For National Cheeseburger Day, I give you my half of the 2013 poem that myself and Joy Young brought to the semi-finals, “It’s Golden (Training Day)”
It’s Golden (Training Day)
Everyone thinks that the Clown is in charge. His grease paint and ability to pull golden arches out of the air are just a little show for the cameras. I am the power behind the throne.
An all-beef patty, special sauce, the Royale… They call me the Mayor
but you can call me McCheese. In McDonaldland nothing gets done without my say-so.
You want some sesame seeds on that bun?
Good luck without a permit.
Want to know when the McRib is gonna be back? Well, I’ve got the stopwatch that starts on “limited time” and ends on “when I say so, motherfucker”.
If you want to Super Size that –
Well, you just let me know – I got a guy.
But it ain’t all dance parties with Mac and Me.
I hear the people talking about how they are the 99 Percent Value Meals
’bout wow I own this town and don’t give anything back to the community
They think this top hat and sash come cheap?
Just because I know the value of a dollar
doesn’t mean I’m gotta start handing out gift certificates like it’s the last night of Hanukah.
I’ve got mine, you can’t have it.
If you don’t like that, get back to your McJob behind the fryer,
Tell it to your McNugget Buddies that you’re gonna serve up with dipping sauce.
This is McDonald’s, baby. Everyone here is made of food. The Fry Guys, Birdie,
I think even Grimace bleeds some sort of grape drink
There is no liberation. It’s eat or be eaten,
if you think the Hamburgular is some sort of Robin Hood
stealing the burgers away to some sort of Happy Meal…
Well, I got an army of Big Macs that put his McAss in McJail
and he’s never coming out.
Not unless starts bringing back the cheddar for Mayor McCheese
So shut the fuck up.
The only color that matters here is Shamrock Shake green and if you want to talk about “the people”…
everyone walking in green fields singing and holding hands?
Well have a Coke and a smile, Then get back to work hope we don’t cut your hours for getting out of line – because this is McDonaldland
where cash is the Burger King.
While I’m a multi-issue voter – I care about whether or not my duly elected representative likes puppies, babies, AND Mom’s apple pie, for instance – there’s two issues that will make or break my support for a candidate: marine conservation and climate change. In Arizona, we’re upstream from ocean, so what we do here filters down into the Blue Eternal, and in Florida – well, Florida will literally live or die on the health of the oceans and the level of the sea. For my ocean adjacent home state of Florida, and the land-locked desert I now call home, I’ve decided to try to determine, in four races, who is the ocean hero who I can support, and hope, as a salt-water enthusiast, you will similarly support.
Those races will be Arizona’s and Florida’s gubernatorial and senatorial races, and I’m going to be honest with you – I don’t know what I’ll find. I know next to nothing about Florida gubernatorial Democratic candidates Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis, and while I like Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, and have a fair amount of animus towards current Florida governor and Republican Senate candidate Rick Scott, I’ve never gotten into the nuts and bolts if their records on ocean policy and climate change. For Arizona, same thing with current Republican governor Doug Ducey, and Democratic candidate David Garcia. For Arizona, I’m actually fairly antagonistic towards Democratic Representative Kyrsten Sinema, and I don’t care much for Republican Representative Martha McSally, both running for Arizona Senate.
What I’ll be doing is running a series of issues up the flagpole – for DeSantis, Sinema, and McSally, I’ll be using their Congressional voting records, focusing primarily on the most current Congressional session. Likewise for Bill Nelson, I will be focusing on his Senatorial voting record. For Doug Ducey and Rick Scott, I will be focusing primarily on laws they have signed and policy edicts they have issued. Gillum will likely be the biggest challenge, as Mayor of Tallahassee, he will have the most limited ocean policy record, so I may have to extrapolate based on his Mayoral record, coupling with promises made on the campaign trail.
Full disclosure – I am a Democrat, but I’m going to attempt to boil away as much of biases as humanly possible, and go with the science and consistency (meaning: if candidate X is for small government but mandates a big government policy, you’ll hear about it. Similarly, if a candidate is anti-climate change and then takes money from Big Oil, you’ll hear about that too).
There are some things that are going to be taken as non-negotiable.
1. Climate Change: The science is settled. It is real, it is man-made (anthropogenic), and it is causing problems from coral bleaching and ocean acidification, and a political columnist with no field experience or research work’s opinion does not carry the same weight as a scientist who is doing the work.
2. Biodiversity is critically important: Yes, the desert pupfish and the Lost River sucker are as important as the great white shark and right whale.
3. Plastic pollution must be addressed: This means from your drinking straw to a ghost fishing net. There is no single solution for this non-point pollution problem, and all of us are part of the problem (from the consumer to the producer). No, skipping the straw will not draw Lisa Frank rainbows in the sky over an ocean of jumping dolphins. Unless you need it due to disablity, there’s still no reason why you should be using a straw.
4. The affects of rivers and waterways upstream affect ocean health: This should be a no-brainer, but some people don’t get this.
