Friday, May 20, 2011

Tsk, Tsk, Mr. Ex-President


Rapture Advice - At Last!

Are you excited yet? I know I am! And I feel I can speak for the people who will be simply left behind when I say, we're all happy and joyful to see you go.
I feel....elated.
So I have to ask the obvious question, but you know, it's not like you haven't been busy and excited this week, taking care of whatever earthly business you need to before the Big Day, when the Head Cheese comes down and lifts you up to the sky:
Have you packed?
Here's the beauty of the Rapture: no luggage fees! You can bring as much as you want without worrying about triggering some damned clerical exception that's going to get you pulled out of line and see you rummaging through your overstuffed luggage looking for a couple of pairs of shoes and that ham you were bringing to Aunt Bessie's for Christmas.
Of course, you won't need much. You'll be issued your long white robe with the wing cut-outs in the back, your harp and of course, your halo.
Really! You won't even need make up because the lighting in heaven is perfect. Every Broadway stage lighting expert who was straight (all one of know how God feels about them) has arranged your own personal spotlight, as well as a limelight for those moments when you reunite with your loved ones. You'll look amazing, better than any class photo you ever had taken by Jostens.
And guys? Guess what! No more shaving! Beards are not only encouraged, they're practically required! And if you need one, you can always ask Gabriel or one of the other archangels to swipe around your cheeks with his fiery sword, et voila! No more whiskers!
This method is not recommended, of course. Gabriel's been known to sip a few shots of the Blood of Christ from time to time. You can't be too certain how steady his hand will be.
OK, so what will you need? Luckily, I'm here to give, that's right, for free because I'm a giver, the answer:
1) Pack your iPod. Skip the egregious Christian music, and the hymns...except maybe some of the Bach ones. In case you hadn't noticed, Jesus is a bit of a hippy. Dylan ("Knockin' on Heaven's Door"), The Doors ("The End"), The Beatles ("Let It Be"...only downplay the John Lennon songs. Jesus is still a little miffed about that whole "We're bigger than..." thing) get the hint by now. Classic rock, mannnnnnnnn! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Oh. And some soul. Jesus, in case you hadn't worked out the whole "Egyptian/Middle Eastern" thing yet, is a brother. So some Aretha, a little James Brown-- I envy you, you'll get to see him again-- Sly & The Family Stone, you know, the really cool beans that I listened to as a kid.
2) A toothbrush. Yes, believe it or not, while in Heaven your shit won't stink, your breath will. Don't worry about toothpaste, tho, because you can just scoop up some cloud and use that, but no one likes sharing toothbrushes.
In fact, for a VERY limited time, I can Express Mail you a brand-spanking new Jesusdontic Toothbrush, made from a sliver of the True Cross! This excellent addition to your travel bag will put you in good stead with Our Lord when He sits in judgement of you. But of course, you won't be in front of Him long enough to really get a chance to talk to Him. Remember, you were Raptured! You'll be in already, and he'll move onto people like Osama bin Laden.
3) Some magazines. Despite the fact that you're Raptured, remember, there are going to be another hundred thousand people going up with you simultaneously, or at least nearly so. Keep in mind that, if things go according to plan, this will be a Rolling Rapture (o/~ And we're rollin' on the Rapturrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre o/~). If you live in America, you'll be arriving at the tail end of things. You know what customs can be like when you're the last plane in for the night...well, maybe you don't because you're like the 90% or so of Americans that have no passport, so trust me on can take forever. Fortunately, the wait is sweet, with milk and honey flowing like, well, milk and honey, and fuzzy slippers and fercrissake, the floors are clouds!
But still, it could be a long wait. You might want to keep yourself occupied, in the event your heathen tempter(tress) spouse didn't make it for the ride. Oh. And comic books for the kids. We all know how Jesus loves the comic books and while there is going to be a daycare facility, I'm not sure you want to entrust your child to the Catholic priests running it. I'm told they have lots of experience with young boys and girls.
OK, and believe it or not, that's it!
You're on your way. Bon Voyage! Save journey! Think of us from time to time! Au Revoir! It's right over there. See that big metal thing named "B-Ark"? Right. Just step that way....nevermind the "File Clerks Only" signs...

Nobody Asked Me, But...

