Jeb Bush claims Climate Science is “Intellectual Arrogance”

Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush hasn’t been having a good past few weeks.

Between the heavily coveted endorsement from brother ‘Dubya’, statements made about the Iraq War and healthcare, and having to deal with getting his shit pushed in by a Universe of Nevada student late last week; it’s safe to say that poor ol’ Jeb could use a break. But not before he was able to screw himself over once more by opening his big fat mouth about climate change.

In a statement originally reported by CNN, Bush admitted his disgust with the science of climate change and moreover how an almost unanimous community of scientists voicing their agreement on the matter are making it impossible to have a ‘real conversation’ on the matter. I’m sure by “real conversation”, Mr. Bush meant ‘an equal number of dissenters backing up GOP talking points’. It’s probably safe to say Jeb isn’t going to be expanding NASA’s budget should the gates of hell open up and he become President in 2016.

Luckily for Mr. Bush the average republican voter has never been too fond of science unless of course it finds a way to justify homosexuality being a choice, stem cell research being the ‘devil’s work’, or a way to prevent ice cream sandwiches at Wal-Mart from melting in 80-degree weather. As for climate change, the percent that has been able to link climate change to human activity is at a whopping 97%, which by most people’s standards would be considered pretty damn conclusive.

Even with a quick ‘Google’ search it’s not too hard to come up with tons of information relating to climate science, particularly on the NASA website which has various info graphs, statistics and interactive presentations detailing the effect of carbon emissions in the atmosphere; but hey, I’m sure that’s just the work of those notoriously corrupt scientists. Just recently in a hearing on the NASA budget, Ted Cruz made it clear that he was the man for the job when it came to being Chairman for the Committee on Space, Science and Competitiveness, by grilling a NASA administrator over whether it was ‘really necessary’ for NASA to be involved in studies on climate change. Apparently, Ted only likes NASA when they help Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway fly to other planets and he’ll do anything in his power to make sure all their attention is space ward and not inward.

So yeah, I seriously doubt the latest development in Jeb Bush’s long road to 2016 will change the minds of those who are still sitting on the fence over climate change but it’s nice to know where everyone stands on the important issues nonetheless. Plus, when debate season rolls around this’ll just be one more thing Hillary and Co. can cite when talking about qualifications or lack thereof. We’ve got a long way to go folks; so strap in.

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Technology in the Classroom: Where do we draw the line ?

Having observed various classrooms and been allowed a peek into the daily ins and outs of the education system, it’s not hard to see how much has changed even since I’ve been in public school. It’s amazing to see the subtle evolution of the classroom even over the past decade. One of the benefits of being a substitute teacher is getting to see a lot of teaching styles, learning styles and getting to see how those two clash and complement one another on a daily basis. Much of the burden falls on the educator to circumvent those situations where students for one reason or another, falter when it comes to   a lesson being challenging. Even as an outsider, I’ve always believed that a big responsibility falls on the home front, where more often than not, a child’s future is based on whether or not a parent decides their child’s education is worth meddling in. Unfortunately, the increase in technology has made that job ever more difficult as students young and old are bombarded with minute-to-minute apps, texts, Facebook notifications and twitter feeds.

