When a congressman actually tells it like it is, the thought guardians even in his own party demand an apology for feewinghurt. Unbelievable.
Last night, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Florida) made an observation about the Republicans' health care ideas that I've known for years. Grayson correctly observed, "If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: die quickly."
I've known this for years, and I'm sure I've said it in public.
The response by Republicans and the DLC thought cops?
YOU CAN'T SAY THAT!!!!!!!!!! WAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!
Republicans demanded Grayson apologize for hurting their fragile feelings. Rep. John Larson (D-Connecticut) - a DLCer who chairs the House Democratic Caucus - has joined the Republicans' demands.
At last word, Grayson has refused to apologize.
And he shouldn't have to apologize. You shouldn't have to say you're sorry for telling the truth.
An apology would be for spineless wusses.
Without real health care reform, innocent Americans will die - and they have. America's worst serial killers are those who have stalled health reform. They know people will die, and they don't care.
It's not unlike the right-wing pogrom against the poor under the Contract With America.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Posted by Bandit at 6:04 PM
This is yet another story of what happens when a city has a string of liberty-smashing right-wing mayors for years.
New York City officials are unleashing a secret surveillance vehicle in a Staten Island neighborhood. The vehicle could be disguised as anything ranging from a personal car to a plumbing company van.
But nobody will know it's a surveillance car until it catches them doing something really horrible like setting off a firecracker or photographing a yellow stop sign.
Yay! A police state!
Honestly, what's the difference between this and North Korea? There is none.
The car costs $55,000 of the taxpayers' money. Funding was secured by Republican city councilor James Oddo. The surveillance vehicle has digital cameras, "neat computer stuff", and even a periscope.
New York must not have a serious violent crime problem if the city can afford to waste thousands on this shit just to catch people doing things that wouldn't even be illegal in most other places.
Does it make the city safer? Of course not. I'd feel much less safe if I knew there was a program like this in my neighborhood. Considering America's recent history of secret surveillance, there may already be.
The 'Sesame Street' of old encouraged creativity.
The sketch profiled in this entry appeared in the days when dissent against groupthink was more tolerated. This '80s-era segment features Gordon reading a story about 2 Muppets named Stan and Dan. One Muppet starts out copying the other, but then decides to break the mold:
When the blue Muppet stops copying the green Muppet, it's kind of like when that guy in Kentucky who runs that blog started defying stupid local rules like the rules against bringing soft drinks into a public street festival or using a city park after dusk. Remember when that happened? And remember how cool it was?
And remember how much better it made that guy feel?
It's kind of like when the Democrats stopped doing everything the Republicans had been doing. Wait, they didn't stop.
I'd be surprised if a children's show featured a sketch like this today, in the era of public school uniforms and manufactured music.
Ironically, Gordon in this segment seems to be wearing the same type of absurd '80s trousers that my mom kept buying for me when I was in high school because some catalog or slick ad said it was in style. So kids may have received a mixed message from this skit.
Posted by Bandit at 4:29 PM
The Bush regime's "preemption" policy was a bulldozer to annul states' autonomy. By using federal muscle to tell states they couldn't regulate Big Business, Bush made America an empire ruled by a remote government.
A new bill in Congress would expand federal hegemony to further crush the states' self-rule. This bill - supported by the banking industry - would decimate state regulation of credit cards, mortgages, savings accounts, and other bank services. Big banks would be shielded from state regulations that are tougher than federal law.
Which Republican asshat is behind this?
Actually, this plan is being led by Illinois Rep. Melissa Bean, a staunch member of the DLC - the Republican wing of the Democratic Party.
This is not a misprint: This is a Democratic bill (albeit DLC).
Can someone please tell me again what the difference is between the Democrats and the Republicans these days? Now I know why I switched to the Greens. The Greens never would have delayed health care reform another 3 months like the Democrats did yesterday.
The DLC banking bill flies in the face of President Obama's proposals to let states rein in banks' greed. Federal "preemption" of state banking regs is already one of the leading policies behind the foreclosure crisis and other greed-driven bank scandals.
Tenth Amendment, anyone?
Posted by Bandit at 3:21 PM
I remember how years after Reagan left office, you'd still see members of his administration getting in trouble for things they had done. It looks like it's going to be the same way with Bush - the most corrupt administration in American history, bar none.
Gale Norton, a former Colorado Attorney General, was Bush's Interior Secretary (and my former boss). As Norton was already known as a staunch anti-environmentalist, Interior Secretary was the job where Norton could possibly do the most damage. She was a new James Watt.
Now Norton is being investigated by the Department of Justice, which says she may have illegally used her government position to benefit Royal Dutch Shell.
Since Norton is still one of the top Republicans in Colorado, this corruption probe could damage the party's prospects statewide - at a time when the Colorado GOP can least afford it.
Things just keep getting worse for America's next third party, don't they?
Posted by Bandit at 12:44 AM
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
America's highways are a web of danger.
A car-versus-bike crash almost never ends well for the cyclist - and often ends worse for their wallet, because people in high places are hell-bent on making sure cyclists shoulder all the liability.
British government officials, however, are heading in the opposite direction (as of several days ago).
Transportation officials in the U.K. are considering new laws to shift civil liability for crashes to the larger, more powerful vehicle - a move that is long overdue. In fact, Germany and the Netherlands already have such laws.
Privileges imply responsibilities. If you insist on a hulking vehicle, you have to accept the responsibility that comes with it.
This shift of liability wouldn't extend to criminal law. Only civil law would be affected. And just as motorists would face increased liability in mishaps with bikes, cyclists would be held more liable in crashes with pedestrians.
We also have to remember that bikes predate cars. Many roads in Britain as well as America were built not for 8-foot-wide SUV's but for bicycles.
The United States should follow Britain's lead with all haste. Write your state legislators.
Posted by Bandit at 6:37 PM
Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kansas) is a movement conservative, a dominionist who uses religion as an excuse for his economic policies that harm the poor.
Tiahrt seized his congressional seat in the 1994 "election", which was rigged. He's running for Senate next year. His record on environmental issues is so bad that an environmental group gave him a score of -4 (yes, that's a minus sign) on a 100-point scale.
Recently, at a town hall meeting, Tiahrt lied so blatantly that his constituents in the room burst into laughter.
Tiahrt claimed - falsely - that the health care bill would set a salary cap for doctors that would have all physicians earning the same salary. That lie had already been debunked.
But that's Todd Tiahrt's story and he's stickin' to it!
After he fibbed in front of the entire room full of people, everyone broke out in guffaws, because they knew he was lying:
I think more laughs at Tiahrt's expense are going to result from the outcome of the Senate election.
Posted by Bandit at 4:48 PM
This story has shades of the SCHIP controversy of 2007, in which right-wing commentators like Michelle Malkin participated in harassment of a family that praised SCHIP.
Respected writer Eric Boehlert reports that right-wing media outlets are now unleashing violent mobs on private citizens - including children. The major culprits in this crusade are Fox News and convicted tax cheat Sun Myung Moon's Washington Times.
Recently, some nobody at the Washington Times urged readers to dig up personal information about participants in a National Endowment for the Arts initiative. At first glance, it smacked of a witch hunt, but the effort was actually even more sinister than it first appeared.
All evidence suggests it was an effort to personally harass these targets - and their children. The Washington Times is read primarily by right-wing cultists - the same people who claim Obama was born in Kenya and who harassed the SCHIP family. (In its home market, circulation numbers for the Times trail the Washington Post badly.) In this effort, the Times was trying to appeal to reactionary weirdoes who don't have the decency to leave children alone.
