Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

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The Government: Too Big to Succeed

May 3, 2009

googleharm_whitehouse

The more I hear, read or otherwise absorb about our government, the sicker I get. Over the course of my lifetime, our representatives have been quickly shedding the pretense of being their constituents’ voice in Washington.

At this point, the entire process has gone off the rails. Here are some suggestions for fixing it:

Term Limits
They’ve slapped one on the highest power in the U.S. ever since FDR refused to die until his fourth term. But for some reason, senators and congressmen are allowed to hold the same damn position for 20, 30, 40+ years.

I’m not sure what this says about their constituents (other than they’d rather not have to change their “angry citizen tirade” letterhead), but let’s just get a new set of ripoff artists into the seats every 6-8 years.

This should motivate any worldbeaters to do more than piss their time away with motions recognizing local heroes (“James Klum, for setting a new meet record at the district II-AA regional quarterfinals…”) and spend more time actually improving their nation. This will also limit the damage done by special interest whores with a career-politician mentality.

Eliminate Automatic Pay Raises
Currently, to be eligible for a bump in pay, all a Congressman or Senator needs to do is sit home and wait for the automatic pay raise to sail through uncontested. Understandably, this day is chosen by the D.C. janitorial system to do a deep cleaning of the usually congested area.

Pay raises should be instituted only upon reelection. Better yet, let your constituents vote on your yearly pay raise. I guarantee most government employees would select the former rather than leave it in the hands of the same people they’re pissing off.

End the War on Drugs
I’m not going to spend much time rehashing everything that’s wrong with this dismal failure. So far, the only purposes it serves is to ensure a healthy income for foreign drug lords and a steady incarceration of stoners.

Revamp the Legislative System
Open any major bill to a public vote. Better yet, allow each state to vote separately. This one-size-fucks-all form of legislating is making a mockery of the word “representative.” Certainly, this will keep a lot of pork from being shoved into the bills’ ILBs. Plus, the government really needs to learn to trust its citizens, rather than following the normal “Uncle Sam’s Day Care for Adults” line of thinking.

Campaign Contribution Transparency
Yeah, this is in place already but who is really going to spend the time researching all of these names and trying to connect the dots. My suggestion is that each candidate be given a NASCAR type jumpsuit on which to sew the logos of each major corporation/special interest group that has donated above a certain dollar amount to them. These logos should also be applied to their campaign vehicles. Once another higher dollar amount has been met, any televised speech/debate should have a mandatory introduction a la this: “Republican Congressional Candidate A, brought to you by Enron, Mobil and a special grant from Philip Morris.”

It’s time to let the people know who you really represent. If elected, the jumpsuit stays on.

Government Employees
Effective immediately, via a speech from Alec Baldwin, all employees have one week left to work. Make them earn their jobs back. Nothing is more crippled than the multi-billion dollar collection of lazy, underqualified, bureaucratic hacks we call public service. And while we’re at it, tear the budgeting system a new asshole. No more of this “use the rest of the budget or we won’t get it next year” bullshit. More wasteful and useless programs have been created and abandoned just to make sure the hole receives the same amount of discarded money from year to year.

To sum up: you’re all fired and have one week to prove you’re worth something. Your new budget is $0. Try to keep it as close to that as possible.

-CLT

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Playing for the Other Team

April 30, 2009
A young Specter exchanges conscience, soul in exchange for lifelong employment.

A young Specter prepares to exchage conscience, soul for lifelong public employment.

Arlen Specter’s recent “defection” to the Democratic side had cause a bit of an uproar recently. And why? I mean, honestly, who gives a shit?

It’s not like he suddenly switched from “career politician” to “useful member of society,” is it? Or suddenly got up and started pushing through a serious term limits bill or ended the automatic pay raise system (where you get a bump just for not showing up). Or stated that he was ending his 29-year charade as a public servant and returning his salary to the general public.

Make no mistake about this move. It’s all about getting reelected. He has been not so subtly hinting that he may need some help winning his upcoming primary. His close friend Biden has pretty much guaranteed some first-class stumping from him and his boss.

And it’s not as though he hasn’t allowed the winds of public opinion to shift his platform before. He was elected as the D.A. for the city of Philadelphia as a registered Democrat running on a Republican ticket.

