Thursday, December 30, 2010

We Americans Have No Principles to Sacrifice

To say that most Americans are without principle can only be accepted as a misstatement insofar as there exists no direct data to support the descriptive "most". But all one needs to do is look at the available evidence from innumerable sources to find support for this statement.

As just a few past examples, how many of us Americans who railed against the support AT&T and Verizon gave to the government to illegally wiretap American citizens still give money to these companies for services?

How many of us railed against Obama after he campaigned vehemently against warrantless wiretapping, only to flip-flop and help block legal action against these companies?

And more recent examples, how many of us Americans actually tried to hold Obama accountable for grievously breaking his promise to not extend the Bush tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, compared to those who gave him a free pass?

How many Wikileaks supporters actually boycotted Amazon, or PayPal, or Bank of America when these companies shamefully blocked off support to this organization, ostensibly at the behest of the Federal Government, justified with spurious claims that their terms of service were being violated, even though these companies still offer services to pedophiles, and the KKK, and such?

How many of us Americans complain against the mistreatments and physical violations thrust upon us by the TSA, yet refuse to stand up against these abuses, but instead choose not to miss our flights?

How many of us Americans complain loudly against climate change and global warming, yet still drive cars instead of taking public transportation, or walk, or ride bikes?

We live in a country where lies are no longer lies, but are simply misunderstandings, or misrepresentations. We live in a country where we all idly stand by and accept that it is okay to send thousands of our citizens off to fight and die in unjust and illegal wars. We live in a country where the vast majority of us can be bought off with a little chump change in order to pump the greatest amount of our national treasure to the least amount of people, those who need it the least, all while our country's infrastructure continues to crumble. We live in a nation where the principles of most of us only extend as far as our tweets and status updates. We live in a country where convenience and our insatiable desire for entertainment far outweigh our ability to take any sort of stand based on principle.

The sacrifices for principle that most of us Americans are unwilling to make these days are not the kind of sacrifices people once had to make. These days, we won't even sacrifice our iPhones or our iPads or our Droids or our Comcast cable or our ability to buy crap from Amazon and pay for it with PayPal for principle.

This is not like being forced to choose between crossing the picket line versus being able to pay your bills. This is not like being asked to choose between the shame of accepting food stamps versus not being able to feed your families. Most of us Americans today are unable to give up something as small and needless as a magazine subscription to stay in alignment with our principles.

Perhaps this is simply because we Americans have no more principles to sacrifice.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Animal Farm Friday - Jingle Goats

Monday, December 20, 2010

Animal Farm Friday on Monday - TED Talks: Life Lessons from Big Cats

This is incredibly important, an absolute must to watch. Be warned, though, it is as heartwarming as it is heart wrenching.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Animal Farm Friday - Let the Bodies Hit the Floor!

Instigating parrot!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

THIS is not America!

How did we get here?

This country was founded by enlightened men, spilling their blood to fight the oppression (through taxation) of a tyrant. The people of this country have long upheld and demanded the right to our personal freedoms since before the founding documents were signed into law. Our unwavering commitment to our freedoms, and championing the cause for freedom around the globe has for centuries been a symbol for what it means to be an American.

Yet, for more than the past decade, our freedoms and our rights have been eroding, bit by bit. We've accepted this in the name of more security, and the promise of prosperity, but we've been given nor earned neither.

Instead, we have the majority of our political leaders, feigning opposition, but in fact, colluding with one another at the behest of their corporate masters to willingly defraud us all of our tax dollars for the primary benefit or making the rich more wealthy, and the poor more poor, and those of us in the middle heading further down the economic ladder than up. We let them do this to us because they promise us everything they cannot–and will not–deliver.

They make backroom deals with fossil fuel companies to determine our energy future, not a future in our healthful interests, but in the interests of profit. They make backroom deals with health insurance companies to determine how much we (not they) will pay for our healthcare, not in our interest, but in the interest of profiting the insurance companies. They make backroom deals with the very bankers who nearly collapsed not just our economy, but the global economy because of unregulated 'gambling' that is otherwise illegal in most cases outside of the banking industry, and they use the money we've made through blood and sweat to "recapitalize" those hucksters (by recapitalize, I mean "award even more extravagant bonuses than ever to those who provide no tangible benefit to anyone besides themselves); then they tell us they have no other choice. They make backroom deals with each other to keep billionaires from paying their fair share in taxes, but make sure your taxes and my taxes help to ensure these corpulent vampires get richer and richer, so they might in turn throw them back chump change to fill their campaign coffers, or give them lucrative lobbying jobs when they retire (voluntarily, or not).

