Monday, February 01, 2016

TRIUMPHANT RETURN

Hello America, It's been awhile. I know what you're thinking. Blogging? What is this, 2008? No one blogs anymore. Get with the times, old man. If you have something to say and want to put it somewhere for no one to see you should put it on snapchat or twitter. You're probably right, but I don't like snapchat and I can't figure out how to work twitter. What is a hashtag? How many characters in a twit? Young people and their technology confuse me. The point is, I'm back. I'm back and I have something to say. And that something is this.


As I write, it is the night before the Iowa Caucus. As many of you probably know, Iowa is the first presidential primary. It's a race where an insignificant portion of the American populace, comprised almost entirely of old and out-of-touch rural white people, nominate the candidate who will likely not go on to receive his or her party's presidential nomination. It's not even an actual primary election. It's a caucus, which is a Latin word meaning "shady meeting where money and sexual favors are exchanged for political backing."


So why am I terrified of the Iowa Caucus? Simply put, it means that election season is now actually upon us. Real election season. Not the freak show that we've seen the last several months where obnoxious millionaires rattle off sayings they read on a men's room wall at a NASCAR event in a bid to get a broadcasting contract with Fox News. No! Now it's real. The pretenders and lunatics are going to fade away and we are going to have to get down to two serious candidates, one of whom the Illuminati will select as our next president.


This is what terrifies me. I'm convinced that if we move forward with serious candidates, the Donald Trump campaign will go away. I can handle that, America. I want Donald Trump to be running for President. I NEED Donald Trump to be running for president.


I don't follow politics that closely. I have no idea what any of the candidates policy preferences are, or what qualifications they might possess. More importantly, I don't care. Politics is inherently ridiculous. Republicans and democrats have been having the same arguments since the 1960's and there hasn't really been any meaningful developments or changes in years. Under George W. Bush, my taxes were too high, my medical insurance cost a lot, and people on the news talked every night about how the world was going to end. Under Obama, my taxes are too high, my medical insurance costs a lot, and the people on the news talk every night about how the world is going to end. Please don't try and tell me about all the ways that the two parties are different. I don't believe you and I don't care. Politics is just well scripted finger pointing over ridiculous issues that I don't care about. This is why I love Donald Trump.


Donald Trump is an absolute buffoon. He says ridiculous things, I don't think he has any actual policies, and his only answer on any issue is that he will find smart people to fix the problem for him. The things that come out of his mounth border on facist rantings. The prospect of this self-aggrandizing windbag as president and ruler of the free world is laughable, and I really need to laugh.


If Donald Trump goes away, then I will be forced to go back to ignoring the Democrats and Republicans fighting over whether they are going to pretend that they can do something about illegal immigration. Nuts to that. I've long since given up on having an effective president. I'll settle for a disastrous president that is entertaining. Which would you rather watch, a news report about Hillary Clinton making a multilateral agreement to reduce carbon emissions by five percent, or footage of President Trump drunkenly getting thrown out of the G8 summit because he slapped Angela Merkel on the butt and flipped the bird to Fran├žois Hollande? I choose the butt slapping and bird flipping.


Look, according to my friends who believe in global warming, we are all doomed anyway and we are passed the point of no return. Do you want to approach the end with a boring and pointless politician who has the approximate charisma of a dead skunk, or do you want to go out with both guns blazing, with the presidential equivalent of eating fried Twinkies while listening to a 30 minute Jimmy Page Guitar solo? I want the President who is most likely to go on CNN and say that women should be banned from congress because their menstruation attracts the bear from the Revenant. I want the cadidate most likely to Jello wrestle Vladimir Putin. I want the president who is most likely to lose Alabama to Portugal in a late night card game. Am I going to get things things from Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz? I sincerely doubt it.


Now, I know some of you are thinking, wait, isn't Donald Trump incredibly sexist and racist? Yes. Those are fair points. But consider this. Basically every president up until now was hugely sexist and racist. He would basically just be par for course. Washington and Jefferson owned slaves, Woodrow Wilson was part of the KKK. Donald Trump is not even the top ten most racist and sexist presidents we've had. More importantly, the nuttier and more offensive Donald Trump gets, the more fun it will be to watch him self-destruct. Hillary Clinton meets the President of Mexico: you could not pay me to watch that. I practically fell asleep just writing that sentence. Donald Trump meets the President of Mexico: I would pay to live stream that like it was the final game of March Madness. Don't front, you would watch that just waiting for an absolute disaster. I would invite people over to watch it live like it was the Super Bowl.


