Archive for the politics Category

Pedantic Yammering & Humungous Mammaries

Posted in erotic, fetish, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics, satire, Sexy, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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Hope you bought national security companies’ stocks last week. Boston’s unfortunate 26.2 mile misadventure will be good for their businesses and likely bring you a handsome profit.

If you are a conservative pundit with your own radio, TV show  – or podcast – your ratings will soar as you excoriate the government and the liberal and medias elites for failing to protect America, giving that terrorist his miranda warnings, or refusing to send him to our tropical gulag. If you inhabit the conspiracy theory suburbs, you can raise cash by darkly impling it was all an Obama plot.

Of course, if you are xenophobic, you now have an explosive new argument t0 blow away immigration reform. If you are a staunch defender of the Glorious Second,  you can claim it would have been great if every Boston citizen had had an AR-15. Of course, Islamophobes are in hog heaven… It is sad for racists that those boys were white…

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Then there’s West, Texas. Just a tragic accident. nonexistent inspections?  Please, this is Texas. Even the West victims don’t blame the company. Just one of those things. Could have happened anywhere. Who could have foreseen it wasn’t really such a good idea to store tons and tons of fertilizer in the plant – or build a school, houses and a nursing home within a stone’s throw of that plant?

Strengthen regulations?  That would only take away jobs. Jobs sorely needed by the folks in West. What they really need is fast federal funds to rebuild. I mean, unlike those whining folks in New York and Jersey who were hit by a little wind and rain then got greedy, the good Texans in West are true blue Americans and  are only asking for what they deserve – and to get back some of their tax money from the feds (and some more from Jersey, New York, and all those other liberal states where everyone has more money than patriotism).

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Congress gets such a bum rap. Supposedly deadlocked, our brave and caring legislators rose up en mass and, in a magnificent show of bipartisanship, and did something about the senseless budget cuts mandated by the Sequester. With the across the board cuts crippling things like chemotherapy treatments for poor cancer patients, Head Start for poor kids, and nutrition programs for poor old folks, the Senate and House chose to give relief to the real victims of those draconian cuts: airlines and their customers. Who says  Congress doesn’t care…?

 Those cancer patients  are likely going to die anyway. Poor kids and seniors will always be with us (and besides, they’re just moochers). Businessmen – makers not takers   –  trapped in Duluth for three hours must be rescued from that near literal hell on earth…

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I’m not going to mention gun control. What is there to say? 

SEXY GIRLS IN BLUE

Flickr Gallery: Beautifully Blue
Flickr All photo by Hannah Davies and remixed by me, all subject to this creative commons license

It Ain’t Necessarily So…

Posted in FLICKR, history, politics, religion, Sexy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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It’s official. Same sex marriage (a/k/a marriage equality) is  surefire winner. Rush says so. No, really, that Rush. El Limbo. Inevitable, he says. Gonna happen. Doesn’t matter what the Supremes do. A done deal. He gives  up.

All us soft hearted (soft headed?) elitist, condescending liberals are, of course, smugly, “feeling on the right side of history” dee-lighted. Now that our cause is nearly won and our foes at the edge of defeat we may turn to the really fun part: playing a gotcha game of Who were the Good guys & the Bad guys. On our side! Oh, all those hideous right-wingers, Baptists, Republican politicians, and assorted hangers-on were vile, venomous villains. That goes without saying (alhough I just said it). But there were quislings on our team as well;  some of those who have alleged  allegiance to to all  things blue were, in truth,  too purple in the past.

Andrew Sullivan, who for a time was an heroic voice in the wilderness, recently excoriated Bill and Hillary Clinton for their abandonment of gay issues and embrace of DOMA during his term as President. I understand his reasoning. I think his attack largely unfair.  He wrote:

I find the opportunism of the Clintons – who did more substantive harm to gay people in eight years than any other administration – more disgusting than the fundamentalist hostility. At least the Christianists were sincere. The Clintons have always been phonies and opportunists and for Bill Clinton to proclaim the sanctity of marriage and sign DOMA while cigar-fucking his intern tells you a lot about him. On no issue were they as shameless as on this one – portraying themselves as civil rights advocates while kicking those of us fighting for equality squarely in the groin.