We the people stand idly by and let this happen. (Caveat: Tea Partiers, screw yourselves. You're equally complicit, if not more so. Evidence that corporations were pulling your puppet strings was more obvious and public than anytime in American history, and you ate it up like crack-laced chocolate).

There was a time when America and Americans championed those who would speak truth to power. There was a time when we Americans, once exposed to the lies and treachery of those who claim to be our leaders, would demand accountability and force those so-called leaders to accept responsibility for their transgressions. We would even accept the international shame of putting those failed leaders on trial (in a manner of speaking) for the sake of retaining our credibility and standing on the global stage.

America 2010? This is not the America I grew up in. In this America, we now have public and private figures in this country calling for the censorship of the free press, and for assassination of those willing to expose the lies and the treachery of the so-called leaders who continually sell us people out to the bidding of their corporate masters who finance their campaigns, those whose feet should literally be held to fire.

If this was the America I grew up in, we'd all be marching in the streets, protesting on campuses, risking tear gas and bullets, and demanding that we will not let ourselves be trodden on, nor abused by the privileged and powerful; we would instead show them all where the real power lies. The French had the courage to stand up for themselves over two hundred years ago, and Americans did too.

What are we Americans going to do now? Are we going to stand idly by and allow our leaders to sell us out to the highest bidders? Are we going to continue to allow our *leaders to send our loved ones into battle to die for principles they refuse to honor and uphold? Will we continue to allow our bloated nouveau riche (Palin, Beck, Hannity, Rush, O'Reilly) to pretend to be on our side while they rake in millions and millions of our dollars, all while pushing the agenda of their political and corporate masters?


Will we Americans actually do something about it?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Teabaggers - Ironic or Hypocritical...

...both, and also fun to make fun of.

(click to embiggen)

Animal Farm Friday - An Idiot, an Asshole, and a Cute Puppy

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How Obama Assured He Would Be a One-termer

In Obama's speech today, he all but declared proudly that he is not, in fact, a leader. But rather, he proudly applauds himself for being an outstanding conciliator, compromiser, negotiator.  He glowingly praises himself for the smattering of weak and neutered legislation that barely got passed, even with significant Democratic majorities, and even more significant acquiescence to Republicans in each and every case. As he grandstands, scolding the progressives (because that worked so well for Democrats before the mid-term elections), he all but guarantees he will be a one-term President. 
With respect to the bottom line, in terms of what my core principles are, yeah look, I've got a bunch of lines in the sand. Not making tax cuts for the wealthy permanent, that was a line in the sand. Making sure that the things that most impact middle-class families and low income families, that those were preserved, that is a line in the sand. I would not have agreed to a deal, which, by the way some in Congress were talking about, of just a two-year extension on the Bush tax cuts and one year of unemployment insurance, but meanwhile all the other provisions of earned income tax credit or other important breaks for middle class families, like the college tax credit, that those had gone away, just because they had Obama's name attached to them instead of Bush's name attached to them.

So this notion that somehow we are willing to compromise too much reminds me of the debate that we had during health care. This is the public option debate all over again. So I pass a signature piece of legislation where we finally get health care for all Americans, something that Democrats had been fighting for, for a hundred years - but because there was a provision in there that they didn't get, that would have affected maybe a couple million people, even though we got health insurance for 30 million people, and the potential for lower premiums for a hundred million people, that somehow that was a sign of weakness and compromise.

Now, if that's the standard by which we are measuring success or core principles, then let's face it, we will never get anything done. People will have the satisfaction of having a purist position, and no victories for the American people. And we will be able to feel good about ourselves, and sanctimonious about how pure our intensions are and how tough we are. And in the meantime the American people are still seeing themselves not able to get health insurance because of a pre-existing condition, or not being able to pay their bills because their unemployment insurance ran out. That can't be the measure of how we think about our public service. That can't be the measure of what it means to be a Democrat.

