Wednesday, December 30, 2009

DeMint - "Unions More Dangerous than Al Qaeda"

OK, who ordered the Semtex Happy Meal?

Way to go, Senator DeMint. Obstruction for obstruction's sake. Much better to have highly motivated minimum wage workers screening airline passengers. Ya want fries with your underwear bomb, Senator?

(special shout out to Sen. Tom Coburn -(R-Douchebag) who suddenly found his fiscal responsibility principles in an old pair of pants he last wore to the Iraqi Blue Thumb Election Celebration and singlehandedly made it more difficult for families to care for severely wounded veterans)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry F#%king Christmas - The Tradition Continues

Well, if it's inevitable, you might as well relax and enjoy it. Regular reader(s) of this blog realize I am talking about the tradition where I bug out early from the Christmas Queen Mother's Festival of Family, go home to watch a movie by myself (last year it was Death Race 2000), listen to the Christmas Queen herself while she tells me all about the party I just left, find my attention wandering back to the movie which pisses the Queen off enough that she wishes me a "Merry Fucking Christmas" and stomps off. Then the boy laughs.

Now there are two ways I can go. I can be a loving and sensitive husband, attentive to my wife's needs, and help her to make this Christmas a warm and comforting expression of family love and togetherness. Or I could watch a movie. My question to you, dear reader(s), is which movie?* Please take the time to help me make my choice by filling out the poll in the sidebar.

*(Now, before you pass judgement on me as a complete asshole, realize that the Christmas Queen already has laser beams for eyes and is quivering in anticipation like a coonhound before the hunt, and that, whatever I do and however I do it, chances are about 90/10 that it will be wrong. I might as well grow a pair and take my medicine like a man.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Seen Movie

Or maybe Harry Potter and the Half Assed Movie. Filmed in a tone so dark, with a plot so muddled, that in half the movie you can't tell what's going on and in the other half you just don't care. I guess that's to set the tone for Dumbledore getting killed. Tragic, although by that time you're just glad something happened. And a love story - or a couple of them. Kind of - they also go nowhere. We get to meet the Dark Lord as a young man. He's the creepy Damien kid bussed in from the set of Omen III. And Helena Bonham Carter is great as a slutty Helena Bonham Carter witch. Lots of standing around. No good monsters. Two thumbs down.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Eulogy for Dad

 On behalf of my brother and myself and our families I wish to thank you for coming here to honor our father, Vito Scriptunas. I also wish to thank everyone in the community who helped my dad during his final days.- the neighbors in the Twin Lakes area who kept an eye on him, the EMT’s who took him to the hospital, the nurses who gave him wonderful care in his last hours, Dr. Jones who gave my father the tools to live out his final year independently and especially Dr. Chris Wetzel, who’s kindness and compassion helped us through a difficult time.
          Many of you know my father as that affable old gardener on Lakeview or that faithful church goer but he lived a long and full life and was a more complex and interesting man than many of you may realize. As one of three sons of a coal miner’s widow, with  the family scraping by on a meager miner’s death benefit during the depression, the prospects for anything but a difficult life in the mines were all but certain. My father’s own father died of black lung when he was 16. Often, when he would talk about his boyhood and his father, he would break down and cry. At the time I couldn’t understand this emotion over a man I never knew, about a death that had happened so long ago. Well, I know now, a father can’t be replaced.
    My father was a combat veteran of the Eighth Air Force, the 379th heavy bomb group. He received the European African Mediterranean China Medal with 3 bronze stars and the Air Medal with Four bronze stars. He flew 33  missions over Europe as a ball turret gunner. He was a war hero. Now my father would laugh if he heard me say that. According to my father  his entire military career was some sort of  big misunderstanding. To hear him tell it he was carried along through the war by forces neither rational nor intelligible. The only reason he joined up was because he was going to be drafted  anyway  and he wanted to try to get in the Navy. But the guy just  in front of him in line was the last one they took for the navy so he ended up in an artillery unit and one day they yanked him out of line because he was small enough to fit in a ball turret and they needed gunners so they  stuck him in a B-17 and sent him to Europe. But it didn’t really matter because by that stage of the war the Germans had jet fighters and they were too fast for his guns to track so he was pretty much just riding along looking at the pretty clouds.
    My father had an artistic side – his handwriting was beautiful and his lettering skills were superb. The colonel in charge of the base in Arizona discover this and offered him a stateside job lettering planes for the duration of the war. He turned it down, which irritated the colonel so much that, by the next week, he was assigned to an air crew and on his way to Europe. This kind of puzzled me so I asked him, “You mean you had chance to stay stateside for the rest of the war and you turned it down? Why would you do that?”
    He looked at me and said “Have you ever been to Kingman, Arizona?”
    I’m not sure what the term is for an exaggeration in the other direction but I found out later that he left out a few important details. I was fortunate to attend a couple of air crew reunions with him.  The waist gunner, Ned Rooks, set me straight about some parts of the story that my father had left out.  He told me that rather than being randomly plucked out of the regular army all these guys were volunteers. They signed up to be on a flight crew,  and that, at any time, they could go the flight surgeon and be assigned back to the regular army if they couldn’t handle it anymore. He talked about having to crawl down to the ball turret with a portable oxygen bottle to revive my dad because his oxygen line has frozen up in the minus 40 degree temperature, or how he and my father had to climb into the bomb bay and kick the remaining bombs out of the crippled aircraft so that they could land,  or how my dad would touch off his guns at approaching fighters even though he was soaked through with aviation fuel from a ruptured wing tank – or how my dad patched up a badly wounded radio operator and the crew decided to land the shot up aircraft instead of bailing out over the field because they didn’t think the radio operator could survive the jump. He was barely more than a boy, but that’s the kind of man my dad was. Ned’s wife, who was married during the war took me aside aside and told me that my father was the cockiest and most confident man she had ever met.
    This confidence stood him in good stead after the war. Dad thought seriously about Seminary after the war. My brother and I are grateful that he pursued a different path. So this kid with a general education degree from Scranton High manages to talk his way into Lehigh and come out with a degree in industrial engineering. He pursues and weds my mother,  who was from the same town but a different economic background and this at a time when a Lithuanian Irish match could still raise a few eyebrows. His combat training no doubt helped him in his marriage to my mother, who could be every bit as confident and hard headed as he was. But they ultimately had more than 40 years of a committed and loving marriage, and when my mother came down with Rheumatoid arthritis, nearly crippled and in constant pain, it was my father who stood by her, took her to countless doctor’s appointments and cared  for her until her death.
    So my father could do what needed to be done. He could wallpaper, tile a bathroom, sweat a pipe or build a stone wall.  He even designed a building that is still standing. This, after trying to explain to his boss that he was an industrial engineer, not a civil or professional engineer. His boss told him that an engineer is an engineer – do it. So he did it.
    We would spend some summers in Ocean City, NJ. One year my parents rented a surf board for my brother and me, a monster 7seven foot long board that took both of us to carry to the water. Unfortunately the very next day I broke my toe in the sand playing football with my father and I didn’t get a chance to ride it.  A sand  bar had developed  about a hundred yards offshore and beyond it were breaking some nice seven to ten foot waves. So I sat on the beach , feeling sorry for myself, as my brother, a little guy on a big board, struggled for half an hour to paddle out beyond the sand bar to where the waves were breaking. He finally got to where he wanted to be and was sitting on the board, waiting for a wave when my father walked over to me and asks “Where’s Neil?”.  I pointed  to a spot far offshore and said  “He’s out there and wow, look at that, he caught a wave, look at him go!”  My brother took off on the ride of his life, standing on the board and heading towards Cape May at an amazing speed. Two memories come back. One is my brother’s ride, which to this day, remains the single most impressive thing I have ever seen him do. My father thought otherwise, probably because my brother couldn’t  swim.  The second memory is my father running down the beach yelling, complete with sandals, socks, hat, watch and glasses and diving in the water to swim out and rescue my brother. I’m not sure what happened after that although I’m pretty sure my brother can fill you in.  
    I broke my arm badly falling out of a tree when we were visiting my cousins in New Jersey. Broke it so badly that the local hospital told my dad theat they couldn’t set it and that he would have to get me to a  specialist in Philadelphia. And not only that, that he would have to get me there  within an hour or permanent damage would probably occur. So the local doctors splinted my arm and shot me up with morphine and dad bundled me in the back seat and off we went.  The morphine took away the pain but my father took away the fear and I felt like things were going to be all right. And they were. Because my dad took care of it. He got me there in time and I can use this arm. Thanks, Dad.
    But my father would  also take care of situations that weren’t necessarily his responsibility. I have an early memory, probably one of my earliest,  of standing on the seat of the car, looking out the window, as my father, illuminated in the headlights, changes a tire to rescue a couple of stranded teenagers. That’s the man most of you knew. If you needed help you could count on him.
    As I got older (and smarter), I came to rely more and more on my father for advice. Sometimes I would even follow it. When I would be offered a chance to take a new position, maybe something that was more of a challenge and would take me out of my comfort zone, he would always urge me to try new things., telling me that I would have far more regrets not knowing whether I could do the job than trying and failing.
    He once gave me a training manual he had written for new managers in his company. In it he wrote that every employee has value and more importantly, every  employee needs to feel as though they are important.  And that’s how my Dad lived his life. When my father talked to you, no matter who you were or what you were doing, whether you were cutting his hair, or filling his teeth or bagging groceries or just walking by, he was not just exchanging pleasantries, he was talking to you. He was interested in you and what you had to say. Vito Scriptunas loved people. And people loved him back.
    So I would think that my father would want this for a legacy- that when we think of him we remember  that we are all important, that we all have worth, that we all have something to offer and that we should treat everyone we meet in our daily lives with compassion and respect.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mr. Potatohead Asks the Wrong Question

