Saturday, December 01, 2012

Rush Limbaugh's Job

Rush Limbaugh's job is to convince ignorant xenophobes that the world and it's browner people is complicated and scary not because they themselves are cowards, with shrunken little hearts, too lazy to do their homework, but because of conspiracy; it is all someone else's fault.  It must be quite a relief.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Benghazi is the anti-Bin Laden

Ah, I finally get the right-wing freakout about Benghazi. Remember, it's always been the strategy of Karl Rove and his horrible acolytes that, if your foe is heroic in some way, you don't avoid that, you attack it, you reverse it. So war hero John Kerry becomes, through swift-boating, a coward.

President Obama got Osama Bin Laden. How do you counter that? Why, Obama must be responsible for Americans killed at an embassy in the Middle East! And lied about! It's perfect.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Bio science ... eww.

I really ought to get over my aversion to biological science. It's the next frontier; we're going to learn so much in the next century! The science of living things is so much more sophisticated than our current technology that ... we don't even know how much more sophisticated it is. That's how much more sophisticated it is.

 Still ... ewww.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Romney Campaign (not)

I have to admit I have found Romney's campaign mystifying, but I think I have it sussed: he campaign's exactly like he does business, there's no strategy involved, it's all for short term gain.  Just like during his time at Bain Capital, where he changed the business model completely to leveraged buyouts because they paid off faster, so does he pivot to the sensibilities of whoever he's talking to at the time.  If he needs conservatives, as in the primaries, he's "severely conservative"; if he needs crossover voters, as in the debates, he's a moderate who sometimes even agrees with the President on policy.

I couldn't wrap my head around the long term game he was running, but that because he wasn't running one.  After all, the people he's really working for, the people who finance him and use their influence for him, already know exactly what he is; they found out in boardrooms, or on the golf course.  He doesn't need to convince them of anything, and he doesn't bother.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The ACA and political "cover"

(quoted from my own post on Facebook, regarding the political process at the beginning of the Obama presidency)

 The ACA is, in fact, a good example of the whole process. No one, not even conservative Republicans, believe that the American health system is in good shape. Even Republicans that believe that our health system is "the best in the world" (it's not) know, if they bother to read the projections, that the system is not sustainable in the long run. Almost no one believes it shouldn't change. So, Obama and the Democrats took a CONSERVATIVE healthcare insurance proposal (Mitt Romney's own, in fact, which was originally a Heritage Foundation counter proposal to the Clinton's health care proposals) which was actually written to make necessary changes while avoiding even a whiff of "socialism", and tried to get bipartisan support for it. The Republicans would have none of it, even though guys like Romney and Bill O'Reilly now say that much of it will need to be re-implemented after it is repealed (evidently the main problem with it is that it is Obama's). So, the Democrats in the Senate passed it, and then the House used that passage to pass it themselves with a bit of budget trickery, and the Democrats and the President took complete responsibility for it, despite the incredible political danger of it, because it HAD to be done. And now, we will cover a much larger group of people, and save a lot of money in the long run, in SPITE of the Republicans, but Obama might lose the election largely because of the ACA (which people hate, until you describe the things it actually does for them, and they find that they like all those things).

 Do you see now why Obama (and Reid and Pelosi) didn't just try ram a lot of stuff through when they had the votes? But now we know they should have, because the Republicans put politics above what is good for the country, to an extreme never seen before. about a minute ago · Like

Monday, October 15, 2012

Iran and Us; kiss and make up pt. 1

All: Iran has no nuclear bomb and isn't working on one , according to both US and ISRAELI intelligence. Also, historically, Iran doesn't start wars. We are mad at them for the hostage crisis, which was a reaction to our deposing of their democratically elected leader, and saddling them with a US supported dictator fOR 3 DECADES. For God’s sake use your heads.

Iran and the US; kiss and make up, pt. 2

I'm going to go farther out on my Iran versus US limb: if the United States made peace with Iran (and we should, we're the ones that deposed their elected government and both made them an enemy and set back their democracy by at least six decades) then Israel would probably, if not gain a friend, at least lose a large and powerful enemy in the Near East. Iran doesn't care about Palestine; Iranians don't particularly care for Arabs. The Iranians are enemies of Israel because Israel is OUR friend. It's absolutely insane to pressuring Iran for the sake of Israel; Israel would be much better off if we left Iran the hell ALONE.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Why do Conservatives Hate Social Security?

