30 April, 2010

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Apologies for missing yesterday, my darlings.  I've been waylaid by gawdawful PMS hormones.  Between the constant hunger, hot flashes, supreme irritation and terminal exhaustion, it's been an interesting week.  Last night, it seemed rather more sensible just to watch a Nova episode on bonobos and go to bed with Richard Dawkins.

Hormones haven't improved, and neither has the Con mentality.  I'd say "mind," only there's really nothing one could call a mind in what passes for their thinking.  The endless parade of dumbshittery has been, well, endless.  It gets numbing at times.  But then one dumbfuck rises above the background hum of abject stupidity and comes up with a really outrageous - well, one could hardly call something so idiotic an idea - and outrage trumps ovaries.  Besides, Mythbusters just proved women can tolerate more pain than men, and so I feel empowered to take up the Smack-o-Matic and give it a good workout.

The reason for my burst of energy: Rep. Duncan Hunter has decided the answer to all our immigration woes is to axe the Fourteenth Amendment and deport the kiddies:
The Los Angeles Times reports that, at a tea party rally in the San Diego County city of Ramona , Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) stated that U.S. citizen children of undocumented immigrants should get deported along with their parents to save the state of California money:
QUESTION: Would you support deportation of natural-born American citizens that are the children of illegal aliens?
HUNTER: I would have to, yes. [...] We simply cannot afford what we’re doing right now. California is going under. How much in debt are we? Twenty billion dollars? [...] And we’re not being mean, we’re just saying it takes more than just walking across the border to become an American citizen. It’s what’s in our souls.
Apparently, what's in Duncan Hunter's soul is small-minded, loathsome, xenophobic, merciless and extreme assholery combined with a stunning contempt for the Constitution.  Oh, and if one plans to sift him for human decency, don't bother - I don't think even a HEPA filter's fine enough to find it.

Now, most politicians would be wise enough to walk such an outrageous statement right back, given the chance.  But, like Sue "Chickens for Checkups" Lowden, he has decided to go for broke:
I just had long and spirited interview with GOP Rep Duncan Hunter of California, and in it, he strongly defended his controversial suggestion earlier this week that children born in the U.S. should be deported if their parents are illegal immigrants.

In an interview, he clarified, amplified and strongly defended the claim — and said he stuck by it even though the 14th Amendment stipulates that people born here are American citizens.

Hunter clarified his original claim by saying he only supported deporting kids if their illegal parents were deported. “The policy should be, the kids follow the parents,” Hunter said. “You’re not gonna break up the family. If you have illegal parents, who are deported, what do you do with the kids?”

Oh, I dunno, Duncan... mebbe talk to the parents about it?  Hand them off to legal relatives, or afford them some other chance at a decent American life rather than sending them back to the shithole their parents were desperate enough to become undocumented American residents to escape?  Put it like this: while family's important, so is the chance at growing up happy, healthy, and not terrorized by poverty, political repression, or religious violence.  And, y'know, there's always the humane option of giving parents a path to legalizing their immigration status. 

But that's a bridge too far for a man who thinks the Constitution is a mere inconvenience:

Asked to comment on the fact that the 14th Amendment affords those born here the rights of citizens, Hunter allowed that this was the case. But he said that it was trumped by the need to avoid breaking up families in the event of the deportation of parents.

Hunter’s staff has tried to clarify his comments by pointing out that he’s supporting legislation that would solve this problem by making citizenship no longer automatic for children of illegal immigrants born here.

But, asked directly whether he still would advocate for deporting under-aged citizens even if this bill never sees the light of day, he confirmed he would. I asked whether this meant he supported empowering the government to deport those whose rights are enshrined by the 14th Amendment.

“We should empower the government to forcibly maintain that family unit, and send them with the parents back home,” Hunter said.
So, Dunky thinks mere legislation can amend the Constitution so that pesky 14th Amendment no longer applies.  Failing that, he thinks we should simply ignore it since he doesn't like what it says.  And a man who is ostensibly for small government thinks the government should be very large indeed when it comes to forcing kiddies to leave the country. 

As Digby pointed out, the tune Cons carried was rather different when a gun was getting shoved in Elian Gonzalez's case.  But nevermind.  Apparently, the situation's different when the kiddies are born in the US and thus actual American citizens rather than simply landing here carried by Flipper.

You may wonder how Cons could be so damned inconsistent on their own fucking principles (small guvmint!  Protect the Constitution!), but that's ably explained by this post, which explores How To Believe Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast.  It's an education.  Alas, it won't learn Cons nuthin', cuz of the fact they've shut off their brains entirely.

And before the few remaining Conservative intellectuals start handwringing and asking why oh why it came to this, they may want to read John Cole's post, in which he explains just how the Cons came to be the way they are:

I see via DougJ that the epistemic closure wankfest is still in full effect, and while I’m really enjoying laughing at the shock the “conservative intellectuals” are having, part of me just wants to tell them to choke on a hamburger. Who do they think came up with all the bullshit that is coming back to haunt them?

These concerns about the “closing of the conservative mind” are humorous until you realize that it was the conservative intellectuals and elites who spoon-fed the masses bullshit for decades in order win elections.
Do read the whole thing.  It's more than worth the time.

At least all of this has answered a niggling question for me.  Y'see, I was starting to wonder if I was being too hard on these idjits.  I mean, really, could people be this fucking stupid?  Was I missing something?  Was I, perhaps, not giving credit where due?  And the answer is, nope.  It's not just my librul tendencies seeking out the worst.  It's really that bad.  Just ask the former conservatives who have fled screaming from the Cons.

This is why, when November comes, I'll be happy to vote Republican.  I'd much prefer to vote for progressive Dems across the board, but given the choice between a Republican in Democrat's clothing and a frothing insane Con, I'll go Republican (D).  At least that way, a somewhat sane person will end up in Washington.  I know that some of my more progressive friends find that anathema, given their strong desire to punish Dems for not being progressive enough, but I'm not willing to fuck this country over further to prove a point.  Look, if there were actual moderate Republicans running, I might consider switching votes to explain my displeasure to Dems, or at least drum out the ones who fall for the "they'd love me if I were more center-right!" fallacy.  But, alas, their opponents are batshit fucking insane, and I'm not willing to give Cons the idea that such insanity is the ticket to political power.  Other ways will have to be found to push reluctant Dems (and Republicans who can only get elected if they plunk a D after their names) further left.

