Archive for December, 2011

Of Republicans, Flag Pins, and Professional Wrestling
December 31, 2011

There’s going to be blood in the streets of this country. I don’t think there’s any question about that. Too many chasms are open and widening between classes of people, too much viciousness and ignorant bile flows from the Republicans and their Tea Party masters, an ignorant lot at best. There’s a price to be paid for what they’re doing, and I can only hope that Republicans pay it rather than the people they demonize and victimize.

The Republican candidates represent the worst of America. I tend to think of them as clowns, or Republiclowns, but that trivializes the danger they represent to the country. They are, no matter what face they show to the world, evil, foul, and disgusting human beings. Romney, considered the most electable of the lot, is ignorant and thoughtless, not to mention a liar and a hypocrite who will do or say anything to get to the White House. He seems to think he’s entitled, even while he blasts what he calls the ‘entitlement culture’ – never mind that most people earned and paid for those so-called entitlements. Even the most reasonably intelligent one, Huntsman of Utah, is a bad apple. He came out and said he believes in evolution and that global warming is real and caused by human activity, but in a matter of days he reversed himself. Why, one might ask?

A few years back the National Science Foundation did a study of Americans’ knowledge of science. It’s not surprising that a majority question whether evolution is a fact, given the childish and unfounded  faith in the supernatural most Americans exhibit and practice. But the study also found that twenty percent of Americans believe that the sun moves around the Earth. Twenty percent.

That’s why Huntsman reversed himself. That twenty percent? They’re the Republican base. Ignorant. Superstitious. Utterly incapable of critical thinking. Anti science. Anti intellectual. Anti government, in good part because they understand nothing about government. They are immature, thoughtless, and arrogant. And if one of these Republican candidates gets into the White House, with any kind of support in Congress, or even if lacking that support, you can be sure that it is the Republican base that will drive policy, and that Republican President will take the country back to the dark ages of the nineteenth century, of Jim Crow, of women as second class citizens, of education as a religious endeavor, of persecution of people who are ‘different’ — gays, blacks, Asians, Latinos — you name it: if you’re not white and heterosexual and religious, you get to go to the back of the line, to the back of the bus, to the slums, to the street.

Romney’s big claim to the White House is that he’s a businessman and therefore he can fix the government. The big flaw in that argument is that the government is not a business, is not about profit and loss, is not about manufacturing things for profit. Remember that Romney’s big success (success being defined as making himself rich, which is the only way Americans define success) involved buying up companies, burdening them with debt, breaking them up, throwing people out of work, and putting the profit from all of that in his pocket.

Translate that into government policies, driven by the brain dead, slogan-eating Republican base, and Romney will see his mandate as telling him to break down Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; tax the poor and the middle class more; cut taxes on the rich, who he will call ‘job creators’ when in fact they do not create jobs or contribute much of anything to the common good of society; expand the military beyond its already bloated, purulent presence in the world; and use the military to bludgeon countries he disagrees with because he is utterly lacking in the skills and intellect needed to actually talk with and deal with them constructively over the short term or long term.

And Romney is considered the best of the bunch. Imagine if the atavistic Ron Paul gets in. Or the freakish Santorum. Or the volatile hypocrite and greedster Gingrich, the bomb thrower. Even Huntsman, whose views in full are by no means moderate, has chosen the path of hypocrisy and pander to appease the ignorant mob that is the Republican base. He effectively slobbered all over himself when he reversed his supposedly honest opinion on two major scientific facts.

What a disgusting bunch of people.

And Obama, the Democrat? He might as well sign on with the Republican party, because if he gets in again we’ll have a Republican in the White House, parading as a Democrat. He can’t be trusted. His word is worthless. He refuses to fight for anything. I don’t think he has the balls for a fight, frankly. He comes across as a man who would  let a psychopath rape his wife before he’d fight for her. I no longer respect the man. He lied to us for our votes, and he lied big, which only made the letdown after he got into the White House that much more devastating. He doesn’t stand for anything. Hard to believe in a man who doesn’t stand up, who doesn’t stand for anything, who doesn’t fight for anything. Oh, okay, he lets the military kill anonymous peasants in Afghanistan and Pakistan and assassinate American citizens. I guess that makes him a man in the eyes of… somebody.

