Republicans too patriotic to vote early

Written by Scarabus


Daily Kos 2


Republicans don’t vote early because they’re patriots says Republican encouraging them to vote early

by Jed LewisonFollow for Daily Kos


When a reporter from the Wall Street Journal asked Jeff Kauffman, the chairman of Iowa’s Republican Party, about the challenges he faces with his party’s push to get Republicans to vote earlier—particularly the fact that twice as many Democrats have requested early ballots as Republicans in his state—he answered:

Mr. Kaufmann said he didn’t expect Republicans to close the gap with Democrats this year. Many Republican voters, he said, see voting as a public act of patriotism and don’t wish to give up their Election Day routine.

“There are so many more Republicans for whom the act of going to the polls on Election Day is an act of gratitude, an act of duty, an act of saying thank you to their country,” said Mr. Kaufmann, a former state lawmaker who became party chairman in June. “It really means a lot to many of them.”



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Written by Scarabus


As retribution for the way they treated his good and faithful servant Wayne, Ahura-Mazda zaps a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, turning into a Royal Caribbean ghost ship! All the innocent (at least in this particular incident) crew members, passengers, and top-shelf booze and wine were simultaneously zapped onto a much nicer ship belonging to a different line.


Rc 3


The ship is really Royal Carribean cruise ship, either the one I was actually on or its sister. The photo was made by my wife, daughter, or son-in-law while they were on a cruise with our granddaughter. The ship was anchored at the time. I cut it out of the harbor, then used OnOne’s Perfect Mask and Perfect Enhance to remove sky, water, dock, tenders and anchor. I then composited it with a stock photo of a storm at sea. The frothy churned-up water was appropriated from two different surfing shots. (I cut out just the part of the waves where they were breaking, copied the cut-out parts several times and then combined them. The surface appearance was created using a filter from Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3.

Pure silliness!

Written by Scarabus

I’ve long thought about writing a short story featuring a “Kudzu Monster.” (I doubt I’m the only one contemplating a story like that!) Anyone who’s at all familiar with kudzu will understand.

No, I didn’t make it up. “Kudzu” is, I’m told, an awkward transliteration of a Japanese word. The plant it refers to was imported from Japan as a decorative vine, first promoted at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, and later promulgated by the federal government as a combined means to control soil erosion and feed livestock.

As you can easily infer from this, kudzu looks attractive (unless it’s killing more essential vegetation, which sort of spoils the fun). And it grows very, very rapidly. Indeed, it’ll cover anything in its path, and it continues to spread. What do I mean? Check this:


Kudzu Comp 1


I don’t want to get distracted by reflections on living entities like coral reefs, comprised of many discrete organisms, or communication from one part of a vine to another. I’ll save that for the short story or other creative expression. This is much more prosaic. Nevertheless, if you take time to think about it, it’s equally fascinating.


PalmMonster 1


Imagine this as the illustration for a highly melodramatic story where this passage appears: “…the palm tree monster stalks its prey…slowly, imperceptibly, inexorably. 

Eventually, without anyone’s realizing it, the monster has struck. It crushes its prey, then in total silence it consumes that prey, making it a part of the monster’s own flesh and substance … and thus complicit in its subsequent predation.


        Alas, poor Garden Hose! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow

 of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath 

 borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how 

 abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rises at 

 it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know 

 not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your

 gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, 

 that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one 

 now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen. 


All kidding aside. Serious problem of kudzu to trivially pathetic joke substituting a garden hose for poor Yorick, nature will out. It will continue “naturing.” Did you see the video where Steve Stockman was totally castrated by the scientist he was attacking re orbital wobble and global warming?

Nature will not be denied. We can work with it, or we can perish. Our choice. Oh yes, we can hurt nature. We can hasten our own demise by doing so. But regardless of how many stupid buffoons like Steve Stockman show their respective asses, nature will not be mocked. The processes of natural law are inexorable. Kudzu continues to spread its suffocating blanket across our states. We introduced it, and it’s strangling us. Global warming continues to rise. We caused it — we continue to feed it! — and it’s likely to destroy human civilization.


 ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞


For the record, the palm tree engulfing the garden hose is real, not Photoshop. I took the photo close to the south side of our house.

Are Republicans missing a gene for irony?

Written by Scarabus


Voila Capture 2014 07 07 04 18 44 PM


John Boehner Says Unemployed People ‘Just Sit Around,’ Don’t Think They Have To Work

Posted on September 19, 2014 at 9:07 am

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) seemed to echo Mitt Romney’s infamous claim that 47 percent of Americans are “takers” who suck up government benefits during a speech at a conservative Washington D.C. think tank on Thursday. Addressing the American Enterprise Institute, Boehner suggested that President Barack Obama’s economy has lulled many unemployed people into a sense of dependence on government.

“This idea that has been born, maybe out of the economy over the last couple years, that you know, I really don’t have to work. I don’t really want to do this. I think I’d rather just sit around. This is a very sick idea for our country,” he said.