Who cares? We all know the answer to that question. Later in the interview Barbour claims that the states are best able to deal with health care insurance and that the federal bill is useless because it has no provisions to deal with tort reform. He goes on to claim that Mississippi has slashed health care premiums by up to 60% because of the tort reforms his administration adopted. Mathews, still preening over his Palin gotcha moment, neglects to do his homework and ask two obvious questions:
  1. If it should be up to the states to manage health care matters why federalize tort reform?
  2. Why does a state like Mississippi have almost twice as many uninsured citizens as Pennsylvania, with its onerous malpractice judgments?
Mathews goes on to congratulate Barbour for sticking it to the Democrats. Yeah, we'd all like some of that sweet Mississippi health care.

Hey Sarah!

Make it out to Phil McCrackin

Will you sign my dead baby?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Must Be Lack of Vitamin P

What do Timothy McVeigh, Eric Rudolph, George Sodini, Nidal Hasan and Mohamed Atta have in common? It's not politics or religion. Those are bullshit arguments that these guys and their media facilitators use to put window dressing on what is obviously a deep seated psychosis. The answer of course, is that none of these guys could get laid. Not even if they had $5,000 pocket money and a bottle of roofies. There may well be something broken in men like this, but I'll wager that it takes a perfect storm of isolation and alienated frustration to set off these murderous rampages and if, at any time in the process, any of these losers had gotten a little snatch therapy, the cycle would have been broken.

So here's the plan:

  • In the USA not much can be done, what with that pesky 2nd Ammendment and that whole innocent till proven guilty thing. In a culture as with as many overt and covert sexual images selling everything from Jesus to jeans, avoidance of sex takes a level of self loathing that is difficult to achieve. It shouldn't be too difficult to infiltrate and monitor the membership of white power, radical anti-abortion and muslim extremist groups. If any of these individuals take a sudden interest in assault weapons or corporate farming it would be time to introduce them to a cadre of highly trained massage professionals.
  • Peace in the Middle East? Possible with the judicious use of American culture to lubricate the peace process. Baywatch, the first shot in the New Crusade has softened them up. The most popular show on the planet has enticed Arab youth to jack off to Pamela Anderson for the last 20 years. It's time to take it to the next level - forget cluster bombs and secret prisons - we need to drop tens of millions of iphones and blanket the entire middle east with free WiFi. They'll be no keeping them on the madrass when they have access to Arabian Nights   and Grand Theft Auto - Vice City.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day, Dad - Connie's Last Flight

Dad in the ball turret on the way to Dresden

From the inside - Connie sustains major structural damage from flak


Shell went through the plane and exploded above. The crew donned their chutes and prepared to bail. The pilot, Walt Shultz, regained control, fell out of formation and limped back to Kimbolton Air Base at low altitude..

Connie, her spine broken, settled to the ground overnight and was towed to a nearby field for fire suppression practice.

Connie's crew with a new plane - all gone now except for my dad

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Rat Ladies of Pacific Palisades

“I’ve lived with rats since 1958, honey.... When I got the house in [1958], that’s the day I started feeding all the animals. And I fed them as long as I lived there.”
Funny about the interwebs, you can be minding your own business, wandering through the comments on a coyote hunting forum and end up finding a weird story about spintster twin sisters and their thousands of four legged companions. Apparently the only sightings of these two were their weekly forays to the store to haul bags of dog food home in a shopping cart to feed their rats or as PETA calls them, sewer kittens.. Also, apparently, the neighbors who moved in next door objected and sued the realtor and previous owner for failing to disclose a little thing like a colony of 10,000 rats living next door. Follow the above link for an unbelievable story of mental illness and governmental malfeasance. One of the twins uses Revelation to explain her behavior. Maybe she means this:
When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!" I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.Revelation 6:7-8 NIV
Now I'm all for live and let live but I have to say that I'm against trying to hasten the End Times plague by feeding and sheltering thousands of rats. Particularly in a nice neighbor hood like Pacific Palisades.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Tom Tancredo - American Hero

Memo to Republicans: If you are a chickenhawk talking to some guy about what veterans want - make sure that other guy is not an actual veteran .

