Priming a Major Rant

May 7, 2008

I would like to know who are the “Disaffected Democrats” that are worried about a prolonged primary. So far, I’ve only heard about it from pundits (usually right leaning people) and the occasional NPR host. Honestly, I have not seen or heard one legitimate Dem saying, “I’m not voting, this process is going on too long.”

I see Fox News creating and milking it. I don’t see it being a real phenomenon.

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From my Mom, with Love

Originally uploaded by officergleason

Mr. McCain, Mrs. Clinton:

Your gas tax ideas are simply pandering to people’s energy concerns. Why can’t either of work on real policy, not on irresponsible, completely foolish, pandering?

For this, I give you my mother’s salute. From my Car.

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Who Will Speak Up?

November 21, 2007

I don’t have words to adequately describe how sick this makes me feel. A 19-year-old woman was raped by seven men, and because she was with an “unrelated male” at the time, she’s being whipped and sent to jail. Initially, she was sentenced to 90 lashes, but because she spoke out, it’s been upped to 200.

And our state department has “expressed astonishment” but nothing stronger, and their “astonishment” wasn’t even expressed to Saudi officials. So, wait, it’s okay for politicians to go into a frenzy when Barack Obama doesn’t wear an American flag on his lapel, as though that proves that he hates America, yet this elicits… the equivalent of shaking a finger in admonishment – “Naughty, naughty!”

The only person I can see who’s gone on record so far with anything stronger is leaving her job in 2008. takes out an ad about Gen. David Petraeus, and we get a Congressional resolution to denounce it.

It will be interesting to see if any of our current candidates or leaders have anything to say about this as the day goes on. Somehow, I’m guessing it’ll be pretty much ignored, and will fall off of the news sites in lieu of celebrity scandals and Thanksgiving travel stories.

Aside from writing letters to my representatives, I’m not sure what else I can do, aside from a donation to Amnesty International. Suggestions welcome.

I found the pin thing and the Betray Us kerfluffle idiotic and time-wasting enough as it was. Set beside this – which (dear god, I hope they prove me wrong here) I think will get downplayed because we want Saudi Arabia to co-sponsor a conference aimed at getting Israel and Palestine to have peace talks – those past things are all the more stupid.

This is something to get angry about.

Seriously, fuck this noise.

October 31, 2007

Did you know that Al Qaeda is behind the California wildfires?

It is more or less beyond my powers of communication to express the utter absurdity of this “news” story, and my disdain for the morally bankrupt originators thereof – but I’m going to do my damndest, because I really need to give more Fingers and it seems I can only do it when I’m angry. As it should be!

The connection here is so utterly tenuous as to be nonexistent. To quote directly from the report, “police officers in a hovering helicopter saw a guy starting one of these fires.” A guy. A guy. And then these vague reports of an “al Qaeda detainee” warning of possible fire-starting as a terror tactic. Four years ago. Mentioning four states that distinctly were not California.

Let’s give Fox “News” the benefit of the doubt here – assume that this memo was in fact relevant and extant. Assume that “a guy” started at least one of these fires. At what fucking point does this become a newsworthy conclusion? This is speculation at best, and stinks to high heaven of the fear-mongering that the American right has adopted as their standard of operation.

Frightened people think with their skins, and that suits a certain cross-section of the political machine just fine. Fox “News” wants you to be afraid. “Fox News” has the culprit* for every disaste. Fox “News” will happily tell you that 2 + 2 = terrorism. Because if you live in a universe where Islamofascism is at the root of every evil, then Rudy Giuliani starts to make a little bit of sense. And that, this fine Hallow’s Eve, is something to be afraid of.

So here’s a big heavy metal Finger to nonsensical fear and those who would make it the currency of our nation. We don’t need that shit.

*From Achewood by Chris Onstad. Art used without permission.

This is my buddy Nikkos’ blog–my pal from my Metroblogging days. Way back in the day (2005) we got into a number of political debates with a variety of people. Some of them even operated with a modicum of respect and diligence.

Most of us here at the Finger have a left of Center view. William, in Nikkos’ blog, does not. My typical reaction is one of this
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Today, I am trying this:

Lets see how it turns out, okay?

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Newsflash: She’s a Woman

October 16, 2007

I think the only reason I go to CNN these days is force of habit. I’ve had it bookmarked at work since day one, sometime in March of 2000. Back then, there was actually more news than fluff on the front page. Now, it’s more local interest stories and celebrities getting arrested or doing…whatever celebrities do.  Even the real news makes me want to tear my hair out.

Liberal media? Pfffft.

So, for reasons still unfathomable to me – I should know better by now – I followed the link to the political ticker about Hillary Clinton appearing on The View, where she talked a bit about how people focus on her appearance and her hair and her laugh, which CNN has dubbed “the cackle.” (If they didn’t come up with it, they’ve certainly adopted it. I was away for work and had CNN on the hotel TV for background noise when they ran that Jeanne Moos piece on Clinton’s laugh. I wanted to throw a bottle of the hotel’s overpriced fancy water at the screen.)

