Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Custer's Last Stand... But Unfortunately, Not FOX's.

OK. I’ve been trying to tone it down a little bit. After all, I have friends that are conservative and they likely don’t appreciate it when I go off on the right. Now, in my defense, remember it’s the radical right I really take issue with. Well, I also take issue with the GOP’s mastery of manipulating those on the right that are, well, shall we say, hmmmm…. I’m trying to find the right term here… can I put this….. I want to be delicate…. FUCKING MORONS!!!

Sorry, I’m really pissed off. I just read an article about FOX “News” (and it’s not really news… it’s total, unadulterated bull shit that thrives based on a market of idiots that believe the lying hateful crap that emanates from that piece of shit station… is that delicate enough?). You may be aware that Mr. Obama has recently published a children’s book. It’s entitled “Of Thee I Sing, A Letter To My Daughters”. He speaks of 13 Americans “whose traits he sees in his own children”. It’s a picture book and it begins with the sentence “Have I told you lately how wonderful you are?” The proceeds from this book will go to the families of fallen and disabled veterans.

Now, I apparently share two traits with the POTUS (I likely share more but for now we’ll just consider two). I have two children who I love completely. To me, they too are wonderful. I also think we don’t take good enough care of our disabled vets and the families of those we have lost in action. In many cases these families not only lose a loving father, brother, sister, son, daughter, etc., but the primary bread winner of the family affected. The impact could last years. So as I see it, this children’s book (and it is, very much, just a children’s book, not political satire, or a political statement of any kind.) is a good thing. It’s a very nice, considerate, loving thing. It’s a lovely message and the proceeds will be given to a very worthy cause. Who could take issue with it? Why those lying, hateful, shit suckers over at FOX “News” that’s who.

FOX ran a headline that says “Obama Praises Indian Chief Who Killed U.S. General”. FOX “News” is up in arms because one of the 13 Americans Mr. Obama cites in his children’s book is Sitting Bull, the now infamous Lakota holy man who FOX “News” would have you believe led his crazed savages in their blood thirsty quest to kill “General” Custer. Are you with me so far? Good.

Now I’m going to take a chance here. Maybe I should keep my opinion to myself but I just can’t stand it anymore. So here goes. If you buy into the shit storm that is FOX News, then you too are unfortunately a FUCKING MORON. There, I said it. I have completely reached my breaking point. I hope I don’t lose any friends over it. What I do hope is that this blog will open some people’s eyes. Listen, if you want to be a conservative, then be a conservative. Do your research. Get your facts straight. Then draw your conclusions. If you are conservative based on REALITY then more power to you. But, if you are getting your facts from FOX, then I’m afraid you are a FUCKING MORON. They rarely disseminate facts. What they toss out to the masses is vitriolic hyperbole, misleading propaganda, and outright lies. This story on Obama’s children’s book is a perfect example. Where should I begin?

I love the Sioux. I’ve read extensively on them and they were a proud honest people. They treated with the U.S. in good faith and got screwed EVERY time. They loved their families. Now we can sit here and argue manifest destiny, progress, the greater good, etc. That’s not my point (although I’d be glad to discuss that too, but for now, let’s stick to FOX “News” and why they suck.

First of all, Custer was not a General. He was a Lieutenant Colonel. During the Civil War he had been given a field commission to the rank of General but after the war he was made a Captain. At some point he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. So, FOX got that wrong. Right off the bat they’re full of shit.

Next, Sitting Bull was not a “chief” when the battle occurred. He was a respected holy man but not a chief. He did lead a band into Canada in an attempt to hold on to the old way of life but it didn’t work out. He wound up surrendering and living out the rest of his days on a reservation. Well, he got to tour with Buffalo Bill too. Anyway, by this point he was considered a “chief” but not at the time of the Custer Battle. In fact, he considered himself to be chief of all the Lakota and was recognized as such by the U.S. Government. He was not recognized by all the Sioux as such though. But that’s another story. Oh, and he was murdered. It was done by one of his own people, a tribal policeman, but the general consensus is that the U.S. sanctioned it. They had come to arrest him. Couldn’t continue to have any native people around who were looked up to and respected. Get rid of them and any “threat” of an “uprising” was all but eliminated. Crazy Horse was murdered too. But I’m drifting from the point.

So, at the time of the Little Bighorn, Sitting bull was not a chief. There’s actually an interesting story of him having a vision of many soldiers falling into the camp prior to the Custer Fuck (get it… cluster… Custer… a clever play on words….). During the battle he stayed in his teepee praying and doing what he could, in an esoteric kind of way, from there. There were multiple leaders on the field of battle, the most prominent of which was likely Crazy Horse. Others included Roman Nose (that’s not a joke… I’ve tried to find out how he got that name in the past with no success. Obviously had to be connected to something “whitey” did as I seriously doubt any Native Americans had knowledge of the Romans!), American Horse, Gall, Rain In The Face, Kicking Bear, "everyone who was anyone" wanted in on the action (it’s been awhile since I looked at this stuff). It is indisputable however that Sitting Bull did NOT take part in the battle or in any way plan or direct it.

Next up is the reality that Custer was an asshole. He was not liked by his troops. He graduated dead last in his class from West Point. He had one of, if not THE highest casualty rates among his troops during the Civil War. He was an egomaniac. And he constantly disregarded advice and even orders. At one point in his career (post Civil War) he was even suspended without pay for almost a year. He absolutely loved the concept of leading his troops in a charge to glorious victory. But, Custer was under orders to NOT engage the enemy at Little Big Horn. Custer was on a scouting mission. He was advised by his Crow scouts to not engage the enemy. They recognized immediately that there were far too many of them. The Sioux and Cheyenne that were camped there knew of Custer’s close proximity but weren’t concerned. If I remember correctly he had less than 400 troops. No one knows for sure how many able bodied warriors were there but estimates range into the thousands based on the size of the camp. Some think it was the largest summer gathering ever. The natives never imagined Custer would be stupid enough to fuck with them.

So, the Sioux and Cheyenne were not the aggressors. Custer attacked them. They were minding their own business. And not only was he stupid enough to attack, but he split his command. He sent …hmmm…. Reno I think was the guys name, probably a Captain, to attack the southern end of the encampment. He then took the remaining men and swung around to attack from the north. It’s theorized he knew how badly he had fucked up when he realized how far away the northern end was! He sent a command to attack in the middle too but they were quickly turned back and rejoined Custer. I think he also left some of his troops behind (Benteen?) or perhaps they were slower coming up because of wagons and equipment. Lucky them… they were late!

Reno ( I checked… it was Reno) knew right away he didn’t stand a chance and retreated to some trees where he held off further advances at least in part because by the time the warriors got back to him they realized there would likely be hell to pay so they packed up and got out of there. Benteen also had joined up with Reno. Taking them out wasn’t worth it. They were no longer a threat.

So, the death of Custer and the other cavalry soldiers at Little Big Horn were a direct result of the actions of Custer, not Sitting Bull. Sitting Bull did not kill Custer. No one knows for sure who did kill Custer. The natives didn’t even know it was Custer until it was over. They always identified him by his hair (I think they called him Yellow Hair) and he had gotten it cut. He never got to the northern end of the encampment. It wouldn’t have mattered. He directed his men to some high ground where they likely freaked out completely when hit with the full realization of how many Sioux and Cheyenne they had attacked. Hell, maybe one of THEM killed Custer.

So, much like the assholes of the 1800’s who fanned the flames of rage by putting it on the Indians, FOX is misleading and lying so they can turn Obama’s book into a club and beat him on the head with it. By the way, if you haven’t visited the battlefield I highly recommend it. They do an excellent job of describing the battle and you can walk trails to the various points where certain actions were carried out. You can not tread on the hill where Custer bought the farm. He’s not buried there but some are I believe. It's fenced. There are markers everywhere that indicate where soldiers fell. Now, markers have started to pop up that show where Sioux and Cheyenne warriors fell. It was a battle, not a massacre. And Custer started it. FOX, because they are the biggest assholes on TV are again distorting reality to discredit what should be respected as an honest attempt for a father to send a loving message to not only his daughters, but children everywhere. Fuck you FOX. You’re douche bags.

I’ve proofed this a couple of times and believe it or not, toned in down a bit! It dawned on me that not everyone who believes the crap that comes out of FOX is a fucking moron. I think there are those that believe it because it is what they want to hear. They are so opinionated or full of hate for the left that they desperately want what they hear on FOX to be true. I suppose they pretend that it is. So I guess there are two classifications of "believers". Fucking morons and closed minded assholes. I’m not sure which is worse.


Common Sense

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fred Rogers WILL Hurt You...

Hello again. I don’t know exactly what to talk about today but I’m feeling pressure to write so let’s see what happens.

I guess the hot topic would be the election. Wow, what a serious ass kicking. And it’s so incredibly sad because things were starting to get a little better. But we’ve been down this road before and I’m somewhat deflated on the subject so let’s just say that the Republicans own the house and will unless (until?) they show us they don’t know what to do with it. Then we can only hope the tide rolls the other way. Later on I’ll cite yet another reason why. But first….

I received an email recently about a Lee Marvin appearance on The Tonight Show back when Carson was king. In the email, it says that Johnny questioned Lee on his heroism and subsequent wounding during the invasion of Iwo Jima. Lee did his humble, mumbly, bumbly, thing (those of you old enough to remember him know what I’m talking about) and briefly commented on getting wounded in the posterior (ass for those of us less genteel). He then went on to highly praise someone he truly deemed to be a hero. He spoke of this guy facing fire and encouraging his troops and on, and on, and on. Then he says this hero is none other than Bob Keeshan. You know Bob. Yes you do. You know him as Captain Kangaroo.

So, it’s a lovely email that tells a lovely story of two war heroes. I’m sure you can find it if you Google mumbly, bumbly. OK, maybe that won’t work but you will likely get a hit if you Google Marvin and Keeshan. You will also get hits on Snopes and Snopes like sites that explain the story is false. Not completely mind you… but mostly. Lee Marvin did serve in the Pacific and was in fact wounded in the derriere (again, that’s ass for you and me). He did not take part in the invasion of Iwo though. He landed on Saipan.

The other fallacy is that he never met or observed Captain Kangaroo (who I’m guessing was Private Kangaroo at the time) in combat. In fact, the good captain enlisted too late to see action. Shortly after he enlisted we dropped the bomb… then did it again for good measure…. And the war was over.