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Coyote Attack

Strange story. Pretty unusual for a coyote or even a pack of them to attack an adult. Most of the attacks on humans involve children or adults trying to rescue  a child or a pet. It hard for me to imagine that a coyote or even two would attempt to take down an adult. When I lived outside Seattle I'd hear them far more often than I'd see them. They kept to the woods line at the edge of the field and were extremely skittish and the ones I did see couldn't have been more than 30 or 40 pounds. We heard stories that they would lure a dog into the woods and gang up on it and kill  it but that never happened to ours. Of course they were pretty big dogs, a pointer/dalmation, a big lab, a great dane, and a shepherd cross and they'd run together a lot. Tough as coyotes are, I imagine they would have trouble with that particular pack  but as far as I know they never got one. I ran the pointer (good old Fred) behind the car once  and clocked him at about 30 so he could move pretty good. He took off after a coyote once and it left him like he was standing still. So that's my limited experience with them.  I never even got a shot off at one.
The NE coyotes are bigger, possibly crossed with wolves and weighing up to 70 lbs which is a whole other scenario. I imagine even a large man may have a problem dealing with two animals that size. So far the information is sketchy. The size of the coyotes, the nature of the attack and the exact cause of death seem to be either unknown or not made public. Maybe it's just morbid curiosity but it seems like information like that may be of some use. If I see one in front of me, I'd kind of like to know whether I ought to be looking out behind me, too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Governor Gets Rand-y

I'm glad he does because I sure don't. I read one of them, either The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged. That was enough. Stilted prose and a philosophy totally ignorant of the human condition is a bad combination. At least I don't find it appealing. Governor Sanford appears to be a fan and wrote her a little love letter that Newsweek, for some reason, decided to publish. Now I'm not going to run down the Governor for his transcontinental booty call. In fact, I think he's a true lover boy. A powerful, successful man with the emotional development of a smitten 13 year old. It was an epic fail, flaming out for all the world to see. Much better than the tawdry mud wrestling adventure of that Ensign guy, what with the best friend's wife and the payoff and all. Like the difference between jumping off the Empire State Building holding two lit road flares and choking to death in a pool of your own vomit.
The Governor must have had some time to hone his political philosophy during those long, lonely nights in the doghouse. He quotes from  The Fountainhead:
Representing himself, Roark pleads, in characteristically Randian terms: "I do not recognize anyone's right to one minute of my life. Nor to any part of my energy. Nor to any achievement of mine. No matter who makes the claim, how large their number or how great their need … I recognize no obligations toward men except one: to respect their freedom and to take no part in a slave society."
Right on. Spoken like a man who can fill his own teeth, change his own tires, and give himself a colonoscopy while cooking a bitching quail egg omelet on his custom made solar stove. C'mon, I know this gives all those Libertarians living in Mom and Dad's basement a little chub, but if  you're going to blow up your own shed because your wife hung the wrong color curtains in it, they're going to take you away. And well they should.

The Governor goes on:

Cold though they sound, these words contain two basic truths. First, an individual can achieve great things without governmental benevolence, and second, one man has no right to another's achievement. These are lessons we should all remember today, when each week is seemingly marked by another government program designed to fix society.

The Governor is full of shit. More conservative fever dreams of an America that never was. What? No taxes? No collective societal efforts to build roads, provide water, or drain away the shit? Our hardy pioneer forefathers were always screaming for the government to bail them out of some jam or another - fight the Indians - build a railroad - the roads are too muddy - my kids are dying of Cholera. Whiners. It's only government benevolence when someone else is receiving it and if one man's "achievement" is based on child labor in a sweatshop or slave labor, well I guess that's just too bad. Sometimes society needs fixing

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Still Here?

Me too. Another Rapture has come and gone and not only are we not perfect, we're not even forgiven. The Lord's Universal Spam Filter has kicked us out once again. Me, I'm gonna amp up my sinning, at least for the winter months. I don't want to accidentally fall into a state of grace and get Raptured up into that cold January air, leaving my clothes and fillings behind. I can just hear those Left Behind losers laughing as me and my shrunken willy are wafted into the stratosphere. It wouldn't be worth it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

What If They Gave A Rapture And Nobody Came?

So you missed it.  Or maybe not. The godless may scoff and point to another failure of Biblical prophesy. I know better. Not only did the Rapture happen on September 23, it's going to happen again on October 20. It is a matter of Biblical history that the Rapture has occurred every month since 33 AD. Kind of God's monthlies. You don't see people ascending to heaven, leaving their clothes behind on a monthly basis for one simple reason. No one is worthy and no one is saved. Not the Catholics or the Jews or the Mormons or the Lutherans or the Pentacostals or the Hindus or the Atheists. Not nobody. You're all a bunch of sinners and none of you can get it right. So the Lord is going to keep Rapturing till you figure it all out. As for the Tribulation? C'mon, take a look around you.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The World's Worst Catholic™ Explains the Church's Position

                         It's missionary. And don't enjoy it. And whatever you do, don't wear a raincoat.

                Although I may not really be the World's Worst Catholic™, (I sure there are a few priests who out-worst me), it's my trademark and I'm sticking to it. It doesn't help that the Church's position on birth control, abortion, captital punishment, embryonic stem cell research and war is so convoluted as to give even Jesuit apologists a headache, I'll take a stab at hashing it out. This latest survey from Guttmacher Institute further muddies the waters. According to this study the legality of abortion has little to do with whether women seek out abortions. It has a lot to do with how many die from botched abortions, approximately 70,000 per year. Worldwide the number of abortions have fallen from 45.5 million in 1995 to 41.4 million in 2003. It is doubtful that this is due to countries passing more restrictive abortion laws, only three have done so, but it may well be correlated to increased use of birth control, especially in areas such as sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America where abortion is highly restricted. Now the Church, having lurched far to the right, has been careful to differentiate innocent life, which includes the unborn and terminally unconcious, from the rest of us. While Catholic politicians (and voters) have communion withheld and are threatened with excommunication for supporting abortion rights it appears to be a lesser sin to pull the plug on a condemned criminal and no sin at all to rain death on civilians from the skies during wartime, whatever side you happen to be on. My dad talks about mass dispensations before particularly nasty raids over Europe during the war. You were covered for what you did and what you were about to do. But that's always been a tricky moral dilemna, solved only by the Mennonites and Quakers. Nobody has ever accused the Catholic church of evidence based anything but the continued fight against contraception is particularly troubling. And contradictory. Of course, as Scranton's Bishop Martino found, American Catholics are going to do what they're going to do anyway. Particularly regarding birth control.  Now I perfectly understand how abortion can be seen to be tragic, maybe even murder, but I also believe that until the fetus is viable, it more a part of the woman's body then an independent human and it is her choice whether to carry the pregnancy to term. And under no circumstances should a women be forced to bear a child having severe birth defects or conceived as a result of rape or incest. The tragic part is that most abortion is unnecessary and the Catholic Church plays a large part in the fact that, per capita, catholic women are more likely to get an abortion than protestant women. Probably because of its Medieval stand on birth control. You think the Church could take a hint. For once.

