Does Nancy Pelosi Come With A Money Back Guarantee?

Because I would have called for my RMA a while ago and I would have had the distributor pay the shipping costs.

Let me make something perfectly clear.  I am not a Republican. Nor am I a Democrat. I am a law-abiding, tax-paying, middle-class citizen who votes according to her conscience. I guess most people would consider that an Independent these days. I’m a mix of Libertarian and Centrist. You know, someone who values rights and liberty while being fair and just to as many people as she can.

Part of what I do in a full time/day job capacity is plan out meetings and logistics. I’m pretty good at if I say so myself. In fact, I am currently getting contracts together for a customer event in Miami. You would think having an event in such a high profile place would be really expensive. However, with some careful consideration and just a little bit of effective persuasion and forethought, you’ll find people are willing to work with you on budgetary management.

So it actually makes me wonder how in the world the Pelosi delegation to the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit was charged $734.00 per room/per night? I’m am also confused how they were exorbitantly screwed up the ass by a hotel chain who charged a minimum six night stay for two nights of use? $4046.00 was spent for two nights/per person at the Copenhagen Marriott 5-star hotel. The total bill for the 60 member delegation ended up being around ONE MILLION DOLLARS! Why were family members and spouses were treated to lavish meals on my dime? (I don’t particularly give a crap they got their air tickets and hotel charges “thrown in”.)

Why in the name of climate change control, were they allowed to leave a trail of carbon footprints from the US to Denmark with nothing to show for it except some Botox smiles and waves?

Did I suddenly enter into crazy town or does this actually make no sense to reasonable folk?

I can’t describe how incredibly angry I am about this. I know tons of social programs that would kill for half of that money to keep their doors open or hire just a few more staff to take the pressure off overworked employees. What hurts the most is that this is ultimately coming out of every hard working American’s pocket. What makes me even more incensed is that Obama is starting a spending freeze on certain programs in order to play Robin Hood to the middle class. Why not start where the spending is the most egregious and abused? Why not start with a woman who has seemingly lost touch with what the word “frugal” means in a fragile economy.

I don’t think Pelosi gets the fact that she pulled the same bullshit the corporate CEO’s did back when they flew to Washington in private jets to ask for bailout money. I don’t think she gets that people are out of work. I don’t think she gets or cares that we continue to raise the debt limit and whore ourselves out to countries like China because we can’t afford our own system of government. It’s okay though — it will be years before our children’s children must speak Chinese in the classroom. If she did “get it” and did care, she wouldn’t be avoiding reporters questions on the lavish expense report she filed.

Government waste is nothing new. I realize this fact. As my anger subsides, sadness overwhelms me. I feel sorry for Nancy and this clueless delegation for the simple fact that they have no idea what it means to live in the real world. In my real world, people are starving, out of work and aching for a government who does what they promise. So far, I see nothing but crumbling pie crusts.

Why Sarcasm is Dangerous…

I am banning news from my computer. If something happens in the world, I’m hoping one of my good friends will clue me in. Only of course, after the facts have been checked through various credible sources, like, “The Daily Show”.  (Insert eye roll here) Why have I finally thrown in the towel? Keep reading, please.

This is a screen shot from my local news station’s website:

(You can click to embiggen)

unbelievable

Do you see on the lower half of the main content where is says, “Talk of the Town”. Yeah, now read that.  Just in case you can’t — here is the quoted text.

Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt; Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee; Britney Spears and Kevin Federline — they’re just some of the celebrity couples who have gone from wedding bliss to calling it quits. Now there’s talk of banning all divorces i…n the state of California. One man has set up a Web site dubbed California Marriage Protection Act 2010. What do you think?

The website they are pointing to  is this one: Rescue Marriage

Anyone with half a brain and who spends five seconds on the site, quickly comes to the realization that this is what intelligent people might just call sarcasm. Its purpose is to criticize the ban on gay marriage in California. If the front page didn’t give you a clue, the site is full of hysterical stuff.

