Monday, August 31, 2009

Atheist Nazis

Bill Donahue, the leader of the Catholic League, says militant atheists are ganging up to "get the Catholics".

Wow! I gotta get to work modifying the lyrics to the Horst Wessel Song, for when we have rowdy gatherings at the Beer Halls. How does "The Bill Maher Melody" sound?

Does anybody know where the atheist meetings are held? Do they have torch light marches through the streets? I hope they have cool uniforms, with jodhpurs, shiny jack boots and little daggers to wear on your waist. I love to play dress up. Almost as much as Popo Fester.

Are we going to make them sew little red crosses on their clothes and send them to concentration camps to die horribly? 'Cuz that sounds a little extreme, Dude. My Gramma's Catholic and I don't think she'd like it. If that's the way it's going down, I think I'd rather just stay on the refreshment committee. I bet Gram would bake snickerdoodles.

Texas Hold'em

Dickwad Cheney's whining that the investigation into the CIAs use of unauthorized interrogation techniques on detained terrorist suspects, by Eric Holder's Justice Department, is an unfair politicization of the government process. You can't really argue that it's not true but it's a clear case of turnabout is fair play. Nobody's in the mood to let bygones be bygones right now. Maybe later. After you're dead, Dick. Now is a time of bitter recrimination and unrestrained partisan strife. The stakes are high and still on the table. You dealt this hand Dick. Dealer's choice. Play it out or fold and go home.

What goes around comes around, Dickwad. Man up. The time for bluffing is past. You're gonna have to show your cards if you want to win or go belly up, like the cringing dog you are.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Local Rag And A Few Hundred Others, Going Bust

Used to be called the Santa Ana Register. Every town had it's own rag, until they didn't. Then it was the Orange County Register. Only paper left in a County of more than a few million people and they still can't make it pay. A guy named RC Hoiles started it. He was still alive, running the operation and writing editorials when I was young. He was what used to be called an arch conservative. Today he would be a libertarian. I never disagreed with with a lot of his basic tenets but a lot of what he wrote was just mean and the people and politicians he allied himself with were kooks. Probably because he had gotten so old and cranky.

Hoiles has been dead for many decades. It's a pretty good paper. The only source of reliable local news. They used to run a local cable news channel that was OK but couldn't make it pay either. I take the LA Times because I always have. It used to be a great paper. It will go under soon too. Nobody reads a paper anymore. Surprisingly, there's a throwaway called The OC Weekly that's pretty good, and seems to be thriving. Most of the advertising is for prostitutes, drugs and plastic surgery. I don't mind. They have done some pretty good investigative journalism in the last several years. They have distribution boxes at every strip mall and public building.

People think this is about the internet. It's not though. Nobody reads. It's been coming for decades. I don't think it will be a good thing when there are no more newspapers. The time is coming though, soon.

Evil Klown Pontiff, Strikes Again

Over the last few days I have seen this speech referred to on several sites but none of them linked to the actual speech, until now. Thanks, J-Walk. I call your attention to the third paragraph, where Pope Benedict appears to blame atheists for global warming and the degradation of the environment. I follow the reasoning but it really seems like an exercise in polemics. The degradation of our environment is not remotely attributable to the the atheistic community. The reverse seems more likely to be true.

The Pope is a bad man. Probably even evil. As an atheist concerned about the state of the environment and who tries to live a good life and leave a small footprint behind, I feel this kind of public utterance brings nothing to the conversation. I am not offended. I expect nothing better of him. He remains part of the problem, not the solution.

Little Orphan Annie

Do you think that photography is art? I do. I love photography. I also think that it may be the hardest art form to succeed at because there is so much competition. Anybody with a few thousand bucks burning a hole in their jeans can get their hands on a pretty much state of the art set up and millions of people around the World do. You don't even need a dark room anymore, just access to a halfway decent computer and photoshop.

I think Annie Leibowitz is a good photographer, at least as far as portraiture goes. Have you ever seen that picture of John and Yoko, where he's folded up naked against her? I'd be embarrassed as hell if somebody had a picture like that of me. It's a great picture though. The story is she took it just a few hours before he got shot to death. I'm sure that one photo netted her millions. She's done a lot of real successful commercial advertising campaigns. She was Jan Wenner's main picture taker during Rolling Stone's glory years. How much do you think that portfolio's worth? She's been at the top of her game for forty years. Her work product will be pumping out big money long after she's dead.

The reason I'm focusing on money is that I read that she put up the rights to all her pictures and virtually everything else she owns, as collateral against a 24 million dollar loan that she now can't pay back. The real bitch is that she used the money to make improvements on real estate investments, that because of market fluctuations, she can't currently get the money back out of. Whoever loaned her that money is gong to make out like a bandit.

You gotta ask yourself. How could she get herself into a situation like this. She's just one old dyke. How expensive can her life have been. She doesn't dress nice or spend a lot on jewelry. She doesn't have a big entourage. I don't think she strays too far from Manhattan. She goes to a lot of ritzy gatherings but I'm guessing she gets comped a lot, maybe even paid for just showing up. Didn't Susan Sontag leave her anything? I guess not. She was more one of those "my life is my art" kind of people. Didn't spend a lot of time on the best seller lists. Anyway. It seems to me Annie had it made and just somehow fucked up. Bummer.

It's always fun to see a celebrity take a fall but I got no bitch with Annie. I hope she pulls it together, makes good on her note and gets to keep the farm.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Expanded Religious Freedom For Spain?

The Catholic Church doesn't think Spain needs a new law expanding freedom of religion and increasing the separation of Church and State. Why would they? Catholicism is the State religion in Spain. The Church there has many prerogatives, pays no taxes on its extensive holdings and enjoys exorbitant subsidies directly from the government treasury.

Catholicism was once strong and universal in Spain. Few attend to the Church anymore, mainly the elderly. Most Spanish despise the Catholic Church for its close collaboration with the hated Caudillo, Francisco Franco, during an extended, bloody civil war, followed by forty years of brutal totalitarian rule, while the rest of Western Europe enjoyed a prosperous, post war renaissance.

So Is He James Earl Jones Or Bambi?

A Kansan Congresswoman said that the Republicans need a "Great White Hope" to unseat Obama from the Presidency. A gubernatorial candidate in Idaho joked with a woman, in the crowd at a Town Hall meeting, who said she thought Obama should be shot, that if they were issuing the proper tags, he'd go huntin' some Obama, himself. He was kind of vague. Maybe he wants to take out the whole family. You know, mount some heads on the wall, make a rug and this was just what was in the news yesterday. Prob'ly be better stuff tomorrow.

Nothin' to see here. Move along.

She's So Vain, She Prob'ly Thinks This Blog Is About Her

I hear Carly Fiorina wants to run against Barbara Boxer for the junior Senate seat here in California. This is probably the wrong choice for her. Boxer is the most liberal of our two Jewish lady Senators. She is the younger of the two and also has the least political baggage. She does pretty well with Hispanic voters. A lot of them are convinced she is Hispanic. Hell, for all I know, she may have some Hispanic roots. There's a shitload of Mexican Jews. Carly would be better off running for Governor. Arnold doesn't have a likely protege, nor is there a strong Democratic candidate on deck. Californians like to elect Republican Governors. They do it all the time and they don't require them to be very smart or have good people skills. Carly fits the bill totally.

