Archive Page 2

25
Oct
14

RICK SCOTT IS READY FOR YOU TO STOP BEING CREEPED OUT BY HIM

rick scott feed me babies

I freely admit that I pick out the most ridiculous pictures possible for this site. And yes, if I don’t like someone I will spend as much time as I need to looking for that one picture where they are in mid-sneeze or something. Hey, the New York Times does it all the time and they’re practically shitting Pulitzers. But me? No, I’m a jerk.

The nice thing about Florida Republican Governor Rick “The Corneas” Scott is that you can choose a picture of him at random from the internet and he will reliably look like he forgot to take his thyroid medication. He has a medical condition of some kind. No joke. Like, I seriously hope the guy gets help because he’s clearly dying. Or turning into a serpent. One of the two.

Scott is in a tight reelection battle against Democrat Charlie Crist, who is really nobody to write home about either. I mean, if I lived in Florida I would vote for Crist. But, then again, I would vote for a zoo animal if it kept Republicans out of office. Here’s why:

“There is no graver responsibility and act of state government than an execution.

In Florida this week, a campaign fundraiser takes precedence.

Attorney General Pam Bondi persuaded Gov. Rick Scott to postpone an execution scheduled for tonight because it conflicted with her re-election kick-off reception.

“What’s going on down there? It’s ridiculous,” said Phyllis Novick, the Ohio mother of one of Marshall Lee Gore’s victims, when told Monday about the reason for the delay.

Gore, 50, raped, strangled and stabbed 30-year-old Robyn Novick in 1988 before dumping her body into a Miami-Dade County trash heap. Gore was also sentenced to die for the slaying of 19-year-old Susan Roark, whose body was found a few months later in Columbia County.” – TAMPA BAY TIMES

I can imagine no version of the conversation that took place between Scott and Bondi that doesn’t involve both of them laughing hysterically about what horrible people they are. I think they were trying to outdo each other. Scott probably suggested setting a blind man on fire. Bondi responded by offering to run over a crippled child’s puppy in her car. Scott probably hit back by suggesting they both push an old lady down the stairs. Bondi hit the homer by asking him to postpone the execution of a murderer/rapist so she could get drunk with rich people.

You have to admit, Republicans have a pretty good racket. Their basic ideology is that government is bad and doesn’t work. When Republicans get elected they purposely fuck up the government so they can say “Hey, look. This shit don’t work.” That’s brilliant. I actually followed a similar line of thinking about marriage and parenthood. All my life I believed getting married and having children would make me age quicker and generally unpleasant to be around. When I got married and had children, I purposely stressed myself out to the point of shitting blood so I could prove that I was right. I’m a college graduate you know.

22
Oct
14

FIVE MYTHS ABOUT THE POLICE

bad_lieutenant_movie_image_harvey_keitel_02

I have long despised what I see as the rise of “list journalism”. It seems that nearly every news story now is broken down into bullet points. Which I guess makes sense because it’s rare that I actually read an entire news article anymore. So, long story short, I’m in my underwear and I’m going to write a list. Fucking sue me.

I have watched with mixed emotions the recent spate of police shootings in America. Mixed in that I am saddened and enraged but also kind of unsurprised. I know cops pretty well. I almost became one. I have a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice. I was taught by cops. I was surrounded by soon-to-be cops. I spent hundreds of hours riding around with cops. I have cops in my family. So, you know, when I write somewhat authoritatively on the subject it’s not because I have a friend whose cousin is a cop or some shit like that.

The problem isn’t whether or not I know cops but whether or not the average person does. And I think the answer is no. The American public at large has an understanding of police and police work that is formed largely by decades of movies and television. Reality, like pretty much anything with Bette Midler in it, sucks and sucks hard. So here are the five biggest misconceptions that most people (white people in particular) seem to have about the police.

COPS ARE HERE TO PROTECT US

This is one of those things everyone kind of has to say. Like telling your prom date how beautiful she is or saying you liked your grandma’s cooking. They even write it on the side of the fucking cop car. However, the official job description of a cop is “law enforcement”. It doesn’t say anything about protecting anybody.

Consider that cops generally don’t get bonuses for helping people. Or for busting criminals. They get bonuses for writing tickets. Add to that the fact that your average cop probably hates you and would just as soon kick your ass for wearing sunglasses. Or a puffy shirt. Or whatever the hell it is that makes these people so upset.

