Oh Crap, Someone Complained about Holiday Tree and Now the Liberals will Get Blamed

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For twenty years during the holidays,  there’s been a decorated tree in the lobby of the Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana, California. In recent years, reports this Orange County Register, the tree has held wish cards the courthouse’s ‘Operation Santa Claus’ effort.

Members of the public would come and grab tags – which sought donations for specific children. Last year, the courthouse got 374 presents for the toy drive.

This year someone complained. And the tree came down.  If I was wanted to buy into the “vast right wing conspiracy” I’d say it was some neo-con who made the call in order to propigate the “War on Christmas” BS.

Granted there are a few reasons to complain: The glittery plastic tree went up before Thanksgiving. Hideous. Like, could we swallow and digest Granny’s green bean casserole before “Run, Run, Rudolph” hits the airwaves? And yeah, the tree going up–and all super early Xmessery–is an attempt to remind shoppers to take advantage of  Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales when shopping. Oh heck, I get het up as red and green shares retail space with Halloween’s orange and black. Around Labor Day! Jesusmarymotherofgod, please slow down!

Oh wait and speaking of Jesus, the guy at the center of all this Xmas mess, it’s not a “Christmas tree” and certainly not a “Hanukkah bush.” The nifty pine tree is  pagan fertility and solar phallic symbol, a vestige of Europe’s pre-Christian religions which colonizing Christians of the time grafted onto their faith as a way to gently convert the natives.  (Reminder: There were only two major forms of Christianity prior to 1517,  Roman and Eastern–later called Eastern Orthodox–Catholicism; a schism had begun circa 400  between Rome and Constantinople, based on part over the pressing question of “Should the communion wafer be made from leavened or unleavened bread?” Oy. Then came the Protestant Reformation 1100 years later.)

Currently here are a few sects of Christianity which are pretty grinchy about Xmas decorations and holiday gift giving because of the non-Christian origins of those practices and/or because life is a pile of pain and no one should have any fun.

Bottom line though, gift giving at this time of year has become a cultural tradition. Though, if retailers can put items on such deep discounts the day after Thanksgiving, can’t they just charge lower prices all year?

Late Night: Limbaugh is a Turkey–Claims Thanksgiving Hijacked by Obama’s State Dinner

Let’s talk turkey (Limbaugh) and dinner (tonight’s State Dinner at the White House), which pretty much will be over by the time we’re chatting away.

Conservative blowhard Rush “Limburger Windbag”Limbaugh claims Obama is hijacking Thanksgiving,

a uniquely American holiday

by holding the grand event, his first State Dinner–gasp–two days before the cranberry sauce gets served and Uncle Frank shreds the turkey with grand ceremony. And even more appalling, implies Rush, it’s for India! And then he goes on to gargle that the only reason it’s not being held

on Wednesday or even Thursday is the Indian Prime Minister must have to get back home to deal with the nukes in Pakistan

Gosh Rush, you should know that India is the world’s largest democracy, and is critical in stabilizing Afghanistan, where we’ve announced we’re sending 35,000 troops to

finish the job

. That make it’s a better choice than oh, say France, who Rush hates. Or just about any other country. Because no matter who  was the guest, Rush would bitch like a mother-in-law over lumpy gravy because the host is Obama.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be joined by a large yet select group of politicians including Claire McCaskil, Jim McDermott, and John Kerry; Hollywood luminaries Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, along with Gayle King (what, no Oprah!? That’s right, NO Oprah!), Alfre Woodard, Katie Couric, Brian Williams and Robin Robert.

Also on the list noted guests with ties to India like Obama’s original choice for the post of U.S. surgeon general/CNN Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta, Deepak Chopra, director M. Night Shyamalan and  Kalpen Modi, Associate Director, Office of Public Engagement, aka the actor Kal Penn, aka Kumar of Harold and Kumar fame.  Oh and really cool–Jennifer Hudosn will be singing!

The dinner takes place in a huge tent on the South Lawn, and guest will dine on Indian influenced dishes with choices for vegetarians and vegans. The menu includes a salad of arugula grown in the White House garden, potato and eggplant salad, red lentil soup with fresh cheese, and potato dumplings with tomato chutney. Entrees are a choice of chick peas and okra or green curry prawns,  served with  caramelized salsify, smoke collard greens and coconut aged basmati.

