Texas Republicans Choose To Make Texas Children Stupid
July 1, 2012

 

From Common Dreams:

Here is the actual language from a position statement in the 2012 Texas Republican Party Platform:

Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

The heart of Republicanism:

1) Fear intelligence

2) Fear intelligent people

3) Promote and praise stupidity

4) Keep people ignorant and uninformed

5) Eschew thinking and reason

6) Cripple schools and education

7) Keep our boots on the necks of the peons by denying them a decent education – that would be the niggers, the spics, the slants, the gooks, the redskins, and all the mud races

8) Get that damned nigger out of our White House

That about sums it up. Or as another famous Southerner said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

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Want An Abortion In Alaska? Then Get A Note From The Guy Who Raped You.
March 22, 2012

No, really, State Representative Alan Dick (who apparently is a Dick in the worst sense) is just terribly worried about… wait for it… his peace of mind, for which he feels he must subject women to insane regulation.

From The Mudflats:

And if you’re not fully convinced yet that Alaska is the next front in the GOP’s war on women, you just have to listen to State Rep. Alan Dick. He said in a House Health and Social Services Committee Hearing last week that he doesn’t believe that when a woman is pregnant, it’s really “her pregnancy.” As a matter of fact, he would advocate for criminalizing women who have an abortion without the permission via written signature from the man who impregnated her. He stated, “If I thought that the man’s signature was required… required, in order for a woman to have an abortion, I’d have a little more peace about it…”   He didn’t say whether a rapist would be able to send his signature by fax from prison, or not. But he’ll have “peace” and women will require a permission slip for their own bodies.

See  more links to legislation proposed by perverted Republican legislators who just cannot get women’s vaginas, uteruses, and all the other women’s sex parts their mommies never told them about, out of their sick heads… make that their sick big and little heads.

It would be a boon to the country if this November the adults go to the polls and shoot the Republican Party in the head so the rest of us can get on with the twenty-first century instead of heading back into the Dark Ages.

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The Catspaw Tea Party And The Resurgence Of Ugly America
March 21, 2012

Didja notice that since the Tea Party gained prominence that the country has gotten not only uglier but absolutely atavistic?

People now are fighting over contraception, women’s rights, abortion, race, and welfare. The ugliness of those fights in the past has been revived to little purpose other than to stir up the ignorant passions of the thoughtless elements of the electorate in order to take their White House back from the uppity nigger who won it fair and square four years ago.

But what can you expect from a party that is nothing more than a catspaw for the the wealthy elites who finance it and who want to rule the United States rather than let the people freely choose their governance?

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Pope Santorum? Bringing Back The Inquisition
February 20, 2012

The last thing this country needs is a wannabe Catholic Pope sitting in the Oval Office of the White House and governing from a corrupt and ignorant ideological theology. But that’s what millionaire ex-Senator Rick Santorum is offering. A sampling of his remarks, including the latest accusation that President Obama isn’t governing according to the Christian Bible, never mind what the Constitution says:

Obama’s agenda is "not about you. It’s not about your quality of life. It’s not about your jobs. It’s about some phony ideal. Some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology," Santorum told supporters of the conservative Tea Party movement at a Columbus hotel.

When asked about the statement at a news conference later, Santorum said, "If the president says he’s a Christian, he’s a Christian."

“America is a country that was founded on the concept that our rights come to us from our creator, come to us from God. He doesn’t say just do whatever you want to do with them, in fact he has laws we must abide by. In our case we have civil laws, but our civil laws have to comport with higher laws,” he said.

In 2005, then-Senator Santorum put forth an amendment to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to expand then-current law to allow religious organizations that are recipients of federal funds under the Social Services Block Grant to discriminate in employment based on religion.33 The New York Times has referred to him as “the nation’s pre-eminent faith-based politician.”

“I knew when I won [my Senate race] that I had a constituency of one [God]. [My experience in the Senate] opened up to me why I was there and what God had called me to do.”

