Saturday, December 27, 2008

Kwanzaa



Kwanzaa is a fake holiday created by a misdirected lunatic in order to draw attention away from the real Holidays that take place in late December. An inflammatory statement? Perhaps, but I'm completely prepared to back it up.

Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by an African-American scholar and social activist named Ronald McKinley Everett. It is a week-long holiday celebrated primarily in the United States honoring African heritage. The purpose of Kwanzaa according to Everett is to celebrate "The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa," or Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu Saba - "The Seven Principles of Blackness"). Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to one of the following principles: Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. Seems like a pretty straight up holiday so far right? Here's where things start to get dicey.

First off Holiday originally meant Holy Day. There is nothing Holy about Kwanzaa so it should not be referred to as a Holiday at all. Everett said his goal in creating Kwanzaa was to "...give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society." A celebration, sure. But a Holiday, no way.

Secondly in order to learn more about the Kwanzaa "holiday" one should take a closer look at its founder. At the beginning of the 1960's, Ronald McKinley Everett met Malcolm X and began to embrace black nationalism. Following the Watts riots in 1965, he interrupted his doctoral studies at UCLA and joined the Black Power movement. During this time he changed his name from Ronald McKinley Everett to Maulana Karenga. "Maulana" is Swahili for "master teacher" and "lord". "Karenga" means "nationalist." Earlier, Everett had called himself Ron Ndabezitha Everett-Karenga. Ndabezitha is Zulu for "your majesty." Hmmm... sounds like somebody's got a God complex.

Everett says his greatest influence was Malcolm X. To honor Malcolm X and carry on his legacy Everett founded the US Organization, an outspoken Black nationalist group which was considered more radical than the rival Black Panther Party. More radical than the Black Panthers? That's a little scary. In 1969, the Black Panthers and the United Slaves Organization (US Organization) disagreed over who should head the new Afro-American Studies Center at UCLA. According to a Los Angeles Times article, Everett and his supporters backed one candidate, the Panthers another. The Black Student Union set up a coalition to try to bring peace between the groups, which ended when two members of the Black Panthers, John Jerome Huggins and Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter were shot dead in an altercation. Two groups fighting for basically the same thing and killing each other in the process. That makes sense.

In addition to creating a fake holiday and founding a murdering black power cult, Everett also committed felonious assault and false imprisonment. In 1971, Everett, Louis Smith, and Luz Maria Tamayo were convicted of felony assault and false imprisonment for assaulting and torturing over a two day period two women from the US organization, Deborah Jones and Gail Davis. A May 14, 1971 article in the Los Angeles Times described the testimony of one of the women: "Deborah Jones, who once was given the Swahili title of an African queen, said she and Gail Davis were whipped with an electrical cord and beaten with a karate baton after being ordered to remove their clothes. She testified that a hot soldering iron was placed in Ms. Davis's mouth and placed against Ms. Davis's face and that one of her own big toes was tightened in a vise. Everett also put detergent and running hoses in their mouths, she said. Whoa, torturing an African queen? Isn't that a bit counterproductive to the cause? But who am I to judge.

At Everett's trial, the question of his sanity arose. A psychiatrist's report stated the following: "This man now represents a picture which can be considered both paranoid and schizophrenic with hallucinations and illusions, inappropriate affect, disorganization, and impaired contact with the environment." The psychiatrist reportedly observed that Everett talked to his blanket and imaginary persons, and believed he'd been attacked by dive-bombers. Crazy anyone?

What I'm getting at with all this is that if a holiday is only as good as its founder, one must seriously question the validity of Kwanzaa.

Lastly I find it very interesting that Everett chose December 26 - January 1 to celebrate Kwanzaa. According to Everett Kwanzaa is a harvest celebration. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits" in Swahili, a Pan-African language which is the most widely spoken African language. If Everett truly wanted to celebrate the meaning of Kwanzaa as it was meant to be and not simply draw attention away from Christmas and Hanukkah, he would have popularized the celebration in the fall when the the harvest actually takes place.

In summary I have no problem with the ideals behind Kwanzaa. The purpose of the celebration is just and the principles which it promotes are admirable (even though its founder is straight fucking crazy). I do however have a big problem with people calling Kwanzaa a Holiday and putting it in the same category as Christmas and Hanukkah. Go ahead and celebrate whatever or whoever you want to, that's your God given right. Just please recognize your celebration for what it is and stop trying to make it something that it's not.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Woman gives birth to 18th child



Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of Tontitown, Ark., had their eighteenth child Thursday –Jordyn-Grace Makiya, who joins the rest of her J-named siblings. (A dude from Arkansas named Jim Bob - there's a shocker.)

"Mother and baby are resting and doing well," says a rep for the Duggar family, whose crowded house is featured on the TLC network show 17 Kids & Counting. Hmmm... more kids = better television ratings. Now I'm starting to understand.

The newest Duggar has a lot of names to keep straight. The other kids – who range in age from 20 years to 17 months – are Joshua, twins John-David and Jana, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, twins Jeremiah and Jedidiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah and Jennifer. Something tells me that Jinger, Josiah, Jeremiah, and Jedidiah are going to grow up with serious chips on their shoulders. 14 normal names and you had to go and name us this? Thanks a lot for nothing Mom & Dad.

The Duggar parents married when Michelle was 17 and Jim Bob was 19. (Her mother had to officially sign permission - which is apparently common practice in the state of Arkansas - another shocker I know) After birth-control pills were blamed for a miscarriage, the couple decided to throw them out. They had their first baby when Michelle was 21, she's now 42. This means that Mrs. Duggar pushes out a new baby every 14 months on the dot (to be fair she has had two sets of twins so this math isn't entirely accurate). Here's some math that is accurate though: 16 pregnancies x 9 months = 12 years of being pregnant in a span of 21 years, which means Mrs. Duggar has spent approximately 57% of her adult life being knocked up. Damn - I sure would hate to have to see what she looks like naked. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that Jim Bob really likes his booze (can anyone say beer goggles?).

Here is perhaps the worst part of this story: Mr. Duggar says the newborn may not be the last for him and his 42-year-old wife. "We both would love to have more," he told the Associated Press. Dude - enough with the babies already. We get it Jim Bob - you're a very fertile man - now give it a rest while you can still fit your family into a single zip code.

After reading this story I was curious as to why a family would decide to have 18 children so I did a little reseach on the Duggars. Turns out they are conservative Baptists who endorse the "Quiverfull" movement and the teachings of Bill Gothard.

The "Quiverfull" is a movement among conservative evangelical Protestant Christian couples chiefly in the United States (more specifically in the southern United States - I know another shocker), and its viewpoint is to eagerly receive children as blessings from God, eschewing all forms of birth control, including natural family planning and sterilization. Well there's a responsible movement. Let's fuck like rabbits all the time with no regard for anything and if you get pregnant that's cool - it'll just be another gift from God. Not surprisingly the Duggars raise their children using the buddy system, in which an older sibling assists the younger sibling in daily tasks. In other words the Duggar parents spend their days locked in the bedroom while their 18 children basically fend for themselves.

As for the teachings of Bill Gothard here's where things start to get really wacky. William W. Gothard is an American speaker and writer who founded the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) in 1961 to promote his Christian teachings. On his website he states "the goal of my teaching is to provide Biblical principles and concepts of life to guide people in their choices." Among other things Gothard discourages listening to any "un-Christian" music, including all popular and contemporary Christian music, encourages homeschooling; IBLP publishes its own homeschool material; and claims borrowing money for any reason, even a home mortgage, is wrong. Gothard has also discouraged the use of any kind of contraceptives or other family planning. So let me get this straight. Listening to mainstream music, attending school outside of the house, and taking on any form of debt are sinful activities. But fucking willy nilly and popping out insane amounts of offspring are completely acceptable behaviors. Solid principles nut job. Let me ask you this Bill: If you don't get a proper education you won't be able to make much money, and if you're not allowed to take on any debt how the hell are you supposed to support 18 children? Sounds to me like you've got a few holes in your master plan. Not surprisingly critics of the IBLP say Gothard and his followers exhibit a "cult-like" mentality. Gee - ya think? Gothard has also been accused by some of being hypocritical for not practicing what he preaches with regard to his "Quiverfull" teachings, given that Gothard himself is unmarried and childless, even into his 70s. Memo to brainwashed Gothard cult members - you might want to seriously consider keeping your kids away from this creepy, old pervert.

