Archive for the ‘Fang and Claw’ Category

Michele Bachmann: “Work or die!”
November 8, 2011

From ThinkProgress:

GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann promised to significantly lower funding to social safety net programs during a speech at the Family Research Council this morning, going so far as to suggest that people who can’t work should not eat. “Our nation needs to stop doing for people what they can and should do for themselves,” she said. “Self reliance means, if anyone will not work, neither should he eat.”

Perhaps they should be whipped too. Or maybe we could cut their hands off because if they do stay alive they must be eating and if they’re eating then that would be stealing, so off with their hands. That’s all just mighty Christian of her, isn’t it?

But really, shouldn’t this prescription of Bachmann’s apply to Ms. Bachmann herself? She is a Republican member of a Congress in which the Republicans have chosen to do nothing, thus they are not in any real sense ‘working’, are they? So, Ms. Michelle, no food for you until you get a real job – not that you’re qualified for anything other than sucking at the public teat of taxpayer money like you’ve done most of your life.

If anyone doubted Ms. Bachmann’s credentials as a completely-off-the-deep-end, insane, dumbass, cold-hearted, brain-damaged moron, her comment should put their doubts to rest. But of course these credentials eminently qualify her as an acceptable candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States.

‘Scuse me while I call up the Asylum to see if my old room is still available. That’s the only place I can find sane people anymore.

And because I seem to have logorrhea this morning, let’s consider what Ms. Bachmann has not. No one lives in a complete vacuum. We live as members of communities, or as Ms. Bachmann so innocently put it, ‘in our nation’. Ms. Bachmann apparently believes firmly and profoundly that our nation should become a place of dog eat dog mentality, that the strong should brutalize the weak, in her example by starving them to death. Ms. Bachmann is apparently neither competent nor capable of considering that self-reliance in a community means you do the best you can to care for yourself, but you rely on your community, in this case the United States, to help you when you need it, just as you are willing to help your community when it needs you. But that’s not Ms. Bachmann’s way. She would, it seems, quite enjoy watching people starve to death: after all, that would be justice and being one of the leading intellectual lights of the Republican Party she must, of course, understand justice.

All you unemployed people out there, living high off the pittance of unemployment insurance because there are no jobs, you’d best cover your ass, because the almighty Michelle Bachmann, wielding the sword and word of her God and the thought  processes of any number of insane, deranged pissant dictators, is getting ready to hack your ass off, along with your hands and feet just for good measure. And say, how come your kids aren’t working?

It’s just amazing what the Republicans can dredge up from the mud of humanity to represent their best philosophical and political thought.

You go, Michelle! Yessir, right into a padded room on the locked ward on the fifth floor. Dinner will be served in a couple of months. If you’re lucky.


Michael Vick Back In The USSR Where Black Is White And Orwell Lives
August 12, 2009

Michael Vick, dog killer par excellence, looks likely to be working in the NFL sometime soon according to a bit in today’s Globe.

But that’s not the fun part. The really juicy part is about the big fat ego at work.

Meanwhile, in Hampton, Va., Vick told basketball campers at Hampton University to use his own story as an example as they work to follow their dreams.

Vick, who last month finished his federal prison sentence, told a crowd of about 250 to “use me as an example for your dreams.’’

Can Vick spell ‘nightmares’?

And of course there is the traditional placing of blame:

Vick also told them that after accomplishing his goals he “allowed someone who didn’t have my best interests at heart to take all that away from me,’’ according to a release from the school.

“Respect helps you to make wise decisions,’’ Vick said.

Yeah, someone forced him to brutally kill dogs; someone forced him to run a cruel and inhumane dogfighting business. Yeah, Michael, the Devil made you do it.

The man hasn’t a clue about respect or about responsibility. Someone put him back in his cage before we have to listen to more of this arrogant, self-serving drivel. Pretty soon he’ll be telling the press that his trial was fixed, that he was innocent, that he was framed. And the sports press, just as oblivious to reality and truth as their colleagues on the news desk, will take him seriously and present ‘balanced’ objectivity instead of calling this psycho clown a psycho clown.

