Monday, March 31, 2008

Random Rants of the Week

Unlike most of my posts, this one is not going to follow any one theme. Instead, I'm going to touch on a bunch of issues that I have had time to ponder over the last 6 days of being sick. *None of the below mentioned people had anything to do with this blog. Neither this site nor its content have been approved, sanctioned, or otherwise endorsed by anyone but me, the random guy who wrote it. Anyone who feels agrieved can bite me.

1. Barack Lovers
As most of you know, I am supporting Obama for president now that my Carolina buddy with perfect hair is no longer in the running. I saw Barack speak here in Portland when he got Richardson's endorsement and was impressed by the way that he connected the larger social issues to his own life experiences in a humble and forthright way. I love the fact that he is inspiring people and that there is a true grass-roots upwelling from many citizens that are often apathetic to politics. I believe Barack when he says that this election is not about him but about us. I believe that if he is elected our country will have a better chance to right the wrongs of the Bush regime. And I believe that he will engage in honest diplomacy before he beats the terrible drums of war.
Now, here is the big "BUT": I will remain critical of his actions. I will not blindly bow to him as if he is the second coming. I will not give him a free pass in all that he does. I will call him out when he makes mistakes. And I will vote against him or in the extreme, support his impeachment, if he fails We the People. Unlike those blinded by his rhetoric, I still have questions about his ties to Big Business. Unlike the Obama girls out there, I still question why he doesn't support universal health care, why he thinks impeachment is undemocratic, and why he's continuously voted for continued spending on the war even though he so vehemently stands against it.
Ultimately it is up to us, We the People, to ensure that democracy thrives. We must remain critical of our leaders at all times regardless of who those leaders are. Those leaders need to answer to us. We are their bosses.
Obama is applying for a very important job. We should question his qualifications, his employment history, his references. And if we give him the job of Commander-in-Chief we must hold him accountable if he fails.
In my own local primary my candidate (Steve Novick) was criticized by his Democratic opponent (Jeff Merkley) for being critical on fellow Democrats. Novick dared to suggest that Democrats were sell-outs to corporate interests by basically saying that because of corporate interests the two parties were becoming indistinguishable. His opponent even accused him of the dreaded "flip-flop" because of his past critique of
Obama when compared to his current endorsement. But I say this: There is nothing more democratic than thinking of elected officials in a critical manner and calling them out when they do wrong, even when they are in your own party. The ideals of democracy are far more important than your political stripe so vote for Barack Obama, but don't give him a free pass.

2. Anti-Abortion Bushies
I went to my family parish on Sunday for my niece's baptism and was taken aback when I saw a "W '04" sticker on a car in the parking lot. Just to let you know, this NE P-Town church may very well be the most liberal Catholic church anywhere in the world and yet, there it was: a vote for W sticker. After my initial shock and dismay I noticed the other bumper stickers, all of which were condemning abortion as murder and a light went on: Pro-lifer. Now, for the record, I am not against this position on moral grounds. I don't want anyone to have an abortion because abortions quite simply are not much fun for the soul but at the same time, I do feel that women have the right to choose. That said, here are the thoughts that followed my initial gasp: 1. After almost 8 years of Bush, is abortion illegal? Nope 2. Has Bush held human life on the same pedestal as these pro-life Catholics? Nope 3. Would the lives of fetuses saved have justified the lives of the already living and now dead children in Iraq? Nope.
So Anti-Abortion
Bushies, if you are so Pro-life why did you vote for a guy who through deception, was so pro-war? I think you should be kneeling in the confessional. But, I suppose that is between you and the Creator (though you should probably say sorry to the rest of us). And still, you were a bunch of idiots that sold out the living.

3. Push-Polls in Portland
Back to Novick v.
Merkley.... Jeff, why do you have to use dirty tricks out of Rove's play book? Oh yeah! You are the candidate for U.S. Senate from Oregon supported by the Democratic Leadership Council, aka the Corporate Democrats.
My wife got called by your camp. Before your guys could get to the dirty questions about
Novick being a commie my wife told them she was voting for Steve Novick with his mean left hook. "Well, at least he's a Democrat" is how your staffer replied before hanging up the phone. Indeed. A friend of mine, who is a Merkley supporter, commented that people didn't really know what a push-poll was so I'll let you decide: Legitimate campaign questions or insinuatory tactics designed to turn off potential voters?