This next part's really cute. When asked what they want to be when they grow up the elder Duggar children came back with the following responses: midwife, missionary, mom, chef, carpenter, Quiverfull mother (yes - one of them actually said this), nurse, father, artist, fireman, policeman, and construction worker. Glad to see the brain washing is paying off. Sounds to me like the Duggar children are preparing to start their own Duggar village - let the inbreeding begin.

Like me you're probably wondering - what do the Duggars do for money anyway? Must be pretty expensive feeding 21 mouths every month, not to mention clothing, toys, toiletries, etc. Mr. Duggar must have a pretty good job, right? Wrong - even though Jim Bob and Michelle are both licensed real estate agents neither one of them is currently employed. They say their income is derived from the commercial properties they own. They also claim to live debt-free which Jim Bob has said is “the fruit of Jim Sammons' Financial Freedom Seminar” he attended years ago. (Can't these people ever think for themselves?) The last real job for either of the Duggars came in 1999 - 2002, when Mr. Duggar was a state legislator who served in the Arkansas House of Representatives. Hey Arkansas - not sure if there were any budget shortfalls in the late 90's or early 2000's but you might want to check your books from 1999-2002, given that the Duggars reportedly spend $4300 a month on food, live in a 7000 square foot mansion with no mortgage, and currently don't work. I'm not saying the Duggars are crooks but something smells a little rotten in Denmark, don't ya think?

So here I've gone and turned a heart-warming story about a loving family who's just welcomed their 21st family member into the world, into a seedy tale about corporate greed, alcoholism, wacky religious principles, sex addiction, cult worship, child molestation, inbreeding, and political corruption. What can I say? It's a gift - you're welcome.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Blagojevich is a crook



Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and corrupt governors from Illinois behave like absolute jackasses. FBI agents arrested Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, early Tuesday on federal corruption charges related in part to the selection of President-elect Barack Obama's successor to the Senate, the U.S. attorney's office said. U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald declared Tuesday a "sad day for government. Gov. Blagojevich has taken us to a new low," he said. "This conduct would make [Abraham] Lincoln roll over in his grave." Lincoln was a congressman from Illinois before becoming president. The great irony (or coincidence) is that the state's last governor, George Ryan, was convicted in April, 2006 on racketeering and fraud charges. Ryan reported to a federal prison in Wisconsin in November, 2007 to serve a 6½-year sentence. Unbelievable, perhaps Ryan and Blagojevich can be cell mates?

In a 76-page affidavit, federal authorities said wiretaps in Blagojevich's campaign office and on his home phone caught Blagojevich conspiring to sell or trade the vacant Senate seat in exchange for financial benefits for himself and his wife, Patti. The governor also often weighed the option of appointing himself to the Senate seat, saying he was "stuck" at governor and might have access to more resources as a senator than as a governor, the affidavit says. A Senate seat could also help him remake his image ahead of a possible presidential run in 2016. "If ... they're not going to offer anything of any value, then I might just take it," he said in one conversation. You go Blagojevich. If the bribe's not big enough you take that Senate seat and you make it all the way to the presidency. Then you can orchestrate all the shady financial deals and humidor all the interns you want to. That'll show em.

At times, Blagojevich discussed obtaining a substantial salary for himself at a nonprofit organization or an organization affiliated with labor unions, as well as placing his wife on paid corporate boards where she might make as much as $150,000 a year, the government said. During one recorded conversation, Blagojevich said he needed to consider his family and said he was financially hurting, the affidavit said. "I want to make money," Blagojevich said, according to the affidavit. Oh, well that's different then. He needed money and he recognized an opportunity to make money so he was just being entrepreneurial, and you can't fault a guy for that right? Rod - you are truly a piece of work.

The intercepted phone calls also caught the governor and Harris discussing the possibility of the Tribune Company's obtaining assistance from the Illinois Finance Authority in efforts to sell the Cubs and the financing or sale of Wrigley Field, the government said. The company owns the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs, and Wrigley Field. Tribune Co., announced Monday it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Blagojevich allegedly directed Harris to tell Tribune officials that state assistance would be withheld unless members of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board were fired. The Illinois governor saw them as "driving discussion of his possible impeachment," the affidavit said. "Our recommendation is fire all those [expletive] people, get 'em the [expletive] out of there and get us some editorial support," the governor allegedly said in one phone call. Hell yeah, those mother fuckers were trying to expose you as the corrupt son of a bitch that you actually are. What the fuck were they thinking? Fire those mother fuckers and have them publicly tarred and feathered immediately.

Federal authorities also allege the governor and Harris schemed with others -- including convicted real estate developer Antoin "Tony" Rezko -- to obtain financial benefits for himself, his family and others, including his campaign committee, Friends of Blagojevich. What, corrupt politicians conspiring with corrupt business executives in an effort to make money for themselves? I don't believe it.

U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald went on to say that Blagojevich was looking to pull $8 million in funding for a children's hospital after the hospital's chief executive officer did not give a $50,000 contribution to the governor's campaign. Also, Fitzgerald said, it was expected that Blagojevich would soon sign into law a bill that would direct a percentage of casino revenue to the horse racing industry -- a bill supported by someone who contributed $100,000. Ah, it's good to be the king.

Reports from the Chicago Tribune last week said federal authorities were investigating the governor and were secretly taping his conversations -- with the help of his former congressional chief of staff, John Wyem. What the hell were you thinking Wyem? I wouldn't be surprised a bit if a guy named Vinny is waiting for you in the parking garage with a lead pipe. Ever heard of cooperation in exchange for anonymity you dumb bastard? Hope you don't like your knees too much.

"I don't believe there's any cloud that hangs over me," Blagojevich told WLS-TV in Chicago on Monday, as he responded to the reports of wiretapping. "I think there's nothing but sunshine hanging over me." He added, "By the way, I should say if anyone wants to tape my conversations, go right ahead, feel free to do it. I appreciate anybody who wants to tape me openly." Tough talk for now. Just wait until you're in a 3-way with your cell mate George Ryan and a large black man named Bubba. Something tells me you won't be thinking about sunshine when Bubba's balls deep in your ass. (Disgusting imagery I know... sorry I couldn't resist:)

One big question now is whether Blagojevich retains the right to name Obama's successor if he remains in custody or even under indictment. The answer is yes, according to Fitzgerald. Jay Stewart, executive director of Chicago's Better Government Association, agreed. He said Blagojevich retains the right to fill the senate vacancy until he's out of office, which won't happen unless he quits or is removed from office by impeachment. At a press conference Tuesday, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, said he wants the Illinois Legislature to act quickly to pass a law setting a special election to fill Obama's seat, in order to prevent Blagojevich from making a tainted appointment or there being a lengthy vacancy in the Senate. "No appointment by this governor under these circumstances could produce a credible replacement," Durbin said. Oh come on Dick, where's the fun in that? Aren't you at least a little curious to see which philandering ass hat Blagojevich would pick? I know I am.

