Monday, June 30, 2008

An Open Letter to Sen. John McCain, re: A Specific Corrupt Campaign Finance Practice

When asked by Sean Hannity, during a March, 2008, Fox News broadcast, why he supported campaign finance reform, Sen. John McCain said:

“Because I saw in Washington million-dollar checks and hundreds-of-thousands-dollar checks in the form of, quote, "soft money," that were contributed at the time legislation was being framed or passed. And I saw the influence of special interests.”,2933,337834,00.html

My rhetorical question to Sen. McCain is, does a check actually have to change hands for the corrupting influence of special interest money to come into play? Or, does independent expenditures and support by from wealthy special interests rise to the same level?

Specifically, I am thinking about the blatantly pro Republican and pro McCain (and conversely, anti Democrat, anti Obama) Fox News broadcasts. How is having a self-styled cable news network providing that much free campaign support to one candidate in a national election not as corrupt a practice as when checks pass from lobbyists to legislators? Need there be a clearer appearance of quid pro quo, before the phrase ‘corrupt practice’ is warranted?

There is no mystery here to solve; no onion to peel, no facts that need to be found. The bias of Fox News is legion. It’s efforts to directly support Republican candidates amounts to millions upon millions of dollars of financial assistance, to any national candidate so favored. That is as corrupt a practice as deliberately exceeding campaign contribution limits. Many would argue it is far more corrupt, as Fox News, and it management and ownership, is in a unique position to maximize it’s desired message regarding it’s favored candidate. Moreover, Fox News not only escapes the financial expense for purchasing expensive advertising air time, since they insert the message of support within their broadcasts, but Fox News makes money at it, while engaging in it’s corrupt campaign practices. Fox News, by inserting pro McCain (or anti Obama) messages into and throughout its broadcasted ‘product,’ and then selling advertising air time to other entities, is essentially making those other entities pay for the otherwise expensive publication of Fox News’ own political agenda.

Some people might call that “Having one’s own cake, and eating it too.’ I call it a corrupt campaign practice, that technically, only, passes within a loophole of the very campaign reform law that Sen. McCain helped author and have passed into law because of one reason. Fox News, as blatantly biased as it is, remains essentially unchallenged as meeting the standards and definition of being a news organization.

So here is my challenge to Sen. McCain. If you actually believe in the need for campaign finance reform; if you really believe that the corrupting influence of ‘soft money’ must be removed from American politics, you really need to condemn Fox News and at least reject any and all support (directly or indirectly), from Fox News, its management, and ownership. That is the minimum you need do, to escape being just another hypocritical, self-dealing, garden-variety gutter politician. And if you really want to be a leader, an inspiration, a true maverick, you should call out the management and ownership of Fox News to either clean up their partisan act, or face the results of your own then-declared commitment to see Fox News brought under the jurisdiction FEC for violations of Federal election law and regulations.

I would be greatly impressed, to see Sen. McCain take the principled stand on this matter. However, we will have to see if anything comes of it. And, as a anticipatory matter, I say the following; I would personally rather see all the cable news channels put under FEC jurisdiction, than see any candidate or party enjoy one minute more of free support.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Been Away, and Missed Saying This Sooner.

"Tits don't even belong on the list!"

Ok. I have been trying to cut down on the worst of the cuss words here, but I had to allude to the seminal routine, '7 Words ya can't say on television.' Perhaps not George Carlin's all time best routine, but definitely one of his most famous.

Hmm. Come to think of it, 'Hippy Dippy Weatherman,' is a classic too.

Yup. George did not have to cuss to be funny. But he made cussing more funny than any comedian before, or since. Oh, and just to make sure I am not unfairly labeling him, I agree with those who say he was more than that; that he was a philosopher.

George Carlin, Stand Up Philosopher.

That is a fitting epitaph.

And I ain't shittin' you.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Remember What I Said About How Racists (These Days, Many of Them) Hate Being Called Racist?

Ok. Now I just watched a vid of this chick being interviewed on Fox (not) News. She is head of a ExHillary Supporters for McCain Group.

Insane, that, but not my point (she actually said "we will not tow the party line . . ." Whatever, crazy.)

Here is my point.

She was whining about being called a racist on blogs all over the internet. She was all upset about being called a racist. Did I mention she was particularly miffed at having the label of racist hurled in her specific direction?

Here is where irony meets comedy.

This chick, who did not like being labeled a racist?

