16 December 2008

Happy Birthday, Bill 'mutha-fuckin' Hicks!!!

It's just a ride and we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money, a choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. - Bill Hicks

12 December 2008

"The Fundamentals of the economy are strong."

"Smell that? Of course you do, it's your 401K."
(Henry Paulson juxtaposing a fart as a private retirement plan)

Nobel-laureate economist, Joseph Stiglitz (not the guy pictured above) provides an interesting, though abridged, historical layout of the economic meltdown and the importance of the getting our history correct so as to smartly deal with the potentially disastrous economic depression we are facing today.

The more I read, the more it seems to be apparent that the problem is not the cyclical (and somewhat predictable) downturn that occurs in any large economy. Instead, the problem is the very infrastructure of our economy. There has been a major flaw in the way we have done business over the last 20 years, at least. As Dr. Stiglitz sees it:
In 1987 the Reagan administration decided to remove Paul Volcker as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and appoint Alan Greenspan in his place. Volcker had done what central bankers are supposed to do. On his watch, inflation had been brought down from more than 11 percent to under 4 percent. In the world of central banking, that should have earned him a grade of A+++ and assured his re-appointment. But Volcker also understood that financial markets need to be regulated. Reagan wanted someone who did not believe any such thing, and he found him in a devotee of the objectivist philosopher and free-market zealot Ayn Rand.

Greenspan played a double role. The Fed controls the money spigot, and in the early years of this decade, he turned it on full force. But the Fed is also a regulator. If you appoint an anti-regulator as your enforcer, you know what kind of enforcement you’ll get. A flood of liquidity combined with the failed levees of regulation proved disastrous.
Can we all finally say, "Fuck Ayn Rand and her followers!"? If there ever was an ideology that needed a thorough, brutal and final rebuke, it's that horseshit. . .

Either way, Dr. Stiglitz wraps up his piece, I think, rather succinctly. Even if you haven't been following the minutia of the economic crisis, this is a good set of ideas to have in your head as you do. . .
Was there any single decision which, had it been reversed, would have changed the course of history? Every decision—including decisions not to do something, as many of our bad economic decisions have been—is a consequence of prior decisions, an interlinked web stretching from the distant past into the future. You’ll hear some on the right point to certain actions by the government itself—such as the Community Reinvestment Act, which requires banks to make mortgage money available in low-income neighborhoods. (Defaults on C.R.A. lending were actually much lower than on other lending.) There has been much finger-pointing at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two huge mortgage lenders, which were originally government-owned. But in fact they came late to the subprime game, and their problem was similar to that of the private sector: their C.E.O.’s had the same perverse incentive to indulge in gambling.

The truth is most of the individual mistakes boil down to just one: a belief that markets are self-adjusting and that the role of government should be minimal. Looking back at that belief during hearings this fall on Capitol Hill, Alan Greenspan said out loud, “I have found a flaw.” Congressman Henry Waxman pushed him, responding, “In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right; it was not working.” “Absolutely, precisely,” Greenspan said. The embrace by America—and much of the rest of the world—of this flawed economic philosophy made it inevitable that we would eventually arrive at the place we are today.
Down with the Trickle Down™.

15 November 2008

For the Love of God. . .

Please read this.
About 30 years ago, the socially embedded corporation of the post-World War II period was reconceived as a giant money machine. This started innocently enough. As global competition began to affect American industries, many wondered how to make managers more accountable for the firm's performance. The idea was that managers were not acting in shareholders' interests to maximize profits. Theorists suggested all kinds of reasons why this might be so, from inertia and self-interest to community loyalty and even "honor."

One solution eventually dominated all others: markets for corporate control. A new breed of activist investors led tender offers, often hostile, to take over companies whose share prices were regarded as underperforming. Most stockholders responded simply by choosing the highest offer. Leveraging up debt and driving new economies of scale by combining or reorganizing resources were seen as ways to impose discipline on teams of managers and limit their divergence from shareholder-wealth maximization. New compensation and incentive systems linked executive pay to the performance of the company's stock price.

