Archive for October, 2007

Giuliani’s Prostate A Pain In His Integrity
October 30, 2007

Well, it’s no surprise that Rudy G played fast and loose with the statistics in his new ad telling us more than we ever wanted to know about his urogenital system.

But he makes the same old bogus Republican claim that the United States has the best health care system in the world, failing to point out that almost fifty million people can’t afford even basic care under that system.

If Rudy G’s cancerous prostate had occurred in a ten-dollar-an-hour dishwasher, Mr. G would likely have gone untreated and he eventually would die from the cancer.

How come it never occurs to these guys who have money and power that the system doesn’t work for people without money or power? How do Senators and Representatives get away with claiming how wonderful our health care system is when their costs are completely paid for by taxpayers paying for premium, gold-plated insurance? Why do we let them? And why is it usually Republicans who scream so loud to continue the immorality of the health care system in this country?

Giuliani’s solution to the health care crisis is to give tax deductions – $7,500 for individuals, $15,000 for families – so that people could hand the money over to the insurance companies.

So that ten dollar an hour dishwasher who isn’t Giuliani and doesn’t make enough money to get such a deduction, is still supposed to go out and spend around eight grand for insurance. That’s out of his $20,000 gross salary, or out of whatever is left after taxes.

Does anyone think Rudy can live on that and afford insurance, or health care? Does Rudy? Did Rudy even think about it? Of course not. He’s a Republican. As such his morality and his integrity are at best questionable.

But if that dishwasher lived in England or France or Canada or most any First World country, he could have taken his cancerous prostate to the medical community and been treated. His survival chances would be the same as if he had premium health insurance here. He wouldn’t have to worry about busting his ass the rest of his life to pay the hospital and the doctors. If he had a family and a home, he wouldn’t have to worry about going bankrupt, losing his home, and putting his family on the street. But in America, in the United States, he does have to worry about those things.

His other choice is to die.

That’s the sickening morality of Republicans and Conservatives.

Pay us money or die from your illness.

That’s what Rudy Giuliani stands for.

That’s what Republicans everywhere stand for.

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Thinking About High Oil Prices? Not Seeing The Whole Picture?
October 29, 2007

Oil’s at $93 a barrel today, heading for a hundred.

image

Wonder why? Maybe the happy couple in the picture will give you a clue. Their families go way back. They’ve been stroking each other for decades.

The fellow in the dress? Fifteen of his countrymen flew the planes on September 11, 2001. There weren’t any Iraqis or Iranians or Afghanis. The fellow in the headdress says “Oh, no no no, it’s not our fault.”

The fellow in the jacket? He’s an oil man who bought and corrupted the American Presidency and has been eagerly engaged in killing Iraqis, Afghanis, and soon, Iranians, ever since 9/11. Two of them have oil. They may have some broccoli. The fellow with the smirky grin says, “Oh, no no no, it’s not my fault the Middle East is a bloodbath. Everybody just go shopping and buy oil to make my friends rich. Pay no attention to what you see me do.”

And you, my little American friends, are about to drown in the crap these two are unleashing.

Red Sox… Not!
October 29, 2007

Not only would The Lion be remiss if he failed to comment on the World Series, it has come to his attention that his various licenses as critic, curmudgeon, and cynic would be suspended and he would face sanctions from sundry licensing boards.

Therefore…

The Red Sox are not World Champions.

The Red Sox and the Rockies did not play a World Series.

At best they played a national series, one that might or might not gain them entry into a true World Cup of Baseball in which they would have to face national teams from around the world in a true World Series.

In fact, the Little League World Series, rigged to favor the United States, can lay more claim to being a World Series than can the creation of the big boy baseball league’s public relations crew. And that’s not saying much, given the ethically corrupt thinking processes governing the Little League governors who came up with their bogus arrangement.

Which is not to say that the Sox did not outplay and outclass the hapless Rockies, but they might as well lay claim to being Champions of the Universe as to call themselves World Champions. United States champions is as far as they can go. To claim more is mere arrogant buffoonery, and for fans to believe more demonstrates once again that it is simply not possible to underestimate the gullibility and foolishness of the American consumer.

