Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I think I'd rather not, but they do have a point.

Dear MoveOn member,

You should run for office. 

No, really. You, Moose Knuckler, should run for elective office: maybe city council or school board in Washington, or the state legislature in Salt Lake City.

Here's why you're exactly the kind of person who should run:

1. We need more true progressives in office—more MoveOn members!--and fewer career politicians.

2. This is exactly how the tea party took power in 2010—running grassroots candidates in as many districts as they could.

3. With a wave of at least 2,012 American Dream candidates running up and down the ballot, we can start to defeat corporate Republicans and disappointing Democrats, and not just for one or two election cycles but for a generation.

Would you ever consider running for office? It's easier than you think, and there's lots of help available. So what do you think? Are you in?
Yes, I'd consider running for office.

The tea party movement has recruited thousands of candidates for office over the past couple of years, and used them to spur a wave of attacks on progressive policies across the country.

We're working with partners like the New Organizing Institute's Candidate Project to find strong progressives to run for office and fight for our rights, state by state. That's how conservatives are working to change America, and that's how we're going to beat them in 2012 and beyond.

It's a whole new strategy for MoveOn. We can connect you with the resources to help assess what running for office would take, to find an elected position that could be a good fit for you, and to provide you with expert training, winning strategic advice, and other campaign help.

If you've ever thought you might be willing to take your local involvement to the next level by running for office—or if this is the first time you've considered it—let us know and we'll help you get started. 

Thanks for all you do,

–Adam R., Elena, Tate, Kat, and the rest of the team
Want to support our work? We're entirely funded by our 5 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way.Chip in here.

Friday, December 9, 2011

There is a war going on for your dollar.

There is a war on Christmas.

It is being waged every second, every minute, every time you turn on your TV. It has been going on since the beginning of the last century. And it gets worse every year.

The conservative media will tell you that it is being waged by the PC fascists of the left. The Liberals laugh it off as they should. They are not the ones waging the war.

For a holiday that is meant to celebrate Jesus Christ, the only thing that is promoted is greed and consumption.  We have people pepper spraying other shoppers to get gifts. We have incessant advertising. The all mighty dollar rules from Black Friday till Christmas Eve.

All in the name of a holiday that is supposedly celebrates the birth of a man who overthrew the money changers to preserve the sanctity of the temple of god (Mathew 21:12) and whose followers shared all things in common (Acts 2:44).

I may be off track, but it seems those who are waging a war on Christmas are the corporations and vendors attempting to ring every dollar they possibly can out of this misguided celebration.

I leave you with Bill Maher's thoughts on the matter.

Merry Xmas!

1st amendment


This is the kind of shirt that happens when we are not allowed to keep a close I on what is going on.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I am the 99

So I did something last night that I had yet to do before. I un-friended someone on Facebook.

I don't take the happenings on Facebook to be too serious but I was blown away by the reaction of someone I had previously thought to be intelligent and whose views I regarded as valid due to their ability to aptly analyse a situation, regardless that their views often contradicted my own. I always felt they could defend them in a way that demonstrated some thought. I guess more than anything else I took the video posted as a shallow view on what I have believed since my immersion in third world life in 2000.

The video made by one Bill Whittle (I had no idea who this douche bag was, I had to Google him) looks at the OWS movement and accuses the protesters of being rich, spoiled brats. I don't know about any of you, but the rich, spoiled brats that I know are too apathetic to actually sleep on the cement or go out of their way to question injustice and inequality.

This is where I felt my personal beliefs were attacked. The idea that Mr. Whittle was  promoting was the idea that if each protester had to live 3.5 days providing for themselves without the aid of papa or any corporations they would come out the other side changed and thankful that they could bow down and purchase the bull shit products that are jammed down our throats.

Well kids, I lived in third world country for almost five years. During that time, I learned the depth of hunger and the look of a beggar and thinking about grabbing that meal sitting on the counter that I couldn't pay for. I watched my father-in-law ride his bike to work at 5 am every morning that work was available, work 12 hours only to see his "plata" disappear the first time any food was bought. I watched him suffer as he was unable to work due to illness and surgery (thank god for social welfare). I learned the meaning of capitalism and the effects that it has as it "trickles down."

