Monthly Archives: March 2012

Land Sakes! Where Does The Time Go?

I’ve been staring at a blank screen for about six hours now.

WARNING: This illustration has nothing to do
with this  piece, but we felt it needed color .

I check email, I check Facebook. I listen to old UK suites on YouTube.

But the time comes to recognize that, while many words are stewing in the crockpot, there’s nary an essay to be found.

I’m sure I’ll do something funny as hell for tomorrow, but for the last day of March, this will have to do.

Courage.

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Satan’s Big Week

First of all, it’s a metaphor. Whether you believe in an actual devil or a metaphorical one is a matter of complete indifference to this blog. Focus, people.

The breaking news is that Keith Olbermann has been fired from Current TV. Since details are sketchy, everybody already knows everything that there is to know about it (particularly and predictably, the Righties, who are crowing and gibbering at their bonfire), so I’ll refrain from getting in the way of all the  incredible wisdom and journalism. Continue reading

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How History is about to view the Alter Boys

He almost got it right …

by Charles P. Pierce / Esquire:

Tony Scalia’s Retirement Has Started Early  —  Here’s the deal.  I think Justice Antonin Scalia isn’t even really trying any more.  It’s been clear for some time now that he’s short-timing his job on the Supreme Court.  The job bores him.  All these inferior intellects coming before him….

But for some reason Pierce’s snark stopped short of the “let them eat cake” pompousity of Antonin Scalia, who, about to overturn the Affordable Health Care Act, which affects some 300 million Americans … uh, squalled that how could he possibly be expected to READ it? Continue reading

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Putting the ‘cad’ in and taking the ‘bra’ off of ‘Abracadabra’

NPR’s “Morning Edition” has been trumpeting their series on the gazillionaires who are funding the presidential stakes, thus far. But, under attack from Congress, they must, of course, bend over backwards to be “balanced.”

Penny Nance was on NPR this morning

Never mind that there are, according to their own reporting “More than two dozen people or groups have donated at least $1 million each to the new superPACs, which can raise unlimited funds to help a candidate — although without technically coordinating with that campaign.”

Never mind that virtually ALL of them are Republicans. No: Bill Maher must be used to “balance” their softball report on Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate who’s personally financed Newt Gingrich’s “Crusade of Lunacy” campaign to the tune of $15 million, and promises to spend $100 million to defeat President Obama’s re-election.

“Fair” enough. Continue reading

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What They Fought and Fight For

For a long time, we’ve grappled with the fundamental issue of WHAT the Civil War was “about.”  Reading the resolutions of Cesession, clearly, it is “about” slavery.

But that’s only a mask on the real question, which concerns us to this day. If you put yourself in the mindset of the slaveholder, the “peculiar institution,” what was the obvious and immediate issue was PROPERTY.  Capital valuation. Continue reading

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Athena and the Jurists

 Any astrologer worth her salt would tell you that there is not a lot of good that you can expect from a grand Supreme Court argument over the future of health care, held on a day when Mercury is retrograde, Saturn is retrograde, and Mars is retrograde.  And, since, like global warming, astrology is easily refuted, except by observation, allow me to make this observation on the madness of the zeitgeist.

The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times conspired this weekend to deprive Socrates of his wits and reaffirm the verdict of Orestes:

There are numerous tales and stories associated with Pallas Athene, including her name, which was originally simply Athene.  One day she was sparring with her foster sister, Pallas, daughter of a local sea-god and more than likely a cousin of hers, when Daddy Jupiter distracted her, causing her to accidentally kill her sister.  As part of her grief, she set her name before her own.

She was seen as a protector of cities, a prophetess, and invincible in battle.  Mythologically, she helped Hercules with his labors, assisted Odysseus in his voyage from Troy, and gave Perseus a hand disposing of Medusa.  She also gave Athens the gift of the olive tree, beating out Poseidon’s gift of the horse.  To appease him, the gods deprived Athenian women of their citizenship, their vote, and the right to give their children their surname.  Thus, from that point on, women began to lose their rights and this was blamed on Athene.

This was further reinforced in the trial of Orestes, which boiled down to who the true parent of a child was, the mother or father.  Since Pallas Athene was born of a man, she testified that it was the male parent who was most important.  Apollo, who defended Orestes, also stated that the mother only provided a place for the seed implanted by the male to grow.  Needless to say, this did not move feminism forward….

