Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Communists With Crucifixes

Back in the year 2000, a co-worker of mine proudly displayed two bumper stickers on the back of her car: A Bush-Cheney sticker, and a Pro-Life Woman sticker. She confessed -- if you'll pardon the expression -- that she was a Republican solely because of the abortion issue. If the Democrats would adopt a pro-life stance, she said, she would register and vote as a Democrat. The reason? She was a Roman Catholic, and Democrat policies largely reflected her Catholic values. She was what we call a "single-issue voter". One issue trumped all others for her. A simple sea change would turn her to the other side.

There is a minor debate raging on the pages of the Psychosis-Gazette's Letters to the Editor page. Yesterday, a Catholic voter dismissed Barack Obama as a viable candidate, based on his and his party's position on abortion. This prompted a flurry of responses from outraged Catholics who argue that Barack Obama reflects their "Catholic values" on issues like war, capital punishment, and "social justice".

Normally, I don't pay any attention to Catholic intra-faith squabbles. Whether or not something is "Catholic enough" is totally off my radar -- unless it concerns the governance of my nation. Then I keep both eyes -- and ears -- open.

My belief concerning government is that, if there is a system in place, we ought to follow that system -- unless that system is irrevocably flawed, in which case it's time to hit the proverbial "reset button" and try something different.

I like the Federal system that we have in place. You might call me a constitutional fundamentalist. I believe that the fundamentals of our system are sound, in spite of the fact that politicians have spend over two centuries trying to screw things up. It's still a free country.

After reading the letters from left-wing Catholics, I'm not so sure. The responsible American voter should consider constitutionality when taking stances on the issues of the day. Most voters are not so responsible, and make their choices based on attitudes like, "what's in it for me?" or "how can I help people?" These Catholic correspondents fall into the latter category. It bothers me. They are trying to impose their religious views on the rest of us.

Funny thing is, if a pro-life Catholic (or conservative Christian in general) votes Republican because of abortion, leftists accuse them of trying to impose their religion on others. It makes me wonder -- what part of "Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness" do these people not understand?

Every election, there is a great deal of talk about the Catholic vote, as if Roman Catholic adherents constitute a monolithic voting bloc that always goes one way or the other. Truth is more complex. There are plenty of diehard Catholics who are also diehard Republicans. If I were to conduct a survey of my mostly right-of-center blogroll, I expect a majority would turn out to be Catholic. They can be good practicing Catholics without taking a subversive stance on American political issues. They believe that charity means "freely giving to others" and not "we need to pass legislation to soak the taxpayers for more of their income because it's easier than giving away our own money". Catholic Republicans are like the peaceful monks who gained converts by setting a good example of selflessness. Catholic Democrats are like the zealots who converted pagans at the point of a sword, upon pain of death.

Do you want your taxes to go up and government spending to increase because it allegedly "reflects Catholic values"? Or do you prefer the American system of government under which you have the freedom to give as you see fit? Unfortunately, the raging financial crisis may give the advantage to the former.

John McCain Is Human!

I skipped watching the McCain-Obama debate last week. Anything of value that either candidate might have to say has already been said, just not face-to-face. The only possible reason to sit through one of these debates is the possibility of some unintentional entertainment, like George W. Bush's "Wanna buy some wood?" in 2004. Otherwise, they are snoozefests.

Tony Norman of the Psychosis-Gazette, in a surprisingly non-judgmental post at the paper's new "A Fine Point" blog, tells us that John McCain may have muttered the word "horseshit" in response to a comment by Barack Obama. Naturally, the video clip is all over YouTube.



It sounds to me like McCain is saying, "Of course, of course", but I wish he really had said "horseshit". Politicians in general are not straightforward enough with their language. If they think that something before them is horseshit or bullshit, let them say so. I personally know of two undecided voters in the year 2000 who declared for Bush when he called some journalist a "major league asshole". People appreciate that kind of openness from their representatives.