Now, I don’t have a problem with the story per se. I mean no one is claiming that Lee and the Captain were raging child molesters. Nobody accused them of heinous crimes against humanity. Nobody said they were traitors or served less than honorably. It’s really all quite positive. BUT, why the fuck do people make this stuff up? Is there somebody out there who just has a huge “man crush” on one or both of these guys and felt the need to enlarge their legacies? Were they not quite good enough in someone’s eyes and therefore in need of some polishing? Are there people out there that wake up and say “Hmmmmm… I think I’ll make up a story about Lee Marvin and that Kangaroo fellow today”.

Hang on, it gets better. After the Lee/Private Kangaroo story, the “author” (unpublished I’m guessing) goes on to tell us a little bit about Mr. Rogers. Yes that Mr. Rogers. Apparently Gentle Fred was actually a blood thirsty former Nave Seal who served in Viet Nam and had 25 confirmed kills to his name! That’s right… don’t fuck around in “the neighborhood” or you’ll wind up bleeding out in a dumpster. The long sleeved shirts and cardigans were used to cover the many tattoos the psycho had amassed over the years. I can see it now. The director yells “that’s a wrap” and Fred immediately tears off his shirt and sweater, flexes his mighty pectorals and biceps, and sticks a Ka-Bar into a squealing live pig while screaming “I’m killing you ya fucking pig! I’m killing you slow, right here on the stage in front of all these freaked out kids! And what the fuck are you kids staring at? You wanna be next? Yeah baby! When I’m done here I think I’ll go kill something else!” Thanks Fred but I think I’ll pass on the “Won’t you be my neighbor” invite.

What? Huh? That’s not true either? No tattoos? No military service? No KILLS? Well why the hell would somebody make that shit up! What gives with these assholes? What do they expect to gain? Are they just completely fucking nuts? I think that’s likely it. They’re nuts. And speaking of nuts….

Have you heard about Illinois Representative John Shimkus? He’s a Republican who is seeking the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (remember, I promised “more on that later" concerning why we want the Democrats to take back the House). According to Mr. Shimkus we have nothing to fear from global warming or climate change of any kind. Why? Because it says in the Bible that God promised Noah that he would never again destroy the world. He just wanted this one shot at a flood of epic proportions and then that would be it. What else has Shimkus said? Well, he’s indicated that seeing people in his home state ice fishing is PROOF that global warming is a hoax. He’s also said that we exhale CO2 and wants to know if that should be made illegal (OK, he’s kidding… but the joke conveys his brilliant analysis on the effects of CO2).

Listen, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and likely again, and again, and again). I have absolutely NO problem with an individual’s religious beliefs. What I have a problem with is when those beliefs start to close in on my personal space! I do not want this guy making decisions that affect me. I mean let’s look closely at what this dim wit is saying. Basically what he is saying is that we can all go ahead and launch our nukes… all of them…. How many thousands are out there now? I don’t even know but I bet it’s a shit load. So let’s all launch because God promised Noah it would be cool. Either they won’t detonate, or the cumulative affect will be negligible.

I think it’s possible for a biblical scholar to pretty much argue ANY position by quoting the bible. For example, Shimkus says God won’t allow the destruction of the world because he promised Noah. But wait a minute! Aren’t there other passages in the Bible that say naughty behavior will make God angry enough to take us out? Doesn’t he threaten to smite us? Doesn’t smite mean kick ass? And if Shimkus argues God will protect us, can’t it also be argued that God helps those that help themselves. How about the nutcases that quote scripture in defense of their hatred of gays and lesbians? Doesn’t it say in the Bible that God loves everyone? I don’t think it says God loves everyone, except the people God doesn’t love. If it does, could someone point me in that direction?

I think a lot of people like to quote that bracelet that says WWJD? Just in case one of you have been in a cave for the last 40 years it stands for What would Jesus do. Anyway, they like to quote it while walking around doing stuff that Jesus wouldn’t do! But this does illustrate just how important the separation of Church and State really is. If we’re not careful we might wind up with too much representation like John Shimkus and boy oh boy will we ever be fucked then!

Common Sense

Monday, November 1, 2010

God's Will? Uh, I Don't Think So.....

OK, time to tear apart Christine O’Donnell and by association, those that support her. First of all, it’s the Sarah Palin syndrome all over again. What ever happened to intellect? How can these people keep getting nominated and elected? I have a conservative friend who says it’s because these people are not your typical politicians and America yearns for a “breath of fresh air”. OK, that’s fine. But is Christine O’Donnell the best they can come up with? Do people really think Sarah Palin is qualified to run the country? How the fuck does Michelle Bachman get elected? Another conservative friend of mine who is obviously pretty bright said he thinks his 9 year old niece is a breath of fresh air but he also recognizes she’s not qualified to run the government (as I’ve said, there are a lot of intelligent conservatives out there… unfortunately they also have a larger share of the morons).

So, recently Christine O’donnell stated that God is the reason she’s running. She believes God wants her to be his representative on Capital Hill. She further stated that she experienced a spike in the polls immediately following a prayer meeting that focused on her success bolstering her personal belief in the power of prayer.

Now, before anybody starts beating me on the head with an atheist stick let me state for the record that I do believe in something. What I don’t believe in is my ability to define or characterize exactly what that something is. Catholics believe they are right. Protestants believe they are right. Jews believe they are right. Muslims believe they are right. On and on. How arrogant are we? How can we, as human beings, feel qualified to define God, especially in the face of so many different and conflicting views on who and what God is? And it’s not just that. How truly arrogant of us to insist we are right and all others wrong.

We’ve all watched westerns where “Cowboys and Indians” reference “The Great Spirit”. Actually a truly accurate translation of that concept would be “Great Mystery”. And no, I’m not native. But I’ve read extensively on the subject. Isn’t that characterization far more humble than the specific definitions assigned by our current crop of “organized” religions? It screams “yes, there is something out there but we are not fully capable of understanding it and it would be incredibly presumptuous for us to try”. Would you want someone who didn’t know you to suddenly start defining exactly who you were and what you stood for? I wouldn’t. Yet for some reason a lot of people believe it’s OK to do that to someone or something that in theory is omnipotent!

As you have probably figured out by now I have problems with organized religion. Please do not confuse that with religious people. I do not necessarily have a problem with them (unless they are trying to ram their beliefs down my throat). In fact, one of the great things about this country is that we can believe or disbelieve whatever we want to. I know incredibly nice, intelligent, gifted, people who are quite religious. I like them all. I also know some pretty incredible atheists. And some amazing agnostics. And that is exactly why it is so imperative that we respect the separation of church and state. And that is why Christine O’Donnell should not be making statements that involve God in our political structure.

Think about it this way. How will she explain it if she loses the election? Will that too be God’s doing? If so, he must be quite the jokester eh? “Hey Christine… run for the Senate! It’s my will! Guffaw, guffaw, look son (note clever reference to Jesus), she fell for it! Won’t it be a hoot when she loses?” And if she wins, just how bad will that be for our country? This woman sat in debate recently almost insisting that separation of church and state was not a constitutional issue. Supporters insist she was right because the words separation of church and state do not appear in the Constitution. Intelligent people can’t believe she was stupid enough to argue that in a public forum when those of us who are not so caught up in the “rapture” and can still think straight recognize that separation of church and state is used to define the Supreme Court’s interpretation of one aspect of the First Amendment.

Here is the text of that amendment…. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Stating that separation of church and state is not covered in the constitution is identical to stating that nowhere in the constitution does it state that it’s legal to build a church. It says that congress can not make any laws that prohibit the free exercise of religion. It does not say that a state can’t illegalize the construction of churches. Show me where it says you are allowed to build a church! It says you can exercise your religion but it does NOT say you are allowed to have a place dedicated to doing so.

This woman is one of those idiots I spoke of in my last blog and she has risen to national prominence through the will of other idiots, not God. If God was involved with this he would have chosen someone far more intelligent. I don’t think God wants to see any further degradation of what is already arguably a stalled and ineffectual system. If you want to see what a real shit storm looks like just wait until after tomorrow. If the projections are right and the Republicans do as well as they are supposed to do we’re all fucked.

What’s interesting is that America embraces advancement in so many things. We want more bells and whistles on our cars. We want medical breakthroughs that save and extend lives. We love our computers and smart phones. Fifty years ago not everyone had a TV and they were black and white. Now everyone has a TV and they are rapidly becoming mostly HD capable flat screens. Our appliances have become technological marvels. You can heat up a frozen dinner in the microwave within minutes when it used to take an hour in a conventional oven. But when it comes to politics and running the government we allow the propaganda machine to inhibit progress. We, as a country, are on the brink of taking a giant step backward. You will never convince me this is a good thing. There’s an expression in business that says “if you’re not moving forward you’re moving backward”. Someone tell me why in God’s name (pun intended) we would want to completely ignore the gains made since THE MORON’s reign ended and take that giant step backward. It doesn’t make any sense. But right now, it appears the idiots are getting their way and we will be facing more doom and gloom. How do we know they are idiots? Because they don’t RECOGNIZE the gains we have made.

People… wake up. Please get out there and vote for Democrats, or at the very least, moderate Republicans (if there are any of those left). I don’t want to see what’s left of my retirement slide back into the toilet and neither do you. If we’re not moving forward, we’re moving backward.

Common Sense

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Village Missing Idiots? Not Likely, They're Everywhere.

We live in a country that is currently involved in nothing short of civil war. No, it’s not a violent war and it likely won’t be for quite some time (not counting the occasional “escapee” from the “lunatic fringe). It’s a war of words. And what both frightens and amazes me is that in what is arguably the greatest country in the world so much can be said without facts, documentation, historical record, or even common sense to back it up.

This war is likely un-winnable. Battles will be won and lost but the war will go on as long as we remain a democratic republic. The truly unfortunate thing to me is that these battles are not won by intellect. It’s a two party marketing campaign. The campaign strategies have been developed as if they were commercials for consumer products. And there is no accountability. Have you ever wondered how it’s possible that more than one laundry detergent is touted as the best? How can it be that nothing lubricates better than a certain engine oil, unless it happens to be another engine oil that nothing lubricates better than. How can you claim something tastes better than its competitors? Isn’t taste a subjective thing? I’ve even heard that toothpastes really can’t whiten teeth (and that the abrasive nature of whiteners can harm your enamel… let’s promote what’s bad for you…another subject entirely). We are continually saturated with an endless stream of advertising that is aimed at making us buy specific products, or vote for specific candidates.

