By now, we have all heard about the national, and even global movement known as “Occupy Wall Street”. Ever since I first heard about this group of people, I kept asking the question, “What exactly do they want?” or “What do they aim to accomplish?”. They seemed to be very vague in the complaints that I had heard, saying things about how corporate greed is ruining America and “We are the 99%!” which is my personal favorite, because I found it kind of funny that they chose to target only the top 1% of earners in this country. Why the top 1%? It seems so arbitrary to me, what made them choose that number? So the guy who’s barely in the 98th percentile is a completely trustworthy, non-greedy person, but if his neighbor is grossing 10k more a year and is bumped into the 99th percentile he’s automatically a soulless, greedy son of a bitch? It gets me every time.
So, when my friend and devoted Pete Magete Blog reader David posted this link in the comments of my “New Beginnings” post, I was delighted to find out just how ridiculous the demands of the Occupy Wall Street movement truly are. I realize that this site may be embellishing these demands a bit for comedy’s sake, and perhaps certain groups with the OWS movement would even disagree with large portions of this list, but that’s kind of part of the unintentional comedy here, that there’s no true organization or leadership for this protest. So, just for fun, let’s go through them, one by one, with my commentary (you wouldn’t be reading this unless you wanted it, right?).
Repeal the Taft-Hartley Act. Unionize ALL workers immediately. You know, because unions are the exact opposite of greed. They always work hard despite measures put in place to prevent them from ever getting fired, and they never insist on getting their own way or asking for more with a stunt like, say, a strike!
Raise the minimum wage immediately to $18/hr. Create a maximum wage of $90/hr to eliminate inequality. Call me crazy, but I actually like to enjoy the McDonald’s dollar menu or the ability to buy affordable groceries, and don’t really think the high school dropouts with no discernible skills who are employed by the fast food restaurants and supermarkets are deserving of anything more than the standard minimum wage. And as for the $90/hr cap, last time I checked 90>18, rather than 90=18. Isn’t this still inequality?
Institute a 6 hour workday, and 6 weeks of paid vacation. Well, working 6 hours a day, and 46 weeks a year is at least a big improvement over never working while sitting in a park and protesting 24/7. This demand reminds me of this.
Institute a moratorium on all foreclosures and layoffs immediately. Mortgage payments? Don’t worry about ’em! Your company is losing money and can’t afford everybody’s salaries and benefits? Too bad for them, you’ve got job security!
Repeal racist and xenophobic English-only laws. On a serious note, I’m pretty sympathetic to the plight of immigrants, and I guess I don’t really know enough about these “English-only laws” that they’re referring to to really defend or condemn them, but I’ll just say this: I don’t mind hearing immigrants speak their native tongues amongst themselves or whatever, but it’s only for their own good that they learn to speak English. It’s the language of the American society and mainstream American culture, so can we all agree that the immigrants should do their best to learn it, and we’ll all be patient and give them the benefit of the doubt in the meantime?
Open the borders to all immigrants, legal or illegal. Offer immediate, unconditional amnesty, to all undocumented residents of the US. The idea of completely opening up the border to legal or illegal immigrants is completely ridiculous. Every country in the world monitors its borders, why should we be so different? Where on earth do these batshits get off suggesting the US is xenophobic and anti-immigrant because we actually want to keep drugs and terrorists out of our country?
Create a single-payer, universal health care system. This one, while I completely disagree with it, at least is more of an ideological opinion, rather than absolute lunacy. Score one for the 99%!
Pass stricter campaign finance reform laws. Ban all private donations. All campaigns will receive equal funding, provided by the taxpayers. Similar to the last demand. And I can see their angle here: they don’t want powerful corporations buying themselves political favors down the road. Dang, these are so much more fun when they’re completely insane.
Institute a negative income tax, and tax the very rich at rates up to 90%. I’m not sure, but I’m guessing a negative income tax means some people will actually be given more money from the government, and then this 90% tax of the rich would put our top earning $90/hour workers at $9/hour. Hey, isn’t that half of the minimum wage of $18/hour? I’m confused. Either way, this is a demand that Karl Marx would be proud of.
