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James · Dawson's · Irregular · Thoughts


Being the Meandering Musings of a Gentleman of Leisure

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So tired of victim-mentality enablers of the status quo who whine that the insultingly inadequate, corporation-enriching Obamacare is the best insurance "reform" Americans can expect. Compared to Arab Spring countries overthrowing their entire governments, switching the US to a single-payer universal healthcare system shouldn't be regarded as an unattainable fantasy.
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I've just dispatched the following e-mail to Barbara Boxer, one of California's two dreadfully useless, infuriatingly wrong-headed and overall embarrassing United States Senators. My note was in response to an e-mail from Boxer's office trumpeting her support for a bill that would prevent our elected representatives from receiving their pay during a hypothetical government shutdown. While I agree that no one in government should be paid...not only during a budget-related hiatus, but at all other times as well...there are rather more important issues that should be higher priorities.

The content of my e-mail follows:

I've just received an e-mail about your "No Budget, No Pay" bill. If this is the kind of thing you consider to be a worthwhile use of your office, please do your constituents a favor and resign. There are so many more important issues that need your attention, such as ending our insanely expensive wars, and establishing universal single-payer healthcare (as opposed to the horrendous "welfare for insurance companies" Obamacare). I find it disgusting that you think wasting your time on trivial nonsense bills such as "No Budget, No Pay" is an accomplishment worth bragging about. Get to work on things that matter.
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Once again, the LA Times cut off the final zinger of a perfectly crafted letter I sent to them. Here is what was printed in the paper's 10/19/10 edition. (The letter was my response to a sickeningly fawning 10/16/10 front-page article about a professor who wants to make all parking more expensive.)

UCLA urban planning professor Donald Shoup's rather unimpressive revelation is that higher parking fees increase revenues and decrease congestion. Using the same logic, why not install fee-charging pedestrian turnstiles at every crosswalk, which would raise even more money while discouraging even more people from blighting urban areas with their presence?

My original letter went on to add this frightfully witty tongue-in-cheek topper:

Later, simply start taxing citizens for each time they open their front doors and step outside. After all, anyone who can't afford to pay what people like Shoup think is fair has no right to be on the streets.

Bastards!
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Today's LA Times included a front-page Calendar section story about the planned new US embassy in London, which inspired me to send this response:

Apparently the cost to taxpayers of the opulent and unnecessary new American embassy in London falls in the same category as a haute couture frock to your architecture critic: If you have to ask, you can't afford it. Writer Christopher Hawthorne never bothers pointing out that the State Department's moated money pit will cost a rumored one billion dollars, further proof that our obscenely overspending government has criminally misplaced priorities.


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A current carmaker commercial that drives me nuts is the new one for Kia that begins "our story began with a bicycle in 1951," while we see a 1950s fair-haired and obviously caucasian boy riding a bicycle through the Georgia countryside. What the..??? It's as if Korean Kia is pretending that the company was founded in some Mayberry-like American small town (such as West Point Georgia, where we are informed that Kia has just opened a new plant) by wholesome, plaid-shirt-wearing, and very white country-folk. Bizarre.

To see it, click right here.

Does this ad say more about Kia's identity shame, or about the prejudices that Kia thinks American consumers possess? Discuss.

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Honestly, I should know by now to stop sending mail to the LA Times letters page. As someone once wrote, never argue with anyone who buys ink by the barrel.

In response to an op-ed column by Gregory Rodriguez, I sent the following:

Rodriguez simultaneously claims he is against open borders but that illegals should be counted, inflating census rolls enough to add congressional seats in the states where they reside. When did permanent illegal residence become a "basic human right" granted by the US Constitution? The only right to which illegals should be entitled is speedy deportation, a concept that Rodriguez never bothers to mention. Ideally, the reason illegals would not be counted in the 2010 census would be because they had been sent back to their own countries.