Anyways.  It only took a week for Sue "Chickens for Checkups" a week to get ridiculed into a lame walk-back.  We'll see if good ol' Duncan "Fuck the Fourteenth, Deport 'em All!" Hunter is forced to do the same.  If not, I'm afraid we'll have just seen the last vestige of sanity trickle down the leg of the Teabagger movement, and should the Cons sweep to power on a wave of short-sighted anti-incumbent fervor, Arizona's draconian immigration law will seem the very model of modest restraint compared to what comes next.

28 April, 2010

Science Quote o' the Day

"They're the Snickers bar of the desert."

Michael Nachman, U of A, ladies and gentlemen, on the rock pocket mouse and the fact nearly everybody in the desert eats them.

Available in both milk and dark chocolate, no less.

I'm sure these poor little buggers would have a different take on ye old Snickers slogan: "Don’t let hunger happen to you."

And yeah, I'm only just now getting round to watching "What Darwin Never Knew."

Dumbfuckery du Jour

So much stupidity... so little time.

Lessee... we have my old home state acting the complete wingnut fools.  A lot has been written, but Jon Stewart covered it all:

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Arizona is beautiful, it overflows with natural wonders, and it has some great people in it, many of whom now will have to carry around proof of citizenship because their skin isn't Day-Glo white.  I'm boycotting my own damned state.  Won't be going to see my parents, won't be buying anything from it, won't be praising it as a fine tourist destination, until the fucktards in the State House come to their senses and repeal their little Gestapo-fantasy bill.  And I'm going to laugh as the state bankrupts itself trying to fend off lawsuit after lawsuit while bleeding tourists.  I mean, seriously.  Do you know how many foreign people go through there every year to eyeball the Grand Canyon and other assorted wonders?  Millions of 'em.  And do you know how many are likely to come through now that they know they could be snatched off the street and thrown in jail because they've been caught displaying a foreign accent in public?  Yeah.

Way to fucking go, AZ.  Good fucking move.  Very impressive.  I knew the state had a lot of stupid people in it, but I didn't realize just how extreme the dumbfuckery had gotten.  I mean, you've almost made Virginia look sensible, and they're currently trying to make sure people can get roaring drunk in public while carrying firearms.

Holy shit.

Elsewhere, the RNC is wagging its bare buttocks at the federal law against fake-census materials and continuing to send out the fake-census mailers which inspired said law, all the while whining that it's the Dems' fault they're doing it.  Really.  And if the Dems wrote a law against everyone at the RNC committing mass suicide, but forgot to specify that includes holding guns to each others' heads and pulling the trigger simultaneously, I suppose they'd be compelled to do that, too. 

Meanwhile, Ben Nelson is throwing a screaming fit because Chris Dodd won't give him everything he's ever wanted in the financial reform bill.  Neither Dodd nor Harry Reid are impressed.  And Harry's on a tear, gleefully scheduling vote after vote to ensure the Cons end up on the record repeatedly opposing Wall Street reform.  Somebody's learned to play hardball.  Too bad he didn't do it on health care reform, but hey, better late than never.  Cons are cracking.  And while Dems (all except Bawling Ben Nelson) enjoy themselves immensely on both this win-win situation and the imminent battle over immigration reform, Lindsey Graham joins Bawling Ben by sniveling that he won't play with his very own climate change bill ever again unless those mean nasty Dems promise not to do immigration reform at all.  Something tells me he won't get what he wants any more than Bawling Ben just did.

It's nice to see Dems show a bit of spunk and spine.  Let's hope this happy state of affairs continues.

Now if you'll excuse me, I must go lay in a supply of popcorn and soda for the upcoming beatdown Arizona's about to get from the courts.  Should be quite the fucking show.

26 April, 2010

My Night

My darlings, I promise, a nice bit o' political yawping soon, complete with the spanking of assorted deserving bottoms and plenty to titter at, but tonight I'm trying to finish a bit o' a scene that's got me stuck.

So far, in order to avoid accomplish this, I have stared at the scene, twiddled a couple of words in it, moved some research notes from one place to another, and then took a walk in the rain, in the dark, to fondle leaves.  And that was delightful.  Things smelled pretty, and it's just a little bit of magic, going outside in the rainy dark to walk in a character's shoes.  I touched a great many leaves on trees, brought some home with me, and then promptly got to work... tracking down the classical music piece that was very briefly played in Mr. Holland's Opus and was filched for Angelzoom for the song "Lights."  It's "Sleepers Awake" by Bach, if you're curious.  Many thanks to All Experts.

But really, seriously, I'm going to work on this scene any moment now.  Just that little bit, touching an alien leaf, and then I must get on with the really hard work of sketching out the rest in its entirety, complete with long windy background pieces on art and architecture and so forth, because damn it, I want to get it right.  It's the first trip offworld for Dusty.  It's important - no, not just that, essential.

And so kicking pollyticians in the arse shall have to wait for tomorrow.  In the meantime, if you haven't seen Ang Lee's The Wedding Banquet, I do recommend it.  And Mr. Holland's Opus, for that matter.

Now it's off for some more avoidance before I write the bits that need to be written...

First Outing

Spring is here, spring is here!  Life is skittles and life is ginormous rhododendrons blooming all over the place.  My intrepid companion dragged me away from the Muse for an afternoon to go to the Rhododendron Species Garden in Federal Way.  I spent most of the week not wanting to go.  Rhodies don't charm me.  They've got ugly leaves and all they do is hang around looking virulently green.  At least, that's how the ones at work always seem.  I have about as much interest in seeing a garden full of them as I have in picking up hairballs: it's not pleasant, but I sometimes do things I dislike for people I love.

Astoundingly, I ended up liking the rhodies quite a bit.  The buggers put on one hell of a show in the spring.  And the garden's very nicely done - there's much more than rhodies there, and lots of little paths go to interesting spots.  I killed two sets of batteries when I barely expected to snap any pics at all.  And I think you'll agree the trip was worth it.  I mean, just look at this:

It's very purple!  We loves purple!  And in true Northwest fashion, it's got moss growing on it.  I wish I could tell you what species it is, but my snap of the nameplate turned out too blurry to read. 

There's far more where that comes from.  Do follow me after the jump, or you'll miss out on the most spectacular shots.

23 April, 2010


That's what I'm having to research just now.  Fucking leaves.  No shit.  And yes, it's bloody well important, or I wouldn't be doing it, now, would I?

And in honor of that....

