Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Uncle Bud

I sure get a kick out of my Uncle Bud Seawright. Oh, he’s not really my uncle, just a really good, long time family friend. The thing about Uncle Bud is, he calls things just exactly like he sees them. There’s no ‘finesse’ bullshit about Uncle Bud. And, Uncle Bud has a good bit to say about the current state of affairs in these good old United States of America today.

“Ain’t never been this bad before,” he says. “never, no time.”

One of his favorite topics lately is the Tea Party phenomenon. “What in Hell are they talking about they ‘won’t stand it anymore’?” he says.  “Hell, most of ‘em never had it so good in their gol-damned lives! That’s how come they got the time and wherewithal today to have them rallies they call ‘Tea Parties’ where they stand around and holler about how they’re gonna ‘take back their country’! Damnation! Pure dog ignorance oughten never to be a point of view!”

Uncle Bud says the only tea parties he ever knew about were for sissy little girls and their imaginary friends. And the more I think about that, the more sense it makes to me.

Uncle Bud says, "it’s gol-damned well obvious some folks never get too old to learn something stupid, on top of them already being dumber than a half can of five-year-old house paint to start with." I guess you might say he doesn’t have a whole lot of use for the Tea Partiers.

“Hell, most of ‘em’s on the social security rolls anyhow.” he says. “They’re just all churn and no buttermilk, and letting the demagogues run ‘em around like lab rats in a maze.”

And don’t get Uncle Bud started on what he thinks about today’s Republicans. “Hell, I used to think a lot of Republicans.” Uncle Bud says. “In fact, I voted Republican more times than not, back when they had some damned sense. Back a while you could count on most Republicans to do the right thing, but now, all they do is whore for the banks, the rich and big business, and talk gloom, doom and calamity with a black Democrat in the White House. That is, what time they ain't chasing restroom queers and little boys, and every damned one of ‘em preaching ‘family values!’”

“I remember what that Republican Senator Margaret Chase Smith told that godawful slimy toad Joe McCarthy back in the ‘fifties.” Uncle Bud says. “She told him, she was a Republican, but damned sure didn’t want to ride to victory on the four horsemen of calumny - fear, ignorance, bigotry and smear. I was mighty proud of that little woman when she told him that, I tell you, still am, God rest ‘er soul. But, it sure looks like the Republicans have resurrected those horsemen lately.” 

Whenever I catch Uncle Bud mentioning ‘God’ or religion, I never say anything. I don’t want to get him started off down THAT road. 

Uncle Bud says religion, and especially the Christian flavor “Ain’t nothing but fairy tales based on myths writ down by goat herders thousands of years ago, and served up today by self-serving charlatans, to the naive and scairt, trying to relieve them of as much of their money as they can.”

"Hellfire, some of them 'Reverends' got gold rings on every damned finger!"

You can see why I don’t want to get off on that topic. He’s bad enough about it without my mentioning anything. The last time he got off on the subject of American Christians he got so mad he started shouting at me. Me, his loyal friend!

I said, “Uncle Bud, hold on just a minute. You know all that religion stuff is not MY fault?”

And, he just snorted and said, “I never said it was your damned fault! I just said I was blaming you!”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Evolution of Everything

Charles Darwin published his “On The Origin of Species” in 1859. And, the desperate  battles by religious people were begun in attempts to disprove ‘evolution’ as it came to be known. Most religions, and most particularly the Christian varieties, must argue against evolution since their messages insist otherwise. Most fundamental Christian religious cultures maintain ‘God’ created our world and everything in it or on it around 6000 years ago in spite of all evidence otherwise. Their battles against the reality of evolution continues to this day.

If you doubt this, all you need to do is visit the comments sections of web sites where this subject is discussed.

The Christian argument is based upon ‘The Book’ -  the bible and on their ‘faith’, or belief. That they can not present empirical evidence of any sort does not slow them from fighting fiercely for their convictions, and some can even name the date God created ‘everything’. Many Christians insist that faith alone is all the proof needed. It says so in ‘The Book’, therefore it is so. Some Christians demand their ‘Creationist’ viewpoint be taught to schoolchildren as a ‘theory’ as in ‘Creation Science’ and ‘Intelligent Design. This as a counter argument against evolutionary theory, which they insist is unproven - though there are volumes of scientific evidence to support it, and not one scintilla in support of creationism.

But, that does not matter when it comes to matters of faith, which by definition needs no evidence. The creationist argument reminds me of the ‘Flat Earthers’ who insisted the Earth is flat, and could not be round. A 'spherical Earth' notion also went against the prevailing cultural opinions of the time - even though there was plenty of evidence otherwise for those who were observant. Indeed there were many adherents to a flat Earth theory well into the 20th Century. Some Christians based their flat Earth convictions on references in The Book to the ‘Four Corners of the Earth’.

One example: Joshua Slocumb was introduced to President Paul Krueger of the South African Republic during Slocumb's 1897 sailing circumnavigation of the Earth. ‘Oom Paul’ (Uncle Paul) as he was known by his people, strenuously objected, “You don’t mean round the world, impossible! You mean ‘in the world’!”

Krueger even sent around a deputation of clergymen from his sect ‘Reformed Churches of South Africa’ to convince Slocumb he was mistaken, even though Slocumb himself was empirical proof! Such is the power of denial by faith.

And, so it goes. ‘Faith’ convictions are never overturned until totally overwhelmed by reality beyond any and all doubt or argument. So long as there is the slightest iota of doubt - real or invented - already convinced people will deny reality in favor of their convictions. But, eventually there does come a tipping point, and the firm conviction gives way to unavoidable rationality. Few people today still argue for a flat Earth, at least and still be thought rational. And so it shall be with religion in time. We already see a strong tendency towards secularism in the western world today. People claiming a religious faith in the US are now less than half the population - down considerably just in the past two decades. In most countries in Europe, the percentages are far less. I view this as an ‘evolution’ in terms of human thought - our species is becoming more rational over time.

I think this holds true for other issues too. As a species, we tend to evolve our societies towards more rational and more protective concepts for the society as a whole. A recent report in Scientific American hinted at altruism in rats. Free rats would try to free another rat trapped in an enclosure, even if it meant then having to share food with the trapped rat. And those who argued against actual altruism in rats still make my point about evolution of the species, i.e., “Either the rat is freeing the companion to end its own stress (caused by an alarm signal) or it is doing it to end the perceived stress of the caged rat.”

The outcome is the same: Freeing the trapped rat is ‘better for the species as a whole”.

Overall, our world is evolving towards the betterment of the whole. You can track this from the family level, through local neighborhoods, states, regions, nations, and even the entire planet. And, even though we often experience setbacks, and sometimes major ones, the mean path always tracks towards ‘better’. If you take the long view, you will see this in religion, science, politics, technology, manufacturing, societies, cultures and everything else; the tendency is always to ‘evolve’ to a higher and better level over time. The pace of evolution is often tedious, sometimes taking decades, even centuries, but the path is inexorably ‘onward and upward’.

So, in spite of all the ills we see around us daily, the planet and everything on it evolves always towards the ever fitter overall, for ‘this too shall pass’. This gives me calm when I think about the legacy the present human generations are leaving for our grandchildren and descendants.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

God is on Rick Perry’s Side!*

Rick Perry was interviewed by Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly shortly after the debate hosted by ABC on December 10, 2011:

O’Reilly: Welcome Rick!
Perry: Thank you Bill. Glad to be here.

O’Reilly: Well Rick, you sure gave a better account of yourself in the last debate.
Perry: Well thanks, yep. I studied up for this one and I guess it showed.

