Monthly Archives: September 2011

Some Tips to Help the GOP “Mainstream” the Tea Party

Disclaimer. You know, if I had ever seen Jersey Shore, or knew who Justin Bieber was, I would probably make jokes about them, just like everyone else, but I have a low tolerance for popular culture. On the other hand, I don’t want to turn this into a political blog. I really don’t think anyone in the political arena deserves more attention than “Snooky”, whoever she is. However, The Professor suggested I take a look at this year’s crop of Republican presidential candidates.

Helping the GOP “Mainstream” the Tea Party

Michelle Bachmann Entertains Donors in Iowa

The Professor is right. What an amusing crop of GOP presidential candidates we have this year. I really like this new “Tea Party” wing of the GOP. They’re passionate, colorful, incoherent and rebellious, like hippies used to be. They don’t care if people think they are crazy. They don’t care if people think they are stupid. They drank the kool-aid and now they’re mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore. I’m totally with them there.

TX Gov. Rick Perry Knows It Will Take More Than "Tea-bagging" to win the Presidency

Most pollsters concur, however, that the extreme positions of the Tea Party contingent fall outside of mainstream public opinion. I know how they feel. But, I’ve got a few ideas on how the Tea Party could hone their message in a way that it could attract a broader support base, because with a few small changes, I could really get behind them myself.

We already have so much in common: I’m for smaller government. I’m vindictive and full of hate. I like guns and want to kill people. I’d vote for a candidate who would cut spending, especially if he did it this way:

Eliminate veterans benefits, the GI Bill and the VA. Let’s just eliminate these entitlement programs once and for all. Why should military personnel enjoy these “Cadillac” pensions and benefits packages, paid for by taxpayers? People working in the private sector have mostly conceded to volatile 401K plans and high-copay minimal coverage health insurance, at best, just to “keep America competitive”. Just because you went to Afghanistan to kill brown people for Dick Cheney, don’t expect any favors from me. If we can’t afford pensions for teachers, construction workers, office managers, factory workers, or line cooks and wait-staff for that matter, why should they be forced to pay these exorbitant taxes to cover the pensions of people who’s only real purpose is to destroy life and property. Taxpayers should not “incentivise” this kind of destructive behavior with these excessive and unwarranted benefits.

Lay-off the military. Remember, “A gang is a weapon that you trade your mind for, and the military is the biggest gang of all” Perry Ferrell said that, and he knew what he was talking about. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. We can stop 90% of all gang violence in the world by just cutting military spending, not just “to the bone”, but through the bone.

Not one more dime! Clean out your office and go home. We’re selling the Pentagon off as condominiums, renovation starts tomorrow. Troops still on active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan will have to pay for their own ticket home. If they decide to stay, they’ll have to get a fucking job! As for their weapons….

Free Guns. I say, “The American people paid for those weapons. Those weapons belong to the American people, and the American people should have them.” Disband the military and give the American people the weapons they paid for. From hand-grenades to nuclear submarines, we’ve got something for every American man, woman and child. We the People can defend our country!

No more unpopular wars in obscure places, thousands of miles away, that most of us couldn’t even point to on a map! Let’s have popular wars, against the people we really hate, the Mexicans, and the Canadians if they step out of line. If the American people are going to pay for a war, dammit, the American people deserve to experience it first-hand, not just see it on TV.

Lay off Congress. If we eliminate the military, and we stop paying taxes, Congress won’t have a hell of a lot to do. So why pay for all of those offices and salaries and “Bentley” benefits packages. Let the bastards get real jobs in the real economy.

The Supreme Court too. We could live without the Supreme Court, no problem. Mostly, they uphold the founding American principle that “Might makes Right”. We don’t need courts to uphold that principle. So, why should we pay for them?

Make Miss America President. Of course, we need a president. Every country needs a figurehead to entertain foreign dignitaries. We need someone who is a picture of decorum and poise, and knows how to work a room. In other words, we need Miss America. This annual beauty pageant faces declining TV ratings lately. Adding the title of President of the United States, and residence in The White House to the prize would pump some life into this venerable American institution.

