Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, 7/22/14

Monday, July 21, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, 7/21/14

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville #21

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, 7/19/14

Sunday, July 13, 2014

World Cup Live Tweeting

     OK, so I'm sure everyone knows it's Argentina vs Germany in the World Cup Final (In Red Sox Nation, that means the other game besides the Red Sox/Houston matchup). A few quick peeks into the Pope's Twitter account shows Francis and Benedict are watching the game together at Frankie's place and the two aren't getting along so well.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Amazon Seriously Needs to Go Fuck Itself, Posthaste

     To those of you who've been paying attention, you know that Hachette, the nation's fourth biggest publisher, is engaged in a battle of wills with Amazon.com over the pricing of ebooks. In fact, I'd written about it last month (not that anyone gave a shit because I'm supposed to be completely ignored as a political pundit, not as a publishing pundit, which I am.).
     Well, the reason why I'm again writing about this two giant tug-o-war with authors and readers in the middle is because of Amazon's newest brilliant proposal: Let's let all Hachette authors keep 100% of the revenue of their ebooks (after we get to cut the price to the bone). Hachette, typically, said No and they were correct in doing so. Here's why:
     Amazon is cynically trying to win over the very authors they've been victimizing since at least last January when their ongoing pissing match with Hachette resulted in missing early ordering buttons and artificially delayed shipping times. This includes JK Rowling and Stephen Colbert, who raked Amazon over the coals on his show for hindering sales of his book.
     Missed by a maddeningly huge segment of the book world is the, one would think, obvious fact they're using the same tactic used time and again by the Republican Party in their so-called good faith "negotiations" with the White House. Throw in a poison pill you know the other guy won't go for and then scream bloody murder about how the other side isn't acting in good faith. Typically, Amazon reacted immediately to Hachette rejecting their latest hare-brained scheme by pissing and moaning, "We call baloney." They also said (hold your hats, folks, because this took some major league douchebaggery), "Hachette is part of a $10 billion global conglomerate," it said. "It wouldn't be 'suicide.' They can afford it."
     Of course, what the corporate sons and daughters of Jeff Bezos elected to delete from the record is the fact that, according to Amazon's NASDAQ filings from last year, they pulled down $74.5 billion last year in total revenue. Considering all their business is done online and they cheap out their own temp workers in their fulfillment centers sweat shops, meaning far lower overhead expenses than a meat world corporation like Hachette, that means a much higher rate of pure profit. Part of that ever-widening profit margin has been skinned off the backs of authors while crowing about how great they are for readers.
     But their pure profit margin notwithstanding, what Amazon also chooses to ignore is the very fact that Hachette ebooks would account for only a small fraction of their bottom line. Amazon controls literally half the book market and 60% of Hachette's book sales. Not that they ever expected Hachette to go along with such an insane scheme of handing 100% of ebook revenue to authors but even if Hachette called their bluff, it certainly wouldn't hurt the larger corporation's bottom line because #1 they can withstand the hit much better than can Hachette and, #2 unlike Hachette, which is a publisher, Amazon's diversified to the point where if you look hard enough you can buy remains of Jimmy Hoffa's skeleton.
     Plus, if Hachette authors get to keep 100% of their revenues, then it'll only take about two nanoseconds before authors of other major publishers will want the same sweet deal. A 100% royalty rate may sound attractive to overrated success stories like Hugh Howey but in the real world it makes for a horrible business model and it's designed purely to pull, pardon the pun, the wool over the eyes of people like Howey.
     But at bottom of this so-called "offer" is Amazon's nakedly pathetic attempt to elicit sympathy for itself by pretending to partner with authors (not the indies, however. No one give a shit how we feel about anything... yet) and penny-pinching consumers while pre-emptively positioning Hachette as the bad guy for saying no this week.
     If Amazon depresses ebook revenue to the point where it's no longer viable for Hachette to continue that format, it's going to hurt authors and, eventually, readers. Without the advance ordering buttons, which largely if not entirely determine the success of unpublished books that'll be another way Amazon will hurt readers and authors alike. And they won't care. Like the planet-consuming megavillain Galactus, they'll just move on to another publisher to victimize and use their enormous market share as leverage.
     And mark my words: They don't wish to use their nuclear option just yet on account of all the bad publicity it's gotten them in the recent past. That nuclear option is, of course, simply deep sixing the publisher's entire catalog altogether. They're loath to use that option since it will finally wake up a lot of people who aren't already clued in as to what a huge, arrogant bully they are. But it's on the table, hidden under a napkin and always will be.
     Again, for clarity's sake: Amazon is a corporation and quite an evil one, at that, in a planet full of such evil corporate entities. As I said in my last post on the subject, profit isn't enough: The ultimate goal is global domination and they're already halfway there. In less than 20 years, they've victimized and alienated their own customers, publishers, authors both traditional and independent, they victimize their own employees (although, technically,. they're low-paid, overworked temps).
     Once more, with feeling: Amazon is not your friend whether you're a customer, a publisher or an author. And corporations as big as Amazon never do anything that would seriously hurt their bottom line out of the goodness of their "hearts", for want of a better word. This is just a PR stunt, shadow boxing between two corporate entities where one just happens to be five times the size of the other.
     I don't have any great love for publishers that still skeeve me and other talented indies. But the Hachette Book Group isn't trying to corner the global market. They're just trying to make a buck, which is the right of every corporation.
     For Amazon, all the money in the world just isn't enough and they will step on the face of anyone who gets in their way and that includes you, Constant Reader.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Open Thread: Hello Kitty edition

     Because only real manly, masculine men like Islamic Front leader Zahran Alloush can get away with using Hello Kitty notebooks.
     Today's Mrs. JP's birthday and we're going to be busy celebrating that, making this one of the most time- and money-consuming times of the year (yesterday was #2 son's birthday, one he unfortunately shares with right wing meatheads Sylvester Stallone and George W. Bush). Anyway, I wanted to let you know that weeds aren't sprouting up between the floorboards at Casa de Pottersville just yet. I'm researching a post about our dreadful, underpublicized practice of... Well, I'll just make you wait until it comes out. I'm not going to spoil the unpleasant surprise. I've got pleasant surprises I have to spring on Mrs. JP.
     So, until then... laterz.

Friday, July 4, 2014

I'm Celebrating Independence Day by Watching INDEPENDENCE DAY

(By Cyril Blubberpuss, Esq.)

     Just today I was telling one of my junior vice presidents as we opened the office (Oh, quit your liberal bellyaching- we only work eight hours on July 4th) that this is one great country.
     Now, granted, I'll admit my patriotism usually peaks on July 4th by watching Independence Day with Will Smith and wishing that Bill Pullman was our president before stuffing pieces of roasted animal carcasses in my mouth. Because, let's face it, that and killing irreplaceable brain cells by swilling alcohol perfectly defines what it means to be an American.
     But to me, Independence Day means more than even that. To me, July 4th was the beginning of the transition between black people and Indians replacing the oppression of white British aristocrats for that of white American oligarchs. And, as a Commie comic once said, "America! What a country!"
     We've outlived the Roman, Greek and Ottoman Empires (although the Ottoman's furniture still, thankfully, endures) and it looks as if there's no end in sight. While I still have to tamp down my gag reflex at having a president who isn't sufficiently white, the numbers don't lie: Wall Street is doing better than ever, the outsourcing of jobs spearheaded by the Chamber of Commerce continues unabated and we're finally tackling the problem of homelessness by criminalizing indigence and charity.
     The homeless spikes, also, are really taking off.
     We're floating like bloated whales on a sea of cash totaling $2,000,000,000,000. Scrooge McDuck? He was a fucking piker. His swimming pool of gold coins is smaller than my hot tub.
     Now, granted, it wasn't all wine and roses. About 80 years ago, some crippled liberal apostate named Roosevelt started fucking shit up by cultivating this unnatural sympathy for the bottom 99%. Less than 30 years after that, another rich liberal named Kennedy started handing out civil rights like Rockefeller tossing dimes to the poor.
     But now we're finding our true north again by returning to our capitalist roots. Do not think for a minute that we're the democratic republic that the politically pious keep telling you. We're a capitalist, oligarchical collection of corporations, always have been and always will be. From the slave-owning cotton merchants who founded this country all the way on down to their descendants who own the tomato and lettuce fields in California, America was never founded with the actual intention of giving inalienable rights to Americans of all walks of life, all races, creeds and religions.
     That's horseshit and you all know it.
     Otherwise, how can you explain us oppressing one minority after another in some white man's round robin tournament of Manifest Destiny and Eminent Domain? First it was the blacks, the Indians, then the land grabs and annexing huge swaths of land from Mexico to bloat the size of Texas, to our persecution of the Catholics. Back in the 60's, Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty. But now, with the rise of real patriots like the Canadian-born Ted Cruz we're finally waging the war we should have been waging all along: A War on the Poverty-Stricken.
     It took us long enough but now we're finally peeling back the misguided liberal bullshit of a century ago that resulted in child labor and antitrust laws, Glass Steagall, bringing back Jim Crow. And, like Glass Steagall, God willing, soon the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts will also be a thing of the past.
     Now, if we can only just do something about all those fags getting married...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tweets From the Edge

