Search the Clouds For A Star To Guide Us

Representative Steve King (R-Magical Thinking) either doesn’t believe contraception prevents conception or will say any goddamn thing a man in a dress tells him:

“The objection that the Catholic Church and I have to the morning after pill,” King told MSNBC’s Martin Bashir, “is because it ends the life of an unborn baby.”

[…] BASHIR: As you know, sir, the contraceptive pill doesn’t abort a pregnancy. It prevents a pregnancy from happening. That’s not what I’m talking about…

KING: Well, I really don’t concede that. And that’s not either the Catholic Church’s position.

It doesn’t matter what his position is nor what position the Catholic Church takes; neither has any bearing on what the morning after pill actually does, including the secondary effect of getting these bastards out of our bedrooms.

He’s entitled to his delusions; we are entitled to discuss them and what they mean to our lives. Please pass his words on in the hope that they will follow him all his douchebag days.

Point To the Fact That Time Is

Spring curtains: the curtaining.

Every great superhero spends time in the shadows. Every mythic hero lives underground and in the dark before the sun shines on his face. Flying Spaghetti Monster, I am tired of hearing sports announcers say shined. It is important to remember that in life we face few problems billions of people have not faced before us, some of them were fearless grammarians and the word is goddamn shone.

Yourself Low But Not Too Low

Busy afternoon at the family store, where everyone in the tiny town stopped by and bought presents for another thingy-exchangy holiday. I’ve gift-wrapped my fingers to the bone! Currently, I’m wondering where Topaz, who lay curled up on my lap a few minutes ago, disappeared to and considering taking a nap with my eyes open. That’s polite, yes? Not at all creepy?

Good. I don’t know where the last ten minutes went either.

Might Be Big Big Fake Fake Lies

Why doesn’t the whole world smell like coconut sun tan lotion? It might protect us from the weeks-old santorum:

Those politics don’t play well in Riva del Garda, a community of ultraliberals. On the campaign trail, Santorum often touts his grandfather’s flight from Italy “to escape fascism,” but he has neglected to publicly mention their close ties with the Italian Communist Party. “Rick’s grandfather Pietro was a liberal man and he understood right away what was happening in Italy,” Mrs. Santorum told Oggi. “He was anti-fascist to the extreme, and the political climate in 1925 was stifling so he left for America. After a few years he returned to Italy with his wife and children, including Aldo, Rick’s father, who passed away late last year. It’s a shame he won’t have the joy to see his son’s success in his bid for the White House.” She goes on to explain how the family then became pillars of the Communist Party in Italy.

“There are Santorums who would roll over in their graves to hear [Rick’s] rhetoric.”
The matriarch lauds her distant relative as a “masterpiece” of the family, whom she calls a man of high intelligence and integrity. “He would be a great president,” she told Oggi. “But if he wants to make it, he will have to soften some of his positions. To take a stand against homosexuality or to oppose divorce is harmful. Principles count, but in politics one must have the capacity to be open-minded.”

The Oggi piece also quotes an angry cousin who preferred to voice his dissent anonymously, remembering the time when high-ranking Communist Party members frequented the Santorum household in Riva del Garda. “There are Santorums who would roll over in their graves to hear [Rick’s] rhetoric,” he said.

But the rest of the family seems content to turn a blind eye to their American cousin’s political persuasion. One cousin, Michela Santorum, told Oggi that she fondly remembers Rick’s interest in his Italian heritage, and especially Italian cuisine. “We were always astonished at how many ice cubes he put in his drinks,” Michela told Oggi. “But he loved everything else, including polenta.”

According to Oggi, the general sentiment is that the Italian Santorums will forgive their American cousin if his bid is successful. “When he wins, he will send the American presidential airplane and take all the Santorums to the White House,” Bruno Santorum told the magazine.

