Archive for February, 2012

28
Feb
12

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE…

I had this friend once. He used to borrow all kinds of things from me (money, DVDs, video games, etc.) and never once returned or paid back any of it. He used to go around picking fights and telling people I had his back even though I wasn’t there and didn’t know anything about it. And whenever he didn’t follow my advice and got into a heap of trouble I was still the first person he called for help. Like constantly. Whenever I asked him for help or even to just listen to what I had to say he ignored me. Hell, sometimes he made fun of me and tried to embarrass me in front of my family or coworkers. On a few occasions he broke into my house and stole shit.

And you know what? I’m not his friend anymore. Because that’s not a healthy relationship. It is, in fact, abusive and one-sided and eventually I had to sacrifice the friendship for the sake of my own welfare. Where am I going with this? Guess.

“Israeli officials say they won’t warn the U.S. if they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, according to one U.S. intelligence official familiar with the discussions. The pronouncement, delivered in a series of private, top-level conversations, sets a tense tone ahead of meetings in the coming days at the White House and Capitol Hill.

Israeli officials said that if they eventually decide a strike is necessary, they would keep the Americans in the dark to decrease the likelihood that the U.S. would be held responsible for failing to stop Israel’s potential attack. The U.S. has been working with the Israelis for months to convince them that an attack would be only a temporary setback to Iran’s nuclear program.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak delivered the message to a series of high-level U.S. visitors to the country, including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the White House national security adviser, the director of national intelligence and top U.S. lawmakers, all trying to close the trust gap between Israel and the U.S. over how to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions.” – TIME

Firstly, nobody is going to buy it. Fuck, man, I wouldn’t. Israel can’t find the toilet without our help so nobody is going to buy that they pulled off a total action movie stunt like this all by themselves. Secondly, I’m not so sure it’s going to work. I have this image in my head of the day after an attempted Israeli attack and it’s not the flag-waving ticker tape parade they seem to think it’s going to be.

Even if by some miracle they manage to violate the airspace of a half-dozen other countries, fly around Iran like they own the place, actually manage to hit what they’re aiming for and then get the hell back home without getting blown out of the sky the world body is going to condemn Israel. Every salivating missile launching lunatic in the Middle East is going to be gunning for them. There will be economic sanctions. Half of Israel’s diplomats will be expelled from other countries. And so on and so forth.

And guess who their first panic-stricken plea for help is going to be directed at? Us. America. The morons sitting in the dunce caps who will turn right around and defend them anyway. So this whole pantomime about pretending we didn’t help them to begin with will be kind of a waste of time.

Look, you fucking assholes, stop lecturing us about the perils of yet another country obtaining the atomic bomb. We’ve been dealing with that reality for 60 years while you’ve been fucking around playing 007 and running people over with bulldozers. America was keeping the world safe from Armageddon long before you showed up and decided you knew better than everyone else. So please, just go back to your discos and your shitty television shows. Go back to making your crappy knockoffs of American electronics and clothing. Go back to your backyard perch and just keep right on looking down at everyone else.

Do whatever. I don’t care. But leave the real serious work to the big people.

27
Feb
12

MITT ROMNEY IS COMFORTABLE WITH HIMSELF

I’m back after slacking off for a week. Or jacking off. Whatever. The news can burn you out so sometimes I just like to ignore it for a while. And there’s something kind of fun about tuning out for a few days and then rejoining the world and getting caught up like a missed episode of WALKING DEAD or something. Strangely, as I’m finding out this morning, nothing has changed since last week except for maybe that Mitt Romney is now enjoying his third or fourth romance period with the Republican electorate.

Romney, like most conservatives, lacks the ability to be concerned about how he looks and sounds to other people. So when you watch a Republican debate and they’re booing gay soldiers or cheering the death of an uninsured person or yammering about anal sex or condoms or whatever and you ask yourself “Christ, do they have any idea what they look like?” the answer is yes, they do. They just don’t care. They hate everyone else so much, why should they? I hate credit card companies which is why I really don’t feel bad about all those pictures of my ass and penis I’ve mailed them over the years.

 “Worth an estimated $250 million, Romney has been accused of being out of touch with most Americans’ economic struggles and did himself no favors in Michigan on Friday when he said his wife drives “a couple of Cadillacs.”

“I’m not perfect. I just am who I am,” Romney said on “Fox News Sunday,” when asked about the comment, in a Rust Belt state where unemployment is high.

“We have a car that we have in California. And we got a car that we have back in Boston, where our other home is. That’s just the way it is,” the former private equity executive said.