Pass far stricter environmental protection and animal rights laws. I’m gonna have to disagree with that one. I think our country takes a fairly strict stance on environmental protection, and has pretty screwed up priorities when Michael Vick is the most hated player in the NFL for killing a few dogs, despite the fact that there are players who killed people and may or may not have raped some chicks (I’m looking at you Donte Stallworth and Ben Roethlisberger).
Allow workers to elect their supervisors. That sounds like fun. I vote for the guy who lets us leave at noon every Friday and allows for unlimited “sick days”. Also, my theoretical new boss is an advocate of the daily post-lunch siesta to get us through the last couple hours of the workday.
Lower the retirement age to 55. Increase Social Security benefits. There is no end in sight for these imaginary funds! Keep the demands coming!
Create a 5% annual wealth tax for the very rich. Compared to the 90% we’re already taxing them on their wages, this is practically a gift from Uncle Sam to the rich. Maybe that number needs to be higher…
Ban the private ownership of land. This one kind of puzzles me when they already asked for a “moratorium” on foreclosures. This seems like a massive foreclosure for all.
Make homeschooling illegal. Religious fanatics use it to feed their children propaganda. I don’t personally believe in homeschooling, but I don’t mind those families that do. And let me tell you, if you’re not smart enough to figure out how to brainwash your child with propaganda even without bogus homeschooling curriculum, than you just aren’t very bright. News flash: kids are dumb.
Reduce the age of majority to 16. Ummm…I don’t think so. As someone who was 16, I think I’m justified in saying that 16-year-olds are almost as dumb as kids. They basically are kids, and that’s why they don’t need any more responsibility or liberties.
Abolish the death penalty and life in prison. We call for the immediate release of all death row inmates from death row and transferred to regular prisons. While I personally disagree with the death penalty, I still think people need to be adequately punished for their crimes. Life in prison is one way that can happen without eliminating the possibility of correcting the courts’ mistakes if someone was wrongly incarcerated. I’m not really sure why the OWS movement would be against life imprisonment, but it makes me wonder how long is too long by their standard?
Immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. Well, I think Iraq is actually happening, whether it’s “immediate” or not. Can we thank the 99% for this one?
Abolish the debt limit. Just keep on spending more than what we have. That seems like a brilliant idea. And then we can just print more money to pay off those debts! Post WWI Germany anyone?
Ban private gun ownership. Aside from the fact that this is completely against the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution, it also resembles the practice of the Nazis of controlling who was allowed to own guns so as not to allow an uprising. Yikes.
Strengthen the separation of church and state. Like the environmental protection laws, I’d say the separation is strong enough. Let’s move on.
Immediate debt forgiveness for all. Maybe that’s why they don’t want a debt limit for our nation, because they think that when they grant everyone forgiveness of debts, somehow the other countries will forgive our debts to them. These people need a strong dose of reality.
End the ‘War on Drugs’. Aha! We finally get to the bottom of it! The OWS movement is really just all about a bunch of hippies trying to legally smoke more dope! But in all seriousness, I don’t think the War on Drugs is perfect and I personally am for the legalization of marijuana, but I don’t think we should just allow every drug dealer out there to run amok with no consequences, because the organized crime would only continue to gain power and influence and eventually cause much bigger problems within politics and law enforcement than it already does.
Well, there you have it. The most ridiculous Christmas list anyone could come up with. I leave you with a very entertaining video on the subject. Merry Christmas!
I have a confession to make, and I make it with not the slightest bit of shame: I love fast food. I know it’s horrible for me, but I figure that I’m young and still have a decent enough metabolism to handle a few trips a week to the fast food joint when I’m craving something greasy and delicious and I don’t feel like making it myself. I know a lot of people look down on fast food, because they say it’s low quality and it will make you feel sick. I see where they’re coming from, but what cracks me up is when these people lie to themselves by saying that the food is gross so that they won’t indulge themselves. Like I said, I think fast food is great, and I don’t care who knows it!
