Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mo Shite

A good little piece on why it makes sense to still be scared, without the fear mongering.

Hey remember that whole thing with prosecutors being fired illegally and whatnot?
"Our investigation found significant evidence that political partisan considerations were an important factor in the removal of several . . . U.S. attorneys."
Hmm... that could get interesting, although I doubt anyone will pay attention.

Who is this John Kerry fella and why wasn't he around four years ago when that guy with a similar name ran for president?
As for McCain's role in all this... John Kerry summed it up best: "He said he was going to interrupt his campaign to come down and save the negotiations. Most people believe is that what he did was interrupt the negotiations to come down and save his campaign."
Amazing. Other than it hurts to hear him have some balls when they were so lacking a few years back when he really needed them.

And here is a really random comic strip.

I, like John McCain,

have no idea how the economy works. (did I fool you for a sec?) Which is fine for a guy who has no significant debt and about a hundred bucks in the bank, its not ok for the next president who it would appear is going to be handed the largest financial crisis since the great one. The real point of that is to reiterate that I don't have any background in economics at all, theres a significant portion of the pretty basic terminology that I simply smile and nod at.

Now that I have that out of the way, again, I'll get to my point. Apparently right before the fail of the bail the fed pumped a few hundred billion into the banking system. There's a few different numbers on here but it sounds like they increased cash to the banks by 300 billion to bring it up to either 450 or 630 billion, by trading with other national banks. Seems a little weird to me that they wanted the taxpayers to shell out 700 billion if the fed still had the ability to do that on its own. Of course the article also says that the Fed's "balance sheet is about to explode." I don't know much about this shit, but I'm pretty sure that if the Federal Reserve gets in financial trouble then we're in serious trouble.

The roof
the roof
the roof is on fire
but we don't need no water
let the motherfucker burn
burn motherfucker

-Bloodhound Gang


Theres a recent poll that has Obama with a three point lead in Florida (with a 3.2 point margin of error) but I have to wonder if thats among registered voters, likely voters, or voters likely to not be disenfranchised? There are significant differences between those groups.

Churchs: Tax Free or Political

It's quite simple, if you want to be a tax exempt organization, religious or secular, then you cannot endorse candidates. If you do then you're political and you have to pay taxes. So like I've said before, pastors should feel free to proselytize for their candidates, but they lose their tax-exempt status. We could really use the tax revenue from those mega-churches and their sheep were all going to vote the same anyway so go ahead and become political, we need the money.


Ok random ass shit time, via Fark. A girl in Russia called her friend ugly and that she would never get a boyfriend. I think she's right but not cause of looks. The girls reaction? She pulled out a pair of tweezers and proceeded to stab her friend over 100 times, killing her friend. Even if she gets out of jail, I'm guessing she might find it tough to find a guy. "Do these pants make my ass look fat?" you'd risk your life answering that question.

Banned Book Week

I never knew this existed, or I've forgotten about it since last year. Either way apparently this is banned book week, everyone should go out and celebrate by reading a good banned book. Here's the latest list from the American Library Association.

Mean People Suck

This is just hardcore dickish. The story in the paper sounds fucking rude, the first person narrative sounds so much worse. I do have to question the writer placing blame on some stupid DVD that just got mailed out by some right-wingers, cause ya know nobody in this country had unfounded beef with muslims before that DVD came out, the timing does make it possible, I'm not going to speculate at these people's motives. I'm also not going to blame McCain, hey the story is from D.Kos, but the first person account they have is fairly brutal.

Anyway its a pretty fucked up act, especially because, and I really really hope this was accidental, they tear gassed (or whatever the irritant was) the kids room. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they wanted to be assholes to the muslims on their high holy day, you know how muslims, jews, and christians are always playing practical jokes on each other? Oh wait. Maybe its more sinister like when the raving atheists attack churches on easter, what? That doesn't happen? Oh, well I'm still assuming that they mean to target the whole mosque and the got the children's room by mistake. If on the other hand it turns out they targeted that room intentionally then I would be significantly harsher as a judge, don't get me wrong I'd hit them with a hate crime either way.

Hat tip to PZ.

Underground Government Boxing Clubs

In death a member of project mayhem has a name, and his name is Henry Paulson.
- Fight Club (almost)

I've thought this over a bit and I do think the bailout is a bad idea, but for very different reasons than most. I don't know if the bailout will fix our economic problems, if it works how everyone hopes it will then it'll save our asses, and by doing so will perpetuate a system that simply cannot survive in the long term. They have these great ads right now that talk about how we have 60 years worth of oil offshore that congress isn't allowing us to tap. It's supposed to encourage us to tap that oil, to me it is just a perfect example of how short minded a people we are. It's only 60 years worth of oil, shit, we've only really been using oil on a large scale for 100 and look how much we've fucked shit up. Back to my point. I think not bailing out these companies might well lead to a crisis serious enough that we are then given the opportunity to rebuild a system that can last. I'm not sure what that system will look like, will it be a minor change like a third way between socialism and capitalism where hard work allows for limited inequality. Or are we looking at a true collapse of the system as we know it, maybe we will revert back to a more agricultural world that can actually live within our means, but I highly doubt that outcome.

