Who IS this guy?!
Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, (original, huh?) airs on Tuesdays at 10:PM and Sundays at 3:PM, Eastern time on RainbowRadio. (And it usually starts a few minutes early, so don't be late!)
I cover politics from all over the map, much as I used to do on this blog, and have a particular focus on LGBTQIA+ issues in general, and Transgender rights in particular. The show frequently features guests, including cartoonists, authors, musicians, filmmakers, etc... either from the LGBT community, our who are producing media relevant to that audience. Other topics of interest to me include Electoral Politics, Economics, Racial Justice, Health Care, Feminism, keeping Religion out of Politics and Politics out of Science.
I'm always keen to hear from fans and critics alike, so please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, comments or suggestions for future guests or topics. You can also friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, Tumblr and if you miss an episode, you can catch my podcast either here, on the Radio Page, or by following me on Mixcloud.
Finally, the Brick-and-Happy Gun logo was done by Munky Wrench, of Bent Wrench Studios, whom I heartily recommend for ANY of your graphic-art needs, and I'd like to thank Barbara Sobel for taking a chance on me, and giving me the opportunity to take my message to such a larger audience.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
The John Clarkson Silver Star #28: Misfile
Its seems every time I get a bunch of Silvers in one month, I have at least on web-comic. Well... no sense changing now! LOL. Misfile is a very funny web-comic featuring two characters, one that's had his gender changed and one that lost (was forced to repeat) the last two years of her life (the two miserable years she spent studying her ass off to getting into Harvard no less!) due to a celestial fuck-up on the part of a certain, mostly drunken, Angel who's now laying low and trying (not very hard) to set things right. The artwork is very Manga-like, and very clean considering it's mostly pencil-work. In additional to a kick-ass art-style, the characters Chris Hazelton's created are strong, human, interesting, fallible, flawed and perfect. The relations are real and complex with ups, downs, trust and betrayal. Oh yeah, and the odd gender-bending humor? Funny as hell. And while is NOT what I would consider a trans-gendered comic, since the whole plot is magically-based, it does get into issue of acceptance, both public and self. As with all web-comics, I recommend reading this one from the beginning.
The Elmer Flick Silver Star #29: The Nostalgia Critic
If you were alive at any time during the 1980's, and either loved the decade or remember how utterly tacky and cheesy it was (or both) you'll love to hear this obnoxious foole absolutely eviscerate it. He takes the best (and worst) of popular culture from the last 1970's, 1980's and early 1990's (so, IOW: my life, or the part I remember) and has great fun goofing on it. He's obnoxious... but he elevates it to an art form. Funny as hell. But if you're under the age of 30? Maybe 25? Don't bother. You won't remember it. (Which is OK, because the Nostalgia Critic remembers it, so you don't have to!)
The Sam Rice Silver Star #30: The Perry Bible Fellowship
OK, so this months, there's two comics! This one's been on hiatus for a long time (finished?) but it's still very worth checking out. The humor is ironic, irreverent and subtly dark and twisted. The artistic style varies from cartoony to actual ART, using a variety of media. It's great stuff. Check it out.
The Eppa Rixey Aluminum Star: Newsbusters
(It's been a while since I high-lighted a low-light. LOL)
Ah, good old Newsbusters. "Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias." Well... not really. To expose something, it must first ACTUALLY EXIST. Reading Newsbusters provides one with little more than evidence that anything to the Left of Rush Limbaugh's Oxycontin-fueled wet dreams is "Liberally Biased." (Or, as Stephen Colbert put it: That REALITY has a Liberal bias!) What's more, to "Combat" it, one needs to formulate an actual ARGUMENT. Some of my readers might instinctively point out that convincing a Right-Winger that the Right is right is about as difficult as putting on a hat. But that's all they've really managed to do: Convince die-hard conservatives that Liberal's are "wrong." Which... is pretty much completely unnecessary, since most Conservative usually START OUT their argument with that assumption! So, why do they even need to exsist then? What's their raison detre? For all their "exposure" and "combat," the most they can do? Is reach level four.
Cheers, my friends!
We've watched for months (the last two years, actually) while they prioritized budget austerity in the face of crushing economic woes, knowing that this could only prolong America's misery and that most of the ignorant fools (the Right) would just blame Obama'.
