Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Health care reform gonna kill your grandma.

Here's a WTF story from TPM that outlines the new GOP tack in opposing any and all health care reform.

So far, GOP opposition has centered on government taking over 1/6 of the economy, bureaucrats deciding your treatment, it'll bankrupt us, etc. All worthwhile debates. As long as you're talking theoretically about some unimagined Eden and not the insurance-plagued present we have now.

But, the truth has never held back a Republican hell-bent on winning an argument, so here we have John Boehner (R-ManTan) getting all weepy over a section of the mean ole Demoncrats' bill that says we'll have to off granny because she's using up too much health care.

This has been repeated by reliable spokespeople like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, the same people who repeated the story that the health care bill would make private health insurance illegal until it was pointed out that it didn't.

Here's their concern, as voiced by Mr. Boehner:

"Section 1233 of the House-drafted legislation encourages health care providers to provide their Medicare patients with counseling on ‘the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration’ and other end of life treatments."

"This provision may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia if enacted into law."

Except that it won't, any more than current doctor/patient discussions about heroic measures, living wills and DNR directives do under our present, for-profit system.

Let's leave aside the startling news for Boehner and Limbaugh that granny is already covered by a government subsidy to the insurance companies called Medicare and consider that, if granny does have private insurance, she's far more likely to be dropped or denied coverage, meaning that she'll still die, but now she'll be leaving her family bankrupt in the bargain.

I'm all for honest and open debate on what shape our healthcare reform should take, but when assholes like these start tossing up boogeymen to scare the masses, then I despair that any progress will ever be made.

Weasels. Fucking weasels.

To be fair, there is more thoughtful opposition to national healthcare, as voiced by Megan McArdle in the Atlantic.

I find her logic skewed and her assumptions wrong, but at least she tries.
For instance, she weighs in sarcastically on the granny question:
"Of course, the obese aren't the only troublesome bunch. The elderly are also wasting a lot of our hard earned money with their stupid "last six months" end-of-life care. Eliminating this waste is almost entirely the concern of men under 45 or 50, and women under 25. On the other hand, that describes a lot of the healthcare bureaucracy, especially in public health."

Except that she's wrong. Old men like me are concerned about how much money we spend on that last six months. And young people have moms and dads. To snarkily dismiss people who have dedicated their lives to health care as being less sensitive than say, Rush Limbaugh, is to do them a gross disservice.

McArdle concludes:

"Once the government gets into the business of providing our health care, the government gets into the business of deciding whose life matters, and how much."

Of course, right now it's a for-profit insurance company deciding whose life matters and how much and they're making those decisions by how much you can pay and what your illness might cost.

Ms. McArdle, like all the opposition to health care reform, doesn't offer any solutions to our dilemma except to shrug and accept the status quo.

This casual default to what we have now consigns a great number of Americans to being uninsured, and those who are insured are vulnerable to the shifting whims of a company that answers only to its stockholders. This status quo means that more people will face medical bankruptcy and this great and imaginative nation will continue to pay the most and get the least.

And that's a status quo that a lot of us find unacceptable.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sarah Palin: Poet of the Great North.

True Crime or That's Why They Call It Dope.

In Statesville, North Carolina, a guy approached a couple of other guys and offered to sell them "a small amount of marijuana."

It's a scene that sadly plays out every day across this great land of ours. And that's why we have a Global War On Drugs (GWOD), to stop people from selling small amounts of deadly marijuana to unsuspecting strangers.

Except in this case, these strangers weren't just any jerks off the street. No, these were jerks with badges, and they quickly set up a sting to bust this major trafficker in illegal narcotics.

Before they moved in, guns blazing, the police called the sheriff's office, just to make sure that the guy in the wig, phony mustache and hippie glasses wasn't another cop working undercover.

No, the sheriff's department said, crossing its fingers, we don't know nothing about no undercover drug dealer.

So, of course, the police arrested the undercover cop.

Which tells me that all the other major crimes in North Carolina have been solved, leaving two police units free to spend time and tax dollars busting one another over a small amount of marijuana.


This is Daniel Patrick Boyd, a local boy done gone wrong, according to the Feds. He allegedly recruited six others, including two of his sons, and trained them in jihad.

