Monday, January 31, 2011

We Coulda Been A Contender

We're coming to you today from the Department Of Not Thinking. DONT is a division of the No One Could Have Foreseen Corporation in partnership with But There Should Be Ponies, LLC.

It's Monday. It's cold and there's a butt load of snow coming, so we're just going to give it to you straight.

You get the country you ask for, not the one you want. To wit:

Rape is only really rape if it involves force. So says the new House Republican majority as it now moves to change abortion law. With this legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Republicans propose that the rape exemption be limited to "forcible rape." This would rule out federal assistance for abortions in many rape cases, including instances of statutory rape, many of which are non-forcible. For example: If a 13-year-old girl is impregnated by a 24-year-old adult, she would no longer qualify to have Medicaid pay for an abortion.
New Republican legislation in the House and Senate would force the U.S. government to reroute huge amounts of money to China and other creditors in the event that Congress fails to raise its debt ceiling. If passed, Toomey's plan would require the government to cut large checks to foreign countries, and major financial institutions, before paying off its obligations to Social Security beneficiaries and other citizens owed money by the Treasury.

U.S. researchers will soon abandon their search for the most coveted particle in high-energy physics because of a lack of funding. Researchers working at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois, had wanted to run their 25-year-old atom smasher, the Tevatron, through 2014 in hopes of spotting the so-called Higgs boson before their European counterparts could discover it with their newer, more powerful atom smasher. But officials at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which funds Fermilab, informed lab officials this week that DOE cannot come up with the extra $35 million per year to keep the Tevatron going beyond September.
Pretty depressing. We mean, when it comes to empires, 240 some years is pretty bush league. Heck, even the Carthaginians managed 475 years before the Romans kicked their elephant riding behinds. And it took them three wars to do it. Round here you ask for a Hannibal you're liable to get a Hannibal Lecter.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Hound Blogging

As our old daddy used to say, sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the a doo doo on your head. OK, those aren't quite the words he would have used, preferring the more colorful Anglo-Saxon descriptors as he did, but this is a family blog and the children may be watching. Anyway, we suspect greyhound racing's chief overlord Gary Guccione wishes he had a hat these days because his recent rhetorical stylings in defense of the heartless barbarity of animal exploitation sport of greyhound racing, as we've discussed in the last two FHB's do not seem to be having the intended effect.

See, the point of Mr. Guccione's attempt at eloquence was to turn public opinion from the view that he and his ilk are somewhat less than human, given the fact that they suck their meager existence off the backs of innocent animals, cruelly taking advantage of greyhounds' speed, grace and loyalty; stealing their nobility for profit, then casting them aside like common trash after using them up.

Well, you can see Mr. G has set quite a task for himself and this week we thought we'd peek in and see how he's doing. So, Mr. Guccione sir, you launched your letter campaign awhile back, the word has had time to spread, your arguments have penetrated the ether, and the public has been stirred. Time to tally the results, no?
Now a bill moving through the state House is targeting horse racetracks or other betting establishments which might consider running simulcasts of greyhound racing from the 19 surviving dogs tracks in the U.S. House Bill 67, which unanimously passed the House Gaming Oversight Committee Tuesday, would bar simulcasts or live broadcasts of greyhound racing, a strategy that the shrinking greyhound racing industry is pushing as a way to increase profits at its dwindling number of tracks.
 Ouch. OK, OK let's not panic. After all, no one expected smooth sailing. We mean, take the average person on the street. They have values, a heart, they're able to feel empathy, sympathy and have a basic respect for life--all life. It's obviously going to take a little time to convince them that killing and maiming dogs for profit the exciting and fascinating world of greyhound racing is an appropriate activity for human beings to be engaged in.  Hey, let's go out to Arizona, you know the Xanadu of greyhound living? If anyone would be willing to agree that abusing living creatures for profit greyhound racing has a place in a civilized society it would be the folks who get to see how well greyhounds are treated close up, right?
Legislation has been filed to bring dog racing to an end at Tucson Greyhound Park! House Bill 2536, sponsored by Republican Representative Vic Williams, changes the state's racing law to remove the requirement that TGP offer live racing. That's right, the track could remain open for other forms of gambling but greyhounds would no longer run around in circles at the facility or live in tiny cages at the compound.
 Hmm...OK let's recap. Mr Guccione embarks on a full throated defense of his industry in several papers around the country. Result: Aside from the tracks that are about to go out of business anyway, state legislatures begin to move to outlaw the whole enterprise. This can't be going according to plan, huh Sly?

Sly is easygoing, independent and loving. He will approach and nuzzle you for affection. He will “talk” to you in the morning when he wants to go out. He has an odd bark that sounds like he has bronchitis, although he is completely healthy.  Sly would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 10 and up. He has lived with his “adoptive sister”, Remy for over six years. They would need to be placed together. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Silver update:  Silver is doing well and has learned about steps, windows and the joy of treats.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

In Other News, Air Necessary For Breathing

In what has got to win the award for the most blatantly obvious headline stated as if it were news, we ran across this scurrying its slithery way through the intertoobz today:

Panel finds financial crisis was avoidable

You don't say. What was your first clue?
The deals grew so complex that bank executives and regulators did not understand them, the report found, and banks discouraged aggressive oversight of their activities, saying the government's interference would stifle financial innovation.
We don't know what's going on, but don't look at it too closely because it might inhibit our ability to think up other "products" we don't understand. Yeah. No warning signs in that behavior.
Still, the commission's findings were tainted by partisan politics. Six Democrats on the panel supported the conclusions; the four Republicans dissented.
Well of course they did. Not having the faintest idea is a key plank in the republican platform and underlies most of their positions on current issues. Also illegality.
The conclusions contradicted a parade of witnesses in the panel's hearings who said the crisis couldn't have been avoided or prevented.Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein were among those asserting that defense.
Gee. The people who caused the problem, or ignored it until it blew up in our faces say it's not their fault. Didn't see that one coming.
The panel has referred cases of possible criminal wrongdoing to the Justice Department for investigation.
 Oh. Well, that explains sudden helplessness.
"The greatest tragedy would be to accept the refrain that no one could have seen this coming and thus nothing could have been done," the report said. "If we accept this notion, it will happen again."
Is it just us, or does the fact that no one is in jail, or even in trouble and banksters are handing out bonuses like  candy at a NAMBLA convention mean we've already accepted that it is going to happen again?
The commission criticized the view held by some regulators that markets are "self-correcting" and banks can police themselves.
See, now that's just harsh. The markets are self correcting provided they get billions in Federal subsidies and are able to bankrupt millions of people from time to time. Hey, omelet, eggs, you know?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Poor People, Please Be Quiet While The President Explains How Great We Are

Frequent reader(s) of this blog know that we often start our posts with "Frequent reader(s) of this blog" Look, you come here because you're trying to avoid doing something responsible and/or productive. What do you want from us? Effort? We put as much effort into writing this blog as you put into reading it so let's not mess with the arrangement OK?

Where were we? Oh yeah. Frequent reader(s) of this blog know that we have a sort of tradition around here when it comes to the president's State Of The Union Speech. Ah, president Bush and the English language. Those were the days, no?

This year, however, we have to report that we did not watch the president's address, nor did we watch the spittle flecked republican response, or the Michele Bachmann's medication free rebuttal rebuttal on some cable channel that preempted reruns of Hee Haw to put her on--although we sort of wish we had watched that one because we're told it was rather creepy. Henh, henh. Michele Bachmann, creepy. That's like saying Cubs fans are, optimistic.

Truth be told though, we just couldn't bring ourselves to listen to the president describe an America that only exists if you happen to be working and/or rich. We think scarecrow said it best, but the point is if our elected officials were half as good at solving problems as they are at avoiding them, there'd be ponies for everyone.

And it doesn't stop there. On the way to the freezer to break out the Stoli we caught part of the CBS Evening News. Story one The president is giving a speech. Story two: REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS MIGHT SIT TOGETHER!! ZOMG!! ZOMG!! ACK!! BLARK!!! IT'S A DATE!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! WE'RE SO CLEVER!! Next up: Women play hockey, Who knew?

It's like the whole political and media infrastructure of the country is caught in some permanent seventh grade time warp.  Now, admittedly we've been known to flee reality from time to time as the aforementioned reference to our penchant for adult beverages indicates, but in our defense we've never thought of that as our job.

Well, on the bright side, it looks like most of the people who watched the speech approved of what the President had to say, except for Paul Broun, who had to take his medication first, but you have to figure a lot of the folks who've lost their jobs and their homes probably weren't sitting around in front of the big screen plasma, so we'll never really know what they thought. Course, they don't live in the America the president was talking about anyway, so let's hear it for the real state of the union: Denial.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We Put Pauly Fingers On The Fast Track To Sainthood So He'd Keep His Mouth Shut Around The Boss

Frequent reader(s) of this blog have concluded that diminished expectations are the soporific of mean have concluded that, when it comes to explaining away the wholesale abandonment of your most fundamental principles while convincing the credulous you are a moral authority, nobody spins it like the catholics. Take the ongoing clergy sex scandal for example. The pope has blamed everybody except Sarah Palin for all the boinking going on in the sacristy, and while you might be saying, finally, something happens in the world that's not about Sarah Palin, the point is the pope has managed to say, at the same time, with a straight face, and without having his head explode, or more surprisingly, not being struck by lightening, that his church is the both the beacon of righteousness and goodness in the world and, raper of children.

Man. Talk about multi-tasking.

Well, it should come as no surprise then that when the authorities found a letter written to the bishops of Ireland telling them to keep the kid boinking on the down low and not inform local five o, his slipperiness was ready with an explanation.

The Vatican said that a newly leaked 1997 letter written to Irish bishops warning them about reporting sex abuse to police was misinterpreted as evidence of the church trying to enforce cover-ups. "'If the local fuzz gets word of this, the pope is going to be on you like ugly on a bulldog' can be interpreted many different  ways," said a spokesperson from the vatican Office of Dissemblement.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico (Freddy Spoons) Lombardi denied that the letter was proof that the Holy See told Irish bishops not to report clerical sex abuse to the police. "That letter has been given biased treatment by some media outlets, who have presented it as proof of an instruction from the Vatican to cover up cases of sexual abuse of minors," Lombardi said. "I mean come on, quoting stuff right out of the letter? What kind of yellow journalism is that. Makes me think you mooks just don't like Italians. Who's the injured party here anyway?"

The letter, reportedly leaked to RTE by an Irish bishop, appeared to warn Ireland's bishops not to report all suspected child-abuse cases to police. That's not true, the church said. The letter was simply meant to make sure that Irish bishops followed canonical law and was not to protect pedophile priests. "And what's the first precept of canonical law?" asked Father Lombardi "We get to do what we want."

When asked what happens when canonical law runs afoul of local civil law, Father Lombardi referred reporters to the second precept of canonical law: See precept one.

