Showing 11 - 20 of 239 posts found matching keyword: news

After surviving brain and heart surgery in recent years, Alex Trebek has announced that he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. His life expectancy can now be measured in months.

For you, death should be a glorious event!

If Alex Trebek was really the comic book super hero I've made him into over the years, he would die. But then he would get better and continue filming Jeopardy episodes until the end of time.

Sadly, life is not a comic book.

Good luck, Alex.

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In honor of Valentine's Day, today's blog post is about abortion.

There's been talk here in Georgia that the state legislature has been working on a new resolution to finally pass the long languishing Equal Rights Amendment. The local paper reported that one of the resolution's sponsors recently withdrew his support after talking with "people I know and people I trust" (who are, presumably two separate groups of people).

Before we go any further, to refresh your memory, this is the whole text of that very controversial proposed amendment to the United States Constitution:

"Equality of rights under law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

That's simple enough. Why would someone want to go on record as being against that? To answer that question, I did a little Googling. You may be surprised to know that the Internet is full of opinions on the topic.

Some people say that the ERA isn't necessary because it duplicates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which promises "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States." If that were true, women wouldn't have needed the 19th Amendment to cast votes.

Some people say that the ERA would prevent women from receiving favorable bias in paternity cases. They say it could also force women into the draft. Are either of these such a problem? I would hope that women would have to prove their fitness to be a parent in court. If a war is so damn important that we have to force our citizens into the armed forces, it seems to me that women should serve their country just as men do. (If the thought of your daughter going to war makes you think twice about the need for warfare, all the better.) And God forbid that anyone should have to use a uni-sex bathroom.

Some people say that the ERA is bad because it is just another example of the federal government stealing rights from the states. That's true. Granted, the "right" it would be stealing is the states' ability to treat women like second class citizens, but it's the principle of the thing!

However, the "people" who talked our representative out of supporting the ERA didn't use any of those arguments. No, the persuasive argument against guaranteeing women and men equal rights was — you guessed it — abortion. They said that if we give men and women true equality, they can no longer tell women what to do with their bodies. Horror of horrors!

Frankly, that strikes me as a bullshit reason to deny or abridge equal rights for women. I'm no girl or priest, and I'm generally pretty good at "keeping it in my pants," so I try to have no opinion on the subject, but the logic seems simple. If abortion is murder as the bumper stickers tell me, it should be illegal whether a man or woman is carrying a child. If it's not, then what difference does it make what gender does it? Neither case should have any bearing on whether women should have the same rights as men.

But what do I know? I try not to have an opinion, remember.

If you ask me, the best argument against the ERA is the existence of Valentine's Day itself. If women and men are so damn equal, someone should be buying *me* chocolates today, dammit.

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One of my classmates at UGA was an artist about a dozen years older than me named John Amoss. (Two "s"s. Not the actor). John was a fantastic printmaker and all-around good guy. (I'm sure that he's still a great printmaker. I hope he's still an all-around good guy.)

John once said that I reminded him of himself "before he got cynical about being cynical." That was over 15 years ago. I'm now older than John was when he told me that. Am I any less cynical?

Let's take the current ongoing federal government partial shutdown as a test case. We got here because the head of the executive branch said he wouldn't pass any legislation to fund the government unless it included $5 billion for his pet project, the border wall. His cronies in the legislative branch took the hint and have avoided giving him anything since. Meanwhile, many government agencies tasked with keeping the country safe are either shut down or forcing employees to work for free. That's the opposite of what our government is supposed to be doing. That's their job. Why aren't they doing it?

So long as it the government remains closed, the Democrats controlling the House can blame the President for refusing to give in negotiate with them. So long as it the government remains closed, the Republicans controlling the Senate can blame the Democrats for treating like the President like the baby he is leaving America's borders insecure. And so long as the government remains closed, the President can postpone lawsuits accusing him of violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution and eat mountains of fast food with football players.

