Thursday, September 27, 2012

Auto-Message Embarrassment

So I signed up for the Obama mailing list because I wanted to make sure that I knew where to vote when it came time to do it. I knew that this would mean I would get millions of auto-messages soliciting for donations or with messages of campaign jargon. Still, I wanted to remain in the loop. I don't usually check these emails because I don't have any money to donate anyway, as much as I would love to. Today, however, I am sick and bored in bed so while waiting for an email from my professor, I browsed through a few of these emails. They were all the standard stuff but a lot of them were about winning the chance to meet Obama and Clinton at a dinner. I thought that was what this email was going to be about but then I read it:

I thought it was a tad presumptuous on the part of the campaign to just send me a message with nothing but a dollar amount. I also quite enjoy Deputy Campaign Manager Julianna Smoot's last name. So, I shot off a few quick emails, thinking no one would ever actually see them:
Clearly I was reveling in the awesomeness that was her last name. I was just amusing myself as I was very, very bored. I got an auto-reply email pretty soon after I sent them. It was just a standard thank-you-for-your-email blah blah blah as was to be expected. However,  a couple of hours later, I received this email:

I'm so glad I didn't call her Smooty like I wanted to.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Comparison of Falsehoods

With election season drawing nearer and nearer to November, many facts and figures are being thrown around by both sides of the party lines. I've become increasingly dissatisfied with the spin coming from members from both parties and from media with obvious bias towards one of the other. The same thing happened last time there was an election. I happen to follow on Facebook and have seen stories posted by friends from other liberal leaning news websites. I've seen less on the Republican side because I have very few friends that are firmly Republicans and actually interested enough in politics to care to post stories. That being said, I do get a few in my newsfeed every once in a while.
What I've seen have been arguments from both with limited research, limited or no sources, and sometimes just outright falsehoods. What I've come to rely on heavily for actually facts and to what things are actually true that politicians saying are two websites: and I cannot even begin to explain why both are crucial to an informed voter. As a whole, we've become too lazy when it comes to researching our news and candidates. I'm guilty of it as well. For years, I only had one news source and that was MSNBC. While I think saying that MSNBC is the liberal version of Fox News is not a completely accurate comparison because Fox News (as evidenced by independent fact-checking organizations) are for more likely to bend the truth or just completely fabricate facts, MSNBC does have the similar distinction of have a absurd amount of spin and a very obvious liberal bias especially when it comes to their opinion talk show hosts. Keith Obermann (not sure if he's still on the air), Rachel Maddow, and Chris Matthews may not be nearly as radical as their Fox News counterparts but they don't typically have the other side on for comment, or if they do, it is an easy opponent to debunk. Ed Schultz in my eyes, however, can be directly compared to Bill O'Reilly. They both get way to fired up, make flimsy claims off the cuff, cut off guests to keep them from making any sort of rebuttal and ram their political agenda down the throats of viewers.

When all news outlets are starting to trend towards these editorial talk shows with obvious leanings rather than traditional news that is more fact— rather than opinion— oriented, these fact check sites become even more important in becoming informed. It's a lot of work but worth it if you're like me and want to be told truths so you can form you own opinions.

However, that's not why I'm writing this today. It should be obvious by now that I am pretty liberal. I'm not Hippie or Greenpeace or Peta liberal, but I'm pretty left. To demonstrate, I just retook the Political Compass test. To take it yourself, go here: Political Compass. My results are pretty crazy: 

That dot is where my views lay. I know some of the views I hold may be considered pretty radical by some but really, I just want every group of people to have all of their rights respected and access to equal treatment and opportunities. If you go to the Political Compass website, it shows where historical figures and the current presidential nominees lay. I'm more left and libertarian than Ghandi! I'm definitely not a libertarian, though. They are crazy mother fuckers. Typically, candidates for office lay in the upper right square. It's amazing how close Mitt Romney and Obama's dots are. They are about a millimeter apart with Romney's being slightly higher and more right. They seem infinitely different to most people in every ideological and political way. 

What I wanted this post to mainly be about was a theory I had. Now that you know my views, you know my bias but I had a thought earlier. I was wondering if Politifact had a section where you could look up politicians and see what sort of spread of lies to truths major players in both party had. I hypothesized that Republicans would be more even or trend towards false in their facts and that Democrats would have more of a truth trend but overall even as well. The results are pretty interesting but by no means do they really prove anything outright.