About a month ago or so, a delicious new sandwich was introduced by Kentucky Fried Chicken that immediately had my eyes popping out of my head when I saw it. I’m sure you’ve all heard of the “Double Down” and how it’s loaded with calories and especially sodium. When I finally made my pilgrimage to KFC to try this fabled sandwich, I walked up to the counter and when I was asked what I wanted, I simply replied, “The Double Down”. Before the girl behind the counter could respond to me, another KFC employee who would be best described as a 300 pound “Pat” (he/she sounded a lot like a woman, but mostly looked like a man. I honestly can’t guess either way) from further back behind the counter immediately interjected, “It’s the best thing you’ll ever eat!” The girl taking my order also mentioned at least twice that the Double Down was awesome. I realize that they could have been toeing the company line by promoting their own products, but I had just received the ringing endorsement of a sandwich from someone who had clearly enjoyed all that KFC had to offer at one point or another and so I knew I had a winner on my hands before I even got to bring it home and sink my teeth into it. I hope that story didn’t come off as mean spirited, because I’m just being honest about not being able to figure out the employee’s gender, and let’s not kid ourselves and pretend that someone who works at KFC doesn’t eat a lot of KFC. Anyhow, after hearing that statement of “It’s the best thing you’ll ever eat!” and then me going on to love that sandwich like it was my first born son, I began to ponder where the Double Down should rank amongst the great fast food sandwiches of my lifetime. Since not every delicious fast food comes in the form of a sandwich, I’m including those as well in this top ten list. Let’s do this.
10. Steak Quesadilla – Taco Bell
I’ve actually never been a huge fan of Taco Bell despite loving Mexican food. Although, that’s probably because it’s not really anything like authentic Mexican food. However, my love of the steak quesadillas at T-Bell is enough for me to crave that restaurant every now and then to get my Mexican fast food fix. I think one of the reasons why I love them so much is because they contain only meat, cheese, and that delicious sauce inside the grilled tortilla (no vegetables, specifically onions).
9. The Big Carl – Carl’s Jr.
Carl’s Jr. decided to rip off the Big Mac, and I am so grateful that they did. They removed the middle piece of bread, flame broiled the burger patties, and can’t quite pull off the special sauce exactly, but the most important change is actually the biggest improvement: they use way bigger patties of beef, and so the Big Carl doesn’t leave me so hungry like the not so appropriately named Big Mac does. I hope the Big Carl is here to stay, because I don’t like Carl’s Jr. too much besides this sandwich.
8. The Whopper – Burger King
Of course, my favorite version of The Whopper is the triple Whopper with cheese minus the pickles and onions. It’s Burger King’s classic flame broiled burger, and they do it quite well. Add an order of their french fries on the side, and it’s a satisfying meal to say the least.
7. The Baconnator – Wendy’s
Unless you’re a strict orthodox Jew or a Muslim, you really can’t argue with the logic of the Baconnator (even the name sounds sinful). Just take something awesome, a Wendy’s double cheeseburger, and then throw enough strips of bacon on there to make Jim Gaffigan blush. I applaud thee, Wendy’s, for this magnificent sandwich that has earned the number seven spot on my list.
6. Steak Burrito – Chipotle
I have to admit, I kind of didn’t like Chipotle very much when I first started going there. I don’t know how it happened, but almost overnight everything changed and one time I went there and I loved their burritos, and couldn’t figure out why I didn’t like them before. Chipotle’s big weakness is that since they don’t have a side that can compare to french fries (and even if you want chips and salsa or guacamole, you would have to pay extra and end up with a meal costing nearly $10 with a drink) and so I always end up hungry after eating one of their small (in my opinion) burritos. I was so hungry once, that I immediately went back up to the counter and ordered a second and threw that down (I was full, but not stuffed). If they could stop skimping on the amounts of meat, cheese, and sour cream, I would be tempted to eat there far more often, and this burrito would be higher on this list.
