Monthly Archives: May 2013

Bachmann On The Dole

This is a tale of two Republicans who are in the news today. The first is the La Pasionaria of the teanut set, Michelle Bachmann. As we all know, t he crazy eyed wackadoodle from the sensible state of Minnesota isn’t running for re-election. She *claims* it has nothing to do with the ethics charges swirling about her goofball campaign for President, but that she’s suddenly for term limits, which she used to be against. And now she’s self limiting her term or some such nonsense. Of course, no one should believe a word that comes out of the Bachmann bazoo. She’s not running because it would be too hard. Sound familiar?

Establishment GOPers are heaving a sigh of relief over Bachmann’s exit-for now-from center stage. That brings me to the second Republican in the news this week. It’s an unlikely one: Bob Dole former Senate Republican leader, 1976 Veep nominee, 3 time GOP candidate for President ,and the party’s 1996 nominee. In a sane world, Bob Dole would be regarded as a mainstream conservative. But in the fun house/loony bin that is the GOP in 2013, he’s a squishy, moderate RINO as far as the teawads are concerned.Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Senator Aqua Buddha and the wacko bird caucus don’t like Bob Dole and that’s fine with Bob Dole.

That’s right, sports fans, this is the same Bob Dole who served as a hatchet man for Tricky Dick and his hapless successor, Jerry Ford. The same Bob Dole who called World War II a “Democrat war,” and always referred to himself in the third person. That Bob Dole. It shows what the GOP has come to when a politician who was moderate on a few issues in his time-food stamps, the Americans with Disabilities Act-now looks halfway decent because he wasn’t barking mad.The good news is that the wingnuts will not listen to Bob Dole telling them what Bob Dole would do if Bob Dole were running the show. That’s because Bob Dole is a squish, which makes St Ronnie one as well since he signed <shudder> a librul abortion law in California before discovering the sanctity of life,

While I’m not a Chris Christie fan, I would love to see him run a scorched earth anti-wingnut campaign in 2016. The lunacy of the current Republican party is doing untold damage to our political system because today’s GOPers have no interest in getting shit done. And while I’m a liberal Democrat, I also belong to the party of get-shit-doners, and I’ve had a bellyful of filibusters, ideological purity and the inmates running the political asylum.

Things are bad when I find myself nostalgic for Bob Dole. Really bad. I won’t have to miss having Michelle Bachmann to kick around because I’m pretty sure she’ll turn up spewing nonsense on Fox News and in the wingnut-o-sphere. Charlie Pierce calls her The Girl With Faraway Eyes after the Stones song from Some Girls, so I’ll let Mick, Keith, Woody and the gang have the last word:

Album Cover Art Wednesday: Sketches of Spain

Miles Davis took a personal interest in cover art, which is why so many Davis LPs have swell images. This is one of the simplest but most satisfying covers of Miles’ long and distinguished career.

Miles-Davis2

Here’s the LP courtesy of the YouTube:

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Snappy Titles

PFT goes back to its roots this week with a zany thematic, uh, theme. These two books don’t have much in common except for their snappy titles and zesty tag lines:

Blondie Iscariot
Dead babes in the wood

Women Are Idiots, Part the Two Thousandth

Ladies, you may not know this, but you cannot have the babbies forever:

“I do look back now and realise that leaving pregnancy late can be a risky bet as diminishing fertility can stack the odds against you. In some ways I wish I’d had my babies younger. Now I would love a third child but I’ve almost certainly left it too late. My fertility door is slamming shut,” she said. “I want to alert women to start thinking about their fertility at a younger age than my generation did.”

Girls are such selfish bitches, not “thinking about their fertility.” AMIRITE?

Yet even as First Response claims there is a lack of awareness about the female biological clock, they tout a survey by YouGov finding 70 percent of British women believe having a baby in her 40s would be too old. Women were also quite clear about their motives to wait: two-fifths said they would delay having a child until they have financial stability, while over a third said the cost of childcare is a deterrent. Another third said they would wait until they found the right partner.

How dare ladies not get knocked up while they’re poor by some unsuitable asshole they don’t like very much when they’re not even sure they want kids! What, do they think they’ll have infinite youth to ruin? Just because one chick regrets waiting until her 40s to have kids doesn’t mean everyone else will have that same regret. My grandma liked her youngest child fine, and she was born when Grandma was 41. And this was in ’57.

