Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Romney Buys Florida

The result of the Florida election did not surprise me. As of Sunday, Mittens spent over $15 million in Florida, When all the beans have been counted I expect the final cost to exceed $18 million.

Mittens spent some $20 per vote he received and according to reports only 0.1% of the money was spent on pro-Romney ads. Romney didn't win so much as he mugged Gingrich. At this rate, to take the White House, Romney will have to spend over $1.3 billion. (Hint: Invest in media stock.)

Florida has a history of selling its elections. In 2010, Rick Scott invested $85 million ($32 per vote) to buy the governor's office. In comparison, my state of California saw Meg Whitman sink over $177 million ($43 per vote) trying to become governor. She failed.

The record for spending goes to New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. In 2009, he spent $102 million ($174 per vote!) to buy the office. Over his three campaigns Bloomberg has spent over a quarter of a billion dollars. No individual anywhere has spent more money running for office.

Gaia Fever

Art Source: JustWorldPhoto
NASA has a 26 second clip destined to ruin you winter. It shows the warming of the planet from the year 1880 to the present.
Russell, KS - 1/30/12 saw a record high temperature for the date of 70 degrees, average for the date is 41 degrees.
California - The California snow pack is at 38% of normal.
Alabama - This state averages 37 tornadoes a year, the rolling average has nearly doubled in the last decade. Alabama had 121 tornadoes in 2011. The last four years Alabama has averaged 82 tornadoes per year. They have already had 11 in the (formerly) quiet month of January 2012.
The Earth will abide. But that doesn't mean she won't have to run a fever to rid herself of the dangerous infection that mankind has become.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ol' Time Gingrich Feud

At the beginning of the month I noted that Newt Gingrich was no longer so interested in winning the presidency as he wanted bloody vengeance on Mittens.

Romney's Florida campaign has been a vile (albeit mostly accurate), relentless, multimillion dollar attack on Newt's character. It appears to have achieved its goal at the price of enraging a notably vengeful politician.

From here on in the Republican primary season is going to resemble the Hatfield-McCoy feud.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Three Blind Republican Mice

Brewer's Finger
Arizona governor did not have some sort of dispute with the President this week. Like many other Republican politicians (Herm Cain, Newt Gingrich) she saw an opportunity to shamelessly shill her book.
Brewer wrote about eating scorpions for breakfast.
Her book went from selling nothing to, currently, four days on the best sellers list.

Cell Block Endorsement
Mitt Romney scored a powerful endorsement from former congressman Duke Cunningham. Writing from his prison cell, felon Duke Cunningham technically endorsed Newt Gingrich but its obvious that the Romney camp solicited the endorsement for Newt.

Soylent Green
Oklahoma state Sen. Ralph Shortey is upset that the general public has noticed his bill outlawing the use of aborted fetuses in food. "This wasn’t an open invitation for the country to chime in," he told the LA Times.

If you read Shortey's legislation closely it does not outlaw the use of human fetuses in the production of animal feed. There are over two million hogs in  Oklahoma for whom fetuses might make an excellent source of protein.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

To the Moon, Newt

The science geek in me likes the thought of returning to space exploration after 40 years of mankind huddling safely on earth.
But the realist in me knows that Gingich's call for a permanent colony on the moon in eight years is less rational than Ralph Kramden's old threat.
To the Moon, Alice.

First, we lack the technology.  Humans have yet to develop a permanent undersea colony. It is far easier to supply the essentials (air, water, food, energy) a few fathoms below the surface of an ocean teeming with life than to support a facility on a barren rock a quarter of a million miles from the nearest anything.

Second, how does Newt plan to pay for this? I guess he could eliminate the Food Stamp program. Naw, ain't enough money there. Newt would have to support a return to the tax levels when President Kennedy first proposed an United States moon mission. The top marginal tax rate in 1962 was 91%.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Romney: Unearned Income

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin ~ Matt 6:28
Q: How does Mitt Romney make his money?
A: By doing nothing at all.

Mittens is the poster boy for the idle capitalist. He makes $57,000 a day yet he produces nothing. He does not grow food or make cars (like his dad). He does not build homes. He is not even a thief who breaks into those homes to steal other people's money. That, at least, would require some degree of effort on his part.

