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Alex Baer

Spectres & Spectacles, Part 1

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It could be that religious right-wingers have a point, in a manner of speaking -- and, no, we're not talking about the sharp, pointy one high atop each GOP member's head.  Settle down and think about this, now:  It is possible demonology offers one of the few avenues of exploration left that may give any satisfaction at all, when it comes to knowing the source for the sudden increases and rise in numbers of so many depraved demons living here among us, spouting such intolerant and unbelievable bile, cloaking it all as God-given, holier-than-thou speech.

Mass hallucination, panic, and hysteria have mostly been ruled out -- but not demon-possession -- as the cause for this sudden, over-the-top burst of sanctimonious, patronizing, priggish-male, little-boy, pig-headedness:  The idea that only aging white men, mostly below the old Mason-Dixon line, are the only possible arbiters left alive where women's health care is concerned.  Women have a right to be concerned about where this madness is headed, as so much of the lunatic GOP focus has been below women's waistlines, and above the hems of their skirts.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 March 2012 20:26

Let Me Have That Again...

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Recapping now, see if this is set correctly in our minds:  Money is speech. Lying speech in the news is OK and legal, corporations are people, human beings are no longer Personnel if they are lucky enough to find work, but are instead, Resources, like something to be mined, chopped down, drained off, or drilled into -- which, come to think of it, explains why we keep getting turned on this huge screw, again and again, the screw blades attached to this long, painful shaft.

We're upset Syria tortures its people, even though this was among a few bloody handfuls of destinations, CIA-package drop zones for suspects we wanted "tuned-up" at the hands of very special-techniques investigators and interrogators?

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 18:33

More Loud Noise from the Boys in Illinois

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The music is "Illinois Blues," by Skip James, or, maybe it's "Illinois," Dan Fogelberg's way.  The mood is very much indigo in some quarters, but Illinoisans know to move fast, clear the streets. Coming to town is the circus, a revival tent meeting with live snakes, a carnival, and a four-way shoot-out, all rolled into one!  And, as an added attraction, an escaped zoo of mainstream media chimps will come swooping and swamping on in, as high-profile distraction, caging townsfolk in all alleyways, getting up close and personal, pointing mics in faces, mining hard for snappy sound bites and local flavor.  Beware your favorite diners, next couple of days.

Best to make like a tumbleweed, just roll on, keep out of the way -- here comes more empty thunder raining down on you, rolling across everything, smashing into your towns:  It's the Dark Horse Riders of the Grandiose Oblivion Plague Party, and the runners-up Pinheaded Primary Parade!

Last Updated on Monday, 19 March 2012 18:38

The Burro-Burrow Test: Too High a Hurdle?

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There is a great story about an editor at UPI long ago, back in the 1970s, who inserted advice to journalists in a foreword to that organization's style guide for writers:  A burro is an ass, a burrow is a hole in the ground:  you are expected to know the difference between the two.

What great advice for Republican candidates vying for their party's coronation!  These guys are already phenomenally low in wattage as illumination of any real issue goes, so, that simple advice should be hugely helpful to them, too!  Anyone claiming to be a journalist today should take a brush-up quiz on that one, too -- along with the mandate to keep opinion out of news, to just report the facts without endless analysis, rather than slip in personal notions, dressed up as The News.  But then again, that Fox case says mainstream media's free to lie, so, what's the big deal -- opinion is much easier to cover and generate, for sure.

Last Updated on Sunday, 18 March 2012 20:25

Playing the Odds

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We have no idea what oddsmakers in 'Vegas would say to the chances of the Holy See being seen in Gucci sunglasses, or spotted wearing Prada loafers to boot, and commissioning a new, top-secret cologne, as the papal nose knows quality, nay?  And yea, a lot has come to pass, in that pass of time.  In more than 2-thousand years of acquiring wealth and property of all kinds, it is likely his holiness can afford it, have a tiny reward on this Earth.

The Catholic Church's precise wealth is unknown -- their specialists, truly, are often quoted saying, "Only God knows" -- but it's likely on the far side of eternally vast:  One could safely bet on that, especially after the miracle of compounding kicked in, across all that immense slate of time.  The rest of us try to have our prayers answered in much smaller ways.  We have no special Prefecture for Economic Affairs to help us manage our holdings of liquid assets.  There's scarcely a need for such intricate super-infrastructure in managing our liquid wealth:  some juice, a little milk, a few pops, a couple beers.

Last Updated on Saturday, 17 March 2012 20:38

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