personnel? Unless that's the case, it's hard to believe most of the statements above don't simply represent the views and values of the old farts who are making a stink about this in Congress, and not the troops or even their constituents.

The battle for DADT repeal is far from over. This month the bill goes before the Senate, where Republicants are expected to filibuster (and a few Democrats may not support repeal). We should let those lawmakers know – by phone, by email, in person and at the polls – what we think of their “leadership.”

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

If a Cop Shoots a Child and There’s No One There to Film It, Did It Really Happen?

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Last week 7-year-old Aiyana Jones was shot dead by police while she slept in her Detroit home. A reality TV show crew was filming and allegedly got the shooting on camera.

The resulting outrage has unsurprisingly left the city more tense than usual, leading Detroit Mayor Dave Bing to ban television crews from police raids. Translation: The problem is not police shooting willy-nilly into homes, but the presence of TV cameras when they do so.

The ubiquity of cameras in society today has compromised privacy for all of us, likely for all time. But it has also forced accountability in situations where none previously existed. Mayor Bing, don’t take that away.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

From My Cold, Dead, Shaky, Pickled Hands

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen has vetoed a bill that would’ve allowed gun owners in his state to bring their favorite toys into businesses where alcohol is served, delivering a rare legislative defeat to the NRA and other gun proponents that have seemingly been writing U.S. gun laws for years.

That such a bill was ever created demonstrates both the sheer power and absurdity of the gun lobby. But after at first being incensed by it, I realized there may actually be a benefit to a bill like this; if Second Amendment fetishists go too far with their legislative agenda, they may eventually end up shooting themselves in the foot with regard to popular support.

Keep it up, guys.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

2012 Republican National Convention: Not in My Backyard!!!

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

It’s official: The 2012 Republican National Convention will be
held in Downtown Tampa – a stone’s throw from my home (Note to self: Gather up stones and practice pitching arm). Economy schmeconomy ... I don’t want those hateful, greedy, misguided, self-righteous, torture-loving Republicants stinking up the place with their dirty money.

Besides, immigrant-hating Phoenix, Arizona would’ve been a much more appropriate choice for those xenophobes.

I think I'll have to break out the "unwelcome" mat. Stay tuned.

PS: OK, as someone who lives in an apartment I technically don't have a backyard. But you know what I meant, smartass.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Florida Doesn’t Care About Young People

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Florida's Republicant-dominated legislature has
passed a law requiring women to pay for ultrasounds before having an abortion, in a misguided attempt to deter them having the procedures.

If our highly principled elected officials are genuinely concerned about young lives, they should also require high school-age military recruits to look at films of death, dismemberment and destruction before enlisting.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Spill, Baby, Spill

By "Pintface" Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

The sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig couldn’t have come at a better time, since President Obama recently (and inexplicably) announced plans to expand offshore oil drilling. Nothing like a high-profile environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico to remind us just how bad an idea that was and turn the tide of public opinion firmly against it.

Whether or not we have to rely on the Middle East for it, oil as an energy source is literally a dirty dinosaur. Can we finally get serious about developing alternative fuel sources?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Consternative Contradictions Part I: What Would Jesus Do? (WWJD?)

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

You are outraged by the idea that “under God” could be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. That prayer could be banned at a public school or questioned at a city council meeting. That the Ten Commandments were removed from a Tennessee state government building.

Why wouldn't you be, when America is a “Christian nation?”

Curiously, when a new law here mirrors Christian values (outside ritual and relic, i.e., prayer and statues), some of you “Christians” are among the most ardently opposed, or simply remain silent. Could it be that when money (taxes) enters the picture those beliefs are conveniently cast aside? Many of you are certainly afraid to put your money where your mouth is.

Jesus healed the sick, and without need for remuneration; he didn’t speak of government-provided universal health care as a threat to personal freedom. (He also fed the hungry masses with loaves and fish; he didn’t rail on lazy welfare moms. These are but a few things that show J.C. to have been a liberal socialist.)

