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8.31.2009

Prioritize!

Fictitious from a random field agent back to GOP Darth Jefe [Voicemail, Transcribed]:
"Ah, Cheney! The original pitbull. Unlimited, unchecked executive branch with no oversight by congress and no accountability to the courts. If that just ain't a gawd-damn neocon paradise! You crazy bastard... and you only had to pull off 1/4 of a Tyler Durden closing scene extravaganza in NYC to kick it all off! You the man. But ya know there buddy, it's getting harder to keep playing phone tag with those assholes in The Hague. Mumbling something about 'jurisdiction'..."
[roots of the 2nd American Civil War, Establishment of Independent Republic of Texas with G.W. Bush as president, published July 3, 2012, all rights reserved]  ;-) (I'm writing it now...lol)


Then you and the other cronies can war profiteer off of a $1.2+ Trillion price tag for an unnecessary and unjustified war in Iraq. We took our eye off the ball in Afghanistan, now it's spread to Pakistan and all the geopolitical bullshit that THAT gets us into. (For 'English' wonks only: I do believe that last sentence ended in an example of a dangling participle. For a reason.) That we need to get out of. See how I did that?

There will come a day when everybody from the top down will be held accountable for any crimes. It's the only way to make SURE "it never happens again". But now is not the time. Since we're scheduled to have a hot date this autumn and perhaps on into winter with Health Care, Insurance and Medicare/Medicaid reforms to hammer out by Dec.31st, plenty of time. So proceed with prelim, Mr. Holder, do the discovery work, then after the first of the year it's bloody well time to start laying the worse sins of the Bush administration bare.

So if I ever had the 'disease', which I highly doubt, I have since been cured.

-Laz

8.28.2009

Sowing Postmodern Chaos and Dissent Virtually...

(this post is a historical look back at something I used to do back in the 90s which is hang out and program MOOs, something that now is obliquely related to the text portions and object database portions MMOs (Massively Multiplayer Online) games like World of Warcraft as well as the subversive ways one sometimes uses to change the nature of debates or to distract others from the real debate...)

In the next post I am going to talk about Godwin's Law and how it applies to obstructionists in the health care reform debate but for the sake of internet history and as a preface to that post, allow me to point out I may have been that very same 'Quirk' responsible for coming up with the 'Quirk's Exception' to Godwin's Law, Quirk being the name of one of my many avatars on PMCMOO besides Laz(arus). Briefly MOO stands for Multi-user Online Object-oriented. It is both a programming environment and a game-like chat environment. My Quirk avatar referred to in the next post after this one may have actually made the original point of exception on the MOO known as the Post Modern Culture MOO when discussing the problem of 'Godwin's Law' in real time chat with fellow MOO-er Formosa. Because when we programmers weren't busy living postmodernism we actually discussed it and the ramifications our programming had upon the environment that scholars were using as a mere text based chat interface. In this post I will show how it is possible for a driven class of individuals with just the right amount of power granted to them are able to take the focus away from serious debate and focus it elsewhere just as today's right wing crazies are doing with the health care debate, albeit literally rather than virtually as we did online for a brief time at PMCMOO. Our intentions were merely to demonstrate postmodernism in action, not to rip apart the structure of the server or to stifle the debate therein -- unlike what may currently be happening in the health care debate. Since our time there, they have reverted to their normal, boring scholarly discussion and debate but I bet we were able to show the practicality of what postmodernism REALLY meant while we were making all of those present live postmodernism as it played out in front of all at the time.

PMC-MOO originated sort of as an online collaborative distance education site and a place for folks at UV (University of Virginia) to discuss the humanities and postmodernism. It is a computer program that runs on a remote server that facilitates this function. At the time I was not in college, just had lots of free time to play with the environment and play I and others did. After being on a server hosted at UV for a short time PMCMOO later moved to a server at UNC (University of North Carolina), but it's focus was always on the humanities and postmodernism in particular within the construct of a programmable C++ like environment. We talked postmodernism and about the humanities but many of us were also programmers who were there creating the contextual reality within which all this discussion took place. So not just chat 'rooms' but chat palaces, water slides, amusement parks -- all with text descriptions and manipulatable shared objects that one could exist within or carry as virtual tactile objects on the person of one's avatar. Think 'text based adventure game' though made of virtual silly putty.

The people who ran the MOO on the remote server were there to discuss things like a 'Panopticon' while us programmers interested in postmodernism were actually building one and demonstrating how it would actually function in addition to discussing and debating postmodernism. There were thinkers, there were doers, and there were thinkers AND doers. I was a member of the latter class. We were the engineers, they the theorists and we were there to prove the theory through use of objects we programmed and put into their common database.

Oh the fun we had creating invisible portable rooms one's avatar could carry in one's pocket so that one could sit undetected in other peoples rooms, undetectable to them then using that room to rebroadcast their intimate conversations to the entire population of the MOO because of their mistaken idea that anything in a shared and collaborative online programming and chat environment was ever private (thanks to my friends Sabat and Sedate -- hello, Panopticon!).

The anarchy that spread with my good friend Visual Mark's steampunk-esque hand-cranked 'Rumor Mill' that would associate any player's avatar name with all sorts of outlandish, outrageous and outright lies or rumors -- even using our own avatar names! One programmer during a particularly nasty dispute with the wizards (who after all did own the server that ran the MOO) even went as far as to stage a public immolation of his avatar and all the objects he had personally had a hand in programming, something supposedly impossible to do according to the wizards. Yet he accomplished it. It was quite a performance.

Or roving gangs that would kidnap and inconvenience your avatar. Or infamous Kibo .sig[nature] gopher slate command as digital pepper spray to keep the real pests and griefers off of you. In fact we helped get the earliest form of the web, a little program called gopher to link to offsite content. We also used sendmail on both servers to rarely send super secret back channel communiques, unfortunately never within the MOO, though why would you need it... everybody there is online now in this one spot, PMCMOO. From half a dozen to hundreds all exploring this word game played out in real time online, worldwide. People worked in shifts. There'd always be someone on you'd know and they'd let you know if they were busy working on something. Another object. Programming AI and strings to give a certain sort of textual presence online. Little text bombs of descriptiveness.

Not everyone on the MOO were allowed to be programmers. Besides wizards there was also a simple user class, tourists within the environment the two other classes helped to create. Lab rats, as it were. One had to ask a wizard for a 'programming bit' before they became the 'middle class', the true interface between regular users and the wizards themselves. The wizards were mostly there to discuss postmodernism. Programmers like myself were in part the creators of the environment itself although our job, as I saw it, was to slice and dice it, to add odd twists, to amaze, as much as was possible in a text based environment for both wizards, programmers and users alike. The wizards wanted scholarly order while a large portion of the programming class wished to demonstrate actual postmodernist theory in action by subverting and creating chaos within that environment. Chop it all up into bits and ram it through the digital sausage grinder to see what squirted out the other end. So eventually, while us programmers were pushing the envelope of theory by our software and social engineering we would from time to time piss off the odd user or wizard. Okay, frequently.

In my case it was an incident of getting banned from the MOO for either creating or helping to create such subversive, postmodern objects as those listed above. Then I proceeded to set about demonstrating a proven ability to further subvert my banning (by my Lazarus avatar who fittingly 'came back from the dead'). Once reborn, I escaped from my virtual prison and teleported my avatar directly into a supposedly 'private' room where the wizards were meeting to discuss the anarchy we programmers had sown within a post modernist context and debate it's meaning. Once I had resurrected myself it seems I had arrived in their minds and several wizards then argued in front of me that I should not be banned again because of my demonstration that they obviously couldn't really do it anyhow. If that does not give me my computer nerd bonafides, I don't know what does. It was like playing a game of Zork only you could control parts of the narrative and most of the objects within the game while at the same time people from all over the world were doing likewise. I do not have a citation to a recorded chat session to prove 'ownership' of 'Quirk's Exception', but it certainly sounds like something I would have said when discussing postmodernist theory amongst my nerdy programming friends back in the mid 90s on PMC-MOO. In any case it shows how one can take something and then with creativity turn it into something else, perhaps diverting attention away from the original intent. We could change the discussion, change the debate through direct, though in this case, 'virtual' action.

In short, I am no stranger to sowing anarchy and creating dissent when people are present to have serious discussion and serious debate. They wanted to discuss postmodernism, we wished them to LIVE it. Because how can you seriously discuss or debate anything without having some personal knowledge or experience? Through what may temporarily seem to be bad behavior it is possible to utterly destroy a rational debate or discourse in sometimes maddening ways. Which is what we've seen in the health care reform debate. But you know what? Eventually everybody moved on to other things, more creative and less seemingly destructive. Perhaps unlike the nonsensical nature of the far right neocon wing, to this day I still think what we did was meant spur debate and to foster discourse. Whereas some of the far right wing seem to have ideas of destroying and tearing apart the very thing that allows THEM to push the envelope of reasonable debate -- to speak their crazy, loony ass minds in a country that allows them freedom of speech that they themselves own and control.

