Archive for January, 2011

Random… Weird Item of the Day
January 30, 2011

You can draw your own conclusions as to what Avadolf here is supposed to signify (because I haven’t a fucking clue).


Worst Person in the World
January 26, 2011

In a typically blasé State of the Union speech, amidst all the prosaic platitudes and banal bromides, President Obama indulged in the worst kind of anti-government ignorance with a seemingly innocent laugh line:

“The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in freshwater, but the Commerce Department handles them when they’re in saltwater. And I hear it gets even more complicated once they’re smoked.”

Hilarious to be sure, in that pseudo-folksy, “lol government is needlessly complicated,” Reaganesque fashion, but in between fits of laughter let us briefly examine the substance behind the sarcasm:

The Interior Department manages the freshwater habitats in which salmon reproduce and operates hatcheries to help preserve the species.

The Commerce Department regulates the offshore commercial fishing of salmon, setting catch quotas and measuring fish stocks.

Fish that are processed, such as smoked or canned salmon, are inspected and regulated either by the Food and Drug Administration or the Agriculture Department for safety.

Three departments for three different American interests: natural resource management, commercial regulation and consumer safety. It isn’t difficult to understand, if you actually want to understand it. It also isn't difficult to see that by refusing to understand it and instead cracking lame jokes about its oh-so unfathomable complexity you consent to the destructive Republican rhetoric about how government is incompetent and should “just get out of the way.”

For the supervision of certain products to fall under the purview of different agencies at different stages of development makes all the sense in the world, and for this president, a thoughtful and educated man, to lower himself to such reductive, know-nothing celebrations of base ignorance is disappointing and unacceptable. That is the stock and trade of the other side, Mr. President. Leave them to their work.

President Barack Obama, today’s Worst Person in the World.

Israeli inquiry into flotilla incident clears Israel of any wrongdoing
January 24, 2011

More here.

In other news, Phillip Morris has commissioned a study on the possible health benefits resulting from extended tobacco exposure to minors, and the United Council of Foxes has released its long-awaited report clearing its constituents of any wrongdoing in the Great Henhouse Caper of ’08.

Worst Person in the World
January 22, 2011

In homage to Keith’s infamous and infectious segment, I’ll be continuing it here from time to time. In the Olbermann tradition, the first winner is a conservative politician. I suspect he will not be the last.

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who is staunchly anti-choice and whose last name roughly translates as ‘byproduct of anal sex’, refused to answer a very simple question: “If you found yourself in a fertility clinic that was burning down, and you had a choice between saving a 2-year-old girl or a petri dish of five fertilized eggs, what would you do?”

Santorum, in true Palinesque fashion, hemmed and hawed and complained about the unfairness of the question before finally settling on the insipid nonanswer that he would “save all human life.”

Former senator Rick Santorum, who couldn’t give the only answer logically consistent with his extreme anti-abortion beliefs (that he would save the eggs over the girl because they’re five lives instead of one) because even he knows how absurd it would sound, today’s Worst Person in the World.

Good night, and good luck. And goodbye.
January 22, 2011

Keith Olbermann abruptly gets the boot from the anchor’s chair, and already the news scene in America is all the worse for it.

I have no use for the ignorance and above-it-all piousness of those who would deride him as the liberal answer to Bill O’Reilly. For one thing, Olbermann was never hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit for telling a girl he wanted to tickle her vagina with falafel.

Olbermann’s critics would charge him as narcissistic, bombastic, melodramatic and self-important. He could be all of those things at times, some more often than others. He clearly saw himself as the modern day heir to Edward R. Murrow’s throne, as a voice speaking truth to power, the lone dissident standing tall against a crushing wave of injustice.

Much more often he could be literate, engaging, eloquent, uncompromising, funny and honest, and he will always have to his credit the distinction of being the only major newscaster with the foresight and fortitude to yell STOP during the execution and immediate “Mission Accomplished” aftermath of the Orwellian-named “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Olbermann’s relentless campaign demanding accountability from our government was cut whole cloth from the Murrowian tradition.

In the cacophonous quagmire of cable news, where interchangeable talking heads drone or bellow the latest talking points from the beltway or the heartland, Keith Olbermann was every bit the iconoclast: alternatively snarky and sincere, whimsical and weighty, deadpan and dead-on. Here was someone who ran the gamut, who could break down the latest ridiculous YouTube video with the inimitable snark and slickness he perfected in his SportsCenter days, who could share with you pains suffered and inspirations felt during the last days of his father’s struggle with colon cancer, who could just as easily end a show with a blistering evisceration of a target as he could with a grandfatherly reading of a fable.

I proudly claim his style, warts and all, as an influence on my own in writing this blog. I strive for candor, I aim to entertain, I make an effort to inform. I take no prisoners, and I can go too far. I like to think I’ve hit on some genuine erudition here and there. I’m always sometimes full of myself. I may have even gotten a thing or two wrong along the way. (maybe)

For a long time now Countdown With Keith Olbermann was a weeknight mainstay for me. I’d tune in at 8:00 PM to learn, to laugh, to get angry, to be heartened. Tonight was the last time I got to do that. In typical Olbermann fashion his sign-off was rife with gallows humor and the idiosyncratic references and experiences he’s picked up along the path of life.

I will miss him very much. At least he’s still got a blog.

Wakko packs away the snacks while Bill Clinton plays the sax
January 21, 2011

Animiancias, South Park-ized.

