Tag Archives: This So-Called American Life

Elections 4 $ale

I’m trying not to be too upset about SCOTUS’ ruling lifting the cap on individual campaign contributions. I mean, think about it: if money alone could decide an election, we’d have President Gingrich and Vice President Adelson today.

Trust me, I’m not thinking this is a good thing by any means. But let’s be real, the rich are not our betters, nor are they necessarily any smarter than anyone else. I just trotted over to OpenSecrets.org and got a look at Lee and Kelly Beaman’s latest campaign contributions. Here I found they both donated generously to Liz Cheney’s aborted senate campaign — not exactly a smart investment, since any idiot knew she wasn’t going to go the distance — as well as the notorious Palin grift vehicle known as SarahPAC. Now that we know they can just keep on giving, maybe these folks will all be bankrupt before too long. Fools and their money, after all.

The place this is really going to hurt, I think, is on things like ballot initiatives and local elections. Because even though this ruling only applied to federal elections, I have to wonder if states aren’t going to do away with their own restrictions now. Seems like a few have already tried.

But you know, here’s the thing: Congress could pass a law. They could say that corporations aren’t people and money isn’t speech and all of that other stuff. They could pass a law saying all federal elections have to be publicly financed. They won’t, but they could, if we elect the right people. So elections do matter.

Also, you know who the big beneficiary of this is, right? The corporate media. All of those campaign contributions run straight into their coffers, most of them at least. That explains a helluva lot, don’t it?

Gotta think the Founding Fathers are rolling over in their graves right now, though. If money is speech, the poor are voiceless. Is that your vision of America? Shameful.

16 Comments

Filed under campaign finance, Media, Supreme Court

Tick Tock

An update on this story from last month about Rep. Curry (DUI) Todd’s effort to exempt Tennessee from daylight savings time:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An effort to exempt Tennessee from daylight saving time has failed by one vote in the state House.

The House State Government Committee on Tuesday voted 6-5 against the measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Curry Todd of Collierville.

All together now: awwwwww. As you may recall, this was a half-baked idea from the get-go, with Rep. Todd originally proposing to do away with daylight savings time completely, then amending it to make daylight savings time permanent. He didn’t seem to know exactly what he wanted to do, just that for some reason changing the clocks twice a year seemed to chafe his britches and it must stop!

The confusion continued when Todd’s bill hit the State Government Committee:

Several lawmakers from the part of the state in the eastern time zone raised concerns that the measure would have caused their region’s time to be mismatched with neighboring states like Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia during part of the year.

Todd amended the bill to exempt East Tennessee from the bill, which caused other lawmakers to raise concerns about possible confusion over only part of the state adhering to daylight saving time.

Just …. stop. Stop being such a crazy old fool. Curry Todd’s district is just east of Memphis and I have to wonder if there isn’t something wrong with the water there. There’s a lot of cray-cray going on in that part of the state.

7 Comments

Filed under Rep. Curry Todd, Tennessee

Because There’s Absolutely Nothing This Country Won’t Commercialize

[Update: Welcome, Wonketteers!]

Ummm….

An Oregon firm introduced an action figure of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. ThatsMyFace.com, whose catalog also includes Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, said that the 12-inch Snowden figure comes dressed in a blue shirt, casual trousers and black high-top shoes, but wardrobe options include a gray-striped business suit, Indiana Jones outfit and a combat uniform. It sells for $99. ThatsMyFace.com promises that proceeds will go to the Freedom of the Press Foundation, although the foundation’s executive director, Trevor Timm, denied any association with the doll or ThatsMtFace.com. (Agence France-Presse)

The Edward Snowden action figure sells for $99:

Edward_Snowden_a_53014ad925cf1

If the $99 price tag seems a little steep the manufacturer notes,

By selecting Head only in the Outfit selection box above, you can also buy Edward Snowden’s head for $60 only and fit it onto your own 12-inch figurines.

Well, hey, kids! Now that’s a bargain!

