Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Pew Survey Captures the “Real America”

According to the results of a recent Pew Research Center survey, over a third of U.S. adults reject the idea of human evolution and believe that people have looked the same since the beginning of time.

This was only one of many surprising results from the wide-ranging study. The survey also found that nearly one in five Americans think unicorns should be on the endangered species list and that cheese should be the national fruit.

Fourteen percent of those interviewed believed in angels, while a large subset was convinced that repeating the word “fizzlenip” seven times would cure toenail fungus and some types of cancer.

An astonishing 22 percent said the first president of the United States was Jesus, and an equal number claimed that the country directly above America’s northern borders was Finland.

Finally, 15 percent of those surveyed believed they knew someone who was a vampire.

Researchers who conducted the survey were more than a bit distressed when the numbers were tabulated, with two project members jumping to their deaths from their tenth story office. During the press conference announcing the results, a Pew Research Center spokesperson had to be taken to the hospital after curling up in a fetal position behind the dais and sobbing uncontrollably.

Conversely, conservative pundits took heart at the Pew findings, with FOX News commentator Bill O’Reilly calling it an “uplifting and personally inspiring snapshot of the real America.”

Monday, December 30, 2013

An end (hopefully) to the Benghazi brouhaha

As I’ve written before, there are conspiracy theories and there are conspiracy theories. Not all are created equal. Every theory should be judged on its own merits. Clearly, some theories can be rejected outright because they are simply too ludicrous to be taken seriously (Beyonce is a member of the Illuminati, a super secret organization controlling everything in the world. Beyonce? Really?) and others demand a skeptical eye when there is an obvious agenda tied to them. Benghazi falls into that category.

Since September 11, 2012, Republicans have been braying long and loudly about a Benghazi cover-up. Despite having no evidence to support their theory, conservatives in Congress and the media have asserted that the assault on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, which resulted in four deaths, was a carefully planned attack by Al Qaeda that Obama covered up for political reasons. The State Department and others have argued that it was a spontaneous incident sparked in large part by an anti-Islamic documentary that aired on conservative media outlets at that time.

The New York Times has just finished a six-part investigation of the incident that involved extensive interviews with people on the ground as the attack took place. The paper’s conclusion is that while there were miscues and mistakes made by the Obama administration in response to the attack, it was in fact a spontaneous event triggered by anger at the xenophobic American-made film. Few beyond the Tea Party fringes took the Benghazi conspiracy theory seriously, but it’s pretty clear the Times report puts the final nail in the coffin.

Living in the conservative bubble must be very frustrating. Your world-view is shaped by the sources you trust, but those sources aren’t interested in the search for truth, but in an ideological agenda that attempts to shape reality into its own image.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Winter Survival Kit

If you live in a northern state like I do, you know how important it is to keep a survival kit in your car during the winter months. Newcomers, however, may need some guidance in this area. The so called “experts” will have one list of things for your kit, but hey, if you slide off of the road and get stuck at the bottom of a ravine for three or four days, you’re going to want to listen to me. Here is what you need to make the ultimate winter survival kit.



Flare for scaring off moose or wolves

In case the flare doesn't work

After living in your car for a week, you'll need these

Jaws of life. Best $9,800.00 investment you'll ever make

Thursday, December 26, 2013

“‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through the land, insanity reigned, the end is at hand….”

Woke up to this headline today: CNN Poll: GOP has edge in early midterm indicator.


As we approach midterm elections, GOP candidates have a 49% to 47% edge over Democrats. Bookmarked by headlines announcing this Congress to be the worst in history, CNN tells us that voters are leaning Republican in the upcoming election. Who in God’s name are they surveying? Mental patients? Crack heads? How could this possibly be after Republicans shut down the government for no other reason than they could and cost the U.S. billions of dollars with their stupidity?

At the same time that states are falling like dominoes in favor of same-sex marriage, legalizing marijuana, and generally opposing the Republican agenda, we’re being told that voters are leaning toward Republicans.