Saturday, June 28, 2014

"For Me, Not For Thee"

"Hey, kid, c'mere. Aren't you glad your mother didn't have you yanked with a coathanger?"
      In the midst of this past week, with the fundraising drive to mitigate our financial circumstances, getting my three ebooks ready for the relaunch, the interview, editing Tatterdemalion, and attending to thousands of details that make up modern life, I neglected to write about the one big story that directly affected my adopted state of Massachusetts. Actually, there were two, the other being Gov Deval Patrick signing into law a bill raising the minimum wage to $11 ph by 2017, which would be the highest in the nation.
     But this is about the Supreme Court's recent 9-0 decision to essentially evaporate the 35 foot buffer zone around family planning centers in Massachusetts that were created seven years ago, giving evangelical bozos unrestricted access to women seeking family planning services. What makes this ruling even more depressing is that the so-called liberals on the court, including the three women that make up a third of the High Court, sided with the reliably right wing nut jobs in this issue.
     This is the same judicial body, don't forget, that 20 years ago had supported buffer zones around abortion clinics. In fact,
Buffer zones exist in numerous states — the newest, in New Hampshire, takes effect next month and specifies a 25-foot zone — and have often been controversial. Others also have made their way to the Supreme Court. In 1994, the justices upheld a buffer zone for abortion clinics in Florida. Three years later, they upheld a 15-foot buffer zone around the entrances of abortion facilities in New York state but struck a 15-foot floating zone.
     This is the same court that was led by William Rehnquist, don't forget, and had on its bench Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy. But having all nine justices agree that the Massachusetts buffer zone that had somewhat protected women from right wing harassment violated the First Amendment (even if they were split as to how) is a huge disappointment.
     It ought to be noted the SCOTUS benefits from a rigidly enforced 300 foot buffer zone protecting them from the distant din of protesters of both political stripes, which is perfectly in keeping of right wingers and One Percenters who have no problem not living under the same rules as the rest of us.
A yellow line is painted on the sidewalk and pavement surrounding Planned Parenthood Clinics at 1055 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, Jan. 15, 2014.
     It appears as if all nine justices, especially the five right wingers, need a refresher course as to what free speech really means. Thirteen years before the buffer zones were erected, an anti abortion lunatic named John Salvi (who later committed suicide in prison) shot to death 22 year-old Shannon Lowney, who was merely the receptionist who'd opened the doors at a Brookline Planned Parenthood and didn't directly participate in any of the procedures. Salvi and his fellow lunatics had unanimously declared Lowney "Public Enemy #1" and the girl lost her life just for opening a door.
     I guess free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment isn't good enough. You have to be able to lay your hands on these women, scream in their faces what murderers they are and to strip them of their last vestige of dignity, safety and privacy (which is what Roe vs Wade was all about) and to even threaten their lives in their insane quest for the sanctity of life. Of course, they pushed before the court a sweet-looking grandmotherly type who bemoaned the fact that she couldn't spread like milk and honey her message of love.
     Because these Protestant Pennywhistles knew better than to be repped by another maniac like John Salvi, who was so mentally deranged by the time of his suicide he was convinced liberals were poisoning his food.
     The Rude One had a pretty good idea a couple of days ago: Since the SCOTUS had essentially abolished buffer zones for women seeking family planning counseling and services, let's troll them at church, starting with their headquarters at their church in nearby Grafton. Let's block their entry into their church, mock them for their Sky Wizard, shove atheist literature in their faces. Because, fuck, tit for fucking tat, as the Rude One would say.
     After all, you never see pro-choice folks blowing up churches and killing their docents and priests. Isn't free speech free for everyone and not just one narrow faction so twisted up in intolerance and hatred that they inevitably turn to murder and violence?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Fucking Off at Pottersville

     If you have a stats checker as I do, it can give you a rough or limited idea of the internet habits of those who work in the government sector. As I've written of late, I've taken to tracking who comes to Pottersville either through a search engine or, as in yesterday's case, another site to which I've been linked. And sometimes, some of the results have been surprising.
     The ones that actually interest me the most are the ones I get from the academic world. I've recently gotten hits, some of them regular readers, from Texas A&M, Iowa State, Rutgers, University of Nebraska, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Auburn and even some Ivy League universities such as Cornell, Princeton, etc. Naturally, I have no idea how many of these hits are from the faculty and which ones from the student body.
     But the second-most interesting hits come from the government itself. Among the hits of late, some by way of Crooks and Liars and the Rude Pundit, are:
     The US House of Representatives
     The DoD Network Information Center (at least three hits a day, probably from a spider bot looking for flagged words)
     The Defense Intelligence Agency
    The National Archives
    Really, I guess I should be grateful for any legitimate traffic that comes my way as long as it doesn't come from the CIA, FBI or the NSA. But, c'mon, guys, you're doing the nation's work. At least try to cover your tracks a little better.
    Maybe later on, I'll start listing the companies that also come here, like Charles Schwabb, Google and Microsoft...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Book Promotion


      Oh, one more thing before I forget:
      Over a month and a half ago, I was interviewed via email by Florida-based thriller novelist and Twitter follower Marcia Meara. Yesterday, the interview went live and, as these past two days have been rather hectic at Casa de Pottersville, I'd neglected to tell you you can find the interview here.
     Part of the reason it was so hectic these past couple of days is because I wanted to coordinate the interview with a book promo (or more like a relaunch) I'm doing for all three of my books, American Zen, The Toy Cop and the Misanthrope's Manual. For some reason, I had June 28th on the brain and I thought the interview would go live later than it had so I had to do some fancy footwork and discount all three books in time for the interview.
     So, for a limited time (from now to July 31st), my two novels will be on sale on Kindle for $1.99 each and the dictionary will go for .99¢. Considering American Zen is 150,000 words long and The Toy Cop a heftier 175,000 words, that's some pretty inexpensive entertainment. And, at 120 pages, the Misanthrope's Manual would cost far under a penny a page. If you ask me, I think that's a pretty good deal.
     Also, while I can't do anything about the pricing, physical copies of all three of these books can be had here, here and here if you don't have or like Kindles. I'm currently investigating the possibility of putting them on Smashwords and other platforms.

