Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving America and Quit Yer Whining

Memo to Mr. and Mrs. America: I know you'd rather waterboard a thousand brown people than spend one extra minute in an airport security line but really, get over yourselves. No TSA screener is going to get excited over a scan of your flabby private parts or your shrunken scrotums, fupas, and saggy asses.  Unless, of course, you're hiding a pipe bomb somewhere in those saggy folds of disgusting ass fat. Oh, and  John Tyner, nobody's that enthusiastic about touching your precious junk. That's why they're wearing rubber gloves, you dumb motherfucker. This stunt may not turn you into a lucrative commercial property. Remember "Don't tase me bro"?  No? Neither does anyone else. Not that all of this scanning and groping will be particularly helpful. That horse fled the barn a while ago. In hindsight, secure cockpit doors and isolating pilots from the passenger cabin would have saved a few thousand lives and a few hundred billion dollars. Scream for ethnic profiling all you want but all it takes is one blond, blue eyed convert with a fannypack of C-4 and we're right back where we started.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The World's Worst Catholic™ Explains the Pope...Sort of

 You know what they say about big hats

How many angels can fit in the tip of a condom? Listen to Father Fessio's nuanced attempt to explain the inexplicable. Evidently wearing a condom if you have something like leprosy of the dick shows "the beginning of a moral awakening" or some such nonsense. Father Fessio goes on to compare condom use for the HIV positive to muggers wrapping their steel pipe (oh, the irony) weapons in padding so as to stun, rather than permanently injure, their victims. I'm not even going to try to figure out how he makes the comparison between sex and violence. Maybe he was scared by a big stiff pipe at Seminary. And this staement by the Pope doesn't represent a sliding scale of morality. Oh, no, no no. No such thing. Nothing is relative. The Pope says so.  And he's infallible. And he's got the biggest hat. Father Fessio gets a little testy when the reporter suggests that the Pope's statement may be muddying the water a little. He's probably a little frustrated that maybe 1 out of 10 western Catholics pays any attention the Church's position on birth control. Now I figured a guy wearing a dress would be just the perfect spokesman for public health measures to help halt the spread of HIV. Sadly this is not the case. In fact, he might just be the worst.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Think I'll Get the Other One

Some guys just shouldn't get a choice. I'd be a natural shopper if I lived  someplace like Cuba where you get your choice of beans or rice. But I spent all morning obsessively compulserating over which humidifier to buy. Ultrasonic? Evaporative?  Medium room? Large Room? Whole house? Filtered? Filterless? Tower? Floor model? Maybe I should check it out on the internet first. I had one all picked out in Lowes but the box was kinda squashed so I'd  probably be inheriting someones else's problem. So I went over to Walmart, picked out one at half the price but they didn't have any of the check- yourself -out thingers open so I said fuck it I'm not going to wait in line to spend good American dollars on some Chinese shit I probably don't even want. Why oh why can I not make a decision? So I went home, did my research (which more often than not turns out to be useless) and bought one from Amazon. I like getting packages. And I like my super saver shipping.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Not Sure How I Feel About This

We haven't eaten Jesus yet... but we will real soon!
So saith my granddaughter explaining the finer points of Transubstantiation. She seems rather blithe about something that totally freaked me out when I was her age. Sister Mary Joseph was very clear on the fact that the host became the actual body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ amen. Symbolic representation was for the heathen protestants. Don't take the host if you haven't confessed. Or you're going to hell. Don't ever, ever chew it or touch it with your hands. Or you're going to hell. So not only were we told, prior to our First Communion at the age of 7 (it's 8 nowadays), that we were about to engage in an real cannibalistic ritual, we were also told that any misstep during the ritual would result in horrible and permanent damage to our immortal souls and would surely result in eternal damnation. Now it sure didn't taste like blood and raw meat to me so I was sure I must have been doing something wrong. And you wonder why I'm a little jumpy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Veteran's Day

"Connie’s crew thought it would be a “milk run,” an easy mission. A B-17 in one of the 3-plane formations ahead of them developed engine trouble. It left the group and headed back to England. Connie moved up to take the place vacated. In turn, a B-17 moved up to take the place vacated by Connie.

            As the group approached the target and started their bomb run, a red flare suddenly appeared in the sky and all hell broke loose. German jets* were above the American planes and they suddenly swooped down past the formation, and then reversed their direction climbing rapidly in order to fire into the bomber’s bellies. The plane which had taken Connie’s place in the formation was hit, and plunged toward the ground. From his ball turret Scrip saw the plane explode on impact. There were no parachutes.** The crew of the plane was flying its 34th mission. Only one more and they could have been on their way home." - Lee Kolankiewicz

All those guys are gone now. My dad was the last of the flight crew and he died about a year ago. We grew up in a new suburb filled with newly minted GI bill, GI loan middle class. Almost all the neighborhood men were the same age and had been in the service, many of them combat veterans. We never heard much about the war. Most of them were certainly cynical about any kind of power structure and guys like my dad attributed their survival to dumb luck and the actions of their immediate crew. Some seemed to let it go more easily than others. My pal Jimmy's dad loved to shoot off his 45 into the bank behind his house. We thought that was so cool. We got to keep the brass and dig the bullets out of the bank. Great Uncle Frank was with Patton and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Mom told us not ask him how many Jerries he killed. Uncle Pat was a mate on an LST in the Pacific and was kind of a mean SOB. Mom didn't think it was the war, he was that way before he went in. At any rate, we weren't allowed to ask him how many Japs he killed. Uncle Vince on the Texas, Uncle Joe in the Dirigible Corps, Great Uncle Frenchy developed electronic marine mine detection equipment, Pete and Don in stateside support roles. Jack got in right after the war and served in occupied Germany. His stories were about beer and girls. My favorite uncle. So here's to all my fading neighbors who fought in the Big One and all those who fought and are fighting in all the little ones.

