WinnieToons Annual Easter Interview With Jesus Christ

Winnie and Duck, as members in good standing of the Animal Kingdom have powers we humans don’t possess. Animals know when a tsunami is coming and head for higher ground—while we “higher life forms” run down to the beach to check-out the low tide. Animals see fascinating invisible things floating through the air—and they even know when we’re coming home two hours before we walk in the door. So with this all-knowing, all-seeing power, Winnie and Duck will conduct their annual Easter interview with Christ.

WinnieToons: “We want to welcome back the Prince of Peace. It’s been a year since our last confession—(ahem)—I mean Interview. We have a couple of issues we’d like to clear up if you don’t mind. What do you prefer to be called? Jesus? Lord? Your Holiness? Prince of Peace…?”

Jesus: “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince of Peace” is too cumbersome. Just call me Jeez.”

WinnieToons: “Ok Jeez. How is it being the son of God, God of man, begotten and not made being of one substance with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost?”

Jesus: “I didn’t make up any of that doubletalk. Other people did that. I never set out to be worshiped—but I’ll tell you this—that whole human religious experiment sure went awry. I was trying to tell the world that everyone was interconnected by using myself as an example, not that I was GOD. If you define God as the whole natural world-sphere that surrounds you, then you’re part of that world-sphere and have a responsibility to serve as an accountable steward of your environment. It’s up to the human race to look after the world they live in, and to respect it and care for their fellow man and all the creatures that inhabit the earth. Like I said, it’s not that I’m God or anyone else is. Oy vey, it’s only common sense. People need to take responsibility for themselves and share this earth without giving into avarice and greed.”

WinnieToons: “Deep. Very deep. But does that mean there’s no God or Satan per se?”

Jesus: “You’ll have to wait and find out the answer to that question on your own when your time comes. But like I told you—you’re an integral part of the world and the life that surrounds you. If people choose to divide life into that which is good and that which is bad, then humans are part and parcel of both constructs, and therefore have the free will to choose on which side of the path they decide to walk.”

WinnieToons: “Can you at least give us a definition of Satan?”

Jesus: “Yes, Satan is a gun.”

WinnieToons: “Can you be more specific?”

Jesus: “The minute a mortal human holds a gun, he has Satan in his hands. Guns and weapons and the people who produce, promote and use all weapons against their fellow man are in direct violation of all that is good and decent. Nothing good ever came out of a gun. Firearms create a false sense of God-like power akin to climbing behind the wheel of a Corvette while intoxicated.”

WinnieToons: “So can we take that as an endorsement of gun control?”

Jesus: “Yes, of course you can. I would never have carried a gun while I walked the earth nor would I have recommended others to do so. After all, they do call me the Prince of Peace. Just look at the catastrophe at Sandy Hook Elementary. It completely ruined my birthday. Guns are inconsistent with peace and sanity.”

WinnieToons: “How do you explain why so many self-proclaimed Christians cling desperately to their guns?”

Jesus: “I’m Jewish, so I can’t speak for those Christian people, especially the people who fail to grasp my message of peace and inclusion and attempt to convolute it to suit their own paranoia. I suppose they’re insecure and probably watch too much propaganda on FOX News. My yoga master, Mahatma Gandhi is always giving me a hard time about this whole religious thing that sprang up in my name after I was crucified. Mahatma teaches a hot yoga class I take twice a week. He’s always rubbing it in, saying ‘I like you, Christ, but I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike you, Christ.’ Peaceful man, but quite the prankster. That said, he does a mean ‘down-dog.'”

WinnieToons: “Can you give us your position on homosexuality?”

Underwater view of the ruins of a statue of Christ submerged in Italy after engineers created a man made lake. We never leave well enough alone.

