I managed to get my broken computer running for about 8 minutes, not nearly long enough to burn a cd like I wanted to, but I did find out that “Blue Carolina” by Alkaline Trio had 7 plays on my itunes. That ranked it in the top 3 most played, might have even tied for first. My reaction to this?
My buddy is trying to record an album and is looking for a bit of financial support to help him through. The link above has a video featuring Bobby Stevens himself explaining what hes going for with the website and the donations and a bit of his music so you can hear what we’re all asking you to donate for. You can donate any amount, so long as its at least one dollar, and you get various kickbacks for donating $10, $25, $50, etc. All of Oberlin would love you for not only donating, but reblogging and sharing this with all your friends.
Also, some of the people he’s working with are great creative minds and if you’re looking for some way to spend some of your time on the internet, it wouldnt kill you to check out:
Zack is another great musician here in town and “The Maids” is his best stuff yet, its a beautiful maturation of a sound he has been working tirelessly on for probably 10 years. Its a great sound, you wont be sorry.
tour is coming together pretty well but there are still a few trouble areas, mainly in northern california/the bay area. dates marked TBA are in the process of getting booked, meaning we have contacts there who are working on it. dates in BOLD are the ones we’re having trouble with. if you’ve got…
one again, if you can help these dudes out, please get in touch with them! they’re good buds of mine, they’re fun as hell to hang out and party with, and they are great with their hands, if you catch my drift.
must i include sexual innuendo with everything i post? for the sake of finding my friend’s a gig, yes. yes i must.
So we’ve killed Osama bin Laden. It is a big deal. It sends a message and we’ve removed a major financial contributer to al-quieda. But there are some issues which remain and a matter of “perspective” to take into consideration.
First, one of the issues that remain. I heard George W. Bush say today, from an interview in 2002 I believe, that “terrorism is bigger than one man”. Actually very true. You see, our problem now, going forward, is that we have to think about the events that led us to this point, the point of being the target of major terrorism. After the 9-11 attacks, bin Laden stated that the attacks were in response to:
"U.S military presence in Saudi Arabia" - an issue because Saudi Arabia is Islam’s holy land, with its center in Mecca.
"U.S support for Israel" - A bit of a long story but basically heres how i understand it: the western powers after World War 2 wanted to give a safe haven to the Jewish people who had been so brutalized during the war. Maybe its was a "fairy tale" idea, looked so good on paper, to allow them to settle in their former homeland. I also happen to think that giving a country to a brutalized people would beholden them to the West. Also, that country just happened to run along a vast stretch of sea, that just happened to be right next to the largest oil reserves in the world. To say having a friendly country with acsess to the sea in the middle of a region of the world which has an incredably valuable resource is "good on paper" would be an understatement. I’ve always compared Israel’s creation to this:
After World War 2, the powers of the world, minus the United States, decide that Native Americans, Indians if you will, have suffered very much over the course of history and it was time to do something for them. So the powers of the world say that the entire country of the United States now belonged to Native Americans. Americans not of Indian desent have to leave their homes and be resettled in less than desireable parts of America, with scarce access to water, power, oil, medicine, transportation, and many other vital resources and services. The house you live in, the one you grew up in, was just left where it stood and any Native American could come and live in it, taking everything that you couldnt carry with you for their own. It would be kind of like “Finding” a house as opposed to buying one.
So the issue was put to vote in the United Nations and approved with just barely a 2/3 vote. Though there are some interesting points of note. One was Zionist pressure or propaganda and in some cases threats. President Truman stated:
"The facts were that not only were there pressure movements around the United Nations unlike anything that had been seen there before, but that the White House, too, was subjected to a constant barrage. I do not think I ever had as much pressure and propaganda aimed at the White House as I had in this instance. The persistence of a few of the extreme Zionist leaders — actuated by political motives and engaging in political threats — disturbed and annoyed me"
Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said that he received bribe offers in the millions and that his sister recieved daily threats against her life unless “she voted right”. That is definitavely “terrorism”.
Another intersting consideration is that most of Africa did not receive a vote. They were still under European colonial rule. I think the vote would have missed a 2/3 majority had the nations of Africa been able to vote.
I had to edit this post because for some reason it just omitted the last part of it, so heres what I think I wrote:
Im going to continue this post later. I often times let my post run too long and fear that I might lose the attention of some readers. So the second post is to come later tonight, maybe tomorrow.
Like I said, the republican presidential line up looks whack at best, pathetic and pointless and worst. Well, it just got a whole lot better (for those of us who are progressive, forward thinking, kind, caring human beings).
Thats right. A lynching reference to our African-American president. You just have to do better than that. I see a lot of racists claiming that African-Americans perpetuate stereotypes, particularly “lazy” and “unprofessional” when it comes to employment. Does anyone else notice that when blacks don’t have jobs its “because they are lazy”, but when whites dont have jobs its because “there are no jobs and we need to fix the economy”? Black unemployment is often DOUBLE that of white unemployment. I digress.
Well, white people arent doing much to acknowledge black tribulations either. Explain to me why African-Americans should listen to white people and “pull up their pants” when a respected, popular, visible white (politician no less) says that our African American president should be “hung”.
You just have to do better than that. Thats it. You just can’t do that. Not even “metaphorically”.
P.s - Dear Mr. Romney, I’m so sorry that you tried to help to help sick people of Massachusetts get better and keep the healthy people healthy. Tough break on that one.
Here’s another guy in line with Sean Duffy. Worth 31 million dollars, but he’s “struggling”. What an idiot. What the hell are you doing with your money? What interesting to me is reading some of the comments at the end of the page. I dont know a ton about taxes and finances, but there are some interesting points brought up.
Rehberg says his “wife is a businessman and hasnt taken a salary in 10 years as a result of business”… Comment below:
"More like she hasn’t taken a salary because it would be taxed at a higher rate. Much easier to just charge "expenses" to the company account, that way he/she (businessman?) can not only avoid paying taxes but also use the purchase as a tax deduction for the company."
