Saturday, September 26, 2009

Is Jimmy Carter a racist?

I've avoided this issue for long enough, so here goes.....

Jimmy Carter believes that Barack Obama's critics are racists. So does Janeane Garofalo. So does Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, who believes, at minimum, that race is a motivator for those who oppose the President's agenda.

Let's move that accusation to the back burner for a few minutes, and move on to some definitions.

There are multiple forms of racism. The one that gets the most attention is the Ku Klux Klan / Aryan Nation / Han Chinese / We're God's Chosen People variety. This type of racist feels that certain races are inferior. I grew up with some of that in Mississippi.

There's another form. This is the racism of the paternalistic, quota-loving, tokenism sort. Race has to be taken into account on just about everything - hiring quotas, social promotion, the makeup of the homecoming court, construction contracts, etc etc etc. If the Big Daddy group doesn't set a lower standard for the lesser group, the lesser group won't ever make it on their own, a concept that the Bush administration once called "the soft bigotry of low expectations".

I don't like either variety of racism. I live on an oddball corner lot where "the neighbors" are, starting from the east, black, lesbian, gay, black, white, white, and Hispanic. I'm a long, long way from being colorblind, but that's not the point. When the Hispanic couple first moved in from Mexico, they had a less than charming habit of opening their garage door in the middle of the night, tuning 5 or 6 jam boxes to the same mariachi radio station, and turning the volume knobs up to eleven.

One of the Sapphic ladies, one of the black ladies and I didn't hesitate to walk across the street and ask them to turn down the volume, since East Fort Worth isn't Juarez. We didn't take cultural differences into account. We didn't research Mexico's tradition of having lots of friends over, shooting guns in the air, and cranking up the volume at 1:00 a.m. We didn't question whether they were capable of performing the action we requested. We acted like they were.... just.... like.... us. To do otherwise, IMAO, would've been racist. (Aw, honey, they're Mexicans. We can't expect them to behave like, you know, people.)

Enter Jimmy Carter, and the others who equate opposition to Obama with racism.

Barack Obama has added a projected two trillion dollars to the national debt. No one, I repeat, no one in Washington believes his statement that his healthcare plan will be "deficit-neutral". He has blatantly reneged on his pledge to post all proposed legislation on the internet before signing. It doesn't look like we'll be transferring terrorists out of Gitmo any time soon. Granted, Leader Of The Free World is a tough gig, but he got elected based on what he said he was going to do. He has made, and is making, pledges that he isn't going to keep. Those who voted for Obama based on his promises must be disappointed.

If you fail to express this disappointment, or protest against Obama's deceptions, is it because you suffer from "the soft bigotry of low expectations"? Remember how Republicans turned on the elder Bush when he violated his "Read my lips: No new taxes" pledge?

So here's a question for Jimmy Carter, Janeane Garofalo, and Mark Potok. Are you people racists?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Carlos A. Rodriguez on the virtues of The Libertarian Party

The Libertarians got a nice plug from Carlos A. Rodriguez in the Brownsville TX paper a few days ago. Here's an excerpt:

"....most Americans seem to be caught in the middle of the two parties.

Actually, we don't have two parties. We have two factions that take turns running things. Neither faction has much interest in real change.

Many Americans — a majority, it seems — believe they are taxed so much that their standard of living is compromised. They question many of the programs, and the cost, of programs promoted by the Democratic Party. Many are horrified to think that their tax dollars are being used to fund things they consider morally wrong, such as abortion. They might not like union-friendly legislation that impedes workers’ ability to make independent agreements with employers.

Or, they might actually be in favor of any or all of these things, but they think government shouldn't be involved.

While they might want fiscal restraint, however, many Americans have a real problem with institutionalized xenophobia, edicts that mandate the promotion of a specific religion to the detriment of others, or restrictions on media, behavior and expression the Republican Party espouses.