"There's nothing in the letter that says do not obey the civil law," Jeffrey Lena, the U.S.-based attorney for the Vatican. "Of course there's also nothing in the letter that says don't spit into the wind, tug on Superman's cape, or mess around with the old Lone Ranger, so I can see how you think the matter is open to interpretation," he added.

Lena also issued a statement saying the letter had been "deeply misunderstood." He said the part about how "mandatory reporting gives rise to serious reservations" is really the pope's way of saying there's no way the vatican treasury could handle the fallout from all these pervs going public. "It's fiscal responsibility is what it is," he said.

Gotcha consigliere. Civil suits can be a serious drain on the cash flow. Might force a fellow to, oh we don't know, sell indulgences or something.

Monday, January 24, 2011

You'll Have To Speak Up If You Want To Be Heard Above The Gunfire

We're coming to you today from the Department of Cognitive Dissonance here in the marbled halls of IM Central. the DoCD is a division of the My Personalities Don't Talk To One Another Company, a wholly owned subsidy of Self Awareness Is A Liberal Plot, Inc.

After the recent tragedy in Tucson it occurred to some of our leading political lights that maybe calling for your opponent to be blown up, dismembered or shot in the head probably wasn't the most productive of approaches when addressing a group of people who confuse penis and pistol and make up for the shortcomings of the former by purchasing larger models of the latter.

"Civility" became the watchword around the corridors of power and abroad in the land and, proving that psycho-pharmaceuticals are in fact effective, even some of the stomp and scream until you get you way, we came unarmed this time crowd toned it down a little. "Some" being the operative word here, which of course implies that "some" did not.
Here at RedState, we too have drawn a line. We will not endorse any candidate who will not reject the judicial usurpation of Roe v. Wade and affirm that the unborn are no less entitled to a right to live simply because of their size or their physical location. Those who wish to write on the front page of RedState must make the same pledge. The reason for this is simple: once before, our nation was forced to repudiate the Supreme Court with mass bloodshed. We remain steadfast in our belief that this will not be necessary again, but only if those committed to justice do not waiver or compromise, and send a clear and unmistakable signal to their elected officials of what must be necessary to earn our support.
See, now when you stake out a opening position in an argument that says in effect that you care so much about human life you're going to kill people who disagree with you, it sort of complicates the response for those who may want to discuss issues like the beginning of life and a woman's right to control her own body sans firearms. Also, there's a reason the Second Amendment is, you know, second and the one about free speech first. Has to do with a functioning democracy and whatnot. Just saying.

On a related note, we mention with sadness a recent article bemoaning the fact that our children isn't learning. Well not to think critically anyway.

As professional educators we feel obliged to point out that one is not born with the ability to think critically, but learns it as one matures. One of the most effective and efficient methods by which this skill is imparted from one generation to the next is through the use of role models.

You see where we're going with this, right? When the youth look out across the society we have built for them and see the Rush Limbaughs, the Sarah Palins, the Michelle Bachmans, the boys at the above discussed blog, well, probably we should be thankful they can tie their own shoes and leave it at that. Also. Too.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Hound Blogging

Our old daddy used to say that some mornings you wake up and find out the cat has peed in your shoe. We're thinking that's what it must be like for the overlords these days as the opening frames of the new year haven't been very kind to them. The biggest problem--well besides the fact that people view greyhound racing with about the same degree of enthusiasm and excitement as they view a vomit souffle--the biggest problem is that citizens have taken to writing about the fact that the overlords tend to have a habit of being a tad too optimistic when describing how Utopian the life of a racing greyhound is. In fact, the distance between how the overlords describe their little slice of doggy heaven and what people who have all their wits about them actually see is generally measured in parsecs. This has caused a couple of states to outlaw greyhound racing entirely and several others to fall all over themselves running from the industry when the one remaining track in that state finally breathes its last.

Well, far be it from the overlords to let a little thing like reality come between them and the chance to suck a buck or two off the back of an innocent animal. The problem is, since making animal exploitation your career doesn't require higher order communication skills, most of the people (and we use that term loosely)  in the industry have the language prowess of a banana slug.

Enter Gary Guccione the overlords' go to guy when it comes to explaining why taking cruel advantage of the fabled speed and skill of the world's oldest breed of dog to keep yourself out of the labor market is actually a good thing. Well, good for the overlord. The greyhound has three options when no longer able to pay his or her owner's way: death, medical research, or adoption.

