Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Tilting at Windmills

A quickie for ya:

"Now...will you hear any mention of this pardon in the mainstream media? Don't hold your breath. They will continue to advance the lie that somehow Karl Rove actually did something wrong and should be fired. They will continue to try and convince you that Valerie Plame was a covert agent, and that Rove actually used her name, none of which is true. "

Excerpt from testimony presented by former CIA analyst Larry C. Johnson on July 22, 2005 in hearings held by Senate and House Democrats on the national security implications of the Rove CIA leak:

"We must put to bed the lie that she was not undercover. For starters, if she had not been undercover, then the CIA would not have referred the matter to the Justice Department. Some reports, such as one in the Washington Times that Valerie Plame's supervisor at the CIA, Fred Rustman, said she told friends and family she worked at the CIA and that her cover was light. These claims are not true. Rustman, who supervised Val in one of her earliest assignments, left the CIA in 1990 and did not stay in social contact with Valerie. His knowledge of Val's cover is dated. He does not know what she has done during the past 15 years."

As far as Rove's having never "actually used her name", what utter bullshit. Tell ya what Mr. Boortz, I have an experiment for you. Why don't you leak to the New York Times that you sincerely want to kill Laura Bush's husband. And when the Patriot Act storm troopers drag you screaming into the night for a crash course in the Abu Graib diet plan of torture and humiliation, you can simply tell them to let you go. You did nothing wrong. You never actually used Dubya's name, right? There's your non-story, you asshat.

The Fight Against Fucking

So I was reading about all the furor brought about by the hidden sex scene discovered in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas that has since caused the makers of the game to give it an “AO” or “Adults Only” rating. What I find most amusing is that this game actually came out in October of last year and these groups didn’t really have that much of an issue with the content. Don’t get me wrong; I’m a big fan of this game and the series in general. But then again, I am an adult. I can separate fantasy from reality. I understand that just because my character does it in a game, that doesn’t give me the right to run around stealing cars, shooting cops, and mugging and/or killing hookers after I bang them. Although there’s always a few folks who scream about video game violence when one of these titles come out, there was nothing like the flurry of media-fueled outrage that we are seeing now when the game was released. That to me points out one of the basic inconsistencies I see in American society: violence is okay (for the most part), war is actually good, but sex is BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD!

Why are Americans so hung up about sex? How did we get so repressed? Are our Puritan roots showing? Maybe it’s time for a dye job. I hate to break it to you folks, but every mammal fucks. That’s what we do. And for a lot of us, watching fucking is entertaining and exciting. Why exactly is this so wrong? It seems that once again I’m going to have to pick on you religious types. Yes, I know I do it a lot, but you’re really asking for it. See the thing is us wacky “liberals” actually believe that it’s okay to agree to disagree, and that somehow we should all be able to “all just get along”. The problem is that you wacky “conservatives” think that the only way we can all get along is if we all disagree with everything you do. Well I’m sorry, but just because you think human sexuality is dirty and sinful doesn’t mean that I should have to.

Think about the ridiculous amount of coverage that Janet Jackson’s nipple received. Oh Your God! A NIPPLE! Run for the hills! Cover the children’s eyes! So let me get this straight… when a baby is born, the most natural and beautiful thing in the world is for a mother to breast feed. But once the baby starts eating solid food, breasts are suddenly verboten? At least until the kid is an adult… and then only behind closed doors with the lights out. Jebus Harold Keerist. This may come as a shock to you, but everyone has nipples. They’re really not as scary as you seem to think they are.

Which brings me to another double standard. Men’s nipples don’t freak anyone out. We can walk around all day without a shirt and no one bats an eye. But if a woman bares her breast in Starbucks to feed her child, the customers are uncomfortable and complain. If a woman goes topless on a beach that is not specifically characterized as “nude”, it’s indecent exposure. Why exactly? Why do boobs have so much power? The irony is that it’s the religious types who give them so much power. They’re so uptight and ashamed of the human form (even though they believe we were made in God’s image) that they build up this huge air of mystery around breasts. I often see articles about a group in Podunk U.S.A. trying to block a strip club in their neighborhood because it’s such a negative influence. Well think about this Mr. and Mrs. Repressed… if you actually demystified the breasts, and Joe Schmoe could walk down to the beach and see all the boobs he wants, why would he waste his money in a strip club?