I love you, Century Media. Thank you for not only posting the official video, but allowing us to embed. That means I get to introduce readers to the awesomeness of The Gathering. Now please tell the other record companies that this is an intelligent thing to do...

Oh, hell, while we're at it, here's another:

This is why, if a little girl's unfortunate enough to end up with me as a mother, she shall be named Eleanor.  

And while the sound quality's crap on this version, the intro's utterly enchanting, so click here if you want to have some science-geek with your progressive metal.

Woozle and Mike Free-For-All Debate Thread

The never-ending debate appears to have not ended, and since I'm sometimes too distracted to moderate comments and yet completely unwilling to let spammers have their way, here ye go, gentlemen.

And because I sometimes like to bring up Mortal Kombat....

Dumbfuckery du Jour

What the fuck's up with Cons and the farm-fresh ingredients for health care schemes?  Here's another one who believes in the good ol' days of a non-cash economy:

It turns out that Senate candidate Sue Lowden (R-NV) is not the only politician out there who has promoted the idea of the barter system as part of health care. Yet another pro-barter Republican, state Rep. Mike Bell (R-TN), has been talking up the practices of Mennonites who pay doctors with vegetables.

Bell's made his comments last week, during discussion of a proposed state law that would attempt to nullify the federal health care insurance mandate in the state of Tennessee. Here is a transcript of a dialogue in committee between Bell and Democratic state Rep. Joe Towns, courtesy of the Nashville Scene, as Bell explained that many people get along without insurance:
Bell: They're some of the healthiest people you have ever seen. They pay cash when they go to the doctor. They work out arrangements with the hospitals if their children have to be hospitalized. This is an individual choice that we're talking about.
Towns: You're saying they pay cash? For organ transplants and cancer and heart cases, they pay cash?

Bell: I said they pay cash or work out other arrangements. I know for a fact. I know someone in the medical field who has been paid with vegetables from the Mennonite community.
Well, la-di-da.  I think Cons need to have the difference between a compassionate anomaly and a functional economy explained to them.  They don't seem to understand that we moved past a barter economy for a reason.  Perhaps this handy calculation of how many chickens it would require to pay for our health care system will clarify matters.  For those who want to click the link, the upshot is this: there ain't enough chickens in the world.

The Nevada GOP seems to understand this is so much stupid bullshit.  But instead of digging out, they're digging in:
Although the party is officially neutral in the primary between Lowden, former UNLV basketball player Danny Tarkanian and former state Rep. Sharron Angle, Nevada GOP communications director Ciara Turns nevertheless offered a vigorous defense of Lowden's statements, and condemned the Democrats for the way that Lowden is being attacked.

"Well it's pretty clear that they're attacking the way she conveyed her message because they can't attack her message," said Turns. "Her message is pretty clear. She was clearly trying to make the point that if we moved away from an insurance-based system and more people started paying cash for their health care, then prices would come down. But they don't want to address that. The left doesn't, Harry Reid's campaign doesn't want to address that, because it's a legitimate point that they can't argue. And so they've decided to go after the way she delivered her message instead of the substance of it."

Putting aside the fact that the actual substance of Sue Lowden's message was "bring a chicken to the doctor," let's just have a look at what the Cons are saying here.  They believe we should get rid of insurance, and pay cash for health care.  Turns, in fact, says that such a system has been "proven to work."  It surely does - for very rich people.  I did some digging on cancer treatment, and while Google failed to find me an average per person cost for cancer treatment, it seems the going rate is hundreds of thousands of dollars for breast cancer.  Something tells me a little bit of barter-and-cash bargaining isn't going to bring those costs within range of a person trying to support a family on the microscopic salary offered to most peons in this country.  And what about those who have lost their jobs?  Those who have no chickens, veggies, or other means of exchange?  Alan Grayson was right when he said, "If you get sick America, the Republican health care plan is this: die quickly." That'll keep the costs down.

I have just one question for these outrageous idiots: when their children get sick, do they try to dicker the price down before that child is treated?  When, in fact, was the last time they tried to trade farm produce for medical treatment?  Have they given up their health insurance and started paying cash and cluckers?  I'm willing to bet every dollar currently in my checking account that the answer is no.

So let me just advise them to shut the fuck up.

21 April, 2010

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Dear Nevada,

I know you don't like Harry Reid.  He often seems about as useful as using birth control with a eunuch, and it's understandable that you might be looking for someone a bit more assertive.  I'd like that, too.  However, you have a choice this November.  And given a choice between a wet Reid and someone who believes in exchanging Chickens for Checkups, I think there's only one sensible decision:
Sue Lowden (R), the leading Republican Senate candidate in Nevada, recently articulated her vision of how the American health care system should work. At a local candidate forum, Lowden, a former state senator and chair of the Nevada Republican Party, encouraged Nevadans to "go ahead and barter with your doctor." It would, she insisted, "get get prices down in a hurry."

Lowden appeared on a Nevada news program earlier this week, and doubled down on her notion of a more effective system.

"I'm telling you that this works," the Republican candidate explained. "You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor. They would say, 'I'll paint your house.' I mean, that's the old days of what people would do to get health care with your doctors. Doctors are very sympathetic people. I'm not backing down from that system."

This is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard from a candidate for statewide office. If there wasn't a video, I might not even believe it. According to nearly every recent poll, Lowden is the clear favorite to defeat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) in November, but that was before she started talking about trading livestock for medical care. It's a permanent credibility-killer. It's one thing to be a confused, far-right candidate. It's another to be a laughingstock.
Now, this is stupid enough.  It's grade-A dumbfuckery.  But candidates say and do stupid things all the time.  The true measure of a candidate is in how they correct themselves when they've done or said something blindingly stupid.  And by that measure, as well, Sue Lowden fails miserably:
This afternoon, the Republican candidate's spokesperson told Greg Sargent that the campaign is sticking by Lowden's argument.
"Americans are struggling to pay for their health care, and in order to afford coverage we must explore all options available to drive costs down. Bartering with your doctor is not a new concept. There have been numerous reports as to how negotiating with your doctor is an option and doctors have gone on the record verifying this."
The campaign's statement went on to blame Harry Reid because, well, just because.
Yes, my darling Nevadans.  Your candidate for Senator believes that because a few compassionate doctors accept arrangements in which desperately ill people without health insurance or money do, say, yard work or auto repair in exchange for life-saving treatment, and because (supposedly) Sue's own grandparents supplied their doctor with chickens rather than checks, we should all barter for health care.  This, she believes, will control costs and provide health care for chicken farmers everywhere.  No word yet on whether cows are an acceptable substitute (I suppose it depends on the doctor's views regarding the consumption of red meat).