Anyway, as we mentioned last week, Mr. Guccione has been pretty busy lately responding to folks who want to know how, in a society where people have evolved to the point that they can walk upright, we allow such heartless barbarity to continue. Mr. Guccione?
Linda Robertson’s Dec. 28 story, Dog racing is running its course, on greyhound racing, was a bittersweet, but fair, look at the current status of the sport. Despite claims by animal-rights activists to the contrary, the real reason for the decline in greyhound racing has more to do with competition and changing lifestyles. The enormous expansion of other gaming opportunities from coast to coast has greatly increased competition for the entertainment dollar.
OK let's see if we got this. You're saying the fact that you kill thousands of greyhounds every year simply because they can't run fast enough, injure thousands more, sell (legally and illegally) untold numbers for medical research--some of which is terminal--that the real reason greyhound racing is dying is because you don't have lights that flash and buttons to push? Is that it?
The demographic of greyhound-racing customers has magnified the impact of these social changes. As baby boomers near retirement age, the next generation of gamblers is a generation born and raised with computer keyboards at their fingertips. The gambling world — greyhound racing included — will have to adapt to this demographic shift by finding new ways to attract younger, tech-savvy customers.
Ooo..."demographic." That Word-A-Day calendar is really paying off, huh Mr. G? Also, we're not so sure you want to attract a "tech-savvy" crowd either. See "tech-savvy" people might just Google greyhound racing and if you do that, guess what the first hit is. Yeah, Grey2K, the animal rights You sure you want that to be the first thing someone reads? Might be better to just stick with the people you have, you know, the people who don't have all their teeth.
One thing is certain. Greyhound racing has made tremendous strides in ensuring the health and safety of racing greyhounds from the farm to retirement and adoption. Today, we’re close to meeting our goal of 100-percent placement of all adoptable greyhounds.
Aw, now Mr. G. we've had this talk before. You know math is not your friend.  Back in 2008 you said that more than 90% of greyhounds got adopted when actually it was closer to 60%. Then last week you said it was nearly 95%. Well, maybe you do have a point because Ronnie Williams' dogs are out of the adoption pool so that may bring the numbers down somewhat.  Hey, any truth to the rumor that you're going to make him your National Adoption Coordinator? Well, after he gets out of prison that is.
In addition, we’ve worked diligently to strengthen our internal controls, raise the bar on animal-welfare standards and weed out those who fail to care for greyhounds responsibly.
Good for you Mr. G. Then you can get rid of the folks who did this and this  and this and this and this and this and this know Whiskey, if Mr. G really does "raise the bar on animal-welfare standards and weed out those who fail to care for greyhounds responsibly" it looks like there won't be anyone left to stick you in a crate for 22 hours a day. Breaks your heart huh?

Whiskey is very sweet and loving. He is eager to get attention and will push the other dogs out of the way to get it. He love ear rubs. He is a smart boy and quickly learned to climb stairs. He likes to play with squeaky toys, but is generally pretty mellow. He likes to touch you with his nose and is a very nosey boy. He also roos.  Whiskey would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 10 an up – he has not been around any younger children yet. He is good with other dogs and would probably be happiest with a family member who is home more often or with another dog in the home. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Silver update: Silver is settled into her foster home in the eastern part of Michigan, where she is not really enjoying the cold, but does find favor in the couch and the treats.

Update: cf  (scroll to Kathy Pelton)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

And The Lord Spaketh Unto Us And Sayeth, "Hope You Like Vegetables"

We're coming to you today from the Fox Muldar Room here in the marbled halls of IM Central. Now, we're sure some of you out there think the world is an orderly place, following the laws of nature and being all like down with fundamental physical properties and whatnot. You probably think gravity exists even though you can't see it.

Foolish person.

Prepare to have your belief system stood on its head. Prepare to question everything you ever learned in school. Prepare for the rapture. Read this and weep:

Does the Death of 200 Cows in Wisconsin Confirm Biblical Prophecy?

Well, of course it does. What other possible explanation could there be?
Some Christians, including online theologian Paul Begley in Indiana, believe the animal deaths were divined from above as a sign the end of days is approaching.
Now, for those of you not familiar with holy stuff, you should know that Indiana is like the vatican of the Midwest, and Paul Begley isn't just a theologian, he's an "online theologian" which is like being the pope of cyberspace or something.

The death of cows, birds and fish in particular seems to follow the prophecy set out by the Bible in the Book of Hosea, and are said to result when man turns his back on God. "By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood," the prophecy goes.
Oh we know what you''re thinking. You're thinking wait a minute Ironicus, people have been swearing, lying, killing, stealing and committing adultery since there have been people. In fact god already flushed the whole place once. That apparently didn't work so his plan B is to off some cattle?

Sinner please. You doubt the efficacy of Yahweh's plan? Let's see how much you enjoy your evil lifestyle when you're eating Tofu burgers and drinking soy milk.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

On The Bright Side: American Idol Was Picked Up For Another Season

Ah, the holidays are past us, the election is but a dim memory, hopefully we're done with assassination attempts so now the new Congress can get down to business. And there's a lot to be done, too. Unemployment is still high, people are being thrown out of their homes at record rates. Sometimes illegally we might add. Energy costs are rising again threatening what little recovery we can see, and of course fighting wars half way around the world is becoming a bit of a drain on our resources. Well, a bit of a drain on the resources of the Chinese we should say  since that's who we're borrowing most of our money from, having gone broke ourselves one or two wars ago.

This is what you call the proverbial full plate, is it not? So, what are our elected leaders, these statesmen and women politicians going to tackle first? Perhaps they'll surprise us all and go after the crumbling infrastructure in this country, or help out the 99'ers for whom the social safety net ran out a while back and whose numbers are growing every day.

Tell us, oh leaders who tread in the footsteps of inspirations like Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Lincoln and Roosevelt. Whither goest this country under your firm and well reasoned guidance?
The highly anticipated vote Wednesday to repeal the health care reform bill will make headlines and count as a promise kept by House Republicans.
 Whoa. Caught us a bit off guard there, keepers of flame of liberty and justice for all. So the first lady's campaign to get people eating healthy and exercising has paid off? Americans are no longer in need of health care? Is that what you are telling us, oh guardians of the American traditions of equality, fairness and equal opportunity?
But in the end, it’s really just for show.
Oh. We see. Well, on the bright side, maybe that could be America's new motto. Seems fitting. Wonder how you say it in Latin.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Don't Know Much About History...Even Less Biology

People often ask us, given the experience we had as inmates of the educorporate training facility in our neighborhood, why we chose the particular career path that we did. It's an intriguing question and we're not sure we know why ourselves. Truth be told, we started out in an engineering program at a small Midwestern private college, but after two years decided to transfer to a larger public university. We put ENG. on the transfer application under major, but the university people thought it meant English and enrolled us in a teaching program because, seriously, come on, what else are you going to do with an English degree? At first we wondered what we were doing in Romantic Literature instead of Differential Equations, but by the time we figured it out it was almost time to graduate so...whatever.