Friday, October 02, 2009

You Would

Admit it. A little blush, a lot of Nair, a push up bra and a bikini wax or two. C'mon, you know you would. I'm not the only one.

4.4 million year old Ardi or Ardipithicus ramidus drives another nail in the coffin of Intelligent Design creationism. The Ark is getting pretty crowded. What is interesting to me is that some of the chimp like characteristics that we have always assumed belonged to the common ancestor may have evolved in chimps after the split. If that translates to behavior we may be less ape like than is generally believed. You can get the real skinny at John Hawks Weblog and Laelaps. If you prefer your science faux with a dash of stupidity here's Casey Luskin's take on the whole thing. The release of this information was 15 years in the making. About the same amount of time the Discovery Institute has been in existence. Hmmm. Fifteen years, multiple papers from one team of scientists for just one fossil on the one hand and absolutely nothing worthwhile out of the echo chamber that is the Discovery Institute on the other.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ghost Adventures Part One

           My grandson roped me into watching Ghost Adventures which is kind of a low budget, semi-retarded Ghosthunters with a dash of roid rage. Now you may think that television could not get any more moronic than Ghosthunter. But you would be wrong.  My impression is that the lead paranormal investigator Zak needs to spend a little more time in the library and a little less in the gym. A couple of acting classes wouldn't hurt either. Maybe it's some kind of joke. It is just that lame.
          Normally, I don't find this kind of stuff too interesting  unless it's local but my grandson was so excited he insisted we watch it. Now, I don't believe in ghosts and he knows it. Maybe he was anxious to have Zak and his buddies prove me wrong or, more likely, my grandson and his friends were excited about an episode dealing with mass slaughter and a haunted fort. He was so excited he was practically shaking. It would be kind of neat to feel like that again. My little brother and I shared a room and we'd get all worked up hearing strange noises coming from the basement, particularly after watching something like The Curse of Frankenstein. We'd get so scared we felt duty bound to do our own paranormal investigating. So we'd sneak downstairs until we got to the landing above the rec room, my brothe would flickon the light and at the same time I'd leap down the stairs yelling "hi yaah!" and waving my scout knife. Good thing Dad wasn't coming through the garage door. He would have lost a nut. We weren't fucking around.
          What's the harm in sharing a little critical thinking with the lad? Eight isn't too young to develop a little skepticism. Besides, he values my opinion. He's about the only one. I don't want him to spend the rest of his life chasing things that don't exist. Like Zak.
        Part two later.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's a White Thing

You wouldn't understand. Wrong camera angle for a frog snuff film. Ha! Ha! mainstream media. Fakeout. The lesson is that you can't believe anything Glenn Beck shows or tells you. But I knew that.

Coming up: Glenn uses a real baby and scalding hot bathwater to explain bank bailouts.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Everybody Needs a Cause

I got mine. Bumper stickers and a tee shirt, too. Wonder why my party of stupidheads didn't frame the argument this way from the start. Everyone knows what it is, how it works and by gosh, it's pretty popular. Why get the health insurers involved at all? We could always negotiate down. I learned that in labor negotiations. A golden opportunity missed. So I've tried to get this letter published twice now and sadly, I'm reduced to running it here. The Man is keeping me down (or ignoring me). Here it is:
Medicare needs to be part of the health care reform debate. As it stands now, the government is responsible for insuring the health of the elderly and disabled, those who are most likely to need long term extensive care, and private insurers get everybody else, the young and healthy where a profit can be made. This is unsustainable in the long run. It is unfair to the working taxpayer and employers who are on the hook for increasing premiums to fund privately insured health care and increasing taxes to fund Medicare. It is unfair to our seniors who are facing reduced Medicare coverage because the program is running out of money. As a society, we have made a commitment to our senior and disabled citizens to provide them with affordable health care. One way to save this program and provide the best care for the most people is to open up Medicare so that all American citizens are eligible to participate. Opening up the risk pool to include the young and working taxpayers would go far to stabilize Medicare's long term prospects.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Was God Ever a Real Person?

That came out of the blue and stopped me in my tracks, danger signs flashing in front of my eyes. This was asked by my grandson as he and I were walking up the beach. He's a bright, inquisitive, sensitive boy with a big heart. But he keeps asking me shit that I can't answer. I don't know how I became the go-to guy for matters supernatural and theological. I suppose it's because I temporarily fixed his Nintendo DS. I know in the world of avuncular grandfathering, I'm supposed to have this all figured out and, with a chuckle and a twinkle in my eye, tell him exactly how it is. Put his mind at ease so that he knows there is some sense in the universe and everything is as it should be. I don't have the heart to tell him that the older I get, the more confused I am and less and less of it makes any sense. Add that to the fact that I have no idea what sort of religious training, if any, his parents have given him and I found myself in quite a pickle. So I did the only thing I could think of - I channeled Sister Mary Joseph and what I could remember of the Baltimore cathechism.
"Well, in the Catholic tradition, Jesus, as one of the three parts of one god (look, I didn't think this stuff up by myself), was born a man so I suppose you could say that God was a person, at one time."
He looks up at me exasperated: "No, Jesus was the son of God."
"Well, yeah, but..." and at that point the spirit of Sister Mary Joseph left me, metaphysically rulerless and unable to drive my point home."

So we walk along a bit in blessed silence and he comes up with this:
"You know, the Bible is always right"
This sets me off. No grandson of mine is going to be a creationist, even if I have to kidnap him and send him to Camp Quest.
"No, it isn't. Lots of stuff is wrong. Nobody got swallowed by a whale, there was no worldwide flood and the earth wasn't created in six days."
That does not convince him. This does: "And you don't find dinosaurs buried with people so they couldn't have lived at the same time."

So Ken Ham is right about one thing. If you lose them at Genesis, you might as well kiss that whole Bible as history thing goodbye. Goodbye, literal interpretation of the Scriptures. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Morning Joe Rubs Weiner the Wrong Way

So I had (well, I accidently chose) to sit through another round of the dial-up intellects on Morning Joe giving their take on epidemiology. A typical monkey/football scenario. C'mon, people, it's a broadband world. Don't you have some staffer with a laptop that can Google the government's response to the H1N1 epidemic? Could you at least try to be moderately informed on a topic before you open your yaps and could you please, on issues of public health, make an attempt to get the facts straight? Take this reaction (please) after a relatively dry, fact based report on the status of the vaccine (government has ordered 150 million doses, vaccine will be ready in late October). The reporter looked a little stunned as some former Bush security advisor, who still resides in Stupid City, asked this perceptive and hard hitting question: "I heard there is some problem with mercury in the vaccines." Heard from who, dipshit? Your wife who heard it from Oprah who heard it from Jennie McCarthy? And Mike Barnicle, master of the anecdotal non-sequitur, chimes in with: "And how will this affect the public option?" Right, Mike. And why do tangerines smell so darn good? Mika, perpetually confused, looks confused. Willie Geist, who I believe actually has a brain but is careful to conceal it so's not to appear uppity, says nothing. Joe Scarborough takes the ball and heads straight towards Crazyland, mumbling something about "So much for government efficiency" and do you want these people running your health care?. Well, Joe, yes...Yes I do. Who else has the resources to do the research to isolate the virus, develop a series of vaccines, test those vaccines on a massive scale to insure safety and efficacy, and stockpile and distribute them to the population? Here's a hint. It ain't Aetna or Blue Cross. Typical conservative fever dreams: The government is too busy trying to figure out how to sneak Belladonna to grandma in her Glycolax to gear up their secret vaccine factories buried under the FEMA concentration camps just next to the black helicopter landing sites and save America from H1N1. The government is too inefficient to run a single payer health care system but they're efficient enough to watch your every move and take away your guns. By the way, a brown guy is president. Stock up on Depends.

