Political Theater Insults My Intelligence

In the race to the 2016 election for President of the United States, two major stories have been brewing as of late:

1- Conservatives disowned Donald Trump because of his most recent misogynist commentary.

2- Joe Biden is contemplating a presidential run, in no small part because his late son reportedly encouraged him to do so.  (How convenient that his son’s wishes became public!)

I would like to say categorically that both news stories are a load of BS.  Let’s review, shall we?

Mr. Trump is no newcomer to the world of misogyny.  The GOP knew about him before he was allowed on stage at last Thursday’s debate.    I could be kind of cynical and claim that they’re turning their backs on him now because it makes them look good in the face of Democratic assertions that they’re pursuing a “war on women.”

Stupid is as stupid does.  (Photo credit: Michael Vadon)

Stupid is as stupid does. (Photo credit: Michael Vadon)

Fortunately for you, I’m more cynical than that.  Right now, Hillary Clinton is widely assumed to be the eventual Democratic nominee.  And then there’s Mr. Trump who claimed at the first debate that his financial contributions to Mrs. Clinton have allowed him to call her when he likes and get whatever he wants from her.  If I’m the GOP, I want Trump around as long as possible but not as part of my organization.  It used to be the case that a third-party run by Trump would have cannibalized the campaign of any Republican candidate in 2016.  Now, however, keeping Trump relevant means the GOP nominee would have a very simple way of painting Mrs. Clinton as being under total sway of the wealthiest Americans.  Just play that debate video over and over as a political commercial and the Republican nominee most likely wins.

(Un)fortunately, Mr. Trump isn’t smart enough to realize that he undid his “leverage” over the GOP with that comment.  On the other hand, he might get his leverage back by eventually making comments about Hillary Clinton’s vagina.  Since Bill Clinton always seemed to be interested in every vagina other than his wife’s, comments by Trump might finally succeed in making her likeable.

Scary thought, huh?

Of course, Mrs. Clinton is not a sure thing to win the nomination.  DJ Gaffemaster Biden may defeat her.  Or maybe he won’t have to.

Let me ask you all a question: does anyone other than the Clintons seriously believe that the NSA has been keeping surveillance on all Americans EXCEPT Hillary Clinton?

Here’s a second question:  does anyone seriously believe that the Commander-in-Chief hasn’t contacted the NSA (part of the Department of Defense) to find out about all of the security issues that are presently being debated?

If Hillary Clinton did something that would make her unelectable, Obama and Biden are two of the only people who would know about it already.    The House investigation of Clinton is probably just political theater that’s trying to get information publicly that they already have.  And Biden’s preparations are probably a political necessity whether he likes it or not.   A credible candidate on the Democratic side (and Biden is credible in spite of everything) keeps the looniest of the loonies from winning a presidential election by default.  Sorry, Mr. Cruz.

Moral of the story: you don’t get the real story.  You only get the narrative that covers up whatever information cannot be released to the public at the present time.  Even if my speculations about Trump and Clinton are wrong, it’s still the case that all sorts of backstage shenanigans are more consequential than anything you “learn about” on the news.

Stop being a gullible sap.

Lethal Injection Insults My Intelligence

In recent years, the United States has witnessed numerous challenges to capital punishment on the basis of the method (lethal injection) being cruel and unusual punishment.  I have no interest in arguing over the maximum appropriate threshold of pain during an execution; the courts are already providing guidance on that matter.

Syringe

“Don’t worry. The needle is painless.” (Photo credit: Armin Kübelbeck)

In fact, I tend to be suspicious of the death penalty because people are idiots and juries are made out of people.  Courtroom arguments have to be made at the average idiot’s comprehension level and that doesn’t exactly bode well for getting a good result.  I’ve even faced questioning for jury duty and one lawyer was clearly trying to screen education out of the jury pool.

But that’s beside the point.  As long as we have a death penalty, it ought to be performed within the bounds of common human decency.  With that in mind, I would like to propose several alternatives to lethal injection that would give convicts more of a warm and fuzzy feeling on their way out of this world:

1- Bring the convict to a garage.  Start up a car and close the garage door.  People die like this at home all the time without realizing how much carbon monoxide is building up, at least until they find themselves looking up from a very comfortable coffin.

2- The guillotine was quick, effective, and cheap.  I cannot overemphasize “cheap” because so many states still face budgetary problems.

