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The Seven Dirty Words Live On

Old LadyComedian George Carlin used to do a gag called, “Seven Dirty Words You Can’t Say on TV“. He used the words prolifically to make the point that they were simply words - not bombs nor bullets nor anything else that might cause lasting harm. In fact, I’d say that 99% of the adult US population has used at least one of those words at some point and the remaining 1% are liars.

So here we are, several decades down the road. We’ve weathered wars, natural disasters, terror attacks, and dozens of other momentous events, but we’re still apoplectic when poppa says a bad, bad thing. In fact, a bad word slipped just this morning. It was the word that begins with a “c” and ends in “unt”. It happens to be the title of one of the monologues in the Vagina (not “va-jay-jay“  ) Monologues and that is exactly how Jane Fonda used it when she let it slip on the Today Show.
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The World Has Changed Forever

On September 12, 2001, George Bush stood atop a pile of rubble in New York and announced the world had changed forever. For the most part, it’s changed in ways few foresaw and without many rational, presumptive changes ever quite taking root, but it has changed, just as he promised.

For most of us, the biggest change has been in how little Dear LeaderTM cares for the individual freedoms he swore to defend and protect. For others - most notably families that lost someone that day - the world changed in a more fundamental and visceral way. Now, these seemingly different types of loss have converged.
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666: The Earmarks of the Devil

Lobbyists, my heart aches for thee.

The doyens of K Street fear an industry-wid e crisis akin to the subprime mortgage meltdown. With Vito McVeto promising a 50% reduction in earmark spending, K Streeters face a future devoid of 12 martini lunches, strip poker games with hookers, and doling out a lil’ sumpin’, sumpin’ to their Congressiona l marks. Like many other things in Washington, the cesspool is so deep even the recipients of lobbyists’ largess understand someone has to go down for their corruption.
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When Greed Isn’t Good

I’m not sure whether to be worried or not, but I found myself agreeing with Mike Huckabee this week. For a man who thinks the planet was created last week, he’s remarkably astute about the stimulus package both parties are currently flogging.

The Huckster hit the nail on the head when he said that we’ll go hat-in-hand to China and borrow the money to fund the tax rebates. The folks who qualify for the rebates will then spend it on something frivolous, like food or clothing. They’ll run down to the local Walmart and buy Chinese-made underwear or toxin-laced tomatoes.

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The Orwellian Thermostat

Orwellian ThermostatBack in the day, monopolistic utilities were benevolent dictators. In exchange for guaranteed profits, they provided reasonable service at reasonable prices. Also back in the day, citizens could expect minimal intrusion into their privacy in exchange for simply requiring government to follow the Constitution . We traded these reasonable and symbiotic relationship s for deregulated utilities that pillage their customers at will and government that intrudes any time it damn well pleases as long as President Buttmunch signs off on it. A recent proposal by the California Energy Commission borrows the worst traits from both.

They plan to put remote-contr olled thermostats in homes to cut power use during summertime electricity shortages. It’s not that controlling energy consumption is an unnecessary thing. It’s good for the environment, it saves money, and everyone gets a taste of precious wattage at a time when it’s scarce. But like many things that seem good on paper, this crapulent plan falls apart in the details.

A Big Comfy Quilt of Money
Previous experience shows that regulators and utilities already snuggle in a bed covered with a quilt of big money. It’s not a far-fetched notion that utilities would manufacture shortages to cut costs and regulators wouldn’t lift a finger to stop them. The late Ken Lay made a despicable art of this corporate rape.

The plan is also one more example of government dictating to its citizens instead of the other way around. We’re already listened to, filmed, monitored, and forced to disrobe to get on a frickin’ airplane. I’m in no mood for any more of this crap and judging from public reaction to this harebrained scheme, neither is the public. We’re not teetering on the edge of a slippery slope, we’ve slid to the bottom and shot off into shark-infest ed water like a watermelon seed being spit out at a redneck convention.

Electricity ala The Third World
Because of public reaction, regulators have scaled back the plan to make it optional. This is a tiny wiggle in the right direction, but highlights the stupidity of the plan. Currently, shortages are relatively rare. By and large, most people voluntarily honor the requests to conserve when needed and we avoid rolling blackouts like a war-torn, Third World country.

Personally, I don’t trust Big Business or Big Government. Unchecked, both institutions allow charlatans to take control and become menaces to society. I’m a big boy and don’t need the government to tell me when to turn my thermostat up. Pacific Gas & Electric also doesn’t need one more potential advantage over consumers - especially since they’re bumping jiggly bits with Big Government. If ever there was a domestic Axis of Evil, this unholy marriage of business and government is it.

To paraphrase Jerry Garcia, “Someone has to do something, it’s just incredibly sad it has to be us.”

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The Bush Legacy Will Live On

The Bush MemorialTime is mercifully running out for the duck who shall be named lame. After seven years of steadfastly refusing to seriously reflect on anything he’s ever done, he now seems interested in his legacy. Of course, it’s a lead-pipe cinch that Lil’ Napoleon’s vision of his great gifts to the world will vary considerably from what contemporari es and future historians will see, but that’s quotidian Bush to the core.

