Friday, April 29, 2011


Yes, as it happens, this is serious.

In case you hadn't heard, two rich people got married in England today. If you've had any awareness of the celebrity news, as carried by every goddamn publication in the world, you already know this, even if you don't know why you should give a rat's ass about it.

I find it particularly mystifying that anyone in the United States, or any other civilized country, would care, and I'm not just grousing about it.

You see, a couple of hundred years ago some brave Americans stood up to an English king (well, he was German, really, like the current occupants, but he was the king of England) and announced what was at the time a radical proposition:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. . .

They view things differently over in England. They believe that a king or queen is entitled to rule by an accident of birth. Or, to be more specific, the English dogma is that the incumbent inbred king or queen, whoever he or she might be, is given authority by god to rule over the country.

When people, whether they be the yammering twits on the Today Show (Motto: "Just pretend you're watching the news") or the throngs of people lining the streets of England, celebrate or give any credence to the monarchy, they are saying that the Declaration of Independence is wrong. We're not all created equal, some lucky few families are inherently superior to everybody else in the world. They deserve everything they have because they, well, just because.

So if you see me scowl or grimace at every mention of one more undistinguished rich guy marrying one more conventionally attractive woman, or when you express similar feelings of disgust, that's standing up for American principles.

If the English are stupid enough to buy into their royalist ideology I can't stand in their way, but the world will be better off when nobody claims or recognizes any title of royalty.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tonight's quiz

Now that Obama has released his so-called "long form" birth certificate, one thing is certain: the racists who have been pushing the birther lie for more than two years now are not going to stop.

There's only one question: now that he's done exactly what they wanted him to do, what will they rely on to continue their campaign of lies?

Here are a couple of possibilities:

1. "It's still not a birth certificate, it's a certificate of live birth."

2. "It doesn't disprove the Kenyan birth certificate or his grandmother's story about seeing him born in Kenya."

3. This one's probably a forgery too.

4. Even if he's a citizen, he's not a natural born citizen because his father was not a citizen. (Note: the fact that no court has ever interpreted the "natural born citizen" clause the way they want it to be interpreted apparently doesn't bother them.

5. Hawaii? You really expect us to believe that's part of the United States?

6. Maybe he was born here, but he's still a Muslim.

7. And the ultimate birther argument: niggerniggernigger.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Now this is what I call a conversation starter!

If you've ever had teenagers you know that it can be challenging to make sure they maintain their abstinence pledge. After all, look at Bristol Palin.

Now, a group of pro-abstinence mothers (how did they get to be mothers? I have no idea) have come up with a new line of sexy underwear to promote chastity in their little girls. Because after all, what's a better time to get your nubile young daughter to start a conversation about abstinence than when she and her boyfriend are down to their underwear.

We created a line of underwear to use as conversation starters to help reinforce family morals as they relate to relationships and dating.

So if you have decided that the Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue has gotten too sexy for you, WWYMD might be just the thing for you.

Labels: ,

Monday, April 18, 2011

Keep your pants on, Mr. President

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Want a tax cut?

Who doesn't like the idea of having their taxes cut, right? After all, taxes are money out of your pocket, and nobody feels that they have enough money, so if they can hold onto some of it they'll be happy.

That's been the Republican mantra for decades, ever since Reagan was president, or even earlier (remember Jarvis-Gann in California, the proposition that has decimated California's educational and other public institutions?).

This idea continues to form the latest Republican tax proposal, and I think it really deserves a close look.

You see, the Republicans, and their head budget guy, Paul Ryan, have proposed a new tax plan, and their plan does, as promised, cut taxes. A lot. $182,900,000,000.00. In case you're not used to reading numbers like this, it's $182.9 billion.

There's only one problem here. With all that money in tax cuts, who's not getting a tax cut?


That's right, you and everyone else who makes less that $127,769 a year. In fact, the bottom 90% of all taxpayers would receive a tax increase. Not to worry, though, because we are getting a big tax cut in the aggregate. Does it really matter if 100% of those tax cuts are distributed to the highest 10% of all earners?

