October 25, 2020

Saturday Ramblings, April 18, 2014, The Pissing Off Putin Edition

Hello, all, and welcome to the weekend.  Ready to Ramble?

1929 Rambler

1929 Rambler

We’re going to start with news from Russia that memes are now illegal. Well, not all memes, just those that feature a public character.  Gee, I wonder what powerful public figure is tired of being made into a meme.  [in Church Lady voice]: “Could it be……Putin?”61360728

Yes, it seems his Royal Shirtlessness has decided his cheesy photo-ops are not to be laughed at any more. Well, too bad. This is America, Baby, and we do what we want here! My forefathers watered the ground with their blood to give me the freedom to meme, and I’m going to use it! In fact, we are going to dedicate the rest of the Ramblings to pissing off Putin. Whaddya say to that, Vladimir?

The NBA playoffs start today, and boy is there a changing of the guard. The Miami Heat, who won the East for the last four years, did not even make the playoffs, nor did the Pacers, the Thunder, or the Suns.  The Lakers won barely a quarter of their games.  Instead the teams to beat are the Hawks, Cavaliers, Raptors (!), and Golden State Warriors. Who are you rooting for, imonks?

Speaking of the NBA, apparently Stephen Curry just knocked down 77 three-point shots in a row!  It was in practice, but still.  Wow.  I was going to mention that time I nailed four lay-ups in a row, but I changed my mind.

funny-putin (1)The NRA held its annual convention last weekend, and all the Republican hopefuls were falling over themselves in proclaiming their allegiance to guns, guns and more guns. Rick Santorum held up his concealed carry card before the audience and boasted that his wife requested ammunition for an upcoming birthday. Scott Walker talked about bow-hunting, while Mike Huckabee listed on stage the guns he grew up with, including his first BB gun at the age of five. Jeb Bush boasted of being an “NRA life member since 1986.” Ben Carson had to play defense. Some NRA types have grumbled about his statement in 2013 that people who live in large cities should avoid having semi-automatic weapons. Carson backtracked. And Ted Cruz, of course, topped them all by whipping out an Uzi and taking out the cameramen. Only one of those is made up.

Hillary announced her presidential candidacy last weekend, and unveiled the campaign logo: Yep.  I’m not kidding.  Someone on her staff is an absolute beast with Microsoft Paint. The reaction to the logo has been… not pleasant. Some suggested it looks like directions to a hospital.  Or a hurricane evacuation. Others wondered why the logo for a democratic candidate highlights a huge red arrow pointing right.  My own thoughts? Its dull, static, uninspiring, lifeless, and devoid of purpose. In other words, it fits her perfectly.

"Really, lady?  Only 20 bucks for the logo I made you?"

“Really, lady? Only 20 bucks for that logo I made you?”

Turns out not everyone loves Pope Francis. In Turkey, he’s about as popular as Obama at a KKK rally.  Why? Because Francis dropped the G word in discussing the one-hundred year anniversary of the massacre of Armenians by the Turks:  “In the past century, our human family has lived through three massive and unprecedented tragedies,” the Pope said at a Mass at with representatives of Armenia. “The first, which is widely considered ‘the first genocide of the 20th century,’ struck your own Armenian people.”  Turkey responded by pulling their ambassador to the Vatican, and by calling his words, “unacceptable” and “out of touch with both historical facts and legal basis.” Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian rebuked Turkey. “We are in a situation in which Turkey speaks a different language from the rest of the international community and it seems that it doesn’t understand that it is speaking a different language.”

Annegret Raunigk of Germany has 13 children, but her  youngest daughter, who is nine, wanted a little brother or sister. So Annegret is now expecting  … 4 more. This is after a year and half of artificial insemination. Did I mention that Ms. Raunigk is 65 years old?  Wait, what? A senior citizen giving birth to quadruplets? Annegret, do they not sell dolls over there?

Larry McElroy was outside his mother-in-law’s mobile home in Lee County, Georgia, on Sunday night when he decided to shoot an armadillo. No, I don’t know why.  It’s conceivable that alcohol was involved. According to Leroy, the bullet bounced off the armadillo, hit a fence, went through the back door of the mobile home, then through a chair and struck his mother-in-law.  Again, according to Leroy. Fortunately, 74-year-old Carol Johnson was not seriously hurt (though Christmas may be awkward this year). Officials are not considering filing any charges against McElroy, although they have recommended using different methods of armadillo removal in the future.

Armadillo 1, Larry 0

Armadillo 1, Larry 0

The new Star Wars trailer was released this week.  Thoughts?

What do Steve Taylor, Michael Card, Twila Paris, Amy Grant, Keith Green, Steven Curtis Chapman, and BeBe and CeCe Winans have in common? They were all signed by Billy Ray Hearns, the man who shaped Christian music more than any other person in the 70’s through 90’s. Hearn died Wednesday, at age 85.

Michael Kimmel of Kentucky was arrested for a DUI this week.  Or, more technically, an RUI.  It seems Mr. Kimmel was arrested for drunk-riding a horse. 