You can see the Julian Assange figure here, including set-ups where he’s brandishing a military-style assault rifle and one where he’s dressed like a pirate.

You can see them in “action” here (laptop comes separately?):

In all fairness, I noticed this company also makes an array of celebrity action figures, including Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Eric Holder and Rahm Emmanuel, to name a few.

Sigh.

As if we needed any more evidence that American politics has moved away from actual governing and into the realm of mass entertainment.

11 Comments

Filed under consumerism

Time Keeps On Ticking Into The Future

Today we sprang forward, part of our annual Daylight Savings Time ritual. I usually hate springing forward because you “lose” an hour but I get over it as soon as I realize that holy cow it’s 6:00 and it’s still daylight!

So naturally, Tennessee Republican State Rep. Curry Todd, ALEC’s man in our state legislature who was last in the news for living with a lobbyist in violation of state ethics rules, wants to do away with this annual ritual. Todd has a bill that would keep Tennessee in permanent daylight savings time.

Nobody could have anticipated that a Republican would want to freeze the state in time.

{rimshot}

This is a ridiculous proposal on a lot of levels, the most notable one being, there’s absolutely no reason to do this. Why would Todd want to change this? It’s not like we’ve experienced a rash of issues related to the time change. I suspect some corporate suck asked Todd to file this bill because Todd, as I mentioned, is a Big Business Toady — more specifically, ALEC’s man in the Tennessee legislature who was caught living with a lobbyist in violation of state ethics rules.

Todd claims that he’s doing this “for the children” who have to wait for the school bus in the dark, and at the behest of farmers, and also he did some research and “80% of Tennesseans were in favor of making the switch.”

LOLWUT? He did research? I call bullshit. Please show us this mythic research!

Also, please stop trying to do the children of Tennessee any favors:

When asked though which time gives children more daylight in the morning, Todd admitted, “I really don’t know to tell you the truth.”

In actuality, moving the clock forward an hour means school children will wait for the bus longer in the dark.

Woopsies. Hilariously, Todd’s original proposal would have done away with daylight savings time. He changed it with an amendment making daylight savings time permanent.

Nobody could have anticipated that a Tennessee Republican would propose legislation to prevent the state from moving forward.

{rimshot}

Methinks Curry Todd hasn’t really thought this whole thing through.

And then we have this:

The change would cause some time issues for east Tennessee, which is in the Eastern Time Zone.

If Knoxville stays on daylight saving while the rest of the east coast falls back, east Tennessee would be an hour ahead of New York.

This guy makes a good point:

Moving the clock ahead an hour does not add daylight, time or anything else. The primary purpose for the concept of keeping “time” is that everyone is on the same page. If Tennessee decides it is going to buck the rest of the country, then confusion will ensue. This is particularly so given Tennessee borders so many other states. Imagine, five months of the year when Chattanoogans are planning to meet friends from North Georgia, they will be on different times. The other seven months the time will be the same. Confusion will reign in every area that borders a different state (and in Tennessee, that includes Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, etc.).

Indeed, mass confusion is why the Uniform Time Act was passed in the first place.

Nobody could have anticipated that a Tennessee Republican would propose legislation causing mass, state-wide confusion.

{rimshot}

Curry Todd is a few sandwiches short of a full picnic, but I have no doubt that he doesn’t do anything without one of his big-money buddies telling him to do it. Clearly he’s too lazy/disinterested to fully investigate the issue at hand.

Would love to know who benefits from this. Anyone?

7 Comments

Filed under Current Events, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

An Armed Society Is A Polite Society

Although that depends on your definition of “polite”:

TEMECULA (CBSLA.com) — Authorities in Temecula say a man pulled a gun on a girl scout who was going door-to-door selling cookies Sunday.

The incident took place in the 31000 block of Strawberry Tree Lane.

Police responded to an assault with a deadly weapon call.

Officials said the victim, a minor, was selling cookies door-to-door when a resident opened his door and pointed a gun at the girl.

The scout’s father witnessed the alleged incident and called police.

