Enterprise Florida, a public-private partnership that funds official state economic development initiatives, paid $380,000 for this logo:
Many lady Floridians are peeved about it since, aside from the period immediately following the release of the film Annie Hall in 1977, men’s neckties haven’t served as an inclusive symbol that encompasses both sexes.
The article linked above is all about the tie in the logo, but it also features this video publicized by the same outfit:
All the hands in the video appear to be attached to men, with the possible exception of the gloved hands, which look decidedly masculine, but who knows?
I can see how maybe one all-male piece of advertising collateral slipped under the radar (though a competent creative director should have caught it). But the all-male video too? Now it’s harder to see this as an honest mistake.
We Florida business ladies are being dissed! And did Enterprise Florida really pay $380,000 US dollars for that logo? (If so, I’d like to speak to them about some land I’m putting on the market, teeming with biodiversity and mere centimeters from the surface!)
This branding initiative was unveiled by Governor Voldemort, who slashed funding for the disabled and schools so he could attempt to zero out the corporate tax rate. Those tea-people really get financial stewardship.
Shifty-eyed Frenchman Wayne LaPierre was on Capitol Hill today, using his pie-hole to spray lies and obfuscations in defense of guns ‘n ammo makers’ profits much as a prepper might fantasize about using a drum magazine-fitted assault rifle to spray bullets at imaginary urban hordes to protect his bunker.
While LaPierre was lying and obfuscating, yet another nutbag went on yet another shooting rampage, which Captain Mark Kelly, husband of Gabby Giffords, pointed out to the committee. Early report:
Three people were shot and wounded Wednesday, one of them with life-threatening injuries, when a gunman opened fire at a Phoenix office complex, authorities said.
One of the three victims sustained “extremely critical” injuries, while the two others were less severely wounded, police said, correcting their earlier report that all three had been critically injured.
Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said the gunman was not in custody and that authorities were seeking an “older white male.” Police said shell casings at the scene indicated that at least two weapons were used.
Witnesses told KNPX that they heard nine or 10 shots total. A woman who works in the building told the station that she immediately began running down the hallway.
“We didn’t know where to hide, because all of our offices are all windows,” she said.
I know just how that woman felt: 20 years ago, another disgruntled white man showed up at an office building where I used to work with a gun he’d purchased legally. He shot and killed several people. Everyone in the building, me included, ran away like scared little bunnies and hid. It turns out that’s a natural human reaction. Even for concealed carry permit holders!
Chances are, they’ll find the Phoenix shooter dead after he kills himself with one of his legally purchased guns. That’s what the guy who shot up my office building did.
It was kind of a shock when I thought back on it after this latest incident and realized it’s been 20 years since that happened. So little has changed.
Secretary of State Clinton tangled with the preening Republican arseholes in the Senate this morning and is right now confronting the unhinged yahoos in the House. I thought she was terrific this morning, from what I saw.
However, I think Steve M at No More Mr. Nice Blog has it right when he notes that, while we lefties perceived Madam Secretary deftly catching her interrogators’ self-serving slings and arrows and hurling them squarely back at her inquisitors’ junk, the right isn’t watching the same show. In response to Senator Johnson’s obsession with Ambassador Rice’s Sunday morning talk show talking points, Secretary Clinton said:
“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans,” she said. “Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator. Now, honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this. The fact is that people were trying, in real time, to get to the best information.”
Steve observes that the wingnuts have already pounced on the quote: “What difference does it make?” and notes:
They have what they want: a soundbite they can rip from context and use as a cudgel to beat the administration and Secretary Clinton with. I’m not sure if they really expect their efforts to color mainstream coverage of this story, but it’s clear that that’s what they’re hoping. They have a new “you didn’t build that,” a new “spread the wealth around,” and they’re going to wring everything they can out of it.
He’s right, I’m sure. But I’m betting they’ll meet with similar levels of success with their latest chew-toy. Which is to say, zero outside the wingnut echo chamber. Please proceed, Governor.
This unfortunate gun show ad placement isn’t even the first one that has occurred next to a story about the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.
I think John Cole was right when he said nothing would change until displaying an NRA sticker becomes as toxic as claiming KKK membership. But the NRA, even after Wayne LaPierre’s psychotic presser, has a 54% approval rating in the US. I confess I do not get that. At all.
President Obama seems serious about wanting to address gun violence. But his wording in that interview with Dancing Dave was interesting. He said:
“We’re not going to get this done unless the American people decide it’s important and so this is not going to be a matter of me spending political capital. One of the things that you learn having now been in this office for four years. The old adage of Abraham Lincoln’s, ‘with public opinion there is nothing you can’t do and without public opinion there is very little you can get done in this town.’”
