Random thoughts, dubious rants, curiosities and worthy citations on the media, politics, marketing, music, inanity, and animals, among other things. Words and pictures and stuff, mostly from south central Wisconsin USA
So. Fucking. Funny.
Those clowns at FOX News are so far into the "propaganda" zone, there should be a class-action suit to make them give up the word "News" in their name. Except, of course, class action suits are illegal now. Damn it.
Remember this? It was on your website until ealrier today:
You have fucking crosshairs marked over Congressmens' districts! Crosshairs! Like in "shoot a gun at them" crosshairs. This thing was up for months.
And now someone took you up on it and made a direct hit. It's called assassination. Nice going Sarah. Just scrubbing this graphic from the site doesn't make it -- or its underlying intent -- go away.
No matter how you try to paint over your hateful rhetoric with your offer to pray for U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on your Facebook page, you are complicit in her assassination attempt. You know it, I know it and the rest of the world knows it. The blood of a sitting United States Congresswoman, a federal judge, and others may not be on your hands, but it sure as hell splattered on you and your political lemmings.
If any good comes out of this tragedy, it will be that people finally see you and your followers for what they truly are: ignorant, violent asshats.
I think you've done enough damage to the country, Ms. Palin. Please go away. Far, far away.
It's been called a lot of things... Beckapalooza.
Glenn Beck's "I Have a Scheme" rally. The Fear and Loathing March on Washington. And, of course, Restoring Honor. FOX News dressed it up
with a nice logo (left) and graphic treatment as part of their fair and balanced reporting.
As they always do, crowd estimates were spit-balled. They ranged from
87,000 (CBS News' independent consultant) to 300,000 (NBC News, unsourced) to 5
million (my friend Rikk on a Facebook post where we were trying to trump one
another). Videos were shot, Beck squeezed out some tears (presumably he's
learned to do that without the Vics VaPoRub under his eyes by now... 'cause
people can smell that stuff a mile away you know).
But a funny thing happened on the way to the rally:
Glenn found God (again). This time he found her in words procured from
speeches given by Martin Luther King Jr. and President Obama, among others.
And he found three of his major rhetorical points in my old Sunday school
reader (and also, though I am not sure, the Boy Scout handbook): Faith,
hope and charity. I have to hand it to Mr. Beck. He picked three virtues
that pretty much everyone finds decent and acceptable, at least in a general
sense. Sure, "faith" has a religious definition... as in
"Christian faith." which Mr. Beck was leaning upon firmly as he
worked himself into full-tilt revival mode. Hope, oddly, was ridiculed
extensively by one of his special guest stars, Sarah Palin. (I can still
hear her sing-songy "How's that hopey-changy stuff working out for
ya?" meme.) Now, for Sarah, hope's back in style... perhaps as in
"I hope I can continue to charge really high appearance fees because all
the hope in the world is not going to get me into the presidency.) And
charity. In Republican-speak, isn't that something you do for a
write-off? That's if you're giving charity, of course. If you are
taking charity, it's welfare or handouts, and it goes to lazy crack heads and
In a bunch of back and forth comments on a few Facebook
threads, this became a discussion topic. My friend Troy described the
Beck virtues as follows:
As long as it's Christian faith, hope for corporate profits,
and charity for people who don't really need it.
My cousin, the good ol' boy, weighed in from the Deep South
Faith - Black Liberation 'Theology' and the Government
Hope - Someone else pays my mortgage, car payment, utilities
Charity - Steal from those who work and give who [sic] those
And my independent nee Libertarian high school friend Craig
from Idaho called the question:
Dave, this deal got snagged in your craw alright [sic]. By
the way I'd like to see your rebuttal to each of the points your cousin made.
Take Faith, Hope and Charity from your perspective. Looking
forward to reading that post.
I started to answer him, but it grew far too long for
Facebook and became the Daily Kos and/or Kerfuffle post I was looking to write
since it's been a while since I've really ranted.
So, Craig, since you asked...
When mentioned as glittering generalities, a la Mr. Beck
yesterday, it's hard to simplify these three important virtues to brief definitions.
