Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Right-Wing Illeism

Has anyone else noticed the Republican presidential nominee frontrunners referring to themselves in the third person?

I always thought that was a sign of mental illness.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Faceless Masses

By now you've likely heard about the dead-of-night raid on the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park in New York and the judge who sided with the city in not allowing them to camp there anymore. Remember how the flimsy excuse given by the millionaire mayor was because of "sanitation" and "crime"? Well, maybe there wouldn't be a crime problem there if the NYPD would stop sending violent drunk and drug addicted homeless people to the OWS camp.

But, that is not what I want to talk about right now.

So far we have seen these violent police actions in New York, Oakland, Portland, and Denver. Have you seen any evidence that these actions are achieving their intended goals? I haven't, all it seems to have done is galvanized the protestors. And even in that bastion of liberal thought and Starbucks known as Seattle, the police have been caught pepper-spraying an 84-year old woman and a pregnant lady.

It seems I wasn't far off the mark when I noted we're on the threshold of revolution, either. From an article on Truth-out.org:

The historian Crane Brinton in his book “Anatomy of a Revolution” laid out the common route to revolution. The preconditions for successful revolution, Brinton argued, are discontent that affects nearly all social classes, widespread feelings of entrapment and despair, unfulfilled expectations, a unified solidarity in opposition to a tiny power elite, a refusal by scholars and thinkers to continue to defend the actions of the ruling class, an inability of government to respond to the basic needs of citizens, a steady loss of will within the power elite itself and defections from the inner circle, a crippling isolation that leaves the power elite without any allies or outside support and, finally, a financial crisis. Our corporate elite, as far as Brinton was concerned, has amply fulfilled these preconditions. But it is Brinton’s next observation that is most worth remembering. Revolutions always begin, he wrote, by making impossible demands that if the government met would mean the end of the old configurations of power. The second stage, the one we have entered now, is the unsuccessful attempt by the power elite to quell the unrest and discontent through physical acts of repression.

Let's make no mistake about this; the actions of the cities and police have nothing to do with sanitation or crime, that's just a bunch of pretty little lies they're saying as a matter of course. I don't think they even pay attention to what they're saying anymore because they've just been preaching to the choir for too long. At the heart of it, I think they give these bullshit reasons for their actions because they know that if they were to tell the truth the protests would go from "peaceful" to "armed."

The MSM is making a big deal about the camp in New York being routed as though it were a blow to the heart of OWS. But OWS is so much more than Zuccotti. OWS has no structure, no figurehead, no home besides Earth. Occupy Wall Street is global, it has no uniforms, no weapons, and it's identity is anonymity. The face of OWS is the face of the poor, the middle class, the people who are working themselves to death and finding they have nothing to show for it.

The status quo can clear out four huge camps and a whole lot of smaller ones and it won't matter. The 99% have nothing to lose anymore. Clear them out? They'll move and come back. Arrest them? They don't care. Try to silence them? They'll scream louder. Try to use unethical tactics? They have cameras and you'll be caught in the act.

I once heard a quote from The Merchant of Venice. I'll paraphrase it:

If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh?...And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?

By working to make sure nothing changes, by working in support of the richest among us, we are being wronged.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Reading, Writing & XXX-Rated

I'm going to leave coverage of Occupy Wall Street for a few minutes to talk about something else: literacy.

According to the Central Intelligence Agency's World Fact Book, the United States has a 99% literacy rate. Sounds pretty damn good, doesn't it? Well, it is. But stop and consider for a moment, Poland has a literacy rate of 99.3%, Cuba has a literacy rate of 99.8%, and Georgia (the nation) has a literacy rate of 100%. This is the United States, we can do better than 99%.

So, to that end, we've got a program called Read Across America, which has the goal of trying to get kids interested in reading. See, a simple truth is that you can teach a kid how to read, but unless they want to read they won't remember how to do it. A part of how they can do that is get celebrities and other famous people to come in, read to the kids and make a day of it and hopefully get them excited enough that they'll want to keep reading.

This would be wonderful, right? Well, it seems a few parental units out there are pissed off. Not about the program, it seems, but because Sasha Grey was a guest reader at one of the schools.

Known for years as one of the greatest porn-stars of all time, these days she's retired from porn (stop crying) and is now getting largely mainstream roles in TV shows and films. In that vein I'm glad to see she's not letting herself be defined by a career in porn. She's also something of an activist, she's a supporter of PETA (but I won't hold that against her) and is also a fan of Occupy Wall Street. And she's also a supporter of education and literacy.

An article from Huffington Post:

How would you feel if an adult film star read to your seven year old child? Believe it or not, some parents in California are pretty angry that it happened in their kids' classroom.

