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Mr Smith goes to #FuckYouWashington

The netizens are revolting. On the eve of US "austerity measures" the Twitterverse is crowdsourcing its ire against the de facto seat of world government. The unprintable hashtag won't trend on social networks -- it's alleged, even as momentum builds like a movie title mashup. Typical sentiment: FuckYouWashington for putting profit above people. The laundry list of injustices is staggering and as a political party platform, it's writing itself. What is democracy but crowdsourced grievances in search of redress? As tweeters hurry to open external floodgates, it's going to be interesting to see which if any of the social networks decide to unleash its participants from the censorship which constrains the profanity they want to share. #FuckYouWashington for your mass murder, inhumanity, enslavement, penury and usury and then telling me this hashtag is profane.

The least of teargas effects are tears

Teargas has become a misnomer of course.What's being used so liberally to suppress demonstrations, to be graphically specific, is vomit-inducing PUKE-GAS. It's a nausea agent, a respiratory inhibitor, and except when used by the paramilitary police-state, "teargas" is prohibited chemical warfare.

I just got an email from Pres. Obama

I just got an email from President Obama. He wants me to lead. He says the politicians in Washington won't do their job unless I do their job for them. At face value, that's just weird. Are constituents to imagine that stump speeches fall by the wayside when the polls close and representatives develop amnesia from which only lobbyists can deliver them? Does anyone really believe that the public has to jump hoops for good governance? Who drinks crap-flavored Kool-Aid? 24308

If you have to ask for whom the fat lady sings, it is not for Tahrir Square.

--And to really mix my malaprops, she sings for them that bought her. If there was one variable which got away from the underdogs of Egypt's Jan25 Revolution, it was who would referee the endgame. While Hosni Mubarak's stunning defiance Thursday night looked like a Hail Mary pass hoping to provoke the protesters to mayhem, as a defensive strategy he was moving the goalposts. Anticipating a capitulation, the Tahrir Square demonstrators made clear it was the entire regime which needed ousting, no Suleiman, no Emergency Law, an inviolate list of demands. Mubarak's insulting buffoonery focused the great beast's wrath like a rodeo clown. When the announcement came he was stepping down, who could not help but raise a cheer, drowning out the earlier precautions. Mubarak played Egypt like a fiddle, as he burned it, while the fat lady of state media called the game over. 22917

Poetry of Barack Obama invokes MLK but pays true homage to Rod McKuen

Jesus what a bore! Remember when SNL lampooned Sarah Palin's first prime time TV interview by reenacting it verbatim? They could do that with Obama' humorless addresses, I think it would make great theater, but the joke's already abysmally old. Maybe we need a drinking game where everyone paying close attention could drink the moment President Obama mouthed a phrase that wasn't a cliche or platitude. Alright, not a drinking game. 22904

US vexed Swiss will support peace not peacekeeping or peace enforcement

In a Dec 2, 2008 diplomatic cable released by Aftenposten, the US ambassador to Switzerland reports that US-Swiss relations "lack the natural intimacy and trust" because, he laments:   "U.S. and Swiss soldiers never fought side-by-side in a war, no Swiss town felt an emotional bond to the U.S. for a past liberation or economic assistance program," which creates the vexing obstacle that the Swiss Army won't lend their knives to NATO or other USG non-multilateral projects:   "The Swiss military is limited by law to participating only in peace support operations (PSOs) -- as opposed to peacekeeping or peace enforcement --" I'll interrupt here to highlight the distinction which the historically-neutral, tri-lingual, direct-democracy Swiss nation makes, perhaps like the Inuit and their fabled hundred words for snow. Americans are sold only one kind of peace, which has to be kept and enforced. We have only one word for peace and it's not peace.

In Tennessee, ACLU = Terrorists

The Memphis Homeland Security fusion center has a map listing the Tennessee ACLU as a "Terrorist Event." Compound that with what a ranking senator (R-AL) has called the "ACLU DNA." It goes beyond semantics when the label of terrorist means by executive order suspects can be detained without charges, indefinitely and without an enforceable standard of human rights. Think twice about those giving credence to Vice President Biden's categorization of Wikileaks as more terrorism than journalism. On the lighter dark side, the CIA has set up a Wikileaks Task Force (WTF), prompting comedian Andy Borowitz to suggest the more apt Stop Terrorists From Uniting (STFU).

Hillendale Farm bursts pastoral cliche

The recall of salmonella-tainted eggs reaches half-billion as second farm implicated. Wait a minute, we're only up to two farms? What kind of "farm" yields 250 million eggs? Not one you'd picture called Sunny Farms, or Sunny Meadow, or Wholesome Farms, or West Creek. These are the pastoral facades behind Hillendale Farm, the latest source of factory food-sourcing contamination. But the mother of all deceptively cruel trade name conjures "over hill and dale," the expanse of concentrations of cages required to "farm" those chickens.

Futbol or Football, it’s all about us

Americans already have a "football" and so come into conflict with a majority of the world when our television broadcasters have to say "soccer" and assuage the confusion of US viewers when confronted by everyone else's "football." And ironic too, the sportscasters like to explain, compounding their error, because it's about the foot and the ball, unlike domestic football which is about using your hands to carry an un-spherical bladder. But this humor presumes another American overreach: "Futbol" incorporates "foot" and "ball" only if you speak English. 19129

What freedom means to me: not what it used to

As the next ships are mobilized to challenge the siege of Gaza, NYC supporters of Israel paraded a "True Freedom Flotilla" around the harbor. This point may already be moot, "Freedom" doesn't mean what it used to. Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom are exercises in duplicity, and "Freedom of Speech" is hollow. The Oslo Freedom Forum was packed with globalization ringers. Freedom Fries were just embarrassing. The Smithsonian exhibit about America's wars is entitled "The Price of Freedom."

