Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, May 31, 2013

Who Will Stand Up to Monsanto? Russia?

It would be pretty ironic if our traditional “enemy” — remember, Mitt Romney kept warning us that the Soviet Union is our greatest threat — stood up to Monsanto while the United States kept on cowering and groveling.

A lot of European countries have banned Monsanto’s GMO frankenfoods.  And Japan and South Korea have just suspended imports of American wheat because of an unapproved strain of genetically modified wheat in the U.S.

And what about Russia?

I’ve done several posts about Monsanto, and the other day somebody found my blog using the search words putin will killmonsanto.  There are some interesting links on this page.  Here’s one example.

Most of these sites are referring to the same story:  a recent testy dialogue between Vladimir Putin and John Kerry.  The linked article refers to:

“…the Russian leaders ‘extreme outrage’ over the Obama regimes continued protection of global seed and plant bio-genetic giants Syngenta and Monsanto in the face of a growing ‘bee apocalypse’ that the Kremlin warns ‘will most certainly’ lead to world war.”

This article is full of fascinating (in a grim sort of way) information.  Here’s another quote:

“Most perplexing in all of this, the MRNE (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation) says, and which led to Putin’s anger at the US, has been the Obama regimes efforts to protect pesticide-producer profits over the catastrophic damaging being done to the environment, and as the Guardian News Service detailed in their 2 May article titled ‘US rejects EU claim of insecticide as prime reason for bee colony collapse‘…”

This article confirms why we should all get at least some of our news from foreign sources that don’t just recite what American corporations tell them to say.

And if there should be a conflict between the above-mentioned foreign countries (including Russia) and the Monsanto prostitutes in our own government, whose side will I be on?

Don’t ask.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Phyllis Schlafly: “Fuck Those Dirty Mexicans! The GOP is the White People’s Party!”

That wasn’t her exact wording but the message is clear.  In Phyllis Schlafly’s own words:

“I think that’s a great myth because the Hispanics who come in like this are going to vote Democrat.  And there is not the slightest bit of evidence they are going to vote Republican.  And the people the Republicans should reach out to are the white votes — the white voters who didn’t vote in the last election, and there are millions of them.”

She also lashed out at the GOP’s recent non-teatard presidential candidates — Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney — as “a series of losers.”

“The propagandists are leading us down the wrong path.  There’s not any evidence at all that these Hispanics coming in from Mexico will vote Republican.”

Let’s go back to “…the white voters who didn’t vote in the last election, and there are millions of them.”  Maybe so, but how many of them will die of old age between now and the next election?

We’ll see which group is able to win the hearts and minds of Republican voters over the next few years:  Moderate Republicans — if they even exist any more — or the raging sickfuck coalition of warmongering chickenhawks, Talibangelicals and “free market” dildos.

If the GOP does not move back to the political center, where most of the voters are, they’ll need to update their motto.  How about “Republicans:  Too old to take a piss without a catheter, too young to die.”


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Governor Jan Brewer Shows How to Play Hardball. President Obama: Watch and Learn

Yes she’s the same Governor Jan Brewer who implemented Arizona’s infamous “Zee Paperss Pleasse” law, among other rightwing atrocities.  But unlike so many other Republican governors, Jan Brewer is in favor of implementing the Affordable Care Act in Arizona and expanding Medicaid coverage.

Not only is she in favor of it — she’s playing hardball with the Arizona legislature and their constant obstructing and stalling tactics.  Last week she warned the legislature — both houses are Republican-controlled — that she would veto every bill sent to her desk until state lawmakers resolve the 2014 budget and pass the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

And then she backed up her warning by vetoing the next five bills that came to her desk.  In her veto message, she said:

“I warned that I would not sign additional measures into law until we see resolution of the two most pressing issues facing us: adoption of a fiscal 2014 state budget and plan for Medicaid.  It is disappointing I must demonstrate the moratorium was not an idle threat.”

YEAH!!!  You Go Girl!

President Obama:  please take note.

The Kaiser Family Foundation has estimated that expanding Medicaid would reduce the number of uninsured Arizona residents by about a third.  Fortunately Jan Brewer is listening to them instead of the Teadroolers in the state legislature.  She said:

“The human cost of this tragedy can’t be calculated.  Remember, there is no Plan B.”