You can send a letter requesting Sue's assistance in finding a doctor willing to trade goods for health care services here.  There are convenient drop-down menus for your ailment and the items you wish to trade.  And there is room for a PS, in which I asked a few additional questions in order to clarify matters:
What shall I offer my doctor if he already has enough goats?  Do you think I should sell my body instead?  Would you offer sex for services?  And in that case, should we choose our doctors not on the basis of their competence but on their physical appearance?  Thank you for your advice!

I'll let you know if Ms. Lowden responds. 

Nevada, you have a decision to make this November.  If you're short on livestock and/or doctors requiring same, I'd suggest you tick the box next to Harry Reid's name.

Dana Hunter

I Smell Abject Ignorance

I was going to do up a little post on the United Methodist Church's ridiculous little "Rethink Church" campaign, but that merely reeks of desperation, and while it warms my heart to see churches begging, bribing and beseeching people to attend, it's just not funny enough to poke fun at.  Besides, the Methodists aren't as odious as some.  I'd like to see low attendance force, say, the leaders of the Southern Baptists or the Catholic Church to start desperate little ad campaigns trying to prove they're hip, with it, and have an actual conscience.

So no, that wasn't spit-take worthy idiocy.  This, on the other hand, is:

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That's a remarkable amount of ignorance to pack into 15 seconds, and it takes a truly shameless ignoramus to proudly spew it all over a television audience not made up solely of Faux News viewers.

Rick, allow me to attempt a bit of education.  Not sure I have the strength to pound it into a skull this thick, but I shall try.

One, volcanoes are places where molten fucking rock from the earth's interior comes to the surface.  You see, the interior of the earth is very, very hot.  Observe:

And where do volcanoes come from?  Why, the inside of the earth, where it's thousands of degrees Fahrenheit!

Wow, that's hot!

Volcanoes erupt something called magma, which is, in fact, molten fucking rock.  It is about 1,300 to 2400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Shall we compare it to a summer's day?  At the lower end of the scale, it's at least 1,200 degrees hotter.  And the melting temperature of ice is (drumroll please) 33 degrees Fahrenheit.  Ergo, volcanoes can melt ice. 

Additionally, the lowest temperature ever recorded on Iceland was -39 degrees Fahrenheit.  Ergo, volcanoes can melt Iceland.  For a demonstration of principles, Rick, why don't you take a blowtorch to an ice cube.  On second thought, have someone else take a blowtorch to an ice cube.  I don't think you should be personally handling anything more dangerous than a safety pin.

But my second point, and the most important one, is this: Iceland is famous for being the only place on earth where you can see the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at the surface, you stupid shit.  You know, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where all the fucking volcanic activity happens?  And the reason we can see the fucking Mid-Atlantic Ridge splitting an island apart is because Iceland's also on a hot spot, just like Hawaii.  The island was built by volcanoes, is still in the process of being built by volcanoes, and is fucking known for volcanoes, you dumbfuck.  Iceland's among the first to have harnessed volcanoes for geothermal energy production.  Haven't you ever seen images like these?

And what, did you sleep through Surtsey?

Look, I know ignorance is supposed to be bliss, and if that's the case you must be fucking ecstatic, but please, indulge in the privacy of your own home, all right? 

Zen Buddhism Almost Killed Me Tonight

I read this and aspirated an orange:
A samurai once asked Zen Master Hakuin where he would go after he died.

Hakuin answered 'How am I supposed to know?'

'How do you not know? You're a Zen master!' exclaimed the samurai.

'Yes, but not a dead one,' Hakuin answered.

That'll teach me to read Zen quotes with my mouth full.

19 April, 2010

Dumbfuckery du Jour

He'll be on about repealing the 13th Amendment next, mark my words:
I like to think I can take a joke, and appreciate political commentary intended as humor, but this item from Thomas Mitchell, editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, wasn't amusing. The headline read, "Time to repeal the 19th Amendment?"
People and candidates for public office should be judged on the basis of their ideas, stance on the issues, character, experience and integrity, not on the basis of age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion or disability.
Therefore, we must repeal the 19th Amendment. Yes, the one granting suffrage to women. Because? Well, women are biased..... Men are consistent. Women are fickle and biased.
To "prove" his point, Mitchell, head of Nevada's largest newspaper, pointed to poll results showing women voters in the state preferring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) over former state Sen. Sue Lowden (R) by a narrow margin, but preferring Reid over real estate agent Danny Tarkanian by a wide margin. This is evidence of "bias." (That women voters might perceive Lowden as more qualified than Tarkanian doesn't seem to enter the equation at all.)

Mitchell also pointed to recent Gallup data that showed, nationwide, women tend to prefer Democrats, while men tend to prefer Republicans. This, apparently, substantiates the argument that ... well, actually, I have no idea.

If there's a clever insight here, it's hiding well.

For fuck's sake, the vast majority of men in the 19th Century were more enlightened than this.  This little shit stain sounds like he's pining for ancient Greece, where women were basically nothing more than prisoners in their homes.  Perhaps he'd like to emigrate to Saudi Arabia, where that's still the case.

We'll see what his next brainwave is.  It could be repealing the 13th, which outlawed slavery (the Bible sez slaves are okay, after all!), or he might start arguing in favor of abolishing child labor laws.  After all, those icky delinquents wouldn't be so delinquent if they had to work 18 hours a day.

Mitchell joins Sarah Palin in abject ignorance.  Her latest pearl of unwisdom:
A certain former half-term governor appears to be drifting even further away from the American mainstream. Over the weekend, appearing at an evangelical Christian women's conference in Louisville, Sarah Palin rejected the very idea of separation of church and state, a bedrock principle of American democracy.
She asked for the women -- who greeted her with an enthusiastic standing ovation -- to provide a "prayer shield" to strengthen her against what she said was "deception" in the media.
She denounced this week's Wisconsin federal court ruling that government observance of a National Day of Prayer was unconstitutional -- which the crowd joined in booing. She asserted that America needs to get back to its Christian roots and rejected any notion that "God should be separated from the state."
Palin added that she was outraged when President Obama said that "America isn't a Christian nation."

The amusing aspect of this is the notion that the United States would return to its roots with support for National Day of Prayer observances. That's backwards -- Thomas Jefferson and James Madison explicitly rejected state-sponsored prayer days. I'll look forward to the conservative explanation of how the Founding Fathers were godless socialists.

