Thursday, November 29, 2007

Loyalty Oaths, Religious Tests, and the Daily Malfeasor

A number of things smacked me in the eye over the past few days:

The Virginia State Board of Elections approved the Virginia GOP's use of a signed document during the primaries. The document, a loyalty oath, commands the signer to swear that they will vote for the eventual Republican nominee rather than for the Democratic nominee. It might be rather hard to enforce that, unless the fix is in and the State Board is prepared to disenfranchise anyone who votes the "wrong" way.

Mittens Romney was asked if he'd put a qualified Muslim on his Cabinet if elected. After a quick consultation with his Magic Mormon Underoos, Mittens opined that since Muslims are a religious minority in this country he wouldn't have one in his Cabinet. Hey, you supercilious scumbag, religious tests for public office are strictly forbidden by the Constitution. However, since you want to be just as big a criminal as Bush, your response is not surprising.

A "malfeasor" is essentially a wrongdoer, and today's naughty person is Don Ridolfo Giuliani. It seems that the Rudester spent several thousands of taxpayer's dollars for security and transportation while he was schtupping Judith Nathan behind his second wife's back. He hid the expenses in small and out-of-the-way City departments. Now the truth starts to emerge, and we need to see just how far it goes before the Rudinator crashes and burns like the fucking Hindenburg.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Odds and Ends

I've been losing weight (down to 183.5 as of this morning), and as a result my usually hyperactive mind is getting sharper and things are flitting by faster. So this post will be just a few glimpses as the carousel spins around.

The GOP candidates for Supreme Generalissimo will be meeting in St. Pete tonight to fling their own dung at each other, masochistically masturbate to pictures of Hilary Clinton and occasionally answer questions put to them in the form of YouTube videos. Here's my question for this group: "When I first saw George W Bush in 1999, I wondered if this was the best that my party could dredge up. With that in mind, why in the name of Bleeding Jesus should I vote for any of you hyenas?"

I'm working on several more contributions for the Spontoon Island website, notably two more 30s-style radio scripts (one a melodrama, the other a comedy) as well as future installments of my long-running Luck of the Dragon serial. It can get interesting in my head at times.

Bush showed up at the opening meeting of the Mideast Summit at Annapolis (best pun - "Annapolis a day keeps the doctoris away!") but only stayed long enough to make a rambling speech and do an awkward photo op. He's leaving the legwork to his trophy chick Condoleezza Rice, who (if I recall) is an expert on the Soviet Union, an entity that no longer exists. Most of the delegates there are not sanguine about the meeting, particularly since the Olmert and Abbas governments are too weak to get any real changes past their respective populations.

General Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan ceded control of the military to his hand-picked successor, who according to NPR is pro-American and wishes to cooperate in the Total War Against Terror. This clears the way for Musharraf to be sworn in as President for another 5 years, which was supposedly the justification for declaring martial law a few weeks ago.

While there is no evidence that Senator Trent Lott (R(acist)-Mississippi) ever performed the Oral Magic upon a goat during a Klan rally back in the 50s or so, it still makes a lovely rumor. Almost as good as the LBJ pigfucker story. "I don't care if it ain't true; I want to hear the sonofabitch deny it."

NBC reported a minor success story from Florida. The population of the Key deer, a dimunitive cousin of the whitetail deer, has rebounded to about 700 or so. It was close to extinction in the 1930s. Roughly the size of a dog, Key deer are cute and some are surprisingly tame, which worries some wildlife officials because what people feed deer is not necessarily what deer need to eat. But at least it's a spot of good news.

Balancing that is the story of a small boy whose mother crashed the car in the desert. He went wandering around (at night, in the desert) and encountered a man who was crossing the desert from Mexico. The man helped the boy, and was deported back to Mexico for his efforts. God bless America, huh?

No-frills skiing trip - where you stand on top of a hill and someone throws you off.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

And Another One Bites The Dust ...

