Can I Have an Extra Day Please, with Sugar?

Everybody has those kinda days. When you get up already behind. This is usually the result of “sleeping in”. I’m a 7 am kinda person. I find that a humane time to arise. Some days, I don’t quite make it. Thus, I’m behind.

Tomorrow, I’m shopping, so I’m not sure I’ll get to blogging.

The Contrarian, however, puts his time to good use. He’s a thinker. Remember his desire to hold a thinkathon? Much easier than having a walkathon he thought.

When he thinks too much, well, I usually get concerned. His latest “breakthrough” is a humdinger.

The Contrarian has long pondered the existence of the soul. That has led him to toil in the backyard of the differences between humans and other animals. That place, he contends is where one might locate the seat of our divine connection. With me so far?

The places tred by medical men and women, philosophers, and theologians. What of the soul?

And, as I said, he thinks he has had a breakthrough.

He asks this question:

Is there any other animal but humans who react with distaste to the fart?

I know, its blasphemous. It’s crazy. It’s absurd, illogical, and downright unpretty. It is the Contrarian. Don’t blame me. I’m just reporting the news.

If’n you didn’t know, the right-wing religious are, as you know, against abortions. And they are very against Planned Parenthood, and they devise all manner of nasty things to “prove” that PPH should be shut down. One of their more ingenious methods is to claim that PPH is about the business of genocide of the African-American population. This because statistically more black women obtain abortions than white or Latino.

Now the fact that this has to do with poverty and lack of access to medical information and contraception at the same level as their more wealthy white counterparts is ignored. No, it’s so much easier to suggest that PPH has as an unstated goal, the destruction of an entire people.

I imagine that the NAACP and other African-American groups are so grateful to the white folk for being so concerned for them. Yes, I guess we can all be grateful to those benevolent white people.

Roger Ebert talks about what he understands as the Universe and evolution. It’s a lovely piece. Makes ya feel all warm inside for reasons I cannot explain. Least it do for me.

See, now we know that serendipity is real. I mean, after writing about the Contrarian and his “breakthrough” I come across this article: Natural History of the Soul. Nicholas Humphrey argues that spirituality is essential to consciousness. Read it in The New Humanist. Humphrey is an evolutionary psychologist, and he’s written a book called Soul Dust: The Magic of Consciousness. Looks like a very interesting read.

If there were any question about the agenda of Mikey Huckster, read on. It seems Mikey attended one of those uber right-wing  conferences, one that featured pseudo-historian David Barton and his revisionist history of the founding of this country. Why Mikey was just adoring of said Barton and said the following:

 “I almost wish that there would be, like, a simultaneous telecast, and all Americans would be forced–forced at gunpoint no less–to listen to every David Barton message, and I think our country would be better for it.”

Of course, in the “official” video of the event, the “joke” was scrubbed. And of course, Mikey meant every word, until he realized it wouldn’t play well outside his crazy base.

Good news to report. I don’t have a link, but I’ve heard or read it in so many places that it is obviously true. The teabagger phenom is beginning to wane. Their unfavorables are now above their favorables. Which is all the more amusing since the Prez wannabes are all still dancing like marionettes to the teabagger tune, afraid to pirouette too far from the dark force. 

This is causing all sorts of problems with the budget. Word is that Boehner wants desperately to make a deal rather than shut down the government, but he dare not piss off the wonkettes, who are picketing in Washington, even as we speak. Well, we all knew this would happen didn’t we?

And who might you ask is riding to the rescue? None other than boy wonder Eric Cantor. Cantor has introduced a bill that will be voted on in the House on Friday, entitled, “Government Shutdown Prevention Act.” What it does it tell the Senate to act on the budget bill before the deadline and if it doesn’t the House passed bill will become the law of the land.

Yes, you heard that right. Cantor is simply tearing the Constitution up and making up his own new one. Yes, that’s some pretty strict construction there Mr. Cantor. Uh…do you dance too?

What’s on the Stove? Fajitahs!

Laughing Around the World

Well, HI!

Half way through another week, and on Friday I’ll be heading to town to stock up on grub. That’s what we in Iowa call food. A sack of flour, a sack of sugar, some bags of beans, some salt pork, you know the routine.

