Friday, August 31, 2012

At Some Point It May Happen

That moment when you are confronted with the ne plus ultra of your fears. We all have an antidiluvean anxiety of the worst possible thing happening. Whatever the worst is…whoever the worst is…god forbid it should happen. Is it a monster of some sort? Is it having to deal with the ultimate in perversions? The worst possible nightmare of depravity…the Dorian Grey portrait in the closet come to terrible and fearsome life.

And whether we actually come face to face with this horror or not, the fear that we may have to do so, the anticipatory dread that we may have to have real and actual intercourse of any kind with our ultimate fear is enough to plunge the most hearty and psychically strongest among us into a terrible existential anxiety.

I have such a fear.

In the dead of night, sometimes I am startled awake to the horrible terror that someday I may have to confront my fear of fear. Someday I may be in the throes of ministrations from a do-gooder.

I barely can say the words…but I will tell you, the thought that I may have to be attended to by a smiling helpful asshole (the actual talking asshole depicted in Cronenberg’s movie “Naked Lunch” comes to mind)…who is in the ultimate glee of his pride fills me with holy dread and angst. A mother-fucker or child molester is surely someone to be loathed, but a do-gooder who cannot wait to minister to the destitute and needy in order to feel he has fulfilled his duty to Christ is surely the lowest of the low.

Oh good and kind Lord, please…Deliver Me from a do-gooder

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Armstrong Duo

I am not sure who irritated me more—Lance Armstrong or his mother Linda. A bunch of us Philadelphians used to gather at Monika Koval’s house in Roxborough every June for a bike race party. We could watch the bikers on TV and then, just as they approached Ridge Avenue. we would run out to the bend in the road and cheer them on.

In 1993 when Lance Armstrong won the CoreStates USPRO national championship in Philadelphia, Armstrong sat up on his bicycle on the last lap, took out a comb, smugly combed his hair, and then smiled his victory smile for the cameras. Lord, I hated him then. But it was his blond, hovering, over-weaning stage-mother Linda who was really annoying. And she was always there…preening, smiling, cheering, fawning…she was the most saccharine-sweet, self-promoting, cloying, over-protective mom the small screen had ever seen because in those years Dance Moms had not been invented yet.

When Lance developed testicular cancer in 1996, a tumor metastasized to his brain and lungs and things looked bad for him. But he beat it and went on to win the Tour de France every year from 1999 to 2005.

While everyone canonized Lance Armstrong after he beat cancer, I became convinced he was using the fact he had to ingest doctor-prescribed drugs to hide the fact he was doping. Yes, he did a lot of charity work but at core he was always a spoiled brat coddled by a sycophantic mom.

Today, Lance Armstrong was stripped of all his titles and perks because the biking world had become convinced he had been doping during his whole career. And in the face of his cohorts, friends and trainers attesting that Armstrong has been a liar and a doping fake his whole life, Lance Armstrong at age 41 is still a self-righteous momma’s boy who says his accusers are tainted and corrupt while he is the only one in the biking world who is pure.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Abortion Credos

Being a supporter of the Pro-Life stance on abortion means you have the same unequivocal belief in your credo that I have as a believer in Pro-Choice.

I am Pro-Choice. By definition, that means I believe all women have the right to decide for themselves if they want to carry a fetus to term.

Being Pro-Life carries the credo that conception creates a sacred life and that life must never be terminated except by God. Pro-Life by definition means zero tolerance for abortion.

These two stances on abortion DO NOT come with Cringe-factor Clauses, such as:
a) I believe my belief until my daughter needs an abortion
b) I believe my belief until a fetus looks like a baby
c) I believe my belief until the woman may die because of the pregnancy
d) I believe my belief until the woman is impregnated by rape or by a close relative

There is another Cringe-factor Abortion Clause that is trotted out in political situations: I believe my belief until I may not get elected because of my belief, at which point, I will switch to the other side, or back again.

Let’s stop all the dancing around with niceties and exceptions regarding abortion.

Let all Pro-Lifers stand up and avow that no abortion should ever happen anywhere for any reason. And let’s get a vow from all Pro-Life politicians that if elected they will never allow an abortion ever to happen anywhere if they can prevent it.