The company became a transaction machine designed to maximize profit, untethered from its community, society, and country. Jobs were outsourced, work was automated, assets were concentrated, costs were cut to the bone, and balance sheets depended on increasingly arcane financial engineering. Takeovers gave way to mergers. Industries consolidated, limiting consumer choice. The inward focus to which management had always been vulnerable became pathological, banishing the needs of customers and employees to a distant horizon. Job security became tenuous, and most families depended on two incomes. A large majority of employees wanted more flexibility at work than their employers allowed. Working parents, and especially mothers, foundered. Customers were treated as anonymous and expendable.

Two comments: 1.) The current situation is not just a result of the cyclical nature of any functioning economy. It is about the way we do "business". 2.) Personally, I think we're all fucked - rich and poor, alike. Whether you earn and/or make money. . . See ya in the Soup Line™.

06 November 2008

Yes. We. Did. (Part II)

It's a marathon, not a sprint. But it never to hurts to celebrate the gains - once in a while.

05 November 2008

Yes. We. Did.

I'm not one for campaign slogans or their re-writes, but I was part of a huge group-hug last night where, after CNN called the election for Obama, we all cried and shouted that for two minutes, easily. I wish I had some pictures of it, but alas. The memory, burned into my brain, will last me a lifetime - and that wasn't even the most amazing part of my day.

02 November 2008

Proposition 8

While I doubt anyone from California reads this blog, we should all be aware of the absurdity of the arguments made by those who oppose the right of anyone to commit to a legally binding contract that grants legal rights and protections to the person of their choosing, regardless of sexual orientation.

50 years ago Proposition 8 could have substituted "gay marriage" for miscegenation and it would represent the same misguided values.

With that, I present the Republican Mayor of San Diego, Jerry Sanders:

"I have close family members and friends who are a member of the gay and lesbian community. Those folks include my daughter Lisa, as well as members of my personal staff.

"I want for them the same thing that we all want for our loved ones—for each of them to find a mate whom they love deeply and who loves them back; someone with whom they can grow old together and share life’s experiences.

"And I want their relationships to be protected equally under the law. In the end, I couldn’t look any of them in the face and tell them that their relationship—their very lives—were any less meaningful than the marriage I share with my wife Rana."

(h/t: Teh Great Orange Satan)

23 October 2008


I'd like to thank 6 of the most beautiful and loving people in my life - Ma', Chief, Magoosh, Monk, 'Dorge and Tooner - for being my family.

(I dedicate the first post of this hapless blog composed on my iPod Touch to you guys.)

Jack Fate

06 October 2008

Yeah, it's been awhile. . .

. . . and I broke my at-least-one-post-a-month standard that I set for myself. But at least I tried to write at least three different essays on shit I thought was bothering me - some of it still is. But given the state of things, the only thing I could come up with that was coherent and appropriate is this borrowed image:

Grab your ankles folks, it's gonna hurt.

24 July 2008

Who is your favorite Founding Father?

Lincoln or Reagan?

Yep, two of those people said Abraham Lincoln (b. 2/12/1809) and Ronald Reagan (b. 2/6/1911), respectively, were their favorite Founding Fathers of the United States of America (b. 1776-1791) All four people are Republican candidates for an open Congressional seat in Missouri's 9th District. I give credit to the other two for not busting a gut while the Poli. Sci. kidz were giving their answers. That had to be hard not to after the woman on the panel said Reagan. To make this even more rediculous, Abe Lincoln fanboy, Brock Olivo once had this to say back in February about his qualifications for office:
"Not only was I football player, but I also was in social studies class, and I have a passion for how this country works," Olivo said.