I swear, people who want to increase the birth rate among younger women should spend more time making themselves into advertisements for young parenthood, because most of the people who are eager that everyone breed early make it look about as appealing as dental work. “Have a child before your womb grows cobwebs” is not a sexy sales pitch.

Possibly making a world in which having children wasn’t viewed as a screeching halt to everything you ever cared about would be a good thing, too.

Absent THAT, everybody mind your own fucking business and stop assuming all girls without children were just too dumb to put it on their Google calendars.

A.

‘Access to Paradise’

So the Pope said something this week:

“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics.Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

That had a lot of the usuals freaking out, which was fun to watch:

I wonder what Holy Scriptures this pope has been reading? Try as I might, I can find nothing in the Scriptures, that indicates non-believers can go to heaven. This must be another of the many changes in Scriptures that the popes have been guilty of over the history of the Catholic church.

He wasn’t saying atheists are saved, says David Perry over at the Atlantic:

He is clearly open to the idea that Christ may well redeem even those who are non-believers. More fully articulated, that would open up a new wager, in which whether or not one believed, one’s actions in the world would determine one’s access to paradise.

Actually, he was saying something even better, which is fer fuck’s sake, don’t you have some poor people to get to feeding?

Wednesday’s Gospel speaks to us about the disciples who prevented a person from outside their group from doing good. “They complain,” the Pope said in his homily, because they say, “If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.” And Jesus corrects them: “Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.” The disciples, Pope Francis explains, “were a little intolerant,” closed off by the idea of ​​possessing the truth, convinced that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.” “This was wrong . . . Jesus broadens the horizon.” Pope Francis said, “The root of this possibility of doing good – that we all have – is in creation.”

This isn’t about “access to paradise” at all, much less who has it and who doesn’t. It’s about the following:

1. The upstart church needed to tell people it had some kind of special hold on the very really really real truth, in order to attract followers and survive persecution. It needed to be able to give those mocking and threatening it the cosmic equivalent of Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, like, sure, now you beat us and chase us from town to town and call us heretics, but we alone are going to heaven. The political implications of nascent doctrine, seen through the lens of the times in which the apostles lived, in other words, became Holy Writ.

2. Keeping track of who gets saved and who doesn’t like we’re scoring a golf match is actively interfering in our working together as human beings to make the world suck less right the hell now. Why am I worried about whether you’re an atheist, a Christian, a Muslim, and not worried about whether you’re fed, clothed, housed, cared for? Why am I checking membership cards at the door? Get past your bullshit, is what I hear in what the pope said. We all need to not be such total ASSHOLES all the time, and if you get there, you get there, and the rest of it will sort itself out or it won’t. Learn to prioritize.

He obviously has, at the very least, considered the atheist’s point of view: That we are not storing up riches in heaven, so let us go forth and not suck. And the latter is the most important part.

Now, if he just eases up on women, gay people, contraception, and throws Bernard Law into the dungeon YOU JUST KNOW THE VATICAN HAS DOWN THERE SOMEWHERE, he and I might be able to hang out.

A.

Unsolicited Advice

I am not now nor have I ever been either a communist or the target demographic for Lena Dunham’s HBO show, Girls. I have, however, seen a few episodes, and find it well done and pretty well written. I also love Ms. Dunham’s ability to irritate wingnuts. It’s a gift, I tell ya.

Here’s my unsolicited advice. There’s a porn “parody” of Girls and Dunham has gone after it.There’s *always* a porn film that riffs on the title of a successful film or teevee show. I use the term “parody” loosely when it comes to titles such as On Golden Pump. I, for one, would have never heard of the porn “parody” if Dunham had ignored it. There’s no reason to, uh, pimp for something you detest. Bury it with inattention instead of taking to the Tweeter Tube.

That is all.

Weekend Question Thread

Can you keep secrets?

Given that my entire job used to be telling everybody in the whole world stuff that somebody didn’t want me to tell anyone, I really, really suck at it. I mean, I can keep a confidence but my own secrets, like a surprise party or a present? Yeah, all I do all December long is yammer at Mr. A that “betcha can’t guess what I got you for Christmas!”

A.

