Saturday, October 13, 2007

Saturday Whimsy: Scrips and ICUP

As I am not the invincible, indelible Übermensch that some readers may think I am (only on alternating Tuesdays), I thought I'd allow this little peek into my personal world. I have allergies. All of them. No food, no drug, but anything that produces pollen, dust, mold, or the salivary proteins on the dog and cat dander makes the underside of my chin itch, then sneezing, then watering, then misery (39/41 on the allergist scratch test - isn't that an A?).

Last trip to the allergist, I got a prescription that had this line (yes, they print them out now, oh heavenly technology):

Increased SOB

I somehow don't think Mrs. Shambles will be pleased by the results of my rescue inhaler.

And then there's this wonderful bit of gas station drugstore merriment:

Gas Station Drugstore Drinking Cup

"What the hell is that?" you ask. Obviously, it's a drinking cup. Please allow me to elucidate:

Gas Station Drugstore Drinking Cup

Yes, it is, in fact, an envelope posing as a water-carrying device. It's "Another Innovative Idea for the 'People on the Go.'"

I don't know what marketing douchebag maintained a paycheck based on the idea of including an envelope with the overpriced allergy pills (alas, it was gas station Sudafed - not the good kind - that delivered to me that paper joy) when anyone with two hands can cup a gulp of water from the gas station sink (eww, I know) to take their meds, and anyone without two hands can't open the damn envelope (let alone the Sudafed packaging), and even if they do, how do they hold the envelope open if they don't have another hand to turn on the faucet?

As someone once said, these are the things I think about when I'm alone in the dark (reference needed).

Stupid allergies.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hannity Shenanigans: War is Peace

[NOTE: This post has been updated with a 2 transcript pieces. Enjoy the headache.]

In today's Sean Hannity radio show, in a move meant to surprise no one, Hannity spends the first chunk of his show ignorantly hating on "undeserving Al Gore" and his wonderfully successful Nobel Peace Prize win. The logically retarded Hannity then goes on to ask his audience if we know who is deserving and nominates the brave American troops in Iraq.

Damn it, Sean, you ignorant douchebag. It is called the Nobel Peace Prize, and people who have illegally invaded a country (granted, by the order of Grand Dragon Asshat of the United States), killed thousands, and motivated insurgents to invade and kill thousands more are not fucking eligible!
SEAN HANNITY: Obviously the big news is Al Gore and the Nobel Peace Prize. You know, we ought to be proud. You know, sure he deserved it, about as much as Yassir Arafat deserved it - the terrorist (laughs). I'm sure he deserved it as much as Jimmy Carter deserved it - the incompetent one. Nobel Peace Prize are given to those who are considered outstanding in his field. I wonder which one of his three mansions had the field, of Al Gore. You know what the big question is, folks, nobody will ask him? I have it on good authority that Al Gore - within the last 48 hours - was seen getting off a private jet. In the last 48 hours; I don't know if it's true, we've got calls into all Gore's office, once again, but whenever Hannity calls, we don't get a response - what a shock - it's like Hillary Clinton's office. What do they do Sweet Baby James every time you call over there? They laugh, right, they pretty much laugh (laughs). We get the old Hillary laugh, showing the world that she's funny and happy. [Hillary laugh audio]

So here we've got Al Gore is the recepient of the Nobel Peace Prize a few years after Jimmy Carter was awarded the prize, same prize back in 2002. Basically we see a trend here: Norway's the place to go for failed Democratic politicians who want to recessitate their image by glomming on to the very bad policies that would damage their country. For Carter it was by embracing these anti-Israeli policies in his foreign policy. For Gore it was embracing anti-growth policies and this insane environmental extremism that he's bought into here. I guess both men have similarities: they both come from the South, they both have angry mean streaks [GORE: He betrayed this country, he played on our fears.] They have absolutely no grace out of office. They are very petty in their criticisms. They've got more radical and more extreme and more left wing after having left office. They're both bitter that their place in history is non-existant for the most part. They both win the Nobel Peace Prize for exactly that reason. You know why they win the Peace Prize? Let's be honest. For embracing the extreme left - that's what that Peace Prize is about. You got the Norwegian Nobel Committee made up of five persons who reflect the makeup of the Parliment. What a shock that they consistantly award people on the left. Prizes like this, they're meant to reward excellence; it's supposed to award achievement. It's too bad when those standards are cast aside in favor of advancing a leftist ideology. That's what's happened here, that's why at the end of the day, the Nobel Peace Prize is meaningless - absolutely, completely meaningless and it's also why the mainstream media is going to make as big a deal about this as they possibly can. The American people utterly rejected Jimmy Carter and Al Gore. It's no surprise that they'd find a home in a committee that is characterized by its left-leaning ideology and its fierce opposition to real peace.

