“Gay married circus clowns on meth” … and other snippets

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Well, dearhearts, we’ve made it past another day of Thanksgiving [this one fell on my solar return so I was the turkey this year!] and a day of power-shopping that, by all accounts, did not lack participation so I guess that’s good news for the economy — or delusional, but who’s to say. Be sure to visit my annual Thanksgiving article over at Planet Waves blog tomorrow.

For you travelers, I’ve posted a Morford article on the pat-downs [and copped the title for this post.] After you read it, visit a Tom Tomorrow over at the PW blog to dot that I and cross that T. Ouchy!

The snippet portion is some short commentary on things I don’t want you to miss:

First off, I’m sure you saw the lovely news about Tom DeLay — he can start a prison ministry now, so much more fulfilling than witnessing to the cast of Dancing with the Stars. Think back to the days of The Hammer — try to remember the heinous, insulting and obnoxious commentary he gave the press day after day, for years. Feel the burn. For those who think we never get to see the villain get his due, a dozen or more years to life in the slam seems like a karmic trouncing to me. Since Tom has given his fate over to the will of a Texas judge [wink, wink] I’m expecting a minimal sentence but still, a ruined life and career.

Here, TIME’s Joe Klein apologizes for his earlier approval of privatized Social Security. Klein has gravitas as a reporter/commentator/pundit so he did a bit of damage in encouraging this meme. He was, he said, ” … besotted with the idea of markets.” Ya think? Let’s hope he’s the first in a series of wake ups/back ups from a TRULY besotted press.

Meanwhile, this, from the If You Have To Ask Department, gives us another brilliant bit of gibberish from Sistah Palin, who can’t seem to separate her upper and lower Korea’s for the life of her. It’s likely she can see both from her porch. Now I realize that I’m treading a tightrope when I talk about how we have to stop talking about this woman as a real political powerhouse and possible candidate, even as I kvetch about her … but it’s true, we do. We should be pondering if we’ve lost all good sense in considering her a worthy political topic, as opposed to asking if she knows the difference between North and South Korea. And — for your edification and amusement — another YouTube from yesteryear, featuring Ms. Thing’s “unfortunate turkey incident.” As usual, Digby’s on top of it all.

On the other hand, Palin is in good company with the rest of the dimwit’s — here’s Rep. Todd Akin, a Republican from my own fair state of Missouri [and reflecting the state of its educational system] telling us about how the Pilgrims fled European Socialism because the Bible told them to.

My seven Mayflower relatives wouldn’t have had a clue about the travails of socialism, nor did they object to pooling their supplies for equal use to get through that first cruel winter. How is it that these people pay no price for stupidity? Boggles, simply boggles that they either believe this tripe or think they can sell it like snake oil … and my state’s pretty good at lapping it up.

Young’un’s in the UK are staging what is being called a Children’s Crusade, protesting the new austerity measures regarding educational options. Unfortunately, authority has gotten downright heavy-handed, as you’ll find here. Largely peaceful, these incidents are the kind of thing that SHOULD happen when authority kills our dreams … especially those of children, revealing their passions. As one placard read, “Dumbledore would not stand for this shit!” Indeed!

From a ThinkProgress article earlier this week:

“North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire on Tuesday after dozens of shells fired from the North struck a South Korean island,” the greatest outbreak of violence between the two countries since the 1950s. A North Korean news agency said that “South had started the fight when it ‘recklessly fired into our sea area.’”

L’il Kim and Tom DeLay are pretty good at, “I know you are but what am I,” aren’t they? A kind of Peewee’s Playhouse mentality, without the humor. You have to think Kim would have been happy to Dance with Stars too, if they could find any pigmy’s to partner with him.

Finally, and sadly, Chalmers Johnson has passed, a powerful voice for exposing empirism in American politics. You’ve read him here, he was a champion of clarity and vision we will all miss in coming years. John Nichols speaks for his work, here.

I’m in a snarky mood today, obviously — energy from my new solar year or, more likely, too much sugar from the desert bar. I hope your weekend is an extension of a wonderful holiday and that you get all the rest and relaxation you deserve.


Hi. I am now going to touch your junk
Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
November 24, 2010

Sweet Jesus, we should have thought of this ages ago. Why didn’t we think of this ages ago?

It seems so obvious. You want to ignite some delicious outcry in this brutally divided country? You want to unite the wary populace around a single, seething hotbutton of patriotism, privacy and putrefied civil liberties?

Do not launch bogus wars that cannot be won. Do not tell them lies about a major health care reform package that actually helps millions. Do not invade their dreams with thoughts of happy gay people holding hands in a wedding chapel. Do not rip their retirement accounts to shreds, sell them bad home loans with a grunt and a slippery Wall Street grin. What are you, an amateur?

What you do is, you go direct. You grope them right on their tingly ‘n forbidden genital regions, AKA God’s country, AKA Father O’Malley’s special secret, real and true and WTF-do-you-think-you’re-doing. Works every time. Just ask the Vatican.

