I want to thank all you who take the time to read my rantings. I’m coming up on my 1 year anniversary for this blog. It’s been a fun venture which I intend to keep up with as much as possible in the new year. I feel blessed for many reasons this holiday season, the photo below is just one of them.
Thank you President Obama and all the hard working people in the Whitehouse and throughout the Democratic party. You have given the entire country many things to be thankful for and will make millions of American’s holidays much brighter than they were just a few years ago.
Jim (Extreme Liberal)
We live in a strange world folks. A world where cable news in particular can pick a topic and beat the hell out of it, slant it, create a narrative for it in the face of evidence to the contrary and then ride that narrative until they see a shift in public opinion that then justifies their narrative. It’s pretty fucked up to be honest. In fairness, the cable news stations have 24 fucking hours a day to fill and you can only obsess about Lindsey Lohan and Snookie so much before you have to come up with some other shit to sensationalize.
The TSA has become the boogeyman of late. There aren’t any Democrats running for any imminent elections to beat up on, so they have to pick something. Here is a good example of the blogosphere perpetuating this phenomenon. From the usually great Karoli at Crooks and Liars…
Yes, TSA procedures suck, and yes, they’re heading toward a tipping point where there will be nearly unilateral support for getting rid of them.
So am I wrong, but aren’t there a ton of polls out showing that the vast majority of the general public support using the scanners? I’m sure the media’s narrative is starting to have it’s intended results, to vilify the TSA….the latest target for populist outrage, but so far Karoli’s line “heading toward a tipping point where there will be nearly unilateral support for getting rid of them.” Really? The media has a lot of work to do to accomplish that. But they are on it, that’s for sure.
Just pay attention to how the cable news stations are just repeating, repeating, repeating….with subtle things like “groping” and “pawing” and “breasts” and “junk” or whatever the fuck. They are trying to appeal to the “knee-jerkers” who will jump into outrage mode on a dime. We’ve become a nation of fraidy cats (sp) and wimps. They will keep beating this issue relentlessly until either something drastic happens or some other natural or man-made disaster distracts them. Then, it’s off to the races on the next media obsession. What a world, what a world.
And of course there are Republicans who immediately think, how can I make some money on this or help some other rich guy make some money on it. Steve Benen (emphasis mine)
But as travelers grow more frustrated with heightened airport security, it appears Republicans are opening a new front on the privatization crusade.
A Republican lawmaker, who is faulting big government spending, is suggesting that airports dump the Transportation Security Administration altogether, and opt instead to privatize security.
And some airports, fed up with poor service in a climate where travelers are outraged about the prospect of full-body scanners, are listening.
The consideration comes after Florida Republican Rep. John Mica — a longtime critic of the TSA — wrote letters to the country’s 100 busiest airports earlier this month asking them to switch to private security.
There are a variety of angles to consider here. Note, for example, that private companies that stand to benefit from privatization also happen to be generous campaign contributors to Mica’s re-election campaign.
Even more importantly, several domestic airports already use private screeners, but it’s still the TSA that establishes mandatory security standards. If Mica or other Republicans want to have a conversation about whether those security measures are appropriate, that’s fine. But whether those doing the screening are public employees or private contractors doesn’t change the standards themselves. Selling this as some sort of cure-all for frustrated travelers is silly.
As Josh Marshall joked yesterday, “Watching cable TV this morning it seems like the new idea is that this would all be better if private sector workers rather than government employees were inspecting Americans’ crotches, boobs, etc.”
Steve Benen goes on to ponder just how wonderful it would be to have Blackwater-style companies taking over the screening, oh happy day!
I’m sure I will piss off almost everyone with this post, but I’m telling it like I see it whether you all agree or not. “Bring it on!” :)
I don’t give a shit if someone has a black and white, negative image of my naked body. If someone, somewhere gets off on it, good for them. Something has to get them off, right? Give me a break, people, you can’t even recognize faces in the images and if I really wanted to look at pictures of naked people, I would go to one of the many millions of porn websites like The Huffington Post, where I can see them in color, with real skin and everything. If there is a small group of people who get off on these negative images, who gives a shit, really? There are people that get off on fully clothed people too, should we all get naked so those people don’t get off on it. Let’s do it, everyone get naked.
When it comes to the “enhanced pat downs”, I think we should all just deal with it. If it makes some people feel uncomfortable, so what. Who ever said that everything in life should make you feel comfortable. If you’ve ever traveled to Israel or many European countries, you’ve felt this discomfort before. It passes and if it doesn’t, there are other issues that you should probably deal with before deciding to get inside a big metal object that flies thousands of feet above the ground and can be taken down with a small explosive stuffed in someones underoos. Put on your big boy underwear and suck it up. Hell, if the TSA person looks good enough, I might like a little “enhanced pat down”…embrace the pat down, my new motto.
