Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Father Polanski

In 1977, a 44-year-old man plied a 13-year-old girl with drugs and alcohol and then raped and sodomized her. The man was charged with several crimes including lewd and lascivious acts upon a child under 14. The charges were dismissed when he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. When the man learned he might face imprisonment instead of probation, he fled to France, where he held citizenship and could therefore be protected from extradition to the U.S. Thirty-something years later, the man may finally do time behind bars.

If this man were a Catholic priest, a Father Polanski let's say, do you think so many celebrities would be spinning wild explanations and doublespeak in his defense? Of course not. But the real man is not a priest. He is Roman Polanski, a good-looking, talented artist! His famous friends (mostly European actors, writers, and whatever) demand that we unsophisticated Americans free Polanski out of "good sense and honor." This petition certainly is a masterpiece of arrogance:
Apprehended like a common terrorist Saturday evening, September 26, as he came to receive a prize for his entire body of work, Roman Polanski now sleeps in prison.

He risks extradition to the United States for an episode that happened years ago and whose principal plaintiff repeatedly and emphatically declares she has put it behind her and abandoned any wish for legal proceedings.

Seventy-six years old, a survivor of Nazism and of Stalinist persecutions in Poland, Roman Polanski risks spending the rest of his life in jail for deeds which would be beyond the statute-of-limitations in Europe.

We ask the Swiss courts to free him immediately and not to turn this ingenious filmmaker into a martyr of a politico-legal imbroglio that is unworthy of two democracies like Switzerland and the United States. Good sense, as well as honor, require it.

Bernard-Henri Lévy
Salman Rushdie
Milan Kundera
Pascal Bruckner
Neil Jordan
Isabelle Adjani
Arielle Dombasle
Isabelle Huppert
William Shawcross
Yamina Benguigui
Mike Nichols
Danièle Thompson
Diane von Furstenberg
Claude Lanzmann
Paul Auster
Polanski wasn't apprehended like a terrorist. He was apprehended like a child rapist. And so the crime was committed a long time ago? It's still rape. You think there is some kind of statute of limitation? Not for sex crimes in the state of California. Not for failure to appear in court. And certainly not for a crime the man already pleaded guilty to!

And let's not forget the most absurd defense: he is an artist! A genius even! Of course, I'm only hearing this crap defense from other so-called artists. Why is that? Defending their own? They're better than lowly nobodies? Or they just don't care that a girl was raped?

I'm tired of the rich and famous getting away with crimes. No award winning filmmaker nor high-ranking government official can ever be given a free pass for egregious acts. We are a nation of laws... I hope?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Catching Old

"You don't know shit, and you're not shit. Don't take that the wrong way, that was meant to cheer you up." — shitmydadsays.
Nothing like a lame discussion on Boing Boing to make me feel old. The excitement is over this 1971 book cover:

Okay geek kids, calm down. The famous author, though talented I'm sure, did not prophesy the technology of the 2000's. No, the lady in the snazzy green and black dress is not using an iPhone! It's just a transistor radio! She's holding the pocket-sized device in a slip cover while tuning the AM dial with her thumb, and presumably, the floppy hat lady is listening too -- earbuds were not needed back then. These early music and information devices all had monophonic speakers. It was a standard feature.

Yes, there were compact, rectangular, hand-held devices even 40 years ago, as some Boing Boing commenters noted. Though rarely mentioned, the iPod is not as innovative as we'd like to believe. Indeed, it looks an awful lot like some tiny little radios from the 1950's.

Anyway kids, that music is going to make you go deaf. I don't give a shit what you say. And get off my lawn!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Moment of Surrender

I watched the season premiere of Saturday Night Live tonight. Being on the west coast, I don't actually see the show live, and I assume they had time to clean up the F-bomb in that one skit (or maybe I just didn't notice it). Anyway, the high point tonight was this U2 performance:

(YouTube video)

The rest of the show was kind of --- eh.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Being Counted

(YouTube video)

The United States has been taking a decennial census since 1790. It's mandated by the U.S. Constitution, and the statistics are needed for anticipating our country's needs. The planning of schools, hospitals, roads, housing and employment all depend on census data. It's supposed to improve our quality of life.

