December 30, 2009

Spectacle

Taste is above all a personal thing, isn't it? Mine is probably as pedestrian as the next person's.

I've watched a couple of the Spectacle: Elvis Costello With... series lately, however, and the only spectacle I've observed is Elvis Costello phoning in his persona by shamelessly whoring himself to whichever crimp, spung, or feeb he can get onstage with him at the moment.

Spare me the rotten lettuce, too. I've been a fairly decent Costello fan since 1978; I've seen him in concert a couple of times, and he really doesn't offend me. But it's time we all faced it: Elvis is a fucking poseur, and a half-talent grasper. He couldn't carry Bob Dylan's harmonica, for fuck's sake.

We all have a few Costello tunes we like. My personal favorite is Beyond Belief. But I'm a Neanderthal in that I like sex and drugs with my rock and roll. Keep your irony to yourself, unless you're Joe Strummer. Costello as a rock and roll icon? Eh.

Normally I'd give old MacManus a pass, but these Spectacle shows are beyond the pale. I've watched Declan create these "spontaneous" "happenings" for 25 years, with everyone from Garcia to Bacharach. They are always staged as his personal voyage as acolyte and historiographer to the grand, sweet glory of Elvis actually performing with his one of his heroes!

Watch closely, however, and you will see Elvis eventually muscle his way onto a shared mike, and thence onto center stage. Trust me. I've watched this 'spectacle' for a long time. And the other sad fact is, Elvis can't sing or play guitar worth a tinker's fuck, so the performance is necessarily the worse for the wear. The only satisfaction one takes from it is seeing an old-timer who may have been out of the limelight for a while getting a boner out of having such a fanboy as Elvis.

Nice, but I wonder who scrapes the majority of the royalties off the sawdust floor? Perhaps I'm just a cynic. Perhaps Elvis is in actuality a brilliant impresario, a genius alchemist who, like Rumplestiltskin, weaves his own over-the-hill talent with another old fart's over-the-hill talent into a fine fabric of gold, selling it to a standing-room-only crowd during a savage economic depression.

In which case, I probably should salute him as, at least, Bill Graham.

I see the next episode has "Elvis" interviewing and performing with "Bono" and "The Edge."

Good Lord, grant me the strength to weather this daisy chain of self-congratulatory back-slapping and cock-sucking whilst keeping my sanity intact.

Amen
.

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December 29, 2009

Naming Conventions

I see where Sullivan has the vapors again over Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

I'm a little confused. Jewish settlements aren't fucking military installations. They're neighborhoods. Why shouldn't there be Jewish neighborhoods in a Palestinian state, just as there are Arab neighborhoods in Israel? Why does every fucking square inch of Arab land have to be judenrein?

Perhaps the Israelis should just rename the settlements ghettos. The Palestinians would then no doubt help them build some more. With cute little Arbeit Macht Frei signs on the subdivision entrances.

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Gum Springs Church

This little church is around the corner from the house, three-tenths of a mile or so, or a thousand hilly feet if you choose to walk through the woods:


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It's a rather humble house of worship as these things go, with no sign whatsoever, broken windows, no hint of denomination, and a pathetic little graveyard. But its walls are decently whitewashed, its parking lot is swept clean, and a dozen or so cars arrive on Sundays for service.

I say the graveyard is pathetic, which seems a harsh term, but it is.

The graves are cut rough in the ground, and the only delineation between one and the next is an outline of leftover bricks. Of the two dozen or so graves, many are forgotten or unknown:


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Many have homemade headstones:


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A few of the graves show pride of place. Here is the grave of a son killed in Vietnam, whose memorial is a bit fancier than the others:


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This World War II veteran likewise has a more prominent and professional headstone, probably paid for with ancient veterans' benefits:


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This lady has the fanciest set up in the cemetery, no doubt an homage to her standing in this tight-knit community:


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For the most part, however, the graves are merely forgotten


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or the deceased was acknowledged in the crude runes of the semi-literate survivors:


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I've often considered joining these rustic folk for an hour of worship on a Sunday, but I'm convinced their outward friendliness and bonhomie would be a veneer masquerading a truer desire to simply be left alone. I could no more know their history or intramural alliances and enmities than I could fathom the pecking order in a mosque. I'm not even sure if this congregation is black or white, nor would that be germane to the issue.

Better, I think, to leave them to their prayers and thoughts, and intrude not upon the sanctity of their tiny circle of worship.

How do I know the name of their church, this chapel with no name or denomination on it? In these parts most roads are named for the church that perches beside it. Like Galilee Church Road and Mt. Moriah Church Road, this one sits upon Gum Springs Church Road. And so as to be neighborly to the postman, they dutifully misspelled it upon the mailbox:


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Pitiful, perhaps, but in all things community it is the thought that counts. One cannot purchase neighbors like this for any sum of gold; and why I need to go back with a rake and tidy those unkempt gravesites.


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December 24, 2009

Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas, Intrepids

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December 22, 2009

Avatars

Everyone else has weighed in on this flick, I suppose I shall, too.

Bottom line: very enjoyable special effects, with some good killin' at the end. That's always important.

Nit picking: well, open my intestines up. This might take a moment or two. Bear with me.

This was, as many have said, Dances With Wolves. Protagonist goes native with the savages, learns a higher morality. Yes. In fact, I expected the prototypical rival aborigine to scream at the end "Can you not see I am Wind In His Hair? Can you not see I am your friend?" Except that Indian guy was a fucking stud hoss, and the Na'Vri'ti'lova creatures looked like rejects from the first storyboards from "Antz."

I say it was Dances, but the intelligence quotient was more Pocahontas.

Avatars: let's see: looking back at Cameron's ouvre, we see the giant robotic fighting pods as avatars of the construction robot from Aliens. Pretty hot gunship pilot Trudy is an avatar of Ferro and Vasquez from Aliens. Sigourney Weaver is of course an avatar of, who else? Ripley.

The neon plant life are avatars from The Abyss. (Remember Ed Harris gulping that amniotic fluid? Fuck that!)

