Monday, August 31, 2009

Argumentum ad lapidem

It's an argument by throwing stones and it's almost all they do these days. Anything can be dismissed by calling it "lefty" "Liberal" or "Socialist" and all the faithful will giggle and smile while swallowing the argument.

Take Andrew Sullivan, for instance: he's "a Lefty sockpuppet" according to Jules Crittenden because by talking about the hiring of wives, daughters and sons of political celebrities, like Jenna Bush and Liz Cheney as journalists or commentators in "snarky" fashion without calling attention to the media frenzy over the late Ted Kennedy is an obviously "lefty" thing.

What's "lefty" about America's obsession with celebrities? Not much, as the Michael Jackson / Princess Diana episodes would suggest and to imply that Ted Kennedy's long and influential career is of interest to the country simply and only because he was the Late President's brother is a bit more "sock-puppety" than Oscar the Grouch's opposition to everything.

Yes, Americans ( and many others) are obsessed with celebrity worship, but Ted Kennedy had a very long, very influential career while Jenna? Let's just say her future as a journalist of merit is still hypothetical and media investment in her has more to do with her father's notoriety than with a distinguished body of essays, commentaries and investigations. It's a very false equivalence Jules and it makes you look desperate. It makes you look like little more than a tube sock with some buttons sewn on and a persona that does nothing more than repeat "lefty, lefty."

It's an easy bit of Schauspiel and easy to produce. Perhaps you can get the letter H or the number 4 to sponsor it.

In the corner

". . . whether or not these techniques are immoral, or how immoral they are, surely depends on whether they worked”
said George F. Will regarding the use of torture. How sad that anyone considers this man "conservative" or in fact listens to him at all. Although he supported a commission to study (obfuscate) the matter on ABC's This Week yesterday, Will seems to consider an extreme utilitarianism a valid moral measure. If it works to reduce crime, why not human sacrifice? Perhaps Will would like to be on the commission to "study" that.

Although the idea that a practical end justifies any means or makes crime legal or worse, is the basis of moral judgment, is frankly horrifying and although such thinking may long have been with us, it hasn't, to my knowledge been so clearly championed. The idea that such things still need to be re-examined is sickening, considering that we used opposition to this kind of Spencerian social Darwinism as a rallying cry in WW II and it's more sickening still that Will can call opposition to it "liberal" and Dick Cheney can call it "far left."

Have even the most articulate supporters of Republican policy run so far out of arguments that they have to resort to these mindless dichotomies? A cornered rat does not think of right and wrong and neither, apparently does a cornered Republican. It's just me against you and anything I do to you is justified.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Summer raving

Those lazy, hazy, crazy conspiracy theories of Summer are still with us and not just in the deep South. Majikthise gives us a clip of Glenn Beck, Fox News' designated madman, discussing the prospect of Americorps being a cover for President Obama's own private army - a kind of American SS if you will. Just the kind of zombie troops he will need to disarm the Armed Retards of Texas and deliver our country into the hands of Sauropods from Saturn. Just like FDR did with the WPA.

Obama has given the job training and public service agency "half a trillion dollars" to turn them into an elite fighting force to use against Americans, presumably after the Pentagon balks and Blackwater opts out. The Pentagon would be jealous of all that funding - if there was a particle of truth in this seditious crock of Glennbeckery.

Now don't get me wrong, I do not reject conspiracy theories out of hand. There certainly were some involved in bringing on Bush's Second War and a number of less violent ones involving raiding the public treasury, but I say that because there is credible evidence for it. There never is for Beck's ravings. In fact the idea seems to be that total absence of evidentiary support is not only proof of conjecture, but a large screen upon which to project the ideas he comes up with by sticking his head in a paper bag full of aromatic hydrocarbons. Never mind the proof of his dishonesty, the folks who have been backed into a corner don't care about evidence. The people who hired him care nothing at all whether their viewers are human or subhuman or anti-human as long as they tune in, turn on and freak out.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Heck of a job

"Which patients should get a share of limited resources, and who decides? What does it mean to do the greatest good for the greatest number, and does that end justify all means? Where is the line between appropriate comfort care and mercy killing? How, if at all, should doctors and nurses be held accountable for their actions in the most desperate of circumstances, especially when their government fails them?"

These are the questions asked in the New York Times Magazine article about New Orleans' Memorial Hospital. You'll remember that, abandoned and without power with high winds and rising water making evacuation impossible, some patients, perhaps as many as 17 were given lethal doses of morphine and sedatives as an alternative to letting them suffer and die of heat, dehydration, starvation, drowning or from the failure of the machines keeping them alive. While the times appears to be asking questions about personal responsibility, the timing makes it vulnerable to being boarded and looted.

