Thursday, July 26, 2012

Our Breaking Political System

It is obvious to everyone. The US political system is breaking down. To some, it is already broken.
No one trusts politicians of either party - and with good reason. Congressional approval ratings are in the toilet and have been for a long time. The country is polarized into warring factions. No one will have a reasonable discussion with their opposition. Avarice, greed, fraud and corruption are the hallmarks of today’s political scene on all sides. Most people today wouldn’t trust the typical politician to watch their dog.
Dollars now decide most elections and large multi-national corporations spend lavishly to control politicians;  They sponsor and achieve legislation in their favor at the expense of everyone, and have become 'too big to fail monsters' in their own right;  Corporations are now ‘people’; legally, but, corporate political decisions are made by their CEO’s and board members who ruthlessly ignore the political wishes of many of their stockholders; ‘Freedom of Speech’ today means that dollars can and do vote, and very copiously at that. The environment and quality of life for all citizens suffers while corporations take advantage and fight any and all efforts at protections. The top leadership of corporations pay themselves at several hundred times the rates of their lowest paid employees;
Corporate kingpins live on an elevated plane, isolated from the problems they have willed for all others; They hide their wealth overseas while taking advantage of favorable legislation paid for with corporate dollars for their personal benefit; They fight tooth and nail against anything benefitting others while demanding further tax cuts for themselves; They engage in massive, expensive and duplicitous propaganda campaigns to enlist the help of the very people they economically control to protect their own special interests.
Big Money are deliberately employing hot button ‘red herring’ issues like abortion, immigration and homosexual life styles to divert, divide and control the electorate in political sleights-of-hand designed to cloak their true designs. If you doubt this, do a little research for yourself on the ALEC group.
‘Capital’ is now in political control in the US and much of the developed world for all intents and purposes. Capital is busily solidifying its grasp by whatever means will work for it. It is a classic and obvious case of ‘the ends justify the means’ from the standpoint of capital. But, since the system is breaking, it is also becoming seriously and increasingly out of balance. Things which are seriously out of balance can not sustain for long, and unless brought into equilibrium again, will end up destroying themselves and things around them. Guaranteed. It is not unlike a flywheel out of balance which if not repaired, will eventually disintegrate, tearing out its shroud, freezing its engine and bringing everything to a crashing and disastrous halt.
That’s precisely where we are today. The world is impacted by myriads of problems, from over-population, to global warming, to water shortages, wars, starvation, human diseases, lack of access to medical treatment, endangered food resources, to ‘ethnic cleansing’ and racial injustice, nuclear proliferation, and so on and on and on. Meanwhile, our systems for dealing with such problems has been captured, and their resources diverted to the further enrichment of empirical corporations and those who run them. Indeed, rich corporation often find things to their financial advantage to quietly ignore problems, or encourage things like warfare and disease. Keep one thing always in mind: The bottom line is the one and only thing that really actually matters to any large corporation.
One might think the rich could see where this is heading, and the danger that is in it for them. Several times in the world’s history similar situations have arisen on national levels, and the results have not been pretty for the people who were in control at the time. In fact, historically, this has always, without fail, resulted in oceans of bloodshed, followed by a ruthless retrenchment of society more draconian than the one it replaced. But, apparently our ultra-rich today are oblivious to history, or believe they are smart enough to maintain control forever. They may be right, but I seriously doubt that - and no sane person who studies history should. 
Both the Occupy Protesters and the Tea Party people on their respective sides of the political spectrum are manifestations of social dissatisfaction with the political status quo. There is a growing consensus in the nation that we are being ‘had’. Big Money has attempted to use the Tea Party of advance their agendas, not realizing the danger they may be unleashing upon themselves. I believe they are now starting to perceive this which is one reason the Tea Party has quietened down lately - their backers have backed off.
The pressure is building, and it is past time for ‘We the People’ to take back our country - peaceably if possible - but take it back we must. Otherwise, we are in for a bloody explosion sometime in our future, and fairly soon in my opinion. 
Who can fix things? Not me, certainly, but I have been giving this some considerable thought and believe I have some ideas which can help. I will lay those out in a future blog posting as soon as I can find the time to write them down.

Monday, July 16, 2012

You might be a Modern Republican if , . . . 