Little burn on calling his own wife a “businessman” there… Heres another interesting comment:
"I wonder how many of the houses they own are deducted as "home offices" ".
Now I dont know if Rep. Rehberg owns multiple houses, but if you can really claim houses as “home offices” and get write offs, how fucked up is that? All that is is lying. Same thing with the comment above. Your wife has taken a salary in 10 years because of business? She is either the worst business-person ever, or something fishy is going down. I cant imagine how many “business expenses” these people claim. ”Oh, I have to claim my wife’s dildo as a tax deduction because I have a pathetic cock”… Sorry about that…
It just seems like the richer you are, the more you are allowed to claim to reduce your taxes. The rich already have a lower tax rate than the rest of us and then they get to try like hell to lower it even more. I wonder if I can claim all my food expenses because without them, I wouldnt be able to work and thus wouldnt be able to be taxed? I’d get laughed off the stage. But I wonder how much money John McCain saved from tax deductions from his 12 or 13 (or however many he has, he honestly didnt even know.) houses. Is that necessary to your function as a human being? But hey, hopefully some of Rehberg and McCain’s money will trickle down to some of us… yeah right. Get in line everyone.
“A motion picture, or music, or television, they have to maintain a certain decorum in order to be broadcast to a vast audience. Other forms of mass media cost too much to produce a risk reaching only a limited audience. Only one person. But a book… A book is cheap to print and bind. A book is as private and consensual as sex. A book takes time and effort to consume - something that gives a reader every chance to walk away. Actually, so few people make the effort to read that it’s difficult to call books a “mass medium.” No one really gives a damn about books. No one has bothered to ban a book in decades.”—Chuck Palahniuk (via jackcbuck)
Some really interesting pictures of Detroit. I love abandoned cities and buildings, the idea that people for one reason or another, just up and leave a place forever. I like watching nature reclaim its old territory and seeing man’s structures crumble. Im not rooting for humanities demise, but there is something very interesting about watching the areas where it has already begun.
I think for the first time in my life I cannot fall asleep on command and I must say, I do not like it one bit. I dont know what the hell the deal is, but Im sure it has something to do with the foot surgery and not being able to do much physical activity. Thus, I dont get tired.
Well, I have to say I dont like this. I dont WANT to be up at 3am, id rather get to bed so I can have breakfast in the morning (grapes and yogurt? excellent….), watch a sportscenter and try to go for a bike ride. What ends up happening is I sleep in until at least 1130, sometimes as late as 2 and it fucks my day up.
Though I am glad I dont have to wake up at like 5 am, Id wouldnt mind getting up at 930 or 10, but it ah fuck, who cares. I cant sleep and Im crabby about it.
Things I want to do tomorrow:
in no particular order…
1. Bike ride
2. Throw out that goddamn blue chair that has been a thorn in my side for almost 2 years now.
3. Start reading “No More Parades”. I have read one World War 1 book, “Johnny Got His Gun” and one World War 2 book, “Slaughterhouse Five” and I have to say, I liked Johnny Got His Gun better. I did enjoy Slaughterhouse Five, dont get me wrong, but I think the unexpected and sudden brutality of WW1 was more inspirational to writers. Johnny Got His Gun is an anti-war book, Ive read that it is one of THE anti-war books, on a philosophical ground, it touches so many aspects of life and gives seemingly endless reasons to avoid war altogether for the rest of time. Flash backs to sneaking out with a girl from your town, working dull jobs in some plant, everything that never meant much to you but is now forever untouchable because some guys in suits couldnt settle THEIR differences and decided that now their two theoretical “nations” with invisible boarders were now at war… and that YOU had to fight over it.
“What the hell does liberty mean anyhow? It’s just a word like house or table or any other word. Only it’s a special kind of word. A guy says house and he can point to a house to prove it. But a guy says come on let’s fight for liberty and he can’t show you liberty. He can’t prove the thing he’s talking about so how in the hell can he be telling you to fight for it?”
It is an amazing book, Im going to read it again very soon.
4. Something awesome. Actually, after having spent the past 15 minutes thinking about Johnny Got His Gun, I think “Something Awesome” will be done as soon as I wake up.
The current Republican line up for president looks more like a mid-January Cleveland Cavaliers line up.
1. Donald Trump
Donald fucking Trump. I couldn’t have created a more entertaining potential candidate in my wildest moments of imagination. I just saw today, I cant remember what poll it was, that he was in the lead of all republican candidates with like 29% of the vote. hahahahahaha. Heres the way i see it: Instead of any old republican candidate just taking orders from their corporate masters, they are just going straight to the point and nominating THE corporate master. The one thing I will give to the republicans: at least they are being honest now.
2. Mitt Romney
Its funny to watch someone argue against a policy they championed while in office. Its flat out beautiful that the policy in question has been refered to as having “laid the groundwork for President Obama’s Affordable Care Act”. So one of the only decent choices republicans might have had just happens to had done his own mini version of the hated “Obamacare”. hahahaha
3. Mike Huckabee
Obama grew up in Kenya? Fail. Obama has a different view of the Mau Mau Revolution than the British? 1a. Fail, didn’t grow up there, pretty sure he never went there. 1b. So? The fact of the matter is that people of Kenya rose up against oppressive and brutal colonialism. Good, those goddamn imperialists got what they deserved. Also ripped Natalie Portman for being pregnant while simultaneously unwed? Well, thats bullshit. Upside? Huckabee plays bass guitar. Okay…. not bad… but you still suck.
4. Newt Gingrich
3 wives? 4? no ones really sure anymore. He left one while she was in the hospital. Wow. He has explained his inability to keep a wife with something along the lines of “I was too patriotic and too dedicated to my country”. Wow. Personally, I dont care how many times you cheat on however many wives you want. But, all this from someone in the party that loves to champion “family values”?
