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RANDOM RANT: MEMORY FOAM BEDS

Once upon a time when America was still America, if you went to sleep on a bed and an imprint of your body remains in your mattress after you got up, you had a crappy-ass mattress. Now such mattresses are heralded as the Rolls Royce of beds. Its a shame that we’ve fallen so hard for the lies.

"Based on NASA technology"

I’m calling bullshit if no one else will. Why would an astronaut need a mattress when there is no gravity in space?

But real litmus test is comfort. Have you ever slept on one? Ouch. Its like trying to take a nap on quick sand. The next time someone tries to charge you too much for one of these beds, blow your rape whistle and run away in a zig zag pattern.

STFU, Conservatives: A timeline of events

andyandtherobot:

Taken from here (thanks StumbleUpon)

1980: Ronald Reagan runs for president, promising a balanced budget

1981 - 1989: With support from congressional Republicans, Reagan runs enormous deficits, adds $2 trillion to the debt.

1993: Bill Clinton passes economic plan…

(via stfuconservatives)

My Winning Strategy for Obama: Progressives for Governor Romney

    It is no secret that Mitt Romney, the presumtive Republican nominee, has changed his positions on many important issues in order to pander to the electorate. As one of my friends pointed out to me, a politician changing their views on a subject is not necessarily a bad thing, but Romney’s pension for telling the people what they want to hear is legendary. My advertisements would work thusly.

     Play an eloquent video clip (that will stand up to fact-checkers, unlike his current small business line of attack on Obama) of Romney supporting a liberal position that he now opposes. After playing the clip, Obama comes on screen and says. “I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message from the Mitt Romney from ___ years ago.”

This simple, effective, and poignant the line of ads will have a threefold effect:

  1. Knowledge of Romney’s previous positions will alienate his already unenthused base.
  2. Romney will have to actively engage these issues and explain why and when he changed his mind. Any explanatory ad expenditure will take away from Romney’s on-message ad spend and since the Republicans are trying to buy the election, it will help Obama stay competitive. 
  3. Romney will be viewed as a “flip-flopper”, a line of attack that sank John Kerry in 2004.

    Below is a sample list of items that Romney is on video doing that Obama could take advantage of. There are a lot of great one’s from his debates with the late Senator Kennedy:

    There are many more but I think these are most salient to the race and can be most damning to Romney if his base and swing voters are made acutely aware of them. In the primary, Gingrich and Santorum were afraid of Romney “the Massachusetts Liberal” being unable to espouse conservative principles with a straight face. I say we help them realize their fears.

Tweet About Gabby’s Hair If You Want To… Fellow Idiots

We all know that black women have a love-hate relationship with hair. Black hair is beautiful, kinky, majestic, wild, easy-to-do, unmanageable and everything in between and its gawked at, made fun of and praised. It’s even entered the health discussion recently, with some black women saying that exercising is difficult because sweat messes up their hair. It’s enough of an issue that Chris Rock did a very good look at the subject with his movie “Good Hair”, a must-watch for anybody with even remote interest in the subject. 

Twitter is a service I used a lot (I have almost 36,000 tweets, kinda embarrassing right?) and I basically have the gist of how it works. People crack jokes about whatever is around them at the time— cheap shots at people who will, with 99.9% certainty, never read your tweets is a funny past time. We talk about horrible performances on the grammy’s, the awkward split on Angelina’s Acedemy Awards dress and whatever the heck Jocelyn thinks she’s doing on #LHHA. (If you’ve never watched Love and Hip Hop Atlanta while following your funniest friends on twitter, you’re missing out.)

Recently twitter and black hair hung out and it didn’t go so well, but this post is not really about Gabby Douglas. For what it’s worth, I defended the wonderful gymnast’s hair when one of my friends cracked a joke about it, “live” ( you can find the tweet here —>  https://twitter.com/jmndrms/status/230467795475914753 ). My friend who’s smart, socially conscious, a black woman herself, and someone who’s very interested in hair, just made a quick comment for a chuckle and moved on. This post could have been about the black girl in the Hunger Games and the brouhaha that errupted after people said some truly horrible things about her.

So again, the point of this post not to talk about Gabby as much as it is to point out how ludicrous it for a blogger to search a database of 500 million people’s tweets and act shocked or outraged to find people who are saying “offensive” things. It’s even more ludicrous when we go crazy about said blogger’s article, sharing and retweeting, like they just suggested for the first time that pre-slicing bread would bring us into a new era of convenience.

There are around 900 million active twitter users. Statistically speaking, if 0.0005% of people tweet something rude about a subject, that’s around 500 life altering tweets about someone’s hair who’s just won a gold medal. Lazy reporters giving shine to a mean people is just stupid. It’s the internet. Of course people say mean things. Have they ever been on youtube? People laughing at other people on the internet is one of the main reasons people log-on and everyone is guilty of doing it (cc: failblog.org). I understand the history and emotion behind the criticizing of black hair (and I would advise more tact for people discussing the matter) but I’m also cognizant of how blogs make money. Outrage.