I think most people do want to get military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines off the market. But already, less than a month after 26 people, including 20 first graders, were mowed down at school by a lunatic with a Bushmaster, it seems like the urgency to act is fading.
Maybe placement of gun show ads next to stories about gun atrocities means nothing more than careless editorial oversight. Or maybe guns are so embedded in our national psyche that more than half of us really don’t see much of a difference between a gun and a car, except a need to closely regulate only the one with wheels.
Ordnance-obssessed* yokels, the NRA has a jobs program for you, and it’s the gubmint what’ll bring it, for the sake of the cheeeeldrin! Put down your Gadsden flags and march yourselves right over to the nearest Board Of Education, and apply for the enormous new KiddieShield Jobs Program, which not only will pay you to skulk about your toddler’s school hallways with the firearm of your dreams, but will pay NRA instructors to train you in operation of same! Everybody wins! Not a single pedagogical center should be unsecured by this nation’s Nimrods, not if we care for our most precious resource—uh, kids.
Pity poor Wayne LaPierre: he cannot comprehend the lack of imagination displayed by the wayward lefty press, who cannot, for a moment, even picture how Sandy Hook might have been even a little bit less tragic if Adam Lanza had encountered a hail of gunfire from QuickDraw McArmedGuards like the ones who didn’t prevent Columbine. He also cannot comprehend the nation’s fervid imaginings of how very much less tragic Sandy Hook might have been if Adam Lanza didn’t have access to a gun that burps 6 bullets a second.
*correct spelling of “ordnance” h/t Quaker in a Basement….I missed my NRA Ballistics Terminology Seminar, because I wasn’t Raised Right.
Huh? How many times will a loosely-bolted-together near-human take an easily available weapon and large amounts of nearly-unregulated ammo to turn a random mostly-safe community space into a bloodbath of passers-by?
What the f*** does it take, Wayne LaPierre, you greedy intransigent gun-lobby whore? How many innocent people have to needlessly die?
Unfortunately, the weasels in the government and the media are unwilling to address the “elephant in the room”, which is the easy availability of high-powered, high-capacity firearms in this country. The gun lobby is just too goddamn powerful for the lily-livered lapdogs in the corridors of power to oppose… they merely wring their hands and whine, “It’s too soon to talk about gun control. Think of the families!” These families just had their young children killed, talking about gun control won’t make them feel any more grief. Eighteen dead children? What the hell does the ghoulish Wayne Lapierre care about eighteen dead children? Wayne Lapierre is raking in too much blood money to be concerned with eighteen dead children.
Of course, gun fetishists will insist that the right to bear arms is enshrined in the Constitution, but that is a crock of malarky… as I noted in my last post about a mass killing, the gun nuts typically omit the first clause of the Second Amendment. In its entirety, the Second Amendment reads:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Here is my proposal… call it “Second Amendment strict constructionism to make Conservatives lose it: If you want a gun, you must be a member of a well regulated militia, and not a nutbag Turner DiariesLARPer B.S. militia. You would have to register your gun with state or local authorities, and show up for periodic (monthly or quarterly) muster, receiving training, safety instruction, and an evaluation of your fitness to bear that weapon. No regulation, no arms. It’s as simple as that. Having no regulation of arms is the unconstitutional position… “conservative” distortions notwithstanding.
Later this morning, I’m going to be surrounded by dozens of children the ages of the children who were killed in the Newton, Connecticut massacre. After our classes, everybody - children, parents, coaches, counsellors - will be assembling for a lovely party to celebrate the holidays, before the program goes on hiatus for two weeks. While I surely hope that the kids will be blissfully unaware of the horrors that unfolded sixty miles to the northeast, I will make a point of greeting each of them by name, and bidding each of them an individual farewell before we part. All the while, I’ll know deep down that, even though my friends and I have been giving them the wherewithal to deal with bullies, the guy whose instruction will really be helpful if they encounter a genuinely dangerous situation is Jerry, the track coach.
When there is a thriving market in weapons specifically designed for killing lots of people in a short time, when you have the industry and its lobbyists and its affiliated political movement encouraging the purchase of weapons and ammunition, then it seems odd to label the people who buy and use the weapons according to directions as “disturbed”. It’s a form of disturbance that is in tune with your society.
I fear you nailed it, old chum… it’s this societal sickness that makes me so heartsick.
