It might be voting for the GOP, but that's just me.
September 19, 2011
I’m officially designating Michelle Bachmann Target Alpha and Perry Target Bravo. Perry has said and done some truly horrific things, but it’s the nature of Bachmann’s insane rants that wins her this week’s coveted Head Up Your Own Ass for the Warmth Award. And who doesn’t want to win the coveted HUYOAW Award?
No, really. According to Bachmann, some woman approached her after an event and said her daughter had been given the vaccine and became mentally retarded as a result. Did Bachmann present numbers? Do research? Consult her staff?
Actually, that last one’s kind of funny. According to her former chief of staff, Bachmann doesn’t actually consult with her staff before she says something. She writes her own speeches, something I can tell you requires a full job position. Even better, while she does read a lot, she seemingly glosses over a lot of information. Basically, Bachmann hears something and fits it with her preconceptions and whatever works.
I don’t doubt that some vaccines have adverse effects. However, the CDC reported that out of 35 million HPC vaccines handed out to women all over the country, there were 18,727 adverse effects. Ninety-two percent of these effects were not-threatening. That means that only about 1,500 patients had severe effects. And out of those patients with serious side-effects, it’s the same percentage of people in non-vaccinated groups that would have suffered the same effects so…
There is nothing to link the vaccine to any of these symptoms.
Are vaccinations dangerous? No more so than being afraid of seatbelts because you’re afraid you might break your collarbone if you crash. Parents have every right to dictate how they raise their children, but they become irresponsible when they deny said children potentially life-saving treatments on the off-chance a currently unknown disease or symptom crops up. Vaccines have helped wipe out diseases or push them to the brink of extinction.
A does not follow B all the time. If you give a baby a vaccination and said baby develops autism, it’s not necessarily the vaccine’s fault. Said kid could have already had the disease. Or had Sarah Palin for a mother, in which case the kid has a whole other set of problems.
Bachmann has said a lot of really stupid things, but this is the first time, I think, she could genuinely cost lives. She’s an idiot, and I bet good money it didn’t take a shot to do that to her.
How dare you get along with others and express sympathy for their views?!
September 5, 2011
Okay, so I didn’t figure out this week’s Weekly Muse. I actually feel really bad about that. You stumped me, dear reader, so hopefully I’ll figure out the new set of suggestions.
In the meantime, let’s talk about racial slurs. Grab the popcorn, kids. This is going to be fun, and it features my favorite clown, Becky Boy.
This little rant starts off with some pretty general advice. Be true to yourself, know who you are, and stand for what you believe even as you are pushed by the world to believe something else. Nothing wrong there… and then it goes into strange territory that makes basic logic look like a Lovecraftian nightmare.
Beck claims that when people come after you for your beliefs, they are using radical leftist strategies like Saul Alinsky. He says that when someone tries to correct you or make you think something else besides the truth (the truth being determined by whether or not said belief is held by the Tea Party), that person should be ignored at all costs.
And as you know, Beck had a neat little rally in Israel and followed it up with tours of Africa and South America. Suffice to say, Beck comes across as the kind of man who’s probably still mystified by things like the Civil Rights Movement and all those pesky brown people asking for things “normal” Americans have.
It started when he and his co-hosts, Thing 1 and Thing 2, asked how silly they felt calling blacks “African Americans” when they traveled to other countries.
Beck: “How can people be one thing in one country and nowhere else in the world?”
Cohost 1: “That’s such a great point. What are you supposed to say? Is there a… what is the acceptable term?”
Cohost 2: “We don’t know. We don’t know-”
Beck: “Black. Black.”
Cohost 2: “African British? African-”
Beck: “BLACK! BLACK!”
Let’s back up for a moment. You don’t call blacks “African American” in other countries because they’re not IN AMERICA. Enigma solved.
Secondly, there isn’t ONE term for any group. Some people prefer “African American” because they’d like to identify with that part of their heritage. The same goes for anyone who is Mexican American, Iraqi American, German American, Irish American, whatever. It’s an option, and I understand some people don’t like to think in those terms. They call themselves “American” because that’s how they see themselves. Fine. It’s their choice, and if I called someone “African American” and was chastised for doing so, I would just apologize.
