Sunday, June 29, 2008

San Francisco Gay Pride Parade 2008: Quincy Live From the Castro


San Francisco Gay Pride Parade 2008

Early this morning, Nancy, and her partner, Mr. Crisp were on their way to Mendocino and offered me a lift into San Francisco for my second annual live blogging assignment at the SF Gay Pride Parade. This year, I was also selected to the 2008 safety volunteer team (see more on this below) to “maintain a safe and welcoming Pride event space” which is really Pig-Latin for “be a big, big fat snitch on anyone who doesn’t look like a happy camper or wants to jump on stage during Cyndi Lauper’s encore.”

Did you know that politics never completely eludes even the most joyous of festivity planning? Well, it doesn’t. So can you keep a secret?
OK. According to high ranking SFGPP ’08 officials, the whole reason I was tapped to head up the “Special Species Safety and Security Unit” (SSSSU) was based upon my previous mission to Baghdad where I uncovered the full-monty surrounding "Operation One-Eyed Trouser Snake" and the alleged “Gay Bomb” affair that had tongues and everything else wagging last year. Sources revealed a confidential State Department memo leaked to the Mayor’s office that read:

“If anyone has any of that Gay Bomb aphrodisiac left in their supersoakers, it’s QUINCY MULDOON. Find him.”

Last year, I also spotted what appeared to be Gavin Newsom and a high profile hotel manager holding hands in the swanky hotel’s elevator so that, too, could have prompted the call.

Anyway, everything’s going great so far and everybody is having a wonderful time!

Shortly after 9:30 am, I did manage to prevail over a little squirmish….While heading down Market Street before the parade started, I was propositioned by a suspicious looking minister who looked an awful lot like Mayor Gavin Newsom to receive interdenominational Holy Communion who insisted that I eat the Eucharist he kept waving around at me. After politely explaining that I never took candy from strangers, he said “oh, put a fork in it, Quincy. It’s not like it’s soaked in Ecstasy or cheap vermouth or anything.” Well, after hearing that, I immediately pulled out my SSSSU badge and firmly told him to “step away from the curb” which, thank God, he did. It was probably best that I skipped Communion since I prefer not to accept the wafer without a chilled glass of chablis (but that’s just me).

You should see all the smoke around here! My eyes are burning -- which is pretty bad, since I have enough trouble seeing even on the clearest days. Plus, the air smells like old cabbage and spicy ox tripe in chili sauce but that could just be downdraft wind blowing in from Chinatown, where I had an early lunch of steamed pullet at the infamous SUM TING WONG restaurant where our gracious host, Mr. Din, assured us that we would be in no immediate danger of attracting the opposite sex, the same sex or the same OR even different species to our otherwise “desirable” persons anytime soon. (Hmph. I wonder what he meant by that crack? I saw his cook leering at me from the double door plastic windows back in the kitchen after I excused myself to find the lavatory...Like my mother used to say, “one can never be too careful around big city restaurant chefs and smokehouses.”)

Anyway, after all the forest fire smoke wafting through Northern California, this place is starting to look like China after an uncontained seven-alarm fire at a Tianjin tire factory.

Even when the weather report says it’s gong to be “clear”, the sky and the air are all cloudy and thick as an Atlanta afternoon during Sherman’s march.

Oh, it’s so great to live in a city where everybody can be happy AND gay, too! I just love it here where even PIGS like me are treated equally. Almost.

There are so many festivities! I do hope I get a chance to meet Cyndi Lauper backstage and ask for her hairstylist’s phone number. Viva Cyndi! I’ve had a big crush on Cyndi ever since I heard “Time After Time” on Mr. Crisp’s boom box in Turks and Caicos. So guess what I did? I slipped a note into her assistant’s handbag to ask her to change the lyrics to “PIGS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN” and so, keep your fingers crossed. I can’t wait!

The lineup for tonight is so exciting. I’m going to have to take a nap now to preserve my energy. And do you know what my FAVORITE event is going to be? You guessed it: CHARO!

