Thursday, October 30, 2008

Endorse and Die

My paper, The Ocean City Sentinel, endorsed Barack Obama for president.
As a result, a few people cancelled their subscriptions, citing the editorial "offended" them and that newspapers shouldn't endorse candidates. One letter writer said Obama's liberal positions would clash with conservative Ocean City and that newspapers should report the news objectively and that there were plenty of other sources she could go to and didn't need a subscription to our paper any longer.
Never mind the fact that the week before, we endorsed the Republican candidate for county sheriff. We didn't get letters from Republicans praising us for that endorsement.
Most of the people upset when newspapers endorse political candidates don't agree with the endorsed candidate. That's patently transparent.
Partisans love giving it to the "liberal" media for endorsing Democrats, but where are these media critics when newspapers endorse Republicans?
As to whether newspapers should endorse candidates, I think that's up to the individual newspapers when they set their editorial policies. According to the First Amendment, the press is free, and this right shouldn't be abridged or deleted in any way. If individuals don't agree, they should have their say, but ultimately the decision on endorsing candidates belongs to the newspapers.
And as for Obama...yeah, I think the guy will change things for the better. After eight years of fumbling around in the dark, it's time someone turned on the lights.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kingdom of the Blind

“I have a man crush on Barack Obama,” a Democrat friend of mine said.
So it begins, the adulation and praising of Obama as the infallible Prince of Politics and soon-to-be-crowned Democratic Demigod of the Empire on the Potomac.
With journalists and editors falling for his Rasputin-like gaze and the plebeians hypnotized by his rhetoric and promises of a golden American utopia, the Age of Obama is all but inaugurated. With a week to go before the election, Obama is the unquestionable ruler, a charismatic unifier and messiah for the masses.
For the Democrats, a party that all but four years ago had written off any chances of maintaining power, Obama became a godsend, a figure they badly needed to end the Age of Clinton and be the torchbearer for the future.
Except it’s all bullshit.
The Democrats want to screw you just as badly as the Republicans do, except the Democrats will convince you that getting screwed is good for you.
The Democratic Party is like Big Brother with a smile. They seek ultimate control while playing the underdog. They ask you to give them power, all the while telling you they’ll safeguard your interests, but once they’re in power, they forget about your interests and deny ever knowing you. It’s like a chick who flirts with you all night and then when you finally fuck her, she gives you herpes.
Democrats are no more interested in making the world a better place than Republicans are in supporting science and education.
Liberals gleefully howl at how backward and stupid John McCain’s followers are, while ignoring the partisan stupidity of their own supporters.
Democrats aren’t the fluffy-wuffy reformers they paint themselves to be. They’re just as corrupt as Alaska Senator Ted Stevens or California Rep. Randy Cunningham or a score of perverts and degenerates in the GOP.
The Democrats have no problem with taking money from lobbyists or contributors. Just look at Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd, who this summer denied Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in financial trouble. In early September, the firms were in trouble and the federal government took them over.
Dodd blamed the Bush administration for the subprime mortgage crisis. The Bush administration wanted to create an independent federal authority that would oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank. The Democrats, including Dodd, criticized it.
Dodd received thousands of dollars in contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from 1989 to 2008. He had a vested interest. He was bought and paid for.
Obama also received contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac since 2004. That’s something you don’t read or hear about in the national media.
Democrats pin everything bad on Bush, just like the Republicans pin everything bad on Clinton. After all, scapegoating is the American pastime.
Clinton and the Democrats caused economic crisis in 1999 by making it easy for people with bad credit to acquire loans, all for political reasons. Owning a house was the American dream to Democrats, so they allowed Joe Deadbeat and Sally Douchebag to get mortgages, even if they didn’t qualify.
Then the Democrats are surprised ten years later when foreclosures happen and loans remain unpaid.
Democrats claim to be a party of unity and open-mindedness. Yet on the day the House voted on a $700 billion economic bailout package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched into a diatribe about how the policies of the Bush administration weakened the economy. It’s like you’re offering an olive branch to your opponents, but you cover the branch in shit.
How can you claim to be the bulwarks for change, when you benefit from a system that hasn’t changed in decades?
I’d like to think Obama is sincere about what he wants to do. I’m hoping his message for change is heartfelt and not just another meaningless slogan like “country first.”
The reason Obama is surging in the polls is because he’s kept his message constant. The McCain camp change their message every week, and in doing so, appear desperate and unhinged. The Republicans are like the Hindenburg with McCain at the controls – crashing and burning atop the mooring mast.
Oh, the humanity.
The Democrats have to watch that they don’t put party over principle. Right now, they’re proving that Congress is a joke, and that a presidential campaign is more about charisma and flash than substance.
Desiderius Erasmus, the 15th century Dutch humanist once wrote, “In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”
America has become the kingdom of the blind and Obama is the only one offering a vision, albeit a hazy one. Whether all of the praise is deserved remains to be seen. For now, the groupies with their Obama crushes line up seduced, led by promises of a better America, an obedient news media and a cult of personality.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Joe the Journalist