This  is clearly over the top. Were the Clintons heroes, standing against the then wave of homophobia? No. But it does not seem to count for Sullivan that Bill tried to end the ban on gays in the military. He botched it badly and ran into a hail of right wing fire that resulted in the infamous DADT policy reversed just last year by the Obama administration. Clinton’s appointment of gays likewise doesn’t seem to count.

Worse than the Christianists? Those who would gladly have put gays back in the closet, criminalized gay sex, banned gay teachers, etc. were better than the Clintons because they were sincere? Really??

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Bill Clinton was a politician. Politics is the art of  the possible. The early nineties were a much darker time for gay rights than the bright sunshine existing now – twenty years later.  What Sullivan was advocating then was simply not possible any more than abolition was possible in the 1840’s (remember, even Lincoln did  not advocate abolition  until well into the Civil War).

Was Clinton “insincere”. Of course. Good politicians frequently are. Was Obama sincere when he fully “evolved” to his embrace of same sex marriage last year? I haven’t a clue. It doesn’t matter to me. Sincerity doesn’t count. Results count. No amount of  sincere support for gay marriage rights by any president was going to change results in 1993.

Does any one honestly think Obama would have endorsed marriage equality five years ago? I supported Barrack in both 2008 and last years. There are lots of things I’d like him to do (prosecute those approving torture in the Bush years), Some of what I want simply isn’t possible right now. I’d love to see significant gun control. It won’t happen. There is nothing Obama can do to change that. Five or ten years from now things might be different.

The art of the possible… Of course  reasonable minds may differ on whether the possibilityo f whatever exists in the present. I was aghast when the prop 8 and DOMA opponents sought Supreme Court rulings. My fear was what was essentially a political move would backfire and set gay rights back a decade or more. After oral argument I’m not quite so fearful (particularly on DOMA).

Same sex marriage is clearly possible today. A la Senator Portman’s endorsement of equality, those politicians jumping on the big pink bus risk little to belatedly join the rainbow parade. But we need to remember the future course of history was darkly unsure twenty plus years ago. The homophobic winds behind opponents of gay rights backs was nearly gale force.  I wouldn’t have believed in 1993 that a mere twenty years later marriage would be within spitting distance of the finish line.

It ain’t necessarily so that the Clintons – or anyone else – should have known that back then…
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FLICKR GROUP: Gay Marriage/USA

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Stripper Kitties!

Posted in fetish, FLICKR, history, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics, religion, sexual with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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Let’s face this sad fact: Visions is a tawdry sex blog. It’s true. No matter how many high minded posts we upload about culture or politics, the smutty pics and stories are what draw hits. We know it. You know it. Hell, even Bob Doles knows it!

There are, as you surely know, lots – and I mean Big Lots – of sex blogs on the ‘net. Sex is either the most popular topic in the History of the world or in the top three – food & death being the other two (except in England, where sex is replaced by gardening).

Here’s a sex blog I’ve discovered: Tits and Sass. T&S can best be described as a serious journal written by sex workers – strippers and hookers, mostly. More than forty contributors are listed. Here’s what the site says about itself:

Tits and Sass is a group blog run by sex workers who saw a void when it came to witty commentary on the public image of our industry. The ideas promoted about us in the public eye have an impact on the realities of our lives as sex workers every bit as strong as the law, so we’re not letting any more dead hooker or stripper bones jokes pass by without comment.

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Visions spends much of the time wallowing in ignorance and had no clue the was a vibrant community of literate – and politicly active – positive sex workers. Here are links to some of the more serious T&S posts: Sex Work and Storytelling at “Sex and Justice”License to Pimp: A Conversation with Filmmaker Hima B.Stripper Shot At Strip Club Denied Worker’s Comp. If you doubt a sexblog can be deadly earnest, here’s a “quote of the day”:

The TERF [trans-exclusionary radical feminist] is obsessed with dividing feminism at all costs and commenting negatively on women’s sexuality. sex-shaming is a historical patriarchal tool to remind those of us who are women of the position the patriarchy wants us to hold: inferior.  the TERF is loud about sex work being evil, ignoring that for many trans people and for many people of color, sex work is the only work there is. (emphasis in original)

But, hey, Visions doesn’t really care when it comes to serious sex stuff about the intersection of sex work and  politics, law, culture, or feminism. We are just looking for some quick and mindless fun. We found it! There appears to be a continuing feature on T&S, Stacks & Cats: photos of sex workers’ cats with stacks of their (earned) cash. Check them out here, here, and here.