There’s a similar social problem with my particular sociological group. I call myself “Mexican American” because I’m a first-generation immigrant. I’m a citizen. I also call myself “Hispanic,” although this is mostly related to race, not nationality. Two or three generations down, if my descendants live in this country, I would have no problem if they just called themselves “Hispanic.” Why? It’s a description of who and what they are.
But Beck and company act as though we’re somehow forced to use the term “African American,” like it’s some kind of federal standard. But let’s keep going as they actually manage to show ignorance of basic tact.
Cohost 1: “Just like ‘white,’ you’d think that-”
Beck: “It’s BLACK. In South America… I mean South Africa, it’s ‘black’ and ‘colored.’ I don’t remember the difference, but there is a difference. One is…”
Cohost 2: “One is indigenous, the other comes from somewhere else.”
Beck: “Yes, and I don’t remember which one’s which, but I think even ‘Indian’ came in. I think it was also like ‘colored’ that meant ‘Indian’ or elsewhere.”
They actually acknowledge that different terms mean different things, that they’re used to refer to different people based on background… and about ten seconds later, they go ahead and ignore that. Pay attention, though. They’re starting to show hints of disgust at people identifying as something other than what these three morons think is acceptable.
Behold the kind of myopic stupidity that usually requires a full-frontal lobotomy.
Cohost 1: “But we have been taught here that ‘colored’ is really a bad thing to say, ‘cause, ‘What color are they?’ Well, okay, so you got us to stop saying that, but in other parts of the world, they still do.”
Beck: “Yeah, and it’s NOT a bad thing! Only here! Why are we made to feel bad? Notice this? ‘African American’ wasn’t made to do anything except try to create a superman. ‘Oh, don’t you try to feel bad about yourself! You’re African American!’ No, you’re an American. Instead of building the country up and saying, ‘Lookit! We all have the right here in this country. Look what might happen with Martin Luther King. That makes you an AMERICAN. Judge not by the color of your skin.’”
I’m actually still trying to figure out what Beck was trying to say in this little ramble. One thought flows into another like a concrete truck into a brick wall. He complains that “African American” is some term designed to make people feel good about themselves, yet he’s one of the major proponents of American exceptionalism, the belief that America is great just because it is America. If you follow the link, you’ll see how racially tinged these believes can get.
And “African American” has nothing to do with skin color. It’s a description of background. Technically, Charlize Theron is African American. That’s her background. And now Beck turns in the insensitivity dial to 11.
Beck: “And you weren’t over in Africa! Your great-great-grandfather was. Your great-great-great-grandfather may have been, but you weren’t! And sure this country SUCKED for blacks. BEYOND sucked! For a long time. But it doesn’t now. It doesn’t now. Be proud to be an American.”
I really don’t know what position Beck holds any more. He keeps saying our country is great, yet he’s ranted about how crappy it’s become. It’s like he’s gorging on cake while complaining it tastes like crap.
Cohost 2: “I’ve always felt it’s such an insult. The idea of ‘African American.’ That they for some reason need to have-”
Beck: “Special help.”
Cohost 2: “Not even special help, just a distinction as if they’re different from us. They’re Americans just like us. Hundred percent Americans. They deserve every right, and they have the same responsibility everyone else has.”
And now Beck shows his hand and we get to the real complaint.
Beck: “The thing is… it makes people afraid. That’s the key. It makes other people afraid. If we’re afraid to say something, and we all are, you’re afraid to say something because you don’t want to offend- Americans are good. Americans are kind. Not all of them. But we are great because we are good. Why do you think we said ‘handicapable’? Because we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. They’ve been using this! It’s our Achilles heel! Have. No. Fear. Dismiss these ‘human rights’ frauds!”
And there it is! It’s not that he’s upset people are being labeled or that labels exist. It’s because he somehow thinks that “they” have made “us” use terms like “African American” so we don’t offend anyone.
Here’s the problem. The word “colored” is pretty offensive to a lot of people. It has connotations of a Jim Crowe era. And Beck knows why we use certain terms. He’s discovered the liberal conspiracy.We’re trying to be police thought by using appropriate terminology. And we’re so gorram nice that we fall for things like taking into account cultural and personal sensitivities. How dare we not call them black “colored”? They have color, right?
