Thursday, October 29, 2009
A key tenet of fascism is a fierce sense of nationalism. A recent article by Neal Gabler illustrates the fact that the right are the ones that have this key ingredient of fascism.
There is nothing wrong with self-satisfaction or national pride. But the incessant trumpeting of our national superiority to every other country in the world is more than just off-putting and insulting. It is infantile, like the vaunting of a schoolyard bully that his Dad is better than your Dad. It is wrong. And it might be dangerous both to ourselves and to the rest of the world.
It also doesn't work. We live in a global economy now and it is simply good business to understand and get along with other cultures. Wait. Sorry. I just realized that the words "understand" and "get along with" when used in conjunction with the right can probably only exist on one place in the world.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Setting aside the obvious offense to women everywhere, it is yet another nauseating example of male stereotyping which will sadly lead to more men thinking this is "cool."
Every fucking day I turn on the TV and all I see are commercials which portray men as essentially enjoying four things: eating, sleeping, watching TV, and playing video games. Each ad somehow manages to make them look moronic doing each of them. I am sick and tired of it.
Men are NOT simple creatures. We have just as many complex emotions as women do. The main reason why men are so fucked up in our culture is that their sociocultural context has told them that this fucking TV remote pictured above is the ideal. Never has their been a larger or smellier load of shit.
To say that I loathe this picture is the understatement of...forever. In fact, add up my dislike of Michelle Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Michelle Malkin and it is still but a thimble full of hatred compared to the above image of the "Male" in the year 2009. But that's not even the worst part.
The fact is that this stereotype comes from somewhere as all stereotypes do. There ARE guys like this and some who probably find it funny. More than likely, they are beyond hope. But this certainly doesn't help the ones that aren't. So, shit like this pushes the ones that don't think this is funny into going with the flow and the cycle of the "Buffoon Man" continues.
What a giant load of diarrhea.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I have no doubt that my state will be the LAST one in the US to ease any sort of marijuana restrictions (see: 90 foot pole up ass on any sort of happy, fun time) but I am still quite pleased. It's insane that this drug is not legal. The illegality of it has caused our already over filled jails to be filled more and has fueled the Mexican drug cartels violence. States can now pursue sensible restrictions and penalties that don't send someone to jail for a minimum of 25 years.
And an extra stream of tax revenue will mean help for states like California who are having severe budget problems.
But the best part? Certain people have to now admit that the words "less federal government" and "the Obama administration" must be used in tandem. Hee Hee....
Monday, October 26, 2009
"That bitch in the House!!!!"
was the first comment from my Uncle Bill when the subject of politics came up. Yeah, good thing the right doesn't lead with their feelings.
But the power grab thing has always cracked me up. Juxtapose what the right says about the twirling moustache liberals thirst for power with a recent statement from Harry "Milktoast" Reid.
We’re leaning towards talking about a public option.
Wow. I am overwhelmed by his Hitleresque statements and tactics. He's a comin' to git ya! Hide your guns and children...
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I am here today because of a conversation I had last June when I was voting. A woman at my polling place asked me, "Do you believe in equal, equality for gay and lesbian people?" I was pretty surprised to be asked a question like that. It made no sense to me. Finally I asked her, "What do you think our boys fought for at Omaha Beach?" I haven't seen much, so much blood and guts, so much suffering, much sacrifice. For what? For freedom and equality. These are the values that give America a great nation, one worth dying for.
Amen, Phillip. Thank you for your service.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Gee, I'm shocked.
For months we have been hearing much downplaying from the right about how "all presidents get threats" blah blah blah.
But the Boston Globe is now reporting that the Secret Service is not tasked to handle all of these new threats and may need to re-tool it's mission.
The unprecedented number of death threats against President Obama, a rise in racist hate groups, and a new wave of antigovernment fervor threaten to overwhelm the US Secret Service, according to government officials and reports, raising new questions about the 144-year-old agency’s overall mission.
Remember the Brooklyn Park incident from a while back? Check this out.
Two days before Obama’s appearance at San Francisco fund-raisers on Thursday, a 59-year-old Northern California man was indicted on charges of sending a racist, profanity-filled e-mail threatening to kill Obama and his family. The rambling e-mail included specific references to Michelle Obama and the phrase, “do it to his children and family first in front of him,’’ according to the indictment.
