Who IS this guy?!

'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, (original, huh?) airs on Tuesdays at 10:PM and Saturdays at 8:PM, Eastern time on RainbowRadio.

Feel free to contact me at niceguy9418@usa.com. You can also friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and Tumblr, and support my Patreon. Also, if you don't mind the stench, you can find my unofficial "fan club" over HERE. ;)

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gold Star Awards, October, 2010

Wow.  It's been a busy month, here at IMHO.  26 Posts to date - well over my previous, personal record.  And some of them were even pretty good, if I do say so myself.  I've got at least one more post that needs to go up before election day, and there are some un-replied-to comments that I have to answer (or at least acknowledge) as well.  (And hanks again to everyone who comments - it's hearing from all of you that really makes this worthwhile for me!) And before the month is over, I want to make sure I get the new GOLD STAR's announced for October, while we're still IN October.  So, without further ado, we're up to 1954 now, and that means three Gold's, no Silver's.


The Bill Dickey Gold Star #26: YouTube

This has been SUCH a long time coming.  Of all of the iconic, marquis web pages out there (ebay, google, amazon, etc...) YouTube is, far and away, the most important. In fact, I'll go so far as to call it the greatest innovation in and tool for freedom of speech and freedom of information since the First Amendment.  YouTube makes each and every one of us a journalist, as political commentator, an infotainer, a pundit, a talk show host, and an activist.  It gives everyone a voice and everyone a platform.  And with the Mainstream Media growing more useless every year, stories such as those of Lauren Valle and Kenneth Gladney get what might be the best, most objective treatment, in the chaotic free-for-all that is YouTube.  Never again will "they" be able to suppress the story, or hide the truth.  It' possible that YouTube didn't think they'd change the world when they started out.  And given the preponderance of 10 year old i-Carly wannabe's, there's some fairness in rolling your eye's at this depiction of them.  But we now live in a world in which the information is controlled by the people, and once a single person has it, the WORLD has it.  And that may be the most powerful tool for Democracy since the Constitution.


The Rabbit Maranville Gold Star #27: HuffPo

Right up front, let me clear something up: I am not a huge fan of HuffPo.  But "Rabbit Maranville" is about as obscure a Gold Star as you can get, so now is as good a time as any to acknowledge, and give due credit, to what HuffPo represents.  A Liberal Platform, yes, but far more importantly a MODEL combining blogging, journalism, editorializing, punditry and reader input.  Many have followed, and few have achieved the scope, reach, audience or level of name recognition that the Huffington Post has.  Arianna is the reason many of us are here, doing what we do, and why we might be taken the least bit seriously by anyone outside our core audience.  So what DON'T I like?  Meh...  IMHO, there's just too much Celebrity Fluff more my tastes.  Not enough Kutner and Reich, and way to much Baldwin.  But that's fine.  It is what it is.  It's not The American Prospect, after all, nor is it...


The Bill Terry Gold Star #28: The Humanist

THIS is more like it.  I'll admit that I read them less than I read some other (like TAP) and less than I probably SHOULD or NEED TO, because they really do a fantastic job of digging into the really meaty, political and philosophical issues, going well beyond merely a liberal, or even a humanist perspective and looking at things from all angles.  Which, if they have one, may be their biggest flaw: They make my head spin.  But I highly recommend them for anyone who really wants to THINK.  (Of course, given the polls of late, that's a painfully minute audience, but still: It's still about the strongest endorsement I can give.)


I should get to everyone's comments tonight.  Have great weekend and a safe and fun Halloween everybody!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

GPS Tracking

I heard an interesting story this morning on NPR about the FBI (and other law enforcement agencies) using GPS tracking devices, magnetically attached to cars, to track people; typically drug dealers, and the occasional terrorism suspects. They say it’s easier than doing traditional visual surveillance: You can gather more data, with less manpower. Also they claimed that it was “fail-safe” (which I think means something different… I think they meant “fool-proof”) since you don’t run the risk of the tail being made and lost by the quarry. And as I listened I could already hear the Conservatives complaining about Liberals wanting to take this critical tool away from Law Enforcement. And of course I had to tell those voices in my head that it’s not about whether or not they can DO it, but whether or not they should have a warrant. (Yes, I often have these little conversations with myself. I do so love good conversation!)


But for the moment, I’d like to put aside the legal issues here and the subtle differences between visually tailing someone (which typically can be done without a warrant) and tracking them (which is in question, but for now is typically being done without a warrant.) I mean… Yeah, I think they should need a warrant. But it’s a point that I can certainly see being debated either way. In any case, that’s not what I really want to talk about right now. I want to put all that aside for the moment, and instead give the following advice to anyone who should come across one of these devices on their cars:

1) If they're tracking you? It’s because they don’t have enough agents to actually WATCH you. (That’s the whole cost-effectiveness argument, remember?) So there’s a good chance they won’t see you do what I’m about to suggest.

2) Remove the device, but just leave it in the back seat, so they won’t notice anything. (Yeah, and whatever you do, don’t take pictures of it and put them on the internet!)

3) Drive into the city, or whatever your “downtown” is.

4) Look for a car with out-of-state plates.

5) Park next to them.

6) Attach the device to THAT car.

7) Sit back for a few days and LOL at the FBI, as they try to figure just out what the hell is going on, and why their suspect suddenly up and moved to Wyoming.

So much for this being a more fool-proof way to keep tabs on someone than basic, visual surveillance, huh?

I love the smell of entropy in the morning!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Two men, one woman

As much as I would have loved to have left my last post up at the top of the blog, and as much as I really appreciate everyone who played along, unfortunately a story broke that just made me sick, and that I feel I must comment on.

By now I'm sure most of you are familiar with the following video:


Now... I'm going to describe this as objectively and as neutrally as my stomach will allow:

Two large men, grabbed a very small woman, (wearing glasses, no less! hollywood couldn't have cast her that well!) wrestled her to the ground, and stepped on her.

Those are facts, BTW, that are not in denial. They are plain for all to see. No one can look at this attrocity and conclude anything less.  What is also not in duspute in the these large, burly men, who look like they outwieghed her at by least three-to-one, were supporters of TeaParty seperatist candidate, Rand Paul.  Also not in dispute is that the woman, Lauren Valle, is a member of MoveOn.org, a Progressive Political organization that is opposed to Rand Paul and the Tea Party's agenda.  These are facts, that are undistputed and which do not depend upon any party afiliation or political ideology to accept.

Now... there is something else which, until now, I would have though thought could also be universally accepted, regardless of Political Party or Ideology: That violence perpetrated by men, against women is WRONG. Period.

Apparantly this maxim, which is self-evidenct to me, is not universally held by the Right, the Republicans, the Tea Party, or the Conservatives.  Do I say this merely on account of the two hulking rednecks in the Rand Paul tea-shirts? Not at all.  For the true position of the Conservative movement, I'll defer to it's very voice.  Here is Rush Limbaugh, rationalizing this attrocity:



Now... let's take a look at the mentality at work here:

1) The Secret Service would have done the same thing if someone approached Obama.
2) The man stepped on her SHOUDLERS, not her HEAD
and
3) She's a "radcial," "liberal," "professional agitator," who [has protested things before.]

Well... let's start with... the Secret Service.

For those of you who are unfaimilar with that organization, they are an officially sanctioned arm of the Federal, Untied States Government responsible for, among other things, the safety of the President.  You know... as opposed to an unruly mob of violent rednecks.  And I've seen an awful lot of footage of both CANDIDATE Obama, and PRESIDENT Obama being close enough to huge crowds to shake the hands of every person, three rows deep. 

Do you know what I've NEVER seen?

OBAMA'S SECRET SERVICE DETAIL TACKLING A PROTESTER AND KICKING THEM WHILE THEY'RE DOWN!

I've never seen that!  And you have footage of it?  I'd be keen to watch, but I'll simply go back to the more apt point: Authorized Agents of the Federal Government vs. Unruly inbreeds!

