October 2014


ISIS (or ISIL) is known for having a pretty sophisticated online presence for a terrorist organization. And now they have a dating website, too. Jihadi Matchmaker on Twitter is your premier place on the Internet to get matched up with an Islamic warrior. Jihadi Matchmaker does claim that it is not associated with ISIS or any other terrorist group, but they have posted things like “picture all the little mujahideen running around.” (Since nothing thrills me more than the thought of having kids just so they can grow up and martyr themselves.) It also uses other ISIS-affiliated imagery, so it is likely not as innocent as it pretends to be.

Jihadi Matchmaker is suspected of being one of the tools ISIS is using to lure girls from Europe and America into running away from home to join them as followers/wives (and then seriously regretting that decision).

I went to check out Jihadi Matchmaker for myself–hey, I’ve been single for a few months now. It was a disappointment, and not only because of its connection to a bunch of fundamentalist killers. Here are a few sample posts:

Life isn’t always roses, sometimes it comes with thorns, but even the thorns are from Allah so trust his plans.

All too often people concentrate on finding the right spouse, little realizing that half of any marriage is being the right spouse.

What the hell is this? I expected an ISIS website to be a little more edgy. This is the kind of bland inspirational crap people pass around on Facebook. The only thing missing was an exhortation to dance like the infidels aren’t watching.

Just goes to show that no matter where you go on the Web these days–even if you meander into the darkest corners of the Internet–you will not be able to get away from the same tired memes. Leaving me with one question to ponder–is a Jihadi kitten allowed to haz a cheezburger?

There must have been some mighty long faces in the CNN newsroom when the missing Malaysian airplane story petered out. Now what were they going to obsess about 24/7? Maybe…serious news? Like the midterm elections? Ha! Who are we kidding?

Well, praise the good Lord for creating the little wiggly bugs and the germs, because now CNN has ebola. Is ebola a serious topic? Yes, but not when CNN is covering it. First, there was the endless dissection of what the nurses at Texas Presbyterian Hospital might or might not have been wearing when they treated Thomas Eric Duncan. It’s one thing to report that there were significant lapses in hospital protocol. It’s another to spend many hours speculating about what these lapses might have been because you’re trying to kill time before the next CDC conference. Then, when the nurses were being moved to other hospitals, CNN treated us to live coverage of the vehicles transporting the nurses, including ominous shots of the airplanes which were going to fly them to their destinations. Why did we need to see that? Were there infectious bodily fluids condensing on the wings? This provides more evidence for my personal theory that CNN + airplanes = pure ridiculousness.

So thank you, CNN, for showing us yet again that you are capable of taking any news story and riding it straight into carnival barker territory.

Ah, but there was also something missing for me in the coverage…some elusive element…I mean, besides substance. I wasn’t sure what it was, but then I remembered Don Lemon playing with his toy plane, and it all came back to me. The news anchors need a prop! And I know just the thing–the plushie version of the ebola germ, brought to us by Giant Microbes. You can take your plague reporting to a whole new level of dramatic when you’re waving an actual germ around in the studio. Hope you listen to my advice, CNN! You can’t make things much sillier than you already have, you know.

It’s been difficult enough to wave my Democratic pom-poms lately, but now my feelings are even more divided than before–this time, about my local vote for governor.

John Kitzhaber, the Democratic candidate running for re-election as governor of Oregon, has found himself in the midst of exploding scandal over the past few days. It has to do with his fiance, Cylvia Hayes, and various revelations about her–that she was paid $5,000 for a “green card” marriage to a young Ethiopian immigrant, and about her one-time plans to run a pot farm. I don’t care about either of those very much. These are the actions of the fiance, not Kitzhaber himself. What does bother me is that she was employed as a consultant to the governor and landed some plum contracts as a result, possibly in breach of state ethics. When it comes to Kitzhaber, I also can’t forget that CoverOregon–our state version of the Obamacare exchange–was bungled as badly as it was. Kentucky did a better job on its website. I’m a big supporter of the ACA, but the CoverOregon site didn’t work for months and cost the state millions of dollars.

I want to vote for the Democrats. I’m glad that Oregon is a blue state. But I get the sense that the Democrats who have been running the state for so long have gotten a little too comfortable. They know that people are going to vote for them, almost no matter what. (I’m pretty sure Kitzhaber is going to win his fourth term this year.) They have become a ruling clique. We need fresh liberal blood in this state.

But with that being said, I’m not excited about voting for Kitzhaber’s Republican opponent, Dennis Richardson, either. His values don’t match mine. We’re talking someone who opposes both Obamacare and marriage equality.

So what do I do now? Is there some Green Party/Socialist Party candidate I can throw my vote away on? (The only third party candidate I see in my voter guide is the Constitution Party guy, which…ugh.) Should I just abstain from voting? Seriously, somebody advise me. I’m no longer a voter divided at this point–I’m a voter torn to shreds.

Time to gather around for storytime, children….

Next week, the Secretary of State of our country is going to be at a Gaza reconstruction conference in Cairo, at which wealthy nations are going to give money to rebuild homes and businesses in Gaza which were destroyed during their war with Israel. We don’t know yet how much America will donate, but Washington is expected to promise a “meaningful and appropriate” amount.

But wait…the American government also gives lots of money in military aid to Israel…hundreds of millions of dollars.

So, yes. Like in some twisted fairy tale–we are paying for Israeli missiles–which they are going to use to bomb the Gaza strip–which we are then going to pay to help rebuild–so that it can be bombed again.

And this, American boys and girls, is why we can’t have nice things.

There has been a lot of talk lately about the study showing just how much Americans booze it up. The strongest reaction by far has been to the top 10% of drinkers who put away a whopping 74 drinks a week. There has been shock and disbelief over that figure.

But I’m not surprised by those people. Mind you, I wouldn’t be able to survive what they do–my body isn’t that strong and my liver is already unhappy. But I can understand what drives them and where they’re coming from.

What is shocking to me is that 60% of the population either doesn’t drink at all or only drinks less than one drink a week. Really? What is their secret? Or maybe, what is their problem? How do they get through their day without feeling that hurting or at least, that restless itch which makes you want to have a drink so you can drown it out? Is it that they’ve found other ways to pacify themselves, like too much food or too much TV? Are they that emotionally strong? Or are they already numb?

The sober people are a fucking mystery to me. I’m going to need a shot of brandy to wrap my mind around that one.