Meta-avatars: the usual suspects: nice the way Cameron blended the Evil Corporation with the Evil Military by making the military mercenaries in the pay of the Evil Corporation, like Blackwater or Executive Outcomes. Bonus points, that. Because once you throw the profit motive at a soldier, he becomes a fucking Killing Machine! We see this all the time. Where? Shut up.

This planet Pandora was also all spiritually interconnected via roots and vines and shit, with a Mother Nature/Gaia figure called Eyra. Like Enya, I suppose. Avatar? No idea on this one. No one has gone quite that gay before. Maybe an avatar for Signs, by the 5 Man Electrical Band, if I had to reach.

Another nice meta-avatar was blending the aborigines: they rode hossie-like creatures, shot bows and arrows, and yip-yip-yipped in a fashion so stereotypical of Injuns I thought for a moment I was watching a B-Western from 1932. I was actually embarrassed for a sound effect. There's a first. And blended with the African-American-Caribbean hair braids, it was an unassailable minority in-yo-face bitchslap to us honkeys. Plus, the matriarchal shaman woman had an inexplicable Jamaican/Geechee accent, like the old witch-doctoress in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Wow! Have these Hollywood types ever actually talked to a black person, since illegal Guatemalans took over the domestic work in LA? I mean, besides the staff at Sandals Negril?

My favorite character? Stephen Lang as Miles Quaritch. I loved this guy. Fuck the morality of the mission, let's get 'er done. Sipping coffee in the flagship, declaring "Let's wrap this up and get back in time for supper." Fuckin' Ada, baby. He was a voice of sanity in a sea of hand-wringing. Make the big blue Antz move. We need us some fucking unobtainium. Yes.

Final nit pick: the message. Gee, if all of Mother Earth's (or Mother Pandora's) creatures band together, we can repel and destroy these disgusting human beings.

Indeedy. And then we can put on a show to raise enough money to save the old theater from the goddamn capitalist wrecking ball, Judy Rooney.

P.S. post scriptum mortem complaint: tiny tits on the aliens, and not a single nipple shot. Doesn't Cameron understand the Basic Rule of sci-fi? Women, regardless of race, shall have large, pendulous breasts, and perky, Palinesque nipples. Shit, man, I knew that by the time I was eight.

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December 21, 2009

Finally, the On-line Gods Acknowledge My "Otherness"

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A Trip of Goats is available from Amazon. It's always been there, it just showed out of print, with limited availability. I never figured out if it was Lulu or Amazon that had bollixed the works.

Anyway, if you like your Judeo-Christian allegory served in a thick porridge of sexual deviancy, and your imperiled child narrative filleted close to the bone, this is the book for you.

You won't get it for Christmas now, even though they're promising overnight availability, but it makes a wonderful MLK Day remembrance gift, especially if you include a fruit basket.

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December 20, 2009

The Danish Romper Room...

... episode is thankfully over. Let's recap:


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Romper, bomper, stomper boo. Tell me, tell me, tell me, do.

Magic Mirror, tell me today, have all my friends had fun at play?


Well, I can see Barack Obama, gingerly rubbing his tush after an obviously unsyncopated date-rape reaming by Wen Jaibao, complaining that those Chinee need to be "getting out of that mindset, and moving towards the position where everybody recognises that we all need to move together."

I can see Lumumba Di-Aping (you can't make these names up), the Sudanese chief negotiator for the G77, bitching that this farce possessed "the lowest level of ambition you can imagine. It's nothing short of climate change scepticism in action. It locks countries into a cycle of poverty for ever. Obama has eliminated any difference between him and Bush." He failed to mention that the biggest difference is that Bush actually cared about the genocide in Darfur that Di-Aping's buddies have been perpetrating for a decade. Obama, on the other hand, has been noticeably fucking absent on the Darfur holocaust. So there's that difference, if he needs an example.

I can see John Sauven of Greenpeace UK gibbering "The city of Copenhagen is a crime scene tonight, with the guilty men and women fleeing to the airport." One presumes he is referring to the free strumpet bint the attendees gobbled up. Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch? All-you-can-eat tacos, right there on Valundsgade.

Finally, I can see Lydia Baker of Save the Children sobbing that her fellow attendees "effectively signed a death warrant for many of the world's poorest children. Up to 250,000 children from poor communities could die before the next major meeting in Mexico at the end of next year."

The operative word there is "could," meaning this hysteric is foisting a bald-faced lie upon the slavering presshounds.

Here's a real statistic for you, shrew: One million African children will die next year from malaria, all because you progressive environmentalist kommissars refuse to let the poor nappy-headed savages spray DDT. That's one million entirely preventable child deaths the Left may sniff cognac over. That is despicable by any measure of intentional savagery inflicted upon innocent humans. Six millions over six years are fucking Hitler numbers, for God's sake. The only thing coming close to being as dangerous and pestilential for African children is a visit by UN peacekeepers.

I suppose I should be happy with this Romper Room episode. No one was killed in the street-fighting, and it's always nice to see the Don't-Bees lose, and us Do-Bees win the day. At least for this day.

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December 19, 2009

Welcome to Hell, Intrepids

The last of the hold outs caved once the deal was sufficiently sweetened. I suppose Nelson believes throwing fuckfuls of other peoples' money at his constituents will get him reelected in 2012, despite Nebraska voters seeing him for the craven whore he is.

Have any elective surgery you've been meaning to have done? Like having the legs of your homunculus twin removed from your thorax? Better get it done now. If you have a heart condition I suggest you do wind sprints up the library steps so that you can have your myocardial infarction treated now, by somewhat motivated cardiologists, rather than later, when we're importing them from Zimbabwe for the price of a bowl of gruel.

Apparently the abortion verbiage Nelson demanded isn't even in the fucking rework, so it was all about the vigorish with this hypocritical cunt. And once physicians realize the only procedure left that doesn't expose them to the jackal-headed malpractice lawyers is baby-whacking, don't bother looking for a hospital if you have an emergency. Just get one of those "I've fallen and I can't get up" alert necklaces, pre-programmed to the nearest Planned Parenthood clinic. You'll stand a better chance of finding a physician there than anywhere else. Doctors have to eat like everyone else, and that's where the low-hanging fruit and high-yield reimbursements will be.

