Your Daily Mindjob
This is my personal blog where I'll offer up some political straight talk as well as thoughts on technology and pop culture. That should give me plenty to talk about. The world can give you one heck of a mindjob. Think like me and get your daily dose.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kaylon Johnson Update

The local news reported today that a suspect in the Kaylon Johnson beating has been taken into custody. A 25 year old man named Jimmy Booth from Longview, Texas has been charged. At this point, he is only being charged with second degree battery, although the FBI is still figuring out whether or not to consider this a hate crime.

Officials also stated that there would not be any further arrests made. What? I thought at least two guys assaulted him. Is there a plea deal we are not hearing about? What gives? If police said that Booth was with three friends, I think a piece of the puzzle is missing.

Is there still going to be a vigil in Baton Rouge for Kaylon Johnson?

My hunch is that the FBI will call this one a hate crime. There is no way an attack where racial slurs directed towards the victim and Barack Obama could be considered anything other than a hate crime.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Golden Globe Nominations?

What the hell is this crap? Is anyone watching NBC?

They are announcing Golden Globe nominations live. Random actors are getting up at the microphone rattling off names of the nominations. Why? Good god this is boring! Perhaps they knew it would be boring, so to counteract the boredom, they hired big name stars to read the list. I'm guessing they got paid to do that. Eh?

What was the point of that? Did we really need Brooke Shields rattling off names shooting odd stares at the audience in between each one? In Public Speaking, that's what we call maintaining eye contact. It looked like she had something wrong with her eyes. Was that Elizabeth Banks? For some reason, I could imagine her sitting there practicing saying "Frost Nixon" over and over again. She made it sound like some kind of German sausage. "Froschtnixen."

The laughter from the crowd was irrelevant. The follow-up guy said it was because the movies mentioned were rather outrageous comedies. So what!

Was that really necessary? Did anyone get a rise out of that performance? I could care less about the Golden Globes, but there had to have been a better way to present the nominations. I'm obviously out of the loop on this one.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Man assaulted for wearing an Obama t-shirt

Saturday, December 6th, 2008
On Bert-Kouns and I-20 in Shreveport, a man was attacked by a group of people for wearing an Obama shirt. According to the victim, the men who attacked him were yelling "F- Obama" among other things. It happened too fast for him to really identify his attackers. The news also reported that the gas station attendant took down a license plate number.

Kaylon Johnson was at a gas station on Bert Kouns when a group of men began taunting him before attacking. Johnson stated that the attack was unprovoked. His injuries appeared to be limited to his face from the news footage. He had periorbital swelling and suffered a fracture to the orbit. Surgery is planned for later this week. The local news coverage has been kind of poor so far. I'm disappointed, but not surprised. Our local news regardless of the station flat out sucks.

It is my understanding that Kaylon Johnson recently opened the Obama Shop where he sells Obama related merchandise, including t-shirts. He was also apparently part of the grassroots support of Barack Obama in the area.

Welcome to Louisiana. Anyone out there still cocky enough to have southern pride?


The day I read about the shooting at the church near Knoxville, TN, I knew something like that would happen here eventually. This is why I don't talk politics with anyone I meet in this town. This is why I don't put any bumper stickers on my vehicle. This is why I blog with anonymity. As a resident of Shreveport, I know how strong the redneck conservative voice is down here. It's scary, really, to have to live here and I'm white. I could easily become a target of this sort of hate.

Shreveport PD is investigating, but I am not confident in their work. If you recall, the Shreveport Police Department has been involved in at least two national headline-worthy stories. The first was when Airman Elio Carrion was shot while on leave from Iraq. The incident was videotaped. There was a police chase where Carrion was a passenger. As Carrion began to obey orders to get up, the officer shot him. The second event occurred more recently. Angie Garbarino was pulled over for a DWI and while in police custody, was apparently beaten off camera. One minute she was sitting in a chair, and the next, she was lying in a pool of blood on the floor. The Shreveport PD is not exactly a by the book bunch.

12-12-2008 - An Update
According to KSLA News 12, the FBI is investigating this case. Johnson has undergone two surgeries to repair his eye socket, nose, and tear duct. There is now a fund to help with his health care and legal bills. A candlelight vigil will be held on December 18 from 7 to 8pm on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge. More info on the vigil is available through the Barack Obama web site.

Steve Hall, a senior agent with the FBI Shreveport office is asking anyone with information related to the incident to call the FBI at 318-861-1890 or the Shreveport PD at 318-673-7373.

I'll try to stay on top of this story, although I will be very busy until Tuesday.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Paul Carmouche, John Fleming, and Bobby Jindal

Bobby Jindal has thrown in his support for Dr. John Fleming running for Congress. The election is tomorrow, but over the last week, I have been getting phone calls almost every evening on behalf of John Fleming. The phone calls consist of recordings where Governor Bobby Jindal spews negative rhetoric against Paul Carmouche. These are not just one time calls. Last night, I counted seven calls in the span of four hours. Piyush aka Bobby is one of those ugly kinds of Christians who sees nothing wrong with speaking ill of another human being. If Bobby Jindal plans on running for President in 2012, this *should* come back to bite him in the ass. We just went through all the negativism and hate with Sarah Palin. We'll have to deal with it all again if Bobby Jindal runs. Consider yourself informed. Now you know Bobby Jindal is a slave to the RNC machine and prefers cutthroat politics over standing on positive platforms designed to unite this nation.

