Joss Whedon and politics

Don’t think this is only about the US, people.  You have been warned!

Joss Whedon On Romney

Joss Whedon is responsible for Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Angel; Firefly; Dollhouse; and, most recently, The Avengers.   His brain is weirdly wonderful!

 

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Lobbying: where the money is

You know the heavy and certain feeling that life is busy enough without having to police what other people are doing?  That we just have to let some things go because there simply is not enough energy to earn a living and take care of the homefront?

One of the things that haunts the very back of my brain is lobbying.  It really bugs me.  Somebody is earning a hefty living to pass along benefits, shall we say, to someone else who is earning a hefty living in order to ensure the original Somebody’s positions prevail as policy.

All lobbyists are not of one ilk:  the community-minded humane Somebodies lobby, too.  But what I can’t grasp is that I care enough to vote locally and nationally as an informed citizen, but there are other folks who are able to circumvent my votes because they are busy influencing the lawmakers with shiny new toys.

Ah, we say, there’s just too much living to do to be able to keep track of the background of all the complexities of our culture, especially the economic complexities, so it’s good that Somebody is keeping track of that horrific catalog of details that affects my community and  my life.

Yes, but if we don’t know the details, we don’t know the intricacies, then why on earth are we handing our proxy to Somebody?   This reminds me of the Big Mister’s tale of his Union work reps who wanted the members to vote on a contract that they had never seen.

Wait!  Mom told me to read everything before I sign it.  Everything.  Not everyone does that, but Somebody does!  I hold up lines and progress as I stand and read the little tiny letters that spell out my obligations and theirs.  I’ve been known to cross out offensive lines of text.

But this is fighting City Hall at its worst and most despairing:  I have not actually handed my proxy to Somebody, but Somebody is using my proxy, my voice, my vote.

Lobbying is a ginormous moneymaker for a select group of Somebodies.  It is, fundamentally, a wrong addition to governing of the people, by the people, etc.

Lobbyists can be from outta town–the Royal Bank of Scotland, in the news today because of the nearly 1 million Pound bonus given to the chief exec, has spent millions lobbying US lawmakers.

US Lobbying Disclosure Act Database

I did a brief search this morning on the US Lobbying Disclosure Act Database, just to see a tiny slice o’ the pie, a snapshot of who’s doing what to whom, a glimpse at the Somebodies.  They are legion.  This is wrong.  My search terms were:

Client country = USA, $$ reported greater than $50,000, and the single issue of banking.

Results: 7,872 distinct reports of lobbying payments of greater than $50,000 each for the issue of banking.  Lordy, look at some of those names.   And look at those amounts!  The report screen size is mercifully small; I don’t think I could handle a huge chunk of that information all at once.  As it is, all I could do was scroll around, sort by year, then feel ill, and start writing.

Definitions

Lobbying

From the Office of the Clerk, US House of Representatives Lobbying Disclosure Act Guidance, (on that page, click on the left menu to go to the definitions):

That’s distressing, that last line.  Am I missing something or is that encouraging obfuscation?

Lobby

Here’s a definition of lobby from the online Merriam-Webster:

Yikes!  Do you get the picture of the milling around outside the legislators’ chamber,  Somebody waiting to pounce before or after a legislator is in that chamber of lawmaking?

Way at the bottom of that definition page is Origin of Lobby.  Ah, I see now.  Lobby derives its roots from the Latin meaning gallery.  As in peanut gallery.  Never a term of endearment.

Good morning, anyway!  Just be aware, and do the best you can.  Lobby your own selves for the dismantling of the lobbying system.  Now go get another cup of coffee and wonder about breakfast as the cat trips you on the way into the kitchen.  Regular, understandable life.

craigslist and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

we’ve talked about this before.  here is the craigslist take on the Stop Online Piracy Act.  please don’t let our world be controlled like this.  George Orwell’s 1984 doesn’t need to happen.

craigslist | about > SOPA.

The internet is an amazing creation–think of the people you’ve met and the places you’ve seen because of the electrons that are connected in some sort of web.

third-party commentary: Congress Clown Show

My friend Betty and my Mom both laughed when they read this (me, too!):

From The Week (dated Dec 23, 2011, p. 6, paraphrased), which is a nice little weekly news recap paper publication.

Bad Week for Trust in Government (real headline!)

A Gallup Poll showed that 64 percent of respondents rated Congress as low or very low.

This is their worst rating since someone started counting these things.  Their conclusion:

Congress now rates below telemarketers.

(Ed. note:  In the interests of spreading kindness, I have edited out my commentary.)

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The US Congress Clown Show

Go see this blog: Friday Sharesday!

Oh man, I love these elderly women!  Margaret and Helen.    The political commentary alone is refreshing!

I found them as a blogroll link from here:  wildcelticrose.

Addendum to Diatribe Against the National Defense Authorization Act

First:  the indefinite detention is only a part of the Act.  Much of the Act goes to defense spending, including paying our armed services.  Don’t get me started on a kajillion-dollar we-have-more-killer-weapons-than-anyone budget line item.

