Coffee for the masses.

Politics

Amen.


Where ARE the Mexicans at?

https://www.dailydot.com/parsec/avengers-infinity-war-mexicans/

Ramon Ramirez writes of the new Avengers: Infinity War trailer,

“the trailer featured no shortage of swashbuckling adventurers: the talking raccoon, the green woman, three white guys named Chris, a blonde Scarlett Johansson, and even the Sony-mandated white and straight Spider-Man. But with all of those dang Avengers lined up to save Earth, I was frustrated to not see a single Hispanic person on the team.

“There are almost 58 million Latinos in the U.S., but none of them made the trailer. Was Marvel saving them for the post-credits scene?”



Who’s to blame: Marvel, or us?

 
In America, capitalism caters to whites, blacks, and everyone else that isn’t white or black. Asians and Latinos are there, sort of. If we’re lucky we get to be cast as an extra in a commercial, the best friend in a movie, perhaps. The most visible Latino in the entire Marvel Universe is the best friend from Ant-Man – quick, what was his name?
 
That’s what I thought.
 
Why is that? We all know why white people get to be the leads – white supremacist culture and all that, goes with the territory. But why do black people get more representation than other POCs?
 
My guess is simply that no other culture in the US has fought harder to assert their rights and human dignity than black people. Black people have fought the yolk of oppression for generations. After a long, bitter, bloody, hard-fought war against white supremacy that continues to this day, what they got was inclusion. They’re still more likely to be targets of police brutality, more likely to face discrimination both open and covert, more likely to be passed up for jobs and promotions, but at the very least they now get a token of respect and some representation.
 
Mexicans, on the other hand…well, you can get away with calling Mexicans rapists and in Arizona you can stop us in the middle of the street and demand to see papers – hell, Jan Brewer and Donald Trump built successful political careers out of doing that. But if you ask Latinos who our civic heroes are, I guarantee you the names that come up can be counted on one hand, and for most people, even Latinos, that list starts and ends with Cesar Chavez.
 
Here’s the thing: I get the sense that most Latinos don’t even know what Cesar Chavez is famous for. I know who he is. I think 50% of my sisters might know who he is, and I’ma keep it real, probably 25% of my cousins will know who he is. I dare not even venture to guess what percentage of Latino youth know who he is.
 
Am I wrong? I fucking hope so. Because political apathy seems to me to be the problem. I can’t even blame the parents, either; contrary to what passes for conservative thought, Mexicans are the hardest working people I know. It ain’t easy to be political when you hustle that hard and try to raise kids. I don’t work nearly as hard as my parents do, and I sure as fuck don’t know what it’s like to raise kids, so I have the luxury of being more invested in this political crap than our fathers were. But I see a LOT of Latinos my generation or younger that don’t have that excuse – to them I say, wake the fuck up, ya know. Give a damn. Because black people weren’t handed representation in film and media, they EARNED it. Maybe it’s time for us to do the same.
 
For the record, I didn’t know his name either, but the Mexican in Ant-man was “Luis” and he was played by Michael Peña.


Heather’s Revenge

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See the new Woke Giants video here.


Alt-Delete the Establishment!

Establishment Dems are now smearing progressives with the “alt-left” tag to draw a moral equivalency with bigots and fascists. Alternative lefty media has always existed as a counter to mainstream corporate media, so I don’t reject the label. In SF, the San Francisco Bay Guardian shone a light on the crony Dems FROM a leftist perspective while the establishment-friendly Chronicle kissed their ass. So yeah, I’d rather be alt-left any day. What I reject is the cynical timing of their new little talking point.

So let’s see: the alt-right wants minorities to die; the alt-left wants everyone to have health care; and the corrupt, sellout, crony capitalist establishment and their cowardly apologists take the middle road…so fewer deaths, but only for economic reasons, because racist reasons are evil. Ya gotta compromise.

Hey sellouts: if both the alt-left and alt-right represent emerging populist attitudes against establishment politicians, doesn’t that just make you alt-relevant?


We fight back.

The Charlottesville protests went from “nah we’re not racists” to “yeah, we’re all Nazis, but not killers”, to “okay, we’re killers”. Trump is a symptom of a problem that was allowed to fester for too long. Conservatives have been allowed to slip into fascism and they don’t even know it.

But what did you expect when the left embraced neoliberalism? Where was the right wing to go but even further right?

Yes, I’m also blaming fake liberals for Charlottesville.

You are the Reagan Republicans now; where did You expect conservatives to go? How were they to define themselves against you after you conceded the economic argument to them and staked a claim into their ideological territory? You pushed the conversation to the right while still keeping social issues, never realizing how the two go hand in hand. The conversation moved to the right even as the social fabric in the nation moved to the left, in favor of diversity, representation, LGBT rights, and so on.