Meanwhile, from my telescope on the world, I see things are still in basically a chitty mess. Everyone is babbling the same old rhetoric, the same lies are perpetrated by the same suspects, the same folks seek power at anyone’s expense, the same folks hold on for dear life.

Everyone pretty much “speaks for the American People” without ever calling me and asking me anything. Some how they think they are speaking for me. They seldom are.

Shouldn’t our computers have a “bad news” filter? Just a thought.

Okay, I saw this little cute thing over at Joe.My.God. I copied it. Enjoy it.

 ♦

Andy Borowitz discovered that Fox Noise has inadvertently helped Qaddafi recently. Read down the right column of “featured stories” about how Qaddafi has solved his “journalist” problem. Fox is good for something. Can we now try them as traitors?

A blog called AngryBlackLadyChronicles has some amusing poetry she composed about Michele (oh my achin’ mind) Bachmann. The site is amusing, worth a look in any case. Smart, sassy writing. I pray every single day, please let the wonka woman run for the presidency. . .oh pretty please God! [h/t to Crooks and Liars]

Joe Klein is a good writer. He, during the 2008 campaign, finally exposed John McCain for the self-centered, mean ugly little wart that he was. Since then, he has continued to call it as he sees it. While the wacked out GOP continues to pepper every speech with flag-waving “American exceptionalism” rhetoric, Joe has a different take. It is a great read!

Is there a fundamental difference between the way Democrats and Republicans govern? Some suggest that Democrats focus on substantive legislation around important policy items, like energy, health care, business regulation. Republicans on the other hand focus on increasing their power base–thus the moves to defund NPR, defund the EPA, increasingly regulate abortions, all designed to make their base happy and keep everyone in line on their side. MoJo has an interesting post by Kevin Drum.

Hooray! There is still hope for America. A recent PPP poll said that PBS is the “most trusted news outlet in the US, and Fox has fallen badly. Fox finds itself about equal to NBC and CNN, and drawing up the rear is ABC and CBS. A 12 point change in moderates accounts for much of Fox’s loss. And that is a very good sign. Finally word is getting out that Fox blatantly lies to support its right-wing agenda.

What’s on the Stove? fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn

Endangered Species: WASPS

We’ve had this discussion before. The teabuggers are quick to insist that they are not racists. No they really aren’t. They can’t help it if the only rational people who can understand their deep fear that Barack is a African Muslim are old white farts. They really can’t.

And we do believe them. Right?

What has puzzled me is why they are so darned much against things like population control? Why so against small families? Or no families? They suggest that somehow this is un-American.

And from their point it is. They point to that “command” to “go forth and multiple” and in their literalist way, smirk, that that is how God wants it. Indeed? Or perchance, is there something more, shall we say, “self-serving” at work?

A suspicion that that may be the case comes from Tea Party Nation itself. In an e-mail to its loyal followers, it speaks of a massive conspiracy, composed of all the lefties and their friends, designed to, well, do read on:

What is keeping America’s fertility rate up are immigrants – both legal and illegal. There are those in America who are continuously attacking the family, bent on redefining marriage and have established anti-family government programs. This has led to downward pressure on our national total fertility rate. All of these actions are done in the name of various causes such as: reducing unwanted pregnancies, delaying child bearing to further career goals and even promoting childlessness and promoting adoption as a better option. Child bearing has become something distasteful to many women, an unwanted and painful experience to be avoided rather than embraced. All of these programs, ideals and ideologies are doing one thing and one thing only – reducing America core TFR to the point of no return. The White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) population in America is headed for extinction and with it our economy, well-being and survival as a uniquely America culture. This county is dying not because it is aging, it is dying because of infertility as public policy.

Catch the last couple lines? If whitey goes, so goes the economy, well-being and survival as a uniquely American culture.  I mean wow. I mean don’t beat around the bush! Apparently those of brown, black, yellow, red, persuasions are incapable of sustaining an economy, a good life, or survival itself. One wonders how all those ancient civilizations have managed to endure down through the ages in their various ethnic trappings?