Because, you know: FUCK WORKING PEOPLE.
(And DOUBLE-FUCK the unemployed!)
And in truth, some of the blame DOES lie with Obama for his refusal to take the gloves off and call out their anti-American, routing for failure bullshit for what it is. (As I have just done.) We've seen what he's capable of. We saw this at the correspondent's dinner, and we saw it on immigration reform with his "alligator filled moat" comment. We KNOW he can do it. And that makes it all that much sadder than he doesn't employ this razor wit more often.
And now they go beyond trying to keep the economy shitty. In an effort to pull down Obama, they're going to do their damnedest to turn Joplin's Tornadoes into a Katrina-like disaster. It won't work - or at least it shouldn't - mainly because the crisis following Katrina was MUCH WORSE. And any failings on the parts of Mayor Nagan-D and Governor Blanco-D only made for a greater opportunity for FEMA Direct Brown-R and President Bush-R to show some REAL LEADERSHIP.
And they failed, miserably, EPICALLY, to do this.
But do you know what I DON'T remember? I don't remember Congressional Democrats accusing Bush of overreaching his authority during Katrina, or off being irresponsible with the budget when it came to spending too much on relief efforts, or dicking around with obstructionist tactics to prevent him from acting while people's houses, businesses and lives were destroyed. But who knows?
I mean... That could have just been a failure of that good old, Liberal Media to tell the story, right?
Because they sure have failed to make sure people have the right ideas about THIS story.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
If you read the comments (and do recommend it) make sure you clink the "all" button. There's a very thoughtful discussion going on there.
Bottom line, IMHO? Starbucks didn't make nearly enough of an effort to find a reasonable accommodation, and has a pretty lousy track record in this department. And I think it's absurd that the expected reaction should be that if they lose, more companies will be leery of hiring dwarfs or anyone else they might need to accommodate. It's so absurd. There are so many ways this could have easily been worked out, but in the end sloth motivated by no more than simple discrimination won out. The ADA is one of those laws I see as an inherent good and it's signing was one of the non-war related highlights of the Bush'41 administration and it's expansion to include a broader range of people was one of the few thing Bush'43 did right.
It's equaling amazing and depressing that there remains a group of people in this country who are afraid to ask for reasonable accommodations or feel they need to hide their handicaps (when possible) to avoid discrimination. I read all the comments in that article, and it really made for a very thoughtful, spirited discussion in which both sides were represented, but really? Starbucks is 100% in the wrong here because they didn't even try to accommodate her or find something that would work. (Couldn't she have been a dedicate cashier? Or transferred to a different Starbucks, with a larger workspace? Seems like there usually a dozen with walking difference.) I'm interested to see how this plays out. Here's hoping they draw the Liberal equivalent of a Hanging Judge.
Oh, yeah... And the best comment?
What do you expect from a company whose smallest drink is a Tall?
My mother sends me articles that she cuts out of the paper from time to time. (I tend to get my news online, so other than for the Sunday circularm we rarely buy a newspaper.) And in the last bacth, she included the following, from the WSJ:
Out, Out, Pesky Sweat Stains
Ways to Deal With a Stichy Underarm Situation
Here ths thing: These two were addressed to my wife, with the note: "[Wife's Name], thought you would find article about sweating interesting."
So... DW's like... "WTF?!"
And I am laughing my ass off.
So, yeah, seriously, WTF?
What would you guys think about that?
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
My new favorite song. Couldn't have said better myself if you gave me a thousand years to try.
Friday, May 13, 2011
1) Traditional methods of interrogation led to Bin Laden's capture
2) Torture doesn't work and produces bad information
3) The Republicans are full of shit on this one.
Now let me say up front: There's a LOT that John McCain does, says, believes and champions that I don't not support or agree with. (And to be fair, as it turned out, I can say the same about Obama! LOL) And I'm well aware that his "Maverick" label is more a creation of his own campaign strategists and the media than anything based in reality. But in those rare instances when a Republican gets it right and speaks the truth, 80% of the time that Republican seems to be John McCain. (And before you dispute that, do the math, and first consider how rare it this that this actually happens!)