BEING A COP IS ONE OF THE MOST STRESSFUL JOBS THERE IS

This is an old chestnut that keeps cropping up. Watch an episode of LAW AND ORDER or COPS and you’ll probably buy into this one. But, in reality, the vast majority of police officers will spend the vast majority of their careers sitting at speed traps and writing tickets. Or driving around for hours on end talking to themselves. This is neither stressful or demanding. It also doesn’t require very much physical skill or intelligence.

The more I think about it the more I realize that we really don’t need the police to do this. Surely some kind of retiree reserve force could enforce traffic laws and the like. This way, the average cop’s time would be freed up so he or she could bust actual criminals like drug dealers and pedophiles. Then they can tell me how stressful their fucking job is.

WE HAVE THE MOST MODERN POLICE FORCE IN THE WORLD

No, we don’t. Not even close. We have been living in the 21st century for almost 15 years now but we still have a 20th century police force in America. And, when I say 20th century I mean the fucking 1950’s. Today’s American police officer leaves training horribly unprepared for the realities of the world they will be policing.

Most of these people became cops in the first place because they already saw themselves at war with black people and immigrants and gay people and women who go to college, etc. And they actually think they’re going to bring back the 1950’s. Deep down every single white cop in America actually believes he will see the day when all the non-white, non-hetero and non-Christian people are somehow purged from our society.

But, year after year, there are only more and more of these people. The world is moving further away from the 1950’s not back to it. I think these spasms of police violence we see more and more of are a result of intense frustration. And that brings me to the next myth…

COPS HAVE ALL THE POWER

I’ve always found this to be an interesting one. And from the civilian point of view it makes sense. Cops can hurt or kill people with impunity. However, while this is true, the one common sentiment I have found in every single cop I have ever met is a sense of powerlessness. As I said, most of these people became cops because they were already at war with society. But, even though they drive around with the power of life and death over the rest of us they still aren’t winning that war. They’re losing. Badly.

And what the average person does not see is that a cop’s career is actually a long nightmare of regulations, lawsuits, politics, civilian oversight, depression, alcoholism, an increased risk of suicide or early death, PTSD and generally being feared or hated by every non-cop they come into contact with. It’s not the most rewarding work.

COPS ARE NOT “GOONS” OR “THUGS”, THEY ARE EDUCATED PROFESSIONALS

The police force is a paramilitary organization. In a paramilitary organization the ability to follow orders is the only thing that matters. Smart, educated people don’t follow orders very well. That should give you some idea what kind of people are and aren’t making it through the screening process of your average police department.

Further, in a paramilitary organization you never put your best and brightest on the front lines. That’s where you put people who are expendable. Expendable people include, but are not limited to: Those with below average intelligence. Those who are prone to violence or violent thinking. Those who see the world through a lens of almost childlike simplicity. Those who react with irrational anger at the slightest provocation. Those who believe everything they are told by those in authority.

In other words, goons and thugs. Those are the people you want out front where everyone can see them. Because if something happens to them it’s no big loss. We can’t expect these types of people to reflect our values and our intelligence. Their distinct lack of those things is what put them in that police car you see in your rear view mirror to begin with.

30
Jun
14

HOBBY LOBBY REALLY WANTS YOU TO HAVE A BABY… OR SOMETHING

Lobby Hobby

I’ve been gone for a while. Well, I’ve been here but I’ve been gone. The wife and I just had another child a few months ago. When I shrugged and said “Yeah. One more. What difference will it make?” it was probably the least effective my brain has ever been in my entire life. And that includes drunken blackouts. Now, like most people in our situation, the wife and I are exploring various ways to ensure that we never have another fucking kid ever again. Ever. Because the joy would kill us both. Or cause one of us to kill the other. And then take out a Walmart. It could go on and on. The point being, look at the needless violence and suffering that is avoided by having access to contraception.

The belief that birth control is somehow immoral or evil has long since retired to the same category as the belief in a flat Earth or that human sacrifice brings rain. It’s a view so goofy and devoid of reason that it’s actually funny people still take it seriously. Why would you be so passionately opposed to something that brings nothing but benefit to society? Truth is, I don’t know. But the issue of why some people believe the fucked up things they do is separate from the question of whether or not a fucked up person can also be a building with people inside who work there.

“The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that business owners can object on religious grounds to a provision of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law that requires closely held private companies to provide health insurance that covers birth control.

In a 5-4 vote on ideological lines, the justices said that such companies can seek an exemption from the so-called birth control mandate of the law known as Obamacare. The decision, which applies only to companies owned by a small number of individuals, means employees of those companies will have to obtain certain forms of birth control from other sources.” – REUTERS

So that was the story that broke today. And predictably, the reaction from liberals and conservatives have dominated the opinion pages of the media which is really just one large opinion page anyway. And I’m guessing we’ll be hearing about this decision for weeks to come. Well, I won’t. I’ll be in my underwear watching old SEINFELD episodes. But, you get my point.