The governor's office, in an afternoon statement, said the allegations "do nothing to impact the services, duties or function of the state. Our state will continue to ensure health, safety and economic stability for the citizens of Illinois." Well that's reassuring. Afterall Blagojevich has already been the governor for 6 years now and the state budget is in wonderful shape, right? And I'm sure his proposed budget for 2009 contains absolutely no pork barrell spending whatsoever:
http://www.bondbuyer.com/article.html?id=20080512R2DWJPVX

Rod Blagojevich, 52, now serving in his second term as Illinois Governor, is a career politician having previously served as a U.S. Congressman for Illinois' 5th district from 1997 - 2003, according to his on-line biography. Which begs the question: How many career politicians are in it to serve the people and how many are in it to serve themselves? Sadly my guess is that there are many more who fit into the latter category than the former. But then I am a little jaded.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wal-Mart employee trampled to death in Garden City, New York



Just when you start to think there's some amount of good in all people you read a story like this and are reminded there's not. Jdimytai Damour, 34, died of asphyxiation after being crushed early Friday morning by a crowd of bargain hunters entering the Long Island Wal-Mart he worked in. The crowd apparently broke down the store's front doors in frantic pursuit of discounted merchandise. At least four other people were treated at hospitals, including a woman who was eight months pregnant. You're probably thinking that Mr. Damour must have been a tiny man in order to get trampled by the crowd, right? That the people who crushed and killed him must not have realized they were stepping on top of a human being? Well, you'd be wrong. Jdimytai Damour was 6-foot-5, and 270 pounds. Because of his size he was intentionally stationed at the front of the store to assist with crowd control. This means that the hundreds of people who trampled on top of him on their way into the store were well aware that he was down there. Shit - I bet it was a serious struggle to make their way over and around his massive body.

His family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Wal-Mart, alleging store ads offering deep discounts "created an atmosphere of competition and anxiety" that led to "crowd craze". The lawsuit alleges that besides failing to provide adequate security for a predawn crowd estimated at 2,000, Wal-Mart "engaged in specific marketing and advertising techniques to specifically attract a large crowd and create an environment of frenzy and mayhem and was otherwise careless, reckless and negligent."

I don't blame the family for lawyering up and I hope Jackie Childs is able to get them millions for their suffering. But what people can't overlook in this story is who the real villain is. Wal-Mart has all the dough so they'll end up writing a check to the family, naturally. But the real villain in this story is not Wal-Mart. No, the real villain is the hundreds of people who carelessly and selfishly trampled a human being to death in order to get first dibs on discounted toaster ovens and toilet paper. Is this what we've come to? A world where we place more value on cheap baby food than we do on human life? Imagine how Jdimytai Damour must have felt at the bottom of that pile fighting for his life. Well here I am at Wal-Mart at five in the fucking morning making eight bucks an hour and getting trampled to death. I didn't even have my fucking coffee yet. When I arrive at the Pearly Gates they'll no doubt ask me how I bought it, and then I'll have to explain that I was killed over low low prices at Wal-Mart. How fucking pathetic is that?

Police are reviewing store video to identify possible suspects in the death, but Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey conceded that criminal charges are unlikely. Well, that's just great. First you trample and murder a man for a bargain price on the George Foreman Grill, and now you get off scott free. Bargain hunting murderers of Long Island listen up. It's pathetic and sad that you woke up before dawn to go to a sale at Wal-Mart. That in itself is bad enough. But the fact that you knowingly and willfully trampled a man to death on your way into the store is deplorable and simply inexcusable. You are all miserable pieces of shit who don't deserve to call yourselves human beings. I hope you are haunted forever by what you did to Jdimytai Damour and I hope you never have a good night's sleep again. I don't care how bad the economy is or how long you've been out of work. Your lack of respect for human life is shameful and for that you shall not be forgiven.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Innocent man freed after 20 years in prison



This morning I watched a live interview with Steven Barnes, a man who was released from prison in upstate New York yesterday, after serving 20 years behind bars for a rape and murder he did not commit. New DNA testing obtained by the Innocence Project led a state judge to throw out the conviction. When asked how he was doing and what he planned to do next he responded simply, "I'm going to take it one day at a time." I couldn't help but think about what he really wanted to say. Hmmm, let's see. I just spent the last 20 years of my life behind bars for a crime I didn't commit, the best years of my life by the way, my twenties and thirties. I'm now 42 years old, flat broke, and I live with my mom. I have no prospects for employment and no skills that would make me employable. I was forced to turn gay out of fear and necessity, and now my butt hurts and I'm completely confused about my own sexuality. I haven't had a decent night's sleep or meal in over two decades, and I can't look at myself in the mirror without crying. But other than that I'm great. Oh and what do I plan to do next? I plan to sue the shit out of the state of New York, that's what.

The really sad thing is that convicting innocent people for crimes they didn't commit has become a regular occurrence in New York state. Through the work of the Innocence Project, 23 people have been exonerated in the state of New York through DNA testing, and 10 of those wrongful convictions involved invalid or improper forensic science. In a report released last year, the Innocence Project concluded that New York State leads the nation in wrongful convictions overturned with DNA testing but lags behind other states in enacting policy reforms to make the criminal justice system more fair and effective. The New York State Bar Association Task Force on Wrongful Convictions is studying this issue, and will issue its report to the NYSBA House of Delegates in January. “Steven Barnes’ case is a reminder that wrongful convictions are very much a reality in New York State, and that very few of the reforms that prevent wrongful convictions – and simultaneously help catch real perpetrators – have been implemented in New York,” said Barry Scheck, Co-Director of the Innocence Project, which is affiliated with the Cardozo School of Law.

Eyewitness testimony at the Barnes trial was shaky (eyewitnesses testified that they saw Barnes in town on the evening of the murder, and that they may have seen Barnes and Kimberly Simon, the victim, together – but no witnesses could say with certainty that Barnes ever met Simon, let alone that they saw him with her on the night of the murder), but forensic testimony linked him to the crime and ultimately led to the conviction. The forensic evidence included testimony that soil on Barnes’ truck tires was similar to soil at the crime scene and testimony that an imprint on the outside of Barnes’ truck matched the fabric pattern on a particular brand of jeans the victim wore when she was killed. It's important to note that neither soil comparison nor jean pattern imprinting is considered scientifically valid.

What's up New York? You convicted this poor guy of rape and murder because of mud on his tires and a jean pattern that could've been left by anyone? WTF - you got better things to do with your time up there than give people fair trials? If this keeps up you're gonna have to steal the "Don't Mess with..." slogan from Texas. And to think you call yourself a blue state? Until you fix up your clearly flawed criminal justice system you'll remain purple in my book. Wow.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Big Three Auto Execs arrive in Washington, D.C., via private jets?



I love this story. If anyone was thinking that Wall Street executives are just regular people like you and me, and that they might actually be slightly in touch with reality, here's a good reminder that they're not. Not even close. The CEO's of the Big Three auto makers (Alan Mulally of Ford, Robert Nardelli of Chrysler, and Richard Wagoner of GM) flew into Washington, D.C., yesterday to request a 25 billion dollar loan package from the federal government. Apparently the state of their respective corporations is so bleak that they need these federal funds to stay afloat.

The great irony of this situation comes not in their need for the federal loan package, but in how they traveled to Washington, D.C., to ask for it. You're probably thinking they flew in via first-class commercial, right? They must have tons of frequent flyer miles being CEO's and all so the upgrade to first class wouldn't cost their companies a dime. No, that's not how they flew in. Okay, so now you're probably thinking they jet-pooled in to make for a cheaper flight, right? It does cost a little more than flying commercial but they are CEO's afterall and splitting the cost three-ways couldn't have been too expensive. Wrong again. Get this - those dumb bastards flew into Washington on their own private jets, at an estimated round trip cost of $20,000 each. What - you don't believe me? You think it doesn't make any sense? That with their companies in financial ruins because of blatantly irresponsible spending, now in need of a $25 billion loan package from the tax payers to bail them out, they wouldn't possibly spend $60,000 to fly into Washington, D.C., when they could have flown in on commercial for just $1500? Well believe it because it just happened. I know - what the hell were they thinking, right? That's what I'd like to know too.