Some choice for 2012. The Weakass Liar Obama or The Ignorant Panderer (Romney, Paul, Santorum, et al).

I no longer have any interest in voting. Hardly any point. Obama brings a slow death of democracy and freedom. Romney et al offers a quick death. And all the while that democracy is dying the yahoos and fools and stupid people on the right will cheer and whistle and stomp their feet because the depth of their understanding and appreciation of the United States government and its Constitution and laws doesn’t run any deeper than their appreciation of professional wrestling, an activity as phony and shallow as a Republican wearing a flag pin on his jacket.

How to remember the Republican candidates’ stands on the issues
December 29, 2011

 

Rick Perry: Take away the hair and there’s nothing there.

Ron Paul: No government, that’s  all. Blacks and gays against the wall.

Mitt Romney: There he is! No, he’s there! Oh oh, he stole Rick Perry’s hair!

Michele Bachman: She’s all Biblical, really just like Shariacal.

Jon Somebody: If  you can’t remember his name, how you gonna remember his policies?

Newt Gingrich: Newter Iran, arrest all the American judges, and elect me me me.

Rick Santorum: You people with money come have some coffee and make me an offer. The rest of you go stand against that wall.

Come to think of it, that last one about Santorum pretty much describes the entire Republican program.

A para(ble)phrase on gay marriage
December 23, 2011

Jacob (the guy in the Bible) was married to Leah and Rachel, sisters and his first cousins. Simultaneously. Jacob also had a child with Rachel’s handmaid, with Rachel’s willing approval.

Gay couples can’t marry because the Bible defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

Uh huh. Glad we got that straight.

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Alabama Now Officially A Corrupt, Backwards Third World Country
December 14, 2011

Alabama, never a particularly modern state, has suffered corruption and incompetence since at least the time the dinosaurs died and were reincarnated as greedy politicians.

Now they’re really in the toilet, so to speak, or would be if anyone could afford the water and sewer bills created by the corrupt and incompetent politicians.

Tyke-wan-do Dance of Death…
December 12, 2011

 

Republican Presidential Candidates Defined
December 5, 2011

For quite a while I have cast about in my mind for a simple, inclusive way to define the current crop of Republican candidates for the party’s Presidential nomination. And this morning, while for some dysfunctional reason thinking about Bill O’Reilly, I stumbled upon the best definition up with which my aging, fevered brain has come.

Their egos are writing checks their intellects can’t possibly cash.

Now I may reward my cleverness and wit with another cup of morning coffee. (Guatemala Antigua or Caffe Verona, from Starbucks bean collection.)

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Redistribute Wealth? Hell Yes!
December 3, 2011

The Republican Tea Party makes a lot of noise accusing the Democrats, or anybody to the political left of the RTP screamers, of trying to redistribute the wealth, of handing over taxpayer money to the lazy poor who refuse to work, a category of citizens that includes everyone who is not a Republican or not wealthy enough to give gobs of money to the RTP.

The so-called redistribution of wealth is, in the cowled eyes of the RTP  stalwarts, socialism or communism or tyranny or whatever the flavor of crap Rush Limbaugh and Grover Norquist are handing out that day.

As  a result of RTP (and its predecessor Republican Reagan Party) influence and actions over the past thirty years or so, we have, ironically, seen wealth redistributed. Taxpayer money has flowed up to the wealthy, who have used it to buy politicians, buy legislation favorable to the acquisition of more and more wealth, and undermine democratic representative government in the United States. So simply on that score alone the RTP show themselves to be hypocrites pandering to the wealthy classes by distributing to them the money generated by the middle class and the working class and the working poor.

And in fact there are not enough wealthy people to do what the RTP ideologues believe wealthy people do. They cannot spend enough, consume enough, if you will, to make a mass society whole and functional. The money flows to them and stops. The only way to get it flowing is to pry it from them by taxing it.

