Archive for the ‘FAIL’ Category
Since the horror at Newport on Friday, the NRA has done what it always does after gun massacre: keeping silent and out of sight until talk of the tragedy dies down.
But some gun rights organizations are a little more shameless.
Check out this little gem of an ad that appeared on Facebook yesterday:
I’d never heard of this group before, but I just had to check out their Facebook page. It was as awful as I expected.
Here’s what they posted on the day of the massacre:
And here are the words of wisdom that one gun lover had to share with the world:
they shud make a law where everyone over15 thats not mentally ill or a violent felon, mandatory to have to carry a gun. That would put an end to rapes, robberys,and mass shooting. Maybe people would think twice, if they knew everyone was packing. plus we wouldnt need to wait for the cops to show after a tragedy has happened, it would be stopped rite then an there.
And while the NRA may respond to their sudden unpopularity in the wake of two dozen teachers and young children being slaughtered by gunfire by silencing its Twitter feed and deactivating its Facebook page, the National Association for Gun Rights took the opportunity to offer a “weekend membership special.” I wish I was kidding.
I don’t think they could possibly be any more shameless and vile, short of, say, announcing plans to travel to the elementary school to “sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment,” as the Westboro Baptist Church did.
But who knows, maybe eliminating gun control laws really is the solution to reducing violent crime. After all, if everyone was packing, rapes, robberys,and mass shooting would be stopped rite then an there.
So, the Republican National Convention in Tampa ended yesterday. Here are some highlights. Bizarre, horrifying highlights.
- The convention was held in the Tampa Bay Times Forum, which is a publicly owned and publicly financed venue built with millions of taxpayers’ dollars. In other words, they didn’t build that.
- Hurricane Isaac menaced and briefly shut down the convention.
- Maine’s GOP delegates tried to give Ron Paul the votes that he earned in the Maine GOP primary, and they were promptly kicked out and replaced with pro-Romney delegates. Who is Ron Paul? Ron Paul (R-Texas) is, on one hand, that almost unheard-of creature: an honest politician with principle, integrity and common sense who opposes the civil liberties squelching aspects of the PATRIOT Act, who opposes Uncle Sam’s love of military interventions and foreign occupations, and who wants to end the War on Drugs and legalize pot. On the other hand, he’s a libertarian kook who intends to slash federal programs, who’s determined to us back on the gold standard, and who thinks that the Civil Rights Act was unconstitutional. He has a very, very, very, very loyal following (especially among teen and twenty-something white males), which is fortunate for him he’s running for president in a country with a two-party system where his ideology doesn’t fit in at all with either party. Anyway: in Maine’s GOP primary elections in May, Ron Paul won 20 of Maine’s 24 delegates. Nonetheless, the GOP decided that they didn’t want to allow him these delegates, because they wanted nothing to take away from Romney’s inevitable nomination, so they decided to allow only 10 of Paul’s Maine delegates to be seated and to replace the other 10 with Romney delegates, ostensibly because the primary elections weren’t properly conducted. When the RNC came along, the ten ousted Paul delegates were denied seating, and nearly all of Maine’s delegates walked out in protest.
- Two white attendees threw peanuts at a black CNN camerawoman and shouted, “This is what we feed the animals!” I wish I could say that I was making this up.
- Not a single speaker mentioned the Tea Party. Also conspicuously absent: almost any mention of George W. Bush. I think it’s pretty telling that the GOP wants to pretend that their most vocal supporters and the last guy they had as president don’t exist.
- Presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan both gave acceptance speeches which used
mischaracterizations outright lies to criticize President Obama.
- The GOP unveiled it’s 2012 platform, which is absolutely atrocious.
- A constitutional amendment banning abortion, with no exceptions for rape or incest
- A constitutional amendment banning gay marriage
- No support for gay civil unions
- Arizona-style anti-illegal immigrant laws
- A constitutional amendment requiring a congressional super-majority to aprove any new taxes – except taxes to support wars or national emergencies
- Public display of the Ten Commandments and prayer in public schools
- Expansion of stand-your-ground gun laws
- Did I mention they want to force rape victims to give birth to their rapists’ babies?
- The keynote speaker was Clint Eastwood. He gave a rambling, incoherent speech in which he had a pretend conversation with Barack Obama while talking to an empty chair. This event was the deliciously surreal icing on the seven-layer “What the hell???” cake that was the 2012 Republican National Convention.
So, I read an article on BuzzFeed about the Romney/Obama Dog-gate “scandal” and then got involved in a struggle to balance the deluge of comments left by conservatrolls (gleefully oblivious to the fact that “turnaround is fair play” doesn’t apply when the turnaround is a wildly false equivalency) with some sanity-based counterpoints.
