Category Archives: The Political Lick

My posts on politics, news related items and lots of nearly incomprehensible thoughts on America.

Winning The Great Obama Scavenger Hunt

Only to fail to see Obama.

I’m still confused as to exactly why Obama chose Portland, Maine of all places as the final stop on his tour-du-making-healthcare-sound-awesome, but it couldn’t have been better timing.  Obama came into Portland exactly 1 week after my exodus out of Ohio.  His trip was a surprise to almost the entire state (which isn’t saying much), and it was announced that you could get free tickets only 48 hours before he arrived.  This meant that you had to wait outside in the rain; some people started waiting at midnight the night before.  For Liam, this meant that I wouldn’t get to see Obama.  It wasn’t worth it.  But then, my mom saw this advertisement on craigslist at 4:00pm the day before Obama was to speak:


I burst out of my room, and my mom started microwaving a piece of bacon.  We had toothpicks, and I had some Argentinian pesos in my bag left there from my recent trip.  Mom snapped a pic of herself on her cell phone (since mine has no camera), and I grabbed Fiskadoro, a good book I was willing to give up.  I conjured up my favorite funny joke, which you’ll have to send an email to me to hear.  (A good way to get my email address is to subscribe to my blog, above and to the right.)  Unfortunately, I hate sports, and therefore didn’t even know that The Raiders were a team.  Fortunately, my neighbors are big sports fans, and happened to have an Oakland Raiders Christmas Ornament that they lent me.  Then I wrote the following haiku:

A Scavenger Hunt

Hard for a Football Hater

Good Thing I Write Poems

Then we were off.  We raced to Gritty McDuff’s, a pretty typical (and therefore pretty sweet) Portland bar.  I got there and asked the bartender if anyone had come in asking about a scavenger hunt.  She said no, but that she witnessed that I was first.  Then I sat at the bar, had a beer, and proceeded to call several people and talk loudly on my cell phone about what I was doing.  Little did I know, the orchestrator of the hunt was sitting right behind me.  At exactly 5:00pm I turn around to see him waving a ticket at me.  He’s with 3 friends, all of whom are smiling and invited me over.  I brought a shot of tequila, told my joke, and sat down to finish my beer with them.

The guy told me that he got the extra ticket to give to a friend, who subsequently couldn’t go.  His first idea was to give the ticket to the last guy in line, but apparently that guy was a total dick, so he decided to do something more fun.  He said he came up with the list quickly, off the top of his head, which explains the randomness of it.  Obviously, the guy and his friends were pretty cool, and I wish I could have stayed longer to get to know them better.  But my mom was idling outside, and I hat my ticket in my hot little hand.  I was going to go see Obama!

Or so I thought.

The next day, I rode my bike to the Portland Expo like a good socialist democrat global citizen.  The line to see Obama was ENORMOUS, stretching around several blocks.  I walked to the end of the line, and waited excitedly while reading a book.  The people around me were jovial and varied widely in age (though not in race, this was Maine after all).  People were peaceful and quiet, and chatted anxiously about the impending speech.  Rumors in the form of tweets were flying around about whether or not they were going to be able to fit everyone in the Expo.  The line was moving at the speed of smell, and there was some belief that they had overbooked the place.  There were 4,500 tickets sold.

Still, I held up faith.  A girl in front of me was tweeting at the rate of 8,000 tweets a second, and was constantly updating us that things were getting fuller inside the Expo.  Finally, after 2 hours of waiting, when I was about 200 feet from the door of the Expo, the line came to a halt.  Soon we heard cheering from the crowd in front of us, and that’s when I knew it was too late.  In minutes people were getting texts and tweets that Obama was on stage, speaking, and that no one else was getting in.  FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!

But I don’t get upset for long, as a rule.  So I calmly walked away, thankful that it was such a nice day, and only slightly irked that no one had the gall to come out and tell the approximately 1300 people still in line that they weren’t getting in.  (Ok, I’m still a little upset).  But I made the best of it, and decided to go take a stroll through the protesters that were standing across the street.

They were a strange menagerie.  The unfortunate thing about being a protestor, no matter how sane and logical you are, is that there will inevitably be some total wackos corralled into the same space as you.  So even next to the people who were legitimately only upset about their taxes, there were some signs proclaiming that 9/11 was a hoax, and some other nutties screaming into a microphone about Jesus coming back.

The crowd was creative.  There was a man playing a banjo and singing songs about “the Obama-nation”, which is a witty play on words that I’ve heard of many times before.  There were old ladies dressed completely in American Flag print with signs that had Tea-Bags attached to them.  There was one sign that I found intriguing that said “End Warfare Before Healthcare”.  Talk about a non-conformist.  Then there were the signs that made a little less sense.  One said “Obama Youre a Lier”.  For shame.  Another said “HEY DEMS!  THERE IS NO TOOTH FAIRY”, which I found shocking.  No Tooth Fairy?  Malarky.