Unfortunately for American society, a one-way flow of cash is a sure way to destroy American civilization. A civilization thrives on the circulation of money throughout the society, on money flowing down and up and laterally. Money’s the grease for the wheels of civilization. When one class of people collects the bulk of the money, the wheels stop turning and the society risks collapsing on itself and turning to chaos instead of rational governance.

The RTP is okay with that. They don’t want to spend taxpayer money on anything other than making sure that the wealthy keep their privileged status and pay little or no tax. That is their stated position. They’ve stated it over and over. It is their only position on governance, other than maintaining and expanding an already oversized military which they use to brutalize any third world country they decide they don’t like e.g., Grenada, Panama, most of Central America, Vietnam, Laos, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran soon enough, etcetera ad nauseam. That’s pretty much the sum of the RTP programs and policy.

Unfortunately for the RTP one of the primary functions of government, of successful government, is the redistribution of wealth. Government collects taxes from the citizenry and puts that money to work where it will do the most good in maintaining a vital, thriving, democratic society. Government doesn’t do that perfectly: as a classic example of imperfection one need only remember the famed Alaskan “Bridge to Nowhere” sought by the Republican establishment a few years ago. But on the whole, under a reasonable and rational government, the system works to the benefit of society.

Suppose somewhere in the state of Iowa there exists an important bridge that is on the verge of failure. It is beyond patching and must be replaced. One might note that there are many such bridges in the country.

The state of Iowa can raise half the money, say, and turns to the Federal government for the rest. The Feds provide the money, from taxpayer funds (which is where all the money comes from in the first place), in the form of a loan, or perhaps a grant, or some other financial vehicle. Iowa can then proceed to design and build the new bridge.

But it is not government that builds the bridge. The Iowa Rundown Bridge Authority hires a private design firm and a private engineering firm.

Those two companies can now afford to hire some new people, and maybe expand their physical plant, thus putting some construction companies to work. Perhaps they buy new computers, putting a couple of more people to work at a computer company in Colorado.

Eventually steel is ordered, and concrete, and lumber. Those manufacturers might hire more people, buy more goods, buy more equipment, distributing the wealth, as it were.

Finally construction begins. Construction workers are hired and begin to draw their wages. They might now be able to afford to improve their house, buy a new car, buy a new home, and so on. Every purchase of goods helps more companies, helps more people, helps the society. Tax dollars have been distributed where they are needed and society benefits.

The RTP holds that money should go to the top, to a few people, to their so-called job creators. In fact those people do not create jobs, other than in minor ways, perhaps by hiring undocumented immigrants to cut their lawns, or increasing the number of financial drones in the bowel that is Goldman Sachs and the like. The wealthy invest their money in financial instruments that make more money but that don’t benefit society, if at all, anywhere near the level of benefits that building that new bridge in Iowa brings to society. Wealthy people are economic dead ends. Money flows to them and stops. The RTP would have the rest of society stand there with hands out hoping for the wealthy to trickle some money onto them. The RTP’s oft-stated philosophy claims it would do away with handouts, and yet they virtually guarantee that handouts are all that are left for the bulk of the citizenry.

And yes, there are problems with this model of economic operation. To function it must  have constant growth: more and more people must buy more and more goods. In the long run it is unsustainable, and in fact, considering what we have done to the environment that we absolutely depend on to sustain life on the planet, that system is deadly.

Controls are needed. Regulations are required. Governance must depend on rational, logical choices and decisions based on the best science and knowledge we can obtain. Growth must be constrained with the least damage to populations, and ultimately population must be constrained. These are legitimate concerns and must, absolutely must, be acted upon relatively soon.

But if the United States continues to act in ways that continue the RTP’s actual and stated policies, the country will fail to thrive, fail to survive. The United States is not “exceptional”, as the RTP and other juvenile minds crow and boast. It is subject to the same logic, the same failings, as every other empire throughout history. The sooner the United States and its adolescent leadership give up the idea of being special, of being exceptional, of existing outside the laws of governance and science and human behavior, the sooner it can confront reality and deal with its problems and help to lead the world away from the brink.

But for better or for worse, that bridge in Iowa must be built if the country is to survive.

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