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This blog used to be about politics. Not so much anymore as I have worked through my fascination with that subject. It now seems appropriate that with a new president and the end of the Bush nightmare that I move on to new subjects that are more in line with my current interests. I may still occasionally express an opinion about political matters but for the most part I will be commenting on music, photography and personal observations. Thank you for reading.

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Obama At House Republican Retreat In Baltimore: FULL VIDEO, TEXT
Obama At House Republican Retreat In Baltimore: FULL VIDEO, TEXT:
"The problem is, I couldn't find credible economists who would back up the claims that you just made."

Its funny because every time I hear a proposal by a Republican it sounds like this to me:

"And we should sprinkle fairy dust on ducks and launch them to the moon to bring back cheese, to create jobs for the American people, promote freedom in the Middle East and protect our citizens from terrorists."

Which in this instance was... across the board tax cuts to create jobs...

AIG Loses Exec, Wins TARP Comp Ruling - Regulatory,Legislative and Tax Issues - Life and Health Insurance News
AIG Loses Exec, Wins TARP Comp Ruling - Regulatory,Legislative and Tax Issues - Life and Health Insurance News:
"Anastasia Kelly, vice chairman for legal, human resources, corporate affairs and corporate communications at AIG, New York, resigned from her post effective Dec. 30. She began working for AIG in 2006.

Kelly resigned for “good reason” under the terms of AIG’s executive severance plan 'based on the reduction in her base salary that was mandated by the Special Master for Executive Compensation for TARP Recipients,' the company says in a statement, referring to the compensation restrictions that the federal government has imposed on the top 100 AIG employees.

The government is applying the restrictions to AIG and other companies that have received large amounts of financial assistance from the federal government."

A little entitlement without accountability? Seriously, an executive that works at a company that nearly went kaput except for the fact that the company's failure would have had a devastating cascade effect on the rest of the economy feels entitled to a salary greater than half a million dollars.

I deserve a world that makes more sense...

Man v. Nature
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican newspaper and radio station have called the film "Avatar" simplistic, and criticized it for flirting with modern doctrines that promote the worship of nature as a substitute for religion.

Lately, I've been wondering if part of our inability to see the natural world as valuable and worth preserving comes from our modern religious notions that put mankind in both roles as creation and creator? Where people once used to worship the natural world, we have now taken all that we used to see as divine about nature and attributed those qualities to a person. We have closed the loop, putting ourselves and our own wishes, represented by human deities, above the natural world.

I am a fan of spicy chips. When I go to a grocery store, a 7-11 or a campus snack place I look for spicy chips.

Its been an ongoing obsession...

The standby is the favorite -- Flaming Hot Cheetos. If nothing else is around I can be pretty sure to find these. Yummy, but a little messy. The Cheddar Jalapeno version is not quite as good.

The Holy Grail -- Fiery Habanero Doritos. They were around for a while but I think they discontinued them. These were may favorite and I still keep an eye out for them even as I realize that they are gone.

A good alternative -- was the Toro Habanero that Doritos had out for a bit. I fear these may be gone now as well.

Interesting find -- was the Tim Mcgraw's Spicy Jalapeno Fritos that were out for a bit and now seem to be resurrected as the non Tim Mcgraw's version. Yumm....

If nothing else I'll pick up a bag of Vickie's Jalapeno chips which they always seem to have at Subway.

If you have any recommendations let me know...

Predictable Consequences
So... Palin links favorably to a letter from a 95 year old veteran who feels compelled to write to his congressman to address the alleged failings of our current president.

I am amazed, angry and determined not to see my country die before I do but you seem hell bent not to grant me that wish.

Followed by a laundry list of Fox news talking points about how the president is destroying the country and betraying the ideals of Americans. Which would be understandable if any of it were actually true... (sigh)

For example...

When your battle-hardened field General asks you for 40,000 more troops to complete the mission, give them to him. But if you're not in this fight to win, then get out. The life of one American soldier is not worth the best political strategy you're thinking of.

... straight from the mouths of Dick Cheney and Fox News. Its absurd to say that the president should always do what his generals want, which is a careless abdication of decision making on his part. Also absurd is believing that the only way to "win" this battle is more troops. This is the canard being pushed by the president's political enemies who continuously throw stones from the sidelines from which they were so pointedly relegated to in the last election.

But the details are unimportant. The point here is that all decisions made by the president are instantaneously criticized by the right wing talkers as wrong and foolish. The constant drumbeat of negativism has an effect on perception. If you spend any considerable amount of time watching right wing television you will get a distorted view of reality. This man, despite his best intentions, is acting on bad information he is getting from the right wing political news outlets.

Its a real shame that people are being mislead, deceived, manipulated and lied to by Fox News and the right wing political outlets. Instead of applauding what this man is writing I am scared that such tactics are having a real effect on people.

not why, but why not
But with the arrival of factory turkey farming in the 1960's, all that changed. Factory-farm turkeys don't even see the outdoors. Instead, as many as 10,000 turkeys that hatched at the same time are herded from brooders into a giant barn. These barns generally are windowless, but are illuminated by bright lights 24 hours a day, keeping the turkeys awake and eating.

Some people ask me why I am a vegetarian. I sometimes find myself wondering.. "why not?" There are many good reasons to be a vegetarian and only a few not to be:

1) You don't care.
2) It'd be an inconvenience to you.

By now it just makes sense and I can't think of ever eating meat again. It always disturbs me a little when I meet people who still have some weird meat fetish. In order to keep eating meat, you have to willfully ignore the bizarro world of animal food production and cling to a level of ignorance that is almost mind numbing. It seems as though we are in denial over what has happened to our relationship to the natural world.