I've never been wealthy. I learned at an early age how to work. Hell, I started when I was 13. I heat my home with wood that I have extracted from public lands. I try to get to work under my own power every day that I can. I understand what it means to live pay check to pay check. I know what it means to have the people in a restaurant stare at you as you sit down with your "brown" bride.

I don't expect any one to take care of me, because I am doing fine. I have a job, a degree, health insurance. But I will raise my fist in defiance, in solidarity every chance I get. And I will do everything I can to help take care of you. I don't see you all as a bunch of spoiled, rich brats. I see you as individuals with stories, with struggles, with the knowledge and power to move and act. I see you all as sovereign individuals.

I am the 99%. We are the 99%. Together we stand.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

OWS is not an end but a means

A-Infos (en) US, WSA's Ideas & Actions, From Occupation to the General Strike

This is a good article, in that it brings up the question of "What's next?" The occupy movement has brought to the forefront what many of us have been thinking and discussing for years, but how do we take that next step to discussing and obtaining?

Vote for you!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Don't vote for Ron Paul, Vote for you!

Did anyone else notice this ad? They might be disappointed to know where there advertisements are being placed. At least we have been slated as a "political" website...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The long memory is the most revolutionary idea in America

Does anyone remember 2008?

I remember the summer of 2008 vividly. I was working at a small bike shop in Northern Utah. Gas prices had gone through the roof and for the first time in all my years in the cycling industry, I saw middle class folk buying bikes to ride to work. There was a lot of talk about the economy being in trouble and how gas prices were effecting the average person. Seeing that food prices had dramatically increased due to the cost of transportation, etc.

And then the gas prices dropped.

And the economy came to a complete stand still. There were rumors. There were lies. And then there was the bailout.

Our sales at the bike shop went from record breaking to non-existent. I watched as the many people in the community who frequented the shop told the stories of the lost money, lost jobs. The lost houses were yet to come.

We were all told that the bailout was absolutely necessary to save the economy. Then we watched as people were paraded in front of Congress to beg for money. We watched as the corporations who had made poor financial decisions were, one by one, saved by the U.S. people.

And ever since we have watched as jobs have not grown but continue to be unavailable to the American people.

They told us that this was all due to a failure in the regulatory process to keep up with the advancements in financial products. So they gave us the Dodd-Frank Act. This huge act of legislation was supposed to guarantee that what had happened would never happen again. It was written in the hopes of giving us a safety net.

Now we get those same politicians toting the idea that the Dodd-Frank Act is impeding businesses from hiring employees because the regulation has impeded them from being able to grow.

Does anyone remember?

It's infuriating to watch people get excited about reverting back to early 20th century conditions. We had a time when the Dodd-Frank Act did not exist, what did we get? economic depression. We have had a time when the minimum wage didn't exist, when child labor laws, the eight hour day, safety regulations, environmental regulations have all not existed. We can look back and see what we will get if these safety nets are not in place.

If we were to really look back and study the rise and fall in economy, we would learn what every economics student learns in the first semester. The capitalist system always grows and retracts, aka crashes. It is unstable and the only people who are insulated from these booms/crashes are the wealthy, the rest of us are screwed.

If only we could remember... Maybe we would vote for us, instead of them.

"The long memory is the most radical idea in the country." - U. Utah Philips

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dumbest Facebook Posting to date

As seen on Facebook...

"SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT ... If you cross the North Korean border illegally, you get 12 yrs. hard labor. If you cross the Afghanistan border illegally, you get shot. Two Americans just got eight years for crossing the Iranian border. If you cross the U. S. border illegally, you get a job, a drivers license, food stamps, a place to live, health care, housing & child benefits, education, & a tax free business for 7 yrs ...No wonder we are a country in debt. Re-post if you agree"

No, let me get this straight. You think that we should have a country that is more like North Korea, Afghanistan and Iran? Good luck getting any kind of fresh vegetables when all those immigrants are gone, at least at a good price. And let me guess you think we should deregulate the market. Yup? Yes then you really are that stupid. Did you ever stop to think that labor was a commodity and if you deregulated the market, there wouldn't be any illegal immigrants to complain about because the market would allow labor (ie immigrants) to flow freely to where ever they are needed. Do you see the disconnect? Nope? Didn't think so..

You're only helpless if you've given up. So don't do that because we need you.

The BBC published an interesting article.