PMCMOO now exists in archive form and I believe if one were really interested you can still log on and wander around. We didn't destroy, we created, we collaborated to make it a better place. Our actions added to the debate, to the dialog. While it may have since been replaced by better technologies (it's been ages since I've even tried to visit) it's existence alone or the existence of archives from that time of experimentation should be proof to some that true debate -- even that spurred by sometimes outrageous behavior allow durable structures to endure... no matter how many times you shove them through the sausage maker.

-Laz

Invoking Godwin's Law on the Far Right's Health Care Debate Tactics...

(As usual I suggest you open the links in other tabs so you may follow along with this article while also looking at the reference links as needed...)

For those of you who are not familiar with 'Godwin's Law', let me explain it's origins: there is an ancient discussion area of the internet called USENET newsgroups. It is basically a bunch of mostly text based groups that existed long before web pages and browser technology were invented where like-minded individuals would go to talk about things they like, dislike and otherwise interact. It's the wild west, with little or no moderation, where anyone can say just about anything. It is because of that nature that it appeals to many. Speech there is inherently free for the most part.

In fact because of it's openness many people still do go on and use USENET news servers, which are somewhat akin though slightly more immediate and spontaneous than what are called "mail-lists". Google and Yahoo just call them "Groups" though theirs have a much broader focus of available topics with a slicker interface. Anyhow, USENET is where Godwin first postulated his 'law' which essentially is this: "as a USENET discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches.", the now canonical corollary of which is that once this occurs, the person who invoked Nazis or Hiltler in the first place has lost the debate and essentially the tread or line of discussion is over.

However allow me to point out that it has always been considered to be bad form to intentionally invoke Godwin's Law in order to prematurely end a rousing debate. This is known as 'Quirk's Exception' (see post above for historical information) and is backed up by 'Formosa's Law' wherein "The truly insane [already] have enough on their plates without us adding to it...".

America's health care reform debate has reached the point where Godwin's Law must and should be invoked. By now you should already know who has lost the health care reform debate because they are the ones who "done brung Hitler and the Nazis to the dance", namely the far right wing crazysauce folks -- the birthers, deathers, tenthers, Beck-ers, Quiter-ers, LaRouchies and the rest of those who would rather help to divert attention away from the real debate using Nazis and Hitler as well as racisim to obstruct any real progress (more on the latter below). So call it game, set and match. It's over. At least the Godwin's Law part. I too am personally finished talking to "dining room tables", as is Barney Frank, the originator of that last and quite astute and insightful quote said. One cannot reason with the unreasonable. Better to let them yell or rant manically and as they do their argument collapses under the weight of it's own hubris. In addition if you ask them to go beyond the talking points they have memorized in their very non-thinking and sheep-like fashion all you will get is either a change of subject to yet another talking point or a blank, deer in the headlights type stare before they stammer and either repeat the same talking point or rapidly change the subject to yet another memorized talking point. Usually louder.

They have become both laughable and all too predictable. Desperation does that to them. Since Godwin's Law proves them and their debate tactics to be a hollow failure, they now turn to what I will dub 'Lazarhat's New Corollary To Godwin's Law' which is: "When all attempts to divert attention away from the actual subject of a debate by invoking Nazis and Hitler fail, they will change tactics and start spouting racial slurs and racist ideology instead..." -- which is precisely where they're going right now especially since even they can realize the absurdity of their Obama as Hitler and his administration as Nazis meme. It has become a non-starter amongst all thinking individuals.

So when they get in your face and wish to launch into yet another spittle and hate fueled rant about Obama as Hitler or comparisons of our government as Nazis (or fascists, socialists and Marxists for that matter), calmly raise your hand in a slow manner, placing it with the flat of your palm outward -- not on them or their face but near it, signifying the universally accepted symbol for 'STOP' and then tell them softly yet firmly "yeah whatever -- that's what all the negativists and nihilists say...", then lower your hand, smirk inwardly (if you must smirk at all), turn on your heels rapidly and walk away. You've got about a ten second head start before their head explodes while they try to figure out exactly what you meant.

Or when they get in your facebook and tell you that you MUST watch Glenn Beck, do likewise and say "yeah whatever, that is what ALL the racists say..."

-Laz

(pelase see the post above for a possible personal historical connection to the character of Quirk as mentioned in 'Quirk's Exception' to 'Godwin's Law'... just for giggles.)

8.27.2009

You are here...

Subjectively speaking, of course.



"There are around 6.5 billion humans on this planet, which means that there are at least 6.5 billion different views of what constitutes reality..." -Laz

8.25.2009

Regressives Extremists and Obstructionists vs. Progressives, Moderates and Centrists... OH MY!

In my personal effort to wrap my head around the swirling controversy that IS health care reform (or health insurance reform) I have looked at and read many bills, read many news articles online from many diverse sources while pondering long and hard about an issue so important to not only myself, but ALL Americans. I've cheered on The Wyden Plan dubbed the "Healthy Americans Act" both here and elsewhere on other blogs like Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis. Some may recall me mentioning earlier that this could be the REAL reform we're looking for in lieu of H.R. 3200. The official text on Thomas.loc.gov can be found by searching for the Senate (S. 391) also known as S. 391.IS) and House (H.R. 1321, also known as H.R. 1321.IH) bills there. I've even suggested that we resurrect H.R. 676 as a good clean slate from which to foundationally build upon into a powerful and clean health care reform bill.

As a side note, s
ince all searches on Thomas.loc.gov often have an expiration time built in, I link to the ones from the more persistent GovTrack.us. -- otherwise the best way to search on the official government site is to already know the official names of the bills or to search for the bills using the official number. Which is both confusing and maddening at times. Be sure the little button to search for 'Bills' is clicked if searching for specific bill numbers as it defaults to a text search otherwise. Anyhow my solution has been to use the open source GovTrack to find out the official names or numbers then search at the official site. Once you find the correct bill there are also links on the thomas.loc.gov site to printer friendly versions (not wise unless you have tons of paper) and Adobe Acrobat .PDF versions you may save locally to your own hard drive (better idea... read at your leisure, print the parts you want, cut and paste from the documents as needed).

Yes, it's a bit of jumping through hoops to use search engines to track legislation, but it'll save you some ulcers in the long run. Research is always good especially if you're going to use the sharpened sword of intellect by reading through and understanding what your own legislators sometimes say they haven't even bothered to read themselves. Elected representatives who don't take the time to read and learn the legislation they vote on should find themselves a new job because they're obviously not cut out for the task of representing their constituency. You need a summer reading list Mr. President? What's on the top 10 reads for this recess, Senator? Congressman? Your answer had better be health care or health insurance reform or I can almost guarantee there are going to be some pissed off constituents, both Republicans and Democrats alike come election day 2010.

One other option that has been floated by many is to just expand Medicare. I'm almost convinced that ultimately this may be the correct move. Howard Dean makes some very logical and persuasive arguments in this clip from the Rachael Maddow Show (Allison Stewart was filling in) where he also highlights the stupidity of regressives, extremists and obstructionists with their usual "the goverment can't run the health care system but don't touch Medicare" (a government run, single payer health care system) flawed circular logic:



Unless the legislature can come up with an omnibus bill that ties together all the good ideas and ferrets out the bad ones, this may be our best choice. Otherwise we're left with the option of pushing H.R. 3200 through reconciliation (because no matter how many bi-partisan concessions you make to the far right, they are STILL going to vote against it) and the liberal use of President Obama's line item veto pen (to close all the loopholes that favor a corrupt and profit driven private insurance industry) to establish a workable and reasonable bill that is on the side of Americans, not tilted in favor of private insurers and lawyers. Yes they're Americans too, but far too many times lately, they mostly seem motivated by profits rather than the future health and well being of ALL Americans.


