Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The pope is not that dope

This may be blasphemy -- I don't know -- but of all the people on the planet to whom I want to feed a shit sandwich, the pope tops the list. Benedict XVI, a.k.a. Cardinal Ratfucker, is a virus of common sense; a defender of Catholic priest child molesters who are worth as much as the dog crap I stepped in earlier; and quite possibly clinically insane.

How do I know this?

Well, aside from the fact that he was promoted to ruler status by the Catholic church after failing miserably to control child-hungry priests, he also thinks that pharmacists should refuse to fill prescriptions that they find morally offensive.

Say the fuck what?

That's right. Apparently, it's their religious duty, or some stupid shit: (From The Associated Press)

Pope Benedict XVI said Monday that pharmacists have a right to use conscientious objection to avoid dispensing emergency contraception or euthanasia drugs — and told them they should also inform patients of the ethical implications of using such drugs.

Benedict told a gathering of Catholic pharmacists that conscientious objection was a right that must be recognized by the pharmaceutical profession.

"Pharmacists must seek to raise people's awareness so that all human beings are protected from conception to natural death, and so that medicines truly play a therapeutic role," Benedict said.

Benedict said conscientious objector status would "enable them not to collaborate directly or indirectly in supplying products that have clearly immoral purposes such as, for example, abortion or euthanasia."

Nice. Because I bet what a woman really wants to hear when seeking emergency contraception after, for instance, being raped, is some holier-than-thou Catholics preaching the virtues of fucking conscientious objection because they don't believe some stranger's sperm should be killed en route to her embryo. Sperm is a bunch of proteins with a little bit of DNA. If we start worrying about killing sperm, I can see the day when washing your hands or using sanitizer will be considered genocide. Is this some cosmic joke I'm not quite understanding?

And since when can you stroll over to your local Walgreen's and pick up a fucking prescription for euthanasia drugs? Is that ridiculous hat he wears constricting the blood flow to his brain? Jesus, this guy is like the patron saint for stupid. All hail Saint Retard.

Look, Ratfucker, let me outline something for you: If I have a moral problem with capping motherfuckers, I won't become a cop. If I have a few ethical issues about lying, I damn well won't run for president. And if I can't seem to muster the conviction to allow people the basic freedom to practice birth control, I won't become a pharmacist. Because it is simply insane to make a career out of something you find morally corrupt (although I think there may be a position in Idaho opening soon).

Also, you look like you were born in the 1800s. That's cool. But some things have changed. People are having sex. Often. I heard it's got something to do with hormones and boobs, I don't know. But the only shield we have from tripling the population in the next nine months is if people can make conscious decisions about when to have kids.

Didn't anybody send the fucking sex memo to the pope?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Beer brewers quit drinking, start smoking crack

This story is a little old (the AP finally picked up on it, but it's been around blogs for awhile). It's also a bit esoteric, so bear with me.

Apparently, when the Boston brewers who manufacture that foul swill called Sam Adams beer learned that some copyright-infringing ruffians in Portland (of the Northwest vein) had registered the domain name "" and "", they were more than a little pissed (haha, get it?)

They even sent a letter to one of the perpetrators, KEX radio host Dave Anderson, who replied with diligence and the appropriate degree of sincerity:

"Boston Beer has used the trademarks SAM ADAMS and SAMUEL ADAMS since 1984," said the letter, which asked Anderson to surrender the Web sites.

The radio hosts have responded by broadcasting the sound of a listener pouring Sam Adams beer in the toilet.

But as it turns out, Sam Adams is, like, a real person! And he's, like, really running for mayor! Adams, a city commissioner in Portland, announced his candidacy last month. After registering the domain names, the two radio hosts vowed to hand them over to the candidate if he came on their show and discussed his platform. Also, as Portland Sam points out to the Boston Sams, he's arguably been using HIS trademark since 1963.

