Saturday, January 15, 2011

Without a Clue and Out-of-Touch...

I'm tired of being lectured to and patronized by politicians. Especially a particular sort that can use such hackneyed phrases as "fighting for working families", "for the average American", "the working man".

Did it ever occur to anyone that the people who can claim such affinity with the "average" person have no idea what it is to be an average person? Particularly if they've been in Washington for any length of time?

I mean, how many "average" people do you know who make asinine statements like this, and then consider themselves serious individuals:

" We have to pass the bill to find out what's in it..."

" I voted for it before I voted against it..."

"I didn't inhale..."

"We are the Change we've been waiting for..."

How many people do you know who can hit the road with a populist message about the dreadful divide between the rich and the so-called poor in America who live on a 30-acre estate with a rambling mansion on it? How many people do you know with a mansion and a multi-million-dollar bank account who can claim commonality and solidarity with the hourly-wage earner? What, exactly, does that sort of millionaire have in common, in terms of lifestyle and material comforts, with the waitress, the cab driver or the janitor?

How many people do you know who can say, like Gov. Rendell of Pennsylvania did recently on The Colbert Show, that the first thing he's going to do when he leaves office is to learn to drive a car, -- because he hasn't driven himself anywhere for the last 25 years? How many people do you know have had someone else perform such a mundane tasks for them for the last quarter century? And had it paid for by the taxpayer, to boot?

How many of us have had the opportunity to do any of the following:

Spend billions, of other people's money, to get elected to office?

Spend trillions, of other people's money, in order to secure a career once elected?

Receive Secret Service protection, chauffeur-driven cars, a private Super Airliner with all the bells and whistles, at someone else's expense?

Travel around the world on "The People's Business" on the People's Dime?

Rub elbows with the richest and most influential people in the world, all of whom are eager to crack open a checkbook, or offer all sorts of gifts and promises, just to bend your ear? And get your vote on something they care about?

Exempt ourselves from a law that everyone else must obey?

Spend our days shuffling papers -- actually, the paper-shuffling gets done by highly-paid"aides" -- engage in yelling matches at your political opponents across the Senate floor, and making multiple appearances on television to spew pablum, in a $5,000 suit?

Our politicians would have you believe that they can do these things, enjoy these privileges, but that somehow it doesn't change them. Congressman Douchebag and Senator Dingleberry are just the same as Joe the Plumber or Steve the Car Wash attendant, always was, always will be. They try to convince you that they have not become some sort of snobbish, insulated Elite that has lost touch with the reality of everyday life; that they still maintain a connection with the Common Man in America, while they go about the business of passing legislation that the Common Man doesn't want, spending money they've appropriated from the Common Man that he can ill afford, and then borrowing even larger sums, leaving the Common Man with the bill.

In what world does borrowing, printing -- or simply inventing out of thin air -- a trillion dollars on behalf of the Average American, while making the Average American pay the massive interest on that debt, sound like a good idea? Does that sound like something the Working Families in your town can do? Would choose to do, if given that choice?

Why is it that when someone in Washington, D.C. feels the urge to spend our cash, it always comes with a sermon? The usual self-serving nonsense about how the expenditure is consistent with "our values", or it's "for the children", or that "we need to do this, as a Country"?

Here's a thought; if you don't think the people in the United States Congress aren't an Elite class, then wrap your head around this; there are fewer people in Congress than there are players in the National Football League.

Five-hundred-and-thirty-five people, to be exact. That's a rather small club, don't you think?How about this one:

Those same 535 people have the ability to affect the lives, positively or negatively, of 300 million others. In fact, if you really want to think about it, those 535 people have the ability to affect the lives of every person on this planet, in some way.

Still don't think that's an Elite club? Let's summarize. Stick this in your pipe and smoke it:

Your life is being affected by the actions of 535 people who got themselves elected with other people's money, so that they may spend other people's money, while they enjoy a lifestyle of private jets, government-subsidized office space, a retinue of servants, international travel, protective details, gaining the favor of the rich and powerful -- so that they can get their money, too. They are writing laws and creating systems which you must obey and pay for, but which they routinely excuse themselves. Some have been at it long enough to have forgotten how to do for themselves: they cannot drive cars, they probably haven't been inside a dry cleaners or supermarket for ages. They probably don't shine their own shoes, make their own meals, or even lick their own stamps. That's what staff is for.

Still not convinced that your average denizen of Sodom-on-the-Potomac is living in another solar system? How about this:

I seem to remember in the 1990's, when Hillary Clinton was trying to deliver band-aids and eyedrops to the world, she used to bandy about the "fact" that 46 million Americans didn't have health insurance. Fast-forward to 2008, and Barack Obama was claiming that 30 million Americans don't have health insurance. How was it that the 16 million people left the ranks of the uninsured between 1992 and 2008, without government intervention? Was that not an indication that the free market was working it's magic, and close to 1 million folks every year were getting insurance all on their own?

(Why hasn't anyone pointed out this disparity in numbers, btw? Oh, right: the Elite are entitled to their own truth, too).

To those of us who don't make our living via politics, of course it does; if you assume Hillary's or Barack's number was essentially correct.The truth is probably that no one, not Hillary Clinton, not Barack Obama, actually knew or knows how many Americans didn't have health insurance. Nor really cares. For all we know, the numbers are entirely fake, generated for political purposes. In any case, it was "evidence" of a "crisis" in American healthcare that required socialized medicine to remedy. So, ObamaCare was rammed down our throats by whatever means could be contrived.

And just last week, Nancy Pelosi tells us -- in defense of ObamaCare -- that 50 million Americans now don't have health insurance (sorry, I cannot produce a source for this; I simply heard it on television, but can't recall where).

In the circles that you, the Average American, move in, if you were to tell your boss that there's a problem that requires a drastic plan of action to correct -- a plan you just happen to have drawn up and handy -- and it was based upon false assumptions, and then, predictably, it fails, what do you think happens to you? In the real world, you get fired; you're walking the unemployment line. In the world of the people who "fight for America" they get to continue on the job so long as they can manage re-election. They get executive positions at Goldman-Sachs when they leave office, or someone pays them a great deal of money to write their memoirs. People who are immune to this simple aspect of real life -- that failure has consequences -- are somehow, just like you? Are able to feel your pain? Are inclined to"fight" for you?

Now, I don't know about you, but if I did things like this I wouldn't be surprised that there's so much "violent rhetoric" surrounding our politics, and if I were a politician I would, rightly, be scared shitless over it; it's the first indication that the jig is up.

Mid-term elections in which my party gets creamed and the other party feels uneasy, even in apparent victory, is simply another conformation that, perhaps, I'd better quit while I'm ahead, and reverse course if at all possible. Perhaps this is an indication that I've been "fighting" the wrong battles.

This idea that your Member of Congress is just "One of Us" who is slavishly serving our interests while jealously protecting his own holds more truth than the illusion of the public paragon of virtue, stout defender of the yeoman masses. It's usefulness as a rhetorical device to the people who have managed to perpetrate this scam is rapidly coming to an end. Now deeds, and not just words, are being noted. Authenticity rather than Style is coming back into vogue in American politics. Proof of intent and result are in demand. The sheltered life of the career patrician legislator, wheeling, dealing and collecting or bestowing favors while creating monstrosities of government bureaucracy lavishly funded by money that doesn't exist, is now on it's way to becoming a thing of the past.

With it's passing, we're about to see an old-line style of politician disappear, too. I hope.

The generation of politicians which came of age in the 1960's and 70's which currently dominates American politics -- the generation of Woodstock, the Welfare State and the Government Program for everything under the Sun -- are slowly being driven out. They lose at the ballot box, they are exposed by ten million folks with access to YouTube and Facebook. The generation which created this crippling debt, this overpowering government, this stifling regulatory climate that threatens to destroy the natural creativity and liberties of the American people, has made themselves rich and comfortable while they did it. But no more; the Inmates now have thepower and ability to run the Asylum.