This clarification doesn’t change the policy embedded in the defense spending bill.  Something I did know that made the suspending of due process a terrifying policy is that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA) actually felt the pressing need to propose a lil ole stand-alone codicil to that worrisome suspending of due process entitled Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011.  The summary statement is this:

“To clarify that an authorization to use military force, a
declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not
authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen
or lawful permanent resident of the United States
and for other purposes.”

OK, clarification stated.

I have done more reading this morning and discover, as flippin’ usual, that obfuscation and just-damn-made-up-on-the-spot is in full swing–with all who have anything to say about the policy of indefinite detention.

Why can’t I have clear information on which to base my opinions?  I’m not sure of the method by which I could get that clarity, but I have an inkling that working as if everything were an emergency lends speed but not the willingness to spend time to find that way to disseminate information.  The complexities of our governing system seem to make accurate information-sharing impossible.  Think:  internet news.  Agggggghhhhhh!

We are quite busy trying to survive, thank you very much, and cannot take the painstaking time that good research requires.  Help me out here, Folks in High Places.

This reminds me of a recent moment at my husband’s workplace, which is union.  On the day they were to vote on their contract, the union steward was ready to get the voting underway and was mighty surprised and inconvenienced when my husband had the gall to say he wasn’t going to vote on the contract because he hadn’t even seen it!  Damn fools.

The stupid continued–you [Ed. note:  singular “you”] can take the contract home tonight and we can vote tomorrow, but we normally don’t like the contract to leave our hands.  Wait!  What?!  Pressure to vote for conditions he and the rest will be laboring under without being privy to the conditions?

The patriarchal head rears and shows all three rows of its teeth:  pat, pat, pat; there, there; we’ll take care of everything for you; just sign here; trust us.  We know what’s best and it’s all just too complicated and that’s why you elected me [shop steward][president][senator][city councilmember].

My indignation, humiliation, and upset have not changed since yesterday’s diatribe.  The new feeling is one of helplessness at my inability to act like a participating citizen.

I’m gonna go bake cookies and bury my head in happy stuff.  Just gotta live my life.  If the bad time comes, I’ll go hide-and-guerilla-fight until they come to get me.  Ain’t goin’ without a large noise.   If you’re taking names, get mine straight because I will be one of the leaders.

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

US piracy legislation = Censorship

Wake up, US!  Prevent the return of Bush-era secret dealings, Cold War-era paranoia, AND the McCarthy-era  blacklisting!

I heard about this legislative conversation, that happened yesterday, from a lady who lives in Ireland.  Have not seen it discussed here in the US.  To be fair, I do not haunt news suppliers–too much fear-mongering–so I may have missed this.

BBC News – Google, Facebook warn against new US piracy legislation.

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Declared redundant

The pressure builds, the atmosphere shrinking, pressing.  High-altitude breathing, gasping to tease out the combo of airs that will sustain.

Only in the last year or so did I hear the expression “made redundant,” which is the equivalent of the US “laid off.”

To be laid off is a shunting aside, a putting away, but still along the stream of the action.  To be made redundant says that the purpose is gone, done, over, shoved away from the stream.

Coming on two years ago I was made redundant.  …  More

News you can’t use

I was clicking through my repertoire of news sites this morning, and in case you hadn’t heard, the world economies are in trouble.

Gloom and doom.  Depressing.  Fear-mongering.

Fortunately, our cartoonists help to splain the situation to me, especially about the hope of new jobs here in the US, which is kind of important to me considering that I got laid off more than 1-1/2 years ago and am being forced out of the job market, such as it is, because of my age.

New Adventures of Queen Victoria, thank you.  Now I’m positive we’re screwed.

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Bless You, Dear Jack Layton 1950 – 2011. Love, Canada. « Hyperactive Inefficiency

Bless You, Dear Jack Layton 1950 – 2011. Love, Canada. « Hyperactive Inefficiency.

Simply beautiful, Ms. Hyperactive Inefficiency. (This is a re-blog, a Press This.)

Readers, please be sure to click on the link, which is the quote, and read the document that comes up.

Gotta laugh…

…cuz mostly nothing seems funny right now.

If we did not have political parties with names, wouldn’t we be using colorful words instead to describe the individuals therein?  Such as:  He shares.  She shares.  They all share.  S/he cares.  S/he is mean-spirited, self-centered, and oblivious.   Stoopid, steam-rollin’ bastards.  Mine mine mine.  You can’t have any.  Go away.

Manufacturing laughter ain’t easy, but here’s something that guarantees some chuckles if not actually barks of laughter.  Find this little-known, but well-loved movie:  “Big Man on Campus.”  (Big Man on Campus (1989) – IMDb.)  Laugh.  Relax.  Feel better.   Grin at Tom Skerritt while you wonder how on earth he got involved in this project!  (The sidekick character is annoying to me, but he does provide a great foil to our hero, the Big Man on Campus.)  You know who else is in it?  Cindy Williams from Laverne and Shirley fame.  I hope she has worked a lot because she has a certain something!

Also see a delightful fan club site for this movie.

Big Man on Campus

Let’s see if Netflix has it.  Nope, and Mr. Skerritt doesn’t have it listed in his profile.  Go figure.

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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