Friday, July 31, 2015

FRIDAY CAT BLOGGING

Sammy's belly (and Frankie's legs)


Be sure to check out Modulator's Friday Ark for more cat blogging pics!

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

TEH GAY

Although I would argue that, even if being gay actually is a choice, it's just fine. People should have sexual freedom. People should have the freedom to form romantic relationships with whatever human beings they love. Period.

I mean, as if gayness-as-a-choice is some kind of moral "gotcha."


Excelsior!

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

PRAYER

You know, I'm all for prayer as a meditative activity, or as a means to be connected to the Almighty, or as a way to send out good vibes to the world. But prayer as a sort of quid pro quo arrangement has always seemed a troublesome proposition to me.


'Nuff said.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The 7 most dangerous myths about the fight for $15 minimum wage

From the Daily Dot:

What was once a fringe movement led largely by far left liberals has become a major media story and trending topic on Twitter: Workers, politicians, and even business owners are fighting for a higher minimum wage. In some areas, they’re even winning. The White House has recommended a federal minimum wage of $10.10, but cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle have raised the bar, passing legalization to raise the minimum wage to $15. (In most places, the transition will take place over the next five to seven years).

And despite these successes, myths about what increased wages mean for America’s economy and workers continue to prevail, making the rounds in Facebook memes and even real news reports. There’s so much misinformation on the subject that the Department of Labor even has a “mythbusting” page.

But these myths are just that: They’re myths. And there’s plenty of data to debunk them.


More here.

A buddy of mine posted the above linked essay on my facebook timeline.  Here's what I commented:

Remember how when we were in high school there actually seemed to be a national debate about economics regarding supply side versus demand side, Keynesian versus neoliberal?

All of that eventually faded out, though, and it seems like everybody in the ruling establishment settled, more or less, for embracing neoliberalism--I blame Clinton and the New Democrats, all that triangulation shit, for that. The Democrats ended up with a new found ability to get corporate money for their campaigns, but it really did a number on how Americans conceptualize economics.

I am very happy to see that, philosophically if not yet legislatively, the neoliberal supply-side grip on the nation's psyche seems to be loosening. Really, and I get this sense from reading Krugman and Stiglitz, a few others, that it's all very much a balance between the supply side and the demand side, which makes sense because both supply and demand are, needless to say, very important to a capitalist economic system.

But right now, we are hopelessly out of balance, living in sort of koyaanisqatsi of economics. I hope this trend away from supply side absolutism continues.
Excelsior!

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Really, it’s time to shut down the GOP

From Salon:

Republicans are finally noticing that Donald Trump is a political liability. In the wake of Trump’s attack on John McCain, GOP candidates found the courage to condemn his revolting shtick — a little late, of course, but good for them. The problem, though, is that they don’t quite understand that Trump isn’t an anomaly; he’s the latest product of a party that long ago abandoned any pretense of seriousness.

More here.

It is, in the twenty first century, incorrect to describe conservatism as a political philosophy. Rather, it is now an identity, one as deeply held as religion, or gender, or occupation, or nationality. It is an identity based on anger and resentment. Yes, this identity manifests in terms of political positions, but those are just the symptoms of what lies beneath: devastatingly painful rage, a sense of persecution, of us-against-the-world, a deep need to "take our country back."

I mean, look, all politics have an emotional element. Emotion, to some extent, guides all our thinking about the various political positions we might take. And you even see similar emotionally-driven tribal elements on the left. But only on the right have we seen this sort of thing take over.

The anger identity is so strong for them it trumps science and facts, as with global warming, evolution, and even crackpot theories about throwing money at the rich, Benghazi, or finding WMD in Iraq. It makes them take bizarre positions, such as rejecting their own market based health care reform plan simply because it was offered by Democrats. And so on.

There continue to be too many reality-based voices and leaders on the left to allow whatever tribal utopians we might have to dominate: the right's thinkers, in sharp contrast, cower in fear at their tribe's rank and file, and adjust their "thinking" accordingly.

Consequently, conservatism, as a philosophy, has devolved into angry vagueness. It is now a fear-based tribal identity, not a system of ideas connected by thoughts. It is incapable of articulating a clear and workable vision for America's future; it can only fume about what it hates. No way forward. Continual outraged stasis.

And the Republican Party is in utter chaos because of it.