This is a big, diverse country. Not everybody agrees with us. I know that shocks people. You know, the New York Times editorial page does not permeate across all of America - neither does the Wall Street Journal editorial page. Most Americans, they're just trying to figure out how to go about their lives, and how can we make sure that our elected officials are looking out for us? And that means because it's a big, diverse country, and people have a lot of complicated positions, it means that in order to get stuff done we're gonna compromise.

This is why FDR, when he started Social Security, it only affected widows and orphans. You did not qualify. And yet now it is something that really helps a lot of people. When Medicare started it was a small program, it grew. Under the criteria that you just set out, each of those were betrayals of some abstract ideal.

This country was founded on compromise. I couldn't go through the front door of this country's founding. And you know if we were really thinking about ideal positions, we wouldn't have a Union.

And so, my job is to make sure that we have a North Star out there - what is helping the American people live out of their lives? You know what is giving them more opportunity, what is growing the economy, what is making us more competitive. And at any given juncture there're gonna be times where my preferred option, what I'm absolutely positive is right, I can't get done. And so then my question is, does it make sense for me to tack a little bit this way, or tack a little bit that way, because I'm keeping my eye on the long term, and the long fight, not my day to day news cycle, but where am I going over the long term?

And I don't think there's a single Democrat out there, who if they looked at where we started when I came into office and look at where we are now, would say that somehow we have not moved in the direction that I promised. Take a tally, look at what I promised during the campaign. There's not a single thing that I said that I would do that I have not either done or tried to do. And if I have not gotten it done yet, I'm still trying to do it.

And so, to my Democratic friends, what I'd suggest is, let's make sure that we understand this is a long game, this is not a short game.

And to my Republican friends, I would suggest, I think this is a good agreement, because I know they're swallowing some things that they don't like as well, and I'm looking forward to seeing them on the field of competition over the next two years.

Instead of excoriating the very people that got him into office in the first place, Obama needs to look hard in the mirror and see just who is being sanctimonious. North Star? Really?

As for patting himself on the back for what he's accomplished since he's been in office, a handful of watered-down victories, attained only by overly compromising or totally capitulating to Republican demands is hardly anything to be proud of. 

  • Health Insurance? Who benefits from that the most? Insurance companies do, because the people are FORCED to buy corporate health insurance, but there are no checks on rising premiums, or on what hospitals, pharmaceuticals companies, or healthcare providers can charge, or even any guarantees that the coverage will pay out when needed. This might have been a small tactical victory, but Big Business won the long game here, because the idea that the government is not on the side of the people, but on the side of business is what the people will remember.
  • Closing Guantanomo? Still open, but lets not forget Bagram.
  • Ending torture? Maybe only in some other countries, but not all, certainly not this country.
  • The stimulus? Uh, that was George W. Bush.
  • GM bailout?  I'll give him that one.
  • BP? Obama authorized more offshore and deepwater wells after the disaster in the Gulf.
  • Ending DADT? That remains to be seen, but it won't be because of HIS leadership. Repeated appeals and challenges in court against victims of DADT are actions that run counter to the lip service we've been getting.
  • Create jobs? Let's just forget about the spike due to census workers, unemployment has barely moved a percentage point since he took office. But Wall St. is making windfall profits, but businesses aren't hiring, because people aren't buying.

If Obama sees these as examples of his leadership, of his being a "North Star", he's more delusional and out of touch than I ever would have guessed. In each one of these examples, Obama has sold out the idea that government can be a force for for good to the idea that Big Business comes first at the expense of the people. By allowing the Republicans philosophic victory over the idea that tax cuts are good, Obama has decimated the progressive idea that taxes are needed to keep this country - namely its economy - running

Obama says this is a long game, not a short game, but it is painfully evident that he cannot see that he got beat at the long game by the Republicans. This was not a short-term battle for extra money for the wealthy, it was a war over ideas - of the idea that the rich deserve to get richer at the expense of the poor and the middle-class. Not only did Obama not "tie" in battle, he has all but assured that he lost the war for progressives. Philosophies are ideas, and ideas are power. 

