Monday, November 30, 2009

Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?

A close friend of mine sent me an interesting article today (thank you Young Tim… even though you ain’t that young anymore…). Yes, it’s an op-ed piece. But it’s written by a gentleman named Paul Krugman. You can read up on Paul here but among other things he is a Nobel Prize winner in economics. He also has a PhD from MIT. His academic achievements and proof of his overall intelligence are well documented in the brief bio referenced above. In short, he is a brilliant man and I am very proud to say that the article sent by Young Tim validates what I have stated here before. Of course, Dr. Krugman is more articulate and less emotional in his discourse but his message is the same. The Republican Party has degenerated into an immature pack of whining juveniles who will stop at nothing to get their toys back.

Here is a link to the piece in its entirety. What Dr. Krugman basically states is that the GOP will utilize lies and deception to regain power. He tells how this is bad for America because they will oppose sound policy just because it comes from the left and a win from the left is a loss to the right (even if it’s a win for America). The tragedy is that it used to be what he refers to as “one of our great political parties”. But its downfall is a direct result of its domination by “radicals”. Where have we heard this before? Why, here of course! I have ranted and raved that the party is imploding from within. I recently stated that although I knew several delusional radical right wingers, I couldn’t think of one that I personally knew on the left side of the fulcrum. I’ve stated point blank that the health care debate is no longer about what’s good for us, but about the right wing desperately fighting Obama in an attempt to discredit HIM, not support what’s good for US. But Dr. Krugman is far more eloquent than I could ever be so read what he says about this and then come back here and we’ll finish up!

OK. Are you back? Good. Then I can continue….

First, let’s talk about immaturity. Frankly, I love it. My favorite saying is that I can do nothing about growing old but I can choose to remain immature forever. I’ve been saying that for a long time but I recently learned that it was attributable to someone of note but I can’t recall who (Oscar Wilde maybe). I don’t want to lay claim to the quote. But I use it regularly. Immaturity keeps me young. And the guys I hang out with tend to be on the immature side. We tease each other about the most juvenile things. “You’re ugly”. “You’re weak”. “You’re stupid”. “Nice car. My grandma had one”. “You have a tiny penis”. It goes on and on, sometimes to the point where an outsider would think we are a bunch of fifth graders. So how can I use immaturity as a club against conservatism you ask? Well let me tell you!

The people I hang with are RESPONSIBLE. If they are in a business meeting with their boss, and the boss wants them to do something that they recognize is good for the company but might not be good for their personal ideology they don’t tell the boss that implementation of that plan will result in the employees developing explosive diarrhea that they will rub all over the bosses office. If one of us faces a personal problem with our children my friends will offer what they consider to be sound advice, not jump up and down chanting “my kids are smarter than yoooour kids” while gloating over their superior child rearing abilities. If one of our dogs dies we aren’t “consoled” with wise cracks like “I didn’t like that leg humpin’ mongrel anyway”. Yes, we are immature. But we are not immature when immaturity would be inappropriate. This is what differentiates us from the GOP.

What else does this article validate? Well, it goes a long way towards bolstering my observation that the most intelligent people I know tend to be Democrats. Dr. Krugman didn’t earn a PhD from MIT by telling his professors that his penis was bigger than their penes (yes, that’s the plural… look it up). Shit, you don’t get into MIT unless you’re smarter than the average Joe. Earning your PhD there must be brutal! Now just to go on record, I don’t know for sure that Dr. Krugman is in fact a democrat. For all I know he might be a conservative who is concerned about how his party has de-evolved. But having read his article I think it’s a safe bet that he’s left of center don’t you?

Now please recognize that I do not, nor have I ever stated that all conservatives are stupid. It’s not true. I will reiterate that I place conservatives into three categories. Those that truly believe that the party’s tenets are better for America and believe it based on fact. I feel they are wrong. I feel they are disillusioned. Possibly misled. But they aren’t stupid. However, it has been my experience that they are “business smart”. They know how to make a buck. They know how to run a business. They do not necessarily know the arts, science, philosophy, etc. But they aren’t stupid.

Then there are the greedy sons of bitches who just want to maximize their own wealth and well being. They don’t give a shit about anyone else, other than those that can contribute to that wealth and well being (other greedy sons of bitches). They don’t really give a shit if other Americans are starving, homeless, or dropping dead for lack of health care. The ends justify the means so as long as the ends includes a continuation of their preferred life style the rest of us can go fuck ourselves.