You can be sort of cynical, and Troy may have taken that route. You can
be crass, and I submit my cousin's version for that. I'll choose to be
That I can count on my fellow man to treat me with the same amount of respect
and dignity that I try to treat my fellow man. Essentially, as I am
agnostic and therefore do not subscribe to a specific version of a
"god" but rather consider myself to be a spiritual being and that
while I cannot explain it, there is some natural force greater than man.
But man is the one force in our world that is rational, and therefore is
capable of working with/living with his/her fellow man/woman and together
making the world a better place. In short, my faith is in humanity
itself... not some competing deity.
have great hope that my fellow man will rise to the occasion, whatever it may
be, with what it takes to move mankind forward. This may be with
creativity, with discovery, with sacrifice, with love, with effort, with labor,
or other man-driven forces, be they intellectual, spiritual or physical. To
"hope" that "god's will" might make a difference or impact
on one's life is, to me, a cop out. Hope is something that comes from
That's pretty simple. Man helping man, addressing the needs of the less
fortunate, less intelligent, less gifted, less educated, less physically able,
less advantaged. It might be giving your used clothes to Goodwill, even
if mostly for the write-off. But it is a lot more than that. It's
an attitude of shared responsibility for the collective welfare of mankind.
Sure, there will always be people who take "charity" of some kind and
may be less-deserving than others. Just because one lady at the Beck
rally rants on and on for the camera how the Obama administration is planning
death camps (really!) for people who don’t embrace socialism is not reason to
think all Tea Partiers are batshit crazy (though one must wonder at times).
I find interesting the turn Mr. Beck took with his booklet
of virtues, veering away from politics and toward revival. I'm
speculating this redirection came at the behest of his corporate masters,
funders, and the Republican powers that be, lest he trash the party. He
borrowed from MLK's and Obama's speeches, he made it all about Christian love
and benevolence, and he had people eating out of his hand. Even though
many, many people in the tea party movement have demonstrated, repeatedly,
that they are not grounded in reality, it is a stroke of genius --
self-promoting egotistic genius but genius nonetheless -- to make this rally
appear as a big apolitical Christian gathering. He essentially bailed on his
politics and fell back on the Lord... always crowd pleaser. It was not
without it's hiccups, of course. Seeing Beck's disciples chant at
Reverend Al Sharpton's people "Go to church!" was oddly amusing, let
alone ironic, though also rather bigoted in terms of religion versus religion.
Beck's performance was brilliant in terms of a well-crafted
message strategy. He may well have done a huge favor to the more
mainstream Republicans, who truly feared what this loose cannon might let fly,
because he fell in line with the God and Christianity = Republicans meme.
That's both powerful and valuable to a party with no real plans or policy other
than to go back to what drove the economy in the ditch in the first place.
So, sure, give more tax breaks to the top 2% (because we know they are suffering), take
health care back away from people who otherwise can't afford it, make Muslims
hate us even more, extend the age for Social Security while reducing
benefits... the same old GOP hit parade of failed policy. Unfortunately, people who blindly
buy into the God Gays and Guns style of crap -- and it is crap in my not-so-humble opinion -- will buy it lock, stock and barrel.
Sometimes it's simply not possible to save people from their
own ignorance, prejudice and fear. Some who read that might feel that's a rather
"elitist intellectual" thing to say. I can't help that. But for better or for worse, I
learned early on in my advertising career that with the right message, offer
and pitchman, you can sell a lot of ice to an Inuit. People can be manipulated
to behave in a way that is counter to their best interests. You can get
people to buy fast food and high-fat snacks that are terrible for them.
You can get people to make bad investments (antique gold coins anyone?).
And you can get people to vote for a candidate or party that will actually make
their life worse off. It's a lousy thing to do... to take advantage of
people who don't realize they are being played. But Shame is rarely invited to
the party in politics (or marketing), especially when Money and Power are making the guest
Are the Democrats geniuses? Hardly. Are there a
lot of corrupt liberals? Probably as many as conservatives. But do
liberals and progressives actually care more about their fellow man? Yes,
I truly think so. That's what makes them liberals and progressives.