Monday, May 27, 2013

Republicans Want More War Deaths for Future Memorial Day Remembrances

President Obama is in the process of refining and recalibrating America’s counter-terrorism strategy.  Basically it’ll be fewer drone attacks, a greater focus on targeted, isolated threats, and less reliance on a global projection of force.

Last Thursday Obama warned that:

“Putting boots on the ground” would lead to “more U.S. deaths, more Black Hawks down… and an inevitable mission creep in support of such raids that could easily escalate into new wars.”

And Republican chicken hawks can’t stand it!  Obama is Apologizing For America!  If we don’t keep grinding out more dead soldiers, what will our descendents do on Memorial Day?

Lindsey Graham (R—Chairborne Division) accused Obama of “projecting weakness:”

“At a time when we need resolve the most, we're sounding retreat.  We show this lack of resolve, talking about the war being over.  What do you think the Iranians are thinking? At the end of the day, this is the most tone-deaf president I ever could imagine.”

We don’t have enough money to fix hundreds of bridges that could collapse any minute, but we have trillions of dollars to intimidate the world and invade any country we choose.

Tom Coburn (R—Living Proof That Dinosaurs Fuck Rednecks) said:

“I see a big difference between the president saying the war's at an end and whether or not you've won the war.  We can claim that it's at an end, but this war's going to continue. And we have still tremendous threats out there, that are building, not declining, building, and to not recognize that, I think, is dangerous in the long run and dangerous for the world.”

Charles Schumer responded with:

“Having transparency, having rules and engaging other activities other than military to help curb the war on terror — diplomacy, economic sanctions and things like that — is going to be useful as well. So I think the president did a very, very smart pivot, realizing we're not going to let up on terrorists, but at the same time we're going to meet the changes in the world.”

In other words, it’s time for the GOP to be reminded AGAIN:  The United States is NOT less powerful just because we have fewer horses and bayonets and fewer frigates armed with muskets.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Western IQ has Fallen and it Can’t Get Up

If you live in a Western country, your great-great-great-grandparents’ IQs were 14.1 points higher than yours.  Sorry, nothing personal.

That’s the theory anyway, according to a new European study.  According to their article, published in the journal Intelligence:

“We tested the hypothesis that the Victorians were cleverer than modern populations using high-quality instruments, namely measures of simple visual reaction time in a meta-analytic study.  Simple reaction time measures correlate substantially with measures of general intelligence and are considered elementary measures of cognition.”

The Victorian Era was roughly from 1837 to 1901.  And according to the researchers, our collective IQ started heading south in 1901.  The average Western IQ score has dropped 1.23 points per decade since then.

And what’s causing the Western IQ to sink like a stone?  As the linked article says:

“Women of higher intelligence tend to have fewer children on average, meaning that population growth may be driven by those with a lower IQ.”

And on that note:  if you haven’t seen Idiocracy, rent it NOW.

In a somewhat related story, lip-reading used to be a lot more common than it is today.  (Somebody once told me this; I probably should Google it.)   Supposedly, back then, if you were having a whispered private conversation in a public place, there was a good chance of somebody picking up your entire conversation from across the room or down the street.  Another lost art (if its even true).

Anyway, who knows how accurate this new study will turn out to be.  It might be valid, or it might be in the same category as the scientific research that screams:  “Drink Coffee!  It’s full of anti-oxidants, prevents Alzheimer’s, cures arthritis…”  “Don’t drink coffee!  It causes heart disease, ulcers, kidney failure…”


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Boycott Farmed Salmon

If you eat salmon at all, please do NOT purchase farmed salmon.  EVER.  All over the coasts of British Columbia, the American Northwest, Chile and Northern Europe, farmed salmon have been spreading a deadly virus that’s wiped out millions of wild salmon.

Wild caught salmon might cost a bit more than farm-raised salmon, but there are several supermarket brands of canned salmon (e.g. Safeway) that are wild caught and not expensive.

Salmon are considered a Keystone species.  They’re at the center of their entire eco-system.  Bears and birds of prey would not survive without them.

And the survival of countless local economies depends on a thriving salmon population.

As terrible as these facts are, the scariest part is the government and industry repression of this information.  You don’t generally think of fish farms as being part of some giant syndicate.  But with the power and ferocity that the Canadian government is repressing this information, it sounds like the fish farming industry is powerful and omnipotent enough to make America’s factory farm syndicate look like Ma and Pa Kettle.