Those old-style libtard pols will still claim solidarity with the unwashed rubes they call "constituents". Just like they held with "the masses" back in the 1960's. They were posers and phonies back then, and they're only richer posers and phonies now; the generation that "spoke truth to power", and "fought the Establishment" is now the Establishment themselves, and they have committed all of the crimes and excesses that they once accused their political and ideological enemies of, only with far worse consequences.

Imagine: all this damage has been done by, perhaps, a few hundred or maybe thousand people, who belong or once belonged to either house of Congress or the White House. It wasn't the people on Main Street, West Bumfuck, U.S.A. who did this: it was the Elite in Washington, D.C. If Joe Sixpack is guilty of anything, it's of having been conned by pros, and wasting his votes and tax dollars on them. Then again, Joe Sixpack is often a drooling idiot, and the Pros depended upon that fact, and a compliant media, to work their magic.

But those days are over, too. Joe Sixpack may not understand all the finely-tuned, well-oiled bullshit of how it is that NOT spending $1 trillion dollars we don't have, will have to borrow, print or invent with a banker's keystroke, blows either a $700 billion or $450 billion hole in the deficit -- depending on which party you listen to -- but he certainly DOES understand that he'll be on the hook for that $700 or $450 billion, or the 30/46/50 million without insurance, the 10/12/15 million here illegally, and the cost of President Obama --and Her Husband's -- 15 vacations this year.

He might not know shit, but he can look in his wallet and see what's there...or mostly, NOT there.

That's a problem the 535 don't seem to have, because if they did, they might do things differently. Then again, creatures of habit that they are they might have just continued to act stupidly, and just not given a shit. They can afford to buy their office all over again, come next election cycle, or depend on arcane and contradictory Federal Election Law and Campaign Finance Reform (which they wrote for their own protection) to keep any serious contender off the ballot.

After all, doesn't everybody just do that?

The next time I hear a politician, of either party, claim to be One of Us I just might start throwing punches.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Barking Up The Wrong Tree...

A few weeks ago, I posted a rant about the trials and tribulations of caring for my mother after major surgery. By some trick of fate, that post became a cause celebre amongst a certain set, and the next thing you know, I'm being interviewed by the New York Times. The gist of the post was that my mother was a pest, and I was merely pointing out that professional caregivers probably do not get the accolades or respect they are due. Because if given the choice between setting myself on fire and having to care for a crazy woman with a martyr complex and an insatiable need for sympathy again, I'll be the guy in the street with the gas can and Zippo.

That post has brought me a lot of attention; not only have I gotten offers to write freelance humor pieces because of it, but I have somehow become the guru of choice for exasperated and desperate people who seem to think that I'm some kind of authority on how to take care of difficult parents. I must be -- I was in the New York Times, you see.

Here's a sample of my mailbox, every day, for the last five weeks (and liable to continue because people are still coming in to read the original):

"Hey Matt, read your story, great! But, I was wondering if I might get your advice. See, Dad is 86, and has trouble controlling his bowels..."

"Could you please tell me what I should do? I'm almost at the end of my rope..."

" may joke about killing your mother, but I'm thinking of killing myself...."

"Mom no longer recognizes us. There's nothing in her eyes, anymore. She just looks at us "strangers", and tears run down her cheeks. She's lost, confused, and frightened, and there's nothing we can do about it. How did you communicate with someone in this state? Please help!"

"...waiting for the inevitable is worse. I may be a bad son for saying this but this bedside vigil stuff is for the birds. I wish she would go already, and let the rest of us get on with our lives. What do you think of that?"

That's on a GOOD day. The rest of the time, it's people who want to regale me either with their (ultimately) pointless feel-good stories, that always end with: "hang in there, buddy!", or scold me for being such a heartless, insensitive pig.

In one of those mysteries of human nature and the inner-workings of the brain, different people somehow manage to read the same thing, but come away with different interpretations. I don't know how this happens, but a simple internet post managed to become:

1. A Professional Credential; I am now qualified to speak on all matters pertaining to Elder Care, or at least, some people think I am. Whenever I remind people that I know absolutely nothing about this subject, beyond my own experiences, it does not seem to register. The Times would not have given me the time of day, otherwise, they think. I can make no appeal to logic, cite no example, make no point, that is not summarily ignored because folks want to believe that I'm going to solve their problems with impossible parents, or help them through the slow agony of waiting for a loved one to die.

Sorry, but I'm not your man. I don't do sympathy (except for children and dogs). I can empathize with some of you, to a certain extent, but I don't have any answers for you, nor do I share your pain. I can't counsel you on whether or not it's good idea to have the doc give Mom a "hot shot", or pull the plug on her. I really don't want to hear about your ancient father's bathroom habits and how they annoy you.

Also, I don't really give a crap about your life story. While I'm certain that your childhood memories of Sunday picnics, baseball games and fishing trips, hold some sentimental value to you, they hold none for me. Why it's necessary to write your autobiography before you get around to the question of "so, do you think it's okay to leave Dad alone for a couple of hours a day while I get coffee and do my shopping, so long as I lock him in his room?" baffles me.

First off, I don't care what you do with your father, so long as you aren't hurting him or plotting his demise. Otherwise, it's not my concern. I have my own problems, thank you. Staple him to the wall while you go about your business, if that's what you think you need to do, but don't think I'm encouraging or excusing that sort of thing. I'm getting the impression that people who think this way don't want advice so much as they want someone to justify their questionable behavior or thought processes. You think I'm bad with what I wrote? I'm getting e-mail from people who would lock an elderly person in a closet, consider leaving them in the care of young children while they go off and gallivant, or who just might chain their mother to a radiator so that they can go to Starbucks, or take in a movie. Considering how many admonitions I got, I wonder what my detractors would have to say about these people?

Secondly, I'm not giving you any eldercare advice, anyway -- I'm not qualified to do that, after all -- so save yourself some typing and possible Carpal-Tunnel.

2. Proof that I am The Biggest Jerkoff on Planet Earth; and this on a planet that I am forced to share with the likes of Al Gore, Barack Obama, LeBron James, Tom Brady, Paul Krugman, Keith Olbermann, and the cast of Jersey Shore? I'm a bad person with no sense of shame or decency, who was disrespectful to his mother, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Some are shocked that such a respectable publication like the New York Times (I wonder how respectable it is now that Krugman pretty much shit all over it reputation this past week) would give me any publicity, and I must be a morally-reprehensible person.

"Oh and by the way...", my super-sensitive respondents will always add, and then it comes: paraphrased " I'm a much better person than you", and then they cite some long-winded and totally disconnected example of their superior powers of "caring". Fuck you and the horses you all rode in on. People like you are almost as bad as the insufferable douchebags who think being able to quote Scripture makes them better than everyone else, and assures their place in Heaven.

Everyone has different ways of coping with things. Everyone has differing levels of patience and tolerance. Those of you with incredibly high levels (perhaps you are high to begin with?) of both should take this piece of advice from me:

Everyone else secretly hates you. We normal people, the ones with normal emotions --not you Bizzarro Vulcans -- we seriously think of killing you. Sometimes, some of us actually get together and discuss how we're going to do it, so as to get as many of you as possible in one fell-swoop. We figure we'll start with the ones who can't shut the fuck up about how much better they are than anyone else so that the rest will get the message and lay off.

3. The biggest mistake you can ever make as a blogger is to directly answer somebody's e-mail. Unless you absolutely have to. I have lost count of how many I have answered (badly) on this topic, but it seems that there's a percentage of people who write to you who don't want answers as much as they want a dialogue; they just want to talk to you. More like AT YOU. A good many of them don't even bother to consider what's been written back, because they'll respond in a repetitive manner, asking the same questions over-and-over, or making the same points in repetition. A good number are simply thrilled that someone answered them, at all.