Posted above for your amusement and edification is my new favorite congressman, Rep. Anthony Weiner D-NY, handing Joe his ass on the topic of single payer health care.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Thinking of Ending It All

Wonder if I can swim to Ireland and freedom before the jellyfish sting me to death?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Next Year I'm Bringing Two Beach Towels

Twenty by eight feet, one bathroom, ten people - you do the math.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Town Hall Beatdown

The conservative blogosphere are wetting their panties about jackbooted union thugs tossing a bunch of teabaggers out of a townhall meeting in Tampa. The beatee, one Mr. Arthur, is interviewed looking rather perplexed that that he tried to push his way into a meeting and got pushed back. Now I don't want to belittle the trauma that poor Mr. Arthur, who's only crime was to try to enter a public meeting and shout inanities in an effort to destroy any semblance of reasoned discourse, suffered during this horendous takedown. And I sure none of this was covered in Rush's playbook. You surely don't expect to be bullied when you're intent on bullying someone else. During the fracas Mr. Arthur lost almost all the buttons on his shirt, giving him more of a South Beach than Panhandle look, and suffered a moderate to severe Indian burn (which really stings) on his arm. I'm sorry, but this doesn't even qualify as a beatdown in Chevy Chase, let alone Tampa. The UMW organizers of my Grandaddy's day are looking down from that Tavern in the Sky and rolling their eyes at what they're calling a beating these days. They gave out way worse at their own meetings, to their own members.

So I'm urging everyone to calm down and take a step back. We're all Americans here, even the stupid ones. Yeah, I'm talking about you, Grandpa, waving your Medicare supplied cane and screaming about socialized medicine. Chill out. Cooler heads need to prevail before something far worse happens and someone ends up with a Texas Wedgie or a Purple Nurple.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Ch-ch-ch Changes

The American Psychological Association has determined that programs designed to ungay gays do not work and do not change the sexual orientation of gay men. Gayness is incurable. So is blond hair, blue eyes and strawberry allergies. It may be hard to exactly pinpoint what constitutes being gay. It seems to be a sliding scale ranging from drag queens to art handlers to megachurch pastors to orthopedic surgeons to Republican senators to the guys back in D&E to married with children to polygamists to Double Y's. Maybe the scale isn't linear but curves back on itself, kind of like, um, a circle. But I don't want to think about that.

Reaction from recently outed public figures has been swift:

"I'm so furious I could slap somebody. I took the cure and I'm one hundred per cent fabulous heterosexual man meat. I'm living proof it works."
Ted Haggard - unemployed former holy man

"See, I told you. But I'm still not gay."
Larry Craig - former Senator and current men's room attendant

But Scripto, you say: Being that you have no knowledge of genetics and even less of embryology, how can you be so sure that homosexuality is innate rather than a choice? Here's how, doofus dear reader. When I was a lad there was a pair of twin boys that lived across the street. Let's call them A and B (B really was kind of a B, if you know what I mean). A liked girls. B liked boys. Now either B made this lifestyle choice sometime in kindergarten or he really didn't have any choice in the matter. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Public Service Announcement

Mirrored this video in hopes of preserving this moment in sports history for posterity. Evidently David Feherty wandering around the Buick Open farting on mike is copyright protected. The PGA is no doubt worried that this will increase the popularity of televised golf and attract the wrong demographic. People who appreciate a good fart joke are unlikely to need Viagra or be inclined to buy a Buick.

UPDATE: The PGA has determined that Tiger Woods was not the source of the mysterious fart as he has a caddie that does all his farting for him. David Feherty is now identified as the likely culprit, although he has neither admitted nor denied his role in this affair. We at Woo University call on David to man up and come clean regarding his involvement in this unfortunate incident.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Govmint Won't Pay for Grampa's Sex Change

But it will pay for Granny's abortion. It ain't fair. Why should Grandpa have to live a lie? Speaking of lies. If your organization has "Family" in its name you're hanging with a bunch of douchebags. If it also contains the words "Research" and "Council" you're hanging with a bunch of lying douchebags.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Obama Hates White Culture

I don't know what it is either, Glenn. In fact, I'm not sure what you are. I didn't even know we had a culture but if it includes stuff like Happy Days, Lawrence Welk and Broadway musicals then I'm with the President.
I hate it, too. So take the poll. Let me know we got something more than square dancing and jug band music. Help me to be proud again.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Health Care Smealth Care

I don't know what kind of sausage they're grinding over in the Halls of Congress but at the end of the day, if it doesn't involve a single payer system or at least a public option, we're going to end up with the same bullshit health care system we have now. Well, maybe a little better, but the fundamentals remain the same. It's not about cost or rationing or choice of doctors or portability or black helicopters whisking the old folks off to the Soylent Green Hospice. It's the same principle that raises my life insurance rates from $260 a year to $2,600 when I turn 60. The government gets to take care of the old and sick and the young born sick and private insurance gets everyone else. Of course everyone else is where the money is made. If the government is involved at all it should be running the show. Unless all age groups are in the same pool the goverment run programs will end up continually in the red. Anything else is just more crap. Congress could start with Medicare for kids. That would even the playing field.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Looosieeeee- I'm Retarded

Apparently a wise Latina can choose her words more carefully than a cracker senator from Oklahoma. You people all know Ricky Ricardo, don't you? Just Senator Coburn's way of showing he's sensitive to our Hispanic brethren and hip to their lingo. I'm a small town white boy and even I winced at this. Kind of like I wince when I hear a foreman yell to anyone who doesn't turn beet red in the sun "Hey Mexico, Get over here!".

Of course this is even worse. Courtesy of that jug eared mofo from Alabama- Sessions who wonders why Sotomayor didn't vote with the other beaner judge. I mean ya'll live in the same room, right? As my dad says. "What do you expect from Alabama?" Not much, I guess.

Bill Buckley must be spinning in his grave. And poor Colin Powell. He's off crying in a corner right now. God, I love the Republican Party.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Serious Contestant Candidate

Before resigning

"Hi Alaska. I appreciate speaking directly to you, the people I serve, as your Governor."
Hi yourself. Thank you for speaking directly to us from your web page. I can see your picture from my computer.