People call me crazy because I was expelled from a Catholic high school - but I'm not one of the ones going around claiming the President was born in Kenya and that climate change is a hoax. Psychological instability and right-wing media hype make a dangerous combination.
Posted by Bandit at 4:05 PM
Because the Bush regime was racist, should we be surprised that it used the failed War on Drugs as a pretext for a racist investigation?
The Jackson Clarion-Ledger has unearthed some rather damning documents regarding a federal investigation into small grocery outlets in northern Mississippi. During Bush's reign, the U.S. Attorney's office in Oxford, Mississippi, conducted what it claimed was a terrorism probe - but was actually a racist pogrom.
The U.S. Attorney's office targeted store owners who had no connection to terrorism whatsoever. Almost all of them (if not all) were of Middle Eastern or southern Asian descent.
Although no terrorism arrests could be made, state and federal officials who connived in the probe charged over 60 people for other offenses. One of the main violations? Selling too much pseudoephedrine allergy medicine in their stores.
The Bush regime is making major criminals of people for doing something that wasn't illegal at all until 3 years ago! In fact, the people who were charged didn't even know about the new laws.
When asked about the racial profiling that occurred, a director of Mississippi's drug enforcement bureau said, "We target drug dealers."
Make up your mind. Were you going after terrorists or drug dealers? Talk about mission creep! The fact that authorities come up with different reasons for targeting the store owners is evidence that none of these were the real reason.
It gets worse: It turns out the Sudafed purchases were entrapment all along. The purchases were made by undercover police intentionally buying too much of the drug. (All it takes now to be considered illegal is 3 boxes a month - hardly what I'd call a bulk sale.)
The U.S. Attorney's office cared not one iota about terrorism, but about finding excuses to arrest people based on their ethnic group.
The War on Drugs is a War on People.
Posted by Bandit at 3:24 PM
Only in BushWorld: Yesterday, I discussed how schools that have policies against student harassment find themselves in the crosshairs of well-funded right-wing law foundations. Yet right-wingers defend school personnel who beat students.
An Indianapolis special education teacher is now charged with battery for slugging a 20-year-old severely mentally challenged student in the face.
But the teacher's lawyers claim the teacher has immunity from liability, courtesy of a state law protecting school employees' so-called "right" to hit students. In fact, the lawyers admit that the teacher hit the student.
Immunity for an admitted battery? That's what Indiana law has stooped too?
I don't know whether this is under the same bill that the Indiana Senate infamously approved several months ago. That bill would have made it illegal to sue Indiana schools for just about anything - except of course having a policy against bullying.
Summary of BushAmerica education law: Schools can't be sued, except when they shouldn't be.
This, my friends, is how societies end.
Posted by Bandit at 2:33 AM
Monday, September 28, 2009
I've run out of patience with the self-anointed thought guardians who claim school harassment is a constitutional right.
I've seen firsthand what this bogus dogma has accomplished over the past 20 years, and frankly, it has to stop.
I can think of only 2 reasons why this doctrine has been allowed to expand: 1) Those who espouse it are or were among those who harass schoolmates. 2) Right-wing lawyers want to cash in.
Notice the rise of the right-wing legal foundation. Every so often, you read about such an organization funding a lawsuit by right-wing parents and students trying to protect their "right" to harassment or some other fascist cause.
Who funds these foundations? They've got to be getting a huge infusion by very wealthy right-wingers - if not the Republican Party leadership, which has already looted the American taxpayers.
What's worse is that the plaintiffs can afford to pay for these lawsuits themselves, yet they don't have to, because these legal foundations cover their expenses.
Ultimately, taxpayers are paying for everything they do.
Violent harassment now governs the entire culture of suburban schools. Character and civics are dirty words now, as a small group of terrorists seeks to indoctrinate our young people with their evil dogma.
I make no apologies when I call them terrorists. In any other country, these legal foundations would be called terrorist groups. These foundations are made up of evil people who are out to harm your children. But in modern America, we have to sugarcoat everything.
One other thing is also for sure: These frivolous lawsuits would stop if there was no financial support for them. Congress should pass a bill to bar attorneys from collecting legal fees when they sue to defend the nonexistent "right" to be a bully.
I'd bet that if this bill became law, these suits would cease instantly.
Right now, the taxpayers are being fleeced, and these lawyers are getting richer.
Posted by Bandit at 4:54 PM
Like growing corporate hegemony over our education system, expansion of the failed War on Drugs has been a constant for almost 30 years, regardless of the party in the White House.
Indeed, it's sacrosanct. That's why so few of our so-called leaders have the will to even criticize it.
A woman from Chilton County, Alabama, is facing an effort by federal prosecutors to seize her home and her land because of a marijuana case against her deceased husband.
The woman is a 56-year-old nurse and cancer survivor. Her husband was facing marijuana charges, but he was never convicted. He suffered chronic pain and committed suicide while the case was pending.
The government is taking a hard-working nurse's house away all because of a marijuana case against her late husband - who wasn't even convicted?
The drug warriors are at minimum 2 steps removed from constitutionality. 1) It's unconstitutional to seize someone's home or property if they haven't been convicted. 2) The defendant is dead, so even if he was guilty, they can't go after his widow. The woman's attorney says she is protected by the "innocent spouse" rule.
The state of Alabama needs to bar the federal government from carrying out this land grab. But let's face it: Alabama law isn't exactly a model of justice, unfortunately.
What does the government plan to do with the land? Is it going to turn it over to a powerful developer - thus illustrating yet another face of drug war corruption?
Posted by Bandit at 3:53 PM
Even as the Republicans' decline continues, one Democratic senator appears to be a possible loss in the 2010 election.
But it's only Harry Reid, so who the hell cares?
Reid says he wants to drop the public option from the Senate's health reform bill. This to please Republicans and increasingly right-wing DLC Democrats like Mary Landrieu.
Despite this, Landrieu still says the loss of the public option won't be enough to win her support for health care reform.
If the Democrats can't even pass the public option, that's pretty sad. Health reform without at least a public option is not health reform at all, and it's time we get that clear.
Looks like I'm going to have to wait until 2017 for that dental checkup.
The Democrats aren't as crazy as the Republicans. Rather, they're barely functional. Hopefully, if Reid loses his reelection bid, Senate Democrats will get a real Majority Leader.
Posted by Bandit at 3:16 PM
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Since Google decided to call my bluff by not taking down my copyrighted material before last week's deadline...
In the meantime, I've continued to complain on Google's help forum about this problem - and haven't received one fucking reply from them. Which is further proof they don't even read their help forum.
I've also reported my own posts as "spam" in the hopes this'll get their attention. (I remember when "spam" used to be a fatal accusation.)
Because of the impenetrable Google force field, the help forum and spam reports are about the only ways you can still contact Google, since they got rid of e-mail support.
Posted by Bandit at 6:46 AM
Now that it's clear that the average age of folks out there in cyberspace is 36 going on 11, I've decided to do a bit of reflection.
It was 25 years ago this fall, when I was a student at Cline Middle School in Cold Spring, Kentucky, that I became the target of a vicious attack campaign. And believe me, if someone told me there would still be whisperings to this effect 25 years later, I would have said they were crazy, because adults don't act that way. But some do.
Because they have no morals.
There used to be moral values in this country. Ironically, morals went out the window at the same time America's leaders were telling everyone else how to live.
