Thursday, April 29, 2010

Senate Filibuster Call and Raise

The Republican threat to filibuster even the discussion of Wall Street reform fizzled. It was such a simple formula for success I hope the Democrats remember it.
  1. Find an issue worth doing. Reining in the Wall Street bankers who want to be riverboat gamblers and nearly destroyed the world economy is a noble issue.
  2. Frame the issue from the beginning. Democrats didn't allow space for a repeat of the Death Panels lie strategy.
  3. Force the vote. Repeatedly. Make Republicans vote no on common sense again and again. Make them stay up past their bedtimes to vote no. Make them miss a rendezvous, or several, with the paramours. Actually, all you have to do is threaten to make them vote and Republicans will fold like a cheap lawn chair.
Simply put, don't make it easy for them to be the Party of No.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Is Sarah Palin a Meretrix?

Churchill: Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?
Socialite: My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I suppose… we would have to discuss terms, of course…
Churchill: Would you sleep with me for five pounds?
Socialite: Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!
Churchill: Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.
(Attributed to Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, and others.)
Calling Palin a whore is so declasse. But, what about meretrix? Meretrix is a Latin word that literally means "she who earns." In ancient Rome it also meant a registered prostitute, not your common street whore but a high priced courtesan. It's Latin so its classy. It also seem appropriate.

Sister Sarah has climbed into bed with the East Coast elites she claims to hate so she can make a shitload of money. She's hauling in a cool million dollars a month. She seems to be having a ball doing it which means the term "daughter of joy" certainly applies. She'll take a couple hundred G's from a government university, smile that winsome smile of hers, and condemn the government spending she enjoys while making money for the educated elites she pillories. It's a great gig if you can get it.

Art is by Toulouse Lautrec of one of the great dancers of the Moulin Rouge.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Crime of Being Brown

In the 1930's the German government used this symbol (at right) to choose who among their citizens to harass and deport.

In 2010, the Arizona government will use these (below) along with brown skin to choose whom to harass.
Arizona has a long history of its police harassing the third of its population that is Hispanic. Driving While Brown has long been a crime to Arizona law enforcement. Now, being brown with dirty shoes is cause for arrest.

Since before statehood, Arizona whites have hated the Hispanic citizens who were on the land generations before the whites arrived.
  • The Orphan Abduction: In 1904, nuns brought 40 Catholic orphans from New York to place with Catholic families in Clifton. Catholic, in Arizona, meant Mexican-American. Whites in Clifton were outraged and organized vigilante mobs that broke into homes, kidnapped the children, and gave them to white parents.
  • Anti-Alien Ownership Law: In 1913, Arizona passed a law to prevent non-whites from owning property.
  • Traux v. Raich: In 1915, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned an Arizona law requiring businesses to have at least 80% of their employees be "native-born" citizens.
  • The Bisbee Deportation: In 1917, over 1000 striking miners, mostly Mexican-Americans, as well as citizens rounded up because the local sheriff didn't like the looks of the (brown), were loaded onto manure-laden boxcars and shipped across the state border.
  • Segregation: Until 1951, Arizona schools segregated Mexican-American children into substandard schools. The court ruling in the case of Gonzalez v. Sheely set the state for Brown v. Board of Education in 1955.
  • Phelps Dodge: In 1984 Phelps Dodge ordered employees at the Sears in Morenci to stop speaking Spanish. Phelps Dodge, by the way, was the company responsible for the Bisbee Deportation 67 years earlier.
  • Hunting Humans: Arizona vigilantes have used thinly veiled hunting metaphors in their anti-Mexican propaganda. Most recently, militiaman Bill Davis in an television interview called for armed combat veterans with "kill records" to patrol the Arizona border. Davis makes the strange promise that they have his "authorization" to shoot.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Stupid that Is Brian Bilbray

I've know Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA) for over a quarter of a century. We first met when he was mayor of Imperial Beach and trained lapdog to Congressman Duncan Hunter (the elder). I was disagreeing with Hunter on an issue of border pollution when Bilbray came up nipping at my heels. Not like a pitbull, more like a Shih Tzu threatening to pee on my foot. I've been on debate forums with Bilbray when he was on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

I know that Brian Bilbray is dumb. Not your run of the mill Republican dumb, he's Lloyd Christmas dumb. Brian Bilbray is so dumb it feels unfair to engage him in conversation.

Brian's latest venture into dumbness is his defense of the Arizona Anti-Hispanic Law.
They will look at the kind of dress you wear, there is different type of attire, there is different type of -- right down to the shoes, right down to the clothes. ~ Bilbray on Hardball
I'm hoping Brian isn't thinking the serape and sombrero stereotype. Although knowing Brian that is very possible. He's probably thinking of the day laborer stereotype of faded blue jeans and work boots.