Even as little as ten years ago, there were no phone apps beyond the most primitive ‘point and click’ games and organizer programs. Flash forward less than a decade later and you’d be hard pressed to find a person over the age of 10 who doesn’t have some form of smart phone, tablet or handheld device. It’s this sort of ubiquitous usage of technology that has seemingly made us deaf to the world around us. It’s common to turn on the news these days and hear about a young driver having killed or been killed by another driver simply because they were focused on a text or something related to a handheld device. Outside of vehicular fatalities there is an increasing implementation of technology in schools, from as young as elementary age children to those at the secondary level. Anyone who has stepped inside a classroom in the past decade will recall such things as computerized projectors and ‘Smart’ boards which are essentially ink-free chalkboards for teachers who prefer to avoid the hassle of wiping a board. However now even these tools are becoming more and more obsolete as more and more schools are beginning to go completely digital by implementing online ‘portals’ which are used to broaden the lines of communication between parent and teachers, who for the longest time have taken issue with ne’er-do-well parents who for one reason or another, never seem to know what their child(ren) are up to outside the home. Based on my experience and having spoken to teachers about the matter, it would seem that parent and educator alike appreciate the open line of communication that allow them to keep tabs on their children’s grades without appearing overly intrusive. It’s a rather ingenious setup that has proven to be a great aid to those forgetful students who need that extra reminder for when a particular assignment is due or a way to get instant feedback about a query they may have. Little things like using audiobooks and online reading programs, which help strengthen writing skills beyond the elementary typing class we all remember, have proven to be beneficial additions as well.

However, there is a rather significant push to implement large amounts of technology in the classroom which some critics have deemed as being a hindrance bordering on the intrusive. An article published in 2012 by the New York Times examined tech-heavy programs such as mandatory online courses for high schoolers and noted that while it saw “overwhelming approval”, it faced a fair amount of criticism from educators who noted that their state of Idaho effectively “shift(ed) tens of millions of dollars away from salaries for teachers and administrators….making them less a lecturer at the front of the room and more of a guide helping students through lessons delivered on computers.” What’s more, many teachers felt that too little effort was put on enforcing existing programs which were being crushed under the weight of “heavy lobbying by technology companies, including Intel and Apple.” There has been great concern among educators that with future mandatory changes that over reliance on technology will in effect replace physical teachers with artificial ones; claims that lawmakers have dismissed as “misleading”.

So where do we draw the line on technology? Are we to forego convenience and innovation for teaching styles which don’t suit everyone? Or is the age of computers and ‘instant’ everything creating a future workforce that can’t think for itself?

It would seem at least from my point of view that the answer falls more in line with the latter. Even in the past year, there has been significant overhaul in technology in the district that I presently work for. Every student at the secondary level has a Samsung Tablet assigned to them, which they use on a daily basis from everything including: guided reading, classroom activities, notes, accessing Powerpoint presentations, interactive videos, and their grades. Upon seeing that this was going to be the new norm I was incredibly skeptical, given how irresponsible this generation is when it comes to even managing their social media accounts. However, I must say that the assimilation process went much smoother than I previously imagined although that could have to do more with the age of the user than the difficulty of the change. Aside from the occasional network hiccup and server issue, there seemed to be little to no issue with the suddenness of such a big change in classroom habits.

What did disturb me however was one particular case in which a student at a middle school I work at, shared a graphic photo with another on a school tablet, which promptly required local law enforcement intervention. While I am not privy to the specifics on the matter, I can tell you that it did highlight an issue which I imagine could easily grow out of control if more obstacles aren’t put in place to prevent such behavior.

I suppose the real issue, more so than lewd behavior, is what sort of issues are we introducing into the classroom? An over reliance on anything can be detrimental to the desired effect. I’ve always been a believer that showing videos in place of an actual lesson does little to reinforce good learning habits than it does in providing the teacher with an easy way to avoid doing any actual work. As someone who’s spent more time in Social Studies and English classes, I can say without a doubt that there is a tremendous overuse of films and YouTube videos which are always excused as being a ‘interactive learning tool’ but end up amounting to little more than a time for students to mentally check-out of the days lesson and chit-chat with their peers. The same can be said for computers and ‘library time’ which can create a headache for anyone who is attempting to get any significant quality out of their students work, as ‘computer time’ to many students means ‘playing games and listening to music on the internet’. Far too often in classrooms with teachers who use computers over physical paper assignments, I’ve been witness to students who are allowed to essentially dictate what pace they learn at (usually not at all, if we’re being honest) as they plug their headphones in with the supposed purpose of watching some sort of video lesson which quickly devolves into watching YouTube videos and thus forcing the teacher who foolishly put trust in their students, to play catch-up the next week as they struggle to get the slackers caught up on material. Now I’m not going to sit here and say these are new problems but what I will say unequivocally is that far too many school districts are either willfully ignorant of such problems or simply don’t see it as a big enough issue to merit any significant change. My thought on the matter is this: sure you may not see test grades plummet at the rate you might expect them to but the trade-off on this over reliance on technology is that the workforce of tomorrow is going to suffer because of unwillingness across the board to say ‘no’ to such implementations. If you are going to dictate how individuals run their classrooms simply because you’re afraid of your district ‘falling behind the curve’, you’re going to sacrifice a lot of actual teaching time from trained professionals who are better suited to figuring out what their kids need than a tech or learning company that simply wants to find a venue for its product. It’s a sad day when teachers are essentially forced into the role of babysitter and are effectively pushed to the wayside because our society has become so attached to the idea that technology equates to progress.