I decided I was going to work up the courage and speak to a Tea Party activist, to see if I could get any more information from them.  I scanned the crowd for the person that was most clearly (loudly) linking themselves to the movement.  And then I saw her.  A 3-cornered hat, a frilly shirt, a velvet blue jacket, pantaloons, tights, buckle shoes and a chunky cellphone in an exterior leather case clipped to her belt.  Was I seeing a tour guide on the Freedom Trail?  Alas, no, it was a Tea Partier.

Along These Lines

I have to admit, I stalked her for a little while before I had the courage to talk to her.  She was intimidating, because she so clearly was differently-minded from myself.  I wanted to calm myself, and get to a place where I could ask her objective, non-accusatory questions.  It took a while to reduce my pre-judgement, but finally I was able to say, “Excuse me, can I ask you a few questions?”

The woman had on large sunglasses, so it was hard to tell if she was looking at me.  That, and she also kept turning away from me even when she was in mid-sentence.  I tried hard to be objective and understanding, but she made it hard.  I forgot to bring my tape recorder, so I have tried to recreate the conversation here:

Me:  Can I ask you a few questions.

Her:  Uh…sure.

Me:  Are you a member of the Tea Party movement?

Her:  Uh…yes.

Me:  Can I ask you what that means to you?

Her:  The constitution.

Me:  The constitution?

Her:  Yep.

Me:  What about the constitution?  Can you elaborate?

Her:  Uh…upholding the constitution.

At this point a rather surly older woman turned around and spoke to me angrily.

Surly Woman:  We want ALL the socialists out of office NOW.

First Woman:  Yeah!

Me:  Who do you view are these socialists?

First Woman:  Uh…Barack Obama.  Nancy Pelosi.

Me:  Thank you.

I would have stayed longer but I felt as thought my brain might fall out of my rectum.  I want so badly to hear someone articulate clearly and concisely what the Tea Party movement is all about.  Anyone out there have someone who might be able to explain it to me more clearly?  I would love to conduct a serious, open-minded interview.

Take This Tea Bag and Shove It!

5 Reasons Tea Partiers Baggers are Nothing to Fear

Woah, I think I got a little drunk off this blog, that’s how long it’s just been sitting here.  Sorry for the long, awkward pause between posts.  For those of you who don’t know, I’ve spent the last 9 months trapped not in a sleep study, but in the state of Ohio.  I moved there for what was meant to be 2 months of curiosity, and ended up there for 9 months of unemployed, land-locked, offensive confusion.  However, I’ve escaped!  I left Ohio on Tuesday, March 23rd, and now sit comfortably in my room in the great coastal state of Maine, awaiting a move to Boston in the coming months.

So, as a special treat for having not written for so long, I’m going to chime in a topic that is one of my favorite talking points:  The Tea Party Movement Mess.

Before I get into that though, let me make a quick plug.  If you like this blog, there’s a way to subscribe to it so that you’ll get a cute little e-mail every time I post.   Just look to the right.  Thanks, sorry.

Ok.  Anyway, the day before I left Ohio, I was turned on to this video, which takes place in the very city where I was living:

Lovely, Ohio.  Way to mock a crippled person and tell him to go to work.  So sad I’m not living in Columbus anymore.  (Disclaimer:  I did meet an awesome group of people in Columbus, who are just as dissatisfied with the scoundrels there as I am).  Despite the fact that the size of the Tea Party movement is relatively small, some people and news corporations insist on pretending like the Tea Party Movement is a legitimate threat.  So, just for you Glenn Beck, I’m going to list the 5 reasons why we shouldn’t be afraid of the Big, Bad, Tea Party.

1.  The Tea Party Fails at Branding

In a country where marketing is everything, the Tea Party movement fails at branding themselves.  If you want to be successful in America, you have to sell yourself through an interesting or at least noticeably annoying brand.  The Tea Party fails to do this, probably because most of them are dummies.  Let’s look at some of the problems with their image.

  • Tea Bagging, which is just a small step from the Tea Party’s central phrase, is a euphemism for the act of a man dipping his sweaty testicles into the mouth of another person repeatedly, much like I dip my Red Rooibus Tea Bag into my mug.  Though I respect that it does kind of feel like I’m getting Tea Bagged every time I see one of these fools on TV, I don’t think this is the image they were going for.