Salmon Confidential is the documentary I saw last night.  Alexandra Morton is the biologist whose research has linked a virus spread by salmon farms to the deaths millions of wild salmon.  The government and industry campaign of repression and intimidation against Alexandra Morton and her colleagues is straight out of the wackiest spy and intrigue movies.

For anyone who thinks Canada is just a tiny bit less of a corporate police state than the United States:  sorry, bad news.  If you think the “Ag Gag” laws in Iowa and Utah are bad — and they are — Canada almost passed a federal law making it a crime to report the fact that you found a farmed salmon that was diseased.  This law was aimed specifically at Alexandra Morton.  One of her tactics was to go into a supermarket, buy several whole salmon (farmed-raised) and test them for diseases.  Not only did they test positive, but they looked so deformed and hideous, from the effects of the virus, that you’d have to wonder why anyone would buy them.

This new Canadian law would mandate a 2-year prison sentence and a huge fine for simply reporting the fact that you found a farm-raised salmon that was diseased.  The law hasn’t been passed yet, but it was never officially withdrawn either.  It could be passed any time.

Salmon Are Sacred is an organization that’s working to save the wild salmon population.

Like all powerful syndicates, the fish farming industry has its share of Astroturf front groups, pretending to be just regular folks who can’t imagine what these wacky scientists are going on about.

Here’s just one example.  (I left a comment there, but it didn’t get published for some strange reason.)

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Use an Herbal Remedy, Go To Prison

In Virginia, the newest threat to Family Values is…health food stores.

Two women in Virginia have been arrested for inducing an abortion by means of an herbal concoction they purchased at a health food store.  Abortifacient herbs have been in use for centuries; probably millennia.  For that matter, there are a few acupressure points that can induce an abortion.  I guess every pregnant woman should be under 24-hour video surveillance, so authorities can be certain she hasn’t pressed one of those forbidden places.

Rachel Lowe — a former women’s clinic employee — helped her friend Jessica Carpenter induce a miscarriage with the herbal combination.  A mutual “friend” overheard them discussing the matter and informed the police.

The two women are facing prison terms of two to ten years.

Virginia’s “limited government” has been trying to shut down every abortion clinic in the state by imposing a huge web of labyrinthine regulations that nobody could possibly comply with. Virginia also requires every woman to undergo a medically unnecessary ultrasound before she can have an abortion.  And these are the same people who hate Obamacare because it’s intrusive and comes between a woman and her doctor.

Oh well, you can’t expect people to be logical or consistent when their IQs are lower than the temperature in International Falls, MN in January.

At the risk of being arrested for inciting an abortion, here are some herbs that “should NOT be used by pregnant women” [wink].

And here are some of the forbidden acupressure points.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bayer and Monsanto seek Answers to Mass Honeybee Die-Off

Nope, your eyes aren’t deceiving you.  This is NOT a typo.  Bayer and Monsanto are just shocked — shocked! — at the global die-off of honeybees, and they’re determined to get to the bottom of this mystery.

In other news:  The finance industry is horrified at the record number of illegal foreclosures, and they want to find out just what the hell is going on here.  And Mexico’s most notorious drug cartel wants to know why Juarez has such a high crime rate.

Monsanto is holding a “Bee Summit.”  Bayer AG is breaking ground on a “Bee Care Center.”  And Sygenta AG is funding research into the causes of the mass honeybee bee die-off.

The phone calls are coming from INSIDE the house!!!!

Monsanto’s chief technology officer, Robert Fraley, said:

“Everybody is concerned by it.”

[sniff]  It’s so touching when crocodiles cry.

The European Union has already voted to ban neonicotinoids, aka “neonics,” the class of pesticides used on corn and other major crops, as well as people’s lawns.  Scientific research has shown neonicotinoids to be the main cause of the bee die-off.

Fortunately the United States doesn’t listen to them rabid environmentalists, especially when corporate profits — i.e. FREEDOM! — might be jeopardized.  The companies who manufacture neonicotinoids, and the companies who coat their seeds with them, have a better idea of what’s killing all the bees:  mites.  Some sort of mysterious mite just materialized out of thin air and start killing trillions of bees.

Uh huh.

The Center for Food Safety has filed a lawsuit against the EPA, accusing the EPA of not regulating pesticides closely enough because they’re beholden to the Chemical and Big Ag Syndicates.  A lawyer for the Center for Food Safety said:

“They may have a lot of money. But... we're going to win.”