Unfortunately, these rare occasions when Senator McCain stands up to his party, stands up to popular (on the Right anyway) but ultimately immoral and illegal behavior, and shows himself to be a fine, upstanding, principled, American Public Servant, only serve to contrast John McCain-R the party sell out that we saw in the years between being knee-capped by George Bush in the 2000 Republican Primaries and the 2008 Presidential Campaign in which he became a more reliable proponent of party talking points than all of AM Talk Radio and Fox News combined. Oh, yeah, and along the way... INTRODUCED AMERICANS TO SARAH F. PALIN!
It like after the 2000 Primaries he made a personal pact, George Wallace style, that he'd never be out-niggered (or out-liberaled) ever again, and started a steady march to the Right that continued even after his 2008 Presidential electoral loss to Barack Obama!
I mean... How can someone who demonstrates that they have enough of a conscience to make a statement like this one, spend so much of the rest of their time trying to prove otherwise?! How does a guy that I probably would have voted for in 2000 (yeah, though admittedly I learned a LOT in the years that followed) become such an utterly despicable sell-out, and then have the nerve to show me something like this, as if to say, "The John McCain you admired once? The one that would have kept you in the Republican party (albeit in the libertarian faction)? He's still here! Deep down. I did all I could to suppress him all these years, but I'm too old to ever run again, so I'll let him out occasionally. Just to tease you a little, and make you think of what might have been!"
For brief moment, seeing him on CNN the other day, I felt like I should party like it was 1999.
I'm sure it won't last. The Right can't allow the truth to be told. Especially not on national television.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
As I mentioned in my last post, I posted something on Media Matters that got a hugely positive response and I wanted to expand on it. It was in response to this little display of douchebaggery by Glenn Beck:
Now... put all politics aside for the moment, and let's consider what he's barfing at: The daughter of a skin cancer survivor (and a decorated Vietnam Veteran, at that!) is raising public awareness about the disease and the risk of sun damage, and in doing so, exposes her... SHOULDERS! (Oh my god, the SCANDAL! Next there will dancing!) And while it is completely irrelevant, I'll point that the woman in question is rather quite attractive. Really beautiful, actually.
So... What the fuck is Glenn Beck problem?! (Please don't answer that, we'll be here all day and night!)
Now... what I posted, and what I'm going to re-state here, I posted once before on MMFA, on another piece showcasing Glenn Beck's naked misogyny, when he used the Royal Wedding as a platform to rate women on his scale of 'hottness.'
OK... At this point it is patently obvious that Glenn Beck has a SERIOUS problem with women. But, as I'm sure I don't need to point out, the Right has a serious problem with women in general. (You KNOW that Rush Limbaugh is not on his fourth wife because so many women can't get enough of him!)
And besides... Think about it: If a woman is brainlessly repeating the party line? (Coulter, Malkin, Ingrahm, etc...) or is a party insider? (Palin, Bachman, O'Donnell) They can't get enough of her. These guys practically dry-hump Palin every time she's in the room. But if one starts questioning their malfeasance (like Rachel Maddow) or has the audacity to be independent or has the nerve to *gasp* age (Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton) suddenly they can't even discuss policy without mentioning how ugly they think these women are! And fro the most part? That the extent of their argument!
You know... I don't think I ever heard a Conservative coherently state one of Nancy Pelosi's policies and explain why they find it so abhorrent. All any Conservative has EVER been able to tell me about Nancy Pelosi is that she's (1) Liberal (duh!) and (2) Ugly, old and/or botoxed.
So I want to be clear that I am not stating the following merely as a way of burnishing my own feminist cred, but rather to, in one simple post, neuter and debunk every single occurrence of this brand of Right Wing misogyny that has ever occur ed and ever will. So let me get on my soapbox, and elaborate on my romantic idealism:
Rule #1: All women are beautiful.
Rule #2: If you meet someone who truly makes you happy, and who you truly want to make happy in return, physical traits up to and including gender are not important. Should you be gay, or the they be trans, etc... This is not important. Just BE HAPPY. And MAKE EACH OTHER HAPPY. This is all you can do in this life.
Rule #3: The sexiest part of a woman's body is between her ears.