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West travelled to Israel so that their daughter, North West (nope, not kidding) could be baptized. “Kim Kardashian’s daughter will be baptized and become a Christian officially and a member of the Armenian church,” Archbishop Aris Shirvanian said. “All I know is that she’s a famous personality. I don’t know her in person. In any case she is welcome with her family.” d64 (2)

Did you know you can tell a person’s politics by the restaurant they choose? That is the claim made by a recent survey by Experian Marketing. This was reported after the Wall Street Journal fixated on Hillary’s campaign food with this headline: “Clinton Bypassed Centrist Taco Bell for Liberal Favorite Chipotle.” The WSJ even printed up the nice graphic below.   Not sure where you fit in?  You can find out if you are liberal or conservative by taking this seven-question survey of your restaurant choices.

46ac3530-c767-0132-46b2-0e9062a7590aWell, that’s it for this week.  I will be on a road trip Saturday, so will not be able to respond much.  As always, play nice.

And, hey, President Putin….ummmm, you know how to take a joke, right? I mean, didn’t you think some of them were a little funny? bce75a4833876ba231495f5bfe89fd1641f41a9e0024de5d92082981337607c8


  1. Where is everybody?

  2. At the risk of sounding sacraligious, my reaction to the second Star Wars pre-trailer is.”meh”.

    What’s really exciting? News Sony is considering a Dr. Who movie! Maybe the theatrical rendition of Red Dwarf will be next.

    • turnsalso says

      That would be smegging awesome!

      • It’s cold outside, there’s no kind of atmosphere,
        I’m all alone, more or less.
        Let me fly, far away from here,
        Fun, fun, fun, in the sun, sun, sun.

        I want to lie, shipwrecked and comatose,
        Drinking fresh mango juice.
        Goldfish shoals, nibbling at my toes,
        Fun, fun, fun, in the sun, sun, sun,
        Fun, fun, fun, in the sun, sun, sun…

      • “Oh, Rimmer, you ARE a smeg head.”

    • I can’t wait for Broadchurch to come out on NetFlix….

      Great Ramble Daniel!!

    • For all you haters, my nerd friends have had this reaction to the trailer: https://youtu.be/PYHdQUyOunA

    • Coming to a Disneyland near you: the new Imperial destroyer fly-through ride.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Ever since DisneyCorp bought Star Wars from Lucasfilm, I’ve been having visions of a Resurrected Darth whatever with Mouse Ears.

    • I think Lucas had a great concept to start with. Inspired by the writings of Joseph Campbell’s “Power of Myth”, he came up with a great narrative. But it’s degraded from myth to franchise. I see a lot of parallels with actual religion.

  3. Hey, I’M here!

  4. turnsalso says

    Thanks to this handy-dandy chart, I now know that I should vote at all costs for the candidate who eats the most Domino’s on the campaign trail! God bless America!

  5. I found most of the material tonight to be on the darker side, but I LOVED it! The Putin memes were so disrespectful that I almost snorted my IPA through my nose (A very uncomfortable experience, to be sure).

    But another Star Wars reboot? I’m not so sure. The first one was great because we hadn’t seen the like before. The second was not as good, and it had a darker tone. The third was detestable with those stupid, furry Ewoks, and each successive episode sank lower and lower. But maybe that is a GOOD thing because the newest one cannot do any worse. Will I spend $11 to see it? More than likely, but only for reminiscence sake.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      The Autocrat of All Russia was asking for it when he posted that official picture of himself with bare pecs riding one of those Steppe Ponies instead of a full-sized horse. May as well have been riding Pinkie Pie.

  6. The Hilary-little girl shot is begging to be a T-shirt, They would sell…..

  7. Are those pics of Putin called “memes?” Funny, funny. Did I hear that the Georgia legislature wants a bill that will require its citizens to own (ahem, buy!) a gun? I just had a thought!! MEMES of the Prez candidates, shirtless, posing with their gun of choice in daring ways. Looking Putin-Like with captions!

    • Ah, I think you mean MALE candidates only? Although with the latest gender confusion going on Hilary just MIGHT consider herself to be male as well…

    • Hilary Clinton, shirtless.


      • Dana Ames says

        Let’s get this out of the way: I’m not voting for Hillary,

        And Rick, this comment is simply not appropriate. Not funny, not a helpful contribution, not respectful of HC as a candidate for the office of president, and especially disrespectful to her as a woman.

        Forgive me.


  8. Everyone should own a gun or two…sure beats chasin’ down armadillos and thumpin’ em with a bat.

    • If memes were illegal, I would have no reason to stay on Facebook.

    • Hey, Tom, off subject, but the local alternative radio station in my area celebrated 50 years of the Grateful Dead, starting 6:00AM yesterday with 24 continuous hours of Dead music– whole albums, live versions, covers. Whatever became of Sweet Jane?

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Sounds like FM stations in the Sixties.

        While AM stations had Captain & Tenille (“Love Will Keep Us Together”) on heavy rotation, FM stations were doing “six solid hours of the Grateful Dead”.

        • I miss those days when FM rock was worth listening to because they were ABOUT THE MUSIC!