Rightly suspecting the imminent hijacking of this story by anti-health care propagandists, Hanna Rosin writes "pre-emptively" at Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish that
"this story shows the opposite of what would happen under government mandated health care reform. The reason the hospital staff got stuck having to make all these terrible decisions is because they were abandoned, and on their own. There were no established procedures, no regulations, no guidelines. There was just them, exhausted and overwhelmed, and a few dozen very ill patients unhooked from their respirators."
Would an HMO or a privately owned, for-profit facility have been better prepared or better able to get National Guard helicopters to the scene ipso facto? We can expect to hear that this is a logical conclusion. It's not.

I'm sure Rosin is right and that this, like any other pieces of flotsam that can be dragged out of the flood and into the argument will be used to show that the Government is poison and corporations are the antidote. In fact, that the government was unable to help in this circumstance owes much to the lack of planning and disdain for taking responsibility that has followed upon decades of Reagan-inspired sabotage of our institutions. Since there never really has been real evidence for the Reagan theorem that Government is the problem because it is the government and Government has no solutions and Government should give way to private, for profit management, the Republican controlled administrations have been forced to manufacture a scenario by insuring impotence, corruption and incompetence in almost all areas, including most obviously FEMA.

The Dish quotes an unidentified staff member as saying:
"This was totally against every fiber in my body.” But “we were abandoned by the government, we were abandoned by Tenet, and clearly nobody was going to take care of these people in their dying moments.”
and I'm sure this will be picked up on as though the failure is intrinsic to government itself and not to a government that was Rightie-rigged and Brownie led against adequate response.

Regardless of whether the euthanized patients could have been evacuated or should have been left "in God's hands" none of this makes a valid argument against public health care, but we're not used to validity or even honesty in this fight and this struggle to make us believe that the government of the people, by the people should be sold off and all decisions about individual life, liberty and pursuit of happiness be determined by how much profit it makes for someone else.

Beck and the burning bag

Remember the Halloween trick with the flaming bag of dog crap? Eons of experience show that leaving it alone is the best policy because you can't stamp it out without getting shit all over your porch and on your shoes. It's an apt comparison, I think, to what's happening with Glenn Beck and the boycott of his incoherent hate-fests. Despite Fox having lost some 4 dozen sponsors, his ratings seem to be going up.

The LA Times tells us that according to his latest Nielsen data, he had 2.81 million viewers Monday; his third-largest audience ever on Fox. It didn't hurt that Sarah Palin, the de facto spokeswoman for the Stupid wing of the Hate Party, gave him a plug and it's good evidence that Homo Sapiens bashing has become the national sport.

OK, that's one person per hundred of population, but it's more shit than I want on my porch, thanks.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hateful twits, hateful tweets

". . . and forgetting long passed mischiefs, we mercifully preserve their bones and piss not on their ashes."

-Thomas Browne-

Unless of course the vitriol of human meanness courses through your veins, in which case you don your rabid Pit Bull apparel and gnaw on what bones can be found. I've rarely seen such hate, even at a time like this where hate is the entire foundation of American Conservative politics. As fast as the greasy fingers can type, the internet begins to fill with accusations of murder, treason and more formless forms of evil known as "liberalism." There is no restraint in Mudville now that Ted Kennedy has struck out.

Too many blogs, too many twits, too many accusations to dignify with a reply, but one thing is held in common: the tribe that represents the worst traits of our remote ancestors feels victimized and therefore free from any obligation to decency. They lost an election, their worship of Feudal Corporatism, equal rights and civic responsibility is being challenged - at last - and their true values finally revealed. It's as ugly as it's ever been.

I recently and reluctantly signed up for Twitter. I should have stayed at home. the necessity to keep it all idiotically short as brought out more unadorned ugliness than one finds on blogs.
"Kennedy was a special pile of human excrement,”
rages the ridiculous Breitbart
IF a GOP possesses 1/100 of human failings of T. Kennedy he/she is TOAST,”
is another one of his staggering lies with endless examples to prove it false. Malkin laughs that he didn't go to France for his treatment as though it were funny or actually meant something, others follow suite and Chappaquiddick references spurt like pus from the septic boil of Republic sentiment; from those who would and do accept any act of Presidential treason, dishonesty and manslaughter -- and yes drunken driving. How many people died because George W. Bush was President? No, Kennedy was a “villain,” “a big ass motherf@#$er,” a “duplicitous bastard” and a “prick.”

Pissing on Kennedy's ashes is just a small part of the psychotic rage that fills the void once filled by Conservatives. A conservative by nature does not respond to disagreement by using chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, that's what a madman does, that's what Mr. Breihtbart is, that's what Ms. Malkin is and this is what the end of everything sounds like.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dead man walking -- tall

The man can't be much warmer than room temperature, but the demons are howling farleftliberalsocialist like some inbred glossolalian hysterics at a backwoods revival meeting where the devil is being denounced. Even those of us who dress more like civilized people and give University lectures are out there making false equivalences between how poor old milk-of-human-kindness Robert Novak was treated by farleftliberalsocialists like Crooks and Liars as compared to the way they're trashing the memory of the last of the Kennedy Brothers -- although the more adroit like William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection says he "wont go there" -- while he's coming back from just having been there.