John McCain needs to call horseshit when he sees it. That's the Straight Talk Express on which I am wholeheartedly on board.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Letters To The Editor, They Hurt My Brain

Usually I read the Moron Mail at the Psychosis-Gazette web site just to scoff at the asininity of 90% of the letters that the paper publishes. This morning's letter writers are striking back at me with a vengeance. Like this one:

Indeed, the proposed bailout is more like an entitled demand, as befits these Masters of the Universe, as they huddle in the Hamptons while they send their well-shod lobbyists to Congress...
I am seriously screwed, for I shall have this song stuck in my head for the rest of the day:



To say nothing of the mental image of those CEOs hanging out at the pool in fur bikini and blond Pete Rose wigs. Then there's this one:
If ever an administration has forfeited all rights to our trust in its judgment, it is this one.
This administration, of course, being...what? Whose administration? Rendell's? Onorato's? Ravenstahl's? Your local school district's? When you read the rest of the letter, it becomes clear that the administration in question is the George W. Bush administration. But the writer never mentions the name Bush or the office of the President. Does this twit suffer from such a severe case of BDS that she can not bring herself to say PRESIDENT BUSH, as if it were some sort of swear word? People do that in person, too. Whenever some lefty twerp starts mouthing off about "this administration", I want to chop them across the throat. ANYTHING to get this to shut up.

Then:
John McCain is trying to distance himself from the Republican Party. I think that it is time for all Americans to distance themselves from the Republican Party.
By voting for John McCain? Brilliant!

Idiot number 4:
We do not need to invade countries and fight at the drop of a hat like Mr. (John Wayne) Bush seems to think.
Yes, because he just went right into Afghanistan, Iraq, and all of those other countries without checking with Congress or the United Nations. Wait -- what other countries? And he DID go to Congress and the UN for support. Jeez, the PG will print anyone's garbage as long as it agrees with the editors' viewpoints, validity be damned!

This one donated money to Kerry in 2004 and Obama in 2008, so he has a financial stake in the election results:
I'm a Democrat and I pray every day for my country. I pray to God that Republicans will wake up to the destructive powers that they have unleashed upon our country and this planet.
See, this is why I am not a "religious right" type of person. I don't go around blathering and boasting about prayer. It sounds goofy when someone on our side says it, and it sounds goofy
when someone on their side says it. My spiritual meanderings are best kept personal and private. On the other hand, this guy makes me feel like the Dark Lord of the Sith, which is kind of cool. I've always wanted to shoot lightning from my hands.

Sometimes they scream out their rage at previous letter writers:
Mr. C tries to portray diplomacy as improper behavior that only Democrats engage in, when, in fact, Condoleezza Rice was recently on a diplomatic mission to Libya to meet with Moammar Gadhafi. Libya was responsible for 1998 Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, which some consider quite radical.
I will be looking forward to her next angry letter a few months from now, when (hypothetically) President Obama meets with Ahmadinejad, who was part of the gang that took Americans hostage back in 1979. Some consider that to be quite radical, too.

We hear from a proud feminist, too:
Sarah Palin is being hailed by the GOP as the perfect example of the successful conservative working mother. Yet there's something creepy about the GOP's latest ploy to lure women voters. Hiding your pregnancy from co-workers, friends and close family? Returning to work three days after giving birth? What kind of family values are these?
Yeah! Right on! Why didn't the Governor of Alaska tell everyone how her husband thrust his member inside of her and filled her with babies? Huh??? Why not? Oh, maybe because IT'S NO ONE ELSE'S BUSINESS! It didn't significantly affect her job, and she has a husband (and older children) who can perform child care duties. My wife and I both work. We have five kids, too. After the first couple of births, the novelty wears off and it's no longer "the great unknown". My wife was ready to go back to work -- mentally as well as physically -- sooner after the last couple of kids were born. I see nothing wrong with Sarah Palin resuming her duties three days after Trig's birth. The same letter writer complains that Governor Palin is "turning back the clock" on the "women's movement". Bullshit. She is the epitome of the modern working mother. I see it at home every day.

