Archive for the ‘Ranting and raving’ Category

‘Look, they got jobs’

December 1, 2010

Who’s in the valley when the shit rolls downhill? Twenty-five thousand Coloradans. Another 21,000 folks in Kentucky. Some 454,000 Californians.

And that’s just the the tip of the turd-berg. All because the Republicans have no shame and the Democrats have no balls.

Where was all this hand-wringing over the deficit when the Elefinks were running two wars off the budget, flushing buckets of your grandbabies’ money down the loo of the Daffy-Fudd dream of global empire? That this murderous profligacy continues under a Donk administration is doubly abhorrent, but at least it’s in the budget where everyone can get a good, cold, hard look at the cost of being the world’s cop on the beat.

This is not about the deficit. It’s about power, and the little guy is on the short end of that very big stick.

Kentuckian Latoya Collins gets it exactly right. Waiting at the Jobs Center in Lexington, the 27-year-old — who hasn’t been without work since she was 15, until now — says maybe Congress doesn’t notice the working man.

“Look, they got jobs,” she told the Lexington Herald-Leader. More’s the pity. America is laying off all the wrong people.

Scared strait

October 19, 2010
Hello, Comrade Yeti, me love you long time.

Zdravstvuĭte, tovarishch Yeti, me love you long time.

Ho, ho. The brownshirts who cuffed one journo’ and tried to intimidate a couple more during a Joe Miller tea party at an Alaskan public school are apparently active-duty soldiers moonlighting without approval from their chain of command.

You’ll notice in the video still that one of these Nazis is giving the sieg heil with the wrong hand. Thirty days close arrest, Heinrich. If you’re lucky. Dis-miss.

What is it with Alaska, anyway? These Arctic Circle assholes suck the public sugar tit drier than a popcorn fart, like Nosferaturu locked onto a fat artery after a few hits of killer bud, then complain that they don’t like the taste.

What say we hire a few of these out-of-work fellas I hear so much about lately in the lower 48 to saw this frozen shithole off the continent and shove it across the Bering Strait to to Siberia, see how these freedom-loving dingbats like it over there? Love it or leave it, beeeyotch. Preferably the latter.

That lame-ass beard surrounding Miller’s smirking yap ought to look like porn-star poontang to some horny Russian yeti. Probably be the first time that mouth of his has been put to good use since his mama whelped him in a Kansas trash can.

Dumb and dumber

May 4, 2010

Stick a microphone in John McInsane’s face and something mind-numbingly stupid will pop out of his mouth. Guaran-fuckin’-tee. The senator (R-Asylum) is like a jukebox that only plays one tune — the Horst Wessel song.

Chiming in on the arrest of a suspect in the attempted Times Square bombing, this fine legal mind opined on the Don Imus show: “Don’t give this guy his Miranda rights until we find out what it’s all about.”

No, Numbnuts, the U.S. Constitution is not merely advisory, like a stop sign in Bibleburg. You don’t get to tear it up every time some dingbat tries to blow a bunch of us up. Not if he’s an American citizen. Not even if he’s a brown American citizen. Jesus. You’d think a guy who spent a few years in a cage getting beaten into a confession would have figured it out by now.

And Traitor Joe Liederkrantz (I-Cheesedick) is no better. This tool wants to strip Americans of their citizenship and constitutional rights should they “choose to become affiliated with foreign terrorist organizations.”

Who gets to decide what constitutes a “foreign terrorist organization,” Joe? Let’s hope it’s not you, you sanctimonious sack of shit. Listening to you and of the GOPers you pal around with, I get the idea that being a member of the Democrat Party might qualify.

Remember when these tinhorns squeak that the U.S. Senate was once considered the greatest deliberative body in the world.

Flying fish gets wings clipped

December 30, 2009

When people learn that I detest flying, they generally ask, “Why?” Here’s part of the answer.