As our undercover dealer might say, "Not cool, dude."

Aside from the arrested fashion sense, Boyd doesn't look like someone who would be late with a library book. But here he is, a Muslim terrorist.

The next time some right wing asshat bitches about middle class white guys being searched in airports instead of brown swarthy men with accents, you might want to show him Boyd's picture.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I think we have a new candidate for Alaska governor.

Sure, she'd have to move from California, but think of the career she'd have.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fashion faux pas.

From the always-funny Failblog, of course.

I never got the hat backwards thing, but then again, I wore bell bottoms and embroidered Mexican shirts so I am in no place to throw stones.

Every generation has its fashion quirks. I guess it's so we can look back and wonder, like this guy will, "What the fuck was I thinking?"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Is anyone driving the GOP bus?

There's a lot to go through here, and I don't have much time, so let's get to it.

The latest intellectual assault on the Obama administration is the notion that he wasn't born here. Yes, I know it's not news, and I know this story was killed during the campaign, but like a zombie, it is shambling across the news cycles, eating Lou Dobbs' brain and being a smelly nuisance.

The latest GOPer to take the Birther line is none other than Liz "Dick" Cheney, famous for being born rich, connected and without any scruples whatsoever. Like Paris Hilton, though more despicable.

Liz is willing to say anything, no matter how big a lie, and say it loudly, interrupting anyone who has the sad misfortune to actually be in the same room with her, because I'm sure her spit is corrosive to flesh and steel.

Here she is giving the Birther movement a little under-the-table wank. She's all class, our Liz.

Now, a sane person would have to wonder just where the GOP is going with this. Because anyone who hasn't had their brain eaten with fava beans and a fine chianti knows that the people who are worked up over Obama's birth certificate are, how should I put this?

Bat-fuck, rolling-in-the-dirt, nut-hugging crazy.

In other words, the GOP base.

And the fact that news people actually invite Liz Cheney on TV, knowing that her real accomplishments are limited to dropping out of the right birth canal, leads us to our next story, which is a survey by Time Magazine that identifies The most trusted news anchor in America.

(Gary Myers over at Red Tree Times posted this and he kindly let me have a swing with his bat. Thanks, Gary.)

Now that Walter Cronkite has left us, who, Time wondered, is America's most trusted news anchor. The answer? With 44% of the vote, that man is Jon Stewart of The Daily Show.

Brian Williams was next with 29%, followed by Charlie Gibson at 19% and Katie Couric at 7%. Not surprisingly, Katie, after those ambush, what-do-you-read questions that dogged former Governor Palin got nada in Alaska. Zip. The Big Bupkis. The Eskimo Cold Shoulder.

Now, if this was a country where the sane actually ran things, you would wonder how a comedian fronting a fake news show earned this kind of coast-to-coast credibility? To answer that, and to bring this thing full circle, this is how Jon Stewart handled the Birther story.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Born Identity
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJoke of the Day

Suck on that, Lou Dobbs. Suck on that.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I love this shit.

See the coolest pictures that don't involve naked women, thanks to our friends at Talking Points Memo.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A quick lesson in civility from a man who once walked on the moon.

For all the Internet bloggers and trolls who attack people from behind the screen of anonymity, here's some quick advice - don't try it in person.

Here's a guy who believes the moon landing was a hoax and he's confronting Buzz Aldrin in public.

What can we learn from this encounter?

If you're a pasty couch monkey, don't call a former fighter pilot a liar and a coward. There is a thing called honor, and jet jockeys take it seriously.

Carry on.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Scout Update.

Time to check in with Scout, the stray who came to us a few months ago. She had been living a vagrant's life, without the benefit of civilizing influences, along the Interstate.

In the time she's been with us, she's had some mishaps, treating our carpet the way clients treat my copy. She's chewed up a few things, including our TV remote, and at night she sleeps between us, as cuddly as a bundle of sticks.

Her energy gets her into more trouble than her lack of discipline. She has a huge heart and her spirit is remarkably up considering the deprivations of her earlier life.

But deprived no more, Scout has landed in a good place with treats, soft spots for napping and lots of toys.

And how is Duncan adjusting?

He's doing just fine.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A personal remembrance of Walter Cronkite.