Well, Bruno, at least Jimmy and Billy Carter were two separate people:

SANTORUM: They are taking faith and crushing it. Why? Why? When you marginalize faith in America, when you remove the pillar of God-given rights, then what’s left is the French Revolution. What’s left is the government that gives you right, what’s left are no unalienable rights, what’s left is a government that will tell you who you are, what you’ll do and when you’ll do it. What’s left in France became the guillotine. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re a long way from that, but if we do and follow the path of President Obama and his overt hostility to faith in America, then we are headed down that road.

I’m sorry, cugini. Your ambitious American cousin hates immigrants almost as much as he hates himself and history.

Thou Shalt Not Quote Me Happy

When I start paying attention, everyone is already talking.

Tata: I’m bored.
Tata: You’re WHAT?
Tata: Now, that is a SHAME!
Tata: I object to that objection!
Tata: Look, we’ve got stuff to do. Shut up, crazy people!
Tata: Will this give me wrinkles? Because this had better not give me wrinkles!
Tata: Are you eating a cookie?

I may be thick-skinned, but it’s skin I’m aware I should be taking better care of, so I was not exactly surprised when last night someone sat on the couch chattering about useless crap and this morning, I slathered my epidermis with moisturizing goo. There, uselessness! Take your irritating, time-wasting chatter and begone! Two more goo-coats and I should be itch-free. In the meantime, I bet Jeff Bezos wishes for a hot tub full of cortizone cream.

When you ask Iris “is abortion wrong?” the Android app will answer:

Yes, abortion is wrong. The Lord has said, “You shall not murder,” (Exodus 20:13). The life that is growing within the mother is a child, a baby. The Bible looks at the life in the womb as a child. Thanks!

The blame, however, doesn’t belong to the company that develops Iris. At least not entirely, because you could also argue that they are ultimately responsible for the answers its app gives.

After its popularity explosion om[sic] the Android platform, Dexetra decided to partner with Q&A engine ChaCha to expand its search abilities. And that’s where the problems truly are. ChaCha—incidentally, a derogatory Spanish word for cleaning lady—is a company that is partially funded by Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos and founded by Scott Jones, the inventor of Gracenote, the music database that powers parts of Apple’s iTunes.

If you go to ChaCha’s website and ask the same question, you will get exactly the same answer. If you ask Iris “is abortion right?” then it will provide a more neutral answer: “Abortion is a tricky issue—whether it’s right or wrong should be up to the mother to decide.” But if you ask again if she’s pro-choice, she will admit that yes, she’s “actually pro-life”, arguing that “every embryo is a life and a miracle.”

Scratchy! We have blasted our way to a new and record-breaking depth when electronic devices now preach about the miracle of life. Look, life is not a miracle. A few million years ago, maybe it was. We don’t know. Now it’s a habit like smoking or thinking Bill Kristol is merely stupid and not evil. No, Bill Kristol is mostly evil with a spicy dash of stupid, just to change things up, and thinking he doesn’t mean what he says is one of those bad habits that protects us from understanding that lots of terrible people mean what they say and we are surrounded by them. Anyway, life: not a miracle anymore, if it ever was. Living things reproduce and they’re so successful at it that people on TV keep arguing that massive and mass-produced bombs are better at stopping reproduction than small, regular doses of chemicals. I mean, that’s what they’re saying, isn’t it? And now our phones say it, too, albeit in suddenly diplomatic terms:

Update: hours after this article was published, ChaCha is changing the answers to those questions and, I’m sure, frantically searching for others. That’s good ChaCha, as good as the fact that we have all the captures and video with their old answers. Here are some of ChaCha’s new answers, as reported by readers:

Is abortion wrong?

Many people believe abortion is wrong because their God teaches that all human life is sacred. However, many people believe that it is wrong to bring a child into the world if the parents are unfit due to drug problems, financial instability, or if it was a result of rape or incest among many other reasons. I believe it is a personal choice. You must do what you believe is right. It may be best to talk with family, friends, counselors, or a religious leader before making any decision.

Is rape ever justified?

No, I do not think so. You might devise a justification in your mind, an unenlightened culture might condone it, but justifying sexual physical violence against another human is always wrong.

