Saturday, September 20, 2008

Frank Schaeffer goes for the Chromefishtian Groin

Words in Red: Luke 16:10 shirt

SING it, Frank!

Take a hard look at yourselves. Play back this year's Republican convention and you'll see an all-white crowd of people screaming for offshore oil drilling -- fat lot of good that will do! more carbon! more polution! -- and essentially reacting like starved hyenas when presented with a piece of juicy carrion. At the convention Sarah Palin and others produced nothing more than a snide list of smart ass put downs aimed at the really dumb, with so little substance that former conservatives such the late William F. Buckley, for instance (let alone my late father) would simply have been ashamed to be in your company. You have become a hate-filled rabble proud of your ignorance and resentful of the rest of your own country, resentment that's exceeded only by your maudlin (and false) sense of victimhood.

People that hate half the population of their own country can scarcely be called patriots. On the contrary, people who exult in mocking as their only way to "contribute" to solving our huge environmental, energy, military and economic problems are true subversives.

The smell emanating from your convention was that of a beer hall putsch circa 1930s, not anything remotely like participation in a democracy. Now you all know what it felt like to be in a lynch mob minus the hanging. You should be ashamed. But shame is something that apparently Republicans are no longer capable of feeling, at least when you get together in a mob.

read more | digg story

Here's what I said on Zazzle about the illustration, before I read this. It's nice to know I'm not merely howling in the wilderness - entirely.

Don't tell me you are a Christian. Really. If you need to tell me that you are a Christian, that guarantees I might have some doubts about it, otherwise. It also tells me a lot about why you think it might improve my opinion of you, in the face of other things I might learn of.

Oh, and when you say "God Told You" or "God Wants you to" or most especially, "God hates," understand that when you accept the responsiblity of speaking for God, there's a biblical standard of accountabilty.

The OT cites are especially grim, dear. What was that you said about a gas pipeline, again?

Click thru to check out the back of the shirt. >veg<

Friday, September 19, 2008

As Heard on Randi Rhodes

Republicans want to privatize profits and socialize losses.Damn, she's pithy woman! She drops graphic truths like this all the time!

I was listening to Randi in the car yesterday, and she used this aphorism again, mentioning that she'd like credit for originating it. Apparently it's much-quoted, with the serial numbers filed off.

There's a damn good reason why it's widely quoted: it's so freakin' obviously true! Nothing could be a better example than the bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; the huge mortgage brokers that were privatized and deregulated so that all the profits could be sucked off when times were good.

Of course, now that times are not so good - it's time to socialize the losses. After all, the credo of Republicans is that "Rich People Should Not Have to Pay Taxes."

You know what a tax really is? A tax is the price of doing business in this nation. It's a fair share (well, if the tax system is fair) of the costs of getting stuff from here to there, the costs of regulating things in such a way that actual free and fair markets exist, ensuring that investments are secure, that money is safe in the bank, that the currency itself retains it's value. And, obviously, some portion of taxation is essentially an insurance premium against the unforeseen.

Sensible governments, rational, professional governments put a good deal of time into forecasting trends and foreseeing and preparing for all sorts of eventualities so that their citizens and the businesses that are the engines of their economies do not have to seek out and pay extra for such services. In other words, a proper government socializes the costs so that the profits are maximized and the BS is minimised.

Socialized medicine, for example. It's a common cost. By making it a profit center, you essentially make it cost more - in random, catastrophic chunks, rather than as an even, shared cost. And frankly, even if the cost is born disproportionately buy business, it should still end up being a hell of a lot cheaper, both in direct and in indirect compliance costs - paperwork - than the "free enterprise" version.

There are some things that a competent government can do better than free enterprise. The fact that this does not appear to be true in the United States is because the government has been lobotomized; it does NOT work for the common good, it's corrupt, it's riddled with ideologues and people who's sole qualification is that they WERE given substandard educations at religious colleges that leave out all kinds of vital ideas that might "inconvenience the faith," like the distinction between private matters (Terri Schiavo , birth control, sexual choice, recreational drug use) and matters common, public concern that is to say, the whole economy that is NOT based on making people pee in a cup and keeping the people who fail such tests in prisons run for profit.

Generally, these seem incapable of comprehending actual cause and effect relationships. They have regulated in that way, even when regulations still exist, and even a grasp of basic ethics would council against their "interpretation." In fact that's one of the points Randi was making.

So before you dismiss government and government regulation as an inherently bad thing, at least consider the idea of what a competent entity would have to do in order to do the job properly - public, private, automated, whatever. That is what the standard should be. A government does not exist for it's own sake, nor is it supposed to randomly grant boons and equally randomly impose costs. It's supposed to be worth it's keep, and in order to do it's job best, do as little governing as possible. I may be a minarchist - but I'm no anarchist. What we have IS a sort of limited anarchy - as long as you are rich enough, for you, there is no law.