5. Michele Bachmann
Wanted her constituents to be “armed and dangerous”. Also accused Obama of taking a 200 million dollar a day trip to Asia with 2000 people and 34 American warships in tow, like some sort of modern day Mansa Musa, though instead of giving away so much gold that he collapsed the economy, he had the economy collapsed for him by the preceding president. In response, Geoff Morrell, a Pentagon spokesman, dismissed this as “absolutely absurd this notion that somehow we were deploying 10 of the Navy - some 34 ships and an aircraft carrier - in support of the presidents trip to Asia”.
6. Sarah Palin
On the trading block: Ron Paul
Republicans want nothing to do with Ron Paul because he will call them on many of their shady doings.
So yeah… I doubt the republicans do very well in the up coming presidential elections. Its not even that I think Obama is THAT great, hes alright I guess, but I think the republicans have just exposed themselves far too much.
So my computer is on the fritz. I can not use it for more than a few minutes before it shuts down due to over-heating. This makes word processing very difficult so I will satiate you in the mean time with videos and funny stuff like this:
"Everything you want to say, someone, somewhere has already said it better than you."
I dont know if thats a real thing that people think, I just find myself thinking it a lot. While Im proud of my most recent attack on conservatives, I couldnt really capture what I truly wanted to say.
Luckily, my favorite comedian, George Carlin, did a number on conservatives some time ago. I reprint it for you here and now for suggested reading along side my most recent article “The tea party”. Enjoi.
"Why, why, why, why is it that most of the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn’t want to fuck in the first place, huh? Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren’t they? They’re all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you’re born, you’re on your own. Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don’t want to know about you. They don’t want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you’re preborn, you’re fine; if you’re preschool, you’re fucked.
Conservatives don’t give a shit about you until you reach “military age”. Then they think you are just fine. Just what they’ve been looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers. Pro-life… pro-life… These people aren’t pro-life, they’re killing doctors! What kind of pro-life is that? What, they’ll do anything they can to save a fetus but if it grows up to be a doctor they just might have to kill it?They’re not pro-life. You know what they are? They’re anti-woman. Simple as it gets, anti-woman. They don’t like them. They don’t like women.They believe a woman’s primary role is to function as a brood mare for the state.
Pro-life… You don’t see many of these white anti-abortion women volunteering to have any black fetuses transplanted into their uteruses, do you? No, you don’t see them adopting a whole lot of crack babies, do you? No, that might be something Christ would do. And, you won’t see alot of these pro-life people dousing themselves in kerosene and lighting themselves on fire. You know, moraly committed religious people in South Vietnam knew how to stage a goddamn demonstration, didn’t they?! They knew how to put on a fucking protest. Light yourself on FIRE!! C’mon, you moral crusaders, let’s see a little smoke. To match that fire in your belly.
Here’s another question I have: how come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette? Are we so much better than chickens all of a sudden? When did this happen, that we passed chickens in goodness? Name six ways we’re better than chickens… See, nobody can do it! You know why? ‘Cuz chickens are decent people. You don’t see chickens hanging around in drug gangs, do you? No, you don’t see a chicken strapping some guy to a chair and hooking up his nuts to a car battery, do you? When’s the last chicken you heard about came home from work and beat the shit out of his hen, huh? Doesn’t happen. ‘Cuz chickens are decent people.
But let’s get back to this abortion shit. Now, is a fetus a human being? This seems to be the central question. Well, if a fetus is a human being, how come the census doesn’t count them? If a fetus is a human being, how come when there’s a miscarriage they don’t have a funeral? If a fetus is a human being, how come people say “we have two children and one on the way” instead of saying “we have three children?” People say life begins at conception, I say life began about a billion years ago and it’s a continuous process. Continuous, just keeps rolling along. Rolling, rolling, rolling along.
And say you know something? Listen, you can go back further than that. What about the carbon atoms? Hah? Human life could not exist without carbon. So is it just possible that maybe we shouldn’t be burning all this coal? Just looking for a little consistency here in these anti-abortion arguments. See the really hardcore people will tell you life begins at fertilization. Fertilization, when the sperm fertilizes the egg. Which is usually a few moments after the man says “Gee, honey, I was going to pull out but the phone rang and it startled me.” Fertilization.
But even after the egg is fertilized, it’s still six or seven days before it reaches the uterus and pregnancy begins, and not every egg makes it that far. Eighty percent of a woman’s fertilized eggs are rinsed and flushed out of her body once a month during those delightful few days she has. They wind up on sanitary napkins, and yet they are fertilized eggs. So basically what these anti-abortion people are telling us is that any woman who’s had more than more than one period is a serial killer! Consistency. Consistency. Hey, hey, if they really want to get serious, what about all the sperm that are wasted when the state executes a condemned man, one of these pro-life guys who’s watching cums in his pants, huh? Here’s a guy standing over there with his jockey shorts full of little Vinnies and Debbies, and nobody’s saying a word to the guy. Not every ejaculation deserves a name.
Now, speaking of consistency, Catholics, which I was until I reached the age of reason, Catholics and other Christians are against abortions, and they’re against homosexuals. Well who has less abortions than homosexuals?! Leave these fucking people alone, for Christ sakes! Here is an entire class of people guaranteed never to have an abortion! And the Catholics and Christians are just tossing them aside! You’d think they’d make natural allies. Go look for consistency in religion. And speaking of my friends the Catholics, when John Cardinal O’Connor of New York and some of these other Cardinals and Bishops have experienced their first pregnancies and their first labor pains and they’ve raised a couple of children on minimum wage, then I’ll be glad to hear what they have to say about abortion. I’m sure it’ll be interesting. Enlightening, too. But, in the meantime what they ought to be doing is telling these priests who took a vow of chastity to keep their hands off the altar boys! Keep your hands to yourself, Father! You know? When Jesus said “Suffer the little children come unto me”, that’s not what he was talking about!