"People who know me know that besides faith and family, nothing's more important to me than our beloved Alaska. Serving her people is the greatest honor I could imagine. I want Alaskans to grasp what can be in store for our state."
I mean in the future. I gotta go. There's a sale at Nieman.

"Our destiny to be reached by responsibly developing our natural resources. This land, blessed with clean air, water, wildlife, minerals, and oil and gas. It's enery! God gave us energy."
So God likes the Saudi's and Russians more? I wish God gave me the energy to figure out just what in the hell you're trying to say.

"People who know me...As you know me...People who know me..."
Yeah. You're practically one of the family. And in my case that ain't such a good thing.

The rest is a chaotic mess of mixed metaphors and lame sports analogies ranging from protecting states' rights by filing suit in federal court to allow private companies to fill lakes with toxic mine waste to not being a quitter by quitting in the middle of her term. Follow the link and feel free to mine your own quotes. There's gold in them thar hills.

Contrast it with:

The following op-ed by Sarah Palin in her own words as told to William Kristol.
"The ironic beauty in this plan? Soon, even the most ardent liberal will understand supply-side economics."

Hmm. A bigger irony is that this is well phrased. Someone evidently learned to write in comprehensible English in just 10 short days. Well, the message is still garbled and God remains our biggest energy producer but still, this girl is a quick study. Watch out, Barry. She's coming for you.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Who Says We're Not the Party of Ideas

We got ideas. We got ideas about how to end it with a mistress in a sensitive and loving way:
"... I used you for my own pleasure, not letting thoughts of you, Doug, Blake, Brandon or Brittany come into my mind..." (By the way - I know you're upset so here's $96,000.00 for tissues)
Senator Ensign (Viagra-Nevada) to some other guy's wife

Before we get all holier than thou (or smarter than thou) on the Senator let's review a few mitigating factors:
1. Ensign is a Senator from Nevada
2. Ensign got advice on dealing with the fallout from this affair from Sen. Coburn, the junior and, if you can believe it, stupider* Senator from Oklahoma. Coburn advised Ensign to leave this paper trail and pay off the family, leaving another paper trail. Coburn is an OB/GYN and a deacon. Fair warning OK cowgirls - don't let this guy anywhere near your cooch.
3. Ensign is so obviously wracked by guilt that he forgot that women can be human beings, capable of independent thought and action. Seems crazy, I know. Unless Mrs X was in a coma, it takes two to tango. Sometimes the vagina is as likely to use the penis as the penis is to use the vagina. More craziness, I know.
4. Johnny's in love

Another presidential hopeful flames out. Sarah's starting to look pretty good. At least she isn't sporting a penis. I think.

*yes, I know. But I like stupider more better

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Scripto Tears Lid Off Creationist Conspiracy

Well, not exactly a conspiracy, since it was only one guy and I didn't exactly rip the lid off since it wasn't any kind of secret but I did write a letter. Now I've been having trouble getting published lately, either because The Man can't handle the truth or it may be that the editor is threatened by the fluidity of my prose. But since you dropped by - here it is:

To the Editor:
A theory in science is a well tested concept that explains a set of observations and makes testable predictions. The idea that life has been on this planet for a very long time and has changed through time is as much a fact as the idea that the earth orbits the sun. The consensus is that evolution occurred by descent through modification, mainly by natural selection, and this is what should be taught in our science classes. Just as there are no coherent alternatives to atomic theory or germ theory there are no supported alternatives to evolutionary theory. So-called Scientific Creationism has been falsified and Intelligent Design remains a vague idea that shows no promise of being a testable hypothesis, let alone a scientific theory.
Here is one undisputed fact that can be taught in biology classes across the entire district: If Board President Helman believes that all species were originally created as they are now, as he has been reported as saying, then he has no idea what he is talking about. Congratulations to the rest of the board for overruling him on the purchase of the Miller/Levine text. May they continue to do so in all matters involving curriculum.

Update: Holy Shit! They printed it. Not quite as I wrote it. Instead of insulting Helman I was edited to insult other, unnamed board members.

Friday, June 26, 2009

My Brother's Phone

My brother's a stand-up guy. If he says something, he means it, if he commits to something, he does it. he's honest, thoughtful, considerate, deeply spiritual. You know, all the qualities you or I would have if we had the energy or inclination. Once he stopped a table full of ruffians in a Snohomish Washington bar from relieving me of my box of Sherman cigarettes. Just by grabbing one of the guys by the arm, looking him in the eye and saying "no". My response would've been more along the lines of asking them if they needed a light. He also walked into Manhattan from Brooklyn on 9/11, somehow found his wife and daughter and walked them back home. Like I said, a guy you can count on.
In most respects. Let's just say he's technologically "challenged". The 21st century doesn't quite fit. I get the impression he'd be perfectly content to live out his life in a moss covered hut on the coast of Ireland, writing, painting and reading Joyce until his eyes bled. No cardigan is too ugly (or fuzzy), no natural fabric is too itchy (or ugly), imagine a sartorial cross between Mr. Rogers and Grizzly Adams and you get the idea. My brother will send my kids a tofu sculpting kit in lieu of the copy of Call of Duty III that I suggested. He sends me freakin' letters, for Christ sake. He approaches the computer like it's going to burst into flames at any second. He borrows my niece's laptop and she stands behing him rolling her eyes so hard I'm afraid she's going to need corrective lenses.
Our dad has ended up in the hospital for a few days so I tried to contact my brother on his cell to give him daily updates:
ring ring ring ring ring ring...the Alltel customer you are trying to reach is unavailable, please try again later. (click).
WTF? Did you know you can get a cell phone plan without voicemail? I didn't. When I finally get ahold of him I suggest that he pay the extra 50 cents a month and get voice mail. This I think irritates him but the connection is so bad I can barely hear him. Somewhere in the static he keeps telling me there is nothing wrong with his phone. I suggest texting. No go. I suggest pulling out the antenna and hooking up the knapsack battery pack to a car battery. This irritates him further and he repeats that his Verizon service is just fine. Then it disconnects. I call back and get the Alltel message. Maybe that's the problem. My his phone doesn't know who it belongs to. We need to straighten this out. I'll send him a letter.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Heeere's Jesus!