Way back in 2002, as the war drums for the invasion of Iraq rose to a crescendo, the Bush Administration suddenly decided that they needed allies. They didn't necessarily have to fight; they just had to show up and put their names on the list as part of the "Coalition of the Willing" (the fin-de-siecle equivalent of the elder Bush's winning coalition in 1991).

Countries such as Palau and Costa Rica signed up, although Turkey rather rudely rebuffed its NATO ally (especially after Bush offered generous economic incentives, or "bribes"). But the biggest contributors to the debacle in Iraq were (after the United States) the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland.

Now fast forward. Bush lost Spain after the 2004 elections there toppled the sympathetic Prime Minister; PM Blair of the UK was revealed as nothing more than a lapdog and was eventually forced from office.

Poland elected a new Prime Minister, Donald Tusk (who looks a bit tight, but we have to recall that in Alabama the Tusk-aloosa) who has announced that he's pulling the Polish contingent out of the coalition. That leaves ...

Australia, where last night the people went to the polls and turned out the National/Liberal alliance of PM John Howard. The defeat was so comprehensive that, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, Howard may actually lose the Parliamentary seat he's held for the past 33 years.

The orchestra is starting to look like a one-man band.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Early Holiday Depression Episode

A lot of people get depressed over the holidays, and I am no exception. I just try to get it over with early, so I can enjoy my heavily spiked egg nog in relative peace.

Luckily, a series of news items have helped jump-start my depression.


The school board of Polk County, Florida is staking out a new claim as the Stupidest Bunch of People in the Whole Fucking State. A majority of the board are supporters of the creationist "intelligent design" explanation of everything, and they seem to live in a world where the 2005 Kitzmiller decision never happened. Two speakers from a science advocacy group spoke to the board, as did an 8th grade teacher who supports ID. The board ignored the two advocates, prompting one to ask rhetorically, "Do these people want a million-dollar lawsuit?"

Apparently so.


The United States military lured a lot of young people into volunteering for service by offering them signing bonuses of up to $30,000. Now some of those soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are being asked to give that money back because they didn't serve out the full term of their contract.

It's not their fault they couldn't complete their commitments; they were sent back home minus legs, arms, eyes and other parts. But the military wants the money back (I guess so they can offer it to the next crop of kids who want money in exchange for the possibility of getting their parts shot off).


Former Bush Press Secretary Scott McClellan has admitted that he knowingly lied to the press and the American people by feeding them deliberately false information at the behest of his masters in the White House and the Office of the Vice President.

And this is news - how!?

Ever since Ron Ziegler, the American people have always known that the Press Secretary to the President is a lying mouthpiece, a sock puppet, a ventriloquist's dummy who only repeats what the guys in the front office tell him to say. Everyone knew that Tony Snow was a lying fuck; why is it a big surprise that Scotty-Dog's revealed to be one as well?


On the up side, I have my cooking schedule set down (I only have to bring a side dish and a dessert to the dinner tomorrow), and I'm off on Friday so I can work off some of Thanksgiving dinner by doing honest proletarian labor in my garden (it's a trifle overgrown).

Monday, November 19, 2007

This WTF Moment Is Brought To You By The Letter "R"

For "Rape."

CNN has unveiled this amusing little story of the legal and judicio-religious shenanigans going on inside our great and friendly ally, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Allow me to sum up:

In October 2006, a 19-year-old woman and an unidentified man were allegedly assaulted and the woman gang-raped. The court at trial sentenced the woman to 90 lashes as punishment, and gave her jail time. When she protested and went public to the media about it, the judge increased her sentence to 200 lashes and 6 months in jail. When her lawyer protested and took it to the media, he had his attorney's license revoked.

Allow me to repeat:

A woman who was raped was punished by the court, first for being in the same area with an unrelated male (a violation of the Islamic law, or sharia, that is the basis of Saudi jurisprudence), and second for speaking out about the injustice of it.

And these are our allies, ladies and gentlemen.