And let all Pro-Choicers stand up and avow that abortions should be legal and available for all women all the time. And let’s get all Pro-Life politicians to swear that if elected all abortions will always be legal and available everywhere if they can make it so.

Or, let all Pro-Lifers and Pro-Choicers shut the fuck up.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

GOP IQ is Soaring

The GOP’s Ignorance Quotient, that is.

On August 19th, Representative Todd Akin, the GOP Senate nominee from Missouri answered a question about abortion. He avowed that he was nearly absolute on the topic…no abortion ever for any reason, not even rape. Akin said,"It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

As ignorant as this sounds, it’s not the first time such an off-the-wall idea about a woman’s body and its secretions has been presented as fact by a Republican Congressman.

In 1988, the Repub Representative from Pennsylvania Stephen Friend said that the odds that a raped woman will become pregnant are “one in millions and millons and millions” Friend backed his assertion up with his belief that rape causes a woman “to secrete a certain secretion” and this certain secretion kills bad sperm. 

In 1995, the Republican state Representative from North Carolina Henry Aldridge reported to the House Appropriations Committee that, "The facts show that people who are raped — who are truly raped — the juices don't flow, the body functions don't work and they don't get pregnant. Medical authorities agree that this is a rarity, if ever."

In 1998, during his Senate campaign in Arkansas, Republican candidate Dr. Fay Boozman said that hormones generated by fear prevented rape victims from getting pregnant. Dr. Boozman was an ophthalmologist. He said he had picked this information up about women’s bodies while he was a resident at the University of the Arkansas Medical Center in the 1970’s. 

In 1999, a physician and former president of the “National Right to Life Committee” John C. Wilke wrote an article in “Christian Life Resources. Wilke said: “Finally, the factor in what is certainly one of the most important reasons why a rape victim rarely gets pregnant, and that's physical trauma. Every woman is aware that stress and emotional factors can alter her menstrual cycle. To get and stay pregnant a woman's body must produce a very sophisticated mix of hormones. Hormone production is controlled by a part of the brain that is easily influenced by emotions. There's no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape. This can radically upset her possibility of ovulation, fertilization, implantation and even nurturing of a pregnancy. So what further percentage reduction in pregnancy will this cause? No one knows, but this factor certainly cuts this last figure by at least 50 percent and probably more.”

On Monday, Vanessa Heggie posted a blog in UK’s “The Guardian”. Ms Heggie said a legal text written about the year 1290 included a clause based on an old-old-old wives’ tale. Miss Heggie reported that part of the text said, “If, however, the woman should have conceived at the time alleged in the appeal, it abates, for without a woman’s consent she could not conceive.”

One would have assumed that fanciful lore from the year 1290 might have been discounted and finally disproved in the United States by 2012. One would have assumed this, except in the antediluvian, troglodyte, nonsense-spewing, myth-loving, ignorant Republican Party, that is.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Why Is the CDC Pimping For Merck & Co.?

Let’s see if we can figure that out.

The Center for Disease Control just issued a scare alert that all Baby Boomers should get tested for the Hepatitis C virus.

The CDC was founded in 1943 during World War II as a branch of the United States Public Health Service to help control malaria. 

The CDC now operates under the Department of Health and Human Services umbrella. Its current focus includes chronic diseases, disabilities, injury control, workplace hazards, environmental health threats and terrorism preparation. 

On Thursday, August 16th, the CDC made an overheated, nearly hysterical announcement that all persons born between 1945 and 1965 (Baby Boomers) should get tested for being infected with the Hepatitis C virus. The CDC said that most people would not know if they were infected until liver disease develops. The CDC said the Boomer group is most at risk because they could have received blood transfusions before blood was tested for infections. The CDC said Boomers should be tested immediately and get treatment for curing the Hep-C virus as soon as possible since two new drugs have been developed that will do the job.

The actual announcement from the CDC was careful to say that Boomers might be ill (and not know it) from “Hepatitis C-related illnesses”. Although this nicety was often omitted in newscasts about the announcement.

So let’s back off and take a deep breath. A Hepatitis C-related illness is an illness of the liver. Taking a medicine to control a virus is not going to cure an illness of the liver unless the illness was caused by a virus. 

Interestingly, there has been no agreement in the medical community that a Hepatitis c virus exists. 