You know more than one woman under the age of thirty-five named "Ethel";

 You can whine and eat at the same time;

 You can whine and sleep at the same time;

 Your pickup truck has a gun rack inside the cab and a cross and/or fish symbol on the bumper;

 You use any kind of "anti-gas medication"; 

You know two or more guys your age you call "Bubba";

 You have ever had a "Charlton Heston Is My Other President" bumper sticker on your car;

 You are over fifty and watch "Toddlers in Tiaras";

 You have a picture of Goldwater, Nixon or Reagan anywhere in your house or office;

 You have always really liked sausage gravy;

You have any relative of either sex named "Butch";

 Your golf clubs or watch cost more than your wife's car;

 You believe taxing employees at far higher rates than their bosses is just and fair;

 You take Viagra AND acid reflux medication;

 You think the 'Real Americans' may be found in the rural areas of Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama and Georgia;

 You think serving red, white and blue cupcakes makes you patriotic;

You think Ronald Reagan really did 'hang the moon';

 You can say "compassionate conservative" with a straight face;

You think 'a thousand points of light' actually is a good quip and slogan;

 You think Rush Limbaugh should to do a calendar;

 A five second sound-bite is the maximum limit of your attention span;

 You have a genuine Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity autograph;

 Being a 'good Christian' places no limits on your interest in sexually perverse web sites;

You are secretly FEATURED on one or more sexually perverse web sites;

You drink Budweiser beer because it's American beer by God! (But don't know the brewery is owned by a European company);

 You think Sarah Palin was unfairly blindsided by Katie Couric in their interview;

 You sincerely believe Sarah Palin would be a far better President than Obama;

 You believe Sarah Palin's children should not have media attention, even though Palin herself paraded them before the public;

 You defend Richard Nixon as 'a great guy who let himself be trapped by his liberal enemies';

 Your favorite sarcasms are calling people 'professor' or 'intellectual';

 You think Joe McCarthy was right and got a raw deal from communists in Congress;

 You watch Fox News because they are your only source for 'fair and balanced' news;

 You sincerely believe publishing fake stories of weapons of mass destruction is plenty enough reason to attack another country with your own weapons of mass destruction;

 You believe all the 'lamestream media' (everyone except Fox) is controlled by communists, socialists or liberals;

 You believe getting a blowjob from a White House intern is far worse than an illegal invasion of another country killing hundreds of thousands;

 You believe all Democrats are left-wing;

 Your favorite vehicle is a Hummer;

You HAVE a vehicle named after an oral sex act (Hummer);

 You have an American flag decal on your Hummer; 

You think tax breaks for the rich will create jobs;

 You think George W. Bush is just a misunderstood intellectual with poor verbal skills;

 You think parts of the Bill of Rights are unnecessary, probably socialist and should be repealed;

 You believe 'socialists' and 'fascists' are the same thing;

 You get a hard-on every time you see an 'Occupier' protester being beaten by police;

 You think it's a darn sin and shame the way Tea Partiers are disrespected; 

You ARE a Tea Partier;

 You believe 'liberals' and 'socialists' are the same thing;

 You sincerely believe the United States is a 'Christian' nation;

 You believe bailing out corporations is good, but helping poor people is bad for them;

 You believe it's their own damned fault poor people can't afford health insurance;

 You believe government should be run as a business;

 You think 'tax cuts' and 'trickle-down economics' are the only economic policies the country needs; 

You believe 'Freedom of Religion' means freedom to practice Christianity only;

 You favor funding prisons over funding schools;

 You believe the best educations are gotten at home or religious private schools;

 You hold many strong opinions you can not explain;

 You proudly display a 'Buy American' bumper sticker on your Beemer;

 You think Rick Perry is a real Texas cowboy;

 You can justify Jesus as a welfare hating militaristic capitalist;

 You can physically hear, but are incapable of listening to opposing views;

 You believe the NRA defends constitutional rights and the ACLU are communist traitors;

 You can call yourself as a "ditto head" without a feeling of irony or shame;

 You believe the poor, and sick or hungry children don't exist if you can't see or hear them;

 You own more than one hand gun;

 You have an assault rifle in your closet;

 You have never noticed the physical resemblances between George W. Bush,  Howdy Doody, Coco the Monkey & Alfred E. Neuman;

 You think hate is an perfectly acceptable Christian virtue;