I'm Sad About Your Fail

  • A Tea Bag is one of the least threatening symbols.  I know that you’re all for emulating the guys that dressed up as Injuns and created ecological terrorism and wasteful use of resources by dumping tea bags into the Boston Harbor.  But somehow that image is lost when I see people on fox news shaking a packet of Lipton threateningly.  What are you going to do, steep me to death?  Furthermore, let’s not forget that the two images conjured up by “Tea Parties” are little girls with teddy bears, and Johnny Depp with orange hair.  Not scary.  If you want a frightening image that resembles tea, how about scalding hot water?  Actually, I guess a Tea Bag is actually more scary than the group’s original theme, which was, believe it or not, pork.  Like Pork Barrel Spending and Ear Marks.  This was coined by Rush Limbaugh, who I already pointed out in an earlier post, looks much too much like a piggy to make such references.

    Tastes Like McDonald's and the Blood of Iraqis

2.  The Tea Party Folks Won’t Fill Out Their Census

Ok, certainly some Tea Baggers are smart enough to fill out their Census forms.  However, there are several websites and prominent tea bagging leaders such as Rep. Michelle CrazyFace Bachmann who are advocating a 2010 Census Boycott.  You know what I say to that?  GREAT!  Don’t fill it out.  That way, when it comes time to dole out that precious tax money they care so much about, their states and localities will get less money.

The reasons that the Nut Suckers list for not wanting to fill out the census are rather…well…nutso, as shown by this crazy mess:

1. Obama and the entire Democrat Party support the Census, which is sufficient cause for suspicion among Tea Party activists on all other issues.

2. Many libertarians believe the Census should not be under government control, not just because it is bona fide socialism, but also because, unlike private industry, government is inept. Who knows what mistakes the government has made in censuses over the past two centuries? Libertarians believe the Census should be outsourced to a private company with experience collecting data, like Equifax, Experian or other credit reporting companies, which hardly ever make mistakes.

3. According to World Net Daily, the popular conservative news site, Obama seized control of the Census from the Commerce Department within weeks after he assumed the presidency. The fact that the 2010 Census will be taken under the direction of the Obama White House worries Rep. Bachmann, who has raised concerns that Americans’ personal data could end up in the hands of ACORN. What ACORN might do with it is anyone’s guess.

4. Bachmann also pointed out that the government has used Census information in the past to round up Americans and force them into concentration camps. She cited the example of the internment of thousands of patriotic Americans of Japanese descent by FDR’s Democrat socialist government during World War II.

5. The Obama administration has already put patriots on notice that it will fine anyone who refuses to submit to the Census. However, boycott supporters say that if the government can’t round up 20 million illegal aliens, how could it possibly find millions of real Americans who boycott the Census because they choose to exercise their rights to be free of government intrusion?

The comments to this posting on The Pensito Review include such gems as suggesting that Obama will be rounding up Christians for death camps, which is funny because the form doesn’t ask for your religion.  In fact, I think many tea baggers may be confused, such as this sadly uninformed man who seems to think there are 53 questions on his census form.  Which is 43 more than most of us filled out, so I can only assume he was filling out sex tips in a Cosmo Magazine or some such nonsense.  Sorry boo, you fail.  What really confuses me and makes me sad is why he thinks that the census asked how many toilets he had in his house.  WHAT DID HE FILL OUT?   Unless he’s just trying to pull the old “Reublican Reach-Around” and make up facts that sound ludicrous to most educated people.

While I’m not really into trusting the government with everything, I don’t really see how they are going to “abuse” the information on the Census, unless they have bombs that will kill only an EXACT number of people per household.  In any event, I encourage the tea-baggers to go ahead and use scare tactics to frighten their dumb-dumb comrades out of filling out the census.  More money for us liberal socialists that way.

Oh, and one last thing.  I have heard a lot of Tea Party activists using the phrase “NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION” on their signs and slogans and caps.  Well, if you don’t put yourself on the census then you won’t be represented.  Think, please.

3.  The Leaders of the Tea Party Movement are Butt Heads

Since most republicans, even the really awful ones that send me texts, have distanced themselves from the Tea Party Movement, they have had to latch on to two of the most recognizable icons in mainstream USA:

Sarah "Can't Form a Coherent Sentence" Palin

Glenn "Can't Form a Coherent Thought" Beck

Need I say more?  If either or both of these blithering, low IQ, paranoid, sensationalist, abhorred imbeciles is asked to run up against anyone who passed the 3rd grade and can therefore speak in quasi-full sentence with moderately logical thoughts, the Tea Party is doomed.