I think we can all agree that the election of public officials is a pretty important thing. Some people should by definition be unelectable. We do not want unqualified individuals making decisions that can prove critical to our lives and life styles. But it happens all the time. How that possible? Well, here’s my take on it.

The first problem is that there is no accountability in political “advertising”. We need an extremely visible watchdog group that monitors this stuff and calls bullshit on it when necessary. Freedom of speech should not protect blatant lies and misrepresentations when it comes to selecting qualified people to run the government. If a candidate lies they need to be called out on it immediately. If a candidate attempts to disseminate information that is inaccurate or misleading they should be called out on it immediately. It’s a shame this is necessary but it is, because candidates and their parties spit bull shit at us all the time, and because of the next reason….

Our country has an extremely high number of voting idiots. A friend of mine recently commented that while at his local watering hole he was amazed at how many people were quoting political ads almost verbatim. It didn’t matter what was being said. They were quoting it. Now, anybody care to bet on whether or not they researched it first? I didn’t think so. This is a big problem. Idiots are given an equal say in what will determine our futures. I don’t like that. I don’t want an idiot making decisions for me. This is how Michele Bachman got into office. I realize we live in a society where every law abiding citizen has an equal right to vote but I’m extremely uncomfortable with idiots contributing to decisions that affect the country. It’s bad for me. It’s bad for you. It’s bad for America.

The next thing that has absolutely got to go is corporate campaign contributions. There is no way in hell that an elected official can be unaffected by large campaign contributions. This is what is meant when someone says our country is run by corporations. This too is bad for me, bad for you, and bad for the country. The only way to eliminate this particular type of corrupt influence (because it is nothing less) is to publicly fund elections. We need a process in place to determine viable candidates. A caucus that starts locally and slowly expands to the level of representation be it a district, city, county, state, etc. Everyone gets the same funding. Everyone gets the same airtime. You create a level playing field. Anything else really doesn’t make sense. When we were kids we were constantly told that one of the reasons this was a great country was because anyone born here could become President. That’s not really true is it? Anyone born here with access to money maybe but, not just anyone.

This next election has me extremely worried. It’s no secret that I lean left and it’s not looking good for those that do. Why? Revisit my comments on idiots. The economy is gaining traction. I read today that unemployment claims dropped last month to the lowest since July. The stock market is up. Most of the “experts” believe that the worst is over. Sure there is still work to be done but there is no doubt the country is in better shape than we were when Obama took office. Yet “the people” are restless. How can they forget the reasons for the ass whooping the Democrats put on the Republicans in 2008? Are we really that short sighted as a nation? Is Obama doing everything right? I don’t think so. Will the Republicans? Definitely not. I haven’t heard a single new idea or viable alternative from a Republican yet. They just parrot the same old crap that they have for the last 20 years. Reduce taxes (VERY dumb move with our current deficit), reduce spending (they don’t strive for that anymore…. GW the MORON spent like a drunken sailor), give the government back to the people (I’m sorry? Didn’t the people elect those currently in office?).

I guess we’ll see what happens come November 2nd. I’m still hopeful that all the doom and gloom talk is just that… talk. I think if voter turnout is huge, the Republicans won’t do as well as they think they’re going to. Nor should they. Christine O’donnell? Really? I’ll be blogging on her next but how can you support a party that elevated her to viable candidate status? Fucking idiots.


Common Sense

Friday, October 22, 2010

I (Bleep) That The (Bleep) Will (Bleep) If (Bleep) (Bleeps)

OK, this has got to be said. We have become WAAAAAAAYYYYYYY too paranoid on the “politically correct” front as exemplified by the recent firing of Juan Williams from NPR. I don’t like Juan, mainly because he hangs around those assholes at FOX “Not News” and any association with that inflammatory, hateful, lying, distorting, bed of ignorance, network is a big negative in my world. But we need to move away from the ridiculous and more towards sanity when it comes to this kind of shit.

When I was young, political correctness was barely a concept. People told racial, sexist, and religion based jokes all the time. I was guilty of it too (but I used to be a Republican as well so you see, people CAN change). I used to justify it by saying I was an “equal opportunity jokester”. I’d make fun of anyone, including myself, therefore it was OK. Well, it wasn’t OK. If someone was laying in bed with lung cancer, knowing they would be passing in the very near future, you wouldn’t walk in and offer them a cigarette thinking it was a fucking riot. Well, when a race, religion, or any other group of people has suffered at the hands of discrimination, bias, or stereotyping, it is very much like a cancer. There’s nothing funny about it.

So, with age I have gradually acquired wisdom and with that, greatly enhanced my ability to recognize ill founded bias. I have become a lot more sensitive to it. I preach it to my kids. Occasionally, they will even say “I have a joke… oh, never mind…. Dad won’t like it..." (which also concerns me because it means this kind of crap is very much alive within our youth). But the firing of Juan was a huge over reaction, a violation of his free speech, and a basic failure to recognize the “elephant in the living room”.

Islam is the largest religion in the world. It isn’t going anywhere. We, as Americans, need to become comfortable with it. But right now, we’re not. And those of you who know me have heard me talk about the answer to that problem (well, what in my OPINION is the answer). Muslims need to rise up and do an overkill condemnation of radical Islam to show the world they aren’t just speaking out about it, they’re doing something about it.

Somewhere there is a moderate Muslim whose brother knows a guy whose neighbor has a cousin that knows where Bin Laden is lurking. He needs to blow the whistle. Somewhere, there is a moderate Muslim whose sister works with the wife of a terrorist sympathizer whose best friend is married to the aunt of a suicide bomber slated to walk into a shopping mall somewhere. That person needs go to the authorities and spill everything he knows. And this has got to happen frequently. And it needs to be publicized heavily. When that happens, the rest of the world, including America, will begin to accept Islam.

I think Muslims also need to consider adapting to the cultures they are emigrating to. Now, those left of me will likely condemn this particular opinion but, people are hesitant to embrace those that are different. Be it out of fear, distrust, or just the fact that it is an “unknown”, human nature tells us to be wary of someone different from us. The mentally handicapped person on the street repels us. The blatantly intoxicated homeless person repels us. People who are very loud and overly exuberant often repel us. It’s not just based on race, religion, and gender. It’s based on “different”. But beyond that…

As civilized human beings (well, some of us) we learn to rise above that base instinct (at the very least, when forced to, but hopefully more often than that) to see what’s NOT different. We look for the good, the worth, reasons to NOT be repelled. We look for what is present that might attract us. It’s not always there (think Ted Bundy), but if fully civilized, we look for it. If moderate Muslims take my advice, we are going to quickly see it. The fact that they wear different clothing and have different religious beliefs will become less relevant. We will look at them as the people who helped rid the world of another bad element. Their children will learn that radical Islam is something to be stamped out, not embraced and through that, the pool of potential recruits will diminish. They need to police themselves even more vigorously than the rest of the world polices them.

I often joke with people that recreational activities that will likely result in death, should something go wrong, hold no attraction for me. I have no desire to skydive. If something goes wrong, you are likely dead. I don’t want to bungee jump. If something goes wrong, you are likely to die. I’ve never been up in a helicopter. Guess why. People have said but you ride a Harley! Well, I’m not a fucking wimp. I didn’t say I avoid things that might HURT me. I just want a fighting chance if something goes wrong. If that parachute doesn’t open, well I’m fucked!

So, take that to the airport. If something goes REALLY wrong on a plane (knife wielding suicide bombers or concealed explosives) I’m likely dead. Am I going to feel at least a little trepidation if there are obvious Muslims boarding my flight? You bet your ass I am. In fact, I’m more wary of those that aren’t obvious. Anyone who appears to be of Middle Eastern descent is going to make me a little nervous. In my mind, someone who has a plastic shiv or some C-4 is not likely to prance aboard a 757 screaming “Look at me! I’m from Yemen!”

Now don’t get me wrong. Unless my “spider sense” is really tingling I’m going to board the flight. I have faith in a few things. First, security is far better than it’s ever been (despite all the negative press). Second, there is NO WAY passengers on a plane will ever again sit back and watch a terrorist fly into a building. Third, I’m going to be watchful and aware. But I guarantee thoughts will cross my mind that wouldn’t have on a plane with passengers exclusively from Nebraska.

So, what Juan Williams did was to voice what almost all Americans who travel have felt to some extent. Firing him for that is beyond ridiculous. What Rick Sanchez said was ignorant. What Juan Williams said was real. It’s an unfortunate fact in today’s world that we have become somewhat wary of Muslims. Not because they’re all bad. Not even because most of them are bad. I believe most of them are good. But most of the time that parachute will open and you’ll float safely back to Mother Earth. It’s when it doesn’t open that all hell breaks loose.

Common Sense

Monday, October 11, 2010

Being Ruined By The Right

I’ve been feeling incredibly stressed lately. I think at some subliminal level I’m even more terrified of the coming mid term elections than I realize. Actually, I think our country could possibly be as divided, maybe more divided, than it was preceding the Civil War. And I feel helpless because what can I really do? And I feel frustrated because some things are just so obvious to me and I can’t grasp how others can’t see them. I think as a country, we have collectively gone insane.
It has been awhile since I’ve blogged. Not sure why. I think there is just so much going on inside my head that I’m having trouble organizing it all and churning it out in a way that makes sense. I think I’ll start with David Stockman.

I read an article recently by Paul Farrell of the Wall Street Journal about Mr. Stockman. Stockman was Ronald Reagan’s “Director of the Office of Management and Budget”. He has recently come out and made a case for how the GOP destroyed America’s economy. Yep, you heard that correctly. A member of the GOP admitting that the GOP destroyed America’s economy. Now he doesn’t have a lot of good things to say about Democrats, or at least their economic theory, but he places the preponderance of the blame on the GOP. Check this out. He states that the GOP’s insistence on extending THE MORON’s tax cuts for the rich is akin to filing bankruptcy. When our national debt is about to hit $18 Trillion, Republicans want to extend a 3% break for the rich. This is just another example of their insanity. He further breaks it down into four missteps.