Maybe I'm an old fogey, but it boggles my mind that adults would make sport of someone for being poor and for not being allowed to attend "their" school system 30 years ago. This is the basis for a lot of the grief that's gone on over the years, but only now does it seem as preposterous as it seems today.
For this reason, I'm seriously considering early retirement. I do plan on releasing a second book soon, but I can't tolerate the stress of an ongoing campaign of lies as long as I'm working on other major projects. I truly feel as if I have paid more to society than I will ever get back if I live to be 1,000.
There's no question that the pain of the past 25 years has kept me from being something more.
It is evil as well as abnormal for someone to carry out a personal campaign like this for 25 years. It's a sign of a sociopath. For it to be tolerated is a sign of a very, very ill community. (Campbell County went 59% Republican even in the last election, by the way.)
And who expects it to stop? I don't. If this country still had (gasp!) laws and morals, this wouldn't be an issue now. But moral standards are only for suckers, I guess. Our schools are as ineffective at teaching character as they are at teaching civics.
On the other hand, maybe one of these days, the people who have been harassing me will forget to register on the sex offender list, and then their harassment will stop when they get sent to jail.
Posted by Bandit at 4:39 AM
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I'm a guy who cries when perfectly good gum is wasted.
Luckily, no perfectly good gum was harmed in the filming of this ad. Rather, it was Trident.
I'd hate to profile Trident here 2 weeks in a row, but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. Trident, as you may know, was the first sugarless gum. It contains an artificial sweetener known to induce heavy diarrhea.
For some years, champion figure skater Peggy Fleming was employed as a spokeswoman for Trident. I don't think she ever bubbled in the commercials, however.
In this 1981 ad, Fleming ruins a pack of Trident by throwing it in a swimming pool:
The kids in the ad chase down a waterlogged pack of Trident!
This commersh has a feature reminiscent of the "Free credit for spilled drinks" line in the Big Boy ad of the same era. Near the end of the Trident ad, text appeared at the top of the screen saying, "If not fresh, return unused portion to Warner-Lambert Co. for replacement."
I bet this stopped when Warner-Lambert got tired of receiving chewed wads of gum in the mail. Or perhaps not, because it probably cost more to mail gum than to buy a fresh pack at the store.
Posted by Bandit at 3:13 PM
An interesting op-ed by Cliff Schecter about the Republican Right's regression into infantile whining appears in the Guardian:
This piece calls the current crop of conservative Republicans an "inchoate band of Peter Pans" and "diaper-donners" because of their babyish tantrums.
I think this highlights another point about today's rightist brain trust: They have to be doctrinaire about everything. They consider their ideology to be religion and science all at once.
If our side has an idea that doesn't work, we abandon it. Certainly, I do. You can't support an idea you backed 15 years ago when experience proves it to be ineffective. But the Republican Right keeps sticking to ideas that were known to be failures even then. They don't learn.
It wasn't always like this. In the '70s, American conservatives were losing elections by the scads, yet they weren't as indignant about it. They generally weren't as doctrinaire either. These days, it's as if being discredited only makes the Right more hardheaded.
Maybe if the Right grows up, people will start caring what they think again.
Or maybe not.
Posted by Bandit at 2:47 PM
Friday, September 25, 2009
There ought to be a deeper media probe into this.
William Dembski, a professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, is a proponent of "intelligent design" pseudoscience. One mathematician says Dembski's work is so unscholarly that it's "written in Jell-O." Bill Dembski is also known for reporting speeches he disagrees with to the Department of Homeland Security.
Dumbski's anti-people ideology is now becoming evident again.
Dembski is awarding his students grades for cluttering Internet message forums with troll posts supporting creationism. Twenty percent of an undergrad student's final grade comes from writing 10 posts promoting "intelligent design" on "hostile" websites.
When you go on a message forum and see a bunch of kooky posts, now we know who's behind it: probably some educrat assigning students to troll for credit. That is, if it's not the Republican National Committee paying someone.
People put too much effort into putting together usable websites to have someone like Bill Dembski come along and ruin them. So keep an eye out for strange posts on message forums.
Posted by Bandit at 8:00 PM
Another outrage that probably would have been avoided if America had a health care system.
Blue Cross refuses to cover a California woman's emergency room visit after she awoke to find her breast bleeding. The insurer says the visit wasn't really an emergency, and they've charged her almost $3,000 for it. (Blue Cross had initially approved the claim, before later denying it.)
Is this the same Blue Cross that allows abusive youth psychiatric "hospitals" to defraud it? I guess Blue Cross thinks teenagers disagreeing with their school administrators is an "emergency."
I'm sure Blue Cross knows it was defrauded by psychiatric facilities, because it's gone on for years. That makes Blue Cross a party to this scam. So Blue Cross's other customers are actually the ones being ripped off to pay for abusive facilities' fraud. That's in addition to those who are wrongly confined.
No wonder Blue Cross can't afford to pay for real emergencies. It's because the company lets abusive programs defraud it so they can "fix" teenagers who aren't even suffering from an illness.
Posted by Bandit at 7:16 PM
You can't make up this bullshit, folks: The wingnutosphere is criticizing Obama's policies because they benefit the country.
A think tank called the Tax Foundation has put out a report about the President's major proposals. The Tax Foundation is clearly a right-wing organ: Its articles constantly bemoan the rich having to pay taxes like everyone else - yet it opposes sales tax holidays that help working families.
Now the Tax Foundation has produced a report grumbling that Obama's plans would let the poorest 70% of American families (i.e., everyone except the richest 30%) receive more benefits than they pay in taxes.
The Tax Foundation thinks people getting what they pay for is a bad thing?
I guess they'd be happier if the poorest 70% get less than what they pay for. That would obviously satisfy the Tax Foundation greatly, judging by their other articles.
Progressive taxation is one of the building blocks of all successful modern societies. Through most of the 20th century, until it was weakened in the '90s, this concept was one of the foundations of America's growth and stability.
In addition to other benefits, this policy helped keep consumer prices lower even while workers earned more. And it helped draw beneficial economic projects into poorer communities.
The government should actually be doing more to restore tax structures that benefit the nation. If more was being done for working families, we'd have more people able to contribute and rebuild America.
Unfortunately, the government has spent too much on handouts for Big Business, which has enabled corporate criminals to seed all sorts of crime and dysfunction all over the land.
Posted by Bandit at 6:21 PM
Cincinnati has been on edge for months, as rocks and cinderblocks have been sailing through the windows of moving vehicles. Several serious injuries have resulted.
On Wednesday, a 41-year-old man was arrested for a series of rock-throwings in the vicinity of Taft Road.
It turns out though that he should have been in jail all along.
The man has a record of other major violent crimes going back at least 13 years, and he is a registered sex offender. This summer, he was sentenced to 180 days in jail for exposing himself in public.
But the jail term was deferred because of jail overcrowding.
The jail is too crowded because authorities lock up everyone who commits victimless crimes such as possessing even a small amount of marijuana.
The county is so tough on hippies who smoke one joint that it has to release sex offenders who throw rocks at cars! Only in BushWorld can someone face a harsher punishment for using a gram of marijuana than for being a repeat sex offender.
Posted by Bandit at 5:37 PM
I think we may have a winner in the "Biggest Asshole in Congress" contest: Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).