Jesus: “Missionary. Hehe. Nah, just pullin’ your leg with a little religious humor there. Gay or straight is a non-issue. Take a look at me, I had two fathers, and I turned out just fine. If two people love one another, that has no impact on two other people who love each other, gender, and gender orientation notwithstanding. To each his own. You gotta keep in mind that human men wrote the bible and revised it and translated it over and over again through the centuries to suit their own ends. An awful lot of that gobbledegook defies logic. For example: Leviticus condemns a person for eating shellfish and commands you to slaughter your next door neighbor if he roasts a lamb on the Sabbath. Now I don’t wanna get the animal rights people all railed-up (’cause you know those people are crazy) but you can’t go executing folks just because they decide to cook a Sunday supper. It doesn’t make any sense. Neither does sticking your nose into what other consenting adults do behind closed doors with their own private love lives. Hear me clearly, I never wrote down a word of the Gospel. People just quoted me willy-nilly however they liked, so I had no part in drafting the new testament. That said, there is absolutely NO mention of condemning homosexuality in the Bible Part Two. Part One is a lot angrier and more contradictory. Pay less attention to so called ‘holy books’ and listen more to your own conscience—your own Jiminy Cricket will never lead you astray. Do what feels right for you and leave other people to live in peace.”

WinnieToons: “We were wondering about your take is on immigration?”

Jesus: “Geographic boundaries are arbitrary lines drawn in the sand which have no bearing on how humans should treat their fellow man. If a person from a foreign land is living or visiting in your country and they are hungry, feed them. And if that foreign stranger becomes ill have your physicians treat him. If you don’t, then you run the risk of others becoming sick. Disease knows no boundaries nor does prejudice and hatred. Likewise, love knows no boundaries either. So treat all people the same as you would treat your own loved ones. As was previously mentioned, we’re all interconnected. It’s a good idea to respect people from different and diverse backgrounds because it makes for a healthier nation and a happier world. Otherwise you find yourself with a whole country full of white Anglo-Saxon Protestants as inbred as Brittany Spaniels—you can’t even house-break them. Take Michele Bachmann for example: Need I say more?”

WinnieToons: “Would we be right in assuming you approve of the races mingling?”

Jesus: “Damned straight. Just take a look at how Beyonce turned out—not bad at all—AND she can sing and dance too. The closer the world gets to the color beige, the more human beings will understand each other. The human race isn’t supposed to be like the Westminster Dog Show—mix it up already and get those gene pools intertwined. Seriously now, no one wants to end up like Michele Bachmann?”

WinnieToons: “One last question before we let you carry on about your business weeping over the sorrowful state of the human race and their pitiful misinterpretation of your message: What do you think of laws that allow for capital punishment?”

Jesus: “Not much.”

And with an impressive but humble flourish, the Son of God went to yoga class. Happy Easter everyone, regardless what believe or what you celebrate—any reason at all is a good enough reason to celebrate: Even getting back up and brushing yourself off after a nasty, painful crucifixion.

– Disassociated Press, 3/31/2013

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Shameless Plug for a friend’s online game: GuessThisPic.

And now for a shameless, self aggrandizing plug for my own art and my friend Michael’s new online game called ‘GuessThisPic’ There are various advertisers, and if you can guess the puzzle picture, you win an antique-style one-of-a-kind portrait Like the one picture to the left. It can be of you or a friend, and  painted by none other than ME. Be sure to scroll down on the right hand side and see the video and the other images of my paintings:

To the right is a sample image of the kind of picture you need to decipher in order to win a prize. There are other puzzles and other prizes from different stores, vendors and services. The one I’m promoting just happens to be a piece of my own original artwork.

WinnieToons Has Been Curiously Silent While Pondering Marriage Equality Alone

WinnieToons has been silent about the current serious stirrings in the Supreme Court with hearings on California’s Prop 8 and DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act) for very personal reasons and practical ones. This is a satire blog, and it’s too easy a target to make fun of gay anything let alone gay marriage. I’m gay—very gay and I have a sense of humor about my own human condition. I have gay friends who have taken advantage of state laws to marry. The first situation that pops to mind are my friends, Don and Gary who’ve been together as a couple in excess of forty years: As opposed to the sanctioned serial monogamy of the Rush Limbaugh’s and Newt Gingrich’s of the world—who judge others while changing spouses the way other people change socks.

