Monday, November 30, 2009
My tastes are eclectic... I can read anything. I do prefer fiction, but I'll read biographies, history, philosophy or anything else I happen across. I literally have a stack of recently finished books next to my reading chair, since I burn through better than a half-dozen a week, on average. I also RE-read books. I own thousands, and wouldn't be able to excuse the waste of space if I didn't frequently revisit my favorites.
I thought I'd start posting about "What I'm Reading Now". Not only will it give me a diary of sorts to keep track, but that way anyone who shows up here at the blog can see what I read and either comment, suggest titles or even laugh at my choices, if you like.
Right now, my "working" books (the ones I'm actively reading, in one area of my life or another, bookmarked for my return) are:
-We Were Soldiers Once, And Young by Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore (Ret.) and Joseph L. Galloway
-Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
-Mosaic by Shoheir Khashoggi
Since this is my first "What I'm Reading" post, I'll also include some of the books I finished in the last couple of weeks.
-Going Rogue: An American Life by Sarah Palin
-Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
-Mirage by Shoheir Khashoggi
-The Bone Collector by Jeffrey Deaver
-The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
-The Tao of Pooh, The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff
This isn't a complete list, but it's a start. Some of these are old favorites being reread, some are new to me. I hope to do more posts like this fairly regularly, so if you've read this far fell free to check in again... or leave a comment and suggest something new I might enjoy!
Friday, November 27, 2009
Do you ever get the feeling these two are laughing at the rest of us mere mortals?
Lets face it... They're more beautiful than the rest of us. They're richer than the rest of us. They're each married to one of the most beautiful people alive. They've got a family full of gorgeous kids...
And apparently, they're hell bent on saving the world.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Oh. my. gawd.
For the record, this would do nothing to prevent me eating that bird. NOTHING.
But the kid would be sitting on the porch, going without pumpkin pie, when the bird was gone. (And if you were to ask my kids, they'd tell you yes, that's exactly how I'd handle it.)
Can't you Petapeople just eat your damn tofurkey and leave the rest of us alone? Seriously. I don't go around shoving bacon-doublecheeseburgers down the throats of unsuspecting vegans. (Although I freely admit I would find that hilarious.) Gimme a break.
At least they didn't make the poor kid take her clothes off.
Monday, November 23, 2009
"This Thanksgiving marks the 20th anniversary of the first official turkey
pardon and President Obama will likely carry on the tradition by sparing two
turkeys. Approximately 45 million other turkeys—who are just as deserving of
compassion and respect—must depend on caring Americans to grant them their own
Not bloody likely. But, as always with these annoying cultists, they go on...
"When turkeys aren't confined to filthy factory farms, they spend theirNot working, Peta. They're still sounding tasty, cute personality quirks and all. Although it DOES bring to mind a semi-famous Thanksgiving prayer, in the words of Milo Bloom (from Berke Breathed's always brilliant Bloom County, for those of you who don't know.):
days building nests, taking dust baths, preening, and roosting in trees. They
enjoy having their feathers stroked and like to gobble along to music."
"Dear lord, I've been asked, nay commanded, to thank thee for the turkeyAMEN! Pass the gravy!
before us. A turkey, which was no doubt a lively, intelligent bird. A social
being, capable of actual affection...nuzzling its young with almost human-like
compassion. Anyway, it's dead and we're gonna eat it. Please give our respects
to its family."
The ONLY way to improve on a golden-brown delicious turkey an Thanksgiving would be...
I hate Peta and the Petapeople. Sincerely. Can't they all go get nekkid somewhere together and leave those of us who LIKE meat the hell alone?
Barring that... Can I eat them? Please? I know I keep going back to that, but it would solve sooo many problems. The end of their scary "factory farming" books and statistics, the end of cow-fart global warming, the end of "food insecurity" (plenty of vegans to share with the poor) and the end of self-righteous veggie crunchers trying to tell the rest of us what to eat -- they should be happy we'll be emptying the farms! Imagine it -- if we EAT the damn vegans, we won't have to listen to them anymore!
And they're probably made of very healthy, lean meat! Yummy!