While America was falling in love with the salty everyman small town capitalist Joe the Plumber, another Joe made news, although not nationally.
Joe Killian, a reporter with the News-Record in Greensboro, NC, recently covered a Sarah Palin rally at Elon University. Some Barack Obama supporters tried crashing the event, which pissed off the Republicans. One McCain supporter told Killian “Ain’t nothing to look at and don’t write about it,” when he craned his neck to look at the Obama cheerleaders.
After the rally, which included Hank Williams Jr. singing “McCain-Palin Tradition” and the theme to the Dukes of Hazzard, Killian interviewed some McCain supporters, then went to interview an Obama supporter.
As Killian tried interviewing the Obama supporter, a large bearded man wearing GOP paraphernalia came up to them and yelled at the Obama guy. The bearded man made a comment about how Killian was naturally interviewing the Obama supporter, when suddenly students began blaring a pro-Obama rap song. This made Killian chuckle.
That’s when the shit hit the fan.
Killian relates what happened next in his blog:

“Oh, you think that’s funny?!” the large bearded man said. His face was turning red. “Yeah, that’s real funny…” he said.
And then he kicked the back of my leg, buckling my right knee and sending me sprawling onto the ground.
From my position there I saw the bottoms of a number of feet almost accidentally stomping me to death as the two political camps screamed back and forth, the music continued to blare and some of the Obama crowd moved the large bearded man and his friends away. When I was helped to my feet the bearded man was walking away quickly.

McCain-Palin rallies have become hatefests targeting intellectuals, liberals and journalists. Reporters from every media outlet, including those non-affiliated from the national corporate Mainstream Media, are fair game to the Republicans, who view them in league with Democrats.
The McCain-Palin supporters lambast journalists, with acerbic digs at their phantom allegiance to the DNC, Obama and the big city liberals, who, according to them, are using the media to broadcast communism, godlessness and sex for pleasure and not reproduction.
Snarky comments by conservatives against reporters is one thing, but when you physically harm anyone, that’s fucking criminal. That crosses the line. Grizzly Adams broke the law when he kicked Joe Killian.
So much for compassionate conservatism.
Now it’s kicking reporters and blaming the media for your candidate’s abysmal poll numbers.
Maybe the Republican Party should collectively get its shit together and decide what kind of political party it wants to be. Is it the party of Lincoln, the party of Reagan, or something more sinister, more devious? Are they a Christian party that practices violence instead of peace? Are they an open tent or a restricted golf club closed to everyone who isn’t a billionaire or trailer park trash? Do they stand for inclusion or division?
I’ve said it in other posts, but gone are the days of conservative intellectuals. Welcome the days of fascist strong-arm tactics the brownshirts would admire.
When your politics reeks of desperation, you scapegoat others. You blame the big cities, the Eastern intellectuals, the latte liberals and the media. You do this because it’s easy to assign blame to large groups of people rather than individuals. Groups are easier to hate and they’re easier to stereotype. You narrowly define them and hate them because they are what they are, not what they do.
So it was easy for that bearded loser to kick Joe Killian, because Killian was an evil liberal journalist. He was going to smear Sarah Palin.
Funny thing, because Killian’s story was very objective and didn’t mention his altercation with the McCain supporter.
Reporting elections is a thankless endeavor. Everyone thinks you're biased. They’re skeptical and second-guess your abilities, always expecting the worst. Years of experience has told me to rise above this and ignore the sniveling partisan toadies. Cursed with tunnel vision, the partisan cannot view things objectively, and sinks into the mire of personal attacks and assigning blame with those they feel are allied with their enemies.
Which brings us back to Joe the journalist, nursing his bruised leg. The worst thing about that day wasn't that a bumpkin kicked Joe. It was that Joe couldn't find the bumpkin to prosecute him.
The Republican partisans who croon about how great America is should try acting like they live in America. Threatening and assaulting reporters might be great for South Africa and Saudi Arabia, but it's not what Americans who value freedom of speech and the press are accustomed to.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Say It Ain't So, Joe

