Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holiday Cheer, Right-Wing Style

Well, I sincerely hope that all of you out there in Cyberland and the great Blogiverse had a good holiday.

It almost didn't turn out good for the passengers on Northwest Flight 253, from Amsterdam to Detroit. To put things in a nutshell, a radicalized rich Nigerian kid tried to set off a bomb (liquid PETN) in his underwear. The bomb fizzled, burning him, and the other passengers beat his sorry ass until the plane landed in Detroit.

So now the cranky loser rich Nigerian kid is now a cranky loser Federal inmate. Interestingly, the usual Right-wing screeches of "endangering America by having terrorists on our soil" are strangely silent.

Instead we hear screams from complete idiots that we need to start profiling Muslims at airports.

"They do it for El Al," they say.

Well, maybe so. But we are not Israel. For an example, I don't read this blog right to left, okay?

But, the pundits argue, it's a simple matter - find anyone with a Muslim name and cut them out of the line, take them in the Green Room and have them body-searched.

Anyone with a Muslim name.

Three words, kiddo: John. Walker. Lindh.

Remember him? The "American Taliban," caught bearing arms against his country in Afghanistan, and now serving time in Federal prison? Change his skin color, and you have Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

And - bonus round! - here's two more words: Richard. Reid.

Al Qaeda and other terror groups are recruiting people who look just like you and me, folks. And what kind of "Muslim" name is John, or Richard? Everyone knows that airport security is a complete and total illusion, a comforting illusion to be sure. But it's all smoke and moonshine, designed to make people feel safe. As long as they have that perception, they'll submit to the vast Stanford Experiment that is the Transportation Security Administration.

As usual, the Right is knee-jerking, reacting instead of acting. All the airport officials had to do was follow the arrows on this idiot:

1. He paid at the ticket counter. In cash.
2. He had no luggage.

Those two things alone should have won him a first-class ticket to the Green Room.

And we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

And Now, A Twisted Christmas Tradition

Now, it's in public domain, so you can watch this travesty for free online.

The 1964 Pia Zadora vehicle, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, can now be watched here in its entirety!

Shield your eyes, and soak up the weirdness.

You Kind of Expect This

Actually, quite a fine PBS Frontline special on the birth and growth of the Great Borg Religion (that's uh, Christianity for you fundies out there).

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Rant, Preparatory to the Closing of the Year

"The inadequate and biased transmission of news, and the profitable dissemination of nonsense, barred the general public from any intelligent or concerted participation in politics, and made democracy impossible."

This little pearl of wisdom is from the historian-philosopher William Durant in his book The Age of Reason Begins (Simon and Schuster, 1961, p. 578). He's describing the burden faced by the newspaper-reading public ... in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.

That's about three hundred years ago, folks.

Proof that there is truly nothing new under the sun. The media will always skew things, and people must have the critical thinking skills to weed through the maze of stupidity and contradictions in order to arrive at an informed decision.

This was Thomas Jefferson's dream, an informed electorate.

But now we have Fox News, AM radio and stupidity-spewing websites like Drudge, New Republic and others. All are cleverly designed to stop people from thinking - how else can you see a summer filled with people who protest higher taxes ... on the rich? How else can you get otherwise sane people to believe in complete absurdities?

Sometimes I despair for my nation's future.

I recently saw a picture of the Apollo 11 landing site, taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. You can see the tracks Armstrong and Aldrin made in the lunar soil, and you realize with a swelling heart that a scant forty years ago we were giants.

Giants, I tell you.

Despite the wars we were fighting and the domestic troubles we faced, we had the vision to explore, to reach out and plant a footprint on our nearest neighbor in the Solar System. Although an American flag was planted there, we didn't do it solely for national pride. For that reason the plaque on Eagle's leg says "We came in peace for all mankind."

(I shall now speak in generalities. Anyone offended by this, well, mutato nomine, de te fabula narratur.)

We don't have that vision any longer. We don't have the will to forestall environmental catastrophe; we don't have the will to take care of our sick or our poor; a growing number of our citizens no longer have the capacity to think critically enough to look past the bright shiny things dangled before their eyes.

We have mistaken technology for science.

We have decided that our children can get along without education.

We have decided to leave our poor and sick behind.

We have decided to be ruled by Fear, rather than by Intellect, because thinking is too difficult.

That's all I have so far. I'll think of worse things to say before the New Year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


The Sun Shines a Tad Brighter

I saw this while trawling news websites, and I said "Hooray!" out loud.

If you'll recall, way back in the 80s or so Oral (fun name, by the way) demanded a huge amount of money or God would "call him home."

He got his millions.

Now if only God would "call home" the final member of the Triumvirate of the Crazed, Marion G. "Pat" Robertson.

It's Time to Castrate Joe Lieberman

Quite literally, as well as figuratively.

Let's be honest here - the only reason the Democratic 'leadership' in the US Senate drops to their knees and licks Senator Joe Lieberman (I-can'tbelievehe'sstillhere)'s sweaty pinto bean-sized balls is that he's the Magic Number.

