What I want you to know. Which is everything.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

"He's Not Kinky..."

I voted today. I voted for Kinky for Governor. Maybe you're asking why. I'm pretty much a Democrat, for all intents and purposes, and sure, sometimes Friedman seems disingenuous and completely under qualified.

At first I'd decided that I was going to vote for him because of his bumper stickers. Mostly, they were humorous, but they had a major point. "Why the hell not?" Really! Why the hell not? Think about it. If you know anything about me I don't have to tell you why I'm not going to vote for Rick Perry. Chris Bell, the Democrat, seems qualified to be a decent governor, a solid democrat who could also appeal to the more conservative side of Texas by not being too far left. In other words, a centrist. However, the more I got to thinking about it, did I just want to vote for the guy because of him being the "lesser of two evils." Not that I think Bell would be a terrible choice, but he's basically a pretty run of the mill Democrat and with all of the disorganization that has plagued the party since the Clinton Administration, did I really want to support more of the same? Plus, from what I've gathered, no one is that thrilled with Perry, including Republicans in the state, but they consider him the "lesser..." Bell's chances of winning the Miss Bangkok Pageant are looking like more of a possibility than him winning the Texas Governorship.

Carol Keeton Strayhorn has my utter respect. She is a true conservative in a culture of this Neo-con bullcrap that I truly believe cares deeply about education and the betterment of the state. Her views are much more rightwing than mine, but I respect her courage and knowledge. At the end of the day, though, she doesn't have a real chance of winning. Most people won't really see her for what she is and will only see her as a typical upstart independent with lofty goals and little reality.

Part of Kinky's appeal is that, at least at first, he didn't really think that he could win, either. Probably. I'm only guessing. As a former shock-country personality he most likely saw himself as, if nothing else, a wake up call to the state. Someone to bring about a change in ideology, even if he didn't actually win. People need an option other than the big two, or in Texas, the big one and it's little brother. Kinky is that option. Maybe he's not as qualified, knowledgeable or informed. I think that he knows that and has not made any attempt to hide it. Of all of the candidates he, in my opinion, is the most likely to listen. Not just to those who think like him or in opposition to a rival, but to everyone, regardless of political affiliation or ideology. He's incredibly open-minded, which I love, and he's brazen, blunt, and has no allegiances, except to the state of Texas. This is something we only see in politicians with nothing to lose. We see it in presidents in their final term to an extent, but especially in retired politicians. I never liked any ex-presidential candidate as much as I did Bob Dole. I never would have voted for him, but as a personality in the public eye, he is likeable, lovable, blunt and relaxed. Both Bill Clinton and Al Gore speak their mind without fear of political retribution. It's refreshing and I wish it were something we heard from more politicians IN office. But they can't be frank for fear of losing a demographic. Friedman is frank. He is blunt and--not always right, or rather, in agreement with myself--but I respect that. That's the kind of leader that I can live with. Scratch that. That's the kind of leader that I crave.

To top it all off (and here's the real kicker) I think he might actually have a shot at winning. Call me crazy, I think he's got a shot. No, seriously. If you take all of the normally Democratic voters who are straying from the party, who are many, then add in the fed up members of the Republican party who feel completely betrayed by their party and you've got enough voters to give Perry a decent run. Then if you take all of the disinfranchised voters who don't feel like any party is there to serve them and typically vote independently and all of the people who are just "fed up with the system," and I think we've got ourselves a good ole' fashion contender.

Rock on, Kinky!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Liberals Love Their Talk Radio

I don't know why I do it. It happens whenever I'm riding in my car and NPR is playing classical music instead of news, the local college radio station is playing their wierdest mix of monotonous, noisy, cat-wailing and white noise, and the corporate music station...well, the Clear Channels of the world continuously suck without fail. I've given up on them almost entirely. When I can't find anything else worth listening to on the radio, which is most of the time, I can usually count on A.M. talk radio to keep my interest. I should go ahead and listen to the classical music, but if I'm trying not to fall asleep at the wheel classical isn't my best option. Talk radio is sometime about all I can handle. Plus, I think there is a tiny streak of masacism in me somewhere that allows me to actually enjoy the Rushes and Hannitys of the world. Luckily for me, Jim Rome takes care of my lunch hour so I'm much less likely to turn it to the Limbaugh Liberal Bashing Hour. If you've never heard Jim Rome, he's a lot like political radio talk show host except his subject is sports, so if you're getting offended you are taking subject way to seriously. Plus, he make remarks like like this: "Want a Sling-Box (a prize he gives away to callers who make comments that he agrees with)? I'm giving Sling-Boxes away left and right, today. I'm easy, today. Today, I'm the Paris Hilton of Sling-Boxes!" That one made me laugh for a long time.