Porn legend Sasha Grey was a guest reader at Emerson Elementary School in Compton, California earlier this month, joining first and third grade students in their Read Across America day. Grey certainly enjoyed the experience, tweeting, "Spent the am with Read Across America Compton, reading to the sweetest 1st & 3rd grade students @ Emerson Elementary!"

The problem, TMZ reports, is that parents aren't happy -- and that school officials, instead of addressing the issue, are claiming it never happened. Of course, it'd be silly for Grey to tweet about it if it hadn't happened, and more importantly, TMZ has a photo of the event (as they always seem to do).

After this ruckus went up, Grey has been getting pressure to drop out of the program, all because of things she's done in the past. Now, from the reaction this is getting, as well as the school's weak-ass attempt at a cover-up, you'd think she's have probably showed up to the classroom in a corset and fishnets and was preforming a fan dance with Green Eggs and Ham and Clifford the Big Red Dog. Well, that'd get my ass interested in reading, to be sure. That sort of thing would make the outcry from these people understandable. Except, this is what she wore (as provided by TMZ):

By all accounts the kids enjoyed her time at the school, and she did too. So, what was the problem? She did porn. The only problem here is with the parents because, remember, these kids are 1st and 3rd graders. I doubt that it would make much difference to them if they did know she'd done porn but in all likelihood, they don't. I know its hard to believe, but porn stars can, in fact, be active members of the community and want to help others if they can. See, they're human, subject to all the virtues and faults of humanity.

So, I have to quote my friend Cait because she summed it up better than I could have:

I just have to point out that without already knowing beforehand that she's a pornstar, it wouldn't even occur to you. So obviously the people making a big messy stink over the whole business have to be aware she was a pornstar. And how did they know that, hm? Just an innocent bit of research or did someone use the last of the hand lotion again?

Beyond the parentals reactions, I'm especially pleased with a statement Grey released not too long ago:

"I am proud to have participated in the "Read Across America" program at Emerson Elementary School in Compton, CA. I read “Dog Breath” by Dav Pilkey to the sweetest 1st and 3rd grade children.

"Read Across America" is a program that was designed to promote literacy and instill a lifelong love of reading in elementary school students. Promoting education is an effort that is close to my heart. Illiteracy contributes to poverty; encouraging children to pick up a book is fundamental.

I believe education is a universal right. I committed to this program with the understanding that people would have their own opinions about what I have done, who I am and what I represent.

I am an actor. I am an artist. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a partner. I have a past that some people may not agree with, but it does not define who I am.

I will not live in fear of it. To challenge non-profit education programs is an exercise in futility, counter-productive and anti-educational.

I cannot thank my fans and 'Read Across America' enough for supporting my decision. Your support and kind words continue to inspire me. I believe in the future of our children, and I will remain an active supporter and participant in education-focused initiatives."

Yes, I'll applaud Sasha Grey for this. Education is an important aspect to a person's life and I'll give a pat on the back to anyone who'd want to further a kid's education and literacy. Too few people out there these days place an importance on a quality education and some even seem to hold ignorance as a virtue and I feel that we should encourage and treasure anyone who wants to help the next generation better themselves; even if that person has a past we may not agree with.

...of course, if you're a kiddy diddler then you can fuck right the hell on off.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Cusp of Revolution

As I sit here, I am reading an article about city officials jumping to use the deaths at or near Occupy Wall Street encampments as scapegoats to dismantle the camps even though, in the case of the shooting as opposed to the suicide, the people involved in the violence weren't linked to OWS at all. And while the suicide was tragic, explain to me why one man's suicide should mean dozens (if not hundreds) of other people should suddenly lose their right to protest?

As I read more, I also find that the common theme behind these evictions is the police have constantly been threatening arrests. And you know what I've noticed? Those threats mean dick to the protestors. Yes, they'll be arrested, but all the police will be doing is demonizing themselves in the public eye while they give the protestors a bed and a hot meal before releasing them to return to the damn protest.

In Portland, Oregon, just over 300 law enforcement officers from 10 different agencies were being faced down by better than 1,000 protestors. You know what this tells me? The cops should feel god damn lucky that the protestors are determined to remain peaceful because they outnumber the cops 3 to 1.

And the city governments keep paying lip service to the protestors. Here, let's see what they say, and then translate it into English:

While Adams expressed sympathy for protester goals, he said the Occupy movement needed to evolve beyond encampments "in order to get the kind of reforms we need."

Translation: You're embarrassing us and threatening our campaign donations.

In Oakland, California, the scene of previous clashes between police and demonstrators, city hall issued a third eviction notice on Sunday. It warned protesters they faced "immediate arrest" if they continued to camp out in the city's plaza and parks.