Yeah, BP was an "isolated" incident.
Oh, and it was nice to this "highly disputed" report again.
The Southern Poverty Law Center says that antigovernment militias and white supremacist groups have strengthened in recent years, responding to an increasingly diverse population and what they see as an expanding government.
A center study released in August found a nearly 35 percent growth in racially based domestic hate groups since 2000 - from 602 to 926. The center concluded that opposition to Obama’s election has only increased the phenomenon.
“A key difference this time is that the federal government - the entity that almost the entire radical right views as its primary enemy - is headed by a black man,’’ the report said. “One result has been a remarkable rash of domestic terror incidents since the presidential campaign, most of them related to anger over the election of Barack Obama.’’
They're just a bunch of leftists down there at the SPLC so I wouldn't pay them no never mind.
And it's a good thing that we have Rush, Glenn Beck, and a zillion other pundits encouraging so much love and affection for the president. I'm sure that their listeners can tell that they are only entertainers.
Monday, October 19, 2009
The general and I also found ourselves talking about what can happen when the three extremes — poverty, ideology and climate — come together. We found ourselves discussing the stretch of land that runs across the continent of Africa, just along the creeping sands of the Sahara — an area that includes Sudan and northern Nigeria. He also agreed that many people didn’t see that the Horn of Africa — the troubled region that encompasses Somalia and Ethiopia — is a classic case of the three extremes becoming an unholy trinity (I’m paraphrasing) and threatening peace and stability around the world.
The military man also offered me an equation. Stability = security + development. In an asymmetrical war, he said, the emphasis had to be on making American foreign policy conform to that formula.
Meanwhile in ass hat land...
Obama is giving the American immune system AIDS.
...but if you support this weakening of our defenses and the politicians that call for them, then you become responsible for the consequences of the next attack
Huh. Now which side is it that is divisive and hyper paranoid?
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The Pentagon's personnel chief said Tuesday the military has completed its best recruiting year since 1973, meeting all its goals and bringing in a better educated group of young people.
The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps met goals for active duty and reserve recruiting during the budget year ended Sept. 30 — the first time that has happened since the all-volunteer force was established, said Defense Department head of personnel Bill Carr.
Hmmph. Now I wonder why that is? Could it be anything at all to do with having a president who actually takes his time in deciding whether or not to send troops into harm's way? One that cares about the troops and their families?
One that respects them and their sacrifice?
Monday, October 12, 2009
We should not be punishing patriotic Americans who have stepped forward to serve the country. We should be celebrating their willingness to step forward and show such courage ... especially when we are fighting two wars. I will end don't ask-don't tell.
Say goodbye to the Defense of Marriage Act soon as well.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
-Boss Limbaugh, on the Nobel Peace Prize award given to President Obama.
Now, who was it that said that our fundamentalists and their fundamentalists are pretty much the fucking same?
Friday, October 09, 2009
The first thing that struck me right off the bat was...who in the fuck were the 30 assholes who voted against this amendment? Let's find out, shall we? Here is the list.
What a fucking shock...a bunch of white, male, rednecks all of whom are up their eyeballs in giving rim jobs to corporations like KBR and Haliburton.
I've heard a lot of shit from the right about how more government takes away people's rights. What about the rights of Jamie Leigh Jones? Here is a prime example of how a private company is doing EXACTLY what the right fears will happen if the government sets more regulation.
I also took a lot of shit from a poster (LabRat) on TSM about slavery. She screamed and howled at me for days about how I was a/n (insert various derogatory terms here) by saying that corporations enslave people and our country isn't as free as we might think. Well, Lab, here's an example of what the fuck I am talking about. They locked her in a container for 24 hours! Tell me exactly how this is "freedom."
People that support ANY of these men above ought to be ashamed of themselves. Look at one of the names above. He was your party's nominee for cripes' sake! Are you that ball cupping in love with THE CORPORATION that you don't know right from wrong anymore?
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Last in line for Michael Moore's new movie. Keep in mind I’m no writer so random thoughts will be randomly thrown in among the paragraphs and I can’t talk about every subject covered in the movie because that would make this review too long.