1) OK, so it's the Friday before Rapture Saturday. Uhhhhhhhh, don't know why I'm mentioning that, other than if I do get Raptured, I'll put in a good word for anyone who posts naked pictures of themselves in comments.
2) Benjamin Netanyahu is in the US to speak with President Obama. Sparks should fly, diplomatically speaking. I don't imagine Barack Obama will be particularly pleased with an ally pulling the rug out from underneath himself.
3) I don't usually cover stories like this, but the Casey Anthony trial is an interesting one from the perspective of tactics. The judge moved the venue to Clearwater from Orlando in order to find jurors who were less aware of the case. He had hoped to have a jury selected by now, but various hiccups-- potential jurors talking about book deals, one panelist actually a potential witness-- have delayed proceedings sufficiently that the judge is now forced to find up to twenty warm bodies to sit for the trial. I'm not sure how fairly that works out.
4) Here's the thing: Lance Armstrong is the single most tested athlete in history, and has come up clean every time. Every time. Not even the great Alberto Contador can make that claim, having tested positive (claiming he ate tainted beef). Now, that doesn't mean he has never doped, but it does lend an awful lot of credence to his story. He's out of racing permanently now, and thankfully because science has not proven otherwise, no asterisks will appear next to his claim to fame.
5) Certainly, reprisals within Pakistan were to be expected. My heart and my prayers go out to these brave people who stayed and served and tried to clean up the mess we left behind, and more so to the innocent Pakistanis injured in the attacks.
6) The Republican flavor of the week? John Huntsman. I'm eager to see who is actually left standing when the dust settles. Huntsman could be a stronger candidate against Obama than any of his rivals, but the problem is, the same reason he'd be stronger in the general is the reason he'll get hammered in the primaries. You see, he worked for Obama. Which means they'll try and pin Obamacare on him, while they're not pinning Romney down with it. Huntsman will end up on someone's short list for VP.
7) Given that he was under suicide watch in Rikers, it would not surprise me to open the paper to an obituary any day now. 
8) It's rare that a story actually surprises me, much less shocks me. This one shocked me. Never saw it coming. Now, it's quite possible that it's a sham (the story mentions the FBI includes the Unabomer among a list of suspects) but still...
9) Your weekly Sarah Pal-zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.........Babe? Trying eating less cheese, K?
10) So this great and grand budget deficit...precisely how much of it is attributable to the social programs that Barack Obama has enacted since he entered office, including health care reform, but excluding stimulus spending? Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh...2%.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rapture Advice - Almost Going Fourth

It's Thursday. If you work a traditional job, you've received your weekly paycheck. Saturday will be your last day on the planet. What do you do?
I mean about your job, not what do you do with the last paycheck. We all know what you'll do with that! You're going to send it on to me for proper use in the coming war against the AntiChrist here on earth. After all, those who sit and wait also serve. Just because I'm going to buy an Aeron chair with the money...I mean, be fair! You'll be sitting on a cloud while I muck about cleaning up for Jesus and you!
OK, so back to today's topic: you have a job. You have your final paycheck.
That's right! You know you've wanted to do this for some time now to that lousy foreman, the rotten Catholic bastard who passed you over for assistant foreman in favor the nig-- I mean, Jamal with the "college deegree." Damn country. How did it get so lousy with them? They breed like rabbits!
So you snap off your work gloves, and you pull out a cigarette, light it, tear off your helmet and safety glasses, and you march into his office and you tell him this:
"Boss, I've been thinking. I've been worrying about people who don't have a job and who haven't been able to find one. I know I've only been working here for six years, and you guys were really nice to offer me this position after my parole was over, never even tested me for meth after the first interview. I want to give back. I quit. Go give my job to someone else."
Spin on your heel and walk.
Just like that. Just. Like. That.
Think about it: Jesus heard you give up your job for someone worse off than you! You have indisputable proof of how good and kind a Christian you are, all charitable and stuff. He will have no problem but to bump you to the top of the list!
Now you have the entire afternoon free. You could go drink beer down at the tavern, but may I make a better suggestion?
Take some of that paycheck you were going to send to me...really! I don't mind!...and go buy a handgun. It's OK, Jesus won't mind and besides, they don't allow handguns in heaven anyway, so you might as well get it out of your system now.
I'm serious! No Second Amendment. I'm sorry. Jesus is...well, he's a bit of a pacifist. It's OK, though. I've cleared it with Archangle Michael that your guns will be waiting for you, all polished and brand-new like, when you return.
Now, take that gun and I want you to drive to every pharmacy in the county. It's OK, it won't take long, and just think of all the pollution and carbon you're pumping into the air for those tree-hugging liberals.
When you get to the Rite-Aid or the Wall Drugs, I want you to march to the pharmacy counter. Now, they keep the air conditioning up high in these places, so you might want to wear a ski mask. I want you to march to the pharmacy counter and demand every package of Sudafed they have.
See, the Christians who will be left behind, we were all given allergies by Our Lord so that we could identify ourselves secretly. It's right there, Matthew 7:16 "By their fruit shall ye know them."
Boogers are fruit, but you knew that since you ate so many.
OK, so when you do this, the pharmacy clerks will understand that you're a Rapturing Christian assisting your brethren staying behind to prepare a way for The Lord, and will gladly hand over their entire stock, with a smile. It may not look like a smile. It may look more like fear, but these are trained professionals and have been fully briefed on what will occur. It could even be boredom.
Nevermind the police escort you'll eventually be granted. They are there to help you, no matter what they say. They have to put on a show for the liberal heathens remaining behind.
You can even fire off your gun as a tribute to them!
In point of fact, when all is said and done, you'll be given first class accomodations in a hotel for those seeking Repentance! If you're really lucky, you'll get the bed with the special belts that hold you down until the Rapture, so Jesus knows where to find you.
Tomorrow - What To Pack