There was one particularly determined troll leading the attack with all the dignity and cleverness of a four-year-old teasing one of his siblings:
After a while it occurred to me that his name seemed familiar. I googled it and I realized that this childish little twit was none other than the hack excuse for a columnist at The Daily Caller who “broke” this “story” last week.
That’s right: the only reason this “Obama ate a dog!!111!1!!” nonsense has been floating through our national dialogue this past week is because it got dredged up and published in a right-wing tabloid by some little twerp with an image of Breitbart on a piece of toast as his Facebook profile picture who’s paid to act as a travesty of a journalist and who’s now trolling this article on BuzzFeed.
This, America, is why we can’t have nice things.
Also, he personally
insulted me responded to one of my comments, which is the closest I’ve come to interacting with a famous person since Stephen King’s family sat at a table across from our at Mama Baldacci’s a few years ago.
Never heard of this guy? Consider yourself lucky. Imagine if Rush Limbaugh were more of a rabid semi-fascist ideologue instead of just an ignorant loudmouth, and you have some idea what sort of character Breitbart was. He ran several liberal-bashing right-wing news sites – although the word “news” is here used in the loosest possible sense of the term. His work was meant to be journalism, but the ideological slant of the news articles and opinion essays he published was so strong that the content he published was nothing more than propaganda.
Viscous partisanship, lies, slander, character assassination, fear mongering, vitriol, rancor, bigotry – this is the sad, vile legacy of Andrew Brietbart. His life’s work was to rally right wingers around an ideology of paranoia and hate and to demonize anyone who disagreed with him.
His death is like bin Laden’s: I honestly can’t take any joy in it, no matter how utterly evil the man was, but his kicking the bucket is a decidedly positive development for the human race.
Sometimes, when people are angry and desperate and marginalized, they do things that no rational person would ever think of doing. Honestly, though, people behave stupidly even in the best of times. The human mind is an incredible thing, but it’s only so strong, and sometimes doing the right thing is just too hard for some people to deal with.
What I’m getting at is that England is burning, and the people who are doing the burning are from the English underclass. These are the people who have fallen through the cracks of society. Joblessness and poverty are a way of life for them. Many of them are minorities and immigrants. Desperation, violence and and drug use are rampant in the places where they live, and racism and police harassment aren’t unknown to them. Last Thursday, on Aug. 4, a black man named Mark Duggan was involved in a confrontation with police near his home in an area of London called Tottenham. He was allegedly a cocaine dealer and a member of a gang and he was carrying a loaded handgun. Police reported that he fired at them, but that bullet was identified as a police bullet, which must have ricocheted. A protest on Saturday, Aug. 6 was staged by Duggan’s friends and family as well as community leaders and neighbors, and about 200 people wound up in front of the Tottenham police station demanding to speak with police. I suppose the presence of a crowd of outraged people looked similar enough to an angry mob to spark some good ol’ fashioned mob mentality, and before long a demented orgy of looting, vandalism, violence and arson was under way. It spread through London and to Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham, Bristol and other cities across England, and it’s continued every evening since.
What started off as anger over a man’s death quickly devolved into a brutal free-for-all almost completely devoid of any reasonable sense or human decency. Whatever it is that normally encourages the members of the human race to treat each other with respect and decency and keeps them from slaughtering each other has vanished for these people.
I’m struck by how different this scene is from the scenes of the uprisings across the Arab world. Those people, too, suffered from unemployment, police brutality and bleak futures, but when those crowds gathered, they stood together trying to construct a better future for their societies. In Cairo, the only looting being done was by pro-government forces trying to discredit the opposition; the protesters formed neighborhood patrols to put an end to the thuggery.
And of course I can’t help but look at the Tea Party and think that they’re doing the same damn thing to our country. They haven’t set anything on fire, of course – they’re a bit more subtle than that. What they have done is worked tirelessly to destroy nearly every single thing that makes our country great: our welfare system, our unions, the protection of our environment, freedom of religion, the conservation of our natural resources, and the idea that everyone – no matter who they are, no matter their race, background, beliefs or even nationality – is one of our fellow human beings whose rights and whose life and whose dignity must be respected and protected. After a watered-down version of the GOP’s effort to balance our massive deficit on the backs of everyone other that the super wealthy passed, Vice-President Biden said that Tea Party Republicans “acted like terrorists” during the course of the debt ceiling debate. The Tea Party, of course, was outraged and replied that they were no terrorists, they were patriots! And the terrifying thing is that they really seem to think that the things that they’re doing, the things that are undoing decades of work by progressives to make the United States of America a better country and a better place to live in, are good things to do. As do the rioters in England. Rational thought, of course, would tell us that destroying your country is a pretty terrible idea, but it seems that destruction is just too fun for some people to resist.