Cavuto Completely Loses it on Michele Bachmann

     There's something morbidly delightful about seeing right wingers eating their own. It brings to mind snake cults like Set, with the snake consuming itself with its tail in its mouth. or Paul Krendler being fed his own brains by Hannibal Lecter. And, to paraphrase the inimitable Egberto Willies, when you've lost Fox "News", you done lost middle 'Murrica.
     Mind you, now, this is Neil Cavuto we're talking about here, not some deer-in-the-headlights "liberal" wondering what the fuck he's doing on a Fox sound stage. This isn't Shep Smith or Alan Colmes or The Five's Bob Beckel. This is the creator, says Jon Stewart, of "the Cavuto Mark", the punctuation mark that isn't quite a question mark but nonetheless finds itself shat out the end of an irresponsible inquiry like an interrupted dog turd.
     In other words, kiddies, we're not talking about some fire-breathing liberal like Rachel Maddow here.
     So, it was with particular glee to be treated to the sight yesterday of Cavuto verbally body slam Michele Bachmann (R-Land of 1000 Lakes and the 1000 Yard Stare) back onto the lame couch from which she'd valiantly tried to struggle. It was all about Jon Boehner's hare-brained scheme to take the President to court over, get this, exercising his presidential prerogative to issue Executive Orders.
     You know, those little memos the President sometimes issues, like the 381 President Reagan issued between 1981-1989 and the 291 by Bush II. In fact, the current Chief Executive has handed down fewer Executive Orders than any president in our lifetimes, or 168 in his first five and a half years in office. To put that in more concrete terms, President Reagan created an Executive Order about once a week, whereas President Obama averages an Executive Order about once every 11 days.
     Not exactly the kind of unilateral decision-making process one would come to expect from a Banana Republic strong man the Republicans have been trying to paint him as since 2009 (Like the one FDR was when he'd issued 3522 during his 12 years in office).
     Undeterred, the House Speaker will sally forth with his lawsuit and he'll, uh, let us know exactly which laws the President has broken. Yeah, there's that pesky little matter first. The Republican House leadership is absolutely convinced Mr. Obama has violated the Constitution somehow. We know it in our guts. We just don't know precisely how he'd done it. But a lawsuit feels right.
     Into the fray sails Michele Bachmann, fully expecting to be lobbed one helpful underhanded softball after another by Neil Cavuto and instead found herself the target of a batting practice pitching machine set to 200 mph.
     Cavuto started out by asking Bachmann what the GOP is thinking in taking the president to court for exercising his presidential prerogatives when there were so many bigger things in this country to fix (Obviously, repealing ObamaCare was on the tip of his tongue but he chose not to go there). Bachmann began her usual blathering, conflating this with that, looking like a frustrated circus chimp trying to pound a square peg into a round hole in a laboratory.
     By the end of this four minute segment, Cavuto was so exasperated with Bachmann, he was practically screaming like a banshee with its tit caught in a wringer and said twice, "ROME IS BURNING."
     Which, of course, it is.
     Cavuto didn't go as far as claiming this was a partisan exercise, some substitute for leadership by way of Republican Kabuki Theater just before an unusually important midterm in which the President's entire agenda both foreign and domestic is on the line and non-Nate Silvers have been unctuously and confidently prognosticating for months the GOP will take both chambers despite a 7% Congressional approval rating.
     Poor Michele the Merciless didn't know what hit her and Cavuto laid into her with one body and head shot after another, not letting Bachmann finish her typically vapid talking points. Even better, it was delivered with a viciousness you'll never see from the ladylike Ms. Maddow or the more measured and methodical Lawrence O'Donnell.
     This was Fox "News", since 1996 the cheerleader for the GOP. And now poor pompom-waving bastards like Neil Cavuto has to deal with the teabagger Frankensteins they largely help create now that they're staggering into the Arctic wasteland and dragging America with them. By the end of the segment, this was essentially what we were seeing:

     Reap the whirlwind, motherfuckers.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bury the Hachette and Jeff Bezos, While We're at it

     Those of you who've stuck with me since the beginning of this blog in July 2008 are well aware this is mainly a political/social blog and not one dedicated to the publishing business (I had a blog for that but it never took off). But I often do write about the unimaginable evil in today's corporations in this 21st century of ours. And the standoff between the Hachette Book Group and Amazon.com is something that strikes near and dear to my heart because as well as being a political/social commentator, I'm also an independent author.
     Now, for those of you who are aware of things taking place during my so-called writing career (although it may be fairer to say, what's not going on in it), you'll know at least the abstracts of how I feel about Amazon. I loathe and despise Amazon.com with a screaming, unholy passion despite them publishing three of my books. Their crappy Kindle platform is purely a mercenary operation, one of a two-pronged attempt (the other being the even crappier Create Space) to corner the publishing aspect of the book business, since they've already essentially cornered the distribution and online sales market. When they publish my or your books, they're not doing you any favors. You're merely an afterthought, an ancillary concern at best.
     So, when I'd read about their ongoing war with the Hachette Book Group and at how they're essentially sabotaging their ability to sell their titles on Amazon's monopolistic website, I almost yawned. For years now, Amazon's been using their bully pulpit to strongarm publishers into giving the deep-cutting discounts they feel they deserve and have come to expect. But in this particular case, Amazon's been showing how nasty they truly are:
     Essentially, they're demanding Hachette has to buy early ordering buttons and timely shipping times through those discounts they're demanding, discounts that are so drastic, they're noticeably impacting on Hachette's bottom line. And until Hachette heels to, the early order buttons will stay gone, shipping times will be artificially delayed and customers will be given incredibly inappropriate recommendations by other publishers, i.e. Hachette's competitors. The next step, obviously, a hole card they've used in the past, is to disappear their entire catalog altogether.
     Amazon's public position is, "Readers love the deeply discounted books and we're doing this for them!" In reality, it's nothing as Altrustically noble as that, just a PR fig leaf intended to position themselves as the good guys, the poor victims (although it's hard to see how Amazon reasonably expected anyone to see their monopoly as a victim in anything). In fact, it's quite the contrary, something Ayn Rand would've publicly applauded. Because Amazon's private position is, "There are plenty of fish in the sea (meaning publishers) and while we may be hurting our bottom line a little bit, we're hurting their bottom line a lot more."
     It's kind of like allowing yourself to suffer a non-fatal gunshot wound in order to kill the bad guy behind them with a head shot.
     Except, while I have no love nor loyalty for them, Hachette's not the bad guy here. Being a corporate entity, they're just looking out for their bottom line like any other company. Hachette's not the monopoly thumbing its nose at antitrust laws and allowed to run afoul of them while the impotent Federal Trade Commission looks on. The business of business is business, as I always say, and what's so bad about a corporation such as Hachette Book Group wanting to maintain a fair profit margin?
     But Amazon is doing more than just that. Their goal, obviously, is to own and control everything, including, as I'd said above, the sales, distribution and publication of books. Maintaining a healthy bottom line isn't nearly enough. In fact, when you get as big as Amazon, it's just the beginning. And it isn't enough that you succeed. Everyone else must fail or get bought out.
     So, this is old hat. or you would think. You baseball fans out there may remember the MLB strike 20 years ago in which Montreal's bid for the World Series and the late Tony Gwynn's chase for a .400 batting average were cut short when billionaires went to war with millionaires and fans were caught in the middle. While we may have eventually sided with the players, there wasn't much sympathy to be had for either from Joe Lunchpail.
     Ergo, in some ways, we're seeing the same here: Billionaire Jeff Bezos, taking a break from playing the bored rich man salvaging shipwrecks from his luxury ocean liner, is waging war on the millionaire executives at the Hachette Book Group and Grand Central Publishing, with readers, typically, caught in the middle.
     And what brought me into the fray, albeit briefly, is a question someone had asked yesterday. In a particularly condescending piece of tripe from Melville House, Dennis Johnson asked, Should Self-Published authors side with Hachette?
     My short answer is, Why should we? We don't have a dog in the fight and since when do the Powers That Be in the publishing world give a flying rat fuck what we think?
     The real answer, the long one, is more nuanced and deserves some unpacking.
     First off, the indie author reading this piece is tempted to hit the backspace button when Johnson says (emphasis mine),
It’s bittersweet stuff, but her most recent column — regarding the Hachette – Amazon standoff — is, to this publisher, not only notably insightful, but dares to say things publishing commentators have been understandably timid to discuss.  That is, she has the nerve to discuss the role of the so-called “independent writers” — and to depict them as perhaps independent only of reason.
Note that Miller isn’t the first to dare to speak about vanity press authors critically — last year Andrew Franklin, head of the terrific UK indie Profile Books famously declared “The overwhelming majority [of self-published books] are terrible — unutterable rubbish. They don’t enhance anything in the world.”
     Excuse me? Vanity Press? Amazon's Kindle and Create Space programs are a lot of things but "vanity presses" (aka subsidy publishers) aren't among them. Same goes for Kobo, Smashwords, LuLu and other outlets for indie authors.
     Writers, especially we independent authors, are like human schefflera or ficus plants- We can and will endure and perhaps even thrive even if we're neglected. Technically, whether we're talking desk top publishing or self publication through a corporate entity such as Amazon.com (Which, again, is no friend of yours whether you're a reader, author, employee or publisher. Its only friends are their top executives and shareholders), we're all micropublishers trying to put our product and brand out there like so many microbrewers.
     And while Miller may be incidentally correct in saying some indie writers hate traditional publishing with a vengeance, it's the height of arrogance to assume and to tell us that all indie authors loath tradpub. That's simply not true and I'm one case. Just as virtually every rock'n'roll group's goal is to sign with a legit record label, the ultimate goal of virtually any independent author is to sign with a traditional publisher. Regardless of what some may say outwardly, they still yearn to be part of the establishment.
    So, fuck you, Ms. Miller, but you don't speak for us all.
    No more than Amazon speaks for all its authors and customers. Even if Amazon hadn't banned me for life across all their domains, I'd still revile them with a burning passion just based on their treatment of their own customers, authors both trad and indie, their temp workers all the way up to the Five Big Houses. Amazon's cynically using their customers (We, the Readers) and Hachette authors as human shields much in the same way the GOP uses workers, veterans and unemployed workers as a way to cudgel the Democrats, in a despicable and transparent show of fake empathy.
     When Amazon bleats its usual corporate spiel about forcing lower wholesale prices from publishers so we can pass on the savings to you, the customer, I hear Wal-Mart almost in the foreground. Isn't that how Wal-Mart became the top retailer in the world and the #1 private employer in the nation? By having sweat shops make cheaper and cheaper goods, paying their workers poverty wages and passing the savings onto you, the customer?
     And look at how reviled Wal-Mart is now.
     So when will it be Amazon's turn?
     Look, traditional publishers like Hachette don't give a fuck what you have to say or if you take their side in this latest millionaire vs billionaire battle. If they actually gave two shits about you, they'd be looking at or publishing your Great American Novel.
     But they don't give a shit because you're just angry, frustrated, second rate scum to them and they will never even invite you to the kiddie table.
     But publishers are still honestly trying to learn how to strike a deal that works best for all parties concerned in what is still, 18 years after Amazon's founding, a very volatile and Protean business. While consolidation and mergers are a reality of the business and always will be until all print publishing is just one gigantic conglomerate while the FTC continues impotently looking on, they are not the monopoly. Amazon is and they are the Wal-Mart of the online retail world.
     People like Miller are telling us indie authors we should cynically support traditional publishing even if only because their higher prices make our work look more desirable, at least as far as price points go. But that's not going to happen until and unless readers as independent as independent writers are willing to dive headfirst into the slush pile that traditional publishers nor literary agencies dare not tread and to start seriously separating the wheat from the chaff and supporting those worthy of support.
     And that necessarily involves skeeving both traditional publishing and Amazon.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Hitting the Wall