Slipping Into Darkness

I finally got around to seeing Star Trek: Into Darkness on Sunday. I avoided it the first week because I hate being put in the dread pre-show queue pen. I’m not crazy about long lines to begin with but being cooped up with Kliingons, Ferenghis, and Cardassians gives me the willies. The Bajorans, however, are all right…

The other reason for my reluctance is JJ Abrams’ stated dislike of the franchise he now helms. He is, obviously, entitled to his opinion but kicking the fan base makes no sense whatsoever. It’s kind of like the Beltway Borg Collective’s love for pols who bash their own supporters. I hope that Abrams doesn’t trash the Star Wars Borg Collective or he’ll be wrasslin’ with Wookies and locked in a closet with Jar Jar Bloody Binks who will annoy him to death…

On to the movie itself. I didn’t like the first act because it was confusing and more like a standard action film than anything else. Also, Abrams tends to use Star Trek lore when it suits him and disregards it the rest of the time. For example, the prime directive wouldn’t bar Kirk from saving a planet. That’s as goofy as Simon Pegg’s accent as Scotty.

More importantly, KLINGONS DO NOT WEAR HELMETS. I nearly resorted to an exclamation point but all caps will suffice. Your basic Klingon would feel like a pussy for strapping on a helmet. Plus, the only Klingon we saw wasn’t butt ugly enough. Klingons should make Joe Torre look like George Clooney. Another big problem with the scene was the Enterprise warning the super villain before landing on the planet, all that did was alert the pussy helmet wearing Klingons who were then slaughtered. Repeat after me: KLINGONS DO NOT WEAR HELMETS.

Okay, now that I’ve rubbished the first half of the movie, the second half was a pretty darn exciting space action flick. It even struck some appropriately Trekkie moments but even then its disconnection from the Star Trek universe is jarring. Hardcore buffs/fans/geeks know that the reason the Vulcans are so cold and logical, logical, logical is that they are boiling cauldrons of emotion and if they let loose they make Klingons look like choir boys.

I guess I’m feeling adamant because I’ve been rewatching The Next Generation on DVD, and doing my Worf impression to enhance the experience. It scares the cats but I like it.

Anyway, I give the movie a B for a strong second half but at the risk of being repetitive: KLINGONS DO NOT WEAR HELMETS. They do, however, listen to War:

Dear Readers, Screw You

Via Dancomes this masterpiece of corporate-speak and bullshit, this very special episode of Why We Suck: The News Industry Manifesto:

As you may have heard, we recently announced changes in the way The Plain Dealer will publish and distribute the newspaper later this summer. These changes will enable us to meet the evolving needs of our print and digital audiences while continuing to provide Northeast Ohio with the most comprehensive and up-to-date news and information 24/7.

Um, if you’re doing that already, why the need for changes? But hey, overall, sounds AWESOME. My needs are evolving. Tell me about the new stuff I’mma get!

Effective Aug. 5, The Plain Dealer will begin home delivery of its premium print experience three times a week, with larger news sections and expanded local coverage: a Wednesday edition enriched with more food and dining coverage, a Friday edition with Northeast Ohio’s most comprehensive blueprint for entertainment, and a Sunday edition filled with even more arts, travel, opinion, sports and news.

Is there a word in here that isn’t focus group-tested? And what the tits is a “premium print experience?” This makes it sound like instead of the paper you’ve been getting, somebody is going to bring you something new. Is that the case? If so, say that. If not, say something else.

Each premium edition will also include a free-standing Forum section, reflecting the thoughts and opinions on topics most important to the people in our community.

Syndicated columns, vaguely racist letters to the editor, and the occasional editorial about how local politics is all messed up. And what does “free-standing” mean? Is it a pop-up? A new magazine? If you’re starting a new magazine, why not just do that without screwing up everything that already exists?

I wonder if the paper’s assessment of consumers’ “evolving needs” showed that we were evolving a need for more boardroom-speak. That would explain this.

As an enhancement to the weekend experience, a bonus Saturday edition, including an auto section, will provide the latest high school sports coverage and a complete Ohio State football preview.

How is a Saturday paper a “bonus?” Do you not get a Saturday paper now, Plain Dealer subscribers? If so, how is this new Saturday paper a bonus? And if you don’t get a Saturday paper, and the paper is going to be cut back, why expand at the same time?

