Mike Merrill is a) publicly-traded, b) contractually-romanced, c) Republican, d) a veteran or e) all of the above.

"The ultimate goal is to create great television." -Johannes "John" Hendrikus Hubert de Mol, Jr.

(Source: 2020)

The latest addition to our Three Artists. One Song. collection, “Hero” by Frank Ocean + Mick Jones + Paul Simonon + Diplo, is now on Spotify.

This implies that one of these four is NOT an artist.

(Source: conversemusic)

Nice tie.

Nice tie.

5 months ago

Crazy Part 2

Remember when the weirdo from the Oregon Republican Party sent out a crazy email and I told him it sounded crazy?

He wrote back today.

"Yea, we most of us are crazy. So were the founders of our country. Best to

So… that’s interesting.

I have no idea what any of this nonsense is about.

This is the content of an email that I received today. Likely because I am a proud dues-paying member of the Oregon Republican Party.It is long, and you should not read it, but I include it for context.

My response was “Just FYI, this email makes you sound like a crazy person. Also, I have no idea what any of this nonsense is about.”

While I dread the response I am provoking, I thought it best to operate as if this person was sane but perhaps overly caffeinated. Very overly caffeinated…

Oregon Republican Party Joins with Tea Party

With Ames Eagles, Oregon is Unified
“Some people in Oregon have had issues with the Oregon Republican Party (ORP). They say that the ORP has forgotten our country’s First Principles just as the Democrat Party has,” says Dr. W. Ames Curtright DBA of Oregon, Chairman of Ames Eagles (representing over 40 conservative groups in the Northwest).

Dr. Art Robinson, Chairman of the Oregon Republican Party, agrees with those founding principles. The first principle being God! “This is a Christian nation,” said Dr. Ames. “The Republican Party chairman has joined with the Oregon Tea Party here in Oregon, unifying us.”

We are going to try to make it work by making changes in the ORP. That means an overhaul!

We Must Remember What the Tea Party is About!
Our Government has forgotten and we need to take some things back—that being our freedoms! From our Constitution:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.-That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” (The Tea Party Manifesto, Joseph Farah, 2010, pp. 177-179.) WND.

Ames Gathering of Eagles

“My friends call me Ames”…. he often says, since he is an Ames on his mother’s side. “Call me Ames! That’s where I come from!” ‘That’ being a patriotic ancestry rich with noteworthy men of faith and courage. Their deeds and convictions run through his veins and ground his values, words and actions.

Dr. Ames founded Ames Eagles eight years ago and named it after the author of the First Amendment, his ancestor Fisher Ames. “We are a gathering of Tea Party, Conservative Republican, and Independent, freedom-loving, God-fearing Americans,” said Dr. Ames. “We believe in the spiritual principles of freedom and believe those freedoms were founded by our forefathers and written into the Constitution and Bill of Rights to be self-evident and undeniably true. Each year we host the ‘Gathering of Eagles’ at our ranch and everyone from Todd Palin to Tom DeLay and Jerome Corsi to Herman Cain come out for the most patriotic event in the Northwest.”

Our Nation’s Role and Foundation

Dr. Ames goes on to say:

“Oregon’s collective groups believe that our federal government was meant to do only two things: National defense and Interstate commerce. Anything more than that is excessive and those laws are for the States.

That is our only hope for freedom; we must have a collapsing Government with less law and less regulation. In other words, a smaller Government. A government can only make so many laws before it becomes tyrannical. We must get back to basics or the country could collapse. If it does, the people will not miss it much, and business will again prosper.

Many people in the Tea Party want Government to shut down with the exception of national Defense and Social Security. We certainly would not miss it. Charities and the people would more than likely pick up their family responsibilities and go back to the normal survival society that we had prior to World War II.

The government dictates to our kids about teachings from the oldest book of all time, the Bible. About separation of church and state, but we would all be much happier if the Department of Education would just stay out of our lives altogether. We prefer charter schools. We resent the department of education telling us in their wasteful budgets how to worship and what to read. Ethics have to be taught somewhere and the Bible is the best book for it. The author of the First Amendment said: “The Bible is the best book of all time, it makes us all the same, it needs to be taught in schools.”

I know Congressman Tom DeLay has called for that. He thinks if we shut it down, we wouldn’t miss it! I must agree with him. He is right. I certainly would not miss the EPA, DEQ, and OSHA. Most agencies are very wasteful and tend to support their Unions which we jokingly call the Union of Socialist republics (SEIU) and so on.

The house has the purse strings, yet they fail to do that. They have the power over the President with the budget. We in the Tea Party are not very happy with Congressman Boehner. He does not really like us either, I think. It would be good if he would listen.

Also, many of us are “birthers.” We are still wondering why a President born in Kenya, with a father born in Kenya that we think is a Muslim, bless his little heart, is not being investigated by an oversight committee. “The propaganda on it is so great that no one has the courage to do it. That’s why we have had a problem with the Republican Party: they too often lack courage to do what’s right for the Country, but they do what is right politically for themselves - and quite often is to the advantage to the opponents.