Me? I'm quitting smoking and having an intravenous transfusion of Zerex in the hope of staving off any trips to a medico unless it's to get my free rations of purple pecker pills Viagra. I figure if I'm going to get screwed this badly I might as well screw something back, with every inch ounce of energy I can erect.


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Official portrait of Senator Ben Nelson, D(ouche) - Nebraska.


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Artist's depiction of a malpractice attorney holding a tiny, freshly-hatched malpractice attorney

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December 18, 2009

A Muesli Post, or, Keepin' It Regular

Like any good bordello proprietor I occasionally have to cull the stables known as my blogroll of the stinkier meat and put some fresh meat on tap for my personal enjoyment, and perhaps even that of my guests. Nothing wrong with most of the old meat, you understand, but occasionally I have hit a link only to discover the blogger has been literally daid for a year. Embarrassing, that, even though they obviously won't know you hit their dead blog. Their survivors might, though, and my cheeks will redden in cyber-mortification. It's similar to calling a long lost cousin to put the bite on him for some money, only to find he's taken his own life over his enormous debts from the porn and gambling sites you turned him on to.

Here's the thing: my blogroll is for my convenience. Not really an endorsement of the blogs as such. I've tried several RSS feeds and aggregators and find that scrolling through them is more work than I'd expected.

Some blogs I wonder why I even hit at all. A few are as lazy and diffident about posting as I am. We aren't real blogs; we're just retirement homes for the not yet completely senile. Then there's the one blog, you think What the fuck is up with this? Why do I go here? Oh, yeah: because every Christmas he reposts his annual Ten Ways I Can Kill You With My Bare Hands screed, and you like to silently mouth the words too tightly wound. Of course this prototypical blogger will immediately follow that up with a picture of a naked girl that causes you to immediately kill the window because, fuck! There's about a ten percent chance that picture wasn't legal. Pretty sure I abolished those bloggers a few years back, you FBI agents pretending to be 13-year-old girls. (Note to self: I wonder how satisfying that job is? Creepy, sucky. No, Sir!).

The point, which I'm meandering toward as quickly as the Lazy River Ride (Navelgazing version) will take me, is that I often run across some damned fine writers out there, but forget to link them up. Or I'm too lazy to do it at the time, creating a situation where I go to the other person I've been reading for years, then hit the new person from there. Not efficient, and it does not allow the new person to look at his or her stats and think That weird velociguy was here again. Wonder if I should block him? He writes like he has a blood disease.

Well, that's my resolution for the new year. That and single-handedly overthrowing the duly-elected government of the United States of America, if I have enough free time left after nodding over a glass of wine and a 7,000 word treatise on the alleged iron cores of the gas giants I ran across somewhere or other in the cyberslums.

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December 16, 2009

Plunging Into The Gaping Maw...

...of something. And my Spidey-sense is telling me this won't go well.

Anyway, I'm starting this post with about three friends in the world. I have a nice five-dollar bill for the one who leaves a comment averring I am still The Man. Okay, fifty dollars. And I'll wash your car on alternate Saturdays.

I commented at a post at Dick's about the female softball player suing the city and her coach for injuries sustained because she wasn't taught how to slide. The post elicited some indignation, all right, but I think Dick et al are missing the point:

What the hell are girls doing playing contact sports for in the first place?

Yea, verily, hate me now, dads. Hurl rotted tomatoes at my oddly-shaped noggin, and call me a misogynist pig.

And hear me out: I'm not anti-girl. I'm very much pro-girl. Not pro girl, just pro-girl. And I just don't find anything appealing about girls playing contact sports. Not because I don't think they are able to, or as competitive as boys. I just think it's a rough and unfeminine thing for females to do. It ain't civilized, and it flies in the face of 500 years of attempts to civilize ourselves.

Here: I've never been attracted to a girl with dirt under her fingernails from scooping up a barehanded grounder. Have you? And I've never been attracted to a girl sitting on the bench during a basketball game mopping sweat off her brow while her armpits drip. You? Don't answer that.

Ain't soft. Ain't purty. Don't smell good. And I wouldn't want my girls swapping towel snaps in the showers with lesbians anymore than I'd want my son giddily applying greasepaint on some flamboyant, trolling cocksucker backstage. I don't believe in putting my kids in a nest of vipers at a tender age. They aren't St. Patrick. They're children. Plenty of time to let them sort out their own sexual preferences without placing them in a locker room alone with a chain-smoking bull queer authority figure.

I file that under What the fuck were you thinking? They won't say anything now, but wait ten, twenty years. Ask your girl if a coach or assistant coach or teammate ever hit on them. Trust me, you're going to feel like a real fucknozzle.

I suppose I was lucky in that my girls were both extremely feminine, and took to dance like otters to water, or maybe baby seals, or something nice and cutie. I also thank their mama for that. Tough? Oh, yes. My older daughter won a state championship after we heard her ankle snap across the auditorium during her performance. She also blew out her knee on her school team. Horrible pain, had to get the knee scoped, long recovery, the whole thing. She's now a third-year NFL cheerleader, BTW, and that audition is like trying to make Ranger School.

My younger daughter won a competition while her eye was in excrutiating pain, as if her cornea was being devoured by some strange amoeba. Turned out to be a strange amoebae eating her cornea off. That was a nine-month cure. But she never lost her composure during that performance.

So I know a little bit about competition, and girls, and athleticism. I'm just glad my girls never asked me to play hoops or field hockey or fast pitch. Look: girls' college hoops is full of scandals about coaches getting it on with players. What makes you think high school hoops is any different? The same queer authority figures, they just possess a lower caliber of skill sets. They didn't grow up wanting to be sexual predators. They just found out at a relatively early age that they were good at it, and liked it.