Second Point:

Thug #2 stepped on (or "put his foot on" in Limbaugh-speak) her SHOULDERS, not her head.  Well... seeing as how neither of these genetic defectives were authorized agents of law enforcment, and that she had made no violent gestures herself, the instant that they even laid one finger on her, they were guilty of tort assault, at a minimum.  By the time she hit the ground, they were guilty of criminal assault and battery.  Where they stepped on her is immaterial.  THAT they stepped on her is immaterial!  And even "stepped on her" is, by itself, a pretty forgiving description.  I'd say "kicked her while she was on the ground" is a bit more accurate. Take a look.  That fact that it happened to be the bottom of his foot that he drove into her prone body does not magically turn a kick into a "stepping on."  If that were the case, Chuck Norris spent most of his acting career "stepping on" people!

Finally:

She was a  "radcial," "liberal," "professional agitator."

Translation: THE BITCH HAD IT COMING.
 
That's it folks.  He can make the same Glenn Beck-style exculpatory claim about not condoning violence, BUT... whenever there is a "BUT"... he can not at the same time also be making a serious claim to be condemning it either!  In fact, there IS NO condmenation of it here! At all! Not a single word of it! He's says he doesn't condone it, even against against a "radical, liberal woman" (why is that even relevant?) and then spends several minutes RATIONALIZING IT!  And what is his rationale?  That she's been at protests before.
 
I cannot make any more clear a translation of Limbaugh's remarks from conserva-speak to english:
 
THE BITCH HAD IT COMING.
 
And just for the record, I cannot state this any more strongly or clearly: I would absolutely demand that anyone who acted this way towards Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman or Chistine O'Donnell or Sharon Angle, be arrested and punnished to the fullest extent of the law. And I would utterly condemn any such action, on no uncertain terms. It is thuggery, and it is criminal, and it has no place in this Country, or our political process, regardless of the political ideology of the victim. To believe otherwise is profoundly un-American.  And fine, so maybe when it's against the candidate herself it's different. Fine. How about Jenny McCarthy?  Would I forgive or even attempt to rationlize any violenece against even a despicable woman like her, who has the blood of dead children on her hands, due to her her anti-vaccine crusade?

NO. Absolutely not, no way, no how. Not for one single moment. I would not condone it; I would not rationalize it; and I would have the prepetrators punnished to the fullest extent of the law.

Becasue violence against women is wrong. Period.

Any attempt to rationalize this kind of behavior is a clear indication that the speaker DOES NOT believe in America, DOES NOT believe in free speech, DOES NOT believe in civil discourse and debate, DOES NOT believe in Democracy, DOES NOT believe in LAW and ORDER, and DOES NOT believe even in BASIC HUMAN CIVILITY.

Thes men in this video are scumbags. Period. And any attempts to rationalize their behavior is pure scumbaggery. Period.

----------shifting gears------------

Just in the interest of not being a hypocrite - something you just won't get from the Right, BTW - I'd like to take a look at every TeaBagger's favorite malingerer, Kenneth Gladney.

Here's the tape:


Now... I'll be the first to admit that, unlike the video showing the attack on Valle, you can't see shit in this video. (Not that this has stopped the Right from trying to milk it for all its propaganda value) But here's what I see:

1) I see two men pulling Gladney off of an SEIU member, who was on the ground, under him.  That's the guy who's later seen holding his shoulder in pain.

2) I see Gladney, in the tan shirt, end up on the ground, as a result of the attmept to seperate the two men, after which he IMMEDIATELY GETS BACK UP.  So he knows where he can stick stick his sob story about "still being in pain" from the "injuries" he sustained.  Looks to me like the SEIU guy (in the purple tee) by far got the worst of it.

Because do you know what I don't see?

Well for one thing, I don't see Gladney getting kicked while he's on the ground. The way the Right describes it, you'd think he was Rodney King!  (Of course... they all lined up agianst King, but maybe if he voted Republican it would have been different.)

Know what else I don't see? Unlike in the attack on Valle, anyone throwing Gladney to the ground!  Gladney only ends up on the ground becasue the guy pulling him back TRIPS on the guy who was ON THE GROUND!  (You know, the other guy that Gladney was on top of?)

Another difference?  Gladney got up and started SHOUTING again! Whereas Valle stayed in a fetal position in hopes that she wouldn't get KICKED anymore!

And there one more thing I don't see: WHO STARTED THE FIGHT.

And that's pretty improtant.  But fine, let's assume for, the moment, that it really was the SEIU guy.  Does that magically make these two incidents the same?

Umm... NO!

Unfortunate? Yes, absolutely.  There is no (or at least there should be no) place in our political discourse for violence.

But are they the same?  Well... you tell me:

One man, versus one man of roughly equal size.

Two very large men, versus one very small woman.

That sound the same to you?  Would you put the equal money down on the outcome of both of those altercations? Of course not.

It ain't the same thing at all, and not by a damned sight!

But if the SEIU guy DID start it?  I'd still throw his dumb ass in jail for it!

Because, BTW... did you notice?  I did not spend one single word trying to rationalize the actions of the SEIU guy.  I was willing to completely give the Right the benefit of the doubt on this, and they STILL basicaly have nothing. And that's the difference between Liberals and Conservatives: It comes down to having PRINCIPLES.

And no one who attempts to rationalize what happened in the Valle video has them.

Period.

NICEGUY EDDIE FOR PRESIDENT! (or... if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!)

My friends, I have heard your call, and I agree that it is high time we stopped the insanity going on in Washington, changed the direction this country is heading in, and brought big Government back under the control of the people! That is why, right now, I, Niceguy Eddie Cabot, am announcing my candidacy for the President of the United States, and am asking for your vote to support my nomination as the Tea Party Candidate.


Right up front, we need to send a message to these liberals, who want to stifle the debate, that we are not racists! We strongly believe in the principles of freedom and self-determination, which is why we believe that Kenya should be governed by Kenyans and America should be governed by white people!

I have heard you loud and clear regarding Obamacare and this radical idea of the Public Option. So let me assure you that, as your President, I will oppose any legislation that would result in you paying less for health care.

I have heard your call to end all this stimulus and to start creating jobs! So as your president I will issue an executive order to implement a hiring freeze in the Public Sector, a spending freeze and an permanent end to all stimulus spending. What’s more, to get people back to work, we will implement a freeze on all unemployment benefits and welfare. I am positive that the resulting drop in consumer demand will be so extreme that it will finally put the private sector into a prime position where they can start hiring again and putting people back to work.

I have heard your voices on Taxes, and you desire to reduce the federal deficit. So as your President, I will oppose any and all legislation that raises your taxes, ever. Unfortunately this means that I have to oppose the Bush tax cuts, since they would have raised taxes next year, but fear not! For we will not only let those making over $250,000 keep their Bush tax cuts, and to make up the difference, we will ONLY raise taxes on Social Security and welfare recipients. After all, it is only fair that the ones benefiting from these programs should be the ones to pay for them!

And while the liberals may call it “racist,” we absolutely must strengthen our borders in order to keep out those damned filthy Mexicans! So I am proposing that we triple the height of the wall along our border. And since I know you are opposed to stimulus spending, we’re going to make it out of cement. That way we can hire Mexicans to build it. They’re cheaper after all, and hey: Since they’re the ones benefiting from the wall, it’s only fair that they should be the ones to build the damned thing!

And finally, my friends, let’s get down to what this is really all about: Getting the government OFF YOUR BACKS and back to its Constitutionally limited authority!

To that end, let me assure you that under my administration we will never allow gays to marry, or to serve openly in the military. We will continue on the path of outlawing all abortions. We will never legalize Marijuana or teach science to our children that is contradictory to the bible and thus our Christian values and we will monitor the internet and the media for any messages that are going around that are contrary to these goals! After all: We can’t get the government off your back, if people keep on going around questioning us!

So let us not disagree with one another! That’s not how you have a strong democracy! Let us stand together and unify this country, so that we can be a stronger, more prosperous and more free Christian nation. So I’m asking for your support and your nomination. Most importantly, I’m asking for your vote, and for you to vote early and often: The very integrity of our democracy is at stake!