Joe the Plumber of Toledo, Ohio won the last presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain.
Joe Wurzelbacher, 34, an exact clone of actor Michael Chiklis from The Shield, was the all-American everyman, a scrappy worker and oft-referred to symbol of the common voter.
But who is Joe the Plumber and why did McCain and Obama mention him repeatedly during the debate? What Svengali-like powers does Joe the Plumber wield over the presidential candidates to have them say his name (or in McCain’s case, almost mention his name)?
What makes Joe the Plumber so damn special? Why not mention Bob the Baker, or Jane the Accountant or Steve the Gynecologist?
Wurzelbacher has a dream. He wants to buy the small plumbing business he works for, one with revenues up to $250,000. Wurzelbacher met Obama at an Ohio rally and the two talked.
At the debate, Obama and McCain used Joe the Plumber as an example of the working guy whose dreams could be dashed because Obama plans to increase the tax rate from 36 percent to 39 percent for people earning more than $250,000.
Our hero Joe the Plumber would be screwed if he tried buying the plumbing business under Obama’s plan.
Thus the epic battle between McCain and Obama for Joe the Plumber’s vote.
The ordinary Joe – literally a man named Joe – became a focal point for explaining the different tax policies between the two candidates.
After the first ten mentions of Joe the Plumber, reporters scrambled to contact the reclusive political mastermind to glean what the Machiavellian tactician thought of all the national attention.
In an interview with the uber-conservative, published before the debate, Wurzelbacher equivocates Obama’s plan of “redistributing the wealth” to socialism. Yet he’s extremely pragmatic and down to earth in his way of thinking: if you work, you should be able to keep what you earn.
“Me personally, my American Dream was to have a house, a dog, a couple rifles, a bass boat. I believe in living life easy and simple. I don’t have grand designs. I don’t want much. I just wanna be able to take care of my family and do things with them outdoors and that’s about it, really. I don’t have a “grand scheme” thing. My American Dream is just more personal to me as far as working, making a good living and being able to provide for my family, college for my son. Things like that – simple things in life, that’s really what it comes down to for me. That’s my dream,” Wurzelbacher said.
Asked if he wanted McCain to cover the issues of taxes for small businesses in Wednesday’s debate, Wurzelbacher said: “There’s a lot of things I wish McCain would say. As far as this, yes, I would like him to speak. Not so much about small businesses, but just people in general that make this money. It’s not up to them to help America, I mean – let me rephrase that. It’s not – they shouldn’t be taxed more because they’ve succeeded. That’s envy and jealousy. Get off your butt and go work. Don’t sit there and expect the government to give it to you.”
Maybe Joe the Plumber is not so much a salt-of-the-earth everyman but just a guy who wants the simple pleasures of life. Maybe he’s not so much a celebrity but a barometer for working people who want to succeed. And own guns and a bass boat and other redneck shit like that.
The criticism with Democrats is that they want to punish people for doing well and making money. So what’s the alternative? Living a sluggish, sloth-like existence and not working? The Republicans give the wealthiest citizens tax breaks – rewarding those who succeeded. It’s almost like the Republicans are treating taxpayers like school kids: those who do well in class receive good grades and get to go on the field trip, while those who slack off and fail get left behind another grade. If Democrats ran the school, the Honors students would be reprimanded and left behind while all of the poor students pass their classes and get to visit the ice cream factory.
But what does any of this mean to Joe the Plumber, the new political diva?
Joe, you’re pretty much fucked. If your plumbing business comes up a little short, you get taxed if McCain wins. If Obama wins and your business makes over $250,000, you’ll still get taxed.
Your best bet is to leave the plumbing business altogether and run for office. Joe the Ohio State Representative might not have a snappy ring to it, but at least you’ll be doing the screwing instead of getting screwed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Led Zimmerlin