One could easily make the observation that MM is irrelevant. GWB won by a wider margin in 2004 than he did in 2000, and that was 2 months after Fahrenheit 9/11 was released. The town hall meetings have had a much stronger impact on the health care debate in this nation than Sicko did and this new movie won't matter much either. The themes in this movie, while important, seemed dated to me…Sicko might have been more appropriate now (while Congress is debating the health-care bill).
One can’t help but notice the common schticks in Moores movies - one-sided stories, ironic stock footage, ominous music, exploitative interviews, awkward confrontations, personal testimonials, absurd/scary facts and figures, use of vintage documentary footage, and pranks that cheapen the message. The movie weaves a familiar Michael Moore story of David versus Goliath (and we all know that nobody ever roots for Goliath). To me, he paints America’s sins with too broad a brush. Pointing a relentless finger at “capitalism”, Moore sounds a little too much like anyone Markadelphia criticizes for getting a little too hot under the collar about “socialism”. In both cases, they’re not making an argument - they’re demonizing a word.
The opening credits roll over security-camera footage of bank robberies in progress. Moore associates the taking of property at gunpoint with free markets, not with taxation.
Next thing we learn is that America is Rome, too distracted by Nascar and Mixed Martial Arts to care that we’re being exploited by wall street. The people who are losing their homes because of the collapse of home prices didn’t do anything to deserve it - if they treated their houses like ATMs or didn’t understand that the A in ARM stands for Adjustable, it’s because greedy Wall Street CEOs and their minions tricked them into doing it. There were several personal testimonials showed here and I’m sorry but I need to know the context of the situation behind why these folks are losing their homes. As usual, Moore only tells part of the story. He doesn’t criticize the home owners who displayed their own greed in taking out unaffordable mortgages and tapping their home-equity every year to buy cars and flat-screen televisions. Sure he showed Countrywide ads about refinancing your home but nobody forces anybody to use their homes as an ATM every year.
Moore clings to a romanticized version of the American past where unions and 90% tax rates on millionaires made America totally awesome.
He interviews a guy from a company called Condo Vultures. This is the same stuff he pulled in Sicko – the Condo Vulture guy in this movie represents capitalism the same way the folks living off of skid row in Sicko represent the American health care system. When Moore goes over to Europe in Sicko, he only profiles white, upper middle class folks. Funny how that works, isn’t it? He also profiles a for-profit juvenile-detention center in Pennsylvania whose operators bribed two judges to give kids longer sentences, thus increasing revenues to the facility. This is a crime and aren’t the men involved are facing long prison sentences? It might come as a shock to some but political corruption predates capitalism and exists in every country on earth. While presenting both these stories, Moore is tackling the wrong subject. This isn't about Capitalism - this is about the lack of ethics and morals by some people who operate within the confines of a capitalistic system. That there are predators that will take advantage and exploit a situation for their own gain is not limited to capitalism. We all know that there are very bad excesses in capitalism - there always has been and there always will be. Capitalism will always be flawed by the prejudices inherent in all humans. Nobody I know who is pro-business thinks people should get away with breaking the law. Speaking for myself, I am pro-free markets. Health care could serve as a great example of what happens when free market forces are taken totally out of the equation. There is no way that nine-out-of-ten people in this country can afford an average hospital stay. This country decided that somebody else has to pay their hospital bills…insurance companies, medicare, medicaid, whoever. In an ideal world, the price in medical services would have to adjust to what people can afford, just as many other things in our economy do (in an ideal world).
Moore spends a lot of time profiling the Republic Window and Door workers in Chicago who refused to leave their factory. Completely left out of the movie was the fact that government (Daley, Blago, and Stroger Jr) had a strong role in Republic going out of business when Cook County raised its sales tax to 10.25%. Many people wrote in to local papers like the Daily Herald and stated that they started saving thousands of dollars on large purchases by doing their shopping outside of Cook County and purchasing windows and doors is a very large purchase. By the time the sit-in began, Cook County had posted a 13% drop in monthly revenue. Moore didn't touch the subject of how raising taxes, any taxes, hurts individuals with purchasing power, businesses being able to stay in their locations and make a profit, and a steady stream (not falling) of revenue for local governments. No company exists to provide jobs. A company exists to produce profit for the owners. Too many people function from a mindset that says the company had a primary responsibility to it's workers. The business owners didn't get together one day and say, "Let's create jobs for workers". They got together and said, "Let's create a business to produce profit for ourselves. In the process, we'll need to hire some people” and that’s why lots of people exchange the term "fair" for "my self-interest".