The rating system will be clear and concise. I’ll introduce it with the first post I do, no later than Saturday morning, and we’ll start off, as is my wont, with shark conservation.
NOTE: THIS IS THE WORK OF A PRIVATE CITIZEN, EXPRESSING OPINIONS GUARANTEED UNDER THE 1ST AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES. I REPRESENT NO POLITICAL PARTY, POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE, 501(c)3 or 501(c4) CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION, OR COMPANY.
THE VOTE IS TODAY. CALL YOUR CONGRESSPERSON NOW AND TELL THEM TO VOTE NO ON HR 200.
The one thing about Congressional legislation in American politics is how Orwellian the naming conventions are designed to be. My favorite is the “USA PATRIOT” Act, which stood for: “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001”, and meant that the government had expanded authority to erode your Constitutional liberties in the name of “defending” you. I mean, you voted AGAINST the “USA PATRIOT” Act!?!?!? After 9/11? What kind of un-American monster are you?
And so it goes.
Some upcoming legislation I need you to call your Congresscritter about? The equally Orwellian-named “Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management” Act. I mean, who could be against that? Don’t you want to strengthen fishing communities? Don’t you want flexibility? WHY DO YOU WANT TO KILL THE GORTON’S FISHERMAN?!?! Of course, it’s not really about that. Thanks to a law called the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Act, which became law in 1976. Why’d it become law? Well, in part of due to the collapse of the North Atlantic Cod Fishery. Let me show you in one easy chart:
The Y axis is amount of cod caught in millions of tons. The X axis is the year. Look at what happened in 1976, and the in the 1990s. We basically wiped out a breeding generation and then WHOOPS WHAT HAPPENS 20 YEARS LATER. Magnuson-Stevens was designed to stop this, and that huge crash in the 1990s was basically because science got it wrong. Catch limits were set too high after the 1970s crash and then it literally killed the cod fishery in New England and Canada because the governments basically said “HA, YEAH, NO” to anyone who wanted to fish out the last remaining cod.
“Well, Klute, don’t you want to strengthen those communities? Again I ask, what kind of monster are you!??!” Well, here’s the thing – you strengthen the communities by making sure the fish are there to be caught. And lo, Magnuson-Stevens, with some good science now behind it is working really well. From the 2017 Report to Congress on the Status of the US Fisheries:
Read the whole thing (click on the link), but overall, the Magnuson-Stevens Act is working. There’s still that 9% that needs to be worked on, and the 15% that needs further recovery, but the act, by all accounts is working as is. Each year fish populations recover, and each year, the science gets better and gets tweaked to move the process forward toward recovery further. But ending overfishing is a constant battle. Look at what happened to the cod. Any species that is overfished can be overfished again. And certain elements of Congress who don’t understand the science (or who understand the science but are putting short-term economic gain over long term stability).
It’s on the docket today, with a vote scheduled for the end of the day.
I met a lot of cool people this weekend in Palm Springs at the ComicXpo! I hope you had as much fun learning about sharks as I did talking to you about them! If you bought some shark merch, I hope you’ll add this website or FOLLOW ME HERE ON FACEBOOK.
My favorite thing about shark pups is how they are more or less the same from the moment they are born to the day they die. There are, of course, important physiological and behavioral differences, but from an aesthetic point of view, they’re just… smaller (and dare I say, cute?).
This is how I do NOT like to see sharks (from the website BNQT, apparently associated with USA Today – and used under the Fair Use Doctrine):
“…the mail never stops. It just keeps coming and coming and coming. There’s never a let up – it’s relentless! Every day it piles up more and more and more! You gotta get it out, but then more you get it out, the more it keeps coming in!” – Newman, “Seinfeld”
Confession: I love the U.S. Postal Service. There is no other service in the world like it. You want to mail a letter from Nome, Alaska to Supai, Arizona? We’ve got snowmachines and a mule train ready to go and that’ll be $0.49, sir! Forty-nine cents! You can’t buy a can of soda for that. Plus… have you seen these?
So, I woke up in a pique and grabbed my phone and went onto Twitter and Facebook, as one does in the 21st Century at 3AM in the morning. As the tides of fate would have it, I first saw this, tagged in a post by Sister Klute.
“A whale found in a canal in southern Thailand has died after eating more than 80 plastic bags, according to officials.
The small male pilot whale was barely alive when he was discovered on Monday in the southern province of Songkhla, Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources said. Rescuers attempted to nurse the whale back to health, but he died on Friday after spitting up five plastic bags.
It’s National Oceans Month here in the United States, but if you’re like me – every month is National Oceans Month!
What is National Oceans Month? Well, it’s basically when the government acknowledges that while we may be a terrestrial species, we’re still at the mercy of the tides. And as Chief Executive of the United States Government, the President is the one who dedicates us to the seas during this month of June.
The great orator and 35th president, John F. Kennedy, spoke of the sea in personal, human terms. I could quote him, but in this video, you can hear the man speak…