But at the same time I say fuck it, the rich wanted laissez-faire capitalism and with partial deregulation they managed to royally fuck themselves. Greed is not the motivator we should use to run our entire lives, and greed is what drives capitalism, call it drive or motivation or whatever, its still greed. Greed is a good motivator don't get me wrong, but we cannot allow it to be the only motivator.

So Wall Street crumbles, many many businesses fail, how do we rebuild? What lessons have we learned? What will our new vision of the world look like? I don't know, but I'm curious to find out. Fuck the Bailout! I want to see the next great revolution, then again the bailout might only delay the revolution for a few years anyway.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Friday's Debate

Hey guess what? I'm late getting to this!
Yeah I watched some of the debate on friday, well the TV was on and turned to that station the whole time but we didn't necessarily watch it all. Ok so maybe just maybe we tried to turn it into a drinking game, but we screwed up at the start. We weren't thinking about the fact that it was a debate not a stump speech, so we picked the wrong drinkin' words. We chose "Hope, POW (or anything related), and Change." Had this been the conventions we'd have been rocked. But it was a debate so it didn't work that well, we later chose "taxes" which was much better. In the end I was a bit drunk, and I had watched the debate, so all in all a pretty good day.

Oh as for the substance of the debate, well from my not so sober perspective, which might be a good way to look at things from the vantage of the "average american" I thought McCain did better than I expected, but Obama still whipped his ass pretty good. I did find it interesting that Obama regularly looked at McCain to address him, but McCain gave fleeting glances at most towards Obama. I'm not going to psychoanalyze that but I'm sure it means something, and I'm sure it's not good.

Anybody else get drunk and watch the debates? Anyone else know how to party? woo!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The President Who Cried Wolf

You can only tell me to be afraid so many times before I tend to assume you're just a pussy that's afraid of everything. You can only lie straight to my face (or the camera) so many times before I just don't give a shit what you have to say. I know I'm not the first with this observation about the president but it's just really sad when the economy truly is in peril and when the president comes on the air and the first reaction from most of the country is to not care what he says. How can you be a leader when no one wants to follow you? He's played the fear card so many times, told us to just trust him, and if the Congress tried to do its job at all and not just hand him what he wants then were all going to die! So hurry hurry hurry, no time to think, just write the damn check! This tactic work far more times than it should have, it never should have worked but were human and it did. But his ability to control anything is past, he's a lame duck, he has been for quite some time and I think that fact is finally going to catch up with him. Mr. President, you kindly go out back, and go fuck yourself.

And thats all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The (so called) Constitution Party

Ok this is amusing, and potentially handy. The Constitution Party, and their presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin, have just been endorsed by Ron Paul. These folks are definitely far out on the right wing, but they might just act as a handy little spoiler for McCain and at the moment it doesn't look like he can afford it, they have him down 9 points to Obama.

But I just want to pick on The Constitution Party for a few minutes, seriously this shit is funny. First off they are for a strict interpretation of the constitution, if it doesn't say the government can do it then they can't. Which would mean throwing out most of our laws. Now the libertarians are some what similar but at least the Libertarians are consistent, these guys then try to throw in a bunch of right wing religious bullshit thats obviously not authorized, in fact is specifically made illegal by the constitution, so their logic is amusing. Check out their stance on Drugs, or Porn. First their rational (a term I'm using loosely) on porn,
"We call on our local, state and federal governments to uphold our cherished First Amendment right to free speech by vigorously enforcing our laws against obscenity to maintain a degree of separation between that which is truly speech and that which only seeks to distort and destroy."
Uphold freedom of speech by way of censorship! wow.

How about drugs. First they give you the tenth and fourth amendments which are about states rights and freedom from search and seizure respectively and that somehow justifies the war on drugs? Um the constitution doesn't give the government the right to tell people what they can and cannot consume, hardcore non-sequitur. Again this is why for all my disagreement with the Libertarians, I give them credit for being the most consistent platform.

Not surprisingly they are against the environment. They have some wacky ass views on the judiciary. I find this amusing.
We particularly support all the legislation which would remove from Federal appellate review jurisdiction matters involving acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.
(spelling preserved) How the fuck does that jive with the establishment clause? I will admit that their stance on education, is mostly correct, other than the god shit again, the constitution leaves education up to the states, I really don't know how NCLB and other national programs are legit. As for any schooling the parents want, well for the sake of the children I disagree. And I hope they don't try to bitch when their home schooled kid who knows nothing about science isn't allowed into a real college because they can't pass the entrance exam. I'm also curious if they are consistent with their foreign policy stuff, they say our military should only be used for our defense and we should not get involved with other countries conflicts. Nowhere is Israel mentioned. Thats going to lose them some fundie votes. Ok I gotta give them a little credit for opposing the War on Terror because its fucking illegal.

I could probably keep going with this, but I'm bored, making fun of stupid is only fun for so long.

Will the Bailout Work?

I hate to get sucked into this like everyone else but it seems like one of the few times recently where the news of the week legitimately should be the news of the week. It sounds like they're getting called out pretty hard for the lack of oversight, now ever Paulson admits that oversight in necessary, so that probably going to happen. Thats probably the second most critical part of this whole thing. Unfortunately the most important part is much harder to know, is it even going to work? What happens if we invest a trillion dollars and the companies still go belly up? The first question no one really knows the answer to because we don't ave time machines, the second question on the other hand has a pretty easy answer, and we all know it, we're fucked.

