The Occasional Tendown: August 5-18 2012

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dear Internet:

If I'm only going to do this every other week, it's fair of you to expect I return with something special.

That's Hitler wine.  They're selling Hitler wine in Italy.

And I thought Kobe would never pitch again after Colorado. Whomever is doing the perception management for Hitler should expect a call from Rance Priebus, cause I don't think even a low knowledge voter like the US electorate is going to get conned into thinking that Paul Ryan is here to save Medicare from the Democrats. Hitler's selling wine in 2012.  That's real gangster.

137 is here. This is Tendown 138.

1. The Pussy Riot

The reaction to the Russian punk band Pussy Riot's getting two years in jail for protesting has been that it's a totalitarian crackdown on expression.

Which it is.

But it's a totalitarian crackdown on a specific type of expression - opposition to the Christian power structure.

The judge also described the defendants as "openly displaying disrespect" to Christians and said the defendants "deliberately placed themselves against Orthodox believers." In case it wasn't clear that this is just a 21st-century version of the same old witch trials where an unseen God is invoked to control and punish unruly women, one of the accusations flung at the band during trial was the practice of Satanism.

It is unclear to me that a culture where we are advancing more legislation to stop birth control than to curtail catastrophic man made climate change has a lot of room to criticize Christian theocracy in other places.  The first question of the first Presidential debate needs to be "do you accept the unimpeachable scientific view that human life evolved over millions of years". And the idea that this:

...somehow should be viewed as having the same moral status as your mother while we (me too) are complicit in killing billions of pigs in a manner that suggests they are of less moral significance than that blastocyst is beneath serious intellectual inquiry.

We allow fairy tales to guide our lives no differently than people living 1500 years ago sacrificing citizens to the gods as part of the dedication of a newly built bridge.  Except we should know better.

The same day as the Pussy Riot sentence came this prison sentence:

A former North Texas high school teacher was convicted Friday and sentenced to five years in prison for having sex with five 18-year-old students at her home.

Should a high school teacher have sex with students, even if they are adults?

No.  There are all sorts of reasons why that's a bad idea.  She should be fired and have her license revoked.  

Should anyone be jailed for five years for consensual sex with other adults?  What is it we are saying as a society when we make that decision?

Had the judge expressed the view that the woman, in having sex with five dudes, was "openly disrespecting Christianity" would you have been surprised that anyone in a position of power felt that way or just that anyone said it?  

The death of every gay kid who kills himself instead of getting tortured in high school another day is proximately caused by the same mindset that locked up that punk band in Russia.  The vile right wing smirks over their chick fil a sandwiches, able to couch their bigotry under the cover of free speech and the left can turn its anger toward Eastern Europe - but establishing make believe over reality continues worldwide and makes the lives of real people a little bit worse every single day.  

2. Paul Ryan's Budget is Of the Rich, For the Rich.
Who says it?

Reagan's budget director David Stockman:

The Ryan Plan boils down to a fetish for cutting the top marginal income-tax rate for “job creators” — i.e. the superwealthy — to 25 percent and paying for it with an as-yet-undisclosed plan to broaden the tax base. Of the $1 trillion in so-called tax expenditures that the plan would attack, the vast majority would come from slashing popular tax breaks for employer-provided health insurance, mortgage interest, 401(k) accounts, state and local taxes, charitable giving and the like, not to mention low rates on capital gains and dividends.
…In short, Mr. Ryan’s plan is devoid of credible math or hard policy choices.And it couldn’t pass even if Republicans were to take the presidency and both houses of Congress. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have no plan to take on Wall Street, the Fed, the military-industrial complex, social insurance or the nation’s fiscal calamity and no plan to revive capitalist prosperity — just empty sermons.
3. As You Move to November..
Here are 12 things you need to know about Paul Ryan.
3. Ryan wants to end Medicare, replace it with a voucher system. Ryan’s latest budget transforms the existing version of Medicare, in which government provides seniors with a guaranteed benefit, into a “premium support” system. All future retirees would receive a government contribution to purchase insurance from an exchange of private plans or traditional fee-for-service Medicare. But since the premium support voucher does not keep up with increasing health care costs, the Congressional Budget Offices estimates that new beneficiaries could pay up to $1,200 more by 2030 and more than $5,900 more by 2050. A recent study also found that had the plan been implemented in 2009, 24 million beneficiares enrolled in the program would have paid higher premiums to maintain their choice of plan and doctors. Ryan would also raise Medicare’s age of eligibility to 67.
4. Ryan thinks Social Security is a “ponzi scheme.” In September of 2011, Ryan agreed with Rick Perry’s characterization of Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme” and since 2005 has advocated for privatizing the retirement benefit and investing it in stocks and bonds. Conservatives claim that this would “outperform the current formula based on wages earned and overall wage appreciation,” but the economic crisis of 2008 should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers who seek to hinge Americans’ retirement on the stock market. In fact, “a person with a private Social Security account similar to what President George W. Bush proposed in 2005″ would havelost much of their retirement savings.

4. Do You Have A Post Graduate Degree?
Then you're probably pro-choice.
5. And You Probably Think Cindy Jacobs... a scumbag.
6. The hottest month ever...
7. Remember, It's  Not About Race.
Here was Joe Walsh talking about The President of the United States.
“There’s something different on the ground, and I think it’s going to overtake us all again, think it’s going to overtake the political class. I think it’s going to respectfully pick this president up and pat him on the head and say, son, son, son, Mr. President, you were never ready to be president, now go home and work for somebody and find out how the real world works.”
8. I See Four Star Wrestling Matches
Ibushi v Hino DDT June 4 stars
Fujita Jr Hayato v Kenou June Mich Pro 4 1/4 stars
Devitt v PAC NJPW June 4 1/2stars
Cole v O Reilly 4 stars July ROH

9. And I Get A Side Gig
It's here.
10. And I Get my Second DUI of the Year!

 On that last one, I may be confusing me with Randy Travis

[O]fficers received a call at 11:18 PM from a person who stated there was a man lying in the roadway. When cops arrived to the scene, they noticed Travis' 1998 Pontiac Trans Am had driven off the road and slammed into several barricades in a construction zone ... once he was inside the cop car, officials say the singer threatened to "shoot and kill the Troopers working the case" ... Randy has been released from custody after posting $21,500 bail."

We start with Hitler wine - end with a naked Randy Travis crashing his '98 Trans Am and threatening to kill a bunch of cops.  

Was it worth waiting a week?

That's all for this time. I'll be back next time...if there is a next time...

Your pal,


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