     Well, I guess this is it, then.
     It won't even be worth putting the air conditioner in the bedroom window because, barring a miracle, it looks as if we'll be evicted during the summer.
     I'm sorry I was such a burden and a constant aggravation to my regular and former readers as well as the one-timers who surf in once and leave. It seems if I stay in any one person's life long enough, I wind up alienating them for a bewilderingly eclectic variety of reasons. Why should the political blogosphere of which I've been a part for going on a decade be any exception?
     Yesterday, I'd made a direct appeal to 129 current and former contributors to Pottersville over the years whom I thought would be the likeliest to help us out this month. With one exception, everyone had ignored my plea. The public appeals I've been making here and on Twitter this past week have hardly been more successful. And it seems we've lost our second, and final, big benefactor, someone who's been more than generous with us these past couple of years. And, without that particular person, we are truly screwed.
     So it looks as if we've finally hit that dreaded wall. It's not as if I didn't know this day would come. It's a miracle that people hadn't turned their backs on us sooner. And you have to try to understand how much I'd cringe inwardly, if not outwardly, every time I'd made a public or private appeal. I know what it's like: My middling acts of charity in the past have earned me more begs from those same organizations as well as having my contact information sold to other charity organizations so it seems as if I've been put on everyone's hit list. Feeding stray dogs and all.
     But I would not have been such a pain in the ass if I didn't have a fiancee and a cat to worry about. The prospect of living in a shelter is one no one ever relishes. I know- I've been there twice before. But even if there was a shelter in our locality (and there isn't), I still have Popeye to worry about. I know of nobody who can take him in.
     I defy you to tell me you would've done things differently if you were in my place, if you had someone completely dependent on you to satisfy their every need because you said over five years ago that you could do it then failed to establish self-sufficiency.
     Neither Mrs. JP nor I lost our last jobs through any fault of our own. We didn't want to live on food stamps these past three plus years nor have our applications for the Affordable Care Act get lost in a bureaucratic maze of paperwork months after submitting them. And it's not our fault we're both in our mid-late 50's and that no one in this youth-obsessed country wants to hire people our age.
     Yet, regardless of my having a girlfriend and a cat to care for and the tremendous pressure I live with day in and day out to keep this household running and viable, to keep the lights and gas on, food in the pantry, the car on the road, keeping a roof over our heads, I still haven't the right to make my problems yours.
     And for that, you have my deepest and most profound apologies. These past five plus years, applications and resumes have been dropping into the black hole of apathy and ageism. I haven't sold a single copy of any of my books in over a month. Literary agents and editors still treat me as if I'm a gnat in their ear and I've finally reached the point where I can say with absolute authority that I am now officially expendable and I've reached the end of my value to anybody and anything like a once-used Kleenex.
     I don't know how this happened. Piss poor prior planning, as Mrs. JP says, doesn't explain it all because who knew we'd live in a country where once a person hits 50 they stand virtually zero chance of getting a job or that credit background checks would become standard in the hiring process? My Dad told me years ago if I worked hard and paid cash for everything and didn't live beyond my means, I'd be OK and I believed him. Why shouldn't I have? He was my Dad.
     As contentious as our relationship has been these past 34 years or so, I began thinking about what had happened to him in the early 90's, when Digital had laid him off. He'd been with them for 15 years then got fired after rising to the level of Project Manager. He'd put 20 honorable years in the USAF then went right to work for DEC. He'd done everything he was supposed to do, was trained to do, and he got a swift kick in the ass when Ken Olsen decided to call it quits and sell out to Intel.
     Then, in an inverse revelation in that Harry Chapin song, I realized I'd turned into my father. We were both failures and after playing by the rules that had been drummed into our heads when we were young men. So I wrote to him last year and told him that. He didn't answer me back, of course, but I still wanted to let him know that he'd sent me out into the world in 1978 with sound ideas and advice. It's the world that's no longer sound.
     So, bottom line, I don't know where we'll end up after this summer but where ever that is and if I never find my way online again, please know that I have each and every one of you in my thoughts (some a little more than others and you know who you are). I am so sorry to have to been a burden on you these past five years. And I wouldn't have too regularly dumped my problems in your laps if I didn't have extraordinary responsibilities to others to fulfill with so little to honor them with.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Top 10 Suggestions That Should be Made by the North Carolina Black Advisory Board

     Yesterday, the Republican National Committee announced it was forming a Black Advisory Board in North Carolina. Chairman Reince Priebus said, “We are fortunate to have this accomplished group of leaders to help guide our engagement efforts in North Carolina. Their knowledge and roots in black communities across the state will be invaluable as we share our message of empowerment and expanding access to the American Dream.” However, just last February, that same state passed one of the most restrictive voter ID laws in the nation in light of the Supreme Court essentially gutting the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a law that seems to target African American voters. Once the Black Advisory Board is formed, what are some of the suggestions they can put to the RNC?