Let's start with Michelle Bachmann. She has a history of just pulling random lies out of her ass, as exemplified with her statements about the negligible amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere and that it was a safe and natural gas we didn't have to worry about. By citing her own facts that the CO2 was at 8% of the atmosphere (water vapor is averaged about 4% to give to some scope here), I did a quick search and found that listed on the Dept. of Labor's website was a chart of acceptable to dangerous levels of CO2 in a work environment. At 8% the environment is considered to dangerous for humans to be laboring in. But I digress. She's interesting to me because of how bat shit insane she is. Glenn Beck even shakes his head at some of the things she says— specifically when she said the census might be used against citizens by rounding them up for internment camps like during WWII with Japanese Americans. Here's her Politifact rating: 

Not so much on the true side there, Michelle. With only 27% of her rated statements at half-true and above, I think this is a pretty accurate picture of Michelle Bachmann's propensity for outright lying. She is the only one I found with this skewed of a result. The Pants on Fire section of the politicians is what I'd like to highlight and Michelle Bachmann has a doozie. She made the statement
"After the debate that we had last week, PolitiFact came out and said that everything I said was true." Woo boy. I'm sure Politifact relished putting that story up. 

Let's skip over to the other side with another woman. Nancy Pelosi was the Speaker of the House until 2011 and was and is the frequent target of attacks by the Republican side. Personally, I like her. She doesn't seem too crazy left and she's a very good role model as the first female Speaker of the House and as a strong woman. Here are her  results:

 She has less rated stories than Bachmann so the peak of her results is higher but I think it's still a fair comparison to make between the two. What we see here is a more middle of the road result. She doesn't outright lie all that often but she's not very good at making completely true statements either. Most of the time when you see half true on this site, the politicians are using outdated sources for their info. I chalk this up to cherry-picking data to evidence points rather than making solid arguments. Her worst Pants on Fire story was where she promoted a chart that said that Barack Obama had "increased the debt" by 16 percent, compared to George W. Bush, who increased it by 115 percent. It showed that one of the years used for old Georgey was actually a heavy debt year for Obama. I doubt that was a mistake.

John Boehner is the current Speaker of the House and former Republican minority leader in the house. I don't know much about him besides a few tidbits I've seen on some talk shows and his stunning auto-tuned voice in Auto-Tune the News #6. I think he looks like a plantation owner and, despite having lived in Ohio all of his life, for some reason speaks with a Georgian drawl. I also thoroughly enjoy how close his last name is to boner. I actually thought that was how it was pronounced when I first saw it until my parents corrected me. Here are his results:

His results are pretty interesting to me because of the outlier. A slim majority of his statements are true but he trends towards false without much spread in between the two. I'm not entirely sure why this is but if I had to take a crack, I'd saw it's probably that for the most part he tries to be factual but when he really wants to drive a point home, he abandons what his research has found. He only has one Pants on Fire story (which is rare) saying the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act adopted last year contains "a series of slush funds, set up to stay on the books automatically, with little or no oversight." I think that confirms to a degree what I said about using lies when driving points home.

 Now I'll show you the results from both the VP and presidential candidates. They have many more stories than those I've shown you before so their results are much more evenly distributed but they still have curves that show where a majority of there statements lie. Let's start with Joe Biden.

I like Joe Biden. He seems very kindly and what I would hear about him before he was even nominated for VP was always good. I know it's bad to judge a politician on how they seem and look but I think it's pretty accurate in Joe Biden's case. Results: 

The results here are what I would have expected of Joe Biden: even but skewed more towards true. It kind of shows, to me at least, that he's a genuine person and isn't trying as hard to play the political game. He has his beliefs but he's not going to lie intentionally to mislead people into agreeing with him. His worst Pants on Fire is this quote "The president is brain-dead," in reference to old dubya. I think Politifact posted this one as a bit of a joke since Joe Biden was clearly just making an off the cuff statement that wasn't meant to be taken seriously. I think most people felt that way about Bush though. I would say more of a meat puppet than brain-dead.