The problem of course is men. Men supposedly can’t resist temptation. If men see naked breasts, it will invariably lead to fucking. And fucking is even more evil than breasts! Unless of course it’s for procreation. Give me a break. Again it all comes down to each individual’s personal moral system, and a group of individuals who think that their morals are better or more correct than everyone else’s. They have to save us from sex. Lord forbid their children should grow up with a healthy attitude and understanding of sexuality. You’d prefer they know only fear and shame?

Personally, I think the human female form is more beautiful than any work of art, than any concerto. I think it is the very essence of perfection in nature. It gives me great pleasure just to see it. I refuse to be ashamed for feeling this way. Sex is natural, and it happens all around us. If some programmers want to throw a little fucking into an ADULT ORIENTED game, who is it really going to hurt? (FYI, before the “AO” rating, GTA San Andreas carried the “M” for mature, which is the equivalent of an “R” rated movie. "AO" is analogous to an "NC-17" movie.) As an adult gamer, I actually think they should be putting more fucking in video games. I know that I appreciate games that treat me like an adult who can make his own decisions. Another irony is that I have a feeling all this hullabaloo is actually going to increase the sales of this game, even if some retailers have now decided not to sell it. (See, we were okay selling the murder and robbery... but pixels bumping uglies is where we drawn the line!)

So get over yourselves America. Sex is natural. Sex happens every day. Nudity is natural. The human body is natural (well, until we start getting surgeries). You would actually be doing your children a favor if you were open and honest about sexuality rather than making it into some sort of sinful taboo. Think about it: if you tell a kid he can’t do something, he automatically wants to do it 10 times as badly. If you tell him that nakedness is wicked… how long before he’s riffling through dad’s underwear drawer trying to find the Playboys? Just chill the fuck out. You know, I think I’m going to start an organization that lobbies for sexual rights. I’m tired of you religious bastards getting all the cool names and acronyms. Expect my newsletter and website in the very near future.

Joe Ebola, founding member
Americans for the Advancement of Boobs, Butts and Boners (AABBB)

Those pesky anti-choicers

As this is my first post here at Ebolaville, I'll take a brief second to introduce myself: I'm Twiggy, the Joe Ebola sans Y chromosome (for all those of you out there who know nothing of genetics, that means I am female).
That said, being the resident female poster for this blog, this scares the everloving shit out of me...


It's official: Americans can no longer take prescription birth control for granted. Yesterday, Monday, July 25, anti-choice representatives in the U.S. House made it clear that they support pharmacies that refuse to fill birth-control prescriptions - and that women have no right to birth control.

The radical right's campaign to stop birth control
The House Small Business Committee held a hearing on whether pharmacies should be allowed to refuse to fill women's prescriptions. Anti-choice Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told a witness, who had been denied birth control and emergency contraception by her pharmacist, that she had no "right" to her prescriptions - she only believed she did. Anti-choice Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) told a witness whose prescription had also been rejected by a hostile pharmacist, that her "minor inconvenience" - that is, risking an unintended pregnancy - was nothing compared to the "conscience" of a pharmacist.

The right's anti-birth control campaign doesn't stop in Washington, DC. Across the country, the radical right has engaged pharmacies in its campaign to block women's access to birth control. Women like Julee Lacey, a 32-year-old married mother of two and first-grade teacher from Texas, are being turned away by vigilante pharmacists who think it's their job to dispense morals instead of medicine.

Now, as many as 20 states officially protect pharmacists like Karen Brauer, president of Pharmacists for Life, who says she'd lecture women customers to get off the pill. Other states are pursuing an even more aggressive strategy. Just last month Wisconsin passed a bill to block state universities from filling birth control prescriptions.


Once my seething, seething rage has subsided a bit, I will add personal opinions to this entry. If I were to do such a thing now, they would consist largely of profanity and very little else. Goddamn anti-choicers.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hypocrisy Much?

I love it when one of these tools get caught not practicing what they preach. Sherwood voted for the so-called "Defense of Marriage" act. Seems to me like if marriage needs to be defended, it's from heterosexual assholes like this:

Rep. Don Sherwood, R-Pa., admitted in court papers filed
Thursday that he had a five-year affair with a Maryland woman, but he denied
abusing her, as she claimed in a $5.5 million civil suit.

Monday, July 25, 2005

A Rose by Any Other Name...

...would smell just as fucking bugshit.
“…We call you to be a people of manners, principles, honor, and purity; to reject the immoral acts of fornication, homosexuality, intoxicants, gambling… You separate religion from your policies, contradicting the pure nature which affirms Absolute Authority to the Lord and your Creator… You are a nation that permits acts of immorality, and you consider them to be pillars of personal freedom…”

The above sounds like it could be a stern chastising from the “Family Resource Center”, the “American Family Association” or some other conservative Christian website doesn’t it? In actuality it is an excerpt from a “Letter to the American People”. It was penned by Osama Bin Laden.