Each of the three companies were quick to defend their CEOs' travel as standard procedure, pointing out that like many other major corporations, all three have policies requiring their CEOs to travel in private jets for safety reasons.

"Making a big to-do about this when issues vital to the jobs of millions of Americans are being discussed in Washington is diverting attention away from a critical debate that will determine the future health of the auto industry and the American economy," GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said in a statement. Hey Tom - who's the one trying to divert attention away from a critical debate now? A debate about ethics and integrity and common sense. That would be you, my friend.

Chrysler spokeswoman Lori McTavish said in a statement, "while always being mindful of company costs, all business travel requires the highest standard of safety for all employees." So I guess what you're saying Lori is that Chrysler plans on giving all of its employees private jets of their own to fly around the country in? Is there a line item for that in Chrysler's fiscal 09 budget?

Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker pointed to the company's travel policy but did not provide a statement elaborating. Well done Kelli - at least one of you idiots had sense enough to keep your mouth shut.

I would say this situation is analogous to a panhandler getting chauffered to his street corner in a stretch limousine to spend the day holding his sob-story sign and begging for money. The only difference is that the panhandler isn't using the government to steal money from the tax payers.

Mr. Mulally, Mr. Nardelli, and Mr. Wagoner,
If you want people to sympathize with you and the companies you represent, pull your heads out of your asses. Each of your companies employs thousands of hard working Americans and it would be a real shame if Ford, Chrysler, or GM, had to go out of business. That being said it's pretty hard to support giving you a $25 billion federal loan package when you have such a long track record of pissing money away like you're Mike Tyson. Effective leadership is the lifeblood of any company. I think it's time you started behaving like effective leaders in an attempt to save your respective companies from insolvency the old fashioned way - with hard work, an unflappable focus on innovation, and last but not least fiscal responsibility. It starts with you. In other words sell the jets you deuche bags.

Unbelievable.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Well done Nebraska



Safe haven laws were created to allow distraught parents, who fear their children are in imminent danger, to drop them off at hospitals without being charged with abandonment. Safe haven laws exist with the intent to protect INFANTS. Nebraska was the only state in the country without such a law in existence... until recently. The only problem is that when Nebraska passed their safe haven law in July, 2008, they forgot to include an age limit (oops). All 49 other states have age limits written into their safe haven laws ranging from 72 hours up to 1 year in North Dakota, but Nebraska apparently overlooked this small, but very important detail. Way to go Nebraska - leave it to you to fxxk up a simple law you should have passed years ago. Jesus - it's not like you didn't have 49 other examples you couldn't have just cut and pasted into your own law. But no, you had to go out and reinvent the wheel, and when you did you left out the most important part. So now stupid, irresponsible parents from all over the country are using your fxxk-up as an excuse to dump their unwanted teens. Since Nebraska passed their safe haven law in July of this year 34 children have been dropped off at Nebraska hospitals. Of the 34 children dropped off none have been infants; 28 have been older than 10. Five of the abandoned children were brought into Nebraska from out of state. Deadbeat parents have traveled in from Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Florida, and Georgia.

"Please don't bring your teenager to Nebraska," Governor Dave Heineman told CNN. "Think of what you are saying. You are saying you no longer support them. You no longer love them."

Tysheema Brown drove from Georgia to leave her teenage son at an Omaha hospital. "Do not judge me as a parent. I love my son and my son knows that," Brown said. "There is just no help. There hasn't been any help."

Thank God I don't have to live in Nebraska or Georgia, or in any other red state for that matter.

State officials in Nebraska are scrambling to fix the problem. But because of legislative procedures it will take at least a week to change the language of the safe haven law, creating a window where more parents could try to take advantage of the loophole in the statute. "We are ready and prepared if that situation occurs," said Todd Landry of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. "We want people to understand that this is not the right way of getting the service for your child, your teenager or your family."

State Senator Tom White said lawmakers have been caught off-guard by the number of teenagers taken in under the law. Clearly Sen. White, you haven't spent enough time in middle America.

I'm not sure what's more surprising here. The fact that Nebraska state officials were stupid enough to create this loophole, or the fact that loser, deadbeat parents from across the country were actually smart enough to discover the loophole and then take advantage of it accordingly. I guess this proves if there's a way to cheat the system and shirk your responsibilities, the lowlifes of America will find it. Perhaps if Nebraska wants to avoid a rush on parents abandoning their teens before the law is revised, they should spend the next week passing out free moonshine to all residents and visitors crossing the state line. This way by the time all the freeloading scumbags sober up and shake off their hangovers, the law will be changed and they'll be stuck with their mutant offspring, the way God intended it to be.

God bless America. Wow.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Guns, alcohol, and off-duty cops



There's a quiet debate taking place in the corridors of City Hall. Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca wants to implement one of the nation's toughest policies barring deputies from carrying firearms when they are under the influence of alcohol. But the deputies' union adamently opposes any restrictions on a deputy's ability to carry a weapon while off-duty.

I'm not sure what's worse, the fact that a policy doesn't already exist banning off-duty cops from carrying guns while intoxicated, or the fact that some cops are actually stupid enough to bring their guns along on a night out boozing with the boys. Guns, alcohol, and unstable cops who joined the force because of a deep rooted sense of powerlessness and insecurity in their personal lives - there's a recipe for disaster.

Baca is pushing for this new policy because as he notes there has been a "very disturbing" rise in alcohol-related misconduct among his deputies. This year alone, 61 deputies have been arrested on alcohol-related charges. Of those, 39 were accused of driving under the influence, nearly twice the average of recent years. Many of those arrested were armed. Furthermore since 2004, more than a dozen sherrif's deputies have been involved in incidents in which they were accused of displaying or shooting a gun while under the influence of alcohol. Union leaders say the sheriff's plan would put deputies in danger. "What Sheriff Baca wants to do is disarm the deputy and embolden the dangerous individual", said Steve Remige, president of the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs.

Like a drunk ego maniac carrying a gun isn't himself a dangerous individual? Why are statements from union heads always filled with so much irony? I digress... the scary thing is that very few local agencies have taken a position on off-duty drinking.

The Los Angeles Police Department, for example, has no policy restricting an officer's consumption of alcohol while carrying a weapon. The Orange County Sheriff's Department also has no specific policy, but officials said "common sense" would hold that deputies under the influence should not be in possession of firearms.

You would think this to be the case but what about New Year's eve of 2008, when an off-duty deputy who had been drinking at a party in Los Angeles accidentally shot a man in the leg while trying to show off a new holster? The duputy has been placed on leave. Or what about in 2004, when an off-duty deputy, driving while under the influence, hit another vehicle and was accused of pointing his gun at men from the other vehicle when they approached him? The deputy pleaded guilty to drunk driving and was suspended from the Sheriff's Department for 15 days. Or how about in 2003, when an off-duty deputy, who was drinking with friends at a bar, tussled with a security guard and then attempted to intimidate the guard by displaying a firearm in his waistband? Or how about in 2006, when Los Angeles County Sherrif's deputy Chris Sullivan, recently back from a tour in Iraq, went out with a buddy to celebrate his return and ended the night by shooting his friend in the mouth and killing him? Sullivan was heavily intoxicated at the time of the shooting.

I stongly believe that the majority of police officers joined the force for the right reasons and I also believe that the majority of police officers exercise good judgment on a regular basis. But like anything else in life it's a numbers game. For every 1000 stand-up cops who do the right thing all the time, there's inevitably 1 dip shit cop who'll decide that bringing his loaded 9-millimeter Beretta along for a weekend bender with the boys is somehow a good idea. Do the right thing here Sheriff's Union of Los Angeles and accept Sheriff Baca's new policy. Given the rise in alcohol-related incidents involving deputies, it makes too much sense not too. Not only will it make the city of Los Angeles a safer place for its citizens, but it will also help prevent a few bad eggs from giving the entire department a bad name.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stay classy Padres management



Sixteen years of loyal service, the most saves in major league history (554), 2 Cy Young runner-up finishes, 6 all-star game appearances, the highest career save percentage (.892) among active pitchers, and it all came to an end with a cell phone call from Padres GM Kevin Towers. Really? Don't you think you owed him more than that Padres management? Sure he made plenty of money pitching for the Padres during his career, and sure parting ways with him was absolutely the right business decision for next year (his numbers were way down in 2008 and the last thing a team needs who lost 99 games in 2008 is a high-priced closer). But to part ways over the phone?