So, what does it all mean?

Who fucking cares? As a career politician with a history of inserting one finger to the wind and the other nine into our back pockets, does it really make any difference? Oh, sure. It takes the Dems one vote closer to ironclad filibuster-proofing. Bully for them.

But while the non-stopping mugging of our children’s children continues, does it really matter which team the thugs are playing for?

-CLT

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Hey, Big Spender!

April 21, 2009

money-bag

As the government at all levels continues to look for those elusive revenue streams, the seem to ignore some very exploitable cash cows. Right now their focus seems to be on gas (higher taxes, per mile taxes) and, of course, the old punching bag, cigarettes.Every time I light up, I try to look past the additional $.70/pack I’m paying and instead focus on the inner city health care I’m apparently providing. It is important that the underprivileged youngsters stay healthy as nothing fucks up a successful crack operation faster than an asthmatic 10-year old who can’t do any heavy lifting or outrun the cops.

But as noted economist/delivery boy Philip J. Fry once said, “You can only take my money for so long, before you take it all!”

Some suggestions for additional taxes (“Now with 50% less representation!”):

pimp-daddy-purle 

Prostitution
I know that this will be a tough sell, what with our representatives being more used to whoring themselves out, but it might be a refreshing change to don the Purple Suede Hat of Pimping (+3) for awhile.

Think of the benefits. No more turf wars over the best corners. Healthier hoes. Excise taxes collected on “the deed.” Awesome higher tax bracket incomes. All above the table (income-wise, anyway) and all on the books. An additional chapter or two in public school health books. Fewer communicable diseases. Fewer beatings from pimps/johns. Law enforcement freed from punishing victimless crimes. Win-win all around.

And if your stable of rockstars would prefer to work for drugs, please see the next entry.

dope-wars

Drugs
Now here’s something the government is used to doing. Pushing. They shove public schools, subsidies, tax increases, hybrid vehicles, ethanol, warrantless wiretaps and thug-like airport security down our throats. Why not start pushing something the people want?

The benefits? No more throwing $50 billion+ down the k-hole. Tax on sales. Tax on purchases. Tax on supplies. Tax on dealer incomes (punish the rich). Fewer inmates means less of a tax drain on the public. (My apologies to those towns in the middle of nowhere who have used the burgeoning inmate population to outfit the local high school with a jumbotron and 30,000-seat stadium. Find another gravy train, leeches.) Cleaner, safer drugs. Cleaner, safer streets. Three or four new chapters in the health book. Child labor laws may need to be relaxed, though.

Disposable Bottles

Bottled Water
Perhaps the most redundant product ever created. The stuff is already overpriced and available thru your motherfucking tap. If people want to pay $1.29-1.69 per 20 oz. of dressed-up New Jersey tap water, then I doubt they’ll much care if they suddenly have to pay $1.69-2.09 a bottle. Especially if you tie the tax hike to some middle class guilt triggers, like Alaskan wilderness reserves, inner city schools or some such bullshit.

And let’s not forget the under-exploited rave crowd. While they’re enjoying your heavily-taxed Ecstasy, feel free to turn off the water fountains and bathroom taps and start raking in $6/bottle. All tax. All night long.

 the-simpsons-ed-begley

Hybrids
Since people are already purchasing these more for status than for any sound fiscal potential, add a couple of grand in taxes to the sticker price. State lotteries have already proven you can tax the ignorant. The downside to this is that lotteries, etc. tend to tax the lower classes, who have a finite supply of cash to throw away and tend to absorb at least as much tax as they provide.

Once again, it is time to soak the rich. And the reasonably well-off. And anyone else falling along the “Upper Middle Class Twit” tax bracket. Any purchase motivated by Ed Begley-esque self-satisfaction or white guilt can’t possibly be taxed enough.

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Booze
Granted, this is taxed already. But is it taxed enough? No one’s allowed to light up within 200 feet of anywhere but you can still booze your way into a vehicular homicide charge without everyone coughing conspicuously or comparing you to Hitler. Secondhand smoke may kill, but it takes those years of the end of “innocent” people’s lives, rather than demanding it up front like a drunk driver coming through the living room window.