As for the school in Idaho there seemed to be quite a large divide among those who supported and deterred from the idea of ‘online classrooms’, even after various events were staged in protest of the radical changes. A recent survey conducted this year determined that “96% of teachers reported that technology is making a significant impact in their classroom,” with over, “$600 million in venture capital poured into ed tech last year – a 32% increase over the prior year.”(Forbes)

Despite the numbers, there is still quite a discussion raging over the role technology truly plays in the future of students and whether that role truly matters beyond ‘test scores’ and ‘graduation rates’. The real question is whether universal access to limitless information can be equated to actual learning and retention of facts. What is certain is that technology isn’t going away anytime soon and as more and more companies realize the full potential of this market, you can be sure that the world will continue to pour funds into such programs; regardless of the cost.

Links to Articles Mentioned in this Blog Post: 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/04/technology/idaho-teachers-fight-a-reliance-on-computers.html?_r=0

http://www.salon.com/2014/07/25/the_plot_to_destroy_education_why_technology_could_ruin_american_classrooms_—%C2%A0by_trying_to_fix_them/

Thoughts on Anti-vaxxing and Stupidity as we Know It

Bright lights at the end the hospital corridor. The concept of l

Lately in the news, as I’m sure most if not all of you have heard either on social media debates or on television, there has been a serious outbreak of the measles in this country with the number of cases having climbed to over 140 in 17 states. The outbreak itself has been traced to DisneyLand theme parks in Southern California this past December and as you can imagine, has many if not all parents with small children scared shitless. Why are they so scared of a virus that seen 2000 has long considered to be largely eradicated in the US? Well I’ll tell you: it’s because shit-head parents are either too selfish or rather too thick skulled to either have a serious talk with their pediatricians about the safety of the MMR vaccine or they’ve simply been indoctrinated by the crackpot pseudo “scientists” of the world like Jenny McCarthy, who feel it is their duty to educate housewives who don’t have enough to do with nonsensical or illogical falsehoods on a virus they know nothing about. Fortunately for those of us who don’t have small children like myself, the threat of being infected is impossible due to the fact that we had the vaccine as kids like in NY, where having your shots is mandatory. Sadly this year the number of cases rose from little to none to a record 644 in 2014 alone. Which if you didn’t know is a ridiculous and unheard of number.

So for parents whose children were infected in this latest outbreak, you can imagine the thought of having a measles stricken child is a bit of a shock seeing as how we live in a country where a thing such as the measles is considered to be as common as getting the plague. For those of you who don’t know the statistics on the measles, kids who are either too young to receive the MMR vaccination or by lack of brains on their parents part, have about a 90 percent chance of contracting the virus over those who do have it. There is also another category of children who are susceptible to the disease (and this is really fucking important); those kids who are what’s called ‘immunocompromised’, have cancer or would have a serious allergic reaction to such vaccines. You see, kids who fall into these categories can’t get the vaccine and thus rely on the rest of us clear headed adults to be vaccinated to ensure the virus doesn’t infect them. Ultimately it’s like protecting the herd by ensuring that those who are able to get the vaccine do so and don’t end up spreading such a potentially grave virus.