The other thing Carly should consider is a run against Diane Feinstein, our other Senator, in a few years. Diane is getting close to eighty. I think she could be pretty vulnerable, especially since she is conservative, for a Democrat, with strong neocon leanings. Like Joe Lieberman but with a bigger vagina. A lot of her support comes from crossover, fiscally conservative Republicans, who can read and write at higher than a fourth grade level. If Carly played it smart, she could cut a lot of that support out from under DiFi, maybe even beat her. It's still a stretch. I honestly don't think she could get elected dogcatcher in this State

Carly and the Hivehead Madonna hate each other and the 'necks know it. No help there. No way the Wing nut vote is going to get excited about Carly, unless she comes out strongly anti abortion and big time homophobe and if she does that, she can't win with the majority of the Californians she really needs. It'll be two, "let's make abortion rare and my best friends are Gay" girls, going head to head and that's a non starter for the redneck, fundamentalist, birther crowd. Carly won't even get a cultural boost 'cuz the 'necks love Jews. Can't get enough of 'em.

Maybe Carly should buy a cowboy hat and move to Arizona, like the rest of the constipated, rich, White flighters. She's a good friend of John and Cindy. She could buy a ranch in Sedona, chew some peyote and go for John's seat when he dies. She shouldn't have to wait long.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Teddy's Dead And Going To His Grave

You read the media organs of the Catholic Church and the political Right, you learn that Teddy never represented the true interests of the Church in his 40+ years as a United States Senator. High Churchmen stated he should be denied the sacraments, that he was not morally worthy to carry the banner of committed Catholics in the secular World. Is that true? Catholics voted for him in overwhelming numbers regularly, in every election he was on the ballot. He never had a serious opponent, Republican or Democrat. Polls show that his constituency supported his political stands between elections. They supported his position on abortion. They want safe, cheap, reliable birth control available to all who need it, for whatever reason. They applauded his support of public education and health care for all. They stood by him when he battled against the use of American military might to victimize countries that had done us no harm, repeatedly, over the last forty five years.

What Catholic was ever asked if they supported elevation to the priesthood, men that sodomized their own little children? Who elected that little Fester lookin', catamite weasel, Ratzo, to run the Church? Who's the real Catholic? When did Catholics get to vote on the Church's political machination's. Who best represents the interests of everyday parishioners? You know how you can tell, in the Irish Catholic community of Massachusetts? Who has the biggest funeral.

We Are The World, We Are The Children

This is ridiculous. I didn't need anyone to teach me to masturbate at 5 years old. I wasn't stupid. What I needed was someone to teach me to masturbate girls at 5 years old.

It would have enhanced by sociability, increased my self esteem and popularity among my peers and led to a better transition into adult sexuality. Let's get our educational priorities for children straight and promote heterosexual development for the optimum number of our young.

The Catholic church has institutionalized training of this sort for centuries. I think what they do is more geared toward homosexuality and adult satisfaction than helping out the little kiddies, so I hope the UN doesn't go to them for help in setting this up. It would be a shame for another good idea to be co opted by pedophiles.

Aquarious, A-Quar-I-Ous

The Catholic Church apparently believes that we have achieved racial utopia. The only people who don't believe this is true are civil rights leaders, African American Studies professors and over educated, rich, White progressives. Read here.

That they think this, is the best argument I can think of that the exact opposite is true.

Thanks,Wing nuts, for raising my consciousness about the state of racial inequality in the World today.

A Fortuitous Error

During the Congressional fight for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, reactionary opponents included a rider specifically targeting discrimination by gender as illegal. They were sure that inclusion of such language would doom the bill in a male chauvinist Congress. It didn't. It passed, gender provisions intact. The rest is history.

Thank you, Wing nuts, tireless champions of Feminism. The always cute but feisty, little preborn spirit of Sarah Palin, must surely have been guiding you that day.

New Day Commin'?

The Republican Congress passed a Civil Rights Act in 1874. For a time, during the Reconstruction Era, Blacks were able to vote, attend public schools, buy land, participate in commerce and generally in the life of society, on an equal basis with Whites. It's not known how this legislation, had it stood, would have affected the evolution of American society, it was overturned by the Supreme Court almost immediately. Lynch Law and White racist control returned to the South. Blacks moved North in huge numbers. Southern Whites voted Democratic. The Republican party was nonexistent and Lynch Law reigned supreme in the South, for a century.

For a short period in the 1960s, beginning with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Democratic Congress passed a series of increasingly specific Civil Rights bills. That was all it took. They have changed the face of American society. Whites in the South were enraged and have not voted Democratic since, Blacks, in turn, have not voted Republican. Previously, local law enforcement and courts could simply choose not to enforce or prosecute practitioners of Lynch Law and Jim Crow. Now, they know the Federal government will step up if they don't. It doesn't mean things are fair in the South, it just means the reign of terror is over. A small but significant change, not easily made. One I'd not like to see reversed. How about you?

Legislation alone does not change society. It has taken 50 years for the majority of the population to even begin the internalization of the concept of civil equality. It is still by no means universally accepted. The Black/White divide in America is still deep, even in the face of rapid deterioration in many other racial, religious and cultural rifts that once separated Americans from social intercourse with each other.

The Republican Party in America has now completely reversed its once egalitarian polarization and currently stands as the voice of return to racial separatism and disenfranchisement. They have absorbed the forces of marginalized fundamentalist religion, jingoistic militarism and laissez-faire economics into support for the cause. It's not about Race, they say. It's about State's rights, individual rights and a culture of life. They say.

Will Republican tea bagging, town halling, partisans, be successful in returning the noose, the burning cross the politics of terrorism to the town square? Only time will tell. I don't think so but don't doubt for a minute that's what they want.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I don't think the Left Wing is so great but what's the alternative?

Liberals believe that if you are an educated, smart, socially aware individual, you will automatically agree with them on most, if not all, of the important issues of the day. They think Conservatives are drooling Luddites.

Now that the quasi conservative, socially reactionary wing of the Republican party has come into ascendancy, this is, at least the last part, more true than not.

Too bad, Conservatives. The answer is to clean up your own house, before you try to criticize the Liberals about the condition of theirs.

This doesn't mean that the Liberals don't need a good house cleaning themselves. Doesn't mean they are right about most of the issues. It just means that everything is relative.

As fiscally conservative as I might be. As opposed to big government. As dedicated to the preservation of individual rights and even more importantly, responsibilities. I could never ally myself with the Right in any meaningful way now. I think there are a lot of people that feel that way.

You need to come to a new understanding about what are the real goals of your movement and who is attracted to them. You need to quit embracing leaders who pander to the lowest elements within your constituency. Rush Limbaugh is not an astute and intellectually admirable oracle to be placed at the head of your leadership. Sarah Palin is not a role model for aspiring young American feminists, seeking their place in the World. Tom Delay is not your folksy but wise old uncle. Micheal Moore and Cindy Sheehan are controversial figures on the Left. They are closely listened to and much admired in some quarters. For all of that, they are fringe figures. Do you see the difference, even a little bit, between that and what's going on in your tent? It may not seem like much to you but it makes huge difference in the comfort level of a lot of people when they have to go into a voting booth and pull the lever for one candidate or another. Most of us like to think of our country, it's government and traditions, as an open process, first and foremost dedicated to freedom, fairness and respect for all. When we look to the Right, we are repelled and sickened by what we see.

