The Watering Hole, Saturday, April 18th, 2015: This Week In Faux News

Featured

I was going to write about Rand Paul’s “Libertarian” followers, but thankfully Wayne steered me to PoliticusUSA’s “Friday Fox Follies”, which is a bit more entertaining. Well, that’s if by “entertaining” one means ‘laughing because screaming is the only other alternative.’

Rand Paul acolytes are NOT “entertaining”, by any definition in any dictionary on this or any other planet.

On the other hand, Friday Fox Follies, put together by Headly Westerfield, is a stupefying roundup of the past week’s non-stories, conspiracy theories, idiotic commentary and other nonsense, all hacked up from the fine folks at Fox “News.” This week, the Follies ‘2016 Presidential hopefuls’ edition’ provides links to anything and everything, from Media Matters’ Fox coverage, to Hillary Clinton and “Chipotleghazi” [term courtesy of Evan McMurray of Mediaite], to Jon Stewart ranting at the media**, to Bernie Sanders schooling Bill O’Reilly, to Donald Trump-or-Monkey [thank you, David Letterman, for linking those two forever in my mind.] There are so many links, you’re sure to find more than one story to pique the interest.

**Jon Stewart Watch: I’ve noticed for the last week or so, Jon has been using the first segment of his show to ream, eviscerate, and generally rant about various topics, including his amazing tirade about Dick Cheney. I think that Jon is taking advantage of the time his show has left to really get everything off his chest, in his own inimitable style. The “real news media” should sit up and pay attention, because Jon seems to be pointing in their direction.

This is our daily Open Thread – have at it!

The Watering Hole; Friday April 17 2015; Right Wing-nutarrhea

Featured

The nuts seem to have ripened early this year. For some reason or other, the issues of religious “freedom” (i.e. the “right” to hate and discriminate freely and without penalty), immigration, President Obama, and newly-announced candidate Hillary Clinton have all combined to give rise some of the CRAZIEST theses ever conceived by the mind of . . . ummm . . . the mental . . . ummm . . . well, you know what I’m trying to say.

Anyway, the small handful cited below amounts to nothing more than a chicken scratch of what’s really out there making the rounds in just the last few hours. The selected five are not arranged in any particular order; they’re summarized by title, then a brief quote followed by a comment. Once again, I feel it appropriate to warn: Click to explore a link only at your own risk!

Steve King: Undocumented Immigrants Will ‘Destroy Our Republic’ And Western Civilization

“I think that if we don’t enforce immigration law and if we continue down the path of the president’s amnesty and the recruitment of people in foreign countries to come in here illegally and giving them a path to legality and eventually a path to citizenship, I think that destroys our republic,” he said.

There is precedence for King’s fears, of course, given the ultimate consequences that were handed to the aboriginal tribal entities of this continent who initially allowed the white-skinned European illegals to stay on tribal land.

Pat Robertson: Gay People And Hillary Clinton Are Out To Destroy Freedom

“Now this bunch of gays, what they have done is single out — for example, there will be a city and there will be five bakeshops, four out of the five will do wedding cakes for anybody that wants them, gay, lesbian, Muslim, Hindu, anybody, they’ll do cakes. One little company says, ‘No, we’re Christian, we won’t do homosexual wedding cakes.’ So they sue that one and force that one, because the idea now is not tolerance, it is conformity, they’re going to make you go along with their lifestyle whether you like it or not,” Robertson said.

Apparently ‘freedom’ is destroyed when one group of haters is not allowed to hate another group in all the ways they use to show their hate. Something like that. The most puzzling aspect in this case, however, is that the complainers are Christians whose undercurrent philosophy is rumored to be that “love thy neighbor as thyself” mantra. Conclusion: since they hate everyone who’s not a true Christian, they must also hate themselves?

Daniel Lapin: Liberals Want To Have Sex With Islamic Extremists

“There are countless studies showing that feminine-type behavior produces an excess of estrogen in men and vice versa,” Lapin said. “Essentially, the left has fallen in love with the masculinity of Islam.”

Just a guess, but from this nutcase I gather that (1) there are no limp-wristed wimps in the Tea Party, and (2) there are NO “Christians” anywhere that are liberal, or progressive, or who vote for Democrats, and that anyone who answers THAT call is clearly NOT “Christian.” Right? Maybe, but I’d like to see the data before I draw a conclusion.

