Fascists!

20 06 2008

You tell us, what do YOU think?





Obama did what?!

19 06 2008

Caught this one on Slate today.  It is the e-mail we should all be sending in an attempt to combat the rumors of his being Muslim or not being American enough…

From: [Redacted]
To: [Redacted]
Subject: WHO IS BARACK OBAMA?

There are many things people do not know about BARACK OBAMA. It is every American’s duty to read this message and pass it along to all of their friends and loved ones.

Barack Obama wears a FLAG PIN at all times. Even in the shower.


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Barack Obama says the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE every time he sees an American flag. He also ends every sentence by saying, “WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.” Click here for video of Obama quietly mouthing the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE in his sleep.

A tape exists of Michelle Obama saying the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE at a conference on PATRIOTISM.

Every weekend, Barack and Michelle take their daughters HUNTING.

Barack Obama is a PATRIOTIC AMERICAN. He has one HAND over his HEART at all times. He occasionally switches when one arm gets tired, which is almost never because he is STRONG.

Barack Obama has the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE tattooed on his stomach. It’s upside-down, so he can read it while doing sit-ups.

There’s only one artist on Barack Obama’s iPod: FRANCIS SCOTT KEY.

Barack Obama is a DEVOUT CHRISTIAN. His favorite book is the BIBLE, which he has memorized. His name means HE WHO LOVES JESUS in the ancient language of Aramaic. He is PROUD that Jesus was an American.

Barack Obama goes to church every morning. He goes to church every afternoon. He goes to church every evening. He is IN CHURCH RIGHT NOW.

Barack Obama’s new airplane includes a conference room, a kitchen, and a MEGACHURCH.

Barack Obama’s skin is the color of AMERICAN SOIL.

Barack Obama buys AMERICAN STUFF. He owns a FORD, a BASEBALL TEAM, and a COMPUTER HE BUILT HIMSELF FROM AMERICAN PARTS. He travels mostly by FORKLIFT.

Barack Obama says that Americans cling to GUNS and RELIGION because they are AWESOME.





Green Gas (literally)

30 05 2008

ften you will find environmentalists fervently advocating a new policy or shift in policies due to anecdotal evidence, showing an insufficient regard for basic cost-benefit analyzes or facts in general. Don’t believe me? Remember when nuclear power plants were the cause célèbre of the 1970s for various unsubstantiated threats posed by the evolving energy source. The early environmentalist movement decried them for their safety hazards (though more people die every year in mining accidents, ahem coal power, then every have from nuclear incidents) and for fear of the “China Syndrome” leaping from film to reality. Now many of those same people now run (perhaps rightfully so) away from carbon emissions and have come to realize the benefits of nuclear power for curbing greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Similarly, popular opinion was swayed by our ever-greener society and ever-greedier politicians [at the Iowa Caucuses] toward biofuels, specifically corn-based ethanol. Oops! Wow, that’s less efficient and more polluting than Texas Tea ever was. The world desperately needs a solution that can ensure energy independence and environmental regeneration at an affordable price.

Today, the landscape changed as Sapphire Energy unveiled its pet project. The San Diego based company have been working on algae-based diesel and gasoline that will be processed at existing refineries, dispensed at your corner gas station and will power existing cars without any fancy engine add-ons. The only requirement for production? Algae + CO2 + Water = Green Crude Production. According to the LA Times, Sapphire Energy’s Chief Executive, Jason Pyle, “described the expected cost as competitive with extracting oil from deep-water deposits and oil sands.”

According to the year old company, it can use any kind of water (non-potable, salt, you name it) and the US Department of Energy claimed in a Salt Lake Tribune article, “algae could replace all the petroleum consumed in the United States on an area not much larger than Maryland.” (Brian Maffly. The Salt Lake Tribune, March 25, 2008.) A New York Times article this past December stated, “An algae farm could be located almost anywhere. It would not require converting cropland from food production to energy production. It could use sea water and could consume pollutants from sewage and power plants.” Not only can we use water pulled straight from the Pacific but we can build greenhouses in places that otherwise would not support agricultural production. In other words, there will be reduced demand for food-bearing land and no more corn ethanol, possibly leading to a drop in global food prices.

Jed Clampett might’ve called it Green Tea

What’s the catch? Well right now the process only exists in the laboratory. Sapphire Energy says a pilot is a year away and scalable production still 3 years away. Low emissions, improved energy independence, reduced international stress, decreased food costs and immediate functionality with existing products on the market seems to make this green fuel well worth the wait. If all this is true, the ramifications of this discovery shift the global energy paradigm (beware: gratuitous business clichés) and may be the beginning of revolutionary geopolitical changes. At the very least we have a climate change solution that might stand up to closer analysis. Take a lesson environmentalists, capitalism may save us all.