Now that Billy Jean and Martina are gone from tennis that sport at least has some fucking sweet hotties. Golf? Neh. Even Annika and Michelle Wie couldn't save that game. Full of the bull grazers. Look at their legs, for God's sake.

My humble point? Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be naive unsuspecting children getting their perspiring bodies tenderly dried off by some cup-wearing crone named Madge. Want your kid to spit in the dirt, grab their crotch, and ass-slap their teammates? Cool. Have a boy, Mr. I'm Living My Failed High School Sports Career Through The Only Outlet I Have, my poor daughter. Or adopt a boy if you're a seedless bitch. There's plenty available. Good boys, who need a father figure.

Personally, I blame Title IX. Because I've learned over the years that in this crazy old thing we call life, there is always, always, something or someone else you can blame. It says it right there on the apple pie. Not the one Mom made, but the rancid tartlet from McDonalds.


Post scriptum: I cross-posted this at Big Dick's, as it was originally intended for his site, but he was in some kind of alcoholic funk, or somesuch, so I went with the primo slot: me. Apparently his bride Kelly isna too happy with my worldview, either, so I offer her a bit of tea and sympathy:


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December 15, 2009

Bottom Fishing

Obviously no one around here is interested in meaningful argumentation, therefore below the fold I give you tits!

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My tranny-cred is suspect, so I'm not sure if this is a kinda disgusting looking female or a kinda hot looking guy. I do, however, nominate it to star opposite Andrew Sullivan in the re-re-remake of the classic A Species Is Born.

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December 14, 2009

A Holy Trinity

I am a firm believer in the conceit that nothing lends more dignity, style, and, yes, class to a Christmas tree than Musical Stooges in Tuxedo ornaments.


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I am, alas, in the minority in this viewpoint.

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Big Joe

The Left is predictably outraged over Joe Lieberman's steadfast refusal to vote for a Senate health takeover bill with a public option:

Ezra Klein, the Washington Post: Lieberman “seems willing to cause the death of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score.”

Mcjoan, DailyKos: ...btw, no-class Lieberman's opposition to the CLASS Act is yet another F-you to the memory of his colleague, Ted Kennedy, whose bill this was.

Gawker: Lieberman has decided, in his infinite fuckheadedness, that any public option and any expansion of Medicare — the two last vestiges of hope for an even slightly helpful bill — is too much.

Despicable rapid-cycler Jane Hamscher at firedoglake is circulating a petition to have Lieberman's wife removed as a global ambassador for the cancer research foundation Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

We all know what this is about: the Left hates Lieberman for supporting the Iraq War. So much so that they ran a semi-retarded silver-spoon boy named Ned Lamont against Lieberman for his Senate seat. Lieberman lost that primary, ran as an independent, and kicked the retard's ass in the general election. The rest is history.

Or should be. Grievances die hard on the left. So now they are accusing Lieberman of betrayal, and backstabbing. Fuck the lot of them.

Let me tell you something: if you pulled out the infamous litmus tests, Joe Lieberman and I would disagree on about 60-70% of them. But Lieberman believes in three things I believe are existentially important: the moral imperative of the state of Israel, the critical battle against medieval Islamism, and apparently the naked power grab known as ObamaCare.

He can therefore agree to disagree with me on the other issues. Because I see that rarest of things: a liberal who stands on principle as opposed to race-mongering, class warfare, and pilferage of the public fisc.

Lieberman put his integrity on the line in his Senate race, and he's doing it again today with the healthcare vote. He doesn't have to prove anything to these cretins. They claim he's backstabbing them, but he's actually staring them down, and they individually find themselves lacking in courage, hence the sniping attacks upon his wife, who is, as far as I can ascertain, as above suspicion as Caesar's wife. If Lieberman were really backstabbing them, he wouldn't choose to caucus with them, after they so shamefully tried to destroy him. In fact, if I see a fault in Lieberman, it is that I consider him far too loyal to that pack of feral hyenas for his own good.

Joe Lieberman, policy differences notwithstanding, is my kind of man, politics be damned. If the Democrats aren't complete idiots (and of course they are) they should be kissing his ass, because at this stage of the game he appears to be one of only 2 or 3 people in the country who could corral the tea partiers, the disaffected independents, the libertarians, and the disillusioned conservatives, and make a serious third party run in 2012. Because, let's face it: Barack Obama is as spent and useless as last year's bird's nest.

I know one thing: I'd vote for Big Joe. On integrity alone.

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Bring Out The Gimps

My pal Mentos is traveling, so his rebuttal to my response to the Showtime post may take a day or two. In the meantime, he sez:

Open the comments! Let slip the dogs of war!


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You can comment here, or back at the original post. Or tell me to piss off and post some tits.

Also: I'm only going to warn you once: have something relevant to say. If you merely indulge in personal attacks I'll delete your comments. And post some tits. With your face on 'em.


As an aside, Mentos begged off on an immediate response because he was suffering jet lag from a 24-hour flight. I told him you're supposed to deplane when Goofy stops the Barnstormer.


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December 12, 2009

Homeless Tent City Calls Itself Obamaville

The worm turns:


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Isn't Wasn't Colorado a blue state?

"Herbert Hoover is dead and therefore unavailable for comment," said tent city resident Tom Joad. "By the way, have you seen Tiger? My sister Rose of Sharon's knocked up again."

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December 11, 2009

It's Showtime

A few weeks back commenter Daniel Mintosh engaged in single combat in my comments section with some of my more opinionated readers. The topic was Obama, of course, and leftism in general. Most memorably in my Tin Drum allegory There Once Was A Gullible People... and A Bad Man posts.

Now I appreciate someone doing battle outmanned and outgunned, even if I consider them outbrained as well, so I sent an e-mail to young Mintosh (Mentos, to me, because he freshmakes my comments section) and posited 8 questions to him. All eight questions I'll post below. He readily swallowed the bait agreed so long as he could reply to one question at a time. I agreed, and stipulated that I would reply to his response, and allow him a rebuttal to my reply. I also stated I would disable comments, because I truly would like to have a reasonable discussion with him, probe his anus mind, as it were, and see what makes a leftist tick.

