Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Be Still My Bleating Heart, The Mayans Were A Bit Off...

"According to a new book, President Obama blames Fox News for his political problems and losing voters. How could Fox News lose voters? If you're watching Fox News, you're probably not voting for him in the first place." - Jay Leno
"Rick Santorum said he's not worried about unemployment. Well, he will be in November." –David Letterman
“Here’s how nice it was here on the Eastern Seaboard. It was such a beautiful day today that Mitt Romney was riding on the roof of his car.” – David Letterman

It looks like Dick Cheney got in under the wire with his heart transplant, as the Chinese government has announced that it will stop trafficking in human organs. Whether they follow through and actually stop it, remains to be seen... Human organ trafficking is a worldwide business that can be more lucrative than smuggling heroin. Because many body parts have a short shelf life, often only a matter of hours, the Chinese would wait until they got an order for one, then executing a prisoner and harvesting his body for the needed organ.

The harvesting of organs goes on wherever there is acute poverty. There are boys in the slums of Rio de Janeiro missing a kidney, convinced to sell one of theirs for a few hundred dollars, a thousand if they are lucky. Last year there was a scandal in Israel because some Israeli organ harvesters were using poor Palestinians as their base. Outside of Israel, Egypt, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, India and Iraq are some of the biggest players in the game. In the US, we recently had a case indicting 44 people in New Jersey for money laundering to buy illegal organs, that included state and local officials and local rabbis.

Back in 2005, it was estimated that over 10% of kidneys that were transplanted came from illegally harvested sources. Since then, the need for kidneys has grown, and the legal means cannot keep up with the need for them. Many hospitals and surgeons don't ask where their organs came from, just glad that they are available as needed. More dramatic organs like the heart are watched more closely, as there are more problems of matching a heart to the recipient correctly... I understand that in Dick Cheney's case, he got to shoot his own donor, and that he will be speaking fluent Chinese... It was a successful 8 hour operation, with the first seven spent trying to find his own heart, first...

There was some criticism of both Iran and Afghanistan awhile back, for their use of stoning people to death for infractions of tribal custom in rural areas. More recently, in Baghdad, the Minister of Culture denounced young men who had adopted wearing the black clothes and make-up of disenfranchised "emo" youths of the West. He gave the power to the police to arrest anybody who they thought were "emos," which also became a code word for labeling gays. He also encouraged neighborhood gangs to stone the kids to death if they refused to conform, and so far there have been over two dozen kids who have been beaten, arrested by police, executed, and their bodies dumped in alleyways and by the side of the road.

We had a near miss last year, of a meteorite that came close to hitting the earth, it came inside of the moon's orbit to the earth before passing by. Another asteroid is predicted to come closer to us in 28 years, begging the question that the Mayan calendar is a bit off... But, according to NASA: "Asteroid 2011 AG5 has been receiving a lot of attention lately because of a very unlikely scenario which would place it on an Earth-interception course 28 years from now. Here is a scientific reality check of this relatively nondescript space rock which is currently ranked a "1" on the 1 to 10 Torino Impact Hazard Scale

As of Feb. 26, 2012, asteroid 2011 AG5 is one of 8,744 near-Earth objects that have been discovered. It is approximately 460 feet (140 meters) in size and its orbit carries it as far out as beyond Mars' orbit and as close to the sun as halfway between Earth and Venus. It was discovered on Jan. 8, 2011, by astronomers using a 60-inch Cassegrain reflector telescope located at the summit of Mount Lemmon in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, Arizona."

If there is any real danger, we won't know it until the asteroid is observed in 2039, and we can predict how much the earth's gravitational pull will affect its orbit. Observing the asteroid is made more difficult because they've only been able to track it at night. If it were to hit earth, yes, it would wipe out all life as we know it, but so far, the scientists that are tracking it doubt that it will come close enough to be warped by earth's gravity, and will join the other 9000 asteroids scheduled to pass the earth along with it... I'm sorry that I don't have any jokes about ending all life on earth, though I know they are out there... The closest I could find orbiting out there is this:

Top Advantages of An Asteroid Really Hitting Earth

For starters, you'd be able to surf in South Dakota

Wouldn't have to hear that garbage Aerosmith song anymore.

The one dinosaur on the planet (here's a clue..he's purple) would be extinct.

We'd miss out on Tony Danza's or Jenny McCarthy's next sitcom.