The orders have been issued: Breed you white ladies, breed! Life depends on it. And God® wants you to! [h/t to Joe.My.God.]

If there was any doubt about it, well, there never really was. The GOP and their masters, corporate America are in full assault on labor and its unions. We reported a few days ago about a Wisconsin professor was hit with a FIA to determine if he were engaged in any way with the unions in Wisconsin. Now a uber conservative think tank in Michigan has sent the same request to three professors who teach labor relations in universities in the state.

And in Wisconsin, a uber conservative wacko is running to unseat the “left-leaning” Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, calling her a “bitch” and that he will “destroy her.” He is being backed by Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council, which is organizing all the usual lying ads claiming that their toady will “keep politics out the Supreme Court.”

News Alert: this is not news. I don’t lie, but of course Foxy Noise does, and they are pretty darn honest in one respect. They aren’t afraid to admit it when smoozing with other like-minded uber wacko rightists on a rightist sponsored cruise ship vacation. Fox Washington Managing Editor, admitted he pushed a wildly speculative notion that Obama was a socialist during the run up to the 2008 election. He called it “mischievous speculation” that he personally thought was “far-fetched”.

All is fair in the name of winning an election it seems. And it’s not as if the Fox followers would know. They aren’t much for thinking for themselves beyond deciding on pizza versus fried chicken for dinner.

John McCain seems to have taken a page from his buddy Newt the garden slug. The both operate on the “whatever that black dude says, I say the opposite.” Case in point. A mere 19 months ago, said John of Sleazy  was supping with Moammar Qaddafi at his “ranch” in Libya and calling the meeting Interesting and Qaddafi the same. Now of course, he wants the President to “take him out.” [I can’t make the link for some reason, but it comes from The New Republic blog, and is entitled “That’s it, I’m never inviting John McCain to my house!”

Sarah, oh Sarah, life without you will never be as fun. Foxy had the Quitter on to talk about Libya. She is all for takin’ out that madman, how she doesn’t venture. But in a prized moment for us Sarah watchers, she pondered whether Libya was a war, an intervention or a squirmish. And I dare ya to refudiate that!

What’s on the stove: T-bones, salad, and parmesan roasted potatoes.

What God Has Joined, Let No Onion Put Assunder

We start with the premise that I am a reasonable person. That is essential to what follows. I am, reasonable that is. Trust me on that.

Now, the Contrarian and I have been married going on twelve years. They have been overwhelmingly happy years, at least as happy as any two people can be living in close proximity 24/7.

Part of the reason that we are happy, is that we are old enough to grant each other sufficient room to be ornery, or contrary if you will.

Now the Contrarian is so named because it is his cause celeb in life to be different just because. He’s always been this way. He is the two-year-old who never grew up. Questions are his life blood. And being the fly in the ointment is his delight.

I’m used to most of it. We don’t argue about toothpaste squishing methodology, we don’t argue about which way the toilet paper roll goes on. I pick up socks, wrenches, stray eyeglasses and return them to their appropriate places, all without complaint.

I’ve been schooled again and again in the fact that there is a top bun and a bottom bun to a hamburger, and the top one belongs firmly lodged against the roof of one’s mouth. I’ve had it explained to me again and again that “condiments go on top of the meat” although I prefer my onion under my meat. I’m told it’s simply the “right” way.

Similarly mustard doesn’t go on hamburgers, but only on hotdogs. And there is a reason that a BLT is called a BLT, it is not called a LBT although I insist on putting mine together in that manner.

Over the years, I’ve learned a number of these rules, even though I tend to nod to the directions and do things the way I want anyway. Still, I accommodate. I don’t dictate how HE makes his sandwich.

On issues that involve his areas of expertise, I defer, with a great amount of, I might say, deference. I listen raptly as he has instructed me in the proper art of fire making, in wood stacking, and so forth.

I expect, but don’t often get the same deference as to household duties. He makes the bed, rarely, but when he does, it is “his” way. This, from a man who served in our armed forces, and I KNOW they are really big on making beds correctly. Still, I remain silent.

But there is a place to draw the line! I must, or I do a disservice to all of womanhood around the globe.