So How Much Is The Future Of The Nation Worth?

According to the Senate Republicans, less than $21B.
I guess that budget deficit can't be as bad as they've been scaremongering, huh?

How Newt Gingrich Became A Democratic Operative

Look no further than NY's 26 Congressional District and the special election

Another Fucking Texan For President

Seriously, does Texas think we're as STOOPIT as they are?

I'm Sure You Know About This, But...

For $30 in a campaign contribution, you can wear your very own copy of Barack Obama's birth certificate!

Has-Been Says What?

Shut up, Sarah. Your fifteen minutes are done, including the bailout fifteen minutes the Koch Brothers secured for ya.

Quite Literally


You Know Your iPad?

Your Blu-Ray DVD? Your HDTV?
You can thank the adult film industry that they work as well as they do.
God bless porn!

Um, What, Now?

I'm imagining the dialogue now:
Car: "Your blood pressure and cholesterol are high. You need more exercise. Get out and walk! I'm not starting!"

Coolest Photo You Will See All Day

This one might actually make me believe in a Rapture.

File This Under "Fell Thru The Cracks"

I'm sure, if I could be bothered to look, I could find any number of right wing blogasses ranting about the story of Leroy Fick.
If you didn't know, Fick is the Auburn, MI man who has been collecting food stamps despite winning a pretty significant lottery drawing last year. The jackpot is routinely quoted in news stories at $2 million, but since he had the option to take it in an annuity or a lump sum, my suspicion is he received about $500,000 in the lump sum.
Now, it turns out that there's a law in Michigan that says you can't receive food stamps if your income exceeds a certain amount each year, but says nothing about if you have life savings...or if you hit the lottery.
My guess is this law was originally passed this way because, indeed, people had life savings but were tossed out of a job or had medical problems and who wanted to make some poor shnook suffer like that AND drain his bank account while he got himself back on his feet?
Indeed, one could make the case that it was in the state's best interests to encourage people to get on food stamps temporarily, rather than drain their life's work. It would save the state down the line.
The nexus of a lottery win and food stamps, under any scenario, was a pretty unlikely one. Who would have thought to make an exception for that? It's something along the lines of living on top of a high mountain and insuring your home against a flood. Why would you?
And yet, here comes the nanny patrol, smacking hands, saying "don't ever do that again!" and trying to make it retroactive.
Apparently, "luck" that translates into wealth only applies if you hit the genetic lottery.
Now, I don't defend Fick, and personally, I think he should voluntarily suspend the food stamps, but here's a situation where "Liburrrtarians" will screw it up. Here's a clear case of the government saying "We made a mistake. You'll pay for it."

Hang On!

So lemme's OK for a Justice to basically say to half the nation "Get over it!"...
But if he has formed an opinion based on the evidence of numerous decisions on the current make up of the Court, that's a reason to call him an "ideologue"?

I Did Sort Of Chuckle At This

CDC provides guidelines for zombie apocalypse (note: probably going to take a lonnnnng time to load. Might want to bookmark it for over the weekend)
Careful readers of this blog may realize I actually covered this story a couple of weeks ago (tl;dr, can't be arsed to look for backlink).
FOX took its sweet ass time.

Deficit Reduction In Khakis

There are a few facts to keep in mind when thinking about force reductions and other defense budget cuts:
1) Like it or not, America is still the number one target for aggression. We're the bully on the block, no matter how benign we may come off. People know we've done nasty stuff in the past and could be doing any number of things covertly now. And even if we aren't, recent history suggests that we'd be blamed anyway, and rightly. Bullies never get what they want, even if it's to be left alone. Right, Arnold? Donald?
2) We outspend all other nations combined in defense spending.
3) We do need to stay, technologically, at the forefront of defense technology. I'm sad to say that, but facts are facts: we've a habit of fighting the last war over again, which is why Iraq and Afghanistan have been such slogs. We need to be nimble enough on our feet to avoid this because one day it will bite us in the ass at home.

Well, Now Here's A Pleasant Surprise (not)!