What’s left is the majority of Republicans. They are the morons. I’ve addressed them before but basically, they have consumed the Kool-Aid and continue to vote against their own best interest. This is where Republicans have historically outflanked Democrats. They have a superior propaganda machine and they are far more willing to lie as long as it gets them what they want. “Death Panels” is the penultimate example. The Republicans are willing to claim their proposed existence and the morons of the party believe it. ‘Nuff said.

This is getting long so let me tell you what about Dr. Krugman most excites me (and to my friends, let me jump ahead of you by stating up front that it isn’t the size of his testicles). What most excites me is that Dr. Krugman earned his PhD and Nobel Prize in economics. It sends a message that not all of those business savvy individuals are on the right side of the political spectrum. And through that message we can all garner hope that the GOP as we know it will continue to destroy itself without any help from the rest of us and that America will still survive because we won’t forfeit our economic wisdom. There will still be people available with the knowledge to guide us in that arena who are also willing to care for ALL of our citizens, not just the rich and powerful. In closing, I know for a fact that Rush, Coulter, Beck, and Hannity do NOT hold a PhD from MIT. But I suspect they hold each others' itty bitty wieners (especially Coulter’s).


Common Sense

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Beware The Dreaded Scales of Doom….And the Semi Naked Baristas Too

Some things just amaze me. I was watching the 11:00 news tonight and they were sensationalizing two problems that appear to have absolutely no effect on anyone. It both amused and annoyed the hell out of me. They had devoted two segments of time to nothing. I mean nothing. It fits right in with my post on FOX yesterday. But it wasn’t FOX. It was KOMO News 4. What did they cover you ask? Well let me tell you…

Some consumer advocate reporter guy went to Sea-Tac airport to expose the inaccuracies of the scales used to weigh your baggage. They are apparently regulated by the state Board Of Weights And Measures. The board however says that they are supposed to be notified if any scales show inaccuracies or don’t reset to zero. Plus, any malfunctioning scales should immediately be taken out of service. So of course, I’m expecting to see the uncovering of a huge rip off. As you all know, airlines are charging for checked baggage now. There is a 50 pound limit on each bag and if you go over you pay extra. The fee ranged from 39 bucks (either Northwest or Southwest, I don’t recall) to a whopping 125 bucks charged by those “friendly” skies of United.

So, Consumer Advocate Guy goes to “Chief Scale Guy” at the Board of Weights and Measures. They rig a bag with dumbbells and socks (yeah, dumbbells and socks… and I think a teddy bear… I didn’t get it either) so it weighs 50 pounds. Then Consumer Advocate Guy goes to the airport and starts checking on scales. To everyone’s horror there are a big bunch of scales that don’t reset to zero. These scales are supposed to be reported and taken out of service remember. But shame on the airlines. They haven’t followed procedure and have left those thieving monstrosities in operation. In almost every case, the number they reset to was the difference in the registered weight. In other words, if the scale reset to 1.5 pounds, the bag weighed in at 51.5 pounds. Reset to 2 pounds and the bag weighed in at 52 pounds. In some cases, the scales reset to a negative. But there too, if it reset to -1 pound, the bag weighed in at 49 pounds. You get the picture. It’s like a set up! A huge conspiracy to rip us off even more than the charge of the checked bag fee.

Except it didn’t happen. In fact, Consumer Advocate Guy even stated that there were NO instances where the airline was going to charge. He even tried to goad someone into charging him. The scale reset to 2.5, the bag weighed in at 52.5, and he point blank stated “Uh oh… you’re going to charge me aren’t you”. The ticket agent said “Nah, 52.5 is OK”. It was like watching a poorly scripted comedy skit. WTF is KOMO thinking? Are they ripping a page from the FOX News playbook and trying to inflame the masses with this huge problem of inaccurate measures at the airport? This is news? “Hey everybody! The airlines are putting themselves into a position where they could rip you off…. If they wanted to… but apparently they don’t want to… so they’re not ripping you off”! Is this pathetic or what?