Look, I get it, some of you want to pretend that you are not cynical people. You want to believe that the next four years of your life are better off in the hands of a career politician funded by billionaire hedge fund managers and who have long histories of bailing out banks, trampling on civil liberties, and plunging your nation ever deeper into debt. Good luck with that. As for me, I am choosing to acknowledge that politics is a joke, and Donald Trump is the perfect punchline. I want a candidate who is openly obnoxious, calls people names, and picks fights over petty issues. I want a candidate who is possibly a crazy person and who says the most ridiculous thing that pops into his mouth. I don't know what Donald Trump stands for, and I don't care. I just know that voting for him is as close as I can get to drawing a giant middle finger on my ballot.


Hope to see you in November, Donald. Keep the stupidity coming.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Why I support Herman Cain



Sometimes people ask me who I intend to vote for in the next election, and I tell them truthfully: Herman Cain. When I say this people think I'm joking. The reasons for this seem to be:

1) Herman Cain is not a good candidate
2) I generally speak with such Colbert-ian levels of irony that everything I say (especially this post) is generally to be taken with a grain of salt.

But, the truth is Herman Cain is a terrible candidate and that is exactly the reason that I am voting for him. The fact that I honestly and truly want a bad candidate to win underscores one of the key and rarely talked about failings of our system: namely, that in a system based on self interest, one's interest might include pain, misery and suffering of others.

First, let's agree that Herman Cain should, in a perfect world, not be president. He has no foreign policy experience, no political experience, and in the dominant issue of our time, the economy, he seems completely clueless. His key economic proposal is the "9-9-9" plan.1 The 9-9-9 plan as Cain describes it essentially calls for a 9% corporate tax, 9% income tax, and 9% sales tax. This is not a good plan. This massively lowers taxes on high brackets and raises it on the poorer 47% of Americans who actually don't pay income tax under the current code. Revenue short falls under this code would be tremendous. 2; Cain has also gone on record as saying that the problems with the housing market could be fixed if the government got out of the banks way and let the banks help all those people stay in their houses. This is possibly the most ridiculous statement made by any person ever. As one who works daily with people trying to keep their homes, let me tell you that statement is silly. You have a better chance of being struck by lightning that receiving a principal write-down from Bank of America. I have seen hostage negotiators give up in frustration in dealing with banks over a loan modification. That's right, it is less frustrating to deal with Al Queda than a major bank. According to Herman Cain, these banks who have essentially spent the last four years giving the finger to anyone who had the audacity to ask for their help, are the exact people we should trust to help keep people in their homes now. This is the rough equivalent to entrusting airport security to the Taliban. 

On top of the lack of experience and glaring stupidity of his economic policy, Cain also has numerous allegations of sexual harassment surrounding him.  I'm not saying I believe any of these allegations; they seem as credible as a paternity suit against Justin Beiber. However, the fact that he put himself in a postion where not one, but several potential gold-diggers, could even bring these accusations calls into question his judgment and moral character. Rick Perry is far more sleezy than Cain and yet he seems to have kept his bimbo eruptions under control. How can a man with this kind of moral haze around him, who does not have the excuse of being married to Hillary Clinton, aspire to be the leader of the free world? I submit to you, Herman Cain is a terrible candidate and his policies would lead to economic chaos and devastation and hurt the country. That is why, Herman Cain is the man I am voting for.

Why would I want someone as clearly bad as Herman Cain?  Like most good lawyers, I make my living off of other people's misfortunes. In my case, I practice Bankrutpcy Law. Bankruptcy has been in a boom the last few years. First as people filed to save their houses. Now, As the economy further deteriorates, people who would never have dreamed of filing bankruptcy are now finding it is their only option. Lately I see people lose their jobs, try their hardest to keep current on their obligations but eventually burn through their savings. When they ask for understanding and help from financial institutions to whom they have been good and loyal clients they are rewarded with contempt and abuse. They find that the Banks and Lenders they paid faithfully for years have buried clauses into their contracts that allow them to dramatically raise interest rates and pile on fees. People find that when they are already desperate and sinking, their creditors stand ready to lead them out into deeper waters and watch them drown. It's a terrible tragedy, but without it I couldn't put food on my table.

I won't lie, the housing crisis is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. It caused Bankruptcy filings to increase exponentially. The Obama administration has proved stunningly incompetent in dealing with the crisis, and I thank them for that. Without the many Obama programs dedicated to giving the illusion of help, without actually giving meaningful relief, I could never have bought my 55" flat screen TV. If the HAMP program were actually designed to work, or if the president actually got tough and imposed consequences on banks for treating people like dirt, I would not be able to watch football in HD. I owe a lot to the Obama Administration. Their demonstrated ineptness has been very good to me. Still, I think Herman Cain might be even better to me.