Benjamin Netanyahu has taken the Arab Spring to heart

May 19 (Bloomberg) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been preparing to greet President Barack Obama at the White House tomorrow with a proposal to resurrect Middle East peace talks, advisers said.

That was until Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas this month signed a reconciliation accord with Hamas -- classified as a terrorist group by Israel and the U.S. -- and dozens of Palestinians from Syria breached a border May 15, with similar efforts on three other fronts.

Netanyahu decided, his advisers said, that peace talks can wait.

This is neither pleasant nor a surprise. Netanyahu is a complete idiot when it comes to bringing peace the Middle East and my suspicion is the proposal he had neatly packaged together would have been not much more than a slap in the face to both the Palestinians and America.

I'm tired of my country being treated as a second class citizen by Israel. If any other Middle Eastern nation had done to us what Israel has, including planting spies on our very soil, we would have bombed them back to the Stone Age and then sat down to breakfast.

But I digress...

Netanyahu has made small but important steps towards settling the Palestinian question: he's recognized the idea of a state of Palestine...gee, Israelis and a Middle Eastern state, go fig...and made overtures toward the Arab world, notably Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.

That last is interesting, considering that the Israelis and The Saudis have had peaceful dealings over the past few decades, and so you'd think they'd already have some backwater channels open.

It's not enough, and Netanyahu is blowing a major opportunity here to send a subtle signal to the Arab Spring that he would stand by the creation of regional democracies.

We all know about Hamas and his edginess is understandable, but every so often in the poker game that is global politics, you have to bet on the hand you think you see and not the one you're afraid of.


Reason Number One for Single Payer Healthcare (with UPDATE)

We already have de facto death panels, led by bureaucrats and bean counters.

Note, this isn't a left issue or a right issue. This isn't a rich or poor issue. This one affects us all.

Emergency rooms are mandated to treat every patient who walks in the door, regardless of insurance coverage. This is to prevent the terminal condition known as "death".

What actually happens is two-fold: first, ERs become the primary care facility for people who are uninsured. That's just a given. A deep cut to the hand from broken glass becomes an emergency room visit (as it probably should, given the abhorrent lack of availability of general practitioners who work with the poor), in addition to the heart attack on the staircase at home.

One you can die from immediately, the other is unlikely unless it gets infected, yet the ER must treat both patients. What ends up happening, in the event that neither of these people has insurance, is you and I pay for their care in the form of inflated premiums and higher medical charges. And even if they do have insurance, you'll notice something else.

The patient with the heart attack by definition will receive inferior care because the hospital must devote at least a few moments to cleaning and stitching the wound. And if the patient with the cut has insurance and the patient with the heart attack does not, this increases greatly the risk of death.

Which brings me to point number two, and the more important one. When ERs become the primary care facility for fifty million uninsured people, that is going to impact the kind of medical care you and I will receive. It's going to suck, period.

Partially because of the simplistic scenario I outlined above, but more, ERs will be looking to cut costs and corners wherever possible and inflate prices wherever possible, in order to make up the shortfall they have from treating the uninsured.

In many cases, as the article demonstrates, it's just not enough. Which only starts a vicious cycle. And now the clock starts on your death.

See, if the local hospital shuts its ER down, you have to travel farther when you have that heart attack. Anyone who's taken a CPR course can tell you, even seconds can make a difference between living, living as a vegetable, or dying.
But let's say you're one of the lucky ones, and your ER remains open, somehow managing to remain profitable. Now it's getting the residue of the one that closed down the road, which means more crowding, more cases and as I pointed out, worse care.

Now, it's easy to poo-poo this: how many people visit an emergency room even once in their lives?

Well, 124 million visits occur annually. Even allowing for twenty percent of those to be repeat visitors, that's still nearly one-third of the population.

Still think it's a remote issue? Well, consider this: the time you visit the ER is the time you really NEED the ER. Seconds, milliseconds, matter.

Private health insurance is a casino game, and the patients are the marks.

UPDATE: Some jackwagon named Bruce McQuain over at decided that the most inspired rebuttal he could have was...well, let me post my rebuttal to this asshat here, since he moderates comments:

Just so we're clear on this, I propose single-payer healthcare and your rebuttal is "B-b-b-but Romneycare has the same problems!"
Romneycare? Really? Which is about as close to single payer as your mom?
In fact, your mom is probably closer since I hear she'll cover anyone, but I digress...
You keep pedalling that Big Wheel, and you'll make the Tour de France, Missy!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Today's Philosophy

We've all gone through life thinking we're fuck ups, and you know what?

We are. All of us. Some of us achieve in spite of those fuck ups and some of us achieve because we're just goddamn lucky. Most people achieve what they achieve because they find something they're good at and stick with it.