The beginning of the self destruction was Nixon’s decision to do away with the gold standard for currency. This was on the advice of Milton Friedman. I had a roommate in college who used to refer to Friedman as the father of contemporary economics. I’m guessing that roommate is a strong Republican. Anyway, Friedman’s theory was that if you do away with a currency based on the value of some standard, the free market would set exchange rates and trade deficits would self correct. Farrell points out that Freidman was “wrong by trillions”.

So, with the good old U S of A setting the standard, governments everywhere began to follow suit and just printed money with nothing to back it up. Think about this for a minute. It’s our fault. No, really. It is. There was a time when the federal government had reserves of gold and silver to back up the value of our currency. When I was young, there were still “Silver Certificates” in circulation. They were actual currency that was redeemable in silver. You couldn’t do that now. There isn’t enough silver! But, that was what gave us, the people, the confidence that the money was actually worth something. What has taken over is a kind of blind faith. We know there isn’t enough gold to cover it, but we have faith that it will still be accepted at the grocery store. So we said fuck it, if it works, don’t fix it. Now it costs more to mint a penny than the penny is worth. Who the fuck is steering that ship? I believe we have entered, or are about to enter that same reality with nickels. But, let’s move on.

The second major fuck up by the GOP (according to Stockman) was their insistence that deficits don’t matter if they result from tax cuts. He says that back in the early 80’s, Republicans were very supportive of tax cuts. BUT, they had to be offset by reductions in spending. Then the military budget exploded without cutbacks in most of the domestic budget. Farrell says “When Fed chief Paul Volcker ‘crushed inflation’ in the '80s we got a ‘solid economic rebound.’ But then ‘the new tax-cutters not only claimed victory for their supply-side strategy but hooked Republicans for good on the delusion that the economy will outgrow the deficit if plied with enough tax cuts.’ By 2009, they ‘reduced federal revenues to 15% of gross domestic product,’ lowest since the 1940s. Still today they're irrationally demanding an extension of those ‘unaffordable Bush tax cuts [that] would amount to a bankruptcy filing." Remember, this is based on the opinions of a Reagan Republican.
Farrell takes it a step further by pointing out that recently, THE MORON made it much worse by engaging in two unfinanced military operations and rarely vetoing a bill that spent money. This is where the Democrats get blasted too…. The author puts the GOP in bed with the Dems supporting a “free lunch” fiscal policy. Who knew we were “bed mates”?

Next stage, enter Wall Street. Stockman speaks to the “vast, unproductive expansion of the financial sector”. He says that “Republicans have been oblivious to the grave danger of flooding financial markets with freely printed money and, at the same time, removing traditional restrictions on leverage and speculation.” Did I mention this was a Reagan Republican? Farrell takes it a step further and says they weren’t oblivious at all. He says they knew exactly what they were doing and it was motivated by self interest. Here it gets scary. By allowing Wall Street to get back to “business as usual”, they are creating a financial environment that is bound to deteriorate again. Not to crow, but do you remember me saying awhile ago that if the Republicans do regain control, I would strongly advise you all to sell your stock! Stockman says the banks have become wards of the state. The Farrell says they are in fact RUNNING the state. Many of them were bankrupt and would have never survived had they not gotten bailed out. Hey, what I want to know is how can we, as a society, sit back and watch these bastards pay themselves exorbitant salaries and bonuses with what is essentially our money? And before you go off blaming Obama, this fix was put into motion by Bush. Obama just saw it through. I think it was a mistake.

Finally, Stockman says we won’t have a conventional recovery. We will have a long drawn out period where we liquidate our debt and downsize. He says the modern Republican Party’s platform is irrelevant. The author thinks it’s worse. He sees a class war or revolution of sorts on the horizon. I have “felt” that coming for quite awhile now. Most Americans are helpless to do anything about the fleecing they are taking at the hands of the rich. Here is a statistic for you. From 2002 – 2006 “the top 1% of Americans -- paid mainly from the Wall Street casino -- received two-thirds of the gain in national income, while the bottom 90% -- mainly dependent on Main Street's shrinking economy -- got only 12%.” That’s directly from the article. Is that an incredible gap or what? Marvel at it. Two thirds of the gain was received by 1% of the population. Wow….

Now Republicans are going to tell you this is all bull shit. But think about that. Those Republicans who are stupid enough to believe the FOX propaganda machine aren’t worth arguing with. They will tell you Courtney Love is a virgin if they hear it on FOX. The moderate Republicans might be turned. But the RICH Republicans will fight like rabid dogs to do whatever it takes to continue fleecing us in their never ending quest for increased wealth. I bet they will even tell you that the 1% who realized 2/3’s of the gain deserve it because they “work hard” as opposed to those lousy welfare bums who are mooching a free ride off the state. What would happen, if that remaining 99% of the population decided to do something about it? They can. They can vote.


Common Sense

Thursday, August 19, 2010

And The Beast Shall Rise

OK, so maybe this Tea Party is on to something. During the course of research for another piece I’ve been considering I came upon this very revealing perspective written by a guy named Bobby Joe Ricky Bobby Joe. Spelling aside, he has uncovered what may very well be the first video taped declaration of hate against the West by radical Islam. And he provides a link to the video to prove it. I must admit, I was not only impressed by the detail of his analysis (again, spelling aside) but found the video to be frightening to say the least, especially as I considered his interpretation of the veiled threats, abstract representations, and the closing prediction that the West will be covered by the blanket of Sharia Law when the Muslim world unites in it’s quest to become the one true religion. I have reprinted, with permission, Bobby Joe Ricky Bobby Joe’s insightful look into this rare and revealing film, along with a link to the film itself. I encourage you to examine both and draw your own conclusions.

Hate Is Gonna Mess Us Up
By Bobby Joe Ricky Bobby Joe

Hello Amerika. My name is Bobby Joe Ricky Bobby Joe and I am a proud member of the tee party. The tee party is a hootin and hollerin for Bobby Joe cus Bobby Joe dun found himself PROOF that Muslimville has been invadin Amerika for a long long time. I seen a videeo that proofs it and you can see it for yourself when I finish tellin y’all about it.

This videeo been around for a long long time. It’s in black and white. You can tell its frum Muslimville cus the muslimville peeple decoorated it with dessert stuff like you was in a ohaysus or a waterin hole in the dessert. You can tell frum the way the Muslimville peeple is dressed that they is frum Muslimville. The leeder is the one that does the talkin and he has a beerd and evrything. He be warin a muslimville hat and his friends in the videeo are warin muslimville cloths. It’s very Muslimville.

There are pom trees in the videeo and tents. Muslimville peeple live in tents. At leest they did back then. I think thay do now to but I don’t know that for sure. Maybe caves now. But maybe the pictures are caves and not tents. I don’t no. You tell me. An peerahmids (is that how you spell peerahmid?). Thay hav lots of peerahmids in muslimville. Or are the peerahmids caves or tents? I caint tell. You tell me.

So, the head muslimville guy sings a song. I sed he does the talkin but I gess he does the singin really. Thayre tricky these muslimville peeple. I had to lissen to it a bunch o times to figgur it out but thay koodint fool Bobby Joe Ricky Bobby Joe! It starts off with some muslimville lady called Mahdi talkin to anuther muslimville person called Haadi (these Muslimville peeple have funy names that all end in di or med or ma like Haredi, Mahdi, Ockmed, Allamed, Ossama, Obama (whuts that tell ya!), and shit like that… that’s how you no thayr frum muslimville). she tells Mahdi that she saw this really big animal like a bare with horns or maybe a furry white tale buck but you no it’s a animal from muslimville cus it has a beard like the leeder in the videeo. I think it cums from hell cus it sownds nasty!

So then Haadi looks at Mahdi and says thay shouldn’t take chances with white tale bucks from hell and had best hi tale thayr asses over to 7-11 (Theyr called L-7's in muslimville cus thay don’t use Amerikan letters and numbers over there) to do the go away wite tale buck from hell dance (this is allso how muslimville peeple started buyin all the 7-11’s. Its ware the first go away wite tale buck frum hell dance happened and so thayr reeligun says thay shood spend time in 7-11s).

Well this is ware it gets intrestin. Mahdi looks back at Haadi and says yeah, thay need to go find a sheep to make a wool blanket so they can pull it over all the infadells (they be peeple who aint frum Muslimville) and make them all be like muslimville peeple! Yeah, that’s rite! They gonna rap us up in wool Muslimville blankets and turn us all into muslimville peeple! The muslimville guy says it! He says blah, blah, blah, pull the wool with you! Yep, pull the wool with you! That meens pull the muslimville blanket over the rest of us and make us muslimville peeple.

Now, you gotta be smart to heer all this. Haadi and Mahdi don’t nessisssarehlee say that just like I did but that’s my point! That’s wat I’m tryin to tell you! Bobby Joe Ricky Bobby Joe aint stoopid! I no wat those Muslimville peeple are reely sayin and so shud you! You just look at the videeo and tell me ahm rong! I aint rong. Ahm rite! The muslimville peeple see the wite tale buck frum hell and he tells them to go to 7-11 to dance the go away wite tale buck frum hell dance so they do (that’s the dance they are dooing in the videeo with all the jumpin and movin and swayin frum side to side… thay look like a bunch of ants under a magnafryin glass!) Then the wite tale buck frum hell com moons to them that thay need to get a wool blanket pull it over the peeple who aint frum muslimville and make them muslimville peeple or kill them! The hole time thay be singing this muslimville language stuff like this.... woooo. laybooo. laywoo. layboo. laywoo. Laybooo. Laywoo. Layboo. Lay! its reely scarey!!!!

The last thing that I no about the videeo is that the muslimville peeple WANT to kill us or pull a blanket over us. They will LIKE it. I no this becus they are smiling and laffin and carryin on dancin that go away wite tale buck frum hell dance and just havin a grate time all threw the videeo! Damn Muslimville peeple.

So thare it is. The first videeo from muslimville that says we hate you peeple who are not from here and were goin to change the hole world into Muslimville or smother you in a muslimville blanket! If you want to see the videeo, go to yore compewter and tipe in this address……

Then watch out for the muslimville peeple frum muslimville!


Bobby Joe Ricky Bobby Joe, Tee partee person.

So there you have it. Another brilliant revelation coming out of the right. Be careful out there.


Common Sense

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Let Us See Your Nuts......

