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are you fucking kidding me?

Hello, there. I thought I’d resurface with an installment of WTF Wednesday. I hope this serves as a nice counter balance to the holly jolly Christmas cheer, as manifested by the non-stop Christmas music ringing in your ears, that’s making you, even though you don’t want to admit it, a little bit dizzy. Or maybe even stabby.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by people who love you and whom you love. I hope that you have finished all the left-over in the fridge or at least the pies that you left outside in a Tupperware container because there was no space in your fridge. I hope you now finally have space in your fridge for the more important things in life. I mean, beer, white wine, Franzie, etc. of course. I hope that you have by now managed to feel less bloated so you can fully enjoy the said beverages without other stuff such as meat and stuffings in the way.

I received an email from our local food pantry today: “There has been a tremendous response to the call for food donation. As a result, the food pantry is inundated with donations and is in great need for help to sort all the food in order to stock the pantry.”

You ask: How hard is it to just stick the cans and boxes onto the shelves? And why is it such an emergency?

Basically, the shelves are empty because all of the food is on the floor of the sorting room waiting to be processed.

The food needs to be processed before they can be put on the shelves because people are crazy.

Yup. You heard me.

Some people must think that poor people will eat just about anything. You know, as the saying goes: Beggars can’t be choosers? So they bring in everything from their pantry that they do not want and yet cannot bring themselves to throw away.

Rusty jars. Torn packages. Dog food mixed with a box of people food.

The volunteers have to open up every single jar of peanut butter because somehow people love to donate half-eaten jars. My son found two today. And it’s his first time there. Bingo!

And you know what? Stop buying green beans. It seems that what most people do is buy green beans, leave them on the shelf at home, and then donate them whenever there is a food drive. Come on. If you don’t like green beans, don’t buy them, because chances are the poor people and their poor children do not like them either.

Most of the time is spent on inspecting the expiration dates. Here is my plea to the FDA or whatever government agency in charge of this: Please dictate a date format and a set of standard locations for putting the expiration dates on food packages. Really. Go into your own pantry and time how long it takes you to find the expiration date for everything in there and to decipher the alphanumeric string.

The oldest expiration date I saw today? 2006.

2.0.0.6.

That’s like, oh I don’t know, half a decade ago. A baby has grown up enough to enter Kindergarten during all those years when that can was sitting inside your house post-expiration.

(Blogger’s Note: I went back again today and won the top prize:  A can with the expiration date of 2002. Apparently though even that is not the oldest the regular volunteers have seen there.)

Being Chinese, I understand the inability to throw away food. I really do. Heck, the folk tale tradition tells us that one of the main responsibilities of the God of Thunder is to strike people who waste food. You throw away food, you get smitten to death.

However, let’s think about this: These people are already unable to afford basic meals. Hello? That’s why they come to the food pantry in the first place. What do you think will happen when they eat your shitty food and become ill? It’s much worse than if you have not tried to help.

So here is the shocker: the expired food does get identified and thrown away. Oh yes. Don’t think you can sneak one in: Oh, maybe they won’t notice… so you don’t feel bad about wasting food. Any time the volunteer spends on reading that expiration date is time not spent on stocking food on the pantry shelves for families in need of help.

 

I can totally see Fox News headline: SHOCKING REVELATION ABOUT POOR PEOPLE IN AMERICA!

Megyn Kelly: Poor people not really poor. They refuse to accept expired canned goods!

Bill O’Reilly: I remember in the good ol’ days when there were only good ol’ hard-working American people in this country, we ate expired food all the time and we grew up fine. It’s all those Liberal’s fault: putting such a Socialist idea into the poor’s heads that they should say NO to a perfectly good ol’ can of green beans with an expiration date of 2010.

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I first published this post in 2009 and reposted it in November 2010. Every year, as early as towards the end of October, I found myself aghast coming face to face with Christmas merchandise and sometimes even MUSIC when the leaves are still sporting brilliant red and yellow.

Seriously? What the F people?

What about Thanksgiving? You know, the quintessential American holiday? The way I see it, FAUX NEWS should be carrying this “Bring Thanksgiving Back” flag if they talk about being the TRUE Americans all the fucking damn time.

The following is my now annual (so it seems *sigh*) tirade against the demise of the significance of Thanksgiving in the face of overwhelming commercialism…

Yeah tirade! Aren’t you glad that I am back in more ways than one?!

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I started campaigning for a forced postponement, a temporary deferral, of celebrating Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving Day four five six years ago.  I even registered for the domain name: BringBackThanksgiving.com (which is still available… I am sad to confirm… Any takers?)  I stopped paying for it after two years when I realized that with a full time job and three boys to take care of, I simply did not have the capacity to deal with Microsoft FrontPage. (Yikes. Do you remember the days, the days before Blogger, WordPress, etc. when one had to use a software such as FrontPage in order to have one’s own website? *shudder*)

“Curb your enthusiasm!” I beseech you.  “As you recover from the sugar high from all the Halloween candies.  As you dispose of the spider webs, the goblins, the mummy tombs, the rotten carved pumpkins.”