We often feel that our leaders have no spine and lack the courage to uphold the constructional principles. In business we do not spend more than we earn. The government seems above that!

We respect human life and believe that unborn children are alive and have constitutional rights as well.

We understand the tactics of winning the next election and the democrats are working on losing, but they (the Republicans) seem to forget that we have more voter fraud in this nation than the Soviet Union and China combined. Ronnie won every state where there was voter identification. The rest he lost. We need voter identification, verifiable pictures, and voter polls where people can be identified on the spot. It is the only way to ensure a fair election.

The Left, the progressives, love their socialist President!

The Republican Party cannot continue, even for tactical purposes or election purposes, to set aside their principles. Doing the right thing is what people expect. We, the Tea Party, follow courage, not leaders. Our steps are taken in faith, prayer, action, courage.

We have 27 constitutional amendments - I think 12 would be much better.

I believe our oath is in God, not man, and that a nation without god will always destruct. My great ancestor Fisher Ames said it best, “We are inherently corrupt and thus we need God.”

But more than anything, we are a Christian nation, with Christian foundations. Our nation has forgotten God! Our nation is occupied by outside forces; our nation is concentrating too hard on social issues. One must understand America’s history and its intention to keep its foundations in place and on course. Tea Party people recognize the importance of America and know that if America falls to liberalism, communism, and progressivism it will become a country without morals or God, and then the nation will fail.”

Party Corruption

We are all different socially. We have different opinions, naturally. But Dr. Ames feels social issues are used to separate us, and communists, progressives, and liberals try and change course on us and confuse us.

He quotes one infiltrator in the Republican Party who said these words, “One does not have to be a communist or democrat in order to practice Mao’s theory: the best way to deny reality and to confuse the issue is to turn the facts upside down in order to cover up one’s real intention.”

That is why Dr. Ames feels it is imperative that the Republican Party unify. “We need to recognize that communists exist in our midst and want to disrupt us. They are taking positions in our government in programs like Obama Care, DHS, and unions across the country in order to control us. The word we need to recognize and use for these people is not Progressive, Democrats, or Liberals. It is Communists. They should know what they are! This is the enemy that killed 70 million people during World War II, and America needs to Wake Up because it is happening again today!” I say, “Wake up, America!”

Moving Forward in Unity

Dr. Ames hopes that the actions being taken at the ORP level will also help the Republican National Committee but first we need to work on Oregon. He is working as a trouble-shooter for the ORP Chairman, and having earned the Chairman’s devout confidence, he is empowered to speak for all of Oregon’s Tea Parties.

He also holds the title as fundraiser chair and sits on the budget committee with the ORP treasurer. “It is my job to see that funds are going where they were intended to go by those who are donating and that no funds are wasted,” said Dr. Ames.

He sees both these things as a step in the right direction but recognizes that they are only tipping a snowball at the top of a hill that needs to gather much more momentum.
Failure to Act

For Dr. Ames there simply is no other choice but to act. “If America falls, we will return to tyranny. This is the power and inherent danger of indoctrination, of turning people into blind obedient loyal followers of a false ideology. Atrocities will cascade and millions will die worldwide because America will not be there to check that evil. America’s Tea Parties stand as a check to dictatorship and communism - those evil pillars, which are the final goal and agenda of the Left.”

Opt out of Dropbox's arbitration clause


If you’re a Dropbox user, you probably got an email in the last few days about an update to their TOS that basically puts all disputes into arbitration rather than litigation. 

If you’re like me, you probably glossed over this update because gah, legalese. 

Allow me to summarize what it means when a company wants to handle all disputes in arbitration:

No matter what they do (delete your data, privacy breach, overcharging, whatever), you don’t get to sue. Instead, THEY get to choose the arbitrator according to whatever criteria they want, and thus any dispute is decided by someone they’re paying.

Also, you can’t join a class-action suit against them. Which sounds like no big deal, but when a company takes advantage of a bunch of people all in the same small way (incorrectly assessing a service charge, for example), class action is how companies are made to clean up their act en masse, instead of waiting for thousands of people to call them up and demand their $20 back or whatever.

I love Dropbox and use/recommend it enthusiastically. But this is a company that we entrust with some of our most important data- the kind of data we need to have access to wherever we are. Family photos, portfolios, projects representing years of work, etc. And as we’ve seen with Google buying Nest, even if we trust the management team in charge of our data right now, that’s not guaranteed in the future. Founders move on to other things. Companies with great products get acquired. Business decisions get made that change the direction of the company.

The agreement we make with Dropbox is too important to be enforced only by an arbitrator of their choosing. You have 30 days from the date of notification to opt out of the arbitration clause. Do it now.

I mentioned that the Pinterest business account was weird, but this is weirder. I just opted out of part of the TOS of a service because I read something on twitter…

This is why people want to wear flannel and butcher their own meats. Our world is getting fucking complicated.

Pinterest is offering me the “opportunity” to switch to a business account. They assure me that all the features are the same… but it seems the difference is in the Terms of Service. Weird.

Pinterest is offering me the “opportunity” to switch to a business account. They assure me that all the features are the same… but it seems the difference is in the Terms of Service. Weird.

6 months ago