The suspect has been identified as 59-year-old John Dodrill of Temecula.

America has lost its shit. And let me add, the majority of those losing their shit appear to be Penis Americans. I don’t know what’s happened with the testosterone-enhanced among us, but you guys need to take a Xanax or light up a doobie or something. This is primarily a male problem. The number of boys bringing guns to school or involved in gun accidents is astonishing. Last week’s gun report? All but one incident involved a male.

I’m no sociologist but I think there are some obvious reasons for this and maybe it’s time we take a gender-based approach to American Rage, those who experience it, those who act on it, and think up some healthier alternatives.

17 Comments

Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns

Super Bowl Derp Alert v2.0

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha……

JonesIllyuminati

I see a lot of Infowars bumper stickers plastered on road signs from coast to coast, in my own neighborhood and in my travels (here’s a sample from last summer). I have to wonder what kind of loon would spend their money and time on such an endeavor.

10 Comments

Filed under conspiracies, conspiracy theory, Music & politics, pop culture

There Is No Santa Claus, Idiots

Jesus effin’ Christmas Tree. This explains what’s wrong with your modern conservative, in a nutshell. Arguments over whether Santa Claus was white, black, orange or green are completely ridiculous when you dial back a bit and remember one crucial thing: Santa isn’t real!

You know, I’d love to use this nonsense to point out all of the other fictitious things conservatives believe in: the free hand of the market, trickle down economics, tax cuts create jobs, Obamacare death panels, Conservative Jesus, etc. Seems like I’ve had to remind conservatives about the difference between fiction and reality before, back when they were pretending Jack Bauer was a real person and torture was the best defense against terrorism. But that’s not what’s going on here.

That conservatives are divorced from reality when it serves them is not news; that they will go to the mat in defense of Santa’s “whiteness” speaks to something deeper. This is about race and identity and the pathetic need to hang onto the idea of white superiority. It wouldn’t matter what race a mythic figure like Santa Claus is if conservatives like Bill O’Reilly didn’t feel so insecure about their cultural position in the first place. It’s another manifestation of the conservative inferiority complex, broadcast on Fox News for all the world to see.

There is nothing more ridiculous than a privileged old white guy arguing that no, black people cannot have Santa Claus. He’s ours. Do you people even hear yourselves?

And they wonder why the rest of the world laughs at them.

21 Comments

Filed under Bill O'Reilly, racism, rants, Republican Party, War On Christmas

War On Christmas

I’ll admit it, when my local news gleefully reported that fighter jets would accompany Santa’s sleigh this year in the traditional “NORAD tracker,” I was pretty outraged. Silly thing, I know: it’s Santa Claus, who gives a shit. But I do, because it’s for kids, and glorifying war to kids is revolting.

Honestly, I’m so offended by the constant rah-rah pro-military BS which has infiltrated every aspect of American life. This was the last straw. Why does Santa Claus need fighter jets, anyway? Mr. Beale joked it was to make it through Syrian airspace so he could bring presents to kids in Israel. Apparently everyone else decided it was Russia.

So I was relieved to learn that I wasn’t the only person ticked off by this glorification of weapons of war to children. In fact, quite a few children’s advocates were offended.

And now NORAD says what people thought were missiles were actually “fuel tanks.” Er, okie dokie.

I know y’all wouldn’t believe it but it does take a lot for me to go over the edge. I do stand and politely clap during the military salute at hockey games, despite the wretched Lee Greenwood track. But I put my foot down when they played an Army video of, I shit you not, bombs dropping on buildings. This was displayed on the JumboTron before a game one year, accompanied by a loud rock and roll track. Seeing small children with no clue what that represented cheering along turned my stomach. I called the operations office of the hockey team the next day and we never saw anything like that again.

“Support the troops” does not mean glorifying war. And by all means, this “back door recruiting” to kids is alarming. It’s no different than using Joe Camel to sell tobacco to children.

Knock it off, America.

