Archive for April, 2009

In Which Brannon Howse Is A Coward

April 30th, 2009 No comments

“The Obama administration is trying to install an ‘internet czar” (and it’s interesting because ‘czar’ is a Communist term and it makes a lot of sense they’d want to use it).”

If Brannon Howse is the future of Crosstalk (since Vic’s probably kicking the bucket before too long and, as previously stated, will end up in Hell) then the show will achieve levels of insanity that even David Icke never imagined.  He is a tin foil hat xtian.  Every single thing that the government does, meaning Obama, reeks of Satan and godlessness.  Everything.  Even Vic and company tread carefully on calling Obama “evil”.  Brannon revels in it.

His show today consisted of almost completely false information.  Brannon just plain old doesn’t think about what he says.  He’s not an idiot, so much as he has one topic and filters everything through it – “Political correctness is cultural Marxism”.  Yeah, I’m not really sure I get it either.  I think it means if you don’t say “God” at least twice in every sentence then you’re going to Hell and you hate America.  His shtick involves saying Marxism, Communism, Socialism and Fascism (as God) as often as possible.  It doesn’t matter what the topic is.  In the Crosstalk tradition, he doesn’t trust God or Jesus but relies on fear.

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Brannon perfected perfect fear.  And his job is to scare the shit out of you.  For Jesus.

The leading quote is a perfect example of how xtians throw around words like baseball bats in a gay bar.  He just tossed off the parenthetical bit as after thought.  Such is the need to turn even the smallest word into a batttle field this brain seized on “czar”, doing a quick word association.

Czar >>Russia>>Commie>>Evil>>Obama

Does it matter that the” [blank] czar” came into use during the Reagan administration?  Of course not.  Does it matter that Communism kicked the Czars out of Russia, disqualifying it as “communist”?  Of course not.  Does it matter that, knowingly or unknowingly, Howse lied like…well…a liberal making that statement?  Very much.

So I called.

Also on my list of topics was

If the swine flu has only killed one person in the US and is getting brought back by Americans coming back from vacation, why do we need to close the border?  You want to keep Americans out of America now?

To set the record straight on the Hate Crime Bill

“Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

I started with the commie thing.  [Note – this is a very rough transcription]

Me: Hey, you’d made a comment about the internet czar and how czar is a communist term.

BSH: Yes.

Me:  Well, I know that you want to trash the Obama administration by any means, but “czar” isn’t communist.  The communists overthrew the czar and never used that term.  It’s not true.  What you said was false. And –

BSH: Ok.  Well, maybe I was wrong.

Me: Yes, you were.

BSH: But it’s not a nice term.

Me:  It has nothing to do with communism

BSH: But it’s not a good thing.  Czar isn’t a word that’s about freedom.

Me: It’s a word that’s about imperialism.

BSH: But it’s still…it’s a –

Me: You can’t use it to smear Obama.  It’s like comparing him to…the British government or somthing.  It’s about as far from communism as you can get.

That last sentence got cut because Howse hates the truth and must, at any cost, never admit he’s wrong.  Because if he’s wrong listeners might start actually listening to the shit that spews out of his mouth and realize that, jesus-fucking-christ, the guy not only lies about everything but doesn’t come close to understanding his religion.

I could have sworn that part of Christianity promoted humility and correcting your mistakes.  You know, “honesty” and that bullshit.  It’s not, apparently.

Stop and think about it – I gave this guy fact and rather than humbly admit he’d gone over the edge, he argued with me.

Have fun in Hell, Brannon.

Tweetin’ 2009-04-30

April 30th, 2009 No comments
  • hey – joe scarborough – an hour ago you said you weren’t partisan – now you’re calling yourself conservative #dick #
  • obama’s next 100secs next on msnbc #
  • “president obama’s 100th day is brought to you by sprint” really just about says it all, doesn’t it? #
  • oh goody! msnbc has a countdown to obama’s press conference. how will i ever stop watching! #
  • Off to physical therapy :-/ #
  • soooo…if your party doesn’t cast one vote for the budget…doesn’t that make your party divisive? #
  • will be live tonight starting at 9pm EST – DM requests if you’d like #