By combining the title of Miss. America, with that of President of the United States, we can insure that most other countries will want to have friendly relations with us. We can also show women everywhere that the “glass ceiling” has finally shattered. Every American girl will grow up knowing that she could, one day, be President of the United States, so long as she looks really hot, and doesn’t act too slutty.

If I could trust these Tea Party Republicans to drown government in a bathtub like they promised, I’d be partying with them now, but all they want to do is punish poor people. That’s just stupid. How do you punish people who have nothing?

What would you do, make them sleep outside in the elements, wake them up whenever they fall asleep, and force them to keep moving? That’s how we treat them already. We already torture the poor, and blame them for everything from global warming to to the bank bail-out. Somehow this fails to dissuade people from becoming poor. Every year we have more and more poor people. Angry poor people, like myself, are a growing demographic that the GOP can no longer afford to ignore.

The Republicans need a new scapegoat…Like, maybe the super-rich. I already hate the rich. I can easily believe that the rich caused the housing crisis, global warming, the bank bail-out, the immigration problem, 911, even poverty. You don’t even have to provide me much evidence. I know it’s true. I can feel it in my bones. It resonates. Punish the super-rich. That’s an easy sell if ever I heard one.

Punish the “job creators”. Jobs suck! Jobs just discourage entrepreneurship, innovation, and the kind of independence that made this country strong. We don’t want a nation of drones who expect a fat paycheck just for showing up at work every day. We want a nation of imaginative, self-motivated people who act on their own ideas and can build the kind of nation we all want to live in.

Close schools. We don’t need schools. Schools just teach the same outdated ideas that got us into this mess.

Fuggetabout roads. We don’t need roads. If you’re not going to work, and you’re not going to school, where the hell do you think you are going? We just need Freedom, Liberty, Free Guns, Crazy Ideas, and a really hot President.

DRILL!!!! SARAH!!!! NOW!!!!

That’s a vision of America I could get behind, and the Tea Party should too.


Humboldt Co. Rallies, Sept.30, Oct.1, To End Nuclear Power in the US, NOW!!!

Humboldt Rallies to End Nuclear Power in the U.S. Now

 

I haven’t spoken about this here yet, because its not funny, but the Fukushima nuclear facility continues to spew radiation into the environment in huge quantities, and will keep spewing highly radioactive material into the air and water for some time to come. People will die as a result.

Perhaps millions, but certainly hundreds of thousands of people will die, mostly after long, expensive battles with cancer. Tens of thousands more will be born with Down’s Syndrome, or other crippling birth defects that will prevent them from living anything like normal lives. Some of these people will be U.S. citizens. Some may live in Humboldt Co.

None of these people will be compensated in any way for their suffering. They will pay with their lives, the true price for nuclear electricity, as will millions more in the future. The Fukushima disaster is a catastrophe unparalleled in the history of humanity, now surpassing Chernobyl. But we have dozens of Fukushimas in the making, right here in the U.S.

The NRC, our national regulatory board, which acts more like cheerleaders than watchdogs of the nuclear industry, recently re-licensed the aging, leaking, Fukushima style reactor in Vernon, Vermont, over the objection of the Vermont State legislature and the Governor. The Federal government, through the NRC, has given the private for-profit corporation, Entergy, permission to operate this plant far beyond its designed lifespan, despite its numerous design flaws, inadequate containment structure, vulnerable spent fuel pool, and numerous unexplained and continuing leaks of radioactive waste into the surrounding environment. “To hell with the people of Vermont” say the NRC, “Run it into the ground”.

They say the same thing to us, “To hell with the people of California”, when we tell them that San Onofre and Diablo Canyon nuclear power plants must be shut down. “Run them into the ground” they say. They know, they’ll never have to compensate anyone for the disease they cause. They know that the people they harm will just slowly sink around them, suffering quietly until they die, racking up crushing medical expenses, for completely preventable conditions, that often prove fatal.