I have been in love. Once seriously and other times more frivolously. I’ve lived with three different men—one of whom I actually married in what could only be described as a “mock ceremony” because that was all that was available to us. Back in 1973, my heterosexual college roommate, Albert, performed a marriage ceremony joining me with my late partner, Danny Allen in a stoned-out, serious, yet sadly funny service witnessed by a couple of very high hippie friends in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York. Ironic that the service was held in a cemetery, as Danny only lived another year and a half. He suffered from serious bouts of depression and took his own life. But Albert pronounced us “husband and husband and wife and wife” while we wore wild English ivy wreaths in our hair. Of course Albert was not then, nor is he now certified to perform any sort of marriage service, and there wouldn’t have been any kind of spousal benefits even if he had been. The extent of Dan’s and my legal union was to follow-up this rag-tag service by getting a joint checking account. And that was chapter and verse of gay marriage forty years ago.

I’m happy for those couples who now get a fighting chance to openly declare their love and commitment to one another. And their vows in no way alter, weaken or otherwise effect the lives of traditional heterosexual marriage unions. This weekend I’m having Easter dinner with my friends Don and Gary who’ve been together for all those many years—and we’ve witnessed each other’s lives, loves, losses and triumphs. I’ve mostly done so alone, but I remember dearly what it was like to be with someone I loved. It was a mixed bag, as most relationships are, and truncated in ways I didn’t foresee. But It’s still mine, and the subject of a book I’ve recently published titled An Early Work Late in Life which I hope to have in wider release this spring, 2013. Currently it’s only available in the museum shop of the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York.

An Early Work Late in Life, by Bill Whiting, on sale at the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery’s Museum Store for $29.95. The book ties in with their exhibit: It Came from the Vault: Rarely Seen Works from MAG’s Collection. http://mag.rochester.edu/ On view from March 17–June 9, 2013. The MAG is located at 500 University Avenue · Rochester, NY 14607-1484 · 585.276.8900 · 585.473.6266

 

 

Below is a book synopsis:

An Early Work Late in Life is the true story of the life and untimely death of an exceptionally talented young artist named Daniel Arthur Allen. When one of Dan’s mysterious, jewel-like paintings was discovered in the vault of a major museum nearly four decades after his death, artist Bill Whiting began to write about his life with Danny in Rochester, New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the sexual revolution, drugs, gay liberation, and antiwar protests made everyday life anything but predictable.

Sometimes raucous and funny, sometimes heartbreaking, An Early Work Late in Life is a tribute to a wonderful, quirky, and gentle young man who might have been a little too good for this world—and believed he could exit this life and move on to a better one all on his own.

Who Looks Better Wearing the Pants as the Senator from Kentucky?

Mitch McConnell, once held the record in congress for earmarks.

If a senator, or frankly any politician spends an entire four year term focused on the single-minded goal of making “Barack Obama a one term president” and throws all efforts behind constipating progress and thwarting a sorely needed economic recovery—then it’s pretty fair to say, that politician doesn’t have either his state’s or his country’s best interests at heart. That description pretty much sums up Mitch McConnell, who only has his own political self preservation at heart.

Progressive America has to learn from past errors. The country elected Barack Obama originally in 2008, and then got complacent during the midterm elections which allowed lunatics, neocons, racists, sexists and Tea Party nihilists to block vital reforms and recovery measures. Remember, the wealthy have never done better—and Wall Street is on a helium high. Average citizens, on the other hand are lucky if they have a job. Why? Because prehistoric monsters like Mitch McConnell still stalk the earth wielding power and blocking progress. McConnell and others like him have learned how to couch racism and other prejudicial judgements into “code-speak.” He’s not a champion of the common citizen, but rather a messenger serving corporate America.

