Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thought for the Day

In a perfect world, the light would change, and all the cars would start moving at once.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse (9/14/83 – 7/23/11)

Amy Jade Winehouse, dead at 27.

Who could've guessed?


Update: Following an extended googling (based solely on the positive recommendation of Ms Nance), I have to say that, if you looked at her as strictly a jazz artist, she had her points.

But I still don't like her voice.

Friday, July 22, 2011

What is wrong with Republicans?

How does a group like the GOP manage to become a leading force in American politics? This is a group of small-minded schemers so openly venal and opportunistic that they're a top hat and handlebar mustache away from being actual cartoon villains.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, openly campaigns on the fact that his number one priority is not fixing the economy or getting jobs for the unemployed; no, his only focus is making sure that Barack Obama is a one-term president.

Eric Cantor, the House Majority Whip, currently leading the talks to prevent the economy from completely tanking, is proud of having shares in a fund that will only pay off if the economy gets worse. And nobody considers this to be a conflict of interest.

The leading lights of the party are currently pushing the 2012 Goat Rodeo: a collection of ego-driven misfits and losers so actively insane that if you can remember to pull your dick out of your pants before you pee, you're considered a front runner. (And yes, I'm including both Sarah "Undefeated" Palin and Batboy Bachmann in that metaphor.)

Since Obama was sworn in as president, the best description of the Republican "strategy" is "Deny, Delay, and Do Nothing," in the hopes that if things get worse, Obama gets the blame.

And there's a significant portion of Republican voters who buy into that theory, because they're openly stupid. Oh, and because of brain damage caused by interesting chemicals that Republican policies allow to enter our food supply - you know, paint thinner, mercury, that kind of thing...

The GOP openly lies or obfuscates about every issue, and yet, despite the unwillingness in the press to call them on it, they consistently refer to the "liberal bias" in the media.

Remember death panels? What about "Obama is a Muslim"? Or "...socialist"? "...communist"? Or even "...terrorist"?

Does anybody remember James O'Keefe? Lied about ACORN? Tried to break into a congresswoman's office and bug her phone? Yeah, he's still at it. Still not in jail. Go figure.

Despite overwhelming evidence that birth control prevents abortion and teen pregnancy, when birth control is offered through the new health care law, what’s the right-wing take on it? "Obamacare will force insurance companies to pay for abortion!"

And it's not just at the national level. Here in New Mexico, we have Teabagging governor Suzanna Martinez, who (in a move completely at odds with the standard GOP theory that rich people are happiest when you throw money at them) made an effort to slash film industry subsidies, where moviemakers have a percentage of their in-state expenditures returned to them, and one of the only requirements is that they hire 75% of their crew from New Mexico citizens.

The State Legislature only agreed to cap subsidies, which is still a disincentive to filmmakers, who have brought billions of dollars and thousands of jobs to the state. And the plan still backfired.
New Mexico will shell out an estimated $20 million to $30 million more than expected in film rebates – around $95 million overall – after film and television projects rushed to beat a July 1 effective date for a new state cap on the subsidies.
So, where other Republicans are simply doing nothing to improve the economy, our governor is losing money, driving out industry and destroying jobs. So this is what "winning" looks like?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Your NASA history

So, despite the fact that NASA recently flew the space shuttle for the last time, today is the 42nd anniversary of the first moon landing.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Jesus Christ!

A couple in Anderson County, SC has decided that Jesus decided to appear to them on a receipt from Walmart.
Jacob Simmons and his fiancee, Gentry Lee Sutherland, said they bought some pictures from Walmart on Sunday, June 12.

The following Wednesday, the couple had just come home from a church service when Simmons spotted the receipt on the floor of Sutherland's apartment. He says the receipt had changed. "I was leaving the kitchen and I just looked on the floor, and it was like it was looking at me," Simmons said.
It's just like in Scripture - "...and on the third day, he arose again, and ascended into Commerce..."

Just to be fair, let's leave aside uncomfortable questions like "could they find a more redneck religious icon than a Walmart receipt?" and move on to the more interesting questions. Like "Why did Jesus choose to appear there?"

Why would Jesus, much like an anal-probing alien, choose to appear in South Carolina, the colostomy bag of America?

Could it be because Simmons and Sutherland are an unmarried couple cohabitating in a single apartment, and Jesus wanted them to know that they're going to hell?

