Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Couple Different Takes on the E-word post

Yesterday I wrote a post about what I call E-words. Euphemisms. There was a paragraph about the use of the N-word. A comment came in overnight with the video below linked. Although it was close to spamming to sell the book, I published the comment after watching the video. Below the video was a little blurb saying that it had been made in response to an argument on the View over the use of the N-word. I will show you both.

Here's the one sent with the comment on yesterday's piece:

The comments by those who watched it on YouTube were interesting in themselves. And below it was a blurb stating that the above video had been made in response to an argument on the View. I don't watch the View, but have seen some video of Elizabeth Hasselbeck, and have never agreed with her. However, I can see her point here.

My grandson went to a school in the French Quarter in which he was one of two white kids in his class. It didn't make a difference to him. He loved his school. However, Hasselbeck makes a good point. How would I have told him at 8 yrs old that if his friends Eddie and Tremain used the N-word as a term of endearment or friendship to each other that it was NOT okay for him to use it as a term of endearment or friendship? It's a really really good question. Below is the argument on the View and Whoopi also makes some really good points, although I think it was stupid of them to bleep the N-word out as she spoke.

This is a tough question. And for the record, I don't think Jesse Jackson was using it as a term of endearment when he hot mic'd the word using it in reference to Obama. IMOHWO (in my humble white opinion) that was clearly NOT a term of endearment.

Let me know what you think about this. The comments over at YouTube are interesting if contradictory in some cases.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Silliness and Poignancy of E-words

Ah, this week I have very much wished for some way to reanimate Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Abbie Hoffman and Hunter Thompson--grand wordsmiths all. I've found myself alternately giggling and furious about the use of E-words.

Huh? What's an E-word, ya ask? Oh, it's a new one I made up. It's euphemism, the E-word.

When Lenny and George talked about the Seven Filthy words decades ago, their point was that it was just plain silly that some words can never be said out loud in public. Perhaps I should have said, SHOULD never be said in public. (BTW, the entire Carlin FCC transcript can be found here.)

So now we all go around saying silly things like "Oh he said the F-word" as though we don't know WHAT on earth that word actually is. "Never ever call a woman the C-word!" I might agree, I might not, but the fact is that I KNOW what the word is and in my head the minute they say "the C-word" the ACTUAL word is there unedited by the alphabet euphemism.

I do have issues with some words for sure. The N-word, for instance, still makes my skin crawl. I watched about 20 minutes of Katt Williams' comedy set the other night on Comedy Central late at night, and his use of that word, although he is black and the majority of the audience was also black, made me cringe. He must have repeated it at least 8 times in one sentence, and it made me angry. I kept hearing Billie Holiday singing "Strange Fruit," seeing old black and white footage of dogs and firehoses-- the images of my childhood news comprehension and my ten year old self looking in horror wondering why this was happening. I saw photos of black bodies hanging from trees knowing that the N-word was probably the last word the hanging man had heard. And yeah, we all know the word. We all know white people can't say it, shouldn't say it anywhere public or private if they have any conscience at all, and young black people use it all the time. Bewildering. (And please spare me the "oh you're being oh so PC" comments, K? If anything I'm showing my age, not my political correctness.)

This week a headline screamed: "McCain Campaign uses the S-word." Huh? It took me a while to figure out that it wasn't "Shit, we're losing in the polls." The S-word is Socialism? Oh dear god. I gotta keep up! It was the first time in a long time I didn't know the actual meaning of an E-word. Once I learned what they were referring to I just sat here laughing. And laughing.

Here are some E-words for you to contemplate. Which ones bother you most? Which ones would you never use even in private? And which ones are just silly. (Notice I haven't asked ya which ones you use nearly every day!)

Mother F-word
C-word sucker
F-wording C-word
God damn N-word
Anti-American S-word

Oh for heaven's sake. The REAL E-word in this election has been the B-word. Bush. With the exception of the last debate, George Bush's name has barely been mentioned by his own party candidates no matter what office they're running for. He had to have cringed a little bit at McCain's comment in the third debate.

