Thinking is Redundant

"I'm not the decider."

I’m loathe to write twice in a row about the same person, especially when that person is Michele Bachmann, but her performance on Meet the Press yesterday merits some comment and consideration.  In short, it was an absolute abomination – one that is sure to please her followers and enhance her position as the Tea Party princess.

Between skirting her former judgments on how debased and deplorable homosexuals are and redefining the word “submissive” to somehow be synonymous to “respect”, she made an argument that more and more people are making these days, to the detriment of the country as a whole.

At one point, David Gregory addressed Bachmann’s hardline stance to oppose any raise of the debt ceiling, even though every expert said it was a reckless position to take.  Her response was as follows:

The people of this country would love to weigh in, and they would love to say, “Tim Geithner, Treasury secretary, you’re wrong. Mr. President, you’re wrong”…. all the people in Washington said we had to raise the debt ceiling, all the people out in America said don’t raise the debt ceiling…. representatives are supposed to represent the people that they serve. The people that they’re serving are saying, “You guys don’t have it figured out. Stop spending money you don’t have.

Gregory actually did a surprisingly reasonable job of following up on these statements, asking repeatedly if public opinion should be the determining decision making factor in a representative democracy, noting that the whole reason to have representatives making the decisions is because we don’t just use public opinion.

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Babbling (Lame)Stream

There he goes a-ridin' and a-ringin'!!

In my heart I wish I could never talk about Sarah Palin again or think about Sarah Palin again and beyond all of that I wish that I would never have to hear her stupid fucking voice ever again.  I used to think it was fun to poke fun at her.  I used to think that her mistakes needed to be pointed out so that whoever was a supporter would be dissuaded and realize the error of their ways in championing someone so fantastically dangerous that she shouldn’t be charged with leading a girl scout troupe.

Unfortunately, since the news media and the reality show producers won’t let that happen yet, she continues to provide moments so outlandish that they can’t pass by unrecognized.

Friday, she gave us one of those moments when she stopped off on her all-American bullshit tour – I mean, bus tour – in Boston and spouted off this made up version of Paul Revere’s ride for the news cameras.

Palin Makes Up a Story About Paul Revere

If you thought that sounded dumb, it actually seems even worse when you read it: “He who warned the, the British that they weren’t gonna be taking away our arms by ringing those bells and by making sure that as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were gonna be secure and we were gonna be free…and we were gonna be armed.”

That was sprinkled with a ton of “uh”s and “um”s as her pea-sized brain tried to process enough things at once to sound semi-informed which, of course, she is not.

Now, it’s one thing to point out the factual incorrectness of almost everything she relayed about the story.  The only part she really had correct was that Paul Revere was on horseback.  The rest is pure idiotic fiction.  He didn’t ring bells.  He didn’t “warn the British” about anything.  And he sure as shit didn’t ride his horse around Boston to make a statement on gun rights.  We should note that over the weekend Palin’s supporters decided to attempt to edit Wikipedia to reflect Palin’s account as a possible version of the Paul Revere story since, well, who’s really to say what happened?  Not those “books” that “intellectuals” and “elitists” read, right, Moose Lady?

But the true stupidity, which is what outweighs every factual error she’s ever made (and there are plenty) is revealed in the way she handles these things as a person.  Any of us could be asked a question about something we don’t know very much about.  We could even be asked a question about something we used to know and forgot.  I took a year of Italian in college and I remember almost none of it.  But if someone asked me about it…

…the last thing I would do is pretend to be fluent!

And that is Palin’s problem.  She was asked about what she had seen during that day of her tour and what she took away from it.  She launched into a bullshit concoction of the Paul Revere story.  No one forced her to do that.  No one badgered her for details.

The stupidest thing you can do is try to sound intelligent about subjects you don’t know anything about.  This also applies to using words and phrases when you’re unaware of their spelling or meaning.  Probably just better to avoid them altogether.  It’s like when people use the word “whom” in place of “who” to sound more proper or sophisticated when they’re really just announcing that they’re morons.

Her account was almost 100% incorrect and it was definitely 100% uncalled for.  She’s just too dumb to shut up.