Thank you!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

If we didn't call it racist, we'd have to debate it?!

I was looking for a picture of a tea-bagger sign that I saw the other day that said "If they didn't call it racist, they'd have to debate it!"


Now... I've made the case before that the racism charge is, at worst, perfectly accurate and, at best, giving them the benefit of the doubt.  You can only see so many "Muslim, Kenyan, communist, socialist, sleeper" signs before you're convinced that these people are in fact racists, if for no other reason than because it is hard to fathom a level sheer stupidity high enough to otherwise motivate and rationalize these signs.  Racist is an explanation I can accept. Stupidity is as well, but... that much stupidity?  Purely on stupidity alone?  I almost have a hard time believing that.  Anyway, I couldn't find the sign I was looking for (after sifting through literally hundreds of signs that ranged between the unintentionally hilarious and the outright offensive.) But I did find this one:




















And it pretty much makes the same point.


And as well-designed as this one is... seriously: Is this how these people "think?"  We're "losing" the debate?  Perhaps, but only because 60% of America is too stupid to recognize the difference between something that is GOOD for them and something that is BAD for them. Seriously. And there was a perfect exampleof this in today's MSN article about the tightening Congressional races:


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39818378/ns/politics-decision_2010


As far as the article goes? OK, yeah, whatever, we'll see in a few weeks.  Good news, I guess, but I'm still going to stand of the street corner with my sandwich warning people of the end of days, thankyouverymuch.   But there was one section that just drove me crazy:


Pennsylvania Republicans say the intense former Navy admiral is too liberal for this centrist state. They note that Sestak, a two-term House member, wanted a public insurance option in the new health care law, a larger stimulus package than the $814 billion plan Congress approved, and a tougher cap-and-trade energy bill than the House passed.
OK... now "Cap-and-trade" we can discuss that.  That's certainly debatable. Liberals are smart enough to realize SOMETHING has to be done, but obviously there IS a cost, and in all reality? It probably won't accomplish all that much. (It was originally a Conservtaive's idea, as well.  Just like everything else these idiots are blaomign OBAMA for!)   But let's put that aside for the moment and look at the other two.  (Because we really do like to list things in threes, don't we?  One thing alone isn't enough to win is it? You need THREE to make case, right?)


He's "too liberal," which is conserva-speak for "bad," because he wanted a public health care option and more stimulus.  In other words: He wanted to get people CHEAPER HEALTH CARE and MORE JOBS.  Can someone please exp-lain to how any individual person, anywhere, can possibly see either of those as a bad thing?!


Public Option: If you can do better, do so.  If it's cheaper, THEN WHY NOT?!  What is wrong with these people?  How can you possibly argue (unless you own an insurance company!) that this can be a bad thing?!  Seriously.  Who can honestly believe this?!  How do you reach that conclusion?! "Socialism," maybe?  But if "Socialism" was really going to give it to you for less, then why the hell would you NOT be a Socialist?  It makes no damned sense at all!


Same goes for the stimulus.  Which is another word for JOBS.  Campaigning against the stimulus is campaigning against JOBS!  Who does that?! Can you imagine what it would sound like if the Republicans were even half-way honest and the average American wasn't completely, mind-numbingly stupid? He be saying: I want to put more of you out of work, and then vote against unemployment for any of you!  Who the heck would vote for THAT guy?


But yeah.  "All" we're doing is shouting "racist."  (No: what we're doing is looking for a REASON behind all the blatant STUPIDITY!)  But apparently "if we don't call it racist, we'll lose the debate.  Well of COURSE we will!  If we're arguing with someone who thinks paying MORE for health and having LESS jobs is a GOOD thing!  How on earth would you debate with someone who has so clearly lost their freaking mind?!


See... it's not us who shout "racist" to squelch debate.


As I've said before, twice now, in fact, it they who say "liberal" and not only squelch debate, but then happily go and campaign for, and vote for, their own royal screwing.


Racist?  That's us being optimistic.  It's a compliment, compared to what we'd say otherwise, assuming there is even a word in the English language for this level of ignorance, gullibility, irrationality and stupidity.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My Reply to okiepoli

Background: This conversation started as some back-and-forth between myself an commenter okiepoli just under two months ago, in the Cooler Heads Prevail post.  In my defense I didn't realize that he had sent me an mail, due to my habit of simply deleting any emails that look like they're notifying me of blog comments, opting instead to read them on the actual blog.  And this one was interesting to me, because okie falls into an odd, but growing Category of voter, especially as that Tea Party insanity claims any remnant of the Right not already claimed by the funny-mentalists: A self-identified Conservative Republican who basically sees nothing of value in the Republican Party.  Now, to be sure, that's certain my kind of "Conservative Republican." LOL. I'm both kidding and not kidding when I say we need more like him.  (What I mean is, but the cynical and the principled interpretation of that statement hold true! LOL)  And I may be simplifying things a bit, off course.  I only know him from his posts here and on MMFA, and for the longest time had him pegged as a LIBERAL, due to nothing else that his penchant from joining in on most of the rounds of Republican bashing.  So, following up for that earlier post, he sent me the email below to continue the conversation that blogger apparently would let his post in the comments section. (I'll have to see if there is something I can do about the character limitation.  because it really is too short.)

Just as with my response to Steeve's email, I'm going to put the excerpts from okie's  in yellow.

Eddie;


Sorry it took so long to get back to this - you may have noticed a decreased presence on MMfA also. I've been "live(ing) in interesting times" lately, mostly due to the end of the fiscal year at work. (DOD civilian) And you have 8 new posts I need to catch up with since.

A two-parter, huh? OK, I'll play along:

PART the FIRST – RE: your first reply:


You say, "Unfortunately that school of thought was largely abandoned back in 1980, and all that remains of it now is a distant memory, clung to by the few principled (true) Conservatives left."

Why do you hate Pres. Reagan? (j/k) I would pin the start of the downhill slide to the early '70's – Pres. Nixon was as progressive a Republican as you could hope to find. I think he was confused by the concept of a relatively weak presidency - Constitutionally a mere figurehead – the weakest of the three branches. (See: The Federalist Papers: #67 - 77, specifically #69, 70 &77, arguments can be found in The Antifederalist Papers: #67 – 77.) Combine a pro-unitary executive view with the idea that 'peaceniks,' 'leftists,' and Democrats (my words, not his) were an enemy to be beaten at any cost to prevent the country from sliding towards communism, were, in my view, his downfall.

Pres. Ford wasn't bad, but he wasn't perceived as being 'good' and certainly didn't come across as being as strong as Pres. Nixon. Nixon's pardon combined with the state of the nation at the end of Ford's term, voter dissatisfaction with any Republican rule – weak or strong – and the promise of government reform gave us Pres. Carter. (You can defend Carter if you want to, but you don't need to on my account.)

This may come as a surprise, not only coming from a self-identified Liberal, and one who's written a piece on how badly Nixon really sucked, but really?  I don't think Nixon was all that bad a President, as long as we're only talking policy.  You can criticise the war tactics, although you can defend them as well, but in the end, he DID end the damned war.  He created several important Government regulatory agencies, and normalized relations with China.  (Which again, one can argue either way, but I'd take the problems we have now over what would have been 40 years with a second major player in the Cold War and the arms race. 

The way I see it, much like with Carter, the biggest problem with Nixon was Nixon himself.  His personal issues far outweighed any policy issues he may have had.  I mean, come on... spying on the Democrats in 1972?!  He won 520-17 for cripes sake!  And I don't think ANY of that came from any secret information he might have gleaned from those shenanigans.  His personal demons got in the way of his better judgment.  But Watergate was paranoia, not policy.  And without Watergate?  No one today would even know who Gerald Ford was.

Nixon would be a RINO today.  He may have been perceived as pretty hard-Right in  his day, but remember that he was coming in after Lyndon Johnson, maybe the last public servant who was still supporting the "New Deal" philosophy of Roosevelt.  IMHO? He also had his policy flaws (Vietnam?) but he was the last truly liberal President, and maybe the last truly principled, leader we've had in the White House.