Melanie Griffith or illegal alien? Only a trained Arizona law enforcement professional can tell the difference.

On a serious note. This new Arizona law will force everyone to carry their passport at all times within the state. To be properly enforced, the Arizona Highway Patrol will have to require proof of legal status at every traffic stop.

However, the intent of the law is that it not be properly enforced. The intent is to harass citizens with brown skin and Hispanic surnames. The intent is to relive Arizona history such as the Bisbee Deportation where Arizona law enforcement kidnapped and removed over a thousand workers, most American citizens, from the state claiming they were "aliens and enemies."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Blame It On Women

What do Republican theocrats and Iranian mullahs have in common? Among other things that women are to blame for just about everything.

Cancel Suffrage
Thomas Mitchell of Las Vegas is going to vote for a woman for Senate even though he believe that women are too flighty and biased to be allowed to vote. Mitchell wants to repeal the 19th Amendment which granted women the right to vote. Mitchell has studied the issue and discovered that while men vote consistently for Republicans, any Republican, women tend to pick and choose who they will vote for. This, he solemnly declares, is bias. Yes, I know he claims it was satire, but that is mostly like buying his wife a stripper poll and then saying, "Just kidding."

She Made the Earth Move
Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi declared last week that immodest women were responsible for earthquakes. It seems that women who wear tight scarves or show a little ankle corrupt the chastity of young men and lead inexorably to the shifting of tectonic plates. It silly and stupid, of course. I think.
Scarlett Johansson will be totally to blame for the next big California quake.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Goldman and Republicans

"The Party of No" boxed itself in on the financial reform issue. Democrats suggested reforms. Republicans reflexively oppose them. With that stage set the SEC filed civil charges against Goldman Sachs and Republicans are locked in firmly with a defense of corrupt practices platform. To defeat Financial Reform Republicans are going to have to take sides with corporate criminals - and do it in an election year.

Conservative troglodytes were surprised. This is because they consider campaign contributions to be political bribes (they are) and because Goldman Sachs employees donated to the Obama campaign they thought it should have immunized them against any legal action.
This is stunning. Let’s not forget that Goldman was a top donor to Obama in 2008. ~ Erick Erickson
Republicans believe political bribes are sacrosanct, a bond never to be broken. Democrats, occasionally, are still determined to do the right thing.

Republican corporate bribers expect the party to go to the wall in defense of financial thievery. The Tea Party activists expect the party to take the populist stance against banking fat cats getting Federal bailouts. The Republican Party can't do both.

In the end Republicans will follow the money and side with Wall Street to kill reform. They will then throw some meaningless over the top rhetoric at the Tea Partiers and hope that sates them.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

God and the Volcano

God needs to get a new pair of glasses.

According to Rush Limbaugh God decided to punish the United States for passing health care reform by blowing up a volcano in Iceland. Which means God missed His target by a good 2500 miles.

There are plenty of volcanoes in the United States for God to go after. He could have picked Mount Shasta and double dipped, punishing California for having gays, too. And if He really wanted to mess up the US there is the Yellowstone caldera waiting to blow. Picking on some poor island in the North Atlantic to send a message to the United States is just being silly.
Of course, God is way old. Maybe He's gone dotty.
All your Western theologies, the whole mythology of them, are based on the concept of God as a senile delinquent. ~ Tennessee Williams
Does the fact I love Atheist Camel mean I'm evil?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Charges Against Goldman!!!

How Dare They!!! How dare the SEC file fraud charges against Goldman Sachs!!!!

Of course they did it. Of course Goldman sold securities that they believed would fail. In fact were so certain they would fail they bought those self same securities short. I mean, that's like saying water is wet. Why, if that was the only fraud they committed they would qualify for sainthood in the community of investment bankers.

But the gall of actually filing a civil suit against the Great Goldman Sachs. Is nothing sacred? (Actually, the appropriate question here is...) Is nothing profane?

Still, I have unbridled faith in the evil that is Goldman Sachs. They will never pay a penny on this suit. Their lawyers are too good; most have graduated from universities in the 7th level of Hell. The lawsuit probably won't even come to trial until sometime in the 23rd century.
Goldman Sachs lawyers in conference.

Standard Disclaimer: The wondrous evil that is Goldman Sachs deserves daily worship. Please don't sue me.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Open Carry Gun Just Deserts

One of my enduring memories of my many trips to Alaska is from Ketchikan. While walking its downtown streets I saw someone backing into a parallel parking spot when a pickup truck pulled in behind him, trying to steal the spot. The two drivers got out to argue. The driver of the pickup put his hand on the gun he had openly holstered on his hip. The gun totting Alaskan won the spot. In the Open Carry community this is a heroic act.
Not the same guy.