When I was growing up and someone mentioned the measles, usually the adults in the room who were old enough to remember a time before the MMR vaccine would kind of give this look of relief and say something like ‘oh thank god we live in a time of vaccines, you don’t want the measles’, and us kids would kind of look puzzled and go about our business. Unfortunately due in large part to the massive amounts of misinformation floating around the internet and talk radio stations, parents somehow got it in their heads that vaccines were the source of autism in children; an idea that was and continues to  be proven untrue time and time again by experts in the field of medicine. This and statements by various celebrities who for some reason are taken more seriously than those notoriously “corrupt” physicians running about, have allowed for there to be a resurgence in pop-science and ‘natural remedies’ which have been largely demonstrated to be bunk. So for those who question the validity and trustworthy-ness of the vaccine let me quote directly from the Q&A section of the CDC’s section on the measles:

Very few people—about three out of 100—who get two doses of measles vaccine will still get measles if exposed to the virus. Experts aren’t sure why; it could be that their immune systems didn’t respond as well as they should have to the vaccine. But the good news is, fully vaccinated people who get measles are much more likely to have a milder illness, and they are also less likely to spread the disease to other people, including people who can’t get vaccinated because they are too young or have weakened immune systems. – Centers for Disease Control 

So as you can see, yes there is a slight risk of contracting the virus even if you are vaccinated but that risk is only about a minuscule 3% anyway and the effects you’d see would be significantly milder than those you’d see from someone who decided to play Russian roulette with a potentially fatal disease and opt out of getting the vaccine.

It’s easy for parents who have young children now who haven’t had the disadvantage of being around during a time without vaccines to say that ‘the risks outweigh the benefits’ and essentially scoff in the face of decades of scientific research, something which they are neither intellectually or physically capable of comprehending in the slightest. I find all this to be rather interesting in light of the fact that only a few months ago when Ebola was an issue in the states that people left and right were shouting the ‘sky is falling’ and demanding to deport people who are “stupid enough to contract” the disease, yet claim some sort of philosophical or religious high ground when it comes to choosing not to protect others against another potentially fatal outbreak. All I’m saying is to use your fucking head and if you can’t think for yourself and chose to follow the sort of reptilian/illuminati/bigfoot/etc. fear mongering websites out there on the internet, at least think of those around you who do wish to keep their kids safe.

Ultimately, I hope that more states decide to implement a mandatory vaccination code of conduct because this is a serious issue, maybe not for the majority of American’s but for many of the children who do live here and have to endure the stupidity of what should be the judgment of mature and well learned adults. I’m sure you’d expect the same courtesy from your neighbors and community members just the same as you would expect the line cook at your local Jack in the Box not to come to work when he’s sick. So yeah, I know my words are probably going to be read by few and heeded by even fewer who are already of the mindset that vaccines are ‘evil’ and internet voodoo is ‘good’ but hey, doesn’t hurt to help.

Note: Spellcheck says ‘Bigfoot’ should be capitalized but since I’m too lazy to go back and fix it here it is in all it’s glory, uppercase ‘B’ and all.

What the **** happened to the music industry?