I feel it's important to point out that Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon and Ford all had distinguished military service in foreign theatres, as did Sen. Goldwater. This distinction is lacking when we turn our attention to:

Pres. Reagan


Reagan never had to be a hero (but he played one on TV!), or even come close to an enemy – his 'service' was all done state-side. I'm not sure if that is the difference – merely memorizing the lines and mouthing the words – vs actually having to live the life... Anyway, you and others have repeatedly pointed out Reagan's faults, to which I would only add. Reagan probably could be classified as the 'event horizon' of 'principled Conservatism.'

Wait... who "hates Reagan" now? ;)

Speaking of Reagan, who popularized the term 'welfare queen,' now might be a good time for an aside on my thoughts on the welfare state:


I don't consider myself a heartless bastard so I care, at least a little, about my fellow inhabitants on this speck of mud we call home. I subscribe to the oft mis-attributed phrase "Charity begins at home..." - unfortunately, it seems to end there as well for the modern crop of Republicans. I would challenge them to prove that they are not heartless bastards by "promote(ing) the general Welfare" - not necessarily by taxing and funding social programs, perhaps by getting personally involved? Many folks would defend their charity by saying "I donate..." clothing (they no longer wear,) household items, canned goods, yada, yada, yada – I do that too. Here's the difference – it takes money and people for the kind non-profits to operate – those canned goods that you wouldn't eat unless you were starving, those clothes that you cleaned out of your closet to make room for newer, more fashionable (or better-fitting, whatever) clothing – they're NOT going to collect, warehouse, sort, repackage and distribute themselves. It takes trucks, fuel, space and PEOPLE!

OK, first of all?  No one thinks of themselves as a "heartless bastard."  I'm sure even Rush Limbaugh thinks of himself as a generous and magnanimous guy fighting for what he honestly believes is right.  I'm not suggesting the you are one, not at all, only that this statement doesn't really mean anything. ;)

Second of all, while I applaud anyone's participation in charity, and feel that there is a lot of good work being done in that area... Do you really think it would ever be enough?  If we got rid of the welfare state, do you really think a few dollars here and there, some threadbare clothing, and as many cans of creamed corn will really make up the difference?  What's more, I propose that if the taxes were lower proportionately, once those programs were cut, that charitable donations might actually DROP as the marginal return, in terms of the tax deduction, drops. 

What more, while I don't adopt the label "Keynesian," I do understand how Keynesian economics WORKS.  All that welfare money?  Goes right into the economy.  Every after-tax penny of it immediately becomes someone else's income.  People who WORK.  And people who would also be OUT OF WORK in that big chuck of revenue was suddenly denied them or their employer. (Which in turn would that much less consumption by those people, and less revenue for than many more businesses.)  Whether or not huge deficits can change the course of an economy is up for debate.  What is FACT is that Taxing and Spending - in unison, now, as a balanced budget - increase incomes for everyone.  And cutting taxes and spending - in unison - will hurt just about everyone.  Those rich folks at the top? They're going to be rich either way.  They get every penny they pay in taxes BACK through all the increased consumption resulting from the increased spending.  And the farther down the ladder the spending starts, the more people's income it will become before finally being whittled way by taxes and acts of non-consumption (savings.)  Tax-cuts for the rich?  Pretty much ALL end up as acts of non-consumption.  They'll save it.  So it benefits no one but them.  But a welfare case?  Spends every penny, and thus gives the highest economic benefit to the economy.  THAT'S the fundamental difference between supply-siders and Keynesian: Recognition that the health of the economy depends far more on CONSUMPTION that it does PRODUCTION.  (That, and a recognition of the fact that right now?  Stuff is pretty cheap.  WAGES and INCOME are what's keeping consumption down, not high prices.
I volunteer two hours every two weeks at a kitchen. (I'd do more, it's extremely rewarding in it's own 'warm-fuzzy' way, but I _really_ can't find the time in my schedule.) I manage to work in about 24 'unscheduled' hours a year for projects for Goodwill, SA and some local groups. I'm doing more than some (I suspect many,) and less than others (I suspect too few.)

I applaud you.  I'm ashamed to say that I've done no more than donate, myself.  And while I can make any excuse I want, I'll be honest: Even without the hectic family life, I probably still wouldn't donate much time.  So you could argue that I'm as much a part of the problem, from the Left.  But hey, I'll do my part: I pay my taxes, and I'm not out campaigning to get rid of the social safety nets.  In fact, I would see them strengthened. That may seem like the weaker choice from a Conservative's perspective, but I simply believe that more can be accomplished for the rich, middle class and poor alike by using the resources of the Federal Government instead of society loose change.  And remember: Johnson, Nixon/Ford, Carter?  All of those administrations were basically deficit neutral, at least as compared to everyone since Reagan.  So it's not the "Great Society" program that are killing us.  It our unwillingness to PAY for this great nation, thanks in large part to Ronald "Event Horizon" Reagan and the culture of deficit spending that he kicked off.

I challenge any 'Republican' (or anyone else, for that matter,) who decries the cost of social programs and the tax burden they cause to step-up and either whip out their checkbook or invest their time – otherwise they should admit that they're heartless bastards or, STFU, pay their taxes, and attempt to salve their consciences with the previously mentioned "I donate..." defense. (sorry for the rant – one of my pet peeves.)

Hey, I hear you.   And I feel a little bit better now about saying "I donate," because I'm NOT one of the one's complaining about high taxes.
 
Back to your post: "For me, the label (and the party) is irrelevant. I'm pretty sure we both just think what we think and believe as we do. You're mat be more comfortable with the one label, or party. Me? I couldn;t care less what soemone wants to call it."


In "The Federalist Papers" #10, Madison rails against 'Factions' (political parties,) as does Washington in his Farewell Address – Who am I to pit myself against these and other great thinkers on that subject? Unfortunately, a 'mob mentality' trumps logic. Many people can't be bothered to think independently and have forgotten the wisdom of their elders (or betters, as the case may be.) I would say that modern life has become too fast-paced to allow for considered thought and reasonable debate – but I take our conversation to be evidence that this is not the case. Hell, even during the Founders time, dirt-farmers who worked from sun-up to sun-down managed to find the time to weigh-in on political issues. (I guess they weren't too busy watching TV.)

The evolution of Political Parties was inevitable.  It's human nature and really the nature of a Democracy.  Even in parliamentary systems, they still end up forming coalitions, so you effectively still end up with two sides: The Government and the Opposition.  Those are a bit more diverse groups than what we have, but until recently there were Liberal Republicans, and there remains rather a few Conservative Democrats.  But multiple parties just means split votes, and everything only gets messier.  Like in Great Britain recently, where the Liberal Democrats, who are to the Left of Labor, joined with the Conservative to put them over the top.  And it's a mess.  The Liberals lost on all points - hence the austerity policies that are being enacted, and which I mentioned a few posts ago.  So while Parties suck, there's really no way around them.  Washington and Madison were absolutely right, but they were asking way too much of humanity.

I wouldn't mind if we had at least 5 or 6 viable parties that addressed a variety of issues, values and views. I feel the choices would stimulate thought and debate, and would be preferable to the two-party monopoly that we currently see.

Wouldn't matter. Wouldn't make a bit of difference. (See above, LOL)  And more and more I'm coming to the impression that we really DON'T have two Parties.  The Democrats have shown themselves to be little more than "Republican-lite."  And the funny thing? The Tea-Baggers say the same thing about the Republicans!"  And I can certainly perceive a POV form which BOTH of these statements are true!  And that might be why Congress is so partisan: It's no longer about the policy.  The policies aren't that far apart.  So it's all about which team wins.  Now if the TeaBagger's take over the right? And we have ourselves a little Coffee Party on the Left?  And we compete for the moderates?  (Thus moderating both sides in the process?) THEN we'll have true two-party system.
"What the right practices these days may not be "Conservative" but that's what it's called and I utterly reject it. And if they're going to throw the "Liberal" label at me, then screw 'em. I'LL WEAR IT WITH PRIDE."

