Saturday, January 31, 2009

Keep it real

"F*cking espresso, Cappuccino, we invented this shit. . . now all these c*cks*ckers are making money on it . . . It's not just the money, it's a pride thing. . . This? this is the worst, this espresso shit."

-Pauly Walnuts-

So we're sitting at this rustic, open air coffee shop in Port Salerno, looking over the Manatee pocket and the old fishing docks where slick yachts, beat up trawlers, catamarans and open fishing boats are moored. The building is a collection of old fish houses that went bust years ago when commercial net fishing was outlawed in the area. A glass blower rents a corner and a potter, and there is a gallery and some workshops -- and a coffee house that's a great place to enjoy the view, the breeze, the sounds of a harbor; maybe have a cup of coffee, eat a home made cookie, play some checkers in the shade and watch the boats come and go. It's the kind of American ambiance that attracted me to the coast and to this part of Florida; an island in the river of change; a river that's ever rushing toward commercial strip mall plastic mass produced national franchise sameness. Panama hat and Ray-Bans, flowered shirt and deck shoes; you feel afloat in the serenity, you're part of the scenery. You remember why this feels like home rather than an address.

So when a young dude dressed in Urban Black sidles up to the counter and asks, without apparent embarrassment, for an "Americano" with soy and demerara sugar, I could feel the air turn stiff and brittle as a plastic strip mall sign.

Am I wrong to single out Starbucks as a singular agent of phoniness in America? Rightly or wrongly I do just that. Of course you can't cheat an honest man and you probably can't make a pretentious ass of him either. It was all here, that sense of provincial inferiority that makes people who've never been near Europe feel good about paying more for a 20 ounce coffee by calling it a Venti even though in Italy and the rest of Europe they don't use ounces. Perhaps we could solve the problems of General Motors by having them sell Voitures because for all our narcissistic nationalism, Americans hate being Americans -- or so it seems at Starbucks.

No matter how you feel about Starbucks, I had to smile at the planned closing of 600 locations in July and the additional 300 announced this last week. Perhaps now, that piece of untouched Florida wilderness still remaining where Bridge Road crosses US1, Starbucks has been trying to get a zoning variance on will remain the home of Sand Hill Cranes and alligators and not be replaced by "baristas" (baristi in real Italian) serving up overpriced, oversized plastic buckets of Italian breakfast coffee to pretentious lunchtime provincials.

Trying to open a Starbucks in the real Italy, where people want a glass of Vino Bianco with lunch and the salad comes after the main course and no two coffee shops are the same, would be as difficult as opening a Chop Suey joint in Shanghai. To the locals, as it is with Pauly Walnuts, our phony expropriation of their culture is just that: phony.

Truth be told, I find the coffee in Vienna - and the pastry that goes with it - far better and a morning "bica" at some hole in the wall shop in some Portuguese fishing village is incomparable. It's also not separable from the matrix. I do love espresso and I do love a plain ordinary cup of drip coffee from one of those Bunn coffeemakers you see in every diner on our continent. It's authentic, it fits, it's real and as American as red checked table cloths and waitresses named Flo.

So they've stolen one more piece of America from me. Oh sure, I can still go to Dunkin' Donuts or a Waffle house and get served a cup of coffee by a waitress and a damned good doughnut too and I don't have to feel like a jackass with pretend Italian nomenclature either. You can't see the water from there though.

Friday, January 30, 2009

GOP Heeds the call

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
Itll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin.

-Bob Dylan-

Perhaps imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, perhaps it's coincidence, perhaps it's desperation, perhaps it's deja vu. After five rounds of balloting, Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele is now the chairman of The Republican National committee. Governor Steele is, for those not familiar with him, an African American and while some call him a moderate, others find him staunchly conservative. Whatever he may be, he's a first for the GOP and in my opinion, it's about time.

“It’s time for something completely different. . . . We’re going to bring this party to every corner, every boardroom, every neighborhood, every community. And we’re going to say to friend and foe alike, ‘We want you to be a part of us, we want you to work with us. And for those of you who are ready to obstruct, get ready to get knocked over.’ ”
said Steele according to ABC this afternoon. A bit reminiscent of the 1960's hit Dylan song, if lacking in conviction.