Please, oh, please don’t switch directly from Orange and Black to Red and Green.  However tempting it is when you move all the Halloween boxes down to your basement and see all the Christmas boxes beckoning at you. The smiling Santa with the chubby cheeks.  The snowman. The reindeer.  Resist the temptation: Didn’t Jesus die on the cross partly to teach us this lesson?  Be strong for the sake of your children.

The children need you to show them that, Yes, you believe in the meaning and significance of Thanksgiving Day. Yes, it is important that we take one day out to deliberately remember and show gratitude to all the people who add meanings to our lives, to all the material goods that we are blessed enough to own. To strangers who give you a smile in the street and thus brighten your day. To strangers who by merely doing their jobs are making the world a better, safer place.

My heart aches upon seeing houses adorned with Christmas lights right after, sometimes even before, Halloween.  Of course I am not intimating that the homeowners are therefore not thankful.  No siree.  I am simply dismayed that the significance of Thanksgiving, the arguably ONE holiday that we should all be able to agree on and celebrate, is undermined sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas.

(I admit: I may be putting my foot in my mouth by saying this. I have no clear idea how the native Americans take this holiday though I suspect there must be a lot of conflicting feelings. Do they sometimes wish that Squanto were not so kind as to assist the pilgrims? FWIW, by reading “Thanksgiving: A Native American View” and “Teaching About Thanksgiving“, I am convinced that Thanksgiving is indeed deeper and bigger than just the Pilgrims and the Indians… I hope I do not offend should anyone of Native American descent stops by this post…)

I blame the turkey.

You heard me right. It is the turkey’s fault. In terms of merchandising, turkeys are just not as attractive as say, bunnies, chicks, Santa Clause, snowman, reindeer, and so on.  I have not seen any child hugging a plush Turkey toy lovingly.

turkey

To be honest, that red thing hanging down the throat freaks me out.  Pardon me for being crass, but it always reminds me of testicles. I don’t know why. But it does.

Many, especially Hallmark (bless their heart!), have tried to turn the turkey into an adorable icon:  but seriously, how adorable can you make a turkey?

Turkey for eating

Even more sickening is that in these cutesy depictions of turkeys, they are all forced to celebrate the event in which they will be slaughtered, cooked and eaten! The abomination!

No cute icons, no easy way for merchandising. No easy way for merchandising, no rampant commidification of Thanksgiving. No rampant commidification of Thanksgiving, no shelf space at your local drugstores and grocery stores.

(I am grateful for no longer being in the academia which affords me the opportunity to posit theories full of holes and preaches them on the Internet with no qualms… I am like Glenn Beck on an anti-Turkey path…)

But with your help, we can stem the tide.  We can start it from inside of our homes.

Perhaps we can all start a tradition of having each one of the family members mention one thing that they are grateful for, every day, in the month of November.  No matter how small or how trivial.

Perhaps we can start a quiet movement to resist the Red and Green color scheme from popping up inside of our own houses. Until the day after Thanksgiving.

On the morning of November 26 this year (because November 25, Black Friday, is reserved for Competitive Shopping, or most likely, nursing a stomach ache and hangover headache), I am moving up the Christmas Tree from our basement first thing in the morning.  I am really looking forward to it. And to optimize my effort of transforming my house into a winter wonderland for Christmas, I shall keep the decorations up until after Valentine’s day. Thank goodness for the lllloooonnnngggg winter here. That is, of course, until one of you starts a campaign for bringing back Valentine’s Day…


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I was as naive as could be. And possibly stupid. I now realized.

When I first read the op-ed by Warren Buffett in New York Times, “Stop Coddling the Super Rich”, on 14 August, in which Buffett expounded on the concept of “shared sacrifices” and argued for tax increase for the super wealthy, himself included, I thought, BRAVO! Now this should be a plan that at least 98% of the population can get behind of.

I would leave rates for 99.7 percent of taxpayers unchanged and continue the current 2-percentage-point reduction in the employee contribution to the payroll tax. This cut helps the poor and the middle class, who need every break they can get.

But for those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.

 

He ended his well-reasoned proposal with this plea:

My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.

 

Why was I surprised that Fox News immediately rose up in arms and accused Buffett of inciting CLASS WARFARE (ironically when they are themselves the ones that continue to use such figures of speech)? The rhetorics employed by these pundits left me gagging and in shock.

 

(For those who cannot watch the video, here is the partial list of Fox News clips included in this Daily Show segment. You can find the entire transcript on Daily Kos)

NEIL CAVUTO (8/15/2011): Warren Buffett, writing how the rich should pay more taxes, but saying not a word about the half of American households that pay no income taxes at all.