So you're OK with letting dishonest people pervert the meaning of words? I know you're not, and neither is Classic! There should be no shame in those labels. We are victims of a campaign to distort the language and those subversives who are conducting that campaign should be called-out and beaten over the head with a dictionary. (Pocket-version or collegiate with large type – depending on the severity of the crime.)

It's not that I'm "OK" with the meaning of words being perverted.  But I'm still a pragmatist.  You say "Conservative" but I hear very little from you that I can't, very fairly, call "Liberal."  So you choose to use a definition that most people, for whatever reason, no longer really consider valid.  Tragic yes, buts that;'s the reality of it.  If I really wanted to choose a label for myself?  Anti-Neo-Conservative might fit better than any.  But is there really any difference between that and "Liberal"? Not really. And hey, "Anti-Neo-Conservative" might be another way of saying "Classic Conservative" or even "Libertarian."  The only thing that puts me on the side of "Liberal" is my recognition that the policies of Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson work.   

And the political Landscape shifted far more in the past 30 years than I have.  I've matured: After all I was only 8 years old when Reagan was elected.  So while I could idolize him as a kid, I had little understanding of policy.  Now that I do, I find that it's not so much that my core beliefs have changed, only that I didn't realize, as a child, how much Reagan differed form them.  And I don't think ANYONE at the time realized the full extent of the long-lasting damage his polices would do. 

In 1979, I may have been just Left of center.  But I find myself practically on the hard Left now, because the republic's perception of the Center has been puled so far to the Right!  And really I don't care about the Label, or the Party.  They're just tools I can use to describe what I believe in, in a simple way that can give a complete stranger some idea what those beliefs are.  It's not a perfect picture, but I dare say that when I say "Liberal" people get a more accurate picture of me than the do of YOU when you say "Conservative."

You can argue who's right and who's wrong. (Answer: You're right; they're wrong.)  I'm just being practical. I can't change the world if no one knows what the hell I'm talking about! LOL

"And it shows."

Agreed!

"So... COME TO THE DARK SIDE!!! (we have cake)"

But I'm watching my weight! ;)


"Thanks for your comment, and for that lucid, principled, well written post on MMFA. Can I use it?"

Fine Print: Copyright restrictions, yada, yada, yada. In whole or in part, etc. Not valid in any other state (of mind.) /Fine Print Thanks for the compliment, you're welcome to quote me. (Especially now that you threw my half-baked idea for solar-powered nuke waste-disposal out there for the world to see. Who knew being outed could be so liberating! Freed from the secret shame. Joy!)

I give up.  I'm not even sure at this point WHAT "shows." LOL.  But I'm glad we agree. LOL

PART the SECOND – RE: Oh, hey Okie, one thing

Ed note: "Okie" refers to someone from Oklahoma – capitalization and use correct in that sense. okiepoli is the screen-name of one opinionated blow-hard from Oklahoma – not capitalized by choice – suitable short-form "okie"

Duely noted. ;)

You said: ""Larger" Government (whatever THAT means) might be harder to "keep track" of, but "smaller" government, by contrast, give any/all of the individals in it more power individually. Personally, I'd like to try it the opposite way... Check out www.thirty-thousand.org.

I followed that link from your blog 22 July, 2010, and collected 7.73 Megs of information from the site and related links – I admit I am intrigued, but haven't had the time to digest and analyze it yet. My argument on size of government is more to do with scope rather than numbers of people or dollars. That said, I still believe that 'smaller' (limited scope,) more efficient (most-bang-for-buck) government is better than 'larger' (broad scope,) inefficient (expanding bureaucracy) government. (My definition of bureaucrat: a non-elected public 'servant' whose decrees (regulations, codes, etc.) carry the weight of law (I can be fined, jailed or otherwise punished for non-compliance.))

I offer this personal observation to clarify my position:


Recently, the OKC "Jesus House" non-profit made the news due to some scandalous activity. My conversations with other volunteers leads me to believe the allegations are true, and I will no longer donate money to that organization until the problems are corrected. It saddens me because Jesus House is such a valuable resource for the homeless in my city, and I know that many others are withholding donations and it has more of a negative effect on the quality and quantity of services offered than it does to the (mis-)management. Still, I made the choice – not some bureaucrat in a bureaucracy that is slow to recognize and correct it's mistakes. I agree – poverty, homelessness, hunger, etc. in the wealthiest nation in the world, is shameful. I also believe, with all my heart, that a government cannot adequately address, much less cure, these social ills.

I'm also dismayed by the Republican support of 'faith-based' organizations – tax-exempt for 501c's I'm OK with, but any kind of grant with that provision seems to cross the line I draw for separation. Where would we stop? If we give a penny to the next "Heaven's Gate" cult, we'd need to give three cents to the next Branch Davidians, more to the next Jim Jones, etc. until we get to the more main-stream folks. (Based on the percent of population represented by these faiths.) To apportion the money otherwise would smack of favoritism.

Again, government (federal) should concern itself with government affairs, LIKE PRESENTING A BUDGET FOR THE PRESIDENT TO SIGN BY APRIL, instead of shirking it's (Congress) Constitutional duty and running the country on continuing resolutions. State and local governments should concern themselves with their respective concerns. Society, through the efforts of it's members and Non-governmental Organizations (NGO's) should address social problems. There are levels of scope involved for each – local, regional, national, global – and levels of commitment. Political and social involvement is a citizens duty.


okiepoli

Wow.  That's mouthful and then some! LOL.  I really don't DISAGREE with anything you've said here.  My only "counter," if that's even the right word for it, is this:
 
1) As I stated previously, there are far more resources available at the federal level to combat poverty that would otherwise be available at the charitable level.  We need BOTH, and of course I'm fine with people dong charitable work.  I just don't understand the mentality that the two must be in competition with each other, instead of part of the same solution.  (Which is how I see them.)
 
And we DO have a repsonsibilty ot combat that poverty if for no other reason than we don't actually aim for full employemnt!  As a coutnry, we actually have a targeted unemployment rate!  So if we're going to keep ANYONE out of work as a matter of policy, I'd say we have some responsibility to them.
 
2) Regarding "punishing wrongdoing."  I'm going to offer something I learned, from a very conservative professor I might add, when I got my MBA.  In any given organization, redundantcny combats fraud.  It does this by requiring more people to be involved in any given conspiracy. And the more people involved, the more likely that one squeals or that it is otherwise discovered. 
 
You can see a very simple example of this at the movie theatre: Why do you pay one person and then give your ticket to someone else?  Why don;t you just PAY and then GO IN?  Because by separating the two processes, you have an accurate count of ticket purchases from one person, that makes it harder for the cashier to steal from the register without being caught.  And even if they tried to coordinate their efforts, all it would take is to be off by one or two ticket purchases here and there for management to know something's screwy is going on.
 
In contrast, a friend of mine has her own business.  She's very good at the service she provide, but she's not much at the business side of things.  She had just two people running the office, doing the billing and tracking the books.  And these two? Milked her to the tune of $700,000 over several years.  How? No redundantcny.  No one checking theirr work.  No checks and balances against which their numbers would ever be compared.  By the time she finally caught on? Her business was on the brink of bankruptcy.
 
People get frustrated with bureaucracies, and that's understandable.  But at least in those cases their is a PROCESS.  If I'm dealing with one person who has all the power? That can be a mixed blessing, big time.  If s/he wants to help me it's great.  But if their job is as a gatekeeper?   And they DON'T want to help me?  I'm twice as screwed as I am dealing with the bureaucracy.  Bureaucracies are SLOW.  But a single point of decision making? Is FINAL.  And of course, it becomes very easy for that person to pull of the very kind of shenanigans you are describing, if there are not redundant layers of process that his work will be compared against.
 
Again, big or small doesn't really matter to me.  The fact that so many things don't work, IMHO, has nothing to do with the size.  It has to do with political games where people don't like something so they slash their budget and then go on TV and say, "Look!  It doesn't even WORK!"  We can accomplish great things when we want to.  And we'd be that much better off if politicians and the media weren't so good at fooling people.  I maintain, and I think you;d agree with me, that a well infomred populace would all but wipe out the modern Republican party.  (And the modern Democrats as well, but they would be pushed back to their more historcical place in the true American Left.)
 