This is a great example of creatively countering an ongoing argument. I think it’s brilliant.

The problem is that not everyone visiting the site (including news organizations) have the brains to comprehend satire. If they were able to discern, the question then becomes: Why is this “news” organization intentionally misleading it’s readers?

Is this really a platform for discussion? Would it have been better served to phrase the question differently? I don’t know, something like — “Opponents to the Californian ban on gay marriage have come up with creative ways to illustrate their points. What do you think? Is it effective?”

By leaving out both the link and misrepresenting the content, people immediately follow the logic that credible news site= credible web site on banning divorce. This “news” organization has crossed a rather interesting line that continues to grey. Day by day, the public (part of which contains a growing population that subscribes to the ideas of government conspiracy and messages of hate) is encouraged to open up debate on hot topics which center around real people. When a great majority of the populace is not above an eighth grade reading level,  it’s hard enough to have balanced conversation. Add what was once a reputable news agency blurring the lines of truth and sarcasm becomes dangerous.

It’s a numbers game and so far, the intelligent who can decipher the difference in cases like this are losing.

Update: I sit here wondering how many donations that the site has received (to ultimately help overturn Prop8) have been from people who truly believe in the cause of banning divorce. Tricking stupid people out of their money is both brilliant and sad at the same time.

Children Have Better Control When Watching The President

Just think, hundreds of thousands of children (even the ones raised by Republicans) probably didn’t shout out at the President of the United States while he spoke to them on Tuesday. They apparently have better self control.

I am not faulting the man for having disagreements. If everyone got along, we’d have my ideal Katetopia and I would be extremely happy. Once we toss this impossible reality aside, it’s not exactly unheard of to argue with people. They aren’t called “hot-button” topics for nothing.

Yet, what Joe Wilson fails to understand is that there is a time and a place. We are not England. We don’t have MP’s who vocally disagree with their leaders during session. We have always tried to be a courteous state in debate. When it comes to public discourse, there have been the very rare occasions where proper decorum does not win out. In those exceptional moments, like the one last night — most people are horrified at the lack of disrespect.

Which brings me to my next point. As I read the article this morning on CNN, I am always amused at the people who find this type of thing acceptable. There were attributed quotes to people who gave credit to Joe Wilson for his courage to interrupt the President as he had the floor. I’m sorry, but it’s these morons who find uncivilized behavior acceptable that should really be forced to take a class in manners and proper debate.

Unless you are a newbie to the whole “grown up” talking thing, it should not be surprising that even the most heated debates are structured. The speech the President gave wasn’t a town forum. There was no question and answer session at the end. There was no reason for this heckling to take place unless of course it was as suggested by some, preplanned. In that event, it would behoove Joe Wilson to just resign now. I don’t care how angry this health care reform bickering makes anyone. The basic rules of arguing simply state that once you’ve lost your calm, you’ve lost your case.

 If Joe Wilson wanted the attention of crazies, he certainly achieved it. I won’t be surprised if he’s hailed by every right wing talk show host for sticking it to the emerging socialist regime. If that is what he wanted, he placed his name and life long political ambitions in jeopardy. It’s quoted in that CNN article that more than $40,000 was donated to his political opponent in the hours after the incident. 

If his apology was indeed genuine (I’m tending to believe it wasn’t) and he wanted something more, I would respectfully ascertain that he lost all his credibility in two simple words. I didn’t know Joe Wilson before this, and it’s quite sad that I do now; and not from what he built or diligently fought for in his career, but for what he destroyed in seconds in front of the world.

The Era of Disrespect and the Business of News

I hate to follow up all of the fluff posts on this blog with something so dark, but I sit here absolutely compelled to write about this. I arrived home this evening and did my usual search of the news. As I scrolled through, a story caught my eye. I am not going to mention the title or the news site, only because it serves to prove a point.

