British newspapers have suggested that Obama is losing points with the public because he is thrashing around in interviews, lashing out about the BP oil spill and wondering “whose ass to kick.”
While that may be true, London newspapers are also reporting that Obama called British Prime Minister David Cameron today to say, and I’m paraphrasing, “Nothing personal, bro.”
Obama really explains it best in this video.
Geeze. If your husband or wife were running in an election, don't you think it would be great for you to vote for them?
In Winchester, Indiana, Bill Monroe was running for re-election for a third term on the City Council. When the results came in his wife had to give him the bad news. He had lost. By one vote. And she hadn't bothered to vote.
If his wife would have voted, it would have been a tie, so she may not have totally cost him the election. If it had been a tie, it would have been up to the City Council which candidate they wanted.
Monroe says he's fine with the loss. He has been having some medical problems anyway and had almost not entered the race at all. He came within one vote of tying with a political newcomer without even putting any effort into a campaign.
He says that he had a tendency to get too worked up over the issues, so his cardiologist told him no politics. So this one vote loss marks the end of Monroe's political career. And he won't divorce his wife for not voting for him.
Meet Tommy Tester. He’s a Baptist preacher and Christian radio dee-jay from Bristol, Virginia. I think this is the first Baptist preacher mugshot we’ve ever featured.
He was recently in Tennessee, just letting it all hang out at a car wash. Drunk. Wearing a skirt. Pissing in front of some kids. Oh, and he had an open bottle of vodka and an empty oxycodone bottle with him.
So, the police arrive. You would think good old Tester would come up with some kind of excuse for his behavior but instead… INSTEAD.. he offers to give the cops some blowjobs if they will just forget about the whole thing. Yes, oral sex solves everything, doesn’t it?
Nope. Actually there are very few things that oral sex can fix. It certainly can’t change the fact that the man was drunk in his car and wearing a skirt, exposing himself and urinating in front of kids and had apparently abused some prescription drugs. No, sucking a few dicks won’t help you there, Tester.
He was arrested, of course. He was taken to jail and released on $1,000 bond and will have to appear in court in October.
Don't EVER rub the American flag on your crotch and make lewd suggestions about what you want to do to it.Â Especially not in Florida.
Now, I don't care how sad, sorry and criminal you
know think President Bush and Vice President Dick are… I know, believe me I know.Â Take a look over at Joe Hack's blog if you want to rant and rave all day about politics and how corrupt things *really* are… But, I'm not talking about the administration.Â This is about our FLAG.Â It stands for our freedom.Â Yours and mine.Â Let's show some respect for those who have fought and died for our freedom in the US.
A Florida man is in jail on a $500 bond for mutilating the flag.Â You thought it was free speech to burn the flag and mutilate it however you want?Â Not in Florida.Â As far as I'm concerned it shouldn't be allowed ANYWHERE.Â Go ahead and trash our president, he's the most hated in history, but don't take it out on our symbol of freedom.
In Florida if you mutilate, deface, trample or burnÂ a flag with the intention of insulting it, that's a first-degreeÂ misdemeanor.
Donnie White dragged a flag down the street, stomped it, rubbed it on his body and put it down his pants – at a shopping center!Â Someone called 911 and I bet they thought he was cracked out or something… Police came and arrested him for publicly mutilating the flag.Â If convicted he'll face a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
That's IF he's convicted, a big IF.Â While this man just wanted to cause a commotion and offend people he's opened a large can of worms.Â People will use this case to argue about constitutional rights.
I doubt this is the last we hear about Donnie White.
Decide for youself…
Hey, Ron Paul seems like a decent guy.Â I keep hearing more and more about this 2008 Presidential hopeful and none of it has been negative, yet.Â I went over to his website and had a look.Â Really the only thing he has going against him is the fact that he's a Republican… oh, and the guns, stupid.
Here are some Ron Paul facts taken from his site:
He has never voted to raise taxes.
He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
He has never taken a government-paid junket.
He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.
He voted against the Patriot Act.
He voted against regulating the Internet.
He voted against the Iraq war.
He does not participate in the lucrative congressional pension program.
He returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. treasury every year.
