Friday, June 07, 2013

Nobody Asked Me, But...

1) So the bag of salted rat dicks that is my boss has been quieted with a ball gag and hood by my superior software and editing skills, so I am free to do a little light blogging. It’s Friday, so…

2) The NSA surveillance of telephones and e-mails scandal is a ten-year old bugbear of mine and while I appreciate the fact that the rest of the fucking nation woke up to it, it would have been more helpful if you asshole had before we actually stopped terror attacks using this tool. Now, we’re stuck with it. Welcome to the party, pals! We liberals were surveilled and tracked to kingdom come under Bush but did you fauxbertarians give a crap? Noooooooooooooooooooooo!

3) Odd that the unemployment rate goes up even tho more jobs were added last month than in April. But it’s a good sign that people who stopped looking for jobs are looking once again. They can have mine. It comes with a free bag of salted rat dicks.

4) Now that he’s divorced, look for him to run as a “family values Republican” in the 2016 primaries.

5) It’s National Donut Day. Scales nationwide shudder.

6) And if you’re too elitist to have a donut, try one of these.

7) I can foresee only good coming out of this meeting, much like our own Bohemian Grove.

8) Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Well, we can be sure it wasn’t the rooster.

9) Bad News: There’s an Archie comics movie in the works. Good news: it features zombies.

10) OK, the Obama drone program has gone TOO FAR!

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Administrative Note

Because I work for a bag of salted rat dicks, blogging will be light for the balance of this week, possibly into next. Please accept my apologies.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The Old Ball Game

This is pretty sad, if you’re a baseball fan:

Major League Baseball will seek to suspend about 20 players connected to the Miami-area clinic at the heart of an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, possibly within the next few weeks, "Outside the Lines" has learned. If the suspensions are upheld, the performance-enhancing drug scandal would be the largest in American sports history.

Tony Bosch, founder of the now-shuttered Biogenesis of America, reached an agreement this week to cooperate with MLB's investigation, two sources told "Outside the Lines," giving MLB the ammunition officials believe they need to suspend the players.

One source familiar with the case said the commissioner's office might seek 100-game suspensions for Rodriguez, Braun and other players, the penalty for a second doping offense. The argument, the source said, is the players' connection to Bosch constitutes one offense, and previous statements to MLB officials denying any such connection or the use of PEDs constitute another.

Twenty players, including at least two league MVPs, one a probable Hall of Famer (sans performance enhancements).

I understand the need to cheat, particularly when the stakes are really high, and big money is a stake you can’t get much higher than. I can even understand that many of the cheaters involved started doping long before the issue was taken seriously at the major league level.

However, once it became clear that there was a new attitude in town, you have to ask yourself what kind of idiot would expose himself that way.

I suppose it was a matter of believing you could never be caught. Too, the clinic billed itself as an anti-aging clinic, a new code I suppose for less steroids, more biologic enhancements. You can rationalize cheating a million different ways.

But then there’s some ancillary issues that need to be addressed, and primarily, those involve the teams of these players: they get most of the benefit from these now-used up husks of humanity, but bear none of the responsibility or the consequences. It seems unfair for, say, Alex Rodriguez to be condemned and suspended – and likely stripped of any personal accomplishments in the time frame covered – but the New York Yankees get to keep their pennants and championships.

You want steroids out of sports? Hurt the teams. Hurt the sponsors of those teams. Athletes are interchangeable. They are cogs in a machine, albeit really well-paid and shiny cogs. They are, however, no different than the front office secretaries or the groundskeepers, and if any of them had been found to be breaking the law, they’d be summarily dismissed in order to minimize damage to the team.

Yes, players are under contract and the union will work hard to protect them, but a team that stands around and does nothing while it has to have some knowledge of what was going on ought to pay a price now.

