"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" -Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

FaceBook Politics...what a bunch of shit!

So, last night I watched the president's State of the Union address, which was really just a campaign speech for his re-election.  Why would I watch the speech if I dislike O-bummer so much?  Because I want to be informed and know what the fuck I'm talking about.  I also watched the Republican and Tea Party responses to the speech, and this morning, watched the Cato Institute response/review of it (which I will post a link to because it's worth watching).  What I'm working my way to here is the idea of being 'informed'.  Way too many people, particularly young people, these days get their news/ideas/views from what I consider to be very suspect media outlets, particularly FaceBook and Twitter.  These are NOT legitimate news sources.  It's not news- it's not even a news story.  Most of the time, it's just a picture with a few words under it- that's not the 'facts'- it's a little 'in your face' propaganda piece that does exactly what it's supposed to do- it gives the uninformed mASSes something they can say to their uninformed friends to make them sound like they know what the fuck they're talking about.  The problem is that these people take this stuff as facts without ever doing any research to find out if it's actually true.  These are people- the FaceBook generation- that are just reaching or have recently reached voting age.  They're going to go to the polls this November and they're going to cast an uninformed vote that will affect ALL Americans, based on (mis)information that they got from FB.  Most of this crap that I see is slanted towards the left- I'm sure the Republicans do it too, but I don't see much of it from the right on FB and I have friends of all political leanings.  I strongly believe that a lot of this kind of thing comes directly from the DNC- remember, Obama used Facebook quite effectively during his 2008 campaign.  Facebook is without a doubt the easiest way to reach young voters.  The problem is that the majority of young voters can't be bothered with actually digging deeper than looking at a picture on FaceBook.  Here's a perfect example of what I'm talking about- this was posted on FB this morning by a friend of mine (one that I hope is intelligent enough to look a little deeper and not take things like this at face value).

Let's look at this and try to figure out the truth.  Did Romney pay a tax rate of 13.9% in 2010?  Yes he did- that's the truth (and it's about the only thing about this picture that is truthful).  Now, I'm not defending Romney- I think I made it pretty clear in my last blog entry how I feel about him.  Did this school teacher pay 25% in taxes in 2010- it's highly doubtful (I'm not even sure that's a picture of a real teacher- it's probably a stock photo).  The tax rate for most working Americans is 22%, not 25% (46% of americans pay NO federal income tax).  Let's say that whoever created this image had put 22 rather than 25, would that be the truth?  NO, it wouldn't.  Why?  Because 22% would be the rate that she was taxed at BEFORE factoring in what she got back after filing her 2010 tax return.  The true adjusted rate would be somewhere around 9%, which ends up being less than Romney's 13.9%.  Now there is also the fact that the teacher is paying INCOME tax while Romney is paying CAPITAL GAINS tax- the tax rates are different for each- it's like comparing apples to oranges.  If they wanted this to be fair (and we know they love to throw around fairness), they would have used a picture of a millionaire that actually pays income taxes, but that wouldn't have been effective as an anti-Republican, anti-Romney propaganda piece.  I'm also not defending the Republicans- remember, right at the top if this page it says that I'm a Libertarian.  So, this is basically one big lie after another, but it does exactly what it's meant to do- it makes people mad, it gets the youth riled up.  This is the kind of garbage that gave us the Occupy movement- little blips of propaganda pushed as facts for the FaceBook generation to devour and spit back up as rallying cries against the 'evil rich'.  It's just one more example of the current administration's class warfare machine rolling forward.
Now, do I personally believe that someone making 20+ million dollars a year should pay more than 3 million in taxes?  Probably, but according to our current tax codes, Romney did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING illegal, and paid the taxes he was required to pay.  Do I think that taxes should be raised on the rich simply because they're rich?  Hell no.  Some of them were born into it, but most of them worked hard to become rich, and made good decisions along the way.  I am a FairTax supporter and believe that there should be a complete overhaul of the current tax codes starting with the repeal of the 16th amendment and the abolishing of the IRS.

