Category Archives: Ukraine

Hot Air

Gotcha Covered

So, now its closer to 15 million* people who’ve signed up for health insurance under the provisions of the ACA.

That’s no failure, folks. The combined 2012 US Census bureau population estimates for the three largest cities in this holy land — New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago — is 14,909,352. Let’s call it a draw; there are now as many people insured under ACA guidelines as live in the three most prominent American cities.

Anti-Obamacare

Really?

And the “fiasco” online rollout of the ACA exchange is only some six months on. The Republicans are hanging on to this issue by their fingernails. ACA works, even though the GOP has stood on its head to sabotage it.

Do I love ACA? Hell no. I want single-payer, universal health care like every other civilized country in the world has. But, I’ll say it again, ACA is better than what we had and it’s the best we can do right now as long as the social Darwinists of the Right have the legislative votes.

[*You’ve been seeing the 8 million figure that the corporate media is throwing around, but that only includes people who’ve become insured via the federal exchange. Some 6 million more are now covered under their parents policies, who have pre-existing conditions, had reached some arbitrary liftetime benefits limit, or qualified under Medicare and Medicaid expansion. All of them have benefitted from the ACA.]

Politics?

So, perhaps Mark Kruzan is running for yet another term as mayor of this sprawling metrop.

Yesterday he vetoed the plan to allow hunters to cull the deer population around Griffy Lake. Believe it or not, it’s the first time he’s vetoed a city council bill since he became Boss in Chief in January, 2004.

Can it be that he weighed the votes of those who hate deer eating their roses against those who hate the idea of Bambi being shot up like Sonny Corleone on the causeway?

From "The Godfather"

This may be bad news for any of those hoping to grab Kruzan’s chair in 2015.

In any case, the council can override Kruzan’s veto simply by re-voting on the bill — as long they vote 6-2 again. Council rules call for a two-third vote to negate a mayoral veto. My guess? At least one of those six is going to get cold feet.

The Jews Lose

And so, now we learn that virulent anti-semites constitute at least some fraction of both sides in the Ukraine dust-up.

This despite the strong possibility that those flyers demanding Jews register their families and property being circulated in the city of Donetsk may have been created by Ukraine nationalists trying to smear the Russian partisans there.

The New Republic magazine quotes Russian expert Fyodr Lukyanov, who believes the flyers are fakes: “I have no doubt that there is a sizable community of anti-Semites on both sides of the barricades, but for one of them to do something this stupid — this is done to compromise the pro-Russian groups in the east.”

Just a reminder that anti-semitism is ingrained in much of the pop. of Europe. It existed when England expelled the Jews in 1290. It existed when Spain threw its Jews out in 1492. It existed when mobs attacked Jews on Kristallnacht. And it exists today.

Anti-semitism

Why? Simple: There exists within every society a capacity to hate. It’s part of our genetic make-up. And it’s the greatest challenge we as a species face.

Hot Air

Bogeywoman

Okay, why are we being inundated on the interwebs with stupid Sarah Palin quotes again?

Why, why, why, why?

It’s not as though we don’t already know that the con artist, almost-beauty queen, shirker of duty is as batty as a cave in Southern Indiana, is it?

Palin

Palin Porn

Can it be that my lib brethren and sisteren are quivering under the covers with petrification that Palin is somehow going to rise Phoenix-like over the American political scene again? Ask me, that’s got about as much chance of happening as my beloved Chicago Cubs winning the 2014 World Series.

And if Palin does somehow become a political figure with whom to reckon once again, this holy land would be de facto dead in the water anyway, so why worry?

Another Sorry Dem

Hillary Clinton got herself in hot water this week by likening Vlad Putin’s swoop into the Crimea to the actions of a certain Right Wing dictator who wore a funny mustache.

Now, HRC is being forced to backtrack and explain herself because, as we know, the use of Hitler analogies is ever so unfair.

Only it’s those on the Right who are wringing their hands and rolling their eyes over the analogy. An analogy, BTW, that way, way, way too many of them use to describe a certain dark-skinned man who pushes pencils around the Oval Office.

As always, The Pencil is here to clear up any confusions.

Clinton

Nothing To Apologize For

Barack Obama is not Hitler. Neither are Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, or any others who don’t quite believe that Sarah Palin is a thoughtful, serious observer of the world condition.