O’Reilly: Sure did. At least you didn’t make a stupid mistake like you did when you listed off three things then could only remember one and a half of them.
Perry: Yep. That was a real ‘oops’ moment for me there. Made me look foolish and stupid.

O’Reilly: I cringed for you when that happened. I said to myself, ‘Gosh. That sure did make Perry seem stupid.’
Perry: Ain’t that the truth? But, I ain’t really a stupid man - I just play one on TV sometimes. Just can’t seem to help it now and again.

O’Reilly: (Laughs) I’m saying one thing though Rick. You sure do have the presidential look to you.
Perry: Well, that ain’t an accident Bill. I practice looking like that. My mama used to tell me, ‘you got to look like what you want to be.’ ‘Course, she wanted me to be a preacher, and I guess you could say a preacher look is a lot like a presidential look in many ways.

O’Reilly: Yes, you sure seem to have that part down. I don’t believe any of your competition look as much like a president as well as you do.
Perry: Nope, I agree. But, remember another thing Bill. In a way being a president is a lot like being a preacher. Or, a governor. I mean being a governor is like being a preacher too in some ways. 

O’Reilly: How so?
Perry: Well, you know we give a lot of speeches and talks standing behind a podium like a preacher. It’s what I like to call it the ‘godly look’, and I practice that. And, you know like hand gestures. Holding your hands in a prayerful way, and moving out from behind the podium to make a point like a preacher. All that promotes the godly look. I have to confess I sometimes practice my godly look in front of a mirror.

O’Reilly: Godly look?
Perry: Yep. And, it ain’t an accident either. I AM a godly man. I brought God with me back into the Texas statehouse. I did that because God told me to do it.

O’Reilly: God told you?
Perry: Oh, yes. I’ll never forget it. He said to me, ‘Rick’ - we’ve been on real familiar terms since I've been governor - He said to me, ‘Rick, I’m counting on you, and I want you to save Texas, and steer Texas back onto the path of righteousness. Texas has been losing her way under democrat influence, and the queers, and you got to put a stop to that!’

O’Reilly: Oh, really? I mean, God talks to you in person?
Perry: Sure does. Every day. Oh, I know there’s plenty who’ll say it’s just in my head. That I’m hearing God in my imagination. But, I’m here to tell you God picks out some people to do his work here on Earth, and I’m one of them. No doubt about that. And, that’s why I’m doing all I can to do God’s work.

O’Reilly: Well, Michelle Bachmann says exactly the same thing.
Perry: Michelle is just a wannabe, and she doesn't really have the platform like I do. Saying it's so doesn't make it so. There's no way God would pick her to do His work.

O’Reilly: His work? You mean like having an official Texas day of prayer for rain to combat the drought?
Perry: Oh yes. That was just one of the things God told me to do.

O’Reilly: Well, some folks will say, in fact a lot of folks will say that hasn’t exactly worked out. They’ll say the Texas drought is now actually much, much worse now than before all the prayers. And, they’ll say it is much worse in Texas than anyplace else.
Perry: Well they can say anything they want. It’s a free country. But, my answer to that is God has his reasons. There’s a mighty good reason God wants a drought in Texas. We just don’t know His reason. Maybe it's a way to bring folks back to God's house. Sure has worked out that way.

O’Reilly: But, if God wanted a drought in Texas why would He ask you to have the entire state pray for rain?
Perry: Bill, like I said, maybe it's a way to bring people back to God. But, it is not for man to question God. Ever. Like I said, I don’t know why God wants there to be a drought, but He wants one or else we wouldn’t have one. I do know we can’t second guess God. God works in his own mysterious ways and and I can tell you He has his reasons, I know they are darn good reasons too, and if and when He wants us to know, he’ll let us know. God does not answer to man, but man must answer to God.

O’Reilly: Amen, Rick. But, I also wanted to ask you about that ad you got so much criticism over from gay people and non-Christians.
Perry: What about it?

O’Reilly: Well, many people are saying it was over the top, that you emphasized Christianity too much and were disrespectful to gays.
Perry: Well, this is a Christian nation Bill, and I was just pointing that out. And gays and lesbians are an abomination in God’s eyes, and this administration lets them serve openly in the military.

O’Reilly: Well Rick, I’m going to play devil’s advocate here. Many people dispute this is a Christian nation, and surveys show up to 25% of all Americans are homosexuals. Are you telling me you would rule out one quarter of the population from serving the defense of the country?
Perry: I don’t care how many people dispute anything.The majority of Americans are Christians, and the majority rules. If the majority wants this to be a Christian nation, then that’s what it is. As for the queers, that’s where I agree with the Taliban. We need to take them all out and stone them to death.

O’Reilly: Kill 25% of all Americans?
Perry: Damned right! People are always complaining about over population anyway. Why not kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, if you’ll pardon my pun?

O’Reilly: Pardon accepted as I happen to agree with you. OK then, back to the Christians. The First Amendment to the Constitution says, ‘"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."
Perry: That’s exactly right! Congress doesn’t have any right to say this ain’t a Christian nation! And if the Constitution did, it would need to be changed!

O’Reilly: But, there are lots of Jews and Muslims and a lot of other religions in this country who could be offended if this were declared to be a Christian nation.
Perry: Did you not hear what I said Bill? Majority rules! If those others don’t want to be Christian to live in a Christian nation they can leave, by God!

O’Reilly: Gosh, Rick. Research shows 60 to 70% of Americans claim to be Christians of one sort or another. Population in the US is around 310 million, so if  say 35% are non-Christians, we’d be left with around 200 million. Then take out 25% of those as being homosexuals stoned to death, that would leave just 150 million people in the country - less than half of today’s, and actually less than what we had back in 1950. That would be turning back the clock 60 some odd years!
Perry: Yep. And that’s what I’d call being just about a perfect world Bill. The 1950’s were some glorious years in this county Bill. Of course I don't remember them well myself since I was a small child, but that's what my folks tell me, and they were just good Texas Christians.

O’Reilly: Well, I'm a year or so older and I remember them, and it is true the 'fifties were some great times. I can’t help from being nostalgic for the Joe McCarthy years myself. He was just a half century ahead of his time.
Perry: Oh yes, well, we’ve got a chance now to set things right again, if you’ll pardon my pun. When I’m elected President of the United States that’s just what you will see.

O’Reilly: Well, you’ve still got a lot of opposition, and you are still down in the polls.
Perry: I don’t pay attention to polls Bill. I don’t need to since I’ve got God on my side.

O’Reilly: Yes you do. I wish you luck Rick.
Perry: Like I said Bill, I don’t need luck. I’ve got God on my side.

