Monday, January 29, 2018

Las Vegas Culture and Steve Wynn

This is not a defense of Steve Wynn nor an excuse to dismiss the accusing women.

To understand why it took so long for many of these women to come forward with sexual misconduct and harassment against Steve Wynn, you must understand the Las Vegas and gaming culture and why these women did not come forward sooner.

Las Vegas is a company town. Self-contained desert community surrounded by mountains.

When Steve Wynn first came to town, there were just a handful of casinos, long before he started the Mega-Resort boom with the Mirage Hotel & Casino. The Mob was being pushed out and a new Mob, aka Corporations, were moving in.

But even as corporate culture slowly took over, many things in Las Vegas did not change. For a valley that has over 2 million people, it's still a "small town" as far as the gaming industry is concerned. 

Generally, if something happened to a female (or male in some instances) back before Anita Hill made headlines with her recounting of sexual harassment by (current SCOTUS justice) Clarence Thomas, you generally kept it to yourself as to not jeopardize your job. Silence is golden. Human Resources departments talked with one another and owners talked to one another. If an owner owned more than one casino, you were blackballed from the other properties. 

As the consolidation of the gaming industry ensued, old policies had to be abandoned. The blackballing of people from employment had to go away. If you worked at one property and tried to get a job at another property owned by the same company, you cannot be barred from being hired.

Now, back to Steve Wynn. He is a powerful man in Las Vegas. He is a powerful man in Nevada. He pulls a lot of weight and strings. Back in the day, one call could make or break you if you said anything. Your career in gaming would be finished in Vegas.

What the #MeToo moment did was emboldened women to come forward. The fear of retribution is gone. No one is immune, even in a closed environment like the gaming industry. It is corporate culture now. No more sole proprietorships. There are boards of directors, stock market trades, shareholders. No more cloistered existences. Vegas is an open book.

Friday, December 22, 2017

How Trump is Fucking us by not signing Tax Scam Bill in 2017

Friday, December 01, 2017

GOP Tax Scam Hypocrisy

[Begin Rant] For context, the ACA deliberation process for it to become law started in January 2009 in several committees, Amendments from both sides of the aisle then signed into law by President Obama in March 2010. The bill was read, deliberated on and amended.

For years, the ignorant nutfucks on the right have taken a quote from Nancy Pelosi out of context, so here's exactly what was said to lead up to the trope the right has pushed for almost a decade:

"Imagine an economy where people could follow their aspirations, where they could be entrepreneurial, where they could take risks professionally because personally their families [sic] health care needs are being met. Where they could be self-employed or start a business, not be job-locked in a job because they have health care there, and if they went out on their own it would be unaffordable to them, but especially true, if someone has a child with a pre-existing condition. So when we pass our bill, never again will people be denied coverage because they have a pre-existing condition.

We have to do this in partnership, and I wanted to bring [you] up to date on where we see it from here. The final health care legislation that will soon be passed by Congress will deliver successful reform at the local level.  It will offer paid for investments that will improve health care services and coverage for millions more Americans. It will make significant investments in innovation, prevention, wellness and offer robust support for public health infrastructure.  It will dramatically expand investments into community health centers.  That means a dramatic expansion in the number of patients community health centers can see and ultimately healthier communities.  Our bill will significantly reduce uncompensated care for hospitals.

You’ve heard about the controversies within the bill, the process about the bill, one or the other.  But I don’t know if you have heard that it is legislation for the future, not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America, where preventive care is not something that you have to pay a deductible for or out of pocket.  Prevention, prevention, prevention–it’s about diet, not diabetes. It’s going to be very, very exciting.

But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy."

Now, in the current state of affairs, we have the GOP pushing a tax bill that takes things away from the poor and middle class and hands it over to the rich and well connected. It's a massive redistribution of wealth to the top. This was tried when Rotting Ronnie did it in the 80's and the middle class got fucked in the ass dry. The GOP are writing this bill, with the help lobbyists on the fly, they have not read it, they aren't allowing it to be scored or allowing opposition party amendments.THEY ARE FUCKING STEALING FROM US AND GIVING IT TO THEIR RICH FRIENDS. WAKE THE FUCK UP.

