Sunday, July 11, 2010

Because Sunday night isn't complete sans Shatner

From the "reality check" department

Karoli's response to the Eric Altermans and Jane Hamshers. Worth reading.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

We're the ones we've been waiting for, and all that

Via Blue Wave News, Van Jones' speech at the Campus Progress National Conference, which rang true to this cautiously optimistic liberal. More from Mr. Jones, via HuffPo:

We are trying to build a pro-democracy movement in a country that, at least for eight years, was run by [inaudible] authoritarians. And it is not going to be easy. But I tell you, the most important thing I can say is... We feed the fearmongers. We feed the politics of division, by giving it so much attention and letting it fill up the space in our mind. We have to feed the hope. This country is an extraordinary -- I get choked up -- this is an incredible, beautiful country...

That little idiot box off in the corner trying to depress you and make you feel like this is a horrible country and everybody believes evil things about the president... it is just not true. Cut it off, just cut it off and walk down the street and talk to real people in this country. They are sophisticated. They are wise. They don't know exactly what to do but they are open to being engaged. That's the country we live in. and my hope about your generation is that you will take a lot of this chatter a lot less serious.

Question

Next time a teabagger blithers about spending and deficits, won't some nice journalist ask if he supported Bush--and, if so, whether he did anything to speak up against Bush's spending?

But what about the angry stupid white vote?

Some Jan Brewer-type yahoos have come up with a brilliant idea: Deny citizenship to native-born children of illegal immigrants! Screw that 14th Amendment! Who needs it?

Jonathan Blanks has an even better idea.

As you may recall, beginning in 1860, millions of Americans renounced their citizenship and took up arms against their former country. Their deeds, through direct confrontation or diseases brought on by wartime conditions, ended up in the deaths of over 300,000 loyal Americans--100 times the number killed on September 11, 2001. By the logic outlined above, that treason should be recognized and all the descendants of those who took up arms, aided their traitorous comrades, or participated in the government of the insurrectionists should have their citizenship revoked as they are progeny of traitors. They owe their heretofore recognized citizenship to the birthright. That is, of course, unacceptable.

These descendants often still fly the flag of treason and commemorate their forebears' disloyalty in numerous ways. Thus, the combined legislation should include the confiscation and destruction of all property bearing the treasonous flag, including but not exclusive to real estate, monuments, clothing, transportation, and music--so we can once and for all rid the nation of "Freebird."

Blondie break!

Always loved this song and band. Remember "American Bandstand"?

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Terry Savage, Clueless Moron

Chicago money columnist Terry Savage has written the most unintentionally hilarious column of the year thus far.

First a question: What is up with these people named Savage? They think that just because they have a unique surname, they have to turn it into a lame-o brand or slogan. There is Dan Savage, of the Savage Love column. There's Michael Savage and his Savage Nation (which sounds better than Weiner Nation). And Terry Savage, for some reason, ends every single column of hers with "That's the Savage Truth." As if adding her surname makes it truer.

The Savage Truth, alas, is that she is one screwy individual. Okay. You could chalk it up to the heat, which makes people a bit crabby. But the incident I'm about to describe took place in what was presumably an air-conditioned car. So what's her excuse for getting mad at little girls?

See, Ms. Savage was riding along with her brother and his fiancee in a tony Chicago neighborhood. They came upon three girls who, with their nanny, were at a lemonade stand. Ms. Savage's happy fantasies of mini-capitalism were destroyed when the girls announced they were giving the lemonade away. Not selling it. No sir. Giving it away. These aren't little capitalists. They're--gasp!--philanthropists!

"No!" I exclaimed from the back seat. "That's not the spirit of giving. You can only really give when you give something you own. They're giving away their parents' things -- the lemonade, cups, candy. It's not theirs to give."

Earth to Terry. Ever heard of getting your parents' permission to do stuff?

Now, as I mentioned, this was a wealthy neighborhood. These little girls have a nanny. Which means their parents have plenty of money to spend on cups and candy and lemonade. Oh, and Terry? DUH.

Oh, but the fun continues.

"You must charge something for the lemonade," I explained. "That's the whole point of a lemonade stand. You figure out your costs -- how much the lemonade costs, and the cups -- and then you charge a little more than what it costs you, so you can make money. Then you can buy more stuff, and make more lemonade, and sell it and make more money."

Meanwhile, one of the little girls turned to her nanny and said, "Why is the mean lady yelling like this?" And the nanny explains that maybe the mean lady is visiting from one of those homes where people go when they can't take care of themselves very well.

At this point, the brother really should've told Terry to STFU. Instead, he took a strawberry lemonade from the kids and no doubt left Terry seething. See, for Terry Savage, this is a sign of a big, big problem: People want something for nothing. And, like a yoga master on uppers, she's twisted and contorted herself, trying to connect free lemonade to a larger point about there being no such thing as a free lunch.

Terry, Terry, Terry. Let me suggest something that you, in your "Capitalism, HO!" frenzy, didn't consider. The little girls may have been taught to be grateful for the things they have. They may actually have friends whose parents have lost their jobs and whose nice, well-kept homes were foreclosed. Their friends and neighbors may be really hot because they don't have money for air conditioning. So they decided to do something nice by giving their neighbors free lemonade to cool off.

It's called charity, Terry. I thought capitalists were big on charity. Since you're a money expert, you know that charity can be beneficial to rich people since they can write it off on their taxes. Or maybe rich people just want to share the wealth. No offense, Terry, but one of those girls could become the next Brooke Astor or Melinda Gates. I imagine years from now, their names will be emblazoned on plaques in libraries and parks and hospitals, and they'll chuckle over you, the mean, clueless lady who bawled them out for being nice.

Friday, July 02, 2010

This I firmly believe

Forget Bobby Jindal. Lindsey Graham is truly the GOP's answer to Kenneth the Page.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

No. Just NO.

Now, Fox Chicago suggests that Chicago get rid of its public libraries. As a librarian's daughter, I have a two-word response to this: Up yours.

(Via Badtux.)

Crybaby conservative alert!

Wingnuts are mad at Joe Biden for using the word "blitzkrieg." "Waaaaaaah! He's bein' mean an' comparin' us to Nazis!"

On that note, a music break.



Note: I interviewed Tommy Ramone once. Kewl dude. He now plays bluegrass and looks like a hippie. 'Tis true!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Prog blog time!

It's early 1970s German R&B/prog outfit Frumpy, fronted by the incredible Inga Rumpf. Ms. Rumpf has had a nice, long career as a band frontwoman and a solo artist but remains unknown, alas, in the US. Seriously, it's weird being one of six people in the US who've heard of her. Her more recent output is R&B rather than prog. And I love R&B, so...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Some perspective, please

Yes, President Obama isn't perfect. Yes, he should just close Gitmo already. Yes, it would be great if he'd act on his campaign promise of more transparency in government. But c'mon, people, he's not another George W. Bush. A quick comparison of their administrations will show this. Criticize the guy, sure, but let's not pretend it's still 2005, hear?

For those who can't stomach Final Placement and Brokencyde...

...here's William Shatner's interpretation of the Harry Chapin classic "Taxi." How did this clip go unnoticed for so long?