So you know what I tell these anti-abortion people? I say “Hey. Hey. If you think a fetus is more important that a woman, try getting a fetus to wash the shit stains out of your underwear. For no pay and no pension.” I tell them “Think of an abortion as term limits. That’s all it is. Bioligical term limits”.
It is telling that Any Rand’s fanatical beliefs in individualism came from a distinctly bitter mind. In the article above, Rancid Individualism and Ayn Rand’s America, Kathleen Wallace Peine discusses the legacy of Ayn Rand and her philosophical effect on Americans, whether Americans are aware of it or not. More interesting was the observation made about the tea party.
the tea party seems to believe in an America where everyone can solve their own problems, no matter what those problems might be. They also believe that people doing this, or being forced to do things totally on their own, would solve any budget issues we are having. For instance, if people are made to solve their own health care problems, there would be no need for government sponsored health care. And America would save all of that money we currently spend of health care. But, as everyone remembers from the early tea party gatherings, they held signs saying things like “Keep your government hands off of my Medicare”. You see, they want to solve the problems of America by taking away peoples government assistance, just not theirs.
Also, I dont know what the big deal is about “lowering the deficit”. I mean, I can understand it to an extent, but we are not going to balance the budget by defunding the NPR and Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood provides science based information on ways to engage in sexual intercourse safely. Safe sex means, get this, less people in our country to use government funds. Also, safe sex means not having to go get treatment for any diseases one might get from unsafe sex. So that’s less use of the health care system. Safe sex also means that there are less pregnant women. Less pregnant women naturally means LESS ABORTIONS! Honestly, you’d think Planned Parenthood and conservatives would be natural allies. From plannedparenthood.com: How could you not get behind that?
“we fight for commonsense policies that promote women’s health, allow individuals to prevent unintended pregnancies through access to affordable contraception, and protect the health of young people by providing them with comprehensive sex education”
How could you not get behind that? Especially if you don’t want abortions. If a kid is too embarrassed, or is afraid someone might see them buying condoms and Planned Parenthood can provide them with contraceptives, I’m 100% behind that. Kids are going to have sex. Not teaching them about their bodies and how they work is not going to solve the problem. Society sticking their head in the sand on this issue is not going to make it go away. There was another group in society that everyone believed could just fore go sexual desire. No problem, they said, we just wont have sex. Then catholic priests STARTED FUCKING LITTLE BOYS. Please excuse the language, but it is a serious matter. Not having sex is unhealthy for the mind and against all laws of nature.
the tea party is holding the gun to Americas head in the budget debates over ideological issues. The have a religious backing and don’t support abortion, therefore, funding for Planned Parenthood must go. NPR does not have a liberal bias. They have a common sense bias. A scientific bias, empirical evidence bias. For those reasons, they appear more left than right. Leftists just happen to share those same biases. It is not the left’s fault that the right takes stupid positions on social issues and has no evidence to back themselves up. But, since NPR’s support happens to lie with someone that is not the right, then its funding must go. If you can beat them, kill them.
If you voted for the tea party, look what you’ve done. The government is going to shut down because of a super minority in one part of the government. Troops aren’t going to get paid, people wont get tax refunds, people are going to lose their jobs for an unknown amount of time. But the freighting thing is this: the tea party likes it. One way to achieve cuts to government spending is to abolish government altogether. And they really will try to do that. That way, there will be no government hands to get into their Medicare.
Its defineaitly an interesting take on it, cant say its wrong either. Though I could easily see Huxley’s theories being the method and Orwell’s theories being a means to retain the power granted by advanced social engineering (Huxley).
Since I have started this blog, and I dont mean this in a bad way at all, I’ve kind of felt that the things I say are like messages in bottles, cast into the very vast internet ocean. Im not sure if anyone really reads them or cares, but I hope you do. Im working on a couple of articles for posting, but I have just been a bit overwhelmed with the subject. Current events and history can get kind of heavy for me sometimes, which I guess is a positive indicator. Bear with me, I think I’ve got some decent stuff coming up.
Anyone out there, in New York City that is, looking for a unique way to thank the “Bro” in their life should check this website out. You can have 6 packs of beer and beef jerky delivered to your bro with a hand written letter, scrawled on a pizza box flap. This manly gift package can come in a variety of containers as well. Check it out, all the cool kids are doing it.
Sean Duffy makes $174,000 a year. He works in The house of Representatives so hes working on a 2-year contract essentially, but of course he can get re-elected and this says nothing of the amount of money he made before he got this job. This is not this mans first job. I’m taking at least two issues with ANY bitching from this man:
1. Honestly, what the fuck? If he gets taxed 25% of his income, which I’m not sure that he does, that just happens to be what I get taxed, he brings home $130,500 a year, for a two year total of $261,000. At that point, there’s no complaining. There is absolutely no reason you cannot own your home totally after 2 years in the House of Representatives. None at all. I don’t care that he has 6 kids, i don’t care if his wife works or not. Letme put it this way: If any of you out there worked at your job that you have now and made $261,000, what would be the first thing you would do? Me? I’d buy a house. Straight cash homey. If you buy the house outright and happen to lose the election when your term is up, here’s the glory of it: you don’t have a house payment. Ever again. That makes things SO much easier. I understand that representatives might not get a job the next election and that they might be leaving jobs that were more secure for this job, but if you cant be okay on a quarter of a million dollars for two years of work, you are a fucking idiot.
2. This is coming from the party that thinks a teacher with a family of maybe 4 or 5 (possibly more) makes too much money at $48,000ish a year. So that teacher has to take at least a 10% paycut, knocking them down to $43,200 before taxes. Same 25% tax put them at $32,400 bring home. Now who should have an easier time “making ends meet”? Sean Duffy, family of 8 (by the way, whos fault is it that he has 6 kids?) at $130,500 a year or a teacher, family of 4, on $32,400. Keep in mind, one of the attacks on teachers is that “they have chushy jobs” and that “They make too much for part-time work”.