Oh, gross. They are serious. And they're giving it away FREE! (Of course, they probably have to. Who's gonna pay actual money for it?) Never mind that it looks like vomit rolled up in... something... like a giant stickless corndog. (How you can not mind that, I don't know... but try.) If you were willing to trade a juicy, crispy-skinned, golden REAL turkey for this abomination, you lose out on the fun of breaking the wishbone! Don't you?
Oh. Pardon me. They also helpfully direct you to a place you can win synthetic wishbones... Plastic, recyclable, "animal-friendly" wishbones. Ten to a pack, no less.
Hunh. Whaddya know... Peta finally made me not want to eat meat. Not because I've gone vegan. Because they've destroyed my appetite for today.
I'm already on record stating if the militant vegans ever manage to take meat off the store shelves, I'll eat them.
There are quotes from an article by another vegan missionary, some of which (predictably) cover factory farming, which is the new veggie cruncher boogeyman. I LOVED this response:
Do you really think if we asked the Serengheti lions they would turn this
Lion: "OK so you build a fence and then feed the gazelles grass, and then
whenever you get hungry you just go in and grab one for lunch?
Lion: "I'm in"
And apparently I'm not the only one who realizes that the vegan status as herbivore makes them prey...
But I'm gonna have a chat with the Serengheti lions and the rest of the
predator class and tell them you belong on the menu. Free range, organic,
compassionate, twit, low in fat, but chock full of anti-depressants and
self-loathing. I'll pass but I bet the lions love it.
Uncle Jimbo can pass if he wants. But if these grazers ever get their way, THIS carnivore will consider them an acceptable source of protein. Vegan flank steak sounds better than tofu veggie burger ANY day!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
“You have to be put in a box in this industry so they can sell you,” she
explained. “They need to get hits on their blogs or sell their magazines."
“People expected ‘Jennifer’s Body’ to make so much money. But I was
doubtful. The movie is about a man-eating, cannibalistic lesbian cheerleader,
and that pretty much eliminates middle America."
"I’ve learned that being a celebrity is like being a sacrificial lamb. At
some point, no matter how high the pedestal that they put you on, they’re going
to tear you down. And I created a character as an offering for the sacrifice."
"I was joking [about Angelina]! She always seems otherworldly in her power
and her confidence. I'm sure she has no idea who I am. But if I were her, I'd be
like, 'Who the fuck is this little bullshit brat who was in Transformers that's
going to be the next me?' I don't want to meet her; I'd be embarrassed." -
Entertainment Weekly, June 2009
"...instead of the entire planet, can you just take out all of the white
trash, hillbilly, anti-gay, super bible-beating people in Middle America?"
"I don't understand why people don't have a fucking sense of humor. AlwaysFair enough. And so, I'll end this without an out-of-context quote to tear you down, or one more photo that reduces you to your parts...
assume that I'm being sarcastic." - Entertainment Weekly, June 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
My wife and I have six kids. Sarah Palin has five kids. If liberals are trying
to wipe out opposition via population control, they're clearly losing -- and
it's easy to see what their problem is.
I'm also a proud parent of six. (Population boom be damned.) And I got thinking about people I know personally, their political leanings and family sizes, and I think there is a pattern. I'm not sure I agree with McCain as to the why of it ("manly men and womanly women" is his theory), but it seems there is something to it.
From a USAToday article "The Liberal Baby Bust":
"What's the difference between Seattle and Salt Lake City? There are many
differences, of course, but here's one you might not know. In Seattle, there are
nearly 45% more dogs than children. In Salt Lake City, there are nearly 19% more
kids than dogs."
Now... I suppose you could read that as "People in Seattle really like dogs!", but Utah actually has a higher birth rate than Washington, AND a lower abortion rate. So, I compared the maps available at those links with the red/blue map of the US... Even I was surprised. (Or maybe ONLY I am surprised.) The match up isn't exact, but it IS striking.
Also, from a SFGate article:
Liberal women are statistically more likely to delay childbirth into later
years than are conservative women, and they may also be more open to abortion,
although the data is unclear. Gays and lesbians, who vote Democratic by a
roughly 4-1 ratio, are much less likely to have children than heterosexuals. And
some on the left advocate fewer children as "socially responsible" to lessen the
toll on the planet's finite resources.