One particularly chilling sequence explores how woefully underpaid, overworked and therefore unreliable our nation's commercial airline pilots are. If you're currently afraid of flying this portion of the film won't do you any favors.
Moore talks about companies taking out life insurance policies on employees and cashing in on them when employees die. They are called Dead Peasant policies. If you feel they are just wrong, congress and the president can demand legislation banning them.
Moore admits that he once considered entering the priesthood because he admired the church’s commitment to helping the poor. Moore interviews several priests and bishops, some of whom share his view that capitalism is evil and none of whom think capitalism is good for poor people. At no time does anyone mention that some of the most impoverished places in the world do not have capitalist systems in place. It does make one think that maybe we should adopt a more "Christian" ethic of helping those less fortunate but then when you realize that the Christian Ethic isn’t an a la carte menu (allowing us to pick one item and not the others), you’ll then realize what a constitutional travesty that would be.
He spends a lot of time talking about unions and General Motors. I found it odd that he didn’t mention the bailout of the auto industry as he sure talked a lot about the bailout of the financial firms a lot. The union dream and the dream of a strong GM are over, and the reasons Moore cites are only part of the story. In 2008, GM and Toyota actually sold about the same number of vehicles. Toyota turned a $1.7 billion profit while GM lost around $9 billion. That doesn’t happen by accident. Until these automakers and their unions resolve the structural problems that creates this kind of unprofitability, the dream will remain just that – a dream. GM is basically a retirement home/health care facility with a auto plant as a side project. GM has a policy of 30 years there and you can retire and they seemed surprised when lots of people retired at 48 and drew on the pension and free health care for another 30 years.
Bernie Sanders makes a quip that Nurses salaries are too low. Nurses are very well paid at this point in time.
The commercial for the city of Cleveland was absolutely hilarious.
MM claimed that nobody saw the collapse coming. That’s wrong, Peter Schiff saw it –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I0QN-FYkpw
The film communicates that blood is on both Republican and Democratic hands when it comes to our nation's economic collapse. Chris Dodd and Tim Geithner come off almost as badly as Hank Paulson.
This concept of positive/negative rights colors Moore’s stories of foreclosures in Miami. The families facing eviction aren’t borrowers who failed to live up to their end of a contract. They are shown as Americans whose right to own a home is being violated (there is no such right but that doesn’t stop the folks in the community from harassing the process server who isn’t even an employee of the bank).
One problem with capitalism today could be globalism. We all compete but we don’t all play by the same rules. The transition to a global economy will be painful. Politicians are not going to tell you what you do not want to hear: that the days of getting paid $30/hr turning a bolt on an assembly line are over. Neither political party or labor union can stop that.
At the end of the film, Moore gives us what he thinks is the ultimate illustration of the failure of capitalism: shots of people on the rooftops in the flooded Ninth Ward of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit. The flooding occurred due to levee failure as well as poor maintenance of the flood walls surrounding the city. Spending many mornings of my youth hunting on farms along the Mississippi River in Illinois, I can tell you who is in charge of levees – the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (a government agency) but hey – if you refuse to know the facts, refuse to get alternative viewpoints and buy into everything Moore says then capitalism must be at fault.
In conclusion, I consider the crash of the mortgage backed securities market as perfect operation of the free market and this recession we find ourselves in is not a failure of market economics. It is a reassertion of market economics after a decade in which we paid ourselves more than we were producing, and funded it all with complicated credit instruments. Moore is throwing stones in a glass house he often frequents. Just look at how far Moore, a one-time assembly-line worker turned journalist turned documentary film maker, has come. His journey alone exemplifies the social mobility made possible by the very economic system he rails against. Economic downturns and upswings are as natural as the tides. Human history proves this. The causes can be heaped on “greed” or “capitalism,” but unless Moore thinks that human nature will suddenly transform and we’ll all behave as saints now that the “right people” have now been elected, he’s being just a little bit cynical.
The system could definitely use some improvement but it does not need replacement.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans — those making more than $138,000 each year — earned 11.4 times the roughly $12,000 made by those living near or below the poverty line in 2008, according to newly released census figures. That ratio was an increase from 11.2 in 2007 and the previous high of 11.22 in 2003.