          • “Let there be songs to fill the air.”
            —Jerry Garcia

          • Rick, the creative era of FM rock radio, when the DJs had no playlists, and even brought their own records in to play during programming, only lasted about 10 to 15 years. By the 80’s, it was all over; playlists and demographics ruled the day, and program directors took all freedom away from DJs. The listener supported alternative rock radio stations can’t hold a candle to the excitement of listening to New York’s commercial radio station WNEW FM back in 1972. But left of the dial is all that’s left.


          • Another sign the creative era of FM rock radio is over – the WNEW-FM call letters now belong to a news/talk station in the Washington-Baltimore region.

          • Robert F, that’s why we need to support community radio. My wife has a jazz program and has complete control over what she plays, even bringing in her own CDs and LPs (yes, LPs—her dad gave her his collection).

            The station plays a lot of what we used to call FM rock, also folk, blues, reggae, international music, soul, you name it. Also the kind of news that you won’t hear on network or especially Fox. It’s an all-volunteer effort, except for a small full-time admin.

            Streaming live (also podcasts of previous shows) at WERU.org but there may be a community station near you—until corporate radio buys out the FCC and shuts them all down.

          • Ted – I will check out your wife’s show. Sounds like we have very similar tastes. (My mom wants me to have all of her jazz LPs and CDs, too…)

          • Numo, she’s on alternate Mondays, 6 to 8 PM, but the podcasts are up for a few weeks afterward. Her first name is Jeri.

            Check out the Bob Dylan hour too, Fridays 9 to 10 AM. Jeri hates that show, but it’s one of my faves. 😀

          • Thanks, Ted. I’ll check it out, too. And, yes, community radio deserves all the support it can get, and more.

          • Correction: Wife insists “I don’t hate the show” (the Dylan Highway 61 hour); she thinks it’s a very well done show. She just can’t stand Dylan’s voice. Significant distinction.

            She has no idea how well done it is—I’ve heard out-takes, bootlegs, early garage recordings, and a song that didn’t make it onto the Desire album. PROOF of how good Desire is—that “Abandoned Love” didn’t even make the cut.

            But Jeri really hates Johnny Cash’s voice; thinks he can’t hold a note. Get Johnny and Zimmy singing together and watch her scramble for the dial.

          • Ted – i wish we had a station like that near here, because I’ve always wanted to have the kind of gig your wife has there.

            Btw, i agree with her on Cash’s voice, though Dylan has never bothered me. Also, it looks like there’s some sinsignificant overlap re. recod collections. She has good tadte, if i do say so myself! 😉

          • Also, it’s always nice to find out about other women who love jazz. There are more of us than there used to be (or else we are more visible now, or both), but still not a lot compared to the boys’ club on many music forums, etc.

        • Brianthedad says

          And then there’s this. Would go along with the grateful dead marathon

          • The storyteller makes no choice
            soon you will not hear his voice
            his job is to shed light
            and not to master

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            K-HIGH 1580 WEED RADIO?
            ALL WEED, ALL THE TIME?

            This is hilarious — like the Burgess Shale Period of Underground FM Radio!

  9. Dan Crawford says

    Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz, Marc Rubio, Scott Walker and Jeb Bush all locked and loaded? These guys make Putin look like weenie.

  10. Hey, Dano, nice job on Ramblings. But what ever happened to the Saturday Ramblings music offering?

  11. I know what you’re doing. You’re trying to see who agrees that those Putin pics were funny and then you will send their info to Vlad. Tried to slip that one by didn’t ya? Well no way am I agreeing that they were funny. Really funny in fact. Nyet! They weren’t.

  12. I’m a conservative and I like Starbucks but only been to Chick-fil-A twice that I can remember. Does this mean that deep inside I’m a Hillarista? Am I even saved? Perhaps I should visit the Vatican and sign up for an exorcism session.

  13. So we’re back to nasty leftist politics here. Bummer! I respect Mr. Putin and his serious efforts to keep the Russian people out of the pit we here in the West are floundering in. Not an easy task. I very much resent the intentional disrespect shown him here in my name. Way to ruin a Saturday morning. Zero kudos in spite of the terrific car.

    • That Other Jean says

      Funny–I was prepared to complain about the rightist politics here, what with the Hillary bashing. It all depends on where you stand, I suppose. Great car, though.

      • Bashing Putin is not inherently political. He sets himself up for this stuff, and “blah blah out of the pit blah blah” has nothing to do with riding shirtless on a horse. I’m just waiting for the Old Spice meme…

      • Christiane says

        I’m supporting Hilary. And by the time our leading Republican candidates do their thing in front of each other and the whole nation, likely a lot of other Americans will be supporting her too.

        I’m Catholic. I’m female. I’m a senior. I’m against targeting the poor, the handicapped, the marginalized.
        I’m against subsidizing the super-wealthy.

        Can’t think of much in the Republican Party to give me hope these days. And if Faux News and Limbaugh do their schtick ad nauseum, I will have no doubt of Hilary’s sane appeal to middle-of-the-road Americans who can’t abide extremism any longer.

