This Must Not Stand!
October 6, 2013

This morning NPR/KQED did a program on the Vietnam Wall. I caught some of it. I get emotional over that time. People I knew died in that war. Their names stand on that massive black granite. That was my time, my youth. It sticks with me. It sticks in my throat. It brings tears to my eyes today. And I look at the country today and I think ‘What did they die for?’ Never mind that it was a misbegotten war. At bottom those men fought not against some vague Communist threat, but for a vision of America as a good, decent place where the ideal was equality and fairness for everyone, a place where everyone had a fair and just chance to make their life into whatever they wanted.

No more.

The country has become a cesspool of vile and ugly politics and greed and hatred. The politicians have sold their souls to the rich and the rich want everything else too. They want to live with their boot on the neck of the poor, of the workers, of the middle class. They degrade education so they won’t be challenged by people who can think, so they can provide a steady stream of mindless drones for their minimum wage jobs.

The men who died in Vietnam didn’t die so the Koch brothers and their kind could turn America into a fascist fantasyland. They didn’t die for Exxon to pollute the land and the air and the water for obscene profits. They didn’t die for a bunch of Tea Party ignoramuses and bigots to corrupt the political process with their ignorance and hatred.

But that’s where we are today. It is disgusting. This isn’t the America any soldier died for. This is an America of lies and greed and deceit. This is an America whose vision has been corrupted by small-minded men and women who trade in lies and greed and deceit to feather their own nests at the expense of every working man and woman, of every man and woman struggling to make a good and decent life for their family, of every man and woman battling for a decent education and a fair chance to build the life they want.

This is an America whose vision has been corrupted by hatred, by racism, by bigotry against the poor and the disadvantaged, by the hatred, the racism, and the bigotry of a small group of politicians and rich men who care nothing for the country and whose every thought they direct at taking everything they can get their manicured, soft hands on, taking everything they can from the poor, from the workers, from the people who made it possible for the rich to wallow in their excesses of wealth.

This cannot stand.

It must not stand.

If it stands there will be blood in the streets, there will be wailing in the nights, there will be a genuine war that will make the bloodbath of the American Civil War look like a picnic, the draft riots of that time like afternoon tea on the lawn, and from abroad people of other nations will see an America writhing in madness and insanity. And all so a few people, a handful of rich people and their kneeling servants in Congress, in every political system in America, can get for themselves more, and more, and more.

This cannot stand.

It must not stand.

It must not.

In the name of every man and woman who has died or been torn up fighting for a proud vision of a free and democratic America, this must not stand.

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Why Your Life Sucks As Your Country Goes Down The Tubes
July 6, 2012

Wanna see the truth about your politicians? One of the truths anyway. The truth about why you have no voice, why they don’t hear your voice, why your life/job/finances/economy pretty much sucks. Take a look at the Upworthy site.

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The Persecution and Assassination of Democracy as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Washington Under the Direction of the Supreme Court
June 28, 2012

The Supreme Court decides on the Affordable Care Act (‘Obamacare’) today – well, they’ve already decided, they’re just going public today. I suspect they’ll uphold it because the ‘conservative’ justices are intellectually corrupt, if not in fact corrupt in other ways. It would have been better for the country and the world if the right-wing justices had been strangled in their cradles and never been allowed to hold high office. They crossed the Rubicon into corruption when they savaged the 2000 election to put their choice in office. That decision cost thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghani lives and the loss of trillions of dollars from the U.S. treasury.

Later, their Citizens United decision broke the back of democracy in this country. The supporting Montana decision Monday sealed the fate of freedom and sold the United States to its most venal, morally bankrupt citizens, people like the Koch Brothers and the financial backers of the Tea Party, as well as the corporate barons whose only interest in America is how to corrupt democracy to line their pockets.

It is likely that the Court will support the ACA, if for no other reason than that it puts vast sums of money into the pockets of the insurance companies and the already wealthy elites who will then buy more politicians and judges, ensuring that corruption will become absolute. These so-called conservative justices curry favor with the wealthy and the powerful. Their corruption ensures that their decisions conserve nothing of democracy, conserve nothing of liberty, conserve nothing of the Constitution, conserve nothing of what it means that the United States has existed at all.

At some point these, or other, justices may decide that Citizens is a bad decision and seek to overturn it. By then it will be too late. Their decision will be ignored by the corporate lackey government that Citizens is right now creating. Future justices who seek to right the wrongs of Citizens will either be ignored or they will be spoken to harshly by the new barons ruling the country or they will be assassinated, either physically or in reputation.

Fair repayment indeed for the Supreme Court’s persecution and assassination of democracy in America.

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Women Are Dirt And Should Be Beaten: New Afghan Law
March 8, 2012

Yup, after ten years of a senseless war carried on by Americans in Afghanistan to make the place safe for women and democratic politics, the politicians the Americans put in place and that the Americans support with money and guns and blood, much to the detriment of America, have declared that women can be treated like dirt. Legally. No questions asked. (And of course the American White House and the American military won’t ask any questions, because that might amount to criticizing our dear ally – you know, President Karzai, otherwise known as Karzai the Korrupt Beyond Belief American Puppet.)