I find it sadly amusing that the Bushie’s core “support group” the Religious Right and their biggest bugbear Islamist Terrorists, are at the deepest level about as different as night and later that night. When you get right down to the crux of the biscuit as Frank Zappa once said, the only real deal breaker between these two camps is that they each worship a different Invisible Father Figure in the Sky. (Hereafter referred to as IFFS)

I can already feel any Christians who might happen upon this post cringing. How dare I equate those murderous heathen bastards with honest, IFFS-fearin’ folk here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.? I would retort with a question of my own: How can you not see the similarity? Extremism is extremism.

You both yearn for a theocracy. In this country the movement is much more subtle and insidious; rather than Bin Laden’s outright demand for such, we have the Dominionists and calls for an amendment to the Constitution to define marriage in a biblical way. The Founding Fathers may in fact have based the American system of law and justice “on the Judeo-Christian ethic”, but they also knew that in a truly free society religion and politics simply can’t mix. You take the logical, broad generalizations (Hmm, right to exist… yeah that makes sense… let’s say murder is illegal) and make them into laws. You leave the subjective, the outdated, and the just plain silly (Hey, that whole thing about not suffering witches to live… if we regulate them then we have to regulate werewolves, vampires and the boogey man) right where it belongs… between you and your IFFS.

You just can’t legislate morality. It is by its very nature your personal sense of right and wrong. As such it won’t work for everyone. Saying that it is wrong to kill someone seems like it should be common sense and really has nothing to do with religion. Trying to make it patently illegal for two consenting adults to marry one another has everything to do with religion, and has no place in law. Legalizing murder could definitely affect you personally. Gay marriage won’t.

Speaking of killing, that’s where you Christian fundamentalists think you have me. We didn’t fly those planes into the World Trade Center you say. We aren’t murderers. Tell that to the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing. Timothy McVeigh considered himself a Catholic. A lapsed Catholic to be sure, and I know born again Christians think of Catholicism as the retarded uncle you hope doesn’t come to Sunday dinner, but you both worship the same IFFS. You both arrogantly believe that you’ve cornered the market on the will of the One True God and that those who don’t believe as you do are damned. Tell it to the doctors who have been murdered for performing legal abortions. Tell them that your God is the God of love.

If the situation were reversed, if we were a third-world Christian dictatorship and there was an Islamic economic superpower that we felt were debauched, corrupt and bent on world domination, how long do you really think it would be before a radical minority declared a Jesus-had against the Muslim infidels and started blowing shit up? True, we probably wouldn’t go the suicide bomber route, as our IFFS says that’s a sin. But so is killing, and humans have never had a problem with the hypocrisy of killing in the name of God.

Just so we’re clear, I am in no way trying to justify acts of terrorism. I’m not saying I sympathize with Al Qaeda or understand their motives. What I am saying is that trying to run this insane science fair project we call the earth based on any book, or any God just isn’t going to work. It’s ignorant and arrogant to think differently. As the cliché goes, more people have died in the name of God than for any other reason. If the governments of the world really care about people and value human life, maybe they should declare a War on Religion.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Same Old Song and Dance

