Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rum And Honey Glazed Ham

This might not exactly be the most traditional Beltane feast in the world, but pineapple glazed ham works for me anytime. I didn't have the chance to make it exactly how I wanted to, but here's my preferred method.

First, you need to boil the ham (preferably a butt portion) for about an hour. This removes all or most of the excess grease. While it is boiling, separate your pineapple slices from the juice in the can. Set the juice aside while putting the slices in a bowl of dark or light rum. Once your ham is ready to go to an oven, pre-heated to 350 degrees, take a large fork and puncture the ham in several places, as deeply as possible. Apply the pineapple juice, and then the rum.

Add a generous amount of honey to the open section of the butt, making sure it is evenly distributed. Place the pineapple slices then strategically, and firmly, on the honey glazed ham. The honey will hold the pineapples in place when you put them in the oven.

As oven temperatures of course will vary, you will need to check every so often, but as a general rule you will need to bake your ham about an hour longer. You ordinarily cook fifteen minutes for every pound, but remember, you have already boiled it for an hour, so you adjust the time. You can tell by looking at it when it is done, as it will start to brown on some areas.

And by the way, don't buy into the nonsense about ham or pork products being a source of swine flu. If anything, eating pork might afford you a degree of resistance to it. I doubt that, but it's just as likely as catching it from them.

Anyway, if you do try this recipe, be sure and tell me how you like it.

Back To The Broom Closet

Wicca and the pagan community are fertile grounds, it seems, for con artists, not only because so many gullible people are attracted to it, but there are so many angles with which to approach it. A good rule of thumb might well be, a person who is morbidly obese might not be the best source in the world for spiritual advice, especially as pertains to occult or magical skills. One might at least assume they are not the best source for dieting advice. Be that as it may, I recently came across this item from Jenn Q. Public.

It would seem that when Marrenna Lindberg isn't plugging her new book from Random House "The Orgasmic Diet" by appearing on TV shows faking orgasms while holding pictures of Stephen Colbert (with whom she has, according to Jenn, a near stalker-like obsession), she engages in bizarre Palin Derangement Syndrome inspired rants on left-wing sites such as Daily Kos. She also spews forth neurotic fantasies involving alleged conspiracies by the previous Administration and Congress to deny funding for her supposed research into female sexuality-which, of course, is obviously something which should be considered a priority of paramount importance in regards to government spending, especially in the face of such trivial matters as a collapsing economy and near record job losses and business closings.

I have a pretty firm way of looking at overweight people who spout off about magic and spirituality when they apply this much-vaunted learning and wisdom to the areas of government and left-wing politics. Without seeing them, you might merely assume they are simply deluded. Once you get a good look at their fat-asses, you then start to realize they might just be full of shit.

Hate Crimes And Misdemeanors

So why do we need any kind of hate crime law? Answer, we don't. We have laws against assault, harassment, and murder. The difference is, the state generally prosecutes such laws, in addition to hate crimes some have on their own statutes, which are also by the way pretty unnecessary. And I know, there are many who will find it a dubious objection at best to claim that any crime committed as a supposed hate crime might leave religious organizations open to liability.

Still, not only is that true, but there is another component that is rarely addressed. Apparently, under this new law, a person charged with committing a crime can be questioned as to their thoughts and motivations. By the feds. The onus is on you, it seems, to prove you weren't engaging in a civil rights violation, if the feds decide to go after you for it.

It might sound paranoid, but I don't want to give that much power to the federal government, or for that matter to any state or local government. It doesn't really matter to me which side is in charge.

The Specter of Defeat

The GOP got an unexpected present for the Beltane holiday-a divorce decree of sorts from long time Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter. Now that he is gone, maybe the Republican Party can get back to being what they are supposed to be-the party of fiscal discipline, lower taxes, and small government.

Or, maybe not. The reality seldom fits the illusion, and the reality is, the last six GOP Presidents, at least, have presided over an increase of government. This by the way is including Ronald Reagan.

The party is hurting. You have the ones like Specter who are little more than Democrats to begin with who just ran as Republicans of convenience, adapting to the political realities of the day. Then you have the ones that want to be the Bible Party. Finally, you have the neo-cons who just think small government and the American tradition of neutrality in world affairs is just so passe'. All of them grow the government in their own way or increase its power in one form or another, but now, they look to be intent on tearing the bloody carcass of the party limb from blood-soaked limb, as the true conservatives of the party struggle with the prospect of trying to convince the average American they should pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Not the best time for that, it seems.

Still, even if more of the RINOs follow in Specters wake, it could prove to be the purging the party needs. Of course its still going to be a bloody mess until they decide they really want to win elections again. When they do, they might realize the only way to engage that dream is to put the religious idealism in perspective and rein in the foreign affairs component back to, say, this side of the border.

The Federalist approach is the only way for them to not just survive, but to prosper and grow. I just think that is not going to sink in for some time to come, no matter which wing of the party flies the bird.


There is another word for a political gaffe-the truth. And when you have a gaff-o-matic like Joe Biden in the position of Vice-President of the United States, presiding over the Senate, it's pretty obvious you are going to get a regular dose of the truth, whether you particularly want to hear it or not. I suppose we should all count our blessings, except of course it is seldom good news. Recently we've been the recipients of rather disturbing news pertaining to the mutated strain of swine flu that has necessitated the closings of at least one school in Texas and has produced confirmed cases of infestation in several different states, though thankfully, here in the US, there have been no reported deaths. In Mexico, where the disease is said to have originated, however, there have been hundreds. Bearing in mind the flu is just now manifesting here, it makes one wonder just how widespread and dangerous it will get.

Our government seems determined to clamp down on undue anxieties while not denying the problem is serious. Still, they are wanting, it seems, to offer calm reassurance that, at least for now, everything is under control, as they prepare for the eventualities.

Enter Joe Biden, who with one sentence lets us know just how serious it is.

Anytime a Democrat discourages people from using public transportation, that is damn serious business.

I hope everyone had a good time for Beltane, and tomorrow's May Day celebrations. Me, I'm keeping my ass home.

Dancing With Potential Disaster

What kind of people put up business facilities at the base of an active volcano? That's the question I found myself asking as I read this story in the course of researching the current status of Mount Redoubt in Alaska. Evidently, this oil storage facility has been there since the mid-sixties, long after the last major eruption, but it was known to be active even then, nor has it ever been considered a small thing. Three thousand years ago, an eruption of the volcano resulted in the creation of Crescent lake on the volcano's south side.

Oil companies don't seem to care. If they have to pay high insurance prices, they just pass that on to the consumer, and maybe still write it off. If they can't get insurance for facilities such as this, so much the better. If something happens, they can write that off too, in addition to having a ready-made excuse to raise prices. As for state regulators, all they see is the potential for tax revenue-or bribes to keep taxes low.

In the meantime, a major eruption of lava inundating the site could easily result in a disaster that would make the Exxon Valdez look small by comparison.

I was interested in Redoubt due to it's active status and recent eruptions so close to the last Sabbat, Oestra, and so decided to check on its status as of the approach of Beltane. I never expected to stemble across something like this.