Don't hold yourself up to the most beautiful mirror you can find. Instead, gaze into the pond that is life, and you'll find your reflection is more than adequate.

Ironies Abound

Then notice the source

Won't You Open Up Homes And Open Up Your Wallets And Help?

(ok, go ahead. I deserve it)

The Newest Reboot Of The Teabaggers?


What Is Apple Planning?

Do they know the Rapture is Saturday?

The Coolest Photo You'll See All Day

(sorry, Adam)

Green Energy Approaches!

Scientists have split water into its components, using a mineral.

Have You Ever Wanted To Build Your Own X-Wing Fighter?


Leave To The Chinese


Hot Off The Presses! Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Paper, mister?
Of course, what if Harold Camping is wrong by a couple of days?


Newt has been turned into a, errrrr, newt
Newt Gingrich continues to try to dig out of the hole into which he’s fallen, calling Rep. Paul Ryan to apologize for comments on Ryan's Medicare overhaul and defiantly appearing on Fox News Channel to push back at the suggestion that his fledgling presidential campaign has suffered a mortal wound.

“I made a mistake,” Gingrich said on
Greta Van Susteren’s program Tuesday evening. “And I called Paul Ryan today who is a very close, personal friend, and I said that. The fact is that I have supported what Ryan has tried to with the budget.”
"Right-wing social engineering" was what the man said. It's a little hard to spin that into support for the plan.
Of course, one thing Newt has managed to accomplish is perhaps the fastest exit in political history.

Rapture Advice - Counteth To Three

OK, so you're going to be Raptured this Saturday.
Now, you know by definition, animals can't go to people Heaven, because they don't believe in Jesus Christ and they don't have their own Savior...unless Babe the Pig counts...which apparently he does in some quarters, but I digress...
Animals have no souls to save, and God did give Man dominion over them. Now, I'm hearing disturbing stories about how many people, rather than allow their poor suffering pets to endure the hardships of Armageddon and the Anti-Christ, are slaughtering pets. Fortunately, this trend does not seem to be particularly wide-spread, limited only to within a few blocks of Chinese restaurants.
Worse, in my opinion, are the people who are simply ignoring that they own pets ahead of the Rapture. They figure they'll ascend to Heaven, and that Jesus will somehow stop the process long enough for them to leave Rex a bowl of Alpo or Fluffy a nice dish of dry food.
UH UH! The Lord calls, YOU ANSWER!
Unfortunately, running my pre-Rapture porn and post-Rapture banking empires is taking up an awful lot of time. Plus, I have allergies.
But here's a little known fact: Jews are not allergic to pet dander. Yes, apparently God's chosen have no allergies to anything.*
Leave it to a Jew to come up with an intelligent and sane solution to give you, the devout Christian, peace of mind: Eternal Earthbound Pets.
For the low, low, LOW sum of $1,500 (they charge $135, plus an additional $20 per pet. I pocket the rest as a referral fee so limit of one pet per family), you too can be Raptured knowing that your pet will be well-cared for by trained professional Jewish veterinarians and heathen liberal tree-hugging animal activists. PeTA got nothing on these folks, and as Jews, they would be exempt from the battle between Jesus and the minions of the AntiChrist. Your pet will be able to watch safely from the sidelines as all hell breaks loose. Literally.
And of course, since Jesus cannot lose...and really, what's the point of a Rapture and Armageddon if its about as spontaneous as a pro wrestling match?...your pets will likely be there when you return with your white robe and wings.
Imagine the look on Kitty's face when you walk up in your golden sandals, tears streaming down your face, and marvel at how clean and well-fed she is after all these years!¹ She'll stroll up to you and rub her head against your shin and beg for a little cuddle and a bowl of fresh, four-headed ram's milk.
Or how Buddy will bring his favorite stick, Satan's staff, for you to throw after he chows down his favorite meal, entrails.
Remember, they've been handled by Jews and atheists while you were gone, the heathens!*
So don't delay! You only have a few days and this is a limited time offer!²
Tomorrow: Your job
* not intended as a factual statement and hell, they killed Jesus so maybe they don't, right?
¹ Assuming Armageddon happens within the first decade or so of the Rapture. The Bible only references a period of time, and since we have no way of knowing what timezone God's wristwatch works on...
² Offer not valid in Utah. You Mormons are on your own, with your stone box and Angel Moron-i (what a giveaway!) and your golden plates and your magic "Reform Egyptian" language...

Part Of Me Wants To Disbelieve This Story

Democrats have long been the champions of the working and middle classes, a political bulwark against the predations of the rich.
So this story seems to fall flat in the face of that image.
But that image has been tarnished of late, as Democrats have knelt in front of Corporate America, joining in thrall their Republicans counterparts.
So the other part of me has to believe some of this.