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Religion and misogyny

Written by Scarabus


The honeymooners pow2


Domestic violence is much in the news these days. (Duh!) This is a perennial issue, of course, but … sadly … it’s usually invisible to the general public. The problem surfaces only when a celebrity’s involved. And, unfortunately, most of the celebrities we’ve learned about recently have been Black. The public can settle back smugly and say, “Yeah. Those Black show-business freaks. Those pampered Black athletes.”

Fortunately [think “air-quotes” or ironic tone] we’ve also heard now about some White celebrities. For example, Meredith Viera has opened up about being both physically abused and psychologically traumatized by her husband. And at the same time we’re learning about Federal Judge Mark Fuller. Etc. This is a human problem, not a racial or celebrity problem.

Of course questions of individual character and such are involved here – but those questions should be considered in a larger ideological and cultural context. How often has Christian James Dobson written and preached about how parents who do not physically punish their children are failing their social and religious obligations? How often have Islamic extremists said that women are responsible for protecting men from sinful lust (cover your hair, your skin, even your eyes!), and if men give in to the lust it’s the women’s fault. And Pat Robertson of the 700 Club? Sheesh!

Example? A guy who watches the show has written to ask for help:




Robertson’s response? “Well, you could become a Muslim and you could beat her. … I think this man’s got to stand up to her, and he can’t let her get away with this stuff. I don’t think we condone wife-beating these days, but something’s gotta be done to make her …


Now for something (seemingly) completely.


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What’s going on here? Did this dude convince a woman to go skinny-dipping, leaving her totally vulnerable, so he could practice his karate chops on her helpless body?

No, not really. Here’s the context:

This is a  cropped segment of a miniature marginal illustration from an illuminated book of hours dating from the late High Middle Ages/Early Renaissance – that of Jean de Montauban. A book of hours was a compilation of various segments including such items as prayers, psalms, segments of various masses. These codex manuscripts were illuminated (illustrated) with full page, marginal, and capital miniature paintings.

Here’s the full image:


Skinny dip 1


So what the hell’s going on here? The explanation is that this miniature illustrates a passage from a popular but non-canonic biblical story,

…an apocryphal text called Vita Adae et Evae (The Life of Adam and Eve). It relates how after the Angel expelled them from the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve cried and moaned for 7 days. … Adam suggested they should do a penance: he was to stay 40 days in the River Jordan, while Eve, more fragile, was to stay only 33 days in the River Tigris. And so they went, but after only 28 days, Satan, dressed up in disguise as an Angel, tempted Eve a second time, telling her that God had already granted her forgiveness. Again she yielded and left the water before the end of the penance, ruining all the efforts made thus far and the chance to ever make the return to Paradise.


You see what that’s about? Two different versions of the creation in Genesis, and the two that religious leaders accepted just two of many that were circulating. The most familiar version says Eve was most weak, and she in turn tempted Adam. The version illustrated here doubles down on that – literally! Eve yielded to temptation twice, and twice she led strong, honest Adam to sin. Obviously, men have to be in control, right? And they have to control women in such a way as to prevent them from leading virtuous men astray.

Incidentally, another of the creation stories floating around at the time the two in Genesis were selected involved Adam’s first wife, Lilith. Check that one out!

In every case, the man is steadfast; the woman yields to temptations of the devil; and the woman then leads the man into trouble. And a lot of men seem still to believe that fantasy — Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and others:

Human male:  It’s not my fault, Lord, the woman made me do it!


Deity anthropomorphized as divine male:  Don’t be such a wuss! Force the woman into cowering submission!


Human male:  Yes, anthropomorphized male deity! You’re right. I’ll make the woman cover the tempting parts of her body (understanding that the relevant parts will be determined by culture and tradition). And if the woman dares challenge my absolute authority, I’ll beat the shit out of her.





Safety of the U.S.

Written by Scarabus


The following sentence in an MSNBC article caught my attention: “The percentage of Americans who believe the United States is less safe is at its highest point since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.”


There’s nothing unusual about that sentence. We hear or read variations all the time. This one struck me because of the present context, I guess. Anyhow, some questions to ponder:


What does it mean to say that “the United States is less safe”?


  • Less safe than what?
  • Less safe from what?
  • Does the assertion refer to the nation per se…?
  • … or to individual residents of the nation?


The politicians, the Right Wing Noise Machine, and the “mainstream” media are so eager for blood that they’re working day and night to terrify Americans sufficiently to get them to accept yet another war of choice. This is what we all should really fear. Consider some numbers:




We are in much greater danger from ourselves and each other than from international terrorists.


Maybe a picture would help:




See the blue dot inside the red circle? That’s a generous estimate of the size of the territory controlled by I.S.I.S./I.S.I.L.

Say what!?

Written by Scarabus

Nation of Change 2


Russia Denounces Obama’s Plan for Syria Airstrikes as Violation of International Law

Juan Cole

15 September 2014 


The U.S. push against ISIL was recently challenged by Russia. Is the Obama administration setting up a future proxy war between itself and Russia once ISIL is defeated?



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