3- We all know that the appeals process can take decades.  We also know that bacon flavored desserts have become immensely popular.  Because of this, I suggest placing convicts on a strict diet of bacon grease ice cream from the moment they reach death row.  If the conviction is overturned, they can be given free medical care; if not, their heart attack should arrive by the time their legal journey ends.

4- Marijuana, LSD, crystal meth, booze.  All at once.  If you’re clueless enough to kill people, you’re probably clueless enough to think that this execution method sounds like a party.

5- Toss convicts from the Empire State Building and turn the event into a carnival.  People could place wagers on how far the blood will splatter and in which direction.  Guards could even paint a bull’s eye on the ground and play a game in which the convict tries to land on it.

As you can see, there’s no good reason to continue with the ever-so-controversial drug cocktails being delivered by way of a nasty little syringe.  Until such time as we eliminate irrevocable punishments that could be wrong, we ought to at least have a little fun with them.  “Fun,” by definition, cannot be cruel and unusual punishment.

And please pass me a bacon doughnut.

Reading the Stories Insults My Intelligence

These days, I rarely write a new post on two consecutive days.  However, you may know of some critically important international crises that deserve immediate attention.  We must discuss them now and we must discuss them well.

Well…

Because the situation’s so urgent, we must visit the most respected informational source in existence: Playboy.

And guess who’s being featured in Playboy…

Confront your fear of Playboy.  I dare you.  (Image credit: Valstein0)

Confront your fear of Playboy. I dare you. (Image credit: Valstein0)

No, not Miley Cyrus.  Playboy is an intellectual publication and only produces material to engage the most significant of minds.  That said, you surely will not be surprised to discover Dick Cheney’s picture if you click on this link.

Actually, you’ll find three pictures of the former Vice President… and he consented to this.

Your dreams have finally come true.

Side note to readers:  As a man, I feel the natural obligation to explain how I ever-so-innocently happened upon the Playboy website.  I clicked on a headline and I didn’t realize that such a scandalous publication would be involved.  I cast thee to Hell, Playboy, and I hope my female admirers are satisfied with that gesture of solidarity with whatever it is I’m showing solidarity with.

I really did visit Playboy to read a story.

Soylent Hillary Insults My Intelligence

Hillary's golden years before her golden years.  (Photo credit: Henry Dunay)

Hillary’s golden years before her golden years. (Photo credit: Henry Dunay)

If Soylent Hillary
is made
out of people…

Will she degrade
and fade?

Donations,
Benghazi,
Email,
Controversies pervade.

Corpses.
(Her fault or not,
the dead feel betrayed.
They made her what she is.)

The consultants strayed
and made
The Soylent One.

Her new views are coming.
Her loyalists start drumming.
She drinks lemonade.

It’s bitter.

Once again
the Queen ascends
to nothing.

Made from people,
but not people herself.

Seemingly.

Cursed by her own deeds
to grow old
as Bill’s doting wife
with privacy
and inevitability.

Inevitability?
He’ll get laid.

How
does a former
inevitable
failed candidate
loser
defeated by her own faults,
unmade
by her own weaknesses
become inevitable again?

The addition of more
baggage?

Tirade?

No one deserves to win
except “me.”

Mitt Romney’s Detractors Insult My Intelligence

Mitt is back and he's ready to entertain.  (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Mitt is back and he’s ready to entertain. (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

After not-so-nearly coming somewhat close to defeating Barack Obama in 2012, Mitt Romney is reportedly planning to run again. Critics claim that he has no chance of winning the nomination, much less ascending to the presidency, but I believe that he will ensure a Republican victory in 2016.

Let me explain.

During primary season, the other Republicans will spend a lot of time talking about how Mitt is yesterday’s news, how he seems to lack core political convictions, how he seems to be seeking the presidency out of ambition and not out of service, how he seems cold, how his underperformance the last time around reflects on his leadership abilities, how he’s cozy with Wall Street, and so on.

After getting all of this practice, the Republican who eventually defeats him will be well prepared to hurl the same factually accurate rhetoric at Hillary Clinton.

Bill Cosby Insults My Intelligence

I don't think I can do a humorous photo caption that won't offend the non-rapists reading this blog.  (Photo is in the public domain.)