I have also, much to the chagrin of some, spoken out against H.R. 3200 or at least that may be the perception of some when I suggest alternatives like the Wyden Plan, but don't kid yourself. Let me assure you beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am working FOR health care and health insurance reform, not against it! If at times I seem somewhat less than thrilled about H.R. 3200 it is my way of speaking out against the graft and corruption exhibited by foot dragging legislators of both sides of the aisle as it relates to them milking campaign donations from the private insurance industry and the many loopholes that have been or will be tacked onto this bill that favor the industry rather than the best interests of ALL of the American people. If we the people do not speak up loudly, forcefully and most of all THOUGHTFULLY to express the need for rational reform NOW we're letting all the astroturfers, teabaggers, birthers, deathers and all the rest of the regressive, extremist and obstructionist crazies win. Thus NOW is the time for all good people to come to the aid of their country. Seriously. In a government of, by and for the people, the buck REALLY stops with THE PEOPLE. That would be you and me. The time for us leaving attention to government affairs on autopilot IS OVER. Look what results that got us during the Bush years! As many of our elected officials seem to fall asleep at the wheel they need a good, hard jolting to wake them up be it in the form of letters, emails or phone calls. For our elected representatives to continue to play games with meaningful health care and health insurance reform is to deny us of our inalienable rights. Those of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...". I've said it before and I'll continue to say it until most people get it, working against the inalienable rights and against the best interests of ALL the citizens of the United States of America is simply and unequivocally un-American. There WILL be hell to pay next election cycle if they don't do the right thing and complete the job of reform before 2010. Believe it.

Exercise your right, your sacred duty as a progressive, moderate or centrist American and work hard to fight against the regressives, extremists and obstructionists -- the party of NO. Please do so NOW, before it's too late. Use the tools the internet affords us to counter their crazy shouting and non-solutions. Eventually with enough persistence and patience, we progressives, moderates and centrists will WIN this battle. We'll look back and laugh at their lack of input, their lack of solutions or lack of acting in good faith on behalf of the majority of their constituents and at how they marginalized themselves into obscurity by using their idiotic scare tactics. Oh how we'll laugh! But now is the time for action, for grim determination.

-Laz

8.24.2009

*** UPDATED ***The REAL Neocon GOP (and now LaRouche) Strategy...

I've said it before so it bears repeating, the true neocon GOP/birther/deather/obstructionist strategy all along has been taken directly out the NASDP (Nazi) playbook. They are not "the loyal opposition". They are a thing that history tells us should be so abhorrent that it's amazing we even tolerate their continued antics. Worse still is all the play their antics get them in the main stream media. Perhaps even worse than that is the idea that Fox News is even considered by many to be part of the MSM when in fact most of us know them to be a partisan propaganda machine colluding with asshats, promoting their asshattery.

Their time is over. Time for progressives to work hard to refocus the majority of America back on the issues and on working to heal this country, both figuratively AND literally.

This article at Salon by Andrew Leonard appears to agree.

*** UPDATED ***

Our friend Max Blumenthal adds more by tracing perhaps the original source of this horrid meme to supporters of Lyndon LaRouche.

*** UPDATED ***

-Laz

Say goodbye, Mr. Beck...

The drive to push Glenn Beck off of national television continues with a total of 33 advertisers dropping support for his Fox New infotainment show. The drive, hardly a couple of weeks old, is being spearheaded by colorofchange.com

It doesn't matter if he has one of the highest rated shows on Fox. No amount of ratings from crazy or racist viewers will support a television production if there are no advertisers. So, buh-bye, Glenn. And to those who scream "but you're limiting his free speech!" -- no, we're expressing ours by standing up to him and his hateful and often disingenuous rhetoric.

-Laz

8.23.2009

Dear Mr. President...

Whatever Senator John "I knuckled under to the neocons by cravenly picking Sarah Palin as my running mate AND LOST" and "the fundamentals of the economy are basically sound" McCain says -- do EXACTLY the opposite. This man has totally lost all credibility and any respect I used to have for him BEFORE he got in bed with the people who killed his 2000 campaign, the very same people who pushed Palin on him.

The time for bi-partisanship is over. If you drop the public option or a single payers solution, these neocon idiots will STILL vote against it anyhow just to embarrass you. Remember, DO EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE! Time to dig your heels in and make it happen, time to grow a pair and take a stand against these obstructionists in the PARTY OF NO. They not only make me ashamed to be a Republican, they make me ashamed to be an American.

-Laz

8.22.2009

*** UPDATED *** It's good to have friends...

Celtic Diva is an old friend who has put up with me for many years. I like the fact that her blog allows community input so I often post there to reach a wider audience than my little blog. I have recently posted some ideas about the current health care debate and updated it with new links to possible alternatives to the steamy pile of crap that in my opinion H.R.3200 has now become due to undue influence and industry lobbyists. Please take a moment to jump over there and check it out. You can comment there and add to the debate if you take a moment to register or please feel free to comment about it here if you wish. Thanks.

*** UPDATE ***
I have added links to S.391/H.R.1321 (Ron Wyden's (D-OR) "Healthy American Act") in the comments section below the original posting over at Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis. I respectfully ask that all please take a moment to either visit Blue Oasis for those links or Ron Wyden's website, OR -- if you're "super-wonky" like me, follow the links at Blue Oasis or at Thomas (search for the bill names, S.391/H.R.1321) for .PDF versions of that bill. The easiest way though is to follow the links over at Linda's place, Blue Oasis. Also please stay involved by continuing to put the pressure on our elected representatives. Our voices do still count! Thank you.
*** UPDATE ***

-Laz

8.20.2009

Infotainment Break!

Or:

"perhaps I've been wrong about that old rascal Rupert Murdoch all along..."




Nah. Until he proves otherwise the guy is still the evil overlord. He is Darth Vader in an Italian suit. Sure he has the greatest motivator considering his "different" wife (as they say in the interview... which translates through my knowledge filter because of what I know -- she's ethnic Chinese) and is "henpecked". So maybe she's Darth and Rupert is the hapless commander that got choked. No wonder no one can understand what the hell he says. Pray she's a progressive.

In other news, The Glenn Beck show has now lost a total of 20 advertisers. Thank you. That is all. We now return you to your regularly scheduled Intarnettubes browsing.

-Laz

8.17.2009

Confronting a bigot, fearlessly...

I went to the spontaneous protest against Mayor Dan Sullivan's veto of the Anchorage Assembly's Ordinance 64. The one that was meant to include laws protecting gays and lesbians against discrimination and hate crimes. The one approved by the Assembly in spite of severe sandbagging and astroturfing on the part of local preacher cum politician Jerry Prevo. A lizard looking man who uses his local pulpit to promote politics and hate against those who don't believe exactly as he does. Prevo essentially bused in mob after mob of whipped up teenagers from Sarah Palin country (Wasilla) who had no reason to be there protesting other than to feed off of each others hate. After the dust settled, the partisans of equality and justice for ALL humans had won in the Assembly only to have that all crash down upon us because of Mayor Sullivan's cowardice and his fear of losing Prevo's mob support when he vetoed it today. His reason -- most of the people at the Assembly hearings were anti-ordinance 64. Hell they all had matching red t-shirts. So while Germany had her "brownshirts" Anchorage has it's "redshirts". Anyhow one must assume that by "most" he of course meant those fake protesters Prevo brought in -- right Mayor Dan? You know... the ones that don't live here? What a putz. A one term putz who just ruined his political career by the issuance of this cowardly veto. And no, I didn't vote for him, I voted for a Democrat, former state legislator Eric Croft.

The protest was attended by around 125-200 people at it's peak by my estimate. Not bad for short notice in a fairly small town. I didn't really know many of the people there by sight. I knew Mel of Henkimaa blog from her pictures so we talked briefly. She took some pictures of my sign. I made it a point to talk to a couple members of the media to point out who and what I am. Told them the usual and now seemingly cliched "straight but not narrow" (Mel's classic response to that was "I'm gay but not narrow", by the way. Very funny...). I also pointed out to those members of the media that I am a progressive Republican, who was there to support my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters who fight against discrimination and hate crimes.

To say I get a thrill at the reaction to that statement even when issued to friendly persons is a huge understatement. Blank stares like a puppy recognizing the sound of their own name is what it most reminds me of and you can virtually see their minds exploding at the sheer absurdity of my personal "position" statement. Thus why I will continue to use it. More on that later when I said the same thing to a shouting bigot (the only one there, actually).

Anyhow I'm pretty sure Mel and I have met before... probably through Linda from Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis and from back in the day when we played a lot of gigs with "Sky Is Blue", an all female band whose members were mostly either lesbian or bisexual. I didn't ask them at the time. It wasn't important. We we all just playing music and having fun. Linda was a member. My drumming sister and friend Stephanie was as well. I think I endeared myself to Stephanie one day at the Talkeetna Bluegrass Festival by being sympathetic to the common plight of all performance drummers, that of the essential need for hydration. I brought her many a bottle of water or beer both there and at other gigs like at Pridefest so I suspect that for my act of compassion she couldn't help but love me. I know. We drummers stick together, no pun intended. We have an unspoken bond, best expressed in an almost 'Dune'-like manner of sharing our water. So basically, while I'm not gay or lesbian (merely an honorary lesbian according to Linda ;) and some might say I certainly dress like one), I know many people I consider dear friends who are either gay or lesbian. But I digress. I attended because I was righteously pissed off at Mayor Sullivan for hsi veto. I wanted to actively demonstrate the motivation behind a straight, Republican identifying individual by showing up to support friends in a time of crisis. I felt my attendance was absolutely necessary. Essential. Because I can. Because apparently I have the power to blow some people's minds. And I was right.

