REPRESENTATIVE TODD AKIN TAKES THE GOLD AS WORLD’S MOST IGNORANT REPUBLICAN

Representative Todd Akin, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Missouri,  told a St. Louis television station he does not support abortion for rape victims because “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Oh, really, Todd? And where did you hear that load of happy horseshit? Evidently, he’s been reading some really old books, because the idea “dates at least to medieval times, when a 13th century English legal tome called Fleta asserted that pregnancy was prima facia evidence against a charge of rape.” Interestingly, modern science has demonstrated  this theory to be COMPLETE BATCRAP.

Jeez, Todd.

And if this isn’t bad enough – spouting off malarkey as truth, allowing dogma to take the place of evidence, and placing women far, far down the totem pole of male respect, somewhere between “pet turtles” and “house cats” – this guy is a member of the AMERICAN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES SCIENCE COMMITTEE!! Like it isn’t enough that we have the Texas school board rewriting history, now we have crazy politicians lecturing us about science too! Shades of idiot Republican representative Bill Frist, the guy who looked at a video of brain-dead Terry Schiavo and said “Yeah, she’s fine. I can tell from the TV screen.” You know, you can search far and wide in the Democratic fold and never find something to equal that simultaneous suck-up to the anti-choice Bircher base combined with genuine interference with the basic American freedom to make decisions for YOUR OWN FAMILY. And still people tell me, “Well, the Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans!” NO THEY’RE NOT. GET OVER IT ALREADY!

It is the sad truth that the scientifically inclined have trouble enough as it is: the vast majority of them are atheists or agnostics, which if the Religious Right had its way, would be punishable by death. I still have people tell me, when I ask for evidence of something or another, to look in the Bible. Well, once you get down to the Bible Level, there’s no more territory to explore with these people; all roads are blocked. It is a serious mental condition, in my opinion: the propensity to use a thousand-year-old book written by a bunch of men (men, again) who had many different political axes grinding, many different hallucinogenic trips embarked upon, and many threats of drawing-and quartering hanging over their heads if they dared question the party line. Yeah, that’s a volume I’d really choose to trust when building my world view.

And now, Todd Akin. If there really was a God, he’d let me go to sleep now, and wake me up when this election cycle is over.

 

A GUY WALKS INTO A COMMUNITY CENTER …

“WASHINGTON (AP) — A man who had been a volunteer at a community center for gays walked into the lobby of a conservative political organization, made a negative comment about what the group stands for, pulled a gun and opened fire, authorities said.”

The conservative political organization was the Family Research Council.

“Today’s attack is the clearest sign we’ve seen that labeling pro-marriage groups as ‘hateful’ must end,” Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage, said in a statement.

Well … not so familiar with them being labeled “hateful” as “haters”. I think Senor Brown mixed his quotation up a little bit, perhaps even intentionally. Or, as a privileged straight white Christian male in an overwhelmingly privileged straight white Christian-male-dominated country, perhaps he actually feels like he’s a member of a persecuted minority. Fascinating, as Mr. Spock would say.

“Corkins had been volunteering for about the past six months at The DC Center for the LGBT Community, said David Mariner, executive director of the community center, in Northwest Washington. He usually staffed the center’s front desk on Saturdays, and his most recent shift was about two weeks ago.”

Hm. This strikes me as suspicious. Like, the guy kind of set up camp at this center and put in some time to throw off the wolves, so to speak. Why do I feel this way? Because I worked for decades with the most conniving, most cunning, most diabolically manipulative citizens our national culture been able to create.

Police, you might ask? Nope. Military? Nope. Ex-prison guard? No again.

Public schools. Definitely hard time. Most kids are great. Some are not-so-great. The parents are worse that their kids. And all of them, with varying degrees of dedication, are capable of lies and manipulation. I would say, because of intensive, Olympic-caliber training over many years, I have an ace, primo, fully operational BS detector that has been fine-tuned for so long that I can never turn it off. And this story sets off the siren, big time.

So I heard about this, and I think, hey. Numero uno, Most of the violent episodes that are political in nature are conservatives beating up on liberals. Gabrielle Giffords. George Tiller. Arkansas Democratic party chairman Bill Gwatney. For that reason alone, doubt arises.