In 2001 then-Senator Santorum proposed incorporating pro-intelligent design language into the No Child Left Behind bill, that portrayed the theory of evolution as not widely accepted. He said that anytime evolution is taught, children should also be taught why the subject “generates so much continuing controversy”. In a recent interview he said, “Science will only allow things in the classroom that are consistent with a non-creator idea of how we got here, as if somehow or another that’s scientific.”

“As long as abortion is legal, we will never have rest because our law doesn’t comport with Gods law,” he said. Santorum signed a “personhood” pledge that invokes religion and “God” and states, “I oppose assisted suicide, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and procedures that intentionally destroy developing human beings. […] Abortion and the intentional killing of an innocent human being are always wrong and should be prohibited. […] If elected President, I will work to advance state and federal laws and amendments that recognize the unalienable right to life of all human beings as persons at every stage of development, and to the best of my knowledge, I will only appoint federal judges and relevant officials who will uphold and enforce state and federal laws recognizing that all human being at every stage of development are person with the unalienable right to life.”

Santorum said marriage equality is ”messing with the basic family unit.” And supports a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage. Santorum said the overturning of sodomy laws is not constitutionally based. “The state is not doing a service to the child and to society by not putting that child in a home where there is a mother and a father. […] This is common sense. This is nature. And what we are trying to do is defy nature because a certain group of people want to be, want to be affirmed by society. And I just don’t think that’s to the benefit to society or the child. […] I don’t believe in same-sex adoption nor do I believe in same-sex marriage,” he said.

His campaign website states that he wants to “Restore conscience clause protections for health care workers.”

“One of the things that you don’t know about Obamacare and one of the mandates is they require free prenatal testing in every insurance policy in America. Why?  Because it saves money in health care. Why? Because free prenatal testing ends up in more abortions and therefore less care that has to be done because we cull the ranks of the disabled in our society.”

And to prove Santorum is not just about imposing his ignorant theocratic ideology on everyone in  America, here’s a quote from Ohio demonstrating his environmental chops:

Rick Santorum, at a campaign stop in Ohio, criticized liberal environmentalists that put the "Earth above man."

"Unlike the Earth, we’re intelligent, and we can actually manage things," Santorum said. In reference to liberals, Santorum said, "When it comes to management of the Earth, they are the anti-science ones."

This is the guy who wants creationism taught in the schools.

When America looks like Rick Santorum, then there will no longer be America. In its place will be something sick, psychotic, diseased, ignorant, and murderous. It will look like Europe during the height of the  madness of the Inquisition. And the country is beginning to look a lot like him and his kind, from the lowliest Protestant fundogelical sect to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Ignorance and stupidity and evil know no religion, but both are at home there, in force.

Time  to take up a collection to send Santorum to Rome so he can run for Pope in the thirteenth century.

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Racial Division: Republicans In The South, Via England
January 19, 2012

There’s a good piece in The Guardian about racial prejudice being used by Republicans to foster racial division in South Carolina.

Naturally we have to read a well written and researched article like this in an English newspaper because the American press won’t touch it. Just like the fact that more whites get food stamps than blacks seems somehow never to get as much mention as Republican charges that blacks are sucking from the system the money and the jobs and whatever else white people might want.

Yay America! Rah rah rah! Keep it pure!

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Ron Paul: Liar, Bigot, Ignorant, Ugly Little Man
January 17, 2012

Well that headline should boost my blog hits when all Ron Paul’s devoted, mindless fanatics check in.

I doubt that Paul has the proverbial snowball’s chance of getting the Republican nomination, much less actually winning the White House. But, given the quality of the American electorate, strange things could happen.

There is an article over at The New Republic which discusses his old newsletters and provides links to scanned copies of them. These are the newsletters that Paul now claims he didn’t read, and that somebody else wrote under his name. And yet, in the December 1996 issue of Survival Report, the article notes:

Paul, who has repeatedly claimed over the past month that he “didn’t read” his own newsletters, wrote, “I don’t agree with it 100% either, but I still grab it from the mailbox and read it, front to back, the minute I get it.”