The mouthpiece du jour for the Bushite Junta made watery statements that they found the decisions "astonishing," but apart from a certain level of viewing with alarm they will do nothing. It's hard to do anything, even criticize, a "friend" who has your balls firmly in their pockets.

One can only hope that the woman and her lawyer can get through this (he has an upcoming hearing that may result in his disbarment and suspension for 3 years).

And I really think we need to start finding some new friends.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Biggest Block Party in Orlando

I'm talking about the Classic, specifically The Florida Classic, fought between Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) and Bethune-Cookman University (BCU). The game's held in the Citrus Bowl stadium in Orlando the weekend before Thanksgiving, and there's a great deal of pride and bragging rights as the prize to be contested over by these two historically black colleges.

Back in 2001, a coworker challenged me to go to the Classic, joking that I'd be the only white person there. Not being one to resist a challenge like that, I immediately went online and bought the last available ticket. To give you an idea of where I sat that night, I was in Row GG, and there is no Row HH (if you want to sit higher, rent a blimp).

But the place was packed to capacity (70,000+), and I thoroughly enjoyed the party; the tailgating all around the stadium, the great food, the game (fought with a great deal of passion), and the rivalry between the two schools' bands, FAMU's Marching 100 and BCU's Marching Wildcats.

I've tried my hardest to be at every game since then.

This year marked the third year in a row for me, and this time I decided to do the thing right. Rather than drive there (two hours in traffic) and drive back afterward (three hours in traffic), I rented a hotel room within walking distance of the stadium, and enjoyed my weekend.

On game day I started off, shrugging away advice that the neighborhood wasn't safe. Not safe? The place was crawling with police, and the general sense of good-fellowship and bonhomie is such that I had nothing to fear. I smiled and waved at FAMU fans (their team's the Rattlers, and I have a thing for snakes), and waved at the Wildcats fans.

It isn't every day you see people showing up in evening gowns and suits for a football game, but a lot of people want to give the event a sense of occasion.

My seat was in the southeast corner, in a direct line with the south goal line and high enough that I could see the whole field without getting a nosebleed. Having forgotten a hat, I bought a FAMU ball cap along with the obligatory T-shirt (I have a good collection of Classic T-shirts now).

And now, the bad news ...

FAMU couldn't seem to do much right; after one particularly good runback after a kickoff, the ball carrier decided to reach for that last little bit of yardage, and fumbled the ball away. Four turnovers on the night, and BCU went on to win the game, 34-7. One guy outside the stadium afterward asked me how the game was (a lot of people can't get in, so they're there to party outside).

I told him it was like chewing my own foot off.

But I'll go again next year. FAMU's Marching 100 will be performing at the Super Bowl next year, and Orlando was estimating that this one weekend pumped about $30 million into the city economy.

Better luck next year, FAMU! Go Rattlers!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Another IDiot

When I attended high school in Florida back in the 70s, the word 'evolution' didn't appear in biology textbooks. Everyone knew what "biological changes over time' meant; they just didn't come out and say it. Now the Florida Department of Education is seeking to change the standards, including actually admitting that such a word as 'evolution' exists. This move has some support.

Unfortunately, Polk County School Board member Kay Fields objects because the schools will not be teaching 'intelligent design' alongside evolution.

I direct Ms. Fields' attention to the court decision in Kitzmiller v Dover, in which the judge in the case (by the way, a conservative Republican and Bush appointee - effectively squelching all talk of "activist judges") pointed out that even the 'intelligent design' experts and apologists admitted, under oath, that the putative 'designer' was the God of Christianity. Therefore, the judge concluded, 'intelligent design' was just as blatant an attempt to establish religion in the public schools as 'creation science' was twenty years ago.

You see, 'intelligent design' turns the scientific method on its head by stating a conclusion, then finding evidence to support that conclusion without changing the conclusion in any way. Evolution, on the other hand, started out with a theory, then evidence was gathered to support the theory (altering the theory as needed) and ending with a conclusion, Any new evidence can alter the conclusion, or discard it entirely.