Managers, both general and field, and owners may claim ignorance but as officers of an organization, that argument holds little water. After all, even the head of the IRS had to throw himself under the bus when that scandal broke, even if he had no personal knowledge of events beforehand. Punish the team, end the problem.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

A New Hope

There’s a really interesting study that’s been released by the College Republican (Inc.) National Committee that bears a little discussion:

The College Republican National Committee released a report on Monday outlining the major challenges facing the GOP as it seeks to rebrand and redefine itself in the aftermath of the 2012 election. The survey criticizes the party’s singular focus on “big government” and “tax cuts” and calls on Republicans to become more tolerant and open on issues like same-sex marriage and women’s reproductive health.

Keep in mind, this report was released as a memo to the Republican, Inc. partyleadership to outline recommendations as to how the GOP, Corp. can fix not only its image but its ideology.

You can view the full report here (pdf). Skip ahead to page 84 and beyond for some eye-popping stuff. Let me highlight a few of the bulletpoints for you:

1) Focus on the economic issues that affect young people today: education, the cost of health care, unemployment.

3) Don’t concede “caring” and “open-minded” to the left.

4) Fix the debt and cut spending, but recognize that messages about “big government” are the least effective way to win this battle of ideas with young voters.

Those are practically progressive ideas. Those are warning shots to the future. But there’s more: young Republicans want the party to stop concerning itself with the issues of the far right religious right, particularly on unwinnable issues like marriage equality and the nuts (literally) and bolts of the anti-abortion crusaders. These issues, the College Republicans feel, are nearly irrelevant and only serve to reinforce the existing image of the party as scary and terrorizing. Likewise, the party positions on Latino voters and on rape and other women’s issues is driving people into the arms of the Democrats.

Which, as a lifelong Democrat, should make me feel good, but it really doesn’t. Let me explain why.

Should the Republican, Inc. party die, and it will, at this rate, voters will be left with two choices: Democrats and Teabaggers.

The dynamic that arises at that point is pretty ugly: the nation as a whole will be dragged rightward, as the Democrats no longer even have to give a passing thought to the progressive flank, while the Teabaggers engage in their own brand of terrorism and stultification of the national dialogue. Even if progressives could somehow grasp the Democratic leadership, we’d never be able to drive a progressive agenda, even with the surge in membership of frustrated and scared Republicans who seek refuge in our party from the putsch.

We need to work now to find a path to liberal enlightenment that will move the country leftward and more in line with the rest of the civilized world, and not be some weird hybrid mutation of Third World democracy and First World aristocracy.

 

 

Monday, June 03, 2013

Is There Something You're Not Telling Us, Mike?

You may recall the kerfuffle a few weeks ago over Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy to minimize her chances of getting breast cancer.

Not to be outdone, Michael Douglas has, well, made his own revelation, and one ups her:

LONDON - Actor Michael Douglas says that his throat cancer was caused by a virus he contracted by performing oral sex on women , a claim that a doctor called dubious.

The Guardian newspaper published an interview Monday in which Douglas blamed cunnilingus for the grave malady that was diagnosed in 2010.

The 68-year-old Douglas has been free of cancer for more than two years after receiving extensive chemotherapy and has returned to acting.

Before I get into what I think may be going on behind the scenes, kudos to Douglas for raising awareness that men, too, can contract this disease, and while the HPV in itself does not necessarily do harm, the collateral conditions it can raise are pretty terrifying.

Now, it is true that HPV is a sexually-transmitted disease, and that oral sex could conceivably transmit the virus from a woman to a man. However…

Well, first, some bookkeeping: Douglas had been a lifelong smoker and drinker, both of which are probable throat cancers causes far ahead of cunnilingus. Or fellatio. Which brings me to number two.

Gay and bisexual men are 17 times more likely to develop cancer from the HPV virus, particularly if their immune systems were already compromised, as with the HIV virus. Now, it is true that the HPV infection in gay and bisexual men usually presents as an anal cancer, but (no pun intended) any genital wart in any orifice can transmit HPV.

The timing of this announcement, coming on the heels of his star turn in the HBO special Behind the Candelabra, makes this all the more suspicious. This has some of the fingerprints of the work of a publicist.

Not that there’s, you know, anything wrong with that.