Even McCain and Palin's "REAL Americans" don't say the B-word often anymore in public.

But the B-word is one that we all know is being used liberally in private on "both sides of the aisle" and it might just be right up there with the F-word right now. Carlin would have had to add it to his riff, and Hunter Thompson would have eaten him alive. (I mean really, think of it, Thompson on the Campaign Trail 2008! He woulda had a field day.) The B-word has now taken its place among the unspoken filthy words in some circles.

I almost, not quite, but almost feel sorry for him.

10:08PM Jon Stewart just did a piece on the S-word. His choice was better than my guess. He thought maybe scalawag or sheep F-word-er. Probably should link to him, but don't want to miss the rest of the show!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Resign for the Country and Economy's Sake?

Dan Froomkin's blog over at the Washington Post, after mentioning that Dick Cheney had another heart incident in recent days, had this interesting idea buried on the third page:

Richard S. Tedlow and David Ruben write in a Boston Globe op-ed: "The next president will be elected on Nov. 4, but will not take office until Jan. 20. Normally, this lag time is not an issue. But with the financial system in meltdown, the 'real' economy threatening to follow, and a feckless, lame-duck administration unable to lead, this yawning interval is a problem. If history is any guide, a very big problem. . . .

"But there is a way out - if our political leaders are smart, courageous, and public-spirited enough to take it.

"Assume that Barack Obama wins the election, as polls show is increasingly likely. The following day, Vice President Cheney should be prevailed upon to resign. Using his powers to designate a successor under the 25th Amendment, President Bush should then appoint, and Congress should confirm, Obama as vice president (just as Richard Nixon appointed Gerald Ford vice president in 1973 when Spiro Agnew resigned). Bush himself should then resign, elevating Obama to the presidency - as Ford became president when Nixon resigned. Obama should then appoint Joe Biden as vice president."

Sandy Levinson blogs that Cheney's heart problem presents a unique opportunity to begin the process.
Interesting idea. It'll never happen, but at least the country and the economy wouldn't languish during the "yawning interval."

Friday, October 10, 2008

I Will Reach Across the Aisle, My Friends, and Sneer

This has been an interesting week, on so many levels. I'm desperately trying to finish a couple of short stories for the Tennessee Williams Festival deadline, but have found myself distracted. Gee, that NEVER happens.

These distractions, though, are different. Indeed to call them distractions is to demean the profundity of the ideas.

For years now, nearly all the years of the Bush presidency, I have said that our country is in the midst of a silent civil war. No Gettysburgs here, no Antietams. This civil war has been raging over dining room tables and in family rooms with CNN or Fox news as the soundtrack instead of cannon shots. And just as the civil war divided families, this 21st century civil war is doing the same. Blood isn't flowing across carpets, but huge silences are in a lot of cases.

Okay, okay, so we were told as kids never to discuss religion or politics. That, IMO is total bullshit. That's how we got into this mess in part. No one talking to the other guy. Oh wait, there were a couple times when I tried that and it turned into a shouting match, or an angry email from a family member, or oh yes, the big SILENCE.

I am an American. I consider myself a patriot, but not a nationalist. I don't see them as the same things.