With our updated digital edition, you can read The Plain Dealer anytime, anywhere. It is an exact digital replica of the morning’s paper in the page-by-page format you enjoy, delivered daily to your desktop or mobile device. The new digital edition is faster, includes enhanced search capabilities, and allows you to quickly scan headlines and section fronts and enlarge type to read articles at your comfort level. It also now offers you breaking news from our reporters as well as real-time information at your fingertips.

Also known as THE INTERNET. Now, with the Plain Dealer, you can read the exact same paper ON YOUR COMPUTERS. You can search, and change the type size, and LOOK AT STUFF ON A SCREEN. You can look at it QUICKLY. It’s awesome!

1998 called, it says hang in there, the music gets better.

As always, single copy editions of The Plain Dealer will be available at over 2,000 locations every day.

So you’re still printing it, but not delivering it anymore. Ha ha, screw you, home subscribers!

We appreciate your loyalty and are dedicated to delivering the great coverage and service that you deserve. We look forward to presenting you with our new premium editions, access to our digital edition and news about other valuable subscriber benefits that will be coming soon.

Got questions? Too bad, suckers!

And, if you’re currently a subscriber, we’ll be contacting you individually with a personal letter detailing your subscription, benefits and pricing in the coming weeks.

Translation: We have no earthly clue how this is going to work out, but we’re so excited about our expanded premium replica expansion of more stuff but less stuff but different stuff but the same stuff that we had to tell you before we figured it all out, because that never makes anybody look bad. The EIC, answering a question from a 7-day subscriber about how he’s getting hosed financially here:

The 7-day subscriptions will be honored but converted to the new 4-day a week delivery schedule (which includes a Saturday newspaper), plus access to the new, replica electronic version of The Plain Dealer, 7 days a week. As I replied below, the exact pricing structure has not yet been finalized.

You have a newsroom full of professional bullshit detectors who, if they are good at their jobs, are mildly paranoid and always pissed off. Before you foist something like this on the public, HAVE YOUR NEWSROOM READ IT. They will poke holes in it so the customers don’t have to. Christ. And it gets worse:

cleveland.com is free and there are no plans to charge for the site’s content. The big difference between cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer’s electronic edition are lay out and presentation. The electronic edition is an exact replica of the newspaper, which some people prefer. It will also contain headlines and links to breaking news, weather and more.

“The big difference between cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer’s electronic edition are lay out and presentation.” So you’re paying for some code rearranging? Guys? I just …

I said this on Twitter when Dan put this thing in my sightline, but I fail to see what reducing the frequency of home delivery has to do with reaching audiences that like digital awesomeness. I fail to see why newspapers cannot be great newspapers and still have great web sites.Cleveland’s is less bloated and heaving than most, but it’s still … a replica of the paper. As they proudly announce. As if that’s an achievement.

I understand from a NEWSROOM perspective it’s hard to do it all, but this is written by the circ department head. Do we have a multi-tasking problem here? And if so, how does reducing home delivery solve that? Is the money being saved on home delivery (which, I’d like a number here at some point) being funneled into servers, video equipment, I don’t know, teaching people how to create for digital? And if not, I don’t see what one has to do with the other.

I have never in my life seen an industry so determined to insult its customers. Not only by peddling patent bullshit, but by telling customers it’s their “evolving needs” that have caused the bullshit in the first place.

A.

Mad Men Thread: Let the wig do the work

1-1304761

The classic Mad Men pattern reasserted itself with this week’s episode, The Better Half. After a clinker/experimental episode, this one moved quickly and was full of surprises, Don, Peggy, Betty, Pete, Roger and Joan. It was a good ‘un, so without further ado, here we go:

Torn Between Two Mentors: It was tough to be the Pegster, both at the office and at home. Don and Ted continue to circle one another like tom cats but at least they skip the spraying and butt sniffing. They both did some hissing at the Pegster over the margarine account. She tried to stay neutral, which leaves both of her mentors unsatisfied, especially-surprise, surprise-Don Fucking Draper who gives her one of his most withering looks.