I posted a little while back about the disturbing trend of making feature films out of old television shows. I didn't even mention the equally alarming practice of remaking old classic films "for a new generation" (Psycho, The Longest Yard, Bad News Bears, etc.) which to me seems just as pointless. Even Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which from everything I've heard is actually an excellent remake, just feels sort of unnecessary to me. I wonder how many movies by up-and-coming writers and directors never get made as a result of studios trying to reinvent the wheel. And I wonder if Hollywood truly is out of ideas as I so glibly stated in the earlier post.
I've also noticed a similar trend in music. Now I do understand the appeal of nostalgia. When VH1 runs their "I Love the ::insert decade::" shows I eat 'em up. As a child of the late 70's/early 80's, I love seeing the commercials, television shows and ridiculous hairstyles that I remember from my youth. But that's where it ends. I certainly don't want to go back to those days. But there's a whole crop of new bands that seem to.
Interpol, Hot Hot Heat, The Killers, The Bravery, Franz Ferdinand, and Jet are examples of this. Any one of these bands could have come out in 1983 and fit right in with the contemporary music scene of the day. (Although Jet might have to go back a bit further; they're more like AC/DC when Bon Scott was still alive). Personally, I don't care for any of these bands. I hated crappy new wave music in the 80's, and it turns out I hate crappy new wave music here in the 21st century as well. I instead listened to crappy heavy metal, which pretty much precluded me from enjoying the wimpy new wave of the time. What bothers me about these bands isn't that I think the music is really that bad or boring (although in some cases I do) but rather that it's so painfully unoriginal.
I remember reading an article when I was in high school (In Keraang or Metallix or Metal Edge... my favored reading at the time) which interviewed Scott Ian, guitarist from Anthrax. He stated something along the lines of "there is only so much you can do with six strings and a limited number of frets. Pretty soon every single guitar lick will have been written. Everything will be derivative of something else, if it isn't already." Please note this is not an exact quote. It was a looong time ago people.
Anyway, I remember at the time this scared the hell out of me. Would there really be a day when there was truly no new music? Even though I was for the most part incredibly closed-minded to any music that wasn't metal (and real metal too, not that pretty boy, hair-farming cockrock poser crap) I was always within that genre looking for the next, different twist. Did rock and roll rebellion really have a limited shelf life?
Over the years as I grew up and my musical tastes expanded I sort of forgot about this fear. There were enough different styles and sub-genres of music that it seemed like I could find something new (at least to me) every day. Occasionally a band would come out that reminded me though... when Bush's (the band, not the psychotic president) first album came out, there were 2 or 3 songs where I could actually sing the lyrics from the Nirvana song it was based on right over the top. But it seemed like these bands were few and far between.
Unfortunately lately it seems to be the rule and not the exception. The biggest rock station where I live is KROQ, and they absolutely ADORE these bands. True, I tend to only listen to their morning show and switch to CD's when I want to hear music. But with so many of the bands that they play sounding like refugees from I Love the 80's, it's made me wonder again about the future of rock. I look back on the last 10 years or so and try to think of the truly original sounding bands that got to me. I think Primus, Soul Coughing, Cake, Morphine. They were weird. They were kind of different. When someone would ask me "what kind of music is it", I couldn't really answer them. And I loved that I couldn't. These bands were freaks. Even new bands that I really do like, like Thrice, I can relate to other things. If asked, I would say Thrice are very eclectic, sort of old school Metallica meets Bad Religion and Lagwagon. With a little emo/screamo on the side. Maybe that's the secret; if you're going to be derivative, take lots of different styles and cram 'em all together.
Is this just a trend? Are these bands consciously imitating 20 year old music, or is it the retro fad simply ingrained in their psyches? Is rock music as out of ideas as Hollywood?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Left Wing Humor

Q: How many telemarketers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Wouldn't a more relevant question be "How many pounds of cocaine has Bush snorted?"

- - - -
A doctor, a lawyer, and an accountant all die and go to heaven on the same day. When they get to the Pearly Gates, they are greeted by St. Peter. St. Peter says, "Scott McClellan is a lying sack of shit and I'd tell him so myself if he weren't going straight to hell when he dies."
- - - -
Q: What do you get when you cross an elephant and a rhino?
A: I'm not sure, but if the answer is "A cure for Parkinson's disease," then Bush will try to stop scientists from breeding them. Because he likes it when people get Parkinson's
.- - - -
This guy walks into a bar carrying a small poodle in one hand and a bowling ball in the other. The guy says, "I'd like a glass of milk for me and a whiskey for my poodle." The bartender says, "Yeah? Well, I'd like an impartial and independent judiciary, but try telling that to Bush, Frist, and the rest of the GOP!"
- - - -
Q: What do you get when you cross a giraffe and a monkey?A: I'm sorry, I can't think about that right now because I'm too busy wondering why Congress hasn't launched an official investigation into Bush lying to the American public about WMDs and leading us into a war under false pretenses. Tell you what... as soon as I solve that little riddle, I'll get to work on your little genetic experiment.
- - - -
Q: How many eggs does it take to make a good omelet?
A: Three. By the way, Tom DeLay is a hypocrite of the highest order
.- - - -
Did you hear that Bill Clinton hired a new intern? It turns out that his old intern had to go home and spend time with her family after her brother was killed in Iraq.
- - - -
Q: How many golf players does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: The answer may be locked away in the minutes of Cheney's secret energy meetings. However, conventional wisdom says that the meetings were probably about finding a Cabinet-level position for a pre-scandal Ken Lay or about doing business with the Taliban.
- - - -
Who's there?
Under the Patriot Act, we don't have to tell you that.
- - - -
Q: How many Bush Administration officials does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its condition is improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are illusional spin from the liberal media. Illuminating rooms is hard work. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effort. Why do you hate freedom?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Sit in the Corner & Think About What You've Done

Hello Kettle, you're black! I couldn't rant about the shitty job our clueless leader is doing without also mentioning the shitty job our clueless citizens are doing. Consider this your probationary review.