Today we’re going to have some fun and talk about insanity. There are different degrees of insanity. Some people are just a little off but seem to function fine in society. Let’s go ahead and cite Sarah Palin as one of those.

Lately, Sarah has been locked in battle with PolitiFact, a “Snopes” type website that polices the claims of politicians in an attempt to keep them honest. It was started within the Saint Petersburg Times but has since expanded to several other newspapers. Sarah was quoted saying that “Democrats are poised now to cause the largest tax increase in US history”. Well, PolitiFact called her a “pants on fire liar” for the claim. I should mention here that PolitiFact won a 2009 Pulitzer Prize for repeatedly fact checking claims during the 2008 presidential campaign. I guess “Pea Brain Palin” has dug in on Facebook claiming that no proposal currently exists to stop tax increases from effecting individuals making less than 200 grand and couples making less than 250 grand. Well, Mr. Obama has not only made that pledge on numerous occasions but has apparently penned it into the proposed 2011 budget (which would make it a proposal that exists right?). So Sarah, when will you learn that repeated lying does nothing other than to brand you a “pants on fire liar”? Do we need to fact check those “death panels” too? Since one definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior while expecting a different result (or so I’ve been told), I think we can conclude that “Crazy Pea Brain Palin” is just that… a little crazy in that pea brain of hers. Let’s put her up there next to a Pulitzer Prize winning journalistic endeavor and ask ourselves who we’re going to put more faith into? Duh?.....

Next, let’s chat about Newt Gingrich. Have you heard that his middle ex-wife has given an extensive interview providing us with insight into the nonsensical rhetoric that populates Newt’s mind? And before I go on I’ve got to ask, what the fuck is up with the name Newt? Who names their kid Newton? I checked Wiki and Newt’s birth father was a Newton. Now we can only assume the first Newt took some shit about that name right? “Hey Fig Newton!” “Look, he's a salamander!” “Newt, toots a skin flute!” So, why saddle your kid with the same name? Unless you knew in advance he was going to grow up to be a douche bag….

Newt’s ex has described in detail Newt’s affair with his current wife during his marriage to her, wife #2 (yes, he’s on #3). I guess he wanted her to just “accept the affair”. She didn’t like that option. She quotes him as saying “You’re a Jaguar and I want a Chevrolet”. Now, I wonder what wife #3 thought of that? She’s the Chevrolet. But I digress. Newt was hammering wife #2 for a divorce shortly after she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. What a guy right? But I guess you would expect nothing less since he was negotiating terms of his first divorce with a wife who was still recovering from uterine cancer surgery.

Now, none of this would really be relevant if it wasn’t for the fact that Newtie preaches family values! And here’s the good part…. Wife #2 asked him how he could speak to that while living his life in a completely different way? He answered by telling her that "It doesn't matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There's no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn't matter what I live."

Let’s quickly analyze this quote. Well, screw that… we don’t have to. Let’s just look at the part that says “There’s no on e else who can say what I can say.” Really Newt? No one? No one else can say what you have to say? You're nuts Newt. Maybe your dad did in fact know in advance that you would grow into a douche bag. I think Newt is just a little crazier than Pea Brain don’t you? Sure he’s smarter (but who isn’t… well, one former President comes to mind) but he’s a little further down the crazy scale.

OK, next on my list is an acquaintance who shall remain nameless. While engaged in a recent debate, I cited an op-ed piece authored by Paul Krugman. The acquaintance in question remarked that Krugman was “a dimwit” or “whack job” or some such diminutive nickname. OK, so he doesn’t like Paul Krugman. Does Krugman have any legitimate credentials? Well, let’s see…

He has a BA from Yale and a PhD from MIT (is there a smarter segment of society than those who have attended MIT?). He was a professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton. He was a centenary professor at the London School of Economics (and try as I might, I can not find a definition for centenary professor….only one comes around every 100 years?... not likely… anyone?). He has also taught at Yale, MIT, UC Berkley, and Stanford. He won a Nobel Prize in Economics. In 2005 he was voted 6th in a list of the worlds 100 top intellectuals by Prospect, a brainy magazine out of Britain. He’s written 20 books and over 200 published articles. Need I go on?

So, that acquaintance thinks he’s a “crackpot” (I wish I could remember the exact words). Does he sound like a crackpot to you or do you think the acquaintance in question is nuts? I think this is yet another example of insanity. The refusal to accept the thoughts of someone far more qualified than you because they don’t mesh with your thoughts. Rather than admit an error on your part, you throw dirt on the guy who really does know better than you. Sounds nuts to me!

Glenn Beck? Whoa…. He’s fucking nuts and you know it.

Finally, let’s talk a little about Scott Lively, president of “Defend the Family” and “Abiding Truth Ministries”. Look Them up… that part isn’t all that relevant. What earns Mr. Lively a solid berth on the last car in the crazy train is his insistence that most Nazis were….. ahem…… homosexuals. That’s right. They were gay. How does he determine this. Because it is “well known” that homosexuals lack the ability to contain rage and they are violent, unconscionable, maniacal, killing machines. That’s right. They’ll fuck you up! In fact, Hitler himself was a homosexual. Most of those in his inner circle were homosexual. They even hooked up in gay bars. They were uncontrollable “rageaholics”.

I saw a revealing (and quite funny) video piece concerning Mr. Lively on “The Daily Show” (which should be required viewing for all Americans). The guy obviously takes himself quite seriously. When it was pointed out that homosexuals were actually persecuted under the Nazis Mr. Lively insists that was a smokescreen to throw us off. My question is where the hell the guy initially got the idea? Hmmm, could it be he was looking for a way to FURTHER persecute the gay and lesbian community? My concern is that there are obviously people out there who believe him. Why does that concern me? You know why. It’s because these morons are allowed full access to society and they are so stupid they are dangerous.

Mr. Lively has written three books. In 2000 he wrote “Why and How to Defeat the Gay Movement”. In 1998 he wrote “Seven Steps to Recruit Proof Your Child: A Parents Guide to Protecting Children From Homosexuality and the Gay Movement” (that one amuses me…. Especially when I reflect on how many times I was “recruited” by the gay movement. It must have happened…. Well… OK, it never happened). But the relevant tome is the one he co-authored in 1996 with Kevin E. Abrams… are you ready…. It’s a hoot….. “The Pink Swastika”. When confronted with historical “fact” or the opinions of historians Mr. Lively has obviously practiced extensively to dodge reality. I think he’s stark raving mad….

Now, what do these people all have in common? A couple of things. Of course the obvious one is that they are living in some alternate reality. They live in a place where all you need to do is think something and it magically becomes true. Big tax increases, moron liberal journalists (or bloggers for that matter), gay Nazis, anything that comes out of Glen Beck’s mouth. Even if you confront them with indisputable facts, they won’t budge an inch. Whatever crazy notion they are pandering remains fact in their puny little minds. Maddening isn’t it?

The other thing they have in common (at least the one that immediately comes to mind) is that they all vote Republican! Do I absolutely, positively, know that for a fact? Well, what do YOU think? Do you think any of these people voted for Obama? Yeah, I thought so.

I’ve mentioned before that Republicans seem to share this trait. No matter how many facts, truths, personal accounts, photographs, sworn testimonies, or anything else you throw at them, they will not budge on their positions once they’ve locked in. I’ve mentioned before that my mother (life long Republican) was like that. What’s worse, it doesn’t matter if you show them video of themselves in direct conflict with the “position de jour” (as John Stewart LOVES to do… I’m telling you, required viewing) they will keep their heels dug in and babble some incoherent rationale that attempts to discredit the video of themselves that proves them to be idiots.

But here is the killer…. And it’s a doozy…. Despite all this, the Democrats are once again facing trouble in the mid terms. The stock market is up. The economy has shown definitive signs of recovery. Iraq is winding down (never mind that once we leave the shit will really start hitting the fan). We have a guy in the White House who can spell. I could sit here and reel off all sorts of positive things but it doesn’t matter. “Change” didn’t come fast enough. Never mind that the right stone cold road blocked every piece of legislation to come out of the administration. Landmark health care legislation did manage to get passed but the right has lied about it and distorted it’s reality to the point that people won’t realize positives for a few years. Things are incredibly better than they were when THE MORON left office but it just doesn’t matter.

The Republicans are even fighting to keep the Bush Tax Cuts for those wealthy enough to actually AFFORD paying taxes and they tell you the economic stimulus created by those taxes offset the loss in revenue. Bull shit. One thing that’s going on that I don’t like is the record setting deficits. But I believe we can recover from this with sound fiscal policy going forward. Tax cuts for the wealthy, when we need revenue, is NOT sound fiscal policy.

So please. I’m begging you. I’m on my knees (get your minds out of the gutter). My hands are together in prayer. When you vote in November, think about things like degrees, Nobel Prizes, intellect, well constructed speech, leading by example, Nazis that were straight and not gay, and open your eyes to the constant stream of unmitigated bull shit the right stuffs down your throat on a daily basis. Ask yourself if things are in fact better today. Ask yourself if you want people making over 200 grand a year getting tax breaks. Ask yourself if you want our country run by corporations. Ask yourself if Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Glenn Beck, and Scott Lively are the types of people you want influencing the machinations of government. Ask yourselves all these questions before you pull the trigger. Then PLEASE vote for Democrats. If the Republicans do take over, sell all your stock (and remember you heard it here first).

Common Sense

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

To Tea, or Not To Tea....

I just got a message from an old friend that he misses my blogs. I told him I do too! I’ve just been so very busy with other things. But I promised him there was a new one around the corner and there’s certainly enough inspiration out there so… here goes…. This is for you Mr. B! Where to begin… Hmmmmmm......

How about Mark Williams! I guess Mark Williams headed up what was known as the “Tea Party Express”. As you know, I have hypothesized that the Tea Party harbors racists (and morons… more on that later). There’s been some chatter about that of late due to a blog post by Mr. Williams. Now, to be fair to the Tea Party, they have in fact “expelled” both Mr. Williams AND the Tea Party Express from their ranks. Of course, they had little choice. Mr. Williams, in his blog, wrote a letter from the “colored people” to Abraham Lincoln. It said, in part “We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!”

David Webb of the National Tea Party Federation was quoted saying “We, in the last 24 hours, have expelled Tea Party Express and Mark Williams from the National Tea Party Federation because of the letter that he wrote which he, I guess, may have considered satire but which was clearly offensive."

