1st Quarter 2012
Episodes 592, 593, 594, 595, 596, 597, 598, 599

Note: The first episode shown during the First Quarter 2012 was a rerun of #335 on December 19, 2011.

Episode #592: Airing of Grievances
First Broadcast: 12/26/11
After discussing Christmas, Festivus, and New Year's in Times Square, we make some New Year's wishes, hoping that Bradley Manning becomes a free man in 2012, that SOPA dies a quiet death in Congress, and that the "indefinite detention" parts of the NDAA die a loud death sooner rather than later. What are the chances all that will happen? Don't answer that.

Episode #593: Ides of Stuff
First Broadcast: 1/2/12
Since this episode is in such close proximity to New Year's, we discuss some of the origins of the Western calendar, going back to Roman times and Pope Gregory XIII's intervention. Today, Richard Conn Henry proposes a new 364-day calendar where the dates appear on the same days of the week every year, with an extra week added "every five or six years" to bring the calendar in line with the solar year--which, to me, sounds a lot like the ancient Roman month of Mercedonius, which was added to the end of the Roman calendar for the same purpose. I don't like this idea: I like the variety that comes with shifting dates. Plus, who am I to endorse a calendar that would remove Ad-Rock's date of birth? From there, we talk about the Iowa caucuses, the New Hampshire primary, how they have both shifted since 1968, and how some of the #Occupy groups in Iowa might actually inject some new life into the caucuses there this year. More to come next week, assuming the apocalypse doesn't come early.

Episode #594: And Then a Fight Breaks Out
First Broadcast: 1/16/12
Repeated: 3/19/12; 5/21/12
So, when Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney says things like, "This President puts his faith in government. We put our faith in the American people," is he saying that even though he thinks "Corporations are people," he doesn't think governments are people, even though Abraham Lincoln, another Republican, famously said that the American government was "of the people, by the people, and for the people"? And when Mitt Romney says things like "He [President Obama] apologizes for America; I will never apologize for the greatest nation in the history of the Earth," does he mean there is truly nothing in the entire history of the United States of America for which someone should apologize? Or is he just incapable of saying "sorry," a trait most children learn how to do by the age of five or six? Either way, both statements make him look like a complete jerk, which I'm sure is not an accident.

Episode #595: From the Oort Cloud
First Broadcast: 1/23/12
Repeated: 6/11/12
Do people who grew up with the so-called "War on Terror" perpetually in the background of their lives feel just as removed from the Gulf War and the Vietnam War as people who grew up the 1970's feel about the Vietnam War and World War II? Perhaps, especially since the American death tolls of its most recent wars are quite less than they were in wars of the more distant past. However, that certainly hasn't prevented many younger people from becoming very politically active, as the #Occupy movements and the SOPA/PIPA protests have shown. More power to them. Maybe I should buy some Girl Scout cookies to take my mind off it all...

Episode #596: They Go Round The Outside
First Broadcast: 2/6/12
After a slight digression about the Super Bowl and other sports, we discuss the 2012 primaries, Mitt Romney's extreme wealth, and how long it would take you to make what he makes. On the show, I said it would take the average American 310 years to make the amount that Romney currently has as his net worth--but I was a little off. Assuming the average American household makes $50,000 a year, and Mitt Romey has a net worth between $190 million and $250 million dollars, it would take the average American between 3800 and 5000 years to make the same amount. Either way, he's still a dick.

Episode #597: Buddhist Gingrich
First Broadcast: 2/13/12
Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri had contests for the Republican Presidential nomination this past week, and homophobe Rick Santorum won all three of them. Could the depressed GOP voter turnout (compared to 2008) have something to do with it? Would that explain why Romney has been getting even less votes in some states than he got when he ran for President in 2008? How disappointing is it that so many of the Republican candidates so far have displayed appalling amounts of Islamophobia? Will the NYPD stop spying on Muslims just because they're Muslim? I have more questions than answers, as usual.

Episode #598: Election Theater
First Broadcast: 2/20/12
Tonight, I talk about how wannabe Presidential candidate Rick Santorum got mic checked by some Occupiers in Washington State, and the resulting non-sequiter-laced conversation I ended up having via Twitter with an apparent Christian fundamentalist who took issue with my referring to Santorum as a homophobic bigot. Which he is, by the way.

Episode #599: Trained Monkeys
First Broadcast: 2/27/12
After stumbling around a discussion of Ash Wednesday, other religious holidays, celiacs, and helper monkeys for a little bit, we talk about the NYPD's atrociously indefensible spying on Muslims simply because they're Muslim, and specifically the spying on Muslim students at several universities inside and outside the city limits. Even worse than that was Mayor Bloomberg's cheap appeal at patriotism in defense of the spying, equating police espionage on the level of COINTELPRO with military operations overseas (as if there were no indefensible military operations in American history either). How is secret police spying on innocent people based solely on their religion not reminiscent of a fascist police state? Something tells me it will be a while before I'll ever get an answer to that question.

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