Gawker.com, a very important aggregator blog on the world wide web’s, entire business model is outrage. “Here’s what shameless thing is happening in a corner of the world. Allow us to tell you about it so you can go on a justice-demanding, 3 tweet rampage that only you think matters and so you can feel better about yourself.” I fall into this trap all of the time but the thing I hate most is when someone tries to generate a page view (and ad revenue) from me by telling me something a fellow idiot said on twitter. Who cares what they think? For every tweet about her hair there were a million tweets expressing pride that she was representing the United States.

I’ll care when someone with clout says something ridiculous (I’m always ready to take Bachman to task for saying something astonishingly stupid, but she is a congresswoman who is on the House Intelligence Committee) but its grating when a blogger amplifies racist, stupid or jovial inconsequential people on the internet, primarily because we know that already. Besides, it’s just twitter. 

They’re just using us for page views. The next time you read “People say mean things on twitter,” be grateful that everything is still normal.

This... is White Privilege: #779

thisiswhiteprivilege:

White privilege is gasing and shooting 71 people, killing 12 of them and rigging an apartment building with explosive. Then have the media to not only refer to you in the most respectful manner but all but doting on you for being a Ph.D Neuroscience candidate. Meanwhile, the late Trayvon Martin,…

The Religious+Stoner: WHAT I WOULD TELL MY KIDS AFTER THE AURORA SHOOTING

religiousstoner:

Today, one of my friends tweeted the following words:

“I do not have any faith in the human race anymore.”

Certainly, his proclamation is understandable on today, while we try to reconcile our construct of the world with this fresh stain on the pages of American history. It’s fair to feel…

(Source: propagandablog)

Government, Private Enterprise, Taxes and What It Means to Be American

You’ve just read the title of this blog post and are probably thinking, “that’s a really ambitious blog post.” It’s not. Thats because all of these things work and have been working in tandem to make the United States one of the greatest countries in the world.

Today the two candidates both did something I liked. They both stopped talking about surface level issues like tax rates for 5% of Americans and $500 million dollar line items in the budget. President Obama and Governor Romney started to talk about their view of America. 

Obama gave a speech saying that government is good for business. He pointed out that interstate commerce is made possible by government roads (which are crumbling and need to be repaired by a person who needs a job), the government created the internet, the government got the ball rolling on computers and the government freely educates the workforce that companies need in order to operate. Regulations are in place to protect consumers and ensure fair competition. Essentially, there is no such thing as purely private enterprise. American companies are great because they are American, and government has a role to play in our economy.

Romney has echo’d the same sentiments on the campaign trail today (almost exactly) but he has also come out as a strong proponent of free enterprise. He wants to lower taxes, deregulate and basically let CEO’s run the economy. Today in particular, he took the president out of context, when he said “you didn’t build that.” Here’s a piece from the conservative Washington Examiner, basically counter-arguing the argument I make here, but making it clear that I’m not making this up. Obama thinks that Government aids success, Romney believes it stands in the way of it.

The argument over government hands in the economy carries over into the argument about government hands in people’s wallets. No matter what the current tax rate, the GOP tax policy will always be less. But we all know to climb out of the deficit, we need to make big cuts to big  programs that matter (social security, medicare, the military- which wont happen) or raise more revenue. Anybody telling you a bridge to nowhere actually matters to America’s massive coffers is lying to you. Obama believes that the wealthiest American’s should sacrifice more to help lift the country out of debt. Romney says the rich need and deserve their money.

This is where what it means to be an American in. Even though Romney’s go-to attack dog, disgraced Governer (born in Cuba) John  Sununu was forced to apologize for saying Obama needed to “learn how to be an American”, I think Obama had a better grasp on both what makes a good economy and what it means to be an American.

If you want to know what happens when an economy has a lot of resources but bad government look no further than Nigeria. By all accounts, Nigeria should be at least a 2nd world country, if not a first. It has vast mineral wealth, it’s expats have the highest rate of going to college in the United States (yes Nigerians go to college more than Asians) and its is centrally located in Africa, which should make it a trade hub. But alas, lax government organization and corruption has impeded their progress. Businesses suffer because government doesn’t have their back. Safety, infrastructure, health, education and innovation, which are all looked after by the American government over here, are not well tended to. As a result, businesses suffer. If you want to know what happens when there is too much government, look at Russia. State-controlled businesses and lack of free enterprise keep Russia on ice.