But of course, now that Barack Obama is president, Republicans think the census is some kind of vast conspiracy. Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann is fear-mongering again, and she is exhausting in her stupidity. Think Progress highlighted most of the glaring idiocy in Bachmann's hysteria.

But here is what I want to scream at the know-nothing Bachmann: "Census data are used to distribute Congressional seats to states!" If you're a member of Congress, you want your state counted if only to save your own job!

And the last thing any representative wants is to be even remotely associated with the death of a census worker. As the details of Bill Sparkman's death are revealed, the case seems more and more like a homicide spurred by anti-government vitriol.

I had no idea a boring bureaucratic survey could lead to this kind of hate.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sacrificing an Acorn

The attacks on ACORN began last year when Republicans accused the organization of voter fraud. This month, however, the opposition has turned into a full assault after a few low-level ACORN employees were caught on tape giving some really stupid advice to a guy in a badass pimp costume.

Well, tally another win for Fox's Glenn Beck. Apparently he can set the agenda for the entire country and swiftly take down a community organization whose mission is to advocate for affordable housing, affordable healthcare, higher minimum wages, and better schools. ACORN was also against predatory lending before it was cool.

In other words, ACORN's mission was staunchly against the interests of big business, and that's why nobody wants to be friends with them now. The media hates them and Congress hates them too.

So last week, while Congress was busy defunding ACORN for their transgressions, I stewed over all the other corrupt government contractors who have defrauded tax payers and are accused of rape and murder. Why can't we defund them?

Oh wait... We are?!

When our government shoots fish in a barrel, they like to use a bazooka:
The congressional legislation intended to defund ACORN, passed with broad bipartisan support, is written so broadly that it applies to "any organization" that has been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency. It also applies to any of the employees, contractors or other folks affiliated with a group charged with any of those things.

In other words, the bill could plausibly defund the entire military-industrial complex. Whoops.
Hysterical! I don't mind sacrificing an ACORN if it means we also defund the likes of Blackwater and KBR.

In a sane country, the Defund ACORN ACT would be declared unconstitutional as it is clearly a bill of attainder. But these days, the insanity doesn't end at Fox.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oops! I Did It Again!

So many pressing problems in the world, and yet I can't get this sordid matter out of my head.

Actress MacKenzie Phillips, best known for her role on the sitcom One Day at a Time, revealed today that after passing out drunk, she had sex with her father... for ten years.

Her father, John Phillips, was the lead singer of the The Mamas & the Papas. I'll never be able to listen to "California Dreamin" again without throwing up in my mouth.

We can't get John Phillips side of this story because he's dead, but one of his sons had something very interesting to say:
"My family is and always will be a decrepit bowl of dog urine compared to Nityananda of Ganeshpuri. That is how great Nityananda is." The Indian yogi died in 1961. "Worship Nityananda, not the Phillips family. Nityananda can protect you," said Tamerlane.
Okay. Yeah. Without getting too deep into snark, I'll just say that family needs some help.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Apparently being exposed to things that don't make sense enhances our "cognitive mechanisms."

This recent research comes from psychologists at the University of California in Santa Barbara and the University of British Columbia. Test subjects who were asked to read A Country Doctor, a surreal short story by Franz Kafka, performed better on grammar learning tasks than test subjects who read a bowdlerized version of the story.

The story, by the way, is about a doctor who desperately needs to get to a dying boy, and is carried away by magic horses to a house where he is stripped naked and put in bed with the patient, but then the doctor escapes through a window in order to save his servant girl who is being molested by a man they found in the pig pen.
And only now did I remember Rose again; what was I to do, how could I rescue her, how could I pull her away from under that groom at ten miles' distance, with a team of horses I couldn't control. These horses, now, they had somehow slipped the reins loose, pushed the windows open from outside, I did not know how; each of them had stuck a head in at a window and, quite unmoved by the startled cries of the family, stood eyeing the patient.
Damn, if that's not a metaphor for the Baucus Bill and its 500 amendments!

That's what the Baucus Bill has become -- a punchline. Max Baucus is, of course, the Democratic Senator from Montana and current chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Finance. That's where our so-called health care reform is coming from.

A few months ago I didn't know who Baucus was, but now I've come to see him as a corporate-entrenched legislator with some seriously glaring conflicts of interest. He received $3 million from insurance and healthcare lobbyists between 2003 and 2008. I guess it's only appropriate he gives something back to his true supporters.