* Dad said the jets moved too fast to track with his turret, that by the time he spotted them they were through the squadron.. He thought they knocked one down but it was more a matter of the jet running into the bullet stream rather than the gunners being able to target them. The archives claim 3 enemy planes downed.
**According to the archives 4 chutes were spotted. Out of a crew of 9- 1 MIA, 3 KIA and 5 POW.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Greatest Health Care System in the World?

Maybe for John Boehner. But he's well covered (and not just with Ban de Soleil Mega Tan) by the federal government. But what about the rest of us? Those of us who are too lazy or stupid to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and become congressmen. I suppose that if number one means the freedom to go bankrupt because of medical bills, we fit that bill. USA! USA! But, really, by what metric are we number one? How do we compare with the rest of the western democracies? For the sake of clarity I'll limit the comparison to prosperous western democracies, the ones that supply health care to all their citizens.Unless you live in Texas or Mississippi it is hardly fair to compare our circumstances with the Republic of Congo. Lets take a tour -

Average life expectancy (from our friends at the CIA) :
1 Monaco
2010 est.
2 Macau
2010 est.
3 San Marino
2010 est.
4 Andorra
2010 est.
5 Japan
2010 est.
6 Guernsey
2010 est.
7 Singapore
2010 est.
8 Hong Kong
2010 est.
9 Australia
2010 est.
10 Canada
2010 est.
11 Jersey
2010 est.
12 France
2010 est.
13 Spain
2010 est.
14 Sweden
2010 est.
15 Switzerland
2010 est.
16 Israel
2010 est.
17 Iceland
2010 est.
18 Anguilla
2010 est.
19 Bermuda
2010 est.
20 Cayman Islands
2010 est.
21 Isle of Man
2010 est.
22 New Zealand
2010 est.
23 Italy
2010 est.
24 Liechtenstein
2010 est.
25 Norway
2010 est.
26 Ireland
2010 est.
27 Jordan
2010 est.
28 United Kingdom
2010 est.
29 Greece
2010 est.
30 Saint Pierre and Miquelon
2010 est.
31 Austria
2010 est.
32 Malta
2010 est.
33 Faroe Islands
2010 est.
34 Netherlands
2010 est.
35 Luxembourg
2010 est.
36 Germany
2010 est.
37 Belgium
2010 est.
38 Virgin Islands
2010 est.
39 Finland
2010 est.
40 Wallis and Futuna
2010 est.
41 European Union
2010 est.
42 Korea, South
2010 est.
43 Puerto Rico
2010 est.
44 Bosnia and Herzegovina
2010 est.
45 Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha
2010 est.
46 Gibraltar
2010 est.
47 Denmark
2010 est.
48 Portugal
2010 est.
49 United States
2010 est.
50 Taiwan
2010 est.

OK. Top 50 isn't too bad. At least we beat Taiwan. And there is no indication that this is healthcare related, even though those countries that beat us have some version of Obamacare - only better. It may well be lifestyle. Compare a bunch of fish eaters to us Twinkie soaked Americans? - no fair!

If by best Speaker Boehner means most expensive he may well have a point-
  Per Capita health expenditures in US dollars:
Iceland - $3294
Australia- $3123
Canada- $3173
France - $3040
United Kingdom -$2560
Japan - $2293
United States - $6096
Yay! Numero Uno! We get to spend twice as much as those countries listed above and still manage to rank below them in average life expectancy. Maybe Boehner meant something else. Maybe he meant that, despite all evidence to the contrary, we think we have the best health care system in the world. Let's see - (from Fox news, no less)

Here's someone who's already laid it all out (I could have saved myself the trouble):
Percent of people who believe their health care system needs fundamental  change:
United States   60%
Sweden          58
United Kingdom  52
Japan           47
Netherlands     46
France          42
Canada          38
We won again. To recap - the United States has the best health care system if you are a wealthy Republican congressman. Or an Insurance executive. Or maybe a plastic surgeon. Basically Boehner is full of shit. But you knew that already. Boehner is afraid, and rightly so, that once the American people find out the benefits of the incremental changes in the admittedly flawed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act   they will come to view  universal health care as a fundamental right in a prosperous and civilized society.  Boehner and the Republican party has never gotten over the fact that Social Security and Medicare are popular and irreversible accomplishments of American progressives. Just like Boehner can't get over the tan tax.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

He Promised He'd Never Hurt Me Again

Battered wife America has lifted the PFA against the Republican Party and agreed to a 2 year trial reconciliation. "He promised that he has changed" she said "And will never leave me broke and destitute and will never again touch the kids ( Defense, Social Security and Medicare), and never ever flirt  with that skank Discretionary Spending."

John Boehner, wearing an understated pale umber skin tone for the occasion, mentioned frequently that he has learned his lesson and will now work diligently to implement the Will of the American People. Not the american people of two or four years ago but the real American People. The half of the half of the people who agree with him, anyway. He outlined a specific plan for  revenue enhancements and spending cuts to control the burgeoning deficit. (Hah! Got ya! Just kidding)  After warning the President to play ball or he'll umm...uh... be sorry,  Boehner  choked up at the thought that a poor orange boy with plastic hair could rise from humble beginnings to become the Speaker of the house. Either that or he was stifling a chuckle at the fact that, in this economic climate, even a guy running on a family values platform who shows up wearing  a diaper and flanked by a hooker can get reelected as long as he has an R next to his name.