Thursday, April 30, 2015

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Coupla Things

I've got just 2 (main) points about the aftermath of the Freddie Gray thing in Baltimore.

First - when did we become so totally averse to and repulsed by violence in response to being pushed around - whether it's a real thing or only perception?  And in particular, what's with all the pearl-clutching and concern trolling coming in waves from "conservatives"?  When did the Right Radicals start being shocked by violence in response to any-fucking-thing at all?  Last I checked, most of the people who're all so utterly aghast at the prospect of protests turning to violent confrontation are the same bunch who cheered as a whole army of nutballs stormed into Nevada last year on the off chance they might get to shoot it out with the Federalés.  Selective Values Judgement much?

And that kinda leads to my second point, which is:  C'mon now, guys - this country was founded on armed rebellion in response to an uncaring, disinterested power structure that dealt with common folk in thoroughly hostile and brutalizing ways.  We've all been taught that good Americans stand up and fight for what they believe is right; and that there's nothing more noble that standing up to fight against the forces of oppression etc etc etc.  Why are we expecting anybody to not behave exactly the way they've been taught to behave from the time they were in 3rd or 4th grade?

And BTW: Looting? You fight your revolution and I'll fight mine. Comme ci, comme ça muthuhfuckuh.

So anyway, there's only one more question left to ask and it's about something we all know perfectly well (even tho' way too many of us are still too afraid to let the notion filter into our upper cortex), so I'll just say that there're some very real and very obvious differences between Baltimore and the Bundy ranch (eg) but they all boil down to one very real and very obvious aspect.  Simply stated, Freddie Gray can expect to be treated very differently by law enforcement than the way Cliven Bundy can expect to be treated by law enforcement, and it's really not so much that I think we're afraid to ask why - I'm pretty sure we know why; at least we can think we know when we contemplate it as an external thing - something to do with bad cops and the dumb way other people think blah blah blah.

But I'm afraid the real problem is that we're terrified something really bad will happen to us inside if we hear our own inner voice tell us the answer, because it just might be that we expect Freddie should be treated differently than Bundy.

And that grates on our soul.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Don't Look Now

First of all, Keith is again dancing perilously close to the edge of the abyss.  Implicit in the piece is a criticism of ESPN.  Big rich companies don't like it when you let "outsiders" peek behind the furniture.  And your colleagues don't like being called out for their willingness to devote way more time to their hair and their investment portfolios than they spend on actually doing their jobs as reporters.

Second - substitute "government agency" every time Keith refers to a sports figure or a team or a league.  And now we've got the typical (ie: huge fucking) problem of "reporters" acting in the capacity of PR flacks instead of telling us everything we need to know to make well-informed decisions on just about anything.

Wanna know what's killing off our little experiment in self-government?  Well, there aren't any simple answers to that, but we could start with this: Press Poodles.

My Guy

This is from a few weeks ago on one of the Security State Advertising Platforms the networks run on "our public airwaves" every Sunday morning (ie: the shit that nobody with any real sense watches for any reason other than giggles and /or a morbid curiosity about what the death of democracy actually looks like).

So anyway, there's some obviously clunky scripted prattle in what O'Malley has to say, but once he gets past the obligatory pablum that helps the Press Poodles pay for their groomers, the guy gets more real more often than anybody I've seen in a while.

Not disappointed yet - which is high praise from me right now.

A More Powerful Vocabulary

hat tip = FB buddy BD

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Today's Wingnut

This guy is a perfect example of why you should always carry at least one extra large condom - when you feel like launching into this kinda tantrum, pull that rubber over your head cuz you're being a huge dick, and ya need to take precautions for your own safety's sake.

Some interesting things going on here.  First, the firefighters seem to be very well-trained in the Customer Relations aspect of their profession.  Good on 'em for that.  I wonder if certain select police departments might take a cue from this - yeah, that may be too much to hope for.

Anyway, second is that this jackwad seems to think everybody thinks exactly the way he thinks.  He says as much - although he pulls up a little short of "everybody" when he says something like "90% of the people in this county would agree with me...".  