Anyway, that was a very interesting perspective, but I still don't see why you cling to the labels like you do! I read what you say, and, right or wrong, it just doesn't jive what I think of when I hear "Conservative" and certainly not when I hear "Republican." 
 
And thanks so much for the e-mail, and for your continuous contributions to this blog.  I don't think you'll be changing my positions anytime soon (I don't think we're all that far apart on most things to begin with) but I do really appreciate having a principled Conservative around to keep me honest!

Friday, October 22, 2010

NPR Fallout

okie, your email is going to have to wait...

Metal Matt left this link in the Juan / Queen post's comments section.  It's a petition urging Congress not to cave to the Right and their hissy fit over Juan Williams ouster. 

http://www.credoaction.com/campaign/stand_up_for_npr/?rc=homepage

We all know the Democrats are as useless as they are spineless, but just as the site says: we cannot let them do to a critical resource like NPR what they did to Acorn, Shirley Sherrod and Van Jones.

This insanity must stop.  Hit the link. Sign the petition. Pass it on. And, even more importantly:
 CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN'S OFFICE and CALL YOUR SENATOR'S OFFICE.

We cannot allow objective reporting to be hijacked by partisan politics.

Maybe it was Muslims that attacked us on 9/11.  But that's going on ten years ago. The biggest threat to our freedom RIGHT NOW are these Right-Wing Fascists like Sarah Palin and all the others.  You know how they always cry about the first amendment when WE, PRIVATE CITIZENS want to organize a boycott of Fox's, or of Glenn Beck's sponsors?  That ain't the first amendment!  We're not the Government!  But what they want to do, right now? Is to USE the power to of the Government to punish NPR!  That is a far greater violation of the spirit of the first amendment.  Particularly when it comes down to a non-profit, public resource being bullied over partisan squabbles.  NPR was within theirr rights.  The Right is exceeding theirs.

DO. NOT. LET. THEM. DO. THIS. WITHOUT. A. FIGHT!

Friday Fun: Stuff we don't need & other disappointing products

In the same vain as another extremely disappointing product - the Lasertorch - I've recently come across some other products that over-promise, under-deliver, or just don't serve any positive purpose at all.

Second most disappointing product ever (behind only the Lasertorch):  The DATEFINDER

See this thing?




















I was told it was a "Datefinder."  What a piece of junk.  I've had the thing for like ten years, and it hasn't gotten me a single date yet!  I don't get it at all!  At best, women seem positively disinterested in it when I show it to them.  Usually they're just turned off by the whole thing.  Very disappointing.


Something we REALLY don't need? Certain colors of Play-Doh

Did you ever play with Play-Doh as a kid? I did.  As I recall, it came in three colors: Red, Blue and Yellow.  Now it comes in colors that only men who are very secure in their sexuality cam even identify.  ONE COLOR it now comes in, that I think is a REALLY unfortunate choice? Brown.

Think of what most kids do with Play-Doh.  It always ends up looking like this:














Yeah, yeah. The tablecloth is hideous, I know.  DW picked it out.


Why does every woman's Halloween Costume have to be Sexy?

I'm OK with MOST of them - Pirate, Nurse, Cop, Vampire... but check out this ad from a store near us:

























What the heck is with that chick in the lower Left Hand Corner?  Sexy IRON MAN Dress?  What the...?  Look, I realize that Pepper Potts is not going to be anyone's first choice, but who really wants to go as the most pathetic Iron-Man groupie in the word?  Why not just make an Iron-Man suit, but with a women's contour?  I mean... what is the point (crime fighting-wise) of ANY PART of that costume?  I mean... WHY?!


Least Appropriate use of SEX in Advertising:

I found this flier stuck in my door a few weeks back.  This was the what the front looked like:

















I'm thinking, "OK.  Rather than wait until I've gained back every pound I lost.  maybe I should check this place out.  Says it's "free."  I know that's probably only for a trial membership, but maybe I should check it out.  So I opened it up...

















Are you freakin' kidding me?  No, no they're not...



















Now, you know I said that this was all about stuff that over-promised and under delivered, right?  Well, I'm going to spare the you obvious attacks against the all-time heavyweight champion of false promises and instead point out something that struck me as just downright bizarre.

What was on the front cover again?  Tits and ass, in a spandex jogging suit.

Talk about your epic bait-and-switch!  Seriously, of all the things you can use SEX to sell - and I've seen sex used to sell a pretty bizarre range of products - RELIGION just should not be on that list.


Anyway, that's it.  No snappy punchline, just a few random braindroppings.  Hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Juan Live the Queen!

Juan Williams IS a bigot.

Here's what he said on Fox, that (finally) got him fired from NPR:

"I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous." ~Juan Williams, on the O'Rielly Factor

Now... I'm not a big......     fan of saying that if you start a paragraph out that way, then that means you probably ARE.  You can absolutely start a paragraph out that way, and NOT be a bigot.  But if you do start out a paragraph out that way, you probably shouldn't spend the REST of that paragraph proving yourself wrong.

Allow me to translate what he said from Conservative Black Man to ENGLISH:

I'm not a bigot.  I'm just going to use derogatory stereotypes to explain why I don't like certain people!
Doesn't that make a lot more sense?  And you gotta love that bit about not being a bigot because he's written books about the civil rights era. Translation:

I'm not a biggot. I love black people!

That would carry a little more weight if.... HE WASN'T BLACK!  By that logic, I can't be a bigot, simply because I don't hate WHITE PEOPLE!  And to think... this same crowd actually called Sonya Sotomayor a racist for not hating Latinas!

Oh and uh... Note to Juan: The actual terrorists don't come riding in on camels, waving scimitars and smoking hookah's while they stroke their long beards with fingers covered in bejeweled rings. They look like US. They BLEND IN!  That's how they got past security in first place: Nothing unusual about them! That guy you're talking about?  Even the TSA let him go, because they know that no terrorist would be stupid enough to get on a plane wearing something "identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims."

He's not only a bigot, but he's incredibly stupid to boot.  It's about time NPR dropped this clown.

Speaking of NPR... (shift gears)

Great story today detailing how the Conservatives over in England are about to tank their entire economy.

(No that's not how they said it! But that's pretty much the inevitable result, you wait and see!)

My favorite part (not included in the link) was the idea that after they shed something like 500,000 public sector jobs, they expect the private sector to pick up the slack.

Yep, the Conservatives over there are pretty much as stupid as they are here, folks.

Why he hell would any company hire ANYONE when there are soon to be about half a million more people who are going to be NOT BUYING ANYTHING?!  Demand is about to TANK. Who the heck do they think will be hiring?!

Morons.

Speaking of which...

HRM Queen Elizabeth II has decided that since the economy is so weak, that she shouldn't have her elaborate Christmas Parties and Holiday Balls this year.  You know... It just wouldn't be right to have all that elaborate celebrating and spending all that money when so many people are struggling.

(You, uh... see where I'm going with this, right?)

I just wonder how thankful the caterers, tailors, limo drivers, dressmakers, porters, cabbies, not to mention all the restaurants and other London attractions will be , knowling that all that money they the usually make of those kinds of fancy occasions will be denied them this year, on top of an already tough economy.

You know... because the economy's bad, it just wouldn't be right, to...

I don't know...

HELP OUT, I guess.

THANKS A LOT, YOUR ROYAL CHEAPSKATE!


They suck all over the world, folks.

(okie: I got one more and I'll answer your email, K?)

Christine O'Donnell's on Crack...

...ed.

Just a few posts ago I was singing the praises of my Silver Start Winner, Cracked.com.

Well they've just done a little write-up on everybody's favorite political side-show, and it is brilliant:

http://www.cracked.com/funny-6527-christine-odonnell/

(Make sure to read the article, not just the chart!)

What did I say about the best commedy having only the truth in it?  About the only thing Christine O'Donnell has in comon with the truth is that both are much, much stranger than fiction!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We're Fascists Now.