Hmmm. Maybe McCain was on to something with the "manly men and womanly women", too...
But there's more. While blacks tend largely toward democratic and liberal candidates, they have a lower birth rate AND a much higher abortion rate than whites. A voting bloc that the liberals depend on is shrinking. And while Nancy Pelosi has five children, she's the exception to the rule because her congressional district has fewer children than any other in America.
Soooo... It certainly seems there is something to the "Fertility Gap" between conservatives and liberals. And despite the best efforts of progressives, most conservatives are still having more kids than their liberal counterparts. From that same USAToday article:
The greatly expanded childless segment of contemporary society, whose
members are drawn disproportionately from the feminist and countercultural
movements of the 1960s and '70s, will leave no genetic legacy. Nor will their
emotional or psychological influence on the next generation compare with that of
people who did raise children.
This gives me great hope. It means the attempt to curtail propagation is only working on ONE side of things, and eventually there will not be enough liberal and progressive voters to inflict their damage on America anymore.
It may seem odd to look to a villain (even from a movie) for inspiration, but the first thing I thought of on reading McCain's piece was Evil King Longshanks, from the movie "Braveheart". As he struggles with the problem of too many Scots in Scotland, he hits upon a solution:
"If we can't get them out... we'll BREED them out!"
So take heart, conservatives. We'll weather these storms, and the future is looking better for us than for them. A time will come when their policies fail by simple numbers of voters. You now know what you need to do for your country.
Who would've thought something could be a patriotic duty -- and still be so much fun!
Heh. Reminded me of this:
Well, off to do my part......................
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Well, that sounds horrifying. It sounds too terrible to be true, in this day and age. Come to think of it, it sounds like another crisis...
Since I no longer trust my government when it tells me there's a crisis, I thought I'd try to learn a little more than what I was getting from the media.
First, it turns out that "USDA does not have a measure of hunger or the number of hungry people." Hmmmm... Well, what do they measure then? They're measuring "food insecurity". Here's the difference, as per the USDA's own report: "Food insecurity—the condition assessed in the food security survey and represented in the statistics in this report—is a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food. Hunger is an individual-level physiological condition that may result from food insecurity."
MAY RESULT. Got that? It means not everybody who answered "yes" to the questions is starving. Or even necessarily hungry.
Yet WaPo reports: "The magnitude of the increase in food shortages -- and, in some cases, outright hunger -- identified in the report startled even the nation's leading anti-poverty advocates..."
Except the report doesn't mention hunger, except to define it and explain that it isn't measured.
CNN Money says: "The one-year jump is all the more significant, given the number of hungry Americans had never been higher than 11.9% since these surveys began."
There's that "hunger" thing again.
And HuffPo blogger David Becker says: "Put another way, 4 million more households went hungry in 2008, or the equivalent of every man, woman and child living in New York City."
Again, nowhere in the report did I read this. It is simply NOT there. Appendix B of the report does, however, address bluntly the fact that hunger is not measured - and why: "The word “hunger,”the panel stated in its final report, “...should refer to a potential consequence of food insecurity that, because of prolonged, involuntary lack of food,results in discomfort, illness, weakness, or pain that goes beyond the usual uneasy sensation.” To measure hunger in this sense would require collection of more detailed and extensive information on physiological experiences of individual household members than could be accomplished effectively in the context of the CPS-FSS."
But maybe I'm harping on a technicality? Maybe the "hunger" and "insecurity" are more interchangeable than I'm allowing for?
Then, I saw this at Patterico... "Very few of these people are hungry,” said Robert Rector, an analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “When they lose jobs, they constrain the kind of food they buy. That is regrettable, but it’s a far cry from a hunger crisis.”
I went to Heritage.org to learn more. I found an article by the same Robert Rector, discussing "Hunger Hysteria". There's some pretty interesting info there that is NOT being used to tone down the current headlines. Specifically:
"What is rarely discussed is that the government's own data show that the
overwhelming majority of food insecure adults are, like most adult Americans,
overweight or obese. Among adult males experiencing food insecurity, fully 70
percent are overweight or obese. Nearly three-quarters of adult women
experiencing food insecurity are either overweight or obese, and nearly half (45
percent) are obese. Virtually no food insecure adults are underweight."
