If you’ve ever read my stuff, you’ll know that I rarely (read: never) endorse candidates for any election. I try to always keep things informational, and even when I do get opinionated, I generally stay away from outright endorsements and instead just ask you to please vote. For anything.
I’ve met Adam Schiff, and I’ve even had the pleasure of interviewing him when he visited Glendale College in 2011. He’s a smart guy and a great politician, but he’s a staunch Democrat in a House of partisan politics he just isn’t trying very hard to fix. This is Schiff’s voting record:
The reason Congress is so laughably inactive is because both parties— Democrats and Republicans— refuse to budge when voting according to the party line. As great a guy as Adam Schiff is, this would be his 14th consecutive year as Representative, and that alone is a poisonous factor.
On its own, incumbency is definitely not a good enough reason to kick someone out of office. But their record certainly is. And in the last 13 years, Rep. Schiff has been a consistently unilateral presence, acting only in the interest of other staunch Democrats who urge him to stay the party line— sometimes outright defying logic.
I left the Democratic party when I was 21, realizing how hypocritical it was to align myself with 50% of the problem. I may have my personal beliefs, and a good lot of them might even align better with the left than the right— but I wanted to pledge my allegiance to facts, not immensely flawed parties.
If you’re still not convinced that no party is better than any party, I’m not going to change your mind. But if you’re tired of both sides refusing to compromise on even the simplest issues, read on.
Steve Stokes is running against Adam Schiff for California’s 28th district seat. And this is me choosing him as my first-ever endorsement. This time, instead of just asking you to vote, I want you to vote for Steve Stokes. And I’ll tell you why, at the risk of you trusting me less if you disagree.
When I think of the ideal Congressional candidate (Congress’ current state considered), I want fresh meat. But doesn’t experience breed competence? I used to think so too, until I started paying attention to the daily lives of politicians.
This is how a typical “broken-in” House rep’s workday goes:
• Make your way to the House floor.
• If you have something to say, you approach the speaker and debate, using already-prepared remarks instead of responding to the opposition directly. If you have nothing to say that day, you generally leave during debates and come back when it’s time to vote.
• Vote on a bill you very likely did not read in its entirety. Your intern says they did, but they probably didn’t either. Some bills are over five hundred pages long.
• Once the proverbial bell rings, you dash across the street to a special building used specifically for calling wealthy donors and asking for their generosity to help keep your political career alive. They do this in a separate building, because it’s technically illegal to do it from the Capitol building.
If you think this is a pathetic way to do your job, I can assure you that most Congressional reps agree with you. But for the ones who have been around a while, they know it’s just the way it goes, and they strive to be better at it than anyone else.
This is why we need fresh meat to challenge the system. And Steve Stokes is the freshest.
Steve Stokes is not affiliated with any party, which I already love. I want to link you to his website, but it’s horribly designed, so I’ll give you some bullet points instead.
• Stokes believes that GMO’s should be labeled. I also believe that, and I even did a video about it in 2012. Simply put, I personally do not fear GM foods, but I have absolutely zero qualms about informing anyone about what is in their food. I still can not even believe this is a question. Adam Schiff voted Yes on HR 933 last year, affectionately called the “Monsanto Protection Act.” For a guy who openly opposes Monsanto’s takeover of America’s food supplies, that’s a little depressing.
• Steve Stokes believes that the Dodd-Frank was a toothless excuse of a knee-jerk reaction to the ‘07-‘08 US financial crisis— and so do I. Schiff was in full favor of the resolution, because it looked a lot more effective than it was.
• Stokes favors term limits of 10 years. That’s a bit generous IMO, but it clearly doesn’t factor into Schiff’s plans. There’s a reason James K. Polk makes my list of top-5 presidents of all time— he knew when to step down, scandal-free. I’ve already said what I could about what negative effects decades-deep incumbents suffer. We are not better off for their years of experience.
There’s a lot more to say, so screw it— I’ll link to his poorly-designed website.
And listen— Steve Stokes is almost definitely not going to win next month. But if you vote for him, I vote for him, and we support the remedies he could bring to the seat he deserves, we can absolutely make him our next representative. Doing what’s right, even when it’s not what’s popular, has always been the smartest way to approach a political conundrum.
If you have any questions, obviously hit me up. And if you read this entire thing, I am genuinely impressed. Together, we can give a shit.