Today, September 4th, against the wishes of a father who recently lost his son, the Associated Press published a photo of a brave Marine’s last moments. This wasn’t a flag draped coffin. This picture depicts a man who has lost both of his legs, is bleeding out, and being dragged away by members of his squad.

I don’t care what your political leanings are regarding this ongoing war in Afghanistan. There are some things that should remain sacred. This Marine’s father watched his son volunteer to protect this country. How awful that the last image he has to remember him by is gruesome and the stuff made of nightmares. Any parent would be devastated to know their son died bravely. To add salt to the wound by publicly offering up such a horrid last moment is depraved and ultimately unjust.

If I were a betting woman, this is what happened:

As the AP was neatly wrapping up these photos with the word, “EMBARGO”, stamped on the front, some greedy bastard was licking his/her lips at the amount of hits and controversy these pictures would cause. Oh so clever, he/she prepares a bullshit, CYOA excuse if general reaction gets out of hand.

As I briefly discussed this with a good friend, he mentioned being torn. Sympathy for the family who lost their son vs. dealing with wars too easy for the American public.

I am sorry, but for me, there is no question in my mind that sympathy and respect for the family wins that argument every single time.

This Marine was a volunteer.  This Marine was fighting for you and for me. This Marine died for his country.

 The AP essentially wiped their ass with any thought of handling this in a professional and respectful way and then passed out the shit stained document like it was caviar.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree that as a country, with the recent exception of 9/11, we are relatively sheltered. We don’t seem to care about fighting or deaths unless it’s happening on our own soil. When news of casualties both innocent and coalition are reduced to footnotes on news broadcasts, only to be followed by a news story that flip- flops are out to kill you, its no wonder people have tuned out.

This isn’t an easy war. If newspapers and networks weren’t balancing budgets by playing the fear game, news would be news again. Instead, this war and probably any future war takes the back seat until spectacular and gruesome images just happen to be caught on film. Then we remember. Scratch that, then we are forced to remember.

If anything, the AP is counting on both sides of the political spectrum to attach themselves to this controversy. The AP is also counting on the darker side of human nature as well, hoping that as the story gains momentum, it will bring visitors to sites carrying the picture if only to sate morbid curiosity.

However, and I’m hoping there are more out there like me, who will be appalled that any semblance  of conscience has finally left our news agencies so eager to make a buck and win pretentious awards.

There is always a heavy cost to any war being fought. The war in Afghanistan is no different. The AP had the decision to run a story without the photo and to most of us, the ones who do care, it would have mattered. Just like it would have mattered to a devastated father and mother.

And the only reason it matters now is because this picture is nothing but propaganda and dollar signs.

Rest in peace, Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard. Truly, a most sincerest thank you for fighting and making the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

If You Build It, They Will Come… And Be Assholes

**contains language**

Let me make something perfectly clear right off the bat– This post is not a slight on Jeremy Tolbert or Steve Eley. I am humbled and privileged to have read for Escape Pod. It’s all the  fucktards out there who need to have their virtual tongues cut out and smashed under very large and heavy rocks.

As many of you know, I am a narrator and a podcaster. I am also fucking pissed.

This last week, a story by the lovely Genevieve Valentine, read by me, was put up on Escape Pod. While I’ve listened to Escape Pod audio in the past, I never dived into the forums or comments on each. I usually got the episodes from Itunes.

As any curious narrator would be, I wanted to know what people thought of the reading. I’m always interested in constructive feedback to enhance my future narrations. If you thought it was deadpan, fine. I can take it. I’ll make a note and try to be more enthusiastic next time I’m reading about death. No, really.

When I went to both the forums and the comments on the individual stories on the Escape Pod site, I found myself barely controlling my rage at some of the comments. In case the entire Internet hasn’t been taught — there are ways of offering criticism that don’t include the words, “Suck”, “terrible”, “Bad”, “Boring”…. the list goes on.

