Saturday, August 28, 2010

Crisis in Pakistan

If you want to donate money for the current crisis occurring in Pakistan and would like to ensure your money goes to a secular organization, you can do so here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Laura Carder Won't Go Away

I noticed Laura Carder on the ballot once again, running for Precinct Committee Officer and she won. A quick recap of Ms. Carder, she ran and lost for State Rep in 2006, State Rep again in 2008 and for District 81 school board last year. She's been kind enough to leave up her website promoting her run for the school board, hilarious read, highly recommended.

Meaningless Statements

This is aimed at anyone who has ever uttered “Support the troops”, “Every option is on the table”, “The founding fathers...” or any of the other ridiculous, nonsensical, idiotic statements to which we are relentlessly subjected.

We're all guilty of using meaningless nothings, we may even do it a few times a day. However, the problem with the above statements and countless others is that they are not just meaningless, they are wildly popular. Worse yet, to disagree with them is political blasphemy. Which shows you how far afield intelligence has fled some people, you will be shouted down for disagreeing with something that says nothing and means less.

Politicians are undoubtedly the most guilty of using this type of verbiage, but we have to share responsibility. Every time a suit stands in front of a large crowd and whispers sweet inanities into our ears we go wild with cheers. Furthermore, when is the last time you were able to drive more than a mile from your house without seeing a bumper sticker that said something like “Support the troops”, “God bless America”, or “Freedom isn't free”?

“Support the troops”

The best part about this statement is that it means nothing, accomplishes nothing, yet when uttered the utterer will feel good about himself and be looked upon with respect by the idiots within hearing distance. Just saying “Support the troops” does not in fact support the troops, only an individual completely devoid of their faculties can believe such a thing. If you would really like to “Support the troops” how about voting for someone who won't send them overseas, better yet, vote for someone who will keep us out of international conflicts thereby decreasing our need for troops and the amount of support we are expected to give. Best yet, the next time one of the countless thousands of homeless vets blocks your car at an intersection to clean your windshield with grime-streaked newspaper give him a warning honk before you run him down. Here's what a friend in the army had to say when asked about the “Support our troops” bumper stickers: As for bumper stickers and all that cheesy meta bullshit. I don't care. It's super tacky like highlights or guys in girl pants. I guarantee that the best soldiers would rather you buy them a drink or leave them alone than have you show your support with a bumper sticker made and sold by Wal-Mart.

“The founding fathers...”

I have so many problems with this. The founding fathers were not demigods, stop treating them as if they were. They were not perfect. Many of them were far more intelligent and brave than your average person, but not a single one of them was angelic. Most, if not all, were racist, quite a few were misogynists. For instance, it was Washington's lack of respect for women that allowed Benedict Arnold's wife to escape. The point is that they were not infallible. Anyone who thinks that the founding fathers all agreed on anything is so ignorant of history that they and the person responsible for teaching them American History should be condemned to an eternity of working at McDonald's or Wal-Mart. They vigorously and vociferously debated everything, and at times the vitriol reached levels that would make anyone (excluding Rush Limbaugh and Michael Moore) blush. The tradition of stating that the founding fathers position on a political issue that they most likely never even dreamed would one day be relevant is going strong. “Hamilton would have supported going to the moon 100%”, “the founding fathers would oppose universal health care”. Unless you can point to them having written that they would oppose or support a certain position you are only guessing, it's a waste of time and any non-simpleton should be embarrassed to use this dim, pseudo-argument.

“Every option is on the table”

The favorite phrase of the gutless politician. I wish someone would press the unilateral button and end the Iranians experiment in Zionist-ending weaponry just so that I won't have to read this malady of words a few dozen times per newspaper article. Why not be honest and use the words you really mean “Straighten up or we will kill a lot of you.” It's far more truthful, a lot less ambiguous and significantly more menacing.

That anyone would have anything to do with people who say such foolish things and vote for them on top of it, shatters any hope I had for 90% of Americans. I use to laugh when this excrement exited a person's mouth, now I just find it saddening, and notice a little more of my hope for this country die.

Allow me to end with a little wisdom from George Orwell:

Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change one's own habits, and from time to time one can even, if one jeers loudly enough, send some worn-out and useless phrase -- some jackboot, Achilles' heel, hotbed, melting pot, acid test, veritable inferno, or other lump of verbal refuse -- into the dustbin, where it belongs.”

Monday, August 16, 2010

Why Must Hollywood Ruin Everything?

I hope everyone has had a chance to read the Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson. They made a movie (Swedish) based on the first book "The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo". It was fantastic, it is one of the very few instances of reading a book and then seeing the movie where I have not walked away seething in rage.
I was nervous when I heard that Hollywood was going to film American versions of the books. I expected the usual tripe you get from Hollywood, incredibly pretty actors and actresses who either can't act or in no way fit the role. Well, Hollywood disappoints (or is that fails to disappoint) once again. They tagged Daniel Craig to play Mikael. I admit not the worst choice, but not the best. The choice of Lisbeth is where they dropped the proverbial ball. They chose Rooney Mara (picture here). Don't mistake me, I'm sure she's a wonderful actress and a lovely person, but WTF? She looks like the girl next door, who happens to model in her spare time. So I ask again, why must Hollywood ruin everything?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cancer, Life, Death

Dan Treecraft, a local man, has decided to end his life on his terms before cancer can. I thought the article was moving.

"Sometimes he struggles with conversation. Droplets of spit, even blood, escape his mouth like wrong answers. He grimaces when swallowing.

He hates these moments, bringing a fist to his lips and looking away. He apologizes and then quickly leans close, eyes afire with a new thought, a new criticism of a medical system he sees as a greed-driven industry that is flipping off fate and getting rich doing it.

He frets over the idea of dying in a hospital, fed through a tube, dimmed by painkillers and hooked to machines. And the tests. Tests upon tests costing thousands of dollars that will confirm what he and everybody else already knows: Dan Treecraft, 61, is going to die."

You can read the rest here.

I'm tempted to write about my opinion on suicide, but don't wish to sully this story.

Here is an article of someone counseling Mr. Treecraft to rethink his position. It's the usual bullshit you see from the religiously inclined. Wait until someone is going through a rough spot in their life, or better yet, when their life is coming to an end and they possibly might be just weak enough to prey upon.

Mr. Treecraft responds in the Spokesman here. Impressive, a far more polite tone than I'm capable of achieving now, even in my healthy youth.

The one comment is well worth a read. I thought this was put forward expertly, it's an idea I've never had the ability to put into words.

"Do I suffer pain as a consequence of the loss of my brother? Of course I do. Do I have the right to elevate my suffering over his? Of course I do not. That is what my brother's chosen path to peace taught me."