For many years I have watched as America turned into something different from my view of it--wait maybe I should have said something other than my aspirations for it. Car commercials, 100 per night, offering bigger and better and shinier options. After Christmas commercials saying, "Now go get what you REALLY wanted," demeaning the sweetness of giving a gift. Insurance companies telling me I'd be in good hands if I would only buy from them, or that they'd be there when I needed them. (I'm still amazed everytime I see an AIG commercial still on the air. What you want MORE?) I could insure everything I was in hock for, just in case something happened, and the folks holding the pawn ticket on my car/house/boat/motorcycle/RV/you name it could get paid. Banks were giving themselves cutesie names like WaMu, one step checking, one stop shopping, hey here at Chase we'll even let you know if you're about to be overdrawn. Money. Spend it, give it us, you DESERVE this fill-in-the-blanks cool beans thingie that comes in twenty five colors to match your shoes that you just bought on Bluefly for $600 bucks. Our stockholders will be thrilled and you can zoom by the homeless under the overpass while checking your navi and the kids are watching the latest BluRay edition of their favorite movie. Better drive a bit more slowly though, cuz odds are you don't have health insurance, and boy oh boy the bills you can rack up in a hospital---you don't wanna know. It seemed to me that people were just working and working and working, if they still had a job, so they could buy, buy, buy some more.

I aspired to an America that was more than just a rabid consumer of stuff, to be traded in, insured, or buried with. (Did ya hear? Ol' Joe wants to be buried in his Escalade! BAAHHAA is Martha ever upset. It's not even paid off and think what she'll have to pay for the burial plot! Ol' Joe, he was a pisser!)

When my husband and I moved to New Orleans, one of the reasons among many, was we just felt like we were spending our lives lining other people's pockets. My husband is more mercenary than I, he does like his toys and his stuff. I have a different relationship to "stuff" than most people I guess. Right now I have way too MUCH stuff. I prefer having less stuff and more friends. I'd prefer to sit down and have a drink with someone who's discussing an idea than a car, and one of the ideas that's been discussed this week with friends is the labelling of a "good" American as a "Joe Six-pack" kind of person.

It started in a conversation with a friend of long standing who usually disagrees with me politically. She said, "I find this whole Joe Six-pack thing demeaning and it pisses me off. It's like they're trying to make it appear that regular people don't THINK. They just buy a new plasma screen, watch football and Nascar and don't care a whit about what's going on." We went on to discuss the "tiering" of society into four tiers: The One Percent Club comprised of the CEO's and Paris Hilton's of the world; the Joe Six-packs who buy the newest biggest truck they can find and hoot YOOOOO ESSSSS AAAAAAYYY at the slightest provocation (these allegedly being the only real Americans in the tiers, oh wait, except the CEO's--I mean after all they ARE capitalists); the Intellectual Liberal Elite who are a bit effete, have no sense of humor and are mostly closet Socialists who find fault with everything American and should really go live in Europe; and finally, The Underclass which is made up of minimum wage workers, welfare mothers, mentally ill/homeless/drug addicts who don't vote or give a rat's ass politically one way or the other.

All of these tiers talk about one another but not TOO one another it seemed to us. The divisions are huge. You can jump over a giant rain puddle and maybe get your feet a little wet, but you can't leap across a chasm without probably getting killed. I'm seeing the chasms getting deeper and wider and more disturbing then ever.

In this Op-Ed piece, David Brooks talks about how "Republican political tacticians decided to mobilize their coalition with a form of social class warfare." He talks about how Reagan was open to ideas, but the latest generation of Republicans, while saying Reagan is their hero, seems to have closed their minds to ideas and instead use people like Sarah Palin to reach their "base" adding to the social class warfare. (A really good piece, I hope you click the link.)

He goes on to say:

"The political effects of this trend have been obvious. Republicans have alienated the highly educated regions — Silicon Valley, northern Virginia, the suburbs outside of New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Raleigh-Durham. The West Coast and the Northeast are mostly gone.

The Republicans have alienated whole professions. Lawyers now donate to the Democratic Party over the Republican Party at 4-to-1 rates. With doctors, it’s 2-to-1. With tech executives, it’s 5-to-1. With investment bankers, it’s 2-to-1. It took talent for Republicans to lose the banking community."

