Tuesday, September 23, 2014

We'd look pretty silly........

Speaker of the House John Boehner today announced that Republicans would be dropping their lawsuit against President Obama for granting extensions on the implementation of portions of the Affordable Care Act. "We just gave the President carte blanche on starting a new war in the Middle East, bombing Syria, and chasing ISIS wherever he wants and then went on a six week vacation," Boehner said. "We'd look pretty silly making a big constitutional deal about giving people an extra week to sign up for Obamacare when we just abandoned the largest constitutional duty we have, the War Powers. We'd look like idiots. Not to mention venal, stupid, hypocritical, feckless, helpless, idiotic, incompetent, inept, worthless, shiftless, and irresponsible. Maybe we'll shut down the government later, or something, to make up for it. And I'd finally like to add that although we are taking a pass on this whole Syrian bombing thing, we'll reserve the right to criticize later if it all goes bad."

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ray Rice, The Islamic State, and Sarah Palin

That Americans support more military action in Iraq and Syria against ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State than can find either of them on a map isn't unusual, but it is disturbing. Not even entirely out of Iraq, we are drawn back like an outdoor gnat to a light bulb. Apparently, all the US intelligence agencies have concluded that ISIS is not a threat to the US homeland, but with the ongoing PTSD of 9-11, the killing of two journalists covering a nasty, brutal, vengeful civil war in Syria is like the Twin Towers coming down and America must do something. Americans have clearly stated their desire for a war against ISIS which is clean, surgical, remote, requires no US troops, will result in no US casualties, and will have no unintended consequences..........good luck with that.........and President Obama seems willing to oblige. President Obama will try to enlist the help of Syrian moderate rebels (moderate rebel is an oxymoron, by the way). And it's weird how quiet are the Republicans in Congress who went ballistic when President Obama gave people a few more days to sign up for health insurance a year ago later voted to sue if not impeach the President; but now when Obama may very well drop bombs in Syria to go after ISIS, Congress has gone strangely silent and doesn't even want to vote on it...... Where did all those Constitution brandishers claiming executive branch over-reach go, anyway? And of the whole enterprise -- what could possibly go wrong? * * * * * * * On Ray Rice punching his wife into unconsciousness in an elevator in Atlantic City: the National Football League has announced its new policy -- if you are caught on a video that goes viral beating your wife/girlfriend into unconsciousness, we will suspend you for several games. The NFL will be publishing a new handbook for the spouses of NFL players. It will be titled, "Hey, You Married Him." The foreward to the book will be written by Fox News' #1 idiot, Brian Kilmeade, who remarked when discussing the issue: "Next time, take the stairs." Other notables have weighed in as well. The National Rifle Association announced a new Guns for NFL Wives program. "Does anyone doubt that had Ray Rice's wife had a handgun, the outcome would have been different?" asked chief gun lobbyist Wayne LaPierre. "Not for one minute." And not to be left on the sidelines of the controversy, the National Republican Party today called for lower taxes for NFL super-star multi-millionaires. "If ever there was an example of the need for tax cuts for millionaires, Ray Rice is it," said Reince Preibus, Republican National Chairman. "A 39.6% top income tax rate clearly led to this tragedy. Our hearts go out to him in his time of need." Sarah Palin, sporting a black eye and possibly hungover, also said something on her weird cable channel, but no one could understand what it was.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

The Secret Biker Wave

One thing I've noticed when out riding my little Honda Rebel cruiser motorcycle commuting to and from my several MCC campuses is the wave I often get from other bikers. The left hand is extended downward at a 45 degree angle in recognition of the brotherhood/sisterhood of us bikers. At first I didn't know what it was and wondered if my helmet was on fire, or on backwards, or the rear tire was flat, or my zipper was down, or something I couldn't even imagine. The I began to notice that sometimes the fingers are making the peace sign; other times the four fingers are held flat, or thumb held up, or making the ok sign. And apparently there are a multitude of subtleties about the etiquette and the nuanced hierarchy of this wave. A cruiser may or may not wave at a chopper or a sport bike, but will likely wave at another cruiser if the circumstances are conducive. And a chopper may or may not wave at a cruiser or a sport bike depending on the mood of the driver and the traffic environment. It's unlikely that a chopper will wave at a scooter, but it is surely not impossible that the chopper pilot will admire the spirit of the plucky scooter driver and give that wave of solidarity with that free spirit which coexists on that common roadway of life. (Of course, if a pretty girl is driving the scooter, I'll bet it's a 100% wave scenario whether it's a Harley, a chopper, a sport bike or a small Honda cruiser). A scooter pilot may be perceived as "cheeky" if they initiate "the wave," but the chopper may very well appreciate the upward mobility of the thought. Harley drivers are thought to be fairly selective about their waves -- only to other Harley drivers, but I've gotten the "wave" from Harley drivers even though I'm on a little Japanese import. It might be the cool looking gas tank or my 60's James Dean style sunglasses (or my whitish beard). I'm not sure. But I digress. And the return gesture is also important. The full "biker wave" is be be returned if possible and one has the time. Sometimes a head nod is sufficient if your left hand is occupied on the clutch, for example; or you are leaning into a turn; or some other driving critical factor like busy traffic. Other times, two fingers raised from the left hand grip is sufficient. So tonight I'm researching "the wave." In my riding so far, I've done the low wave, the two finger lift wave, the four finger lift wave, and the head nod, never knowing for sure if I was being identified as a true "biker" or a "rookie." I just googled "the motorcycle wave" and got 22,000,000 hits, so I'm reading them now. There's an entire body of literature devoted to this secret ritual amongst us bikers..........there's an entry in Wikipedia. I have even found on-line "biker wave" forum websites where the uninitiated can have their "biker wave" etiquette questions answered, the answer of one such question notwithstanding: Biker etiquette? Hell, no. They're bikers.