This "gift" straight to the insurance companies is in the form of the "individual insurance mandate" which will cost some families as much as 13% of their income. Ironically, one major reason for reform is to save families from medical bankruptcy...

And now that Baucus has lost the support of many Democrats, and Republicans weren't going to support a reform bill anyway, I guess you can say the legislation really is bipartisan. Everybody hates it.

Look, the cost of health insurance is out of control, and the only way we can have meaningful reform is with an affordable public option. I think people are finally coming to support this basic idea. Healthcare doesn't have to be bizarre and illogical. It doesn't have to be Kafkaesque.

Shockingly, even Bill O'Reilly supports the public option now.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Corporate Supremacy

I think I know what has been missing from this country for the last three weeks -- satire. So, with open arms, I welcome back the Daily Show and The Colbert Report after a short (yet way too long) break.

And wow, Colbert tackled a big subject last night -- corporations. "Corporations do everything people do except breathe, die and go to jail for dumping 1.3 million pounds of PCBs in the Hudson River."

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Let Freedom Ka-Ching
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care Protests

The birth of corporate supremacy was, in truth, illegitimate, carrying no force of law. But like any good lie, repeat it enough times and everybody believes it.

Our founding fathers did not like the idea of corporations. Remember, it was corporate tea that they dumped into Boston Harbor in protest against huge tax cuts for the British East India Company. Ironically, this point is lost on the teabaggers, but I digress.

The little lie that roared is now going to the Supreme Court. The case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission challenges the restrictions on political speech by corporations.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission - Jeffrey Toobin
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care Protests

I can see how corporations are viewed as "super persons." They are immortal and have tons of money they can use to influence the democratic process. But limiting corporate freedom of speech would also apply to unions, the latest Michael Moore movie, my favorite commentators on MSNBC, and also Comedy Central.

The Supreme Court decision isn't in yet, but I just get this strange feeling that we're screwed.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Reading, Writing, and Teabagging

"You know tomorrow Glenn Beck’s army of zombie retirees are descending on Washington. It’s the million moron march. Although they won’t get a million of them of course because many will be confused and drive to Washington State." — Bill Maher, 9-11-2009
Crooks and Liars posted 10 lessons for teabaggers. I just had to repost them here:
  1. President Obama Cut Your Taxes
  2. The Stimulus is Working
  3. First Ronald Reagan Tripled the National Debt...
  4. ...Then George W. Bush Doubled It Again
  5. Republican States Have the Worst Health Care
  6. Medicare is a Government Program
  7. Barack Obama is Not a Muslim
  8. Barack Obama was Born in the United States
  9. 70,000 Does Not Equal 2,000,000
  10. The Economy Almost Always Does Better Under Democrats
(Visit C&L for the details of those lessons.)

I think maybe there is a connection between lesson 9 and lesson 10. If you're challenged by basic math, you probably should keep your hands off the economy.

Anyway, enough with these dumbass teabaggers. Did you know there have actually been coordinated rallies in support of health-care? I guess FOX is not equally infatuated with these people:

Notice how all their signs make sense and are on the same topic? No confusing hodgepodge of McCarthyites, birthers, Ayn Randians, 9-12ers and other crazies. Also, more of these people are smiling.

Monday, September 14, 2009

We're Number 37

We're number 37, and some people want it to stay that way. The idiots on parade this weekend should have sung this song loud and proud:

(YouTube video)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Eight Years On

We all remember where we were, physically and emotionally, eight years ago today. But where we were the day after is just as poignant. Many people say they remember the sense of unity -- not just at home but across the planet. Political parties didn't matter any more. Thousands of innocent lives had been lost.

But I also remember a fear like nothing I had ever experienced.

I had plans for the next day, September 12 -- nothing notable. I needed to take care of something at the bank with my mom, and we planned to go to the movies... and we debated briefly whether to stay home and hide. We didn't. Mom said, "why should we?" We went out. The bank only had two or three employees there that day. The manager took care of us himself. The theater was open, but only a few people attended. Our dull little suburb, on no terrorist's map, was succumbing to fear.

I'm glad I went out. I wish others had too. Eight years later, I think politicians still want to exploit the fear, and they can succeed too... with some people.