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

204 mass shootings in the United States so far in 2015, crowd-sourced tracker says

From the Houston Chronicle:

A mass shooting that killed three people Thursday at a movie theater in Louisiana is only the latest in a string of more than 200 such shootings this year, a website that tracks U.S. gun deaths says.

Forty U.S. states this year have seen mass shooting incidents "when four or more people are shot in an event, or related series of events, likely without a cooling off period," according to the crowd-sourced website Mass Shooting Tracker.

The total number of shootings in 2015 under that definition stands at 204, the website says.


More here.

If we're supposed to refrain from talking about politics for, what, a couple of weeks after any mass shooting, so as to respect survivors, the bereaved, etc., but the shootings are happening at a rate of around one per week, WHEN THE HELL ARE WE SUPPOSED TO TALK ABOUT THE POLITICS?!?

My guess is that the answer is "never."

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

FRANK ZAPPA FRIDAY AND 70S POP MONDAY ON SATURDAY

Two of my facebook features exported to Real Art.




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Friday, July 24, 2015

FRIDAY CAT BLOGGING

Frankie, in silhouette.


Be sure to check out Modulator's Friday Ark for more cat blogging pics!

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

LOCAL STATION GOES AFTER ALEC

From Media Matters for America:



One of the many ways American democracy has been rendered inoperative. If you want to see some shady backroom deals going on, this is it. Excellent television investigative journalism, the likes of which we rarely see these days.

Oh, and if you don't know ALEC, asshole corporate legislative cabal, click here.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Armed civilians are guarding military recruiting centers

From the Houston Chronicle:

Armed civilians stood watch Wednesday outside an Army and Air Force recruiting office in McAllen and other recruiting storefronts around the nation, prompting the military to advise its service members working there to contact local police.

Civilians carrying weapons turned up outside military recruiting centers in at least four Texas cities over the past day or two, a reaction to last week’s shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee that left four Marines and a sailor dead.


More here.

Yes, because apparently the attack in Chattanooga signals an oncoming wave of drug-addicted, mentally ill, American-born jihadis attacking military recruiting centers from coast to coast. And they all need protection provided by civilian patriots armed with the second amendment.

I love this country's can-do spirit.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Check out this letter then-Governor Jeb Bush wrote to the swiftboaters in 2005

From Daily Kos:

Who could forget the vicious campaign Republicans waged against John Kerry for his service in Vietnam? Secretary of State John Kerry received not one, not two, but three Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and a Bronze Star during his combat time in Vietnam. Nevertheless, Republicans mocked and belittled his military service throughout the campaign. It was a key feature of the 2004 Republican National Convention, when delegates and supporters wore cutesy purple bandages in an effort to degrade the Purple Hearts Kerry was awarded.

More here.

What Trump said about McCain is totally lame, of course. Say what you want about his politics: the Senator from Arizona is DEFINITELY a war hero, and deserves our respect, if only for that. Of course, Secretary of State John Kerry is also a war hero, and, a little over a decade ago, when he was running for president as the Democratic nominee, THE ENTIRE REPUBLICAN PARTY went totally to town on his record of distinguished service.

So I call bullshit on all these crocodile tears being shed about how wrong it was for the Donald to go there.

Republicans don't really care about this shit. I mean, it could be freaking Sergeant York, Sergeant Rock, Sergeant Fury, Audie Murphy, whatever, and his war record would only count in his favor if he was a conservative. There's a lot of things regarding Trump about which Republicans can be honestly angry. Trashing John McCain is not one of them.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

'We Are In a Revolutionary Moment'

The fictional right-wing narrative:

Atheist, communist, hate-filled "liberals," a.k.a. "progressives," run the nation, ultimately seeking to disarm, imprison, even murder, God-fearing real Americans, and to destroy forever freedom and the American way, replacing our democratic republic with a dark conformist totalitarianism.

The reality, as articulated by Chris Hedges, courtesy of AlterNet, in the interview linked below:

If things unravel [in the U.S.], our backlash may very well be a right-wing backlash — a very frightening right-wing backlash. We who care about populist movements [on the left] are very weak, because in the name of anti-communism these movements have been destroyed; we are almost trying to rebuild them from scratch. We don’t even have the language to describe the class warfare that is being unleashed upon us by this tiny, rapacious, oligarchic elite. But we on the left are very disorganized, unfocused, and without resources.

More here.