But when the right went fascist, it wasn’t just their economic principles that went right, it was everything. The echo chamber that gave them a home (Fox News, Breitbart, Stormfront) also told them that the social movements were evil, that their heritage was under attack, that Obama was a Muslim who came to take their guns.

What did you think would happens when that radicalized right found themselves in the middle of a social order that they didn’t recognize as their own? You got Charlottesville.

That’s not to say that the left must ease up on social change – hell no! We must double down. We must get angrier, more hostile towards hate speech, bigotry, racism, and unprincipled Islamophobia (that’s the singling out of one religion as opposed to criticism of all religions).

But if we are to stop conservatives from falling off the edge, then the economic message must also shift left. The fascists will never move; they’ve chosen their side. The shift will speak to those who feel the Democrats (and in their minds, by extension the left) doesn’t care about their economic needs). The right stole populism from us; we must take it back. We must abandon these phony, corporate Democrats, let them go join the Republicans – hell, maybe as GOP they can turn conservatism around instead of dragging progressives to the right.

Time to beat these fascists back. Conservatives, now you get to decide if you’re one of them…or an American.


Hall of Presidents

 

presidentialWatch the accompanying video HERE.


WE CAN DO BETTER!

If you want to see a guy verbally jerking you off, listen to Chuck Schumer talk about his great new vision for the Democratic party. God, these people are hopeless.

HOPELESS!

And the DNC has already chosen their standard bearer for 2020. It’s not Bernie or Warren. It’s gonna be Kamala Harris. It makes perfect sense. She looks the part. She’s good branding. She’s also friendly with the machine. Kamala Harris is a corporate machine politician through and through. In San Francisco she allied herself with the Willie Brown/Gavin Newsom/Dianne Feinstein/Nancy Pelosi wing of the Democratic party. They are not true progressives. They wine and dine each other, attend all the same fundraisers, hobknob it up with power and fame; they belong to the same exclusive club – and you are not a part of it.

Bernie Sanders wouldn’t be caught dead at one of their little fundraisers with these fake ass so-called liberals. That’s why true progressives and even some conservatives respect Bernie. Many of us might not be able to articulate why we were so drawn to Bernie, but I do believe that his sincere allegiance to we the people, as opposed to they the affluent, is the reason he’s so loved. But instead of a real progressive, we’re going to get more of this corporate bullshit.

So now they’re grooming Harris to be the president, as if it’s a done deal, as if we’re just supposed to accept her as our standard bearer because they say so. I say we can do better than her. I’m pre-emptively striking against Kamala Harris – if she’s the DNC nominee, fuck it, I’ll vote Green again.

ENOUGH rewarding corporate politicians for pledging allegiance to money and power!
WE CAN DO BETTER.


Mental Gymnastics

"Mental Gymnastics"


Who deserve the gold medal?
HINT: It rhymes with “rump supporters”.
Check out this week’s video here.


F*ck Ben Carson.

povertyWatch the new video HERE.


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NOW you’re history!

history

More on this piece at The Woke Giants – click here.


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Et tu, ya brute?

"Et tu, ya brute?"

Who’s tiny hands got the daggers out for James Comey? Find out here – at The Woke Giants!


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Shame.

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Sleight of (Tiny) Hand.

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A letter from Mexicanus Chicanicus to SF Weekly

The following letter is a response to a great piece on SF Weekly talking about gentrification in the Mission District, a place I called home until rents got so ridiculous my family and I could no longer afford to live there.  This was years ago, at the ass-end of the first dot-com bubble.  Since then, a second dot-com bubble has made the situation noticeably worse for Latinos in the Mission and it shows no signs of slowing down.  Whether you benefit from this displacement or you’re a Latino family who’s had to pick up and settle into the almost uninhabitable dead zone outside of the Bay Area, you have three generations of San Francisco mayors to thank.  Willie Brown, Gavin Newsom, and now Ed Lee have worked tirelessly to turn SF into the yuppie paradise it now is.  And it’s not just the Mission: Bay View Hunter’s Point is feeling the pain, too.  Gentrification threatens to displace the African-American community that has made that area home for decades. (Muni constructed a new T line metro rail that runs all the way down Third Street; I guarantee you it’s wasn’t built for the black community.)  Pretty soon all of SF will be a playground for the affluent.  By then, who the hell is gonna want to live here?

And now, without further ado, the letter:

http://www.sfweekly.com/2013-03-06/news/the-continuing-evolution-of-24th-street/

Great article on gentrification in the Mission District.You say “evolution of 24th Street”, I say socio-economic Darwinism.As a Latino and exile of my once-beloved neighborhood, I generally sense in my people a great deal of defeatism towards gentrification that would have been unimaginable just 40 years ago at the height of the Chicano Power movement.Whatever the hell happened to us since then is beyond me, but if it’s anybody’s fault that Latinos are being shoved into the armpits of California (no offense, Stockton) it’s probably us.