I realize that many people may consider me a horrible person for saying this, but I don't want an economic recovery. I want the housing market to stay soft and real unemployment to remain in double digits. I have student loans and the more bankruptcies I file, the faster they get paid off. The fact is, my self interest demands that the economy stay in ruins, so the person I want to be president is the person who is most likely to keep the economy circling the drain. I believe that person to be Herman Cain.  Granted, none of the other republican candidates is really all that promising and the problems with the economy are so severe that no one may be able to fix them, but why take a chance? While I'm content that Obama is bad at getting the economy on track, there is a very good chance that Herman Cain will actively make things worse.

For those of you who think that voting my self-interest makes me a bad person, I have to disagree. If any of you are Republican, you can't think negatively of my position without being a gross hypocrite. Self interest, we are told, is the cornerstone of democracy. Ayn Rand wrote lengthy diatribes about how the noblest virtue is the pursuit of one's own self-interest. Atlas Shrugged is a billion page love note to pursuing self interest, and it is the basis of the entire republican party. Self-Interest is the entire foundation of Capitalism. If you in any way have a problem with me intentionally tanking the system to get ahead then you are a fraud and a liar.

The fact that it is in my self interest to have the worst person possible elected president highlights one of the basic flaws in modern republican thinking. Modern republican ideology dictates that man should pursue self interest, government should be limited and get out of the way of pursuing my self interest unless I am treading on the rights of another person or fetus. The problem with this is that for a large number of people, it is in our self interest to screw everyone else over.
Want to know why 4 years later there is no meaningful progress on the housing crisis? Or why credit default swaps remain unregulated? Because a lot of rich, and powerful people have a vested interest. That's why. There's lots of money riding on keeping the status firmly as quo and the fact that it hurts millions of people is sad, but ultimately not as important as making money. When you set up a system in which you encourage self interest, and do not temper it or tame it with a sense of community, of interdependence, or basic decency, then you get a system in which people mislead consumers about the credit rating of mortgage backed securities. You get a system where you sell homes to people who can't afford them, and then foreclose on the house and leave it empty rather than sell it back to the prior owner at a reasonable price. In short, when you set up a system where its every man for himself, you may wind up alone and unhappy, and broke because it was in someone else's interest. You may get the kind of system where Herman Cain is someone's idea of the perfect president.


1 This plan is most familiar as the default tax rate in the computer game "Simcity". Players of the game refer to it as "the tax scheme you need to immediately change if you don't want your town to fail." 2 And please, spare us the argument that when we reduce the taxes on the rich from 33% to 9% that they are going to go invest all of that income and grow the economy. Corporate America is already currently sitting on trillions of dollars capital because of an unstable market, and pretty much have been since the collapse of Lehman Brothers. There's no reason to think they aren't just going to sit on more of it for years to come.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Song

An old favorite here on Simsisms, here is one of our favorite Christmas themed songs, from the twisted mind of Tom Waits.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Back with some tunes

What I'm Listening to Lately


I haven't updated the blog lately as I've been posting most things to my tumblr account. I prefer tumblr and think it is generally a better platform for blogging and just easier to work with than Blogger. I'd intended to do all future blogging on tumblr, but that account has pretty much become exclusively dedicated to things financial or bankruptcy related. I've decided to go back to posting on Simsisms to use it for my rantings and musings on all things non-bankruptcy. I still recommend keeping up with the tumblr account as I try to keep the links educational and worth the time to read

Today's entry is dedicated to spreading the word on some of the tunes that I've been kicking around my ipod lately. Some of them are old, some of them are new, and all told the represent an eclectic mix that should have something for everyone.


Watch Your Step - Ted Hawkins


I don't know how a huge blues hound like myself never heard of this guy until recently, but he's freaking amazing. Not quite the blues, not quite folk, 100% awesome. I think the most compelling singers are the ones who can captivate a room with nothing more than an acoustic guitar and a unique voice. Guys like Neil Young, Bob Dylan are always going to find room on my play list ahead of pop acts with ninety people in them. A wise man once said all a real songwriter needs are three chords and the truth; Hawkins is in that great tradition and his voice just feels authentic.





Out of the Blue - Julian Casablancas


Lead singer of The Strokes, I like this song as much as anything that has come out of that group. It's just so freaking catchy. Youtube took down the clip of him playing this on Fallon's show backed up by the roots, which sucks because it was actually better than the studio version of the song. You are on notice NBC. Stop preventing people from seeing your product! There's a reason why no one watches your network anymore.





Lake Michigan - Rogue Wave


It's official, I am a sucker for mid 00's indie music. I make no apologies. Less famous than Eyes, but still good.





You Still Hurt Me - William Fitzsimmons


What's that? Why yes, I am currently obsessed with the modern revival of acoustic music with folk leanings. What's your point?