It’s time to say “To hell with the NRC” We cannot trust them. They have failed us. Its time to demand an immediate shutdown of all nuclear power plants in the U.S. Nuclear power has never been competitive in the market, it has never been clean, and it will never be safe. Its time to dismantle and decommission these relics of the cold war before we face a Fukushima scale disaster here in the U.S.

This Friday and Saturday, Sept 30 and Oct 1, will mark a day of rallies across the U.S. to demand an end to the deadly legacy of nuclear power. Here in Humboldt, rally in:

Garberville, at the Garberville town square on Friday Sept.30 at 11:00am

Eureka, at the Humboldt County Courthouse on Saturday Oct 1 at 11:00am

Arcata, at the Arcata Square on Saturday Oct 1 at 11:00am

for more info about this campaign in Humboldt Co.:

www.endnuclearpowernowhumboldt.wordpress.com

Please make time to participate in these events.  Bring a sign, come in costume, or come as you are  BUT PLEASE COME!!!!  Thank you!

See you there!!!

 


My Blog ties for 5th, in NCJ Readers Poll

Lygsbtd Ties with Chocolate Covered Xanax for 5th place,

in NCJ Readers poll for Best Blog in Humboldt

Well, with 2.7% of the vote, lygsbtd (this blog, in case you didn’t figure that out) didn’t even come close to winning the NCJ’s readers poll for Best Blog in Humboldt, but we had enough votes to get mentioned in the paper. As a result, Thursday the 22, lygsbtd had more traffic than any day previous.

Since I don’t have internet access at home, I haven’t seen the stats for the weekend, but I’m sure we’re getting a bump from the ink. We made a great showing, and raised the profile of lygsbtd a lot. Thank you dear readers, especially those of you who voted! And thanks to the NCJ for putting on this whole stupid contest,and giving me something to write about for the past month.

To all the new readers who just discovered lygsbtd because of the NCJ readers poll, welcome! Thanks for stopping by. Make yourself at home. You’ve got lots to catch up on, so enjoy your stay, and come back often. New material usually shows up on Tuesdays. See if you don’t agree that this is the best blog in Humboldt Co., 2.7% of NCJ readers couldn’t be wrong, at least not this 2.7%.

Early on in this contest, I predicted that a lot of people would vote for Hank Sims’ new blog at Lost Coast Communications, the big radio empire he works for, as a way of saying “In Your Face!” to the NCJ., since Sims used to edit the NCJ, back when it was good. Sure enough, Sims and Co. won the “best Blog” category with 28.3% of the vote.

Graphic from Sim's old column in the NCJ

I also predicted the SoHum Powerhouse: Red Headed Black Belt as a favorite, and Kym Kemp’s excellent blog took third in the contest, with 10.9% of the vote. But consider this:

Red Headed Black Belt serves SoHum primarily, a sparsely populated, backward, rural community with an extremely low computer literacy rate. Also, Kym Kemp does not have a commercial media empire actively promoting her blog. Hank Sims has Lost Coast Communications Co. with how many local radio stations. And despite the home-court advantage, and 10,000 weekly full page ads, she even beat the NCJ’s own blogthing (which only won 5.8% of the vote)soundly! So Kudos to Kym Kemp’s Red Headed Black Belt.

 

I said before, that NCJ’s blogthing should be disqualified from the contest, in general, since the NCJ conducted the survey. But if we also disqualify the the other commercial media empire, Red Headed Black Belt comes in second in the “amateur division”, behind The Humboldt Herald, with lygsbtd and Chocolate Covered Xanax, tied for the bronze medal. Lygsbtd and Chocolate Covered Xanax each had more than twice as many votes as the next placed contender, The Mirror, but came up with exactly the same number of votes as each other.

Clearly this tie for third in the amateur division is the real story here. Andrew Goff’s journalistic sensibilities must have been clouded with sentiment, rage, and nostalgia for those bygone days when Hank was “The Town Dandy” and before the NCJ started sucking. NCJ’s own blogthing proved no match for his former boss’s new cyberdigs. The NCJ’s quality has sunk like a stone since Sims, and labor correspondent Jennifer Savage left the paper (Even though her labor column, “Savage Money” only appeared in the NCJ twice a month, it was still half of the reason to pick up the Journal. Seldom mentioned, but sorely missed, the NCJ suffers as much from the loss of Savage’s voice as it does Sims IMHO). You could tell from his pained coverage that Andrew Goff is hoping against hope for some kind of reunion, but it was more like looking at the twisted wreckage of a fatal car crash, months after the accident. This is all old news, no surprises here.