Yesterday, in an interview with her employers at Fox News, she defended her fairy tale, claiming that she wasn’t wrong at all.  She did her best to rationalize a way that her tale was, in fact, correct even though it’s not correct by any account.  Then she went so far as to call the question a “shout-out, gotcha type of question”.  Palin’s “Defense” Let’s just quickly note that it wouldn’t have been a “gotcha question” if she believed she had gotten it right.

Again, we have Palin calling out a “gotcha” question.  I think it’s safe to assume that the definition of “gotcha question” is when someone who isn’t employed by Fox News asks Sarah Palin a question and she doesn’t know the answer.  Unfortunately, this really encapsulates basically every question you could possibly ask her, since the only occasions when she sounds remotely intelligible come when she’s speaking directly from her talking points or dropping her third-grade level tag lines like, “drill baby, drill”.

Gotcha questions: “What newspapers and magazines do you read?” “All of them.”  “What are your feelings on the Bush Doctrine?”  “What’s that?”  “What did you see today?”  “Paul Revere had a sweet Lamborghini.”

Again, Palin and her supporters defending what she said as somehow correct misses the point completely.  They’re all blaming those nasty liberals with their educations and whatnot.  I don’t really give a damn if she has an elementary school level of sophistication about Paul Revere.  I give a damn that she thinks she does and then goes on to blame other people for her own idiocy.

There are those observers who think Palin is actually so clever that she does these things on purpose to further cultivate her brand and to get media attention.  I hope all of those people jump off of the Bridge to Nowhere.  Because that’s not what’s happening.  All that’s happening is that a dumb, self-serving, attention whore is answering really easy questions in really stupid ways.  If that’s not the case, then you’d have to argue that her answering simple questions correctly would somehow negatively impact her public image.  Umm…

She and her supporters can cry about the “lamestream” media all day long but if they’re going to do so, then every time they do, they should preface their complaints with, “We appreciate everything the mainstream media has done to give Mrs. Palin any sense of relevance…” because the fact is, if they weren’t obsessed with the disease that John McCain dispersed on the American public, no one would give a shit about Palin.  She wouldn’t have her dumbass TV show and her dumbass kid wouldn’t be on Dancing With the Stars.  No one would care about her fake presidential aspirations.  No one would be paying huge sums of money for her to speak.  Donald Trump wouldn’t be inviting her for pizza parties.  No one would think the ignorance and racism of Palin and her followers would be cute.

Palin would be a big, dumb tree falling in a big, empty forest and no one would ever hear her…and unlike real trees in real forests, she wouldn’t, in fact, make any more sounds at all.

Enraptured

Magic Carpet Ride

There is nothing going on in the world that has made me nearly as giddy as the Rapture that is supposed to be happening tomorrow. It is so hysterically funny that I’ve thought about it all day long and enjoyed every second of it.

Crazy person and church (cult) leader, Harold Camping, has predicted after a long and arduous study of biblical texts that the beginning of the end of the world will happen tomorrow, May 21, 2011.

Camping scoffs at those who think the world isn’t going to end until next year based on Mayan myth, calling their beliefs a “fairy tale”.  But Camping’s date is based on hard evidence from the Bible (not a fairy tale, right?) and has interpreted that evidence with a mathematical system of analysis which he came up with himself.  Hard to argue with such legitimate data.

And this is nothing like 1994 when Camping first said the world would end.  He made a mathematical error that time.  Now he’s got his system all worked out.  So, for sure, mark it down.  Count on it.  Tomorrow, we’re fucked.

The sad part is that a lot of people actually believe the guy.  In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, one of his followers, Ted Solomon, 60, said, “I’m looking forward to it.  This world may have had an attraction to me at one time.  But now it’s definitely lost its appeal.”

Only a religious person could say something so incredibly dark and depressing and think that they’re actually a happy, healthy individual.  The world has lost its appeal?  Now you’re counting on a god you’ve never seen to ride down to earth on a white horse or something and take you up to a heaven you can’t even coherently describe?