Another correspondent chimes in on Palin:
...it greatly disappoints me that Sarah Palin will gain votes for Sen. McCain simply because of her gender.
Now this disappoints me, too. No, not the thing about people voting for Sarah just because she is a woman. I'm going to vote for her because she has reasonably good conservative credentials, and because she has more in common with America at large than any other candidate in the national race this year, except maybe for Ron Paul. What disappoints me about this clipping is his incorrect use of the term "gender". Gender is a grammatical term, referring to things like pronouns (he/she/it). What this guy needs is SEX. In place of the word "gender", I mean. SEX has come to be treated like a dirty word, because it is most frequently used as a shortened form of "sexual intercourse". Don't be afraid of SEX. Dig?

That feels better. SEX has made my headache go away.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Reg Hatred

A guy who publishes a weekly hate-filled screed in the Pittsburgh Psychosis-Gazette and tries to pass it off as a "humor column" naturally attracts some degree of criticism. I'm not talking about people who post in a blog that no one reads (like this one). I'm talking about people who directly correspond with him. Why? I have never felt compelled to communicate with a journalist. Those people are nuts. A few years ago I wrote a post in which I criticized one of Sir Reginald's colleagues, a man whom I have never referred to in this blog before or since. The old sod sent me an email accusing me of being paranoid about black helicopters. I had said nothing from which he could possibly infer such an assumption. He was simply being a crank. And we should trust these people to tell us what is going on in the world...why, exactly?

Sir Reginald is a little better. At least when he sends a snippy, insulting email to a critic, he tries to sound gentlemanly, albeit rather elitist. Nevertheless, he is still a shill for the Democrats. His last couple of columns fit nicely in place with the left-wing media's major offensive against Sarah Palin. Reg is just a drop of water in a big pool of hatred. He is so comfortable with hate, that he doesn't even know that he hates. Instead, just about anyone who takes issue with his screeds is a hater.

He excerpted some of this "hate" in his latest blog post -- yes, he has a blog called "Reg On Wry", on the PG's web site, though it ought to be called "Reg? Oh, Why!". He prefaces the post with his feelings about the folks who write to complain about his drivel, using a whole slew of negative adjectives: "vile", "abusive", "bilious", "hate-filled", "cowardly", "bitter", "humorless", "ugly", and, as a grand finale, "intolerant, abusive, irrational, juvenile, explosive and not amenable to reason". Oh, and apparently we all take our cues from Rush Limbaugh and talk radio. Thank you, Reg Hatred, for letting us know just what you really think of those who disagree with you.

Reg cleverly proceeds with a comment from a critic who, unfortunately, uses a racist slur to refer to Barack Obama, thus establishing (in the minds of his target audience) that the rest of us who take exception to Sir Reginald's livelihood must be EXACTLY LIKE THE RACIST IN EVERY WAY! Bastard. The rest of the comments were much more temperate and, of course, accurate in every way (with my comments in boldface):

You are pathetic. (Yep, he sure is) There was not one thing insightful in your article. (There never has been) There was only cynicism. (Reg us capable of nothing else)

If you want to criticize someone, there should be some meat and not merely snide remarks. (Right, that's an unpaid blogger's job)

And:
You’re an idiot, and one of the many reasons I no longer read the Post-Gazette. (By "read", he probably means "pay to read")
Then:
You sir are a total ass. (Crudely put, but factually accurate)
The last two are somewhat longer, but basically turn Reg's attitude back on him. Reg bemoans the apparent fact that his correspondents are voting for the McCain-Palin ticket. You know what? If Reg Hatred's writings bring more McCain-Palin supporters out of the woodwork and into the voting booth, then I say: Write, Reg, write!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Did The Devil Make Them Do It?