And it's really interesting; when the bystander starts taking the video, the ranter first assumes he's in the right and that his exultant righteousness is being perfectly preserved, but then he realizes the witness isn't on his side and he looks a bit surprised because he's been getting constant reassurances that of course everybody feels this way and if everybody would just behave like complete assholes we'd soon be living in the Utopian America of our Beloved Koch Brothers' Founders' Dreams - so instead of stopping to consider the possibility that he might be wrong about something (which is simply never allowed) he flips over and assumes the role of persecuted underdog; and besides, he's in too deep now, so he's gotta double down.

The guy has totally internalized the lessons of DumFux News and Breitbart and WND etc to near-perfection.  It's as though he just can't help himself - the triggering stimulus has been received and if he doesn't respond according to the conditioning, the negative pressure of the resultant cognitive dissonance would cause his brain to implode.

So let's allow it to percolate for a minute - this douchenozzle is loudly bitching about the cost of feeding firefighters; the guys who will drop everything, come to his house, run into a fire, and pull his dumb ass out of a FUCKING FIRE.  But none of that matters because it's way more important to complain about 6 bucks worth of diesel fuel(?)

It's called "Punching Down", and it's the logical extreme of the bullshit policies of Trickle Down Economics.  "The Nobles" have been pissin' on this guy's head; they've got him convinced it's rain; and now they're telling him to make the local fire department buy an umbrella for him.

I guess I can keep hoping guys like this Ranter Guy will eventually figure out he's mad at the wrong people, but...

I've got my own shit to deal with.

Luther The Anger Translator

BTW - that's Keegan Michael Key, and you should be watching Key & Peele every chance you get on Comedy Central.

Today's Tweet

It's A Global Thing

hat tip = FB buddy VWE

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Some Tunes

If You Want Me To Stay --Sly And The Family Stone

I Want You To Want Me --Cheap Trick

Fix You --Cold Play

I Don't Wanna Talk About It --Rod Stewart

Keep Me In Mind --Loggins & Messina

Rosanna --Toto

I'll Take You There --The Staple Singers

A Family Affair --Sly And The Family Stone

Don't Need No Reason --Jack Mack And The Heart Attack

Let It Roll --Little Feat

Today's Pix


hat tip = Facebook buddy DR

Friday, April 24, 2015

It Don't Come Easy

Hillary has some 'splainin' to do.

There are likely a number of factors for why Clinton went from a critic of these corporate-written trade agreements to a supporter while in the Obama administration to more or less neutral today. But one very important factor for voters to know about is the role her own personal wealth might have played in the matter.
Because spousal income is shared, cabinet officials are required to report not only their own personal financial data but also incoming income their spouse receives. While Clinton was Secretary of State, her husband continued his lucrative corporate speaking tour, receiving millions of dollars from both foreign and domestic corporations.
I'd like to hold out just a tiny glimmer of hope that this one thing would spark an open and honest discussion about what these trade deals are all about, but I think we all know by now that it's much more likely to be politics-as-usual, and we'll have to hack our way thru all the media/consultancy/advocacy bullshit first, which means we'll run outa time way before we get to learn anything of substance, which means 100 million Americans will vote for somebody whose position on this fairly important policy will be almost complete unknown.

And that's not to mention the shitty little feeling everybody has that there's a buncha stuff in TPP that has nothing to do with trade.

We might get a good look at how adept Hillary has become.  I'm not giving her a lotta props yet because she still sounds pretty clunky to me, but if she can manage a turn-around on this one and make something good for herself out of it, I'm willing to lay off a little.

God Love Charlie Pierce

From his weekly piece on what's happenin' out there in the several states:
Kansas, the national biohazard lab for infectious stupidity

LSU and many other public colleges in Louisiana might be forced to file for financial exigency, essentially academic bankruptcy, if state higher education funding doesn't soon take a turn for the better.
Louisiana's flagship university began putting together the paperwork for declaring financial exigency this week when the Legislature appeared to make little progress on finding a state budget solution, according to F. King Alexander, president and chancellor of LSU.
"We don't say that to scare people," he said. "Basically, it is how we are going to survive."
Moody's Investors Service also announced this month that it was lowering LSU's credit outlook from positive to stable based on concerns about the university's overall financial support. The lowering of LSU's credit rating makes it more likely the university will have to pay more for its building projects in the future.
This kinda crap doesn't happen by accident, kids.  Try to resist thinking Jindal and his Client Cronies aren't doing this on purpose. LSU is a prestigious joint, which makes it a valuable property, which means it should be awarded to a Corporate Friend who'll take it under his benevolent wing and blah blah blah.

