Thursday, April 26, 2012

From Cartagena To Colorado Springs

"One of the agents involved in the scandal was on Sarah Palin's detail in 2008 when he was running for vice president. And he posted a picture on his Facebook – apparently he had a little crush on her – of him standing behind her kind of smirking and saying, 'I'm checking her out.' Which is more than you can say for the McCain campaign." – Bill Maher

"Of course Sarah Palin has to answer this. Today she said, you know what, people are always checking me out. She said, 'I can't count the number of times when I'm walking away, and I hear someone say, 'What an ass.'" – Bill Maher

"Newt Gingrich still receiving Secret Service protection. What are they protecting him from? Reality?" – Bill Maher

"I think Republicans live in a world now where whatever a liberal says, no matter how sensible, is automatically evil, wrong, and needs to be fought with the fervor of a starving raccoon on crystal meth." – Bill Maher

Tourism in Cartagena, Columbia, has taken a boost ever since the Secret Service scandal was revealed a couple of weeks ago, involving over a dozen horny, drunken young men and drunken prostitutes. Prostitution in Columbia is about the same as it is elsewhere, officially frowned upon, but in reality tolerated by those who love to party but are too old and ugly to get a second glance from a pretty girl. Articles now in the NY Times have emphasized that none of the girls were spies seeking to blackmail any of the agents, that the girls working in Cartagena are regularly tested for AIDS and STD's, with records being kept. Columbia has long been a destination for those in the porn industry, pandering to those who like latina pornography. I don't know if they have done so in the past, but I'll bet that soon there will be sex tours for German men and others from the former Eastern Block countries, just like they do for Thailand.

What we really need, if we are going to be honest, is reporting on the use of prostitutes by our Congressmen, both at home in Washington DC, and when they go on junkets to foreign countries. We know that they leave their wives and family at home and are wined and dined and bribed by foreign dignitaries, so why not be more honest and transparent about the use of hookers in politics? There are certain cities in the world that are infamous for their prostitution, Beirut, for example, has long been known as the party place to go among Arabian busnissmen and oil-wealthy sheiks, seeking refuge from the newly found feminism of their wives and daughters. Macau has become the place to party for those who enjoy gambling in Asia, even hosting the older brother of North Korea's new ruler. Miami, Dallas, and LA are destinations staying alive in the US... There are very few members of the Senate and House of Representatives who have not partied too hard in Washington DC, using liberal amounts of designer drugs, alcohol, and consorting with expensive ladies of the night. These habits should be disclosed, along with whatever prescription medicines they are taking, and the true sources of their campaign funds.

We should all be as transparent as the former head of the World Bank, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Not only did he expect all of the maids at his expensive US hotel to be hookers, enough to be undressed when his maid came in to service his room, but he continued his wanton ways when he went back to France. Even though his rich wife stood by him, she couldn't ignore it when he was later arrested for being part of a sex ring, pimping out and sending friends to a classic, old hotel that needed to add the services of prostitutes in order to pay its bills.
Of course, politicians can overdo it, as in the case of Italy's Berlesconi, who now faces charges of having sex with underage hookers at his parties, and had to be divorced by his much embarrassed wife.

The freak side-show that was the Republican Primary race is coming to an end. The only joker left to challenge Mitt Romney is Ron Paul, who has kept a low profile the past couple of months, probably holed up writing some obscure Libertarian texts in time for the convention in Tampa. Or maybe he realized that most of the press that was given to Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich has been negative, focused on the many gaffes they regularly produced for the late night comedians. I'm sure that Mitt will continue to feed us with enough gaffes of his own, and we will be treated to weekly etch-a-sketch changes in beliefs and policies.

My fellow Coloradan Republicans have jumped on the squirrel train, having elected their delegates to the Republican convention this summer. Not one went to Mitt, they all went to Rick Santorum and Ron Paul, and they are proud about it. This happened several days after Rick Santorum dropped out of the race, which proves that the conservative cause is alive and well in Colorado, serving all lost causes.

 To get a glimpse of how we are aligned, one of the most conservative yes men in the House, Doug Lamborn, is being challenged by Robert Blaha, who is positioning himself to the far right of Doug. We should vote for Blaha to help him take back our country, go his ads. His campaign philosophy is : " An articulate champion for conservative values, Robert knows that citizens in his 5th Congressional District have had enough of career politicians, and so he’s bringing his business expertise and conservative common sense to secure a better future for our children and grandchildren.