It’s fine. A story may not work for you.  You may be disappointed where the author (and reader) take you while on your journey. You may find yourself wondering why you stuck around for the ending. People are entitled to that opinion.

What people aren’t entitled to be are assholes about it.  See: how to offer constructive criticism.

I was once a proponent of open commenting and forum posting. No one should be moderated. As I started my blog, visited Youtube,  read news articles which allowed comments, visited friend’s sites, and saw the pretentious, asinine drivel flow like rabid spittle from the mouths of inconsiderate beasts who should never have been allowed an internet connection, my stance slowly changed.

See John Scalzi — “Moderation Matters”.

John is happy that most of the members of his community are civilized human beings who pride themselves on having compassion and understanding for other members of this race.  It’s fun when you have an adult conversation comprised of adults acting like adults. It’s great to have lively discussions that don’t veer off into hate-filled, often unassociated tangents.  It stops being fun when scum start adding their drivel to the mix.

See, here is the deal. I don’t care you said nasty shit about me. Really, I don’t. What I care about are the people who pour their hearts into bringing you content every week. What I care about are the writers who are telling a story. What I care about are the producers and editors who are mostly volunteers and don’t get paid for their effort and time. What I care about are the listeners who have constructive things to say.

So really, to all the people who can’t stop vomiting up shit and getting off on their self proclaimed righteous verbal masturbation; fuck you. Seriously, fuck you.  Oh, that’s twice. You know I’m angry, now.

Places like Escape Pod who offer free content for the love of the genre, should be commended for their dedication and perseverance. Especially on the internet, where the term “asshole” is not only a state of mind, but now comes in anonymous flavor packs.

For the record, if you read this Genevieve, and countless others who’ve been ripped apart by people who really should be wearing muzzles and straight jackets and locked in rubber rooms:

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for writing, producing, narrating and editing.

Another Apology That Isn’t.

Wow, the internet has shown us a lot of apologies that aren’t this weekend.  I have definitely put more stock in the saying that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness (not really/or  in convoluted ways) after the damage has been done.  What happened to using your brains before you attempted anything like this in a public forum?

Here is EA’s !apology for the ” we encourage you to molest a booth babe, but not really” err, I mean, “Sin to Win (it’s all in good fun)” stunt they pulled at Comic Con this weekend.

http://kotaku.com/5322781/ea-apologizes-for-sin-to-win-booth-babe-promo

“Costumed reps are a tradition at Comic-Con. In the spirit of both the Circle of Lust and Comic-Con, we are encouraging attendees to Tweet photos of themselves with any of the costumed reps at Comic-Con here, find us on Facebook or via e-mail. “Commit acts of lust” is simply a tongue-in-cheek way to say take pictures with costumed reps.”

So, the faux tattoo on some nice size DD boobs depicting outlines of incredibly sexy naked female asses wholly represented the “costumed reps” at Comic Con? Trying to asexualize the booth babes so your legal team doesn’t have to fight out sexual harassment complaints  really doesn’t cut it.

I did happen to go to the Facebook page mentioned in the promotion and it does look like the majority of the people did behave themselves while taking pictures. EA is lucky.

It still doesn’t excuse the stupid.

How to Navigate the Internet

How to Navigate the Internet
Episode One: Blogs, Chat Rooms & Forums

Wow! The Internet is a very large and strange place! From the minute you type your first web address into your browser of choice (Vista users should read here: From the minute you are raped by your browser and your first web address is selected for you), an entire world of possibilities opens before your eyes!

As one of the co-founders of the Internet; a title I happily share with Al Gore, I wanted to give you a proverbial ‘yellow brick road’ to follow as you begin your exciting journey.

In this lesson, we’ll be talking about blogs (or pretentious online diaries), Chat Rooms (gathering areas for unsavory types) and Forums (classification unknown).