First off, let me point out strait up that these are ideals. As I am human, I am forced to admit that I do not always live up to my ideals. No human being does. At times, we fail. (And to be fair, I can not honestly say that I have ever been tested on Rule #2.) But these are things I truly believe. And I want to address some of the challenges that have been posed, just to show you that, yes, I do really believe in them.
ALL Women? Really?
Yes, all women. And here: I'll prove it to you. This is for the Heterosexual Men out there: Picture for a moment the least fortunate looking woman you know. (On a purely physical level, I mean.) Now think of the best looking man you can think of... Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall, maybe. (Sure, why not?) Now, let me ask you: Which one would you rather have sex with?
I rest my case.
If the least beautiful woman you can think of is sexually preferable to the most beautiful man I can think of? Then all women MUST be beautiful!
What about... ANN COULTER?
Hoo boy... That's a tough one isn't it.
And it a sad example because it the one time you really see LIBERALS piling on and pointing out how ugly they think she is. And guys? Don't do this. Seriously. Not cool.
First of all, what Ann Coulter SAYS and WRITES is vile, disgusting and despicable in it own right. Her physical appearence is irrelevant to the scumbaggery that she puts out for a living. (She puts out for a living? LOL) (SHAME on me for writing that, and on you if you laughed at it!) The importance of exposing the vile, dishonest and downright un-American nature of what she says and writes is to great to risk the credibility of your argument by acting like a dick-thinking right winger and trashing her appearance. We're better than that. And more importantly? WE'RE RIGHT.
Besides... Imagine for a minute that Rachel Maddow looked exactly like Ann Coulter. Would you stop watching her? Would you stop listening? WOuld you no longer take her seriously? Would you feel the need to point out how hideous she is? I doubt it.
So fine: Coulter goes out of her way to be repulsive. And he lack of attractiveness? I'll bet dollars to dimes comes from our hatred of what she says, writes and stands for, and has little, if anythng at all to do with her physical traits. Ann Coulter is exactly as beautiful as she chooses to be at any given time. The same can be said of every other RW Woman I mentioned above: There is nothing wrong with their physical appearace. (Rule #1) It's completely irrelevant (Rule #2) because the sexiest part of a woman's body is her BRAIN (Rule #3)...
...which is really why we can stand the sight of these people!
But that certainly doesn't mean that we should act like RW misogynists and put it in those terms!
Anyway, that's my philosophy. And let me tell you: My world is a far more beautiful place for having adopted it.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
And between that and some ritualistic abuse of one "BoulderHippy" (truly one of the most brain-dead conservatives you're likely to meet, but one of those 'never gives up' types that makes MMFA so much fun) it seems I've attracted at least one Conservative Troll over here. Which is cool. And I can tell, becuase they went a voted "what a load" on every single item that came up in the blog! LOL. And yet... they left all of the older stuff unscathed. How lazy is that? If you're going to troll me, at least go back a page or two, right? LOL. But, I mean, WTF, they even "thumbs-downed" the WWII Veterans tribute song! I mean... why do they hate Veterans, right? ;)
And, go figure: Not ONE SINGLE COMMENT left in their wake. But then... I guess that's how I know it's not one of YOU GUYS, becuase if YOU think I'm full of shit, you've never been shy on calling me out on it! (And I truly wouldn't have it any other way!)
Anyway, like I said, it's late, so I'll get on my soapbox tomorrow. In the meantime, here's some music that worth a listen. I'm a huge fan of Pandora and I've been turned on to some GREAT bands through my Flogging Molly Channel: Great Big Sea, Carbon Leaf (who wrote THIS), the Tossers and a band called "DaVinci's Notebook" who are freaking hilarious.
Here's one of thiers. TELL ME we all haven't been THERE at some point! (I'm there at least once a week!)
(Yeah: Me too!)
If you liked that, and you generally like Irish Drinking Songs, here's Another Irish Drinking Song, also by DaVinci's Notebook:
What's the difference between an Irish Wedding and an Irish Funeral?
One less drunk.
Finally, there was something else that I want to share. This one's not funny at all. But I think it's has some contemporary social relevance in light of the draconian, anti-labor RW Agenda the Republicans are pushing through in places like Wisconsin (as fast as they possibly can, now that they're asses are all facing recalls!) and if you ever want a great pro-labor, anti-corporate bastards song, this one's for you. There's just one prob... I can't find an acceptable (complete) version of it!