Hilariously, the company hadn't even bothered to investigate the nature of the Web sites before sending the letter. And when they learned of their error, they graciously offered Northwest Sam the right to use his own fucking name -- but only for a limited time:
(Boston Beer's Helen) Bornemann said she's willing to discuss Adams' use of his name on his Web sites "probably for the length of the time the election is being held."

Aw, well thanks, bitch. Go Red Sox!

(story here)

Maybe the end isn't near enough

For all you First Amendment junkies out there: There's a fascinating case coming out Pennsylvania that pits what I can only describe as the most despicable form of hate speech with the time-tested, ever-evolving right to protest, preach, decry, rave and rant in America.

It involves the Westboro Baptist Church, a vile, mouth-foaming band of degenerate religious honkies from Kansas who take some sort of sick pleasure in the further suffering of families of dead U.S. soldiers. The church -- which I would venture to guess any self-respecting Christian in this country agrees gives the whole faith a bad name -- attends the funerals of troops who died in Iraq and Afghanistan, bearing signs with such mournful platitudes as "Thank God for dead soldiers" and "Thank God for 9/11" in pretty rainbow colors.

Their general, eh, belief is both mind-boggling and laugh-out-loud hilarious: That dead soldiers symbolize God's punishment for homosexuals. If you were to dignify that argument with a response, you might ask a few vital questions for clarification, such as: 1) Why wouldn't God just punish gay people instead of soldiers (which leads to the obvious follow-up: Why doesn't God ever get to the point on these matters?)

Also: Why are Kansas baptists so bat-shit crazy?

Anyway, on to the fun part: A parent of a soldier actually sued the group, claiming they invaded his privacy and inflicted emotional distress (From the Baltimore Sun):
The father of a Marine killed in Iraq took the stand today in his invasion of privacy suit against a fundamentalist church that pickets soldiers' funerals, saying protesters carrying signs at his son's burial made him sick to his stomach.

Albert Snyder said he had hoped for a private funeral for his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder.

"They turned this funeral into a media circus and they wanted to hurt my family," Snyder testified. "They wanted their message heard and they didn't care who they stepped over. My son should have been buried with dignity, not with a bunch of clowns outside."

It's clear that defacing the funeral of a soldier, arguably somebody who gave their life for what he or she believed was a noble cause, makes you the lowest form of dog shit. Far be it from me to condone violence, but if it were my son or daughter being buried, I would break some fucking heads wide fucking open. Then I would piss on their signs. And go to jail as a martyr for decency and good old American retribution.

But I think we should take a step back and consider what kind of precedent this case sets. At the very least, what we're talking about is punishing a group for voicing their beliefs -- insane as they may be -- in a lawful manner in a public space. Sure, it probably offends just about everybody in existence outside the church, but so does a show like South Park. Again we're faced with the slippery-slope question that always tags along on these free speech questions: Where do we as Americans draw the line?

The judge in the case outlined as much to jurors:

U.S. District Richard Bennett instructed jurors at the start of testimony Tuesday that the First Amendment protection of free speech has limits, including vulgar, offensive and shocking statements. Bennett said the jurors must decide "whether the defendant's actions would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, whether they were extreme and outrageous, and whether these actions were so offensive and shocking as to not be entitled to First Amendment protection."

As much as it pains me to say this, I think the church losing this case would be a disaster for free speech. I just can't fathom any situation that would merit punishing a group for peacefully protesting, even if the message is juvenile and incredibly offensive. That said, should they be barred from delivering this message at funerals? Absolutely. Let them sit in their church and tell fairy tales to each other about God and the evil gays; hell, even let them march around town like a bunch of evangelical buffoons, a walking argument for the merits of breeding limits (starting with the South.)

But there is a point where common decency kicks in -- like when somebody is trying to honor the dead. Keeping these crazies away from funerals would not deter from their right to speak out. It simply would arrest their ability to insult people who didn't do anything to deserve, or invite, insult.