Or at least we stand to elect a whole lot of extremely un-American "leaders" come November.  And to answer some of ClassicLiberal's retort from the Losing Heart post: I don't care that they haven't cast their votes yet.  And I don't really care that some of the more *ahem* colorful ones, like that [sorry, can't say it] Christine O'Donnell, don't stand a snowball's chance in Phlegethos of winning.  I can't abide the very existence of these people, and the fact that, while they have been largely propped up by the media, they have been met with anything but utter contepmt by the public at large.  See... there was a fundamental misunderstanding that came through in that "Losing Heart" post.  No one's fault but my own, but I'd like to clear something up.  When I cast my Vote for Obama?  I was voting for what I perceived as a common-sense moderate.  Everything the guy said just made sense to me.  Not because it was liberal, but because it was right. (That's "right" now, not "Right!")  And yes, granted I find myself increasingly scratching my head more and more lately: appealing the overturning of DADT?  In the words of Gorobei Katayama, "Are you kidding me?" But, even now, I have now doubt that my disappointment in Obama is less that that felt by many Liberals.

Because my faith wasn't really in "Obama."  It wasn't really about Obama. 

And it wasn't entirely about the Democrats either.  Yeah, OK, 59-60 seats and yet all they could do was quibble amongst themselves and make huge concessions to the right.  They're about as useless as that option in PowerPoint to print your presentation without scaling the slides to fit the paper.  (Which for some reason is the default setting!  What's that all about?  Given it's utter uselessness, that had to be the work of a future Blue Dog!) 

What I was really put my hope in, what I really started to to believe in, as I watched them finally dump the Republicans, finally see the light on Bush, finally seriously support both a female candidate and a black one... what my faith was truly mistakenly misplaced in? 

Was the American People.

That's what Losing Heart was really all about.  The fact that for a... well, not even for a brief shining moment... for two whole years (!) I watched as larger and larger portions of America finally came to realize that which had been so painfully obvious to all of us: That Bush was stupid, Cheney was evil and the Republicans really, really suck.

And what really frustrates me to no end is that the things these people (the Tea Baggers) complain about? (Deficits, the Economy, Civil Liberties?)  Are the things that, if anything? The Republicans were far worse on than the Democrats are or ever were, and yet they've positioned themselves, to the Right of them! For two whole years I watched as my country grew wise by the day.  And for the last two it's been like watching them sink into the thralls of dementia.

Now... I've mentioned Erin Lindsey before: in Losing Heart, in fact.  She writes a really fantastic webcomic called Venus Envy, or least she DID... she stuck a knife in the back of main character back in March and, so far, hasn't continued with the story.  Which... kinds of sucks, actually. LOL.  But one of the features of her comic that I really like are the times that the she uses her craft to make a personal statement on some critical political point.  One of these that I've been hanging on to, bookmarked, now for a couple weeks, was this one, from 2006:















































Now... at this point I'd be insulted if I still had to actually say that I agree, wholeheartedly with the sentiment being expressed, and that didso at the time.  Shoot, it really all started with the Patriot Act, years before. So by 2006, it wasn't like I needed any convincing!  That being said... Nazi's?  I'll admit that even at the time, as a firm believer in Godwin's Law, I'd probably agree with the sentiment, but say that if you want to be taken seriously, you really have to avoid those Nazi comparisons.  I mean... even Glenn Beck knows that! [/sarcasm]

But I've always been a bit  more Chaotic than Lawful, and there are rather a lot of [non-felony] laws that I'm happy to bend so...

You know we're fascists when a serious Candidate, from a major party, has his hired goons handcuff a reporter to a chair and still have people take him seriously!  One black guy with a "night stick "stands outside a polling place, saying nothing to no one and these people want to make a Federal Case out of it, even after the Bush DoJ decided not to.  (But... he was Black, so of course it's Obama's fault now.)  (Not that they're racists or anything.)  But a reporter, heck even a private citizen for that matter, gets unlawfully imprisoned by the hired goons of a major party candidate and people still support him?!  Applaud him even?!

And how about Fox's strong stance in support of Net Neutrality, huh?  Now, you might think that I'd be A-OK with anything that means fewer people will be visiting Fox-owned websites.  But if I can defend Fred Phelps at a military funeral, standing up for people's right to see Fox in this case is a no-brainer.  Because this shows exactly what kind of power a company can have when we don't have strong Net Neutrality regulations and draconian penalties for companies breaking them.  Apparently Fox thinks keeping some portion of the population for seeing some section of the Internet, due to a spiteful business dispute with their ISP is somehow appropriate.  It's not.  It's downright chilling.

Why does that make us fascists?  Because I still hear people arguing that this is somehow just Fox exercising their free speech, while Net Neutrality is somehow some form of censorship!  But hey, why not just censor huge swaths of the Internet? 

It sure would make life easier for Sharron Angle, a woman I've already crucified, the parchment nailed above her head reading "IMHO," who apparently believes that the media should only ask questions that the candidates want to answer.  Um... that's not how it works, babe. You see... It's the media's job to ask the questions we want answered and it's your job to answer them. And if you can't do that without either sounding like a blithering idiot, or alienating half of the country, guess what?

You don't get the job!

And yet people still support her, despite the fact that she's running a close second behind Joe Miller in the "who's the worst supporter of the free press" contest.  Maybe they'd think that *Glenn Beck had a point when he called the *NEA, "adovcating though art" which is "propaganda" and that "you should look up the name, *Goebbels."  But the thing is?  Sharon Angle basically wants to be Goebells!  She's not Goebbels. Goebbels wasn't as stupid as she is.  But she seems to think that the only purpose the press serves is to carry the message she wants it to!  So... she wants to be Goebbels!

I'm completely convinced that very few of these people have ever even read the Constitution, least of all, my favorite head case, Christine O'Donnell, who apparently thinks it's profound that the word "separation" doesn't appear in the First Amendment.

Firstly, I'd like to repeat what I said in my Religion Tab, because, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, I hold this truth to be self-evident:

The Constitution of the United States, the cornerstone in the foundation of the most prosperous and powerful civilisation the world has ever known, says it best:


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Can you be any more clear that that? "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." IOW: We are not a "Christian Nation," you Right-Wing, un-American, Funny-Mentalist Morons! And... when taken together with, "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," it is painfully obvious, beyond any shadow of doubt or debate, that this intends for there to be a clear, iron-clad separation of Church and State. Period. No sane person can read that statement and draw any other possible interpretation form it. (But when was the last time you met a sane Funny-Mentalist?)

Well... not Christine O'Donnell anyway.  But I knew right away she'd fly to the top of my list anyway, once I'd read that she's strongly against Abortion, Contraception and Masturbation.  Now, putting aside that she apparently has no problem with over population, I've said it before: No reasonable person can possibly be opposed to more than two of those things!

Secondly, I wonder if this stupid, stupid girl has any clue about some other words that don't appear anywhere in the entire Constitution?  Words like...

Christian,
Jesus,
God,
Creator, [that was the Declaration of Independence, in case you forgot!]
Theocracy,
Heaven,
Hell,
or
Soul.

They're not there, Chrissie!  Not one of them is, in a document of over eight thousand words!

Now I know she won't win.  I know that. Delaware is a strong, Blue state.  But... she won her primary. So someone was apparently taking that nut-bag seriously!

Erin, I know what you were saying, and I'm totally down with the message.  But we weren't Nazi's in 2006.  On the other hand, come November, we'll be electing several bonafide, jack-boot Fascists to the Congress. Not all of them, granted.  But some of them.   And the State-Run Media (as Rush Limbaugh refers to the Non-Limbaugh-based media, but which I more accurately will soon be calling Fox News) is primed and ready to carry their message.  The first amendment is dead.  And Fascism is coming because so many Americans would rather embrace it than comes to terms with the fact that we have a Black President, who's cleaning up the mess they made the last time they were in power.

Sieg Feil, America.

