Tag Archives: news

A Tale of Two Countries…


The king was a vain, insecure man. A vicious brute who would last out and murder his critics. A small man trying to be big. He built monuments to himself and his glory.

And when the Kingdom of Heaven was at his doorstep, challenging his insecurities, calling him to a better path, he did what all small, insecure men do, he bullied the weak, the powerless, and the helpless.

He stole their children.

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:

18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted,
Because they are no more.”

The Kingdom of Heaven, if there is such a thing anymore, still calls out. It still stands on the doorstep. It still challenges venal, insecure brutes to let go and act to help the weak, the powerless, and the helpless.

And wicked tyrants still lash out at the vulnerable.

So it goes…

But please, do tell me of your good Christian virtues and how God anointed this pathetic waste of a human soul to lead this country to ‘greatness’.

War…


And so we lob more missiles at another country. By “we”, of course, I mean the President. We weren’t asked our opinion on the matter. Neither were our representatives, you know, the people who are actually supposed to be the ones who declare war.

Oh, I know, it’s not ‘war’, it’s a ‘limited action’.

And I know it’s not just this President who feels that he can unilaterally bomb the shit out of foreign countries for any reason. It sucked when the last five presidents did it. It sucks now.

Now I’m not an Assad or Putin lover or defender. Assad is a war criminal and he deserves the business end of a noose.

But maybe we should have a national discussion about whether or not we should be the ones bringing him to that noose. If it’s in our best interest. If there’s a better way to do it. If there’s a better solution for the innocent people of Syria. Like maybe letting more than 11 of them come to America as refugees.

And that’s the point, really. Our Congress should be the one making these decisions. And I know Paul Ryan claims that the 2001 AUMF allowed Bush Jr., Obama, and Trump to do whatever the fuck they wanted, but that argument doesn’t pass the bullshit test.

I don’t know…

I think the American people are so apathetic about what is being done in their name because we’re 150 years removed from the horrors of war being visited upon our own soil, we’re 70 years removed from the privations of war, and we’re 50 years removed from large numbers of flag draped coffins filled with dead conscripts coming home.

War is something that happens over there now. We all sit, fat, happy, and secure that it will never be our neighborhoods that will be shelled, our children who will never be blown to bits, and our blood that will never be spilled.

War is a news story. Nothing more. The innocent dead are easily forgotten by the time Wheel of Fortune comes on.

Being white…


http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/its-okay-to-be-white-right-wing-culture-warriors-seek-to-prove-anti-white-racism/

 

I think they miss the point. It’s not “okay” to be white. It’s f***ing great.

Seriously, it is.

I’m a white, straight, CIS, nominally Christian male and holy crap, did I hit the jackpot being born in America.

The police don’t bother me. They don’t pull me over because of my skin color. They don’t stop and frisk me because I “look like a criminal.” They don’t shoot at me or my kids. They even call me “Sir” and don’t assume I’m a criminal when they look at me.

Everyone in power cares about what I have to say, since I’m also in that age demographic of 35-45.

I see positive representations of me everywhere in the media. If there’s a hero in a movie, he probably looks like I would look if I had six months of a personal trainer and dietician.

Hell, even in books, the white male hero can be nebbish and bookish and still kick ass. Thanks, Dan Brown and Tom Hanks.

I get more call backs for job interviews. I get more credit offers. Heck, even after a bankruptcy, they kept coming with 0% financing, would you also like a car loan, Sir? Can I get you a house too?

And I can live just about anywhere without racist shitheads harassing me or attacking and killing my son for walking in the neighborhood carrying Skittles and iced tea.

Nobody would object to me dating their daughter simply because of my skin tone.

When people look at me, they don’t cross the street if I’m walking towards them. They make positive judgments about me.

I’m not harassed at work or on the street. I’m not grabbed at by horny assholes. No one has ever called me into a meeting and exposed their genitals to me.

No one has ever passed a law specifically for me telling me where to pee.

And that is all fucking great.

For all the other problems in my life, those things are great.

The problem is that none of this would be true if I were born to a black couple.

Or a Latino couple.

Or if I were born gay.

Or if I were born trans.

Or if I were a Muslim

Or a Jew.

Or even a woman.

And that is the point.

So maybe instead of making life all about ME ME ME ME ME… we should start to put ourselves into the shoes of other people. People with different lives, different experiences. People who have experienced things I have not. And perhaps we should have compassion.