A student of history she ain't.  She keeps dropping these little pearls all over the place, but it seems that her pearls have retained the speck of shit at their core whilst forgoing the pearl part. 

If Mitchell'd had Sarah Palin in mind when he whined that women shouldn't be involved in politics, I might have almost sympathized with his position...

18 April, 2010

Quote o' the Day

Digby sums up what we've learned from the NYT/CBS poll on Teabaggers:
When they lose they stage a national hissy fit of epic proportions and persuade the Village (where they are perceived as the personification of the heartland of America) that they are something very important. Now that they have their very own TV and radio networks featuring crazed right wing demagogues 24/7, they are more successful on those terms than ever. But they are nothing new, nothing new at all. They are mostly a bunch of cranky, white men with money who are trying desperately to hang on to their privileges. Same as it ever was.
Or, as Steve Benen put it:

If you were to make a Venn Diagram of the issues Tea Party members care about, and the issues Tea Party members are confused about, you'd only see one circle.

These folks claim to be motivated by concerns over taxes, but Tea Partiers tend not to know anything about the subject. They claim to be angry about the Affordable Care Act, but they don't know what's in it. They claim to hate expensive government programs, except for all the expensive government programs that benefit them and their families.

It's inherently challenging to create a lasting, successful political movement predicated on literally nothing more than ignorance and rage. In the case of Tea Partiers, we're talking about a reasonably large group of people who seem to revel in their own ignorance, but nevertheless seek an active role in the process.

Following up on an item from a few weeks ago, this is important to the extent that there are still some who believe the political mainstream should do more to listen to the Tea Party crowd and take its hysterical cries seriously. But how can credible people take nonsense seriously and hope to come up with a meaningful result? How can policymakers actually address substantive challenges while following the advice of angry mobs who reject reason and evidence?

The bottom line seem inescapable: Tea Party activists have no idea what they're talking about. Their sincerity notwithstanding, this is a confused group of misled people.
Now, I can see why politicians take these lackwits seriously.  Something to do with fools and money being easily parted, I should think.  However, that's no excuse for the Villagers.  We must assume their adoration of the Teabagging Masses is due to their being not so much Villagers as Village Idiots.

The Venn Diagram Steve mentions should be drawn in black, to represent the black hole of stupidity that is the Teabaggers and their admirers.  Let's just hope the rest of the country doesn't get sucked in to it.

15 April, 2010

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Cons really need to stop babbling about how every election is a referendum on X.  It's going badly for them:
It seemed like a good strategy at the time. With Robert Wexler (D) giving up his U.S. House seat in South Florida, a special election would offer conservatives a chance to create a "referendum" on the Obama presidency. After all, the election, held yesterday, would be the first since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, and Republicans could ride the wave of voter anger to an upset.

Indeed, the Republican candidate, Ed Lynch, ran on a strictly anti-Obama platform, vowing to repeal the new health care law and railing against the recovery efforts that rescued the economy. Lynch sought to position himself as the "next Scott Brown."

So, how'd that referendum turn out? The backlash against Democrats and the president propelled Lynch to a 26-point defeat.

That's quite a backlash, that is.  We see many more backlashes like this, we may end up with a "permanent Republican majority" of one.

Putting the race in the larger context, there have been six special elections for U.S. House seats since the president's inauguration 14 months ago: NY20, IL5, CA32, CA10, NY23, and FL19. Democrats have won all six.

Now mind you, the American public seems to have a weakness for electing insensible Senators, and we all know how well Virginia did in its choices for AG and Gov, but overall, it would appear that every time there's a "referendum" on something the Dems have done lately, the Cons end up with an overwhelming chance of getting their asses whupped.

I do have to say this pleases me, even though some of the Dems we've currently got are nothing more than Republicans who wouldn't be caught dead in the current Con party.  Can't say as I blame them. 

I just hope this fall ends up being a referendum on Obama, the Democrats and everything.  If so, it appears Cons may not end up taking the reins and driving the carriage over a cliff just yet.

We turn now to egregious dumbfuckery:

Massey Energy told employees that if they miss work to attend the funerals they would be fired, workers said. A Massey worker, who did not give his name because he is afraid of losing his job, said that his coworkers were outraged that they were not given time off to mourn their friends and brothers. 
The WSWS spoke to workers and relatives outside a local market. Chuck Smith, an unemployed miner with seven years work underground, said Massey's decision to force miners to work during the funerals was a calculated move. "What would it look like if a bunch of people wearing Massey uniforms showed up to the funeral yelling 'damn Massey?'"
OK, so, instead, we'll have the whole world mad at you for being jerks. Nice move. What are you, the nineteenth century or something?
My, isn't Massey's management a fascinating collection of dickwads, shitheels, and assmunches?  I feel sorry for the poor souls who must work in their PR department.  It's a tough job-hunting climate, but I do not doubt they're dusting off the old resumes anyway. Management's actions give a whole new meaning to "dirty coal."

13 April, 2010

Another One For My Bulging Music List

I know the vast majority of you have probably already seen this, but for the handful of you who don't read Pharyngula (for shame!), allow me to commend the following to your attention:

The Ocean, as it turns out, is my kind o' band.  Death metal-ish with some symphonic elements, very solid musically (if, like me, you understand that death grunts are musical), and above all, inspired by Dawkins:

The songs, art and lyrics of this album tell the story of the rise of the heliocentric world view - the idea that the earth revolves around the sun, and that the sun is stationary and at the center of the universe. Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei were the first popular ambassadors of this idea, although ancient greek astronomers like Aristarchus had already posited this theory centuries before.

The journey starts with the creation of the firmament in Genesis 1:6-20 (Firmament) and ancient explanations of the movement of celestial bodies in 1 Enoch 72:2-5 (The 1st Commandment of the Luminaries). It continues with Copernicus and Galileo, the first propagators of heliocentrism who were not yet in conflict with the Church (Ptolemy Was Wrong) and Giordano Bruno, who was burnt at the stake of the Spanish Inquisition for being a heretic (Catharsis of a Heretic). Arthur Rimbaud's's criticism of moral law in his essay Reasons Not to Believe in God and Nietzsche's rejection of fundamental Christian values has inspired the lyrics to Metaphysics of the Hangman. The album concludes with the greatest achievement in the history of modern science, Darwin's theory of evolution (The Origin of Species) and ideas inspired by evolution biologist and passionate atheist Richard Dawkins (The Origin of God, Epiphany).[3]

Its companion album, Anthropocentric, challenges the views of creationists and other modern fundamentalists who believe that the earth is at the center of the universe.