There is no "teaching the controversy" or "both sides" to this; one is religion, the other science.

I want to applaud Ms. Fields' efforts to further degrade the education system in our county. Only through continued obscurantism to muzzle science and mindless rote memorization to pass standardized tests can we achieve -

That's the question, isn't it? What is Ms. Fields trying to achieve here?

Good News?

The Pentagon, the CentCom leadership in Iraq and the al-Maliki Government are trumpeting the news that the level of violence and the killings in Iraq have gone down, and therefore some of the troops that went over as the "Surge" earlier this year can now be rotated home.

This is all very good news.

Now, if it were only true ...

You see, the troops would have to start coming home now anyway, as part of their standard rotation schedule. As for the level of violence going down, well, the al-Maliki Government, CentCom and the Pentagon have about as much credibility now as any other branch office of the Bushite Junta.

Which is to say, None At All.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bang, You're Dead

An interesting article in the Daily Mail caught my eye, regarding recent US Navy maneuvers in the sea between southern Japan and Taiwan.

You see, the United States Navy had an aircraft carrier battle group centered on the carrier USS Kitty Hawk operating in the area. An aircraft carrier never goes anywhere alone; it always has a gaggle of escorts (up to a dozen or so, including attack submarines) that are equipped with the latest in state-of-the-art sonar and other detection equipment.

Some of the escort ships are specifically built to hunt subs.

So what happens?

The Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy decides to crash the party. Without being detected, a Song-class attack submarine surfaced in the heart of the formation, within firing range of the Kitty Hawk.

Let me stress that.

Without being detected.

The 160-foot long Song class is not a nuclear sub - it's powered by diesels and electric motors, and when it's on electric drive it's very hard to detect. Other nations have similar boats in their inventory, notably Russia and Iran (which uses, I believe, a variant of the Russian Kilo-class).

But to slip through the escort cordon to get within firing range of the battle group's flagship - that shows either supreme incompetence on the part of a hell of a lot of sailors (which I seriously doubt) or the fact that the Chinese have been working on making their subs quieter.

Silence, you see, is the key to an attack sub. The usual expression is that the sub becomes "a hole in the water" so it can sneak up on the target and kill it.

Needless to say, there is probably a lot of midnight oil burning at the Pentagon and the various defense research labs.

Veteran's Day - How Long, O Lord, How Long?

How long must we sit through the blasphemy of watching George Bush and Dick Cheney "honor" our fighting men and women - when they couldn't be bothered to serve themselves?

Bush basically went the Dan Quayle route to get out of Southeast Asia. He opted for the Alabama Air National Guard, and of course, either was too drunk or too busy smooching asses for his father to fulfil his committments.

Cheney, on the other hand, accepted not one, but FIVE draft deferments to avoid serving in the military during Vietnam. In his defense he only said that he had "prior commitments."

A commitment more important than fighting for your country, Cheney? When the need was perceived to be dire, against a truly existential enemy (international Communism)?

And don't give me that "Clinton did it, too!" blather. True, Clinton didn't serve either.

But if Clinton jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?


On previous Veteran's Day posts I usually put up a bit of poetry from the First World War (from a time when poetry still spoke to the masses). Here's a poem from the Vietnam War, written by Danny L. Crafton:








God bless our veterans, of all wars.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Distracter-in-Chief

A post on Crooks and Liars (great name for a blog, by the way) posits that George W Bush is doing such a good job of lowering our moral standing, besmirching our reputation, crippling our military and foreign policy, and destroying our economy that it would make sense if he were acting as the paid agent of some foreign power or organization.

I disagree.

It's not Bush.

I saw an interview of Bush back in 1999 and shook my head. No way, no way in Hell that this idiot could become President.

Well, I've been wrong before.

A ways back in this blog I referred to Bush as Johnny Iselin, the bombastic but otherwise clueless Senator from the movie The Manchurian Candidate and played with great verve by James Gregory. Iselin's antics acted as a distraction while the Communist plot to subvert the United States Government from within was carried out.

