Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Bloody Consequences of Higher Gas Prices

On the left: Remember these posters during Operation Desert Storm?

Now it's 2008

We never got our wish,
did we?

But This is an HONEST Snake Oil Salesman

snake oil salesman
Originally uploaded by Farl
As opposed to the one in the White House.

I have yet to read Scott McClellan's book, but I have a feeling it doesn't quite tell all. Such a secretive administration must have a LOT of skeletons. Remember: after he left office as Governor of Texas, all of Bush's files were sealed and placed under lock and key in his father's Presidential Library. Why? What does he have to hide so desperately?

The entire country has now become curious. Will he be able to hide things forever?

And as for the snake oil. How stupid does a con artist have to be in order to believe in his own snake oil? When did he actually start believing (if ever) what he has been saying to the American public?

The Great Auk and The Great Idiots

This is a rather sad but contemporary commentary on how we've treated animals and resources. The Great Auk was a large bird in the Pengiun family that was made extinct by the popularity of its down.

From Wikipedia:

The Little Ice Age may have reduced their numbers, but massive exploitation for their down drastically reduced the population. Specimens of the Great Auk and its eggs became collectible and highly prized, and collecting of the eggs contributed to the demise of the species. On Stac an Armin, St Kilda, Scotland, in July, 1840, the last Great Auk seen in the British Isles was killed by two St Kildan residents. Haswell-Smith claims that this was because they thought it was a witch.


Travel Advice: never go to St. Kilda looking like a penguin.

The Church Choir's Latest Hit: Guns! Guns! Guns! Kill! Kill! Kill! - Allelujah!!

You Can Get the CD at Most Any Evangelical Church!

(From The Politico) This story was written by Jonathan Martin.

The National Rifle Association plans to spend about $40 million on this year’s presidential campaign, with $15 million of that devoted to portraying Barack Obama as a threat to the Second Amendment rights upheld last week by the Supreme Court. “Our members understand that if Barack Obama is elected president, and he has support in the Senate to confirm anti-gun Supreme Court nominees, [the District of Columbia v. Heller decision] could be taken away from us in the future,” Chris Cox, head of the NRA’s political arm, told Politico. The politically powerful gun rights group will split its message efforts between communicating with its 4 million members and the tens of millions more firearms owners across the country.

This fall, NRA members will get automated phone calls, mail pieces and pre-election editions of the group’s three magazines making the case against Obama. More broadly, the group will use an independent expenditure effort to hammer the Democratic nominee via TV, radio and newspaper ads in some of about 15 battleground states in the Midwest and Mountain West.

“We look forward to showing him ‘bitter,’” Cox said, referring to Obama’s statement this spring that some in rural America “cling” to guns and religion out of bitterness.



I lived with my partner in San Francisco's Bayview District for 5 years. The apartment overlooked Third Street, the worst part. In those years, there were 6 homicides near our apartment complex (one directly in front). One of them was a double homicide of two 16-year-olds. We reported gunshots twice a week. After a while we could tell the police how far away the shots were and whether they came from a handgun, automatic rifle or AK-47. Some of the homicides were during the daytime. We lived in a very nice building with a community room and places for kids to play. We wanted to build a moat around the building. One time, 12 high-powered rifle shots were leveled at the building. It was a Sunday evening. Although the bullets traveled through three wall, amazingly, no one was hurt. Kids playing in their living rooms were inches away from death. One found a slug that had dropped next to him.

Needless to say, I couldn't care less about the rights of "sportsmen" to kill deer or fowl. Do they constitute a significant national food supply? The definition of "sportsman" includes giving the prey a substantial chance of escaping or fighting back. Fisherman are sportsmen, while gun-toting flannel-clad men aiming at a large target (a moose) are not. Owning a gun for "protection" is a joke. How many people have foiled an attack or a robbery with shots from a gun? Not many. And if perchance the perp lives, the gun owner will most likely be sued.

Gun ownership is up. And so are hate crimes.

Nor do I care about the Constitution's statement about a well-formed militia. There are people holding up in Idaho wearing camouflage and communicating through walkie-talkies - playing Army. Just in case.

Colleges and universities are now debating whether or not to allow guns on campus. Protection. Right.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about gun control (or lack of it) is how very much evangelicals support the NRA. I suppose it's natural, considering how many of them always vote for the death penalty. And, of course, you can't "destroy Islam" with popguns. Nor can you mow down unrepentant sinners without the proper artillary. Ask Rod Parsley, him of the military rhetoric. "Onward Christian Soldier" is a small sample of the righteous forces that stream out of the church. Parsley's own youth group is called "Battle Cry." Becoming "soldiers in Christ" is routine. The horned image of Satan is transmuted to images of people: Muslims, foreigners, liberals, New Agers, athiests, abortionists, cultists, gays. Christ is always shown brandishing a sword. If they had AK-47s in the first century, some evangelicals would be praying in front of a Rambo Christ.

A recent study showed that more church goers are carrying guns - even to church:

Armed and dangerous?: Falwell receives life membership in NRA Church & State, Feb 2001

National Rifle Association President Wayne LaPierre traveled to Lynchburg, Va., in October to appear on the Rev. Jerry Falwell's television program and present him with a life-time membership in the NRA.

"Guns Don't Kill People. People Kill People." True, but sticks, stones and arrows are less effective.

And Obama was right about the bitterness. Think of this portrayal of America every time you see someone with a gun. (From William Buroughs' Thanksgiving Prayer)

Thanks for the American dream,
To vulgarize and to falsify until
the bare lies shine through.

Thanks for the KKK.

For nigger-killin' lawmen,
feelin' their notches.

For decent church-goin' women,
with their mean, pinched, bitter,
evil faces.

Thanks for "Kill a Queer for
Christ" stickers.

I guess the last line is why I'm frightened of the Rod Parsleys of our world. Can you imagine him with a gun? I can.

"Well, you liberals always think of an evangelical as either an Elmer Gantry or and Elmer Fudd."

Sounds ridiculous but oh so true: the televangelists who pray for a theocracy are latter day Elmer Gantrys and their flocks are the uneducated, gullible, spiritually lazy or just plain stupid Elmer Fudds.

But always remember: in the cartoons, Fudd's the one with the gun!

A highly-prized "lock 'n load" Christian bowling ball

The NRA's Gallery of Church Icons:

And in truly Christian church parking lots: