Thursday, October 15, 2009

Time For Limbaugh To Rush Home And Yell At The Cat

Aside from his recent attempt to buy the NFL St. Louis Rams franchise, Rush Limbaugh hasn't been in the news as much as he would like. In a (far from) perfect world, Rush would be the top story on the news every night, talk shows would dedicate entire episodes to his name and prescription drug makers would send him free lifetime supplies.

The world for Mr. Limbaugh however, is not perfect.

In fact, it is becoming increasingly less perfect everyday.

There is no doubt as to his influence. He is the most successful personality in the history of radio and his listeners number around 20 million. The number can be misleading in the sense that at least 30% of those listeners are there because they hate him. Regardless, he gets the ratings and the money, and they get an ulcer.

I am one of the many who fall under the "Severe hatred" category when it comes to Limbaugh. Never would I ask the man to apologize for anything he says, but I'd much rather he just stop talking and/or thinking. I must admit though, the man is very intelligent when it comes to his craft and knows exactly how to bring in ratings...Or at least i thought he did.

Recently, I have noticed the things that he says are becoming less and less articulate. He seems to be reaching further out into right field, almost as if he is begging to cause a controversy or a media firestorm. He wants it, he craves it, and he (desperately) needs it.

During his heyday in the 80's and 90's, Limbaugh would create a controversy using what seemed to be tongue-in-cheek humor. He was still spouting off things too deplorable for any normal human being, yet it was tinged with sarcasm and worded rather eloquently. Nowadays when he speaks, he just spouts off something offensive and the general reaction is "Oh it's just Rush" in a loving or contemptuous manner, depending on your affiliation. He has finally reached the point where he can't really offend anyone anymore because it's just expected. He has passed his prime and has become that crotchety old man who argues with you in a nonsensical fashion while you're trying to run errands. He demands attention, but we have better things to do now.

Rush brings to mind Willie Mays. Not in an athletic sense because i'm sure Limbaugh gets winded while eating. Willie Mays was a great baseball player. He was a spectacular showman and a great hitter in his prime. However, Willie, like many athletes, played too long. By the end of his career, he was getting by on reputation as his hitting and fielding skills deteriorated. He finally had to say goodbye and retired gracefully. Rush Limbaugh might be too blind (or deaf) to realize that it's time to hang it up and be put out to pasture. It's time America ignores Rush Limbaugh and let nature take it's course.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

An Inconvenient Douche: The Case Against Glenn Beck

You've seen his face. His pudgy, pasty and often crying face. You've probably heard him speak. He appears nightly on Fox News spewing idiotic vitriol that only the most minuscule of mental midgets could take seriously. He has written books, including what seems to be a self-hating, multiple personality disorder-eschewing gem entitled "Arguing With Idiots: America's Next Epic Battle".

His name is Glenn Beck and he is the newest far-right conservative mouthpiece as well as heir apparent to douche bag extraordinaire, Rush Limbaugh. His viewership numbers in the millions and hundreds of thousands more flock to his live tirades at sold-out venues.

He is also a giant douche.

As the right-wing version of a wack-job consipiracy theorist, Beck blends the "fire and brimstone" theatrics of a Cotton Mather, the jingoistic theocracy promotion of Pat Robertson and tops it all off with an Art Bell-type of outlook on the world. He makes no secret of his disdain for minorities nor his hatred for any religious belief aside from Christianity.

Plain and simple, the man is a joke.

Yet, millions seem to love him. Some even going so far as to put pictures up in their home of the former drug addict and alcoholic. To these small-minded idiots, Beck is some sort of heaven-sent mouthpiece for their own racist, sexist and dangerously nationalistic views. Beck and his ideals represent everything that is wrong with the world.

When a hate-filled, emotionally disturbed conspiracy theorist can get on TV and make false claims while spreading anger and fear, freedom of speech has failed and cult of personality has gone too far.

Let's take a quick look at a small part his track record:

2006 - On his TV show, Beck asked Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), a black Muslim, to "prove to me that you are not working with our enemies...And I know you're not. I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel."

2009 - Beck, talking about the Henry Louis Gates controversy, said that President Obama has repeatedly shown "a deep-seated hatred for white people {and} the white culture...".

Another despicable incident occurred in July when Beck began devoting episodes of his radio and TV broadcast to criticizing Director of White House Council on Environmental Quality, Van Jones, for prior support of controversially convicted death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal. The subsequent copycat attacks on Jones forced his resignation in September of 2009. Beck took credit for leading the charge, while other conservative lemmings followed suit.

It is a suspicious occurrence when public figures begin attacking others persistently. It shows not only a disdain for humanity, but also a fear of their own dirty laundry being aired.

Nobody ever thinks to ask if this man who so loves America and hates anyone who shows disrespect or questions the system, why he would repeatedly break the law on his own with his rampant drug use and drunk driving.

It is also interesting how this conservative, religious and hateful man had a homosexual affair with a radio colleague back in the 1980's while living in an apartment together.