Was He just trying to pass along the message "Yo, hick! Can you clean this pigsty? I've been laying here for three days!"

Perhaps it was a marketing ploy by Walmart: "I'd come back from the dead for savings like these! Even if they are destroying the economy!" (And really, this is sheer genius as advertising goes: it's a ploy that will go over big in the Bible Belt.)

But to be honest, I think that Mr Simmons has misidentified his picture. Because really, it looks more like Charles Manson to me.

But I'm pretty sure that this miraculous appearance doesn't mean "Go start killing everybody in the neighborhood (or as they call it in South Carolina, "urban beautification"). Jesus has been aggressively marketing Himself of late, appearing on telephone poles, rocking chairs, and even some crackhead's cell phone.

I'd say that for answers, we should turn, as we always do, to that other bearded guy in robes.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Edge of Glory - Lady Gaga

I don't spend a lot of time listening to pop music, but it happens. Admittedly, the rest of the radio stations programmed into the car radio have to suck balls before it happens, but that isn't really uncommon some days.

So I clicked over earlier this week, and heard "the Edge of Glory." I didn't know it was Lady Gaga until the DJ informed me when it was over. I thought maybe it was some retro song from the 80's.

And speaking of retro stuff from the 80's, if you listen very carefully, Clarence Clemons even gets a saxophone solo around two thirds of the way through. (In fact, the song was released in May of this year, and a month later, he was dead. Coincidence? I don't think so...)

Like most pop songs, she builds the entire song around her hook. In this case, the chorus is this:
I'm on the edge of glory
And I'm hanging on a moment of truth
I'm on the edge of glory
And I'm hanging on a moment with you
OK, it's Lady Gaga. So it's probably unfair of me to expect The Leaves of Grass. But... well, this is, after all, pop music, so I guess you aren't actually supposed to listen to the lyrics. Or something.

But "glory"? I don't think that word means what you think that word means, Ms. Germanotta.
/ˈglôrē/ (plural: glories)
1. High renown or honor won by notable achievements
2. Magnificence; great beauty
3. A thing that is beautiful or distinctive; a special cause for pride, respect, or delight
But there is, I suppose, a religious aspect to the word.
4. Praise, worship, and thanksgiving offered to God
5. The splendor and bliss of heaven
6. A luminous ring or halo, esp. as depicted around the head of Jesus Christ or a saint
And maybe that's what she's going for. The religious aspects of the word, as in "oh god oh god Oh God OH GOD OH GOD!!"

Because this is quite possibly one of the shallowest songs imposed upon the pop music scene since Harry Wayne Casey and his Band of the Sun explained how we should put on our boogie shoes in order to boogie with him.

There are only two real verses to this song, and neither one is challenging lyrically. Removing the repeat of "tonight, yeah baby/tonight, yeah baby" (although god knows that repetition seems to be the theme of this song), the first "verse" consists of:
There ain't no reason you and me should be alone tonight,
I got a reason Yoo-hoo should take me home tonight.
Yes, she rhymed "home" and "alone" - I've heard worse. But she either had a problem fitting the second line into the rhythm, or she's being taken home by a chocolate drink.
I need a man that thinks it's right when it's so wrong tonight
Right on the limits where we know we both belong tonight.

It's hard to feel the rush
To push the dangerous,
Yes, she's pushing an adjective.
I'm gonna run back to, to the edge with you,
Again with the rhythmic problems. You wouldn't think that a good Catholic girl would have a problem with the Rhythm Method, but she decided that the solution was to repeat the word "to."
Where we can both fall o'er in love.
And she may not be Walt Whitman, but she channels some 18th Century Irish poet or another, because that word is very clearly o'er.

And then the chorus, which consists of endless repetitions of the phrase "I'm on the edge of glory," which she starts by interspersing the phrases "hanging on a moment of truth" and "hanging on a moment with you," but she gives up and just repeats the phrase "the edge." And then she gets to the second verse, if you can call it that.
Another shot before we kiss the other side tonight,
I'm on the edge of something final we call life tonight.
I'm not clear what she means by "something final" here, but that's OK. Neither is she - she's just glad she found words that fit the line.
Put on your shades because I'm dancing in the flames tonight.
It isn't hell if everybody knows my name tonight.
And that, in fact, describes Lady Gaga to a T. She wants to always be the most noticeable person in the room.

