Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Minnesota humor

In honor of Mr. Alna Dem, of Excelsior, MN:
Two Minnesotans, Sven & Ole, walk into a pet shop near Brainerd. They head to the bird section and Sven says to Ole, "Dat's dem."

The owner comes over and asks if he can help them.

"Yah sure, ve'll take four of dem der little budgies in dat cage up dere," says Sven.

The owner puts the budgies in a paper bag. Ole and Sven pay for the birds, leave the shop, get into Sven's pick-up and drive to the top of some big cliffs near Brainerd Lake.

At the cliffs, Sven looks down at the 1000 foot drop and says, "Dis looks like a grand place."

He takes two birds out of the bag, puts them on his shoulders and jumps off the cliff. Ole watches as Sven falls all the way to the bottom, killing himself dead.

Looking down at the remains of his best pal, Ole shakes his head and says: "By yumpin' yiminy, dis budgie yumping is too dangerous for me."
VAIT!!! Der's MOR!
Moments later Knute arrives up at the cliffs.

He's been to the pet shop, too, and walks up to the edge of the cliff carrying another paper bag in one hand and a shotgun in the other.

"Hey, Ole. Vatch dis," Knute says. He takes a parrot from the bag and throws himself over the edge of the cliff.

Ole watches as half way down, Knute takes the gun and shoots the parrot. Knute continues to plummet down and down until he hits the bottom and breaks every bone in his body.

Ole shakes his head and says, "And I'm never trying dat parrotshooting either."
BUT VAIT!!! Der's MORE , you betcha!!
Ole is just getting over the shock of losing two friends when Lars appears.

He's also been to the pet shop and is carrying a paper bag, out of which he pulls a chicken.

Lars grasps the chicken by the legs, holds it over his head, hurls himself off the cliff and disappears down and down until he hits a rock and breaks his spine.

Once more Ole shakes his head. "First der was Sven with his budgie yumping, den Knute parrotshooting, and now Lars, hengliding ..."
Sorry, I had to.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The duplicity of George Will

...is laid out here. It's quite a record. I've always thought of Will as an insufferable, self-regarding toad without quite knowing why. I didn't know about the lies and ethical lapses. Guess my instincts are good.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Former Republican to Obama: Drop the bipartisanship. We're not worthy.

This open letter to Obama from former religious rightwinger Frank Schaeffer is simply astounding. He takes every warning the left has made against bipartisan soul-selling and amplifies it - then hits it out of the park. He says:
  • The religious right and neocons who constitute the majority of the party are motivated by hatred and fear.
  • Both groups despise Obama and will do everything in their power to see him fail.
  • The show of civility in D.C. is just that - a show. "Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter are the norm not the exception," Schaeffer says.
  • There is no common ground with such people.
This passage is particularly illuminating:
The problem is that when you deal with the Republican Party you're talking to the polished characters in Washington. I wish you could see the hate e-mail's that I have received over the last two years because I supported you, letters calling for God to kill me, telling me that I hate God because I supported you and that I am "an abortionist" and worse a "fag lover" because I've written that I believe that you will be a great president.

What those senators and congressmen are telling you is not what their rabid core constituents are telling them. Their loyalty is to a fundamentalist Christian ideology on the one hand and American exceptionalism of perpetual warfare and hatred and fear of the "other" on the other hand. Between the neoconservatives and evangelical Religious Right Republicans you have no friends.
Schaeffer's prescription: Quit extending a hand and get in the GOP's face. Govern by winning battles. Most Americans are already behind Obama, and some of the rest will come around when they see the GOP exposed for what it is. "Americans are sick of Republicans," he says.
The Democratic Party won for a reason: the Republicans failed and have taken us all down with them! You're doing your presidency and America no favor by extending an open hand to the perpetually knotted fist of what has become the embittered lunatic fringe of our country. They would rather go down in flames than "compromise" their ideology.
He concludes:
As you showed us again at your press conference of Feb 9, you are a brilliant, articulate and decent man. Your Republican opponents are not decent people but ideologues bent on destroying you. To quote the biblical adage sir, don't cast your pearls before swine.
I hope Obama still reads Huffington Post.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

They hate us for our freedoms

Us bloggers, that is. Chris Bowers explains why the DC press corps was so horrified that President Obama called on Huffington Post the other night:
...[N]ew media has allowed alternative power centers on the left-wing of the Democratic / progressive coalition to rise as challenges to established, and largely corporate, dominance. No one in the political and media establishment would attack the Huffington Post, Daily Kos, or Moveon.org if they were operating as supportive adjuncts to, say, the Blue Dog coalition. The reason they are viewed as dangerous and worthy of attack is because of the political views they espouse, not just because they are new media. As long as these new organizations thrive, they offer voters, activists and politicians potential insulation should they seek other avenues than corporate PACs, large donors, and conglomerated corporate media outlets.
Long live new media. And while I'm sympathetic to the plight of our dying newspapers, I have little sympathy for the White House stenographers that forgot to ask questions these past eight years.

UPDATE: He also lays to rest the "no one reads blogs" canard:
Political blogging, especially progressive political blogging, is a major news medium in Washington, D.C. On a per capita basis, progressive political blogs are more frequently read in D.C. than anywhere else--and by a long, long way. People in D.C. are reading what you post here. How much of an impact it has is entirely open to question, but it is getting read.

Friday, February 06, 2009

You say "tomato," I say "f*** you"

My god this is a good catch. John Cole on bipartisanship:
I really don’t understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. Imagine trying to negotiate an agreement on dinner plans with your date, and you suggest Italian and she states her preference would be a meal of tire rims and anthrax. If you can figure out a way to split the difference there and find a meal you will both enjoy, you can probably figure out how bipartisanship is going to work the next few years.
h/t kos.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Time to change churches

So I took the Belief-O-Matic test over at Beliefnet and scored 97% Quaker! (I also scored 100% Unitarian, but then, who wouldn't.)