* This is a parody on the bizarreness of some potential GOP nominees. If we can't make fun of the these bozos, we are in some real trouble.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Want to do something progressive which is both delicious and effective?  Read on:
Progressives wonder at the obtuseness of some of the worst of the Right Wing idiocy. Like Ann Coulter’s ‘perfection’ of Jews, and Rick Perry’s officially praying for rain, and Michelle Bachmann’s husband’s group for ‘Praying The Gay Away’. And then there’s all the blather about the sins of abortion, the U.S. being a ‘Christian Nation’, and illegal immigration and so on and on and on. If you are a student of history you know the right wing reactionary compulsion is very old, going back to the beginning of recorded time. 
It is a sort of, ‘he or she is not like me, so I’ve got to compel him/her to conform to my way of thinking’.
Right wing conservatives seem to find so many things to be alarmed about. Who knows why they get so exercised and reactionary? My theory is this syndrome is fueled mostly by fear, and its cousin hate, with some envy and jealousy thrown in for good measure - but those are themes for future blogs.
Money seems to be a huge concern for right wingers, and is THE ruling factor in so many of their lives. We progressives need money too of course, but most of us are not so dominated by a primary interest in it. To us money is a means for sustenance and survival and not a tool for control. However, this is not to say money can not be used as a voice.
We all have our favorite causes, and many progressive ideas are just so much anathema to conservatives. So much the better, and therein lies our concept. We often contribute money for our causes, and get a feeling of satisfaction from doing so. But, how about DOUBLING that feeling? 
It is easy really: Just think a little about a cause you may be interested in, and then think of some high profile right winger who is in vocal opposition to it. Once you’ve settled on your right winger, donate to your cause IN THEIR NAME. Make sure you research their name and mailing address so any thank you response from the cause goes directly to your right winger. This can be so, so rewarding and gratifying. Besides directly helping your cause and irritating your target, this lets them know there is someone out there ready and willing to put their money where their mouth is in opposition. Another benefit is your right winger can be seen, albeit indirectly, as actually supporting the cause they vocalize against. 
For example, I myself have donated to the ACLU in Ken Starr’s name, to Planned Parenthood in Sarah Palin’s name, and the Wisconsin Teacher’s Union in Governor Scott Walker’s name. There are so many possibilities you may need to set a budget for your donations to keep things under control.
And, I recommend doing just that by making a list of your right wing ‘donor honorees’ and the causes they are to be honored with. When you sit down to write that check, the feeling is great!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

You Might Be a Tea Party Conservative if . . .

You might be a Tea Party conservative if . . .

  • You sincerely believe Jesus Christ was white, and likely spoke english;
  • You say you are a ‘patriot’ but the only Constitutional amendments you know are the first two;
  • You want Freedom of Speech - except for anyone who disagrees with you;
  • Fox News is your favorite news channel;
  • Fox News is your ONLY news channel;
  • You think the government should stay out of states’ rights - unless it concerns marriage, abortion or homosexuality;
  • You think abortion of any kind is ‘murder’ but indiscriminate bombing of children is merely ‘collateral damage’;
  • You avoided all military duty and believe real patriotism is waving flags and ‘supporting our troops’;
  • You believe Jesus Christ would support capital gains tax cuts for the wealthy;
  • You think George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan were the best presidents in history, and Sarah Palin would be too;
  • You think saying something is so over and over again makes it true;
  • You use ‘Jesus’ and ‘guns’ in the same sentence;
  • You think Pat Robertson praying for the death of Supreme court justices is a Christian act;
  • You think Rush Limbaugh is a perceptive American patriot even though he used drugs, avoided the draft and flunked collage after two semesters;
  • You can speak for God in deciding who He likes or doesn’t;
  • You think posting the Ten Commandments will solve most school problems;
  • You are sure God is on your side, and only your side;
  • You are pro life and pro capital punishment all at the same time;
  • You insist on the right to bear arms but avoided all military service;
  • You think waving a flag and placing a yellow ribbon on your car makes you a patriot;
  • You believe Christians should be allowed to indoctrinate school children at taxpayer expense;
  • You think global warming is a liberal plot even as you deal with a series of most severe weather events in recorded history;
  • You believe greed is a genuine Christian moral imperative;
  • You are secretly convinced the Bill of Rights is a liberal idea, and should be repealed for security reasons;
  • You think the NRA defends the US Constitution;
  • You think it is justifiable for Christians to bomb abortion clinics and kill providers;
  • You think Jesus was a right-wing conservative just like you;
  • You were completely consumed by Bill Clinton’s sex life;
  • You think ‘war is the answer’ to most foreign policy disputes;
  • You don’t have a library card, never had one, don’t need one and don’t want one;
  • You think prisons should have a higher budget priority than schools;
  • You don’t know the actual definition of ‘liberal’ but think it must have something to do with communism;
  • Both you and Ann Coulter are still pissed at the way Joe McCarthy was treated;
  • You cheer the police when they beat protestors;
  • The less you know about something, the stronger your feelings are about it;
  • You cheer for soldiers who fight for our country while trying to reduce their benefits;
  • You say the Bible proves creationism while evolution is an unproven idea;
  • You can’t see the difference between George W. Bush saying he is on a mission from God and Osama Bin Laden saying the same thing;
  • You secretly think would be a lot better if women had never gotten the vote; 
  • You see no irony in using weapons of mass destruction against another country when you even suspect they might have them;
  • You believe that less than a majority vote constitutes a ‘mandate from the people’;
  • You think it is patriotic to send the sons and daughters of the poorer people off to fight wars to make rich people richer;
  • You use words like ‘professor’, ‘intellectual’, ‘liberal’ and ‘peace lover’ as insults;
  • Your attention span stalls after a 6 second sound bite;
  • You think bombing a country flat is the best way to ‘bring democracy to their people’.
  • You have a Hummer, Lincoln Navigator or Cadillac Escalade with an American flag and yellow ribbon on it;
  • You think ‘pre-emptive’ wars can never be used against the U.S.
  • You think pre-war Iraq under Hussein was a huge threat to US national security;
  • You believe 8 years of peace and prosperity under Clinton was bad for the country and that 8 years of war and economic disaster under Bush was good for us;
  • You can’t see any difference between Osama Bin Ladin and Saddam Hussein;
  • You believe tax cuts for the rich, outsourcing jobs, corporate tax loopholes and laying people off are sound economic policies;
  • You believe government’s concern for people should begin at conception and end at birth;
  • You think ‘affirmative action’ is a socialist plot to destroy capitalism;
  • You can claim with a straight face that politicians who avoided serving in the military at all costs are courageous patriots;
  • You believe corporations are ‘persons’ and should be allowed to make unlimited campaign contributions, but should not be made to pay taxes;
  • You believe that Jesus would bomb Afghanistan and Pakistan flat in a New York minute;
  • You believe that Muslims, Mexicans, agnostics, non-Christians, democrats, liberals, atheists and most blacks are treasonous and shouldn’t be allowed to vote.
  • You did drugs when young but now think first time drug users should be locked away forever;
  • You think Sarah Palin has eloquence and style - and you just adore her because ‘she’s just plain folks like me’;
  • You can’t make up your mind between home schooling and vouchers;
  • You think what ‘religious freedom’ means is actually Christian dominionism.

Monday, October 31, 2011

No, Rick Perry Wasn’t Drunk!