But before us Latinos all stock up on Speed Stick, allow me to leave a few words of wisdom to the new (read: mostly white) residents of the Mission:

Dear hipsters and yuppies: (Is there a difference, really?  I’m not being sarcastic; we really don’t know.  We just call you yupsters for the sake of clarity.)

  • Every time you walk down our streets at night, point and snap photos in our store windows while we’re working late, and go “oooh”, and “aaaah”, and “hahaha, isn’t that funny”, it’s actually fucking obnoxious.  The Mission is not a zoo and Latinos actually resent being treated like exhibits in our own neighborhood.  (“See the endangered Chicano in its native habitat before it’s extinct!)  When the class-cleansing that started with Willie Brown has finally finished its work in San Francisco and there’s not a single one of us left, then you can open the exhibit.  Maybe breed a few of us in captivity.  Turn the place into a wax museum.  Preserve the traces we left behind so that future generations can discover who we were.  (“Look, they left paintings on the walls!”)
  • You might think we don’t understand when you make fun of us, but chances are we do.  (BTW, they’re called quinceañera dresses, they’re supposed to be big and colorful, and they’re designed for 15 year old Latinas, not a gaggle of snickering, siddidy, 30-something white girls already way past their prime.  Sorry ladies, you couldn’t rock those dresses if you tried.  If you find them overly ornate and ostentatious, why don’t you slip into something more your style, like a tasteful Scandinavian-inspired evening gown, or a bedsheet with straps?)
  • As much as we all love organic patchouli burgers, not all of us can afford to eat at upscale “foodie” joints.  Latinos for the most part find it counterproductive to impress first dates with conspicuous displays of wealth – we save that for the wedding.  Nor do we feel the need to wow her with our extensive knowledge of the esoteric world of kelp-based Sri Lankan cuisine.  You’d be surprised what we can do with pupusas and a sexy Spanish accent.  Don’t you yupsters have your fill of pretentiousness in the art scene?  Now you gotta be bougie about food?  How about just thanking God for something to eat in a city where hundreds of homeless go hungry every day?  But I’ll tell you what: you stop judging us for walking around with a Popeye’s drink, and we won’t make fun of your knit sweaters and corny old-timey mustaches.  Anymore.
  • Some things are just better left to the pros.  There’s something not quite right when November creeps upon us and the only people not actually marching at Day of the Dead are Mexicans.  It’s because we now know how black people felt when Elvis came along.  Day of the Dead is a sacred Mexican tradition, not a Halloween after-party.  Those of us who observe Day of the Dead have a connection rooted in hundreds of years of Aztec and Mexican culture that gives us the right to honor our ancestors in this way.  The only connection yupsters have to Day of the Dead is a pasty, almost skeletal complexion.
  • You can have Cinco de Mayo, though.  It’s BEEN played out for a minute now and really, it’s all about the booze anyway.

Truth is, whatever armpit we Latinos end up shoved into, we’ll always bring the Mission with us.  By the time we’ve all made the move to the unholy perimeter around the Bay Area, we will have brought with us drink, tacos, music, dance, murals, horchata, bachata, chancletas, women, men, rolling r’s, poetry, culture, and cholos.  In short, we will infuse LIFE into those barren wastelands of 100 degree summers and meth.  We turn armpits into cleavage!  Pretty soon the Mission will be the new armpit of San Francisco and yupsters will once again be on the prowl for a new trendy area to gentrify.  But as much as you yupsters won’t be able to resist telling all your friends about the scene in Watsonville and decide you want to “slum it up” for the weekend, please, this time do us all favor and stay home.  Don’t come running to our new hood when you’ve turned yours into Whitebreadistan and it’s no longer cool anymore.  Latinos know all about what happens to our neighborhoods when they become “hip”, and we hate packing.

– Ed  (Mexicanus Chicanicus)


The State of Arizona catches another L.

Time to bash illegal immigrants again – and just in time to distract the teeming masses from the crackdown on Wall Street!  I’m sure that’s just a coincidence, by the way…

But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that lawmakers in this country would literally pass a law so blatantly fascist.  SB1070, the new law signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer, is a 1940s Germany throwback, a law that actually makes it legal for a cop to ask you for papers if you “look” like an illegal immigrant.  Never did I imagine that many people would support such a law.  But in a country whose people approved the use of waterboarding and torture, it really should not have surprised me.  But it did.  Now I know for a fact that despite our Constitution and reputation as a freedom-loving nation, as long as we have half a population that can find the gall to defend the indefensible, then it is entirely possible for us to fall into the grips of blank-faced fascism – if we haven’t already.  I thought it was that people were just ignorant and misinformed.  But perhaps once something like this happens, they simply accept it and find a way to live with it, make excuses for it, or defend it entirely.  If you’re a conservative in America (my apologies to William Buckley, who would have been appalled by such a vicious law), you and your kind defend this law, despite the fact that it clearly violates the 14th amendment of the Constitution.  After all, you defended the Patriot Act.