The senate is still in Democratic control, and it’s a damned good thing, or we’d find ourselves suffering even further under Paul Ryan’s budget passed by House Republicans. Curiously enough, it seems as if Mitch McConnell has more control over his fellow Republicans in the OTHER chamber of Congress than he does over his own senatorial colleagues. Certainly Speaker of the House, John Boehner has little or no control over the House of Representatives. Frightening neocons like Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy appear to take their lead more from McConnell than from Boehner. Hence, nothing gets done. The president doesn’t wield authoritarian power, he shares power with both Houses of Congress. But Americans who can list the first names the Kardashian sisters and vote regularly on American Idol are unaware that when things go wrong that adversely effect their lives, it’s Congress busily thwarting the president’s agenda. An agenda, which by the way, used to be the Republican agenda until Barack Obama adopted many of those same ideas. You see, the important thing is for the GOP to keep denying Obama a “win.” Not that the American people as a whole should “win.” It’s a deadly game where citizens are made the pawns. The remedy is to get rid of as many rigid conservatives in Congress as possible—starting with Mitch McConnell.

Such a trustworthy face.

When nobody really likes you, and you’ve been winning your senate seat for years due to an enthusiasm deficit, what’s the best way to knock out your future competition? Smear that challenger before he—or in this case SHE even gets into the race.

Mitch McConnell is one slimy turtle who has defined himself by power. Total power has been narrowly denied him as the Senate Minority Leader, but that never stopped him from constipating Congress. However, word has been confirmed that actor, Ashley Judd would like McConnell’s seat, and if Kentucky voters have any sense, they’ll award it to her. But the McConnell camp has been leaking the results of internal polls, slanting results on some of Judd’s liberal human rights and environmental positions, in an effort to prove the Hollywood movie star isn’t a viable threat. Seems to me they said that about Ronald Regan and Arnold Schwarzenegger too.

Yeah, right. Photos like this are going to really turn off the southern male vote. Sure, whatever you say, Mitch.

The McConnell camp claims to have boxes of body-revealing cheesecake photos of Judd, who just happens to be a beautiful woman—to be more specific, she’s a smartand beautiful woman. As I recall, Schwarzenegger’s nude photos didn’t prevent him from being elected, and Regan played second fiddle to a chimpanzee during most of his Hollywood career, so big deal. I say tit for tat. Mitch McConnell needs to release nude photos

McConnell appearing at the Heritage Foundation while not wearing his foundations. A perky push-up bra might help.

of himself to level the playing field so that voters can decide for themselves which candidate is more hideous.

Judd has been demonized by McConnell and his team of flying monkeys over her comment stating that “the era of coal plants is over.” It is, and if Kentucky doesn’t get with the program, Kentucky will be “over” too. She furthermore thinks that when people can’t afford to properly feed and clothe their children, it might be time to stop having children. Well, yeah. That pretty much sums it up.

The McConnell pollsters believe Kentucky folk won’t like the idea that Ashely Judd has a home in Tennessee and a home in Scotland. They didn’t seem to mind that Mitt Romney lost track of how many homes he has and how much of his money is parked overseas. Just wait until voters learn that McConnell’s primary residence is under a bridge frightening billy-goats, and his secondary home is under a rock.

Nothing entices the tourist trade like a nice coal ash spill despoiling the landscape. Kentucky is a beautiful state. It would nice if it remained that way.

 

Coal is a big deal in Kentucky. It’s also a filthy fuel source that kills not only the people who mine it, but the people who use it and the environment from which it is mined. Ashley Judd would like to see the beautiful state of Kentucky remain beautiful, and enter the 21st century with clean energy alternatives. That rocks the boat for the old boys club. So if the primary gripe about Ashley Judd is she cares for the planet and thinks that pollution and overpopulation is real, then McConnell doesn’t really have much to go on. And lest we forget that his constituents have never been all that in “love” with him.


Mitch McConnell is looking less and less appealing, as if there was ever a time when he looked more and more appealing.

Judd is married to three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Dario Franchitti—so there goes McConnell’s share of the Nascar vote.  Ashley Judd’s family settled in Kentucky eight generations ago. If her mother and her sister decide to put on a few concerts, then there goes the Kentucky women’s vote. But anyone who mistakes Ashey Judd for nothing more than a pretty face needs to reckon with the fact that she’s got a master’s degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. So not only is she easier to look at, she’s far better qualified than Mitch McConnell to represent the state.