And in case anybody needed the reminder, LSU was very much up front about calling out BP for the Deep Water Horizon fuck up - along with any number of other monumentally shitty things that go on in Louisiana in the name of freedom and Unfettered Market Economics.

So let's see if we can identify the basics here - your Environmental Science guys get all uppity about how Big Petro-Chem is making it next to impossible for actual human-type people to live anywhere near The Gulf, so what we'll do is buy lotsa face-time with a yokel governor who wants to run for president, and trade him a pile of campaign cash for looking the other way while we also pour money into the pockets of state legislators (not to mention  US Senators & Representatives) so we can cut the school's budget to the point of no return - and then use that little bit of convenient leverage to get our buddies at Moody's to put the squeeze on their credit - all of which drives the price down to where we can swoop in and "rescue" the failing failure from the failures of the failing eggheads who've failed utterly in their failed efforts to make all of God's America fail.  And before ya know it, our schools will be turning out good wholesome young academics who know the real value of a dollar and who won't be having their minds poisoned with all that boring science-y stuff, which everybody knows is the devil's propaganda anyway.

We are so fucked.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Big Gulp

Marco "Big Gulp" Rubio (see tengrain at MockPaperScissors) gives us the standard smarmy dodges when asked about Climate Change ("hey, the climate's always changing - what's the big deal?").  That one's bad enough, but the real fun starts when he kicks in on Marriage Equality (at about :45).

And here's the smarminess revealed thru translation:  Marriage (ie; Civil Rights) can be regulated (ie: Denied) by the states.  

For just a moment, let's disregard Big Gulp's total abandonment of a GOP Article of Faith - Thou shalt not regulate - and focus on the fact that he bails on the question with the  typical States' Rights bullshit.  He's saying the individual states have the authority to deny equal protection under the law.  Of course, that's not really news because it's also a GOP Article of Faith that they get to fuck people over at the state and local levels, which they've been doing (whenever they're in power) for a very long time.  And they get to do that again now because they own most of the governments at the lower levels, so they're right back to playing the Nullification card, saying the Federal Gov't ain't the boss of me; you're not my real gubmint - I can do what I want.

But then again, he's not abandoning anything - nobody in the GOP has any more distaste for Regulation than any other Ruler Wanna-Be; they're perfectly down with regulating, but they lie about it by calling it exactly the opposite.  Anyway, he's just turning it inside out, and then he's giving the rubes a little language massage that helps ease the pain of all that Cognitive Dissonance.

Repubs fully intend to regulate the fuck out of like-gender marriage while pretending that that kind of regulation doesn't actually reinforce the Wingnut Notion that a government has the power to restrict everybody's rights for any reason the government pulls out of its ass at any given moment.  So they hafta disguise it.  They Orwellian-ize it - The Freedom To Buy Puppies For Your Grandkids Act.  That should do it - let's see those stupid libtards vote against that one.

In the end tho', it's just distraction.  We need to be given something to argue about so we won't be paying attention to how all this connects up with why it seems we can't figure out some way to deal with the world that doesn't involve bombing every fucking thing in sight.  And why every police and sheriff's department here at home looks and acts exactly like the US military looks and acts everywhere else in the world.

This is what creeping authoritarianism looks like once it gets up on its hind legs.  This is the transition from Nanny State to Daddy State to Bully State.

hat tip = LK

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day

It ain't easy - nothing really worth doing is ever particularly easy.  First, you pick a day; you commit to it; and then you get yourself off of that stoopid fucking merry-go-round.

It can majorly suck at first, but almost before you know it, lotsa things have gotten better, you're saving money, and c'mon - there really isn't anything more important for us to be doing, is there?

Be nice to your mom - she's the only one ya got.

Da Troof

hat tip = FB buddy VWE

Our Better Half

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Comic(s) In Chief

“He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met." --Abe Lincoln 
“When they call the roll in the Senate, the senators do not know whether to answer ‘present’ or ‘not guilty.'" --Teddy Roosevelt
''In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.''  --John Adams
''If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: 'President Can't Swim.''' --Lyndon Johnson
''My esteem in this country has gone up substantially. It is very nice now when people wave at me, they use all their fingers.'' --Jimmy Carter

Today's Charlie

Charlie Pierce is frequently amazing:
The rich person speaks and all are silent; they extol to the clouds what he says. The poor person speaks and they say, "Who is this fellow? "And should he stumble, they even push him down.  -- Sirach: 13:23

Monday, April 20, 2015

Found My Guy

If Hillary wins the nomination, I'll shove a coupla pounds of Limburger in each nostril and vote for the Queen of Triangulated Favor Trading, but then again, I may hafta write in Martin O'Malley.