Am I still cynical? Obviously. Am I too cynical? Sorry, John. There's no such thing.

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A) The National Safety Council reports that as of 2017, Americans are more likely to die from an accidental opiod overdose than from a car accident.

B) I don't take opiods, so I cannot overdose.

C) Therefore, I must not be an American.

That's called logic.

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Louis Vuitton is a well known French luxury fashion brand famous for their expensive purses like the Artsy MM:

a bag for your shit

That purse retails for $2,000, which explains why they are such a common target for counterfeiters. Therefore, the company is unusually aggressive about taking legal action against perceived violators of their valuable brand. That's why they sent MGA Entertainment Inc. a cease and desist letter over MGA's top-selling toy, the Poopsie Pooey Puitton.

a shit bag

According to Amazon.com, Poopsie Pooey Puitton contains 12 unicorn food packets. "Just add water to make a rainbow of poop!" Who wouldn't want that? Other than Louis Vuitton, I mean.

In response to Louis Vuitton's bullying, MGA has pre-emptively sued to defend their right for parody speech. The following is a real sentence in a real court filing, per Reuters.

The use of the Pooey name and Pooey product in association with a product line of "magical unicorn poop" is intended to criticize or comment upon the rich and famous, the Louis Vuitton name, the LV marks, and on their conspicuous consumption.

Make a statement about rampant materialism; buy your Poopsie Pooey Puitton today! (Did I mention this product is aimed at 5- to 10-year-olds?)

And that's where we are now. 2019. Year of the magical unicorn poop. At least until Louis Vuitton gets their hands on it. Or gets it on their hands.

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The good news about Global Warming: fewer deer.

According to a report issued by the American Geophysical Research Union, Arctic reindeer population has fallen by 50% in the past 20 years. It's possible that the end of the species is in sight. Hooray!

Just think, one blissful day, children across the world won't be able to differentiate 8 tiny reindeer from 8 dead dodos.

The long war between mankind and deerkind may finally be nearing the end. And we only had to kill the entire ecosystem to do it. What a small price to pay for total global dominance. Way to go, humanity!

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Almost everyone reading this already knows that in April 2014, my father moved to Fountain, Florida. What you may not know is that Fountain is only 37 miles due north of Mexico Beach, the town Hurricane Michael wiped off the map this past Wednesday.

Through a series of unexpected coincidences, Dad wasn't at home when the hurricane hit, which is good. (He has temporarily relocated to Heard County, Georgia for... other reasons.) Also good is the news that although trees fell everywhere around, including on his barn, the house emerged unscathed! Even his whole herd of cattle survived.

That's even more amazing considering that this news came from my father's friend who lives not 10 miles to the west. His friend's house was all but completely blown apart and submerged under water. (Fortunately, his friend was also out of town on business planned before and completely coincidental to the arrival of Michael.)

Both properties are without power and are expected to be so for another month. And while Father has offered his house to his friend, travel between the two will be quite the hike until Bay County can get around to clearing the roads of fallen trees, which might take considerably more than a month.

Anyway, the point of this story is that everyone is alive, and one day we'll all look back and laugh about it. Assuming that Dad's friend can find clean water and get gas to keep his generator running, and assuming that Dad ever gets over the fever he hasn't treated for the past two weeks because his doctor is unreachable.... Did I mention that the livestock seem fine?

UPDATE: I wrote this post on the 12th. On the 13th, Dad finally decided he'd had enough and visited the ER in Newnan where he was diagnosed with abscessed diverticulitis. That's bad. The hospital docs will determine on the 15th how well the abscess is responding to a heavy dose of antibiotics. Otherwise, there may be emergency surgery in Dad's near future. Freaking hurricane.

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At 5:15 PM yesterday, CNN was airing the news conference held by a deputy United States Attorney to explain the eight federal charges Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to, including Cohen's admission that heintentionally violated campaign finance laws "at the direction" of then-candidate Donald Trump.