Blogging took the Internet by storm a few years ago. As of June 2008, 185,620,000 blogs have been created. (Number furnished by Technorati, a leading source all things blog related.) Mind you, most of these quickly produced websites collect junk information and/or links in an attempt to sell you the latest male enhancement formulas or promote weight loss in a bottle. Once you sort through all the ads for Russian Viagra, you can find some great online diaries created by some of the most intelligent and popular people in today’s culture.

Chat rooms have been around long before 1997. With the smashing success of America Online, chat rooms were easily accessible and became very popular. I still remember my first experience in a middle-school library. He was from Florida and was 32. I was naive.

Keep in mind, as the Internet has evolved, chat rooms continue to be seen in negative light. Named by numerous news outlets as a breeding ground for the world’s unsavory and dark souls, you’d probably be better off not traversing these darker parts of the world wide web. If you do decide to go exploring, don’t say I didn’t warn you if you land in some chat room dedicated to goth furries exploring sexuality with bacon products. (Oh the memories horror!) If you don’t recognize any of the nouns I’ve just mentioned in that last sentence, save for the word, “bacon”, consider yourself lucky.

Forums have been around longer than both of these, in the form of bulletin board services. They’ve adapted as the Internet has grown, taking on new life. You’re not anyone these days unless you have a forum linked directly from your website/blog. It doesn’t really matter if your readership consists of your mom and her blind cousin from Alabama. Comment sections on your blog are just not adequate enough to delve into the world of discussion. Forums allow those pertinent conversations related to your latest posts to happen.  Even if your latest entry consists of a video on cheese wheels, forums are a great addition to any Internet venture.

Keep in mind, some of the more exclusive forums have many members and are not usually accessible to the general public. It takes a true web connoisseur to allow public access into his/her forum.  Once you do create a user name and password, you will need to familiarize yourself with certain personality archetypes. This will help you ultimately decide what type of jackass/pushover you would like to become. 

Samples of Forum/Commenter* Archetypes

“The Yes Man/Woman” – This person will agree with the original blog/forum author at all times. It doesn’t matter if the OP (Original Poster) has contradicted him or herself repeatedly either, as this agreeable man/woman will most certainly add their two cents to the thread using words/phrases such as, “awesomesauce”, “absolutely”, “totally”, “I couldn’t have said it better, myself”.

“The Defender” – In league with the “yes man/woman”, these personalities will usually come to the defense of the original poster/blog owner no matter what their relationship. Common phrases/words used in dialogue. “#53 is so full of poo. How dare he come here and make you justify your answers with facts!”, “I can’t speak for the OP, but that dorkwad who just said he was wrong is a douche.”, “His/her credentials clearly prove that he/she is a intellectual beast worthy of membership in MENSA.”

“The Apologist” – Despite that the OP had just written a post sanctioning the slaying of kittens through copious amounts of masturbation, “The Apologist” will make excuses as to why the OP (or other commenters agreeing with the original post) said or do the things they do. It doesn’t matter if the OP has stated plainly that he likes to murder small animals by ejaculating continuously, “The Apologist” will still come up with his/her forensic analysis of said OP’s childhood or current economical/metaphysical/physical state. “I know what he says is cruel, but if his mother didn’t beat him, he wouldn’t want to kill kittens by manhandling the trouser snake.”

The Fence-Sitter” – “You know, both sides have a point, but I’m not going to label myself here. Labels are so “yesterday”. ” This person will make a habit of being unable to voice a steady opinion on anything at any point during the conversation. Even with polarizing statements such as “Murder is good.”, or “Intercourse is bad.”, this person will continually hmmm and haw their way to oblivion. 

“The Wikipedia Bitch” – In an effort to sound smart, this person will grab a topic, copy relevant information from an online encyclopedia source (most commonly Wikipedia) and paste it in the thread. Most real scholars agree this behavior exists due to the fact that this particular person can not form his own ideas about things, but longs for Internet social acceptance. Unfortunately for the “bitch”, it has the opposite effect. No one likes a ‘know-it-all’ and there will always be one rebuttal to the info-dump stating that Wikipedia is riddled with an insane amount of errors.

