Friday, January 24, 2014

Top 11 Ways Wendy Davis Should Have "Tightened Up" Her Language

11. Technically speaking, there is no explicit Constitutional right to taxpayer funded birth control for married women having affairs

10. When she said her opponent hasn’t walked a mile in her shoes she should have said that her opponent hasn’t rolled a mile in her shoes

9. Shouldn't have called Michael Crabtree a sorry receiver

8. Could have better clarified her absolute hatred of men, children, and motherhood

7. Nicknaming her husband "the clueless ATM" might have been misinterpreted

6. In wedding vows, mistakenly said "til death do us part," when she meant to say "til my student loans are paid off do us part"

5. Private comments were misinterpreted, but she really thought her opponent was a member of a notorious LA street gang

4. Multiple misquotes of Indigo Girls lyrics during her abortion bill filibuster

3. Misquoted Henny Youngman; his joke wasn't "take my children, please;" also, her custody hearing probably wasn't the best place for that sort of joke

2. Incorrectly asserted that Helen Reddy song was titled, "I am woman, pay for my college"

1. Should have used the words "baby" or "human being" instead of "fetus" or "tissue"

Sunday, January 19, 2014

My Girl Wants To Party All The Time

In the first week of February, Jay Leno will close out his second stint on The Tonight Show. Jay's guests for this historic week include: Billy Crystal, Jimmy Fallon, Betty White, Matthew McConaughey and Sandra Bullock. 

Last Friday, the First Lady celebrated her 50th birthday, with a lineup featuring much greater star power. Guests included: Beyonce, Paul McCartney, Samuel Jackson, Magic Johnson, Smokey Robinson, John Legend, and James Taylor. 

At least taxpaying Americans don't have to foot the bill for Leno's party. Though I suspect many wouldn't mind paying the First Lady's tab if she were leaving her job too.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Twelve O'clock, Rock

They say that even a broken clock is right twice a day. This isn't always true. There is a clock that has the distinction of never telling the correct time since its invention in 1947. I speak of the "Doomsday Clock."

In 1946, as the free world basked in the glow of victory over Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan, Winston Churchill documented the beginning of the Cold War by giving his "Iron Curtain" speech in Fulton Missouri. Churchill's message was simple: the free world needed to stand up against Soviet aggression.

While most acknowledged the reality Churchill referenced, everyone didn't necessarily agree with his prescription of courage and strength as the solution to the problem. Some decided that hand wringing and moral equivalence presented a better alternative. This group included many scientists who, in all honesty, were frightened by the pace with which technology had advanced, a rate that outpaced mankind's morality. These people thought the solution lay not in strength, but in alarm-ism. As a result, they created the "Doomsday Clock" to chart mankind's proximity to its own destruction via nuclear holocaust.

The "Doomsday Clock," like anthropological global warming, is an alarmist pretense suggesting that mankind is in the process of destroying the earth. I will give the clock-watchers more credit than the global-warming alarmists, the potential for a nuclear doomsday certainly exists. As is not the case with global warming, one can clearly count a number of victims of the nuclear weaponry. However, the clock metaphor that they used is severely flawed.

In 1947, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, a publication started by some of the researchers who worked on the atomic bomb, published the clock on its cover for the very first time. The clock was depicted at 11:53, signifying a nuclear "doomsday" only seven minutes away. Seven minutes after publication, the earth survived, providing the quickest debunking ever to a piece of peace-nick propaganda. Each year for nearly seventy years, the Bulletin has published a new clock. Each year, the clock has been proven wrong.

The latest the clock has ever read was an 11:58 reading that occurred in 1953. That clock was off by at least sixty years. 

Occasionally, the clock has moved backwards. In 1991, after eleven years of Reagan-Bush policies that publishers of the Bulletin assured us would move us toward a nuclear doomsday, the Soviet Union disintegrated and the clock was moved back to 11:43. However, because alarmist caterwauling sells magazines and gains media attention, the Bulletin has spent the better part of two decades moving the clock closer to midnight. Each time, the doomsday prediction has quickly gone unfulfilled.