She then repeats the verse about "pushing dangerous" (which might make it a second chorus, except it's more like a punctuation mark on the verse), and that's it for new lyrics. Not even halfway through the song, and she gives up on words; the song is five-and-a-half minutes long, and at the 2:27 mark, she's done. She spends the remaining three minutes repeating the words "I'm on the edge with you."

Over and over, and over again.

Her video really doesn't mean anything, except to exemplify the words she centers her life around - "Look at me!" Clarence Clemons is the only other person who appears in the video: it's mostly her, prancing around in an S&M hooker outfit, completely eschewing her usual band of backup dancers.

If you absolutely have to see it, here it is.

Her personal trainer should be commended. Her hairstylist? (Or more likely, "wigmaker.") Not so much.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Quick thought on women in elevators

Now, if you don't occasionally wander through the godless corners of the internet, you might have no idea, but a vlogger named Skepchick posted a video where (right about the 4:30 mark, if you're in a hurry), she mentions an encounter she had.

Basically, she'd given a talk explaining that when men sexualize her, it creeps her out. So, when a guy (later established to have been present at that talk) followed her onto an elevator and asked her up to his room, she was uncomfortable.

And that blew up, with a lot of people trying to claim that she was calling all men rapists, and women should just chill out, and on and on. Because... well, because men are dicks, mostly. I should know - I happen to be one myself. Some of us repress that side of our personalities, but far too many don't.

(In the midst of all this exaggeration, a world-famous atheist tried to poo-poo the whole thing, essentially saying that women in Muslim countries have it far worse, so women in America should stop complaining. You know, something like claiming that people are blown up in Jerusalem a lot, so if you get knifed in Boston, just walk it off and quit whining.)

Now, I just have one thing to say about this (of course, I'm going to take way too long saying it, but that's just me). And, actually, it breaks into two parts.

First, that's not what she said!! Christ, the video is right up above here, and I told you where to look! Go watch the fucking thing!

* ahem *

But (he continues in a calmer voice), since you brought it up, yes, women do, in fact, get raped in elevators. In fact, one guy in New York enjoyed it so much that he went out and tried it again. Which inspired copycats.

(Pro-tip: when googling for examples of "elevator rape," be sure that SafeSearch is on. That also happens to be a twisted fantasy for some guys. Which should actually tell you something.)

Also, two fairly common justifications for this dickish attitude on the part of guys:
1. Well, elevator rape isn't very common!
Yeah, asshole. Neither is homosexual rape. Do you want to be the lucky one?

2. It's stupid to worry, because elevators have security cameras!
OK, rich boy. First, no, many of them don't - cameras are expensive. Second, many of the places that have cameras don't have them monitored in real time - that's also expensive. And third, even where the camera has been installed (and here's a dirty little secret of the security business for you), they often don't work. It's just that the people in charge don't want you to know that: they're hoping for a placebo effect on crime.
So, fuck you very much, you fat, privileged, self-important pricks. Women get raped every day. And sometimes it happens in elevators.

I hope that nobody you care about becomes a statistic.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

The American Taliban

Well, Rick Santorum has joined Michele Bachmann in signing the Family Leader pledge, also known as
A Declaration of Dependence upon MARRIAGE and FAMiLY
As far as I can tell, that small "i" in the word family is supposed to denote humility or some crap. It's also the only sign of humility on the whole damned Family Leader website (other than repeated uses of the words "humble" and "humility," of course). They're associated with both "Focus on the Family" and the "Family Research Council," two of the most strident right-wing Christian conservative groups out there.

The president of Family Leader is Bob Vander Plaats, and he's a special breed of crazy. He's tried to explain in the past that same-sex marriage will inevitably lead to the suspension of the Constitution, the removal of property rights for individuals, and the destruction of the Second Amendment. (Yes, I'm serious about that.) His former campaign manager describes him as "obsessed with the gay-marriage issue."

Since most of the items on the Family Leader's little list have been staple Republican issues for years, I'm not entirely clear why so many of the other front-runners in the 2012 GOP Goat Rodeo are backing slowly away from it. Except that maybe, when you put it all in one place like this, it becomes a little more distasteful to the average American.

Because, really, what this "vow" wants is to put the Christian Taliban in place in America.