We share that little tale with you by way of introducing a couple of news items that slooshed by us on the intertubes the other day. First up, one of our colleagues in the profession who has the unenviable task of talking about sex to teenagers.
“She stood in front of the students,” district spokesman Jeff Puma said. “If you can picture a body builder flexing his arms and having his hands [above head level] out to the side, my hands would be the ovaries, my arms would be the fallopian tubes, and so on.” Students are asked to stand and repeat the gestures and the words that go along with them.
Hmm...participatory education techniques involving ladyparts. This isn't going to end well.
Robert King of Crystal Lake certainly has found fault with his son’s teacher. It all centers on something the students of Jacqulyn Levin apparently have dubbed “The Vagina Dance,” and which the Illinois Family Institute has described as set to the tune of “The Hokey Pokey” and decried as “puerile,” immodest and disrespectful.
OK, the kids are the ones calling it "The Vagina Dance" and the parents (well, parent) are the ones that can't handle it. Who's got the hangup here?
King said his son objected to participating, and both he and his son objected to him being “forced” to participate.
 Now, see, while it's probably true old dad needs more to do, we have to conclude that son has made a serious tactical blunder vis-a-vis survival in high school by telling him. Think about it. Any high school boy who doesn't go at least five miles out of his way to join a discussion about female biology; who doesn't stretch even the most innocent of remarks until it is some kind of double entendre; who doesn't know at least six people who can score the latest issue of Playboy is going to be thought of as gay by all his fellows and a few of the girls in his class. Sorry kid, them's the breaks. On the bright side, now you can wear those Astro Boy pajamas your mom got for you without embarrassment.

Our other tale of woe doesn't involve any specific teachers, yet, but given the history of current interactions between citizens with strong need for anti-psychotics and legislators who were dropped on their heads as children, we can only assume it a matter of time.
Regarding education, the material about two dozen tea party activists distributed said, “Neglect and outright ill will have distorted the teaching of the history and character of the United States. We seek to compel the teaching of students in Tennessee the truth regarding the history of our nation and the nature of its government.”
An honorable goal. Certainly the citizen with a deep and abiding understanding of the goals and aspirations of this great nation would be in a better position to cast votes that would preserve and extend the promise made by the founders. What exactly do you have in mind?
The material calls for lawmakers to amend state laws governing school curriculums, and for textbook selection criteria to say that “No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.”
Fayette County attorney Hal Rounds, the group’s lead spokesman during the news conference, said the group wants to address “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.
 Darn straight. We didn't "intrude" on any Indians. Why we invited them over for Thanksgiving, or as they called it, The Pequot Massacre. Potato Potahto. And as for owning slaves, sure about 1/3 of them were slave owners, but it wasn't like they wanted to own slaves, nosiree. It was peer pressure you know? Besides, they were real nice to their slaves, especially Thomas Jefferson.

Hey, you think old Tommie did the Vagina Dance for Sally Hemings?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Hound Blogging

You know, it's hard out here for an overlord. We mean, people just aren't that interested in the heartless exploitation of innocent animals for profit exciting sport of greyhound racing anymore. Add to that the average overlord has a third grade education, anger issues and no appreciable social skills, so the job offers aren't exactly falling out of the trees. And as if that's not bad enough, people have taken to pointing out in public forums that the overlords have all the compassion of a wounded scorpion and that the world would be a much better place if all the kennels were turned into sheltered workshops and the overlords trained to make trinkets for Japanese tourists.

Take well known animal rights wacko Caryn Wood who recently penned a missive in the letters to the editor section of a paper right here in the IM Central home state of Michigan.
Greyhound racing is cruel and inhumane. As you reported, racing greyhounds endure lives of nearly endless confinement in small stacked cages. While racing, greyhounds suffer and die from injuries such as broken limbs, paralysis and cardiac arrest. The greyhounds are short-term investments, valued only as long as they generate a profit. The post-racing fate of greyhounds falls to dedicated volunteer groups such as Second Chance for Greyhounds of Michigan that work tirelessly to adopt greyhounds into loving homes.
Now see, when you have stuff like that right out there in front of god and everybody you have to know that it's likely to affect the otherwise pristine and flawless image of an industry that has the abuse of greyhounds as it's major byproduct provides fun and excitement to thrill seeking fans all over the country. Trouble is, most overlords have trouble with that whole spelling and grammar thing, so when it comes to responding to attacks on their meal ticket they're pretty much relegated to grunts and gestures.

