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Category Archives: Cry Uncle Samerica

Bovine Providence (or, Having a Gay’old Time at Summer Camp in North Carolina)

The latest from the great state of North Carolina…

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Miss Swiss

Miss Swiss

The kerfuffle of Michelle Bachman’s application for Swiss citizenship isn’t new, per se, but I’d be most remiss if I let a blip like this pass.  What could have been mere matter of fact — that her in-laws were natural-born Swiss citizens who emigrated, which made her husband a Swiss citizen, and therefore herself one by de jure marriage — was unnecessarily escalated by the revelation that earlier this year, while still running for President of the United States, she was simultaneously applying for her children to be Swiss citizens.  (No word yet about those 20-odd foster kids they’d had and whether those Heathers will become Heidis and Jeffreys Jans, who will trade in those elementary school recorders for alphorns, or renege nacho cheese for fondue.)   Read the rest of this entry »

 

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May D(ay) in China

May D(ay) in China

Each year on the near-south side of Milwaukee a few hundred folks gather together to commemorate the Bay View Tragedy, the bloodiest day — May 5 1886 — in the history of the labor movement in Wisconsin.  I won’t bother rehashing the clash right now (you’re welcome to read about it here).  Instead, I would like to reconsider it in the context of our contemporary world, from Fox News and Foxconn to Scott Walker and Steve Jobs.  Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Tax Dodging Rotten to the Core

Tax Dodging Rotten to the Core

I’ve always liked that bumper sticker that reads “If you’re not OUTRAGED, you’re not paying attention.”  (Though of course it can just as easily be stated that If you’re not outraged, you must be paying attention to Fox, but I digress…)  Another slogan I’ve enjoyed goes “I’ll believe corporations are people when a Texas jury executes one.”  To that sentiment all I would add is this: or until they pay they have to pay their taxes like all the rest of us working stiffs.  To wit, today is Tax Day, everybody, so pony up!  You, too, corporations — that is what your name means after all: “corporation” from the Latin for corpus and corporare, literally to make into a body.  (Think “corporeal punishment” or “Marine Corps.”  Or hell, just think corpse, as in the American dream/ social mobility/ public works/ U.S. revenue thanks to tax dodging loopholes.)  Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Green Is The New Black: What Ecoterrorism and Crack Cocaine Can Tell Us About Pro-Life Extremists

Green Is The New Black: What Ecoterrorism and Crack Cocaine Can Tell Us About Pro-Life Extremists

First off, an editorial consideration: the last time a scribble indirectly dabbled in abortion and race the shit hit the fan like a fanatic orangutan with a crop duster but no Pepto-Bismol.  From that experience I have not learned that I should not be even scribbling about such emotionally charged issues in the first place, in part because I am by nature a stubborn person, but mostly because it has long been a cherished belief that to elicit a passionate response is generally an indication of doing good work.  That said, if I am reaching out exclusively to a certain segment of the population, then I am being a bad writer.  This blog is admittedly pretty liberal.  But I would regard myself an amateur with written-off irrelevance if I only pissed off some of the people all of the time; far better would it be to piss off all of the people some of the time.  For then, at least occasionally, I must be getting something right.  Not that pissing people off is my intention; I am not a provocateur.  (Actually, I’d like to consider myself a fairly nice guy, who despite a lot of weird stuff was given good manners.)  I personally have no interest in taking up a controversial topic for controversy’s sake — I will leave that kind of dare-devil skullduggery to the stirring pots of schlock-jock op-eds and braggadocio bloggers.  For me the point is to take up a controversial subject unflinchingly when its moment arises.  If I fail to reach out with a requisite amount of tact or only pretend to see things from the opposing perspective so as to seem more reasonable or circumspect, then I am genuinely sorry and I ask that you accept my apology.  In this scribble, as in many of my endeavors, I seek only to speak truth to power, and if I happen to piss off anyone, let it be them — those whose vested interests see living things as commodities and codify justice with dastardly and bastardized double standards. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Cain but Unable

Cain but Unable

Is there any evidence to doubt that electoral races are more about the cult of personality that surrounds each candidate than the substance of their policy proposals?  Jack Kennedy looked good because Nixon came off as something caught between an out-of-work vice principal on a bender and a panhandling hobo with an organ grinder and tiny monkey clapping cymbals.  Reagan looked great because he was the Marlboro Man who radiated Norman Rockwell nostalgia together with a Californian confidence and can-do attitude all avuncular smiles, while Jimmy Carter’s worried face and baggy eyes were the caricatured lampoon of spineless, ineffectual Democrat.  “Dubya” masqueraded as the guy you’d get a beer with, while Gore was an unblinking robot with as much charisma as the Sears Roebuck wooden crate he came shipped in.  And Obama against McCain, good lord!  It was like Magic Johnson and Bruce Springsteen rolled up in one going against Archie and Edith Bunker behind the piano caterwauling “Those Were the Days.” Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Plutocracy’s a Goofy Prosperity or, The Hedgefund and the Foxhole

Plutocracy’s a Goofy Prosperity or, The Hedgefund and the Foxhole

Running a government is not unlike being a soccer mom: you’re a chaperone and chauffeur, you’re in charge of seat belts and timing belts, gas in the car, breakfast in the kids’ bellies, the right uniform(s) washed the night before, the right equipment packed this morning; you remember to pick up the extra cones or water bottles, to pick up some other kids in the car pool; you’re capable of coaching or reffing if needed, but if not you make at least three calls on your cell during the game: to your aging mother and did she take her medicine, to your other sister and how did her second date go with that new guy, and the bakery to order the cake for your best friend’s surprise 40th birthday.  It is multitasking to the nth degree, with an almost superhuman awareness of needs and sensibilities.  Running a business is more like being a professional field goal kicker: you’re here to do one thing and one thing only.  Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Slick Rick Slipping a Michigan Mickie

Slick Rick Slipping a Michigan Mickie

Earlier this month the state senate in Michigan, in response to the tragic rise of deaths attributable to bullying in America — at least ten of which occurred in Michigan alone in the last decade — passed “Matt’s Safe School Law,” a measure that requires school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies.  Unless the bullying is done out of “a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction”; then it’s A-OK, whether you’re a school employee or school volunteer, a student or the parent/ guardian of a student. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Scared Sacrifice

Time for a little show and tell:

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Rank vs. Badge

This video comes from Truthdig and shows a good-humored but pissed off marine speaking truth to power to a swelling but impotent posse of NYPD.

 

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