Looks like Death knocked on Ed's door to deliver his prize for winning the Eternity Clearing House Sweepstakes. Too bad. All the late night heroes from my boyhood are fading away. Johnny, Sammy, Joey, Mike, Merv, Frank, Buddy, Milton, Sid, David (oops, still kicking)... all gone. Makes one stop, reflect on his own mortality and realize just how precious our fleeting time in this life is...Ok, enough of that, I think SpongeBob's on.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Peace Latte

Vacation in Rehoboth Beach over. Finally an end to all the crying and whining and complaining. And that was just me. Since we stay about a mile south, I like to walk up the beach to the boardwalk. Usually by myself and sometimes with one or two of the grandkids (we had three with us this time, ranging in ages from 2 to 8). It's nice. The only sounds the murmur of the sea and the voices in my head. I get to the boardwalk, meet up with the family (damn cell phones), and am informed in no uncertain terms that "we" are hungry. So here's my thinking: there are two adults, three very young kids and me. I suggest Victoria's first, a pretty classy sit down restaurant as I know she'll turn that down for logistical and financial reasons. That leaves me an excuse in case any of my much more reasonable (and cheaper) fast food places goes south. I lead everyone to 5 Guys burgers, voted #1 in something or other poll from somewhere or other. How bad can this be? Well, pretty bad, as it turns out. Imagine being trapped inside a tanning booth with a thrash metal band and a hairlipped auctioneer with a megaphone and you get an idea of the ambiance. Between "songs" and all the furniture being thrown around (tables too close together) I was informed that my significant other has not eaten red meat in a year. Now how the hell was I supposed to know that? In Five Guys defense, my burger was pretty good. Thankfully the music was blaring when she opened up her wrapper and gazed down at the sodden mass of grease and bread that was her grilled cheese. I could see lips moving, something about eating a bucket of Crisco, but there was no escaping that look. So I swore to God that something like this will never, ever happen again and ran across the street to Whole Lotta Latte and got her a quad. That helped. At least the hole I dug didn't get any deeper.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Gasper the Friendly Ghost

Maybe this is too soon and I have wrestled with my conscience a bit in deciding to post this but I can't let one of life's little absurdities, even the tragic ones, pass unnoticed. I would hope that if I were found dead in a hotel closet, with a rope around my neck and my pecker in my hand, someone would take the time to write a few words about me. It would be immortality of a sort and I can think of more embarrassing things that you may actually live through, like this. Besides, who knew whacking off could be so deadly?
Since I go home at lunch and have broadband access I have been tasked with the job of researching this particular behavior. Any novel masturbatory techiques invoke great interest at our company, particularly in the Drafting and Engineering department. I hope any information I share doesn't spawn a series of copy cat incidents that end up decimating the technical wing of our company. I could lose my job. Or at the very least get a stern talking to.
According to the Thai police report, David Carradine was found dead in the closet of his hotel room, with ropes around his neck, wrist and genitals. The mechanics of this tragic mishap are what fascinates me. Now the rope around the neck I can understand - that's the whole point. The rope around the wrist is more problematic. I figure he tossed the rope over the clothes bar in the closet, tied the other end to his wrist, assuming that as he lost conciousness during the act, his arm would relax and the rope would loosen around his throat and he would revive. Now I would think that to be safe you would hold the rope in one hand and as you passed out it would release, increase the odds of a non-fatal outcome for this particular bit of self gratification. Of course, it is possible that the wrist rope was also tied to the genitals. But you would need a free hand somewhere so it could have been one rope linking wrist, neck and genitals in an intricate series of pulleys, cables and sliding knots. That's some Kung Fu shit there. The whole genital rope thing bothered me, too and I'm kind of sorry I even looked into it. It may have had something to do with prolonging or preventing an erection. Take your pick. Somewhere between 250 and 1000 people in the US, mostly male, die from auto erotic asphyxiation every year. I knew one, and, take it from me, you don't want to be remembered as the guy they found hanging from a doorknob with his pants around his ankles. Then again, you may not care, but that's a subject for another post. So boys (and the occasional girl), unless you were an Eagle scout or a sailor, and have mad knot tying skills, better make this particular activity a team sport.

Shout out to the asshole at work who came up with the title. I liked "Hung Fu" but I'm sure it's been used. I said you wouldn't get any credit. And you won't

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Process

"Scripto, how do you do it? How do you take a marginally interesting idea and turn it into something almost unreadable?" It isn't easy. The words to make them come out right is hard to sometimes do. In my mind I am a great writer. I am lucid, concise, well reasoned. The narrative flows inexorably and effortlessly towards a well defined conclusion. But all that gets lost somewhere between my brain and my fingers. It's hard to lure the muse back when she left in a huff due to me sitting on my ass watching television for 50 straight years. But I keep plugging away. All the lack of talent in the world can't keep me from not doing what I am incapable of doing. So here's how I do it. It's a little secret I like to call The Process. First I take an idea that I find funny or irritating (or both), say, like, my wife swearing at me on Christmas Eve or Sarah Palin pretending to be my friend. Then I throw words at it until it kinds of sticks to the screen. That is what we authors call "fleshing it out" (a good idea if you are getting paid by the word). Now comes the hard part. Editing. Many times I will go back, reread my post, and discover that it makes no sense whatsoever. Even to me. That's where those handy little fuckers known as punctuation come in. Every blogger has their strengths and weaknesses in this area. Myself, I'm a freakin' genius when it comes to: ', I'm pretty good with: ., not so good with: , but my favorite and the ones I find most handy are these babies here: (). Oftimes (not a word I suggest you use) I'll be meandering (a nice word, don't you think - so peaceful) along, trying to make some point or another, throwing in a comma here or there, when I will think of something somewhat unrelated to the point I'm making (a fragment of a thought or a snotty aside) but I don't want to set it on its own because I'll probably forget it so I wedge it in with these: (). I also use a lot of these: - for the same reason. They are indicators of my unique style and separate me from the other bad bloggers. Proper grammar should not be a consideration. End a sentence with a preposition if you want to. Split infintives, mix declensions; so what, no one hardly cares. It's a LOL world now.
Speaking of style, I've tried a few. Minimalist: Time saver. Lacks development. Dry scientific - borrrrrinnng. So I settled on a style I like to call faux conversationist . Light, breezy, kinda now, kinda Charlie, just the ticket on a hot summer afternoon and a good way to connect me to you. Throw in a bunch of .hyperlinks and a couple of images to distract from the prose and voila!, I be blogging. And you can too.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Used to Like Dick