This is a REALLY GOOD cover, by a gent name Kenn Gordon:
I like it, but he left off the final verse:
The thirties are a memory for Dad again
He tells me it can never be that bad again
But from Jarrow and from Clyde they come
With silent hearts and muffled drum
We want the cake and not the crumb
We're mad again
Me too, friend. Me too.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
It's pretty likely that you don't know this author, but I know him very well, personally. He is both one of very few truly good men in this world and and an underated talent. He recently penned an interesting piece reporting on the Vatican's position on Global Warming.
I always find it interesting when science and religion can agree on something. I wonder how this will affect the Catholic vote? (Sorry - the WHITE Catholic vote, I mean! LOL)
Actually, I'm sure this will just be more fodder for those other religious 'Mercans who view the Vatican as "just another European country that hates us." Yeah - I actualy got that in an email from a [Conservative, Baptist] friend of mine back when the pope was coming out against the execution of Saddam Hussein after having condemned the US's invasion of Iraq. After a rather loud *sigh* I explained that this is, in fact, what a PRINCIPLED "pro-life" position looks like: Against abortion, yes, but ALSO against the Death Penalty and War, in general. He conceded the point, but said he still thought it was "strange."
Well, there's plenty that the Vatican gets wrong, but I'll take them ANY day over the average 'Mercan Mega-Church. It's nice to see them on the right side of this one. Maybe religion can actually do some good after all!
Monday, May 2, 2011
My only regret, being in Germany, is that I will miss the Right Wing Media attemtps to somehow credit this to the Republicans, or to Bush. Maybe this is just proof that the Bush Tax worked or something absurd like that. Hey: I'll give them one thing... There was ONE Bush policy that allowed OBAMA to capture/kill Bin Laden...
The IRAQ WAR.
Becuase if it weren't for the Iraq War, BUSH would have caught this assmuncher about SIX YEARS AGO!
Now, in all seriousness, too many have died, on ALL sides for me to be makoing light of this. And no one should ever celebrate the death of another human being, even a bloodthrity, psychopathic piece of shit like Osama Bin Laden. I can only hope that the numbers that will inevitably follow in his path, only to find their own meaningless deaths waiting for them, are over-estimated.
But getting back to my previous tone... (sorry, can't help it!)
Hey, REPUBLICANS? SUCK IT, FUCKERS! WE GOT HIM! WE GOT HIM!
And by year's end Obama will have acieved Reagan's elusive victory as well when Kaddafi falls from power in Libya. Two great successes where the Right failed. I can't WAIT!
So if you're a hawk? (Deficit, as I've explained before, or otherwise?) VOTE DEMOCRAT.
THIS is what effective mid-east policy looks like. One country after another overthrowing thier regimes - Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and now SYRIA (!) - and Osama Bin Laden dead and buried.
THAT'S what happens when you don't go decalring unecessary wars.
(And I'll stop acting like a mirror image of the Right now.) (Still... USA! USA! USA!)