And more than compassion, perhaps we should get angry at the injustice that not everyone has what I’ve been given simply by an accident of birth. Perhaps we should stand with them and work for and educate others to pursue justice and basic human dignity and equality for all.

So…


I’ve woken up, has some coffee, and am reading the news sites…

timeline

Great, America. You did it. You finally really did it. You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

Jesus Christ, people…

What the fuck is wrong with you?

Oh, come on…


Contrary to what some of my friends might think, this doesn’t upset me. It’s only natural, after all, that people with a strong interest might want to visit a dating site where they can find people who share that interest. And while I may think that it’s far too easy for people to get their hands on a lethal instrument of death and are gun laws and enforcement are criminally lax, I’m not opposed to people finding true love.

No, what disappoints me is that they didn’t go with calling their site: E-arm-ony: Your best shot at finding true love.

Come on, guys, it was right there.

Quote of the Day – Joseph Heller


This happens to be one of my favorite books and this passage is one of my favorite in the book.

I am reminded of it whenever I read stories of people getting angry or angry rants on social media because someone refuses to say the Pledge or sing the national anthem.

When fellow administrative officers expressed astonishment at Colornel Cathcart’s choice of Major Major, Captain Black muttered that there was something funny going on; when they speculated on the political value of Major Major’s resemblance to Henry Fonda, Captain Black asserted that Major Major really was Henry Fonda; and when they remarked that Major Major was somewhat odd, Captain Black announced that he was a Communist.

“They’re taking over everything,” he declared rebelliously. “Well, you fellows can stand around and let them if you want to, but I’m not going to. I’m going to do something about it. From now on I’m going to make every son of a bitch who comes to my intelligence tent sign a loyalty oath. And I’m not going to let that bastard Major Major sign one even if he wants to.”

Almost overnight the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was in full flower, and Captain Black was enraptured to discover himself spearheading it. He had really hit on something. All the enlisted men and officers on combat duty had to sign a loyalty oath to get their map cases from the intelligence tent, a second loyalty oath to receive their flak suits and parachutes from the parachute tent, a third loyalty oath for Lieutenant Balkington, the motor vehicle officer, to be allowed to ride from the squadron to the airfield in one of the trucks. Every time they turned around there was another loyalty oath to be signed. They signed a loyalty oath to get their pay from the finance officer, to obtain their PX supplies, to have their hair cut by the Italian barbers. To Captain Black, every officer who supported his Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a competitor, and he planned and plotted twenty-four hours a day to keep one step ahead. He would stand second to none in his devotion to country. When other officers had followed his urging and introduced loyalty oaths of their own, he went them one better by making every son of a bitch who came to his intelligence tent sign two loyalty oaths, then three, then four; then he introduced the pledge of allegiance, and after that “The Star-Spangled Banner,” one chorus, two choruses, three choruses, four choruses. Each time Captain Black forged ahead of his competitors, he swung upon them scornfully for their failure to follow his example. Each time they followed his example, he retreated with concern and racked his brain for some new stratagem that would enable him to turn upon them scornfully again.

Without realizing how it had come about, the combat men in the squadron discovered themselves dominated by the administrators appointed to serve them. They were bullied, insulted, harassed and shoved about all day long by one after the other. When they voiced objection, Captain Black replied that people who were loyal would not mind signing all the loyalty oaths they had to. To anyone who questioned the effectiveness of the loyalty oaths, he replied that people who really did owe allegiance to their country would be proud to pledge it as often as he forced them to. And to anyone who questioned the morality, he replied that “The Star-Spangled Banner” was the greatest piece of music ever composed. The more loyalty oaths a person signed, the more loyal he was; to Captain Black it was as simple as that, and he had Corporal Kolodny sign hundreds with his name each day so that he could always prove he was more loyal than anyone else.

“The important thing is to keep them pledging,” he explained to his cohorts. “It doesn’t matter whether they mean it or not. That’s why they make little kids pledge allegiance even before they know what ‘pledge’ and ‘allegiance’ means.”

To Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren, the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a glorious pain in the ass, since it complicated their task of organizing the crews for each combat mission. Men were tied up all over the squadron signing, pledging and singing, and the missions took hours longer to get under way. Effective emergency action became impossible, but Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren were both too timid to raise any outcry against Captain Black, who scrupulously enforced each day the doctrine of “Continual Reaffirmation” that he had originated, a doctrine designed to trap all those men who had become disloyal since the last time they had signed a loyalty oath the day before. It was Captain Black who came with advice to Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren as they pitched about in their bewildering predicament. He came with a delegation and advised them bluntly to m ake each man sign a loyalty oath before allowing him to fly on a combat mission.