According to our Founding Fathers:

“The chief duties of the President are to diligently uphold the Constitution and administer the laws enacted thereunder, to inform the people, maintain their confidence, protect their rights and adhere to republican and to moral principles.”

And just what are those republican principles? It’s not what the current party bearing that moniker (wolves in Republican clothing anyone?) seems to think it is. According to Thomas Jefferson:

"It must be acknowledged that the term republic is of very vague application in every language... Were I to assign to this term a precise and definite idea, I would say purely and simply it means a government by its citizens in mass, acting directly and personally according to rules established by the majority…”

"Action by the citizens in person, in affairs within their reach and competence, and in all others by representatives, chosen immediately, and removable by themselves, constitutes the essence of a republic... All governments are more or less republican in proportion as this principle enters more or less into their composition."

So in essence, Jefferson is putting the responsibility of running this country squarely on the shoulders of we the people. He admits up front that the people can only govern themselves to a limited extent; that once you get beyond a certain size it becomes necessary to elect representatives to carry out the day-to-day tasks of government. But most importantly he states that said representatives should be REMOVED when they are no longer bowing to the will of those they govern.

Which brings up another interesting word that in this country no longer means what it was intended to. Who exactly are these elected officials representing? It certainly isn’t me. Is it you? Then you’re an evil fuckface who needs a serious kick in the crotch. But I sincerely doubt it, as I have a feeling that the richest 1% of America and soulless lobbyists aren’t going to take the time to read my sorry ass blog.

Let’s take a look at the first paragraph again in relation to our current “leadership”, shall we?
“The chief duties of the President are to diligently uphold the Constitution and administer the laws enacted thereunder …"

So… asking for an amendment to ban gay marriage, thereby incorporating skewed religious viewpoints into our most sacred of political documents… sounds less like upholding and administering and more like anal rape without even the benefit of a reacharound. Take THAT you pesky freedom of the pursuit of happiness! Separation of Church and State my achin’ ass!

“to inform the people…”

After I stopped laughing at the very thought of W “informing” me about anything other than corporate greed, religious intolerance and the price of a barrel of oil, I looked up “inform” to see if there was some other bizzarro meaning that I wasn’t hep to. But nope, here’s what it says:

1 : to impart information or knowledge
2 : to give information (as of another's wrongdoing) to an authority

What I didn’t find were any of the following synonyms: lie, fabrication, fairy tale, falsehood, falsity, fib, mendacity, prevarication, story, tale, untruth, whopper, distortion, exaggeration, half-truth; ambiguity, equivocation; defamation, libel, slander; perjury; bluff, pose, pretense (or pretence); humbug, jive, nonsense; fallacy, misconception, myth; misinformation, misrepresentation, misstatement; deceit, deceitfulness, dishonesty, duplicity, fraudulence
‘Nuff said.

”maintain their confidence”

Since I am neither a right-wing fundamentalist nor employed by Halliburton, my confidence is pretty fucking far from maintained. Our foreign policies make us more a target for terrorism every day; we are nearly universally hated now. Our hard-on for declaring war on ::insert demon of choice:: has lead to a crippling deficit that arguably may still be plaguing our grandchildren’s children. Social Security is about as secure as that ol’ screen door on the proverbial Polish submarine. Yep, I’m fairly oozing with confidence in our current administration, aren’t you?

“protect their rights”

This time instead of laughing, I had to go sit in the corner and cry for a few minutes. I have neither the space nor the intestinal fortitude to cover just how many of our rights and freedoms are being eroded every day under the current Regime. All I can say is read the so-called
Patriot Act and be afraid. Be very afraid.

“and adhere to republican and to moral principles.”

As discussed earlier, those principles are supposedly the current will of the people. Is the war in Iraq your will? How about the deficit? The loss of personal freedom? The alienation of our once great country from the larger world stage? Now I know a (supposed) majority of this country elected this stumbling demented child-king TWICE, but when is enough enough? When are we going to rise up and take back America from neo-puritans, Dominionist dictators, and corporate yes-men? When are we going get “mad as hell, and not gonna take it anymore”?? For fuck’s sake America, when will we wake up?