At the exact same time on Fox News, Greg Gutfield was telling his audience that Cohen's guilty pleas were no big deal, since Cohen hadn't admitted to collusion with Russia.

I hate to admit it, but I can see where Gutfield is coming from.

Who would have thought that in 2018 a colleague of the United States President admitting to breaking the law to hide one of that President's many extra-marital affairs doesn't seem like front page news?

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has added a new category to the Oscars to reward movies that the general public likes. I think this is a bad idea. There's already an award for movies the general public likes. It's called money.

The new category is to be for "Outstanding Achievement in Popular Movies," which in addition to being an award dedicated to pandering, is also an insult to other, "unpopular" movies. How bad is Hollywood's current output that they can't combine "popular" and "quality"? Best Picture winners Rocky, The Godfather, Titanic, and Gladiator didn't need special treatment. Why should Ready Player One?

I get where they're coming from. The Academy views the Oscar telecast as an advertisement for movies, and last year the telecast had the lowest ratings in history. (Note to the Academy: everything on television was down year-to-year in 2017 as millennials cut every cord they could find.) They hope adding a new category specifically to feature movies like Avengers: Infinity War and Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom will cause more people to watch the telecast, and therefore, encourage more people to go out and watch movies. Specifically, movies they've already seen.

I don't have access to the information the Academy sees, but from where I sit, this seems an entirely unnecessary move. Why water down the value of an Oscar to promote the movies that are already making more than a billion dollars? Disney has released three billion-dollar-plus movies this year. Why not just give them a dedicated statuette? I'm sure they'll be glad to send that ice queen from Frozen to pick it up. That'll bring in the millennial audience in droves.

Essentially, what this new award comes down to is Hollywood telling you that if you like a movie, it probably isn't very good. The worst of it is, they're probably right.

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Not so long ago, conservative columnist Kathleen Parker wrote an editorial for the Washington Post complaining that Donald Trump should not be called "Putin's Poodle." She did not write this because she is a fan of Trump — she very openly considers him an albatross around the neck of the Republican party — but because poodles deserve better than to be called "weak" or "submissive." I couldn't agree more.

In fact, I wrote a similar editorial myself about a decade ago.

If you don't recall, in the winter of 2003, British Prime Minister Tony Blair was called "America's Poodle" for blindly supporting George W. Bush's push to invade Iraq in search of weapons of mass destruction. (Remember W? Remember when we thought he was the worst president in American history? Ah, the good old days!) That led to the University of Georgia student newspaper, The Red & Black, to run this editorial cartoon:

The British Bulldog represents Tony Blair, all bark with no bite. The poodle represents France, a vocal critic of the US/UK plan to invade Iraq. And the guy in the stove-pipe hat represents Colonel Sanders.

My response, which was more a reaction to an overreaction to the previous day's editorial cartoon than a reaction to this cartoon itself, read as follows:

Poodles no often angry or mean dogs. As a proud owner of a poodle, I found Mack Williams' portrayal of the snarling poodle in the editorial cartoon on Thursday to be deeply offensive. Obviously Williams has never even met a dog of the poodle breed or he would not so callously depict them as aggressive or mean-spirited. Poodles may tend to be high-strung but never, to my knowledge, are they malicious or cruel as Williams' dog with a curled lip and a ferocious accent implies. Anyone familiar with the breed would agree that poodles are loyal, good-humored animals deserving of our love, not our spite. To take the poodle breed so badly out of context in his cartoon dictates to me that Williams is indeed a twisted mind with no respect for anything decent in this world. It seems to me the truly rabid creature with the foaming mouth is not the libeled poodle, but Williams himself. WALTER STEPHENS, Staff, Athens, Administrative Secretary Lamar Dodd School of Art

I assure you, that was written with tongue firmly in cheek. Something tells me that Kathleen Parker was being a little more serious.

(You can see responses to my editorial in the blog post I wrote on Christmas Day 2006.)

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To be continued...

 

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