Why is it always the same old Gran Torino ass lames that constantly ride our nuts?  They love to talk about how illegal immigrants are “breaking our laws”.  Notice the lack of a MORAL argument. That’s because there is no morality in deporting hard workers whose only crime it was to ignore some stupid rules so that they could FEED their fucking families. The laws being broken here amount to JAYWALKING when compared to the laws being broken by Wall Street – where’s your righteous anger now, dipshits?  All this talk about “breaking our laws” is little more than a euphemistic veil to hide their racism.

Need more proof?  Rachel Maddow unveils the roots of this immigration law.

Yeah…no racism there.  And Tea-Baggers aren’t racist either.  Right.

I mentioned somewhere in the title of this post that Arizona caught an “L”.  In modern lingo, that means they’ve earned “Loser” status.   If Governor Jan Brewer does not repeal this law, they can expect to catch more losses than they bargained for.  I support a full scale boycott on goods made in Arizona until this law is overturned.  Let’s boycott the shit out of them.

Here’s a partial list of companies that reside in Arizona:

2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Location: Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ

Apollo Group (University of Phoenix), Headquarters: Phoenix, Arizona

Arizona Diamondbacks, Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Best Western International, Inc., Headquarters: Phoenix, Arizona

Cold Stone Creamery, Headquarters: Scottsdale, Arizona

CSK Auto (Checker Auto Parts, Schucks Auto Supply, Kragen Auto Parts, Murray’s Discount Auto Stores), Headquarters: Phoenix, Arizona

Dial Corporation, Headquarters: Scottsdale, Arizona

Discount Tire Company (America’s Tire Company), Headquarters: Scottsdale, Arizona

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, Headquarters: Scottsdale, Arizona

Go Daddy, Headquarters: Scottsdale, Arizona

Grand Canyon

Mesa Air Group (Mesa Airlines, Go!, Freedom Airlines), Headquarters: Phoenix, Arizona

P. F. Chang’s China Bistro, Headquarters: Phoenix, Arizona

PetSmart, Headquarters: Phoenix, Arizona

Sky Mall, Headquarters: Phoenix, Arizona

Taser International, Headquarters: Scottsdale, Arizona

U-Haul, Headquarters: Phoenix, Arizona

US Airways, Headquarters: Tempe, Arizona


Texas: We should have let Mexico keep it.

Ultra-conservative wing-nuts on the Texas Board of Education have decided to rewrite the nation’s textbooks.  I hate to be a doomsayer, but we are so utterly fucked.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/education/13texas.html

These are some of the actual changes to be made to the books:

  • Creationism will be included alongside evolution as a legitimate scientific theory.  This one alone is enough to make me weep for the future.  But wait…there’s more.
  • Thomas Jefferson will be a footnote in our history, his punishment for having coined the phrase “separation of church and state”.  The man who will take his place?  John Calvin.  I shit you not.
  • All instances of the word “capitalism” will actually be erased because it has “negative connotations” in its place will be the word “free enterprise”.  I’m guessing this wasn’t the idea of anybody on the Texas school board; it’s too sophisticated for them.  I bet $100 that this was the idea of some douche-bag at the Heritage Foundation or the AEI.

They’ve finally gone and done what I had most feared they would.  I always feared that this was our weak spot, that by going in and rewriting the history of the world, we have finally destroyed any chance of getting this nation back on track. Everyone knows you can’t fool an educated populace.  So what do these shitbags do?  They set out to make ALL of America’s children as ignorant as they are in Texas.  I only wonder what force of nature kept them from having done it sooner.   Mark my words, people – that Texas vote marks a new low in American history.  You probably won’t read about it in the future, so better memorize that shit.

People, if you have kids, now is the time to seriously consider home-schooling. In fact, it would probably be better for our nation if our kids skipped school entirely from now on; they’d be smarter for it.

Thanks a lot, assholes.


Diesel Ad Campaign: “Smart listens to the head. Stupid listens to the heart – Be stupid.”

Uh huh.

The reason we’re mired in debt up to our ass, our kids are intellectually lagging behind China and India’s kids, and we’re more concerned about keeping up with the big booty bitches, is because hardly anybody listens to their head anymore.  In fact for most people the head is on life support right now, atrophied by years of neglect.  We’d all much rather talk about the douche-bags on Jersey Shore than keep an eye on what Congress is doing to fuck up the health care bill.  But then again, isn’t Diesel one of those douche-bag brands anyway?  Almost as bad as that Ed Hardy shit.w

And I’m going to be honest – Obama got some of you by the heart.  That’s the God-honest truth, and it’s a fucking shame.  Those who considered him the Messiah now realize that he can’t fix everything that is wrong with our country.  His administration is in dire need of a swift collective kick to the nuts.   For those of us who voted with our head, we saw it coming.  We just didn’t think he’d be THIS ineffective.