I see this latest populist outrage as just another sign that Americans really think they should be able to have their cake and eat it too. If someone were to actually pull off an “underpants attack” like was attempted last Christmas, what do you think the populist outrage would be then. The sky would begin to fall in and President Obama and the TSA would be completely at fault. People would be asking why we can’t do it like Israel does. People would be telling stories of how lax security at airports is, what an outrage it is that we can’t even protect people who fly. You know it is true, Americans blow in the fucking wind like a damn wind chime…constantly making noise and going whichever way the wind blows. The biggest hypocrites in this regard are the Republicans, of course. Their outrage is particularly nuts, because unless you have been in a cave for the last 10 years, these are the same people who defended warrantless wiretapping, detaining un-charged prisoners indefinitely and starting a fucking war in Iraq for no good reason. And now all of a sudden, they are defending civil liberties, give me a fucking break.
When people say it is an invasion of privacy to get patted down or have a full body scan, I want to ask them how purchasing a ticket from a private company, a choice that is made by the consumer that comes with stipulations, constitutes an invasion of privacy. There are stipulations on all sorts of purchases we make, especially when it can cause harm to others…guns, automobiles, motorcycles, alcohol and many other things that people would claim an invasion of privacy on. Hell, when I went to see the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, I had to go through a metal detector on the way in and on the way out, almost had my video camera confiscated because I tried to get a shot of the cool set when I was walking out. I was in their private space, and had to play by their rules. I see walking onto an airplane in much the same way, if I want to fly, I have to go through a bunch of hassle to do it. If I want to get to New York in 2 hours instead of 12, I’ll put up with whatever they want to do to me.
The last thing I’ll say about this is that I don’t care what other people have between their legs, but I don’t have ANY junk between mine. I have a precision instrument down there and if someone wants to grab it, they should at least kiss me when they are done.
This is what is called a “lipdub” and it was done by students at the university I work at, by many of my actual students and some of my colleagues. I helped with some technical difficulties and equipment, but it was mostly students kicking some tall ass. It was very well done and they deserve mad props. Enjoy,
This is an awesome project that Dan Savage has started. Excellent idea, it will save lives. Hooray Dan!
Sorry about the lack of posts, I have my big meeting tomorrow in the Big Apple and I’ve been preparing and today I am traveling. Depending on the WiFi at my hotel, I may get one up later tonight. My apologies.
This week I am busy preparing for a big meeting, a career changing meeting…so I have to focus on that and some other pressing issues. I’m sure I will find something that will outrage me and I’ll just have to post about it, but for the most part, I will be posting lightly this week. I hope to be back in the swing politically next week. Hopefully our awesome guest blogger, Staci, will have a few things on her mind….hint, hint, Staci. :) I’m heading to the Big Apple again this week, thus the picture below.
I’ve resisted doing this since I started the blog because I’m not in this blogging thing for the money. But it would be cool to upgrade my wordpress.com account and add some cool features, so I am asking anyone who has extra money to throw a little in the pot, BUT ONLY IF YOU CAN REALLY AFFORD TO DO IT! I won’t beg very often but I will keep the donate tab on the right side of the screen until I no longer need donations…I’m still waiting for a rather large project to come through and if it does, the donate tab will disappear. You can click below or on the side bar, every little bit helps.
There are several news stories and events that I have random thoughts on and I decided to throw them out there.
- Am I the only one who is sickened by people who are upset that the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, didn’t die quick enough for them. I mean you can debate whether he ever should have been released and it should be investigated whether the BP connection really was there, but my god people, wishing someone to die quicker is pretty sick.
- The miners trapped in Chile…I’ve heard people talk about the mental problems it will cause and whether they will be able to survive mentally. I immediately thought about prisoners who are put in solitary confinement and how that affects them mentally. I know we aren’t ever concerned about prisoners, people really have no compassion for prisoners whether they were busted for a joint or they murdered someone…they are all the same right, criminals. Until it is your nephew or niece, then they all of a sudden they become people. I think the miners are going to be just fine, now the prisoners I’m not so sure about. When they get released into society, then we can all see how that works out.
- To all the people on the left who scream and yell about warrantless wiretapping of American citizens and internet privacy, have you ever heard of cookies (browser type cookies not chocolate chip)? How about spyware? I’ve heard and read several stories about how marketers know every little damn thing about us, target their ads to individual people and how there are massive databases on our every move we make. So if the marketers can know everything about us, what is the big deal with the government knowing the same info. At least their goals of protecting the public from terrorism is a noble goal, instead of a capitalistic one. And yes, I don’t like it when Republicans are in control but that is the price we pay for our democracy. I have a friend who was always paranoid about being watched and listened to by “the man” or big brother and I remember thinking to myself, what the hell do they want to spy on me for? They are wasting their damn time spying on me and since I’m not doing anything to be worried about, why worry about it?
