A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Snort Notes – July 2012


Dear United Kingdom, 

We, the American people, most humbly come before you today to apologize most profusely and with all sincerity for comments made by the jackass who wants to lead our country.

We know that it was very rude for him to make condescending statements about your country’s preparedness for the Olympics, the hosting of which is probably the biggest public relations coup your country has enjoyed in quite a while. Granted, your monarchy has been celebrating its special anniversary all year, but there is something unique about the Olympics that makes it a very special celebration. We hope Mittney’s embarrassing performance did not detract from your well-deserved revelry.

We can offer no excuse for his boorish behavior. His reference to your Prime Minister as “Mr. Leader” was shocking; his mentioning of meeting with your intelligence service MI6 was a terrible breach of protocol. Honestly, we believe that he was not vetted very well by his advisors. They should have told him that the Prime Minister’s name is um, oh, I know it’s not Churchill or Majors, well, you know to whom I’m referring. Similarly, they should have told him not to mention his meeting with your spy network, rather than - as an inmate in the big house might put it - “sing like a bird.”

I think I know what you’re thinking, John Bull! With friends like Mitt Romney, who needs Al-Qaeda!

We Americans have a quaint way of getting passed such embarrassing episodes; we just tell ourselves, “Well, consider the source.” I mean, what do you expect from a man who has expressed a fondness for dismissing workers (“I like to fire people!"), who actively disavows his greatest achievement as a politician (Massachusetts health care reform), and I don’t even want to mention the humiliation to which he subjected the family dog. So let’s get past his indiscretions and enjoy the games. Believe me, once he comes home, we, the liberal media, will give him a good stern talking to. We may even smack him in the nose with a rolled-up newspaper, but we won’t tie him to the roof of our car. That definitely shouldn’t happen to a dog!

England, please forgive Romney for his transgressions.


Not that Ride’s sexuality ever mattered before, or should matter now. I thought I was the only one who didn’t know about this part of her life when I read this revelation at the end of her obituary. We have since found out that she and her partner wrote the obituary themselves; in other words, they planned it so Ride would come out just as she was leaving us.  

From a public relations standpoint, this was a brilliant move. She still lived her life as she wanted - in private, contributed God only knows how much to our knowledge of science, educated countless numbers of people in the same discipline, and then, at the moment of truth, admitted her sexuality so that she would not have to face the questions and controversy of the resulting maelstrom brought on by the 24/7 news media cycle. In any event, the timing worked for her, and no one should second guess her when she came out.

Unfortunately, members of the gay community seemed to be doing exactly that. I have not heard many condemnations from the straight community; at the moment we have bigger chickens to fry (see below). Some in the gay press, on the other hand, are decrying the way she handled her coming out, saying she could have been a living role model to young lesbians everywhere. While true, it is also true that she always has been a role model and will continue to be a role model in death. The whole situation points up how far tolerance for gays has to go in this country, and, in that respect, Ride’s timing of her coming out says more about our culture's acceptance of her God-given sexuality. 

I have been blessed to be born with a sexuality that society, culture, tradition, whatever, deems to be “acceptable” or “normal” (and I abhor both terms in this context). As a straight male, I assume I am not meant to fathom the emotional and psychological tug-of-war each gay person goes through in deciding how to live their lives in a world that is hostile to them simply because they are being themselves. I can only imagine this struggle since I have the luxury of being considered “normal.” 

Sally Ride surmounted this struggle, lived her life the way she saw fit, and left us not only with lifetime of scientific achievements, but a valuable lesson about how American society supports and accepts our fellow human beings. She has now moved on, and so should we.

RIP, Ms. Ride.


Cathy, son of Chick Fil-A founder Truett Cathy, reaffirmed his company’s opposition to gay marriage in an interview with Baptist Press. This is in keeping true to the founder's Christian beliefs, so it should not have been a surprise. It is the only fast food outlet I know that forsakes billions in profits so it can close on the Christian Sabbath, Sunday. 

Okay, so I can respect that. However, the tolerant amongst us are having a hard time with their views on what we consider to be a civil rights issue. The respect stops here.

So, let’s get the silly jokes out of the way now. So I guess Chick Fil-A’s policy will mean we won’t see any “Sally Ride Commemorative Kids Meals with Free Science Experiment” served anytime soon. I can only imagine that the Boy Scouts of America are chomping at the bit to make Chick Fil-A their official fast food outlet. On the plus side, this might mean that Chick Fil-A won’t enter a float in any gay pride parade anytime soon. Yes, we’ll be spared the sight of a slow-moving wheeled Biblical tableau depicting true believers stoning homosexuals with fried chicken breasts.