There is hatred, mindless prejudice, inequality and corruption on both sides of the political spectrum and plenty of it. You have allowed these elements in your camp full reign at the very forefront within your leadership and activist factions. There is no holding your breath, looking the other way and going along for the ride. Not for me. Not for most people. Not now.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Don't Eat Sugar. What, Did You Think It Was Good For You?

The American Heart Association came out today with guidelines for sugar consumption. Did you know the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day? That's what they say. That means some people eat a whole lot more. No wonder we are all so fat. There are definitely a lot more really fat people around than when I was a kid.

I'm lucky on this one. I don't eat much sugar at all. I'm not much into sugared drinks, pastries or candy. I don't use it much in cooking.

I don't pay much attention to the AMA guidelines. Every decade or so they completely change things around. Remember in the eighties, everybody was supposed to eat a lot of carbs and no fat. In the nineties, no eggs, butter, red meat or whole milk. Brrrrr. They even said avocados were bad for a while. They don't want to seem stupid, so they never really go back and say anything is OK again. At this point, about the only thing they say you're safe with is lower carb veggies and fruit with a lower sugar content, maybe a little bowl of oatmeal with skim milk, in the morning. No grease, except maybe a little olive oil but don't use it to saute or it might hydrogenate on you.

Like most Americans I have adopted my own little mythology of healthy eating that allows me to eat almost whatever I like. Most people do this. I believe that I'm allowed to eat anything that people have been eating pretty much forever. My main no-nos are refined sugars, highly concentrated starches, and hydrogenated oils. I try to watch the salt. All these items are especially prevalent in prepared foods and restaurant fare. I avoid both. Heart disease was fairly rare before the 1920s and all of my no-nos didn't come into common use much before that. So that's my line of reasoning.

I think probably the most important thing is just not to eat very much. If you can stay thin, I don't even think you need to worry too much about exercise. I've seen guys fall over dead of a heart attack at 35, who were health nuts who hardly eat anything and exercise like crazy. All those guys seem to be real high stress type As. So don't worry, be happy.

Are You Kidding? I Love This

It says here, that Sean Hannity will run for President in 2012, if God directs him to. I'm hoping the old guy gives the go ahead. Sean is just what the Pugs need to round out the field of aspirants. If he doesn't make it through the primaries, I think he'd make a damn fine VP candidate, especially if he's on the ticket with Sarah. She's so beautiful and poised and he's so handsome and suave, the ladies really like him. They'd win for sure.

Everyone loves Sean. So clean cut and dapper. He looks like one of the Rover Boys, right out of a Penny Dreadful. Be still my heart.

Blow Job, Anyone?

Story here.

I Guess I'm Just A Hopeless Liberal

Over on some of the Winger blogs there's been some pretty spirited discussion about how long our new President is going to be able to keep it in his pants. You know how insatiable some of these Negroid types can be. Especially those mulattoes. Fornication is in their blood.

That Barry is a good lookin' young buck, dresses nice, plenty of spending money burning a hole in his pocket. You can see how there are probably plenty of women around the White House more than willing to degrade themselves, White women even. How could he resist that for long.

I'd be willing to forgive a lapse of decorum, now and then. I could even understand if he was doing it with that little Jewish boy he keeps around to answer the door. Guy's got that sleepy smile and bedroom eyes, you can see it a mile away. Wouldn't bother me.

I'm not a pervert or anything. I'd definitely draw the line at the little girls or the Water Dog.

I was always suspicious about that George/Barney relationship. It's not right. He's just a little dog.

Hook'em up and start the pumps!

Did you know that in California, almost 40% of people self identifying as conservatives or Republicans, both believe in unrestricted abortion, on demand? I had no idea. It's not like that everywhere.

Check out how people think about abortion, gays and the Bible as the literal word of God. Here.

I was surprised how few people believe that the Bible is the literal truth across all regions and political stripe. I guess those fundamentalists have a ways to go before they pull us into the next Dark Age.

Deregulate Health Care

You want to decrease the cost of health care? Simple. Use the tried and true conservative solution to all problems. Deregulate. Eliminate government certification and licensing of facilities and practitioners. Allow over the counter access to all pharmaceuticals and the free flow of foreign drugs at the lowest prices the market will bear. If some communities of citizens among us are not going to be allowed any health care, let those communities at least have access to medical care of a sort they can afford, whatever that may be. What right has anybody to stop them? Adopt a no lawsuit, let the buyer beware policy on health care. Get rid of fireman paramedics, who haul every constipated elder and croupy baby to an expensive ER, at the dial of a phone. Eliminate costly full ride medical coverage for the disabled, retarded, and chronically ill. I don't want my taxes going to support these useless vegetables, especially when I can't get medical insurance for myself. Their families can take care of them. They can go to one of those nice, culture of life, Catholic facilities and get treated for free. Let Laissez faire rule.

Allow full service foreign medical corporations to set up facilities in this country and staff them with their own medical professionals. Break the monopoly of the AMA, hospital cartels and drug companies.

A huge percentage of those clogging up the health care system are drug seekers and malingerers. Let them get all the drugs they want, whatever they want, over the counter, at cut rate prices. It will also put the violent, illegal drug cartels out of business as well, decrease violent crime and cut down the congestion in our prisons.

Allow new medical practitioner schools to open up. They don't have to be called doctors. They can be called anything you fuckin' want. The students don't need fancy expensive educations. They don't need to be the smartest guys in the World. They don't need to make millions of dollars a year. They need to be able to treat the basic stuff, that most commonly happens to people. They can work their way through training, on the job, at affiliated hospitals. Re establish a low cost, hospital based, nurses training system, integrating the trainees into real care quickly. Flood the market with good, experienced, sincere medical men and women who are motivated by idealism and not a big paycheck. Costs will come down quick. We have a lot more sick people in this country than we used to have. When was the last time you heard of a new medical school opening up or even an old one expanding its student population? Do you think maybe the AMA might have something to do with that?

By enforcing a monopoly of health care upon the people and controlling access to pharmaceuticals, the government and health care establishment have created the perfect environment to jack health care costs sky high, while leaving those of modest means without any option but to incur unmanageable debt in the pursuit of care. Let's stop that. Open up the playing field. If you close the system off to those that can't afford it, at least allow those people to go outside the system for whatever consolation they can get.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

He Says He's Sorry

Bill Calley apologized for My Lai this week at a meeting of Rotarians in Atlanta. I always thought Calley was a stupid jerk. I still think so. I don't believe he's sorry. I believe he's sorry what he did ruined his dreams of a successful life. In truth, though, he bears no real responsibility for what happened in Vietnam 40 years ago. Those people walked away without being held to account. Most of them are dead now but they were able to spend most of the next 20 years rebuilding the military, intelligence establishment, and reactionary right wing political organization, in this country, into the horror show of religio-political extremism that we have today.

Every good Republican should get his nose right up in there and kiss Calley's ass.