Like I said I don't expect to get a straight answer from anyone on whither or not this will work, but I'd like to find some differing opinions from some good sources.

Here's one that lays out what needs to be included, I guess the assumption (to be fair I haven't finished reading it) is that if all these things are done then it should work. Oh and the things that need to be done, regulate regulate and regulate.

Heres a little from the BBC, I always like to see what those outside our borders think.

Forbes is going to look at this from a little different perspective but it's a lot of comments by lawmakers so really not that different, but this quote is pretty amazing.

In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.

"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."

Which is why Chuck Shummer is pointing out that the plan is to spend about $50B a month, we all know were trying to navigate uncharted waters so why not give like $150 billion and then see where we are in three months, why write another huge blank check? Wow, how fucked up are we when we can actually say things like, lets start with a more reasonable number, say A HUNDRED AND FUCKING FIFTY BILLION DOLLARS!

I do find it amusing, the fiscal conservative who once controlled the republican party are up in arms because it's socialism, the fiscal liberals are up in arms because it's socialism for the rich paid for by the rest. A little bit of socialism isn't a bad thing, but make sure your protecting the weak, not the powerful who fucked up. It should be noted that many of these articles have mentioned that the senators are getting lots of phone calls and almost no one is in favor.

Somewhere and now I've lost the link there was mention of how some Exec's refused to cooperate with provisions that they must take a 10% loss. To me thats easy, either eat the loss for the year, get a huge influx of money from the government and try to rebuild your company under new regulations, pay back your debt to the Gov with interest, and then continue on as a business. Or go bankrupt. If they think the that they should automatically turn a profit after getting their asses saved by the very people they have fucked then they can suck my left nut. They're standing on a collapsing building, trying on their golden parachute and complaining that the cords are silver instead of platinum. I'm about ready to say fuck it all, even if it plunges us into a modern great depression these capitalist fucks need to feel the pain. This is the free market, they wanted fewer regulations, they got them, they did exactly what you would expect and it failed. Lets not forget that

Oh and to tie this in with the election, how come no one is bringing up McCain's involvement with the Keating Five Scandal?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Nice Weekend

Went to the Irish Festival this weekend, had a blast. Got there late so I was only able to knock back Guinness from like 3 - 11, thats three hours of beer that I... probably didn't need.

I also had a nice little date. It's a weird story of how I met her, but the important thing is that she's really nice, smart, well read and a bit odd. Oh and cute too! I said little date because I did say we were just going as friends, but I'm pretty sure she realizes thats BS. We went up to Watkins Glen and hiked the gorge, over the summer a friend told me about going with his kids and it made me want to go up there. I hadn't been since I was a kid. Anyway the weather was perfect and we just walked and talked a bit. It was funny, there were fairly long silences, but I don't think they were awkward silences, just times when neither of us felt like talking. At least I hope she didn't think they were of the awkward variety. So I'm trying not to make a big deal out of this, but she is quite likable. I'm sure this won't be the last time I mention her, so I might have to give her a code name, I will call her Mona.

I doubt she will read this (at this point kinda hope she doesn't), but if she does, she'll get it.

myHave a good one everybody!


So much shit is going on right now.

Some interesting shit at this site, might have to save that blog for later....
Phil lays into McCain for his stance on science, and "science".
To no surprise there's all sorts of shit being talked over at D.Kos, I mean who else would get pissed about a little rocket fuel in their water? Although this one was interesting and fairly unexpected. They also had a classic in their pundit round up , meaning the folks at Kos got it from Bob Herbert.

Does anyone think it’s just a little weird to be stampeded into a $700 billion solution to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression by the very people who brought us the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression?

How about a second opinion?

Good Call Bob. Basically for me, I don't know about this whole thing, the longer I think about it the worse it sounds. My Gov teacher last night couldn't help but repeatedly point out that were talking about a bill for 700 billion dollars, and the bill is three pages long. THREE!?!?

I need to run because... well actually cause I want to write another quick post that should be a wee bit more upbeat, which seems like the better way to end the day.

Holy Shit Batman

I get more than a little worried when Bush says he needs a bill passed in a hurry. He's already in fear monger mode, if the democrats don't pass this law immediately then we're all screwed. Well were all in trouble anyway so maybe we should take a second a breath, lets make sure the bill is actually going to help the situation. Lets make sure that those who have fucked our economy up aren't going to be getting millions for their failures, the reality is that it won't make any significant difference, but its very important for the moral of the country not to allow these people to reap huge rewards off our taxes. Most importantly though lets make sure that those who are in control of this are accountable. They seriously have a provision in this bill saying that the unelected treasury department cannot be reviewed by congress or the courts. Thomas Jefferson would be whippin' Bush's ass right now. Even Alexander Hamilton would be like, woah, thats a little crazy, and I knew Arron Burr so I know crazy - fucker shot me. (sorry history class kicking in)

