Monday, July 28, 2008

Hell in a Republican Handbasket

And the good news keeps rollin’ in! The White House announced that we have a RECORD budget deficit! $490 BILLION. And I thought my credit cards were out of whack. I always love the spin they put on these things. They are blaming the deficit on “a faltering economy and the bipartisan $170 billion stimulus package that passed earlier this year.”

Okay, let’s take a look at this, shall we. First of all, the economy is faltering because of your ridiculous economic policies. While you don’t call it “trickle down” anymore (mostly because it sounds far too much like the rich are pissing on the poor), that’s basically what you embrace. If the rich get richer, the their companies are better able to provide jobs for the poor. Makes sense. If you’re rich.

Two, I love the “bipartisan” angle on the stimulus package. You know what, I blew my $300 frivolously, and threw another few thousand on top of it. I got a long weekend in LA at a luxury hotel, some great food and 4 new pairs of shoes. But did I really help the economy? After all, I couldn’t even get into my first three choices of hotel, because they were already booked. And there were SEVERAL more pairs of shoes I had my eye on, but apparently Mrs. Marcos beat me to the punch, because they didn’t have them in my size. Hmmm. But I thought you need stimulating?

Lastly, I love how they conveniently neglect to mention one other thing that just might be driving this whole issue. THE FUCKING IRAQ WAR! When you’re sinking approximately a TRILLION bucks into a hole in the sand, sucking the American treasury dry, and the only people who are benefiting are the oil companies and defense contractors, don’t you think THAT might have a little something to do with our deficit.

And as much as I hate to beat a dead horse named W (drip, drip, drip, goes the sarcasm), I just have to ask, SERIOUSLY? We claim to be the “greatest nation on earth” and we managed to elect this bucket of shit TWICE?

If, please God no, the super smart American people should elect McCain this fall, I think it’s time to start talking about a divorce. Blue states can form a country and the red states can form a country. And we’ll wave at you as we drive past the bread lines.

Sticking It (Sort of) to Big Oil

Whenever you read about spiraling gas prices, you always see the same rebuttals. “Free market economy,” “Do you know how much they pay in Europe? We’re getting off easy!” blah, blah, blah. What the fuck ever. The big oil companies are using President Crony’s policies to make the largest profits in American history.

But now, they’re doing a little rethinking. As gas prices have dropped twelve cents in the last week, news comes that we, the people, drove a whopping 9.6 BILLION fewer miles in May 08 than we did in May 07. Take THAT, ExxonMobil!

This is being attributed to the exorbitant rise in gas prices. Like, duh.

(Digression: Did anyone else see the report that said “When Hillary Clinton began her presidential campaign (less than two years) ago, gas was $2.00 a gallon?” How fucking scary is that?)

The drop in May was 3.7%, the largest drop in history. Way to go Free Marketers!!! You oil companies go ahead and sell that $4 gas somewhere else, ‘cuz we’re not buying.

I, personally, have felt the impact of these gas prices. My beloved and I play this game called Fantasy For Instance, where we imagine our lives after winning the $100,000,000+ MegaMillions lotto. Now, we find ourselves debating the fuel efficiency of the Maserati Quattroporte vs. the Bentley Continental R. The tricked out Range Rover has been removed from the list entirely. We’re still pretty sure that private jet travel would still be on the agenda, but with a considerable carbon offset expense now. Frankly, it’s exhausting making all these imaginary decisions. I blame big oil.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thanks for Clearing That Up

As I surfed the news this morning, I got a chuckle with my coffee.

“Experts to investigate hole in Qantas jet” says USA Today. Oh, thank God. I was afraid they’d send in the amateurs.

Although I do wonder, how does one become an expert on holes? Practice, I guess.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Long, Stupid Political Post

I am frustrated on an almost daily basis by people who are STRIDENTLY for or against a particular candidate, but can’t articulate their position beyond the most basic, hackneyed rhetoric.

“He’s too old.”

“He’s not experienced enough.”

“He’s not Hillary.” (used by former Clinton backers and opponents, as well)

“I hate that woman!” (yet I can never get a good reason why).

Combine that with people’s obsessive need to chime in and add their two-cents worth (honestly, about all it IS worth) and you find yourself in the “comments” section so courteously provided by the major news outlets on their websites.

Now, before I go any further, may I just say that I like my news the old-fashioned way. Balanced, informed and lacking sensationalism. If I want sensational, I’ll watch a telenovela. Growing up, I was in awe of newspapers. I thought it was so cool that you had at least one source that didn’t show bias, but rather helped you understand both sides of the story. Of course, even then there was slant. I was just to na├»ve to see.

But as I’ve said many times in this forum, we’ve lost our ability to have debate. Now it’s just an argument, fomented by network talking heads. Raising the volume of the debate has taken the place of raising the quality of the debate.

