February 2010

Virginia: We like life exciting!

Six Democrats and sixteen Republicans in the Virginia Senate recently found a more interesting way to help people kill each other by passing Bill 334, making it legal for people with concealed weapon permits to carry guns into restaurants and bars.  If you thought that this sounded like a bad idea, worry no longer though.  If you do carry your concealed weapon into a bar in Virginia, you’re not allowed to drink with your gun on you.  This might make you wonder what someone would be doing in a bar with a gun in Virginia while they weren’t drinking, but I think the answer is pretty obvious: challenging someone to a duel.

This is a vast improvement from current Virginia law, which only makes it legal to carry a firearm into your local Sizzler only if it’s visible.  Fortunately, if restaurant owners are uncomfortable with the thought of their patrons settling their checks with lead, they still have the right to ban guns from their establishments.  Now, when you go to get your Grand Slam at Denny’s, you also receive a complimentary pat-down at the door as well!

This gun is no longer considered 'concealed' in Virginia.

In another stroke of genius, the Virginia Senate also made it legal for citizens who do not have a concealed gun permit to be able to conceal their guns in the glove box of their car.  Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel, who suffers from one-too-many last names, argued that the world is a much safer place when someone’s gun is locked in the glove box of their car.  She said it also made it a lot more exciting for police officers who have to ask you to pull out your license and registration when they pull you over, because, shit, now your registration might be stuck to the gun in your glove box.

Most opposition to this new law rests with the concern of with gun wielding citizens drinking.  However, Sen. Emmett W. Hanger brought up a really valid point when he said “…current law prohibited law-abiding citizens from enjoying their favorite restaurants, such as the Red Lobster, without the security of carrying their firearm.”  (I swear, that is the example this guy used)

Obviously, raising an incredibly valid point, Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple consulted with her staffers, asked for a short recess, collected her thoughts, and replied, “As a final comment, let me just say this. I’ve really never been afraid for my life at the Red Lobster.”

Apparently there was some confusion about what went on at Red Lobster restaurants.  When told that there were not actually giant, man-eating red lobsters at Red Lobster restaurants, Sen. Hanger, with a look of confusion then asked, “Why would people need to carry guns to a Red Lobster, then?”

My question to all these Senators who claim that citizens have a right to protect themselves is this:

What kind of crazy-ass place is Virginia where people feel threatened for their lives when they go out to eat at restaurants?!

I would probably just move away from a state if I felt that I needed a gun to protect myself and my family from all of the dangerous criminals at the IHOP.

Sen. Emmett W. Hanger: Advocate for people who fear for their lives at Red Lobster.

Sources: 1, 2

“Do you know what Fruit Loops are?  They’re like gay Cheerios.”  Saddam Hussein

Source: 1

Dr. Irving Weissman: humankind's champion; lab rats' worst nightmare.

If you’re one of those weird parents who holds on to literal pieces of your newborn baby, like their umbilical cord, Dr. Irving Weissman, a leader in stem cell research in the United States, suggests you don’t pay thousands of dollars for someone to keep it on ice for you.

Recently, charlatan clinicians have been sweet-talking new parents into putting their neonate’s umbilical cords into ‘stem cell banks’ to the tune of $3,600+ in hopes of being able to use its cells later to cure potential illnesses.  As an insurance policy for your kids, you’re better off investing your money in a CD.  Dr. Weissman, an MD, scientist and all-around bad ass, has this to say on the matter:

“‘Umbilical cords contain blood-forming stem cells at a level that would maintain the blood-forming capacity of a very young child… They could also have derived mesenchymal cells — fiberglass-like cells that have a very limited capacity to make scar, bone, fat — but they don’t make brain, they don’t make blood, they don’t make heart, they don’t make skeletal muscle, despite what various people claim,’ he said.”

So, if you wanna hold onto those umbilical cords because you’re a weirdo, go ahead.  But if you think that one day it’s going to potentially save your child… well, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but we’re not there just yet.