You believe Americans are God's chosen people - no matter what those damned jews claim;

 You actually believe invading another country doesn't create more hate and terrorists;

 You believe George W. Bush is a 'real Texan' who made it good all on his own;

 You believe welfare and tax breaks are OK for corporations because they 'create jobs';

 You believe corporations are 'people';

 You still wonder why Archie Bunker in the 'All In The Family' show was so funny to some people; 

You haven't had a library card since grade school;

 You think "shock and awe" is the greatest military strategy ever;

You celebrated when 'Mission Accomplished' was announced;

 You believe planning an invasion without an exit strategy is great military policy;

 You think all unemployment would disappear if only the minimum wage were lowered;

 You believe capitalism, Christianity and the Free Market can solve everything;

 You think separation of church and state is an assault on religious freedom;

 You don't believe in government regulations except for women, Democrats and dark-skinned people; 

You believe owning a .50 caliber assault weapon is a 'God-given right' guaranteed by the Constitution;

 You think letting your kids watch Sesame Street or Teletubbies can make them gay;

 You think requiring a driver's license is OK, but a gun permit is an infringement of your rights;

 You are a pro-lifer and a fervent champion of the death penalty simultaneously; 

You believe dark-skinned people don't have the same rights as white people;

 You can shamelessly pray to God for personal favors right after cheating on your spouse;

 You think Ted Nugent is a great American and actually makes good sense;

 You can use 'God', 'glory' and 'guns' in the same sentence;

 The most heroic persons you can think of are John Wayne and Chuck Norris;

 You sincerely believe the best way to bring "democracy and freedom" to another nation is to bomb the living bejesus out of them;

 You avoided all military service for yourself but loudly and proudly support 'our military';

 You believe your own fixed opinions constitute 'critical thinking';

 You are AGAINST teaching critical thinking in schools since it challenges students' fixed belief systems, and are glad the Texas GOP has actually stated that as official policy;

 You are totally convinced health care for all is a socialist scheme which will destroy the country;

 You think scaring the public with fake alarms is the best way to get their votes;

 You can believe in 'faith based initiatives' and keeping government out of churches' business at the same time;

 You can claim Larry Craig 'just had a wide stance' with a straight face;

 You sneer at Obama using a teleprompter, but ignored George W. Bush's gibberish even when he used one;

 The only blisters you ever had on your hands came from your tennis racket;

 You refuse to acknowledge Jesus was actually a long-haired, dark-skinned hippy type Jewish guy; 

You think flying a Chinese made American flag on your front porch makes you a patriot;

 You believe the more flags you can display, the more patriotic you are;

 You believe the GOP's first priority is to block any legislation introduced by Democrats, even if it is the exact same thing Republicans introduced themselves earlier;

 You believe 'defeating Obama' is far more important than the business of the nation;

 You are secretly envious and jealous of Bill Clinton's sex life;

 You believe Bill Clinton's sexual adventures almost destroyed democracy as we know it;

 You believe the Earth is 6,000 years old and anyone saying otherwise is 'attacking Christianity';

 You worry about your job being 'outsourced', yet vigorously support tax cuts for your company's CEO;

 You believe the 9/11 attacks on George W. Bush's watch were Clinton's fault;

 You are now convinced Dwight Eisenhower was really a 'RINO';

 You think Sarah Palin, George W. Bush and Dan Quayle are all very bright people who simply have trouble expressing themselves;

 You secretly think Sarah Palin makes George W. Bush look smart, but won't admit it;

 You believe patriots must always support their government 'right or wrong' unless a Democrat is in charge;

 You think marijuana users should all be jailed but Rush Limbaugh just made a completely understandable and unfortunate mistake by  taking drugs illegally;

 You sincerely believe 'God' is always on your side;

 The only Constitutional Amendments you actually know are the first two;

 You can not see the irony in ranting about 'communists' while your own party's official color is 'red'; 

You believe your right to 'free speech' is for everyone except your opposition;

 You believe repeating proven lies often enough will make them come true;

 You claim you love 'democracy', yet want to disenfranchise all liberals, dark-skinned people, Muslims, socialists and Democrats;

 You fantasize about getting it on with Saran Palin, Michelle Bachmann or Ann Coulter;