Enter Gary Guccinoe, head overlord by virtue of the fact that he graduated sixth grade, and yeah, he was 23 when he did, but let's not besmirch the man's achievement, OK?
It should be obvious to anyone with an ounce of common sense that greyhounds would not be able to perform at their best on the track if they did not receive proper care and treatment off the track. To achieve peak performance, greyhounds must be well nourished, well rested, well exercised and healthy.
 Darn straight Mr. Guccione. And for all you doubting Thomases out there, we have the video to prove it.
In fact, the excellent care and treatment that greyhounds receive during their racing careers is the main reason that most transition so successfully to life as beloved family pets when they retire.
Which explains why people from all over the country are racing to adopt a greyhound from the Tucson track.
The Grey2K member is wrong, too, about injuries. In fact, the vast majority of greyhound injuries are minor, permitting the dog to return to racing in two weeks or less.
Darn straight. And those dogs are gonna keep getting injured until they get it right.
We salute the hundreds of adoption groups that put their political views aside in order to work with greyhound racing for the benefit of the greyhounds.
Oh, we're with you there Mr. Guccinoe sir. If it wasn't for all those people picking up the dogs you dump when they can't make your trailer payment anymore, you'd be hip deep in carcasses. Ain't that right  Molly?

Molly is a two and a half year old girl who raced in Florida. We don't know much else about her except that she only raced seven times, never finishing higher than third and was dumped, so she's probably lucky to be alive. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Silver update:  Silver would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 10 and up. She is good with other dogs and would probably be fine as an only dog.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

We Really Feel Sorry For Any Gay People With Parakeets

We're coming to you today from the If You Think That's Weird, Wait Until You Hear This Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. IYTTWWUYHT is a division of the What Have You Been Smoking Company, a wholly owned subsidy of WTF, Inc.

It seems to display his ire with the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, Yahweh has been offing birds.
Well, there’s something interesting we have been watching – let’s talk about this Arkansas pattern and say, could it be a pattern? We’re going to watch and see. But the blackbirds fell to the ground in Beebe, Arkansas. Well the Governor of Arkansas’ name is Beebe. And also, there was something put out of Arkansas called "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" by a former Governor, this was proposed, Bill Clinton. As so, could there be a connection between this passage Hosea 4 and now that we’ve had the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, where people now legally in the United States have broken restraints with the Scripture because the Scripture says in Romans 1 that homosexuality is not allowed.
Now, we aren't professional logicians or anything, but even we can see it's pretty hard to argue with that chain of reasoning.  It's the classic Aristotelian Syllogism:

Take something that happened
Add something else
Conclude that one caused the other

Plus, as we have pointed out before, sky daddy isn't the greatest shot, so smiting fowl in Arkansas is better than, say sinking Cuba, which, given this guy's track record, isn't totally out of the question.
It could be because we have said it’s okay for people who commit these kinds of acts to be recognized in our military for the first time in our history, there is a potential that there is something that actually happened in the land where a hundred thousand drum fish died and also where these birds just fell out of the air.
 Ooo! Ooo! Let us try lady Pastor prophet Jacob, let us try:

Some birds died
Some fish died
Conclusion: god hates the Air Force and the Navy

Must not be any homos in the Army, but that leads us to another theological dilemma Reverend J. If god shows his pleasure in a particular branch of the armed forces by not killing off random animals, how is it that Navy has won the Army Navy game the last nine years in a row? Maybe the big el jefe in the sky should be whacking linebackers instead of drum fish.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In Which Ironicus Is Just Not In The Mood

You know, we're really not too interested in whether Jared Loughner was conservative, a tea bagger, a liberal or a Martian. Dude was crazy, man, and all this talk about  who put him up to it is a neat little way of avoiding the real issue which it how this society has abandoned people with mental illness because we don't believe in the illness part of mental illness. Think it's a character flaw or a scam or something.

Besides, it costs money. That's what everyone says now. Can't fix the roads because it costs money. Can't have police and fire because it costs money. Can't educate kids because it costs money. Can't give people life saving medical support because it costs money.

Can still spend umpty billion gazillion dollars to chase a bunch of goat herders around the mountains of Afghanistan though.

Sometimes we think Americans couldn't pour water out of their boots if the directions were on the heel. Anyway, as usual, it takes a clown to look at the issue in a serious way.  Jon Stewart:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Arizona Shootings Reaction
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire Blog</a>The Daily Show on Facebook

As for the main stream pundits, well, when they take time out from trying to blame the other guy, they make the same noises they always make after a tragedy like this about how this might be the catalyst to start a national conversation about how we've totally abandoned the democratic principles of  deliberation, consensus and compromise, and replaced them with a politics based on name calling, character assassination and screeching.

Yeah. That'll happen.
A South Carolina gun and accessories company is selling semi-automatic rifle components inscribed with “You lie” – a tribute to the infamous words of 2nd District Republican Congressman Joe Wilson when he shouted at President Barack Obama during a congressional speech about national health care reform in the fall of 2009.
 Guns with a political slogan etched into them. What could possibly go wrong? We think Mark Twain said it best:
Such is the human race. Often it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Pope! Motto: His Holiness Pope Tupac The First? Not On My Watch Bucko

Full disclosure: We're pretty much out of the loop when it comes to current catholic doctrine. Totally missed the memo on purgatory, got the indulgences thing all confused and we still can't figure out whether we are supposed to like Anglicans or not.
That being said, we have to ask does the pope, like, do anything? You know, have a job description or something. We ask because the dude seems to have way too much time on his hands.
The Pope has warned parents against giving children celebrity-inspired names and urged them to turn to the Bible for inspiration instead.During Mass at the Sistine Chapel, he said: "Every baptized child acquires the character of the son of God, beginning with their Christian name, an unmistakable sign that the Holy Spirit causes man to be born anew in the womb of the Church." He added that a name was an "indelible seal" that set children off on a lifelong "journey of religious faith".
Hmmm...wonder what Cardinal Nasrallah Sfe, of Lebanon thinks about that, or Cardinal Polycarp Pengo of Tanzania, or Cardinal Odilo Scherer of Brazil, or Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan of Vietnam, or Cardinal Vinko Puljić of Bosnia, or...well, you get the picture. We imagine one of the things they're thinking is "I'm never gonna be pope with a name like mine."
Monsignor Andrew Faley, the assistant general secretary to the Catholic Bishops' Conference, said: "The name is not just a label but it moves us into a deeper significance of what it means to be human as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ.
Here's a little fun fact: Andrew was the saint credited with starting the Greek Orthodox Church. You know, those schism guys. Looks like Andy isn't gonna be pope either.