So, Representative Paul, were you lying then or are you lying now?

The newsletters show Paul for the bigoted, ignorant, ugly little man that he is. He can claim he didn’t write any of it, but apparently he’s not willing to back up that claim or to disavow the contents of the newsletters. He allowed the material to go out under his name, which makes him responsible for it and he should be held accountable.

It’s unfortunate that his legions of dedicated collegiate followers apparently have gotten no education in critical thinking in those high-priced classes they take at those expensive colleges. They’re giving a college education a bad name by supporting Paul and engaging in aggressive apologetics for the tiny-brained man from Texas.

It’s a sign of the times we live in, and of the poor quality of American education, that a politician like Paul can promote his simple-minded policy prescriptions and have them taken seriously by so many people who are supposed to be intelligent. And even sadder that they are so eager to dismiss his hateful comments in his newsletters.

If the country is very lucky we won’t have to hear from or say much more about Ron Paul. But we should be kind and hope that he can find his way back to the Texas rock from under which he crawled.

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Parsing The Romney Coronation Speech In New Hampshire
January 11, 2012

A while back I read a piece somewhere explaining why political candidates do try to keep their campaign promises. Unfortunately I didn’t note the address and can’t cite it. But it made a respectable case against the common wisdom that such  promises are lies from the outset. So assuming there is some truth to what the article said, I’ve copied the prepared transcript of Willard ‘The  Mitten’ Romney’s victory speech in New Hampshire last night, a speech which  sounded both in content and tone like his coronation acceptance speech rather than a humble thank you to the voters of a small state who gave him less than  forty percent of their votes.

I would, in the spirit of full disclosure, note that I could not listen to the whole speech, as I find Romney repulsive and the implications of his speech repulsive. I had the same reaction to Reagan from the beginning and to Bush Jr. from the first time I  heard him. Both of them hurt the country badly and Romney has the same feel about him.

Here’s the speech and my commentary vent. The speech is indented. Yes, I know, I’m all prolix and voluble and babbly, but, hey, a guy’s gotta have some  fun in life, right? And after all, it’s The Mitten we’re talking about here.


Thank you, New Hampshire! Tonight, we made history!

Good start. Pure hyperbole. He’s referring to the fact that he is the first non-incumbent politico Republican to win both Iowa and New Hampshire. Big so what. He beat a bigoted religious freak by eight votes in Iowa, and didn’t even get forty percent of the votes in New Hampshire, where an addled Libertarian got twenty-five percent.

This state has always been a special place for our family. Ann and I made a home here and we’ve filled it with great memories of our children and grandchildren. And this Granite State moment is one we will always remember.

How many mansions does that make, Mitt? And how’s the demolition of your twelve million dollar cottage coming?

Tonight, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we go back to work.

Work? Please. You’re buying elections, you and your so-called independent super PAC. The people work.  You buy votes and pander.

We remember when Barack Obama came to New Hampshire four years ago.

He promised to bring people together.

He promised to change the broken system in Washington.

He promised to improve our nation.

True, he did say those things. And as soon as he got to Washington the first thing the Republicans (that’s you party, Mitt, in case you forgot) said was their first and only goal was to deny him a second term. Since then they treated him like dirt, they refused to negotiate in good faith, they lied to him and to us, and they have obstructed, blindly and unreasonably, every initiative he attempted. He could have done better, but you’re going to lay it all on him and you’re wrong.

Those were the days of lofty promises made by a hopeful candidate. Today, we are faced with the disappointing record of a failed President. The last three years have held a lot of change, but they haven’t offered much hope.

Clever, Mitt, clever rhetoric. But it’s been done before. Hope you didn’t stay up too late thinking it up.

Disappointing record? Sure, I’ll give you that. Failed President? No, because despite the worst your party could do, and did do,  Obama got some stuff done.

The middle class has been crushed. Nearly 24 million of our fellow Americans are still out of work, struggling to find work, or have just stopped looking. The median income has dropped 10% in four years. Soldiers returning from the front lines are waiting in unemployment lines. Our debt is too high and our opportunities too few.