Tony Norman, longtime editor and columnist (and former music critic) for the Psychosis-Gazette writes today about the newest controversy in this year's political campaigns: Republican politicians using the music of left-wing musicians at public appearances. This has been an issue in past campaigns as well, and it never ceases to amaze me that no one seems to learn from these incidents. Why does the Republican Party court controversy by pissing off jerks like the Wilson sisters or John Mellencamp by playing their songs? Why do the musicians risk alienating the Republican portion of their fan base by making public declarations of outrage? It seems to me that no one comes off as a winner in this sort of scuffle, though the fault would seem to lie with the McCain campaign for raising hackles in the first place.

There is something that I am wondering about. Back in the 1990s, Rush Limbaugh told a story about how his show had recently been contacted by a band that I had never heard of (before or since) called The Bottle Rockets. The band objected to his use of one of their songs as bumper music. Rush responded that he liked the song, he would continue to play it, and that he had the right to play it because his station/network/whatever had paid the requisite fees to ASCAP, so therefore The Bottle Rockets were duly compensated for use of their music. The band continued to complain but Rush Limbaugh was legally in the right. So how does this work with political campaigns?

Do the Democrat and Republican parties have to pay ASCAP before playing this music at public rallies? Do the same laws that apply to radio broadcasts of music apply here? If so, then they would be free to play all of the Heart, Van Halen, Jackson Browne, Mellencamp, Springsteen, etc. that they want. But it would still be a stupid thing to do.

Speaking of stupid things, I am a little disappointed in Tony Norman. While I seldom agree with any of his views, Tony writes one of the more intelligible columns in the PG. Today, however, he slips dangerously close to Reg Henry-level stupidity with this assertion:

It looks like the staples of FM radio are in full revolt against the opportunism of the Republicans. For a party that used to believe that rock 'n' roll was of the Devil, they've been doing a lot of thievin' lately.
When was "rock 'n' roll is the Devil's music!" ever part of the Republican Party platform? Did I miss something? When has the party -- either party, for that matter -- taken an official stand on the supposed theological nature of a musical genre? I'd like to see something backing up that allegation. Isolated statements by rednecks and religious fanatics don't count. I feel like I've been slandered, and I want PROOF.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Heir Apparent

I have a theory. You may not agree with it; in fact, you might question my state of mind after I tell it to you. My theory is very simple and, really, apropos of nothing. It's just that I have noticed a certain trend over the last sixty years concerning the Presidents of these United States of America. You ready? Here goes:

The candidate whose last name is two syllables and ends with the letter "n" is a shoo-in to get elected President.

Nutty? Let's look at the history of two-syllable "-n" presidents:

  • Jackson, Andrew -- Nothing really remarkable here, insofar as he was the only president in the first fourscore years of the Republic to whom my theory applies. Besides, in those pre-mass media days, people has longer attention spans and preferred men whose names had three syllables and ended in "n": Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Van Buren, Harrison Buchanan.
  • Lincoln, Abraham -- Bad mojo -- he was assassinated.
  • Johnson, Andrew -- A lot of people might have wanted him killed, but they impeached him instead. A couple of decades later, there would be another three syllable "-n" president, another Harrison, but that was the last gasp for that lot.
  • Wilson, Woodrow -- Had a stroke while in office. Also, never trust a candidate who runs on a platform of keeping the country out of war. It comes back to haunt you. But hey, at least we won the damn thing!
  • Truman, Harry -- The Great Depression and World War II changed everything. Up to this point, "-n" presidents were few and far between, and often hard luck cases. Truman took over when a popular chief executive died in office, literally dropped A bomb, and won the war before being elected in his own right, despite the headlines of the day. Finally, lasting success!
  • Johnson, Lyndon -- Civil rights, Great Society, Vietnam...whether you agreed with him or not, LBJ could get things done.
  • Nixon, Richard -- Nixon had his chance in 1960 but couldn't compete with Democrat machine politics. 1968 was another story. President Johnson dropped out of the race early, thereby avoiding a tense "-n" vs. "-n" showdown. Humphrey might have done better if his name had been Humphren.
  • Reagan, Ronald -- The shame of Watergate might have done away with "-n" presidents forever, if not for the ineptitude of Ford and Carter. We needed an "-n" in 1980, and we got it. Reagan was only the third of the first eight "-n"s to be elected twice and serve two full terms. Most of the others either died in office, took over for someone who died, or resigned in disgrace. Reagan brought dignity back to the "-n"s.
  • Clinton, Bill -- It was inevitable that Bush 41 would lose when faced with an opponent who adhered to the rule of "-n". Like Reagan, Clinton served a full eight years and became synonymous with a decade in American history.
So where are the "-n" presidents for the 21st century? Hillary Clinton would have been obvious had she secured the nomination. Obama certainly doesn't fit. I don't count McCain because there is really only one vowel sound in his surname. So let's look at the Vice-Presidential candidates.