Coburn Cobags

Senator Tom Coburn has dropped out of doing the tough work needed to come to some sort of compromise.

May 17 (Bloomberg) -- Senator Tom Coburn said he will stop attending deficit-cutting negotiations by the bipartisan "Gang of Six" senators, saying the group is unlikely to reach an agreement.

"We're at an impasse. There's no reason to sit and talk about the same things over and over," Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, said after the group met today in Washington. He said that "right now" he doesn't plan to attend any more of the group's meetings.

Hey, um, Senator? It's not like there's anything on the line here, you know. Just the future of the greatest nation on the face of the planet ever, as well as your children's and grandchildren's future.

Not that you really care about people's families...

My instinct tells me he dropped out more because of the Ensign scandal than not wanting to roll up his sleeves. If he dropped out to keep an unwanted distraction out of the proceedings, then I'm wrong and I apologize. If that's why he left the Group of Six, however, he should have come up with a better excuse than blaming the other five men.

Now This Is Kinda Cool

It appears that scientists have all but confirmed the existence of the first habitable planet outside our solar system.
Well, let me qualify that a little: it's a planet that seems as tho might support life as we understand it.
Just in time, it appears.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

So Lemme See....

FOX News has a juicy story about a corrupt politician and his philandering ways.
Do they a) thoroughly investigate the story, vet it for broadcast and then dutiful inform the American people of his wickedness, b) quietly slip word to his wife and children that they ought to be prepared for a shitstorm before performing (a), or c) give ol' Senator Ensign a "heads-up, yo!" allowing him to buy time to cover his ass before he has to make a quick and shady exit?
I report. You decide.

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Talk About World Events

(NSFW: WorldNet Daily link)

Y'know That TwitPic Yesterday?

The one of the shuttle Endeavour as captured from the window of an airplane flying nearby?
This goes that one better

Coolest Photo You'll See Today

I Want To Believe

And so Monday, I shall!

It's All Over But The Shouting

Unfortunately, there will be a lot of that and pretty shrill shit to boot:

Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann, a Tea Party favorite and something of a surrogate for Sarah Palin, is getting ready to jump into the presidential contest. Her advisers put out the word on Monday that a run was “very likely” and a D.C.-based consultant tells Power Play that Bachmann associates have been shopping for services.

Of course, it won't take long for her to drop out. One thing Presidential campaigns will do to you is to give you a sense of self.

It was nice knowing you, Mickey.

There Are Plenty Of People You Can Piss Off

But it seems to me that Newt Gingrich might be not on that list.

Rapture Advice Part Deux

(part the first may be found here)
Today, I want to discuss a very sensitive and personal topic for Rapturists: s-e-x.
Yes, I know, you're all good clean Christian men and women and the thought of sex disgusts you except in the context of the marital bed...and I do mean "bed". That's alright. Jesus has watched you, and knows you have been good and faithful heterosexually mating for the purposes of procreating only, no monkey business where things slip out to the floor or shower stall.
You've kept your noses clean, literally.
But now you're worried. There are fewer than five days left to, you know, The Rapture. You're feeling a little...antsy. You're worried about those urges that you express in the confines of your white cotton-sheeted bed, with the fluffy pillows that support your wife's head while she closes her eyes and imagines making brownies or something to keep thoughts of pleasure from intruding.
Worse, you're wondering know...experimentation. You don't have much time left on earth, pleasures of the flesh being what they are, they are likely banned in heaven and all that. You've repressed thoughts of your golf pro, or the cabana boy, or the woman that you lunch with every Thursday after yoga in the slinky sheer spandex you two wear.
You know the Bible bans such actions as adultery, sodomy, gomorrah-y. But you want one last go round, one fling before the Big Day. Much like your bachelor(ette) party, it has to be memorable because it will have to last a lonnnnnnnnnnng time.
I come to assist you. For a limited time, and I do mean a limited time only I am prepared to offer you, for a modest sum of $10.95 a movie, my entire collection of adult flicks.
Now, you're asking yourself, "But Carl! How will that help me get past these urges and get into Heaven when Jesus calls me?"
I'm glad you asked!
Through the miracle of a technique that I will shortly reveal to you, my reader, my dear horny Christian reader, you will be able to vicariously enjoy all the pleasures of any form of sexual behavior you've ever imagined (with some exceptions, mostly those that are legally banned as well as Two Girls, One Cup, because that's right out, OK?)
You'll watch as any combination, permutation and other -ation you've ever desired plays out RIGHT BEFORE YOUR EYES! Two girls; two girls, one man; two men, one girl; two men; two goats; two men and two goats; two men, two goats, two chicks, two ducks, I've got it all! You'll see silk and leather, lace and twine, naked bodies writhing in ecstasy.
Or pain, I'm not judging. That's Jesus' job!
Now, I know you're asking yourself, "this is all well and good and will help me live vicariously that which I will miss when I am whisked away to the land of marshmallow pillows and floor length robes, but how will it help me now? How will I be able to shed these hormones and urges that my body has bubbling inside me now that have no outlet?"
First, shame on you for bringing "biology" to this discussion. God granted us the ability to say no, which means hormones simply don't exist. Go wash your mouth out!
OK, back? Good. Now, here's the beauty of this program: for an additional $1,000 (pre-Rapture funds), I will send you my book The Techniques To Master Rapturing.
With this book, you'll be able to download my film collection to your heart's content (paying $10.95 for each film, of course) and watch all night and never ever worry about what He thinks.
Once you've learned how to master rapture, you will be able to watch any adult movie of any length or content and never walk away unfulfilled, and Jesus will smile on you for maintaining your strict vow of celibacy ahead of His calling. It involves (for men) squeezing tightly and pushing the urges back down until you've subsumed them or (for women) plugging up your "dirtyhole" with a device that will force your naughty bits to hold back by shaking them like a newborn Christian baby that's cried too much.
All for the additional low, low price of $5,000! What a bargain! You get to spend the rest of eternity satisfied in the knowledge that you did right by Our Lord, and I get to continue the fight here on earth against the AntiChrist.