I have a hard time feeling bad for a man who makes $174,000 a year. If you cant manage that money, you are a fucking idiot
Mohammed Nabbous was a citizen turned journalist who was reporting on atrocities being commited by Gaddafi’s troops in Libya. On March 19th, this human being who only wanted freedom and peace and security for his friends and family, was killed by a sniper’s bullet. Below is an article about him:
If you have some time, please take a few minutes and read about this man. What happened to him and his family is truly horrible and now his unborn child will grow up without a father. Im 26. Mohammed was 27. He was doing his country and the human race a great deed by helping to prove that democracy and freedom are needed around the world right now, this very instant. I would venture a guess that Nabbous’ desire for freedom, peace and security would not have been limited to the Libyan people, but would have extended to every last person on this planet. We need every last person on Earth like Nabbous and I am terribly saddened to learn of his murder. Please everyone spare a few moments of thought or prayer for his family and friends.
Bunch of fucking assholes. Nope, we dont need any sort of health care legislation. No need for regulation huh? This can’t be real. A “for-profit” health care system is a stunningly bad idea. Instilling the worst parts of capitalism into a system that needs to be seriously careful with its production of drugs and care methods and allowing companies to make unlimited profits off of peoples life or death needs is stupid and I’m about sick of dealing with it. The logic behind these high prices, the pharmaceutical industry claims, is that there is a huge risk involved with researching and developing new drugs. When was the last time a pharmaceutical industry had a bad quarter financially? They don’t have bad quarters. So wheres the risk? Also, the industry spends twice as much on advertising and marketing than on research and development. So how does that work? Heres how it works: substitute the words advertising and marketing with “propaganda” and the whole thing makes sense. They don’t spend that much money on researching and developing new drugs so, as it follows, the drugs aren’t all that safe. Then, spend massive amounts of money trying to convince people that the drugs are safe. Claim you need to recoup losses from R&D (which makes it sound better: “Hey, we spent all this time and money trying to make good, safe drugs”.) and set the prices astronomically high. Then, people sue the companies because the drugs weren’t safe. Despite all this, they make tremendous amounts of money. So heres an idea. Let he government pay for all the research and development of new drugs. Yes, totally subsidize R&D of private companies. Under one condition: Congress is allowed to set the prices of drugs to be sold. Hey, why not? We spent all the money. We took all the risk. You would never see that shit in the link above.
I dont know what happened, but I sat down and intended to write a piece on the constitution but i just cant right now. I had a beer and i think the overcast sky got me. Tune in later, we’ll see what happens
I was thinking recently, the past few days I suppose, about a cool way to inject some happiness and smiles into each others lives. And, like all great ideas, its astoundingly simple.
I had actually had the idea a while ago, years ago, to do this, but I just didn’t. I guess that has happened a lot so far in my life. bleh, get on with it you mad man.
Here’s what we do: each week, we should write our friends or family or someone you haven’t talked to in a while a letter. Write them an actual letter and send it to them in the mail. I don’t know about you, but I always enjoy getting something personal in the mail. Usually you get two kinds of mail: Junk mail and bills. And who wouldn’t mind getting a letter from someone. Really it doesn’t have to be a long letter or even well written. A lot of the joy in the whole experience comes from just GETTING the letter.
So here’s what I say: Try to write someone in your life once a week. I’d guess that doing this once a week would cost you $50 a year. That’s counting stamps, envelopes, paper, etc. I’m not going to pretend that $50 isn’t a lot of money to some people so just try doing it as often as you can. Even once a year means that one time in that year, I promise you that you made that person’s day much better. And it doesn’t just have to be letters. Send them an old picture of the two of you or a funny picture you found on the Internet. If you want to be especially ambitious, send them an object. Something nice and practical like a nice kitchen knife or a book you’ve read recently. Something funny like a sound activated “Harvey Nagila” doll (I got that once and it was great) or something else. That’s part of the beauty of it: use your imagination.
Added bonus! You help out the hard working United States Postal System. These are hard working people, union men and women who earn a good, living wage. E-mail has cut into their work a bit, cause, clearly, its easier to send an e-mail. I’m not here to say “the Internet is the bane of our existence” because its not. I love getting e-mails from my friends too. But there’s something special about getting something tangible from someone you love.
Clicking on the title above will take you to a site with a couple of options to help our friends in Japan. The websites title is a clever play on some mentality out there today and its easy to remember so you can tell your friends too! Please help any way you can.
Also, I thought it was kinda cool that they had a link to an article that I posted with my “Tragedy in Japan. Again.” posting a few days ago. Id like to think that someone out there read my blog and created this website because of it. Who knows? But really, it doesn’t matter if they read my post or yours or someone elses. They did it, and thank god for that.
You know, Libya needs our military to help them. But I don’t know how I feel about it. I guess if I had to pick, I’d say establish the no-fly zone and supply the rebels. There are two concerns that I think are of consideration in this situation:
1. ANOTHER Mid-East war. That’s totally ridiculous.
2. I don’t know what role, if any, the United States would take in the formation of the government after Gaddafi.
But, the Libyan people need help. I know its another military action in the middle east, but really, we shouldn’t have been in Iraq anyways and even Afghanistan could have been handled differently. This is an opportunity to overthrow a dictator. This is how you get rid of dictators, not that shit that happened in Iraq in 2003. Well, that was about WMDs…. I mean oil…. no wait. It was to get rid of Saddam…. wait, what are we talking about?….