- Disassociated Press, 3/21/13
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And now for a shameless, self aggrandizing plug for my own art and my friend Michael’s new online game called ‘GuessThisPic’ There are various advertisers, and if you can guess the puzzel picture, you win an antique-style one-of-a-kind portrait Like the one picture to the left. It can be of you or a friend, and  painted by none other than ME. Be sure to scroll down on the right hand side and see the video and the other images of my paintings:

CPAC. What PACK? I didn’t see any CPAC. The Real Story in Pictures.

I was away this past weekend and very busy, so I wasn’t in touch with the news. Apparently I didn’t miss anything. CPAC happened, and almost no one noticed. Could cold and flu season be that terrible? Or did the ultra-conservative wing of the GOP overestimate the number of empty chairs they’d need to populate an empty hall?

Sarah Palin spoke delivering what basically added up to a comedy routine about how her husband has the guns but she’s got the “rack.” Real presidential. She did go after Karl Rove, which was great. I love seeing neocons at each other’s throats.

Mitt Romney spoke at CPAC, in fact both of him spoke.

Paul Ryan spoke, but as usual he didn’t know what he was talking about and neither did anyone else.

Allen West spoke at CPAC where the highlight of the convention was some asshole saying that antebellum slaves from the south got three square meals. West hasn’t yet figured out that he’s a tool.

Rick Perry spoke in that easy-goin’, content free way he mastered during the GOP run off debatacles which delivered Romney as their man. (Ooops.)

Michele Bachmann spoke in tongues at CPAC. Crazy is as crazy does.

Ted Cruz spoke at CPAC proving there is little difference between Joe McCarthy and Charlie McCarthy.

Wayne LaPierre spoke at CPAC driving home America’s right to bear arms and point them at anyone they like just as long as it isn’t him. In Wayne’s World, everyone in the auditorium would have been armed to the hilt.

Rick Santorum displaying a luffa sponge.

Rand Paul, a real crowd pleaser, set his hair on fire with his typical paranoid belief that black helicopters are going to come take away his toys.

Marco Rubio, best known for his “moving” family legend about how his parents fled Castro’s Cuba is stickin’ to his story in spite of the tale having been debunked as pure fabrication. Remember, the conservative wing is open to all races as long as they’re mostly white and have a barely nodding acquaintance with truth and reality. The answer is “America?” Really? No specifics?

Donald Trump spoke to CPAC, but like a tree that falls in the woods when there’s no one there to hear it crash, no one can say for sure whether or not THE Donald had anything to say.

This is an actual photo of the moments during which Donald Trump addressed CPAC, and it was typical of all the moments during which each of the speakers addressed CPAC. The question is this: “What if you held a political convention and nobody came?” Take a look for yourself. This is the non-progressive base in America today. Satisfying, isn’t it?

– Disassociated Press, 3/19/2013

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 Shameless plug. How dare I… My friend, Michael has started an online game called ‘GuessThisPic’ There are various advertisers, and if you can guess this particular picture, you win an antique-style one-of-a-kind portrait of you or a friend, painted by non other than ME. Be sure to scroll down on the right hand side and see the video and the other images of my paintings. http://www.guessthispic.com/game.php?id=111

 

 

The Conclave: Is the smart money on Pope Incestuous LXIX or Pope Hammertoes XIII…?

The final adjustments have been made to the Sistine Chapel, as one hundred and fifteen Roman Catholic cardinals begin popping party wafers in preparation to go into “conclave” in order to choose the next pope. Will it be Pope Incestuous LXIX….? Or perhaps Pope Hammertoes XIII…? While no one knows for sure, even as we speak, the bookies in Las Vegas are taking bets on who might be elected the next Queen of the Catholic Church.

Once the doors are locked and the participants have their televisions, radios, iPads cell phones and Twitter feeds silenced or confiscated, the real fun begins. The cardinals will receive absolutely nothing from the secular world outside the Vatican gates, except for takeout pizza and hookers. High tech geeks have already installed cellphone-jamming devices to keep sneaky priests and the outside world completely in the dark as to what the Vatican elders are up to—quelle surprise.

