Thursday, December 27, 2007
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet, 1694-1778) was a French philosopher credited with influencing many of the founding fathers of our country. The picture above is more or less there for two reasons; one it just looks effing cool and two it nicely sums up the philosophy of the man whose writings I've come to admire.
Here is the second installment of News with Voltaire!
"The secret of being boring is to say everything."
"Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills."
"If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."
And rounding it out with an oldie but a goody....
"Anything too stupid to be said is sung."
Monday, December 24, 2007
We Americans have been given a bad rap lately because after a crisis, we placed our trust in the untrustworthy. But like all the other harrowing moments and / or lapses in our history, this too shall pass. Until then, here are ten historical reminders we can use as sign posts on our way back home. I think we'll find out that it's not that far of a walk.
1. The Boston Tea Party
Not everybody likes tea. And alot of people who don't like it are usually afraid to say it because it might make them look less civilized. But lets be honest with ourselves, it's grass soaked hot water that some explorer presented to some monarch who then in turn forced it down the population's throats. When our forefathers were told that not only was this hoity toity crap going to be forced down their throats as well, but they would also have to pay an extra tax for it; they committed an act of dissent that even Muhatma Ghandi used as inspiration. They dressed up as the least "civilized" people they knew and chucked it off the ships. They didn't do this to frame the Indians, they did it as a statement saying, "We're ALL 'savages' over here, so don't be sending us any more herbs unless they're for smokin'!" For a fictional account of what transpired the next day, check this out.
2. The Declaration of Independence
Penned mostly in a bar on 100% hemp paper, is the best "Dear John" letter given to a monarch since the Magna Carta. Each man who put his signature on this document knew he was potentially signing his own death warrant. Treason wasn't a crime the crown took lightly, and George III was a crazy bastard. Yet living on this side of the ocean, far away from the stink of monarchy and with very little supervision, we concocted a new idea. How about we create a country where people are subject to themselves and not some inbred bafoon with a shiny hat? What if we further that thought and assume that the human being is given certain rights that can't be taken away just because one person is a butthole descended from a long line of buttholes? What would happen if we let the people govern themselves? Well this is what happens....read on!!
3. Our Revolution and That Badass Snake Flag
In the late 1700's, Great Britain was one of the largest superpowers the world had ever seen up to that point. The battle hardened army of King George III had seen action all over the planet and was reputed to be invincible. And the Blackwa....I mean Hessian mercenaries that came with them were known for their cruelty and barbarism. Yet with all this sophistication and reputation, they still insisted on fighting an army of farmers and hunters in the forest while wearing bright red uniforms. They cried "no fair" when our marksmen picked off their officers from the trees, thereby giving birth to the art of sniping. The inevitable victory against these monarch humpers didn't come easily, and we got help from the French in the end to hold them still while we whaled on them. We've since paid that debt back two fold (see # 8). And the whole time, we were using this badass snake flag to show our intent, "step on us, and your ass is bit!"
4. The Barbary Pirate Campaign
Since the early middle ages, the Barbary Pirates were a bane to all who sailed into the Mediterranean. If not payed tribute, they would capture your ship, behead or torture to death it's commander and officers in front their crew, and enslave the rest. So all counties who engaged in trade in the Mediterranean usually complied with the tribute thing and chalked it up to the price of doing business. Then we came along. After Jefferson was elected President, he ceased our share of the tribute and deferred protests and questions of his new policy to "deez nuts" when approached by the envoy from Tripoli. The resulting 4 year war scored as follows: The United States Navy and Marine Corps: 3 killed / 3 wounded / 2 Ships Lost. Barbary Pirates: 800 Dead /1200 Wounded / 4 Metric Assloads of Ships Lost. To this day, descendants of the Barbary Pirates occasionally feel sharp stings to their backsides randomly and seemingly without cause. So this was the first time in our history, we said "you're welcome" to the rest of the world and went about our merry way. It wouldn't be the last....