That is, there's hardly a left at all in this country, and those who call themselves "liberal," at this point, are neck deep in the corporate dirty work they do almost every day. But there is a right wing in this country. They're wealthy, influential, powerful, and very, very angry.

Things are looking dark and grim as our nation continues its long, slow collapse.

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

CAITLYN JENNER

From Salon:

Ben Shapiro tries — and spectacularly fails — to humiliate 
trans woman Zoey Tur: “What are your genetics, sir?” 

Thursday night’s episode of “Dr. Drew on Call” featured Breitbart Editor-at-Large Ben Shaprio and “Inside Edition” reporter Zoey Tur discussing whether Caitlyn Jenner deserved the Arthur Ashe Courage Award — and as anyone familiar with Shapiro’s thoughts about the transgender community has already guessed, the discussion started poorly and steadily deteriorated like a burning plane on a slow descent into a field of puppies.

Host Drew Pinsky asked Shapiro if he believed Jenner deserved the award. “For what?” Shapiro shot back.


More here.

You know, I don't think Caitlyn Jenner's story is, like, the greatest thing ever or anything along those lines. But she does represent a significant step forward in the ongoing struggle for transgendered Americans to be received into the nation's cultural mainstream. Her public existence as a woman is definitely noteworthy, and to be respected and honored.

The thing I don't get is how it pisses off so many people. I mean, why all the juxtaposing of Jenner pictures with soldier pictures and text reading "this is real courage" yadda-yadda? It's weird.

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

FRANK ZAPPA FRIDAY AND 70S POP MONDAY ON SATURDAY

Two of my facebook features exported to Real Art.




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Friday, July 17, 2015

FRIDAY CAT BLOGGING

Frankie


Be sure to check out Modulator's Friday Ark for more cat blogging pics!

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF!

I shared this on facebook a couple of days ago:


The discussion thread for it was mostly pretty good.  But sometimes this happens:
John If you pay wage only increased 10 percent since 1978, you should probably get a better job. Maybe welfare only increased by 10 percent.

Ronald Yes, John, every man for himself is exactly what we need. "Get a better job." Dude, that only works when there are better jobs. And, for most Americans, there aren't. Thus, your comment is gibberish, having nothing to do with anything at all. You rightys need to stop talking in gibberish and get with the discussion.

John Well it is every man for himself. I don't want to work to support you. If you believe there are not better jobs then try harder Ron. The only gibberish is the poor me rhetoric wanting a Utopian society where everyone is equal and has the same amount. It doesn't exist. The world is what you make if it.

Ronald I don't know how to talk to someone who is obviously in utter denial of the reality all around him. I'm doing fine. This isn't about me. This is about our nation, which I love. That means loving the people in it, which you apparently do not. And you're pulling out the word "utopia," I see. Whatever. You conservatives ALWAYS start using that word whenever you've got nothing to say. More gibberish.

Anyway, I don't think you love this country. I don't think you understand the phrase "promote the general welfare" from the Constitution's preamble, which makes your entire understanding of this country suspect.

Also, I don't expect you to follow all my posts, but I've been very much on the record as believing that the economy exists to serve the people. Not the other way around. So if business can't provide the goods, WE SHOULD FORCE THEM TO DO SO. Otherwise, they're parasites.
Excelsior!

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Houston GOP activist Steven Hotze: 'Kids will be encouraged to practice sodomy in kindergarten'

From the Houston Chronicle:

Dr. Steven Hotze, president of Conservative Republicans of Texas and Houston talk radio host, articulated that thought yesterday in Dallas while speaking at a kick-off for a new anti-gay marriage organization, the Texas Observer reported. He was joining conservative allies in founding "Real Marriage: One Man/One Woman for Life," a group he said will campaign against the cultural influence of "homo-fascists" in Texas and beyond.

More here.

You know, I read trash like this and I really wonder if anyone can possibly be this stupid.

I mean, c'mon: "They want to intimidate individuals, churches, schools and families to celebrate those that participate in anal sex." It's not about people who love each other getting married? This is all about celebrating anal sex?

Think about that for a moment.

This piece of walking talking human trash reduces the institution of marriage to nothing more than a sex act. I might as well say that so-called "traditional" marriage is about celebrating vaginal sex. You know, the fundamentalists want to intimidate individuals, churches, schools, and families to celebrate those that participate in vaginal sex.

Kids will be encouraged to practice vaginal sex in kindergarten.