He’s off to Israel this week to demonstrate his legacy of peace and democracy in the Middle East - closely guarded by 10,000 police to protect him from the peaceful, loving embrace of a suicide bomber. In preparation, George has launched a charm offensive to let Middle Eastern journos know just what an important cog in the machine of history he will be.

“I would hope, at least, at the very minimum, people would say that George W. Bush respected my religion, and has great concern for the human condition; that he hurts when he sees poverty and hopelessness  ; that he’s a realistic guy,” he told al-Arabiya. “(And that) he helped present an alternative, and that was one based upon liberty and the rights of men and women in a just and free society.”

Damn! If not for their obvious irony, those words would be almost Lincolnesque . I could easily envision a white marble monument containing a statue of George. He’d wear a cowboy hat, chew a sprig of straw, and be picking cow shit off his presidential boot heel. Ringing the inside of the symbolic marble barn would be the words, engraved in gold, “He helped present an alternative, and that was one based upon liberty and the rights of men and women in a just and free society.” There wouldn’t be a dry neocon eye in the house.

But, George doesn’t have a lot of support for his case legacy-wise. Only one percent of respondents in one poll - presumably the one percent with all the money - consider him a “great” president, and that’s from his own people. Many Middle Easterners are equally blunt, “In Arab streets, many blame Washington for the plight of Iraqis and Palestinians . Bush’s presidency has been disastrous,” said an Egyptian journalist who received a National Endowment for Democracy award from George. It makes one wonder what he would have said had George stiffed him for the award.

There’s no doubt the Bush presidency will be remembered as an important time and there’s no arguing that it won’t influence the world long after he’s gone. His policies, his personal idiosyncrasi es, his remaking of the very fabric of the republic are far and deep reaching. However, George makes the same mistake many megalomaniac al despots make - that influential automaticall y equals good.

And by the yardstick, George W. Bush is a midget among giants.

Cross Posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

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Father Knows Best

AT&T Wiretapping Your WorldFinally, a Democrat grew a pair. Instead of Harry Reid, the cajoneless wonder, Chris Dodd stepped up and threatened a filibuster over retroactive immunity for telecommunic ations companies spying on behalf of the government. The Knight of Shining Hair didn’t put the vote off forever, but he did delay action until after the first of the year, leaving enough time to win a few more rational senators over. But more importantly, he highlighted just how meek and timid the current crop of Reidsters really are. Harry doesn’t just look like the kid who got has ass kicked every day in gym glass, he put the “kick me” sign on himself and dared bully George to kick him. And as bullies are wont to do, George routinely kicks his empty crotch with relish at every opportunity.

Many will claim Chris’s backbone grew as he grasped at straws to keep his woe-begotten Presidential campaign going. My response is “big frickin’ deal”. The man took the right stand and it doesn’t matter to me if it was for all the wrong reasons or not. We are no longer standing on a slippery slope when it comes to eroding our once-sacrosa nct civil liberties. We’re sliding hell-bent for leather down the world’s longest mud slide directly toward a brick wall a million times worse than anything America’s Evilest Home Videos has to offer. Someone has to put the brakes on, and strangely, mild-mannere d Chris turned out to be the man.

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The Great Pencil Sharpener War

Female Pencil SharpenerA few days back, the inestimable Blue Gal did a great post about sexism, harassment, and what constitutes those things. It referenced a series of posts (more here, here, here, and here) about whether a pencil sharpener with the body of a woman doing it doggie style with a pencil was simply a pencil-sharp ener or a full-fledged attack against women.

I’ve never seen one of these posting threads that didn’t quickly disintegrate into commenters taking sides, heading to the fox holes, and preparing for pop-culture Armageddon. This thread is no exception. These posts generally play out after no one has changed sides and everyone is exhausted, or simply stunned, by the effort spent on something a stupid as a pencil sharpener with a yellow No. 3 stuck up it’s butt.

I’m Anti-Social
I’m not a feminist, nor am I a men’s rights (masculinist  ?) advocate. I’m not anti-racist, pro-bigotry, anti-religio n, pro gay-rights, or anti-wiccan - hell, I’m even OK with most Republicans. I’m not a joiner of exclusivist groups because, quite frankly, I’m anti-social and don’t play well with others. Instead, I’m a “peopleist” who believes life is a dark ride and everyone gets the shaft in some way. I’m dedicated to understandin g problems rather than crashing a server farm with posts about pencil sharpeners (although I seem to be doing just that right now).

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The Hypocritical Dems

Nancy and Harry

As much as I hate to say this, Democrats are every bit as hypocritical as their Republican bottom-feedi ng cohorts. After being elected on a promise to clean the swill from the halls of government, all they’ve done is take out big mops and liberally spread it farther.