The messages I truly despise are the "kindred spirit" e-mails, the "oh yes, I know all about that...don't have to tell me! I know exactly what you're going through..." routine. Suddenly, a complete stranger and I have some deep and meaningful connection because we have had an (arguably) similar experience. At least they like to think so, and these folks, too, want a dialogue. A one-sided dialog, usually. They wear out the "I" key on their keyboards, I'll bet. If I had the ability to wish people like you out of existence, I most certainly would.

Only slightly worse are the pathetic cases who ask me out on dates, because we have the common experience of taking care of a sick and difficult parent. This gives us a bond, they tell me, so any potential relationship would be starting out on a strong foundation, and we'd have something to talk about (and some of you, really, put your clothes back on!). In psychology, I think they would liken this to the formation of a Trauma Bond, a situation wherein two people who have shared a, usually horrific, experience -- experienced it at the same time, together -- form a partnership wherein they look almost exclusively to each other for support, encouragement, safety, security, and so forth. Each sees the other as "the only one who understands what you've gone through", and is therefore, the only reliable person in your little world.

The problem with Trauma Bonds is that they usually disguise or mingle with other mental issues; people develop co-dependence issues, they withdraw from the rest of the world, there may be self-esteem issues involved, and they may develop damaging or even dangerous repetitive behaviors if the bond becomes the central focus of their lives. People in Trauma Bond situations certainly have trouble forming relationships. People exhibiting this behavior have even been known to plan, and carry out, murder-suicide pacts, believing they are helping each other deal with their pain.

Yeah. I need a woman like this like I need a hole in the head. I don't care how much money you have, how many liquor stores you own, what you can do with your tongue, or how many of your girlfriends will watch/join in. Been there, done that, vis-a-vis crazy bitches. No thanks.

So, let's recap for the retarded amongst you:

A) No, I am not an expert on Eldercare. Never was, never claimed to be. If you need advice, seek professional help; I'm liable to tell you things you don't want to hear, that won't work, or which might put evil thoughts in your head.

B) I write what I write. I usually never apologize for it (why should I?), and I'm not particularly concerned about whether some of you like it or not, nor am I concerned about your personal opinion of yourself, or your exploits in eldercare. You're probably a douche in real life, and lying to me anyway, just to present yourself to the rest of the world as something you're not because you have serious self-esteem issues. Get psychiatric help.

C) No, I'm not dating you because we've both cleaned a bedpan once. Stop sending me photos (unless you're actually hot, of course). No, I don't want a relationship with some chick who's already scheduling our nuptuals around Mother's funeral, and Father's next round of radiation treatments.

This has certainly been a learning experience for me.

Update: If you need help dealing with issues surrounding the care of an elderly, or seriouisly ill family member, please check out They have the resources and expertise to help you through what is a difficult and stressful time for all involved.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

More Blogs You Should Read...

The Strike is Over! The Asylum Elves are back on the job, and it's time for some additions to the Blog Roll. Some of these are blogs I've been meaning to add, but just didn't get around to,and a few are intended to introduce a new viewpoint or two. In any case, you should read these blogs, or else Swifty the Discipline Elf will be visiting you with a baseball bat and a jar of Vapo-Rub (and you don't want to know what he does with either).

Powerline - I'm always reading Powerline, which is a pretty good source for political junkies.

City Journal - always has some great insights and spectacular writing by people much smarter than I am. Always a fascinating read.

Tammy Bruce - added because I've been told by the EEOC that the Conservative Lesbian point-of-view was sorely underrepresented here at the Asylum. Actually, Tammy Bruce is a thoughtful commentator who should be given heed. Don't make Swifty angry.

Leslie Marshall - she may be a Leftie, but she's an earnest and honest one. If we had more principled Leftards like her around, the world would be a much nicer place. Heck, if she's good enough for O'Reilly...

And our newest Comrade-in-Arms in the fight against rampant Insanity, the Insane Asylum. So long as the envelopes containing cash keep coming, I shall not sue them for copyright infringement. Actually this is a new blog which in recent days has linked to mine several times, so why not return the favor? There's some good stuff over there...just wear your galoshes when you visit.

Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing...

A Congresswoman gets shot, and six people, including a nine-year old girl are killed, and what happens?

Rep. Peter King (Asshat - NY) proposes a law making it illegal to be within 1,000' of a public official while in possession of a gun. I suppose this means we'll have to go back to the Good Old Days, when the really chic assassin used a sniper rifle.

Senator Dick Durban (Dingleberry - Il) decries the martial characterizations and use of crosshairs in our political debate, which he believes incites violence against Members of Congress. Apparently, people need to be whipped up into a frenzy by images to hate Congress.

Soon, I'm certain that Rep. Anthony Weiner (Jerkoff - NY) will chime in with his usual feeble offering of broad platitudes, useless metaphors, and ritual denouncement of people smarter than he is (i.e. just about everyone).

Eventually, Super-Assistant-Deputy-Sidekick-Gopher-Under-Secretary-to-the-Plenipotentiary-For-Asinine Remarks, Harry Balszac (D- Greenwich Village), a minor Obama Administration sub-functionary, will speak his peace (To DailyKos, off course) about how none of this would have happened if only Sarah Palin had just aborted her Down's Syndrome Child.

Not to be left out, Rep. Constance J. Pinke-Snapper (D-Vagina...errr...Virginia) will make the argument that being ruled by men with names that are euphemisms for the Penis (Peter, Dick, Weiner) is a proof-positive of the Gender Inequality in America's Government, that requires full federal funding for Abortions to amend.

In a way, it's almost fitting that America in the year 2011 should have overlords who's names all seem Phallocentric, and attached to men who don't know their asses from their elbows, but know how togive us all the Purple Shaft. It's also fitting that such sub-standard intellects should act and speak in blind panic when the usual bullshit that is their stock-in-trade just won't fly.

All of this nonsense was uttered in reaction to the Giffords Shooting, and all of it was, dierectly or no, encouraged by a media even dumber than the people they cover. A few observations on this entire fiasco, if I may, and then I'm not touching the subject ever again, if I can help it;

The Liberal Media, and the Congressional Douchebags who feed them, all warned us not to jump to conclusions about the identities and motives of the Fort Hood Shooter, The D.C. Snipers, The Times Square Bomber, The Underwear Bomber and others, but were themselves very quick to jump to their own conclusions here. I'm not going to rehash all of that nonsense about the use of Military Terminology and Hate Speech in our political discourse and all the rest, because it's been disseminated and rehashed everywhere by now. Besides, it's a stupid argument, and it's also a false one, because that's how libtards behave -- they try to make every argument about stupid things, and then lie about it.

Suffice to say, what we've seen in the wake of this tragedy was the democratic party's, and the left-wing's in general, deepest-held beliefs and most fervent wishes seemingly made real: they believe, with every fibre of their beings, that republicans (small 'r' intentional), conservatives (small 'c' intentional) and Tea Partiers are all potential time bombs of hatred and intolerance, just waiting for the right moment to engage in a systematic spree of assassinations, hate crimes, immigrant bashing, rape, and Anti-Semitism. They seriously wanted, no needed, Jared Loughner to be a member of the John Birch Society, have a picture of George Bush in his wallet, and to have to pray at a Sarah Palin shrine in his bedroom, because if that were so, they'd have been handed the opportunity to "take the higher moral ground" in just about any political debate.

And if they had to invent those connections from thin air, so be it. There's no rules in this game, so far as they're concerned.

Because to a leftie, everything in life becomes political and the mere appearance of the moral -- should there be a moral dimension -- is, well, that's just a fortuitous coincidence.