    • Leftist?! Putin is making himself into another Autocrat of All the Russias (one of the tsar’s titles, fwiw). As in, invading Ukraine. And much more. He is a dictator. Full sop.

      That Other Jean, am not an HC fan, but agree on the bashing, which is ramping up in the same way it did the last time she ran. I dislike misogyny even more than i dislike HC’s brand of politicking. And Daniel, i think that was a cheap shot. I’ve been liking your recent Ramblings a lot, but ths week, not nesrly as much.

      • Stop, not sop, though i guess the typo could work, too.

      • Don’t forget American conservatives who love Putin because he’s anti-gay. So partriotic.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        That Other Jean, am not an HC fan, but agree on the bashing, which is ramping up in the same way it did the last time she ran.

        From KFI-640 afternoon drive-time talk radio, circa early 2008:

        “I can hear the Republican campaign commercials now: ‘HILLARY CLINTON! HILLARY CLINTON! HILLARY’S COMING TO EAT YOUR CHILDREN! AAAAAGH! AAAAAAGH!'”

    • You were joking, Charles, right? So cleverly worded, I couldn’t tell. You have speechwriter future (this is compliment)

      • Absolutely not joking. I understand that Putin doesn’t play in the West, but much of that is because of propaganda in the media and elsewhere that programs us to think of the Russians as buffoons and savages. The snide remarks about the host country on NBC during the Olympics were disgraceful.You would get a much different response about Putin from the working people in Russia who keep that place going. Not liked so much by the crime syndicate and oligarchs and disaffected youth.

        I probably wouldn’t have said anything if it had been just one cheap shot but a whole posting dedicated to ignorance is something I do want to be associated with. Thank God I am not a Russian living in Russia, but if I were I would be thanking God for Putin in charge with tough times ahead. Unlike many other politicians mentioned today, I believe Putin is a practical realist and at bottom has the best interest of his people at heart. I understand others have different opinions, but if this place becomes a Christian bashing fest, I’m outta here.

        • Klasie Kraalogies says

          So you approve of jingoism, assassination as political tool, oppression of all dissension, co-opting the church for political cause….

          • and fomenting civil war, and invading sovereign states, and…

          • Imprisoning dissenters, too. Just like the tsarist and Soviet regimes.

            The more things change…

          • Well, one of the differences between me and Mr. Fines is that I base my opinion of Putin on facts, not feelings. Hence, I tend to agree with you and numo here. Whatever virtues he might have (and it would be speculation), his disregard for due process, justice, and national sovereignty is worn on his sleeve like a blue shield with gold star and hammer and sickle (for those who don’t know, that was the old KGB patch).

          • That Other Jean says

            To be fair, the Russian Orthodox church has pretty much always been subordinate to the government, and co-opted for political causes. It’s not something Putin started on his own.

          • No, it’s the current patriarch of Moscow who got cozy with Putin, and that’s what upsets many Orthodox, both inside Rusdia and in the rest of the world.

          • I’d have to agree with the majority here, and I base my opinion not upon feelings or “propaganda,” but upon observation. Putin’s a bully. A bully with a lot of power and clout and a nation ready to do his bidding.

        • Weeeeell…inquire within for another perspective on the Orthodox Church in Russia.,


        • The Germans loved Hitler for restoring their sense of ethnic and nationalistic superiority. Did that make THEM right?

      • Brianthedad says

        Poe’s Law never had a better illustration…

    • Hmmm…not sure you’re serious or not. What I’ve appreciated about Daniel is his ability to skewer both sides of the fence, and it’s been refreshing to see some slams against the left here in the Ramblings.

  14. I am Vladimir….I am Iron Man….


  15. I think if you really wanted to piss off Putin you should have had the photo of him looking sad watching the Russian hockey team get punked at the Sochi Olympics.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      If the Sochi fiasco in general didn’t piss him off enough.

      • Not to mentionthe Cossack who attacked the members of Pussy Riot with a horsewhip….

        • Patrick Kyle says

          Did someone really do that? Well, I suppose when your purpose is to provoke, piss off, and mock it’s not surprising in a conservative culture that you might get push back of equal intensity to the provocation.

          • Yes, they did, and what you’ve just said is cruel and unnecessary. And fairly misogynistic as well.

          • “conservative culture”

            Is that your term for “dictatorship”? Because that’s what Russia and some of the other former SSRs (like Belarus) are now, since Putin and likeminded people have consolidated power. The RO church is hand-in-glove with the state, too, just like it was back in the days of Nicholas II.

          • Numo,

            That word that you keep on using, I do not think it means what you think it means. Seriously, just because someone insults or disagrees with a woman or group of women, that doesn’t mean they are misogynistic.

          • Jon – they were literally horsewhipped and beaten by a couple of Cossacks, and yes, i think there is some misogyny in these comments.

          • numo, Maybe there was no misogyny involved, as Jon suggests. Maybe the Cossacks just couldn’t find any Jews nearby, and decided to release their payload of reactionary aggression on the nearest non-traditional target at hand.