  • 10) Getting Don Yelton on The Daily Show at least once a week.
  • 9) Having more than one voting machine for every 100,000 black voters would be really nice.
  • 8) Plantation-themed Election Days in black districts may not be such a good idea.
  • 7) Muzzled attack dogs? Just an idea.
  • 6) DNA test on black voters to determine any evidence of Caucasian ancestry may not be cost-effective.
  • 5) Suspension of loyalty oath to uphold ideals of the Confederacy and the abolition of the 13th Amendment.
  • 4) Fliers sent to African American voters to please stop laughing when we ask them to vote for Republican candidates.
  • 3) Black Advisory Board shouldn't need to take Underground Railroad to convene meetings.
  • 2) Seriously. Make them stop laughing at us.
  • 1) Return of a civics test may be counterproductive when it's shown Tea Party voters will get the lowest scores.
    (Editor's note: Mrs. JP and I are not out of the woods, yet, and still need some assistance to help keep us indoors through the summer. Please consider donating what you can.)
  • Friday, June 20, 2014

    I've Hit the Big Time. Yay?

         Every now and then, I like to look through my hit counter's stats and see where my hits come from. I've noticed lately that I get a middling number of hits from universities (Auburn, U of So Cal, Cornell, Princeton, etc), and one regular reader from the DoD Network Information Center, whatever the hell that is. But one caught my eye tonight and it's this one:
         So I looked up the IP address in an attempt to see whose staffer read my blog. I was hoping for a Democrat but my heart sank into my stomach when I did a Google search and found the following 2009 Wikinews entry on its history:
         Following those discoveries, Wikinews investigated another IP address used by the U.S. House of Representatives. On April 30, 2009, the address made an edit that listed Devin Nunes, the representative for California's 21st congressional district, as being a member of the Nazi Party. The address also made less questionable edits, but after investigating further, it was discovered that the IP address removed critical information on April 29 from the article of Gregory Meeks, the representative for New York's 6th congressional district. The information removed was related to a column by the the New York Times which stated that Meeks initially supported former 2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama in the race for the White House. According to the Times, Meeks changed his support to Obama because he was part of "a young black political class [which was] seeking to assert the neighborhood’s power against what it sees as an older establishment, based in Harlem, that has long exercised disproportionate influence in New York City."
         The address was also responsible for adding highly biased statements to articles related to abortion. On March 16, 2009 it altered the Wikipedia article Crisis pregnancy center, adding that the centers were "abortion mills, which exist only to kill people, also present themselves as medical facilities." On March 20, the IP changed the Project Rachel article to include, "millions of women have deep regrets and, often, suffer psychological problems after undergoing an abortion--a fact the abortion industry and mass media will not admit." also added racial slurs and references to gay pedophilia into William A. Donohue's article in February, saying he has "participated in the controversial act of 'tabeling', in which he takes a small child, places him upon a table, and 'puts the lord inside him.'"
         It doesn't make any sense that anyone from the US House, or even one of their staffers, would be so concerned about the rantings of a Z list blogger like me. But just in case you notice shit start to go missing or things changed or stuff posted that you know I'd never say, please alert me because, whoever's using that IP address, 5 will get you 10 it's a right winger or their staffer.

    Joe Walsh Has His Legs Cut Out From Under Him

         Joe Walsh represents everything that's wrong with right wing media and, by logical extension, our entire mainstream media.
         Walsh, you may remember, got his ass kicked by a legless lady named Tammy Duckworth last Election Day after serving just one term. He made the mistake of pulling a Saxby Chambliss and impugning the sacrifice made by a war veteran and accused his opponent of using her disability for pity and political advantage. Then he had the chutzpah to try to have his child support payments lowered for losing his job "through no fault of (his) own."
         Obviously, it's been lost on Walsh that comments during his mercifully brief time in Congress like the one above conclusively prove that he was, indeed, responsible for losing the best job he ever had and ever will have. In less than the allotted 140 characters, Walsh, in a supreme show of self pity, effortlessly manages to offend native Americans, African Americans, Latinos, Christians and Appalachians. That, you have to admit, is masterful concision and resourcefulness in managing to insult such a cross-section of Americana.
         Unfortunately for Deadbeat Joe, it also offended the radio station that will decide at 5 today whether or not to fire Walsh. As of this minute, AM560 still has Walsh's smirking puss on their website's masthead but that could change in a heartbeat. If you stay on their index page long enough, you'll note they also air content from other right wing nut jobs like Sean Hannity, Bill Bennett, Dennis Miller and Dennis Prager. Even so, given their content, it's hard to see what made Walsh so attractive to AM560,in the first place.
         To put it in a nutshell, Walsh got thrown off the air during his own show yesterday after he began weighing in on the recent Washington Redskins controversy. He apparently thought that was a good excuse to use the N word and other racially offensive sobriquets. He apparently also thought he wasn't on the usual five second delay that's standard in the radio business, a self-inhibiting mechanism protecting radio outlets from running afoul of FCC regulations.
         Walsh began wondering why his show went to commercial breaks every time he tried to use the N word and was finally told by the station's management to cool it or they'd pull him off. Joe Walsh, being Joe Walsh did what Joe Walsh typically does and thought the rules didn't apply to him and kept using the N word and others. (His Twitter feed, listed here, is a priceless real time account of what happened yesterday.)
         You would think that AM560 would do the right thing, even if only out of concern for their market share, ratings, air time value and the bottom lines of their investors, they'll decide on doing the right thing and do to Walsh what Illinois' 8th district did in 2012 and that will be the end of that.
         But this is the KKK portion of the conservative movement we're talking about here, a faction that seems to infest the entire movement since a black guy got elected and reelected president. And there's a new movement that's apparently rallying around Walsh and his "free speech rights" that only protects him from the federal government's encroachment. Yes, ironically,Walsh is getting more support from fellow right wing nut jobs than he ever gave his own kids.
         You'd think AM560 knew what they were getting into even before they hired Walsh, considering his track record when meeting with his own constituents and endless contentious exchanges with the media that, against all rhyme or reason, AM560 made him a part. And, if not then, then they should've gotten a clue last August when he "celebrated" the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's March on Washington and essentially rewrote Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, saying black families needed to get it together.
         Which is audacious, considering his ex-wife sued him for over $117,000 in back child support that took a back seat to paying himself back $35,000 for campaign finance expenses.
         And yet, despite the nakedly racist content of Walsh's statements, the MSM remain silent about this and the story is confined to Twitter and little-read blogs such as this one. We keep treating these mounting examples of antebellum racism as isolated incidents and not of a piece, such as Hannity former BFF Cliven Bundy's ideas on slavery and black people on public assistance.
         Walsh thinks he should be allowed use words extremely offensive to minorities because, after all, the Washington Redskins' name is offensive and that's allowed. What some in the MSM need to explain to Walsh is that the word "redskin" cannot be equated with the others because there's no such team as the New York Niggers or the San Diego Spics. There's no equivalency.
         And until the mainstream media grows a fucking set and starts challenging, seriously challenging racist scumbag loser deadbeats like Walsh, then the Civil Rights struggle will never end

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

    Twenty Bucks, Same as in Town

         You do it, I do it, we all do it. What have you been up to?

