Sunday, May 20, 2012

Adventures In Same Sex Marriage

This morning while I was shaving and admiring the somewhat grizzled stud gazing back at me in the mirror I decided it was time to try out my new President-ly authorized gay marriage rights.  Now that it was legal it was time for me to take advantage of the new law.  I walked out onto the back porch in my bathrobe to let the spring breezes stir the manly parts... being spring and a bit chilly, well shrinkage wasn't the desired end.  So, I went back inside and pulled on my jeans, t-shirt, and boots; and decided I'd watch some man movies.

I tossed in the DVD of that Mr and Mrs Smith movie with youngish Brad Pitt to get with the same sex theme, the problem was that lovely Angelina kept distracting me so I swapped in Syriana to watch Paul Krugman blow up shit - what's that dear?  My wife with her womanly attention to detail says it's that doctor show guy.

The movie thing isn't working out so I call my gay buddy.  I know I don't have the swish thing down - like at all - and I figure advice from an expert... Scoffing isn't what I was looking for, "You think I learned that?  That's how I am... go away."  That meant I ought to try one of the gals, I do pretty well with them.  Gales of laughter.  She suggested I might want to consider the consequences of divorce from my wife while I was thinking about taking advantage of the new law.  Oh yeah, that.

I figured maybe some food would help with reflecting and thinking and stuff like that.  So there I am, standing in the kitchen putting together a sandwich when my wife walks by twitching that cute bottom of hers...  Hmmm.  I don't suppose that if I ever want any of that again I better take this any farther.  It doesn't look like I'm going to get any use out of this new law after all.  After having people assure me in the strongest possible terms that everything was going to change... I seem to be same old guy I was before this thing was inked.

Imagine my disappointment...

I know, the shaving part was a dead give away that this is an act of fiction...

Friday, May 18, 2012

David Brooks Stands Life On Its Head

Ordinarily I let Charles Pierce deal with the stuff David Brooks gets up to in the NYT and limit my participation to a comment there.  I don't find much of any use in Brooks' drivel, it is GOPer fluffling without reference to credible sources other than Brooks (incredibility is a hallmark).  This thing is notable for standing history on its head in search of more GOPerisms.  Brooks appeals to a Founder, James Madison, for backing for his idea.
 “As there is a degree of depravity in mankind, which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust: So there are other qualities in human nature, which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence.”
Now I"m a bit sorry for Brooks if he is just exactly so deluded as to refer to Madison in search of validation for his idea that voters are voting themselves freebies because they're depraved.  Madison and the Founders were real worried about the depravity that concerned power seeking.  Brooks figures they were Calvinists.
Though the forms were different, the democracies in Europe and the United States were based on a similar carefully balanced view of human nature: People are naturally selfish and need watching. But democratic self-government is possible because we’re smart enough to design structures to police that selfishness.
If you were to read the Constitution and Amendments the first thing that would strike you isn't about how the authors were worried about people getting free things, it is all about fracturing power sufficiently to keep those who seek it from getting enough to be despots and protecting the citizenry and their liberty from the power seekers.  Brooks is among the privileged who would have you believe that the Constitution is somehow an economic document endorsing Capitalism and even a particular form of capitalism.  The only economic system the Constitution endorsed or facilitated is slavery.  The Constitution certainly does interest itself in the concept of ownership and possession of property but the means of the getting isn't addressed.

Buried in the middle of an article excoriating the general citizenry is the money line.
The Citizens United case gives well-financed interests tremendous power to preserve or acquire tax breaks and regulatory deals.
All the indicators of the prosperity of the general citizenry have been falling through the decades of power of the ideas Brooks has promoted.  The only only up indicator is the wealth of the privileged few, it is convenient to talk about the 1% who have done pretty well but the real indicator is the 0.1% who have made out like bandits (hmm).  Here's what he leads into that little line with.
 The Obama campaign issues its famous “Julia” ad, which perfectly embodies the vision of government as a national Sugar Daddy, delivering free money and goodies up and down the life cycle.
Which he then follows up with this gem.
 American senior citizens receive health benefits that cost many times more than the contributions they put into the system.
That is how he bookends the reality of who has access to government power.  I'll go ahead and agree that voters send into office people who get great use from the CU Decision but the idea that voters are rewarding themselves with free stuff is ludicrous and only has any meaning in the circles of wealth Brooks lives within.  I have yet to meet a person who finds writing a check to the taxman a happy occasion, I've known those who feel it is a civic duty they don't mind filling, but...  The GOPer frame has been to tell the citizenry that a couple bucks off their bill means a few should have multiples of the ordinary yearly income off theirs and that it will be good for all of us.  The real deal is that they've stopped really plumping that canard, the operative is to take runs at "moral" issues that have not spit to do with economic well being beyond the benefits of suffering while you're the only ones taking Personal Responsibility.
 Western democratic systems were based on a balance between self-doubt and self-confidence. They worked because there were structures that protected the voters from themselves and the rulers from themselves. Once people lost a sense of their own weakness, the self-doubt went away and the chastening structures were overwhelmed. It became madness to restrain your own desires because surely your rivals over yonder would not be restraining theirs.
Re-read this paragraph and savor the bullshittiness of it.  Who the hell is he talking about and in what regard?  Exactly who is it that has been protected from self-doubt?  The vaginal probe folks?  What chastening structures is he talking about?  The people who publish his drivel?  What desires aren't restrained?  The ones to take on the responsibilities of marrying someone in a couple states?  Well there is this:
The Obama campaign issues its famous “Julia” ad
Which is about bettering yourself?

