Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

20 Words and Phrases That Mean Nothing

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

If you hear these words from someone who is trying to sell you something or get your vote, you can be assured that all of the words associated with them are false or devoid of information:

  • Improved
  • Best
  • Greatest
  • Cheesier
  • Voted the most
  • Fun
  • Sophisticated
  • New convenient size
  • It will blow you away
  • Our forefathers believed/intended
  • Fancy
  • Kids love
  • Naturally flavored
  • I won’t lie to you
  • We can’t offer deals like this for long
  • Truly
  • Classy
  • Chewiest
  • Tastiest
  • Americans want/think/believe/are saying/need
  • Change You Can Deal With

    Sunday, July 6th, 2008

    Dear members of the political media,

    Every time you refer to someone changing their mind as a “flip-flopper,” you continue to act out the script set for you by the Bush campaign back in 2004.

    Are you not tired yet of being manipulated so easily and baldly by mudslinging campaign strategists? Are you so simple-minded that you sincerely believe this phrase is of any value to anyone thinking critically about issues of national and international import?

    It is 2008 now. Please grow up. Thinking, intelligent adults change their minds. It’s part of being informed and realistic about the world around you, so stop treating it like a weakness, you fools.

    Sincerely, Chris Rugen

    To Own Your Right to Eat, Completely

    Monday, April 14th, 2008

    I’ve had The World According to Monsanto playing in the background as I work today. In short: Monsanto, throughout its history, has acted on a policy of poisoning, lying, legal bullying, and bribery. They are in the process of spreading their genetically modified crops around the world, both through commerce and the simple fact that plants spread themselves, to eliminate unmodified crops and to, quite literally, own all of the major food crops in the world. Think about that. You wouldn’t be allowed to grow, for example, corn without their permission and without paying royalties. Think it isn’t happening? It already is. This isn’t something that will happen, or might happen. It already is. The only thing left to determine is how much it happens. Think the government will do it for you? Wrong. The government and Monsanto have a revolving door between them. The last three presidential administrations have connections with Monsanto. This is not a party-specific issue, either.

    As I learn more and more about the corporation named Monsanto (which began as a chemical company, not an agricultural company, by the way), I become more disgusted and confused by the people behind the name. What do these people think is the inevitable result of something like this? What do they tell themselves to make the destruction of lives (both professionally and literally) seem acceptable? The worst part is that I’m sure sitting down with them would only yield groomed PR doublespeak. But I would love to have a frank conversation with one of them.

    The Pit All Afire

    Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

    A coal mine, seen silhouetted on the horizon at sunset, with clouds in the sky.

    “Oh, Daddy, I’ve had such a dream;
    I dreamt that I saw the pit all afire,
    And men struggled hard for their lives;
    The scene it then changed, and the top of the mine
    Was surrounded by sweethearts and wives.” —Don’t Go Down the Mine Daddy

    I attended an interesting talk this past weekend given by University of Pennsylvania Professor of Astrophysics, Ken Lande. He made an interesting point during the course of his talk on the “post-fossil fuel era.” While his ultimate point was that a decentralized energy source such as wind or solar would be far better, safer, and more secure for us, he pointed out an interesting comparison between two other, far more prevalent, energy sources in use today.

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    If Your Mother Only Knew

    Thursday, February 28th, 2008

    Listening to NPR this morning on the way to work, I caught some interviews with voters in Texas, leading up the the primaries there. The self-identified Christians they spoke to all seemed to echo the same sentiment: I won’t vote for Hilary because a man should lead this country.

    Seriously? Seriously. Seriously.

    I know that conservative Christians have trouble with scientific scholarship. Are they also now ignoring all of recorded history?

    I Am King of…This Room!

    Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

    I’ve been listening to NPR coverage of the presidential races all morning (unfortunately) and seeing blurbs online. I’d like to send a message to those of you covering the primaries and caucuses:

    Winning one state is not a crushing blow to the opposition and winning one state after losing one out of a total of two is not a comeback. You idiots.

    Now please start covering something other than your airheaded opinions about other people’s opinions about 1/25th of something.

    Thank you.

    Interrogators of the Nazis Decry the U.S. Defense of Torture

    Monday, November 5th, 2007

    By way of my friend Steve, a Washington Post story that says it just about as clearly and forcefully as anything:

    “We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong than they do today, with their torture,” said Henry Kolm, 90, an MIT physicist who had been assigned to play chess in Germany with Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess.

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    Seriously, Does This Even Qualify as a Rational Response?

    Thursday, October 4th, 2007

    ABC News is reporting some terribly important news. My friend Adam passed along this thrilling article to point out what has to be the absolute perfect quote from Sean Hannity. Why am I repeating something that this slack-jawed puppet is saying? Because it precisely communicates why he should be ignored and then we can all move on.

    Apparently, Senator Barack Obama stopped wearing his American flag pin.

    Thrilling, right? Glad we’re focusing on things that are of any importance. Oh man, what if he’s secretly a terrorist now? We should totally ask him:

    “You don’t have the American flag pin on. Is that a fashion statement?”

    I did not make that question up. Obama responded, “You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin,” Obama said. “Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we’re talking about the Iraq War, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest.”

    All of this is pretty expected, right? Silly question that he knew would be asked is asked. He answers it. What’s so mind-bending is Sean Hannity’s response:

    “Why do we wear pins? Because our country is under attack!”

    I could not make stuff like this up. Is this really what masquerades for political discourse these days?

    Now, with all that free time you have now, you can go read some real news.

    Monsanto Whines as Consumers Opt for Hormone-free Milk

    Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

    Monsanto, the wonderful people who’ve brought genetically engineered seed and bovine growth hormone into every virtually every household in the U.S. and elsewhere, are now complaining to the FTC that “ads mislead consumers into thinking that milk from cows not treated with rBST are healthier or safer than dairy products from cows treated with the hormone.”

    If you aren’t laughing scornfully at Monsanto, you should read up. Monsanto’s responsible for some good and some bad things in this world, but that’s less the point than that this move is so ridiculously hypocritical. Monsanto is a very large, very powerful corporation which has, as corporations must, defended itself and pursued its interests very aggressively via lobbying and marketing. It is laughable when they whine about an ad that says:

    “We work exclusively with farmers that supply 100 percent of our milk from cows that haven’t been treated with artificial hormones. So, who do you trust when it comes to your family’s milk?”

    I hope that rBST (recombinant bovine somatotropin) is eliminated from all milk everywhere. It makes it into the milk and it makes it into your body. End of story.

    Hey, maybe Monsanto can get back to focusing on selling farmers seeds that yield sterile plants, so they have to keep re-buying all of their seed each year. That’d be nice for Monsanto.

    Resident Evil 5: Is It Racist to Kill Black Zombies?

    Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

    So, Capcom is developing the fifth Resident Evil videogame in the series. The Resident Evil series is about various misdeeds of corporations and cults that lead to zombies. In the fifth installment, it appears that there’s an outbreak in Africa, and the lead character who you play as has to kill African zombies in Africa. This worries a woman named Kym Platt, who writes a blog that focuses on African Women’s issues. She writes:

    The new Resident Evil video game depicts a white man in what appears to be Africa killing Black people. The Black people are supposed to be zombies and the white man’s job is to destroy them and save humanity. “I have a job to do and I’m gonna see it through.” This is problematic on so many levels, including the depiction of Black people as inhuman savages, the killing of Black people by a white man in military clothing, and the fact that this video game is marketed to children and young adults. Start them young… fearing, hating, and destroying Black people.

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