Random musings on whatever subject strikes my fancy, published every other day.

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American Insecurity Photo Gallery

Part I: Rock out with your Glock out



Part II: Flags.  So. Many. Flags.

Private Homes Displaying Flags? Yes, you are in the US.
Flag day on Boston Common.
Yes, we have a national holiday about our flag.
BTW those little flags are all made in China.

Part III: Personal Transportation

This is totally not compensating for anything
Neither is this.

Part IV: American Theology

Not at all worried about their own ambiguous feelings


Ceci n’est pas homoérotique

Put up a Giant Religious Symbol on Your Property? It’s OK if you’re Christian

You’d think Christians would be totally understanding about people being moved by whatever spirit moves them to erect large religious symbols on their property.  But I have learned that statements that begin with “You’d think” often end with disappointment.  No different here.

According to this NZ Herald story, Bryce Watts of Auckland is freaking out because his neighbor’s 21ft. statue of the Hindu god Shiva is visible from parts of his property.  “I don’t see why we should have it poked down our throats in such a big way,” Watts actually said without any discernible irony.  “It’s 10m from our boundary which is within the rules where you can build a building. It’s like, ‘bad luck, if you don’t like it, it’s your problem’. I find it really hard to believe in this day and age that this can happen.”

Yes, imagine that in this day and age someone could be so devoted to a baseless superstition that they would want to do something like build crosses across America,  or the 200 ft. Branson Cross, or the my-giant-phallic-symbol-is-gianter-than-yours 230 ft. Flora-Bama project.  These noble efforts are actively bilking the rubes taking tax deductible donations.  Unlike the statue in Auckland, which was financed entirely by the family that built it on their own property.  It was also done entirely within the town’s zoning regulations, as compared to the  Brandon, MS cross which demands the right to exceed the town’s 20ft. height limit on structures by 90ft.

Maybe Mr Watts should just move to Christchurch, since all sense of irony seems to have eluded him anyway.

Congressmen Know Why There Were Riots in Baltimore!

Congressman Mo Brooks (R – AL) knows that the violent protests in Baltimore following Freddie Gray’s death were not caused by the decades of abusive policing, or the economic devastation of the entire working class of a major city by taxpayer-subsidized job exports.  No sir.  He was on Birmingham talk radio to let us know that illegal immigration and politicians’ interest in more lenient drug laws are the “factors culminating in what we saw in Baltimore.”  I guess that’s why, during the protests, he was working his butt off to make sure the Pentagon got even more money than they requested toward such important defense industry priorities the F-35 fighter plane.  So what if it will cost as much as $1.45 trillion total and the military says they don’t want it and probably will never use it?  Those defense contractor lobbyists must be attended to.

Meanwhile, Bill Flores (R-TX), spoke on a podcast about the Supreme Court’s marriage equality hearing on April 29.  Flores assesses that “what is going on in Baltimore” is due to the lack of marriages “between a man and a woman.” 

Good to know our Congress is so on-the-ball about the issues affecting millions of us, and ready to wave the twin flags of “defense” spending and bigotry at those issues.

Government Provolone

Republicans blame the poor for being poor.  After creating income inequality unprecedented outside of feudal societies, the Wisconsin GOP legislature wants to institute a bunch of restrictions on what people can buy with their food assistance.

No fresh Mozz for teh poors!  That’s what you get get for not pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, and also for not being born white and in the 95th percentile of family income worldwide.


Also, no Kosher cheese for you unless you are wearing a yellow Star of David have it printed on your check that you have been certified Jewish.  I guess you’re not allowed to just, y’know, prefer Kosher cheese.

All the disgusting details.

Also, I could not resist:


via Lawyers, Guns & Money

What’s Freedom of Speech Worth?

“It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that sting.” –Apologies to Duke Ellington.

It’s a truism that if it does not protect offensive speech by offensive people, freedom of speech is trivial.

What happened when Islamophobic bigot Pam Geller organized a “Mohammed Cartoon Contest” is well known: two Muslims decided to elevate their offense to the level of bullets.  They were promptly shot dead by security personnel who doubtless anticipated such an escalation, and probably with no small amount of relish.
The organizers, the so-called American Freedom Defense Initiative is listed as a hate group by the SPLC, and is certainly no cause I want to be associated with in any way.  But their right to sponsor a gathering to express anti-Islamic sentiments in speech and in ink is absolute, and I would defend it with everything I could.   It is also worth noting that the Westboro Baptist Church basically funds itself by promoting maximally offensive occasions for their vile hate speech and then successfully suing anyone who overreacts in civil courts, winning monetary damages for the abridgment of their freedom of speech.
That the AFDI fervently hoped for a violent escalation by the objects of their hatred is not something I know for a fact, but I would not lightly dismiss it.  Of course, they themselves would have the self-discipline to react to a “Jesus Having Gay Sex With Dick Cheney Cartoon Contest” with words only, and no fists, bricks, or bullets?  I would hope so.

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