Besides, this whole sin tax on cigarettes reeks of hypocrisy.

Is it the health thing? It’s not ok to destroy your lungs, but it is ok to destroy your liver, kidneys and brain. Too much heart disease with the Marlboro men (and women)? What about all those gorging themselves into a lifelong case of diabetes before succumbing to massive heart failure?

Either tax the fuck out of everything harmful or don’t bother. You’re fooling no one. Besides, you may finally get those bitchy bar owners off your back by chasing out what’s left of their crowd with scarily high drink prices. Serves ’em right for trying to get ahead in America, the land of opportunity the level playing field.

-CLT

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Starving? Maybe You’re Just Eating the Wrong Food

April 18, 2009
Local green partiers announce that they are "full of shit."

Local green partiers announce that they are "full of shit."

Apologies in advance for the length of this post…

You hear altogether too much these days about how far we have strayed from the purer, more organic ways of our predecessors. Let’s go ahead and set that straight:

Although it is widely held that modern food is “less natural” than it used to be, mealtimes in the nineteenth century were a far riskier activity.

Business morals in the British catering industry were never lower than in Queen Victoria’s day. Deliberate food adulteration, with no laws to prevent it, grew to horrific proportions as food suppliers cheerfully ripped off and poisoned their customers at the same time.

Some of the most common frauds included the use of ground Derbyshire stone instead of flour, fake Gloucester cheese colored with red lead, baked horse offal from the knacker’s yard in coffee, lead chromate in mustard and even iron bars baked in loaves to make weight.

People died after eating green blancmange colored with copper sulphate and yellow Bath buns colored with arsenic. Fifteen people died after buying sweets from a Bradford market which were found to be laced with white arsenic.

Beer drinking was possibly the most dangerous activity of all: in one year there were over 100 breweries were convicted for contaminating beer with poisonous substances, including sulphuric acid, which was added to “harden” new beer, and iron sulphate, added to give it a good frothy head.

Source: The Little Book of Bad Taste by Karl Shaw, Robinson Publishing Ltd., London

It’s an indication that life has been far too good for far too long when certain people begin bitching about the steady supply of food. Large parts of the world suffer from food shortages and near starvation, but rather than support the advances made in agriculture, they would rather turn back the clock.

Nobel Prize winner Norman Borlaug has been fighting an uphill battle against world hunger since the 1940’s. Reason has a great interview with him here. Despite his work in eliminating food shortages in Pakistan and India as well as ongoing efforts in other countries, groups like Greenpeace and the Sierra Club cast him as the villain, due to his support of pesticides, hormones and hybrids.

Norman outlines some of the roadblocks that these self-righteous jackasses have erected to slow agricultural progress in Africa. DDT was outlawed so draft animals die of sleeping sickness meaning that all farm work tends to be human-powered. Pesticides and Roundup-ready crops have been blocked, meaning that native grasses quickly overrun any productive crops. Projects to create roads have been rejected which prevents quick input and output of crops, fertilizers, etc.

As for organic farming being better for human health and the environment?

That’s ridiculous. This shouldn’t even be a debate. Even if you could use all the organic material that you have–the animal manures, the human waste, the plant residues–and get them back on the soil, you couldn’t feed more than 4 billion people. In addition, if all agriculture were organic, you would have to increase cropland area dramatically, spreading out into marginal areas and cutting down millions of acres of forests.

At the present time, approximately 80 million tons of nitrogen nutrients are utilized each year. If you tried to produce this nitrogen organically, you would require an additional 5 or 6 billion head of cattle to supply the manure. How much wild land would you have to sacrifice just to produce the forage for these cows? There’s a lot of nonsense going on here.

The real miracle in our lifetime is that anyone in America, Europe or other parts of the developed world can drive or walk to the nearest grocery store and find all the food they need. Years of development in the agricultural field has taken us to a point that many places in the world can only dream about.

The other miracle? Your grocery store is full of reasonably priced food despite the fact that everyone in the supply chain is out to make a buck. The other great “evil” of our time, the market system, turns a profit and yet you still won’t go hungry.