Which is, when you think about it, what we’re debating in the Forty-Nine states that have either passed or considered legislation that, in essence, enshrines that most important and sacred seed to the detriment of the physical choice of the women in whom said seed has been sprouted. Continue reading

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NPR and Cons and Me

There was an NPR show today about a nineteenth century con man and a conned man who got even.

On the continuing power of the con in the digital age:

“What I think is that the con never dies — it just changes costumes. That appeal must be working, even in these poorly worded emails, or else we wouldn’t be getting so many of them. And that gives the lie to something that certainly experts in the financial field would love to believe — that if you only know the structure of a con and how its mechanisms work, then you’ll be inoculated. I think we can see that’s not the case.”

And I thought to myself: “Didn’t I write this six or seven years ago?” (Because there had been a gratuitous reference to scams from “A Nigerian Prince” the day before, as well.)

So, I went looking for it, while I waited for the author to note a literary history that she OUGHT to have read before writing her book: O.Henry’s The Gentle Grafter and other Stories, which is a marvelous catalog of 19th century scams (many of which have made it into the 20th, like “Three Card M0nty.”) Continue reading

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Anger Is Not Enough

Until we knew who the Koch Brothers were, we had no idea where to focus our anger at their actions. Until we understand the causes of Trayvon Martin’s death by gunshot, we have no more idea where to focus our anger than we did at the terrible legislation that the Kochs have purchased to their benefit and our detriment.

It’s not enough to be angry.

Have you ever noticed that when you’re really angry about something WRONG, just WRONG, many people will attempt to say that you can’t possibly be angry, because your reasons are incorrect, specious, non-existent or “you’re just being unreasonable”? [emphasis added]

Witness the idiot Geraldo Rivera, blaming the “hoodie” — or hooded sweatshirt — that the victim was wearing:

Fox’s Geraldo Rivera: “I Think The Hoodie Is As Much Responsible For Trayvon Martin’s Death As George Zimmerman”
March 23, 2012 8:36 am ET
by Media Matters staff

On the March 23 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera reacted to the killing of 17-year-old, unarmed Florida resident Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman by claiming, “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman.

Rivera said: “I believe that George Zimmerman, the overzealous neighborhood watch captain should be investigated to the fullest extent of the law and if he is criminally liable, he should be prosecuted” but went on to claim Martin “wore an outfit that allowed someone to respond in this irrational, overzealous way.”

No: your ANGER is real. The problem lies in where that anger is channeled and focused. If this goes in one way, Zimmerman will be “lynched” in the media (too late), the courts and in prison. If this goes in another way, it will be shown that he was completely justified and what the hell are all you stupid liberals (spoken with an N-word inflection) upset about? It isn’t real. Now shut up and get back to restocking those Wal-Mart shelves. Continue reading

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Truth Is Whatever I Say It Is

“Crooks” is the leitmotif of the day. We begin with the Great Eugene Blizzard of Twenty and Twelve:

@ 7 ½ inches, the largest snowstorm ever recorded for Eugene, Oregon

My favorite men’s wear store in town is going out of business after nearly fifty years. It is my favorite store because it’s the only store in Eugene or Springfield that carries my sizes: I’m a big man, and even were I at fighting trim — which I’m not — I would still be a big man. Continue reading

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The Political Courage of Jeb Bush

Jeb, seen in his natural habitat

Breaking news:

Jeb Bush Endorses Mitt Romney in GOP Primary  —  Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush endorsed Mitt Romney after Romney’s lopsided win in Illinois Tuesday night.  The former Florida Governor – a Republican heavyweight* – called on members of the party to coalesce behind Romney.

And, in a related story, I’m endorsing the New York Giants in the 2012 Superbowl.

[* They shouldn't call him fat, though.]

Courage.

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The Fundamental Madness of Eddie Munster

Congressman Paul Ryan (R, Wisc.)

Paul “Eddie Munster” Ryan is in the news again. This time it’s for a redux of last year’s non-starter of an Ayn Rand budget. Don’t believe me?

“This isn’t just about math, this is a cause,” Republican Rep. Paul Ryan told the audience at the American Enterprise Institute this morning, on the release of 2013 budget.

This will be masticated to death by the sophists of the media, whose grasp on actual reasoning, debate and argumentation is, from the evidence, severely disabled, if not to say non-existent. The Republican spokes-models (as many blacks and women and black women as possible, please, seems the consensus within GOP/Dixiecrat circles) will spout whatever talking points have been faxed from Brain Dead Central, and the Democratic spokesmodels will each attempt to free-lance and maybe counter with talking points of their own. But the thousand pound gorilla in the room is the simple insanity that nobody’s willing to talk about: Continue reading

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