          • Robert – 😉

          • Patrick Kyle says


            You are paranoid and overly sensitive about ‘misogyny.’ My comment had NOTHING to do with female/gender/sexuality. Neither was it cruel. It was an observation of FACT. Russian culture does not sanction many things that are acceptable in the West, especially in the US, whether those things are right, wrong, or indifferent. Doesn’t matter what I think about them, I wasn’t commenting on what I thought of Pussy Riot or the lack of various freedoms in Russia. My observation was that it does not shock me that they were met with violence in a country with few freedoms and a hatred for things they view as pollution from the West/US. It probably shouldn’t shock them either. People who expect otherwise are either overly idealistic or naive.

            Is it cruel or bigoted of me to surmise that participants in a Gay Pride parade in Riyadh or Tehran wouldn’t survive to see the sunset on the day of their parade? No it’s not, given what we know about those cultures.

          • Patrick – No further comment, because I think we’re talking past each other.

          • But one question: you think imprisonment and violent beating of peaceful protesters is OK? In Russia or anywhere else? Or imprisonment of dissenters?

            Because that’s what you seem to be saying.

            But again, probably best to just not try and engage further. Sorry.

          • numo and Robert F have fallen into their habitual mutual admiration society. Joe Stalin pins another medal on Molotov’s chest. This place can get like Democratic Underground after a bender of rye whiskey and singing old union songs when politics is discussed.

            I wouldn’t call Pussy Riot’s performance a peaceful protest. It wasn’t even civil discourse. I wouldn’t put their imprisonment on the same level with that of Nelson Mandela’s or Nelson Aguiar Ramírez’

            I would also be very careful of reading anything coming out of the Ukraine right now. My wife’s Pentecostal Church heard about a gang of Orthodox burning down a Pentecostal Church in the Ukraine. I didn’t doubt it for a second. Five days later it was discovered they weren’t just singing praise choruses but were storing arms in the basement. To be fair, the Orthodox do the same thing. There ain’t many good guys in this fight.

            Putin plays to his audience. He’s smarter than any politician we’ve had since maybe Clinton, tougher than any since maybe Reagan, cagier than any since Nixon, and more stubborn than any since Truman. Those are wonderful attributes to have in your guy, but not so nice to have in the guy across the table from you.

            My misogynistic bonafides are well-known here, and I’m not afraid of the label.

          • Patrick Kyle says


            I have said no such thing. I hate Communism and dictatorships with an undying hatred. I am an ardent supporter of freedom.

            You need to take a reading comprehension course.(And a course in Logic) Observing that something bad is liable to happen in a given situation IN NO WAY implies agreement with said bad situation.

            Since when has making a plain and truthful observation that is unpleasant become a sign of misogyny and bigotry? Or is it because I didn’t attach a (proper) moral judgement to my observation?

          • Mule, why all the name changes? Your shtick is the same old same old rah-rah manosphere thing.

            Ditto for you, Patrick, since your unconstrained admiration for Putin upthread certainly has a great deal to do with your comments about Rusdia’s supposed “conservatism.” The word hardly applies to a nation that has never had freedom of the press, speech, or religion; that has habitually invaded and colonized its neighbors and is still doing so, and whose rulers have always been dictators, no matter what beliefs they profess, and no matter whether they came from the Romanov dynasty or were failed seminarians from Soviet Georgia.

            Russian and Soviet history was one of my undergrad minors, and I’ve kept up with it. What truly amazes me is how, over many centuries, Russia has produced so many highly creative people who have not failed to be critical of injustice. That is as true now as it was in the late 19th c., when the Russian state was hellbent on empire–building, and when Cossacks were raping and killing the Jewish population in the Pale of Settlement.

          • Mule, i honestly hope that eome day your misogyny will abate, and that you will feel remorse for it. I still cannot reconcile your claims of Christianity with many of the other things you are so outspoken about.

          • numo –

            I get along fine with the women I need to get along with. There are plenty of women who hold to traditional sex roles [aka misogyny] and the ones who don’t don’t have a lot of leverage in my life..

            A Hillary presidency would be exactly the same as the previous four of five, another brick in the wall of corporate oligarchy, so I’m not opposed to her because of her sex. Now, Elizabeth Warren, that’s another story. That would be interesting, but the Democrats would never nominate her.

            I don’t understand the NPR crowd. One one hand, we’re supposed to be tolerant of any number of differences, like an Afrikaaner at a kwaito concert, yet we’re on the things that matter, we’re supposed to line up with NPR like a good little upper Midwestern.

            Don’t shake the keys at me, numo. Everybody besides Robert sees right through it.

          • “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”

          • Don’t shake your head at me, Brother Ass, as you slouch toward Bethlehem.

          • And your Hitler Youth-like boy-crush on Putin is unbecoming.

          • Since key-shaking was a hallmark of the Czech Velvet Revolution of 1989, i think perhaps I’ll take up the practice in homage to the folks who were brave enough to go out there and use it to help bring down their Soviet Bloc rulers…

          • Ug, do not like when this place gets gross and woman hating.