ISIS, (which is what I’m going to call that group of maniacs probably forever, because unlike good people with pronoun preferences, these fuckers don’t deserve constant name-change recognition), is not winning hearts and minds by droves in the Middle East like you’ve heard.
The western media (and the UN) will have you believe that it’s ISIS’s ideology that’s infecting Middle Eastern youth, causing the group to expand and grow more rapidly than anyone had expected.
Well, ISIS is for sure growing. But it’s not because they’re right, and it’s DEFINITELY not because they’re inspiring. It’s because they’re insanely wealthy.
ISIS is wealthy because of its oil reserves, mostly. They claim to represent the best interests of all Muslims, which is bullshit because roughly 99% of all Muslims deplore their actions. I can throw around figures in the nineties, because there are 1.6 BILLION Muslims in the world, and MAYBE 30 thousand ISIS fighters. But even then, most of those aren’t gung-ho for ISIS ideology.
Because ISIS is so god damned rich, and because so many citizens of isolated nations in Eastern Europe and the Middle East are so god damned poor, ISIS continues to grow.
They’re growing because ISIS will pay you 60 Euro per DAY to fight on their behalf. And as a resident of an isolated nation, you likely aren’t aware of the gruesome atrocities being committed on ISIS’s behalf.
It makes about as much sense as working for a corporation you don’t really believe in, but it’s a job and it feeds your family. And once you arrive to the training camp, they get you so pumped about the freedom fighting you’re gonna do, you try to convince yourself your job can maybe be okay if you try to make it feel kind of fun. Like we all kind of do at our jobs, but with much, much more dire consequences.
An 8-year-old boy from Kosovo (a STRIKINGLY pro-American nation) was secretly taken from his mother by his father several weeks ago. His father took him to Syria so they could join ISIS as mercenaries for 60 Euros a day. While his father trains to be a fighter, the boy is living with Albanian families among other ISIS kids whose families needed the money. There are pictures of him on social media doing the ISIS gang sign with his pals, and he called his mother and uncle to ask them to come join. His uncle said that the 8-year-old suddenly sounds like a tortured adult when he speaks, from just weeks of being around the training camp in Syria.
We can stop ISIS. We will stop ISIS. But we need to understand why ISIS exists before we can destroy it.
Poverty breeds desperation.
Desperation breeds violence.
Violence breeds prejudice.
Prejudice breeds poverty.
My response to NYT readers against the legalization of marijuana.
Levy Thamba fell from a hotel balcony after ingesting 6 x the normal dose of a marijuana cookie and then standing on the edge of a balcony. The marijuana is slightly less at fault than the person trying to balance after eating a frat house’s worth of weed cookies.
Richard Kirk shot his wife after eating some weed candy, and taking opiate painkillers. Coupled with a likely pre-existing mental condition like schizophrenia, and that drug cocktail can make you almost as crazy as too much beer.
Marinol and Epidolex both exclude the cannabinoids that are being studied for their use as a tumor deterrent, mood improvement medication, and many other potential uses.
Drug trafficking in a black market is an unregulated catastrophe whose worst victims have nowhere to turn for protection. This article is about legalization. It’s not drug trafficking if it’s legal.
"Permissive drug culture" has existed in the United States since the early 1920s when "magic bullet" pills were being discovered for use in medical and patent medications.
The group that we came to call “ISIS” and currently calls itself “the Islamic State” has gone through a number of name changes in its short history. Are we obligated to honor its current name?
A short and reasonable answer is that, no, ISIS is a bunch of tyrannical psychopaths, and we don’t owe…
I’ve been meaning to write on this, but this more or less nails the way I feel on the ever-“evolving” title of the most brutal ragtag group of murderers I’ve seen in my lifetime.
The story broke when I was on a BBC kick, which calls the group ISIS. This, of course, evoked thoughts of television hit Archer, and made me a little uncomfortable, but willing to deal.
When the president took notice of the group publicly, he called it ISIL from the get-go. I had to look that up, since the Levant was something of a new concept to me. In reality, though, the Levant has been recognized in the English-speaking world since 1497. According to Wikipedia, it’s Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and part of southern Turkey.
When they changed recently to IS, and our media changed along with them, I had to wonder why we as a nation were more ready to accept a ruthless murdergang’s name change than that of a drag queen on Facebook.
Who gives a fuck what they want to be called this week? They’re garbage, this week and every week after that.
C-SPAN online has joined the ranks of those requiring an account with a major cable provider in order to view live content.
