Sunday, August 31, 2008

Palin sucks (and I tell you what I really think)

Five reasons why I hate Gov. Sarah Palin:

1. Sarah Palin is an insane religious fundamentalist who is overwhelmingly supported by the shameless fascists of the Christian Right. James Dobson, president of Intolerant Hicks for Jesus, emerged from his S&M dungeon to hail her as the saving grace of the McCain candidacy (he immediately returned to his cave, however, before the sunlight could melt his face). Rush Limbaugh stopped cramming cheeseburgers into his morbidly obese mouth long enough to label her a "babe." Certified Christian madman Gary Bauer called her a "grand slam home run." Most God-fearing zealots on the blogs view her as a saint because she steadfastly refused to get an abortion after finding out her (alleged) fifth child had Down syndrome. Wow, really? A young and popular Republican governor of a conservative state decided against an abortion? What a maverick! That must have been a really hard decision: a choice between swift and immediate political suicide or giving birth to a handicapped child. Boy, she must have good judgment!

2. Sarah Palin has spent a total of 12 years in elected office, 10 of them as a city councilor and mayor of an Alaskan village with 7,000 people, and the remaining two years as governor of a state famous for breeding two types of animal: caribou and corrupt politicians. She's been labeled as an independent-minded political bulldog because she defeated a member of her own party in an election after he spent his entire administration mired in various scandals and sinking deeper into unpopularity. Running on a platform of clean ethics, she proceeded to (allegedly) influence the firing of her sister's slightly unhinged ex-husband from the police department. She was also an early supporter of the 2006 "bridge to nowhere," which came to be a symbol of every slimeball fiscal tactic in all of Congress.

3. Sarah Palin is an idiot. Allegedly pregnant with her alleged fifth child, Palin flew from Texas to Alaska while in labor -- undoubtedly leaking amniotic fluid down those beauty queen legs -- so the alleged child could allegedly be born in Alaska instead of Texas. Who could blame her? Except it's a 12-hour flight. Also, she gave a speech before she left. Of course, this is assuming she even gave birth and is not covering up her teenage daughter's pregnancy, which you can giggle about here and here.

4. Sarah Palin represents the cynical Republican theory that female voters in America will blindly cast their vote for a politician who meets the simple qualification of possessing a vagina and squeezing out (allegedly) five children. Yet more proof that Republicans have utter contempt for the voting public. After spending the past decade demonizing Hillary Clinton for being a strong-willed woman, the Republicans have finally clarified their preference for a female candidate: A pretty face with too little political experience to get in the way of the men. However, it might be nice if our first female vice president has done more than sit in an office in the middle of a frigid wasteland and lobby for more oil drilling in Alaska.

5. Palin supports "teaching" intelligent design, which is just a thinly veiled fraud aimed at pushing religion in schools. Here's what she had to say about it:

Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information.

Healthy debate is so important and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both.

And, you know, I say this, too, as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject — creationism and evolution.

It’s been a healthy foundation for me. But don’t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.

Obviously, Palin's "science teacher" parent didn't pass on the point of science, which is to present theories about the physical world based on fact-based observations. You can't really have a debate when one side says "here's my theory, based on these various conclusions formed from an established scientific method" and the other side saying "an invisible man in the sky created everything because life is too complicated to be explained rationally, and to support my theory I have absolutely no evidence."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My millionaire candidate can beat up your millionaire candidate

I've been hearing all this noise lately about Barack Obama the elitist, and I'm confused. We are talking about the black guy, right? The guy who is fighting to lead a nation that hasn't mustered the courage to elect a nonwhite president in 219 years of representative democracy? The guy who moved from household to household in poor African and Indonesian cities while he was growing up? The guy who worked his way through college on scholarships and dedicated his early life to helping the poor in the slums of Chicago? The guy who is roughly $39 million poorer than John McCain and isn't fortunate enough to have a ranch in Arizona and a vacation house in Connecticut? I'm to believe this is the elitist in this race?

The fundamental problem is that conservatives have a poor understanding of elitism. To them, elitism is drinking expensive coffee, being educated at top-notch schools and voicing well-reasoned ideas about how to make America a better place (God forbid anybody assume America isn't a perfect free market paradise that is immune to change). This view of elitism infects conservative America to the point of absurdity. Consider Jonah Goldberg this week, talking about why Obama hasn't been polling so well:

Indeed, perhaps there’s no mystery at all, and Obama’s problems are the same problems Democrats always have at the presidential level: He’s an elitist.

Oh, I know. Upon reading that, some liberal spluttered herbal chai tea from her nose at the injustice of this whole elitist canard, and the earnest Ivy League interns at some liberal magazine have burst into laughter, offering the appropriate bons mots from Balzac at the preposterousness of such a suggestion, saying: “Don’t you conservatives understand? Democrats care about the little guy. They’re on the side of the proletariat — I mean workers — and as Obama has so eloquently put it, if the workers would only stop clinging to their silly sky god and guns, they’d understand that.”