“If people think there’s something wrong with being successful in America, then they better vote for the other guy. Because I’ve been extraordinarily successful, and I want to use that success and that know-how to help the American people.” – REUTERS

Actually, no, I don’t have a problem with someone being “successful” in America. I have a problem with “successful” people making decisions for the rest of us. Just because you got lucky and were born rich and then got luckier and got richer really doesn’t mean you understand complex social, political and military issues. For that matter it doesn’t mean you know crap about economics either. Romney sells shit, including himself. That’s about it.

And just an aside, Mittens, the “other guy” is Barack Obama. He’s the President. That’s pretty fucking successful. Apart from your stint as a governor you haven’t won an election since despite hurling unparalleled amounts of cash into the effort. And therein lies the basic worldview of someone like old Multiple Mitts: everything is for sale. The idea that money can’t buy some things is baffling to someone like him. M-Rom is fucking loaded. Running for President is a fun little fantasy he has the luxury of entertaining. And I suppose it must be nice to have nothing to do with your time except go on national TV and make an ass out of yourself.

Ultimately, however, the largest miscalculation the GOP is making is a fairly simple one: most people aren’t in the mood to celebrate wealthy people right now. They’re still laboring under the misconception that anti-bank, anti-corporate and anti-Wall Street sentiment is a strictly left wing phenomenon. And, a few years ago they might have been right. But, hey, being stuck in the past is what Conservatives are all about. That’s why their party is, like, so 2010.

18
Feb
12

OKAY…

I adore stupid people. Sure, they try my patience sometimes but they’re just so goddamn cute I want to eat them up with a spoon. My landlord, traffic court judges, the Mormons/Jehovah’s Witnesses/whatever who keep coming to my door- gosh I just love them all. Well, “love” is a pretty strong word. Then again so is “subpoena” or “fuck” and I use them all the time. Like, seriously, you’d be surprised how often I use those words. And not even in any kind of context either. I just scream them at random points throughout the day. If you were me you’d understand.

When stupid people are running a country, though, I tend to look upon them with a degree of caution. I have to. I mean I adore Chechen women who find me on the internet and want me to marry them but I don’t. Not anymore. Not since the fucking subpoena. Where am I going with this? Mexico. Specifically, Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

“President Felipe Calderon on Thursday unveiled a “No More Weapons!” billboard made with crushed firearms and placed near the U.S. border. He urged the United States to stop the flow of weapons into Mexico.

The billboard, which is in English and weighs 3 tons, was placed near an international bridge in Ciudad Juarez and can be seen from the United States.

Calderon said the billboard’s letters were made with weapons seized by local, state and federal authorities.

“Dear friends of the United States, Mexico needs your help to stop this terrible violence that we’re suffering,” Calderon said in English during the unveiling ceremony.

“The best way to do this is to stop the flow of automatic weapons into Mexico,” he added.” – MSNBC

Sure, ending the flow of American weapons into Mexico might help. So might the flow of American dollars used to buy drugs produced in Mexico. It also might help if we stopped giving the hopelessly corrupt and inept Mexican government domestic and military aid. Ending our national indifference to our Southern neighbors would help too. Hell, there’s all kinds of things we can do. But, we don’t do them. Why? This is America and when we do the right thing, well, it’s kind of like we lost somehow.

Yeah, we’ll stop sending them weapons. Of course they’ll just buy them from Russia, China or North Korea. Or from American companies that will find a way to sell them anyway. The problem isn’t the guns so much as it is the people in Mexico who really, really want them. And note to the Mexican Government: people who want to kill each other will find a way to do that. Guns, knives, poison, bashing heads in with rocks, running each other over with cars, AIDS, etc. But please don’t take my word for it. Seriously, keep doing the same fucking thing over and over again. You might get lucky one day and see something different happen.

Mexico likes to make the same argument about our anti-drug efforts. Calderon himself and his predecessor Vincente “I Love You George Bush and Want to Hold Your Penis While You Urinate” Fox both refused to hold Mexico responsible for the drugs crossing the border into America. That’s our fault, you see, for buying them. And you know what? They’re right. Which is why they’re wrong now.

In fact, talk to just about anyone from Mexico and they’ll tell you the same thing: Mexico is broken. That’s one of the main reasons so many Mexicans come to America. At least we have law and order here. There’s no roving bands of kidnapper/rapists. No car bombs. No major offensives between police and criminals that lay waste to entire towns. No severed heads being tossed onto the steps of city hall.

We also have electricity, running water and food which are also very popular with the whole human being crowd. Mexico, from what I can tell, has a shitload of oil and a ton of natural resources. Yet everyone is poor and has no teeth. I don’t know why. The world is just one big puzzle I guess. This lack of understanding on my part is probably why I’m not in charge. Thankfully, all of our leaders are at the absolute zenith of human intelligence. So, you know, I’m sure everything is going to be just fine.

