Saturday, August 25, 2012

Charlie Rangel Showing Some Integrity

Shocking, right? But the long time member of the democratic machine member came out  recently to decry Vice President Biden's "put y'all back in chains" line. Now, everyone expects Republicans to police their own but for decades the biggest strength of the dems has been their ability to circle the wagons. Not so in this case, here are Rangels words. “The Vice President said he’s going to put “y’all in chains... Was he talking about slavery? You bet your ass he was. Was he using the vernacular? Yes, he was. Did he think it was cute? Yes, he did. Was it something stupid to say? You bet your life it was stupid … ”

He said all this on "The Perez Notes" so there isn't much hope of walking his statement back either. For once we have someone on the left willing to call ol' mush-mouth Joe on his inane and insulting ramblings and does it ever taste sweet.

Captain America

You're seeing that right, Ronald Reagan as the ultimate American super hero, Captain America. I saw it and had to share it, thanks to The Looking Spoon for it's series of conservative super heroes.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Stunning Inks

Samuel Silva, a 29 year old lawyer, is stunning the art world with his photo-realistic pictures done entirely in ballpoint pens, this Bic artisan has a deviantart up and has come to mainstream attention after causing a ruckus on Reddit. I'm almost afraid to bring attention to this, the level of skill involved in what he claims to have done is almost superhuman seeming. If this turns out to be a hoax I'll be more than a little disappointed, but for the moment take a look and enjoy the pretty colors.

Maureen Dowd Is A Loon

Maureen Dowd has an op-ed article in the New York Times titled "Just Think No. She makes her usual loony claims in it, this time about Paul Ryan. She states in it  that “Paul Ryan, who teamed up with Akin in the House to sponsor harsh anti-abortion bills, may look young and hip and new generation, with his iPod full of heavy metal jams and his cute kids. But he’s just a fresh face on a Taliban creed — the evermore antediluvian, anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-gay conservative core. Amiable in khakis and polo shirts, Ryan is the perfect modern leader to rally medieval Republicans who believe that Adam and Eve cavorted with dinosaurs.”

She makes one legitimate claim, that Paul Ryan teamed with another member of the house to introduce new legislation to help regulate abortion. The Ryan-Akin bill did not propose  to ban the procedure, but did require the parents of minors seeking abortions to be informed, and made some form of counseling mandatory, making it less likely for a doctor to sign off on an abortion that was not medically necessary. Her and others on the left have even taken Akin's recent gaffe (which was decried by essentially every conservative politician in the country, including Paul Ryan) and tried to make it in to some indication that the candidate for VP wants to ban abortion in cases of rape, something that is in fact direct opposition to Ryan's stated position.

What it all amounts to, in the end game, is Maureen Dowd is either intellectually dishonest or shilling for her candidate. Considering some of her other claim... or even that "Taliban creed" line, I'm going with shill, she is scared her boys Obama and Biden are going to lose and trying to marginalize their opponents. Of course she made a small miscalculation, who actually reads the New York Times anymore? Their circulation is so low their distribution has been cut to ten paper boys and an old guy who used to work at AT&T running their online presence.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

R.I.P. Phyllis

Comedy legend Phyllis Diller died early this week, at the age of 95. The news is still trending on Twitter as fans, fellow comics (most of whom consider themselves fans) and family celebrate the life and career of this utterly unique icon. In her memory I'm posting some of her great lines, she was a truly funny lady who never was shy about poking fun at herself.

"Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight."
"I once wore a peekaboo blouse. People would peek and then they'd boo."
"You know you're old when your walker has an airbag."
"I was the world's ugliest baby. When I was born, the doctor slapped everybody."
"I became a stand-up comedienne because I had a sit-down husband."
"My vanity table is a Black & Decker workbench."
"The only thing domestic about me is I was born in this country."
"They say housework can't kill you, but why take the chance?"
"Think of me as a sex symbol for men who just don't give a damn."
"The best contraceptive for old people is nudity."

Race War! Booga Booga! Vote For Our Guy!

So Buzzfeed has an article up about conservatives fanning the flames of an impending race war that is just so hands ringingly earnest it is kind of funny. It Really does read like an article from The Onion when it dips in to British levels of dry sarcasm. They cite an AP Journalist I've never heard of and such amazingly unbiased sources as NBC and Brown university. They also extensively source Bill Burton, operator of the Obama Super-PAC Priorities USA, and even "black liberal blogger Cheryl Contee" gets to weigh in, stating that "In a country where a significant number of conservatives still believe that the President is not a citizen despite evidence to the contrary, the caustic manipulation of racial tension is inevitable..."

Contrast that with a tepid defense by an "unnamed Romney campaign staffer"  and is it really so hard to understand how conservatives think there is a media bias? The article is a hit piece, pure and simple, the only good news is that it is such an over the top piece of drek that frankly I find it hard to believe anyone will that it seriously.

The problem is stuff like this is all too common. I've covered the Soptic story on here, and a few other noteworthy bits of over eager attack media, and it trends a very specific way. There is a problem in this country with dishonest politicians, and especially with dishonest journalists flacking for one side.