In California there is this semi-political movement to openly carry weapons. The other reason for strapping a phallus on your hip is that penis gourds are illegal in California. Starbucks throughout the state have been inundated by overweight cowboy wannabes who don't feel safe unless they are carrying heat while ordering their venti soy hazelnut vanilla cinnamon white mocha.
Only armed do they confidently indulge in their girly coffee fetish.

California has a strange law. It is legal to openly carry guns as long as they are not loaded. How, you may ask, can the police know if a gun is loaded? Easy, just wait until he draws the gun and pulls the trigger. If it goes "click" the gun is legal. If a bullet rips through the officer's skull then he is violating the Open Carry law.
This guy is cool, his gun isn't loaded.

The unloaded exception is a meaningless distinction. Open Carry advocates brag about their ability to load a gun in under two seconds. Hence, a bill introduced by Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, AB 1934, to close this silly loophole and make openly carrying a weapon, loaded or unloaded, illegal. This bill is supported by police departments across the state. It is the just deserts for the Open Carry protesters, their exhibitionism is bringing about their own demise.

Links: The Christian Science Monitor article.
An interesting article on the subject from a Philly lawyer.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Killing Innocents

Asymmetrical warfare is the best way to fight a modern army able to control the battlefield completely. Asymmetrical warfare takes away the advantage of technology and forces soldiers to fight mano-a-mano, without the "stand-off and destroy" ability that a computer driven army relies upon. The United States military sucks at asymmetrical warfare.

The US army shot up a bus full of innocents in Kandahar yesterday. That led to riots and "Death to America" chants. This was a major defeat in the war for hearts and minds.

The reason, of course, is that our soldiers were scared. They were scared of a bus that was "driving too fast." They were scared of citizens who are completely unlike them and, God forbid, don't even speak English. They were scared because they were in the middle of a city where death can hid around every corner. Heavily armed scared people generally kill.

The Afghan War is not about defeating an enemy on the battlefield. There is no battlefield and very few identifiable enemies. The Afghan War is about installing a compliant government on the citizenry of a country. Unfortunately, the government we've installed is a criminal enterprise as hated by the citizens as our soldiers are. The Afghan government wants the war to continue forever because they are making a fortune from it.

So we will continue killing innocents forever because that is what scared soldiers do.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Speeding Up Baseball

Last night I watched four innings of the San Diego Padres-Colorado Rockies baseball game. Then, being bored, I slipped in a movie (Miss Congeniality 2, I was really bored). After the movie was over, two hours later, the ball game was still slogging along. In all, that baseball game lasted 4 1/2 hours.

Baseball, especially World Series games, have gotten incredibly long. When the Yankees make the playoffs it is normal for their games to limp along past midnight, East Coast time. Games are taking over a half-hour longer to play than they did 50 years ago.

So, in my never ending effort to correct the entire world (except college football bowl games about which I gave up caring about years ago) here are my three simple fixes for speeding up baseball.
  1. Restrict catcher mound visits. Every time someone gets on base or a pitcher throws the ball a tad low, catchers feel compelled to stroll out to the mound for a chat. Most of these mound conferences are as unimportant as the one in Bull Durham. Rule #1: With a batter in the batter's box the catcher may not travel beyond the dirt portion of the infield without first asking the home plate umpire for timeout. The umpire may grant a catcher timeout no more than twice in an inning.
  2. Stop granting batters timeouts too. The Yankees are masters at trying to annoy pitchers by stepping out of the batter's box just before he throws. They will do it dozens of times during a game. Umpires already have the power to stop this. Rule #2: Umpires don't have to grant timeouts. If the batter steps out just before the pitch the umpire should call it, ball or strike, regardless of where the batter is.
  3. Stop those interminable dig ins. Before every pitch some batters feel compelled to dig in at the plate like they were mining for gold. Again, this is a Yankees trait. Rule #3: The umpire should give the batter a reasonable but not excessive amount of time to prepare for the pitch; the umpire should then announce Play Ball. It is the batter's responsibility to be ready for the pitch.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Stop the Stupid...It Hurts!

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is stupid. On a scale of 1 to 10 he's in the upper elevenses.
I mean, really, I didn't think it was possible to cram that much stupid into one person. Even a Republican. Of course, King is a hero of the Tea Party movement.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Our Little Afghan Friend

At first, Hamid Karzai comes off as a dandy. His karakul, his green cloak called a chopan, and his fastidiously trimmed beard makes him more the Beau Brummel of Afghanistan than its George Washington.