The middle class isn’t dead yet, Mitt, and if they’re smart they’ll throw you out on your ass before you have a chance to finish the brutal job your Republicans have done on them the last thirty years or so. Those people are out of work because you people have managed to push your blind ideology of deregulation and low taxes, and no taxes for the rich, through the Congress, and willing Republican presidents have signed them. Your goal, your party’s goal, has been to kill as much government as possible, never mind the consequences to the country.

And this President wakes up every morning, looks out across America and is proud to announce, “It could be worse.”

And he’s right. That’s the best that can be said of what’s happened. And it could have been a whole damn sight worse if the Republicans had succeeded in blocking more of the recovery programs. And if you’re going to hand out blame for the efforts to stave off financial disaster, you might want to start with the Bush appointees who created the financial bailout plan and carried it out. Funny how that worked out, isn’t it, Mitt? A Republican plan that staved off a worldwide financial collapse, and you blame Obama because it didn’t make everything shiny and bright again right away.

It could be worse? Is that what it means to be an American? It could be worse?

Of course not.

I suspect that your life as a coddled rich boy who inherited his wealth really doesn’t qualify you to pass judgment on what it means to be an American.

What defines us as Americans is our unwavering conviction that we know it must be better.

That conviction guides our campaign. It has rallied millions of Americans in every corner of this country to our cause.

Over the last six months, I’ve listened to anxious voices in town meetings and visited with students and soldiers. In break rooms and living rooms, I’ve heard stories of families getting by on less, of carefully planned retirements now replaced by jobs at minimum wage. But even now, amidst the worst economy since the Great Depression, I’ve rarely heard a refrain of hopelessness.

Apparently, Mitt, you haven’t talked to the millions who have lost their homes, their savings, even their pets (don’t you dare go there), who haven’t had even the faintest whiff of a job in a year, two years, longer. You haven’t talked to the families of the suicides. Anxious voices, Mitt? Anxious? They’re desperate, Mitt. But you live in a golden cocoon and you’ll never hear them. But oh you do like to fire them, eh? You do like to close the factories that employed them so you can pocket some millions, don’t you? You haven’t heard a refrain of hopelessness because you haven’t got the balls to actually and really listen. You don’t  know how and frankly, you don’t give a damn.

Americans know that our future is brighter and better than these troubled times. We still believe in the hope, the promise, and the dream of America. We still believe in that shining city on a hill.

No, Mitt, there’s no shining city on a hill. America is not exceptional. It is not the greatest. We’re not number one, rah rah rah. Thinking Americans realize we could go down the tubes in a flash, and the better thinkers know that you and the Republicans are just the ones to open the tube and flush.

We know that the future of this country is better than 8 or 9% unemployment.

It is better than $15 trillion in debt.

It is better than the misguided policies and broken promises of the last three years – and the failed leadership of one man.

We don’t actually know any of that. We have no clue what the future holds. We do know that there are plenty of ways for it all to get worse. We do know there are other players in the game, other countries with their own problems that threaten world economic stability. But I’m sure you’re going to rattle some sabers at them later, right? That’ll show ‘em.

The President has run out of ideas. Now, he’s running out of excuses. And tonight, we are asking the good people of South Carolina to join the citizens of New Hampshire and make 2012 the year he runs out of time.

Not so. He’s got ideas. He’s not making excuses. He didn’t do a lot of what we thought he would do, but he made an effort, sometimes successful, sometimes not, in the face of intransigent, blind, ideological, and one might suspect racial, opposition from your party, Mitt.

President Obama wants to put free enterprise on trial. In the last few days, we have seen some desperate Republicans join forces with him. This is such a mistake for our Party and for our nation. This country already has a leader who divides us with the bitter politics of envy. We must offer an alternative vision. I stand ready to lead us down a different path, where we are lifted up by our desire to succeed, not dragged down by a resentment of success. In these difficult times, we cannot abandon the core values that define us as unique — We are One Nation, Under God.