Meanwhile at home, Peggy and Abe are clearly not cut out to be urban pioneers. There’s vandalism, violence, and more of Abe’s inept handyman routine. He’s no George Utley, y’all. He’s also a classic lefty radical circa 1968. It’s not fascist to give the cops a description of your assailant, dude. Peggy is horrified by the stabbing, becomes increasingly scared, and takes to wielding a spear as a self protection device. Abe was, quite literally, hoist on the Pegster’s petard when she accidentally spears him like a swordfish from Brooklyn but Abe is no prize. She feels terrible, apologizes, and he dumps her for being THE MAN. She’s well rid of Abe since he values his political purity more than their relationship. I will, however, miss seeing him melt down when Tricky Dick wins the election.

Meanwhile back at the unnamed agency, Peggy has two-count em two-private encounters with the artist formerly known as Teddy Turtleneck. Ted makes it clear that the smacker he placed on her was a mistake. Peggy is not happy, especially when she informs him of her breakup and he’s disappointed, not opportunistic. Ted continues to be the anti-Draper. Don would have pounced on Peggy like a coyote on a pork chop in the same situation. I really hope that Peggy and Ted do not go bump in the night. It’s far more interesting that way, but if they do, I hope margarine is not involved…

Duck and Recover: Pete Campbell remains whiny and petulant over his uncertain place at the unnamed agency. He meets with that dog abandoning motherfucker, Duck Phillips, who is now a head hunter but not one of Herbie Hancock’s band of that name…

Pete is no longer hot shit so Duck mentions a job in Witchita. I expected Pete to stroke out, but he survived. Pete is still sniffing around Joan but she continues to, quite wisely, keep him at arm’s length. She does indirectly help him with his crazy mother problems by letting them slip to the man Roger calls Bob Bunsen. He does have a burning desire to fluff his bosses, so it’s apt. Or is he just as nice and dull as Megan?

Speaking of Roger, he continues to screw up. His attempt to play Disneyland Grandad backfired when he took the kid to see Planet Of The Apes. His daughter was not amused, even by Roger’s impish impression of the apish Dr. Zaius. She bars him from solo grandparenting, so he turns to Joan and Kevin. Joan tells him where to put his lincoln logs and reiterates that he cannot see his bio-kid. She figures if wee Kevin has to have an unreliable father, a “war hero” beats a raffish account man any day. Poor Roger,she even prefers the company of Bob Bloody Benson to his. Context is everything.

Megan Has The Twin Sister, Sapphic Pass Blues: Megan continues to have the mopes, and who can blame her? She’s married to Don Draper who is distant and detached, and her new job isn’t going so well. Her co-star/boss comes over, hits on her and tells her she’s okay. Okay is the best that Megan’s character is ever going to be. Nice people are undramatic and boring and she’s trapped in a sweetheart loop with Don. The only way for her to win him back is to dump him as we shall see below…

Betty Is Back: She’s got her figure back and she’s enjoying the attention of some GOP fat cat, which in turn turned on Senator Wannabe Henry.Then, there was the rural grease monkey who leered while “giving her directions” to Bobby’s camp. Enter Don, moth meet flame. Don always wants what he cannot have, so he winds up in the sack with Betty. Big mistake, dude. Don is usually the predator, but in this instance, he’s the prey, and Betty will make him pay. That’s what he gets for being a walking cliche by sleeping with his ex-wife. In contrast, Ted resists clichedom by not bonking his protege.

Damn, that last paragraph was sing songy, so it’s time to end this post, but not before posting this musical tribute to Don and Roger who were clearly not made for 1968:

Friday Ferretblogging: Feeding Chicken to the Chicken

Riot gets some baby food as a treat, and expresses his appreciation by making pig-face at me:

Chickenchicken

A.

Too bad he didn’t go for the baklava

Walnuts and baklava go together like Senator Walnuts and war. Despite being tortured by the North Vietnamese, John McCain loves war and is always ready to intervene at any time, in any conflict, anywhere; especially when it makes no sense.He snuck into Syria to meet with the rebelshe wants to arm even though they may use those weapons against us some day.

The Republican war veteran met rebel leaders inside Syria
to discuss their calls for heavy weapons and a no-fly zone to help them
topple President Bashar al-Assad and bring the bitter civil war to a
conclusion.

McCain’s office confirmed to the Guardian that he had
slipped into the country in recent days but declined to comment on the
outcome of his talks with the rebel groups or whether it had hardened
his views on arming them.

