Get over your own damn self!

First, I want to warn you that this post will inevitably piss someone off. Second, I want to warn you that this is a link to Michelle Malkin’s site. Third, I want to say that personally, I loved both of Michelle Obama’s choices for the inauguration.

I, now, would like to point out that both of her choices came from designers who are NOT white and are most definitely talented. Frankly, I believe her choices had nothing to do with race. They had everything to do with what she felt was right for her and the occasions. As is her right and responsibility.

Now, I would respectfully ask that 1) the Black Artists Association calm down and take a longer term view and 2) that Michelle Malkin get a better class of commenter. While I believe #2 is impossible based upon the author, I believe #1 is not only possible but probable if they would simply take a breath and realize that there is plenty of time and countless occasions for the First Lady to showcase black artists not only in fashion but in all the different categories of art. Four years, people! Let’s not get bitchy two weeks in! She could have picked Ralph Lauren, fergawdsake!

That said, I would respectfully request that Washington wines be served at the next state function. I get it, DiFi had control of the inauguration so CA got the alcohol spotlight. As the second largest producer of domestic fine wine, Washington deserves a nod and a pour. Cheers!

UPDATE: While I do not agree with calling out Michelle Obama on her designer choices, I definitely do not believe that it is death threat worthy!

Holy Healthcare, Bushman!

Why can’t it be January 21st, 2009 already? (I know that whole space-time continuum thing)

George W. Bush wants healthcare workers (including anyone, even a receptionist booking appointments) to be able to deny you healthcare based upon their religious/moral/ethical beliefs. Not on your need or legally protected right but their beliefs. I (and the readers of this blog) am well aware that states already provide for this in the case of pharmacists, doctors and nurses. Now the Bushman wants to extend this to any employee of a healthcare company and not require the individual to declare their objection prior to hiring/scheduling/working.

My real point here is with everything this healthcare system already does to deny healthcare to those who need it, why is our government working to provide new ways to disenfranchise those who need it? But when the Republican candidtate doesn’t believe that pregnancy is really dangerous, are any of us really surprised?

Think Globally, Drink Locally and Stop being such a Snob!

A little over a year ago a couple of really smart guys did a study about what goes into a bottle of wine’s carbon footprint. Turns out that the vineyard itself is actually carbon neutral and depending upon fertilizer choice and harvesting techniques can actually go negative (if you believed Ronald Reagan in the 80’s you aren’t going to get that point). The biggest contributors to the production of CO2 in the manufacture of a bottle of wine are the packaging and the shipping. So what have wineries and wine regions been doing to either a) minimize the CO2 being created or b) exploit this fact to ensure that their wines are seen as the “greener” choice by consumers? More important, what can we, as consumers, do to encourage green behavior and make greener choices?
Continue reading “Think Globally, Drink Locally and Stop being such a Snob!”

Habeas Corpus Still On Life Support

The Supremes have pitched the Bush Administration their 3rd strike.

I am cautiously hopeful with the slight majority for Democrats in Congress and the lame duck status of The Idiot. I am unsure this means we can immediately restore the foundation of democracy – the right to challenge detention by the government. When Congress originally passed the Military Commissions Act, I got a bit maudlin here. Rather than jump for joy I want to see what The Idiot’s Minions and Congress are going to do about this latest slap from The Supremes.

Continue reading “Habeas Corpus Still On Life Support”

Today, I surprised myself…

With the end of the Democratic Party primary, I took some time today to review two speeches (Hilary Clinton’s concession & Barack Obama’s St. Paul, MN, address). I listened to Senator Clinton’s speech first because of 2 major factors: 1) The meme going about that somehow Senator Clinton’s die-hard supporters could vote for McCain and 2) The months-long barrage of sexist attacks made upon the senator by the right-wing noise machine that ended up being echoed by the MSM.

Continue reading “Today, I surprised myself…”

We beg your pardon, America

The passing of President Gerald Ford, “Oatmeal Man,” got me listening again to Gil Scott Heron and wondering about how little our country has learned in the last 30 years.

The pardon you gave, this time, was not yours to give.
They call it due process and some people are overdue…
Said they were going to slap his wrists and retire him with $850,000
And America was shocked! America leads the world in shocks…

The man who tried to steal America is not in jail…
The poor and ignorant go to jail, while the rich go to San Clemente…
and pardon us, while we get sick…
we have an understanding of Karma; what goes around, comes around…

And here we are looking at the long job ahead of cleaning up after the “national tragedy” that has been the Bush administration and its adventures to enrich the corporate class. Illegal wiretaps, the suspension of habeas corpus, the lies and fabrications to start an unnecessary war, the abandonment of a just military action, the sell-out of Americans to a system that crushes those without the cash to pay their way. How did we come back to this?  Did we just get fat and happy, losing our way?  Were we hijacked, hoodwinked or harrassed into letting go of our rights?

