filkertom: (whodoyouthink)
Dunno why everybody's so shocked, shocked! that a 67-year-old duck call maker from the backwoods spouts racism and homophobia.

Nor am I surprised that Rush Limbaugh defends him on the grounds of FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

I'm not even piqued by the stance of the rest of his clan, that their fatigues-and-whittlin' Simple Country Honesty™ cannot possibly move forward without their patriarch.

However, I am slightly annoyed that Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) is jumping on the FREEDOM OF SPEECH! bandwagon. But then, he's only supposed to be one of the new breed of conservative intellectuals (which I'm sure we all remember from his Mr. Rogers-style SOTU rebuttal in 2009).

And I'm rather annoyed, and simultaneously bemused, at the FREEDOM OF SPEECH! outcry from the same people who boycotted the Dixie Chicks for saying they were embarrassed to be from the same state as Pres. Bush, the same folks who followed Ari Fleischer's despicable lead in warning people to "watch what you say".

Let's remind everyone, especially Jindal and Rushbo, of a little basic law: The First Amendment, guaranteeing freedom of speech, does indeed guarantee anyone the right to say anything (within the obvious limits of "fire" in a crowded theater, etc. Let's not cloud the argument with bullshit). This even extends to outright lies -- goodness knows enough of them have gone unchallenged.

And it guarantees that the government cannot legally suppress your speech.

It does not guarantee you an audience.

And, if you are a representative of a private company -- in this case, the A&E Network -- it does not guarantee you a job if you say shit that said company thinks is damaging to their image.

You'd think that someone who started from nothing and built his hand-carved duck calls into a fairly big corporation and a reality TV show would have people to mention these things to him. At least someone in his immediate family.

Ah well. I'm gonna continue to stay off his lawn.
filkertom: (Default)
Incredible sadness.

Not many people can be said to have changed the world, especially for the better. Nelson Mandela was one of them. Rest well, sir, and thank you.

filkertom: (Default)
Good morning! Here, have a song. From an idea by Bruce Adelsohn. Thanks to Zander Nyrond and Blind Lemming Chiffon for suggesting lyrical tweaks.

Ted Cruz Crazy
Words: © by Tom Smith
Music: "Tom Cruise Crazy" by Jonathan Coulton

Music video for the original song:



Ted Cruz is so in love with freedom
At least all his people tell him so
Hates the poor and doesn't want to feed 'em,
Thinks Obamacare just has to go,
But a functioning government sucked out his compassion,
Good thing he's not Canadian anymore

Ted Cruz is Ted Cruz crazy
Just be glad it's him not you
If you had Ted Cruz's ego
You might be Ted Cruz crazy too
You'd flash your big white phony smile
You'd break Congress's rules
(alternate: "You'd dominate the news")
And you'd be the only man on Earth
Who didn't hate Ted Cruz
Oh no, you wouldn't despise Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz is always getting odder
He knows he'll never be that sane again
And when Ted Cruz looks for cannon fodder
He sees the welfare queens and union men
He knows someday he'll have to play
A very subtle race card,
He reads "Green Eggs and Ham" and gets it wrong

Ted Cruz is Ted Cruz crazy
Just be glad it's him not you
If you had Ted Cruz's viewpoint
You might be Ted Cruz crazy too
You'd threaten the economy
While your colleagues drink their booze
And you'd be the only man on Earth
Who could even stand Ted Cruz
Oh yeah, you wouldn't loathe Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz thinks somewhere there's a place for him
But he's not of this world anymore...

Somewhere in his White House playset
Poor Ted Cruz sits staring at the wall
A voice speaks in his head, and he obeys it
He never fails to heed its call
There are millions who know his name
Everybody hates him
Guess he's just not making himself clear...

Ted Cruz is Ted Cruz crazy
Just be glad it's him not you
If you had Ted Cruz's ambitions,
You might be Ted Cruz crazy too
You'd stomp and scramble over folks
Who have much more to lose
And you'd be the only man on Earth
Who didn't despise Ted Cruz
Oh no, you wouldn't much like Ted Cruz.
filkertom: (headdesk)
I certainly don't expect a lot of my politically-right-leaning friends to read this exhaustive article in the Daily Kos about how the Republican party has fought against the Affordable Care Act with lies, disinformation, and more lies; I expect even fewer to think about it. But I thought it was worth it to at least have the information out here, where you can find it.