Perhaps an unfortunate choice of words in this post title. I hope it doesn't result in unwanted attention. Hell, who am I kidding? Any attention is welcome. I'm dyin' here. What I meant was that I used to like Dick Cheney. Wait! Don't go! Hear me out. Follow these here thought processes: I didn't so much like Cheney himself as I liked his calm, reasoned manner. It stemmed from his debate performance against the two colorless (and no doubt odorless) Democratic VP candidates. Cheney's well modulated avuncular manner gave me some hope that he could tether Bush to reality if the Republicans were unfortunately elected or re-elected. Maybe keep George from doing something really stupid like accidently sitting on the big red button and launching a nuclear strike on Canada. Little did I know that, underneath Cheney's calm, reasoned avuncularity, lay a bottomless well of incompetence.
I can understand the tough guy stuff from Dick, George and Rummy. George had that whole boola boola thing to live down so he went off to fly fighter jets and maybe tap Laura after a day of manly ranching. Dick was another story given that I'm fairly certain that his doctor told him he was not healthy enough for sexual activity. Given that Viagra was out I imagine the whole process was somewhat difficult for him. His pacemaker beeping wildly as his doughy thighs slap ineffectually against his leather chaps, straining to climax as beads of sweat run down his bald head, thinking of reports of enhanced interrogation ; a tear runs down Lynn's face as she turns her head away, her sobs muffled by the water soaked cloth covering her face, and prepares to accept a dribble of his poisoned seed. I don't even like to think about it. Well, I like to think I don't like to think about it.
But it's not the macho stuff or even the evil as much as the incompetence that gets to me. Now I'm sure there will be entire libraries dedicated to Bush's uncanny propensity to appoint the wrong people to the wrong jobs at the wrong time but since Cheney went to all that trouble to set up a shadow government , mirroring the real government in most executive functions, is it too much to ask that one of them was actually able to govern or maybe even keep a secret? The reaction to Joe Biden spilling the beans about Cheney's secret bunker where he was transfused with the blood of virgins to keep his vitality is symptomatic. Now I'm no terrorist mastermind but given that the neighbors surrounding the Naval Observatory were complaining about the noise and the blurring the image on Google Earth...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sweet Ida

Not really knowing my ass-bone from a hole in the ground I got nothing intelligent to say about this exciting early primate find. You can access the original paper through the above link and some of the controversy here. The great thing is that the authors of the paper published the research on an open forum that anyone can access. This took some big stones considering all the hits they knew they'd take from the other science guys by teaming up with the History Channel for the big unveiling. I don't blame them. It took a lot of bones to buy that specimen and someone has to pay for the research.
It is a fascinating look at how real science operates, complete with egos aflame, backbiting, and conflict. Just like any other human endeavor. Only better because it eventually arrives at a consensus based on evidence. You can take a couple things away from this find. One; you can see the absurdity of the idea that there is some sort of monolithic Darwinist conspiracy to suppress the truth among biologists. It's obvious the knives are always out and you better have your shit together before you publish. And two; contrast this with the approach taken by the Creation Scientists and Intelligent Design crowd. You can see the reason they don't poke their heads out of their hidey-holes very often. They got nothing.
* Attention bloggers - Urgent Update!: This is not a transitional between humans and mammals. We are mammals. Your mom had tits, didn't she?

Monday, May 18, 2009

The World's Worst Catholic Explains Blood Sacrifice

If the above graphic totally creeps you out - you are an atheist, agnostic or possibly a Jew and you are headed for eternal damnation. If the above graphic moderately creeps you out and you view it as a symbolic representation of the sacrifice Christ made to save us all - you are some sort of Protestant and you also are going to take a nice long dip in the lake of fire. If the above graphic makes you wince a little and you feel that it is an accurate (but too graphic for the kiddies) representation of Christ's blood sacrifice - you are some sort of Cafeteria Catholic and you better take a doggie bag and book your room by the century at the Motel 6th Level in Purgatory because it's going to take a while to burn the heresy out of you. If the above graphic seems like some sort of cartoon fit for Nickelodeon and you are disappointed the image lacks accurate blood splatter patterns and photo-realistic depictions of crucifixion wounds - you are true OG RC so grab your best hair shirt and strap on your cilice and join me as Sister Mary Joseph breaks it down old school for the rest of these clowns:
During the mass the bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Real blood and real flesh?
It doesn't look any different.
It is.
It doesn't taste like blood.
It's a miracle. You have to have faith.
Now, be quiet.
Yes, Sister.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Torture - It's What's for Dinner

Real tough guy Jesse calls out pretend tough guy Dick

Party at Dick's house! Bring your suit and boogie water board! Boy, for a guy who was so jealous of his privacy that he fuzzed out the Google Earth view of his house, Dick sure has become quite the social butterfly. It's almost as though he's trying his case in the court of public opinion before he's even charged with anything. Trying to obscure the fact that the two guys in charge when everybody shit their pants on 9/11 weren't named Obama or Clinton. Even George has enough sense to keep his head down.
Pretend for a second that I don't know anything about counter-insurgency, interrogation techniques or the capacity of the human body to endure pain. Here's a couple of reasons why "enhanced interrogation techniques" or "torture" as I like to call it, is a bad idea:
1. It's illegal
2. It's against the law

The legality of waterboarding should have raised some flags in the Bush Administration considering that we prosecuted not only Japanese soldiers after WWII but our own guys in Vietnam for the same practice. Then there are the practical problems. How do you know that the intelligence gained is accurate? Take this guy(please). A little outsourced Egyptian torture and we got all the information that we needed on those WMD's in Iraq to make Gen. Powell look like a total retard in front of the whole UN. How do you corroborate the information? Torture everyone until some sort of pattern develops? Seems kind of unwieldy. Maybe our torturers are better. Maybe they all got 2 year degrees in Enhanced Interrogation Techniques from ITT Tech and only produce actionable intelligence.
The primary motivation for the right wing in this country is fear. Fear of Islam, fear of sex, fear of drugs, fear of Mexicans, fear of socialism, fear of flying, fear of dying, fear of termites, fear of their pipes busting, fear of homos. In short, they are all a bunch of pussies. There is no bad situation that can't be made worse by the right wing overreacting. Dumb motherfuckers (and I include all the dumb motherfuckers in the FAA from 1965 on) should have reinforced the cockpit doors and ordered pilots to stay in the cabin and fly the plane and we wouldn't be shuffling around the airport in our socks.
The pro-torture guys like to go on the talk shows and make up some sort of ticking bomb scenarios like: " Suppose a terrorist planted a pocket nuke in your baby's day care and only he had the code for the detonator and you captured him would you dip his balls in boiling oil to get him to give you the code? Huh? Would ya?". OK, maybe one ball, but that's as far as I'll go. C'mon. Is any of this stuff likely enough to base policy on? The Bush admininstration didn't see the initial threat coming and so now everything or everyone looks like a ticking time bomb.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cars I Have Known (and sometimes loved) Part 1

Before I die I thought I'd better post a list of vehicles I have owned in order to have this information cycle uselessly and eternally in the intertubes. I don't know why, it just seems like the right thing to do. In more or less chronological order:
63 Plymouth Valiant - push button trans, no floor, caught fire on the way to see the Dead. Bummer.

62 Ford F1something or other - well worth the $125 - many cold mornings knocking ice out of the filter bowl, though.

53 Chevy Sedan Delivery - custom, 283 auto, road sign orange, got me, the old lady, two dogs, a cat, a goat and all our stuff from Ohio to Seattle. All the while towing her Volvo P544.

56 Plymouth Belvedere - another $35 Plymouth. No reverse - had to do a lot of deep thinking about parking.

49 Chevrolet 3/4 ton pick up - built like a tank. In fact, I think it was built out of tanks. Plywood camper on the back. Took me from Seattle to San Luis Obispo and served as a mobile home backed up to a cliff looking out over the Pacific. Eat your big fat hearts out, rich people. Abandoned in California prior to the Great Migration back north. One of life's big regrets.