So... Single-female heads of household were among those who were most "food insecure", but they're also the fattest? How does that work?
"Thus, the government's own data show that, even though they may have brief
episodes of reduced food intake, most adults in food insecure households
actually consume too much, not too little, food."
Makes sense... a lot more sense than the idea that one of the fattest nations on the planet is actually starving. So where's the problem? How can they have less than enough food, and be fat?
"... one common misconception is that poor people become obese because they are
forced, due to a lack of financial resources, to eat too many junk foods that
are high in fat and added sugar."
Ahhhh. We're back to that. I'm poor, so I can't buy good food. What a load. I've said it before, it costs a LOT less to buy a head of lettuce and a bag of carrots than it does to buy a case of soda and a bag of Doritos. And water is the cheapest beverage on the shelves (as long as you aren't purchasing designer brands).
I have more politically incorrect questions... How many of these folks who are afraid they'll run out of food have a cell phone? Video games? Cable TV? Acrylic fingernails? Are they buying cases of soda and bags of chips with money they should be spending on something nutritious?
Yeah. I know. I'm not supposed to go there. Why should we factor in personal responsibility? We're not supposed to suggest that there are items in life that a person can survive without if their children need food. Well, it's about time someone did.
It would be a tragedy if we had these numbers of people actually going to bed hungry. In a country as great as I consider America to be, it would be absolutely criminal to allow such deprivation. Our strength should be measured by how we treat our weakest, and how we answer
the call to fill our citizens' most basic needs - including hunger, where it actually exists.
This report, and the spin on it, leaves me feeling manipulated. Once again, our government and the media are leaving out important information in an attempt to portray a crisis where perhaps there isn't one. If they can convince us the fattest people in the country are actually the hungriest, what's next? The best healthcare system in the world doesn't work?
Thursday, November 12, 2009
What we are seeing here, I suspect, is what we see everywhere with Obama: a
relentless empiricism in pursuit of a particular objective and a willingness to
let the process take its time. The very process itself can reveal - not just to
Obama, but to everyone - what exactly the precise options are. Instead of
engaging in adolescent tests of whether a president is "tough" or "weak", we
actually have an adult prepared to allow the various choices in front of us be
fully explored. He is, moreover, not taking the decision process outside the
public arena. He is allowing it to unfold within the public arena.
NOW he takes his time? We're to view his deer-in-headlights vaporlock on Afghanistan as wisdom and engaging the public? Damn shame this wasn't how he handled TARP... or the Stimuless... Or Healthcare Reform... With FOUR proposals available to him, he rejects each with no strategy of his own to put forth, and Sullivan seems to think he should be commended for his indecision?! Name ONE other time this President let any other "process take its time".
So the troop question is rather like the public option question.
Yeah. Exactly. Except the people without healthcare don't have BULLETS COMING AT THEM! Having a pre-existing condition doesn't make you more likely to be taken out by an IED!
Can you imagine Bush ever holding out like this on the military?
Not at all. But Sullivan thinks this is a PLUS, I take it? It's acceptable to screw our troops because Bush would not have screwed them? Is this the "change" Sullivan voted for? Sullivan's happy, he says we have a president. Sigh
George W. Bush had a LOT of faults... Leaving our troops in the lurch is not on the list.
Obama had better do SOMETHING. Pull 'em out, or give 'em what they need. Man up, Champ, your warriors are depending on you to do right. Andrew Sullivan might be impressed by your frozen indecision masquerading as thoughtful determination... The rest of us (and the troops in harm's way) are NOT. Everything else Obama has done since taking office has been an emergency! A crisis! A moral-for-GAWDS-sake imperative! But the troop decision can wait while it all gets sorted out in a public arena? Ludicrous.
Thanks to CassyFiano.com for the link. Interesting thoughts there on "Indecision as Virtue". If you've found your way here through that site, please have a look at the rest of the blog. And thanks for coming!
"Why are you searching this nonsense?"
This woman is not news. Can we PLEASE stop aiming cameras at her? There's no more sense in it. Every time someone does, she's either taking off her clothes or lying about taking off her clothes.
