Fifty years ago today….

This is going to get a lot of attention in the news today, and with good reason.

On January 20th, 1961, President John F. Kennedy gave his inaugural address. It’s one of the most famous, moving speeches in our nation’s history, and most folks can recite at least one line from it.

For those who may never have heard or read the whole thing, you can do both at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum’s website. John F. Kennedy Inaugural Address

In addition to the famous and eminently quotable “Ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country,” the speech also contains these choice thoughts:

“The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe–the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”


“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

“So let us begin anew–remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”

“Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.”


There’s plenty more where those came from, of course, but I don’t want to steal too much of the man’s thunder.

So, go and check it out. It’s still very inspiring stuff, even if you’ve heard it before.


Interesting viewing and reading.

Just links to a couple of things I found interesting today:

First up? Jon Stewart takes Sarah Palin to the woodshed for…well…being Sarah Palin.

(Hmm….”Being Sarah Palin.” There’s a story idea in there. Somewhere.)

Anyway, while watching this clip, be advised of the following new terms being added to The Daily Show lexicon:

– Anchorage Steamer
– Palin-drome
– Caribou Ball Swivel

Observe: The Daily Show: “Petty Woman”

Um, yeah.

Next up? Among other geek news outlets, the fine folks over at Nerd Bastards are reporting that Fred Phelps and the gang from the Westboro Baptist Church are planning to picket the upcoming Sundance Film Festival. In particular, they’re going after writer/director Kevin Smith and the movie he’ll be premiering at the festival this weekend, Red State. Westboro Baptist Church Wages War On Kevin Smith’s ‘Red State’

Damn, what I wouldn’t give to be there for that. Indeed, Kevin is already calling for folks to come on out as they “join the protest.”

This ain’t the first time the WBC has had issues with Silent Bob. A couple of their folks even have regular spats with him over on Twitter, which can be laugh-out-loud funny when Smith’s firing on all cylinders. The group has picketed a few of his live shows, as well, including one in Kansas City last March, from which I scored this pic with my crappy camera:

(Click to enlarge.)

Smith is due back in KC in May (bringing with him Jason Mewes), so I’m hoping for a repeat protest.

This actually begats the third item of the day. Included in the Nerd Bastards piece is a link to a piece which reprints an article written by an unidentified journalist working in Nashville, Tennessee, and making a very thought-provoking case for how the WBC is really nothing more than a group of con-artists:

Fred Phelps Is A Con Man

You know, it’s one thing to look at them and consider them as religious extremists who went off the deep end. It’s another to read this and give serious thought to the notion that everything they do is a calculated sham, and they’re just doing it for the money. That kicks them up (or down, depending on your perspective) to a whole new level of evil, so far as I’m concerned. If there really is a God, then I hope he plays Hackey Sack with Phelps’ balls when the time comes for the old man to check in with Saint Peter.

And since we’re here, I should probably ask: is it shamelessly whorish of me to use this opportunity to pimp my own shitty ditty, “Counter-Protest?” I’m thinking it is, which is why I’m gonna do it.

Okay, enough clowning around for one evening. Back to the writing thing.

Why do eBooks cost so much?

Courtesy of fellow word-slinger Elizabeth Donald (aka reannon) comes a link to this very interesting little read, which attempts to shed some light on a discussion (or variations thereof) that’s been quite popular of late, that being what the hell is up with the cost of eBooks. Well, as explained by Thomas Nelson Publishers Chairman and CEO Michael Hyatt explains, there’s actually quite a bit that goes into deciding that magic number. Behold, yo: Why Do eBooks Cost So Much? (A Publisher’s Perspective)

It’s a quick read, but the piece contains some very illuminating information on a part of the publishing industry that’s continuing to grow in fits and starts, and still has quite a few long-term questions to answer and issues to settle.

Thanks to reannon for turning me on to the link!

Dear Stupid Parents: DO YOUR JOB.

As a parent, reading about something like this offends me:

NPR: Consumer Group Sues McDonald’s Over Happy Meal Toys

It sickens me how some people can so easily abdicate their responsibilities as parents, guardians, and teachers of the human beings they’ve consented to bring into this world. For example:

The group filed the class action suit on behalf of parents, including the plaintiff, who says she’s fed up with the pestering.

“Happy meals are among the those things frequently requested, and the first thing they ask me to do is open the toy,” [the plaintiff] said in a press conference today. “I’m really concerned about the health of my children, and I don’t think its OK to entice children to get Happy Meals with a toy,” she added.