Biden and Palin. It's a toss-up! Obama is a fairly young man and not likely to kick the bucket anytime soon. If the Democrat ticket gets elected, Joe Biden should get used to being VP for a long while. On the other hand, some people (I don't know who they are, but you can look them up on the Internet) think that a President McCain will die in office because he is OLD. If such a tragedy were to occur, we would have yet another "-n" theory president. Since the odds are more in favor of McCain dying in office than Obama, I predict that McCain-Palin are the likely winners of the election. Remember that it was quote common for a newly deceased president to be succeeded by a "-n" vice-president.

Jackson. Lincoln. Johnson. Wilson. Truman. Johnson. Nixon. Reagan. Clinton. And Palin.

Sarah Palin, future President of the United States of America.

Another thing about these "-n" names: Back in 1996, Stone Cold Steve Austin became the most popular wrestler in the history of sports entertainment when he uttered the phrase: "Austin 3:16 says I just kicked your ass!" I pointed out to some of my then-co-workers that any name with two syllables ending in "n" could replace the name "Austin", but the phrase would have to be customized in order to fit the named individual. For instance, there was a guy named Owen who shelved things, so naturally "Owen 3:16 says I just shelved your ass!" Even better was a lady named Ellen, who was responsible for dictionaries and other reference books: "Ellen 3:16 says I just look up your ass!" And so on.

So you could come up with 3:16s for any of the above listed presidents. Be creative. I have one for Sarah Palin, who is now the world's most famous moose hunter. She stands above a mortally wounded moose, looks it straight in the eye, and yells "Palin 3:16 says I just capped your ass!"

Maybe we should save that one until after she wins the election.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Moron Mail

As if the jerks who get paid to write for the Psychosis-Gazette aren't bad enough, check out the idiots who write to the paper in hopes of seeing their words published on the editorial page.

From Monroeville:

In selecting Sarah Palin to be his running mate, does John McCain think he can sway some of the pro-Hillary voters to his ticket?
John McCain selected Sarah Palin as his running mate because she can attract Hillary voters to the Republican side? That's news to me -- I must have missed the memo. Oh, that's right! I didn't get the memo because I'm not a Democrat! Only a Democrat would be stupid or evil enough to propagate the lie that Sarah Palin is supposed to make Hillary people vote Republican. Naturally, the liars are Psychosis-Gazette subscribers.

From Churchill:
The Republican attempt at winning the votes of disappointed Hillary supporters is an insult to the female electorate. Those Hillary supporters who would vote for the McCain-Palin ticket because of that selection diminish Mrs. Clinton's candidacy and the aspirations of woman who aspire to elected office based on their qualifications and not their gender.
Supposedly, this is a different moron than the first letter writer. The BIG LIE memo is certainly making the rounds in the eastern suburbs.