THERE IS AND WILL ALWAYS BE, BUT ONE WAY TO CUT AN ONION!

There, I said it. Every woman knows I’m right.

An onion has a root and a top. You slice a small end off the top, put it down on that flat side, and slice it through the root in half. Then you make small slices across the face of the top end, making half slices. If you want dice, you slice parallel slices almost to the root across the onion and then turn and slice from the top end, creating perfectly equal dice.

This is not rocket science. It is the obvious recognition of the unique formation of an onion in concentric layers. This is not hard. It’s safe. It is efficient. It’s fast. It’s taking advantage of God’s gift of a perfectly designed vegetable.

“No, I don’t want to do it that way, I want slices!” he moans.

“Look,” I retort, “you have half slices, that’s good enough.”

“No it’s not! I want WHOLE slices,” he pouts.

“Well put two together facing each other, you mouth won’t know the difference,” I sneer.

“It’s not the same!” he whimpers defiantly.

“FINE!”

I thereafter stomped into the kitchen, grabbed the plastic container with his incorrectly cut onion in it, slamming it on the counter. A bit of masking tape and a magic marker finished the job.

“Here’s YOUR onion,” I screeched. Marked on the lid are the words “Parker’s Stupid Cut Onion.”

“And you will kindly confine your use of onions to YOUR container and leave MY onions alone!”

Sometimes, compromise is not acceptable. Sometimes you just have to stand on principle!

Thinking is Against the Law

I was one of those who believed that the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya was needed. I was and am all too aware of the dangers involved.

As predicted, those of the Right are not satisfied regardless. No matter what President Obama chose to do, it would be wrong and they would shout it out to their base.

Obama said American involvement in any leadership vein, would be short, a matter of days rather than weeks.

It seems he was truthful. Rebels have been able to retake the town of Ajdabiya. Given air support and the taking out of large artillery, they can fight Qaddafi forces and prevail. What is of even more significance is that Qatar and the UAE are both flying jets in the no-fly zone.

It may come to be that once again we have underestimated Barack Obama. I can but imagine that the naysayers those who are GOP presidential hopefuls and others are chewing their hats about now. They pray for failure to enhance their power. That’s the GOP way.

You may have missed this: Maine’s ReCorpricans are at it. The Guv, has declared that murals which depict Maine’s labor history will be taken down from the State Department of Labor. Additionally, conference rooms long named for labor leaders like Caesar Chavez are being changed, to reflect “pro business” goals. [h/t to Infidel753]

If you listen to Foxy Noise, or any of the typically wingnut GOP leadership, the power and prestige of the US is at an all time low, due to the “bungling foreign policy” of one Barack H. Obama. Oddly enough, that doesn’t seem to be the way the WORLD thinks of us. A Gallup poll suggests that we have rebounded quite nicely from the abysmal low Chimpy left us in to a respectable level once again. Read it and weep teabuggers. [h/t to Infidel753]

Guv Walker in Wisconsin has decided to defy a restraining order issued by a Madison judge, and has published the union killing bill anyway, giving rise to the question of whether it goes lawfully into effect or not. Under the Lobsterscope has the story with plenty of links.

Official Vatican teaching is one thing. American Catholics are quite another. Recent polling by PPPI shows what has been consistent in other polls (Pew for instance) for some time. Namely that Catholics in the US support LGBTQ rights including marriage at a higher rate than any Christian group.

The Progressive Catholic Voice reports that Catholics retain an “underlying social justice” position that prevails over the official teaching of the Church. I of course, applaud this fact. Basically most Catholics I think agree that Magisterial teaching is basic to formation of conscious, but as the writer states here, is not absolutely controlling. Primacy of conscience, long upheld by the Church itself, causes Catholics to weigh the circumstances alongside of doctrine and decide moral issues in light of many factors.

What’s on the stove? scallops with linguine in a lemon butter sauce, with foccacia and salad.

Whatever He said. . . .I Say the Opposite

This is the GOP mantra, and has been since the day after the 2008 election. Whatever the President says or does or doesn’t do, they immediately say the opposite. It’s the last part that keeps getting them in trouble.