Note how Beck and company don’t actually understand why the word “colored” is offensive. They just wonder why we don’t all have one word we can use when referring to a particular group. That’d be nice, right? Having a nice, standardized way to strip culture and self-identity, having society determine who and what we are based on government affiliation?
And if you believe that, please register with the nearest Tea Party group. They have some nice tin foil for you to make your new set of hats.
The weirdest part, though, was his unveiling of his Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities, a manifesto that just begs a closer look. It’s 1,227 words that, well, tell us so much about this man and the people who think like him. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
I’ve taken the liberty of copying it word for word so you don’t have to go to his site and give him more page hits.
As the American Declaration of Independence clearly states, when in the course of human events it becomes necessary for people to band together and collectively declare their rights and responsibilities to which the laws of nature and nature’s God entitle and bind them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should disclose the causes which impel them to such.
Okay, so like any manifesto, we’re going to outline how we got here. Makes sense. After all, Beck seems to be the only one who sees the vast web of conspiracies in everything from skin cream to schools. Let us continue.
Therefore let us declare that we still hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But with those rights come responsibilities.
Nice historical allusion. Okay, I’m with him so far. We have rights. True. We also have responsibilities. We have to go to jury duty. We have to pay taxes. We have to vote. Nothing crazy so far.
In order to continually experience life, liberty and happiness as promised, nature’s God demands obedience to His law to protect those rights. This is where we have fallen short and therefore, in order not to lose the blessings of freedom, the people of the world must turn from the sole focus on rights, and recognize the inherent and required responsibilities that we have.
But when a long train of abuses of the people and conscience by the media and by other segments of society, pursuing the same path of reducing them to ridicule, scorn and even sub-human status, it is their right, it is their DUTY, to peacefully, but vehemently take a stand.
Men want to be king, and the more we concentrate on our rights and the more we are told not to worry about our responsibilities, the more we lose our rights.
Actually, the more we focus on our rights, the more we see when said rights are abused. As it stands, we really don’t have to do anything to keep our rights. Even Beck himself has admitted that the Civil Rights Movement is over since we in the West have all the rights we want. They cannot be taken from us unless the Amendments themselves get rewritten, so what does Beck mean by “the more we lose our rights?”
He and the Right in America have been constantly called out for the bigoted, anti-science, anti-progress, anti-poor myopic idiots that they are. They want to bolster the rich and crush the poor. They want to make it possible to once again treat people like crap just because you worship one god and they worship another. They want the right to treat employees like servants. They want the right use religion to dictate law.
But moving on…
Just as physics show, for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. The time has come to declare that at least for the western world human rights are generally accepted and moving in the right direction however a new movement is required a movement of human responsibility.
The media, politicians and large institutions both academic and political have been lying to us, and we must demand the truth be told.
With that demand, comes the responsibility that we tell the truth first, in ourselves. Too many of us delegate our responsibility to the media…and too many believe there is no personal responsibility at all.
Okay, I think I’m nitpicking now, but does ANYONE working for Beck know how to use a fraking coma?!
Political correctness has polluted our language and clouds our every discussion.
What was once accepted as good and right, is now considered bad and evil, and that which was bad and evil is now presented to the world as good and decent.
I could not follow on a boat. I could not follow with a goat. I could not understand you, Glenn. I want to stab you with a pen. You cannot use a comma. Your rants are full of drama.
Doctor Seuss, I ain’t. I hate when people make a blanket statement like this. I’d like to know when evil became decent, for one. I’d like an example. What was the point in which we thought, for example, that murder was acceptable? Theft? Racism? Anything? Anyone?
Opposing thoughts or opinions are referred to as crazy, insane, non-factual and utterly without merit. Furthermore, we are told, they should not even be heard.
Who said this? Who said we should not have ideas out on the field? If he’s talking about creationism (and he has), then he’s right. It should not be taught as a science because it is a religious idea.
Of course, he could also be referring to the fact that his own attacks on progressive policies have constantly been debunked by the simple fact that Beck refuses to use simple things like research.
Now, the time has come to take a stand by exhibiting the traits – honor, courage and vigilance.