It’s time to breakthrough the federal red tape, complacency and stagnant stalemates – and have our voices heard in Washington, D.C"

I'd love to watch these two debate, but Doug doesn't like to appear in public much, because, in my opinion, his speech patterns fit more closely to a gay dress designer than a family values man, and people might start asking embarrassing questions... But Blaha can't really attack Lamborn on much, so he can only make ads that show him as an angry man intent on tearing down the walls of government, so 90 seconds ago... In reality, the tea party here is having a hard time keeping the anger and meetings going, what with the over prescribing of anti-depressants to us older folks. We end up taking our Prozac and watching those redneck reality shows on tv, marveling that anyone would go out and deliberately hunt alligators and rattlesnakes. What about those giant catfish on River Monsters, whoa!!! It's difficult basing a movement on people who don't really read, and are ridiculed by their children for their beliefs. I'm seeing less and less right wing blogs out there, and they all weren't supported by Andrew Breitbart... In fact, there's just a lot less blogs being created and sustained, we may soon go the way of the dinosaur and encyclopedia.

Monday, April 23, 2012

"Military Intelligence" Still An Oxymoron

"President Obama is gearing up for his presidential campaign. He's creating a new series of ads. The first ad boasts "just last week my Secret Service created jobs for 11 Colombian women." – Conan O'Brien
 "Conservatives are now criticizing President Obama because as a child in Indonesia he sometimes ate dog meat. But on the plus side, Obama is now polling very well among cats." – Conan O'Brien
 "President Obama, in his memoir, talked about his childhood in Indonesia living with his stepfather. He said when he was 8 years old, his stepfather introduced him to a number of unusual meats, including dog. Our president ate dog. Not only that, according to the book, he also ate snake. And his mother was looking for tiger. He was eating through Noah's Ark." – Jimmy Kimmel
 "But the dog thing — maybe that is where the floppy ears come from." – Jimmy Kimmel

It was a quiet weekend, other than the bluster and whining coming from the old Axis of Evil countries: North Korea issuing dire warnings against South Korea and its policies, and to the world to please start taking them seriously...  Iran was whining this morning, complaining of another computer virus that made them take their oil refineries offline until they can contain the bug.  Myanmar really didn't have any announcements, other than inquiring if it has liberalized enough to unfreeze the old generals bank accounts... So far, the responses have been stifled laughter hidden behind a raised hand to our mouths, and a belated admission from Israel that it knew that Iran's president never said that it was Iran's duty to wipe Israel off the map. It was actually a mix-up in translation issued from the Iranian government, and Israel took the opportunity and ran with it...

A few days ago there was an article in the NY Times about the CIA wanting to use more drones in Yemen. This morning there is an article about what a hard time the new president of Yemen is having, what with all of the insurgents in the desert and old Saleh regime politicians and generals who tend to ignore his orders. Yemen is the new training center for military intelligence officers and CIA mercenaries, who are chomping at the bit to become legitimately recognized for the time they are putting into securing this country... But it looks like we may have to be multi-tasking again, as the head of Sudan is hell bent on warring with newly formed South Sudan, and plans to take over their oil fields soon.

Even though our political candidates keep talking about spending less, they really mean spending less in taking care of old people and educating children. No need to educate kids when all the learning they'll need they can get while volunteering in our military. Plus, you don't have to worry about your child turning Liberal, because the compassionate ones all end up getting killed in battle, somehow... Our military is blending with the intelligence services, soon you won't be able to tell them apart, except for the talking heads, who constantly snipe and snap at each other. The old director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, who came to love clandestine operations during his tenure, left to become Secretary of Defense, and today announced the creation of a new military intelligence unit, to join with the intelligence units of the army, navy, and marines. So, our new way to conduct warfare will come from using drones and units like Seal Team 6 for assassinations and abductions, using up over $750 billion per year.

The sniping is coming from directors of intelligence, both old and new, over whether we should continue to develop spy satellites, or contract out to private firms to get the information. most of that information has no use for cutting edge optics, which we use a fraction of the time to read vin numbers, or count the number of hairs on an ant's butt... We have gone about as far as we can go with the technology of spy satellites, and the jobs they do now can be handled a lot more cheaply by a drone, if not better. Optic resolution for map making can be bought from private companies, and we could concentrate on research and development on the purely spy stuff, since it came in so handy finding Osama bin Laden or bringing down the Berlin Wall...