Large load of crap, there, Mitt, very large load.

What’s your definition of free enterprise, Mitt? Unregulated capitalism, the sort of thing that crashed the economy? What do you mean by ‘put free enterprise on trial’? Nice sound byte, but it doesn’t mean anything in the real world.

Desperate Republicans joining him? Do you live in a padded room, Mitt? Your fellow candidates from the rabid right have been trying to castrate Obama, and you, for years. That hardly amounts to joining forces with Obama. Or do you mean that they’re desperate because they’re trying to beat you to the coronation… oh, sorry… nomination? That’s what you really mean, isn’t it, Mitt? The world is either with you or against you, eh? We just got rid of a Republican who thought that way and did a damn fine job of destroying democracy in America under the guise of crushing little brown people in the Middle East and Southwest Asia.

And there’s that phrase ‘resentment of success’. Nice bit, Mitt. Let me guess… that’s directed at all those people who want rich boys like you and the Koch Brothers and all the rest of you to pay a fair share of your income in taxes, who want you to carry some of the burden of putting the country back together again. You think we out here in dirty old middle class America hate rich people and want to take everything away from them, and you. Not true. We don’t like rich people who just want more and more and more, who refuse to recognize that they built their wealth either on the backs of wage earners or they got it from manipulating pieces of paper and producing not a single damn useful thing for the community and insist they not be taxed on it. What we resent, Mitt, is your greed, your lust for our money, your savage chase for power so you can get more money. You don’t want to govern, Mitt, you and your kind want to rule.

As for ‘One Nation, Under God’, that is frankly bullshit, but you’d have to actually walk around among real people, have to do some actual work for wages for years on end, to figure that out.

Make no mistake, in this campaign, I will offer the American ideals of economic freedom a clear and unapologetic defense.

Don’t think so, Mitt. Economic freedom does not mean being ripped off, demeaned, enslaved, and beaten down by corporations in bed with a government that refuses to properly regulate them so that they can’t treat people like dung. We know what Republican ‘economic freedom’ means. It means slaving so you and a few others can get obscenely rich.

Our campaign is about more than replacing a President; it is about saving the soul of America. This election is a choice between two very different destinies.

President Obama wants to “fundamentally transform” America. We want to restore America to the founding principles that made this country great.

Logically speaking, Mitt, America doesn’t have a ‘soul’. It’s a country, not a person. And there are millions of us who reject the idea of persons having souls. But you wouldn’t understand that either. Too much thinking involved. But you can’t ‘save’ something that doesn’t exist. Nice rhetoric, but as usual, you come up empty.

Nor can you, or anyone, choose your destiny. First off, you assume there is such a thing as destiny, and that assumption is why the United States has killed so many little brown and yellow people over the decades. We have no destiny to rule. We are not exceptional. We are not the city on a hill. We’re just another wannabe empire in the minds of some frankly insane people in Washington. You know them, Mitt, the right wing crazies who drove us into Iraq and Afghanistan and want to wreck us completely on the brutal reef of Iran. Your buddies, apparently.

He wants to turn America into a European-style entitlement society. We want to ensure that we remain a free and prosperous land of opportunity.

Those people in Europe, they pay taxes for the services of government, pretty hefty taxes in some cases. And in some cases they actually get real human services: education, health care, medicine, child care, strong infrastructure. What do we get for the taxes you want to cut to the bone for your class and dump on the rest of us? A bloated military that can’t defeat a bunch of guys in pajamas and carrying AK-47s (not that they should even have tried). An education system that at best ranks in the middle, if not in the bottom half of modern nations. A health care system that brags how good it is but neglects to mention it only works if you’ve got a bunch of money. A system of crumbling roads, bridges, and water systems. A government run by the corporate cronies of Congressmen and Senators, who are so desperate for money to stay in office that they allow the corporations to effectively write the laws (guess who benefits?).

And as for the entitlements in this country that you and your political cronies whine about, we paid our damned taxes for those, we worked our entire lives for those, and I think you’ll find we resent rich poufs like you who say we should lose them so you can finance your adolescent wet dream of government.