          • Patrick Kyle says


            ‘gross and woman hating’? I’ll tell you what I can’t stand. The leftist bullshit tactic of labeling anyone who disagrees with the party line as ‘misogynistic,’ ‘bigoted’, ‘homophobic’, ‘prejudice’, or ‘woman hating.’ It’s a page right out Mao’s Cultural revolution designed to shut down political or cultural discourse and gain the upper hand by using shame and bullying tactics to silence any reasoned opposition to the politically correct party line.

            No, I do not submit to that, and I will not stand down. My comment had absolutely nothing to do with what I thought about Pussy Riot. Numo imputed motive of her own creation to both of my comments and proceeded to label and scold. Any one who can read can see that I said or implied nothing of what she and others attribute to me. Why do they do that? Because I comment on obvious things that anyone can see? Because (horror of horrors) I have the audacity to actually disagree with a woman and stick to my guns? You guys are the ones that made it about ‘misogyny.’

            Again, I do not submit and will not stand down in the face of such tactics.

          • Patrick, what i saw in your comment on Putin speaks to what you said about Pussy Riot – whether you intended it or not, there was a powerful “they deserved it” no-so-sub-text. and you did not need to use the Middle East as an example regarding gay pride, because Russia is very, very full of fear and hatred toward gsy people, in a very open way. A couple of documentaries have been made about that.

            I guess i still don’t see how you are able to get enthusiastic about a state that is so brutally represdive. The KGB has been a constant; they never went away, and now Putin’s regime uses them in the same way that the tsars made use of their secret police squads. The names change, the reality remains the same, unfortunately.

            Also, i think your comments often come across as very harsh (which is probably what you think of some of mine, to be fair), and that can hit nerves. I know it did for me yesterday, and i am sorry for having given offense. My thoughts, though, remain the same.

            And yes, a couple of you fellows do tend to come across as dismissive of women, and an even smaller hanful of you make overtly misogynistic statements from time to time. It doesn’t make for good communication. Fwiw, most of the guys (and women) here are extremely civil. And we get along with each other, most of the time. I wish i had not responded at all yesterday, because that would have kept the flames down, but since i did, i think you deserve as reasonable a reply as i can make. Hope it is helpful, or at least somewhat of an olive branch.

          • Patrick, i am not expecting you or anyone else to “submit.” You are misreading me, along with choosing to ignore the replies i made that reference Russian history and political/social realities.

            But i think we invariably end up clashing, so perhaps it is best for me to bow out.

          • Patrick Kyle says


            “I guess i still don’t see how you are able to get enthusiastic about a state that is so brutally represdive.”

            This right here.

            As far as I’m concerned Russia is our enemy and rightly so. They are totalitarian, brutal,and corrupt. Putin is a stone cold killer and an oppressor. Communist ideology is poison and a great evil, responsible for the better part of half a billion deaths.

            Instead of taking my comments on Putin’s leadership abilities at face value, you imputed to me an ‘enthusiastic’ (and I might add ignorant) disposition towards Russia as evidenced by your comment and discourse on Russian evils. I think he is a very talented bad guy and is excellent at being our enemy. That’s all I was saying. Everything else is your creation, because I didn’t condemn him in the same breath.

          • Patrick, I was responding to The Old Mule’s comments, not yours. Anyways, I don’t consider you woman hating, just fascist curious

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            “conservative culture”

            Is that your term for “dictatorship”?

            Dictatorships are ALWAYS The Best Possible Thing.
            As long as the Dictator always agrees with MEEEEEEEEEE…

  16. It told me I’m a Starbucks-lovin liberal, after I CLEARLY indicated that I get my coffee from 7-11. And I like Chipotle because I’m actually Mexican and they serve actual food, not because I want to share a burrito bowl with Hillary.

    • You drink 7-11 coffee? Really? Is that what they mean by “Lutheran piety”? 🙂

    • Me too, Miguel, me too 🙁

    • Starbucks is ok, but I’d recommend finding local shops that roast their own beans.

      • I try to find those, but I’ve had several independent, smaller roasters and coffee shops close on me! It’s sad when Starbucks becomes the only viable option.

      • I’ve never been impressed by Starbucks coffee, and neither am I a coffee snob. Their business is all about coffee flavored sugar, and I can’t stand sugared drinks, aside from the occasional soda as a mixer for my bourbon or vodka. If I’m going to a specialty shop, it’s for tea, not coffee.

    • There’s nothing wrong with 7-11 coffee. In fact, it’s a cut above the coffee most Americans drink on a daily basis. I read an article recently that told how the by-far fastest growing segment of the American coffee market is old-fashioned, pre-ground canned and block, and now pod. In fact, this segment has grown by several thousand percent in the last decade or so, at a far greater rate than gourmet coffee, which is actually a smaller and smaller slice of the total coffee sales pie, despite the perception that the media, and the presence of a Starbucks on every other street corner of major cities, gives. Seems Americans prefer their coffee cheap, and convenient.

      • Americans prefer most everything cheap and convenient. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, I shop at Wal-Mart every week.