(Okay, that last one crossed the line. Sorry.)

Predictably, the media maelstrom that would have engulfed Sally Ride’s coming out descended instead on Chick Fil-A. The gay community and their gay marriage tolerant allies denounced Cathy’s statement. Corporations such as The Jim Henson Company have severed their lucrative deal with the chain, citing their decades long commitment to diversity. Gay rights groups have planned events to protest the restaurant (National Same Sex Kiss Day, August 3), and various schemes have been launched on Facebook to raise money for gay marriage advocacy groups. The Christian values lobby, led by former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, has also used Facebook to generate interest for Chick Fil-A Appreciation Day (August 1).

Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, has decried the attitude that God-fearing Christians are being cast as bigots in this instance. I’ll agree with him on that point; just being Christian doesn’t automatically make you prejudiced against other people’s cultures. I know many Christians who I would never believe to be hate mongers. Hell, I consider myself a Christian, but I don’t consider myself intolerant. However, Cathy’s attitude is INTOLERANT, and should be considered as such not only from a civil rights viewpoint, but also as a moral point of view.

No one had thought about putting deep fried chicken between two sides of bread before Chick Fil-A was founded in 1967. Since then, other fast food entrepreneurs have seen the light and have offered their own versions of the chicken sandwich. Cathy’s chain can no longer claim sole ownership of this delicacy. At the time of his anti-gay marriage pronouncement, he thanked God that “we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on Biblical principles.”

Let me add to that: I thank God that Chick Fil-A is no longer the only chicken sandwich in town.

(Thank you for reading! To hell with beef! To hell with “chikin”! Eat more vegetables!)

Monday, July 23, 2012

America Shrugged*

So it has comes to pass, again. Another multiple murder at the hands of a psychotic who bought guns legally has happened in this freedom-loving country of America. Now we as a nation will feign shock at this loss of life.   Some of us will use the event to put forth their views on how the tragedy could have been averted; yes, the speeches will be long and flowery with sentiment, and surely there will be calls for more gun control laws with the counter-arguments of reforming law enforcement.
And after all this is said and done, exactly nothing will happen.

The reactions in the media began even as the first reports were coming out of Aurora, Colorado. Before the day was done, one GOP Congressman from Texas by the name of Louie Gohmert decried the massacre as another example of the assault on Judeo-Christian beliefs. The congressman also wondered aloud during the same radio interview why someone else in the theater didn’t fire back. Both thoughts are typical conservative talking points about anything they feel threatens their perception of the good old days when the “guvmint” minded their own business. 

An assault on Judeo-Christian values? Well, that didn’t take long for the Christian evangelicals to get their beliefs twisted up in their panties over this latest national tragedy. It would not surprise me if, by the end of the week, another evangelical leader (my money’s on Pat Robertson or perhaps the son of the Chic-Fil-A founder) links the shooting to this country’s growing tolerance towards gay marriage. The problem with this argument is the early report that the shooter, James Holmes, was raised in a God-fearing household. So much for attacking Judeo-Christian values!

Gohmert then puzzled over why no one shot back. Surely Holmes could not have been the only one in the theater armed with a gun, and, therefore, someone could have shot back. This logic follows the NRA’s contention that everyone in America has the right to own a gun, and, therefore, everyone should own a gun. Okay, so why didn’t someone shoot back?

There may be a couple of reasons, all of them quite logical and immune from political hyperbole. First, we should note the series of events of the tragedy. Holmes entered the theater auditorium by a side door, threw a smoke bomb at the front of the theater which obscured everyone’s vision, shot a large capacity magazine of rounds at the audience, and then left as quickly as he appeared. One report had the entire shooting lasting only ninety seconds, or a minute-and-a-half for those who insist on being technical.

For one thing, when an unexpected, traumatizing event happens to us, we probably think about self-preservation first. This is what happened in Aurora; everyone instinctively ducked for cover. The key word here is instinctively. There was little time (remember, ninety seconds) to think clearly enough about the situation to realize that the situation may warrant retaliation.

Okay, so let’s - for conservative argument's sake - allow that there was one fast-thinking person who not only had the foresight to bring his/her own firearm into the theater, but who also quickly assessed that they could fire back. So, they draw their weapon and shoot…at whom? In what direction?
Remember Holmes - or, as he has called himself since the shooting, the Joker - threw a smoke canister. Can Mr. or Ms. or Mrs. Fast-Thinking-and-Resourceful-American perceive in what direction the shooter is coming from through the smoke? Is the Joker on the right? On the left? In front? In the projection booth? In…oh, sorry our ninety seconds has expired.