The real story is the dead-heat tie between lygsbtd and a blog called Chocolate Covered Xanax. I had never heard of Chocolate Covered Xanax, but I love the name. I had to go check it out. It’s a really sharp looking blog, written and wonderfully illustrated by Keri and Kristabel. They take their own pictures!! There seems to be a lot about food in it, and its really funny. You should check it out. (Then report back to me on how we can destroy them next year)

While I have never read the Mirror, I congratulate them on their 5th place finish in the amateur division, even though they were way, way, back there…way, way, way back there. They still managed to pull together 1.2% of the vote, which is more than lots of other Humboldt blogs. I would like to mention just a couple of these other blogs, who no one cared enough about to vote for:

Savage Henry’s blog didn’t get enough votes to get mentioned. I think their blog sucks, but they have a magazine to promote it, so I figured they’d get a few votes. Hell, they even have paid ads on their blog. Still, no one voted for them. Hey, La Dolce Video, I’ve got space for your ad here on a blog people like!

Wouldn't your ad look great on this blog? Call me!!!

SoHum Parlance II, because SoHum Parlance I was so popular they had to kill it. SoHum attorney Eric Kirk, created this blog. I find it pretty dull, personally, but I check in from time to time, because Eric has, in the past, sent me threatening letters. So, I consider him a friend.

To these bloggers especially, who work hard and put themselves out there for the world to read, but no one liked enough to vote for, I say IN YOUR FACE, LOSERS!!!!!!!


Word Power, Cathect

Word Power

Building Your Vocabulary One Word at a Time

Cathect

ca thect (keh, ‘thekt) v to invest with mental or emotional energy

Cathect, its what I do to this blog instead of looking for a job. Putting together these weekly posts is an act of cathexis. I encourage everyone to cathect something or someone today, and wish you much success with your cathexis.


How to Party Now That the Party’s Over

In recent weeks many people have asked me, “John, if you win the NCJ best blog contest, how can you, a penniless clod with no economic prospects, afford to throw a party for all of your readers?”

To that I respond, “No worries! I stuffed the ballot box with votes for Red Headed Black Belt.”

Even if I win, I’m not worried. As a self-employed artist, quite used to living a low-budget lifestyle, I know a thing or two about getting fucked-up without getting fucked-over by money-grubbing mirth-merchants. Now that I have a lot more company in my tax bracket, I thought I’d offer all you nouveau-poor folks a primer:

How to Party, Now that the Party’s Over

 

Whether it’s “white tie” cocktail parties with top shelf booze, fine wine and champagne, all night dance parties with designer drugs and energy drink cocktails, or live music parties with billowing clouds of marijuana smoke, “magic” mushrooms and balloons full of nitrous-oxide, nothing epitomized our lavish and unsustainable lifestyle more than the parties we threw. We danced like rainbows on the surface of an expanding economic bubble whose complete cultural emptiness only highlighted the vast swirling superficiality of it all. Now that the bubble has burst, we’ve collapsed into a slimy puddle on the basement floor, where we slowly come to the realization that we are peasants in a third-world country…vapid, superficial peasants, but peasants nonetheless.

But, who says peasants can’t party? No one parties like the desperate and hopeless. Even in good times, the liveliest people at the party are always the ones with nothing else to live for.

In the past, many people viewed parties as “networking opportunities.” They moderated their alcohol intake and kept business cards handy, always looking to “make a connection.” These people suck the life out of parties.

Fortunately, these people hit the pavement first, and it hit them hard. These people all think of themselves as “Masters of their own destiny” based on some crap they heard at a motivational seminar. Now that the economy has collapsed, they blame themselves, and they need a drink. I blame them too, but I’d rather see them piss drunk than watch them scheme new ways to fuck the rest of us over.