As you surely know by now, Walter Cronkite is dead. He was 92, and if you could wish a life on someone, Cronkite's would be a pretty solid choice.

The first newsmen I remember were Murrow and Huntley and Brinkley. Then, as I came into my teenage years, it was Walter Cronkite. I can't even remember who was on the other channels. There were only three to choose from and my family, along with 25 million others, chose Walter.

I remember the coverage of Kennedy's funeral and it was Cronkite's VO as the casket drew towards Arlington. I remember Cronkite's disgust as his reporters, Dan Rather in particular, were roughed up on the floor of the Democratic convention in Chicago. "Thugs," he called Daley's jackboots, on the air.

I don't recall his coverage of the moon landing 40 years ago. I was pulling 12 hour shifts of KP at Fort Monmouth at the time. That, sadly, is how I remember the first steps of a man on the moon.

But that wasn't Walter's fault.

What I do remember happened more than a year before the Eagle landed. It was when Cronkite returned from Vietnam after Tet. Uncharacteristically, he gave his editorial opinion.

"For it seems now more certain than ever," Cronkite said, "that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate." After Cronkite's broadcast, LBJ was quoted as saying. "That's it. If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America."

It would be a year later that my father, a Republican and supporter of the war, began to have doubts. He had two sons in uniform, one in Vietnam, and he began to ask why. No one could give him answers that would satisfy the sacrifice of one, or both of his sons.

I don't know how much Cronkite's opinion affected my dad, if at all. I do know that when the war lost my father's support, it was only a matter of time. And yet, all of the men I know who didn't come home were killed between 1968 and 1975. Seven more years. What a waste.

The chattering nabobs of today, the O'Reillys, the Hannitys, the Limbaughs, would give one of their testicles to have the credibility of Cronkite. Sorry, sirs, but that kind of weight is earned, not given out.

Thank you, Walter Cronkite, for your service. I find it fitting that on your final day I am deep into a Patrick O'Brian novel, a writer you loved.

Some things do live on. Patrick O'Brian. Your emotional reporting of that day in Dallas. The memories of you on the box throughout the sixties. The Most Trusted Man in America.

Clear sailing, Uncle Walter, and thank you.

The Secrets on C-Street

"And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men...But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly." - Matthew 6:5-6

There's an interesting confluence of news, all centered around this house on C Street in DC. It belongs to a publicity-shy Christian group called The Family, or The Foundation.

A secretive group, The Family has been shoved into the sunlight lately by a series of sexual hijinks by some of its more prominent adherents, all good Christians who were caught offering a bit more than fellowship to women who were not their wives.

I was going to make snarky comments about John Ensign, Mark Sanford and now Chip Pickering (R-Unpleasantville). But then I thought, why bother. They're men who were led astray by the little demon in their pants, and if they weren't on record proclaiming that their Jesus love was better than your love or my love, it wouldn't be worth a mention even on cable news.

But The Family, now there's an interesting group.

For tax purposes, the house on C-Street is considered a church. It rents out rooms to Christian politicians, and holds prayer breakfasts for the powerful. The Family was the force behind the National Prayer Breakfast, an event that presidents attend. To say they have reach in Washington is like saying Michael Jordan could jump, Ted Williams could hit, and Fred Astaire could dance.

The Family was founded by a Methodist evangelist who detested FDR and the New Deal. He was an Ayn Rander before Ayn Rand, a free-market conservative who believed God's invisible hand controlled everything from the buying of bananas to the selling of Tijuana Bibles.

According to a 2006 article in The Atlantic, regular participants in weekly prayer confabs have included conservative GOPers like Sam Brownback, Rick Santorum, Don Nickles, Mike Enzi, Jim Inhofe, Tom Coburn and the aforementioned Pickering, Sanford and Ensign.

But in 2001, a new senator showed up, someone who was no stranger to men who stray. That was Hillary Clinton, detested by almost every right wing politico who has ever bent a knee on C Street.

The meetings begin with a personal testimony. When it was Brownback’s turn, he spotted Clinton and said, “I came here today prepared to share about this experience in my life that has caused great suffering...But I’m overcome now with only one thought.” He said he'd hated Clinton and had said horrible things about her, hardly a starting confession, but then he asked if she would forgive him. She said she would.