Voters are asked whether they are more or less favorably inclined toward
Novick, given the following information:

• "Novick is a pro-tax advocate, repeatedly supporting higher taxes for the middle classes, running on a proposal to raise Social Security taxes and falling for false Republican claims that if we don't do this, Social Security will go bankrupt." Novick has advocated for a rise in Social Security taxes, but only for those who make $100,000 and up.

• "Novick is simply not a serious candidate who can win election. He carried joke business cards that have a Communist hammer and sickle symbol on them. He voted for Ralph Nader. His campaign ads feature jokes. That is not the person who can beat Gordon Smith." Novick voted for Nader in 1996, but publicly urged Democrats to vote for Al Gore in 2000.

• "Novick is a paid political consultant and lobbyist. He has made a political career out of developing negative attacks, poll-driven campaigns and advising candidates what to say to get elected." Novick work as a political consultant was largely on issues and policy, not on campaigns and elections.

Voters were also asked what in Novick's "background" concerned them most: "that he is a pro-tax advocate, political consultant, or that he is a divider."

4. Slick Willies
Speaking of push-polls and the
Novick/Merkley show down... I think many of us are sick of career politicians. Politics as usual is one of the big causes for low voter turn-out. Many here in Oregon say Steve Novick is not electable because he does not 'fit the mold'. He doesn't have much experience as an elected official (though he certainly is qualified), he doesn't have many power house donors (though many citizens support him), and he doesn't have that bleached smile, that perfect hair, or the perfect answers (though he does have a decent dentist, barber, and can speak without using double talk). I say his "not fitting the mold" is EXACTLY what makes him so damn electable, especially against the likes of Gordon Smith. In Oregon, we have a long history of electing people who do not fit what a national strategist might envision as the "perfect candidate". Steve's unique, unpolished ways are exactly why people like him. And let's be honest: who here is satisfied with politics as usual?

5. Anti-Hipster... and I Vote!
That's right: I'm becoming a hipster hater. Too many of them have flocked to my 'hood with their bed head hair, excessive tattoos, and their cooler than thou attitudes. I'm sick of getting looked at weird for being too
hippy, or too preppy, or too mainstream, or too not like them. These 'cool' kids peddle that same closed minded bullshit they were running from in the first place. Weren't they so sick of the mainstream looking down at them in their mid-west suburban hometowns that they had to come out west?... where they could stick their noses up at... me?!! For f*@k sake man!
Listen, I have plenty of friends that would fall in this
category and let me say to them that if they are reading this slightly bemused then they are not the folks I am addressing. It takes humility to recognize your negative tendencies and an open mind take this in good humor. After all, we are all just funny monkeys thinking we know the flavor of kool-aid. But to those that would tell me to f-off well... Your music ain't better mine or anyone else's, your ratty skin tight clothes aren't any better, and don't kid yourself into thinking that your lifestyle is any better. As to your arrogant opinions? Well, the next hipster that gets on their high horse with me as if their opinion is somehow worth more than mine is going to get torn a new one. Hypocrites and parasites, I say. Open your minds enough to see the value in something that you have not pre-ordained as cool.
And as for the voting part I mention in the title? Too many naysayers wearing black jeans, metal lip rings, and black leather jackets scoff at mainstream political action, critical political thought, and productive political discourse. If you didn't vote... your opinion on politics and society don't mean squat kid (on par with the hicks,
rastas, and metrosexuals you loath) so curl up with Chuck Palahniuck (whom for the record I like), tune into your Elliott Smith (whom I also like) , and get the hell out of my 'hood!

And yes, it may seem like I contradict myself preaching love and acceptance while attacking those I judge as closed in mind but sometimes we need to strike in order to awaken those we deep down call 'Brother'. Plus, it's my rant. Deal with it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter.... 4000 Dead

I might be able to say it better, but this is pretty much as it should be written. Sometimes I forget why I like Mike so much. Here's a painful reminder:

So? ... A Note from Michael Moore

Monday, March 24th, 2008


It would have to happen on Easter Sunday, wouldn't it, that the 4,000th American soldier would die in Iraq. Play me that crazy preacher again, will you, about how maybe God, in all his infinite wisdom, may not exactly be blessing America these days. Is anyone surprised?

4,000 dead. Unofficial estimates are that there may be up to 100,000 wounded, injured, or mentally ruined by this war. And there could be up to a million Iraqi dead. We will pay the consequences of this for a long, long time. God will keep blessing America.

And where is Darth Vader in all this? A reporter from ABC News this week told Dick Cheney, in regards to Iraq, "two-thirds of Americans say it's not worth fighting." Cheney cut her off with a one word answer: "So?"

"So?" As in, "So what?" As in, "F*** you. I could care less."