Some people thought Rick Perry could have been drunk, or stoned, or off his meds, or on his meds too much, or a combination of several of those things during a speech he gave in New Hampshire on October 28, 2011. Indeed, Perry did seem loopy, bizarrely flippant and drunkenly carefree at times, saying  nutty things, slurring his words and making extravagant gestures. But it was simply all part of his master plan says Perry.
“Hey look,” he said, “I’ve got to get noticed. I’ve slid in the polls lately and I’m only doing some of the stuff which helped Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum and some of those other bat shit crazies get bumps in their charts when they did the same thing.”
“I’m rebooting my campaign like I said the other day. And, I sure as Hell don’t want to come off all professorial and superior acting like Mitt Romney and various other intellectuals I don’t need to name for you.” Perry left unclear whether he was referring to Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove or Joe-the-Plumber Wurzelbacher. “I’m just a simple down-to-earth guy.” he claimed.
“In fact, the simpler things are the better I like ‘em.” Perry explained. “That’s exactly why I’ll always be a strict creationist and won’t ever pollute my mind with silly notions like evolution. All that evolution stuff is just too damned confusing for a cowboy like me. And, that’s why I am a good Christian too. Besides Christianity being what I always had crammed down my throat as a boy, it’s a Hell of a lot simpler and easier to believe in than trying to figure out all that scientific heeby-jeebiness which just makes my head hurt. I’m leave that up to the eggheads who have the time for it. If they can come up with something they like better than what’s in the Bible, well halleleluja for them. They just don’t want to be trying to teach that stuff in our schools, at least in Texas by God. Myself, as a man of action, I just don’t have the time for all that science crap. If Christianity was good enough for Jesus and George W. Bush, it’s good enough for me too, by God.”
Perry explained that his speech was intended to be on the bizarre side from the beginning. “So’s our regular conservative folks can relate to it.” he said. “Hell, our Tea Party folks are gonna reject it out of hand if it makes any sense at all anyway. They can claim to want the truth all day long, but what they really want is the crazy stuff, and the crazier the better. Don’t you dare be trying to bring them any facts if you want their support.”
“And we’re the only true patriots and the only ones still holding the country together right now.” Perry explained. “It’s ‘Live Free or Die’ and ‘Victory or Death’, and ‘Bring It On’ you know.  Ain’t no middle ground on our patriotism.”
“And that’s another reason we’ve got to stamp out all those Global Warming notions too. That ain’t nothing but a liberal communist plot to weaken our economy and our country so socialism can take over. So what if it’s a few degrees warmer this year than last? Hell! That’s just weather, and you’ll always have weather if you like it or not! Jesus never worried about a little hot or cold did he?”
“I don’t care what all those scientific ‘’experts’ say either.” Perry went on. “If they’s so all-fired ‘expert’ and smart, how come they ain’t running things? How come one-a-them ain’t the Governor of the great state of Texas ‘stead of me, for example? I’ll tell you why! It’s ‘cause the salt of the earth people like me got way better sense about what’s real and important than they do, that’s why! You can forget about all that scientific fact baloney.”
“And, as long as we can keep getting elected, we’ll keep the country safe, conservative and Christian too. And, that’s exactly why I’m running for president of these United States of America!”

Monday, October 10, 2011

Settling One Argument Over Health Care

One big objection to universal health care is the government’s insistence everyone participate. They say people should not be forced to pay for something they do not want to pay for.
Fair enough. The government can certainly give people a choice to opt out of something which they will inevitably need. Statistically there are few if any people who will never need health care, even seriously expensive health care. Nevertheless, why not give everyone the choice if that will settle the matter?
Here's an idea - No person, no matter their age, will be required to purchase health care insurance, and can choose to pay as they go. However, and here is the rub: Each time a person uses any part of the health care system, they must pay their costs in full. They can choose to pay cash, or find a way to finance the cost themselves, with no forgiveness of costs allowed. By law, each individual would be fully responsible for the full costs of any health care received.
If the individual is unable to pay for health care received, the government will pay the full amount owed and enroll them in a government plan at that point, with no right to cancel. Premiums from that point would be increased by an amount sufficient to cover the cost of the amount paid by the government on the individual’s behalf, PLUS A PENALTY, over a reasonable time period - say two to three years. When the amount paid on their behalf by the government, plus their penalty is fully recovered, they could again choose to drop their plan if they so wished. 
In other words, if you use it, you pay for it. All individuals have the choice to either ‘pay-as-they-go’ or participate in a health care plan, with no free rides. No exceptions will be allowed except for those falling below a certain defined poverty or disability level. 
This kind of system will allow the government to guarantee payment to health care providers. The individual has a choice to opt out of health care coverage if they so wish, yet still be guaranteed any health care needed. The individual would be gambling the cost of any potential penalties against his ‘freedom’ to opt out of a plan.
There will certainly be unrecovered costs incurred by the government for some individuals who are unable to fully reimburse for the health care they receive. However, this should be far less than the costs now incurred through non-reimbursed emergency room visits now occasioned by the non-insured.
Most individuals will discover it is far less expensive for them to voluntarily maintain health care coverage than to pay penalties for non-coverage, yet will still have the choice to gamble if they so wish. It is a win for everyone except for the gamblers.
Unfortunately, this idea likely makes far too much sense for any hyper-partisan Congress to even consider.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

A Whole Lot of Hat and Damned Little Cattle

“Wal,” said the cowboy as he blew the smoke from the barrels of his imaginary six-shooters, after the televised debate. “I guess I showed them varmints.”
“What varmints?” wondered one witness.
“Them panty waisted wannabes, o’ course.” he responded. “They ain’t got the right stuff, ain’t got the horsepower. None of ‘em do. I’m the one with the horsepower!”
“Yes, you took the fight right to them, but they got some good licks in on you too.” said the witness.
“Don’t matter none. I’m gonna blow ‘em all away. I got the image, I got the style, and most important I got the record. Cain’t none a-them touch my record.”
“What record is that?” asked the witness. 
“Job creation an’ tax cuttin’!” said the cowboy. “We created a million jobs in my state while the US Gummint lost 2 million, an’ I run the most business friendly state in the country.”
“But, wasn’t the job growth because of the gas and oil boom?” asked the witness.
“Wal, course it was mostly, but don’t forget since I was running things I still get the credit.”
“So, are you taking credit for the highest state illiteracy rate in the country?” asked the witness.
“Tain’t my fault. We got all them wetbacks coming across the border, and that’s bound to hurt our record.”
“How’s about having the lowest high school graduation rate in the country?” asked the witness.
“Same answer.” said the cowboy laconically.
“And that wouldn’t have anything to do with your state being dead last in teacher pay in the nation?” asked the witness.
“OK, then,” said the witness. “What about being dead last in money spent for citizens?”
“Nawp. Same answer. We cain’t go spending money we don’t have, on people who ain’t even citizens. Leastwise, and still be cutting taxes for business.”
“But, by giving tax breaks for business, aren’t you putting more burdens on everyday citizens, and especially for those who can least afford it?” asked the witness.
“Nawp. Not the way I see it.”
“So, that’s why your state ranks second in the nation on sales tax, #1 in the poverty level, first in people without health insurance, first in starving children, and next to last in money to help the mentally ill?” asked the witness.
“Look,” said the cowboy. “I done tole you why we got problems, and it’s those wetbacks, and the lazy, and the folks who won’t go out and get a good paying job to he’p themselves.”
“What if they can’t find a decent job?” asked the witness. “What if they’re so poorly educated they can’t get a job? Or so poor they can’t afford child care or transportation?”
“An’ the gummint is supposed to take care of them?” snorted the cowboy. “I don’t think so, leastwise in my state. And, if they cain’t afford child care they oughtn’t to have kids.”
“Your state is second in the nation in numbers of teenage pregnancies, mostly because young people don’t have access to sex education or birth control. 94% of your state’s schools teach ‘abstinence only’ birth control. What can you expect them to do if they don’t have enough money to buy food for themselves, or for their babies?” asked the witness. “Most states help their most vulnerable citizens, if for nothing else, to keep them from turning to crime to survive.”
“We deal with that differently. All I can say, is if someone commits a crime in my state, we put ‘em in jail.”
“So, maybe that’s why your state has the highest incarceration rate in the nation, and the biggest number of adults under probation?” asked the witness. “and, the highest execution rate per capita than anyplace in the world?”
“Mebbe so. If they do the crime, let ‘em do the time, or we’ll drop the dime, is my motto.” said the cowboy. “An’ besides, the prison industry is a growth industry in my state.
“That’s a pretty cold attitude coming from someone who claims to be a born again Christian.” said the witness. “And, I can’t help noticing the prison industry benefits from having ever more inmates.”
“Look,” snorted the cowboy. “I’m a business friendly governor in a business friendly state, and an Old Testament Christian. I don’t hold with all that liberal stuff in the New Testament!”
“But, prisons cost billions of taxpayer dollars, and you are presiding over your state’s over $34 billion dollar budget deficit!” protested the witness.
“An’, that’s exackly why we’ve cut public payrolls and done away with non-essential things in the public sector! Teachers, policemen, Medicare, things like that!”
“Fire protection?” asked the witness.
“Wal yeah, some o’ that too.”
“Some? I see where you cut the state fire protection budget by 75%, causing thousands of firefighters to be laid off or furloughed.” said the witness.
Wal yeah, we have to live within our means.”
"You cut $25 million out of the budget for firefighting, and over $300 million in houses burned up." said the witness. "Sounds sort of counter-productive to me. And, what will you say to the 1200 to 1500 or so homeowners who lost their homes due to wildfires, and not having enough firefighters or resources to protect them?”
“Wal, I guess most of 'em had insurance, and I’d tell ‘em they better had their insurance paid up.”
“Even though your state has the second highest home insurance rates in the nation, and this will cause them to go up even higher?”
“Gotta he’p the insurance companies stay in business so’s they can pay claims! Besides, I need to tell you I’ve appealed to FEMA for disaster relief.”
“I thought back in January you said FEMA needed to be reformed and ought to get out of the disaster relief business.” said the witness.
“Wal, that was before the wildfires, and not being able to control them. Right now jist ain’t the time to reform FEMA. An’ anyway, theys no way you can blame them fires on me, is there?”
“Well no.” said the witness. “I’m certainly not trying to do that. But, I do recall back in April you asked people to pray for rain to help the drought and stop the wildfires. In fact, you issued an official proclamation for ‘Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas’. Didn’t that work?”
“Wal, I know all the Christian prayers had to help, but God was prob’ly upset about gittin’ all those other infidel prayers that probably came up, you know Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, even Buddhist. All that crazy heathen stuff. That may be why he turned his back on Texas, and I cain’t take responsibility for that - and I won’t.
“I can’t help but notice you don’t take responsibility for anything bad, but jump right on anything good. What do you have to say about that?” asked the witness.
“Wal, whut can I say? I ain’t apologizing. I’m a Texakan politician.” said cowboy Rick Perry.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