Madder Red - Yeasayer


From acoustic folk, to weird and progressive. I've loved Yeasayer for a while, and they scored major points with their latest release by having the official video for this song star Kristen Bell, whom I am completely in love with. I will even become a vegetarian if she will marry me. If anyone knows her send her my way.





The Cave - Mumford and Sons


I actually prefer Little Lion Man but I'm posting this because there's no swearing in this song. Still a great song and it contains one of my favorite sadly underused musical elements: the acoustic guitar in a crazy alternate tuning. Not used nearly enough in music today and Mumford and Sons uses it frequently. How can you not love that? People should write more songs in open d tuning.





The Gardner - The Tallest Man on Earth


I've posted this song before, but dangit, I still love it. Who knew that the next Bob Dylan was some malnourished Swedish dude? Anyone posting anything likening him to Sigur Ros will be shot.





The Smiths - Girlfriend in a Coma


This song gets about as dark as you can and still remain subtle. Darkly comic and at the same time more disturbing than anything today's inked up, pierced out emo kids can try and put out.



Sunday, June 06, 2010

Tumblr

I've opened up a new blog on tumblr. So far I'm liking it, it may take the place of this blog, but I am undecided. In the meantime, check out my intellectual flatulence at bkbastard.tumblr.com

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Terra Cotta Hope

Awhile ago I made a post where if you gave me a title, I would write the movie. Basically, hollywood movies are so formulaic that anyone could write them, you just get a title, pick a genre, and throw in a few cliche's. Roll camera and boom, you have yourself a blockbuster movie. So today's movie is terra Cotta Hope.

Terra Cotta Hope is a coming of age story, it stars Dakota Fanning, or someone in that vein. Now, Dakota is a troubled teen, see. Not too troubled, cause audiences don't like their protagonists to be bulemic, or to be obsessed with cutting on themselves. But Dakota is starting to get into trouble, she mouths off to her single mom, and gets busted smoking pot or shoplifting twinkies or something. Dakota has an angry confrontation with Mom, played by Tea Leoni where she says she doesn't think her life will go anywhere and she has no hope of anything good in her life.

So, to deal with the unruly teen, she is shipped off to live with Grandma in the Rural town of Terra Cotta, famous for its dairies and small town living. Dakota is forced to help grandma, who's played by Betty White, by doing chores, which she does with a major attitude at first, but then throughout the movie she learns to love. Dakota gets to know the goofy characters from around the town, and develops a crush on neighborhood boy, played by whatever that kid's name is from the Sparkly- Vampire movie. Not the Vampire, the other kid. The one who's not gay. I forget his name. So, Dakota and Not-Vampire fall in love, through the magic of roping cattle or something, and she's learning to like the town and appreciate the value of hard work and time with Grandma. But, the evil bank/real estate developer, played by Kevin Pollack, wants grandma to sell the property, so they can put up a new resort or highway, or something that sounds evil and greedy which audience members would no-doubt use, but can still project hatred towards without feeling hypocritical. But Grandma won't sell because no matter how much they offer, it can't match the value of the memories she's made at her home. Finally, the stress of the situation causes grandma to collapse, and she's unconscious in the hospital.

Dakota's mom flies back to Terra Cotta, the small town she spent her whole life swearing she'd never go back to. And with grandma unconscious, and mom worried about how they will pay the medical bills, Mom agrees to sign over the house to the evil banker. Dakota will be crying and want to give up, but then Not-gay-vampire will tell her that if she really loves Terra Cotta, then she should just go tell her mom how she feels. Just as mom is about to sign over the deed, which will inexplicably take place in the hospital (how she has legal authority to do this will be explained in passing somehow), Dakota will make a heart warming speech about how the house can't be sold, and will tell all about how her time in Terra Cotta has taken her off the path of being a crack whore and shown her that life is good. Mom is impressed with all the not-crack whoriness of Dakota and says they won't sell, just then, Grandma wakes up echoes everyones sentiments of not selling. Evil banker dude goes away mad. Grandma and Mom hug, and Dakota and Not Vampire dude kiss. Roll Credits.

30?

Greetings Blog-followers. Apologies for the lengthy absence (No, Michelle, I haven't forgotten about Terra Cotta Hope, The plot is complete in my mind, I just haven't had a chance to put it down on paper, but you'll love it). The purpose for this post is to solicit ideas for what I should do for my 30th birthday. It occurs to me that I have no clue what I did for my 20th birthday, and I figure I ought to mark this occasion. So, shoot me a text, email, IM, facebook message, or post in the comments section on what I should do for my 30th birthday.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

In honor of LT leaving San Diego

I'll write the movie soon, but first, to commemorate LT leaving San Diego, here's a video which I simply cannot watch enough times.