But this is how the letter appeared in today's (11/8/09) edition:

Rodriguez simultaneously claims he is against open borders but argues that illegals should be counted. When did permanent illegal residence become a "basic human right" granted by the US Constitution? The only right to which illegals should be entitled is speedy deportation, a concept that Rodriguez never bothers to mention. Ideally, the reason illegals would not be counted in the 2010 census would be because they had been sent back to their own countries.

The astute reader will notice that the Times deleted the clause about illegals "inflating census rolls enough to add congressional seats in the states where they reside." That issue was my main point of disagreement with Rodriguez.

Is it any wonder that no one with any sense trusts corporate media outlets anymore?
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A lot of websites misquote the disbarred perjuror and serial liar Bill Clinton by leaving out the first half of the stupidest sentence he ever uttered. What Clinton actually said, in a 1995 address at Michigan State University, was this: ""There is nothing patriotic about hating your country, or pretending that you can love your country but hate your government."

The first half of the sentence is fairly inoffensive. But the second half makes no sense whatsoever, because it equates the concept of country with the policies of whatever idiots, thieves, murderers and hypocrites happen to be holding office at the time. Plenty of people loved America but hated its government when Clinton was in office, and then when Bush was in office, and now with Obama in office. To make the most obvious comparison, anyone who thinks a country is its government is doing an insulting disservice to Germans who opposed the Nazis when Hitler was in power.
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I just sent Rolling Stone the following one-sentence response to the magazine's 8/20/09 cover story "Obama So Far":

Considering Obama's expensive bailouts of corrupt corporations, his abandonment of meaningful healthcare reform and his failure to bring home all American troops from two unwinnable wars, I feel better every day that I voted for Ralph Nader last November.

(I'm so sure Rolling Stone won't print the thing that I don't feel redundant including it on this page...)
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Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that Barack Obama miraculously managed to defeat the shambling monstrosity known as John McCain for the presidency. Obama didn't get my vote -- not only because his ambiguous promise to end the Iraq war 16 months after taking office was another way of saying that the war would last exactly 16 months longer than necessary, but also because his FISA vote this year proved he is as unconcerned with Americans' right to privacy as Big Brother Bush has been. (I voted for Ralph Nader, whose anti-war, anti-corporate, pro-Constitution and pro-healthcare stands were more to my liking.)

But despite the fact that I'm far less disappointed that Obama won instead of McCain, Obama's choice of Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State saddens and disgusts me, as it should everyone who regarded Obama as anything better than a typical political hack. How else to explain the fact that he has selected as his Secretary of State someone whose claims of foreign policy experience he mocked on the campaign trail? The only conceivable reason why Hillary Clinton was chosen was to make it more awkward for her to run against Obama in 2012.

So in order for Obama to eliminate his only potentially serious 2012 Democratic rival, he is putting her in an Obama cabinet post for which he essentially has said she is unqualified. Clinton, a resume-inflating liar whose shrill and shrewish demeanor is exactly the wrong temperament for the nation's top diplomat to possess, will be the face of America to the world...all to prevent an awkward and embarrassing party squabble four years from now.

And as for Obama's all-is-forgiven attitude toward Judas Lieberman...well, you get the idea.

Stand by for four years of continued disillusionment, folks. The more things change, the more they remain the same.
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Can the Republicans get away with stealing yet another election? Why not? Americans proved in 2000 and 2004 that they will sit back and do nothing no matter how great the injustice. What this country needs is a charismatic, storm-the-barricades leader who can rally those of us on the loser left against the hateful sociopaths on the racist right. Somebody who can get people off of their asses and into the streets.

Good luck waiting for that guy to come along.

I wonder if whoever said that people get the government they deserve factored in election fraud, rigged voting machines and voter suppression? If John McCain and Sarah Palin come to power illegitimately, do Americans really deserve to be overlorded by those two lying monstrosities?

Sorry, but I don't buy that kind of "blame the victim" reasoning. Thieves and con artists aren't entitled to their ill-gotten gains simply because they successfully rob or dupe their victims.

America is on the wrong-track road to hell. On November 4, we either will make a U-turn or get in the express lane. And there won't be any rest stops.
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