There have been a number of objections to parts of this pledge. For example, the first bullet point listed during the preamble to this steaming pile of piety is fascinating.
• Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an AfricanAmerican baby born after the election of the USA's first African-American President.
As Cheryl Contee put it at Jack & Jill Politics:
Given that families were broken up regularly for sales during slavery and that rape by masters was pretty common, this could not be more offensive. I mean, putting aside the statistics on this, which are likely off-base, I could not be more angry. When will Republicans inquire with (sic) actual Black people whether or not we’re ok with invoking slavery to score cheap political points?
But let's take a look at the actual "Candidate Vow" that Bachmann and Santorum signed on to support, shall we?
Personal fidelity to my spouse.
So, we're not likely to see this supported by Newt Gingrich, are we? Or, for that matter, most Republicans. Somewhere between John McCain's divorces and John Boehner's rumored affairs, I don't see the GOP adopting this as a plank, really.
Respect for the marital bonds of others.
Unless you're gay-married. Because that's just icky.
Official fidelity to the U.S. Constitution, supporting the elevation of none but faithful constitutionalists as judges or justices.
See, now, there's a tricky issue, right there. Because a "faithful constitutionalist" wouldn't have allowed any Constitutional Amendments, would he? So that whole "Bill of Rights" thing? Yeah, that's out the window. We wouldn't have had to ban Prohibition, but, then again, we wouldn't have had Prohibition in the first place, so I guess there's that.

Oh, and blacks would only be three-fifths of a person. You know, it's the little issues like these that make me wonder about "constitutional originalists."
Vigorous opposition to any redefinition of the Institution of Marriage – faithful monogamy between one man and one woman – through statutory-, bureaucratic-, or court-imposed recognition of intimate unions which are bigamous, polygamous, polyandrous, same-sex, etc.
Yup, there's that gay marriage thing again.
Recognition of the overwhelming statistical evidence that married people enjoy better health, better sex, longer lives, greater financial stability, and that children raised by a mother and a father together experience better learning, less addiction, less legal trouble, and less extramarital pregnancy.
Wow. Coming from people who refuse to accept the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution and global warming, that's almost humorous. But what the hell does it really mean? "Recognition of the evidence?" Doesn't really say anything, except "yeah, I guess that's right..."
Support for prompt reform of uneconomic, anti-marriage aspects of welfare policy, tax policy, and marital/divorce law, and extended "second chance" or "cooling-off" periods for those seeking a "quickie divorce."
"uneconomic, anti-marriage aspects of welfare policy, tax policy"? Wow, that would be a fascinating list. Of course, since you've already accepted their bullshit studies in the previous paragraph, I guess the list of what you have to support has probably already been made.
Earnest, bona fide legal advocacy for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at the federal and state levels.
That's funny. You'd think that the part of DOMA that keeps states from having to accept gay marriages from other states would bother those "constitutional originalists," wouldn't it? You know, that whole Full Faith and Credit Clause (Article IV, Section 1, US Constitution), where it says that "acts, records and judicial proceedings (from each state) shall have the same full faith and credit in every court within the United States and its Territories and Possessions" as they do in the original state.
Steadfast embrace of a federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protects the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in all of the United States.
See? Once again, "constitutional originalists" who want to amend the fucking Constitution.

Logic. It's not just for breakfast anymore.
Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy – our next generation of American children – from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence.
You know, right at first glance, that looks like a really good part of this whole vow. It's a list of stuff everybody should be against, right?

Well, look closer. Once you get past the "human trafficking" and "sexual slavery," you'll notice that "abortion" is right there next to "infanticide," you'll note that they're not only trying to ban prostitution, but pornography. (We'll be dealing, of course, with their definition of pornography.) And can you please explain what they mean by "seduction into promiscuity" or "other types of coercion or stolen innocence?"

I mean, come on! Do you know how many things have been said to lead to promiscuity? Music of just about every kind, whether rock, rap or pop - go back far enough, even jazz has been accused of being "devil music." The media in general might be at fault. Even dancing at all is immoral. (You didn't think that the screenwriter for Footloose - Dean Pitchford, if you're curious - got the idea out of nowhere, did you?)

It isn't just sexy clothing that lead our children away from the Paths of Righteousness, it might even be something as simple as pants.

