Dooty.

Nov. 17th, 2013 08:48 am
madbaker: (KOL)
I have to report for jury duty tomorrow morning. Oh joy. However, I do not plan on weaseling out of it.

madbaker: (Nubian?)
Yesterday I got an e-mail from an undergrad classmate - a different classmate is running for governor and she's trying to drum up donors for his Bay Area fundraiser.

However, he's running for governor of Montana.
I don't appreciate California being used as a fly-by political ATM. Whether I support or oppose the candidate is irrelevant.

madbaker: (beyond my control)
I don't feel particularly strongly about the Supreme Court's decision allowing corporations to donate to political campaigns. I doubt that they will suddenly take over the political sphere as some alarmist writers have suggested.

What I would like to see, however, is the equivalent of the relatively recent rule allowing union members to opt out of the portion of dues spent on political contributions. I'd like the ability to tell companies in which I own stock to rebate that portion of their spending back to me. Granted, the amount is probably so small when divided by the number of stockholders as to be insignificant for me -- but it's the principle. I suppose there could be a central registry where these are aggregated, but where would the resources come from to fund that?

What I'm reading: Laura Reeve, Vigilante

madbaker: (Reginald Perrin)
"San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Jennifer Siebel Newsom are celebrating the birth of a healthy baby daughter, Montana Tessa Newsom."

Firing up the anagram generator for "Montana Tessa" produced "A statesman? No!"

madbaker: (demons of stupidity)


Alameda county Representative Pete Stark says "The more debt we owe, the wealthier we are". I've grown somewhat blase about politicians being ignorant morons, but these are the people who claim to be in charge of the economy? (He's on the Ways and Means Committee, which deals with taxation.)

Sorry, Pete. I apparently don't have the right to criticize your incomprehension, as I only have a bachelor's degree in Economics. (Oh, wait - your bachelor's is in engineering.)

madbaker: (Nubian?)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews riot in Jerusalem

Here's what bothers me the most about the situation:
"In recent weeks, ultra-Orthodox Jews and authorities have clashed repeatedly over the Jerusalem mayor's plan to open a municipal parking lot on the Sabbath. Ultra-Orthodox Jews oppose the idea because driving is forbidden on the Sabbath, saying the move would violate the city's religious status quo."
This offends me for the same reason imposing any religious restrictions offends me. Driving is forbidden on the Sabbath? Great - don't drive. But don't tell me, a non-adherent of your faith, that I am forbidden (or compelled) to do so. The same goes for eating fish on Fridays, wearing a niqab or burqa, displaying images of Mohammed, having an abortion, and so forth.

Don't tell me what to think or what to believe. Especially don't tell me how to behave based on your morality. I am capable of making my own choices.

What I'm reading: Brandon Sanderson, Warbreaker

madbaker: (disgruntled clown)
I had to read this through three times.
"GM collapsed because the government forced the company to bear more of the costs of health-care and pensions than competitors like Toyota and Honda," said Jerry Gillespie, president of UAW Local 160.
And what color is the sky in your world?

madbaker: (Krosp)
Obama to Limit Pay for Wall Street, NFL, NBA, MLB

(2009-03-22) — With the debate over AIG executive bonuses nearly bringing official Washington to a standstill in the past three weeks, the Obama administration today expanded its plan to control Wall Street executive pay, adding provisions to limit compensation for star performers in the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Baseball (MLB).

"Some of these sports stars, like AIG execs, have negotiated sweetheart deals paying them millions of dollars, and yet they lose games," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. “The president shares the outrage of the American people at these obscene salaries and bonuses. There's nothing that makes the little people feel littler than the thought of these fat cats getting fatter just because that have specialized skills that are in high demand in a free-market economy."

Indeed, the White House released a recent poll showing that 75 percent of Americans answered 'Yes' to the following question:
"Do you believe President Obama should personally limit the compensation of anyone who earns a lot more than you do?"

"How hard can it be to show up on Sunday and toss a few passes?" said Mr. Gibbs. "The fact that some people earn a lot more money than others just demonstrates the savage inequalities inherent in a capitalist system, and explains why the president has taken deliberate action to end it."

Under the terms of the pay-limit plan, the president would appoint a panel of university economists, union leaders, and "ordinary American community organizers" to establish paycheck parity between average hourly-wage workers and the people "who have carved out for themselves an unequal portion of the pie."

"In America you can dream as big as you want, but everyone agrees we need strict controls on those whose dreams have come true," Mr. Gibbs said. "The people deserve a system in which there are no limits to your potential, only to your achievements."

Yes, it's satire. Plausible, though.

madbaker: (box o' stupid people)
"We've had eight years of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Before that, we had eight years of Clinton Derangement Syndrome. And though people forget it now, President Reagan inspired a lot of anger and hatred, too. Can I ask that, regardless of who wins, we tone things down a bit?"

Good advice.

madbaker: (Reginald Perrin)
"Go get the government you deserve." -Howard Tayler

madbaker: (Reginald Perrin)
Curious as to how the subprime mortgage mess started?
Here's the unedited SNL skit that is a dead-on satire. NBC pulled it and later re-released a tamer version, doubtless under some heavy pressure.

madbaker: (tard)
Well, cool! Maybe I'll vote independent this year.
From Yesterday's Tomorrow, for a Better Today!

madbaker: (demons of stupidity)
Senators attached a provision repealing a 39-cent excise tax on wooden arrows designed for children to an historic $700 billion financial-markets rescue that passed tonight by a vote of 74-25. The provision, originally proposed by Oregon senators Ron Wyden (D) and Gordon Smith (R), will save manufacturers such as Rose City Archery in Myrtle Point, Oregon, about $200,000 a year. It's one of dozens of tax breaks benefiting Hollywood producers, stock-car racetrack owners and Virgin Islands rum- makers included in the broader legislation.

madbaker: (Nubian?)
Barack Obama, in Michigan:
"I mean, you can't just make stuff up. You can't just reinvent yourself. The American people aren't stupid."
Sadly, all of that has been proven false time and time again.
(If that was the worst lie of all the campaigns, I'd be thrilled.)

madbaker: (Reginald Perrin)
As it is, there are more Democrats here so sometimes I appear to tilt Republican. For the record, I'm not aligned with either party.

I completely agree with the Democratic talking heads and (some of my friends) who have said that McCain's choice of Palin is condescending to women - if the GOP expects women to blindly vote for them based on gender.

By the same token, it's equally condescending to expect minorities to vote Democratic because there's a non-white male on the ticket.

Do the research and vote for a ticket that most closely aligns with your priorities and beliefs, not because of gender/race/attractiveness/height/etc.
Think for yourself, schmuck!

madbaker: (PVP)
in the Casablanca "shocked to discover gambling here" sense, anyway:
"Evidence in Georgia Belies Russia's Claims of Genocide"

and more trivially, "George Lucas gets in touch with his inner Ewok, unleashing the force of an animated "Star Wars" spinoff that'll make hard-core fans howl like Chewie."
madbaker: (brains!)
"If worthless men are sometimes at the head of affairs, it is, I believe, because worthless men are at the tail and the middle."
-John Adams, 1805

madbaker: (mammoth garlic)
I wish Wikipedian protesters were really out there during politicians' speeches.

madbaker: (demons of stupidity)
Pretty much sums up some of my feelings on the matter:
"Here are these caricatures that say that Muslims are violent, and to show they are not true, there are Muslims who say we will kill you.
"What we are being asked is to forbid all criticism of Islam, which is an exorbitant demand, considering that in our country, the Catholic Church and the Pope are drawn through the mud all the time."
-Alain Finkielkraut, French philosopher

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