Latest case in point:

Newty (the garden slug) Gingrich just can’t make up his mind on what to do about Libya. When we were doing nothing, he was for the US to step in. When we did, he was against it.

He said we could take care of the whole problem with air-power. Until we used air-power then he said it was a typical politician’s error to think that air power solves all problems.

In the end, Newt admits that his answers to these questions are simply “responses to what the President does.”

Ya see Newt, when the president doesn’t do something, and you say he should, it’s really bad form to then say he shouldn’t have. And then before he has done something, don’t tell him how he should do it, because when he does it, and does it that way, you end up saying he should know better not to do it that way.

Is this an Alzheimer’s moment Newt? Or are you just the hateful vindictive, wannabe that we really think you are?

Help! Infection alert!

Decontamination areas are being set up all over Iowa in anticipation of the likely bacterial infection set to enter the state.

Tomorrow gadzillions (make that a few dozen) really creepy and crazy people are set to have a day-long conference in Des Moines about who should be the GOP candidate. All manner of sleaze is attending, including M. Bachmann (crazy eyes), H. Barbour (racism is behind me), H. Cain (uncle Tom’s cousin), N. Gingrich (garden slug), R. Santorum (wontcha love me again?), J. Bolton (the stash is my cash), and well others.

All rational humans are urged to get a shower and take the recommended dosage of Tylenol to forestall bouts of insanity. Symptoms include itchy skin, double vision and the uncanny feeling that you’ve been hijacked by aliens. See a veterinarian immediately if you have any of the above.

I just love ‘strict constructionists. You know who I mean, those folks that want our country returned to its Founding Father principles, the C O N S T I T U T I O N. Now what they actually mean by this is something you might not quite get, if you ain’t one of them.

Cases in point:

Bryan Fischer, AFA leader and all around hater of everything not white and fundamentalist, claims that the 1st Amendment right to freedom of religion, does not include any rights for Muslims, since the FF could not have had them in mind. Why we don’t know, but he says that we give them rights as a “courtesy” only.

David Barton, pseudo-historian and all around wacko nutjob who shleps for the GOP and it’s business elites, has explained that the Declaration of Independence is “nothing more than a list of sermons” which might surprise Thomas Jefferson. Further the Constitution was written directly out of the Bible, and that all leads up to the fact that Jesus was and IS against the minimum wage and well anything that corporate America doesn’t find conducive to racking up profits.

Sadly, people actually get in their cars, travel to auditoriums, sit their skinny butts in chairs, and listen to this drivel, rather than say, pop popcorn and watch Monty Python’s Holy Grail. I kid you not.

Texas has been in the business of late in revising the history of the US of A, to reflect whatever it wants to be the truth. This is not news. Bill Zedler, Texas Rethuglian legislator, introduces a bill to make it “illegal to discriminate against creationists.” Yes, and next he plans to introduce one that makes it illegal to discriminate against stupid people. In both cases that would be him.  [h/t to Crooks and Liars]

Discover Magazine has an interesting article, entitled “Does the Universe Need God?” This is an excerpt from a larger article, and there is a link to that. This is a thoughtful reasoned argument, not the usual atheistic meanness that we’ve come to see from to many. I don’t agree with the argument, but I find it cogent and worth considering.

Ever heard of William Cronon? I hadn’t. No reason I should. He’s a university professor at Wisconsin, and well-respected by his peers in his area of expertise, that being history. He recently did an op-ed piece in the NYTimes on the recent union issues in Wisconsin, and was critical of the Governor and Republicans who would try to take away long-standing collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin citizens.

Well, that pissed off the GOP, and it, the state GOP that is, has launched a legal action to get to his e-mails to uncover whether they can prove that he’s been active in protests. This all aimed to of course intimidate and discredit him. This is what I guess the GOP calls democracy. We call it Joe McCarthyism. How low can you limbo Wisconsin GOP? [h/t to Daily Dish]

I know you all read Moe at Whatever Works, and I’m stealing this “entire” post, but she posts usually several a day, so please don’t miss her stuff. She does a great job of keeping us all aware of all the nefarious goings on, everywhere. But this is precious and so true:

“Other than telling us how to live, think, marry, pray, vote, invest, educate our children and, now, die, Republicans have done a fine job of getting government out of our personal lives.”
                                                         – Editorial Page, Portland Oregonian 

 ♦

It’s leftovers today!