         When both Harry Reid and Megyn Kelly of Fox both call you on your bullshit within 24 hours of each other, you know you're on the wrong side of history. But just try telling that to Dick & Liz, who both smugly sat on their fat asses and troweled out the same 12 year-old talking points. And, to paraphrase Lyndon Johnson on Walter Cronkite, If you're a Republican and have lost Megyn Kelly, you've lost 'Murrica.

        The Burning Platform is a blog to which I've linked for years, one of those you put on your blogroll then forget about in the rush. Big mistake. Whilst looking for suitable links for this also neglected feature, I went to TBP and found this wonderfully erudite and exceptionally well-written post that transcends mere blogging or ranting. It's about Eric Cantor's stunning loss, the cyclicality of history and how it never proceeds linearly and... Oh, hell, read it for yourself. There's a reason this guy gets a ton of comments and it ain't for writing, "Heh, indeedy" seven times a week.

        The Rude Pundit is like the Mariano Rivera of bloggers: You know what you're gonna get every single time but that cutter still surprises you. Except Lee Papa is funnier than the Panamanian closer and he proves it and his sophistication once again in yesterday's deathless purple prose, "Father and Daughter Cheney Can Go Suck a Dick." OK, it may not make Henry James proud but it makes me proud to be a liberal.

        It inevitably follows, since he follows the Rude One on my Must See blogroll that I read him after TRP.  But d r i f t g l a s s has a new one out that may set a new bar for him. Sir Drifty is like a cross between The Burning Platform and the Rude Pundit and you get the best of both worlds. His prose is kind of like, as the insufferably snotty French guy said of the French language in The Matrix, "wiping your ass with silk." Go and be thou educated in this masterful dissection of the various levels of delusion in the conservative agenda. Sounds as if marriage to Bluegal agrees with him and his muse.

        Charles Pierce. XL Pipeline. Go. Now. (Extra bonus: Make note of Pierce's little Easter Egg of a URL.)

         Well, now that she's established some credibility with liberals by Jolly Rogering Big Dick Cheney and offspring, perhaps Megyn Kelly will finally get her blonde, well-coiffed head out her ass and build on this newfound, clear-eyed... Oooh, shit! Damn you, Glenn Beck, damn you to hell!

         Still, the lady has her moments and we can hope, right?

         Just in case Avedon Carol and I missed any wingnuttery (as is always the case, since there's always a surfeit of it in America), fellow Bay Stater Echidne of the Snakes has her own digest.

         Finally, something hitting closer to home or what will be our home for less than two and a half months, barring a miracle. Imagine how much it would suck getting evicted from your home of over five years, with no shelter in sight. Now, add a disabled fiancee and a beloved cat to the mix, throw in a few homeless spikes and the uniquely American criminalization of indigence. I'd made a passing reference to it at the end of last night's post but that plea has resulted in just one small donation that would pay half my monthly auto insurance premiums. So, please, if you have any spare cash, Mrs. JP and I would immensely appreciate a hand since spending summer indoors is looking more and more problematic.

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

    Assclowns of the Week #99: Dr. Strangehate edition

         ...or How The GOP Learned to Love ISIS and the Bomb.
         Well, I guess it was only to be expected (By that, I don't mean Iraq turning into dog shit again at the hands of Sunni extremists, which was to be expected) but the black guy getting all the blame for Iraq's newest quagmire after Bush had been praised by the man above for ending the war in 2011. Yes, Republicans finally found a new scandal not named Benghazi to hang on Obama's neck like a greasy, half-plucked albatross and it's Iraq.
         So, Iraq imploding two and a half years after we pulled the last of our fighting forces is also the president's fault since he's loath to send troops back there and the GOP is longingly looking back to the good old days when soldiers were short-changed on armor while war profiteers filled lockers with American loot. And good luck getting the military behind another Iraq War after our lovable conservative-Americans recently shortchanged them on VA benefits, facilities and financial assistance.
         And, as expected, assclowns from hill and dale made the grade for reasons other than Iraq, such as rabid leprechaun Jeff Sessions (6) saying that VA funding for vets is a blank check we can't afford; The MSM (4), for calling in arsonists for advice on how to put out a fire; Rick Perry (10), for saying you can Just Say No to homosexuality and Big Dick Cheney (2) for criticizing the black guy for a war that white men started.
         So let's pile into the MRAP and review the crater-pocked landscape and this week's assclowns who created it and much, much more!

    10) Rick Perry
         Leave it to a Republican to equate homosexuality with alcoholism.
         Last week, Texas governor Rick Perry took a break from shooting coyotes and threatening to secede from the union to go public and told the San Francisco Chronicle,
    Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that. I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way."
         Meaning that if his wet-brained predecessor can find his way back up from the bottom of a bottle, well then, any Nancy boy can work his way back up from someone's bottom. It's just a matter of just saying No. Later, when pressed again if he believed in the efficacy of the long-discredited theory of anti-gay therapy officially embraced by the Texas GOP this spring, Perry said, "I don't know. I ain't no scientist." He then begged off from further questions, saying his head hurt.

    9) John McCain
         The biggest secret on Capitol Hill has nothing to do with national security but in keeping Matlock's cancellation from John McCain. Because Arizona's senior senator seems to be having a bit of a problem in deciding which position to take on anything. After saying for years that we should close Gitmo, he's now saying the Obama administration should've turned over Benghazi attack mastermind Ahmed Abu Khatallah to... Gitmo! That would be the same Guantanamo Bay the president had vowed to close and tried to before Republicans blocked the funding necessary for the closing costs.
         And now, McCain is calling for a renewal of hostilities since ISIS, an ultra radical al Qaeda offshoot comprised of Syrian and Iraqi rebels... wait a minute... Syrian rebels?!

         Lest we forget the GOP's earlier stance on the Syrian rebels terrorists now running roughshod over Iraq and that they were screaming Obama should have armed, I give you this blast from the past. Yeah, Johnny boy, let's keep everything on the table, starting with your resignation from the US Senate and the human race.

    8) The Hertog Foundation
         Commissioning convicted felon Scooter Libby and Paul Wolfowitz to conduct a five day class entitled, "The War in Iraq: A Study in Decision-Making" would be akin to Timothy McVeigh being invited to appear on This Old House.
         Yeah, you heard that right. The Hertog Foundation, another well-oiled right wing think tank (Look at who their biggest donor is, if you don't believe me) thought it would be a splendiferous idea if they plucked from obscurity two of the biggest criminals (one of them literally a convicted criminal) from the Bush crime family and have them bloviate for five days straight about the shockingly brilliant decisions that Serious White Men made for Iraq, that shining bastion of democracy in the Middle East.
         To add to the bathos of having Paul "It'll Cost Only a Billion, Tops!" Wolfowitz and Scooter "Psst, She's a Secret Agent!" Libby, Hertog then had to plaster on their announcement the pusses of George "Mushroom Cloud" Bush, Dick "They'll Greet Us as Liberators" Cheney and an incompetent general who couldn't keep it in his pants.

    7) Allen West
         Allen West must lie awake in bed at night consumed with jealousy at Michael Jackson being able to turn his skin white or racking what passes for his brain for ways to join the KKK. I say this because the older Allen West gets, the more he resembles Stephen, the self-loathing conspiratorial house nigger in Django Unchained. After months of screaming about the Obama administration throwing one distraction from Benghazi after another in the face of America, when that same administration carried out a bloodless arrest of the Benghazi mastermind, what did West do?
         Why, he pulled a Palin and tweeted from his tiny balcony his displeasure that arresting said terrorist was a... distraction from the other nightmares! Whatever they may be. But, really, in all fairness, instead of getting all up in arms over what powerless right wing morons like Sarah Palin and Allen West say, we should be more concerned about what real power brokers like ALEC are doing to our country within the tall grass.