So there's two more albums I must add to my already-overstuffed music list, which includes Haggard's Eppur Si Muove.  Now I can have a science-themed party complete with science-themed metal.  And if one more idiot tells me death and black metal is only a bunch of idiots in silly makeup screaming at the top of their lungs, I shall be very pleased to inform them that not only can my band beat up their band, but score higher on the SATs as well.

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Can someone please, please, for the sake of this country, put a tube of Superglue in Rush Limbaugh's cigar and make sure he bites down hard on it?  Of course that's only a temporary solution, but at least it would, for a blessed moment, keep him from saying dumbfuck shit like this:
Last Friday, Rush Limbaugh asked why a coal miner union didn’t protect the 29 miners who were killed when Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine in Montcoal, WV, exploded under unsafe conditions:
Was there no union responsibility for improving mine safety? Where was the union here? Where was the union? The union is generally holding these companies up demanding all kinds of safety. Why were these miners continuing to work in what apparently was an unsafe atmosphere?

Um... maybe because, I dunno, a possible reason could be that the fucking mine wasn't unionized?
In fact, the United Mine Workers of America (UMW) “tried three times to organize the Upper Big Branch mine, but even with getting nearly 70 percent of workers to sign cards saying they wanted to vote for a union, Blankenship personally met with workers to threaten them with closing down the mine and losing their jobs if they voted for a union.” 
So, Rushbo, the next time you try to demonize unions, maybe it might be a good idea to, y'know, make sure there's a fucking union present to demonize.  Just a thought.

In additional dumbfuckery, I hope Virginia's very proud of itself.  Not only did they elect a dumbshit intent on stripping protections against discrimination away from gays, not only did they elect a governor who thinks slavery isn't a significant part of Virginia's history, but now Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dweeb have decided that if a Virginian gets busted for a non-violent felony and can't write an essay, they should lose their voting rights pretty much permanently:

McDonnell wants to change the process by which non-violent felons apply to have their voting rights restored, the Washington Post reported over the weekend. Whereas before, applicants had had to fill out a one-page form, making the process almost automatic, they now will have to submit an essay outlining their contributions to society since their release.

Advocates for the poor say this will result in far fewer people having their rights restored. Kent Willis, an ACLU official in Virginia called the essay requirement "a nearly insurmountable obstacle'' for people with a limited education. And he added that many felons would be intimidated, reducing the number of applicants.

Mr. McDonnell.  The country tried shit like this back in the day when black people couldn't sit at lunch counters.  It's not allowed in this day and age.

Tell you what, though.  You can force former potheads to sit a mini-SAT to get their rights back if we can institute a simple test for all other voters.  They'd have to define political ideologies like socialism.  Correctly define, mind you.  That way, we can balance out any losses from the probably-Democratic poor voters with losses from the Teabaggers, who have no fucking idea what socialism really is.  How's that sound?  Fair enough, right?

Oh, and speaking of segregation, it appears some parts of the deep South still don't understand what century they're living in:
Today, a federal court ordered a county in Walthall County in Mississippi to “stop segregating its schools by grouping African American students into all-black classrooms and allowing white students to transfer to the county’s only majority-white school.” From the Justice Department’s press release
“More than 55 years after Brown v. Board of Education, it is unacceptable for school districts to act in a way that encourages or tolerates the resegregation of public schools,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “We will take action so that school districts subject to federal desegregation orders comply with their obligation to eliminate vestiges of separate black and white schools.”

But remember, kiddies, we're living in a post-racial society and there's no more racism anywhere in the entire country because we managed to elect a black man President.  Never mind the fact that the presence of a black Democrat in the Oval Office has unhinged very nearly the entire right wing so badly that even lawmakers are ganging up with the Teabaggers to form militias.

Sing with me now, my fellow Americans: My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of dumbfuckery...

12 April, 2010

Movie Quote o' the Day

From Notting Hill: "Happiness isn't happiness without a violin-playing goat."

Too true.

Why the Fuck Do People Get Married?

I've just spent the last hour-and-a-half researching wedding shit for a scene I'm writing, and I can think of only two words: fucking paininthearse. 

If I ever have the misfortune to have someone I actually love pop the question, the first thing I'll ask before even considering saying yes is, "Are you good with eloping?"  If the answer is yes, then my answer might be yes.  It depends on whether ye olde significant other plans to have a big reception later on or not.  If not, then all is well.

This is some crazy shit we engage in when it comes to signing a few documents saying you're not longer a Miss.

Dumbfuckery du Jour

The Cons' idea of health care reform, my darlings, consists of the following:

1.  Repeal existing health care reform:
Republican officials still haven't quite figured out what they want to say about repealing the new Affordable Care Act -- a surprising number of Republicans aren't willing to commit to scrapping the entire law -- but the party's House leader nevertheless described the push as the GOP's top legislative priority.


DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) called Boehner's comments "stunning."
"It is stunning that House Republicans will make their number one priority repealing benefits and rights for Americans, raising taxes, and turning our health care system back over to insurance companies. Not only does this legislation improve our health care system, it will also reduce the deficit by more than $1 trillion over 20 years, create millions of jobs, and provide small business owners with important tax credits. The House Republican leadership should start saying no to the special interests of the health insurance industry, and starting saying yes to American families by working with us to create jobs and get the economy back on track."
2.  Replace reform with the barter system - or possibly haggling, Cons are unclear on the concept:
Once in a great while, we get a peek at Republicans' health care ideals, but rarely do we see them articulated as candidly as Sue Lowden described them last week.

Lowden is a former state senator and chair of the Nevada Republican Party. She's also, according to nearly every recent poll, the favorite to defeat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) in November. Lowden is not, as one might imagine, a supporter of recent improvements to the broken health care system, and she was asked at a candidate forum the kind of policies she'd prefer to see. Among her proposals:
"...I would have suggested, and I think that bartering is really good. Those doctors who you pay cash, you can barter, and that would get prices down in a hurry. And I would say go out, go ahead out and pay cash for whatever your medical needs are, and go ahead and barter with your doctor."
3.  Tell all those freeloaders with pre-existing conditions to just suck it up and fuggedabout the insurance:
GOP Rep Roy Blunt, in a video being circulated by the DSCC, appears to come out against insuring adults with pre-existing conditions, on the grounds that it would give people “every incentive” not to get insurance until they absolutely have to.