Sunday, May 1, 2011
The Bob Feller Gold Star #35: No Labels
No Labels describes itself as a non-partisan organization, who’s philosophy is that we need to come together, stop the partisan bickering, and focus on solving the problems that face this country in the way that is the best for… (wait for it…) AMERICA. Imagine that! Now… one MIGHT be tempted to say that this is what President Obama has been trying to do since 1/22/08, and look at what it’s brought us! (And the funny thing? Both conservatives and liberals can say those exact same words, without any sense of irony!) In all seriousness, President Obama’s big mistake was in the assumption that the Right would just come along, if he played nice. Of course… the Democrats ALWAYS play nice. That’s their biggest weakness! And that is the first reason that while No Labels might be non-partisan in their positions, they are inherently Progressive in their philosophy. Partisan bickering only, EVER, helps those who wish to stand in the way of social change. Secondly, what we have now, in Congress? Is exactly what President Washington was warning against when he advised not to create “factions.” (PARTIES, as it played out, but the same thing.) But finally, here is why there message and their movement is so critical. Here is why eliminating the LABELS is inherently, flamingly, screamingly LIBERAL. If you argue with a Liberal, they’ll try to prove you WRONG. Which is a much higher bar than Conservatives set when you argue with them and they try to prove you LIBERAL. See… I don’t self-identify as “Progressive” because I need to cling to an ideology and believe it to be inherently good. I identify that way because 99% of the time, the Progressive (and/or Liberal) position on a given issue just MAKES MORE SENSE, SEEMS MORE PRINCIPLED and is FAR MORE DEFENSIBLE. Not always, granted, but GENERALLY. And whenever hear a Conservative try to defend their position, they start from the assumption that the Conservatives are always right, the Liberals always wrong, and thus identifying the opponent or their position as Liberal is sufficient for chalking up a “win.” Lose the labels? And the Liberal will win the argument 99% of the time. Regardless of what these guys propose on any specific issue, position-wise, ditching political labels can only help Liberals. (Unless we’re wrong!) ;)
The Jackie Robinson Gold Star #36: Project Censored
IIRC, I think it was one of the commenters here that first turned me on to this site. (ClassicLiberal maybe? My apologies, if it was someone else and I forgot.) ANYWAY, for all the accusations of "liberal bias" in the press, and the Himalayan amounts of evidence to the contrary, this site can, once and for all, kill that myth and kill it with fire. Project Censored collects all of the stories that get buried and remain largely untold by the biggest "news" outlets. And surpriiiiise, surpriiiise! 99% of these are stories that are inconvenient to the powers that be! Industry. Corporate Sponsors. Their Political Whores. Their Media whores. The Church. The Right. The Rich. The Powerful. Check them out. What they AREN'T telling you is an order of magnitude more infuriating than the misinformation they ARE.
The Edd Rousch Silver Star #27: eBay
E-BAY?! Are you fucking KIDDING me?!
LOL. No. I'm not. Of all the dot-com's to come out of the 1990's tech "bubble" - and in all truth, it wasn't a bubble at all - the one that was the biggest game-changer, IMHO, was eBay. And I can hear it now... All the whining about fees, and the effect it's had of the price of collectibles, and how big a rip-off it is, and how much they completely suck, in general....
Fuck all that. I've been an eBay junkie for YEARS, both buying and selling. And you know what? I've yet to have a single negative experience that wasn't my own fault. You read that right.
And before we go arguing about their policies, fee structure, service, etc... Let's realize what eBay actually DOES: It's bring entrepreneurialism to every single person in America. (In the WORLD, really.) If you've got something to sell? You've got the entire market - the U.S., North America, the Western Hemisphere and the Entire WORLD at your disposal. Call it this liberal's way fo showing his love for the truly free market, but eBay has changed the world.
SO to all you "feeBay" haters? Fuck off. I LOVE eBay. (How's THAT for going against the status quo? LOL) :P :P :P :P :P :P
OK, and since "Item not as described" is now completely defunct (and hawking crappy T-Shirts, the last time I checked) I will need to re-issue Fred Clarke's Silver Star #6. So, in an effort to keep my HoF remotely relevant, here is the NEW...
Fred Clarke's Silver Star #6: Brightest
If you're getting the idea that I read a LOT of webcomics, you're right. I do. And I do for one simple reason: THEY'RE GOOD. Brightest tells the story of Charlene (Charlie) an out-of-work, overweight, relationship-challenged, possible lesbian and the trals and tribulations in her life. In addition to an awesomely quirky art-style, it is a poignant, sometimes painful, at times ironically funny story that avoids falling into stereotypes. I think what I like the most about the main character is that her characteristics do not DEFINE her. They do not LIMIT her persona. She's overweight, yes. But she doesn't obsess over it. There none of the constant, neurotic dieting or sweating over her appearance that you might get in another work with a heavier heroine. Nor is her self-esteem tied up in her weight. (No, she has low self esteem for 100 other reasons! LOL.) And also, while she's a Lesbian (or might be) this is also not the defining characteristic or the character or the comic. Most of the time, the conflict over her sexuality never enters into the story. And when it DOES? It handled so... realistically. And what results is an amazingly HUMAN character. Flawed, neurotic, but completely FAMILIAR - we ALL know someone like this, and sometimes we ARE that person! Anyway, I've really enjoyed the ride so far, and as always, I recommend reading it from the beginning.