The tradition of the ‘conclave’ taking place behind closed and locked doors dates back to 1274 when it took a contentious two years and eight months to elect a new pope—which remains the unbroken record. The locals, who didn’t have better things to do back in the 13th century, locked all the cardinals inside and attempted to starve them to death—and even went so far as to tear off the roof to expose the old fussbudgets to the weather in an effort to bring the stalemate to a logical conclusion. Back in those days no one had yet figured out that it didn’t matter who was or wasn’t the pope and whether or not we even need to have a pope. However you look at it, the primary purpose of the Catholic Church is to accumulate wealth and property by duping the poor and superstitious into emptying their pockets into collection plates so weird drag queens in peculiar hats can afford brocade robes and gold accessories. The serfs of 1274 allowed a golden opportunity to slip right through their fingers—they had the power to put an end to all this insanity. Those serfs could have saved us the trouble of the Crusades, the Inquisition and any number of unmentionable atrocities, but people didn’t know better back then. And many still don’t.

As the conclave begins today in Ernest—or Ernesto if you will, All the holy fathers fart in a jar, set fire to the methane gas, and depending on the color of the smoke, the world will learn who becomes the titular head of the world of bad fashion and even worse ideas. We modern serfs get to look forward to a whole new set of scandals. New business dealings with the Cosa Nostra. New sex scandals in the vestry. And new failings to make fun of. Still, we’ll miss Pope Benny, and if you haven’t seen this particular YouTube video it’s a tribute to the man, and an absolute must

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3Ajga1VLtk

– Disassociated Press, 3/11/2013

Mister Fulla Bluster Drones to Washington

There were no dramatic breakdowns with papers flying through the air as the dedicated representative of the people collapsed in a valiant effort to defend liberty, but there was a filibuster. I’m not a big fan of Rand Paul, however I have to give the devil credit where credit is due. He did conduct a proper filibuster the way they were intended to be implemented, as opposed to merely uttering the word “filibuster” and then drifting off to cocktails for the next ninety plus days. He also drew attention to the issue of drone strikes. I have very uncomfortable mixed feelings about drone strikes, but Rand Paul is every bit as capable of conducting another filibuster in favor of extended ammo clips. In my opinion, they’re all the same issue really: Methods of mass killing—so this puts Rand Paul on both sides of essentially the same moral issue.

Dead piece of shit, Strom Thurmond.

 

While President Obama was meeting with congressional leaders to seek a solution to the nation’s unending budgetary stalemates (plural)—Rand Paul was garnering attention by delaying a vote on the confirmation of John Brennan as CIA director—“droning” on for nearly 13 hours until he had to go potty. Next time he should consider being catheterized if he wants to break Strom Thurmond’s disgraceful 24 hour and 18 minute tirade to try and prevent The Civil Rights Act of 1965. Rand Paul, by the way, is on record as not being a big fan of The Civil Rights Act of 1965 either, but that’s another story unfolding in the Supreme Court.

Droning on and on and on…

The conservatives in Congress while in disarray are casting about for a new titular head of the party and hopefully this time, one with a brain contained within. They need to re-brand themselves and the filibuster was an ideal way for Rand Paul to grandstand and set himself apart as a possible rising star. But back to the drone strikes…

…Rand Paul proposed a hypothetical to Eric Holder about the Constitutionality of the “potential” use of drone strikes being used on American soil. The idea behind drone strikes is a way to target and take out an enemy with the least amount of collateral damage, but that isn’t always the reality. It does put fewer American military personnel in the line of fire, but it doesn’t guarantee that an innocent family might not also be snuffed in the process—or that a chosen target might be based on faulty intelligence. But Paul was suggesting the government might take-out Jane Fonda while she sits sipping a latte at a chic cafe in Beverly Hills.

What a macaroon.