I know a lot of people that were "in" class, but never learned shit. By the way, just to prove that the best way out of a hole is to keep digging, Olivo (about 0:33 into the video) blathers out loud that while the "courage" Lincoln displayed in abolishing slavery was immense, it probably was not on par with the "courage" fellow Founding Father Ronald Reagan displayed when he watched the Soviet Union collapse under the weight of it's own largess, thus "winning" the Cold War. That's some titanium balls on teh Gipper, eh?

If it were my question I would probably pick either John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and/or James Madison - the authors of the Federalist Papers - as personal favorites. Though I suppose, in a debate for public office I might stick to heavy hitters like Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Jefferson, so people might think that I had at least attended a social studies class once.

(h/t teh GOS)

14 July 2008

How I spent my weekend. . .

It's the only hat I like wearing. . .

Thanks to the great folks in Blue Jimmy and Mr. and Mrs. Ayers for throwing a groovy party.

23 June 2008

Egads! WTF?

George Denis Patrick Carlin
May 12, 1937 - June 22, 2008

While everyone should go watch the seminal "Seven Dirty Words" bit, I'm gonna post a more recent favorite of mine.

A little more on this later. . .

20 June 2008

Welp, there goes my vote. . .

What I am about to propose is crossing some lines that we can’t step back across. It’s a two-step solution.

Step One: Bury the corpse of the Democratic Party.
Step Two: Make a corpse of the Republican Party.

- Lighting the Fuse - Stan Goff 2006

That quote has always stuck with me for some reason. Now I know why.

Sorry Senator, you lost a supporter today. (Actually, I'm pretty sure you're gonna, deservedly, lose a shitload of supporters after letting that submissive trash out of the press shop.) Seriously, if you're going to act like a little bitch to, quite possibly, the most loathed minority party in modern history, you have no business calling yourself a leader or being the President of the United States. If I didn't know any better I would have swore that statement was written by a fucking Republican. Good day and good riddance.

UPDATE: I realize there is a difference between arguing principle and arguing politics. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is not a questionable subsidy or some other form of horse trading common with politics. It's the God damned Fourth Amendment to the Fucking Constitution of this seemingly cursed country! A principle of liberty if there ever was one. This is not comparable to an earmark or some corporate give-away. It is a right, guarantee and liberty enshrined in the very document that makes this society possible.

But since, it appears, immunity is for sale, who do I have to pay and how much so I can smoke a joint without worrying about my legal liability?

14 June 2008

RIP 'Timmeh'

Timothy John Russert, Jr.
(May 7, 1950 – June 13, 2008)
Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Everything remains as it was.
The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no sorrow in your tone.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again.

My deepest condolences to his wife Maureen, son Luke, father Timothy "Big Russ" Russert and all their family and friends. Your loss must be unbearable and I wish for nothing but peace, comfort and solace in your grieving. Godspeed.

UPDATE: A bit of levity courtesy of Ezra Klein:
Presumably, he's up somewhere beyond the cloudline, hectoring God about His inconsistencies. "But Lord, in Exodus 6:12, you clearly said..."


04 June 2008

Game on!

History was made at the Xcel Energy Center on June 3rd, 2008 as Senator Barack Obama secured the Democratic nomination for President and all but kicked off the general election campaign with a rousing speech in the same arena the Republican Party will be holding it's national convention.

An excerpt from a leaked copy of the speech:
The other side will come here in September and offer a very different set of policies and positions, and that is a debate I look forward to. It is a debate the American people deserve. But what you don't deserve is another election that's governed by fear, and innuendo, and division. What you won't hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon -- that sees our opponents not as competitors to challenge, but enemies to demonize. Because we may call ourselves Democrats and Republicans, but we are Americans first. We are always Americans first.

Despite what the good Senator from Arizona said tonight, I have seen people of differing views and opinions find common cause many times during my two decades in public life, and I have brought many together myself. I've walked arm-in-arm with community leaders on the South Side of Chicago and watched tensions fade as black, white, and Latino fought together for good jobs and good schools. I've sat across the table from law enforcement and civil rights advocates to reform a criminal justice system that sent thirteen innocent people to death row. And I've worked with friends in the other party to provide more children with health insurance and more working families with a tax break; to curb the spread of nuclear weapons and ensure that the American people know where their tax dollars are being spent; and to reduce the influence of lobbyists who have all too often set the agenda in Washington.