I mean, shit, c’mon. Osama bin Laden probably saw this directive before Flying With Fish did. It’s like having the FBI kick down your door for for ripping off a Matt Groening cartoon (see previous post).

And what could the bloggers do but bend over and take it? If the TSA tried this sort of stunt with The New York Times it would be wearing a thick coat of lawyers the way a dead hog wears flies. A free-lance travel writer with a kid in his arms is going to be a good deal less aggro’ than a hungover editor with three bitchy ex-wives, ’roids and a bleak professional future without some best-selling book to pitch to Random House — say, about how he stood tall while having his nuts squeezed by some brownshirts from the Department of Open Your Duffel, Take Off Your Shoes and Shut the Fuck Up.

Jesus. This is why I drive everywhere. I don’t have to get to the Subaru two hours before departure, I can carry on everything from bikes to guns to jumbo bottles of booze, and nobody is ever setting his boxers ablaze in the seat next to me.

Ho ho ho, Baby Jesus!

November 25, 2009
Turkish seeks Jesus in my drawing board's lamp.

Turkish seeks Jesus in my drawing board's lamp.

We haven’t even sat down to Thanksgiving Day dinner and the pulpiteers at Focus on the Fambly are already trotting out their annual Christmas In Peril fantasy. Focus Action spokescreature Carrie Gordon Earll breaks it down for us in Palinesque style (and I’m not talking Michael here):

“The eradication of Christmas is a politically correct idea that we can’t have sacred ideas in our culture.”

Uh huh. Can someone please ask Spock to pop round with his Universal Translator? I assume it handles Cretinese.

The more I see of industrial Christianity, Bibleburg style, the more I like Zen. You never see a mob from the local sangha berating the manager of a Best Buy because he won’t hang banners inscribed with the Four Noble Truths on Shakyamuni’s birthday. George Carlin had this crowd nailed, you should pardon the expression.

Meanwhile, thanks for all the music recommendations. I’d forgotten how much I like some of your suggestions, especially The Band’s “The Last Waltz.” Wouldn’t you know the sumbitch isn’t available on iTunes? Yo, Carrie, forget about that eradication-of-Christmas bullshit — we got a real problem right here.

McNamara dies, goes to Hell

July 6, 2009

It’s an old National Lampoon gag, originally concerning Generalissimo Francisco Franco, but it seems appropriate in this instance. Robert McNamara was the Donald Rumsfeld of his generation, a whiz kid who was too smart for his own good (and ours).

Daniel Schulman at Mother Jones notes that founder David Talbot wrote a 1984 cover story for the magazine on “the transformation of McNamara, former National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy, and ex-CIA chief William Colby from Vietnam-era hawks to advocates of a nuclear weapons freeze.”

Talbot, Schulman said, described McNamara as “the cost-control wizard who thought the war could be run like a Ford assembly line: body counts, kill ratios, bombing raids. And when he saw that it wasn’t adding up, that it did not compute, he repeatedly lied — to Congress, to the press, to the American public.”

What a shame Hunter S. Thompson isn’t around to piss a quart of filtered Wild Turkey on this warmonger’s grave, the way he did on a ceremony for the unveiling of former Secretary of State Dean Rusk’s portrait at the University of Georgia Law School (see “Jimmy Carter and the Great Leap of Faith,” from “The Great Shark Hunt”).

“They should have run the bloodthirsty bastard up a flagpole by his heels,” Thompson wrote.

In his absence, we have war correspondent Joe Galloway, author of “We Were Soldiers Once and Young,” who seems pleased that “the aptly named Robert Strange McNamara has finally shuffled off to join LBJ and Dick Nixon in the 7th level of Hell” and eulogizes him as a serial liar, a distorter of history and “the original bean-counter — a man who knew the cost of everything but the worth of nothing.”

Here’s hoping Bob, Dick and LBJ save Don a seat by the fire — or better yet, in it, since it seems that unlike McNamara, Rumsfeld will never have any fleeting doubts about the countless graves he has filled, with our people and theirs.