Next we have Paul Ryan. I'm not going to lie, I despise this man. It burns me to the core that someone who believes that abortion should just be outright illegal in all cases might be in the White House. I read somewhere that he also wrote legislation, while old, that would make a woman have to prove she had a medical condition to use birth control; women that just wanted to control pregnancy were not eligible for it. I'm not sure how true that particular story was but from the interviews I've seen with Ryan and his previous involvement with Todd Akin in forming a bill with the language "forcible rape," as the only means to an abortion, I would not doubt he was opposed to birth control or thought that it was just another form of abortion. Even Romney isn't that crazy on the subject despite being a Mormon. If you have a penis, you will never know the burden that any of your ideas will have on a woman.  Let's see his ratings:

There aren't a lot of stories for Ryan because he's just recently become prominent in the media sphere. What his limited results show, to me, that he's not very good at telling lies or truths and is just a standard politician. His worst Pants on Fire story is that President Barack Obama "has doubled the size of government since he took office." This was on his own website. It's not some off-the-cuff comment, it's something he took the time to write and include in his platform. To me, that's a whole lot worse of a lie. He had the opportunity to fact check what he was writing before he put it on the website but I think this is clearly a case of trying to sway voters with purposeful misinformation.

Fuck that guy.

Anyway, where do the presidential nominees stack up.

I voted for Obama in 2008. I realize most of the things attributed to him, good and bad, have nothing to actually do with him but part of his staff or congress. I know he has good ideas but wants to compromise with Republicans and because of that it's really difficult to get much done. Both parties are too stubborn and play the political game hard rather than try to actually make the country better. 

Obama is obviously going to have the most stories attributed to him and because of that, we get a far more accurate picture of where he truly stands. The results are actually quite interesting. A majority of them are half true and above and despite having so many stories, he's only had 6 Pants on Fire lies. That's pretty amazing for a politician. I feel like it might be because he is the president. Everything he says is scrutinized more and far harsher than any one else. He also has access to more staff to research and fact-check. I'd just like to think Obama's a kind of genuine person who would never try to mislead the public. However, that's probably not true.

I really don't know much about Mitt Romney. I vaguely know things he did while governor of Massachusetts and I know that he is a massively wealthy man who has been involved with many major corporations. I also know that he is the caricature of every politician ever. He says whatever the people want to hear and what he thinks will get him elected but doesn't really care much about those things when actually in office. I think that he is a businessmen and that he will do whatever is in his own self-interest if elected. I don't trust corporations like he was in and I think they stand to make a lot of money by his election. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if he's elected, the distribution of wealth is going to get even more concentrated at the top.

Romney's results are very similar to Ryan's. No surprise there. All of his Pants on Fires are pretty bad. Like REALLY bad. No semblance of truth in them and an inherent amount of animosity. They are like something a teabagger daytime radio show host would say. It's very Rush Limbaugh. The worst would be in one of his negative ad campaigns which asserts that "Under Obama’s plan (for welfare), you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check."I feel like there is just a touch of racism in that. From the point of view of a middle class or working class, middle-aged white man, they are paying taxes to support lazy black people. That's what I've experienced when talking to them. That's what they legitimately think. It easy then to say that they also think a black president would try to keep that welfare state going. I think that's probably who they are targeting with this ad and it's just fucking stupid and infuriating and false.

 This is why I've been trying to avoid politics. It's just plain fucked. We keep electing stubborn people who are playing a game in order to get a paycheck and we're not seeing any progress.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Teen Mom

The Little Englishman is asleep so I'm watching a show that is practically engineered to infuriate me: Teen Mom. After seeing many magazine covers plastered with these little idiots' non-events or fuck-ups, I thought I'd see for myself why it is so massive. Especially after I read something about Farrah from the show attempting to chastise Kourtney Kardashian for having another kid. Here's the tweet if you've never seen it before: "Im Shocked Kourtney Kardashian is pregnant again, Did she not learn anything from TEEN MOM? Maybe its a fake pregnancy like kims wedding SAD." Kourtney Kardashian and her man earned a little of my respect by shutting that shit down in the best way, here's the exchange. It's hilarious how dumb this bitch is. It's even more pathetic because she said all that shit about poor choices yet she is getting breasts implants in this episode I'm watching despite seeking her dead boyfriend's social security money in order to raise her kid. She's calling it "an investment," because she is a "model.":

 Has anyone watched the British show Shameless? At one point a character that looks just like Farrah gets called "Spoon-faced slapper." If you're unfamiliar with the term slapper, it basically means slut. I think that is the perfect description.