STUART VARNEY (8/18/2011): Is that fair, when half the population pays absolutely nothing?

SEN. JOHN CORNYN, R-TX (7/7/2011): 51%, that’s a majority of American households, paid no income tax in 2009. Zero. Zip. Nada.

NEAL BOORTZ (6/1/2011): Many of them get so much money in tax credits … that it wipes out any Social Security taxes or Medicare taxes they’re paying. They are absolutely on a free ride.

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER (7/11/2011): … broaden the tax base …

MICHELE BACHMANN (7/11/2011): Everyone needs to pay something.

NEIL CAVUTO (8/6/2011): Before you start demanding one group pay more, maybe get everyone to put skin in the game.

ROBERT RECTOR, HERITAGE FOUNDATION (7/19/2011): When you look at the actual living conditions of the 43 million people that the Census says are poor, you see that in fact they have all these modern conveniences.

STUART VARNEY (7/19/2011): Poor families in the United States are not what they used to be. 99% of them have a refrigerator. 81% have a microwave; 78% have air conditioning; 63% have cable TV; 54% have cell phones; 48% have a coffee maker; 25% have a dishwasher.

 

[The technical definition of being poor is a family of four with an income of $22,350 a year.]

 

NEAL BOORTZ (7/6/2011): It is all-out war on the productive class in our society for the benefit of the moocher class.

JOHN STOSSEL (10/12/2010): The makers, and the takers.

BILL O’REILLY (10/12/2010): They want to take it from somebody else.

LAURA INGRAHAM (6/29/2011): Everyone’s jumping in the wagon, no one wants to pull.

NEAL BOORTZ (6/22/2011): … parasites we have out there depending on government …

NEBRASKA ATTY. GEN. JON BRUNING (8/18/2011): The raccoons, they’re not stupid, they’re going to do the easy way if we make it easy for them, just like welfare recipients all across America.

ANN COULTER (8/15/2011): Welfare will create generations of utterly irresponsible animals.

 

[The bottom 50% of the people, the moochers, the takers? They control 2.5% of the wealth. ]

 

What happened to Compassionate Conservatism? Remember that? They don’t even bother to pretend to care any more?

As I laughed at Jon Stewart’s sardonic commentaries, at the same time, I felt my eyes burning. Out of frustration. Out of shame. Yes, I feel ashamed for these people. The Haves. The “class” that I belong to. All I could do to calm myself the fuck down was to recite these lines that Joseph Welch said to Joseph McCarthy during one of the infamous hearings:

 Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

 

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The Real American Idols

May 30, 2011 mark my word: twitter will doom us all

Source: I saw this cartoon via Paul Rieckhoff today.   My 13-year-old is working on a debate project for school. His topic? Support for Death Penalty. (He has turned in a written article against death penalty last week. The teacher wants them to be able to argue from both sides for the topic they are […]

9 comments

“I have a spare tire in my car.”

May 26, 2011 imho is just a polite way to say I know you don't give a hoot what I think but I'm going to say it anyway

I don’t know what else to say. I will just quote extensively from this news report from KSN News 3 on May 25, 2011. Sometime in May Representatives in Topeka, Kansas “were debating a bill that would ban insurance companies from offering abortion coverage in regular health plans. The bill, that was signed into law […]

25 comments

WTF Wednesday? Duh. Winning!

March 2, 2011 random

This is a cheap shot and oh so predictable. But I need to pay homage to the latest Interweb sensation and not only an awesome Internet meme in the making but a generous provider of meme material. Yes, my friend. I am talking about Charlie Sheen. My apology indeed. I know most of you are […]

77 comments

“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”

February 4, 2011 imho is just a polite way to say I know you don't give a hoot what I think but I'm going to say it anyway

. . . . . But, Wait, There is more! Inspired by Vapid Blonde’s brilliant idea in her comment, that Papa Bear’s words when read out loud could sound almost like a children’s book, I present you with these… . . .

39 comments

WTF Wednesday: These boots are made for walking

November 10, 2010 a picture is worth a thousand words
32 comments

A Long Way Home

November 1, 2010 imho is just a polite way to say I know you don't give a hoot what I think but I'm going to say it anyway

Here is something that amused me for an entire hour the other day: Go to google map, search for Directions from China to Taiwan. Take a look at Direction Number 55. Here, I have taken the liberty to show you a composite screenshot. I am awesome like this. . . Before you sneer at how easily […]

18 comments

Reality bites. No. Reality kicked my ass.

October 19, 2010 no manual for parenting

There is no other way around it: I am a hypocrite. Isn’t it an ironic coincidence that after my holier-than-thou tirade against bullying and my immagonnakickyourpunkass battle cry, my 12-year-old son told me tonight that he has been called all sorts of names at school? Names such as gay, nerd, retard. Hurled at him, in […]

50 comments