Will the Bush Administration ever really be held accountable for the damage it has wrought on our system, nation and reputation?  Will they pay for the hundreds of thousands of lives they have destroyed with their “pre-emptive strike” foreign policy?  When will we see the full impact of their ruinous fiscal policies?

The answer of course, is no, the administration will never truly be held accountable.  They will trot out all of the same old tired reasons used to send Nixon to San Clemente.  National security, health, etc. The MSM and their corporate ownership structure will ensure the short term legacy of this administration and the political wonks and bureaucrats will wrap the rest in the ponderous obscurity of the archives.  And the Democratic candidate that will succeed him will inherit a system so fundametally broken that he will be lucky to escape the worst of what Jimmy Carter had to deal with during his years in office.  Stagflation, anyone?

Who will stand for me?

If one day I am no longer able to disguise myself among the masses,
If one day I am no longer able to cloak myself in economic privilege,
If one day I am no longer able to conceal myself in white skin,
If one day I am no longer able to masquerade among the Christians,
Who will stand for me?

My country no longer recognizes my rights.
I am no longer under the rule of law.
I am no longer innocent until proven guilty.

I am one finger away from being a terrorist.
I am one finger away from being raped and tortured.
I am one finger away from becoming the enemy they fear.

I am afraid, but I will not cower.
I am enraged, but I will not strike.
I will speak my truth with pixel, voice and vote.

I hope that you will all continue to do the same, Terry

When fascism comes to America…

…it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross – Sinclair Lewis

Tomorrow the Family Research Council is hosting another Value Voters Summit in DC and sporting a roster of conservative politicians and pundits that could make some nauseous watching their heads spin.  It includes the Kansas Attorney General, Phill Kline, who wants to invade the privacy of women in order to shut down Planned Parenthood and other low-cost reproductive health providers. There are bigger names in politics attending including Alberto “whatever the prez wants” Gonzales and Newt “I have another revolution left” Gingrich.

They are gearing up for the last month of mid-terms and laying the groundwork for ’08.  It will be interesting to see what “distractions” they rig up to provide the sub-plot for fear and war.  I imagine the same-old “issues” will be easy for them to recycle. If anybody sees transcripts or some other content from the events, I would love to get the links.  See, I have this idea for a daily calendar – Hate and the hating haters… 

UPDATE Apparently they won’t sink to any level:

From the New York Times:

Even in this crowd of nearly 2,000 Christian conservative activists, some balked at one tactic recommended to turn out church voters. In a workshop, Connie Marshner, a veteran organizer, distributed a step-by-step guide that recommended obtaining church directories and posing as a nonpartisan pollster to ask people how they planned to vote. “Hello, I am with ABC polls,” a suggested script began. 

Some attendees complained that the script seemed deceptive, Ms. Marshner said in an interview afterward. She said that such disguised calls were a common campaign tactic, that it was just a suggested script and that she never recommended answering a direct question with a lie. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, who played host to the conference, said he was “upset” to learn of her instructions and condemned any deception. 

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of the liberal group Americans United for Separation of Church and State, called the tactic “disgraceful” and “a desecration of the church.” 

“seemed deceptive?”  Ya think?  But notice it took a liberal to take them to task while good old Tony was simply “upset.”  Upset at the tactic or that it was being reported on in the Times?


Why do I have to yell and throw a “hissy fit” when I need a corporate customer service organization to do the right thing?  Is it really that customer service is dead or is it something more sinister – is their CRM system telling the service rep on the other end of the line that I am not one their most valuable customers and therefore I can be f*cked with mercilessly?

Anyone who has been reading this blog long enough already knows that I skirt the edge of professional paranoid.  However, I think I may have hit upon the true reason that I never receive good (or even halfway decent) customer service – I have a low “lifetime value” as a customer.  In fact, I probably cause most of my vendors to lose money in maintaining me as a customer.

As a professional marketer, I almost never respond to direct mail or other advertisements in a vendor’s attempt to upsell me to a more expensive item or service.  Rather, I spend a few minutes dissecting the piece for its relative merits and faults before I toss it away.  But this Lifetime Customer Value thing is big business and I think it is undermining the very thing it was originally designed to support – personalized service.  When 1-to-1 marketing was first promoted, it focused on how to increase the value of your customer base by serving or anticipating their needs better.  Now it is about culling the fattest calves from the herd and sh*tting on the rest.

The vendors that provide me with truly personal service I reward with not only my loyalty but with referrals and testimonials.  The ones that treat me like a number and a set of behaviors I ditch at the first opportunity and steer people away from every chance I get.  I realize that it is unfashionable to have customer service agents that actually care about resolving a customer’s issue or speak English as a first language.  And until we as consumers rise up as one and slay the evil market whores vote with our dollars on a large scale we will have to yell and throw stupendous verbal fits in order to get our lifetime value returned.