Michael Savage: Hillary Clinton’s ‘Looks Alone Could Sink The Campaign’

“I don’t want to go into the weight thing, that’s not fair, because time and gravity is unfair to all of us, so let’s put that aside, let’s not talk about her looks. But her looks alone could sink the campaign. From the neck up, forget about the neck down. We’re not going to ridicule her physically, it happens to all — but the head up, I’m telling you, do you want to look at that for eight years? Do you really want to have that face staring at you for eight straight years? That frightening face?”

I mean really, wouldn’t you much rather spend the next eight years looking at and getting stared back by, say, (and forget about “the weight thing”) Chris Christie? Or maybe Mike Huckabee? How about Jeb Bush! Or maybe it’s the hair that beckons, like Rand Paul! Donald Trump! And how about those Cubanos Cruz and Rubio — so cool! Like Rick Perry now that he’s got glasses! YES! WE WANT SOMEBODY COOL! And stupid, apparently.

Anti-Immigrant Leader: Terrorists Not Attacking US Because They ‘Don’t Want To Embarrass Obama’

The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios was broadcasting from the event . . . and had the chance to interview FAIR President Dan Stein, who told her that the reason we haven’t had more terrorist attacks in the U.S. under President Obama is because his immigration policies make terrorists see him as an “ally.”

When Stein warned that Obama is trying to use immigration to “pack the polls in the long term, reengineer the electorate no matter what the cost or consequences for our society,” Rios admitted that that was “a terrible danger,” but said that she was more worried about a completely unverified Judicial Watch report about an ISIS camp near the southern border.

“I am stunned by the knowledge that ISIS has a camp seven miles off the southern border,” she said. We’re talking about national security, we’re talking about an immediate, close threat to our nation. Aren’t they listening?”

It’s the ISIS camp that’s just “seven miles off the southern border” that’s really really scary scary. I’ll betcha that’s what Tom Cotton was figuring to be the source of those ISIS terrorists coming across the Mexican border on their way to attacking Arkansas.

Well, that should be enough to scare the crap out of everyone here, but in this age of mass communication, the voice of the idiot — the nut, the wingnut, the teabagger — has become a near constant din. I wonder — seriously — if there’s ever been a moment in human history where insanity has come so close to being the voice, the vox populi, as it has this day. And whereto from here? How much more crazy can it get before the dam breaks? And what then? Time will tell, I suppose. But until then, OUCH! :shock:

OPEN THREAD

P.S. OK, can’t resist. One more pinnacle dumb: Gohmert: I’m Bringing America Together Like MLK; Immigrants And Obama Tearing It Apart

“. . . we [conservatives] are coming closer to the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. because we care more about the content of the character than we do the color of anybody’s skin.”

The Watering Hole; Thursday April 16 2015; The ‘Eyes’ Have It

Featured

Since there’s nothing of note or import going on in human’s world these days, I thought a quick peek ‘out there’ — where the activity remains ceaseless — might be worth a quick look or two. Or three. More? Some recent photographs of various species of waterbirds perhaps? Following are a few from each of two corners of the world (well, from Colorado and Florida, at least) of, respectively, 2 species of geese, a Great Blue Heron, Sandhill Crane, and soon-to-be Great Egrets. The Colorado critters live a mile or so from my back yard and seem to enjoy posing; the crane and Egrets are from Florida, and last week were introduced to my longtime friend (from Tempe Arizona) Denny Green.

It’s long been said that a picture is worth a thousand words — unless, of course, the words are those of an accomplished poet such as, say, Emily Dickinson? Amazing how poetry can sort of sum up the obvious and still toss out intriguing ideas, maybe a new thought or two? An untried way to “see” perhaps? And speaking of seeing, in each and all of the photos below, the eyes have it! The world is fascinating enough to human eyes, but I wonder how it appears when seen thru the sharp eye of a wild critter? Dickinson spent a good deal of her reclusive life “mingling” with the natural world, always trying to see the world thru eyes other than her own. Following are a handful of Dickinson verses, not intended as photo captions but more to toss out different ideas — what she called “circumference,” one short verse for each of seven “captures” of (still free!) waterbird entities.