Oh, would you please just fuck right off.

41 years old, and unable to tell her kid to shut his piehole because he’s not getting the meal he wants and the stupid toy he wants? It’s called parenting, you useless twat. You make the choices, you make a stand, you deal with the fallout, and you turn around and do it all over again whenever the next “crisis” erupts.

Do we really need lawyers to get involved with what should be a no-brainer bit of decision-making on the part of Mommy and/or Daddy? I’m quite capable of determining when and if I’ll take my kids to such an establishment, and whether or not they’ll get such a meal with its little toy. They don’t pester me about crap they see on TV…possibly because they don’t spend all their waking hours planted in front of the television while my wife and I are off doing other things besides carrying out our primary responsibilities as parents.

Another favorite bit:

The lawsuit asserts that under California’s consumer protection laws, McDonald’s toy advertising is deceptive. It targets children under 8 years old who don’t have the ability to understand advertising.

Deceptive? Happy Meals have been around for more than thirty years, and I know this because I was eating them in 1979 (the first Happy Meal promotion was tied into Star Trek: The Motion Picture, for those wondering). So, that’s one hell of a shitty stealth marketing campaign. Now, here’s the thing: I didn’t always get them when I asked for them. Why? Because my parents told me “No.” Do you know the word “No,” oh-stressed-out mom? I’ll bet your husband hears it all the time.

You know what’s changed since Happy Meals showed up to conquer the universe? Many of the kids who weren’t disciplined when they fucked up, who weren’t forced to do their homework before they could spend hours watching TV or playing video games, who weren’t grounded when they mouthed off or defied their parents in a public setting like a mall or restaurant, who weren’t required to do chores around the house in order to help out Mom or Dad…a lot of those little darlings are parents now, and they don’t know what the fuck they’re doing. They’ve completely screwed the pooch so far as their offspring are concerned, and they’re looking for someone to blame so that the heat’s off them for the very public and lasting failures they’ll soon be sending out into the world for the rest of us to deal with. So, they blame the Clown, and the siren’s call that comes blaring through the speaker every time they pull up to the drive-thru window in their SUV, mini-van, armored personnel carrier, or whatever.

Another bit:

For its part, McDonald’s has added healthier items to its menu in recent years, like apple slices, low-fat milk. But french fries still go into Happy Meals more than 90 percent of the time, Jacobson notes.

Yeah? And whose fault is that? Did the clerk push the fries into the bag while holding a Glock to the mom’s head?

I’ll make a confession: We take the kids to McDonald’s or Burger King every so often (once, maybe twice a month, as a treat). When we do get those meals, the kids get the milk and the apple slices to go with their little hamburger. Before all the would-be saviors come out of the woodwork and accuse me of abusing my children with such thoughtless conduct, I’ll also point out that my kids take regular gymnastics, ballet, and taekwondo classes. Addy’s teacher is jealous that Addy has better lats than she does. If anybody needs to worry about any weight gain issues at the Golden Arches, it’s me.

So, idiots like the ones who sign onto lawsuits like this need to nut up and do their jobs. That includes taking charge over what your demonspawn puts into his or her face. Oh, and feel free to kick them away from the TV and out into the yard to mow the lawn or wash the car once in a while, too. Stop being weak, and stop making it harder for those of us who take seriously our role as parents. You’re making us look bad.

Jon Stewart to the GOP: “Enough with your 9/11 bullshit.”

I do so love when Jon Stewart goes after anybody who’s deserving of derision and scorn, but this is something special.

Basically, Jon’s telling all the GOPers and their lackeys that the days of them milking 9/11 for political points are pretty much over, given how they wiped their asses with the bill that would’ve provided health care for first responders who now suffer all manner of ill effects as a result of working at Ground Zero.

Huffington Post – Stewart to GOP: No More Using 9/11 For Political Gain Until First Responders Bill Is Passed (VIDEO)

Watch. Laugh. Think. Shake your head. Get angry.

Are tomorrow’s elections in the (Tea)bag?

Courtesy of , check out a couple of rather disturbing clips from MSNBC pundits Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, offering some perspectives on tomorrow’s mid-term elections.

First, Mr. Olbermann gives viewers almost 20 minutes’ worth of rundown regarding the agendas of various Tea Party candidates. Reading about or listening to some of these people one or two at a time is one thing, and alarming enough, but when their antics are viewed collectively? Holy crap, y’all.