5. The Old West
Freedom rules. But much like donuts, too much of a good thing can often bloat you and cloud your judgment. This is how it was during our westward expansion. Lack of any honest authority figures coupled with a largely uneducated population made for some pretty interesting scenarios. For example, in a free society, self expression is a right we all have that cannot be infringed upon. So then does it follow, that if my buddy cheats me at poker and I shoot him point blank in the face, I am protected by my rights to express my disdain for dishonorable gamesmanship? After all, liberty was a new concept. At less than 100 years into it, the free world as we know it was going through it's Cambrian Era, and the question of whether it's okay to shoot your friend in the face out of self expression came up quite a bit. A few thousand public hangings later, the general population got this new freedom thing sorted out. This was a time when Good, Evil, and Neutral all made appearances and asked questions that we are still answering today. A definite B.M.F. Moment in our history.
6. Nikola Tesla's Mad Genius
During a time when everything that we consider to be modern was being invented, this guy was getting his ideas stolen by the grumpy old man he worked for. Even though he was an ethnic Serb born in Croatia, he considered himself a patriotic American. When he was finally unleashed from Edison and given the ability to fly on his own, he came up with the technology that eventually led to the internet, cell phones, neon signs, radio, television, electric cars, robotics, better x rays, and of course particle beams. There are a couple of reasons he became just a footnote in your high school history class. The first one is he devised a way for everyone on the planet to have free electricity and information by using specially designed transmitter arrays that would be non polluting and a cinch to maintain. The second is that he actually DID invent a freaking death ray that scared the hell out of everyone so much, that they ridiculed him into obscurity. Today he the only single person on this list of B.M.F. Moments in American history, and all American geeks today can trace their social lineage directly to Nick. Thanks, buddy!
7. The Goddamn Airplane
Yeah, people had hot air balloons. But the Wright brothers saw that as human float, not human flight and decided to give us what we really wanted. So it came to pass that a couple of bicycle geeks with alot of time and not yet broken bones on their hands eventually gave rise to the airplane. Even though there were many attempts that would clearly qualify today as an extra season of Jackass, the crazy bastards did it. "Hi, I'm Orville Wright, and this is the aero-plane!" was often announced to reporters at the sites just before test flights. This was further reinforced by his brother Wilbur, who would add "Yeah dude!" with both thumbs extended. After each horrific crash, they would go over the physics and math in the back of the ambulance before shock, hemorrhaging, and / or blood loss made Orville have to take a break for a while. Eventually though, their efforts paid off and our country became the first culture to embrace the Air Show.
8. Kicking Germany's Ass and Saving France's not Once, but Twice in 25 Years
While compiling this list, I wanted to shy away from the war aspect of our history. Contrary to how it may look sometimes, Americans are actually pretty peaceful people. In fact we had no desire to enter into either of two wars that forced us to kick Germany's ass and save France's (twice), but we got forced into them by military sucker punches. And as peaceful as we are at heart, if you really make the effort piss us off, we usually win whatever war we are in with you. It was already starting to get personal when Hitler decided to attack our mother country, the since forgiven and still beloved Great Britain. And if you know anything about American boys, you know not to mess with our momma. Military strategists all say that it's almost impossible to win a two front war. Yet we had the Empire of Japan, who hadn't been defeated in a war....ever, on one side. And on the other side we had the Nazi war machine who had already conquered most of Europe. We and our honorable British allies charged into this two front war and the ass kicking we laid out was so catastrophic that we still see the results today. The Nazi war machine is now peaceful Germany once again complete with pretentious techno clubs and scat porn. And the once undefeated Empire of the Sun, birthplace of the deadly samurai, is now the land of Hello Kitty, cosplay, and vending machines with girls' dookie drawers.