When our global conscience was gripped by fear, we enabled our government to make a bad situation worse. Why couldn't we have made it better?

(YouTube video)

We could have taken difficult but necessary steps to ease our addiction to oil. We could have passed health care reform so that the living heroes could all be taken care of. We still could. Maybe.

The unity is long gone, and the fear still lingers for some. Eight years is a long time to be scared.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Shh! The Adults Are Talking!

I didn't want to write about any more idiot town hall shouters, but I didn't know they'd be invited to President Obama's Congressional address last night.

Yeah, I'm sure you've heard. Representative Joe Wilson, R-SC, shouted "You lie" during President Obama's health care speech. Christ, what an asshole.

In the aftermath, Democratic leaders have called for a censure of Wilson, Wilson's Democratic challenger has raised over $200,000 since last night, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have criticized Wilson.

Ironically, Wilson's childish outburst came right after Obama chastised the politicians and commentators who are making wildly bogus claims about health care reform:
Some of people's concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Such a charge would be laughable if it weren't so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple.
So Wilson's outburst was one more lie punctuating the president's remarks, because Wilson's outburst was, in fact, more misinformation coming from the Republican party. It is not hard to fact check: In the Senate Finance Committee working framework for a health plan, which Obama's speech seemed most to mimic, there is the line: "No illegal immigrants will benefit from the health care tax credits."

And I will duly note Wilson's prompt apology. Funny, it seems to be a good week for Republican apologies. But Wilson wants us to believe his heckling was all spontaneous. I'm skeptical.

To the Republicans, theatrics are all they have. Theatrics amount to distractions. And notice how everybody is concentrating on the dumbass heckler and not the content of Obama's speech?

The discussion should be about Obama's plan. We deserve an honest and intelligent debate just like we deserve health care reform.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Is This Thing On?

They're calling him "Hot Mike" Duvall.

He's an Orange County Assemblyman, R-Yorba Linda, who did not realize his microphone was on while he was bragging about having sex with two women who were not his wife.

(YouTube video. Update: Video available on CBS site.)

This story has many of the twists of previous sex scandals: the moral hypocrisy of a politician with "family values," hubris, a sorry-I-got-caught apology (with resignation), eye-patch underwear...

Wow, this scandal certainly has some very juicy quotes:
“She wears little eye-patch underwear,” said Duvall, who is married with two 
children. “So, the other day she came here with her underwear, Thursday. And
 so, we had made love Wednesday–a lot! And so she’ll, she’s all, ‘I am going 
up and down the stairs, and you’re dripping out of me!’ So messy!”
Gross! Republicans really don't believe in condoms!

But let's get to what the real malfeasance is here. Duvall, the vice-chairman of the Committee on Utilities and Commerce, was literally in bed with Sempra Energy's lobbyist.

The Courage Campaign is calling on the Attorney General to investigate Duvall. This isn't about the sex. It's about the corruption.

"Hot Mike" Duvall is yet another Republican lawmaker who will defend the "sanctity of marriage" but not the sanctity of democracy.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Nutrition Check

This is how I learned to be cynical. Every Saturday morning of my childhood was spent in front of the TV watching cartoons and, of course, commercials. I remember the commercials more vividly than the cartoons. And if the commercial was itself a cartoon, even better... especially the cereal ads.

But every single cereal ad ended the same. A friendly voice announced "part of a balanced breakfast," and the still-frame image showed a tiny bowl of the product, a glass of orange juice, a glass of milk, a slice of whole wheat toast, two eggs, and a fruit parfait. I knew exactly what it meant -- the cereal wasn't good for shit.

And I also knew that although Kellogg's thought kids were idiots, I could spell "fruit" and Kellogg's could not. Now I'm older and realize the misspelling was a brilliant move. They could never be found guilty of false advertising with a nonsensical name like "froot loops."

But labeling is about to get a little crazier. For a $100,000 fee, Kellogg's and other food manufacturers can add more nonsensical words to their packaging. Smart Choices is a new food-labeling campaign ostensibly designed to help shoppers identify smarter food and beverage choices. You'll soon be noticing these bright green check marks on products such as sugar-laden cereals and fudgsicals. Are you cynical yet?