So, okay, the Republicans want the "Joe Six-packs." I get it. But fomenting a level of anger against the Obama camp to the degree that it has is a bit frightening. Not just disagreement but anger. Lots of people are angry right now, angry at the financial meltdown, conflicted about the war in Iraq, the deficit, you name it, but this WaPo article about a McCain rally is really scary. The degree of anger is nearly pathological. Socialist? Terrorist? (Nevermind McCain's gaffe at another rally calling us his "fellow prisoners"--HUH?)

I learned this week that Joe Biden's Secret Service code name is "Assassination Insurance," thanks to Ann Coulter. Again, HUH? That's funny? Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran was "just a joke told to other military guys at a VFW." HUH? That's funny? Oh wait, I'm one of those folks with no sense of humor. Gotta remember that. ::::::::::::note to self::::::::::bloodletting is funny::::::::::::

Well I am going to have to agree with CNN's David Gergen, who said on the Colbert Report last night that they really need to dial it down a notch. He said, "McCain is a better man than that." I hope he's right. And I really hope that the new civil war doesn't wind up being a real one complete with guns and that hilarious bloodletting stuff.

Enjoy the clip. The Gergen section is about half way through the video for those of you short on time.

EDIT: Evidently the AFL/CIO feels similarly. This from The Boston Globe:
Posted by Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor October 10, 2008 04:43 PM

The head of the nation's biggest labor federation is joining the chorus of voices warning about the increasingly angry crowds coming to John McCain's campaign events.
At rallies this week, McCain's criticisms of Democrat Barack Obama have been met with shouts of "terrorist," "liar," and other harsh words.

"Sen. John McCain, Gov. Sarah Palin and the leadership of the Republican party have a fundamental moral responsibility to denounce the violent rhetoric that has pervaded recent McCain and Palin political rallies," said John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, which has endorsed Obama. "When rally attendees shout out such attacks as 'terrorist' or 'kill him' about Sen. Barack Obama, when they are cheered on by crowds incited by McCain-Palin rhetoric -- it is chilling that McCain and Palin do nothing to object.

"In a world where unspeakable violence is too often promulgated by extremists, it is no small or trivial matter to call someone a terrorist -- or to incite potentially dangerous individuals toward violence," Sweeney said in a statement. "John McCain, Sarah Palin and Republican leaders are walking a very thin line in pretending not to hear the hateful invectives spewed at their rallies. McCain should end this line of attack in the strongest possible terms. Anything less puts McCain in the same camp as the racists and extremists who are bringing their angry rhetoric to his campaign events."

Thursday, October 09, 2008

See THIS is how I remember Maverick

Every time I see McCain, or hear him or Palin use the term "maverick" this pops into my head and stays there for days.

. . . . . .New Orleans, living on Jacks and Queens. . . . . . ..

John McCain GETS the hair transplant, dyes it black, changes his name to Bret. Sarah, as Bart, wields her shotgun while wearing appropriate high heeled high button shoes. She, of course, loses most of her poker hands, her tell being "You betcha, doggone it, I'll raise YA!"

Someone needs to play some Dr. John for me. I gotta get this outta my head.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Bankers' Woes and Yours Too Pt. 2

There is a lively debate going on in the comments section of Part 1, which I think you should read before you read the rest of this post. Here is the continuation of the information I got in my email the other day. Fascinating to watch the comments. Will be very curious to see what this part brings. I will also say that I've heard varying numbers regarding how much this bailout will cost each American. The 10K number in Part 2 is not mine, but worth thinking about. Also please remember, that this is quoted text, so when it says "My opinion" it is the opinion of the writer. I'm not saying I agree or not. His statements about the Lindbergh baby are interesting, and again, not sure I agree or not. I'd rather see what you think. About all this, not just the sensational bits.

Besides, I'm having lots of fun with this. I love good comments in the comments section!

Continuation of Part 1:

Translation – most of the income tax US taxpayers pay goes into the pockets, as PROFIT, of the shareholders of the private US Federal Reserve, and not for services for the country, contrary to what the media tells us. Oh, wait – we already caught them lying (See #5 above). Canada? It’s probably not that much different from the U.S.