Starting at about 4:00, he gets to the heart of the problems with the GOP's "economic policy", and the payoff is right at 4:30.

This guy'd best be more careful with that whole truth-telling shit.  That's not the kinda thing these Press Poodles are equipped to handle.

(from the NPR website)
hat tip = JR

And one last thing, NPR - that headline you guys put up on the piece - O'Malley: America's Economy Needs 'Sensible Rebalancing,' Not 'Pitchforks' - that's a lie, fellas.  That's not what he said, and that's not what he meant.  And now ya know one more reason so many thousands of us stopped sending in our nickels and dimes.

Today's Quote

"Make no mistake. This is your father's Republican Party.  This is the exact same trans-vaginal ultrasound, all-white-guy committee chair, aspirin-between-your-knees Republican Party we've have fighting for 30 years.  Shame on them. They're trying to fool women. And shame on us if we let them get away with it. They don't support women. They don't respect women. So don't tell me that there's no "war on women". And don't bother asking for a truce. We didn't start this fight, but mark my words - we are going to win it. But if we don't show up for this battle in 2016, we will pay the price for a generation to come. Just imagine what a Republican President and a Republican Congress would do."  
--Stephanie Schriock, EMILY's List

Today's Tiny Desk

Black Sun
No Room In Frame
Your Heart Is An Empty Room
Passenger Seat

--Death Cab For Cutie

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Weaponized Stoopid

Ain't nobody gonna convince me that guy votes for Democrats, so it's hard for me to imagine how it coulda been any easier for the GOP to put together a platform that keeps that jag-off (and millions just like him) voting the straight Repub ticket.

And yeah, OK, Mr "Conservative" - I understand you're not all like that mush-brain, but y'know  what?  I'll bet he kinda thinks Obama and Hillary and Nancy Pelosi wanna kill his grandma and take his guns away and send his kids to a FEMA camp where they'll be forced to give George Soros a blowjob every day - and if he thinks that way it's because you've supported the cynical assholes who need him to think that way so he'll keep voting to fuck himself over (or go on shooting himself in the head; whichever helps drum up more support).  He gets those talking points from people who're interchangeable parts in a Massive Coin-Operated Political Mechanism; people (and I use that term advisedly here) who leave slime trails as they muck along from DumFux News to K Street and AEI to Capitol Hill.  They've been elected as his representatives at every level of government - he believes it all, and he is your fellow traveler; your kindred spirit; he's politically conjoined with you.  That guy is you now.

Look - we've got one political party that's pretty crappy, and I'm not asking anybody to fall in love with 'em.  But fer cripe sake, that other bunch is just fucking crazy.  So you're gonna hafta figure out how to make your break. And I know it's not easy - I started 20+ years ago, and I'm still not free of it.

Today's Podcast

Another good one - with an extra good nugget of nooggitty goodliness starting at about 31:00, where they connect the dots between the fuckwad Pay-To-Play deputy in Tulsa with Privatization - nuthin' but fucking genius is all that is.

Send 'em a little love:

The Professional Left Podcast
PO Box 9133
Springfield, IL 62791

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Not A Hillary Fan

...but right now, she beats the fuck outa everybody else for me.  So while she's gonna get lotsa push-back from me for things like the Standard 3rd-Way Bullshit she apparently thinks she hasta peddle in Iowa, I'll more than likely be right there working the phones and handing out fliers and standing at my local polling place all day on the 1st Tuesday in November 2016.