Book Review Time

Yes, kiddies, it's time for another book review by the gentleman punk. History has always been a passion of mine and so I recently grabbed Anthony Everitt's "The Rise of Rome". I'll admit it is a fairly dense tome, Everitt has written great scholarly books on Cicero and Hadrian and he takes the same approach here. He examines how Rome rose to power from being a small merchant village in the hills of the peninsula in the 7th and 8th century, the organization it brought first to the region and then to the European continent and beyond, and the policies that made Roman conquests Roman citizens. He explores the great Roman leaders like Scipio Africanus and Cincinnatus, how the men who built Rome in to an empire help shape our world today, and more. It is hard sometimes to make ancient history come to life, but in "The Rise of Rome" Everitt achieves that with style and skill to spare.

Updates!

So I decided to roll out the new layout, I will be tampering with it somewhat over the day as I get feedback of course. I just didn't like how uneven the old template felt. As always readers are welcome to comment.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Real Clear Facts About Obamacare And The Ryan Plan

Over at Real Clear Politics there is an article concerning the financial facts of the Affordable Care Act often called Obamacare and the health care reforms proposed as the Ryan Plan. I'm not going to beat a dead horse today concerning Obamacare, I hate it and consider it poorly though out on a fundamental level. This article by Robert Samuelson breaks down the nickles and dimes on why the Ryan plan is a far better solution.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Robots With Lasers

So in the search for life on Mars the Curiosity rover has started shooting rocks with lasers so it can chemically analyze the vapors using it's ChemCam system. Think of Japanese technocracy and you get computers, think of German technocracy and you get cars. American technocracy? We launch a 1 ton robot the size of an suv at Mars, make it do complex aerobatic maneuvers as part of it's landing protocols, and then have it cruise around the red planet shooting lasers at rock. "America, F*ck Ya!" indeed...

The Arab Spring Was a Lie

The Arab Spring was met with cautious optimism across the world, it looked like the muslim world might be taking a step forward and many news broadcasters and cultural commentators likened it to the renaissance of the western world. Let that sink in for a moment. People compared a movement typified by violent protests in Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and more to the intellectual enlightenment of Europe. Sometimes I really don't want to live on this planet anymore.

It looks more and more like the Arab Spring was foisted on the world not by liberalized, modern-thinking muslim rebels, but by the group known as The Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood has done some notable charitable acts in the past and I won't pretend that it hasn't had some positive influence, however it has been linked closely with the terrorist group Hamas. However there is the issue thatThe Brotherhood's stated goal is to instill the Qur'an and Sunnah as the "sole reference point for ...ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community ... and state". The movement officially opposes violent means to achieve its goals, although it at one time encompassed a paramilitary wing and its members were involved in massacres, bombings and assassinations of political opponents; notably Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmoud an-Nukrashi Pasha what this means is that The Muslim Brotherhood  is by any reasonable definition a fundamentalist group with the stated goal of establishing a theocracy.

In some countries they are desperately close to doing precisely this. No one will claim Hosni Mubarak was a saint. As the president of Egypt he often ruled using the power of the police. The new president and Muslim Brotherhood follower Mohamed Morsi is taking it, perhaps, a step further. Earlier this year Hamas attacked Israel on the Egyptian border, killing 16, since then Morsi has increased military presence on the border for "security reasons" and replaced the generals who had by and large operated independently of political concerns in the past with commanders who profess loyalty to the cause of The Brotherhood.

Everywhere the Arab Spring arose violence is on the rise, from Yemen and Iraq, to Syria and Turkey. This week a Japanese journalist named Mika Yamamoto was shot fatally reporting on the violence that permeates the border between the two countries and there are rumors of both sides having plans towards Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles. This is no enlightenment, we can only hope those springtime flowers commentators were so sure of don't end up burning.

Econ 101

William Pauwells has a great article up at Clash Daily on some of the dangers of fiat currency, especially with tax and spend democrats at the wheel. It's concisely written and well thought out with a clarity that makes it readable by even a fairly disinterested layman. I would seriously suggest it for anyone with a strong enough stomach and relentless enough curiosity to wonder how bad Obama really is mismanaging the economy.

We Now Return You To Your Regularly Scheduled Ranting

My employer on another project moved up my deadline yesterday.... to yesterday. I was alive and well, but too filled with hate and rage to talk politics and pop culture even if I had the time. If ever there was a day my sith powers would have awoken....

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Health Tips

I'm pretty sure I've never mentioned it on the site, and I'm not going to go through 140+ posts to check, but I have a degree in alternative medicine. Note I am not a hippie, if you have a serious mental or physical ailment go to a qualified conventional doctor and get diagnosed and treated, alternative medicine is all about being minimally invasive and this is a limiting factor, when used in conjunction with traditional medicine alternative techniques can assist the body in recovery, nothing more.

That disclaimer out of the way I'm going to suggest a plant that most people already know about but might not know the real medical benefits of, garlic. Also known as Allium Sativum, garlic has been hailed as a curative for millenia, however in this modern world most people tend to discount "folk" remedies and in this case that is a mistake, doctors have been aware of measurable health benefits of the organic sulfur compounds in garlic for well over a century.

A potent natural antibiotic, garlic was used in world war one fairly commonly, and even in world war two when sulfate curatives ran out on the front lines. Certain forms of fungal infection respond better to garlic extracts than they do to the drug nyastatin and it was even used with some effect in trials for treatment of tuberculosis. Among these impressive uses garlic has been shown to lower blood pressure, act as a mild diuretic and clear serum cholesterol. All that being said, introducing garlic in to a bigger role in your diet is a great way to boost your health, however never use it instead of a doctor prescribed treatment! Seriously! Still, tastier than most pills with some butter and pasta.