Right. It's obvious bullshit when you turn it around--I mean, it's obvious in any case, but the depths of its offensiveness become a bit more clear when you apply the same calculation to straight marriages. While sex is, indeed, an important component of marriage, it continues to be JUST ONE COMPONENT among many, as if that even needs to be stated. But apparently it does.

It really is hard to tell if this guy's stupid or simply a big asshole, but there is one thing of which I'm certain: a guy who's such big asshole has absolutely no business ranting and raving about how horrible anal sex is. After all, when an asshole has sex, that's the only kind of sex it can be.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

PRIDE

A couple of weeks late, but still a good thought:


The same thinking also applies to black pride, Latino pride, the women's movement, black history, etc. That is, it's about solidarity and survival in the face of oppression. Consequently, the men's movement, white pride, all these things celebrating people who already hold most of the power in society, aren't much more than rhetorically dog-piling on the oppression.

Hard to explain all that to resentful white men, though. I mean, you know, they're resentful.

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Monday, July 13, 2015

The Laziness Dogma

New Krugman:

You see this laziness dogma everywhere on the right. It was the hidden background to Mitt Romney’s infamous 47 percent remark. It underlay the furious attacks on unemployment benefits at a time of mass unemployment and on food stamps when they provided a vital lifeline for tens of millions of Americans. It drives claims that many, if not most, workers receiving disability payments are malingerers — “Over half of the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts,” says Senator Rand Paul.

It all adds up to a vision of the world in which the biggest problem facing America is that we’re too nice to fellow citizens facing hardship. And the appeal of this vision to conservatives is obvious: it gives them another reason to do what they want to do anyway, namely slash aid to the less fortunate while cutting taxes on the rich.


More here.

Here's the deal. American workers aren't lazy. American workers want to work. So American capitalism needs either to pay workers more, such that people can afford rent, bills, health care, and college tuition for their kids, OR the capitalist class needs to get used paying much higher taxes to be used for more social services in order to make up for the fact that they refuse to pay workers what they're worth. Probably a combination of both.

But that's what's going to happen. And it can happen easily, with input and cooperation from the capitalist class, or it can happen painfully, with the capitalist class kicking and screaming all the way. My money's on the latter.

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

ALL MEN ARE PIGS

(Directly from facebook last Friday:)

This is why abortion is just about the only women's issue I'll talk about on facebook. It seems far safer territory. But really, if I completely misinterpreted this person's intent, I wish she had simply explained that to me, instead of reinforcing my preexisting notion. Better to just keep my mouth shut. Even if I feel like I've been unjustly called a pig.
ORIGINAL POST, FROM A FORMER FACEBOOK FRIEND (FFF):

I kind of love this song. It's a conversation between a radical feminist and a fake feminist man who's saying that all men are pigs and pretending to be a feminist just to get into her pants, because he's DIFFERENT from the other guys. "All men are pigs--all men but me!" So familiar. Great tune, as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ob5KzB_EOqc

COMMENTS:

You like this.

Ronald Rule number one: never argue feminism with a hardcore feminist. You can argue with women who reject the feminist label, even though they mostly support feminist principles; you can argue with other men. But never argue about the topic with a hardcore feminist, even if you think you've got a point. Just agree with her. Everyone will be much better off.

On the other hand, when one starts saying that all people are like this or that, one runs into trouble. Having said that, this is a pretty good song.

Also, who the hell tries to get into a feminist's pants by insisting he's enlightened? What a douche.

FFF It happens a lot. I don't know what you think I am? But I consider myself a hardcore feminist, so I'm not sure what to think of your disparaging words.

Ronald I'll try not to argue with you about feminism, then.

Ronald And I don't mean to disparage, but that's my experience.

Adding: I don't know anything about you at all.

FFF I wasn't even arguing. Sigh. This is the problem--people say, "You can't argue with feminists!" and then when we understandably take umbrage at a sweeping generalization like that, as I would at ANY sweeping generalization of that kind, you say, "You see! I'm right!" UAGHAGJHSDGA. It's just annoying, because I'd prefer to have a REAL conversation, and not boil things down to generalizations like that. I'm an individual, not part of a collective hive mind of "All Feminists".

Ronald FFF, you just posted a song calling me a pig.

FFF *facedesk* did you even read my description of the song? You completely missed the point. The perspective is from a guy trying to get into a feminist's pants. Not a woman saying it. It seems like you didn't even listen to it.