Listening to Glenn Beck saying that social justice is a bad thing, is to listen to the heart and give in to its worst instincts.  Check this out:

God I hate that man.  I hate him because he knows just what to do to turn people into the worst they can possibly be.  Hell, I don’t even have to agree with him to be a worse person just for listening to him; see the reaction he’s getting out of me?

So you have it, that values that were once universally applauded (such as social justice) and those that have been rightfully scorned ( stupidity) are now switching places.   All it takes is somebody with enough gall, someone with virtually no conscience to speak of, to stand up and say something like “social justice is bad”.  The obvious implication is that all you need is somebody equally vile to start speaking in favor of INjustice.

Enter Ayn Rand.

There is Ayn Rand’s way of looking at the world: cold, uncaring, and real.  Ostensibly, Ayn Rand’s entire philosophy of objectivism is about thinking with the head, and not the heart.  I too, believe in trying to look at things objectively (believe it or not.  I think that we’re so far to the right in this country that we NEED a bit of populist socialism just to move it to the true center).   Ultimately, I believe her books are nothing more than apologetics for egotism and selfishness.  I don’t see how looking at the world through clear lenses equates to being a dick.

OK, so perhaps it does come down to a happy medium between smarts and stupid.  I’m just saying though…let’s step the smarts game up, people.


The 50th Law: a Book Review

Today it’s 6:30 in the morning, west coast time, and I’ve been back from the hospital for a little over 1 hour.  My father had his rosary and was reciting Hail Marys; my inconsolable mother waited anxiously for good news from the doctors; my 36 year old uncle sat shell-shocked, no doubt wondering if this was the day he would lose his father, so soon after having lost his mother, too.  I had a copy of The 50th Law in my pocket when I went into the waiting room and I sat there reading it for hours on end.  I’ve already read this book cover to cover twice; I think it will take a while before I can internalize the very valuable lessons in this book.  I could certainly use them now; particularly chapter 10…

In high school, I made an appointment to see a counselor.  Sensing a profound lack of self-esteem in me, she forced me to write down a list of 5 positive things about myself.  I struggled for 5 minutes thinking of a single answer.  It’s not that I was being modest, or even that I didn’t know.  I knew I had one positive trait, but it’s one that I didn’t want to admit.  I didn’t want to admit that the only good thing I had going for me was my intelligence.  I didn’t want to be a nerd, and all that it implied.

Fear has been my biggest obstacle ever since I can remember.  For me it was the fear of failure.  Not the everyday “I might fall on my face and look like a fool” fear.  I’m talking complete and utter failure as a human being.  Because of an inability to relate to kids my own age, I never developed the kind of social awareness that even the least popular kids seemed to possess.  On the home front I was pressured into getting good grades and not even think about socializing – school was for learning, not for friends.  Because of my lack of social skills growing up I just knew – as a kid – that I would somehow end up homeless and alone.  I just KNEW it.  As a KID.  From that I developed an intense fear of growing up that only stunted my social progress further and made me suffer the lasting consequences to this day.  I scored excellent grades in elementary school but by the time high school came around I hovered in the mid 2.0s.  Suddenly I didn’t even consider myself smart – I was a socially awkward nerd, only without the perks of being smart enough to fund a high-tech start-up that would at least make me insanely rich.

Sure enough, I developed a pattern of fatalistic thinking that still plagues me to this day.  The thing about fearful and negative thinking is the way in which it reinforces itself; little did I know then that I had the power to shape my own reality all along and that I had instead been using that power to sabotage my own success.  The 50th Law confronts the fear that hold us back. It is applied psychology for the fearful mind, disguised as self-help, only it never condescends or treats you with kid gloves.  It has profoundly affected the way I look at my own life.  I was surprised to learn the many ways in which fear manifests itself – I didn’t know I could fear being bored!  But when Robert Greene breaks it down, it makes perfect sense. I now know that the yellow lens of fear is and has always been the most paralyzing force in my life and sadly, in the lives of countless others. This is the book I wish I got for my high school graduation.  Maybe earlier.

Don’t let the fact that 50 Cent gets top billing on the cover fool you into believing that this book was written by some illiterate hoodlum with shiny teeth.  You would be grossly underestimating 50 Cent, a mistake that countless others have made in the past, to their own detriment – just ask Ja Rule.  If you don’t know who Ja Rule is, that’s exactly the point.  The book uses the story of 50 Cent – née Curtis Jackson – to illustrate the lessons in each chapter of the book.  They are lessons that Fiddy had to learn the hard way as a hustler on the street, the tools and tactics he used to make it out alive and rise to the top of the music industry and beyond.  Just like fear manifests itself in many ways, so too does fearlessness.  It manifests itself in 50’s business savvy, his leadership qualities, and even his ability to stage beefs.  In many ways 50 Cent is the idea of “Makaveli” taken to its logical philosophical conclusion – not the passion-driven, at times hedonistic, thug poet embodied by Tupac Shakur, but rather the shrewd, cold and calculating mastermind like the man who inspired him – Niccolo Machiavelli.  If he hadn’t been murdered, Tupac might have become 50 Cent.  Or maybe he always was.