It’ll be interesting to see over the next couple of months how the first FDA approved clinical trial turns out.  At the Medical College of Georgia, scientists will be evaluating the use of a child’s own cord blood stem cells as an intervention for cerebral palsy (Sources 5 and 6).  This study, however, seems to be (to the extreme layperson… me) conducted in a different context as people whose children are born with a preexisting condition could conceivably use their umbilical cords to immediately affect these types of brain disorders.  These parents are not paying thousands of dollars to have someone hold onto their child’s umbilical cords in hopes of using them later on for developing conditions.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Are we about the quote a Republican? You know, favorably? You bet we are. Aimed at his fellow Republicans, particularly Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, California Governor and all around bad ass Arnold Schwarzenegger had this to say:

“I find it interesting that you have a lot of the Republicans running around, and pushing back on the stimulus money and saying, ‘This doesn’t create any new job.’ And then they go out and do the photo ops, posing with the big check and they say: ‘Isn’t this great, look at the kind of money I’ve provided for the state and this is money to create jobs, and this has created 10,000 new jobs, this has created 20,000 news jobs, and all those kinds of things.’ It doesn’t match up. … I don’t want to beat up on my Republican colleagues but I think it is kind of politics rather than thinking about one thing, and this is: ‘How do we support the president? How do we support him and everything we can in order to go and stimulate the economy back and think about the people and not the politics?’ … Anyone that says this hasn’t created a job, they should talk to the 150,000 people getting jobs in California – from the private sector and also from the public sector.”

I was going to make a funny Schwarzenegger joke to end this, then I realized after this many years as the governor of California, every single possible joke has been made, usually numerous times, so I’ll refrain. I will say that it is nice to see a Republican say something that isn’t completely nonsensical for once.

Source: 1

New Left Media strikes again, giving radical conservatives the chance to speak their thoughts, providing us with the enjoyment of watching them crash and burn as they try to explain why they believe what they believe. The enjoyment soon turns to disgust though when you realize that this isn’t a skit from Mad TV, but real people and real opinions. Ack!

Previous New Left Media videos: Palin book signing, Tea Party march in DC, Equal Rights in Maine

According to Elton John he was.

“I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems. On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving. I don’t know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East – you’re as good as dead.”

You know, he did hang out with twelve dudes all the time, never talked about ladies, and loved designer sandals.  Could you imagine the repercussions to organized religion if it turned out that Jesus was gay?  Ladies and gentlemen, the next big Vatican-conspiracy-led story by Dan Brown: Jesus and the Penis.

Jesus and the Apostles.

Source: 1

The media doesn’t do a very good job and Americans don’t do a very good job at getting on the case of things that are not immediate or completely easy to understand right away or have no celebrities involved.

-Bill Maher

Well, way to go Fox.  You had to go and offend your newest, high-profile political pundit, Sarah Palin.  For those of you who may not be keeping up with your current events, Family Guy recently aired an episode in which Chris (the protagonist’s son) goes on a date with a girl with Down syndrome.  Offended yet?

On the date, the girl with DS claimed that her dad was an accountant and her mother was the former Governor of Alaska.  Offended yet?  I don’t know why Palin would be by that subtle reference either.

Now, did Family Guy do some things that were in questionable taste?  I suppose some people could find the song ‘Down Syndrome Girl’ offensive, in which Stewie refers to hugs that are nice ‘ because they’re tighter than a vice and go on for an hour’.  Now, I’m not sure of Sarah Palin’s television viewing habits, but I’m sure this isn’t the first time she’s heard of Family Guy. I would wager a guess to say that she probably understands that the purpose of the show is to be satirical and shock and offend pretty much everyone.  If she didn’t understand this before, I would certainly hope that she has taken the time to watch a couple of episodes to help her better understand this now.  Family Guy makes fun of every social topic and demographic, ranging from the physically and mentally handicapped (a la Stephen Hawking and Peter’s ‘handicapable’ police officer neighbor, Joe Swanson) to all the different races of the rainbow.

During an interview, Palin asked, “…when is enough, enough?”  Well apparently it wasn’t when Family Guy was spewing out racial jokes, or fat jokes, or socioeconomic jokes, or divorce jokes… but throw a Down syndrome joke out there and watch out!  She’s heard about that before.  In fact, her kid has Down syndrome.  Well, how dare you, Family Guy!

In case you were wondering, Sarah Palin apparently only cares about things that directly offend her.

Bill O’Reilly, who I find entertaining some of the time, stated in a terribly boorish (and mostly illogical)  interview with Palin that Seth MacFarlane was ‘a hater’.  If you’re qualifying a single off-the-cuff Palin reference as being ‘a hater’, I’m afraid you’ve missed the whole point of Family Guy. The entire show is ‘a hater’ because it’s satirical.