Romney sits. His investment shuffle around like a game of Three-Card Monte making money with each movement.Romney scrapes profits from the sweat of other people's toil while he himself never soils his hands with effort.

Mittens doesn't earn anything because he doesn't do anything. And the tax code, in its infinite wisdom, rewards idleness. People who work and earn a salary through their efforts pay taxes at twice the rate of people like Romney who sit and vegetate.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Belle Baker: The Best Singer You Never Heard Of

I know you don't know Belle Baker, I hadn't heard of her until a couple of months ago.

Born the year William McKinley was elected in the New York Jewish ghetto, Belle was singing on the street for pennies by the age of eight. She became a vaudeville star along side Al Jolson and Fanny Brice and a Broadway star in the 1920's. Her range included jazz, ragtime, and Yiddish tearjerkers which she preformed with a bold, expressive voice.

 It is a great pity that Belle Baker's voice has mostly been lost while lesser talents (like Fanny Brice) are remembered. The above song, "You've Brought a New Kind of Love," is the song I fell in love with. For a change of pace, here is a 1924 recording of "Hard-Hearted Hannah."

Monday, January 23, 2012

Florida Primary, the World's Scariest Rollercoster

I don't think I've seen an election season like this in my half century of sentience. Take Florida. Two month's ago, Newt Gingrich was leading Romney by 25% in the polls. Last week, Mittens has a 20% lead over the Salamander in the same polls. Today, Newt leads Mitt again by better than 9%.

Entire decades can go by with less polling volatility. Nobody dare predict what the result of the actual election next week will be but I guarantee you if Florida held another vote in March the results would be completely different.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

South Carolina Lessons

Call it "The Revenge of the Tea Party." The furious Tea Party. The burn it down and string them up Tea Party.
Gingrich voters
It's easy to read too much into the South Carolina results. All things being equal this is the natural result. Romney wins his almost home state (New Hampshire) and Gingrich wins his almost home state of South Carolina.
Romney voters

Talk about a horrible meme for Romney that the only demographic he won decisively was the "incomes over $200,000" group.

Also horrible are the stories that Romney was busing in Mormons from Virginia to pad his rally crowds in South Carolina. Rich Mormons, not a huge base to build on.

The chatter in conservative blogs is that Gingrich will destroy the Party, the Washington establishment and elite media are shoving Romney down our throats, and that they will leave the Party if Romney (Gingrich) gets nominated. I'd feel better about this except I heard it four years ago between the Obama and Clinton factions.

Romney hurt himself by overspending. He flooding the state in robocalls, a dozen calls a day. There was a shitload of mail every day too. My experience is if you hit voters too hard they turn against you.

Romney's release of a couple years of taxes will not quiet the opposition. His tax returns were a symptom, not the disease. If he releases summaries (likely) then the missing information will be jumped on. If his release is voluminous, all the worksheets, every capital gains transaction and every deduction, then it will magnify his too elite status.

The volatility shows a decided lack of enthusiasm. If you supported Mitt yesterday, Newt today, and who knows who tomorrow you are not really supporting anyone. All three primary results so far have been coin flip elections with voters deciding almost randomly in the voting booth.

Romney will probably win Florida, although two days ago I would have used the word "certainly." Early voting and absentee voting can calm the last minute volatility. If Romney does win he will have righted the ship and the Republican power structure can relax. If a late Gingrich charge overwhelms the 200,000 votes Romney has already locked in then we will see a highly entertaining panic reaction out of the establishment.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Cowardly Mittens

Mitt Romney, hereafter affectionately known as Mittens, has developed a serious case of stage fright. His total inability to give a coherent answer when asked a softball question about his taxes has got Mittens skittish around reporters.
In politics there are three kinds of questions:
1) Dumb questions - "Elvis or Johnny Cash?" (from CNN's John King)
2) Real questions - "If Israel attacked Iran to prevent Tehran from getting nuclear weapons, would you help Israel launch the attack or support it otherwise?" (Mike Gonzales - Heritage Foundation. These are exceedingly rare and almost always come from people without press credentials.)
3) Softball questions - Most debate questions either have the correct answer embedded inside the question or are on a topic that any candidate with the IQ of a donut should expect and have a scripted response to. (John King to Newt Gingrich) These are so easy they require no actual thought.
Mittens has been scared of reporters all campaign. He's okay in staged events where everything is controlled and he has several paid shills in the crowd. But asking him questions terrifies him. Last night put him over the edge. Reporters covering his campaign are being treated like diseased cattle, herded into distant corners or excluded entirely.