Luckily it sounds like congress is going to try to do it job, it should be noted (time for Gov class) that the Legislative branch is NOT designed to be efficient. It's an intentionally slow process, they had this wacky notion that some thought should go into new laws. There needs to be back and forth, compromises must be hammered out and that takes time. Congress is not supposed to ebb and flow with the whims of the masses, it must keep its head clear of short term worries and focus on the long term good of the country. The Wars and the Patriot act should be good enough examples of why Congress needs to be more concerned with writing good bills than getting them out quickly.
“It would not be understandable if members of Congress sought to use this emergency legislation to pass unrelated provisions, or to insist on provisions that would undermine the effectiveness of the plan
To use a phrase I never thought I would, I agree with Bush (Ahhhhh!!!) that congress shouldn't use this emergency bill to try to pass unrelated shit. I honestly don't think anyone will. But his part about undermining the effectiveness is the important part, does accountability decrease effectiveness? Only if your goal is to rob the American people. I really don't think that statement is crazy either, I'm honestly afraid that this is going to turn into an even bigger swindle of taxpayers money for the profit of the super rich than the Wars. Honestly how else can you explain this provision, which I mentioned before.
"Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."
That shit needs to go, fuck everything else that needs to go.
Ugh, well I need some grub. If you want better info heres some links.
USNews.com lots and lots of info and links
Crooks and Liars, lots of info and a heavy bias
The Rude Pundit, some info, a heavy bias, lots of swearing but by the end you be in agreement.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Congress, bailouts, and other economic shit

The other day I was at a friends house watching some TV. We're watching some news channel talk about the stock market free-fall and all the financial problems. How were facing the biggest economic crisis since the great depression, and then he switches back to ESPN and the headline is about how "Congress rips the Yankees." I couldn't help but laugh.

Although actually we then switched to another channel so I didn't know what they were talking about and now that I do it wasn't such a waste of time as it sounded. Turns out the Yankees were trying to get taxpayers to foot a big part of the bill for their new stadium. Uh, fuck that. Why should my tax money be used to build a stadium for a private business? Particularly outrageous when that private company is as rich as George Steinbrener and the Yankees.

Why is it that when the government tries to help people in need its "creeping socialism" but when the same government gives handouts to huge corporations trying to increase their profits, its economic stimulus, and for the greater good of the community? Hypocrites, they wanted de-regulation, they got it, now that its failed as miserably as we expected it too they should pay the price. Fuck 'em, they were happy to rake in the benefits they can't complain when they lose it all. Except of course there is the legitimate point that allowing them all to fail will cause even bigger problems.

The way I see it is that we shouldn't bail out these companies, we should invest. The stock isn't worth shit cause they are on the verge of collapse. So the government buys a shit load of stock, maybe even for a little more than its current market value. The important part to me is that rather than take our tax money and simply give it to a failing company and hope for the best the government now has some say in the company. (I think this is basically what happened with Fannie and Freddie) More importantly as the company gets back on its feet and starts turning a profit I don't want to see the tax payers simply paid back, I want to see some fucking return on our investment. We gave them 85 billion, I want to see 100 back. I don't see this as greedy, at least not any greedier than any other investor is, and why should we be treated any different?

Oh and this sounds interesting, I don't know business or economics but apparently the Gov allowed five corporations to avoid some of the usual regulations.

Who were the five that received this special exemption? You won't be surprised to learn that they were Goldman, Merrill, Lehman, Bear Stearns, and Morgan Stanley.

As Mr. Pickard points out that "The proof is in the pudding — three of the five broker-dealers have blown up."

Without even really knowing about the SEC, it sounds like someone needs to explain why these companies were excluded, and ensure it doesn't happen again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

NOW they get it

The National Organization for Women has done something it rarely does, endorses a candidate. When they heard that Sarah Palin was McCain's VP they knew they had to help women make the right choice, they endorsed Obama. The real concern though is if the rest of the voters are completely aware that she is vehemently anti-women's rights.

Update: This can't be good

We figured out how to avoid problems with Pakistan. If we send soldiers into Pakistan then they're going to defend themselves, so now were just going to use drones to kill people in Pakistan. That should solve the problem right?


Unexplained Exploding Object

Hubble just spotted something, and we don't have a friggin' clue what it is. This is why I like science, they admit they don't know what it is, so rather than make up a story and run with it, they come up with a bunch of stories (or hypothesis) and then here's the nifty part, they test 'em. Whoa. Might have to go ask Phil about this.

Interesting Lawsuit

It'll probably turn out to be nothing, but Libertarian candidate Bob Barr is suing the state of Texas for ignoring it's own election laws which state that candidates must be certified 70 days before the election AKA August 25th. But because neither candidate had been officially nominated by their party until August 28th and September 4th for Obama and McCain respectively they cannot be on the ballot in Texas. Now I'd be willing to throw a couple bucks on a bet saying that Obama and McCain will be on the ballot, but it sounds like the case has some merit, and being an Obama supporter I can't help but think of how fucked McCain would be without Texas. Thanks D. Kos!