Woman Rampant

I am not a feminist. This is not a feminist blog. Feminism is, at its core, a female function. Men and women are different. The men and women of the human species share less DNA in common than they do with the other respective males and females of the great ape family. They have different social imperatives, behavior and abilities because of it. Does anybody doubt this? Nowhere has this difference been more pronounced than in the area of reproductive function. By definition, women control reproductive function and socialization of the young. This may be the single most important factor determining how humanity will progress. There is no way for men or women to change this but in most, if not all societies, throughout history, men have controlled the behavior and influence of women, in an effort to control reproductive function.

The subjugation of women has been a vital part of human society. It was a unifying factor that determined cultural success. All human endeavor hinged upon it. On the other hand, chronic stumbling blocks that kept humanity from progressing further, were caused by the subjugation of women. The question now is, can humanity continue to flourish without continued subjugation of women? It may be a question that has already been answered.

The supremacy of Western culture over the past several hundred years, has been possible because of the ever increasing empowerment of women to act independently, to a greater extent than elsewhere in the World. It has provided an undeniable competitive advantage. It has given the West tremendous power. As long as this remains true, women will continue to gain autonomy and power, not only in the West but in all cultures, as they strive to meet and overcome the onslaught of Western domination. Like all the other defining aspects of Western ascendancy, the emancipation of women is increasing, exponentially. The proofs of this are everywhere. The criminalization of wife beating and other forms of abuse is completed and being internalized in society. Women own property, make legal decisions, decide for themselves who to mate with and determine the nature of their continuing relationship, if any, with said mate. Women head of households are now common. They may soon be the norm. Women now achieve higher levels of education, on average, than men and will soon numerically dominate the most lucrative, powerful and respected professions. Formerly male institutions of power are deteriorating or changing to include the equal participation of women. What we think of as the modern feminist movement is not so much a force for change, as a manifestation of change that has already taken place or is now taking place.

Feminism has proven to be functional and advantageous. The form of society follows function. That which stands in the way of superior function will not be crushed so much as be left to whither and die. This will be true as long as female empowerment remains advantageous. Do you think that's likely to change anytime soon? I don't.

The battle of the sexes is like so many engines of momentous societal change. It really isn't a battle at all and most don't realize it's going on until it's already over. Things change.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Everybody Has A Right To Their Own Opinion

I know a few people that would like to see a total ban on abortion. A few more would like to see late term abortion banned. Still, the two groups combined seems to me a very small percentage of all the people I know. I know some people who think homosexuality is a sin and some who aren't religious, who think it's unnatural. Still more, think that Gay marriage should not be allowed. We voted in California to make Gay marriage unconstitutional. So be it. I'm sure the issue will come up for election again and again. I know a few people who think it would be a good idea to have prayer in public schools. Not many. I don't know anybody but doctors, hospital administrators and insurance agents who think that some kind of universal health coverage is a bad idea. Most people have serious concerns about how this can be paid for. On the other hand, everybody knows that the entire rest of the developed World has universal health coverage and most of those nations have longer life expectancies than we do.

I don't know any super rich people. I know some people that make more than a million a year. Compared to me percentage wise, they don't pay much in taxes. Some of them don't even pay as much as me in total. They have really good investments that shelter them from tax liability. Some people I know think this is a good thing. Not too many. I'm not crazy about it myself.

There aren't too many people left that think George Bush's Middle Eastern wars of aggression were a good idea. I know some who still believe we are obligated to stay there to see things through. I know some who don't think so. Even people I know who continue to vigorously support the wars, admit that the Bush/Cheney administration made many untrue allegations to the American public in the run up to war.

It's a big country with a diverse population. People have different beliefs and opinions. That's the way it's going to be.

I don't know anybody who thinks Barack Obama might not have been born in America. I don't know anybody that thinks he's a Communist, Socialist, Fascist or Muslim. I've never heard anyone express a belief that Michelle Obama is a radical, Black Nationalist. Not one person, ever. I hear these things all the time and even crazier stuff, coming out of the Right Wing news media. I'm pretty sure even the people I hear reporting this stuff don't believe it. It doesn't bother me that they say it. It's a free country. At least it is so far. Anybody can say anything they want to.

It seems peculiar though. Where is this stuff coming from? Where are the people that believe it? Do Rupert Murdock and Sun Myung Moon keep them locked in a basement somewhere?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wing Nuts Shut Down Death Mill, HooRay!

The mayor of La Follette, Tennessee had invited Planned Parenthood to open a new clinic, that would offer expanded services, including abortion, in his community. The landlords of the prospective clinic property, a former school building, previously unrentable, were excited at the prospect. There was no objection from the vast majority of the community. There almost never is.

The local pro life agitators, a coalition of Catholic and Protestant fundamentalist cranks, went directly to the mayor and landlords. They presented them with the kind of literature and graphic imagery that they would be displaying and handing out at the new site. They described the kinds and schedules of the disruptions they would be causing in the community, if the Planned Parenthood facility was allowed to open. They explained how potentially dangerous and violent these disruptive acts had become at other locations, even murder is not out of the question.

The mayor and landlords quickly withdrew their offer of the facility to Planned Parenthood. I have to say, that in the long term, I approve of these kinds of tactics by the wing nuts. Filling the locals with fear and revulsion will damn their cause in the end, by showing their true colors. I have no problem with abortion clinics being in remote areas, on the edge of town or in places where rampaging wing nuts are actually an improvement over the usual denizens.

Keep it up, wing nuts. You have nothing to lose but the respect of your neighbors. Save those little pre born souls. May they all grow up to piss on the Church door step.

Jesus Metes Out Painful, Lingering Death to Schiavo Killing Bishop

This will make good Catholics wring their hands with pleasure. Yah-su is on the job.

Onward Christian Soldiers?

I've been out of the military for more than 30 years. When I served in the US Navy, there was no primary focus on religion, within the service, that I was aware of. It seems to me that this may have changed.

is a testimonial on the subject from a currently serving, young Army officer. I have no reason to believe that he is stretching the truth. What do some of you, with perhaps more recent experience think? Is he right? Has our military been co opted into fundamentalist Christian culture? If yes, are you all right with it? If no, is everything OK?

Here is the flip side, from a guy who says he was an Airborne Ranger and believes the country is in danger, because it is no longer a Christian nation. What do you think about his ideas?

For The Pikes Must Be Together At The Rising Of The Moon

The Republicans seem to feel that the Democratic majority rule in America has weakened their enemies. May be. One thing is sure. Any loss of popularity among Democratic politicians has not, so far, generated any increased support for the Republicans and it's clear that the Republican base has moved away from any trace of real conservatism into a realm of deep, dreamy, reactionary longing for a past rooted in racism, segregation and restrictive, fundamental Christianity that the majority in this country will unlikely share in.

Next year we will have mid term elections. It doesn't seem to me that the Republicans are going to put forward candidates likely to attract independent voters in large enough numbers to make the kind of gains they need to make a difference in Congress. It's possible that a more fiscally conservative batch of Democrats will gain election or that third parties will field attractive and successful candidates.