This President takes his inspiration from the capitals of Europe; we look to the cities and small towns of America.

This President puts his faith in government. We put our faith in the American people.

Those people in the capitols of Europe (ironic that a rich man would confuse ‘capitols’ and ‘capitals’), for whatever faults they may have, they know a hell of a lot more about governing than small town Americans who respond to the sort of rhetorical dreck you and other politicians put out. You might want to try to learn from them, but that might require you to think and get your hands dirty. But I doubt you can think and work at the same time, Mitt. Start easy. Try walking and chewing gum at the same time.

He is making the federal government bigger, burdensome, and bloated. I will make it simpler, smaller, and smarter.

Apparently the government grew an awful lot more under his predecessor, you know, a Republican. As for burdensome, maybe you might want to talk to the families of dead American soldiers, pretty much all from the middle and working and poor classes. We remember last time you ran this route, Mitt, and we questioned why your five sons, all of age, weren’t volunteering to serve in the military, and your answer was they were serving the country by helping you run for President. Wrong answer, Mitt. Rich man’s answer. Man out of touch answer. Man who doesn’t really give a damn what happens to the lower classes as long as they serve his interests.

As for simpler, smaller, and smarter, that’s another crock. To do that you have to throw tens of thousands of people out of work, for starters, but that’s okay with you. You made your millions doing that, didn’t you, Mitt? Just the thing to do in the middle of a destructive recession, put more people out of work, take more money out of circulation so fewer products can be purchased. Good thinking, Mitt, good thinking. And of course you’ll be left with fewer people doing the same or more amount of work, and they’ll be stressed, and work won’t get done, commitments won’t be met, and the economy will crash a little more. And we will bitch about the crappy service we paid our taxes for.

He raised the national debt. I will cut, cap, and balance the budget.

Can’t run a country on a balanced budget, Mitt. Unless of course you don’t mind sacrificing people’s lives, jobs, health, savings, and so on. It’s a government, not a business. Repeat that ten times every hour. It’s a government, not a business. The economics are different, the rules are different, the needs are different.

And we know what you’ll cut, Mitt. You’ll cut the throats of the people to get blood to fuel your broken ideology.

He enacted job-killing regulations; I’ll eliminate them.

Now where’s that study that shows that regulations help create and preserve jobs? It’s around here somewhere on the internet or in a government office. It’s lack of fair regulations and oversight that kills jobs, that sends them overseas, that kills workers and their families. You’ll eliminate them? You’ll eliminate the oversight that protects us from predatory, greedy corporations, like Bain Capital.

He lost our AAA credit rating; I’ll restore it.

No he didn’t. Your party did because of their incredibly short-sighted, vicious refusal to pass the debt ceiling bill, and their constant and continuous obstructionism in Congress. That wasn’t Obama’s doing, you jackass, and you know it.

He passed Obamacare; I’ll repeal it.

Congress passed the Affordable Care Act. And guess what, despite its flaws, people like it. Sane people, that is. When you say you’ll repeal it, all you’re saying is that you’ll turn the insurance companies loose on sick people again, all you’re saying is that it’s okay with you if people get sick and die or get crippled in the name of your bloody ideology.

When it comes to the economy, my highest priority as President will be worrying about your job, not saving my own.

Funny how that never bothered you before when you were throwing people out of their jobs, destroying the businesses that employed them, and pocketing the blood money.

Internationally, President Obama has adopted an appeasement strategy. He believes America’s role as leader in the world is a thing of the past. I believe a strong America must – and will – lead the future.

Nonsense. He believes in talking before you get to the shooting. He believes in building alliances instead of acting like a dumbass John Wayne movie cowboy who knows nothing and just shoots.

And we don’t need to lead the future. We’ve done a lousy job of leading in the past most of the time, and when we do claim to have done a good job of leading, we tend to ignore the crucial part other countries have played. And again, we are not exceptional. We are not the city on a hill. We are not destined.