One can hope.

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Are Republicans Guilty of Treason?

On “Real Time with Bill Maher” this past Friday, Bill Maher referred to the House GOP’s thirty-seventh vote to repeal Obamacare:

“And what about trying to repeal it for the 37th time?  Is that a wise use of our time and resources? At some point, obstruction becomes, um, I dunno, treason.”

On the same program one of the guests — Michael Moore — described the GOP as “a squealing dinosaur whose time has come.”

Let’s hope.

Bill Maher also talked about how the implementation of Obamacare is causing some of the top health insurance companies to lower their rates:

“They did a test and they put, you know, what insurance would cost if you were a 40-year-old, non-smoker and instantly, the two highest priced insurers went down.  This is the heart of Obama.  This is the heart of capitalism. I’m wondering why the people who love the free market so much are not for this.”

Maher also referred to the GOP’s blocking of almost everybody nominated by Obama.  The head of the EPA, a chief circuit court judge and dozens of other nominees.  And best of all — if you’re a rightwing oligarch or one of their useful idiots — bringing the Labor Relations Board to a screeching halt.  Right now the Labor Relations Board doesn’t have enough members to even have quorum.  And Republicans are determined to block any and all nominees to serve on the board, just so they can keep the Labor Relations Board dysfunctional and unable to enforce the laws that protect millions of working people.

Bill Maher said:  “At some point it becomes more about hating Obama than loving our country.”

Michael Moore added:

“No, they hate America.  I think that’s really what it is.  Conservatives and right-wingers, as much as they profess to love this country, they hate it. They hate the government, they hate the people.”

Unfortunately I think Bill Maher and Michael Moore are both right.

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Friday, May 17, 2013

North Carolina is the new Mississippi

What the fuck is happening to North Carolina?  This has been one of the most progressive of the southern states.  It’s the home of Duke University — plus a lot of other top notch schools — and some of the most prosperous cutting-edge cosmopolitan cities.  Yes they still have Jesse Helms to atone for, but remember, on the day Jesse Helms died the entire country celebrated with fireworks.

Until last year, the state had a Democratic governor to veto the Klanbagger and Teatard legislation that erupts out of every Republican legislature.  Now that they have a Republican governor, North Carolina’s Teahadist legislators are getting crazier than a busload of priests at a little boys’ swimming meet.

Some of the country’s worst voter suppression legislation, anti-abortion zealotry, union busting, eliminating all corporate taxes while increasing the sales tax — North Carolina has it all.

And on top of that, it turns out some of North Carolina’s teadroolers don’t even believe any of that “free market” rhetoric they’re always spewing.  State senator Tom Apodaca (R—Corporate Prostitute) has introduced legislation that would ban the sale of Tesla’s electric vehicles in North Carolina.

Tesla sells all of its vehicles directly to the consumer — via phone or Internet — and hence is able to bypass all third parties, i.e. the car dealer.  On direct orders from his pimp, Hooker Apodaca spread his legs for the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association.  His proposed bill would prohibit all car companies from selling directly to a customer.  All sales would have to be transacted through a dealer.

Problem solved.

What happened to that “limited government” that the teajobs are always drooling about?  You know, “government bureaucrats meddling in the marketplace,” or something.  To add even more irony, the North Carolina teawads are pretending this law is “to protect consumers.”


Who the fuck voted for these dildos???

If this trend keeps up, people in Mississippi will be saying “Thank God for North Carolina.”

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Elizabeth Warren: “Why Aren’t Criminal Bankers Being Locked Up?”

Earlier this week, Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Attorney General Eric Holder and SEC Chair Mary Jo White.  Speaking for hundreds of millions of angry Americans, Senator Warren’s letter asked why the biggest robbers in history are not in prison, getting beaten to a pulp by guards, and gang-raped and Sodomized by fellow inmates until their assholes are big enough to drive a tank through.

(I’m paraphrasing.)

Her letter said in part:

“…I believe very strongly that if a regulator reveals itself to be unwilling to take large financial institutions all the way to trial — either because it is too timid or because it lacks resources — the regulator has a lot less leverage in settlement negotiations and will be forced to settle on terms that are much more favorable to the wrongdoer.