Not surprisingly  , nearly every day brings some new allegation of egregious behavior from the Pipsqueak-in -Chief or his Coalition of the All Too Willing in Congress. The Democrat response is a call for one more investigatio n to join the dozens already underway. The Republicans hurl charges of playing politics and wasteful spending on the unnecessary investigatio ns. And you know what? The Republicans are right - except for that “unnecessary ” part.

If Congress isn’t going to do anything with the testimony and other evidence, they shouldn’t bother. Just tell the people your pussy is bigger than Jenna Jameson’s and you’re too skeered to force the issue. If you subpoena someone, don’t embark on endless negotiations over what they will deign to reveal. Take the arrogant asses to court where they belong. Remember, we’re supposed to be a nation of laws and that means Karl, Harriet, and all the rest of the WH vermin. When the Dunderhead-i n-Chief threatens a veto, break out the crayons and let him scrawl right ahead.

I’m not an idiot. I’m quite aware the Dems don’t have the votes to override vetoes or even get much legislation to the floor, but they’ll never get any help from the people if all they do is put on two-faced Harry Reid/Nancy Pelosi masks and say, “Gosh darn it Mr. President, we’re sorry about not proposing exactly what you want. It won’t happen again. Really. Would you like some soda to go with those pretzels? We wouldn’t want you to choke.”

The Dems are afraid they’ll be cast as “soft on terror” or “obstruction ist”, which are pretty specious claims when you consider the Republicans are scared of a cave-dwellin g hermit (NSFW) who shoots amateur terror porn and are twice as obstructioni st now as they ever were while in power.

Congressiona l approval is in the toilet because a majority of the electorate wants Congress to do the job they were sent to do. Yes, they’ll be pissed that many important pieces of legislation may not pass, but not one-tenth as pissed as seeing the Dems cower like cornered rats. The Democrats need to get a notion of principle, and fast. It’s better to try to do the right thing - and fail - than to sit around eating bon bons and ignoring the masses who put you there.

Nancy, Harry, et al, that face you see in the mirror really is a crapweasel wearing a Bush mask. It’s not some hangover you got after partying hard with Congressiona l pages. It truly is you and you should be ashamed.

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George Bush Tells the Truth…At Least Half of it Anyway

Chimpy McSmackerlipsIn George Bush’s weird parallel universe, fact and fiction often pass like ships in the night (going on to strike icebergs later, but that’s another post). The knock is that he lies or conveniently forgets important facts when they’re inconvenient . As far as it goes, that theory holds water, but it fails to account for a peachy-keen trick he’s mastered - he can lie and tell the truth at the same time. That’s mighty impressive for a man who probably can’t spell manipulate.

Monday’s NIE estimate revealing that Iran gave up their nuclear weapons program several years ago is a case in point. At first blush it looks like a complete repudiation of Shrubby’s bomb ‘em sooner rather than later bellicosity. “WWIII is a-comin’! They’ll have one of them nook contraptions any day now! Eye-Ran is run by a crackpot who has no respect for the world community!”  (Look who’s talking.)

So does he respond by saying, “Gee whillikers folks. I got that whole Iranian weapons thing all wrong”? Of course not, that would be so very unbushian. His response was vintage Bush League after being dealt a stunning political blow - he said the estimate backs him up on almost every count.

Does anyone doubt that Iran is run by a crackpot with few brains and a big mouth? Of course not, it is. Do people know Iran has a nuclear program? Sure, it just isn’t currently geared toward weaponry. Could the Iranians get a bomb quickly? Maybe not next week, but fast enough. And would they use it? Undoubtedly. Will this keep him from sabre-rattli ng? Of course not. He says he’s going to rattle them louder. And, the list goes on.

His trick is to pop the kernel of truth at the center of a negative into luscious, crispy Jiffy Pop positive. If Shrub was any more chipper and confident in the face of adversity he’d make Tony Robbins look like a clinical depressive. In part, this is why he seems as so Teflon-coate d. He goes out and tells the truth - his version of it anyway - and dares the nay sayers to prove him wrong. Of course they can’t exactly prove him completely wrong because he told some partial truth. Not that it matters, because most of his opponents are so cowed by their own sense of his invincibilit y they’re afraid to try. They live in fear of pointing out Shrub’s non-sensical half-truths in case he rebuts with a perfectly legitimate statement that sounds perfectly rational when framed within his own Orwellian context. This will only stop when we challenge him on the basic immutable truths and no stop awarding debate points for half-truths.

It doesn’t matter if he lied to pump up an Iraq invasion. It doesn’t matter that he runs the war like a no-armed man in a mosquito breeding tent. It doesn’t matter that we’re bleeding money and young lives. What does matter, is that the decision to invade was wrong and dangerous. Don’t claim you were duped. Don’t say he hid information. Don’t say you thought it was a good idea at the time, because it wasn’t and all of those things have some truth to them. How we became entrapped in Simper McBusherstei n’s giant suckhole doesn’t matter. What does matter is what we’re going to do about it. It’s time we all pulled up our big boy and girl panties and told the truth. Not some cockamamie half-truth twice removed from this dimension, but a simple and whole truth.

“You sir are an asshat, and this crap has to stop now!”

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