Libertarian Fish Killers
January 10, 2012

As much as I dislike President Obama, the politician, I can’t countenance one of these Republicans getting in. Nor can I understand why anyone would find them attractive or qualified for the office. I suppose with the intense polarization it’s to be expected, and with the weak press, and the weak-minded electorate, what can you do?

The right have sold too many people on the nostrum that government is the problem, and the left hasn’t come back with an answer that resonates. Somehow the right think that they’ll be able to manage everything that needs managing in the country without any sort of central government. They don’t want to pay taxes, but they expect everything to run smoothly, they expect things to get fixed when broken, and they expect to be safe in their homes and persons, all apparently for free. They denigrate struggling teachers and worship multimillionaire basketball players. They ignore critical issues like infrastructure, the environment, education, and the like, and focus laserlike on trivia such  as including the words ‘under God’ in the pledge of allegiance, as if saying the pledge, with or without those words, will magically ensure the success of the United States and guarantee them a safe and wealthy life. They don’t want politics and reasoned compromise, they don’t want intelligent thought and reflection, they don’t want realism. They want magic. They want voodoo. They want to dance around a fire in their cave to propitiate their gods, occasionally throwing a virgin on the coals to make things right with the heavens.

Yesterday, during a radio interview in New Hampshire, some woman rattled on and on that government has gotten too big, had no right to tell her how to live, and that she should be able to do whatever she wanted. She of course extended that to everybody, but gave not one bit of thought to community, to the idea that if she just did whatever she wanted, how would people react when her actions impinged on their freedom to do whatever they wanted. That seems never to occur to these so-called libertarians. They don’t want to pay for government, they don’t want courts, they don’t want a political process, they just want to do what they want to do. And the irony is that they pretty much already can do whatever they want to do, except when their actions infringe on the common good of the community. You want to build on wetlands, filling them in so you can build your house? If you do that, you contribute to the destruction of offshore fisheries because the young fish are hatched and grow in those wetlands. So if everybody fills in the wetlands, the fishery dies, and the fishermen, who may be your neighbors, or may live and operate their boats a long way from where you live, lose their livelihoods, and the ecosystem is disturbed when the fish that depend on the fish you exterminated are deprived of their food source. But the right object to government agencies and government scientists putting facts in the way of narcissism, ego, and greed.

The right want to eliminate government agencies like the FDA, but when some company that the FDA now regulates no longer faces oversight puts poison in a bottle and kills your kid, what are you going to do? Shoot somebody? Go to court, putting your thousand dollars in savings against a megacorporation that doesn’t give a damn about you or your kid because nobody holds them accountable? They’ll crush you with their suites of million-dollar lawyers and they won’t even notice the cost.

Don’t want the EPA? You’d rather breathe coal-soaked air, drink water full of the byproducts of gas fracking, visit oil wells in national parks, see the Grand Canyon honeycombed with uranium mines, watch rivers become so polluted that they catch fire like the Cuyahoga did before the Clean Air Act (signed by Nixon, by the way)? That’s your vision of a better America?

Government is not perfect, and it is at the moment broken in large part because rich people like the Koch Brothers want it broken, which is why they finance the Tea Party and encourage the sort of mindless libertarianism that runs rampant today in Congress and on the right generally. When you see the big money boys supporting the minimalization of government you had better start asking yourself why. It’s nothing high-minded, you can count on that. They just want to do what they want to do without anyone calling them to account or holding them responsible for their actions. They don’t want government. They want to rule. And they’re paying hundreds of millions of dollars to get their way.

Your dollars, by the way. Not only do you support their actions when you buy their products, you pay their taxes for them because they cut deals with politicians that allow them to pay either nothing or a pittance in taxes. You make up for what they don’t pay. How’s that for doing what you want to do without government interference?

You cannot make government good by eliminating government.

If you want to live in a country of three hundred and fifty million people, and live in peace and follow your bliss or your dream or whatever it is that you want to do, you have to come to terms with the idea that governance is required, and that such governance is complex and complicated and messy, and that it requires your thoughtful, educated attention. To want to have everything your way is childish, it is ignorant, it is thoughtless. But if you insist then it is best you go live alone somewhere, perhaps up in the northern wilds of Canada, if they’ll have you, and while you’re there perhaps you can breathe in the methane and other greenhouse gasses releasing from the melting permafrost, courtesy of the mindless politicians on the right, the deregulators, the obstructionists, the whores of uncontrolled capitalists, in the Republican Tea Party who insist there’s no such thing as global warming and we certainly don’t want the government interfering even if there is such a thing.

Don’t bother sending a post card home.

#

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.

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.)

#