A Whiff of Revolution in the Making . . .

Today’s Republicans are nothing like most Republicans of the 50’s through the 70’s who were THE progressive party. Republicans have always been ‘the business party’, but most members were reasonable and moderate - and were the responsible for things like the EPA and the Clean Water Act under Nixon for example.
When business morphed into huge mega-corporations operating on global scales is when things changed. The corporations, some of whom were financially more powerful than many of the nations wherein they operated evidently concluded regulatory agencies were insufferable monsters insofar as business profits are concerned. Since the populist ‘Reagan Revolution’ there has been a concerted and sustained attack on them, and anything else potentially affecting profits like unions.
There is always a conservative resentment against most social programs, Republicans viewing those as rewards for being ‘lazy’ - regardless of the realities. During Reagan’s time we saw the beginnings of an unholy but also largely unrecognized amalgamation of big business and theocracy. I believe business first saw religion as a vehicle they could guide and use on their crusades against anything smacking of socialism - even social justice. They began with anti-science, global warming being their focus. Business saw efforts to combat climate change as a clear danger to profit.  But, theocrats also crusade against evolution, abortion, homosexuality - anything religionists viewed as going against the bible - as interpreted by some of the religious leaders whether or not actually true to messages in The Book. This also happens to coincide, not incidentally, with much of the archaic culture, politics and thought of the South and Southwest, mired in visions of days gone by. The Tea Party seems almost cloned from that, and reminds me very much of the rise of George Wallace and his “American Independence Party” in the late 1960’s.
However theocracy, being irrational to begin with, is notoriously hard to control, and business has now found they have created yet another beast they have no choice but to continue to try to ride if they have any hope of guiding. But, I believe they have collectively misjudged this monster, and it will end up counter-productive to their aims. I am almost certain the conservative fundamentalist wing will now consume the Republican Party, especially if any of the Tea Baggers end up with the nomination. With Perry, Bachmann, and Palin they are definitely in the top tier. But, I also think/hope clearer heads will prevail in the end and someone like Romney or Huntsman will end up the nominee - not that that will make a huge difference in the election. That will split the party with some going for Ron Paul or a second conservative candidate, and resulting in Obama winning.
The current drive for conservative ideological ‘purity’ where social programs are destroyed, unions attacked, and the poor and dispossessed are further disenfranchised and marginalized is an extremely dangerous tactic for business. I believe the ones behind this do not recognize the risks they are taking. The apparently are ignorant of or deny history. It is as Karl Marx classically predicts in Das Kapital!,  when more and more people are dispossessed and more and more wealth concentrated in fewer hands, an explosion becomes inevitable. He has been proven right.
And when that day comes here, it will likely be violent and bloody. Big business capitalists will struggle mightily and brutally, and mount imaginative campaigns against their enemies, but in the end will be overwhelmed. Their economic might simply will not stand up to the mass numbers of people in the streets who will be arrayed against them. We have a whiff of this already in the revolts of the people in the Middle East against their leaders of decades. The tide becomes inexorable and will drown the oppressors. And as Marx wrote, “the expropriators become expropriated!”
It will not be a pretty sight, and many people will suffer or die. It will take years to recover, restore infrastructure, and regain a semblance of balance and prosperity. We have, in fact, already suffered damage like this. I have now become convinced this will happen, primarily because I have now come to realize there is no real difference between the two major political parties when it comes to business having dominance over them.
You can already hear lots of hostile rumblings in the mass of centrist moderates who make up the huge center of political thought in this country. These are the folks who really decide elections in the USA, and whose numbers outweigh both major political parties put together. When the inertia of this mass begins moving strongly in a definite direction, those in the line of march better watch out - and 'keeping their powder dry' won't matter one bit. Maybe our coming revolution will be a peaceable one, but I will not put money on that today.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Texas Governor Rick Perry’s Amazing Track Record

Texas Governor Rick Perry, the longest serving governor in the country likes to brag Texas under his brand of Republican leadership gained more jobs that any other state in the nation. This turns out to be entirely true. But, it may not be quite the rosy picture the governor paints. 
Texas is #1 in jobs creation? 
* Heck, that's nothing! Texas ranks ‘First’ in many other areas too!
  • Number of Executions­–1st 
  • Percent of Uninsured Children–1­st
  • Percent of Population Uninsured–­1st
  • Percent of Non-Elderl­y Uninsured–­1st
  • Amount of Carbon Dioxide Emissions–­1st
  • Amount of Hazardous Waste Generated–­1st
  • Amount of Toxic Chemicals Released into Water–1st
  • Amount of Volatile Organic Compounds Released into Air–1st
  • Amount of Recognized Cancer-Cau­sing Carcinogen­s Released into Air–1st
Some other high Texas rankings:
  • Percent of Children Living in Poverty–4t­h
  • Income Inequality Between the Rich and the Middle Class–5th
  • Percent of Women Living in Poverty–6t­h
  • Teenage Birth Rate–7th
  • Percent of Women with Pre-Term Birth–9th
  • Income Inequality Between the Rich and the Poor–9th
  • Foreclosur­e Rates-10th
  • Births to Unmarried Mothers–17­th
Alas, Texas is well down the scale in other areas:
  • High School Graduation Rate–43rd
  • Health Care Expenditure­es per Capita–44t­h
  • Women’s Voter Registration­–45th
  • Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) Scores–45t­h
  • Percent of Population Who Visit the Dentist–46­th
  • Retirement Plan Participat­ion–47th
  • Median Net Worth of Households­–47th
  • Mortgage Debt as Percent of Home Value–47th
  • State Aid Per Pupil in Average Daily Attendance­–47th
  • Average Monthly Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) Benefits per Person–47t­h
  • Percent of Population with Employer-B­ased Health Insurance–­48th
  • Average Credit Score–49th
  • Women’s Voter Turnout–49­th
  • Per Capita State Spending on Medicaid–4­9th
  • Percent of Low Income Population Covered by Medicaid–4­9th
  • Workers’ Compensati­on Coverage–5­0th
  • Per Capita State Spending on Mental Health–50t­h
  • Percent of Non-Elderl­y Women with Health Insurance–­50th
  • % of Population 25 and Older with High School Diploma–50­th
  • Percent of Pregnant Women Receiving Prenatal Care in First Trimester–­50th
Lord, protect us from Texas Governor Rick riding in on his evangelical white horse to ‘save’ the nation!