And yet, these elitists and supposed do-gooders aren’t happy. The produce comes from hybrids, growth hormones “infect” the meat, the chickens are restrained and force fed, the box stores are eating up too much real estate and the supply trucks cause too much pollution.

They have the money to live how they want. And they should. If they want to buy only organic produce and pure, hormone-free meat, then they definitely should.

But what they definitely SHOULD NOT FUCKING DO is impose THEIR standards on everyone else. I would say that they don’t have that right, but since our legislative system seems to more than willing to be abused by every special interest group, no matter how regressive or ridiculous. The extremists are willing to use their wealth, influence and special brand of guilt to tear down the food chain and rebuild it in their own image.

Borlaug again:

As a matter of fact, I think this [lack of perspective] is true of our whole food situation. Our elites live in big cities and are far removed from the fields. Whether it’s Brown or Ehrlich or the head of the Sierra Club or the head of Greenpeace, they’ve never been hungry.

The end result will be an expensive, limited food supply that will cause shortages the world over and price the lower classes right the fuck out of the market.

The arrogance of these groups is astounding. What sort of Marie Antoinette rationale will they pull out their superior asses when the less-fortunate can’t put food on the table? “Let them eat video lottery?”

Perhaps they would be happier with some state-blessed genocide to rid the world of those who are content simply knowing where their next meal is coming from.

-CLT

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Your Government Hates You and is Quite Possibly Trying to Kill You

March 7, 2009

Everyone is looking for a solution to our out-of-control health care costs. The moment someone comes up with such a plan, the state (with some urging from large insurance companies, no doubt) is there to shut it down. I guess we’ll have to wait until their subsidized and throughly crippled health plan marginalizes our level of hospital care down to a government-approved system of full waiting rooms and substandard care. Like all the fun of a rectal exam crossed with the average DMV visit.

From the article: (via)

The state is trying to shut down a New York City doctor’s ambitious plan to treat uninsured patients for around $1,000 a year.

Dr. John Muney offers his patients everything from mammograms to mole removal at his AMG Medical Group clinics, which operate in all five boroughs. “I’m trying to help uninsured people here,” he said.

His patients agree to pay $79 a month for a year in return for unlimited office visits with a $10 co-pay.

But his plan landed him in the crosshairs of the state Insurance Department, which ordered him to drop his fixed-rate plan – which it claims is equivalent to an insurance policy.

Muney insists it is not insurance because it doesn’t cover anything that he can’t do in his offices, like complicated surgery. He points out his offices do not operate 24/7 so they can’t function like emergency rooms … “I’m just providing my services at my place during certain hours.”

He says he can afford to charge such a small amount because he doesn’t have to process mountains of paperwork and spend hours on billing.

“If they leave me alone, I can serve thousands of patients,” he said.

-CLT

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CLT’s Hand-Cranked Quote Machine v.4

March 7, 2009
"Not" a crook

"Graceful Exit"

This should be the final quotes post. For now. If you would like a transcript of these posts, please send $29.95 (American or Zimbabwean currency only, please) to:

Capitalist Lion Tamer Holding Co.
d/b/a Amalgamated Spats
3431 Annex B Road, Suite 42
LaBrea, CA  92071

Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery from DHL Pony Express.

Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious.
Brendan Gill

Ah, love. The walks over soft grass, the smiles over candlelight, the arguments over just about everything else.
Max Headroom

Marriage succeeds love as smoke does a flame.
Nicholas Chamfort

Classical music is the kind we keep thinking will turn into a tune.
Kin Hubbard

There are two kinds of music – good music and bad music. Good music is the music I want to hear. Bad music is music that I don’t want to hear.
Fran Lebowitz

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CLT’s Hand-Cranked Quote Machine v.3

March 7, 2009
"Not Guilty"

"Not Guilty"

More from the archives, hand-copied by Tibetan monks in between bouts of fasting and self-immolation…

Did you ever notice, the only one in A Christmas Carol with any character is Scrooge? Marley is a whiner who fucked over the world and then hasn’t the spine to pay his dues quietly; Belle, Scrooge’s ex-girlfriend, deserted him when he needed her most; Bob Cratchit is a gutless toady without enough get up and go to assert himself; and the less said about that little treacle-mouth, Tiny Tim, the better.
Harlan Ellison