He doesn’t see the need for overwhelming American military superiority. I will insist on a military so powerful no one would think of challenging it.

Did I mention adolescent wet dreams? Did I mention sheer stupidity? Did I mention a complete failure to comprehend reality and to replace comprehension with a blind paranoia? And did you mention how you’re going to pay for this supermilitary wet dream out of your balanced budget? Talk about crushing the middle class! And for no good end.

He chastises friends like Israel; I’ll stand with our friends.

Israel is not our friend. Israel plays Washington like a marionette theater. Israel is a brutal apartheid regime engaged in ethnic cleansing. (And no, that’s not anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish: that’s  anti the  actions and policies of Israel’s government. I don’t give a fig what their religion is.)

He apologizes for America; I will never apologize for the greatest nation in the history of the Earth.

Somebody should apologize for some of the evil crap the United States has done in the world, but nobody has, not in any meaningful way. And the United States is hardly the greatest nation in the history of the Earth. I’m thinking maybe Rome might be that one, but it doesn’t really matter. Having more guns and bombs does not make for greatness. It does do for arrogance though. I think we’d rather have a great education system; a strong manufacturing base; good jobs and benefits for all our people; quality health care, irrevocable, and free from predatory corporations, for everyone; safe roads and bridges; modern water and sewer systems; and a constitutional amendment requiring that anyone running for public office be intellectually and emotionally qualified to do so. Now those things would begin to create a great nation. Right now we qualify as something little better than a provincial backwater, with provincial thinking, and with a lot of guns and bombs and the stupidity to use them.

Our plans protect freedom and opportunity, and our blueprint is the Constitution of the United States.

Empty rhetoric, Mitt, empty rhetoric. Pandering to the slavering right.

The path I lay out is not one paved with ever increasing government checks and cradle-to-grave assurances that government will always be the solution. If this election is a bidding war for who can promise more benefits, then I’m not your President. You have that President today.

And again, we pretty much paid for and earned those government checks. And what we want cradle-to-grave is the assurance that government will be honest and fair, that it will reject ideology and ideologues, that its representatives will be intelligent and mature and rational, and that it won’t sell us out to the highest bidder or the most insane ideologue. Obama didn’t promise any of those things you mention, but I do think he would very much like to provide the things I mention to some degree or other.

But if you want to make this election about restoring American greatness, then I hope you will join us.

More empty rhetoric.

If you believe the disappointments of the last few years are a detour, not our destiny, then I am asking for your vote.

No destiny, Mitt. And the detour was built by Republicans wrecking the road.

I’m asking each of you to remember how special it is to be an American.

Yeah, sure. Iraq. Abu Ghraib. Guantanamo. Panama. Vietnam. Afghanistan. Bagram prison. American torturers. Come on, everybody, don’t you feel special? Mitt says you should feel special. Get with the program.

I want you to remember what it was like to be hopeful and excited about the future, not to dread each new headline.

I dread the headline that says a pouf like you wins the White House.

I want you to remember when you spent more time dreaming about where to send your kids to college than wondering how to make it to the next paycheck.

I want you to remember when you weren’t afraid to look at your retirement savings or the price at the pump.

That would be pretty much never for the working class and much of the middle class, Mitt, but you wouldn’t know about that, would you?

I want you to remember when our White House reflected the best of who we are, not the worst of what Europe has become.

You need to get out more, Mitt. Do you really think you’re doing us any favors by badmouthing Europe? Do you really expect us to respect you when you continue to demonstrate ignorance about the real world on both the international and national level?

That America is still out there. We still believe in that America.

We still believe in the America that is a land of opportunity and a beacon of freedom. We believe in the America that challenges each of us to be better and bigger than ourselves.

Pathetic pandering to the right wing. Better and bigger? You mean make more money, don’t you, Mitt? That’s how you and your friends measure things.

This election, let’s fight for the America we love. We believe in America.

