On one hand, you have Geraldo Rivera admonishing the dead kid about wearing a hoodie because it looks too “gangsta.” And then you have New Gringrich admonishing the President about noticing the kid was black. No two ways, Fox, it’s either racist or it ain’t. Add to this the “stand your ground” fans backing up shooter Zimmerman saying that he was only doing his job–self-appointed and told by the 911 operator not to pursue–and you start to wonder if their heads are in so far, will these guys ever see daylight again?
Fortunately, Melissa Harris-Perry took care of Geraldo, and the electorate looks like it will be taking care of Newt. And Paul Krugman reveals the truth about American Legislative Exchange Council, the corporate shills behind the “stand your ground” laws.
Which leaves us Dick Cheney. The sight of all the people wishing him well with prayers for a speedy recovery—including those who’ve accused him of being a war-profiteer, a war criminal, and responsible for the sinking of the US reputation to historic lows by ‘OK’ing tortures the Japanese were hanged for after WWII—warms my heart. This is the mark of a civil society. We do live by the Golden Rule: Do not do unto the previous Administration as you would not have the next Administration do unto you.
Now a churlish man would be making comments about Mr. Cheney’s heart transplant like “Where’d they find one that small?” Or, “This one is perfect, Igor, MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” Or, “Wow, the old one really was made of stone–this will fetch a high price on EBAY!” But we won’t do so. Instead, we’ve decided to honor Mr. Cheney with some verses of a song:
Dick had to have heart,
Cheney really needed heart.
They kept saying that you didn’t have one.
But here’s one for a fresh start!
You never lost hope,
When they kept on saying nope,
Like with those weapons that could never be found,
Those visions were sound, your critics dopes.
Don’t you think of Halliburton,
And the profits from the war,
You will only feel some hurtin’,
And who knows what you’d outpour
to an enhanced interrogation!
So pick up the phone,
And when you hear the dial tone,
Tell your friend that you are sorry you graced
with buckshot his face,
it wasn’t smart,
Now you’ve finally got heart.
No applause please, the patient is convalescing.Two stories of note this week: the shooting of Trayvon Martin–which actually occurred a month ago today–and Dick Cheney’s new bundle of joy. I’ve always found myself to have a reluctance to draw cartoons about things that are sad. Things that make me angry on the other hand are fair game. And the shooting of Trayvon Martin makes me sad. But the reaction of the Fox News types is worth derision.
Now, in my youth (rather, my younger days on the internet), I used to rail at spam like everyone else. And when the first email spam filters arrived, I loaded them ruthlessly with rules to catch emails with subjects in all caps, with certain words, with strings of exclamation points. And then I discovered that none of these rules worked particularly well. Not only did the spam keep coming through as the spam-meisters came up with newer and newer ways to ply their trade, but all the emails that I had been eagerly expecting and expecting and expecting, could usually be found nestled in the spam folder, provided I got to it before an automatic flush.
So I turned off the spam filters and have gone back to the age-old delete button, which has the sterling advantage of never deleting anything I didn’t WANT gone. And if I accidentally do, command-Z takes care of that in an instant. And since then, I have been regaled by daily doses of Pamela being concerned about my size, or Cindy about my lasting power. Stock tips sent to “Fred” but seemingly delivered to me by mistake. How many opportunities I’ve been afforded to sneak currency out of falling dictatorships! Aid widows in securing their husband’s vast fortunes in some foreign land! The number of times paypal has needed me to log in to verify the account I’ve used for the last five years is astounding! Or my bank? Or banks I’d never even had accounts in!
There are more benign missives–like those advising me of the wonderful opportunities to be afforded by online universities. If you consider credit mills benign. And it was one of those I got last Friday. Become an ULTRASOUND TECHNICIAN! Wow, I thought, how timely! Ultrasound is truly a “coming thing.” Think of the explosion of state legislatures drooling at the thought of shoving a skinny rod into an unwilling orifice so that women can be forced into humiliated submission! Wow, there seems to be a new state every week whose legislature or governor is forcing these wands–well, not DOWN anyone’s throats, if you get the picture. Funny, all of them seem to be GOP. You know, small government keeping its nose out of your business. But not its wand up your hoohah. After all, if a woman has had the audacity to want or need to terminate a pregnancy, she deserves to have a foreign object inserted into her…the slut!
Because that is what all these legal ultrasound requirements are–a punishment for sexuality, the use of humiliation to force women to allow men to control their bodies. Violation without consent. In other words, legislated rape to enforce a code of morality that isn’t even in the Bible.
You have to wonder how these people, who so want the gummint out of their lives, are so willing to allow it into the lives of their women. And there lies the answer. THEIR women. Those uppity bitches who weren’t satisfied with voting the way their husbands told them to, they wanted to make up their own little minds. And had the audacity to work the same jobs as men and expect to be paid the same salary! That they wanted control of their own bodies and actually had it for over a generation was just too much! Time to force them back into the kitchen and the nursery. And the way to do that is to make them have that baby.
Unfortunately, much as I could use the excitement in my life, I’ll be foregoing the ultrasound training. At my age, the thought of starting yet another career leaves me flaccid. I’m much more interested in instant gratification. And after all, I won’t have to work once those surefire lottery numbers I paid for come in!I have to admit it. I love spam. Both kinds. That strange but tastelessly tasty food product and the email variety. Breakfast of eggs and spam, lightly grilled on both sides, with or without beans. Wonderful. But we’re here to talk about the email variety.