Dems point out that this is, as it happens, a pretty good argument in favor of the individual mandate.
This is their thinking.  This is what they've come up with after over a year of considering health care reform.  This is what they're promising us if they get a majority.

The fact that anyone in the universe takes these fucktards seriously just astounds me.

11 April, 2010

A Masterful Summation of the Week's Dumbfuckery

George has the roundup, complete with commentary.  He's hit very nearly every story I'd thought of highlighting.  It's too bad he's busy with his own blog, or I'd hire him on to do this one.

When you're done with the weekly dumbfuckery, don't forget to watch George give a Church of Christ cretinist a sound intellectual thrashing.  Here's the bit I'm going to memorize for future debates with various and sundry IDiots:
Macro- versus micro-evolution?  Seriously?  Let me ask you; don’t millions of small steps add up to a long journey?
And this, from his notes:
Say; “Prove it!” to evolutionists! (But won’t accept any evidence as proof.  And anyway, proof is a mathematical concept; science deals in probabilities)
Which gave me a bit of a brainwave.  Such as saying, "Okay, fine, I'll prove evolution - after you prove you're X," in which X = any attribute of the person in front of me such as tall, dressed, or suchlike, and during which I won't accept any evidence presented, no matter how obvious it is.  That could lead to hours of cheap entertainment, at least until the IDiots snatch their toys and run sniveling home to mommy.

George sometimes flatters me with comments regarding the sagacity and wit of my writing, but I have to tell you the truth, my darlings: if blogging were a car, George would get shotgun.  I'm definitely a backseat sort of blogger, compared to him.

It's the Apocralypse

Back in my day, all you could get was Hello Kitty erasers, stationary sets, backpacks, that sort o' thing.  And it was just for the kiddies.  It all made sense.  It was just as it should be: sweet and innocent and totally kitschy.

This is just wrong:

This is a horrible thing to do to wine.  And of course, Stephen Colbert has an idea where this trend could be going next:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Tip/Wag - Hello Kitty Wine & Pig's Blood Filters
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News

Forget pale horses.  This, my friends, is the harbinger of the end.  Next thing you know, there'll be Strawberry Shortcake condoms and Power Rangers butt plugs.  Every damned fad is destined to be resurrected as something adults-only, because apparently companies are too lazy to come up with original adult fads. 

And thus continues the infantalizing of America.

I Wish There Were A God So I Can Ask It Why

Why did I watch The Princess Diaries?  And why did it inspire some actual useful thinking?  It pains me to admit that such sacchariny schlock could actually lead to breakthroughs, however minor.

Argh.  I blame my Muse.

Still A Favorite

I meant to do actual work tonight, but fell prey to exhaustion, and so the only reasonable thing to do was throw in So I Married An Axe Murderer.  Still one of my favorite movies of all time.  It's ridiculous in every particular.  Almost as sublimely silly as Austin Powers.

Did I ever mention how I came to fall in love with Austin Powers?  It was back in the days when I hated all things '60s.  I swore I'd never watch Austin Powers because it looked stupid and was set in the '60s.  However, at the time, I had friends who had selective hearing when it came to the word "no."  They also failed to understand "absolutely not," "over my dead body," and "if you force me to go to this movie, I'll never speak to you again."  I ended up being dragged into the local dollar theatre swearing revenge, and came out screaming "Yeah, baby!" and wondering where one could buy a feather boa late at night in Prescott, Arizona.

The next Valentine's Day, I had a small industry going at our workplace making Austin Powers bags for the Valentine's cards we handed around in some misguided attempt to make the workplace more fun.  Well, what else can you do when you're staring at a brown paper bag but put on it "This is my bag, baby!" in red glitter.

Now I'm going to suffer through The Princess Diaries for no discernible reason, and then I'll be putting myself to bed with Connie Willis.  It's not such a bad life.

09 April, 2010

Grate. Now I'm Crying

So, I finally worked up the courage to watch Spirited Away.  It took awhile to talk myself into it, because when a friend whose judgment you trust says it's a movie he hated because he knew that nothing else would ever be as good, it makes you worry.  Will you ever be able to watch another movie ever again?  Will your hopes be dashed because this movie isn't your cup of tea, and can you stand to face your friend afterward and admit that, really, you didn't think it was all that awesome?  Silly thoughts, I know, but I had 'em.

So, first, an admission: I didn't like it quite as much as Howl's Moving CastleHowl's hooked me the instant it began and kept me hooked throughout.  I remained enthralled the whole time.  Spirited Away took quite some time to get off the ground.  But once it took off, once the characters got their hooks into me and started tugging, I could see what my friend meant.  I didn't want it to end either.  And I wanted her to look back.

I could say profound things about the hero's journey and archetypes and the similarities and divergence between Japanese and Western mythology, but I don't want to deconstruct this movie.  I just want to say that if I can write a novel half as good as Hayao Miyazaki's movies, I'll be very happy indeed.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go sniffle a bit more and see if I can write anything half as good.  Oh, and budget for every single Miyazaki movie ever released in the US.

Our Own Chris Rhetts, Ladies and Gentlemen

I do believe I mentioned my own dear heart sister Nicole's holding a contest for National Poetry Month.  Chris Rhetts, a regular patron and one of my Wisest Readers, has thrown his hat in the ring.  It's a delightful poem, one that has taken its place among my pantheon of favorites as if a slot was always waiting for it.  And it reminds me how much I once enjoyed water spiders.

Good poetry flows.  Great poetry evokes.  I think we can safely say Chris deserves a place among the greats.

Go.  Enjoy.  And don't forget to check out the other delights Nicole's posted this month.

Dumbfuckery du Jour

Sorry about yesterday.  I got waylaid by Connie Willis.  Decided to re-read To Say Nothing of the Dog, y'see.  And while I was away, the dumbfuckery piled up high.

Most of it hails from Virginia, where voters in their infinitesimal wisdom decided it would be a brilliant idea to vote themselves a Con for AG and a Con for Governor.  They got what they bargained for, poor fools.  Here's their new Attorney General, fresh off telling teh gayz they'd better not expect those civil rights and stuff, now making money off his dumbfuckery:

Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia's far-right attorney general, has launched a political action committee to bolster his influence within state politics. 

"Liberty Now" is designed to "support the efforts of Ken Cuccinelli in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and to elect Republicans to non-federal offices in the Commonwealth of Virginia," according to a filing made by the organization with the IRS last month.