Flickr Groups: Hookers, Whores and Whorehouses , Porn Stars & Strippers

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Photo credits: click top image for cat; cash: both – and remix – subject to this CC license. For bottom two images, click for credit and cc license.

 

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Too Darn Hot!

Posted in erotic, FLICKR, lingerie, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, pinup, politics, sexual, Sexy, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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According to the Kinsey Report
Ev’ry average man you know
Much prefers to play his favorite sport
When the temperature is low,
But when the thermometer goes ‘way up
And the weather is sizzling hot,
Mister Adam
For his madam.
Is not,
‘Cause it’s too, too 
Too darn hot,
It’s too darn hot,
It’s too darn hot.

Too Darn Hot, by Cole Porter, from Kiss Me Kate

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I caught Al Gore on the Daily Show last week. I’ve had a soft spot for Gore ever since I shook his hand during his last senate campaign back in the day. He would have been President in 2001 if he had only run an honest campaign – if he hadn’t treated Clinton, and his successful policies like radioactive shit and had paid no attention to the “experts” trying to rebrand him every other week. On the other hand, I think his loss allowed him to become an actual human being.

Anyway, he was talking on the show about global warming. I agreed with everything he said. Its staggeringly stupid we, as a nation, treat climate change as just below the lack of Washington parking as a problem. One political party pretends climate change is a hoax, the other barely mentions it.

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The less developed countries, particularly India and China, ignore the issue, too, in their frantic effort to modernize. Think Beijing smog and add  another million plus cars then add another million plus in India (oh, yes, add about another couple of thousand coal fired power plants). When the West’s industries came of age in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries no country did – or even thought to do – anything about climate change. When America barely preaches on the subject of climate how can we expect China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the dozen other nations clawing themselves up the economic ladder with dirty carbon based fuels.

Not that it really matters.

It’s too damn late to do anything about the climate. Think about this: suppose we could wave a magic wand and reduce carbon emissions to 1985 levels and kept them there for a decade or so. 1985 levels would not reverse global warming, it would only slow it down a bit. Indeed, if we could eliminate all carbon emissions global warming would continue for decades.

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Perhaps in another decade or so there will be such a catastrophic climate event world leaders will finally realize the seriousness of the problem. But what will they do? More to the point, will they be willing to drastically reduce emissions? By that time will serious cuts do any good? I suspect every industrial nation will demand the others go first (or falsely claim they are cooperating).

I’m a pessimist. If we discovered a huge asteroid hurtling toward earth with the potential to destroy all life on our planet, I have no doubt world leaders would quickly coalesce around a massive effort to solve the problem, no matter the cost.

On the other hand, its not beyond the possible that the GOP would decry the vast astronomical conspiracy to further th UN’s goal of  world domination…

But with climate change, the evidence will accrue so slowly that it will be long past way too late by the time the world gets even semi-serious…

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All photos by Mario Mercea, and subject to this creative commons license

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Cleavage on Senate Reform

Posted in fetish, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics, Sexy, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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Because of inclement weather I did not get the liberal talking points yesterday. If the following comments are not in step with current liberal doctrine I will profusely apologize, delete this post (replacing it with a hagiographic review of Joe Biden’s Vice-Presidency), and report to the nearest re-education camp with only my Streisand CDs, little red book of Paul Krugman’s sayings, and  my ragged biodegradable burlap bag of Arugula (and other green plant like material).

Many progressives are distraught Harry Reid bailed on real filibuster reform this week. The Senate will only make modest changes agreeable to the Republicans. In other words, it will be business as usual in the upper chamber of Congress for the next two years.

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Is the lack of real Senate reform a bad thing? Maybe, but I’m not so sure…

The Senate is – has always been – resistant to majority rule; it was crafted to be that way. North and South Dakota, Alaska,Wyoming, and Vermont – with a combined population of only 3.5 million, have the same combined representation – power – as New York, Illinois, Florida, Texas and California with a total of 115 million. Again, it was planned that way (the Constitution would surely never have been adopted otherwise). Senators representing a score plus one of lightly populated states can (and often have) thwart the legislative goals of those representing a vast majority of the population. The power of individual senators and the rules of the body also limit a majority’s ability to get its way, or at least get its way in anything like a hurry.