FIRST, there were no topless pictures. Until there were. THEN it's the "sex" tape... which she claims isn't sex, since she was alone. NOW, it's a big CONSPIRACY against her!
Don't flatter yourself, Punkin. There's no conspiracy, it's just the tail end of your fifteen minutes. See, this is America. In America, we ONLY put people on pedestals so we can watch them fall off. And if they don't cooperate and fall of on their own, we nudge them off. And sometimes we knock them right off like American gladiators jousting with those big styrofoam lances. Get the picture?
This woman NOT a conservative spokesperson, she's not a role model, and she's really not that interesting. I can't for the life of me understand why she's become some kind of cause celebre. (It can't be just the naked pictures. The internet is overflowing with naked.) She's a vapid liar. She knew full well she had stripped (and more!) in front of cameras. Yet she continues to play herself as the victim.
She's on record saying that "the body is god's temple". Apparently that goes right out the window if you don't like his decorating job... then it's perfectly acceptable to let the Miss USA org buy you some new boobies. So she's a liar, and a hypocrite. Great -- she could run for Congress. Now today, via TMZ, the boyfriend who was on the receiving end of her solo tape says she asked him to lie for her.
Can we please stop giving her all the attention she so shamelessly craves? She's in such utter denial that when interviewed now, she refuses to talk about the sex tape... even though it's the only reason she's scoring interviews! Silly twit, why did you think Larry King called you? To ask about your highlights?
I don't care if this moron wants to take off her clothes every time she sees a flash bulb. And I actually felt a little sorry for her when uber-bitch Perez Hilton attacked her. But it has gotten old, old, old.
Carrie, please take the following advice, in the words of Vince Neil:
"Girl, don't go away mad. Girl, just go away."
Update: BWAHAHAHAHA! "There are 30 nude photos and eight sex tapes of former Miss California Carrie Prejean, RadarOnline.com has learned exclusively"
It's a CONSPIRACY! Good grief. Maybe now this pathological liar will STFD and STFU.
"And there are 30 photos of Carrie, most topless, some showing everything,
and most taken by Carrie using her reflection in a mirror."
Hear Vince yet, Carrie? "Girl, just go away."
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
TURBACONDUCKEN! Step-by-step. MmmMmm. The comments are hilarious, too. My favorites:
Jim Frost: I showed this to my wife and her response was, “Why
not just stuff it in a pig?” My wife is a genius.
I agree, Jim. Your wife IS a genius. Stuff it in a pig and PIT ROAST it for a day. Mmmmmmmmm.
Bob The Chef: The raw product is disgusting, but the final product
leaving the oven is so gorgeous, it makes me want to smother a
vegan in it.
I like the way you think, Bob.
All joking aside, I want to do this. Oh my GAWD, I want to do
this. But more... I want to start with sausage stuffing (in bacon), in a chicken (in bacon), in a duck (in bacon), in a turkey (in bacon), in a pig... in a roasting pit. Get a big ol' pit full of coals and cook it like a caveman! Oh, my!
If I can figure out where I can dig a pit, it's on.
Ahhhhhhhh. Bite me, Peta.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Via BigGovernment, we have Code Pink whackjobs protesting on Halloween. These "adults" decided to aim their protest at children trying to trick-or-treat at the White House. They claim their grievance is with the administration, but they're talking to -- and clearly upsetting -- little kids here. Disgusting.
The kids held a counter-protest. Good for them!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Days ago, a madman opened fire on innocent Americans at Ft. Hood, committing premeditated murder because he was "upset". And again, it's not about the victims, but about his "second-hand trauma" caused merely by listening to ACTUAL soldiers who served bravely and came home to his questionable care.
And a few weeks back, we witnessed (thanks to camera phone) the brutal killing of an honor student whose only crime was trying to get home from school. Again, we're asked to look not at WHAT, but at WHY... the murderous thugs had been required to cross gang boundary lines to receive their taxpayer funded education, and we know how traumatic that can be.
Since Joe the Plumber, we've heard more every day about socialism, socialist policies, socialized government programs, and the socialists among us who want to make America a better place.
We'd better worry less about becoming a socialist nation and recognize the very frightening fact that we've ALREADY become a sociopathic nation.