5. McKinley Mac – McDonald’s
I mentioned earlier that the Big Carl was an improved Big Mac because it has more meat. Well up here in Alaska, they decided to give the state’s McDonald’s’s (how do you make that plural?) a signature sandwich that is basically just a Big Mac with quarter pound beef patties. It’s fantastic. I love Big Macs, but they are too small and overpriced, but the McKinley Mac allows me to be satisfied and enjoy that great Big Mac flavor. It’s the redeeming quality of Alaska’s version of McDonald’s, since we don’t get dollar menus up here (more like $1.50 or $1.60 menus) and everything else on the menu is at least 15% more expensive as well. Unfortunately, this sandwich is only found up here, and so I will miss it dearly when the day comes that I end up moving from Alaska.
4. The Double Down – Kentucky Fried Chicken
So no, the Double Down is not the greatest thing I’ve ever eaten, but it is darn good and has certainly earned its #4 position on this list. The Double Down doesn’t leave me so stuffed that I can’t eat any more, but when you throw in the amazing potato wedges and a drink, the meal does leave me more than satisfied. The sandwich is so legendary because it swapped the bread for pieces of chicken, but let’s not forget the awesome stuff that’s in between that “bread”: two strips of bacon, a slice of pepper jack, a slice of monterey jack, and the underrated part of the sandwich to me, Colonel’s Sauce. It’s not only delicious, but it adds the needed amount of moisture for those two big all white meat pieces of chicken that can be just a tad dry. My tweak would be to add a little bit more sauce, but there’s just not really much more room to do this! I just hope Michelle Obama’s war on childhood obesity doesn’t cause her to villainize this sandwich and ralley to remove it from the menu at KFC, because now that I’ve tasted the Double Down, I don’t want to live in a world in which it doesn’t exist.
3. Classic Triple – Wendy’s
Wendy’s makes some of the best burgers in the fast food business, and Dave Thomas’ masterpiece is the Classic Triple. It’s loaded with 3/4 pound of beef, two slices of cheese, and the works. My version has no pickles and no onions, but I definitely appreciate the fresh lettuce and tomato, despite my carnivorous tendencies. I can’t have enough of these.
2. Butterburger Cheese – Culver’s
There’s nothing spectacular about the state of Wisconsin’s greatest contribution to society known as Culver’s, but it’s the little things that put their food a notch above the rest of the competition. There’s probably no greater example of this than their famous butterburger, which for whatever reason just tastes better than other fast food burgers. I guess the secret is that they lightly butter the toasted bun, but something tells me there’s more to it than that. Again, my favorite version comes with three patties, ketchup, and mayo. Culver’s weaknesses are that they take a little longer to get you your food, and they charge more than most fast food joints too, but I’ll gladly accept those shortcomings to eat burgers this good. And, by the way, the frozen custard at Culver’s is a better option for dessert than you can find at any other fast food restaurant, and it’s not even close.
1. The Caniac – Raisin’ Cane’s
Is this a bigger upset than Golden State over Dallas in ’07? I just put a non-cheeseburger on the top of my fast food list, and the cheeseburger is my favorite food in the world. But Raisin’ Cane’s chicken fingers are off the chart! The Caniac gives you six of their world class (by my assessment) chicken fingers along with crinkle-cut french fries, Texas toast, and the greatest substance known to man: Cane’s Sauce, to dip your chicken and fries in, thus, making it the best meal of fast food I could ever dream to eat. The key here is simply quality. Since there are no Raisin’ Canes in Alaska, I can’t enjoy their amazing chicken fingers, but I survive by making their delicious sauce at home and dip everything in sight in it. Here’s a link to the recipe, if you want to give it a try yourself.
Well, there’s my top ten list. I imagine you’ll either want to give me your changes to my list, or tell me that I’m going to die by age 45 if I keep this up.