4.  Nobody Likes a Racist

Oh, Racism and Violence, you’re always a winning combination for American political movements.  Oh wait, no you’re not.  That’s why everyone is trying to get away from the Tea Baggers who make racial or otherwise offensive slurs.  What slurs you ask?  Well, Joan Walsh sums it up pretty well over at, saying:

  • Civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis was taunted by tea partiers who chanted “nigger” at least 15 times, according to the Associated Press (we are not cleaning up language and using “the N-word” here because it’s really important to understand what was said.) First reported on The Hill blog (no hotbed of left-wing fervor), the stories of Lewis being called “nigger” were confirmed by Lewis spokeswoman Brenda Jones and Democratic Rep. Andre Carson, who was walking with Lewis. “It was like going into the time machine with John Lewis,” said Carson, a former police officer. “He said it reminded him of another time.”
  • Another Congressional Black Caucus leader, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, was spat upon by protesters. The culprit was arrested, but Cleaver declined to press charges.
  • House Majority Whip James Clybourn told reporters: “I heard people saying things today that I have not heard since March 15, 1960, when I was marching to try to get off the back of the bus.”
  • There were many reports that Rep. Barney Frank was called a “faggot” by protesters, but the one I saw personally was by CNN’s Dana Bash, who seemed rattled by the tea party fury. Frank told AP: “It’s a mob mentality that doesn’t work politically.”
  • Meanwhile, a brick came through the window at Rep. Louise Slaughter’s Niagara Falls office on Saturday (the day she argued for her “Slaughter solution” to pass health care reform, though it was rejected by other Democrats on the House Rules Committee).

Ah, nothing like the old “N n’ F” words to make people back away slowly.  Couple this with horrific violent imagery from none other than Scary Palin herself, who said in a recent speech to March Madness Basket Ball Teams:

The crossfire is intense, so penetrate through enemy territory by bombing through the press, and use your strong weapons — your Big Guns — to drive to the hole. Shoot with accuracy; aim high and remember it takes blood, sweat and tears to win.


5.  The Tea Party Has No Plan

As far as I can tell, the Tea Party’s main desire is less government control via. less taxation.  This is an alright start, but I find that if you have an argument that is entirely negative, you need a positive counter argument.  For instance:  I don’t want to go to work, but I do want a foot massage.

However, you’d be hard pressed to find an average Tea-Bagger who had any idea of what they want after they have taken the President out of office and slimmed down the government.  You can scour the official Tea Party Website, but you will not find much in the way of concrete plans of action to carry out a revolution, or to clean up after one.   You can read online forums on it, but those that respond in favor of the Tea Party Movement have a lot to say about justice and government, and little to say about action.

So what do they want?  I’m not sure they know.  And that makes me wonder if all of their rage and aggression is actually about being taxed for health care or having their guns controlled or feeling stepped on by the government, or really just an empty, echo chamber of hostile mob mentality.

Racism, Lack of Leadership, Violence, Failure to Market, Self-Imposed Misrepresentation, and General Dumb-Dumbiness.  Sounds like a delicious recipe for total failure, which I am enjoying watching.  Keep up the bad work!

If anyone has any counter-arguments, or points that I missed, add them in my comments, you socialist, America hating, Government Worshiping asswipes.

Ground Zero and the American Psyche

The connection between the state of New York’s Ground Zero and the way Americans are coping with grief from 9/11.

What We Could Have

Last night’s 60 Minutes had a fascinating, infuriating piece about Ground Zero, the big hole in New York that still remains after the Twin Towers fell almost a decade ago.  The piece follows the perspective primarily of Larry Silverstein, the “New York real estate tycoon” who had hopes to revive Ground Zero into something more splendid even than what stood there before.  Actually, to be honest, I never thought the Twin Towers were all that interesting to look at, but I respect their significance, even before 9/11.

About 3 years after September 11th, I started to hear people wonder out loud why nothing outside of cleanup had happened at Ground Zero.  Over the years since, it has flared up in the media in waves occasionally, but for the vast majority of the time no one  has been talking about it in any truly public voice that I’ve heard.

The interviews and perspective presented last night on 60 minutes were grisly to say the least.  According to them, it has been a combination of bureaucracy, faulty leadership and a lack of effective communication that has stopped a number of riveting skyscrapers, a beautiful memorial and museum, and a freaking sweet train station.  Though some buildings may be done by 2014 (only 13 years after the disaster!), the majority of them do not have a set construction date, which may mean never ever ever.

What We Have

Now there’s  just a big empty hole.  It’s ugly, useless and eating up billions of dollarsA hole is what remains from the most traumatic moment in American history. Though I have no doubt that 60 Minutes was right in saying that it is primarily disorganization and selfishness that is stopping Ground Zero from going forward.  But one thing 60 Minutes didn’t cover, probably intentionally, is the fascinating metaphor that can be drawn between the United States and this hole.

How does a child act after she has been traumatized?  Imagine a little boy who’s mother and father were killed in a car accident, or a teenager who is dealing with physical abuse.