Some Joke

Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands dancing the salsa during a Queen's Day tour of some Frisian cities, from Monster And Critics.

It is unclear whether this picture was taken before or after the unfortunate incident during which, while she and her family toured one of the cities in an open-air bus, a man tried to drive a car straight at the Queen's entourage, resulting in the deaths of five bystanders.

It is common in Europe for festival goers to engage in the playing of pranks during the festive season of Walpurgis, the night of April 30th, or on the following May Day. I have yet to see any information as to who was driving the car or what his motivations were, but something tells me it was more than a simple prank conducted for the sake of a rollicking good time.

Queen Beatrix, by the way, is Europe's most powerful monarch, if you measure power according to how much one actually wields over a nation. I have an idea this might have been an Islamic fanatic, which would explain why they are taking their time in releasing the name of the perpetrator, in an understandable yet useless attempt to put a lid on possible reprisals against the overall Islamic community.

If he is a Muslim, I wonder how he would feel about the idea he actually participated, albeit unknowingly, in the time-honored Walpurgis, originally a pagan, tradition of playing pranks-such as it is.

Eminem-Who Can Really Blame You?

It will probably come as a big shock to some people, and might even piss some people off, but I'm a big fan of Eminem, and when he put out his latest release, it didn't come too soon. Here is what seems to be his own YouTube page, to which I just became a subscriber. I highly recommend the currently featured song video "We Made You". I was going to feature it on my blog as part of a Sabbat series for Beltane, but unfortunately, embedding has been disabled for this, and possibly all Eminem videos. I suppose I could download a player for the song. However, while the song is great and stands on its own merits, it would just not be the same without the video.

Bill O'Reilly and others really need to calm down, although I do see their point. The same predictable crowd who would skewer an artist who criticized a leftist politician or other such figure are just as predictably silent about Eminem's rendition of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in this video. Let's be just as clear, however, in noting that many on the right would be similarly silent (if not outwardly applauding) any such skewering of a feminist or any leftist figure. Sarah Palin, while a prominent part of certain parts of the video, is not the only target being skewered here. He also goes after such entertainment icons as:

Britney Spears, Ellen Degeneres, Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer, and various others. In one scene he is in jail with Amy Winehouse. Interspersed among them all are numerous Star-Trek stylized sequences, as well as an Elvis Presley Jailhouse Rock inspired theme. Marshall Mathers, in fact, appears in various guises throughout the video, and manages to be provocative, outrageous, or downright hilarious. In many cases, he manages to be all three.

At the beginning, he requests for Jessica Simpson to sing the chorus, and a Simpson look-alike appears at various intervals throughout the video, in parts wolfing down a humongous hamburger. Although of course it is not really Simpson either acting the role or singing the chorus, whoever does both are quite good, especially the chorus singing. However, make no mistake-Mathers is the star of the video, and many of his expressions-whether confused, pretentious, lusting, or just his deadpan personas-almost put him on the level of a Charlie Chaplin type figure.

The point to the video, at least to me, is not an attempt to slam Sarah Palin or any politician, or in fact any celebrity. The point is not making fun of them so much as all of us who, in our star-obsessed, celebrity driven madness, are ready to roundly denounce and denigrate them at the slightest opportunity. Yet, we can't seem to get enough of them, can we? Sarah Palin was in fact put in this situation, a bona-fide celebrity who was loved yet loathed by many. Yet who are any of us to judge her, or for that matter any of the people, known as "stars", represented on this video?

As the song points out in the chorus sung by "Jessica" to the "rock star"-

"We're the ones who made you."

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Time For A New Wave Of Blaxploitation Films

Back in the nineteen seventies, the so-called blaxploitation films were everywhere. They were of varying degrees of quality. You had major hits like Shaft and Superfly, along with sleeper hits like the vampire film Blacula, as well as less successful offerings such as Blackenstein. My all-time favorite blaxploitaiton film would have to be The Thing With Two Heads.

No matter how good or bad, they all had one thing in common-the obvious attempt to tap into the potential of the urban black movie market. It kind of went by the wayside by the time the eighties rolled around, but all trends seem to have revivals at one time or another, with the exception so far, thankfully, of Roller Disco. It would appear the blaxploitation genre is no exception to this revival rule, and it might well have been encouraged by the recent election of Barak Obama.

Enter the film Obsessed, starring Beyonce Knowles as a savvy, tough, sexy and beautiful housewife and mother, married to a successful black businessman, played by Idris Elba (a former co-star of the BBC version of The Office), who is being stalked by a-gasp-


Okay, it's obvious what is going on here. This white former first lady office temp, played by Ali Larter, is going to ruin our hero's life, all because she is obviously obsessed with great big long hard humongous black cock winning the love of a successful, secure, and stable black businessman. Deep down, she must know she could ruin his life, to say nothing of his chances of becoming President of the USA the most successful black businessman in the world.

Fortunately, our black hero is far stronger than that weak-ass cracker Michael Douglas in Fatal Attraction. Even though he does engage in a little relatively harmless flirting, he resists the snares of the evil WHITE BITCH! She gradually loses all sense of perspective and becomes ever more aggressive, until she finally goes on the attack, even going so far as to accuse our heroine of stalking her out of jealousy.

Finally, all of this is resolved satisfactorily with a kick-ass sequence where our heroine Michelle Beyonce actually does just that. Kicks some ass, cos you know there is no WHITE BITCH! that can go toe-to-toe against a sister and come out on top, no matter how fucking crazy she is.

In the end, our hero's career and reputation is saved, along with his marriage and family. He proves that, yes, just like Barak Obama, a black man can be a dependable, solid, stable, secure, and yes, even successful business man and pillar of his community. And as long as he has a good, strong, sexy, beautiful, kick-ass wife willing to stand beside him, no WHITE BITCH! is ever going to break them up-or down.

Now by golly, that's the way it should be, huh?

South Africa-Personality Cult In The Making?

Last Wednesday, April 22nd, the voters of the nation of South Africa by an overwhelming majority reaffirmed the position of the ANC (African national Congress) as the majority party in power, all but assuring ANC leader Jacob Zuma will be the nation's next president. Zuma earlier ousted former President Mbeki as head of the ANC after a bitter and prolonged power struggle, during which Mbeki was accused of interfering in Zuma's trial on charges of corruption.

This was not the first time Zuma had been in legal troubles. During the apartheid era, he found himself exiled, and was also for a time in the same prison with Nelson Mandela. More recently, he found himself the center of a rape accusation, during which he defended himself by insisting the sex was consensual, and further outraged feminists and other critics when, in explaining the circumstances of his sexual liaison with a woman who also happened to be an AIDS victim, explained that after intercourse he made sure he showered immediately in order to ward off infection.

He has also received criticism from many quarters because he is a practicing polygamist. The biggest question about Zuma's ascension to the presidency seems to be which one of his six wives will be his official first lady, or whether this duty will in fact be assumed by his daughter, who is described as his closest confidante and supporter.

There is one potential hurdle for Zuma, however, which could pose a more serious obstacle to his chances of assuming the office of President of South Africa-the potential and threatened split from the ANC by supporters of former President Mbeki.