So why is the CDC issuing an announcement that all Boomers should be tested for having the Hepatitis C virus when there may be no such thing? And Boomers who will be found to have a Hepatitis C-related disease would not be cured by a Hepatitis C virus drug, if there were such a thing, which there may not be.

Now here’s an interesting coincidence. The head of the Center for Disease Control under George W. Bush was Julie Gerberding. When Gerberding left the CDC, she was hired by Merck & Co., a pharmaceutical firm, to head up its vaccines unit.

Merck has just developed a Hep-C virus drug now being touted by the CDC as a sure cure for the Hep-C virus.

But hey! The Hepatitis C virus may not exist.

Well, at least now we know what the CDC is up to, and why it sent out a scare alert about getting treated by a new wonder drug for a virus that may not exist. The CDC, as well as the American Medical Association and most of Washington, DC is owned by the pharmaceutical industry.

Oh...and if there isn't really anyone out in reality land who will benefit from this new wonder Hep-C virus drug? Who is going to benefit from this hoopla? How about all the hospitals and doctors who will bill Medicare for the unnecessary tests, and how about the drug companies who will provide an expensive drug for a disease that doesn't exist?

Question answered? I think so.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

New York Times Calls It Low-minded and Sleazy

Regarding Commonwealth Court of PA Judge Robert Simpson’s ruling that the Voter ID law will stand, a New York Times editorial this morning said "this is a clear and disturbing illustration of the way Republicans have manipulated legislation for their own ends, placing a veneer of civic responsibility on a low-minded and sleazy political ploy."

It is impossible to be more clear and incisive on this matter than that.

Judge Simpson acknowledged he was aware of PA Republican House Leader Michael Turzai’s remark that the Voter ID requirement would win Pennsylvania for Mitt Romney. But Simpson said there was no proof that other lawmakers thought the same way and even if it were true that Repub motives were behind the requirement, Simpson said that was not reason enough to invalidate it.

A PA judge has thumbed his nose at fair and impartial law in PA, he has admitted he has made a ruling that will likely throw the election to Romney in PA and he has said, in effect: “I’m corrupt…I have knowingly and notoriously made an unfair and biased ruling…suck it up…I’m the law.” What happens now?

I have no idea what Democrats and fair-minded Republicans are going to do about this. But of one thing I am absolutely sure.

THIS IS NOT THE END OF THIS MATTER. Pennsylvania is a Democrat state.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Election May Hinge on Ignorance

Note I said ignorance not stupidity. Ignorance is the lack of knowledge. Stupidity is the lack of brain power to think cogently.

If the majority of eligible voters vote for Romney it will be due to ignorance or willful blindness, which is the same thing.

The Romney base of wealthy and financially secure voters will of course vote for Romney in order to feather their nests. This is to be expected, and if elected, President Romney will not disappoint these voters.

But if middleclass voters who are just barely keeping their head above water, the poor, the elderly, the disabled and immigrants who are registered voters vote for Romney it is because they are ignorant. That is, they either don’t understand what the GOP plans to do, or they think what the GOP plans to do will benefit them…which it won’t.

Romney says all people who are currently receiving Social Security will not be affected by his plan to gut Social Security. That is a lie. Romney/Ryan will not honor current Social Security recipients…they can’t. In order to change Social Security they have to CHANGE SOCIAL SECURITY…all Social Security.

The middleclass will be taxed to the hilt while the wealthy and financially secure will pay next to nothing.

Romney and Ryan really believe that the poor are parasites. Without government assistance from Medicare, Social Security and other government programs, the poor will die sooner, which is fine with Romney/Ryan. And they really do believe that if the elderly are not financially secure, it is their own fault. Therefore, the USA would be better off without the elderly who are poor. So why help them if helping them will make them live longer?--this is simple, basic Romney/Ryan thinking.

Romney’s religion will pray all people into Mormon heaven who have died because they have no government safety net, whether they want to be in Mormon heaven or not…so why should they worry? And Ryan’s Roman Catholic religion will pray all Roman Catholics into heaven who die because they don’t have a government safety net, unless they are gay, atheists, pro-choice, Episcopalian or otherwise pagans. So these lucky dead people will also be better off dead than Democrat…so why should they worry?