A piece in the New Orleans Times-Picayune is titled "Iowa Congressman Steve King Is Heartless and Proud of It." King was not only one of only 11 House members to vote against an emergency Hurricane Katrina relief appropriation. He also continues to brag that this was the best vote he ever cast.
He cast this vote while New Orleans was still under water.
If King was worried about big government, why does he support policing social issues? Steve King embodies the dogma of "big government for thee, not for me" - which is the very essence of modern conservatism.
A government of the people is supposed to exercise compassion and sense. That's part of being a society.
Hurricane relief saved even greater expenses in the long run - so it's hard for Steve King to even claim he was being a fiscal watchdog.
It's meanness. Plain old meanness.
Posted by Bandit at 5:00 PM
It's new! It's blue! But it ain't bubble gum! (In fact, I don't even know if it's blue!)
It's the amazing new sonic cannon!
The sonic cannon is a new police weapon designed to emit insufferably loud noises. It can rupture eardrums or even induce fatal aneurysms.
And it's making its American debut at the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh. Because free speech is not allowed in the presence of any G-20 event, police are using the sonic cannon to disperse dissidents exercising their First Amendment rights.
This marks the first time ever that American police have used this dangerous new weapon against Americans. (The cannon has been used by the military against Iraqi insurgents.) Unfortunately, I'm sure it won't be the last.
In the midst of this turmoil, Pittsburgh riot cops also trapped university students on a staircase and used tear gas on them - even though most of the students were bystanders, not protesters. Police sprayed other folks with pepper spray as they left bars.
This is what a police state looks like, folks.
Maybe city officials are just mad because the G-20 protests have drawn more people than the Tea Party mockeries.
Posted by Bandit at 4:27 PM
Today, the Allentown Morning Call ran an op-ed by a high school sophomore singing the praises of mandatory uniforms in public and private schools.
It's bad enough that a high school student would support such malarkey, but her reasoning was mind-boggling. In this piece, she said:
"I don't agree that taking away freedom of expression is a bad thing."
What the hell are our children being taught in school?
Certainly not civics, if they think limiting free expression is a good thing.
Schools spend so much time teaching feely-good classes and showing films like 'Fitna' that I guess there's no time left for civics.
Posted by Bandit at 3:35 PM
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Important message to pass along about possible suppression of dissent outside the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh. This message is from the ACLU, which has urged people to post this message under their Facebook status:
"Anyone witnessing a free speech violation in Pittsburgh is encouraged to call the ACLU of Pennsylvania's G-20 summit hotline at (412)562-5015."
Posted by Bandit at 6:46 PM
In a fit of aggrieved entitlement, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) whined because the Washington, D.C., subway system wouldn't add special routes just for the Tea Party.
But guess what?
Brady voted against the stimulus package. The package provided a hefty sum to improve the very subway system that he complained was inadequate.
It was bad enough that Brady complained that public transportation didn't do enough to serve participants in a protest against government spending. But grumbling about public transportation being inadequate after voting against funding it is totally obnoxious.
One wonders if this isn't like how the Bush regime kept defunding public services just so they could say private services were better. Clearly, however, that's not the case here - as Brady also griped about the taxi services that Tea Party participants used.
Posted by Bandit at 5:41 PM
You want astroturfing? It doesn't get any more turfed than this.
Peter Thiel is a right-wing billionaire who helped found PayPal and has invested in numerous Internet startups. Thiel describes himself as "libertarian", but he's as much of a right-wing ideologue as the rest of the conservative brain trust.
Now it turns out that Thiel has been bankrolling James O'Keefe - the right-wing "filmmaker" who made the ACORN videos that have been debunked as a hoax.
O'Keefe's other projects have been funded by the Leadership Institute, a right-wing think tank.
This despite O'Keefe's claim that he's just some Joe Sixpack who pays for his projects out of his own pocket. So O'Keefe lied. Big surprise.
It's the same self-writing story that's been told for years: Whenever you see some "grassroots" conservative project, follow the money. You can bet your bottom dollar it's bankrolled by either a very wealthy investor, a right-wing think tank, or the Republican National Committee - if not all of the above.
Posted by Bandit at 4:10 PM
Many insurance policies are rip-offs. Even when the government requires someone to buy insurance, there's no laws to control the costs.
This is little more than the government redistributing money upward from the consumer to powerful corporations.
Health care reform is good, but one thing is for certain: If consumers are required to buy health insurance, we better be damn sure the cost is capped at an affordable sum.
Some right-wing website - looking for another excuse to oppose health care reform - is now saying that an obligation to buy health insurance would be unconstitutional. Why? Because.
Well, then that means mandatory car insurance is unconstitutional too. Because.
Gotcha on that one, conservos!
Honestly, with auto insurance now mandatory in almost every state, why is there no regulation of how much insurance costs? This is a perfect illustration of "regulation for thee, not for me." And it keeps the poor from finding better work and advancing in life - which is intentional.
Maybe there should be a public option for car insurance.
Posted by Bandit at 3:40 PM
One of the saddest declines of a major celebrity in modern times continues.
Psychologically, Chuck Norris is about at the point that chess champion Bobby Fischer was at during his later years.
And - regarding the 2008 election - the 69-year-old Norris is a sore, sore loser. You'd think a tough guy like Chuck Norris would have better coping skills, but he's become miserable.
Now Norris is encouraging Americans to fly an "alternate" flag in place of the current United States flag. He says that if you fly Old Glory at all, you should stain it with tea first.
According to the United States Flag Code, which is part of federal law, there are very rigid rules for handling the flag. Certainly, smudging it with Lipton is a big no-no.
Norris insists flying a ruined flag will teach the "modernists" a lesson.
The only lesson it teaches is that Chuck Norris is incapable of constructively dealing with the fact that his candidates lost an election.
Posted by Bandit at 3:14 PM
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tsk, tsk. How can anyone litter Sesame Street?
Especially the grownup characters like Mr. Hooper, Maria, and David?
Well, litter it they did in this hilarious 1972 sketch:
It's unclear, however, if Bob's newspaper featured an ad for an escort service like that he read in a later skit.
After realizing the error of their ways, residents of our favorite television alley walked backwards, and their discarded litter magically jumped back into their hands. Then all this trash teleported itself into a garbage can that suddenly appeared on the sidewalk.
This no doubt chagrins Bert and Ernie deeply, as the trash can is right outside the window of their apartment.
But Sesame Street has been largely litter-free in the 37 years since.
Posted by Bandit at 6:43 PM
Brrrrring! Channel 9!
In the '70s, that was the battle cry of WCPO-TV in Cincinnati. Locals who are my age recall this jingle fondly. The channel number seems inseparable from the call letters.
But the recent rollout of digital TV has proven to be such an unmitigated disaster that stations are having to make unprecedented expenses just to keep their viewers.
Digital reception is so much weaker than that of traditional analog TV that WCPO has taken the rare step of applying to change its channel number. WCPO wants to move to Channel 22 so it can increase its power - which is necessary for the station to cover almost as much area as it did before.
WCPO has already increased from 19,000 to 28,000 watts - but this hasn't gained back its coverage. Now it wants to broadcast with 1,000,000 watts.
Digital TV is so unstable that it takes 1,000,000 watts to cover as much area that analog signals could cover with only 19,000!
This is an issue all over America. Some folks in the New York City market report losing reception of most New York City stations. One viewer said reception now ranges from bad to "just plain lousy" - even with a 7-foot directional antenna. One of the few stations he can still pick up broadcasts nothing but infomercials.