They think in terms of the future and of "we" while conservatives
tend to think of the status quo and of "me."
All too often, none of that matters when most people are
low information voters, and are easily manipulated. Capitalism and politics
both count on that to a large degree. Mr. Barnum, who gleefully welcomed
the suckers that were born every minute, knew the value of good old-fashioned
gullibility when you have something to sell that can't be sold on merit alone.
The money quote from Weiner: "If you believe this is a bad idea, to provide health care, then vote
no—but don’t give me the cowardly view that ‘if only it was a different
procedure.'" He refers to the mealy-mouthed, hide-the-ball, obstructionary gymnastics the Republicans are so adept at playing. This time the object of the GOP's game is to deny health care to people who were injured or made sick from the 9/11 attacks and clean-up... but look like you still support it. Nice. Odd that Republicans seem to like games that always have average working Americans on the losing side and insanely wealthy clowns like these two on the winning side. (Well, not in this latest case, but I digress.)
I wish more Democrats had the balls this guy has. It would sure help move things along in the face of Republicans whose only commitment seems to be in saying "no" and serving their corporate masters.
For all the infotainment and amusement to be found withing the high-profile races for US Senate and House seats, nothing beats some good old-fashioned asshattery from local political candidates. Like Greg Brown, a primary candidate for a house seat in Florida's District 1, who was caught along with his wife on a hidden infrared video camera as the two stole (or just "took down," depending on whose story you go with) a bunch of his opponent's yard signs.
The video shows District 1 candidate Greg Brown and his wife, Jennifer, removing Doug Broxson's campaign signs. The Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office is investigating whether a crime was committed.
campaign shenanigans happened Saturday night when Broxson's son, Jason
Broxson, hid an infrared video camera, often used by hunters to track
game, in some bushes at state roads 87 and 89, north of Milton. Minutes
after the camera was deployed, the Browns happened by and removed the
signs. Jason Broxson [the candidate's son] hid in some bushes and watched as the couple took
we just got lucky that he happened to show up right then," said Kevin
Brown, Broxson's campaign manager. "Lord only knows the odds of that." Kevin
Brown, who is not related to Greg Brown, said the camera was set up
because Broxson was having problems with his signs being stolen and
When contacted by phone Monday afternoon, Greg Brown said he and his
wife did nothing wrong by removing Broxson's signs from property owned
by a Brown campaign supporter. He
said he saw his opponent's signs on a vacant lot owned by Don Dewrell,
69, of Holt after leaving a political rally in Jay on Saturday night.
He said he and Dewrell previously agreed that he'd be the only District
1 candidate allowed to put signs on the property.
Brown told the reporter he didn't do anything wrong, and maybe that's true in a legal sense. But he sure looks like a schmuck in the video. And when he admonishes his wife for leaving fingerprints on a sign she left on the ground, that seems to suggest he did, at the time, think this may not be exactly legal.
Whether or not Brown and his wife broke any laws, you have to wonder, people of Florida's House District 1, if this is the guy you want to be your next state representative. Watch and decide. Meanwhile, the rest of us can watch and either laugh of just roll our eyes.
You almost have to agree: this guy makes some really good points...
I mean, some really, really good points. [Lyrics may be viewed here.]
While I agree with Vice President Joe Biden that the Tea Party movement is not primarily a racist organization, it is beyond clear that there are a good number of their members -- and leaders -- who seem to have some real problems with those of us who aren't white and Christian. The Right Wing media echo chamber fosters this bilious, festering crap through race baiting, innuendo, inflammatory language and outright hate speech. It makes me both sad and angry.
We can only hope that either the majority of conservatives will regain control of their party or that the majority of Americans in total will band together to overcome this insidious and ugly cancer on our society. I fear that won't happen in my lifetime, thanks to the ignoramuses that blindly follow of media mouths such as Limbaugh, Beck, and Savage, along with politicians the likes of Sessions, Tancredo and Palin. It's up to the sane and the rational to overcome the ignorant and the hateful.