The "fiscal restraint" issue is one place where Mr. Rodriguez goes totally off the rails. Why is that issue still associated with Republicans?
Republican presidents named Reagan and Bush rang up more debt than all other presidents combined. (Present company excluded, of course.) Why do people think that when fiscal conservatives vote for a Libertarian instead of a Republican, the vote is "wasted" ? A vote for a Republican is a vote for someone who spends more than a Democrat. They just spend it on different toys.

The obvious question, then, is, why do Americans, who ostensibly decide who gets elected and what party gains power, allow these political aberrations to run the country? Why don’t we have a strong political party that reflects the majority view? After all, other parties do exist; they just don’t have the strength of the two biggies.
You can pick your answer: Maybe the assumption is wrong, and people really are gathered at either ends of the spectrum. Maybe people prefer a two-party system that precludes the formation of coalitions that would lead to compromise legislation rather than the all-or-nothing battles we have today. Or maybe the incumbent parties have stacked the deck in their favor, and a vote for a minority party might as well be thrown away. People don’t think they have a choice.


Actually, they do. Several other political parties exist, although most of them are single-issue groups like the Green Party, America First Party and the U.S. Marijuana Party.
Some, however, do offer comprehensive philosophies that can be applied to all aspects of life and government.
The largest of these is the Libertarian Party. Traditionally most in line with our country’s Jeffersonian founders, it combines the small-government views that conservatives espouse, while defending the social freedoms that many modern political liberals tout.

Heck yes. We're the most in line with our country's Jeffersonian founders. Hit the link at the top to read the whole thing. And thank you, Mr. Carlos A. Rodriguez.

Clunker Economics

My friend Mike Coyne sent me this gem. I don't think the numbers are 100% accurate, but the analogy is close enough to make a great point.

* A clunker that travels 12,000 miles a year at 15 mpg uses 800 gallons of gas a year.
* A vehicle that travels 12,000 miles a year at 25 mpg uses 480 gallons a year.
* So, the average Cash for Clunkers transaction will reduce US gasoline consumption by 320 gallons per year.
* They claim 700,000 vehicles so that's 224 million gallons saved per year.
* That equates to a bit over 5 million barrels of oil.5 million barrels is about 5 hours worth of US consumption.
* More importantly, 5 million barrels of oil at $70 per barrel costs about $350 million dollars.
* So, the government paid $3 billion of our tax dollars to save $350 million.
* We spent $8.57 for every dollar saved.
* How good a deal was that ???
**They'll probably do a great job with health care though!! **

The G20 Protests in Pittsburgh

Boy howdy, I love the Anarchists.
I employed several of them while in the Literary Retail industry. One concept that I couldn't get across to them: if they were ever succesful in their quest for a society with absolutely no rules or regulations, they would probably be the first people to be propped up against a wall and shot.
For any society to survive, you've got to be able to protect basic liberties and freedoms, one of which is the liberty and freedom to sell things for more than you paid for them - i.e. Capitalism.

Some of the recent unplesantness at the Pittsburgh G-20 conference was orchestrated by an Anarchist outfit called The Pittsburgh G-20 Resistance Project.

The Pittsburgh G-20 Resistance Project is a space where folks can come together and collaborate on ways to resist the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh, PA. Our goals are to lay the groundwork, provide an information clearing house, create & distribute publicity and educational materials, build momentum for the mobilization, engage in local, regional and national outreach, and develop an action framework. We seek to help coordinate efforts among like-minded people in order to create a just and sustainable world.

In the words of our President, "Let me be clear". I think these are silly people.

Some of the rhetoric reminds me of the kid who took over NYU's Kimmel Center who was railing about bottled "corporate water" while rummaging through the iPhones and Mac laptops in his backpack.

There are some disturbing things in this video, though. I hope you have time to watch the whole thing, but at least click to the 1:50 mark. Since when do we have soldiers running around the U.S.A. in unmarked civilian vehicles? Who was this person that got snatched? What the hell?

And the kids at the 3:30 mark.... If they aren't voting Libertarian in the next election, they might need to be tear-gassed again. (That's a joke. Please don't send me hate mail for it.)