Charlie Pierce explains why:
If she is elected, she unequivocally will accept the science of anthropogenic climate change and treat it as a crisis. This cannot be said of any of the Republican candidates, real or potential.
If she is elected, she unequivocally will support marriage equality, and oppose discrimination against our fellow citizens based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This cannot be said of any of the Republican candidates, real or potential.
If she is elected, she will not destroy the Affordable Care Act, an article of faith among all the Republican candidates, real or potential.
If she is elected, and despite her closeness to certain Wall Street interests, she will not destroy the Dodd-Frank reforms, another article of faith among all the Republican candidates, real or potential.
If she is elected, the DREAMers will get to stay in the country.
If she is elected, she will not sign a bill to eliminate the estate tax. (More on this one later)
If she is elected, Janice Rogers Brown will stay right where she is in the judicial food chain.
To get elected, she does not have to wink at state's rights, up to and including incidents of armed resistance.
To get elected, she does not have to equivocate on the science behind the theory of evolution as does any Republican candidate who seeks the votes of Republicans in Iowa.
To get elected, she does not have to peddle the snake oil of supply-side economics, nor does she have to peddle scare stories about the oncoming caliphate, nor does she have to create bogeymen about jackboots coming to steal your guns.
More, I suspect, to follow.
Jesus, this is going to be a long 19 months.
Amen to that, Brother Charles.

Today's Dickipedia WInner

Mr Ted Nugent - Dick Extraordinaire

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Today's Rudeness

The Rude Pundit; the whole Rude Pundit; and nuthin' but The Rude Pundit:


Fuck Your Conscience; Do Your Job

Let us say, and why not, that you are a firefighter, the captain of the department in Sisterfuck, Arkansas, a little bit outside Little Rock, and, in your off-duty life, you're a good, loyal member of the Church of the Bloodiest Christ You've Ever Seen. At your church, Pastor Jamie Lee Closetqueer preaches about how abortion is just President Obama trying to murder Christians to make room for more Muslims. You never saw a Muslim abortion clinic, did you?

Now let us say, and, indeed, why not, that one night the Planned Parenthood in Little Rock goes up in flames and it's all hands on deck, all around the county, the area, even. Your squad is called into action before the whole complex, maybe the block, burns down. But you know that the Planned Parenthood does abortions. You're faced with a choice. Pastor Closetqueer's words echo in your ear: "If you support the sin, you are a sinner yourself." Do you tell your Sisterfuck squad to stand down, let it burn, let other firefighters handle it? Or do you go against your faith and do your goddamn job?

It's not a big leap from pharmacists to firefighters. Down the road a bit from Sisterfuck is Millegdeville, Georgia, where Brittany Cartrett had a miscarriage. She needed assistance passing the miscarried fetus, so her doctor prescribed her Misoprostol, a pill that would help her complete what had started naturally, if sadly. When her doctor called local Walmart to have it filled, the pharmacist on duty refused to do so because, as she later told Cartrett, "I couldn't think of a valid reason why you would need this prescription." Misoprostol can be used to induce abortion, which is why it would be effective after a miscarriage. When Cartrett explained why she needed it, the pharmacist said, "Well, I don't feel like there is a reason why you would need it, so we refused to fill it."

And it's perfectly fine because Georgia has a law that says if pharmacists think that someone's prescription violates their beliefs, they can refuse to fill it because of a conscience clause, which over 20 states have or are considering. In this case, that meant that, despite a doctor calling in the prescription, the pharmacist thought, "Abortin' babeez" and bugged out.

By the way, Brittany Cartrett is a devout Christian who once worked at the same Walmart. And her response to the ensuing controversy, which became known because of her Facebook post on it, is about as common sense as you can get: "The point is that she refused to fill it based on an assumption and that is not her job. Her job is to fill it. Not to make the decision as to why I needed it. There has to be a line drawn when it comes to stuff like this."

Cartrett also wrote, awesomely, "I don't care about an apology. I care about women going through one of the worst possible things that they could go through and to be judged and refused. And what if I was going to get it for an abortion? I don't personally believe in abortion, but I would never judge or disrespect someone who felt like that was the only choice they had. As a friend, I would try to advise alternative options. As a pharmacist? It's not my place."

When you're right, you're right. Conscience clauses when it comes to things like this are just impositions of one's religion on others. Do your fucking job. If you can't do your fucking job properly, find another fucking job. If your bullshit beliefs are going to prevent you from fulfilling basic duties, then get the fuck out of the public sector. Go work for a church. Just stay away from people who might need you to shut the fuck up and do the job. Conservatives like to talk about "special rights" for different groups. An exclusion from the duties of your profession is pretty much the picture book definition of "special rights."