Or should they throw caution to the wind and just shoot in all directions. Surely they will hit someone, maybe even the shooter, or maybe they will cause more casualties among the innocent audience members. Perhaps it would just be better to stay under cover, and once they perceive the danger has passed, attend to the wounded amongst us. I’m guessing that these instinctive thoughts took control of every audience member in the theater, and that they reacted accordingly.

There is also an argument to be made as to why no one else brought a gun into the movie theater. Many of us don’t believe carrying guns everywhere is the answer. Many of us believe that no one would want to shoot at us because we have no reason to shoot at them. You know the old Do unto others philosophy...oh, wait, that is part of the Judeo-Christian values that I as a liberal am suppose to be assaulting!

Yes, some of us live by the arguably naïve notion that believes that goodness exists in everyone. This naïve notion is otherwise known as FAITH.

Granted, faith is tested every day, particularly in this country where our love of firearms (as Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine ably demonstrated) is greater than the Judeo-Christian value of faith itself. Our gun culture cannot ever be comprised or abridged, according to the NRA’s dubious interpretation of the Second Amendment. Paradoxically, the greatest defenders of the sanctity of life when it comes to unborn babies can also be the greatest defenders of the right to possess a tool which can take a human life. Go figure!

Like everyone else in this country, I am saddened at the loss of life in Aurora, but please keep the hypocritical notion that all lives are sacred, yet don’t do anything to keep guns out of those who do not have good motives away from me. I know where all of this hand-wringing by both sides is going: nowhere. I may come off as callous or insensitive, but instinct tells me that nothing good will be learned from Aurora. In the end, most of us will think that’s it’s all too bad and maybe we’ll even shrug our shoulders out of apathy.

My faith in humanity does have its limits.

(Thank you for reading. *Take that, Ayn Rand!)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

There Are No Apologies on the Campaign Trail

The 2012 run for the White House is not only getting nasty ahead of schedule, but now it’s getting downright ridiculous. Take, for instance, last week when the Obama campaign jumped on reports that presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney worked for his firm, Bain Capital, long after he allegedly claims he did. The reports contradict that he quit Bain to run the US Olympics in Salt Lake City. 
The rub is, if he was still working for Bain after he allegedly quit in 1999, then he was still involved with the company when it outsourced many American jobs and forced some companies into bankruptcy. It’s this image of laissez-faire capitalism run amok that the Romney campaign is eager to rub off itself. Unfortunately, he’s been accusing Obama of outsourcing American jobs too, and reports like this pop up at the most inopportune time.

It just makes life on the campaign trail very awkward for the candidates, but interesting for the rest of us.

The problem for Romney is that he didn’t make that claim in a speech aired in a news cycle. He didn’t make that claim in a newspaper interview. He made that claim in filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Some folks who happen to work for the Obama campaign pronounced this contradiction as a felonious lie. That’s felonious, as in felony, as in serious jail time.

Romney himself responded to this charge by (snicker) demanding that (snort) President Obama (tee-hee) himself (guffaw) apologize for his campaign’s accusation (bwa-ha-ha-ha)! Oh dear, I think I peed myself while typing that last sentence. Oh well, it was worth it!

Really, Romney campaign, your boy wants an apology in the heat of a presidential race? Did your boy get his feelings hurt? Well, if he thinks the race is getting down and dirty now, just wait until after the convention — when he officially becomes the Republican nominee. You ain’t seen mud flinging yet until after he’s nominated.

My first reaction to the reports of Romney’s demand for mea culpa can be summed up in one word, expressed dismissively: wuss! Then I thought about it some more and I realized that there is a more mature response to Romney’s outrage. The Obama campaign should hire Tom Hanks to reenact his most quoted line from A League of Their Own. Yes, Hanks should don his baseball manager’s costume from that film, approach Romney at one of his campaign stops, stand toe-to-toe with Romney, and shout in his face, “APOLOGIES?! APOLOGIES?! THERE ARE NO APOLOGIES ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL!!!!”

As another Hollywood icon might have said, “So let it be written, so let it be done.”

Yes, Mittens, politics is a rough and tumble world. It’s also bitchy and downright mean. Didn’t your campaign aides warn you about the hurtful things the other guy might say? Doesn’t it make you long for the days when the allies of the other guy were making fun of your methods of pet transportation?

Gosh, those were the days!

