Sunday, November 28, 2010

Supermarket snickers

Check out the blue product indicator sign on the top right of this photo.

I know it's puerile of me, but I can't look at those two words together anymore without suppressing the urge to laugh.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Go ahead, touch my teabag, make my day ...

Well, dear reader, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, and if you took part in the consumer madness that is Black Friday, then I hope your feet weren't too sore by the time you got home.
Now then, previously I felt no need to opine on the whole sordid affair regarding the new TSA regulations and procedures. I knew that we would not jettison the political correctness behind such regulations, thus defeating the point of them. That's why it's possible for some swarthy-looking guy to stroll right through security while some frail 80-year-old grandmother whose only crime in life was to burn the occasional apple pie gets accosted.
I'm not against airport security. We require it. We just can't accept the fact that for it to be successful, without violating the rights of most American citizens, some tough profiling is required. The Israelis don't screw around; why should we?
Because I wasn't even in the least bit surprised, and airport security remained as ineffectual as it's nearly always been, my attitude was, no comment. I read Charles Krauthammer's hilarious column on the subject. Yet, I just shook my head and didn't feel inclined to discuss it.
But then I heard the recording this rebel known as John Tyner made on his cell phone at San Diego Airport when he confronted TSA authorities. You've probably heard it for yourselves, so you're already aware of how eye-watering it is.
Never mind that Tyner was apprehended while trying to leave the airport, a TSA officer asking him for contact details and his compliance, so that "it would be better for you." Yes, submit and do what you're told—it'll make you look like a good little boy, Tyner, which is clearly how we, the government, regard you. Because we're going to bring a case against you ... for trying to leave the airport.
It's even bad enough that the lady officer who came over to have a stern chat with Tyner talked of "submitting" to what Tyner had every right to call "sexual assault." If I ran my hand up your inner thigh to the bottom of your torso, would you have a problem with that, dear reader? Even if I wore expensive cologne and a come-to-bed smile? Could you resist this good head of hair and this straight set of teeth? Of course you could, and you would. But I'm not a TSA agent; I can't claim the right to perv out on people. (The fact that I'm not even the slightest bit tempted to is another matter—I suppose you could call that being normal.)
As Mr. Tyner wisely pointed out, sometimes a human being other than your significant other has to touch you and it really is to your benefit. I speak, of course, of doctors. When you're suffering from a malady or disease, sometimes you have to be groped. I certainly was when I had a vicious kidney stone tearing up my urethra five years ago. I'd never been hospitalized before, but I'll put it this way: I quickly learned why the hospital gown I wore was so skimpy and allowed for easy access. If I'm sick and in pain, and you're a medical specialist, then fondle me anywhere you like, if it helps you to determine what's going on inside my body and how to cure it.
But I experienced a moment of abject horror that shone a light on this not simply being a matter of government-sponsored meat-marketry when at one point, a supervisor informs Tyner, "upon buying the ticket, you gave up a lot of your rights."
Whoa. Just ... whoa. Let me make sure I've got this right. If I buy a ticket for a flight, I not only give up my First Amendment rights, but I must submit to an extreme invasion of my privacy and, should I decide not to fly, I cannot even leave the airport without being threatened with a $10,000 fine and a civil lawsuit?
What else can I say? This flagrant abuse of power largely speaks for itself. But I'll be wearing a kilt with a fishnet thong underneath that the next time I fly. The hospital gown mentality applies here. Those government-sanctioned sexual offenders are going to get quite a literal handful from me. I have a good sense of humor regarding the human body; therefore, I'm not an unduly modest person (though my sympathies lie with those who are). If they're going to be perverse about this, then so will I. If fighting dirty is the only way to make a stand, so be it.
So go ahead, officer. Slide your hand past the pleats. Make my day.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Conservatives: Don't reject us Right-leaning mavericks