In our country, I have found that this cooperation happens not because we agree on everything, but because behind all the labels and false divisions and categories that define us; beyond all the petty bickering and point-scoring in Washington, Americans are a decent, generous, compassionate people, united by common challenges and common hopes. And every so often, there are moments which call on that fundamental goodness to make this country great again.

So it was for that band of patriots who declared in a Philadelphia hall the formation of a more perfect union; and for all those who gave on the fields of Gettysburg and Antietam their last full measure of devotion to save that same union.

So it was for the Greatest Generation that conquered fear itself, and liberated a continent from tyranny, and made this country home to untold opportunity and prosperity.

So it was for the workers who stood out on the picket lines; the women who shattered glass ceilings; the children who braved a Selma bridge for freedom's cause.

So it has been for every generation that faced down the greatest challenges and the most improbable odds to leave their children a world that's better, and kinder, and more just.

And so it must be for us.

Good luck responding to that, bumbles.

UPDATE: Incertus, sums it up pretty good, imo:

McCain was comatose. Clinton's speech was fine, even though lots of people online are freaking about it, and the CNN talking heads are all in a tizzy because she didn't concede tonight.

But Obama's speech was in another world, and it was about halfway through that it finally hit me why his speech was so much better than Clinton's. Clinton's speech was in a "rally the troops" mode, with a lot of focus on what she fought for and why she'd run and what her vision for the future of the country was. Obama's caught some of that last bit--which is good, since that's what presidential nominees are supposed to do--but the rest of his speech was about people other than himself. He spent a good bit of time praising Clinton, and popping McCain right in the mouth, and then concluded with a turn to the plural. He was inclusive--what we need to do, what the road ahead of us is. And if Obama keeps that up, McCain is dogmeat.

02 June 2008

Rest in Peace and Thank You.

Bo Diddley (December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008)

For some reason, this one hurts. Even though I'm aware of the fact he lived a good long life and beyond the fact he was royally screwed by the music business; which is a thoroughly disheartening tale, but not too unexpected. Either way, it hurts.

Both are short and well worth the listen.

01 June 2008

And we will know them by the trail of their stupid

"When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." - Jonathan Swift

Followed by a personal fave. . .
"I dust a bit...in addition, I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip." - Ignatius J. Reilly in Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

I'm pretty sure the following people are not actually with the campaign and, I hope, truly represent only a minority of Sen. Hillary Clinton's supporters. However, they do a decent job knocking the Clinton argument down from parsed legalese to a more a plain spoken form of ridiculous. Seriously. You want to see dumb-as-rocks Democrats? (Allegedly?)

I present to you, Harriet Christian (supposedly):

"[T]he Democrats are throwing the election away! For what? An inadequate black male?"

Um. . . did you really say that?

And what the fuck? I thought we were settled on his adequacies. Even Sen. Joe Biden, in his not-uncommon foot to mouth way, said Sen. Barack Obama was "articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."

Freudian slip or not (I'm willing to believe it was,) I'm not sure that "proud ... older American woman" could have come across as anymore uninformed and, well, stupid? I realize you may have been speaking more out of anger and frustration than from any coherent angle. But keep in mind that people, when they're angry, tend to be less self-censoring and that's a very telling 'rant' in that respect.


Wow. Go vote Republican, please. Leave the rest of us the fuck alone. I also love the rehash of some of the more stupid mini-gates (I hate that suffix, btw.) There's a reason this woman won't vote for Obama and it has nothing to with Prof. William Ayers being "the bomber" or Tony Rezko's legal problems that are completely unrelated to Obama.