And just when I’m thinking that there couldn’t be any way a sane electorate could possibly vote any of these people into power office? Well, then I remember where I am. Oh, that’s right: our electorate isn’t sane. We’re apathetic, ignorant, selfish, short-sighted and in many cases, just fucking nuts. Maddow’s clip lacks much of Olbermann’s alarmist observations, but is no less disconcerting.

Watch ’em both at kvaadk‘s LJ: It Only Looks Random: The Tea Party and why Americans should be afraid

One thing’s for sure: Tomorrow is gonna be weird.

“The 100 Best Signs at the Rally.”

As many folks here know, yesterday marked the first-ever “Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear,” held at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and hosted by comedians/satirists Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. By all accounts that aren’t coming from Fox News, the rally was a monster success, dwarfing the masturbatory zombie march held by Glenn Beck back in August.

Among the many highlights of the day (Man, I wish I could’ve been there), were the signs carried by various attendees. Stewart/Colbert followers by and large are some pretty savvy folks, and that was on display with the signs, banners, and even clothing worn by some people. has posted their “100 Best Signs” from the rally. While I don’t agree with all of their choices (I’ve seen or heard of various signs/etc. that I think were better and/or funnier), it’s still a pretty neat collection. Check it out: The 100 Best Signs At The Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear

A couple of my favorites from the list:


Hey! Let’s play a game!

See if you can find the irony in the following statement:


“It’s a really sad day for Californians, for families, for our future and for voters that a federal judge has trampled on the civil rights of voters,” said Luke Otterstad, 24, of Sacramento, who stood among dozens of gay marriage supporters outside San Francisco’s City Hall to protest the judge’s ruling.


Um, yeah.

This bit comes from an article at The Huffington Post, detailing how just last week, a federal judge in California overturned the controversial “Proposition 8” amendment to the state’s constitution. The current situation remains in flux, with a hold still in place on the issuing of marriage licenses to gay couples until probably some time next week.

(UPDATE: The stay’s been lifted, and California is now allowed to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. As dr_p_venkman said last week: “PROP 8…RAINBOWN’D!”)

Meanwhile, as you may have noticed in the week which has passed since the judge’s original landmark ruling, the world’s stopped spinning, the sun has extinguished itself, and a legion of gay gargoyles from the lowest pits of hell have descended upon an unsuspecting populace, shredding the marriage licenses of millions of heterosexual couples who have enjoyed wedded bliss until “now,” aka THE END OF THE FUCKING UNIVERSE AS WE KNOW IT. Of course, all that’s before the gargoyles — all male, of course — proceed to bone all of the former husbands in the ass and indoctrinate them into the Cult of Anal Buggery for Fun and Perhaps Profit, at the conclusion of which the tortured husbands are each given a Donkey Punch. And a Dirty Sanchez.

And before you ask, yes: Fred Phelps is first in line.

“But wait, Dayton,” I can hear some of you calling out from the audience, “why are there no female gargoyles molesting the women?”

Because, you twisted little pervs, we all know that even the most gay-hating fundamentalist nutbags among us still hold a secret passion for hot girl-on-girl action, as their internet browzer histories and credit card statements with transactions from Adam & Eve and will show. Such nutbags will not be further rewarded when The Fucking Reckoning comes. So it has been decreed, by Rosie O’Donnell herself.


None of that shit actually happened? Oh. My bad. So, carry on with your life then, nutbags, and kindly allow others to do the same.

Peace out.

(For those of you wondering…no, this is not the plot to my next novel.)

Thou Shalt Laugh At the Irony.

By now, pretty much everyone’s read or heard about the giant statue of Jesus Christ at a church along I-75 in Monroe, Ohio, which was struck by lightning on Monday evening, and promptly burned to the ground:

BoingBoing: Lightning strikes massive Jesus statue

The jokes write themselves, of course.

What I just learned this morning is that an even funnier bit of trivia that’s being left out of the stories is that right across the street from the church stands a monstrous sign for a Hustler Hollywood adult video store, which of course was not struck by lightning or damaged during the ensuing fire.


“I can’t believe Jesus was struck,” said his brother, who noted the giant Hustler Hollywood sign for the adult store across the street was untouched. “It’s the last thing I expected to happen.” – Seth Walsh, as reported by the Dayton Daily News.


Now, that’s comedy.

(Thanks to robinbailey, who provided the heads-up.)