Obama has proven that he has no idea, and that he is utterly devoid of power, at least when compared to Republicans.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

David Samuels on the Shameful Attacks on Julian Assange

David Samuels has a bold and illuminating article in The Atlantic, which does an excellent job at calling out other so-called journalists for their shameful cowardice in their responses to the Wikileaks exposing of US diplomatic cables. The closing paragraph is telling:

In a memorandum entitled "Transparency and Open Government" addressed to the heads of Federal departments and agencies and posted on, President Obama instructed that "Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing." The Administration would be wise to heed his words -- and to remember how badly the vindictive prosecution of Daniel Ellsberg ended for the Nixon Administration. And American reporters, Pulitzer Prizes and all, should be ashamed for joining in the outraged chorus that defends a burgeoning secret world whose existence is a threat to democracy.

Apart from the sad irony that Obama's memorandum is completely at odds with his administration's actions and statements, this closing paragraph makes an important point. So many of our news media's reporters and many in the American public alike should be ashamed by their cowardice. Rather than buy into the false argument that our government's exceptionally "secret" activities are somehow making us safer, they should wake up and realize how dangerous that sort of unchecked secrecy is to our democracy. That more journalists and more Americans have not actively stepped forward to defend Julian Assange and Wikileaks is as frightening as it is disgusting.

Monday, November 29, 2010

BP Dispersant is Killing the Gulf

Those responsible for allowing the dispersants to used need to be imprisoned.
Watch step by step as WPI Chemical Engineer Marco Kaltofen performs an experiment using actual crude oil from the BP well and Corexit 9500A, the oil dispersant used by BP in the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Mr. Kaltofen demonstrates how Corexit suspends the most toxic hydrocarbons in the water column by a factor of about 35X more than absorbtion from crude oil alone, which floats to the surface in its natural form. BP used close to 2M gallons of this dispersant at the base of the blown out oil well and at the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, allowing this substance to mix into 5000 feet worth of water from the base of the well.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Head Injuries: Why Motorcycle and Bicycle Helmets Should Be Mandatory

It is not unreasonable to expect every motorcycle rider in the country to be licensed specifically for riding (and many states do have this requirement). Perhaps one condition that could be imposed - strongly highlighted - would state that any time a rider chooses to not wear a helmet, they automatically waive their right to care paid for with public funds.

This would keep freedom of choice in the hands of the chest thumping riders, and the freedom for me to not have to pay for their uninsured butts when they smear their faces across the highway.

(I'll bet the rider who was wearing this helmet was glad he did! http://www­.samatours­­ets/pictur­es/crashed­­g)
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Friday, November 26, 2010

Animal Farm Friday - Cat v Corvids and Cat

I didn't know cat fights lasted this long! (Hat tip to @Scamper for the find!)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Animal Farm Friday (on Saturday) - Laser Cats!

From the SFist:


Photo by Andrew Dalton of Aggressive Panhandler.

If we must to go down in flames, shouldn't it be at the hands of darling felines? Andrew Dalton of Aggressive Panhandler (and, ahem, SFist) snapped this pic of the new cherishable cat mural that went up at the Harding Theater on Divisadero.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On The Commission to Balance the Federal Budgets Report

I do think there are a lot of ideas here worth seriously considering, even if they need some adjusting. But there's one very simple way this country could have been saving, and could start money on, and that's to STOP fighting UNNECESSARY wars!

Why this concept seems so hard for the frightened sheeple majority amongst us to grasp is a sad statement on our current reality.

Imagine if even half of the money spent on Iraq and Afghanistan went to developing smarter and more efficient means of detection, and went to expanding our intelligence apparatus, and went to foreign development and education in means not of welfare, but of meaningful support systems.