If Daniel agrees, I will enable the comments after he reads this, or after his rebuttal. His call. I'd just like to avoid a degeneration of this discussion into name-calling, vitriol, ad hominem attacks, and all-purpose FUCK YOU's. You know, my normal style of discourse.

Here are my eight questions, and below the fold is Mentos's reply, with my rebuttal:


1. Obama campaigned as a centrist moderate. For example, he promised to pursue the Afghanistan war aggressively, cut spending, and shield the middle class from tax increases. Once in office he has pursued far more radical policies, such as mandated health care, cap and trade taxes, and unilateral nuclear disarmament.

Did you expect him to move so hard left once in office? If not, do you still approve of the policies he's pursuing?

2. The House and Senate versions of health care reform create a public option, and will effectively nationalize 1/6th of the U.S. economy. This is revolutionary by any standard of measurement. Yet polls consistently show Americans are not in favor of nationalized health care.

Do you feel the president and congress have the mandate to pass legislation a large majority of the citizens do not want or agree with? Do you feel public servants should be able to pass laws the vast majority of their constituents do not want?

3. Polls show a large majority of Americans are happy with their current health care, but would like to see some reform to bring costs down. The GOP has offered several options for containing costs that do not involve nationalizing health care, for instance eliminating laws that prevent people from purchasing health insurance across state lines, allowing individuals and small businesses to pool resources to leverage purchasing power, and enacting tort reform to limit malpractice awards.

Do you think implementing these incremental reforms would be preferable to an all-in total restructuring of health care in the United States? If not, why not?

4. Obama has promised to cut waste, fraud, and abuse from Medicare and Medicaid to lower costs. To date he has not attempted to do so. Obamacare is being modeled on Medicare and Medicaid, and these programs as currently structured are rife with waste, fraud, and abuse per the President.

Do you think we should reform Medicare and Medicaid before enacting national health care reform? If not, why not?

5. The House version of Health Care Reform stipulates aggressive fines and even imprisonment for failure to purchase government-mandated health insurance, or failure to pay the attendant penalty should one not purchase the mandated insurance.

Do you feel people should be fined and imprisoned for failing to buy health insurance? Do you feel this is constitutional? What judicial precedent would inform this opinion?

6. Obama promised to develop a new strategy on Afghanistan. He appointed a new theater commander in Stanley McChrystal, who submitted a recommendation for aditional troops last summer. Obama has not acted on this recommendation, and has only given McChrystal one twenty-minute meeting in the five months since his recommendation.

Do you believe the delay in implementation of the McChrystal strategy endangers troops? If not, why not?

7. Bush was famously lambasted by the mainstream media for the duration of his presidency. He chose not to address the attacks. Obama has personally and particularly attacked the few media entities to question him, including Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.

Do you feel it is appropriate for the President to personally attack his detractors? If so, why?

8. Many Republicans, conservatives, and independents voted for Obama despite policy differences because they felt he had a first-class temperament, and would heal racial divisions in the country.

Do you feel Obama has exhibited a first-class temperament since his election?

Do you feel Obama has been gracious to the opposition since his election?

Do you feel the nation has experienced improvement in racial tensions since Obama's election?


(For the below I shall use the following initials: for Daniel, M (Mentos). For me, G (Godhead).

Question 1:


G: Obama campaigned as a centrist moderate. For example, he promised to pursue the Afghanistan war aggressively, cut spending, and shield the middle class from tax increases. Once in office he has pursued far more radical policies, such as mandated health care, cap and trade taxes, and unilateral nuclear disarmament.

Did you expect him to move so hard left once in office? If not, do you still approve of the policies he's pursuing?


M:One problem with a democracy - is that in the election process one is tempted (well, more than tempted) to be all things to all people. Clinton ran back to Arkansas to affirm the execution or Ricky Ray Rector. George W. was the compassionate conservative. That some people saw a candidate in Obama that was more conservative than he turned out to be is not really much of a surprise in the larger context of election year politics.

However - I also simply don't see Obama as having moved to the left.

On mandated healthcare, I guess you are talking about the flop described here -- http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/jul/20/barack-obama/obama-flip-flops-requiring-people-buy-health-care/

As the article says - Obama does have a bit of wiggle-room against accusations of a flop in that he wants an "extreme hardship" exclusion. Lame as this is as an excuse - it is also the kind of political waffling that is ubiquitous in politics. Moreover - the plans currently before the house and senate are just that - house and senate plans, suggesting that waffling in this case amounts to nothing more than dealing realistically with the hand he is being dealt. Do I approve of the type of politics that makes things like this happen? Of course not. But it is the system we have.

I suspect that one reason you find the mandate as worrying as you do (and see a huge flip flop on Obama's part) relates to question 5, so I will go ahead and respond to that here:

5. The House version of Health Care Reform stipulates aggressive fines and even imprisonment for failure to purchase government-mandated health insurance, or failure to pay the attendant penalty should one not purchase the mandated insurance.

Do you feel people should be fined and imprisoned for failing to buy health insurance? Do you feel this is constitutional? What judicial precedent would inform this opinion?

Now – the problem here is that it is simply not true that the bill stipulates “imprisonment” for failure to purchase health insurance, although it is theoretically possible that someone could be imprisoned as a result of nonpayment. See politifact, again: http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/sep/29/patients-first/conservative-group-says-youll-be-imprisoned-not-ha/

The confusion here – is that any fines levied as a result of not having health insurance would be added to the individual’s federal tax bill. And any consequent imprisonment would be for non-payment of federal taxes. So yes – somebody could be imprisoned as a consequence of refusing to purchase health insurance. But there is nothing fundamentally new or radical about this. According to the current tax system someone could also be jailed for nonpayment of taxes - who, perhaps, had withheld payment because he did not want to help pay for the military industrial complex or for federal farm subsidies. The tax code is a complex Leviathon, and none of us gets to pick and choose what government programs we wish to support and which ones we don’t. This of course opens up a whole new bucket of worms – but that really is my point. That bucket gets opened for various and sundry reasons by the left and by the right, and I really don’t see how Obama’s flop in this case is different than politics as usual.

