The Supreme Court Decision

I’m not a lawyer, but the gist of the various lawyers I have heard blog on this is that the Roberts view describing this as a tax is not a particularly compelling argument. Many individuals seem to feel that Roberts has caught on to the consensus view that the Citizens United ruling was the worst ruling in a century and a half. Some suggest he feared that attaching his name to another terrible ruling would push him over the line from being a simple party hack to being a the worst partisan in the history of the post Civil War Supreme Court.

Personally, I think that voting the way we all know he wanted to vote would not even be particularly bad for him. His court has shown to be radical in the extreme, and one not-particularly-over-the-top ruling does nothing to change that. Don’t get me wrong, I am mildly pleased that he voted correctly. Only for the fact that an asshole-laden Congress cannot surreptitiously negate recently passed laws using the Judicial Branch. But the floodgates of legal bribe money have been irreversibly opened. I don’t think there is enough time left in Roberts’ tenure to undo that damage. Especially since that dirty money will pour into convincing the idiot public that any attempt to stem the flow is downright communism.

Bad People

Something that bothers me about the current sociopolitical situation:

It would be so much easier if right wing loons were simply bad people. Unfortunately, that is usually not the case. Most of these people (at least the ones I know) are sane and decent human beings. They do, however, fall far too easily for the sort of tripe bought into by religious extremists in the Middle East and other such places. They are victimized by the rich and powerful. They are then informed by agents of the rich and powerful that their situation is caused by a third party. For much of the Middle East, this third party is the decadent West of the Jews and Christians. Put simply, wildly disparate wealth distribution is not due to the rich consolidating wealth and power. Rather, it is due to believers of the wrong magic friends. Somehow. Similarly, an American middle class bereft of opportunity is due to lazy minorities and overpaid union workers, rather than a tiny fraction of the population absorbing all of the benefits of our society’s largess while offering no remuneration.

In reality, I was a registered Republican most of my adult life. It was because I did (and, for that matter, do) adhere to many of the stated principles thereof. I disdain those unwilling to actively seek self-improvement and I feel that society should reward those who have striven the hardest for achievement. The Republican ideal is far from the reality, however. Much better people than I have managed to wallow in mediocrity while those several generations removed from genuine achievement wallow in the luxury afforded them by the modern version of primogeniture.

If you believe that the Democrats (who, admittedly, are lousy at their job) are the villains here, you are not paying attention.

It is for that reason and no other that I call you not bad, but lazy.

So What the Hell was “Fast and Furious?”

I have been hearing about this for some time, but only as a mention or headline. I knew it had something to do with guns somehow ending up in Mexico. Today I saw the Rachel Maddow explanation. Amazing. I really have difficulty believing that a literally raving lunatic was responsible for the most unintelligible crackpot conspiracy theory I have heard in my decade or so of looking at crackpot conspiracy theories. Alex Jones would probably consider this guy a crank. According to Maddow, prior to the stupidly named “Fast and Furious” operation, Michael Vanderbough’s claim to fame was inciting some halfwits to vandalize Democratic Party buildings. The guy is exactly the sort of person I recognize as a Limbaugh-addled kook. It amazes me that people like this are taken seriously by anyone but mental health professionals.

On Google

I have a ten-year old in my household. As such, I recently got Cars 2 on Netflix. I have found that that particular movie does not play on an ordinary Blu-Ray player. Assuming the issue was a firmware upgrade, I consulted Google. A few hours later, I opened up Talking Points Memo. This is what I saw:

The circled advertisement is one of several ads for new Blu-Ray players. The most invasive-sounding one indicated that, rather than upgrading my firmware, I should just buy a new Blu-Ray player.

The funny thing is that I absolutely knew what Google’s business model was years ago. Most of the crap I Google, however, is not particularly identifiable. It took this one rather specific item to slap me into the realization that Google must have a creepily detailed history of me. And you. I noticed that the most recent hotel I’ve used was now displayed on anything travel related. As well, the sorts of things I access in regular usage are pretty ordinary. But certain things I look up a lot may mark me as a touch weird. If I had to divide my Google searches into just two categories, there is only one logical separating line: 1) science, 2) bizarre. Strangely, the second category almost entirely encompasses my interest in politics. Over the last decade, politics seems to have become a nationwide study in abnormal psychology. Now anyone with access to my Google searches will see that I have an unhealthy interest in the American Civil War and the White Supremacy/Christian Identity movement. It’s a good thing I’m not white, or some people might have gotten the wrong impression…

A Question

How is it that in movies, the combination of these characteristics:

  • obnoxious
  • vapid
  • inconsiderate
  • unreliable
  • irresponsible

can merge together as “quirky” and be considered attractive?