To a degree, this might appear on the surface to be an outgrowth of tribal rivalries. The Zulus, though the largest tribe within South Africa, have previously held next to no power within the ANC, and therefore, owing to the monopoly of power the ANC has held over the nation's politics, they have enjoyed practically no influence whatsoever. Zuma's election and influence stands to change all of that, and in fact his position as the head of the ANC already has. For the first time, the Zulus have a sea at the table-a very prominent one. Still, there are other more subtle forces at work here than the mere influence of tribal rivalries.

The ANC has recently formed an alliance with the South African Communist Party, and though it is unsure just how aligned Zuma is with them, it is possibly telling that he has dispatched cadres into various institutions as a means of weeding out "intellectuals". He has also made noises about limiting the independent power of the South African judiciary.

At rallies he has been known to sing an old song from his revolutionary anti-apartheid days, "Bring Me My Machine Gun"-possibly not the most appropriate tune with which to signal what Zuma has promised his skeptical critics will be a return to the conciliatory policies of the Mandela era.

Though Zuma is apparently a Christian, like the vast majority of Zulus, who happen to be the most conservative tribe in South Africa-according to Patrick Joubert Conlon, who was formerly a white citizen of South Africa-it may well be cause for concern that the most pro-business faction of the ANC, led by Mr. Mbeki, is now out of power, while the strongest alliance within the party seems to be with the communist faction.

Does Jacob Zuma have the potential to be a healing and conciliatory influence within South African politics, as he proclaims his intentions are, or is this just another personality cult in the making? Will he turn out to be just another in a long line of third world thugs destined to reign over yet another dismal epoch in post-colonial African political history? Or, will he just turn out to be a clownish figure with no real clue as to the proper handling of power once he has it tentatively within his grasp for a relatively brief period of time? Only time will tell.

Jacob Zuma participating in what appears to be some sort of ritual tribal dance while dressed in what is described as traditional Zulu attire. Note the gym shoes.

Games, Amusements, And Follies

I call this one, "Pin The Tail On The Stupid Motherfucking Jackass Idiot".

This Sunday on ABC News This Week With George Stephanopoulus, the subject came up about the prospect of a projected nine and one half trillion dollar deficit spending over the course of the next ten years. To play this game, you must successfully pick the stupid motherfucking jackass idiot within ten seconds or less. Your two choices are-

POINT-George Will-The nine and one half trillion dollar projected spending deficit will lead to much higher interest rates, and therefore serve to drag the economy further down.

COUNTERPOINT-Donna Brazile-Families don't really care so much about deficits, they are only concerned about saving jobs.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Oklahoma-The People Have Spoked

And they have, for whatever reason, chosen native sons The Flaming Lips "Do You Realize" as the Official State Rock Song of Oklahoma. This was an on-line poll, mind you, and it had to meet the ultimate approval of the governor and the state legislature. The State Senate passed the resolution unanimously, but it met objection from the State House of Representatives when one member in particular voiced objection to one of the Lips unfortunate tendency to appear in public clad in a tee-shirt emblazoned with the hammer-and-sickle. The governor passed the resolution over the House's objections, in effect pretty much overriding their veto.

Following is the song as performed during an appearance on the David Letterman show. From all appearances, it would seem the Dread Dormammu has striped Doctor Strange of his true memories and given him the personality of a rock singer from Oklahoma with an English accent.

Do you realize you have a beautiful face, and that everyone around you will die? The sun doesn't really go down, you know, its just an illusion caused by the earth spinning round.

It's not really that bad a song. It's got a good beat, it's kind of catchy, but-uhhh, the Official State Rock Song of Oklahoma? Of any state? I know the band is native Okies but is this the best in their repertoire?

Are the people of Oklahoma cursed with shitty musical taste? I think the House of Represetatives may have just been trying to politely offer them a way out.

Hat Tip-Wonkette

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lost In Translation

I think I might have possibly figured out the mystery of Lost, which is in itself an incredibly amazing announcement to make for no other reason than I rarely watch the series. In fact, I could probably come close to listing the entire number of episodes I've actually watched, from the beginning up to and including the current season five, on two hands.

Well, since the next season, season six, is determined to be the last, I decided I would ruin it for anybody unfortunate enough to stumble on this blog post. I'm not giving any guarantees, of course, nor do I have any inside information. Still, it just occurred to me, if this is going where I think it is, it's not exactly an original idea. In fact, it's been done twice, not on television, but by Marvel Comics, in the personages of two characters, Ego and Krakoa.

In other words, whether the Dharma Initiative actually, purposely or accidentally, birthed and developed it, or whether it tapped into it and spurred its development-whether it is a collective consciousness like Krakoa or an individual sentient life-force like Ego-

The island is a sentient living being with some degree or other of consciousness. In other words, it's a living, feeling, thinking being in its own right.

Maybe. Just maybe.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What You Don't Want To Know-Don't Ask

This is just plain nuts. If Perez Hilton represents the gay community, they've got a long, hard road ahead of them if they're trying to gain acceptance and overall support. Make no mistake about it, Perez Hilton-whom most people previously knew next to nothing about-has with this sorry episode attempted to make himself a household name, parlaying the controversy he created at the Miss USA Beauty Pageant into some kind of aim for personal recognition and influence with the gay community. But to what overall effect?

The really strange thing is, I agree with him about gay marriage, or at least what he said on the second video, which he posted on his website shortly after the Miss USA debacle-the states should decided. I would add the caveat that the state legislatures should decide, not the state judiciaries. At the same time, as a rule of thumb, its best to keep in mind that, if you don't want to know a person's honest opinion on any given subject-don't ask. Failing that, if you don't get the answer you want, don't act like a fucking asshole about it.

Miss USA contestant Miss California-Carrie Prejean-she did not give the answer Perez Hilton wanted or expected to hear. Though it might well have cost her the crown, she gave her honest opinion, however incoherently it might have seemed at times. For one, all American's don't have the right to choose gay marriage. She obviously meant they have the right to their opinion on the subject-which they do, whether the likes of Perez Hilton likes it or not-but her mangled answer in the midst of an otherwise flawless run for the Miss USA title is testament that questions like this are better avoided, for obvious reasons.

In his follow-up response on his web-site, Perez Hilton showed what a self-absorbed numbskull he really is. Earth to Perez Hilton-most of the American people are smart enough to distinguish cheers from boos. Such obvious propaganda calls into question the veracity of his entire body of work as a celebrity gossip-monger on his self-named pseudonymous web-site, which he boastfully describes as the "most hated web-site in Hollywood".

The bottom line here as I see it-Perez Hilton did not get pissed off because Miss California does not believe in gay marriage. He is merely jolted that, having manipulatively posed a question which he felt she would be obliged to answer in a way pleasing to him, she had the temerity to give her actual opinion despite the obvious fact that it was not what he, a judge of the pageant, wanted to hear.

In other words, Carrie Prejean showed him for the fucking fool he obviously is, for all the world to see. He followed up by proving to all of us just what a fucking prick he is, in no uncertain terms.