And the room went, "Awww."

Talk about meet-cute.

Landing in the middle of all this publicity gold is Jeff Sharlet, who by a lucky stroke has a book out titled, "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power"

Interviewed on Fresh Air, Sharlet told us that The Family's approach to religion is based on "a sort of trickle-down fundamentalism," which holds that the wealthy and powerful, if they "can get their hearts right with God ... will dispense blessings to those underneath them."

The wealthy and powerful, according to The Family, have been personally chosen by God (even Newt Gingrich, which shows very little discrimination on God's part, if you ask me).

What's worse, according to Sharlet, the Family supported the Indonesia dictator Suharto (like Oprah and Madonna rocking that one-name thing), and the man behind a purge that reportedly killed more than a million people. Suharto, in the eyes of The Family, was a leader and therefore, ipso facto, he was chosen by God.

That Indonesia sits on a great deal of oil may, or may not have, influenced the Family's support. Only God knows and he's not talking.

Not to little people like us, He isn't.

All this belief that God chooses leaders like Dick Cheney brings to mind the Tom Waits line: "There ain't no devil, it's just God when he's drunk."

Because religion, particularly secretive religion, tugging on the hidden levers of power makes me a little nervous.

And on that encouraging note, enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What a putz.

This is Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Jerkburg) who, during the Sotomayor grilling, had the WTF moment of the day. He told Sotomayor that if she shot him with a gun, "You'd have a lot of 'splainin' to do."

Coburn pulled the Ricky Ricardo moment because her background is Puerto Rican and Ricky Ricardo had a funny Cuban accent.

Get it?

And here I thought Jeff Sessions, the racist dick from Alafuckingbama, would be the winner of the WTF moment. Nope, it was our pal from OK, Senator Tom Coburn.

What a putz.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This should make my next client meeting more interesting.

This just in, fucking scientists tell us to swear like motherfucking sailors and all that fucking shit you have to wade through every goddamn day will actually feel fucking better.

One of the science fuckers said, "It taps into emotional brain centers and appears to arise in the right brain, whereas most language production occurs in the left cerebral hemisphere of the brain. Our research shows one potential reason why swearing developed and why it persists."

Fuck yeah.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Writer in the rain.

How many times have you painted the scene with streetlights reflected on rain-slicked asphalt as a killer stalks a young couple who walk ahead, close beneath an umbrella, completely unaware that death is near.

Well, as it turns out, the chances of our couple actually making it home are pretty good. Why? Because killers, strangely enough, like to stay home where it's warm and dry, too. Who knew?

According to this story in the New York Times, when it rains, fewer people drop.

(For a totally cool interactive map of homicides in NYC, check this out.)

Back to the cold, stiff, numbers: When the weather's dry, there's an average of 17 people every 10 days who will miss the next episode of So You Think You Can Dance. When it rains an inch or more, 3 of those people get to go home without getting stuck or shot.

As that noted hard guy Elton John tells us, Saturday night's alright for fighting. And it shows in the numbers. In the summer, over the average 10 dry Saturdays, 24 people won't be singing in the Baptist choir the next day. But when it rains, the number of those who go toes up before dawn drops to 18.

Of course, there's always somebody at the party who thinks they know better. In this case, it's Ellen G. Cohn, a professor at Florida International University. Apparently she's studied the effects of weather on crime for more than two decades, suggesting where she spends her Saturday nights.

She told the Times that rainfall was not a good predictor of someone busting a cap in another person's ass, or words to that effect. But then she lives in Florida where it rains all the damn time so, if you want to get your homicide on, you have to adapt.

Back to the Apple. Vernon J. Geberth, a former homicide cop in the Bronx said, “In good weather, there are more people out on the stoops. Somebody bad-eyeing somebody else, and the next thing you know, you have been dissed.”

“It doesn’t take much to get ‘deaded’ in certain neighborhoods," he said. "All you got to do is look sideways at the wrong people, and bingo, something gets set off and it’s crazy.”

But, said our buzz-killer Cohn, murders are rarely between strangers and rain isn't likely to deter that housewife testing the edge of a blade while eyeing her husband's neck. Those homicides usually happens indoors, away from the neighbors.