It’s a chance to get rid of a dictator. And we don’t have to put a large number of American soldiers in harm’s way. The Libyan people are doing this. I know there is a fear of having a result that resembles Afghanistan in the 1980’s, but I think the situation is different. Afghanistan is in a lot of ways a xenophobic nation. They didn’t want the Soviet Union meddling in their affairs (or invading and taking over their country), so they appealed for our help. And they took that help, but we left them high and dry after that. In a way, we used Afghanistan to score an ideological victory against our enemies, the Soviets. We didn’t do enough to help the Afghan people after that war. If we had extended a helping hand after the war, maybe they would have seen us as saviors and friends. And maybe Afghan parents would have told their children how helpful the Americans were and how much they owed them. It could have created a different world.
I know that’s ideological of me. Theres no guarantee that things would have turned out that way, but here’s the beauty of the situation: We have a second chance in Libya. Really, like a 12th or 13th chance considering our behavior in the Middle East since right after World War 1. We can do the world a favor and get rid of a brutal dictator. After that, we should latch on to Libya and lead the way in the rebuilding of their society. In this way, we can show the Arab world that, even though we have done shady things in the past, we are able to recognize our past flaws and change.
We owe it to the Middle East… no. In light of the terrible tragedies that have befallen so many nations and so many people in the past decade, it’s time we stopped talking about regions or even nations. We have to start seeing each other as humans, not Americans or Japanese or Westerners or Middle Easterners. And we are working towards that I think. After Hurricane Katrina, many nations were there to offer support. Same thing in Japan now. You saw it after Haiti and the tsunami in 2004 too. So I’ll say this: We owe it to humanity to help get rid of a dictator who is oppressing our fellow human beings.
A couple of days ago, I saw a collage of facebook status’ about the earthquake and tsunami that tragically struck Japan on March 11th, 2011. These statuses were all negative and hateful toward the Japanese. I saw things like “This is payback for Pearl Harbor” and “I can’t believe our president is offering them aid. Did he forget who bombed Pearl Harbor? Oh, wait, he was only 4 at the time” (coherent sentences, proper grammar and appropriate punctuation inserted by me). I really do think that these sorts of comments are a very small minority, but it touched me in such a profound way that I thought some of these points deserved review and other points required deeper examination.
One of the most important things to understand when thinking about some of this ill-will towards the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor is the date. December 7th, 1941. You see, Hawaii was not yet a part of the United States. In 1875, the United States signed a treaty with Hawaii allowing Hawaii to export some goods to America. In exchange, the United States received the right to the land that Pearl Harbor was to be built on. In this treaty, the United States also recognized Hawaii as a sovereign nation. In 1898, President McKinley signed The Newlands Resolution, overthrowing the rulers of Hawaii and annexing the territory to the United States. This action is widely recognized as the first or one of the first instances of American Imperialism.
After the bombing at Pearl Harbor, a back and forth war was waged all over the Pacific theater. The Japanese advance was checked at The Battle of the Coral Sea, and they were put on the run after the Battle of Midway. In 1944, America had taken islands close enough to Japan to allow bombing runs on the Japanese mainland. This would turn out to be tragic for Japan. America began a bombing campaign on the mainland the likes of which had never been seen. America compiled a list of 66 Japanese cities to be targeted for bombing. This list was called “The Death List” and of the designated attack area, 87.4% of it was residential.
Some of the following facts and figures have nearly moved me to the point of being ill and to tears. March 9-10, 1945, American bombers strike Tokyo with 1,665 tons of incendiary bombs. In one night, 85,000 Japanese civilians were killed, 40,000 injured and a million left homeless. Read that again. Michael Zezima, author of Saving Private Power: The Hidden History of “The Good War”, describes the conditions on the ground: “At ground zero, the temperature reached 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Flames from the ensuing inferno were visible for over 200 miles. Due to the intense heat, canals boiled over, metals melted and human beings spontaneously burst into flames. By May 1945, 75 percent of the bombs being dropped on Japan were incendiaries”. General Curtis LeMay was remarked after the war that “I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal. Fortunately, we were on the winning side”. LeMay was correct in this assumption. Through the bombing of the 66 “Death List” cities, LeMay’s campaign claimed an estimated 672,000 lives. On August 6th, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima, killing between 90,000 and 166,000 people, mostly civilians. Also killed in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima were at least a dozen, maybe more, American prisoners of war. On August 9th, an atomic bomb was detonated over Nagasaki, killing 60,000 to 80,000 people, again, mostly civilians.
To anyone out there who still thinks that Japan had something coming to them for what happened at Pearl Harbor I would say this: At this point, I think that Japan has more than “paid for Pearl Harbor”. I don’t mean to justify either sides actions, but I will say this: At least Japan attacked a military target. That doesn’t make it right and I am not trying to convince anyone of that. But America brutalized Japanese civilians in a way the world had never seen and has since never seen again. Hopefully, this information I provided can offer some perspective on a specific moment in Japanese-American relations. I say a “specific moment” because it is time we moved past that moment in our shared history. Japan needs our help and our sympathy more than ever.
After hurricane Katrina, the Japanese were one of our biggest supporters. Japan donated over a million dollars to the relief effort and supplied America with goods such as generators and blankets. The donations ranged from Japanese corporations to the average Japanese citizen. Some truly touching words can be found in this article:
Stories like this are what give me hope that human beings can one day live together in harmony. Please, offer the Japanese any support you can. When a terrible event like this occurs, it is not just Japan that suffers, but all of humanity. If you can spare a few extra dollars for the relief effort, please do. If all you can offer is a prayer or a compassionate thought, please do so. Everyone on this planet knows suffering, so let’s all do what we can to mitigate the pain the Japanese are feeling right now.
Just a real quick one here. I saw that Peter King, A republican member of The House of Representatives, is heading an inquiry of Muslim Americans. He claims that “80-85% of mosques in this country are controlled by Islamic fundamentalists… I’ll stand by that number of 85%. This is an enemy living amongst us.” I do not know of any study to back this information up, but I do doubt it sincerely. He also claimed that “no American-Muslim leaders are cooperating in the war on terror.” Even though a study by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security “Muslim American Terrorism Since 9/11” reported that 48 of 120 cases involving terrorist plots came from tips from the Muslim-American community.