Get out Your Scarlet Letters!

Americans have a long history of trying to set people apart and identify them as transgressors. In other words, the majority seems to enjoy segregating the “others” in some identifiable way.

We started off this fine tradition in the early colonies when people who erred in some fashion were pilloried, put in stocks, or ridden out of town on a rail. “Tarring and feathering”, public execution, and the like exposed and humiliated in the most certain terms those who dared to speak or act outside accepted norms.

In the South, branding of humans was done, much as we brand cattle today to define whom they belong to. After the outlaw of slavery, race specific laws were enacted to do “define” (as if color weren’t good enough) the places where some members of the American community could go, eat, rest, live, and be buried.

We continued the practice when these “laws” were outlawed, but an invention called, “defacto”, which simply means that we all agree (nod, nod, wink, wink) to not sell homes in certain places to people not like us, to not serve them, to shun them in a sense.

We liked doing this so much we extended the practice to brown and yellow-skinned people at various times too. Of course, we had learned all about this segregating practice early on in our history as we had systematically pushed and cowered Native Peoples into small tracts of land, always worthless to us.

This is not to say that other countries haven’t done similar things. Germany under Adolph Hitler found it prudent to make the Jewish people in their land wear a sewn Star of David, to identify them to all the “Aryan” masses.

In virtually every town and city, there are the people who live on “the other side of the tracks”. We like to know where they are, and low-income housing is often kept in “communities” of similarly situated individuals. It’s a way of being able to tell “who is who” you know.

Children when they misbehave are put into the “corner” in a class room, and in some cases made to wear “dunces hats” to further identify them as malcontents. Bullying is a fine time-honored practice instituted by young children to publicly identify to each other, those who don’t “fit the bill.” I guess they learn it from cartoons or something.

Interesting this practice is so enjoyed by some, that they become bullying bosses, bullying husbands and wives, and bullying parents. It makes a person feel just grand to go to sleep at night knowing they’ve put those who by size, position, or temperament are victimizable.

One thing some Americans don’t like is welfare. Republicans and the religious right have been against it for years. Words like lazy, and no-account are used. Republicans don’t like it because they are blatant in their desire to keep every dang penny they have ever made. “Mine, mine, my pretty!” they disclaim.

The religious right is just about as greedy, but they slyly look for a better excuse, because they know that the bible says that money is just filthy lucre. So they twist them scriptures up real perdy, until it means that Jesus was no socialist, and God only wants justice. Justice is of course, that people who are hard up through no fault of their own, should get a helping hand, and the rest, well they should just sit on the curb until dead and the garbage man can cart them to the landfill.

The other thing that Republicans say a lot, is that they purely hate “guvtment interfering in our lives.” Why it’s an awful thing that  Michelle Obama is trying to tell parents how to feed their kids, by pushing for healthier food in our  school cafeterias and such. Pure socialistic parenting. It’s downright offensive.

But, now when it comes to those lazy no good welfare mamas, well, the guvment better damn well interfere. Those people are takin’ that money and using it for things they have no right to have. Why, they buy drugs, and cheap wine, and cigarettes. They buy CHEETOS! And that is OUR money they are spendin’ and we’ll have none of it.

MinneSO-TA has got this fine bill designed to do just that. While there is some dispute about the “criminality” aspect, it seeks to disallow any recipient of “aid” from either getting the money in cash, or having it deposited to their checking account. They are gonna get debit cards, which can be used only in “acceptable” establishments, and they can’t get more than $20 more than the purchase, ever.

So they have to work out something with the landlord (most of whom want cash only), and some way to pay electric and phone bills. That’s their problem.

Dammit, why can’t they just die or go away or something. Or better yet, maybe they should wear a scarlet P for Poor, so everybody knows who they are, and can just say NO for ‘em when they try to act like human beings and buy what they want, but what we don’t think they deserve or need. Yeah, yeah, that’s the ticket.

Crap, this country sucks sometimes.