They have to behave this way. They have to be opportunists and sophists because they serve no useful function. They must paint their enemies, real and perceived, as the worst sorts of human beings because if the true nature of their own intentions and activities were ever discovered by the greater mass of people, there'd be many more shootings. Your typical leftard is an irresponsible douchebag who never wants to have, nor ever expects, to be in a position of power, but having found himself there decides he might as well do his best to remake society according to his own tastes -- the better to guarantee his own position and comfort. He never thinks through the consequences of what he advocates, because he never expects to actually be held responsible for them.

To paraphrase Orwell, there is no group of people in existence which serves so little useful function than the Left-wing intelligentsia (itself a contradiction in terms).

Anyways, let's get to another, related point -- undoubtedly the greater one -- which is the absolutely piss-poor quality of our Ruling Class, especially In Time of Crisis.

The Political Class in this country is a rogue's gallery of the stupid, the venal, the partisan, the hacks, the hyper-sensitive, the insensitive, the clueless, the brainless and the classless. Within it's ranks you'll find a great many petty dictators and a similar number of apparatchiks and ticket-punchers. There are the illiterate, the invisible, the criminal, and the spastic. A great many of them are infected with the worst sorts of narcissism, compulsive disorders, and anal retention issues. I'd wager half are sex-fiends, and the other half gay, or in love with their cocker spaniels. All are certainly in love with the sounds of their own voices. They can be, generally, counted upon to operate under the premise that "half a loaf is the same as no bread"; anytime a "compromise" is ever reached, it is usually a necessary political tactic by one side or another, or because the issue at hand is of, literally, no worth or consequence, or largely symbolic. In any eventuality, they can be expected to exercise as little reasoned judgement as possible, and display an unerring instinct to do The Absolute Wrong Thing, but usually The Absolute Worst Thing.

But, they are certainly experts in how to spout stupidity (Washington D.C. is the Old Faithful of Crapspeak, I'd bet), what with their petty and ridiculous "no guns within 1,000' of a federal official" bullshit, and pleading for speech codes and new laws against Free Expression -- because that's how Congress always reacts in the wake of a tragedy: they over-react, retroactively, and expensively, then slam the barn door shut long after the horse has shit and run away. It's why you have to get felt up at the airport, after all. The REAL point: that mental patients are roaming the streets and looking to shoot Congresscritters because we can't put them in institutions where they can get help, and we can be made safe from them, is beyond Congresses capacity to see.

Mostly because locking up the loonies would make sense, which is why the Kings, Durbins, and Weiners of the world don't get it. The premise is too clear-cut, too simple, it can't be clouded and obscured by the usual fatuity that passes for political dialogue and debate in this country. As an added obstacle: should the problem of the Jared Loughners ever be solved by legislators, no one individual would be able claim any credit or distinction for it; the public at large would simply believe that was what Congress should have been doing all along, and why the hell should someone get a pat on the back for simply doing his job? In American politics, if there's no "giving" of something special to your voting bloc -- whether it's Prayer in Public Schools and Free Flame Throwers for Everyone on one side, or Free Medical Insurance and Unfettered Free Abortions For All on the the other -- then it just doesn't get done.

Hence, the puerile argument over crosshairs, heated rhetoric, talk radio, and Left-and-Right-this-that-and-the-other. It's all designed to cover the fact that neither side knows what the fuck it's doing, has any clue as to what it should be doing, nor has any sense of decency. If they had any intention of getting anything done, or the ability to do it, there'd be money for mental hospitals.

These people are now frightened to death; the mid-term elections put fear into their bellies, democrat and republican, alike. And now they're also having to face the possibility that they might be hunted down in public by lunatics -- lunatics they've largely let loose with their policies, by the way -- and they've gone hysterical. They don't know what to do about it, and you can actually see them squirming, if you look close enough. The democratic party's "cool it" rhetoric is similar to how one would speak when confronted by a mugger "okay, pal...take it easy....I'm getting my wallet...just be cool...don't ass-rape me, please?". The republican reaction is also typical; play politics, badly, assume the position of Martyrs, and try to position yourself on both sides of the fence (they call this "bi-partisanship" or "being above the fray") hoping that you don't scrape your scrotum on the barbed wire you're straddling.

Somebody ought to remind Rep. King of the existence of the Second Amendment ,and that gun rights are one of the planks in the GOP platform. His is one of the dumbest and most self-serving, and nakedly transparent ideas to come down the pike since John Kerry's infamous "I voted against it before I voted for it" word vomit. You can't have it both ways, Congressman.

If you ever needed a clearer example of just what is wrong with this country, then you got a snootfull this past weekend; idiotic politician, clueless media, and gun-toting mental patient all came together to make a splendid mess, one that exposes the foundation of absolute crap upon which the American Political System is currently built.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Had This Idea...

About a week ago, I posted something here about strange people who type sexually-suggestive, or sick, terms into their search engines, and somehow wind up here.

I suggested that, as a general safety precaution, this might be a good idea:

"Did you ever notice that when your newspaper or nightly newscast runs a picture of the latest Mad Dog Postal Worker, the most recent Pubescent Loser on a school shooting spree, or this week's serial elevator rapist, the photo they have never seems to be in focus? You get one with the guy in eyeglasses that are simply two full-moons of reflected light, or the photo is old and grainy and so you can't really make out the dude's features. Or the best, is when you get that combination of old, grainy, smudged features, but the red eyes stand out.

So, here's what I would suggest; I would take a photograph of every human being on Planet Earth. Thanks to Facebook, Google Earth and the Central London and New York City CCTV systems, this won't be as difficult as it sounds. We take all the photos in which no clear image was produced, and hunt down and kill the people associated with them...before they kill us..."
You can add people who look like the douchebag up top to this list. Although in his case, I would prefer that he had been confined to a psychiatric facility for a very long time, and denied a gun permit.

The Insane, and What We Don't Do About Them...

Saw this at PajamasMedia this morning:

Mental Illness and Mass Murder.

This guy says things I've been saying for a very long time; there are people out there who need help, who are a danger to themselves, but especially to others, but we never seem to get them any help, or to protect ourselves from them, until it's way too late. Everyone knows the guy (Jared Loughner, in this case) is batshit insane, but no one wants to do anything, particularly not the authorities who usually know who the walking time bombs are (they've encountered them at least once before), but mostly because of the pressures exerted by cash-strapped state budgets, civil liberties advocates, and a lot of so-called doctors with degrees but no common sense, these folks are left to their own devices with often-devastating results.

We've just had a fifteen month debate (and constitutionally-suspect vote) on Health Care in this country. At no point in this debate did I ever hear anyone, not the President, no Senators, not a single Congresscritter, mention the words "Mental Health Care", except in the context of the rising costs of the standard prescription anti-depressants for the self-absorbed and clueless(which don't fucking work after a few weeks or months, and which do nothing at all for schizophrenics and other violent mentally ill).

We wasted 15 months arguing about how to put bigger tits on an aging Baby Boomer at government expense. We argued about how to ensure that Ricardo and Lupe can get the insulin they need, despite having broken the law and entered the country illegally. We argued about the health problems caused by gross obesity in people who are eating a steady diet of Hot dogs, Wing Dings and Dipsy Doodles entirely funded by Food Stamps. All we have done is have an argument about how to give all of those folks even more silicon implants, more insulin, and another heaping helping of government-subsidized Double-Fudge-Marshmallow-Swirl...with Caramel... without them having to pay for it, or accept the consequences of their actions.

And Our Congress wrote a 3,000-page bill which none of them read; none of those folks has Clue-fuckin'-One about what it says, or what time bombs are contained within it, but somehow they passed it through a suspect "Reconciliation"process, which apparently, has reconciled no one. In fact, it only made people angrier. They did it for base political reasons, and all the talk about compassion and caring is a load of bullshit.