He makes 60 Senators who could conceivably ram any piece of legislation down the GOP's collective throat, and all Sen. Bitch - er, Mitch - McConnell (R-FrogWattles) will be able to do about is run crying to Joe Boehner for a hug.

It's the reason the 'leadership' kept him in his committee chairmanship, even though - despite - Lieberman's support for John "You Kids Get Off My Lawn!" McCain in the 2008 election.

So, what has the Connecticut Quisling gone and done this time?

Well, in the headlong rush to emasculate any whiff of meaningful health care reform in this country for at least the next twenty years, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel applied pressure to Senator Harry Reid - probably by threatening to take away his teddy bear - to bend over at the waist, drop his trousers, and let Lieberman have his way with the Majority Leader from Nevada.

It was bad enough having to deal with the conservative wing of the Democratic Party (and yes, children, there is one). Now they have to deal with the Quisling.

So, what to do?

It is times like this that I could make a few suggestions to Reid, preceded by a Marlon Brando Godfather-esque bitch slap and the roar, "YOU CAN ACT LIKE A MAN!" I would suggest, at the start, castrating Lieberman figuratively by stripping him of his committee chairs and basically ostracizing him, then throwing all possible support to any contender he might have in the next election.

Then I'd waylay him in a dark corner of the Capitol Building, throw a bag over his head and drag him off to the basement of the White House - where Karl Rove used to keep his leather slave.

One night there ought to bring Lieberman around, or reduce him to what he should be - a gibbering eunuch.

Cue the Christmas Bongos!

Christ Climbed Down
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1958)

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
there were no rootless Christmas trees
hung with candycanes and breakable stars

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
there were no gilded Christmas trees
and no tinsel Christmas trees
and no tinfoil Christmas trees
and no pink plastic Christmas trees
and no gold Christmas trees
and no black Christmas trees
and no powderblue Christmas trees
hung with electric candles
and encircled by tin electric trains
and clever cornball relatives

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
no intrepid Bible salesmen
covered the territory
in two-tone cadillacs
and where no Sears Roebuck creches
complete with plastic babe in manger
arrived by parcel post
the babe by special delivery
and where no televised Wise Men
praised the Lord Calvert Whiskey

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
no fat handshaking stranger
in a red flannel suit
and a fake white beard
went around passing himself off
as some sort of North Pole saint
crossing the desert to Bethlehem
in a Volkswagen sled
drawn by rollicking Adirondack reindeer
with German names
and bearing sacks of Humble Gifts
from Saks Fifth Avenue
for everybody's imagined Christ child

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and ran away to where
no Bing Crosby carollers
groaned of a tight Christmas
and where no Radio City angels
iceskated wingless
thru a winter wonderland
into a jinglebell heaven
daily at 8:30
with Midnight Mass matinees

Christ climbed down
from His bare Tree
this year
and softly stole away into
some anonymous Mary's womb again
where in the darkest night
of everybody's anonymous soul
He awaits again
an unimaginable
and impossibly
Immaculate Reconception
the very craziest of
Second Comings

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

epic fail pictures
see more Epic Fails

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Luck of the Draw

Yesterday (Friday), the nabobs of FIFA gathered to draw lots and determine who will play who in the World Cup, to be held starting next June 11th in South Africa. Let's see where the chips fell, okay?

Group A: South Africa (host), Mexico, Uruguay, France
South Africa automatically qualified as the host side, and they do have a good chance in this group. However, Mexico is a powerhouse in the CONCACAF, and may make things difficult. I am watching to see if karma is lying in wait for France. Washing out of the first round would be sweet justice for Thierry Henry's handball against Ireland.

Group B: Argentina, Nigeria, South Korea, Greece
I watched Greece play a match or two in the last Cup, as well as in the UEFA Euro tournament. They're steady and even a bit boring. Argentina is flashy, so it'll be an interesting matchup.

Group C: England, USA, Algeria, Slovenia
Best chance we've had in years. Expect another six months of reminders that we beat England 1-0 the first time we met in the World Cup, back in 1950. An excellent chance for Team USA to advance to the second round.

Group D: Germany, Australia, Serbia, Ghana
Ouch. Not quite the Group of Death, but close enough. Germany has a good record in championship play, but Ghana is a strong side in Africa. Ought to be fun to watch (I recall watching Serbia play back in 2006, and watched the fans dancing around bonfires - in the stands).

Group E: Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Cameroon
Netherlands is third-ranked in the FIFA standings, and has come in #2 in the Cup final. Expect good matches in this group.

Group F: Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia
I can only hope that Paraguay and Slovakia manage to keep the Azurri out of the second round. It's what the divers deserve, really.

Group G: Brazil, North Korea, Ivory Coast, Portugal
The Group of Death, plain and simple. Brazil's a powerhouse and a perennial contender, with Cote d'Ivoire being the strong second in the group. When these two meet, you can expect some good play. North Korea will be a bit creampuffy, and Portugal can be competitive.

Group H: Spain, Switzerland, Honduras, Chile
Spain will likely win this group, in my opinion, with Honduras hard on their heels. Honduras and Chile don't share a border, so we won't expect war to break out if either side washes out of the first round.

Team USA opens against England on June 12, 2010. It'll be fun!