Of course, a Senate with “correct representation” and run like the House where a bare majority can do basically whatever it wants, might be a good thing; it would make America a parliamentary system. On an abstract level I support such a reform. State sovereignty is an anachronism. Any proposal to radically alter, or abolish, the Senate has no chance of happening. It would require a Constitutional amendment to make changes and none of the smaller states would ever agree.

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But, but, but… The sword cuts both ways. Better the devil you know. Look before you leap. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. 

Tampering with the Senate filibuster rules is a dangerous business for Democrats. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. This year the Republicans are frustrating the Democratic majority. In four years, however, there may be a Republican president, House of Representatives and Senate. Without the filibuster (and other nondemocratic measures (think holds), Democrats would then be powerless to prevent a disciplined conservative majority, even if it were only by a single vote, reforming erasing almost every progressive program.

If Democrats were to employ the nuclear option now and end the filibuster in whole or in serious part, should the Republicans capture the Senate they would surely retaliate in kind. In 2015 or 2017 Republicans, citing the reform of this year as justification, could strip power from minority Democrats. 

The Filibuster may limit saintly Democrats from enacting noble legislation, but it also prevents wicked Republicans from enacting devilish laws, too.

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There is one area, however, where reform would be all for the good – confirmation of presidential appointments, and particularly judicial appointments. For the past decade or so each party has attempted to torpedo the judicial nominees of a president of the opposite party. This has resulted in a depleted federal judiciary and a reluctance of potential nominees to undergo the prolonged and rocky road to confirmation. It’s worst, of course, with Supreme Court nominees. Presidents increasingly name young  “stealth” candidates with little or no legal record to attack or bland middle oft the road lower judges with only their good confirmation prospects to commend them. Nominees have grown skillful at dodging questions about controversial legal matters.

Increasingly executive branch nominees are resisted by the opposing party simply because they share the President’s political views or are deemed too partisan (and, of course, Congress keeps expanding the number of executive branch officials subject to Senate confirmation). Carried to its logical extreme, this practice would literally prevent a President from controlling the highest level of government.

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All original photos by JACREWS7 and subject to this creative commons license (all photos adapted)

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…COLD DEAD HANDS!

Posted in FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics, religion with tags , , , , , on January 18, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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I winced when Obama set out his gun agenda – not because I disagree with it (in fact, I’d go way further), but because I knew what would be coming from the ridiculous right. As I knew would happen, we have reached the end of America as we know it, the end of freedom and democracy, the evidence Obama is a dictator worse than Hitler, Stalin, Po Pot, etc.

They’re coming for our guns!!

N0. They aren’t. Nobody is even suggesting that. Besides, who exactly would come? The 2500 ATF agents? Let’s see, suppose 50 million households harbor guns…… each ATF agent would need to confiscate the guns from 20,000 homes. Since they are government workers, lets say each guy can make it to three houses a day (remember, each agent must search each home for concealed weapons and, if necessary, subdue any resisting household member)… Yes, in a mere eighteen  years every gun in America will be gone! Wait, the FBI has just shy of fourteen thousand agents. They could accomplish the goad in only three plus years! 

What about the army? If the army’s in the pocket of the liberal elite then the game is truly over. M1-A1 tanks, black attack helicopters, cluster bombs, and five hundred thousand guys in camouflage suits, kevlar helmets and body armor trump a bunch of Tea Party/Militia patriots armed with shotguns, semi-automatic rifles, molitov cocktails and pitchforks.

So, not only is no one coming for Uncle Bob’s – or anyone else’s –  AR-15, but it would be impossible for any government agency (other than the army) to do so.

 There are approximately 200 million privately owned guns in America. That’s before you add on police firearms. That apparently isn’t enough for the NRA. That’s only about two thirds of a firearm for each and every citizen – man, woman & child – in our great nation. What’s wrong with those wimpy hundred plus million? Don’t they realize the only way to be safe is to pack the best heat you can afford (hmmm; shouldn’t poor folk be given low cost firearm and ammo?)