But all hope certainly isn’t lost. As long as people like this awesome lady are around, I have faith that things can still be turned around, no matter how bad it gets. (This lady’s speech is fantastic, but she does use the F-word pretty liberally, so heads up before you watch this.)
So, apparently this is a real thing:
The Liberals are coming.
The Liberals are coming.
My good friend Paul Revere laid out the blueprint of how to deal with this. Sound the alarm! One if by land, Two If By Tea®!
Two If By Tea® represents traditional American values of capitalism and the pursuit of excellence. Each bottle is designed to rise above the sameness and mediocrity that threatens our great nation. Just grab a 12-pack and join the fight to preserve the America we know and love. It’s worth it!
. . . Fellow Americans, hold on to our exceptional values, stand up against those who want to suppress your individual rights and above all take pride in being an American! While you’re at it, join me in drinking a bottle of my tea as we admire the great United States of America and the military and law enforcement officials who fight to defend our freedom every day. Thank God, yes God, for the blessings of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and of course, this wonderful drink – Two If By Tea®!
- Rush Limbaugh”
It seems our good friend Rush thought up a way to cash in on the Tea Party movement – y’know, besides his radio show. I don’t know why it took him two whole years to realize he could just slap some jingoistic flimflam onto an already existing product and make a killing off it, but he’s finally gotten around to doing it, and here it is.
Unfortunately, the folks down in marketing didn’t quite think these slogans through (or maybe they did, and decided a “witty” pun was better than one that stood up to scrutiny – actually, that’s almost certainly what happened.) “Tea the people,” “From tea to shining tea” – those puns I get. “Two if by tea,” on the other hand, does not hold up. “Two if by tea” is obviously a pun on “One if by land, two if by sea,” a reference to the Paul Revere’s nighttime ride on the eve of the Battle of Lexington and Concord in which two lanterns signaled that British troops would be arriving by boat rather than over land … “two if by sea,” therefore, means is a warning that America is under attack by sea … the word “tea” in the pun obviously refers to the Tea Party movement … so the only logical conclusion we can draw from the name of Rush’s new drink is that two lanterns should be hung (or two bells rung, two warning shots fired, etc.) to warn America that it’s under attack by the Tea Party.
Hmm, that sounds about right to me. “One if by Islamists, two if by Tea Party.” I like it, let’s keep going with this – “Three if natural disaster, four if by idiot politicians, five if by police state authoritarianism, six if by rogue state, seven if by our own stupidity, eight if by zombies, etc.”
So, now that my roommate is gone and I’ll never see him ever again, I feel it’s high time I post this. I wrote this back in September, when the guy who shows up every fall selling flags in front of the Union made his annual visit. The evening after the flag-monger’s visit, I came back to my dorm room to find this thing hanging on my roommate’s side of the wall:
Now, don’t get the wrong idea, my roommate was a nice guy. It’s just that he obviously has terrible taste in certain things. Because let’s face it – this flag is an embarrassment to everything associated with it.
First of all, there’s the unabashedly obnoxious jingoism of the thing – presented through the un-ironic use of something as thoroughly hackneyed as the old “America – Love It or Leave It” adage, no less.
Secondly, we have the incredibly crappy clipart-looking eagle that’s been plastered on the flag, whose talons look like the feet of an ankylosaurus.
Then there are those six tiny little red stars that have been added to the left side of the banner for no apparent reason.
There’s the wobbly outline of the banner which isn’t quite up to snuff.
And, of course, the real humdinger: the fact that the flag in the background only loosely resembles the actual American flag. Take a look at the stripes on this ersatz Old Glory: they’re in the wrong order! On a real American flag, the top stripe is red. Red, not white. This flag, then, is the ideal flag for the red-blooded patriot who loves Old Glory but who’s too stupid to know what it actually looks like.
Last, but certainly not least, we have this little gem, which might help explain some of the other peculiarities of this flag:
I’m sorry for wasting your time with my play-by-play rundown of this nonsense, but it was just too ridiculous not to share. As far as the roommate went: while we didn’t hit it off at all – actually, we hardly ever even spoke to each other – I have almost no complaints about sharing a room with him other than this.