Guns, Boobs, and Beans

20 05 2008

If you have looked around the retail landscape in the last five years, you surely noticed Starbucks’ omnipresence. On every street corner you can enjoy a quality, hot cup of their latest exotic brew or perhaps one of their truly delicious breakfast sandwiches. Starbucks’ impressive domination of the market yields different affects for espresso shops competing for your dollars. For the ‘Mom and Pop’ shops so often the darling of the anti-business hippy media, when a Starbucks up-and-locates next door, it actually serves to benefit the flailing cafe. The overflow traffic from the obscenely long lines filters next door, where a cheaper cup of coffee comes without the wait! For those shops further away, you have to brew your own luck.

That’s exactly what some clever cafe owners did just south of Seattle. (Why always Seattle with these coffee ideas?) Cow Girls Espresso in Bonney Lake, Washington, changed their cafe uniforms to include two pieces with a healthy dose of skin, and “business has never been better.” Wearing nothing but bikinis, young women are serving up the locals’ daily fix at joints as cleverly named as Hot Chick-a-Latte. When some media attention naturally came their way, one articulate barista observed, “You see people-you know-out on the lake in their swimsuits and I don’t see how it’s any different, right? We’re just making coffee!”

Well one mother was not having it after her child noticed a nearly naked espresso dripper (?) wearing nothing but panties and pasties. Mom was outraged (Pop was excited) and organized a community protest and bla bla bla, whatever… Don’t you know sex is bad?

Recently, I was playing Grand Theft Auto IV where the current mission asked my avatar to chase and assassinate some lowly scum who hadn’t kept up his protection payments or something stupid like that. A mother and her 10 year old son came by the house for a visit. She asked if he could play too. I mentioned (selfishly) that the game was practically X-rated, to which she asked, “What does that mean? Sex or Violence?” Both, I thought, would have been accurate, but given his presence I said that the game was mostly violent. “Oh,” she exclaimed, “that’s ok then!”

How can that be? What is it about violence that is “ok?” Why is seeing a remarkably realistic character with his head blown off by a remarkably realistic gun in a remarkably realistic New York City better for the development and edification of our youth than a female body (or any body for that matter)? I have never understood our nation’s love affair with gore, fear, death, and vengeance. Meanwhile so many live in true fear of sexuality, love, nudity as art, nudity as pornography. To many, sexual obscenity is the devil incarnate.

Why is SEX more obscene than VIOLENCE in our communal consciousness? I thought ‘thou shall not kill’ (#6*) comes before ‘thou shall not commit adultery’ (#7) and ‘thou shall not covet they neighbor’s wife’ (#10). There isn’t even a mention of lust in the Ten Commandments. So the assumption that our being a bless-ed “Christian” nation doesn’t sufficiently explain our blood lust.

Dangerous or Divine?

Dangerous or Divine?

For the last century and beyond, moral crusaders have told us what is acceptable and what is deplorable. The very same people that demanded Tropic of Cancer be banned 1938 for its being “a cesspool, an open sewer, a pit of putrefaction, a slimy gathering of all that is rotten in the debris of human depravity,”[2] successfully demanded assault rifles be legal again in Washington DC. I propose it is time to visit our priorities and ask ourselves: what is so horrible about the naked body? What about sex scares us so deeply? Remember, the flesh that God so painstakingly created is only now covered by clothing because we ate of the tree. It seems odd that the apple didn’t carry with it information on the impact of violence on humanity-something God left for us to learn ourselves. A class we signed up for, slept through, and failed.

Anyway, I got to get back to GTA IV, this guy owes me some money and I’m going to introduce him to my old Russian friend, Mr. Kalishnikov. I guess all I’m saying is, why not put a little T&A in your tea and coffee?

Peace! Please?

Z.





Master[De]baters of the 21st Century

19 05 2008

This morning, as with many Monday mornings, I spent my first few minutes re-acclimatizing to the office by reading Slate. My eye caught the “Help! My Family Makes Fun of My Republican Boyfriend” headline of the Dear Prudence* column. I was intrigued. An excerpt…

I’m in love with a Republican, and [my Mom] won’t stop condemning him behind his back for his beliefs, calling him names like “right-wing whack job” and “little lord Republiroy” (also making fun of his height). My brothers all say stuff like, “Republicans suck” and, “Those Republicans are dumb-***es.”