Semi-lucid talking points. Emphasis on "semi":

To Mr. Voter-Rights: The "voter rights" you speak of were subject to the rules of the primary as set by the DNC and agreed to BY ALL OF THE CANDIDATES. When you reconcile that cognitive dissonance - the whole "set protocol vs. desired result" thing - we'll talk about what you really think this election "is about."

Personally, I think this lady is a Republican. Substantially the same ridiculous talking points, yet she appears unemotional or detached from the lunacy required to actually believe what she's saying (as evidenced by previous clips.) But in case she's not:

Srsly? The only argument these people can give that sounds remotely like it was concocted in reality is "OMFG COUNT TEH VOTES!!!" What I wish for is that these people stop looking for reasons to not vote for the "inadequate" darker skinned 'boy' and just vote for McCain. Get out of the progressive caucus (I say 'progressive' as I'm not a Democrat.) We don't need nor want you. The results of Saturday's Rules and By-laws Committee (RBC) meeting might have given Clinton a reason for her now-beyond-ridiculous campaign to continue, but it also announced that the Obama faction is now running the Democratic party.

It's over. Barring a catastrophe, Clinton is done. Not because Obama could plausibly capture enough delegates by Tuesday night to clinch the nomination. That would be nice if it happens. Rather, as the very fascinating hearing on Saturday demonstrated, Obama is continuously confirming his influence and diplomatic tact with the party "cogs." His endorsed proposal in the most contentious delegate fight, Michigan, won by a 2 to 1 margin. (18-9, I think?) Obama could have taken the true lawyerly and/or litigious way, like Clinton has, and went to that hearing with legal guns a-blazin' and easily destroy every single argument made by the Clinton camp to the RBC. Instead he held back, worked the politics angle and left the parsing to the desperate. A brilliant strategy that has 2/3 of the RBC in alignment with him. You think the people on the Credentials Committee for the Democratic convention haven't taken notice?

So let those losers run to McCain. They obviously don't believe in progressive causes enough to put aside their racism Obamerage™ long enough to realize they're supporting a continuation of the policies they purport to oppose by, taken at their word, the very act of being Democrats. Screw 'em. They are not needed to win the general election anyways. Toodles.

On the upside, however, these morons couldn't make a stronger and more visceral argument against direct democracy. (Something, these people apparently believe we live under. We don't, btw.) I guess I should thank them for that.

(h/t to Wonkette)

30 May 2008

The War Prayer

Perhaps I'm lucky. One of the strongest tenants of the Catholic faith impressed upon me as a child was, as Ma' would say: "Would you like it if they did that to you?" (It's also a belief woven into Hindism, Islam, Buddhism and various other practices.) These weren't matters of devotion or adherence to a certain dogma, these were matters of the simple truths of human decency and humanity. Two Golden Rules (paraphrased):
  • Love God
  • Treat people the way you would like to be treated

Neither are impossible concepts to get your head around (even for people who debate the capitalization of the word "God.")

When praying for a win in the little league quarter-finals, you're also praying for a loss in the little league quarter-finals for the other team. Unacknowledged of course (or under-acknowledged, at best), and logically there has to be a winner and loser for there to be a competition. But why would you wish on someone that which you are praying to avoid, through prayer?

I'm not saying everyone should throw the game and let the other guy win (a misappropriation of another very important parable in the Bible.) What I'm saying is that calling on God in defense or praise of strategic competitive goals does not only contain easy to ignore negatives reactions, it is antithetical to the standards of the Golden Rules that were so generously preached and mostly observed by the people I feel lucky to call my family.

Wielding "God" as an ideological or tactical tool to gain a desired competitive result, be it a baseball win or war is indefensible. God's lessons are not about victory. The Bible taught me that Jesus cared not so much about leprosy as a disease, he cared about leprosy and how it affected the leper. The rest will follow.

That being said, courtesy of Mark Twain, this seems to be "going viral" and I think it's a good thing.

It reads just fine without the well conceived animation.

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen."