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Tweetin’ 2009-04-29

April 29th, 2009 No comments
  • @the_swine_flu listen up, bitch, you’re just low-rent legionnaires’ disease with a bad accent in reply to the_swine_flu #
  • Retweeting @the_swine_flu @avflox: Love in the Time of Swine Flu isn’t anywhere near as cool as Love in the Time of Cholera.#swineflu #
  • trader joe’s, phone calls and getting a piece written #
  • just took out the well-stained iced coffee container and filled it for the first time this. i might faint from pleasure! #
  • Abortion “discriminates on the basis of age, size and place of residence”. ROTFLMAO #
  • Wonders what, exactly, is a “radical abortionist”? #
  • – “what i did for love”…in GERMAN #
  • why the HELL do i get spanish telemarketer voice mail on skype? #
  • the only downside the ipod touch is that the sound clips in the car if the touch volume is all the way up – other that that – WOOHOO! #
  • @kyriabeingbanal SPEAK AMERICAN!! in reply to kyriabeingbanal #
  • @the_swine_flu fucking pussy – you can’t even spread without technology and oprah. you give influenza a bad name in reply to the_swine_flu #
  • i thought i had @the_swine_flu but it turned out i just had a crush on someone #
  • is now able to jump…lightly…on his once broken leg #

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Tweetin’ 2009-04-28

April 28th, 2009 No comments

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Tweetin’ 2009-04-27

April 27th, 2009 No comments
  • First soccer game i’m not freezing at #

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Tweetin’ 2009-04-26

April 26th, 2009 No comments
  • FAA wildlife strike report includes hits by moose and…ummm….turtles. #
  • swedish meatballs at ikea tonight! i can withstand your looks of envy and malice! #
  • and then there wasn’t Maude.- bea arthur dead @ 86 #
  • Bring it on, ikea, you bastard #
  • Ikea/just some oak and some pine/and a handful of norsemen #
  • Ok, ikea – you win. Pick on the guy who broke his leg, you goddamn coward #

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In Which The Religious Right Truly Thinks It’s Nice

April 25th, 2009 No comments

The New York Times has an article today about a book called The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right talking about how xtians actually aren’t the horrible people we (aka – most of the people who are reading this) think they are.  If you are actually reading this, then you’ll find plenty of refutation for that statement on this blog.

We’re in perception v. reality territory.  Although I slam them pretty hard, I (sometimes) do my best to make it clear that xtians honestly do not see a problem with their behavior.  And that’s the problem right there.

“The vast majority of Christian-right leaders,” he writes, “have long labored to inculcate deliberative norms in their rank-and-file activists — especially the practice of civility and respect; the cultivation of dialogue by listening and asking questions; the rejection of appeals to theology; and the practice of careful moral reasoning.”

Don’t be shocked, but I agree with this.  They honestly try to show compassion when they tell us that we’re going to Hell if we don’t listen to them.  My good buddy, Vic Eliason, frequently explains that his condemnation of gays isn’t really condemnation and that he doesn’t “hate”, he loves.  His favorite pitch line goes something like –

If you see a child trying to cross to the other side of a highway and there’s a big truck that’s about to kill him, what should you do?  Should you quietly call out to the child so that you don’t alarm him?  So you don’t frightening him?  He’s about to be killed!  I say, and there are so many people that seem to disagree for some reason, that you scream at the top of your lungs to get his attention in order to save his life.  If he gets scared, at least he’s not dead.  You can explain to him afterward when he’s safe.  Sometimes that yelling can sound like anger, but it’s not.

It sounds like a convincing argument until  you step back and realize that the situation he describes is “life and death” but what he’s actually talking about is “after-life and death”.  Two very different concepts.  I’ve yelled at my kids when they’ve been in mortal danger.  What Vic is talking about is yelling, “DO NOT PUT THAT PENIS IN YOUR MOUTH OR YOU’LL GO TO HELL!!!”

See?  Different.

The flaw in the book (or rather the article about the book) comes here

Mr. Shields, a 34-year-old assistant professor of government at Claremont McKenna College in California, reached this conclusion after interviewing leaders of 30 Christian-right organizations, attending training seminars and surveying the materials used to instruct the rank and file.

Again and again he encountered the same injunctions: Remain civil. Engage others in conversation by inquiring into their viewpoints. Eschew arguments based on religion or the Bible in favor of facts and reasoning that might persuade people regardless of their religious convictions.

All you can say is – duh!

Racists do this, too.  Watch American History X or listen to some racist radio shows.  They are well aware of the fact that most Americans won’t join a group like the White Aryan Resistance if their pitch is “Join us because we hate niggers.”  Instead, they start with crime and work from there.  The arguments they build do rest so much on fact as they do emotion.  That’s why the Willie Horton ad defeated Dukakis.  The GOP never came right out and called Obama a nigger but the non-issue with Jeremiah Wright served that purpose and what do you call a black person that “hates” white people and therefore, America?  BINGO!

By default, the trainer knows more than the trainee, regardless of what the training is about.  Think about my interaction with the employee at the AT&T store in the previous post.  God knows how much money AT&T spent developing the training curriculum for employees.  That curriculum didn’t just happen.  They want employees to behave a certain way and to hit certain talking points.  “Inculcate” is exactly the right word.  They want a predictable outcome.