Either that, or you demand they submit to a full-body scan of their copious, world-famously overweight American flesh, those bits and parts they don’t even share with a mirror much less a giant camera the size of a refrigerator, and then stifle a laugh as you secretly post said photos to a creepy anonymous blog run by the Russian mafia (Note: possible exaggeration).

Basically, you shame and humiliate them, over and over again, in a giant public space, in front of their families, herding them like confused bison through an increasingly absurd, demeaning series of tests and checkpoints. And you do it all under the auspices of protecting them from a few extremist imbeciles who (we are told) want to blow them up and kill their dog and steal their Kim Kardashian pre-paid debit cards.

This is the real way to provoke a revolution. This is a wonderful way to rally the nation, get our values in order and set both political parties scrambling for a tolerable response. In the age of wild transparency, direct genital invasion is pretty much all we have left.

See, we’ve been going about this invasion-of-privacy thing all wrong. From Bush’s illegal wiretapping to Facebook’s wily account settings, the panic over personal privacy has been, until now, mostly about data — your home address, credit card number, PIN, SMS chats, your filthy lawn appearing on Google street views, that sort of thing. It’s all vague and rather abstract; we can’t actually feel anything.

But this is different. This is literal. Nothing, apparently, sets us off more than some unhappy TSA worker — an increasingly unenviable job, you gotta admit — yanking you out of line and giving you the delightful option of getting your entire body X-rayed from ass to nipple, or being groped all over in case you might be carrying something explosive in your pants.

Is that not amazing, by the way? That a solitary “Christmas underwear bomber” has now changed the complexion of the entire country and inconvenienced tens of millions with a single failed attempt? Yes, all this groping is because of one guy, and he’s not even Justin Bieber. How incredible is that? Who says an individual can’t make a difference? Who says the terrorists haven’t already won?

Let’s also put aside the assorted political bitching of people like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — never one to pass up an opportunity to whine like a goddamn child and blame Obama for everything, despite how it was the Bush administration that invented the damnable TSA in the first place. Jindal says we should skip the groping and scanners and use some kind of profiling instead.

Dear Gov. Jinhal: That’s a fine idea. Of course, you yourself, with your shifty eyes and scary, anti-American Hindu lineage, would be singled out for a hard grope in a millisecond. Just sayin’.

And let’s ignore the inconvenient truth that a recent ABC poll found that 81 percent of Americans actually support the full-body scanners, at least until it happens to them. Is it not wonderful? Are we not a nation of fanciful hypocrites? Just add it to the list: security cams, irradiated food, red light cameras, handguns in bars? You bet! Except, oh wait, unless you’re talking about something near me.

No, let us instead appreciate the wonderful variety of humiliations now pouring forth at the hands of TSA employees. Babies, bladder cancer survivors, prosthetic breasts, the elderly? Done. Exaggeration, alarmism, false reports? You got it. Twitter all achirp with alleged TSA wrongdoing, fully nine years after the agency was invented to force kids to pour out their sippy cups, trash everyone’s toothpaste tubes and confiscate 10 million toenail clippers? Naturally.

And then, of course, there’s the “touch my junk, and I’ll have you arrested” meme, started by some twitchy dude with a cell phone and too much attitude named John Tyner. Tyner’s surreal airport debacle launched the year’s most juvenile catchphrase — which, in the Age of Palin, is all you need to launch a new American revolution. Dude, your 15 minutes are going fast. Enjoy.

Here’s what I’m thinking: Perhaps we can reverse-engineer this personal groping idea and figure out a way to let it serve us all. Let it be a new rallying cry: Within the American genitalia, true power lies. Grope free or die. Don’t grope on me. Who Would Jesus Grope? I’m still working on it.

Suggestions: The FDA ties groping into the new anti-smoking campaign, to accompany hideous graphics of cancer and rotted teeth. Want a pack of Marlboros? First take off your pants and let us take some pictures.

How about a shiny new handgun, NRA-guzzling citizen? You bet. Right after this cavity search, performed by gay married circus clowns on meth.

About to hustle the whole clan to Walmart at 4:30 a.m. on Black Friday to score a pile of plastic MP3 players made by 12-year-olds in Malaysia? Please step over here for a quick feel-up of your children. Thank you.

I know, it’s a little vague. I don’t quite know the point of it all yet. Problem is, I’m afraid I won’t have much time to figure it out before this all blows over and we’re onto the next public outrage because, well, that’s just how we roll.

You know it’s true. Recall, won’t you, the general uproar shortly after 9/11, when the first TSA regulations hit the unsuspecting culture? When Americans suddenly faced mile-long security lines and were later told they had to … wait, what did you say? Dump out my hand lotion? Toss my grandmother’s soup? Remove my goddamn shoes? Are you serious? Are you insane? Oh my God, the indignity.

And now that’s all just one big, resigned shrug. We’ve advanced to, sigh, touching each others’ junk. What does it all mean? What’s the country coming to? Are we safer? Are we stupider? Are we just more awful and annoying than we realize? Is that Al Queda, laughing like hyenas in a cave? ++

“I’m asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington … I’m asking you to believe in yours.”
~ Barack Obama

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