So, what do you think of Ron Paul?Â Could someone like this become President of the United States?Â Well, he probably could if it weren't for George W. Bush wrecking all credibility of the GOP.Â I think 2008 isÂ going to put a Democrat in officeÂ because the pendulumÂ swings both ways.Â Ron Paul doesn't, you're still thinking Ru Paul… but I don't think he/she swings either.Â Ru Paul plays for the visitors I believe.Â Anyway, Americans are ready for a change.. MORE than ready.Â I wish the election was this year so we could be rid of George W. and DICK Cheney already.Â Another year though and we'll see where Ron Paul stands.
Oh boy, this man lives in a world of his own ! It seems that President Bush may have been totally oblivious to having his watch stolen right off his wrist during a walkabout in Albania. The best protected man in the world was wearing his watch when he began shaking hands with enthusiastic well-wishers but, when he stopped a few minutes and dozens of hearty handshakes later, he apparently was not. What happened to the watch in between has become the subject of intense international media speculation.
The Albanian media and websites, which carried video of the event in Fushe Kruje, speculated that the president had been fleeced. Pictures show the president starting his walk along the crowd with the watch on his left wrist. In the next picture, a firm hand covers the relevant part of his arm, and in the last his wrist is bare and Mr Bush is gazing down bemused as if searching for something.
Albania's police chief, perhaps sensitive to his compatriots' reputation for petty crime, said: "This is not true." A White House spokesman for the President said: "The president put it in his pocket and it returned safely home."
The only problem with that version of events is that none of the TV footage shows the president removing his watch, a modest Â£25 Timex, inscribed "George W Bush, President, January 20, 2001". So where did it go ?Â And if he DID put it in his pocket, as some camera angles would suggest, then why?Â Was he afraid the Albanians were going to steal it?
Joe Hack casts a jaundiced eye over Reality TV.
Seasons change. The solemn promises made by politicians change. But the one thing you can guarantee won’t ever change is human nature. Technology has made us almost god-like these days. We can cure disease and hurl nuclear death across whole continents, but inside we’re still the same quarelsome little apes who hit each other on the heads with clubs, aren’t we ?
What prompted this blindingly obvious thought was reading that the Dutch company which created the gut-wrenchingly tacky ‘Big Brother’ TV show is supposedly planning to screen a new ‘reality’ show in which three people with serious kidney failure will plead for their lives to a terminally ill cancer patient who has the power to grant the lucky winner one of her kidneys after he dies. Apparently the audience will be able to participate fully, sending in texts and advice to the terminally ill cancer patient to influence the decision. Great entertainment, eh ? Just when you think that TV reality shows can’t sink any lower, they come up with a doozy like this. Now common sense tells you that the whole thing is most likely just some cheap stunt perpetrated by the Dutch TV company to generate controversy and grab publicity and that the program itself is never going to make it to air, but these days you can never be too sure. And if by any chance something so truly bizarre were ever broadcast then whats the betting that the program would pull in huge viewing figures ? People would kid themselves they were just switching on with an enquiring mind ‘to see what all the fuss was about’ but really it would be just the same dirty little voyeuristic itch that makes you slow down when you pass a car-wreck, hoping to see something shocking.
In recent years we’ve seen the inexorable rise of the ‘reality’ tv show, from ‘Big Brother’ to ‘Castaway’ to ‘Pop Idol’ to ‘Jerry Springer’ to .. oh hell, the list is endless and sadly growing by the day. Sometimes its in the format of a game-show, or a chat-show, or a ‘competition’, but its always cheap and nasty. ‘Reality’ tv is, of course, anything but reality. It takes gullible, often dumb or damaged, ‘ordinary’ people desperate for their 15 minutes of fame and puts them into highly unreal situations where they can be broken down, humiliated, and made to behave badly for the voyeuristic pleasure of the viewing audience. Any notion of ‘reality’ is made even more laughable as what happens is manipulated through editing and other post-production techniques to make it as shocking as possible. Do people want to see happy, intelligent, well-adjusted people getting along ? Hell no, they want to see tears, heartbreak, anger, tension, bloody-minded bigotry. They want to be shocked. They want to watch the fly having its wings pulled off. They want to feel superior. Who’d have thought it would go this far, eh ? Can you remember years ago when we all used to shudder or laugh nervously at the crazy clips of those old sadistic Japanese game shows ? What a strange people, we used to think smugly to ourselves, to make such truly weird and degrading shit. Yet here we all are a few years down the line glued to the same sadistic rubbish on home-grown, prime-time tv. Just goes to show, folks (and this is kind of comforting in a way) that bad taste is truly universal.
