Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Where Has All the Freedom Gone? Long Time Passing...

Hey, been around lately? Looked around my site? Guess what. I haven't. I've been a bit busy. And lazy. Plus, I've kinda anaesthetised from anything happening. I've missed a lot to blog about. But can't remember much of what's been going on.

So, I'll start with what's been bothering me recently.

The New Orleans Saints. WTF? So Monday night was their return to the Superdome, and it was given the treatment of a king reclaiming his throne after years fighting abroad. ESPN unnecessarily spent the whole day there, pontificating on why this is such a huge deal for America and for the country's history. ESPN should change it's name to Lifetime for Men, because all they do is fluff pieces about widows, players' rough pasts, and memorable games. What happened to recent events, like playing clips of games known as "highlights?"

Let's talk about the damage. Hurricane Katrina RIPPED apart New Orleans, terrorized and killed many, left even more homeless, with no future and with no options. The Superdome became a warehouse for the deceased and diseased, the dying and the trying. The seats, the field, a good part of the roof, it was all ruined. So 13 months and $185 million later, the Superdome is back. And ready to rock! (Courtesy of awkward pairing U2 and Green Day. An aside: Bono-you're pretty cool. Changing your existential-lite taut surrealist piece you titled "Beautiful Day" to include lyrics about Hurricane Katrina is a bit surreal, yeah, but a bit tasteless.)





<----speaking of Tasteless, yet somehow Tasty! Does someone want to tell this person (woman?) that Katrina was not GOOD?



The Saints won. 23-3. Spike Lee was there. And talking to the Monday Night Football anchors. Kornheiser (the real-life Jason Alexander) asked him if this means New Orleans is alright. He responded, "How the fuck would I know? I'm just here to promote my 9 billion hour long documentary, which you can watch on HBO now or on HBO on-Demand." Okay, he didn't say that, but come on, what the hell is he doing there. Avery Johnson was there, who grew up in New Orleans. Allan Toussaint and Irma Thomas sang the National Anthem. (She's still alive? AWESOME. I bet she didn't sing, "Wish Someone Would Care" or "It's Raining.")

And while this was an important event, it was dwarfed by the ridiculousness of the writers who needed to prophetize and regale the awesomeness of this day.

Par Exampla, Michael Smith, writing for ESPN.com, had this to say:
Often, we try to make sporting events more meaningful than they really are. We try to attach some real-world social significance to them when in fact they are just games. This is different, though. Sports are this country's great escape, but the moment those thousands of people filled the Dome to escape Mother Nature's fury, that building became more than just an arena. This game is about life and death. I honestly cannot think of a more important sporting event. Ever. You try. The Saints are coming home to a building thousands actually called home during the flood.

First off, this game was NOT about life and death. No one had their lives on the line with this game. GAME. IT'S A GAME. You know what GAME is life or death? Russian Roulette. Second of all, Sports are NOT America's great escape. The movies are. More people watch movies than go to/watch sporting events. No statistics here, but I feel it. YOU SUCK, Michael Smith. BOO!!! Woody Paige 4 eva!

My favorite article though was written by ABC News, a bastion of accurate, non-fearmongering news. Their use of positive, feel-good quotations were overshadowed by Joe Horn, who sounds like the most depressed man ever. If he were drinking by himself at a bar, he'd probably get the bar to sui out before the end of his monologue. Bukowski was depressing sad, Joe Horn is hilariously sad.
"They can sit in those seats," said Saints wide receiver Joe Horn, "and say 'You know what? Okay, the city needs $200 million. We need some money for something else. But for four hours, I can sit with my kids and I can enjoy my football team.'"

Good point. For the 72,000 sitting there. Because you know who doesn't have TV? New Orleans' residents. As you later say, the 9th Ward doesn't even have running water. He goes on.
Joe Horn said that the quick repair of the Superdome should give people a sense of hope that the rest of the city can bounce back.

"If you can rebuild a place that's 1.9 million square feet," Horn said, "you should be able to come back here and rebuild a 3,000-square foot house."