But, other times there is no respite of quality journalism, as heard on NPR, or humorous and inconsequential off-colored humor, as heard from Rome. Sometimes the only non-musical radio I can get is the ultra-conservative mudslingers that pepper the A.M. dial. Houston doesn't have the luxery of having Air America, and so I find myself yelling at the radio words that are typically reserved for 90 year old geriatrics stopped on the entrance ramp of the freeway.

So, why do I do it? Why do I listen to people with whom I know that I'm going to disagree? Nay, not just disagree, but vehemently refute, 100%? Why put myself through that. I think that there are a number of reasons. It starts with the realization that I don't think I would listen to Air America as much even if it were available. Furthermore, I think that it also goes along with why liberal talk radio doesn't do as well as conservative talk radio.

Okay, I'm about to make a blanket generalization that is only based in honest observation and how I personally feel and by ideological trends. I think, therefore that it is a generalization, but a fair one.

Conservatives want to hear people telling them that they are right while liberals like to be challenged and confrontational. Thus, conservative talk radio is listened to by both liberals and conservatives alike, because it gives everyone their "fix."

Here is how I came about this: First of all, Liberal talk radio isn't nearly as popular. NPR is what conservatives consider "liberal" which really isn't at all, as far as what is covered. Sure, it's supported by public funds in some part, which is considered a "liberal" ideal, and even if there were some liberal slant (which if that is true, carries a quite logical explanation)there is no one on NPR talking how the conservatives are ruining America, like you will hear on conservative talk shows. There is no corolation between the two since they are completely different forms of radio.

Liberals get bored hearing people who are just saying things that they agree with. I can only speak from speculation and how I personally feel, but if I'm talking to someone and there is no disagreement the conversation isn't going to last very long. If you are agreeing about a shared complaint, then all you are doing is complaining about something and reinforcing the same viewpoint. No one's is seeing things from the other side of things, which I believe is really important.

Another reason for my belief is that, as Michael Savage/Sean Hannity/etc. say, "Liberals blame America first." As a liberal I totally agree with that. Of course, to me it make total sense to blame America first, because that is the responsible thing. We try to teach our students to worry about themselves before placing the blame somewhere else. In the same way I think that it's important to look inward before bombing another country. This is why I am much more likely to see what the U.S. has done to fuel anti-Americanism than just cast off those attitudes as jealousy, or hating freedom. That way too easy and isn't going to solve any problems. I think that it is liberals' willingness and desire to look inward that decreases our desire to listen to a talking head just spouting off ideas with which we already agree. That's why our most popular liberal spokespeople are actors and comedians. If you're going to talk to us about stuff we already believe, you'd better entertain us in the process or we're going to get bored and go yell at our radio.

Maybe I'm speaking more from the point of view of a ADD kid than a liberal, but that's just an observation I had last night as I was listening to Michael "Makes Rush Limbaugh Seem Like Al Franken" Savage.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Republicans Are Mean, but Democrats are Stupid

Today I saw this picture of Collin Powell holding up the infamous vile of anthrax from his U.N. Speech 3.5 years ago. The caption said that he considered this his lowest point and that he regrets acting on behalf of the Bush Administration.

I like people who admit they are wrong. I like it when people ask for forgiveness and are contrite. People who have the ability to humble themselves really get on my good side, quick. This is why I have such a problem with Bush. He's never came out and said, "I'm sorry." I'll bet the Republicans could clear this whole mess up that they're in if they would just come out and say, "Hey, guys. Listen. We screwed up. We screwed up on everything. Iraq, the economy, Hurricane Katrina, and we take full responsibility. A good half of the Republicans in office are corrupt and only work in the interest of big oil and big buisiness, and we have done a really bad job of serving everyone below the upper tax bracket. We're sorry. We're going to try better, from now on." If they did this the Democrats wouldn't have a chance because I think most people want to like the Republicans. Afterall, the gays and terrorists and aethists are Democrats!