“Of course, it’s up to you,” Captain Black pointed out. “Nobody’s trying to pressure you. But everyone else is making them sign loyalty oaths, and it’s going to look mighty funny to the F.B.I. if you two are the only ones who don’t care enough about your country to make them sign loyalty oaths, too. If you want to get a bad reputation, that’s nobody’s business but your own. All we’re trying to do is help.”

Milo was not convinced and absolutely refused to deprive Major Major of food, even if Major Major was a Communist, which Milo secretly doubted. Milo was by nature opposed to any innovation that threatened to disrupt the normal course of affairs. Milo took a firm moral stand and absolutely refused to participate in the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade until Captain Black called upon him with his delegation and requested him to.

“National defense is everybody’s job,” Captain Black replied to Milo’s objection. “And this whole program is voluntary, Milo – don’t forget that. The men don’t have to sign Piltchard and Wren’s loyalty oath if they don’t want to. But we need you to starve them to death if they don’t. It’s just like Catch-22. Don’t you get it? You’re not against Catch-22, are you?”

Doc Daneeka was adamant.

“What makes you so sure Major Major is a Communist?”

“You never heard him denying it until we began accusing him, did you? And you don’t see him signing any of our loyalty oaths.”

“You aren’t letting him sign any.”

“Of course not,” Captain Black explained. “That would defeat the whole purpose of our crusade. Look, you don’t have to play ball with us if you don’t want to. But what’s the point of the rest of us working so hard if you’re going to give Major Major medical attention the minute Milo begins starving him to death? I just wonder what they’re going to think up at Group about the man who’s undermining our whole security program. They’ll probably transfer you to the Pacific.”

Doc Daneeka surrendered swiftly. “I’ll go tell Gus and Wes to do whatever you want them to.”

Up at Group, Colonel Cathcart had already begun wondering what was going on.

“It’s that idiot Black off on a patriotism binge,” Colonel Korn reported with a smile. “I think you’d better play ball with him for a while, since you’re the one who promoted Major Major to squadron commander.”

“That was your idea,” Colonel Cathcart accused him petulantly. “I never should have let you talk me into it.”

“And a very good idea it was, too,” retorted Colonel Korn, “since it eliminated that superfluous major that’s been giving you such an awful black eye as an administrator. Don’t worry, this will probably run its course soon. The best thing to do now is send Captain Black a letter of total support and hope he drops dead before he does too much damage.” Colonel Korn was struck with a whimsical thought. “I wonder! You don’t suppose that imbecile will try to turn Major Major out of his trailer, do you?”

“The next thing we’ve got to do is turn that bastard Major Major out of his trailer,” Captain Black decided. “I’d like to turn his wife and kids out into the woods, too. But we can’t. He has no wife and kids. So we’ll just have to make do with what we have and turn him out. Who’s in charge of the tents?”

“He is.”

“You see?” cried Captain Black. “They’re taking over everything! Well, I’m not going to stand for it. I’ll take this matter right to Major —— de Coverley himself if I have to. I’ll have Milo speak to him about it the minute he gets back from Rome.”

Captain Black had boundless faith in the wisdom, power and justice of Major —— de Coverley, even though he had never spoken to him before and still found himself without the courage to do so. He deputized Milo to speak to Major —— de Coverley for him and stormed out impatiently as he waited for the tall executive officer to return. Along with everyone else in the squadron, he lived in profound awe and reverence of the majestic, white-haired major with the craggy face and Jehovan bearing, who came back from Rome finally with an inuured eye inside a new celluloid eye patch and smashed his whole Glorious Crusade to bits with a single stroke.

Milo carefully said nothing when Major —— de Coverley stepped into the mess hall with his fierce and austere dignity the day he returned and found his way blocked by a wall of officers waiting in line to sign loyalty oaths. At the far end of the food counter, a group of men who had arrived earlier were pledging allegiance to the flag, with trays of food balanced in one hand, in order to be allowed to take seats at the table. Already at the tables, a group that had arrived still earlier was singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in order that they might use the salt and pepper and ketchup there. The hubub began to subside slowly as Major —— de Coverley paused in the doorway with a frown of puzzled disapproval, as though viewing something bizarre. He started forward in a straight line, and the wall of officers before him parted like the Red Sea. Glancing neither left nor right, he strode indomitably up to the steam counter and, in a clear, full-bodied voice that was gruff with age and resonant with ancient eminence and authority, said:

“Gimme eat.”