Rush Was Right! Exclaims the Professor. People are using Ted Kennedy's death to their political advantage and the people who would like to put Ronald Reagan on Mount Rushmore and name airports and highways after him are very disdainful of that sort of thing, aren't they? Can you imagine that - those laughable liberals want to name a health care bill after a man who tried most of his life to reform health care and have the audacity to trash a man who only committed treason and lied about it.
" Democrats are desperate to do anything to overcome public opposition on the merits."
says the Associate professor. He doesn't tell us whether those merits include "death panels" or other outright lies so beloved of Republican saboteurs. He doesn't mention that the public opposition is the minority opinion and that's it's costing News Corp and the Insurance Industry and the Drug Companies billions to do anything and everything to overcome majority opinion; anything including lies and fabrications.

Face it, they're delighted that one more impediment to the will of the minority is down and so sure are they of public stupidity and gullibility they don't even bother to cover their tracks or hide their fallacies.
"Strange, when Rush Limbaugh used the phrase "Kennedy Memorial Health Bill," [in predicting how Democrats would use Kennedy's death] he was harshly criticized.. . . Now that passage of Democratic health care restructuring seems much less likely, I guess it is okay to invoke Kennedy's name."
That's just what I mean. No Perfessor, the objection to Rush calling a sickly old man a dead man was what the anger was about. It's about nasty brain tumor jokes. It's not the same thing as calling a dead man a dead man: even a dead man who tried to do some good in this world instead of shilling for pirates.

Burn baby burn

Teddy Roosevelt was a Socialist; so was Adam Smith, Adolph Hitler and FDR. Anyone in fact who thinks there ought to be a government is a Socialist unless there's " a war on." At that point everything changes and anyone who thinks there's too much government, too intrusive and abusive in it's powers becomes the Socialist villain. That's the simple version. Of course people who wonder why, when half the e-mail screeds one gets from Republican sources begin with a picture of the World Trade Center in flames and exhortations never to forget, we can also call an official day of Remembrance and Service "Socialist." Is it the service that sours the remembrance? Perhaps a national day of insulting France would have been less Socialist. Perhaps burning the UN would have been more "conservative."

“The plan is to turn a ‘day of fear’ that helps Republicans into a day of activism called the National Day of Service that helps the left,”
writes Matthew Vadum in The Spectator. What could be more Socialist that interfering with the fear level Republicans promote in concert with international terrorists to keep authoritarianism alive in America.
"Nihilistic liberals are planning to drain 9/11 of all meaning.”
Or at least the meaning that can be interpreted to demand bigger, more militaristic government and an attack on Constitutional Government. That's "desecration" howls Vadum. I'm sure that all the police, fire, public safety, paramedics and others who died on that day were Socialists as well - and desecrators as well. And what about all the Socialists who volunteered afterwards? You can see the danger!

So when you see the inevitable burning towers picture, remember to preserve the fear, promote the panic and for heaven's sake don't do anything to get in the way of ever increasing government power and defense contractor profit. That would be nothing but Nihilism and Socialism (if your doublethink capacity is great enough to tie those two together.)

While your doublethink module is engaged, please remember that it wasn't Socialism to support a national day of service when George Bush promoted the idea or when it got Bipartisan support this Spring. It's Socialism because Barack Obama is President.

Damn, these socialist/nihilist Liberals are insidious! Promoting positive outcomes and reducing fear is the first step down the slippery slope toward Socialism and if that is difficult for you to understand, Raw Story has all the reasons all the Republican opinion shouters give us to support "conservative" fear mongering, xenophobia, divisiveness, totalitarianism, Chauvinism and military aggression instead of that goddamn e pluribus unum constructivism those nihilist homosexual, far-left Socialists, want to sell us.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Wild Wild West

If you see someone standing on your front lawn taking pictures of your house and you stick your head out the door to ask what the hell he's doing, maybe you'd better find out if he's a Republican first.

Robert Lutes, a resident of Boise, Idaho suburb, Meridian, probably wishes he had done that. Asking the man on the lawn to tell him what it was about, his question was answered with a .357 magnum revolver pointed at him by the Republican Party chairman of Boise County, Charles McAffee, a "tea-party" activist. No, it wasn't high noon, it was just before dinner time.

There is a controversy of course about whether Lutes was engaged in heated discussion or argument about his delinquent mortgage payments before McCaffee drew on him, but McCaffee, working for collection agency used by Wells Fargo, says he pulled the gun on the unarmed homeowner to "de-escalate" the conflict. No, really.