Arf arf, you sick puppy!

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Joseph Conrad Wins A Clawdie, With Gold Fig Leaf Cluster
August 25, 2008

No, not that Joseph Conrad. This Joseph Conrad is from Mont Vernon, New Hampshire, and here’s his letter from today’s Globe:

Hippocratic oafs at HHS

THE HEALTH and Human Services position advanced by Secretary Mike Leavitt is but another in the seven-year Bush administration continuum of monumental stupidity (“HHS: Doctors can refuse abortions,” Page A2, Aug. 22). Granting healthcare professions the option to cherry pick which procedures they perform is insane. Shall it be fair game for healthcare providers to deny care to the product of a consanguineous relationship based on a “religious” belief in genetic purity?

Speaking on behalf of the sane measure of civilization, denial of medical care for any reason other than medical necessity should result in loss of license, and if injury is a byproduct of denial, fine and or prison. Any person entering a medical facility should have complete confidence that care will be based on medical reasons, not denied by some bozo standing behind a cardboard mockup of Bush or one of his minions.

Mont Vernon, N.H.

The last sentence alone would win a Clawdie for its plain speaking of truth to power, but in context it earns the Gold Fig Leaf Cluster for ripping the fig leaf off another sick Republican policy driven by ideology instead of reality.

Congratulations, Joseph! Enjoy your Clawdie award, but don’t spend it all in one place.

Lion Claws Child, Gives New Award, The Paw Thorn Award
August 11, 2008

Normally The Lion does not fang and claw children and old ladies, unless they are Republican, in which case they will be properly rended.

There are practical reasons for not attacking children and old ladies, not least among them that they are usually stronger, faster, and quicker than The Lion. Meaner, too, especially the old ladies.

However, there are times when children and old ladies need suffer the kind attentions of The Lion, and in this case the object of attention is a child, a teenager to be more precise, who had the misfortune to have a letter to the editor published in the Globe.

Normally such an event would not register on The Lion’s delicate but powerful radar. After all, what sort of person goes around attacking children for joining the community of public letter writers?

One concerned for the future of the Republic, that’s what sort. Indeed, one concerned for the very future of all mankind. And most profoundly, one burned out on American political campaigns, Olympic boreage, and stuck home because of the rain.

Herewith, today’s award-winning letter:

RE “NOT proud of Globe” (Letters, Aug. 6): As another 17-year-old hailing from the underfunded public school system, it is a rare event that I should muster the willpower to communicate my approval with this very publication, which a fellow student was unable to do in criticizing the Globe’s choice of coverage. This strange ability to sympathize has spawned from my tour as editor in chief of my school’s newspaper.

In my tenure I learned the importance of “interesting the apathetic.” Yes, there are far greater matters going on in the world than tabloid news. But the fact of the matter is that today such is a necessary compromise for proper print journalism. Writers, editors, and most importantly publication, all come at a great cost in this digital age.

Helping a fledgling paper get off the ground has given me this valuable insight. The front page is an incredibly large advertisement designed to attract readers, and thus generate the necessary revenue to print “true news.” If one could muster the strength to turn the page he would find what he should know right there. I find it disturbing that anyone would risk coming off as petulant because they are unwilling or incapable of showing sympathy toward a medium they are determined to utilize.

Normally The Lion would neither notice nor care about this bit of overblown language, but this fellow claims to have toured as an editor-in-chief of a school newspaper. Indeed, he claims he had tenure. At 17! Tenure!

The Lion has to question the very foundations of an education system that apparently has convinced this poor soul that he can write well enough to be an editor of anything.

The fellow has suffered a rare event in his life. How terrible to have to muster his willpower to communicate his approval of a newspaper. Of course it’s a rare event. The work involved in creating that sentence would deter the hardiest hack. The Lion would simply approve (or disapprove) of the Globe. But of course The Lion seldom musters anything anymore, so perhaps he is simply no longer in tune with the teenage intelligentsia.