How did we act after September 11th?  We were scared, and angry, and confused.  Shell shocked and enraged, we lashed out, and quickly.  We punched and kicked two nations that weren’t responsible, but were simple targets.  We turned on ourselves, almost like a schizophrenic; we simultaneously berated ourselves and lifted ourselves on a pedestal.  In short, we did not act very rationally after 9/11.  We were like a child.  Which makes sense, as we are still such a young nation.

So, if you’re still with me on this analogy.  America is no longer shocked.  We have accepted what happened, though I don’t think we’ve gotten to starting to think about the true, actual reasons why it happened.  That comes later.  First we must grieve.  Grieving is the most important step to moving on with things, which is what our nation desperately needs.  We must let go of that day, not forget it, but reconcile with it.  But we can’t do that until we all truly stop being angry.  Angry at ourselves and angry at anyone else involved.  Just like childhood trauma, a young nation’s first trauma is the most haunting.

I imagine some people will read this as unpatriotic.  I admit, I don’t have anyone close to me who died as a result of these attacks.  But I do know that what our nation has become since 9/11 is not a healed creature.  We are deeply wounded, and the severe split that those two planes ripped between the people of this country has done nothing but get wider and wider since.  We have split so far apart, that now I seed a terrible, sad, hole in the center of all things American.  Our fear that we transformed predominately into anger rather than national sadness has ripped a hole right through us.

But imagine if we didn’t do it that way.  Imagine if we had built up around that split.  Taken the pain and turned it into something more healthy and stronger: a better version of our previous self.  That is what we could have done.

And that is what we could have done at Ground Zero.  If the bureaucrats in charge can’t pull together and move forward on the project, perhaps it’s partially because we can’t move on as a people.  It’s easier to leave it as a hole than it is to say goodbye to what was destroyed there.

These two things effect each other in an infinite cycle.  If we were to fill the void at Ground Zero with a park, a museum, a sky screaper, a memorial, a train station, a green house, whatever as long as it were new and fresh and beautiful, we would have an easier time moving on as a country.  It wouldn’t be a sick reminder in the back of our collective head, but something to refresh us and help us let go.  In the same vein, if we were to let go, to both give out and seek out apologies, it might be easier to replace what was knocked down in New York City.

Or am I way off the mark here?

The Military is So Gay

My counter-arguments for the dumb supporters of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

Please let us kill people.

America has been so enraptured with the movement to allow gays to marry those that they love, that it came as a sort of “Oh yea, I remember that” moment when Obama brought up gays in the military in his State of the Union address.  Of course, no mention of gay marriage was made in the speech.  Personally I’d rather get married than kill Iraqis, but that’s just me.

Even though I’m a peace-nick, I of course believe that gays should be allowed to kill, KILL, KILL just like our heterosexual brethren.  As I said in an earlier post, there is a simple formula for figuring out why gay people want something from society.  Ask yourself, “Do straight people enjoy this right?”  If you answer yes, then gay people want to be able to do it too.  Therefore, since straight folks are allowed to murder people who disagree with the US, gay people should be allowed to do so as well.  Furthermore, we ought to be able to do it as an openly gay people, because, well we are gay.

Even though it’s clear as crystal to me and most smart people, including the top military commander and the godforsaken President of the United states, there are still some dumb-dumbs (John McCain, I’m looking at you) who don’t get it.  So, for those who don’t, I’m going to tackle some of their idgit arguments right now.  Here we go.

First, let’s start with the stereotypes, as those are some of the most common dumb-dumb arguments.  I can’t believe I still have to debunk these things, but…

Gays are Wimps

Ok, I’ll admit it, I’m kind of a wuss sometimes.  I don’t like dogeball, so I’m afraid I wouldn’t make a good soldier.  However, the same could be said for my heterosexual father (though he probably likes dodgeball, the man literally is unable to kill a fly).  Basically, if you are making this argument, you don’t think you know any gay people.  You see the Jacks and Wills on TV, and you assume that if you ever encountered a gay in the wild he would be lisping and sparkling like a vampire.  I say think because everyone who knows more than 14 people knows a gay person.  If you think all gays are wimps, that means the gay people you know are probably self-hating, in denial, or simply too angry at you to share who they really are.  But aside from this, it also means that they must be pretty masculine.  So, this logic, like all logic behind stereotypes, is fatally flawed.  As this article succinctly puts it, “like heterosexuals, gays and lesbians range across a broad spectrum from weak to strong, from sexually passive to sexually predatory, from very feminine to very masculine.”

Also, need I mention that this argument doesn’t cover lesbians, who, if unleashed, could conquer the Middle East with little more than a machete?