The article hypothesizes that Americans don't protest because we suffer from learned helplessness. However, the article also points to Wisconsin. I guess that shows we're only helpless if we think we are.

I don't know about the rest of you, but as a graduate student with an enormous amount of debt (which, thanks to Congress, is all unsubsidized) and facing the prospect of not having a job because a few greedy morons decided they wanted to make lots of money now and, you know, screw the rest of us, I feel like maybe it's time to stop thinking we're helpless.

There are lots of ways to stop feeling helpless: email your congressperson, call the White House, organize a protest, spread the word, shop locally, be an activist shareholder (if you own stock or have money to buy stock). Pick one. Or make up your own.

The point is, we're not helpless. It's time to join the rest of the planet in their protests and tell The Metaphorical Man: We're here, we're not going away, and we're sick of your bullshit. So move over Man; it's our turn.

Here's another interesting article published in the EconoMonitor. Definitely worth a read.

Monday, September 12, 2011

"Like all valuable commodities, truth is often counterfeited."

I decided today to watch the Tea Party debate. I don't actually have cable, so I just followed it on CNN's live blog. I don't think it would have been any less painful to watch live though.

Someone please explain to me why people cheer at these damn things? In my limited information from the blog, it seemed to me that only two or three questions were even answered. There is a technique that every lawyer (and by extension, every politician) knows: Framing. It's also something writers know because it's a way to tell a story. When a politician says to you "We shouldn't tax the rich. Why do you want to punish people for being successful?" That's framing. It's also bullshit. How about "Why shouldn't rich people have to pay their fair share?" That's a framing you'll never hear a Republican say. Although, Buddy Roemer did say it, and he's a Republican, but he was not invited to the debate.

In short, almost everything said at that debate was totally meaningless insofar as any substantive issue goes. They didn't answer your questions; they didn't answer mine. They just framed the issues that polls tell them the populace care about in a way that those same polls tell them will make people vote for them. It is, for the most part, idiotic rhetoric that is designed to cause you to become emotionally attached to their campaign even though what they're saying to you is at best loosely based on fact and, more commonly, complete bullshit.

Just because a politician says 'socialism' or 'freedom' or 'American way' or 'family values' or any number of other terms does not mean you have to agree with them. First of all, have you noticed they hardly ever use terms correctly? I am starting to believe no one in this country knows the difference between capitalism, socialism, and communism. Second, when you watch these debates or read about the politicians in the paper, I implore you to use logic or some manner of rational thinking to decide if what you're hearing/reading is worth hearing/reading. Do not let some fraudulently obtained emotional attachment gear you into thinking someone will help you when, if you actually look at what they're saying, you will realize you have no idea what this person will do because they haven't actually said anything! For the record, I do not think Republicans are the only guilty party in this whole framing business.

While it is on occasion my knee-jerk reaction to think of some of these politicians as morons, they are not. They are very intelligent. They know that the easiest way to get your vote is to create an emotional attachment, even if it's not based in reality or any kind of fact. Don't let them do that to you. Don't let them lie. They are playing the American people for a bunch of fools. Show them that they're wrong.

Whether you take Vote for You literally or metaphorically is, for this particular post, irrelevant. Do it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day

"Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." - Abraham Lincoln.


I found this via this http://maddogmedia.wordpress.com/.


I hope you didn't work today...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I guess we'll be voting you out.

I'm all for people having their own views and expressing them, but this one was a little too ironic to ignore...

Update: it reads, "You can fix lot of things. But you can't fix STUPID. However, you can vote it out."

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ames what?

So the big news over the weekend was the Ames Straw Poll which apparently was the place to be for the conservatives wanting to run our country even farther into the ground. And who was the winner?

Michelle Bachmann. Yup the crazy right winger came away strong taking the stage and the win.

Mother Jones covered her history well in their recent article, a must read if Bachmann seems scarier than any devil you saw in Sunday school.

After reading the article I had to wonder what this devil was up to. So I jumped on over to see how her "truth-o-meter" was looking. Seems that honesty is one of those sins she is still working on...

I have to admit that of all the coverage, verbage and video that I consumed this past weekend, Jon Stewart summarized the whole mess best.

To close things up, let me just mention that I will not be voting for Bachmann...