********

The Birds rose smiling, in their nests —
The gales — indeed — were done —
Alas, how heedless were the eyes —
On whom the summer shone!

Canadian       frugal photo

Canadian                                                                                                                                frugal photo

Sleep is supposed to be
By souls of sanity
The shutting of the eye.

Snoozing Canadian  frugal photo

Snoozing Canadian                                                                                                             frugal photo

Look back on Time, with kindly eye —
He doubtless did his best —
How softly sinks that trembling sun
In Human Nature’s West —

Chinese frugal photo

Chinese                                                                                                                                   frugal photo

If I should disappoint the eyes
That hunted — hunted so — to see —
And could not bear to shut until
They “noticed” me —

Snoozing Chinese frugal photo

Snoozing Chinese                                                                                                                frugal photo

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all around —
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought —
He stirred his Velvet Head

Great Blue Heron frugal photo

Great Blue Heron                                                                                                                frugal photo

I’ve nothing else — to bring, You know —
So I keep bringing These —
Just as the Night keeps fetching Stars
To our familiar eyes —

Sandhill Crane and Chick photo by Denny Green

Sandhill Crane and Chick                                                                              photo by Denny Green

The Child’s faith is new —
Whole — like His Principle —
Wide — like the Sunrise
On fresh Eyes —

Great Egret Chicks photo by Denny Green

Great Egret Chicks                                                                                         photo by Denny Green

********

Lift it — with the Feathers
Not alone we fly —
Launch it — the aquatic
Not the only sea —
Advocate the Azure
To the lower Eyes —
He has obligation
Who has Paradise —

And finally, a parting thought:

Had we the eyes without our Head —
How well that we are Blind —
We could not look upon the Earth —
So utterly unmoved —

Shame is the shawl of Pink
In which we wrap the Soul
To keep it from infesting Eyes —
The elemental Veil
Which helpless Nature drops
When pushed upon a scene
Repugnant to her probity —
Shame is the tint divine.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, April 15, 2015: What Next?

Assume, for sake of argument, the ruling class, the super wealthy, get everything they want. And it’s a long list, and they’ve already accomplished some of these things:

The ability to pass down their wealth, tax free, in perpetuity;
A zero tax rate, with tax subsidies to their businesses;
No minimum wage;
No child labor laws;
No unions;
No workplace safety laws;
No environmental protections;
Privatize everything the government does;
Private ownership of all land;
No anti-trust laws – no regulations of any kind on businesses;
No ObamaCare, Welfare, Social Security, Unemployment Insurance or Disability Insurance; etc.

What would they want next?

Open Thread

The Watering Hole, Tuesday April 14, 2015 – Environmental News and Food Politics

Today environmental news  and food politics cross paths, in the UK anyway.

Warmer Waters Threaten Future of Traditional Fish and Chips

I can just see the proposals now for a pipeline connecting the Great Lakes with California after seeing this bit: Record low snowpacks in Southwest is bad news for water supplies

And the last bit of good news…

Mercury levels in Arctic birds found increasing over the past 130 years

Open thread, discuss.

The Watering Hole, Monday, April 13, 2015: Guess Their Home Planets

Ben Carson is afraid. That’s not unusual for a Conservative, since fear is the primary thing that motivates them to action of any kind. But in Carson’s case’s case that fear is not warranted by anything happening on this planet. Carson is among the many conservatives who believe that all manner of terrorists will cross our border with Mexico with the express purpose of killing them, and only them, on account of we on the Left being their bestest buddies in the world. Courtesy of our friends at Right Wing Watch, at the recent NRA annual circle jerk meeting

Likely GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson told the NRA’s annual meeting today that Americans need guns more than ever since the southern border has been exposed to infiltration from “radical extremist Islamic terrorists” whom President Obama doesn’t intend to fight.

“When they get here,” Carson said, “we need to be able to fight them, particularly if we have an administration that won’t fight them, we need to be able to fight them ourselves.”

He added that guns are necessary for people to “defend themselves against an overly aggressive government that wanted to exact tyranny in this country.”

