Life is meant to be more than simply persuading each other into spending money and consuming goods and services.
The fact that “sales” is the artifice of lies, pressure and Jedi mind tricks to compel people to do things they don’t really want doesn’t help its case.
Advertising can, theoretically, be something good. If you are in the market for a thing and there’s information about that thing at a certain price, that can actually be helpful. Unfortunately, most advertising has devolved into petulant attempts at distraction and attacks on the subconscious. Not just merely advertising, they are better classified as “persuasion attempts.” Some estimates claim the average American is subjected to 15,000 persuasion attempts per day. That’s hinky.
It seems obvious the game has shifted from being informative (advertising) to persuasion warfare (psychology). And it doesn’t have to adhere to the rules of the Geneva Convention or even be honest. Not content to simply remain available in case you might need something, the free market win-based transaction paradigm is now hunting you down to make the kill. The consumer is prey.
Taxes are funds taken by the awesome power of governmental force. As such, they are sacred in my mind. Taxes must not be used frivolously. Taxes must always be respected. Taxes must not be used to benefit some at the detriment of others. There are certain things taxes should be used for and certain things that must never be allowed to happen. Because taxes are monies taken by force that’s just the way it has to be.
What happens when tax dollars are used on advertising? Bad shit.
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Alaska. A land so vast that it turns out that it is big enough for the both of us. Our crack team of Discovery engineers has been hard at work calculating that 42 reality-based TV shows about this majestic and fascinating land just isn’t good enough. Not by a damn sight.
We’re gonna blow the lid off yet another story that needs to be told.
Thus, we are splittin’ a seam to unveil our latest bit of creative genius that fully explores every nook and cranny of America’s last frontier in a way the lower 48 has never quite seen before. Alaska State Poopers.
Like a Palin hoppin’ in a chopper fully-loaded for bear we are about to seriously unload, to pull back the lid as it were, on the brave men and women who patrol a wilderness so remote and vast it’s almost inconceivable someone built an outhouse there. Where there’s a will there’s a way. But someone’s still got to clean that shit up.
From tundra to toilet, when the job is just too dirty for anyone else, Alaska Sanitation Team (AST) stands vigilant and at the ready. Enough talk! Let’s plunge right in!
Pilot: S1E1 – “Watch Out For The Cornhole, Bud”
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Note: This might seem like yet another post about abortion but really it’s not. I’m going to try (and fail) to make some broader points. Points about Mitt Romney, Planned Parenthood, religious freedom and beliefs, the “terrible power” of government, societal control, and so much more. I’ll try to do it with my usual grace, style and aplomb…
Is this like preaching to the choir? I wouldn’t know. I’ve said some of this before and, no doubt, I’ll say some of it again.
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Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.
–William Butler Yeats
Who doesn’t love a fair?
Me, for one.
Around here in my hometown there are yearly events like the County Fair and Derbytastic which some of the locals disparagingly call Dirttastic. (I’ve changed the name to protect the dirty.) In the 10 years I’ve lived in this small town I’ve never been to either event.
Somehow I don’t feel too deprived.
I think, when it comes to humans, there are two inescapable realities. Things can go wrong and, when they do, the protestations of “not my fault” by the people in charge will often be the result.
“We never could foreseen that” is a common refrain. It is incumbent on the rest of us to determine, for ourselves, if that is really true or not. When there has been loss of life, we have to know what happened. Was it preventable? Or not? Was there negligence? Was all done that could and should have been done?
In the case of a nuclear reactor in Japan we were quickly told things like “no one could have anticipated” what had happened. We were told it was a freak set of circumstances.
At Fukushima, what happened can simply be explained. The plant experienced an “act of God” that exceeded what the plant was designed to withstand. Then we get told how unlikely it was. What does that really matter when it already actually happened?
What about the Indiana State Fair, where five people lost their lives after a stage collapsed?
The information I’m about to write about is from news reports. The information can be wrong, either by design or accident. Therefore, as always, take what you read on the internet with a grain of salt. This is an opinion piece and contains my speculations.
