8.24.2009

Things & Stuff

  • After all the hubub, the Anchorage Assembly passed the anti-discrimination ordinance. This was the first time in the history of this state that an elected body voted to provide equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. So, of course, Mayor Dan Sullivan vetoed it. Sullivan cited the fact that "the vast majority of those who communicated their position on the ordinance are in opposition" as his reason for overturning the Assembly's vote. Ironic that an ordinance intended to protect the minority from discrimination at the hands of the majority was shot down by the city's top executive only because the majority was opposed to it. That's exactly how it is not supposed to work. Thanks, Mayor Sullivan, for moving our great city backwards in the race for human rights and dignity.
  • A couple of days later this giant rainbow appeared above Anchorage. Wonder whose side Mother Nature is on?
  • On a lighter note, while discussing this issue with some friends at a bar, one guy who was all riled up started yelling about how "It doesn't matter if you are black, white, or PURPLE! You should all have the same rights! Purple people have rights too!" Then we looked over and there was a woman at the table next to us wearing a purple shirt, purple pants and she even had purple hair. She totally heard us yelling about purple people. Awk-ward.
  • What kind of a jerk steals cars from firefighters while they are out fighting wildfires? Two suspects were arrested, but cars and trucks are still missing. No matter what, this is going to cost some dedicated public servants lots of time, money, and frustration. Want to help out? Mail a check payable to "IAFF 1264" with "Pioneer Peak" in the memo line to: PO Box 242041, Anchorage, AK 99524.
  • I watched Project Runway for the first time this week. It's no Top Chef, but I can see why so many of my friends are obsessed with it. It had some funny moments, like all of the people who take themselves way too seriously because of really stupid status things, like the guy who brazenly informed us that "In New York, I'm known as the Prince of Feathers." That's awesome. Congratulations. I'm also fascinated by the personal style choices of the designers. Some of them just wear jeans and a t-shirt. Totally simple and normal. Others wear crazy stuff, like rainbow bodysuits with chainmail corsets or shirts with sleeves made out of cardboard boxes.
  • If prostitution were legalized and regulated, would hookers have prices listed on their clothes or bodies? Or a cigarette-like Surgeon General's health warning for STIs? What about nutritional information?
  • I tried to go to a party with some friends the other night. We got totally lost, mainly because the street we were supposed to turn onto, which was clearly present on the map, did not exist in reality. Then we wound up at the intersection of Winchester and Winchester. How does that happen? As Kim said, "I'm never going to South Anchorage again."

8.23.2009

The Mishegoss Mets

The Mets terrible season continues. Following up on the insane rash of injuries, the soap opera front office drama, and the bad managerial decisions that have plagued the team all year, today the Mets discovered an entirely new way to lose. After Oliver Perez gave up two three-run home runs to the Phillies in the first inning, the Mets eventually rallied to pull within two runs. But down 9-7 in the bottom of the ninth, with the tying runs on base and the winning run at the plate, Mets right fielder Jeff Francouer hit into a game-ending unassisted triple play. Yes. A game-ending unassisted triple play. Unbelievable. The first time ever a game has ended like that. *sigh*

This has been a hard season. But rather than reflect on all of the reasons why, I'll turn it over to Bill Simmons to explain why we baseball fans (and perhaps Mets fans in particular) are so sensitive:
"The relationship between a fan and his baseball team is unlike anything else. If you love a team—if you truly love it—then that team infiltrates your daily life for six straight months (seven if you’re lucky). You wake up, you shower, you eat, you work, you eat, you watch your baseball team, you sleep. When the Mets collapsed for the third straight season last week, my devastated friends who follow them all said the same thing: it wasn’t losing again as much as reflecting on those 162 games and the hundreds of hours wasted along the way. They felt betrayed. Only baseball does that to you. It’s a game of routine, of watching one at-bat after another, hoping something different happens, of relishing the little thingsd that happen along the way. You don’t know your favorite players personally, but you feel like you do.”
Next year can't get here soon enough.

8.10.2009

Shameful

When I heard that the federal government was going to institute "death panels" as part of a health care reform plan, I got really excited. Not because I want sick people to be put to death rather than given health care, but because I thought it would be a great job for me. As the currently unemployed former Governor of Alaska (Sarah Palin, in case you forgot) explained:
The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.
(And, in case you forgot, Sarah Palin has a baby with Down Syndrome, who, for the record, is really cute, though I'm not so sure about his choice in eyewear. Are those really cool or really ugly? I can't tell anymore.)

Why would I make a good Death Panel Bureaucrat? Simple: I have lots of recent experience in determining someone's "level of productivity in society." Also, I've been sick, I've had surgery that I'm still paying off, and I'm a good bullshitter so I can totally tell when someone is faking.

I immediately started putting together an application, but then I found out that, despite the stimulus plan, there would be no such jobs available: sadly, shockingly, the former Governor of Alaska was lying (again). Why would she just make such a thing up? Probably for the same reasons that Rush Limbaugh is comparing the Obama health care plan logo to "a Nazi swastika logo." Because Godwin's Law posits that the longer an argument or debate goes on, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler or the Nazis increases. It usually occurs when conservative arguments grow tired and less logical:
In discussions about guns and the Second Amendment, for example, gun-control advocates are periodically reminded that Hitler banned personal weapons. And birth-control debates are frequently marked by pro-lifers' insistence that abortionists are engaging in mass murder, worse than that of Nazi death camps.
Applying these principles, it has also been observed that "as the time a liberal candidate is believed to be winning an election or argument increases, the probability that they will be labeled communist or socialist approaches one." So there it is. Because there is no good reason to oppose health care reform, a faction of the far right resorts to outlandish tactics that are offensive, un-American, anti-intellectual, and ultimately, violent. As Rachel Maddow explains,Nazism is not a metaphor for a political policy you disagree with. It has a very specific resonance, and when it is used deliberately to characterize a political opponent it is nothing more than a means of justifying the use of violence against that opponent. It makes violence virtuous, because Nazism is inherently evil and should be stopped at all costs. That is a scary prospect, is completely unacceptable, and has absolutely no place in what should be a thoughtful, civilized debate about health care and basic human rights. Anyone who furthers this Nazi meme should ashamed of themselves, absolutely ashamed.