Saturday, November 24, 2012

Annoyed again, naturally

In the last 4 years, the actual deficit, the actual amount over tax revenue the government is spending per year, has gone down. The debt has increased, but that is not the same as the deficit. So actual government spending, even with the stimulus (whether you believe it was effective or not) was reduced.
At this stage, tax reform, as a practice in reduction of institutionalized corruption (people getting tax breaks because someone gave money to, or voted for, a politician or party) needs to be instituted.
And usury laws. That's the biggest drain on savings. Unchecked, unregulated credit charges, and the legal remedies there to, that can be changed in the fine print of the billing paperwork.
Think of it as corporate taxation with corporate representation.
Think of Black Friday and the consumer culture it promotes as corporate America's denationalization and secularization of America.
Credit cards and home loans are basically the company store of the 21st century. Throw in reverse mortgages, are causing the elderly to lose their one tangible asset, and the housing bubble as the corporate world getting bitten on its bottom for trying to provide company housing by foreclosure and purchase by rental companies leading to a future of serfdom where in they, the land holders, who own the loans the rental companies use to finance their rental properties-- landlords for the landlords ...
Okay. That's a little far, but you'll notice that the companies that provided the credit authorizations for the subprime loans are not only still in business, but still providing credit ratings, and still authorizing loans for their banking partners, while the home owners who got loans they couldn't afford, only because they were approved by those banking institutions, are still being foreclosed on and vilified as deadbeats by the common man.
That's good advertising. Madoff needed to hire that PR team instead of lawyers. Then, like the banks and fellow travelers, he would have been given a pass by the States Attorneys Generals and congress would have given him matching funds.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The magic of America

Days after Sandy, not weeks or months which is understandable, but days after Sandy we had people out shouting about how power should be back because "this is America, not (insert name of seemingly randomly selected nation here)." As if living in this particular geographical location makes us immune to the laws of physics.
Add to this that the majority of images are on Fox News, one of the main decriers of FEMAs existence, and, well, all you can do is laugh.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandy Jersey Shore

How long will it take before some preacher decides the storm was the result of the hedonistic voyeurisms of the reality TV show. Or "reality" TV in general.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

TV and religion. Still.

Okay, so I have decided it would be a good idea to spend an extraordinary amount money on "No Evil Oil" From Danny Davis ( the TV preacher who's tag line is "go with god and god will go with you"). I figure I am getting to that age where magic oil that not only protects me from witchcraft and helps with that pesky prostrate (better to start early than wait for it to be a problem) but also saves one from the evils of poverty is a good investment.
Plus, you know, oil...and there's always time for lubricant.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The dumbest thing Michael Dukakis thing ever did was hesitate.

The first political add I remember was the Willie Horton attack add against Michael Dukakis. Then, during the debate, when asked if he would (paraphrased) want to kill someone who attached his family, the answer should have been an unqualified yes. Spoken loud.
Not because it's right. Because its the nature of the beast. One of the basest, but likely a survival mechanism for genetic information. Think the Price equation.
But he should have asked "but, should I be making that decision? Should I be allowed to make that decision in a society of laws?".
Don't get me wrong. I am very pro death penalty. Not because it's right, but because it's cheaper and nicer than sixty years of imprisonment in an American SuperMax facility. Even more so than in some over crowded third world hell hole or Russian gulag.
But that doesn't make it right.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The basis of religion is sacrifice, the object is to be a better person.

People have forgotten that, whatever your god may be, it's about black and white. Rules. Modern religion has forgotten this.
Modern religion, as practiced in America, has become about feeling good. People go to church to feel the love of god. The acceptance of who they are, warts and all. They, as Catholics will attest (at least if Chris Mathews' is to be believed), violate the Church's tenants when they don't agree, but go on playing the good church goer.
Catholics use birth control, Jews reform and eat pork, Muslims participate in the Olympics during Ramadan. All think that their religion's adaption to the modern world's ideas is natural and acceptable. They hunt through their religious texts on their own to find the ideas that support their view of truth, and neglect the things that do not.
It's human nature. We find reasons not to sacrifice, or, we sacrifice for the benefit of others. How many people donate to their church to the limit of their tax benefits, and no further.
Even the government knows that, sans a few reprobate throw backs, people do not donate without the direct benefit to themselves. It understands that taking away tax credits for donations would kill church run hospitals and programs for the poor.
Sacrifice. A movie star who drops one hundred thousand dollars on church project gets coo-does and feels warm in his or her pants, but if their last film netted them 35 million ... it's not really a sacrifice. I give the same percentage dropping my pocket change in a Salvation Army bucket at Christmas. That isn't to say it's not welcome and appreciated, but it is not a sacrifice.
It boils down to this: if you think the your religion's rules and tenants should adapt to what you believe, and you do what you want when it doesn't, then you are not (insert your religion's name for its followers here). You might be a Unitarian. You might even be a person of faith. But you are making it up as you go along.
If you religion teaches truth, it in effect teaches 1+1=2. That you, or billions of you decide that this is not so, that 1+1=3, or 4, or 7, because you believe that truth is inconvenient to your world view, then you do not believe in your religion's god.
Modern religion is about confirming your goodness, and, generally, that god loves you as you are. But most religion is about being better than you are, with rules god supposedly gave for living a better life. A good life. What does it say that modern society expects one plus one to equal three.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The iMini: I hope it has a new fresh scent. And doesn't leave unsightly lines in my jeans.