(h/t to slacktivist)

Oh, and btw, anyone hiring?

[UPDATE: BTW, I'm an athiest.]

17 May 2008

Feel good hit of the summer. . .

It would warm the cockles of my dance-club-hating-heart to know this is making the rounds in the weekend roofie grind-fests that are American dance clubs.

Music courtesy of RevoLucian. Priceless.

01 May 2008


So, Presidential hopeful John McCain was thrown a 'social curveball' on Thursday.

[MARTY] PARRISH: This question goes to mental health and mental health care. Previously, I’ve been married to a woman that was verbally abusive to me. Is it true that you called your wife a cunt?[*]

Balls. (I'm not sure what it has to do with "mental health care," however.) If there is an award for the best question asked of a Presidential candidate this election cycle and this doesn't win, the fix is in. Maybe it was not the most appropriate question, but even that is somewhat debatable given the direction this current cycle is headed.
“This is about character,” Parrish said, when reached by telephone afterward. “And in a moment of intemperance, he called his wife the most despicable name a person can call a woman."

Yeah, that's a crowd-pleaser of a word if there ever was one. Either way, it takes a titanium pair to get up in front of mixed company and say that word, never mind in a question to a candidate for the highest office in this cursed land.
MCCAIN: Now, now. You don’t want to … Um, you know that’s the great thing about town hall meetings, sir, but we really don’t, there’s people here who don’t respect that kind of language. So I’ll move on to the next questioner in the back.

Credit where credit is due: That's the one of the classiest non-denial denials I've heard in a long time considering the setting and the question posed to Mr. McCain.

Mr. Parrish, by the way, is a Baptist minister. Make whatever you want of that.

Of course, in our current police security state, Mr. Parrish was briefly detained and questioned by the Secret Service. I'll bet if he had used one of those cute illusory phrases or metaphors, only the tackiness would have been noticed and the Secret Service would not have even cared.

* For the love of Christ, do you think people could actually spell-out the explicative when it relates to the story? Nobody's mother is going to die a thousands deaths because you used (and correctly represented) the word "cunt" in your newspaper article or blog post. Highlighting a specific word that was uttered by someone is not the same as invoking that word in a pejorative fashion. Especially when said word is the whole fuckin' reason you wrote the Goddamn article/post in the first place. Nine out of ten times we're gonna know what you are talking about and actually seeing the letters in the proper sequence is not going to significantly change that fact.

Although, if you want to use the word "cunt" as an invective noun directed at a woman? Well, you're on your own with that.

With that in mind and somewhat without context:

27 April 2008

Well that didn't take long. . .

Pictured above is a candidate for Federal office who's either the dumbest politician on the fuckin' planet or dumber than the aforesaid politician. I'm not sure which. Tony Zirkle is this guys name. He's a candidate in the Republican primary for the 2nd Congressional District in Indiana. This historically unaware candidate gave a speech at the National Socialist Workers Party's birthday celebration held in honor of Adolf Hitler's April 20th birthday. Let that sink in for moment. . .

When confronted with this he explained it away as such, "[t]his is a great opportunity for me to witness." (For the uninitiated, "to witness" is to profess your faith, love, trust and whatever else in Jesus to a group of people. I'm sure there may be more to it, but that's all I've ever walked away with.)

Zirkle was there to talk about porn. More specifically, pornography made by Jew's that victimizes Christian women. So I guess it makes sense to go in front of a group of people who were celebrating the birthday of the guy responsible for exterminating 1/3 of the Jews on the planet.

[I know this is dated, but I still shake my head in disbelief looking at that picture.]

13 April 2008

Dear Senator Clinton,

You are becoming a parody of yourself. I won't ask you to stop, because it is not my place to do so. However, when you say this:
“Senator [Barack] Obama is a good man and he is a very talented and gifted man. But I think his comments were elitist and divisive. And the Democratic party has been unfortunately viewed by many people over the last decades as being elitist and out of touch. . . ”

Please do not turn around and weasel around like so:
After a weekend spent making direct appeals to gun owners and church goers, Hillary Clinton said Sunday a query about the last time she fired a gun or attended church services “is not a relevant question in this debate” over Barack Obama’s recent comments on small town Americans.