And so do the leaders of the religious right.  Jesus is only part of their agenda but their agenda ends in Jesus.  Like racists, they understand that simply saying, “you’re going to Hell” doesn’t work.  Rather, it’s about guiding the mark towards a conclusion ending with the trainee telling the mark, “Wow, that’s exactly what Jesus preached about – pro-marriage and anti-abortion!”

To their mind, “hate” only exists on the “other side”.  Jesus didn’t hate so they don’t hate.  Satan hates so it we must be the haters.  Like everybody else, xtians believe that the world would be perfect if only we’d do what they say.

And that would stop the hate.

Tweetin’ 2009-04-25

April 25th, 2009 No comments
  • – bible promise for iphone – “Missed your girlfriend’s birthday? Find guidance in the “Courage” section. ” thank, JC! #
  • A woman in her H2 could not reach the parking ticket dispenser because the thing is too fucking big. HAHAHHA, #
  • Hoo! #
  • first song played on my new touch? heart attack and vine – tom waits #
  • @LiberalDose everyone has a talent in reply to LiberalDose #

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Tweetin’ 2009-04-25

April 25th, 2009 No comments
  • – bible promise for iphone – “Missed your girlfriend’s birthday? Find guidance in the “Courage” section. ” thank, JC! #
  • A woman in her H2 could not reach the parking ticket dispenser because the thing is too fucking big. HAHAHHA, #
  • Hoo! #
  • first song played on my new touch? heart attack and vine – tom waits #
  • @LiberalDose everyone has a talent in reply to LiberalDose #

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In Which I State The Obvious…Again

April 24th, 2009 6 comments

AT&T wireless sucks.

The story goes like this:  My old iPod got stolen out of my car through my own fault and negligance.  Having complained about it, some very nice people took up a collection so I could get an iPhone, which was somewhat overwhelming.  (Doubly so, since the last time someone offered to do it, they lied).  I took my shiny gift card down to the Apple Store, brimming with excitement…to find out that it would cost $200 extra because I wasn’t elgible to upgrade.  I needed to wait, I was told, for two months.

“You can go to the AT&T store and talk to them, if you want, but we can’t do anything,” the steely-eyed Apple Store hippie explained.  Apple’s reputation reeks of feel-goodness and compassion, but you don’t build a business with that.  Have you ever really watched Steve Jobs?  He may apologize before he slits your throat, but he’ll still slit your throat.

The AT&T store employee also explained (or recited) that Apple and AT&T have an exclusive agreement that prohibits early upgrades.  She told, and she had a point, that AT&T wasn’t preventing me from getting an iPhone.  It would just cost me about double the price it would two months from now.

“I could give you to a manager,” she told me with a certain glee in her voice, “who would give you to a manager and you would go all the way up to the vice president and he’d still not approve it.  It’s a contract with Apple.”

I knew better to get into it with a store employee and my youngest hates listening to conflict so we went home.

“I’ll call them,” I said, groping for my non-iPhone.

“Once we get home,” she told me.

“You don’t want to hear grumpy daddy?”


Thus, I went for a walk when I called Customer Service.

My question was simple: I was given money to buy an iPhone.  AT&T wanted to quibble over two months for me to get the pricing that they tout.  Why shouldn’t I take that money, buy an iPod Touch and take my business to AT&T?

The first level rep I got threw in the towel almost immediately and kicked me up a notch to second tier.  I’ll give Valerie high marks.  She was kind, patient and well spoken.

“What we’re really talking about, I think,” she said, “is money.  You could get your iPhone but you’d have to pay extra to get it now.”

“That’s true,” I said, matching her patience, “but the thing is, is that I pay you every month.  You don’t pay me.  AT&T is perfectly willing to lose me as a customer because of a two month upgrade thing.  So, let’s not get into a discussion based on money.  Because AT&T loses that one.”

“Well, you’re pretty much right on that,” she said.

THAT is top notch customer service.  The faster you diffuse the customer’s argument even if it means admitting the truth, the less cranky that customer can get.

She and I went around and around, always coming back to the same point.  The policy was set in stone.  But here’s the stupid part – if someone gave me an iPhone they would quickly switch me for effectively nothing.  That’s right.  If someone gave me a physical phone, there’d be no problem.  I just couldn’t buy one.  As the kids say – WTF?

In the end, we parted, if not friends, at least not hating each other.  She upgraded our lines with 100mins each and apologized sincerely.

So, it’s onto an iPod Touch.  I’m not sure if I’ll cancel AT&T.  All cell phone companies suck.  But I’m not giving them an extra $30/mo fo a data plan.  Especially since, as I found out last year, it’s not strictly required to have an iPhone with AT&T.

Thanks for your generosity, folks!  You know who you are!

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