Anyway, I would like to think that this show was produced with the idea in mind that it would act as a deterrent to the 34% of teenagers that get pregnant. There's some merit to that thought given that they chose to continue following the life of Catelynn (butchery of my name to the nth degree) who gave her baby up for adoption. However, she's not the shining example of intellect (despite making such a smart decision) and her family life is messed up. Catelynn's mother and stepfather (who just so happens to be the father of Catelynn's boyfriend) berate her and make her decision out to be one of cowardice. Young girls may see this backwards, inbred parental reaction as the typical way parents respond to choosing adoption and may think it's better to keep their unwanted hellspawn. Also, the "Teen Moms," are being glorified as faux celebrities and have an overwhelming media attention placed on them. Now that most of them are no longer teens, MTV is looking for a new cast of child-mothers to fill the gap left behind. Because of this, girls are actually trying to get pregnant in order to become famous. Who would have thought that Paris Hilton would end up being a better role model by comparison because at least she used contraceptives when getting boned on video.

Friday, June 29, 2012


I used to be majorly into comics. Mainly Marvel because the characters seem more gritty but also because they have some dedicated writers who I love. My favorite books always involved Wolverine, Spiderwoman or Deadpool. Primarily the latter two.

You can imagine the level of excitement that the announcement of Deadpool being in the last Wolverine movie brought out in me. This mental state reached squealing, brainless heights as the opening scenes started rolling in the theater. However, when the movie finally showed Deadpool, I was horrorstruck at the portrayal. Wade Wilson's character earlier in the movie was spot on with my image of Deadpool. I suppose the creator's forgot the quintessential "merc with a moutth," persona when they sewed Deadpool's mouth shut. I'm not sure how they'll rectify that when the Deadpool spin-off movie is released. I'm still looking forward to it.

Now, I love Brian Michael Bendis and I LOVE how he's raised Spiderwoman up to the same level as the other Avengers. I own the volume that documents her origin and if they were to make a Spiderwoman movie, they'd pretty much have to follow that backstory. It's rumored, in the basest sense of the word, that there will be a Spiderwoman movie. It's also rumored that Vanessa Hudgens of High School Musical fame would star as my favorite heroine:
I personally find her face annoying and her acting is exactly what you would expect of a Disney star. However, she has been breaking into more adult and gritty roles such as Blondie in Suckerpunch. I feel, though, that her portayal in that movie was stiff and forced and that she's not likely to become more badass anytime soon.

Casting for this role should avoid conventional dark-haired badasses like Angelina Jolie, Kate Beckinsale and Milla Jovovich, all of whom carry long histories of tough female characters that would take away from this heroine. Really, they should find some actress not in the public's persona but given that most people aren't familiar with the character, there are some other suggestions:

1. Ellen Page:
Now, hear me out. I'm not talking adorable baby face Juno star. Ellen Page has shown she can play more adult roles. Given Spiderwoman's difficult past, I'm thinking Ellen Page as the older version of her role in Hard Candy.  I watched that movie for the second time the other day and still got chills. If she channelled that mentality into Spiderwoman, it would be a film to remember.

2. Natalie Portman:

She's a phenomenal actress and has been playing badasses since she was thirteen (disregarding Padme). Think, "Leon the Professional, V for Vendetta and Closer," Natalie. Also, this:

3. Zooey Deschanel:

This is definitely an out there pick purely because I love Zooey Deschanel. We know she can play a bitch but that's not really what I'm going for. She'd be good for Spiderwoman when she was innocent and naive but I would to see her playing a cool, awesome chick without the usual Zooey quirk.

Google Search History

The Little Englishman recently cleared my phone because it was saying I had low storage. My phone does this on a regular basis, pretty much every time it updates itself. Anyway, this has allowed me to see exactly what I've searched in the last 24 hours, to my own amusement. Here's the list:

dream interpretation
liam neeson only person to look less bad ass
yeast infection crease leg*
milk soap food coloring experiment

*This is the one I forgot I did and then snort laughed for three minutes after re-reading it. It's an affliction only one person in my household currently has and it's not me.
** Can anyone do a summary for me as to house yeast it "harvested"? I can't sit down and read that wiki article. There was no real answer that I could come by when skimming.