This is the difference between investing and gambling; the former rewards more often, the latter rarely rewards.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Animal Farm Friday - Leaps of Faith

Sometimes, your god just isn't there for you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How it Works

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Distinction Between Fox and MSNBC

Here's a 'little' something that might make Jon Stewart's comparison of Olbermann/Maddow/MSNBC to O'Reilly/Hannity/Fox and notably, Beck, seem somewhat quaint. Neither Keith Olbermann–nor anyone else at MSNBC–has inspired any of their audience to attempt to commit an act of murder. In this particular case, it could have been a case of mass murder (in my backyard!!!):

From a letter written by Drummond Pike, CEO of the Tides Foundation:

On July 19th of this year, I arrived at our San Francisco office to learn that a misguided person carrying numerous guns and body armor had been on his way to start a "revolution" by murdering my colleagues and me. The Oakland Police Department called to tell us that, following a 12 minute shootout with the California Highway Patrol, law enforcement officials arrested an assailant who had targeted the Tides Foundation, an organization which I founded and currently serve as CEO, and the ACLU for violence. To say we were "shocked" does not adequately describe our reaction. Imagine, for a moment, that you were us and, had it not been for a sharp eyed highway patrolman, a heavily armed man in full body armor would have made it to your office with the intent to kill you and your colleagues. His motive? Apparently, it was because the charitable, nonpartisan programs we run are deemed part of a conspiracy to undermine America and the capitalist system, which is hogwash.

Although not a political organization, the Tides Foundation has been a frequent target of misinformation, propaganda, and outright lies by Fox News' Glenn Beck. Since his arrival at Fox in early 2009, Beck has repeatedly vilified Tides, suggesting we are intent on "creat[ing] a mass organization to seize power." He accuses the foundation of indoctrination and says we are "involved in some of the nastiest of the nasty." Beck tells viewers that Tides has "funneled" money to "some of the most extreme groups on the left" and that our mission is to "warp your children's brains and make sure they know how evil capitalism is." In total, prior to the attempted rampage, Beck had attacked the Tides Foundation 29 times. On September 28th, more than a month after the shooting, Beck reiterated his focus on the Tides Foundation, warning, "I'm coming for you." In jailhouse interviews, the gunman confessed he views Beck as a "schoolteacher" who "blew my mind." My would-be killer admitted that Beck "give[s] you every ounce of evidence you could possibly need" to commit violence.

Jon Stewart sees fit to lump Keith Olbermann into the same camp with Glenn Beck. Perhaps he should consider this distinction first.

You should consider sending this link to the full letter to everyone you know.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bill Maher on the Million Meh March and Stewart and Olbermann

Bill Maher makes my point quite well, without all the fire breathing, but with a whole lot of well deserved snark.

Well said, Bill!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Petition and Letters to NBC and MSNBC on behalf of Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann's regrettable suspension could not have been more timely, as far as my earlier post goes. Rather than say anything more on it here, I'll just share with you the letters I wrote to Phil Griffin of MSNBC, and to Steve Capus, President of NBC News, since they make my point succinctly:

Dear Mr. Capus,

I think it is only fair that I share with you this letter that I sent to Phil Griffin earlier today. But I have additional comments now, having read this article below, which seems to reveal a double standard at work here.

It seems, from this reporting, that even though Keith Olbermann is clearly an opinion journalist and commentator, just like Joe Scarborough, you are applying a different standard to Mr. Olbermann.

Something here STINKS. It is clear that NBC and MSNBC either have a political or a personal agenda at work here.

The first report of Mr. Olbermann's suspension by Mr. Griffin was enough to warrant a boycott of MSNBC. As the day has gone on, and more reports come out after the other, revealing NBC's and MSNBC's blatant hypocrisy, the demand to boycott NBC as a whole seems in order.

I believe that unless steps are made by you and others at MSNBC to handle this matter more professionally, and not with the clear bias that is being projected, it will become necessary to not only boycott your networks, but to also begin a campaign to contact your advertisers and demand they pull advertising form your network, or face boycotts of their products.

Mr. Capus, your network–specifically, Mr. Griffin–has acted irresponsibly in this matter, and actions to remedy this situation are demanded.

Jake Barlow

Mr. Griffin,

Congratulations on your major step in driving MSNBC into irrelevancy, if not oblivion. Your suspension of Keith Olbermann for not reporting donations to Democrats–something which NBC by law could not prohibit–smacks of utter stupidity, and seems entirely politically motivated.