Instead of eat, Corporal Snark gave Major —— de Coverley a loyalty oath to sign. Major —— de Coverley swept it away with mighty displeasure the moment he recognized what it was, his good eye flaring up blindingly with fiery disdain and his enormous old corrugated face darkening in mountainous wrath.

“Gimme eat, I said,” he ordered loudly in harsh tones that rumbled ominously through the silent tent like claps of distant thunder.

Corporal Snark turned pale and began to tremble. He glanced toward Milo pleadingly for guidance. For several terrible seconds there was not a sound. Then Milo nodded.

“Give him eat,” he said.

Corporal Snark began giving Major —— de Coverley eat. Major —— de Coverley turned from the counter with his tray full and came to a stop. His eyes fell on the groups of other officers gazing at him in mute appeal, and, with righteous belligerence, he roared:

“Give everybody eat!”

“Give everybody eat!” Milo echoed with joyful relief, and the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade came to an end.

Go buy the book. It is well worth the money.

How Welfare reform works (Maine edition)


Scene: The beautiful state of Maine:

Citizen: “I’m poor and need to eat. Please help me.”

Maine: “F*** you!”

(six months later)

Maine: “The number of our welfare recipients has fallen! Thus there are no more hungry people! Therefore, our reform plan was an unmitigated success!”

 

Citizen: “I’m still hungry…”

 

Maine: “An unmitigated success…”

“But I’m pro-life!” (rimshot)


HUGH HEWITT: Could you order air strikes that would kill innocent children by not the scores, but the hundreds and the thousands? Could you wage war as a commander-in-chief?

CARSON: [L]ater on, you know, they really realize what’s going on. And by the same token, you have to be able to look at the big picture and understand that it’s actually merciful if you go ahead and finish the job, rather than death by 1,000 pricks.

(Sings) Jesus loves the little child-ren. All the children of the world…

HEWITT: So you are OK with the deaths of thousands of innocent children and civilian? It’s like…

CARSON: You got it. You got it.

(Continues singing) bloody, broken, black and blue, we are bombing all of you!

“That is what war… can you be as ruthless as Churchill was in prosecuting the Nazis?” Hewitt pressed on.

(Singing) Jesus loves the little children of the world… except the Muslims…

If…


If this 353rd mass shooting had been committed by Bob from Accounting instead of Syed, Republicans would have already told us to move on and would have forgotten about it.

A few minor corrections…


Dr. Ben Carson gave this statement today to the press regarding the revelation that despite his claims to the contrary, he did not receive a full scholarship to West Point:
“Thank you all for coming. At the advice of my campaign manager and our legal team, I would like to clear up a few misconceptions about my past.

“To start with, contrary to claims made in my autobiography, I did not single-handedly stop a group of international terrorists from killing hostages at the Nakatomi building. That was the fictional character John McLane. I apologize to Mr. Bruce Willis and would like to say that I truly enjoy his movies, including Blind Date… which is also a lie. Nobody enjoyed Blind Date.

“Secondly, on page 257, where I said, I was the daring X-wing pilot that fired the proton torpedoes that destroyed the Death Star. That is also factually incorrect. That was Luke Skywalker. Apologies to the Disney Corporation and I hope this will convince you to withdraw any pending litigation.

“Regarding page 391. I was never known as the Boy Who Lived. Nor did I train to be a wizard. That was Harry Potter. The lightning bolt ‘scar’ on my forehead was drawn with a Sharpie. Apologies to J.K.Rowling and the Sharpie corporation.

“Likewise on page 448, a minor correction: I did not carry the one ring to Mt. Doom. The only ring I’ve ever carried or worn has been my wedding ring. Which does not make me invisible. Apologies to the Tolkien Estate and New Line Cinema.

“I did not beat the Kobyashi Maru test. That was James Kirk.

“I did not stop the bad guy with a golden gun, Scaramanga, that was James Bond…

“And I was not the first apostle martyred for my faith, that was St. James.

“And lastly, I was not known as the godfather of soul, that would be James Brown… apologies to everyone named James. Thank you. There will be no questions…”