Not Buying It, Arnold

This is, according to the sheepledom, the proximate cause of his separation and ultimate divorce from his wife of 25 years. He's been paying child support for the past ten years to the woman.
Some curious things arise here: the time frame, for one thing. Someone gets pregnant and has a child and remains on staff (covering her tracks by saying her husband was the father).
Arnold pays support (presumably through some mechanism to cover his tracks).
And yet, no one, not Maria, not the woman's husband, questions the money either going out or coming in?
After all, he's Schwarzenegger. He has bucks and you have to know, no matter how pathetically devoted she might have been, he ponied up enough to keep her silence at least to the media.
Which means hubby must have noticed that the bank balances were rather...hefty. Or that the kid was getting the finest stuff on her salary. Or that her salary was out of the range one might expect.
Ten. Years.
I still think I was right. This isn't the story.

Go Jerry!


The Disconnect

I often wonder when I read some of the boiling-pot rhetoric on the right, if they even read the same newspapers as I do:

Orrin Hatch, the senior senator from Utah, didn't mince words the other day on Hugh Hewitt's national radio show. The Democrats, he said, "play politics very, very tough, they play it well, and they don't give a damn about what's right and what's wrong."

This coming from Orrin Hatch...ORRIN HATCH, one of the nastiest pricks ever to roam the halls of the Senate.


The Twenty Four Hour News Cycle

Apparently, some sites have jetlag. Check out the time stamp on this

Threats Rarely Work

This one might bear a little attention, however:

BEIJING — Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani arrived in China on Tuesday fora four-day visit, picking up some welcome diplomatic support at a critical moment in Pakistan’s relations with the United States.

The prime minister’s visit was planned as part of a long-planned celebration of diplomatic ties, but analysts said Pakistan is using it to hint that China is an alternative source of security and economic aid — a reassuring message for a nation angered and humiliated by the covert American raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

“It is being used for show, for politics, for domestic reasons, to show to the Pakistani public that if relations deteriorate with the United States, China is there to swing in with diplomatic and other support,” said Andrew Small, a fellow with the German Marshall Fund in Brussels. “China is playing along to some extent because Pakistan is in sort of a tight spot at the moment.”

I love the New York Times. It takes them three paragraphs to say what other websites and news outlets never even bother to mention. Attention bloggers who would be journalists: this is how you do it. But I digress...

The irony in all this is our ties to Pakistan originally stem from the Cold War, when India was a lukewarm allied democracy (if not a cold enemy) and on friendly terms with the Soviets, and Pakistan, being India's mortal enemy, became our proxy in the region. This tie began in earnest in 1955 under the auspices of the old Baghdad Pact, which created CENTO and I won't bore you much with the details, except to say that when push came to shove in the 1965 Indo-Pakistani war, the US punked out on its military and aid commitments. 

This was the same agreement that sees Turkey and America as allies, by the way. The US and Pakistan have danced around alliances ever since.

This explains to an extent Pakistan's alliances with the Taliban. After all, if you have an ally of the weight of the US and that weight is not being thrown about in your favor, you're going to start extending hands to others.

Which brings us to today's story, which should be of some concern. I do not think China is about to use Pakistan as a bargaining chip with the US. There's really not much there against our interests.