Happy San Francisco Gay Pride, everybody!


Friday, June 27, 2008

2Truthy's Happy Friday Celebrity Bilge with Shorty Long

Madonna's Buddhist Wedding Party (above)

(Photo credits Mel Toast )
-h/t to Citizen Carrie for the amazing Shorty Long video-
We knew THAT marriage was burnt toast before it was buttered and burned, but rumors abound that The Material Girl is now talking divorce. After spending millions and millions of dollars on a lavish lifestyle and bankrolling the trendy Kabala, unconfirmed sources reveal that the pop diva is now contemplating the simpler life by taking up the shocking practice of going without by converting to Buddhism.

Happy Friday, Loserettes!


Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin Has Died

"It's called the American Dream: Because You have to be Asleep to Believe it."
-George Carlin-

Stand up comic and actor George Carlin has died. Known for his irreverence and piercing social commentary, his comedy had always been driven by intolerance for the shortcomings of humanity and society and a pointed disdain for voters who continue to vote for the same old corrupt politicians from both major parties with changing names every four to eight years.

“Scratch any cynic,” he said, “and you’ll find a disappointed idealist.”

Well George, you’re in good company now with Sam Kinnison and Richar Pryor and you’ll have plenty of laughs come November when the boot licking sheeple vote us in another round of “owners” who “don’t give a shit about us.” You tried hard to tell us and yet, these days, even the Democrats aren’t listening.

R.I.P., George Carlin.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Obama vs. McCain

Obama vs. McCain
Two Dictators: Choose Your Weapon

“Might as well face it: we’re addicted to oil.” Click here to listen to the Capitol Steps salute George W. Bush

Why is it always about the oil?

Zippidy doo-dah! So much havoc to wreak and so little time…McCain wants California to drill for oil off the coast of California, and even our Republican McCain supporting governor, The Terminator, says “Hasta la Vista, Baby” to that one. So far, so good. But what’s up with Dubya wanting to bomb Iran? What do they got that we don’t got? Oh, I get it…Nukes! We don’t have THEIR nukes (and here I thought King George was out to righteously bomb global warming…) and we want to stop Iran from having their own nukes so Israel can continue its Palestinian purge with no fear of Iranian intervention and we can make more weapons and Halliburton can profit from more wars and create even more of a “reason” to be near the globe’s known largest oil fields. Oh – and the people of this country can of course all go straight to hell after the elites bail and move their asses and bank accounts to Dubai and Paraguay.

In the meantime, House Democrats, led by uber wealthy “impeachment-is-off-the-table” Nancy Pelosi, this week heaped more dung upon that other outhouse known as the Democratic Party by passing a bill that shields the Bush regime from punishment along with the telecommunications corporations that the Bush regime coerced into committing felonies under US law for Bush’s illegal spying on American citizens. So how do “good Democrats” respond to yet another nail in the Dem coffin? They try to resurrect the beastly corpse, that’s what. Do these grave diggers question authority, as the status-quo questioning bumper sticker goes? No.

Instead, they look for a messiah, hit the denial button and throw all of their blind support behind another corporate welfare backed elitist, (Obama) because to them, that’s all they care to do. Plus, it feels damn good for many to be in the company of many and every vote counts -- even if it is for a candidate who pledges to sell out your job and those of your kids, sidle with insurance companies to prevent you from access to healthcare, support budgets that funnel money away from infrastructures, rip up the constitution so that laws are only made to protect corporate elites against you, all, of course, at your expense. (You know, that old “you and whose army” thing…or rather, you get what you pay for?) To them, there is no choice, goes the thinking, since good consumers of leading brands always operate on the senses, based upon emotion and not reason. To them, there is no hope – hope is a four letter word used by savvy political marketers to advertise a brand (candidate). To them, there is only blind faith – not in religion (however zealous) but in the collective groupthink that would rather fervently identify with the familiar aggressor, hoping to blend in. To them, the blind “trust” that maybe this time, just like at the craps table, things will be better despite proof of otherwise. After all, to label oneself a “Democrat” used to mean identifying with “The People’s House” --even though it’s been sold off to corporate elites and right now, the people need each other --- because their corrupt politicians have sold them out to corporate whores. To them, there is no thinking outside of the box, for that would ultimately betray and truly freak out Axelrod and the O Man’s marketing peeps and financial backers (Oh Penny Pritzger and that ominous, collective zeitgeist pulling O’s strings known otherwise as the Israeli Lobby and Tech Lobby enablers, take me now, Lord) knowing that the sheeple will do en masse what they have always done: choose only – only between the leading two brands. So it’s down to Charmin or Scott. McCain or Obama.