So here you go. Grab it as a sig or blog graphic. I made it on Zazzle, (it's a template, for there are many other things she's famous for saying) and then I downloaded it and cropped the white space away. You may now use it any time you feel the need to remind friends who said it first, and you can do the same thing yourself for the quotes you want to preserve on your blog or your bumper.

I'd like credit, of course. So feel free to link to it. If you want to use it as a template quote engine, you kinda have to. I'll feel less guilty about link-begging if I suggest you sign up as an affiliate. If you just want to use this image to credit Randi, download it to your own space and link it to

When I have some more time on my hands I'll try to come up with something more sophisticated and useful. Right now, you can simply use the zazzle engine to create your own quote graphic the way I did. If you do that, though, either link to the graphic, or to this post. :)

I have to say it - these are awesome stickers; I've proofed other designs and they come out spectacularly.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Seems like the NYT has come down on the side of common sense.

Unless we make America the country most able to innovate, compete and win in the age of globalization, our leverage in the world will continue to slowly erode.
Duh. Megaduh. But finally it's coming out in the NYTimes and other MSM will no longer be able to ignore the increasingly obvious - that when stupid people are in charge, stupid decisions are made and the smart money gets spent elsewhere.

Best case scenario; it will take a minimum of 10 years, probably more like thirty, to regain what we had when Bush took office. That was only a bump in a general slide that dates back to Nixon.

The combination of failed political agendas, a failed war, a disasterous economic downturn and yet another incompetant response to a natural disaster has opened gaping political wounds, but there is no evidence that the people in the best position to do something to at least start hauling on the brakes have enough perception, competance or will to do so.

I hope to hell Obama has been making overtures to Ron Paul - he's one of the few Senators who actually understands this stuff, whatever you think of his personal policies. Asking him to consider becoming Secretary of Commerce ... well, it might send enough of a signal to buy some months of breathing room on the economic side of the crisis.

There has been more warning for this liquidity crunch than there was for Katrina. So, why is McCain just realizing that it might be, you know, perhaps an indication of tough times ahead?

If ... IF Obama is both smart and humble enough to reach out to all the people who have been isolated by the bush administration and prevented from doing what they know needs to be done, and if he can somehow herd those cats, and IF he can pull enough liquidity out of the aether, we might just make it to 2012.

You know, when the world is supposed to end. :P

"I'm Voting Republican Because..."

If chickens made an ad for KFC, it would be like this.

Undue Dilligance: McCain's Son Resigned from Seized Silver State Ban

McCain's son served until last month on the board audit committee of a Nevada bank that was recently seized by Federal authorities amid mounting losses and regulatory scrutiny. This article dated just days before the resignation of McCain and the seizure of the bank.

read more | digg story

So, rather than be concerned that McCain Sr. is the man to deal with our current financial crisis, perhaps we should look to see how closely he actually is tied to and responsible for creating the crisis in the first place through influence and unwise advocacy for deregulation.

Oddly enough, while it may be that the younger McCain was refusing to "go along to get along," I can't say that I take that thought seriously enough to seriously check out. If you are going to bail for that reason, do it before things are circling the drain, and it looks more like following in daddy's Keating Scandal footsteps.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thanks for the Song, Mr. Cohen

A brutally truthful reminder that a chrome fish is simply a void - and that void will be filled by something. What that something is depends on who you are and what you choose to do as informed by faith and conscience.

Live the words and you won't need to prove anything - or the excuses provided (at a modest price) by the salesmen of chrome fish and glow in the dark Fatimas.
When it seems like trying to talk sense to people simply brings on yet another plague of trolls, when you can honestly say that we are in the midst of a disaster of Biblical proportions, when you open the newspaper and wonder why this is all familiar, only to recall that it's been seemingly badly cribbed from Ezekiel, Daniel, Exodus and Revelations, well, a Cohen has to do what a Cohen is named for doing.

Heck of a tradition to live up to, but there are at least two in this generation. The Former Linked Cohen, Richard Cohen Spake in the New York Times, and lo, it rocketh.

Behold, so it was in the seventh year, and it seemed that America was doubly smitten, from without and within.

And, lo, a strange thing did come to pass. For as surely as the seasons do alternate, so the ruler and party that have brought woe to a nation must give way to others who can lead their people to plenty. How can the weary, flogged ass bear honey and balm and almonds and myrrh?