Does this represent the beginning of a new RNC? Is the old order rapidly aging, or is Steele much more of the same old song? He has been a commentator on Fox News, he lead the crowd in cries of "drill baby drill" at the 2008 convention. Is it enough that his ancestry is African to bring more minorities into the GOP or will a change in complexion not be enough of a change in everything else?

It remains to be seen, but whatever Michael Steeel is, he is not Barak Obama, much less Bob Dylan.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

He's OUT!

It was unanimous; Rod's out and Quinn's in.

Bye-Bye Blogojevich, seeya later old boyavich. Actually I hope not. The defiant Rod, who was portraying himself in dramatic fashion today as a victim of his own excellence, Was stripped of his job and title this evening by the Illinois Senate in a 59 - 0 vote and Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn, Blagojevich's two-time running mate, has been sworn in as the state of Illinois' 41st governor. I never heard him say "so help me God" either. I can't wait to see if Fox News will accept him.

Blogo commuted the sentences of two felons just before he left the building, one is a convicted drug dealer who now works as a janitor in the same homeless shelter Mrs. Blogojevich once worked at. His record will be wiped clean and he may well deserve it.

The other is a crooked real estate tycoon who was convicted of theft back in the 1980's. He recently bought Oprah's farm in Indiana, so he can't be doing all that badly. I wonder why he deserves the special favor, don't you?

Anyway, cold as it may be in Springfield, it's time to open the windows and air the place out -- and maybe to count the silverware.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Some say insurance, some say IN-shurns, some say fraud

Ever get the impression that the Insurance industry has no idea what it's doing? Well of course you have if you've ever bought insurance. I remember buying my first house 40 years ago and being told my premiums were high because of the average distances to hydrants and fire departments in my town. I got nowhere with the argument that there was a hydrant on my front lawn and the firehouse was 150 yards around the corner. As with religion and political doctrine, the reasoning always refers back to the unsubstantiated assertion rather than to observable reality.

So when I read today on that buying a smaller car might cost you more in insurance than your megatruck, I was amused. Seems that without taking into account better braking, better handling and more stability of cars over trucks, they're assuming that people in smaller cars, particularly ones chosen for fuel economy are, they guess, driving farther and probably are younger thus probably driving more aggressively and faster and such people probably have more accidents. Is there any difference between this sloppy sophistry and rank conjecture? How many probablys to we have to count before deciding they have no idea and are just making it up to maximize profits?

It seems odd since only two years ago they were saying that SUV drivers were four times more likely to kill someone and ten times more likely to suffer serious injury because they wind up rolling in the gutter more often than Barak's bowling ball. Could it be that they have no idea and don't care? And then there are the fast cars like Corvettes and Vipers. They have to assume, they say, that such people like them because they drive over the speed limit, which I have not observed. What I have observed are SUVs with their noses up Corvette tailpipes trying to prove that they are king of the road -- and I've been observing this for decades. Iv'e observed that my Ferrari friends never take their cars out of the garage for fear of the kids with winged economy cars and Hummermoms.

And then of course there's the assumption that fast drivers cause more accidents, which hasn't been credibly supported by any facts I've seen published by anyone not connected with the insurance racket industry. The National Motorists Association, for instance has studies showing the opposite to be true.

I've also observed that on the Interstates, it's the econoboxes and pickup trucks; it's Escalades and H2's weaving at 90 plus while the folks with expensive cars cower in the right lane. Keep in mind that the demographics for supercars are similar to those for wheelchairs -- very few youngsters.

Of course they're making it all up, but since the Insurance industry is large and powerful enough to do whatever it likes, no one really can refute them or argue successfully against them, so I'll go on paying twice as much to insure my car than Hard Drinking Harry does for his jacked up pickemup or that young lady in the 8000 pound behemoth who has a cigarette in one hand and a cellphone in the other who habitually uses four lanes in a turn and rolls through stop signs. Haven't had a claim in 40 years? Never mind, our records lead us to guess that I probably might be maybe sorta in a category that would lead someone on Mars to speculate that I might be dangerous.