Here's Dr. Ron Paul on what's going on inside the G20. If you are new to these controversies, a "Fiat Currency" is paper money with no commodity backing it up. It can be printed on demand.

You can go to the UK's Telegraph to read about the calls for a Global Currency. I get a feeling that this currency won't be backed by anything that anyone wants. Interesting times, interesting times.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My work for the National Endowment For The Arts

As you may have heard, The National Endowment For The Arts has been playing footsie with The White House Office Of Public Engagement to get sculptors, composers, producers, taste-makers, fashion victims, composers, the black-wearing undertakers of the art world, and all-around trendoids to start producing art to promote the agenda of The Teleprompter Jesus. Some "60 Minutes" wannabe got the whole conference call on tape. Dang it.

This conference call violated numerous lobbying laws but it was for a good cause, which is supposed to make everything ok.

Those listening in on the notorious conference call were encouraged to promote the following Obama agenda items through their art: health care, energy and environment, safety and security, education, and community renewal.

Here are some of my favorite examples of government encouraging artists to create for the greater good:
Unfortunately, the NEA's director of communications has now been publicly beheaded, his head paraded around the walls of Washington on a pike, and his other remains are now hanging in chains outside the city gates as a warning not to ever ever ever do anything like this again. Not when tape recorders are running, anyway.

What irks me is that my own art on these topics won't get the wide audience it deserves. Yes, I was contacted by the NEA to produce new Obamamedia. It's a shame to work and work and work on art, and then see the taxpayer funding disappear due to silly, outdated, separation of Me and Your Wallet laws.

I worked long and hard to produce propaganda artwork based on all five of the agenda items the White House wanted. Instead of being displayed in galleries around the world, they'll have to be posted here.

This is the piece I've worked on the longest, and it's intended to promote the President's Education agenda. Remember the "Fun With Dick And Jane" readers you may have used in the first grade? To promote the decline of reading, and to encourage our public schools to produce even more unfortunate illiterate students for the "Victim" voting block, I painted a series of Dick And Jane books that didn't have any text, only pictures. The ability to read, of course, is an elitist notion, and should be discouraged by The State, since literacy leads to critical thinking.

Here's one of the best in the Dick and Jane series. I call it "Untitled". Easy to read, isn't it?

Ever since I got my first batch of Play-Do, I've been interested in sculpture. To help the President with his Community Renewal agenda, I constructed a miniature replica of the neighborhood where Obama once spent lots and lots of money and hired lots and lots of helpers while working as a Community Organizer. Like Washington D.C., like the Deep South prior to the 1970's, and like other regions where the Mommy Party had a lock on things for way too long, the place is a shithole. I had a hard time making it look horrible enough.
Therefore, I used non-traditional materials for this piece. The results are spectacular, but shouldn't be viewed on a warm day.

The Safety And Security piece was more challenging. It's an homage to Fredrik Reuterswärd's sculpture "The Knotted Gun". To celebrate our Victim Disarmament Laws, and to celebrate the reach of our Nanny State, I've reproduced "The Knotted Gun" in Jello.

The original statue is made of metal, and could fall over and possibly harm someone. Jello is much safer for The Children ® . Plus, the components are totally disassembled, with a permanent trigger lock. Look what similar policies have done for the crime rate in D.C. ! !

The most controversial work is my performance art piece that promotes Obama's Health Care agenda. Instead of a program, the theatre-goers are handed a bill for their percentage of the national debt. The curtain parts to reveal a contortionist who asks that everyone pass their bills to the wealthiest person in the room. This wealthy audience member, in every performance to date, quickly leaves in a huff - taking his business to either China or Mexico.

The contortionist (via a series of slides projected onto the back curtain) examines the solvency of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the track records of various government departments. A Clunker is brought onstage and destroyed. Kids from the Children's Theatre Program, dressed as soldiers, start a war with the theatre next door (this helps the economy and creates jobs). An assistant leads a large hog onstage, and assists the animal in raping The Statue Of Liberty while chanting "Something For Nothing, Something For Nothing".