First of all, let’s define satire, just in case Mr. Williams did in fact intend his piece to be satirical as Mr. Webb “guesses”. According to various sources on the web (because it’s getting harder to read my dictionary and it’s a pain in the ass to wear my glasses when doing this since the computer screen is in that vague zone between the bifocals that doesn’t allow sight when wearing them. You can see close, you can see far, but you can’t see in between….)

Satire: sarcasm: witty language used to convey insults or scorn. A literary technique of writing or art which principally ridicules its subject often as an intended means of provoking or preventing change. A literary work which belittles or savagely attacks its subject. A distinction is sometimes made between direct and indirect satire. Ah Ha! Direct vs. Indirect. Maybe there is salvation there for Mrs. Williams and Webb!

Direct—satire is directly stated
Indirect satire is communicated through characters in a situation

OK, no salvation there. Let’s go back to Satire…
A literary work which exposes and ridicules human vices or folly. Historically perceived as tending toward didacticism, it is usually intended as a moral criticism directed against the injustice or social wrongs. It may be written with witty jocularity or with anger and bitterness. ...

Hmmmm…. Is it possible that Mr. Williams was trying to communicate to the rest of the world the injustice of inaccurate perceptions that African Americans are incapable of hard work, sound decisions, and accepting consequences? Is it possible that Mr. Williams was doing Black America a favor by calling attention to ill gotten perceptions about “Coloreds”? Of course not. Mr. Williams is a fucking racist! Read the paragraph again. It’s satire all right. It’s a literary work which belittles or savagely attacks its subject.

But what about Mr. Webb? That’s a tougher one. Mr. Webb did the right thing. He eighty-sixed the guy and his fringe group. But he also had to interject the explanatory “which he, I guess, may have considered satire”. Why did he do that? It almost sounds as if he was trying to afford Mr. Williams some consideration that the screw up wasn’t as severe as it appeared. Hey Mr. Williams! IT WAS. It was terribly severe! And your attempt to diminish that, even if ever so slightly, is a sign that you too are likely a fucking racist! Mr. Williams blog post was blatantly and powerfully racist and you’re response needed to be just as blatant and powerful, in fact, probably MORE blatant and powerful , if you wanted to convince us that the Tea Party is not a racist organization. What Mr. Webb should have said was something like “Mr. Williams blog was extremely offensive in its content and in no way conveys the attitude of the Tea Party Federation. Mr. Williams is obviously a fucking racist and we, as an organization, are hopeful that a truckload of “Coloreds” will beat the living shit out of the guy and any other person of similar mind that might be harbored within our federation or its fringe. In fact, I’m heading over to Mr. Williams place right now to get the ball rolling and any Negroes out there who want to join me are more than welcome”. (Note my satirical use of the words Coloreds and Negroes to convey Mr. Webb’s tendency towards racism)

So, in the spirit of satire, here’s my take on a letter from the Tea Party to America (remember, I promised more on the moronic element).

Dear Amerika,

We the peeple of the tee party want you, the peeple of amerika to no we, the peeple of the tee party are sik and tired of you lies and thiefing. And Obama is a muzlem!!! Who was born in muzlemville! Not Amerika!!!! You, the peeple of Amerika need to no that we, the peeple of the tee party think librals are stinkee shit heds!!!! Librals are stoopid. Thay think Obama was born in Hawii, uh…. Hawwae, uh…. Ho-y-ee…. Uh, YOU NO WHUT WE MEEN! And were sik and tired of you librals saying Sarah Palin is stoopid. That’s stoopid. To say Sarah Palin is stoopid is stoopid! She’s not stoopid. She’s a genus! And she wud make a great preseedant!

We the peeple of the tee party don’t want no more taxes. Taxes are bad. Thay take our money and spend it on welfare and ileegal imgrants from Mexco and Muzlemville! Then thay give them free helth care and food stamps. Thay shud work for monee like we doo! And about helth care! Why did you go an scru up our helth care? Now Granpa Floyd will haf ta go stand in front of that deth panal and ask if he can go ahead and live for a couple more months, evan tho hes almost 90! But thay will probly kil him on the spot cus of that pussy thing on his face.

We the peeple of the tee party want to go bak and make Sarah Palin and that other old guy presidant and vise presidant, not Obama the Muzlem who was bored in Muzlemville! Sarah Palin wud make a great presidant. Sheeze not a jooish muzlem. She can see Russia and has sex with Joe the Plummer! We like Joe the Plummer cause he….he…he… OK, wee don’t no why we like him but we do. Cause the old guy, that frend of Sarah Palin who plays poker like that mavrik guy on TV says Plummer Joe is a good guy.

We the peeple of the tee party want to saseed and start our own cuntree. We will call it teepartyville! Eny one that lives there hasta be a tee party persun. NO LIBRALS. Librals are stoopid. And no blak peeple or mynoritees ‘cause theyr all on welfare and food stamps and drink malt likker and fourtifyed wine! They get drunk and steel our tax monee and stuff and burn skools and let peeple frum muzlemville blo up arplanes! With theyr feet! Stinkee feet bombs! It’s disgusting! Theyr stoopid!

So that’s all aMerika. We the peeple of the tee party heerby state that wee are going to start teepartyville now. We think weel start with Mrs. Sippee, Al Abama, and Jorja then maybe move into looeeseeana cus theres oil there for fryin. If that’s OK with Sarah Palin and the mavrick.

Thank You.

The Tee Party Peeple


Common Sense

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Emperor's New What?

I find myself incredulous at the Republican response to Obama’s creation of a BP funded relief fund for their epic spill. Actually, incredulous may be an understatement. I’m raging really. Just how bad is the GOP (in its current form) for America? But that’s not even what I’m raging about. I’m raging about the fact that despite the increasingly obvious faults with that party, the magnitudes of morons in the US of A continue to keep it viable. There’s speculation that they may regain control of the house and senate in November. How is this possible? In the wake of an economic meltdown due, in part, to a lack of financial regulation, the GOP has a chance? In the wake of what will certainly become the worst environmental catastrophe in the history of the United States, very much due to a lack of regulation and the failure to enforce existing regulations the GOP has a chance? In the wake of Joe Barton apologizing to BP the GOP has a chance?

Michelle Bachman called it a “redistribution of wealth” fund. She went on to say BP should tell us “We’re not going to be chumps and we’re not going to be fleeced”. Really Michelle? This is the same woman who argued that carbon dioxide is a “natural” ingredient of our atmosphere and therefore carbon emissions are no big deal. I wouldn’t hire this idiot to shovel shit.

Rush Limbaugh said it will be a “slush fund”. He wanted to know “Who’s going to get this money? Union activists? Acorn people?” Yeah, that’s right fatso. Union activists and little people who live in trees are going to get the money. Screw the chumps on the Gulf Coast.

The chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of anal retentive douche bags, came out and said it was representative of the Obama administration being “hard at work exerting its brand of Chicago-style shakedown politics.” That’s right asshole. The administration is trying to insure some degree of accountability on the part of BP. Insiders tell me that while Tony Hayward was sailing off the coast of Great Britain, Michelle Obama was on a covert op kidnapping Tony’s grandmother and holding her in the White House’s basement torture chamber. She was heard screaming “don’t fuck with me you old bitch! I’ll pull your fucking finger nails out with my teeth! Yo Rahm. Pass me another ‘Chicago style’ brewski…. And shake it down baby!”

What the hell is wrong with America? How is it possible that GOP devotees don’t see the insanity of these statements? How is it possible that the party that preaches less government regulation has a viable chance at anything in the wake of the economic meltdown and the worst environmental catastrophe in the history of the United States? What am I missing? Am I the one who’s insane?

Getting back to Joe Barton out of Texas (because I’m REALLY incredulous over this one). He apologized to BP? Apologized? Huh? WTF? Apologized? As a nation, we should be standing hand in hand, condemning these bastards regardless of party affiliation. Apologized? Am I dreaming this shit or is it really happening?

You want to observe a difference between the GOP and the Democrats? Harkin back to the onset of the Iraqi war. When our Congressmen and women voted on the Iraq Resolution, 215 Republicans voted yes, 6 voted no, and 2 didn’t vote. On the left side of the House, 82 voted yes, 126 voted no, and one didn’t vote. One independent voted no. In the Senate, 48 Republicans voted yes, and one voted no. Among Democrats 29 voted yes and 21 voted no. Again, one independent voted no. What’s my point? Well, do you notice how Republicans band together?

Need another example. Look at the recently passed health bill. Not one single Republican Congressman or woman voted in favor of it. Not one. Hell, 34 Democrats voted against it but not one Republican voted for it. Notice a pattern here? Need I go on? Democrats vote on what’s in a bill. Republicans vote based on which party endorses the bill. It’s bull shit and I don’t understand why more Americans don’t see it. There had to be Republicans in the general population that didn’t condemn the bill. Why NONE in Congress?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m not that far left! I’ve voted for Republicans in the past. I have some right leaning views on immigration, law enforcement, gun control, the “Muslim question”, and several other issues. But in all things, I believe the well being of America should be a priority and when I see party line votes (be they left or right) I don’t like it.

The ignorance I see coming out of the GOP is staggering. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was quoted saying that most of the illegal immigrants coming here from Mexico are smuggling drugs. "Well, we all know that the majority of the people that are coming to Arizona and trespassing are now becoming drug mules. They're coming across our borders in huge numbers. The drug cartels have taken control of the immigration. So they are criminals. They're breaking the law when they are trespassing and they're criminals when they pack the marijuana and the drugs on their backs." This woman is a fucking governor? Who elected her? How stupid do you have to be to vote for someone so stupid?

Anyone with specific knowledge on the demographics of illegal immigration from Mexico, including representatives of the Border Patrol has stated this isn’t true. But the idiot from Arizona has repeatedly stuck to her guns. "The simple truth is that the majority of human smuggling in our state is under the direction of the drug cartels, which are by definition smuggling drugs. It is common knowledge that Mexican drug cartels have merged human smuggling with drug trafficking." In the interest of brevity, I won’t get into numbers but ask yourselves this. Why do people come here from Mexico? What do they do when they get here? Would they, en masse, do something that greatly increases the odds that their quest for a better life will be futile? Besides, just thinking in terms of volume the position is ludicrous. Yet she sticks to it. Incredible really don’t you think?