Early in life I developed a distaste for the Cratchits that time has not sweetened. I do not think I was an embittered child, but the Cratchits’ aggressive worthiness, their bravely borne poverty, their exultation over that wretched goose, disgusted me. I particularly disliked Tiny Tim (a part always played by a girl because girls had superior powers of looking moribund and worthy at the same time), and when he chirped, “God bless us every one!” my mental response was akin to Sam Goldwyn’s famous phrase, “Include me out.”
Robertson Davies

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CLT’s Hand-Cranked Quote Machine v.2

March 7, 2009
"breasts"

"breasts"

Long story short, there are a lot more pages of quotes than I had thought. So, I’ll break this up a bit so as not too hijack the entire blog. Expect to do some jumping at the More… tags.

It had only one fault. It was kind of lousy.
James Thurber

Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than me.
Ambrose Bierce

Ninety percent of everything is crap.
Theodore Sturgeon

When I feel like exercising I just lie down until the feeling goes away.
Robert Hutchins

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CLT’s Hand-Cranked Quote Machine

March 7, 2009

evil-quotes

While in the apparently never-ending process of moving in, I came across several typed pages of quotes that I found insightful, humorous or otherwise pertinent back in the day. My guess is that I put this together close to ten years ago. The bold quotes indicate that I had highlighted these as particularly good.

Lots of cynicism in here, and that really hasn’t changed. It seems the more information I consume, the more cynical I get. I just hope that 30 years down the road, when I’m drunkenly sitting around in my underwear, bitching about how the world isn’t the same as it used to be, that it’s because it’s gotten better. I guess we’ll see.

Until then, read this. Then get yer damn baggy jeans and yer hula hoops and get out of my yard!

Equal opportunity means everyone will have a fair chance at being incompetent.
Lawrence J. Peter

Leaving sex to the feminists is like letting your dog vacation at the taxidermist.
Camille Paglia

There’s a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot.
Steven Wright

mcr-fans

When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.
Eric Hoffer

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Obama Acts to Ensure Status Remain “More Quo than Ever”

February 15, 2009

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Of the hundreds of short-sighted and regressive attachments to the trillion dollar burning bag of shit that has been left at the taxpayers’ doorsteps, perhaps nothing is more profoundly stupid than the “Buy American” requirements attached to the infrastructure projects.

Obama says the stimulus package, supported by unions, could create more than three million jobs.

One can only imagine the drunken cheering in VFW and UAW halls across America as this parasitic attachment began sucking the life out of an already badly damaged recovery plan. As these dinosaurs proudly exclaim, “Fuck them right in the wallet!,” our foreign competitors are continuing to outpace and outperform American manufacturing despite a plethora of regulatory hurtles and punitive tariffs.

“Since 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States, American workers would be the first to suffer as ‘Buy American’ provisions trigger retaliation by other countries — that is, ‘Buy German,’ ‘Buy Chinese,’ and so on,” said Chris Braddock of the US Chamber of Commerce.

“We certainly aren’t against companies and governments ‘Buying American,’ but we are against the government arbitrarily mandating such a requirement, because it would harm our economy in numerous ways,” Braddock said, citing the trade wars that eventually sparked the Great Depression.

Oh, snap! The Great Depression. We don’t want that again, do we? Unless it could be used for political advantage and the government-led “mobbing up” of failing businesses.

And Obama’s not done yet:

The next day, the Obama administration branded China a currency manipulator, setting the stage for a trade war with the Asian giant which has overtaken Japan as America’s biggest foreign creditor.

China is already one of our biggest creditors. I’m sure it makes sense to piss off our largest debt holder with protectionist policies. Not to mention the damage done to our American exporters, who may find themselves without a market as their former customers decide to buy locally.

The most unsettling aspect of all this?

This was signed off on by our first multicultural president. The man who was supposed to bringing positive change and sending notice to the world that this wasn’t the same old USofA.

It really does nobody any good to be the first black president and a young go-getter if some of your first acts are to protect the interests of corrupt and outdated unions, whose only motivation is a steady stream of union dues.

Obviously, a platform relying on the unquantifiable term “change” allows you to keep your promises even if nothing is different than the nameplate on the Oval Office.