Republicans and conservatives hate Social Security because of the word "Social".
"Social", to them, means Socialism. This is why some of the more disingenuous on the right tend to compare Liberalism with Nazism, simply because the Nazis used the word "Socialist" in their party name. And "Socialism" means "Communism", in their minds. The Republicans are literally still fighting the Cold War. They're like the Japanese soldiers from WWII who were never told about the end of the war and kept fighting decades later. And they believe that everyone except their own leaders are secretly commies themselves, but in reality their leaders are capitalists, and it's in their financial best interests to keep the "war" going, so they never tell their troops to stand down.
This is why the George W. Bush administration was taken by surprise on 9/11; they were still only concerned about the "Rooskis"! Condoleeza Rice was supposed to make a report on the defense of the United States on 9/12. She never got to make it, obviously, but the content of that report has never been released. Those who have seen it, though, tell us that there was nothing about terrorism in it; it was all about Russia as a nuclear power and Star Wars.
But let's be fair to Condi; she wasn't quite as ignorant as all that; she'd hedged her bet. After the Al Queda-coordinated bombings at our embassies in Africa Clinton had decided to destroy Al-Queda. He asked Richard Clarke to come up with the plan for this. The plan was ready to go just before Clinton left office, but rather than hand Bush a war they decided to give the plan to the Bush administration and let them handle it. Rice was impressed with the plan, and with Clarke, and kept him on the new administration and slowly, very slowly, went over the plan and moved it up the ladder towards the President's signature. After 9 months, the plan had finally been approved by the last group before the President would see it; that was on September 4, already far too late to prevent the 9/11 attacks.
Do you remember Condi Rice ever telling us about the Al Queda threat? Neither do I.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The 10th Floor

I decided to go to college at the last minute, and went to Oakland University in Michigan because they had a “commercial” music program, which I figured would be as close to rock and roll as college could get, and because they offered a scholarship. Since it so late in the season, most of the dormitories were full. The only rooms available were in a 10 floor building. I asked for the 10th floor, because I always want to be on the top, and because “shit rolls downhill” as they say. What I didn’t know was that the 10th floor was an unofficial athletic special interest floor, which had been 90% booked by athletes. The booker didn’t know that either. So, I roomed with Pete, on the 10th floor, surrounded by 6 foot plus, 200 plus pound guys; I was a little intimidated, but the guys were all pretty nice to me. The 9th and 8th floors were all women; it was explained to me that they were “athlete” special interest floors, the 8 floor being women who didn’t have the seniority of those on the 9th. They were also very nice to me, if a little taken aback by my presence on the 10th. On my second day up there my roommate told me I should get involved in some of the 10th floor activities. That night we went through one of the yearly rituals, this one to introduce ourselves to the ladies on the lower floors. This consisted of stripping down to our underpants, pulling our undies up into our butt cracks, and then going from door to door on the lower floors until the ladies came out and said hi. Kind of exciting, really.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Let's Improvise Some Guitar!

Shall we improvise some guitar?

The bass player is playing a low G; what shall we play? We could play a D; that would leave the third undefined, and the listeners' minds would fill in the blanks with whatever they feel right now. Or we could play an F; down low or up high it would create a tension, suggest moving to a comfortable C along a bluesy highway.

We could play a B flat, take it minor, make it a little sad. Or a B natural, move it to a positive feeling, if that's called for. Or an A; the tempered A is a little out of tune to the natural A, but it's still clear enough to suggest harmonic movement. Or an A flat, which would create an almost unbearable tension, and suggest an incompetent punk or a masochistic free jazzer.

But let's keep it simple, and also play a G. Reinforce the bass note, up an octave or two. The note becomes more powerful; perhaps we're rocking out a bit. We could play the open G string: the lowest of the unwound strings, it has the most complex audible harmonics, and might suggest a folky flavor. It sounds almost comical compared to the other open strings. Or we could play the G on the fifth fret on the D string: it's wound, and has a very different sound than the open string, darker, blending better. Or even the G on the A string at the 10th fret; towards the middle of the string, it is full of odd harmonics, and emphatically more bassy, taking us towards a jazzy feel. Or we couFOR GODS SAKE SOMEONE HAND ME A COWBELL!

Don't Bother

I'll bet you don't care about my chronic ambivalence.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Rush versus Women

I've been seeing a lot of right wing chatter comparing Rush Limbaugh's attack on Sandra Fluke to, for example, Bill Maher calling Sarah Palin a "twat".

No, it's not the same thing at all.  You can't take Maher's statement and infer that Maher thinks all women are "twats".  But Rush wasn't talking about Sandra Fluke, really; he was talking about all women who use contraception.  He was calling all of them "sluts".  He doesn't understand how contraception works, and in his opinion, if those women would just keep their legs closed, they wouldn't need someone else's money for their contraception.  It's one of the most heinous anti-woman statements I've ever heard in public media.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Libertarianism, Amen

The thing that bothers me most about Randites, and Libertarians in general, is that they state some things that really seem to be truths, about personal responsibility, the importance of creativity, that the government that governs best governs least, etc. And then they ruin it by making a religion out of it.

 To paraphrase Ambassador Spock in Star Trek VI, these things are the beginning of wisdom, not the end. The only thing that really differentiates us from other animals is a feeling of responsibility for the greater good; if we don't have that, we are monkeys, at best.

 (Actually, the thing that bothers me most about Ayn Rand is that she was a sociopath. A charismatic one, sure, but still just a human being damaged by her upbringing. Instead of trying to fix herself, she created a religion out of her damaged personality. Which is probably not that uncommon, really.)