Conservatives are declaring this a victory for religious liberty and moral values. Which is dumb because people are still going to fuck and buy rubbers. Like, every day. And conservatives who own businesses are going to find that their antics in court haven’t helped spread Christianity or broaden the appeal of ancient sexual mores. Quite the opposite. Once in the spotlight these people will look even sillier than they already do. And that’s pretty silly. Like, clown shoe territory.

Liberals are decrying this as the moment the American Taliban took over and forced women to have babies at gunpoint while reading bible verses. And while I don’t doubt that’s what conservative America wants, it’s nowhere near what it got.

“In a majority opinion by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, the court said the ruling applies only to the birth control mandate and does not mean companies would necessarily succeed if they made similar claims to other insurance requirements, such as vaccinations and blood transfusions.

In the majority opinion, Alito indicated that employees could still be able to obtain the birth control coverage via an expansion of an accommodation to the mandate that the Obama administration has already introduced for religious-affiliated nonprofits. The accommodation allows health insurance companies to provide the coverage without the employer being involved in the process.”

So, yeah. This was a bad decision by the Supremes. We shouldn’t be giving stupid people special rights. If anything, we should be surgically removing them from the levers of power and influence. Or else one day we’ll all have to wear wizard robes to the office and pray to the sun while we work. Or whatever the hell these people are about. But, at the end of the day the religious right has had such a horribly bad decade that they could probably use some cheering up. And liberals need to focus on more realistic threats to civilization and not whatever fantasy weirdness the owner of the local crap store believes in.

24
Mar
14

JUST SO WE’RE ALL CLEAR: CHIMPANZEES ARE REALLY FUCKING DANGEROUS

Dirty Chimpy

I’m actually not one to decry frivolous lawsuits. The fear of being sued is often the only thing keeping society together. It keeps my landlord from just, you know, not fixing my sink. It keeps the bank from stealing my money… sometimes. It keeps my boss at work from taking advantage of me, at least in theory. But every so often you see legal action being taken that just defies all logic and reason. Like this morning when I saw this:

“A Connecticut woman mauled by a pet chimpanzee in 2009 made a rare public apperance before politicians Friday, pleading for the right to sue the state for $150 million.

Charla Nash, who is blind and underwent a complete face transplant following the gruesome rampage by Travis the chimp, points to a memo by the state’s Department of Energy and  Environmental Protection that labeled the primate “an accident waiting to happen.” She has prosthetic eyes…

…”I feel like I’m locked up,” she said in the video, according to NBC Connecticut. “I feel like I’m in a cage.

“I’m hoping that the legislation will allow me to have my day in court, that I will be able to have a judge listen to the evidence that is brought before him about the vicious attack on me, and that it shall not happen to any other person again.”…

…Travis was raised by Nash’s close friend Sandy Herold in Stamford, Conn., essentially from birth.” – NY DAILY NEWS

Granted, she’s not the one who owned Travis. It was a friend of hers. But, frankly, as much as I love some of my friends the moment one of them started keeping a goddamn primate in the house I’d probably stop visiting them. Because to keep tempting fate like that is just kind of idiotic. And to expect the state to be the one to have to tell you that a fucking chimpanzee is dangerous is kind of sad. Further, I think after this unfortunate incident it should be common knowledge that King Kong is a bad choice for a house pet.

And it’s kind of ironic that she feels “locked up” and like she’s “in a cage”. Because that’s how the fucking chimp felt before it went apeshit I bet. I mean, I’m assuming they kept that thing in a cage, right?

“The tremendously powerful primate could open doors using keys, ate at the dinner table with a glass of wine and adored ice cream. He was a big fan of baseball, could drive a car, enjoyed painting and even took baths with Herold.

On Feb. 16, 2009, Travis snapped. He was 14 years old.

A cop shot Travis after the beast ripped open the door of a police cruiser and flashed his blood-covered fangs.

Investigators speculated that it was a dose of Xanax that made Travis’ behavior change so suddenly. They also wondered if Nash’s new hairdo made Travis think she was an intruder.”

I’m going to go out on a limb and say it probably wasn’t the haircut. It was probably the reaction of a savage animal to knocking back wine and Xanax and being forced to bathe with a lonely and disturbed woman. Hell, one time I mixed booze and Xanax and I tried to tackle a moving car. And what the fuck are you giving this thing Xanax for in the first place? Depression? Anxiety? That fucking thing belongs in the wild. Not in your rec room. Certainly not behind the wheel of a car. No wonder the poor animal was stressed out. Shit, man, spending too much time in traffic makes me want to rip someone’s face off.