Ronald The song is titled "All Men are Pigs." Is there something I'm missing?

Ronald "Having said that, this is a pretty good song."

FFF I don't know how you aren't getting this. The title refers to what the guy is saying in order to try and fuck the feminist girl, trying to say he's different from other guys, "not typical", and "better" in some vague way.

FFF It's not a sentiment I agree with, it's a satire song I find amusing.

Ronald "I don't know how you aren't getting this."

I feel like I'm being patronized now.

FFF I can't even. I'm seriously trying my best right now, but you are clearly not even trying. Goodbye, banning you from this post.
UPDATE: So when I re-posted the exchange on my own page, after blocking forever the dim-witted and evil FFF, I took a little shit from some self-identified feminist friends for my saying that I refuse to argue with hardcore feminists.  I explained that I consider myself to be a feminist, too, but that my experience, as a man, dictates that I should NEVER argue about feminism with radical feminists, rather than simply feminists, because it has so often ended up very badly, very quickly.

This latest incident simply galvanizes my thinking on this.  I mean, I didn't even really try to argue about feminism with a hardcore feminist.  I just figured if it's all about satire, well, then, this guy broke rule number one.  But it turns out it's not even satire!  This song, when you look a bit more closely at the lyrics, is CLEARLY asserting that all men are pigs.  It's not a douche character saying this; it's the fucking song.

So FFF not only was a big fucking asshole to me, but was also completely wrong in her assertion that it's some kind of parody or something.  I should have just told her to fuck off immediately.  At any rate, this shit really rattles me.  As one of my feminist friends pointed out, it's probably not so much the radicals, per se, as it is the assholes, people using rhetorical cover to mask their, what, hate?  I don't know.

But it's yet another lesson that there are simply some people I will never be able to reach.  And that's a drag.

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Saturday, July 11, 2015

FRANK ZAPPA FRIDAY AND 70S POP MONDAY ON SATURDAY

Two of my facebook features exported to Real Art.




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Friday, July 10, 2015

FRIDAY CAT BLOGGING: YET ANOTHER CANINE EDITION!

Lola


Be sure to check out Modulator's Friday Ark for more cat blogging pics!

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Thursday, July 09, 2015

Homophobes now showing they don’t like gay people with ‘US flag’ Facebook pictures

From Pink News:

Homophobes on Facebook are protesting against a trend of ‘rainbow’ Facebook pictures – by superimposing the American flag over their face.

A bit more here.

So the stars and stripes means homophobia now. Strange times, strange times. But not really. This brings back a lot of bad memories from the months between 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq.

Immediately after the terrorist attacks that toppled the World Trade Center and destroyed part of the Pentagon, there was, I'm sure you'll recall, what seemed a rather spontaneous eruption of national solidarity, manifest by what seemed an infinite display of the American flag. Everywhere. And it made a great deal of sense. In the wake of a national tragedy, Americans wanted to show that they love their country, no matter what, and that we're all in this together. At first, I thought it was cool; it reminded me of all the star spangled mania surrounding the bicentennial when I was a kid.

But it didn't take long for things to take a turn for the sinister. Very quickly, it seemed to me, Old Glory became synonymous with war, with revenge, and with hatred directed at Muslims. Not freedom. Not Democracy. Not industriousness. Not diversity. It made me sad. I mean, honestly, deeply sad. "This isn't who we are, who we're supposed to be," I thought, "What's happened to my flag?" How could we have become so jingoistic and bent on destruction so quickly?

Later, as our fortunes floundered in Iraq, the flag fest stalled out. All for the best, I suppose, but it left a really bad taste in my mouth. What do you do when a symbol you love is appropriated successfully by evil assholes? I never figured out the answer to that.

Fortunately, this right-wing response to the gay marriage decision is, in all probability, not going to catch on. After all, the majority of Americans support the decision. So this flag-as-gay-hate phenomenon is doomed to be not much more than a last gasp maneuver from a shrinking segment of the population choking on their own bile.

Still, though, it pisses me off. Don't fuck with my America.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Comedy’s Sweet Weapon: The Cream Pie

From the New York Times:

So it is with unrestrained glee that we share the news of the recovery of a long-missing portion of the greatest pie-throwing fight ever recorded, far superior to the pastry melee of “In the Sweet Pie and Pie,” a 1941 Three Stooges short, or the baked-goods battle in “The Great Race,” a 1965 comedy with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon.