Many of the other items you suggest as indicative of Obama having swerved to the left are also attached to other questions in your list – which I will address in turn – with perhaps the exception of the following:

Shielding the middle class from taxes – and cap and trade (which I take it as your example of something which will have consequences on the middle class). Of course, there is much disagreement about the financial impact of cap and trade – as politifact reminds us -- http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2009/jun/25/your-guide-cap-and-trade/. In any case, Obama campaigned on cap and trade ( http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/promise/465/use-revenue-from-cap-and-trade-to-support-clean-en/ ) so accusing him of veering to the left on this is a non-starter.

Cutting Spending – The economic collapse was the great game changer on this. We can disagree about whether Bush is at fault or not – and even disagree about whether the stimulus packages were good policy – but if you want to go the extra mile and say that the collapse was just a convenient excuse to do the type of spending leftists have wanted to do all along (which many on the right have implied) – this is verging on the conspiratorial. What – did Obama plan this all along? As one voice in Congress? With a republican president? The good faith (non conspiratorial) reading of the increased spending is that Obama is trying to make the best of a very bad situation. Holding Obama accountable for campaign talking points while ignoring the financial collapse - is quibbling with him in bad faith.

Now – please try and explain Bush’s spending to me? (and if you’re tired of politifact, here is the very conservative Cato institute - http://www.cato.org/pubs/tbb/tbb-0510-26.pdf )


G: First, Mentos makes the claim that politicans promise all things to all people to get elected. This is true, however it does not answer the question: did Obama veer leftward? Certainly Clinton ran back to Arkansas to put a retarded man to death to seal his tough-on-crime bona fides, but that was political theater during the campaign. George Bush ran as a compassionate conservative, and, to the dismay of many of us, the bastard proceeded to govern like one. Unlike most leftists, conservatives are willing to cry foul on policies their guy champions, such as the prescription drug benefit, the steel tariff, and the education bill of W's presidency. Leftists are all about the battle, not the principles involved, and do not ever criticize their guy publicly for his litmus-test shortcomings.

Mentos claims Obama has not moved to the left on health care, but until recently Obama was still braying "If you like your insurance you can keep it," all the while aggressively pursuing a single payer plan that would put the private options out of business. It was a campaign lie, pure and simple. Employers hate subsidizing health insurance, and whack wages to pay for it. A subsidized public option will have them bailing out of the health plan they provide employees as quickly as they can. If you like your current insurance, in other words, too fucking bad. Because it's going to go away.

Mentos calls the fines and imprisonment portion of Obamacare "simply not true" because the fines would be assessed against federal income taxes, so one's imprisonment would not be the direct result of not paying the fine, but rather one of not paying the taxes. Clever ruse, this, but it's three-card-monte to the rest of us. And no, it is not "politics as usual." Never in the history of this country has anyone been compelled to engage in an economic activity, to pay for something they may not want. Even car insurance: hell, if you feel that strongly about it, you can forego ownership of a car and ride the bus. No so with Obamacare: you WILL buy it, or you WILL pay the penalty, or you WILL go to prison. How's that wiggle-room working out, Mentos?

As for cap-and-trade, you are correct: Obama did campaign on that. In fact, he specifically said "Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket." The only trouble is, I don't believe he meant to let the cat out of that particular bag. But once a person is in love, they don't hear what the other party's saying. Ask Tiger.


As for the reckless spending, I don't think Obama and the Democrats are spending like drunken sailors because of the tanking economy: their spending isn't repairing a damned thing. They're spending like crazy in spite of the bad economy. Trillion dollar deficits don't right an economy, they wreck it. Ask FDR.

The only real question to ask is: is the administration so ignorant of macroeconomics they don't understand their deficit spending is making things much, much worse, and prolonging or destroying an economic recovery, or do they understand it, and consider it a feature, not a bug? The first is understandable idiocy, the second is sinister treason. And I do not consider anyone in this administration to be an idiot.

So, on question one, Mentos, I believe Obama has veered sharply left, and moreso than merely edging leftward from the honeyed center. And the question was not did love-struck voters read their own desires into Obama? That's a question for Tiger Beat. The disintegration of Obama's popularity with moderates tells me Obama's agenda is decidedly left of his promises. And his poll numbers overall have the high stink of failure, disillusionment, and indignation all over them.


Do I activate comments? I'll leave that up to Daniel.

Coming attractions: Question 2, and I paraphrase: are Pelosi and Reid fucking fascists, or what?

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December 9, 2009

On Turning a Tiger into Butter

...and other racist iconography...

I wasn't going to traffic in any schadenfreudesque (that couldn't possibly be a word) jabs at Tiger Woods. The fellow is taking a long hard fall from grace, and it surely sucks to be in a place where no amount of money can rescue you from global humiliation and shame. He will literally have no where to run, no where to hide, for the rest of his days. He will be the butt of a thousand jokes.

I am curious about two things, however: first, forget the pre-nup. Didn't this guy think to have the postprandial sipping of the cognac conversation that goes Babe, you realize of course that as the hottest athlete in the world, with a half-billion in the bank, I'll be sticking my cock in all kinds of strange places, don't you?

Well, I would. Seems only fair. Plus, you get a glimpse of the potential for skull damage well in advance.

The other thing is, yes his wife is a classic Nordic beauty. His flings? Good God, what a feral pack of sleazy, Floam-tittied jezebels.

Tiger apparently suffers from a slattern pattern: party hags breast-juiced to the point of translucent varicose veinage, with bodies only fairly hot due to the graces of youth, and all with rather odd facial anomalies. A weird crooked nose here. Acneal scarring there. A bit of an overbite right ch'eah. Capped teeth.

Surely Li'l Tige has been to a proper gentleman's club once or twice, and seen what USDA Prime looka like. Apparently the lad likes the down-and-dirty scooter trash look. Passing strange, that.