It ain't just religion. In Carlisle, Pennsylvania, a school nurse refused to assist a middle school student and threw the girl out of her office. The girl's crime? She didn't stand during the Pledge of Allegiance, the loyalty oath students around the country are asked to recite every morning at their indoctrination center schools. Except, interestingly enough, the Pledge is voluntary, and the nurse is being investigated for abiding by her patriotic conscience. So there is a line.

When it comes to religion, though, that line is being erased. We are not far from just letting shit burn.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Today's Charlie Pierce

I hope this one's been on everybody's radar the last coupla days:
A rich donor to Tulsa police mistakenly pulled out his gun instead of his Taser and blasted a fleeing suspect.
The volunteer cop in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who killed an unarmed black man was forking over thousands in donations and equipment after becoming an unpaid sheriff’s deputy.
Robert Bates, a 73-year-old insurance executive-turned-deputy, accidentally fired his gun instead of a Taser—costing Eric Harris, 44, his life and adding to the tally of deadly police shootings against minorities nationwide.
Recent update via Daily Beast:
The Tulsa deputy charged with manslaughter for fatally shooting an unarmed black man was the sheriff’s sugar daddy—treating him to exotic cruises and fishing trips—former officers with the sheriff’s department told The Daily Beast.
“Bob Bates came on board because he had all this money,” one former reserve deputy said, adding that the sheriff and other higher-ups would “go on these cruises in the Bahamas and in Mexico all the time.”
"[Bates] foots the bill,” the deputy added. “The sheriff just gave him free rein because he was treating him right. He bought his way into this position.”
Another former full-time deputy said Bates was “getting glad-handed” around the office because of his wealth.
“This is your typical Southern good ol’ boys system,” he said, adding that before the shooting Bates planned to take Glanz on a fishing trip to Florida.
In case anybody may still harbor the soul-crushingly stoopid notion that "Pay-To-Play-Citizen-Goon" is a good idea, here's Charlie Pierce:
Something has gone permanently squirrelly with law-enforcement in this country. There is the change in attitude by which police increasingly feel and behave like an occupying army in American cities. There is the preposterous increase in available armament. On a wider scale, there is the triumph at all levels of government of an attitude that we will not tax ourselves, ever, for anything, even our own safety. So we wind up with traffic cops who look on, ahem, certain citizens as resources to be pillaged, or we wind up with septuagenarian insurance salesmen empowered to shoot people in the street under color of law, because they were willing to buy guns and ammo privately for a public purpose. This is Kafka rewritten by Grover Norquist and Bozo The Clown. You get what you pay for, and we're not willing to pay for anything any more.

Molly Today

“I am not anti-gun. I'm pro-knife. Consider the merits of the knife. In the first place, you have to catch up with someone in order to stab him. A general substitution of knives for guns would promote physical fitness. We'd turn into a whole nation of great runners. Plus, knives don't ricochet. And people are seldom killed while cleaning their knives.”  --Molly Ivins

Today's Pix

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday's Minor Miracle

OK OK - no miracle; just good photography (or PhotoShop or whatever).  

But then again, maybe the miracle is that the wingnuts aren't jumping up and down screaming about how Obama's some kinda evil sorcerer who hates America because he's calling on his African Usurper God to bestow blessings on a buncha black people in Haiti.

And you know none of that's particularly funny because you know it's a little too close to the fucking truth.

Today's Eternal Sadness

Another day, another 1.64 dead children.
CLEVELAND (AP) — A 3-year-old boy picked up an unattended gun inside a home and it went off, shooting a 1-year-old boy in the head and killing him Sunday afternoon, police said.
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said investigators are trying to determine where the gun came from.
Emergency workers said the 1-year-old was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.
Full details about the shooting on the city's east side weren't released, but Williams said at least one adult was home when it happened.
"It's a sad day for Cleveland," he told reporters outside the home. "This fascination that we have with handguns, not just in this city but in this country, has to stop. This is a senseless loss of life." ( reports that the boy's mother could be heard screaming on the back porch after learning her son had died.Neighbors told the news website the mother lived in the house with at least three small children.
"They were really nice," next-door neighbor Larry Simpson said of the family. "It's a shame this had to happen."