Regardless of your reasons, you should be fired simply for being so stupid as to willfully disenfranchise an untold number of viewers–viewers like me–who will undoubtedly be boycotting MSNBC because of your actions in this matter.

While Fox celebrates its donation of $1 million dollars to GOP governors, you suspend the one person who almost single-handedly saved MSNBC from Fox's onslaught just a few years ago for a nearly insignificant matter of not reporting donations prior to making them. Stupid does not begin to describe your behavior.

Good luck with keeping your job.

Jake Barlow

We'll see if anything happens, but in the meanwhile, you can help out by signing this petition.

Why I find science so much more beautiful than religion

Alternately, why I find religion so ugly.

Animal Farm Friday - Fox in the Hen House

Rather, Fox in the House. There's a metaphor in there, somewhere.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Olbermann vs Stewart: Or, the Voice for the Little Guy vs the Voice for Capitulation

Keith Olbermann was right about one thing he said in regards to Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity™. The point Stewart was trying to make with the rally is that both sides need to tone it down, and so he implored everyone to do just that. But the problem is–as Olbermann tweeted–"I wish it were otherwise. But you can tone down all you want and the result will be: the Right will only get LOUDER. Sorry."

That is factually true, and it is a statement supported by evidence. Fox News, a.k.a. The Right™has been getting louder and louder regardless of how loud or quiet The Left™ is. With complete control of the media cycle, in print, online, and broadcast, The Right™ can easily plant stories in blogs, which are sent virally by the minion bloggers and the trolls, which are then picked up in broadcast, then later cemented in print, by both The Left™ and The Right™. Nice work, News Corp.

This same mechanism exists for the rest of the free press of America, too. The problem here is that everyone other than The Right™ doesn't care to
manipulate the system this way. On the one hand, that is admirable. On the other hand, it is exactly how the Republicans took back control of the House, only two years after their policies nearly collapsed the economy, and supposedly drove them into the political wilderness.

That Jon Stewart shows more deference to Bill O'Reilly than he does for President Obama is profoundly troubling. That he conflates Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and MSNBC with the likes of O'Reilly, Sean O'Hannity, Sarah Palin, and all of Fox News is not much less disturbing.

His point that the anger, and the relentless shouting of the talking heads from both sides in the "24-hour politico pundit perpetual panic conflictinator" needs to stop is commendable. The problem with that is that it's comparable to asking one side in a major battle to stop fighting because the other side has louder weapons. The Left™ can choose to stop the shouting on the very few of their outlets, but meanwhile, The Right™ will continue to grow louder and louder in the massive outlets they control, their message reaching larger and larger audiences (indeed, Fox's viewership grew 127% since the last midterm elections).

Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity™ may have drawn in more than double the number of people than did Glenn Beck's recent angry white people rally, but Stewart's audience is a fraction of the number of viewers Fox News reaches every day, just by broadcast. Which of the two do you think got more voters to turn up in this past election? Which of the two might have actually turned off voters, and perhaps made them lose interest in voting?

There can be no question that the adage "the loonies are running the asylum" has now become a fact. The ascension of the some of the craziest political candidates this country has seen in its history should be incredibly alarming to any reasonable person. While the Democrats were responsible for their own failures (I take none of that away from them), Stewart's persistent mocking of the Democrats, Maddow, Olbermann, etc., and his calls for them to basically pipe down and shut up, was not helpful.

Sure, as an "equal opportunity satirist", Stewart mocks The Right™–often more so, but the audience of The Right™ doesn't watch his show; the audience of The Left™ does. Imagine for a moment if there were shows in the Fox News media closed-loop that actually mocked other folks on Fox News, or their audience, or politicians of The Right™, even if there were truth in that mocking. What might the results of that be?

That does not happen on Fox News, or with The Right™, so we can only imagine. It does with The Left™, thanks to Jon Stewart, and we can infer that this had an effect on the morale of moderates and leftists.

Olbermann made another good point in a retort to Stewart's comparison of MSNBC to Fox News, saying, "Sticking up for the powerless is not the moral equivalent of sticking up for the powerful." It is shameful that this minor, yet serious, point even needs to be made.