That, of course, would be the epic custard conflagration in “The Battle of the Century,” a 1927 Laurel and Hardy short that dispensed with 3,000 pies, thrown not with abandon but with slow-burn precision, heightening the comedic effect.


More here.

Back when I was in grad school at LSU, I made an offhand remark to our rather brilliant acting teacher, the late, great John Dennis, that the rubber chicken is the funniest of all objects. Almost immediately, he shot me down, rolling his eyes, as he often did at my various flights of fancy. You see, the rubber chicken is perceived by many as the most cliched of comedic gags.

Fortunately, he had just assigned short solo commedia dell'arte performances to us, and I had my opportunity to prove him wrong. There's no need to go into all the details of what I came up with, but it did involve more than one sex act with the chicken, as well as the spectacle of my character getting stuck inside the chicken during one of those said sex acts.

Anyway, my classmates were in stitches, and I had proven myself right. The rubber chicken is the funniest of all objects.

Lesson: some of the most cliched jokes and gags can still be over-the-top hilarious in the right hands. Indeed, farts are still funny. Falling down continues to be one of the funniest things a human being can do. And a pie in the face continues to have great comedic potential, for those with the power to harness it.

That's why I have GOT to see this no doubt soon-to-be restored Laurel and Hardy short from 1927 that features a THREE THOUSAND PIE pie fight. A sort of pie Armageddon, as Stan Laurel once referred to it. I'm betting it will be one of the funniest things I've ever seen. How can it not?

I can't wait.

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Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Paula Deen Deletes Tweet of Son Bobby Deen in Brownface

From the Us via the Houston Chronicle:

Oh no. Two years after Paula Deen’s career imploded after she admitted to using racial slurs toward African-Americans, the famed chef has committed another tone-deaf faux pas, posting then deleting a photo of her son Bobby Deen sporting brownface.

More here.

So, what was it, a couple of years ago? I took a lot of shit from people for posting about how lame and racist Paula Deen is. I mean, I got a lot of support, too, but there was definitely a large contingent of commenters who either didn't get it or refused to get it.

Maybe now that the Confederate battle flags are coming down, we can revisit this a bit.

My point was never about her usage of the n-word thirty years ago. Sure, that was lame, but uttering one word one time three decades ago doesn't indict a person forever. But that seems to have been the white conservative understanding of what the scandal was about: liberals taking down the beloved TV chef because she said the wrong word a very long time ago. And it seemed IMPOSSIBLE to talk to them about anything else.

That is, the REAL problem with Paula Deen was her glorification of the Old South, something that isn't thirty years ago, but two years ago, manifest as her plans to host what I was calling a "Sambo wedding" for her son, complete with an all black waitstaff, dressed like the Cream of Wheat black guy. Because the Old South was "beautiful."

I suppose I could have just as easily called it an "Uncle Tom wedding," or a "minstrel show wedding," whatever. The point is that in 2012 or 13, Paula Deen was, and almost certainly still is, a lover of the Confederacy and Jim Crow, romanticizing away all the brutality and racism, leaving behind only the Gone with the Wind fantasy, complete with happy and stupid black people waiting hand and foot on superior white people.

That was ALWAYS the problem with Paula Deen's celebrity status. Her glorification of racism using decades old white cultural codes. The n-word was only the tip of the iceberg on this, a symptom, not the disease. Back when the story broke, I tried to explain why that's so extraordinarily problematic. I mean, when you erase the sins of the Old South, to a great extent, you're trying to erase racism today. And when I say "erase," I mean sweep under the rug.

I sincerely hope, now that the American mainstream appears ready to accept that the Confederate battle flag does NOT represent innocent "heritage," or whatever bullshit is used to justify displaying it, that people are ready to accept that the Paula Deens of this world, all the romanticizers of the bloody and sick Old South, are pushing racism.

I mean, she really is pushing racism.

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Monday, July 06, 2015

HERE'S THE DEAL ON ECONOMICS

Okay, here's the deal on economics in a really simplified way.

If the economy doesn't provide enough jobs for the vast majority of the working-age population, jobs that not only allow people to survive, but also to live decently, then it is a failed economy. I don't care how well you think GDP is expanding. I don't care how many millionaires and billionaires the economy is pumping out. Wall Street exuberance is irrelevant. None of that shit matters.