High-Level McCain Volunteer Worked To Keep Blacks Out Of Jefferson Group

By Eric Kleefeld - June 16, 2008, 11:29AM

It looks like John McCain could have another controversial campaign associate on his hands. This time it comes in the form of Paula Abeles, a former Clinton-backer who has now taken a lead in organizing support for McCain among women voters.

One problem, as Ben Smith
has discovered: Abeles previously attained notoriety in 2003 as part of her husband's association of Thomas Jefferson descendants, working hard to keep out any of Sally Hemmings' African-American descendants. When it was discovered that she'd used a fake Internet identity to undermine the efforts of Jefferson's alleged black descendants, she said it was necessary to make sure the family reunion was "a calm and civilized gathering."

Delusional Racist Supports McCain

Yea. Keeping the black relatives away from the family picnic is about as racist as you can get, without committing a felony.

But ya know? This chick should have known better, and stayed out of the limelight. More ironic comedy; in that video I saw, she actually was (with a straight, even if narcissistic, sociopathic face) talking about how one must speak out at such times.

Ya, lady. You got your mug on TV to vent about being cruelly called a racist, and as a result of that, your own history of racism is now known, all over the internet and all over the world.

Excellent choice, that speaking out stuff!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Is an Impeachment of a Sitting Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in Our Near Future?

If Sen. Obama wins, maybe.

I say that because it seems to my mind that Justice Scalia is getting increasingly looney.

And I am hinging the chance of his getting impeached (or to say it generally, for that sort of thing to become a publicly discussed matter, and see serious attention paid toward making it so) on the matter of Sen. Obama getting elected, as Scalia is getting increasingly partisan, and reckless, and I think that that is gonna send the old fart over the deep end, maybe.

Let us do a quick recap:

There was his refusal to recuse himself in the Cheney case, despite being a play-date buddy of Dick Cheney (making a very lame defense that was all the more professionally embarrassing to him and The Court.)

Then he goes off and says in public that Gitmo detainees do not have a right to more process than the Bush Tribunals (hey, at least I avoided calling them rigged hearings), and refused to recuse himself when a case with that very issue came before the High Court. (Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, 548 U.S. 557 .)

It was as clear a case of being biased, in advance. Here is a quote from his pre Hamdan remarks:

"I had a son (Matthew Scalia) on that battlefield and they were shooting at my son and I'm not about to give this man who was captured in a war a full jury trial. I mean it's crazy."

That is clear evidence of being as prejudiced on an issue one can be, before hearing the case.

And here is the latest; his dissent in the latest Gitmo related case where the majority decided that ya, people under the custody of the US deserve access to US Courts (not merely Bush Hearings but the real US Courts.)

Here is Justice Scalia's (prejudiced and yet still on the case) outrageous remark from his dissent of this ruling:

Justice Scalia added that the U.S. is "at war with radical Islamists," and that the Boumediene ruling "will almost certainly cause more Americans to get killed." Scalia warned, "The nation will live to regret what the court has done today.",8599,1814253,00.html

Now I understand that some people will agree with Justice Scalia's opinion. Agreeing or not is definitely not the point. It is the rhetorical demagogic excess that tells me Justice Scalia is on the verge of being a total loon, if not over the edge already.

I mean really. What does he sound like there? The 'Most respected conservative legal voice of the age,'
some Rush Limbaugh dittohead (moron)?

I swear. It is time to pull his ass off the bench, now.

We do not want Supreme Court Justices who seem as crazy as your garden variety political message board, tin-foil hat wearing wing nuts.

Well I do not want that. And I think the case can be made that if someone acts that way and that someone is a sitting Federal Judge, they are at least subject to the incapacity inquiry, if not formal impeachment.

Batshit crazy old fart. It is time for you to go. Your services are no longer required. Now git!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Um. I Remember that Book, and the Movie with Young Linda Blair . . .