The nutritionists running the program are woefully unconvincing in their propaganda:
“The checkmark means the food item is a ‘better for you’ product, as opposed to having an x on it saying ‘Don’t eat this,’ ” Dr. Kennedy said. “Consumers are smart enough to deduce that if it doesn’t have the checkmark, by implication it’s not a ‘better for you’ product. They want to have a choice. They don’t want to be told ‘You must do this.’ ”

Dr. Kennedy, who is not paid for her work on the program, defended the products endorsed by the program, including sweet cereals. She said Froot Loops was better than other things parents could choose for their children.

“You’re rushing around, you’re trying to think about healthy eating for your kids and you have a choice between a doughnut and a cereal,” Dr. Kennedy said, evoking a hypothetical parent in the supermarket. “So Froot Loops is a better choice.”
Froot Loops or doughnuts? As if those are our only two choices!

I honestly hope there are no parents trying to decide between Froot Loops and doughnuts while passing over non-processed foods like oranges and bananas which will not carry the confusing check mark.

And it is confusing because the check mark does not indicate any kind of government approval. The Smart Choices system is designed by and paid for by the nation's major food manufacturers and managed by the American Society of Nutrition. They're not concerned with what's good for you and your family. They're concerned with their image and profits.

But now you know that little green check mark isn't good for shit.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Letters from Wingnutistan

I have a distant cousin who forwards every viral email my way. I've written some careful GMail filters to trash anything he sends that starts with "Fwd." It seems to be working. I haven't heard from him in years.

But sometimes there's a friend you'd rather educate than censor. You spend the better part of an hour researching and delicately wording a rebuttal to his or her nonsense. For years has been an amazing ally in this fight.

But now there's a little more help in the political arena. Media Matters has unveiled Email Checker which will help you reply to the conservative misinformation contained in the most common and most egregious chain and viral emails.

I like the way they word their ready-made responses. They're gentle enough even for your grandma. A typical response contains something like, "If this one were true, I'd be pretty upset - so I decided to see if I could find out for myself..."

That's probably the best approach. Almost makes me want to pull a couple of my cousin's emails out of the trash bin... Nah.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Equilibrium Found!

"The Babel fish is small, yellow and leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy received not from its own carrier but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious thought frequencies with nerve signals picked up from the speech centers of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. " — Douglas Adams, The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Unless it was spoken by Sarah Palin, of course. Let me show you the evidence...

I was playing with this clever little site called Translation Party. Type anything in English, and it will translate it to Japanese, and then back to English. What comes back is typically not what you started with. So it translates the new sentence to Japanese again, and then back to English. It keeps going until it hits "equilibrium" -- a phrase that can be translated back and forth without change.

The site, like this blog post, has absolutely no practial purpose.

So, of course, I'm intrigued. I feed Translation Party some words of fortune cookie wisdom: "Doubt is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom." It took 5 translations to hit equilibrium which read "This is definitely the beginning of wisdom."

That's cool. In fact, I think I like that equilibrium sentence better.

So I give the script a favorite quote by Hunter S. Thompson: "Paranoia is just another word for ignorance." I swear the first time I tried it, it found equilibrium in one try. Tonight, it took 4 tries and came up with "It is just another word for ignorance of this illusion." Not bad.

Then I tried a little something from Sarah Palin's famous "death panels" speech -- excuse me -- I mean Facebook status update: "As more Americans delve into the disturbing details of the nationalized health care plan that the current administration is rushing through Congress, our collective jaw is dropping, and we’re saying not just no, but hell no!" The script cranked on for a while, and, uh oh...

I think I broke the Internet! After 18 translations, the script locked at this phrase: "U.S. health officials, the State Council, we Gurupumasen many people, our people who are planning a lot of human intervention in the presence of our people our people's current state is a hell lot of people removed the need to perform the chin."

I guess some things weren't meant to be understood.
"Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation." — Douglas Adams, The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Protest Song

I'm paying way too much attention to our Idiocracy in inaction. After reading one blogger's exhausting firsthand account of a town hall meeting, I'll reiterate what I wrote yesterday: many of the problems in our country are due to illiteracy. There are people who won't try to read the legislation themselves, and people who won't listen to any explanation unless it's on FOX News. And there are people who ask questions, and when given an honest answer, scream "Liar! We don't believe you!"