Bush is a distraction, put into office by design to distract our attention away from where the real power is being wielded and the malevolent designs are being brought to fruition.

Look at the people around Bush, more specifically the people in the rows behind the front rank, and you'll see who I mean. Better yet, look at who's standing behind the Vice President, the bloated Richard Cheney.

Neoconservatives who want power so badly that they're willing to wreck our system in order to erect a new one "that will make martial law seem like anarchy" (a great line, caressed by the loving lips of Angela Lansbury in the movie). Almost Trotskyite in their zeal to "spread democracy" with tons of bombs and the blood of our fighting men and women, and almost Stalinist in their drive for greater power and secrecy.

Add to their number those who might consider their libertarian views 'utopian,' but use it as a cover to destroy our faith in government by privatizing it and letting so-called 'market forces' drive policy. Hey boys, news flash - the underlying purpose of government - ALL government - is to protect its citizens. Or have you forgotten Katrina?

Then there's the theocratic element, and I really don't have enough vitriol on this very pretty day to expend on them. As seriously dysfunctional as this country is, the LAST thing we need is a state religion. If that ever occured, it'd be a great idea if we asked some state with a little maturity (like France) to kindly look after our nuclear arsenal until we've got things sorted out.

Anyway, just my opinion.

An Autumn Interlude

Unfortunately, here in Florida there are roughly two seasons; one is summer, the other isn't. So this picture is courtesy of my trip to Germany last October.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Quotable Quote

"Fools are to be more feared than knaves."

- Queen Christina of Sweden, c. 1650

Cue Up "The Godfather" Music, Maestro

Don Ridolfo Giuliani, the onetime Mayor of New York, is running for President. He was an advocate for gay rights, even living with a gay couple while going through his second divorce; he advocated gun control, and espoused various other causes that others might pronounce 'liberal.' His domestic arrangements have not smacked of marital stability, and some of his decisions as Mayor leave much to be desired.*

*(For those of you following along, he failed to give the FDNY and NYPD the proper radios after the 1993 WTC attack, moved the NYC emergency operations center to a known terrorist target, ran scared during the attack, tried to violate the city bylaws and the state Constitution by postponing mayoral elections, and the list goes on.)

But he's running for President of the United States now, as a Republican. Which means he's trying desperately to be all holier-than-my-opponent, anti-gay and in favor of giving blind people guns. And, since he's trying to appeal to the American Taliban and al-Qaeda (the rancid, mouldering "base" of the GOP), he's glossed over his two divorces and the fact that he practically flaunted his mistress (now Wife #3) in his wife's face. His own children won't support his campaign.

Now, when a person gets a Potomac jones, they start to act all weird, saying and doing things that normally they wouldn't do or say in a thousand years. I think it's like some of the GOP Reps. and Seantors we've read about lately - the testosterone rises, blood and semen backs up into the brain, and they Go All Funny.

Don Ridolfo scored a bit of an endorsement yesterday when G. "Pat" Robertson, Grand Ayatollah of the American Taliban (who doesn't need to share the title with Jerry Falwell any longer) came out in support of his Presidential bid.

Heh, heh. "Came out." How ironically appropos.

Ayatollah Robertson is notable for wanting to assassinate foreign leaders from Moammar Qaddafi to Hugo Chavez (incidentally, a business client of Giuliani's lobbying firm), and for blaming the terrorist attacks on 9/11 on the ACLU and gays. Hey, Robo-Pat, I'm a member of the ACLU, and I didn't see that on the meeting agenda that week. Find a new scapegoat to flay, motherfucker.

Which brings me to the theme music for "The Godfather." What did Rudy kiss in order to get Pat's endorsement? His ring, or his ass?

Monday, November 05, 2007

It's A Truism ...

... That your friends will screw you over faster and more severely than your enemies ever could, and will laugh at you while they do it. This axiom is borne out whenever a guy passes out drunk and his buddies wrap him in pallet wrap and put him in a sheep pen.