But this isn’t really 50’s book.  This is a Robert Greene book all the way, from the anecdotal stories of historical figures and power players past and present such as 50 Cent, to the neat authoritative analysis of the lessons derived from each story.  With the 50th Law, Greene has identified the key human characteristic on which his other books depend on for their success – the 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, and The 33 Strategies of War – and that element is fearlessness.  The 50th Law is not a companion to these books; it is the spinal cord, the very essence of all his works to date.  For without fearlessness, you can never really apply the laws of power, seduce the fair maiden, or confront your enemies.

This book may challenge deeply held views for many.  For me it was Chapter 5, which raises questions about morality and “reaping the wages of humility”. Jesus’ idea of humility on Earth in exchange for inheriting the kingdom of Heaven always felt right to me, a righteous fulfillment of karma.  I’m not even a religious church-goer, but I always gave Jesus credit for his un-worldly wisdom; Robert Greene’s books, on the other hand, are decidedly “worldly” (Ironic how even the book is designed to look like a Bible, from the leathery cover down to the last gold-trimmed page). I’ve tried to mesh the two world views into a new paradigm that I could feel comfortable with, but I just can’t do it.  Greene’s books at times promote the use of “badness” for our own ends is the antithesis of everything Jesus talked about.  Greene argues that all of us – especially the moralizers – have flexible morals anyway.  Jesus never said we were going to be perfect, but weren’t we at least supposed to TRY?  After 8 years of Bush/Cheney in the White House, certainly the last thing I want to do is embrace the kind of selfish ideals that led to the suffering of others halfway around the world.  I read language like, “push people out of position to get our way” and I think, “what ever happened to ‘turn the other cheek?” I read words like “taking on those who stand against your interests” and remember Condi Rice talking about “protecting our interests in Iraq”; I always knew that was code for “slaughtering civilians for oil and military contracts”.  But Greene preempts my bleeding heart liberal response by making examples of FDR and Abraham Lincoln; one lifted the US out of the Great Depression by crushing his political foes and the other ended slavery and maintained the Union by baiting the Southerners into a fight.  I was even surprised to learn that Machiavelli, raised a Christian, went through the exact same thing!  So maybe the ends can justify the means.  Sometimes.

Perhaps my beliefs are based on a lack of self-esteem, but I’d hate to believe that humility and peace are nothing more than a reflection of fear.  And yet, I can’t deny that much of what has held me back in life has been fear.  I know because I’ve been able to see the same qualities it in so many others ever since reading this book.  I see it in my grandfather, who just suffered a heart attack brought on by years of alcohol abuse.  My grandfather lived with the spectre of fear for most of his life.  A deeply sensitive man raised on the streets of Mexico in dire poverty, he turned to many vices to drown the pain, not the least of which was alcohol, which have brought him no shortage of self-pity, regret, and poor health in his old age.  He could have used this book more than anybody I know.  Well, almost anybody; his son, my uncle, suffers from a potent lack of self-worth, no doubt caused by not having had a positive father figure he could look up to.  I only wish they had learned to conquer their fears when they were coming of age. I hope I can still conquer mine.


Olbermann’s Powerful Appeal for Health Care Reform

A special episode long comment.  No need for words;  just watch the clips.


Alan Grayson: My New BFF

My man. He said something that I’ve been dying to hear from a Democrat since…forever.

And what’s more – he did not back away.

He’s talking about the truth.  He said “truth is an absolute defense”.

Thank God for Alan Grayson, for he is my voice in Congress.  He may represent Florida, but that’s the guy who speaks for me as an American.


Olbermann ≠ O’Reilly

Some people say that the most vile attacks on Obama are racially motivated and that latent racism is perhaps the real motivating issue behind the protests; others say that Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim, attended an Indonesian madrassa, and is both a communist and a fascist.

Some people say that evolution is a fact; others say not only that evolution is just a theory, they also think that Intelligent Design is an acceptable alternative.

The first statement was a matter of opinion; it really is possible that Obama is the victim of racist attacks, but it is not possible for Obama to have been born in Kenya.  I only put them together because when some people point out the stupidity inherent in believing that Obama is a Muslim, they retort “well, you believe all protesters are racist” – as if that puts me on equal footing with you.  It is not the same to make a valid opinion (racist motivation) and to be flat out wrong (it is known for a fact that Obama was not born in Kenya).

The second statement compare two ideas; one is science, the other is not.  One is fact, the other one is belief.  And just to make it perfectly clear, evolution is a fact. To contradict fact is to be wrong.

