This morning a sinkhole opened up under a house in Florida and sucked a guy right down into the earth.
And if that’s not a metaphor for what’s going in this country today, I don’t know what is
This entire week has been a bit like being trapped in a surreal newspaper.
Starting with Social Issues
“Clint Eastwood joins Republicans in support of Gay Marriage.”
Clint joins Republicans in support of gay marriage?
How many things are wrong with that sentence?
Clint joins Republicans in support of gay marriage?
Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!
Clint Eastwood joins Republicans in gay marriage (heh, heh, sorry).
I assume Eastwood made the announcement by yelling at an empty straight-backed chair?
Queue rimshot: Ba dump bump! Hey! Thank you, thank you! I’ll be here all week.
C’mon, Clint Eastwood, the guy who swears at furniture? The guy who backed Romney, a member of a rabidly homophobic church which spent millions supporting Prop 8 in Eastwood’s own state? The guy who’s a spokesman and mouthpiece for a political party that embraces homophobia as one of its primary planks? The guy who married Sandra Locke and let her “act” in his movies and then spent years divorcing her in public for shit’s sake? That Clint Eastwood?
That guy is weighing on gay marriage?
And you think I’m not going to make gratuitous jokes?
Too bad he couldn’t get fellow Californian and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger to back him on the conservative family values kazoo.
Conversation in the break room:
(There was a copy of Air Force Times on the table, lead story: Troops To Obama, Stop Wrecking The Military! Gotta love the ‘Times, no rightwing agenda there)
Obama is killing the military! He shut down whole Navy bases! He’s been doing it secretly for years! That’s why he made up this idiotic sequester! The Army is next, he’s getting rid of them as they come home from Afghanistan.
Um, OK. Question: How do you close a base, an entire Navy base, in secret? I’m pretty sure somebody would notice. At least those people with daughters anyway…
What? I’m just saying, Chicks dig Sailors. It’s true, you can look it up on the internet. There are pictures.
And even if Obama really did “hate the military,” he can’t just close whatever bases he feels like. Base closures are determined by the congressional Base Re-alignment and Closure (BRAC) commission. Those re-alignments and closures are a huge, huge, deal. There are years, sometimes decades, of negotiations between the military, the federal government, and the states. There are endless public hearings and local town hall meetings. Senators, Representatives (both state and federal) get involved, so does the Governor, so does the local Chamber of Commerce, so does the Mayor, and so does every Tom, Dick, Harry, and Sally. There’s nothing, absolutely nothing, secret about any of it.
Also, the last round of BRAC? That was under a previous administration, back in 2005. I know, I know, we’re not supposed to blame George W. Bush anymore, but there it is. 2005. Bush. BRAC. Sorry about that.
Also, if Obama really does hate the military, he probably ought to tell the First Lady to knock off all that support she’s been drumming up for military families.
Also: the Sequester has nothing whatsoever to do with base closures. Nothing. Also, Obama didn’t invent it. Though maybe if the Sequestration did require the closure of ten percent of our bases and a reduction in military force, we’d see some action on the budget by Congress, not to mention an actual reduction in the deficit. Just a thought.
Speaking of Headlines
From comments under various news articles about Sequestration’s effect on the military:
No one has mentioned this but I bet it takes a huge hit. The VA Hospitals and care. All these soldiers coming home with PTSD will have no help unless they can fund it theirselves......
No one has mentioned it because those VA programs are specifically exempted from Sequestration.
Of course, that’s only been mentioned repeatedly by Congress, The President, Mainstream Media, the Budget Control Act, and about ten thousand other places, no wonder you missed it. Maybe if we could get them to mention it on Honey Boo Boo…
I wonder if any of the military bands are having cuts? It would seem odd if the blue angels are limiting shows, the same should be done for all military bands, and any other wasteful spending within military. Or course this should be across the board with all govt agencies. The politicians should start with their pay(cut 25%) and staff(layoff 50%). Next, layoff supreme court Justices(and their staff) for half the year. So they only get to half of the cases, most cases have been on the books for at least 5 years or longer..
Cut the band?
Now why didn’t that occur to anybody in the military?
