10 April 2009

He's making a list, and checking it twice...

I stumbled across this story this morning, and thought that I would share it with you guys. It appears as though we are heading right back to the 1950's where a lot of republicans would like to take us. Yes, Spencer Bachus representative of Alabama has a "list" of his colleagues, who are, "GASP!" SOCIALISTS!! He puts the number at 17 exactly. How he came about this list, and or the people on it, I think that he is the one and only person who might know. As in, much like McCarthy (who a lot of conservatives these days are defending, and saying that he was correct 95% of the time - not kidding about that), he has probably made this list up out of thin air with little to no proof, aside from his craziness creeping in on him at night while he creates such crazy things in his Mom's basement.

Mr. Bachus, since you have this list now, where do you want to go from here? Should we have hearings led by yourself and Representative Bachman from Minnesota as to who is, and who isn't pro-American (in your view) working in the House of Representatives? Bear in mind, back during the election cycle, Ms. Bachman also made a statement to the media, on FoxNews of course where she wasn't challenged, that she knew for a FACT that there were communists, and socialists in the House, and that the media should do a complete and thorough investigative report on who was, and who wasn't pro-American in the House. I am thinking, just when you think that some conservatives can't get any crazier, along comes items like this. Seriously, GOPers, do you condone this?

On the one hand, if this were coming from say, talk radio, or even from Mr. Crazy Kook himself, Glenn Beck, that might be one thing. But, we have this coming from elected officials. This wasn't OK in the 50's when Joe McCarthy did it, and it's far from OK at this point in time. I mean, these people that they're talking about ran for, and got elected to Congress. How un-American can you be to want to serve your district and your country? Not very I would think. Even though there are some good perks being in Congress, it's not as if it's not hard work. And I sincerely believe that the vast majority of people IN Congress do it because they believe that they can make a difference, and help the country along. I even believe that about Bachus and Bachman, in their own twisted little way. Call it naive if you will, but that's just where I come down on this one.

The other thing recently that has been driving my crazy are these so called Tea Parties that are supposed to be held on April 15th in protest of the Obama administration's spending plans for the future. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a pretty hard core liberal (I'm sure you would not have guessed that at all), and I really don't have an issue with anyone criticizing the President, not at all. If you have some valid issues that you feel need to be brought up, please, do it. And using a protest as a vehicle to get noticed does work, so please, again, do it. The heartburn that I have with this crap though, is that FoxNews is not only covering the news of these events, they are overtly promoting them, and taking charge of them. This is not the job of a so called news organization. They're not there to promote these events. The response that I've gotten from some folks is something like this, "Well, the mainstream media (for some reason FoxNews, even though they are the highest rated 24 hour news channel never makes it into the so called mainstream media) covered the war protests and anything against George W. Bush, so why can't Fox cover these events?" Again, they are more than welcome to cover said events, but please, show me a case of where a media source promoted war protests, or any protests at all? They didn't, and shouldn't. That's not what news sources are for, but then again, we do know that FoxNews is just the televised propaganda arm of the GOP and the republicans anyway. I mean, just look at their venom spewing forth about anything Obama. Being critical is one thing, but berating every single little thing the man has done, or will do is quite another. And it is far from being, "Fair and Balanced" as they proclaim to be. Or their other slogan, "We report, you decide.." they're not really reporting, they're promoting.

So what about this stupid socialist list? What the fuck is that all about anyway? Get a grip republicans, you're circling the drain, and doing things like this, is only going to make the flush go faster. I mean, I really should be supporting these crazies in their efforts, mostly because it's going to make it a lot easier for the guys on my side (democrats) to win more seats in the mid-terms in 2010, but I do hate to see a once proud political party who had real ideas, and real criticisms (even though I disagreed with a lot of them) go the way of the Dodo bird. It's kind of sad, and doesn't help us along the path of recovery.

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06 April 2009

Is it getting crazy out there???

Over this past weekend, we saw a man in Pittsburgh call the police to his home, only to be laying in wait for them inside. When they arrived, he shot 2 in the head, and killed another officer at the scene, wounding 1 or 2 more during his onslaught. There is still an on-going investigation into these killings, but one of the main reasons coming out as to WHY he did this? He was afraid that Obama was going to put into control a fascist government in the United States, and that they were going to come and take all of his guns away from him. Why is this scary to me, when this sounds like some fringe individual doing this? It's not so "fringe" after all, because if you go onto FoxNews lately, you hear a lot about the fascist state of our government under Obama from the screech monkeys broadcasting on that station. Now, I'm a big believer in the freedom of speech, but one has to wonder if what they're doing is not somehow endangering people out on the streets, like this policemen, and or if it is endangering our President?

Turns out, this individual who did the shooting (Richard Andrew Poplawski) was a big fan of FoxNews, and also a big fan of a gentleman named Alex Jones who is a severe right wing conspiracy theorist, and radical talk show host. Where has Mr. Jones been making appearances lately to ply his new talking point of Obama being a fascist? Yes, FoxNews. He has been telling anyone that will listen (and lately, that's a lot of people) that Obama is starting to work on his program of gun confiscation. Why? So that he can rule the country, without fear of violent reprisal from its citizens. I kid you not. Among some of his other theories is that 9/11 was done by our own government, yeah, he's one of those 9/11 truth type people. Whatever that means. I'm sure that he could tell you maybe better than me. Check out his website, if you dare, at: Info Wars.

