February 2013


So this video of Pat Robertson telling us that a sweater from Goodwill might come with a demon attached to it may seem a little silly.  But I think this is the perfect explanation for Macklemore–the man is clearly infested with a legion of thrift store demons from all those tags he’s been popping.  Hence the frantic rapping style and the overuse of the word “hella”.

Oh dear God.  So this story–about a Freedomworks video featuring a sex scene between a fake Hillary Clinton and a fake giant panda–reveals the embarrassing truth.  The Tea Party folks, they’re…they’re…furries.

Now, to each their own.  Everybody needs a fetish–and Lord knows people with as much of a stick up their rear as the Freedomworks contingent need one–but ACK.  Does this mean that the Freedomworks conferences involve after-hours cuddly fur piles?  Inquiring minds…don’t really want to know.

This recent Pew Research poll tells us something interesting.  Not only does the majority of the American people support President Obama’s plan to raise the minimum wage to $9/hour–more Republicans support than oppose the measure.  The poll shows a sizable majority of 71% of Americans in favor of the plan, while Republicans are split with 50% supporting the measure and 47% against it.  (The only group which consistently opposes the plan are Tea Party followers, with 64% against it.  However, this poll seems to put the lie to the idea that Tea Party values are those of most Americans.)

So who else is against raising the minimum wage?  Republican lawmakers.  Republican lawmakers, as opposed to the Republican rank and file, which is much more divided on the issue.  And no wonder, since a lot of regular Republicans work regular jobs, in which they are dependent on a decent wage.  The lawmakers are much more concerned about the well-being of their business owner friends and how this measure might affect them.  As usual, the Republican leadership doesn’t necessarily represent the interests of the people voting for them–and the people who continue to vote for them do so at their own risk.

Okay, I think I’m starting to put together some rules for how to conduct myself in the new world we inhabit.  I’m naturally an introverted and private person, so these will be a little hard for me to get used to, but I think it’s best if I get started on adapting to them now.  Here are a few basic ones:

*Don’t do anything in your home that you wouldn’t want a drone to photograph.  Yeah, I used to think of it as the “privacy” of my own home, but that turns out to be a silly delusion.  Be on your best behavior, even in your bedroom.  I’m guessing sex is still acceptable as long as it takes place under the covers.

*Don’t communicate anything on the Internet–this includes “private” e-mails–unless you would be prepared to share it with the Department of Homeland Security.  Or the Chinese military.

*Don’t take a photograph unless you are okay with it being used in online advertising later on down the road.  (Or just be completely asocial like me and don’t share your pictures with your friends).

*Don’t wear embarrassing underwear–you never know when it might get displayed on a body scanner.

I’m guessing there’s more that I’m missing here.  As far as I know, my conversations aren’t being bugged and my thoughts can’t be read yet.  I remember hearing that the Age of Aquarius was going to bring all of humanity much closer together.  Is it wrong of me to feel that we are getting a little too close?  I like to be able to keep some things to myself.

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Some think lightning striking the Vatican was a sign of God’s wrath over Pope Benedict’s resignation.  I say the gods were throwing a party, celebrating that this conservative Pope is finally leaving.  Although my hopes for his replacement being any better are very slim!

Whenever I end up feeling like a jaded and discouraged old (or at least middle-aged) woman, hearing about the Millennials gives me hope.  Thank God for young people.  This new generation is more racially diverse than ever.  They don’t see gay marriage as a problem.  They’re used to women having influential positions and successful careers.  They’re more likely to be skeptical of religious institutions, and to be spiritual rather than religious.  They’re more likely to be vegan or vegetarian than people of other generations–I’m not vegetarian myself, but deeply admire the motivations which lead a person to make that choice.

They will also probably become more conservative as they get older, just as every other generation does.  But that is the essence of the life process–by the time the Millennials get too old and crusty, new kids and new ideas will enter the scene.  All I know is that the last thing I want is to get stuck in some static version of “the good old days”.  Let my faded nostalgia get washed away by the flow of life, as it deserves to be, and in with the new.

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Had to take a moment to express my love for Grumpy Cat…finally, another creature with as much of an appreciation for pessimism as me 🙂  Fuck all that positive thinking bullshit.  Although unlike me, Grumpy Cat would probably say “Drone strikes on American citizens?  GOOD.”

I can kind of sympathize with passionate conservatives at the moment.  Since the Democrats hold both the Presidency and the majority in the Senate, conservatives find themselves in the same position progressives like me have been in many times, valiantly struggling for the things they believe in without having the power to really make them happen, until that struggle turns into something a bit quixotic and silly.

There is no better example of this than the current conservative hero, Texas Senator Ted Cruz.  Conservatives sing his praises for sticking to his right-wing principles, but…what has he actually been able to get done?  So far, he is 0-to-11 in his Senate votes.  He has introduced a bill to repeal healthcare reform (snort).  He has voted against John Kerry’s confirmation for Secretary of State while attempting to smear him as anti-military, and lost that fight.  He has participated in the Chuck Hagel hearings and tried to make the Secretary of Defense nominee look anti-Semitic by quoting out of context from an interview in which Hagel in fact criticized Iran and emphasized the importance of a strong relationship with Israel.  When all else failed, Cruz threatened to filibuster Hagel’s nomination.  But this turned out to be an idea which other, more sane, Republicans are backing away from.  (And I’m using the word sane to refer to John McCain here, which feels like quite a stretch.)

I realize that when he does all this, Cruz is appealing to his conservative base.  But he is also not accomplishing much of anything.  His dramatic gestures may get attention, but that is all they are, gestures–like his letter to Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel opposing gun control measures.  I’m sure Emanuel cares deeply about that one. Again, as a liberal I feel some sympathy for Cruz here.  He’s like one of those tree sitting anti-logging protesters.  You know that tree will get cut down anyway, but good old Ted is gonna keep sitting up there.

But I guess I shouldn’t completely dismiss Ted–he proudly represents the red-blooded American values of a state like Texas.  At least, until the demographics shift and Texas turns blue.  Tee hee.

So, I think I’m starting to get it.  The main thing this gun debate comes down to is that you want to be able to fight your own government.  That’s why you need to own such large guns–because they are not for hunting or target practice–they are meant for that inevitable day when the military shows up on your doorstep to stick you in a FEMA camp because you got caught reading the Drudge Report.  Fine, I get it.  There’s only one problem with this scenario.  The military isn’t afraid of your puny assault rifle.  They have missiles and drones.  This invites another question–should we all be allowed to own missiles in case we have to defend ourselves from the coming dictatorship?  If not, why not?  Why are our missile rights being restricted?

This question can be translated to the international scene, as well.  After all, the conservative argument is that the more weapons everyone has, the more peaceful our world will be.  So why the uproar over Iran and North Korea developing their nuclear programs?  Let everyone have their bombs, the bigger the better.   Sure, we’ll live in constant fear of each other, but we’ll also treat each other more politely.  Wasn’t that the theory during the Cold War–mutually assured destruction?  A theory which Reagan liked, even!  See, the Republicans will totally be on board with me on this.

Um, what’s that you say?  You say that Iran and North Korea are ka-razy and should not be allowed to arm themselves to the teeth?  Does that mean that not everyone in the world should have access to deadly weapons?  So perhaps some individuals in our country should also not be allowed to have guns, because they might shoot them for crazy reasons.  Unless America is somehow special and is comprised of only good and peaceful people.  But I think our latest rash of shootings puts the lie to that.