What a convenient lie. Goldberg has succeeded in lumping all liberals into one stereotype -- the chai-drinking, Ivy-League-school attending, opinionated, secular know-it-all. Unfortunately, stereotyping is useless in any serious discussion about social trends. Surely these people exist, but certainly not universally. For instance, I share many of the same opinions on social matters as Obama, yet I attended the run-of-the-mill University of Oregon, I fucking hate chai and I say "fuck" a lot. I wonder: Am I what Goldberg has in mind, or is my personality not convenient enough to fit his ludicrous vision?

Conservatives are so drunk with ecstasy over the idea of fighting the haughty liberals who are trying to overthrow the nation that they can't take a look in the mirror. Sure, for Jonah Goldberg, the pinnacle of elitism is drinking herbal tea and going to a good school. But for my money, I'd say elitism is assuming the American standard of democracy is the purest form of government, and then invading other nations to force it down their throats. Or how about telling one segment of the populace that they aren't good enough to marry who they want. Or telling women they aren't up to the task of deciding whether they need the morning after pill. You want to talk about elitism? Let's talk about George W. Bush spending the past eight years subverting the Constitution, as though he's above such democratic foolishness. And I have no doubt that somewhere out there, a neocon is enjoying a fresh cup of herbal chai tea, while a Harvard frat boy majoring in Sociology is doing a Budweiser keg stand.

The point is that it doesn't fucking matter what you drink or where you go to school or even where you work. What matters are your actions -- and for the past eight years, Republicans have destroyed this nation with secretive spying programs, discriminatory laws, illegitimate wars, and handout after handout to corporate America. What is so elitist about seeking to end an era of government that has spit in the face of everything decent and good about America?

In the end, all conservatives have against Obama is his Harvard degree and his hope that a Democrat can salvage the steaming mess left behind by the Republicans. And, what the hell, I bet he even drinks regular coffee.

Monday, August 11, 2008

It's the infidelity, stupid

I give a lot of well-deserved flack to Republicans on this blog, but the reality is that if you're running for elected office -- or have attained such a role -- and you have either an R or a D next to your name, chances are you're either a shameless liar or devoted hypocrite.

Hilariously, all of this could be avoided if politicians had any clue about true American values. For instance, many men in America cheat on their wives with such frequency that most people have become numb to the concept (I'm not saying it's a good thing or that I would cheat on my wife, but there you have it). On the other hand, Americans continue to despise liars. With these two facts in mind, it floors me when politicians who cheat on their wives continue to lie about it, especially when it's the lie -- not the cheating -- that gets them impeached or tossed out of office or publicly crucified.

Good example: Bill Clinton. He would have happily served out his term of record budget surpluses without the threat of getting thrown out of office had he not lied about cheating on Hillary. He should have realized that sitting on one of the greatest economic booms in U.S. history -- one that ushered in a new technology age -- was about enough for Americans to overlook the whole cigar vagina thing. But no, he lied, and when elected officials are caught lying, it reminds Americans of the basic reality that politicians are just a bunch of crooks. As a result, Clinton had to spend his time trying not to get ejected from the White House instead of making the country even more ultra rich.

When John Edwards finally admitted last week to having an affair, it was far too late for him. Why? Because he lied about it a long time ago -- and continued to do so -- instead of saying "I did it and it was a mistake." If he had come out in the beginning when the questions first arose, he might have had a prayer to continue his political career anytime in the next 30 years. I say 30 years because that's how long ago John McCain was cheating on his wife, and look at him now. He's practically the fucking president of the United States. Which brings me to my second point: hypocrites.

Republicans could easily avoid the label if they would just shut the hell up about marital indiscretions. This is a political pastime that is enjoyed relentlessly by both parties, and when it comes to banging hot interns or trying to sleep with men at an airport, party affiliation is meaningless until one party tries to paint the other as morally corrupt. News flash: All you politicians all morally corrupt. Every last one of you. It's pointless to dwell on levels of moral corruptness when there's a damn good chance that "family values Republican" sitting next to you likes to be chained up in leather by Idaho's vast selection of hookers and beaten with a bull whip.

Of course, a secondary lesson could be learned from all this, if politicians weren't so incredibly dim. Here it is: The media always fucking win. If it's not The New York Times it will be the National Enquirer. Or maybe a guy named Drudge who started out with an e-mail list and outed Clinton's adventures in Monica Lewinksy. Or some rabidly disgruntled blogger. It doesn't matter. In the Internet age when everything a politician says is recorded and analyzed, lying is just a recipe for extinction. If you're elected, and you're going to sleep with someone other than your wife, then at least admit to it when we inevitably uncover your cheating ass -- have some dignity; save some face. It worked for John McCain.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My shortest movie review ever

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor:

Take every cliché ever used in an action movie. Add a mummy.