So the circus is in town. It’s been touring for about six months, and some of the more outlandish acts have dropped out of the tour and headed home. As it stands now, we have 3 acts, one for each ring, and a clown. The ultimate goal of this touring circus? The best act at the end of the tour has a chance to compete for a 4 year contract and the biggest circus in the country along the border of Maryland and Virginia.
In the biggest and most lavish ring, we have the millionaire. He seems to change up whatever his act to fit the town he’s performing in. Before he took his act on tour, he spent his time hiding money from taxes in overseas shelters and firing a good portion of his potential voter base. No one is really quite sure what his act is all about, but a large portion of the audience seems to think he should be there anyway. Currently, he’s the favored act on the tour.
In the center ring we have a young man from the keystone state. He seems very concerned with what the audience members are doing in their bedrooms, especially the gay members. Regardless of orientation, he’s very interested in making sure the only sex happening is attempts at having babies. No one is sure if this is part of his act or if he has some unnatural fixation, but he’s a church-going man so he has a niche audience no matter what he says.
In the last ring, we have a veteran act that used to perform at the the big circus, but got caught up in some personal problems and was asked to take his act and leave town a couple years ago. He has a solid act, though he regularly rotates his beautiful assistant, usually bringing a new one in without letting the current one know she’s being replaced. And he knows he’s not the favored act, so he keeps throwing poo from the animal cages at the millionaire.
The clown keeps hanging around thanks to a core audience that a lot of people think follow the tour. He likes keeping his act small and to the point, but he doesn’t pander to the audience so he’s all but forgotten at this point in the tour.
So there you have it: A millionaire, a church-man, and a veteran. The winner of the tour is anyone’s guess, and the millionaire has been favored for a good portion of the tour, but it’s anyone’s guess at this point. I love the show either way, and I’m stocked up on popcorn for the rest of the show. Also i’ll get around to writing a serious post about this shit show sometime soon
Alrighty, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, and yes I’ll get around to the damn circus of a primary race going on right now. For now I wanna talk about this KONY 2012 campaign that several film makers have been running for a couple years. It centers around a very bad War Lord, Joseph Kony, from Uganda who uses some pretty horrific tactics to expand his army and control. The people trying to stop him have been using online communications and social media to spread their message and they seem to be very effective at it.
Their most recent film is about 30 minutes long and focuses on the history of their campaign and the next step in their mission to stop this man. Now, this film really does pull on your heart strings, that much is clear. And after some research to get better informed, I found out that the behavior of the people running this campaign has been less than desirable. Now rather than write these people off, I tried looking at the effort they put forward in a different way.
If you ignore the subjective focus of this project, you find something completely different underneath the campaign. This film is a documentary on how powerful the internet can be when used properly. These people were able to lobby the US government into taking action toward something that neither threatens us by existing nor helps us by removing. And personally, I think that message is just as important as stopping Kony.
Not too long ago, the US government brought up a couple pieces of legislation that would have severely restricted our lines of communication. They are the Protect Intellectual Property Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act, or PIPA and SOPA respectively. These bills would have given our government to shut down international and domestic websites that were accused of hosting some form of content that has proprietary value to someone else. A colossal online campaign leading up to the day of the vote drummed enough support to postpone the vote.
If this bill had passed, and it still might if everyone doesn’t remain vigilant, campaigns like KONY 2012 might not be possible. The internet has become a social movement across the world, it has become a place where people with nothing in common that would never meet otherwise can exchange ideas and opinions. Mobile technology has compounded that ability even more; anyone can carry around a device the size of a deck of cards that can access any information that’s available online. Keeping those lines of communication free and unfettered is something everyone should fight for.
The current situation in our country seems to be a slanted distribution of wealth, and this in turn may or may not be causing some strain on our economy. That all depends on what party line narrative you subscribe to. The figures are somewhat fuzzy, but the popular rhetoric is that 1% of the population controls 90% of the wealth or something like that.
But suffice to say that a exceptionally small number of people control that have an exceptionally large amount of money within our society. Now in order for our economy to function as intended, this wealth has to be redistributed. Since this isn’t a caliphate society, I’ll assume the rich aren’t going to be throwing cash out of their cars as they drive through the streets. The popular methods for solving this problem that have been circulating conversations are:
1) Legislation: We use our functioning bodies of government to tax the the smaller more wealthy portion of the population and redistribute that wealth through government job creation/subsidization and social assistance programs. This theory is popular on the left or ‘liberal’ side of politics, and is generally branded as socialism almost instantaneously. Personally, I see this as the most rational route for solving this problem, as life was pretty sweet for the average working Americans during the 50s to the early 80s when taxation of the wealthy was relatively high.
2) Economically: To break it down, the smaller wealthier portion of the population spends their money. The create jobs in some capacity that generate revenue that pays people and it goes back into the economy and things function as intended. This method has been called “trickle down economics” and “Reaganomics” and is the ideal held up on the right or “conservative” side of the political spectrum, and is the current counter argument to the legislative idea. Historically speaking, this method has not worked so well for the larger portion of the population and has generally made our economy sink.