And good times were had by all

Lets see the war in Iraq seems to be heading in the right direction finally, oh sure its still insanely unstable and could still collapse at any moment but at the moment that seems to be the best news we have to work with. Our other war has taken a decidedly nasty turn of late, to the point that even our ally Pakistan has ordered its troops to shoot ours if we try to invade their territory again. Apparently countries get all uptight about sending special ops into their country and killing a dozen civilians, who knew? It's not like our plan was to kill civilians, doesn't that count for something? Oh, no it turns out good intentions don't bring people back to life. Then theres all the shit goin on in Georgia still, that could turn out to be a serious problem. Russia might even be thinking about doing it again. Suicide bombers just attacked our embassy in Yemen, killing 16. And because the western hemisphere hasn't been pointing out its disdain for American Hegemony lately Evo Morales is pissed at us for saying that his country isn't helping to fight the war on drugs. To which he said supply and demand mothafucka, y'all stop sniffin it we'll stop making it. To which I say make it legal and we can at least get ride of the direct violence . And just to in case the whole Cold War II seemed to implausible, they're selling jets to Venezuela a country that isn't terribly fond of us, and might help Bolivia with its drug problems. Yo, the Russians are getting smart. I think its fair to say the international scene isn't looking so hot right now. What about things at home?

Oh my, the financial sector seems to be in some trouble. Hmm after the Great Depression we put all sorts of regulations on the financial corporations, things went relatively smoothly, then we de-regulated and now things are looking pretty fucking bad. Weird it's like without rules corporations simply worry about short term profits which leads to all sorts of long term consequences. Lets run the list, and I'm probably forgetting some, Fannie and Freddie got re-nationalized, Lehman became the largest corporate bankruptcy ever, Merrill Lynch got bought out, AIG got bailed out, oh and the stock market is in a minor free fall. Sweet.

But the only silver lining is that when the voters see how much of a failure both our foreign and economic policies have been they are going to vote overwhelmingly for the guy who actually wants to change shit right? I mean there's just no way any sane person could ask for more of what we've had... oh wait this country isn't sane, and they will vote for the attractive lady that loves jeebus and killin' critters! Woo!

WTF, if we actually elect those two lying fucks then you know what, I won't have pity on my own country when it continues its spiral down the sewer.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Update: Biden and Palin

Ok I was a bit confused yesterday, someone told me there was a debate, I only saw the last couple minutes but that sure as fuck wasn't a debate. Admittedly it didn't claim to be, it was a forum, which apparently means that the questions aren't even lobed in slowly, there set-up t-ball style. Seriously one question was about if volunteerism is part of what makes this country great? Thats not really a question, and as a politicians it's nothing. Its just an opportunity to cheer lead. I want tough questions, just cause its a forum doesn't mean they shouldn't have to answer real questions. Or maybe it does. Shit Palin got tougher questions during that interview. BTW: She obviously didn't know what "The Bush Doctrine" was, and while she should, it's not a big deal. Although her support of preemptive war should be a real concern. The proper follow up would have been to ask, given what she knew, if she supported preemptive war in Iraq. But they didn't. One other thing, obviously I'm severely biased against her, but I found it weird how hostile she seemed during the interview. McCain is angry enough, we don't need an equally aggressive person behind him.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Biden vs. Palin

I know the big dogs are gettin' ready to scrap tonight, and I'm really really hoping that Obama has just been doin' a little rope a dope, letting McCain throw a few punches, even land a few, while waiting for the opening to level that fucker. Hopefully thats what happens tonight, unfortunately I'll be sitting in psych class at that time. So I'll know about that long after most folks.

But now I'm really looking forward to the VP debates. Why well because Sarah Palin's town of Wasilla had this lovely little law that said that a rape victim had to pay for the medical procedure to verify the rape, aka a rape kit. Wow, well I'm sure they had a good reason right? I mean you had better have a really good reason for coming up with such a cold heartless law as that right? It would save the tax payers between $5,000 - 14,000 a year. Ok fiscal responsibility is a good thing but seriously? Sending a bill to rape victims? Another thing to note, Alaska has three times as many rapes as the national average. George Carlin can explain why. Ok so far, its a pretty fucked up story right? But why should this make for a great debate between Biden and Palin? Well theres more to the story, it turns out that this little law on the books called The Violence Against Women Act that made it illegal for a municipality to bill women for being raped, assuming they wanted any federal money. What makes this an interesting point for a debate is the fact that Biden wrote the Violence Against Women Act. Now you see why I think that could get interesting.

And no I don't think this is politicizing rape, this should be a legitimate issue. If we were talking about using a specific rape case that would be different, but to ask a person who was the mayor of a town that may have broken the law in order to save money by charging sex crime victims a fee, any fee let alone an expensive fee is absolutely fair game. The fact that the other nominee wrote the law that was broken simply means that the other person is in real trouble, but if you're looking for sympathy, well I could show you some, but then I'll send you a bill.

Hat tip to the D. Kos

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Values Voters Summit

And something about freedom pulpit day or something. Basically the usual crowd of right wingers wants pastors to endorse specific candidates, in blatant violation of IRS laws. You know what, I'm all for it. Go on and have fun, they already endorse the republicans so there's not much to lose by letting them admit it. And this country could really use the extra tax revenue, if they think for one second they can have it both ways than they can go fuck themselves. So long as they are willing to give up there tax exempt status, then fine. Let them preach to the choir.