9. Rock and Roll
It sprouted up all over our country in different places almost all at once. It was called by some the bastard child of the Blues and Gospel, but if you lived in Texas it was Blues and Country, in Kentucky it was Bluegrass and Gospel. Doesn't matter. As much as we may take it for granted now, this was a turning point for all humanity in that music once again became a more visceral experience. Not since people still lived in tribes had music carried so much feeling and sensual expression. Sure Mozart's music was pretty, Beethoven is great too, and that Big Band stuff that was popular right before Rock was born wasn't bad. But once this new music hit the airwaves, people started to go nuts. The conservative types at the time thought it was everything from a passing fad to literally direct communication from Beelzebub himself, and tried their damndest to have it banned. Fifty years later, it's still the music of free hearted people all over the world, born from a free country by a free people.
10. The Effing Moon
It wasn't a hoax, it wasn't faked, anybody with a good enough telescope and laser can silence the skeptics. One morning in Washington, a possibly still tanked from the night before John F. Kennedy strutted into Congress and proclaimed "We're going to put someone on the moon, and we are going to do it in 10 years." And it was done. After the initial shock of "holy crap there's a guy on the moon" wore off, we discovered that there wasn't actually much to do up there. That is other than making three story shadow puppets, chipping golf balls six miles, and calling the Russian president every night to ask if we were blocking his light. Now at the end of the day the only thing that could conceivably be higher than our flag would be Willie Nelson and Tommy Chong together at an Amsterdam coffee shop.
So there you have it, the Top 10 Most B.M.F. Moments in American History.
Written by a liberal....
Merlyn Trey Hunter
Friday, December 21, 2007
It's been announced that the comedy duo of Krauthhammer and Kristol the Klown will not have their contracts renewed for Time Magazine. These guys were responsible for some brilliant comedy routines destined to be classics. Classics such as "It's Only Gonna Take Us 6 Months to Win in Iraq", "We'll Be Greeted as Liberators","Iran has a Nuke Pointed Right At Us", and of course, "The CIA Just Wants Bush to Look Bad so it Cooked it's Own Intel, Purposefully Putting the Nation At Risk of Nuclear Annihilation".
As it turned out, there were some readers and listeners who took what these guys had to say seriously. The current impressionable and mentally challenged president was one of those people. And just as PBS had to tone down Ernie and Bert sleeping in the same bed, Time Magazine has seen fit to give these two their walking papers for the sake of the public good. Much like Beavis and Butthead in the 90's, when stupid people started imitating them, they ruined the laughter for all of us.
I'm going to miss these guys, I remember how much they used to crack me up. I remember when they first got their start in that "parody policy" thing they wrote up called the Project for a New American Century where they go on to say that the US needs to become the next global aggressor. Yeah look around on that site, it's comedy gold.
Hopefully Hollywood Squares will pick these guys up so they can eat least make money enough to eat. Is that show even still on? No matter, we'll hear all about them in a VH1 special some day.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
This is a fake journalist that must have some kind of dirt on the producers at MSNBC in order to keep his job. I seriously have NO earthly idea how anyone could sit through an entire episode of that Brainy Smurf meets Jiminy Cricket on cocaine voice of his. At least he got rid of the bow tie after Jon Stewart intellectually spanked him on national television. Who could forget these 14 minutes of truth coming to CNN. Crossfire didn't last much longer after this.
Man, poor Jon. He tried, you gotta give him that at least. The same amount of absurdity is still there in the public media discourse. I got this video from Crooks and Liars this morning and I almost got sick. I'll just let you watch and not even set it up.
How does this guy have a job anywhere near the field of journalism. And the fact that we have THAT high a percentage of homeless people who wore a uniform to protect our country IS a big thing and is NOT something to snicker at. He goes further to say that homelessness is all drug addiction and mental illness. Well that's just another pulled out of his ass lie. There are little kids living in our streets Tucker, are they all crackheads and mental patients too? Somebody PLEASE fire this asshole. I heard rumor that Rachel Maddow could be replacing him soon, and I pray that his crying and whining is filmed when that happens.