No, this isn’t Mister Rogers. It’s New Jersey Senate candidate Dick Zimmer, a Republican challenging Democratic incumbent Senator Frank Lautenberg.
New Jersey’s Senate race has been overshadowed by the presidential race, so what news or talking points coming from both Senate candidates has been eclipsed by John McCain and Barack Obama.
That being said, the Zimmer camp released an ad on Zimmer’s website entitled “Ramble On”. This has got to be one of the weirdest political ads I’ve seen, namely for the choice of music. Apparently, someone at the advertising firm Zimmer hired is a big Led Zeppelin fan. The gist of the ad is Lautenberg, who is about 109 years old, has spent a good portion of his Senate career utterly senile.
The ad begins with Jimmy Page’s melodic guitar refrain and a quote from the Bergen Record: “New Jersey now gets less back from every $1 sent to Washington than any other state.”
That’s followed up with footage from a Lautenberg press conference where he is less than eloquent.
Then we see the words: “In 1982, Frank Lautenberg ran for Senate saying that New Jersey shouldn’t be 45th in “return on investment.” And “26 years later, New Jersey is DEAD LAST. No. 1 New Mexico: $2.01 for every dollar sent to DC, No. 50 New Jersey: $0.61 for every dollar sent to DC.”
We hear Robert Plant crooning “Aw, sometimes I grow so tired. But I know I’ve got one thing I’ve got to do…Ramble On…” Just when Plant sings “Ramble On”, we get a still photo of Lautenberg at a press conference and more footage of him having a really long senior moment.
This is followed by the on-screen pronouncement: “Frank Lautenberg had his chance and failed. He has not fixed New Jersey’s problems.”
Yeah! How dare grandpa not fix all of the state’s problems! I mean, he’s only been in office since the Industrial Revolution.
But the strangest part of the commercial is a mock-up of the Led Zeppelin II album cover. Instead of the band’s name, we get, in the same style-font “Zimmer” and under that, “Dick Zimmer will bring the change we need.”
This really was an incredible ad. Incredible because I don’t know that many Republicans who actually listen to Led Zeppelin. Maybe if there were Lawrence Welk references here or there, his base would get it. But the choice of “Ramble On” was meant to play on Lautenberg’s incoherent statements at press conferences.
You know, maybe if someone on Zimmer’s staff heard more of the song, they’d realize it contained blatant references to Lord of the Rings. The song isn’t about a senior politician fumbling or making missteps. It’s about the epic struggle in Middle Earth, something Zimmer’s base wouldn’t understand because I don’t think the average Zimmer voter has read anything that wasn’t less than 100 pages long.
Here are some of the Tolkien inspired lyrics to “Ramble On”:

“Mine’s a tale that can’t be told,
My freedom I hold dear;
How years ago in days of old
When magic filled the air,
T’was in the darkest depths of Mordor
I met a girl so fair.
But Gollum, and the evil one crept up
And slipped away with her.”

If Zimmer wanted to borrow from Led Zeppelin II, he might have chose other tunes, like the jamming “Whole Lotta Love”, the bittersweet “Thank You” or the double entendre-filled “The Lemon Song” with lyrics like:

“Squeeze me, babe, until the juice runs down my leg
The way you squeeze my lemon
I’m gonna fall right outta bed”

Dick Zimmer has ruined Led Zeppelin for everyone. He’s like the square dad who thinks he’s cool and tries singing the latest pop tunes, only to tarnish them forever and alienate the youth around him. Maybe I’m wrong about Zimmer. Maybe back in the day he was a long-haired stoner kid who cruised around in a van with an airbrushed mystical wizard on the side, one resembling Gandalf. Maybe the young Zimmer would pick up girls at a record store and together with his buddies all get high in the back on his van listening to an 8-track tape of Led Zeppelin II. Maybe teenage Zimmer wasn’t an uptight nerd he’d later become but a rebel, a guy who wanted to escape the affluent hellhole of Glen Ridge, New Jersey and become a Congressman and then make a run for Senate. Maybe the Gollum he fought was an elder Senator and the golden ring of power was the coveted Senate seat. And, like the ring in Tolkien’s tale, the Senate seat will corrupt and drive one mad.
Maybe I’m over-thinking this.
Maybe it just comes down to something as simple as exploiting a well-loved classic rock song for political gain.
On that alone, Zimmer’s campaign staff should be publicly flogged by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I Miss Republicans