Drop that Bible!

When will the time come when we no longer look to religion for moral guidance? Perhaps it should have come a long time ago; perhaps it never should have begun. The idea of rules for human behavior being based on compassion never really took hold in the Western world, although lip service has been paid to the notion, and our codes of behavior seem to owe more to fear of sexuality and the terror of what might happen if someone believes differently than directed by the priestly class.

At any rate, the idea that people should be left alone to pursue happiness and restrained only from acting to harm the same right in others is essentially American, essentially secular and essentially opposite to the teachings of American Christianity. Should young people be at liberty to form strong bonds of affection without the approval of Christian authority? Do I really have to ask? The religious say no to love, the secular humanist, the believer in the American way speaks for it.

I read in Raw Story this morning that A California appeals court ruled this week that a Christian high school can expel students perceived to be lesbians. [Italics mine] Of course a Christian school or a secular private school is not a public school, but it is, at least in part, subsidized by special tax treatment. Here they are denying the benefits of liberty and the pursuit of happiness without any protest from the law and with the assistance of your tax dollars.

I don't want to get into the legality of this and I recognize that those perceived to be too fond of each other have other educational choices, but haven't we come to the point where we can recognize that religious moral authority is not imposed for the good or the happiness of humanity but for the sake of fear mongering authority and those who make a living from it? I think most of us may be more morally evolved than Ted Haggard or Pastor Muthee or Pat Robertson or the ex-Nazi in the Vatican for whom minding your business, is their business. Yet we allow them to rule us and we don't find it strange.

I find it stranger still that people who profess patriotism and pretend to promote a government that only keeps us from killing each other and stealing each other's property and little else, will also promote a government that forces us to follow the mandates of ancient, bearded, angry and probably demented men against private consensual and harmless behavior? Why is it terrible to tax the population to support the elderly and sick but fine to force us all to adhere to their religious taboos? Where is the Christian morality in this -- unless Christian morality has nothing to do with love at all.

Of course it's all rhetorical. What I'm saying is that we can have prosperity, we can beat the swords into plowshares but we will never be free to love or live in peace until we stop allowing the perverts of "the cloth" to bend us over their Bibles and have their way with us.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Believe it or not

I get a lot of political propaganda in my in-box. I'm sure you do too. This one however, turned my stomach: a slide show of a little boy having his arm deliberately run over by a car while some adults hold him down. It contains a quote from the Qur'an that seems to be about cutting off the hands of thieves and describes how this boy is being punished for having stolen a loaf of bread. It happens every day, says the clip.

As it had been forwarded to me by someone I know, I did what I usually do, and what so few people seem to bother with -- I went on the web to see if it was a hoax. Apparently it is, although it's hard to prove. Dozens of sources claim it's a piece of street theater that people pay to watch and yes, it does happen all the time: with the same kid, whose arm is not actually broken because of the thick, rolled up blanket placed underneath it. The original video appeared on Iranian TV and the picture we are not shown shows the boy sitting up afterward, unhurt. It's disturbing that such things go on, but at least in this case, we can't use it as the blanket condemnation of Sharia or the people who live by it.

There are certainly gruesome punishments being carried out all over the world: stonings, amputations, beheadings, injections of agonizing chemicals and even electrocutions. I oppose them all, but I'm in a minority, I think, and I'm a citizen of a country that has advocated and used torture and violent intimidation for a number of years.

Of course my quickie investigation turned up this video being used as an equally vicious condemnation of Jews, Israelis and Zionists and predictable accusations by Israelis that Muslims created it for that purpose. I doubt that, but I don't know. There's enough hatred to make everything we're told suspect.

"No other religion condones such heinous acts" scrolls across our screen. Of course that's not even remotely true. Eye gouging and stoning are passionately screamed for in codes from Hammurabi to Yahweh and the Chinese, Japanese, Europeans and Aztecs have nothing to be proud of in their history thereof. For the most part such things would not go on without some religious justification and they have gone on in all cultures at one time or another.