The happy middle is America. We were founded on sacrifice, we grew threw sacrifice, and now we are trying to forget the word sacrifice. Many people think the signers of the Declaration of Independence all lived happily ever after but nothing is further from the truth. Our founding fathers swore an oath to give their lives, their coin and their lives. They lost children, their houses and land, their freedom, their money and yes, some even lost their lives. William Morris, known as the financer of the Revolution, spent years in debtor’s prison. This country was founded on sacrifice and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 

Transition to the period after the Great Wars when this country really took off. In the 1951, the marginal tax rate on those making over $250,000 (not adjusted for inflation) was a whopping 91%. GDP growth that same year was 15%. We have not seen that growth in the United States since. I’m not suggesting superhigh taxes like that should be enacted today or that there weren’t other circumstances aiding that astronomical growth (on the contrary, I think Obama’s ceiling of $250,000 for a tax cut extension is a bit low should be raised to at least $500,000 if not $1mm). What I am saying, though, is that letting tax cuts expire for the rich will not be the end of the world. What I am saying is that taxes, in moderation, are not un-American. What I am saying is that a little shared sacrifice goes a long way. Finally, what I am saying to Governor Romney is this:

I admire your success. But you should know that your story would be impossible in a state without a regulated financial system. Bill Gate’s succes could not happen in China where patents mean little to nothing. The Koch’s brothers success would be impossible with out the interstate highway. The entire economy would falter without the social safety nets, like Medicaid, that companies rely on to pick up their slack in regards to salary. The wealthiest Americans didn’t do it by themselves and it’s American to give to your country, within reason, which means the rich should at least pay the same taxes their secretaries. 


p.s. Release those tax return Mitt!

(via gthegentleman)

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_kyjlxtmqno1qb6180o1_400.jpg

WHEN THE COLLEGE KID IN A WHARTON GROUP PROJECT CHIMES IN

whatshouldwecallpenn:

Everyone’s just like,

U.S. Judges Admit to Jailing Children for Money

jonathan-cunningham:

Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan of the Court of Common Pleas in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, plead guilty in open court that they sentenced children to juvenile detention because they were paid off to do it by the PA Childcare and a sister company, Western PA Childcare corporation that ran the private facilities.

[…]

The companies in question paid the two judges more than $2.6 million dollars to send children to detention.  The companies receive a stipend from the government for each inmate they house.  So as more children were sentenced to the detention center, PA Childcare and Western PA Childcare received more money from the government, prosecutors said.

According to the Juvenile Law Center, a Philadelphia nonprofit group, teenagers were sentenced to detention for simple misdemeanors.

The two judges face up to seven years in prison under a plea agreement made with the state.”

They made millions of dollars by selling children (and driving them to suicide), and all they get is a handful of years? The US legal system is a joke and people who pretend we have the rule of law are the punchline. 

(Source: sarahlee310)

Adjust Your Aim: Keep the Trayvon Martin Case about Justice

            For the few who don’t know, Trayvon Martin was fatally shot by neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, while walking home, unarmed, to his parent’s house. Zimmerman followed Martin after flagging him as suspicious, perhaps due to his hoodie and perhaps due to his skin color. Following the DP article yesterday Aya Saed, I notice a very troubling comment section at the bottom of the article. It seems that in the span of a few weeks since this story broke, the debate about whether Zimmerman should stand trial for shooting Trayvon has sadly broken down along political and racial lines.

            On the side of people seemingly not ready for Zimmerman to accept full blame, people have said all manner of things. The Sanford police department has gone on what can be best described as a smear campaign, releasing ancillary details about marijuana use as if that is a relevant offense or capitol offense. People have already started extrapolating on that, claiming that since he may have been smoking weed, he had to have also been smoking PCP, as if that is a relevant or capitol offense. Presidential hopeful, Newt Gingrich called Obama’s extension of sympathy to parents who lost their young son “disgraceful”. Fox News journalist Geraldo River tweeted “His hoody killed Trayvon Martin as surely as George Zimmerman”. Even others have been searching earnestly for a reason to side with Zimmerman because they do not want to be on the losing side of what they consider a race war.

            On the side calling for Zimmerman’s punishment people have been saying all manner of things as well. People have been dwelling on the fact that Zimmerman is half-white, as if simply having white blood is reason enough to indict someone for killing a black person. Others have scoffed at the fact that Trayvon could have possibly overcome a man who had 100lbs on him. Yet others have tried to dismiss evidence showing that Trayvon is an average teenager, including his suspension for possession of marijuana residue.

            The posturing on both sides needs to stop. It would be horrible for this case to devolve into what the OJ Simpson trial was— a racial skirmish where facts were of little to no value. The movement here is justice for Trayvon Martin; not the prosecution of Zimmerman, or the post-mortem slander of Trayvon nor the slander of those seeking justice for him.  No group should try to score any points from this.

             While I personally believe that race played a factor into the police’s seemingly casual handling of the crime scene, I cannot be sure. I am troubled by the amount of people choosing the “what I can I do not to believe this?” line of reasoning instead of the “can I believe this” line because I think it highlights some deep-seeded underlying issues. However, I have been a part of the uproar about the lack of investigation, and now that it is being thoroughly investigated, I am content to sit back and wait for the results instead of spewing irrelevant vitriol in the air. I hope more people can do the same.