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Alex Baer

Caution: Do Not Explode Lightly

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Where will you go when the cow, whale, and/or volcano blows?

Instead of starting with Parrotheads -- fans of Jimmy Buffett and his songs -- for clues, we first go to Colorado, where the U.S. Forest Service is pondering what to do with a group of stray cows that wandered away from the herd over the winter, then moseyed into a ranger cabin, making themselves at home.

Problem is, the guest cows never left the impromptu cow hotel, but checked all the way out at some point during the harsh winter.  Six cows are inside the cabin.  A few more are outside.  The carcasses were found in late March near the Conundrum Hot Springs in Aspen;  what to do next has become its own hot conundrum this Spring.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 April 2012 15:30 Read more...

Previews of Coming Distractions

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We've seen the movies before, enough to drive us to distraction:  the slow takeover of power by lunatics, the sleeping citizenry unaware their country has been stolen and lost, the bad guys who refuse to be shamed and who will stop at nothing until they own absolutely everything...

Somehow, even though the movies are always the same -- exploits sexed up with explosions, topped-off with exploited sex bombs, and exploding F-bombs -- they always manage to make the Previews of Coming Attractions look novel enough.

How'd they do that -- sleight of hand?  Mass hypnosis from politicians?  Calm mesmerizing via pollsters?  Corporate marketing magic?  Or, are we just being baffled with more of the same, steaming bat guano, slung at us, hot and fast, right past us, before we know what happened, out at home plate, called on sliders?

Well, in a word:  Yes.

Last Updated on Monday, 16 April 2012 18:26 Read more...

Ghosts All Aboard the Crazy Train

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If you think your imagination on just how weird things can get is being stretched pretty thin these days, and that your ability to remain sane is approaching the point of no return, welcome aboard the Crazy Train!  We are haunted here by the Ghosts of Sanity Long Since Passed.

In this new, devolved phase of our world, we plan and predict our futures in the fortune-teller's tent, in the caboose, where a licensed phrenologist will count, measure, and touch all the bumps on your head, then mutter and mumble your possibilities of success in this modern world.  You can even get your palm scientifically read -- back there, in the rear.

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Playing Post Office or Possum

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Imagine birthdays, Valentine's Day, special occasions of all kinds without the Post Office's stamp of approval and thumbs-up.  Imagine America without Post Offices in its histories and small towns.  More to the point, imagine playing Post Office with a new, for-profit corporation: Imagine having to kiss up to and keep any new avocational CEO stocked up with vacation homes, wingtips, private jets.

The right-wing crazies want to bring down this venerable public institution too, bringing on a trick-opening for for-profit delivery -- some say by virtually engineering a downfall by triggering a financial crisis, just to get a foot in the door.  It's enough to make any American go postal, enough to make our first Postmaster General for 1775, Benjamin Franklin, twirl in his grave.

Last Updated on Friday, 13 April 2012 20:40 Read more...

Connecting the Dots, Saying a Long Goodbye

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Both sides showed up on time, armed to the teeth with favorite weapons.  The Brains showed up early, skittish and unsure of themselves, legions of sparking, crackling facts and computer records at their fingertips, electrified as if by lightning. The Brawns marched in at the top of the hour, as agreed and decreed, clad in full-bore, end-of-the-world riot and combat gear -- all in black, befitting the solemn, sober, somber occasion -- and methodically beat The Brains into oblivion, no battling back, then, simply said, took over the world.

Or, how about this one? Christian right-wingers are not from around here, not from our home planet, but have been shipped in and placed here as part of a test to see if any sane humanoids could or would survive or even thrive in the midst of such an indelibly foul and alien race.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 April 2012 19:52 Read more...

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