Remember this every time you see a businessman passed out drunk in the street: alcoholism can destroy an individual, alcoholism can destroy a family, but greed destroyed the planet and greed destroyed the economy. Many former executives have found happiness as generous and gregarious drunks.

I don’t wish to minimize the deleterious effects of alcoholism. Alcoholism can ruin your health and your economic prospects. I’m just saying, that unless you’re in excellent shape, and fewer of us are these days, what have you got to lose? So, lets get down to business.

First, you need alcohol. Without alcohol, your party is just another pointless meeting. People will count the minutes until they can excuse themselves gracefully.  With alcohol, some won’t leave until they get dragged out in handcuffs or on a stretcher.

In your quest for alcohol, remember that what seems like a lot of alcohol to a sober person will seem like “just a little drinky” to someone who is already blotto. Assume your guests will arrive drunk enough to drink vodka like water, and that they do so habitually. Recognize that the pain of economic collapse requires liberal and repeated anesthesia, so pour it on.

Of course, the pain of economic collapse stems primarily from the fact that we have no money, so getting all of this alcohol will require some imagination. When I’m sourcing alcohol for a party, I keep in mind three money saving principles:

1) Re-branding- Our corrupt government taxes alcoholic beverages heavily. The beverage industry spends billions on advertising and marketing. Both of these factors contribute to the high cost of alcoholism. You can avoid these costs all together if you remember that the active ingredient, ethanol, also used as an industrial solvent, finds it’s way to market, relatively unadulterated, in a number of readily available household cleaning products. Now I wouldn’t expect my guests to drink Lysol right out of the spray can, but mixed with a little 7-Up and fruit punch, in Grandma’s punchbowl, it becomes a festive focal point no one can resist. Put it through a Britta water filter five or six times, then pour it into an empty bottle of Absolut. They’ll never know. When they see you at the store check out line with a few cases of Lysol, tell them you clean houses to pay for those fancy shindigs you throw.

2) Never Pay for Yeast Piss-  Like Sea Monkeys, yeast can live for decades in a sealed aluminum foil pouch. But when released into a solution of sugary water, they start to party. The more they party, the foamier the liquid gets. When they run out of sugar, the party’s over, they starve, die and fall to the bottom of the container. We call what they leave behind “wine.”

The yeast don’t care whether you give them freshly crushed chardonnay grapes or orange Kool-Aid, and after a few drinks, neither will you. While most wine connoisseurs know what to expect from red and white wines, you’ll amaze them with green, orange and blue varieties. What it lacks in sophistication, Kool-Aid wine makes up for in fun. You’ll want to filter out the dead Sea Monkeys.

3)Many Pharmaceutical Pain Medications Greatly Magnify the Effects of Alcohol- One pill can make three drinks feel like nine, or nine drinks feel like 27. I know what you are thinking, “I can’t afford pharmaceutical pain medication.” But remember that root canal you had done back when you had a job with health coverage? That half-finished bottle of Vicodin from 1994 still has some kick left in it, so break it out. Better yet, throw an expired medication party. Invite your friends to bring their old prescriptions, dump them in a hat and pass it around.

Keep these three principles in mind and you’ll soon realize that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to throw a party that “knocks ‘em dead.”

Speaking of “knocking them dead,” there’s no better reason to bring the neighborhood together that the “I just hit a deer party.” That unfortunate dent on your fender can have an upside, so fire up the barbeque and throw a party.

In choosing food for your party, always consider what color stain it will leave when vomited on the carpet. Choose potato chips over bright orange cheese curls, apples and pears over berries and grapes, and Alfredo over marinara sauce.

Don’t worry too much about entertainment, you’ll find people on a couple of Darvons and a few shots of Lysol remarkably easy to entertain. Even your kid’s death metal band will sound awesome to them. Why hire a DJ when you can have one for free from any radio station, just turn on…the radio, tune in…your favorite station, and drop the savings in the bank, or better yet, under the mattress. Try these great party games: Spin the Room, Pass-out and Turn Blue, and Find The Toilet Before you Barf.