If you thought about what Jesus would really do, you couldn’t oppose health care reform. Stop putting WWJD? bumper stickers on your cars and start examining how your political beliefs conflict with your faith (and vice-versa). Then open your eyes for the first time and make a positive change.

This is the first in an intermittent series of posts in which, using the second person, I will lay out specific areas where U.S. consternatives consistently prove themselves to be hypocritical, irrational, hateful and/or just plain wrong. It was the realization of these very things that has over the years transformed me into an ardent liberal and Reasonist; these are also the motivation behind most of what I do here. For the sake of explanation – and perhaps I am remiss in not posting this sooner – “consternative” is a generalization I coined to describe fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, Republican(t)s and their ilk. Not all members of each of these interrelated groups are guilty of all the things I will discuss – but they are all still big dummies. Like major dummies.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Obama Law Nominee Dropped For Being Too Ethical

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Dawn Johnson will never head the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel. President Obama’s nominee buckled after months of heat from Republicants, who objected to her criticizing the OLC for issuing memos permitting torture of terror suspects under the Bush administration.

Prominent religious cult member Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) called John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the authors of those contentious memos, "very excellent people." Gnarly, dude!

Johnson is presumably not an excellent person because she puts ethics and the rule of law ahead of fear-based, reactionary politics. The “family values” Republicant Party couldn’t risk having such a wussy in that critical office.

Obama disappointed many by giving Bush's criminals a free pass, saying he preferred to “look forward” (without explaining how this would prevent criminality within his own and future administrations). It’s time for him to exercise some political capital (backbone, testicles, what have you) and pursue charges against those officials unless he’s allowed to bring principled people into his own administration.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Basketball Team Beats Opponents, Police Beat Celebrating Fan

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

John McKenna is the latest unarmed, defenseless victim of police violence. A video shows the Maryland man doing a victory dance after a basketball game, then police swooping in and delivering multiple baton blows to him even after he is subdued.

Did their team lose? Or were the police thinking that a preemptive beating was needed to prevent revelry from becoming a riot? The sight of an innocent man being beaten by police could've easily started one. As could their flagrantly false assertion that horses caused the man's injuries.

This incident recalls one which occurred during post-World Series celebrations in Boston in 2004, where police killed a young woman by firing a “nonlethal” pepper spray bullet into her brain via her eye socket. The cops are bad sports, eh?

Officials were going to charge McKenna with felony assault, but quickly backpedaled once the video proved him to be the assault victim. (Why do they always charge people with things of which they are guilty? Is it like those people who go around accusing everyone else of being gay when they are actually closeted homosexuals trying to take attention away from themselves?)

Dropped charges is a good start, but now the cops involved in the beating should be dropped from their jobs and into a jail cell.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Got Any Fries to Go With That, Sheik?

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

U.S. military bases in Afghanistan will soon no longer be "Home of the Whopper," as military officials have decided to pull the plug on most private food vendors, which have been deemed a waste of resources. That means troops will no longer be able to spend their hard-earned combat pay on fast food burgers, fried cheese sticks, soft-serve ice cream, pizza and more.

While some have questioned the very notion of fast food franchises being available to troops in battle zones (profiteering, misplaced priorities, etc.), I feel that people who are risking life and limb overseas should be able to partake of the “comforts of home” whenever possible. And this is coming from a vegetarian who avoids most fast food (ok, except for pizza).

If having access to junk food that’s available on every street corner back home means taking away water, power and other vital resources from military operations, however, then the “sesame seed buns” probably do have to go.

This story raises a larger question about the wisdom of the privatization of war, i.e., private companies supplying goods and services right in a war zone. Maybe some of the other private interests – that are not only using up resources (including lots of taxpayers’ money) but, by operating outside any oversight, undercutting whatever legitimacy we have in the region – need to go as well. The burger joints are merely attacking our troops’ digestive systems, not massacring civilians.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Catholic Response on Child Sex Abuse: It’s the Media and the Gays

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Facing increasing scrutiny over Pope Benedict XVI’s (aka Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s) complicity in several cases of sexual abuse by priests, top Catholic Church officials have come out swinging their scepters in defense of His Holiness.