You want to talk about who deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, here's nominations: how about Ronald Wilson Reagan? How about George W. Bush? Those that believe that you should be the master of your own destiny, those that confront and defeat evil in their time. Those that use - How about Winston Churchill as a great example? Ohh, we can't - How about Harry Truman? How about FDR? How about those that recognize the forces of evil in their day?

What's ironic about this is - as we reported earlier this week - a British judge has ordered that when Al Gore's global warming hysteria film is shown to student audiences, it's now got to be accompanied by a warning that the film is a political propaganda film and riddled with false claims.
...[junk science, why the UN sucks]
The undeserving Al Gore, who had a press operation second to none, who flies around the world polluting the planet in his own big, old, fuel-consuming gulfstream, he gets the award. What about the troops in Iraq? How about the troops in Afghanistan? How about the troops all over the world that are really securing the peace for our country and millions of other people? They're treated like garbage by members of their own congress; they're treated like garbage in the international community. You know who deserves the Peace Prize? How about I nominate our brave men and women, our soldiers in Iraq? How about we nominate our soldiers in Afghanistan? The sad reality is that they'll never get the because it's become corrupted, political, meaningless, as evidinced by giving it to Jimmy Carter or Yassir Arafat or others who have done nothing for peace and frankly, through their weakness, quite the contrary, who have made the world a more dangerous place. It was Carter who brought us the Iranian people the Islamic fascist regime that now terrorizes the world.

Yes, that asshat just said "the Nobel Peace Prize is meaningless - absolutely, completely meaningless" and then proceeded to nominate people for the meaningless prize.

This is patriotism elevated to the level of absurdity, and it would be funny if it wasn't the terrifying, genuine thought process of someone with an audience of 12.5 million listeners per week. You could almost feel the small tremor of "Fuckin' A right!" reverberating through ignorant, conservative audiences across America.

UPDATE: Hannity's talking to Haditha Marine Justin Sharratt and his father about Rep. John Murtha's Haditha comments and how Justin was cleared of all charges. Hannity pledged to help in every way possible to aid Justin should he choose to run for U.S. Congress against Murtha (they're from the same voting district), stating "you're old enough to carry a Marine weapon," you can hold Congressional office.
SEAN: You know, you're in his district. You could run against him.
JUSTIN: That is a possibility.
SEAN: Would you consider that?
JUSTIN: If I was old enough, that is a good possibility -
SEAN: You're old enough. You're old enough to carry a Marine weapon, you're old enough.
SEAN: I'm going to make a promise to you, Justin, if you decide to do this, if you decide to run against John Murtha, I will do everything I can do to help you raise money and defeat him. I think the ultimate justice is, I believe the people in his district, if given the choice between somebody who is serving their country and is falsely accused, I think this could be an incred- I know you're a young man - how old are you?
JUSTIN: Twenty-three.
SEAN: You're twenty-three years old, but you know what? You have the strength and maturity - If you can go out in Iraq, in the streets of Hadditha, and withstand multiple IED attacks and sniper gun fire on a daily basis, you've proven you have the character, the toughness, the strength to take on John Murtha. And I can promise you that this audience will back you up and support you in every way imaginable, financially, we'll do everything - I'll give the maximum donation I can if you decide to do this.
Unfortunately for Sean and Justin, the Constitution of the United States of America states that you have to be 25 to hold office in the House of Representatives (30 for Senate, 35 to be President). Justin is 23. Then again, Sean Hannity doesn't read the Constitution.

Animated Excrement: The Bigot Coulter

I should be logging off.
I should be breathing deeply.
I should be putting down the gun.
I should be ignoring this.

But then I had to go and read Kate Chase's post mentioning that Jesus might even spit on Ann Coulter and got all riled up again. Media Matters has the transcript and terrifying video.