So, on to the next item. There was a coffee stand that operated not far from my son’s high school. My daughter is in middle school now but when she was in elementary, it was right on the way when I dropped her off. It was an independent drive through that sat in a gas station lot. I like independents. They represent the American way. The little guy trying to take down Starbucks a few notches. Plus, I’m boycotting Starbucks since their head honcho Howard Schultz sold our Sonics to a scumbag from Oklahoma City and to no ones amazement they moved the team to Oklahoma City (they’re the Thunder now). Well, it either went under or they sold it because suddenly it became a framework of 2x4’s. But it was there for quite awhile. My wife and I bought quite a few lattes there when we took the kids to school. It operated for years without any apparent problems and no one batted an eye.

Well, it’s back. But it’s changed hands. Ironically, I actually saw it today because I had to attend a meeting at my son’s school and drove right by. It’s now “Knotty Bodies Espresso”. The baristas (one who makes and serves coffee drinks for you non Seattle people… I think we drink more coffee here that the entire population of Columbia) are attractive young women in bikini tops and thongs. Well, the locals are up in arms! The news covered the story and showed the throngs at City Hall threatening to boycott the place and the gas station it sits in. And you guessed it… there are suddenly “permitting problems” that might hamper its operation. They are saying it isn’t even legal to drive through and get coffee! You need to walk through. Funny how the last place didn’t have any permitting problems isn’t it? It’s the same shack with a different exterior in the same location. I guess the last one got lucky and operated illegally for 5 or more years.

But here’s the fun part. When I drove by, there was a guy with a camera who I assumed was taking promo shots for the grand opening or something. Wrong. Some genius had the idea that it would discourage people to frequent the place if there was a threat that their picture might suddenly pop up on the Internet buying coffee from some babe in a bikini. Is this person living in an alternative universe? Shit, I’ve been really laying off the coffee lately but I plan on cruising through the place tomorrow on the off chance that I may become an Internet sensation. I’ll even wave at the camera! I might even wave more than one finger!

So what we have here is a classic example of the media fueling the moronic masses into a frenzy over what isn’t really news at all. The last time I checked public nudity laws didn’t cover bikinis. They covered nudity. Here’s a suggestion. If you don’t want to buy your coffee from a babe in a bikini…. STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM THE PLACE! Oh yeah, they are trying to bolster their case because the gas station, and therefore the bikini babes, sits near a park. Of course the only window to the joint is facing away from the direction of the park. And it’s a little window (even though some wimpy Mama’s boy who likely was wearing a pocket protector referred to it as a “fish bowl”… trust me, it’s not). So of course anyone under the age of 18 who happens to catch a glimpse of these bikini babes is destined to a life of sexual perversion. Why? Because they aren’t at the beach! It’s common knowledge that seeing a bikini babe at the beach is OK but that if you remove the bikini babe from the beach she becomes a Medusa that drives our youth into a life of crime and debauchery. You didn’t know that? Just ask Rush Limbaugh. He’ll explain it to you if he isn’t too wasted on Oxy. This kind of stuff drives me nuts!

Look for me on the Internet. I’ll be holding a quad grande non-fat latte and sporting a “shit eatin’ grin”. Oh, I might have a finger up too.


Common Sense

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Beck and FOX and My Friend Ted…

It’s been awhile since I posted but I read two articles yesterday that got me going again. One was on the recent skewerings of Glenn Beck and condemns Jon Stewart, Andy Cobb, and The Onion for making light of his physical problems of late. The other was on FOX news and its ridiculous claim of Fair and Balanced. And then there’s my “friend” who we will call “Ted” to protect his anonymity. This may be too much to go after in one post. But I’m going to try. Let’s start with Beck.

Glenn Beck had some botched hemorrhoid surgery recently and then had to undergo an appendectomy. Jon Stewart did a fairly funny (not hysterical… at least not to me… I’m sure it’s on YouTube) bit on Beck’s internal organs. Andy Cobb (who I guess has become a little bit of a YouTube sensation) did a little video which quotes an erotic fantasy from one of Becks books… that involves him and his sister. And The Onion (always a personal favorite) did a video in which a newscast covers the tragic story titled "Victim in Fatal Car Accident Tragically Not Glenn Beck."