OTOH, what Putin has done in the Crimea is absolutely, positively, very much like what Hitler did throughout the late 1930s. That is, ID a hot spot where the existing gov’t is about to topple and which contains a significant number of citizens who share said tryrant’s language and ethnicity, go in under the guise of rescuing the poor, downtrodden ethnic group, and then, voila!, take the joint over.

Yeah, that’s Hitler (and Putin) all the way. Stop apologizing Hillary!

Dorm Hijinks

The house organ for the weak-kneed liberal sect of the American body politic, the Huffington Post, ran this headline in its right-hand-column teasers last night:

From Huffington Post

No Link Necessary

And, no, I don’t need to explain what HuffPo‘s tittery euphemism is referring to. I suspect a child of 11 could catch the drift.

My question: Is this a drift anyone with a working cerebrum would want to catch?

Mammal Mobsters

And, finally, scientists are coming to the conclusion that dolphins have homicidal tendencies.

Dolphin Kills Porpoise

Sharks & Jets? No, Dolphin & Porpoise

Those who view the “natural” world as a Bambi cartoon have long asserted that critters don’t kill for fun, only humans do.

Not true. Dolphins time and again have been observed whacking other animals and even members of their own tribe just for the hell of it. And so have chimps.

Funny isn’t it? Perhaps the more intelligence a being has, the more likely it’ll be to bump off another being for sport, pleasure, or just because it’s bored.

Getting Hotter Air

Chit Chat Chit Chat

How about those Roller Mortis Films boys, Chris Rall and Tony Brewer? They just posted the first in their new series of interviews with fascinating B-towners on their YouTube channel.

Between them and my own Big Talk series on WFHB radio and The Ryder magazine, we’ll have the interview racket all sewn up here in So Cen Ind. The Herald Times, the WFIU news dept., and Bloom magazine may as well start handing out severance checks to their unlucky future former employees.

And, of course, there’s plenty o’incestuousness going around inasmuch as the subject of the first Rall/Brewer opus is, well, one Tony Brewer. Who just happens to be the second subject of the Big Talk series, the recording of which I am, as we speak, transcribing and editing. My Brewer interview should air on WFHB within a week or two. So you can grab yourselves a little sneak peek into the life of TB by checking out Roller Mortis’s 3-minute documentary on him. Rall & Brewer are calling their first effort a pilot, so expect their project to grow and evolve as time goes by.

Just like Big Talk.

Broadcast News

So, it’s out. The spanking new WFHB newsletter has hit the stree…, er, actually, the screen. Your computer screen, that is, if you sign up for it.

Firehouse News

Click Image To Subscribe

The first edition of the community radio station‘s latest stab at transparency now exists in the electron-sphere after a whirlwind gestation and birth. Many of Firehouse Broadcasting’s volunteers, donors, sponsors, and listeners found themselves in a tizzy last fall after the WFHB Board of Directors made a controversial choice to replace former General Manager Chad Carrothers. A fellow named Kevin Culbertson from California and other points west and whose resume included involvement with a passel of Christianist media outlets was tabbed to steer the ship into the foreseeable future. But when folks in these parts got wind of his religious programming past and his non-Bloomington-ness, the resultant roar could be heard as far as the Pacific Coast. Culbertson declined to come aboard and the Board faced the angry glares of its aforementioned constituents.

Since then, the Board and the WFHB staff have sworn to high heaven they’ll dedicate themselves to more open proceedings.

Et voila: Firehouse News.

And, yeah, I’m one of the inked-stained wretches who write the thing.

All Clear

Well, now that WWIII isn’t due to break out just yet, we can all get back to worrying about other important things like Matthew McConaughey’s Oscar night acceptance speech or whether Stand Your Ground laws were written by inmates in mental institutions.

Russia’s Vlad Putin is busy zipping up his fly after exposing his titanic phallus to the rest of the world in the Ukraine this past week. He promised this AM that his boys won’t bomb, maim, rape, pillage, and otherwise recreate in the Crimea unless such pastimes are absolutely necessary, a step back from his Rambo stance of several days ago. Phew, now I don’t have to stock up on canned green beans anymore.

Bomb Shelter

Nothing Says Home Like A Fallout Shelter

Meanwhile, remember that Florida woman who fired warning shots at her potentially abusive hubby? A state court judge had ruled that she can’t hide behind the Stand Your Ground laws because, well, she’s black and the imminent danger she faced was coming from her ever-loving husband. And if a man can’t beat his own wife nowadays, then what did our Christianist Founding Fathers fight and die for, huh?