After saying Heaven would be like the 2004 Republican National Convention, she proceeded to discuss her own Bizarro America where everyone is a Christian, and these "perfected Jews" would exhibit amazing, super-human tolerance. Let's just take a snacking bite at some words from the mobile hellmouth:
COULTER: Well, OK, take the Republican National Convention. People were happy. They're Christian. They're tolerant. They defend America, they --

DEUTSCH: Christian -- so we should be Christian? It would be better if we were all Christian?


DEUTSCH: We should all be Christian?

COULTER: Yes. Would you like to come to church with me, Donny?

DEUTSCH: So I should not be a Jew, I should be a Christian, and this would be a better place?

COULTER: Well, you could be a practicing Jew, but you're not.

DEUTSCH: I actually am. That's not true. I really am. But -- so we would be better if we were - if people -- if there were no Jews, no Buddhists --

COULTER: Whenever I'm harangued by --

DEUTSCH: -- in this country? You can't believe that.

COULTER: -- you know, liberals on diversity --

DEUTSCH: Here you go again.

COULTER: No, it's true. I give all of these speeches at megachurches across America, and the one thing that's really striking about it is how utterly, completely diverse they are, and completely unself-consciously. You walk past a mixed-race couple in New York, and it's like they have a chip on their shoulder. They're just waiting for somebody to say something, as if anybody would.
I do believe she just alluded that it's okay to be black as long as you're not self-identifying yourself as black. As I said, this is just a sampling. Read the whole thing; it's worth the ten minutes and twenty Tums. And if you want the reality of megachurches, please see Jesus Camp (recommended one bottle of wine per person during the 90 minute viewing).

I do agree with Kate that Jesus would probably spit on her. But primarily, I see two major issues with Ann Coulter's Republican Christian Automaton America:
  1. If Everyone in America were Christian Republicans, Ann Coulter would be the bag lady in the parking lot. The woman makes her living spouting stupidity and hate against anyone who is not a Conservative Christian would not be able to make a living in a world where everyone is Conservative and Christian

  2. Converting the entire world with the broad Conservative Christian brush, it is a naive and foolish idea to believe that everyone would just get along at that point. Just as losing one sense amplifies the others, all the differences besides Christianity and Conservatism would become important: Christian sect (Catholic, Protestant, Presbyterian, etc.), race, intelligence, nationality, length of your nationality's dedication to Christ, length of personal dedication to Christ, favorite right wing nutjob radio host.

    Why? Because human nature dictates that we will glop together to form our identity by being part of different groups, and existing differences between people define different groups, which will define a facet or facets of their group distinction as superior out of an innate personal/group desire for self-preservation. That self-preservation raises walls and starts wars.
Coulter's perfect world simply doesn't exist; just like a heaven where everyone's praying and angels are singing and there's no conflict or progress, if ever did exist, it would be boring as hell.

Even in some alternate universe where there somehow exists an entire world full of Ann Coulters (terrifying because of, well, Ann Coulter, refreshing because the population would die out in one generation), differences in age, upbringing, geographic location, and even dichotomies in her own mind would cause rifts and sects and wars. Which gives rise to some satisfying imagery at the same exact moment that it degrades into a Photoshop.

World of Coulter

My last stomach-curdling thought exercise: Ann Coulter is a vile, hate-seeping human being and because of her beliefs and demeanor alone, cannot be considered attractive under any circumstances. However, in some parallel universe where Ann Coulter was a well-spoken, intelligent liberal - maybe wore glasses - who consistently nailed the neoconservative base with poignant and pertinent attacks, do you think she could be hot?

Feel free to take a Google Image mental break if it becomes too much to get through the exercise.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

All Things Democrat

Folks, I'm extending myself.

You may have heard of me on such blogs as All Things Democrat. Embarrassingly, it's been intermittent on the postings. But from now on, I'll be doing the daily thing there as well as what I do here. First on that list: Dennis Kucinich for president. Surprise.

No, no, now, now, don't worry: I will never surrender to EVIL, just like the president, and will not stop the quirky, lovely, deliciousness that is Cause for Concern.

I hearken back and paraphrase a cheezy cartoon my parents put up on the wall by Family Circle: "How do you divide your love amongst your blogs?" "I Don't divide it, I multiply it."

Love it long time, pay it attention. Specifically, Democratically political, and more than me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Taiwan Not Gay for China

China's pointing 1000 missiles at Taiwan because it doesn't like that Taiwan has a separate identity. Taiwan (who likes their separate identity), in a show of military power, is parading 2 missiles along with the following show of strength:

Taiwan not gay for China

Chippendales go Asian Baywatch? I don't even know what to say except that this is probably not the image they were going for.