There are actually grown people not in confinement and walking around who believe the Newtown massacre was really an Obama conspiracy created to allow him to take our guns away. Yes, I can hear Obama now outlining the nefarious plan to Joe Biden…

OK, Joe, here’s how we’ll get rid of all the guns. We’ll send black op guys to a school somewhere – Connecticut might work – and have them bump off a whole bunch of school kids with assault rifles – first graders would be best, I think, just imagine how those little corpses will play in the press. Of course, we’ll need to get the parents of the victims and the surviving school officials, and local police and hospitals to play along but that shouldn’t be hard (we won’t have to bother about the media they’ve been  in our pocket for years…) Then we’ll send in the black helicopters and our blue helmeted thugs to snatch all two hundred guns in this fould land!

Joe: Ahh! my dear Hussein! More of your Muslim Nigerian brilliance! Soon Amerika will be a socialist state governed by Sharia Law.

But for our Righty neighbors common sense doesn’t matter when the Antichrist is in the White House. Stampeded by the NRA’s shrill siren they’ll rush to their nearest gun shop, buy another few guns and a shitload of ammo and jumbo clips, then rush to the post office to mail their four figure donation to their favorite patriotic group fighting to save America from lib’ruls and darkies.

Click image for credit. Original and remix subject to this creative commons license

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You’re Kidding Me, Right!?

Posted in FLICKR, history, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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Idiocy on Parade


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If only we’d known… Slavery could have been avoided in America if blacks had possessed firearms in 1776.

“We are looking for a peaceful protest,” Ward said. Continuing, “I think Martin Luther King, Jr. would agree with me if he were alive today that if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country’s founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history.”  Larry Ward, gun nut

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Does Hobby Lobby go to church?

Hobby Lobby founder contests Obamacare contraception mandate claiming it violates he religious convictions. Somehow I doubt the company is a sole proprietorship or partnership. If I’m right then I’m at a loss to understand what the religious beliefs of  mere officers or stockholders have to do with the corporate “person” (hat tip to Mitt). On the other hand, the Supreme Court has ruled corporations have the First Amendment right to free speech so maybe they can have the right of religious liberty too.

Obama nixes Death Star

In yet another sign Obama is dangerously soft on national defense, his administration announced it would not build a Death Star despite the popular clamor. Even more shocking was the President’s rejection of destroying enemy planets, giving our other worldly enemies aid and comfort.

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Gun nut loses right to carry concealed weapon after exercising his right to free speech.

I don’t like gun nuts and I believe in strict regulation of firearms, including banning assault rifles and oversixed magazines. Despite those beliefs, I find it outrageous that my home state of Tennessee revoked James Yeager’s permit to cary a concealed weapon because of  his statement calling for other gun nuts to lcck & load to be ready to combat federal gun control. Its fashionable these days for gun advocates to claim one of the justifications for the Second Amendment is for citizens to be able to go to war with a tyrannical government. Tennessee has more than its share of such true believers. What Yeager said, while ugly, surely falls under the First Amendment’s protection. If I’m right then I don’t see how his right to carry can be curbed.

Update: It appears, from this blog post, that Yeager violated Tennessee’s constitutional ban on dueling.

Libertarian promises to have no contact with traitors who voted for Obama.

Eric Dondero, a passionate libertarian and Obama hater, is promising to shun forever all Democrats and Obama voters, even those who are part of his family:

  I’m choosing another rather unique path; a personal boycott, if you will. Starting early this morning, I am going to un-friend every single individual on Facebook who voted for Obama, or I even suspect may have Democrat leanings. I will do the same in person. All family and friends, even close family and friends, who I know to be Democrats are hereby dead to me. I vow never to speak to them again for the rest of my life, or have any communications with them. They are in short, the enemies of liberty. They deserve nothing less than hatred and utter contempt.

If only every wingnut would follow the same policy I wouldn’t be forced to listen to their harangues against Obama’s attempt to destroy America with Sharia law, gun bans, or the destruction of  Christianity.

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The rich are getting richer and the poor poorer – even in Monopoly. 

The iconic game is dumping one of its working class tokens – thimble, iron, boot or the wheelbarrow. The upper crust tokens – battleship, top hat, scottie dog, and the race car are untouchable. Next thing you know players will have to pass a credit check to get in the game.

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