Gays are Sexual Predators

This one is funny.  I’ve heard this argument go two ways.

First, gay people will be distracted by their sexy, sexy fellow soldiers on the front lines.  Even with bullets whizzing by their heads, gay dudes will spring a boner with all that sweat and flexing muscle.  Though I don’t have any personal experience in battle, I do know that I rarely get horny when I’m afraid for my life.  I don’t think that anyone, gay or straight, would ignore impending death because they were horny.  And furthermore, are straight dudes so able to suppress their arousal that they aren’t turned on by the female soldiers fighting by their side?  I doubt it.

Secondly, people fear that gays will hit on or rape their heterosexual fellow officers.  I want to point out, before I go on, that rape wouldn’t be a new thing in the military.  So enough with the double standards, straight people.

It’s been a nice little fantasy for straight people that all gay men are so turned on by straight guys that they can’t control themselves.  I’ve met many-a straight man that believes I’m drooling over him whenever he turns his back.  To be honest, straight men, a lot of you are just gross.  See below.

A really gross straight man.

I’ll admit, however, that there are some straight men out there that get my juices flowing.  I have no doubt there’s quite a few in the military.  However, most gay people, after going through many difficult years  of being harrassed or abused for doing nothing other than walking down the street, know now that hitting on a straight man is a BAD idea.  Especially when they have a gun at hand.  So this argument is irrational and, if I can be so bold, egotistical.

Gays Will Disrupt Unit Cohesion

I’m going to try and avoid all of the good jokes I could make about the phrase “unit cohesion”.    The idea here is that gay people will somehow cause the togetherness of military groups to fracture.  My first argument is that military training, with the shaving of heads and the degrading language, is designed solely to create unity among soldiers.  Assuming that gays are put through the same thing, they too will become unified with their fellow fighters.  Secondly, after scouring the internet for an answer, I can’t find anyone who can explain exactly why gay people specifically would cause disruption.  So, once again, this is an invalid claim.

Gay People Would Be Harassed by Homophobic Persons

This is the most well-meaning dumb-dumb argument, but it’s still flawed.  I have no doubt that the military is full of homophobic people.  I’m sure a small number of those homophobic people might act out on their craziness and hurt or kill a gay member of their platoon.  So, here’s a simple solution.  Ban homophobic people from the military.  It would be more cost efficient and save more man power.

How would we scan for homophobic people?  Well, studies show that homphobic men’s penises grow in circumference when they view gay porn.  So we’ll just show all soldiers who claim to be straight coming into the army some videos and if their penis grows, then they don’t get to fight.

Of course I’m kidding, that would be strange and impractical.  However, suppose we aggressively and actively sought out and eliminated instances of homophobia in the military.  Couple that with education about equality and support during recruitment and training, and I think the unity of our armed forces would increase.  So suck on that, John McCain.

Friendships with Corporate Persons

The only upside I can see to the Supreme Court’s recent decision to allow corporations to fund political campaigns is the phrase “Corporate Persons”.  Every day American corporations are a humanized by the media and their own advertisements.  It’s flat out weird.  The entire concept of giving a big, scary, money-loving corporation the same rights as me is so bizarre I feel like the world has gone mad(der).  Hey, here’s a question, if corporations get the same rights as individuals, can a boy corporation marry another boy corporation?

Rather than discuss the horrors (or merits as some argue) of this ruling, I think it would be more fun to imagine what my life would be like if I actually had to be friends with the corporations I deal with on a daily basis.  I’m not a big consumer, so lucky for me I wouldn’t have as many corporate person-friends as some others.  But here are the ones I would have, and how I imagine our relationship would go.

Boost Mobile

Yes, I’m an owner of a boost mobile piece of poop cellphone.  As both a poor man and a frequent traveler, it helps not to be tied down to a contract.  I usually have my phone on me, even if I often screen calls.  So Boost Mobile would always be hanging out.

Appearance: I imagine a rather surly, methed-out yokel in their 20s.  Androgynous, spaced out (possibly tripping on some psychedelics that are not safe) but for the most part harmless.

Most Annoying Habit: Boost Mobile friend would be like my secretary.  Now, imagine the person described above trying to relay messages to me.  First, half of the messages I get s/he would keep to him/herself, or reveal them only after they were no longer relevant.  S/he’s even worse at sending out messages.  When I send him/her on a mission to text a friend, s/he often screams the message and pretends it urgent, even if it’s not.  S/he also is fond of putting in words or characters that I did not include in my original message.  And sometimes when I give him/her a task, s/he puts up his/her middle finger at me and goes to sleep.

Best Characteristic: I really can’t think of one, other than without Boost Mobile people would have a harder time trying to find me.  Boost Mobile would have no games, no style, no personality and no ability to troubleshoot him/herself.