Oh maaaan, damn it. We could have kept the stealth fighters and deployed an extra carrier to the Gulf, if only we’d gotten rid of a couple of flutes and a trombone player. Damn it, damn it, damn it.
Look, not only will Sequestration affect military bands, those units were on the chopping block long before Sequestration. All of the Armed Services have been consolidating support functions for years now, as directed by the Commander in Chief.
Also: the amount of money spent by the military on bands is miniscule. Literally an infinitesimal drop in the federal bucket. You want to make an actual difference you need to look at weapons programs, ship building, base maintenance and support, long term medical and retirement programs, and the war – you know, the things Congress and the voters won’t let anybody touch. Also all those military contracts that are specifically exempted from Sequestration. Because they provide jobs and money to the States and the defense industry. Plus, hey, cool military hardware. We’re number one! We’re number one!
Also, you know you live in the Information Age, right? You really don’t have to wonder. Google, it’s the key to the universe. And while you’re at it, look up the Constitution – I’m pretty sure you can’t just “Layoff” the Supreme Court. However, just to slap at the nits, Legislative and Judicial Branch staff will be furloughed by the Sequestration.
Even the Romans were smart enough not to go to war unless that country was worth looting. We go to war and the only thing looted is our own treasury!
Oh, hey, pillaging, now there’s an idea! Let’s invade other countries and loot them. Sure. Sacking foreign cities as a revenue stream? Brilliant. Let’s start with Canada! Come back with your shield, boys, or on it! I can see the wagon trains coming home now, loaded with maple syrup and flannel for the Treasury. Next? Iceland! They don’t even have a military.
They want to cut 85 billion from the U.S. Budget, but were going to GIVE 60 billion to the Syrian Rebels to aid their efforts. Every American should be FUMING MAD! CUT THE FOREIGN AID AND LET THEM KILL EACH OTHER OFF if that is what they want to do.
You sure that’s billion and not million?
Billion, million, same same. What’s a couple of zeros when you’re trying to make a point, right?
Right. So, let’s do it. Let’s go right ahead and cut foreign aid. Let’s start with Israel, let Iran kill ‘em if they want to. Israel doesn’t even have oil, so who cares, right? Maybe when they invent a car that runs on magic Jesus rays from the Holy Land I’ll be concerned. Speaking of which, let Iran get nukes, let the Muslim Bro-hood take over the Middle East, and, really, screw South Korea. C’mon conservatives! Who’s with me? Hello? Anybody?
I refuse to let the left somehow equate cutting a blotted bureaucracy with cutting benefits - please Rachel Maddow, tell me what the average fed employee needs o be paid $130k a year with benefits for life? Limit - not cut - their annual wage increases to 5% rather than 7% and put the difference back into benefits..
Average federal pay is $130K a year? Benefits for life?
Boy, I’ll bet this will be great news to the GS-6 who works in the office next to mine.
It’ll sure make his twenty days of unpaid furlough a whole lot easier to swallow.
There’s Always Religion
Joey Rats turned in his little red shoes.
So far, the world seems to be humming along fine without a Pope.
At least the Vatican figured out what to call him, Pope Emeritus. Boy, good thing they got that resolved. Whew, close one. Now if they could just put the same effort into turning the child molesters in their midst over to the police…
Sports and Weather
Overheard yesterday in line at the Fred Meyer Starbucks in Palmer:
Woman #1: I guess they let that Bladerunner guy out of jail. Did you hear about that?
Woman #2: He’s that football player who killed his girlfriend?
Woman #1: Right. He shot her though the bathroom door, while she was talking to the police. The cops heard the whole thing, they played the 911 call on TV. It was horrible she was screaming and begging for her life and the guy kept shooting. He shot her like a dozen times or something! Steroids, you know.
Woman #2: And they let him out?
Woman #1: Can you believe it? Just let him go.
Woman #2: Good Lord. Just goes to show you how the liberals have destroyed the American justice system!
Woman #1: Well, it’s California, what do you expect?
Woman #2: Fruits and flakes! Those people are such morons…
It was then, right then, that a searing pain went through my head.
The “Bladerunner guy” is South African Oscar Pistorius.