Choose your weapon.

In his article A Totally Lawless Regime, Paul Craig Roberts writes that “Obama would make no difference” but that the “American people could make a difference by rejecting the Republicans.”

“If a Democratic House of Representatives will pass a retroactive law in order to legalize the criminal violations of a Republican regime, the same House will pass a retroactive law making illegal what you did legally yesterday. No one is any longer safe in America. By abandoning the US Constitution, Republicans and Democrats have made America as potentially unsafe as Zimbabwe for anyone who takes exception to the government. The total collapse of the Democratic Party and the House of Representatives signals the end of liberty and democracy in America.”

Roberts concludes that we are gravitating toward the “beautiful regime of energy in the executive” that has been achieved by another dictator, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

Choices indeed! BTW, my brand is Target (read this article if your dare…) “Every Day Products for Everyday Moms!”


Cross-posted at Blonde Sense

Friday, June 13, 2008

Rushdie Fed Up With Fatwa

(Photo courtesy Mel Toast)

In Memory of Tim Russert, there will be no Happy Friday Happy Hour.
- Happy Friday 13th-

Two years ago, Losing the War on Humor was founded in solidarity with the Danish cartoonists facing death threats by religious extremists -- that, and divine inspiration from the Godfather of Truthiness, Stephen Colbert.

In the wake of the 'Danish Cartoons Affair' in March 2006 - which many considered to be an echo of the death threats and fatwa which had followed the publication of Rushdie's Satanic Verses in 1989 - Rushdie signed the manifesto 'Together Facing the New Totalitarianism' Manifesto, a statement warning of the dangers of religious extremism. The Manifesto was published in the left-leaning French weekly Charlie Hebdo in March 2006.


NBC's 'Meet the Press" Host Tim Russert is Dead

Breaking News

NBC Senior Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert is dead. The longtime moderator of "Meet The Press" was 58 years old.

The New York Times confirms Russert died this afternoon. WTOP has word that D.C. Fire and EMS responded to the NBC News Washington Bureau on Nebraska Ave. NW at 1:41 p.m. and found Russert in cardiac arrest. He was rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

According to NBC News, Russert collapsed while at work Friday. He had just returned from a family trip to Italy. In a special report on NBC, former anchor Tom Brokaw called Russert a "beloved colleague" and "one of the premier journalists of our time."

As host of Meet the Press, Russert turned the show into the most widely watched program of its type in the nation. Washingtonian magazine once dubbed Russert the best journalist in town, and described "Meet the Press" as "the most interestingand important hour on television. Say what you will about Tim’s corporate shilling (and we have) as over the years, sometimes he would be hard hitting and ask hard questions and yet other times, appear to give the neo-cons a pass that often put the Left at odds with his softball questions but somehow he always managed to display an element of vulnerability and kindness, no matter how he pissed us off when he pandered to the suits. It may or may not be a stretch to say “we lost one of our own” but compared to O’Reilly (why do the meannies usually live to be forever?) he was an Irish Saint. He died today at the young age of 58. I guess you never know when “your chips will be cashed in” as one commenter put it.

He is survived by his wife, Maureen Orth, a writer for Vanity Fair magazine, and their son, Luke. The Russerts live in D.C. I know at least one person who was his close friend which somehow puts a more human face on this talking head’s passing. Maybe the media can call a truce over the next few days and practice what it means to be civil and report on stuff that matters for a change.