It serves its purpose though, I guess. Around 2000 years ago the Roman emperors came up with a way of keeping the masses in line. Entertainment. They built the Colosseum, a huge 50,000 seat amphitheatre where they staged bloody gladiatorial contests and other ‘entertainments’ that pitted men against wild animals. Throwing Christians to the lions went down quite well, apparently. These regular gore-fests for the masses were a winning idea. Give the masses some cheap, nasty entertainment and they’ll be so titillated that they’ll forget their grievances and they won’t think too hard about the shortcomings of their rulers or the political system (note: these days the same function is served in the USA by television). Anyway what those old romans had done, knowingly or otherwise, was to tap into our age-old desire to see your fellow man suffer as nastily as possible. The same basic human instinct that had people in medieval times watching their fellows being burnt as witches in Spain, or which drew crowds of family picknickers to see the public hangings at Tyburn or Newgate in England, or which had old ladies knitting cosily in the front row as the guillotine did its bloody work in revolutionary France, or which still sees crowds attending public stonings in some Muslim countries. Human nature does *not* change. Today we may pretend to be civilized but that nasty old streak inside us has to find some outlet, so we sublimate it by watching ritual humiliations on tv ‘reality’ gameshows and chat-shows .
Which you could, of course, argue is a good thing. Willing ‘victims’ may be harmed mentally and spiritually for the entertainment of others, but at least they don’t get disembowelled. Thats progress, right ? But what happens when boredom sets in, as it inevitably will ? What happens when the ratings start to slip ? The profit motive has absolutely no conscience. So will we start to see the tv companies getting ever harder and more extreme as they strive to shock and titillate ? Are we going to see the electric chair dragged out again and dusted off for public pay-per-view TV executions ? Do you really think there *wouldn’t* be a huge audience if they did that ? Or should we maybe have poor people whose kids need operations but who aren’t covered by medical insurance having to make their pitch on TV so the viewers can text or call-in votes ? There’d be some tears and heart-warming moments there, I bet. And how long, I wonder, before some bright TV exec comes up with the idea of throwing Christians to the lions on prime time TV ? Hey, it worked before, didn’t it ?
Believe it or not, I once spent a bizarre twenty minutes or so in a diner listening to two teenage girls arguing the respective merits of Pepsi and Coke. Each perfect little consumer-chick swore allegiance to her chosen brand and sniffily dissed the other. They even got quite heated over it, as folks are wont to when grappling with the great intellectual questions that bedevil our age. Pepsi or Coke, Eh ? Who’d of thought it ? To one with a less discerning palate (or less susceptible to bullshit) such as your humble correspondent Joe Hack , they’re both just brown’ish fizzy drinks, similarly laden with the caffeine-drug and some good ‘ol tooth-rotting sugar . But then again, I thought, maybe it wasn’t so comical after all. I mean, these are the same weird people who grow up to argue with as much heat, and just as little justification, that theres a genuine difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. You couldn’t make stuff like this up.
To listen to the vicious war of words that always breaks out come election time you’d be forgiven for thinking some mighty big principles were at stake, some genuine divide between right and left, some real choice between capitalism and a socialist alternative, or between ’small’ government or ”big’ government, or whether the country is run for the benefit of the few or the many. But is that so ? Is it hell ! To people in America the dirty, bitch-slapping, slug-fest that passes for electioneering may seem to be about big differences but to any objective observer looking in from outside thats just plain, unadulterated rubbish ! By any normal political standards, you can’t pass a cigarette paper between the two big parties. The great American political debate is being fought out by pygmies dancing on the head of a pin, squabbling over the same tiny inch of right-of-center ground. Both parties, Republicans and Democrats, believe in almost exactly the same things. You think not ? Ok, well does either one offer a radical alernative to the status quo ? Of course not. Whichever party controls the country, you know that things always stay pretty much the same. The agenda of no-change is largely dictated by the big business interests that control the politicians. Did you really think it was any other way ? Oh come on ….