Go on and get fat of Food Stamps; you won't have to pay for your heart attack, thanks to Uncle Sam! Take these $300 drugs for your erectile dysfunction because we want 75-year-olds to be able to fuck like teenagers, and then faint and end up in emergency rooms because of problems with low blood pressure; The Government will pick up the tab! Enjoy your free insulin; even though you've come here illegally from another country and pay no income taxes, and have brought measles, whooping cough, malaria, dysentery, and polio back with you.

The libtards patted themselves on the back for finally making Universal health care a "reality" (such a reality that it doesn't kick in until 2014, and then will be severely underfunded and drive up deficits and public borrowing), but they were aiming at the wrong targets (no pun intended, and I'm certain Dick Durbin will scream like a menstrual banshee about my extreme right-wing use of a violent military analogy in the context of a political debate ).

What Obama Care aimed at was a two-part charade of mere appearances; it wants to give The Poor (only in America could The Poor be grossly fat, own cellphones and drive SUV's) the illusion that they had the same things as The Rich, in this case, medical insurance. Technically, everyone has access to medical insurance -- it's just that you have to work in order to pay for really good medical insurance. In the democratic (small 'd' intentional) party world of race and class warfare, it is positively dangerous to insist upon this so-called "work ethic" or point out that our free-market capitalist society works this way, or to even speak of either. In the meantime, the real health issues this country faces are conveniently papered over, or dismissed entirely.

The second-part of this great scam was to cater to the insanity of an aging generation (the Baby Boomers) which is positively obsessed with it's health and ability to screw well into heir 90's, that usually already possesses health insurance, but just doesn't want to continue to pay for it as costs increase. That costs increase because of this obsession with their health and fear of dying, an inevitability, is not spoken of. Giving the impression that we were doing something nice for the "downtrodden", and garnering votes for it, was more important. It's nice to be able to be selfish while appearing generous with other people's money, huh?

One of those problems that went unexamined is how we treat the mentally ill, and more specifically, what we do with the really dangerous ones. No one wants to tackle that question, because we don't really give a shit about the mentally ill -- until they shoot a Congresswoman -- and then the response to the tragedy is to have a debate about banning the use of crosshairs in political advertising. We are cursed with the dumbest, most short-sighted, most self-absorbed and clueless politicians and media in the Solar System. These people couldn't tell the truth to save their lives -- even to themselves -- so it's no wonder they miss "Bigger Picture" issues like Wandering Gunmen who Hear Voices...and whose mental instability is generally known, acknowledged, and then goes untreated for lack of funding or stupid theories about how far Civil Liberties can be pushed.

One has the right, apparently, to go untreated, or with the ability to forego the medications that will (might) keep your symptoms under control, and if it happens to step all over my right not to be murdered in the street by a gun- or sword-wielding douchebag whose cocker spaniel says I'm sending coded messages to him through his fillings, then that's just too bad; just the price we pay for upholding an iron-clad Constitutional Principle.

Only a fucking lawyer (the next batch of lunatics we should lock up) could argue, and then sleep soundly at night, that letting the destructive moonbats of our society loose is an exercise in purest liberty.

The truth of the matter is that if we weren't absorbed by questions of how to give medical insurance to those who won't work for it, won't pay for it, and will simply misuse and abuse it once they have it, we could have had a much-more useful debate about how to lock up and treat the Jared Loughner's of the world, and save someone's life. Without the Jared Loughners, the emergency rooms would be a little less full, and so would the cemeteries.

Monday, January 10, 2011

350 Years Ago...

...a bunch of Dutch, Belgian and French religious zealots...errrm...refugees...petitioned the Council of New Amsterdam for permission to build a new community across the harbor from what would later become known as Sodom-on-the-Hudson upon a swampy little island.

That little village (later known as Oude Dorp, or Old Town) was the first vestige of civilization upon this lovely little green lump that I call home. Before that, the only people to actually come here were savage Indians, and they only came to hunt, shit and bury their dead.

Times have changed.

I live in what later became Nieuwe Dorp (New Town), near the capitol (Richmond Town) of what the English renamed The Borough of Richmond, in honor of the bastard son of Charles II.

There's a lot more to this story, of course, but if I told it historians would be rolling over in their graves. Even the ones who haven't died yet.

Anyways, Staten Island: the Forgotten Borough of New York City (technically NOT true: the rest of the city remembers we're here when it comes to raising taxes and fees, of course) is gearing up for it's 350th birthday celebration. This is a huge event in these parts, on par with the landing of aliens, the return of Jesus, and perhaps the Pope revealing the Third Secret of Fatima.
And naturally, this being Staten Island and New York City, it's not surprising that when the committee charged with constructing a website that should a) give people a sense of history about the place they live in, b) let people know just what a special place it is that they live in, and c) perhaps make an attempt to draw tourists so as to take advantage of such a special event, finally gets around to doing it, they should fail so miserably.

If you visit, the official website of the Anniversary Celebration, you'll immediately be struck by the extremely amateurish nature of the site itself. I'm certain that a shitload of taxpayer and privately-raised funding went into it, and it looks as if done by a recent graduate of one of those technical schools you see advertised inside a matchbook cover. Sadly, even WikiPedia has more, and better, information.

If I were the Borough President, and I paid for this crap with taxpayer money, I'd demand that someone's hide hang on my mantelpiece. That website is about what you'd expect from any official source; poorly done, lacking in basic information, and suitable for cleaning your anal orifice.

If that doesn't turn you off, there's the 5th-grade-book-report quality of the various historical write-ups to be found there, full of the typical, sappy multi-culti pieties one would expect from someone educated in a New York City Public School; they're all pretty badly researched, full of factual errors and gaps, and were published with poor spelling and grammar still extant.

This, as I said, is par for the course: this is Staten Island, and things in these parts are either done half-assed, or full-assed, and there's no in between. Which is a crying shame.

Because this is a wonderful place. Yes, it has it's problems, like anyplace else, but it is still a wondrous thing, our little island. There's history here. There are natural wonders. There are millions of little things, that mostly go unnoticed and remarked, that make it a unique place. The rhythms of the various neighborhoods, the Ferry Culture, the last vestiges of the Old Dutch influence which linger here more than they do almost anywhere else in New York. I could sit here and tell you everything I know about this place (which is a considerable amount, in relation to what most people could), and it would still be inadequate; you have to come here and see it for yourself.

And above all, come on over and see us during this 350th Anniversary year. I promise, you'll like much of what you see, and you might even want to stay. At least come by and party with us!

We're Supposed to Be Afraid of These People?

Pakistani Man gets his ass publicly kicked by his angry wives.

A few observations on this story:

1. I didn't know they had soap let alone soap factories, in Pakistan.

2. What sort of pussy must you be if you marry women who can kick your ass?

3. What sort of douche are you if you find it necessary to marry more than once?

4. I find it interesting that this tale of marital bliss takes place against the backdrop of someone else's wedding. It's right out of Lifetime's Movie-of-the-Week. I should hope the envelope was a rather thick one.

It is a cornerstone of Islamic belief that one of the greatest evils in all of Creation is the Female. There is the well-worn joke that anything that can bleed for five days once a month, and doesn't die, should be automatically suspected of being a Hellspawn Demon with a black heart, but in the Islamic world, this borders on a manic phobia of the vagina.

Women are systematically kept down in Islamic society; they are collected and herded together like cattle, this quaint practice given a veneer of respectability by being referred to as "marriage". In many Muslim countries, women are sequestered and forced to wear potato sacks so that no flesh is visible to tempt Man, or so that the angels don't see the tops of their heads and come to Earth to bring discord. Despite all the talk (mostly from non-Muslim liberals who have no first-hand experience) about the fundamental equality of Sharia Law, there is a story almost weekly in our newspapers about a Muslim rape victim being stoned to death for enticing her (often multiple) attackers, or of a Husband and Father slaughtering his female offspring with impunity. These tales are becoming almost a weekly feature in most newspapers.