Oh, yeah. There was a bike race today, too. Somebody won. Nobody died.

Oh, help me, please doctor, I’m damaged

April 2, 2009

So I’m engaged in another little office cleanup project, getting a deal on a new APC Back-UPS surge protector/battery backup in return for recycling the old one, and when I haul the previous edition to the UPS Store to ship it off, the manager is tending to an elderly gent who is having some class of episode.

He’s sprawled out in an office chair, not particularly responsive, and has lost control of his bladder. The manager is taking his pulse and talking quietly to him, one hand with a damp cloth on the back of his neck, as her assistant speaks with 911. We can hear the sirens, and as the fire truck and an ambulance pull up outside, he mumbles that he doesn’t want any ambulance ride because it will cost him $50. The small shop fills up quickly with firefighters, paramedics and their gear.

Eighty-eight years old, fades out in a UPS store and can’t afford a $50 ambulance ride. Sports a POW-MIA  cap. A son, maybe? Who knows? I conduct my little bit of business and roll out the door.

On the way home I hit the radio and Terry Gross is chatting with doctor, bioethicist and author Robert Martensen about the U.S. health-care system. They agree it has a couple of hitches in its gitalong. No fucking shit. Y’think?

I come home to a voice mail from our accountant. Seems we owe Uncle Sugar a couple thou’ to keep Wall Street from taking an infarction. Thank God the money isn’t going for any of that socialized medicine this new crowd in Washington, D.C., is on about. I’d sure hate to see The State tinker with a private enterprise that’s ticking along so smoothly.

Thanks for the memories (or not)

March 29, 2009
Ever been to a Holiday Inn? Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Proof beyond the shadow of a doubt that cheap lager, nicotine and psychedelic drugs make you smart.

If you kept a journal or diary as a young person, do yourself a favor and feed it at once into the nearest shredder, wood stove or fireplace. Do not, under any circumstances, open it and begin reading. That way lies madness.

In 1974, when I was a copy boy at the Colorado Springs Sun, George Gladney — then a reporter, now a journalism prof at the University of Wyoming — urged me to begin keeping a journal, and I jotted down my “thoughts,” such as they were, into the mid-1980s. Today I have some 20-odd volumes of my musings, with the emphasis on “odd,” and I recently made the mistake of thumbing through a few to put myself back in the moment so I could write a blog post about a friend’s death.

Apparently the only reason I had any friends at all in college was that I never said aloud any of the stupid shit I wrote down. Or maybe I did and they just kept me around as some sort of science project. The University of Northern Colorado was primarily a teachers’ college, after all, and offered a degree in special ed.

Thank God there were no blogs, Twitter feeds or Facebook pages back then. If my parents or the State had had any idea of what was going on inside that hairy skull of mine, I would’ve spent the past 35 years weaving baskets or pressing license plates instead of annoying my betters in print and online. You think my little one-ring circus is appalling now, you should’ve seen it before I got all the animals mostly housebroken.

Toto, I don’t think we’re on Krypton anymore

March 15, 2009
An AIG employee applies for his share of $165 million in bonuses.

An AIG employee applies for his share of $165 million in bonuses.

In an early episode of the DC Comics feature “Tales of the Bizarro World,” in which the inhabitants do the exact opposite of all Earthly things, a salesman is doing a brisk trade selling Bizarro bonds: “Guaranteed to lose money for you.”

Ladies and gents, welcome to Bizarro World.

If I recall, the last cash bonus I got was $50 for saving a reporter from being hoodwinked by a school-board wiseass before her story about a fictional candidate for superintendent — Quincy Adams Wagstaff, late of Huxley College — could sneak into the pages of The New Mexican. I certainly never scored a cash payout for introducing libels into stories, throwing monkey wrenches into the presses or setting the newsroom afire.