--------------------------------------
***BTW, the Glenn Beck / NEA / Goebbels reference is in that same video I linked to, just after Erin's Lindsy's awesome polemic.  And, yes, that is my YouTube Channel.  At one point I had a personal video there as well; my response to a Tea Party Video.  But... IDK...  Once I'd made it and posted it, my heart just wasn't really in it anymore.  The anticipation of doing it felt better than the result did, so I took it down. If anyone's interested in hearing it anyway, let me know and maybe I'll put it back up.

A Post-Scarcity Economy

(Note: I wrote this up a few days ago, before the O'Donnell and Miller stories broke.  So I'm putting this up NOW, but I'm going to come back tonight and address those two fascist clowns.)

Awhile back, I awarded Cracked.com (the website of Cracked Magazine) a Silver Star in my HoF. But articles like the one I’m about to refer you to seriously make me consider upgrading them to a Gold Star. Just to clarify: Silver Stars are for fun stuff, webcomics, pop culture sites, meme’s, games, and just random stuff I really like, Gold Stars are for serious political or philosophical resources that I find either profound in terms of shaping my personal philosophy, or (in the case of Election-Projection) have been repeatedly useful in terms of being a tool to provides some specific, useful information. Now… a decent portion what Cracked does is pop-culture based. and it’s hilarious. It’s A-List stuff. But its about movies, or Super Heroes, TV Shows… stuff like that. But they also do an decent amount of articles dealing with History, Science, Politics, Philosophy, Sociology and other more profound topics. Their articles are always very well researched, and cited, especially coming from a purely satirical site; and the end result is something that really makes you think twice about what you though you knew, and about the status quo, and does so with a sharp irreverence that can’t help but make you laugh. (Assuming of course that you’re not too heavily invested in believing in the status quo, of course!)

And… almost regardless of the actual conclusions they reach, there's something profoundly and inherently LIBERAL about researching a historical or sociological topic and reporting back with a result that challenges the status quo! (Am I right?) And while it is meant primarily for entertainment, some of you may already be saying, “Hey, the best comedy always has a grain of truth to it.” Actually, no, having a grain of truth? That’s Religion. With great comedy? The more truth, the better. In fact the greatest comedy of all has nothing but truth, and little to no exaggeration at all. Truth, of course, so often being much, much stranger than fiction. So with that in mind, I’d like to recommend that you read the following article, which just might be one of the most profound articles on economics that I’ve ever read – and I’ve got an MBA!

Five Reasons the Future Will Be Ruled by BS

First conclusion: That those who a good at "BS" will be all powerful in the future? In the future? You sure it will take that long?

But putting that said, the implications are incredible. The following could disappear overnight, right now: the Publishing Industry, the Newspaper Industry, the Manufacturing parts of the Music Industry, The Distribution parts of the Movie Industry, CD’s, DVD’s, the Post Office, 99% of the Paper producers, and others… Right now every single one of these things, beyond any doubt, has not only outlived its usefulness, but truly outlived all conceivable utility. Think of the number of jobs in those industries. Think of the amount of MONEY involved. Think about the vitally important role that some of these people play in our society and culture: Musicians, Authors, Journalists (just the good ones!). Now… Think objectively about how valuable that is… and then how you propose PAYING for it! (And how it might look, and how our culture might look, if it all went away, based on there being a single penny in it!)

500 years ago the Printing Press changed the world. The Conservatives (of the day) railed against it, seeing as how it would basically put the Monks out of business, being able to produce in a week what would take the Monks a hundred years. Literature flourished, literacy proliferated and the world changed. Just over a Century ago, Conservatives (of that time) were railing against industrial development, clinging to their agrarian lifestyles as Progressives laid railroad tracks and built skyscrapers. The industrial revolution kicked of a flurry of scientific research, engineering implementation that has never stopped accelerating, and continues to through to the present day. And, again, the entire world changed. Taking this article to its logical conclusion, and recognizing that these changes are being grappled with RIGHT NOW? I have no doubt that the full transformative power of the digital revolution is only know, even being GLIMPSED. This will change the world, in our lifetimes, and order of magnitude more that the industrial revolution. A decade or two from now? The transformative power of the Internet and of digital media will make the Space Shuttle look like the printing press.

The world is absolutely changing every bit as profoundly, more so actually, as it was then.

And this progressive? Can admit to having the slightest bit of trepidation abotu it. Not because of the technology itself, I’m an engineer, I love new technology, but because of how the rules are changing. For better or worse, the laws of supply and demand, based on economies of scarcity have existed, and driven human behavior (and really, even the behavior of everything else) since life first crawled out of the ooze. Now, I hate to act like those Monks, cursing the printing press, or those [once slave-owning] farmers, cursing the cities that grew up around them, but THINK ABOUT IT… What will replace this? What does a post-scarcity economic model even LOOK like? Socialism? Not really, not as I see it. Because socialism is still subject to market force. Forces that can be understood, quantified, manipulated… Market forces, driven by scarcity, are every bit as integral to a Socialist model as to a Capitalist one. But what will the rules be when supply is infinite at a cost of zero, and demand goes to zero very quickly as the cost go above zero?

And even though at the moment, it's limited to only certain intellectual property and the distribution of it, consider this: Development of Wind and Solar Power generation will do the same for Energy!  After all: How much does a gallon of sunshine cost? Or a pound of wind?

Already we have huge industries right now, and more coming, that are basically rearranging the deck chairs on their own Titanic and, at best, sending an Ensign down to the engine room with a few pound of paraffin… just in case there’s a leak or two.

We know the world is changing, but I believe Liberals and Conservatives alike are only beginning to get the slightest understanding of the real implications; good, bad and chaotic.  Assuming I live to my life's expectancy, I will die in a radically different world than the one I was born into.  Far more so that in my Father's case, or even in my Grandfather or Great-Grandfather's case. The progressive in me can't wait to see it... But I'm beginning to understand why the Glenn Beck / Tea Party crowd is so freak out.  That rate at which the world is leaving them behind is accelerating like never before.

I wonder what GOLD will be good for, in a post-scarcity economy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Guys: Go and read Left Hook!

Seriosuly.  Stop wasting your time here listening to me prattle on about about "gay" stuff like "whores" and go read something of substance for Pete's sake! (Then... come back here whne your done... 'casue... this place is cool and junk.) LOL

But seriously, after a bit of a hiatus (sorry Class, but you have to admit you did kind of go kind of dormant there for awhile!) ;) ClassicLiberal has a posted a series of well written, hard hitting pieces showing how absolutely clueless Obama really is; how the "Liberal" media keeps covering for the Right, especailly  when it comes to all that forgien money pouring in undiscolsed, thanks to the good old, Citizens United decision; and finally showing that when you start covering for the Rigth, you also start to forget what certain words actually mean, like... racist, or sexist, or freedom, or... HYPOCRISY.  (That, and you get a lot more easy to debunk. Trivially easy, in fact, provided anyone's actually listening!)

Anyway it's great stuff, and he's not feeling anywhere near the love that he truly deserves from the blogosphere these days, so get over there and check it out! 

I was going to do some of that stuff here at some point, but there's nothing more I could add to what he's already done, so there's no point in my trying.  So I'll stick the B-List celebrities and their battles with the PC Police over minutia, and let him handle the heavy lisfting.  No I won't. LOL.  But this week, it's all him.

So get over there and LEARN SOMETHING!


Oh... and he had something on Conpsiracies, but I can't talk about that... They might be listening!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Take the test!

MINIONS!  I SUMMON YOU!

Sorry... still channeling Cthulu...

Hey, I took a Liberal-Coservative test that I found through facebook just now:

http://voteiq.com/match/liberal-conservative-first-set.

I don't think it's anything profound, but it's pretty quick (just 12 "a or b" questions that you assign a priority to) and I got a score of 84.14% Liberal on both the first six and the complete set of 12 questions.

So if you have about 2 minutes to kill, do me a favor: Take the test (once) and post your score in the comments section. Just your score now, let's leave the deep philosphical discussions for a later post, once we all tally up.

I just though it might be fun to see how all of my minions readers rank.