George W. Bush first deployed the use of drone strikes in our multiple misguided adventures in the Middle East—but Obama dramatically stepped-up their use as a tool to draw the Bush wars (plural) to an end. But Rand Paul’s target was to put Eric Holder (and by doing so) Barack Obama on the spot as potential assassins responsible for the outcome of a hypothetical question. It’ll play well with the base.

There has never been, and hopefully never will be a purposeful targeting of a non-combatant on American soil. But as we saw during the Bush years, the rules bend in times of war, especially when there’s in imbecile in charge. Obama is not an imbecile. However one of the larger discussions we need to be having is America’s failure to learn from fool-hearty, profit-motivated wars. Don’t hang those on Obama, Bush started them, and there’s no non-messy way of conducting or ending a war.

Doesn’t know what he’s talking about just as long as he’s talking.

So after all manor of posturing with the intent of villainizing the Obama Administration, Rand Paul’s paranoid question: “Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil?” Holder has replied with a simple word or two, “The answer to that is no.” But Rand Paul has achieved his key objective. He’s planted a another seed of paranoia for the right wing to obsess over in their endless death wish for an invasion of black helicopters so they can all use their extended ammo clips and rocket launchers.

See below:

- Disassociated Press, 3/7/2013

Nascar and the People’s Constitutional Right to Destroy Themselves (and Others?)

Nascar driver, Jimmy Johnson wielding some sort of  six-shooter, hopefully containing blanks, as bullets on their way down are as dangerous as on their way up.

Nascar is a perfect metaphor for the decline of the conservative base. It’s also one of their favorite sports. More enlightened individuals consider it to be a waste of time, fuel and raw materials. But Nascar sells a lot of stuff from Jiffy Lube to deep fried chips submerged in Jiffy Lube. The logos are spattered all over everything from driver’s jumpsuits to the cars and fans themselves. But the real reason people watch Nascar is not because there’s anything genuinely fascinating about watching a bunch of noisy machines circle a track—(not that the fans couldn’t happily spend hours staring slack jawed at a windsock)—the real reason people watch Nascar is a deep rooted subconscious hope that they will witness a car crash. A pile-up if possible. Or the Holy Grail of the sport—death and injury which might send flames licking up into the spectators bleachers. Just not the section of the bleachers where they’re sitting, of course.

In the great soup of opinions devolving out of the ashes of the once Grand Old Party slither new voices of unreasoned insanity and tainted, toxic Tea. But the Tea Party itself has become a less agreeable term even within the movement itself, as fewer and fewer people are wearing teabags sewn to their hats as a fashion statement. The Tea Party still exists, but if you’re reading the tealeaves you can see the movement leaching its way toward Libertarianism, as if to lend itself an air of legitimacy morphing into a desperate little tempest in a teapot.

America has a political voice that hungers for the freedom to stockpile extended ammo clips. A political movement that seeks to control the bodies of other people—impede their rights to live, love or vote unencumbered. A political force that seeks to redefine “freedom” as the audacity to rollback or deny other people’s rights under a confused haze of nonsense which essentially contends: If a person (we shall refer to as the “other”) is granted the rights to do something the self-anointed disagree with even though whatever the “other” does has no detectable effect on the self anointed or their property—besides inflaming an ingrained preexisting disapproval—then the the self-anointed believe their divine rights are being violated. Convoluted? To quote one of the pioneers of confusion: “You betcha.”

A surprising number of Libertarians want to destroy all political parties including their own, as if freedom can only exist without structure and the ensuing chaos will be someone else’s fault for not “taking responsibility.” But if freedom can only exist without structure, what might be proposed to take its place? Feudalism? Tribal war lords? Complete pandemonium? Nascar?

 

I saw a T-shirt the other day that read “If the Second Amendment Protects the Right to Own a Gun, Which Amendment Protects the Life of My Child?” Good question. And in the nihilist dream-world of the NRA and Libertarian tea-sippers, the answer is “nothing.” Or at the very least, nothing realistic or sane. And while I applaud Nascar driver, Michael Waltrip for his heart and humanity by doing a benefit for the victims of Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School, the driving forces behind Nascar itself are much less noble, and feed at the hands of darker forces: Like the NRA and conservative corporate America.