For dessert? Pumpkin pie and pear tartin, followed by coffee with petit fours, cashew brittle, pecan pralines, passion fruit and vanilla gelees, and chocolate dipped fruit. Each course is paired an American white wine.

So what’s on your menu? And really, what leftover recipes do you have in mind?

“Your Dad is Charles Manson!” A Not-So Heartwarming Story of a Family Reuniting

Son of Chuckie?

Son of Chuckie?

Around this time of year, we often hear and read heartwarming stories about families reuniting, kids given up for adoption to find out their best friend or boss is their sibling, or that someone donated a kidney to person who is actually their long lost parent. This time, not so much.

Matthew Roberts’ reunion tale makes for a very unpleasant Thanksgiving tale: He discovered Charles Manson is his father.

Roberts grew up in Rockford, Illinois and learned he was adopted when he was 10; his sister told him, which is sort of messed up to begin with. Twelve years ago, according to The Sun, he decided to track down his biological parents. Matthew eventually located his biological mother, Terry and after a series of letters she revealed that during the summer 1967 she hopped on a bus and joined a group of hippies led by a

a white trash-bike bandit

and headed for San Francisco. She was raped, she says by the group’s leader, returned home and gave birth to a son in March of 1968 who she named Lawrence Alexander before putting him up for adoption. The rapist hippie, she claims, is Charles Manson.

Needless to say, this revelation has caused Matthew some anguish. He carried the information around for five years before writing to Manson who is serving a life sentence in California’s Cochoran State Prison for ordering the murders of nine people including actress Sharon Tate in a five week spree during the summer of 1969.

I didn’t want to believe it. I was frightened and angry. It’s like finding out that Adolf Hitler is your father.I’m a peaceful person – trapped in the face of a monster…My hero is Gandhi. I’m an extremely non-violent, peaceful person and a vegetarian. I don’t even kill bugs. I’ve had long hair all my life. I could make it go away, but I can’t let the world and their fears change me.

Now he’s received almost a dozen handwritten letters and postcards from Manson signed with a swastika. Manson even claims to remember Roberts’ biological mother, though his verison his slightly different than hers

I remember her. We came back to LA on the super-cheap train.

It’s pretty logical that Manson–a career convict who had spent half his life behind bars before the Tate-La Bianca murders resulted in a life sentence–would want to claim anyone as his kid and would say whatever he thought was effective: It’s a way for the 75-year old convict who is in solitary confinement ot wile away time, and there’s the chance of money being put in his prison account, a new person with whom to correspond, and the possibility of phone calls and visits.

But Roberts–a musician and DJ–has been in touch with Manson for several years now, so one has to wonder why he’s come forward with the news of who’s his daddy now.

Obama: Sputtering on (Golf) Course

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Obama has surpassed George W. Bush, playing more rounds of golf in his first 11 months in office than W in two terms. Bush said he gave up golf out of respect for the troops. Obama might want to give up golf out of respect for himself–those who have seen him play say he pretty much sucks.

According to the Wall Street Journal Matt Lombard, a staffer in the pro shop at Mink Meadows Golf Club in Martha’s Vineyard where Obama played over the summer, the POTUS stroke is

Eh, not so much.

Lomabrd also told the Wall Street Journal that when Obama made a putt he took a “gimme,” meaning he got super close to the hole but didn’t make it in and just counted an extra stroke.

An anonymous poster on Golf.com said it took Obama’s group forever to move through a hole:

I had the misfortune of being stuck in a group on the same course as the Prez and his buddies and watching them play one hole in the time it took our foursome to play 3 was painful. The only thing stopping us from telling them to pick it up was the incredibly large security detail he had with him.

Aide David Axelrod says Obama’s score is a matter of

national security

Yeah, so much so that members of the press have not been allowed to see him play.

However with a new basketball court finally finished, maybe the President will go back to doing something he’s good at.

Billy Graham Feels God Was “Using Palin.” Rest of Visit Nothing to Bragg About

Sarah Palin’s arrival remarks in Asheville, NC Sunday on her way to dinner with Billy Graham gave a few clues to what her ambitions are. While she admits no one could ever take the Reverend  Billy Graham’s place, she was hoping that he’d be able to give her some advice on carrying the message of hope…watch the video for a great look at Palin working a wee crowd without handlers or stylists.