I may as well be surgically attached to my iPod touch and my MacBook.  Because I work inside the internet, my old and tired laptop is my livelihood.  When not hunched over like an ape editing, I am probably walking or biking somewhere and listening to my iPod.  Even when I’m on the toilet I do crossword puzzles on my iPod.  Lovely image right?

Appearance: I think Apple would probably be a sort of sexy, nerdy, smug…oh wait.  It’s this guy.

The guy on the right. The guy on the left and I aren't on speaking terms anymore. But I kind of miss him.

Most Annoying Habit: Well, Mac and I have made the poor choice to mix friendship and business.  So half of the time we have a GREAT time hanging out, listening to NPR and chatting with our other friends.  We also have been known to get rather intimate, though it has yet to go beyond watching porn together.  But, on the flipside, he can be really slow and irritable.  He also is great at distracting me from actually producing any actual work.

Best Characteristic: He’s a know-it-all, and acts like he better than me.  He’s incredibly smart, but he’s very secretive about where he gets his information.  All-in-all a mostly OK guy.

Apple’s Twitter: I command my followers to be really annoying about the iPad.

The Salvation Army

I try not to buy too many clothes; I prefer comfy and familiar clothes that I can pack up quickly to hoards of really stylish stuff.  Hence I always look “good” but I rarely look “great!”  Most of my clothing comes from human-friends or second-hand corporate-friends that deal in as The Salvation Army.

Appearance:  Dumpy, possibly insane Christian.  Overbearing in almost every way.  Her style is questionable, and perhaps unsafe.  Her hair is a mess.

Most Annoying Habit: It’s a tie between her unmistakably terrible odor (my mom says it’s the smell of humanity) and the fact that I know she witnesses for Christ and hates gay people when we’re not hanging out together.

Best Characteristic: She gives almost constant fashion advice.  %99.9 is so far off the mark that I usually just laugh at her.  Like that time she suggest I wear pleated 49 waist pants and a floral blouse.  But occasionally she gets something right, and comes up with a sweet t-shirt or a surprising pair of jeans.

The Salvation Army’s Twitter:  YELLOW TAG- 10% OFF, BLUE TAG- %50 OFF, ORANGE TAG- SOILED


Though most of my everyday clothing is second hand, I have 3 essential items that all come from the great Maine icon LL Bean: My amazingly light, warm, green and frumpy winter coat, my amazingly light, warm, purpleish-gray and frumpy winter boots, and my used LL Bean bright blue backpack with the name “Arjun” inscribed on it from a previous owner.

Appearance: Definitely a true Mainer, but one of the better looking ones (if there is such a thing).  Fit but sturdy, reserved but practical, and probably staring down at me disapprovingly from a sailboat.

Most Annoying Habit: Sweatshop labor.

Best Characteristic: Definitely makes sure I’m warm and comfy.  Not as concerned with style, but it won’t let me leave the house without a snuggly outfit.  Actually, this kinda sounds like my mom…

LL Bean’s Twitter: This sleeping bag is also a hiking stick, shoe insert, fishing pole, hat and water bottle.


Oh the sordid, twisted web of a relationship I have with my primary loan agency, SallieMae.  Basically my college forced me to use this evil organization (instead of other more responsible loan companies) to pay for my obscenely expensive college education.  I’ll be paying off SallieMae for the rest of recorded time.

Appearance: A big, fat man in a pin stripe suit with a cigar in his mouth laughing evilly, mixed with a really unhelpful woman with a Florida accent wearing a headset who refuses to speak proper English or make compromises.

Worst Habit:  SallieMae is the worst friend ever.  She waits until I get paid for working, then she takes all of the money to her house and sits on it.  She’s one of those friends who has too much money, but still requires more and refuses to share any.  She’s constantly suggesting that I may have made a big mistake, despite my insistence that she shut the fuck up.  She’s also constantly screwing over a bunch of my friends.  She comes from a family of companies, many of whom are awful, some of whom are OK, but none who are as evil and sick as Sallie.

Best Characteristics: She paid for my life in college.  However, she constantly rubs this fact in my face, and when I compare her to some of her international brothers and sisters I just want to kick her in the genitals.


Taking It Easy On the Laid Off

In case you don’t want to read the whole post, here’s what I’m getting at:  If you have a story or see something that is an example of someone reaching out to the unfortunate in this economic crises, no matter how humble their effort, share it!  Post it here, link it to a website, or email me the story/photo at and I’ll post it.

My mom, like many people, is trying to find a few ways to make a little extra money these days.  She’s a bit of a green thumb, and has been growing beautiful blue flowers called Comfrey for a while now.  It’s made a bunch of our neighbors stop and stare, and it appears to be hard to find in plant nurseries.  But the stuff grows like crazy, and is hard to kill.  It was taking over a bit, so she had this idea:

Buy Some Comfrey!