You Tea Party cunts who bitched about taxes are awfully quiet this. Oh, wait... The black guy isn't in the White House, so you don't care. You got your pig in office, now he's going to pick your pockets because you're too fucking stupid to see it. Keep living in your Fox News bubble and cry about e-mails and uranium. Ignorant twats that you are. [End Rant]

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Heroes [A Rant]

[Begin Rant] Last night as I was walking out of the theater (after seeing Wonder Woman again), there was a couple walking next to me hand-in-hand. The guy says to the girl "Well, at least there weren't a lot of liberal messages in it." My ears perked up and I shot him an evil glance. Then I went home and I stewed about the comment most of the night and that lead me to this post.
I should have told his he's full of shit. 95% of superheroes (DC & Marvel) are liberal. They don't talk about politics in the movies, but their actions tell a different story.
The heroes are the ones on the battlefield doing what is right for the world. They are altruistic in their ways. They save people from getting hurt. They go above and beyond with disregard of their own safety to help others. They are the Light in this world. They fight the forces of Darkness.
Maybe if they paid more attention to the parables in their holy books, they would understand. Until then, they will remain lost and not understand what a real Hero is. [End Rant]

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

About those Celebrities having voices

[Begin Rant] So, you’re sick of hearing “Liberal” celebrities voice their political opinion??  Really???  Bite Me!!! Celebrities have been doing it for a very long time – speaking out for the pale and downtrodden of society. They are the voice people need because sometimes those in power don’t listen to voices like mine or yours.

They have been doing this for ages. But everyone seems to be focused on “Hollywood” and actors and actresses speaking out. This goes far beyond the stars in the tiny hamlet adjacent to Los Angeles.

It goes to our music as well. Rock and Roll and Rap/Hop-Hop have always had a social and political conscience. They talk about subjects you don’t hear in Country Music since that genre is so wrapped up in a god and country, it only knows one type of value – there’s not many socially aware country songs.

Frank Sinatra was at the forefront of racial integration. He was for Civil Rights. He was for school integration.

Artists of the 1960’s came of age in the Vietnam era writing about the perils of the nation at war and songs of peace. Some were even big enough to voice opposition to elected leaders.

Music was a vehicle to voice a political opinion, but people tend to forget about that. It has weaved into the fabric of society. Many just hear a good beat or guitar riff, but rarely hear the words.

The 1970’s saw the birth of progressive rock and longer songs, but the messages were still there. You just had to know where to look. They were subtle, but still there.

Skip to the 80’s – songs took on the cold war, the environment (acid rain come to mind?), consumerism… The list goes on and on.

But don’t tell me it’s just “Hollywood.”

What is sad is you have “Conservative” celebrities sitting in the shadows, thinking they might get picked on or lose roles for their political leanings. That’s bullshit. They are cowards – they meet in Secret (Friends of Abe). The most vocal people they have are all nuts (see: Ted Nugent).

So, next time you want to talk about celebrities voicing their opinions, you might want to shut off your radio – you might be hearing a song by someone who has an opinion. {End Rant]

Monday, May 02, 2016

I Finally Found Myself

My name is Paul.

I never understood who I was.

Now I know who I am.

What it took to bring me to this point.

Why I am saying this here and now.

I’ve never said it in a public forum, but a few close and trusting friends know. I’m going to say it now… Here goes nothing…

I’m Bisexual.

(Image via on Facebook)
There I said it. It wasn’t so difficult. I thought it would be, but it wasn’t. I figured it was time as I am nearing the half century mark in my life.

That’s not to say I’ve never dated or slept with my own gender. My exploration and curiosity days are long gone. It was when I was young I didn’t understand my attractions. I never knew why I was drawn to a Hardy Boy and Wonder Woman, or in my teen years, a Superman and a Supergirl. I never understood why I had crushes on male classmates but at a young age, not as strong as crushes I had on female classmates, but the attractions were there.

For years, I fought with myself regarding my sexuality. I would sometimes withdraw into myself. Although I am an introvert by nature, I would just not leave my house, except for work. The only way to find acceptance for my sexuality would be for me to accept me for who I am. I am who I am and I accept me. I love me. In the end, it will always be me. I have to learn to love myself. Something that I have been dealing with most of my life. It’s been a long road, and now that I can accept my bisexuality as who I am, I can learn to love myself as a whole person.

Over the years, I have encountered many people within the LGBT community. Most are accepting of the “B” of the LGBT, but some aren’t. Same goes for the “straight” community regarding the “B” in the LGBT. It’s probably one of the reasons I decided to keep to myself for so long. Nowhere to fit in.

For years, I could be open about love for a female, but dead silent if I had feelings for a male. I’ve decided it’s time to learn to not to care what others think and just do what comes naturally for me. This is my life. If someone wants to continue on my life’s journey, they are welcome to tag along. If not, well, it was a hell of a journey up to this point. I wish you well.

(Image via on Facebook)

I thought it was time to come out when the Proposition 8 fight was happening in California a few years back, but I didn’t do it. I don’t know why. I was fighting for and supporting my allies in the LGBT community, but I fell short and became as silent as the “B” in LGBT.

I thought it was time to come when same-sex marriage was ruled constitutional by SCOTUS, but still remained silent. I was proud but quiet.