16
Feb
12

LOVE IS IN THE AIR

Happy belated Valentine’s Day. While I don’t really recognize Hallmark and Godiva’s completely fabricated holiday known as “Spend A Ton of Money to Get Laid Day”, it is nice to have at least one day during the year when I actually treat my wife like the amazing goddess she is. Sadly, the rest of the year I’m pretty much an asshole and she’s a saint for putting up with it. A saint I tell you.

At any rate, while I’m not a big believer in the idea that Armageddon is inevitable or somehow predetermined, I do think that we can all die this year if we really, really want to. And while that might sound strange at first one only has to take a look at the events of the last week to realize that some people in this world are pretty goddamned determined to end it.

“The loudest noise that Thongma Danoi had ever heard was followed 20 minutes later by the strangest sight: a dazed and bloodied Iranian carrying two wire-adorned devices through the usually sleepy Bangkok neighborhood.

“He was losing a lot of blood,” said Thongma, 68, who saw the Iranian man, later identified as Saeid Moradi, fleeing a rented house blown apart by a massive explosion on Tuesday. “People were shouting, ‘He’s got a bomb!’ I tried not to look at him.”

Minutes later, he heard another explosion, as 28-year-old Moradi reportedly threw a second bomb at a taxi that wouldn’t pick him up. His rampage ended nearby, outside a school, with a third explosion that ripped off one of the bomber’s legs and damaged the other so badly it had to be amputated.” – REUTERS

At the risk of sounding cruel (or just plain sick) I laughed my ass off when I read that. At least we and the Israelis maintain some level of professionalism when we’re wreaking havoc on our enemies. We don’t just grab the first Gump-like moron who happens by, give him an ANARCHIST’S COOKBOOK and a gift card to Home Depot and tell him to go nuts.

Or maybe we do. Fuck if I know. One thing which did catch my attention in the REUTERS story is this line which I have seen repeated throughout the media the last few weeks:

“While the emerging “shadow war” might escalate in the months to come, not everyone believes it heightens the risk of a wider conflict that the United States, Iran and Israel are keen to avoid.”

Running around throwing bombs at people and passing cars seems like the first sign someone wants to get into a fight. I don’t understand how this idea that Iran, Israel and America really don’t want a war became conventional wisdom. They all seem pretty fucking eager for a fight to me. Assassins, mad bombers and spy drones are not the hallmarks of peaceful intent. I should know. I tried to say I didn’t want a fight either after those “kids” and that “professional clown” picked me out of a lineup. But, my bruised knuckles and homemade shanks told a much different story.

09
Feb
12

RICK SANTORUM WON’T GO AWAY

When I think of Rick Santorum I think of two things. First, I think of a guy who was basically fired from his middle management job but is now applying for the top position at the same company. Secondly, I think about what a creepy fucking human being he is. Usually at that point I decide that I’ve spent too much time thinking about it and I pretty much go and get drunk while I watch the same episode of HARVEY BIRDMAN over and over again.

Santorum’s rise after a triple primary win on Tuesday has finally given him the rotating honor of being frontrunner. And yes, I do believe that he bears an uncanny resemblance to an infamous serial killer. Although that could just be his flesh mask. At any rate, fearing they would end up being served alongside fava beans and Chianti, the people of Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado threw their support behind him.

“A former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania and a staunch social conservative, Santorum became the first Republican White House hopeful to win four of the state-by-state contests to pick a nominee to oppose Democratic President Barack Obama in the November 6 election.

His sweep on Tuesday raised new questions about presumed front-runner Romney, who holds strong organizational and financial advantages over Santorum and the other Republican candidates but has yet to prove he can win over conservatives in the party, who see him as too moderate.

“I provide not the contrast to Mitt Romney, but we provide the conservative contrast that’s the winning one against Barack Obama,” Santorum said at a rally on Wednesday night in Allen, Texas.” – REUTERS

It’s possible that it’s just me and probably is. I don’t know. But, were I in a room alone with Rick Santorum I would keep my hand on my gun. I feel like if I forced him to empty his pockets I’d find a ski mask, rope and a bunch of knives. Maybe a few ears. It’s kind of what makes me largely oblivious to his platform, if he even has one. I know he doesn’t like the gays and there’s something about Iran but whatever. Whenever I see or hear him speak his voice gets drowned out in my head by the sound of GOODBYE HORSES.

Right now the Santormentum is with him. But that could change. And probably will. I don’t know. This primary reminds me of back when I used to watch LOST. I kept waiting for a final answer and never got one. So I started drinking. At any rate he now holds the lead in terms of primary victories but the road to Tampa is a long one. He’ll need cash and lots of it which will be hard to swing because he’s about as realistically Presidential as a dead Laotian man. I don’t know if they have those anymore but if you saw one running for President you’d probably say “Yeah, Santorum’s in way over his head.”