Yes, Glenn Beck is a douche. A lying, hateful one at that.

It’s time we give him something to truly cry about.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

California Meltdown 2009: Armageddon-outta here!

Less than 50 days away from complete bankruptcy, government meltdown and (possibly) another T-1000 attack, California faces a budget crisis the likes of which haven't been seen since World War II. Adding fuel to the proverbial fire is the fact that our legislature, in these dire times, is staying true-to-form, unwilling to compromise on the most miniscule of details("Diet Coke with that sandwich sir?" "Nay!").

Thus far, State Controller John Chiang has stated publicly that a budget is highly unlikely to pass on time, rendering the state unable to approach Wall Street with a viable credit-lending structure, thus limiting them to asking the Haight-Ashbury district for "meds".

Republicans in congress have stated that their demands are simple: Simply cutting any and all programs to help anyone ever. Once that is acheived, the state can pull itself out of debt and compromise on a budget. Then, down the road, we can focus on the shantytowns and post-apocalyptic roaming motorcycle gangs preying on the rest of the population.

Democrats have proposed keeping all of the programs (Including the expensive-but-necessary anti-zombie measures...just in case) and simply raising taxes. The Dems argue that once the average California citizen is paying $650 for a loaf of bread at the local Vons, we can pull ourselves out of debt and return to glory.

Minor relief is coming in the form of the housing market returning to a more normal state. Mind you, "more normal" than utter, suicidal chaos isn't exactly the rock on which to grow the economy (Can things grow on a rock?), but I suppose it's better than people trying to sell houses for a case of Amstel Light with the buyer still negotiating ("How about a 6-pack of Pabst?").

There is a bigger problem here than most citizens realize. When the public officials that we elect to help us in times of crisis are so focused on the politics of politics to pass a budget with a crucial deadline looming and the future financial situation of the state in doubt, the system has clearly failed us. Unfortunately, it's far too late in the history books to change it and, frankly, an Ancient Greek true democracy is not the answer ("I now present Chief Justice Carrot-Top."). The only real power the public has, is one that is utilized not nearly enough; The power to vote.

Imagine if California's citizens decided that they were going to vote every single member of the state legislature, regardless of party affiliation, out of office in the coming election cycles. How enormous of a statement would that be? Larger than the ego's of these "representatives" currently in power.

If California were a private business and the legislature was the finance department, every one of them would be looking for work or delivering pizza's right now. We learn as children to stop the petty squabbling and play nice when we're supposed to. We then re-learn as adults that the petty squabbling is what supposedly makes us unique.

If we're truly going to make a difference, ordinary citizens need to remember that the power lies in the hands of the many, not the few. Oligarchy be damned, California is in trouble and it's time for everyone to get involved.

Also, Sarah Connor, watch out for that T-1000.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Marriage Debate: A Proposal To End It Altogether

Just as the Civil Rights movement before them, the Gay Rights movement has been dealt a severe legal blow. Just months after Proposition 8 was passed outlawing gay marriage, the California Supreme Court has voted unanimously to uphold the constitutionality of the amendment citing a wacky "will of the people" clause in the state constitution.

It is now time to make a decision.

The obvious choice is to continue the fight and keep going back and forth with the state constitution while fighting for a federal amendment guaranteeing all the benefits of marriage for same-sex couples. This is the most likely course and is one that has been undertaken by such historic figures as Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Ghandi, Cesar Chavez and Rosa Parks. But the question remains; Is this a battle that can be won with so many social conservatives out there?

There is one more interesting course of action - my course of action - eliminating marriage altogether. Now i'm not talking about some hedonistic vision of "Brave New World", but more of a fair and equal rendering of justice. The government is not involved in 99% of religious ceremonies and rituals, yet they insist upon issuing a marriage license and extending benefits to married couples from tax breaks to beneficiary information. But let's say for a second that they don't issue marriage licenses. In order to get married you have to go to your church, mosque, or synagogue. What you get from the Registrar's office is a piece of paper that validates your domestic partnership. The partnership ensures all the same rights, privileges and benefits that the archaic marriage license would, but without the label.

It seems only logical that this would be the next step. You don't need a license for a bar mitzvah or a holy communion, so why should you need one for a religious marriage ceremony. If you want the government benefits of a marriage, straight or gay couples, register for a domestic partnership. If you decide you also want the ceremony and religious aspect, go to a church that will agree to do it. It's that simple.

The main argument against same sex marriage is a religious one, so lets take the religion out of it. If the opponents are still opponents, it's safe to say that these were the same people who opposed civil rights, equal gender pay, and basically anything else that goes against their bigoted view of the world.

Jesus said, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." (Mark 12:17) If this isn't a call, straight from Jesus' mouth, for separation of church and state, I don't know what is. Why not lead by his example and grant equality based on the fact that we are all the same species, instead of pointing out the most miniscule differences between us in order to exploit them. Human rights are not bound by religion, but by our own petty squabbles and insecurities. It's time to end the oppression of our homosexual brothers and sisters.