I would like every American to see Cheney flip the virtual bird at the them, the American people. Click here and pass it around. Then ask yourself why we haven't risen up and thrown him and his puppet out of the White House.

The Democrats have had the power to literally pull the plug on this war for the past 15 months -- and they have refused to do so. What are we to do about that? Continue to sink into our despair? Or get creative? Real creative. I know there are many of you reading this who have the chutzpah and ingenuity to confront your local congressperson. Will you? For me?

Cheney spent Wednesday, the 5th anniversary of the war, not mourning the dead he killed, but fishing off the Sultan of Oman's royal yacht. So? Ask your favorite Republican what they think of that.

The Founding Fathers would never have uttered the presumptuous words, "God Bless America." That, to them, sounded like a command instead of a request, and one doesn't command God, even if they are America. In fact, they were worried God would punish America. During the Revolutionary War, George Washington feared that God would react unfavorably against his soldiers for the way they were behaving. John Adams wondered if God might punish America and cause it to lose the war, just to prove His point that America was not worthy. They and the others believed it would be arrogant on their part to assume that God would single out America for a blessing. What a long road we have traveled since then.

I see that Frontline on PBS this week has a documentary called "Bush's War." That's what I've been calling it for a long time. It's not the "Iraq War." Iraq did nothing. Iraq didn't plan 9/11. It didn't have weapons of mass destruction. It DID have movie theaters and bars and women wearing what they wanted and a significant Christian population and one of the few Arab capitals with an open synagogue.

But that's all gone now. Show a movie and you'll be shot in the head. Over a hundred women have been randomly executed for not wearing a scarf. I'm happy, as a blessed American, that I had a hand in all this. I just paid my taxes, so that means I helped to pay for this freedom we've brought to Baghdad. So? Will God bless me?

God bless all of you in this Easter Week as we begin the 6th year of Bush's War.

God help America. Please.

Michael Moore

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Global Climate Change

Many people in the "Head in the Sand" crowd have been vocal over this winter due to the cold weather most of us have been facing. While this winter has seemed more "normal" than the past few mild winters it can hardly negate the high volumes of data compiled by the world's best scientist.
See, unfortunately for our future Global "Warming" is a bit of a misnomer as although it certainly is referring to the average temperature of the planet it is not saying that everywhere in the world will get gradually and predictably warmer. This is the core falsehood in the doubters argument. Very few members of the scientific community would make such a lame and 2-dimensional argument about the very dynamic climate system. The truth of the matter is that most likely the increase in global temperature creates extreme weather in the short term. The bulge of hot, high pressure from the equatorial region disrupts the existing jet stream, bending it out of place and gradually moving it closer to the poles. Do not think that because this winter your part of the world got a lot of snow that this somehow disproves what the greatest minds on the planet have already concluded. This is just a respite and a reminder of what was when i was born 3 decades ago.
Below are a few recent articles and a powerful commercial. Please educate yourselves so that "Uncle Frank" can't sling his Fox talking points or label your argument as politically biased. Droughts, floods, hurricanes, blizzards, and rising oceans do not care about your party affiliation.
Despite another cold winter in Oregon, global warming hasn't gone away

Soggy Midwest braces for more flooding
Global warming rushes timing of spring
IPCC report on phenological changes
Old photos document early spring in East
Arctic sea ice builds, but vulnerable
Maryland Global warming bill delayed in Senate
Scientists enlist ordinary people, even kids, to track early plant blooms from global warming
About the Skeptics

Monday, March 17, 2008

Quote 'o the Day

Although men are accused of not knowing their own weakness, yet perhaps few know their own strength. It is in men as in soils, where sometimes there is a vein of gold which the owner knows not of.
Jonathan Swift

Happy St. Patrick's Day

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

As a bit of a history buff and as someone who looks at the Catholic Church through critical eyes I must confess I am always a bit on the fence about this celebration. On the plus side, this is a celebration of my heritage and a celebration of the Emerald Isle itself. The history of the Irish, if nothing else, is a persistent one. The hard climate and rough seas, the Romans and then the English, and the famine to boot: these things could have all spelled the end for my ancestors and yet they persevered. Some left the exploitation of the Crown behind, saying good-bye to their fair land and that which they had so loved. They made their ways, both legally and illegally, to the shores of the New World, at times in droves. In the U.S. they were one of the first marginalized minority groups.

No Irish Need Apply

“Though life in Ireland was cruel, emigrating to America was not a joyful was referred to as the American Wake for these people knew they would never see Ireland again.”