So, I’m beginning to feel like the kid in “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. Listen up people. The GOP is not wearing a nice new suit. They’re naked. Please, don’t lower yourselves to that level. The only way they will change is through your votes. It’s a shame really. I mean some of their dogma has merit. But they’ve made such complete ass holes out of themselves that until they clean it up, no one should care. Vote for the Democrats and the Independents. Send a message for crying out loud.


Common Sense

Monday, June 7, 2010

BP=Big Profits=Big Problem

It’s been awhile since I posted because I have been quite busy with other things. Extremely busy as a matter of fact. But I can’t stay silent on this oil spill any longer. I’m far beyond outraged. Outraged is a tiny speck in my rear view mirror. Clean up of this fucking mess will take YEARS and YEARS and YEARS. BP is a joke. I read with interest a recent article focused on the opinions of Scott West, a former investigator for the EPA. Mr. West retired in 2008 after 18 years of service and insists that throughout his tenure he repeatedly saw BP “skirt the law and cut corners”. In fact, he specifically states that the current crisis was “a disaster waiting to happen” and that BP is, in his opinion, a “serial environmental criminal”. How’s this for a quote? “"If I was still on the job and had the area of the gulf, the day I heard this I would've started a criminal investigation just because of the fact that it was BP. If it was Shell or anyone else, I would've monitored it. But the fact that it's BP, I would have assumed it's criminal and started an investigation before evidence disappeared."
If that isn’t enough, in 1999 BP was convicted of dumping hazardous waste on Alaska’s North Slope. I took the following directly from the EPA’s website. “BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc., or “BPXA,” admitted in U.S. District Court in Anchorage that it failed to immediately notify authorities of a release of hazardous substances to the environment, and it agreed to pay the maximum criminal fine of $500,000. As part of the plea agreement, BPXA also admitted that it failed to provide adequate oversight, audits and funding to ensure proper environmental management on Endicott Island, Alaska.” They injected a bunch of very nasty stuff into an old oil well. Here’s a link to the page. There are several things in there that should make you sick.

Moving on, 6 years after the conviction Mr. West gathered intelligence from BP employees regarding a burst pipeline in Alaska. According to them they had registered complaints about the faulty pipe and were told to ignore it! Apparently, if you know about a “condition” prior to it becoming a “problem “ that constitutes a felony. Here’s the kicker… the Department of Justice shut down his probe of the incident before he could take it anywhere! Hmmm…. Whose Department of Justice was this? Why it was THE MORON’s DOJ. What a shock. BP dumps a bunch of oil in the wilderness of Alaska and THE MORON doesn’t want to prosecute. I’m shocked, how about you?

Prior to that, in 2005 there was a fatal explosion at a Texas refinery that can also be pinned on BP. Rather than boring you with all the details, why don’t you just Google BP screw ups and see for yourself. This company needs to be held accountable. And we can’t be talking about $500,000 fines for a company that operates in “billion dollar land”. It’s time to get serious.

If you continue to dig into this what you will find is there are “whistle blowers” out there who have been yelling about BP’s disregard for safety protocol and they have been yelling for awhile. One in particular raised concerns about this particular well's lack of paperwork and documentation. It appears to me that BP’s attitude has been one of minimizing expenses, regardless of risk, and if the shit hits the fan so what? Billions have been made and will continue to be made because hey, BP is bullet proof.

Eric Holder has stated a criminal probe has begun. Mr. West says that’s not likely as no one is hearing about subpoenas, task forces, or FBI visits. His take is that something very big is at work to keep these things covered up. Let’s hope the Obama administration breaks that shit down pronto. We need to raise hell and insist that a criminal investigation moves forward.

Remember when the second dumbest member of the GOP was chanting “drill baby drill”? I remember having a debate around that with that online forum I’ve mentioned repeatedly (see previous posts). One of the conservatives was insistent that it was the only way to cut off our dependency on foreign oil. I said no, alternative energy sources were the answer. As the debate heated up I pointed out that when the disaster occurred my only hope was that it was HIS beachfront property in the path of the spill. The guy doesn’t own beachfront property. But when I sent out a query about his thoughts, now that the disaster had occurred, it was met with dead silence.

And speaking of the second dumbest member of the GOP... do you know what her take on this is? It’s the environmentalists fault. That’s right. If the environmentalists hadn’t pitched a fit we would be drilling in shallower and safer waters and this never would have happened (I can not for the life of me comprehend how someone so stupid can garner that much positive attention). Never mind BP’s track record. Never mind their blatant disregard for safety and accountability. Apparently if they had been drilling in safer waters they would have had a change of heart and put safety in front of profits.

So, where am I going with all of this? Glad you asked. For all you conservatives out there who insist government is too intrusive and needs to stay out of our business, I say “why don’t you just go give yourselves a royal fucking?” It seems to me if government had been MORE involved in the oversight of this industry then perhaps we wouldn’t be looking at photographs of chocolate coated pelicans. The entire coast of Louisiana wouldn’t be looking at economic ruin. Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida wouldn’t be thinking “we’re next”. As I said, we will be dealing with the effects of this disaster for YEARS. And the thing that pisses me off the most is the possibility that BP will still be a profitable business going forward. When you conservatives are done fucking yourselves, go fuck BP.

Common Sense

Friday, April 30, 2010

Let Me In, Immigration Man (Crosby, Stills, and Nash...FYI)

Well, this is a hot one isn’t it? Arizona’s new law will be stimulating some serious debate over the next few months. It will likely be challenged but I’m not even close to the knowledge required in Constitutional Law to predict the outcome. But I will say this, and it may shock some of you…. I’m kind of split on this one.

Now before you throw me to the wolves, let me first state that I don’t SUPPORT it. I’m just not sure I’m vehemently against it. The cons are glaring. It will promote racial profiling. They say it won’t but we all know it will. I can see the banter in court now. “He only checked my immigration status because I’m Mexican”. But how do you prove that, especially when the cop will be denying it. It’s a given that citizens and legal immigrants will be hassled. I don’t like either of these scenarios.

But here’s the rub. If you are here illegally, you are breaking the law. It’s really pretty black and white. You either entered the country legally, or you didn’t. It seems that half the country wants to deport and the other half wants to grant amnesty. I see problems with both.

If we grant amnesty, what kind of message does that send? And what does it do to curb the problem going forward? In fact, if we go this route, wouldn’t that encourage those that want in to try even harder? I believe those that preach this remedy say that a “drop dead date” would need to be established and anyone coming forward after that would be assumed to have entered the country AFTER the amnesty was granted. But I see a whole lot of expense and legal wrangling in our future with or without a drop dead date. It will be messy, to say the least. Just consider the numbers. Currently, an estimated 12 – 20 million undocumented aliens are in the USA. That’s a lot of amnesty!

But it’s a lot of deportation too. Who covers THAT expense? And how do we round all these people up? Deportation is a messy business as well. What about parents who have had children here? Are the kids citizens? I think they are. But the parents are not (and please feel free to jump in here if I’m getting any of this wrong). We don’t really want to split up families but that would invariably happen I’m sure. People might choose to leave their kids with friends and relatives so they can enjoy the opportunities here that aren’t available in their countries of origin. And you know they would try to sneak back in. It will be like bailing out a leaky boat.

I was reading an op-ed piece today that basically said everyone needs to chill. The law isn’t that bad. I was buying into it 100% until I got to the part that stated the Obama administration is at fault for not protecting the interests and security of Arizonans. Then I realized it was written by a right wing douche bag. Did this problem just recently present itself? Is this a number one priority for the administration? When Obama took office we were engaged in two wars, the economy was in the toilet, and the health care debate took on a life of its own (anybody see any “death panels” yet)? Was illegal immigration supposed to trump all of that? What did THE MORON do about it when he was running the show? Put up a little fence?

I’m not sold on either side of this issue but I do think we have an immigration problem and there is shit going on out there that really annoys the hell out of me. If I do business in this country, I should be able to understand who I’m speaking with. All too often I find myself on the phone, or in a bank, or at a restaurant, or a drive through window, or a convenience store, or a myriad of other places and I can’t understand what the person I’m dealing with is saying. It’s one thing if you’re on the phone with a call center in India. I mean, that sucks too but WTF… the people you’re talking to are from India! But when I’m talking to someone in Chicago…

I also think we are too crowded as it is. I’m old enough to remember what it was like when it wasn’t this crowded. You could find parking. Traffic was nothing like it is today. Going to the “country” didn’t take as long because development hadn’t reached out as far as it has now. Twelve to twenty million people is around 7 percent of the population. That seems like a lot to me.

I encountered a situation several years ago that really pissed me off. My neighborhood had experienced some mail theft so I, along with two neighbors, took it upon ourselves to rebuild the frame that houses our mailboxes and replace the old ones with locking boxes. We did the frame work at our expense. The boxes were around 70 bucks each. Every neighbor was eager to get it done. I mean, who wants to get their mail stolen right? Every neighbor, except one. And that neighbor happened to be a somewhat recent immigrant. In fact, they were recent enough to not speak a whole lot of English. You know what they said? They said they shouldn’t have to pay for the mailbox. The government should.

Now, it’s entirely possible that at some subliminal level this is why I’m split on the issue. I’ve lived here all my life and never once did I even remotely entertain the possibility that the government should pay for my mailbox! We wound up getting him a new NON-locking mailbox that was black so it would at least match colors with the others in the frame. And yes we paid for it. I hope he suffered repeated mail theft for the remainder of his stay in the neighborhood (the family has since moved).

So, what do we do? I don’t think we can deport all these people. We don’t have the resources or the money to do it. But if we grant them amnesty, it sends a dangerous message that could encourage even more illegal immigration. I think the answer lies in better securing our borders. And we have a shit load of border to secure. That might not be possible either. But I bet the billions and billions of dollars spent on Iraq and Afghanistan would have gotten us off to a good start!

Feel free to weigh in on this one. It’s a tough issue. Maybe you can help me decide where I stand on it. I’m a pretty humane individual so I think I’m leaning towards the amnesty. But for crying out loud, if we go that route, I’m hoping fluency in English will be included in the package. I hear they hate us in France, in part because we don’t speak French. Hey, I get it…..