I think a lot of times this happens because many just can't wrap their heads around the concept. They probably question my motives or wonder if I'm stupid or something for remaining in the 'R' column but as I told another person I was standing next to at the protest and who was there with two of his friends holding their own "Straight But Not Narrow" hand made signs, "sometimes it is more personally rewarding to fight from within". It certainly is for me because when I see the flabbergasted looks from those who find out who and what I am I get energized. I hear "MORE COWBELL!" I get the feeling I can spit hot lead type and write a narrative in real time by personal action rather than just paying lip service to support a cause I believe in passionately.

Progressive? Republican? Whaaaat? (head tilt) BOOM! Sweet. Mission accomplished. Another barrier of entrenched thought torn asunder. Me 1, Their Brain... well also 1 -- it's now a tie but I may be helping to rip away the expectations of many of those who base their ideas of Republicans on the well worn and tired caricature of the neocon paradigm. So a win-win for both of us because just as I am not actively trying to convert people to Buddhism nor am I trying to get more progressive Democrats to turn "to the dark side" by realizing their inner Republican. It is just who I am. I am comfortable with my political "sexuality", not threatened by other peoples party identification or political leanings. I am a font of mutual respect, freely given and usually always received in return equally.

So I took a few pictures. Posted them to facebook. Made my own sign. "Hate is not a Christian Value!" on one side and "WWJDAAH?" ("Who Would Jesus Discriminate Against And Hate?") on the other. I'm no artist, but I think it explained my own personal take on the illogical position taken by these particular forces of Christian Evangelical fueled anti-equality, discrimination and hate. I hope it provoked some other barriers, those of the closet bigot driving by in their car who may have secretly fantasized about running us over, to be torn down. Maybe so maybe not. Either way, my deepest thanks to whomever brought the poster board and markers and for allowing me to express my thoughts to people who may have been in severe need of a small mind-fuck. Or perhaps I should say thanks for the tools to fix a small mind, fuck!

After a couple of hours that included time spent in front of City Hall and in front of McGinley's Pub, owned by Mayor Dan (where a hapless and clueless waitress laughably told me she was going to "call the cops on me" for standing there quietly, holding up a sign on a public sidewalk for all their patrons to read), I decided to go home... a mere two blocks away. People were still standing there around the corner and across from City Hall, chanting slogans, so I decided to leave my sign in case it resonated with anyone else and so they too could use it. Consider the irony if you will. A Buddhist, trained and raised as a true evangelical Christian during my youth, using my usually superior knowledge of their own professed religion as a momentary mind-fuck designed to get the hateful bigots to THINK for themselves for a change. After all I had left Christianity precisely because of the hate and bigotry people have towards disbelievers which they usually justify in their minds by manipulating biblical scriptures to suit their own needs. Many of them have never actually read the Bible as extensively as I have, instead they choose to accepted as gospel their faith motivate HATE because some asshat smarmy lizard like Jerry Prevo TELLS THEM that is they way they should think. It's disgusting to me at SO many levels. That type of "sheep being led by a cold and calculating wolf" behavior makes me want to scream, right in their unthinking faces, "WAKE THE HELL UP!" -- but believe it or not I actually prefer the more subtle methods of spurring forward their own thought processes rather than attempting to re-brainwash them. Thus the irony of my sign.

So I set it down for others to reuse and turned for home and here is where we come to the crux of this story. I, not being a jaywalking asshat scofflaw (unlike our Mayor) dutifully waited for the walk signal to change, crossed the street and then I see this one skinny, chinless white guy dressed in the maintenance uniform of a Westmark Hotel employee, screaming hate towards the crowd of my friends standing across from City Hall. The usual plethora of ignorant slurs. The 'Q' word. The 'F' word. His impotent and ugly anti-American attempt to limit the rights of those peaceably assembled to protest the denial of their rights. Ding! Off goes the light in my head. I am a pretty short and stout Welshman, none too intimidating but I have a scowl taught to me by my loving Father (who really is a pushover and sweet man without a mean bone in his body) and my version of it was lovingly perfected over the years by using it against ignorant idiots like the one I now walk, unhesitatingly and directly towards. A homeless guy standing next to him quietly bumming a smoke pretty much scampered away when I firmly but respectfully asked the shouter " What do you think you're doing?" of Mr. Chinless. The homeless guy felt compelled to answer first with "just bumming a smoke" and he got away quickly. No harm, no foul. He wasn't yelling. So I smiled at him and let him go, knowing that NOW I could focus on the problem at hand. I have an idea that perhaps nothing is scarier when confronting someone's ignorance and bigotry than to talk in a firm yet menacing tone while easily manifesting the fire in one's eyes and the scowl upon ones face as you're about to do some verbal "schooling". I wasn't there to pick a fight. I wasn't there to goad him to physical violence. I was there, standing about two feet from his face, to tear his psyche a new asshole. I was there to explode his mind with the mind bomb I know is virtually guaranteed to verbally yet peaceably "rock the world" of people like this puffed up and blustering rooster, cowardly crowing his hate from afar. The brief conversation (less the wild and menacing gesticulations needed to drive my point home into his tiny mind) went something like this and please pardon me -- I beg your forgiveness as I use his own crude language to vividly illustrate his ignorance and bigotry:

Me: "What do you think you're accomplishing, standing here, yelling your hateful words at them just out of their hearing range?"

Chinless: "I fucking hate queers! They should stay in the closet..."

M: "So you believe that your hateful words are doing anything productive at this moment?" (because I really do talk like I write... lol)

C: "Fucking faggots just ought to go home. Nobody fucking cares! Go home! Fucking faggots!" (him yelling over my shoulder)

M: (opening the bomb bay doors) "So how do you explain me -- a straight, heterosexual REPUBLICAN being down here today, standing with them while holding up a sign and supporting their cause? Supporting the cause of preventing idiots like you from discriminating against them, of perpetuating your hateful speech and violence against them as I help work to stop violence from people like YOU against people like them?" (the sound of the bomb whistling towards the terra firma of his tiny pea brain)

C: "Well you don't sound like a Republican! You sound like a fucking faggot liberal..."

M: (getting closer in his face and adding a hint more menace and Clint Eastwood-esque "Feeling lucky, punk?" growl to my voice) "Well actually, I'm a Progressive Republican... (KAAAAAA-BOOOOOOM!) and I'm here to insure that mindless, ignorant and bigoted dinosaur neocon fucks like yourself and Dan Sullivan (stabbing a finger towards City Hall) are BURRIED ALIVE and that he and others like him will NEVER ever serve in office again. I'm here to insure that you and people like you will ultimately learn to NOT shout out your hate and stupidity or suggestions of violence towards them ever again! (he quickly tries to sputter a few words attempting to dehumanize the protesters as I interrupt, more forcefully, gesticulating wildly, stabbing my finger towards first him and then at City Hall) Both you and ignorant assholes like Mayor Sullivan perpetuate hate and even violence against people who are just as human as you or I. Why is that exactly? Why do you feel the need to do that?"

C: "Because I fucking HATE queers! They molested and forced my little brother to be a fag and I hate them for that!"

He really said this. Then suddenly in a flash at that very moment and because of the look he had in his eyes as he said that sentence, with what I can only explain as the laser-like precision of pure unmitigated bunker-busting insight, I knew EXACTLY why he is the way he is and uttered the following:

Me: "You know statistics show that the vast majority of sexual molestations against children are done by heterosexuals, NOT homosexuals. I have an idea that the true root of your problem is that you yourself molested your own little brother when you were younger and your outward expression of hate towards these people here today is because of the overwhelming guilt you feel for having done that to him. You mask that guilt with your rage and pretended homophobia but you'll never be able to escape the reality of what you yourself did by raping and molesting you own little brother, will you? You in fact are the closeted homosexual, not mad at them but truly mad at yourself for not being able to deal with what you believe to be taboo feelings... with your OWN closeted homosexual tendencies."