But the people who watch Nascar have every right to do so whether or not I think it’s a wise use of their time. People have a right to risk sitting in grandstands that might be pelted with automobile shrapnel and licked with flames if they so desire. They can eat toxic fast foods and do any number of things I personally chose to avoid. But I don’t feel that I have the right to tell them that their “liberty” to do with their time while here on this earth impedes my right to pursue my own interests. For instance, keep Nascar on the racetrack, and not on residential streets, as an extreme example. Keep your guns, but keep reasonable guns that are locked up with the safety ON. And give-up on the notion that other people’s bodies, place of origin, race, sexuality or sexual preferences bear any impact on the self anointed, because they don’t. Those are unrelated issues. Like Nascar itself, try and keep yourselves on track, as the track itself is and ideal symbol of structure. Counter intuitive as it may seem to primitive thinkers, freedom and libery exists only when protected within the reasonable confines of structure and order. Not the other way around.

– Disassociated Press, 3/6/2013

 

It’s Official: Antonin Scalia is a Troll—If Rachael Maddow Says So, Then It’s True

We’re groomed from the time we’re very young to believe that men who hold powerful positions must be competent or else they wouldn’t have risen to such heights. That’s hardly the case. Take for instance, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who was clearly flushed upward with the tide of incompetence by the very virtue of being a Regan appointee. Scalia has repeatedly proven himself to be thoroughly unfit to sit on the bench, and helped to mire us in all kinds of appalling legislation including Citizens United. Truth to tell, he’s an activist judge incapable of being impartial or fair minded. In fact I don’t think Scalia is very bright. He equates homosexuality to bestiality and murder and sees nothing wrong with sexual discrimination. At his most charitable he’s tactless and wrong minded. This week Scalia referred to the The Voting Rights Act of 1965 as nothing more than a “racial entitlement.”

Chief Justice John Roberts (the Siamese troll on the left) worked tirelessly to repeal voting rights during the Regan Administration. Both Roberts, and Samuel Alito (the Siamese troll on the right) were appointed by Baby Bush.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 came about after decades of minority voters being subjected to absurdities like having to guess how many jelly beans were in a jar before they’d be allowed to enter a voting booth—even though the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, clearly states: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” But in many states, especially southern states unconscionable tactics like bean counting were employed to prevent minorities from voting.

Just the other day, Justice Scalia stated to a aghast courtroom: “Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.” Which begs the question, why would anyone want to “get out of” or withdraw those rights from other citizens? The man is a fool and an embarrassment, but he’s in good company with some like-minded fellows. Antonin Scalia needs to voluntarily take retirement. He is not fit to serve the best interests of all peoples of the nation.

A cross between an air fern and a Chia Pet, Clarence Thomas, was appointed to the bench by George Herbert Walker Bush to serve as a shill. You never hear much from Clarence, but he does seem to vote as he’s told.

Scalia thinks the name “Voting Rights Act” is manipulative. No, it’s a fair assessment of the those rights which should never be denied. “Citizens United” is a manipulative title, as it has nothing whatsoever to do with the rights of citizens other than to subvert them through the obscene misuse of big money. This last election we saw Spanish language voting brochures and billboards that had election dates purposefully listed as being on the wrong day. We saw early voting privileges revoked in minority communities and all manor of chicanery deployed to try and prevent Barack Obama from winning reelection. So it’s pretty clear that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 needs to be applied to all fifty states and left in place—as there is no reason to believe that a racial divide no longer exists in this country. But what exactly is Clarence Thomas’ excuse?

When you look at a break down of at all nine Supreme Court Justices and where they stand, here’s how it shakes out: Chief Justice John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas can all be counted on to ignore progress in favor of stagnation. Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bater Ginsberg and Stephen G. Breyer can all be counted on to take a balanced and fair view of human diversity. And as always, the wild card is Anthony Kennedy. But forward thinking national goals of inclusion and progress would go a lot more smoothly if Antonin Scalia would quietly blunder his way into the sunset.

– Disassociated Press, 3/2/2013