Last night’s  dinner was arranged by Graham’s son Franklin who arranged the meeting after he got to know Palin in a helicopter while delivering food and supplies to impoverished Alaskan villages last winter–Palin moved on the issue after pesky bloggers alerted the nation to her constituents’ plight.

The meeting went well reports the Charlotte Observer

[Graham] followed her career and likes her strong stand on faith,” said son Franklin Graham, who was present for the 2 1/2-hour get-together. “Daddy feels God was using her to wake America up.”

Yes, God wants us to wake us up to the venal, theocratic, dominionist aspects in the GOP and help  move America forward, away from oppression by those who wish suppress freedom using the carrot-lure guise of salvation. That might not be what Graham meant, but hey…it works!

At Graham’s Montreat home, he and Palin sat one-on-one for 35 to 40 minutes, talking about spiritual and other matters, Franklin Graham said…

Billy Graham has trouble hearing now, but Palin spoke directly and loudly enough, Franklin Graham said.

Graham signed Bibles for her parents, her aunt and each of Palin’s children. And he signed two for her – a small one she can carry with her and a large New King James version with margins big enough to write in during Bible study time.

Note this is all Franklin Graham being daddy’s mouth piece.  And note too that, Rev. Billy Graham

got a call Nov. 12 from President Obama, a Democrat, who was phoning from Air Force One as he jetted to Asia.

“He said he wanted to come by and meet my father sometime,” Franklin Graham said. Obama also wished the evangelist belated birthday wishes – he turned 91 on Nov. 7. Graham told the president he’d be happy to meet with him and then shared a verse from Proverbs, his son said.

So Obama wants in on some Rev Graham action, too? Copycatter! Or did Palin hear about Obama’s call then schedule her own meeting to one-up POTUS?

According to Franklin, Palin and Billy G discussed Iran, Iraq and Israel. Not a good foreign policy briefing, IMO.

And today Palin hits Ft. Bragg to sign copies of her book. The public is urged to bring their own copies as Going Rogue is not sold in the post store. Palin will not be speaking and there will be no posing for pictures wiht her fans. Local station WTVD reports:

Just like other book signings across the country, the event is expected to attract hundreds of Palin supporters. At first, the media was not invited to the event but Army officials changed their minds…According to Bragg authorities, the problem was the possibility that media access to the book signing might encourage some rowdy protests against President Barack Obama. Bragg said it did not want Palin’s appearance to become what they called a political platform.

Levi Johnston’s Mom “Poster Child for Health Care Reform”?

“Gram” Sherry Johnston,  missing penis pinup boy Levi Johnston’s problematic mom, has been sentenced to three years in Alaska’s only women’s prison on one count of trafficking in narcotics. Her attorney Rex Butler, who also reps Levi for his PR and income generating campaigns, put a timely spin on Mrs. Johnston’s sale of Oxycontin to an undercover officer, according to the Anchorage Daily News:

In a phone interview after the sentencing, Butler called his client “a poster child for health care reform.” He said his client was selling some of the drugs to get money to pay for other pain medications that her insurance company was cutting her off from. He would not identify her insurance company.

Butler is hoping to get Johnston–who has said she suffers from chronic pelvic pain stemming from past surgeries–out of prison and on an ankle-monitoring program for her three-year sentence so she could serve her time under house arrest in her home in Wasilla.

Her paparazzi fodder Playgirl model son Levi was present  for the sentencing which took place in Palmer, Alaska.

Gram Sherry’s lawyer Butler is right: Pain management should not be curtailed by insurance companies.  And you sort of have to figure some of  the payout for Levi’s body waxed cheesecake shots went to cover his mom’s legal expenses.

Chaz Bono: Gender is Between Your Ears, Not Between Your Legs

Thanks, Chaz! Hopefully your thoughtful and heartfelt explanation of your self-realization and your bravery in sharing your journey will go a long way towards helping America as whole understand and accept the glorious spectrum of individuals who make up and define our country as place for individuals who work together for a greater unity and a dream of better world.

ENDA has passed the House, and if passes the Senate, President Obama will sign it into law, helping trans people achieve a degree of economic parity; in 38 states it is legal to fire someone for being transgender; ENDA would make that illegal.

Workplace equality is just one of the many societal struggles faced by members of the transcommunity. Data from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey of 6,500 transgender people in all 50 states, cited in the Seattle PI

Preliminary data from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey of 6,500 transgender people in all 50 states indicate that transgender people experience unemployment at double the rate of the general population.