What does Swisshelm Park say?
And, by the way, John McCain, if you think that you can condescend to us female voters by placing Sarah Palin's name on the ballot, you are sadly mistaken. She is nowhere near qualified to be vice president and is nowhere near as qualified as Hillary Clinton to help run this country.
The hate is palpable, and matched only by the correspondents' obtuseness. Allow me to make something clear:

SARAH PALIN WAS NOT CHOSEN AS MCCAIN'S RUNNING MATE BECAUSE OF HILLARY CLINTON! SHE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HILLARY CLINTON! SARAH PALIN IS A CONSERVATIVE! SHE WAS CHOSEN TO WIN BACK DISAFFECTED REPUBLICANS! And guess what -- IT'S WORKING! SO STOP WITH THE STUPID HILLARY BULLSHIT AND PAY SOME FUCKING ATTENTION, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

I could also shout something about having these dorks hit themselves over the head with hammers, but of course they would never do that -- unless the order came in the form of a memo from DNC headquarters.

HATE Is His Watchword

Today is a good day for anyone who is trying to house train a puppy, because it's Wednesday, and that means another inane Reg Henry column for Fido to poop on. Sir Reginald is giddy with glee! The emergence of Sarah Palin on the national scene has given him someone new to hate. It has also given him a new opportunity to demonstrate his ignorance.

No investigative journalist he. Reg makes a number of assumptions about Palin's moose hunting activities that makes me wonder whether everything he knows about moose he learned from watching Captain Kangaroo. I have never encountered a moose myself, but I know people who have. Moose mothers are some of the most protective mothers around, and will not hesitate to charge a human in the vicinity of their babies. They are dangerous animals to encounter under any circumstances. All one needs to do is google the keywords "moose" and "dangerous" to learn what a challenge it is to hunt the antlered giants. Actually trying to learn something about the subject, however, would cripple Reg's already lame attempt at humor.

He then goes on to mock the names of Governor Palin's children, and her hairstyle. Now that is some substantive writing!

And this:

Fortunately, the presumptuous vice president has family values. In fact, with her sort of far-right values, she could be Genghis Khan's sister.
If Reg's credibility wasn't already shot, I would say he lost it with the "Genghis Khan" remark. This is the sort of anachronistic nonsense that lowers the level of political debate in this country, to say nothing of diminishing journalistic standards. There was no concept of political "wings" in the 12th century. Leftists think it's funny to make such comparisons, though, so they keep on doing it.

Finally, Reg gets to the point: Palin is inexperienced. After all of the "mooseburger" blathering, he concludes that Sarah Palin is just as inexperienced, if not more so, than Barack Obama, and that makes her unfit to be the backup for the highest office in the land.

His conclusion?
Now his critics are reduced to not liking him because he doesn't shoot moose. This may not be progress but it is some wild and crazy fun.
Reg has a single theory to explain everything: Obama's opponents oppose him because he is inexperienced! If that doesn't last, they'll come up with some other reason to dislike him!

Does it not occur to him that there are myriad reasons that not everyone lines up to fellate the Obamessiah? It's like the issues don't exist, or McCain and Obama are so similar that there has to be some superficial reason to prefer one to the other.

Typical. Never expect substance from Reg Henry -- or from any other Psychosis-Gazette writer.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Stephen Maloney Rules The World

Friday afternoon, I was at the dentist getting my teeth cleaned when the hygienist asked, "So what do you think of John McCain's surprise pick?" I had been at work all day and hadn't heard the news. She informed me that the Governor of Alaska was now McCain's running mate.

"Surprise pick?", I wondered. That's all I would hear in the media for the next day or so. "Surprise pick". I have been hearing it enough that I figure the mainstream media must have received some sort of DNC memo ordering them to use that catch phrase.

John McCain's VP selection is no surprise to anyone who is familiar with Professor Stephen Maloney, proprietor of several blogs on current political campaigns. He knew who Sarah Palin was months ago. Anyone who reads Steve Maloney was anything but surprised by the Friday announcement.

Never doubt the man. Whatever he says, goes.

For the record, I agreed with him that Sarah Palin would make a good addition to a national ticket. I just never expected it to happen this year.

Steve is shining like gold this week.