Apparently Trevor and his agent (Rick Thurman) were not happy with the Padres $4 million offer for 2009. They saw it as a polite way to nudge him out the door. The Padres indicated that it was the best they could do and sources familiar with the offer said it reflected, to a degree, Hoffman's diminished performance in 2008 (he pitched 45 1/3 innings last season and posted a 3.77 ERA, his highest since 1995, and went 3-6 while converting 30 of 34 save opportunities). Hoffman had Thurman ask for a meeting with Padres president Sandy Alderson, GM Kevin Towers, and owner John Moores, to discuss the offer. If Hoffman's time with the team was going to end he wanted to hear it directly from the team's executives. Can you blame him? But the Padres declined to arrange the meeting, and last Friday, the day after Thurman spoke publicly about Hoffman's desire for a face-to-face sit-down, Towers called Thurman and indicated to him that the Padres intended to withdraw the offer. The organization was upset, Towers told Thurman, that the details of Hoffman's offer had leaked out. Hoffman again had Thurman ask for a meeting with Alderson and Towers. He wanted to be told directly by Alderson that the Padres were ending his time with the team. Is that so much to ask for? Towers told Thurman that the offer was withdrawn and the negotiation was over. Towers then called Hoffman on Monday night and let him know about their decision over the phone. Over the phone? Are you kidding me? Sixteen years in a Padres uniform, the face of the franchise since Tony Gywnn retired in 2001, a model citizen in the community, and you didn't even have the decency to tell him face to face? What the hell is wrong with you Kevin Towers? John Moores is in the middle of a messy, expensive divorce and he rarely interacts with the players anyway so it's somewhat understandable that he didn't want to be involved. But for the club president and the GM to deny Trevor Hoffman the decency of a face to face meeting to let him know he was no longer a Padre is simply inexcusable.

Shame on you Padres management. Shame on you for tricking the city of San Diego into building you a new stadium with the promise of a higher payroll, then slashing said payroll by shipping our best players out of town (Peavy and Giles are next). Shame on you for turning healthy profits while the product you put on the field is little more than a minor league team. And shame on you for not treating a veteran player with the respect he deserved.

Trevor Hoffman is a class act. Always has been, always will be. And although his best days as a baseball player are clearly behind him I wish him the best of luck wherever he lands in 2009. And let me take this opportunity to apologize to you Trevor for the entire city of San Diego. You deserved better. And we deserve better.

Go Angels.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, and France's reaction to his comeback



Dear France,

Please get off Lance Armstrong. The guy is a cancer survivor, a seven time Tour de France champion, and an inspiration to people all over the world. What is your problem? It was bad enough when you falsely accused him of doping and said his Tour de France legacy is tainted. But now during his historic comeback, you’ve come out and said he is unwelcome to compete in the Tour de France in 2009, and you’ve gone too far. Maybe the Tour de France is a big deal in your country but until Lance came across the pond and dominated it seven times in a row nobody over here gave a rat’s ass about your precious Tour. What Lance has done for cycling is analogous to what Tiger Woods (another American) has done for golf. And now after all he’s done for your beloved sport, you have the audacity to say he is not welcome to compete in the Superbowl of cycling? Polls conducted by a major French newspaper (L’Equipe) and a major French TV network (France 2) showed that 70% of your population does not want Lance to compete in the Tour de France in 2009. On the bright side at least 30% of your country doesn’t have their heads completely up their asses. What is wrong with you? Lance Armstrong stands for everything that is good about America. He’s competitive, ambitious, resilient, determined, and driven, not to mention the fact he’s filthy rich and bangs hot, famous chicks on a regular basis. Is it Lance Armstrong that you have a problem with or the fact that he’s an American? Or perhaps it's the fact that no Frenchman has won your coveted Tour de France championship for the past 23 years, and Lance came over there and did you seven times in a row? You say you don’t like his style – that he’s too methodical, too robotic, that he doesn’t show emotion or pain or suffering or ease. That’s because he's a winner when you’re a winner you don’t need to be flamboyant, clearly a concept you are not familiar with. Your fellow Euros have been quick to pile on. Just last week little known 26-year old German rider, Linus Gerdemann, called Armstrong’s return a bad thing. “This is not positive for cycling,” Gerdemann said. “But there’s nothing anyone can do about it.” He was underscoring comments made by German media executives in September when ARD, a large German TV network, announced it would not televise major cycling events because of continued doping scandals. “For us, Armstrong is a piece of the past we don’t want to see again,” Rolf-Dieter Ganz said in the Die Welt newspaper. “The future belongs to young riders, certainly not to Armstrong’s generation.” Lance’s response to this German criticism was classic. “I don’t even know who that is,” Armstrong said. “I am older. I am part of the older generation. I’ve been around a long time and I don’t know who the hell Linus Gerdemann is, but when I rolled up to the line in 1992 I started winning races and when I roll up in 2009 I’m going to be winning races. And so he better hope he doesn’t get in a breakaway with me because I’ve got a good hard drive.” Well done Germany, now you’ve pissed him off, like he needed any further motivation. Here’s something to think about during your excessive 5 week slacking sessions you like to call Holiday. While you’re over there lounging around in trendy cafes, drinking wine, eating cheese and pastries, and burning through countless packs of skinny cigarettes, just know that Lance is over here at a technology center, training in a wind tunnel , sculpting his body and perfecting his form, so that come the 2009 Tour de France he’ll be ready to kick your Euro asses… yet again. He might say he’s undecided about competing in the 2009 Tour and that he’s not sure he wants to deal with all the “tension” that exists between him and your country. But trust me he’ll be there. You see we Americans don’t back down, we fight our own battles, we rise in the face of adversity, and we play to win. And I’ll bet you dollars for doughnuts (or croissants in your case) that’s exactly what Lance is going to do. And after he does win the Tour de France for an unprecedented eighth time I hope he turns to Linus Gerdemann (and all the other haters) and drops the infamous Shaquille O’Neill to Kobe Bryant endearment on him: “Yo kid, tell me how my ass tastes.” But we all know he won’t because he’s Lance Armstrong and Lance Armstrong is a class act to the end. Besides he’s already been there seven times before, so no big deal.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Partisan politics



Let me start this post by stating that I have been a registered Republican since I was 18 years old. And I have never voted for a non-Republican candidate in any major election, ever. Until now. Will voting for Barack Obama make me a pariah within my own party? Probably. But enough is enough. When you become blindly loyal to a party to the point where you can't even recognize its most obvious faults, that's when you become part of the problem.