Many Rightist pundits are saying that Barry O will be a one term wonder. Republican aspirants to the Presidency at this point cannot be taken seriously. Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are all clearly interested but I can't see them getting the kind of support they need for a serious run. The Arky Bible boy, Huckybuck, doesn't have enough money to get on that train again. Mormon Mitt has already spent as much of his own money on the quest as he cares to. I think both of them are done. I could be wrong. Of all the Republican brood, I like that Cantor whip boy from the Old Dominion best. It's been a long time since the "Mother of Presidents" pushed one out for us. It may be about time again. He is a lot like George Bush, only he's not a retard, God Bless him. He's a Jew and that will bring money and brains into the game. The Republicans need both badly for the next contest. Even so, I don't see him beating the Commie, Kenyan Mudman. It's always possible that Obama will step down after four years and pass the baton to Hilary. He'd have to be hurting a lot worse than he is now to do that. It's an option for him though. I'm sure Hil' would man up.

Currently, the Republicans are staking everything they've got on the claims of the Birthers, fighting universal health care and rolling back the clock on Women's reproductive and Gay rights. They are letting Wingnuts like Orly Taitz and Glenn Beck build a sty and fill it full of the kind of shit that isn't going to attract a lot of fellow travelers to climb in with them.

Their go to reserve strategy seems to be portraying Michelle as a jungle gorilla, dressed up like Marie Antoinette, trailing her two little porch monkey dauphinettes behind, stridently screaming.

"Let them eat bananas!"

It's going to be fun to watch. There's still a lot of time left. The smell of retard revolution is wafting from the diapers of the faithful. Flip the Man the ol' sixth finger boys and girls. Sharpen your banjos. Gird yourselves with the drool bibs of truth. Double up on your anti convulsives. Don your protective headgear. Climb aboard the short bus of freedom. Join the fight to take back this great land, from the Death Panel Eugeniscists, who seek to enslave and kill us all.

Monday, August 17, 2009

White Trash, Eugenics and Death Panels

Eugenics and Death Panels, in conjunction with Socialized medicine strikes a raw cord with the White trash community. Socialized medicine is just another in a long list of benefits designed to help those who have been forced to the bottom of the social strata, as opposed to those having settled there naturally. White trash realize that choices will be made about who gets the lion's share of a limited amount of resources. They've seen the same thing happen before, with other programs, in earlier times. They know who will get the benefits and it won't be them.

What do you do every day, when you wash your hands and see the little scars, where the sixth fingers used to be? What do you do when you look in the mirror every morning and the visage reflected looks like the eyes, nose and mouth from a Mr Potato head kit jammed as closely together as possible in the middle of the biggest, fattest, Russet baker in the bag? It's sad when puberty and the first diabetic crises are linked developmental events in a family. How does it make you feel when you're the best reader in the family and you still need the pictures on the menu board at Mickey D's? What does it do to your self esteem, when you realize that if you had been born into the Jewish family, who own the business where you work, have a "management" job and make ten dollars an hour, they would have long ago pronounced you a hopeless retard and had you institutionalized, for your own good?

Socially conservative, religious fundamentalist, ignorant, White trash can't win. They are an inflamed, reverse Darwinian appendix, throbbing hotly in America's gut. They need to be ripped out or they will burst and poison our society with their hatred, desperation and mean stupidity. They see it coming. You really can't blame them for being upset about it.

Big Cop Convention

I was glad that Sgt James Crowley didn't suffer any punishment after his confrontation with with Professor Gates last month. I thought perhaps we were maturing, as a nation, in the area of race relations. As usual, I was wrong.

Now, we see Crowley given center stage, a standing ovation and hugs all around, at a National convention of the Fraternal Order of Police, for no other reason than to show it's still possible to beat down a Nigger, Harvard PhD, in his own house and get away with it.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Army Screening Out Agressive Types

The Army is looking to get rid of senior NCOs that have a propensity for aggressive sexuality and/or substance abuse. Jeez, it's about time. Guys like that might even be prone to use weapons to commit acts of violence, during the performance of their duties, while engaging in the National defense.

It used to be that the officers running the Army wore women's clothes, lisped and simpered. Now, they are actually women.

Our Armed Forces have no business fighting.

On the other hand. They aren't getting rid of all the rapists and hopheads, just the ones that get caught. Maybe they aren't so dumb.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Christers, Go From My Door

Christers think everyone should abstain from sex before marriage. Catholics and most fundamentalists even include masturbation in this practice. Most young people today, if they marry at all, wait until their late twenties or even into their thirties before marriage. The end result is, everybody has regular sex at some point, before marriage. Jesus beat off. Even Mary, how do you think she was able to spend her whole life as a virgin? The rest of us aren't nearly as immaculate.

Christers think once married, divorce is a sin. Divorce rates are at 50%. This includes Christers.

A lot of Christers, especially Catholics, are taught birth control is a sin. Everybody uses birth control, some just don't use it very well. Women get pregnant who don't want to be.

This brings us to abortion. Christers say abortion is murder of the little pre born souls. God tells them it is so. It may be and most people may believe it but most people also believe in a woman's right to choose to have one, if she wants. Christers have just as many abortions as regular people, some say they have more. I personally believe this is so.

Christers, at least the fundamentalist ones, want to solve the problems in their own house, among their own people, by making it illegal for everyone to do the things that they can't even get their own followers to stop doing, even when they know they will burn eternally in Hell for it. This is not a problem the rest of us need to solve for you, Christers.

Go amongst your own, vile, Christer scum. Solve your own problems amongst your own, who are unable to follow your chosen path. Convince your own people to live in truth, the Godly life you preach, in theory. Spare the rest of us your hate spew and doctor killing. Let the rest of us live our lives, as we choose. We promise not to bother you. When you get it all worked out, I'm sure your shining example will set the rest of us into frenzies of glossolalian, snake handling or furious bouts of genuflective, Latin prayer to the Virgin hap mama. Then we will all live happily together eating God's good manna and speaking Holy Bible Babel, until Jesus comes down and gathers us into the fold for spiritual shearing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Will O' God

Abortion is legal, safe, available and inexpensive in all 50 States of the Union. The Supreme Court, conservative as it may be, does not have the overturning of Roe vs Wade on its agenda. An overwhelming majority of Americans favor safe, legal abortion, whether or not they consider themselves personally to be "pro life". There is no movement to effectively ban abortion anywhere locally. There is no movement to amend the Constitution against abortion. There is no organized pro abortion movement in this country to fight anti choice activists. There is no need.

The anti abortion movement contents itself with whipping each other into a frenzy. They demand that people not sharing their beliefs on abortion, be ejected from the churches they attend and denied the Sacraments. They skulk in the bushes outside abortion clinics, popping up to terrorize young patrons on their way in or out, screaming epithets and calling down the wrath of God. They murder abortion providing doctors when they can.

Anti abortion organizations crow about the progress that they have made when dictatorial governments around the World unilaterally choose to ban the procedure, while every democratic nation, religiously devout or not, that votes on the issue, chooses to legalize, without exception.

Anti abortion activists are proud to be following the will of an angry and vengeful Jay-Ho-Vah but he's not the God that the rest of us have. Shine on, true believers. Your reward awaits in Heaven above. Hal-EE-Lou-Yah!

The Republican party in this country, has inextricably allied itself with the fundamentalist Christian, anti-choice, anti contraception, pro virginity until Christian, heterosexual marriage movement. OK by me. I'm smilin'.

Wing Nut Rage. Bring It On.