Poor Mittens is just a quivering bowl of jelly now. With two more debates scheduled for Florida, Mittens is throwing a pissy fit. He doesn't want to go on stage anymore and you can't make him!!!

Now, I'm no fan of presidential debates (see questions insert above) but now that the crowd has thinned out they have a chance of producing some real insight into the candidates. Too bad about Mittens.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

South Carolina Circus

South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum. ~ James Petigru
Things are sure getting busy in the Palmetto State.

Newt's Wife
Mitt Romney's fingerprints are all over the Marianne Gingrich ABC interview. The timing of the interview and especially the rumor bombing that is forcing ABC to air the interview before the South Carolina primary can be easily traced to Romney agents pushing the story.

Will Marianne's "you ruined my life now I'll ruin yours" interview work? Who knows, but we already know that Newt is a slimy, muck dwelling relative of a toad and I doubt there is anything his former wife can say that will change that perception.

Mitt's Taxes
Why is Romney putting off releasing his taxes until April? He currently has a team of tax lawyers and forensic accountants sanitizing his 2011 tax return. His 2011 return will be a work of art. Not so the returns he has previously filed. Those returns will show him taking advantage of every loophole ever invented for the profit of the ultra-wealthy. Romney would murder to keep those early returns secret.

Perry's Withdrawal
I would have loved to have listened in as Rick Perry's advisors explained why he should drop out now. They probably told him, using single syllable words, that he was in danger of losing to Stephen Colbert surrogate Herman Cain and that would make him the laughing stock of the nation.

Iowa Truth
The last bit of South Carolina news is out of Iowa. While Romney led the Iowa caucuses by eight votes NBC officially calling it a Romney victory. Now that the final tally shows Rick Santorum won by four times that many voters the NBC line is that the result was a "virtual tie." What wingnuts say about the "mainstream media bias" is not entirely loopy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Child Labor Is Healthy

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Obviously) has come up with an interesting childhood fitness plan - send them out into the fields and down the mines to work off that obesity with hard labor.

We all know that child labor laws are evil socialism. Godless Massachusetts began the trend in the 19th century with a law restricting children to 10-hour work days. Federal child labor restrictions were declared unconstitutional in 1918 (certainly the reference Scalia will use). While a later, Roosevelt court accepted child labor laws that will certainly go once the Roberts Court gets around to it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fundamentalist Plague

We all know about Islamic fundamentalists but just about every religion has their own version of wacko extremists.

Jews (Haredi)
This post was originally going to talk only about these guys who cursed and spat upon an eight year-old girl (at right with her mother). Her crime? She wore long sleeves and a calf-length skirt, just like a whore. They have organized gangs of thugs who assault any woman they deem immodest and then attack the police should they try to rescue her.

Because the Likud Party needs the ultra-orthodox parties to form a ruling coalition their extremist beliefs are gaining official recognition. When a female pediatrics professor was honored for her research she was forbidden to appear on the podium by the government minister because he demanded gender segregation.

Catholics (Opus Dei)
Blessed be pain. Loved be pain. Sanctified be pain. . . Glorify pain! ~ The Way 208
Believes in self-abuse and that the only thing wrong with the Spanish Inquisition was that it ever ended. They don't believe in overt action, their membership is a closely held secret. Their modus operandi is to secrete themselves into positions of political power where they can impose their will upon an unaware public. Supreme Court justices John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, and Samuel Alito are almost certainly Opus Dei. Presidential candidate Rick Santorum has openly praised Opus Dei.

Opus Dei has held a strange affection for fascism. Founder Josemaría Escrivá supported both Hitler and Francisco Franco. Most military dictatorships in Latin America, notably Chile's Pinochot, have been supported by Opus Dei.

Protestants (Christian Identity)
The Oklahoma City bombing? A Christian Identity terrorist act. So too have been an orgy of black church burnings, abortion clinic bombings, and an alarming array of violent crimes.

Their belief system is simple: Only Nordic and Celtic peoples are God's chosen, other whites are of polluted blood; darker races are all the soulless spawn of Satan. Science is a Jewish conspiracy, so is peace, so is freedom.