Always remember the three critical elements of a great party:

1) People come together

2) People become inebriated

3) People wake up embarrassed about their behavior

As long as all three of these things happen at your party, everyone will call it a success. How you accomplish this is a function of your own imagination, style and budget.

Forget about designated drivers. Sure, wild parties often result in unnecessary highway fatalities, but they equally often result in unplanned pregnancies, so these things balance out. As luxuries like food and housing become increasingly unobtainable, isn’t it refreshing that life is still so cheap?

These ideas should get you started in entertaining under the new economic reality. Use your imagination, and remember: When life gives you toxic assets, make an intoxicating beverage and throw a party!


Grocery Store Review, Eureka Natural Foods

Grocery Store Review:

Eureka Natural Foods

 

In these tight economic times, I can’t afford to eat out nearly as often as I used to. On the other hand I have become a connoisseur of grocery stores. As your gourmet grocery guide, I guarantee that you will not find a more pleasurable grocery shopping experience anywhere in Humboldt County than Eureka Natural Foods, located in Eureka, on Broadway, between Adel’s restaurant and Walgreen’s.

 

They always have good prices on the good eggs, the good butter and the the good milk, plenty of organic produce and Eel River Organic Beef, wrapped in butcher’s paper instead of Styrofoam. They also have great prices on sale items that can stretch your food dollar.

 

They carry an impressive assortment of beers, which I hardly look at any more because they have Organic Eel River IPA at $28.98 a case. Can’t beat that. They have a wine section too. I’m sure they carry feminine hygiene products too, but I never look at those either.

 

At the deli you can find some very tempting prepared foods, and they’ll make you a sandwich in two shakes. The coffee bar has self-serve coffee, a barista, smoothies and an amazing assortment of teas. They have a nice dining area with free wifi. I really appreciate that. Today, as it is whenever I’m up North, its my office.

 

Whenever my partner and I have to drive to Eureka, we rarely spend less than three hours at Eureka Natural Foods. My partner chooses groceries carefully, because we probably won’t return to civilization for a week or so. At ENF she can make a preliminary run-through, get the things they are low on and survey the sales. Then we’ll sit together for a while and discuss our menu options for the coming week. They usually have cookies to sample, and plenty of free ice water with, or without, lemon slices.

 

Usually, we’ll have a sandwich and coffee, then she’ll do the majority of our shopping. When she’s done with that, she’ll get on line for a while, while I get beer and chips and kill some time talking to the help. Then we’ll both use the bathroom, without waiting for a key, before the long ride home to SoHum.

 

If that weren’t enough, I’ve saved the best part for last. You really must experience the staff at ENF. I don’t know where they find these people, but ENF has put together an exceptionally good looking and unbelievably friendly staff. I mean unbelievably friendly. We make sure to go through the checkout line at least three or four times, just to chat. Friendliness is a pretty rare commodity in SoHum, so we soak it up while we can at ENF.

 

Now, I’ve worked for a living. I know work sucks. If it was fun, they’d make you pay to do it. So, I don’t expect anything more than grim politeness from the working people I encounter in town. The staff at ENF seem to be having a great time. Something’s just not right about that. I can’t help but think that some diabolical stuff goes on in the back office, like brain-washing, or a “Stepford Staff”, but the people who work at ENF seem genuine, and they sure are nice to be around.

 

So, for the friendly staff, great selection, and free office space, I give Eureka Natural Foods 6 out of 6, bargain priced, Organic, Eel River IPAs.


Word Power, Jeroboam

Word Power

Building Your Vocabulary One Word at a Time

Jeroboam

jer o bo am (jer eh bow em) n, an oversize wine bottle that holds about a gallon. Named for King Jeroboam I, who ruled the Northern Kingdom of Israel at about 912bc. I don’t know anything else about this king, but I like him already. Obviously the guy knew how to party.

 

Think about it, when you see a comically oversize joint, you call it a “Cheech and Chong” joint. King Jeroboam I must have been the “Chech and Chong” of the ancient world.

 


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