“The Troll” – Unable to stay on topic, this person will normally take a subject, extract relevant information only pertaining to themselves, run with it and then usually finish off his comment/forum post with the word, “Fucktards”.  Trolls are known to sit at their computers drinking energy drinks, eating snacks and continuously refreshing a comment/forum thread, waiting to pounce on the next person to comment despite its relevance. They usually will not post under their real names, usually using monikers that will incite even more trouble. Many bloggers have disabled anonymous posting thanks to this particular breed of jackass. This condition is currently under consideration to be added to the list of ‘mental illnesses’ as described by the APA. The only ways to rid a forum/comment troll is to block their IP, stop feeding them and threatening to beat them with a proverbial imaginary tool such as a ‘clue-by-four’, a ‘shovel of doom’, or a kick to their epeen. (Internet penis). Simple logic will not work with these people. 

 

As mentioned, these are only a sample of Internet archetypes commonly found on the Internet. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed the first few steps into the exciting world of online communication. Next week we’ll be talking about ways on how to protect yourself from e-mail scams from Nigeria, why it’s not so smart to click on unexpected links from friends during an instant messaging session, and why sending naked pictures of yourself to your long distance boyfriend/girlfriend you met while playing World of Warcraft is also something to avoid with extreme prejudice.

 

 

 

 

*Common personality archetypes are seen on both forums and in the comment sections of blogs. It would be very useful to know in to which category you may fall.

Things That Irk Kate – Volume 1

1.) If you’re going to tell-off your significant other in the middle of the grocery store on your cell phone while perusing various cuts of meat, use words that are kid friendly, because I’m telling you right now, if my toddler starts uttering the phrase, “Fuck your Goddamn Mother” I’m throwing all the canned food I’ve accrued in my shopping cart, plus squishy vegetables at your head.

2.) I’ve come to the conclusion that 80 percent of the human race are disgusting pigs. For heaven’s sake ladies, it’s not that hard to wipe up after yourself and flush the damn toilet at a public restroom. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to pass a stall and then gag because someone decided they’d like to keep their work of art fresh for everyone else to savor.

3.) While at the beach, don’t throw your shit around and expect other people to clean it up. I mean, most people will clean up your shit, only because we’re tired of ignorant, lazy and entitled people screwing up our beach with their shit. Just don’t assume that we’ll save your ass and the environment at the same time, k?

4.) I really really really dislike people who use handicap parking spaces who aren’t really handicapped, or ninja’d the pass from an aunt with a hip replacement. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen a nice young woman or man sprint out of their car while parked in a restricted space. If you can walk normally, you can park a few spaces back.

5.) The ice cream truck. It irks me. If I hear the “Turkey In the Straw” one more f’in time…well, you won’t like me when I’m angry.

6.) The fact that coffee, vanilla extract, and baking chocolate taste nothing like you’d think they’d taste like. Oh, the traumatic childhood memories!

7.) The fact that liver and onions tastes exactly how you think liver and onions would taste…like ass.

8.) Just because you could afford the big honking SUV, the boob and nose job, and the pretty house on Mulberry Lane, doesn’t mean that you are any better than me. The next time you look at me that way, out comes the squash. I mean it.

Bitch.

9.) If I’m already going abit faster than the speed limit and keeping up with traffic, and you flash your lights, ride my ass, or honk at me to move out of the way, expect the finger. A big one. Maybe two, because I will be driving with my knees and attempting to smite you with dirty looks.

10.) It bugs the heck out of me that corporations find it necessary to install toilet paper rolls that rip off one square at a time. If you’ve got an employee theft problem involving toilet paper, you need to hire better people. If you’re trying to save money, keep in mind that while people are taking 15 minutes to rip off enough paper to wipe their asses, you’re losing that time in which they could be productive.

That’s all for now. I will go be irked in private.