So today, CNN posts the results of another poll that shows McCain narrowing the gap with Obama in some key states. The article is innocuous enough. But when you click on the comments, the fun begins. And the whackjobs come crawling out of their cyber hiding places.

Here for your reading pleasure, a few of those comments. As I read through, I’m reminded of one of my favorite lyrics, from an old Tears for Fears song, Mr. Pessimist. “Evangelistic brother, should be banging a tambourine. Go wash your hands and fingers, ‘til your mind is clean.”

Sic all. This is also an indictment of our education system. Is it really possible to have an informed opinion when you don’t know how to spell?

“Go McCain! Anyone but Obama! He's not qualified! Was for Hillary, now for McCain!” –Marie in California


“its ok Mcwar will lose anyways because people dont like him only racist people will vote for this loser”—aaa


“Isn't that what the media has been working on in the last few weeks. They got their wish. Hurah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” –Chris from NY

“I have been saying with all the hype of OBAMA look at the polls McCain now is winning or ahead in the battleground states. OBAMA is going down, and about the polls that hispanic is for OBAMA don't think so they were in CA. What about the Hispanic people in States like NM, AZ, NV, and the rest of the Nation were Hispanic were not conducted polls. Just wait and see in Oct-Nov went Latinos will open their eyes and ears and go with McCain!!!! All that hype in Berlin, Iraq, Israel and Obama has no Bounce!!! Obama is going down!!!!!!!!!!
Latinos for McCain!!!” –Latinos fro McCain

“no Obama
no Obama
no Obama
no Obama
no Obama
no Obama
no Obama
no Obama
no Obama
no Obama
no Obama
no Obama
no Obama
no Obama
no Obama
no Obama” –no obama


“HELLO PEOPLE….John McCain has some 59 LOBBYIST working in his campaign!!!!! MY GOD why does America have to shoot it's self in the foot before we realize we can bleed? Charlie Black, Phil Gramm, are Mccains Dick Chaney… this man Gaffes all over the place, i cant even get into his flip flopping, his campaign has been a shamble- how a person runs a campaign shows how s/he will run the country…BOMB BOMB BOMB Iran, THIS MAN GRADUATED 894 OUT OF 899….For God sakes people we can not AFFORD John McCain. we already see oil spills, we already have people killing them selves because they are loosing their homes…McCain WILL make things worse than Bush has. Woman if you want your rights, you need to pay attention top Mccain's record. Vets, ask your selves would you fight for this man who refuses to to release his own Military record? Seniors can you vote for a man who will destroy SS? AMERICA CAN NOT AFFORD MCCAIN!!!!!!!!! dumpmccain.com” –McArsenic



“In Colorado I can understand.
After it was divulged that Obama and the DNC ground crew has been using publicly financed motor pools for their gas (against the law) for workers on the ground since March 2008–I don't suppose many Coloradans respect the integrity of the Democratic Party.
Any citizens knows you don't use public (taxpayor) resources for personal or political purposes.”—Praetorian, Fort Myers


“This is great news. Obama should remember he needs to convince people here in America to vote for him, not foreigners. The arrogance of this man. He goes on a world tour as if he's already President. Sorry, buddy, I'm not ready to hand over my country to the likes of you.”
PUMA for McCain” –Marc in Virginia


For those of you who don’t know what PUMA means (I didn’t, I had to look it up), it’s a political action committee started by a Clinton supporter. The name is an acronym for People United Means Action. Most people who have adopted the moniker believe it REALLY stands for Party Unity My Ass. In other words, “I’m going to vote for the other guy, just to spite you.”

Yep. Our political system is now in the hands of the kindergarteners.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Of Autism and Assholes

I was very reluctant to even post this, because doing so completely supports my supposition. Oh well.

Over the last couple of days, radio shock jock Michael Savage has generated yet another firestorm with his comments about autistic children. Not surprisingly, his comments were ill-informed and inflammatory and have caused an ENORMOUS outrage in the press. And people should be outraged. But we need to keep our mouths shut.

See, the Michael Savages of the world LIVE for controversy. I doubt seriously that Michael Savage believes a word of what he says, but he hasn’t been in the news much lately and I’m pretty sure he lives by the old saw, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

It’s funny, because it seems to be a right-wing idiot fear factor thing. These conservative assholes say the darndest things. But really, they just want to get a rise out of people, mostly because their ego demands it.

Before he became this hate-spewing rightie, Michael Savage was a seriously tree-hugging liberal, albeit with an ego that wouldn’t quit. When he realized that most tree-huggers don’t get their 15 minutes (unless they’re chained to a tree in protest, and even then we don’t usually remember their names) he reinvented himself as an uber-conservative. And shot to celebrity.

Shock and awe! And pretty fucking convenient, eh?