You can go read Mr Brooks for yourself, it will involve some time you'll never get back and wish you had back, but...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Character Assassinating Mittens

2/17/12 Romney on Hannity
I think again that the president takes his philosophical leanings in this regard, not from those who are ardent believers in various faiths but instead from those who would like America to be more secular. And I’m not sure which is worse, him listening to Reverend Wright or him saying that we must be a less Christian nation.”
“I have been disappointed with the president’s campaign to date which is focused on character assassination,” said Romney. “I just think that we’re wiser to talk about the issues of the day, what we do to get America working again, talk about our respective records.”
So what, the Obama campaign suddenly has brought up Mormonism? Talked about Mitt's grandpa and his idea about one man one woman? Brought up magic underware, did they? Nope, here's what it was that made Mittens little heart palpitate.
“Obviously, his efforts to look at my work at Bain is to try to characterize me in a way that isn’t accurate,” said Romney. “My effort at Bain Capital, as you know, was, in every case, designed to make the enterprises we invested in more successful, to grow them.”
Apparently pointing out that their design was to make money regardless of the outcome and shown by their record is "character assassination."
“There’s this fiction that some have that somehow you can be highly successful by stripping assets from enterprise and walking away with lots of money and killing the enterprise. There may be some people who know how to do that. I sure don’t,
He supposedly went to business school at Harvard and there's this fiction in regard to corporate raiders that he doesn't know how to do? You are supposed to believe that Harvard hands out coloring books or something whenever various methods are brought up so that later you can deny knowing about a "fiction" because you were busy staying in the lines? I've got to tell Mitt that there sure the hell are a lot of things about him that could accurately be used to assassinate whatever character it is he claims he's got beyond "It is my turn to be President." I don't know how the hell the words "character" and "Mitt Romney" get into the same sentence without the key words "lack of."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Theocratic Idiots And Shaking Fists

Franklin Graham is all about telling us what God thinks.
In another provocative comment aimed at Barack Obama, evangelist Franklin Graham on Thursday accused the president of having “shaken his fist” at God by changing his position on same-sex marriage. “It grieves me that our president would now affirm same-sex marriage, though I believe it grieves God even more,” Graham said in a prepared statement.  “This is a sad day for America. May God help us.”
Now what god whispered in Franklin's ear is open to debate. What is pretty clear is that Franklin is a bit confused about the nature of the thing called marriage. There is certainly the issue of what they do in their churches and however offensive I may find their stuff to be, it is their business. What seems to have escaped this paragon is that marriage is a State matter, it is entirely a civil contract with privileges and responsibilities delineated under law. There is no marriage without the State's imprimatur on the matter - no matter where is is conducted, their church or somebody's living room. God's opinion on marriage has been pretty thoroughly debated in theological circles and there certainly seems to still be disagreement. I can't think why I'd care to add to that disagreement. I don't care. What some people call God's Word on something can be valid for them without any of the rest of us being required to pay the least attention to it by the State. I didn't ask any god for permission or for an opinion on getting married and I've been in that heterosexual state of marriage for over twenty years and the State of Oregon has been quite happy with it, along with the Federal Government. All the units of government are quite satisfied that I'm married despite the entire lack of any god in any respect to it. That is what his "shaking his fist at God" is actually about. If Franklin is to have any relevance with that comment then I am not married and I've shaken my fist at God. I suppose I did in the sense that I didn't want anything to do with Franklin's version of a god. I'll happily shake my fist and even my middle finger at his version. I get to, just as he gets to plump for his version - he's just forgotten that and that makes him a theocratic thug flying in the face of this nation's history.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mitt, Not Just Soulless Liar - Bully, Too?