I have absolutely no idea how I keyed into that. Some flash of insight right before that I picked up on from the look in his eyes. By the snarl of his phlegm crusted lips. As his face flushed white, looking as though it were devoid of any blood whatsoever, I could tell with absolute certainty (KAH-BOOOOOOOOM!), I had scored a devastating and direct hit, leaving no safe place for him to land the airplane of his fragile and rickety home-built flying machine of discrimination, hate and violence on the comfortable, well worn and well used landing strip of his own deluded mind. He breathlessly tried to stammer a few times with a look of abject horror in his eyes. Something told me I had hit the nail squarely upon the head and driven the point so deeply that he was mentally mortally wounded. He closed his mouth, sighed, turned on his heels rapidly and walked away without another word. Until he got about thirty feet away from me and stabbed his fingers towards the protesters. Perhaps he felt safer that far away from a mental terrorist such as he may have just witnessed, namely me. But he had it coming, I swear. He wordlessly tried to form a few more hateful thoughts as he walked away further but all that fell from his lips was the bloody shrapnel of a hateful mind utterly ripped to shreds. Stammering incoherence. He sheepishly looked back at me again and couldn't find the words so he skulked away.

This incident, one I'll probably remember for the rest of my life, is now what I consider to be my most successful mind-bombing run against bigotry ever. If all of us could learn the sudden insight that somehow mysteriously informed me of his very core characteristics and personal narrative truth as it pertained to his illogical and irrational world view and as fueled by his outward display of hate, I'm became pretty sure the world would and could become a better place for all humanity. Even for Mr. Chinless -- after he shuts the hell up and learns to think for himself and deals with his OWN issues first before blaming everyone but himself.

-Laz

8.16.2009

"Choice and competition are good..."

So let's limit choice and competition! Yay. Way to cave Sebelius!

Why President Obama didn't tap Howard Dean to be HHS Secretary is beyond me... this statement of compromise by Sebelius is yet more proof he should have.

-Laz

8.13.2009

Sarah Palin, serial QUITTER, serial LIAR!

She was for it before she was against it (again...) and then she backed off for a bit while still twisting the knife of her shortsighted world view by reinforcing how she was really FOR IT all along because of her poor reading skills? More likely it's just Sarah being Sarah again -- the sharp tongued propaganda tool of her rapidly diminishing base in the Republican Party as she shills for her supper from her neocon masters. Lying like the lying lapdog she continues to prove herself to be. Lying like a pitbull festooned in clown-like bright blood red slutty smeared liar mouth lipstick.

Sister-girl you're just 18 shades of bat-shit crazy! Thanks for adding another shade to the obvious and unvarnished deviousness and blatant dishonesty you bring to the table of political discourse. By now it should be apparent that Sarah Palin is possibly both ready and willing to say just about anything and everything in her new quest for fame and fortune and she doesn't care who she has to crawl over to get to the top of the liar heap.


You know the story already from oh so many online sites, now -- (dusting off the ol' Charelton Heston doing Moses voice) BEHOLD THE POWER OF THE INTARNETS! An archive of the text of the actual proclaimation she signed back in April of 2008, called "Healthcare Decisions Day".

I mean really. Seriously. At this point it seems her ideas are so toxic that even Murdoch is seeming to keep her at arm's length. What's wrong Sarah and Meg (the the latter probably being the REAL author of any facebook "press releases"), Murdoch owned MySpace not CREDIBLE enough for you and your important "press releases"? The so-called Palin Juggernaught -- her mighty political machine has now been reduced to posting "press releases" on facebook to get her opinion out there? Really?

I'm not providing links to any of her crap. Fuck it! Let her peddle her special brand of crazysauce elsewhere. She gets enough publicity for her idiocy already. Consider this blog entry and any begrudged mention whatsoever of her or her continued bullshit as one merely for archival and historical purposes.

-Laz

8.12.2009

Neoism - that which comes after...

Earlier tonight I posted my status on facebook:

"Randy Warner is taking the night off to meditate upon "HOPE", to approach, grok and deconstruct to see what abides beyond."
For those of you that did not already know, that's my real name, no big secret really. Never really tried to hide it or my connection between the real me and this blog. It's web address is posted on my facebook info page as being my website. Yet some people are still surprised to make the connection. Anyhow with that aside the question remains, "what abides beyond?"

Naturally I'll make a quick, cultural and perhaps hackneyed quip, "the dude abides" and move along, but actually that's not far off the mark. What I see as abiding is this: another breath, another moment, life itself and the notion of living it fully as being the answer to the much larger and perhaps the now more cliched question "What is the meaning of life, the universe and everything?" With all apologies to the Cohen Brothers and Douglas Adams, I will say it again: life itself. It is the thrill of the fight, the moment to moment struggle, the appreciation and even acceptance of suffering along the way -- all of it, collectively and perhaps even individually that drives all of humanity forward. It is the buggy whip driving the vehicle.

People that truly know me also know that because of my ideas I don't necessarily see things as individually distinct. All is dependent upon all, all interrelated, all so tightly bound together in the dance of life that it is difficult to see the "trees" within the "forest", and that precisely is where discrimination waltzes in for some dancers. When we use discursive and discriminating thought rather than the more flexible and fluid discernment, we force unnatural divisions upon the collective whole of "the all". We separate "the all" into divisions within our own minds, erecting artificial barriers. As some friends know I am fond of saying, "there are 6.5 billion people on this planet and that means 6.5 billion different perspectives of reality". At the same moment it is possible for me to say they are not necessarily separate nor even that different because ultimately they are all human perspectives.

I am also known for frequently expressing the idea "There is only one race on this planet and that is the HUMAN race...". But people, let me tell you this -- from the perspectives of humanity as a whole, there's no other game in town. We're stuck for better or worse and at least for the moment, being entirely and utterly human. It is neither blessing nor curse. It just IS. To filter it further down is to succumb to the baser notion of divisions and discrimination.

The fluidity of discernment allows realization that filtering it upwards is only a tool to deconstruct discursive and discriminating thoughts, revealing to us that all the subsets one can ever possibly imagine are still part of the greater whole, "the all". In Buddhism there is the classic question of "what is it that is NOT Buddha (nature)?"... I usually drop the nature part not out of discrimination but rather discernment. The discernment that perhaps it would help non-Buddhist thinkers to better understand the nature of "reality" and how closely dependent life itself is to the very existence of any said "reality". I do not speak as though Buddha is a god or a superior being to be worshiped, Buddhism is not "wired" in a way that requires belief in such a being. Buddhism is a marketplace of ideas rather than rigid beliefs. Though if your western trained mind were to insert "God" or "Jesus" in place of "Buddha" perhaps that would allow you a closer approach to understanding the idea of discerning the possible nature of reality and our place in it as human beings. "What is it that is not God?" -- if you can point to something, you are merely distracting your attention away from the only possible conclusion. A realization of the interdependence of the all, right down to the quantum and molecular level on a universal scale. Or if you prefer, as I do, the perhaps slightly more cryptic shorthand of "Life itself".

I have an idea that reality as we know it is nothing less than a shared delusion. "Reality" is a an unspoken social contract that we share with every other rational human on the planet. We all agree to certain conditions about reality. Grand ideas like the one wherein gravity keeps us firmly rooted to this planet without flying off or the idea of manifest and experiential realities like the sun always rising in the east and setting in the west. But gravity, planet, sun, east, west -- all of them, each and every one are human concepts, human words. We agree on many things as humans because it is what we mutually experience, what we see, what we live. We give them names and words so that we can conveniently communicate with each other as social animals and members of the same race, the human one.

"But what if I were to drop a bowling ball on your foot?", you may say, would I then admit that gravity isn't just a concept? Maybe. But remember that reality has many perspectives even while all remain ultimately human from our perspective as humans. For some the bowling ball may do nothing, harmlessly rolling away, for others it would cause severe pain and physical distress. Another example: fakirs in India who are able to pierce their own flesh with needles yet display neither pain nor blood. For most of us pain and blood would be the outcome, for others able to transcend that reality -- not so much. Thus the fluidity of our discernment concerning reality allows the idea that any anticipated outcome as flexible, not writ upon stone.

Venturing outside of humanity, were such a thing possible, the meaning of the words behind human concepts melt away to the point of meaninglessness. How would you communicate a human concept or explain a human created word to say someone from Alpha Centauri? Good luck with that. We may share some sort of commonality with your average Alpha Centaurian, but their perspective and their way of ideating and communicating would most assuredly be different from that of humanity as a whole. Yes, they may or may not have something that resembles what we as humans accept as the demonstrable reality of "gravity" but the way to communicate the concept would certainly be different from ours. Thus the idea that what we share as humans is a collective and agreed upon form of mass delusion for the sake of convenient conversation and mutual understanding. We are the center of our own universe unless or until proven otherwise.