So, there soon may not be much difference between our military, our intelligence agents, and the private mercenaries we hire, the line in-between becoming all blurred, all fueled by designer drugs and anti-depressants. And its a good indication that we will be withdrawing our troops in time from Afghanistan, before more than one lone soldier snaps like in Vietnam. In both cases we wore out our welcome a very long time ago. At least in Afghanistan we are trying to change our legacy by bribing them with a couple billion dollars for the next ten years. It'll buy a lot of luxury apartments in Dubai, that's for sure...

Friday, April 20, 2012

India Launches Missile, Russian Teens Have Nothing To Live For...

Steven Rosenfeld
"Did you hear how they caught those Secret Service agents with prostitutes in Colombia? Apparently the men were walking around wearing nothing but their sunglasses and those earpieces." – Conan O'Brien

"The Democrats accuse the Republicans of launching a war on women. Then the Republicans accuse the Democrats of the same thing. At this point, who can remember who enacted reproductive health restrictions in 36 states including mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds?" – Stephen Colbert
"If you feel about about so much money in this country going to defense, don't forget, if we didn't spend more money on weapons than every other country combined, then Iran could not put the bomb they don't have on the Koran rocket that doesn't work." – Bill Maher

"Now the North Koreans say they are going to test a nuclear weapon. To which I say please do. Talk about a problem taking care of itself." – Bill Maher

A little more than a week after the international bad guys, North Korea, tried to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile and failed, the country of India successfully launched and tested its Agni 5 missile. Now, a pissed off India has the capacity to send nuclear war-heads to the Chinese city of its choice, even though the two countries are good trading partners.... The missile is the latest example of the arms race that has been going on in the region for the last few years, and no matter what kind of false reasons the countries give, it shows these governments would rather let people starve to death than give up the latest toys...

India (and Israel) never signed the nuclear non-proliferation pact, and for the past 30 years their nuclear arsenal sat, growing cobwebs and lacking the latest digital upgrades. The UN Security Council even passed a specific resolution calling on India and Pakistan to cease developing missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Which has been ignored...

The US has been behind India's recent arms buying spree, or at least has benefitted from selling them technology. India has a drone, whereas we refused to sell one to Pakistan. Whenever members of our State Dept visit India, or Indian officials visit the US, military generals also meet and greet. When the Indian Prime Minister came to Washington DC last year, as he was being feted by a dinner at the White House in his honor, he also came to see about buying newer nuclear technology from us. We weren't happy to sell it to them directly, so we sent them to a Canadian firm, who bought our technology and could sell it to India without violating the letter of the law. Because Pakistan has a paranoid view of India, they also have been trying to upgrade their nuclear arsenal, and the heating arms race may explain why Burma has been a bit more friendly to the West, befriending those with the largest amount of toys... Anyway, the US now has to coddle Indian diplomats, making sure they get enough rifles and food aid, or else they will sell their new ballistic missiles to another trading partner in the region, Iran. Not a bad form of blackmail, after all... Not to be outdone, South Korea announced that, they, too, have a new missile they are dying to try out...

As a global statistic, for every 100,000 people, about 1,700 Russians will commit suicide per year. The suicide rate of teenagers is growing in Russia, and they can't figure out the reason why. Of course, they aren't considering the prospects of living in a corrupt society where your best career moves are to work for the local Mafia or for Vladimir Putin. Russia also doesn't have any kind of medical support system set up for people undergoing psychological stress, and have recently quickly set up some hotlines and meeting places for teens to go. Of course, this band-aid is not working, and kids are still jumping off of apartment buildings at an alarming rate. The suicide rate is also going up in the US and Europe among teenagers, so perhaps the befuddled government health care workers can have a conference in Las Vegas to confront this growing problem...

Whenever my adopted hometown makes the national news, why does it always have to be embarrassing? I didn't find out until I watched the monologues on the Tonight Show and the Jimmy Fallon Show, that one of my local television stations had broadcast a hardcore porn movie in the place of the Today Show. At that time of the morning, evidently the only employees at the station are engineers, guys more interested in Debbie Does the Rocky Mountains than the cute shenanigans of national news personalities... Keep in mind that I live in the most conservative town in Colorado, and that my representative is Doug Lamborn... It's interesting to know that those cities and states that are considered to be the most conservative also rent out the most porn and have the most strip clubs, right Dallas?

Monday, April 16, 2012

North Korea Throws A Party, Pakistani Jailbreak!