FCC officials say there may someday be a nationwide solution to restore all the reception was lost. Well, I have a solution: Bring back analog TV.
Posted by Bandit at 5:14 PM
This past September 12 was a pivotal day in the sore loser Tea Party saga. It was then - 11 days ago - that the BTPers conducted their huge kick-ass march on Washington.
While they claim the recent right-wing complain-a-thon drew over 1,000,000 participants, it attracted at most 70,000 - despite being heavily promoted nationwide.
To bolster their inflated turnout figures, the LOSEianners spread a photo showing people filling the National Mall wall-to-wall between the Washington Monument and the Capitol.
The photo itself is real. But it wasn't of the Tea Party.
Whatever it's a photo of, it has to be of an event that took place at least 5 years ago. That's because the picture doesn't feature the National Museum of the American Indian, which opened along the National Mall in 2004.
In fact, fire officials say there were only enough participants at the Tea Party to fill the Capitol grounds.
But guess whose fault it is that the wingnutosphere circulated a 5-year-old photo and claimed it was of the Tea Party? Wingnuts claim the whole flap is a conspiracy by the big, mean libs to discredit them. Seriously, they say that.
Posted by Bandit at 4:42 PM
In this hour's War on Drugs expansion story, several California locales seem to have decided to start their own country.
California law allows medical marijuana. The law permits the herb to be distributed at dispensaries to people who have a valid prescription.
That's the law. Big Pharma has fought it tooth and nail, but the law is the law.
But officials in Madera County think laws are just "damn pieces of paper" (as Bush would say). So county supervisors have voted unanimously to ban the dispensaries.
This occurred just as the city of San Bernardino also outlawed marijuana dispensaries.
These cities and counties are in contempt of state law, and their officials need to be hauled before state legislators to answer some questions.
During each round of drug war expansion, a spike in crime always follows - without fail. On and on the vicious cycle continues.
Posted by Bandit at 3:34 PM
I guess Dracula has decided he wants to become Pinocchio.
Northern Kentucky's Nazi congressman Geoff Davis has written an op-ed that was subserviently picked up by the right-wing Cincinnati Enquirer. In this piece, Davis claimed the Obama administration's health reform plan covers undocumented immigrants.
YOU LIE, GEOFF!!!
I thought most of the lies about health care reform were quieted after Obama confronted them head-on in his speech. But I guess Dracula Davis didn't learn. I guess he enjoys the humiliation of being thoroughly debunked - much like his party already was during that speech.
This is a pattern for Davis. In a 2006 debate against Ken Lucas, he falsely claimed Lucas supported a bill that would have helped undocumented immigrants. Lucas pointed out that the bill helped only legal immigrants, and that Davis apparently didn't know the difference between legal and illegal.
We have to wait another year to defeat Geoff Davis?
Posted by Bandit at 3:10 PM
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Speaking of politicians reflexively rejecting science, the revolving door of right-wing politics in California has struck again.
A panel of tax "experts" has now recommended that California gut its progressive income tax because it's too hard on the wealthy.
Yep, life is so rough for the affluent, isn't it?
Who are these "experts"? Many of them are Republicans with ties to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who helped establish this panel.
If the panel's plans are enacted, a majority of taxpayers would receive a tax cut of only $4 a year. But millionaires would get a break of $119,000 a year.
If California is worried about its budget, then maybe instead of giving handouts to the rich, the state should stop funding a certain racist charter school.
And start obeying the court order to reduce the prison population. Last week, California reached a deadline to shrink its inmate population by 40,000. As of a few hours before the deadline, right-wing state leaders still had not done so.
Posted by Bandit at 5:43 PM
America scored a victory against corporate excess yesterday when a federal appeals court reinstated a lawsuit against air pollution by utility companies.
This decision allows numerous states, cities, and land trusts to sue several utilities - including Cinergy, the Cincinnati electric monopoly that has since been taken over by Duke Energy.
This also overturns an outrageous 2005 decision that gutted the lawsuits.
The lawsuits charge that the companies' carbon dioxide emissions contribute to climate change. But the companies have absurdly argued that no court has ever recognized greenhouse gas emissions as a climate change cause.
Look, scientists have.
Do utility corporations think a judge has to rule that 2 plus 2 is 4 in order to make it so? You can bet your bottom dollar that the companies think it doesn't even matter, considering America has only recently emerged from an 8-year-long administration that rejected science almost by reflex.
Posted by Bandit at 5:02 PM
Here's a secret: Google no longer even reads its own help forum.
This is abundantly clear. It's full of complaints about the same malfunctions going back months, even years. These messages never generate any responses - except by other users reporting the same things.
So why would Google respond to me when I tell them that their message removal service is broken (which prevents me from deleting my own posts that I never gave Google permission to use in the first place)? Still, that's no excuse for Google's failure to read its help forum.
The fact that Google doesn't read it has now become clearer. Last week, I posted a message saying that if they didn't respond to my complaint by September 21, I would have no choice but to contact an attorney.
Welp, September 21 has now passed, and still no reply at all (as Genesis would say). Which means they didn't even see the lawsuit warning that was posted in plain sight.
I've already begun the process of finding an attorney. I'm not even the only person who has complained about Google not removing posts that they didn't have permission to use. I'd be surprised if I was the first to initiate legal action.
Posted by Bandit at 4:35 PM
It's surprising that the Bluegrass State's future isn't bleaker than it is, with all the hate that gets taught in our so-called schools.
Parents of students at Pulaski County High School are outraged because a teacher showed a short film to students called 'Fitna', which attacks Muslims and depicts beheadings. This presentation occurred on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
'Fitna' was written by right-wing Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders. Wilders's intolerance is so intense that he is banned from entering Britain. Predictably, Wilders also supports deregulation of Big Business and expanding the War on Drugs. He's like a Dutch version of Phil Gramm, and is frequently invited to speak to American conservative groups.
Wilders once said, "I'm very afraid of being linked with the wrong rightist fascist groups." I guess he thinks there's a such thing as "the right rightist fascist groups", huh?
'Fitna' itself generated lawsuits for using copyrighted material without permission.
It's unclear whether the Kentucky teacher who showed 'Fitna' was even reprimanded.
This is what Kentucky schools are teaching, folks.
Posted by Bandit at 3:46 PM
Monday, September 21, 2009
In case the hoax video made by conservative "filmmakers" purporting to "catch" ACORN hasn't already been discredited enough, the filmers' case has just crumbled even more.
Even though it was discovered that the videotapes were doctored, Congress didn't relent in its war against ACORN.
Now another damning tidbit has emerged against the hoaxsters. Police in National City, California, say that the ACORN worker who was filmed there reported the filmers to the authorities because he suspected them of human trafficking.
In other words, he did precisely what he should have done: He reported suspected major criminal activity.
The wingnut party line claims ACORN workers were trying to facilitate human trafficking. But the latest story proves an ACORN worker was actually trying to prevent trafficking, not promote it.
Don't expect to see this latest wrinkle in this saga reported on Fux News. In their lingering BushWorld, 2 right-wing operatives can make a fake video that gets debunked repeatedly, Congress can bend to their demands, and the truth is forgotten within months.
Meanwhile, abusive youth "rehabs" that engage in human trafficking go unpunished.
Posted by Bandit at 11:36 PM
Freedom of speech? Not in the New York Post's hometown.
Today, a group of activists gathered outside the New York Post's office to distribute a parody of this rag. This effort was designed to call attention to climate change.