Which in turn brings me arcing back around to the Neoism part -- my assigned task of "grokking" that which comes after "Hope". It is not hopelessness. That arrives BEFORE hope and hope itself can be said to be the natural outcome of hopelessness. So is all this just circular logic? Maybe so, maybe not. But it does allow me to drop, drop, drop all concepts and all words, deconstructing to the point where no concepts or words can safely abide. Once all has been said and all has been thought, nothing remains other than what should be readily apparent, a state of absolute quiescence. A calm and still mind like a cold, dark pool of water, free of the ripples caused by an externally blown wind. The internal voice of discrimination shut off by the true flexibility of discernment. It is no great insight nor no dishonesty to again repeat what has already been said -- what remains and abides is yet another breath, yet another moment -- life itself. With all that entails because frankly, as human beings or as Buddhists are fond of saying "as humans, being", we're soaking in it. Revel in another breath, another moment and in life itself by being fully engaged, fully awake and strive to keep our human tendency to amplify the suffering and the stress to a minimum by means of quiet meditation. Meanwhile, please do enjoy your stay upon this fair planet.

-Laz

Bail harder!

According to news reports, some companies can't abandon the crazysauce Glenn Beck is pusing lately on his show fast enough. Today alone he went on a rant comparing the Democratic party to Nazis and then wept when talking about his "special needs child". Another neocon using his child as a prop. Not surprising in the least and no indeed, you can't make this shit up.

Joining the list of sponsors dropping support of Beck are: Lawyers.com, Procter & Gamble, Progressive, S.C. Johnson, GEICO, Men's Wearhouse and as of today, Sargento. Unfortunately some of them may still be paying for ads on FOX in other time slots and thus why I say "bail harder!" -- anyone who continues to support FOX NEWS (parent company News Corp.) or any Rupert Murdoch owned company should be boycotted. Period. Murdoch has taken any reasoned dialog about politics totally out of the equation by subtle media manipulation or by promoting outright lies and falsehoods. He continues to do so each and every day. So it is time to send him packing. Hurt him where he'll feel it the most. Kick Murdoch and News Corp. right smack dab in his bottom line.

Companies still supporting Beck include: General Electric, Farmers Insurance, Office Depot, Nestlé (Gerber), Red Lobster, State Farm, Travelocity, the U.S. Postal Service, Walmart and Wyeth. GE? Really, GE? Are you still paying for ads on Bill O'Reily's program as he lies about you, too? How much of an idiot do you have to be to keep paying for lies? How much of an idiot do WE have to be to keep buying goods and services from these companies as they continue their support for the Murdoch media circus?

Source material for this post is from this article on Raw Story and the site spearheading the movement to shut down Beck and hopefully the rest of Fox News is ColorofChange.org -- please join this fight now before it is too late. I have an idea that most Americans may not realize we have the means to set aright many, many injustices simply by refusing to support the perpetrators of lies and misinformation -- by hitting them right square in their pocketbook or wallet. Stop the madness. Stop giving away your hard earned dollars to bigots and the supporters of bigots. NOW. TODAY. AT THIS VERY MOMENT! In the long run America will be a better place for it.

-Laz

8.11.2009

UPDATED: From 0 to Meme in 24hrs Flat...

From her lips to the mob's ears.

Sarah Palin's LIE about DEATH PANELS has spread like wildfire.


Ben Armbruster at Think Progress reports:

"People in attendance have displayed signs comparing President Obama to Hitler and one man even yelled at Dingell, saying “your healthcare plan is going to take healthcare away from my son and kill him!” When Dingell said it wouldn’t, the man repeatedly shouted “liar!”..."

Behold the power of the mighty FOX NEWS propaganda machine. It is well past time we all work together to SHUT FOX NEWS DOWN. It is time to drive Rupert Murdoch off like his own people, the Australians once did because of his pro-Republic, anti-Monarch views? Most people in Australia didn't want to be a Republic. They liked being part of the British Commonwealth and chose to stay loyal to the Queen. So be it! After all it is their country and they all voted for it. Most Canadians are pretty fond of the Queen, as well. They voted, too. So be it!

Australia passed laws that forced Murdoch to divest himself of some of his Australian media monopoly holdings. The ultimate outcome of which was for him to take the vast fortune he had amassed there and turn his attention and money elsewhere. To Europe and America. Where he now monopolizes media amassing collections of radio, television and newspaper outlets both locally and nationally. For those he does not own outright he offers his broadcasts to those willing to "plop down the dime" to pay for his allegedly popular and highly rated programming. Whichever the source, each acts like a clearing house for any and all types of outrageous and salacious lie -- pumped out loudly and repeatedly, 24/7/365, amplified through the megaphone that is FOX NEWS. Have we reached the moment where we must ask "Mr. Murdoch, have you no decency, sir?", yet?

Time to shut him down, people. Pile him into the neocon clown car with the rest of his ilk and let himself be driven off into the sunset. If you watch FOX NEWS, stop watching. If you listen to FOX Radio, stop listening. If you read FOX papers, stop reading. If you link to FOX content on the web... well you get the idea. It is well past time for all of us to shut down the hate from the far-right liars and irrationalists. By not promoting their foolishness directly we can all act to strangle the beast, to once and for all time kill his megaphone. Then perhaps the rest of us can get back to reporting on facts and hopefully practicing due diligence in journalism. Back to the what some may consider the sacred responsibility of being the 'Fourth Estate', riding shotgun for the people, looking out for ALL of our best interests . Mmmm-kay?

I have an idea that the majority of Americans are secretly moderates with progressive tendencies. We like our news, not from the radical left, nor from the radical right. We mostly like the status quo. We want it straight down the middle. Truly fair and balanced. Not the mosnter abomination of FOX NEWS "fair and balanced". Not some abberation of a slogan being used as yet another sharp and ably wielded propaganda tool by Murdoch.

As humans our progressive side should be manifest when we see some sort of injustice, any form of injustice inflicted upon our fellow beings. If that alone is not enough to motivate us all to compassionately act when we see any injustice, the TRUE injustices plural, then I say you are no longer human. You have become a monster... which takes us all right back around to Palin, and the lie Murdoch helped spread 'round the world.

*** UPDATED ***

In case I was not clear enough with the 4am thinking, the idea is to strangle FOX NEWS by not linking to their stuff, not promoting them at all or otherwise. If you absolutely MUST, watch and then please, OMFG pretty please -- boycott all their advertisers. Beck has lost at least four advertisers for his wanking off and jizzing nothing but impotent crazysauce in the last 48 hours. Seriously. These folks are nothing less than grief machines and they need all of us to switch them the fuck off. Prove they are not worthy of attention or that any attention they do recieve is negative.

The entire network is a house of cards waiting for a pokey finger of truth to topple it. WE are that finger. Extrapolate from there. Progressives are the REAL fuel behind this fire. We fully realize the lies behind their base and failed sloganeering of "fair and balanced" because in your heart you already know, no bullshit, it is a motherfucking lie. We fully realize their blurring of the lines between entertainment and news and reject both from them. FOX news is not worthy of the majority's attention. We are the shield that blunts the attack. We are the double edged sword that cuts them off from the mainstream. It's about time we awaken. We are pissed off that education has been shuffled to the back burner of American society. We are pissed off at the dumbing down of America. We are full of the righteous fury of HOPE to CHANGE America, to make it a better place for ALL of us regardless of race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation or even party affiliation and we will lead the way, rebuilding our way as we go from the wreckage left to us by insolent and asinine neocons.

That said, crooks and liars has another pertinent link. But please do, if you can, refuse to click on the video link to FOX. It's the words of the post that are the most powerful so we must not let FOX distract us from the task at hand. Their hype about being the most popular is as played out as the rest of their bullshit. Get into the clown car, Rupert. Time to move along.

*** UPDATE ***

-Laz

8.09.2009

UPDATE: Your "Dealth Panel" has a burnt fuse, dear...

(which is to say: a.) the current system of private insurers IS a DEATH PANEL, b.) It IS broken, and c.) but you (meaning people like Sarah and Newt) want us to keep shoving pennies in it so it keeps on killing people and slowly bankrupting many along the way as it continues to "function"...)

How oh how to up the "credibility" level of a "press release" in the form of a facebook post from the former governor of a state who aborted her duties to the state 2/3 of the way through her term? Why slather it in more crazysauce, au naturellment!

Bring on the assclowns! Newt is driving the tiny car (neocon) while fully wearing the big rubber nose (of lies) and big floppy shoes (of astroturfing private insurers paying for naysaying obstructionist mobs) to bring us his reliable old "sad clown" act again (gumming up a representational democratic system with asshattery) and it's a classic. Problem is, Newter, the health care system as it exists now is BROKEN. You have to face CORPORATE BUREAUCRATS standing between you and your doctor, deciding who does and does get treatment, whose decisions I (and MANY Americans) believe are largely motivated NOT by concern for human health and well-being but rather by a greed-headed corporate profit motive.