You and yours have pretty much trashed the America we love, and are on your way to trashing it more thoroughly and completely than a person might have believed possible only a few decades ago.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

I do wish you people would quit with the God nonsense. You’re as bad as Tim Tebow throwing his religious superstition in the faces of millions of people every time he farts on the football field. Put your gods in the closet and get out here in the real world. You need to spend a few years flipping hamburgers, Mitt. Then you’ll see what America is about, what it’s really about, what it’s really become. Live on that wage, you pouf.


So old Mitt’s campaign promise, in sum, is to further the Republican destruction of freedom and democracy in America, and to pay for it on the backs of the middle class and the wage earners and the poor. He’s an ignorant, cocooned rich boy who will, without a doubt, screw up what’s left of hope for an ideal America, of the real American dream.

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Are You All Comfy About Politics? Get Over It!
January 6, 2012

Over at the Washington Monthly  there’s a series of articles under the main heading ‘What If Obama Loses…’

You need to read these. You really need to read them. Really. The Tea Freak Rethugs really really don’t want you to read them. They  don’t want you to know what they have in store for the country, and you, and your parents, and your children, and your job, and the rest of the  world, if they get in power – and the fact that they are setting the agenda of the Republican Party and the Republican candidates for President, and that the candidate will carry out that agenda, is detailed in this collection.

You think things are bad now? Pay attention. And these aren’t ‘scare’ articles. They’re  well reasoned and thoughtful and factual.

Go look.

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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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A Little Perspective: Aristotle vs. Republican Tea Party
November 27, 2011

The RTP insists over and over that government is too big, that it interferes in business too much (and apparently not enough in people’s private lives), and that American government should be shrunk to the size of a bathtub and then drowned.

Obviously these people are not thinkers, demonstrate no concern for their fellow Americans, and don’t give a damn about community outside their enclaves of thoughtlessness. They want whatever they can get their hands on, whether it be salary and wages without taxes, or teachers working for a pittance in a public school system damned by lack of funds, or roads and bridges crumbling into uselessness. All that seems to matter to them is that we have a big, bad military to protect us from all the evil they imagine exists in the world planning to get them and make them bow to some god or orthodoxy which is as ludicrous as their own vaunted system of superstitions.

But there is nothing new under the sun…

Aristotle’s belief that humans are by nature political animals (i.e., who live in an organized society) and that the state is a positive force in bringing about the good life (rather than only being a necessary evil whose purpose is to keep order) had a great impact in both the theory and practice of statecraft. Aristotle’s view of the state provided ammunition to secular rulers against claims of ecclesiastical interference and supremacy, and was a major element in the defeat of the idea of a universal Christian monarchy ruled by the pope.

That’s from The Medieval World View: An Introduction.*

It’s the same battle American society is fighting today. We’re not in much danger of being ruled by the creaking pederasts in the Vatican, but it’s difficult to imagine that the fundogelicals fueling the mindless rage on the right would rule with a lighter hand than the vicious princes of delusion in the Vatican applied during the Inquisition.

And it’s certain that the RTP doesn’t believe that the state, i.e., the American government, could ever be a force for bringing the good life to Americans. They seem to think that nobody in government is an American, other than the right-wing crazies in Congress who are as thoughtless and vapid and loud as the bulk of the RTP itself these days. For the RTP government only exists to project American power (e.g., bombs, bullets, cluster bombs, denial and ignorance of science, slaughter, and arrogance) around the world and police power against anyone who dares to object to the coming rule of ignorance and arrogance and sheer stupidity that characterize the RTP.

Life back in the days of Aristotle and in the millennium of the medieval world was brutal and cold under the weight of princes and barons and priests. The people with the gold and the armor and the weapons and the crucifixes trampled pretty much anyone who got in the way of their lust for power and greed for wealth. It’s hard to imagine the current crop of wannabe rulers in the RTP want life to be much different, especially since that’s where their policies would take the world.

And where’s today’s Aristotle to drive them from the doors of the temples of democracy?

* The Medieval World View: An Introduction: William R. Cook, Ronald B. Herzman, Oxford University Press, 2d edition, softcover, p. 27

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