Puts a major damper on that Molly Hatchet/Judas Priest reunion tour.

Pretty good chance that the Gorditas Dog from the Taco Bell commercials wouldn't survive.
There'd be no more movies on the topic, that's for sure.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Tibetan Monks Burning Bright, Skittles: Fear The Rainbow

"This is America. We must defend the principles symbolized by Lady Liberty – unless she's on the pill, in which case, she is a giant green tramp." – Stephen Colbert

"President Obama said he's set up a task force to look into high gas prices. He'd look into it himself, but he's busy working on those NCAA tournament brackets." –Jay Leno

"Rick Santorum says if elected president, he'll crack down on Internet porn. You thought he was alienating female voters with that birth control thing? Oh, guys are gonna be leaving in droves." – Jay Leno

"Yesterday Rick Santorum greeted the locals by telling them if Puerto Rico wants to become a state, they need to start speaking English. Only Rick Santorum would go to someone's native land and tell them they're speaking the wrong language." – Jimmy Kimmel

Certain images can contain strong personal messages for us, ones that we may carry with us for the rest of our lives. When I was a kid, I remember watching a news broadcast where a Vietnamese monk had set himself on fire to protest the coming war. That image keeps coming up in my mind whenever I read about our current crop of wars, and the emotional hell they create.

Setting yourself on fire seems to be an extreme and powerful image for us all; a young Tunisian vegetable seller lit himself aflame in protest of a beating and treatment by the police. The resulting protests spiraled into the removing of the governments in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen, and sparked protests in Bahrain and a civil war in Syria. The governments of Morocco, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia made some reforms in the treatment of their civilians.

Now, the practice of self-immolation has come full circle back to Asia, with young Tibetans and Tibetan monks under the age of 30 using it as an act of public protest. This last year, over 29 people have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule and insensitivity to their culture. Basically, the Chinese are trying to wipe out all things Tibetan, and replace them with Chinese traditions, after having invaded Tibet and ruled it for the past 50 years. The immolations are driving the Chinese government crazy, and they have dispatched 21,000 cultural workers to fight against this growing trend. They worry that citizen protests may grow in China and spark demonstrations that would ultimately topple their flimsy government. So, in the best traditions of Mao, they announce certain reforms and freedoms, then dispatch the military to kill and put in jail anyone trying to express those freedoms.

But there are indications that the world may no longer tolerate repressive regimes and totalitarian states, if the civil war in Syria,and the anti-Putin and anti-corruption protests that have been happening in Russia is an indication... Hopefully, the experiments in voting and representative governments in the Middle East will work out and help show how it can be done, and not devolve into a theocracy or more ruling by political strongmen, like in Iraq and Afghanistan and Iran. What would really help is if the Saudis would get rid of their fake royal families and stop supporting the ignorance of Wahabism. Perhaps then they wouldn't have created all of this jihad crap and Osama bin Laden, nor supplied most of the 9/11 conspirators...

The tragic fuck-up that happened in Sanford, Florida, with the shooting and killing of 17 year old Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer, has sparked outrage and protests that also seem to be growing. Sparking the outrage are the facts that the shooter, George Zimmerman, seemed to be stalking Trayvon as he was walking home from the store, carrying a cup of iced tea and a bag of skittles, and that George so far has not been arrested and charged with murder. The Sanford sheriff has had to step down until this mess gets cleared up. The company that makes skittles may have to change their advertising and catch-phrase, from Skittles: Taste the Rainbow, to

Skittles: Fear the Rainbow

I know, almost as bad as Geraldo Rivera saying that it was wearing a hoodie that was responsible for Treyvon Martin's death...There are two issues at the heart of the debate over how this could all have been avoided, the first being the stand your ground law passed in Florida in 2005, and is a license to kill if you think your life may be in danger. In this case, it epitomizes every black man's fear of walking where there may be skittish, whacked out white men, or hispanics around. The fear that the streets, no matter where they might be, are not safe for a teenage boy to walk safely and alone, ultimately encouraging gang behavior... does this parallel a white man's fear of walking through a black neighborhood? My grandmother lived for a long time in Compton, and walked to work every day with no problems. As a young kid, I walked around the neighborhood every time I visited. Whenever I travel, I like to walk around the places I visit, and I've only received kindness from Beijing to Hong Kong to Bangkok, in neighborhoods I was later warned about...

