I love my niece to death. She just might be my favorite person in the whole world. She’s battled against the odds literally from the day she was born. The latest example occurred when she went out and became a Marine against a lot of people’s advice. By my respect and admiration for her do not make her immune from criticism for forwarding me the following email:

A Soldier tells about an incident in the grocery store
he stopped at yesterday, on his way home from the base. He said that
ahead of several people in front of him stood a woman dressed
in a burkha. He said when she got to the cashier she loudly
remarked about the US flag lapel pin the cashier wore on her smock. The
cashier reached up and touched the pin, and said proudly, "Yes, I
always wear it and I probably always will." The woman in the burkha then
asked the cashier when she was going to stop bombing her countrymen,
explaining that she was Iraqi. A gentleman standing behind the soldier
stepped forward, putting his arm around his shoulders, and nodding
towards the soldier, said in a calm and gentle voice to the Iraqi woman:
"Lady, hundreds of thousands of men and women like this young man have
fought and died so that YOU could stand here, in MY country and accuse
a check-out cashier of bombing YOUR countrymen. It is my belief
that had you been this outspoken in YOUR own country, we wouldn't need
to be there today. But, hey, if you have now learned how to speak out so
loudly and clearly, I'll gladly buy you a ticket and pay your way back to
Iraq so you can straighten out the mess in YOUR country that you are
obviously here in MY country to avoid." Everyone within hearing distance

I’m sure most of you have received a similar email at some point and probably said, “Hell yeah!” Well, let’s examine this email, which to me is a vile, racist attempt at getting you to support the troops.

1. This incident never occurred. Somebody obviously made it up. If you think this actually happened, you’re insane. Do you know any Arabs or Muslims? If you do, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, Muslims are not stupid. They know the atmosphere in this country. They are keenly aware that a large percentage of this country pretty much hates them. Some of the nicest people I have ever met have been called terrorists for no other reason than being Muslim. So pardon me if I find it hard to believe a Muslim woman in a supermarket decided to provoke a checker wearing a lapel. And pardon me for not believing there was some uber-patriot there with a stirring speech he’d been saving for such an occasion.

2. The uber-patriot says “Lady, hundreds of thousands of men and women like this young man have fought and died so that YOU could stand here, in MY country and accuse
a check-out cashier of bombing YOUR countrymen”. I have no idea what he is talking about. If he means the Iraqi War, well that has nothing to do with “protecting America” or “protecting freedom”. Just because troops go to war does not automatically mean they are protecting freedom. If we invaded Canada because we were sick of them saying “eh” all the time, undoubtedly millions in this country would refer to the troops as “protecting our freedom”. Listen, not every war is a noble war faught to protect freedom. Can you handle that concept? If, however, he meant WWII (which he must have, as he cites hundreds of thousands of deaths), well that’s a different story, as that was a noble war fought to protect our freedom. But the outcome of WWII was the Middle East being carved up and ruled colonially. WWII didn’t give the Middle East any sort of freedom. It gave them British rule. So again, I simply have no idea what uber-partiot is talking about.

3. The United States supported Saddam Hussein for decades. This is common knowledge. When he used chemical weapons in the Iran-Iraq war, WE were the ones who sold him the weapons. Iraq only became an enemy to us when Saddam invaded Kuwait. If Saddam never did that, we’d probably be friends today. And if the anonymous Muslim lady in the supermarket spoke up against Saddam, she would have likely been killed. If she was killed in 1989 we wouldn’t think it was a big deal, because Saddam was our friend. If she was killed in 1992 it would have been horrible, because Saddam was evil by that time. Nice having it both ways, isn’t it?

4. Uber patriot talks about us “needing” to be there today. Hey idiot, WE DON’T NEED TO BE THERE! THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT. Saddam had no WMD’s, and if he did, no way to get them to us. Iraq was simply not a threat by any stretch of the imagination. Ask yourself this: what did Saddam actually ever DO to us? Now, if all the troops in Iraq were instead in Afghanistan and Pakistan, maybe some progress in the war on terror could be made. That’s where we “needed” to be.