Photo Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Photo Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Although this article comes a bit late after the fact, I wanted to at least mention it since it’s a topic that people seem to get rather passionate about for better or worse. As most of you trend following kiddies know, the Grammy’s aired this past week on NBC and brought out the usual controversy we’ve come to expect from the assortment of pre-madonnas and self entitled brats that populate the ‘music industry’ these days. However, no issue seemed to ignite the twitter sphere to such a point as the moment when 30-year music veteran Beck defied the odds and took home the award for ‘Best Album of the Year’, all the while angering countless teenage fans of Beyonce everywhere. Now if you’re like me and possess a music IQ (or any IQ for that matter) that ranges in the above average category, you’ll think to yourself ‘who the fuck cares about the Grammy’s? Real talent doesn’t get noticed on the national stage anymore!’ Admittedly, I stuck to my yearly tradition of not staying up to watch the Grammy’s but found myself pulled into the debate nonetheless. While I concede the argument that the Grammy’s have become more saturated than a college degree, I will admit that the nineties kid inside me did a jig when I saw that Beck had usurped the pop music dominated throne and received his long overdue award. Sadly, my faith in humanity was trumped by the fact that the hashtag ‘#whoisbeck’ managed to trend  much higher up than it should but then again I’ve come to realize overtime that the majority of people who actually take the Grammy’s seriously aren’t exactly re-inventing the wheel.  This leads in to my larger point and that is ‘What the fuck happened to the music industry?’

You could argue that the question I ought to be asking is ‘What the fuck is wrong with people?’ and you’d be right but that’s something I just don’t have the energy for at this moment. Another time perhaps.

If you’re going to go by the billboard ratings and what you see on television you would almost certainly come to the conclusion that modern music is populated solely by either: Hip-hop or pop music, and you wouldn’t be wrong. Yes, there are plenty of alternative bands or hipster groups that your one friend will rave about but you’ll never listen to that manage to pop up but those just don’t make it big enough to merit any sort of airplay and for better or worse get pushed down into the mire before anyone hears of them. A few exceptions can obviously be made in the non-pop genre i.e. Imagine Dragons, Ed Sheeran, Fall Out Boy etc. but more often than not that doesn’t speak to the level of their talent as much as much as it concedes the fact that people still get a kick out of seeing cute boys play the guitar. A good example of this standard is the country music genre which has a massive following of pre-dominately white teenagers and young adults who get a kick out of wearing flannel shirts and ripped jeans while listening to a man-child with a 5 o’ clock shadow and a comically big hat sing about how a well-cared for truck is an analogy for his woman. Something tells me the popularity of such a thing is directly correlated to the amount of alcohol one consumes but I suppose that can be said for most things in today’s music world that become ‘cool’.

So why do these artists become so popular, are they really that ‘good’ ? Or does it all fall into the category of ‘all hype’? In case you’re wondering the answer is most certainly the latter. American’s, more specifically young adults and teenagers make up the biggest demographic that contemporary music appeals to and moreover markets to. How do I know this? Well I can tell you that my parents generation certainly didn’t listen to The Beatles and Paul Simon because of how good their asses looked covered in Crisco, and most certainly didn’t label them ‘great musicians’ because of their ability to generate buzz or “YouTube Gold”. No, they listened to them and regard them with such high esteem because of what their music said and how it made it touched upon the culture that they lived in. Keep in mind this was an age plagued by uncertainty in a nuclear age, my parents were born in the fifties and lived through Vietnam, The Cold War, Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Reagan years. Kids these days assume that ‘culturally significant’ means how many videos someone has that went viral or how many awards they won. Being culturally significant transcends more than just fame, it means having material that is defined by the time period that produced it. John Lennon and the ‘Give Peace a Chance’ crowd helped define a generation who saw music as a means to bring issues larger than themselves into a bigger discussion. Music took on a sound that is clearly distinguishable from any other period and became a staple of the ‘flower power’ and hippie movements which protested the War in Vietnam and usage of nuclear weapons. Today’s generation has no identifiable genre with which to tie itself to like my parent’s generation did. My parents experienced a clear evolution of music from the days of: Bobby Vinton and Buddy Holly, the phenomenon of American Bandstand and Ed Sullivan, Elvis and the British Invasion, the 70’s music scene which produced glam and hard rock, funk and punk music and early synth pop. They were a generation of young adults who lived through easily one of the most exciting periods of music and got to experience a myriad of new and innovative musicians who sought to evolve their art to a place where they could influence countless talents for years to come.