As with all such things, what side you take here has much if not all to do with what side you were on already and less to do with what really did or didn't happen. Is this a "Zionist plot" to vilify Muslims and thus Justify Israel's existence or deeds? Is it a false-flag attack used to slander Israel or worse: all Jews? Whatever it is, it's an attempt to paint a large number of people with different ideas with the same brush. It's a hate generator and hate is the tool of the manipulator. We are none of us free from bias, but we all have more access to the truth than we customarily use. The next time you hear a report, see a video or read about some atrocity and how evil are the [ fill in the blank] who perpetrated it, take a minute to look into it before you pass it on with your blessings.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Golden Finger of Fogg

High above the Summer Palace outside of Beijing, there's a temple housing what is billed as a thousand armed Buddha. After some huffing and heavy breathing, one finds that it doesn't have a thousand arms and it really isn't the Buddha, but even this amazing, arm laden idol doesn't have enough middle fingers to flip the bird to every religious leader arrogant enough to tell us what to do.

I only have two of my own and so, being in the mood this Sunday morning, I'll concentrate on two of my favorites. Let's start with Ted Haggard. Remember Ted, the hypocrite who tried to use tears and maudlin prayers to regain his status as someone fit to tell you how to live your life after he was exposed as having "prayer sessions" with a male prostitute? Well it seems he liked amateurs even more, having had a lengthy affair with a very young male parishioner who cost the Church a good deal of money to pay off. I wonder if the upcoming HBO documentary intended to rebuild his reputation will include this new embarrassment and whether all this money taken from the pockets of pious parishioners and intended for good works will be enough to whitewash the hypocrisy and the impudence of advising other people about the immorality of his own favorite pastime: buggering young men. I'd sooner ask Bernie Madoff for investment advice than listen to this self-appointed con-man. This finger is for you, Ted.

And speaking of flim-flam, what about the fantastically finger-worthy ex-Nazi in a dress from Rome who has the arrogance to condemn the United States for sending aid to sick and impoverished Africans without their strings attached. The Vatican has now condemned the "arrogance of those in power who think they can decide between life and death." I'd briefly summarize the arrogance of the organization that has been doing exactly that for about 1700 years, but even the brief version is far too lengthy for this venue. I'll limit the summation of my discontent to Rome's disregard for the lives of millions and millions of raped African women and the millions of AIDS infected pregnant women and the millions of African women with infected husbands who need protection. Sure, the few bucks taken from widows and orphans elsewhere in the world often go to heal the poorer and needier, or what's left over after paying off the children raped by agents of Rome, that is -- but no mention of birth control and no mention of Abortion. That would be immoral.

The beauty of the Finger lies in its brevity -- and so this finger is for you, Ratzinger -- and I really mean it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Foxed up

President Obama has made so many egregious mistakes that we're all in terrible danger. He's sending the "worst of the worst" from Guantanamo to your children's playgrounds. His appointments can't be trusted and most "shocking" of all, even though Mike Wallace all but forced Chief Justice Roberts to swear him in the second time, Obama isn't really the president because he didn't have his hand on "the Bible." No, I haven't gone completely insane, I'm quoting Fox News. If you watched The Daily Show Thursday night, you saw the following clip:

You see, I'm not making this stuff up. The same people who told you we have to, in the name of freedom and our safety obey the F├╝hrer president and who supported each and every act that brought on our dire predicaments, who insisted that economic collapse was a liberal lie, that we were about to "win" in Iraq every day since we arrived, are telling you this one really can't be obeyed. Of course those with longer memories remember when Bill Clinton wasn't, for some Foxed up reason I no longer remember, really the president either and shouldn't be listened to.

So whether or not Fox lives up to its promise of revealing some hideous hidden "truth" behind every aspect of the Obama presidency once a day for the first hundred days, I won't be watching them. Unfortunately others will and for them the fiction will seem real and the fear will grow. I find it hard to feel any kind of optimism and those who think that we've "won" and that things are in good hands now may soon find that the process of losing started on November 20th.