R.I.P. Tim Russert.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Is Social Networking Technology Making Us Less Social?

Man's Best Friend

Is social networking technology making us less social?

Are you MySpaced and Facebooked to death yet or do you still socially network the old fashioned way via phone, email, snail mail and in person? Recently a group of teens lamented at a recent tech conference in Silicon Valley that without those memberships to MySpace and Facebook, they might actually spend more quality time with their family and friends. Sometimes it takes a group of outsiders like a family of dog behaviorists to shed light on the predatory culture of technology and wealthy investors.

Ian Dunbar is an "Animal Behaviorist" who trains humans how to train dogs.
Recently, he, his wife and son Jamie, a recent college graduate from Brown University, attended a social media tech conference called EconSM 2008 at the swanky Casa Del Mar hotel in Santa Monica which featured Betsy Morgan, CEO of the Huffington Post. (Betsy is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.) The three Dunbars operate a family business from their Berkeley Hills home and attended the conference to learn more how social networking technology might increase traffic to their business website.
After being told by one vendor that a software technology solution would cost approximately $50,000 and coming away from the conference $3000 lighter after spending $1800 on the tickets plus meals, hotel and travel expenses, Jamie Dunbar explained the experience:

"I'm not so sure how much I took from the conference. I didn't get any new radical ideas, but the bonding experience was worthwhile."

His father summed it up:

"The funny thing is, the whole gestalt of social media is now making people less sociable. It's why my industry is so popular. Dogs are universally accepting."



Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lewis Black Rants Against Corporate Greed

The New King of Comedy, Lewis Black, Rants Against Corporate Greed

(From Stephen Lerner, Director of the SEIU’s Private Equity Project.)

The Democratic primary is over, and Senators Obama and McCain now face an electorate angry over high gas prices, stagnant wages and a sour economy. The call for change is so loud and so persistent that it’s already become a campaign cliché.

Cliché or not, it’s a major force driving this election, and whichever candidate harnesses the country’s mood will win this election. Henry Kravis, founder of KKR—effectively the nation’s second largest private employer and one of the largest buyout firms in the nation—has more to do with the country’s unease than people imagine.

He’s a symbol of the “Just Us” corporate business mentality that so many Americans want to see change. Rich beyond belief, he still lobbied tenaciously last year against a little reform that would have leveled the playing field between hedge fund managers and buyout executives and teachers, nurses, and other middle class Americans.

Read more Here.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Neo-Frat Boy Corporate State: Chris Hedges on "America's Democratic Collapse"

“Human beings are not commodities. They are not goods. They grieve, and suffer and feel despair. They raise children and struggle to maintain communities. The growing class divide is not understood, despite the glibness of many in the media, by complicated sets of statistics or the absurd, utopian faith in unregulated globalization and complicated trade deals.”
-Chris Hedges

-Click Here for Denis Leary's "Asshole Song"-

When will Americans rise up against the blowhardy corporate, academic and media elites, pillaging through town like rajas on elephants, waging war on our educated middle class on their race to the trough?

The disparity between our oligarchy and the working class has created “a new global serfdom” that has, for the first time in the history of the United States, imported a third world caste system to the United States that legally--yes legally – gets away with selling out your job. With the collusion of immigration attorneys all across this country, a cadre of insufferable, hubris drenched elites are handing over millions of American white collar jobs along with their foreclosed homes to imported third world workers under the ruse or myth of a Great Labor Shortage.

According to this insightful Wharton study by Peter Cappelli

“Making the assumption that a labor shortage is on the horizon is a serious mistake because corporations and public-policy makers may make important decisions based on such an assumption. “The bigger the corporation, the more they buy into the labor-shortage argument,” says Cappelli. “The bigger companies are the ones with the ability to think long-term and worry about the future.”

Cappelli’s paper undercuts the argument that the United States needs to boost immigration or else jobs will go unfilled by recalling

“There was an enormous lobbying effort from the business community to expand immigration several years ago, but there’s no good argument for sustaining the view that we have to expand immigration because there is no basis to the view that there aren’t enough people to fill jobs.”

