Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

Couldn’t Have Happened To A Nicer Guy

The GOP is sure all this slut business will blow over by November

Headdesk, headdesk, headdesk...

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.

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.

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Rush to Judgment?

Rush prepares to shoot a porno-Satire

OMG ... MY EYES! MY EYES!

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.

BTW check out this article, Rush, so you can slander your most vocal critic:

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The No-Compromise Compromise, or, 3-D Chess finally works out

Spock/Obama wins a 3-D chess match

Chief Science Officer Obama's 3-D chess playing pays off -- Fascinating.

How often have we heard the following statement about President Obama: “Oh, you don’t understand–he’s playing a 3-D chess game. You couldn’t possibly follow his strategy!” If you were a progressive (or, in hushed whispered tones, a “l-i-b-e-r-a-l”), probably a lot. Why was single payer health insurance taken off the table before the negotiations even began? 3-D chess move! Why no public option? 3-D chess move! Why no investigation into the Bush era torture policies? 3-D chess move! Bank investigations? 3-D chess move! Fascinating!

An astute observer might have noticed that all these 3-D chess moves appeared to variations on the Nimzovich strategies–instead of fighting for the center of the chess board, you concede it and allow your opponent to get overconfident so you can rush in and take advantage of his over-extended supply lines! Of course, it’s hard to overextend your supply lines on an 8×8 chess board so these openings seem to have fallen into obscurity. Nonetheless, our chessplayer-in-chief appears to be devoted to showing that they can work.

The only problem was, while Spock was playing 3-D chess, the Klingons were playing poker. Ah-HAH! I take your knight! Big deal, Full House beats one of a kind! Whoopsies!

However, we’ve finally had a situation where Obama’s chess playing has finally paid off. The brouhaha about Obamacare forcing poor religious zealots from denying women the choice of contraception. Why that’s against the freedom of religions to force their moral standards on people who need not even be members of said religions. Specifically, Catholics, the largest single church in the US–who usually vote Democratic. How quickly the Republicans rushed to their defense! I wonder how quickly they’d rush to the defense of Muslims objecting to universal health care based on Shariah law?

So Obama compromised. The church run hospitals would not have to provide contraception coverage. The health care companies would do it instead. GREET! Oops, many Catholic hospitals are self-insured! Too bad!

Mitch McConnell is furious and threatens a vote … on something. Problem is–the Catholic BISHOPS are against the idea, but Catholic women seem to applaud it. Oh, well. It gets interesting, don’t it?

On personal notes: I will be running an artists alley table at Katsucon at the Gaylord at National Harbor Friday through Sunday this coming weekend. And being as it’s a Monday holiday, there will be no cartoon until the next week. My dental problem is in the middle of recovery (I needed an extraction and implant) and it’s good not to feel the pain that has been with me for many months now. And finally, there is a very sweet kitty cat who is very ill and needs your best wishes. Thanks :)

ANNOY YOUR FRIENDS! CONFOUND YOUR ENEMIES! PRESS ONE OF THESE BUTTONS--OR ELSE!
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