I also consider myself an independent.
First, I'm tired of seeing political movements like the Tea Party take beautiful symbols of our common American heritage -- like the "Don't Tread On Me" flag and tricorn hats -- and politicize them. Stop inferring that anybody who doesn't believe your way isn't a "real" American. By the same breath, I'm tired of seeing these so-called "Anonymous" Occupy marchers wear Guy Fawkes masks. It reminds me of that line from the Beatles' "Revolution:" "If you go around carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow." And they ain't.
Second, we have more than one political party in America, but here's the problems:
1) The Libertarians don't know how to play to win. C'mon, would it kill you all to buy some political TV advertising now and then? When Ron Paul dumped you to run as a Republican, that should've told you something. When you start actually winning some major elections, or at least making an effort to do so, maybe the media will start taking you seriously.
2) The Modern Whig Party and Americans Elect are still pretty much in their organizational infancy. They are trying to find people fed up with the two-party system, but without a lot of resources to get their message out, they don't attract followers. It's a catch-22.
3) Our brains naturally gravitate towards simple either-or choices. That doesn't mean something's wrong with us -- it's just human nature.
As for those robo-calls, I let them get my voicemail, which lets callers know that for "quality assurance purposes," I don't have to pick up the line. That usually keeps them from calling back.
You say, "They're T-e-e-n-a-g-e R-e-p-u-b-l-i-c-a-n-s. That's grotesque, in and of itself. And yes, I would find it bizarre (albeit somewhat less so) if there were a group of High School Libertarians or Teenage Democrats."
Bizzare and grotesque because we actually have teenagers who care about issues more important than Robin Thicke's suspected tune-lifting? And I can bet they haven't heard about Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, either.
As you probably know, we have an uncomfortable number of young people who earn an epithet usually reserved for adults: Low Information Voter. These people will be at the polls sooner than we think. Pray tell, which would you rather have pulling the lever: the kid who knows what we're about to do in Syria (or not), or the one still twittering about Miley Cyrus' latest anatomically incorrect display?
Did you stop to think about how political involvement in high school -- no matter whether it's Republican, Democrat or Libertarian -- is a mark of good citizenship? So you don't agree with their political leanings. Fine. Good. But trying to lump them in with political radicals without even knowing the facts -- or simply not caring about the facts to take a cheap shot -- smacks of another, more undesirable high school activity: bullying. Or cyberbullying, if you're reading this online.
My discouragement heightens when I read, "You'd better get used to it, because if you insist on remaining Republican, you're going to invite all sorts of dookie to be dumped on you in the coming decades. It's almost all in fun and it's 100 percent American, so relax."
In other words, take it and smile, because hatin' is what we do here in America. Sadly, I can't dispute that. Never have so many people in seats of power and influence derived such pleasure from ridiculing, degrading, insulting, demeaning, threatening, and dehumanizing their political opponents.
And we wonder why it's so hard to get quality people to run for office here in the U.S.A.
Your Humble Servant,
"He might have what my friend Rob calls 'Shorty-Man Complex.'"
Isn't that more commonly known as a Napoleonic Complex? Or did we not want to insult the French (again)?
It's disheartening to hear this, but it shows you how much leverage the large cinema chains (AMC, Harkins, Century/Cinemark) have, especially when it comes to pushing towards digital projection. The multiplex chains can get massive deals to subsidize the cost of digital projectors while independents have to scrape for every screen.
Could Tower have made it under independent ownership? I think so. I wonder if it would have found more success devoting one or two screens to art-house pictures (sort of like a Loft Northwest), but then again, that would've been dependent on whether Tower was able to convert those screens for digital. I'm not sure if they had any digital projectors to begin with.
Another note: Before it opened, I remember reading about one of the auditoriums possibly being convertible to host stage productions, making it a venue for local theater groups. It sounded like a promising idea, but it never materialized.
HB2363 isn't all that weird. Reading the *very* short bill (if only the U.S. Congress could write bills that short), my guess is that it's targeted at HOA's that frown upon backyard vegetable gardens, including those planted by people trying to save a few bucks on their grocery bill. They shouldn't have to deal with an HOA gestapo dictating what they can do with their backyard soil. --YHS, CF
I don't watch Girls because I don't have HBO, and after reading about the agony you've been put through, Tom, I'm glad I dropped it.
Now, if only cable went to an a la carte system so I could dump all the other channels I wish I weren't paying for:
MTV (shoulda stuck to music)
VH1 (ditto, except for "Pop-Up Video")
Any of the shopping channels (moot in the internet age)
OWN (Oprah Winfrey never should've gotten her own network, especially when her talk show was fading)
Spike TV (this channel's guy stuff just isn't my stuff)
Bravo (remember when this used to be a fine arts channel? In fact, remember when A&E was the same way?)
This is why I support a rules change at the FCC that will encourage licensing of more community, low-power broadcasters. It has worked in TV. It can work in radio. Complaints about possible interference are rubbish; good engineering practices and just being a good neighbor to your fellow station on the dial will go a long way.
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