Friday, January 29, 2010

This Place Owes Me Some Degrees Again

Tonight it's going to be -5 degrees (F), or, as we call it up here, Bar-B-Que weather. The thing about BB-queing  in this kind of weather is that, even if you close the lid, the upside of the meat starts to freeze while the bottom side is cooking. So, you have to build a really big fire with lots of coals (I don't have a propane grill, yet) and throw some hickory in there for lots of smoke. Gives us a chance to smoke some cracked black pepper for the upcoming batch of grass-fed beef jerky.

I put little bits of hickory around the edges so there's a circle of extra hot around the outer edges, which then circulates up to the domed lid and keeps the top side of the meat hot, without burning the bottom. Minus five degrees means your charcoal fire barbeque skills are really put to the test.

If I had a hot tub, this would be hot tub and BBQ weather!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Don't Let Them Eat Cake or They'll Breed

"My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that. And so what you've got to do is you've got to curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any better." -- South Carolina Lt. Governor Andre Bauer (R), quoted by the Greenville News, comparing poor people to stray animals.
Via Josh, from The State:
In South Carolina, 58 percent of students participate in the free and reduced-price lunch program.
Bauer is running for Governor. He supports mandatory drug tests for anyone receiving public assistance. I support drug tests for politicians (just another form of public assistance). He supports mandatory attendance of PTA meetings. I support mandatory civics schooling for Republicans who apparently don't realize that under the welfare reforms, people on public assistance have to get jobs, which are subsidized (cheap workers for corporations: see Dick Clark segment from Farenheit 911). Many of them have two jobs, and their bosses wouldn't be too happy with them missing work for a PTA meeting.

But this guy was just getting warmed up!
"You see, for the first time in the history of this country, we've got more people voting for a living than we do working for a living."

According to the BLS, there were 131,997,000 non-farm workers in the US in 2009 (note that there were 131,785,000 at the end of Clinton's term--way to go W, guess those tax cuts didn't trickle down after all...).  In November, 2008, the unemployment rate was 6.7%, with 10.3 million people being listed as unemployed.  According to the New York Times (note the information about having to work for the money after the Welfare Reform Act), the number of people getting cash assistance in November 08 was about 4 million. The number of people getting food stamps (which is the main way you get free or reduced lunches) was about 30 million.

Now I'm going to do a little math (note, I was a free lunch kid for a while). There were about 212 million voting age people in the US then. I'm not going to spend all day on this finding obscure exit polling data on how many people who voted actually work, but let's do some basic math here with some assumptions that are fair to Mr. Bauer.

Just over 130 million people voted in the 08 election. Even if only half of them had jobs (and this is unfair to homemakers, farmers, etc), then that's 65 million people with jobs who voted. Even if all unemployed, public assistance recipients, and food stamp recipients voted, then only 44 million "welfare recipients" voted, so, Mr. Bauer, even with these very generous assumptions, is full of shit.

No word on whether this asshole got free lunches when he was a kid.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Long Live the Robber Baron

Russ Feingold says (regarding the supreme court decision that says corporate spending on speech is the same as individual spending on speech):

"Such a ruling, Feingold said in a statement Monday, would unleash a flood of corporate money into elections and take the U.S. "not just back to a pre-McCain-Feingold era, but back to the era of the robber barons in the 19th century."

Whadya mean "back to the era of robber barons"? We've been back in the era of robber barons since GW Bush gutted regulation, cut taxes on the rich, busted every union they could, robbed and depleted retirement accounts and pensions everywhere, let corporations go hog-wild on the environment, and pumped the military industrial complex neo-cons full of war-raging steroids.

So, this ruling really just solidifies the corporate-fascist state that we've had for a while. Hell, you can go back even further, really, to Reagan, or even Nixon, for the roots of this vast expansion of corporate power and the corrosion of the nation-state. Hell, you could argue that we never really left the era of the robber barons.

Of course, you can go back to the beginning of the Corporation, an idea actually created by the mistake of a law clerk, and find the birth of the robber baron, and you'll find a great little Abe Lincoln quote about Corporations:

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."-- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864 in a letter to Col. William F. Elkins. Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY)

Grover Norquist of the very corporate friendly Americans for Tax Reform famously said that he'd like to shrink government down small enough to drown it in a bathtub. That would make it much easier for his money powered friends to work upon the prejudices of the people and aggregate the wealth in a few hands, and succeed in destroying the Republic (government).

Instead of getting government small enough to drown in a bathtub, they just got a really big bathtub. And now they'll all be drowning in cash. As someone who just spent the last year well below the poverty line, I'd say that sounds like a pretty good way to go.

Would I be willing to destroy the Republic for my cash-filled tub? Not a chance. I'm not a treasonous bastard who cares more about wealth than the the USA.

Time to pull the drain plug. Maybe we'll see some real campaign finance reform come out of the Senate now, or has John McCain become just another corporate lackey in this department too?

From Feingold wary of upcoming ruling on campaign finance | | Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We're Getting More for Our Money with Obama

Recent Republican lies aside, Obama is still well below the 5 trillion that GWB added to the debt in his 8 years.