I don’t think I can do a humorous photo caption that won’t offend the non-rapists reading this blog. (Photo is in the public domain.)

By now, my U.S. readers will have heard the “news” about the numerous rape allegations against Bill Cosby.  Although celebrity news usually insults my intelligence, this story is different.  After all, our country and its media held the controversy down for decades.  The delayed timing just goes to show that the American people will forgive the most horrific of sins as long as the sinner is pushing a pudding pop down their throats.  Bill Cosby is being taken down so late in life only because he can no longer stand proudly behind a towering pudding pop on TV.

So let’s shove rape allegations to the side when they mess with our fun.  Priorities matter.

It’s such a shame because this guy was admired as “America’s Dad” because of his iconic Cosby Show.  Obviously, we must now stop calling him “America’s Dad” unless he fathered enough children to have earned that designation through other means. With that in mind, I think we should now refer to him by the job he chose for his character on that famous TV show.

That’s right.  Bill Cosby is America’s Obstetrician.

Of all the medical fields he could have chosen, he picked a vagina-gazing specialty and America didn’t blink.  Never underestimate people’s willful ignorance.

Now, unfortunately, all women will suffer for his misdeeds.  So, ladies, the next time you’re spending quality time with your OB-GYN, try not to think of Bill Cosby.

Blogger’s note: I promise that the next post will be happier.  It would kind of have to be.

Stating the Obvious Insults My Intelligence

I’m not naive.  I realize that the news has to be dumbed down for a lot of people to understand it.  I know that “news entertainment” has to be created from thin air to make people click on ad-generating links.

Unfortunately, people are dumber than I thought.

I found this lovely headline today: Analysis: US Strikes Unsettle Damascus.  Did people really think the Syrians and their leaders aren’t “unsettled” when people drop bombs on their country?

So this is what passes for “analysis” these days…

This photo isn't of the airstrikes; this airplane participated in "Operation Deliberate Force."  May God have mercy on us all if the military is staging non-deliberate force in addition to its regularly scheduled excursions.  (Photo credit: US Army, public domain)

This photo isn’t of the airstrikes; this airplane participated in “Operation Deliberate Force.” May God have mercy on us all if the military is staging non-deliberate force in addition to its regularly scheduled excursions. (Photo credit: US Army, public domain)

 

The Common Core Insults My Intelligence

Originally posted on Facebook, this made it to the Yahoo homepage after making its way to Glenn Beck's website.  (Photo credit:  https://www.facebook.com/PatriotPost/photos/a.82108390913.80726.51560645913/10152143072400914/?type=1&stream_ref=10 )

Originally posted on Facebook, this made it to the Yahoo homepage after appearing on Glenn Beck’s website. (Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/PatriotPost/photos/a.82108390913.80726.51560645913/10152143072400914/?type=1&stream_ref=10 )

 

Dear Frustrated Parent,

We, the educational minds behind the Common Core, regret your inability to understand your child’s math homework.  Although your educational credentials impressed us, we don’t understand why you can’t comprehend one basic concept:  counting on your fingers.

It’s so simple that even a child can do it.

You start by taking the first digit that’s being subtracted, the one in the 100’s slot, and jump 100 on the number line for each 100 being subtracted.  Then you do the same for the 10’s slot and finally for the 1’s slot.  As you can see, the number line represents nothing more than a sophisticated version of the tried-and-true natural bodily mathematical apparatus (a.k.a. digits) that you conservatives claim to love so much.

It’s not scary.  It’s traditional.

Just wait until your child reaches Trigonometry and you’ll discover how much easier these methods make things.  Calculating sines and cosines to three decimal places will excite our teenagers more than it ever has!

Moreover, we are saddened that you chose to mock our interest in developing the children’s writing skills.  If more of you engineers were literate and/or competent in your field, you would understand the value of recognizing errors and being able to communicate them so that they might be rectified.  Your letter demonstrates that you have not progressed beyond a rudimentary comprehension of the English language.  Thank goodness your child has us to help him achieve.

We thank you for your self-incriminating gesture.

Sincerely,

The Department of Education

 

Blogger’s notes:

I do not have a math or science degree and I was able to figure out the homework assignment… which doesn’t exactly shed a more positive light on it.

For the less mathematically inclined among you, one would not use subtraction to calculate sines and cosines.  Judging from the common core authors’ ignorance of what will be needed in higher math courses, I assume they would not have known this either.