ABC interviewed former Romney classmate Phillip Maxwell and he described something a bit disturbing.
 “It’s a haunting memory.  I think it was for everybody that spoke up about it…  because when you see somebody who is simply different taken down that way and is terrified and you see that look in their eye you never forget it.  And that was what we all walked away with,” said Phillip Maxwell, who is now an attorney and still considers Romney an old friend.
“I saw it with my own eyes,” said Maxwell, of the anecdote first reported by the Washington Post.  Maxwell said Romney held the scissors helping to cut the hair of a student, John Lauber, who was presumed to be gay and who had long hair. “It was a hack job… clumps of hair taken off.”
Maxwell said he held the boy’s arm and leg, describing he and his friends as a “pack of dogs.”
He said they didn't target Lauber because he was gay, they used different words then.  Well naturally Willard has a different memory   of it, or maybe several.
 “I’m not going to be too concerned about their piece they talk about the fact that I played a lot of pranks in high school and they describe some that well you just say to yourself, back in high school well I did some dumb things and if anybody was hurt by that or offended obviously I apologize but overall high school years were a long time ago,” said Romney in an interview on Kilmeade and Friends radio show about his years at the Cranbook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Asked specifically as to whether he remembered an anecdote in the story that describes Romney cutting the hair of one of his classmates who was “presumed” to be gay because the candidate did not like his long hairstyle, Romney responded, “You know, I don’t.”
“I don’t remember that incident,” Romney said, laughing, before adding that whether someone was “homosexual, that was the furthest thing from my mind back in the 1960s, so that was not the case.”

You know, I was a stupid and insecure male in high school and no paragon of swell behavior.  I can clearly remember things that are embarrassing and were  mean in small ways.  (small meanness is not a good thing, it sucks on so many levels)  There were physical confrontations with people who picked fights with me which ended with both parties getting hurt.  It would never have occurred to me to have led a posse to assault someone - especially to do something as stupid as cut their hair - not fucking ever.  In point of fact had I witnessed such a thing there is every chance of punches and kicks getting launched.

I would remember such a thing, whether I did it or saw it.  It cannot be true of anyone without a mental deficiency to not remember such a thing.  It is a LIE or evidence of something seriously wrong with them.  I will go a bit farther, it wasn't called gay in the 60's but there were names for it - queer, faggot, homo, and  some even less polite.  Mitt Romney is a liar that it was no concern at that time and long haired hippies got called all those names commonly and even in the media.

Mitt is in pretty good shape legally, the statute of limitations has long run out on assault though it is a pretty sure thing that charges would never have been brought against a Romney sprout.  You might want to consider what kinds of charges would apply today...  This wasn't a prank, shaving cream on a seat is a prank, this was a physical assault led by a chickenshit who needed a posse to pull it off.  Well, people grow up and change... there is generally evidence that such has occurred.   I'd say the contrary exists and even the candidate's own words demonstrate his facility with a lie and his entire lack of concern with causing suffering on the part of others.  I suppose he can throw a lot of money at this election and figure enough of the "other than 27%" are Alzheimer sufferers and can manage to not remember any of this shit - like him.

I didn't think I could like Mittens much less... well, I do.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Me, VP Joe Biden, and Evolution

If you had asked me as a teen, forty some years ago, what I thought about gays getting married my response would have been pretty close to, "Huh?" or possibly, "Ick."  I was a teenage boy and it was a long time ago and if I had any thoughts about sexual orientation it would have involved how to get 'her" oriented in my direction.  Shallow, I know.

I was aware of bi-racial marriages and I was astonished that anyone would think it being against the law was a good idea.  The idea that race and marriage were somehow involved with each other was beyond my comprehension.  So my "shallow" excuse only goes just so far...

The point is that I didn't grow up thinking about gay marriage, at all.  I went from zero, I guess, to full throttle and that I suppose is something that could be called evolution.  I don't know exactly when that happened, it was also a long time ago and I guess arriving at the conclusion that gays were simply just some other folks wasn't remarkable enough for me to... remark on it.  Just some other folks is important, it has to do with them having an absolute right to any rights I have.