07
Feb
12

WELFARE IS SEXY AND GLAMOROUS

I’ve never been on welfare before. I’ve been on unemployment a couple of times. While it’s not exactly the same thing it’s still no picnic. I think most people would prefer a decent job to a pittance from the government every other week. Yeah, there are some assholes on welfare. There are also assholes in the church, the government and at most companies.

The Republican controlled House of Representatives, on the other hand, are of the opinion that being on public assistance is just a little too much fun. Like the relative who lends you money but then wants to control how you use it the party of limited government is once again minding your business for you.

“The House last week overwhelmingly passed legislation that would require states to ban the ability to access government benefits at strip clubs, liquor stores and casinos.

The benefit program in question is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), formerly known as welfare. TANF provides cash assistance to working poor families — often through an electronic benefit transfer card that can be used like a debit card. The money is meant to be spent on food, rent and other necessities.

Some recipients’ use of their TANF benefits were called into question after media reports found the cards were being swiped at ATMs in strip clubs, liquor stores and casinos. Some recipients were also accessing their benefits out of state, including in Las Vegas casinos, at shops in Hawaii and on cruise ships, according to the reports.” – CNNMoney

Of course, strippers and bartenders need to get paid too I guess. They, in turn, need to spend their money on food and labia waxings. Thus is the circle of life in economics. Which is why you should be able to spend your benefits anywhere you want. Frankly, it does teach you some level of responsibility because if you blow all your money on tits and beer then you have nothing left for food or rent or child support. Call it economic natural selection.

Obviously, this is not a problem for the people using their benefit payments on cruise ships or Hawaiian getaways. If you ask me (and kindly stop not doing that) we should make sure that we’re not giving these benefits to people who really don’t need them to begin with. If you also ask me, I’ll tell you that I think laws regarding public masturbation should be null and void on nude beaches. Come on. What am I supposed to do? My penis doesn’t care about your non-sexualized recreational nudity.

01
Feb
12

YEAH, WE CAN GO AHEAD AND GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE NOW

I remember back in the day when I got my first car. It was already old when I got it but I loved it so much that I tried to keep it going forever convinced that it would eventually attain this level of perfection if I just kept pumping money into it. Eventually it left me broke and stranded in a strange and distant place (Glendale) and I was forced to let it go.

Immediately after September 11th I thought a military presence in Afghanistan made sense. Of course that was a decade ago. And like my car, Afghanistan was already old and dysfunctional when we bought it. Somewhere along the line the mission to capture or kill the people responsible turned into this bizarre experiment in nation-building. And how’s that going?

“An Afghan man killed his wife for giving birth to a third daughter rather than the son he’d hoped for, police said Monday.

The 28-year-old victim, who was known by the one name of Storai, was strangled by her husband — a local militia member — and his mother on Saturday, authorities said.

Storai had given birth to the couple’s third daughter three months ago in Mohasili village in Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz province.

Police said they arrested the victim’s mother-in-law in connection with her death, but Storai’s husband was still at large, likely sheltered by heavily-armed militia colleagues.” – MSNBC

I don’t want to dampen anyone’s optimism or anything. But, Afghanistan is starting to resemble the dangerously unstable frontier we found ten years ago. I can’t honestly see what kind of a lasting impact we’re going to have on this place. If, after ten years and billions of dollars, we haven’t had an effect on this culture then we’re never going to.

But, you know, sometimes what makes one great is their ability to admit mistakes. Not so much their willingness to run around throwing acid on people like villains in a third-rate horror movie.

“Violence against women is common in Afghanistan. In late November in the same province, an Afghan family that refused to give their daughter in marriage to a man they considered irresponsible was attacked at home by assailants who poured acid over both parents and three children.

Police later arrested the rejected suitor and his three brothers for the attack.”

Jesus, man. How fucking insecure are you if this is what you resort to instead of taking rejection like a grown man? I’ve been rejected plenty of times and the worst that happened were some tears and a few slashed tires. I never went all HOSTEL on an entire goddamn family. Then again I don’t live in a Stone Age shithole. So I guess I’m biased.

The acid-chucking part of a party is usually when I know it’s time to leave. And like my first car, no matter how badly we want it to work right it’s eventually going to fall to pieces. I think we pretty much got the people we came there to get and we shouldn’t continue this charade about building a better Afghanistan or some shit like that. Yeah, I think we should take anyone with us who wants to come. Then again I think we should do away with shaking hands and just punch each other in the face. So, what the fuck do I know?