This is a man who suggests that people should vote for Matthew Lambert as the next American Idol, not because he's the best, but just because he's openly gay. Why Donald Trump would want to have somebody like that as a judge of this contest is beyond my comprehension.

Hilton ended his video rant by saying it was time for a "cocktail".

No. I guess I'd better not.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Iran's President Recommends Fairness For Imprisoned American Journalist

Roxanna Saberi, an independent journalist with duel American-Iranian citizenship, was recently convicted in an Iranian court of espionage and sentenced to a lengthy prison term. Recently, none other than Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinajahd has encouraged the convicted reporter be given a full and fair defense in the course of her appeal.

Ahmadinajahd's concerns and stated recommendations probably have to do not so much with the expressed concerns of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton as they do with the up-coming election which pits him against a former President who favors improved relations with Washington.

There has been a crackdown on dissent in Iran as the country prepares for a presidential election June 12 that pits Ahmadinejad against former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, who favors better ties with the U.S. At least five editors and writers are imprisoned in Iran, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

In noting that Saberi, also a former Miss North Dakota and Miss America finalist, is not the only reporter being held in Iran on charges of spying and espionage, the report nevertheless fails to note others likewise imprisoned. One of these is an American graduate student who was in Iran writing a thesis on the Iranian Women's Movement, in addition to a former FBI agent allegedly abducted from an island near the coast of Iran who was involved in an investigation into cigarette smuggling.

Nevertheless, despite the other alleged detainees, and the widespread reported abuse of women and minorities in Iran, to say nothing of the conflicting reports as to Miss Saberi's health and general well-being in the course of this ordeal, this might be a possible glimmer of hope for some change leading to a potential thawing in the three-decades long difficulties in American-Iranian relations.

Still, even if this particular case presents the best possible outcome, it is obviously going to be, as they say, a long, hard slog toward complete normalization of relations, assuming that ever does come about.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Those Radical Right-Wing Tea-Baggers

It's hard to imagine how anyone could legitimately believe the Tea Party movement is a genuine threat to domestic security, and I don't believe for one minute that the Department of Homeland Security commissioned its report detailing the allegedly dangerous growth of right-wing extremist groups with that movement in mind.

However, it is very easy for me to believe that the Democratic Party and its elected officials and operatives might well view the Tea Party movement as a political threat to their agenda. As such, I refuse to believe anything else other than the Department of Homeland Security purposely leaked the report to the media prior to April 15th in order to coincide with the tax filing deadline day's scheduled Tea Party movement protests, probably with the intention that the average American should look at them as potentially dangerous right-wing extremists. I think they did this not only purposely, but with the full knowledge and approval of current Director Janet Napolitano.

Unfortunately for them, I think they opened the wrong can of whoop-ass, and I seriously doubt they can put it back in. Now its up to the movement to prove they can grow in not only numbers, but relevance. They seem to have got off to a rollicking good start with tens of thousands in attendance at various events across the country. Only time will tell how successful they are from this point on.

One piece of advice I would give them, just for now-all references to tea-bags are best avoided.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Long And Winding Road

I think it was the fault of an overzealous prosecution that Phil Spector's first trial for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson ended in a hung jury, but the second trial ended the way it should have. In fact, the only way it could have by any reasonable criterion. Spector was convicted of second degree murder.

He could have been convicted of manslaughter. Although he might legitimately be accused of murder in the first degree, the evidence was just not there.

Not too cold, not too hot. Not too hard, not too soft. Just right.

Now, the man who once held Dee Dee Ramone at gun point in a recording studio, the man who once fired a bullet into the ceiling during the course of a John Lennon recording session, the man who has pulled guns on countless female companions, and the man who kept his wife and sons, whom he allegedly subjected to sexual abuse, prisoners in their own homes, might well spend the rest of his life in prison.

In the meantime, I have to wonder if all of this is really the tip of a very large iceberg. Spector strikes me as one of these kinds of guys who might well get his jollies off the sport of luring unsuspecting young boys and girls, as well as desperate adults, would-be singers and actresses down on their luck and looking for their first break, or a way out of the prostitution hell-hole into which they slid from an ill-advised foray into hard-core pornography, drug addicted and desperate.

I can picture him subjecting them to humiliating torture and the vilest forms of degradation until he finally took their lives. How many victims breathed their last behind Phil Spector's soundproofed walls?

Nor do I suspect that Phil Spector is the only man of means capable of such inhuman cruelty. He just seems to stand out as the most likely of perpetrators, for obvious reasons. There are multiple people who like the sense of power over the weak and helpless, and the thrill it brings them to hold the power of life-and-death over their hands. For one brief second, Phil Spector, in the case of Lana Clarkson, held such godlike power. It might well indeed by the first time he actually took it to this extent, but I am reasonably sure the thought crossed his deranged mind on numerous occasions. Whether he actually acted on them before the night he killed Clarkson, we'll probably never know.

It is nice to know that he will never do it again.

Yahoo And Their Stupid Advertising Policy

Would somebody please explain to me what the fuck is up with Yahoo, especially Yahoo Mail? I know I'm not the only one this is happening to, but I have to think its the worse kept secret on the internet, seeing as how nobody seems to be talking about what I assume is a new advertisement policy. If you try to backspace (I am guessing that's the right name for it) from Yahoo back to for example your Firefox homepage, it might take you five or six times or more before you get there. Luckily, there is a work-around of sorts. Click on the tiny little arrow pointing downward to the right of your left-right larger arrows, and you will get a drop-down menu that will enable you to go directly to whichever page you came from that you wish to return to.

But, before you click on wherever it is you are wanting to go, notice how many options you have to get back to the same exact page you are on. Sometimes there might be more than ten, and you might have to go back to the furthest one and hit the drop-down arrow again before you can proceed further on back to your homepage. This has actually happened to me twice.

I can only assume that some of Yahoo's advertisers are paying for this, because all that really happens if you click the regular back-arrow is-you go "back" to a different ad somewhere on the same basic Yahoo page you are on. You might have never seen the particular ad in question that you are going "back" to, but you are still being sent "back" to it, while still stuck on the same page, which from the looks of your drop-down menu might well look like you have clicked on repeatedly, even though you have only done so once, to get there.

Is it any wonder why American businesses are shot to hell? In today's fucked up economy, I understand the trend towards desperation, but here's a fucking clue. If you want to increase sells, you might want to think about not pissing off potential customers and clients, and there's not much that's going to piss them off as badly or worse than interfering with their browsing to the extent you hold them up or slow them down.

It might also be worth noting, that out of all the advertisements I have backspaced to, I don't remember a single one of them for sure. It would not be a good thing from the advertisers perspective if I did. It might actually encourage me to patronize their competitors.

As for YaHell, well, the times coming when I will have less reason to depend on them for my e-mails. They serve a fairly convenient function for saving folders and files, but unfortunately they are a third-rate, undependable service for e-mails. In fact, I rarely get an e-mail from any of my comments to this blog. I get comments from Renegade Eye, for some reason, but very few from anybody else. Many times, I don't even receive my own replies to comments.