But wait, there’s more. The fellow has managed to spawn sympathy and simultaneously regard sympathy as a strange ability. ‘Spawn’ carries the sense of strange, non-human things laying eggs in dark places – fish in the deep sea, salmon rushing upstream in a race with death, Hollywood producers creating puerile movies – but spawning sympathy? Lovecraft’s mind would reel. It would indeed be a strange ability had it to be spawned.

There follows the piece de resistance, the moist chocolate cake with thick frosting, the bosomy blonde in the tiny bikini. Our fellow has learned the importance of ‘interesting the apathetic’.

The Lion cannot resist.

What this fellow’s writing shows is that he has learned the art of ‘boring the interested’.

He has mastered the skill of big words and stuffy syntax to muffle and hide his meaning. Someone, somewhere, has taught him to write this way. The effort of trying to mangle his meaning with such language must have drained all his strength, because he believes turning a newspaper page requires the mustering of strength, not to mention utilizing a medium. He even managed to work in ‘petulant’.

The Lion believes that if whatever he is talking about was worth the great trouble he went through to obfuscate it, then he should get an award.

Thus, The Lion institutes the Paw Thorn Award for civilian writing that causes pain in The Lion’s paws and is a thorn in the side of intelligent discourse.

Congratulations, young fellow. And The Lion doesn’t feel too badly about clawing you. After all, with your ability to hide meaning behind language and publicly demonstrate muddy thinking, you will probably end up a Republican.

[The Lion notes that if he were properly in the business of giving awards that mattered in the real world, he would send this youngster a copy of Writing With Precision by Jefferson Bates.]

A New Award: The Lion’s Butt Award
July 30, 2008

Today The Lion introduces a new award and retires the once-used Anti-Clawdie Award. The ACA has certain logical problems, as pointed out by … crap, I forget who … either The Exterminator or Evo or maybe Philly… anyway, its brief but glorious history is now history.

In its place, the Lion’s Butt Award will be given to egregious commentary by either civilians or bloggers. Figuratively speaking, the award involves The Lion pointing his butt at the offender and emitting a rude noise.

Today’s first Lion’s Butt Award goes to a letter writer in today’s Globe. The letter is short and follows herewith in full:

ENOUGH ALREADY with the Globe’s gay agenda. How many front-page stories do we have to see to know that your agenda is to promote the gay/lesbian lifestyle? The July 21 article “Bloom’s off the brick row house: Buyers picking modern high-rise over classic style” could and should have been written from the heterosexual perspective. What you’re writing about is not a gay issue, it’s a human issue, and casting the story in a manner to feature gays is inappropriate. It’s time to straighten out, and I mean that in all senses of the word.

The story the writer refers to covered the housing search of a male gay couple in Boston.

The key phrase – “…is not a gay issue, it’s a human issue”.

Yup. Gays aren’t human. Couldn’t be clearer.

The writer most likely gets queasy at the thought of two men having sex. Fair enough. The Lion’s not comfortable with the idea either, but so what? Two men, or two women, they’re happy together, not a problem. Romance is romance, love is love. We can’t always help what we feel about people’s behavior. And out there in Nature where the animals and plants live, homosexuality is relatively rampant. People like our awardee would likely like to deny that humans are part of nature, justifying the behavior of  humans destroying the natural world in leaps and bounds.

But our letter writer decided those two guys weren’t human and apparently shouldn’t be treated like everybody else. The Lion suspects the fellow is probably quite comfortable living Levitically. You know, that part of the Bible that crows ‘Kill the witches, kill the heretics, kill the fags, kill everybody who is different’.

Seventy years ago our awardee, had he lived in Germany, would have been calling the Jews rats and vermin, just like the Jews today call the Palestinians rats and vermin. Same thing, different target. Once you dehumanize a group of people, once you make them lesser than you, you can justify doing anything to them. Beat them. Deny them civil and human rights. Round them up and put them in camps. Kill them.