During the entire eight years of the Bush administration, no major Republican figure, including the President or Vice President, made any public appearance, anywhere, that was in an open, public venue. They never said anything or made any answers to any questions, that wasn't closely and entirely scripted before hand. These events were held at closed venues, with armed guards. Admission to these events were by ticket only and tickets were distributed through the Republican Party. Anybody that got in and made the least appearance of opposition sentiment, was menaced, thrown out and sometimes arrested. This was also true during the recent Republican Presidential campaign of John McCain. No politician has ever had access as closely controlled as that of Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. During the entire campaign, she gave only four, closely controlled, one on one interviews with friendly members of the press, all scripted before hand. That these interviews didn't go well was entirely because of her own ignorance and ineptitude. She never appeared at a single event open to the general public. She still has not, to this day. Even in her native Alaska.

The current administration is hosting events where the venue is open. The Republican Party is packing these events with partisan agitators. I like that they are doing this. I don't mind the presence of large numbers of partisan agitators but you've got to take into account that this is completely different than you will ever see during a Republican administration or at a Republican sponsored event.

The Pain of the World Rests Upon Our Shoulders

It is the way of my people. So it shall always be.

In For A Pound

I'm not aware of a Southern Politician who has ever gotten elected to anything by emphasizing a pro choice stance on abortion. That's exactly what this guy is going to try and do in the race for the Governorship of Virginia. Seems foolish but if it works, the South is going down as a bastion of black dirt ignorance and militant wingnuttery.

I'm going to send him $25 and my best wishes. Least I can do.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Like A Lab Rat in A Skinner Box

How many times have you heard someone say or heard said about someone, that they just never got the breaks they needed. Do you think that's all bullshit? I do. You don't have to be smart to get what you want. You don't have to be lucky.

All any of us needs to do, is let behavioral imperatives take over. Success, status, money, sex, it doesn't matter what it is you want. Whenever you perform a random behavior that gets you what you want, you can identify and repeat that behavior and if it really did get you the thing you desired, it will probably get it for you again. If you order your life so that you perform the behavior a lot, under similar circumstances, you'll soon be awash in that which you desire. It's possible the behaviors you need to perform will also cause you some kind of discomfort. You may hurt others. You may feel guilty about it. You may get dissatisfied or bored with what you're getting and begin emphasizing different behaviors that bring you other things but in the end, it's all up to you. All of us are exactly what we make of ourselves. Criminals, perverts, corporate moguls, drug addicts, the President of the United States, all of us.

Like a lab rat in a Skinner box. No trick to it at all.

Are you unhappy? Start behaving differently.

No Wing Nut Warming

Most of the glaciers in the continental United States are almost gone. Glaciers all over the world are rapidly melting, including those in Greenland and Antarctica. The sea ice at the North Pole now melts each Summer, opening the fabled North West Passage. Ocean temperatures are rising. Coral reefs are dying, new ones are spawning in areas previously too cold. Birds are changing their migration patterns. Species of plants and animals in temperate areas are moving their habitats closer to the Poles. Warm Summer weather lasts longer each year. Winter comes later and is milder. It's happening. It's documented.

Wing Nuts don't believe it. They tell each other it's not true and that's good enough for them. This works for them on most issues. There is nothing about Global Warming in the Bible. That pretty much settles the issue for them.

Foolhardy Engines of Doom

Do you like airships. I do. What boy wouldn't.

They were also the biggest death traps ever conceived as a way for Uncle Sam to dispose of the lives of excess sailor boys. Here's to'em.

The Air forces of both Russia and the United States, built nuclear powered bomber aircraft during the Cold War. The United States put a reactor into the airframe of the B-36 and Russia into the TU-85. These things actually flew (Shudder!) As far as death traps go, you really couldn't do much better. I think each country only built one though. Then they were overcome with an attack of good sense.

What's your favorite? Mass glider assault anyone? Short range artillery with nuclear warheads? Amphibious armored vehicles? Chevy Vega? We've had'em all.

Russia had an early paratrooper delivery ship. The troops had to transit hanging onto the wings. Once over the target, the pilot just shook'em loose. Wheeee!

Russian paratroopers wear blue striped jerseys. Do you know why? You guessed it. They tried training soldiers to do it but they just deserted and went back to their old units. They took sailors out of the Baltic fleet. Gave them liquor. Strapped parachutes on them while in a stupor and sent them up. Paratroopers still wear the jerseys and are very fond of liquor, brawling and rape. God bless sailors everywhere.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Buy Foreclosures Now?

CNN says buy foreclosed residential properties now, before it's too late. I can see where this might be true in Rust Belt hellholes, like Detroit or Cleveland. The prices there have reached very low levels, even for luxury homes in exclusive neighborhoods. Cities like these though, have been net population losers and economically, nothing is going on. Even some areas of California, notably the San Joaquin Valley of Central and Inland Empire of Southern California, might be good deals, if you have a real reason to live there, but not many people do. Commutes are long and expensive.

In my area of Coastal SoCal, Minimum bids for good properties are still too high and often receive no bids. The banks would still rather hold on to properties than accept what the market will bear. Commercial real estate still hasn't crashed too hard. I think that's still to come. There are a lot of near derelict strip malls and shop rental rates are dramatically decreasing, as owners strive to keep tenants at any cost. Rental housing has not gone down in cost at all but I'm seeing a lot of for rent signs and in this town that's very unusual. In anticipation of an endless 10% a year rent hike, many apartment buildings have previously sold at vastly inflated prices that cannot possibly support profitable ownership anytime in the foreseeable future.

If I was going to invest in real estate, I would still wait, perhaps for a further meltdown in the commercial property sector. Maybe an older 8-12 unit apartment, on a relatively large piece of ground, that could be rehabbed, with an eye to eventual tear down and replacement by more units with a higher rise and underground parking in a more prosperous time, many years from now. The other possibility would be a strip mall that could be converted to a small, ethnic, mercantile center, South Asian or Middle Eastern. These populations are rising in this area and they have to drive far currently, to do their special needs shopping.

In any case, I'm very leery about the economy. I do not think that we are in a sustainable recovery or heading toward one. I think that the stock market is in a bear market rally that will likely end by Fall. If the Government continues to issue debt and print money at the current rate, an economic firestorm could ensue. If that is the case, real estate would be a great investment but not until afterwards and you'd need to buy with something other than dollars.

What's it like where you live? Where is that? Would you buy a foreclosure now?

Let The Games Begin

The health care debate is getting interesting. The news media is alive with reports of angry elderly, White, 20 percenters at Town Hall meetings. Did you see the old guy with his shirt ripped down the front, who claimed to have been attacked by "angry union members"? No blood. No Bruises. His toupee wasn't even messed up. Anybody that watches CSI knows the only way a shirt can get ripped like that is, to have someone reach around from behind you or do it yourself. I wonder which one it was in his case?

These angry mobs of old, White people are a recent phenomenon. I don't doubt they are angry. The question is, how angry? The big issues for the Right seem to be peripheral. Let's face it. The only people who really care about high taxes, pay high taxes. The only people who really care about abortion are pregnant. the only people who really give a shit about health care are sick. Are these old Fuckers really that mad? It's like the Vietnam War. The only people that really gave a shit, were the kids that had to go fight it. It's just like Civil Rights. The people really interested in ending the inequity were the ones denied education, good jobs and being strung up from a tree in the town square on Saturday afternoon.