The people who watch Fox usually don't watch anything else. They have no idea that the lies and distortions they've been hearing are often repudiated and disproved by all the other news services. They haven't a clue that one of the largest anti-American campaigns, indeed the most organized program of treason against truth, justice and democracy is broadcasting 24 hours a day. Fox is using and will use everything they can find to undermine confidence in our government and anything it does and as you can see is hoping our country will fall and our hopes will fail. To me, it constitutes as great a danger to our future as any foreign enemy or global economic collapse. Traitors, saboteurs, liars and purveyors of irrational hate, Fox News is the enemy and anyone who hopes not just for our survival, but our improvement owes it to the world to use every opportunity to expose them.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I hope he fails

I've called him all kinds of names, from Limpboy to liar to Rush the magic blowhard. This time Rush Limbaugh has left me at a loss for a proper pejorative. I guess that puts me in the drivers seat as a "driveby journalist" but when I listen to him this time, listen to him saying he hopes Barak Obama fails as president, hopes the "liberalism" he represents fails and pretends it's all about the kinds of people Obama appoints, the decisions he makes, I can only descend into obscenity.

He blames Obama, he says, for a policy that includes massive bailouts and the nationalization of the private sector. I shouldn't have to point out the distortion or the irony. The "Liberals" he says, were out to get Bush even before Bush ruined the world so it's fair, even though Bush and his fake war were supported massively by such straw men as the New York Times, even though the economic policies Rush supports have failed consistently for 30 years.

Hoping Obama succeeds is "affirmative action," it's "supporting incompetence," it's advocating "socialism." He's the "last man standing" says he, but it's all about a better America for his nieces and nephews. I wish he were the last man standing -- against the wall, because if Obama fails to undo what people like Rush and the pirates and buccaneers he supports have done, the country will only be worth living in for the heirs of plutocratic bloviators and the world will be in ruins. If Obama fails, we all fail.

Was anyone ever so thoroughly dishonest, completely reprehensible? Perhaps yes. Did anyone ever make so much money at it, maybe not. Behold the man who hopes you lose your job and your home because it offends his Reaganoid ideology. Here's the man who avoided the draft because his anus was sore, here's the man who tries to pin a drug charge on his housekeeper. Here's his 51,000 square foot home on the Atlantic ocean in Palm beach where he sits in the sun and complains about being a victim. You bought it for him, because you hate America, because you hate justice, because you're a coward, because you think bigotry is cute, because you're afraid someone will pull the rug out from under your miserable life if you don't side with the people who kidnapped America and held it for ransom.

Our country faces a world economic crisis as dangerous as anything we have faced. You and I are more likely to lose everything we have than at any time in the last 80 years; Rush isn't. In fact the worse it gets, and as he says, he hopes it will, the more material he has and the more support he will get from those who insist we need more of what Reagan and the two Bush's gave us.

If Obama succeeds, if we succeed in turning around the economy, stopping the biggest incursions on personal liberty in our history and in extricating ourselves from the war Bush started for his own reasons, Limbaugh will become as embarrassing and repugnant as the equally popular Father Coughlin did in the 1930's when it became obvious that his policies were indistinguishable from Hitler's. It can happen. We can be rid of him. Yes we can.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This land was made for you and me.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."

-Barak H. Obama, 1/20/2009-

And isn't it time someone affirmed that fact? In a country that still, in many states, requires religious belief as a test for office; in a country where accepting Jesus of Nazareth as a savior as a requirement for public office is on the books in at least one state, isn't it time our leaders stood up for the freedom of religion we have been promised?

Cherche la slime

There is a broad and thick trail of slime following Mr. Cheney out of Washington and indeed if we could follow that trail, history could actually reflect what happened over the last 8 years, but sadly, Cheney seems to have succeeded in establishing a separate agency, outside the executive branch but funded by it, that is as invisible, yet as massive as the dark matter physicists are in love with these days. In short, the evidence that might foster indictments has disappeared, some reported destroyed. Of what remains, only that which Cheney allows to be viewed by posterity will be released. Cheney and Bush may have left behind a Temple of History as filled with booby traps, poison arrows, rolling boulders and pits of quicksand that no future historian, with or without fedora and bullwhip can penetrate.