People should not have to go through the personal bullshit of having to fight and argue with these evil, profit motivated bureaucrats over what IS or ISN'T covered and whether or not it IS or ISN'T a pre-existing condition. "Buddy, LIFE IS A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION." Having to argue with the present bureaucrats we already HAVE is bad for our health. I speak from direct personal experience. America needs a public option that not only offers reasonable and affordable medical care to nearly 50 million uninsured Americans but to offers the same to all Americans who wish to choose this option instead of private insurance. We need one that puts ALL OF US back in the driver's seat of the relationship between a patient and his or her doctor. We don't just need it -- this is what the majority of American NOW DEMAND. Bonus points for making it a hassle free SINGLE PAYER SYSTEM. I hope all of you elected representatives are paying close attention right now because your very jobs depend on you doing the right thing. This is not a partisan issue. It is a quality of life in America issue.

So here's your plate of crow, Newtie. Served up to you by a doctor. Try not to choke on it, but do be assured he is duty bound to give you the Heimlich maneuver if need be.

To say that this is socialism is to deny the very "socialist" benefits our government provides all of us already. We all pay taxes for police, fire protection, road maintenance and a host of other services. People use 100% more roads than what my taxes help to pay for because of personal life choices... you'll find me driving the ol' shoebarus on the sidewalk during rush hour traffic. Do you hear me bitching about having to pay for those roads or even the sidewalks I use or the myriad other benefits we ALL share because of our mutual self interest? It's called a society. For those that may have forgotten, the culture is American. Taxes are NOT ala carte. I can't pick and choose to not help pay the $1 TRILLION spent for an unnecessary, unneeded and wrongheaded war in Iraq. I cannot "just say no" to Bush and Paulson declaring a "national banking emergency", driving forward a law on their own watch before the end of the Bush term of office and then handing over $700 BILLION worth of our taxpayer money to bankers who bet the farm on bad investments (also using our money) AND LOST. For anyone to even bitch about $100 BILLION a year over the course of ten years to help improve the health of the citizens of this entire nation is epitome of ludicrousness. So if you're going to bitch about "oh my damn taxes are too high..." you had better look to the real money furnaces burning up all our hard earned tax dollars and not something that would actually and demonstrably improve things for ALL AMERICANS.

For people like Newt and Sarah to deny a basic tenet of one of our founding documents -- "the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness..." by opposing health care reform IS TRULY "downright evil". They would have you accept the status quo. They would have you believe that CORPORATE DEATH PANELS are less objectionable than a system run openly, transparently, by public servants that can be held accountable for any deviations from offering the best available care at the lowest affordable price. They would have you choose to give up, accept things as the presently are and just lay down and die. Thanks, Sarah and Newtie! That'll save America tons of corporate expenses and overhead! Just think of all the extra private insurer money taken directly from client paid premiums that they'll be able to shovel towards CEO BONUSES and corporate CAMPAIGN DONATIONS and ASTROTURFING ASSHOLES (financed by PRIVATE INSURERS) that use organized partisan lobby groups that stir up ANGRY MOBS (of supposedly "private citizens acting alone") to obstruct and impede a reasonable dialog with our elected officials concerning health care reform. Yep, Newt and Sarah, that's a win-win! For you and your corporate overlords. You betcha.

The reality is, what Newt and Sarah suggest is "downright evil". It is anti-American. It is, as mentioned previously, in direct opposition of probably one of our most sacred rights as Americans, that of "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness..." -- something I would argue is the very foundation of America itself. Their choice of CORPORATE DEATH PANELS is killing me, which oppresses my liberty and it makes me VERY unhappy. If only either one of these shiftless hucksters, these paid astroturfing charlatans were in office! Then we could drive them out once again! We could NOT vote for them again! Oh and by the way, who died and made these assclowns the spokesmodels for actual elected representatives?

America needs real leadership to "drive the snakes out" of the system. I suggest President Obama act the role of St. Patrick in that mission, the sooner the better. But it's going to take not only passionate words and a call to action on all our parts. We Americans who know what we're doing is right for America need to get out there and support the process of health care reform and ultimately a single payer system -- not just with words, but also with compassionate action. Which is why I will be peacefully attending the town halls offered in my city during the August recess. To peacefully join the dialog and to add my opinion. NOT to obstruct and act as naysayer.

-Laz

(with thanks and a polite golf clap to my friend Allie...)

*** UPDATE ***

This video raises the exact same questions as the original post. When public servants speak we ALL should listen, regardless of their political affiliation. Chairman Stupak gives examples of how private insurance denies patients based upon procedures performed upon them that were not even threatening enough for a doctor to inform the patient himself! Minor health issues that are commonplace and yet a doctor did not feel they were threatening enough to even inform the patient other than to perhaps suggest some lifestyle changes. As doctors are prone to do.

HOWEVER, private, for-profit based and motivated insurers will use those very same miniscule details to deny YOU or Trigg treatment for an illness, laughing all the way to the bank as they collect your premiums and deny you coverage. Now who has DEATH PANELS, Meg, errr -- I meant 'Sarah'? And you like this situation, Sarah? Are you prepared to accept the judgement of a faceless actuairial telling you that the life expectancy of your Down Syndrome baby isn't likely to exceed 30 years of age because of other major health complications as they deny you coverage for him? If so, then you are indeed an idiot. Profit margins and meeting the bottom line of expectant shareholders isn't a compassionate motivator. Removing asshats from out of the equation between oneself and one's doctor is. The status quo (which is latin for "same ol' same ol'", Sarah) should NOT be an option. That is the entire reason why we ARE where we ARE right NOW! Wake up, Sarah!

*** UPDATE ***

-Laz
08/10/09 7PM

8.06.2009

For some greedheaded CEOs, stupidity is a pre-existing condition...

With thanks to all who lead me to this powerful video, including HuffPo and to my friend Karina:



The next time someone says "Americans don't want health care reform" or that it will "euthanize your parents" or that "it's socialist" or any of the other myriad excuses for callous inaction, you have my permission to pointedly look them square in the eye and calmly, with absolute assurance that you are on the right side of this issue, call them a LIAR. If it is your duly elected representative in government, no matter which party affiliation, it is not only your right it is your sacred duty to vote these scoundrels (tainted by campaign donations from the insurance industry and their lobbyists) COMPLETELY out of office. Show them that by opposing a rational plan of single payer public health care as an option available to all Americans, not just the uninsured, they are signing a death warrant on their own future political careers. Let them get a taste of what real world health care is REALLY like for a change by taking them off the taxpayer subsidized health care plan they presently enjoy and permanently remove them from office. Especially since it is highly unlikely they will ever do it themselves voluntarily.

-Laz

8.05.2009

Lies, Damn Lies and Palinbot Idiots?

Gryphen at Immoral Minority is under full assault and wingnut bombardment all because he chose to report that a reliable and confidential source informed him that the Palin's may "split up" or was it "splits-ville". No matter really. You buys your ticket, you takes your chances. However -- a blog leading the charge to stir up the base of haters is driving all sorts of vile creatures to his blog to say all sorts of unspeakable and might I add, UNFOUNDED things.

Normally I wouldn't waste precious time cruising the websites of mindless Palinistas and Palinbots, but I happened upon one site that was easy to recognize as one of the main sources driving the pitchforked masses (probably all of a dozen of them posting under different aliases in reality) to his site. I will not list it. I'm of the opinion that to pay any attention to them or drive clicks towards them only encourages further foolishness. I also don't provide a link back to their allegedly "viral" video on youtube because that also encourages their continued stupidity and copyright violation. To link to it is to encourage it on the web, so better to let it wither on the vine, as it were. Of course I'm not IN the viral video so it doesn't effect me personally but as a word of advice, do NOT post links to stupidity. The video is so wrong and SO amateurish as to be absolutely laughable. Only an uninformed non-Alaskan idiot would believe all the inferences within it, so in a nutshell, safe surfing campers. To click on wrong links is to encourage them. To post them is to encourage "viral-ness" and legitimacy. In my book they have realized neither. My bullshit filter as a progressive Republican is impenetrable. I can see bullshit from miles and miles -- perhaps even thousands of miles away. Consider the following quote from said website about how "Obama's Alaskan Bloggers" (more bullshit) are "on the run" because of their attacks:

"Of course, as always, Sarah herself put this stupidity to bed with this fantastic quote:

"Divorce Todd? Have you SEEN Todd? I may be just a renegade hockey mom, but I’m not blind!" __Sarah Palin"



This quote purports to be from Sarah herself yet let's take a look at that twitter page, shall we? There it is above. Nope. No Sarah here. So once again it is both a hoax and a lie. It is pure rabid propaganda and allows me, the discriminating surfer to ignore them just like I always do. They have nothing positive to add to any reasonable and intelligent discussion of our ex-governor and her alleged sins against the citizens of this state while in office, so why must we continue to give them any sense of importance whatsoever? They have their own reasons for supporting this "G. W. Bush with boobs neocon in training" that we Alaskans know as "Governor Quitterface" or "Governor I never met a political appointment I didn't quit for no damn good reason" or "Governor Half-measures" -- and it is time for us, as Alaskans and progressives to nip it -- NIP IT IN THE BUD by showing the rest of America just exactly how full of bullshit these idiots really are.

