Monthly Archives: September 2011

Tell me again

why it’s okay for you – or your children – not to wear a seat belt? Think it won’t happen to you? So did these people:

“A Janesville man was killed and another injured when their pickup truck rolled over, ejecting both the driver and his passenger. Neither was wearing safety belts.”

“15-year-old driver not wearing seatbelt ejected and killed”

A Waterloo Ill woman “was not wearing a seat-belt and was ejected from the vehicle.  She was pronounced dead at the scene.”

“two children who were ejected were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. One of the children, police say, is young enough to be in a car seat”

“An 11-year-old girl, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the passenger side of one of the vehicles and was transported by ambulance to the hospital with serious, potentially life-threatening injuries.”

“On Friday, police cited Addison W. Smith, of Wagener, for not wearing a seat belt. Early Sunday morning, as investigators approached the 20-year-old’s overturned Chevrolet S-10 pickup, they saw Smith ejected from the vehicle . Again, Smith was not wearing a seat belt, according to a news release from Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton, who pronounced Smith dead at the scene from severe head trauma.”

“Drivers not wearing a seat belt are seven times more likely to die in a crash.”

So go ahead. Tell me why it’s okay.

Thought for the Day

People with Buns of Steel will always have trouble getting through airport security.

Follow the Money

Some things astound me. Leave me gobsmacked and speechless. This is one of them:

“When Reneau dropped out of the University of Oklahoma in 1981 to marry her sweetheart Dale and have a baby, she thought it was a temporary detour from her college degree.

‘I always promised myself when my baby was 5, I would go back (to college), but I just kept having babies [ELEVEN of them]. I’m not Mormon, I’m not Catholic; I use birth control. I didn’t know what caused it.'”

Seriously? I mean – seriously? Who does she think she’s kidding? Can we fill in the blanks here? Because I’m sorry but either 1) she’s lying or 2) she really wanted to keep popping out babies so conveniently “forgot” to take her pill.

So anyway – the story is about how she went back to school at age 50 (big whoop) and is now commuting to grad school at Harvard. From Oklahoma. And then, to add insult to injury, the story says this: “Personal finance expert Carmen Wong Ulrich appeared on TODAY alongside Reneau, and told Morales the key to Reneau’s success is having a family willing to work with her to achieve her goals.”

Oh Puh-LEEZ!!!! Two paragraphs earlier the story disclosed how she does it:  “She makes the mind-boggling 4,000-mile round trip commute from Oklahoma City to Boston each Monday to take her class, with husband Dale pinch-hitting for her until she returns home Tuesday mornings. Reneau found a private benefactor to pay the considerable costs of her commute and college expenses.

Give me a break! If I could find “a private benefactor” like that, I’d be at Harvard too. Who wouldn’t???

(The real story here is how to get someone with lots of money to give some of it to you. Why didn’t they write about that? Because then I’d be richer instead of speechless and incredibly annoyed.)

P.S. Why is it that when white women pop out large numbers of babies we applaud them and put them on television but when black women do it we call them welfare queens?

Please Don’t Shoot the Messenger

Article II (of what’s called the Bill of Rights): “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

This is Yoda speak for: listen, we just overthrew unilateral rule by a monarchy so we’re a little touchy on the subject of subjugation. Right now, as a loose coalition of states, the only thing between us and being conquered by outsiders is our ability to grab our trusty single-shot, muzzle-loading musket from the closet and run out the door to meet up with the other guys in town to repel invaders. After all, it’s not like we have a standing army to defend us and we’re a little leery of losing our state rights so we want to keep the right to have our own militia thank you very much.

Yes, Mrs. Higgins knows you slept through this chapter because you flunked the quiz and frankly my dear, she doesn’t give a damn (that you flunked the quiz because you need consequences but she does care whether you grasp basic concepts like this because conservatives and wingnuts like the N.R.A. have really got this screwed up).

Newsflash to wingnuts and nut jobs: what you call the “Second Amendment” and the “right to keep and bear arms” referred to the states’ right to maintain a civilian militia. That’s it. Nothing more or less than that. I don’t care what some lily-livered, weak-kneed, spineless judges have said in deference to powerful lobbyists, it was not an unlimited birth right to maintain a personal arsenal bigger than most NATO nations currently have stockpiled. Nor does it mean you should be able to pack heat whenever and wherever you want.

