Thursday, March 29, 2012

Confirmation of the Obvious: Hate and Bigotry Are Used to Manipulate You

So, thanks to a recently released internal memo,
we now have additional hard evidence of a phenomenon that is probably as old as civilization itself: the promotion of hate and bigotry to manipulate people. Yes, in their crusade against gay rights, the colossal suckwads at the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) want to "drive a wedge between gays and blacks - two key Democratic constituencies." How would they do this? Here are some examples (quotes are directly taken from the memo linked above):
  1. By promoting black spokespeople to speak out against gay marriage and "provoke the gay marriage base" into denouncing these spokespeople as bigots.
  2. "Fanning the hostility raised in the wake of Prop 8..."
  3. "Consider pushing a marriage amendment in Washington D.C." (DC is over 50% black, over 60% minority)
  4. "Find attractive young black Democrats to challenge white gay marriage advocates electorally."
Also, NOM isn't just focusing on black voters:
"The Latino vote in America (note the insensitivity of talking about Latino voters while using the term 'America' to refer to the US) is a key swing vote, and will be so even more so [sic] in the future...." What does NOM intend to do about it? "We must interrupt this process of assimilation (whereby Latinos might abandon 'traditional family values') by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity - a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation. We seek to identify glamorous young Latino and Latina leaders, especially artists, actors, musicians, athletes, writers, and other celebrities ... regardless of national boundaries."
It's nice that they're willing to look beyond "national boundaries" with respect to this issue. Too bad it doesn't extend to the egregious laws attacking Latinos in states like Alabama and Arizona.

Of course, not all of the strategies were race-based: "We also work with Catholic Bishops and Protestant Pastors to educate religious voters on the costs of gay marriage."

Finally, they also want to "sideswip[e]" Obama by "Expos[ing] Obama as a social radical. ... Raise such issues as pornography, protection of children, and the need to oppose all efforts to weaken religious liberty at the federal level." As many on the left have always said, no matter what Obama does to appease these extremists, they will always attack him as an extremist.

Folks, although this will make headlines, this strategy is nothing new. In fact, the NOM gets donations from rich people who want to keep the poor people fighting about gay marriage rather than fighting about income inequality. If you're curious about this phenomenon in America, I would highly recommend reading Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States."

However, I don't want to downplay the significance of this document's release. Frequently when people discuss this "divide and conquer" strategy, it sounds like paranoia to people who aren't yet convinced of it. This document is a great piece of direct evidence to show you that it is real and that people do use bigotry regarding race or sexual orientation or national identity or religion just to manipulate the people for their own, unrelated goals.

Props go to Rachel Maddow's Blog and Buzzfeed for bringing this to my attention.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Mission Statement

And I'm back. Yeah, it's been a while. How have you been? You look good!

Seriously, though, I've decided to blog again. It's something that I haven't had the time for in a long while. Lots of thoughts, no time. That needs to stop. I now acknowledge that this is just part of who I am. I enjoy developing thoughts on my own (writing helps me do that) and sharing thoughts with others to stimulate discussion to further explore reality and help me fumble my way closer to truth. And I like to harass other people with my view of reality. Actually, I really hope I'm never perceived as this last bit. Please keep an eye on me, though. Thanks.

So... years after this blog was first established, I'm finally getting around to figuring out what I want it to be about. Yep, I'm a planner.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Death from Above - Now for US Citizens!

Check out this video on "targeted killings" from the ACLU:

I just simultaneously crapped my pants and threw up in my mouth a little.

Is it progress that the US government is finally showing an equal disregard for its own citizens' rights as foreigners' rights?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mystery: Where Are the People?

I arrived in Salta late yesterday and was promptly met by a ridiculous shortage of available rooms. Seriously, there was a huge line at the tourism office at 8pm of people just looking for a place to stay after getting turned down by the first several places they tried. And even after getting relatively gouged my first night, I only was able to get another place on the express condition that I am out by 10am tomorrow because the place is completely booked Fri and Sat.

With this kind of crush in the hotels, why is it that every restaurant I've seen tonight is almost dead? Where are the people?

For fun, though, I'm going to include a photo of the wall at Luna Verde, where I'm eating dinner (and also the first place in Argentina that put picante on my table as a matter of course. Score!):

Best wishes to all of you out there in the world!

A night in Buffalo

OK, so I haven't been great about updating my blog, but I have a huge backlog of half-finished entries. I just found this one in my phone. I wrote it on my phone while I was out having dinner and drinks in Buffalo, NY. I think I intended to polish it up, but I think it's a good read as-is. The numbering at the end is me trying to distinguish between the different drinks I was having. Nothing has been changed except for the addition of one picture and the correction of one typo where I said "in" and meant "on." I hope you enjoy. This was on the evening of May 14, 2010.

So I'm in Buffalo for the night, unexpectedly. Since I know nobody here, I am going out and have plenty of time to blog on my phone as I am not distracted by conversation. Yes, I am a total loner tonight. As such, I will give you a review of my drinks and locations.

Salsarita: the concierge at my hostel told me about this place. He said it wasn't bad Mexican food (he was comparing it to SF taquerias, which are the gold standard as far as I'm concerned). I was expecting a hole-in-the-wall and the place looked like a chain restaurant. Should have skipped out then. It's a level up from Taco Bell (aka the Worst Food Ever), but is 83 levels behind the lowest rung for SF taquerias. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.

Allen Street Hardware: nice venue. [Ed. note: here's a pic from that night:

Allen Street Harware]

Red walls covered in original pieces of art, a huge bar, and 4 beers on tap, none of which I've never seen before. It also appears to serve some pretty good food for reasonable prices. I hate that fucking concierge right now as I'm full on shitty Mexican food and this menu looks über-tasty! Here's what I drank:
1) Piledriver IPA ($4.50 pint): made exclusively for this particular bar/restaurant, it is an excellent IPA. Milder hops than most IPAs, but with that same distinctive IPA taste and a lingering finish.
2) The first IPA filled me up quite a bit, so I'm not trying their other IPA, called Tröegs, for my next beer as the bartender said it is "really hoppy." Instead, I opt for the Rare Vos Belgian brew out of Cooperstown ($4.50 pint). Delicious! Smooth, but not too floral and sweet as some Belgians can be. It tastes like a pilsner with a faint hint of delicious root beer. Just enough flavor to let you know it's Belgian style.
3) HOLY CRAP the other bartender was wrong about the other beer being an IPA. It's the fantastic Nugget Nectar by Tröegs.
4) Check receipt in pocket
5) hoegarden
6) I am fuuuukt! Woo hoo! mamas little yella pils- oskar blues

Scotty is the MAN!!!!

[Ed. note: Scotty was my bartender, who was probably the best bartender I've ever had. Incredibly patient and attentive and yet somehow able to handle a crazy number of customers simultaneously. He gave me a free beer even before I told him that I thought he was the best. Of course, the next day I was talking with someone at brunch and mentioned Scotty and they said "Oh yeah, he's won 'Best Bartender' in Buffalo a couple times." Go Scotty, go!]

Location:Buffalo, NY