Thursday, October 25, 2012

GOP Rape Classifications

There has been a lot of talk recently by GOPers about the various types of rape and rape victims and the wisdom (from a man's point of view) of a woman's right to make choices about her own body and what she will allow in it. I wonder what will happen to the christianist GOPers if they ever discover "god" is not a male. GOPers are so incensed over this issue that they have thought of all sorts of ways to intimidate women into forgoing  the exercise of  this basic liberty issue such as invasive medical tests administered not to make sure procedures are safe but rather to prevent a woman from exercising that prerogative. I am speaking of course about 'small government' GOPers pushing rape by transvaginal ultra sound wand proposed by the likes of Bob McDonnell the current governor of Virginia and by various other GOPer candidates for high office throughout the land.
I came upon this handy dandy graphic  American women can use it  to tell if they have been actually raped when they discover that they are pregnant at the insistence of a rapist.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Death of the California Grizzly.

There used to be a critter in California called the California Grizzly Bear known by it's scientific name of Ursa Horribilis and sometimes Ursus Arctos Horribilis. It is a sub species of the California brown bear or Ursus Arctos. This magnificent critter can now be seen prominently displayed on the California state flag. Cal Government Code section 425 declares it to be the official state animal. Yes we pay our legislators to do this kind of stuff. It is after all easier than balancing the state's budget or even running around talking about traditional values and sounding extremely foolish to anyone who will listen. It has now been classified as extinct in California although members of its species still can still be found in other portions of North America.
In its heyday it was very common and was at the top of the food chain until the white man came to California in the late 18th century. European immigrants have proved very dangerous to native peoples and critters. For some 'mysterious' reason the population of Grizzlies as they were called dropped as the population of California increased. I won't speculate on the reasons therefor. They were hunted for all sorts of reasons, the least of which was for food. The meat of this critter was tough and gamy and not much desired by good white folks. The native peoples of California (who are close to extinction themselves) didn't hunt them and lived in harmony with them. Even the Spaniards captured the native peoples, christianized them and made them live adjacent to the California missions that were strung up and down the coast of California. The caucasian immigrants in search of gold and other riches didn't believe in living harmoniously with anything. We see that today in the nativist movement that has given rise to such abominations as restrictions applied to undocumented 'aliens' as though they aren't people entitled to the blessings that California has given all of us. This is evident when one considers the fact those 'illegal aliens' as they are so derisively called have lived along the pacific coast of north and central America for thousands of years and were essentially a migratory people.
Well about ten days ago some fraternal group arrived in my hometown and erected a monument. I cant really tell what the monument is to. The text on it is somewhat unclear. It could be to honor the damn bear or the guy who organized the lynch mob who chased down Orange County's last grizzly and killed it here in the Santa Ana Mountains somewhere near what is today Trabuco Canyon. It could also be to honor themselves. I doubt that we will ever know.
Ed Atkinson was a minor county official, the county game warden in the early years of the 20th century, I have no idea what his real duties as such an officer were (or even if he really existed) but he is memorialized in this monument entitled Death of the California Grizzly. According to the history recounted on the monument there was a grizzly bear wandering the Santa Ana Mountains and interfering with commercial bee hives. Now Ed in addition to holding his political office was also an apiarist or beekeeper. Ed obviously felt threatened by the alleged honey comb thief and organized what can only be described as a lynch mob to bring to justice this errant bear who after all was just trying to earn a meager living in these coastal desert mountains. I mean who can blame the bear. Why chase down a squirrel for dinner when it's easier to raid a bee hive? People do it all the time. Instead of cooking we opt for fast food at a hamburger handout. Anyhow Warden Ed summoned his mounted posse and went hunting for the grizzly. Eventually the dogs hit on its scent and gave chase and to make a long story short they cornered it and some one (or more) of the posse/lynch mob members shot the thing to death. As luck would have it the bear turned out to be an elderly female bereft of mate and cubs just trying to survive.
There is a lesson to be learned from this. I will let the reader mull over the story and apply it themselves.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Chicken Hawks of the World Arise.