All that matters is how well the economy serves the people. If it doesn't do this, it's time to go back to the drawing board and figure it out.

All discussion regarding economics should be in these terms. Or it's a joke discussion, not to be taken seriously, like, you know, the discussion we always have about economics.

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Sunday, July 05, 2015

Colorado’s Effort Against Teenage Pregnancies Is a Startling Success

From the New York Times:

Over the past six years, Colorado has conducted one of the largest ever real-life experiments with long-acting birth control. If teenagers and poor women were offered free intrauterine devices and implants that prevent pregnancy for years, state officials asked, would those women choose them?

They did in a big way, and the results were startling. The birthrate for teenagers across the state plunged by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013, while their rate of abortions fell by 42 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. There was a similar decline in births for another group particularly vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies: unmarried women under 25 who have not finished high school.


More here.

So, if you follow my posts, you may have read me arguing that the majority of the pro-life movement, the "rape and incest exception" people, don't really care about "life" because they're completely cool with "killing a baby" when they approve of the sexual behavior of the "mother." That is, they're not "pro-life"; rather, they just want to punish the sluts by way of forced childbirth.

But this hate for the sluts disguised as care for the "unborn" manifests itself in other ways. Case in point: this amazing success with reducing both unwanted pregnancies and abortions in Colorado.

For decades now, pro-choicers have made the observation that if the pro-life movement is truly serious about abortion, then they would support the government going balls-to-the-walls on birth control, for teenagers, for everyone, which would definitely reduce the abortion rate because it would also reduce the rate of unwanted pregnancies. But, also for decades, the pro-life movement has staunchly opposed doing this kind of thing because, get this, it would "encourage" people, especially teens, to have sex.

Not that anyone needs any encouragement to have sex.

But that's pretty much the picture. When pro-lifers are confronted with a sure-fire method of "saving the unborn," a method which doesn't run up against the Constitution, and which is completely uncontroversial outside pro-life circles, they reject it. Because they are far more concerned with punishing sluts than they are with "life." Indeed, I think it's safe to say that "life" has absolutely nothing to do with pro-lifers. It's all about icky yucky nasty slut-sex.

Indeed, this appears to be the final fate of the program in Colorado. It's been funded by a private grant which has now run out. The Republican dominated state legislature voted against renewing the program with tax dollars, in spite of its amazing success. I mean, how can you punish the sluts if you don't force them to give birth?

I just cannot take these people seriously anymore.

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Saturday, July 04, 2015

Friday, July 03, 2015

FRIDAY CAT BLOGGING

Stella


Be sure to check out Modulator's Friday Ark for more cat blogging pics!

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Thursday, July 02, 2015

Indiana Woman's Facebook Video Meltdown Rant Over Marriage Goes Viral

From the New Civil Rights Movement:

While apparently cleaning her home on Friday, Becky Wegner Rommel took a break to share with her Facebook friends a few thoughts about the Supreme Court's ruling on marriage. She recorded and posted this four-and-a-half minute video during which she seems to be having a meltdown over the decision.

"This is a really sad day for me," Rommel says. "Our government decided that everything that God created his church to be — as man as woman — Adam and Eve — five justices decided that God was wrong!"

And that's when it goes downhill.


More here, with exciting video!

Funniest thing I've seen in months. The only thing missing is spontaneous speaking-in-tongues when her passion is at its fullest, as with Robert Tilton back in the day. Nonetheless, this is right up there with Jimmy Swaggart's apology for doing it with white trash prostitutes. A milestone in the history of American unhinged fundamentalist freakouts. Brilliant stuff. Absolutely brilliant.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

LIBERTARIAN DORKS

This was floating around on facebook a few weeks back:


I don't think this is what a "right to healthcare" means. It's more like a right to vote. The state hires people to run polling facilities, to count the votes, to manage the entire operation. No one is conscripted or enslaved. Instead, it's a service, paid for with tax dollars, provided to the public free of charge.

Pretty simple, really, not rocket science.

Rand went to college. It's more than a bit weird that he doesn't understand this. I mean, you can argue about whether this is a good way to spend tax dollars. But to assert that it's the same thing as slavery isn't simply absurd, but rather downright insulting, to pretty much everybody's intelligence, to make such an assertion and expect it to be taken seriously.

I mean, does anybody, libertarian or otherwise, really believe this shit? C'mon.

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