This is the way free speech works in the free market. Rush Limbaugh was, is and will be free to make any ass-brained statement he wants to make. The question is whether or not anyone has to pay to allow those statements to be broadcast to the nation and world at large. With sponsors, he can shout it loud and clear to the entire radio audience. Without sponsors, he’s still free to shout them–but unless he or Clear Channel pay for it themselves, his soapbox might be … a soapbox. Seems Clear Channel has had to run Public Service Announcements on many of the commercial spots during Rush’s show this week. Dum da dum dum!
Bill Maher has weighed in on the proceedings and has tried to argue that Rush ought not be censored by the free market. Piffle. Bill is still smarting because HIS former TV show Politically Incorrect got dumped when he expressed an unforgivable truth: that the perpetrators of the cowardly attack on the Pentagon and World Trade Center were not themselves cowards. This was in the middle of US war-drum fever. Come on Bill, Americans won’t be ready for that kind of nuance before 2102, the year AFTER the 9/11 centennial. We still have people who said the Japanese deserved the earthquake-tsunami-nuclear meltdown tragedy because of PEARL HARBOR! And besides, what you said was true, just unpopular. That’s a fair distance from maliciously maligning someone by misrepresenting what they’d said or done.
Free speech doesn’t mean we have to subsidize hate speech. As long as someone’s willing to pay for the plug in the socket, Rush will have a platform. But, if no one wants to pay to have a person with that much bile representing their company, screw it. Let him try to get a gig on NPR
And speaking of Japan, this weekend marked the anniversary of that horrible series of misfortunes. Compounding the tragedy was that although Japan is one of the most prepared nations against earthquakes, the government had let down its guard on tsunami preparedness and had dropped the ball on nuclear safety measures AND spent more time CYAing and following procedures instead of reacting swiftly enough to contain the nuclear danger. But the Japanese people have shown incredible resilience and courage in their recovery. Last year, I did a short video to Yoko Kanno’s song for the survivors and I’d like to post its URL here againhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na60p1P22rg. Links are there for several organizations that were involved in the recovery effort at the time. I’m sure they will accept more donations.Much as I normally hate to do a subject two weeks in a row, the swift financial retribution against Rush Limbaugh is worthy of an exception. Seems Rush has lost about 90% of his sponsors over the controversy caused by his deliberate slander of an innocent bystander, at least temporarily. As you will remember, Rush called Georgetown student Sandra Fluke a slut and a prostitute for the horrendous crime of wanting to testify to the all-male committee fulminating over contraception about her friend who was denied contraceptives when she needed them for hormone therapy. Rush leapt to judgment on the girl, in an ass-brained show of ignorance of how contraceptives work, saying she was having so much sex she needed government assistance to pay for her pills. The rightwing ditto heads have repeated these charges ad nauseam and no amount of facts can ever dissuade them from the opinions given them by the Pope of Clear Channel.
Ah, Rush, you did it this time! Not only did you demonstrate no knowledge of how contraceptive pills work (Did you really plug up your ears and go LALALALALALA when they talked about it in school? The sad thing is, I’ll bet your mother and your four wives were all smart enough not to try to tell you about it either!) but you also managed to accuse a private citizen of being a slut and a prostitute for needing so many birth control pills to cover an imagined outrageous sex life! And demanding that she film a porno to help defray the costs! Thanks Bill Maher and others for suggesting that Rush be forced to do the same to pay for his Viagra.
Of course, Sandra Fluke, the young lady in question (and I am reaching that age when almost everyone except the Pope and most American politicians can be described by me as “young” grrrrrrrrr!) was not going in front of Congress to testify about her sex life and how she needed contraception to deal with it. She was attempting to talk to Daniel Issa’s all male panel on contraception about a friend who needed hormonal therapy that could best be delivered via “The Pill” as it was once quaintly known. Did that stop you from, ahem, slander and defamation of character? Never let the facts get in the way of a good innuendo!
Now that sponsors have finally seen how poisonous you can be and started dumping your show, you have fallen on the bully’s defense and said you chose the wrong words in an attempt at levity. Ye olde “What’s the matter, don’t you have a sense of humor?” refrain. Well, tough bananas Rushbo. We ain’t buying it. It’s one thing when you make exaggerated claims against a public figure-it’s quite another thing to make totally unfounded accusations against a private citizen.
It wasn’t just that you used the wrong words, Rush. It was that you made up something out of whole cloth and broadcast it to all the world so that your listeners would think that Ms. Fluke was a slut and a prostitute.
Now the dittoheads are all making idiotic statements about “freedom of speech” without knowing what it is. Sure, Rush is free to LIBEL somebody. But if he does, then he is also free to accept the consequences of that. Like lawsuits. Like losing sponsors. Freedom of speech generally excludes little things like perjury or yelling FIRE in the middle of a crowded theatre when there is no fire present. It also takes a dim view of what are generally known as “fighting words.” And in the world that RUSH would like us to live in, calling a woman a prostitute who was not engaged in the profession would generally justify his being shot by a male relative or friend of the maligned. Or run through with two feet of steel.
Now, as everyone who’s seen The People vs. Larry Flynt know, the test of whether a satire is slanderous or not is whether any reasonable person would believe it to be true or not. So far, I haven’t seen one dittohead who did not write the various forums saying how outrageous it was to have to pay for this woman’s sex life. Just as you said she was doing. There you have it–proof that reasonable people would actually believe Rush’s twisted statements to be the literal truth. Or that none of Rush’s listeners are reasonable people. Take your choice
Unfortunately, the correct answer is BOTH OF THE ABOVE.