Reports of McCain-Palin rallies turning vicious are really disheartening. Frenzied crowds are yelling ugly threats against Barack Obama, Joe Biden and anyone else who believes the Earth wasn’t created in seven days. When Sarah Palin mentioned William Ayres, someone shouted “kill him!” When Obama’s name is mentioned, someone yells “terrorist!” or “socialist!”
It hasn’t been easy for reporters covering the McCain campaign. All of a sudden journalists are viewed as the enemy by a faction who believes Obama is getting treated with kid gloves by the mainstream media. Name-calling and insults are hurled at reporters covering the rallies. It used to be the politicians insulted the reporters. Now the supporters are joining in.
I’ve thought about the ugliness of this campaign, particularly by the GOP. Say what you want about the goofy Democrats, but when you go to their rallies, nobody threatens to kill anyone. There isn’t this visceral hatred that you see at a McCain-Palin rally. Even in the dark days of the primary when Hillary Clinton was a factor, Obama's supporters remained upbeat.
Which leads me to this thought:
I miss Republicans. Real Republicans. Real Barry Goldwater, country club, cardigan sweater-wearing, tight with money Republicans. I miss the old-fashioned, character-driven, thrifty-but-will-help-his-neighbors-out-in-a-pinch Republicans. I miss the civic-minded, America-is-a-big-tent, work-hard-and-prosper, Yankee Doodle Republicans.
Those Republicans are dead. They died suffocated by the neo-cons, the Christian fundamentalists, and the big business lobbyists. They sold their party out to Pat Robertson, pro-lifers and the military industrial complex. They used Ronald Reagan as an iconic figure, a golden calf they worshipped for the New Right, and in the process of re-branding themselves as America's Party, became something totally un-American. They’re the Heritage Foundation, the Project for the New American Century and every other neo-conservative think tank that spewed out positions and policies that became the bitter poison America has choked down for over 20 years.
The days of Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower and Barry Goldwater are over. The “thinking conservative” is extinct. Now we have George W. Bush, John McCain and Sarah Palin. Instead of cool-headed Ivy League northeastern intellectuals like William F. Buckley Jr. we have rednecks and shit-kickers who articulate like flustered fourth graders.
The rallies prove this point. They’re just a gage of how desperate and vile the McCain-Palin campaign has sunk. They’re like the Nazis at the end of World War II – hidden in their bunkers, eking out the end of days, bitter and enraged that the war didn’t go their way and blaming the Jews and socialists for the ruination of the Reich. They’re rats backed in the corner of the cage, clawing at anyone who threatens them.
Patriotism to them is a commodity, something to be worn on the sleeve and shown as a litmus test for purity. The American flag is a totem symbol taking almost religious significance. And religion itself is something they flaunt as easily as they wave the flag.
Yet the taunts and threats of violence erase any seriousness that these partisans should be given another chance to lead anything.
And that’s really what they are – partisans. The rallying call from the McCain-Palin ticket has been “country first”. That’s bullshit. Everything the GOP’s obnoxious, jeering peanut gallery is about has nothing to do with putting the country first but putting their party first. It’s about supporting an agenda that really is not about freedom but the suppression of it. It's not about uniting - its about dividing us up and selling us fear. It’s not about leading America out of darkness and into the light, but about keeping everyone in the dark of ignorance and obedience.
What the Republicans have done with this election is smother the last visage of what their party really stood for and replace it with robots and sycophants who angrily scapegoat others for the country’s ills and threaten a “final solution”-like remedy for it.
If a Democrat at an Obama rally screamed for the killing of McCain or Palin, then Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and a plethora of conservative pundits would call for that Democrat’s incarceration and execution. Yet at a Republican rally supporters are free to boo, cajole and threaten any way they see fit, with the candidate’s joking support.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Haters Beware