Perhaps I’ll agree with Glenn Beck again in another 100 years or so.  I imagine it will be something along the lines of “Gee, this dirt isn’t very comfortable.”

Media Blackouts Insult My Intelligence

The time has come for me to admit a severe diversion from the moral path my life has taken thus far.  You might want to sit down for this.

I volunteered for Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign and we had an extended sexual relationship.  She’s not as cold as everyone says and I can’t imagine why Bill constantly felt the need for gratification from other women.

Hillary has been around the bed a few times and she knows stuff.  Lots of stuff.  And I doubt she learned it all from Bill.  Let’s face the facts:  Bill has had heart problems for a while now and there’s no way he could have handled the kind of maneuvers Hillary was putting forth.  Maybe Newt taught her a thing or two.

This enthusiastic, nearly glowing, lady is the one I remember.

This enthusiastic, radiant lady is the one I remember.  (Public domain image)

You can probably imagine that the long hours she worked would inevitably result in some poor personal decisions.  That’s not to say I consider myself a poor decision, but she’s a married woman by law if not by affection and she ought to abide by her commitments… just as I ought to have respected those commitments.

Now that she’s considering another presidential run, I think the country needs to know the real Hillary and not the ice queen she’s always depicted as.  Since so many Americans have extramarital affairs, her dalliances ought not disqualify her from higher office.  She represents the nation.  She should be permitted to use her animalistic sexual instincts to show voters how much she resembles them, how easily she can connect with any common man she desires, how there’s more to her underneath those pantsuits.

Okay, I’m done now.  For the idiots among you: no, that relationship never happened.  And as I sit here writing the follow up, I remain dissatisfied with both the feminist and pro-male directions I could take with this discussion.    Sure, it’s probably true that Hillary would be skewered worse than Bill if news of an affair were to emerge.  By the same token, Bill could be asked “boxers or briefs?” while any journalist asking Hillary “thong or granny panties?” would be unemployed by the next morning.

The discussion of how the media treats men and women differently has been done, overdone, and otherwise been so pounded into people’s heads that they no longer want to hear about it any more.  This, in turn, creates a silence in which no one can hear anything that’s said on the topic… even when there’s something legitimate that needs to be heard.

And that carries my thoughts to George Tabori, a playwright and Holocaust survivor who wrote humorous works about Nazi atrocities.  (He reasoned that people had become so immune to the traditional violent descriptions that one needed to joke about something so unfunny to make its atrocity audible.)  I remember walking through the streets of Freiburg, Germany years ago as a huge banner was advertising one of his plays.  The banner read:

MEIN KAMPF

BY GEORGE TABORI

I suppose few people ingest Anne Frank or any of the other traditional representations anymore because they’ve become ubiquitous and, therefore, silent to all who see them.  Unfortunately, it takes a startling “Mein Kampf” in big bold letters on the main square to grab people’s attention and remind them about something that ought not become historical silence.

This, I presume, was the logic behind awarding Elfriede Jelinek a Nobel Prize for literature in 2004.  She usually writes about how Austria has (or has not) dealt with its role during Nazi times and her work is loaded with sex, violence, and the occasional zombie.  Her selection received numerous complaints from people who saw little more than smut in her work.

But Jelinek gets heard.  Mission accomplished.

And so I say, bring out the nude photographs of Hillary Clinton, the ones depicting her with her many lovers (other than me because I’m a private person).  Let them radiate in the sun, let the photographs end the silence of how much love she has to give.  Let Bill be put into the unheard-of humiliating position of having to publicly stand by his unfaithful wife, a woman whose libido has gotten the best of her, a woman who is indeed human… or beyond human in my experience.  (Damn, she was good.)

Unfortunately, Hillary probably has never had an affair for the media to exploit.  Too bad.  I bet she is warmer than people give her credit for.

Pacifists Insult My Intelligence. Ariel Sharon Did Not.

It takes a warrior to make peace.  (Sorry Cindy Sheehan.  That’s a warrior, not a warrior’s mom.)

As you may have heard, the former Israeli military leader and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died today after a lengthy coma.  These days, he may be best remembered in the U.S. for his promising efforts at a true peace with the Palestinians that were derailed by his stroke.  For those of you who don’t know, he had also founded Israel’s hardline conservative party and abandoned it late in life to create a more centrist alternative.