After years of inane, insane, bigoted comments; opposition to science; pro-corporate shilling; open disdain for the poor, minorities, women and the needy; and mind-blowing hypocrisy, voters are leaning toward Republicans.

Because the Affordable Care Act didn’t roll out smoothly, voters are going to elect more of the same people who contributed to the worst Congress in American history. That makes about as much sense as cutting off a finger to take your mind off of your toothache. In other words, it’s insane.

Is CNN’s poll flawed or are American voters really that deaf, dumb and blind? 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Bill O’Reilly: I covered four wars with a pen!

I can say stupid things with conviction. I have two failed marriages and numerous ex-girlfriends who can attest to that. Why can’t I get paid millions of dollars every year to make a fool of myself like Bill O’Reilly? I give away my stupidity for free (slap to the forehead).

On the other hand, no one does stupid like O’Reilly. Bill let go of a beaut last night. Fighting the one-man battle in his imaginary war on Christmas, Bill debated (I use that term very loosely) Military Religious Freedom Foundation's Mikey Weinstein about the removal of nativity scenes at Guantanamo Bay. O’Reilly was O’ghast that anyone would not want Christian symbols forced down their throats, and demanded that Weinstein tell him who complained about the crèches. Weinstein, of course, tried to talk about the issue of religious freedom, but O’Reilly wanted names so that the offenders could be burned alive in the public square.

With his usual finesse and tact, O’Reilly turned the “debate” into a name-calling shouting match. When Weinstein had the temerity to bring up the fact that O’Reilly never served in the military and that he might show a little respect toward the men and women who had the courage to serve in uniform, you could see the blood rising in his head like a cartoon thermometer. O’Reilly’s retort? “I covered four wars with a pen, OK, Mr. Weinstein? So don’t impugn my courage ever again. You’re a weasel.”

You’re right, Mr. O’Reilly. Sitting on your sofa with your pen and legal pad sipping on a glass of Merlot is exactly the same as crouching behind a stone wall in Afghanistan or in a muddy foxhole in Vietnam dodging enemy fire and watching your friends die. 

O’Reilly, like so many other conservative bloviators, is a loud-mouth schoolyard bully who’s courage evaporates when anyone stands up to him, and who doesn’t possess the real courage it takes to put your life on the line for your country.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Predictions for 2014 from Swami Johnny

Today is the day I gaze into my crystal balls and provide those who will listen with news from the future. Do with this valuable information what you will. I am merely the humble messenger.
  • Miley Cyrus will tear a tongue muscle that will prevent retraction. It will be a career ending injury. She will marry the retiring Justin Bieber and the two will run a B&B in Boise, Idaho.
  • North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un will have himself executed for impure actions after Buzzfeed runs photos of him and Dennis Rodman playing Twister in the nude.
  • Wealthy Catholics worldwide will form a coalition demanding Pope Frances step down from his post for blatant and repeated “Christ-like” deeds.
  • The real Barack Obama will accidentally be found living as a prisoner in a small, locked and guarded apartment in the sub-basement of the White House.
  • An alien spacecraft will land on the Washington Mall. After spending an hour interacting with humans, it will leave and never come back.
  • M. Night Shyamalan will try to revive his career by writing and directing a sequel to The Sixth Sense called The Fifth Sense: I Smell Dead People.
  • Congress only passes one bill: A congressional pay raise.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Enough with 9/11 already

I know, I know. I’ve been obsessing on 9/11 over the past few weeks. I’m going to make a concerted effort to move on to other matters after this post, but I want to leave the subject with a question. I’m sure this has been asked many times by many people, but here it is again.

We often talk about what happened on 9/11 as a singular event, when it was actually a series of events that took place around the same time on that fateful morning. In Manhattan, planes flew into two buildings, and a third building was hit by debris, which, according to the official story, resulted in fires in various areas.