More important is how do we deal with our increasing alienated population? It will come out that George Zimmerman is also a "cop wannabee," and was not hired when he applied to become a police officer. He probably was so socially retarded that he couldn't even get a job as a security guard, hence his volunteering as a neighborhood watch guy. Driving around all day with a gun on your hip makes you fantasize about using it, and in George's case, also fantasizing over the situation to use it in. Which explains why he ignored the instructions of the 911 operator to not use force and to let the kid walk on by. George created the situation in his mind, and it didn't matter who the victim was, what color their skin was, someone was going to get shot so George could be a hero...

I've had to deal with kids who were "cop wannabees," and they are a pain in the ass to deal with. They are lonely social misfits who respond to authority, so much so that they want to become the authority. One kid was hired by the local private security outfit to help patrol our public bus depot, where I worked. One afternoon, when he first began work, he said to everyone, in a public statement: "Oh, I can just feel that there is going to be trouble today!" Sure enough, three hours later I had to extricate his butt from getting beaten up, one of several incidents that he created. Thank God we didn't allow him to carry a gun... 

These misfit folks also try to join the military and become officers, join jihad groups and become suicide bombers, and join the tea party to become followers of Rick Santorum... We, as a society, have not figured out how to educate and transform that loneliness, lack of self-worth, and alienation into a more fulfilling role. We don't teach it in school, and arming every citizen with a handgun is a crazy path to go down, though here in Colorado we now allow college students to bear arms. So far, there haven't been any teachers shot by disgruntled students who flunked a quiz, or innocent by-standers shot by frat boys on a drunken beer run, but it will be only a matter of time. Perhaps then we will have the kind of meetings and debates that the good citizens of Florida are now having. And, because we are ruled by human nature, those debates will also happen after the fact, when it's too late...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Where I Steal Material From Other Writers...

“Happy birthday to Mitt Romney, he’s 65 years old. At his party, he didn't blow out the candles. He gave a speech and the candles just flickered and died.” – Jay Leno

“Romney's birthday is not a big deal here. But in the Cayman Islands, it's a national holiday.” – Jay Leno
"Not a good week for Rush Limbaugh either. His approval rating has dropped 9 percent in the last month to an all-time low of 41 percent. In fact, if this keeps up, the White House said they may have to fish out bin Laden and shoot him all over again." – Jay Leno

Sorry that I haven't published in a few days, I got interested in several books from the library and powered through reading them. Fortunately, or unfortunately, there are several more books in the series waiting for me, but I will try to get interested in the news in-between novels...

Joshua Keating tells the story in Foreign Policy, of the special yacht that was being built for Moammar Qaddafi's son, Hannibal, when construction was interrupted by the destruction of the Libyan government. The yacht was being built on a lavish and grand scale, with marble columns and a huge shark tank, that would include its own feeding station staffed by four marine biologists. It fires the imagination with cool images of a super villain feeding his enemies to the sharks while cruising and partying around the Mediterranean. The ship was bought by a cruise ship line, who is tearing out the shark tank among other over the top luxury items. Joshua laments: "The ship has been bought by MSC Cruises, a major cruise line, which is being a total killjoy and taking out the shark tank and redecorating. “I personally don’t know why, but he wanted a shark tank,” said MSC CEO Pierfrancesco Vago, who has apparently never seen a James Bond movie..."

The FP web site has been spammed and the comments section is filled with offers to own your own web site by paying this company money, but one comment on this story found its way to be published, and it's as amusing as the original: "Let me get this straight. We finally have an honest-to-goodness James Bond supervillain yacht, complete with sharks (and who knows, maybe sharks with Frickin' Laser Beams attached one day), and...it's being dismantled? Not even being blown up in dramatic fashion by a British superspy and his girl-of-the-movie, jumping past the fireball into a waiting Zodiac? Just...taken apart for tour use?

Why, cruel world? Why?"

From the website Yolo comes a list why our freedoms are being co-opted. The site likes to make lists, and you may not agree because much of their humor isn't very funny, but here it goes:

#1 One California town is actually considering making it illegal to smoke in your own backyard.

#2 In Louisiana, a church was recently ordered to stop giving out water because it did not have a permit to do so.

#3 In the United States it is illegal to operate a train that does not have an “F” painted on the front. Apparently without that “F” we all might not know where the front of the train is.

#4 In many U.S. states is it now illegal to collect rain that falls from the sky on to your own property.