So just as I'm thinking "enough! I don't want to read or write another town hall story," I learn about the incident in New Jersey where a woman in a wheelchair is shouted down at a health care town hall. Click that link and read the story if you haven't already. I think way too many people have lost their sense of compassion. I think it's time for some public shaming of these paranoid individuals who believe they have a right to silence others.

I also think that woman is owed an apology from those shouters.

Anyway... oh yeah... here's the new/old theme song of the wingnuts:

(YouTube video)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Leave Them Kids Alone

It's kind of funny to watch these conservatives go all anti-authoritarian now. The latest viral e-mail from Wingnutistan begs parents to keep their children home from school on September 8. Apparently it's indoctrination day:
Word is traveling fast on the internet, between bloggers and twitter, the choice is clear : No school for kids on September 8th due to the beginning of Socialist Indoctrination of Americas children.

Keep your kids home September 8th
2009 September 1
by DanaLoesch
Take a day of vacation. Go to the zoo. Anything that would save your offspring from what I will bluntly say is just the quasi-fellating the executive branch. That cackling over a bubbling cauldron you hear is the NEA rejoicing.
Picture 4
President Obama’s Address to Students Across America September 8, 2009
I wouldn’t have such a problem with the Department of Education were this presented in a non-Orwellian fashion. Oh yes, it is, as the lesson plan directs, to listen to what t he president, the mayor, et al. says, to respect their "authoritah" , but there is no emphasis in here on why the president and other elected officials should listen to US. The focus is solely on authority. There is no consideration given to the authority of the American people. That’s what concerns me.
There is this mindset that those in Washington are the "elite," that we should mind our Ps and Qs and blindly follow their directives. That’s not the manner of governance upon which this country was founded – it is quite the opposite; even the hobbyist Constitutional aficionado appreciates this.
So yes, keep your kids home on September 8th and teach them that the power of America rests in the hands of its people, no one else.



Wow. Of course, I have to wonder why any parent so fearful of government and socialism would be sending their kids to public school in the first place. But if they're going to go to the zoo instead, they better make sure it's not one of those socialist zoos.

But my next thought is, "what the hell are they talking about anyway?" The U.S. Department of Education site states, "The president will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning." Where's the Orwellian message?

I switched the TV to FOX News -- I bet they can find the Orwellian message! Sure enough, they tell me teachers are being commanded to make their students worship Barack Obama... or something like that. Hmm... I look around the DOE site some more. Must be under suggested classroom activities. Yep. Here is one activity only a Communist would dream of:
Teachers can build background knowledge about the President of the United States and his speech by reading books about presidents and Barack Obama. Teachers could motivate students by asking the following questions:
  • Who is the President of the United States?
  • What do you think it takes to be president?
  • To whom do you think the president is going to be speaking?
  • Why do you think he wants to speak to you?
  • What do you think he will say to you?
    We can't have any of that knowledge building and question asking! And I bet this day of indoctrination includes some kind of pledge of allegiance or something.

    (YouTube video)

    Seriously, people who forward these e-mails need to check the sources of the information, but I'm realizing that many of the problems in our country are due to illiteracy. The kids who need to hear Obama's message the most will probably be at the zoo that day.

    Tuesday, September 01, 2009


    Well, town halls are now the official venue for performance art. Watch as these "ultra-rich" protesters rally for wealth-care:

    (YouTube video)

    Of course, it's all satire, and it's a good effort and all, but is it a wasted effort? In light of the the recent study that found that conservatives believe that Stephen Colbert dislikes liberalism, I'm skeptical. Listen to that woman at about 3:55 into the above video. She's a little confused at first, but finally agrees she's an ally of the "Eat cake please!! (Support the diabetic supplies industry)" crowd.

    These town hall teabaggers or whatever they call themselves don't get it. Not only are they nodding in agreement to these outrageous signs, but they don't realize this naked truth: the true billionaires don't have to protest. They don't have to carry their own signs. They can buy a congressman, legislation and an "advocacy group" which persuades gullible people (like teabaggers) to carry protest signs on behalf of corporations.

    But the funny video will get a few thousand hits on YouTube, and maybe somewhere there still exists a fence-sitter who will see the irony and satire and be won over. But Stephen Colbert still does it better.