All I'm Saying

All I'm saying is that we, as western, capitalist, selfish, wealthy Americans have our priorities completely skewed. What we fail to realize sometimes is that most things in life aren't nearly as important as we think it is. We go through life feeling like we have to do this, or we have to do that. The old saying goes, "You don't have to do anything except pay taxes and die." I would argue that you don't even have to pay taxes. Sure, you might be arrested. Or perhaps not. If you choose to live life without money you don't have to pay taxes. If you choose to be a drifter with no steady work and only doing odd jobs here and there to earn enough to eat then I'm sure that you can skirt by without any legal action. The only responsibilities we have are the ones that we choose to take on. For this reason we shouldn't complain when we are adled with business and stresses that take up our time and energy. If we didn't want the pressure we could just as easily not have taken them on. I realize that this is easier said than done. We are taught from an early age that we are only worth as much as we give back to society. Bums are lazy and rich people worked the hardest. That's the American way. I think that we all know how ridiculous and unfair that stereotype is. Anyone who is willing to stop and think for a few seconds about it, at least. And, who complains the most? Not the "bums." Not the homeless. The biggest complainers are the hard workers. Granted, it seems that the middle class (who, by the way, are still among the world's wealthiest human beings, if they live in the U.S.) are the biggest complainers. I don't really hear much complaining done by the wealthiest of the wealthy, per se, of course that may be because they don't have to complain. The world is set up to serve and cater to them. If they have to complain to get something done it falls more in line with legality than an obstacle. Generally, the more money one has, the less a request is seen as a complaint and more of a necessary change. The middle class are the one's who cannot content themselves with their riches. Because they aren't as rich as the family next door. I shouldn't pretend to know what happens in the upper tiers of economic society, but it seems that the wealthy simply don't complain, they demand. It's the difference between child asking for breakfast, which is expected, or asking for chocolate, which is a treat. When the wealthy ask for something, they are asking for breakfast. The middle-class are constantly asking for chocolate; sometimes extending great lengths to recieve the treat.

We should stop complaining about what kinds of chocolate we are recieving and the wealthy should realize that their breakfast is chocolate to most Americans and completely unattainable to the poor of the world. What we should be focused on is providing breakfast for the people in the world who cannot provide it for themselves. These people are so selfless that they don't usually even ask it for themselves. And I'm not talking about the guys on the side of the road with signs or the crack addicts that ask for "gas" money at the filling station. I'm talking about the people in Latin America or Africa or right in your own town who sleep in dirt or their cars or dirty run down ghetos. These people should be our number one priority, and yet we still have people complaining that their steak was overcooked or that a movie was bad or that someone offended them by showing their breast at a football game. There's nothing wrong with living in a comfortable society, but what's wrong when when we concern ourselves with all sorts of utterly pointless things when the basic needs of other human beings are not being met.

That's all I'm saying.

Monday, October 16, 2006

"...or the orphanage will close!"

My brothers and I quoted this countless times during the teen years while The State was on. It's grainy but truly a classic. For those who don't know, The State was a sketch comedy show during the mid 90s that started the careers of most of the current cast of Reno 911.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Go Shop at the Gap

Read this:


Okay, yeah, I saw this on Oprah. But, Bono was with her, so it's cool. I think this is a fabulous idea. Okay, I just said "fabulous." Let's focus here, people.

A number of companies are working to fight AIDS in Africa. While here in America having the AIDS virus will no longer be a nail in the coffin, in Africa, the drugs needed to save the lives of the millions infected with the virus are scarce and unaffordable.

We, as the richest nation in the world, can help these people by doing what we already do so well.

Spending, charging, shopping, living beyond our means!

Yes, this can save lives.

In Africa the AIDS virus infects millions and is only spreading. Education efforts are underway, and helping, but the widespread ignorance about the disease keeps the epidemic alive. Mothers give birth to entire families that are infected, they can't afford the medicine and so these families are doomed.

The (Product) Red people have set up certains brands who will donate a portion of their profits to buy anti-retroviral medicine to keep those in Africa alive. Without these kinds of medicines, people with AIDS die. As it states on the (Product) Red website, "We don't want them to die. We want to give them pills. And we can. And you can. And it's easy."

Another wonderful scheme drempt up by our man Bono.

This their website. Go there.www.joinred.com

Monday, October 09, 2006

"Thank you, sir! May I have another?"

Yet, another bit of fun that I got from our dear friend Dan.

This seems like a really bad idea, but I've never really been a good judge of stuff that was good for me before. Why start now?

Click here and follow the instructions.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Gentlemen: Adhere!

It's ten minutes, but it's worth it. Please. It may safe the world.