What is honor? It is being honest in all of our dealings. It is showing loyalty and fairness, and being a beacon of integrity in all our beliefs and actions. It is showing respect for others.
Ruth honored Naomi when she told her that she would not leave her. That she would go wherever Naomi went, that she would live where Naomi lived and die where Naomi died. Her God would be Naomi’s God.
To be fair, that’s not honor so much as it is loyalty.
Courage is the ability to face danger, criticism or scorn – not without fear, but while overcoming fear to deal with that which comes our way.
When no one else in the Kingdom wanted to face the mighty giant, Goliath, young David was willing. David must have felt fear at the sight of his foe, but overcame it, and courageously vanquished his enemy.
Vigilance is being watchful for all forms of treachery and tyranny, lies and deceit. The person in the watchtower, waiting all night, suddenly sounding the alarm that the enemy is coming. The careful observer of the markets and economies who proclaims to the world, all is not well, there is trouble ahead and the outspoken critic of the powerful, going against societies’ grain, warning that all is not as we’re being told. These are the vigilant.
So the people who call you and others like you out because you’ve poisoned the political discourse are vigilant? They’re not, you know… your enemies?
This is actually kind of funny. Beck is asking people to pay attention to the world around them and tell others what they are doing. At the same time, Beck has asked his own viewers to look at progressive websites and monitor them. But not conservatives, because that would be wrong. The problem is that they don’t call out Beck himself when he almost causes an international incident. They don’t call him out when he is part of an effort to keep health insurance from the hands of 98% of the population. He wasn’t called out when he said things so offensive that he galvanized the Jewish community against him.
So, if his viewers are so vigilant, why do they keep missing all this?
We implore all people to stand with these characteristics – honor, courage and vigilance.
To that end, we must restore honor in our own lives. Seek after the truth. Declare right now, that no longer will we simply accept what is told us by the media or anyone else.
The media has the responsibility to tell the truth, we have the responsibility to learn it.
Stand with courage, even if it means the end of our jobs, the end of our positions in life…or even the end of our very lives.
Here we go…
We are not at some point where we must risk life and death to tell the truth. You want truth? There are actual journalists out there covering news around the world. Anyone with an internet connection can report what is seen and heard around the world. Are there tyrannical regimes and groups that would kill to suppress the truth? Of course.
But Beck is not in danger. Neither are we. We live in a country where we can say what we want.
We must have the courage to be peaceful, while recognizing the courage to defend and respond to threats and/or attacks when necessary.
Turn the other cheek when possible.
I want someone to find me ONE instance of Beck doing this. Please.
We must be vigilant. We must think the unthinkable. The holocaust occurred because no one could imagine it, but evil never sleeps, and neither must we.
No, Beck. The holocaust occurred because Germany was looking for a scapegoat and Jews were, historically, a minority blamed for everything from economic strife to the theft of Christian babies. It occurred because we didn’t have instant media like we do today and could not know what was happening on the other side of the world. It occurred because fundamentalist radicals got power and pushed a Right-wing agenda that focused on war and the delusional belief that their patriotism made them right. They believed they were doing God’s work.
As Edmund Burke said, “all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” We must DO something. Stand watch. Speak up. Become involved.
“Sign up! Buy gold! Follow me! Give me your money!”
4. Because I have the right to pursue happiness, I have the responsibility to show humility and express gratitude for all the blessings I enjoy and the rights I’ve been given.
Exhibit B. Beck goes on, and on, and on about he is an anointed prophet of God.
5. Because I have the right to honest and good government I will seek out honest and just representatives when possible. If I cannot find one then I accept the responsibility to take that place.
Exhibit C. Beck insists politics in this country have divided us… yet he’s never expressed a desire to seek office.
6. Because I have the God given right to liberty, I have the personal responsibility to have the courage to defend others to be secure in their persons, lives and property.
Exhibit D. Beck has attacked groups that help the poor and less fortunate.
7. Because I have the right to equal justice, I will stand for those who are wrongly accused or unjustly blamed.
Exhibit E. This is the same as an earlier link, but Beck smeared Nivea because he thought the company was siding with Palestine against Israel. When confronted with an explanation, he continued to smear them.