It says so, right on Hamid Karzai’s website. Women are dirt. Women are crap. Women are the gunk between men’s toes. And Karzai is the president of Afghanistan and he endorsed the new policy in a press conference. It’s official: Women Are Dirt. Karzai and the imams say so. Rejoice, brothers!

This is what all you dead American soldiers died for. This is what you got your brains rattled for. This is what you left your legs and your arms in that misbegotten country for. Oh, and forget al Qaeda, they’ve moved on: they don’t need Afghanistan, haven’t needed it for eleven years. What, you didn’t get the memo? Neither did your bosses in the Pentagon and the White House and the Congress.

Read the story at The Progressive site.

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Palmer Raids, Tail Gunner Joe McCarthy, Barack Obama: Peas In A Pod
January 3, 2012

In WWI we had the Palmer raids of A. Mitchell Palmer, Attorney General of the United States. In the early 50s we had the insanity of a dipsomaniac Wisconsin U.S. Senator, Joe McCarthy. Now we have the 21st century final fall from grace as the President of the United States, Barack Obama, accompanied by United States Senators of both political parties, officially putting pretty much the final stamp of approval on what was formerly the “world’s greatest democracy” becoming just another tyranny of the powerful few.

Jonathan Turley, professor of law at George Washington University, details the black act of Congress, at Common Dreams and at his blog:

President Barack Obama rang in the New Year by signing the NDAA law with its provision allowing him to indefinitely detain citizens. It was a symbolic moment, to say the least. With Americans distracted with drinking and celebrating, Obama signed one of the greatest rollbacks of civil liberties in the history of our country … and citizens partied in unwitting bliss into the New Year.

Under cover of signing the Defense Authorization Act, and once again lying about his intentions, Obama drove the nail into the coffin of civil rights, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, the Magna Carta, and every other ‘guarantee’ of civil liberty and protection from tyrants that Americans have assumed. And one of his excuses was that he had to sign the act to support the troops by funding them.

The latest claim is even more insulting. You do not "support our troops" by denying the principles for which they are fighting. They are not fighting to consolidate authoritarian powers in the president. The "American way of life" is defined by our constitution and specifically the bill of rights. Moreover, the insistence that you do not intend to use authoritarian powers does not alter the fact that you just signed an authoritarian measure. It is not the use but the right to use such powers that defines authoritarian systems.

Read it all. And follow the link to Turley’s post about some Montana citizens seeking to recall their two Senators who voted for the nightmare.

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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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Wha’ Hoppened? Michael Moore Tells All
August 13, 2011

In a piece at Common Dreams Michael Moore explains how we got to the dismal place we’re at today, living in a country that’s sliding into plutocracy and theocracy, sliding down a chute greased by Ronnie Raygun, the phony Christians of the right wing, and the money guys in the banks and on Wall Street, the corporatocrats, and oh, yes, by the AFL-CIO.

Does anybody remember PATCO?

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It’s a good read. 

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Another Sickening Republican Wants Into The Senate From Nebraska
August 9, 2011

This guy is the Attorney General of Nebraska. He’s disgusting and he’s a hypocrite.

Republicans really can’t stand poor people, disadvantaged people, people who struggle to feed themselves and their family, people who aren’t filthy rich, people who have little or no political power.

There was that piece of Republicrap South Carolina Lieutenant Governor last year comparing the poor to stray animals. Now there’s this Nebraska wannabe degrading welfare recipients…

“The raccoons – they’re not stupid, they’re gonna do the easy way if we make it easy for them. Just like welfare recipients all across America. If we don’t send them to work, they’re gonna take the easy route."

TPM has the story.

Why is he a hypocrite? Here’s some interesting info from a commenter at TPM.

73 percent of Nebraska farmers received some sort of payment in 2009.

10 percent of Nebraska farmers collected 62 percent of the
money.

$306.1 million in direct payments was collected by Nebraska
farmers in 2009.

10 percent of Nebraska farmers collected 56 percent of payments from 1995-2009.

Nebraska was fifth among states in total farm payments at $14
billion from 1995-2009.

Source: Environmental Working Group.

Guess those Nebraska farmers must be some of the laziest bastards in the country, eh? And how much do you want to bet that the top gummint welfare recipients among those farmers are big donors to the Republican party which this scumbag Bruning calls his political home?

Yowsah! Republicanism at its finest!

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Human Error In Wisconsin Court Election? Kinda Maybe Not…
April 8, 2011

It does rather look like the sleazy, scummy Republicans may have pulled a fast one in that critical court election in the state that gave us the current king of Republican sleaze, Governor Scott Walker, a Bible-thumping union buster of the old school… you know, ethical and intellectual morons.

Your Government Is Kicking Sand In Your Face…
March 16, 2011

 

Thanks to Moe at Whatever Works