[Photo Credit: Jim Wallace, Smithsonian Institution]

Sharon is the second major world figure to die recently, the other being Nelson Mandela.  If we put these two next to Barack Obama and John McCain, we can learn much.

I can already hear the cries of outrage that I would put those four men’s names together.  To placate the protesters, I’ll offer a small hint about the rest of this post and you can sing along if you like:

One of these men is not like the others.

One of these men just doesn’t belong.

Can you tell which man is not like the others

By the time I finish my song?

Let’s review, shall we?  Sharon forged a broad consensus among Israelis for peacemaking solutions they would never have accepted if the proponent weren’t so credible on national defense.  Much of the Right wouldn’t cross their war hero and Sharon’s agenda pleased much of the Left.  You can see the same thing with McCain’s opposition to torture and Mandela’s peaceful activities after he was released from prison.  (Let’s not forget that Mandela had endorsed violence before entering prison and the government offered him an earlier release if he would publicly denounce the use of violence.  He shrewdly refused the offer.)  All three men are known for their willingness to use violent tactics, which made their recommendations against such acts more meaningful.

(None of this is meant to disparage nonviolence for social change, such as MLK Jr. used.  I am not a dunce.)

On the other hand, guys like Dennis Kucinich lack credibility among everyone but his fellow pacifists because we all know that he’d have to be smoking some (different?) mushrooms to suggest anything but a non-violent solution.  For guys like Kucinich, the solution precedes the problem and therefore the solution will always be the same.

Sadly, the reverse is true as well: it takes a pacifist to make war.  Look at Barack Obama, the agent of “hope and change” who Amnesty International recently designated a war criminal.  When Bush was making war, Democrats and much the media never ceased the criticism.  Now that a liberal is performing the same (or worse) misdeeds as George W. Bush, Obama’s allies in the media and the Left have become largely quiet while the non-libertarian-leaning Right has no reason to complain.  Obama the “pacifist” can get away with more war than Bush ever could, at least in the eyes of U.S. voters.

So… Obama was the man who’s not like the others.

Nevertheless, I wish Sharon would have adopted two of Obama’s typical actions to make his peacekeeping activities more effective: eating healthy and exercising.

The world needed Ariel Sharon a little bit longer.

Negotiations Insult My Intelligence

English: U.S. President is greeted by Speaker ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I have a lot of non-U.S. readers, I should start by explaining that our government has shut down all so-called “nonessential” functions.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t include the usual bloviating by our elected officials.

Here’s what happened.  One of our major political parties professes a desire to reduce the size of government and a segment of that party has gone radical.  (I believe the segment is supported by over a fifth of voters, so it’s not insignificant.)  They express the desire to prevent Obama’s not-so-popular health care law from going into effect because they believe it represents government overreach.  The health care law wasn’t popular when it passed and Obama and Biden still have to sing its praises because the population as a whole never warmed up to it.  The radicalized politicians are refusing to allow the government to continue spending money until an agreement is reached to void or postpone the health care law.  Because the Republican Party (not Obama’s party) controls the House of Representatives, they have this power as long as the party leadership goes along with it.  On the other hand, Obama is calling this an ideological crusade and claims that they are trying to reverse the voters’ verdict in the last election.

In short, no compromise happened by the mandated funding deadline and the government shut down.  I do not wish to blame either side for this.  Instead, I want to look at how idiotic the concept of negotiations is.  Right now, one side crusades for reducing government spending and eliminating programs.  As long as no political backlash erupts against the Republicans exclusively, we will be living in the radicals’ paradise.  With a government shutdown, these advocates have almost everything they want and more than they could have ever dreamed of getting through the regular legislative process.  Of course the radicals won’t compromise.  Would you give up your paradise for the opportunity to make even more concessions?

It’s also no accident that the Republicans have floated mini spending bills for national parks and other things people are complaining about not having.  If those bills were enacted, the shutdown could continue indefinitely or at least until the next elections.  Since the public isn’t blaming either party for the shutdown, the specter of future elections can’t deter anything.

Politicians are usually morons, but I have to admit that the Republicans have performed a brilliant end run around the legislative process.  Almost every government program the Republicans oppose has died, at least temporarily.  The focus on Obama’s health care plan only disguises this.