"Naming children after perfumes, bicycles and countries is putting a limit on their potential. They are not merchandise or commodities," Faley said. "Oh, and on the way out be sure to stop in our gift shop and pick up a St. Christopher medal, or a St. Jude statuette for your den or living room. Also, checkout the closeout price on our 8" statue of St. Francis, always a tasteful gift for the animal lover in your family."

"When I was a parish priest, if I didn't agree with the name I'd suggest they should give the second name of a saint." Faley said. Way to stand up for what you believe Padre. Course, that might also be why you went through 23 parishes in eight years. Just saying.

Monday, January 10, 2011

In Which Ironicus Offers A Civics Lesson

OK, here's the thing about a Democracy: Sooner or later you're not going to get your way. Happens to everyone sooner or later.

When it does you can whine and moan and demonstrate and write flaming letters to the editor, and call your representative, and just generally carry on until the next election.

Then we start all over again.

If you think this is messy and inefficient, you're right. It's what we call the process. See Democracy is not a noun, it's a verb.

What you can't do is shoot people when you don't get your way.

Please make a note of this.

Friday, January 07, 2011

The Strands Are All There: To The Memory Nothing Is Ever Really Lost

This is a very special edition of Friday Hound blogging. For all the joy and happiness the greyhounds bring to those who love them, their time with us is unmercifully short. A light has gone out in the life of a friend of mine, and we all stand in shadow because of it.

Vie Sweetie Pie 04/16/1998 - 11/29/2010

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Next Up: Carl Sagan Gets Sainthood

Hey, his Pradaness is back, no doubt to give us an update on what the the minions are doing to reign in all the boinkmeisters running around sharing the holy rod of righteousness with the choirboys. So what's the poop pope?
God's mind was behind complex scientific theories such as the Big Bang, and Christians should reject the idea that the universe came into being by accident, Pope Benedict said.
Ah Ha! So it was god who set in motion events that led to the freewheeling 70's and caused all the trouble. We knew it! That Yahweh, quite the scoundrel.
"The universe is not the result of chance, as some would want to make us believe," Benedict said on the day Christians mark the Epiphany, the day the Bible says the three kings reached the site where Jesus was born by following a star.
Hmm...probably Beyonce, or maybe one of the wait, Shakira. Had to be Shakira. We'd follow us some of that to Canaan and back yes sir.

"Contemplating it (the universe) we are invited to read something profound into it: the wisdom of the creator, the inexhaustible creativity of God," he said in a sermon to some 10,000 people. "And speaking of  invitations, I'd just like to remind you that if your local parish priest, or bishop invites you back to the sacristy to see his etchings, don't go."
While the pope has spoken before about evolution, he has rarely delved back in time to discuss specific concepts such as the Big Bang, which scientists believe led to the formation of the universe some 13.7 billion years ago.
 "Big Bang." Henh henh. Too easy, even for us.
He said scientific theories on the origin and development of the universe and humans, while not in conflict with faith, left many questions unanswered. "In the beauty of the world, in its mystery, in its greatness and in its rationality ... we can only let ourselves be guided toward God, creator of heaven and earth," he said.
 Let rationality guide us to an irrational conclusion. OK we think we see your problem.
Benedict and his predecessor John Paul have been trying to shed the Church's image of being anti-science, a label that stuck when it condemned Galileo for teaching that the earth revolves around the sun, challenging the words of the Bible.
Yeah. Let's see, Galileo condemned in 1616, John Paul became pope in 1978.  Probably going to take more than a couple of memos to get around 362 years of dogma. Just saying.
The Catholic Church no longer teaches creationism -- the belief that God created the world in six days as described in the Bible -- and says that the account in the book of Genesis is an allegory for the way God created the world.
Oh great. It's not enough that this guy contradicts himself all over the place, now he's talking in riddles too?  No wonder the church is only growing in places where people can't read.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Sure It's Wrecking The Planet And Killing People, But My 401(k) Has Never Looked Better

We're coming to you today from the This Should End Well Department here in the marbled Halls of IM Central. TSEW is a division of the Bought And Paid For Company, a wholly owned subsidy of Put Your Mouth Where My Money Is, LLC.

Yesterday we mentioned some of the we say colorful members of the incoming Congress. And by colorful we mean full on howl at the moon, run naked through the woods covered in turpentine, set the house on fire, eat your hair, scare the dog insane.

You know, characters, like your Uncle Billy and Auntie Alice? Well, before they went to the rest home and the nice lady gave them all those pills that is.

Anyway, one of the inmates patients members of the incoming circus Congress is Darrell Issa (R - ACK!! OBAMA!!).  As we mentioned in passing yesterday, Mr. Issa has proclaimed that President Obama is the most corrupt president evah! He knows this see...erm...well never mind he just knows, OK? It has to do with the Ganzfeld effect, quantum teleportation and the Altairians (staunch republicans by the way). You just wouldn't understand.