The consequence can be insufficient compensation to those who are harmed by illegal activity and inadequate deterrence of future violations. If large financial institutions can break the law and accumulate millions in profits and, if they get caught, settle by paying out of those profits, they do not have much incentive to follow the law.”

New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman echoed the same sentiment on MSNBC last week:

“The problem is the banks have overwhelming confidence that law enforcement is not taking this seriously.  They have overwhelming confidence that whatever the rules are, they won’t be followed up on.”

That’s putting it mildly.  People losing their homes through illegal foreclosure and then getting a $300 “compensation” payment from the bank; guilty bank CEOs getting a slap on the wrist and a stern warning not to let it happen again — how much more of this shit are the American People going to put up with?

Is the government EVER going to crack down on these Wall Street cartels?

(Don’t worry, it was a rhetorical question.)

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Want to Boycott Monsanto and Koch Industries? You Can. There’s an App.

Millions of shoppers are patronizing Koch Industries, Monsanto and other shadowy corporate conglomerates, without even knowing it.  You won’t find too many items on the shelf with “Koch Brothers” or “Monsanto” stamped in big letters.

Those two companies (and others) have more tentacles than all the squid and octopi in the seven seas.  Their products are everywhere.

And now there’s a phone app — Buycott — enabling everyone to boycott companies whose ethics they hate.

The app is nonpartisan.  It allows the user to scan the barcode to determine the ownership background of a product.  There’s been such a huge demand that the developer of the app, Ivan Pardo, is frantically trying to keep up.  He said:

“The workload is a bit overwhelming now.  Our Android app was just recently released and the surge of new users today has highlighted a serious bug on certain devices that needs to be fixed immediately. So all other development tasks I was working on get put on hold until I can get this bug fixed.”

The app also allows the user to take part in online campaigns to boycott companies they don’t like, OR to support those companies whose ethics they agree with.  Buycott’s users are also encouraged to keep its database updated by adding products not yet recognized by Buycott.  Ivan Pardo said:

“It was critical to allow users to create campaigns.  I don’t think it’s Buycott’s role to tell people what to buy. We simply want to provide a platform that empowers consumers to make well-informed purchasing decisions.”


Talk about “find a need and fill it” — this is a need that’s gone unmet for decades.  Back in the ‘60s, Dick Gregory did a speech making fun of anti-war protesters who would shower up with Dial Soap (made by Dow Chemical Company) and then go out to protest against Dow Chemical for making Napalm.

45 years later — Problem solved.

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Monday, May 13, 2013

The GOP’s Newest Tic: “Impeach Obama, Impeach Obama, Impeach Obama…”

Not to be confused with Rudy Giuliani’s 9/11 Tourette’s Syndrome.

On her TV show last Friday night, Rachel Maddow said the GOP’s constant hiccupping of “Impeach Obama, Impeach Obama” is like an involuntary tic.  She also compared it to incontinence, like when somebody coughs or sneezes too hard and then, “oops, ahem, uhh, I need to be excused for a minute.”

And this has nothing to do with Benghazi or whatever the Republicans’ fake scandal du jour happens to be.  The Far Right has been having a mass bedwetting since the day Obama took office.  Rachel Maddow played back the audio of a phone call to Michael “Voice of the Inbreds” Savage from March 2009:


“What they’re doing right now is destroying this country.  Everyone that I know of, at least, is very angry about it. We’re very upset. We want this guy out. We want him to be impeached.”

Michael Savage:

“What I don’t like is that this guy is doing this by executive order, one after the other and the American people are sitting like a bunch of shmucks watching a dictatorship emerge right before their eyes.  I think it is time to talk about impeachment. Somebody has to get this guy under control. He’s out of control. Thank you for the call.”

Rachel Maddow said:

“Republicans on the right love talking about impeaching President Obama even when they’re not sure exactly why.  It’s almost like an involuntary tic. They sneeze and a little ‘Impeach Obama!’ squeezes out without them meaning to.”

Last week's foulest burst of incontinence came out of James Inhofe, who shat his pants with:

“Of all the great cover-ups in history, we’re talking the Pentagon Papers, the Iran-Contra, Watergate and all the rest of them, this, I said back on November 28 on Fox, is going to go down as the most serious, most egregious cover-up in American history.  People need to know how serious this is. To me, this, people may be starting to use the ‘I-word’ before too long.  The ‘I-word’ is ‘impeach.’”