I was reading today that the wife of Myth Romney went on one of the 'women's shows' this morning to explain why neither her husband nor any of her five sons ever served in the US Military. Apparently during the Viet Nam war in the late 60s and early 70s he avoided/evaded military service by going on a mission for his church and 'served' as Mrs. Romney calls it as far away from the action in Viet Nam as he possibly could get. He spent his tour of duty living in an old mansion with servants that would later become the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates and bicycling around Paris in his black slacks white shirt and black tie buttonholing all who couldn't run away fast enough with tales of  Joseph Smith, golden tablets found in up state New York and of his god who lives with his unnamed and uncounted goddess wives on Star Base Kolob located at the very center of the universe.
It's rather ironic that Myth chose a place to do missionary work that has one of the world's most vital and vibrant wine industries and where almost everyone enjoys the occasional glass of wine the great gift of the Christian god. Being that kind of missionary in that place must have been a hard sell for the young job killer to be.
I was simply flabbergasted by Mrs. Romney's observation that Paris in the 70s was 'just like Viet Nam." I honestly didn't know that Paris was carpet bombed and the great parks of Paris were doused in Agent Orange and that the Seine harbored nests of viet cong that had to be rooted out  by young scared Americans such as Myth and his fellow elders and that so many of Myth's confreres on the mission returned with missing limbs or in body bags. It is amazing what you can learn from people of upstanding life qualities such as wealthy chicken hawks and their obedient spouses if you just watch daytime television.
But if Myth is elected president he will be following in the footsteps of other great chicken hawks such as Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and of course who can forget G. W. Bush who spent his war years  protecting coastal Texas and Alabama from  aerial invasion by the viet cong and   in his spare time running  a US senatorial campaign in Alabama, at least when he wasn't busy powdering his nose.
It really is too bad that the King of Sweden doesn't award a Nobel for Unbelievable and Undeserved  Arrogance. The Romneys would be hands down winners. They could easily deposit the prize in one of their nearby Swiss bank accounts.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Cat Is More Than Just My Roommate.

My cat is more than just my roommate and friend (on occasions selected by him). He demands (and receives) a full body massage before he eats. It started out as something neo-natal. He was a cute cuddly ginger kitty about five weeks of age when he moved in. He was very small and hardly weaned and hadn't many opportunities to collect a lot of baggage so it was a relatively painless and straight forward transfer of residence. What I didn't realize at the time was that this was also a transfer of power. Anyhow I let him out of his carrier and he staggered around and got his bearings. Next I showed him where his bathroom was. He looked at it, sniffed it and pissed in it. That was pretty much it for his formal education. Because he was so young and even tiny it seemed to me, when I fed him I would stroke his back, shoulders, hips and legs. So I suppose he thinks the massage is an indispensable and unexcusable part of the dining experience and that imprinted somewhere in his kitty brain is the idea that a pre-comidal massage is just in the 'nature of things.' It has always been and so it shall be. Remember the transfer of power idea? Well he's now a little over 3 and his demands have increased. He now requires that same massage before snacks and even when he's simply thirsty and just wants a drink. He comes and gets me and informs me by whatever means are required that he needs me in the kitchen so that I may do right by him before he eats, snacks or drinks So far in our three year relationship he has come to respect me and my needs at least when I sleep because he  hasn't yet demanded that I get my sleepy self out of my nice warm comfy bed to give him a massage before he has a midnight snack.
He has a whole number of favorite things. One is a green knitted stuffed thing that sort of looks like the outline of a cat. He drags that all over the place and plays with it everywhere. The other day I was preparing to go out and I laid my clothes out on the bed and when I returned from the shower to get dressed I noticed the green knitted cat-like favorite toy had been placed smack dab on top of my neatly arranged wardrobe. It was as though he was offering to let me play with it. He also is wingnut crazy for green vegetables like spinach. The other day I was preparing to make a spinach-based recipe when he bounded onto the counter and began to pull at one of the leaves. I pulled out a nice broad leaf from the bunch and gave it to him. He looked. He sniffed. He kicked it off the counter onto the floor and proceeded to treat it like was a hockey puck. He was blissfully happy for a few minutes until the leaf died of abuse. He does that every time I bring out spinach. Some other plants he absolutely detests like air plants. A friend gave me a Tilandsia and my cat would not rest until he had completely destroyed the poor thing. I even hid it from him several times but he searched it out and found it. It also eventually died of abuse. He is a very curious cat and loves to watch me cook. He doesn't kipe food he just watches me cut and chop and mix and spice. He's fascinated by prep work. I am somewhat perplexed by this because his own dietary preferences run to a common dry food made according to an 'indoor cat formula'. He has only eaten chicken twice in his life and only then with great trepidation and much sniffing.
He is less messy than I. And he isn't inclined to host loud parties Thanks to the miracles of modern veterinary medicine he also has no interest in breeding and is only mildly interested when he detects the presence of loud horny females of his species. His interest in them runs more toward removing them from his realm and lands, by force if necessary than in achieving some transient sexual conquest. He is definitely a peculiar cat. His name is Rupert L. Gato, at least that's what it says on his birth certificate and voter registration card.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