Notice how I didn’t bother putting a label on the people who say these things.  That’s because it should be fairly obvious to you who I’m talking about, but if I said “conservatives say this”, one tends to think that I mean to say “all conservatives”.  I figured that people are having a lot of difficulty understanding that distinction lately.  I also did it because I wanted to demonstrate these contrasting ideas without all the ideological baggage attached, if only for a split second.  Sometimes, there really aren’t two sides to a story.  Sometimes, it really just boils down to truth vs. stupid.  Reality is not up for interpretation.  When both arguments are given equal time and weight before the media, we have what is known as false equivalence.  It’s a form of political correctness that tries to find a middle ground between competing ideas by saying that one side is just as crazy as the other, or one argument is just as valid as the other.   It’s putting appearances before truth is what it is.  It’s cowardice.

I remember a review that Roger Ebert wrote a few years ago for the film “Team America: World Police”, in which he calls out Trey Parker and Matt Stone for treating “both sides” as if they were two sides of the same coin. Ebert said then that the problems were too great for somebody to refuse to stand for principle; now, the problems are even greater.

Let us not pretend that the nuts on the left are the same as the nuts on the right – when Bush and Cheney eviscerated the Bill of Rights and subverted the Constitution at ever turn, they acted far more Hitler-ish than anything Obama has EVER done.  When the Supreme Court handed Bush the election, that was an undemocratic subversion of the will of the people and the right to have every vote counted; do you mean to tell me that the left accusing Bush of stealing the election is the same as the right accusing Obama of being a Kenyan-born Muslim – despite the FACT that he isn’t?

When Keith Olbermann rails against an enemy, at the very least he is backed up by FACTS – that is not something you could always say about Bill O’Reilly and it something you could NEVER say about Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh.  Olbermann and O’Reilly are NOT simply batting for their own teams; they’re not even playing the same sport.

Which brings me to the difference between Keith Olbermann and Bill O’Reilly.  There’s a reason Stephen Colbert prefers “truthiness” to facts.  It’s because one of these two prefers “truthiness” to facts.  People often compare one to the other on the grounds that they are both talking heads and on different sides of the ideological divide.  But the facts are what sets them apart – one of them bases his strongly worded opinions on fact while the other basically lies.  What sucks is that I can’t prove any of it to you if you don’t believe in facts.  You’ll just have to look at their track records – why not start with O’Reilly?  15 minutes on Media Matters or FAIR.org should give you an idea of who’s shooting straight.

I believe that while not all liberals and progressives argue from facts, most of them do.  I wish there were a way to measure this.  There already do exist organizations that measure accuracy in reporting – the aforementioned Media Matters and FAIR.org – and they always seem to go after Fox News.  It’s not that their biased.  It’s just that, as Stephen Colbert once said, because reality has a decidedly liberal bias.   I agree with facts and valid opinions; over the years, I have come to the conclusion that it is the reason I call myself a progressive.


Defending the Corporate Option: Cynicism at its Lowest

The defense I’ve heard that most baffles my mind is that insurance companies can’t compete with a public option – as if now we’re supposed to give a shit about insurance companies!  When was the last time they gave a shit about us?!  Do you have any idea how much the CEO of United Health makes?  Did you know William McGuire’s exit compensation from UnitedHealth hovered somewhere in the area of $1billion, making it largest golden parachute in the history of corporate America?  And you paid for that.  You people who leap in to defend these corporate douchebags – you paid for that, you fucking idiots.  How did poor and middle class people warm up to the idea of wanting private insurance?  How could anyone actually want a corporate middle-man involved in medical issues that are already expensive to begin with?  At least with a public option, you wouldn’t pay an atrocious premium.  I bet that most of the people protesting the public option were not too crazy about the fact that they had to pay an insurance company outrageous dues every month, just on principle alone.  That is, before Rush Limbaugh opened his big fat stupid snout.  See, now they LOVE United Health!  Now the LOVE Aetna!   If all it took for you to take up the fight against your own self-interest were the words of professional spin doctors and propaganda paid for by corporate insurance execs, well, then you’re a weak-minded stooge. A simpleton, a patsy.  You’re a chump.

By the way, what else would you people defend if the opportunity arose?  Would you defend unemployment?  If Obama tomorrow decided that he wanted to give every poverty-class citizen in the South jobs related to building some massive public project – perhaps solar panels for everybody! – would you be against it?  On some “I dun WAN’  da Gubmint to gimme me a job, that’s COMMIE SOCIALISM!”, type shit.  As soon as Glenn Beck weighs in with his retarded-ass opinion, will the response from you mindless sheep sound more like, “I AM A FREE AMERICAN, YOU CAN’T FORCE ME TO WORK IN YOUR CONCENTRATION DEATH CAMPS, YOU NAZI COMMUNIST!!!”