Discuss it to your heart's content. I will not join in. Please be polite, no personal attacks on other commenters -- we're all friends here.
filkertom: (mst3k_itstinks)
Must-see video at dKos. The point here is not how much of a doof Gov. Rick Perry is, so much as it's the awesome pro-New York video Lewis Black and the Daily Show staff put together.

If you could move, right now, for free, to any city in America, where would you go? I'm torn between staying in the Ann Arbor area, Kissimmee, FL, or Chattanooga, TN (very important perqs: access to I-75 and the fastest internet in the country).

Fuck Fear

Jul. 14th, 2013 03:08 pm
filkertom: (Default)
Just headed off another argument on my Facebook page, this time regarding the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman verdict. And I got on a roll, and way past that specific topic, and I thought I'd put it up here to see what you all think.

It kinda meanders, although I do my best to aim toward an obvious target. Simple premise, though:

Fuck fear. )
filkertom: (whodoyouthink)
Ten years ago yesterday, the US launched an unprovoked, illegal war of aggression against Iraq.

I really tried to just let that horrific anniversary go by. I'm trying to finish a bunch of things, I'm not feeling well (no big, just malaise and a lingering headache), I just don't want to think about it.

And then Donald Fucking Rumsfeld has to open his big, virtual yap:
10 yrs ago began the long, difficult work of liberating 25 mil Iraqis. All who played a role in history deserve our respect & appreciation.
More than anything else he's done, this proves Donald Rumsfeld is a jackass. All he had to do was... nothing.

But, no. We must partake of our betters' wisdom, after all.

I haven't even got the energy right now to unleash a rant. Although, honestly, I certainly don't need to. The rest of the Intertubes did it for me, 140 characters at a time. The third response to Rummy's little word vomit on Twitter has already become famous:
@RumsfeldOffice Except you & your bosses, you blood-gargling psychopath.
In a just world, Rumsfeld, Bush, Cheney, Rove, Wolfowitz, Rice, the whole motley crew down to the kid who made the coffee, would be in leg-irons before the Hague.

I ain't holdin' my breath.
filkertom: (i_has_a_sad)
Sadness. Pianist Harvey Levan "Van" Cliburn has passed away at the age of 78.

As classical musicians go, he was a rock star. His breakthrough came at the first quadrennial International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, held in Moscow in 1958. The event was one of many intended to demonstrate Soviet superiority, in this case culturally.

Small problem: a 23-year-old from Texas who ended up getting an eight-minute standing ovation. His performance at that competition, of Rachmaninoff's 3rd Piano Concerto, is available on YouTube.

Rest well, Mr. Cliburn, and thanks.
filkertom: (i_has_a_sad)
It's not often the phrase "Heroic Reagan Administration Official" springs to mind.

Charles Everett Koop has passed away at the age of 96. And he definitely wasn't the type you'd consider progressive by his resume: personally against homosexuality, abortion, and pre-marital sex, he nevertheless was a strong proponent of educating the public about them and defending people's rights involving them. He was especially big on informing people about AIDS at a time when not a lot was known about it. And he was virulently anti-smoking.

In other words, even though he didn't agree with them, he upheld the laws of the land. And he tried to make things safer for everyone, using his office as a bully pulpit to make people listen to actual, accurate information about hotly politicized topics.

Rest Well, Dr. Koop, and thanks.
filkertom: (headdesk)
Alabama state representative Mary Sue McClurkin, who is of course sponsoring anti-abortion regulation, says a baby is the largest organ in the body.
filkertom: (whodoyouthink)
I haven't been having the best day.
  • First, of course, came the NRA's repugnant ad (and their remarkable bullshit response to everyone's disgust).
  • I'm waiting for a callback from a U-M clinic (no big, about a procedure I'll have next month).
  • I'm trying to wrestle with writing some, y'know, music.
  • A woman who was my housemate back in the late 80s passed away, and we were never close and I hadn't seen her in years but now I'm the only survivor of that household.
  • And then goddamn Rush has to open his yap:
    You know how to stop abortion? Require that each one occur with a gun.
HOW CAN SOMEONE EVEN THINK LIKE THAT?