Numero two-o, what do we know about this whole thing besides what we’re being told? There’s a whole unexplored territory out there regarding who this guy is and what he was about. Maybe we ought to resist the impulse to badge the whole episode as political or whatever until we actually KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Like, what did he say that was so negative? “Family Research Council sucks cooties!”  I’ve said that myself, and didn’t shoot anybody over it. Or, “Excuse me, but I don’t agree with your policies.” If Corkins said that, I might even believe he was some sort of liberal. There seems to be some problem turning up whatever it was he said, which seems … curiouser and curiouser.

My point is that I don’t really believe this Corkins guy is what he’s being portrayed as: a liberal terrorist. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, and only in the fullness of time will we know what it is. Maybe he was one of those allegedly straight guys that is in denial about having gay urges – a Larry Craigster – and figured he would face down his fears by entering the belly of the beast, so to speak. Or, perhaps he set himself up as a stalking horse – just another stealth conservative, who shoots up an equally conservative stronghold in order to “prove” that the social liberals can be every bit as looney as the social conservatives. Or maybe – just maybe – he’s just another nut job who found it pretty easy to get a gun for all the worst reasons.

It is likely we will never actually know. Great powers have their own agendas, and we are not necessarily part of the machinery. Unless, of course, we choose to swallow whatever it is we are told without proper skepticism. THEN we can be useful! Like a bunch of teeny Egyptians, we might be recruited to help shove some thousand-ton block of bullcrap to the top of somebody’s pyramid, then be ourselves booted off the edifice as no longer required to help “catapult the propaganda”, as George Bush so inimitably said. Thank you, Mighty American Political Process! I appreciate you rendering my life essentially meaningless except as a tool for somebody else’s unknowable agenda!

Pucker up, citizens, time to show your loyalty.

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HE’S RIGHT – YOU DIDN’T BUILD THAT

Obama, on July 13th, told a crowd in Virginia, “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher some­where in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” He added, ‘When we succeed, we suc­ceed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”

How can anybody argue with this?

IF YOU MEET THE BUDDHA ON THE ROAD, KILL HIM.

Some olden-times Chinese scholar dude said this way back in the day, and I will admit, it did not make a lot of sense to me when I first heard it. But actually – it is a perfect metaphor for present-day politics! Actually, a perfect metaphor for present-day American LIFE!

First of all, you realize, the Buddha in this extremely short story (also known as a “koan”) is symbolic. So is the road. So is the killing. The whole thing – parable. So don’t get a kink in your spring about me condoning violence or mayhem or whatever. All you angry hater Christians should be well acquainted with this technique, since it is how you explain away all the blood-running-as-high-as-the-horse’s-bridles stuff in the Bible, of which there is a LOT.

To me – and it has to begin “To me”, you see, because that is the whole PURPOSE of the story – to me, it means that when someone comes up to you, any time, anywhere, claiming to know the TRUTH about any situation, they will be WRONG. Like, when Paul Ryan gets on Legislative TV and explains how the nation is totally screwed unless we follow his cunning plan to solve every problem in America by cutting programs for poor people. (62 percent of his suggested cuts deeply affect the poor, but none have much effect on either the rich or the Pentagon. Hm. Seems like a narrow spyhole that man’s got.)

ANYWAY, according to the koan, we can assume that no matter what anyone – in my humble opinion, especially pontifical Paul Ryan – claims, it is probably wrong. History? Written by the winners. Religion? Lotta guys with major axes to grind wrote plenty o’ stuff that had a little spin to it. God? Haven’t seen him lately, and neither has anyone else. Sky is blue? Not really, combination of white light interacting with the atmosphere. Gravity? Maybe, if you’re partial  to emanations from other branes that coexist side-by-side with our universe. See? Truth is complicated. And if you try to simplify it – you get wronger and wronger and wronger.  Relatedly, the more completely positive you are, the more ridiculous your assertions become, causing people to remark “that guy’s trying WAY too hard”. We all know by now, thanks to numerous studies, that the least competent among us have the highest self-assessments, while the most competent among us are generally humble and realistic regarding their skills. Sun Tzu once said, since we are doing Chinese tonight, “When the enemy is digging a deep hole, give him more shovels.” Unfortunately, our current crop of politicos are not only high self-assessors and absolutely positive about everything, they are VOCALLY positive, and keep verbally digging away at that deep hole. (Classic example: “Let’s continue the economic policies of Reagan and Bush because they WORKED SO WELL!” Right, check out the debris of the nation that has been scattered like jetsam over the last 40 years. Of course, if you are a multimillionaire, they DID work really well! You’re still a rich SOB and everyone else is BROKE!)