Fact # 16 – The bailout will cost the approximately 100 million US taxpayers $10,000 each. However, interest payments on the debt (like debt on a credit card) means the final bill will be much higher.

Fact #17 – The US Income Tax Act and the US Federal Reserve Act, which gave the power of a central bank (again) to private bankers, were both passed in 1913. Coincidence?

Fact #18 – The Federal Reserve creates money out of thin air, and then lends it, with interest, to the US government. If the Fed is out of money, no problem; just type in a figure with a bunch of zeros into the computer. So what’s the real motive? It’s not the money; it’s about using money to control people through economic slavery.

Have you had enough yet?

My Opinion
This was all designed to happen by the shareholders of the US Federal Reserve. They re-wrote the U.S. bankruptcy laws about 2 years ago to make it much harder to declare bankruptcy. They allowed the predatory lending to happen. People who opposed this practice were “taken out” – like Eliot Spitzer, where in his article, “Predatory Lenders Partners in Crime”, documents the Bush administration deliberately and wilfully looking the other way (this is a must read!):
This article was published Feb 14th; the New York Times “outed” him on March 10th. The industry then re-packaged these high-risk mortgages and sold them as triple-A blue-chip investments. Competitors, with clients also demanding high-return products, sold the same toxic products. This forced some of their own firms into bankruptcy but, hey, no problem; the government will bail them out! And we can now buy our competitors at fire-sale prices! It’s absolutely brilliant.

Money is not the real issue. The Fed has created money out of thin air for many years. The goal is more control. Here’s a big clue (obviously not meant for public consumption):

The Banker's Manifesto of 1892
Revealed by US Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh, SR from Minnesota before the US Congresssometime during his term of office between the years of 1907 and 1917 to warn the citizens.

"We (the bankers) must proceed with caution and guard every move made, for the lower order of people are already showing signs of restless commotion. Prudence will therefore show a policy of apparently yielding to the popular will until our plans are so far consummated that we can declare our designs without fear of any organized resistance.

Capital must protect itself in every possible manner through combination (conspiracy) and legislation. The courts must be called to our aid, debts must be collected, bonds and mortgages foreclosed as rapidly as possible. When through the process of the law, the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and easily governed through the influence of the strong arm of the government applied to a central power of imperial wealth under the control of the leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. History repeats itself in regular cycles. This truth is well known among our principal men who are engaged in forming an imperialism of the world. While they are doing this, the people must be kept in a state of political antagonism. The question of tariff reform must be urged through the organization known as the Democratic Party, and the question of protection with the reciprocity must be forced to view through the Republican Party. By thus dividing voters, we can get them to expand their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us, except as teachers to the common herd. Thus, by discrete action, we can secure all that has been so generously planned and successfully accomplished."

Is this why Lindberg’s grandson was kidnapped and killed? (The grandson was the son of aviator Charles Lindbergh, Junior, the first to fly non-stop across the Atlantic in 1927 in his plane, The Spirit of St. Louis). And people think they will make change by voting for either Republican or Democrat?

So my prediction for the future is:

The taking over of the central bank for the U.S was not enough for these people. They are going for the control of the entire financial system, and assets, of the United States (and ultimately, the world.) They then saddle the burden on the taxpayers.

The US government will become the largest landlord in the world. There are rumours that they might change the mortgage system to be similar to the feudalistic system in Europe, where the majority of people pay rent their entire lives. Economic slavery is ultimate control. And when people cannot pay their rent to their master, they can always go get a job with the US Military, thus fulfilling the US’s role in the New World Order (England = monetary control, Vatican = religious control, Washington = military control).

A final video – for fun - on YouTube, less than two minutes. What if George Bush was in The Dark Knight?

And it’s not over yet.

And you still want to pay income tax?

Have fun with the comments. I'll be watching.