And Romney/Ryan really do believe if low-income people have been allowed to have green cards and have become citizens, they better become financially secure quickly or it will prove the USA should not have let them immigrate in the first place. Therefore, immigrants should get rich by hook or crook or they may be deported for having not had the good sense to be born in the USA. In any case, immigrants who die from neglect or who get deported or die by getting deported are doing the USA a favor because according to Romney/Ryan the USA does not need them and does not want them. Romney/Ryan believe the USA is a country that was made by and for wealthy white men. And these wealthy white men have worked their asses off to get one of their own elected President in 2012.

If you are not a member of a wealthy white man’s family, do not jump on the Romney/Ryan band wagon. The road to the White House will be littered with Romney/Ryan true-believers who turned out to be unworthy parasites and who had to be kicked out of the righteous, right-thinking, Republican Party.

Ignorance will be a major factor in the Presidential election.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mitt Romney’s Risky VP Choice

What does it mean that Mitt Romney introduced his Vice President choice Paul Ryan as “the next President of the United States” and President Barack Obama did the same thing with Joe Biden four years ago?

I think it’s significant. Of course, both Romney and Obama will say it’s because a candidate gets used to hearing “the next President of the United States” and the phrase just naturally popped out.

I think it’s because Romney is scared shitless pretty boy Ryan will outshine him and be more presidential; and Obama was scared shitless Biden would look more presidential and be more savvy and popular.

Be that as it may. A Vice President has very little power.

But Romney may have a real concern. How likely is it that Paul Ryan is going to take a back seat and hide his light under a bushel? About as likely as Sarah Palin not being a spotlight-grabbing diva. And they both are Tea Party stars.

Already when Ryan started yapping about his deficit-cutting blueprint, Romney immediately said that Romney would have his own plan for cutting the deficit.

This is going to be interesting. The old reliable quarterback (Romney is 65) having to squelch the young dazzler (Ryan is 42) who has been called up from the minors to give some pizazz to the team. And this is just the beginning.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

My Summer of Olympics Discontent

The Olympics—summer/winter whatever—have become an encomium to obsessive behavior, money worship, and bending the rules to win at all costs.

I hate it. Not that there are not Olympic athletes who are spectacularly excellent at what they do...there are.

But having watched none of it, while reading and listening to daily reviews of all of it--and how can one escape unless one runs off to hide in a cave?--I have come to the sorry conclusion that some of the finest athletes in the 2012  Summer Olympics may have intentionally lost initial less-interesting races in order to increase the hype for later races that were more interesting.

This realization came to me when I read that badminton teams were throwing their games for what the badminton teams claimed were good and moral reasons. If that could happen in badminton, it could happen in other games and races as well. And I am convinced this corruption did happen where highly promoted athletes were involved.

I hate the fact that pre-pubescent girls train all day for years doing a 12-second routine over and over and over. I also hate that when these girls start to show signs of puberty some are given drugs that put off the maturing process.

I hate the fact that the Olympics put obsessive behavior, cheating to win, money and adulation on a pedestal along with athletic prowess.

These games, which supposedly are a testament to the greatness of amateur athletes, have become as corrupt and dishonest as games played by professional sports teams.

No…let me rephrase that. The Olympics have become as corrupt and dishonest as games played by teams in colleges.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Something Rotten in Football

Yes, of course, there may be rottenness lurking under the jerseys of every sport in America, pro and am. And the probability of that corruption is huge.

But I only get really exercised about the stuff that gets reported in the news.

Joe Paterno sold his soul and his family’s good name to ensure that money would keep flowing to Penn State’s football franchise and to keep alive the myth and lies about his own coaching prowess. To do this, he had to enable, abet and promote Jerry Sandusky’s pedophile crimes.

And yesterday in Philadelphia, when Eagle’s coach Andy Reid’s son Garrett Reid was found dead in his training camp dorm room, Andy Reid apologized to his fans for the disruption his son’s death caused in Eagles’ affairs.

This apology seemed to be met with approval not horror by the fans.

Since the report of Garrett’s death, we have been hearing about how much Andy Reid loved his sons and how much of a family man he is. And we’ve seen on TV the outpouring of grief from fans, and the spontaneous altars of grief that have sprung up. The PR message is that we will never know how much Andy Reid is grieving but that he knows what Eagles fans want and need and therefore, Reid will be back at work where he feels he should be this coming Thursday.