Buy Some Comfrey!

She made $30.00 off of six plants!  But that’s not even the best part.  Take a look at the sign close up.

Free if you've been laid off!

Free if you've been laid off!

I thought it was rad (and funny) that my mom, who often sells things outside her modest Maine home on an honor system (money through the mail slot), was making this gesture for laid off folks.  It’s not much, since the plants didn’t cost her more than a few dollars before the recession even started.  But still, even if a laid off person is walking by and doesn’t buy the flowers, it’s nice to hear strangers saying “Sorry about the times, wish to help you out”.  And if they do take the plant, blue flowers can be a great way to brighten up (however slightly) an unemployed life.  Not to mention they should have time to plant it.

I’m inspired by this, and was hoping I could hear about some other stories or pictures about people reaching out to laid off strangers.  If you have a story or see something that reminds you of my mom’s efforts, or just an encouraging story about helping the unfortunate in this economic crises, share it!  Post it here, link it to a website, or email me the story/photo at and I’ll post it!

Obama Saves The Internet

For some reason I’ve felt an aversion to reading news about our new President.  But today I read a few articles that made me too happy to ignore:

Ever since the act first came into societal consciousness, I have been following the vicious battle over net neutrality.  For those of you who don’t know much about it, net neutrality is an act that effectively blocks big companies like AT&T from placing a hierarchy on the Internet.  Some sites (read “those with money”) would be easily accessible by anyone with the Internet, while small little websites (such as this blog if it ever gets its own domain name) would be extremely slow.  So slow, I imagine, that it would not be worth waiting around for.  Here’s a fun run down of it.

So why would any company want to slow down the Internet?  Money, money, money.  The more they control the Internet, the more money they make.  And don’t you let any Anne Coulter tell you otherwise.

Obviously, since I’m not ever going to be a CEO of anything and I love the Internet, therefore I am an advocate for net neutrality.  The web, for me, is a place to go when you want to find varying, unedited opinions of everyone from nutjobs to doctors to children to criminals, and sometimes all those things at once.  The web is not like the television or other more regulated mediums; it is open too all who can access it, and it broadens communities while simultaneously facilitating independence and education.

For the past 8 years it has been shaky going, and it seemed that while the Bush Administration was at large, destruction of net neutrality was always lurking just below the surface.  But since Obama named his two FCC Review chair members, the Internet community has been aflutter with joyous buzzing.  Both chair members are strong advocates for net neutrality.

Both are highly-regarded outside-the-Beltway experts in telecom policy, and they’ve both been pretty harsh critics of the Bush administration’s telecom policies in the past year.

Their jobs will be to review the agency and arm the president, vice president and prospective agency leader with all the information needed to make key decisions as they prepare to take over.

The choice of the duo strongly signals an entirely different approach to the incumbent-friendly telecom policymaking that’s characterized most of the past eight-years at the FCC.

More of that here.

It is so nice to see that Obama is interested in surrounding his science and technology advisers with people who are actually in touch with those communities at large.  Internet lovers, breathe a sigh of relief.  Obama is, hopefully hear to help.

And let’s hope he doesn’t just stop at the Internet.  There’s a whole lineup of Reagan and Bush doctrines that need clearing up in order to facilitate a less biased media.  With more moves like this, Obama will be taking an important step towards sealing up the deadly leaks left behind by the Bushies.

Turns Out Jill Biden is Actually Capable of Speech

The one time I watch Oprah…

Ever since Obama won the election and she wandered out onto the stage clutching Joe’s elbow, I’ve been speculating that Jill Biden is incapable of speech.  Her smile was so big and beautiful, but to me it looked like perhaps a grin through which no words could penetrate.  She didn’t look too dumb to speak, but only appeared to me as a being that, for whatever reason, does not speak.

However, today I watched a little bit of Oprah today with my mother because the Bidens were on.  I waited patiently for Joe to be quiet to see if the 2nd lady would say something.  And then she did.

She starts off one of her answers saying “You know, Joe had the choice between Vice President and Secretary of State…” and then both Oprah and Joe made her shut up.  Everyone blushed.  It turns out that Jill has a looser jaw than her man.  Once the audience had calmed down, she pulled a Sarah Palin and started talking about something completely unrelated to what she was originally talking about.

So how long ago did Obama pick out his secretary of state?  If he gave Joe first pick, does that mean he gave Hillary leftovers?

I hope that Jill Biden continues to do things like this as the presidency continues.  That will make for a good show.

Was gonna say you heard it here first, but actually you heard it here first.