25
Feb
14

JAN BREWER IS READY FOR YOU TO RESPECT HER NOW

Brewer Power

One of my favorite episodes of SEINFELD involves Jerry dating a woman who is a “two face”. Depending upon the lighting she could appear either incredibly beautiful or nauseatingly ugly. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, on the other hand, is a “one face” in that no matter what the lighting she looks like a goblin wearing a corpse’s vagina as a mask. Of course making fun of her appearance is easy. Then again, making fun of her fragile mental state, bizarre views on economics and law or her willingness to appeal to the most idiotic corners of American society isn’t exactly a challenge. In fact I’m finding that the whole Jan Brewer package is one giant road apple.

“Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer tells CNN she will make her decision in the “near future” about whether to sign or veto a bill that supporters say promotes religious freedom and opponents call discriminatory against gays and lesbians.

“I can assure you, as always, I will do the right thing for the state of Arizona,” Brewer told CNN in an exclusive interview at the site of the National Governors Association meeting in Washington.

…The measure would allow Arizona business owners to deny service to gay and lesbian customers as long as they assert their religious beliefs.“I’m going to go home, and when I receive the bill, I’m going to read it and I’m going to be briefed on it. We have been following it. And I will make my decision in the near future,” Brewer told CNN.” – CNN

Seriously, lady, everyone else in the goddamn world has read and been briefed on this bill. You’re either full of shit or totally incompetent. And I can go either way. I’m pretty open-minded in that regard. Unlike some of the people in your state who have nothing better to do with their time than to dwell on two chicks kissing. Well, I’ll admit I spend a lot of time dwelling on that too but that’s different. Trust me.

As I’ve written before the forces of Big Stupid have been hard at work since the 2012 election trying to find a new approach to legitimizing ignorance. The idea that ignorance is a genuine religious belief and should somehow be tolerated or respected is dangerous. Ignorance in general is dangerous. There are people in certain parts of the world who genuinely believe that you can cure AIDS by raping an underage girl or that you have a right to chuck a bottle of acid in a woman’s face if she refuses to go out with you. And, if Brewer genuinely wants to do what is best for her state then she should take a hard look at what happens when you legally recognize fucking idiots and the things they believe in.

“Several European nations said Tuesday they were suspending assistance to Uganda, a day after the country’s president signed a law that could see some homosexuals jailed for life.

Norway, Netherlands and Denmark said they would withhold aid to the Ugandan government in protest against the “draconian law.”…

…An official at the Norwegian embassy in Kampala said that the measure would immediately affect at least $8 million in aid to Uganda’s legal system. Norway extends more than $64 million to Uganda every year. The bulk of western aid has been going directly to the Ugandan government, which would then earmark it for spending in different departments—notably, health, education and the military.

The Netherlands and Denmark said they would redirect nearly $20 million of aid to Ugandan-based private aid agencies and rights groups. The U.S. and Canada, some of the Uganda’s largest donors, said they had started reviewing their relationship with Kampala.

The diplomatic moves represented the first fallout of Uganda’s controversial antigay bill. Although the bill is politically popular in Uganda, it could cost the government of President Yoweri Museveni. Western donors give up to $2 billion in aid to the country.” – THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Yeah. This is where you want to be when your state or country relies on the economic input of others. I’m sure there are Arizonians and Ugandans who are crying discrimination (or just plain crying) over the stark reality that choosing to be stupid has consequences. There’s a part of me that wants to join in the boycott of places like Arizona or Uganda. But, the truth is you can’t really boycott a backwards hellhole you were never going to visit in the first place.

17
Jan
14

THE DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION IS A DELICATE FLOWER

DEA

Every time I read about someone espousing the dangers of marijuana I have to go and look at the calendar. I need to make sure that I haven’t fallen through a crack in time and ended up back in the 1930’s. And you would think that with the myriad of challenges facing modern law enforcement, everything from terrorism to gun violence to actual drugs like meth or heroin, they would be too busy to sit around watching REEFER MADNESS. Or, you know, sit in front of a U.S. Senate committee and do a fucking Nancy Reagan impersonation.