Yet, somewhere around the turn of the century that sort of evolution stopped and the music industry became what the hipsters at Starbucks who sip their caramel macchiatos refer to as ‘mainstream’. People started being indoctrinated with the 24 hour non-stop media circus which would pummel you with images of what is ‘hot’ and more importantly what’s not. The reality show became the next big phenomenon, where for hours at a time you could watch the lives of the rich and famous be put on stage for all to see, ‘warts and all’. We became a society infatuated by the most pedestrian and boorish ideas and entered a world where watching people allegedly ‘just like us’, bickered, drank, fought and got arrested all in the matter of an hour. “Wow,” we’d say, “this is so crazy that I just have to show my friends.” Pretty soon this sort of “did you see that” culture reared its ugly head and moved onto the music industry where people with little to no musical skill realized that you didn’t need actual talent to produce a record, you just needed to tap into the pulsing vein of society which valued these sorts of things. Not only could you produce a ton of D-quality music like this but you could market cheap sound-alikes and copycats for little to no effort and sure enough you’d be an overnight billionaire in no time. Actual musicians and instrumentalists were largely pushed aside in favor of those who had an image that could be slapped on everything from a cellphone wallpaper to a billboard in Times Square. Sure, such things might get stale after awhile but when they did you could even market their collapse too, as a cable reality show where a camera crew followed that person on their disgusting and pathetic journey of redemption, where gluttonous housewives could smirk on their self-righteous thrones of pizza stained  La-Z-Boy furniture and watch the musicians that used to play on the ‘teevee’ scrounge around in the mire of rehab facilities and glumly look at the camera almost begging for their collective approval. Real music has died out in large part because people allowed the most reprehensible and base aspects of human nature to dominate their interests. People don’t like to stretch their minds anymore, it’s easier to look up answers on wikipedia for the inner meanings of a song or film or book these days than actually ponder and interpret. Young adults aren’t being forced in large part to think for themselves and are being encouraged to just ‘know’ the right answer instead of seeking it out for themselves. Music has stopped being about artistry and is purely sex, violence and hashtag worthy ‘moments’. It’s gotten to the point where ‘controversial music’ is someone making a video or a statement which people don’t unanimously agree on or can’t wrap their brains around. Opening up a discussion shouldn’t be synonymous for ‘controversy’ and moreover ‘controversy’ shouldn’t be looked at as a dirty word.

Music has the power to do many things but what it shouldn’t be is a soapbox for bad behavior or disrespect for others. People like watching award shows these days like the Grammy’s not in the hopes of seeing good music but waiting to see if something ‘crazy’ or ‘controversial’ happens. We’ve become a society of bystanders who instead of trying to better the world around us just stand there and videotape bad acts in the hopes of becoming ‘famous’. Kanye West’s ‘rant’ after the Grammy’s easily overshadowed any sort of talent or art went on act the actual ceremony and honestly that’s really sad that we are so easily taken in by stupidity as to put it on this pedestal where it proceeds to make millions of dollars. Writing songs about going out drinking, fighting with your girlfriend, doing drugs and gyrating asses isn’t art, it’s trash. It’s the sort of thing which should be isolated and mocked rather than viewed as ‘deep art’ which defines an entire generation. This past week Drake released a new “mixtape” of the usual sort of tripe that he usually produces or should I say, he and 5-6 other people produced, that was being hailed on twitter as something akin to The ‘White’ Album by The Beatles or Tommy by The Who. That’s like your teacher in school taking the half-assed report from that one slacker in your class about how “Football is the best sport Ever” and putting it on the bulletin board over your piece about “How Head Injuries effect the Sports World”. The music industry has become a joke and not a particularly good one because most bad jokes people tell you to get lost after telling it, not throw you billions of dollars in revenue in the hopes that you’ll create more just like it. Sure you could argue that the music scene is starting to open up the discussion to civil liberties like in Ferguson but aside from Common and John Legend who wrote the song for the film ‘Selma’, who else is really leading the charge in the industry against police brutality and the shooting of innocents? People will also cite the stunt pulled last year by having over 50 gay couples marry on stage as a ‘culturally significant’ music moment but let’s be honest it’s not like gay marriage is really a taboo subject in this country for the most part other than in shit states like Alabama, so it really wasn’t taking much of a risk by doing so. If you want to take a risk, have 50 transgender individuals come on stage with you and really make a statement with your support. But no, that doesn’t sell records, that’s too ‘controversial’, better wait til enough people make it popular before you start doing stuff like that. So in the meantime we’re stuck with the boring mass produced pop acts that dominate the industry who are essentially poster boys for the endless line of talent shows and award shows until they become too old or unpopular and are quickly shoved aside in favor of someone much younger and hotter to take hold of the limelight.