Steven Messner, a criminology professor at the State University of New York at Albany, agreed with our Florida contrarian. He said, “People adjust to climate. They get umbrellas, they go out. Humans are adaptable.”

Which pretty much proves my point about Florida.

Still want to stage your homicide in the rain? Think about this: Rain washes away evidence, making your murder harder to solve.

“I remember standing out in the middle of a rainstorm with a body in the middle of the street, trying to work out what happened,” Geberth said. “Depending on how hard it is raining, we are losing stuff. We are losing bodily fluids. We are losing shell casings. That exchange of material from touch DNA to hair fibers is dissipated by the elements.”

Something to think about when you're writing a crime novel.

As interesting as this story is, my favorite part is the dialogue from the cops.

“It doesn’t take much to get ‘deaded’ in certain neighborhoods."

Here's another that if I read it in a novel I'd say, "Oh, yeah, now that's a great line."

“Everybody’s out partying, people start drinking, old beefs pop up, and people get their beer muscles out and start fighting.”

Beer muscles. Goddamn, I am so going to steal that.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

United Breaks Guitars.


A musician traveled with his guitar and United Airlines busted it. Bad. When he requested they fix it, they requested he fuck off.

He wrote this song, released it on Monday and today it's a YouTube hit. United is paying attention, if still not paying for his guitar.

Let's hope for a happy ending to this. If you're a guitar player you know how much your instrument means to you. It's more than just wood and wire, a good guitar has heart. I know my old Martin does. I'd be near homicidal if I saw tarmac jockeys tossing it around like a sackful of dirty laundry.

So fuck United. I'll think twice before I book a flight with this airline again.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Thoughts on the passing of a man.

Overshadowed by the nonstop coverage of a pop star's death, the more significant passing of Robert McNamara was almost a postscript. McNamara was the architect of the Vietnam War. He became convinced as early as 1965 that the war was a mistake and yet continued to send young men to die by the thousands.

It's enough to make me believe in an afterlife just so I can trust that McNamara will get the justice he deserves.

For those of you too young to have been selected by your friends and neighbors, it was a time that forced you to define where you stood, both politically and as a man.

In those days, you had 4 choices (or so I thought):

1. Believe in the war and serve. An honorable decision.

2. Don't believe in the war and serve out of an obligation to your country. An honorable decision.

3. Don't believe and don't serve. Those who went to jail or Canada sacrificed for what they believed and that was also an honorable decision.

4. Believe in the war but find a way not to serve. There are a lot of men like Dick Cheney who had other priorities, men who let other mothers' sons take their place in the line. These men are not honorable and should be shunned by society. Sadly, they are not.

In April of 1969, I was in Basic Training at Fort Bragg. The great majority of my platoon was made up of young white kids from the sticks and young black kids from the streets. In the unapologetic, GI parlance of the time, the only people in the Army were "niggers, hicks and spics." There were very few like me, a middle class white kid.

I was a political naif, having supported Goldwater in '64 and Nixon in '68. I had hinky feelings about the war, and no desire to die face down in the mud and shit of a rice paddy, but I also came from a family that stressed military service as an obligation for living in a free country.

Now, thanks to a column by Joe Galloway, co-author of We Were Soldiers Once and Young, I've learned there was a 5th category of men, those who couldn't have an opinion of the war and weren't fit to serve. And yet they did. They were the men of McNamara's Project 100,000.

Here's an excerpt from Galloway's column and I hope he forgives me for lifting so much of it:

Beginning in 1965 and for nearly three years McNamara each year drafted into the military 100,000 young boys whose scores in the mental qualification and aptitude tests were in the lowest quarter — so-called Category IV's. Men with IQ's of 65 or even lower.

They were, to put it bluntly, mentally deficient. Illiterate. Mostly black and redneck whites, hailing from the mean big city ghettos and the remote Appalachian valleys.

By drafting them the Pentagon would not have to draft an equal number of middle class and elite college boys whose mothers could and would raise Hell with their representatives in Washington.

The young men of Project 100,000 couldn't read, so training manual comic books were created for them. They had to be taught to tie their boots. They often failed in boot camp, and were recycled over and over until they finally reached some low standard and were declared trained and ready.