    6) Jeff Sessions
         Imagine if Paula Deen and the Lucky Charms leprechaun had a love child. Well, it would be Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. But this time, it isn't Sessions' infamous racism that earns him inclusion in this august list but his refusal to vote for a relief bill that would speed up meeting the health care needs of veterans that were delayed by the recent VA boondoggle that saw the resignation of General Eric Shinseki. And when the bill was still up for debate (it passed, by the way), Sessions, one of just three senators to vote against the bill, had the nerve to say,
    I feel strongly we’ve got to do the right thing for our veterans. But I don’t think we should create a blank check, an unlimited entitlement program, now.
         You heard that right. The Lucky Charms leprechaun's evil twin actually called a veterans' health care bill "an entitlement program". This, of course, was coming from a war-loving little troll who voted for every appropriations bill designed to bloat the military industrial complex that amounted to, essentially, an endless series of blank checks costing the taxpayer far, far more than the VA relief bill will.
         Climb back under your mushroom, Jeff, and make sure it's a poisonous one.

    5) Pat Robertson
         Really, Patsie? Daddy's reputation is worth more than Mommy's life?  
         A few days ago, Pat Robertson read part of a letter sent to him by a child who'd written,
    Whenever my parents fight, my dad threatens my mom with his gun. Fortunately, this now means nothing to my mom, and she never goes nuts about it; she is very calm. But as a child, I get nervous and worried when this happens. Even my younger brother saw this incident. What should we do about it and him?
         Predictably, something stupid and senile fell out of his mouth right out of the gate.
    Well, again, you don’t want to get your father busted, but you could. You ought to go to your mother and say, ‘Mom, this thing is scaring me, and I ask you please to get my father to have some help.’”
         So, the moral of the story, kiddo, is: If you see Daddy screaming and waving a gun and threatening Mommy, think about his reputation and second amendment gun rights (Ask Joe the Plumber). After all, Mom's already been desensitized to domestic violence, therefore, you should be, too. Just keep it in the family. It's always better that way. Let CSI sort it all out later.

    4) The Mainstream Media
         It would be so easy to devote this spot exclusively to Fox, which has done more than its fair share to piss in the airways over Benghazi and the unrest in Iraq. After all, just today, Fox invited NFL analyst and fellow right wing nut bag Terry Bradshaw to weigh in on Benghazi and they've also brought into their sound stages the very same people who created the clusterfucks in both places. But then these opinions began metastasizing across channels and pretty soon Billy was foaming at the mouth on MSNBC and saying we should send tens of thousands of our men and women into Iraq, CNN, right after Fox, grabbed the former Viceroy of Iraq, Paul "Dude, Where's Your $8.8 Billion?" Bremer, in which he promptly put both his Timberland boots in his mouth by, you guessed it, blaming Obama for Iraq's current instability and bloodshed.
         Seriously, between the op-ed pieces, TV and radio spots and other blatherings by these so-called "experts" on Iraq, the mainstream media, unsurprisingly, drops the ball yet again by asking the arsonist how to put out the fire.

    3) Eric Cantor
         Hey, lame duck House Majority Leader Eric Cantor! You just got your Speaker of the House ambitions dashed in the most humiliating primary defeat in perhaps all American history! What will you do now?
         You got it: Blame the nigger.
         Ray Allen, Cantor's campaign manager and the assclown who personally commissioned an internal poll showing Cantor beating Dave Brat by 34 points, had a handy explanation for his boy's loss. Did he blame himself for his historic incompetence in failing to secure another term for his boss when they'd outspent his Teabagger opponent by 15 to one? Of course not! It's Obama's and the Democrat Party's fault. I suppose it was also the President's fault for only 8.8% of the district coming out to vote that night (4.9% voted for Brat, meaning over 95% of the district didn't care enough for him to come out to vote for him).
         So, yeah, there's that. Even though very few Democrats came out to vote that night in VA-7 and even though Obama's never given a word of support for Democrat Jack Trammell (who is being essentially left to twist in the wind by the craven DNC) and certainly not for Teabagger lunatic Dave Brat. And blaming Obama for this, as right wing hind leg chewers have done over Benghazi and Iraq, is as futile as blaming the Irish locked in steerage for the captain steering the Titanic into the iceberg.

    2) Dick and Liz Cheney
         Not since Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor have we seen hubristic preening from a pair named Dick and Liz on such an insufferable level. And while Dick Cheney snarls at Obama over Iraq, W's painting nude selfies of himself, giving you an idea of who was REALLY in charge between '01-'09.
         To spare you needless psychic pain, you can just not read it and take it on good faith it can be boiled down to three words: "It's Obama's fault." Of course, missing from the record is Cheney's "former" company Halliburton making nearly $40 billion from the Iraq war (over five times more than the #2 war profiteer), there were no WMD's ever found and that every one of the shifting reasons for the invasion and decade-long occupation of Iraq was long ago proven to be a hole-y haversack full of dog shit.
         But, hey, what's not to trust? This is coming from a five time draft dodger who shot his friend in the face then covered it up for a day before he could get his story straight. And Liz? Well, she's got to stay occupied somehow since her Senate candidacy went belly up even faster than Iraq's "democracy."

    1) George Will
         Where there's a Will, there's a wacko.
         Last June 8th, George Will published a column in the WaPo that has to be read to be believed, one entitled, "Colleges Become the Victims of Progressivism." The entire article is offensive in the extreme, with Will snuffling about how rape reports in our colleges and universities are overblown and the usual libertarian bullshit about how government shouldn't get too involved with stuff like that. For good measure, the right wing Poindexter also pulls out of his withered, pasty ass so-called statistics from the right wing American Enterprise Institute. But, right out of the gate, in the opening paragraph, Will says (emphasis mine),
    Colleges and universities are being educated by Washington and are finding the experience excruciating. They are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous (“micro-aggressions,” often not discernible to the untutored eye, are everywhere), and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate.
         Now, Will may have won a Pulitzer back when disco balls and pet rocks were all the rage (My theory is that he takes random words out of a Scrabble dictionary, places them randomly on a blank page then goes back and fills in the gaps) but Will using the terrifying ordeal of rape as a dead fish with which to slap liberalism's face is bottomlessly despicable. Equally heinous is his cherry-picking of certain documented complaints of highly ambiguous guilt that were designed to make rape culture as a whole look harmless and overblown and victimhood something rape victims retroactively covet (basically comingthisclose to equating rape victims with people filing a frivolous tort lawsuit against a corporation). And, to an intellectual fraudster like Will, the Obama administration shouldn't be making any inroads at all toward protecting our young women. No doubt, to Will, we should adopt the conservative alternative, which is to do nothing at all or redefine rape.

         Or maybe make this fat fuck our national spokesman on what college women like Sandra Fluke really need. Seriously, from now on, George ought to restrict his public pronouncements to baseball or bunny lint sculptures.

    (Editor's note:  After this month, summer's looking more and more dicey for Mrs. JP and me and, pending any new donations, we're literally two and a half months away from eviction. So any help you could give us would be immensely appreciated. Thanks in advance.)