I realize that's not politically or psychologically a correct term. It's now "anti-social personality disorder", or worse, self-defined victimhood. Either way, it's an epidemic. There's even a very vocal contingent that would have us believe an admitted child rapist is simply a victim. After all, he went through some pretty terrible things by anyone's definition, right?
For every evil committed by man, there's a faction of America that wants to excuse the behavior. Decades of wrong-headed social programs have done much to eliminate the idea of personal responsibility and parental complicity. We seek to explain the most heinous behaviors in terms of societal ills, and give those who commit crimes every benefit of the doubt. And it's taking its toll.
In the case of the school rape, the crime extends beyond the rapists themselves. Every single person who looked on without standing up is a co-conspirator. There were people taking pictures with their cell phones -- which means there were witnesses with the ability to summon help who simply chose not to do it. To physically jump into the fray would have been dangerous (although there are those who'd have done it anyway), but a cell phone call could have been made from out of sight of the attackers, and help would have been on the way.
In the case of our home-grown jihadi (I don't care if that's not a popular way to describe him.), there have been reports since that he was acting in a bizarre manner, his statements had long been suspect, and nobody reported him before he started shooting. And NOW, we have the liberal media tripping all over itself to come up with an explanation that portrays this swine as a victim of things he never experienced. That's right -- now you can be a victim even if you've never actually been victimized... you just have to hear about someone else's bad experience to be traumatized. If that's the case, you might expect a rash of psychologists and counselors shooting up everything in sight, no?
The child rapist in question is to be excused because he was victimized by Nazis -- right along with millions of others who suffered the same vile treatment but somehow managed to NOT pass on the evil by raping little kids. His family was murdered, but although unfortunately many others go through the same awful event, this individual responded by victimizing others. And that's perfectly understandable to some folks out there.
And the poor boy who was beaten to death in broad daylight... This one kills me. In the video, you can plainly see cars go right by. Nobody stops to help. Nobody drives their car over the attackers (a completely acceptable action, in my mind). And the amateur videographer never thinks to stop filming long enough to use his phone as a PHONE instead of a CAMERA and call the police. Worse, not one person can be seen on video saying "Stop filming this and use that phone to call for help, you fool!" You'd think-hope-wish some brave soul would have either used their own phone or snatched the one away from the filmer to get some assistance.
Recently, a man was shot very near where I live. Outside, in broad daylight. And when the police tried to help and get the shooter's identity, the man replied he was shot by "A ghost." Because, you see, he didn't want the police to help. And, wonder of wonders, nobody saw a thing. I suspect we'll see future shootings tied to this same incident.
A few years back, Jonathan Kellerman wrote a book called Savage Spawn, about violent children and what creates them. It's an interesting read. He examines the nature vs nurture question and comes to the sensible determination that it's both.
Here's my take. Conscience is apparently developed by the toddler years. We're facing quite a few obstacles to that. We have some parents whose lifelong involvement in social programs has taught them they don't need to actively parent. We have some "enlightened" parents who are under the delusion that children need more space and fewer rules and boundaries in order to explore their world. We have many, many narcissistic parents who think their job is to be cool and be a best friend rather than a role model and enforcer of proper behavior. And we have a society that is determined to find, or make up, any excuse to justify failure to act appropriately.
We're raising an entire generation (and then another behind it) of sociopaths -- people without conscience or empathy who believe they are indeed the center of the universe and that the rules don't apply. The catchphrase of this generation seems to be, "Whatever." Combine that with those moral relativists who enable and excuse it all, and we're well on our way to dividing into Morlock and Eloi, sheep and wolves, predators and prey.
Worry about socialism when it comes to government if you like. But you should worry also about sociopathy, because it's going to have an even bigger effect on where we go and what we become in our future.
Related: I just read the Supreme Court is split on whether to allow life sentences for juveniles. The article mentioned two cases under their consideration...
Terrence Graham was sentenced to life at 17. He violated probation (an armed robbery charge) by taking part in a home invasion. Now 22, old Terrence wants a "meaningful opportunity" to show he's "fit to live in society. That's all -- that's all we're asking for."