Now, the article I read was by some guy named Gary Sussman. I’m really not sure who he is (can anyone enlighten me?). He’s written a lot of articles on TV shows. Stuff like “so and so will be returning to The Edge Of Wetness (see Johnny Carson)” or what programs are improving vs. getting weaker as they age. I’m not sure how this qualifies him but WTF… I’m hardly qualified and I write this shit so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. But Gary, come on. Glenn Beck has placed himself squarely in the sights of liberals, and probably centrists, with his mindless babble. When you do the shit that Glenn Beck does you become a target. If Gary thinks mocking Glenn Beck’s illness is out of line might I suggest he tackle more relevant topics like why George Bush sent thousands of US soldiers to their deaths in Iraq? I’m guessing any one of those brave men or women would trade their medical problems for Beck’s botched hemorrhoid surgery any day. Did you know Glenn Beck has stated he would like to see Michael Moore dead.

Oh, and before I forget… I to need to be fair and balanced. When Beck wrote that piece on sex with his sister, it was not written because he’s a pervert who wants to have sex with his sister. It was apparently written as a means of comparing sex with your sibling to gay marriage. See? He’s not a pervert. He’s an asshole. I say we needle him incessantly about his botched hemorrhoid surgery. How did he get those hemorrhoids in the first place? From his wife?

Now is the Onion piece out of line? I’m not a big fan of anything that makes fun of death or in any way implies someone would be better off dead. There are of course obvious exceptions. Osama Bin Laden immediately comes to mind. Have at it with that bastard. But as a general rule implying someone should be dead is kind of a low blow. But I think Beck opened up that can of worms when he opined about Michael Moore don’t you? The Becks, Limbaughs, Coulters, etc. of this world are fair game as far as I’m concerned. They have brought it on themselves.

With regard to the FOX News piece, the author (an obvious liberal) states a case for why FOX is un-American. And it’s a good case. He claims they make a mockery of the news media by slanting everything to the right. He goes on to say that they set a bad example by demonstrating that the creation of news out of opinion sells. And he’s right. Just listen to any self respecting conservative sing the praises of that horrid network. Do you want to find out if a network is slanted one way or the other? Check the demographics of its viewers. How is it possible that SO many conservatives think FOX is the definitive news source in America while so many liberals do not? Same thing for MSNBC. How can so many liberals think that’s the definitive news source when so many conservatives do not? But here’s the difference. If you ask a liberal what his favorite news station is, you won’t ALWAYS get MSNBC as your answer. But if you ask a conservative... go try it.

Which brings me to Ted (again, not his real name). Ted was a friend of mine from college. He’s a really bright guy. We reconnected via Facebook and I was genuinely glad to hear from him. But as we conversed over time he showed himself to be a VERY radical right wing nut. HIS favorite network was FOX. I asked him once what he thought about Limbaugh and he said something like “I thank God every day for that man”. He referred to our President as “Obiwan” (which I don’t really take issue with as such… I refer to GW as THE MORON… of course GW IS a MORON). Well, we got into it a little and he fucking de-friended me! One day, I wondered why I wasn’t seeing his daily moronic post about some right wing bullshit and when I checked up on him, he wasn’t my friend anymore!

So, in light of that, I am now free to express my utter amazement at how conservative principals can turn a bright successful middle aged man into a fucking dolt! He believed Obama was a socialist. He ranted and raved and spit his filth about the “libtards” and the “sheeple”. He told me what a great guy Karl Rove was. Now to be fair, I wouldn’t be all that crazy about an ultra liberal who was way out there. But where are they? I know a fair amount of ultra conservatives but I honestly can’t think of any truly ultra liberals that I know personally. At least none that I would lable a "conservotard". I’m beginning to think that these right wing-nuts are a bunch of cry babies who are terrified of what amounts to nothing! I think liberal America is FAR more willing to compromise and thereby far more realistic to the reality that TOTAL acceptance of one and only one viewpoint is not good for the country.

Way back when I was a frat boy (yeah I know… sue me). I belonged to a pretty hip frat that liked to party like there was no tomorrow. But we had our share of book worms and wannabe doctors and lawyers etc. When I first pledged I asked one of the older brothers how these guys got in (I was having a hard time understanding why you would want the guy next door bitching at you to turn down the music while you were engaged in the merriment of youth). He told me the frat needed balance. Every brother had his reason for being there and too many partiers or too many ultra serious students wouldn’t be good for the long term health of the fraternity. Ha! Look at that. A twenty year old kid had more wisdom than the collective conscience of the entire far right. Go figure.


Common Sense