Your captions welcome!

America Swindled on Own Embassy Building

From the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform:
Documents Show Extensive Flaws in Iraq Embassy Construction

Documents obtained by the Oversight Committee depict widespread defects in fire detection systems, fire service mains, fire sprinklers, fire-proof construction materials, and electrical wiring throughout the Embassy complex. Other documents implicate the Managing Partner of First Kuwaiti, the prime contractor, in an illegal kickback scheme to obtain subcontracts under the Army’s multi-billion logistical support contract.
Huh? Surely they're not talking about the U.S. Embassy in Iraq? From the official letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (excuse any typos - millions of dollars apparently cannot purchase the U.S. a decent character recognition software package either:
Dear Madam Secretary:
I am writing to raise new concerns about the State Department's $600 million U.S. Embassy in Iraq. On July 26,2007, the Committee held a hearing to review reports of numerous problems with the Embassy construction project. In particular, the Committee asked about allegations of substandard work by the prime contractor, First Kuwaiti General Trading & Contracting Company, and whether problems with the fire protection systems, electrical systems, and power plant would delay the opening of the Embassy beyond its September 2007 completion
date and increase the costs to the taxpayer above the $592 million budget.

At the hearing, Maj. Gen. Charles Williams (Ret.), the Director of Overseas Building Operations (OBO) at the State Department, dismissed all of these concerns, stating emphatically:
I am pleased to report, Mr. Chairman, that the project is on schedule and on budget. We
are slated to complete the project in September of this year and personnel can begin to move into offices and residences shortly thereafter. As to project quality, OBO is proud of its employees and contractors work on this project. 'We have received numerous accolades as to the extremely high quality of construction. It is among the best that OBO has managed.
This weekend, however, it was disclosed that the Embassy construction project has gone $144 million over budget and the State Department has delayed its opening indefinitely.
We can't get a building - our main, keystone building - put together without a deadbeat contractor or a valid and accurate report on how that construction is going, but overextended troops without all the proper equipment and no end in sight are supposed to quell a 1400 year division in Islam, foster democracy, make our puppet government give a shit, and stop insurgents who continue to multiply and would gladly die specifically for a shot at the American troops, all without understanding their language(s) or culture(s).

When does the incompetence of the U.S. Government start shaking the shit out of people? Why is it taking this long?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Democrats Waver on Protect America Act Stance

The Protect America Act, passed in August amidst a rush to vacation and huge pressure from the NSA and Bush Administration, is up for permanency this week. And it looks like the Democrats are getting lazy. You remember the Democrats, don't you? That party that was voted into power almost a full year ago in the desperate hope of the American people that they would end the war in Iraq and stop the Bush Administration's runaway grip on the pseudo police state into which America is evolving.

The Protect America Act gives the National Security Agency much broader, more sweeping powers, specifically to wiretapping any foreign target (not just the terrorists) including those communications within the United States, all without a warrant. Remember FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that the Bush Administration was ignoring without accountability? The Administration is saying The PAA modernizes FISA; it's really making legal what they've been doing illegally all along and eliminating the basic - and obviously ineffective at that level - oversight that did exist.

And the icing on the cake? It provides immunity to telecommunications companies for illegally turning over private records whenever the Bush Administration deems that necessary: "It's illegal, but if you do it for us whenever we say, that's okay." It turns telecommunications companies into a private record clearinghouse encompassing all phone and internet use.

This is carte blanche for the president to wave his big terrorist stick and turn America into a police state. That little man in the White House is says we need to support the troops because they're fighting for our freedoms as he slowly strips them away.

And what are the Democrats doing? Eh, they're a little busy and they don't really have the votes. Democrats: get on the stick and get the votes; if you don't start doing something that drove you to power in congress, the American people will have gone full circle to high disillusionment with the Democratic Party by elections next year, and we'll be looking at Republican White House and Congress in January 2009.

Readers: As always, contact your local representatives. This is not popping out on the networks, and you won't hear about it locally, but it might rear its ugly head in the Repub debates this evening.

Expect notes on that tomorrow.

[UPDATE]: Don't expect notes on that right away - family emergency had me up until 2:30 without seeing the debate. Thank God for DVR. Now for the time to watch it.

