Saturday, June 29, 2013

King of the Dill ... ... weeds

SSteve King, Congressional representative from Iowa, really scares me.  Sure, some (many) of his quotes are (unintentionally) funny, but many border on the schizophrenic.  Hell, I’d really like to send him a bottle of Haldol and sixty syringes of Thorazine, but I can’t…so I won’t.  What I can do though, is share his lunacy with you…with commentary, of course (he's in blue, I'm in red, just to flip the accepted and expected colour scheme).

 “But I guess I’m short and fat is what I am. So I’m safe in San Francisco.” …  Dude, you’re safe in the biggest whorehouse in the red-light district of Hamburg.

“If there is a sexual predator out there who has impregnated a young girl. Say a thirteen year old girl; and it happens in America more times than you and I would like to think. That sexual predator could pick that girl up off the playground at the middle school and haul her across the state line and force her to get an abortion to irradiate the evidence of his crime and bring her back and drop her off at the swing set and that’s not against the law in the United States of America.” … Can you say "Mann Act"?  And it’s eradicate you asshole (shame you weren’t in utero).

“Just gigged another mole. Tools: garden hose & gig. Water runs down hill. Moles can’t hold their breath long.”    Hell, I’m surprised you even know how to breathe.

“Unicorns, leprechauns, gay marriages in Iowa — these are all things you will never find because they don’t exist.” … Nor, I’m guessing, could we find an Iowan congressman with a brain.

 “Put newspapers in your car (windows) to get more privacy.”  …  Uh, yeah…uh…I always do that – especially when I’m driving.  WTF????  (Ooh, I'd better wrap my cellphone in aluminum foil to protect me from the NSA -- well, it makes as much sense).

“It turns out to be the best vote that I cast, was my “no” vote to the $51.5 billion to Hurricane Katrina. That probably was my best vote.” Words of advice: stay out of New Orleans, dat dere voodoo be some powerful shit.

“We could also electrify this wire with the kind of current that would not kill somebody, but it would simply be a discouragement for them to be fooling around with it. We do that with livestock all the time.” … Pass me the cattle prod.

 “You cannot take a chance with life anymore than you can shoot a gun into a crowded room and take a chance that you might not kill somebody. You cannot guess about when life begins.”  … I’m guessing both brain cells misfired, right?

“Eskimos got along all these centuries without fruit and vegetables.” WTF???  Fine, fine…pass me the baked seal and seaweed platter next.  Sigh.

“Babies born in America now owe the federal government $44,231 each.” Uh, OK….???  And you get to vote on appropriations?  Oh, hell No!  Nooooooo!!!!!!

“In fact, if you want to argue that you really don’t know – that it might be first, second or third trimester or viability – tell me: If someone were to walk down this hallway and stick a gun in the door, turn their head away from the gun and pull the trigger and run out the door and we catch him out there, did he kill somebody or didn’t he?” … No, there is abso-fucking-lutely no way you are paraphrasing Schroedinger.  (No, not the piano kid from Peanuts.)

“So we just asked them, under oath, “are you a vegetarian?” And they confessed they were vegetarians, all of them. Well there they are with an agenda for our diets…I eat recycled, concentrated, enhanced vegetables in the form of meat.” … Confessed?  Confessed?  Yes, I too have been responsible for the death of plants and their offspring. Mea culpa, domine rex.

“If someone is insulted by that, I don’t know that they belong in this country. Jesus talked about animals and compared people to animals. I’m Catholic, my bishop is my shepherd and we are his sheep.”  … Rrrriiigghhhttt...I’ll bet Rick Santorum liked this one.

And, as if all of the above were not enough, we have this gem:

“Mid day, mid blizzard, 15 degrees, Crazy Raccoon chewing and clawing his way into my house. Desert Eagle 1, Crazy Raccoon zero.”

Now that is scary.  ‘Nuff said?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summertime Blues, Part I

"I'd like to help you, son, but you're too black to vote". -- In essence, this is what those cheering the Supreme Court's declaration that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA)* is unconstitutional are saying in their misguided and ignorant comments, and by their Voter ID actions in Texas . Yes, within a mere two hours of the decision Texas passed a clearly discriminatory disenfranchisement bill, and similar actions are possible in Mississippi in the very near future.

The decision, voted at 5-4 against the VRA, hinged upon the "obsolescence" of the formula and data used to apply Sections 4 (and 5), and the matter was sent back Congress for action -- or more appropriately, inaction (more on that later), and that is where Texas made what will likely turn out to be a major misstep.  The benighted legislators in the state, in moving within two hours to enact their Voter ID law, have provided the very data Congress will need to reinstate the VRA.  Thank you so much, Texas, for your inability to think farther ahead than five minutes from now.