Palin and the Bridge

Ok we've all heard of the bridge to nowhere, that perfect symbol of pork. Many of you probably know that the Alaskan Governor was for the project, at least until it became politically impossible to support it at which point she was against it. Whatever, typical politician shit. An interesting side note to all of that, which a co-worker loves to point out. The state of Alaska still got the 200 million dollars to build the bridge to nowhere, although it would have ultimately cost about twice that, so when they decided against it what happened to all that money? That symbol of pork? They kept it.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Brooklyn (abridged)

Cool town, unfortunately I was sick most of the weekend. But I got to ride the cyclone at coney island.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Good Times and Bad

Theres one hell of a story over at The Minnesota Independent about a protester. First he was in a funny picture where he's laying down in front of a wall of cops, but lying down in a George Kastanza (sp? Seinfeld) trying to look sexy sorta way. It's fairly amusing. Or at least it was till the cops kicked the shit out of him later that day. He has a rather clear boot print on his back and he's scraped up from being dragged down the street. I'd like to show the pics and have a link to it. Unfortunately every time I've gone to The Minnesota Independent website today my computer has frozen. I think part of it is they're getting way more traffic than they can handle, or maybe my computer is just a POS.

I talked to my uber-right-wing-evangelical-coworker today. I try to avoid politics with her for obvious reasons. Mostly because she's not well informed, usually wrong, but shes a very nice old lady, and she keeps track of our vacation time so its best to keep on her good side. Shes the one I've mentioned wanting to tell that I'm an atheist on my last day because she does like me and that will blow her mind. She's friendly with a devil worshiper? Um, no I don't believe in that guy either. Anyway she brought up having watched Palin's speech, perfect, now I'm not the one who started it. She loved the speech, no big shock. But when she got into Palin's experience I couldn't help but laugh directly at her. She was mayor of a town a third the size of the shit hole I live in, then was govenor of a state with a population of under 700,000. Shut the fuck up. Ok I didn't say that part.

Shit shit shit, I gotta head to class and I was just getting to the part that I'm really happy about.
Go here read this! srsly.

Oh and speaking of populations I'm heading to a city with a population of about 3.5 million this weekend, its called Brooklyn, and its just one part of The City. So I won't be back till next monday most likely.
Have a great weekend and fuck the police!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sarah Palin

Yeah I'm late but I still need to throw in my two cents. First I'll say, awesome job by Obama to take the high road and avoid bringing up Palin daughter, even including what I would call encouragement by reminding everyone that his own mother was only 18 when she had Barack. (I ramble for a bit, but theres some good links at towards the bottom)

But I don't work for Obama, they found someone better, so I don't have to take the high road, although I do work with teen mothers so this seems like an opportunity to talk about a serious issue that this country simply doesn't want to talk about. There's a fair number of problems in this country that stem directly from the fact that we have a very immature attitude towards Sex and Drugs (probably other shit too). There is currently debate about lowering the drinking age (alcohol is a drug, a rather dangerous one at that) but the resistance comes from people who think 18 year olds are too immature on the subject. I think the whole fucking country is too immature on the subject. If a 14 year old would occasionally have a glass of wine with their parents at dinner, then by the time they could drink in public it wouldn't be a big deal. Just to make that perfectly clear, I support PARENTS giving alcohol to minors in order for them to learn, and so they too can enjoy a nice beverage. Same goes for sex, but a much less hands on approach, that would be weird. If sex was not kept as such a taboo then maybe we wouldn't be so damn uncomfortable talking about it. The penis goes into the vagina, try it, it's nice, and if you don't wrap it with a condom first you'll end up with a kid. Whats the big deal? As a species we've been fucking since the start, why is that a fact we try to keep hidden? Shit heres a stupid example, there was a whole big deal about GTA San Andreas because there was a way to see nudity, mind you this is one of the most violent games you can buy, and highly entertaining. Killing anyone and everyone, thats fine, show a computer generated nipple and suddenly its vile? Seriously we have our priorities fucked up.

Ok so back to Palin. I'm not going to take the low road in the sense that I'll question her parenting simply because her kid got knocked up, that shit happens. People fuck and sometimes that leads to more people, no big deal. What I will question is her support for abstinence only education, even if she didn't have kids I would question that stance. The fact that her own daughter is proof of the failure of abstinence only education is something I'm not sure I could ignore. I'm honestly not sure if that would be considered an attack against her family or not. If I was part of the Obama crew I wouldn't use it, but I'd strongly go after her stance and let the public make the connection in their minds.

I am curious about her stance on Abortion, I know that her public stance is no-way no-how no-exceptions you get raped by your father, guess what you're gunna be a mommy now! That way the kid will have a father and a grandfather in the picture. Yeah, not cool, but there was one little comment that had me curious. I don't have the exact text or the source right now but essentially Sarah Palin was saying she was happy that her daughter made the right choice... Hmm... what choice might that be? Is she saying that it was a possibility that her daughter might be allowed to make a choice about her own body? Better fix that law.

Like everyone else I feel the nomination of Palin is a crass insult to women who support/ supported Hillary. Does the GOP really think women are that stupid? Yeah Sarah Palin has two X chromosomes, that does NOT mean she supports womens rights at all. I hope Hillary's supporters listened to her during the DNC, anyone who cares about womens issues cannot vote for McCain, especially with Palin as running mate.