How can someone say shit like that? Is this truly the normal level of discourse?

I know, I know: It's Rush, it's talk radio, it's the right wing, blah blah blah. I shouldn't let myself get crazy over it. But, dammit, I spent a lot of time and energy trying to become a halfway decent human being, and I think I made it, and I try to maintain it and not be an asshole, and then this unconscionable motherfucker continues to get fucking stupid wealthy by saying things that simply should not even be thought of -- not because they're heretical, or challenging, or out of step with some mythical mainstream, but because they're unfathomably vile.

It sickens me to call him part of my tribe. But he is. Perhaps I'm not part of his, but he's still a human being, and I will not descend to his depths and dehumanize him.

But GOD this day is for shit.
filkertom: (Default)
Perhaps you've heard of the proposal to mint a trillion-dollar coin to take care of the debt ceiling woes. (Click here for a more detailed discussion.)

No matter which side of that proposal you are on, I think you'll find this (from Steve Benen at the Maddow Blog) really, really worrisome:
This morning, the [National Republican Campaign Committee] argued, apparently in all seriousness, "The amount of platinum needed to mint a coin worth $1 trillion would sink the Titanic." To help drive home the point, the campaign committee even created an image of a President Obama platinum coin weighing down the Titanic.

Making matters slightly worse, the NRCC says the coin would "pay for [Obama's] spending," which suggests Republicans still don't understand that the White House cannot legally spend money that hasn't already been approved by Congress.

But even putting that aside, the problem with the image and initial argument is that the NRCC appears to have forgotten how money works. A $20 bill does not have $20 worth of paper. Indeed, the paper and fibers that go into a $50 bill do not have five times the value of a $10 bill. And as such, a $1 trillion coin would not need $1 trillion worth of platinum.
For a number of years now, one of the most pressing currency issues has been whether we should stop making pennies, as they are literally worth less than the metal made to create them.

A ten dollar bill weighs exactly the same as a hundred dollar bill, except for that extra zero, which adds nothing and yet multiplies by ten. (Or somethin'.)

We have currency precisely so we don't have to lug around hunks of metal, or anything else.

How about a credit card with a value of $1 trillion?

I see where the NRCC is trying to make a symbolic point... but, for cryin' out loud, if they don't know the basic rules of how an economy based on currency works, how can they possibly have any credibility at all on policy?
filkertom: (cookie_wth)
Hostess Brands is going out of business.

Utterly stupid. The company would literally rather kill itself off than give their workers a break. They wanted "major wage and benefit concessions". Don't they always?

What's your favorite Hostess brand? Mine's the Snowball. Fortunately, I only have 'em a couple of times a year.
filkertom: (i_has_a_sad)
Great sadness and fond memories for us Michiganders today.

First, Helen Milliken, the wife of former Governor William Milliken, has passed away at the age of 89. She was the First Lady of Michigan for fourteen years, and came to be an exceptional advocate of women's rights and environmental protection. She was one of those people about whom no one had anything bad to say. A smart, elegant, classy lady, and a great ambassador for our state, and she will be missed.

And then there's Marvin Eliot Schlossburg.



Sonny Eliot has passed away at the age of 91. We'll remember him sadly but fondly -- "sondly" kinda remembering, if you will.
filkertom: (Default)
I am greatly looking forward to WindyCon next weekend in Lombard, IL. Seanan, Amy, Evil Stevie. Saturday concert, Saturday night at the masquerade, possibly a staff/guests concert right about now next Thursday.

But mostly, I am greatly looking forward to WindyCon because our long national nightmare election will be over.

I think, for all of our sanity, I am not going to post anything political on DW/LJ until Wednesday morning. Maybe not till after Thanksgiving. There will likely be some things on FB, Twitter, and Pinterest, but... let's make this a no-politics zone until at least after Tuesday, mmkay?

So, let's start off with a themed post: Link up to a favorite Whose Line Is It Anyway? clip.

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