Now, with the anti-transsexual “bathroom bills” popping up in various states, I felt it was time.

People tend to fear what they don’t understand or what their religion tells them to fear. Their god tells them that LGBT people are “sinners”. That we’re “unnatural”. That our feelings don’t count. We’re a “less than” of society. We deserve less rights because we don’t fit what their “good book” says. But we do. We deserve every right afforded to the heterosexuals, regardless of what a book of fairytales says. We are humans and, believe it or not, some of us do not believe in these deities they worship.

Lately, I’ve been posting “Bisexual” items on my Facebook wall. For years, I’ve been posting things in solidarity for the LGBT cause as a “straight ally”, but now things are personal. I’ve come to accept who I am and no longer afraid to hide behind a mask. No, I am not going to publicly “out” myself, but if someone were to ask me a direct question, I will answer “Yes, I am bisexual”. Of course, if they don’t know me by now or haven’t figured it out by now, they really haven’t been paying attention.

That’s my story. I hope you learned a bit about who I am and stick around for the next chapter.


 (Cross posted on Tumblr)

Monday, February 29, 2016

Failure to Vet Trump

I'm sure Donald Trump's presidential aspirations would be in the dustbin of history had his contenders vetted his background early on and challenged him on it rather than treat his candidacy as a joke and let it fester, thus giving rise to the dregs of humanity rising above the slime he's created.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Comment Regarding Guns

"Well Regulated". Not hard to understand. The government has and can regulate any and all firearms, much to the chagrin of gun owners. I've never called for banning guns for hunting - you can comb my wall - and if you have, you've never commented. Personally, you don't need a large capacity magazine for hunting unless you're a shit shot. Again, if it looks like something the Armed Forces uses, it does not belong on the streets. Also, why would you need armor piercing bullets - I've never seen a deer wearing a bulletproof vest. Some of the arguments made in the gun culture make no sense. It's NOT all about your rights, but my rights to walk down the street without the fear of intimidation from people walking around like it's the fucking wild west. No one walks around with name tags saying "Hi, I'm a good guy with a gun".

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Fuck them all!!!

We've gone from "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." to "[...] the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." to "[...] shall not be infringed." I say fuck them all and start infringing. They are not in any Militias. That is all.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Rant about the Confederate Flag

[Begin rant] Just to be clear, the Confederate Flag (any and all incarnations of it, including the Battle Flag) does not belong on ANY state funded property. They are flags of traitors to the United States of America. No state park or state grounds should be flying it or erecting monuments to the Confederacy (aka Confederate States of America) as they were TRAITORS to this nation fighting for the right to OWN people.
Now, if you want to fly the flags at your home, get them tattooed on your arm, or have a flag pole shooting out of your ass, that's your business. You have that right. But to say that flag is heritage, you're saying you support what that war was fought for, IMHO. The Battle Flag was not erected over state capitols in the south because they had all fuzzy feelings for history, but to show supremacy during the Civil Rights movement.
As far as The General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard, leave it alone. Mind you, it wasn't public backlash for the show being removed from TV Land, it was a business decision from a corporation - just like the removal of the flag from many retail outlets. The car, in itself, was a character on the show. If a band like Lynyrd Skynyrd flies the flag at their shows, great - it's their show to do it at.
But the main purpose of this rant is to say it does not belong on PUBLIC property in any way, shape or form. It should be in the dustbin of history. If someone wants to erect a monument to the CSA, then it should be done with private funding, not public and on PRIVATE land. [End rant]

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” are the words that stand out to me from the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776. Such a short phrase, yet it means so much to so many people in this country. That is the reason we fight for what we believe in, whether a conservative or liberal cause, we fight.

But what are we fighting for? Boil it down to the simplest of definitions, we fight for a better tomorrow. This is part of the struggle we all face, but some more than others.

The Colonialists fought and struggled through a war of Independence against the British Crown to forge a new country.

The Liberals fought to free people of color from the bondage of slavery, which divided this country. The US divided, fought – the side of Liberty won.

The struggle for Civil Rights was a many decades fight. People were beaten, tortured, and killed for trying to get the rights to vote, to sit at the front of a bus, to sit at a lunch counter – to be a HUMAN BEING, and not a second class citizen. But this struggle continues as the barriers just take up different forms by way of different kinds of hate.

The struggle for Women’s Rights has also been a long battle. They’ve only had the right to vote for less than 100 years, and they couldn’t sign contracts or buy houses without having a spouse up until the 1970’s. They are the only class of people who have laws passed to regulate what they can and cannot do with their bodies. Misogyny does not bring Happiness.

Our LGBT brothers and sisters have fought a long battle, too. First they fought for acceptance and escaping the confines of their proverbial closet. They fought and won the fight to marry the ones they love. Our Transgender brothers and sisters still have some battles ahead, but they too shall prevail.