What I want to see is how long these old, lame, whining, rednecks can keep up the show. The next big elections are more than three years away. Let the games begin.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Worthless Money. Worthless Morons.

Inflation has made our coinage ridiculous. The value expressed by pennies, nickels and dimes is minuscule. They should round all prices to the nearest quarter and make that the smallest coin. They should begin to issue dollar, five dollar and ten dollar coins and make the twenty the smallest bill. No sales taxes should be charged on items until they reach twenty five cents total and there after, rounded off to the nearest quarter. They also should reduce the size of coins and stamp them out of cheap durable steel blanks. Everyone knows that money itself has no intrinsic value. Tarting it up by making it big, shiny and colorful is insulting.

The government will never do this because they would have to admit that our money is nearly worthless and would soon have to increase the denominations of money again when it becomes even more worthless.

What a bunch of morons.

Your Bowers Of Flowers Bloom In The Spring

The late Bush administration was able to definitively push the Supreme Court to the Right when Alito replaced O'Conner. It may be sometime before the Court tilts Left, Mostly depending on who dies next and who is President when it happens.

Conservative courts are minimalist rather than active. In this kind of environment, States rights shine. In the South, if the Right can retain it's populist, fear based, White racist hegemony, progressive politics may suffer a setback. It's not clear. Voter demographics are changing in the South and the most stalwart social conservatives are aging and dying off rapidly. Most voters today in the old Confederacy and it's Midwestern satellites, don't remember the strictly segregated Jim Crow era. They don't secretly yearn for the return of Lynch Law and the five o'clock whistle.

Where I live, in California, it is a different matter. No place in the World today, has the kind of culturally diverse and tolerant population that we do. Even people from traditional and repressive societies tend to support progressive social policies. One reason they do, is because they realize how much better an open society is to live in, than wherever it is they came from. It's why they're here. Another is that extreme tolerance, is vital for them to maintain aspects of their own foreign cultures, that are often personally offensive to the majority of their neighbors.

California is socially liberal and rapidly becoming more so. People are moving toward the goal of maximizing personal choice on lifestyle issues. Support for women's reproductive rights is now overwhelming here, despite heavy immigration from Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, where that is not the norm. The mainstreaming of homosexuality is another issue, where this is true. The passage of Proposition 8 last year, was not significant as an expression of support for traditional values. It was significant that traditionalists even felt such an amendment was necessary and because of how small the margin it passed by was. In a year or two, Prop 8 will be overturned and gay rights will cease to be an issue. This will end up being a benefit to the Right, as homosexuals tend to be otherwise socially and fiscally conservative, many will return to the fold of the Republican Party.

Read the very interesting new polling results from California here, from the Associated Press.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Taco Slinger

Toward the end of 1966, I turned fifteen, living with my family in a cheap cracker box in Garden Grove, California. Truth be told, it wasn't bad. There were a lot worse places then and even more now. I still weighed less than a hundred pounds but had recently grown a few inches, shaved about twice a week and could now pass for older than eight. After my birthday, my father took me out in the driveway and made sure I knew what all the controls were for on our old '53 Ford Mainliner, then gave me the keys and told me to drive it around the block for a few hours. Sounded good to me. After a week or so, he asked me how my driving was going. I said OK, I guess.

He got in the car with me then and we drove around town for a while. He gave me some pointers, not too many, and he said I drove alright, considering. Later, he made it clear that the Ford was not my car and I couldn't take it anywhere or even ask to take it anywhere, but if I happened to get a job, it would be OK if I drove it to work and back, as long as I stayed off the main drags. I had to pay for the gas. Eighteen cents a gallon, at the pump your own, independent stations. The Ford was no longer our only car. In 1963, he had bought a new Rambler Classic 440, Motortrend Magazine's, Car Of The Year. When you owned a Rambler, a reliable second car was a necessity.

At that time, I had a paper route with the Orange County Evening News. It required a couple hours a day, more on Sunday mornings. Then I had to make collections every month and spend a couple of evenings soliciting new subscriptions as well. I was lucky if it brought in $30. If you can't count, that's $360 for a years work. In those days, if you showed up for work in a car, it put you into a whole different league than a kid peddling a bike. The first place I worked was a Jack in the Box on Brookhurst, a little South of Garden Grove Blvd. They needed me to tell them that I was eighteen and in Junior college. It turned out not to be a good fit. All the other guys there went to Bolsa Grande High School and I went to Rancho Alamitos. There were some school rivalry issues. It was also open 24 hours and while my parents didn't really care or even notice that much, pulling all nighters isn't that good when you're a sophomore in high school. I only lasted a few weeks but it was good experience. It was clear to me that fast food was well within my range of capabilities.

I quickly transitioned to a Taco Bell on the North side of town, Gilbert and Katella. Kinda seedy. South, there was a big block of cheap apartments. North, across Katella in Anaheim, was the toughest barrio in the County. The denizens called it La Colonia Independencia. We all called it Crow Village. The work was better than Jack in the Box. Just prep, assembly and working the register, scullery when it slowed down. No grill. No drive thru window. The other guys that worked there, were mostly from Rancho and I knew them from junior high and even grammar school. They didn't hire school girls but they did have a couple of young adult women that worked days. You could hire them dirt cheap in those days. One of us high school guys would come in 4 to 8 then two more would come in 6 to 10, when they closed. The ladies worked 10 to 6:30, so one of us would be there with them, during the the evening rush. I loved it. They were greasy, sweaty and worn out by the time I got there. We flirted, jostled and bumped hips in the confined space. If they bent over I could see down their dresses. If I bent over, I could see up. They didn't even pretend to mind. Powerful stuff for a fifteen year old. I loved working at Taco Bell.

The people that owned the Taco Bell were rich. They owned the strip mall that the Taco Bell was in and ran businesses in it, when they couldn't find renters. Vacancies don't look good, especially in a part of town like that. They owned four other Taco Bells in more little strip malls and probably other stuff too. It was a man and his adult son. He was the circulation manager of the LA Times and his son was the circulation manager of the Orange County Edition of the same newspaper. Must have paid pretty good to put together that kind of Capital. Their wives, Rosella and Vivian, managed the real estate and businesses. They were real cheap. They didn't want or need me to be eighteen. They only needed me to be sixteen. California had a special "training wage" of $1.05 an hour, that you could pay a high school student for the first six months and after that, capped out at $1.15, still less than the $1.25 minimum wage for adults. The truth is, not many high school employees stayed longer than six months and they didn't encourage them to. They always had 4 or 5 of us high school guys on the payroll. Kept costs down. A penny saved is a penny earned. The Law said students could only work 20 hours a week and only until 10 PM. It beat delivering newspapers on my bike and was a lot more fun.

The Taco Bell had a full time manager. His name was Mike. He was 20 and a UCLA dropout, not apparently worried about the draft. He was smart as a whip and one weaselly little fucker. We got along from the start. I had never had a friend anywhere near that old. He had his own apartment nearby. Turns out he was fucking one of the young women that worked there and she lived with him and even chipped in on the rent. They never mentioned it at work and came in separate cars. Blew me away. I really felt like an adult, knowing and working with older kids, out on their own, doing as they pleased.