[NOTE]: The above posting focuses specifically on what the Democrats hastily passed in August. The changes being unconvincingly discussed for this round include killing the immunity of telecommunications companies and the necessity of court approval for wire taps/eavesdropping. But then some asshat Repub comes out and says that this version protects Osama bin Laden, Democrats shiver, hem, haw, and "I just don't think we have the votes" drools from their numb lips. I want to see a fight, damnit!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Bible: Let's Get Gay Straight

The Bible is a fantastic journey through generations of wisdom about how we should live our lives, from the Ten Commandments to Jesus' teachings. But some parts of the Bible can be a strange, meandering journey through what should or should not be done. My favorite book is Leviticus, specifically because it is often quoted by those seeking to demonize homosexuality:
Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. (Leviticus 18:22)
Okay, so gay people are not good, ostracization is the punishment, etc. God said so, just like he handed Moses the 10 Commandments.

My favorite juxtaposition? That would be Leviticus 19:19:
Keep my decrees.
Do not mate different kinds of animals.
Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed.
Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.
I don't know if different kinds of dog breeding count, but a Liger is totally off the map. Farmers should probably pay heed to the second one, violating God's law by diversifying their crops. And the third? Well, are you wearing a blend right now?

So wearing a cotton-rayon blend is on the list just under having gay sex (but it's only for men and doesn't count for women; God is either a rudimentary prude or likes girl-on-girl action).

Let's recap some more lovely quotes out of Leviticus:
Do not eat any of the fat of cattle, sheep or goats. (Leviticus 7:23)

These are the birds you are to detest and not eat because they are detestable: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite, any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat. (Leviticus 11:13-19)
Isn't a bat a mammal, and wouldn't God know that?
A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised. Then the woman must wait thirty-three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over. If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding. (Leviticus 12:2-5)
WTF God?
Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it.
Do not practice divination or sorcery.
Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.
(Leviticus 19:26-27)
Okay, this is a little out of control, but you get the point. Evangelical Christians believe that the Bible is the literal Word of God and, specifically, in Leviticus, it is the quoted Word of God. Read the whole thing; it gets much more detailed, and would be almost impossible to follow on a daily basis.

But some Christians state that Jesus' sacrifice put all those laws and sacrifices on the back burner. They are cherry-picking the Bible. Did Jesus ever say that? No.

I have no problem with cherry-picking the Bible for the good parts that help make many people of the world better people, but if you're going to personally decide or allow your governing religious organization decide what God means and what we, as humans, should follow, then do it all or none. Either God said it or He didn't. Either every word is important or isn't. Live the way you want to, but never, never condemn others because they live differently. Treat others the way you would like to be treated and judge not, lest ye be judged. And stop turning hate into a religious family value.

And next time you proudly hold up the sign stating "God Hates Fags," check the tag on your shirt, because cotton-polyester blends are right up there. Queer.

Hillary Releases Ad, Rudy Twitches

Check it:

Rudy Giuliani is shaking in his 9/11 dust-stained loafers. He's pissed. Why? Because there is a picture of Hillary Clinton wearing a dust mask apparently in New York City at some point soon after 9/11. The ad is uncalled for; as everyone knows, Rudy Giuliani has already obtained copyright on the phrase "9/11" in number or number word format. This obviously precludes anyone from mentioning 9/11, talking about the attack on September 11th, or even suggesting that they were there; for all intents and purposes, Rudy Giuliani was the only human being in the state of New York on September 11th, 2001, the only person offended by the destruction, and the only human being to suffer because of the attacks (I am actually in violation just trying to explain the rights involved). Patent pending on "pain and suffering."

Unfortunately, six years later, Giuliani has failed to remotely give a shit about any of the brave Americans who were selfless enough to run to the scene to help recover and clean up; many of these people have developed chronic breathing and other health disorders because of the mishandling of the health threat by Giuliani and his administration.

I'd like to be clear that only Dennis Kucinich's plan for health care in America - universal not-for-profit - is the only version I fully support. However, even Hillary's health care plan would do a better job than any of the industry-owned republican candidates "eh, we just gotta tweak it a little."

I heard some hubbub on Friday, but I do believe it will turn into the full-frontal right wing JizzFest by Monday.

Hey, did'j'y'all hear about Giuliani not being fit for Holy Communion because of his beliefs on abortion rights? Technically, the multiple divorce thing would also disqualify him with those wacky Roman Catholics.