I was watching TV the other day (which is in no way different than any other day) and I noticed an ad that was warning people to not drink and drive, because the cops “will find you!” I’m glad that in our society that drinking and driving is illegal and looked down upon with disdain for those who choose to make such dangerous and foolish decisions. And so this ad campaign is completely fine by me, but when I watched it, I couldn’t help but remember another ad campaign that’s put out by a group that’s called truth or something like that. Here’s one of their videos. I realize that there are a lot of campaigns out there to encourage people to quit smoking, and even some that warn people about the dangers of second-hand smoke to others, but what I wonder about is why is it that there is a group out there that is villainizing tobacco companies for selling a completely legal product to people that have the freedom to ignore the warning labels on the box and use at their own risk, while there aren’t any groups that do the same to companies that sell alcoholic beverages that have their own fair share of health risks that come with them? I’m a believer in people taking responsibility for their own actions. A long time ago, cigarette companies made a product that was dangerous to them, put an addictive ingredient in them to keep their customers coming back for more, and failed to let everyone know that they were dangerous and addicting. I get that. But our government forced them to come clean about that a while back, and now nobody can claim that they haven’t been fairly warned about the dangers of smoking. I’m glad that these measures have been taken. But why is it that alcoholic beverage companies get a free pass? That’s not actually what I have a problem with, but rather, the fact that people can blame their own poor decisions on a company when they themselves had the right to not smoke, or quit smoking, all along. I realize that it’s more prevalent and perhaps less addicting, but you could argue that alcohol is more dangerous than tobacco when you factor in drunk driving accidents, alcohol-related domestic violence, drunken bar-fights, etc. to go along with cirrhosis of the liver or other long-term effects of drinking. So again I ask, why is it that in the case of tobacco, the blame is put on the company selling the product, when in the case of alcohol, the blame is put solely on the consumer? And why do we see TV commercials for beer and liquor but will never see one for a cigarette or a cigar? Maybe there’s a big point I’m missing here, and so I’d really like to know what that could be. My take is, and forever will be: Our country allows people of certain ages to use certain products at their own risks, so long as they don’t endanger the lives of others in doing so. To go along with those liberties, we must realize it is on us, as the consumers, to make wise decisions about using those products, and we have no one to blame but ourselves if those products harm us. For the record, I’m a person that doesn’t smoke cigarettes, in fact, I never have, and I’ve only used tobacco maybe 3 or 4 times in the form of hookah or cigars, just to try it. It doesn’t do anything for me, and the feeling of having smoke in my lungs is not a pleasant one. I don’t recommend it. I have used alcohol many times in my life, and even to the point of inebriation, and all of my actions during those times I take complete responsibility for, although, there’s not really anything that I’ve done that was very bad at all. When it comes to alcohol, I can definitely take it or leave it. So what do you think? Is it fair that tobacco companies get blamed, while individuals take their own blame for acting foolish from the effects of alcohol? I don’t think so.
You know when you go out to a restaurant and you want to order appetizers, but nobody can decide what to get because they all look so good; or not so good, but you’re just hungry enough to try a few anyhow? Well, that’s kind of what I got going here in this blog post, and it’s closer to the latter than the former. I don’t have a single topic worthy of it’s own blog post (full appetizer order), but I’m sure my readers (yeah, right) are hungry enough to sample a few of my topics anyhow. Since I anticipate this happening at least once more in my blogging career, I’m naming this Sampler Platter I (that’s right, I’m numbering them Roman numeral Super Bowl style).
Topic #1: T-Jack Apologist Guy Gets His Big Break
At work, I listen to a lot of KFAN podcasts to help pass the time. I find work more enjoyable this way, my bosses never seem to care that I have headphones in as long as the work gets done, and it helps me stay connected with the Minnesota sports scene while up here in Alaska. Plus, since they don’t only talk sports, I’m a lot more aware of other current events as well. My favorite show on KFAN is The Common Man Progrum (it was Sludge & Lake, but alas, it got canceled). I asked for the moniker “T-Jack Apologist Guy” in an e-mail that I had read on air many weeks ago, and so that got me real excited to e-mail the show more regularly. So I re-wrote the lyrics to Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” so that it would be a tribute to Brett Favre titled “He’s So Vain.” Well, Common complimented the lyrics a long time ago, but never sang the lyrics along with the song on air. Today, he finally dusted ’em off and sang along with Carly using my lyrics. I was so jacked up! It was quite the thrill. If any of you are interested, I have the podcast link here, and since it’s about 45 minutes long, you can skip ahead to the 3:55 mark to hear Common first compliment it, and then the 29:50 mark to hear him sing it.