By the way, I might add this sentiment, for what it's worth: These people make me want to lose all hope in humanity. But it also makes me respect the many Christians who practice their faith in a respectable manner, a few of whom I consider close friends. I don't have a problem with Christians who are outspoken about their beliefs (in fact, I kind of rely on it for content!), but are these people actually conscious of their own message?

I just have a hard time believing that Jesus was the kind of guy who would go to a funeral with a sign that says "Semper Fi Fags." I seem to remember something about love and understanding.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Romney: "Oops"

I suppose this was inevitable, either by the sheer similarity between the names, or the fact that the Republican character assassination machine continues to crank away at reality:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — It was only a slip of the tongue, but it's hard not to notice when a presidential candidate is confused for the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

Giving a speech before the Chamber of Commerce in Greenwood, South Carolina Tuesday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney invoked Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's name when he apparently meant to say Osama bin Laden.

“Actually, just look at what Osama — Barack Obama said just yesterday," Romney said, according to the Associated Press. "Barack Obama calling on radicals, jihadists of all different types, to come together in Iraq. That is the battlefield."

Romney campaign spokesman Kevin Madden called the remarks a "brief mix up."

“Gov. Romney simply misspoke," he said. "He was referring to the recently released audiotape of Osama bin Laden and misspoke when referencing his name."

Meanwhile, Bill Burton, a spokesman for Obama, said, "Apparently, Mitt Romney can switch names just as casually as he switches positions, but what's wrongheaded is continuing a misguided war in Iraq that has left America less safe.

"It's time to end the divisiveness and fear-mongering that is at the heart of Gov. Romney's campaign," he added.

In January, CNN made the same mistake, accidentally displaying a graphic that said "Where's Obama?" during a report on bin Laden. Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy also made the same slip in a 2005 speech.

Perhaps Mr. Romney has been reading too many conservative bloggers, who routinely write "B. Hussein Obama" when referring to the well-respected Democrat and, I might point out, dedicated Christian.

Of course, this is a veiled attempt at associating Obama with Saddam Hussein and, more generally, Muslims, who are filed in the GOP play book under "fear" and "hapless Americans." Conservatives have more trouble understanding cultural relativism than Rudy Giuliani had keeping his first three wives. Here's an idea: Why don't we dedicate the nearly $1 trillion we're using for Iraq to hunting down Osama Bin Laden, bring him to justice for murdering 3,000 Americans, stop bombing Muslims countries that had nothing to do with it, and then we can have just one measley presidential election without having to hear "9/11" repeated thousands of times, or candidates comparing each other to the most elusive and despicable terrorist alive.

Wouldn't it be nice.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I'll wait my whole life to correct this one

For your enjoyment and continuing education into the zany English language ...

Consider this sentence: "Those who lie often are found out."

So, the burning question is whether the sentence is saying that people who lie often are foiled in those attempts, or whether those who lie are foiled regularly, regardless of their propensity to do so.

"Those who lie, often are found out."
"Those who lie often, are found out."

(Not a proper use of punctuation, but you get the point).

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, does that magnificent grammatical anomaly have a name? Why yes, yes it does! It's called a "squinting modifier." That's right, "squinting." Why? Who the fuck knows!

But this is a perfect example of breaking one grammatical rule to solve another. In order to make the sentence more understandable, you must split the compound verb "who lie" by saying "Those who often lie are found out."

Or, if you want the latter meaning, "Those who lie are often found out."

So next time you're at a social gathering, don't forget to bring up the squinting modifier. Chicks dig it. Also, if you've run out of things to say to her, just repeat after me: Avoid placing a comma before a coordinating conjunction unless the sentence that follows is an independent clause. If that doesn't rock her world, well I guess you'll be sleeping alone tonight.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I love the British

Life has been exciting and a bit fast-paced of late, so I've been neglecting my blogging duties. I'll get another post up soon. In the meantime, more evidence that writers are the coolest fucking people in the universe (From The Associated Press):
LONDON — Doris Lessing pulled up in a black cab where a media horde was waiting Thursday in front of her leafy north London home. Reporters opened the door and told her she had won the Nobel Prize for literature, to which she responded: “Oh Christ! ... I couldn’t care less.”