Translation: We don't like you, so we're gonna keep issuing impotent threats and preforming impotent actions because we were never told that it's a sign of insanity to keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

The city offered alternative emergency accommodation at two local area homeless shelters, and laid on a shuttle service to one that was not within walking distance of the encampments.

Translation: We're so out of touch with what you're saying that we think you're all homeless, even though more OWS protestors are employed than Teabaggers.

In St. Louis, Mayor Francis Slay has warned protesters they have to decamp but has offered to continue talks to find a permanent place for the protest.

Translation: We'll find you a place to set up, so long as it is far, far away from the public eye because, after all: out of sight, out of mind.

When the city governments, owned and operated by the status quo, are fed up and trying to force the protestors away, then the protestors are doing something right. And when you have undercover OPD shills saying the Oakland Police Department has gone too far, and comparing the government's actions to what happened in Birmingham, Alabama, then you'll come to realize, as I have, that the United States is on the cusp of Revolution. Maybe not armed, maybe peaceful, maybe the kind of Revolution that comes with a whisper and not a bang, but we are on the cusp of Revolution right now, whether those in power want to admit it or not.

Whether we push forward into a full-blown Revolution, however, is up to us. We'll have to let history be the judge of this era.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

7 billion and Counting

Last Halloween we found the world's population had finally hit 7 billion people. This week, we found out Michelle Duggar is pregnant yet again. This makes #20. No, I'm not providing links to articles about it this time, it disgusts me.

Now, allow me to venture on for a little bit. See, over on the FSTDT.com forums, a thread about this got started up and people are ranting. One user, Rime, even pointed out this little sarcastic quote:

This will be a sad testament to "GOD IS THE ULTIMATE OPENER AND CLOSER OF THE WOMB!"
Now, according to all the research I didn't do, their last brat had to be delivered premature because her god fearing mother came down with a case of pre-eclampsia. What exactly is pre-eclampsia? It's basically where your body freaks the fuck out and says "Get this brat out of me or I'm killing fucking all of us!" Yes, this is one of the dangerous medical complications and also the most common. So, to Rime, I had to pop off with a reply:

Except, from what I understand, God has tried to close that fucking portal to the Realm of the Eldritch Creatures more than once now but it's our fucking human science that's keeping that Cave of the Dark Side open and pumping out the squealing spawn of the Black Horseman of the Apocalypse.

Fucking Duggars are hypocrites. If they actually believed what they preached, that dumbass woman would have told the doctors after the first complication: "Your having to give me surgery to keep me fertile and/or from dying is a sign that God wants me to stop pumping out more oxygen wasting crap factories. Tie my tubes."

Okay, I confess, I've done a little more research since then, but the basic gist stands. Now, I want to take it a little farther. Remember a while back I had some fun with math? Let's do this again because this is a wonderful argument in favor of limiting the number of children a family can have.

We'll look at the extreme example and ask: "What would happen if every one of these brats had 20 kids and kept that tradition going?" Let's keep it a short example and just say five generations. This is also an amazing example of what happens when you keep doubling numbers.

20 kids have 20 kids and they go on to have 20 kids on down the line to generation five. Want to know how many Duggars that'll make?

3,200,000. Yes. 3 million 200 thousand Duggars running around in 5 generations. Let's tack on two more generations. Ya know, for shits and giggles.

After 7 generations (lucky number, huh?) we'll have 1,280,000,000 Duggars running around.

1 BILLION 280 MILLION people from 1 fucking family. And we're already bumping up on the edge of the limits to the planet's resources.

Congratulations you selfish hypocrites. You can't survive without the charity of your church and the fame from your TV show; you've robbed your children of their childhoods because they're too busy raising the last crotch spawn you've shot across the room (and I have no illusions that by now it's less "giving birth" and more "baby's first slip-n-slide") and now you're contributing and promoting an ideal that will fuck up the planet very quickly all because you read in a book that you should "be fruitful and multiply" that was penned in a time when people were told to have 20 kids because 18 of them would die before they could walk and you're doing this because "God will decide."

You know what that passage would look like if it was written today?

"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Closeth thou fucking legs, and let the earth have a medamned breather, and remember you won't get another if you fuck this one up:"

Friday, November 4, 2011

No Money to Pay the Bills

So, I took a little break from my blog because...well...I'm lazy. But, at any rate, I came back on today.

Anyway, I won't have a great deal to say today, except to point out that we're so far in the shithole as far as money goes that at least one city in Michigan can't even pay its electric bill so they've resorted to ripping out street lights.

And the Republicans still won't allow a tax increase to get through.