And there is the reason I am hoping McCain picks Jindal for his running mate:

Is Bobby Jindal -- Who May Be On McCain's Veep Shortlist -- An Exorcist?
By Eric Kleefeld and Kate Klonick - June 11, 2008, 4:42PM

Bobby Jindal, the 36-year old governor of Louisiana, is being taken seriously by the national press as a candidate on the shortlist to be John McCain's Vice President. No one doubts that he's a political prodigy -- his impressive resume includes stints as president of the state university system, a Congressman and now governor.
But one of Jindal's job titles hasn't gotten much attention -- and it just might prompt a few questions if his Veep candidacy gains steam: Exorcist.
As others noted during his 2003 and 2007 gubernatorial campaigns (see update), in an essay Jindal wrote in 1994 for the New Oxford Review, a serious right-wing Catholic journal, Jindal narrated a bizarre story of a personal encounter with a demon, in which he participated in an exorcism with a group of college friends. And not only did they cast out the supernatural spirit that had possessed his friend, Jindal wrote that he believes that their ritual may well have cured her cancer.

Jindal Is Delusional; Thinks he is an Exorcist

Now even if I am not really big on Religion as an institution (I suspect all religions have way less to do with God than they do with human greed and manipulative ambitions.) However, I am not necessarily against religion the way some people are. I say, let people believe what ever stupid stuff they wanna, be it Magic Sky Men, or Magic Pasta Monsters.

But there is a point where people of compassion, and intellect, and reasoning skills MUST put the compassion aside and declare, when faced with someone clearly self-delusional, that:

"That is some crazy shit you believe there. I mean you must be crazy as a loon on crack to believe that shit."

So ladies and gents, I publicly and with out the slightest reservation declare that

Bobby Jindal is a crazy as a loon on crack.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sorry Dennis. You are Years Late, With Articles of Impeachment Against Plastic Turkey Man. Instead, Let's Put His Lying Ass in the Dock for Murder.

Prosecute Bush for Murder

Ya. now that would be justice. Imagine Bush (and his crew) having to answer
more than 4000 indictments for murder, for just the American fatalities?

As I learned in Law School, justice is a PROCESS not a RESULT. So, for Plastic Turkey Man to be brought into and be bound under the system of justice, for the system of justice that is at heart of our ordered system of liberty and morality to be respected, he should be indicted for murder.

Again, I can get on that bandwagon.

I think that no matter the outcome, we will live in a far better, more ethical and moral nation, with more moral governance, if whoever sits in the Oval Office, hereafter, has to think:

"If I lie about the reasons for sending Americans to a greater risk of death, it is my ass on the line too," and I mean not just their reputation, but actual asses.

Ya. I want to live in that country, instead of the one I live in now.

I swear to that.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

An Answer to the Question, Why Are the Unfunny Morons on the Internet Not Funny?

Well to start, yes, there are funny morons; there are morons who are so clueless that they are funny in that schadenfreude-ish, we are laughing at you, not with you, sort of pathetic funny.

However, I am not talking about those folk. I am talking about the immature morons, who likely can hold down a job, get married, raise kids, all that, but suffer from a severe case of infantilism, and the delusion that they are funny when they act like children. YES. There are some folk who actually do find these morons as funny. And there were people who paid cash money to see Pauley Shore movies too. Thing is, the majority of sane normal people do not find adults acting like children to be terribly funny. That is my rant. Now to the other testimony.

This writer advanced the notion that the idiotic immature morons you find on the internet are unfunny because they are telling the same lame stupid tired jokes.

I'll buy that, as a corollary to my rant.

In real life you might take some trend from one group of people, introduce it to a new group of people, and be seen as clever. However you are not unique in having access to the internet, so unless you invented something or aren't that many degrees of separation from the place where it was invented, you should assume that tens of thousands of people have already beaten you to it. You don't want to be the 150,000th person to jump on some lame trend.

In practical terms, if anything you're contemplating saying appears on Encyclopedia Dramatica, in the Urban Dictionary, on Fark, on random blogs, or in the vocabulary of your nerd friends, the joke is probably at least two years old and you should avoid it. Often they're 5+ years old, being basically watered-down versions of SomethingAwful jokes that may once have been mildly funny but are now so stupid as to be ridiculous. Even if you happen to hit on a relatively fresh trend, these are sort of the dregs of internet humor, purveying the most insipidly insipidly boring versions of "edgy", "random" humor, analogous to getting your rebellious, noncomformist fashion from Hot Topic. And of course, the only thing worse than humor that gets repeated so much that it's no longer funny is humor that's repeated a lot despite never having been funny at all. This is worse than saying "pwn" out loud, so don't do it.

Lame, Unfunny Net Morons

Seems to be a spot on observation, I say.

Friday, June 06, 2008

I Haven't Done Quotes in a While . . .