These tactics serve to embarrass the mud slingers and dignify the slighted. They do nothing to improve the state of affairs. Pundits from both sides rant and rave over their sides arguments without regard for facts or research, essentially informing the public that this negative approach is not only acceptable, but ideal. Why would anyone enter an argument without sufficient understanding of the present body of research? Why attack the boyfriend for his party, why not ask him to defend his policies? My guess is, because the instigators all to often cannot defend their own views, if they even know what those views are to begin with.

This is symptomatic of the problem facing many Obama supporters. They claim to like him for his policies, but frequently sturggle to name one thing he supports or has done other than work as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. They say the like “change.” What does that mean? I want to know, tell me! One of the best things about this country is our right to debate. As a nation we should seek to embrace intelligence and debate policies and beliefs soundly by researching the things we claim to be passionate about.

My girlfriend and her family are all arch-conservatives and NeoCons. I am a registered Democrat, and lean toward liberal social policy and conservative fiscal policy. I’m the bleeding heart to their hearts of coal. That said, we frequently argue over politics, debating the finer points of bank regulation, gay marriage, foreign policy, et cetera. Believe it or not, we do it without resorting to the 3rd grade playground tactics of calling each other feeble-minded names behind one another’s back.

The aforementioned sort of childish “debate” is taking place across the country from the dinner table to the news desk (see JUST SAY SOME CRAZY SHIT…BUT MAKE IT LOUD!) and continuously reaffirms the red versus blue divide. We need to move away from tactics that seek to belittle our opponents. Let us agree to disagree and stop getting personal. Ok? You idiots.

***

*Dear Prudence is Slate’s advice column written by Emily Yoffe, a journalist with an impressive CV that has “has tried hypnosis, a vow of silence, and get-rich-quick schemes from spam. She has become a telephone psychic, a street performer, a nude model for an art class, and a contestant in the Mrs. America beauty pageant.”

Z.





There’s no wrong way baaaaby!

16 05 2008

Detroit, now the only (major) city Cleveland can make fun of..

Vodpod videos no longer available. video source posted with vodpod





Just say some crazy sh*t…but make it LOUD!

16 05 2008

I was watching HARDBALL last night and Chris Matthews tore some Republican pundit named Kevin James a new asshole for not knowing about Neville Chamberlain and appeasement. It was good to catch, and for us, it is a nice moment to highlight as symptomatic of many a Fox News/just plain ole’ conservative pundit, but this has become tacitly accepted by the American public and that is where the shock should set-in.

Certain individuals in this country now feel the appropriate form of political discourse is to lambaste your opponent (Billy O’Reilly), make false felicitous claims (John Edwards still not gay) to sell books or keep oneself in the press, or just be a blind warhawk (Kevin James); sipping Kool-Aid without rhyme or reason, only to continue a policy ones knows nothing about, which probably isn’t doing one any personal benefit either.

Controlling the talking points controls the agenda in the era of the soundbyte. We have been reduced to even further generalization and somehow the less involved we are in a topic, the more vitriol and volume our commentators use to tell us what we should feel. These incestuous, state-run media politburos are extensions of our government’s arm and are nothing more than tools to frighten us and keep us suckling the venomous teet.

Of course democrats and other leftists are not immune from this kind of politics. These obtuse and callous morons are controlling what kind of information we hear and will use whatever they can to keep us focused on their radical comments (which most of the time they don’t even mean) and not on matters of substance.

Jeremiah Wright was mad that 205,000 minutes of preaching was condensed into 15 seconds. He should be. I am mad that Jeremiah Wright’s 15 seconds was even fodder for cantankerous jackasses to hijack and control with such ease that it makes me wonder why I am even mad: I live in a country where idiocy is the norm, where rational thought has never really been in use, but at least we kept the crazy shit at bay for a little while. Now we are a land of political extremes and we don’t deserve better.

Black people built this home for us, the Mexicans have maintained it, and white people are now defaulting on the mortgage payments. The religious wrong, has now been in-charge since the last days of Jimmy the giant peanut farmer. Ronald Reagan was a boob, Bush Sr., was undone getting us into and out of a war we didn’t care about and spewing on the Prime Minister of Japan but he made brown suits cool again damnit! Bill Clinton was handcuffed by having a conservative Congress, Senate, and Supreme Court, and now George W. Bush has riled up his base, causing them to create a new political mediascape, in which anyone can say anything so long as it gets a reaction.

ZZ