Bananagrams true lowercase scrabble

SNL's Weekend Update poked fun at a tragic development in the world of word games. SCRABBLE rescinded its famous prohibition on proper names and places, leaving SNL to suggest that JENGA should let us use glue. Was traditional Scrabble (let's call it Scrabble Classic) becoming too difficult for today's wordsmiths? Maybe conjuring anagrams from a modern vocabulary has became too hard a scrabble. The timing of this generous handicap would seem to take aim at viral rival BANANAGRAMS, a faster but no looser crossword game. I think the focus playgroup missed a larger no-child-left-behind incompatibility, math. To square off with Bananagrams, Scrabble needs to dumb down the arithmetic. 15951

A bird in the hand is worth health care and a climate consensus in the bush

Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. It's better than nothing. We're getting it from all direction now, from Copenhagen to the health care bill. The message is delivered by experienced elder statesmen whose benevolence we do not question because they are retired and have no horse in the race -yet they have access to the halls of power where real stakeholders are denied? Silver hair and silver tongues pitch: "Those who say a bad deal is better than no deal are dead wrong." You're kidding me Grandpa. 13049

Three meals away from revolution

The phrase is oft quoted, but no one knows who originated it --or, even if it's true. It could just be an old pharah's wives tale. But Obama buys it: from the people who brought you hope.gov we've now come to ready.gov. Where the White House assures you there is no need to fear coming plagues and pestilence so long as you "Prepare. Plan. Stay Informed." and be sure to have food for three days. 10622

No Teabagger, Glenn Beck is a Teabag

We've been calling them teabaggers, the impulsive naysayers to reform and a rededicated social conscience; so named because they decry "taxation without representation." Having lost the election of 2008, their idiocy is no longer represented in Washington by someone they feel they can share a beer with. So they hold "tea parties," minus the jettisoning of capitalist goods. They protest all government spending, question Barack Obama's birth certificate, and rail against immigrants, socialism, and the decline of White America. We call them "Teabaggers," but the term conjures an unmerited sexual act. We should call them "Teabags" instead. I'd like a dittohead wingnut nickname that sounds more like scumbag.

Company wolves in nonpartisan clothing

Would you believe it? Not My Tribe is "nonpartisan!" We favor neither Republican or Democrat, although current usage presumes you are of course one or the other, it's just that you've agreed not to show bias. Nonpartisan is not "non-aligned." It does not mean you are neither. Nonpartisan has become more like "nondenominational." Which means not of a specific religious adherence, but certainly belonging to one of them. And like nondenominational, isn't it a ruse? 8459

Edmund Burke and the prevalent evil

Everyone wants to quote Edmund Burke: "All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." I just heard it evoked by NPR, raising the alarm about a rash of albino murders in Tanzania, ostensibly for body parts considered to have medicinal value. Albinism has carried a stigma for every one person among 100,000, more in some parts of Africa. I'm sure we're agreed it must stop. And what of HIV deaths, post-colonial greed-bred strife, slavery, or the dire environmental consequences of our industrial myopia? I offer a revision: "All that is necessary for evil to prevail, is for bad men to harp on the specter of manageable evils so that you don't face up to the prevalent one."

Is Charles Manson getting out in 2012? Absolutely!

Today on the public radio, I heard PRI's Matthew Bell pose a question for the program The World. "Is President Bush underrated?" His verdict: "Absolutely!" Well the answer wasn't Bell's, actually. But the attribution fell outside the sound bite: Bell went on to say: "At least that's what President Bush believes." 6080

North Pole-tergeists from Christmas Passed

A highlight of the Christmas season every year is gathering my big family together under one roof -- my children, my parents, five siblings and their spouses, and twelve (thirteen by year's end!) nieces and nephews. Everyone is married now, save me and the kids, but I can recall many holidays when new boy- or girlfriends were part of the celebration. 5810

Obama said The Ukraine not Ukraine tsk

On the subject of spinning the debates...   Did you hear about Barack Obama's horrible gaffe in the first debate?! According to public radio, Obama referred to "The Ukraine" instead of the less diminutive "Ukraine" sans-the. PRI's The World trotted out tsk-tsks from a Ukrainian-accented expert who derided Obama for his un-PC insensitivity to her country's post-Soviet independence. 4986

Compare Eastern Front EMBED footage

Embedding journalists in the military is not new. It's simply privatizing the Army press corp. Doesn't this early coverage of Operation Barbarossa look strikingly like the US advance on Baghdad? Support the Troops!

The heterosexual Lesbians of Lesbos

The islanders of Lesbos are angry that in the English speaking world, when they introduce themselves as Lesbian, it gets a laugh. Residents of Lesbos are suing to prevent a Greek gay and lesbian interest group from using the English word in their name. Some even point to evidence that the ancient poet and proto-lesbian Sappho was not homosexual. Apparently Sappho was from Lesbos, ergo, Lesbian, Lesbians. 3287

CENTCOM is central command of what?

As the invasion of Iraq progressed, I remember constant references to CENTCOM. Journalists would receive their briefings from CentCom, a tent in Kuwait by all appearances. I thought CentCom represented central military communications there, a safe spot behind our lines where generals could command artillery, logistics, etc. 2665

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