Hey, slick -- You had the chance fit into society before you decided to become a violent habitual offender instead. And somehow, after starting out rotten and then spending four years being surrounded by the dregs of society, you're now fit to live with the rest of us?
Joe Harris Sullivan was given life for two counts of sexual battery. At 13, he was convicted of raping an elderly woman and judged to be incorrigible.
So at 13 this person was sufficiently morally stunted to commit rape, but we're supposed to believe that after 18 years locked away from society with other violent offenders, he's actually improved as a human being?
Sociopaths. And we have the Ruth Bader Ginsburgs of the world to excuse them as she says that juveniles are still developing and are not fully culpable for their actions. She says decisions about whether they have reformed can be made only at a later date.
Hey, Ruth... if a person has already become a habitual, violent, antisocial offender as a child, you're far too late to make a decent person of them. Stop endangering the rest of us with your enabling foolishness.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Last week, Ms. Portman wrote a blog post at HuffPo about her conversion to veganism.
In her article, Natalie writes: "Jonathan Safran Foer's book Eating Animals changed me from a twenty-year vegetarian to a vegan activist."
In this day and age, it's nice to see young stars still take the time to read, no? She goes on to tell of her horror at the "copious amounts of pig shit sprayed into the air" and worse yet, "the origins of the swine flu epidemic... in factory farms". Never mind that from what I've read the swine flu virus was cooked up intentionally, that business about the pig shit sure was eloquent and thought provoking.
Anyway, my FIRST thought on reading her article was that Ms. Portman had now made herself eligible as an entree, if my warning to the militant vegans is ever brought to bear. And my SECOND thought was... wonder how long it will take her to drop trou (or blou, I suppose) to make her point. I honestly figured it's only a matter of time, right? She certainly sounds like a Petapeople, doesn't she?
Then yesterday, I read another interview with the beautiful Natalie. This time, she was telling V Magazine about her fears that doing nudity on film might be exploited by the online porn industry.
So, of course, my THIRD thought was: "Shit. There goes my theory." You see, after observing for some time how Peta, Petapeople and their like-minded veggie crunchers attempt to make their points, I assumed it was only a matter of time before we had one more nekkid protester freezing her butt off to make us all see the light. (On a side note, I've realized their practice might be hazardous to their health, and maybe I shouldn't be so flip. See, with no meat in the diet, and thus no body fat to speak of, these
strippers activists are regularly risking hypothermia to save us all from our appetites.)
Then, I found this:
Ahhhh. See that? My faith is restored. If you just take away her name in the photo and add some catchy tag-line about "This is the only way I wear snakeskin!", then she's well on her way to becoming an official Petapeople.
Except that, as I've said before, Petapeople and their like are proud of -- nay, obsessed with -- their status as mammal. They just loooove to prove it to us, right? And so I was once again forced to question my long believed theory about them. Could I have been so wrong? Have I been blinded by my prejudice toward those who'd interfere with my dinner? Have I harshly judged them all along, assuming veganism and public display of the body went hand-in-hand?
Nope. Pegged it again.
It's sooooo nice to be validated.
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Saturday, November 7, 2009
There isn't an easy answer. As independents, we tend to be... well... independent. What we want varies wildly in specifics. It would seem sensible, to me at least, for our politicians to reach out to us and ask what we want. They poll for everything else, right?
Instead, each team seems to have a preconceived notion of us and what we're all about. Yesterday, I read an article about independents written by a conservative author in a liberal publication. Sounds
"Independents are herds of cats who find out what they think through a meandering process of discovery."
What the hell does this even mean? Herds of cats? Meandering process of discovery? This makes it sound as though independents are blundering cluelessly through the world, and only making decisions if we trip across truth. OK... He has to have something better than that, right?
"The first thing to say is that this recession has hit the new suburbs hardest, exactly where independents are likely to live."
Not much better. Apparently Mr. Brooks thinks we independents are gathered into enclaves like immigrants used to group together in the slums of Young America. If this were the case, you'd see a bigger showing of independent votes in certain precincts and districts. In turn, you'd see a shift in elected representatives from those areas, and an actual independent political base. The truth is, we're much like cockroaches. We're everywhere, scattered across every demographic group and living among those who've picked a side.
"The second thing to say is that in this time of need, these voters are not turning to government for support."
