The Rant 

I want my f*&king money back. I keep seeing a paid advertisement on television that deeply offends me and probably millions of other red-blooded Americans. It's the commercial for Positive Changes, the company that swears it can help you lose weight through hypnosis. You may have seen it. It's the one in which the still-overweight woman is talking about how great the program is and how it gives her so much more energy and, just when she says that, her eyes close and she appears to doze off. It's pretty spectacular in its badness and to think that they actually paid an advertising agency to create the spot is hilarious. But what offends me about the commercial is that right after she seemingly falls asleep on camera while talking about how much more energy she has, a very loud man appears and makes the statement: "Diets just don't work. Positive Changes does." Well, as a person who has been on a diet since the age of 11 and who has had success in some instances (though not lately, as gravity and old age continue to ravage my once sleek physique), I am offended and I am sure millions of other Americans who diet are too. Here we are trying to look better to make the United States of America a more pleasant country and cut down on healthcare costs associated with being overweight, and this man has the audacity to question us. I think the FCC should look into this and I want a portion of my Direct TV bill taken off. No, wait, I have a better idea. Let's have the U.S. Senate spend a great deal of time debating this paid ad and then spend more time voting for a nonbinding resolution to condemn it, like they did with the controversial MoveOn.org "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" ad that the group ran in The New York Times. And politicians wonder why we don't trust them. Sure, the ad backfired on them and gave those who live in constant fear of the terrorist bogeymen something to come together about, especially the Republican senators who aren't so happy with Bush and his war but don't have the 'nads to speak up about it because they might lose some of their conservative base. Now they have one extremely important vote under their belts to realign themselves with Bush in some way. Yes, they took the brave step of voting to condemn an ad in a newspaper. And even 22 senators from the Democratic side thought long and hard about this and cast their vote in favor of condemning the ad. What they should be condemning is the fact that The New York Times charges $142,083 for one page of advertising, even though Moveon.org somehow got the brother-in-law discount and paid only $65,575. Chicken feed. And pretty stupid of MoveOn.org to shell out that much money on one ad when they could be using that money on a campaign to get Bush impeached. But they have since said they will step up and pay the difference and the whiny Times issued a letter of apology for giving them the rate, in response to complaints by FreedomsWatch.org, the organization that pushes the war in Iraq and pays to run those horrible commercials about not "surrendering" featuring maimed, legless soldiers from the war talking about how they would like to go back. I went through every link on their Web site the other day, just for fun. Although they claim to be nonprofit, their site informs visitors that donations to the organization are not tax-deductible. Sounds pretty fishy to me. I also registered to become a member and sent them some questions, like: Do you pay these soldiers and their families to drone on and on about how great the war is and how much "progress" we are making? Of course, I haven't heard back from them, but that might be because I registered under the name Phil McCrackin. But back to the Senate vote — the brainchild of Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from, naturally, Texas. I guess he was bored with all the hard work he's been doing as the vice president of the Congressional Sportmen's Caucus, which is dedicated to making sure Americans have the right to hunt, fish, and trap animals. I guess it also gives him the right to trap senators in a room and have them waste their time admonishing a newspaper ad rather than trying to figure out a way to keep more soldiers from having their legs blown off. So, as I mentioned above, I want my f*&king money back. If one red cent of my taxes was used to pay for those senators' salaries and the time they spent, I want it redistributed to something worthwhile. And while they're at it, telling me that it is treasonous and unpatriotic and disgusting to ever, ever question or say anything bad about members of the U.S. military under any circumstances? Please. Watch a tape of the Abu Ghraib hearings. Trying to force us to be noncritical about the military is completely and utterly against what the military is laying their lives on the line for in Iraq, even if they are in the wrong country.

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