I don't think I've really explained just how bad she is. I'm not going to get into her lack of experience because honestly that doesn't bother me. Although I do love the back flips republicans are doing in order to justify how a year and a half as Governor of the 47th most populous state is adequate experience. I don't mind, but shut the fuck up about Obama, not that they will, cause you know Governor is executive experience. Not only that but Alaska is near Russia, RUSSIA! Not that the governor has any control over all the military shit that goes on protecting us from the commies.... the fact that some people could even begin to use that argument makes me think of that famous quote by (or at least attributed to) Churchill, "The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

Shit that wasn't going to be about experience, this one really won't be. How about the fact that she's a right wing nut job? Go here for video goodness, er well not exactly good.... Thanks PZ. Seriously our education system is fucked, the last thing we can afford as a nation is falling even further behind due to some psychos that think knowledge is evil. For example, shes a creationist and thinks it should be taught in school.

Want some more Palin Haterade from people who actually study shit instead of relying on old fairly tales? You know its bad when Phil ventures in from the stars and takes a jab at politicians. His views aren't exactly hidden, but unlike PZ he does generally tries to avoid getting caught up in politics. I generally find that when people who prefer to keep silent feel the need to be heard, its because someone has given them good reason to be angry. Although in this case he simply points you towards others who have already ripped into Palin, so thats more like a link to other links.

More video love, I haven't watched it yet but I'm assuming its amusing. Again from PZ, this time we've got a song about Palin from Roy Zimmerman.

But who knows, maybe he didn't pick her because he wanted the support of former Hillary supporters. Maybe its something much simpler. Maybe John McCain simply likes younger attractive women....

Serious Business

Ha, I'm sorry but I can't help but giggle a bit when I read this comment from the Leader-Telegram.
Normal, in this case, meant downtown St. Paul was teeming with a cast of characters ranging from delegates attending to the serious business of nominating Arizona Sen. John McCain as the GOP presidential candidate to street musicians trying to cash in on the influx of conventiongoers.
Call me whatever you want but in my opinion the absolutely LEAST serious business being attended to this week is the nominating of John McCain. I'd say the the most serious folks are probably either the Cops or the Anarchists. Everyone else seems out to have fun, ok many of the other protesters are pretty serious too, but ironically the anarchists seem the best organized to really do some shit. From the little I can gather from various media sources these folks mean business and I'm not surprised at all that the cops have been targeting them. I'm surprised they wear such obvious clothing. If I was them I'd have a big white t-shirt with some protest message on it that could quickly be ripped of to change my appearance, and don't put the bandanna over your face till you start some shit, or just before. All I know is that the cops are seeing every type of nutjob you can imagine right now, most of them they know are harmless hippies and what not. Thats not an insult to hippies, they're just not a violent group, so actually thats a compliment. Then all of the sudden they see a line of folks wearing almost all black, faces covered and wearing goggles. Those folks are planning on getting pepper sprayed, watch them.

Within my circle of friends I'm the oddball, because I look so normal. I don't have tattoo's, no piercings, I don't have a mohawk, and I don't wear black that much. In the summer its shorts, a short sleeve button up shirt, and sandals. Winter its jeans, and a long sleeve button up shirt. A big part of this is because I just don't care about clothing and so what I wear to work is just what I wear. The other part of this is because by looking decent and nondescript I can get away with more. I can walk into areas I'm not supposed to be with a slight smile and a purposeful walk and no one hassles me. And that is ultimately my goal in life. Other friends want to say fuck the system, and think the best way to do that is by avoiding becoming a part of the system. They admit that they are slowly being reeled in but they do there best. I on the other hand want to embrace the system, so I can exploit the system. This country is too apathetic to revolt and change things in a major way, of that I am certain, although its possible that could change. The next best hope, is to work within the body politic to try to make changes.

So while I honestly don't think that protests are particularly effective anymore, I do think that the police over reaction can be a very useful tool for getting people riled up. So now lets take a moment and look over some actual serious business from yesterday.

Heres a photo from this slide show, and the related article in the NY Times.
Ok from this pic, thats a legit use of pepper spray, I would guess that cop wasn't knocked over, the article mentions police attempting to arrest someone and other protesters pulling the person away, I'm assuming this is that confrontation. But its still a lot of protesters and not many police around, he probably wasn't in danger per-se but I can understand the use of force in this case.
This is towards the other end of the spectrum, holy crap thats a lot of cops, and one protester who didn't run fast enough.

Heres another article, with more pics. This is either Ralph Nader's Flickr or a supporter, either way theres some pics. Some guy's pics. Another good pic, from here. Oh wow! I knew Rage Against the Machine played at the RNC (and the DNC) I didn't realize Dead Prez was there too, that would have been a great combo show, but I don't think it was, oh shit Anti-Flag too! Heres photos, and a big thank you to Neil who's photos I just linked to.
Also want to thank Neil for this great caption to his photos of the anarchists.
"Each of the anarchist that I photographed is that they all stated that they did not give thier permission to have thier photo taken. In an anarchist state, you need permission?"
I might have time to add more to this later, or start another post but right now I'm outta time!