Best op-ed piece in a while.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Why one should always use a throwaway when posting to casual encounters

Yet another member of the GOP has succumbed to Craigslist:
The fun never ends, Indiana state Rep. Phillip Hinkle (R) -- responding to a local posting on Craigslist -- offered a young man $80 plus tip to spend time with him Saturday night at a local hotel, with a tip of up to $50 or $60 "for a really good time."
Now I have never slept with a prostitute, and so, am not familiar with tipping etiquette but I"d say that the only constant between this guys private life and public Platform (voting down equality legislation) is unwillingness to pay a living wage/leave a decent tip.


One Day

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The season is upon us.

The campaign signs are out.

This is means that it is time for us to put our collective nothingness to good work and do some campaigning.

I've checked the local campaign sign codes and as long as we are campaigning for something, any political sign is legal this time of year.

So lets make some signs...

I'll let you know when and where.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Debt Ceiling Address

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The Interrupters

Mother Jones

I came across this mag while wandering the interwebs today. Great stuff.

I was quite moved by a piece about Michelle Bachman's district and how there has been a wave of suicides, 9 in the past 2 years.

For the article, go here http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/07/michele-bachmann-teen-suicide?page=2.

And then spend some more time perusing their content. If you don't know who Mother Jones was, you may want to start with the About Us page.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

Hmm Dogs and Revolution

Voting for you

So what exactly does Voting for You mean. Well, it is the idea that the current political realm has left most of us without anybody that can truly represent our needs and interests. It is the idea that there are two parties but way more than two ways to see the world. It is the belief that I have the right to govern me and you have the right to govern you. It is me fighting for you and you putting in the punches for me. We are all in this together so we must find that middle ground where we can agree on what is truly important and move towards goals that will make our world a better place.

I am running for president. I will vote for me. You should run for president as well. You should vote for you. Cause realistically there isn't anyone else who can do it better, cheaper or more equally than me/you.

Welcome to the revolution.

Vote for You!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thinking outside the box includes thinking outside your countries boundaries.

I am shocked that someone who is educated could be so misinformed. Though, I do try to keep myself informed, so maybe it's that I'm informed but uneducated. Maybe it's both. At any rate, today I was informed, or educated, about how I don't know shit. It was simultaneously the most interesting and most depressing class of my life.

A professor from the University I am currently studying with gave a lecture on the Franco regime in Spain and the transitional period from 1975-1981. I, of course, know who Franco was, but that's about it. As I listened to the lecture, I was shocked at my own lack of information on the subject. And it's an important subject. Many commentators and intellectuals consider the transitional period from Franco's regime to a republic to be an example of how it's done, more or less. It was done peacefully, with only a few bumps in the road. In fact, the one coup d'etat after Franco's death, in 1981, lasted about 18 hours with no casualties of any kind. Not to shabby for a transition.

The professor talked about the creation of a new Constitution and some of the compromises that had to be made, like the Amnesty Act of 1977. It was fascinating to hear how a dictatorship was shed and replaced with democracy. After Franco's death, his regime was sort of de facto over, even though there was the Law of Succession to the Head of State of 1947 and Franco had handpicked Juan Carlos to be the King of Spain.

Anyway, Spanish history isn't the point. The point is that I didn't know any of that, and it's important. Currently, the situations in Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt are looking to the Spanish transition to help transition their governments to one of a more democratic shade. Yemen and Syria are also following in Tunisia's footsteps and possibly Spain's. Being informed about these kinds of happenings in the world and what it means for the future is absolutely imperative. Not only are we an international community, but it's important to be appraised of the political atmosphere in other countries to be aware of how it might affect our country and, in some cases, how we might want to effect the same kind of change ourselves. If we aren't aware of these kinds of things, not only are we uninformed but we are missing an opportunity to learn. How can we ever make anything better if we never take the opportunity to learn from a situation, a place, a person, or ideology that's different from our own?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Consistently Misinformed

I hate abortion the most

I woke up this morning only to listen to NPR. And what I heard was a little depressing.

Apparently the Republican presidential candidates are competing to prove which is the most anti-abortion. I'm not sure how abortion becomes the top story and issue for an entire presidential race, but it has. This amidst a dropping employment growth rate in the midst of the worst depression since the great one. Let's argue about whether the government has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body. Really? How far back are we going to let these people take us?

I know there is nothing worst than listening to the news in the morning, you can't change what has happened.