Fags aren’t human. It’s okay to kill them, beat them, spit on them, laugh at them. They’re just things that look human and wear clothes and go to jobs and support families and pay taxes and eat in restaurants and…. oh, yeah, ooops, they do the same things us so-called straight people do. They just love differently. But they love.

Today’s awardee doesn’t understand any of that, and for promoting the view that gay people aren’t human, The Lion awards him a great big Lion’s Butt award, suitable for smelling up his entire house.

Congratulations, pal. A bottle of Lion’s Butt smell and noise will be delivered to your home by two large, heavily muscled gay men real soon now. Enjoy! (Oh, stop worrying, pal. They won’t bother you. They’re just deliverymen.)

An Anti-Clawdie, The First Ever, Awarded To A Gentleman From Virginia
June 30, 2008

The Lion found a letter to the editor written by a fellow in Virginia who’s just wrong, a letter so wrong that it deserves the first ever Anti-Clawdie Award.

Our man starts off with mild praise for Senator Barack Obama’s recent speech encouraging fathers to get more involved with their children. “Heartening,” said Mr. Virginia.

But that’s not enough for him. He goes on to say:

While this secular progressive society romanticizes the notion of having children outside of marriage (especially in Gloucester), it is a choice that has devastating consequences for children. If Obama wants to earn the support of the mainstream of America, he should work to bring back the taboo that once made it rare for women to have children before getting married.


Hardly. Something like ninety percent of Americans hold spiritual beliefs in one religion or another. Perhaps Mr. Virginia had in mind installing a theocratic government? Perhaps teaching creationist fantasies in the public schools? Perhaps teaching that women are lesser creatures than men and have to walk three steps behind men at all times? Sound about right, Mr. Virginia?


Have you looked at the White House lately, Mr. Virginia? Or the Congress? Republicans who want to drag us back into the Nineteenth Century are calling the shots. Civil liberties, a hallmark of progressivism and the Constitution, are shredded daily by that crowd. Immigration agents of the fascistic Department of Homeland Security routinely arrest and deport American citizens and lie to Congress about it (The Nation, June 23, 2008). Rich people get huge tax breaks, effectively giving them a free ride on the backs of the working class. Republicans in the White House routinely hand over the reins of government agencies to unqualified political hacks, and then proclaim government doesn’t work. Perhaps you remember Katrina and Rita? When the next major hurricane crashes into Virginia, do you want Republican hacks bumbling to your aid, or do you want qualified professionals running the agencies whose job it is to rescue, support, and rebuild your families and communities?

The snide slash at Gloucester teens was uncalled for. It was rude. It was thoughtless. It was ignorant.

And how about those devastating consequences, Mr. Virginia? Exactly what did you have in mind? Naturally we’ll never know, but we can guess that you’re thinking joblessness, homelessness, crime, drugs, prison, yada yada yada, all the cliches that people who make your argument always manage to mention.

Those arguments presume that the unmarried mothers must be social deviants, must be drug addicts, must be ignorant and incompetent, must be lazy, and whatever other myths the wingnuts on the right can think up.

But never, not once, do the wingnuts propose a humane society, one that provides daycare so that mothers can work, that provides healthcare so the children won’t suffer third-world diseases in the midst of America, that provides training and schooling so that disadvantaged mothers can better themselves and make a better life for the children for whom Mr. Virginia has prescribed ‘devastating consequences’. The Lion can feel pretty certain that not one red cent of Mr. Virginia’s tax money would be allowed to support progressive social programs, no sir, not from him, not one red cent, by golly.

He’d rather see children undergo ‘devastating consequences’.

His answer to his problem with perception? A father in every home:

The answer is not government. It is personal responsibility, and a return to the basic understanding that children need a married mother and father in the home to be raised as productive members of society.