The Post - owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. - promptly called the police, even though the activists were on the public right-of-way.
Cops detained the activists and confiscated their publication.
Remember when there used to be something called a First Amendment?
The New York Post is such a self-parody anyway that I wonder how anyone knew the difference between the parody and the real thing. The Post was chosen as a target for satire because of its own climate change denial.
What's really amusing is that the Post called attention to its own political intolerance by having the folks detained. Not like this'll hurt the Post much, because the Post already had such an abysmal reputation.
Posted by Bandit at 7:22 PM
Remember a few days ago when I invited you to spot the Allowed Cloud I violated on Friday morn? The violation was evidenced by an otherwise innocuous nighttime photo of the skyline of Cincinnati.
Welp, now it's time to reveal the solution to this hilarious sleuthing game.
Several people have nailed the answer in chat rooms or in e-mails to me. But nobody responded on the comment section of this blog.
Can you guess it? I would have guessed it right off the bat!
Many locals should be able to figure out where the photo is taken from - if they look at the picture at full size and notice the building in the foreground. This photo is from one of the better overlooks in the area: Devou Park in neighboring Covington, Kentucky.
But most photos you see from this point are daytime shots. This is a nighttime shot.
Why is that significant? Because (drum roll, please) Devou Park closes at dusk.
Now that's what I call an Allowed Cloud!
And I defied it in plain sight!
As a Kentucky taxpayer, there's no reason why I shouldn't be allowed to use a large public park at any time of day. I paid for it, I can use it - as long as I leave it in the same condition I found it. Fair is fair.
All I did was visit the park after dark with a group of friends, look out over Cincinnati, and take a picture of it. Is it a crime to photograph cityscapes?
If I didn't violate prohibitions against using public spaces after dark, the tyranny would just get worse. If people don't challenge the control freaks, the command state only expands.
This challenge against the Allowed Cloud state is especially stinging to the thought guardians, as Devou Park is where I was chased away by police for disagreeing with a Bush rally in 2000. The cops were about to arrest me then, but I took off on foot. This past Friday, I felt as if I was reclaiming Devou Park from the Bush cult.
Posted by Bandit at 4:56 PM
Sunday, September 20, 2009
True to my word, I goed to Ploptoberfest yesterday!
I'm going to have a write-up about this on my personal blog too (blog blogga blog!), but anybip, Ploptoberfest (Cincinnati's version of Oktoberfest) lived up to its nickname.
On several occasions, I found the portable restrooms utterly trashed. The first act of mischief I noticed was that someone had thrown a stick of Right Guard deodorant in a toilet bowl.
When I used one of the portable restrooms later, I saw that somebody had thrown a pair of underpants in the bowl. The telltale elastic waistband leered at bathroom-users from the abysmal depths of the poopot.
Later when I had to drain the main vein again, I went in a portable restroom, and it looked like somebody had dumped out an entire can of fruit cocktail and smeared it all over the walls and on top of the toilet paper dispenser. And it smelled horrible! It must have been spoiled.
A good time was had by all, and those who follow my personal blog will be regaled with more details later.
I may go to the Sunday installment of Ploptoberfest as well, but rain is predicted.
Posted by Bandit at 12:35 AM
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I don't know all the details, but apparently there was some "values voters summit" yesterday conducted by the batshit wing of the rightist brain trust.
When the media tried covering the event, organizers forced them to leave. Apparently, the purpose of the "summit" was for the wingnuts to secretly hash out their agenda.
The kook-a-loons are always complaining about the Tea Parties not getting enough coverage, and now they're worried about getting too much coverage. Unbelievable.
Posted by Bandit at 1:01 AM
Friday, September 18, 2009
Let's play a game of "spot the Allowed Cloud violation"!
I work hard for my money, so the Allowed Cloud better treat me right. I'm an industrious member of society, and by golly, I'm going to enjoy what I work for.
In light of this fact, I stood my ground against an Allowed Cloud this morning (during my midnight adventure). Why? Because somebody had to - or else your children would someday ask you where you were the day freedom died.
This game of "spot the Allowed Cloud violation" is geared primarily towards Cincinnati area folks, who'll have a natural advantage in spotting it.
The above photo is evidence of my violation.
Can you figure it out?
If nobody blurts out the answer over the weekend (which they might), I plan to post the answer here on Monday.
Posted by Bandit at 9:52 PM
After staying out until 4:30 AM last night, I should spend the weekend working on this blog.
This is Ploptoberfest weekend!
Ploptoberfest is my name for Cincinnati's Oktoberfest. I call it that because people always throw stuff in the toilet bowls. I believe it was last year that I saw a maintenance crew fish a pair of jeans out of the bowl. In other years, the bowls were clogged with beer bottles and ripped-up religious tracts.
It lasts almost all day tomorrow and Sunday.
Tomorrow we're supposed to have good weather, but Sunday is supposed to kick off another week full of RAIN. Lots of it. (In September, of all things!)
I'll try to catch both days, assuming Sunday isn't a washout like Fourth of July the past 2 years was.
Hopefully I won't get in any fights like in 2004. Nowadays, if some asshole tries to fight me, they get clocked in the teeth. End of story.
I may report on this blog how Ploptoberfest goes, if anything interesting or politically significant occurs. But I don't know if I'll be able to until Sunday or Monday.
See ya in the 'Nati!
Posted by Bandit at 8:35 PM
I knew the useless wankers behind the recent Tea Party rallies have a sense of entitlement. But this is ridiculous.
After their recent rally in Washington, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) lashed out at the city not bending over backwards and waiting on the BTPers hand and foot.
Brady complained that Washington's subway system wouldn't add special routes just for that day to accommodate the Tea Party.
He also whined that this forced Tea Party participants to take (gasp!) taxis instead.
You read that right: Although the Tea Parties rally against the government spending money to help average Americans, Brady complained that the government wouldn't spend money to help the Tea Party.
While the Tea Partiers think it's better if everyone is forced to use a private alternative to public health care, they used a private alternative (taxis) to public transport and complained that it wasn't up to their standards. So I guess they're all in favor of public services as long as they're the ones who'll benefit.
The world does not revolve around the spoiled whiners who attend the Tea Parties. I guess nobody ever taught them this when they were 4 years old.
Posted by Bandit at 8:10 PM
The next time you want to see someone fall down and split their head open, you might want to sneak them a stick of Trident.
At least that's what a certain ad for this brand of gum seems to suggest.
In this snappy commersh from the early '90s, several people who chew Trident are strangely knocked to the ground by its unremarkable properties. People even bubble, which knocks them clean to the sidewalk:
Although that ad is reported to be from 1991, I seem to recall (using my amazing date reckoning system) seeing it in 1990. I could be mistaken, however.
I think it's hilarious how the man in the first scene resembles Spandau Ballet lead singer Tony Hadley. It's even more hilarious how his tumble down the steps is reminiscent of that of the baker in the '70s counting sketches on 'Sesame Street'.
I guess Trident was trying to market itself as a joke gum that caused chewers to fall in an uproarious spectacle.
Posted by Bandit at 7:41 PM
America's corporate and government leadership sports an official religion: corporate personhood.
This school of thought runs afoul of the public's understanding of the powers corporations are supposed to have. Under the unbending dogma of corporate personhood, corporations are treated as having the same rights as people - even though the Constitution does not authorize corporate "rights."
The Supreme Court once claimed corporations have human rights, just because. This bizarre belief is not considered binding law, because that wasn't the primary issue at hand, but it still holds sway.
