Friday, January 27, 2012

A Potpourri of Mental Diarrhea

It's Friday and I have many, many random thoughts on various subjects pulsating through my brain matter. Enjoy this potpourri of mental diarrhea.
  1. Deporting grandmothers and grandfathers: If you didn't think that our American political discourse was out of whack and that the Republicans really are bat shit crazy thetans, the CNN Republican Debate in Florida last night confirmed both of those assertions. The 4 Re-pubic-an Presidential candidates actually had the audacity (in front of a large Latino crowd by the way) to frame the debate of "illegal" immigration around sending young immigrants currently residing in the U.S. without citizenship home so that their grandmothers and grandfathers can stay. Really!? When will people, especially people of color, wake up and realize that the Democrats hate you and the Republicans really, really hate and despise you.   They are not concerned with your interests. They are concerned with appearing concerned about your interests so that they can get your vote, go to Washington, and have access to all the power, money, and influence in the universe. We don't have a problem with "illegal' immigration in this country. We have a problem with how we treat PEOPLE in this country, especially those with the least social and political protection.
  2. On the same note...: I was very impressed with the debating skills of Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. Both men are well versed in logic and reasoning and are very adept at using persuasive devices, even the more licentious ones such as evoking fear and neediness. That's exactly why I won't vote for them because they are not addressing the root issues. On the other hand, Ron Paul is a terrible debater (rambling speech, disparate thoughts, etc.) but his premises on government (sound monetary policy, non-interventionist foreign policy, individual liberties, etc.) are right on point and exactly what this country needs. Unfortunately, a lot of his ideas are delivered at such a high level that the vast majority of people doze off from boredom. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's right-hand man and a revolutionary (not in a good way) propagandist understood that, whether we like it or not, the vast majority of people are too dumb or too distracted to think of things at a high level and in a rational way so, if you want to convince them of something, you have to appeal to their emotions (namely, their fears, insecurities, and needs). The Nazi's were very effective at blaming the decline of the German empire on Jews with these tactics. Modern day politicians and leaders use the same tactics today to make us consistently vote against our own interests, An example might be Santorum's recent comments in Iowa about giving your (your meaning white, middle-class people) tax money to black people via welfare. This emotional argument gives xenophobes all the ammo they need to punch the chad next to a Republican candidate in November. A key part of propaganda is limiting the information that your subjects receive and Santorum did this masterfully by failing to mention that there are tens of millions of hard-working tax paying African-Americans in this country (myself included), Republican policies have actually hurt white, middle-class workers such as farmers in Iowa over the last 3 decades and, statistically, slightly more white Americans receive some form of government assistance than African-Americans and Latinos. 
  3. The Re-Pubic-ans Actually Made One Good Point: Every 2, 4, and 6-years we go through this orchestrated charade known as the election cycle. A part of this charade, especially in recent history with the financial collapse and multi-billion dollar bailout of Washington and Wall Street, is to ask the candidates for elective office to make their tax returns public. There are several premises inherent in this act: 1)You want to see how the candidates manage their money because if you can't balance a checkbook, you probably can't balance the national budget and, 2) To make sure that the candidates are making investments that could potentially cause a conflict of interest should they be elected. In this election, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have been decried (I would even go so far as to say they have been flogged) for their successful business ventures and investments, which have brought both men considerable wealth. Congressman Ron Paul (who I have a political man-crush on) said it best (and I paraphrase) by calling this a non-issue that distracts from the real issues. We don't want to go down that slippery slope of bashing people for being wealthy because those people will move somewhere else and it will give no incentive to younger generations to make big goals, take risks, and dream big dreams. Most importantly, Congressman Paul said that what we need to do is stop bickering about rich people making money and start enacting legislation that prevents large corporations from taking tax payer dollars to pay for bad/irrational/stupid investments. It's not how much money you have, it's how you get it that matters.
  4. Demi Moore: Actress Demi Moore (who can have a mustache ride from me whenever she wants) and her boy-toy husband Ashton Kutcher recently split. Now she's in rehab for substance abuse and body image issues. I have the utmost empathy for Demi and other people who have recently experienced discord in their relationships.  When you date/marry a person (a rich, nice-looking, talented person at that) that is significantly younger than you, you may experience issues with infidelity. However, Ashton still has control over how and when he divvies up his penis. Another lesson in this drama is that the very thing you might be attracted to or want in a person (bubbly personality, charming, charismatic, gets along with your girlfriends) may be the poison pill in the relationship. If he could talk his way into your pants, he can probably repeat the process with your best friend. A certain Rolling Stones song about not always getting what you want but rather what you need comes to mind. 
  5. Peyton Manning Leaving: Looks like long-time Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning is talking his way out of town. In an interview earlier this week, Peyton Manning revealed his displeasure with the team's recent front office changes and the Colts' 2-14 season."It's not a real good environment down there right now, to say the least," Manning told "Everybody's walking around on eggshells. I don't recognize our building right now. There's such complete and total change." With the Colts holding the 1st pick in the 2012 NFL Draft ("experts" expect Indy to select Stanford QB Andrew Luck) and questions surrounding the health of Manning's neck, it looks more and more likely that Peyton will continue his Hall of Fame career in another uniform. Manning is also due a $28 million roster bonus the first week in March so his precipitous exit from indy may be more of a financial decision than a personal one. Andrew Luck may be the next iteration of Joe Montana or Tom Brady, but the fact of the matter is that he's never played in or won an NFL game. Peyton has 141 regular season wins and a Super Bowl ring (thanks to Rex Grossman's small little hands). Look for Manning to end up with either the New York Jets (where he can be close to the advertising agencies that he adores so much) as a replacement for the surprisingly ineffective Mark "I'm attracted to 16 year old girls" Sanchez or, and you heard it here first, in Houston with the Texans.
  6. DA BULLS!: The injury ridden Bulls lost their first home game of the 2011-2012 season on Wednesday, falling to the vastly improved Indiana Pacers 95-90. The Pacers then proceeded to celebrate like they just won the NBA championship (more like the NCAA championship if you ask me). Look for the Bulls to take out all of their frustration on former Bulls head coach Scott Skiles and the hapless Milwaukee Bucks. If they can take out some of my frustration with Wisconsin as well, I wouldn't be opposed to that.
  7. Quotes of the Day:
    1. "By three things the wise person may be known. What three? [S]he sees a shortcoming as it is. When [s]he sees it, [s]he tries to correct it. And when another acknowledges a shortcoming, the wise one forgives as [s]he should." Ven S. Dhammika
    2. "One who wants to admonish another should first investigate: "Am I or am I not one who practices utter purity in body and speech? Am I or am I not possessed of utter purity in body and speech, flawless and untainted? Are these qualities manifest in me or not?" If...they have not, there are undoubtedly people who will say: "Come now, develop a mind of goodwill yourself." Ven S. Dhammika
    3. "By effort you will cross the raging flood. By energy, you will pass by sorrow." Ven S. Dhammika

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