You WOULD think that, right? So listen to the guy who oversaw the renovations talk himself out of why that's so...
Doug Thornton, who oversaw the renovations this past year at the Superdome, said those concerns are unfounded because the $116 million that FEMA kicked in to repair the facility could not have been used for neighborhood rebuilding, because it was set aside for public facilities like the Superdome.

"This money … in no way took away from money that was being allocated to the home program or the … individual neighborhoods," Thornton said.

I'm sorry, but to me, the Superdome is nowhere NEAR the first thing FEMA should be paying to fix. Plus, quick math, it cost around 185 million to repair the Superdome. FEMA put in $116 million. So where's the other $60 million coming from? I assume it's from the City of New Orleans, which gets everything from taxes. So, really, the citizens of New Orleans are paying for this. Is this what they wanted? The first thing to fix is the football stadium? Really though? I mean, really? Since 70,000 people attend, does that mean that they are paying for $857 seats?

Drew Brees with the awkward comment, "You don't realize how die hard these fans are until you come down here and they you start winning, and it's crazy," Brees said." Note to Brees: Die Hard? Not a good way of putting it.

And finally, more depressing Joe Horn.
Saints receiver Joe Horn spoke of people he has met who said they just couldn't go back into that building because the memories were still too raw.

"They said, 'Joe, I've been a season ticket holder, I've been going to the Dome watching games, but after what I've seen, baby, after what I've seen and what I went through, I cant step foot back in there,'" Horn said.

Well, okay! So in short: Hurricane Katrina was absolutely horrifying. Not just for the destruction, but for the lack of governmental help afterwards. Anyone talking about why this game was monumental for the reasons described above should not be allowed to comment on such things anymore.

I will leave with one of my favorite rappers at the moment, Lil Wayne, and his track, Georgia Bush.

"Then they telling y’all lies on the news
the white people smiling like everything cool
but I know people that died in that pool
I know people that died in them schools
now only to survive what to do
got no trailer you got to move
now it’s on to Texas and to Georgia…"

FF


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Friday, June 30, 2006

Warren Buffett Is The Man!

Okay, most of my friends know that I've always been a huge Warren Buffett fan. In high school, I read his shareholders' quarterly pamphlet, when he wrote that the stock market would crash because the tech bubble would burst. He warned that people who were heavily investing in technology stocks, and Silicon Valley in general, would get rocked. He went on further to point out that Berkshire Hathaway's B Stock (which I own) would not invest in the tech market, because he KNEW.

This was in 1998. The next year, the bubble burst. The economy died. And with it, millions of people lost jobs and were in trouble, and shit.




<----Dude, check me out. I'm awesome! And whispering something into this woman's ear (wouldn't you like to know what I'm saying?)

So I tend to listen to him when he has something to say. After all, he is the world's 2nd richest guy (behind Da Billy G. Show).

And what a great idea that he should want to give away his fortune to charities. Specifically, the Gates' Foundation. He had planned on giving it all to charity when he died, but because his wife died before him, and they were planning on having her be the one to divide all the money, he decided to do it while he was still alive. So he is giving away about 4/5 of his money over a certain amount of years, depending on how well his Berkshire stock does each year (how fucking smart is he? He totally just ensured his stock will continue to go up for years to come by pledging this).

Who has a problem with this? I'll tell you who. Roman Catholics, the Family Research Council, and the Population Research Institute. They claim that his money will go to Planned Parenthood, which sponsors abortions. The Gates Foundation has made it abundantly clear that the money they give is earmarked NOT for abortions, but of course in giving them money, Planned Parenthood can move around funds from one side to another.

Now, with Buffett giving money to the Gates Foundation, these people are pissed.
"The merger of Gates and Buffett may spell doom for the families of the developing world," said the Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, a Roman Catholic priest.

They don't think Planned Parenthood is a good idea. A place where men and women can get free advice, free condoms, seek treatment for a number of reasons, and if need be, can get abortions. All securely and privately, too.

