Tuesday, February 26, 2008

One More Reason To Avoid Parenthood

Serious question: if secondhand smoke is as dangerous as they say, why don’t the majority of Americans over 30 suffer from lung problems by now? And why aren’t the Baby Boomers all dead? Considering how ubiquitous cigarette smoking used to be, there’s no way Social Security can be in any danger if the anti-smoke extremists are right. Also, I should be one of the oldest women in America.

At any rate, the Nutmeg State’s mulling a ban on smoking in cars with children, so I called the politician promoting the bill to ask about these suspiciously low Boomer death rates.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Feral Genius 2008 Presidential Endorsement

All right. Fine. I have come to terms with the very real possibility that I won’t be able to vote for Ron Paul in the presidential election as I did in the primary. So I have to decide who to endorse for President. (Endorsements are apparently a vital blogger/pundit/journalist responsibility, because endorsements matter a great deal to the sort of people who base their voting decisions on them.) However, I was so focused on Paul these past few months that I completely ignored the other thousand or so presidential candidates. Who are they? A Web search for the terms “for president” and “2008” uncovered some possibilities:

The Eventual Non-Paul Republican Candidate: Hell no.

The Eventual Democratic Candidate: Absolutely not.

The Eventual Libertarian Candidate: Fuck no; he’s clinically insane. I don’t even know who he is yet, but I know he’ll be clinically insane because a study of recent LP candidates indicates that the party charter demands this. Will it be a guy whose main platform plank invokes the abolishment of driver’s licenses, or a human Smurf whose skin turned blue due to his belief that drinking silver milkshakes was the best way to Stick It To The Man? Maybe this year they’ll nominate that Time Cube guy.

Lance M. Brown: Brown says he’s a libertarian who’s constitutionally old enough to be the president. But his link list shows a tendency to make appallingly bad choices: there’s no mention of me under “Libertarian Bloggers,” but he does link to “Blind Date” under the category “TV I Watch.” Nope. Sorry. One could be forgiven, but not both.

Ron Jeremy: I actually had high hopes for this one, because his name sounds a little like Ron Paul’s and his campaign slogan practically writes itself: “Ron Jeremy for President. This time, let’s give America a good screwing.” Unfortunately, his campaign website indicates the actual slogan is “He’s a Long Shot,” and furthermore it’s not a legitimate campaign website at all but someone’s attempt to sell novelty T-shirts. I am crushed.

MacGyver: I like the idea of a can-do sort of president who’ll be able to solve America’s many problems with only two paper clips, a Ziploc bag and a bottlecap (which, coincidentally, will be all that’s left in America’s treasury after eight years of Bushian fiscal irresponsibility). But nobody with a mullet like that can be trusted near The Button. No.

Jack Bauer: He was pretty sexy when he played that vampire in The Lost Boys, and if I vote for him maybe he’ll let me drink some of that magic immortality blood so I can spend the rest of eternity as a night-owl California vampire beach Goth. That would be pretty cool. Except I won’t vote for anyone who’s pro-torture. Bauer’s out.

Jonathon the Impaler: I think America’s ready for its first Goth president, but his “About Me” Profile mentions his pride in his three lovely children. Fucking poser. No.

Cthulhu: Voting for the lesser evil does get old after awhile, but is the greater evil really an improvement? The last seven years say no. Besides, his appearance leads me to suspect he has a history of working in Japanese tentacle porn, which means he has no chance of winning the all-important “family” vote. I’ve already voted for one loser this season, and don’t want to repeat myself. Cthulhu’s out.

General Zod: Henry David Thoreau said “simplify, simplify,” and on those grounds Zod’s platform is appealing: rather than be enslaved to the crony corporations and the military-industrial complex and the nanny regulatory state, we’ll simply be enslaved to the Kryptonian. I like this no-bullshit, cut-to-the-chase approach. But Zod also says he’s for universal health care, and our medical system is messed up enough already without giving the government a monopoly on it. No.

Denny Crane: Never heard of him before; apparently he’s some lawyer who looks exactly like William Shatner. I hate lawyers. No.

Locutus of Borg: Pretty hot for a bald guy, but if I wanted to assimilate into the collective I’d just vote for the damn Democrat.

Cheysuli the Siamese Cat: Decent platform, but according to her biography she’s only three years old which means that, unlike Lance M. Brown, she is not constitutionally old enough to be president and by the time she is she’ll be dead. Also, I don’t particularly like cats. No.

Christopher Walken: On the plus side, I’m pretty sure he’s an actual real person, unlike many on this list. On the minus side, his platform thus far sounds like a bunch of stupid touchy-feely hippie crap. Also, he’s an actor. Here’s what happened the last time we had an actor in the White House: on the day of his inauguration, I was this rather homely little thing with cowlicky hair and jack-o-lantern teeth and too many elbows and knees, but by the end of that eight-year administration I was by all accounts (save that of my little brother) quite cute.

Observe the cause-and-effect relationship here:

Actor gets in the White House = Jennifer gets a lot prettier.**

The choice is obvious: Walken for President!

**This is no dumber than any of the other endorsement rationales you'll see. Just wait and watch if you don't believe me.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My Tax Dollars At Work

I have this frequent recurring nightmare wherein the government is staffed entirely by sensible, sane and honest people who never, ever do anything scornworthy. This makes my dream self (identical to my real self, only younger, wealthier and immortal) scream in agonized terror “Jesus Christ my career is OVER!!