So one of Mr. Issas's new jobs is to oversee government regulations, you know, make sure our environment is protected, our drugs effective, our food safe. Stuff like that. And he's taking his new position quite seriously too.

Rep.Darrell Issa wants the oil industry, drug manufacturers and other trade groups and companies to tell him which Obama administration regulations to target this year. The incoming chairman of the Corporate Protection and Profit Maxification Committee - in letters sent to more than 150 trade associations, companies and think tanks last month - requested a list of existing and proposed regulations that would harm job profit growth. "Hey, didn't Citizens United tell you anything,"  asked Issa spokesman Kurt Bardella. "Corporations are people too."

The goal is to investigate the Obama administration's promise through the 2009 economic stimulus bill and other measures to create jobs, which "has gone unfilled, I guess is the most honest way to put it," Bardella said. "Well, except for the jobs it created that is."

"Is there something that we can do to try to erase that [regulatory] burden and stimulate profit creation?" he added. "Is there a dollar to be made at someone else's expense? Is there a logical practice or regulation that hurts our corporate overlords? Until you have all the facts, you really can't make a lot of determinations and judgments. Then when you get the facts you ignore them and do what the people who bought you tell you to."

"I believe for the last couple of years that the desire to protect the consumer actually took precedence over our right to guaranteed profits, at least on the House side," NPRA President Charles Drevna said. "Our right to milk each and every last cent out of the market without regard to public safety or environmental destruction has not changed one iota. [But] now that our man Issa is in charge, is there a better chance of what I would consider a more fair hearing? Absolutely."

Rosario Palmieri, NAM’s vice president for regulatory policy, and Drevna both highlighted EPA greenhouse gas controls for major emitters that went into effect Sunday. "Look, the planet's already trashed, probably," Palmieri said. "Why take it out on us?"

"These are all high-priority regulations that can cost manufacturing jobs and will if implemented the wrong way or will as currently proposed or finalized," Palmieri said."Course, if all the workers are too sick to work because of the air they breath and the water they drink, that's going to cost jobs too, but one problem at a time I always say."

Well, Mr. Palmieri has a point. We mean, if people go to work in industries making scrubbers and solar panels and all the other hardware associated with cleaning up the mess unbridled capitalism has made of the planet, who'll be left to work for him?

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

In Which Ironicus Embraces Excess

Frequent reader(s) of this blog know the true god is entropy and heat death our only mean know that a few years ago we considered closing this blog up as the clown car Bush administration was leaving Washington and taking the low hanging fruit this blog specializes in with it.

Silly us. Now, a mere two years later it seems the dam of crazy has burst and the resulting flood may very well make the Bush years look like a misty summer drizzle. Don't believe us? Usually a reasonable position to take, but this time just take a look at what plopped out of the interweb onto our desk on a typical day...nay...a couple of hours we spent immersed in cyberspace. In no particular order of insanity:

Iowa Rep. Steve King wants to make sure five year olds make the right choice between abortion and coming to school packing.
Answering "I don't know" isn't good enough, King says...
On the bright side, at least doesn't get into why he thinks the Muppets are in this country illegally.

Rep. Allen West (R-FooL) wants to keep the Muslins from putting a Burka over the Statue of Liberty.
I think one of the critical things that we must come together is that there is an infiltration of the Sharia practice into all of our operating systems in our country as well as across Western civilization. So we must be willing to recognize that enemy.
West said his first clue that Sharia was infiltrating our "operating systems" was when he flicked on his computer on day and instead of the Microsoft ding he got ululation instead.

Jim Demento thinks the government doesn't need any money because he's been personally assured by the Chinese that they won't repossess the whole country if we default on our debt. "We'll probably lose the part that has people who can read," Demento said. "But I think we can save Texas and most of the south."

Well, as long as we can keep our permanent bases in Afghanistan he'll get Lindsay Graham's vote. "Are we a super power or not?" Graham asked. "What kind of super power doesn't plop itself down in someone else's country and say 'we're playing here now'?"

Booya! Senator Graham. You bet we are. Well, as soon as the sick, the poor and the old die off. A bit more extreme that Michelle Obama had in mind, but on the bright side, the country's obesity problem finally gets solved.

And it's not just at the Federal level that rationality has fled screaming into the night. States are getting into the act as well. Georgia state Rep. Booby Franklin thinks folding money is a tool of the devil.

Arizona thinks if you're white, you're all right, if you're brown, git it out of town.

Now, you might think this would be cause for celebration around the marbled halls of IM Central as we look out on the blooming year and see most of our posts are going to write themselves, leaving even more time to cultivate a fine buzz, but you'd be wrong. Frankly all this makes us a little sad, and somewhat frightened. Sad because we don't like to think that out of 308 million people we couldn't find a few more individuals not in need of serious psycho-pharmaceutical support to watch over and protect this once great nation as it declines into irrelevance, and frightened because there have to be enough other people out there with similar disorders to have elected these guys in the first place.

Oh hang on Ironicus, you reply. It's not all that bad. Democrats still hold the Senate and Obama is still president. Yeah. Like the democrats have done such a great job standing up to the preliminary crazy these last two years. We can't wait to see how they'll do when the republicans bring the full on mega-tonnage of crazy. And President Obama is likely to

We aren't even cheered by the fact that we only have to put up with this for five months, because we think, even if these people are right in their calculations, if you were Jesus--a vaguely Arab looking man--would you want to be caught anywhere near these flamers? You think Calvary was bad, try a couple of years in Gitmo.