Hindus (Sri Ram Sena and others)
Eastern religions are no better. Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu extremist. Like the others on this list Hindu extremists abhor peace and love. They believe women ought to be unseen, unheard, and treated like chattel. And they believe the only use for those of other faiths is a painful death.

Mormons (polygamists)
There is no such thing as a 'Mormon Fundamentalist.' ~ Gordon B. Hinckley
There are extremist Mormon sects that still practice polygamy and its recreational sideline of child rape. Officially, Mormons no longer practice plural marriage. However they do believe there was nothing wrong with it, it's just out of favor at the moment.

Mitt Romney's great grandfather fled the United States to Mexico in 1884 to continue his polygamist lifestyle. Miles Romney married four women in the US and a fifth in Mexico. There is no direct evidence that Mitt has married more than once. Mormonism is unique in many regards, including the church policy of stealing the souls of the dead.

Other Links

Monday, January 16, 2012

Peaceful California

Of the joys of living in the Golden State, two of the biggest is that our primary is late spring and we don't have to suffer through the saturation media buys telling us every candidate of every party is a treasonous whore. Also, it has been a long time since California has been a battleground state in a contested election.

While we always seem to have some billionaire Republican trying to buy the governor's office or a Senate chair, and the cacophony of political ads is so loud and annoying that anarchy seems a quieter alternative. Presidential seasons tend to be relatively calm and blissfully peaceful.

I can't imagine the hell that New Hampshire, Florida, and Ohio experience every four years.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

On Unicorns and God

There is no more reason to believe in God than to believe in unicorns (Source: on-line conversations among others). This pretty little statement has theists on the internet tying themselves into knots trying to debunk.

Arguments Unicorns are Real
  • They are mentioned in the Bible, just like God. (Job 39:9-10)
  • Their horns have been found - they look a lot like narwhal tusks.
  • The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland, like the bald eagle is the national animal of the United States. Bald eagles exist, ergo unicorns must also exist.
  • Until the 19th century, belief in unicorns was widespread. (source)
Arguments on Existence of God
  • Mentioned in the Bible, just like unicorns.
  • Physical evidence limited to a painted blanket (Shroud of Turin).
  • Belief in God is widespread.
  • Ah, but, because...(all the philosophical arguments).
Theologyweb has and interesting discussion on the topic from both sides.

There was green alligators and long-necked geese
Some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees
Some cats and rats and elephants, but sure as you're born
The loveliest of all was the unicorn
~ The Unicorn Song by the Irish Rovers

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Santorum Hypocrisy and Other Things

Santorum - Selective Pro-Choicer
Rick Santorum hates abortion except when it involves his family. Santorum's position is that all abortions, including for rape or incest, should be illegal and doctors who perform abortions should be imprisoned. However, when his own wife had a pregnancy that if carried to term would result in a stillborn child and the death of the mother Santorum choose to have doctors induce a second trimester abortion. I'm not criticizing the choice but his politics that would deny the right for anyone else to make that choice.

Santorum's Grandpa Was a Commie
Santorum loves telling the tale of the lessons he learned from his grandfather fleeing Italian fascism and working hard in Pennsylvania coal mines. What he fails to mention is that Pietro Santorum would spit in his grandson's face for being a stooge of the bourgeoisie. See, Pietro was an active Communist and if Rick were an honest man he'd mention that.

Mossad In Iran
The Israeli secret service is actively assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists. I don't have much of a problem with that as they consider it self-defense and it probably is. They are also recruiting agents to engage in kidnappings and suicide bombing inside Iran. This is straight up state sponsored terrorism. To recruit their terrorist agents, Mossad is pretending to be the CIA. They are doing this because they are recruiting their terrorists from the ranks of Muslim extremists who would never help Jews and so that any blowback would endanger US forces and not the Israel homeland. Of course, the US government is just a bunch of schmucks who sit there and take it.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Stephen Colbert for President, Again

I love recycling an old post, especially one I can replay with few revisions. A lot of funny people have been running for President recently (Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Herman Cain), it's a concept that just doesn't get old.