- Republicans lie without conscience. They actually just make shit up, with no basis in reality and then spread it around to purposely mislead their own followers. Do they really think it is healthy to lie to their mindless followers? I’m certainly no saint and have done my fair share of embellishing or covering my own ass, but I don’t ever remember just making shit up and then spreading it around. What kind of morals do these people really have that they can look themselves in the mirror and think, it’s OK to just make shit up to hurt other people and then realize…Oh no, I’m late for church.
It’s a mixed blesing not having Internet access with the exception of my iPhone. I dusted off a long shelved project and started making progress again. What is everyone else up to this weekend?
I’m so disgusted by my own party and people who call themselves “progressives” that I’m tuning things out. I’m going “nah, nah, nah, nah” in my head. I have a long post about the Afghanistan War that I’ve been working on but am so disgusted that I’m ignoring it. I’ll finish it soon and put it up, but until then, enjoy this open thread where you can vent for me. HELP! I’ll just say that I was very impressed with General Patraeus, he isn’t your average, everyday military guy. But he is nuanced and hardly anybody in the media, including the progressive blogoshpere….does nuance. Fucking idiots.
I’ll be traveling for the next 3 days, heading to New York and New Jersey for a film festival…collecting an award and checking out The Daily Show. We have VIP passes that my brother scored. Should be fun. I have posts that will magically appear over the next 3 days, so check back. Staci has a great one coming too. Peace…
(Guest blogger – Staci)
I’ve heard many anecdotes regarding the reluctance of the Black community to get behind the LGBT people and their fight for rights. Generally, these supposed reasons are assumed to be based in religion and adherence to the scripture. We’ve been chastised, ridiculed and even endured attempts at shame – to motivate movement towards their belief that gay rights equates to civil rights. Here is the issue for me and many that I know. To compare the challenges that gay people endure to the atrocities that Black people experienced, borders on insult. Any possible compassion flies right out the window when someone is attempting to convince us that these are two concepts with a common basis. How can they possibly be on the same plane? People who are gay have not experienced the systematic challenges that the black community faced for hundreds of years. How can one use the same argument when you self identify as gay, but one glance identifies ethnicity? At what point in time was it punitive to teach a gay person to read or have that same person recognized as 3/5th of a person and in fact, to be referred to as cattle and/or property and sold as such? How many families have been broken up and sold apart because of sexual identification?
I fully understand that there are some asshole folks out there that get their “fun” antagonizing people strictly due to sexual orientation, but generally, there is no risk of loss of life. Conversely, there was a time in history where this same “fun” ended the life of a black person and instilled enough fear to make entire families pack up and move under the cloak of darkness.
To my friends in the gay community that are trying to change minds and hearts – maybe think about changing your methods. Most people understand fair vs. unfair and can get behind it. To say that not having the right to marry somebody of the same sex is the same as the rights to equal and fair housing, education or the rights to be treated as a human being, will only continue to alienate the support that may be gained with a different argument.
A friend of mine sent me this today, it’s making the rounds. In an article by Nicholas Kristoff called What Could You Live Without, an incredible family sets an example for all. In our time of greed, selfishness and impatience it warms my heart to read of such an inspiring family.
Kevin Salwen, a writer and entrepreneur in Atlanta, was driving his 14-year-old daughter, Hannah, back from a sleepover in 2006. While waiting at a traffic light, they saw a black Mercedes coupe on one side and a homeless man begging for food on the other.
“Dad, if that man had a less nice car, that man there could have a meal,” Hannah protested. The light changed and they drove on, but Hannah was too young to be reasonable. She pestered her parents about inequity, insisting that she wanted to do something.
“What do you want to do?” her mom responded. “Sell our house?” Warning! Never suggest a grand gesture to an idealistic teenager. Hannah seized upon the idea of selling the luxurious family home and donating half the proceeds to charity, while using the other half to buy a more modest replacement home.
They actually did it and a lot more too. I often wonder why some people waste so much money on extravagant things and lifestyles. I was flipping around the channels the other morning and came across MTV’s Teen Cribs show. Wow, if only some of those extremely wealthy folks would just be a little more generous and less extravagant, things could be so much different in this world.
Helicopter Harold Ford Jr., the darling of the Morning Starbucks with Joe show, was just given a nice hunk of time to give his campaign pitch. He went unchallenged, defended the banks and apparently is going on Joe’s radio show later. Isn’t that sweet?
Earlier on the show, Scarborough somehow managed to segue from the Haiti disaster to one of his cherry picked polls showing Obama down, which I’ve been trying to find, but I noticed the fine print at the bottom that had a +/- of 4.8%, which is an awfully high margin of error and points to a sample of probably 400 people or so. I’m working on a post about polls and I’m going to go out on a limb and say things are looking good for democrats next year and in 2012, contrary to the spin the conservative media is trying desperately to sell.