Saturday, June 5, 2010

And Now, for Something Completely Different... But not really. Pictures!

Every week I like to check out this gallery of the top political cartoons. Some are eh, but others... hilarious. Thought today maybe I'd share a few, maybe comment every now and then, just to mix things up. (And if I'm not horribly mistaken, clicking on the picture should enlarge it... maybe.)

Remember way back when I was joking about splitting the US down the middle and we each take a side? If you haven't noticed yet, in the bottom corner it says "I didn't notice anyone trying to sneak across." And you wouldn't! Maybe we'd be sitting on the fence, as I would from time to time... Mostly to see what's going on on the other side, I suppose. But just think how different each side would be... And yet, how similar. We're all human. We're all Americans. We do what we do because we love our country despite it's problems, and we want to see it flourish. We all have the same problems, just different ways of solving them.... And I see a social experiment coming on... Think the APA review board would let me get away with it??? I'm totally serious :-D
And obviously this whole border with Mexico thing too has people pretty divided (regarding immigrants crossing over it, I mean... Though frankly, and I know this wouldn't sit well with many Mexicans, I wonder if we could work out some sort of deal that kind of combines us in some way... After all, technically speaking the we're the ones who invaded Mexico by annexing Texas. Texas had claimed independence from Mexico, but they were the only ones who believed that... [Texans had an annoying habit of seceding from whatever country they belonged to. So I say let's just let them be independent & see how that works out. Good luck.] Then the Texans decided they didn't like the boundaries, & claimed that the borders included land & a river that they absolutely did not, including huge parts of (what became) 3 other states. (There's all this junk about saving Texas from a Mexican invasion, but it's not invading when it's yours, so...) Polk was an idiot who thought it would be a good idea to steal Texas, thereby declaring war on Mexico (even though Mexico flat out told him to butt out), stealing the land, killing everyone in the area. Somewhere in this Cali declared independence from Mexico, The Americas forced whoever was alive to sign a treaty (somehow I don't think gunpoint counts...) giving them and called it a day. To put it simply, the US invaded Mexico, stole their land, and made them give us more. All the future war heroes were there - Grant, Lee (another idiot... He didn't like them, but I miss the old Radical Republicans, back when Republicans stood for civil/human rights... So much nicer than our modern ones, IMO...), Stonewall... We eventually gave Mexico a few million dollars to shut them up (despite the fact that the land they gave up was worth far more than that - Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Cali, New Mexico, Texas-- and we shoved them back to the Rio Grande. The southern border of the US is all stolen property... I couldn't blame them if they started shouting "Take Our Country Back!" like those silly tea party signs. At least then it'd make some sense. Speaking of which...

Even though we've seen a drop in private hiring, and a surge in government hiring due to the census, we're still in a MUCH better situation than we were before... And I've seen recent evidence that this was not due to the "natural" ebb and flow of the market, but had a huge boost from the stimulus bills-- and as a result (as most provisions are about to expire), we're going to see a drop this summer... Housing is down, construction is down, wages went up a smidge but private sales aren't going up anymore, so... There's a bit of a hiring freeze. Unemployment will take a hit once the census people are done (though I'm thinking a lot of them are probably around my age, since that's a huge hiring target group for that type of job). Teachers are going to see a plunge as well, I'm sure. But despite all of this hardship, and the fact that the country is breaking down on the political front so to speak, things are still better than they used to be... We are still progressing, as slow as the process may be.

This one's a bit older, I believe... And kind of creeps me out, because I was in some forum a few weeks ago and a few cops were there talking about this exact thing and how they do actually have a scale (these particular cops, not all cops in general)...(Granted, in November I had spent a little too much time following related conversations on Stormfront -- a "white nationalist/supremacist & neo-Nazi/KKK" site-- & the Nation of Islam - a "black supremacist/separatist/nationalist" website for a Social Theory paper on hate groups. Scariest 3 hours of my life. I'd like to not run into these kinds of people IRL. One group from one of the sites would call me names & try to kill me, the other would call me names & probably let me live but kill someone while dragging me around with them, & I'd really rather not ever get involved... Ack. Instead of writing my paper, I instead wrote a list/article about why both were absolutely insane. [One group had 2,000 members join immediately after Obama won, which crashed the server. They panicked that the "white rule" was going to end - their words, not mine. Even Fox's "Papa Bear O'Reilly" called them out on their hateful spamming of his polls. The other group is basically the same, except they're also much more homophobic, & most of their hateful speech is offline and their skin tone is a bit darker. Both groups pretty much worship Hitler and blame the Jews for ruining the world... so... ye-a... Fucked up.] That part was fun, but writing my paper at 5 am before class wasn't so much...)

