Friday, November 29, 2013

You're Not Pro-Life, You're Pro-Forced-Reproduction

"The company heads bringing these claims want to have it both ways. By incorporating, owners and shareholders create separate entities and are not personally liable for their employees' salaries or health insurance costs – the entire point of incorporating is to create a legal entity separate from the individuals who created it. Yet these owners and shareholders want the court to consider their personal religious beliefs indistinguishable from those of the corporation, and allow those beliefs to dictate the kind of healthcare coverage their employees receive."

Read it and weep, Crispin Sartwell.

(Photograph: Richard Whelan/ Richard Whelan/Demotix/Corbis)

Tweets of Rage: Flying the Friendly Skies with Elan and Diane

OMG, I am laughing my ass off! 

Maybe some of you have seen this story by now, but my friend Marilyn just sent it to me and I couldn't resist passing it on.

A TV producer named Elan Gale has a wonderful, wicked sense of humor, which was called into play on Thanksgiving when he found himself on a plane with one of those obnoxious, entitled, narcissistic people we all know too well. But instead of just muttering under his breath or suffering in silence, he made a production out of it. (Well, that is his profession, after all.)

Black Friday

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

A friend just sent this to me and I had to pass it on. Thanks, Debbie!

"I'm no great cook. But I can follow the directions. Which said to let the bird chill in the sink for a few hours."


Friday, November 22, 2013

Psychopath of the Week

I think I'll start a new category: Psychopath of the Week. It's going to be hard to choose, I know, given that there are so many contenders. Particularly among the "leaders" of the political/business world. But soldier on we must in pursuit of a noble cause.

Monday, November 18, 2013



Lest you all forget, the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is Romneycare. It's the same program Romney instituted in Massachusetts when he was governor there. It's the same program. And it was written by the rightwing think tank The Heritage Foundation, to maximize corporate profit, not to provide decent health care. Would all those of you who now support the ACA have supported it if Romney were in the White House instead of Obama? 


Forget it -- we already know the answer.

Friday, November 15, 2013

TSA-style gropes at Coachella Music Festival

Another of my TSA News posts, originally published April 24, 2013:

As some of us have been saying for years, and taking no end of shit for it from know-nothing observers, it was only a matter of time before the tactics of the TSA moved from the airport to other venues. And now that day is here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

WikiLeaks Releases TPP Text

This is huge. Huge.

I've been writing and talking about the TPP -- Trans-Pacific Partnership -- for over a year now, also participating in protest demonstrations against it. The TPP is, to use the words of activists Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, "NAFTA on steroids."

It's a so-called "free trade" pact that is, in fact and not hyperbole, a corporate coup. The TPP would give transnational corporations sovereignty over governments.

No, I am not exaggerating.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Another World Is Possible: Marinaleda

I've been reading about Marinaleda for some time. A small village in the south of Spain, about 60 miles east of Seville, Marinaleda is a cooperative. A commune, a utopia, a socialist success story -- take your pick of terminology. The point is that it is a thriving community where everyone has a job, a home, a place in life. Poverty has been banished. There is no police force.

Yes, this place exists.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

2nd Man Comes Forward in New Mexico, re Forced Cavity Search

So that means there are more. Logic dictates that there have to be more.

As I wrote this morning, David Eckert is suing the police in Deming, New Mexico, because they forced him to undergo multiple -- 8 -- cavity searches, not only fingers probing his rectum, but also forced enemas and even forced sedation and a forced colonoscopy.

Since this story broke, another man in New Mexico has come forward reporting that he was also forced to undergo similar invasive searches, also for a similar trivial traffic infraction -- failing to use his turn signal.

Rolling Stone: The A-Team Killings -- Torture and Murder in Afghanistan

Rolling Stone has just published a blockbuster article detailing war crimes by American forces in Afghanistan. It's called The A-Team Killings.

Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of Democracy Now! interviewed the author of the article, Matthieu Aikins. In this clip, the first clip, he talks about how the article came about.