You see, in matters comical, unusual and whimsical they are the very model of cartoon individuals.

Random Excellent Item of the Day
January 18, 2011

Bill Maher comes back from hiatus and rips the stupid people a new one.

It inspires a derisive chuckle, noting that the modern conservative movement has no more hated boogeyman than the intellectual coastal elites, and no more loved heroes than the Founding Fathers, who were… intellectual coastal elites.

And isn’t that just typical batshit right-wing insanity in a nutshell? My god, the literate, secular people who wrote the Constitution in order to reign in states’ rights would have excoriated this hysterical group of historical cosplayers and Christian fundamentalists who think the South’s secession over slavery was all cool in the pool, and who could sooner name all 500 radio stations that syndicate Rush Limbaugh than tell you who Plato was.

I mean, Ben Franklin was a fucking polymath, and Glenn Beck’s vocabulary isn’t even polysyllabic. What else is there to say?

Game, set, match
January 18, 2011

Science and religion have had their tussles over the years when it comes to answering the deep questions of life. Science won the battles to explain how old the world is, why it moves the way it does, what was beyond the sky, how humanity came to exist. Religion won the battles to explain… well, nothing, but hey, it ain’t been for lack of hustle.

But today the great struggle for supremacy between faith and reason comes to an end, with the latter scoring an all-time knockout blow. Today, science has answered the question that has beguiled man since his earliest days, taunting him from just outside his grasp. Today, the world is forever changed.

Today, science has cured the hangover.

People Who Should Die, Part I (Roman numerals make things look serious!)
January 12, 2011

I don’t believe in assassinations, extrajudicial or state-sanctioned. Which has no bearing at all on whether or not the world would be a better place if certain people were to shuffle off this mortal coil and no longer burden the rest of us with their deleterious existence.

And a better world it would be indeed if the following people were no longer on it. Lets see how fun I can make this morbid topic!

(no particular order)

Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court Justice

Why: A truly repugnant individual on both a personal and professional level, Tony is the intellectual powerhouse (such as one exists) of the Court’s conservative wing and the standard-bearer of the regressive, inconsistent, grossly hypocritical and altogether absurd concept of “originalism,” supporters of which pridefully tout their slavish devotion to the text of the Constitution even as they base their interpretation of it upon arbitrary divinations into the minds of those who wrote it.

Much like the doddering simpleton who nominated him for the post, Ronald Reagan, Antonin Scalia’s America would be a fine place to live if you were a wealthy, white Christian male – all others need not apply to live in a land where abortion is illegal, minorities have no protections, local governments can regulate your behavior in the bedroom and the executive branch can exercise near-limitless power in the name of law enforcement.

Perhaps just as bad as the influence he exerts on society through his legal opinions (as well as those of his puppet, Clarence “Uncle” Thomas (who isn’t on this list only because I don’t wish death on the mentally disabled)) is the blatant disingenuousness and intellectual dishonesty of his judicial philosophy. Scalia knows originalism is bullshit. For evidence of this, lets go to noted Antonin Scalia expert, Antonin Scalia:

I am confident that public flogging and handbranding would not be sustained by our courts, and any espousal of originalism as a practical theory of exegesis must somehow come to terms with that reality. One way of doing so, of course, would be to say that it was originally intended that the cruel and unusual punishment clause would have an evolving content — that “cruel and unusual” originally meant “cruel and unusual for the age in question” and not “cruel and unusual in 1791.” But to be faithful to originalist philosophy, one must not only say this but demonstrate it to be so on the basis of some textual or historical evidence. Perhaps the mere words “cruel and unusual” suggest an evolutionary intent more than other provisions of the Constitution, but that is far from clear; and I know of no historical evidence for that meaning. And if the faint-hearted originalist is willing simply to posit such an intent for the “cruel and unusual punishment” clause, why not for the due process clause, the equal protection clause, the privileges and immunity clause, etc.? When one goes down that road, there is really no difference between the faint-hearted originalist and the moderate nonoriginalist, except that the former finds it comforting to make up (out of whole cloth) an original evolutionary intent, and the latter thinks that superfluous.

Apologies for the long quote (I don’t like reading the man’s pretty bile any more than you do) but I wanted to give him enough rope to hang himself with. The guy flat-out admits that in order for certain no-brainers to remain illegal (in this case public flogging and branding) judges have to interpret certain constitutional provisions in the context of today’s world, rather than just apply chapter and verse 1791-ian standards and concepts, as both Scalia and the less verbally sophisticated, retro-fetishist Tea Partiers love to bellow in praise of. Once you’ve conceded that, clinging to the “originalist” label is nothing more than political posturing and hackery.

For basing legal decisions on his own personal, stagnant, uncompassionate and bigoted worldview, for justifying those decisions with a duplicitous and/or misplaced but in either case nauseatingly pious idea of textual fidelity, for helping to impose at every twist and turn a toxic political agenda upon America, we’ll all be better off when Antonin Scalia is dead.

Prognosis: Looking good! Scalia will soon turn 75 and is really fucking fat (nothing says sexy like a second chin that’s bigger than your first), neither of which are known to be signs of continuing good health. Complicating things however is the need for him to die during a Democratic presidency, because as bad as he is, President Palin would just replace one fat fuck conservative with one of the others, and then we’d really be screwed.

Sonic Sez
January 7, 2011

It’s veracity, not mendacity, you (R)etarded toolbag.

This might be the Freudiest slip ever.