Until such shining moment he is indeed the Asshat of the Day.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Weird but true story! I was walking a field by my house when I happened upon this weird blue phone booth thing. The door opened up and some weird British looking dude ran out, hand cupped to his backside, making a bee line for the nearest store. Hey when you gotta go, you gotta go.
I was curious as to what he was doing in a phone booth. In the middle of a field. I mean, if he was in that thing long enough to have to go that bad, it's gotta be something interesting. I got to the thing and it turned out to not be a phone booth, it said "Police Call Box" on the top. Hmmm...why doesn't it say "Policia"(I'm in Costa Rica), why is it blue, why was it here, and what did that guy eat to make him run that damn fast. Poor bastard probably thought this cop box was a jiffy john. Yeah that actually made sense.
So I open this thing up and....well there ain't no way any of you would believe me. Let's just say that whatever cop designed this thing, he used the available space exceptionally. I turned to see the weird English guy jumping up and down yelling at me to "bloody stop", holding his own backside with both hands. I turned to him and yelled back, "Man you better get in that store before you shi'tcher pants!" then proceeded to walk into the blue cop box.
To make it short; got in, checked out the digs, wondered why he never installed a toilet since he had room for a weird 70's style futon, and then decided to check out his music collection. Since English people drive on the wrong side of the road, I had assumed the big pillar in the center was his stereo. So I walked up to the thing to see if I could find any Jethro Tull. Dude was probably going to be back soon anyways and a little pissed, so I figured it best to put something mellow on.
So I hit a bunch of buttons, hoping I wasn't deleting anything. And I saw a counter that said "1/5/2009", and thought to myself "HEY! That's a few days after preznit Asshat gets out of office!" I hit the button under the counter, heard a weird noise like a cross between a car with bad brakes and a cat caught in a wine press, and figured out what this blue thing was for!
I got out and shot some video of what I saw. The air seemed cleaner, children were playing, Phish was announcing it's reunion, and cats were riding dogs like horses....both treasuring the experience. The video I shot of the day after the new President was sworn in is a little grainy. The English dude only had a 70's era camera so bear with me on quality. All the events here are in real time as I saw them.
I gave the cry ass guy too dumb to put a bathroom in his apartment his blue cop box back and apologized. He let me keep the video I took of the post inauguration day events, which I have in turn posted for your viewing pleasure.
No, I don't know who won the Superbowl....
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I've just been notified by email that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and the two republican commissioners on his lap just approved new rules that will allow for a ginormous flood of media consolidation across America. In other words, good bye local and investigative journalism. This is more 1984 crap they are trying to pull to get a stranglehold on every piece of information you receive.
They tried to pull the same stunt in 2003 when they thought no one was looking, but an outcry from people who WERE looking stopped it. This has to end here and now. We have to get back to objective and unbiased journalism before it's too late.
Sign the petition and spread the word. Again, this news is only a few minutes old so there's still time!
Even though it infuriates me to no end that in the last year of a damn good president's term, he and the entire country were subjected to his impeachment at the hands of a bunch of dress sniffing republican weasels desperate to slander him. I remember Ken Starr's hoisting of a dress in the air like he found the Holy Grail.
Fast forward to now. We have the same republican weasels in charge for about six years, completely reversing every good thing that came out of the 90's. Record surplus becomes record deficit. Housing market crashes. A President with the cognitive reasoning of a cocker spaniel sees a memo entitled "Bin Laden Wants To Crash Planes into our Freaking Buildings" and decides it would make a really cool origami project instead of the report it was intended to be. The country is told that gay marriage is a bigger threat than poverty or lack of health care. Basically from 2000 up to 2006, this country was run by the dumbest of the dumb, and for a while people were eating it up.
It got to the point where it began to physically hurt to listen to the news. The poor were vilified, and the rich were given a heaven on earth.
Well the winds of change have once again blown into the halls of liberty. America is waking up from it's testosterone and propaganda induced nightmare to see that they have been deceived. Clinton's indiscretions don't look so bad when you consider the damage done the the country, the constitution, and the free world by these asshats.