Now really, the thing that worries me the most about this, is the fact that here we have one guy, who, don't get me wrong, is completely responsible for his own actions, but who has prescribed to a radical ideology that is not even remotely close to being based in, something that most of us like to call, truth. These guys are projecting this idea, and these "facts" as if they were happening as we speak. Now, we've always had these types out there, but the thing is, is that places like FoxNews are now giving them mainstream exposure. In other words, the most powerful and most watched 24 hour a day new network is promoting these guys, and their ideas, and seldom to you hear them disagree with them. What worries me the most is that someone might get the false idea that Obama is usurping our Constitutional rights, and that someone might take into their own hands, "dealing" with that issue. I firmly believe that voices like these, give rise for the potential of increased amounts of danger to our President. And yes, even though I am a self avowed liberal, had these things been said and or televised about Bush, I would have the same concerns. There were plenty of left wing kooks out there proclaiming Bush to be the 2nd coming of Hitler, but that is stupid rhetoric, and I've always firmly believed that calling ANY American leader equivalent to Hitler is totally insane. The biggest difference, is that we didn't see these left wing loons given airtime on mainstream media outlets, and rightfully so. They're allowed to say, and propose theories all that they want, but should national news stations be giving them coverage and or exposure? I would think the best answer for that is no. Definitely, they should not be. FoxNews is doing just that. Not only are they doing it, but they have almost entire shows on it. Check out the new Glenn Beck show on FoxNews for a good example of the craziness. The man breaks down almost on a daily show, cries on air about how much he loves this country, and how we're going down a road towards socialism, and or fascism. Lately, his talking point has been fascism. He also claims that this is not directed towards any particular individual, but towards our government as a whole. Funnily, and strangely enough, when George W. Bush was actually usurping our Constitutional rights, Mr. Beck was silent on this matter. It was only when a democrat took the White House did he decide that he'd "had enough". Funny how that works. 

Just a story to relate, and to show that this isn't just a few folks yelling this out loud. Last week, I went to the local Asheville gun show. I'm a hardcore liberal, but I like guns. I like shooting them, and I would like to own some. I think shooting is a fun activity, and when the gun show comes to town, I go and see what they've got. Anyway, I went, and ran into various people hawking their wares, and the common refrain that I heard from almost everyone manning a booth at the show? Obama was plotting and scheming to enact legislation to come and get their guns. Yes, the evil democrats were planning to come and get everyone's guns in a matter of possibly only weeks. And hence, I was offered AR-15s at almost every booth I stopped and looked at (for those of you who don't know, the AR-15 is the civilian version of the M-16 or M-4 assault rifle used by the United States military - only it's semi automatic, and not full auto). Why were they offering these so hot and heavy? Well, turns out, according to them, Obama is coming to get those guns, and you won't be able to buy them ever again. I also had a talk with the local militia folks, and the local folks who are part of the Glenn Beck 9/12 Project, which is a hoot to read through their website. Why? Mostly because all of their alleged values are values and things that the people talking about them (ie, Glenn Beck) say that they believe in, but they don't live those values. Check out the 9/12 Project website: 9/12 Project.

The thing that makes me laugh the most, is that they are trying to mimic what our founding fathers did. The best part about that, is that if our founding fathers were around today, people like Glenn Beck would be calling them fascists, socialists, treasonous, and traitors to their country. I have no doubt about it. What he wants to do is bring America back to 9/12, when we were all supposedly united in the wake of the terrorist attacks on our country. And here are his 9 principles:

1. America Is Good.
These folks seem to think that there are a bunch of Americans around who think that America is not good. He is so wrong, it's utterly amazing on this one. What he's really trying to get at, is people in America who love their country, and who points out its flaws, and where we can make things better. These folks want to believe that America can do NO wrong. Which is absurd, especially things that we've seen in the last 7-8 years. America is great, I love this country, and I don't think I'd want to live anywhere else, but to put on the blinders, and make believe we don't do anything wrong is bad, very bad. What is it they always say about those who don't study history are prone to repeat it?

2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
I don't really have a problem with this, although my belief in some all knowing and all powerful deity is dubious at this point in time in my life, I have generically no problems with others who do worship a God. Whether it be God, Allah, Buddha, or some other being. Thing is, these folks are Christian only. I guarantee it. They are planning some sort of demonstration here in Asheville shortly, I might show up, and claim I'm a Muslim, and see if they take me in. Chances are really good, they will turn their nose up, because the way I take this, is that it's a Christian only kind of thing. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
Again, no problems with this really. Except that the man espousing this point (Mr. Glenn Beck) essentially lies and embellishes for a living, meaning, almost every new day, he's telling more and more whoppers on the air.