Take for instance those Republicans who argue that George W. Bush has been a good president. Huh? What about the bullshit war he led us into under false pretenses resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocent people? As I write this post the current American death toll in Iraq stands at 4,186. And what about the numerous failed domestic programs initiated by the Bush administration? No Child Left Behind, The Economic Growth & Tax Reconciliation Act, Social Security Reform, and The Patriot Act immediately come to mind. And what about the Bush administration's blatant disregard for the environment? In Texas Chainsaw Management (2007) Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. argues that "The verdict on George W. Bush as the nation's environmental steward has already been written in stone. No president has mounted a more sustained and deliberate assault on the nation's environment. No president has acted with more solicitude toward polluting industries. Assaulting the environment across a broad front, the Bush administration has promoted and implemented more than 400 measures that eviscerate 30 years of environmental policy." And what about FEMA's botched respone to Hurricane Katrina under Bush’s reign? Talk about the mother of all cluster fxxks. And what about the near doubling of our national debt during Bush’s tenure as president? When Bush took office in 2000 the national debt stood at $5.7 trillion, it currently stands at over $10.3 trillion. Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve for 18 years, serving under six Presidents and who describes himself as "a lifelong Libertarian Republican", writes in his book The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World, that Bush and the congressional Republicans "swapped principle for power". "Little value was placed on rigorous economic policy debate or the weighing of long-term consequences". And Mr. Greenspan is certainly not alone in his criticism of the Bush presidency. On April 15, 2008, the results of an informal poll of 109 historians (conducted by George Mason University's History News Network) found that 98.2% of the respondents considered Bush's Presidency a failure. Sixty-one percent of the historians said that Bush was the worst President in United States history. Many independent sources also give him this title. Still wanna argue that Bush was a good president?

Or how about those Republicans who argue that Sarah Palin was a good choice for Vice President? What? Aside from the fact that her voice sounds like a shovel scraping against a rock, she is without a doubt the most unqualified vice presidential candidate in the history of the United States. Clearly the GOP picked her as a political stunt to manufacture excitement and demonstrate that McCain too is a candidate representative of change. But once the excitement of her RNC speech waned and people took an objective look at Sarah Palin's career body of work, it became painstakingly clear that she was a monumentally bad choice for vice president. If you don't agree with me you're probably illiterate so it's pointless to continue trying to convince you with this post.

And how about those Republicans who agree that Bush was a bad president, but argue that McCain is completely different than Bush in his political agendas and beliefs. Really? McCain believes that the Iraq invasion was "just and noble" and says he's prepared to stay in Iraq for 100 years if the casualties are low enough. He also said he believes that setting a timetable for withdrawal would be a "white flag of surrender". Sounds eerily similar to when Bush said "We need to stay the course". McCain's economic policies are also largely a continuation of Bush's. He wants to make permanent the Bush tax cuts that primarily benefit the rich (I happen to be rich by government standards - and no thanks you can keep your thousand dollar rebate check). Even though some of the largest tax cuts in history have failed to stop this recession from coming, McCain seems to think that even more tax cuts will get us out of it. McCain also shares a similar view to Bush on healthcare. He believes that any efforts to allow everyone the opportunity to afford medical care would be "socializing" it, and that all we need in healthcare is more competition. This didn't work under the Bush administration and it won't work under McCain (there are currently 48 million Americans without health insurance). Other controversial issues that McCain and Bush agree on include: No on gay marriage, Yes on Don't Ask Don't Tell in the military, No on renewing the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, and Yes on overturning Roe v. Wade. Granted there are other issues that they don't agree on, but on the major stuff (the war, the economy, and healthcare) McCain and Bush are pretty much the same candidate. You can call yourself a Maverick all you want, but saying it doesn't make it so.

If you're still not convinced and insist on holding the party line consider the following: a) If McCain dies during his presidency (which is a real possibility considering his age and health history) Sarah Palin will be president and America will be the laughing stock of the free world, and b) The rest of the World currently hates America and wants to do us harm. If McCain is elected (which the World will essentially view as a re-election of Dubya) they will continue to hate us and continue to try and do us harm. On the other hand if Obama is elected it will send a message to the World that we are serious about change, and their hostility towards us will decline.

Contrary to what you're probably thinking I still consider myself a Republican, largely because of my conservative financial beliefs. And if Obama is elected President it will most certainly have a negative impact on my personal financial situation. That being said sometimes you have to put the greater good in front of your own personal interests. When I go to the polls on November 4, I will go not to vote for a party, or even for a candidate, but for the person I believe gives America the best chance to be great again.

In closing I really don't care if you disagree with everything I've just said above. When you go to the polls on November 4 (and I hope you do), vote for whoever you want. Just please be responsible, get informed, and know who and what you're voting for.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Is it just me or does John McCain bare a striking resemblance to Howdy Doody?





I just wonder who's behind the curtain pulling his strings?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Please fire Tony Kornheiser



When Monday Night Football moved from ABC to ESPN in 2006, somebody had the brain child to bring on Tony Kornheiser as the color analyst. In my opinion Monday Night Football hasn't been the same since. Not only is Kornheiser goofy looking and uninspired, but he lacks football knowledge to the point where he makes Dennis Miller look like Knute Rockne. At the start of last night's broadcast he actually said that Eli Manning is a better quarterback than big brother, Peyton Manning. Are you fucking kidding me? Peyton Manning has 43,000 passing yards, 314 touchdown passes (with 158 INT's), and a career passer rating of 94.5. Eli Manning has 12,600 passing yards, 84 touchdown passes (with 68 INT's), and a career passer rating of 74.8. Peyton's career winning percentage is .644. Eli's career winning percentage is .557. Peyton is composed, polished, full of leadership, and a virtual lock for the Hall of Fame. Eli is a whiney, little bitch, who always looks like he's on the verge of tears during press conferences. The guy has 4 good games (including the Superbowl) and Kornheiser makes the proclamation that he's a better quarterback than big brother Peyton. Eli then proceeded to throw 3 horrible interceptions as his heavily favored Giants got embarrassed by the Browns on national television. Nice call Kornheiser, you douchebag. Would somebody please fire this guy? I'm tired of watching Monday Night Football with the volume turned off, and I'm tired of looking at Kornheiser's ugly mug. Can you believe they're actually paying him $1.8 million a year for the mindless drivel that spills out of his mouth? Talk about a waste of money. You could pair Mike Tirico and Joe Theismann up with a chimp and get better insight than what Kornheiser has to offer. I've heard he's a good columnist and writer (although I can't bring myself to read any of his work), but he's a horrible football analyst. I never thought it would be possible to actually miss the Monday Night Football broadcasts with Dennis Miller. In writing this post I googled Tony Kornheiser and found out something very interesting about him - he doesn't take criticism well at all:

* Stephen Rodrick wrote for Slate that Tony Kornheiser was allowed by ESPN to argue aimlessly on television and that his Washington Post column was being used to plug side projects rather than gather news from cited sources. Kornheiser called on Slate, then owned by The Washington Post, to fire Rodrick.

* After Kornheiser's first game on Monday Night Football, Paul Farhi wrote in The Washington Post that Kornheiser had emphasized the obvious, played third fiddle, and was reminiscent of Dennis Miller "in a bad way." Kornheiser responded saying that Farhi was a "two-bit weasel slug".

* Mike Golic, an ESPN colleague of Kornheiser's, who had expressed skepticism regarding his prospects as an on-air analyst because he was never an athlete, said that his performance on MNF was "fine." Kornheiser's response was, "I just want to wring Golic's neck and hang him up over the back of a shower rod like a duck."

Perhaps Kornheiser is so defensive because deep down he knows that he has no business getting paid to talk about football on television. Let's hope the higher-ups at ESPN figure this out sooner rather than later.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Proposition 8



Background:
Until 1977, California did not explicitly define marriage as being between a man and a woman, but court decisions, and some statutes, dating from both statehood and the 1872 codification of the civil law, assumed as much. In 1977, the legislature amended Civil Code section 4100 (predecessor to what is now codified at Family Code section 300) to read that marriage is "a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between a man and a woman". In 2000, voters passed with 61% of the vote, ballot initiative Proposition 22, which changed the California Family Code to formally define marriage in California between a man and a woman.

In 2004, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom decided to ignore Proposition 22 and allow same sex marriages in San Francisco. This decision became a lightning rod for immediate judicial developments surrounding this topic. The 3,995 same sex marriages that took place in San Francisco were annulled by the California Supreme Court, but San Francisco began a legal challenge that was consolidated with other cases as In re Marriage Cases. On May 15, 2008 the California Supreme Court, by a vote of 4–3, ruled that the statute enacted by Proposition 22 and other statutes that limit marriage to a relationship between a man and a woman violated the equal protection clause of the California Constitution. It also held that individuals of the same sex have the right to marry under the California Constitution.