District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, a US District Judge often sympathetic to the legal arguments of the junta, has written a 63-page opinion stating that:
"Congress drastically limited the scope of outside inquiries related to the vice president's handling of his own records during his term in office."
In other words, the National Archive will no longer be able to determine what's important to keep of the records not yet shredded or destroyed. Dick Cheney's legacy will be what he wants it to be, not what it is, and in the language of Tense Logic: pGPp “What is, will always have been.”

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Poor George

My jaw has been dropping often enough that I've got bruises. After getting over Frist's announcement that Bush has left the world a better place than when he oozed into office, I find that all the major failures of his administration were things, like his personal fortune, he inherited: or so says Fox News.

Bush inherited the 9/11 attack. Bush inherited a recession and the tough times on Wall Street, according to Martha MacCallum and Wendell Goler. Either they deserve the Nobel Prize for physics for having invented a Causality Reversal Time Machine -- or a week in the pillory. I'm sure they'll get neither.

Isn't it interesting how Bush can be given credit for turning around the recession they blame Clinton for, while all the while they claimed there was no recession, but that the "libs" were simply talking down the thriving economy? Interesting, of course is my polite way of combining words like fraud, deceit and lie.

Isn't it interesting that Bush chose to do nothing about terrorism, to essentially disband all investigations into terrorism and ignore direct warnings about terrorism; isn't it interesting that he did inherit the USS Cole attack and did essentially nothing; isn't it interesting that Fox can run it through the Roger Ailes Reversotron and blame this on Clinton, whom they attacked for attempting to retaliate against al Qaeda with cries of "wag the dog?" Interesting indeed.

Far more than interesting though, is the question of how and why Fox continues to produce propaganda for the small minority of people who still think W & C0. are victims. I think the answer may well be found by asking ourselves: whom do the lies benefit and who can afford to produce and distribute them?

Friday, January 16, 2009

The healer

"A man can smile and smile and be a villain" or at least he can heap praise on one. That Mussolini made the trains run on time has become a metaphor for the practice of singling out certain isolated actions of an otherwise un-praiseworthy person in order to dismiss any clear view of the whole man.

That particular kind of smile is visible on the face of Bill Frist as he tries to portray our outgoing president as a savior of millions. George Bush is a healer, he says. I know, but be careful that nothing flies into your mouth while it gapes in amazement. No, he's not talking about the hundreds of millions of lives, perhaps billions of lives affected by his economic policies nor the uncounted lives of Iraqi civilians who he has killed or maimed, the millions exiled, the millions forced into fear and abject squalor, he's talking about the lives he's saved in Africa.

While millions have been hacked to pieces, raped, dismembered and starved in Africa without any interference by the United States of America, Bush has none the less committed 15 billion dollars to fight AIDS, according to smiling Bill Frist. Some, of course question the accounting and questionable accounting is the most visible Bush family trait, as we have seen. No mention makes Frist of any number of lives that might have been saved by advocating condoms to prevent infections because that, of course would offend the Christian Right. God, after all, provides sinners so that we can be saintly in our condescension and preventing the infections just gets in the way of God's plan.

Frist has the nerve to continue on and on about how Bush has done wonders for education and health care and I'm sure it's not that he's a damn liar or that he lives on another planet that he doesn't realize that Bush failures in these departments contributed heavily to the fact that Frist is no longer the Majority Leader. That Bush and Frist and their party of God are saintly men, misjudged by sinners and Liberals, is an article of faith for Republicans but they're no different than other men. It's just that faith makes liars of us all.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Got God?