There is a Democratic Congressman from my home state that is different from alot of other Democrats in that his spinal column looks to be made of actual bone and not flan. He is driving a campaign to start impeachment proceedings against the turd who has probably been the actual president the whole time.
Please give Congressman Wexler the help he needs to start this process. Sign his petition to start the return to our country's honor. No more torturers, oil tycoons, war criminals, or latter day czars need to go on with business as usual.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I've had to take a couple of days off, but when I saw this at Democratic Underground, I had to share it. I love how these guys come out with something every three or four months that make the neocons and their thralls screech like wounded fruit bats until congress gets involved. Never mind that Ann Coulter can call for the death of a Supreme Court Justice, forget that the Inflatable Rush can call soldiers who protest the war "phoney soldiers", and if Michelle Malkin goes after a 12 year old boy like a political opponent...that's all okay. Why let Congress get involved, it's all good clean right wing fun.
But when someone from the other side decides to bradcast some truth, well then we need Congress to stop what it's doing and condemn it.
Well guys, they're still around and they got something new. Cover your ears, because the banshees are going into overtime on this one.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Voltaire (François Marie Arouet, 1694-1778) was a French philosopher credited with influencing many of the founding fathers of our country. The picture above is more or less there for two reasons; one it just looks effing cool and two it nicely sums up the philosophy of the man whose writings I've come to admire. I prefer this image to the frumpy bewiggified 16th century thing he actually did have going on. I wanted to incorporate some quotes of his and relate them to some current events to illustrate both lie and truth in the best way possible. So queue up some Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture and kick back at my first segment of News with Voltaire.
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh."
"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible."
"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: “O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.” And God granted it."
"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."
In closing this segment I would like to leave you with some good old fashioned patriotism in the form of a song performed by a great American. Try to keep your eyes dry everyone....
Friday, December 7, 2007
Mr. Olbermann, I think you can take it from here....
Daaayyyummm!! Can you imagine what horrific fate would have befell our friend here had he made this speech in 2002? Pretty sure we wouldn't be seeing him on TV anymore, which would be a huge crime considering the guy's brilliance.
Thank you Keith. Thank you for saying the things that NEED to be said on national TV. Our nation's return to itself begins here with the hilarity of watching a would be tyrant crash, burn, and try to pretend it was his plan all along.
These are good days to be alive.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
And it seemed like everyone fell for it too. And let's face it, kicking over the Taliban regime in Afghanistan wasn't the most satisfactory victory for action film addicted Americans wanting SOMEONE'S ass kicked after 911. It was like eating a vegan meal, it was good for us, but damn if we didn't need some meat. We wanted to see buildings exploding, tanks burning, and to hear the lamentations of the women.
So that almost unanimous feeling, combined with a devious and greedy administration bent on acquiring the Kurdish oil fields, led us to the biggest the biggest screwup in American history. And here we are today, waist deep in an ethnic conflict that has been brewing since the damn viking era. Those of us in dissent who saw this coming were branded every kind of name from anti-American to just plain stupid. I think time and lower blood pressure have vindicated us, but then they try to pull the same damn stunt AGAIN!!
Aaron McGruder, the genius behind The Boondocks comic strip and animated series, summed up the Iraq war perfectly in this jewel of a scene...
Attacking Iran will be this country's final act as a global superpower. The truth of that statement hurts, but truth has a tendency to do that. With all the evidence on the table now with the new NIE report showing they stopped making plans for weapons back in 2003, we wouldn't even have the flimsiest justification for attacking them. If Iraq was our Sudetenland then Iran would be our Poland. We would lose what precious credibility we had left on the international stage, and all the foreign investors that keep our economy afloat would probably withdraw. China, who gets pretty much all of their oil from Iran, would embargo us. All of our industry is there right now by the way, solid gold houses for corporate CEO's don't come cheap you know.