4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
Marriage/Family “It is in the love of one’s family only that heartfelt happiness is known. By a law of our nature, we cannot be happy without the endearing connections of a family.” Thomas Jefferson

I left the quote in here because he references Thomas Jefferson, and talking about the family being sacred and all. Funny, TJ had an affair with one of his slaves, never re-married after his wife died, and basically ignored his children. Sure, you and your spouse are the ultimate authority, as things pertain to the family. Who is saying different? Nobody really. Nobody at all. They like to make pretend that the government is telling you how to raise your children.

5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
This is fine as well, except when people start talking about trying to prosecute certain members of the Bush administration, folks like Glenn Beck get apoplectic about it, and start calling it a witch hunt, and useless, and pointless. Of course, because it is someone that they like.

6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
Of course there are no equal results. But, please show me where in the Constitution the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is found? It's not in there. It always makes me laugh with these guys who talk about these things that they want government shrunk down to be just small enough to, fit into our bedrooms. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is great, unless you're, for example, gay. Then you're shit out of luck according to the folks forwarding this.

7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
This is obviously a comment towards you know, having to pay taxes. You want a great country guys? We've got to pay for it. And right now, we're in a gigantic fucking mess leftover from the previous administration, and we've got to fix it. What is going to fix it? Probably lots of money. Nobody is forcing you to be charitable at all. It is totally left up to you as to whether or not you want to donate time and or money to worthy organizations. I would ask these folks, who is MAKING you be charitable? Nobody. Absolutely nobody.

8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
I'm glad that these folks finally say this. Thing is, when I have disagreed with them before, I've been called un-American, traitorous, treasonous, and so on and so forth. It's amazing to read this, because even now, if you disagree with what Mr. Beck is saying, you're called un-American, or worse. 

9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.
Of course the government works for us. This is why we have elections. This is why elections have consequences. You don't like someone who is either a Senator for you, or a representative, or the President? You campaign against them, and get them removed from office. Of course they work for us.

Look, 9/12 Project folks. America was founded as a secular nation, because our Founding Fathers saw what religions did to people, and or to governments. The Constitution made sure that religion was as far from our laws as possible, as in, there is no mention of religion in the Constitution other than the fact that you can practice however you want. It's also funny to me that these folks are now coming out of the woodwork, now after a democrat has taken office, when during the reign of Bush, they were silent about all of this spending, about infringements on our rights. They had nothing to say. Thing is, why don't they just come out and say, we don't like democrats. We don't like Obama. It's better than trying to portray yourself as some sort of reincarnation of our Founding Fathers, which, sorry Mr. Beck, you're not even close. They would have tarred and feathered you, and ran you out of town on a rail. 

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Flanders, frites, and beer...

As we all know, yesterday was the Tour of Flanders, like Mr. J I turned off the phone, didn't read the internets and their series of tubes, and basically ignored all media until the race started at 5PM on OLN (I refuse to call is VS). I was NOT disappointed in the result, that much I can say. Stijn is one hardcore bad-ass. He rode away from that small group like they were on fire, and he was trying to save his own life. He put it down, never looked back, and rode that shit solo to the end. I loved it when he had a teammate with that other guy from Liquigas, and the green rider looks over, and gives a look like, "Help me man, he's going to win!" Quick Step guy looks over, gives him a little push on the butt, and is like, "Sorry man, you're fucking on your own. We're going to party tonight!"

Out of all of the classics, I like Flanders the best. I can't help it. To that effect, what I do every year is peel and fry a bunch of potatoes (10 pounds this year), make the best frites you've ever had, invite a bunch of other mindless bike junkies like myself over, and we gorge on frites, mayo, and Belgian beer. This year, it was no different. Turnout was kind of low, because most of my riding friends tend to still race bikes (what they hell are they thinking), and there was a race out of town this weekend. Their loss my friends, their loss. I did almost lose a finger in the process though, got to watch out for those mandolin slicers, they'll take a finger off, it almost got mine.

By the time the race was over on TV last night, I had eaten about 2 pounds of frites, drank a few Chimay's, and was feeling all good. Which was a good outcome because earlier in the day, I set off for what I thought was going to be a 2 hour ride, which turned into a 4 hour I got lost ride. I do hate it when that happens. Luckily, I got some directions from a good old boy in a pick up truck somewhere in the mountains of Western North Carolina, and made it back before I heard something like, "Squeal like a pig boy!"

Back to Flanders though, my wife, seriously disappointed that Boonen didn't win, although she claims that her love for Tom Boonen dissipated somewhat after he started dating the 16 year old. Kind of creepy now isn't he? If we don't keep an eye on him, he could end up like Vince, the Sham-Wow guy. I'm just saying. Anyway, if Flanders is any indication, GW in the middle of this week will be a battle, as will the Hell of the North this coming Sunday. This is my favorite time of the year without a doubt. 3 big races, all in a week, for a bike racing loving asshole like myself, how and where could it get any better? And no, the Giro, nor the Tour is as good as the Classics in my opinion. Stage racing = boring most of the time. Bide your time, ride great in the TT, don't get dropped in the mountains, and you win... Yeah, super. It's almost predictable stage racing is these days. It puts me to sleep. But, I still watch it. I can't freakin' help myself. 

What is the call for Sunday? Who is going to take Paris-Roubaix? Any guesses out there?

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