Soon, I learned there were other ways to make money at Taco Bell. Mike, the manager worked pretty hard. He opened every morning. He closed every night. He did the books. He made the bank deposits. He worked the lunch rush, the busiest time of day, with the girls. In those days all the preps were done in house. We grated lettuce and cheese, chopped onions, bagged it all up and stored it in the reefer, making sure that the stock got rotated. We cooked and seasoned the taco meat 25 pounds at a time in big pans, transferred it into smaller steam table pans and stored it in the reefer. We cooked the dried pintos in huge pressure cookers with lard, water and salt, fifty pounds at a time. We even had a little machine that poured hot sauce into tiny cups and heat sealed cellophane over the tops. About every five minutes it would go out of sync and spew little unsealed cups of hot sauce all over the place. The scullery quickly piled up with used pans caked in baked on beans and meat. No automatic dishwasher. It was Mike's job to make sure that everything got done in a timely manner and the place remained spotless, in case the health department came for a visit. I don't know why he did the job. He made more than me but it still wasn't shit. Guys his age were either in college or Vietnam. He could've done better. Turns out he was a coreligionist and distant relation or acquaintance with the owners and they were promising him bigger and better things to come. Maybe he wasn't so smart after all. Even I could see through that one and only fifteen years old.

There were a few other things that the manager was responsible for. One was the night janitor work. The floors had to be hot mopped. The slops had to be hauled out to to dumpster. All the stainless steel surfaces had to be wiped down with red oil. This had to be done nightly. All the grease traps and filters had to be steam cleaned at least a couple times a week and the walls washed and wiped down. The windows had to be washed, inside and out, as well. Outside, all the trash needed to be swept up and cans emptied, then washed out with disinfectant chemicals and turned over to dry. Then the whole outside area had to be pressure washed. This took a couple hours or if you cut corners, maybe an hour. You couldn't cut too many corners, too many times in a row though, or the smell and the flies would start to get thick during business hours. The trick was to rotate the things you didn't do each night and never not do them two nights in a row. Another thing Mike was responsible for, was frying tortillas. In those days, you couldn't get pre fried shells or maybe they just cost too much. We got cases of fresh tortillas in on Friday. On Saturday morning they all needed to be deep fried until crispy, either in a fold for tacos or flat, for tostadas. Thousands of them, or at least it seemed like it. Then they got stacked together in stainless steel boxes, sealed and placed in the store room. You never knew exactly how much you'd sell in a week and there was breakage. You had to make a lot. You had to develop a routine and work fast. It was hot. You got crusted in grease fumes and it got into your lungs. You got grease burns and blisters, even when you were good at it. When I got hired, there was nobody else currently willing or able to do either of these things and Mike was doing them himself. The last guy who had done these jobs was Brent Jones, a near legendary character at my school, at least in my estimation, a couple years ahead of me. Brent was a known druggy and miscreant of the highest order, who had been incarcerated in Juvenile Hall. Vice principals reached for the Pepto Bismol at the mere mention of his name. I knew I had to have his old job. I would never be like Brent but a boy has to aspire. We bargained out a deal. I did the janitor work every night I worked late, which immediately became every night I worked. I never pulled a regular shift on Saturday again, instead coming in that morning and spending about five hours on the fryer. I got paid by Mike, in cash, about twice my regular wage. Piece work, so it was even more if I worked quick. I thought I had made a good deal. I was never sorry.

At fifteen, I was driving to work. Doing a real job. Brent Jones' old job. It was exhilarating. I thought I was making pretty good money. I saved most of it. What a dope.

Maybe more on Taco Bell later. Writing about this was fun.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Where Does Contraception Fit Into The Pro Life Movement?

I meet a pretty diverse group of people. I know people from many religious and cultural backgrounds. Over the course of the last 30 years or so, I have only come across a handful of people, maybe three or four, that don't think contraception is a good idea. Religious people, even those with extreme fundamentalist views and Catholics, whose religion specifically condemns contraception, strongly believe in contraception and for the most part, use it themselves. Social conservatives, the kind that home school their children and believe that Barack Obama is an illegal alien, al Qaeda sleeper agent, believe in and practice contraception. Smokers and non smokers, drinkers and non drinkers, felons, free thinkers, neo Nazi militia members, even the Amish ana baptists use contraception. A hundred years ago or even when I was a child 50 years ago, it was not uncommon to run into a family with between 12 and 16 children. How many people do you know now with that many kids?

More than 90% of people in every racial, socioeconomic, educational, religious and political group, across the board, here in America, self identify as being in favor of contraception. Much has been made of the fact that over 50% of the American population now consider themselves to be pro life. 98% of those people that consider themselves to be pro life, also believe in the use of contraception.

Now, think about this for a minute. There is not a single pro life organization that advocates the use of contraceptives, sex education, or even open access to information about these things in the public forum. There is not one pro life leader in America who also advocates for the use of birth control or the concept of family planning. There is not one single pro life counselling center for pregnant women that present contraception to their clients as an alternative to the next unplanned pregnancy in their life. All of the active, public, pro life community works against the use of contraceptives, against the availability of sex education materials, against family planning, against women's reproductive rights.

How can there be such a large political force within society, with virtually no active adherents? What a blowmind.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Tim Tebow, Wing Nut Poster Boy?

Tim Tebow, the Heisman Trophy winning Florida Quarterback, gets a lot of press coverage, as much for his Christian background as for his gridiron skills. His parents are fundamentalist Protestant ministers and missionaries. He is the first Heisman Trophy winner to be home schooled. He expresses a desire to enter the ministry himself. Recently he was in the news again for stating he is saving himself sexually, for marriage.

It's real interesting. The fundo-fuck face, "Tiller Killer" crowd, use this young man as a poster boy. They do it because of his faith, Christian upbringing and because his mother was encouraged to have an abortion early in her pregnancy with him, because of possible fetal deformity or damage, and refused. I don't think it would be wrong to characterize his parents philosophy as pro life. It's also not wrong to characterize Tim Tebow's story as inspirational.

The thing is, I've never heard of Tim, his parents or any of his family, opining that abortion or contraception should be criminalized, that chastity should be anything other than a personal decision based on your own relationship with God or that the beliefs of any particular religion should be endorsed or supported above any other, by secular society. I've never heard that they believe that anything more than personal example and a helping hand are needed to bring people toward Christianity. This means that it is highly unlikely that they are related to the kind of mouth foaming, witch hunting, militantly ignorant, Southern redneck, hate mongers that terrorize young women outside clinics, as punishment for the sin of their own humanity and shoot abortion doctors in the head, whenever they get the chance. I don't think they have much in common with the kind of Christians that want to stigmatize and punish homosexuals for the crime of being who they are or keep community churches segregated racially because "those people don't worship the same way we do and they wouldn't be comfortable here with us". I've never heard Tim or his family make any political comments. It wouldn't surprise me if they weren't particularly partisan at all. Imagine that.

I think Tim and his family are cruelly used by these freaks.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

God Damn the Pusher Man

Ya kinda get tired of always reading about Catholic priests who are child abusing sex criminals, stealing money from the poor at their parishes, or persecuting young girls who choose to use contraception, so that they won't have to get abortions.

Here is a different kind of story about a Catholic Priest. This guy is selling grams of cocaine out of a student center at the University of Illinois.