And just to save The Lion the trouble of reiterating his contrary, unappreciated view of these matters, the same considerations apply to the Super Bowl World Champions in football, perhaps even more so in view of last year’s genuine World Cup of soccer, and the recently completed genuine World Cup of rugby. Now those sports have real world champions. All the United States has amounts to little more than public relations spin for teams that refuse to be tested in a world arena.

And for good measure, ditto NBA basketball and NHL hockey fighting.

Hell, even ping-pong, or table tennis, if you will, has a real world championship. What does it say when big boy baseball can’t even measure up to table tennis?

And America makes claims on world empire.

Sad, very sad.

Oh, well, at least there is the World Championship of Darts to look forward to…

Romney Opens Mouth, Spews Hypocrisy About A House Of Horrors. Oh, And He Tortures Teenagers Too.
October 27, 2007

Perhaps Mitt ‘The Mitten’ Romney is afraid people will see him for what he really is, so he attacks Hillary Clinton with remarks that indicate he has no idea what’s been going on among Republicans the last few years.

The Globe, in its Campaign Notebook today, excerpted some comments The Mitten made on ABC news.

“What do you think of Hillary’s House of Horrors?… And we’d have … the ‘raise your tax’ room. We’d have the ‘weaker military’ room. We’d have the ‘family values in a shambles’ room. It’d be a pretty frightful place. And frankly what the Democrats are selling is really quite frightening these days as we approach Halloween.”

In the ‘raise your tax’ room we would find George Bush and the Republican Party slashing taxes on the rich, while leading the country towards bankruptcy by borrowing from abroad to finance a desperately stupid war. We would find rich people not paying their fair share of taxes, getting a free ride at the expense of working people and the middle class, who bear the burden of blood and finance for the Republicans’ treasonous war.

In the ‘weaker military’ room, we would find George Bush and the Republican Party breaking what was once the strongest military in the world on the shoals of a useless war, a military that should never have been put into its current position and a military held at bay by dedicated Iraqi fighters using assault rifles, grenades, and improvised bombs to defend their homeland. Romney would probably consider it rude to point out that the military that ‘defeated’ Iraq’s fourth rate military so efficiently and quickly was built under Clinton, and destroyed by Republicans.

In the ‘family values in shambles’ room, we would find Republican men soliciting sex in public bathrooms, fooling around with underage male pages entrusted to the care of Republican Congressional leadership, married Republicans having sex with prostitutes, and Republicans taking bribes from every lobbyist they could get their claws into. And Romney would no doubt consider it rude that the Clinton family, which is what he is attacking, has held together and gotten stronger despite the all-too-human frailties and failures of its members, and despite the vicious attacks by Republicans who saw no wrong in trying to bring down the United States government by a bogus impeachment over a blow job.

Romney wants to frighten us with hypocritical remarks about a Democratic house of horrors, but he doesn’t point out his own horrors that he visits on people. Turns out he not only tortures animals, but he is involved closely with people who routinely torture teens in so-called boot camps. Read the whole story here. Here’s an excerpt about a lawsuit being brought against these people:

The suit alleges that teens were locked in outdoor dog cages, exercised to exhaustion, deprived of food and sleep, exposed to extreme temperatures without adequate clothing or water, severely beaten, emotionally brutalized, and sexually abused and humiliated. Some were even made to eat their own vomit.

This is the Romney who wants to double the size of Guantanamo, and who believes in the use of torture, though he uses the Republican euphemism about ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’.

This is a man who is not only shallower than an oil slick, but one who engages in hypocrisy and lies at the mere thought of gaining a vote. This is a man who not only cannot handle the truth, but has no interest in the truth. This is a man who believes in inflicting horrible suffering on people on the mere chance they may have done something he disagrees with, and pronounces such behavior righteous and proper while living in the comfort of his multi-million dollar lifestyle.

If we want to see the United States finish going down the toilet the Republicans have so eagerly flushed, we need only put Mitt Romney in the White House. And we might want to ask why the Republicans seem unable to come up with Presidential candidates who are not sociopaths. First Bush and his puppetmaster, Cheney, and now Romney. Now there’s some ‘values’ for people to consider as they examine the Republican House of Horrors that the United States has become.