Planned Parenthood, which is the leading provider of abortions in the United States, has received $34 million from the Gates Foundation over the years -- out of a total of $10.5 billion in grants worldwide

That's .3% of the grants worldwide. I didn't write that down wrong either. .3% It's nothing. And they are worried about this. They make up some unsubstantiated number about how many "babies" have been killed (let's just say 500,000, shall we?) and proclaim that that's how many the Gates' have killed.
As a side note, it's funny that they pretend to care for the "babies", but then they round to a near number in representing each and every one of the deaths. 500,000? Does that mean that they just say, "oh, give or take a few." How hypocritical.

And here's the part that really ticks me off.
Beyond the issue of abortion, some critics oppose the Buffett and Gates foundations' support for global family-planning and population control programs.

"Some of the wealthiest men in the world descend like avenging angels on the populations of the developing world," wrote Population Research Institute president Steven Mosher, a frequent critic of Gates and Buffett. "They seek to decimate their numbers, to foist upon vulnerable people abortion, sterilization and contraception."

First of all, that quotation, about foisting upon "vulnerable people" is really saying the "un-Godly." That is, the people who don't have God in their lives are the ones who Gates and Buffett are preying upon, forcing them to take contraception and sterilization (does that mean that religious people aren't clean!?!?). So anyone who finds themselves in an unfortunate position are suddenly heathens, without God and alone? Ridiculous.

I have no clue who the Population Research Institute is, but it certainly sounds official. Too bad their views line up rather nicely with Roman Catholicism. Rarely do "institutes" that branch from religious views ever carry any weight on the youth.



In a statement today, Freedom Fighter, president of Freedom Under Corporations Keeping the Youth Obstensibly Underrepresented, said, "Hey, yo, Mosher. F.U.C.K.Y.O.U."

Warren is better than his distant cousin Jimmy,
FF


P.S. One more picture of Warren Buffett.




<----Dude's eating ice cream. ICE CREAM. He's SOOOOOO Cool!!!!!





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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Freedumb Tales! L.A. Gossip





<-----Our Freedom Intern hard at work on fact-checking



Okay Freedoms and Freedomettes, in our first installment of Freedumb Tales, we look at one particular private L.A. High School and the recent scandals with which it has been rocked.

Which private high school in the LA area (North Hollywood-Malibu) has recently:

1. had teacher and student protests (over a teachers spat involving the teachers' wife and her eventual death from cancer),

2. has been known to get its' name in the LA Times for "charitable work" (they must have a GREAT PR guy),

3. had to invent a reason to fire their version of a vice principal because they were worried his "gayness" was being forced onto the children,

and now

4. had a student-teacher relationship develop out of the student's need to pass and the teachers'...er, manly NEEDS.


And it's not: Oakwood.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Sleeping Giant Has Awoken

Okay, so I got a comment asking my thoughts on recent current events. It goes a little something like this, ___ __. (Fill in the blank!)

Immigration March, or a Day Without an Immigrant.

It was alright. I mean, I couldn't get my Subway sandwich in the morning, because the restaurant was closed. But there was another one still open closer to work anyway. But besides that, it makes a lot of sense that Immigrants should have the same rights as citizens. But you haven't heard much about it lately, have you? Doesn't it seem like it was brought up in the same way that the whole recent talks from Republicans about gay marriage were brought up? That is to say, pushing an agenda right before a vote or election? Immigrant rights is an issue often times championed by Democrats, and I wonder if it was really meant to do anything except get in the news for one or two full news cycles. And of course, the news stations played it like a national emergency. (AHHH!! THE IMMIGRANTS ARE COMING TO GET US! RUN TO YOUR BOMB SHELTERS WITH YOUR PRESERVED MAYO AND WHITE BREAD AND AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS!)

I do have to give Gov. Schwarzenegger some credit though, because, he being an immigrant himself, he was encouraging people not to protest. He was disappointed by people protesting, no doubt because of two reasons: 1. California is SEVERLY dependent on our immigrant population, and ANY day where their production isn't counted severly hurts our economic situation, especially considering the fact that we're in such economic dire straits as it is. And 2. Regardless of the fact that he is an immigrant, he's also rich, and therefore immigrant rights don't really affect him. Once you have money, they won't do anything to you. And there will ALWAYS be people willing to take the shitty jobs no one else wants to do because there will always be immigrants.