In 2012, despite three years of Bulletin approved leadership of President Barack Obama, the bulletin moved the clock ahead one minute to 11:55. They kept it there in 2013 and again this year, with a prescription for moving the clock backward. It comes as no surprise that one of the recommendations is to provide political leadership (aka hackneyed liberal solutions) on climate change. 

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Top 11 Reasons the Packers Can't Sell Out Their Playoff Game Sunday

11. Less fun urinating into an empty beer cup when your urine freezes before it hits the cup  

10. Brokeback Mountain on cable at same time as the game

9. Fans read Larry Jacobs' state economic comparison piece and are saving their money to move to Minnesota

8. One of Paul Ryan's concessions on the budget deal

7. Giant cheeseheads contract in sub-zero temperatures creating a serious concussion risk

6.  Scott Walker's draconian cuts mean state workers can no longer afford basic necessities like tickets to Packers playoff games 

5. Would rather stay home and watch grainy super 8 film of Super Bowl I

4. New Years' Eve DWI arrests blew huge hole in season ticket base

3. Mass disappointment in Aaron Rodgers' announcement that he's not gay

2. In hindsight, decision to sell Packer playoff tickets online on same sites as Obamacare exchanges was probably a bad idea

1. The Packers do not have good fans

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Dyke Dynasty

Ani Difranco is probably the last person you would expect to be on the "wrong" side of a controversy related to politically correct thought crimes. In fact, if one wanted to find an opposite of Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson, she would fit the bill. Robertson is a devout Christian; Difranco is an atheist. Robertson is pro-life, Difranco a loud enough pro-abortion voice to win Planned Parenthood's Maggie Award for Media Excellence. Most recently Robertson's anti-gay comments caused a stir. That won't be a problem for Difranco, who describes herself as bisexual and has a handful of Gay/Lesbian American Music Awards, including 1999's Female Artist of the Year. (Editor's note: doesn't offering a "female" version of artist of the year conscribe artists to imposed gender roles? Think about it, GLAMA folks)

Throw in a National Organization of Women's Woman of Courage Award for 2006, and one would think that Ani Difranco would be completely insulated as a favorite of America's though police. One would be wrong. Difranco has recently been accused of racism. And frankly, the accusation brings to mind accusations of racism leveled against none other than Phil Robertson.

Let's look at the Robertson case first. In the same interview that drew media scrutiny for anti-gay statements, Robertson also suggested that blacks were happy during the pre-civil rights era:

I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field.... They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.

Robertson apparently wasn't acquainted with Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, or Elmore James, who all grew up in the Mississippi Delta and all sang the blues. While his comments don't appear hateful, Difranco couldn't possibly be so insensitive. Say it ain't so Ani?

Unfortunately, Difranco was that insensitive, at least in the eyes of many civil rights activists. She scheduled a four day songwriting workshop open to anyone willing to pony up $1,700 or more at a former slave plantation in Louisiana. Her website glamorized the setting as the current owners:

. . . restored this historic plantation to her days of glory as well as adding luxury resort amenities.

Glory? Referring to the time when a subjugated race cared for the property? That seems too much for some critics who started a petition on to stop the madness:

In order for this event to be canceled, this petition has been formed so that feminists and queer individuals of all races can express their disdain for DiFranco's racist and oppressive gestures, not to mention the obvious exclusion of/disregard for her black fans. Holding an event on the site of the genocide of black people is no way to show inclusion and intersectionality, both of which are important tenets of feminism.

Difranco claims she didn't understand the fuss:

When I found out it was to be held at a resort on a former plantation, I thought to myself, ‘whoa,’ but I did not imagine or understand that the setting of a plantation would trigger such collective outrage or result in so much high velocity bitterness.

Ultimately, she cancelled the workshop.

Many on the right came to the defense of Phil Robertson when he made his comments. I think it's time to come to Difranco's defense as well. The location Difranco chose for her workshop employed slave labor as recently as 150 years ago. It's not like any slaveholders will benefit from Difranco's business. Further, slavery was allowed in the entirety of the south. I understand that this could be painful for some, but the alternative is essentially a mass exodus to some Eden-like location where no sin was ever committed. I'm quite certain that America will never get along until people like Difranco or Robertson are permitted to state their thoughts under the assumption that they aren't trying to insult an entire class of people.