These alleged public servants are doubling down on the initial error of thinking they have all the answers, but honestly, to anyone listening with half a brain, this is very uncomfortable indeed. Remember back in high school when that girl got up in front of the whole class to show off what a great singer she was, and she was AWFUL? And everyone kind of curled up and felt eeew-y about it? Same thing. When some schlub of a pol gets up and claims to be the Buddha, most of us want to crawl under a doormat.

Here’s a book for you: “My Stroke of Insight” by Jill Bolte Taylor. Harvard neuroscientist has a left-brain event that wipes out her linear, hierarchical, self-critical brain function, and what remains is something resembling Nirvana. Wholeness. Interrelatedness. Complete integration with the world around her: no more experience of time, no more separation of self and universe. And she never says “I know” about anything. She says “This is what I learned when it happened to ME.”

See the difference between Paul Ryan and the Buddha? Paul Ryan is a self-righteous chump. The Buddha? Well … I haven’t met him yet. Maybe that Harvard neuroscientist has. But she’s not saying.

 

WHY I HATE HARLEYS

I shouldn’t  actually hate Harleys. They are just machines. If it weren’t for the ghastly people riding them, perhaps they would be just fine. Because for some reason, people think they have to have THE MOST RIDICULOUSLY EFFING LOUD MACHINES ON THE PLANET, and THAT is what I hate.

I know, I know. All you Harley riders are gonna slap me with this “Loud Pipes Save Lives” old wive’s tale. It’s bullshit. Harleys are the loudest goddamn things on the road and they still get in as many wrecks as people on any other kind of bike. In fact, some studies show it is MORE dangerous to ride a Harley than any other bike. (Probably because drivers try to run over them simply to make the noise stop. No. Not really. This last part is pure speculation. But the part about the studies is TRUE)

It absolutely fries my ass when I see some stupid stockbroker or accountant or Hell’s Angel or ZZ Top wannabe or whoEVER it is, drive his racketous, grinding, gargling, blatting POS up to the gas pump, deafening me and everybody else for three miles around and I see he has EARPLUGS in. Oh! Oh! I get it! YOUR hearing is important, but MINE isn’t! Thanks a lot, jerk!

Let’s say you are out in a campground, or lounging by a lake in the beautiful great outdoors. All is peaceful. Birds are chirping. Brooks are babbling. Suddenly you hear that telltale barfing noise like the muffler just fell off of your car and here they come – well, you think they’re coming … they should be here by now … still waiting … FINALLY THEY ARE PASSING! YAY! But then you have to wait another 7 to 9 minutes for the sound to finally recede so life in the woods can commence again. Thanks a lot, all you Harley boors. I hate your machines.

And here’s worse – a lot of you guys seem to want people to look at you, judging from the decibel level of your effing Harley. I mean, it’s natural for people to turn their heads quickly when they hear, let’s say, an avalanche or a tsunami approaching. But man – most of you guys look like crap. Generally there’s the really big gut hanging out there in the vicinity of the handlebars, with a special peek of gross hairy belly skin as a bonus. The nasty stained white T-shirt makes you look like you just finished cleaning the floor at the local Quickie Mart. Get a clue. You look disgusting on a motorcycle and it would definitely be in your best interest to not attract attention to yourself by EFFING LOUD HARLEY NOISE.

And one more thing. All this lone-wolf Harley cowboy crap is for the birds. Most of you guys have well-paying jobs because buying an effing loud Harley costs a buttload of cash. It is so ironic. Harleys generate more noise with less power than most lawn mowers. Is this not a metaphor for your LIVES, accountants, dentists, and worst of all – LAWYERS? You are creating tinnitus in hundreds of people a year, yet you are still very boring and unappealing individuals. Plus, you are complete posers and phonies. Ick.

Oh. And to all you authentic Harley riders out there who realize you do NOT have to make other people deaf with Harley racket because you just don’t believe in becoming part of that ridiculous contest of “who’s got the loudest toy” – which is actually just a “mine’s bigger” dukeout with decibels – THANK YOU for your (relatively) quieter way of going. I appreciate it.