But the court's newest Justice - Sonia Sotomayor - is challenging the bogus doctrine of corporate personhood.
As seen in an important campaign finance case, the court's more conservative Justices are absolutely convinced that corporations have almost limitless constitutional rights - even though the Constitution was clearly intended to protect only individuals, not Big Business. In fact, the court's conservatives have reduced constitutional protections for individuals, even as they expand corporate "rights." They've given corporations broader protections than people.
But Sotomayor says the court should reconsider this stance. She said it was an error for courts to create "a creature of state law with human characteristics" to begin with.
Sotomayor's suggestion is in keeping with constitutional law. Long-ago Chief Justice John Marshall once correctly wrote that a corporation "possesses only those properties which the charter of its creation confers upon it." These "properties" do not include constitutional rights.
Sotomayor may have an ally even on the current Supreme Court. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, "A corporation, after all, is not endowed by its Creator with inalienable rights."
If the Supreme Court sticks to its policy of corporate personhood, a constitutional amendment may be needed to settle this.
Bush seems synonymous not only with control but also with waste.
The Bush regime authorized a costly fence along the Mexican border - and seized land from residents on the U.S. side to build it. Despite Bush's attempt to appeal to chest-pounding patriotism, it turned out that most of the piping used to build the fence was made in China.
This fence's construction has been spotty and rocked by scandal. While small homeowners have lost their homes to build it, construction generally avoids taking land belonging to powerful landowners with connections to Republican officials.
So far, this boondoggle has cost $2,400,000,000. Now the Government Accountability Office says it will cost another $6,500,000,000 to maintain it over the next 20 years.
Then the fence will arrive at the end of its brief life.
That comes out to $8,900,000,000 for a fence that's not even American-made, is ineffective, and won't even last 25 years.
And people thought I was bad for spending $40 on 'The Almanac Of American Politics'?
The Obama administration ought to cancel what remains of the border fence - and return property that was seized from local residents.
Posted by Bandit at 4:28 PM
A woman who caught fire during surgery at an Illinois hospital has now died.
Patients catching fire during surgery is more widespread in America than has been reported before. It happens about 600 times a year nationwide. About one or two victims die each year.
Again, however, health care corporations have long covered up the problem. As the problem is finally being exposed, companies are sputtering for a defense.
Posted by Bandit at 4:05 PM
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Just disbar this clown already.
Orly Taitz already made an ass of herself when she misspelled her own name in her legal filings and submitted a phony document to the court.
Now, after Judge Clay Land has decided he's seen enough, Taitz has demanded trying Land for treason.
Taitz said that "somebody should consider" trying Land for "treason and aiding and abetting this massive fraud known as Barack Hussein Obama." She also whined, "Judge Land is a typical puppet of the regime - just like in the Soviet Union."
The embattled Taitz also compared herself to Nelson Mandela.
The Republicans are still considered a serious party because...?
Posted by Bandit at 5:40 PM
It may seem hard to believe we have to write about efforts like this in 2009, but it goes hand in hand with the economic engineering we've confronted regularly.
In Florida, right-wingers are supporting an effort to pass a state constitutional amendment that would in effect outlaw and criminalize birth control pills.
Supporters need less than 700,000 signatures to place the measure on the ballot. But it seems to be generating little support.
This amendment doesn't take a moderate position; it takes an extreme stance. Nothing is more moderate than allowing people to choose whether to use birth control. If you don't believe in birth control, it's certainly your choice not to use it. This amendment would criminalize those who make a different choice.
But one supporter said the amendment would give her "the right to make my own decisions and not have someone override it." Wrong. This is the polar opposite of what the amendment would do. I'm reminded of George Orwell's '1984', in which the government boasted of its policies being the opposite of what they really were.
The amendment is really about controlling the public - much like Florida's work-for-less law. The ideologues who babble that health care reform is too much government are generally in favor of oppressive work-for-less laws and criminalizing birth control.
But they think of themselves as "messengers of God", so I guess they think they can excuse their dangerous hypocrisy.
Posted by Bandit at 4:09 PM
In an attempt to suppress voter turnout, right-wing lawmakers in Indiana passed a law in 2005 that required voters to present an extra form of identification.
The law wasn't authorized by any constitutional provision. Indeed, it was unconstitutional because it was designed to deprive eligible voters of their right to vote.
Interestingly, absentee voters - who have historically been more Republican than in-person voters - didn't have to present an ID under this law.
The League of Women Voters sued the state over this new statute.
Today, the Indiana Court of Appeals has quite properly nixed this law because it is so plainly unconstitutional. It was a 3 to 0 decision.
Naturally, Disaster Daniels is throwing a fit about the court's ruling. He called it "transparently partisan" - even though the law that was axed was as partisan as could possibly be.
Posted by Bandit at 3:12 PM
Shocked, I tell ya! Shocked, shocked, shocked!
Richard Padilla Cramer was one of the highest ranking federal anti-drug officials. He led an office of drug agents in Arizona and held an important customs enforcement job.
But investigators now say that while Cramer was working in Mexico, he was also a secret ally of violent drug lords.
Authorities say Cramer advised traffickers on law enforcement tactics and sold them secret DEA documents.
What? An anti-drug warrior was helping drug gangs? Imagine that!
If you still had any doubts about my claim that the War on Drugs is nothing but a price support for big drug lords, this story should dash those doubts.
Posted by Bandit at 2:49 PM
Populist luminary Jim Hightower reports that Big Tobacco is coughing and hacking its way through our courts in an effort to gut a new law regarding cigarette advertising.
The lawsuit led by R.J. Reynolds and Lorillard Tobacco complains that the new law violates tobacco companies' True Corporate Free Speach Now (tm).
And they've filed their case in Kentucky - under the assumption that a tobacco-growing state will listen to their cries.
But why should it? This is the state where I was arrested for "trespassing" for exercising my free speech. So why would a corporation's advertising of harmful products get more First Amendment protections than an individual's political speech on a public university campus?
Political speech has traditionally been accorded broader protections than commercial speech. If my political thoughts were so restricted, why does Big Tobacco expect its ads to be less restricted?
Posted by Bandit at 12:49 AM
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I so can't believe I found this one!
Remember George Bush? Not Dumbya, but his daddy Mad Dog.
Remember how great it was when he utterly lostimated in '92?
Everyone always says I'm just making it up when I talk about how Bush drew squares in the air when he described square objects.
Bush once claimed at a campaign stop in Ohio that he was an Ohioan because his father was born in the Buckeye State. When Bush mentioned Ohio, he drew a square in the air with his hands, to represent an outline of the state. (He apparently confused it with New Mexico on a map.)
In a 1992 televised debate against Bill Clinton and Ross Perot, the Leader of the Free (?) World used the same technique to describe a church bulletin, as he fumbled through an attempt to answer an audience member's question.
Everyone denies this. But once again, YouTube has saved the day. Fast forward to 1:38:
Funny thing is, I wasn't even looking for this gesture! I was looking for debates in general and just stumbled upon this out of sheer luck!
For his part, Clinton at least gave a coherent, fact-based answer to the questioner - prompting Bush to emit a stupid grin, which you can find at 3:47.
Posted by Bandit at 4:00 PM
"This is the glutton...who ate my last button!"
You had to think into the deepest recesses of your childhood to recall that one, didn't you?
That line was so memorable, but it was probably squeezed out of your memory when your school years broke you down. Happened to me, happens to everyone.