* Thanks to poster AerinGael in CNN 8/14/11 

Monday, August 08, 2011

A Capitalistic Oligarchy

It is glaringly obvious our democracy ain't that any more, and is now wholly subordinated to Capital (with an uppercase ‘C’), big corporations and uber-wealthy individuals. For all intents and purposes, the United States is now become a feudalistic super-oligarchy run largely for the benefit of Capital.
We can not blame this on any particular political party as both are hugely guilty of carrying water for Capital, although Republicans have certainly become the poster child of late.
Capital being inorganic, is incapable of feeling, thought or emotion. Consequently, we, “The People” should always keep the following things in mind about Capital and Capitalism:
  • Capital has no conscience;
  • Capital has no morality;
  • Capital does not care for justice;
  • Capital does not care for legalities;
  • Capital does not care for fairness;
  • Capital does not care for freedom;
  • Capital does not care for the environment;
  • Capital does not care for individuals;
  • Capital does not care for society;;
  • Capital does not care for humanity;
  • Capital does not care for democracy;
  • Capital does not care for the future;
  • Capital fares well under Fascism;
  • Capital fares even better under right-wing dictatorships; 
  • Capital fares best of all in an oligarchy;
  • Capital fares least under a democracy which cares for the welfare of all its people;
  • Capitalism abhors and is the mortal enemy of equality;
  • Capitalism cares ONLY for MORE Capital gotten NOW or in the very near future;
  • Capitalism cares in the end, ONLY for Capital!
Anyone who doesn’t understand these things is fair game and a ready sacrifice for the alter of and in the favor of Capital and Capitalism.
Karl Marx and Lenin based their revolutions on these notions. When their revolutions manifested under the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ as the Communist Party, problems and chaos arose. First Fascism, and later Capitalism used the resulting excesses to demonize, Communism, and conveniently, by extension any ideas of socialism.
I notice where true socialism is tried it is usually successful, and always without exception, broadly and viciously attacked by Capital. This has gone on so long now many, perhaps most, people in the western world are now so propagandized they think of socialism if not actually evil, as disagreeable. Anyone in America openly advocating programs to help 'people' is invariably labeled ‘liberal’ and quite often as ‘unpatriotic’,  ‘communist’, and even ‘traitorous’. Such is the power of Capital and its propaganda, it persuades many people to go against their own interests. The Tea Party is a good example of that.
I happily embrace the label ‘liberal’ myself as I see that as progressive and good. 
Capital has proven expert at working behind the scenes to effect change for its benefit. Flying under most people’s radar screens for at least the past two decades is a shadowy, secretive group which is very successful, and now on the verge of grabbing the entire pie. I like to think I am politically aware, and pay attention, but only recently learned of this organization, financed 95-99% by Big Business, i.e., ‘Capital’. It’s tentacles are everywhere, in every state and national capitol, and all in between. If you care about your country and democracy it will scare you to death. It is nothing short of hideously EVIL, and solely the invention of Capital.
I knew things were bad, but never suspected such evil. I guess in hindsight I should have known better. I will go into further details in a later blog posting, but you can look into this malignant tumor before then by googling the term: 

 “American Legislative Exchange Council”

Fair warning: Better have some nausea medication handy.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Rick Perry Connects With Jesus

Texas Governor Rick Perry, very satisfied with himself after his big Prayer meeting was relaxing in his hotel room in a fancy Houston hotel when the telephone rang.  Perry never answered telephones unless he expected a call. He answered this call, but found it was not who he expected:

Perry:  “Hello . . . ”
Jesus:  “Rick Perry, are you there?”

Perry:  “Who the hell is this?”
Jesus:  “It’s me. Your Lord and savior. Are you sure you’re Governor Rick Perry?”

Perry:  “Yep, Goddamned right I am sure! Now, who in hell is this and how in hell did you get this number?”
Jesus:  “I’m the Lord, Jesus Christ to you. And I have any number I want. All by myself I’m kinda like an early version of the internet, only I just ‘know’, you know. Sorta like ‘Dex Knows’ - only better and quicker.”

Perry:  “Yeah right! Jesus Christ my aching ass! Now, how’d you get through on this damned line anyway?”
Jesus:  “You were in the bathroom snorting coke just now, Ricky boy, now weren’t you? Right?”

Perry:  “ . . . . . wha . . . . how, what the hell . . .?”
Jesus:  “And, right now you’re wearing your favorite pink silk Speedo briefs with the little valentine hearts on them too, right?”

Perry:  “(Gasp!) . . well, . . . no, er. well, yeah, ah . . . . now, wait just a damned minute! How do you know all this shit anyhow? Are you stalking me?”
Jesus:  “I told you I was Jesus Christ, didn’t I?”

Perry:  “Well yeah, but . . . “
Jesus:  “And, when you answered the phone you figured I was that cross-dressing transvestite you arranged for earlier to come have a little fun right?

Perry:  “Jesus Christ!”
Jesus:  “Yes, that’s exactly right! Now that you are getting your mind straight, I need to have a little chat with you.”

Perry:  “Holy Shit! Gosh, er, Jesus, I mean, Lord - I’m sorry about all that stuff - I didn’t mean none of it. You just caught me off guard you see, and I was just testing to find out who was violating the law or something by calling me. Understand? Jesus, you do understand, right?”
Jesus:  “Oh sure I understand Ricky. I know all about you evangelical Christians. I’ve been dealing with your types for centuries. And, a lot of them are enjoying a hot time in Hell right now too, let me tell you. But, that’s another matter for another time as far as you are concerned. Right now I want to talk to you about your so-called prayer meeting.”

Perry:  “Oh, Jesus! Right Lord! I hope you liked it . . . .I, I tried to be make it good for you.”
Jesus:  “Sure you did Ricky boy. But both you and I know that’s a total crock of bullshit. You did it for one reason and one reason only, and that’s because you want to make a run for the presidency and figured on grabbing the evangelical vote.”

Perry:  “No, no, ah, er, it’s not like that at all . . . . I’m a totally faithful and sincere Christian, Lord. I’m right there in your corner like I’ve always been.”
Jesus:  “Oh sure you are Rick, when it’s convenient. But, let’s cut to the chase, shall we? You are a lying frigging hypocrite and we both know that. So, quit your weak and whiny lying will you? Frankly it’s cowardly, embarrassing  and wastes my time.”