Well, you’ve gotta give James Inhofe credit for one thing:  He’s fully aware that his inbred constituents need to have every little word spelled out for them.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Miles Davis, Tony Williams: the Supergroup that Might Have Been

Before Jimi Hendrix’ death in 1970, plans had been in the works for a recording session with Hendrix and Miles Davis.  Tony Williams would be the drummer.  The bass player would hopefully be Paul McCartney.

On October 21, 1969, Jimi Hendrix sent this telegram to Paul McCartney:

“We are recording and LP together this weekend.  How about coming in to play bass stop call Alan Douglas 212-5812212. Peace Jimi Hendrix Miles Davis Tony Williams.”

A Beatle aide replied to the telegram the next day, saying that Paul McCartney was on vacation and would not be back for two more weeks.  And that was that.  The recording was never made.

One can only imagine what this music would have sounded like.  Jimi Hendrix was getting more experimental during his last few months.  And Miles Davis was experimenting in the opposite direction.  This was around the time that his second jazz-fusion album, Bitches Brew, was released.  (“In a Silent Way” was released a year earlier.)  Both of these albums combined all the intricacies of jazz with rock and roll’s power and immediacy, electric guitars, and every electronic gizmo in the world hooked up to Miles’ trumpet.

Tony Williams was as “out there” as any jazz drummer, but like Miles Davis, he could fit into any conceivable jazz-rock-experimental setting.

And this brings us to Paul McCartney.  Meaning no disrespect, but was/is Paul McCartney really this legendary virtuoso of the bass?  Back in the day, I liked the Beatles as much as the next person.  And Paul McCartney’s first two solo albums — after the Beatles’ breakup — totally kicked ass.  Wings and everything else that came after:  two thumbs down.  (IMHO)

Anyway, as much as I liked the Beatles and the first two McCartney solo albums, I don’t remember ever thinking “Whoa!  Check out that bass solo!”

In the annual Playboy Jazz and Pop Poll — which I haven’t seen in decades; I don’t even know if it exists any more — Paul McCartney was ALWAYS voted Best Bass Player.  Seriously.  Runners up:  Charles Mingus, Ray Brown, Miroslav Vitous, Ron Carter.  Number One:  Paul McCartney.

I never understood that.  The poll winners were a pretty eclectic mix of rock, pop and the major jazz categories:  mainstream, avant-garde, fusion, etc.  And yet Paul McCartney always came out ahead of these incredible jazz titans.  Am I missing something?

In any case, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis and Tony Williams must have known what they were doing when they invited Paul McCartney to be their bass player.

We’ll never know what we missed.  Weather Report used to call themselves “the Best Fuckin’ Band in the world, Man.”  They might have been just second best if the Hendrix-Davis-Williams-McCartney band had made that recording.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

IRS Apologizes for Harassing Rightwing Charity Organizations

Last year, leading up to the 2012 election, the IRS conducted a relentless witch hunt against rightwing hate groups charity organizations that were trying to influence the election.  If the IRS discovered that these groups were political rather than charitable, the groups would lose their tax-exempt status.

According to a few harebrained IRS employees, if an organization has the words “Patriot” or “Tea Party” in its name, this organization might not actually be a charity group.

What???  Oh come on, how paranoid can you get?!?

The liberal media has spent the past year demonizing these poor Tea Party groups, and then the IRS started terrorizing them.  And now the IRS has admitted it was wrong.  As it turns out, these secretive organizations that donated hundreds of millions of dollars in anonymous political contributions — charity groups are not required to disclose their donors — really ARE charitable organizations after all.

And just what is so far fetched about that?  What, a word like “Patriot” or “Tea Party” is supposed to be some sort of “red flag” or something???

I happen to know that Patriots For Guns has an incredible outreach program for troubled youth.  And God only knows where thousands of inner city residents would be today, were it not for the Impeach Obama! soup kitchen.

If you — or any loved ones — are in danger of losing your home, please be aware that Obamacare Gonna Kill Your Grandma operates a homeless shelter near you.

Those are just three of the countless thousands of patriotic charity groups who have been persecuted by Obama’s thugs.  And don’t forget Nazi Skinheads for Better Textbooks, the Queer-Bashers R Us job training clinic — well, the list goes on and on.

Darrell Issa and Mitch McConnell have already promised to hold thorough investigations into this unconscionable witch hunt by the IRS.  Of course we all know that Barack Hussein Obama is the evil mastermind, but we should at least go through the motions of staging an impartial investigation.