Okay. I cant go on. I cant even pretend that I want to maintain some sort of professional tone here. Its easier if i do this particular story like this:
This guy, King, is looking for Muslim terrorists in America. But King also outright supported the IRA or Provisional Irish Republican Army. And when I say outright I mean SO BLATANTLY! Here’s the link to the wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_T._King#Support_for_the_IRA . But, if you’re strapped for time, here’s a couple quotes that should sum it up. "If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the IRA for it" - Peter King. Actually. Here’s another: Peter King called the IRA "the legitimate voice of occupied Ireland". I’m not kidding. He’s talking about a group that both the Clinton and Bush II administrations labeled terrorists. Really, this is racist. At the end of the day, the white guys who do this are "legit" but the brown people, who happen to be American citizens, are terrorists. In the mid 1980’s the IRA wanted to smuggle arms into Ireland through, get this, Muammar Gaddafi, you know, the Gaddafi of Libya today? That horrible monster? Yeah. him.
He really doesn’t think the IRA were terrorists. This is the man that thinks he is in some sort of special position to identify terrorists. He spent the night in terrorist’s homes in Ireland. This is not the way to endear ourselves to the world. Letting this man have these headlines does not demonstrate admirable leadership qualities. Considering his ties with the IRA and his unapologetic stance toward them juxtaposed with his responsibility to find terrorists here at home, he should step down at the very least from this witch hunt against Muslims. Possibly from his position in the House of Representatives all together.
"They were a bunch of racist fucking pigs with a handful of good ideas".
So said Daniel Tosh about this glorification of the founding fathers. You see a lot of this these days, quotes from the “founding fathers”, especially from conservatives. Their solution to the problems plaguing America today seem to follow along the lines that “if we can get back to the old days when things were good. The way the founding fathers intended it. There’s even a political party named after this time that they so envy. The Tea Party. They love to quote the founding fathers with things like: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”. But conservatives are quoting selectively. They only want you to consider THAT quote because, naturally, it fits with their interests. They want to have guns, fine, whatever. It doesn’t really fit with a “well regulated militia”, but I don’t need to consider that aspect to expose their ignorance. You have to ask yourself WHY it would be necessarily for a militia. Luckily, the founding fathers, specifically James Madison, provided us the answer: “As the greatest danger to liberty is from large standing armies, it is best to prevent them by an effectual provision for a good militia.” (1787 Federal Convention).
This is where their wheels start to come off. The idea behind the 2nd amendment was to prevent large standing armies, which the founding fathers saw as dangerous. But, the United States has a massive standing army, navy and air force (I suppose the conservatives don’t support the disbanding of the air force since no one can find any allowances for it in the constitution either). So they are faced with a conundrum: either stop prattling on about the 2nd amendment or call for the immediate disbanding of the United States armed forces.
Personally, I think the United States should have a standing army. The demands of a fully integrated global community and economy, the advent of weapons of mass destruction threatening innocent civilians, and diminishing resources are only a few reasons to keep a standing army. I don’t support using the armed forces at all in the way we have been using them, but I can understand the need. And this is just the point: The demands of the world have changed since our nation was created. It’s not reasonable to attempt to apply the theoretical knowledge of the founding fathers to today’s world. Another area where this is particularly important is economics. Shortly, the founding fathers couldn’t begin to dream of the global economy that we live in today. But still we have conservatives arguing that the government should be as hands off as humanly possible. Stock markets, the internet, integrated markets, massive multi-national corporations; these are just a few of the things the founding fathers could never have conceived, even if they could, in the case of corporations, I don’t think that they would have imagined them quite like they exist today. In fact, Thomas Jefferson did have something to say about corporations. He said: “I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country”. Again, conservatives, essentially, believe that corporate power should be expanded and that checks against corporate power need not exist. Where is the tea party with that Jefferson quote above? We might as well attempt to dictate the rules and regulations of interstellar trade and the use of jump lanes by the Galactic Counsel in the 27th century today in the 21st century. But, since we do not know what’s going to happen in the future, we aren’t going to bother with trying to regulate it. This is common sense. Theories today do not necessarily apply to tomorrow.
Conservatives are selecting aspects of the founding fathers that they like and which fit their ambitions and ignoring the parts which are bad or do not fit. Here are a few quotes and actions from our infallible founding fathers that some people might find shocking:
James Madison remarked after the American Revolution that he could make $257 on every Negro in a year and spend only $12 or $13 on “maintenance” of such property.
John Adams was the lawyer who defended the British troops who fired on heckling crowds in Boston in court, more commonly known as “The Boston Massacre”. He described the crowd of protesters that day (Americans for those having a hard time keeping up) as “a motley rabble of saucy boys, negroes and molattoes, Irish teagues and outlandish jack tars”.
Thomas Jefferson held massive amounts of slaves and engaged them sexually on many occasions. Since they were slaves and Jefferson the master, it is safe to assume that the slaves had no say in the sexual approaches and that, therefore, Jefferson raped them.
George Washington surrounded two hundred American troops in 1781 (in the middle of fighting the Revolutionary War) who were marching on the state capitol in Trenton, New Jersey (this is known in conservative circles as exercising “2nd amendment remedies”). He disarmed the troops, and executed two of their leaders, forcing the leader’s friends to shoot them. He described the action as “an example”.
This selective interpretation of idols is not limited to the founding fathers. We all know how conservatives feel about homosexuality. Leviticus 18:22 - “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable”. Also: Leviticus 20:13 - “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads”. They use the bible to justify or attack certain aspect of modern life that they agree or disagree with. But what about these?