Remember, though, any talk of having a slightly higher tax rate means you are A FUCKING SOCIALIST!! I WANT MY PIE!!! GIMME MY PIE!!! (Ok, that last bit was Glenn Beck, not me).
Household income declined across all groups, but at sharper percentage levels for middle-income and poor Americans. Median income fell last year from $52,163 to $50,303, wiping out a decade's worth of gains to hit the lowest level since 1997. Poverty jumped sharply to 13.2 percent, an 11-year high.
Wait....huh? I thought all poor people drove Cadillacs with money stolen by the government from rich people. WTF?
Income at the top 5 percent of households — those making $180,000 or more — was 3.58 times the median income, the highest since 2006.
Well, that's because those at the median won't pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Lazy assholes...
Pharr, Texas, and Flint, Mich., each had more than a third of its residents on food stamps, at 38.5 percent and 35.4 percent, respectively.
Between 2007 and 2008, income at the 50th percentile (median) and the 10th percentile fell by 3.6 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively, compared with a 2.1 percent decline at the 90th percentile. Between 1999 and 2008, income at the 50th and 10th percentiles decreased 4.3 percent and 9 percent, respectively, while income at the 90th percentile was statistically unchanged.
And we wonder why some areas of our country are starting to look like the Third World. Ah, well. It's all the gubmint's fault.
If we could just let the market be free, then all of these problems would be solved. People would work harder (or die if they didn't), health care costs would be lower, our country would return to the greatness that our founding fathers believed in, farts would no longer smell, and Jesus Christ could finally expand his derivative operations on Wall Street.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
-Kenneth H. Paulus, President and CEO of Allina clinics and hospitals.
And he runs a damn fine organization as well...one that remembers what it's like to be....oh, I don't know...HUMAN.
Monday, October 05, 2009
If I wait long enough...have patience...inevitably...it all works out:)
A while back, I was taken to the mat over just what exactly McCain campaign staffers thought about Sarah Palin. Carl Cameron of Fox News put out a story post election 2008 that said staffers thought Palin was incapable of handling the vice presidency due to incompetence. The sources he used were unnamed and many jumped on me for even talking about it...saying the story was hearsay and rumor mongering ("many" meaning men that think Sarah Palin is hot and want to fuck her).
But now we have this little tidbit from Steve Schmidt, McCain campaign manager.
I think that she has talents, but you know, my honest view is that she would not be a winning candidate for the Republican Party in 2012, and in fact, were she to be the nominee, we could have a catastrophic election result.
No shit. And why is that, Steve?
Saturday, October 03, 2009
The worst day of Obama's presidency, folks. The ego has landed. The world has rejected Obama. For those of you ... who are upset that I sound gleeful, I am. I don't deny it. I'm happy. Anything that gets in the way of Barack Obama accomplishing his domestic agenda is fine with me.
-Rush Limbaugh, speaking on the rejection of Chicago as host to the 2016 Olympics, 10-2-09
Friday, October 02, 2009
Thursday, October 01, 2009
First up, we have Minnesota's own Michelle Bachmann who said this on the floor of the US Congress., in regards to the House version of the health care bill.
Does that mean that someone's 13 year-old daughter could walk into a sex clinic, have a pregnancy test done, be taken away to the local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, have their abortion, be back and go home on the school bus that night? Mom and dad are never the wiser, they don't know any different.
I so love the tap into your inner rage and pass if off as fact meme.
Next we have Trent Franks, Republican Congressmen from Arizona.
President Obama has no place in any station of government and we need to realize that he is an enemy of humanity.
Quick! Someone find me a rope!
Along those same lines, we had this question from a recent Facebook poll
Should President Obama be killed?
Rounding out our mix of linguistic joy from the day room at Bellevue we have this little ditty from John Perry of Newsmax.
Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution through an interim administration that would do the serious business of governing and defending the nation. Skilled, military-trained, nation-builders would replace accountability-challenged, radical-left commissars.
He went on to say that President Obama is inviting a military coup and it would be pretty cool. You could file this last one under "Things The Base Like to Wank To At Night."
I must be out of my mind to say such awful things as I do about the right. The left is just as bad, right? I need to be more level-headed and less emotional.
Just like conservatives tell me they are every day.