I can fool you once and I can fool you twice and there's no shame on me, you Godless Liberal, says Ann Coulter. Ann weaseled out of felony election fraud charges in 2006 even though the evidence that she used someone else's address when she registered to vote in Palm Beach County, Florida is there in black and white. An "unofficial" phone call from a FBI boyfriend about a "stalking" story bullied the local authorities into dropping the case. No such calls were made concerning the voting rights of tens of thousands of other Floridians illegally deprived of their voting rights, but then few of them wear black pointed hats and fly around on brooms.

OK, so that's water under the bridge, but it seems she's done it before. Ann of God voted in Connecticut in 2002 and 2004 although she lived in Manhattan, illegally using her parents' address. I guess that's the kind of behavior that shows "Liberals" just how bad it is to be Godless.

Private investigator and blogger Joseph Culligan wrote to State of Connecticut Staff Attorney informing him of her misdeeds and Theodore Bromley confirmed that a registered Connecticut voter must list “a residence address in the state where you actually live. It is not enough to claim a relative’s house where you may visit.” So far the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission is waiting for someone to bring charges under oath, but apparently nobody is sufficiently Godless to take Ann of God. Ann can only offer hysterical mockery of Culligan and Bromley, who have never met according to the New York Daily News,
“Do they have private parties where one of them pretends to be a real attorney and the other one dresses up like me?”

No, and they probably don't hold Black Masses or dance naked aournd bonfires either, but she continues her obsession with mysterious stalkers by accusing them of it, adding:
“Tell them both thanks for the flowers and also to please stop killing my pets.”
Of course that's falsely accusing them of a felony, which is a serious thing to do, when you do it to a lawyer and State's attorney, but thus do the Godly speak.

Of Sean Hannity, who apparently does not want her on his show, she offers:
“Being [Hannity’s] love slave, I had no choice but to comply. Won’t somebody please rescue me from this awful dungeon [where Hannity] keeps me locked up?”
Actually I had pictured a less erotic prison cell for and perhaps, suggests the Daily News, some 9/11 widow who takes umbrage at being called a witch and harpy by this witch and harpy would like to step up. If I had been accused by her of rejoicing in my spouses' death, I would be happy to do the honors, but then I'm "Godless," you know.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Morning quickie

So only days before the second Bush leaves town (not that he spends much of his time there) his father is already touting Jeb Bush as a presidential candidate.

Now let's see, we had Prescott Bush laundering money for Hitler and getting caught, We had Neil Bush involved in scandalous S&L shenanigans that cost us billions and getting off unscathed, we had George who made the dubious claim of being "out of the loop" during the Iran-Contra scandal, we had George the second who officially sealed the incriminating evidence and who is certainly a contestant for the worst American president (and I think we can include Central and South America in the contest) and perhaps we'll have another Bush, by and by.

Now how many gang members have to screw us before we can call it a gang bang?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


I've often called her Ann of the Thousand Lies, although it must be admitted that I've never documented that many of them. Perhaps it's only been 997, perhaps it's been half a million, but how many lies, after all, does it take to make one a liar? Would a dozen major lies in one book suffice or would lying to the Palm Beach County Election Commissioner do?

I'm not talking about inaccuracies, I'm talking about lies. Media Matters for America found at least that many in her latest crock: Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America. Her assertion that Fox News has never been caught promoting a fraud, for instance, is countered by a list of frauds and a memo from Fox to its writers that quoting unattributed and undocumented stories off the web was less that responsible journalism. One recalls the "madrassa" frenzy which even without the ever more slanderous innuendo batted about between stone faced panel members would be damning enough.

That's of course only a small example from one book. I would have to add one more lie so frequently used by her active and tacit supporters: the relentlessly repeated title of "conservative commentator." William F. Buckley and George Will are conservative commentators. Ann Coulter is a writer of polemical fiction, a burner of straw men; a person who has advocated the murder of Federal Judges and bought her way out of a felony conviction by using a friend at the FBI to intimidate an election board.

I must issue the disclaimer that I haven't read this book and am not about to, so I'm going to take the word of Media Matters that the lies they illustrate are actually in it. I'm also going to discount the inevitable ritual of discounting documented information by dancing around the bonfire naked, chanting Liberaliberaliberaliberal and passing ones self off as a victim of evil Liberals as her advocates do. I will point out the irony -- if it needs to be pointed out -- of a writer who has claimed victimhood with every paragraph screeching about how "Liberals" are pretending to be victims and of the irony of a woman who attacks America with every breath, scapegoating "Liberals."

