So, Who Does Our Government Represent Again?

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The Volcker Rule, inserted into the Frank-Dodd financial regulations bill, as it turns out, did not have a definition attached to it. It was, as so much legislation has been over the last few year, incomplete and ill-defined. Now, the banks and financial institutions that are supposed to be held in check by this rule are effectively writing the parameters to the rule. The result:

The draft of the Volcker rule released by the four agencies last week runs close to 300 pages and includes the word “exemption” more than 400 times.

This is what happens when it becomes more important to pass something… Anything, to show you’re doing something, than to put your political ass on the line and make tough decisions! They did this with the Patriot Act, the Healthcare bill, and now this. Our “leaders” are more concerned about upsetting their financial donors and winning elections than they are about doing what is right and only voting for legislation that is complete and defined and workable. How many times do we have to hear a legislator or a President tell us “we passed this great bill, and though it is flawed, we’ll fix it later” before we wise up and tell them “NO!”?

And don’t be fooled, with the exception of Ron Paul, if a Republicans wins in 2012, this gets turned up to 12… We’re already at eleven.

Gay Advertizing… Plus, Old Subaru Commercials!

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Andrew Sullivan has a link to a Subaru commercial that plays on the emotional connection of marriage and the ideals of the adventure of a honeymoon. Having not been on a honeymoon myself, I have no idea what they are like. But something like the one portrayed in the commercial is what we all would like, or something fanciful and adventurous like it.

But that got me thinking, Subaru has a long history of making lifestyle a part of the brand.

suby ad

Because they have been featuring 4 wheel or All Wheel Drive as long as any other car manufacturer on the market, they have been able to market themselves as something just a little different. That philosophy of not being the same as the typical cookie cutter car, of occupying a niche market in the automotive world has also allowed the company to branch out and target demographic groups that were passed over by other car manufacturers. They pioneered the practice of advertizing to the gay demographic.

“Subaru has always recognized the importance of speaking to all their customers,” says Subaru brand spokesperson, John Nash. “In the early nineties, market research indicated that many lesbians and gay men had a strong loyalty for the brand, based on the reliability of the vehicles. The company made the decision to speak to their G&L [gay and lesbian] customers in the first person, in the magazines and newspapers they read, with custom creative. Seemingly a simple and smart decision, but given the time period, certainly a farsighted and courageous one.”

They’ve been traveling down this road for almost 20 years. A number of the ads in the early 2000’s featured Martina Navratilova .

They produced a few TV commercials for the gay market as well.

Subaru has succeed in this market because they are a smaller company, and have never thought of themselves as being part of the mainstream. That gave them the freedom to go after this previously neglected demographic in the auto advertizing world. Remember, when Ford tried the same strategy, to cash in on the growing income trend of gay America, they got their hands slapped by the “traditional” American crowd, they were boycotted and ended up pulling the ads. Months later, Ford reversed it’s decision and resumed advertising in gay media.

This was a major step, and today you see many companies now feel free to try and attract business from the gay segment of the population without too much backlash.

A couple of oldies but goodies.

Wish this commercial was of better quality

Now this is some serious OLD SCHOOL!!!!!

Me Playing At The Big BIG Fresno Fair! Pic 1

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The Mystery Of EQing… Explained! (presented?)

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Through all our lives, we, as both general consumers and musicians, have been using and adjusting an EQ on one gadget or another. It seems like such an easy concept – you turn the treble down, yuo turn the bass up….

OK – Most normal people do that… But I’m a bass player! I’m not normal!!!!

Anyway, there is a lot more to EQing than meets the eye. Here is an article that explain the in’s and out’s of EQ’s.

Marco Rubio – Inquisitor!

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I’m not a fan of Tim Geithner by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m going to defend him here. He’s right that that the marginal increase being bandied about won’t have much of an impact on job creation at all (scaling back on onerous regulation would be much more effective). What really gets me are the cheap high school debating trick being employed by Rubio in this exchange. For instance,  Rubio does not let Geithner ever finish an answer before he’s peppered with another question. Also, Rubio keeps asking questions about statements made by his boss, Barrack Obama. Those statements were made made during an election year attempt by the President to try and sway a few Conservative minded voter to the Democrats. It was an obvious ploy, a crass move by the President that didn’t pay off. It wasn’t Geithner who extended the tax rates. I don’t mind the point being raised, but too much time is spent by Rubio repeating this strategy over and over again. Geithner can’t answer it! That decision is on his boss.

It’s obvious the new bill, which is labeled as a jobs bill, is not a jobs bill. It’s yet another crass cynical political joke intended to highlight our political divide vs any remedy for the current recession, trying to be passed off as a jobs bill. Concentrate on that.