And if you disagree then consider moving to Somalia or some other delightfully unregulated gun market in Africa. Please. I hear they even let you have your own weapons grade plutonium over there. And SAM’s. And other essential hunting tools. Send us your forwarding address when you get there so we know which country to avoid.

So yes – the government should be able to regulate gun ownership and possession. Including what guns you can own. And what training you should have. And what kind of ammo. Because if you choose to hunt that’s entirely up to you but I really don’t think that going after Bambi with an AK-47 is sportsmanlike conduct. And if you want a handgun as part of your personal home protection plan, that’s fine, so long as you don’t decide you want to take it to the local mall and start slaughtering people. Or get mad because your wife is going to divorce you so you chase her down and shoot her and several co-workers who made the mistake of coming to work sick that day because their employer doesn’t offer paid sick leave. Or get drunk and pissed off at a local bar. Or leave it where one or more young children can find it and start to play cowboy with the neat toy. Or decide it’s okay to shoot the purse snatcher in the back as he flees. Bang, bang.

Because nobody needs assault rifles like the AR-15 used in the Colorado massacre. Or high-capacity 100 round magazines.

What’s that? The N.R.A. says that infringes on your second amendment rights? See what I mean about them being wingnuts?

Say Again?

Newspaper story:  “Flashes from cameras along with 450 fans filled the 630-seat house.”

So if the theater has 630 seats. And only 450 people. Doesn’t that leave 180 empty seats? Or mean that the theater is only 71% full? Or 29% empty? But certainly far from “filled”?

Or am I not existential enough to understand what the writer is really saying, that the light from a camera flash expands to fill the existing space? So if enough cameras flash in an empty theater, it’s a full house?

Suddenly I understand what really happened to the news business. They started hiring people who just make stuff up.

This explains a lot. I have a hunch the same thing happened in politics.

News stories you know you will have to read:

“Wisconsin Man Drowns In Lawnmower Accident”

“Exploding Toilet Injures Woman”

“Praying Driver Survives Flying Sledgehammer”

“Firearms Instructor Shoots Self”

“Terrified Family Rescued From Corn Maze”

“Man Rear-Ends State Trooper While Drunk, Texting”

“Man Crushed By Car During Theft Attempt”

The Koch Brothers’ Bible Thumpin’ Rootin’ Tootin’ Revival Meetin’ Machine

Ladeeeez and Gentlemen, step right up, step right up. Listen and learn. I know you’ve been suffering. I feel your pain. You’ve felt lost and alone, not knowing which way to turn in these troubled times, times in which, through no fault of your own, you may be struggling to survive.

Well, I’m here to let you know that you’ve come to the right place. There are thousands, yea, millions of people just like you, all looking for answers to what troubles them. And this is your lucky day because we, the people at the Club for American Heritage Growth and Prosperity, hold in our hands the very answers which you seek including telling you who is to blame.

You’re frightened. And you should be. Not only our country, but our entire way of life is under attack, threatened by people who want to destroy us simply because we are the greatest nation that has ever existed. But we are only great – will only be great – when we remain true to the values of our Founding Fathers. And we know what those values are. Or were. Because those values are whatever we say they are. Why? Because we know that history, unlike the Ten Commandments, was not carved in stone. Which means that we can change history, literally remake it into whatever we wish it had been or anything else that suits us.

And right now what suits us is to say that the Founding Fathers believed in small government and personal liberty. Except for reproductive liberty. Then we need less liberty and more government intrusion. But other than that we need to eliminate government regulations and burdensome taxes on the rich, for the rich are the Job Creators. And the Founding Fathers knew that regulations and taxes kill jobs and keep the free market from working as it should to allow the Job Creators to earn greater profits  and keep the country prosperous and on the right track under God, so long as those tracks carry no high speed trains.

Because the Founding Fathers were all God-fearing white Christians who spoke English and expected all Americans to do likewise. So they built this nation as a God-fearing white Christian, English speaking country and they would have put that in the Constitution but they didn’t think they needed to. They never could have envisioned how far astray we have traveled from their ideals, where women demand equal pay and schools offer bilingual education and homosexuals think they should have the same rights as normal people.

But you are not one of the many who have abandoned personal responsibility in favor of entitlements. Because of us, you believe in the right to work and know that social security is a Ponzi scheme and your retirement funds should be handled by Wall Street investment firms. And that the best health care is the one the government doesn’t control.