"100% Natural, for that Naturalized U.S. Citizen Look. Protects Against Police Harassment"-- Someone needs to give this to Boehner, 'cuz he doesn't even look human anymore... Most humans aren't naturally orange.

Hmm... Lesser of 2 evils?

Now this one is just too true...

Someone on FB/Care2 suggested plugging the leak with Beck & Palin so they'd be useful for something other than humor, but Limbaugh's mouth is just too big... (Plus I think that probably counts as physical violence, so I can't condone it...) But the good news is, recent attempts have been working to at least lessen the flow and contain some of the oil... Once we get it stopped, we can get to cleaning up (trying to see if somehow GP or Environment America would sponsor a trip down there... I think I could take off from work, I just don't know about plane tickets, HAZMAT suits or sleeping arrangements...) Also, while it's wonderful that so many organizations and businesses are chipping in hundreds of thousands of dollars towards cleanup costs, BP MUST BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERY DAMN PENNY!!! ^^" Sorry for yelling. (Poor Australia, too, lol. They keep looking forward to Obama's visit, & he keeps canceling at the last minute to fix massive problems here and get shit done...)

Another friend was talking about how other countries and indigenous peoples are forced to abide by the boundaries set by European invaders. (Reminds me of that whole "might makes right" argument. Right and wrong are determined by whoever is currently in power, the strongest and loudest are the ones who will make the rules, etc... The strongest bully determines the legitimacy of everything...) I really want to quote this all, but if my post ever shows up you can read it all for yourself... (But until then, here's the link to the article - Arizona One-Ups Itself: Public School Has Black, Hispanic Faces On Mural Changed to White « SpeakEasy. Look for BulletProofAir's comments. Article is sad, but the comments are lovely if you ignore the stuff about old people. I think they meant our grandparents, whatever category they fall into and not Baby Boomers (our parents) or even Gen X (today's young parents). Funny though that kids born after mid-1990s are Generation Z, the "New Silent Generation." We're breeding media-obsessed introverts... How weird is that? P.S. - What happens after them anyway --after generation Z??... Oh... Wikipedia says our kids will probably called Alpha.) What was I talking about again? lol...

[UPDATE- Principal apologizes, admits mistake, plans to go back to how it was. ]

So... let's try one last pic, cuz I'm getting bored...

I assume most people have heard about what's happening to text books...again. This happens every once in a while. I can't remember exactly when the last time was, but I remember talking about it in school when I was about 11 or 12... and again in high school. California is boycotting the textbooks. I believe every state should. Private schools can do what they want-- that's their prerogative. Christianity and it's "family values" have had a massive effect on history, but this is just overstepping boundaries. History is always rewritten to suit society, but a small minority should not dictate everything.