Honor Killings amongst Muslims in the West are legion; Muslim men kill their daughters for wearing jeans and eye make up, for dating non-Muslims, for assimilating into Western society (something which offers them truer freedom and acceptance, and the possibility of being something other than a baby-maker wrapped up in a carpet). They kill their wives for asking for divorces, or even making careers for themselves (the men don't seem to have any trouble taking the money their wives earn, it's usually when the wife begins to earn some sort of distinction in her chosen field, and threatens to become more successful than her husband, that she's marked for death).

The newspapers are also full of snippets regarding the sexual repression of Islamic Society, in general: the Army, for example, can show you countless surveillance videos of suspected Taliban sodomizing livestock, or diddling one another, this from people who claim to be our moral and cultural superiors. The Military also will tell you that the laptops and cellphones of just about every Al'Qaeda or Taliban captured on the battlefield or in raids, is absolutely jam-packed with porn. Most of it is a far cry from your garden-variety Playboy/Hustler type, too. Pakistan was identified by Google as the primary source on Planet Earth for internet requests for such culturally-superior fetishes like rape videos, donkey sex, and a rather disgusting fetish which seems to involve people (usually men) having unusual objects forcibly jammed into their backsides.

The Ayatollah Khomeini, it is said, spent his last years creating and revising a code of conduct regarding the etiquette surrounding beastiality. This, of course, was the man who called the United States The Great Satan, and who sought a revival of the Islamic world based upon strong moral principles and strict adherence to the code of Sharia. I guess Allah understands why you would occasionally find it necessary to pork your German Shepherd, or have maintenance sex with your camel.

And now, we have a story about a four-timing husband getting his ass bashed by his furious wives. In two weeks, expect to see both of these woman sentenced to death by stoning for whatever reason a Sharia Court manages to concoct. Instead of sadly shaking our heads at that great tragedy, why do not we see it for what it is; two pissed off women asserting their rights, and their humanity?
You have to admire their bravery, because they live in a world where raising your hands to your husband is an automatic death sentence.

Muslim Men are afraid of women. Deathly afraid of them. Have been ever since that part of the world was the Cradle of Civilization (the Biblical story of Adam and Eve originates from Mesopotamia, and of course, it is Eve who's the villain. But even before her, there was Lilith, Adam's First Wife, banned from Eden for demanding to be considered an equal before God. Lilith would later become a demon, a kind of succubus in folklore, responsible for stealing the seed of young men -- the cause of the Wet Dream -- killing infants in their cribs, and afflicting Men with raging and uncontrollable lusts).

I don't know about you, but I don't see just why it is, exactly, that we're supposed to be afraid of these people. Oh, certainly, they can pull off the occasional spectacular display of senseless violence (see 9/11), but that's only because they're incapable of standing toe-to-toe on the battlefield with even the weakest of Western Armies. They lack the courage, intelligence and social cohesion to do so. They hide behind their women and children, taking advantage of our sensibilities, and then treat them like slaves when their utility as shields wears thin. The violence inflicted upon women by Muslim Men is simply a way to keep them "in their place", the men knowing full-well that should Muslim women ever become even moderately "empowered" there very soon will no place for the Men, themselves; the first target of Islamic Revolutionaries is almost always the feminine; they always seem to start with the miniskirt , move on to women working outside the home and the mixing of the sexes, and then brutally enforce the traditional role of woman as field hand, substitute draft animal, and baby machine as the inarguable, unassailable Will of God.

How can I fear someone who's afraid of girls?

The idea of a woman, with all of her sexual powers, being allowed to lead an independent life is anathema to Islam. It's why Muslim women walk a daily tightrope between meek submission and a cut throat, and yet, there must be tens of millions just like those Pakistani women who would take that risk just to assert their own sense of dignity.

And herein lies the weapon with which to bring Islamic Society to it's knees -- no pun intended.

If we're not going to mercilessly shoot, bomb, starve, kill and maim Islamofascists, we can at least start working on their womenfolk; by rescuing them, encouraging them, educating them, aiming propaganda at them, starting a movement amongst them for real rights and equality that will eventually force the radical change from within their diseased cultures that might just help solve most of the problems of Radical Islam. After all, it was women, they say, who tamed the Wild West, why should one not expect them to have the same power to affect change upon the Insane Middle East?

Never underestimate the Power of the Snatch. In the Islamic World, the Bearded Clam is mightier than the Sword, which is why the imams, and the demented douchebags who listen to them spend so much time and energy keeping them hidden and inaccessible. Unleash the Full Fury of the Furburger, suitably restrained by a corresponding message of Common Sense, Fairness, Shared Sacrifice and Responsibility, and just watch what happens.

Of course, Western Feminazis would never go for such a thing. To them, freedom is simply the ability to fuck like a mink ,and then avoid the unwanted consequences through a medical procedure. Consequently, it's why they never take a principled stand when Bill Clinton molests the hired help, Afghan girls have acid thrown in their faces for simply going to school, or Iranian Women are condemned to death for being forcibly sodomized by a rape gang because no one will come to their defense.

Something that starts with two Pakistani women kicking the crap out of a husband building a vagina collection could be only the beginning of something greater, more transformative, and infinitely better for a billion people who have little, and who don't expect anything but.


What's In a Name?

Last Friday was time for the regular medical check-up, which, truth to tell, has been extremely irregular in my case. I hate a visit to a doctor's office unless I'm bleeding profusely, or have internal organs hanging from huge holes in the central trunk, especially now that I'm at the age where "say Ahhh!" and "drop your pants and cough" is supplemented by "bend over and let me know when I've tickled your fancy" and the sound of a rubber glove being snapped into place. The same joke always follows this indignity, too: I guess this means we're engaged now? Snicker, chortle, guffaw.

You're a laugh riot, Doc. Don't quit your day job.

You'll be glad to know (like you care!) that I'm fine. I get the same advice I've gotten from doctors for the last 30 years: stop smoking, lose some weight, and get more fiber in your diet. Go exercise some. It's become a boring routine.

However, sometimes things sort of...happen...and the mundane often becomes a lot more interesting.

While I'm sitting around in the waiting room for my turn at the Spanish Inquisition, The Children came in.

The Children are a group of five young siblings, and their Mother. There are three boys, and a set of identical twin girls. They all appear rather healthy, and rambunctious, the first sign that the kids are armed with some lethal public-school-lavatory pathogen, if you ask me. You could hear them coming up the walk, through the front door, and those of us in the quiet waiting room were assaulted by a wall of noise the nanosecond they entered the room.

These little girls were something, though. Dressed in matching outfits, great big smiles. The boys were of the rough-and-tumble sort. The waiting room very quickly became an impromptu playground for them all, and no amount of admonition from their mother, or cross looks from the other patients waiting, was enough to slow them down. They were wrestling on the floor, chasing each other around, and just being kids. Personally, I think the girls were tougher and had more energy than the boys.

Really cute little rugrats, all.

The Mother was getting exasperated by her children's behavior. They were making a terrible racket, and she was repeating herself constantly: Don't DO that...Stop THAT...Calm DOWN...Watch your sister...She seemed really overwhelmed and frustrated, and you know how kids are: every "Knock it off" that isn't followed by the back of someone's hand is simply an invitation to more tomfoolery. But after a bit, it was starting to get positively annoying, and infinitely more dangerous as wrestling gave way to climbing on furniture and jumping off staircases, and throwing things across the room. Finally, Mom has had enough, and it was time to round this Flying Circus up, and this is where I finally lost it; because Mother had recited the list of ridiculous names she had given to her children.

I do not know what possesses people to do this to their children. I can understand how someone might find it "cute" or "unique" to name their children according to some personal motif, or theme, but there are some who either don't think this scheme through all the way, or simply get a really bad idea and run with it, no questions asked. This was one of those people. All of the children had been named according to a really bad common theme. I will change the names here, so that the kids may be spared even more embarrassment than they're already in store for, but you'll get the idea. Mom rises from her chair, and fairly yells:

"Diamonte, LeSabre, Camry! Cut that out, and sit your behinds down NOW! Don't you roll your eyes at me, boy! Shut it and park it!"