Iran, Riceirani, And Sanctions
October 26, 2007

The Bushies effected more economic sanctions on Iran yesterday for some reason that escapes reason and logic. Ms. Condoleezza Rice, reputed to be the Secretary of State of the United States government, had this to say in today’s Globe:

“Unfortunately, the Iranian government continues to spurn our offer of open negotiations,” [Rice] said yesterday.

Could it be that they don’t trust you, honey? Could it be that they’ve watched your government lie and cheat, watched it destroy two countries senselessly, watched it lie to its own people as its psychotic leaders plunged their own country into war, dragging the entire Middle East to the edge of the abyss? Could it be that they’ve seen your own incompetence, arrogance, and ignorance? Could it be that you and your friends in American government have absolutely no credibility?

Or could it be that they’ve seen all of that, and seen that everytime they turn around the American administration is threatening them with chaos, destruction, and death?

Could it be that nobody in his right mind would negotiate with people who set preconditions, like “Stop doing what you’re doing or we won’t talk with you and we will bomb you back to the Stone Age?”

It’s interesting to note that the Democratic and Republican candidates for the White House all pretty much agree with sanctioning Iran. The Republicans, as usual, are considerably more vicious about it and all appear extremely eager to send Americans over there to die (as long as it’s not white Republican wealthy kids, of course). Or at the very least they want to bomb the living crap out of every man, woman, and child in Iran. Courtesy of the American taxpayer, of course (no, not the rich people – they don’t pay taxes in Republican America).

All of which ignores the question of evidence. So far nobody’s produced any that stands up to the slightest scrutiny or to any test of credibility. After all, when a bunch of proven liars stands up in a theatre and yells ‘fire’ for the second or third time, and there hasn’t been any smoke anytime, who you gonna believe, sucker?

Iran is within its rights and within the law to develop nuclear power. No one has produced evidence that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon, or intends to do so. The only violations they’ve committed are on about the same relative level as copping a peek at the questions for a pop quiz in algebra class, but they are being accused of stealing the entire final exam, and threatened with violent destruction for their non-crime.

Little Bush and The Neocons, along with their lead singer, Condi Riceirani, can scream and stomp their feet about how evil Iran is all they want. They may even get away with their propaganda and lies, and kill some tens of thousands of Iranians and precipitate a major war. But the rest of the world may just be looking askance at the whole show of American paranoid psychosis, and asking who has actually done, and continues to do, real evil in the world community the last few years.

It’s not Iran.

Late Note:

By the way, those roadside bombs, the EFPs, that the evil Iran has been supplying to dastardly Iraqi fighters and that Little Georgie and the Neocons are trumpeting as an excuse to attack Iran – uh uh – the U. S. military lied about that too. They’re made in Iraq, by Iraqis fighting to kick the invaders out of their land.

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San Diego 1, New Orleans 0
October 25, 2007

Not to simplify too much, but with all the gushing and cooing that the news commentators are putting out over the wonderful job the government is doing for all the homeless and displaced people in California, did anyone notice that the victims all seem to be white and moneyed and from a Conservative area?

Meanwhile, back in New Orleans, the black and the poor are still waiting for the Republican administration to come through on its promises and make good on its failures during the Katrina catastrophe.

Gotta love that corporate football stadium in San Diego! Full of food and water and cots and counselors and white people with money.

Just like the Super Dome in New Orleans, hey?

“We’re not going to forget you in Washington, D.C.,” [Bush] said, according to the L. A. Times. Well of course not, silly! You’re white people and you’ve got money. Us Republicans in Washington will bail you out, don’t you worry! We’ll just use the money we haven’t spent down in that other city, oh you know, that one down South with all the black people playing that great music. Wonderful dancers, too, aren’t they?

And Bush is, of course, up to the challenge of making the most of the disaster for his obligatory photo op. One network reported he was to have lunch with some firefighters. These guys have been putting their lives on the line every day. They’re exhausted, they’re drained, they need sleep and rest, but no, here comes the Chief Putz showing how much he cares by including them in his photo op. The Lion would like to think that one of them had the balls to tell the little creep to go screw himself.

Wonderful country, Republican America. Ain’t it just grand?