You should see what Fox wrote on this. (I'm not going to show you, it's just too embarrassing... for them. At least, it should be. I also just skimmed the list of articles on the page... So sad, really. I think some of their writers are in denial...) Though I trust PBS and college students  far more then I'll ever trust Fox again. I know that HuffPost may have wildly exaggerated some claims, but I found one blogger's play by play of the radio broadcast of the meeting, and a neutral college student's list of the biggest changes, as well as several other neutral sources including Politifact (which claims that some of the really-liberal sites' extreme accusations are half-true). (Even found a conservative Texas education site that refutes Fox's ludicrous claims... What a nice find... Though Fox wasn't entirely off on one point - these textbooks could verily end up anywhere in the country. It does depend on individual states, as the agency says, but that doesn't invalidate Fox's claim. So hey, Fox finally got something right!) While I think some of the changes could be great if the publishers could manage to be non-partisan about it ( for example, discussing the pros and cons of government regulation), others are so blatantly biased that it's actually offensive. Like how publishers now have to stress how awesome capitalism is compared to socialism/communism (which, btw, are NOT the same thing). Like taking out how race/ethnicities, religions, and genders have shaped society and history-- right there you're already taking out the history of music, which is HUGELY tied into so much of history... Women's rights, including suffrage, careers, and marriage... Gay rights, the Civil Rights Movement... Hell, we can even go waaay back to the Great Awakening and the Second Great Awakening which led to the abolitionist movement! The Quakers too! How can you downplay that or cut it out? Also, I fail to see how they plan to take religion out while promoting "Christian values and the influence of Christianity on our Founding Fathers"? We as a "nation" (for lack of a better word at the moment) began as a group of settlers seeking religious freedom. Granted the whole witch hunt thing kind of fucked that up, and the pushy religious people who insisted on converting everyone to "save them from hell" kind of fucked that up a bit too, but the whole point was that the ideology of certain religious groups was not supposed to be forced on anyone, and a person should be allowed to believe in whatever he or she wants. Again, I'm not saying that religion isn't a huge part of our history, and that Christianity hasn't had an effect. But it's not the only religion that's influenced us, and I believe it's modern ideology and corresponding political agenda do not even remotely resemble the influences or teachings of our Deist Founding Fathers. In fact, Deism conflicts with most of Christian teachings... (google it.) Plus back then, the vast majority of those religious movements served as a progressive, liberal force for good, helping to free cultural groups from unfair social restraints. (Remember, the current group is only considered "conservative" in present times because it seeks to maintain or preserve how things were...) I also love how anti-miscegenation laws for "Caucasians and Mongolians," and the Oriental Exclusion Law, etc are being written off as not being racist towards Japanese people during the internment camp period of WWII... Because "Italians and Germans were there too!" Yes, that should absolutely be mentioned. It's not something we really learned much about in school growing up. I'm learning more about it as I type this and research... But I wouldn't exactly market it as proof that internment had nothing to do with racism. The Japanese were the first to go, for the aforementioned reasons. FDR and the newspapers said some pretty nasty things about Japanese-Americans, but I can't find anything about the Italians from that period... The German-Americans had a bad rep of course, and apparently 10-15% had a Nazi affiliation so it's hard to be surprised that people were freaked out and angry. But for the most part, they and the Italian-Americans were just "enemy aliens." (Not to mention the fact that even with anti-Italian sentiment back then, a lot of people regarded Italians and Germans as Caucasian and not a minority "race" as they are of European descent, so...) The Japanese were the only ones to have racial epithets added to the "war crime" of being of the same ethnicity as the enemy.

And now for something completely different. Since I sort of changed topic. On a completely hilarious note, apparently some extremist conservatives started freaking out that Christmas and the Constitution were going to be written out of textbooks... Best April Fool's joke ever? lol... (Followed by some crap about how liberals hate America and the Constitution -_-" Seriously, what the hell are these people on??) And guess who started those rumors? Turns out to be the very same Fox anchor from above ^, Gretchen Carlson-- the one with the ludicrous claims. Turns out those claims weren't even the crazy ones... And like a true Fox-er, she didn't bother to say anything when someone proved that she was wrong.

From -
Addressing Jason Moore, a Texas parent who planned to speak at Wednesday's hearing, Carlson said: "So, one of the proposed changes, Jason, is actually to start history class in the year 1877, which would be a big problem for a lot of people, would it not? And eliminate references to certain holidays, Founding Fathers, the Constitution! I mean, no surprise that Christmas, they want to get rid of that because they've been doing that for the last couple of years, but c'mon, the Constitution?"

Which brings us to today's moral - it's not technically a lie if you really believe it's true when you say it, but if you're going to stick with your story when you're proven to be wrong... (Speaking of which, great news - a lot of alarm bells can go away now, we finally have evidence that it was a huge misunderstanding that wasn't immediately rectified... If you don't know what I'm talking about, good for you.)

Alright, I'm sure if you're still reading you really must be bored today... (I was. I'm sure I've infected enough people today, so spent the rest of the day in my room alone, writing and playing video games... I have yet to see a doctor, but I know I have strep -_-" Ugh. There are some things sisters should never share, and an infection is certainly one of them.)

(All cartoons copyright of their respective artist and/or publication. I'm just using them here for "educational purposes," under Fair Use law or whatever it's called ^^")

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