Soon, I am going to rely exclusively on GMail for everything. There's not that many frills, but then again, who the hell needs that anyway?

Three Judge Panel Rules In Favor Of Franken

A three-judge panel has ruled in favor of Al Franken and declared him the victor in the Minnesota Senate race that has resulted in a protracted legal struggle. The Republican incumbent, Norm Coleman, who brought the suit based on what he claims is evidence of electoral malfeasance, has already declared his intentions to appeal the ruling, meaning it might yet be some time before the Senate seat is filled. Could this thing end up before the Supreme Court? Frankly, I kind of doubt it, though it is possible, providing Coleman's side can produce a substantial question as to whether the vote recount was indeed conducted fairly. Coleman insists a number of ballots should have been counted which were thrown out, resulting in his loss of enough votes to afford Franken a razor-thin victory of something like 320 votes.

If Franken is seated, it would leave the Democrats with a 59 seat majority, just one seat shy of a filibuster proof caucus. It is not difficult to get cross-over Republicans to end a filibuster in a great many cases, as witness the last economic stimulus package, for which the Democrats managed to pull three Republican votes-both of the two Republican Senators from Maine, along with Pennsylvania Republican Arlen "Magic Bullet" Spector.

The real irony in this case is, if Coleman were seated, he might well be one of the most dependable of those cross-over votes, so I'm not really sure what all the fuss is about. The Republicans might be better off were they to concentrate their efforts on seating a new Senator with a bit less zeal for reaching across the aisle to "get things done" TO the American people.

They are out there, somewhere-maybe even in Minnesota.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Basket

The townsfolk of L'Aquilla Italy observed Easter mass today, with many of them expressing the view that they too were in need of a resurrection, and expressed the hope that they would recover from the recent tragedy that has as of now taken he lives of close to three hundred people and destroyed or seriously damaged numerous homes, resulting in thousands of people left homeless. A great many churches were also damaged in the earthquake that hit the nearly thousand year old town, resulting in the destruction of a great many ancient artifacts going back to the eleventh century.

The local Archbishop observed that the anger expressed at God by so many people who had suffered such devastating loss was, actually, a good sign. While I suppose it would be hard to be angry at someone you didn't think really existed, you can be mad at a concept, and you can certainly express that anger towards those who encourage and promote such beliefs. As such, I don't know that I would be so willing to look for any silver linings if I were in such a precarious position, especially coming from a faith whose leaders, including the Pope, preach that suffering is a good thing.

While the Pope did call for peace and an end to poverty, I would be somewhat surprised if he put suffering very high on his list of ringing endorsements this time around. Then again, the Pope is a strange creature.

Many people of L'Aquilla have lost everything, in some cases everything they have spent a lifetime building. It is sad and tragic, but at the same time, it is uplifting the way they seem to be trying to pull together, the best they can, to try to help each other through this tragic situation. It is in situations like this, in fact, where the Church can actually be at its most positive as a benevolent influence, and I hope that continues to be the case here.

The best news to come out of this Easter was the rescue by Navy Seals of the American sea captain abducted by Somali pirates, in an operation that resulted in three of the pirates killed and the fourth, a boy of sixteen, taken captive. Though obviously somewhat the worse for wear, the captain is unharmed, seemingly healthy, and in understandably good spirits. His crew members, and of course his family, is elated. Couldn't ask for a much better Easter present than that.

Finally, I want to tip my hat to Brian Williams and the staff of NBC Nightly News, for their dogged determination to get to the truth of a story which they researched and pursued with such tenacity and professional dedication I would be amazed, and literally dumbfounded, were they not in the running for this years Peabody Awards. Though led down countless blind alleys and given the runaround for seemingly endless weeks by a capricious White House staff, their long hours of hard work finally paid off. Though Mr. Williams took the Easter weekend off, Lester Holt reported tonight in triumph that the Obama daughters have finally received a dog as a present from Senator Edward M. Kennedy-a Portuguese water dog.

That is to say, the dog is a Portuguese water dog, not Kennedy, who of course as we all know is an Irish-American water dog.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Obama's European Trip-An Unqualified Success

After my initial disappointment at the election of Obama, and after brooding for about four days about it, I decided that I was going to make a serious effort to treat him as fairly as I could. I was not going to jump on every internet meme going that sought to belittle or denigrate him in any and every possible way. Not only that, I decided early on I would give him due credit where I thought it was due.

The American news media-at least the television network news media-has made it too easy to ignore all of that. Obama's recent trip to Europe is a case in point. I have to ask, in all seriousness, what was so great about it, other than the fact that he was met by adoring crowds who fell all over themselves in their attempts to outdo each other in heaping adulation on this newest American president?

What is it about Michelle Obama that she was considered more graceful and elegant than, say, Laura Bush? I have to seriously wonder about the mind-set of the news media when you hear them heaping such fulsome praise on her to begin with, but after a while, I honestly began to question not only their mind-set, but their collective sanity, when one of them mused as to whether Obama might quip, seemingly in all seriousness, that "he was the one who accompanied Michelle Obama to Europe"?

The American news media is actually suggesting, and apparently encouraging, the current President of the United States plagiarize the words of a former and late President. I hate to say this, but-WHAT THE FUCK?!

I understand, by the way, this was more of a get-acquainted kind of European tour, and to that extent the trip can legitimately be considered a successful one. Still, enough is enough. Not only was nothing of any real substance accomplished, there was actually a set-back. Obama failed to get any kind of firm commitment for the engagement of more European NATO troops to Afghanistan, the French being apparently the sole exception. In fact, NATO might well withdraw their troops from the country at a time when they might well be more vitally important than ever.

Our European allies, those same countries that previously criticized George W. Bush for being a cowboy, for acting unilaterally and determining to go it alone if necessary in Iraq, are seemingly going to let us go it alone now in Afghanistan. They seem determined to refuse Obama's request in this regard. Oh, but they did it ever so politely, just as they so graciously intimated they had no intention of any further investments of great amounts of funds to bailing out their own economies as we seem repeatedly determined to do with ours. Perhaps we, the US, should do more, they seemed to say with a friendly smile, even as Obama tried to discourage the growing protectionist trend that seems to permeate the economy of the European continent, and still does.

Nothing of actual importance was accomplished or settled, though there was a stated agreement that the world should aim toward full nuclear disarmament-which will of course probably never happen in any of our lifetimes. Aside from such petty and irrelevant displays of feel-good utopian ideology, and in otherwise viewing in total the sum and substance of Obama's trip overall, the Europeans, for the most part, came across as the more practical of the two, in retrospect.

Nevertheless, despite the relative insignificance of the trip in terms of actual firm agreements or accomplishments, this cotton candy show trip was hailed by the American television network news media as a major triumph.

Yet, if George W. Bush had ever intimated that there was an anti-Americanism in Europe that was insidious, as Obama did, they would probably have reported it as though it were to all intents and purposes the next best thing to a declaration of war. To be fair, they would not have been too far off the mark, as I rather suspect there would have been judges in Spain quickly preparing an indictment on grounds of engaging in hate speech had Bush ever had the temerity to publicly utter the words spoken by Obama in Europe-where he nevertheless seems to be a conquering hero, or at the very least, an American idol and icon.