I was looking up the milk soap food coloring experiment after I made the standard non-newtonian fluid every middle schooler has ever played with: cornstarch and water. Apparently England hates their children so the Little Englishman has never had this experience. As for the milk experiment, it's pretty much summed up in this video here:

Anyway, dream interpretation was just on a whim. It's pseudoscience to me but the Little Englishman's mum is a therapist and utilizes it so I thought I'd check it out. I've been having a reoccurring theme in dreams of a room in my house being completely forgotten. I'll come back to it and for some reason it will be infested with dead and living animals as well as teeming with general decay. In the first, I was visiting my old room in Freeport and remembered the hamster collection I kept in the wall. I've never owned a hamster in my life but in the dream there was a corner of a wall that had a built in, multi-storied hamster cage. It was unkempt yet there were still living hamsters in it. My mom was still feeding them but had neglected to dispose of the many hamster carcasses that lined the floor or change the bedding which was littered with rotting waste. I was mortified.

The second dream involved the Little Englishman and I living in a one story house with an expansive floor plan though we only had one tiny little bathroom. We'd lived there for quite some time but had never entered one room in it because the landlord said the previous tenants had never cleaned it out and apparently neither he nor we had bothered to do anything about it. That information completely slipped my mind one day and I went into this room. It was about 15 by 15 feet and had to massive vanities the size of a regular kitchen table. There were lights built into the tops of the walls creating very muted lighting but everything was beige and off-white. There was a spot light over this massive jacuzzi/shower with shelves made out of marbled glass along two sides of it and a long, white linen shower curtain. The whole room was carpeted except for a patch of beige ceramic tile alongside the jacuzzi. It was beautiful as long as you disregarded the mold, moss and algae that covered most of the jacuzzi, up the shower curtain and spreading out in patches across the carpet. I yelled for the Little Englishman to come look and then noticed the hoards of both dead and living frogs and other amphibians. I was startled and turned for the door but slipped. A frog the size of my head with a completely yellow body except two large red spots on its back made a break for the door and I started screaming for the Little Englishman.

I know I've had more like this but I can remember them. It's got to mean something to my subconscious but it doesn't have any sort of readily available explanation.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Same old mindset that I couldn't give a fuck about

Recently I've been enlightened that some of what I considered dubstep was brostep and therefore I should alter my description. Now, I've researched quite a bit and have found no definitive answer what the difference is between the two. Even on a long forum music thread, there were contradictions and arguments as to which was which. In the end, I'm as much in the dark as I was previously only more pissed off.

It all boils down to this weird mindset we as humans have that tells us the new is bad and old is better. It's what tells indie kids that Modest Mouse sold out for having one popular song on the radio despite older songs having been widely popular before that. They weren't on the radio, though, so clearly they'd sold out. It's the thin difference between oldfags and newfags on 4chan. No one admits to being a newfag despite it being statistically improbable that every OP that triforces being there from anywhere from the beginning.

It's a mindset that I've obviously participated in previously. I used to attempt to be a hipster indie bitch. I also used to judge people who became fans of Nine Inch Nails post-With-Teeth. I still do because NIN was at their best before that but I digress. This mentality slows us and hinders us from achieving true greatness.

All I want to hear from dubstep is filthy, dirty, heavy, metallic, engrossing, enveloping, sick computer sexual noises with disc drives flying every where from the intensity. I want only the drops because I have no patience and so called "old dubstep," is long, meandering housey bullshit.  My friend told me that brostep was repetitive and had random lyrics thrown in. I see no difference. So fuck it.

By the way, what's this then? THAT'S NOT EVEN LOW FREQUENCY, OSCILLATORS, ungh... blah, blah, blah

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Fifty Shades of Shit #1: Taxes are hard

Dear E. L. James:
Why is it so hard for Anastasia Steele (ugh) to understand why the seemingly awful Christian Grey would give to charity? As a college student myself and someone who has held a job, like your main character has, I've had to pay taxes. There is a section where you list tax deductible donations and the Little Englishman has informed me that it is the same in England, where you are from. It is also fairly common for people of great means to give to charity. Some may do it because they honestly support a charity or as a thinly veiled attempt to garner more fame from the public. When a CEO who clearly love power and money and is a terrible person does it, it is purely for the tax write-off. They are able to retain more of their income this way because they receive it all back. Anastasia Steele (ugh) would know these basic facts as she's paid taxes as in least one would hope. I haven't read much past this part and I'm sure that this is meant to be some way of showing the "human," in Christian Grey but you've gone about it in a silly way.