It was absolutely not something that "had to happen", Mr Simpson.  And statements like that are a good indication of the kind of unconsciously malicious and deliberately ignorant viewpoint that makes these "accidents" inevitable.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Tunes For Friday

The Walk --Mayer Hawthorne

Harvest Moon --Bedlam

Same Ol' Me --Amazing Rhythm Aces

The Fools --Bob Schneider (hat tip = Little Green Footballs)

Little Green Bag --The George Baker Selection

This Or That (cover) --Dianne Reeves

Number 20,526,718

...but number 1 in your hearts!

As per Alexa:

Phrasing update:  "Opinions are like blogs - every asshole's got one".

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Big Show

This wasn't an announcement so much as an attempted Product Roll-out.  But anyway, once they actually got to the point, we got all the usual bullshit. Liberty, justice and personal responsibility.

He's gonna get the economy cookin' by FREEDOM (privatization)!!!

He's gonna break the cycle of Poverty-Lousy Schools-Unemployment-&-Crime by PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY (privatization)!!!

He's gonna get the federal government under control by JUSTICE (privatization)!!!

And he's gonna Take Our Country Back!!!!!!!!!!

I slag the Press Poodles a lot.  And this crap from yesterday is a fair example of why I slag the Press Poodles a lot.  There was almost no real policy in anything Paul had to say.  There was lots of jingoism and the obligatory attempts to seem "Reaganesque" - which for Lil Randy just made him look like the standard 2-year-old wearing daddy's great big shoes.  And nobody said anything about any of that.

I don't think it's unreasonable for me to expect somebody to ask one or two obvious-as-fuck questions when these guys disgorge some of the less meaningful (ie: Content-Free) bromides that their focus group gurus feed them.

Senator Paul: "..we're going to take this country back."
Press Poodle: "Take it back from whom?  Who has it?"


Poodle: "Take the country back ... to the 1950s? - the 1890s?  the 18th century?"

In the end, what this guy wants is to take what's left of this country away from all of us and sell it to his buddies.  So he needs us to go along with the toxic notion that the Noble Rich are the only ones who worked their asses off to build this joint and so they're the only ones who deserve to cash in on it now.  Unfortunately, he's got a fuck-ton of self-loathing rubes standing in line, looking for an excuse to start turning over all the wrong tables and throwing shit thru all the wrong windows.

When there's so much money and power concentrated in so few hands, and when the rest of us are left with nothing more to lose, guess what happens.  Paraphrasing: rebellion is the language of the powerless.

We'd best be making sure we've got this thing pointed in the right direction.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Today's Quote

It occurs to me that seeing all those Islamist martyrs blowing themselves up and crashing various modes of transportation into various symbols of Western Colonialism or whatever, Americans are feeling a bit challenged.  

"We own this fuckin' joint and nobody ever out-maniacs America.  USA! USA!"

But we'll do it our own way, thanks and fuck you very much.

From Addicting Info:
Like the equally discriminatory Memories Pizza, in Indiana, which has earned over $800,000 in sympathy donations so far, Stutzman’s own GoFundMe campaign has pulled in nearly $90,000.
According to The Seattle Times, almost half of the money Stutzman has gained so far has been picked up in the last few days, though. It seems her campaign, created back in February, may be getting a fresh insurgence of support on the coattails of the Memories Pizza success.
It’s always interesting to see in the dirty, sell-anything world of capitalism when Jesus and morals win, isn’t it? Yes, you too can hate and get paid!
Stutzman was fined by the Benton County Superior Court last month for refusing service to a same-sex couple two years ago, claiming her Southern Baptist beliefs prohibited her from doing so. She is the owner of Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts.
So what’s the moral of this story, and is it anything remotely “Christian?”
So in light of this "hot new fashion trend" of good Christian entrepreneurs lining up to make a show of their eagerness to become martyrs to the noble cause of TheoCommercialist Bigotry, I tho't Mencken's quote from about 90 years ago might be timely.
“No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.” --HL Mencken, Chicago Tribune 1926
One of the favorite themes of all three of the Book Religions is the one about being Persecuted For Your Faith.  And it doesn't matter that you're a totally dominant majority of your country's population.  If there's any chance for you to reaffirm one of the big deal tenets of your religion, you jump on it.  It also doesn't matter if you have to make up some shit about your current circumstances to get everything to fit, because religion is all about making shit up to begin with.

I guess I'm a little surprised that anybody - including me - is at all surprised by any of this.