The list is endless. So how far do you think these people will want to press the issue?
Support for the enactment of safeguards for all married and unmarried U.S. Military and National Guard personnel, especially our combat troops, from inappropriate same-gender or opposite-gender sexual harassment, adultery or intrusively intimate commingling among attracteds (restrooms, showers, barracks, tents, etc.); plus prompt termination of military policymakers who would expose American wives and daughters to rape or sexual harassment, torture, enslavement or sexual leveraging by the enemy in forward combat roles.
The gays again. This time in our military. (Maybe Vander Plaats really is obsessed with homosexuality. Methinks he doth protest too much...)

And incidentally, the womenfolk aren't strong enough to be in the military! They need to be back home pumping out babies!
Rejection of Sharia Islam and all other anti-woman, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control.
Um... does that include the stuff in the Bible, too? Because I might be willing to support this if it did.
Recognition that robust childbearing and reproduction is beneficial to U.S. demographic, economic, strategic and actuarial health and security.
You know, that doesn't necessarily sound all that scary, because many of you might not be familiar with the Quiverfull movement. Yeah, they're out there.
Commitment to downsizing government and the enormous burden upon American families of the USA's $14.3 trillion public debt, its $77 trillion in unfunded liabilities, its $1.5 trillion federal deficit, and its $3.5 trillion federal budget.
Except for those parts of the government that do the stuff we want, and the new parts to support the requirements of this vow right here...
Fierce defense of the First Amendment's rights of Religious Liberty and Freedom of Speech, especially against the intolerance of any who would undermine law-abiding American citizens and institutions of faith and conscience for their adherence to, and defense of, faithful heterosexual monogamy.
Free speech, but only for our side. You have to admire that one.

OK, so maybe I do see why the other GOP candidates aren't signing on to this.

Update (7/11/11): Although the link I used shows the original, it seems that FAMiLY LEADER has removed the only-offensive-if-you-know-a-black-person bullet point about slavery. And seriously, you can't blame them - there can't be more than 12 black people in Iowa, can there? And you can't expect Bob Vander Plaats to know all of them, can you?

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Quick English lesson

There's a place in Chandler, Arizona, called the Heart Attack Grill.
On the front door of the 100-seat, retro-themed establishment, a "warning" from the Surgeon General urges: "Go away. If you come in this place, it's going to kill you." Patrons (referred to as "patients") must don hospital gowns and medical bracelets. "Prescriptions" (not orders) are written by women dressed in tight, short nurse uniforms. At the grill, owner Jon Basso flips burgers bedecked in doctor's scrubs as a stethoscope hangs from his neck and a cigarette dangles from his mouth.

The menu: "Flatliner" fries, full-sugar colas, unfiltered Lucky Strike cigarettes, and four sizes of meat towers ranging from the "single" to the "quadruple bypass burger." If you finish the biggest meal, a nurse will push you to your car in a wheelchair.

Want more? There’s always more at the Heart Attack Grill.

People who weigh more than 350 pounds eat for free. The restaurant's spokesmodel is a 600-pound former college football player. The diner's website shows an enlarged, pulsing heart while bragging that the food is "worth dying for." word the menu doesn’t contain is the single most important ingredient in Basso’s diet plan: satire.
Remember that. It makes fun of the modern obsession with health. It's satire.

Now, here's a story I missed a couple of months ago.
Blair River, the 575-pound spokesman for the Heart Attack Grill, an Arizona restaurant that serves shamelessly high-calorie burgers and fries, died Tuesday at the age of 29, following a bout of the flu... River came down with the flu last week, and after four days in the hospital, he succumbed to pneumonia...

"Obesity increases your risk for just about every condition, and it can make nearly every acute health problem worse," says Keith Ayoob, director of the nutrition clinic at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
And that's the difference between "satire" and "irony."

Sunday, July 03, 2011

A bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean.

OK, I can beat the bacon story. And I don't even need to fisk it. The most I've laughed this week was when I tried to read it out loud. And the more research I did to see if it was true, the worse it got.

I'm not even going to try to rephrase this: I'm not sure I can write about it without commenting. I'm just going to assemble the story from three different sources, because nobody seems to have all the good details.
A security guard came up with a bizarre remedy to remove a wart - he shot off his finger with a shotgun.