#5 In America today it is illegal to milk your cow and sell the milk to your neighbor. If you do this, there is a good chance that federal agents will raid your home at the crack of dawn.

#6 In Washington D.C. it is illegal not to recycle cat litter.

#7 It is illegal to give a tour of the monuments in Washington D.C. without a license.

#8 In the United States it is illegal to sell natural cures for cancer – even if they work.

#9 In the state of Massachusetts it is illegal to deface a milk carton.

#10 In the state of Alabama, bear wrestling is completely illegal.

#11 In Fairbanks, Alaska it is illegal to give alcoholic beverages to a moose.

#12 In Lake Elmo, Minnesota it is illegal to sell pumpkins or Christmas trees that are grown outside city limits.

#13 There is a federal law that makes it illegal to be “annoying” on the Internet.

#14 If you register with a false name on MySpace or Facebook you could potentially “spend five years in federal prison“.

#15 In Hazelwood, Missouri it is illegal for little girls to sell girl scout cookies in the front yards of their own homes.

#16 All over the United States lemonade stands run by children are being shut down because they do not have the proper permits.

#17 In Florida, it is illegal to bring a plastic butter knife to school.

#18 In San Juan Capistrano, California it is illegal to hold a home Bible study without a “conditional use permit“.

#19 In the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania it is illegal to make even a single dollar from a blog unless you buy a $300 business license.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Easy To Lower Price Of Gas, Pat Robertson Advocates Legalizing Marijuana

“I thought the election was gonna be all about the economy. But the economy started doing better. So Republicans went to plan b: calling women whores.” – Bill Maher
“According to exit polls, Mitt Romney is struggling with voters who call themselves very conservative. However, Mitt is doing great with voters who describe themselves as being 'totally freaked out by Rick Santorum.'” – Conan O’Brien
“Gas prices — it is $6 a gallon here. People in L.A. are furious. You can't tell, of course, because of the Botox.” ” – Craig Ferguson

If Americans were really serious about wanting to lower the price of gasoline, they could do it overnight, as could the President, by presidential order. No, we don't have to nationalize the gas companies, though that's not a bad idea, it would turn the conservative led debates away from healthcare and contraception... To lower prices by $2 per gallon or more, all we have to do is outlaw commodity trading futures. It would also bring down the prices of food, and just about all other goods that are traded, and who's prices are bet on in advance. Yep, it comes down to the evils of Wall Street once again, but will the tea party folks have enough courage to tackle this subject or are they content mimicking the talking points issued by the GOP planning committees? So far, they remind me of a short story title by C.M. Kornbluth: The Mindless Marching Morons...

My apologies to the Kinks:

I've been waiting for years to buy a brand new cadillac
But now that I've got one I want to send it right back
I can't afford the gas to fill my luxury limousine
But even if I had the dough no one's got no gasoline

I went to my local dealer to see if he could set me straight
He said there's a little gas going but I'd have to wait
But he offered some red hot speed and some really high grade hash
But a gallon of gas can't be purchased anywhere for any amount of cash

I can score you some coke and some grade one grass
But I can't get a gallon of gas
I've got some downers some speed all the drugs that you need
But I can't get a gallon of gas
There's no more left to buy or sell
There's no more oil left in the well
A gallon of gas can't be purchased anywhere
For any amount of cash

bat out of heck...
Meatloaf has been having a hard time getting acting gigs on reality shows after stooging for Donald Trump on the Celebrity Apprentice. Mr Loaf, as the NY times once referred to him, complained to Esquire that:
“I've been banned from two TV shows,” the musician said. “Because USA Today has me listed as a Republican. I've heard those stories,” he added “But I didn't really believe they'd do that.”

Though he’s often described as conservative and said he wanted New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for president last year, Meat Loaf says his politics are just plain complicated.

“I'm neither right nor left, and I'm not sure I'm even in the middle,” he said. “I have a lot of views to the left, and I have a lot of views to the right, and that really doesn't put me in the middle. I don't know what that makes me. It makes me weird.” No, Mr Loaf, it makes you a normal aging American male. Only a fool would get all of their political beliefs off of some website... Of course, music and show business is similar to politics in shat the individual is sheltered from living real life and contacting regular people on a regular basis, but since he's been out of the spotlight for so many years, Mr Loaf should have been able to re-acclimate to normal life, or at least his kid must have... Trying to consciously live like a rock star will make you weird and emotionally unstable. Being outrageous and partying all of the time is fun when you are young, but pathetic when you attempt it as an old man, not even Keith Richards could keep it up..