Congratulations, Big Cable, on taking away my favorite fucking thing on the Internet.
How convenient that you should drastically limit access to live coverage of major political events like net neutrality hearings right before a major decision on the matter.
How convenient that the citizens most involved in the net neutrality debate are also those with the biggest qualms against major cable providers, many of whom don’t have cable subscriptions.
How convenient that your massive Washington influence was able to strong-arm America’s only long-form public affairs programming station into requiring a subscription to your outdated cable services, just as it was reaching the age of HTML5-level modernization.
And how unfortunate that I and others must now look at C-SPAN and see the ugly influence of Comcast, Time Warner, Charter, and the others, where we used to see hope in the shadows of raw accountability.
I am very sad.
Wrote this for my work. I really do think it’s important that people understand their electronics!
We all know that water is bad for electronics. Most people don’t know exactly why, but knowing how water affects your circuitry can save you countless hours of grief and regret later on. So let’s learn!
Circuit boards are the basis of any electrical component you own. They work by…
Hi Mr. Latta,
I’m a 24-year-old go-getter from New York, living in Los Angeles, and I want to have my own TV show someday. Only, I don’t want it to be on TV. I want it to be online, so that I can have control over its content, which is something a television network can’t really allow.
Ambitious, I know. But can you blame me? Ever since I was 10 years old, I’ve had access to some sort of Internet. And ever since I was 10, I’ve known my future would be made by this strange new tool. It was clear that open access to my peers and beyond would do a much better job at making this weird kid successful than the tools we had laying around when I was born.
Bob, I don’t like government regulation either. I help run a very ambitious small business, in California of all places. I can’t think of a more overregulated place than Los Angeles county for a business trying to make its mark. The permits, the licenses, the fees we clearly can’t afford as a new enterprise. And the mandated LCD recycling fees? It’s beyond absurd.
But there is one thing I fear more than the authorities of Los Angeles county, and it’s the telecommunications companies that control our Internet infrastructure. I and my business are both mandated to use Time Warner Cable as our service provider of choice. Why? Because each town and city is relegated to a government-allowed monopoly of Internet service, and that’s bad enough.
But you know what’s worse? That government-allowed monopoly being allowed by the government to charge my blog and my website and my 9-year-old YouTube channel a premium to reach my viewers. I’m 24 years old and as broke as you’d expect. How do you suspect I’d make my way to my viewers without a special interest investment under the lack of regulation your bill encourages?
Bob— can I call you Bob? We are more similar than we are different. I may be a struggling Los Angeles youth, but government regulation has added more burden to my life than anything else has in the past 2 years. I am by no means a liberal democrat. I’m just a kid trying to make it, and I hope you understand that by pushing to refute the reclassification of Internet as a Title 2 service, you are directly threatening my future, and the future of literally millions of my peers.
Don’t believe me? Go to YouTube, and look at the most viewed videos of the day. How many of those content creators could have afforded a fast lane?
Bob, the right thing to do almost never comes from the same place as the money that funds you. I won’t purport to know who paid you what, even though I could look it up if I wanted to. That’s accusatory, and I don’t intend to fight with you. I just hope that you and your staff understand the massive impact that this bill will have on our nation’s youth, its future, and its impact on the world as formidable creators of the Internet we all share.
Please do the right thing, Representative Latta. We are watching, and we expect you to do what’s best for our nation. Thanks for your time.
Why do people get fat? From eating excess calories? Too much dietary fat? Not enough gym time?
Actually, people get fat because sugar. “Wow Ashley you seem pretty confident about that bold statement.” Yeah, cause it’s true. And sugar is way more things than the stuff you put in your coffee— at least as far as your body’s concerned. It’s also a total junkie and probably needs an intervention, but we’ll get to that later.
Things that your body immediately turns into glucose:
• Table sugar (sucrose) • Fruit sugar (fructose) • All carbohydrates (even whole grains) • and alcohol. Yes, unfortunately even drinking straight vodka is a little bit like binging on candy. This one makes me sad, but when science speaks, we must listen.
Sugars are the fastest way for your body to obtain glucose for cell energy. Depending on activity level, your cells are fueled with as much glucose as they can eat, and there’s usually a lot left over. That extra glucose is stored as glycogen in case you need it later. But if you don’t need it, and that storage is full, the glycogen becomes adipose tissue— that’s body fat. Eating the adipose tissue of other animals does not directly affect how much adipose tissue you gain. That’s an annoying duality about the word “fat” that we need to separate. Fat you eat has a much harder time becoming fat on your body than sugar does, mostly because fat gets busy digesting essential vitamins you need to survive before it leaves on its metered journey through your bloodstream.