Thursday, May 09, 2013

Wanted: Strawberry Pickers. Must Be Fireproof

Imagine this:  you’re filling out a job application, and you come to the inevitable “Reason for leaving your previous employer?”

Your answer:  “Fired because I ran for my life when smoke and flames came roaring in.”

During last week’s Springs Fire — the raging wildfire that originated in Camarillo Springs, CA — fifteen strawberry pickers ran for their lives so they wouldn’t suffocate from the smoke and ash that was engulfing them.  Their employer, Crisalida Farms of Oxnard, CA, fired these malingering sissies for walking off the job.

(And this wraps up our Douchebag Employer of the Month Contest.  No more calls, we have a winner!)

One of the fired workers — who are represented by the United Farm Workers Union — said:  “The smoke was very bad. There’s no doubt about that.”

Crisalida Farms gave an official statement saying the workers had clocked out without permission while orders were still unfilled. A real man isn’t afraid of a few third degree burns.

During subsequent negotiations with the union, Crisalida Farms was informed of the following union rule:  “No worker shall work under conditions where they feel his life or health is in danger.”

Crisalida Farms eventually relented and offered the fired workers their jobs back.  (No wonder conservatives hate unions so much.)  Only one worker accepted the offer.  All of the other workers have found employment at other farms where the employers are a little more, uh, human.

One of the fired workers made the point that while losing work is hard, losing one’s health is harder.

No argument there.

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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Anonymous “Dark Money” Political Contributions are Backfiring

Here’s the dilemma.  Let’s say you’re a rightwing millionaire and you’re planning to purchase the next election right out from under the lowly public.  If you donate to a Political Action Committee (PAC), the PAC has to disclose the names of its donors.

When the public starts seeing the nasty attack ads you’ve paid for, they’re gonna say “who’s the cocksuckin’ douchebag that’s financing this shit?”  And then they’ll follow the money right back to YOU.

This is why so many large corporations and wealthy individuals are laundering their money through these phony “charity” organizations that are NOT required to disclose their donors.  You can purchase the election or candidate of your choice and still remain hidden under your rock.  Foolproof, right?

Wrong.  New research has discovered that while attack ads lose their effectiveness when their donors are revealed, the public backlash is even worse when the donors are kept secret.

This study was performed by Conor M. Dowling and Amber Wichowsky.  They used a group of 1,213 participants.  The participants watched a political attack ad from the 2010 election.  For some viewers, the ad showed a list of donors at the end of the ad.  For the other group, the donors weren’t listed in the ad, but later on the viewers read an article about Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, the group behind the ad.

The attack ad lost some of its effect among the viewers who saw the list of donors.  There was no change among the people who didn’t see the list of donors but only read the article about American Crossroads.

Dowling and Wichowsky said:

“Our study suggests that voters may be more likely to pay attention to campaign finance data if it is directly and objectively presented, much in the same way that nutritional information is displayed.”

However, the attack ad was the least effective among a group who saw the ad, weren’t shown a list of donors, and then later learned from an article that the ad’s donors were being kept secret.

Dowling and Wichowsky said:

“This result suggests that individuals and corporations could be viewed in a negative light if they do not disclose their donors, which is perhaps one reason why several corporations have decided either to not make political contributions or to adopt their own disclosure policies.”

Maybe this is why Far Right extremists spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the 2012 election most of it from undisclosed donors and they have practically nothing to show for it.

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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Mark Sanford Defeats Elizabeth Colbert Busch. But on the Bright Side…

Yes it sucks that South Carolina’s braindead voters elected Mark Sanford (R—Disgraced) to represent them in Washington DC.  But what kind of victory was this?  Mark Sanford’s district has been solid Republican for over thirty years, and Mark Sanford is a household name in South Carolina, for better or worse.

Sure he’s a slippery little spoogebucket, but he’s the devil they know.  This race was sort of like a 300-pound wrestler fighting a 100-pound opponent.  If the 300-pounder lost, the humiliation would be unbearable.  And if he won, well whoopee shit, you just beat up somebody one third your size.  OOOOHHHH!!!!

And some people are saying Mark Sanford will do the GOP more harm than good by winning this election.  He’s “damaged goods.”   A Washington Post column says in part:

“A Sanford victory puts that guy in the House Republican Conference. That means that not only do the late-night jokes start again but, more importantly, every GOPer in the House and Senate will be asked whether they support Sanford and what they think of serving with him.”