But I digress. St. Patrick is credited for helping Christianize Ireland. As often happens during a cultural conversion there is little doubt that non-Christian natives and their ways will not be looked at in a good light.

“Pious legend credits Patrick with banishing ‘snakes’ from the island, though post-glacial Ireland never actually had snakes; one suggestion is that snakes referred to the serpent symbolism of the Druids of that time and place”.

Christianity supplanted the native belief system and the Druid way, more or less, died in Ireland.

But, on the bright side, it seems as if St. Patrick’s mission was not accompanied by imperial militarism (as with the Conquistadors in the Americas). St. Patrick decried atrocities against the Irish by the Britons in a letter to the King of Strathclyde called "Epistola ad Coroticum". Furthermore, it appears that the Irish as an indigenous group were not opposed to the teachings of Christianity and were not forced to accept them on the edge of a sword’s blade.

Bonfires and Crosses

“Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish.”

I leave it to the reader to decide whether Patrick deserves his praise. I tend towards seeing him as another human trying to bring light to a world often filled with darkness. The question is ‘Was he helping the Irish?’ (he was NOT Irish). The answer amongst the Irish seems to be ‘Yes’ so have a beer or a shot of whiskey (or both!), kiss a lassie or lad, and Erin go Braugh!


Friday, March 14, 2008

Quote 'o the Day

I look forward confidently to the day when all who work for a living will be one with no thought to their separateness as Negroes, Jews, Italians or any other distinctions. This will be the day when we bring into full realization the American dream -- a dream yet unfulfilled. A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed; a dream of a land where men will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few; a dream of a land where men will not argue that the color of a man's skin determines the content of his character; a dream of a nation where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone, but as instruments of service for the rest of humanity; the dream of a country where every man will respect the dignity and worth of the human personality.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hillary and Her War on the Democratic Party

As many of you know, I do not like Hill. Or rather, I don't like the Clintons. Wait... I don't like the Democratic Leadership Council. No, that's not quite it either. I don't like corporate Democrats. Damn! Still not perfect. Here it is: I don't like corporatists.
My dislike of these whores certainly predates Hillary's run for president but let me be clear that I didn't completely hate Hillary. I was just strongly opposed to her political ideology, tactics, and subsequent policies. That is, before she started running her campaign.
What a uniter this person truly is! How unified the party has become with her in the spotlight!
So what is it? Is it her playing the black card repeatedly? Is it her Roverian fear mongering? Is it her insane hypocrisies (black bad but woman good? "Monster" = immediate firing but "He's lucky he's black" = I disagree)?
Well, it is a combo of all of the above... and then some. So as the Dems keep fighting McCain gets to relax and fatten his war chest. And won't that be great if after loosing the nomination (which she should) Hillary announces that she will run Lieberman style (ie. as an Independent).
What's that sound? Oh, its Karl Rove laughing his fat head off.
And while I'm feeling it let me say "Fuck Florida and Michigan!".
Here's the thing (and this is not against the voters in either state): The DNC warned them to not push up their primaries yet they bumped up the date. They were told they would loose their delegates if they did so yet they didn't listen. Now, they are crying.
Point 1: You were warned
Point 2: Too Late
Point 3: Now you can get exactly what you want when you broke the rules in the first place? I think not.
Point 4: Don't rob the remaining states of their relevance.
Point 5: This is a Democracy. If the Florida and Michigan voters don't like what has occurred, they outta throw their elected reps to the curb.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Stuck on a Deserted Island

If I had to choose who to be stranded with on a deserted island I would choose Mary Ann over Ginger. Not that I was ever one to argue too strongly against Ginger. Its just that if I had nothing to do on some tropical island I'd like to be with a pretty girl... and a big bag of weed!
(Naturally, this would only be on the hypothetical island, not in the "real" world)
Now as you may have heard, Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island, got popped by the pigs for stoned driving and possession of four phat roaches.
One should not be driving under the influence of course, but man, doesn't she look blazed?!! In honor of the all-American, girl next door who smokes the sticky-icky here's some video links to amuse you stoned bloggers.

Mary Ann Seduces Gilligan
Ginger Versus Mary Ann: The Eternal Question

"New" Mary Ann Vs. "New" Ginger: Pie Fight
Sexy Stoner Girl Smokes a Joint
Blunts and Bongs for a Beach Babe
The Girl's Always Got That...
420 Girls Getting High
Paris in Amsterdam
I can tell you this: I wouldn't want to be stuck on the island with this lady. I can't stand a woman who bemoans an "-ism" by denigrating others with more "-isms".

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