“The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” -- Wilhelm Stekel

"I am neither bitter nor cynical but I do wish there was less immaturity in political thinking." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

"The real menace in dealing with a five-year-old is that in no time at all you begin to sound like a five-year-old." -- Jean Kerr

“Accuracy is the twin brother of honesty; inaccuracy, of dishonesty.” -- Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Very few people chose war, They chose selfishness and the result was war. Each of us, individually and nationally, must choose: total love or total war.” -- Unknown

(I wasn't thinking about specific immature, dishonest, selfish politicians. Well, I was not only thinking about them, to be accurate.)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

In Defense of Calling People RACISTS (even if they are only a little bit racist.)

Obviously I am in favour of using that word, wherever actually appropriate, with caveat;

racism is not the same as pregnancy. You can't be a little bit pregnant. Either you are or you are not. However, one can be a little bit racist, and any number of degrees from a little bit, to half, to clueless and in denial yet flaming, all the way to totally completely unashamedly racist.

I do not know for sure how the idea took hold in our society that either you are blatantly viciously violently a racist, or you are not.


I am personally cranked up and pissed off not only about this 'redefinition' and stringently limiting application of a word that should be broadly applied to a wide range of wrong doing and wrong doers. But what makes matters the worse? This new trend where now, according to some (basically) racist peeps, that we are supposed to be as concerned with the sensibilities of the wrongdoing racist's feelings (mostly their false sense of not being basically racists)?

Good God! Talk about the lunatics taking over the asylum. Or, to make a more particularized comparison, it is like the racists have taken over and are conducting the diversity issues seminar.

"Calling someone a racist is hurtful and mean, particularly when the person in question actually is a racist. So don't call them a racist."

Yea. It seems to be that loony, in some circles, at least.

Anyway, before go off even more, let me quote something from an actual working Sociologist, on the subject:

Why do we have to say someone is racist?” “Can’t we call it something else? or “I get what you’re saying, but calling someone a racist is ugly.” Racism is ugly!!! I could go into my definition of racism but here is a link to a basic definition of racism that should get you started. If you’re already with me, read on.

For me, dropping the term racist from our lexicon weakens our ability to call everyone to the task of being accountable for inequality. Admittedly not all inequality is racial, but many of the social ills that we see have a strong racial component. To borrow from Beverly Tatum racism is like pollution, you may not have started it, but you must live with it and everyday your actions contribute to it. The true question is what are you going to do to reduce it? By ignoring racism and the people and institutions that perpetuate it, we retard social progress. Because we have dropped racist from our lexicon, racial discrimination (disproportionate impact) does not legally exist until animus is demonstrated. Because we stopped calling out people as being racist, the very people who support systems of oppression now label us racists. Because racist became perverted, some are now distorted enough to think the oppressed are the oppressors.

reclaiming racist


I want to live in a world where racists and racism are at worst, only part of our collective shameful history, and no longer part of the present. However, I do not want to live in a world where people mistake the elimination of the word racist from the lexicon as any thing close to actually getting rid of the racists and racism, which are still too prevalent.

Thinking that such a vapid trick could work, is of course, the height of idiocy.

So please consider saying the following, the next time one of your buddies says something 'cringe worthy' that is tied to either race, ancestry or national origin.

Tell them,"Stop acting like such a friggin racist," or "Stop saying racist shit."

If they get all defensive about it, push them harder. Follow up your first push back with something like the following:

"Then get the fawk away from me, and stay the hell away, until you drop that shit, for real."

I am not saying that will 'cure' them. But it will be a single incident of you being part of the solution. The more people we get working on solutions, the more likely it is we will get rid of the problem.

What is the old wives' tale? Feed a cold, starve a fever? Well by analogy, racism is a fever, and I would love to see that fever starved to death.

I have slipped into an accidental epidemiological analogy, but hey. It seems to fit.

So let us properly diagnose the condition where ever and whenever we observe it's symptoms (meaning, call out racism and call those acting in a racist manner, racist.) And after that, starve the fever (in other words, do not condone racist conduct. That means, do not condone people who act in a racist manner.)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

"We Didn't Start The Fire." A Break From Politics. I Know I Could Use One.

I heard this song on the radio yesterday, and thought it would make for an interesting break from politics.

Yes, it seems like there has always been goofy stuff going on.

And before we get to the song, this is a rarity, as I am posting some guy's slideshow, set to the song.

Now if there was EVER a song that was begging for a slideshow, Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire," is it.

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