Perry:  “No, really, I . . . .”
Jesus:  “Shut the hell up Rick, and listen! Any more lying and I’ll nail your ass right now!”

Perry:  “Yessir. I’m listening Lord . . .”
Jesus:  “Good. Now, about that so-called prayer meeting. You know praying for jobs is a crock, right?” 

Perry:  “Well, no, yeah, I, er, ah . . .”
Jesus:  “Shut up Rick. Don’t try to lie to me, or I’ll fry your ass. Praying for jobs, or anything like that is totally stupid, a fairy tale. But then no one ever said either you or evangelical Christians were the sharpest knives in the drawer, did they?

Perry:  “Well, no, er . . . but, “
Jesus:  “I told you to shut up Rick. I mean all that praying for rain you had folks doing for Texas back in April really worked, didn’t it? That should have told you something right there.”

Perry:  “Well, I thought . . .”
Jesus:  “Shut up Rick. That’s just the trouble, you don’t think. Maybe you can’t think. You figure you can grab some easy votes by playing up to the evangelical crazies, and you might be right about that, but that’s it. All that bullshit praying for rain won’t and didn’t bring any rain, did it? None. Zippo. Nada. ”

Perry:  “Well, er . . .”
Jesus:  “I told you to shut the hell up Rick. Now zip it!”

Perry:  “Yessir. Zipped.”
Jesus:  “Good. Now, keep it that way. Praying for rain and jobs is one thing, but all that craziness about ‘Praying the Gay Away’ just takes the frigging cake. When I heard that crap I just about pulled the plug on your ass, Ricky boy. But, then I though, ‘Well, why not? Why not let that obtuse asshole show the entire world how stupid he really is?’ And, that’s working in spades too, let me tell you. Everybody has you spotted now Rick. Trouble is, you loopy evangelicals have it all completely wrong. Pray the gay away my flowing purple robe! Don’t you imbeciles realize gays are part of God’s plan too, just like Blacks, and Mexicans and midgets, Norwegians, geniuses, and the blind, lame and alcoholics, and so on and on and on? Even you noxious evangelicals are part of God's plan, and what in Hell makes you think that you, you idiots, get to decide what is to be and what isn’t to be? Huh?”

Perry:  “Well, I . . .”
Jesus:  “Shut the hell up Rick.”

Perry:  “Yessir.”
Jesus:  “And, then I found out no non-Christians would be allowed on the stage or to speak at your prayer meeting. I gotta tell you Rick, when I heard that, I just about showered the wrath of God down on the whole damned shooting match. Still might, because I know who you are and where you live. I’m still mighty pissed, but I think I'm gonna let that slide for now, for most of you idiots.”

Perry:  “Yessir.”
Jesus:  “And Rick, this is just a friendly call for the sake of your family, a fair warning if you will, so listen up.” 

Perry:  “Yessir?”
Jesus:  “Rick, make damned sure your life insurance is paid up and your will is up to date, OK?”

Perry:  “Jesus Christ!”
Jesus:  “Yepper! You got that right!”

Saturday, August 06, 2011

The Tea Party Nation

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Don’t want no stinking immigration,
Don’t want no stinking taxation,
Don’t want no stinking innovation
Don’t want no stinking information,
Teabillies will run the Tea Party Nation.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Don’t care about no education,
Don’t care about no medications,
Don’t care about no starvations,
Don’t care about no stimulations,
Teabillies will run the Tea Party Nation.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

We created a huge conflagration,
We created an outrageous situation,
We created some big complications.
We created political devastation,
Teabillies will run the Tea Party Nation.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

We want a complete GOP abdication,
We want a complete GOP subordination,
We want a complete GOP reformation,
We want a complete GOP mutation,
Teabillies will run the Tea Party Nation.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

We don’t worry about our defamations,
We don’t worry about our disseminations,
We don’t worry about our intimidations.
We don’t worry about our reputations,
Teabillies will run the Tea Party Nation.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

We will dictate the political equation,
We will dictate the laws and regulations,
We will dictate on business domination,
We’ll dictate as toadies for big corporations,
Teabillies will run the Tea Party Nation.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * 

We don’t care about no calculations,
We don’t care about no privations,
We don’t care our Washington delegations,
Create havoc, despair and deprivations,
Teabillies will run the Tea Party Nation.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

We reckon democracy is an aberration,
We reckon tolerance is an aggravation,
We reckon equality is just a creation,
Of liberal and socialist imaginations,
Teabillies will run the Tea Party Nation.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
We don't care about no cooperation,
We don't care about no moderation,
We don't care about no mediation,
We don't care about no conversations,
Teabillies will run the Tea Party Nation.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

What have Democrats and ‘Liberals’ ever done for America?

What have Democrats and ‘Liberals’ ever done for America?

Take Thomas Jefferson for starters. Jefferson, considered the first ‘liberal’ president, was sworn into office on March 4, 1801 as a ‘Democrat-Republican’ who were the liberals of their day. He  was thought of as the ‘People’s President’ and sometimes called the "Negro President" since his election victory was gained through the ‘Three-Fifths Compromise' which fractionally counted slaves in slave states, providing more electoral votes for those states. Jefferson, being a 'planter' who owned slaves was viewed favorably by the agrarian southern states and their votes inflated by the slave component put him over the top in the election.

Jefferson’s  presidential opponent was John Adams of the Federalist party, the arch-conservative group of the time, led by Alexander Hamilton who was killed by Aaron Burr in a duel in 1801. US President John Adams described Hamilton in 1815 as "the most restless, impatient, artful, indefatigable, and unprincipled intriguer in the United States . . .” Sounds just like a Karl Rove kind of guy doesn’t he?

What did Jefferson, this ‘First Democrat’ and liberal of his times ever do for America? Try these from our history:

Jefferson was one of the Founding Fathers;
Jefferson was principle author of the Declaration of Independence;
Under Jefferson the US purchased the Louisiana Territory from France now, 23% of all current US territory, and includes:
all of Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska;
parts of Minnesota that were west of the Mississippi River;
most of North Dakota,;
nearly all of South Dakota;
northeastern New Mexico,;
portions of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado;
Louisiana west of the Mississippi River, including the city of New Orleans. 

Another Democrat-Republican: James Monroe What did he do?
Monroe annexed Florida and ‘West Florida’ from Spain in 1819!  

Take yet another Democrat, President James Polk. What did Polk do? Well actually, Polk annexed more territory for our country than anyone else, even more than in the Louisiana Purchase:

This Democrat negotiated the Oregon Territory Treaty of 1848 and the Mexican Cession of 1848 which added 1.2 million square miles of territory to the United States; 
Mexico's size was halved, while that of the United States increased by a third; 
California, Nevada, Utah were added;
Most of Arizona, and parts of New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming were included in the Mexican Cession;
The annexation of Texas was recognized.

Take yet another Democrat, Franklin Pierce. What did pierce do?
Pierce negotiated the Gadsen Purchase, which added an area the size of Scotland to the United States. including most of southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico.

Take yet another Democrat - Andrew Johnson. What did Johnson do?
Johnson bought Alaska from Russian in 1867!

If we took out all the land area contributions to our country made by liberal Democrats, the rest of us would never again have to listen to the rantings of right-wing crazies from: 

Arizona, Arkansas, Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, most of Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, most of North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming!!

Those bozos would all still be polishing the brass on their saddles, jingling their spurs, drinking strong Spanish coffee or Russian slibovitz and taking their siestas through the noon hours! Amazing, isn’t it? Liberal Democrats are the ones who made American territory what it is today! Trouble is, we evidently got a lot of immature idiots along with the territory.