One thing is for certain, if we were to attack Iran and we still could (these assholes are crazy), we would start to be personally affected by it finally. It wouldn't be a distant problem that we could choose to change the channel from. It would be World War 3, and all bets would be off.
My kids and yours deserve better than that.
This is the same guy who actually showed some bespunkified resistance and much needed outrage when he went toe to toe with Scott McClellan over the Valerie Plame mess. Remember how Scott would get all sweaty and flustered when the questions started to dig? It was like watching a live action version Milton from Office Space sans the coke bottle glasses. "I was....told by the....chief....of...hey no comments on ongoing investigations! I beeleeb you have mah stapler!" Good times, good times....
But earlier this week, he was asked by Helen Thomas why American politics are so polarized. Now you and I quickly can surmise that maybe an entire cable news network devoted to propaganda and misinformation might have something to do with it? Or maybe it's conservative leaders playing the "God card" whenever an election comes up so voters feel they have to consider their immortal souls before casting their vote? Oh wait! Maybe it's because "old money" and big business plays way too influential a role in the political landscape?
Nope..according to NBC News Correspondent David Gregory, it's the internet and the blogoshpere that's to blame. That's right folks, it's not any of the rich and powerful forces I mentioned before, it's those pesky common folk on their computers screwing it all up. Go ahead and listen if you don't believe me.
Dave, Dave, Dave....wtf man? You DO realize that if the media in this country actually got their heads out of Paris Hilton's skirt and into what actually matters, there would be alot fewer people like me doing YOUR job. Do you think the 2000 election would have been reported differently on Edward R. Murrow's watch? Think of the outrage the old school journalists would have expressed about a major US city transforming into the Gulf of Mexico and the relief effort being spearheaded by Mr. Horsey Show.
Bloggers (liberal AND conservative) are stepping up to the plate while you over paid paparazzi ignore things like the CIA spook (in charge of making sure we don't get nuked) being outed for political gain. Here's the difference between us; we are people speaking for people, you are just one of the mouthpieces of General Electric.
I accuse you and the majority of your ilk of cowardice and complacency when this country started it's slide into fascism by cheering on an illegal "preemptive" war in 2003. You people had access to the truth, but you stuck your heads in the sand and ignored it out of fear. Remember the Dixie Chicks? Now when regular people step up to the plate and BECOME the media that you simply aren't, you accuse us of being the problem? Well I guess Britney not wearing underwear one day is more important....
Screw you David Gregory, you are my first "Asshat of the Day"
Sunday, December 2, 2007
It's even the same effing cast of characters right down to Rumsfeld being there at the exact moment he could do the most harm. Dick Cheney made a return to bonehead strategic thinking on a global scale after his hiatus too. Tricky Dick Nixon's war cabinet helped organize this war in Iraq and it seems they face the exact same repercussions for screwing it up like last time..... retirement in riches.
Thankfully other things remained the same too though. At first the people who thought this war was a dumb idea were branded liberals, traitors, and associated with Barbara Streisand. But as the body count rises, and the exit door drifts further down the hallway, people are starting to see what this mess is all about. And we have these words from another man from that time who actually deserves to be with us still, but isn't. This is 23 minutes of your life that you really need to invest for the sake of knowing the bigger picture.
Ebenezer Baptist Church April 30, 1967
This is one of the most beautiful sermons the good Reverend ever gave. As you listen, you may get chills as this speech could very well have been made last week about this war.
When I think of all the bigoted flotsam and jetsam coming from current religious leaders like Pat Robertson who actually called for the death of a world leader on national TV, I see why so many are drawn to agnosticism. But here was a man who actually thought Christianity was supposed to be based on the teachings of the gentle Nazarene, and not some Norse god of war. Where IS the Religious Left nowadays? How did mainstream American Christianity slip so far to the right of the political center? Listen to this MLK speech and then one from Pat Robertson and you will swear we are working with religions as far apart as Buddhism and Orthodox Aztec Church of Heart Removal.