All this talk about death camps, Nazis, and death panels is ignorant bullshit.  When my grandmother died, we were the death panel.  You see, doctors didn’t decide that she should no longer be artificially kept alive.  We did.   We decided it was better to let her die naturally than to prolong her suffering through artificial means.  You see, the public option has nothing to do with death panels.  That term was a cynical term coined by Sarah Palin to discredit the idea of a public option.  She had an ideological bend she had to defend, a party to rebuild, and corporate donors who needed their backs scratched.  I also have an ideological bend, although mine skews away from capitalist excess – the idea that the bottom line trumps life.  I believe decisions about life and death should be made by doctors and family, not any corporate or government entity.  My ideological bend also extends towards an adherence to the facts – and the fact is that the public option has nothing to do with what you or your doctors talk about.  It simply does not.  But if you so angry about that perceived intrusion, where is your anger towards a corporation that would deny you treatment for leukemia because you’re too expensive?  I say to you, your insurance companies already have death panels! They decide based on the bottom line whether you live or die, and they do it every day, to pay for their bloated salaries!  How fucking cynical, that the corporate opponents of health reform were able to project their sins unto the government.  How stupid of you, those of you within the American public, who believe them.


Fuck you, Joe Wilson.

Olbermann steps to the plate to deliver to Joe Wilson what the asshole had coming to him.  I for one won’t forget it was South Carolina who gave us this imbecile Wilson.  I may be wrong – but I doubt it – in saying that nobody has ever heckled a United Stated president during a joint session of Congress.  Nobody, that is, until the first black president stepped into office…

To paraphrase Bill Maher, not all conservatives are powerfully stupid.  But if you’re powerfully stupid in America, you’re probably a conservative.


Things I Wish The President Would Say

A few items making the rounds out in the conservative market of ideas – a market currently undergoing a Great Depression – followed by an eloquent rebuttal in The President’s own words.

Obama plans to indoctrinate your children. Why? Because Michelle Malkin’s crazy ass said so, that’s why.

And just like I thought it would happen, these fucking idiots pulled their kids out of school. I’m not even going to use this space to try to argue why it isn’t true; again, stupid people can not be convinced by argument alone. The truth should be self-evident, this shouldn’t even be a fucking issue. I feel as if it’s an insult to my intelligence and yours to try to convince people that Obama is not trying to brainwash your kids, yet I know that if people don’t debunk this kind of shit it just grows like a mold. A mold of backward country bumpkin bullshit and retarded ass redneck fucktards. I think I’m just gonna let the President speak his mind.

Things I Wish Barack Obama would Say, #112

Things I Wish The President would Say, #132

“Mural at Rockefeller center is both Communist and Fascist Propaganda”, and other Crazy Conspiracy Mindfucks.

As an arts major I rolled over and laughed my face off when I watch Glenn Beck school his audience on the fine arts.  His woeful ignorance on the subject was too much for me to bear.  But the part of me that goes nuts every time someone says something that’s just a shade of meaning off made me slap myself when I finished seeing this clip and I realized he had just tried to put progressives, Communists, AND fascism in the same category.

I hesitate in dropping facts, because any facts I state will only be preaching to the converted and those who should know won’t benefit from reading them because facts don’t work on stupid people.  But I’m going for it anyway – communism is just about diametrically opposed to fascism as you can get.  It’s like black and white, night and day, yin and yang.   In short, they have nothing to do with the other.   Here’s a hint: read up on how much Stalin and Mussolini hated each other.

Things I Wish The President would Say, #214

Things I Wish The President would Say, #214

‘Van Jones is a threat to America’, or whatever the fuck Glenn Beck is pulling out of his ass this time.

Another career destroyed over bullshit. Democrats bend over and take it in the ass yet again. Van Jones gets ambushed, nobody steps up to the plate to defend him. So I will. Jones was a member of Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM), a group organized to protest police brutality. And I support that shit 100%. He signed a “truther” petition back in 04. I too, thought it legitimate that Bush may have had a role in 9/11 to further corporate interests. I realized eventually that he didn’t have to plan for 9/11; he merely had to ignore the warnings. This is not controversial. And more to the point, it was irrelevant to what should have been the discussion at hand, which was the fact that Jones was easily the most qualified man for the job of “green czar”. But let a nutjob like Glenn Beck on the loose and you’re gonna have an assload of Obama officials getting called out. For fuck sake, he called out the GE buulding.  This McCarthyist son of a bitch has no sanity, let alone decency. For his part, Van Jones acted admirably by stepping aside so he wouldn’t distract from the larger fight ahead.  It’s the Democratic party that has once again let the country down.

Jones was also quoted as calling Republicans “assholes”.   Nothing I’d disagree with. But check out the entire quote:

“And Barack Obama is not an asshole. So, now, I will say this: I can be an asshole, and some of us who are not Barack Hussein Obama, are going to have to start getting a little bit uppity.”

I could not agree with him more.  We’re gonna have to make a lot of noise.  But I don’t think Obama should be exempt from the fight. Hey, I think he has something to say after all…

Things I Wish The President would Say, #512

Things I Wish The President would Say, #512

Oh, and Obama has something to say to you “deathers”…

Things I Wish Barack Obama would Say #121

Things I Wish The President would Say, #421