Yup. Good old dad. Apparently Mr. Virginia isn’t going to distinguish drunken wife-beating child abusers from decent men struggling to make a living in a failing Republican economy. Or ignorant religious fanatics who rule their families with the iron hand of stupidity, bigotry, intolerance, and hatred. Just as long as there’s a man in the house, married to the woman in the house. Any man’s better than no man, right, Mr. V?

As for the ‘basic understanding’, well, no. There’s the basic mythology of Father Knows Best. Is that where Mr. Virginia gets his understanding of family sociology from? Good luck with that.

The Lion would also note that Mr. Virginia has, with his final ringing phrase about ‘productive members of society’, insulted millions of mothers and children. Mothers who struggled to do the best they could for their kids, despite the heavy odds imposed against them by an atavistic American society and atavists like Mr. Virginia. Children who grew to a crime-free and drug-free adulthood, who got a decent education, who hold jobs and pay their bills and are good, decent men and women.

Yes, Virginia, you just trashed all those people.

And of course you don’t define a couple of things in your statement. ‘Personal responsibility’ for one. But The Lion knows that’s just Republican Conservative code for ‘Screw you, I got mine and I don’t care what your problems are, you’re on your own, dumbass.’ That’s the modern religious Republican take on ‘Love one another’ and ‘Do unto others…’

And then there’s the matter of defining ‘productive members of society’. The Lion is not sure he wants to know what that means to Mr. Virginia, but it does bring to mind mindless drones pushing paper from one cubicle to another, or factory drones taught never to question, never to ask, never to think, but just to do what their Republican factory owners tell them to do. The Lion suspects that Mr. Virginia may well regard hedge fund managers who make hundreds of millions of dollars a year screwing around with other people’s money as the most productive members of society, despite the fact that they don’t create anything useful and contribute pretty much nothing to s0ciety. And of course the ten-dollar-an-hour security guard that ‘protects’ the steel and glass towers these parasites play in isn’t anywhere near as productive, is he?

Be that as it may…

Mr. Virginia might want to review a report from the CDC on birth statistics. One bit of it states:

A key change in marital status patterns has been the large increase in cohabitation among unmarried couples. In 1980-84, 29 percent of out-of-wedlock births were to cohabiting couples; 10 years later this proportion increased to 39 percent. This group accounts for most of the increase in births to unmarried women since the early 1980’s.

Oh, look, Mr. Virginia, there’s daddies in those evil, unmarried homes.

Fewer than 3 in 10 nonmarital births are to teenagers, but the majority of teen births are out-of-wedlock. Ages 20-29 are the peak childbearing years, and women in their twenties account for over half of all nonmarital births. The number of births to unmarried teens was 2 percent lower in 1999 than in 1998.

Wow! How about that? Adults having children. The Lion suspects that Mr. Virginia would condemn with the same vigor a professional woman who can actually afford daycare and health care and other necessities as he does the teens of Gloucester who apparently got bad advice from their sex ed classes. He would have to slam those hard-working professional women, who choose not to have man messing with their lives, in order to be consistent. Can’t be giving women credit, now can we, Mr. Virginia?

So, to Mr. Virginia, a nameless fellow from Virginia, today’s first ever Anti-Clawdie Award. Congratulations, Mr. V, don’t spend it all in one place. Like, fer instance, a homeless shelter, or a community daycare center, or a drug rehab center, or anything like that. No, no, no. That might be taking personal responsibility, real responsibility, for your fellow humans instead of the cheap cop-out kind touted by the Republicans and the Conservatives.

Good luck with all that, Mr. Virginia.

P.S. The Lion lied. There’s no money with the award. There’s not even a plaque with fancy script on it. There’s just this impolite post on the Grumpy Lion blog. That and two bucks will get you a cup of coffee, but not a latte or anything like that.

Today’s Clawdie Award Goes To…
June 21, 2008

In today’s Globe, one Douglas Reichgott responded to a Tennessee gun lover with a factually stinging rebuke worthy of a Clawdie, The Lion’s rare award to civilians who write letters and such to newspaper editors and say clever things and suchlike.