They could not be taught any more demanding job than trigger-pulling and, so, all of them were shipped to Vietnam and most went straight into combat where the learning curve is steep and deadly. The cold, hard statistics say that these almost helpless young men died in action in the jungles at a rate three times higher than the average draftee.

McNamara's military even assigned the Project 100,000 men special serial numbers so that anyone could identify them and deal with them accordingly.

The Good Book says we must forgive those who trespass against us — but what about those who trespass against the most helpless among us; those willing to conscript the mentally handicapped, the most innocent, and turn them into cannon fodder?

Read these columns by Joe Galloway. They're a good way to get your heart moving without the aid of caffeine.
Then go buy Joe's book.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Damn, this is good.

First, my apologies to Mr. Banks for taking so long to read this. Life gets in the way.

I've been a fan of Mr. Banks since I read a short of his 4 or 5 years ago. At the time, based on that one story, I knew Ray was a major talent.

The Callum Innes series runs from Saturday's Child, No More Heroes, Donkey Punch (called Sucker Punch by his nancy boy American editors), and now Beast of Burden.

As in the past, Callum is Callum's worst enemy. Forget Mo Tiernan, the son of a mob boss. Even Detective Sergeant "Donkey" Donkin comes in second to Callum's own self-destructive streak.

One of the things I love about Ray is his commitment to doing what's honest, which means Callum doesn't get the benefit of a reset button, one that will make him healed and whole in the beginning of each book. No, as Cal absorbs the punishments of being run over, shot, beaten, kicked, stomped on and a stroke, he's not quite the man we met in Saturday's Child. He's now 29, with a gimp and a half smile he uses to give people the creeps, and it's a rare chance he'll see 30.

As always, the language is the real star. Even Ray's least worthy characters have a flicker of humanity and his best have a streak of the devil. The people are complicated, the situations swimming in shades of gray. Throughout, Ray writes dialogue that stings like a Manchester rain. And he's funny.

I loved this book. I think you'll love this book.

But that's enough of this schoolgirl giddy fan gush. Go buy the damn thing and let me get back to work.

Because, as Callum might say, what I think means fuck all.

Monday, July 06, 2009


Fighting for Conservative Values unless mean people say icky things about you, that is.

By now you know Sarah Palin is getting all mavericky on us again, this time by quitting the job the people of Alaska elected her to do. Why? Jesus, who really knows? My guess is she's just tired of the whole governor thing and she sees the opportunity to make a lot more money speaking to adoring hordes in the lower 48.

And, really, how you gonna keep 'em down in Wasilla after they've seen Neiman Marcus?

This isn't the first time Sarah's quit. In fact it's more of a pattern in her career, beginning with 5 years and 5 colleges to get her bachelor's. Then, as part of Wasilla's town council, she quit to run for mayor. Then, as mayor, she quit to run for governor. I'm surprised she's still with Todd.

One of the Sunday morning bobblehead shows said that people who follow Governor Palin were moved to look up the clinical definition of a narcissistic personality. According to people who decide these things, the disorder is "...characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, need for admiration, extreme self-involvement, and lack of empathy for others. Individuals with this disorder are usually arrogantly self-assured and confident. They expect to be noticed as superior..."

Now, I know politicians in general are pretty damn self-involved, otherwise they wouldn't be telling you how great they are every few minutes. What's the old joke? The most dangerous place to be is in between a camera and (fill in politico's name). But damn, that definition might as well have a picture of Palin next to it.

What really what tickled me this morning was This morning, for a brief time, Failblog was surrounded by ads like the one up there for Sarah's PAC. That was beautiful.

SarahPAC. The ultimate Fail.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th!

It's American Independence Day.

There are many things I love about this country, not least the chance to better yourself, regardless of your birth circumstances. I never forget that I am the grandson of a coal miner and today I make a good living as a writer, partly thanks to the GI Bill, one of the best things this country's ever done.

I have the freedom to mock the powerful, a freedom I use with gusto. I've been asked how I can be so free with my speech without making any attempt at disguising my identity, like our friend Anonymouse. This is what I tell them: brave men fought and died so that I could have this freedom. I'm at least brave enough to use it.