Tea Party Zombies
What's so sad is that in an effort to push the political agenda in the direction they think will be best for their immediate interests, political actors like Fox News and their ilk are mobilizing a large group of people who are too ignorant to realize that the misinformation they are acting on is going to hurt us all in the long run.

I don't doubt that many of these people who show up at the tea party rallies are motivated by what they feel is right for this country. What I do regret is that some people feel it is best for themselves to feed people wrong information.

For the record, Palin is a dupe like so many on this video. She doesn't realize that she is parroting the same stupidity that is being fed to all of us. Once you are armed some critical thinking skills you can ward off such stupidity.

Star Trek Follow Up
So, lately the wifey and i have been watching Enterprise, which I was initially hesitant to watch because I heard that it was a bit revisionist. I am glad I decided to watch, its a good show, and it makes me wish that the Star Trek universe would reboot and take what BSG did so well and incorporate that into the Star Trek universe.

That is what makes the latest Star Trek movie such a let down. It was BAD. I know its a big new DVD release and people are going to buy it by the millions or something.. but its BAD.


I should just say that I hate time travel plot lines. It kills all credibility.

I should say that I hate that they destroyed Vulcan. It was gratuitous.

I should say that I am disappointed that they decided to turn Star Trek into Transformers.

Another BAD movie... and its sequel too...

More czars than the U.S.S.R?
More Czars than the U.S.S.R?

That was one of the signs present at the tea party in D.C. today held by the right wingers. If you don't get why its so funny then it might mean you're a conservative nut job. Frankly, what seems to be fueling some of the fury by the right is their total ignorance of history, government, politics and even current events. This is to be expected when you narrow your information sources down to a handful of talking heads pushing an emotion fueled agenda.

Even a basic reading of world history (.. and I'm not even a big history buff -- I just like documentaries) would have informed you that the Czar of Russia was kicked out by the Bolshevik revolution which lead to the formation of the U.S.S.R. But then again, most of my debates with right wingers has been woefully devoid of facts about either current or historical events from their side. Even looking back a few years to the Bush administration days might inform their opinions about how our country got into its current economic dilemma. You cannot undertake a costly overseas war and not expect it to come out of taxpayer pockets in the long run. But magically, they never see the Iraq war as being a huge financial burden to everyone in this country. Somehow a healthcare overhaul that will end up saving Americans money on their healthcare costs will send us careening into the great abyss but an utterly pointless war that has trapped us in Iraq as a seemingly perpetual peace keeping force doesn't ever cost us a dime?

Go figure. But idealistic integrity has never been a right wing strong point. Its part of why I never debate them anymore. If you can never agree on the very basic idea of what constitutes reality, what is the point? So, if the Czars ran the Soviet Union, polar ice caps are melting as a giant plot to perpetuate the hoax of climate change, the United States was founded as a Christian theocracy for European immigrants, dinosaurs really existed in Biblical times, gay people can all just magically decide not to be gay anymore, or many other delusional fantasies, does it really make sense to try to debate the finer points of public policy? I don't think so. There has to be a common framework of reality in order for two people to have a rational discussion.

This is why education is so important. Recently Obama wanted to speak to American schoolchildren in a televised message. The right wingers blew their top yet again and insisted that the President was trying to promote leftist policies. Of course, there is a good debate to be had about the role of the president in addressing schoolchildren but the real threat to the right wingers is that their kids might learn science, history or even critical thought and rational thinking. This would almost certainly lead them to turn away from right wing thought, notions of white and/or American and/or Christian exceptionalism, religious doctrines in general, and all manner of logical fallacies that somehow pass as right wing "arguments". Education in the arts, sciences and history, though not a guarantee, is a fairly effective way to turn anyone into a raving liberal.

There's plenty of room for debate about various issues. What should healthcare look like in this country? What are the reasons for climate change and what would be an effective way to eliminate them without turning the world upside down? What are rational solutions to real problems and how can avoid potential pitfalls that might lead to further problems or unintended consequences?

But for those marching on Washington D.C. this week the problem is one of information. They choose to inform themselves in ways that make them more ignorant. Garbage in, gargabe out. Without a good grasp of reality someone can always tell you what the problem is and who is to blame.

atheist exemption card
As Exemptions Grow, Religion Outweighs Regulation - New York Times
An analysis by The New York Times of laws passed since 1989 shows that more than 200 special arrangements, protections or exemptions for religious groups or their adherents were tucked into Congressional legislation, covering topics ranging from pensions to immigration to land use. New breaks have also been provided by a host of pivotal court decisions at the state and federal level, and by numerous rule changes in almost every department and agency of the executive branch.

The special breaks amount to “a sort of religious affirmative action program,” said John Witte Jr., director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at the Emory University law school.

What I want is an exemption card for atheists. This card would exempt me from all the religious bullshit that pervades our society. I could buy liquor anywhere I wanted. I could watch TV shows with all the nude scenes and obscene language intact. I could go out to eat on Sundays and work any day I want. Additionally, I wouldn't have to deal with religious people on Sundays as they would not be able to go out shopping or anything else without their religious exemption card.

Let's be honest, we all know a "good christian" that claims they can't work on Sunday and then goes out to eat and shopping after church while all of us that have to work Sundays deal with them and their special-ness.


About Me

35 yr old
Highlands Ranch
Recording Engineer
Voted for Kerry
Voted for Obama
Philosophical Type
Omicron Male
Feminist Friendly
22.3% Less Smart

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