Sarah quit. Move along now. Nothing to see here except for holding her accountable for the two, and possibly most troublesome remaining ethics complaints. Focus, Alaskan's -- FOCUS. Soon she will be these idiots demagog and and their problem, not ours. Through our blogs, Alaskan progressive bloggers have repeatedly and consistently presented what we have come to see as Sarah's lies and half-truths, shown them the shaky and possibly forged accountability documents, proven she hasn't spent a dime to defend herself because of an existing illegal "legal defense fund" that breaks Alaskan laws and acts as slush fund (according to their own damn charter) by paying everything for her, pointed out her difficulties with FEDERAL authorities by not declaring gifts or paying taxes for same in a federally mandated timely manner, shown that the fix is in with an executive branch "independent" investigator acting on behalf of a personnel review board appointed by the governor which pretends to be investigating one of their own while they were ultimately getting their paychecks signed by Sarah as HEAD of the very same executive branch, -- hell we could have Sarah herself, under truth serum, admit to all the alleged sins and lies in person and in front of them ALL and they STILL wouldn't believe it.

Sometimes the only intellectual reasoning that works with mindless zombies is a swift whack upside their skulls with the SHOVEL OF TRUTH. It is well past time we let them all become yet another minor footnote in the annals of political and social history. Just like our quitting governor, whose only political future may be manifest as a spokes-model for FOX NEWS or as a regional fundrasier where she can travel the country, merrily bankrupting the neocon led RNC while wrecking temporary political havoc and inciting incidental, hate fueled violence along the way. That path leads to their own implosion, as they have demonstrated time and time again. As they demonstrated last fall with the losing McCain/Palin ticket.

Exibit 1 shown above reveals the true nature of their bat-shit crazy asshattery and utter, hopeless desperation. They don't need any help from us to look ridiculous. We can either continue to allow all this craziness long after Sarah has left the field of play with her bat(-shit crazy ideology and agenda) or we can trump her by taking all our BALLS and going home first. Stick to the facts, progressive Alaskan bloggers. Refuse to roll around in the mud with these pigs. In the long run, HISTORY will reveal the true winners -- Alaska and the long-suffering citizens who will finally be rid of her and her zombie followers. Meanwhile, Sarah and her minions will be found laughing all the way to the bank, as grifters, snake-oil sellers and charlatans often do, profiting from all the publicity they enjoy while they spread more and more stupidity, suffering and woe to all as they "progress". Frankly, at this point in time and when it's all over, it will have seemed a small price to pay for finally having her out of ALL our (Alaskan) lives.

-Laz

UPDATED: Why so quiet, Sarah?

Instead of ascribing her current quietness to a de facto admission of correctness over the speculation that her and Todd are possibly splitting I think it is much more likely since the Alaska Fund Trust will ultimately be ruled illegal under Alaska law, she and her family are hurting for cash flow. So she's most likely hunkered down, spilling her word salad to a ghostwriter/editor, preparing her book. A sighting in the wilds of New York city seems to confirm that...

*** UPDATE ***

Apparently she learned how to make phone calls now too instead of just "tweeting". Though this sort of reads funny... POLITICO is the right-wing Huffington Post, or at least they wished they were. But it almost sounds like the guy she talked to (Allen) wasn't buying into it because when she said "Todd's sitting right next to me.." and asked if he wanted to talk to him it never happened. The reporter from POLITICO says, "He didn't come on the line".

Strange. Why ask and say he's right next to you and either not give him the chance to talk or then have him to refuse to talk to a friendly reporter? Especially if you're trying to quash rumors about splitting up with the man? Needless to say, 'strange' is what most Alaskan's have come to expect from Sarah.

*** UPDATE ***

-Laz

8.02.2009

OMFGMcCain!

Hey John McCain! You don't like publicly funded health care then how about you introduce a bill suspending the full coverage care you and the rest of your legislative buddies get FOR FREE? Well not exactly free since we taxpaying Americans get to pay for it.

I used to like John McCain. Until he sold his soul to the neocons. What a pompous ass. I suppose if he did grow a pair and put up or shut up on his own free benefits, his biggest problem would be deciding which one of his 8 houses to send the bill. Or is it 9? Or 11 houses? Either way that's at least 8 more houses than I'll ever have a hope of owning in my lifetime.

Oh and by the way... you mean the failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which you helped to deregulate starting back in the Regan years and continued to push along the legislation with your class-war mongering buddy Phil Gramm in the first place? You mean the first wave of what caused our current recession thanks to asshats like you and Chris Dodd? That's right Dems, plenty of blame to spread around on both sides.

But seriously Senator -- WTF? Are all you D. C. Beltway idiots on LSD or something? Do you think WE ARE? What the fuck is wrong with you?

-Laz

8.01.2009

D-I-V-O-R-C-E?

This will be a short post. Well, short by my standards. I don't know anything about the Palin's allegedly divorcing or "splitting up" as published at The Immoral Minority or the Alaska Report. I have no sources nor any information related to the rumors so I have no opinion and I'm going to side with what Shannyn says at Just A Girl From Homer. I too went through a divorce and think we should just leave it alone. Whether it's true or not, it seems salacious to report, no matter the sources. At this point the less publicity for Palin, negative or otherwise, the better. It is just more wasted space and wasted time, in my opinion. I know! "What?!? Laz being serious? WTF???"...

Better to focus on finishing up any remaining ethics complaints and meteing out punishment for any violations. Or other things like the the problems with HSS and the Federal freeze on allowing new patients into the state medicare/medicaid system owing to neglect and mismanagement during the Palin administration (my friends at Access Alaska are on top of that one). Or maybe the upcoming challenges of a special legislative session. No offence meant to Gryphen or Dennis, but the way I see it, any time spent on Palin other than for real, actual events is pure progressive Alaskan blogger onanism. Look it up if you MUST. I'll wait until after you get done going "eeeew yuk" to yourself. ;)

If their sources prove correct then good on them for getting the scoop, if ultimately false they risk losing any credibility whatsoever from that point forward. It's not a risk I'm willing to take because I know nothing other than what I've read from their sites, as linked above.

However allow me to make one final point, and one that I do find most curious. It is the response from "TeamSarah" itself and the credibility of THEIR press releases and where they chose to release them. The initial denial came from Meg "The Mouth" Stapleton on facebook. Yes, facebook. Not exactly the last bation of journalistic integrity and credibility. It's a social networking site, people. So that's pretty strange. Somehow seems like she was just "whipping up the base" of already rabid Palin supporters with that move. And they ARE whipped up. From the snippets I've read on pro-Palin websites today, most of them are calling for Gryphen and Dennis' heads on plates. A followup denial story came later from The New York Post, automatically disbarred from credibility owing to the fact that it is owned by Rupert Murdoc. Yes, THAT Rupert Murdoc. The man who will lets his news outlets say virtually anything and everything whether it's true or not. Even outlandish and unprovable hate speech from the likes of dunderheads like Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reily. In both cases none of the other issues raised by Gryphen on his site are even addressed, a fact that I find interesting and as I said, curious. But that doesn't mean I automatically agree with two of my fellow Alaskan progressive bloggers and their sources. In fact, now that the cat is out of the bag, as it were, I have an idea that even if it were eventually proven to be true, the Palins now have an incentive to stick it out and stay together just out of sheer spite.

-Laz

Who doesn't love Weiner?

The congressman from New York... get your mind out of the gutter! He lays the smack down on the naysayers and obstructionists standing in the way of health care reform and gives them the opportunity to have an up or down vote on a publicly administered health care program already in place, namely Medicare and Medicaid:



The result? No one voted "Yes" to dissolve the programs. Not one "Blue Jackal" nor a single GOP member. Zero. Zilch. You know -- the guys who mostly call a new push for a public option and/or a single payer system of health care "Obamacare" and "Socialism" -- the guys who repeatedly and loudly swear on right-wing talk radio shows and wing-nut television that any new plan would be "euthanasia for old people" and by doing so scare the hell out our senior citizens. So now, since they didn't "put up", isn't it long past time for them to "shut up"?

What is left unsaid is this question -- if it indeed works so well, why not change the programs NOW, expanding them to cover all uninsured Americans?

-Laz