Common Man, Hour 3, 3/8/10 or since that doesn’t fast forward very well, you can download the podcast from here by right clicking on the “Download” link and then selecting “Save link as” and then you can skip around to any point you choose in Windows Media Player.
Topic #2: Talking on Cell Phones While Driving
I’ve heard some rumblings lately that in Minnesota people are starting to make a stronger push to outlaw talking on cell phones while they drive. I know that in some states, this is already the law, and for example, in the city limits of Chicago, it’s also against the law to do so. I am completely against any of this type of legislation. I know that the far more common law out there is that it’s illegal to “text” while driving, and I guess I’m okay with that one, because it’s absolutely impossible to keep your eyes on the road anywhere near the amount that you should while you’re text-messaging someone. Talking on the phone, however, is no less distracting than talking to someone else in your car, and we all know that that is not going to be outlawed. But if we do in fact pass this legislation, where will the line be drawn? Will we not be allowed to eat while driving? Will radios and stereo systems be removed from vehicles to prevent wild sing-alongs that can be distractions? Maybe the increasingly-popular GPS navigations systems will have to go by the wayside if too many accidents occur due to people programming them while driving. When you get in a car and drive, you’re putting yourself at risk no matter how safe you try to be. In this country, we believe in liberty, and sometimes the liberties we enjoy come with risks. If the government takes away all risks to our safety, then we’ll be left with no liberties, and that wouldn’t be any fun. It’s my opinion that we have a pretty good balance right now between safety and liberty, and I hope that the government does not decide to overstep its bounds and ban the use of cell phones while driving a car.
Topic #3: Damian Johnson
Damian Johnson is a senior basketball player for my favorite college basketball team, the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Damian is my favorite Golden Gopher of all time, and frankly, it’s not even close. I’ve only been a true fan of this program for 5 years now, and Damian just brought the most solid, all-around game out of any player that I had the privilege of watching play in person. I think that Damian could have been the third or fourth best player on a great team, but instead he was the best player on our mediocre team. If the team around him was better (like if Nolen wasn’t ineligible, Mbakwe wasn’t suspended, and White wasn’t released from his scholarship) he still could have been the best player on a really good team, and it just kills me that Damian’s senior year had to be such a disappointment. With all of the close losses, I contend that we win at home against Michigan St, Purdue, and Michigan, and on the road against Northwestern and Indiana if we had those three guys, and if that were true, we would have been Co-Big Ten Champs with Ohio State. But this team somehow held it together to be on the bubble of NCAA contention without those guys, and with a miracle run to the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament, the Gophers still might be able to steal an at large bid into the tournament. For any of you out there who aren’t convinced that Damian is a likable guy, I defy you to watch Big Ten Network’s “The Journey: Minnesota Basketball” found here, and come away not loving “VIP Johnson”, as he calls himself. Anyhow, in Damian’s final home game, (unless of course, we miss the tournament as expected, and get a home NIT game) he recorded one of his best all-around lines of his career. A 10 point, 11-assist (career high), 5 rebound, 3 steal, and 3 block gem of a game. And here’s the real kicker: 0 turnovers. Damian, it’s been quite a run, and I wish you well at whatever you choose to pursue after college.
Topic #4: One funny video
I’ve been reading “Club Trillion” which is a blog by a walk-0n Ohio State basketball player and he links YouTube videos in his blog postings. One of them happened to be this. Enjoy.
Well I hope you’re satisfied, because unfortunately there won’t be a “main course” today.