"Because Mitt Romney is a Mormon he can actually have several vice presidents. Did you know that?" – David Letterman
"After dropping out of the GOP race, Rick Santorum emailed his supporters to ask for help paying off his campaign debt. So if you believe in his message of responsible spending and no handouts, just give him a handout to cover all his irresponsible spending." – Jimmy Fallon

"Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced that he is supporting Mitt Romney for president. Jindal said he couldn’t think of a better way to show his support than waiting until Romney was the only guy left." – Jimmy Fallon

"Florida congressman Allen West made an interesting statement yesterday. He believes there are about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party who are members of the Communist Party. Really? I think it's time for someone to lay off the Tom Clancy novels." – Jimmy Kimmel
“This presidential campaign makes me want to start doing drugs.” - unaffiliated Republican consultant

Happy Birthday North Korea! Your leaders couldn't afford to make enough cake for everyone, so you got another military parade, instead... It was supposed to be a glorious celebration of the birthday of Kim il-Sun, the dictator who cemented his rule by instituting the official paranoia that the US wanted to permanently invade the country, legitimizing starving the peasants in favor of  large military expenditures. Hey, they were only pretending to be China's Mini-Me...

Instead of candles or fireworks, a wondrous long-range ballistic missile was launched, which, unfortunately for the greater glory of Kim's grandson and said military, the damned thing fell apart after two minutes and fell into the ocean. This was the third missile launch in a row that fizzled and failed, so the best thing to do was to act as if it had never happened. In the case of the first two missile launches, North Korea insisted that they had been successes, and are orbiting satellites that broadcast patriotic songs to Kim Jong-il to this day. It's as if they have hired Republican strategists to form their official policies...

To show the world how much they've changed under the new rule of the Little Prince, journalists were invited to witness this launch. Since the US had declined to have any members of the State Dept there, it frowned on having any of our journalists attending. Tough, said MSNBC... Unfortunately, communication lines had to be established out of the country, and when the news organizations back home began asking if it were true that the missile fell apart, the news came as a shock to their North Korean handlers, who all but abandoned them in a blind panic until hours later.

It was decided that the best way to handle this potential fiasco was to ignore it, act as if it never happened, offer to take the journalists to a sporting event or cultural display to complete their tour. In his speech yesterday, Kim Jong-un also ignored the missile failure, instead kept to his prepared speech of supporting the military and continuing to build it up in might and strength. The emphasis on nuclear and missile development is because the North Koreans don't have much else to sell on the world market, and they were at least hoping to sell copies of their latest missile to Iran, which wisely didn't put in any pre-orders. On the other hand, it could be that the missile launch was sabotaged so that everyone will feel sorry for those cute lil' screw ups, send them food and ipods, maybe schedule a hot concert for them by Beyonce or an Elvis impersonator... More important, is the realization for any nation ordering military munitions from the North Korean catalogue, is that a parade and blustery speech is all you can expect as backup, if things go wrong and do not work as advertised...

To celebrate the new negotiations between the US and Pakistan, with Pakistan insisting that US drones and the CIA mercenaries stay out of their country, the Pakistani Taliban mounted the largest jailbreak in that country's history. Over 100 Talibanese freed 384 prisoners at the largest prisons, perhaps showing what Paper Tigesr the police and military really are... Most of the escapees are thought to have gone to North Waziristan, leading me to ask just who is going to have to feed and clothe over 300 new members? Does this mean that the opium harvests went well this year? Or will the Pakistani government now reverse itself and ask the US to please send in some more drones into North Waziristan? And how do we really know it was the Taliban who freed those prisoners? How do we know if it wasn't a bunch of CIA mercenaries that freed them, therby insuring that they'd have jobs for the next few years, roaming through the tribal areas and playing whack-a-mole?

Part of the US's problem, is that there are elements that don't want our wars to end, mostly those that benefit from the Pentagon's war budget. If we pull out of Afghanistan, take our drones back out of Yemen and Somalia, where else will we be able to deploy them, except on ourselves? Should we let the states of Arizona or Florida develop a drone of their own, as the redneck solution to the immigration problem and racial profiling? It's bad enough that each year, more returning servicemen commit suicide than have lost their lives in  Iraq and Afghanistan...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No More Shitty Santorum Jokes Here, Disbarred In Arizona

Joseph P Kennedy ll

"President Obama has signed into law a bill that bans members of Congress from insider trading. However, they are still allowed to mishandle campaign funds, cheat on their wives, and kill the occasional drifter." – Jay Leno