But he is also among the delusional right wingers who feel Obama hasn’t done anything to fight terrorists who exploit a perverted version of Islam as a justification to kill innocent people, primarily those who are non-Muslim. Apparently these right-wingers are so caught up in their own bubble of mis-information that they didn’t notice all the complaining from the Left about Obama’s drone strike program and how it keeps killing innocent people. Obama, along with several other countries in the Mid-East, has been attacking these guys. He just isn’t committing huge numbers of ground troops to the operation like the right wing wants. And that’s because in the Conservative universe, military power is the only kind of strength anyone respects (because it’s the only kind of power they respect.) There are many planets where right-wingers like this can be found, but in Dr. Ben Carson’s case, that planet would likely be Sigma Draconis VI. This is the home planet of the woman who boarded the Enterprise and removed Spock’s brain while leaving his body alive and functioning. This was possible because of a powerful computer capable of giving someone temporary knowledge beyond their normal intellectual abilities, but whose effects are sadly temporary. The result is when the effects of the intelligence enhancements wear off, the person is left being so stupid they don’t even understand what a brain is, let alone how to successfully remove one. This is clearly what happened to Dr. Carson after he left his home planet and the effects of the machine that gave him the ability to be a brilliant pediatric neurosurgeon wore off.

Donald Trump is also afraid, but the only thing that frightens him is the thought that people may one day see just how irrelevant, meaningless, and buffoonish he really is. Trump, who understands nothing of nuclear power, foreign diplomacy, or when to keep one’s mouth shut, badmouthed the recent framework for a deal negotiated with Iran by Secretary of State Kerry and five other nations. And, naturally, since the historic framework for a deal did not involve bombing Iran’s current nuclear facilities, the right wing thinks it’s a totally bad deal. It’s not even a final deal yet, just the framework for a deal that will keep Iran from being able to enrich the kind of uranium that can be used to make a nuclear weapon. And right now, this negotiations for this framework have been the only thing stopping the Iranians from making that bomb. But Trump thinks it’s a terrible deal.

“The deal is terrible, this deal is going to lead to nuclear all over the place and everyone’s going to want to have it and it’s a disaster for Israel, I can tell you, it’s a disaster for this country.”

And we should listen to Trump because he wrote (what he claims is, and what may be, but which I don’t care if it is) the top-selling business book, “The Art of The Deal.” And as everyone in the Conservative Universe knows, Capitalism and International Diplomacy are interchangeable. If you’re good at one you must automatically be good at the other. Herbert Hoover was a Capitalist, and his economic policies led to the Great Depression. George W. Bush was an MBA from Harvard, but that didn’t mean he was the smartest person in the room when it came to foreign policy. Even his Secretary of State, who was supposed to be an expert on the Soviet Union, failed to see its impending collapse. These people know nothing about running a government, let alone how to negotiate with people from another culture. The Conservative Universe has many right wingers who don’t know what they’re taking about, but the Donald Trumps of Earth orginally came from Iota Geminorum IV. This is the home planet of the tribbles, small furry creatures whose purrs have a calming effect on humans. The pelt of one has been resting on Trump’s head for many decades.

As a country, we need to stop listening to people like this. I’m not suggesting they be silenced, just ignored. Many people say there’s no difference between the two major political parties. That is completely false. That doesn’t mean that one works for the benefit of the top 1% and the large multi-national corporations and the other doesn’t. But one party doesn’t have nearly as many crazy people holding crazy viewpoints that they think the rest of us are crazy for not heeding. And it is also not true that Liberalism and Conservatism are just two sides of the same coin. It’s more like two sides of the same circle – the inside and the outside. Conservatism is rooted in Selfishness, in looking out for oneself over the needs of strangers, in asking “What’s in this for me?” of anything new, and in preserving the status quo as much as possible. Like the inside of a circle, there’s a core set of not-always-well-defined principles intended to keep things from changing too much. Liberalism, on the other hand, is rooted in Altruism, in looking out for all of us rather than just some of us, in asking, “How does this benefit the most of us?” of anything new, and in changing things that don’t work for everybody. The two philosophies are in no way equal, so when trying to find solutions that would benefit the nation as a whole, why would anyone believe Conservatives have the best ideas? That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Conservatives don’t care about you. So stop voting for them.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Ben Carson, brain surgery, Donald Trump, Tribbles as fashion accessories, or anything else you wish to discuss. Just don’t vote for any Conservatives.