China's interest in Pakistan is pretty clear: India. This is where the Times story falls a little short, but it's understandable. It's a tough bit to explain quickly.

India could one day soon be the dominant economy in the world. Right now, in terms of purchasing power, India ranks fourth (tenth by GDP), she has the world's third largest army, and nukes. It is the second largest country in terms of population (after China), with a birth rate that exceeds replacement rate (1.41%, by latest estimates. The world averages 1.13%. China is below 1%.)

China must see this as a threat to its dominance in the 21st century. By contrast, America, the top of the heap, is an aging country, whereas India's median age is somewhere in the mid-20s. It has a bright future ahead of it.

Too, Pakistan's interest in China has some overtones of the Indian threat. Pakistan has to be concerned, much like Mexico and Canada once were about the rise of America's might. India is a formidable foe, and might be able to dictate terms unilaterally to Pakistan, effectively outsourcing the way we outsourced our manufacturing and blue collar jobs.

Of course, Mexico and Canada didn't have nukes back then....




Monday, May 16, 2011

Because Finns Are So Unemotional and Cold-Blooded...

When we win championships, we don't do anything too crazy.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...People Stay Out Of Doctors' Offices...

Meanwhile, they're deferring medical care, getting sicker, and costing the taxpayer more and more money.
Right. There's no need for single payer insurance. No sirreee!

UPDATED: It Seems As Clear As The Hair On His Head

He's going to say no to running for President. Undoubtedly, he'll get in a few digs at President Obama that will come off crass and ugly, a couple of shots at the "lib'rul media" (which we should note he's had no problem in exploiting in the past, but may find some problems with in the future), and leave the door open to a run in 2016.
Damn. I was so hoping he'd run so we could ask for the long-form birth certificate for that hairdo...
UPDATE: Well, as I surmised, he's not running. While he hasn't spent the few minutes that he's promised at the end of "Celebrity Apprentice" discussing this...yet...he did issue a statement saying the following:
I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly. Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector.
This, I presume, is in lieu of the more normal "to spend more time with my family" that most quitters use.

Rapture Advice

As you may have gathered from both the title of and sub-heading to my blog, this place is a safe haven for both atheists and Christians with a brain. On occasion, tho, I get some email and comments here from people who are mad, simply furious, that they've stumbled across a blog that is not only liberal, but actually espouses the teaching of Our Lord!
You know, be nice to people, share, give your possessions away, that kind of thing.
Now, as many of you have heard, Saturday is supposed to be The Rapture. I mean it. This is it. Suddenly (if you beleive Revelation) 144,000 of the Twelve Tribes of Israel are suddenly supposed to go *poof* and vanish to Heaven and assist the Lord Jesus Christ in His return.
How we in America would notice 144,000 missing Israelis, or what they have to do with Jesus, is unclear but then the Lord works in mysterious ways. In the event that He actually DOES love American exceptionalism ahead of His Father's Chosen People, it's important to acknowledge the small chance that The Rapture could occur here in America.
So as a service to the more...enthusiastic...of my stumblers-in, I plan to provide six days' worth of advice to prepare for The Rapture.
Today's Lesson: Shed
It's important that, when Jesus calls you, you no longer own anything. That's right. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man enter heaven. That's in the New Testament. Jesus' own words. Compared to the rest of the planet, even the poorest of Americans is well-off.
To facilitate this dispersal of assets, I have set up a sooper-sekrit PayPal account, to which you can wire your bank account contents. It can be found under this email address. The more funds this account gets, the more likely it is that you (among other people) will get to Heaven.
Yes, it's under my name and my name only, no worries. I figure I've led such a good, clean life that Jesus has no choice but to accept me into heaven. Besides, I make a mean chili. He always was partial to the hot stuff.
Further, I want to recommend a series of charities you can leave your cars, funiture, toys, appliances, books...well, maybe not the
1) GMHC - That stands for "God Must Have Capital." Don't be fazed by the website. It's a front. You'll be helping Jesus eradicate the evil on this planet as you ascend to the heavens.
2) PPH - This stands for "People Planning for Heaven" and should in no way be misconstrued for the Planned Parenthood organization. You know, the folks that spend 97% of their revenues helping people plan for families and get fertility treatments and counseling on when a good time to have sex is to get pregnant. I think the other 3% is spent on hookers and coke, but Jesus loves Republicans, so He'll like this.
3) ACP - "Apostle Clown Posse." These are the folks who plan on mucking up the environment after you've been lifted to your pristine streamside cottage in the suburbs of downtown Cloud Nine. You know, where the bass practically beg to be caught and no matter how much toxic sludge you drain into the stream, it miraculously cleans itself out.
Tomorrow's lesson: No sex before Rapturing.