July 30, 2008
Georgia town passed a mandatory gun ownership law... Believe me, I am all for the right of the individual to own a gun. This might be a LITTLE over the top. This community claims that their crime rate is very low. I don't doubt that at all, I would be interested in the number of accidental shootings.
July 29, 2008
July 27, 2008
Enjoy! From Sociological Images, via BoingBoing, "Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first presidential candidate to use television commercials. Below is one of his commercials, made by Disney, from 1952. Eisenhower was skeptical about using television and his opponent, Stevenson, wouldn’t appear on television because he thought it demeaning to a man ascending to the presidency. Eisenhower won."
July 25, 2008
July 24, 2008
From the NYT:
"Lawmakers and experts described the legislation as a landmark shift in the government’s role in the housing market, extending a helping hand to both Wall Street and Main Street. They said it would rank in importance with the creation of the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation to prevent foreclosures in the 1930s as part of the New Deal, and legislation in 1989 responding to the savings and loan crisis."
Remember my post about whether or not we were witnessing a repudiation of neo-liberalism? Well, are we?
July 23, 2008
July 18, 2008
The RNC/McCain campaign released an 8-minute "documentary" about Sen. Obama's supposed shifting positions on Iraq yesterday. It's a standard campaign attack, everyone is taking the candidates words and mincing them against other words they have said to show differences in positions or phrasing that can be construed in different ways. It's all part of the game.
But something else caught my eye in the FIRST five seconds of the video - which you can find on McCain's website. Watch closely in the order that the letters pop up, especially between the 2nd and 3rd second of the video. Screenshot after the jump.
I put the red circle in to show my problem. Now, I'm no conspiracy theorist, but I am having trouble believing that something like this would be left up to chance. I mean, it's like the Virgin Mary jumping out of a water stain on the wall and slapping me in the face.
"al qD" in flaming letters underneath a photo of Obama. Riiiiiiiight.
Subliminal messaging does not have to be some type of hypnosis. This is a flash that can direct one's mind to the smear/whisper campaign going on all over the country. When 12% of Americans STILL think of Obama as a secret Muslim, then using this kind of trick not only confirms it in their minds, but perpetuates the false smears.
I'd like to know if I truly am nitpicking and you think that I've thrown myself into the deep end of the Kool-Aid, or if this accidental placing of letters is a suckerpunch that even the Republicans won't admit to.
Someone tell me I'm crazy. I was really hoping for a more civilized campaign this year....
July 17, 2008
Can I just say HA HA to us all. Through American cultural expansion that has been widely criticized for the past 60 years, and our pursuit of the highest bidder, America is no longer the land of hamburgers or Budweiser. HA HA. Yes, we still make hamburgers, and there are MANY people who will never stop drinking their Budweiser, but now neither of these iconic products are solely "American Owned and Operated". The French have reclaimed the hamburger and turned it into fine dining, while Bud sold out to a Belgian brewer (the makers of Stella Artois no less) and all reported in the last week by the New York Times. Please note, this is not a complaint. I'm actually very excited about a potentially better tasting brew. Perhaps in a few years someone might mutter: "What could be more french than a hamburger, Budweiser, and of course french fries?" HA HA
July 16, 2008
July 15, 2008
So I've been wondering for quite some time now what the press would decide to throw at John McCain that is on par with Obama's Wright-gate.
It is pretty clear to anyone that reads anything of mine that I'm in the bag for Barack, and in my more partisan moments I find myself hoping for something juicy enough that the McCain camp just concedes defeat and the AZ senator heads off to join Bob Dole on the Republican also-ran lecture and Big Pharm endorsement circuit.
Now that I think I know what that blast is, though, I'm disappointed and even more over our current media establishment.
As you all probably know, McCain has recently been forgetting to acknowledge in his speeches the fact that the Czech Republic and Slovakia are now separate entities. This follows on his repeated confusion of Sunnis and Shiites and a number of other forgetfulness gaffes.
Is it important that our next president has a strong memory? Yes. Is it important that he can identify correctly the nation-states sitting at the table with the U.S. as we conduct foreign policy? Obviously. Would it be a serious problem if we selected a president suffering from mental illness or Alzheimer's or something similar? Of course.
But that isn't why the media is beating this drum, and all of us know it. They are beating it because it is about as salacious as any news about an old man (not named Kennedy) can get, even if Bob Dole's benefactor hopes to do something about it.
It is also because the media figures that peddle this kind of garbage can hide behind a barely sustainable shield of legitimacy, acting as if they are trying to point something out that, although delicate, should be considered by voters. That they are really doing their patriotic duty, rather than pushing tabloid trash.
Just like it can be argued reasonably that it is important to make sure candidates don't have terrible individuals in their inner circle, and that if they do we as voters should know about it as a way of judging their personal judgment. But that wasn't why the MSM pushed the Wright story, it was because it sold. It was despicable then and it is just as despicable now that the cannon is pointed at the other side.
I really wish there was something we could do about it, but what can be done? The proliferation of alternative sources of information has been great in many ways, but it has also forced the MSM to (further) lower its standards and trade in the salacious more than before in recent history.
July 13, 2008
I have to admit that I don't quite understand it all, but I found this NYT graphic quite helpful. The rest of the NYT article details how Fanny & Freddie got into this situation, which the whole thing reminds me of the fears of the Bank of the United States and the Second Bank of the United States. Jefferson, Madison, and Jackson had good reasons for opposing Hamilton and Nicholas Biddle's financial hi-jinks, not least of which was the potential for corruption--the potential of an elite group (or cabal) to form around the BUS that would use the power of the BUS to control the money supply, to employ shady loan practices, to pilfer money from the people directly, and to pilfer money from the government at the public's expense. TJ, JM, and AJ all feared that the people and the common good would suffer because the powerful BUS, out of the government's control, would dominate the nation's finances. While TJ and JM eventually caved and approved the BUS, AJ was determined to destroy it--his Bank Veto Message is among his best work, even though his war with the BUS & Biddle led to economic chaos.
Now, I'm not a huge fan of AJ in general, but it appears to me that Americans have lost the language of corruption and that we might re-consider his argument in his Veto Message. It seems like we have accepted corruption as part of a "the ways things are" or a "of course someone has to profit otherwise why would they do it" mentality of acquiesce. It's as if we put ourselves into the position of they who steal from the people and we say "hey, I would do that too if I could" and we allow corruption to continue because we secretly want to be corrupt too. TJ, JM, and AJ each had their faults, but financial corruption was not one of them.
Why hasn't there been more outrage at this? The American people have acquiesced to corruption for decades, what will it take for them to realize that it is time to fight it? We all should be ashamed for allowing the system of corruption because we are all complicit in its operations. Perhaps Americans need to re-read Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience to remember that when we know something is wrong and we sit by and do nothing or we support the government that perpetrates the wrong, then we are all guilty.
July 3, 2008
"The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not."
Tommy's peeps began to make the Declaration into more of a big deal than it had been before--nobody thought to read the Declaration of Independence when they celebrated independence until Tommy's peeps began doing so as PR for how great Tommy was, for example.
July 1, 2008
I've changed my previous title. Upon reflection, I don't think that this video proves that the world is a good place or whatever none sense I had posted yesterday. Today I think that it proves (demonstrates?) that people all over the world have a sense of humor and (maybe) that if the lame ass governments and politicians and rulers would stop screwing things up, then things could be just a little bit friendlier than they are now. Also, along with a chorus of friends and Huffpo, can I just say WTF BARAK OBAMA?? You are seriously pissing us all off now.
Feeling blue? Watch this.
Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.