:: Disclaimer :: For the record, I’m not an America-hater. As a matter of fact I have my own American flag, which I received when I earned the rank of Eagle Scout and which I have hanging from the house. So I’m not bashing America here. I’m just suggesting that if you want to show your pride in being American, you do so in a way that doesn’t make you look like an arrogant jerk or an ignorant doofus – or, in this case, both.
So, our new governor was in office just over a week before he managed to make himself look like an ass.
Basically, the Maine chapter of the NAACP (that’s the one that tries to improve the condition of black Americans, not the college sports one, by the way) had invited him to a number of events they were hosting, and he’d declined. These events included a voter registration drive in a prison and an MLK breakfast they’re having today at the University. They were a bit disappointed that he’d turned them down, and on Friday, a reporter asked the Republican, Tea Party-backed governor for his thoughts on the matter. Here’s the clip:
First of all: obviously, LePage is not a racist. Anyone can have some black friends, but he’s got an actual black son. The son he mentions, by the way, is a foster son; Devon Raymond Jr. is a 25-year-old Jamacian who came to live with the LePage family in 2002, graduating from Waterville High School, Husson, and Grambling State in Louisiana. Raymond’s father is a Jamacian who met LePage while working as his golf caddie. Raymond is an accomplished golfer himself, and says he’s “chasing the dreams of being a PGA pro.”
The LePages: not racist. Also, is this not the nicest family photo you’ve ever seen?
Ok, so he’s not a racist, but obviously he needs to work on his people skills in a major way. What’s he going to say when someone offers some criticism of one of his policies, tell them to go f**k themselves? LePage is known for being a straight shooter, speaking his mind without worrying if he ruffles a few feathers. In other words, he’s rude and a bit obnoxious.
Take a look.
What’s really disturbed me is the way people have responded so positively to his terrible manners. “It’s so refreshing to hear a politician speak his mind, and just tell it like it is,” they say, “Good for him for standing up to the special interests.” I don’t know how anyone could be stupid enough to mistake his childish badmouthing for something admirable, but there you go. They hear him say something politically incorrect, they see him ruffle a few feathers, and they think he’s a guy full of candor, cutting through the BS and standing up for common sense, when in reality he’s just too lazy to think his positions through or defend them properly.
Gov. Paul LePage
And as for standing up to special interests? That sounds like a laudable goal, but you have to look at what really constitutes a special interest. They range from the tobacco lobby to Greenpeace to the NRA to the Sierra Club to the VFW. I certainly imagine (or I hope, at least) that if the VFW were to petition him with certain things they’d like to see him do, he wouldn’t just tell them to buzz off the way he did the NAACP. As for the NAACP, they’ve over a century working to guarantee the civil rights of black Americans. They helped to end lynching, to destroy Jim Crow, to end segregation in schools and in public life, and to ensure that black Americans were allowed to vote. Over the past few decades they’ve worked toward ending discrimination and closing the gap that exists between mainstream America and much of the black American population. And as for the event in which they wanted him to meet with only black prisoners and not not white prisoners? That’s not what they asked him to do. They asked him to take part in a voter registration drive at the Maine State Prison in Warren, where half the prisoners are white, and the event would not have been segregated. Also, while LePage said that he couldn’t go to the breakfast because he had to attend the funeral of a Maine State Trooper, but he had already declined the invitation before the trooper’s death. Making arguments using facts that that are inaccurate or even totally false? Unfortunately, that’s another thing LePage has become known for.
I’m going to have to beg your forgiveness in advance for using such a horrendously hackneyed phrase, but frankly, the man’s just too big for his britches. He’s arrogant and doesn’t give much of a hoot what others think even if they know more about what they’re talking about than he does. I spoke with someone who attended the inauguration last week, and she said that as he was meeting with well-wishers at the end of the evening, 9:00 rolled around and he decided to call it a night. He just headed out and left a line full of people who had been waiting hours to speak to him. He seems like a pretty decent person (as opposed to a number of other Republican politicians) but he needs to remember that it’s his job to run the state, and that spouting off careless bravado is never a characteristic of good leadership.
In the end, though, LePage showed himself to have some people skills after all, and attended an MLK community breakfast sponsored by the Rotary Club in his former hometown of Waterville. He even took part in an African dance.
Gov. Paul LePage dances briefly with the Rev. Effie McClain, Monday at the Waterville Rotary Club’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Breakfast in Waterville, Maine.
Is this a happy ending to our story? It’s certainly worlds better than if he hadn’t attended at all. It’s hard to say whether or not it was just a political move to satisfy his constituents, but at least he was a good sport about it. We’ll have to see if he starts realizing he’s not the only person in the world whose ideas and opinions have merit, or whether he’ll keep acting like he’s Gov. Peter Griffin.