The traditional path to the presidency is to write a book and then announce you are a candidate on a television chat show. (It used to be fight in a war and then marry a rich woman but John Kerry [and John McCain]* proved that formula doesn't work any longer.) Stephen Colbert has announced he is [thinking about]* running for president (in South Carolina). Stephen (can I call you Stephen?) is not the first comedian to run for president. Some will note that the only way to understand the Bush presidency is to assume it is all just a comedy routine (It's not?). [And the only way to watch the 2012 list of Republican candidates without an overwhelming urge for self-immolation is to believe they are trying to be funny.]*

In 1940, Gracie Allen of the team of Burns and Allen (If you only know George Burns as a solo act you missed the best half of his career.) ran for president on the Surprise Party ticket. She made a whistle-stop tour of all of the hit radio shows of the time.  Her campaign platform included taking pride in the National Debt (It's the largest in the world!) and putting Congress on a commission system, whenever the nation prospers Congress gets ten percent of the take.

Earlier (1928), Will Rogers ran for president against Herbert Hoover (He would have made the Depression fun) as the Anti-Bunk Party ticket. Prohibition was the law of the land them. His campaign promises include, "wine for the rich, beer for the poor and moonshine for the  prohibitionists."
Make every speaker, as soon as he tells all he knows, sit down. That will shorten your speeches so much you will be out of here by lunch every day. ~ Will Rogers after attending the Democratic National Convention
Of course, Pat Paulsen (motto: If elected, I will win.) is the only thing that made the 1968 election (Vietnam War, Richard Nixon, good times!) tolerable. A regular on the irreverent Smothers Brothers television show, he brought the only small sense of reality to an election where Richard Nixon was the peace candidate.

Paulsen on gun control: "Let us not be ledmess by those who would mislead us.  Let no man take away our liberties. Stand up and be counted...Let's preserve our freedom to kill."

Paulsen on poverty: "You can't just give poor people money. The poor people will just go out and buy food and clothes and pay rent and junk like that." [Reminds me of Rick Santorum's view of "bla people."]* 

Paulsen on corruption: "Let's all remember that we have a government 'of the people...for the people...and by the people...' and there are very few people in our government that you can't buy."

Stephen, make us proud.

* Denotes 2012 update.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Four Ways God Screwed Up Humans

We are supposed to be God's greatest creation, but he left out some really useful shit he gave other animals.
4.Opposable Big Toes
Most of our primate cousins have them and they would be incredibly useful. We could pick things up off the ground without all that annoying bending over. We could hold a book and type on our laptops at the same time. And we could double our sexting output.

3. Nictitating Membranes
Also called the Third Eyelid. Lots of animals have a transparent eyelid that keeps out dust or water or overly bright light while still providing some degree of vision. We have had to invent all sorts of devises (goggles, sunglasses) to make up for their absence. Humans do have a vestigial third eyelid called the Plica Semilunaris, it's where eye gunk collects while we sleep.

2. Ultraviolet Vision
Birds have it, bees have it, even educated fleas have the ability to see in the ultraviolet light range. It adds an extraordinary additional pallet to the visual experience. Its usefulness is so vital that many animals rely on it and it is so outside our ability to understand that scientists still don't know why animals can see the ultraviolet spectrum.

1. Internal Gonads
This is a guy thing. Many male animals have their testes safely stored inside. Birds never have to be concerned about a groin shot on national television. Crocodiles can cavort in the Nile all day without worrying about being kicked in the balls. While it's true a lot of mammals have their highly pain sensitive nuts dangling dangerously between their legs it can only be described as a massive design flaw.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tales from the One Percent

If you or I broke the finger of some waitperson at a local restaurant we'd be trying to make bail on criminal assault charges. But John Castle is a rich bastard, one of those leveraged buyout vampires who grow wealthy sucking the life out of other people's hard work.

It's not like the waiter poured hot coffee on Castle's head, something that might justify a brief spasm of rage. No, no, no. Castle was pissed because the waiter presented him with a bill. Faced with a gentle request to pay for the food he had eaten, Castle allegedly grabbed the waiter's arm and twisted it violently. (I'm assuming the twisting was violent because finger bones don't crack easily.)

Palm Beach police are "investigating" (cop speak for "trying not to piss off the rich dude again").  The waiter has had to hire a lawyer, he will probably get fired and black listed from every swank eatery in south Florida. Such is life in the aristocratic United States.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Romney's Chances Against Obama

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made. ~ Jean Giraudoux
Assuming Mittens doesn't finish in fourth place tonight he will be the nominee simply because he has more resources than all the other candidates combined. The question before the court is how will he do in the general election?