In the end, it’s always a struggle, no matter your skin color, gender, sexual orientation, nationality… We fight the battles, lose some, win others, but the winners are always on the right side of history. The Colonialists won, African-Americans won (but it’s still an uphill climb, but can claim many victories), Women are still battling misogyny at many turns but are winning, and LGBT are finally getting a victory lap they deserve. Our country isn’t perfect, but in each of us, we all strive for “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” 

Monday, April 20, 2015

War of the Clintons [Facebook rant 04/20/2015]

[Begin Rant] I've already said my piece about Hillary Clinton and wanting a primary and not a coronation. I'm not going to bash or take a side until there's a side, but I refuse to allow this bickering on the Left to lose the election because you're butt-hurt over shit Bill did almost 20 years ago. Sure, he did shit we all despise, but I won't let the office of POTUS or next SCOTUS appointments fall into the hands of the Republicans - they're all fucking nuts!!!! [End Rant]

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ted Cruz is a Panderer!!!!

[Begin Rant] Expanding on a status I put up earlier: "I'm sorry Canada Cruz, but there could be 100 9-11 attacks and I still wouldn't give up Rock music for Country. That is all!"
What was said by Ted Cruz:
"Music is interesting," he said. "I grew up listening to classic rock, and I'll tell you sort of an odd story: My music taste changed on 9/11. And it's very strange. I actually intellectually find this very curious. But on 9/11, I didn't like how rock music responded. And country music collectively, the way they responded, it resonated with me.
"And I have to say, it just is a gut-level. I had an emotional reaction that says, these are my people," Cruz said of country artists. "So ever since 2001, I listen to country music. But I'm an odd country music fan, because I didn't listen to it prior to 2001." {quote via:…/ted-cruz-on-9-11-i-didnt-like…}
And here's where I call BULLSHIT!!!!
Rock music did indeed respond to 9/11. Rock music responded in many ways and by many artists. Cruz might be educated, but he's a goddamned idiot to not see it. He is within a few years of me in age, so I can honestly say many of the bands we grew up listening to aren't around anymore, so suffice to say, his "Classic Rock" line could, in theory, be true, but to say there wasn't a response by the Rock genre is a load of shit. Doing a Simple Google search of "rock songs about 9/11" gives you "About 4,260,000 results".
Now, onto this Country Music nonsense. I'm not knocking you personally if you listen to this genre (but I can say you can really do better, but I digress). To say that Country Music responded better than Rock is absurd, to say the least. Sure, there might have been a quicker response from the artist because they have songwriting teams like they did in the golden age of rock at the Brill Building, churning out songs that were ready to go for whoever was in a studio at any given moment. I've seen songwriting credits on many country albums and there are so many co-writers for songs, unlike a majority of Rock bands who write within the band (or write individually and present to the band). Add to this, Country artists release a couple albums a year, then put out a Greatest Hits after three albums with a new song to soak the rubes who already have the last three discs. So, in essence, it takes time to write a song.
Ted Cruz can shove his nonsense up his ass. Country and Rock (and other genres) artists came together on September 21, 2011 at Madison Square Garden for the America: A Tribute to Heroes concert.
Via Wikipedia:
"Over 35 network and cable outlets simultaneously broadcast America: A Tribute to Heroes, including: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, A&E, BET, Country Music Television, Comedy Central, Court TV, Discovery Channel, E!, Fox Family, Fox Sports Net, FX, Galavision, Hallmark Channel, HBO, Lifetime, MTV, Oxygen, PAX, PBS, Sci-Fi, Showtime, Sundance Channel, Telemundo, TLC, TNN, TNT, The WB, Turner South, Univision, UPN, USA Network and VH1.
America: A Tribute to Heroes was simulcast on the Internet at and at America Online, as well as on more than 8,000 radio outlets around the country, including Westwood One, Clear Channel Communications and ABC Radio affiliates in major markets.
Internationally, America: A Tribute to Heroes was distributed to broadcasters in more than 210 countries around the world including BBC One in the United Kingdom. Further, the American Forces Network carried the program live on radio and television to American soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in over 175 countries around the world"

Monday, March 23, 2015

Guns and False Equivalencies [Facebook rant 03/23/2015]

I'm sick of hearing these BULLSHIT false equivalencies regarding firearms. Yes,  knives, screwdrivers, hammers, cars, trucks, motorcycles, planes, trains, etc. can all kill people, but they weren't invented for killing; Guns were. If this wasn't the case, armies would be going to war with a soup spoon in one hand and a meat cleaver in the other. So stop with the fucking excuses for guns. They are meant for maiming and/or killing.