5. This dude would have never bought her a ticket. Please. Americans are stingy.

6. What is this MY country and YOUR country shit? If she’s a citizen, this IS her country, you jackass. I guess she’s just not white or Christian enough for you.

So what exactly is the point of this email? To make us feel good about talking shit to Muslims? To show them whose country this really is? The troops deserve a lot more respect than this fake patriotic xenophobic bullshit. All this kind of bullshit propaganda does is to make me resent them. And my niece just happens to be unresentable (I made that word up). So stop with the pseudo-patriotic emails. Got it?

"I Was Wrong"

So, the Terri Schiavo autopsy results are in, and they show that her brain was half as big as a normal brain, she was blind, and there was absolutely no hope for any sort of rehabilitation. So all the religious nuts, all the right wing politicians, and all the right wing cable news idiots who claimed she could be rehabilitated were wrong. Just plain wrong. There’s no disputing this. So why can’t they swallow their pride and just say “I was wrong?” Instead they are taking one of two paths, denying what they are on the record as saying or basically calling the doctors incompetent.
I’ve been wrong many times before and I’ll be wrong many times in the future. I’ll be the first to admit how humiliating it is when you are adamant and indignant about something and turn out to be wrong. But it happens. Admit you’re wrong and move on. Otherwise you just lose your credibility.
Oh wait, now it makes sense, the ones I’m talking about have no credibility to lose.

Office Munchies

Have you seen that one commercial where there's a couple on vacation, camping or something, and the guy sees a gopher pop his head up? The guy immediately thinks of a coworker popping his head up above his cubicle saying "I smell food" or something to that effect.
If you don't work in an office job, you have no idea how perfectly it nails office life.
"Hey! Cookies in the break room!"
"Hey! Someone brought donuts!"
Free food is the absolute biggest deal around at my work, as I'm sure it is in most offices.
I have already been admonished three times today by three different people for not going and getting some pie before it's all gone. My explanation that I'm just not hungry is met with looks of confusion.
I wish they would let me know what they are bringing a day in advance so I could plan this shit out.


Paris Hilton and Carl Karcher

Over all this fuss about Paris hilton’s Carl’s Jr commercial, no one has focused on the hypocrisy of the whole thing.
Carl’s Jr. has sexualized their advertising for years. “If it doesn’t get all over the place, it doesn’t belong in your face”, “eat meat”, that one girl dripping "sauce" all over herself, the list goes on and on. And now we have the Paris Hilton commercial, which raises the stakes (and apparantly many flaccid penis', too, judging by the reaction). We’re not stupid, CJ. We get it. Sex sells hamburgers.
OH BUT WAIT! Carl’s Jr. is owned by Carl Karcher, a proudly Republican “family values” kinda guy who is notoriously anti-abortion and anti-gay. How exactly does he balance family values and the Paris Hilton commercial? Apparently money and publicity trumps values regardless of political affiliation. Can you say "hypocrite"? That's hot.

The Government Loves Fiction

Jessica Lynch. As she lay wounded, fought off attackers, first using a gun, then using a knife, until, outnumbered, she was captured. After captured she was mistreated by her captors, before she was heroically rescued by fellow soldiers.

That story turned out to be total bullshit. There was no heroic struggle and there was no heroic rescue.

Pat Tillman. Killed on a mountain ridge in Afghanistan by the Taliban while bravely protecting others in his unit.

Also bullshit. He was killed by friendly fire.

The most disturbing thing about these incidents is that the Pentagon knew the truth behind these stories, but chose to lie and put forward these myths. It is an insult to Lynch, who disavowed the heroic story as soon as she was able to, and to Tillman, whose parents have lashed out against the Army for using their son for propaganda.

Lynch, the diminutive woman with the courage of 10 men, and Tillman, a pro football player who turned down millions in order to serve his country, are undoutedly heroes worthy of our praise, regardless of all the mythmaking surrounding them. It’s too bad the government felt the need to use them for their own promotional purposes.

Our government are bold-faced liars with no shame. Read those two stories and try to argue otherwise. I’d love to hear your justification.