The Republicans are betting that it won't matter one bit, because they'll still pitch the debate as one where they are proposing a tax cut and Democrats are proposing a tax increase. I would think, though, that there should be a huge difference between the Republicans' usual tactic, which is to package a pittance in tax cuts to the middle class with gigantic tax cuts to the wealthy and this new plan, which is to actually raise taxes on the middle class to fund big tax cuts on the rich.

This is really Robin Hood in reverse.

This should be a winning argument for us, but it has to be made, and made loud and clear, every single day.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, April 02, 2011

One more time

There were those who argued that there was no difference between the two major presidential candidates in 2000, and many of them will continue to argue, after the disappointments of the Obama administration, that there is no meaningful difference between the Obama who runs for reelection in 2012 and whatever troglodyte the Republican Party selects as its candidate.

One of the popular memes these last few years is that elections have consequences, and in a presidential election, one of those consequences is that the president gets to nominate justices to the Supreme Court.

The guy selected in 2000 got to appoint John Roberts, the current Chief Justice, and Samuel Alito, one of Roberts' accomplices. The guy elected in 2008 got to appoint Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Obama's two appointees and Bush's two appointees were on opposite sides of a case this week in which the Bush majority decided that a man who was convicted, sentenced to death, and served fourteen years on death row because of a fraudulent conspiracy to conceal exculpatory evidence carried out by prosecutor Harry Connick, Sr., and attorneys working under him, was not entitled to compensation.

Do you think things might have come out a little differently in this case if Bush hadn't been in the White House to appoint Alito and Roberts?

I sure do.

Thanks, Ralph.

Labels: , , ,

The Wall Street Journal: Lying in the Service of the Ruling Class

There are certain institutions in the American press that can always be counted on, and the Wall Street Journal is one of them. Here's the latest example of their overheated rhetoric.

Having lost their fight in the legislature, Wisconsin unions are now getting out the steel pipes for those who don't step lively to their cause.

What's the action the workers are requesting?

A sign that says the business supports workers' rights.

And those steel pipes?

"With that we'd ask that you reconsider taking a sign and stance to support public employees in this community. Failure to do so will leave us no choice but do [sic] a public boycott of your business."

Yup, count on the Wall Street Journal.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, April 01, 2011

Michelle Rhee for Secretary of Education!

The news this week makes one thing absolutely clear: the only person who can solve the problems or underachievement, featherbedding, and sheer ineptitude in America's schools is Michelle Rhee.

Let's take a look at the record. In just three years as chancellor of the D.C. Public Schools, Michelle Rhee was able to:

==>Improve the test performance at one of the public schools from 10% at or above grade level to 58%.
Standardized test scores improved dramatically. In 2006, only 10% of Noyes' students scored "proficient" or "advanced" in math on the standardized tests required by the federal No Child Left Behind law. Two years later, 58% achieved that level. The school showed similar gains in reading.

==>Fire or otherwise eliminate over 600 teachers and principals.

==>Award over $1,000,000 in bonuses to teachers and principals whose students improved their test scores.

==>Rolled out new educational technology in the DC Public Schools, the self-correcting answer sheet. By using this new technology, some high performing schools in the District were able to accomplish an erasure rate of 85%, with the rate of "wrong to right" erasures of 12.7 per test, a rate heretofore achieved only in some of the fraternities at the legendary Faber College.

==>Parlayed astounding DC test scores to $75 million in new federal funding for District schools.

We are long past the time when we can rely on overpaid "educators" with their so-called "credentials" and "diplomas" to understand what our students need. The time has come for a steady hand at the helm of our educational institutions, and that steady hand is attached to the steady arm, which is attached to the steady shoulder of the one person who recognizes that our educational problems are caused by teachers and students: attack them, fix the test results, and we'll be in great shape!

Today DC, tomorrow the world!

Labels: , ,