On 14 February, 2013 he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at his home in Pretoria, South Africa. He was subsequently arrested and charged with murder in South Africa by the Pretoria (that’s in South Africa) Police Department. He was granted bail on 19 February by Pretoria (in South Africa) Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair because he wasn’t deemed a flight risk. He surrendered his South African passport and must remain in South Africa until his trial. You might have heard about it, it happened in South Africa, it’s been the lead story on every news feed for three weeks now – eclipsing even the Sequestration.
Also, Pistorius has been charged with pre-meditated murder and will be tried (in South Africa) on those charges in June. He wasn’t “just let go.” Even in South Africa, murder is kind of a no no. California too, for that matter.
Also, Pistorius shot Steenkamp three times, not a dozen. He fired four rounds through the bathroom door, three hit Steenkamp and killed her. Granted it probably doesn’t matter to Steenkamp at this point, but still.
Also, there was no 911 call with Steenkamp “screaming” or “begging for her life.” Steenkamp wasn’t on the phone with Pretoria Police. Unless the 911 tape is from California… On a side note, I thought it pretty cool that this random white woman in line at the Palmer Alaska Starbuck’s apparently spoke enough Afrikaans to know what Steenkamp was saying on a supposed 911 call that she apparently heard herself. But I digress.
Also, Pistorius the Bladerunner is an South African Olympic sprinter. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t moonlight for the NFL.
But hey, why let any of that undermine your basic premise, right? Damn those Liberal ‘Roid Ragin’ South African Kalifornian Blade Running Football Players for destroying the American Justice System, damn them.
Science and Technology
SpaceX launched their third mission (the second commercial supply run) to the International Space Station this morning. I watched the launch in realtime High Def via the Internet – which brought back childhood memories from forty years ago watching crappy time-delayed broadcast TV of Apollo 10 launching for circumluna orbit on my parent’s tiny little black and white set.
Being seven years old at the time, and a child of the Space Age, it was pretty damned exciting.
SpaceX’s Dragon is having some thruster problems in orbit. Hopefully they’ll get it all sorted out soon and be able to finish the mission.
Meanwhile, Billionaire space enthusiast Dennis Tito, the world’s first space tourist, announced plans this week to build and launch a manned Mars flyby mission in 2018. Tito wants to send two people on a five hundred day mission around Mars and back, they won’t land. The mission is similar in concept to the aforementioned Apollo 10 mission, just a whole lot longer.
The two Mars-O-nauts are to be a married couple.
A married couple.
Cooped up in a tiny capsule for a year and half.
Five hundred days of:
You’re going the wrong way!
Fer the love O Christ, Woman, will you let me drive?
Look where the moon is now! We’re going the wrong way I’m telling you!
I know what I’m doing.
We’re going to be late.
I know a short cut through the asteroid belt.
We’ll miss Mars. Just like when we were supposed to go to my mom’s for Christmas.
If you’d gotten out of the damned bathroom before launch…
I had to put on my makeup, asshole.
Let me see the map.
No. You keep your eyes on space, I’ll read the map.
You can’t even find your car in mall parking lot!
I’m just saying.
That was one time. One time!
Will you just give me the map? You’re holding it upside down!
Pull over at that satellite, ask for directions…
Don’t be stupid.
Did. You. Just. Call. Me. “Stupid?”
Experts give the mission one chance in three of succeeding – and declared that if the mission does fail, it’ll totally be the man’s fault.
Dennis Tito apparently isn’t married.
And Finally, The Crossword Puzzle
This morning my President looked out from my computer screen and declared that the nation’s problems can’t be fixed by using the ol’ “Jedi Mind Meld.”
Jedi Mind Meld?
Jedi Mind Meld?!
Jesus pointy eared Christ, Barack, you can’t mix Star Trek and Star Wars. Are you insane?
It’s unconstitutional! It’s un-American! It’s socialism! Nazis! It’s like mixing oil and water, The NRA and Tofu, matter and anti-matter, Tupac and Biggie, Republicans and Democrats, Libertarians and … anybody else.
Dude, I love ya, but DON’T CROSS THE STREAMS!
Because that would be bad.
That could cause a sinkhole to open and kill us all.
Really. It’s totally true. You can look it up on the internet.