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  • Assclowns of the Week

  • Links to the first 33 Assclowns of the Week.
  • Links to Assclowns of the Week 38-63.
  • #99: Dr. Strangehate edition
  • #98: Get Bentghazi edition
  • #97: SNAPping Your Fingers at the Poor edition
  • #96: Treat or Treat, Kiss My Ass edition
  • #95: Monumental Stupidity double-sized edition
  • #94: House of 'Tards edition
  • #93: You Da Bomb! edition.
  • #92: Akin to a Fool edition.
  • #91: Aurora Moronealis edition.
  • #90: Keep Your Gubmint Hands Off My High Pre'mums and Deductibles! edition.
  • #89: Occupy the Catbird Seat/Thanksgiving edition.
  • #88: Heil Hitler edition.
  • #87: Let Sleeping Elephants Lie edition.
  • #86: the Maniacs edition.
  • #85: The Top 50 Assclowns of 2010 edition.
  • #(19)84: Midterm Madness edition.
  • #83: Spill, Baby, Spill! edition.
  • #82: Leave Corporations Alone, They’re People! edition.
  • #81: Hatin' on Haiti edition.
  • #80: Don't Get Your Panties in a Twist edition.
  • #79: Top 50 Assclowns of 2009 edition.
  • #78: Nattering Nabobs of Negativism edition.
  • #77: ...And Justice For Once edition.
  • #76: Reading Tea Leaves/Labor Day edition.
  • #75: Diamond Jubilee/Inaugural Edition
  • #74: Dropping the Crystal Ball Edition
  • #73: The Twelve Assclowns of Christmas Edition
  • #72: Trick or Treat Election Day Edition
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  • #70: Soulless Corporations and the Politicians Who Love Them Edition
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  • Top Ten Facts of the MH370 Air Disaster
  • Top 10 Tips for GOP Congressmen Running Against Women
  • Top 10 Signs Walmart's Mistreating its Workers
  • Top 10 Diversions John McCain Found During Syria Hearing
  • Top 10 George Zimmerman Excuses for Speeding.
  • Top 10 Reasons Paula Deen Got Fired by the Food Network
  • Top Ten Ways Pope Francis is Deviating From Convention
  • Top 10 Reasons For the Pope's Resignation
  • Top 10 Emails Hacked From the Bush Family's Email Accounts
  • Top 10 Lies Told by Mitt Romney at the 2nd Debate.
  • Top 10 Examples of How Hard the Campaign Trail is on Ann D. Romney.
  • Top 10 Ways to Tell The Boston Red Sox Are Finished.
  • Top 10 Things Mitt May be Hiding in His Tax Returns.
  • Top 10 Events at the Romney Olympics.
  • Mitt Romney's Top 10 Wild & Crazy Moments.
  • Top Ten Reasons Why Dick Cheney Got a Heart Transplant.
  • Top 10 Facts About Tonight's New England/Denver Game.
  • My Top 10 Resolutions.
  • Top 10 Rejected Slogans of the Romney Campaign.
  • Top 10 Reasons Herman Cain Suspended His Campaign.
  • Top 10 Trending Topics on Twitter During #OWS Eviction.
  • Top 10 Herman Cain Pickup Lines.
  • Top 10 Changes Since Anthony Weiner Decided to Resign.
  • Top 10 Inaccuracies re bin Laden's Death.
  • Top 10 Ways to Prevent a TSA Patdown.
  • Top Ten Things Not to Say When You're Pulled Over.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Donald Trump Bowed Out of the Presidential Race.
  • Top 10 Ways Evangelicals Will Prepare for the Rapture II.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Today's Parliament Inquiry into News Corp.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why There Was No Vote on the Debt Ceiling Last Night.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Dick Cheney's Upcoming Memoir.
  • Top Ten Ways Americans Will Observe the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.
  • Top Ten Advances in Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia.
  • Top Ten Inaccuracies in Bill O'Reilly's Book About Lincoln.
  • Top Ten Suggestions From the Cat Food Commission.
  • Top Ten Worst Moments in George W. Bush's Presidency.
  • Top Ten Facts in George W. Bush's Memoir.
  • Top Ten Reasons Terry Jones Postponed His Koran Burning
  • Top 10 Causes for Dick Cheney's Congestive Heart Failure
  • Top Ten Ways That Jan Brewer Will Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
  • Top Ten Demands in Sarah Palin's Contract
  • Top Ten Whoppers in Karl Rove's New Book
  • Top 10 Items Left Behind in Rush Limbaugh's Apartment
  • Top Ten Things Barack Obama said to Rush Limbaugh in the Hospital
  • Top Ten Bizarre Promos Offered by the New Jersey Nets
  • Top 10 Bush Executive Orders Labor Wants President Obama to Repeal
  • George W. Bush's Top Ten Lesser Achievements
  • Boolean Bozoism

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  • Kindle in the Wind, my dedicated site for my novels.
  • Christwire.org: Conservative Values for an Unsaved World.
  • Esquire's Charles Pierce.
  • Brilliant @ Breakfast.
  • The Burning Platform.
  • The Rant.
  • Mock, Paper, Scissors.
  • James Petras.
  • Towle Road.
  • Matt Taibbi's blog.
  • Avedon's Sideshow (the new site).
  • At Largely, Larisa Alexandrovna's place.
  • The Daily Howler.
  • The DCist.
  • Greg Palast.
  • Jon Swift. RIP, Al.
  • God is For Suckers.
  • Think Progress.
  • Hullabaloo, Digby's place.
  • The General.
  • The Rude Pundit.
  • Driftglass.
  • Bildung Blog, some of the funniest and sharpest captions in the b'sphere.
  • The Carpetbagger Report.
  • Newshounds.
  • Sadly, No!
  • William Grigg, a great find.
  • Oliver Willis, "Like Kryptonite to Stupid."
  • Brad Blog.
  • Fark.
  • Down With Tyranny!, Howie Klein's blog.
  • Wayne's World. Party time! Excellent!
  • Busted Knuckles, aka Ornery Bastard.
  • Mills River Progressive.
  • Right Wing Watch.
  • Earthbond Misfit.
  • Anosognosia.
  • Utah Savage.
  • Echidne of the Snakes.
  • They Gave Us a Republic.
  • The Gawker.
  • Outtake Online, Emmy-winner Charlotte Robinson's site.
  • The artist formerly known as Politits. The politics are still liberal.
  • Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo
  • No More Mr. Nice Blog.
  • Head On Radio Network, Bob Kincaid.
  • Spocko's Brain.
  • Pandagon.
  • Slackivist.
  • The Randi Rhodes Show.
  • WTF Is It Now?
  • No Blood For Hubris.
  • Politickybitch (Nunya).
  • Lydia Cornell, a very smart and accomplished lady.
  • Roger Ailes (the good one.)
  • Michael's Moore's official website.
  • BlondeSense.
  • The Smirking Chimp.
  • Hammer of the Blogs.
  • Blue Gal's Blog.
  • Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.
  • Argville.
  • Existentialist Cowboy.
  • The Progressive.
  • The Nation.
  • Mother Jones.
  • Vanity Fair.
  • Salon.com.
  • Raw Story.
  • Watching America.
  • Citizens For Legitimate Government.
  • News Finder.
  • Newsy.com, comparative, nonpartisan analysis of the media.
  • Indy Media Center.
  • Urban Dictionary.
  • Lexis News.
  • Military Religious Freedom. What Mikey Weinstein has found will make your head explode.
  • McClatchy Newspapers.
  • The New Yorker.
  • Bloggingheads TV, political vlogging.
  • The Pensito Review.
  • Find Articles.com, the next-best thing to Nexis.
  • Altweeklies, for the news you won't get just anywhere.
  • The Smirking Chimp
  • Don Emmerich's Peace Blog
  • The Talented Cafe, a resource for writers and artists.
  • Wikileaks.
  • The Peoples' Voice.
  • Dictionary.com.
  • CIA World Fact Book.
  • IP address locator.
  • Tom Tomorrow's hilarious strip.
  • Babelfish, an instant, online translator. I love to translate Ann Coulter's site into German.
  • Newsmeat: Find out who's donating to whom.
  • Wikipedia, an invaluable research tool.
  • Uncyclopedia.
  • anysoldier.com
  • Icasualties
  • Free Press
  • YouTube
  • The Bone Bridge.
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