When he went to Turkey, he was covered by a news anchor who, for the occasion, donned blackface greasepaint.

We are told that we should not take such actions as an intended insult, and probably, we should not take it as such. I am very much afraid that, in reality, Barak Obama is not taken seriously enough in Europe to warrant an insult.

That might be the scariest thing of all. While a great many European citizens genuinely seem to like President Obama and his wife, and have a great admiration for them, and what they think Obama stands for, I'm very much afraid that all too many European leaders and elites see him for what he very likely is in reality-an empty suit, a meaningless promise, and a worthless symbol.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ehhh-Look, Guys, About This "Surrender Monkey" Thing

There have been two concurrent incidents involving Somali pirates, one of which has received an appreciable amount of media coverage, the other of which has gotten very little attention. Yet the Voice Of America, in this VOA article, states that the issue of Somali piracy may be overblown, while granting that there is a danger the trend may extend out into the Indian Ocean, which would be far more difficult to patrol.

Its easy to see their point. Most major shipping would be too heavily guarded to warrant undue concern, but there is certainly cause for some degree of alarm, mainly because the pirates are operating out of a country which has no functional government to speak of. Somali piracy is a lawless act, originating from a lawless land. As such, it might be a problem for some time to come. Yet, it should be a relatively minor problem. For now, it doubtless doesn't seem so minor to the American captain who, offering himself for ransom in order to secure the safety of his fellow crew members, is still yet being held captive by Somali pirates. The US is at a standstill with the pirates, and at a seeming loss as to how to bring this episode to a successful resolution.

In the meantime, a successful resolution was reached earlier in the matter of the private French vessel commandeered by Somali pirates. The crew members of this ship had set sail in an attempt to get away from what one described as our consumer society, and had stubbornly ignored previous warnings as to the danger of venturing into the waters where they were in fact abducted by the pirates.

The French attacked the pirates, killing two of them, and though one of the hostages was also killed, the others were safely retrieved.

To summarize-

Americans are being held to a stalemate with a handful of Somali pirates in a small craft, while the captain of an American vessel waits helplessly, his life in growing danger. He, and his American compatriots, are helpless.

The French attacked and killed the pirates who abducted a yacht which held a number of their citizens.

The world has really, really, really, gone to hell in a hand basket.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Hey Kids, Let's Overthrow A Government

That is what seems to be going on now, with the revolution being fought on the web-pages of Facebook and Twitter, which is astounding in its implications. After all, these social networking sites, and others, were originally conceived as a portal for communicating with friends, for finding out the whereabouts of old ones and making new ones, for making professional contacts and plugging blogs or businesses, even finding work-and/or sex and love. They are used as advertising tools, for good or ill, and for the general dissemination of all varieties of news-and sometimes pornography, and various types of spam.

But this, this "pman", is something that is at a whole new level. The government of Moldava, probably the last stronghold of European communism, is teetering on the brink of dissolution. The citizens of Moldava, which was formerly the Romanian province of Bessarabia before being forcibly excised by the Soviet Union for the richness of its oil reserves, have taken to the streets in protest of yet another allegedly sham election held by the communist government. The movement has grown and become violent, with injuries reported on both sides.

And, while the government there keeps on teetering, the protesters keep on twittering, under the code name "pman". How will it all play out?

No wonder repressive governments (and for that matter, supposedly not-so-repressive ones) tend to hold freedom of speech in one or another degree of fear and loathing.

Death by a thousand tweets.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Explanation-It's "Simple" All Right

Well, the mystery is solved as to why Doctor Lawrence Kutner committed suicide in the April 6th episode of House. "Simple Explanation". The character merely followed in the footsteps of actor Kal Penn, who has committed career suicide by quitting the show in order to join the Obama Administration. Penn, who also starred in the "Harold And Kumar" films, has been politically active and was a strong supporter of Obama during the campaign. He will now be a liason to the Asian and Pacific Islander communities, and also to the arts communities.

Who knows, maybe its a good fit for the actor, but I have to wonder at this decision. Maybe he heard the term Slumdog Millionaire one time too many. Maybe he was sickened by the limitations of Hollywood and the ethnic stereotypes. Or, maybe he was honestly inspired by the fact that his grandparents marched with Gandhi, despite the fact that they would probably have been just two in a sea of faces that did so at the time.

I'm afraid that he might learn the hard way that Washington "inside the beltway" politics is a demeaning environment of its own, with its own style of stereotyping limitations which he should have caught on to when the position offered to him was as liason to Asian Americans.

There are two kinds of politicians, those that hate Guantanamo Bay and consider it at least a milder version of a gulag, and those who excuse it's necessity for the times, and hopefully for the time being. Then again, Washington is itself a kind of Guantanamo, but a more insidious form of a gulag, one which Kal Penn may soon discover has nothing in it to mine in the way of humor save of the darkest variety.

By the time he discovers that reality, one of two things will happen. He will adjust to it, and thrive, or he will feel stifled by it, and either burn out and leave at some point, or feel trapped and obligated. If so, he might well follow completely in his grandparents footsteps and be just another face in a sea of political apparatchiks. At the most, in time he might discover that his position as liaison to the arts community has more of a rather minuscule aura of Joseph Goebbels than of Nehru.

If in the meantime he ends up following in the footsteps of his on-screen House character, albeit in some symbolic fashion, there will be no real mystery involved. He did it to himself.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Simple Explanation

When it was first revealed on tonight's episode of House that Doctor Lawrence Kutner died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, the first thing I wondered was, why did the character not appear on the show? It seemed pretty likely to me that Kal Penn, the actor who played the character now over the course of two seasons, may well have refused to participate. I mean, why not actually show the character committing suicide, to what extend this could be done on network television as tastefully as possible?

After a while, though, I realized, such a scenario would have defeated the purpose of the episode. Kutner's suicide was never explained, though there were possibilities explored, such as his witnessing, as a young child, the murder of his parents at the hands of a robber. Still, the act seemed senseless, and left House for once dumbfounded. He came to the conclusion that Kutner had to have been murdered. Suicide made absolutely no sense, and so he set out to prove his hypothesis, his mind focused on this greatest of all puzzles to the exclusion of everything else-including his patients.

In the end, nothing was resolved. While most of the other characters attended the Hindu funeral at which Kutner's remains were cremated, the smoke ascending up into the sky from what looked to be some kind of crematorium temple complex, House returned a second time to Kutner's apartment, determined to find answers that were simply nowhere to be found. Nothing but pictures of a seemingly happy young professional, along with one that hinted at an unknown despair.

For once, House was stumped. There was no logical, rational explanation as to why someone, anyone, would purposely choose to end his own life for any reason, but all the more so in the case of someone who seemed to betray no outward sign of any reason or inclination to do so.