However, having said that,  it is highly unlikely that congressional action will take place before the 114th Congress convenes on January 3, 2015.  Why?  Because House Speaker John "I'm a" Boehner will not let it happen.  It's called obstruction.  (Odd though, that while the Snowden scandal has rivited the attention of America, and while many Americans see his actions as those of a traitor, many of these same Americans cannot see that the obstructionism of the Republicans in Congress is tantamount to treason.  Basically, sabotage is sabotage.)

Now what of the Justices (Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Kennedy) who voted to dismantle this key provision of the VRA? Perhaps their own words would best explain their actions.

In equating the VRA to "entitlements, Antonin "I-have-no-stinking-genes**" Scalia opined, "Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements,” it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.”

John "I'm da Chief" Roberts wrote, "“Things have changed in the South ... blatantly discriminatory evasions of federal decrees are rare.”

Well, Justice Scalia, no, you are so incredibly wrong: voting is not an entitlement, it's a Constitutional right.  You didn't know that?  Maybe you should retire and take up snail raising.  

And Chief Justice Roberts, yes, things are better than they were fifty years ago, but racism still rears its ugly head and we have a long way to go, and mindless ruminations like yours and Scalia's do not move us forward, they anchor us to the past.

In closing, I's like to share the wise words of Justice Ginsburg, “The sad irony of today’s decision lies in its utter failure to grasp why the VRA has proven effective. The Court appears to believe that the VRA’s success in eliminating the specific devices extant in 1965 means that preclearance is no longer needed. With that belief, and the argument derived from it, history repeats itself.
To quote a friend, "may she live to be 120".

*Note that the decision on Section 4 also renders Section 5, which mandates that the Department of Justice to, via an administrative process that  requires the concurrence of the US District Court in DC to "pre-clear" changes to voting rights in certain states (based on prior history of disenfranchisement), unenforceable.
**In a recent decision, Scalia essentially denied the existence of genes.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


DOMA may not be dead, but it is certainly dying, and I, for one, will offer no more than to help pull the plug.  In decisions this morning on DOMA and Prop 8, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of true marriage equality.  Finally, hope seems to be justified.

Strangely, as of the time of this posting, very little has been said by Congressional Republicans -- save Michelle "I-Have-A-Direct-Line-to-God" Bachman -- other than, perhaps, the palpable gnashing of teeth and the mumbled "Eli, Eli, lema sabbachtani's".  No doubt this will change in the coming days as FOX News and the Tea Party cobble together a seemingly cogent yet utterly vapid Republican response.  This is not completely unexpected, I suppose, as the vanquished are often very, very silent.  Often, this is due to humility, but as humility is in very short supply amongst Congressional Republicans, I should say this relative silence is really a matter of shock, disbelief and a feeling of betrayal by Justice Kennedy*.  In essence, a Red Tide is being overtaken by a Rainbow Tide -- and, I don't know about you, but I'd much rather see a rainbow than a sea of blood any day of the year.

What do these decisions mean to America?  Perhaps they signal that we are slowly, fitfully, and sometimes, painfully growing up.  Perhaps some of our prejudices are fading.  Perhaps one day we can join the rest of the Western Democracies in our level of maturity.

To my gay and lesbian friends, let me say congratulations -- you so deserve this.  To those still harbouring fear of, and hatred, toward the LGBT community, take this time to reflect, talk to friends who have gay and lesbian family members, and maybe think of how the early Christians felt among the Romans and may the dawn slowly break.

And no, Reverends Robertson, Osteen, et alia. God will not destroy America because of these decisions.  America is growing up -- or trying to at least.  Rather than damn us to hell, rejoice that we are defending the underdogs -- just as Jesus did in the Gospels.

*Appointed by President Reagan in 1988

==>Next up: VRA

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blame it on Eve

The increasing, continual and heinous attack on women's rights is clearly led by Republicans -- especially Republican men.  This attack is so juvenile, so driven by biased-outdated religion, and so unabashedly and pathetically visceral that it certainly has begun to seem plausible to think that these misogynistic mental midgets are trying to get even with Eve for "our" ejection from Eden.  Even if that never really happened.  Even though Adam, "as the man" was supposed to keep his woman in check.  Even if Adam was the moron who actually ate the fruit to seal mankind's fate.

Do I sound a bit miffed?  Damn right I am -- and I'm offended.  As a father of three girls and the son of a good mother, I am more deeply offended than I can express in words.  These fools are disrespecting their own daughters, their wives, and their mothers.  I have little doubt that if someone showed a level of disrespect even half this to their daughters, wives and mothers they'd be ready to fight and yet, I know they cannot understand why I'm ready to fight.

Over the course of the coming weeks and months I'll be posting blogs on this issue.  And on the Tea Party.  And on today's VRA debacle.