“We can answer that some other time,” Clinton said at a press conference held in a working class neighborhood here. “This is about what people feel is being said about them. I went to church on Easter. I mean, so?”

Um. . . Can I try? Hey did you know I'm a bona fide professional musician. For real. What's that, you ask? Have I ever made a living as musician? I don't see how that is relevant, I've played trumpet before. Truthfully: I haven't picked up and played a trumpet since college and I am a musician (a pretty damn decent one, in my opinion,) but unfortunately I've never made a real living as one. . . yet.

Those last two sentences are so fucking priceless. You go to church? So? (see what I did there?) Hmm. . . where have a heard another politician use a potentially condescending™ dodge like that? Oh yeah, right here.

When this election campaign started (sometime during the late 80's, it seems,) I sat back and tried not to pick any candidate to declare, essentially to myself, my support for. The three candidates, I guess, I ranked the highest didn't make the final cut. But so goes politics. Even as it became a two person race, I tried to stay objective. But you more than helped make up my mind for me.

As an ex-Democrat, I feel no real loyalty to the party and should you somehow garner, by hook or crook, the nomination. I will not be voting for you. Ralph Nader says thank you. And, like him, I kind of wonder when the Democrats running for office will actually try to appeal to their base, ya know the almost half of the nation that considers itself progressive?

Meanwhile, keep wasting your time trying to prove your poor rural bona fides (start by hiding your tax returns.) Though I'm sure you must know that most of those people you are pandering to with guns and church mixed together wouldn't vote for you if you promised to water-board 'sand niggers' in the Rose Garden every Friday at 5 pm. Frankly, they're not that dumb. Bitter and/or mad? Sure. That dumb? Mostly likely not.

Hopefully, the base of the party (the people who attend the conventions and do the nominating) will come see you for what you really have become. A joke and a sad, pandering parody of former progressive who knows of no bus too small to throw her base under.

You're not being condescending, you're being outlandishly fake. (We're talking John-Boehner-crying fake.) Condescending, however? No. Just an insult to my intelligence.

jack fate

04 April 2008

40 Years Ago. . .

Without comment. . .

Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness. One day a man came to Jesus, and he wanted to raise some questions about some vital matters of life. At points he wanted to trick Jesus, and show him that he knew a little more than Jesus knew and throw him off base....

Now that question could have easily ended up in a philosophical and theological debate. But Jesus immediately pulled that question from mid-air, and placed it on a dangerous curve between Jerusalem and Jericho. And he talked about a certain man, who fell among thieves. You remember that a Levite and a priest passed by on the other side. They didn't stop to help him. And finally a man of another race came by. He got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy. But he got down with him, administered first aid, and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying, this was the good man, this was the great man, because he had the capacity to project the "I" into the "thou," and to be concerned about his brother.

Now you know, we use our imagination a great deal to try to determine why the priest and the Levite didn't stop. At times we say they were busy going to a church meeting, an ecclesiastical gathering, and they had to get on down to Jerusalem so they wouldn't be late for their meeting. At other times we would speculate that there was a religious law that "One who was engaged in religious ceremonials was not to touch a human body twenty-four hours before the ceremony." And every now and then we begin to wonder whether maybe they were not going down to Jerusalem -- or down to Jericho, rather to organize a "Jericho Road Improvement Association." That's a possibility. Maybe they felt that it was better to deal with the problem from the causal root, rather than to get bogged down with an individual effect.