Sorry I'm late buddy, but happy 72nd Birthday.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Protest, Rights and the RNC

Looks like a typical day in Iraq, oh wait my bad, this is St. Paul Minnesota. Speaking of Iraq I heard we turned over the Anbar Province to Iraqi security, sweet! How long till we give them the rest of their country back?

I covered the Protests at the DNC pretty extensively, or at least as extensively as my extremely limited resources allowed. So how does St. Paul compare? I have no idea. I'm seeing more national guard in these pics. Lots of arrests at both, lots or tear gas, pepper spray, and "Impact Rounds." I'd love to be out there and see what its really like, at the same time with my asthma and allergies tear gas might be really dangerous. Theres other reasons too, like the fact that I don't have money to get there, I don't think its an effective way to be heard, and I'm not that into getting arrested, even if the charges are usually dropped. Pepper spray and tear gas look like they suck pretty bad even without asthma, then again so does getting beat with a night stick. Then again there were protesters out in the streets dancing to Dead Kennedys and also Public Enemy's "9/11 was a Joke." I'm always down for dancing to some DK!

Ok so ya want some info on whats going on? Go to the Minnesota Independent, they seem to have the most info of anybody, lots of pics and shit. This was a particularly good article from them, about the first day. I'm obviously not a police officer, but if I was I think I'd try to do a little research, know your enemy kinda shit. I'd want to know things like, the guys in the bright ass green hats that seem to be following the protests but don't seem too active. Yeah those are reps for the National Lawyer Guild, they are there to monitor police activity to help prevent the protesters rights from being infringed. In other words they know the law, or to put it another way, I wouldn't target them, they will sue your ass. BTW, expect lawsuits in both cities.
Case in point. See that guy in the bright green hat? Yeah pretty fuckin hard to miss right? Apparently hard to miss with the pepper spray too, cause immediately after that photo was taken he gets blasted at obviously close range, at least according to this report.

Oh I won't put up the pic but a great piece of symbolic art was the 20 foot long ice sculpture of the word DEMOCRACY, that melted in the sun.

Now on the other side I must say the cops do sound like they showed more restraint than I would have expected at other times. They talked about a semi-violent group that smashed the rear window out of a patrol car and threw newspaper machines into the streets to create a little barricade. They made it sound like the cops allowed this without making a big deal out of it, but shit went down later, so maybe they just wanted to wait for backup and restraint had nothing to do with it. It's hard for me to tell for certain from the report.

Another should be obvious group to avoid targeting during a protest, the media. Duh. I mean really, with the apathy of this country you can pretty well stomp all over the rights of individuals and get away with it because so few pay attention, and the little blips in the mainstream news only get a "serves them hippies right" reaction out of much of the public. But if fuck up badly enough, by say killing a protester, then suddenly the country is going to suddenly pay a whole lot more attention to you than you want. Another way to get the people pissed at you is to make the media pissed at you, so maybe another group you'd be advised to avoid targeting would be those guys with media credentials. You can spot them by the media credentials they wear on the outside of there clothes, kinda like that badge the cops wear. They also are likely to have cameras or even video cameras, another reason to avoid doing illegal things to them. They will get there story heard and they will have evidence. So again, avoid them. But obviously the cops follow a different play book than I would so here is Amy Goodman of Democracy Now being arrested, and in print. At the time I linked to it the video had over a quarter of a million views. Oh and throwing a can of tear gas at a persons feet is rude, until you realize they often burst into flames when they go off (remember Waco) then its more than rude, and again avoid doing that to media persons. I want to know what would have happened if the guy kicked that back at the police. I mean I'm sure he'd have been tackled and arrested, but could they charge him with something for returning what was thrown at him?

Here is TIME magazines coverage, the reporter seems confused as to why the anarchists group The RNC Welcoming Committee didn't like his magazine...

One last note, the anarchists spraying silly string in response to the cops pepper spray, fuckin priceless.

Weekend and the Continuing Man-Crush

fHad a pretty decent weekend, Labor Day, a day I'd rather go to work. Yeah okay big props to the folks of the labor movement who brought us things like the 40 hour work week, child labor laws, and shit like that. But nowadays labor day means the end of summer and sales at Wal-mart. The irony being all the saps in retail who have to work at those stupid sales on a day specifically meant to give workers a much deserved day off. For me it meant an extra day of sitting around doing nothing, read a bit, ate too much, watched some movies. It's tough to do anything particularly interesting when you don't have a clue how you're going to pay this months bills.

And on to the Man-Crush. I love the Rude Pundit, seriously when I want the most brutally honest take on world events, particularly politics, I start by checking out the Rude Pundit. Part of it is that his analogies are disgusting and hilarious. But the main thing is his uncompromising honesty, he's obviously liberal, and a democrat supporter but when Obama (or previously Hilary) screws up, he tells it. Is he biased? Of course he's biased, but who isn't?

So here a few of his latest that I've enjoyed.
Gustav Doesn't Give a Fuck About Your Anniversaries, Conventions, or Holidays
Regarding Sarah Palin (and one or two other things)
Obama to GOP "Go Fuck Yourselves"
And a very short post I'll repost in its entirety.


A Brief Word on Barack Obama's Speech:
Now, mainstream politically speaking, that's how you beat down an old man.

More tomorrow.