In this clip, we see Afghans and Westerners who appear to be Americans torturing a bound prisoner. Yes, it's gruesome. No, there are no thumb screws or cattle prods involved. Torture comes in many forms, not all of them involving medieval devices.

There's also a brief clip of Secretary of State John Kerry in convoluted bureaucrat-speak. In fact, I couldn't even understand what he was saying until Gonzalez and Aikins explained it. Kerry was saying that on the one hand the U.S. respected the Afghan system of justice, the loya jirga, but on the other hand it wouldn't subject any of its forces to that system of justice. Why? Because they and he know that U.S. soldiers have committed war crimes. And they want legal immunity for those crimes.

Cops & Docs Force Anal Cavity Searches on Man After Traffic Stop

This country is a police state. This country is a police state. Only in a police state could cops -- colluding with medical doctors, no less -- force 8 -- 8 -- anal cavity searches on a man after a minor traffic stop.

No, I am not making this up, for all you clueless naysayers out there who have your heads in the sand (or somewhere else -- but no worries; the cops will help you find it so you can get it back).

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"DHS Stupidity Mugs" A Crime Against Empire

Really, you can't make this shit up. Every day, actual news in the U.S. reads like something from The Onion. Only it's not from The Onion; it's real. And it's now become typical. Typical police-state stuff. (Oops -- there I go again, using the dreaded "p" word!)

Another Goober with a Grudge Shoots Up A Mall

We wake up this morning in the US to find that -- surprise, surprise -- yet another of America's finest has gone on a rampage with a gun. Luckily, this time, he didn't kill anyone but himself. And the police reaction was also, as usual, extreme. Then again, they probably had visions of Kenya in their heads.

This time it was at a shopping mall in New Jersey. The gunman walked through the mall -- "strutted," some witnesses said -- firing his gun. He moved through several areas of the mall, with people scrambling to get away, then ended up in a deserted area where he shot himself. Some authorities say he was looking for a particular someone to shoot first but didn't find that person. Who knows? Details are still coming out.

Another witness, who had been hiding in a locked storeroom with other people for two hours, was scared shitless to come out because he was afraid the police would shoot him. A reasonable fear.

One thing's for sure: if the gunman's name were something "Middle-Eastern-sounding" instead of Richard R. Shoop, the headlines this morning would be screaming "terrorism."

(Photo: AP)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Yet More Evidence That the U.S. Tortures With Impunity

As I've written so many times, most recently in this post on October 30th, the U.S. has embraced torture. The U.S. cannot pretend to stand for the rule of law or continue to spout platitudes about "democracy," "freedom," and, most gag-inducing, "American values."

And today's news bears that out.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

“I wish you had taken a less confrontational view of the TSA”

Of course, I was waiting for this.
Paul Ciancia is a mentally disturbed man. Just like Jared Loughner. Just like Adam Lanza. Just like James Holmes. Just like the Virginia Tech guy. Just like the Navy Yard shooter. Just like all the other ones whose names I can't remember in the long, bloody slog of mass shootings in this country.
I categorically reject the notion that criticizing the TSA had anything whatsoever to do with "inciting" a mentally ill man to commit this crime. If the TSA didn't exist, Ciancia would've found another reason.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Shots fired at LAX — where’s the TSA?

Gee, I guess all the groping can't prevent this. Quelle surprise.

From the New York Times:
LOS ANGELES — A shooting at Los Angeles International Airport led to the evacuation of at least one terminal on Friday, the authorities said. Flights have been grounded and passengers have not been allowed to get off airplanes that have landed, the airport said.

David Simon on American Empire

Baltimore -- and national -- treasure David Simon has done a lot of speaking on the ills that afflict this country and the dark path we're treading. I can't say with authority that his views are sought out more by the foreign press than our own here at home, but it sure seems that way. The Wire, after all, one of the most brilliant series in television history, was repeatedly dissed by the Emmys, while it was devoured by audiences and lauded to the skies in the U.K.