Common Sense

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What's Taxed? My Patience....

The last time I chatted with you we discussed those nasty birthers and whether or not they were all morons. As I stated then, probably not. They are cowards and bigots as well. But I forgot to mention liars. Silly me. Am I forgiven?

When you listen to the right whine and complain about taxes you would think we are all getting a major screw job from the Obama administration. Read the signs at these gatherings of village idiots (more on that later). They don’t want to be taxed. They think they are getting ripped off. Well, read on for more detail (and as promised, I need to thank Greg for the article that supplied this information).

Thanks to the loud volume of the lying, lunatic rants by the right, about a third of the American population think the Obama administration has raised taxes (all of this according to a CBS News/New York Times poll released this month). On the 15th (tax day) thousands of those pesky tea-baggers (who are also comprised mostly of morons but I suspect they house a fair share of bigots, cowards, and liars as well) descended on Washington to protest their heavy tax burden. Around 65% of those yahoos believe the administration has raised taxes.

Are you with me so far? Good. Here is some reality. The only Obama administration policy to impact 2009 tax returns was the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (AKA the stimulus package). This basically provided a tax CUT for 98% of the tax paying citizens of this country. Let’s say that again…. Slowly… so the idiots can follow… 98% of US taxpayers got a tax cut last year. According to William Gale, co-director of the Tax Policy Center and director of the Retirement Security Project at the Brookings Institution, taxes are at their lowest levels for a period extending back 60 years. That would be 1950 (again for you slow ones). Now, we’re obviously talking percentages here, not dollars. But that’s a pretty significant revelation. The lowest level in 60 years? What the fuck are these tea-baggers protesting?

Let’s keep this moving. One third of the Recovery Act was made up of tax credits. Here’s a list…
• An increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit
• An expansion of the Child Tax Credit
• For those who work, the Making Work Pay tax credit offered $400 per individual and $800 per couple
• For those who lost their job, there was a 65 percent tax credit to help cover the cost of health care. The first $2,400 in unemployment benefits went tax-free
• Up to $2,500 under the American Opportunity Credit for students and parents paying for college tuition
• $8,000 for first-time home buyers
• A deduction of state and local taxes paid on a new car
• Up to $1,500 for home improvements to increase energy efficiency

Here’s an impact quote from the article. “Even conservative advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform, which advocates for a single, national flat tax rate, found some praise for the Recovery Act -- specifically for provisions allowing small businesses to write off a wider range of business expenses.”

Whoa! Wait a minute. A conservative group had praise for this thing? WTF?

But wait…. Other conservative economists argue that many of these tax credits are going to people who pay little or no tax to begin with. Apparently nearly half of the people who file federal income taxes pay nothing. Now, the article isn’t clear on whether or not they pay nothing, or nothing in addition to their withholding. Liberals on the other hand say these people are the ones you want to give the biggest break to. They have no option but to spend the money they saved through the credits. When they spend it, guess what gets stimulated!

Now, I love reading stuff that validates what I’ve said in the past. Of course it's the liberal take that's validating me but think about it. Trickle down doesn’t work. Conservatives will argue that if you give the rich a break, they will employ more of the poor. Bullshit. If you give the rich a break, for the most part they just get richer. If you give the less privileged a break, they spend it. When they spend it, it TRICKLES UP. I’ve said it a ton of times. But this is what conservatives don’t like. When you provide relief to the poor and the middle classes, the rich wind up paying more and/ or making less. And here is where conservative like to tell me to go pork myself because I say fuck ‘em. They can AFFORD to pay more. If you tax a guy who makes 30 grand a year at 30 percent he’s left with 20 grand. If you tax a guy who makes 300 grand the same rate he’s left with 200 grand. Taking it a step further, if you tax the 30 grand guy 5 percent (I’m exaggerating for effect) he’s left with 28,500. If you tax the 300 grand guy 50 percent he’s left with 150,000. OK, show of hands… how many of you want to be the 30 grand guy because he’s paying a lower tax rate? Yeah, I thought so.

Now, to take it further. Obama has proposed to allow the tax cuts implemented by THE MORON to expire for individuals making more than 200 grand a year and married couples making more than 250 grand. He has proposed raising the two top tax brackets from 33% and 36% to 35% and 39.6%. He wants an increase on capital gains taxes from 15% to 20% for households making more than 250 grand per year. Finally, he wants to raise the tax on dividend income from 15% to 20%, again for households making more than 250 grand. Is this Socialism? I mean come on. If you are offered 250 grand a year will you turn it down because of the additional 5% in taxes? I guess the ONLY people truly effected in an adverse way are those that made just under the 200 - 250 grand the year before the changes. Boo hoo. They'll get used to it. To quote Mr. T, “I piddy da fools”.

In closing, let’s all take a look at the protest signs so proudly displayed by the tea-baggers. Here’s a link that should provide you with an enjoyable distraction from your busy day. Now, I'm not a perfect speller and my knowledge of the detail that makes for proper English is not what I'd like it to be. I'm sure some of you pick apart these posts! But I'm working on it. And I can assure you if I was to be carrying a sign in public, I would check, recheck, and check again to insure my spelling and grammar were correct. I think I'd also try for more than a thin magic marker and shitty penmanship. Anyway, it's brilliant stuff. They should all write for Hallmark.


Common Sense

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ignorance? Not always…

A couple of things caught my eye last night and this morning that I felt were worthy of comment. The first was Lieutenant Colonel Terry Larkin, a doctor in the US Army. He is refusing deployment to Afghanistan because he does not recognize Barack Obama as the Commander in Chief. Why? Because he doesn’t believe the President was born in the USA. That’s right. Dr. Larkin is a birther. The fact that Dr. Larkin is a birther throws some dirt into my argument that birthers are morons. I’m fairly sure that even a bad doctor can’t be a moron and make it through the rigors of medical training so I need to apologize to the birthers and their movement. I guess they aren’t all morons after all. I still believe that most of them are morons. After all, this issue has been pretty much laid to rest. Hawaii has confirmed multiple times that the POTUS was in fact born there. But what about the good doctor?

I guess the answer is the birthers are a diverse group of morons and bigots. And possibly cowards. Today’s society has been very specific on what is and is not “politically correct”. Outside of the world of radical hate groups there is seldom a mention of race, gender, or religion as a reason for success or failure, competence or incompetence, qualification or lack of qualification that goes unnoticed. Statements such as “she was hired because she was a woman” or, “his failure was expected because he is black” or, “we never expected a Jew to be placed into that position” would garner howls of protest as they should. We have moved far beyond that type of reasoning within the law. But we have NOT moved beyond it in the way many of us think and act. It’s better than it was in the 60’s but we still have a long way to go.

So if Dr. Larkin is not a moron he must be a bigot or a coward. As I ponder this I find myself leaning towards coward. After all, a bigot is likely a moron. I think we HAVE evolved as a society to the point where we realize gender, race, or religion does not qualify or disqualify anyone from anything. Well, maybe there aren’t any women out there that will win a big dick contest. And I guess a Muslim won’t win “Jew of the year”. It’s also unlikely that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be competing in the “Miss USA Pageant” any time soon. But anything of substance is pretty much attained by hard work and dedication (or in the case of big business, occasionally by who you know) not by gender, race, or religion. Well, a member of a “protected class” might be advanced by someone who feels the need to proclaim to the world “Look at me! I’m not a racist/homophobe/woman hater/religious persecutor”/etc. Of course, if one feels the need to proclaim it, one likely has issues around it. But one would hope that a doctor, by virtue of their training and education would be very much aware of all this. Therefore, Dr. Larkin must in fact be a coward. This is the only sound reason he would refuse deployment to Afghanistan right?

Well, maybe not. Because as I continue to ponder the issue I realize that one might not necessarily need to be a moron to be a bigot. I think it has been demonstrated that reasonably intelligent people can in fact become blind to reality and be so infused with hate that they fail to think logically. Look at the populace of Japan during WWII. These were not stupid people. This was an extremely advanced society. Look at the Republican Party. There are a ton of seemingly intelligent people there who just don’t get it.

So if you don’t need to be a moron to be a bigot, then Dr. Larkin might very well be a bigot and not a coward. One could argue the point that the birthers get less shit than the KKK so it might behoove one to align with those who feign or claim ignorance to the place of Obama’s birth rather than a hate group. Well, I guess the birthers are a hate group…. But they claim not to be.

So, point number one is that those stinky annoying birthers might not be moronic but instead they might just not like black people or be little fraidy cats….

The second thing I found myself spending time I don’t have on today is an article sent by my friend Roy (thanks Roy) that concerns the establishment of startup news organizations that are being bankrolled by conservative groups. I need help with this one. Those on the right that take issue with the “liberal press” want to go out and create news outlets that will by nature be “conservative press”. Wouldn’t you think they would want to just support “neutral” or “unbiased” press? And this made me think of my mother.

OK, by now you’re wondering just what the hell is wrong with me. How did I get to my mother (may she rest in peace). Well let me tell you…. My mother had one very nasty trait (actually, she had several, but this one seemed to be a major annoyance to me). She COULD NOT accept as fact, that which she did not want to hear. In other words, if she didn’t believe it, then it couldn’t be true. Needless to say, she was a Republican (he said, with a wry grin). So I wonder, is this a trait shared by a big chunk of the Republican Party? Is this inability to accept anything other than what you want to hear, one mark of a conservative? I think it might be! Does this indicate ignorance, bigotry, cowardice, or some combination of the three? I think it does. Why? I’m glad you asked.

Ignorance is easy. When one is too stupid to formulate your own reality, you let others do it for you. And those others are generally those that are saying what you want to hear. Not necessarily the truth mind you. But what you want to hear. And it doesn’t even have to be the primary point. It can be anything that results in your preferred reality. If you don’t want a black leader (bigot), you might be relieved to hear that Obama was not born in the USA (ignorant) because now you can fight against him with a reason that makes you look like a moron instead of a bigot! But since you don’t have the balls to state the real reason you are against him, well I guess that makes you a coward too! So what better way to lessen your feelings of inadequacy and stupidity than to start up news organizations that speak to what you want to hear? Forget the truth. We’ll “FOX” you into a stupor. After all, ignorance is bliss!

Next time we will talk more about ignorance and creating your own reality. But instead of thanking Roy I’ll be thanking Greg. See you then.


Common Sense