Church Rebel Rears Head, Slays Potter, Strokes Self As Defender Of Children
October 25, 2007

St. Joseph’s School in Wakefield, Massachusetts, under the enlightened and brilliant leadership of Reverend Ron Barker, has, as an expression of its zeal to protect children from harmful influences, banned the Harry Potter novels from the school. The story appears in today’s Globe under the byline of Tania deLuzuriaga. (One could easily suspect that with a name like that, Ms. deLuzuriaga stepped right out of a Potter novel. On the side of good wizardry, of course.)

“He said that he thought most children were strong enough to resist the temptation,” said one mother who asked that her name not be used because she did not want her family to be singled out. “But he said it’s his job to protect the weak and the strong.”

Apparently the Potter novels were very popular among the St. Josephian students, who are, according to the school’s website, voracious readers.

“The sixth grade reads an average of 7.5 books each with many students in double digits,” says a note on the class page. “Of course, Harry Potter was a popular choice.”

But last month, students found that their favorite series had “disapparated” from the school library, after St. Joseph’s pastor, the Rev. Ron Barker, removed the books, declaring that the themes of witchcraft and sorcery were inappropriate for a Catholic school.

Apparently Rev. Barker’s education failed to inform him that a novel is a work of fiction, not of fact, and that magic, witchcraft, and sorcery are mere fantasies, aside from stage illusions a la Copperfield and the delusions of humans who believe curses and spells actually affect the real world. Apparently we must include Barker among the latter, since he seems terrified of even a fictional representation of such things.

He might also be shocked, shocked to learn that the theme of the Potter novels is not witchcraft and sorcery, which provide merely the settings, the ambience, the milieu in which themes about the struggles of adolescence and coming of age occur.

A theme of a fictional work would be more along the lines of “Celibacy warps the minds of young men, turning them into child molesters,” or “Catholic dogma creates more misery and suffering than any other single institution in the history of the world.” How about “Banning books leads to fascism” as a theme, Reverend? Now those are themes!

Apparently Barker refused an interview with the Globe, perhaps lacking the courage to submit to what he might well consider, given the history of the Church, an inquisitorial event. Can he perhaps hear the creaking of the rack, the breaking of bones, the screams of the innocent? Does he tell his charges at St. Joseph’s about the Catholic Inquisition’s use of magical thinking to justify the torture and slaughter of innocent people, real people? Doubtful, doubtful.

Of course Barker is not alone in his moronism.

Groups in at least 17 other states have tried to ban the books since the first one was published in 1998, prompting [the American Library Association] last year to name the Harry Potter collection “the most challenged books of the 21st century.”

One might hazard that not all challenges emanated from the Catholic empire of delusion, particularly in light of the fact that the Church has ‘no formal policy on the books’. (Does that make Barker a rebel without the church? A rebel with a silly cause?)

One might suspect that delusional Protestant fundamentalists are more prone to this sort of failure of reason and critical thought. They appear to be less in touch with reality than their Catholic brethren. After all, they believe everything in the Bible is quite literally true, and half the stuff in that book would scare the bejesus out of Harry Potter and his friends, while the other half would set them to uncontrollable giggling and loud belly-laughing.

And one might forgive The Lion for sensing that there is a theme in all this book banning and bashing. Something to do with religion and irrationality, perhaps. Or religion and tyranny, perhaps. Oh, well, given time, The Lion will figure it out. Without the use of supernatural help, of course.

 

Republicans! Eeewwwwww!
October 22, 2007

One of the major failings of atheism is that it leaves practitioners without juicy phrases like “Omigod!” or “Saints preserve us!” or “By God and all the saints!” Thus is The Lion  left with the bland “The Republicans make it so hard to cut down on blogging.”

They had a debate last night down in Orlando, Florida, according to Michael Kranish of the Globe. The Lion understands that these are not really debates, but merely sound byte generators for the various news organizations that sponsor them. And of course the function does give the candidates, especially the Republican ones, a chance to show off their stupid.

Mitt ‘The Mitten’ Romney, famous dog torturer and all-around hypocrite, had his say on health care:

Citing passage of a health reform bill, Romney rejected the notion that Democrats deserved much credit for it. “I’m not going to give the Democratic Legislature credit for the plan,” Romney said.