And here's my point: There will never be any days without immigrants. Ever. It's an empty threat. This day was designed to show how much of the economy is based on immigrant jobs, which Washington already knows. They know immigrants account for a lot, it's just that immigrants here are living MUCH better lives than they were because they came here. So it's not like immigrants are going to leave the U.S. and go back home, they are here to stay, with or without citizen rights.

So while I support immigrant rights and all that, I don't see it happening. Not as long as THE MAN is still in power.

Peacers,
FF

P.S. The title is from a shirt that I saw a protester wearing during the protests, a sly reference to the fact that Mexicans are stereotypically "lazy." It's at once subtle, passive aggressive and threatening at the same time. That's the spirit!


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Saturday, June 17, 2006

I Shouldn't Have Left You, Without A Dope Beat To Step To


It's been a long time. Let me explain my absence.

I'm lazy.

<----Lazy Freedom Cat

Now, many people will ask, "But Freedom Fighter, don't you always talk about how people are always dissing your generation with the stereotype that they're all lazy?" Yes. But I am part of Generation Z, and this is who we are. What a perfect example. Someone who always rails against and cries out for the generation to which they belong.
It's hypocrisy at its' finest. If Generation Z will stand for anything, it will no doubt be the hypocrisy we have faced from older generations, and the hypocrisy we have faced from each other.

Maybe we are all doomed. In that case, can I have first dibs on your Hello Stranger early mixes? They are ALL the rage!

Love,
FF

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

23. State of the Union

I am looking for someone who wants to blog about their opinion on the State of the Union given today by President Bush. I would like a guest contributor. If you want to do it, please email me at FreeToBeYouAndMe.Freedom@gmail.com, or by clicking here

I will have my response in a few days.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

21. A Spoonful Weighs A Ton

I received this email yesterday, and would like to respond with a few words. Of course, you can always email me at Freedom Fighter:

FF,
I wanted to ask you a question in hopes that you could ask your readers for some insight.

I am 21, and teachers and other older people ask me all the time why our generation feels like the weight of the world is on our shoulders? They ask me, "Why do you think you are more entitled to get sympathy for everything that's happened to you than our generation?"

I try to explain to them that, at least in my case, I've had more shit happen to me personally in my short time than they have had happen to them.

Can you help me out?


Yes, I can. Thanks for the letter. And I agree with you, I think it's true that our generation has had some crazy shit happen to them on a personal level than others. As I said in my opening post, my parents have been through Vietnam, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Cold War, 9/11, and other stuff I'm not remembering now. Our generation, to the same effect, have seen 9/11, Columbine, the war in Iraq, etc.

But, I still believe I've seen more shit than my parents have, just from life experiences.

Growing up in L.A., I saw the Rodney King riots, my dad has been held up at gunpoint in front of my house, in front of me. I had both salmonella poisoning and meningicocal, nearly killing me.

Going to college in Colorado, my friends had been AT Columbine. They had hid in the kitchen and locked the door, waited out the shootings and the banging on the doors by the killers, demanding they open. I sat with my roommate freshman year while we waited, for a whole day next to a phone and next to the TV, waiting for his mom to call and assure him his dad WASN'T in a tower when they fell. I went to 5 funerals last year. 3 were my good friends, my age, 2 deaths by suicide, one by cancer. I've laid two best friends down, and that was just SENIOR YEAR.

There's been more personal attacks on our generation than any generation before. When I think of my dad, and my mom, at 22 years of age, I know they weren't as conflicted as I am now.

When they ask us, "What makes you think you can go on with your life without caring for the world in which you live?" I want to say to them, "Right now, in my life, I don't think I can care for a world that has wronged me. I need to look within myself first in order to look outside.

So, maybe the answer to all this is that, even though we may be lazy, apathetic and generally uninterested in the politics of this nation, we just need a little time to come to our senses, and a little time to work some things out with ourselves.

My generation deserves it.

Free To Be You And Me