But as Johnny Mathis advised us, It's Not For Me To Say. And as Oscar Wilde admitted, I can resist everything but temptation.

Still, for the stakes involved, I believe I would have been able to resist scub ugly.


Exhibit A:


mindy-lawton.jpg


I rest my case.

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December 8, 2009

A Matter of Appropriateness

An interesting discussion going on over at Ace's. He's written one of his periodic posts excoriating commenters for going racist and gay-bashing. I understand his point. There is humor, and there is hate. It's a fine line, and, hell, I cross it at times here. I don't mean to: I just find everyone potentially fair game for a little ox-goring, most notably my own cracker-assed Scotch-Irish self.

To exclude any one person or demographic from the ultimately humanizing prospect of being able to laugh at oneself is to infer that they are not human enough to take it in the first place. On the other hand, there is speech designed to wound, to hurt. That is even more dehumanizing.

Here's a good example of where I draw the line:

When I first took over my ex-company's Memphis operation our new facility was not quite ready, and six of us were crammed into a wretched construction trailer for about a month. I'd had a couple of customer service people quit just prior to my arrival, and was training a couple of new hires. One of the newbs seemed pretty normal at first. 40ish year old guy.

After a couple of days of monitoring his phone calls I realized he was terminating every phone call with my customers with

"Phantasmagorical!" or

"Okley-Dokley!"

At first I chalked it up to an odd day, or new peep blues fitting in. Then I realized it had been going on for over a week.

"Phantasmagorical!"

"Okley-Dokley!"

These were my customers he was talking to. The people I'd crawl over broken glass for. The folks I needed to maintain a solid professional relationship with.

"Phantasmagorical!"

"Okley-Dokley!"

I had to fire him. In retrospect, it was really not a firing offense. Perhaps I could have worked with him, trained him not to do that. But we'd crossed the Rubicon at that point. I was offended.

He also had a couple of really strange fingers. No fingernails. At least not on top of the fingertips. It looked as if he'd been born without fingernails, and someone had jammed Lee Press-On Nails into his fingertips. It was fucking phantasmagorical, is what it was. And creepy.

So that's my bottom line: don't embarrass me, shithead. Or nauseate me with machinery-damaged hands. And we'll get along just fine.

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December 7, 2009

Buckdancing


He's no Bloody Ebsen, but he ain't bad.

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The Sugar Glider

I was perusing the Athens, Georgia Craigslist, looking for things I want but do not really need. Farm & Garden strictly. I am afeared of perusal for amusement purposes only of the Personals. I assume every ad is actually a GBI agent, and clicking on an innocuous advert like Wholesome Threesome! will bring up pictures of children in bondage in a chicken house in Commerce, and bludgeoning by outraged instruments of The State. So I stick to Farm & Garden.

Look what I found:

A Horse Davis Boot!


boot.jpg


Never heard of it, even under its likely proper name of a Davis horse boot, but apparently you put your horse's hoof in there if it's suffering from abscesses or the thrush, like Illya Kuryakin. 10 bucks! I don't own a horse, but I might could use that for a paperweight on my desk, or devise a drinking game using it.

I also found bunnies:


bunnies.jpg


Also 10 dollars, and ready to fatten up for that Christmas hasenpfeffer.


A 1959 John Deere tractor for $4,950:


deere.jpg


Probably $500 new. It'd look better if it was in the front yard, and I scraped most of that paint off for the rusty "distressed" look that's so popular.

Lookee here:


egg.jpg


Only $750 for a used Big Green Egg. That's right. $750. For a Fucking. Used. Charcoal. Grill.

Them $10 rabbits are looking better about now, aren't they?

Here was the prize, the ad that grabbed me:

Well, all the ad said was SUGAR GLIDER. No pix, nothing else in the header. Now, I am recently arrived from the rear de-escalating end of a rather impersonal turnip truck, so I don't know what a sugar glider is. If it's a device for stripping or processing sugar cane, well, fuck me, I don't need it, but that doesn't mean I won't buy it! Especially if it is at the rather common Craigslist going rate of ten dollars.

It could also be one of those contraptions you put on the front porch. Half swing, half couch. A glider. For getting sugar from your baby. Key has a wrought iron glider on the back deck, but it ain't no sugar glider, I'll bet, as it seems too uncomfortable for us to sit on together.

So I clicked on the ad. It said:

I found a sugar glider, it is really shy, but doesnt bite. I do not have a cage or any supllies so buyer will need these items. I am asking 100 dollars. It would make a great christmas gift!

Now, I'm assuming found means stold, but that's just the loosey-goosey nature of the internets, isn't it? It's one big fencing operation, as far as I can tell. But the mention of a cage, and supllies [sic] had me a little worried. What the fuck do you need to cage it for? Is it like a Tasmanian Devil? Never had to cage a porch swing before.

So I Googlied it, of course, and found out it does indeed live in Tasmania:


sugarglider.jpg


Oh, ho: it's like one of those filthy flying squirrels, only cuter. Now you sordid people may know what a sugar glider is, but I don't truck with vermin like that, so it was a revelation. $100 doesn't seem that much, though, considering the trouble this seller has had to go to, pawning his hot cargo. On the other hand, that's 10 coneys in the pot.

I'm torn. Perhaps I could get the sugar glider, keep it in the horse boot, feed it bits of alfalfa freshly mown with the John Deere, let it play with the bunnies, and then cook them all together on the Big Green Egg. That would cover the justifications to buy all that stuff, while assuaging my sense of cosmic OCD. And simultaneously bringing some truly stinky karma down on my head, I'll wager.


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December 5, 2009

The Other New Jesus

I'm not really sure why they're calling that BCS game in January a "national championship game." It will feature #1 versus #3. The regular season is over, and the real national championship game is today: #1 versus #2. Florida vs. Alabama. Fuck a bunch of Texas backing into a title game in January.

I'm rooting for Alabama because Georgia sucked penises this year and, well, memories of the Bear. Plus Florida is a bunch of homos. In fact, theirs was one of the penises Georgia sucked.