And what happens if he knows what you’ve really been doing when no one is around, Ted?  You know what you did.  You goddamn sinner.

When people like Solomon stare the stark, blatant reality in the face tomorrow evening that their world is going to be exactly as it was today, what then?  Past “end times” cults have seen mass suicides after their day of reckoning never came to be.  How many people will take their lives after Camping’s bullshit prophecy fails again?

Ted Solomon seems to be one candidate at least, sadly.  Don’t do it, Ted.  Give up your faith in ridiculous fantastical ideas, not your life.

Non-believers like me relish events like this because it’s an easily falsifiable religious claim…and we thought that was an oxymoron!

It’s also fun to watch the “moderate” religious people scramble to explain how guys like Camping are interpreting the Bible improperly or that they don’t understand the difference between literal and metaphorical interpretations.  Implicit in this, of course, is that Camping is just a nut – an outsider.  His religious views are clearly mistaken, extreme, and uninformed.

And then they’ll tell us how a man who was also god was born of a virgin who was impregnated by god who was also her son and then he died and came back to life for a while and that helped everybody and also a guy put two of every species of animal on a boat to save them from a flood.

Because believing that shit is waaaaaaaay less crazy.

But wait, there’s more bright side.

If the world does indeed end tomorrow, we can be happy to know that there will never be another episode of The Jersey Shore, never another Limp Bizkit album, no more Seth Rogen movies, no more LinkedIn messages in your inbox, and never another chance to hear Sarah Palin say something stupid in that absurd accent of hers.

Just think, if Jesus comes back and takes all the Christians up to space that will probably solve so many problems!  It will definitely help with overpopulation, probably end wars, improve our environment, and give people equal rights.

Us non-believers will have so much fun.  It will be like a shopping spree on leftover houses and cars and boats and stuff.  Just think how much you can make on Ebay selling all the blinged out crosses that rappers wear!

Oh, and if you think this is all one big joke, think again.  The most recent Pew Research study found that 41% of Americans believe Jesus will come back in their lifetime or their children’s lifetimes.

So while Camping will have obviously gotten the date wrong by this time tomorrow, 4 out of 10 of your friends think essentially the same thing as that insane cult leader.

If you’re reading this and you’re not worried that the world will end tomorrow, please ask yourself why, especially if you’re religious.

The answer probably has something to do with the fact that it’s a religious person predicting the end of the world and not a team of scientists, because you can be damn sure that if the world’s top scientists were saying it was going down tomorrow, we would all be making preparations instead of a small batch of suicidal lunatics.

Interesting that your religious mind doesn’t apply the same logical methods to things like global warming and evolution, isn’t it?

Serious Media

President Obama went on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night – the first time a sitting president has ever appeared on the show.

So naturally, the rest of the “media” is completely up in arms today.

From talk radio to the cable channels, the talking heads are all bitter and jealous that the president took his time to visit with a “comedian” rather than spend the time with “serious journalists”.

This is preposterous

Does Jon Stewart make dick jokes?  Yes.

But night in and night out, Jon Stewart can be found speaking the truth in a funny, poignant, and generally informative way.

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Welcome, Republicans

"Strategery."

Common knowledge these days is that the Republicans are poised to make significant gains in the House and Senate next Tuesday in the midterm elections, largely due to a sweeping feeling of unrest and dissatisfaction with the entire political landscape – financial uncertainty, unemployment, and the media meme that the current administration and the Democratic led Congress are ineffectual, despite the fact that they have accomplished quite a bit in the past two years.

Assuming that it’s true that the Republicans win big next week, the next step (one would think) is for them to take on the job of governing the country, which Constitutionally, would require them working with President Obama.

Just one problem – the word  “bipartisan” only matters to them when the only power that the voters allowed them to cling to after the 2008 elections was the filibuster, which they used a record number of times in the past few years to shut down anything that signified real progress or reform.  When the Obama administration or the Democratic Congress are about to make any serious headway in achieving pieces of the agenda that won them so many elections in ’08, the Republicans use filibuster threats to dilute any legislation to the point where even passing an historic health care bill looks like defeat for the President.

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