America 'Pulls Out' of Iraq!

While drinking my second cup of coffee this morning a dear friend sent me the link about the “pull-out” of US military forces in Iraq. It is a lengthy bit of double entendre but it certainly has more than a ring of truth to it. Think Germany and Korea and Japan and Turkey and various other places we have 'pulled out' of since 1945.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Big Time Politic$ Goes Country.

As at least some of my readers know I live in a small town. Our only form of locally elected government is the board of directors of the Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Parks District This agency is governed by a five-member board of directors. I know several people who have served on the board of that agency over my life in this town. Everyone of them will tell you that being on its governing board is not only a thankless job but also a pain in the ass one as well. All of the board members put in an incredible amount of work doing their job. The district is also served by many volunteers as well. It has a small budget and only one or two full time employees. It is run on a shoestring. Very few people have ever served more than a single term of office and many have only served part of one term. The district is small and only 1219 registered voters live in the district. It owns two parks and runs an after school daycare center for the children of working parents in the district. the day care center called the Children's Center is housed on the campus of the now closed Silverado School. It also provides hikes and nature walks and other interesting things here on the western slopes of the Santa Ana Mountains, including the annual Country Fair in October and other cherished community based events during the year. This year's fair was the 43rd annual event. You can see what else the district does here.
This year there are two seats up for election and five candidates for those two seats. The winners of this year's contest will join three other members who were recently appointed to their positions by the term-limited incumbent 3rd District county supervisor. One candidate is our volunteer fire department's station captain who doesn't seem to be doing any campaigning at all. He seems to be taking a “well I'm here and if you want to vote for me fine, if not fine too” kind of campaign. Very traditional in this community. The other four candidates seem to be running on two different two person slates. One slate has handmade yard signs as its campaign mainstay, also very traditional in this community. The other slate has professionally done yard signs and fancy holders for them. On Saturday I went down to the post office and found a multi-colored professionally printed slick-papered brochure urging the second slate's election. This mailer is something you would expect to see in a big city election or even a campaign for the state legislature or congress. Design, printing and mailing costs for that mailer for distribution to 1219 voters must be in the thousands of dollars perhaps even as much as ten thousand dollars. That campaign is very un-traditional. This is the first time in my memory that I have seen that level of campaigning for local office. It makes me wonder, really wonder, why anyone would spend that kind of money to have themselves elected to such a pain in the ass job. I really do smell the sweet odor of the beginnings of corruption at work.
Guess who I am going to vote for.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Fresh Crock of Shit Brought to You by the California Legislature.