Rolling Stone Music quoted a police officer on the scene as saying, “When you’re dealing with issues of freak circumstances of weather, I don’t know what you can do.” The governor of Indiana called the accident a “fluke.”
One article says that fair officials have not said if the stage and rigging was inspected before the collapse. This seems like the kind of thing they should know. With certainty.
The concert was being held in Indiana. High winds, storms and gusts are not that uncommon in the region. That sort of thing occurs with enough regularity that you’d think public events would consider the possibility as it pertained to human safety. Certain standards would be met and there would be plans to deal with and react to various contingencies, like evacuating under certain conditions.
Was a collapse an unforeseeable event? Hardly. Rolling Stone Music reported that the Indiana State Fair tragedy was the third such event just this summer. It was preceded by an outdoor stage collapse at a Cheap Trick concert in July in Canada and, only a week earlier, an incident at an outdoor concert of the Flaming Lips in Oklahoma where equipment was blown off the stage.
On the same night as the Indiana State Fair tragedy, just 15 miles north, another outdoor concert for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra was evacuated.
Tom Ramsey, the orchestra’s vice president and general manager, said the group reviews information from a private weather company and consults with the National Weather Service, with a goal of giving patrons at least 30 minutes to get to their vehicles if bad weather threatens.
“We saw a storm that contained lightning dip south a little bit. Once we saw that, I made the decision to stop the concert and send everyone to their cars,” he said.
Unlike my coworker, who seems to blame concertgoers for not taking evacuation on their own, I have many questions. Those who conduct public events assume responsibility for taking every precaution to protect the lives of people who attend their events.
I have many questions about this event. I wonder if all that could and should have been done was done. Were all reasonable precautions made? Was the decision to delay canceling the concert the correct one?
Some of y’all may remember a young feller from Texas that came this way once.
His name was George W. Bush although we all just called him Dubya.
Back in 2000, some folks thought he was elected to be our president. To this day some folks still dispute that. But that’s not what I came here to say.
He was inaugurated as our president on January 20, 2001.
He had a lot to do and didn’t waste a lot of time. For example, did you know, that just nine days later, using the presidential power of an “executive order” he created the OFBCI?
You’re all familiar with the OFBCI, right? No? Well, I can tell you this much. It stands for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
What? “Faith-based” stuff in our federal government? Yeah, I know. Weird.
The OFBCI is an office within the White House Office that is part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States.
The purpose of the OFBCI was to fulfill campaign promises made by Bush in regards to “compassionate conservatism.” Huh? Say what? I’m willing to bet dollars to donuts that’s a phrase you haven’t heard about in a long, long time! Now I wonder why that might be?
What ever happened to this grand vision of conservatism that helped Bush win his way into the White House? That’s a good question.
I submit that Bush’s wholesale abandonment of compassionate conservatism may very well be one of the biggest “flip flops” in the history of U.S. politics. Ironic, eh? Yes, at first he kept his promise by creating the OFBCI, but then, as his presidency ground on, what did he do about it except lip service, if even that?
You might think Obama wouldn’t stand for a faith-based office in his White House. You’d be wrong. He kept the office, although he renamed it to be the “White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.”
Some people (like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh) will shout loudly that the phrase “separation of church and state” doesn’t appear in the U.S. Constitution. They are correct. Of course, neither do the words God, creator or maker. Yes, they are always quick to point out that the Declaration of Independence mentions a “Creator.” But that word didn’t originally appear in the draft by Thomas Jefferson or the copy that John Adams wrote in his own hand. It got in there some other way before it was signed. Additionally, that document, wonderful as it is, has no legal bearing on our legal system today. That, of course, comes from the U.S. Constitution. When is the last time you ever heard of an indepencian law? Yeah, I thought so.
What is the truth about what the founding fathers wanted? Many are quick to claim that they wanted this or they wanted that. I merely cling to the position: If they wanted this to be a Christian nation, wouldn’t they have bothered to actually mention it in our most basic legal document?
What’s scarier than someone with a gun? Someone with a gun and an imaginary friend. (Or a nuclear arsenal.) Someone who believes apocryphal myths (rather than verifiable facts) about the past to support his actions and beliefs today.