The Little Girls find the scolding their brothers have received to be quite funny, and they giggle and begin to tease them. Mom cuts this potential source of additional discord off at the pass.

"Chevelle and Chevette, stop that before I slap your behinds! Y'all need to learn to behave".

It was at that point that I burst out laughing. I couldn't help it. The children started giggling too, unaware of just what it was that I found so funny -- they just saw some dude guffawing and found it funny themselves -- I was, sadly, having fun at their expense. I'm such a louse. But sometimes, you just find your fun wherever it happens to be.

Mom stopped, turned, and bored two flaming holes right through me with her eyes. If she could have killed me with a thought, I think I would be pushing up daisies right about now. The rest of my wait to see the doctor was most uncomfortable, and it was all I could do not to giggle and titter myself. When I came back out into the waiting area after my examination, the entire brood was gone, although I could still hear the kids off in some other exam room.

I laughed all the way home, too, before I reflected on the fact that these children have a rather thoughtless parent who has cursed them with ridiculous names for reasons that I can only begin to guess at. It's got to be an interesting psychological/sociological question as to why parents do these kinds of things. I guess there's a desire to be original and unique within their circles, or perhaps, as a friend of mine once tried to explain, it's yet one more legacy of slavery; who wants to name their children Jack and Jill in emulation of The Former Slave Owners?

I don't know, but it makes me shake my head and wonder all the same. After I manage to stop giggling like a schoolgirl. Out of idle curiosity, if anyone can tell me why parents find it necessary to do this kind of stupid thing, would you please drop me a line?

Update: This post has garnered a couple of e-mails from irate readers who accuse me of the basest racism, and of making a cheap joke at the expense of African-Americans. Nothing could be further from the truth. The point of this screed was that there are parents out there naming children according to a screwed-up sense of personal taste, with no regard to the fact that some names, inavariably, come back to haunt their children as they grow up (seeing as how other children are often cruel).

In my own, Italian, family, a common theme runs through the naming of children, too. My family background is fairly lousy with Peters, Pauls, and Marys, andjust about every saint in the Catholic pantheon. I also know one white family that went absolutely apeshit in naming their children in a flowery motif (even the boys).

The children in question were all named with a "De" motif. If I remember correctly, the boy's names were DeCurtis, DeHoward and DeAntoine. This isn't so bad, even if it sounds tinny to my lilly-white ears. What made it so bad, and funny, was that the Mother was apparently so determined to carry this theme forward that she gave her daughters most unfortunate names.

The girls were named DeLicious and DeLuscious (I'm assuming these to be the proper spellings). Apparently, "Denise" and"Delilah", and so forth, didn't lend themselves to a stylized spelling or pronunciation. What made this funny to me, because my mind is permanently frozen in a 15-year-old state, is the thought soon followed "What would happen if these girls had an unfortunate surname attached to their terrible first names?"

How would you like to go through high-school with a name like "Delicious Cox", or "Delicious Cherry", and what do you think teenaged boys could make out of a girl with a porn-star-quality moniker like "DeLuscious Moorehead"?

Don't you think that's a terrible thing to do to your children?

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Thanks, Johnny...I Wouldn't Have Known You Were Gay, Otherwise...

Johnny Weir Comes out of the Closet. Just in time to pimp a book.

I don't know about you, but in my mind "gay" and"male figure skater" are redundant terms.

I especially enjoyed this snippet:

"But everything is said for a reason and I really think that America has really accepted me ."

I would tend to believe that if you asked 10 people who Johnny Weir was, 9.8 of them wouldn't have the slightest clue, and that .2 probably has way too much free time on it's hands.

I rather doubt that America, the majority of individuals that makes up America, hardly gives Johnny Weir a second thought, on a good day. Figure skating is not exactly front-page news; about the only time anyone ever really pays any attention is during the Olympics, and although I haven't any evidence to back this claim up, I rather doubt your local Ice Capades performance draws huge crowds, except for the die-hard figure skating set, which is probably made up of gays and little girls. Hardly representative of America, I should think (although it's probably an excellent cross-section of the democratic party).

Then Weir goes on with his love-affair-with-himself, assuming that everyone is intensely fascinated by a man in heavy eye make-up doing a second-rate Liza Minelli impression on ice:

"People say I'm ashamed of myself for not talking about my sexuality, but I'm not scared of anyone and I'm not ashamed of anything that is Johnny Weir."

You know someone has a bit of an ego problem when they refer to themselves in the third person. It's hard to take that kind seriously.

"I think so little of my sex life and my sexual identity simply because I don't have time to have sex and secondly, because I don't think it defines who I am. I didn't choose a sexuality just as I didn't choose to be white."

Now here's something that approaches sense. There is something to be said about this philosophy, although it's pretty difficult to reconcile the ego (I'm not ashamed of anything that is Johnny Weir) with the sensible pronouncement that being gay doesn't define "who I am". I say "difficult to reconcile" these two things because:

a. Johnny Weir, hardly a household name, chooses to push a book about himself by making a big show of "Coming Out", when really, I don't think anyone who was aware of him was ever in doubt about his sexuality. It all seems like forced and badly-manufactured publicity and,

b. If you weren't a gay, sexless, Olympic-champion figure skater coming out of the closet, then who the hell would want to buy your book in the first place?

I'm certain the world of intrigue that is international competitive figure skating is a fascinating subject (yawn!), but if it wasn't for the"gossip" factor in the snippets swirling about this book -- Johnny comes clean with his thoughts about his biggest rivals (people you also have never heard of, or have quickly forgotten) , the cat fight between Johnny and a female skater, the notoriously-corrupt judging system in skating, the novelty 'scandal' of a gay guy who has no time to suck dick, etc. -- then what is it that Mr. Weir expects to sell, exactly? Without the salacious details and junior-high juicy gossip, what's left? A story about an effeminate man who likes to leap and twirl about on ice skates in a sequined bodysuit?

Just what the hell is so interesting about that?

At Least SOMETHING Gets Plowed Around Here....

Post The Great-Snowstorm-Clusterfuck of 2010, wherein New York City's public unions covered themselves in glory for their (non-) work ethic, and petty political grandstanding that paralyzed a city for four days, and perhaps even killed people, we learn what some city employees are actually doing when no one seems to be watching:

First, we have the sordid tale of a $100k-a-year sewer inspector (yeah, you'd have to pay me that much to do that job, too), who uses his official vehicle while propositioning prostitutes, and then tries to flee the police when caught.

It is perhaps appropriate that this man (maybe) earns his livelihood in a sewer. But that's Bush League compared to our next outstanding public servant;

Teacher fired for lesbian sex romp in classroom uses the diabetes defense.

Let's face it, people do stupid things all the time, and by highlighting these two winners I don't intend to imply that ALL public union workers in this city frequent prostitutes, or get drunk during the school day and engage in naked-time revelry. But you have to wonder just what it is that makes people dumb enough to do these things while they're on the job, and in working in their official capacity?

I mean, is the Call to make the Beast With Two Backs that irresistible that it can't wait for after school? That it would cause you to engage in explicitly illegal activity while driving in your conspicuous, official vehicle? It's as if you're not even making an attempt to hide your abhorrent behavior.

Some Thoughts on A Shooting...

Did you ever go about your daily life completely oblivious to a certain possibility -- one that you know, somewhere in your head, will happen given the right circumstances -- but which you casually dismiss as something incredibly unlikely, only to see that disturbing thought lived out, and come back to bite you on the ass?

I had one of those moments today, and it's caused a great deal of personal anguish and circumspection.