I guess in closing, if you’re looking for an answer to the question I posed earlier: “What the fuck is wrong with music?” the answer is: we are. We are what’s wrong with music these days.

A (Short) Word on Religion

Why can’t people come to grips with the notion that we are alone in this universe. There is no great eye in the sky watching us and moving mountains as it sees fit, we are here because of evolution and luck. Is that so scary? To view one’s self as the product of an evolutionary fluke that occurred, and that we as a collective species are essentially no better than any other creature that has or will walk this earth? Religion has perverted and exploited the worst parts of mankind since one monkey figured out that he could take what he wanted from the other based on what “God” told him. It’s a coping mechanism to fill in the gaps that science was unable to create thousands of years ago, nothing more. Now that we are getting answers to our genetic makeup the notion that we came from two folks in a magical garden holds no water. Revel in your time people, stop focusing your energy on doing good worlds simply for the sake of accumulating enough brownie points just so you can make it past the pearly gates. Life is short and time is infinite, accepting that is the first step to enlightenment as far as I’m concerned and ridding the world of needless conflict and violence that has plagued it for centuries in the name of some fantastical sky god.

(more to come….stay tuned)

‘Those Lazy Crazy Days of Summer’

They say the definition of insanity is doing ‘the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result’. This week the sages in the GOP have successfully proven that they are in no way exceptions to the rule.

First up we have our very own installment of The Expendables, as Rick Perry and the always brainy Sean Hannity, took time out of their busy schedules to make their way down to the border and play soldier. But no such journey would be complete without a photo op and as usual the GOP delivered a very ‘meme’-able entry, with Beavis and Butthead looking very tough as they bravely stood, machine gun in tow,  with such stone faced enthusiasm that would make a gun owner weep tears of patriotism. It takes a real man to take up arms as a first resort, but it takes an even bigger man to take up arms to face down hordes of immigrant children. For those of you who are convinced that the latest crisis on the border is some sort of ‘Zimmerman telegram’-esque conspiracy by the current administration, I can only direct you to the exit as this post is in no way supportive of  that ‘theory’. But doesn’t Rick Perry just look as cute as a button with his new ‘smart boy’ glasses?

In other news, Sarah Palin, the GOP’s ‘princess batshit’ and tea party favorite, continued to whine about impeachment to anyone who will listen. Perhaps one of my favorite excerpts from her conspiracy theory laced tirade about the sanctity of this country discussed the shifting climate under this ‘heathen’ presidency in which she said,

Enough is enough of the years of abuse from this president. His unsecured border crisis is the last straw that makes the battered wife say, “no mas.”

Unfortunately, you can only cry ‘wolf’ so many times before those of us who are normally adjusted individuals just stop listening. Luckily for Sarah ‘Plain and Crazy’, there are still plenty of ‘ammosexuals’ and red blooded tea partiers who are more than willing to lap up every second she speaks. This is the one time I’m going to say this but Sarah, just take all these brilliant ideas that you have bottled up inside and write another book already. Anything to stop these nut ball talking points from making their way into the media outlets.