Oh, goody.  Looks like somebody's got notions of becoming the worst president in US history by way of destroying Virginia first.  Have I told you lately I'm glad I don't live in Virginia?

Not to be outdone, Gov. McDonnell created a stir by proclaiming April to be Confederate History Month without mentioning those pesky slaves.  His reason for leaving slavery out of the festivities?  You can't make this shit up:
Last week, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) issued a proclamation quietly declaring April 2010 Confederate History Month, saying it was important for Virginians to “understand the sacrifices of the Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens during the period of the Civil War, and to recognize how our history has led to our present.” 

Notably absent from McDonnell’s proclamation was any mention of slavery. Yesterday, McDonnell explained that it wasn’t “significant” enough to merit a mention:
McDonnell said Tuesday that the move was designed to promote tourism in the state, which next year will mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the war. McDonnell said he did not include a reference to slavery because “there were any number of aspects to that conflict between the states. Obviously, it involved slavery. It involved other issues. But I focused on the ones I thought were most significant for Virginia.
These fucktards really do create their own reality, don't they?  I mean, seriously.  Slavery wasn't significant for Virginia?  Really

Good ol' Bob later backpedaled, finally cottoning to the notion that in this modern age, you can't just wish slavery out of our nation's past without pissing a shitload of people off, but he's many days late and several bajillion dollars short.  Talk about your weapons-grade stupidity.

Meanwhile, all those Tea Party lovin' Cons are suddenly deciding we're not Taxed Enough Already:
The AP has a piece today with a headline that reads, "Nearly half of US households escape fed income tax." Here's the lede:
Tax Day is a dreaded deadline for millions, but for nearly half of U.S. households it's simply somebody else's problem.
About 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009. Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability.
This has some on the right complaining -- about the policy, not the story. As Steve M. noted, "So, after a year or so of telling us they're 'taxed enough already,' wingnuts are now going to start complaining that taxes are too low? Apparently."

Drudge is telling readers today, "Rob Thy Neighbor: Half of Households Pay No Fed Income Tax." Fox Nation's headline reads, "Fair? Half the Country Doesn't Pay Income Tax."

Rick Santorum told Fox News viewers last night, "[W]hen you reach the point where people feel like they don't have to pay anything and they're getting money out of the Treasury for nothing, then there's no end to the amount of government that people want." Glenn Beck is also outraged that more Americans aren't paying more in federal taxes.
Of course, they'll try to claim it's all those icky libruls who aren't paying their way, but that story's a little thin, considering how many Teabaggers are middle-class nitwits who are, most certainly, not paying their "fair" share.  Welcome to America, my friends, where those who pay $0 in federal income tax protest paying federal income tax and then whine when it turns out people are not paying federal income tax.

And what sort of politicians do they elect into office?  Ones who spout talking points and can't figure out how actual policy works despite a year's head start.  I'd say they're all sizzle and no steak, but even the sizzle's pretty weak.

Sometimes, I wonder just how much concentrated stupidity our republic can endure before it implodes.

07 April, 2010

Somewhat Famous and Other Stories From The Exile's Life

Ah, my darlings, I can't tell you how good it is to be back.  Not that I'm back much - my hands are still healing, so I'm trying to keep repetitive stress down to a minimum.  But I'll tell you, two days without any typing at all blew leper donkey dick.  Don't know what you've got till it's gone and all that.  I've missed you.

Thought of you constantly, in fact.  I wanted to tell you all about watching Howl's Moving Castle and being very moved indeed by it.  The characters delighted me.  It's been a while since I was truly moved by a set of story folk.  Gave me ideas, it did, and gave me a feeling like I'd been part of something special, and now I'm terrified to watch Spirited Away because it is, by all reports, even better than Howl's, and considering that after Howl's every other movie I watched left me saying, "That was so lame compared to Howl's," that could ruin me for movie watching for quite some time to come.

By the time my DVR rolled round to Sense and Sensibility, I'd somewhat recovered.  Enough to appreciate it, anyway.  I do love Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, and Kate Winslet.  Not so much in to the Jane Austen thing, but still, it's a good movie.  Just nowhere near as good as Howl's.

See what I mean?

I turned to Connie Willis for comfort on Day One of the No Typing Whatsoever experience, and this turned out to be a mistake.  Not that Blackout is a bad book.  Far from it.  What I didn't realize is that it is not, in fact, a full book, but half a book.  And the other half won't be out until October.  And it's literally half a book: it ends at the end of a chapter.  Now I know how the people who were reading The Lord of the Rings as its various parts were released felt.  Nothing's worse than getting to what you believe is the end of the book and finding yourself dangling right over a cliff, loose ends flapping in the breeze, not even the minimal comfort of a series, wherein at least a few plot threads are neatly tied up, there's been a climax and denouement, and all that. 

Argh argh argh.

In other news, I've become somewhat famous.  At least, my feet have:

When I saw this submission from entequilaesverdad, the word that popped into my mind was "jaunty." Also, I don't know if you can read the bottom book, but it is called "The Joy of Sects," which cracks my shit up.
I'm now very glad indeed that I had the brainwave that led to me putting The Joy of Sects beneath the Bible for my uncompromising and unashamed stand.  You can see a great many other atheists standing unashamedly and uncompromisingly upon various holy books here, here and here.  Praise be to Happy Jihad's House of Pancakes for giving so many atheists the opportunity to have so much public fun with fundamentalism!

And I have to admit that cracking Happy Jihad's shit up really made my day.

Our own dear Cujo did his own blogging against theocracy, and cracked my shit up by starting with a Monty Python quote.  Read the whole thing, not just the Monty Python bit, because his post includes such gems as this:
Most religions require their adherents to believe some crazy things. Christians are supposed to believe that their religion's founder was tortured and killed in one of the worst ways imaginable, given the technology and medical knowledge of the time, so they could be forgiven for their sins. Huh? This makes absolutely no sense, no matter how you spin it. What makes sense, given what we know of the situation, is that Christ was crucified because people found him annoying and their leaders thought he was a troublemaker.

No doubt, he was insulting the religious beliefs of the time by declaring that he had his own.
Context gives that last line extra luster. 

When you're done admiring that, go read George's spanking of morons who declare global warming a myth every time it gets chilly outside.  He explains the difference between weather and climate with an analogy even those right roaring schmucks should be able to understand but probably won't.

Right, then.  Must go back to resting the wrists and so forth.  Carry on, my darlings, and I shall see you in a bit.