11 Comments

Filed under Holidays, war economy, War On Christmas

Baaah Friday

This landed in my mailbox this morning, under the subject line “Knock Down, Drag Out Savings.” Sender was “Walmart.”

yesmen

Bwaahaa. It’s those rascals, the Yes Men.

At my first Thanksgiving with Mr. Beale’s family, the women all invited me to join them on their traditional Black Friday shopping trip to the mall in Evansville, Indiana. I think I responded with something like, “I’d rather stick pins in my eyes, thanks.” I honestly never thought I’d meet someone who actually shopped on the Friday after Thanksgiving. And in a mall, no less? I simply don’t hate myself that much.

Thanksgiving has always been the one holiday that defied commercialization. Non-religious and a-political, it was the last honest holiday. It centered on three core American values: family, food and television.

But no more. Now we’re all arguing over Walmart and Best Buy making their underpaid employees work on Thanksgiving Day, and we’re treated to Black Friday Brawls on the TV as people behave like children fighting over toys.

Another cherished American holiday relegated to the dustbin thanks to Glorious Capitalism. Baaah.

4 Comments

Filed under consumerism, Holidays

Today’s Rant: Do NOT Correct Me, TwAppGoogleSoftBook

[UPDATE]:

I finally figured out how to disable the universal autocorrect. You open System Preferences, go to Language & Text, click on the “Text” menu, and there’s a box which you can uncheck which says “Correct spelling automatically.”

Here ya go:

AutoCorrect pic

See, this is why I love Apple. No other product gives me that sense of satisfaction and well-being that comes from figuring out how to make it stop annoying the hell out of me.

You are hereby absolved from reading the rest of this post. All is well.

—————————————————————–

I do not update my technology very often, not because I’m a Luddite, but because I find every new incarnation of a device or app I use contains some horrible new “improvement” which invades my privacy or does something I don’t want or no longer functions as it once did. But as you all know, last week my creaky old MacBook went kaput and I had to buy a new one.

This one is about three generations more advanced than my old one. Instead of being gently lulled into that Brave New World with successive OS tweaks and software fixes, I’ve had to leap headlong into the modern era, and it’s like jumping into a pool of cold water. This laptop has a click pad which inexplicably makes things bigger if I rest my hand on it the wrong way. Also, as I’ve mentioned, WordPress no longer gives me a scroll bar to select “categories” and “tags.” That’s not so bad for tags, since you can just type them in, but for categories you really need to be able to scroll down the list. Inexplicably, the scroll bar appeared maybe twice? I don’t know what made that happen, but regardless, I can’t seem to repeat that scenario. Yes, FYWP.

But by far the worst “improvement” is the universal autocorrect, which I have yet to figure out how to disable. In the new Macs universal autocorrect will correct your typos as you type, regardless of what application you are in. Whether I’m on WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, Pages, Scrivener, mail, or commenting on someone’s blog, my Mac will autocorrect me as I type along.

While this may sound like a good thing on paper, in reality it is the most evil fucking thing ever invented. I type really fast and I do make mistakes but I also 99.99% of the time correct them, because under the old system a typo was very obvious. Now my Mac corrects me as I go along, based on what it thinks I meant to say, and the misspelled word is no longer underlined so I haven’t even realized I’ve made a typo. Sadly, more often than not it picks the wrong fucking word. So, for example, last night I sent an email to someone and used the word “reply” but universal autocorrect changed it to “replay,” something I only noticed when my correspondent replied back to me. I look like an idiot.

Even worse, I use a lot of different language in my writing, neologisms and expressions like “whaaaaa!” or maybe even a French or Spanish word or two. When I’m writing fiction I write dialogue, and that means things like “Whi-” (stage direction: interruption). And no, MacBook, that was not meant to be “whig.” Thanks for caring, though.

People, I would much rather have an obvious typo in my copy than the wrong fucking word. Dear God but this is awful. I now look like an illiterate asshole, not an asshole who can’t type.

The absolute last thing anyone wants is their computer telling them what it thinks they meant to say. Make it stop. Please.

19 Comments

Filed under rants, technology