Even if employed, trans people face a huge hurdle with regard to health insurance. Most insurance plans do not cover the costs associated with gender transition, an the Seattle PI reports that

The Transgender Law Center has even found examples where insurance companies have denied coverage for a broken arm and flu treatment to transgender individuals, claiming the treatment was related to transition.

It remains to be seen if the Senate will pass the halth care reform bill which addresses this inequality.

Most horrifyingly: A trans person has a 1 in 12 chance of being murdered while heterosexual people have a 1 in 18,000 chance of becoming a homicide victim, according to the Human Rights Council.

One More Reason

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Oh dear…

What is on Sarah Palin’s Face?

-3

Suggestions include:

1. Trig’s unborn twin

2. Alien implant

3. It’s just about the size of… an ACORN OMG!!!

4. The device they use to control her mouth when she can’t be trusted to use it safely for their purposes.

5. Compartment for storing extra evil

6. Bump-it slippage

Picture 51

NeoCons Take to the Billboards in Free Speech Battles

Picture 49

The  billboard above Wolf Automotive asks the question

PRESIDENT or JIHAD?

with grotesque caricatures  and then screams

BIRTH CERTIFICATE PROVE IT! WAKE UP AMERICA! REMEMBER FT. HOOD!

The billboard is owned by Wolf Automotive in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, and owner Phil Wold told local 9News:

I put up the billboard because I had questions. They haven’t been answered. No one wants to ask them. My employees have [been] swamped with calls. They have been threatened, called names. I didn’t expect that. We live in a free country. We have the right express our opinions. It’s my sign, my business and my property.

And he has pointed, based on the 1994 Supreme Court decision, Ladue v Gillio which protected political signage on private property.

Meanwhile in San Carlos, CA a commercial billboard company has filed suit, claiming the new commercial sign they want to erect, nearly double the size permitted, is protected political speech because they plan to slap up a Sarah Palin 2012 poster on the almost 50 foot high structure–which is almost as large as regular billboard.  San Carlos has banned new billboards since 1991, and City Attorney Gregory Rubens told Sphere that the Hersons are:

using Palin’s name was a “ploy” to draw attention to the case and provide a pretext for the lawsuit. “We don’t know of any connection between him and Gov. Palin,” Rubens said. “We think he used the cachet of her name to get all the publicity.”

Herson’s father Alan is an attorney who files lawsuits on the company’s behalf, and it seems pretty clear they are using the political angle to skirt the law–and line their pockets. The Hersons filed suit in federal court when the oversize billboard permit was denied. In response to the federal suit, the San Carlos City Council  approved

an emergency ordinance reaffirming a city ban on new billboards and removing restrictions on political signs that the court had found offensive.

The Henson’s free speech advocacy comes with a price: Despite the new ordinance, they are pressing onward with their suit, seeking

damages of $15,000 a month for each side of the billboard. The case is similar to one the Hersons filed against the city of Richmond on the opposite side of San Francisco Bay earlier this year. In fact, the suits are so alike that in one place, the Hersons’ San Carlos filing says “Richmond” instead of “San Carlos,” suggesting that the lawyer simply switched the city’s names in the suit but missed one.

Richmond’s city council also passed a new ordinance to remove its restrictions on political signs but Herson says he is continuing to press for damages in that case.

Attorney/daddy Herson says:

It’s a crusade. We fight for truth, justice and the American way…We were successful with the Oregon billboard law. We are extending freedom throughout the West…

The pair won a landmark billboard case in Oregon in 2006. After spending 12 years fighting that state’s billboard law Alan Herson persuaded the Oregon’s Supreme Court to throw it out. Herson claims San Carlos”s ban is politically motivated:

The Bay Area is a liberal place, and liberals tend not to like free speech put up by other people. I have a hunch if that sign said ‘Support Nancy Pelosi,’ it would be up by now. They hate Palin. They hate her more than anything.

But it feels more like the Hersons are pimping Palin’s picture to get rich both from suing the city and then turning their political billboard  into a profit-making venture.  If the Hersons win their suit against the city, Sarah’s huge smiling visage could legally be replaced by commercial advertising. Said Alan Herson:

You will see that sign up there someday.

Frivolous lawsuits sucking money from small towns, launched by someone using Sarah Palin’s image in vain to connive a way around a city ordinance prohibiting new billboards! Where’s tort reform when you need it?

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