What VP Joe Biden had to say about gay marriage is nothing remarkable to me, I find it an easy answer to give.  It may seem quite a bit of a statement by the VP, what seems a bit much to me is that there is any reason to have to ask that question.  I understand the politics of it and I understand how the President could still be evolving - politically.  It is also silliness.

Well, silliness is neither new or unusual.

I've never had any sexual desire for a man.  The fact that men or women can get married has no effect on me, it is entirely immaterial - I'm simply heterosexual and will remain so regardless of whatever social accommodations we reach (or don't) with homosexuality.  The question is whether or not we will treat our fellows as our fellows, there is no other question.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Osama Still Dead

Well here it is, just over a year later and that rat bastard Osama is still dead, but his zombie has risen.  The GOP is busy publicly losing its mind because President Obama (no "s") is taking "credit" for Osama getting dead.  "Oh it is unseemly to politicize..." they cry, er - whine.

Surely the GOP would never celebrate playing dress-up and making political hay over a foreign adventure?

If you have the stomach for it you can probably find all the critics swooning over "Commander Cod-piece" as he strutted an entire line of horse shit with all the out-sized trappings available to a Commander in Chief.  You'll find the same crew lining up on defense as the thing began to unravel when the mission proved decidedly Unaccomplished and at some point nobody had any part in it because it was embarrassing.  The difference is that Osama is very decidedly very dead and isn't going to rise up to bite President Obama in the ass, unlike Cod-piece.

The GOP's difficulty in responding at all is that their Previous Candidate McPOW was decidedly against going into Pakistan after Osama and this Multiple Choice Candidate was all over Candidate Obama about his promise to go into Pakistan.
"I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to enter an ally of ours... I don't think those kinds of comments help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort,"
 Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is one of the Republican front-runners, said U.S. troops "shouldn't be sent all over the world." He called Obama's comments "ill-timed" and "ill-considered."
 "There is a war being waged by terrorists of different types and nature across the world," Romney said. "We want, as a civilized world, to participate with other nations in this civilized effort to help those nations reject the extreme with them."
Now it is in MultipleMitt's interest to claim that anyone would have done it, even that ... President Carter guy.  Given the 5 second memory span of the American electorate this shit might work.  Given that it is on tape... well, Democrats could run it... that might be impolite, though.  I don't speak for Democrats so I'll make a deal of it.  (as an aside, there is a whole bunch in that block quote that doesn't fit '12 Multiple's talk)

Look, I'm real lukewarm about the President and a bunch of Democratic elected officials but I will vote against the GOPers.  Against the Vandals is not quite the same thing as for their Appeasers.

CNN's Version of Economics

It has been an interesting morning watching Ali on Your Money as it reflects on European elections and austerity.  The reaction of Ali and his panels to the outcomes of European austerity has been pretty funny - they're really puzzled that recession is returning and that the people don't like that and double digit unemployment.  "Living within your means," was a common thread and apparently the rubes in Europe don't quite get it.

Somebody came on and explained Keynesian economics and noted that those Keynesian's might be hoping these elections mark winds of change.  Somehow Europe managed to buy farther into Trickle Down Economics than Americans and they're seeing the results.  The tinkle down crew wants to talk about poor employment numbers while it ignores that cuts in public employment are continually undercutting what private growth there is.  Even with the miserable programs Democrats have managed to keep afloat or pass previous to '10 public employment has shrunk and those dollars went away into two areas - essentials affordable on the safety net and   the removal of their income from governmental tax roles onto government costs.  If there were private jobs for those folks to move to you wouldn't get the double whammy to the economy - but all the GOP wishes won't make that go away.

It isn't in the interests of GOP electoral success for the economy to improve under President Obama and Democratic ideas.  If you want to understand how deeply the GOPer influence has penetrated various media all you have to do is listen to the reaction from Your Money from  getting heat for putting out the GOPer idea that Greece is what you get if you don't act now - that the left says look at the polls and that is what you get and that is entire horseshit - look at the results of austerity in recession/dead growth and that is what you get.  Yes, if you completely trash the economy voters will rebel - it could be said that is the aim of the GOP.

You might not be surprised that Your Money takes a GOPer perspective, but why the go to person for Fredericka Whitman on the French and Greek elections is David Frum (GWB speech writer) is a question that has bad answers.  Your liberal media in operation...

The 0.1% will do fine no matter how badly they crash the rest of us - right up to the pitchforks reaction (and that ain't gonna happen).

About pitchforks - there would be scapegoats, but the reality is that most of them will be downstream from most of the pitchfork and torch carriers, minorities with no where to run and no money to buy protection.  Be very careful what you wish for.