Here's the Cato Institute video I promised...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Art, Tattoos and Politics

So, I keep watching the debates and listening to lots of talk radio, and here's where I am with all of it.  I hate Romney.  I mean I fucking hate Romney.  He just looks like a douche.  He's definitely full of shit (most politicians are), but he's the kinda full of shit that'll smile and buy you a beer and then fuck your lady. I'm not even gonna talk about Santorum (or how much HE sucks), because he hasn't got a chance.  I do actually like the OTHER GUY that hasn't got a chance- Ron Paul.  I'm a Libertarian, he's a Libertarian- I would love to see a viable Libertarian candidate some day, but ol' Ron Paul isn't it.  He's a little nutty, and I'm just waiting to hear him start talking about having conversations with aliens (no, not Mexicans, I mean UFO type aliens).  I'm also pretty sure that he uses the same tailor as David Byrne.  So, Newt is the guy I'm rooting for to win the nomination.  I don't give a crap about the cancer wife or the accusations of wanting an 'open' marriage.  All I care about is who can run the country (hopefully better than Obama), and who can beat Obama.  The media needs to concentrate on these things rather than on the indiscretions of the candidates.  They managed to run Herman Cain out of the race with this kind of crap, and now they're looking to do it to Gingrich.  The mainstream media is, without question, working to get Omaba re-elected, so they will do whatever they can to tear down the Republican candidates.  Doesn't anyone remember Bill Clinton's long list of accusations of sexual misconduct?  The media and the Democrats still love Clinton, but god forbid a Republican tries to get a little on the side.  My biggest problem with the candidates is the goddamn social conservatism.  As a Libertarian I really want a candidate that is Fiscally Conservative and Socially Liberal.  In fact, I would normally just vote for whoever the Libertarians choose as their candidate, but as a patriotic American, I feel that it is my duty to cast a vote for whoever is in the position to beat Obama, and if that ends up being Romney, I will hold my nose and vote for Romney.  I really hope it ends up being Newt, because in my opinion, he stinks less than Mitt.

On to something else...
Made some art last week.  This is for the 'Black Eyes and Broken Hearts' show at 'Twenty-Two', and I gotta get it in the mail tomorrow so that it gets there in time.  As with all the art that I do, I have a love/hate relationship with it.  As is typical of artists, I am my own worst critic and usually end up hating or only kinda liking the stuff I do.  I was totally happy with this piece right up until the end (and I'm probably just being picky).  My problem was that after I applied the gold leaf, it needed to be outlined.  I couldn't outline it in watercolor, because I needed something opaque to clean up the edges of the leaf.  I wanted to use gouache, but couldn't find my damn gouache, so I went with a liquid acrylic.  Of course the liquid acrylic did not work well on the metal of the leaf (the gouache probably wouldn't have been any better), so my outlines that I wanted to be nice and straight and even, did not end up being either straight or even.  And, the more I tried to clean the up, the worse they got.  I finally just decided to leave it alone, and call it finished.  I'm happier with the finished product than I am with most of the stuff I do, I'm just not totally happy.  So, here's a pic of the finished piece, and a work in progress pic I took before I laid the leaf.  This is called 'The Winner', because you don't wanna see the loser.

Here's some pics of some recent tattooing.  A 'Play Now Pay Later' piece that was fun because it was skulls.  Ya wanna make me happy, just ask me to tattoo skulls.  A Squid Mermaid that I outlined, and a healed portrait.

(we're gonna make the dolphin go away)

My brother was in town last week, and we took him to Fogo De Chao (because it's the bestest place on earth).  Been a number of years since I've seen him.  Here's a pic of brother John with Gracie.

I'm expecting to get Abby's motor back some time this week- she looks kind empty without it.  I have gotten some other parts for her in, and am still hoping to have her on the road by the end of April, but I'm not sure if that's gonna happen.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 wrap up

I'm not gonna go into how much 2011 sucked- it did, and if ya follow my blog, then ya already know why.  I am going to mention the 3 friends that I lost last year (a big factor in the 2011 suckage)- Rest In Peace Jamie McNish, Tommy Painter, and Painless Paul Nelson.

Here's some stuff I did since the last time I blogged.  A few tattoos, a few paintings, and a couple of pics of my dopey dog....


Trying to get back to making some art, so I did a few paintings of skulls recently.  Nothing special, they're watercolors...

Here's a little something I just did- 2.5 X 3.  This is for a show that a friend is doing called 'Minikin Madness', it's done in 1-shot.  I gotta mail this out tomorrow, so of course, I dropped it this morning and chipped 2 of the corners...guess I know what I'm doing when i get home tonight.

Here's a pic of a sweet, geeky christmas present I got from my wife.  It's signed by Katee Sackhoff AKA Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace from Battlestar Galactica. 

Some tattoos.  The start of an octopus, an almost finished pirate ship (just gotta do the water), and a zombie Rainbow Brite.

And, last but not least is a skate deck that I started the other day.  Lots of gold leaf and pinstriping.

I know, there was no bitchin' or crappin' about anything, but there's still 364 days left in 2012.  In fact since it's a leap year I get an extra day to complain about tattooing, politics, hipsters, thugsters, and everything else.