Monthly Archives: July 2007

Contractual Obligation?

Yikes, how the mighty have fallen.  I sat through Bill Maher’s new HBO special last night, and was embarrassed for him, for HBO, and for those of us on the Left.  Talk about phoning it in.  I can write better material than that, (and, without stealing jokes from other comedians) and I can hardly string 2 sentences together.  Bill, buddy, I’m a huge fan of your show.  Your last special was pretty good too, at least it was topical and clever and somewhat biting.  This one?  Rehashed old bits about W, and to a large extent he is hardly relevant anymore.  I’ll match my Liberal credentials against anyone’s, and I was actually uncomfortable through a good portion of your tired schtick.  I think you were obligated to do this one, right?  One of the things I like about Left leaning comedians is that they are head and shoulders smarter and funnier than anyone on the Right.  We own humor, they got the slogans.  Its all they have.  You saw what happened to Dennis Miller when he whored himself out to the Right?  He had to “dumb down” his material, and it killed his career.

I’ll watch you next Sept, though, your guests and New Rules make me laugh every week.  If you need to do another Special, see if Colbert can loan out his writers…

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Speak Now Against The Day

Rollin through my bookmarked sites this morning, saw this at TCP via Blue Collar Muse.

Here is an excellent recap, but I have a question for any lawyerly types out there.  Wasn’t this case deserving of a change of venue?  In fact, I’d like to see more of an explanation by the Public Defender’s office as to why this case wasn’t moved to another jurisdiction.

There is no justification for a six on one beating.  The boys that participated in it should be punished, but it is readily apparent that there is more than a little overt racism in that Parish, particularly with respect to the application of justice.

It’s worth noting that Jena is the site of the infamous Juvenile Correctional Center for Youth that was forced to close its doors in 2000, only two years after opening, due to widespread brutality and racism including the choking of juveniles by guards after a youth met with a lawyer. The US Department of Justice sued the private prison amid complaints that guards paid inmates to fight each other and laughed when teens tried to commit suicide.

Seems the adults there have done a poor job of protecting everyone’s children.

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Disclaimers Implied

I am beginning to be disturbed by what is, at least for me, a new trend of posting for manipulation.  I’ve seen way more of it than I think is healthy, but it wasn’t until I read Kat’s post that I decided to write this.  Seems she decided to delete a post she’d written so as not to offend the wrong people.  I understand that.  I have to say I applaud that decision.  (I should make it clear that I’m not saying Kat’s piece would have been manipulative, but, rather, I’m saying that she apparently felt that some people may have assumed, incorrectly, that the post was about them).

I understand that we all use manipulative techniques from time to time, but I’ve grown weary of lazily written “heartfelt” posts that really don’t say enough to make it clear what the author means, thereby inviting his/her readers to wonder if there is some “hidden message” meant for them.  Cryptic posts strike me as manipulative, intended to get the last word in, or to invite affirmations from loyal readers.  Maybe the posts are intended to invoke guilt in the hopes that the author can bring about some desired result.  I just have to say I don’t care for them.  And, I should say here, that no one author or post provoked this thread.  (Clearly, it takes effort to insure one is not being manipulative, as this post could be seen as somewhat manipulative.)

I’m sure someone will point out to me that in and of itself, manipulation isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  As an activist, I do intend to educate and sway, and yes, sometimes I am angling for someone to act.  I am hoping to separate this from the inter-personal though.  Then again, I could be way off base here.  Whoda thunk it?

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But…Sadie, why did you leave me?

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Just sayin…

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Gettin Lucky

It takes courage to allow yourself to be lucky.  I’m totally serious.  Recently I had a couple of conversations with a friend about people that seem poised on the edge of greatness, only to consciously or  sub-consciously sabotage themselves.  Why the hell do we do that?  Why is it that we equate the lucky with the un-deserved?  Isn’t it possible that a great universe finds ways to reward those that risk ridicule and scorn to pursue something, no matter what that something might be?  Is the act of announcing one’s intentions sufficient for the universe to help make it so?

No, I’m actually not high at the moment…why do you ask?

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Help Me Understand

I hope to explain why I am asking this question in a follow-up post, but since I am scrambling about in preparation for Aunt B’s parents to arrive here, I’ll just throw this out there in case any corporate types stumble across my site after Googling coyote skins or something.  I’ll admit that I hate corporations and publicly owned companies pretty much across the board, and I will further admit that I am not well suited to work for one, so if you can answer this for me, I’d be eternally grateful:

Why is it that you spend millions of dollars and countless man-hours trying to attract my business, only to treat me so badly once you do?  How does it fit in your business model to take full page ads out, run TV spots during prime time, bombard the internet, and send me direct mail, and then make sure that my experience with you all but guarantees that I will never be back?

(I realize that there is no way to answer this without more context, so let me give one example, in fact one that is near and dear to my heart.  Also, this is in part motivated by a recent experience at a well known hotel chain, but for now, lets use the car dealership as an example.)

I used to run large ads in a very expensive car market.  30 thousand dollars wasn’t unusual.  This is on top of billboards, and of course a very expensive direct mail and internet ad campaign.  In the car business, there is no way to track a referral source accurately, not even when it is internet driven.  Perhaps especially when it is internet driven.  But my point is that there is no way we didn’t lose money week in and week out on that advertising, particularly print advertising.

Then, when potential customers show up, we employed the same tired old school techniques that worked when there was but one choice per town, and your average buyer couldn’t pull up the damn invoice on his computer.  We wouldn’t answer a direct question, had little or no product knowledge, and the minute we knew you were not ready to sign up that day, we just about lost all interest.

Anyway, thats it.

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Heartbreak

They are gone.   The Tamale Lady, Carmen, , Eduardo, and Leticia no longer live in Tennessee.  While we were on vacation, they made a move to another State, in part at my behest.  I indeed counseled this family to consider re-locating to a more immigrant friendly state.  Her paperwork was a mess, she in fact had a work permit that expired last year, and she has been exploited by both an inept bureaucracy and unethical Notarios.  Frustrated and broke, she gave up trying to run the ridiculous gauntlet that is our immigration system.  Instead, she worked hard, and put money aside for her children’s future.

I knew it was coming, but it hurt that it happened while I away.  I know where they live, and we talked for awhile last night on my cell, but I cannot adequately convey how damned heartbroken I am.  I loved that entire family.

Then, as if on cue, some light on a dark day.   It seems my good friends Stephen and Suzanna’s baby decided to make his arrival yesterday, 6 weeks early, but apparently both he and Mama are healthy.  Oliver Thomas is his name.  His dad informs me that he will go by the Greek variant that sounds alot like Eli.  Welcome, little man, and I’m laughing because you have no idea how lucky you are to have these people charged with your care.  Yasou!

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