One of my favorite stories comes from Ed Sander's autobiography, Tales of Beatnick Glory, about running a community center of sorts, called the Psychedelicatessan. It was a short blurb about a man who regularly took too much LSD and came in claiming tht he was Jesus: "Over at the Psychedelicatessen they kept a chalk board with a running tally of customers who had come in announcing they were Jesus. It was up to sixty-five. This guy was one of them... at the time we all felt sorry for J - so lost, so eery, so utterly insane, except that now, going on to forty years later, he owns his own Bible college in the South, and his revivals on cable TV pull in hundreds of millions of dollars each year."

I always wanted to match the face to the story, and yesterday came another clue: that evangelist Pat Robertson now has embraced the idea of legalizing marijuana:
“I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol. I’ve never used marijuana and I don’t intend to, but it’s just one of those things that I think: this war on drugs just hasn’t succeeded.” 
“I believe in working with the hearts of people, and not locking them up.”
 So far there has been a deafening silence from other evangelical groups, and a stock statement issued from Focus on the Family, one of the more influential groups based in my hometown of Colorado Springs. Now, I'm not saying that the reason Mr Robertson found his calling in Christ came from being a stoned out acid-head, but it depends if you believe there are no coincidences in life... or not. Mr Robertson is now 81 years old, and doesn't really care what others say about him any more. Then, he is talking about our prisons being filled with younger people for possessing as little as one joint, all non-violent crimes. If you are a true conservative and want to see less government, you would want less intervention in how we live our lives, and less prisons and inmates, especially if marijuana becomes legalized in Colorado and Washington... So, true conservatives believe the same as Ron Paul Libertarians, that the war on drugs is a failure and marijuana should be legalized. For Mexico's sake, if nowhere else...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Limbaugh In Limbo, New Emperor Vlad, Holder Crushes My Summer Vacation

"I think Rick Santorum learned something yesterday. He learned that electoral college is not for everyone. Not everyone needs to go the electoral college." – Jay Leno

“Gas prices are so high that Mitt Romney's wife can only afford to drive one Cadillac.” – Jay Leno
"A man in Albuquerque has registered his dog to vote. Apparently the dog likes the current administration but he’s not sure he wants another 28 years of Obama.” – Conan O’Brian

I did not think that the Rush Limbaugh slander and subsequent apology was going to cause so much fuss. Just because Rush broadcasts on over 600 radio stations and is thought to be the most influential man in conservative thought. This makes me sad, that Rush is considered to be smart, along with Newt Gingrich. Most radio talk show hosts are amped up from talking 2 - 3 hours, five days per week, and as a result, have a hard time calming down, have trouble getting to sleep, and can't focus for extended lengths of time. They also rarely read anything beyond the briefs that their staff prepares for them as talking points for their next show. Rush does a 3 hour monologue for five days per week, and never apologizes for whatever he says, saying he was being humorous and people need to learn how to take a joke...

Rush wasn't going to apologize for calling a law student whom he never met a slut and prostitute, and when he did apologize, it was pretty much a lot of BS, and was rejected as such by the woman, Sandra Fluke. He had to apologize because he was losing sponsors, so far about 20 have stopped buying advertising, and his website has no third party ads. Of the GOP presidential candidates, only Ron Paul was honest, calling Rush insincere. Recently, Rush has decided that he was the victim of a well orchestrated Democratic plot to discredit him, in a display of drug induced paranoia:, as related by Greg Sargent in the Washington Post: “Obama is sorely hurting with women in preelect polls,” Rush is now claiming. “He wanted to turn this into an issue much as they used to use abortion. So the Democrats played the game.”

Limbaugh’s latest theory: He alleges that Dems sprang a trap by pushing Sandra Fluke as a witness for the House hearing on contraception and religious liberty. “They wanted to turn this from a committee hearing on Obama and his unconstitutional mandate to the issue of contraception so as to bring back to life page 1-A of the Democrat playbook: Republicans Hate Women,” Rush says.
“I’ll just say this, which is, it’s not the language I would have used,” - Mitt Romney
Because Rush was addicted to a prescription drug, Oxycontin, and still displays the mental behavior of an addict, it should be noted that every year the deaths from prescription drugs in the US are 28 times more than those who die from heroin abuse. I often wonder, and have written in my blog before about it, how much of our policies are made by politicians under the influence of prescription drugs. This could be the reason for the national swing towards extremist right wing lack of well reasoned thought, along with the operant conditioning produced by watching a lot of television. Which implies that is has been planned out in advance, breeding more paranoia and conspiracy theories...