Anticipating that either the courts or the legislature might overturn Proposition 22, opponents of same-sex marriages introduced several attempts to place a constitutional amendment before voters that would prohibit same-sex marriages—and in some cases, domestic partnerships as well. Prior to 2008, none had made it to the ballot (enter Proposition 8). Proposition 8 (which was submitted for the ballot by petitioners with the title "California Marriage Protection Act") is an initiative measure on the 2008 California General Election ballot titled "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry". If passed, the proposition would change the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California. The text to be added reads, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Proponents of Prop 8:
The list of those in favor of this measure includes: the Roman Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, John McCain, and Newt Gingrich. Need I say more?

Opponents of Prop 8:
The list of those that oppose this measure includes: the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Orange County Register, the Sacramento Bee, the San Jose Mercury News, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Barack Obama, and anyone with even a slightly open mind.

My take on Prop 8:
Here's the deal people. Gay people don't choose to be gay. It's in their DNA. It's just like being born left-handed or with blue eyes. Would it be fair to penalize or discriminate against someone because they were born left-handed or with blue eyes? Well, it's absolutely no different than penalizing or discriminating against someone because they were born gay.

I'm a straight man who's married to a woman. I think marriage is good for individuals and for society as a whole. It promotes strong family values and provides a stable environment for children to grow up in. Call me old-fashioned. I also think that same sex marriage in no way takes away from the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. To me marriage is not about the gender of the two people involved. It's about love, commitment, and fidelity. If two people are ready to formalize their union, gender should have nothing to do with it.

Questions for those in favor of Prop 8:
First off why do you care if two men or two women get married? And don't feed me your religious bullshit. Religion is a product of man, created and documented by man, to help man come to terms with the things he fears and cannot understand. I don't care what it says in the bible - parts of that book were written over 3500 years ago. Secondly how will same sex marriage negatively affect your life in any way? I get that the thought of two people of the same gender having sex (especially two dudes) can be quite disturbing. But the thought of two fat people having sex is also quite disturbing - do you have a problem with two fat people getting married?

My take on how people should live their lives:
Everyone possesses a certain amount of eccentricity. It’s only natural to feel that our personal way of life is somehow the superior way of life. This is an acceptable belief but only when coupled with a heavy dose of tolerance. Life is subjective. There are certain moral rules of society that are not up for debate but little else in life is black and white. Different lifestyles work for different people and everyone is entitled to happiness. So long as somebody’s lifestyle doesn’t impede upon the lifestyle of others it should be practiced freely and accepted by all. Don’t ever make the mistake of judging other people based upon your own beliefs because your conclusions will be tainted by your own prejudices. Keep an open mind, practice tolerance in your daily life, and society will be better for it.

If after reading this post you still decide to vote yes on Prop 8, what can I say? Enjoy your narrow-minded, sheltered little world, and may your kids grow up with a broader sense of humanity than you.

Damn - when did this blog get so political?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

AIG fleecing taxpayers



September 16, 2008. In a bid to save financial markets and the economy from further turmoil, the U.S. government agreed today to provide an $85 billion US emergency loan to rescue the huge insurer AIG. The Federal Reserve said in a statement it determined that a disorderly failure of American International Group could hurt the already delicate financial markets and the economy.

Just days later senior execs from the troubled company headed south for a five night getaway at the luxurious St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, CA. The cost of this executive retreat? $440,000 of taxpayer money, including $200,000 for rooms (the presidential suite was booked for all five nights at a cost of $3200/night – gotta have a sweet crib for the hookers), $150,000 for meals, $23,000 in spa charges, and $7000 for golf. In these times of economic uncertainty at least we can be certain of one thing: Wall Street execs have always been and will continue to be miserable, self-absorbed scumbags, who are completely out of touch with reality.

Joe Norton, an AIG spokesperson, said the company’s stay at the St. Regis Resort had been incorrectly labeled an executive retreat by lawmakers and members of the media. “It was not an executive retreat,” he said. “It was a meeting to reward and incent independent sales agents.” As Norton described it, AIG had invited about 100 of its top salespeople to stay at the St. Regis for a week of meetings and motivational events. Norton said only about 10 AIG senior managers attended the event, although he declined to identify them. “They were the level of people who participate in such discussions,” Norton said, adding that resort holidays are “an industry practice to reward top producers.”

I don't care what the purpose of the retreat was. Perhaps somebody should explain to Mr. Norton that the other companies taking part in these motivational events aren’t on the verge of bankruptcy, and that their resort holidays aren’t being paid for with taxpayer money. Was there not a single executive in all of AIG who thought it might be a good idea to cancel this event? That perhaps given the circumstances a $440,000 boondoggle wasn’t entirely appropriate? Unfuckinbelievable.

I’ve never been a big fan of government regulation, but I think there’s a strong case to be made for it at companies like AIG. It makes you wonder how much of the 700 billion dollar bailout fund is going to be used for the common good, and how much of it is going to be squandered away on inappropriate and unnecessary perks for Corporate fat cats? And Wall Street still can't figure out why it's so despised by Main Street.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Justice for The Juice


 
O.J.,
What the hell were you thinking? You got away with murder 13 years ago and you just couldn't stay down, could you? It's not like you got away with petty theft or assault, we're talking MURDER. You had to know that even the slightest display of civil disobediance on your part and karma would kick you in your murdering ass. So what did you do? You went out and participated in kidnapping, armed robbery, and 10 other related charges. Then after the all-white jury convicted your condemned-to-hell ass, your lawyers came out with the following statements: "This jury was clearly on an agenda to make up for Simpson's (1995) acquittal, this was just payback", and "This conviction feels like revenge justice." Gee, you think? Where'd you get a crazy idea like that? (Johnny Cochran must be turning over in his grave) Juice - you must be even dumber than you look. For the past 13 years you've done nothing but play golf, smoke expensive cigars, and spend time with your kids. Now, because of your careless stupidity, you spend your days in a 7-by-14 foot cell staring at the walls. Just think how bad it's going to be when you get transferred to the federal penitentiary with the other lifers (hey boy - yer mouth's kinda perty). You came out with a very interesting statement after you were convicted on all counts: "I'm just sad I won't be able to see my kids graduate after I struggled to put them through college." How do you think Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown's parents feel, asshat? The universe has a way of doling out cosmic justice and it's about time you finally got yours. I hope you're completely miserable for the duration of your vacuous existence and I hope you're consumed by thoughts of the ultimate justice that awaits you in the afterlife. You're probably feeling sorry for yourself and the situation you now find yourself in. Well, you shouldn't. No punishment is bad enough to make up for what you did to the Goldmans and the Browns. The only shame in this whole thing is that your sidekick in these questionable crimes, Clarence "C.J." Stewart, now awaits the same fate as you. Talk about standing too close to a grenade and getting hit in the face with shrapnel when it explodes. Oh well, I guess he made his bed when he decided to associate with a low life like you. That's all I've got you miserable piece of shit - and I hope the bars of soap are extra slippery in the pen.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Bailout Plan



Dear 25 Senators and 171 Representatives who voted against The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008,

First off you are stupid. Secondly, I take offense to those of you who say this bill moves the United States closer to becoming a socialist nation. When you make this statement you completely ignore the bill’s underlying purpose and instead use it as an opportunity to spread fear and paranoia in the hopes that it will help further your own political gain. For this blatant misuse of your vote, shame on you. The purpose of this bill is simple: to stabilize our nation’s banking industry and unfreeze the credit markets in an effort to stave off an economic depression. It’s not a perfect plan and perhaps it does give the government too much control over a large chunk of tax payer’s money. But desperate times call for desperate measures and what better alternatives were there? Instead of blindly criticizing the plan in an effort to gain reelection by your constituents, why not do something constructive like offering up a better alternative? What, you don’t have one? That’s convenient. And just in case you’re interested I’ve put together a brief summary of what socialism really means so that you don’t sound so ignorant in the future.