Good news and bad news. The good news is that he’s taking full responsibility for a ridiculous plan that does nothing but funnel money to the insurance companies so they can take their profits and buy politicians like Romney. The bad news is that when the plan falls on its face he’ll blame the Democratic Legislature for passing it in the first place.

But you know it’s a Republican plan because it mandates, that is to say, forces, which is to say, tyrannizes, people to buy private insurance. Republicans are all about authority. That’s why they’ll be such great fascists a little ways down the road .

Tom Tancredo of Colorado, whose shtick is hating anyone who crosses the Mexican border of the United States, doesn’t like that immigrants get subsidized health care. Representative Tancredo would perhaps prefer that they just die in the streets. Perhaps one day Mr. Tancredo might put his abundant energy into doing something about the fifty million Americans who have no health care, and who are daily being joined by what will be millions of others who find they can no longer afford it. On the other hand, that may be too complex a matter for the simple, hating brain that occupies Mr. Tancredo’s skull.

Speaking of simple brains, how about that fellow Huckabee, who apparently sleeps on a bed of Bibles and talks with god and says that if he’s elected President he’ll let god run the country, or something to that effect. The Lion presumes Mr. Huckabee will then go fishing down in Andy Griffith land. But Huckabee is not shy about demonstrating the profound illness in his thinking.

“There is nothing funny about Hilary (Clinton) being president,” Huckabee said. He predicted that taxes would go up, spending goes out of control, the military will lose morale, and the fight against terrorism will be hurt.

Apparently Mr. Huckabee hasn’t seen the financials on the United States lately. Spending is way beyond control. China, Japan, and a few other places own the United States.

The military sits on the verge of crashing and burning. And morale, real morale, not the prettified anecdotes that the psycho president likes to hand out, is in the toilet.

The so-called fight against terrorism has turned into nothing more than a way to slaughter civilians, recruit more terrorists and provide more places for them to practice their craft. And it provides various sociopaths in the CIA and the military and the Justice Department a way to get their rocks off torturing people, most of whom appear to have nothing to do with acts of terror against civilians. All courtesy of the chief Republican sociopath, George Bush, enabled and facilitated by morons like Huckabee.

And the damned taxes had better go up. The Republicans have given their wealthy friends a free ride, showering them with money, and absolving them of taking any responsibility in Republican wars, or indeed doing anything for the good of the country

And then we have Rudy Giuliani, the putz of New York, the guy who strolled around New York City on 9/11 and then claimed he was a real go-getter in the war on terrorism. Not that he ever did anything, except fail to show up for his duty on the Iraq Commission. Too busy with other priorities, Mr. G?

Giuliani said he would draw lessons from former President Ronald Reagan’s approach to foreign policy, including become so strong militarily that attacking the United States would be unthinkable.

Never mind that Ronnie Raygun’s government by astrology was a disaster or that the man was possibly a bigger putz than Mr. G. On 9/11 we had the strongest military in the world. That worked out well, didn’t it, Rudy? Maybe he missed the history lesson where the teacher demonstrated that time and again attacking the big guy is never unthinkable. Been to Hawaii lately, Mr. G? You don’t ward off attacks or wars by bankrupting the country with a huge military budget, Rudy. You know, like the one that’s crippling the United States now, the one that’s funding an army in the Middle East that’s being held at bay by guerilla fighters using assault rifles, grenades, and creative explosives, and that has nothing to show for its efforts and its losses but half a million dead civilians and two countries in ruins. Yeah, let’s have more of that, Rudy. After all, that’s the Republican way, isn’t it, by god?

GOP Candidates Again Show Their Incompetence, Ignorance, And Stupidity
October 20, 2007

In today’s Providence Journal, an AP story by Liz Sidoti bears the headline “GOP hopefuls vie for conservatives’ approval”. Romney, Thompson, and McCain apparently were appearing before a gathering of so-called values voters.

Values voters usually means evangelicals, whose mission in life is to overturn the Constitution and the rule of law and establish an unthinking theocracy where everyone believes the same stupid, destructive, phantasmagorical things they do. These people use fantasy instead of LSD. At least acid trippers didn’t rush out en mass to destroy the society they lived in.