Monday, January 05, 2009

God is great

The explosions look like fireworks but with the bright white stars headed downwards rather than up. Oh Jesus, it's white phosphorus, I said to myself when I realized what I was seeing. I've raged about such weapons when the US used them and it makes me sick to see Israel using them too. Burning phosphorus does horrible things to people.
"They shelled everyone in Gaza ... they shelled children and hospitals and mosques and in doing so, they gave us legitimacy to strike them in the same way,"
said Senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar. Of course the hospitals and schools and even the mosques are ammunition dumps and launching pads for the thousands and thousands of missiles Hamas has launched and is launching indiscriminately into Southern Israel for the very purpose of provoking an attack which, seeing as they are hiding in schools and hospitals and apartment houses would generate the kind of inadvertent martyrdom Hamas, in its self-righteous cowardice, likes to assign to innocent people. They're still firing them into towns and villages and still refusing to stop even if it allows a cease fire and the end of the killing.

Of course it's hard to cite something as a provocation when it follows your prior provocation, but the chain of provocation and response is so long, any party can pick a beginning that suits their arguments -- and of course they do.

Is the Israeli response disproportionate? Of course, but if someone fires a bullet at you would you limit yourself to firing only one in return -- and of the same caliber? I think not. Would we have given Germany back to the Germans or Japan back to the Japanese had they persisted in firing hundreds of rockets at us every day of the week? Have Hamas's rocket attacks and suicide bombing attacks been entirely against civilians? Of course. Have Israeli embargoes and draconian restrictions followed massacres? Yes, and around and around we go.

Is this kind of insanity the ineluctable result of two religious cultures claiming the same ground for religious reasons? In any event, I'm not a believer in any peaceful solution that will allow all concerned to lead decent, secure lives. If Israel were to turn over all territory taken after neighboring states tried to annihilate them, I have no doubt that every square inch would be used as a base of operations to once again attempt to kill every Israeli and every shot would come from behind a screen of women and children. So far, that's just what has happened.

There has been a tense and angry peace between Israel and other neighboring countries, but I see no hope for a Palestinian state in addition to Jordan, unless it's willing to accept Israel's existence -- and Hamas is not about the acceptance of Israel.

Hamas' strategy is to provoke Israel into vicious insanity - and it works. As they haven't the manpower or the weapons for anything but barbaric terrorism against innocent civilians, they depend on getting sympathy through the sacrifice of their own innocent citizens - and it works and as long as it works, they're not going to fix it.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Fortune 21 - who's the dumbest of us all?

What were the "dumbest moments in business" during the newly departed annus horribilis, asks Fortune Magazine, which lists their choice for the top 21 feats of stupidity in 2008. Was it the beggars from Detroit arriving in Washington in private Jets or the Man from Chrysler arriving the second time around in a bloated SUV hybrid scheduled to be cancelled? Can any of that compete with investing money with Bernie Madoff, ( number 17) or be more laughable than John McCain telling us the "the fundamentals of this economy are strong."only hours before the Dow fell 500 points on news of the Lehman bankruptcy? (number 13) Maybe number 21; Phil Gramm's calling non-optimists a "nation of whiners" and his condescending dismissal of a troubled economy as a "mental recession" deserved to be on top.

It's hard to rank blunders so gross on any kind of scale. It's hard even to count them when the road to Black Monday was so long and so well paved with politics and patriotism and of course, funny as such pratfalls usually are, nobody can afford to laugh.

January may be a rough month "There's going to be a massive sea change in the retail landscape," said Nina Kampler, executive vice president of Hilco Real Estate, which advises retailers on their property management. and the likelihood is severe enough that even the mixed metaphor won't draw many giggles. All in all, this is not a good time to ask the mirror who's the dumbest of them all. It reflects us all equally.