Lessing later said she thought the cameras were there to film a television program. Vegetables peeked out from blue plastic bags she carried out of the cab.

“This has been going on for 30 years,” she said, as reporters helped her with the bags.

“I’ve won all the prizes in Europe, every bloody one, so I’m delighted to win them all, the whole lot, OK?” Lessing said, making her way through the crowd. “It’s a royal flush.”

“I’m sure you’d like some uplifting remarks,” she added with a smile.

Lessing, who turns 88 this month, is the oldest winner of the literature prize. Although she is widely celebrated for “The Golden Notebook” and other works, she has received little attention in recent years and has been criticized as strident and eccentric.

Asked repeatedly if she was excited about the award, she held court from her doorstep and noted she had been in the running for the Nobel for decades.

“I can’t say I’m overwhelmed with surprise,” Lessing said. “I’m 88 years old and they can’t give the Nobel to someone who’s dead, so I think they were probably thinking they’d probably better give it to me now before I’ve popped off.”

Surrounded by members of the international media in her flower-packed garden, Lessing was dismissive of the Nobel — calling the award process graceless and saying the prize “doesn’t mean anything artistically.”

She acknowledged the $1.5 million cash award was a lot of money, but still seemed less than thrilled.

“I’m already thinking about all the people who are going to send me begging letters — I can see them lining up now,” she said. The phone in her house, audible from the street, rang continuously.

Lessing brightened when a reporter asked whether the Nobel would generate interest in her work.

“I’m very pleased if I get some new readers,” she said. “Yes, that’s very nice, I hadn’t thought of that.”

Friday, October 5, 2007

More goods news on these dreary days

Update on the unconscionable effort to revoke recently passed laws that grant equal rights to gays in Oregon: Try again, assholes. It's great news for people who strongly believe that the standards of one religion do not have a place in the law books, and for people who continue to battle the myth that this great nation can somehow be benefited by religious lawmaking:
SALEM — With few signatures to spare, gay rights opponents say it will take a miracle for their referendum effort to succeed in blocking two new gay rights laws from taking effect Jan. 1.

“We are still full of hope. But it’s going to be very close,” former state Sen. Marylin Shannon said Friday as state election officials completed a preliminary tally of signatures submitted for the two proposed referrals.

With the petition signatures now going to county clerks for checking, it appears doubtful that there are enough signatures to send the referral measures to the November 2008 ballot — a prospect that heartens gay rights backers.

“We certainly hope that Oregon won’t have to put these two laws on hold for almost a full year,” said John Hummelof Basic Rights Oregon, the state’s largest gay rights advocacy group.

The referendum campaign by the social conservative and church groups is aimed at derailing laws passed by the 2007 Legislature to legalize domestic partnerships for same-sex couples and ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.

A preliminary tally by state elections officials indicated there were 60,531 signatures for the measure to force an election vote on the domestic partnership law.

County clerks will have until Oct. 26 to verify that at least 55,179 of those signatures are valid to trigger an election. That would require a validity rate of 91 percent, which has been reached just once in recent years.

The effort to sidetrack the anti-discrimination law faces an even taller hurdle, since the state’s preliminary count showed 59,751 signatures, meaning that 92 percent of those signatures would have to be deemed valid.

As I've said before, the discrimination lobby uses God to justify its pathetic attempts at legislating an oppressive Christian morality on U.S. citizens. How can I as an American stand by as these groups corrupt our ability to grant human rights? This is not an issue of gay or straight — this is an issue of freedom in America. This is an issue of who we allow to decide our morality. You can bet that if somebody were trying to pass a bill that denied the rights of Christians, I would be the first one in line to fight it.

As such, we must continue to fight this, with a banner of open-mindedness, and we must prevail before we are reduced to a backwater bastion for illogical and demonstrably hurtful legislation.

Our very humanity — and future — depend on it.