Here’s the thing…the point is not that we don’t know what Andy is going through inside. The point is that the front office has decided the fans want to hear about football not about grief, and therefore, on with the show.

This is alarming.

It surely doesn’t matter that I believe Andy Reid loves football and his own image more than he has ever loved his family. And it doesn’t matter whether Andy Reid’s personality has been formed by his career or his career has formed Andy Reid. What matters is that the Industry of Football once again appears to be soulless and greedy. And the fans of the Industry of Football have approved this perception wholeheartedly while giving lip service to knee-jerk sympathies and pieties.

Frankly, I don’t care if Andy Reid has been such a jerk as a father that his sons Garrett and Britt have been in trouble for years. What I would like to have seen is the Eagles’ front office giving Andy Reid three to four weeks off to grieve and get counseling whether he wanted it or not. I would like to have seen the Front Office turn coaching and training over to assistants. I don’t care if this would have cost the Eagles money. And I don’t care if it would have gone against Andy Reid’s grain.

A son of a major NFC coach lay dead in the Eagles training camp dorm room yesterday. After that event, it is not business as usual. The show should not go on. It’s time for the Football Industry and its fans to take stock. The fans have become as corrupted as the Front Offices. 

Attention must be paid.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

The Paterno Family and Its Legacy

So now the Paterno family wants to appeal the NCAA’s sanctions against the Penn State football team. Which, of course, took away Joe Paterno’s record for being the winningest college football coach, forever cast a bright light on the whole Paterno myth bullshit and thereby sullied the Paterno name forever.

I’m not sure what the family thinks it can accomplish by this appeal, but undoing the damage Joe Paterno did to himself, the school and his family would be difficult and iffy in an alternate universe and certainly is not possible in the universe Joe Paterno actually lived in.

The main problem is that Joe Paterno came to believe the boloney that Penn State’s press releases wrote about him. Joe Paterno did not coach the team for the last 14 years of his life. From the time Paterno was 72, he was a has-been who was letting his name be used, but he was not a coach in any real sense of the word.  He was asked to resign. But Penn State had created a monster. Joe Paterno had power with the money-crowd at Penn State and he said NO to retiring.

When Jerry Sandusky’s pedophilia came to be a known fact in 1998, it was Joe Paterno who persuaded Penn State officials, Spanier, Schulz and Curley to cover it up and not to take the information to the police.

These ugly facts have been proven by corroborating materials in the Freeh report. No matter how the Paterno family shouts and screams, this cover-up cannot be deleted from Joe Paterno’s life.

There are a number of alternate paths the Paternos can take.
1) Publicly state they didn’t know Joe was living a lie and vow to back whatever course Penn State takes.
2) Shut the fuck up and make an anonymous scholarship grant to Penn State with the money they will pay to lawyers.
3) Shut the fuck up and enter a witness protection program.
4) Shut the fuck up and leave town.
5) Shut the fuck up.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Ten Commandments for Churchy Folk

1) Do not tell me God Will Provide if you have a nice income and are financially secure.

2) If I say my life is shitty, do not put on a holy face and recite a list of guilt-inducing questions starting with “Do you have your health? Do you have enough to eat today?” I say those things to myself every day, so bug off.

3) If I say money is really tight and I’m having trouble paying my bills, do not tell me about the welfare and social services programs I should be availing myself of when I know you have enough-and-to-spare and I know you think folks on welfare are drones and loafers.

4) Do not tell me what Jesus would do if he were President of the United States. Churchy folk would crucify him before he got elected Dog Catcher.

5) Do not tell me what Jesus would do if he were old, female and living in Philadelphia. That thought is the first laugh I’ve had today.

6) Do not ever suggest that God gives a fuck about the rites being observed in any religious building anywhere on this planet.

7) Do not ever suggest that God gives a fuck if I cuss, or if I cuss at Him.

8) Do not tell me what God wants. Churchy folk have no idea what God wants.

9) If you have never been hungry, down to your last dollar with no prospects, evicted, demeaned and reviled for being poor, do not tell me people on welfare have no right to drink beer and play slot machines.. And if you have been there, are now solvent and feel government programs for the poor use money stolen from you, SHAME ON YOU!

10)Do not speak to me about “the deserving poor” as opposed to people you don’t think deserve government help. I particularly don’t want to hear it from churchy folk