Tom Delay is a real big poophead

If you are not a political junkie, you are probably unaware of the some of the absolutely horrific things Congressmen do. They are able to do them because, for the most part, you are not paying attention. They assume that not paying attention means not caring. I pray to God that is not true. ThatÂ’s part of the reason I do this blog; to try to expose some of my friends and family to some of the more extreme examples of this crap (the other reasons are to vent so my head doesnÂ’t explode, and just to hear myself talk/type, since I have been accused of talking/typing just to hear/read myself talk/typing). There are a ton of blogs for political junkies, dailkos, americablog, talkingpointsmemo, etc, but most people donÂ’t have time, patience, or interest, to delve into political issues. And I totally understand. IÂ’d love to change the world, but I can barely manage my own life, so I do what I can do. Which is this, pretty much. Okay Jerry, why are you rambling on and on?
Because of what Tom Delay has done in regards to Saipan. He calls himself moral, yet supports sweatshops on U.S. territories which pressure workers into abortions and forces others into prostitution.
All I ask is you keep this story in mind when you see people defend Delay. They think you donÂ’t care about this sort. God help us if you donÂ’t.
You are a moron. And so am I. And so is everyone. Apparently that’s what the administration thinks. In response to charges of Koran abuse, the Pentagon, admitted an inmate had urine splashed on him and his Koran and explained it in a statement:

"(A guard) urinated near an air vent and the wind blew his urine through the vent into the block.”

First of all, do guards have access to bathrooms? Or are soldiers on a base allowed to whip it out and whiz whenever and wherever the urge strikes? It’s called bladder control. We might want to have Amnesty International look into whether or not our soldiers are being abused through limited bathroom access.
Second, does anyone actually believe this story? What an unlucky soldier. He just happens to have an uncontrollable urge to urinate when he happens to be next to the air vent of a cell block and there just happens to be some sort of semi-hurricane occurring. Yeah, that sounds likely.
No one in this administration can take responsibility for anything. Now it’s the damn wind’s fault. Wind, you rascal, you.

Rick Santorum Vs. Mother Nature

The National Weather Service is pretty much the authority when it comes to weather forecasts, current conditions, safety information, and a whole host of other weather concerns. Their website (weather.gov) gives you all the information you could possibly need. Of course it's funded by the government, but it's one of those programs that seems appropriate for taxpayer money. Surely, such an important program for providing accurate information to citizens couldn't become a political issue.

Think again.

Check this out. Rick Santorum, a senator from Pennsylvania (who has previously compared homosexuality to bestiality), has offered up a bill that would prevent the National Weather Service from posting online. What the fuck? Well it turns out, one of Santorum's political contributors is Accu-Weather, a Pennsylvania based weather forecasting company who sees the National Weather Service as its competition. Now, this should be obvious, but we are paying for the information provided for by the National Weather Service, and we have a right to access that information.

Don't let a Washington money whore get away with this. Tell a friend. Or call Santorum at 202-224-6324 and tell him to leave the weather alone. .

O'Reilly Vs. Kinsley

One of the wierder celebrity "feuds" I've witnessed has been between Fox News idiot Bill O'Reilly and LA Times editor Michael Kinsley. If you're not aware who Michael Kinsley is, he used to be the really stiff and boring liberal guy who debated Pat Buchanan on Crossfire back in the day. Anyways, it's not really a feud per se, for years now O'Reilly's been pissed at Kinsley for destroying the myth that O'Reilly had any sort of blue collar upbringing. Kinsley, as boring as he may seem, is probably one of the smartest guys in the country, and even went on O'Reilly's show and called him out. O'Reilly has had it out for Kinsley ever since.
Kinsley recently had the indecency to suggest that detainees held in Guantanamo should have legal representation. That whole American tradition where you're allowed to know why you're being held and allowed to actually defend yourself? Yeah, that kind of thing. O'Reilly basically equates this with eating babies. Which explains why he said the following on his radio show:
"[People who support giving detainees lawyers will] never get it until [terrorists] grab Michael Kinsley out of his little house and they cut his head off… And maybe when the blade sinks in, he’ll go, ‘Perhaps O’Reilly was right.’”

Unbelievable. This kind of rhetoric gets by unchallenged, yet Howard Dean calls Republicans "White Christians" and all hell breaks loose. That liberal media, I tell ya.