He was hand-picked by Dick Cheney as Afghanistan's Leader under the American occupation because he was Westernized (didn't smell like a goat), had lots of friends among the opium warlords (a particular asset for Cheney and the CIA), and had made a token effort to join the war against the Taliban after the US invasion. There is no evidence he actually did any fighting but that's what he claims.

Karzai has done little to help Afghanistan although he has looked good not doing it. His cabinet is an assembly of petty warlords and drug traffickers. The result is a feudalistic society. Any vestige of democracy was crushed when Karzai's warlord vassals engineered a massive vote fraud in exchange for their continued unfettered control of their fiefdoms.

Karzai is not some meek pretty-boy, although he tries to look like one. He didn't become the leader of group of ruthless warlords without being the worst of the lot. And then there is his alleged addiction to Afghanistan's principle export crop, opium, and the increasing signs he is batshit insane.

Hamid Karzai is becoming a real life Tony Montana.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Baja Quake Swarm

Probably about 500 earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the California-Mexico border region. That's about one every three minutes. All are minor, from an El Cajon perspective. This graphic from MSNBC gives a good visual of how the earth has been rocking.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

California Shaking

Day after day, more people come to L.A.
Ssh! Don't you tell anybody the whole place is slipping away.

Where can we go when there's no San Francisco?

Ssh! Better get ready to tie up the boat in Idaho.
~ Day After Day
In the last hour there have been several significant earthquakes in California, the largest being a 6.9 magnitude in Baja California. Nine minutes after that big quake there was a 4.1 magnitude quake in Northern California followed by several aftershocks. A half-hour earlier there were two small shakes in Central California. All of this earth movement was on the San Andreas Fault. (Actually, the northern quakes were on the Hayward Fault, a close sister of San Andreas)

Seven minutes ago there was a 5.1 aftershock south of Brawley, fifteen minutes ago a 4.5 aftershock southwest of Mexicali. And I am feeling several aftershocks myself even though I am over 100 miles away from the big quake. Nothing frightening here, just very interesting.

And, no, this wasn't The Big One. The San Gorgonio Pass is still locked up tight. When that breaks it will be Katie Bar the Door.

Paganism and Easter

Easter is my favorite pagan holy day. It's true that Christians have tried to steal it but the glories of this Spring fertility festival keep shining through.

The Name Is a Fertility Goddess
All of the Germanic languages, including English, use some variation of the word Easter to label this so-called Jesus resurrection holiday. Easter derives from Eostre, the Saxon goddess of fertility. It is curious that her name is strikingly similar to Ishtar and Astarte, the Babylonian and Phoenician fertility goddesses. The Romance languages all use some variation of Pascha, from the Greek word for the Hebrew Passover.

The Images Are of Fertility
Colored eggs and bunnies are hardly Christian symbols. Coloring eggs was a part of the Persian fertility celebrations that migrated to the eastern Mediterranean. Randy rabbits copulating have been symbols of Spring throughout Europe since civilization began. The two merged into an egg-laying bunny who became the avatar of the resurrected Christ.

Why Sunday?
According to Bible tradition, Christ was crucified on Good Friday and resurrected "three days and three nights" (Matthew 12:38-40) later. Oops. The resurrection happened on a Monday. So, why do Christians celebrate Easter Sunday?

Sunday worship was part of Roman paganism, Sol Invictus, during the first couple of centuries AD. This Sun worship cult rose when Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus elevated his Syrian Sun God to the top of the Roman pantheon. In 321 AD, Emperor Constantine ordered Christians to adopt the "venerable day of the sun" (Sunday) as its holy day of the week as well. This merging of pagan and Christian religions served Constantine politically.

Dedicated readers may recognize parts of this. I plagiarized myself.

Friday, April 02, 2010

It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp

Just a little celebrity gossip thinking. Between Tiger Woods and Jesse James, there aren't enough skanks available for the rest of us. Come on, guys, learn to share.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Health Care Backpedal

It was a whole five (5) days ago when I predicted that Republicans would be clamoring to take credit for Health Care Reform.
There is Blanche Lincoln, technically a Democrat, who opposed every dot and tittle of HCR when it was before Congress and voted against it repeatedly in the Senate. Now, she is claiming she supported the President and HCR. Republicans are backpedaling away from repeal pledges so fast they are threatening to break the laws of physics.

I shall say again, by October Republicans will be taking credit for Health Care Reform and accusing Democrats of trying to stop it. Just you wait and see. (Pictured: Republican Health Care Caucus)