In Stewart's recent interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace (again, more deferential to him than he was to Obama), Stewart charged that MSNBC was making a mistake trying to play Fox's game in their territory. By choosing a 'liberal bias', they're making Fox's point that the mainstream media has a bias. But so what? At this point, so what? Fox News has had a clear and strong right wing bias for years, and no one cares. Their audience has only grown, and has grown massively, in spite of–or as a direct consequence of–this bias. Has Stewart ever bothered to ask why that has happened?

I was glad when Olbermann first came around, and when Maddow followed. For the first time ever, those of us who were not on The Right™ had a voice in the national media, reaching millions of people, and not just the tiny few viewers of The Daily Show. I'm actually sad to see Olbermann taking any cues from Stewart, such as removing his Worst Persons in the World segment.

Now, given how much more successful Fox News has become, unless a new, major broadcast channel chooses to take a stand against everything Fox News stands for, the war has already been lost. But the war has been lost, because there has never been, and never will be, a Fox News equivalent for moderate or liberal people, for the simple reason that it is anathema to the policies of the corporations that own and operate nearly every media outlet in America. Our only recourse, it would seem, is to capitulate, stop pissing in the wind, and hopefully laugh ourselves into denial, and acquiescence.

Maybe Jon Stewart was also right, and has already figured that out ahead of the rest of us.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Why CNN is a FAIL - Reason #20,032

"Governor Moonbeam" was not a nickname, it was an aspersion, created by Ronald Reagan and the other Republican douchebags that helped trash California in the 70s. Why did they call him this? Because of his very forward-thinking ideas on clean energy (like wind farms, and solar), and because of his stance on conservation, and his frugality, and his views on social justice. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


The stupidity of the majority of this country is overwhelming and profound.

I am not looking forward to the next two years of a lame duck Presidency; McCarthy-esque witch hunts; attempts at dismantling the small modicum of good things that were actually accomplished these past two years; even more power shifted to polluters, fossil fuel companies, banks and insurance industry; more money shifted to the rich and away from the middle class; and the inevitable impeachment attempt.

Oh, and lets not forget about the war with Iran that our bloodthirsty GOP will work to foment.

I Will Not Vote Republican Because I Remember

I wouldn't vote Republican regardless, but just the same:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

NO Fox News, NO Fear, NO Belligerence

If I was at the Rally to Restore Sanity, this would have been my sign!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Animal Farm Friday - Screaming Pug Rocket

That is all.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Arnold and Meg: TWINS

They're both bumper sticker slogan machines.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Animal Farm Friday - Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Thanks for the find, Kitten!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Animal Farm Friday: Squirrel vs Slinky

Squirrel 1 / Human 0

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thanks, reddit, for being the WIN in a world full of FAIL

The redditors of reddit stepped up to help out Kathleen Edwards, a little girl who is dying from Huntington's Disease, and consequently became the counterweight to the evil of her unspeakably horrible neighbors, who have been tormenting her for seemingly no apparent reason.

Little Kathleen is dying from the same illness that killed her mother, and her evil neighbors have done such horrible things as to post photos on Facebook mocking her as being dead, and decorating their family truck as a hearse and driving it back and forth in front of their home.

Thanks, reddit, for being the WIN in a world full of FAIL.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Animal Farm Friday - Shameless Self Promotion

Because Puddin' is best when shared with others.

This is Puddin'

Friday, October 1, 2010

Animal Farm Friday - Busy Spider

It's not too often I've had the opportunity to catch a spider building its web.

Part 2 (at 00:19, notice his friends)

Friday, September 24, 2010

I assume Obama's doing a good job...

I hate the GOP

With every fiber of my being, I really do hate the GOP, and all of their supporters. Fuck you, GOP! Fuck you with whale dick wrapped in barbed wire (especially you, McCain!).

Animal Farm Friday - For the Cheese

But there was no cheese. Kind of like my work week.