“The chief of operations at the Drug Enforcement Administration on Wednesday called the legalization of marijuana at the state level “reckless and irresponsible,” warning that the movement to decriminalize the sale of pot in the United States will have severe consequences. “It scares us,” James L. Capra said, responding to a question from a senator during a hearing focused on drug cultivation in Afghanistan…

…Capra said that senior DEA officials have faced uncomfortable questions from law enforcement partners abroad. During a recent global summit on counter-narcotics in Moscow, he said, he and the head of the DEA were at a loss to explain the loosening drug laws.

“Almost everyone looked at us and said: Why are you doing this [while] pointing a finger to us as a source state?” he said. “I don’t have an answer for them.” – THE WASHINGTON POST

Holy shit, man. Next thing we know you’ll be telling us how pot makes white women fall in love with negro jazz musicians. And how about you grow some fucking balls and tell the rest of the world to mind it’s own goddamn business. Seriously, the DEA has no problem being tough and aggressive when it comes to glaucoma patients in West Hollywood or media outlets that advertise for dispensaries. But, INTERPOL gets in your face about pot legalization and suddenly you get all weak in the knees. Then again I guarantee this exchange never actually happened. As a federal agency the DEA is about as honest and trustworthy as pretty much every character Peter Lorre has ever played in the movies. Of course my favorite nugget from the hearing was this part:

“Capra choked up as he described how people misperceived federal drug agents as being concerned with small drug possession crimes. He claimed the agency was only concerned with drug traffickers.

“I’ve never arrested an addict.” He concluded by again apologizing for his excitement.”

Of course you’ve never arrested an addict. You’ve probably never arrested anybody. You’re a fucking bureaucrat who wants to keep his job. And your job security depends on keeping a harmless plant illegal. Fuck, why can’t these people just make an honest living like the rest of us? Perhaps that’s what people like Capra really find scary: the idea that one day their only trick might not work anymore and we’ll stop writing them blank checks. This guy shouldn’t worry, though. After all I’m sure McDonald’s is hiring.

You can watch the entire thing.  It’s about 8 minutes long but I warn you: this nimrod’s voice will end up stuck in your head like a fucking commercial jingle for the rest of the day. Although considering how I laugh so hard that bong water comes out of my nose every time I hear it that might not be such a bad thing.

15
Jan
14

THE KOCH BROTHERS ARE JUST LIKE YOU AND ME

Kochella

I’ll admit that, for a very long time, I had no idea who the Koch brothers were. I actually thought they were a vaudeville act from the 30’s who rode unicycles and juggled monkeys or something. As it turns out, of course, they’re billionaire business guys. How did they become billionaires? I have no idea. To be honest I have no idea how anybody becomes a billionaire. I’ve heard myths and urban legends about “hard work” and so forth. But, I know plenty of people (myself included) who work pretty fucking hard and are not rolling in scratch. Of course how one becomes a billionaire is not quite as perplexing to me as the apparent problem billionaires have with the rest of us seeing a doctor. And holy shit do they have a problem with it.

“Democrats are increasingly anxious about an onslaught of television ads hitting vulnerable Senate and House candidates for their support of the new health law, since many lack the resources to fight back in the early stages of the midterm campaign.

Since September, Americans for Prosperity, a group financed in part by the billionaire Koch brothers, has spent an estimated $20 million on television advertising that calls out House and Senate Democrats by name for their support of the Affordable Care Act.

The unusually aggressive early run of television ads, which has been supplemented by other conservative initiatives, has gone largely unanswered, and strategists in both parties agree it is taking a toll on its targets.” – THE NEW YORK TIMES

As I’ve said many times before I just cannot understand what the wealthy find so threatening about the rest of us having access to healthcare. Or, you know, a decent wage. Or money for retirement. Or food. I have to assume it makes them feel less special or something. Or maybe they have some kind of fetish for mass suffering. I don’t know. But to unload $20 million in TV ads to complain about it is kind of extreme. Of course so is calling your group “Americans for Prosperity” when, as far as I can tell, these two are the only ones prospering. I suppose that’s more effective than calling it “Rich People for Power” or “Billionaires for Inequality”. Although given the caliber of person who buys into their message they could call it “I’m Going To Kill You And Fuck Your Mother” and it would still probably be wildly successful with their target audience.

What I have always found interesting is that when you talk to people who ardently oppose Obamacare you never actually hear a reason why. Then again you don’t really talk to these people. You see their mouths open and then, all of a sudden, you become overwhelmed by the deafening sound of carnival music. Most likely the reason they’re against it is because they’re the type of people who actually watch commercials to begin with. And if your entire worldview can be shaped by a 30 second spot during DUCK DYNASTY or MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL then I’m guessing I don’t give a shit what you think anyway.