        But some things in life–coffee, in particular–are better experienced at a higher price and with some inconvenience (no pain, no gain). By this I refer to a dark, slow roast, grinding beans seconds before brewing to get the aroma out, good water, organic heavy cream (or butter and coconut oil), and stevia. Now, add to that a couple of squares of 72% dark chocolate, something good to read online (e.g., internetmonk.com) and it all adds up to a “means of grace.” And when the embargo with Cuba ends, you can top that off with a good Cuban cigar (box of 10 ~$100-$200) and experience heaven here on earth (I mean, why wait).

        Or you can just drop by 7-11…

  17. BTW: it’s independent record store day!

  18. With abundant apologies to Nietzsche: The Force is dead.

  19. Patrick Kyle says

    I can’t stand Putin’s politics but I respect him as a leader. There is no question that he is doing whatever it takes to act in his country’s best interest,(as opposed to many of our leaders) and he is probably our most formidable rival/opponent. He is keenly intelligent, cunning, and ruthless. He appears to be absolutely unafraid or intimidated(who knows if that is really the case ) and it plays well on the world stage. We look at his propaganda photos as kind of ham handed, but he knows his people and they eat that stuff up. In short, the man is an excellent leader.

    • He is a dictator, a la the Soviet dictators and the tsars.


      • That doesn’t mean he isn’t an excellent leader. Hitler was a superb leader. Wicked as hell, but still.

        • Dr. Fundystan – yes, like Mao. A friend who has spent many years (off and on) in China told me that there is a *huge* amount of nostalgia for – if you can believe it – Cultural Revolution, not because of politics, but because many believe it to have been a golden age of financial stability.

          Of course, Mao was wicked as hell, too.

          • I do think it’s kind of weird to crap on popular foreign leaders whose “bad acts” are mostly limited to their own people. It’s a bit FDR is histories greatest monster to me.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            A friend who has spent many years (off and on) in China told me that there is a *huge* amount of nostalgia for – if you can believe it – Cultural Revolution, not because of politics, but because many believe it to have been a golden age of financial stability.

            You heard similar rumblings in post-Soviet Russia for the USSR, and for much the same reason. That was the Age When Russia Got RESPECT all over the world.

            (And in Georgia they said the same thing about Stalin — as in “He was an SOB, but he was a GEORGIAN SOB!”(

    • And a lot of Russian Orthodox folks both in and outside of Russia want nothing to do with the current”official” Russian O. church (Moscow patriarchate) precisely because it is so extremely cozy with Putin.

    • Yeah, he’s a regular Caesar, or mob boss, whichever is called for.

    • I guess “whatever it takes” = license to invade and conquer other countries, then? Not unlike a certain German dictator who was mentioned a few comments up.

  20. Randy Thompson says

    What are your politics if you don’t eat at any of these places?

    Confession: If In-N-Out came to New Hampshire, I would there regularly and often. So, what does that say about my politics?

  21. And it looks like the flag of Cuba (Hillary’s logo, that is).


    • You know, the more I compare the two the more I think it’s intentional.

      Nah… by now the Dems already have the Cuban-American vote.

      Calvin? Fr. Ernesto? Am I wrong?

      • Check the Puerto Rican flag as well.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Identical design to the Cuban flag except with the red and blue flipped.

          I suspect both flags originated when the US took both islands away from Spain in Yanko-Spanko.

      • Democrats have more of the Cuban-American vote now than in years past, but as of June 2014 it was 47% Republican, 44% Democrat and 9% neither (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/06/24/after-decades-of-gop-support-cubans-shifting-toward-the-democratic-party/).

        I remain on the Republican side although I must admit I’ve had to hold my nose a time or two before pushing the lever. I even voted for Democrat once in a nonpartisan city council election a couple years back–but that was because the Republican was a Tea Party member with extreme Libertarian notions on separation of state and everything else.

        • I thought that Cuban Americans and many other Latino immigrants have long tended to vote Republican, but I could be wrong on that… At this point, I can easily see more going Democratic, due to immigration issues and more.

          • Most Latinos lean Democrat; Cuban-Americans have traditionally been the exception. There are a number of reasons for this, the top two being that 1) older Cuban-Americans, especially those who immigrated here in the early sixties, consider Democrats to be soft on Communism; and 2) those who immigrated here have conservative values, both socially and fiscally, which are more consistent with the Republican Party platform.

            The reason you are seeing a shift towards Democrats is complicated, but a major factor is that those who immigrated here are older and, well, “passing on,” and the new generation of US-born Cuban-Americans have assimilated more and tend to be more liberal-minded than their parents.

          • Calvin – yeah, the Bebe Rebozo types are passing on. But I also think that younger immigrants (and not just from Cuba) are more inclined toward the Dems, and not just because of R efforts to limit immigration, etc. etc.

            ISTM that the Cuban community in Miami and surrounding area is still extremely conservative, but again, that might well be changing, as my generation (and yours) turns into “the olds.”

  22. Klasie Kraalogies says

    Some on the right are just as enamoured of Putin as some on the left were of Bolsheviks in the twenties. Or those on the right were of Mussolini in the thirties.. (he makes the trains run on time!).

    Give me a messye Western government any day, Conservative or Liberal!

    • A!-Men!

    • Yes indedy!!!