My question is this: What are the odds that three separate buildings, one of which was not hit by a plane, would all fail and collapse in the exact same manner, into their own footprints? This sort of collapse hasn’t happened before in the history of high-rise buildings (except for controlled demolitions), yet it happened three times in one day on 9/11. I would guess that the odds of this convergence of similarities are astronomical.

There you have it. Done. That's all, folks.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Republicans can only cheat their way into office

There are basically two kinds of elected Republicans: Evil and stupid. Sometimes the boundaries overlap, but it is nearly impossible to find a Republican official who doesn’t fall into one of the categories. The issue of voter fraud perfectly illustrates the true nature of today’s Republican party.

Evil Republican office holders know perfectly well that actual, premeditated voter fraud is almost non-existent, however they continuously characterize it as a national crime wave that needs to be addressed immediately. The truth is, their goal isn’t really to stop voter fraud, but to disenfranchise minority voters who tend to vote for Democrats. The latest rounds of new voter ID laws enacted in various Republican-led states has one goal and one goal only, and that is to make voting so difficult for minorities that they stay home on election day. Voter fraud is simply the cover story.

Then we have the stupid Republican office holders epitomized by Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz. You see, Matt was brainwashed by the Evil Republicans into actually believing that voter fraud was a huge problem, and in 2012 he managed to convince the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation to spend $280,000 of federal funds toward voter fraud inquiries. After 18 months of investigating, five people entered guilty pleas for fraud, however, if you look at their individual cases, the “fraud” was based on simple human mistakes or misunderstandings and not a one of them was a premeditated attempt to circumvent election laws.

Both evil and stupid Republicans know they can’t win national elections on the issues alone, so they jigger and gerrymander and pass restrictive voting laws to try and cheat their way into office. Unfortunately, it still works.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Saudis and 9/11

Interesting 9/11 related news today. Paul Sperry wrote a lengthy editorial in the very conservative Murdoch-run New York Post supporting documentary filmmaker Michael Moore’s assertion in Fahrenheit 911 that the Saudi government helped fund the 9/11 terrorists. This position would be controversial coming from any mainstream news source, but to be written in a paper that has ridiculed Moore in the past and was an ardent supporter of George Bush during his presidency is truly stunning. Apparently, this information is contained in the 9/11 Commissions report, but the 28-page section relating to foreign involvement was completely redacted. Not even some members of the Commission could read it.

If the assertion proves to be true, it raises some very disturbing questions. What motivation would the Saudi government have for funding a major terrorist action against the United States, especially during the presidency of George Bush, whose family has had very close relations with members of the Saudi ruling class?

Then there’s this: Two days after the 9/11 attacks, while American air space was still closed, the FBI helped about 140 Saudi Royals and members of the Bin Laden family fly from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia. This has always been a strange side bar in the 9/11 saga, but it becomes nefarious if it is true that the Saudi government was involved in the attacks. Bin Laden was named as a suspect in the assault very early on, and yet we…the FBI, no less…let his closest relatives leave the country without interrogating them.

And this raises even more questions. How could the Bush administration have known about a Saudi/9/11 connection a mere two days after the attack? If they didn’t know about it, why were they flying these particular Saudi’s out of the U.S.? And if the administration did know the Saudi government was somehow connected to 9/11 that early on, why would they do the Saudi’s the favor of flying VIPs from the U.S. back to Saudi Arabia? Why would they want to help a country that assisted in the attacks on the Twin Towers?

60 Minutes (of government propaganda)

CBS is getting a lot of flack about its recent 60 Minutes homage to the NSA. There was a time when the venerable news magazine would have torn the secret agency a new one, but those days are long gone. Who needs government-controlled propaganda when you have the elite owners of the media to do your bidding for you?