“CHANGE: Most Union Households Think NLRB Outdated”.

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What… I think their music still holds up pretty well!!!!

…. Oh, the “N”LRB????

Never Mind!

PS. Auto-Tune…. Bite Me!!!! This is how the adults do it!!!! 🙂

Robert Reich Pretty Much Nails It.

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Don’t have time to comment on this now, but Reich does lay out the main problem nicely. To summarize, he shows that the “Trickle Down” portion of supply side economics… never actually trickled down. The gains we saw over the last thirty years were due to, among other things, two huge stock market bubble, a mammoth housing bubble, and the over reliance on credit by both consumers and the financial industry.

I’m not against the rich at all… I’d like to be one of them. But Supply Side economics made it too easy to make money with money, too easy to grow capital without actually investing in brick-and-mortar and manufacturing jobs, thus, no trickle down to the middle class. Reich and I will, I suspect, part ways on what to do to fix the system, but that’s fine. We do agree on much of the problem.

PS. Here’s my thoughts on possible solutions to revive the economy.

Did Steve Jobs Doom Himself By Chosing Alternative Medicine????

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Dr Ramzi Amri, of Harvard Medical School seems to think so.

One thing I do find interesting is this very unscientific observation…. Liberals love to call Conservatives unscientific, mainly because Conservatives tend to give Creationism some weight, and have skeptical views of Global Warming. Meanwhile, it seems to me that it is liberals who are much more likely to eschew scientifically proven medical treatments for various alternative “cures” and remedies.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a blanket statement, as I know of some Conservatives who waste money on homeopathic products sold in stores, and I know of a few religiously minded liberals who believe in Creation. That said, in my experience, of the people I know personally and of things I’ve read of certain people supporting this or that “anti-scientific” position, it does seem to be the case.

I think there was a study or report / article about this very thing that came out a few weeks ago. Have to look for it.

PS. I am skeptical of some of the science used to push the alarmist global warming agenda, yet I’m also a HUGE fan of “The Skeptics Guide To The Universe“. I don’t have any problem with people who have differing views on any of this. The people I DO have a problem with are those who rip people off and at the same time doom them to certain death because they didn’t get actual medical treatment and shortened their lives.

Here is a solid rebuttal against Anri’s conjecture.

A Reaction To Corruption

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occupy chart

Both movements are a reaction to perceived corruption within the economic / political system that currently overlays the US government. One side focuses more on big government failings, the other on corporate greed, but when you come right down to it, both coexist hand in hand. Big corp actually likes Big Govt. If you have a government that expands into business, then it’s very very easy for big business to buy off politicians to do their bidding and provide benefits, be it grants for solar industry or subsidies for big oil. Does anyone else not notice that most of the speeches read aloud on the floors of the House of Reps and the Senate are not only written by lobbyists, but most of the time the politician presenting the speech clearly has never even seen the speech until he or she is reading it.

For all the differences in the two movements, it’s the one thing both the Occupy and Tea Party movements have in common. They both recognize the corruption embedded in our current government system, and are not as far apart in agreement as it appears. Even though I’ve been tough on some of the stupidity on display at the Occupy Wall Street thing, I never the less support the uprising itself. It’s good for democracy. And we’re not going to clean house until both side realize it needs to be done.

My Ode To Occupy Wall Street… UPDATE!

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Just wrote it on a whim for Althouses Blog!

“Oh my Gaia I’m so distressed
I can’t afford expensive dress
Cause I’m kind of poor but we know that
I’m a young progressive Democrat

I march all day and yell and scream
I’m joined by Ben and Jerry’s ice cream!
I’ve not a clue my message is flawed
I’m simply here to support the cause…

What-ever that is

Crap ona cop car
Oh yeah baby
Crap ona cop car

Never mind we’re wearing all these corporate made things
I just twittered “You’re all guilty of capitalist sins!”.

Sex and drugs and drum patrol
We’ve turned this park into a festering hole
But it’s OK ’cause we’re here to vent
About right wingers destroying the environment

It doesn’t matter that we make no sense
Cause the government you know will pay my rent
Oh you won’t believe the time we’ve had
The sex is cool though we stink real bad…

But it’s all cool

Crap ona cop car
Oh Yeah
Crap ona cop car
I said Crap ona cop car
Crap ona cop car!!!”

UPDATE: OK. I just had another brain-storm! I won’t have time to put down any music for this. So, any guitar / musicians out there who wnat to add music… Take a stab at it! This will be a running contest!!!