“Newt Gingrich says he still has a chance. He say people walk up to him all the time and beg him to stay in the presidential race. It’s a group of people known as Democrats.” – Conan O'Brien

"The FBI is reporting that American universities are being infiltrated by foreign spies. They say everyone should be on the lookout for any student who's paying attention and taking notes." – Conan O’Brien

The link above to Joseph Kennedy's opinion piece is in the NY Times. I can easily link to it because I have a subscription, but I'm not sure if the website will let other people read their material for free. It's one reason why I stopped adding links to opinion writers at the top of each post, because I disagree with paying for reading their websites. I subscribe to the printed paper version of the NY Times, which I love to read while drinking a cup of coffee each morning, and because I'm a grouchy old man trying to exist on medical disability retirement and can't afford much... Anyway, its about time someone else, other than myself, wrote about the evils of commodity speculation, or futures trading, and the rising prices in gasoline and the food you buy. Instead of gambling at the poker table, commodity traders are betting on your tank of gas and bowl of cereal. Wall Street has created a virtual world with no socially redeeming value other than they make money that you pay for in the end, yet very few people have protested about such a blatant rip-off...

To be honest, I was surprised that Rick Santorum lasted this long in the primary process. It must be a testament to how far to the right the Republican Party has drifted. Now, Mit Romney's campaign can shake things up like an etch-a-sletch, and redraw their candidate in more moderate tones, and Mr Santorum can go back to being the international Internet symbol for anal leakage. That's right, now if you call someone a santorum, it means that they are worse than a douche... Maybe, with the remaining states left to elect delegates, Ron Paul might have a resurgence, after all, its now between him and a much subdued Newt Gingrich.

 I like Ron, but he has several factors going against him. One: he looks like one of the puppets I use at the beginning of my post; I expect his nose to grow with each public appearance. Two: he's from Texas, an ignorant place run by good-old-boy politics. No matter how much Rick Perry now says he was on painkillers when he made all of his gaffes, it doesn't hide the fact how stupid the man is. Three: Ron has some good ideas, but it's his crazier ideas that worries me, letting him near so much nuclear arsenals. If you want to know just how crazy the environment he creates can be, listen to his son Rand talk... Batshit personified.

As for Newt, the whole country now knows him as a blustery, egotistical, incredibly bad politician unsuited for any kind of public office. He's pretended to be an intellectual history professor, but few remember that he taught at some obscure college in Georgia, and was let go from that job when his peers voted not to give him tenure, an act that was eerily repeated when he was kicked out of Congress for screwing up as Speaker of the House... Which means that we're left with Mit Romney, a man who cannot tell the truth even if his life depended on it.

Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, has lost one of his cronies, a valuable member of his posse. An ethics review board has ruled that the former county district attorney, Andrew Thomas, will be disbarred as a result of violating the rules of conduct for lawyers. Andrew had been a naughty boy, in that he launched criminal investigations against two county employees and one judge, whose only crimes were they had publicly been critical of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The investigations were announced to embarras and publicly humiliate the officials. Andrew still thinks he did nothing wrong, and that he is a victim of a political witch-hunt.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio first came to our attention when he created a tent city for over-flowing prisoners, and for giving them all pink underwear. He then tried to turn that publicity into making some money, writing a book and calling himself the Toughest Sheriff in America. Joe also tried to market his famous pink underwear as a fundraiser for the sheriff's posse, but refused to tell where the money went, which was into his own pockets. He has become more strident over the years, and is now under federal investigation for violating his prisoner's rights. Hey, it can get hot in those tents, one time the temperature was recorded at 145 degrees, and the prisoner's shoes began to melt... Now, Sheriff Joe seems more like a small, minor egotistical blip overshadowed by the rest of the crap coming out of Arizona. I mean, pink underwear says you are a tough guy???

Monday, April 9, 2012

Russian Travesty, American Strip-Search

“Did you hear about this? According to a new book coming out, Governor Rick Perry of Texas used painkillers to help him get through the Republican debates. Hey pal, join the club!” – Jay Leno

“According to this new book, Perry had back surgery, and he's now saying that his campaign was derailed by pain pills. Now don't confuse that with Herman Cain's campaign, which was derailed by Viagra pills. That was a totally different deal.” – Jay Leno

“President Obama signed a bill preventing members of Congress from profiting from insider trading. Didn't you think that was already illegal?” – Jay Leno

“So they were profiting from insider information. Why didn't they use inside information to pay off the $15 trillion debt?” – Jay Leno

When a system is corrupt, there is no justice. This is true everywhere around the world, from Sanford, Florida, now being patrolled by a white neo-Nazi group, to the mean streets of Moscow, Russia. Now that Putin has safely been elected, his corrupt friends are using the courts to whitewash their crimes.