Yet many Americans believed the exhausted beast could still provide bounty. They did hold that a people called the French was to blame. They did accuse a creation called the United Nations. They did curse the ungodly sophisticates of Gotham and Hollywood and sinful Chicago; and, lo, they proclaimed God was on their side, and carried a gun, and Darwin was bunk, and truth resided in Alaska.

Of course, you might wonder if there could be something pointing to the "or else," the smiting of the self rightious, etc.

Sadly, the problem is not finding examples. It's choosing examples. I finally settled on just this single one, because it exemplifies karma in action, as well as the entertaining idea that angels may indeed walk an undercover beat among us, on karma enforcement detail.

He Shoots!!! He Scores!!!

I'ts Barak-y Night in Canada! T-Shirt shirt

It's the end of the first quarter in this grudge match against the Oilers; Obama's heading for the net, it looks like he's in the clear when OOOH, McCain tries to spear him!

Oh, it looks like the refs saw that this time, Jim!

Looks like they did, Bill. They're called a penalty. The first round draft pick from Hawaii is being called to the bench by the trainer for a look-see.

You know, it's really not my place to comment about the quality of the refs on the ice...

...but they suck, Jim!

And that's why I'm The Announcer, and you are the Color Commenter, Bill. You are here to say the dumb things that would get me fired. You took so many pucks to the head, anything could fall out... Well, looks like the medic is giving Obama the thumbs up; he'll be taking his penalty shot against the Oiler's rookie goal-tender.

Some fans may not know this, but rumors are that Rove is sitting out this game due to some contract dispute, or that he's gotten crosswise with McCain. That's why Palin suited up, and some folks wonder if she's up for it. But the Oilers are thin in the bench right now, so McCain really doesn't have a choice. Jim, you racked up a lot of ice time playing for them and against them; what do you think?

Well, when it comes to the Oilers, Jim, there's only two things that you can count on. First, nothing that comes out of the front office is the truth, even when they actually believe it themselves. And second, they play the meanest offensive game in all of hockey. The really don't play D... and mostly they don't need to.

Bill, Palin looks nervous there. Obama's taking his shot... stick fake! Head fake and... great jumping Jehosepat! He put it RIGHT between her SKATES! Man, that's an ugly way to start your career in the majors!

Let's look at the instant replay... damn, he took that shot like she wasn't even in the net! Now that's how you play HOCKEY!

Huffington Post: Obama Ad Targets McCain's "Vile," "Truth Be Damned" Distortions

Ok, you know that when someone in politics makes a big fat hairy deal about being a Hockey Mom, sports metaphors are gonna start flying. I actually started the illustration for my post about Canadian Style politics, and because it occurs to me that Obama is a game-changer in the same way Gretzky was. He kinda brought the whole puck into net concept back into the game; for a while there, hockey was what happened in the intermissions between fights.

The campaign video was a damn gift!

So here's to Wayne and Obama, who both know that at the end of the day, you need to put the puck in the net if you want your name on the cup.

Illustration credit: Me!
It's Barak-y Night in Canada! T-Shirt by webcarve
Design Customized T-Shirts At

Oh, this campaign IS about the issues!

Rick Davis is quoted in a Truthout Perspective entitled A Palin Theocracy, Written by Marjorie Cohn, and most appropriately dated Thursday 11 September 2008

What could be a more ironically apt fulfillment of the chain of events started September 11 than to conclusively demonstrate to the world that we are no different than those we were attacked by?

If we allow this campaign to succeed because "It's Not About The Issues," then frankly I have to wonder what it will take to rid ourselves of those who do not care about the things that matter at the expense of a posturing old man and his theocratic stealth bimboid unit.

Please note, I'm not saying Palin IS a bimbo. I'm saying that looking like one is a proven strategy to deal with powerful men who ought to know better.

Unfortunately, those that know better already seem to be voting for issues - even the conservative ones.

Rick Davis, McCain's campaign manager, said that "this election is not about issues ... This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates." The Republicans know they will lose if they really focus on issues such as the economy, the war, healthcare, education and the environment. They are hoping that pro-choice women who supported Hillary Clinton will gravitate to Palin because she's a feisty - albeit anti-choice - woman. They are also banking on support from people who cannot bring themselves to vote for a black man.

But those non-evangelicals who back the McCain-Palin ticket do so at their peril. Not only will they continue to suffer four more years of the disastrous Bush policies; they will also find themselves living in a Christian theocracy.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Please don't buy this shirt! (Buy the stickers instead!)

HT: Inspired by a post from the Vegas Gleaner, one of them rabble-rousing Lib-a-ruls. Of course he should be on zazzle himself. I mean, just the title alone:

"Billions of Nevadans make pilgrimage to glimpse Divine Prophet"

When I want to punch the stupid out of people, I don't get mad, I get creative. Really. That's why I do it. It really, really gets in the way of making commercial stuff.