If we were still on Earth, the 43 fools and/or thieves who run the AIG Financial Products unit — which as Steve Benen notes “was responsible for the company’s mess in the first place” — would be awarded custom-fit tuxedos of tar and feathers and chauffeured off to prison on splintery rails. But we do things backassward here on Bizarro World, and so they will get $165 million in bonuses after AIG soaked up $170 billion in taxpayer dollars.

As Josh Marshall notes at Talking Points Memo: “The folks running AIG’s financial products division should be happy to escape this mess without criminal indictments. And that’s not hyperbole. When you look at what they were doing, foolish or high-risk behavior are inadequate descriptors. It really amounts to fraud.”

Happy motoring

February 8, 2009

Here’s a happy story: An apparently drug-addled woman suffering from dementia who is suspected of striking and killing a pedestrian with her automobile triggers a discussion of the “right” to drive. There is no such thing. Driving is a privilege one earns by passing written and driving tests, and retains through periodic re-examination as deemed necessary by the State or clued-in kinfolk concerned that Grampa Leroy may be getting a tad too daffy to slide behind the wheel of his beloved F-350.

I have some small, bitter experience in this field. My family and I were not especially close. After Dad died in 1980, Mom was pretty much on her own here in Bibleburg while I rambled around the West, burning down newspapers, and my sister worked for social services in Fort Collins.

A snap of our wedding. From left, me, Herself, her mom, my mom, and my sis. On the back of the snap is scribbled, "If this is fun, we're havin' it."

Mom had a business partner, friends and activities — she helped manage a few jointly owned rental properties, played bridge, went golfing and bowling, you name it — and the three of us would generally get together on at least one officially sanctioned national holiday per annum for a short, stiff reunion. We weren’t exactly ringing each other up once a week to dish the dirt the way Herself does with her mom and sisters, is what I’m saying.

One day I got a call from Mom’s business partner, who said she had lost her car and asked for his help buying a new one. Mom had been called to jury duty, which meant a trip downtown — a place she rarely visited — and apparently was so confused by the journey and the judiciary that she forgot where she had parked and walked the seven-odd miles home.

I drove up from Santa Fe and went car-hunting, finally locating Mom’s Mazda 626 in a parking lot not far from the courthouse. My sis came down from Fort Collins and we had a chat with Mom, who was by turns distracted, confused and indignant. Finally, exasperated, I rattled her keychain, a gag item bearing the legend, “I’ve found the keys, now where the hell’s the car?”, and said, “Mom, this isn’t funny. You lost your goddamn car!

It was Alzheimer’s, of course, and a very long story that is. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version: My sister and I had to assume a parental role over our sole surviving parent — taking her to a series of doctors to eliminate all other medical probabilities, then hauling her into court to prove that she was no longer capable of handling her own affairs. We seized control of her finances, her house — and, yes, her vehicle — and eventually committed her to an excellent nursing home. Herself and I quit our jobs in Santa Fe and moved in with her for a while, trying but failing to play the caregivers’ role, postponing the inevitable. I was able to be there with Mom as she died, peacefully, in the Namaste Alzheimer Center.

Mom didn’t take anyone else with her. But she very well could have, and it wouldn’t have been her fault — it would have been ours.

I don’t know a thing about Mary Jo Anne Thomas’ family, and I’m not inclined to throw stones at them from my nifty glass bungalow. But I’ll say this to the rest of you: Ring Mom and Dad up now and again. Pop by for a visit, take ’em out to lunch. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. While bringing a little sunshine into your parents’ twilight years, you might just save some stranger’s life.

Addendum: Someone should run a brain scan on state Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, who told the Boulder Daily Camera: “If you say nobody with dementia can drive, that won’t go over well. I think you’d be laughed out of the Statehouse.” I ain’t laughin’, motherfucker. And neither is John Breaux, Mary Jo Anne Thomas, or anyone who knew either of them when they were still with us.