Perhaps you think I’m being too cynical ? Well ask yourself this. In this great democracy where is the poor but honest presidential candidate whose pockets are empty but whose heart is pure ? Answer.. he’s out scrabbling around for at least $30 million if he’s to have even a remote shot at ever becoming president, which means that unless the good fairy turns his pumpkins into gold bullion, he will have to put himself into hock to big business interests who will undoubtedly expect a payback in some form or other after he’s elected. Have we all observed this very thing happening recently folks ? The post-presidential election payback to big business, I mean ? Oh, I think we have. And whichever party a compromised, bought-and-paid-for president represents, will it really make any difference to you or yours ? Of course not. Will you be offered a genuinely more liberal or socially conscious alternative by either party ? Will you see any real change in the way society is structured so that the colossal wealth of the richest nation on earth begins to be used for the benefit of the majority of the people who live in it ? Free access to health care for all ? Better welfare and pension plans for old age ? Higher minimum wages ? Better schools ? A genuine commitment to fight climate change ? A promise to stop meddling in foreign countries and to start addressing the real problems at home ? A genuine undertaking to finally introduce sane gun laws ? The banishing of big business interests and its sleazy paid lobbyists from the corridors of power ? All of the other things that would make the USA stronger and happier and more at ease with itself ? All of the things that would make it more respected in the wider world ? Do you think you’ll be given the chance to vote for any of that ? Hell no, buddy .. dream on. It’ll never happen with the present system where self-interest perpetuates self-interest.
Sure there are sometimes temporary aberrations in this cosy little club, as when Bush and the loony-toon neo-cons got delusions of invincibility and started throwing their weight around in the world, trashing constitutional freedoms at home, and trying to turn the USA into a police state, but we all know that those neo-crazies are already dead-men walking and after the next election you can bet that shell-shocked politicians in all parties will be scrambling back to the safe right-of-center concensus so they can return to business as usual. However heated and bitter the next election gets, however many millions of dollars that could be spent on doing real good they waste on infantile, vicious TV campaign adverts, you have to remember that its all just candy-floss. Its theatre. An elaborate entertainment put on to con you, the voter, and fool you into thinking you enjoy something called democracy. No big conspiracy, though, just a lot of trusting folks and some sleazy politicians pulling together as if by instinct towards that same old trough.
Does it have to be this way ? Well no. In France they recently had a national election where there was a genuine choice for the voters between a right-of-centre conservative moderniser and a traditional left-of-center socialist. The voters knew the result would fundamentally change the way the country was run, one way or the other, so they turned out to vote in record numbers. In some other european countries too (with the exception of the UK which has sadly followed the US model of two indistinguishable right-of-center parties) there is still a real battle of ideas comes election time between different political philosophies. I’m not saying any system is perfect. Far from it, but at least in some places you still get a genuine choice. Its up to you which way you go, right or left, and thats what democracy is all about. For democracy to flourish there must be a real contest of ideas and a genuine choice for the voters. Not just an illusion of choice. Of course it is perfectly possible to reclaim democracy in the USA. You just take the money and big-business interests out of politics, deny undue influence to the special interest groups and media moguls, regulate the electioneering process to ensure equality of exposure and spending for all candidates, and insist on a genuine, honourable contest between different political visions for the betterment of the country. You demand a system where ideas talk louder than money. Its not rocket science, is it ? But its not in the interests of self-serving politicians to make that happen, so I guess it won’t.
Sure you *could* have the democracy that the founding fathers dreamed of all those years ago, but you won’t. Not here in the good old US of A. Here, my friends, you’ll only get a choice between Pepsi and Coke .. so enjoy ..
by guest blogger, Joe Hack
Some things happen with an inexorable inevitability, like the changing seasons or the tides of the sea or Britney doing something else weird, but perhaps the most predictable of all is otherwise normal Americans shooting holes in each other. Every year in excess of 30,000 Americans die because of guns and many thousands more are horribly injured. Every single day eight children lose their lives because of guns. Every year, sometimes several times a year, some deranged loony will take his gun down to the local mall or high-school and kill indiscriminately. Since President J F Kennedy was assassinated (with a gun) more Americans have died from guns in the USA than in all of Americas wars in the 20th century put together. Think about it. Osama Bin Laden would need to launch nine successful ‘twin-towers’ terrorist attacks just to equal what Americans do to themselves every single year with guns. Crazy or what ?