McCain’s advocacy of a no fly zone is reckless and idiotic even for him. The Syrians have advanced Russian anti-aircraft defense systems, which means that a no fly zone will result in casualties and perhaps even POWs. I guess Walnuts thinks it will be good for them. It helped get him elected to the Senate, after all.

Earth to Senator Walnuts, make baklava, not war.

Memorial Day: Who I Remember

Memorial Day is all about celebrating and remembering veterans. Here’s my annual commemorative post, which is going up for the fourth but not last time:

The veteran I’d like to remember on this solemn holiday is the late Sgt. Eddie Couvillion.

Soldier Boy001

My family tree is far too tangled and gnarly to describe here but suffice it to say that Eddie was my second father. He served in Europe during World War II, not in combat but in the Army Quartermaster Corps. In short, he was a supply Sergeant, one of those guys who won the war by keeping the troops fed, clothed and shod. Eddie was what was called in those days a scrounger; not unlike Milo Minderbinder in Catch-22 or James Garner’s character in The Great Escape.

Eddie’s favorite military exploit was running a army approved bordello in France after hostilities ended. He always called it a cat house and bragged that it was the best little whorehouse in Europe. One can serve one’s country in manifold ways…

Eddie died 5 years ago and I still miss him. He was a remarkable man because he changed so much as he aged. When I met him, he was a hardcore Texas/Louisiana conservative with old South racial views and attitudes. At an age when many people close their minds, Eddie opened his and stopped thinking of black folks as a collective entity that he didn’t care for and started thinking of them as individuals. Eddie was a genuine Southern gentleman so he’d never done or said an unkind thing to anyone but confided to me that the only one he’d ever hurt by being prejudiced was himself. I was briefly speechless because we’d had more than a few rows over that very subject. Then he laughed, shook his head and said: “Aren’t you going to tell me how proud you are of me? You goddamn liberals are hard to satisfy.”

Actually, I’m easily satisfied. In 2004, Eddie had some astonishing news for me: he’d not only turned against the Iraq War but planned to vote for John Kerry because “Bush Junior is a lying weasel and a draft dodger.” That time he didn’t need to ask me if I was proud of him, it was written all over my face. It was the first and only time he ever voted for a Democrat for President.

I salute you, Sgt. Couvillion. I only wish that I could pour you a glass of bourbon on the rocks and we could raise our glasses in a Memorial Day toast.

News!

This was a major story on the Today show on Friday.MAJOR:

The rollout of former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY) New York City mayoral bid hit a snag Thursday when it was revealed that his campaign website featured a picture of the Pittsburgh skyline, The Hill reported.

Weiner’s team ultimately changed the image to a familiar shot of the NYC skyline when bloggers and reporters pointed out that the original picture included a prominent Pittsburgh bridge and the BNY Mellon Center, one of the largest buildings in the Steel City.

I mean, okay, dumb as hell, but that was billed as the big news out of the mayor’s race that day. Largest city in America, major morning show filmed in said city, and that was the story. Then we cut away for some discussion with the cast of the Jersey Shore, which I was not aware was even still on.

Let’s get on to that blogger ethics panel STAT.

A.

Sunday Night Game of Thrones Vid

No new ep this week, as it’s a holiday, but have some of Ser Barristan the Hot:

The best part of that whole scene? Joffrey’s afraid. Protected by five kingsguard and his dog, not to mention the entire small council, Joffrey’s still smart enough to realize that the biggest badass in the Seven Kingdoms is the man he just stripped of his cloak.

Once, long ago, a prince had named him Barristan the Bold. A part of that boy was in him still.

– A Dance with Dragons

A.

Sunday Night Game of Thrones Vid

No new ep this week, as it’s a holiday, but have some of Ser Barristan the Hot:

The best part of that whole scene? Joffrey’s afraid. Protected by five kingsguard and his dog, not to mention the entire small council, Joffrey’s still smart enough to realize that the biggest badass in the Seven Kingdoms is the man he just stripped of his cloak.

Once, long ago, a prince had named him Barristan the Bold. A part of that boy was in him still.

– A Dance with Dragons

A.

‘Access to Paradise’

So the Pope said something this week:

“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics.Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

That had a lot of the usuals freaking out, which was fun to watch:

I wonder what Holy Scriptures this pope has been reading? Try as I might, I can find nothing in the Scriptures, that indicates non-believers can go to heaven. This must be another of the many changes in Scriptures that the popes have been guilty of over the history of the Catholic church.