In his excellent keynote address last week at Furman University, Chris Hedges explains how the corporate welfare state is increasingly ruining the lives of millions of Americans. Meanwhile, it is ironic that the majority of people in this country continue to be mesmerized by the very corporate media and their political enablers who are running this presidential election, convincing the plebes to agonize over the faux choice between the Democratic or Republican candidate.

Not only does Hedges detail the rise of the corporate welfare state via the Reagan years, deregulation, Iraq, Halliburton and private security firms along with the simultaneous erosion of our civil liberties, but his speech ultimately begs the question “where can we start to dismantle this orchestrated war against America’s middle class” with this alarming observation:

“As the pressure mounts, as this despair and desperation reaches into larger and larger segments of the American populace, the mechanisms of corporate and government control are being bolstered to prevent civil unrest and instability. It is not accidental that with the rise of the corporate state comes the rise of the security state. This is why the Bush White House has pushed through the Patriot Act (and its renewal), the suspension of habeas corpus, the practice of “extraordinary rendition,” the warrantless wiretapping on American citizens and the refusal to ensure free and fair elections with verifiable ballot-counting. It is part of a package. It comes together. It is not about terrorism or national security. It is about control. It is about their control of us.”

With the rise of the profitable, dubious “security software” sector (Google search for these players) the high tech community has created an economic growth engine unto itself. And that’s the problem: unto itself and the third world by cutting out America’s educated middle class. As Hedges points out, it is precisely this simultaneous erosion of our civil liberties and the war on the middle class that has corporate elites scrambling to the trough by kicking the educated middle class to curb with the help of their bought off "new media" and politician friends.

What kind of corporate, self described “elitist” cultural mindset “clings” to this myth or ruse about a great labor shortage and why do they do it? More green $$$ for them by creating surveillance technologies (among other things) that enhance nobody’s lives but their own and the joy of ruling over a subservient, foreign class of imported workers who they can pay less to do the “jobs Americans won’t do.” Oh, these are the same people who are stirring the pot over Mexican border “illegal immigration” in HOPES of nobody seeing that the war on America’s educated middle class goes unnoticed while they loot what’s left of this hijacked economy.

Until we take a closer look at the sociopathic behaviors and bullying personalities and demand a stop to the collective harm these greedy, insufferable elites continue to inflict on our long-lost civil society by outlawing anti-American worker policies and practices, there is no reason to believe that anything will change or that any Uprising will ever take place.

For example, what prompts a human resources individual (typically the nosiest, pettiest lot although I do know three who are actually great people) or a CEO to behave in such a petty, jealous, and threatened manner as to willingly discard the notion that Americans who have invested heavily in their educations indeed do have a right to work in companies where they can apply their training for the greater good? Again, the Hedges speech is an excellent summary of where this country is headed if the people in it don’t rise up against these greedy frat boys and nosey brunhildas in these non-producing, utterly useless HR and legal departments. The Hedges speech stops short of, however, answering implicit questions about what, if anything, can be done to stop it.

Q. So what can Americans begin to do about the millions of disappearing white collar jobs being handed over to the third world’s so-called “best and brightest” under this great Labor Shortage Myth crafted by the granddaddy of corporate greedsters, Bill Gates and the preening sycophant Tech Lobby and their bogus policy studies?

A. Halt the practice by specifically stopping the H-1B visa scam that has created a growth industry for sleazy law firms who profit alongside greedy corporate elites by kicking your neighbors to the curb from jobs that they hand over to imported third world workers. When jobs are scarce, cut off this and other green card immigration programs that continue to import workers when there are not enough jobs to employ our own citizens.

In his Computerworld article, Patrick Thibodeu explains how The Bush administration's recent decision to extend the amount of time foreign nationals can work in the U.S. on student visas is being challenged in a federal lawsuit by H-1B visa opponents. This lawsuit is a pivotal step, however one of many needed -- that must succeed in order to stop these greedy frat boys from legislating legal slave labor practices that drive down wages and attack America’s educated middle class. To learn more about this Optional Practical Training (OPT) lawsuit and what you can do to help, visit and read this informative article entitled Law Firm Sues DHS Over Illegal Expansion of Guest Worker Program.