    • The members of the CP here in the US had a great deal of admiration for both Lenin and Stalin, until the truth came out about the latter. (And more info. became available about the period after the revolution as well.)

      The truth about Stalin was profoundly disillusioning for many. And we still don’t know the whole of it.

      Don’t know if you watch “The Americans” (excellent show about Soviet sleeper agents in the D.C. area during the early-mid 1980s), but I hope they can extend the run long enough for the agents to have to confront some of the things they were not told when they were growing up. Highly recommended show; very nuanced.

  23. I have no objection to the widespread range of political opinion here. That so many different minded people can meet in civil discourse with politics a side issue that seldom intrudes is a wonder. That one of those in charge of this site uses his privilege to espouse his own person ideology in an over-the-top manner is an entirely different matter. It is apparent that most here agree that political invective gets a free ride along with the good news. Jesus would disagree and so do I.

    I can remember the end of World War II and the whole Cold War that followed. I remember when Joseph Stalin died, and I remember Joseph McCarthy and loyalty oaths and blackballing and accusations and investigations and lockstep patriotic flag waving and invective against all things Russian and Unamerican. Old Joe McCarthy would have been proud of this place today. I’m not.

    • Fwiw, i think Daniel is a contributing writer, but not “in charge of” iMonk.

      Chaplain Mike is the guy to speak with re. your concerns, and he’s on retreat at the moment, at a Trappist monastery. But i would urge you to communicate directly with both Daniel and CM. I think it would be helpful for you, and for them, too.

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      Charles –

      Firstly, I am not an American. Secondly, what Putin practices is Russian exceptionalism with autocracy mixed in. Think Ted Cruz with brains and an autocrat. There is a long tradition of doing this in Russia of course. The only reason the Bolsheviks had such a hold on the populace is because they used the religious nature of the State to their advantage. And that is what Putin is doing.

      Thirdly: The Cold War. Some of us grew up in frontline, pariah states. I know the propoganda of both sides quite well. And I for one value the freedom to express dissent from and make fun of the ruling class. If that puts you off, well then senator McCarthy is your friend.

      • Yes. I think Senator McCarthy and Vladimir Putin would have gotten along swimmingly.

        This one’s dedicated to you, Vlad:


        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Clampdowns by Fearless Leader are always a good thing as long as Fearless Leader is clamping down on those YOU don’t like.

      • Think Ted Cruz with brains

        Whatever you think of his politics and motivations, he does have a brain. From his wikipedia bio.

        Cruz graduated cum laude from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy[30] from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1992.

        After graduating from Princeton, Cruz attended Harvard Law School, graduating magna cum laude in 1995 with a Juris Doctor degree.[6][36] While at Harvard Law, he was a primary editor of the Harvard Law Review, and executive editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and a founding editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review.[4] Referring to Cruz’s time as a student at Harvard Law, Professor Alan Dershowitz said, “Cruz was off-the-charts brilliant.”

        • Klasie Kraalogies says

          Daniel, I should have qualified it: Ted can certainly speak, and he is smart in his own way I guess. But he is not a crafty old fox like Putin. Streetsmarts…

        • Richard Hershberger says

          I have an acquaintance who was a Republican US Congressman for many years. Our relationship is unrelated to modern politics, but we discuss it sometimes, and we do this amicably, even as we both know that we disagree on a great many issues. It so happens that I had a long conversation with him just last night. Ted Cruz came up. He thinks that Cruz is very smart, and has made a strategic decision to talk very dumb. He also did not speak approvingly of this, and considers it a dangerous strategy.

    • Charles, I do not think Russians are “buffoons and savages.” Far from it – I have a longstanding love of Russian culture.

      What I *do* think about their rulers: they’ve all been autocrats, dictators, running everything with an iron hand, since medieval times. The names and political ideologies change, but the effect on the Russian people remains the same. Further, since they have never had a free press, freedom of speech and expression, freedom of religion, nor true free elections, they gravitate toward what they have always known. Yes, a lot of people in Russia support Putin, but more likely than not, they would never want to have that kind of “leader” again if they truly had a choice.

      And they don’t.

  24. So, when is the U.S. going to follow the Pope’s lead, and officially call the genocide committed against the Armenians genocide? Or would that be politically incorrect and inflammatory, along with acknowledging the religiously motivated dimension of the torture and execution of Christians, and people of other religions, in many places in the world today?

    • There is a bipartisan bill in Congress now (introduced in February, I think) to “officially” recognize the Armenian genocide. Being of Armenian descent my self, I have to say that I am not particularly concerned with “official” positions and statements. What I am concerned with is that never again are those in power allowed to crucify, mutilate, and wontonly murder civilians. I would rather Congress declare war against ISIS than adopt the Armenian Genocide Recognition Bill.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      So, when is the U.S. going to follow the Pope’s lead, and officially call the genocide committed against the Armenians genocide?

      Morning drive-time radio today (snarking The Obama’s position) referred to it as “The Armenian (blank)”.

      …the religiously motivated dimension of the torture and execution of Christians, and people of other religions, in many places in the world today?

      And like Putin (and for much the same reason), Islam Gets Respect.