Attention all Haters:
I am in a foul mood and my back hurts, so I'm going to be brief.
This world, the huge ball of rock in which we live, is totally going to shit. Mankind has turned out not to be the enlightened beings we thought we were in the 18th and 19th centuries. We're parasites feeding off natural resources. We're cannibals devouring each other, consuming the gamey flesh of humanity out of selfishness and greed. We're apt practitioners of wholesale slaughter based on the belief that one mythology is more superior than another. We're sacrificing our children on a bonfire of mediocrity, training them for jobs in the robot workforce and stealing imagination, creativity and the very spark of what makes us human: the desire to dream.
So listen up, you Haters of the good, you self-righteous goosesteppers and ignorant fundamentalist lackeys. I've got a little surprise for you. See, while you're busy rattling around in that isolation chamber you call a life, I've been doing some thinking. I've realized that no matter what you do, no matter who you hate or what reactionary agenda you push, you'll fail. Everything you believe in will crumble.
See, I've got history on my side, Haters. It's proved that any civilization that gets too big for its britches will be mowed down for the good of the herd. The Romans thought they were the big kids on the block until they grew too fat, bloated and decadent to continue. The Visigoths took care of them. The British Empire encircled the globe, and a lot of pissed off natives and colonial uprisings sent them packing. And now the United States will be outdone by its own expansionist dreams and financial collapse.
While you're convinced that might makes right, drill baby drill, mavericks rule, God is on our side, and country first they're just empty slogans like yes we can and hope and change.
Politics is nothing more than factions vying for power and reshuffling the pecking order of a civilization.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Obama Will Enslave You

If elected president, Barack Obama will enslave all white people.
That’s one concern I heard recently from a scared woman who thinks the first black president will settle a score and correct an injustice by making all white people slaves.
In this age of terrorism and our faltering economy, do you think the first thing Obama would do would be to repeal the 13th Amendment?
The white slavery angle is handcrafted bullshit slung by Obama’s opponents in a presidential race that’s gotten uglier than Amy Winehouse at a rave.
Not willing to stick to the issues and crush Obama for his liberal stances on, well, everything, the Republicans are turning to their standard playbook of slinging mud and hoping something sticks.
Not that Obama’s camp hasn’t been slogging in the gutter with their attacks against John McCain’s technological ineptitude. Wow! The old fart can’t use a computer! What a scandal!
Personally, I don’t want my Commander-in-Chief to sit on his ass surfing the Internet. I want him to run the country. Knowing how to add a bookmark to your browser is insignificant compared to getting out of Iraq and making sure more American jobs aren’t shipped over to Taiwan.
Since the first presidential debate was a tie and the vice presidential debate was a clear win for Joe Biden, the Republicans are getting desperate. With one month to go before the election, they’re orchestrating an October surprise.
Now the Republicans are making hay out of Obama’s contact with William Ayres, a 1960s radical and one of the founders of the Weathermen, a terrorist group responsible for a number of bombings.
Sarah Palin referred to Obama’s contact with Ayres recently: “Our opponent is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country.”
Ayres served with Obama for three years on an anti-poverty foundation beginning in 1993. Ayres donated money to Obama’s 2001 state senate campaign.
A spokesperson for the Obama campaign said the last time Obama had contact with Ayres was in 2007, when they saw each other while Obama went biking through the neighborhood.
Linking Obama with a domestic terrorist radical is a good move if you want undecided voters to question Obama’s loyalties.
Also having Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, espouse anti-American views is also helpful if you want to question Obama’s patriotism.
Wright was Obama’s pastor for years before Obama discontinued their association after tapes of Wright’s sermons surfaced during the Democratic primary. In addressing the treatment of indigenous people and Africans during American history, Wright said: “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, not God Bless America. God damn America — that's in the Bible — for killing innocent people. God damn America, for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America, as long as she tries to act like she is God, and she is supreme. The United States government has failed the vast majority of her citizens of African descent..”
Wright’s comments proved too controversial for Obama and he terminated his association with Wright’s church.
Obama befriends a radical black preacher and a radical domestic terrorist, the Republicans claim. John McCain would never associate with anyone like Bill Ayres or Jeremiah Wright. Would he?
Before John McCain produces campaign ads blasting Obama for his radical buddies, maybe he should look to John Hagee, founder of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio.
Hagee endorsed John McCain. He also believes Hurricane Katrina was punishment from God and that the Roman Catholic Church was the “great whore” and a “false cult system”.
Here’s what Hagee said about Hurricane Katrina: "All hurricanes are acts of God because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that."
McCain eventually denounced Hagee’s endorsement.
Unlike Ayres and Wright, who were polarizing figures, Hagee did not speak against America, a big red flag when it comes to turning the electorate against your candidate.
First, Obama’s refusal to wear a silly American flag lapel pin caused an uproar among conservatives who believe those little pins are tiny totem objects of cultural significance. Then, it was Obama’s connection with Wright and now it’s his association with Ayres, the domestic terrorist American-hating radical.
What’s next? Saying Obama will enslave all white people?
Republicans should take a time out and look at their own candidates and their penchant for using fear to persuade. John McCain lost his party’s nomination in 2000 because George Bush’s camp spread a rumor in South Carolina that McCain had a black baby. Totally untrue. He adopted a girl from Bangladesh. Still, the redneck branch of the Republican party were suitably offended and voted for Bush, whose father became president in 1988 running on an ad criticizing Democrat Michael Dukakis’s support for a weekend furlough program for prisoners. The ad showed a mugshot of Willie Horton, a black man, who was given a furlough from prison. The ad’s announcer explained how Horton kidnapped a young couple, stabbed the man and raped the woman all while he used his weekend pass. It was the only time the word “raping” was used in a political ad, and it was fucking disturbing for a number of reasons. Dukakis supported putting murderers on the streets? Yikes! Even though the prisoner furlough program began in the 1970s, it was the association between Dukakis' support and Horton's case that made the ad powerful. Guilt by association. What a tactic.
So why stick to the facts and the issues and outline your vision of America?
Why not just link your opponent to unpopular positions, unpopular associations and outright bullshit and rumors?
Here’s what I think the next McCain-Palin ad will be:

Sinister music plays. Still photo of BARACK OBAMA wearing a keffiyeh and holding a sub-machinegun.

ANNOUNCER: Barack Hussein Obama. He wants to be president of the United States. But how can he be? He’s not one of us.

Footage of African natives in loincloths holding spears and dancing in their village.

ANNOUNCER: His father was from Kenya.

Footage from D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation” showing a slave manhandling a white woman.

ANNOUNCER: His mother was a prostitute.

A montage of the Oklahoma City bombing, the Twin Towers falling down and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

ANNOUNCER: Obama is friends with William Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah Wright, two radicals who want to destroy America.

Footage of Osama bin Laden with Obama superimposed Forrest Gump-style beside him.

ANNOUNCER: Obama not only wants to talk to rouge nations, but to befriend terrorists – the very enemies who attacked us.

Footage of a white family in chains laboring on a farm while Obama whips them and smiles.

ANNOUNCER: Obama not only will raise your taxes, but will make your family slaves. He’ll also keep your wives and daughters in his harem.

Footage of Obama with vampire fangs and a menacing stare. He looks at the camera as if he’s draining our souls.

ANNOUNCER: Barack Hussein Obama is not American. He’s evil to the core. Paid for by John McCain for President.

MCCAIN (VO): I’m John McCain and I approve this message.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

RE Released

Ravaged Earth: The World of High Powered Pulp is now for sale in PDF form! The files include both the original and printer friendly versions.
A printed (softcover) book will hit the shelves soon, but I'm excited that the game is currently available for Internet distribution. Thanks to Sean Preston at Reality Blurs and everyone else who made this possible.

Here's the blurb:

Ravaged Earth: The World of High Powered Pulp

In 1898, the Martians came. They devastated our lands, they ravaged our earth. They slew without mercy and they died without tears when our germs struck them down and toppled their metal machines over the course of the longest weeks in the history of our world. However, from their corpses we found a gift, the present of Aetherium, which has forever changed the course of our destiny. Our burnt fields have grown lush new grasses in the decades that have passed, hiding the scars our planet has suffered. Our buildings have been rebuilt far better than they ever were before, but humanity has been forever changed and our wounds run far deeper than we could ever imagine. Some question whether Aetherium is a blessing or a curse. Certainly advances have come with this secret knowledge, but so has war. Great good has come, but so has great evil. People have changed in ways that go unnoticed by the naked eye in many cases, but if some have changed, is it not possible that all have changed? These powers that have poured over our planet must certainly be unnatural and our world, our poor dear world is now, and forever more, a Ravaged Earth.

Fast Forward: 1936. You are one of the Ravaged, a person altered by the mysterious powers of Aetherium. How that came about is up to you. No one knows how many Ravaged exist. Most try to keep a low profile. Most try to get by. You, on the other hand, have long felt a greater purpose, a greater destiny, was in store for you. That destiny begins today.
Using the award winning Savage Worlds engine, Ravaged Earth is a pulp setting both eerily familiar and uniquely its own.

Example archetypes let you leap into the action right away!

Rattle and Hum, an introductory adventure is included!

Includes both original and printer friendly versions!

You can purchase Ravaged Earth for download from these fine online establishments.

Studio2 Publishing