If you were a man from mars who’d suddenly landed your little spaceship in the USA and you heard people agonizing over the causes of the recent Virginia Tech shootings you might be forgiven for thinking .. ” Its the Guns Stupid !!” I mean, lets face if, if you don’t have a gun you can’t shoot anyone. Right ? But this is the big elephant squatting in the American living room. The blindingly obvious concept that no American politician dare acknowledge. Get rid of the guns. Why daren’t they touch this ? Because it would be political suicide, that’s why. There is a hugely rich and powerful gun-manufacturing industry ready and willing to pour millions of dollars into countering any tentative moves towards gun control. They see the problem not as being that there’s too many guns. Oh no, if there were *more* guns in private hands then that would be the necessary deterrent. Am I missing something ? The United States has the largest number of guns in private hands of any country in the world, with 60 million people owning a combined arsenal of over 200 million firearms. Read that again slowly. 200 million guns . More than enough for every man, woman, child and baby in the USA to be armed to the teeth. Fer chrissakes , how many more guns do the gun manufacturers think are needed (answer: as many as they can sell)
The arguments put forward, often by those interested in profiting from death and misery, seem facile and self serving, but lets examine them briefly:
- They plug into a fuzzy feeling of patriotism by asserting that the second amendment of the constitution enshrines a citizens right to ‘bear arms’. Well kind of, but even that 200 year-old document, written in a totally different world, said only that .. “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”. Got that ? A ‘well regulated militia’, like .. oh .. lets say the modern day local police forces ? Hmmm ? Certainly not every sad-sack psycho or inadequate who feels like a big man just because he’s got a bunch of killer automatic weapons stashed in his bedroom closet.
- They say that putting guns in the hands of private citizens allows them to defend themselves against the bad-guys. Bullshit! The number of times a gun-toting citizen shoots and kills a criminal who is threatening his life with a gun is *tiny*. Its the exception, rather than the rule. The vast majority of deaths by shooting are accidents or suicides or domestic arguments or drunken Saturday night brawls. The exact situations where people would have probably lived if there’d been no guns.
- They say that its not guns that kill, but people. Well duh ! The blindingly obvious fact is that if those people didn’t have guns their ability to kill would be seriously curtailed. Sure you can beat someone to death with your fists, but how much easier is it to just pull a trigger ? Sure people behave badly all the time. They yell and get drunk and have fist fights. They get cuts and lumps and bruises. But where guns are available, they kill each other.
- They say that gun control would be an ‘infringement of civil liberties’. Hmmm .. yeah right. An infringement on the right to make money from selling guns, more like. Lets be serious. We all live in a society in which we accept certain constraints in exchange for certain benefits. Some people, for example, might think the free trafficking of Heroin is desirable, but society as a whole disagrees. Society says that its so dangerous to us all that its sale must be illegal. Quite right too. The point is that we do, as a society, make decisions like that all the time. So there’s nothing to stop us deciding that guns do more harm than good and make them as illegal as heroin. Right ? And remember, guns kill far more citizens every year than heroin does.
- They say that gun control would leave only the bad guys with guns. Oh Boy. Well firstly, if it did, it wouldn’t be very successful gun control, would it ? Secondly, that’s what we pay the police for isn’t it ?. They’re the ‘well-ordered-militia’ that carries guns on our behalf and protects society. Thirdly, slap a mandatory life sentence on *anyone* (other than an authorized officer of the law) found with a gun, no exceptions, and that would pretty quickly take the gun-owners off the streets. And fourthly, Oh but this is just too dumb .. you really know the arguments for guns are tripe …don’t you ?
Frankly I don’t care much one way or the other. If a bunch of gullible people have been brainwashed by the propaganda of those who want to make money out of gun sales then I guess I’m not going to be able to dissuade them. If someone has been brought up on a steady diet of Hollywood movies and shoot-outs and cowboy myths then any injection of reality into their over-heated vigilante fantasies isn’t going to be welcome. As long as they stay well away from me and mine, then they can pick up their 200 million guns and blow holes in each other all day long. At least that’s what I feel like saying when faced with such destructive and irrational behavior. But the humanitarian in me (and he’s down in there somewhere, the irritating little bugger) says don’t give up on them just yet..
So hey folks, let me ask you this before I go. When will it be enough, do you think ? When will there be enough guns ? When everyone has two, three, five, a hundred ? When will there be enough gun-deaths ? When it rises to 40,000 a year, 50,000 ? More ? When will the price in human misery become too high to stomach ? When someone you love, your child or father of brother or sister gets killed senselessly by a gun ? When will you demand that your spineless, self-serving political representative finally *do* something to eradicate this modern day plague ? Its going to happen, you know. Its inevitable. A situation as crazy as this one is can’t go on forever. Someday, and lets all hope its soon, our collective disgust is going to blow the cowardly politicians who allow this carnage right out of their cosy feathered nests. And you can tell them Joe Hack said that …