Yep, I'm a Progressive and damn proud of it.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Facebook programming....or utter lack thereof.

Wednesday Thursday also commented on their status.  Guys, when she signed up, she said she was a female.  How hard is it to look for an indicator (like, oh, I don’t know…an “F” or "M" or "MJ"*) as (part of) a subroutine?

Why is it that I cannot use Italics, but have to use *Italics* instead.  Dibdots, add a char-set or font map (if that’s even necessary).  Ditto for bold and underscore.

Why the hell is a simple thing like "location" not available when searching for old (non-facebook, i.e., real) friends?  I really dislike needles in haystacks.  Ya heard me from over here...not that you have a clue where I am?

Is sorting my timeline in exact chronological order really all that hard?  Bob posted 14 hours ago, Misty 3, Trevor 7, Dayday 30 minutes, and that's the order it shows up in ... come on, face-b-geek-squad, it's not difficult, doh!

Another thing, while I'm at it, why can't I hyperlink to a word?  The technology for that has been around for ages, dudes and dudettes, and it's really a very simple programming subroutine.

* Bad Michael Jackson joke...just don't shoot me.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Duck v Duct

Somewhen and somewhere back in the late, great 1950’s the US Government, in response to those silly and naïve fears festering amongst the populace regarding megadeaths by megatons of megabombs, dutifully, and with officious diligence, created the “Duck and Cover” program. Now here was a program with a purpose and, more importantly, a positive message: “you will survive, we promise!”

In order to convince everyone that the government really had their best interests at heart, and to prove the sagacity of cowering under a table or tablecloth and planting your head between your knees to kiss your ass goodbye, they dreamed up a cute little mascot, a Turtle by the name of Bert. And Bert the Turtle was very alert. When trouble threatened him he never … Sorry. The Heimweh, or nostalgia, for an era that is long gone (and mostly before my time) grabbed me by the, well, grabbed me somewhere.

My first experience with the lunacy of the D&C drill was in the first grade. 1968 to be exact. (For some reason, as kindergarteners we were immune to this exercise in gullibility as I suppose it was thought that we lacked the maturity to comprehend the gravitas of these most solemn occasions -- we might have discovered the farce though.)

Anyway, we referred to these solemn occasions as “Retention Drills”. While we dozed, er learned, in our classrooms a very loud claxon would begin its groaning cacophony of six longish death-knell-like plaints – one for each foot under, I suppose. Upon hearing the sixth bell (…when he had opened the sixth seal, lo, there was a great earthquake…) we arose en masse, went to the cloakroom to get our jackets or coats and lined up, behind the teacher who would fearlessly lead us into battle, and proceeded to our assigned spots … along the inner walls of the hallway. (Mind you, we had a fallout shelter, but as that likely would have fallen in anyway, it didn’t much matter). Once we reached the wall we assumed the position as described above and put our coats or jackets over our heads – the poor bastards without either had only their bare arms to protect them – this, we were assured by the pedagogues assembled, would protect us from flying glass.

We were then to remain in the assumed position until the all-clear was sounded. Or, had this been a real emergency, for all eternity.

You see, our school was located less than a half-mile from a Naval Depot; a site far too important to the national defense for those evil-communist-red-atheistic-materialistic-Russians-who-lurked-under-our-beds-everynight to ignore. After all, parts for ships, planes, nuclear-tipped missiles and all the stuff we needed to strike back at those evil-communist-red-atheistic-materialistic-Russian-blah-blah-blahs. Nope, Ivan simply could not leave that one alone.

After the Cold War ended, I heard that the depot had in fact been targeted for destruction by our-former-enemies-and-now-dearest-friends. A 3MT warhead (so it was assumed) was to be the hammer of the godless. While we were all cowering under our coats…boom, three megatons; everything within 3 miles is vaporized and/or scorched and/or toasted in a big ball of thermal radiation (aka fire, heat, ouch, hot); everything with 5 miles is flattened, everything within 10 miles is showered with radiation…

Did I mention that the school was a half-mile away?

Fast forward twenty-three years to September 11, 2001. OK, really to the 12th, or 13th, or whenever it was the Dubya managed to find his cojones and resume the control of the presidency and the nation that Rudy Giulliani had so kindly safeguarded.

In the ensuing panic after the attacks, one of the geniuses at FEMA – probably that idiotic judge of thoroughbred Arabian horses who did a heck of a job later on mangling another disaster – decided that we would be safe from those crazy-Islamic-Arabic-heathen-evildoers-and-suiciders-who-lurk-on-every-web-page-and-in-every-cell should they attempt to use biological, chemical, or nucular weapons on us, if we purchased duct tape and plastic sheeting and used those items to seal off a mid-sized room.

Three people suffocated in a room so prepared. Really. Fortunately, they weren’t in the school – just imagine the lawsuit.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Well, as expected I have found that Conservapedia should really be Fascistipedia. So far I have seen that one cannot say anything, and I mean anthing that might offend the Fasciti acting as sysops and il Duce, Andy Schlafly (brother of the great Roger, son of the doyenne of right wing harpies, Phyllis).

My first warning of being blocked was for writing “rat’s behind” (yes, behind, not ass) and for saying “cold bucket of hamster spit”. Yes, I kid you not. Anyway, I got this warning from il Duce:

Please reread our rules. This is a clean site. That means users who sprinkle their words of wisdom with obscene references and epithets are blocked. I don't want to have to wade through litter and pollution to find whatever nuggets of insight may be there. This, of course, applies to our talk pages also.--Aschlafly 09:30, 7 April 2007 (EDT) for more see

Then after this exchange, regarding the name of the Bible , in which I noted things like

“The original meaning of biblos is indeed papyrus, scroll, paper. The usage of the word to mean book occurs a bit later in Koine, although biblion (little book) was more common. Biblia is from the plural of biblion, and comes from the original title of the Greek version of the bible, ta biblia ta hagia -- τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια -- meaning "the holy books"
BTW, the word was never Byblos -- that was the name of a Phonoecian city that produced papyri, biblos was then derived from the town name with an iota replacing the upsilon. NousEpirrhytos 08:29, 7 April 2007 (EDT)

I just noticed this: ...Greek Christians had called the Scriptures la Biblia... -- la is not a definite article in Greek, it only accurs in Romance languages as a shortening of the demonstative article illa. NousEpirrhytos 16:43, 8 April 2007 (EDT) “


“Karajou, why do you assume I'm ignorant of Christian apologetics? I was raised in an evangelical church -- when I began to question many things that only received dogmatic answers I began to realise just how vapid that which they were trying to ram down my throat was. Since that time I have read score of books on all religions, and the more religions I've studied, the more I've seen the truth behind them -- the emperor is naked.
What is this hearsay of which you speak? Please, do elaborate rather than throwing cute terms around.
Now, when are you going to fix la to ta? Hey, if you want Con-pedia to be the laughing-stock of religion, feel free to leave it, but be aware that la is not a definite article either in Greek or Latin (a language bereft of a definite aticle). BTW, I would doubt Unger misheard the word -- if he knew Greek, he would have known the definite article off of the top of his head, and if he knew it not he was no true scholar of the NT. NousEpirrhytos 17:51, 10 April 2007 (EDT)
One other point: books on the Civil War, Babe Ruth, etc., have never been claimed to be infallible, so your analogy does not pass muster. NousEpirrhytos 17:54, 10 April 2007 (EDT) “


Tell you what, I have a better question for both of you, Petrus and Nous: are you pushing your own religious beliefs on myself, this article, and this website? A simple yes or no will suffice. Karajou 20:23, 10 April 2007 (EDT)
When you explain precisely to what you refer when you say hearsay, I shall answer your question. To what specific instances do you refer? How is a charge of hearsay relevant here. What would be direct evidence? Is it not true that exegesis plays a large role in presenting "evidence" from the bible, and as exegesis relies on apologetic analysis and reconstruction is it not a form of hearsay. There are, of course, rhetorical question, but please do answer them if you wish this discussion to be of any value.
As to young earth creationism, I'm very well aware of the arguments put forth by proponents. However, in reading them critically, which is my modus legendi for all books, they simply fail scientifically and logically. The various explanations of "tired light" and "flood geology" (etc.) are too ludicrous to take seriously, violating, as they do, the laws of physics, geology and plate tectonics. Yes, I know of the argument that "god can do anything he wants", but said argument is really just a tautology.
BTW -- All ancient religions have their own creation story, what makes the bible's verson fact and the others mere myth? (rhetorical). NousEpirrhytos 06:14, 11 April 2007 (EDT)

I incurred the wrath of Kakajuju for “attacks on the Bible...”, which, as anyone reading through the thread can see, I never did.

I was reprieved by ColinR with the note, “attacks were not made on the bible, only bible literalism, something this site doesn't explicity endorse as far as I can see/have been told by other sysops.)”

Then, good old Uncle Ed, Jackass Emeritus of Wikipedia noted, “reblock - should apologize before being reinstated” Yes, Eddie, for what? Besides, I couldn’t even if I wanted to, which I don’t, as the twits at Con-pedia have yet to mail a confirmation to my e-mail addy after 5 days (maybe I need to wait until the 6th for the big creation moment), nor can I edit even my own page. Like Duh.

Alas, it was an eye-opener while it lasted…certainly fodder for the press – especially given that it’s a wiki and is in the public domain.

Now the real fun begins.