Is a calorie a calorie? If you’re burning them, then maybe. But when you’re eating them, absolutely not. Glucose created by sugars (and carbs, and alcohol) are like cocaine to your body’s cells. Okay, maybe like caffeine, whatever. They work fast, give cells a massive burst of energy, and then a crash. While your cells do need energy to survive, a diet of mostly sugars can lead to a cell glucose dependency that looks a lot like addiction. Our cells are party animals too, guys.
While we can tell the difference between a loaf of whole grain bread and a soda, our cells just want the junk. There is no difference, there is only glucose, and they want it now. Of course, the whole grain bread delivers much more nutrients to the body, but let’s not kid ourselves about why we had the urge to eat it. You are but a middleman in this transaction.
Fats you eat are broken down into fatty acids, which travel through your blood feeding your cells their energy. But if your cells have already filled up on non-nutritious glucose, then the excess fatty acids become triglyceride bundles and are stored in the adipose tissue created by the excess carbs you ate earlier. This causes the adipose cells to expand, creating even more body fat.
Does fat make you fat? Only if your cells have stuffed themselves with junk food. The nutrient-dense cell-sustaining fatty acids have nowhere to go, but to live and die on your upper thighs. And because sugars process so quickly, your cells will soon be hungry again for the fats that got away.
Eating cold body fat is gross, and your cells feel the same way. Getting them to burn and eat that instead of actual food requires very hungry cells, and excessive physical activity that forces your starving cells to eat the fat. Like soggy microwaved leftovers.
That’s why anyone with a simple understanding of the basic tenants of digestion will understand that “a calorie is a calorie” is a ridiculous thing to tell someone sincerely trying to lose weight. Your body has no idea what a calorie even is. Our digestive system works in terms like glucose, glycogen, DNA synthesis, nutrient absorption, and cell energy. The rest is for us to figure out— not to utilize ancient terms for “energy” from before we understood how glucose worked.
I was going to make this article about how the CDC still thinks saturated fat causes cardiovascular disease despite growing evidence to the contrary. But that seems kind of boring compared to the basic rules of digestion we’ve ignored for so long, and the obesity that’s been making Americans very sad for a long time. Make your own decisions. Eat saturated fat if you want to. I eat a ton, and I stay away from carbs, but you don’t have to. Open minds birth the most revolutionary discoveries. Keep reading science and party on.
Obviously having one sucks but DO YOU KNOW WHY? because they’re super-intelligent masters of counterfeit like the absolute most badass mobsters you can imagine.
here’s how a virus works and I’m not even kidding:
virus enters you
immediately starts counterfeiting keys to get inside your cells. normally only your body’s own immune system is allowed to have those but since it has a key the cell lets it in because it has a key, right?
the virus goes inside and all the workers in the cell welcome it as a cool new visitor and bring it straight down into the nucleus which is usually a factory for immune cells. it gets there and just fuckin explodes RNA into the nucleus. that completely changes its function and basically makes it the virus’ bitch, turning it into a factory that makes more copies of the virus.
those new virus copies leave the cell and go find new cells to make their bitches, and it goes on and on. they’re so good at bullshitting that the immune system actually helps them out at first.
it takes a little while for your immune system to realize wtf just happened (that’s why vaccines work) which gives the virus enough time to basically take over, and then if your immune system is strong enough it goes on a massive killing/eating spree of as many virus copies as it can. which is fine because invaders are a white blood cell’s fav food but sometimes total eradication is just impossible because the virus is too clever.
BUT HERE’S THE KICKER: The virus needs you to stay alive so it can keep using you as a factory, so most viruses don’t kill you. HIV makes your immune system permanently injured so the virus can stay there forever, but it doesn’t kill you. getting sick while your immune system is disabled is what kills you, which is the only fuck you nature can really give to the genius of the virus.
oh and HERE’S WHAT THEY ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE:
this bacteriophage virus has legs and walks around implanting RNA into bacteria to make THEM produce more virus cells INSIDE OF YOU:
I seriously wonder sometimes if viruses are more evolved than humans. They’re sure as hell smarter than we are and they look way cooler. And they make catch me if you can look like a children’s movie.