In the middle of this View recap, there’s a link to a video report by Mary Snow. It’s called “Clinton plays the female card.”



I don’t care if you love or hate Hillary Clinton. I don’t know if I love her or hate her most days. But tell me how it’s okay for the media to be all over her for what she’s wearing and how she laughs, but NOT okay for her to talk about it herself? It’s all right for reporters to remark about her being a woman, but when she goes to events that address female voters’ issues she’s “playing a card?”

Show me one male candidate whose issues get shoved aside in lieu of how he looks when he’s on the campaign trail. John Edwards’ haircuts don’t count. Barack Obama’s race plays a factor, yes, but I have yet to see anyone make fun of his laugh or talk about how the cut of his suit on such and such a day was unflattering.

Hillary Clinton is – and I know this may shock people – female. Asking her to ignore that or downplay it is ridiculous. She’s not running her campaign based on “I have breasts, vote for me!” And well she shouldn’t. If her whole platform revolved around her two X chromosomes, I’d be pissed. It’s not. However, she is a woman. There shouldn’t be any shame in her acknowledging it, yet, when she does, it’s treated with derision.

When a male candidate goes and talks to a women’s interest group, it’s called campaigning. When Hillary Clinton does it, it’s playing a card.

Fuck. You.

CNN and Mary Snow, this finger’s for you.


As a follow up…

October 15, 2007

As a follow up to my last post, I would like to point people to this article in the New York Times by Frank Rich.

I could not agree more.

Edited to point out that today is Blog Action Day. Let’s see what happens. I, personally, am letting my post below speak for “Blog Action Day”, even though it has nothing to do with the environment.

October 12, 2007

Time flash back to 2000. An idealistic college student stares at a 4 am delusional Peter Jennings, who is begging for coffee after having been on the air literally all night covering a crazy election. She goes to bed, thinking, “It probably doesn’t matter that much, anyway. Bush is an idiot, how bad could he be? Gore’s a nothing, so it’d just be more of the same–no change for the better.”

Flash forward 7 years. A much more cynical office worker stares at the BBC headlines, and has the urge to scream at the top of her lungs as she reflects back on the past seven years, winding up at that image of Peter Jennings on the televison seven years ago.

This is what is going through my head as I read the headline.

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY? We allowed a future war criminal to steal an election from future nobel peace prize winner.* What the hell. We should have done whatever it took to make the original election results stick. We should have asked hard questions about how the second cousin of one of the candidates wound up in a position to call states. We should have counted all the goddamn chads. And when Bush defeated Kerry, we should have looked hard at Ohio. We should have questioned Diebold. We are where we are because we accept corruption without questioning.

As much as I hate to say it, I kind of agree with Thomas Friedman’s point in one of his latest editorials. Now, technically I’m older than the people he’s describing. I’ve never seen the point of MySpace or Facebook. I have enough real friends; I don’t need 300 imaginary ones to sort-of-kind-of know. I agree that politics online is not as effective as politics in real life. What we do here is a starting point, not an end point.

I would like everyone reading this to make a commitment with me–to go to the next political event that excites them. Take an active part. Go to a debate. Go to a protest. Because I, for one, don’t entirely buy into the YouTube debate. There is a mediated distance created through such an event that makes us into individuals, rather than a force for change. Eliminate the distance. Your physical presence says much more than this blog post ever will. The only way to get through to the people who make decisions in this country is to bring it to them. It also helps us to remember that we are not alone. It was so energizing and heartening to see the 500,000+ people who protested with me against the Republican National Convention in New York City. We need that energy back if we hope to change anything, and the only way to really do it is to come together.

If we are unwilling or think it’s too much trouble, perhaps we deserve what we get. This finger is for me, for not getting physically involved more.

The Salute

*And don’t even tell me about how George W. Bush has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Anyone can be nominated–hell, I could be nominated. If you took that nomination seriously, you are the world’s biggest idiot.


This post is not about the following things:

  • Barack Obama’s refusal to wear an American flag pin on his lapel.
  • A reporter who could have asked any question–like one about health care or torture–but asked about why Obama wasn’t wearing an American flag.
  • The pundit’s ridiculous responses*
  • The amount of time devoted to this story on the national news
  • The amount of bandwidth devoted to this story
  • How the New York Times made this their lead story on their website
  • The lack of coverage of real issues in a substantive way


And now, sincerely:

The Salute

*”Why do we wear pins? Because our country was attacked!” Yeah, stick that pin on and be a hero, asshole.

The the Daily Mail has an article on this Debra Cagan, pictured below,
Counselor2909Mos 468X365 that states Ms. Cagan was clear about her hatred of “All Iranians.”

Given her position in the Pentagon (Deputy Assistant Secretary for Coalition Affairs ), and the current war footing the administration has towards Iran, these comments are terrifying and completely inappropriate.

War mongering bigots get the finger. The also should be fired.
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