Note: I cleaned up the language somewhat, in deference to my gracious hosts. I posted a slightly “saltier” version at my eponymous hideaway.
I suppose if there’s one silver lining to come from Susan Rice’s decision to withdraw her name from the running for Hillary Clinton’s replacement as Secretary of State, it’s that Sen. John McCain has to stop his tantrum regarding her. (Oh, but how long before the next tantrum commences?) I suppose I can see where people are coming from if they feel a little ripped off that she didn’t get further in the process because it just feels like giving in to the angry old GOP bastards, and who wants to give them an inch? On the other hand, I lean towards this being her decision to make, and getting out before it gets uglier (as McCain was threatening) is very sensible.
But where does the White House go from here regarding SoS Search? I know the current narrative is the next at-bat goes to Sen. John Kerry, because that’s who the Old Boys’ Club deems acceptable, and also they want a crack at slipping Scott Brown back into the Senate. Me, I don’t see why Obama doesn’t consider Samatha Power. (Well, actually I kind of do. I must be part troll that I’d be looking forward to “Shit-show 2: Power Boogaloo”, because if the GOP wanted to shit-stir regarding Power, well, I guess they would. But I’m a blogger and that’s blog-fodder. I’m capricious like that.)
But regarding the idea that Sen. Kerry accepting a role as SoS necessarily means losing that seat, I’m not convinced. The people of the Commonwealth have seen Brown’s act, and it’s not like there isn’t anyone who could run against him. I rather like the idea of Barney Frank in the Senate (we should be so lucky!). Although more than a few people on Twitter have mentioned Rep. Ed Markey, who I also rather like.
The Truth is both sad and inescapable: our sagacious forebears left us only two devices by which to reliably divine our future as a collective species—(1) a wonky paleolithic calendar so wobbly and complex it runs out of dates before the end of time, and (2) a Stone Age alarm clock that scares Anglo Saxons and only goes off on weekends.
As we feared, both the Mayan calendar and Stonehenge concur that this year’s Christmas is going to be indefinitely postponed. This year, don’t bother watching It’s A Wonderful Life, just drink buckets of plum wine and go caroling nude.
Dave Brubeck, the 91-year-old jazz wizard who ruled the mystical Mordor of my mind in the ‘50s and ‘60s, died today from heart failure. Dave and his various trios and quartets kept me company for thousands of hours in my impressionable youth. It’s hard to see him go, but I ask God to bless him for everything he gave us while he was here.
I approach the story of the demise of Hostess Brands with some trepidation because I am just not a fan of their foodstuffs. It’s not the food I was raised on. It’s not that I never ate Twinkies or Wonder Bread—I’ve eaten them. But I come from the land of TastyKake and Amoroso rolls. A Twinkie is like nothing compared to even a Butterscotch Krimpet. Please! Can Wonder Bread contain the glory that is a cheesesteak or a meatball sub?
No. These just aren’t the foods of my youth, and although I understand the nostalgia other people may have for them, their feeling of loss is not mine. And these days, unless I have the opportunity to eat some freaking great pizza, I’m not all that that hot on gluten, anyway. Or, for that matter, mass-produced baked goods that contain petroleum products. But leaving aside my developing consciousness about factory foods, how they are made possible by factory farming, and how we’ve come to accept highly refined chemical products as ingredients in our foods with little regard to how it impacts our bodies (whew, am I a freaking killjoy, or what?), the story of the supposed death of Twinkie the Kid is probably premature and more a story about (cake) makers and (money) takers.
If you were to ask the owners of Hostess Brands, they would have you believe that the union (read: the people who make the bread, cakes, etc.) are to blame for the demise of the company, due to a strike that impaired the company’s profitability*. The actual story is a bit more complex than that—and a good take on it is found at Forbes:
Hostess has been sold at least three times since the 1980s, racking up debt and shedding profitable assets along the way with each successive merger. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2004, and again in 2011. Little thought was given to the line of products, which, frankly, began to seem a bit dated in the age of the gourmet cupcake. (100 calorieTwinkie Bites? When was the last time you enteredMagnolia Bakery and asked about the calorie count?)
As if all this were not enough, Hostess Brands’ management gave themselves several raises, all the while complaining that the workers who actually produced the products that made the firm what money it did earn were grossly overpaid relative to the company’s increasingly dismal financial position.
In other words, while the employees were in the business of making the products (and they actually did make compensation concessions in previous rounds), the management took. They rewarded themselves for failure. And in the long run, the employees are the ones out of a job.