So far, Mitt's attempts at sincerity have been noticeably plastic. He has even failed at faking fake sincerity. His robotic recitation of America the Beautiful blanches all the humanity out of it and is less inspiring than a hangnail.

I doubt Romney will ever succeed at convincing people he means what he says or that he means much of anything. Baring a double dip depression I doubt he has much of a chance running against a feeling human being.

Monday, January 09, 2012

The Year Without Winter

It's still early. There are more than ten weeks left before the vernal equinox marks the end of winter so there is still time for a few saving blizzards, but it is beginning to look like 2012 will be the Year Without Winter.

Temperature records are being set throughout the northern states. Less than 20% of the continental United States has snow cover, normally in mid-January it is about 50%.

By this date Buffalo, NY averages 38 inches of snow, this season just five inches. Lake Erie water is 5 degrees above normal and may not freeze up (once routine) for the third time in the last 15 years.

Milwaukee (avg. 15 inches, to date under two inches). Minneapolis (avg. 2 feet, this season ten inches). (source). The California snowpack, vital for summer survival in Los Angeles, sits at a microscopic 19% of average. A lack of snowfall in the Plains states means less groundwater for corn and wheat in the spring. Conversely, it has been a heavy winter in southern Alaska. Snow levels in the fishing village of Cordova are at 18 feet.

The Cause1
The jet stream has shifted well to the north keeping storm systems, that would normally track through the Plains states into New England, in northern Canada. This, in turn, is caused by a Positive Phase in the Arctic Oscillation2 (low Arctic atmospheric pressure) concurring with a strong La Nina.

La Ninas are caused by cool surface ocean temperatures in the tropical South Pacific which, in turn, are caused by an upwelling of cold water from the deep ocean. They are part of an oscillation with El Ninos when surface temperatures are unusually hot.

The Cause of the Cause3
Think of the global climate as a complex self-adjusting gear box. Think of carbon dioxide as a monkey wrench tossed into the works. If one gear loses a few teeth the other gears change to keep a circulation going. It may not be the same circulation we've grown used to but the machine doesn't care what the ball bearings think.

The Bering Sea gets warmer during Positive Phase Arctic Oscillation (and cools during increasingly rare Negative Phases). That means less heat exchange due to north-south current flows. This makes the El Nino/La Nina oscillation more prominent and has made this oscillation deeper and more frequent. That means more and more Americans will only be able to dream of a White Christmas. And in states like Texas, California, and Arizona water will be a commodity more valuable than gold or oil.

1 The science is far more complicated than this short, simplistic description.
2 Scientists are unsure as to the cause with explanations ranging from solar activity to the size of the Arctic ice pack. They do agree that in the last 40 years Arctic low pressures have become unusually common.
3My personal theory.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Romney's Noblesse Oblige

Falls under the category of Shit His Dad Said (or whatever is the upper crust equivalent).

Mitt's father explained to his son that politics is not a job but an indulgence for the privileged and unsuitable for the vulgar proletariat. And Mitt is so proud of this aristocratical advice he repeats it in public without a hint of shame.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

New Hampshire Anti-Education Law

Republicans hate education.
We cannot help having a school, but we think it advisable that as little as possible be taught therein. ~ 19th century British reverend
For a very long time they have felt that, for the common rabble, anything beyond just enough learning to read the Bible would lead to dangerous activities like thinking. In New Hampshire, the same state that wants to legislatively return to a 13th century feudal society, has passed a law allowing each parent to limit what his child is taught.

For example, I don't want my child to learn the Godless heliocentric theory of the solar system. Schools would be forced to teach him that the Sun revolves around the Earth. If little Johnny struggles with math, a parent could demand his school stop trying to teach it to him. A parent could insist that young Dietrich not be exposed to Black History Month lessons and the school would have to construct a curriculum that preserves his family's master race philosophies.

As for evolution, New Hampshire Republicans have bills specifically addressing that issue. HB1148 requires that evolution be taught as an atheistic, communist, fascist theory. HB1457 requires that children be taught they do not have to believe any science that is atheistic, communist, or fascist.

And I'm supposed to care who voters in that state think ought to be President?