Works for me.

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Monday, May 06, 2013

How to Save $2 Trillion

According to Citizens Against Government Waste, $2 trillion worth of government waste could easily be eliminated over the next five years.

Citizens Against Government Waste has named 557 government programs and subsidies that should be cut or eliminated.  These cuts are named in the organization’s annual publication, “Prime Cuts 2013.”

The linked article names four cuts that nobody — well, hardly anybody — would miss:

Subsidies to the sugar industry.  I saw an article several weeks ago — I forget where — describing how Congress carefully made sure that sugar subsidies wouldn’t suffer any reductions from the sequester cuts.  Sugar subsidies are keeping the price of sugar at around twice the world price.  Pretty cool, huh?  We’re paying higher taxes in order to rip ourselves off whenever we buy junk food.

Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, said:

“It's an old style Soviet command and control program.  By eliminating the sugar program, tax payers could save $1.2 billion in one year and $6 billion over five years.”

Next:  subsidies to the dairy industry.  Tom Schatz said:

“Also an old-fashioned program.  The price of milk is based on the distance from which it’s produced from Eau Claire, Wis.—very old-fashioned way to produce milk. Savings there: $1.1 billion in one year, and $5.7 billion over five years.”

Agricultural subsidies aren’t the only drain on taxpayers.  Citizens Against Government Waste has estimated that somewhere between 55,000 and 77,000 government-owned buildings are sitting vacant and unused.

Also on the chopping block:  the Essential Air Service program which subsidizes small barely-used airports.

Why aren’t our congressional deficit hawks complaining about these wasted billions?  (It was a rhetorical question.)

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Saturday, May 04, 2013

Tapeworm Economics

You’ve probably never heard of it, but Tapeworm Economics is the economic system we’re all living under.  The author, Catherine Austin Fitts, defines a tapeworm economy:

“In a Tapeworm Economy, a small group of insiders consolidate political and economic power at the expense of people, living things, and our environment in a manner that destroys real wealth.  A Tapeworm Economy is one in which it is considered acceptable to make money from doing things that cause the Popsicle Index to go down.”

And the Popsicle Index is:

“The percentage of people who believe a child can leave their home, go to the nearest place to buy a Popsicle or snack, and come home alone safely. For example, if you feel that 50% of your neighbors believe a child in your neighborhood would be safe, then your Popsicle Index is 50%. The Popsicle Index is based on gut level feelings of the people who have intimate knowledge of a place, rather than facts and figures.”

In our Tapeworm Economy:

“Those who achieve money and power by driving the Popsicle Index down are considered socially acceptable, even admired. In investment terms, it is an economy with a negative return on investment.  It is parasitic in nature.”

The linked article (the first one) has other links showing everyone how “to see The Tapeworm clearly and how Tapeworm political and financial interests — both overt and covert — are woven throughout our lives, our networks and assets.”

Food for thought.

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Thursday, May 02, 2013

The Americans

Has anyone been watching The Americans on FX?  It takes place in Washington, D.C. in 1981.  It’s the height of the Cold War; Ronald Reagan has just been elected.  Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys star as two KGB agents posing as an American couple.  Their two kids — age 10 and 13 — don’t even know their parents’ true identity.

It’s a heady mix of family scenes (“Hurry up, you’ll be late for school”), espionage, steamy affairs, brutal interrogations, assassinations, you name it.

The season finale was last night.  I don’t know how well The Americans did in the ratings, but FX renewed it for a second season after just a few episodes.

I didn’t start watching the show until about halfway through the season.  (It started in January.)  It took me a few episodes to fully grasp who’s who, all the subplots, etc.  But the show was riveting from the first time I watched it, even when I was going “Huh?  Who was that?”

And the disguises are brilliant.  It wasn't until two or three episodes ago that I suddenly figured out that Phillip (played by Matthew Rhys) and Clark Westerfeld were the same person.  Maybe it was spelled out in an earlier episode before I started watching the show, or maybe it was obvious to everyone except me.  But it sure was a bolt out of the blue.  That poor woman married a man who doesn’t exist — a disguised KGB agent.

Needless to say, last night’s season finale was a wicked cliffhanger.  We’ll have to wait ‘til January 2014 to find out what happened.