He wasn’t saying atheists are saved, says David Perry over at the Atlantic:

He is clearly open to the idea that Christ may well redeem even those who are non-believers. More fully articulated, that would open up a new wager, in which whether or not one believed, one’s actions in the world would determine one’s access to paradise.

Actually, he was saying something even better, which is fer fuck’s sake, don’t you have some poor people to get to feeding?

Wednesday’s Gospel speaks to us about the disciples who prevented a person from outside their group from doing good. “They complain,” the Pope said in his homily, because they say, “If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.” And Jesus corrects them: “Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.” The disciples, Pope Francis explains, “were a little intolerant,” closed off by the idea of ​​possessing the truth, convinced that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.” “This was wrong . . . Jesus broadens the horizon.” Pope Francis said, “The root of this possibility of doing good – that we all have – is in creation.”

This isn’t about “access to paradise” at all, much less who has it and who doesn’t. It’s about the following:

1. The upstart church needed to tell people it had some kind of special hold on the very really really real truth, in order to attract followers and survive persecution. It needed to be able to give those mocking and threatening it the cosmic equivalent of Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, like, sure, now you beat us and chase us from town to town and call us heretics, but we alone are going to heaven. The political implications of nascent doctrine, seen through the lens of the times in which the apostles lived, in other words, became Holy Writ.

2. Keeping track of who gets saved and who doesn’t like we’re scoring a golf match is actively interfering in our working together as human beings to make the world suck less right the hell now. Why am I worried about whether you’re an atheist, a Christian, a Muslim, and not worried about whether you’re fed, clothed, housed, cared for? Why am I checking membership cards at the door? Get past your bullshit, is what I hear in what the pope said. We all need to not be such total ASSHOLES all the time, and if you get there, you get there, and the rest of it will sort itself out or it won’t. Learn to prioritize.

He obviously has, at the very least, considered the atheist’s point of view: That we are not storing up riches in heaven, so let us go forth and not suck. And the latter is the most important part.

Now, if he just eases up on women, gay people, contraception, and throws Bernard Law into the dungeon YOU JUST KNOW THE VATICAN HAS DOWN THERE SOMEWHERE, he and I might be able to hang out.

A.

Sunday Morning Video: The Doors Live At The Hollywood Bowl In 1968

Ray Manzarek, Doors keyboard player and keeper of the flame died earlier this week. The best piece I read about him this week was by my countryman, Alexis Petridis, in the Guardian. Anyhoo, here are the Doors in all their live glory:

Sunday Morning Video: The Doors Live At The Hollywood Bowl In 1968

Ray Manzarek, Doors keyboard player and keeper of the flame died earlier this week. The best piece I read about him this week was by my countryman, Alexis Petridis, in the Guardian. Anyhoo, here are the Doors in all their live glory:

Flaming Bag of Dogshit Tries to Put Out Fire With Vodka

Freepinata

WASHINGTON — Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) fired back Thursday at those who have criticized him for demanding that any disaster aid package for Oklahoma tornado victims include offsets, or matching spending cuts elsewhere in the budget. The money is already available to help his constituents, Coburn argued, suggesting that lawmakers only want to pass an unpaid-for disaster aid package so they can tuck other unrelated items in it to benefit their home states.

“It’s just typical Washington B.S.,” Coburn said during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “There’s $11.6 billion sitting in a bank account waiting to help people in Oklahoma … It’s a crass political game because I was being asked these questions before we even pulled the dead people out of the rubble.”

Right. It’s the dead people’s fault you opened your cakehole and said something stupid. Doesn’t Oklahoma have enough to deal with right now? Can’t you take responsibility for your own words?

Coburn then went on in the MSNBC interview to suggest that “most of the property damage” from the tornadoes was “insured.” The senator claimed it would “be a 200, 250, maybe 300 million dollar cost to the federal government out of the FEMA fund” and accused Washington of “creating a crisis when none exists so they can advantage themselves.”

Thetornado that struck Moore, Okla., this week, killing at least 24, is estimated to have leftmore than $2 billion of damage in its path.

YEAH! We don’t need HANDOUTS because we had insurance for everything, unlike you leeches who were just hoping you’d get your roofs ripped off so that the federal government would come along and replace them!

A.