 You secretely fantasize about getting it on with Ted Haggard, Arnold Schwartzenegger or male strippers while trying to make love to your wife (or husband);

 You believe intensive education leads to snobbery and elitism and must be resisted;

 You think homosexuality is a choice which is spread by homosexuals;

 You sincerely believe prayer will 'cure' homosexuality;

 You support the National Rifle Association but demonize the National Education Association;

 You believe all undocumented persons should be rounded up and deported somewhere, even if born in this country - except your cook, gardner or nanny of course;

 You believe 'abstinence only' is better than sex education and condoms in preventing unwanted pregnancies;

 You think 'greed' is the most required and beneficial attribute in any capitalist society;

 You believe choosing a career not motivated by profit means you are communist;

 You call women who demand fair and equal treatment 'Feminazis';

 You believe the best way to help poor people is giving more money to rich people;

 You believe scientific textbooks must and should be edited by scientifically illiterate political hacks; 

You believe 'protecting freedom' is best done by thugs with automatic weapons and official badges; 

You believe voluntary pollutions standards work;

 You insist saving 1.5 million American  jobs with the GM and Chrysler bailouts is 'socialism';

 You consider those who disagree with you as treasonous liberal wienies, and communists;

 You think people should go to prison for smoking any vegetation besides tobacco;

 You get a hard-on watching NASCAR races, football, wrestling and boxing matches;

 You think military force should be the first tool used in international diplomacy;

 You think there is rampant voter fraud which can be cured by picture ID's;

 You insist there there is no voter fraud at the local level in GOP districts;

 You think eliminating welfare, Social Security, Medicaid and programs for the needy will return the country to prosperity;

 You cheered when Congress attacked NPR, Planned Parenthood and gay rights;

 You scream Obama is a 'Kenyan Tax and Spend Socialist' even while taxes are the lowest since 1950;

 You think money is the exact same thing as free speech;

 You say the Christian God protects 'the faithful', while ignoring most natural disasters seem to occur in the Bible Belt;

 You call Al Gore and Michael Moore 'fat traitors' but think Rush Limbaugh is a 'great patriot';

 You actually can listen to a complete Rush Limbaugh broadcast without barfing;

 You think corporations are 'people' but laws which put 'people' in jail don't apply to them;

 You aren't bothered that our nation's rich 'jobs creators' are creating all their jobs overseas;

 You believe that it is their damned own fault people are born into poverty, and it serves them right by God; 

You think the 95% of all scientists who warn of global warming are part of a vast, conspiracy;

 You think an "HMO" may be either a cable TV channel or a queer;

 You think trading with Cuba is treasonous, but trading with communist China or Vietnam is OK since it is 'free trade' and good for business;

 The support NO TAXES except poll taxs;

 You believe in 'states rights' except rights for women or gays;

 You believe the best way to save health care tax money is not provide health care;

 You think digging the hole deeper is the best way out of it;

 You have ever been 'born again';

 You think the ACLU is anti-American except for the times they defended Oliver North and Rush Limbaugh by mistake;

 You believe regulations for multi-national corporations are anti-American, communist inspired plots; 

You think that everything has really gone downhill in the country since 1900;

 You believe Saudi Arabians are our democratic freedom-loving friends in the Middle East;

 You believe Republican sex scandals are 'private matters' but scandals for all others must be fully exposed and publicized; 

You seriously insist the welfare of its people is not the business of government;

 'Progress' to you means returning to how things were 75 years ago;

 You believe ignoring the needs and welfare of its citizens is good for the country;

 You believe "Intelligent Design" can be proven through fossil records;

 You insist 'Creationism' be taught in school but evolution and climate change are 'junk science' and  must not be taught;

 You support eliminating sex education, birth control and abortions in the same breath;

 You think HMOs and insurance companies have the public's best interests at heart;

You believe Jesus hates queers, socialists, liberals and Democrats, and anyone else you don't like;

 You think George W. Bush deserves all the credit for hunting down and killing Osama Bin Ladin;

 You think Christian prayer in schools should be required, but nothing else, most especially no Muslim prayers;

 You think 'progressive' is a dirty word;

 You sincerely believe cutting taxes on rich people will increase tax revenues;

 You believe big corporations are motivated by compassion for people, ever;

 Reading the above makes you see 'red';

 You haven't laughed at any of the above!