Sergei L. Magnitsky was a 37 year-old lawyer who worked for an investment fund based in London. He brought charges in Russian court that a group of officials had set up shell companies and used his investment fund as a front for stealing over $230 million from the Russian treasury. When such a thing as this happened in Afghanistan, everyone just shrugged it off and ignored any charges. But in Mother Russia, where they never forgive or forget, the same officials had the lawyer, Mr Magnitsky arrested and thrown in prison. Instead of living to fight another day, he promptly died.

Evidently, a scapegoat had to be found, so the two prison doctors were arrested and charged with neglecting Mr Magnitsky's health, of which they were convicted. A travesty of justice, I hear you say, but at least one wheel of justice seemed to be working... But Russia's top investigative agency has just released one of the prison doctors, Larisa A. Litvinova, saying that the statute of limitations had run out on the case. Friends of Mr Magnitsky are not happy, and are being quite vocal in their opposition. In response, the Russian government, which doesn't seem to mind being ripped off for such a huge amount, has also announced that it is thinking of refiling the criminal charges against Sergei Magnitsky... I guess they can dig him up from his grave and do something else sicko and revulsive, as long as it besmirches what reputation is left to his name... I also hear that Putin is thinking of making polonium 210 the national radioactive element of Russia...

Speaking of travesties of justice, my sister and I have been arguing the last few days over the Supreme Court's decision that all police can order you to be strip-searched, whenever they bring your sorry ass down to the station. Yes, this can easily be misused as a tactic for humiliation, and I'm sure it will be used for just that an awful lot. But, my sister was employed as a nurse in a Texas prison, and she says that the wisest thing to do for everyone coming into the prison is to be strip-searched.

She told me that many women will hide drugs, knives or other weapons, or their jewelry up inside their vajay-jays, and you can never tell what-all you might find up there... She also offered that the cleanliness habits are rather low on some, and the combination of contraband, rotting plastic baggies, and stewing body juices make for some of the worst smells she's ever encountered. And yes, men will shove knives and things up their butts, too.

So, I guess I'll try to be gracious about it, the next time I'm brought in by our hard-working boys in blue. A little lube maybe the best I can hope for... Of course, our boys in blue these days have to be coaxed to respond to such low-level problems such as traffic accidents or domestic violence. My brother-in-law got rear-ended last night, while parked at the supermarket. The other driver thought she had her Chevy Blazer in reverse, but it was actually in drive when she gave it some gas, leaped over the concrete divider and across the aisle into the back of his parked car. The police didn't want to respond because the accident took place on "private" property. My brother-in-law was insistent that they send an officer, because the other driver was a sixteen-year-old girl, driving without a license, and he wasn't sure if her insurance company was real or not. Luckily, he made it home without being strip-searched, and I presume the girl did, too... But, it was dicey there for a few moments, you could see it in the policeman's eyes...

Friday, April 6, 2012

Poking At The Patriarch And The Pope

“Recently at the White House, President Obama admitted he's a Trekkie. Although Trekkies say he doesn't qualify because he has a wife and a job.” – Conan O’Brien

“Last night Mitt Romney went three for three by winning the primaries in Maryland, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C. Not to be outdone, Rick Santorum went three for three by offending women, atheists, and Latinos.” – Jimmy Fallon

“There is a strange new law making its way through the Arizona Legislature that would make it illegal to post negative comments on the Internet. The penalty for annoying or offending someone is up to six months in jail. That is good. They're always saying the prisons aren't full enough.” – Jimmy Kimmel

One of the most popular e-mailed stories reported in the New York Times today, deals with greed and corruption and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. It's so lame and in-your-face that you might think that they hired Karl Rove to create the denials.

"Editors doctored a photograph on the church’s Web site of the leader, Patriarch Kirill I, extending a black sleeve where there once appeared to be a Breguet timepiece worth at least $30,000. The church might have gotten away with the ruse if it had not failed to also erase the watch’s reflection, which appeared in the photo on the highly glossed table where the patriarch was seated."