But I'm going to tell you what my imagination tells me. It's possible that those men were afraid. You see, the Jericho road is a dangerous road. I remember when Mrs. King and I were first in Jerusalem. We rented a car and drove from Jerusalem down to Jericho. And as soon as we got on that road, I said to my wife, "I can see why Jesus used this as the setting for his parable." It's a winding, meandering road. It's really conducive for ambushing. You start out in Jerusalem, which is about 1200 miles -- or rather 1200 feet above sea level. And by the time you get down to Jericho, fifteen or twenty minutes later, you're about 2200 feet below sea level. That's a dangerous road. In the days of Jesus it came to be known as the "Bloody Pass." And you know, it's possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. Or it's possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking. And he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt, in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure. And so the first question that the priest asked -- the first question that the Levite asked was, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?" And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?
Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop.

And I don't mind.

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

And so I'm happy, tonight.

I'm not worried about anything.

I'm not fearing any man!

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!

30 March 2008

On polite discourse and the like. . .

It's not a secret that the conservative end of the spectrum has demonizing their political foes down to an eloquent art form. That's not to say liberals have not or cannot do the same, but in no way are they as effective as their conservative brethren. If that was case, George W. Bush would have long ago been branded a dry-drunk, spineless little shit who avoided Vietnam and John Kerry (a lackluster presidential nominee, if there ever was one) would have never been tarred as a traitorous soldier in a war where he actually fought and was wounded. But whatever, water under the bridge, right?

The whole point being that this week at Eschacon, progressive blogger and fraternity brother (something I normally don't even think of) Sinfonian has been "live blogging" the the affair. In attendance is the Rude Pundit, the John Valby of liberal political discourse and one of my favorite reads on the tubez (when my truck is working, of course.) Intentionally avoiding any hint of subtlety and going for the throat (or cunt, actually) I present the Rude Pundit's take on the many ways he wouldn't fuck Right-wing harpy and bomb thrower, Ann Coulter.

(note - not a single minute of this is even remotely work or kid friendly)

If you're watching this after you've gone to church, think of it as a way to get the new week of sinning off to a smashing start. . .

(h/t to the Rude One and Sinfonian for reminding me of this skit)

27 March 2008

Just gotta say. . .

The War of the Democrats™ is both is both fascinating and revealing. It's odd when longtime bedfellows finally get a chance to fight about their differences. Viva la flame. . .

19 February 2008


Why does shit like SHEEP feel so. . . dead on? Reminds me of an article I read in The Beast, that ended with this:

While [our] tribe’s recording tools are light years beyond the primitive cannibal stories they sing around the fire in Papua New Guinea, the laws that govern them are the same. And the most important law of them is that the tribe is never wrong, and can not fuck up, ever.
I need a drink now. . .

31 January 2008

The Proletariat of a Conservative

I stumbled across the entertaining blog Johnny Pez a little while ago. This is funny because it's intentional:
A specter is haunting America -- the specter of conservative communism. All the powers of liberal fascism have entered into an unholy alliance to exorcise this specter: social worker and college professor, Moulitsas and Soros, San Francisco homosexuals and New York intellectuals.

This book will present a very serious, thoughtful argument that has never been made in such detail or with such care: that the roots of the modern-day American conservative movement can be found in the works of Marx and Engels, Lenin and Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot. We (and when I say "we", I of course speak of myself as a member of the conservative collective) will trace the intellectual roots of conservative communism from its origins in the 17th century conservative communitarian religious factions of Cromwellian England. I will follow that strain of belief as it is introduced into colonial America by such notable conservative communitarians as William Penn and Mother Ann Lee. I will examine the cross-pollination of ideas between 19th-century American religious communists and European secular communists. And finally, I will trace the convergence of these two communistic impulses into the modern Republican Party, the "Grand Old Revolutionary Vanguard Party", with its vast array of think tanks, media outlets, radical journals, revolutionary "militia" cells, warblogs, and self-reinforcing mytho-ideology.

As for the book being spoofed, however, it's not intentional.

20 January 2008

Let us begin. . .

One year till teh worldz change. . . for the better. . . hopefully. . . not holding my breath or anything. . .

(h/t: Sadly, No!)