Well, Vladimir Putin handily won the Russian election, no surprises there. It was more of a farce than an election, much admired by the Iranians, who have been taking notes and imitating in their own elections... Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Moscow and St. Petersburg, vowing to stay until Putin resigns. If you thought that the Syrian government is vicious, just wait for a few weeks and watch how he takes care of the revolting peasants. It's his autocratic strong-man behavior that other rulers find attractive, along with his manly body odor, and may account for the inroads that Russia is making in Africa and the Middle East...

Yes, there was ballot stuffing and bad behavior, though, thankfully, no political assassinations. Of course, all of Putin's serious opponents are sitting in jail, but they might be released after the protests die down. In one precinct in Chechneya, an observer watched as the total ballot count exceeded the number of eligible voters, with all of the votes going to ol' Vlad., except for one going to the candidate from the communist party. There are hundreds more instances of fraud that have been recorded on camera and by international observers. But the amount of fraud seems to be less than a few months ago during the parliamentary elections, so this one is deemed a success... Soon, we may have to address the former street thug as the Emperor, using that title because he likes to strut around wearing no clothes... The only real problem with another 6 years of Vladimir Putin, is that Russia has no more animals for him to hunt or fondle, depending on his moods. So, the next step is to go into other countries and track down all of their exotic beasts in search of the perfect photo op..

In a speech at northwestern University, the Attorney General, Eric Holder, said that it's OK to assassinate American citizens in foreign countries: “Any decision to use lethal force against a United States citizen — even one intent on murdering Americans and who has become an operational leader of al-Qaeda in a foreign land — is among the gravest that government leaders can face,” Holder said in a speech at Northwestern University’s law school in Chicago. “The American people can be — and deserve to be — assured that actions taken in their defense are consistent with their values and their laws.”

Of course, he was justifying the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American who was living in Yemen and made some tapes that were anti-American, after he had been detained and tortured by the CIA, then released... If you are making plans on visiting Europe or Asia this summer, you might want to rethink, I hear the Grand Canyon is beautiful at that time of the year... Is it good to know that this administration is just as bent on taking away your freedom and liberty as the Bush administration was? If they weren't so batshit crazy, it would be enough to make me join the tea party...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Vladimir Cries, Rush Apologizes, Sort Of...

“The Romney campaign says they can't figure out why the people of Michigan aren't embracing their native son. Hmmm, let's see. Could it be this editorial he wrote four years ago: ‘Let Detroit go bankrupt’?” – Craig Ferguson

“That shows Romney had the vision to put his foot in his mouth years before his competitors.” – Craig Ferguson

“It's nothing compared to the piece Romney wrote last week for The Arizona Republic: ‘Accept your new Mexican overlords.’” – Craig Ferguson

I'm not sure that all of the election polls had closed in Russia, before Vladimir Putin gave his tearful victory speech. "You love me, you really love me!" he gushed as he was handed a bouquet of red roses and the tiara was placed upon his head... If you thought the US elections had turned bizarre, then the Russian presidential election is for true cynics and fans of Alice in Wonderland set in constant tape loop of the scenes with the Red Queen, minus Alice...

Is there much difference between Putin's party and the Republicans (or insert your favorite villains here ______), who decided months ago, in back room meetings, whom the candidates would be, and then hired some sad clowns to run as the opposition? Now the only thing yet to be decided is how big was Putin's landslide victory? Needless to say, the Russian model of democracy is also the template for the Iranian elections, except they throw in a religious twist, with the Grand Ayatollah for Life... Some of the Russian opposition are afraid that Vlad is setting himself up as ruler for life, but he denies it. He has already made his fortune by privatizing Russia's largest petroleum industries and guaranteeing that he has a permanent skim of the profits; and he has already hunted down every varmint that can run, hop, fly, or swim away from him walking topless through the trees... so more interesting is to see which invisible young bureaucrat he will anoint as his successor... As Sergei Kruschev, the son of Nikita Kruschev pontificates:
"In Russia, the exiting regime for some reason considers itself not only responsible for its successors, but it also believes it has the right to determine whether they are worthy of coming to power or not. The task of handing over control of the government proved too tough for both the communist Bolsheviks, who dissolved the disagreeable Russian Constituent Assembly in January 1918, and for the anti-communist Bolsheviks who did the same with the "bad" Russian Parliament in October 1993. Mikhail Gorbachev alone decided to follow through with his transition, and many have not forgotten what came of that."