America has the tradition of picking up and going wherever opportunity calls. It was in this spirit that I moved to North Carolina on July4th, 1976, and as Frost said, that has made all the difference. I started my career here. I met my wife and started my family here.

This has been a great place for us and there are so many people I owe. Each of them opened a door so that I could walk through. They encouraged me and several took a great gamble on me and I hope I haven't let them down.

Here are just a few people I owe: Rich Cerilli, Barbara Short, Michael Vassen, Bruce Mansfield, Emily Givens and Jamie Cobb. These last two saw an old battered piece of meat struggling as a contractor, lifted him up and gave him a second chance. Without these people, our lives would be very different and, I suspect, less secure.

If I haven't said thanks before, let me say it now. Thank you.

Happy Fourth! Enjoy the day.

Friday, July 03, 2009

One Day's Worth of Creepy People.

Yesterday, ugly planets aligned and the local paper was full of wickedness and perversion.

First up is Frank Lombard, a guy who adopted a 5-year-old boy and then had sex with him. A lot.

That not being skeezy enough, Lombard then posted videos on the Internet. Then he offered up the boy to others.

That's when Lombard got busted. He's in custody now, thank you, Jesus. But even if he's convicted, the maximum time he could cop is 20 years, which is about 500 years too little.

Then there's this guy, George Christ Johnson, 50, of Fuquay-Varina. He teaches first grade and is accused of "taking indecent liberties with a child." A first grade teacher. That means his students are six.


Then we have Solomon K. Njiraini, 20, who was charged with fucking a 15-year-old girl on multiple occasions. This story has the potential to get even creepier. Njiraini works at a state mental hospital and as the paper reported, it's not clear from the arrest warrant whether the charges are related to his job.

Then we have Christine Renee Call, 34, accused of having sex with a 14 year-old and a 15-year old. She's also accused of getting them both baked before she offered up the goods.
That's all in one day's paper. WTF is going on out there?

To add asshattery on top of this despicable behavior, the News and Observer's web site is getting Anonymous commenters like this one, referring to the POS who was trying to sell his kid's ass on the Internet:

"Please, please, please, let the accused administrator be a member of President Obama's inner circle."

Creeps, perverts, assholes and jerks. There must be something in the water.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

There's always that one guy.

If you assemble nine random people in a room, the chances are you're going to get at least one jackass. On the Supreme Court, that jackass is Clarence Thomas.

Last week SCOTUS laid a smack down on school officials who conducted a strip search of a 13-year-old girl, Savana Redding. What was Savana's alleged crime? Somebody dropped a dime on her for smuggling (shudder) ibuprofen.

That's right, ibuprofen, the scourge of public schools across the nation.

School officials made the girl take off her clothes and expose her breasts and hoo-hah to two school brownshirts. None of the dreaded drug was found.

The Supreme Court ruled, 8 to 1, that the school officials were out of line. They said that a tip about a legal pain killer did not justify a strip search. But hey, they said, the school officials' intentions were good, so Ms. Redding can't sue.

This was hardly a sweeping, liberal decision that gives students 4th Amendment protections. This was not even the usual 5-4 decision we've seen so many times lately. Even Justice Scalia voted with the majority and he hates everybody.

But the one guy? The one Justice who thought that strip searching a young girl suspected of smuggling Advil was OK? That jackass was Justice Clarence Thomas.

“Preservation of order, discipline and safety in public schools is simply not the domain of the Constitution,” he wrote. “Redding would not have been the first person to conceal pills in her undergarments. Nor will she be the last after today’s decision, which announced the safest places to secrete contraband in school.”

So every time Clarence Thomas sees a 13-year-old girl walking down the street, he's going to wonder what's in her pants.

Jackass. Makes you wonder who beat this guy as a kid.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A quick quiz about gun control.

I'm not one of those guys who wants to gut the Second Amendment. I own firearms and I shoot them. However, I do believe people should be trained in how to safely handle a firearm before they can purchase one.

Case in point: Here's famous moose-shooter, Sarah Palin examining a firearm. She's considered quite the hunter, and yet she obviously needs more training.

Can you spot the potentially lethal mistake she's making in this picture? Believe me, if I'd held my rifle like this I'd have earned a dope slap and a drop-and-give-me-20 from my firearms instructor.