Stone disobedient children - Deuteronomy 21:18-21
Men can sell their daughters into slavery - Exodus 21:7-10
You may buy slaves, own them and pass them on to your children - Leviticus 25:45-46
Of course, you don’t hear about these parts of the Bible. You hear all about the parts of the Koran that are violent or scary, but never their precious Bible. Conservatives, specifically the Tea Party, are yearning for a time rife with racism, a lower understanding of science, and a period in history of which the demands of American society do not nearly parallel our demands today. This regressive thinking should be challenged on every front possible.
This is one of those situations where you might initially think, “no way, something like that would never happen”. But seriously, this is real. Using Michigan’s financial woes as an excuse, part of Governor Rick Snyder’s budget includes the right for the governor and his administration (who are selected by him, not elected) the right to declare any town or school district to be in a state of “financial emergency”. After this declaration, the solution is this: The governor and his administration can appoint (see: not elected) a person to take over control of the town or school district in question. Also remember, after the civil war, the 14th amendment stated that: “ All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside”. This section of the amendment was written to ensure that freed blacks would indeed be citizens of the United States. However, corporations used this law o argue that they too are people. So when I say that the governor and his administration can appoint a “person” to take control of a town or school district, IT CAN BE A CORPORATION. This emergency control aspect of Rick Snyder’s budget plan essentially privatizes local governments. Please, read the article, it is very informative, but I will summarize some of the powers granted under this emergency control:
- Unilaterally replace elected governments with emergency managers. “This emergency person also gets the power under the bill to suspend or dismiss elected officials”
- That manager has the power to “reject, modify, or terminate any contracts that the town may have entered in to, including any collective bargaining agreements.”
- The appointed manager also would be afforded the power to allow a school district to be absorbed into another and / or disincorporate or dissolve entire city governments.
Keep in mind, the governor declares the emergency, not the town or school district. Might you see how this could work? Maybe a town or school district might have a corporation or a person that had made contributions to the ruling governors campaign. And in that town or school district, they have some sort of pesky law where that person or corporation has to pay x amount of taxes or have to follow some sort of “bureaucratic” rule like please don’t dump waste from a factory in the river. Well, under the new budget plan PRESTO CHANGE-O! The elected government is abolished and replaced by a person of the governor’s choosing and guess what? That person can say, “go ahead, dump waste in the river, that’s a stupid bureaucratic rule anyways”. Actually.
I’m not going to go in depth about the situation in Wisconsin right now, I’ve spent a decent amount of time thinking about it the past 3 weeks and maybe I’ll start working on something about Wisconsin later when the dust settles. But while watching Rachel Maddow just now, she made an interesting point that I think should have been made earlier in the discussion (and maybe someone did mention it, I clearly missed it if that is the case).
Scott Walker alleged that unions were a drain on the economy of Wisconsin and that changes needed to be made, that they needed to give more, to do more. I’m not going to go into whether these allegations of being a drain on the economy are true or not or if these were good ideas to balance the Wisconsin budget. Well, the unions agreed to contribute more to their pensions and to pay more for their health insurance right off the bat. The one thing that they did not want to agree with was the right to collectively bargain. That means they wanted to have the right to negotiate things such as safe working conditions, fair wages and fair hiring practices just to name a few. So, the things that had to do with money, which would, by Scott Walkers estimates, help balance the budget. Score one for all of Wisconsin. But what does collective bargaining have to do with finance? I don’t see it. So, if the unions have agreed to help the budget by contributing more to their benefits, shouldn’t that have been enough? Clearly it wasn’t just about the budget. It was about republicans finally having the chance, under the guise of financial disaster, to cripple or destroy unions, who are major contributors to democratic campaigns. And, finally, its important to remember who caused this world wide financial collapse. Was it the local and state union members or was it Wall Street bankers? I’m not saying, I’m just saying…
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” -Epicurus
Admittedly, I don’t know how much fossil fuel there is to be tapped beneath Ohio. But, I do know this: If there was a sizable amount of fossil fuels below Ohio… A. We would have found it during our first oil field expansion in the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. Titusville, the site of the first oil well in America, is only about 130 miles from Cleveland. I find it hard to believe we just missed that. B. When John Kasich says “Ohio is not going to walk away from a potential industry that can bring great, great progress to our state”, has he forgotten how quickly he ran away from Ohio’s proposed high speed rail system? That proposed program would have created jobs, reduced dependancy on fossil fuels and been MUCH safer for the environment. He just doesn’t want to walk away from a potential industry that has well known close ties to the republican party. Which leads us to: C. I question the timing of this sudden revelation of a store of energy beneath Ohio. A republican governor wins office and all of the sudden, there are fossil fuels underground that we can “extract”. Of course “extract” means pumping hydraulic fluids underground to create tremendous pressure to literally fracture the earth, allowing the deposits to be more easily accessed. Instead of going over exactly how terrible this process is for the environment, I’ll let you do a quick google search, but this is a good article to start with: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/27/fracking-epa-west-_n_828957.html
I know one thing for sure: Whatever the deposits of fossil fuels beneath Ohio, we are not going to become the next “Saudi Arabia” of energy. Ohio already has taken serious blows to our environment from the industrious north to the mines of the south. This will be another serious blow to our environment and health and will in the end lead to what will be a trivial amount of energy. It has the further distinction of prolonging our dependency on fossil fuel instead of finding renewable sources of energy. Please write John Kasich and tell him its over. The age of fossil fuels HAS to stop somewhere. Lets make sure that happens before more damage is done to Ohio. http://www.kasichforohio.com/site/c.hpIJKWOCJqG/b.5199849/k.BFBA/Home.htm
Even if Barack Obama had grown up in Kenya and even if he had a different view of the Mau Mau Revolution, don’t we Americans have a different view of The American Revolution than the British? Is it okay for America to break free of the chains of colonialism, but not the Kenyans?
“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’ Issac Asimov”—