Bloggers had caught the mistake and ridiculed the church, so much that it issued an apology and restored the wristwatch. Unfortunately, before the apology was issued, the Patriarch himself, gave an interview to a  journalist known for sucking up to the Kremlin, and said that it must be some form of hijinks, because he's never worn such an expensive watch, ever, ever, in his whole life. But, yes, it seems that he did, indeed own one...

The Russian Orthodox Church has been squirming itself back into the average citizen's life, now claiming influence in health care, education and politics. The patriarch publicly supported Vladimir Putin during the last election, and bloggers have been publishing rumors that he also owns a country house, a yacht, and like to take skiing trips to Switzerland. When asked, the Patriarch denied it all, saying that he was just rehearsing for the church's latest production of Patriarchs On Ice, coming to an arena near you soon... It's going to take awhile for the Russian Orthodoxes to plunder and hoard away enough wealth to once again rival the Catholic Church, but it seems that they are right on track...

Not to be outdone in the craven department, the Pope lashed out at his fellow priests, showing how he earned the nickname "God's Rottweiler." I only know him as the Nazi Pope, because of his membership in a World War 11 era German youth group... Anyway, the Pope is displeased that there are priests out there who are wont to disobey his wishes, and continue to advocate ordaining women and ending celibacy for priests.

These radical ideas have been spread around by an Austrian group called the Preacher's Initiative, who also would like the Holy Communion to be given to divorced Catholics who have remarried without an annulment and who drive hybrid cars. The group has been endorsed by over 400 priests, and the Vatican fears that it could cause a schism within the church... Right now its merely causing a mere sense of alienation, difference, disagreement, discord, dissension, disunion, division, divorce, faction, fissure, fracture, gap, parting, rift, rupture within the church... In no uncertain terms, the Pope, speaking while sitting on a golden throne, said that these priests, instead of being driven by their own preferences and ideas, should instead turn to a "radicalism of obedience."

Either the Pope doesn't want to be questioned about these ideas, or he really wants to keep the child molesters in the closet, doesn't want them to stalk young boys in the light of day, even if ending celibacy would either contribute more to that situation or help alleviate it... Needless to say, I am neither a Catholic nor Russian Orthodox...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Birthday North Korea

“Welcome, lotto losers. Remember, you're not just losers. You're mega-losers! If it makes you feel any better, the odds of winning were 176 million to 1 — about the same odds the Supreme Court will pass Obamacare.” – Jay Leno

“Despite being broke and coming in last in the polls, Newt Gingrich says he's in the race for the long haul, describing himself as ‘the tortoise in the race.’ The tortoise! See if he picks Donald Trump as his running mate they could be ‘the tortoise and the hair.’” – Jay Leno
"George Zimmerman's family has been all over TV this week. The dad told Fox News that the real problem is so much hate coming from Obama. You know what, man. Obama has drones and Seal Team Six. If he hated you, you'd know about it." – Bill Maher

Sometime next week, North Korea will be launching a long-range, polar orbiting missile. It has invited observers from the US to watch, but we have declined, since it's better for us to make ultimatums and throw hissy fits from a distance. North Korea is saying that the missile is for scientific purposes, to help map resources on the Korean Peninsula, and to bolster communications, yet the fear is that it will a an inter-continental ballistic missile test, instead.

North Korea makes a combination of good reasons for this missile along with some downright silly ones, which begs the question why do countries like North Korea and Iran feel that their pride and identity as a country is at stake, if they are successful or not??? Asia Times reported on this press release, the four reasons why North Korea feels it must launch this missile:

"Firstly, the satellite launch has long been planned as part of nationwide celebrations for Kim Il-sung's centenary. No one can stand in its way.
Secondly, firing a satellite into orbit is pursuant to the will of the late, great fatherly leader Kim Jong-il. For the Korean people, there is no disobeying it.
Thirdly, the Kim Jong-eun administration is only exercising its inalienable right of sovereignty. For Pyongyang to yield to outside pressure and demur on the planned satellite would suggest that North Koreans are not as proud a people as they are.
Fourthly, the payload mounted on the Unha (Milky Way) rocket is a polar-orbiting observation satellite. It is designed to transmit important prospecting data on the underground resources of the Korean Peninsula, as well as weather and mapping data."