Then I wake up, and in the cool light of morning and reason realize this is a wholly irrational fear. So it is with great pleasure that I announce the Connecticut General Assembly is back in session. Every morning I check their Website to see what new bills have been introduced, and maintain a running commentary which sounds something like this: "Oooh, this looks good! [mouse click] No, that law actually makes sense. Pfft. Useless for me. What about this one? [mouse click] Dammit, that one's sensible too! Bleah. What do I pay taxes for, anyway? ... Whoa. What's this? [excited mouse click] They want to outlaw smoking in cars? Whoa, mama. Jackpot."

Anyhoo, this week I wrote little squibs about two of the more obnoxious laws under consideration: a think-of-the-children bill that would ban smoking in cars, and a think-of-the-police bill that would make law enforcement officers exempt from certain laws they’re supposed to uphold.

Yeah, it's been a slow week.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Celibacy To Spite You With, My Dear

Damn my weak and willpowerless soul. All I wanted was to check my e-mail, but when I saw the news link titled “Church Offers Sex Challenge” I just had to go and click on it. Dear God, how I wish I hadn’t done that:

A southwest Florida church issued a challenge for its married members this past Sunday: Hanky panky every day. Relevant Church head pastor Paul Wirth says the 50 percent divorce rate was the catalyst for The 30-Day Sex Challenge.

"And that's no different for people who attend church," Wirth said. "Sometimes life gets in the way. Our jobs get in the way."

Oh, and the flip side of the challenge? No rolling in the sheets for the unwed.

That last part’s a relief, because it means I can, in fact, have sex during the next month without being creeped out by the thought that I’m doing something officially approved by a pastor in Ybor City, Florida.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Sharia In The UK

A news report on the BBC leads me to suspect that the Archbishop of Canterbury is in the secret employ of those extremist right-wingers whose favorite hobby is to run around frothing about the DangerousIslamofascistMenace that will destroy Western civilization and the American Way of Life™ if we don’t nuke Mecca from orbit or something:

The Archbishop of Canterbury says the adoption of certain aspects of Sharia law in the UK "seems unavoidable."

Dr Rowan Williams told Radio 4's World at One that the UK has to "face up to the fact" that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system.

Dr Williams argues that adopting parts of Islamic Sharia law would help maintain social cohesion.

For example, Muslims could choose to have marital disputes or financial matters dealt with in a Sharia court.

He says Muslims should not have to choose between "the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty".

In a unique interpretation of justice, Williams says it’s dangerous to think society should have only one set of laws which apply to all:

Dr Williams said an approach to law which simply said "there's one law for everybody and that's all there is to be said, and anything else that commands your loyalty or allegiance is completely irrelevant in the processes of the courts - I think that's a bit of a danger."

Fine. Speaking as one whose primary loyalty and allegiance are to logic and reason, I humbly submit that society will be placed in great danger if I'm expected to obey laws like “It’s illegal to punch people in the mouth when they say stupid things like ‘it’s dangerous to insist on one law for everybody.’”

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Back To Normal (Relatively Speaking)

When I strolled into the Registrar of Voters’ office this morning it was deserted except for two clerks, and a man dismayed to discover that the deadline for voter registration fell at noon yesterday, not noon today.

“I thought the deadline was today!” he said, and then uttered a perfect Homer Simpson-style “D’oh! Today’s Super Tuesday, isn’t it?” The clerk agreed.

So the man left, and I said “Hi, I’d like to register as an independent.”

The clerk looked incredulous – I got the definite impression she wasn’t expecting any business today – and I reminded her, “I told you last week I was switching back to independent as soon as I voted.”

“I didn’t think you meant the same day!

“Same hour,” I corrected her. “I’m not staying Republican any longer than I have to. No offense to any Republicans here.”

The other clerk thought this was very funny, and when she gave me the registration form she said “It takes 90 days to go through, you know.”

“That’s okay,” I said cheerfully. “So far as I’m concerned, the republicanism stops as soon as I sign this – here!” and I signed and handed it over, thus ending my Republican stint five days, 23 hours and 24 minutes after it began.

And I don’t even need to check the results to know it was all for nothing: Ron Paul didn’t win.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Shocking Changes

I had an utterly miserable day at work, because I got a painful, nasty shock whenever I touched the newsroom doorknob or any other metal object. A naive person might blame static electricity but I know better: the office building where my left-wing paper is produced just knows I'm a registered Republican these days, and thus reacts to my presence the same way a church's hallowed ground is reputed to react to a vampire. It burns. It burns.

I can switch back after the primary tomorrow. In sixteen hours or less I should be back to normal.

And if I weren't already committed to "Feral Genius" I'd change my online nickname to Thunder Child, fighting a fight I know I'll never win.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Ron Paul Election Strategy Update

In my last post I mentioned why it's vitally important that I formally register to vote as a political "independent" before 12:08 p.m. the day after Super Tuesday. I have since discovered that professional obligations will keep me busy all of Wednesday morning, so the plan now is to visit City Hall right after my Tuesday vote. This, no doubt, completely violates the spirit that inspired the "must be a party member to vote in the primary" law in the first place, but I consider such spirit violation a feature, not a bug.
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