Venice Cardinal Angelo Scola spoke of the pope as a victim of "deceitful accusations," even though the church’s own documents prove the latter’s involvement. Warsaw Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz blasted the media for "targeting the whole church, targeting the pope," when it’s clear sexual abuse by priests was an institution-wide epidemic known at the highest levels of the church – which includes the former Cardinal Ratzinger.

Meanwhile, the church’s #1 layperson – who apparently possesses no common sense or shame, nor any understanding of what statutory rape is – has explained that, given some of the victims were already sporting pubes, the abuse wasn’t really a pedophile priest issue but a homosexual issue. Catholic League President Bill Donohue stopped just short of saying that the kids were asking for it, especially the girls in those provocative little Catholic school uniforms.

A quick Google search reveals a shocking lack of reportage on Donohue’s disgusting words by anything but liberal blogs. Thank God for us, eh? Donohue, those he defends and their apologists are despicable, desperate people. May the light of truth continue to shine on their ways, which represent real evil in this world.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hide Your Women and Children: The Cops Are Coming

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

A federal appeals court has dealt another blow to a woman who was tased by Seattle police while pregnant. The court ruled against Malaika Brooks, who initiated a lawsuit after police shocked her with a Taser for refusing to sign a traffic ticket.

Presiding Judge Cynthia Holcomb Hall explained the verdict: “A suspect who repeatedly refuses to comply with instructions or leave her car escalates the risk involved for officers unable to predict what type of noncompliance might come next.”

To clarify: A judge actually said you can tase a (pregnant) woman for not doing something because there’s no way to tell what she might not do next. Un-fucking-believable.

The use of a Taser on anyone who is not dangerous or out control – but simply being a pain in the ass – is a brutal police state-type tactic that should be banned.

Shooting 42 bullets at a carjacker with an innocent family still inside the car is also inadvisable. But Jacksonville sheriffs did just that, hitting a toddler at least twice as a result.

Spokesperson Sheriff John Rutherford said of the incident: "I just don't want to try to speculate on why they felt the need to shoot at the suspect while he was in the vehicle." (Why don’t you simply ask them, sir?)

The "good guys" need to exhibit better judgment and restraint if they wish to distinguish themselves from the bad guys.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Impeach and Incarcerate Pope Benedict XVI Over Sex Abuse

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests is not "news," but recent revelations of Pope Benedict XVI’s complicity in abuse cases have brought the issue back to the front page. The former Cardinal Ratzinger knew of at least two cases – in his native Germany and in Wisconsin, USA – but did little (i.e., made pedophile priests repent and shuffled them off to other parishes) to nothing about them.

Naturally, church officials are defending their pontiff. And no one should be surprised if all that comes of this is more of the same toothless response that we’ve seen since rampant, longstanding sexual abuse of children by the Catholic Church was revealed in 2002: Apologies and talk of “forgiveness.” The abusers and their enablers/accomplices (anyone who knew but chose to protect church over children, like Ratzinger) should be rotting in jail and enduring nonconsensual sex for the rest of their lives and afterlives.

Dan Brown, get working on a novel in which a secret society of assassins systematically eliminates priests who molested kids for decades but who remain free due to statutes of limitation. I can’t wait for the movie version of Catholic Catharsis. Hell, maybe I'll write it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Choke on This Change, Bitches!

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

President Obama and the Congress have passed a version of the long-in-the works health care reform bill – a development that, if the media are to be believed, is of historic significance. I cannot fully support the bill, due to the exclusion of a public option/universal coverage/single payer system and the inclusion of a requirement to purchase health insurance (a giveaway to the industry, who shouldn't be gaining from this). But at the same time, if Republicants are so ardently opposed to the bill – all “nays” during yesterday’s voting – that does make it look more attractive.