Romney chimed in with “I’m pro-family on every level from personal to political.” Oh yes. Hypocrisy, lies, sleaze. That’s real pro-family stuff. And let’s not forget the brutal abuse of the family’s pet dog on that twelve hour drive.

And good ol’ boy Freddie Thompson admitted he hasn’t a working brain cell in his entire head. He said the first thing he would do after being inaugurated would be to “go into the Oval Office and close the door and pray for the wisdom to know what was right, and I would pray for the strength to do what is right.”

The freaky fundos gave that a standing ovation. Hey, Freddie, how about you go into the Oval Office and use your damned brain and think about right and wrong instead of blabbering with some ghostie in the sky. Is it too much to ask for this country to elect people who depend on reason and sanity and knowledge of the real world, instead of a bunch of Jesus freaks who don’t know crap about anything that matters in this damn world?

As for Giuliani, his claim on the freaks is that “On nine out of 10 issues we agree with each other”. Which ten, Rudy? And since you’ve demonstrated neither the competence nor the intelligence, honesty, or integrity to merit the Oval Office, why should anyone give a damn if you agree with the Jesus freaks? The fact that you suck up to them, or even agree with them on anything, should disqualify you from running for any office.

As for McCain, he’s shown that his definitive characteristic is a great skill and intense lust for sucking up to anyone who might vote for him. Publicly kissing the psychopath, Bush, who racially slimed his family during the South Carolina primary seven years ago doesn’t qualify this hypocrite for office either. Nor does his great lust for continuing the slaughter of innocents in any country that might disagree with the idea that the United States should run the frigging universe.

The only thing these guys have to offer is fear and loathing. The people of this country should fear the possibility that any one of these putzes gets into office, and they should loathe them and their confederates. To put another Republican in power in the White House (and Congress for that matter) is to seal the fate of this country on what may be a really quick slide into the cesspool of fascism and theocracy.

The Cat Fades Away, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, The Theatre Goes Dark
October 19, 2007

Since Spring this year The Lion has written 333 posts here, covering a variety of items, and he has generally had a good time. Lately, though, the bloom is off the rose, or the dandruff is on the Lion, or the rose has got dandruff. Pick your own metaphor.

I’ve always questioned, to myself at least, what it is that I’m doing here, what Grumpy Lion is about. It is, as I’ve said before, a valve to relieve high blood pressure brought on by the state of the United States today. It’s an emotional bleeder valve. It’s my way of striking back at the stupidities, the hypocrisies, the lies and delusions, and the evils at the center of government.

But I always wanted it to be deeper.

I’ve been writing, on and off, in one form or another since I was fifteen, when I started working for the old Cape Cod Standard Times, covering high school news at first, and then moving on to district reporting as a general reporter for the towns of Harwich and Chatham. Later I turned to fiction and humor, with some minor success. A couple of novels, one for practice, one for real, though the latter would actually appear to be more practice. Various other sorts of things. On the whole, I write pretty well.

But I don’t write deep. And I want to write deep. Not deep, profound thoughts, not that kind of deep, though that’s part of it. No, the deep I mean is structural. I want to write pieces where structure, subject, language and intent all work together, through conscious choice on my part, to create powerful work. I want to learn how to think about the structure, the underpinning, the skeleton, of writing. I’ve neglected that in my writing. I can engage readers’ emotions now, but that’s not enough. I want to do it better. And that’s hard, in itself and for me, because I’m not a patient sort of writer. I blast through and hope to come out in the light on the other side. I hurt keyboards. And that’s not good enough anymore.

So, from time to time I will drop something in here, but the rest of the time I’m going to be digging back in the roots of writing, back to ancient rhetoric via the book Classical Rhetoric and the Modern Student, a textbook by Edward P. J. Corbett, along with some other books on writing, and philosophy, and logic. I might even open a blog on the course of what I study, but it would mostly be to keep track for myself. I doubt these things would interest the average blog surfer. After all, a middle-aged man rooting around in the intellectual intestines of Classical Greece isn’t a big draw in the age of Spears and Bush and Gates (the tech Gates, not the Defense Gates).

Damn, I feel calmer already! 🙂

I hope you liked the show.

Comments still welcome.

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