I can't remember how many times I have casually tossed about the idea, saying it right here on this page, how someone I dislike, often someone I have no personal connection with, or even real animosity towards, should be shot. I don't really mean it, it's supposed to be dark humor (although now, I really don't see the humor in it at all), and after I've gone ahead and written "so-and-so should be shot" I salve my conscience by adding "I don't advocate this, really, so don't do it", thinking I've absolved myself of responsibility in case it actually does.

And then someone actually does get shot. In this case, a congresswoman from Arizona, Gabrielle Giffords. I know nothing about Rep. Giffords other than the fact that she represents Arizona, and she's a democrat, and now she's got a bullet hole in her head; one put there by what seems to be a deranged individual with a lot of axes to grind, and a whole lot of unresolved personal issues.

I have to admit, I was feeling ambivalent towards the idea that the Congresswoman was wounded in this regard; public figures are in danger even in the best of times, and in this day and age of terrorism and "crazed gunmen" walking about, taking to a public event with little or no security is almost asking to be shot at. No one had the right to shoot at her, but it is one of the well-known risks of the job. I feel terrible about having that feeling now It seems callous, and selfish, but in my defense -- I don't know her, she's not one of my own, and until today, I'm not even certain that I knew that she even existed.

We have this terrible ability for dissociating ourselves from people we don't know, or aren't aware of, after all. I don't know whether this is a design flaw, or a feature, but sometimes it makes me sick -- especially when I see it in myself.

There were six other people killed in this travesty, amongst them, a 9 year old girl. For all I know, none of those people especially deserved to be shot at, and certainly not a child, and killed.

The thought entered my empty head; how many times have you written "so-and-so should be taken out and shot", and never once thought there might be someone sick and twisted enough to actually do it?

And what if you had written "Representative Giffords should be shot", and some deranged douchebag took that as a command, and went out and did it? Wouldn't you be just as responsible as the asshole who pulled the trigger? This thought has tormented me all day. I've been especially stupid and careless about this, and I should know better. I'm so ashamed of myself right now.

I'm going to be a whole lot more careful about such things in the future. I am so sorry. I would give the usual bromides about my thoughts and prayers going out to all the victims, but it would be bullshit; I don't pray, and my sympathy doesn't change anything. All I can say is that the guilt I feel for being an irresponsible prick will change at least one thing, hopefully for the better, and that is Me and my cavalier attitude towards suggesting violence as a sick joke.

As for the (a?) shooter, it appears that once again, we have someone with serious problems. His problems are probably well-known to his family and friends, and just in case they missed it, he was at least confused and angry enough to advertise them on MySpace. It's been suggested the shooter has had brushes with law enforcement before, and was rejected for military service as being "unfit", with no explanation of just what exactly that means.

I'm guessing it had nothing to do with flat feet.

There are millions more where this guy came from, too, and it's a sad commentary on our society. I've advocated on behalf of the mentally ill here many times before, usually after a similar incident, and I will do so again because it bears repeating.

I cannot, and will not, condone what this young man did today; he took the lives of six people, including an innocent child, and changed the lives of hundreds more. The wounded, the witnesses, the families of his victims, and perhaps even his own family, and this is something I find too terrible to contemplate. I know first-hand how a life can be affected by senseless violence (I've personally witnessed 3,000 people burned to death, crushed or vaporized, or leaping to their deaths), and whenever such things happen I can feel it in the pit of my stomach.

Every time there's a Columbine, a Virginia Tech, a Discovery Channel Eco-terrorist, the same story plays out about the gunman; he's a lunatic, people know he's a lunatic, heck, even the authorities know he's a lunatic....and he's walking the streets, his fuse lit. There never seems to be any help for these people before they do something destructive, and afterwards we sit here and scratch our heads, wondering why did this happen?

It happens because we don't care. Or it happens because we do care, but can't deal with reality. It happens because for all the talk about better Healthcare in this country, the one area where we can't do a damned thing right is with the mentally ill. We can pass bills so that the lazy, halt and lame can get free angioplasty and then go back out and gorge themselves on ice cream. We can "reform" Medicare so that the richest generations of retirees are spared the inconvenience of paying for overpriced prescription drugs that don't even pretend to do what they advertise they will, and cause 72 unwanted side-effects. We can argue about whether people should get End-of-Life counselling, or whether it's a good idea to perform double-lung transplants on unrepentant smokers. We cry a river of tears over the effects of (self-inflicted) obesity, and throw tons of money at a Healthcare system that can keep us alive long past the time when most of us will be useful and productive....for what, exactly?

You can get a gastric bypass, and insurance will cover that. You can be wheeled into an emergency room in cardiac arrest, and someone will work feverishly to save your life, even if you can't pay. But what happens when you're schizophrenic? What happens when you sit in darkened rooms, rocking back-and-forth and muttering under your breath to no one in particular? What happens when The Voice tells you that so-and-so is the Anti-Christ? what happens when your erratic behavior is a visible plea for help, and no one lifts a finger?

No one wants to know you then. No one seems to know what to do. So, they leave you alone. Maybe, they think, you'll work it all out by yourself. Maybe they refuse to get you some help, because it would reflect badly on themselves. There's a stigma attached. If, by some chance, you manage to get into some scrape with the authorities, they'll send you to the local loony bin....and then let you out on the flimsiest of pretexts because it's too expensive to treat you, and budgets are tight.

Whenever legislators need to "cut the fat" in their budgets, where do you think they go first? Do the mentally ill advocate for themselves? Do they hold demonstrations, and get air time on FoxNews or MSNBC? Even if they did, wouldn't you dismiss them as a bunch of crazy people, not worth paying attention to? You want to talk about real discrimination; try going through the rest of your life with the label "mental patient", even "ex-mental patient".

Fifteen months of debate, or hemming-and-hawing, of flimsy math, of unflattering truths and outrageous lies over Obama Care, and not once did I ever hear anyone say "mental health", except in the context of making it easier for people to pay for their anti-depressants (because Big Pharma is gouging them, you see), most of which are complete crap, and that the majority of people who take them don't really need.

You know what I learned with six-plus years of therapy and a slew of anti-depressants? That most people are absolutely full of shit, most are dumber than a sack of hammers, and so enamored of themselves that when others don't recognize their"specialness", they run right to a douchebag with a Psychology degree, handing out pills like they were Pez at $400 for the 45-minute hour, and never telling them the painful truth about themselves: you feel bad because you really suck, you selfish twit. Life isn't fair, and no one owes you anything, so stop whining and learn to make better decisions.

When someone is really mentally ill, and I mean hearing-voices-visions-of-angels-and-demons-full-batshit-insane-howling-at-the-moon-mentally-ill, they suddenly become invisible.

At least until they indiscriminately shoot someone. Usually, a lot of someones. The cycle repeats itself continually, and still, nothing changes; we grieve, we make speeches, we erect monuments to the dead, and have our Oprah Moment. In a few months, someone else who's parents are afraid to admit it, or too embarrassed by their son's issues, the Mental Health professionals who do nothing but push pills and suck cash from your insurance company, the "Authorities" who can't afford to keep a whacko, and can't wait to let 'em lose, will go off, and dozens, hundreds of more lives will be destroyed or altered.

If there's anything good that come out of the murders of six people, and the wounding of several more, it is this: the high profiles of the victims, and the disgusting thought of a little girl taken before her time, just might...might...finally be the event that changes everything, and causes us to re-evaluate how we think, as a society, about how we treat those who are ill and capable of this sort of violence.

I, for one, learned a slew of incredibly valuable lessons today, most that shouldn't ever have needed to be taught. I'm going to be a whole lot more careful about what I write, and how I write it, because I don't want this sort of thing on my conscience, and I never want to be the reason why it has happened.

I probably won't be blogging for a few days, because I feel absolutely filthy and disgusted with myself at the moment.