I'll be playing the Tim Tebow drinking game:


In honor of Tebow's sheer awesomeness, we give you the Tebow
SEC Championship Drinking Game!

* Drink every time Tebow is called "a warrior."

* Drink every time Tebow's called "a leader," then salute.

* Drink every time Tebow's called a "special athlete," then yell
"Tiiiimmmmmmmmay!"

* Finish your drink if the announcers suggest Tebow should win the
Heisman again this year.

* Drink every time Tebow points to the sky. Then realize the only
reason the sky hasn't fallen is the strength of his pointing.

* Drink every time Tebow references God. Or himself.
Tom-A-to.Tom-ah-to.

* Drink every time he's shown on the sidelines flapping his arms
like a bird (or an idiot) to pump up the crowd.

* If (when) Tebow actually takes flight, finish your drink and do a
shot.

* Drink every time Tebow's on camera for no reason when the Florida
defense is on the field.

* Drink every time Tebow is seen screaming with his helmet off.

* Drink every time they show a "I Heart Tebow" sign in the stands.

* Drink every time you see a Florida fan in jorts. (Small sips on
this one. Otherwise it could kill you).

* Shot every time they mention his experience as missionary.

* If they mention him performing circumcisions in the Philippines
while he was a missionary - Chug your beer, do a shot of Patron.


I should be pretty well obliterated by the end of the first quarter.

My nephew Tyler says "I'll be playing Guess the Eye Black Bible Verse. You have to guess which over-used, pompous, self-promoting bible verse he uses on his eye black to compare himself to Jesus each week. "

Tyler is guessing Isaiah 9:6:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Or possibly Revelations 22:13:

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.


I'm pretty sure Obama is upset about this pretender to the throne. I call for a cage match in God's Octagon, also known as Dick Cheney's back yard.


Oh, yeah: Alabama 27, Florida 24.


H/T Belinda and Scott for the Tebow game.


1st QUARTER UPDATE: 9-0 Tide. The mood is one of cautious optimism. I am cautiously optimistic. At least Florida got rid of the queer helmets:


gators-mini-s.jpg


It is oft mocked as the Sunkist helmet:


sunkist2.jpg


Not exactly light in the loafers, just... feathery.


2nd QUARTER UPDATE: I can't make out Tebow's eye black Bible verse. John16:3-something. Probably 16:31: Jesus answered them: do ye now believe?

Pretty much sums it up. You know, I'm not much of a conspiracle theorist, but I find it passing strange that Tebow plays for a guy named after a long line of controversial popes. Urban VIII, for instance: he not only had a famous dust up with Galileo over heliocentrism, he also excommunicated people for tobacco use. He thought the sneezing it caused too closely resembled sexual ecstasy.

Just like Tebow.

Oops: It's John 16:33: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...I have overcome the world.

Indeed. God just texted me. He's upset with Tebow's Simon Cowell haircut. Says it looks like they're planning to plant a row of corn down the center of their skull.

Oh, yeah: 12-3 Tide.

HALF TIME UPDATE: 19-13 Tide. To the locker rooms: coaches and coordinators will swear and curse. Chalkboards will be scribbled upon. Adjustments will be made. The true measure of a team is how they react, how they adjust. Like me. I adjusted. Switched to an adult diaper, hell, I can shite myself and not miss a play at this point.

Which fact brings us full circle back to the mood of cautious optimism, don't it?

3rd QUARTER UPDATE: 26-13 Tide. But Alabama is about to score...

32-13 Alabama.

4th QUARTER UPDATE: Apparently being Jesus isn't enough these days. Bama ruled this game from start to finish. That's a fact. Now: who wins the Heisman? Mark Ingram deserves it, but Colt McCoy will win because he's a quarterback. And a white boy.

RACISTS!

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December 2, 2009

Abetting the Economic Recovery

Diamonique on QVC NOW!


Cheap watches at Instapundit NOW!

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Locked In

Chip Reid at CBS's Political Hotsheet:


During the Senate Armed Services hearing today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was pressed by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. on whether the July 2011 date for beginning to withdrawal troops is "locked in."

Gates seemed to suggest there was some flexibility, that "it was a clear statement of his strong intent" and that "the president always has the freedom to re-evaluate his decisions." After the hearing Graham said he took that to mean the date is "not locked in" and will depend on conditions on the ground.

It was a point of contention at the White House briefing today – I asked White House spokesman Robert Gibbs if senators were incorrect calling the date a "target."

After the briefing, Gibbs went to the president for clarification. Gibbs then called me to his office to relate what the president said. The president told him it IS locked in – there is no flexibility. Troops WILL start coming home in July 2011. Period. It's etched in stone. Gibbs said he even had the chisel.


Even had the chisel. In-fucking-deed.

What a whore Obama is. Promises to throw some troops into an existential war just to shore up his cratering poll numbers, and shut up the cracker frothers, then declares he will pull them out in time for his re-election. Didn't even take 24 hours.

I'm truly tired of hearing what a political genius this spung is. He doen't even have the acumen of a high school drop-out stripper:

Respect the mark, asshole.

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Gerard and the Earworm

Poor Van der Leun had a Billy Joel situation.

My sympathies. We've all had those, and they always suck.

Myself, I'm still rather proud of the fact that I got bounced from the indoor "tiki bar" lounge of the Polynesian Resort at Disney World in 1978. For having a headful of MDMA and tequila. Or, more properly, for threatening to beat the bloody shit out of the gig musician if he played one more damned Billy Joel song.

It was okay. After being unceremoniously tossed I hopped on the monorail, rode it back and forth for two hours while I smoked some ganja to chill, and gave that Billy Joel-loving prick both fingers every time it stopped outside the lounge.

That, that fucker.

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Hockey Sticks

Here's a graph for the climate scientists:


AGW3_32657_image001.gif


No, you may not see my raw data.

Yes, it was peer-reviewed (cf. Doc's Bar, Tybee Island, GA, 2009).

No, I am not skilled enough to publish a higher-rez graph.

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