Ummm... Hence the term "independent", right? We don't support any party, and we don't expect any party to support us. I'd give Mr. Brooks credit for this point, if it weren't such a self-obvious explanation that he never needed to say it to begin with.
"Americans have moved to the right on abortion, immigration and global warming."
I don't necessarily agree with this. I think politics has slid sooo far left on these issues that simply being moderate makes one appear right-leaning. In a herd of white cats (to borrow his metaphor), the ivory one stands out.
"If I were a politician trying to win back independents, I’d say something like this: When I was a kid, I had a jigsaw puzzle of the U.S. Each state was a piece...."
So, politicians who wish to follow Mr. Brooks advice should address independents like we're slow children, painstakingly explaining the situation to us? Heh. Try it, I dare ya. Being an independent or undecided voter does not mean a person is intellectually inferior or uninformed, and most independents I know personally or read in media would not respond well at all to this tactic. Want to piss off an independent? Treat him/her like an idiot. If we wanted to be told what to think, we'd sign on to a party and not be independent.
Well, so far THIS independent isn't too impressed with Mr. Brooks and his brilliant insight into my mind. But maybe he ends with a good point, some gem of understanding that will enlighten not only the independents, but those struggling to understand us...?
"Independents support the party that seems most likely to establish a frame of stability and order, within which they can lead their lives. They can’t always articulate what they want, but they withdraw from any party that threatens turmoil and risk. As always, they’re looking for a safe pair of hands."
Ah. I see. So we're back to independents as insecure children (of questionable intelligence) casting blindly for someone, anyone, to pat us on the head and keep us safe from turmoil.
How patently offensive. How completely arrogant and clueless. THIS nonsense is what drives away independents, and any politician foolish enough to take a word of this a fact deserves exactly what they get.
So, then... what do independents really want? I'm not a respected journalist, like Mr. Brooks, but I AM an independent. As such, I feel a little more qualified to answer. I've already said, the specifics of what we want vary wildly. We don't always agree, even amongst ourselves. But there are some general points I think are pretty much universal among independents. Ready?
We want the government to do its job, and only that. Get out of our personal business, and everybody else's. THIS independent doesn't care if gay people want to get married or grown adults want to smoke pot. I want my government to protect me from people who are an actual danger to society and leave the rest of us alone. Both parties struggle to put up candidates who take a hard line on things that are not government's business, and alienate those of us who don't care. Not every independent agrees with me on my examples, but as a whole, we do agree that government oversteps its bounds when it gets into our personal lives.
We want the government to be fiscally responsible. If I ran my home and checkbook the way the government runs finance, I'd have serious problems. STOP spending money you don't have (but take from us) on foolish things, and you'd have more to spend on necessities. Do what the rest of us do. If you don't have the money for something that must be funded, trim your budget before taking out a loan! Learn to do without things that are not essential. And actually spend money on the things the government is supposed to -- a stronger military, better education, and our infrastructure.
Stop making the government bigger. By definition, independent means we don't WANT taken care of and told what to do every second we breathe. We're turned off by the constant expansion of government into everything we are and everything we have. SMALLER government is better government.
Stop fooling around when it comes to the wars we're engaged in. Either get our troops out, or give them the money they need. This current holding pattern is ludicrous. Pick an option and DO IT! Your stance may turn out to be unpopular later, but for gawd's sake, take a side. Stop playing politics with people's lives.
And finally, you'd really better drop this idea that we're intellectually sub-par, or some mysterious phenomenon to be debated and understood. Both parties stand to lose elections if they choose this tactic. I vote for the candidate I think is best after carefully researching their positions with no thought to the letter next to their name. And I can tell you that I put a lot of weight into whether I think a politician is trying to decide what is best for me, regardless of my opinion on the matter. Want to lose my vote? Assume you know what I think without LISTENING to me.
Because THAT'S what independents want most. A government that listens to its people, and does what we want. A government that remembers American people have minds (some of them damn brilliant), and treats us accordingly. A government that serves us instead of ruling us. A government that protects us without controlling us. A government that provides the framework, and then gets the hell out of our way.
See? No mystery. Next time you want to know what independents think, just ASK one. What a nice change that would be...