8. Because I have the right to knowledge, I will be accountable for myself and my children’s education…to live our lives in such a way that insures the continuation of truth.
9. Because I have the right to pursue my dreams and keep the fruits of my labor, I have the responsibility to feed, protect and shelter my family, the less fortunate, the fatherless, the old and infirm.
Exhibit G. Beck wants to defund FEMA and basically roll back every major social welfare program of the last century.
10. Because I have a right to the truth, I will not bear false witness nor will not stand idly by as others do.
Exhibits H through Z… I just don’t have the time to summarize them all. Beck is a master of the falsehood. Do you want to know how to know when he’s lying? He opens his mouth and words come out.
Unconditionally, while maintaining my responsibility to compassionately yet fiercely stand against those things that decay the natural rights of all men. And for the support of this declaration, and with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence we mutually pledge to each other our lives, fortunes and sacred honor.
Okay, I am officially exhausted. The only reason I talk about him is because, even without Fox, he still has a huge base. He’s losing sponsors and stations, but people still buy his books, go to his rallies, and he’s still a voice on the Right that can move mountains. It’s not about shutting him up. I hope he keeps talking so people have more evidence to show just how much of a manipulative bastard he is. Just reading through his declaration shows everything that’s wrong with conservatism and the Tea Party.
Actually comparing its goals to Beck’s actions?
It shows that his audience either just responds “yes” to everything he says, they can’t read, or they have a twelve-hour memory. Either way, they should go back to playing with crayons and wearing diapers.
He and his audience are so full of shit they must change undies ten times a day.
Back in my day, we didn't tax the high GPA makers! That creates more students!
August 19, 2011
Well, it’s back to school again, and, as most of you know, those with the highest grades will be asked to give away some of those GPA points to students who didn’t try as hard so everyone can have a chance at a better education and job later on.
Oh, that’s not how that happens?
Fox sent out a camera crew and recent college graduate to a few campuses to ask students how they would feel if they were asked to give some of their GPA to lower students so the people with lower grades could have higher GPAs. Obviously, this did not sit well with ANY student. How then, Fox asks, do we justify taking MORE money away from the wealthy in the form of increased taxes and giving it to the lower and middle class? Isn’t that the same thing? Taking away from the people who worked for their money and giving it to people who don’t work hard so they don’t get as much?
A student earns a GPA over a long period of time. It takes years. To get that grade, you have to study hard, do your work, and if you want to bulk up with transcript, you have to take AP classes that sometimes don’t even give you extra points or anything like that. They didn’t for me, and while part of the Honor Scholars Program at DePauw University, I had to take classes that were an order of magnitude harder than any other class I’ve ever taken, and said classes didn’t even count for extra points. And I still made the Dean’s List several times.
For several decades, the upper class has received what can only be called “corporate welfare.” They actually get taxed less than people who make WAY less and can write off any number of expenses. For Fox’s analogy to make sense, students with higher GPA should have had to do less work to get better grades over time AND people with lower GPAs should have had to give up a portion of their grades to people who were already getting good grades.
Let me put it another way. Billy works hard but can only ever get a 2.5 GPA. Tommy lucked out nearly on his freshman year and got a 3.8 average. The school then took some of Billy’s points and gave them to Tommy to keep him in the highest percentile. Now, Billy has to work harder for his points, but Tommy can cruise along knowing the points he gets from the bottom of the ladder will offset his lack of work and keep him higher up.
Students with high GPAs generally work VERY hard to get those grades. I know I did. The upper class in this country gets a free pass and politicians in their corner to make sure they stay up there. There is an entire infrastructure just to keep the rich rich. There is no such system in place for students. Lower grades don’t always mean you’re not working hard. Most students give it their best. Job-wise, I work my butt off and make less per hour than the dean’s secretary. Stop pretending like people who are poor don’t work hard. Try teaching. Try being a sanitation worker. Try being a gardener, migrant worker, police officer, firefighter, or even a babysitter. That’s damn hard work.
People who rely on hedge funds to GIVE them money? Must be nice.
In short, Fox sucks, students rock, have fun on the first week of school, students and teachers, and I’ll see you Monday with the new Weekly Muse story. Keep voting!