The intriguing thing in this list of numerical interest regarding BHO's first year is the vacation time. Looks like Obama took "all or part" of 26 days in 4 trips. W Bush took 9 trips and 69 days, all in Crawford. You know, that eco-house set they built out there for him, where he was when they delivered the PDB, er, historical document, about Bin Laden being determined to attack inside US.

So, for the money, we have gotten a better worker now, at least. Less than a month off, instead of over 2.

in reference to:

"VACATIONS: All or part of 26 days over 4 trips • George W. Bush spent 69 days at his Texas ranch over 9 trips to his ranch his 1st year."
- Obama's First Year: By the Numbers - Political Hotsheet - CBS News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Who Would Jesus Draw a Bead On?

This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while. -- George W Bush
I think a hippie-looking dude walked around preaching peace and anti-poverty messages about 2000 years ago. The Historical Jesus, so to speak, probably did actually exist. Thomas Jefferson cut all the "miracles" out of the New Testament, creating the Jefferson Bible, and wound up with a pretty decent account of a liberal preaching compassion, socialism, and love.

Now we get this fun story of Christian Fascists in the military industrial complex inscribing "JN8:12" (among others) on a rifle sight that we're using to train Iraqis. Problem is, that is against the law.
U.S. military rules specifically prohibit the proselytizing of any religion in Iraq or Afghanistan and were drawn up in order to prevent criticism that the U.S. was embarked on a religious "Crusade" in its war against al Qaeda and Iraqi insurgents.
Hey, but when has the law ever mattered to these Crusaders?
Tom Munson, director of sales and marketing for Trijicon, which is based in Wixom, Michigan, said the inscriptions "have always been there" and said there was nothing wrong or illegal with adding them. Munson said the issue was being raised by a group that is "not Christian."
Oh, I'm pretty sure there's some Christians that would not take kindly to attaching the name of Jesus onto an implement of death, especially when you remember all the backpedaling George W Bush had to do after letting the world know what he really thought of the war in Iraq.

The group that Mr. Munson might be referring to is the MRFF.

"It's wrong, it violates the Constitution, it violates a number of federal laws," said Michael "Mikey" Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group that seeks to preserve the separation of church and state in the military.
See Constantine's Sword for a great historical review of this subject, and for more on the MRFF and Mr. Weinstein.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ooooo.... the big bad gays are coming to harass us!

What a bunch of hypocrites! I wonder if a bunch of people signed a petition to take away the tax exemption for churches. I wonder what kind of harassment the signers of that petition would get from the right wing?

I mean, liberals don't exactly have a record of lynching, now do they? Or saying blacks can't marry whites, or saying blacks are 3/5ths of a person... Really, it is not the particularly ugly history toward people Not Like Them.

Furthermore, I find it amazing that these always run and hide when confronted with their bigotry. Murderers of abortion providers, for example, is a position many of them favor, and yet when they actually shoot a doctor, they don't stand there and say, well, he was going to take a life and I stopped him. They run.

Sure, they say it's so they can get away to do it again, but you know that's just crap. They run because they're chicken shits, which this story further proves.

in reference to:

"Protect Marriage Washington, which unsuccessfully opposed the law giving gay couples expanded rights, wants to shield from disclosure the signers of the petition for a referendum on that law. The group says it fears harassment by gay rights supporters, some of whom have vowed to post signers' names on the Internet."
- Supreme Court to decide whether Wash. can release names of anti-gay rights petition signers - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Who wrote the Bible

As I note in the comments of this post by my friend Thomas D, who writes the blog Satan Wrote the Bible:

This reminds me of the story that Shakespeare was involved in the translation of the King James Bible. One of the more obvious clues that he was at least one of the translators is Psalm 46. The King James Bible was being prepared for printing in 1610, when Shakespeare was 46 years old. The 46th word in the psalm is “shake.” Not counting Selah (the equivalent of Amen), the 46th word from the end is “spear.”

in reference to:

"This reminds me of the story that Shakespeare was involved in the translation of the King James Bible. One of the more obvious clues that he was at least one of the translators is Psalm 46. The King James Bible was being prepared for printing in 1610, when Shakespeare was 46 years old. The 46th word in the psalm is “shake.” Not counting Selah (the equivalent of Amen), the 46th word from the end is “spear.”"
- Satan Wrote the Bible - Who wrote the Bible (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lying Bigots Can't Even Get the Names Straight

It's bad enough these bigots think they have some sort of God-given right to make everyone else behave like them, but they can't even keep the names of important players straight within their own paragraphs.

So, in this fun little list of bigotry's biggest hits, they have listed me, although they were obviously talking about Rep. Bart Stupak, as being a US representative and anti-choice. Both of those propositions are laughably wrong, although I do represent a majority of Americans on these matters, just not officially.

Not only that, but I'm anti-religion, especially the hateful crap coming from Baptists. I grew up with Baptists, who bribed me with "God Bucks" to ride the bus to Grand Avenue Baptist in Hot Springs Arkansas. Once I got the bike from the God store, I stopped going.

Now is the time we dance.

in reference to:

"Supak says he and 10 or 11 other representatives could vote against a final bill that doesn’t meet his criteria concerning abortion."
- The Baptist Bulletin » World News: Jan. 13, 2010 (view on Google Sidewiki)