Yes, you are among friends; you are among family. We welcome you with open arms and reassure you with soothing words, just like your mother did when you were a child frightened by the bogeyman hiding in your closet. The only difference is that this time the bogeyman is real.

My friend, he’s as real as you and me and he has a dark army of union thugs behind him which must be stopped at any cost. You know who he is. Yes, the head bogeyman is none other than that liberal socialist Democrat Muslim Kenyan extremist in the White House, Barack Hussein Obama. Why do we say that? Because we want to and it works. You believe it without question even though we just make this stuff up and you don’t really know what socialism is.

Well I’ll tell you what it is: it’s a bad thing. It means the government wants to take everything away from you including your guns and the right to choose your own doctor. You’ll have death panels deciding to set you adrift on an ice floe instead of our free market system which gives you the freedom to die when you can’t afford the life-saving medical treatment you need. A government that forces you to wear seat belts and deprives you of your God given right to pump your sewage into the water supply and drive off a cliff if you want to because it should be your decision in an unregulated free market society so help you God.

So we need to take back our country from the liberal socialist Democrats who want to tax and spend us into oblivion, the same socialists who believe people descended from chimpanzees and spread the myth that “climate change” and “global warming” are responsible for the increasingly deadly hurricanes and storms and tornadoes and floods and fires and droughts and heat, when we all know that no one has ever shown carbon dioxide is dangerous or else why would they put it into fire extinguishers? Because we know that God, who is on our side, is just sending a message that they are on the wrong path and need to turn back to the Lord and let us drill, baby, drill, because the righteous shall prevail but only with your generous support so send your donation to the Club for American Heritage Growth and Prosperity and we will spend it as we see fit and you’ll never know exactly how but you’ll sleep easier knowing that we have our best interests at heart.

Please Explain

Dear Republicans,

You keep saying stuff that just doesn’t make any sense to me so I beg of you, please help me understand.

You say we need to take our country back. Could you tell me who actually took it and where they put it? You have me worried  because my town seems to be exactly where it’s always been so if I’ve been drugged and moved to China while I was snoozing I sure would like to know about it.

And you say we need to deregulate because regulations are job killers. This has me confused. What jobs have been killed and which regulations killed them? And which regulations do you want to end?

  • The ones that keep our air and water clean?
  • The ones that prohibit forced labor?
  • The ones that govern workplace safety and working conditions?
  • The ones that keep our food from poisoning us?
  • The one that make medicines safe and effective?
  • The ones that prevent buildings from falling down?
  • The ones that keep our children alive?
  • The ones that assure a minimum level of competency in licensed professionals?
  • The ones that keep our highways and transportation systems safe to use?

So please – tell me exactly which regulations you don’t think are necessary and why.

This next one is a biggie. Your mantra. Cut taxes on the rich and on corporations. I’m REALLY interested in this one.

You keep saying that high taxes are the reason for all of our problems, from the global economic meltdown to job flight to swine flu. And you say it even when taxes on those groups are at historic lows. And even though everyone – even [trumpets blare] Reagan’s economic advisors admit trickle down doesn’t work. And even though, historically, economic downturns always follow tax cuts on those groups, and economic prosperity follows tax increases on those groups. And you say that cutting taxes on the rich and corporations is the key to our salvation. Even though nobody has ever been able to show a correlation between lower corporate taxes and job growth.

So if what you’re saying is really true, you should have lots of well documented, tangible proof showing it. Which you wouldn’t mind sharing.

So could you please send me a copy?

And the defense budget. You say we have to cut government spending. Except for the defense budget. Which we should never cut and in fact should probably increase. Which really confuses me. Especially when combined with your insistence on smaller government. Exactly how do we get a smaller government by spending more money on defense? And why exactly can’t we cut the defense budget?

And on the subject of government size, why do you insist government is the problem and we need less of it while at the same time you keep enlarging it? And as you demand less regulation, why do you keep adding regulations about my uterus? That’s right: the very first thing you do when demanding fewer regulations is to add regulations about reproduction, including mandating probes inserted into my vagina. What’s up with that? And PLEASE do not tell me it’s to protect me from more trauma. I know trauma: I’ve been sexually assaulted.

If you want to probe my vagina, it’s only fair that all male Republicans have to be probed first, don’t you think? And if not, why not?

Thank you and please let me know when I can expect the courtesy of your reply.