Interestingly enough, later in the interview with O’Reilly,  Palin claims she is offended by Rahm Emanuel’s use of the term ‘f-ing retard’.  However, she then defends Rush Limbaugh who also used the same term, ‘f-ing retard’, claiming that when Rush used the term, it was satirical.  I wonder if she means satire just like on the television show Family Guy who used satire to offend her initially?

That lady is a f*cking retard.

If you choose not to watch Family Guy, please don’t do it because they aired an episode with someone who had Down syndrome and also had a Sarah Palin reference.  Do it because it’s really not that funny of a show.

Cartman’s take on Family Guy

**Update** Andrea Fay Friedman, who played the voice of the girl with Down syndrome that Chris dated (and also has Down syndrome), has said in an interview that “former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor.”   She also explicitly stated that she was not making fun of Sarah Palin’s son with Down syndrome, Trig, rather she was just making fun of Sarah Palin.  “I think the word is ‘sarcasm’,” she’s quoted as saying.

Check out the interview in its entirety here. I think it’s pretty sweet to see someone with Down syndrome succeed in the world of show business; typically an industry where the most popular players can fall out of favor for having a hangnail.

If your name is Richard Swett, it’s probably best to go by Rick or Rich.  Not Dick.

I’m not sure how you keep it together when you hear someone announce that their name is ‘Dick Swett’.  On a funnier side note: he’s also a Mormon.

I’ve always said, if there comes a day that I don’t like my career choice and I’m unhappy with where I live, well, I’m going to find a new job and find a new place to live. Simple as that. When it comes right down to it, most of us are going to be middle class and make just about the same amount of money no matter what we do. So, if you have a $50,000 a year job, would you not be willing to give up $10,000 or even $15,000 of it a year for to do something that you enjoy and live in place where you want to be? You spend too much of your life working to be stuck doing something you don’t want to do – and if you’re the type who is thirty years old and just going through the motions and counting down to retirement, you’re going to be sorely disappointed when you finally get the chance to retire and you realize that you may have time and money, but there is one thing you can never get back: your youth.

If you’re one of the discontent bunch – for instance, if you live in Cleveland – and are looking for your chance to move, a yearly index was put together that found the happiest cities to live in America, based on “interviews with more than 353,000 Americans during 2009, asked individuals to assess their jobs, finances, physical health, emotional state of mind and communities.” You can look at the entire list over the USA Today or check out the top 10 below.

10. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA
9. Ogden-Clearfield, UT
8. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
7. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
6. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, CA
5. Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA
4. Provo-Orem, UT
3. Honolulu, HI
2. Holland-Grand Haven, MI
1. Boulder, CO

So, make your move. Before your youth escapes you.

“The right in this country has got this methology pinned down that being religious means you’re good. It doesn’t mean you’re good, it means you go to church.”

-Jon Stewart

This is just too rich to pass up. Nancy Elliott, a Republican state representative from New Hampshire, recently made a fool of herself during one of the sessions to repeal same-sex marriage in her state. While she doesn’t discuss the bill itself in this clip, she does discuss some of her feelings on anal sex, where after she thought about it for a while, she began to wonder whether “wriggling [the penis] around in excrement” is normal behavior. She then goes on to question whether or not she would want that done to her. Of course, it goes without saying that the bedroom antics of consenting individuals should be of no concern to Nancy Elliot or the government. See Lawrence v. Texas.

After being interrupted and asked to keep to discussion on the bill, she continues, saying that she “heard yesterday from a mother that in fifth grade in Nashua, they were given as part of their classroom instruction naked pictures of two men showing a presentation of anal sex. … They are now teaching it in the public school. They are showing our fifth graders how they can actually perform this kind of sex… They are saying this is something that you, as a 5th grader, may want to try.”

I’ll agree, fifth grade is way too early to teach sex education – but hey, I totally support teaching the realities of both heterosexual and same-sex sex in high school sex ed. Yes, as a teenager, I would have been turned off had we talked about two dudes having sex with each other, but fortunately, sex education is not about getting turned on.

EDIT: YouTube keeps taking the videos down for some unknown reason, but I managed to find another video hosted right here!

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