It was part of this animated '70s 'Sesame Street' sketch in which animals ruined a man's clothes using assorted hilarious methods:
I briefly thought of that segment in 8th grade when a teacher launched a tirade about our alleged "gluttony" (which by the school's definition probably meant expecting to get lunch at all). But all I could remember was that the skit featured a glutton. I couldn't remember the context.
Lately, I've been growing desperate because my underpants have all been growing holes at an alarming rate. I wonder if there's gluttons hiding in the washing machine. Or maybe it's time for another line in that cartoon:
"Here's the Great Danes...who chewed up my Hanes!"
Posted by Bandit at 3:31 PM
Quick! We need to file a lawsuit to declare that George W. Bush was never President!
The Fourteenth Amendment says:
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
Whose jurisdiction was Bush subject to?
Certainly not the United States, seeing how he didn't have to obey the country's laws like everyone else. If he did, he would have been impeached early on.
Hahahahaha, gotcha on that one, George!
Orly Taitz boasts that she can bring down the Obama administration within 30 days from now. Well, I just brang down the Bush regime in 30 seconds!
Posted by Bandit at 2:54 PM
I guess the government has finally run out of things on this planet to bomb, so now NASA plans to bomb the moon!
NASA is planning to launch a space mission carrying a missile to blast a gaping hole in the moon's surface. This will produce a 6-mile-high cloud visible from Earth.
The reason? They actually think there's water inside. Sure, and probably green cheese too.
What? You mean they're not going to do any etching of corporate logos?
During the Cold War, the U.S. government planned to blow up the moon with a nuclear bomb - to show the Reds who was boss. The latest plan ranks right up there with that in its sheer absurdity.
Posted by Bandit at 2:27 PM
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The Telegraph of Britain isn't exactly an organ of progressive populism, but at least it uses the right words to describe workers' vacation time lost to illness.
A European court has now ruled that employers may no longer force workers to take their vacation time concurrent with their sick time. This ruling is long overdue and should be copied in America.
We can at least give the Telegraph credit for one thing: It accurately uses the words 'ruined' and 'spoilt' to describe vacation time marred by illness or injury. This terminology seems to be taboo in the American media.
Posted by Bandit at 11:48 PM
The Republican Party in Kentucky has had enough worry lately, but this story would be tragic regardless of the party affiliation of the person involved.
Republican Steve Nunn is a former state legislator and a son of former Gov. Louie Nunn. Steve Nunn was a serious candidate in the 2003 gubernatorial primary and (after losing reelection to the legislature) went on to become Kentucky's Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services.
But Nunn was forced to resign earlier this year after allegedly beating his former fiancee Amanda Ross.
On Friday, Ross was found shot to death. When Nunn was found roaming a cemetery, he reportedly fired a gun at police.
Now Nunn has been charged with Ross's murder. The former lawmaker may face the death penalty, because the murder charge is accompanied by a charge of violating a protective order. He may also face federal weapons charges.
If you thought McCarthyism had died with the Cold War, think again.
The modern McCarthyists have already forced Van Jones to resign, and this spirit also lives on in an effort by right-wing Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska) to strangle ACORN.
ACORN is one of the top targets for today's thought police. For years, right-wing fraudsters have tried looking for excuses to finally break ACORN once and for all - so far to no avail.
But the right-wing thought guardians have just received an armload of help from not just Senate Republicans but Democrats as well. The Senate has now voted 83 to 7 in favor of Johanns's effort to cut off HUD funds for ACORN. This means ACORN will no longer be able to help poor people get mortgages or learn about fair housing rules.
Caving to right-wing Red-baiting is the current state of the Democratic Party? It's pretty sad when fewer Democrats support the Employee Free Choice Act or the public option than defunding ACORN.
This follows a set of much-ballyhooed videos by right-wing activists, which seem to show ACORN workers giving a prostitute advice on buying a house. The problem with these videos is that it's a hoax. ACORN organizer Bertha Lewis said the videotapes were doctored and violated Maryland wiretapping laws. ACORN spokesman Scott Levenson also said the clips were doctored, with the voice of the ersatz prostitute dubbed onto the tapes.
I'm not sure if it's wiretapping, but it's certainly fraud. These so-called "filmmakers" broke the law.
The biggest victim isn't ACORN though. It's the countless poor Americans who now won't be able to get mortgages or housing help because of this hoax. The right-wing activists responsible for this fraud need to be fined for everything they're worth.
Posted by Bandit at 4:14 PM
The Tea Party thugs obviously haven't learned yet that their escapades aren't getting the results they wanted. But lawmakers are getting frustrated at the BTPers' attempts to derail important health care reforms.
Last month, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) was so tired of the BTPers disrupting his town halls that he told one of them, "Trying to have a conversation with you would be like arguing with a dining room table."
Now, in another classic moment, Rep. Pete Stark (D-California) told off a disruptor at one of his town halls.
The heckler launched a tirade about what he claimed would be the eeeeevils of a public health care system. He concluded this harangue by telling Stark not to "pee on my leg and tell me it's raining" (a line ripped off from Judge Judy).
Stark replied, "Well, I wouldn't dignify you by peeing on your leg. It wouldn't be worth wasting the urine."
Pete Stark's gotcha there, Freeper guy!
Everybody knows that if a dissident had heckled Bush or Cheney the way the LOSEianne crowd treats Democratic officials, there'd be arrests. So the heckler in this story actually got off easy - but still endured loads of humiliation to follow him back to whichever exurb he flew in from.
Posted by Bandit at 3:24 PM
Monday, September 14, 2009
An ish. An ish. An ish, an ish, an ish, an ish, an iiiiish... (To the tune of the Pink Panther song.)
I just put out the annual Back-to-School issue of The Last Word!
This ish is a little haphazard, but it comes to 8 pages when printed. Articles about:
• School corruption and the web of people who run our schools and other organizations.
• Poor sportsmanship at high school sporting events.
• Private school bailouts that cost our public schools.
• The top 5 worst things about my former high school.
• A hilarious booger story.
• Positive recidivism!
• Another school-produced flu epidemic.
• The school employee who was charged with attacking a disabled stadium usher.
• An Indiana school official who seems to want school on weekends.
We continue a long tradition of dissent, as our Back-to-School editions date back to 1993.
So peep and weep:
Posted by Bandit at 10:02 PM
Actor Patrick Swayze died today at the age of 57 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
In addition to his acting career, Swayze was also known for his hit song "She's Like The Wind", which received much airplay in the late '80s.
Posted by Bandit at 8:44 PM
The BTPers: racist or not?
If they had merely rallied against the Obama administration, that alone wouldn't be proof of racism. The wingnuts threw a similar tantrum when Bill Clinton won, remember?
But their own actions at the Tea Parties have dashed any claims of them being giants of racial tolerance.
Like when they came to Cincinnati in March, when they made racist attacks against a woman who dissented from their tirades.
The BTPers' fascism continued at the national Tea Party in Washington on Saturday. A perfect example is this sign sported by a Tea Party cultist:
Do they actually think that's funny? It isn't. Bert's pigeon jokes would get more laughs than that.
And I'm convinced it was intended to be racist. The wingnutosphere has a history of garbage like this. Unfortunately, many folks live in denial of what's long been in plain sight. They may think the Tea Party is nuts, but they'll never believe it's racist.
To that, I say let the evidence speak for itself.
Posted by Bandit at 4:32 PM