At the end of the show, a public service announcement gave a telephone number one can call if entertaining thoughts of suicide, but then the network sort of destroyed its credibility and may have defeated the purpose of the episode by advertising on its website a Lawrence Kutner Memorial page where you can go and pay your respects to the character and give your thoughts on his life and death. All of which, while meant to be poignant, comes across I'm afraid as unfortunately bizarre, silly, tasteless, and maybe even exploitive. I can only imagine what the Network could have been thinking about.

I think the comments section to this page has been shut down due to trolling, but here it is.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

North Korean Test Pattern

What with all the outsourcing American businesses have done over the last couple of decades, it seems obvious to me what the solution is to the recent North Korean crisis. Why not outsource all our defense contracts to them? We could save at least a couple of hundred billion dollars and help them build their country back up at the same time, resulting in turning a potentially deadly adversary into a stable, secure, and prosperous ally.

Okay, maybe not. That missile they launched turned out to be a dud, so maybe we should turn to some other more traditional manufacturing source and just kind of ignore the North Koreans. After all, these people are only dangerous because they're desperate, and they're only desperate because they're poor and their people are starving. How hard could it be to come to some kind of resolution here? This new missile test is just the same old thing that happens every time there's a change of leadership in Washington. After a couple of months it won't even rate as one of the top one hundred news events of the year. If we ignored them they'd probably implode. If we snickered at them they might even die of shame. Let's do something constructive to resolve this thing, or, failing that, let's move on. But let's not pretend this really means anything important-just a helpless, irrelevant regime living in denial while flailing and floundering away in impotence, just pretending to be hard and hoping somehow we won't be able to tell the difference.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The End To All Life On Mars

You couldn't beg for a better ending to a television series than that of the US version of Life On Mars, which was much different, and in fact better, than the ending to the original British series on which it was based. Unlike the ending to ER which came the next night and which was, while suitable for that type of series, entirely predictable, you would have had to have been Nostradamus on acid to be able to have predicted the ending to the ABC version of "Mars", which despite a devoted following struggled in the ratings.

The shows creators and writers not only ended the series, they gave what amounted to the perfect answer to the mystery of why Detective Sam Tyler (played by Jason O'Mara), upon being struck by an automobile in the year 2008, woke up inexplicably in the year 1973, where he ended up working in the same New York City police precinct. Was he insane, in a coma, the victim of an alien conspiracy experiment, placed inside a parallel universe of sorts? What was going on here? The details of his experience in the year 1973, where he met not only his mother and his criminal father (who seemingly died in the final episode trying to kill him), but his own self as a young child, seemed so completely detailed as to warrant dismissing the possibility of simple insanity.

Still, there were other things which were seemingly unexplainable. For one, why did he have the identification necessary to function in 1973, where he discovered he had been transferred from a place called Hyde. Why did he continually have bizarre hallucinations where he saw tiny robots crawling in and out of his nose and eyes? Why did he see people he knew in 2008 on television, sometimes talking directly to him, while it seemed he was still in that present year, in a coma inside a hospital? What was the reason for the bizarre threatening phone calls from a mysterious entity who only gave maddening hints as to the true reality of his situation. Why did certain people he met in 1973 during certain times seem to talk knowingly of his condition, then act as though the exchange never occured?

The final episode of the series finally revealed the answer that, in retrospect, would seem to be the only possible answer. When Detective Sam Tyler finally awoke from his hallucination, he found himself rising from a pod that had kept him in suspended animation for the past two years, and had formed a realistic neural stimulation program of his choosing that was designed to keep his brain active and functioning throughout this long sleep, during which he and his fellow astronauts-who happened to be all his co-workers at the 1973 police precinct-were in this suspended state in preparation for their mission, which was, indeed, to find evidence of "Life On Mars" in the form of a "Gene Hunt". This by the way happened to be the name of the hard-boiled detective who was his boss at the precinct, but who in real life turns out to be his father, also a member of the mission, along with "Detectives" Skelton, Carling, and Cartwright.

So what had gone wrong? Apparently, the ship had encountered a meteor storm, during which the ships computers suffered a glitch that seems to have only affected Tyler's pod. He had chosen to live the life of a New York City police detective in 2008, but inadvertently got knocked back to 1973, yet with his 2008 "memories" intact.

We are lead to assume that he will begin in reality the fantasy romance he imagined with Cartwright (Gretchen Mol), the Mars projects commander, who announced at the end of the show that she was ending her current relationship. Ray Carling (Michael Imperioli) seems to be as big a dick in the present as he was in 1973, discussing how in his fantasy life he was alone on a tropical island with countless woman. No, he was not the only man there, he went on to explain, just the only man there with a penis. Skelton seemed the same young, idealistic, and naive, yet quietly likable sort that he had been throughout the series, while the former "Gene Hunt" (played to perfection throughout the series by Harvey Keitel) provided the one slight hint that this ending too might not be everything that it seems to be on the surface. As he was the first to step onto the scorched, red, barren surface of Mars, he did so in the loafers he wore throughout the series. So was Sam dreaming this as well, or was this just a residual image in his mind of his very realistic journey to a past to which he never intended to journey? We will never know, and perhaps its just as well. Some things need to remain unanswered, and when a series ends this well, this satisfactorily-well, as the old saying goes, why mess with perfection?

Perhaps the strongest hint that the real answer may or may not have been given at the end is the fact that we saw the lives of the various characters of Life On Mars play out both with and without the presence of Sam Tyler, and in fact even during those occasions when he was miles and miles away from them.

Explainable, of course. Still, just enough of a question to make this that much more of a landmark series finale, which apparently ended for real, and for good, not in 1973 or 2008, but in the year 2035, during the Presidency of one of the daughters of Barak Obama, and with what was perhaps singly the most important answer of all. Wendy, the hippy neighbor who seemed to mysteriously know so much, yet would reveal so little (an evident necessity to assure the proper neuron stimulation functioning of the program) was in fact the computer that powered the ship on its long flight to Mars. Her constant use of the nickname "To Be" during the series was actually a gentle reminder to Sam that he was actually asleep in the neural stimulation suspended animation pod "2B".

Some people can indeed make this stuff up, and very admirably at that.

Friday, April 03, 2009

For Better Or Worse

Frankly, I'm sick of gays, specifically I'm sick of gay activists. But, if states pass gay marriage laws, they should do so through their legislatures, as was done in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and as recently done in Vermont, where it passed by such a wide margin it might well win the four extra votes needed to override a promised gubernatorial veto. There it would seem to be the will of the people at work-at least arguably. You can't make that case over recent events in Iowa, where the Iowa State Supreme Court declared that the law describing marriage as a union of one man and one woman was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Iowa constitution-which also is, by the way, a bullshit law.

Government has no business involved in marriage, at least not at the federal level, and neither should religion. Marriage should be a private contract between two individuals that can be either civil or religious in nature according to the desires of the participants. In both cases state and local governments have the right to step in as arbitrators and mediators of disputes, and in custody and property settlements, but they don't have the right to further regulate marriage as an institution, nor do churches. With the exception of laws against underage marriages or multiple marriages, they should both stay out of it. It is and should remain a private matter between two consenting adults.