Ya see, this shirt basically says that only idiots who like beating up people who disagree with them are actually still stupid enough vote for Palin and McCain.

Let me underline this with the fact that Ron Paul refused to endorse the ticket, and of all people, Paleocon Patrick J. Buchannon has actually endorsed Obama!

If Pat and Ron don't feel room in that big tent - and they are far from alone in that, well, we should look at what's left. Neocons, snake-oil artists and the sort of people that poisoned their own kids because Jim Jones said so.

So, given that these people are not just foolish, but dangerously and stupidly foolish, it doesn't seem like the smart money is on wearing one in public. But, I do have an idea. If a t-shirt is just too damn dangerous to wear in public, it's time to have a little fun with stickers.

Get out there and back-slap a few Republicans. You know, ones who don't know where you live.

Breaking news makes a liar of me...

An eyewitness responds to a Reno-Gazette Journal story: Palin rallies crowd with 15-minute speech.
I'm hoping someone who does that journalistic investigatory type thing will check this out.
I was at Mills Park today, and was appalled at the brainless violence shown by the Sarah Palin supporters against a group of Obama protestors. Several times, Palin supporters threatened physical violence before police became involved. One Palin supporter even had the stupidity to poke a policeman with his finger when that policeman would not arrest the Obama supporters for protesting (he was immediately ordered to back off!) Is that what the core Republicans are reduced to now, threats of physical violence and acts of mindless brutality? Protesting is an American right, and Republicans feel free to do so at Democratic rallies. This violent behavior is un-American and against our country – an enraged 800-pound gorilla in the room that the core Republicans refuse to acknowledge.

Yep. Palin inspires all those small town values that a lot of us decided made medium to larger cities a better choice. That, or an isolated holding with plenty of barbed wire and an anti-aircraft capability.

Hitting the Cynic Limit: That's all the blogging I can stand for today

You know, it's not so much what I'm for, it's more like there is a whole social and political tradition in America that's just too damn embarrassing and conspicuous to ignore any more. You can't argue with them. They are impervious to reason, common sense and seem to revel in a level of mean-spirited spitefulness no kindergarten teacher would tolerate.

This gives me quite the cynical take on "Christian homeschooling."

But consider the low-hanging fruit sent by their friends and neighbors to the Republican Convention, as shown by The Daily Show. presumably they were sent to the Mile High City because everyone, including themselves, thought of them as being informed enough and representative enough to participate in our political process. Or maybe they thought it was a Shriner's Convention. It's kinda hard to tell, but the family values voters seem to be treatin' the strippers real nice.

More insight from a fellow cynic:

From Bad American:

Don’t get me wrong, I hold no great hope for an Obama presidency - they are fully creatures of the establishment. But if I have to wish which one of these guys wins in would be Barack ONLY because I see this as a last test of the basic decency and intelligence of the American people. At least Obama speaks to the higher principles we should be aspiring to as a people whose birthright stemmed from the pen of Thomas Jefferson. McCain and Palin seem to be salivating to shoot Iranian families from airplanes.

If McCain/Palin win in a margin that doesn’t need Diebold vote fixing, then I say America deserves whatever it gets from that point forward. If we’ve truly become a nation that worships the playground bully ethic, than that’s not a country I could support in any fashion.

And this last story is the absolute worst.

Michigan GOP to Challenge Foreclosure Victims at Polls

If having your home foreclosed isn’t bad enough, the fascist bastards will be trying to disenfranchise you at the polls in Michigan. What I would like to see is these challengers (described in some of the comments following the story) have the shit kicked out of them outside the polling booths. Liberals are just too damn nice sometimes.

I have to wonder what kind of person you would have to have become in order to even THINK that was a respectable thing to do. How the hell do sleazeball tactics like that fit in to being an upright, stalwart "pillar of the community?" You know, I don't even care who or what you are upholding, because when you wear a calving glove to do it, it kinda gives away the area where you think you are gonna get the best grip. The fact they seem to enjoy it tells me all I need to know about that whole tableau.

Sometimes, all you can do is laugh bitterly and make a hip, urban t-shirt emblematic of my conservative coastal urban, civilized values. You see, I just think it's common sense to be conservative of stuff that's actually worth preserving. Libraries, for instance, and the books in them. The Constitution, and the Enlightenment from which it sprang - an enlightenment that in itself came from universities in cities where people fled from the "small town values" that led to witch burnings and using the Bayeux Tapestry to cover a haystack.

Four lines. Your favorite country lyric. Get out there and stir up some cognitive dissonance with Waylen, Willie and the Boys.


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