      Today's mail brought me a bill and a bit of a shock. It was not an ordinary bill but it was a bill for services to be rendered in the future by the Department of Forestry to protect its lands and lands owned by the State of California from the ravages of wild fires. The Legislature in its wisdom has created a fund called the State Responsibility Fire Area Prevention Fund (SRFAP) this fund is fed by this new fee which is called the Fire Prevention Fee (FPF).
It is an annual fee in an amount not to exceed $150. This year the FPF is $115 with a credit of $35 showing on the invoice. There is no explanation of the whys and wherefores of either this credit or what these future services are going to be. It just tells me that it is being levied “on behalf of California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). It is to be collected annually by the State Board of Equalization. I have thirty days to pay this fee or I will be charged interest in the amount 0.5% per month which works out to 6% per year. The authority to levy this fee is contained in the California Public Resources Code (PRC). Under the PRC sections that authorize and discuss this fee and the purposes for which it may be expended I discovered that this fee isn't levied on every owner of land within the “state responsibility areas” such as The Irvine Company or any commercial development but only on the owners of 'structures which the Code defines as 'suitable for habitation.' In other other words homes. Commercial structures such as stores, restaurants and the like are exempted from this fee as are the activities of large corporate landowners.
      The uses to which this money are put is most interesting. First of all I find out that this isn't a fee for fire suppression or fighting wild fires. It is for educational purposes such as for education about defensive perimeters around our homes, spark arresters on our chimneys, brush clearance and the like. It is to protect areas that are open space such as the lands of The Irvine Company. It excludes lands that do not have habitable dwellings on them, such as restaurants, wineries, wedding chapels, gun ranges, horse stables and the like. It ignores real causes of fires such as illegal campfires in the National Forest, wayward cigarette butts disposed of carelessly by people addicted to tobacco, sparks from recreational vehicles taken up into the national forests in California and the like. Not one dime of the funds collected is going to be used for fire suppression or for fire fighting, not one dime! Fire Prevention programs in my community are undertaken and funded by the Orange County Fire Authority and by our own citizens who belong to our beloved volunteer fire departments. These currently non-existent programs to be undertaken by Cal Fire would be a duplication of those efforts that have been ongoing for the forty years I have lived here. The idea is that our homes will benefit from this duplication and the underlying assumption is that our homes cause these fires even though in my particular community there has never been a fire in the SRAs that has had a genesis in buildings 'suitable for human habitation.' The last fire in this area that affected SRAs was sourced from a home (which was not inhabited but rather was under construction) in the summer of 1975 and was caused by an errant workman on the construction site. There have been however fires originating in SRAs and in the National Forest that impacted our canyon homes. Such as the fire of October 2007 that caused the evacuation of our homes for almost three weeks, not the other way around. We are not the cause of the problem and we should not be made to pay for duplicative programs to protect our homes from fires originating elsewhere.
      This is simply another idea whose time will never come designed to take matters out of the annual state budget so that the Legislature doesn't have to bite the bullet and raise taxes to cover its favored  line items in the budget. It is part of the mantra in the politics of our times that if you call it a fee it isn't a tax. That, dear readers, is simply horse feathers.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Discussions Missing from the Domestic Policy Segment of the Presidential Debate.

One of my major complaints about the now over and done with first presidential debate has to do with the artificial demarcation of issues presented to the candidates by the moderator Jim Lehrer. As we all know now this debate was limited to domestic policy. Which was fine had it embraced the entire universe of domestic policy. But it did not and noticeably absent was any discussion of liberty issues. There are several liberty issues that could have been discussed and debated (and which each of the candidates has discussed in their respective campaigns for office) but which Lehrer exhibited no interest in dealing with in the debate. Among those liberty issues not dealt were a woman's right to choose and to control her own body, the efficacy of medical marijuana, the War on Drugs itself, DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act), the repeal of the noxious DADT (Don't Ask Don't Tell) law that prevented gay and lesbian people from openly serving their country in the US military and of course the current big civil rights issue, Marriage Equality.
Myth Romney is a supporter of the semi-proposed amendment to our Constitution that would forever define marriage as between one man and one woman (at least at one time) in the belief that it is the traditional definition of that institution. Even though that is neither factually nor historically correct. He shares this view with President George W Bush. President Barack Obama does not share that view and has announced his support for Marriage Equality. That difference is the beginning of a big and very important debate. Myth in order to keep the wingnut apparent-majority in today's GOP reasonably satisfied with him as he now tries to move toward the center of the political spectrum has embraced the support of those people for this amendment.
Even a cursory examination of American Constitutional History shows that there are three types of Amendments to our Constitution. Those three types are the Structural Amendments, the Liberty Amendments, and the Anti-liberty Amendment.
Structural Amendments are those which affect the structure of the government created by our Constitution. They are the the Tenth Amendment, the Eleventh Amendment, the Twelfth Amendment, the Sixteenth Amendment, part of the Seventeenth Amendment, the Twenty-second Amendment, the Twenty-fifth Amendment, and the Twenty-seventh Amendment.
The Liberty Amendments are those which honor the promise of the Jeffersonian obligation and promise trumpeted in the Declaration of Independence to maximize the liberties and equality under the law of the people and designed to further the purpose of our Constitution expressed in the Preamble to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Those Amendments are the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, the Third Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, the Sixth Amendment, the Seventh Amendment, the Eighth Amendment, the Ninth Amendment, the Thirteenth Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, the Fifteenth Amendment, part of the Seventeenth Amendment, the Nineteenth Amendment, the Twenty-first Amendment, the Twenty-third Amendment, the Twenty-fourth Amendment, and the Twenty-sixth Amendment.
There was only one Anti-Liberty Amendment to our Constitution. It was Sixteenth Amendment enacted in 1913 to turn America into a dry nation and which began the First War on Drugs, Prohibition. America came to its senses in 1933 when the Twenty-first Amendment repealed the Sixteenth and sort of ended the First War on Drugs.
Now people of the ilk of Myth Romney want again to limit the liberties of the American people by preventing certain disfavored groups of them from entering into legally recognized free associations that form the basic building blocks of our society and that are guaranteed by the First Amendment and I believe by the Ninth Amendment and to freeze into our Constitution discrimination of a very basic kind. This is a very fundamental issue of our politics and our liberties. Why was it not discussed in the presidential debate before the estimated fifty-eight million Americans who watched that debate and wanted a thorough discussion of American values and domestic policy?