Back to Chris Hedges…Aside from the highly orchestrated complicity of academia and corporate business and media elites who preside over this Department of Disinformation, Hedges explains
“Everything from federal prisons, the management of regulatory and scientific reviews, the processing or denial of Freedom of Information requests, interrogating prisoners and running the world’s largest mercenary army in Iraq has become corporate. And these corporations, in a perverse arrangement, make their money off of the American citizen.”

Hedges continues to provide alarming estimates from Credit Suisse analysts that put the jigsaw pieces together of this deliberate exodus of American jobs and the subprime mortgage crisis in this war on the middle class:

“the number of subprime foreclosures in the United States over the next two years will total 1,390,000 and that by the end of 2012, 12.7 percent of all residential borrowers in the United States will be forced out of their homes. The corporate state, which as an idea is an abstraction to many Americans, is very real when the pieces are carefully put together and linked to a system of corporate power that has made this poverty, the denial of our constitutional rights and a state of permanent war inevitable. The assault on the American working class-an assault that has devastated members of my own family- is nearly complete. The U.S. economy has 3.2 million fewer jobs today than it did when George Bush took office, including 2.5 million fewer manufacturing jobs. In the past three years, nearly one in five U.S. workers was laid off. Among workers laid off from full-time work, roughly one-fourth were earning less than $40,000 annually. A total of 15 million U.S. workers are unemployed, underemployed or too discouraged to job hunt, according to the Labor Department. There are whole sections of the United States which now resemble the developing world. There has been a Weimarization of the American working class. And the assault on the middle class is now under way. Anything that can be put on software-from finance to architecture to engineering-can and is being outsourced to workers in countries such as India or China who accept a fraction of the pay and work without benefits. And both the Republican and Democratic parties, beholden to corporations for money and power, allow this to happen.”

Hedges does offer a few broad strokes by wisely asserting that “voting is not enough” and that we of course, should all vote. But voting for a candidate who stands on these issues is a “starting point” and if we truly want to reclaim America, it is the people who must lobby and advocate for the “dissolution” of the WTO, NAFTA, and the Council on Foreign Relations for any true progress takes place. Remember all of those annual wine and cheese fests in Davos?

The most beautifully stated however shocking summation of Chris Hedges’ speech follows:

“We are being impoverished-legally, economically, spiritually and politically. And unless we soon reverse this tide, unless we wrest the state away from corporate hands, we will be sucked into the dark and turbulent world of globalization where there are only masters and serfs, where the American dream will be no more than that-a dream, where those who work hard for a living can no longer earn a decent wage to sustain themselves or their families, whether in sweat shops in China or the decaying rust belt of Ohio, where democratic dissent is condemned as treason and ruthlessly silenced. I single out no party. The Democratic Party has been as guilty as the Republicans. It was Bill Clinton who led the Democratic Party to the corporate watering trough. Clinton argued that the party had to ditch labor unions, no longer a source of votes or power, as a political ally. Workers, he insisted, would vote Democratic anyway. They had no choice. It was better, he argued, to take corporate money.”

Yup. The Big Dog got that part right: It was better to take the corporate money -- better for elites, but much worse for the majority. Did you say you want a revolution?

Like rajas on elephants, the next time you see one of those ostentatious, supersized black Cadillac Escalades with one of those miserable, pretentious women behind the wheel with the frozen “I Got Mine” facial expression with the “Keep Tahoe Blue” bumper sticker fixed over the polluting motor boat hitch, think about the promise of all this “hope” going around and maybe, maybe voting for a candidate (no, no, not Barry) who dares to speak about the issues that Chris Hedges so eloquently, if not shockingly, summed up to the South Carolina college students who deserve much, much better in this greedy elitist war on our educated middle class citizens.


Cross-posted at BlondeSense