Friday, September 17, 2010

If Tea Baggers Wrote the Constitution

Found this over at Prose Before Hos


The Tea Party Writes The Constitution

Animal Farm Friday - American Falcons for French Farmers

Grape farmers, that is.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Friday, September 10, 2010

Another Constitutionally Protected Bad Idea

On the Rachel Maddow show last night (9/9/10), Gail Collins from the NY Times had used the phrase "Constitutionally protected bad idea" while discussing the matter of the Quran burning event that was all the rage in the media this past week. Earlier in the show, Rachel had been talking about how the super-rich Billionaire Koch brothers have been manipulating the stupid redneck Tea Baggers into helping push their radical Libertarian political agenda. Then the idea for this popped into my head:

Animal Farm Friday - Have You Hugged a Polar Bear Today?

Great ad for what looks to be a great car.

(Spotted at

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Tea Bagger's Sugar Daddies

If the Tea Baggers were actually able to understand the meaning of the message in the cartoon below, they'd be honking up a storm. Of course, they aren't smart enough to actually get it. Never mind their pathetic grammar and rhetorical skills on display at every rally they attend, as evidenced by their protest signs, bt on a macro level, their lacking intelligence is demonstrated by the mere fact that they are being led around by the noses by celebrity idiots whose real agenda is nothing more than to boost their own celebrity, and it's all made possible by three rich white dudes, one of who is not even from this country.

I know the day will come when at least a handful of the less idiotic Tea Baggers will wake up and realize they've just been had, used, abused, manipulated, and publicly made fools of. I wish I could be there for every one of those moments, but I'd probably die from smugness overload.

By now, you've probably read the New Yorker piece exposing the Kock brothers as the bankrollers of the Tea Baggers. Now, read Frank Rich's piece in the Times.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Animal Farm Friday - Inception Cat

Where's the "kick"?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Animal Farm Friday: Monkey Lovin' for Kitteh

Monkey adopts cute kitten

These photos of a macaque cuddling and adoring this kitty is such a stark contrast to that psychotic old slag who wooed a cat over to toss it into a trash bin.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Crises of Capitalism Visually Explained

Friday, August 20, 2010

Animal Farm Friday Follow-up

Just can't get enough koala!

Animal Farm Friday - Critter Hitter

I certainly wouldn't call this a joy ride for the poor fella. Luckily, me made it through the ordeal completely unscathed. I'm sure he'll be keeping a lookout for fast moving Ford Falcons in the future! Bigger pics here.

The koala stuck in the car's grill. (Photo: ninemsn)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Drug Money

As our country plunges headlong towards third world conditions, we're continually bled to the bone by Wall Street, and by the pharmaceutical companies. We're all doped up enough to not even care.

The coming American Apocolypse, brought to you by the GOP with a little help from the Dems

MarketWatch takes a deeper dive into Stockman's recent Op-Ed in the NY Times, and provides a little more insight.

There is a difference between nihilistic thinking, and realism, and this is it:

First, that most Americans, 300 million, are helpless, will do nothing, sit in the bleachers passively watching this deadly partisan game like it's just another TV reality show.

Second, that, unfortunately, politicians are so deep-in-the-pockets of the Wall Street conspiracy that controls Washington they are helpless and blind.

And third, there's a depressing sense that Stockman will be dismissed as a traitor, his message lost in the 24/7 news cycle ... until the final apocalyptic event, an unpredictable black swan triggers another, bigger global meltdown, followed by a long Great Depression II and a historic class war.

So be prepared, it will hit soon, when you least expect.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

And we're back...

Sort of quietly.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Animal Farm Friday (belated) - Sleeve Me Alone

Friday, July 9, 2010

Animal Farm Friday - Suicide Bomber Ants

Camponotus saundersi
Its defensive behaviours include self-destruction by autothysis. Two oversized, poison-filled mandibular glands run the entire length of the ant's body. When combat takes a turn for the worse, the ant violently contracts its abdominal muscles to rupture its body and spray poison or glue in all directions.[2][3] The ant has an enormously enlarged mandibular (abdomen) gland, many times the size of a normal ant, which produces the glue. The glue bursts out and entangles and immobilizes all nearby victims. [4][5]

Seriously rad! But this earlier Wikipedia entry was pretty spot on!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Israeli settlers steal Palestinian land and resources, and then wonder why Palestinians fire rockets at them?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Animal Farm Friday - The 8th Spider Leg, I haz it!