In fact, the ONLY territory gained by the United States under ANY Republican President, which is now a state are the Hawaiian Islands, annexed in 1898 President William McKinley. Hawaii was run as a virtual Republican oligarchy controlled by five private monopolistic companies until becoming a state in 1959. Puerto Rico was annexed at the same time - and under similar auspices, and you understand how Puerto Rico is, don't you?

That sounds exactly right for the way the Republicans like to run things doesn’t it?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Deniamentia in Wingnuttia

I made an unplanned trip to Wingnuttia just today. It was a mistake. I have been there before and thought I knew something about the place, but it changed since I last visited. Used to be there were just a few crackpots wandering around waving around flags with rattlesnakes on them and words saying ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ and ‘Time To Reload’. A lot of those people seemed to be Social Security types - on the ‘government dole’ if you will, not that it seemed to matter to them while they are whining about the expenses of the US government.

There are more younger people in Wingnuttia these days - strident and militant, demanding, irrational sounding people. Leadership appears to be transient and rotates around among Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman and some guy named Rick Santorum to name just a few. The message has not changed, except it is more grim, and the mania has gotten worse. Quite a few of the Wingnuttian leaders are limping around with injured feet, apparently from shooting themselves in the foot while snap-shooting from the hip I suppose. Many others show bruised lips and tongues from the disease very common to their culture: FITMD, or “Foot In The Mouth Disease”, sometimes referred to by others as “Shitlips” in the vernacular.

But, I digress. I wasn’t headed to Wingnuttia when I landed there, but Norway, where a tragedy of epic proportions occurred yesterday. I simply wanted news about that and went online to check the story. Turns out the author of this unspeakable act was a Christian fundamentalist, racist and right wing extremist - the very same sort of person as the inhabitants of Wingnuttia.

While still in the Norwegian story, I unfortunately strayed to take a peek at some of the online comments to the story, only to find myself instantly transported deep into the heartland of Wingnuttia. Blam! There I was!

Wow, those Wingnuttians sure get exercised when anyone associates their kind with anything like this! I think it’s a form of deniamentia. Wingnuttians as a culture, are accustomed to laying blame on ‘anyone but us’ and when anything strikes close to home, collective fuses seem to start shorting out all over the place.

The Wingnuttia national news organ - Fox News - did not even mention the ‘right wing Christian fundamentalist’ component at all until virtually every other news organ on the planet spelled it out for them - in stark, simple terms. Then, it was ’Katie, bar the door!’. Wingnuttians came out in swarms to defend Christianity, extremism, right-wing nuttiness, racism and fundamentalism - while taking zero acknowledgement of their roles in the nurturing of such acts as happened in Norway.

Today’s Fox News headline banner reads for example, “Puzzling Portrait Emerges of Gunman ….” as if the fact that he is a rightwing, racist Christian fundamentalist is totally irrelevant. And comments from Wingnuttians to Fox News and others were rabid in their deniamentia. Here are just a few examples (Note, I’ve left the spelling and syntax just as it appears in print):

From the Portland, Maine Press Herald: “A Christian is one who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ. Christ never went around murdering people., This man is not a Christian. Before folks claim the title of Christian they really should find out what it means.”

From ‘roberta7709’ to Fox News: "Evidently the liberals in Norway have opened the floodgates to immigration from the dark-skinned world. A lot of the kids killed are dark skinned and are connected to the liberal/labor political party.  The country has much larger entitlement programs than the US.  I understand that when you get married in Norway, the government gives you a few thousand for furniture and to set up your new home. So, it is easy to see why the immigrants would flock to Norway, and why the natives would be unhappy."

(Gosh, that one rolls racism, immigration, ‘entitlement programs’ [wingnuttease for ‘socialism’] and liberals all into one neat package! Impressive!)

‘quidestveritas’, comments to Fox News: “This guy was a Christian by NAME ONLY.  He obviously wasn't a practicing Christian . . . “.

And, one posted by nw5052001, again to Fox News: “Its a fact the rest of the world has been making warnings about multiculturalism being a failure..the liberals support it and laugh at the warning......thinking only they know best…”

Posted by ‘dleebro’ to CNN: “What a tragedy! Also regretable is ABC's repetition of another news source that the man arrested is a Christian fundamentalist.”

Another to CNN by ‘shalvah_42000’: “He is not a Christian nor represents Christians or conservatives. If he was a Muslim you would all have a different attitude so I don't appreciate the anti-Christ and anti-conservative point of view.”

And, by ‘jls1950benn’ to CNN: “Just because a christian goes out and murder ...proves that that person was never in fact a Christian in the first place: he was merely making a pretense - a self-deluded imposter . . . “

See what I mean? Deniamentia is rising to be an extremely serious epidemic in Wingnuttia. I’m so sorry I had to go there today - and I couldn’t even get my passport stamped. . . .

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Famous Last Words

Subject: Marksmanship

"They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist . . . ."
    ~Confederate General John Sedgwick the instant he was killed by a Federal sniper's bullet at the battle of Spotsylvania, 1864.

Subject: The Titanic

"There is no danger that Titanic will sink. The boat is unsinkable and nothing but inconvenience will be suffered by the passengers."
~Phillip Franklin, vice president of the White Star Line, operators of the Titanic in 1912 before her maiden voyage.

Subject:  The Stock Market

" Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau."
~Irving Fisher, early 20th century stock expert three days before the 1929 stock market crash.

Subject: Pearl Harbor

 “Whatever happens, the U.S. Navy is not going to be caught napping.” 
~Frank Knox, U.S. Secretary of the Navy,  Dec. 4, 1941

Subject: Television

"Television won't be able to hold onto any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night."
~Daryl Zanuck, movie studio executive in 1946

Subject: Online shopping

“Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop - because women like to get out of the house, like to handle merchandise, like to be able to change their minds."
~Time Magazine in 1966 - in 2010 nearly $173 Billiion was spent in online shopping.

Subject: US Mail

“Before man reaches the moon, your mail will be delivered within hours from New York to Australia by guided missiles. We stand on the threshold of rocket mail.” 
~Arthur Summerfield, US Postmaster General in the Eisenhower administration. It still takes four to six or more days to get a letter from the east coast to the west coast

Subject: Atomic energy

"Atomic energy might be as good as our present-day explosives, but it is unlikely to produce anything very much more dangerous.”
  ~Winston Churchill, 1939

Subject: The Internet

“(the internet) will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.”
~Robert Metcalfe,founder of the 3Com digital electronics company and a professor at The University of Texas at Austin.

Subject: The Beatles

"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." 
~Decca Records, 1962.

 “(they are) so unbelievably horrible, so appallingly unmusical, so dogmatically insensitive to the magic of the art, that they qualify as crowned heads of anti-music.” 
~William F. Buckley, founder of the National Review,1964

"The only thing different is the hair, as far as I can see. I give them a year.”
~Ray Bloch, musical director for The Ed Sullivan Show, 1964

Subject: The End of the World (and ‘some people just never learn')

"When September 6, 1994, arrives, no one else can become saved. The end has come." 
~Reverend  Harold Camping- 1994

"And now, we have no option. We can't say 'maybe' 'it's possible' 'it looks very probable...' No way! We have to say this is what the Bible teaches! This is fact! May 21, 2011 is the day of the Rapture, it is the day that Judgment Day begins..." 
~Reverend Harold Camping 2011

"Thus, we must realize that October 21, 2011 will be the final day of this earth’s existence." 
˜Reverend Harold Camping, 2011