So, wouldn’t it be awesome if the press and the good guys of the world just ignored these people. The hate spewing “preachers” and inflammatory radio “personalities.”

Sure they’d still maintain a following among a small, dedicated group of crackers and dip shits, but my guess is that most of these haters would fade away, because the attention is really the driver here, not the message.

But, as I said in the opening line, I can’t even practice what I preach.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wry or Wrong?

My beloved’s nephew turned me on to a blog that still has me scratching my head. It’s called Shelley The Republican. I can’t for the life of me tell if this is arch satire, or some bat shit evangelical lady from the sticks. Either way, it’s some crazy fucking shit. Check it out.

http://www.shelleytherepublican.com/

I love the way the cross replaces the “T” on the site. Nice touch.

And regardless of the intent of the blog, the sentiments are essentially those of the far right. Whether this blogger has taken it to an absurd extreme for effect, or is simply that narrow and removed, it’s entertainment people!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oldie But Goodie--Like the Bible!

Back in the day, when Dr. Laura actually had some media cred, this letter made the rounds. I have kept a printed out copy of it in my desk all these years. Today, a client forwarded it to me. I'm sure everyone has seen it, but it so nicely sums up my feelings about those who attempt to interpret the Bible literally. (Never mind the fact that they're are paying slavish abeisance to an EDITED TRANSLATION.)

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness Lev.15: 19 24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states, that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6 8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev.24:10 16). Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in -laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

I Feel Safer Already

I’m a bit of a customer service freak. I'm not after obsequious behavior, I just want a little friendliness. Or basically, do the fucking job you’re paid to do. Is that too much to ask?

I’m especially peeved by the people in service industries who are too busy to bother with you. They act as though taking care of you is SUCH a bother and a total intrusion on their time.

Lately I’ve been noticing this particular trait among a specific segment of the working populace—airport screeners. Now, I understand that we’re talking about HOMELAND SECURITY (say that outloud in a big announcer voice), but would it kill you to pay attention, at the very least.

Yesterday, we’re traveling through one of the busiest airports in the world, LAX. This is an airport that, according the Bush administration, is on all the terrorist hit lists. So, if the TSA folk were being all gruff and fugly so that they could ward off terrorists, that would be one thing. I could forgive them their brusqueness, figuring they were just rehearsing for some future role anyway.

But this was not the case. Take for example the young woman who was working baggage screening. Her specific job was to take the piece of luggage from the customer and walk it over to the screening machine. Had genetics been slightly more kind, she might be working on Deal or No Deal instead. But today, and for now, her job is simply to hand the luggage over to a higher paid union worker. She might even have a line. Something such as, “Is your bag unlocked?”

But I was not prepared to be ignored while she stood, face-to-face with me, my luggage in between us, and flirtingly chastised her co-worker for going on break and not bringing her anything back. Seriously? Uh . . . I have a plane to catch.

She takes the luggage and drags it away, the psychological weight far exceeding the baggage allowance.

I shrug it off. Unless traveling with too many pairs of shoes is a threat, I’m in the clear.

Then I arrive at the security checkpoint. I choose what appears to be the shortest, fastest-moving line. Of course, airport security is the toll booth, or bank drive-through of the new millennium, so the moment I step into the line, every other line begins moving at the speed of sound.

Finally, I’m at the x-ray machine, only to find that the conveyor has stopped. Normally this means that someone’s carry-on is undergoing a closer inspection. In this case, however, the only person in front of me was my Beloved and his bag was still on my side.

So what could have my screener so transfixed? I followed his intent stare and landed on . . . booty. That’s right, he was checking out some skank chick’s ass like she was smuggling explosives. Should I clear my throat. Ululate? Before I could decide on a course of action, he shook his head, as if shaking off her booty spell and pushed the button, whisking my things on their journey.

I couldn’t help but think, if this is our best defense, the terrorists must be some stupid motherfuckers.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Does White Run in the Rain?

I found a really funny story today on Salon.com. It’s about another blogger who, in January began blogging about liberal white people and their proclivities. Check it out here: http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2008/07/05/white_people/

One of the funniest things I found on his blog was that white people try to create conversations that allow them to subtly brag. About their travels, their liberalism, their tolerance. Their evolvedness.

So, this afternoon, I’m checking out of the grocery store. An older, preppy gentleman walked away, leaving his umbrella on the counter. The checker called after him, saying, “You’re probably going to need this out there.”

The gentleman picked up the umbrella, glanced at it, and said, “I bought this umbrella in London! A long time ago.” And he turned and exited. No “thank you,” no “have a nice day.”

Then I thought, wait a minute. He’s full of shit. He can’t even keep up with that umbrella for one day. He hasn’t had it for “a long time.”

But then I decided that he was just a white person. Trying to make his way in the rain.