We’ve lost control of our government and our media. The only news and opinion outlets with enough guts to tell the truth are a handful of progressive blogs that have zero influence in the corridors of power. Oh yeah, and a couple of comedy shows on TV. There is no “check” or “balance” to keep the government even somewhat honest anymore, and, as secrets dribble out of Washington now and then, we know they are taking full advantage of the situation.

What we are witnessing today is the devastation of unrestrained capitalism. Money is running, and ruining, every aspect of society, from elections to wars to climate denial. Those at the top of the food chain have more money than they know what to do with, but they continue to make life miserable for the 99 percent. Their greed seems to know no bounds as they gleefully bleed the American middle class dry, which seems self-destructive to me because there will come a time when no one will be able to afford the cars or appliances or electronics their companies make. They don’t seem to care about that.

The 60 Minutes celebration of the NSA is simply one more symptom of our terminally ill empire.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Breaking FOX News: Santa and Jesus are white. Period.

Whew, I’m glad someone finally cleared that up. In response to a woman who wondered if perhaps Santa Claus could be represented as a black man, Megyn Kelly at FOX News assured racists everywhere that Santa is white, and that’s all there is to say about the matter. Oh, and so was Jesus.

Liberal whackos will argue that because Santa is a mythical character (oops, sorry kids) he can be any race, but that’s just leftist Christmas-hating propaganda. They’ll also try and convince you that if there was an actual historical Jesus, he would be dark-skinned because he was born in the Middle East. Phttt! I’ve seen thousands of pictures of Jesus in my life and let me tell you, he was white in every one of them.

Don’t listen to the liberal media when they say there is no war on Christmas. What do you call these outrageous attacks on our most cherished superstitions? The next thing you know they’ll be arguing that the tooth fairy is gay and the Easter Bunny is really a gerbil. It’s time for us all to stand up and defend our racist, sexist icons from the politically correct, pointy-headed commies.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Obama's hypocritical remarks at Mandela tribute

A memorial for Nelson Mandela was held on Tuesday in Johannesburg, South Africa. Dignitaries from around the world came to honor South Africa’s first black president, the man who spent almost three-decades in jail and then helped his country throw off the shackles of apartheid.

During the four-hour service, President Obama gave a speech honoring Mandela. In it, he asked, "With honesty, regardless of our station or our circumstance, we must ask: How well have I applied his lessons in my own life?" 

That’s a good question, Mr. President. If we’re going to be honest, the answer is, not very well.

Would Nelson Mandela approve of drone strikes on foreign soil that kill innocent civilians?

Would he approve of eavesdropping on tens of millions of people who are not suspected of any crime?

Would he have been as eager to start wars with other nations as you were to start a war with Syria?

Would he keep Gitmo open and continue to imprison people not convicted of any crime?

With honesty, I think not.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Hasta la vista, baby

I’m flying to Cancun, Mexico tomorrow for my oldest son’s wedding, so no posts until at least Tuesday. I’m excited about this trip and very happy for my son. Also, it’s seven degrees here in Minneapolis and 85 in Cancun. Adios.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Politicians cling to economic austerity despite dismal performance

Economic austerity is one of those things that just sounds logical and right. How can a country have a healthy economy if it is billions or trillions of dollars in debt? Based on this overly simplified notion, and flawed research, nations primarily in Europe began cutting spending and taxes several years ago. Some economists (lead by Paul Krugman and Brad Delong) warned that this was the wrong approach based on economic realities, but politicians loved the idea of looking fiscally responsible, and implemented Draconian spending cuts.

After three years we can see tangible results, and they clearly show that austerity policies are an abysmal failure, just as Krugman predicted they would be. As Sally Kohn points out in her opinion piece, The Facts are in:Austerity Politics Doesn’t Work, in countries where austerity policies were implemented, deficits have remained high and unemployment has increased. Unfortunately for the citizens of these countries, their leaders are continuing to beat the dead horse of austerity, too prideful and embarrassed to admit they were wrong, prolonging unnecessary pain and suffering.