Friday, January 06, 2012

New Hampshire's Magna Carta

This is the perfect unity of lunacy and history. Three Republican legislators in New Hampshire have submitted a bill requiring that all future bills passed in that state be justified with text from the Magna Carta.
Magna Carta (Latin: Great Charter) - A peace treaty forced on King John (see the movie Ironclad) by rebelling feudal barons in the year 1215 because of his unsuccessful wars, high taxes, and general dickish behavior towards the landed gentry. Civil War quickly broke out and King John died the following year.
The Magna Carta is not a bad document, the US Constitution is based on it, but it is seriously out of date. In the United Kingdom, all but three of the clauses have been repealed. Basing modern laws on the Magna Carta is as rational as basing science curricula on a 2,000 year-old book written by priests. Among the clauses of the Magna Carta are:
  • Women may be forced to marry but not to a "lower social standing." (6)
  • Interest need not always be paid on money borrowed from Jews. (10,11)
  • Taxes may only be levied for ransom, to reward a rich man's son or marry off his daughter. (15)
  • Only the wealthy may judge other wealthy accused of crimes. (21)
  • No one may be arrested solely on the word of a woman. (54)
  • All foreign-born soldiers and all mercenaries are to be expelled from the country. (51)
  • "Inquests of novel disseisin, mort d'ancestor, and darrein presentment shall be taken only in their proper county court." (18) [I challenge any New Hampshire Republican to translate this sentence into modern English.]
Laws written with the Magna Carta in mind would be misogynous, anti-Semitic, and class-based.

The same legislature has voted to end effective public education. You can't build a viable feudal society without a large serf class.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Why Santorum?

George Will is calling for Santorum to be Romney's Veep; Santorum is the current leader of the Not-Romney movement.

First, a Romney-Santorum ticket will have major problems in the Deep South. Southern Baptists consider both the Mormon and Catholic churches to be bizarre cults.

Second, Santorum's brief visit to the top is entirely because he was the least viable candidate in the field. In the past several months all the more popular choices were given a taste test first. Bachmann, Perry, Trump, Cain, and Gingrich all were tried out and failed for various reasons.
(In turn, nutjob, idiot, Donald fucking Trump, horndog, creep).

We all figured Ron Paul leading the polls was the sign that the bottom of the barrel had been reached. He is so despised by mainstream conservatives that the most heinous crime at the blog RedState, expressing even mild support for Paul, results in immediate excommunication. Yet, somehow there was even more scrungy dregs deeper in the barrel - a frothy mixture called Santorum.
If Santorum had been a stronger candidate he would have reached double digits earlier. It was because of his weakness as a candidate that the Not-Romney movement ignored him for so long. His surge is desperation, not support.

That doesn't mean Santorum won't take the nomination. A substantial number of Republicans would rather see any idiot as president than Mitt Romney.
 Psst...Sarah, your party may 
finally be ready for you.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Iowa Cramdown Politics

The only interesting things coming from the Iowa caucus.
  1. After four years and $4.3 million dollars, Mitt Romney improved his vote total in Iowa by exactly nothing.
  2. That $4.3 million (campaign and super-PAC) spending amounts to $143 per vote. Santorum's votes cost just eighteen bucks each.
  3. Newt Gingrich doesn't want to be President anymore, all he wants is bloody vengeance against Romney. This should be fun.
  4. Conservatives hate Romney so much that are beginning to look at Jon fucking Huntsman.
And none of this matters (Iowa never does) because Romney is just as inevitable now as he was in October - no more, no less.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

It's Going to Be a Long, Long Year

Just three days into an election year and I am already sick, bored, disgusted, horrified, disillusioned, and nauseated. Only ten more months to go. Help! Please!!
Thanks. I feel better. 

Sunday, January 01, 2012

A Christmas Story for the American Police State

Some schmo got a gag gift for Christmas, probably something like this.
Being adorably gullible and believing it real, he took his gift to WalMart to buy a vacuum cleaner, a microwave, and a few other tidbits (total value $476). WalMart called the cops because if there is anyone the company hates worse than their employees it's their customers.

Here is where the police state shows itself. In a rational society the police would slowly (using small words) explain the bill isn't real and take him home to either sleep it off (if he were drunk out of his gourd) or to take his medication.

But in this modern America the police have jails to fill and assistant DAs to make work for. They threw the poor schmuck in the slammer, a judge slapped an insane $17,500 bail him, and he now faces several felony charges.