Monday, August 17, 2009


I'll be taking a short break from all non-essential blogging and 'net use (by which I mean, anything I'm not committed to do already, like the columns and my slot at Murderati). Be excellent to each other.

Summer Vacation on a Budget

I've had some uncomplimentary things to say about Jon and Kate Gosselin and the deal with the devil that is their reality show on TLC. But even I think that this is beyond the pale:
As if Kate Gosselin doesn't have enough to deal with in her life, with eight children and a nasty public divorce. Now she's got hecklers camped outside of her Pennsylvania home after a trip to New York City.

A few taunt-happy people held up signs in front of Gosselin's Wernersville, Pa., home on Wednesday, telling the reality mom their views on her life. "It's not Jon. It's not Kate. The only losers are the 8," the sign read.

Us Magazine reports that the home has become an increasingly popular sightseer venue, with more and more people dropping or driving by each day.

"Hey, honey, what do you want to do for vacation this year?"

"I've got an idea! Let's go camp out across the road from some C-list reality show celebrity we've never met and hold up smug, judgmental signs about stuff that's none of our goddamn business! Who's with me?! Kids!?"


I got news for you hecklers: the eight aren't the only losers.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

They Have Become That Which They Used to Mock

Latest Newspaper Column:
Remember when former Gov. Sarah Palin implored the press, for the sake of the troops, to "stop makin' things up"?

Well, the Resigning Woman apparently has already forgotten, because when it came to the health-care debate, she has gone and made up a doozy.

"The America I know and love," she claimed, "is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil."

Such a system is also a complete fabrication.

Nowhere, in any bill before Congress, or in any health-care proposal being seriously considered by anyone, is there any kind of proposal for any kind of panel that requires someone to prove their "level of productivity in society" to get medical care.

Palin also seems to have forgotten how much she hates her kids being brought into the spotlight, because she's sure not shy anymore about waving little Trig over her head like a bloody shirt to stir up people's emotions.

And stir them up she has, along with the noise machine comprising Fox News and the right-wing blogosphere. People have been showing up at town hall meetings on the health-care issue, not to debate, but to disrupt the meetings and shout down representatives and senators trying to talk about the proposal currently before Congress.

Some of them are sort of amusing, like the old dude who showed up loudly demanding that the federal government "keep its hands out of Medicare." Others, less amusing, have showed up armed. There have been at least three guns seized so far at meetings attended by President Obama, one taken from a man named William Kostric who showed up with a big pistol strapped to his hip and sign that said "It's Time to Water the Tree of Liberty."

If you're not familiar with the reference, it's a quote from Thomas Jefferson, and the "water" that Jefferson speaks of is "the blood of tyrants and patriots." But I'm sure Mr. Kostric just showed up to have an honest dialogue. I'm equally sure anyone who'd like to sit down and debate this column with me won't mind if I strap a big ol' hogleg revolver to my hip and carry a sign saying "Wingnut Tastes Just Like Chicken" to the meeting.

It's funny. I also seem to re-call a time when the worst thing you could say about a politician, or about anyone's politics in general, was that they were "angry." Howard Dean, they said, was "unelectable" because oh my stars, he was so angry!

All during the Bush years, the so-called "liberal" media tut-tutted over the "Angry Left," (with the "Left" being flexibly defined as anyone who deviated from the worship of the Dear Leader George W. Bush). Sean Hannity, in particular, is fond of piously denouncing that "angry left" and asserting that he "absorbs their hate" for you. What a guy.

I remember a lot of hand-wringing over leftist groups like Code Pink, whose members would show up at hearings and holler before they were hauled off by security. And yet red-faced, near-apoplectic screaming, when done by people who hate the current president, is just "ordinary Americans exercising their First Amendment rights."

From the "birthers" who assert, despite all evidence, that Barack Obama isn't an American citizen, to the "teabaggers" who assert that a 35.0 percent top tax rate under Bush is sound fiscal policy but a proposed bump to 39.5 percent in that rate is, literally, the greatest tyranny since Hitler, to the town hall protesters who strap guns to their hips and scream about mythical "death panels" at meetings on health-care reform, the American Right has apparently, decided to turn itself into exactly the kind of angry, strident, racial-identity-obsessed, hysterically paranoid fringe that they once accused the Left of being.

And it's OK for them to do it, they tell us, because some "leftist" did it once. But it's still not OK that a leftist did it. That's right-wing logic for you.