To end the performance, the contortionists steps forward and says "But Obamacare will be different", and carries out this symbolic action:The Energy And Environment piece was difficult, but might be the most popular. It illustrates the obscene subsidies you're paying to ethanol farmers. Think of it the next time you're paying at the pump and see the "Contains up to 10% ethanol" sign.

Yes, ethanol production harms the environment. It causes 3rd world food riots. But it's organic, wholesome, and allows the most wealthy Americans to get more of your money. Its use is required by law. This piece is simply called "Ethanol".

Other artists created works in praise of Our Dear Leader and his agenda. I don't know who came up with this one, but it was taught to and performed by some public school kids in New Jersey. I bet Kim Jong-il is envious.....

If you feel that my artwork would complement your lifestyle, I am available for private commissions. For other examples of my art, I encourage you to visit my design proposal for the still unfunded Department Of Culture.

Dick and Jane painting came from here. Pics of Mr. Obama's neighborhood came from here. Article worth reading, BTW. The pic of The Knotted Gun came from here. The head in the nether regions pic came from here. The ethanol crop circles came from here.

An apology to Savanna, and an attempt to make things right

My friend Michelle pointed out that in an earlier post about the Alan Ross parade in Dallas, I didn't include any pictures of "Savanna the Amazing Liberty and/or Gay Rights Dog".

The editorial staff, photography crew, and event planners apologize as individuals and as a group for this oversight.

Here's a picture of Savanna, taken shortly before we pulled The Alamo into a Starbucks parking lot.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

John Stossel on objectivity

Here's ABC's John Stossel, one of the few rational voices on the idjit box, on the subject of media bias, the myth of objective reporting, and his upcoming move to Fox News.

As always, worth reading, and Stossel gives us a great assortment of links to illustrate his points.
Two of my favorite sections:

Most reporting on the "stimulus" package has the same flaw. Just to call it "stimulus" is to editorialize, since the idea that government spending can truly stimulate an economy is at best doubtful. Many good economists say it can't be done ( After all, the money is taken from somewhere else. But the economists rarely are quoted.
In addition, reporters seem to think they've done their job if they merely describe the intentions behind the proposed "reform." But the burden of proof should be on the sponsors of regulation and spending. They should have to make a convincing case that their new rules are superior to the free market. Who cares about intentions?
Yes, I know that Fox News is biased. Yes, I know that the Castro News Network is biased. MS-DNC is biased. National Socialist Radio is definitely biased. The networks we used to call The Big 3 are biased and nobody cares because they aren't picturesquely biased. You're biased. I'm biased.
John Stossel and I are more objective about our biases, though.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Senator Harry Reid on our Voluntary Tax System

Many of the Comment Field discussions on this site boil down to one disagreement: Whether or not it is moral for government to take money or property by force from one group and give it to another group.

Is it ok for a government to take your money to pay a millionaire to destroy his car in order to provide another year of employment to a Union worker whose job has better benefits than yours?

Is it ok for our government to continue taking your money to provide for the continued defense of Germany and Japan ?

If you were to win the lottery and wanted to voluntarily donate your winnings to deserving humanitarian organizations, how drunk would you have to be before writing a check to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services?

If you don't give your money for these causes, though, you go to jail. It's that simple. You don't have a choice. Cooperating with these programs (at gunpoint) is not a virtue. When A and B conspire to rob C for the benefit of D, please understand that A and B aren't being compassionate, and C doesn't automatically become a great humanitarian because of his failure to resist.

This is from the Tarrant County Libertarian Party website:

At most we regard it (taxation) as a necessary evil, so that the vital functions of government can continue independent of undue outside influence. For this reason we advocate the reduction of taxation to the lowest feasible level, and the replacement of taxation with user fees where practicable.

Here's U.S. Senator Harry Reid, with a contrarian viewpoint. Senator Reid claims that paying taxes is "voluntary".