Not, of course, that there's anything wrong with that.

However, on to other things.

The Bushite Junta's constant screeching about Iran's Nuku-Lar Ambitions has reached such a pitch that it almost drowned out the report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that concluded that Iran apparently isn't working on a bomb. Of course, Bush and his enablers have only listened to the UN and its various agencies when it suited them, so expect this to be pooh-poohed (if it hasn't already).

From the BBC we read that the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, all friends of ours by the way - have made Iran an offer.

And not just any offer! There's no Ginsu knives involved.

The GCC is willing to give Iran enriched uranium for its power plants, as much as it needs, provided it's just used to generate power. The explanation is that they want to avoid a nuclear arms race in the region, certainly a laudable goal.

Prince Saud of Saudi Arabia, one of the GCC reps, said that he felt the US wouldn't be hostile to the idea. Such innocence is very touching in the hardheaded, pragmatic House of Saud.

This is similar to another offer made by Russia that went nowhere after a few preliminary talks, and this offer may meet the same fate. But it's a great way to undercut Bush and Cheney's verbal diarrhea.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A Real Menace

The Bush Administration wants to bomb Iran.

They've talked about it and lusted after it, hungering to see tons of ordnance blowing up and listening to bereft women and children wailing in Farsi. They almost orgasmed in public over the very concept of attacking Iran.


Why, to stop their nuclear ambitions and their terroristic depredations in the democratic paradise that is Iraq, that's why!

And those are their main talking points. I didn't buy their bullshit when they were going on about Iraq and Saddam in 2002; I'm not buying it about Iran and Ahmadinejad in 2007. Not working; ain't gonna happen.

Oh, and the BBC have reported that Iran is trying to broker a cease-fire between Turkey and Iraq over the PKK. Gee, kind of giving the lie to the Bushite rhetoric, huh?

But there is a real menace out there. An unstable country, with a military regime, religious strife, and an arsenal of nuclear weapons and missiles capable of striking Israel and our bases in Iraq and the Persian Gulf.

And the name of this menace?

Pakistan, the country in Southwest Asia to the east of Iran. The Head Motherfucker-in-Charge there, General-President Pervez Musharraf, has suspended the country's constitution, put troops around the broadcasting centers, shut down independent media, and locked up the Chief Justice of the country's Supreme Court and ten other judges in the Supreme Court building. And why has he done this? Well you may ask. The Supreme Court was about to rule on the legality of Musharraf's election campaign. So here we have a country teetering on the brink of failure, with actual Honest Injun nukes, and what is our government doing about it?

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

In English this question is, "Who watches the watchers?" and is a very important question to ask.

Who makes sure that the police obey the laws they are tasked to enforce?

Who makes sure that the government doesn't screw us all over?

Who -

Wait a minute.

Check back to the second question. It's an extremely important question to ask, in this day and age.

It seems likely that Michael Mukasey will, in fact, be endorsed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, despite his vague waffling on whether waterboarding is torture and his refusal to say that the President of the United States isn't above the law of the land. In any ordinary universe, all 10 Democrats on the Committee would give Mukasey and Bush the great green weenie and tell them both to sit and spin on it. Unfortunately, Mukasey's name was suggested by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-Rentboi) who then managed to convince Diane Feinstein (D-Dumbass) to follow along. One wonders what kind of quid pro quo was involved (although I shudder to think there might be a video involved somewhere).

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is an agency of the government charged with inspecting products and keeping us safe, an important task in our increasingly industrialized and packaged world. Well, come to find out that workers on the CPSC have accepted favors, including air fare, from the very industries they're supposed to be watching. Again, quid pro quo applies - you do not get something for nothing.

I'm just very glad I don't have children, although I worry about my nieces and nephews sometimes.


I didn't do a Halloween post back on Wednesday, so I want to wish everyone out there a very belated Blessed Samhain, and hope that the Goddess' blessings will be on you through the next year.