Sean Murphy, 38, from Doncaster, had seen his GP repeatedly about the problem and also tried a variety of traditional ointments and creams. But when the persistent wart refused to disappear, he opted for the firepower of a 12-bore Beretta he claimed he had found under a hedge a few months earlier.

South Yorkshire Police are still trying to discover how the Beretta found its way to the hedge where Murphy found it. They know it was stolen in a burglary two years ago, but have no further record of its passage through the criminal underworld.

Murphy, who hails from Doncaster in northern England, had lost his job as a security guard shortly before the incident in March. The wart, which was about the size of a dime, plagued him for at least five years. "It was hurting a lot and causing my finger to bend," Murphy said. "I'd been to the doctors and tried all sorts of things, but it wouldn't go."

He said he drank several pints of beer to build up his courage before carrying out the operation outside the caravan where he was living at the time. He stretched out his left hand, pointing the end of the barrel at an angle to the offending wart, and used his other hand to hold the stock steady and pull the trigger.

Murphy denies that the beer affected his aim. He insists the fault lay with the weapon’s recoil."I didn't expect to lose my finger as well when I shot it, but the gun recoiled and that was it," he said. "The wart was gone and so was most of my finger. There was nothing left of it, so no chance of re-attaching it."

His lawyer, Richard Haigh, said Murphy "has been a victim of his own stupidity when domestic pressures got to him." Murphy was also ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid community work and pay costs of £100.

After leaving Doncaster Magistrates' Court with a suspended 16-week prison sentence, Murphy said, "I'm happy with that. I know I could have gone to jail for up to 15 years for a firearms offence. My solicitor did a very good job. The best thing is that the wart has gone. It was giving me lot of trouble."

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Discipline is Important! (or: Kids! What'cha gonna do?)

I think that my favorite news story of the week (as happens once in a long while) has no politics involved.

I mean, sure, you could point out that Grandma is the perfect Republican, and was just trying to prevent the socialist redistribution of bacon, but you'd be stretching the point somewhat. And, besides, BACON!!!

Granny Busted For Bacon Beef With Grandson, 9
Cops: Suspect, 64, thought boy bogarted the meat
I believe "bogarting the meat" was just legalized in New York and New Hampshire, along with gay marriage.
JUNE 30--Angered that her grandson ate too much bacon at breakfast, a 63-year-old woman chased the boy out of her Pennsylvania home and pinned him down on the front lawn, where she blasted him in the face with a garden hose, police allege.
Yes, you read that correctly. Let me emphasize a few points here.

Angered that her grandson ate too much bacon at breakfast - perhaps she was just looking after the child's welfare? We do have a nation of obese children, after all... no, never mind. I'm pretty sure "altruism" isn't a factor in this story.

a 63-year-old woman - people keep using the phrase "old enough to know better" as if it made any damned sense at all.
Marilee Ann Kolynych was busted Tuesday evening on endangering the welfare of children, simple assault, harassment, and disorderly conduct charges. Her grandson, 9, was not injured during the attack.
See? Nobody got hurt. Just a little family fun.

In a Clifton Heights Police Department report, Officer James Press noted that the child "stated that he had been getting tortured by his grandmother…all day for an incident that took place during breakfast."
You know, sometimes kids act up, and you just have to take a stand.
According to Press, the matter involved the child consuming more bacon than anyone else, which angered Kolynych.
Somehow, we seem to have gotten back to the "proper nutrition" argument.
A witness told Press that Kolynych chased her grandson around the yard before throwing him to the ground and "sitting on top of him beating him on his legs and spraying water at very close range into (the boy's) face."
At the same time? Grandma's got skills! Plus, I could swear that I already mentioned that discipline is important, didn't I?
The child told cops that "the nozzle setting was on full blast."
Well, the little bastard probably never brushes his teeth.

"Your honor, I continue to dispute the 'child abuse' portion of the charges! After all, the prosecuting attorney has already admitted to having a Waterpik® at home, and forcing his children to use it!"
The child eventually broke free and "ran across the street, using a neighbor’s phone to call his mother, who was in the basement while the incident was taking place out front."
Now, please note that the news report does not say "hiding in the basement." That's an unreasonable and unfair interpretation, and you should be ashamed of yourself for even thinking it.
Even after the boy’s mother arrived outside, a witness reported, Kolynych continued to chase after the child.
Well, if Mom's not going to take a stand, somebody has to.

By the way.

Not involved.