One thing is certain: If their party makes gains in the next election cycle, Republicants will point to this health care vote, ignoring the fact that the minority party historically picks up votes following an election cycle that handed control to a single party (a consequence of our flawed two-party system). Until then, they can sit and spin.

Monday, March 15, 2010

God Hates Socially Conscious Chumps (UPDATED)

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Fox News cash cow Glenn Beck has suggested his followers leave any church that espouses “social justice” because – according to Beck – that suggests a communist or Nazi agenda.

One church has directly taken on Beck over his ignorance of Christian values, displaying the message “Sorry Mr Beck Jesus Preached Social Justice” on a sign on its property. Some have said Beck's listeners should leave him.

But at least one major church representative has taken a very different stance.

Catholic League President William “Bill” Donohue jumped to Beck’s defense, saying the latter merely meant parishioners should "find a more conservative parish if one is dissatisfied with hearing left-wing sermons." So much for helping the less fortunate as a universal Christian value.

Donohue also stated: “In the Catholic Church, there are priests who are stridently left-wing and stridently right-wing.” Aren't churches supposed to be politically neutral to retain their tax exemption? I hope the IRS is reading this post, though it’s more likely the NSA is.

This is the same Donohue, incidentally, who recently vilified Obama for allowing atheist and secular humanist groups to meet at the White House. To his credit, Obama has made “inclusiveness” part of his policy. During his presidential victory speech, Obama acknowledged people of different sexual orientations; in his inauguration speech he acknowledged people without religious beliefs. Very few politicians would show the same courage after taking high office.

Returning to the issue at hand: Beck is a misguided opportunist with a dangerous amount of influence. Donohue is clearly all about the religion and not about the spiritual beliefs underlying it. As a former Catholic I can tell you that makes him a paragon of Catholicism.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

You Say Inappropriate, I Say Intolerant, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Itawamba County Agricultural High School in Fulton, Mississippi is cancelling this year’s prom instead of allowing a lesbian teen couple to attend. Prior to the cancellation, student Constance McMillen had been denied permission to accompany her tuxedoed girlfriend to the popular annual event, and was also informed the two would be sent home if other attendees felt “uncomfortable" about them being there.

After facing increasing pressure and scrutiny regarding the couple’s request, the local school board decided to call the dance off altogether. Explained district officials: "[W]e feel (cancelling the prom) is in the best interest of the Itawamba County School District, after taking into consideration the education, safety and well being of our students." Apparently, the presence of two gay students at a dance could result in learning difficulties and bodily harm for their peers(?)

Folks, this is really about the threat which two kids pose to the status quo. Many people are afraid to see gay relationships given equal stature with straight ones, lest they one day be considered “legitimate” or “normal.” Then how will we ever get any of those people to reconsider their unconventional “choice” of lifestyle?

The adults behind this needless decision to spoil the fun for everyone have set an example of intolerance and xenophobia for their young students: Let fear of The Other guide you. That’s not a lesson I believe we should be teaching in school.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Welcome to Mayberry, FLA

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

As Florida lawmakers work on a $75 million package designed to entice film and TV productions to the state (the “Entertainment Industry Economic Development Act”), they have inserted a provision to ensure films that “exhibit or imply ... 'nontraditional family values'” do not benefit from the new initiative.

Said Rep. Stephen Precourt (R-Orlando): “(Shows with gay characters) would not be the kind of thing … we want to invest public dollars in (sic).” Precourt added that the films he’d like to see made in Florida would be reminiscent of Mayberry.”

This begs questions about exactly which aspects of Mayberry appeal to him:
Maybe that men were men, women were cloistered, and blacks were anywhere but in your neighborhood?

The Andy Griffith Show was a wonderful TV programme, but it was always a fantasy. It’s time for Precourt and his pals in Tallahassee to come back to reality – and lose the self-righteous attitude while they're at it.

PS: Liberal, gay, godless filmmakers: Y’all come back to Florida now, ya hear?