The interviewer, Jan Helfeld, is the same person who taught us How To Interview Nancy Pelosi, and he's worthy of a wider audience.

Last Sunday, The Teleprompter Jesus went on the rounds of all the Sunday morning talk shows and hit healthcare slow pitch/coach pitch softballs from David Gregory, Bob Schieffer, and some other White House Spokesmuppets.

Can you imagine the devastation and carnage if Jan Helfeld was in a room for 20 minutes with a microphone and Barack Obama?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Alan Ross Gay/Lesbian Pride Parade, Dallas Texas, September 20, 2009

Since I didn't think our transvestite could walk the entire parade route, I agreed to walk beside the Alamo, which was a good thing, because two different people handed me Jello Shots while I was handing out flyers and freebies, and I couldn't hear myself think because our DJ's on top of the Alamo had AC/DC techno-mixes cranked up to ELEVEN, and most of the crowd was screaming and clapping and shouting, and it was sometimes hard to stay in line behind the gay choir and the bicyclists with Aids.

And then it got weird.

Yes, the Tarrant and Dallas County Libertarian Parties had a float in the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, a Gayand Lesbian Pride event.

Why do we do it? Well, look at this kid's "Legalize Gay" T-Shirt. He's different from most of us, and we have a government (with a president) that doesn't think he should have the same rights as everyone else. Therefore we show up.
Go here if you're still not on board with the concept.

One of the first things I saw when I got to the staging area.... I have no idea who these people were, or what they were advocating, but these men were dressed as women dressed as animals on a jungle float. Friendly people, these men dressed as women dressed as animals. They were my first sign that I was no longer in Merigold, Mississippi.

Here's our DJ platform at the front of our Alamo float, with Tim and Sue posing in front of our "Best Political Commentary" trophy from a few years ago.

Richard Forsythe (sp?) pulled the float with his pickup. Like most Libertarians, Richard's vehicle is merely a platform for the bumperstickers. Here's my favorite:

Here's our Alamo, the subject of another post from a week ago. The banner on the end says "Remember The Rainbow Lounge". A couple of months ago, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission raided The Rainbow Lounge, a gay nightclub, apparently just for the hell of it. People were injured. Nobody could really explain the purpose of the raid. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Agents got fired.

Here are our DJ's, who did a great job considering their equipment was mounted 10 feet above a moving ranch trailer.

These lovely ladies are Divine and Linda. During the regular work week, Divine's name is John. Divine/John added some street cred to the top of our float.

These ladies are Spokesmodels for a fashion line called Oscar Somethingoranother. I don't remember.
These ladies are Spokesmodels for Harley-Davidson.

This is the top of the Turtle Creek Chorale float. The lady on top is riding in a large green shoe. Someone told me that they auctioned off the chance to ride in the shoe during the parade.

Here's the rest of their float:

Here's Channel 33's float, which featured on-air personality Rebecca Miller, a bunch of guys dancing in Speedos, and the song "It's Raining Men". It featured that song for about 3 hours. Rebecca Miller smiled, under those circumstances, for 3 hours. Amazing.
Here's some more (a lot more, if you look carefully) of the jungle float.

And then we got rolling. Every float's sound system was cranked to the max, people were applauding and cheering, and neighborhood kids were going nuts trying to collect all the freebies.
Go to It's an art project for The Burning Man Festival.

I don't know why we didn't think of this. Large people on an I-beam SeeSaw.

More crowd. I think the parade route was about a mile long.

The parade ended here, where about 100 businesses had booths and giveaway stations set up.

This lady saw me taking pictures, and she insisted on being included. This is provided as a public service.

Here's Robert E. Lee, at the end of the parade route. Yes, this is what The Boys In Gray were fighting for.

This thing was FUN. It took it a while to get rolling, but the wait was worth it. There were probably 15,000 - 20,000 spectators and participants, and I didn't see a single altercation. Dallas PD did a great job. The organizers did a great job. Much thanks to Spivey, Richard, John F., and others who built the float.