Of course, Obama, being President of the United States, doubled down and refused to apologize. Oh wow! Not only does he refuse to admit remorse at what his aides said, but he actually rubs salt in the wound.

This week liberals everywhere are high-fiving each other with shouts of “Boo-yah!”

Of course, we all realize that politics should only be played by adults, and as adults we should remember that “What comes around, goes around,” and “Beware of the backlash,” and blah, blah, blah. What Romney has forgotten is that he is perfectly free to come back with something that might offend Obama and his allies. Of course, we all know he will, and he shouldn’t pretend (as he is now) that that sort of politicking is beneath him. Romney will strike back, but until then we’ll keep shouting, “Boo-yah!”

Personally, I wouldn’t hold it against Mitt if he decides that the campaign trail is too grueling for his stomach. It wouldn’t bother me at all if he packed up his toys and went home before the convention. Of course, that would make the election in November terribly one-sided, but…oh, wait, I feel another boo-yah coming on…wait for it….

(Thank you for reading! BOO-YAH!)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Governing by “Let’s Pretend”

Health care reform is the government topic that refuses to die. It‘s certainly worthy of debate and scrutiny since it would affect millions of people. But, seriously, wasn’t the symbolic vote by the US House – I mean Republican led US House — to repeal the Affordable Care Act borderline pathetic?

Oh sure, the vote reassured their constituency at Fox News where they stood on the issue, but did it really change anything? Their repeal effort is expected to die again in the Democrat-controlled Senate for the 33rd time. Yes, this is the Republican’s 33rd attempt to get rid of Obamacare. Thirty-three times! Can you imagine what the US House could have done in the time it took them to debate and actually vote on the repeal?

Well, let’s imagine. They could have voted on one of Obama’s proposals to create jobs, for one thing. Oh, but that would have expanded the fed's role in our lives, and it might have made Obama look good in the eyes of the American people. Heaven knows we can’t do anything which will make the President look good and a more desirable pick to be re-elected. Worst of all, it might actually put Americans back to work! 

Besides, we should leave job creation to the job creators…you know, those people who have been asleep at the switch for the last twelve years? Yes, those people!

The issue keeps popping up in the news because the losers don’t want to let go of it. Well, get over it! The law was debated, voted on, passed and signed by politicians who were duly elected by the voters of the United States! It’s time to move on!

It’s time to tackle other issues. Let’s move away from the “repeal and replace” (replace, now there’s a laugh) sound bite to another three word mantra that even the enfeebled Fox News watchers would understand, “Jobs, jobs, jobs!” Or as Vice-President Biden put it, “Jobs, j-o-b-s, jobs!” Wasn’t it nice of the Vice President to turn this idea into a spelling bee?

It has been reported since the vote that the GOP’s efforts to repeal the law have cost American taxpayers nearly $50 million. The CBO arrived at this figure by estimating the number of hours the House devoted to debating repeal (80 hours) which translates to two full work weeks, and @ $24 million dollars per House work week. Imagine: they spent fifty million dollars and NOTHING WAS ACCOMPLISHED!

As an American taxpayer, I am deeply offended at this wanton waste of my tax dollars. I DEMAND A REFUND!

It must be nice to be all grown up and still spend your entire day playing. Surely they knew this vote would not accomplish its goal, so surely they knew they were not working, not governing, but only “play” governing. Hey, everyone, governing the largest democracy in the world is just too hard and too complicated! So let’s just pretend to govern!

Okay, in the interest of being fair and balanced on the issue of health care reform, I should mention Mitt Romney. That’s it! I just want to mention his name. (These sentences were not paid for, leased by, or otherwise rented in the name of someone’s presidential campaign.)

Now, where was I? Oh, yes, expressing unmitigated outrage at what passes for government at the federal level nowadays! I don’t like to belittle an entire third of the federal government, but damn it to hell, you people are wasting your time and our tax money. I’m sorry if my talking down to you sounds harsh, and I really don’t want to upset little Johnny Boehner (Oops, too late! He’s crying again!) However, we elect you people to be problem solvers, not stooges of the corporate elite.

Let me put it another way. Look, boys and girls — and I mean the term boys and girls more as an accurate reflection of your maturity level rather than a term of endearment — it’s time you earned your keep. Start solving some of the problems we citizens face every day. This will involve hard work and compromising, and not pretending to do real work.

If you do resolve some of our issues, and you prove to be good boys and girls, then who knows? The next time you come up for re-election we might let you play in the Senate! Now doesn’t that sound like fun?

(Thank you for reading. Hey, Congressional Republicans: grow up already!)