Personally, I’ve always maintained that the rich are rich because they keep their money. Then again, I’ve usually been broke and I hold onto any and every dollar I get, so I might have a slight bias.
3) Revolutionary: This is a new public contender in this discussion in our country. There are frustrated and angry individuals with their own stories that are literally flooding the streets of Manhattan and attempting to surround the buildings where the wealthier portion goes to maintain and expand that wealth. This grouping of the population as of yet is an unknown portion, but the number of people occupying wall street has been growing steadily for the past couple weeks, and they refer to themselves publicly as “The 99 Percent”. This method has widely varying results and is usually messy regardless of how peaceful the initial movement starts as.
(EDIT: roughly 20,000 union transit workers from the greater NYC area have joined in with this group of protesters)
More than their cause, I fully support the protester’s rights to go out and voice their opinion (shit that’s what this website is about). I am genuinely excited to see something like this happen in our country, and I’m hoping to actually get to NYC and participate in these protests. I do not know what kind of effect this movement is going to have yet, but this is undoubtedly something to pay attention to.
Government Orders YouTube To Censor Protest Videos
In a frightening example of how the state is tightening its grip around the free Internet, it has emerged that You Tube is complying with thousands of requests from governments to censor and remove videos that show protests and other examples of citizens simply asserting their rights, while also deleting search terms by government mandate.
I would like to rescind every good thing I have said about Ron Paul after watching this. However in the same regard, can anyone find a complete clip of this, it’s fairly obvious that this was edited to be slanted toward making him look bad.
Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.” ~ Rep. Michelle Bachmann
How do people like this make it into office? Between her waxing scientific and Rick Perry claiming prayer will fix the economy, it’s time to start writing any politician you can to demand aptitude tests for registering to vote (or IQ tests for candidates). Hopefully votes being cast would be less misguided on both sides of the spectrum.
You can find some more wonderful one line gems from other GOP members over at The Stir
Personally, I’m still a fan of Ron Paul. He doesn’t give a damn about pointless talking points like gay marriage and abortion, and for that Fox News and most other profit based news organizations marginalize him or don’t even give him a mention. Regardless of his policies, he’s more honest and focused on actual problems than Bachman or Perry. Buddy Roemer seems to have the right idea too, but he’s been out of the political field for a while now so he’s got alot of work to do.
If nothing else either of them would make the debates leading up to the election actually interesting rather than embarrassing. We all know how hard hitting questions like “what do you read” can really throw off a candidate.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m voting for our incumbent president unless he actually fucks up, not just gets blame tossed on him once a GOP member wasn’t in the president’s seat. But if the Party of No doesn’t start giving some strength to worthwhile candidates, we’re all screwed.
Ten years ago, a group of hate filled religious zealots flew civilian airplanes into the World (thats all of us) Trade center. It has been marked as one of the most tragic days in our history, and it has re-shaped the world every day since then.
I’m not a service member, I’m not a fire fighter, or a police officer, I hold no personal connection to the immense loss that was felt that day. Nor do I hold any direct connection to the even greater losses that we have incurred in trying to bring the people responsible for these attacks to justice. I’m just a guy that was 18 and out of my parents house for 10 days without violence in the world. I was barely old enough to have an opinion about the world before terrorists decided they disliked it enough to kill nearly three thousand people.
The morning of the attacks, I was asleep in my dorm at Rowan University when one of my hall mates came running in screaming for us to turn on the TV. About a minute after watching as the first building burned, the second plane hit the second tower. In that instant, nothing would ever be the same for me, for anyone in the world.
The connection I feel to these events comes purely from where I come from. New Jersey is in between five different major metropolitan areas, with none to claim as our own city, but I’ve always loved NYC, and I’ll never forget what happened ten years ago. It’s kinda fucked up, but these events have shaped my entire adult life and who I am, and I still like who I am.
I hope the people who lost love ones in the attacks or in the resulting wars can find some solace. And that the men and women who helped save as many lives as they could get the help they deserve. I’d say something about Bin Laden but him and people like him are miserable pieces of shit that don’t deserve the mention so fuck them with a sand paper baseball bat sideways.
So we’ve all heard about this battle over the bush-era tax cuts for the wealth and how vehemently the GOP has been fighting to keep them. The party of No claims thats letting them expire is equivalent to raising taxes, something many of them have gone as far as signing a pledge saying they will not raises taxes.
However, because Obama wants to keep this set of tax cuts for 46% of americans, the GOP wants to let these tax cuts expire.
At issue is a tax that the vast majority of workers pay, but many don’t recognize because they don’t read, or don’t understand their pay stubs. Workers normally pay 6.2 percent of their wages toward a tax designated for Social Security. Their employer pays an equal amount, for a total of 12.4 percent per worker.
As part of a bipartisan spending deal last December, Congress approved Obama’s request to reduce the workers’ share to 4.2 percent for one year; employers’ rate did not change. Obama wants Congress to extend the reduction for an additional year. If not, the rate will return to 6.2 percent on Jan. 1.
I understand that this is really small potatoes compared to our financial problems on a federal level, but the hypocrisy of this debate is nauseating. If these expire and the cuts for the wealthy don’t, I’d say that’s class warfare being initiated by the GOP.