Negative ads have plagued television broadcasts all day every day. I will be glad when the election is over. Carmouche is not exempt from guilt. He has been slinging mud too. However, I am seeing more ads coming from Fleming directed at smearing Paul Carmouche. Fleming is playing up the word "Liberal" as a bad thing. Both of them should be ashamed. I turn the tv off every time one of these ads comes on the screen.

At this point, I don't think many voters even know what either candidate plans on doing. I probably won't vote tomorrow. I don't like the idea of rewarding a candidate for running a negative campaign. Carmouche isn't exactly my kind of Democrat either. He's one of these Blue Dog Democrats with Conservative talking points. In fact, he touts himself as pro-gun and pro-life. As someone who is pro-choice and expects a certain level of gun control, Carmouche does not speak to me as a voter.

Monday, December 1, 2008

National Security Team Press Conference

For those of you who spent the entire election season saying the media was being soft on Barack Obama, pay special attention to the questions being asked at this press conference. None of the questions have been softly pitched. They are hell bent on taking quotes from the heated election season and playing them against him. They are looking for a little bit of drama between a group of people who may not agree with each other on every little thing. They are asking for details related to his policy decisions. They are very aware of his national security plans and demanded some clarification on a few specific subjects, including troop withdrawal and drawdowns.

Does the media have a love affair with Barack Obama? Maybe a select few have been overly affectionate in their coverage. However, if you think they were soft on the guy during the primaries and the general election, you were watching different coverage than I was.

The one criticism I will make is that Obama does sound a little choppy and is not the best orator. As for actually fielding the questions the press asked, he was on target. He made sure not to step on the toes of the current administration. He is right. National security issues are the responsibility of the current administration and not the President-elect or his new security team. He may have an opinion on the matter, but it means absolutely jack in current policy decisions. Another positive note to make is that he seems to already be familiar with specific members of the press.

A New Trend: Being an "Independent" Voter

Has anyone out there noticed that when partisan politics becomes a topic of discussion, you always have an Independent sitting there with his or her arms out as if to say "Don't look at me. I'm neither Republican nor Democrat" completely exempt from responsibility? The label "Independent" has been confused with independent thinking. Independents are now people who are just fed up with the party they used to belong to. Does that change their core beliefs? Doubt it. Previously, you voted on the basis of either Conservative or Liberal principles. Suddenly becoming Independent does not alter those core principles. Those beliefs stayed the same. Being an Independent does not make you an unbiased source.

Being an Independent is the new way to be trendy. It's the loophole for those who like to criticize government without facing any criticism themselves. There is a certain smugness about it all. I know the smug reputation is a typical stereotype placed on the so called "Liberal elites," but the Independents are looking more and more smug these days.

Being an Independent does not mean your shit doesn't stink. On the whole, you still vote one way or the other and in that regard, you can be held accountable. You give off the sense that you are somehow not the least bit partisan, yet I have seen multiple examples of Conservative leaning Independents who flat out hate anyone who is a Liberal. I'm sorry, but that puts you on the other side of the fence and nowhere near anything Independent. To me, an Independent is someone who should, in all aspects, resemble a moderate voter. Instead, we have people on the far left and far right who also make themselves Independents. Those Independents are a far cry from being mediators between opposing sides. Take Lou Dobbs for example. As a self professed registered Independent, he fans the flame of partisan politics on a daily basis.

Do you know that here in the state of Louisiana, registered Independents cannot vote in certain elections? Your voice is not heard when primaries are held, for example. You are not involved in the political process. Is that your idea of being an Independent?

The new Independent voter is nothing more than someone who likes the spiffy new iron-on badge they added to their jacket. In any election, Independent voters are given credence just like partisan voters. Each side is going to try and play to the Independent voters to pull ahead. This notion is somewhat of a fallacy. As I've already pointed out, an Independent is ideally someone who sits in the middle and could sway in either direction. These new Independents are nothing of the sort.

Watch for these key phrases and be skeptical towards anyone who uses them.

I'm so glad I'm an Independent.
That's why I'm an Independent.
You can trust my opinion because I'm neither a Republican nor a Democrat.
You can't blame me. I'm an Independent.
Don't look at me. I'm an Independent.

Let me give another example. Let's say you are generally liberally leaning on most issues. You want tax cuts for the middle class and understand taxes are necessary, so those who can afford to pay a little more, do. You like the idea of social programs and helping the poor. You support gay marriage. The only issue holding you back is abortion. You consider yourself pro-life. That one issue is not enough to consider yourself an Independent. That one issue does not put you in the gray area. One or two issues should not decide the party you are registered with.

If you are a politician running as an Independent, you are a wolf in sheep's clothing. Joe Lieberman would be a perfect example. You are not Independent. You just play each side against the other and hedge your bets. Lieberman is not a symbol of bipartisan progress.

If you are a voter who believes a little bit of both and sits more towards the middle, you are more than welcome to be Independent. You don't let one issue decide your vote. If you lean one way over the other, but are fed up with your own party, refuse to take any blame for your political choices, or use the label in an obstinate manner with the intent of being right all the time, you are nothing but a pretentious ass.

Why is this so important?
In every recent election, the politicians have been forced to cater to these people. They end up deciding the election. The fate of many rests in the decisions of the few.