In an editorial in today's NY Times, Sheena Greitens says that if North Korea wishes to rejoin the world community, then it will have to give up its state-sponsored drug trade. North Korea manufactures heroin, methamphetamines, fake Viagra, and high quality counterfeit American $100 bills. They also deal in endangered species and parts of them, like elephant tusks, and smuggle in American cigarettes and alcohol into Asia. They relegate the distribution of their drugs to groups like the Russian mafiya, Japanese Yakuza, and Chinese triads... Nobody really has yet explored if there have been any connections with South American gangs, even though they are the competition...

This has been how North Korea obtained money despite the economic sanctions against it, and may soon spur Iran into similar illicit action. There already have been some repercussions: North Korea has a growing sector of people addicted to speed, and Iran is having problems with heroin addiction (they allow passage of the heroin trade from Afghanistan...) The US is used for money laundering, its estimated that at least 1/4 of all bank assets comes from the drug trade, even though all banks are supposed to report all transactions over $10,000. The fake $100's came directly from Pyongyang to California, and were rumored to have been so good that the Treasury Dept had to redesign a new bill... North Korea would try to sell nuclear secrets to rogue nation states, but its technology is so shaky and poor, that nobody will buy from them. Not when there are countries with more updated equipment that would gladly make some extra bucks, like Russia, India, Pakistan, and France...

Speaking about joking in bad taste, ol' Rush Limbaugh got into a tussle over a 30 year old law school student over women's contraception. She had wanted to speak before a congressional committee, composed of all old dudes, and was told by the chairman, Darryl Issa, that she was not qualified or welcome... A lot of woman's groups got pissed, the Democrats made sure that the bill was shelved, and an anti-abortion bill was also shelved by the governor of Virginia, as was a personhood amendment.

In order to stir up some ratings, Rush began a diatribe against this woman, Sandra Fluke. He called her a prostitute and a slut, and said that she obviously wanted sex a lot. The next day said that if he's going to pay for her contraception, she should film her sex acts and post them online so he could watch them... Rush thinks he's being funny, but he's actually revealing that he gets his rocks off watching Internet porn, and seems obsessed by it. as any ex-pill junky might be. Here's a sample from his friday show, talking about the Democrat's reaction to his comments: "Yeah, I know. Snerdley, I told you, "This is gonna be bigger than the phony soldiers," and he didn't think it was. I said, "Oh, it's gonna be ten times bigger. This is gonna be ten times bigger than the phony soldiers, ten times bigger than the Michael J. Fox thing, 'cause the Democrats are desperate." The Democrats are desperate, and I don’t know why they want people... Well, I do know why they want people to fear me. This is all they've got, is to go out and try to discredit their critics, to impugn and discredit the people who disagree with them. Because there's no way, if we actually sat down and had a debate about this proposition, anybody on the left can win this. Not in a sane world where there is common sense.

Apparently Sandra Fluke told Obama something. When he asked her if she's okay, she said that Obama told her that she should tell her parents they should be proud. (pause) Okay, I'm button my lip on that one. The president tells Sandra Fluke (chuckling), 30-year-old Sandra Fluke, that her parents should be proud. Okay. Let me ask you a question. I might be surprised at the answer I would get to this question. Your daughter appears before a congressional committee and says she's having so much sex, she can't pay for it and wants a new welfare program to pay for it. Would you be proud? I don't know about you, but I'd be embarrassed. I'd disconnect the phone. I'd go into hiding and hope the media didn't find me. See, everybody forgets what starts this, or what started this whole thing. Or maybe they don't! Maybe that's normal behavior on the left now, for all I know."

After this was broadcast, about six of his sponsors called and said that they were going to stop supporting his show and pull their advertisements, including one of his oldest sponsor, Carbonite... So, on Saturdau Rush printed an apology, of sorts. This is as close as Rush can get to an apology, your choice to decide if he means it or not:

"I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone's bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.

My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices."

So to really change things, I guess you have to follow the money... If Rush ever had daughters you know that he'd never be talking smack like that, like. c'mon dude, that's sooo gross...