And yet the brand names or properties of “Twinkies” or “Wonder Bread” still have saleable value. Other companies will compete for the rights to make those products, and they probably will be manufactured outside of the United States and shipped all over the world. And for some reason, they will sell. People will buy them. As if nothing had happened.
Lesson: employees are disposable, managers should be paid regardless of performance, and Twinkies are immortal (even if their indefinite shelf life is an urban legend).
Is that the way it should be? Meh. It is the way it is. I’m ready for “Occupy Cake”. Make your own Twinkies and Wonder-like bread at home, if that’s what you like. Or patronize your local bakeries. (Or even discover the gustatory wonders of your local loam; motto “Locavore, locavore, locavore”—Washington apples like a baby’s head. Cranberry preserves on cheese from a dairy farm near you. Honey complete with comb in a clean little jar from your nearest co-op. Figs from your own tree, crepes from eggs whose chickens you have personally met.)
I know that isn’t a possibility for everybody owing to availability and price issues. But it would be neat if the business model Hostess followed was eaten out of house and home.
*NB: A strike actually is supposed to impair the profitability of a company, to smack the management over the head with the realization of who actually does the heavy lifting around here. This smack came too late for Hostess. Just a thing to chew over.
Let me open this by saying that I have nothing in particular against Charles Krauthammer. Indeed, I have a lot of respect for his career achievements—the man has racked up most of the “serious journalist” credentials that any writer can. But, Mr. K is human and, as such, subject to emotion and occasional error and, apparently, the results of the 2012 Presidential Election were shocking enough to derail even a “serious man” like Charles Krauthammer.
Krauthammer’s first foray into the post-election “light” was to reassure Republicans that they had gotten nothing wrong outside of subtlety, perhaps, and that their candidate, Mr Willard Romney was a generally swell fellow who would have made a generally swell Chief Executive. Seriously? Mr. K has also hastened to reassure the GOP that President Obama’s win means nothing, in the grand scheme of things. Obama has no mandate, he has no plan and he’ll be over before they know it. SNAP!
Close on the heels of that nugget of political “good advice,” came Mr Krauthammer’s rather patronizing opinion that Hispanics are just a big happy crowd of wanna-be-Republicans in brown-face who will follow you anywhere if you shout “Amnesty” at them. The basis for Mr. Krauthammer’s estimation that Hispanics are “natural Republicans” is that they are hardworking, family oriented people with “traditional” values, unlike the rest of us. His conceit is that the Republican Party holds the moral high ground in the country and therefore should be the tent that “all the best people” flock to.
One might expect that Krauthammer could have worked out most of his Obama-animus with those screeds and exited with a portion of dignity still intact, but he wasn’t finished with Obama by a long shot, because his nose for a “BIG story” led him right to the Petraeus Affair—and his absurd little conspiracy theory about how the Obama administration blackmailed and then sacrificed the god-like Petraeus to cover up Obama’s “incompetent” handling of the Benghazi attack.
I have no snark at all regarding the monster-storm that has the Mid-Atlantic (holler!) and New England states in a state of downward hunkering right now. I spent a few hours this afternoon making sure my outdoor container plants and lawn furniture weren’t transformed into projectiles by the high winds expected, and that my fridge was properly full of bottled water and beer. At this point, if you know you’re in the path of it, hopefully you’ve stocked up on canned goods, batteries, and the like. My spouse very thoughtfully pointed out the location of every flashlight in the house to me and we got out the old fashioned non-cordless phone as well as charging all our cells. Luckily, our house is all above ground level and we’re in Philadelphia (our power doesn’t usually stay off long—I’ve lived in the ‘burbs, and there’s a real difference.)
I could get into whether this storm is a sign of global warming (well, yeah) or what we can expect (apparently, something weird and unprecedented), or even relate the impending awfulness to the election (by reminding you all once again that a certain candidate thought states should take responsibility in disasters—give your own particular local governments a good long look, friends, and shudder along with me, hm?), but instead I think this should be more of a “check-in” thread.
“General Powell, you disappoint us and you have harmed your legacy even further by defending what is clearly the most feckless foreign policy in my lifetime.”
Thus spaketh the Emperor Walnuts, depicted above standing a heartbeat away from noted foreign policy expert Winkerbelle Von Putinspotter.
Curiously, at that very instant, thousands of miles away, in a luxury Dallas condo, another scion of a more accomplished father woke up from a nap, choked up a pretzel, and called, “Laura, git me a Q-tip er somethin—there’s fire ants in mah ears!”