Romney to take on Obama on foreign policy.

This morning that venerable old dish rag the Los Angeles Times reports that Myth Romney is planning an attack on the Obama foreign policy in a speech he is going to give today to a captive audience at Virginia Military Institute. you can read the LA Times article here.This is the guy who journeys to the UK and beyond mostly to cheer on his hobby horse in the 2012 Olympics and promptly steps on his own dick and insults the Brits over how they were running the Games. This is the guy who at the end of his infamous Shiftless Moocher 47% Speech to his fellow plutocrats observed that he didn't believe peace in the middle east between the Israelis and the Palestinians was possible and that we need to just sit back in our poolside lounge chairs sipping our decaffeinated diet cokes  and wait and see what happens and then added that he had been talking to an unnamed former Secretary of State who informed him of his errors in thinking on that subject and then noted that he 'didn't want to delve into that' issue. He's complaining that the reputation of the US has declined under President Obama and that despite the fact that Obama killed Osama that the power and influence of Al Qaeda is growing and the native peoples of the middle east don't like us very much. This is a man who has now decided he is sort of proud of Romneycare but wants to 'repeal and replace' the national  model Obamacare with an undisclosed something or other.
Myth apparently has no intellectual curiosity about anything except perhaps making megabucks. I wonder if he has ever even considered why it is that the people of the Middle East and beyond don't like us very much.  Could it be the two wars on them  we have waged over the last almost 12 years--the longest wars in our history? Could it be because our multi-national corporations are ravaging and pillaging the resources of that part of the world (in addition to our own) in the  name of unrestrained capitalistic greed? Does he think that he can do any better?  How does he expect to do that? Hire Dick Cheney and the other neocons like Donald Rumsfeld for more 'shock and awe" so his SecDef can bleat to the world that US is not in the business of  'counting dead [Iranians]' as Rumsfeld said about dead Iraqis or whomever else he decides to bomb into nothingness? So that he can preside over a foreign policy that maximizes greed and profit and reduce the world and its people to something more like present-day Mars?  Myth Romney is nonsensical and he is a savant who only knows how to make obscene amounts of money on the backs of people just getting by.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Another Fictional Holday

Tomorrow is another holiday. The observance of Columbus Day. I doubt there will be school tomorrow because of this holiday observing the 'discovery of America' by a guy the Anglos renamed. It is quite well understood that the first Europeans to find landfall in or around North America were northern Europeans and the first Homo saps to wander onto North America were from Asia millenia before any Europeans possibly while early Homo Saps were interbreeding with Homo Neanderthalis and living in caves in western Europe. The poor excuse for an admiral was lost and thought he had found India. So began Europe's colonization of what became known as the New World. Rah rah.