Some good souls out there are confused by opinions I have offered in the recent past. "Dragon," they say, "you claim you're a conservative, yet you seem to take great pleasure in bashing the Tea Party and those conservatives of a less secular bent."
I can understand why they're befuddled by my position. My previous critiques of Christine O'Donnell, Sarah Palin and the "Tea Partying gung-ho gang" would seemingly put me to the left of John McCain. But I don't call myself a conservative. I'll say I'm center-Right. I'll say I have conservative leanings. I'll say I'm a conservative-minded libertarian. I don't often refer to myself as just "conservative."
Not that I consider "conservative" a slur. I just cannot claim that ground when I am more likely to be moderate on some issues that Tea Party members wouldn't. I'm a vegetarian. The only time I could ever defend hunting is when the people of a rural community are snowed in by a devastating blizzard and cannot drive the ten miles to the "local" supermarket.
I believe in a Higher Power—and I even call him God—who sets the moral compass inherent in myself in other people and keeps the flame of reason burning. I see no need to get evangelical about it or to take literally every word in a "new" tome written 2,000 years ago.
I will take the side of a conservationist over a developer 99.9 percent of the time. I believe it's neither the government's nor the public's business what I do in the privacy of my own bedroom. Or not, as the case may be: if you're a childless couple, I will congratulate you, not condemn you.
Yet, I do believe in law and order. I cannot tolerate political correctness. I believe in tradition and that the generations that preceded us incorporate things of value that we can all learn from—Baby Boomers are perhaps the exception to this rule. History should be told as it was, not revised nor rewritten. The whole reason for sending children to school is to educate, not indoctrinate, them. The government has no business having their hands in my pockets—or on my genitals. I'm happy to help pay for a safety net for citizens (note: I said citizens) who truly need it and to maintain an infrastructure, but that's all I would willingly contribute.
But if a conservative screws up in my opinion, I will call them on it. I will hold a member of the Right's feet to the fire as much as I will a member of the Left's. If I'm particularly appalled or incensed by them, I will take great pleasure in it. (Are you listening, Mick "Squirrel Eater" Huckabee?)
Recently, a caller to a conservative Boston talk show opined that we need a leader with strong private-sector experience, not simply someone who's pretty and gives the perfectly scripted, "Miss America" response to every question a.k.a. Sarah Palin. I cannot understand the slavish devotion, the Pavlov's dog-like reaction, to her among most conservatives and Tea Party members. She is but one candidate and I believe she's got serious flaws. Yesterday, on Glenn Beck's show, she said that "we've got to stand with our North Korean allies." When Paul Krugman recently hinted at death panels under ObamaCare, Sarah Palin told him, "Thanks for the admittance."
If she runs against Obama in 2012, I believe we're looking at a 51 to 49 percent win for Uncle Barry. I will, of course, hold my nose against the dead moose stink surrounding her and cast my vote in her favor, but to say I will feel several miles short of satisfaction would be an understatement.
Aren't Tea Party conservatives acting as bad as the moonbats who all idolized Barack Obama? Let's not fall into this "one-size-fits-all" mentality. You only have to look to ObamaCare to discern the benefit of that thinking.
The devotion to Sarah Palin is mind-boggling when there are more qualified and less gaffe-prone candidates out there who deserve mainstream and grass-roots support: Bobby Jindal, Charlie Crist, Tim Pawlenty, Jim DeMint, Lindsey Graham. Even Newt Gingrich, whose intelligence is not to be trifled with. Mitt Romney will struggle to win the Republican nomination, crippled by RomneyCare such as he is, but his financial knowledge is second-to-none. I would be happy with any of them.
The Tea Party needs to learn how to be less rigid in its outlook. They do not have to compromise their positions, just learn to live with folks who may differ on one or two points. Look what happened when Massachusetts senator Scott Brown acknowledged that he received broad support from a wide range of voters, not just Tea Party supporters. He did; a Republican doesn't get a 53 percent win in the Bay State without building a broad-based coalition. But The Free Republic jumped all over him, accusing him of treason.
I don't mind the label "conservative." I'm just being honest here. I go my own way when I see fit. I'm with the Tea Party on issues of taxes and illegal immigration, and I think they're down-to-earth folks. I guess, as Oscar Wilde once noted, I'm cautious of being part of any group that would have me.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