Mr. Reichgott’s letter:

IN HIS June 19 letter “Uneasy grip on firearms views,” Dan Lutts of McDonald, Tenn., argues that rural areas have fewer problems with firearms because they are not treated as “forbidden objects” and “children learn . . . how to treat firearms safely.”

The only problem with this logic is the facts.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people in Tennessee are 14 times more likely to accidentally injure themselves with a gun and five times more likely to commit suicide with a gun than people in Massachusetts.

Seems like making guns “forbidden objects” turns out to be a good idea.

You go, Reichgott! And wear your Clawdie with pride.

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A Fangie Award…
February 11, 2008

A Fangie award this morning for a post comment that had The Lion laughing out loud (which, unfortunately, hurt somewhat since The Lion is a little bit hungover).

It might be a bit obscure if you don’t read the thread, which is here.

And the comment:

Ex said: Scientific studies have shown that humans with the grump gene survive better because cheery idiots tend to leave them alone.

Think of me as a mutant allele in your grump gene.

The Fangie goes to the poster, the atheosphere’s very own unique mutation that offers the best hope for mankind, John Evo.

Congratulations, Evo!


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And The First Fangie Goes To…
January 17, 2008

The Lion did not expect to announce a Fangie award for a while, but today he stumbled on a post he considers worthy. A sample:

If you can’t imagine Hillary Clinton invading Afghanistan and Iraq, then have a look at her voting record. Bill Clinton managed to, needlessly and without provocation, bomb countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. He even bombed a Chinese embassy. If Monica Lewinsky had a heart, she’d have bitten it off. The differences between Clinton and both Bushes as Presidents, was more a difference in style than substance – ideologically, they’re on the same page.

And on the 20th of this month, the Bush-Clinton dynasty will enter its 28th year (George H. W. Bush served two terms as Vice President before being elected President). If Hillary Clinton was elected (God forbid) we would have at least another four years of that dynasty. It’s a surprise that Jeb Bush Jnr hasn’t done his duty and married Chelsea Clinton, and sired a heir and spare.

See the entire post here: Steph’s Blog

The Fangie is awarded to Steph, whose passion and ire match that of The Lion himself. Possibly surpass him. Very high pungency factor.

(The Lion denies completely that the award to Steph is in any way influenced by his mad passion and lust for her. Such rumors will simply not be countenanced. Never met the woman. Don’t know what you’re talking about.)


The Lion Offers The Fang And Claw Awards
January 17, 2008

The Lion, not wanting to be left out of the entire sordid award business, and not being a member of the Writers’ Guild, thus under no constraints, will offer two awards from time to time, if he remembers.

The Claw Award, affectionately referred to as the Clawdie, will go to civilians. A civilian is a non-blogger, or at least someone not known to dirty his keyboard in the blogosphere with the rest of us, who has made his presence known in the press through a letter to the editor or through a quote in a news story, and who makes an ethically, politically, or morally significant and pungent comment of which The Lion approves.

The Fang Award, or, naturally, the Fangie, will go to a blogger from time to time who in any given post performs the ‘Stick it to ’em’ maneuver in an excellent and eloquent manner; or who makes an ethically, politically, or morally significant and pungent comment of which The Lion approves.

Other criteria for either award may be added or subtracted as The Lion sees fit, possibly depending on how much or how little coffee he has had, what his blood pressure is on any given day, and whether or not he is bored with the whole idea of giving awards. It should be noted that The Lion is always willing to receive awards praising his intelligence, his writing skills, his wit and humor, his manhood, his good looks, and his general, all-around beneficent influence on the world around him.

And now, the first Clawdie ever goes to C. J. Banfield, a person of indeterminate sex who, in a letter to the Globe today, wrote:

“How many Iraqi civilians is the United States justified in killing so that Americans feel safe? At what point does our appetite for security break our ethical budget?”

Criticism doesn’t get much closer to the heart of the matter than that. Congratulations, C. J. (Nothing is in the mail.)