So, we can see that they are going to launch this missile to save face for some insane dead guy, who officially began their special form of institutionalized paranoia over 40 years ago. But never fear, because the US has at least one fleet prowling the area, and the Japanese, who never have had a paranoid event in their history, will have their own missiles pointed at the North Koreans and their harmless rocket, no need to worry, what could go wrong? And here I thought that Syria or Israel would spark the next world war...

We just haven't figured out if the new Kim is more level-headed than his father and grandfather, and if the hoary old generals will let him make decisions for his country. They already decided to let people starve and launch this missile instead, ruining a deal where the US would send them some food. Enjoy that incredibly large firework, and remember, that we are all just waiting for some lame excuse to shoot it down from the sky... After all, the worst they could do with a successful long range missile, is sell it to Iran...

If you;ve never seen a rocket launch into polar orbit, it really is quite beautiful. A few years ago I worked outside at night in California, and happened to watch a missile leave our atmosphere at two o;clock in the morning. At first, I thought that I was watching a meteor, until I realized that it was going in the other direction, upwards towards space. It took several minutes before it winked out and disappeared as it left our atmosphere. My father told me the next day that the Air Force Base at Lompoc often fired missiles to send satellites into polar orbit, and what I saw had been launched over 400 miles away. I was actually able to see this one more time about three months later, which somehow made the job I was doing seem alright...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

But Hillary, Surely You Can't Be Syrians...

“This weekend 71-year-old former Vice President Dick Cheney received a heart transplant. And I thought this was nice — they let him shoot the donor himself.” – Jay Leno

“Fox News sent Dick Cheney flowers. MSNBC sent chili cheese fries.” – Jay Leno
“Dick Cheney was talking to a reporter right after the surgery and he said he wants to live long enough to make sure nobody else gets healthcare.” – David Letterman

David Letterman’s “Top Ten Questions To Ask Yourself Before Spending $50 On A Photo With Newt Gingrich”

10. How much have I paid for pictures with other guys named Newt?
9. Should I just photograph myself burning $50?
8. Do I look Newty enough?
7. Should I just get a free photo with some other guy who's not going to be president?
6. Do I have to touch him?
5. Is this how Newt met his three wives?
4. Seriously, have I lost my mind?
3. Does Newt have to be in the photo?
2. What would Rick Santorum think of this idea?
1. Will Rush Limbaugh think I'm a slut?

The Syrian revolution is now officially over, Assad and his government have won. George W Bush came out and gave his verbal support for the Syrian opposition, so the show is over, I hear the fat lady singing... Short of a full NATO invasion, it's obvious that there is no way that the opposition will ever win, and Assad is willing to raze many large cities to achieve his goal. Unfortunately, the only other way that any reforms will take place is if Assad is assassinated, no matter what Hillary Clinton and the Saudis say.

The latest UN inspired cease fire is supposed to be happening now, and so far the Syrian government has ignored it like all previous agreements. Tanks still roam the mean streets of Homs, and refugees still try to flee across the border. The excuse given is that they will wait until life returns to normal before they pull out. The opposition has  been asking for more weapons in a last ditch effort to legitimize their position. The Saudi foreign minister has said that the arming of the opposition should be their duty...

There is no win-win solution here, just as there was no obvious goal achieved in Iraq or Afghanistan, and the natural consequence is that people are getting tired of the US meddling and trying to influence events in the Middle East, unless it can keep Israel from attacking Iran... We tried to hold Egypt hostage by trading a few people that were about to go to trial for updated weapons systems and $1.5 billion in annual foreign aid. Polls taken in Cairo show that a majority of the people no longer want freebies and gift money from the US because they don't want to be beholden to our interests. Even when we think we are doing good, like helping to build democracy, we tend to be overbearing and smothering.

One of those overbearing non-government organizations, the National Democratic Institute, which is also a CIA front, was shut down in Egypt and is under investigation. Over the weekend the government of Bahrain revoked its license to work in their country, without giving a reason. The NDI was using Bahrain as a base for running programs in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait. Back in Washington, the head of NDI could only describe the programs it funds in vague terms, but wanted us to know that they included working with women to bolster their leadership skills. It joins over 600 other organizations that suck up donations and money from our government that you pay for with tax dollars. I'm thinking that a good place to start limiting government spending is to stop funding these fake organizations run by cynical liars... If you think that I'm being too harsh, just do what the Egyptian government is doing, asking for a list of projects they have funded, how long they have been functioning, and the current status of each project. I would be surprised if there were over six working projects in all of Iraq and Afghanistan, and those require millions of dollars in annual maintenance...