Whether those two adults are same-sex or opposite sex, I could care less. I mean that too. Technically I don't have a problem with two men or two women marrying each other. I honestly do not give a shit. Be that as it may, forgive me if I am not inclined to jump up and down in celebration over the supposed "victory" of a group of people that seem to be against most of the things that I'm for and in favor of most of the things that I'm against. I think I'll pass on the celebrations, just like I'll sit it out when there's the inevitable National Gay Holiday somewhere down the line. I mean, don't misunderstand me, I get it-all gay people are good, kind-hearted people who are all loving and positive. Don't believe me? Hell, watch any television show with a gay character and you can see it for yourself. I guarantee you that you will never see an evil gay character. One can only assume that, since Hollywood puts such great emphasis on social realism-evil gay people do not exist. Oh, they might be uppity, persnickety, testy at times, and some of them can certainly be drama queens. Oh yes, all those old stereotypes are there. No "bad guys" though, unless you count prison rapists such as Prison Breaks Theodore Bagwell-and even he seems to want to change these days.

In real life you have the numerous examples of Catholic Priest pedophiles, most of whom are seemingly attracted to young boys, in some cases young boys who are prepubescent. Oh, but don't get the wrong idea-these priests are not gay (wink, wink), at least not according to gay activists-who nevertheless seem quite at the loss to explain just what the fuck else they could be.

Mainly, I'm not just sick of gays, I'm sick of everything and everybody these days. Everybody's got a bitch and an axe to grind, and if you know how to game the political system, and you are patient enough and loud enough, you can buy enough politicians and judges to do your bidding. Gays are no worse than anybody else when it comes down to it, though in a sense they might be better than most. We seem to be trending towards a time when the United States Supreme Court will in all probability decide that restrictions in state laws against homosexual marriage are unconstitutional according to the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution.

When it happens, so be it. While I will not by any stretch be deliriously happy about it, neither will I really be that badly upset by it.

I'll even take it a step further. On that day when gay marriage becomes a recognized constitutional right, I will wish participants in gay marriages no more or no less than all the happiness and success of your typical heterosexual marriage. They deserve it.

Where There's Smoke

The tobacco industry is facing the prospects of a bill which, if passed by the Senate and signed by Obama (as expected) would place it under the regulatory auspices of the FDA. Once this happens, the FDA could then limit new products, regulate advertising, compel tobacco companies to list the ingredients in their products, and even limit the amount of nicotine in tobacco products. Although the House version as sponsored by Henry Waxman passed easily, it is expected to face a tougher fight in the Senate, where Senators from tobacco-growing states are pushing an alternative bill which would put the industry under the control of Health And Human Services instead. In the meantime, Phillip Morris, the dominant tobacco company in America, actually supports the Waxman bill, presumably in order to retain its competitive edge in the market.

What I would like to know is, where were all these anti-tobacco crusaders in Congress when Big Tobacco was doing everything in its power to create products to purposely addict the American consumer?

Oh, that's right, they were sitting back and taking "contributions" from the industry in exchange for allowing them to get us all addicted and cancer-ridden. Now of course they've all had a collective change of heart and want to tax us. "For our own good", of course.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

John McCain Wants You To Know He Really Loves Black People

And because Senator McCain is no bigot he is urging President Obama to pardon late heavy-weight boxing champion Jack Johnson, who in 1913 was convicted of violating the Mann Act when he crossed state lines to marry a white woman, a conviction McCain notes was racially motivated.

Interestingly, legislation has failed passage twice since 1996. I haven't made up my mind yet which side I hate most, the one that doesn't agree Johnson should be pardoned, or the side that wants to waste time advocating justice for a dead man when there are probably thousands of cases involving potentially wrongly-convicted Americans alive and languishing in jails and prisons, but which they can't seem to find the time for. Here's a bit of drivel from McCain on the matter-

Well, here was a bit of drivel but since Blogger's italic function is messed up, I'll just relate that McCain seems to think this would make a great impression on Americans if Obama were to pardon Johnson. It would show, as he put it, "how far we've come, and yet how far we have to go."

In other words, pure drivel from a doddering, senile old fool, who seems to view the American people at best as children who need to be taught life lessons in humanity, or at worse as fools whom he can cynically manipulate.

The Senator and his colleagues need to look into the possibility that there might well be people on death row awaiting execution, people who might well have been wrongly convicted, yet entirely innocent. Don't wait until they have joined Jack Johnson in death before you take up their cause just so you can score an even greater political point.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Constitutional Right To Matchmaking Services

If you ever wondered why people worry so much about activist judges, this would be a sterling example of why. EHarmoney, the on-line dating site, has now agreed to start a matchmaking service for gays, as part of a court settlement, to be called Compatible Partners. Evidently, EHarmony's policy of arranging matches with compatible couples did not include homosexuals, and this was deemed discrimination and thus unconstitutional according to a suit filed in New Jersey.

But EHarmony's new relationship with the gay community is more like a shotgun wedding: The company agreed in November to start the dating service as part of a settlement with the New Jersey attorney general in the wake of a discrimination suit.

Dating site consultant Mark Brooks says Compatible Partners will be watched closely.

"This will be one of the most scrutinized products in Internet dating," said Brooks, who hasn't worked for EHarmony. "They will have to introduce an A1 product."

It's not a comfortable fit for EHarmony's founder, Neil Clark Warren, who based the original service -- which requires applicants to fill out lengthy questionnaires -- on his own practice as a psychologist.

"It's what I did for 40 years," said Warren, 74, who is retired but remains on the board. "I never had a gay couple."

Warren is the former dean of the psychology graduate school at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. Much of the early promotion of EHarmony was done by well-known figures in the evangelical community, some of whom preach against gay rights.

Well, it sounds ridiculous to me. No one has a constitutional right to be fixed up, any more than I would have a constitutional right to be accepted as a member of the Goth community if I weren't a Goth. Yeah, if I go into a Goth hangout I can sue them if they refuse to serve me, but do I really have a right to bitch if the customers don't like me? What am I doing there? Why should gays expect to fit in with a heterosexual dating service? If there are homosexual dating services, do heteros now have the right to sue them as well?

Just another case of judicial overreach. No one is preventing gays from having their own dating service, and by the same token no one should prevent a business from catering to a specific clientele when it doesn't pertain to a vital service. Matchmaking is not a vital service. EHarmony's policies is a private business decision. This is not Matthew Shepherd strung out across a fence in Montana.

So what's next, restaurants are going to be expected to cater to gays to the point they must advertise themselves openly as gay friendly?

This is one of the biggest reasons many are against gay marriage, and why I in fact am very wary of it even though I am okay with the concept. It's just that I can see the floodgates suddenly opened to a flurry of frivolous lawsuits, including gay couples wanting to adopt and demanding the right. Sure, you can make the case some gays would make worthwhile adoptive parents and might then have the right to file a legitimate suit.

The problem becomes, how many adoption agencies cave in to the demands of unworthy or unqualified gay couples just to avoid a lawsuit? This is just the kind of test case activist groups salivate over. It's not about rights, its about power and control with the aid of government officials and a judiciary subverting the constitution in order to impose unreasonable standards of fairness and equality, with freedom being the true casualty.