Many other people believe that a woman should bring a child into the world when she’s good and ready and nobody else’s opinion matters. Many believe sex can be fun and interesting and a delightful way to clear the complexion and who’d want to fuck people that don’t, anyway? If you need an app to tell you right from wrong you’re already lost.

And, yes, it was a Girl Scout cookie.

A Rose In A Fisted Glove

Tamales are a bit of an undertaking, no trouble at all and completely worth the work.

I needed a weekend offline after I got into it on Facebook with an otherwise liberal dude about abortion. At this point, I’m beyond sick of otherwise liberal dudes, and wish they would drop all pretense of decency and wear their He Man Woman Haters Club stripes on the outside instead of on their Underoos. Anyway, I needed peace in my house, and banana leaves.

Now I’m out of banana leaves.

The Toy And All It Meant

Previously on Poor Impulse Control, we pondered a tasty puzzle. An acquaintance must eschew the following:

High Fructose Corn Syrup

If you’re just joining us, we’ve been noshing.
Snacks and facts

Ta darling, you say, That’s all well and good, but it’s midday and my lunchbox is filled with no sandwich. Quite right. How do you feel about soup? Plenty of charming people now bring prepared foods to work for lunch and almost nobody discusses their moral torpor – anymore. In our case, a careful reading of the ingredient list is very important since garlic, flour and HFCS will turn up in unexpected places. No ingredient on our list should find its way into a decent New England clam chowder, but it will if someone in R&D took the moronic step of thickening chowder with a roux. So: read. Really.

Making your own soup couldn’t be easier and it will make lunch less like spinning a carnival wheel where hives are the big prize. Got a slow cooker? Good. You are about to develop a new habit: when you cut up vegetables, throw carrot tops, celery ends, onion bits, fennel leaves and so forth into a 1 gallon Ziploc bag and drop that in the freezer. When the bag is full, empty the contents into your slow cooker, add peppercorns, bay leaves, star anise, annatto and celery seeds, a little salt and pepper. Got a chicken neck or feet or a smoked turkey neck? They would add nice flavor and they’re super cheap. Turn this on low and come back in 24 hours. Strain. Taste it. You could season it with stuff you already like in your fridge. If you tell people you make your own stock once a week they will think your are both crazy and curiously virtuous. Don’t tell them all you have to do is plug in the CrockPot.

Roasted Anything Vegetable Soup

(Insert your favorite vegetable here)
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
butter or olive oil
salt and pepper
your favorite herbs

Prepare your favorite vegetable to roast. For instance, halve and clean a butternut or acorn squash. Save the seeds. Or peel sweet potatoes or regular potatoes or eggplant. Or halve tomatoes. What do you like? Roast that in a 400 degree oven until it’s fork tender. Set aside. When cool, cut into small chunks.

In a soup pot, melt butter or heat olive oil. Sweat onion and carrots until onions are clear and sweet and carrots have softened. Add your roasted heart’s desire and mash to combine. Add in stock, maybe a quart or two. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, add salt and pepper. If you want to puree, you can use an immersion blender or a regular blender, if you cover the lid with a towel and pulse carefully.

Serve with a scoop of plain yogurt and a dusting of your favorite herbs. Squash seeds, toasted at 350 degrees until they smell delicious, make a great snack sprinkled with salt.

How do you feel about beef stew? Pot roast? Chicken soup? Tuna salad? Chicken salad? Ham salad with melon? Chef salad? Turkey stew? Sashimi? They can be prepared without the use of our off-limits ingredients. If I, in all my hypothetical allergic glory, were to order any of these items in a restaurant or cafeteria, I would demand the assurance of the cook that I was not about to poison myself. Is that assurance enough? Probably not. I’d personally threaten to haunt the chef that lied and treated me to anaphylactic shock. Haunt them with knives. Yep. But you may be a nice person. If you prepare your own food, you stand an even better chance of both surviving and enjoying lunch.