Alexander

Not White. Not Male. Nobody.

Marissa Alexander faces a retrial that could land her in the joint for up to 60 years now. Those who enjoy sexual relations with their guns are applauding this latest turn of events because, again, Alexander is the wrong color and a wife and what the hell rights do such nobodies have anyway?

As for McConaughey’s speech — I didn’t see it but it’s raised a lot of fuss on the interwebs and, like all ‘net twaddle, will be forgotten by lunch time.

Hot Air

Another Box

Oh great. The Herald Times this morning reports a new soulless downtown mixed-used building has been approved by the Bloomington Plan Commission.

Blocks

The Proposed Building

The structure will house three residential apartments with ground-floor commercial space. Acc’g to the HT, the proposed project has been granted six zoning waivers, thereby allowing it to violate that many not-so-sacred municipal commandments to preserve the treasured look and feel of central B-town.

The building will stand next to the equally anonymous and utilitarian Bloomington Transit Center at 3rd and Walnut streets.

[I’d provide a link but the HT has a paywall so you can either trust me or drop 75 cents on a copy of today’s paper.]

Money For Nothin’!

I’ve been feeling down of late so this email really brightened my morning:

Email

What A Lucky Guy I Am!

I don’t know who Michael or Ira Curry are but as of now, they’re my Best Friends Forever.

Feel free to suggest what I should do with my fresh, crisp 600,000 USD in the Comments section. And, hey, if you find yourself short of cash over the next few weeks, you can count on me to help. I am, after all, rich now!

[UPDATE: I did a little googling and found out that Ira Curry won big in some regional lottery this past December. Michael Curry must be a relative. How nice of them to think of me.]

Hitting It Big

Equally fortunate, it seems, is our town’s David Brent Johnson. He’s no newly-minted $600,000-aire but his weekly jazz program, Night Lights, has been picked up in the Chicago market by radio station WDCB.

DBJ

David Brent Johnson

DBJ’s show debuted in the big market last week. WFIU‘s Night Lights is syndicated on 17 stations in 14 states as well as one station in the Philippines. WDCB is trying to position itself as Chi.’s radio place for jazz. NPR affiliate WBEZ dumped its overnight jazz and blues programming in 2007. Music aficionados were up in arms but the decision stood, as opposed to last year’s brouhaha over a proposed elimination of opera programming at WFIU.

Slowly but surely the world is learning about Bloomington as a music capital.

You Will Speak Correctly

How about that heretofore anonymous diplomatic bureaucrat’s street-talk dis of the European Union last week?

Victoria Nuland, who is the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, was phone chatting with the US ambassador to the Ukraine the other day. She and the ambassador, Geoffrey Pyatt, talked about the rebellion in that country. They speculated on the role of opposition leader Vitali Klitschko in any subsequent reorganization of the Ukraine gummint. Nuland pretty much told Pyatt that Klitschko ought not to be too big a shot because he’s essentially a babe in the woods.

Image from boxing.com

Tough Negotiator

Which makes perfect sense because the sum total of Klitschko’s life experience thus far has been his success at beating the bejesus out of men wearing shorts. See, Klitschko’s a boxer. He gained the world’s heavyweight boxing championship back in 1996. He retired from the Sweet Science last December still wearing one of the bazillion belts that the various international boxing authorities hand out. Experts say he was a powerful puncher and had strong chin.

These attributes stand a politician well only in a metaphorical sense. It’s been several millennia since we’ve asked our dear leaders to personally whack the crap out of each other for the good and glory of our respective peoples.

Still, Klitschko is popular in the Ukraine, the way, say, Peyton Manning would be in this holy land should he decide to chuck football and run for the United States Senate.

Nuland went on to tell Pyatt that the United Nations should try to broker an agreement between the Ukraine state and the opposition, not the European Union. Apparently, she doesn’t hold the Union in terribly high regard. “Fuck the E.U.,” she said.

The Money Shot Comment Is At 3:04

Somehow, a recording of the phone conversation was made public. And, natch, European leaders are screaming bloody murder. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel tut-tutted the comment. One of her PR flacks said Merkel considers the verbiage “absolutely unacceptable.”

I’m just wondering if the folks who gave the world the phrase deutschland über alles some 75 years ago have as yet earned the privilege to criticize other people’s lingo.

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