One rule for us, another for them

Democrats, if you didn't already know, dear reader, are an interesting breed of people.
Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina are both vying for the minority House whip position. Nancy Pelosi, the outgoing Speaker, is trying to smooth the way for both men to keep a position of leadership within the Party. Clyburn is apparently being offered the chairmanship of the Democratic caucus while Pelosi's intentions are to move Hoyer from majority leader to minority whip.
The only problem is, Clyburn wants the No. 2 job as minority whip—and, having been the majority whip, it's a job he's quite good at. Rep. Clyburn is also black.
It's intriguing enough that Pelosi held a "victory party" after midterm election results severely curtailed her length of time as Speaker. "I understand the American people better than they do themselves," she claimed, after the American people voted to have Republicans take back the House. But she wants to hand the African-American contestant a no. 3 position, and have Hoyer, who's white, take over as second-in-command.
Aren't these people for diversity? Aren't they for affirmative action? Why does Pelosi and a sizeable chunk of Democratic lawmakers want to push the black guy to the back of the bus? (I suppose, as Clyburn's proven to be more than competent in his position as whip, he doesn't technically qualify for affirmative action.)
This comes just a couple of weeks after Bill Clinton urged Representative Kendrick Meek to drop out of the Senate race in Florida so that minorities could rally behind Charlie Crist, another white guy, wouldn't you just know it. The Republican candidate, Marco Rubio, was considered a threat. So, the black guy must drop out so the white guy has a chance of beating the Latino, according to the Democrats' thought process.
If this sort of power struggle took place in a company boardroom, Democrats would be filing legislation to cripple that business. If a college demoted a black man in order to elect a white provost, the resutling protests, spearheaded by Democrats, would put that school in a negative light for years to come. Can't the Democrats live by the same rules they expect the rest of society to follow? Or do they deem their own prescription for a fairer society too inconvenient?
Speaker Pelosi, if you can stop celebrating your "victory" long enough to answer the following question: How come one American of African descent is told by the Party's chief gigilo to drop out of a Senate race to increase a white man's chance of winning while efforts are continuing to delegate another—who, I repeat, is good at the job he's applying for—to a third-ranked position?
Inquiring minds would love to know.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Reach for the stars, lose your nuts

Oh no, say it ain't so!
A study by the National Cancer Institute, which analyzed data from 10,000 men, found that every two inches above the average male height of 5-foot-9 increased the risk of getting testicular cancer by 13 percent.
Golly gee, and I was having such a good day before I read about this study. Life isn't fair!
Realistically, the risk is low for all men. Only one in 210 men get testicular cancer, and that represents only 1 percent of male-related cancers.
But still, I like to think it gives the sentence "short guys have balls" a more literal meaning.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Just don't call me "comrade"

What's the definition of a letdown, dear reader? The midterm election results in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Sure, I'm happy that Republicans re-took control of the House and that we have a new Speaker. The fact is, the rest of the nation had to do it for us. Because Bay-staters apparently love high taxes and bloated bureaucracy.
How else to explain that every Democrat, from auditor to treasurer to governor to representatives, got re-elected, including incumbents? Ed Markey, the man who wants to push fuel bills into the stratosphere, won by 66 percent! And Barney Frank, with his two twins Freddie and Fannie, won by 54. What about governor Deval Patrick, who, in this time of economic worry, champions a graduated income tax? A nearly 50 percent winning percentage. Wow. Doesn't get more surreal than that. I suppose to win in Massachusetts it doesn't matter what nonsense you support, you just have to be a slick campaigner.
What were voters thinking when they went to the polling station: "So this guy wants to bend me over and ram me up the behind until my sphincter ruptures? That's fine. After all, he sounds like he cares. I'm sure he'll do it gently."
Scott Brown's election to the Senate in January seems like nothing short of a miracle given these results.
Then there's the "no" vote on Question 3 ... We could have had a solid "yes" vote on Question 3 if only the mush-heads that make up the majority of the state's electorate didn't believe the scare tactics of the moonbats who said it would cripple police and fire services and that our bridges would suddenly become unsafe. Congratulations, Mr. Masshole, you just voted for more welfare funding for illegal immigrants.
The "no" camp even recycled the same claptrap slogan from the similar Question 3 in 1990 (which would have rolled tax rates back to 1988 levels): "I'm mad but I'm not crazy." No, you're mad as in insane. Or brainwashed.
I'm also disappointed that the law concerning Question 2, in which developers have been given free reign to build low-income housing wherever they and the State House bureaucrats like, passed. Because, gee, we all want low-income housing for seniors, don't we? No, this question didn't involve Section 8 housing whatsoever.
Well, at least Question 1, which will repeal the extra excise tax on alcoholic beverages, passed. Hmmm. Think there's a connection there, dear reader, or do I need to spell it out?
I think that's the only way this shockingly abysmal state election can be explained.