Definition: Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and the creation of an egalitarian society. Modern socialism originated in the late nineteenth-century working class political movement. Karl Marx posited that socialism would be achieved via class struggle and a proletarian revolution, it being the transitional stage between capitalism and communism.

Modern socialism: In some Latin American countries, socialism has re-emerged in recent years, with an anti-imperialist stance, the rejection of the policies of neo-liberalism and the nationalization or part nationalization of oil production, land and other assets. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, for instance, refers to his own political program as socialist. Chavez has coined the term "21st century socialism”. After winning re-election in December 2006, President Chavez said, "Now more than ever, I am obliged to move Venezuela's path towards socialism.” He went on to say: “Those who want to go directly to hell, they can follow capitalism. And those of us who want to build heaven here on earth, we will follow socialism.” What a nut job. Aren’t you glad you don’t live in Venezuela? In addition to being one crazy mother fxxxer, the US government also believes that Chavez is a serious threat to democracy in Latin America (can you say Bay of Pigs?). His opponents see him as an authoritarian or a totalitarian communist, militarist and demagogue who has failed to deliver on his promises, violated fundamental rights, meddled in the affairs of other Latin American countries, threatened Venezuela's economy and democracy, illegally silenced opponents, and destabilized global oil prices. Other than that he’s a super terrific guy.

The day that Hugo Chavez has his own parking space at the White House I might start to worry. Until that day occurs the notion of socialism in America is absolutely absurd. Please remember that you were elected to act in the best interests of your country, not in the best interests of yourself. I can already hear your rebuttal: the polls showed little support among the public for bailing out Wall Street investment banks, and voting against the will of your constituents is simply not democratic. To this I respond that most of your constituents are dumber than you, and part of your job as an elected official is to save the public from themselves. Wait, that sounds kind of socialistic… whatever it’s my blog and I can write whatever the hell I want to.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thank You Al Davis



Thank you Al Davis. Thank you for doing such a commendable job in continuing to drive your franchise into the ground. Thanks to your extraordinary efforts my San Diego Chargers now enter every new season with two guaranteed victories, which says a lot in this era of parity. How bad are your Oakland Raiders? Since your Superbowl season of 2002 your Raiders have a cumulative record of 20-64, which is the worst record of any NFL team over that span. That's right, the worst. You've also lost to my San Diego Chargers 10 straight times dating back to 2003, by an average margin of defeat of 15 points. We might as well start spotting you two touchdowns just to make things interesting. Your once proud franchise is now a complete joke. I'm sure it wasn't easy becoming the worst, but you need to take credit for all of your hard work. During your bizarre news conference a couple days ago when you announced the firing of Lane Kiffin, you made a valiant attempt to give other people credit for the complete ineptitude of your team. But I'm not buying it Al, so don't be so modest. Everyone knows that it's you alone behind the curtain pulling all the levers and pressing all the buttons. Your dysfunctional dictatorship might have worked back in the 60's and 70's when your football knowledge was still relevant (hell you even got lucky a couple times in the 80's), but it's 2008 now Al and your abilities to run a professional football franchise are about as attractive as your dried up, reptilian appearance. The funny thing is your Raiders were a much improved team under Lane Kiffin. They were actually starting to look like a team who could possibly win more than 4 games in a season. Thank goodness you sensed Kiffin's competence as a coach and promptly let him go. Now you can start over from scratch with a new coaching staff, a new system, and hopefully some new failed draft picks. Firing Kiffin probably set your franchise back at least a couple of years which will ensure at least a couple more seasons of failure. Well done Al. Please stay strong in your resolve to never change and please continue to make decisions without consulting people in the know. Trust me, the "experts" who criticize you on talk shows and in the papers don't know what they're talking about. Although when I was listening to your rambling press conference I actually began to feel sorry for you. You sounded not unlike the confused, old guy at the rest home who forgets where he puts his stuff then complains about the staff stealing his socks. No, I'm sure it was all part of your master plan. You're trying to get people to under estimate you which will give you the upper hand - sneaky old devil. I hope you live for another 20 years Al. If you ever need a blood donation to stay alive I will be the first in line with the rest of the Charger fans. Stay golden Al, or more appropriately stay silver & black.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Keep the fun lamp lit



I’ve known people in my life that had fun for a while then for one reason or another they stopped. Often times the change was the result of a major life milestone like starting a career, or getting married, or having children. The added responsibility associated with these milestones had a severely negative impact on their personalities. Just because you mature and become more responsible doesn’t mean you need to stop having fun. Everyone should learn how to balance the responsibility in their lives with activities that foster joy and laughter. This balance will make you a happier person and you will never resent your responsibilities. I’ve also known people who were changed by adversity. They went through a tough time in their lives and ended up different people. Their positive attitudes and optimistic outlooks became negative and jaded. If adversity comes your way don’t let it change you and don’t let it keep you down. Life’s pretty short and as far as I know you only get one shot at it. We all have a choice to make. You can lead a fun-loving life and enjoy the ride. Or you can lead a sad-sack existence and bitter your way to the end. As I see it having fun is the only way to play it.

Cognitive dissonance or just plain ignorance?



August 11, 2008. Bob Costas interviews President George W. Bush live in studio during NBC's primetime coverage from the Beijing Olympics.

Costas: "This past week you restated America's fundamental differences with China but given China's growing strength and America's own problems, realistically, how much leverage and influence does the U.S. have here?"

Bush: "First of all, I don't see America having problems. I see America as a nation that is a world leader that has got great values and leverage, I don't think you should look at the relationship as one of leverage, I think you should look at the relationship as one of constructive engagement, where you can find common areas like North Korea and Iran. But also be in a position where they can respect you enough to listen to your views on religious freedom and political liberty."

September 24, 2008. President George W. Bush addresses the nation on the state of our economy.

Bush: "Good evening. This is an extraordinary period for America's economy.
Over the past few weeks, many Americans have felt anxiety about their finances and their future. I understand their worry and their frustration. We've seen triple-digit swings in the stock market. Major financial institutions have teetered on the edge of collapse, and some have failed. As uncertainty has grown, many banks have restricted lending, credit markets have frozen, and families and businesses have found it harder to borrow money. We're in the midst of a serious financial crisis, and the federal government is responding with decisive action.

In forty three days we went from "I don't see America having problems" to "We're in the midst of a serious financial crisis". Forty three days. This means one of two things. Either a) on August 11 President Bush truly believed America was in good shape overall even though he knew full well that we were in the midst of financial ruins, or b) on August 11 President Bush was completely unaware of any financial problems with America, and at some point between August 11 and September 24 somebody smart filled him in on the situation.

cognitive dissonance:
–noun Psychology. anxiety that results from simultaneously holding contradictory or otherwise incompatible attitudes, beliefs, or the like, as when one likes a person but disapproves strongly of one of his or her habits.

ignorance:
–noun the state or fact of being ignorant; lack of knowledge, learning, information, etc.

So we have a sitting President that is either a) completely in denial about how bad things really are, or b) just plain stupid. I'm starting to lean towards the latter. Either way we're pretty much fxxxed.

I have been a registered Republican since I was old enough to vote, I have never voted for a non-Republican in any election, and I am very much in favor of the government staying out of our lives. That being said things cannot go on as they are. I do not know who the right candidate is to lead our country for the next four years. But I do know that it is time to stop voting blindly for a party, to get informed on the issues most relevant to America's vitality, and to begin effecting change in Washington. Apathy will no longer cut it.

And I never wanted this blog to be political in any way. Desperate times call for desperate measures.