I cannot wait for the new iPad. The iMini, maybe with wings. My current pad is too bulky, except for heavy flow days. The iPod is simply too small for typical days. And it has to more absorb ant than the iPod. Too much content and I have to wring the damn thing out and reuse it. Very bad for the lazy.
And why do feminine hygiene products come with varied perfumes? Is there a sniff test to them I was unaware of? Before or after?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Story A1: Hurricane Ivan, or what I heard on the way to the convention.

I was listening to the radio, headed south to Florida, second biggest population of NewYorkers in the world. The radio announcer said "Hurricane Isaac set to crash Republican National Convention."
Sara, sitting next to me, changes the channel. Apolitical, she doesn't like the news during election season. Which is okay, nor do I. I just can't help listening and getting pissy.
She doesn't like me when I am pissy.
It's difficult to deal with someone who can't help taking the opposite view in any discussion, so she doesn't.
"So," said slowly, "don't take this as an opening, but is it ironic that the party that said hurricane Katrina was the punishment of sinners in New Orleans, is about to get hit by a hurricane?"
I smiled keeping my opinion firmly behind my teeth.
"Or, is this storm going to be a left wing communist plot?"
Communist? I thought. "Communist?". I asked.
"Hurricane Ivan," she said, looking at me through lashes with slightly too much mascara. "The republicans will leave before they have to take the blame."
I started to laugh. She hit me, rising out of her seat to put some force behind it.
"What are you laughing at?"
"Isaac." I said rubbing my shoulder. "Hurricane Isaac."
"Oh," she said propping her bare feet up on the corner of the dash, "I am sure something anti-Semitic will be said about it."

Monday, August 20, 2012

Alex Wagner, MSNBC, and the conversations on women's health/reproductive issue. Or, men like breasts as much as women (do).

The problem with the conversation on women's health issues is topic of sex. Of birth control. The arguments from the "right" are about fucking. The left talks about it as if that was no part in it, or if they do allow for it the couch it in the term "reproductive" health.
These are the wrong terms.
Few people have ever had condoms purchased by their insurance. The right sees no reason that the pill, the sponge, IUD's or fellow travelers should be paid for by insurance. (Yes condoms are often handed out for free, but thats not the same as government mandated corporate purchases for individuals). And there is no similarity between paying for Viagra and the pill. Viagra fixes a problem, a disfunction in the system. A treatment for vaginismus would be a better comparison.
The left sees this as a women's health issue, as if any restriction involving a vagina is unthinkable, even if the restriction only makes restricts provided services, not health. The left likes to think that access to provided services prevents pregnancy. The right feels that sex is optional and people should be held responsible for their actions. The left agrees, at least as it comes to men.
And when the left discusses reproductive health, they discuss birth control that prevents other things than pregnancy. Ovarian cysts, for instance. I think Sandra Fluke raised this one. But this is not birth control. No one argues about preventing ovarian cysts.
So stop couching the argument in feminist terms. Make it about general health. Fix the disfunction and raise the stakes. We need better preventative services in general, so of the pill prevents ovarian cysts, argue for any medication that prevents cysts. That way all cysts get equal prevention. Take sex out, both the act and the gender.
If the pill prevented cervical cancer then the argument would be over cancer prevention for everyone. Of course, the left doesn't get as much feminine support for cancer prevention. Women don't get as tuned in for cancer.
Unless it's also about breasts.
How much money do men and corporations donate to breast cancer every year?
If that does not show a decent response to women's health issues then nothing will.
Men like breasts.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Humans will rise to the level expected of them, or sink to the level they are allowed.

It says something about the Olympics that the medals are now the size of the clocks worn by rappers is the 80s. That the gold is thinner than the aluminum in which they wrap chocolate coins. That we talk of revenge and vindication rather than a well played rematch.
A punch thrown at our soccer players is a horror. A body tackle by an American player a couple of games later is "aggressive" play.
Cheating accepted normal.
When did we become Soviets? Our national pride tied to winning, and any athlete that doesn't run as expected pilloried for the entertainment of people who have managed to capture the world's record in obesity?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Excremeat, the reason for it all. Or Birbiglia's Hello Kitty Notpad.

Social phobia and general anger. This is better than arguing with my friends. Sort of like Mike's recommendation to put it on paper. Well...his therapist's idea if you believe the stand up.
Originally, I was thinking of ranting on the politics of the day, but every body does that. So I will agree with Stanhope, that whatever I don't understand, or can't do is stupid, then I am going to work out why I think so here.
I agree with Sorkin's judgement that "anonymity is cowardice". Social phobia being what it is, however, I am going to role with it for the moment. Spelling intentional.
Baby steps.