I am unable to establish Idaho's policy on such use of a concealed weapon, but I know that in Florida, it is illegal to display or "brandish" even a legally carried gun to gain advantage in or "de-escalate" a dispute or argument. Since McAffee was arrested for aggravated assault, I would assume a similarity in the laws. Again, I don't know if Idaho is a "castle doctrine" state, but I suspect it is and under that philosophy, Lutes would have been justified in shooting a Republican Party County Chairman and tax protester like any other armed home invader.

The more civilized part of my nature is glad he didn't, but the little demon on my shoulder sort of wishes the idiot Mr. Teabags had been dealt a little bit of old fashioned Republican justice.

Friday, August 21, 2009

One toke over the line

Porque no tiene,
Porque le falta,
Marijuana que fumar.

I wonder how long we'll be able to keep the US/Mexico border under control with the number of crossings sure to increase by a factor of a hundred at any moment now. I have a feeling millions of Americans will be on their way south now that Mexico has decriminalized Heroin, Cocaine, LSD, methamphetamines and Marijuana.

Andale! Arriba!

Raw Story reported this morning that small amounts of these drugs would now be tolerated.
"Prosecutors said the new law sets clear limits that keep Mexico's corruption-prone police from shaking down casual users and offers addicts free treatment to keep growing domestic drug use in check."
It won't do much to hurt tourism either. It remains to be seen whether they will see the same influx of foreign stoners that the Netherlands has had to deal with and the same problems with petty crime, but it is an indication that Mexico at least, is tired of doing the same thing that's been making the situation worse and worse for nearly a century and trying to do something that won't feed the plague of violence and corruption.
"The new law sets out maximum "personal use" amounts for drugs, also including LSD and methamphetamine. People detained with those quantities no longer face criminal prosecution"
said Mexican attorney general Bernardo Espino del Castillo. Thanks Bernie and see y'all south of the border.
Down Mexico way.

*Disclaimer -- the above post does not necessarily reflect the views of Capt. Fogg or anyone in particular and is intended to be a farcical and sophomoric attempt to get some laughs -- and you can put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Threat level orange

Well it certainly won't be a surprise to anyone who thought the Bush administration was using Tom Ridge's color coded threat levels to keep his poll ratings up every time they needed a boost - like right before an election. even though he was quoted in 2004 as saying
"We don’t do politics in the Department of Homeland Security."

Ridge's new book contains at least one bombshell of a revelation according to MSNBC's Chris Matthews - yes indeed Ridge was pressured to raise the level days before the 2004 election even though there was no threat. He refused.

In rather dry and understated language he explains that he now had proof that the main concern of the administration was politics and not national security and this was the moment he decided he had to get out.

The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege...and How We Can Be Safe Again is due to be released September first. That should give the Republicans enough time to launch a smear campaign.

Queen Michelle

Almost within hours after Sarah Palin became the Republican VP candidate, Fox news began a preemptive assault on critics, falsely alleging ( it had appeared in the Washington Post as a joke) that planeloads of lawyers had already arrived in Wasilla to "dig up dirt" about her family and that the widespread and stunned reaction to selecting a person of such mediocre and unhinged mind was some kind of smokescreen covering up the true objective of defaming her daughter.

So why am I bringing up such old news? It's possible that I may attract more viral e-mails than anyone else, but I doubt it and in fact you may also have seen the one titled Queen Michelle in your own mailbox recently.

Perhaps I'm missing something, but the theatrical display of shock and offense certainly is a one way thing, because I'm hearing none of it on the subject of Republicans openly calling for the murder of Mrs. Obama and her "Stupid children." I am hearing crap about how Democrats are playing some kind of "race card" to defend against valid criticism, but incitement to riot, incitement to murder and deadly threats against a President are a felony, not a playing card. Where's the protest from Republicans?

Our former First Lady was treated with a great deal of respect and bipartisan praise. Very little was made of her history or background or of having been the first and only First Lady to have killed someone. Nothing whatever was made of her large staff and payroll.

It's true that Michelle's is not an elected office but there are traditional duties that have long required the services of people from hairdressers to personal secretaries and assistants. Nobody worries much about it since in a great many instances she has to represent the United States here and abroad.

So deep is the desperation of the lunatic fringe that now makes up most of the Republican party that all prior restraints have evaporated in the lust to defame, smear, degrade, insult, intimidate, threaten and humiliate president Obama's family, and the giggling cowards can't turn out the propaganda fast enough.

Queen Michelle is the title, and it begins:

"First Lady Requires More Than Twenty Attendants

July 7, 2009 - Dr. Paul L. Williams"

There is of course, a real Dr. Williams, who writes books about how Islam is plotting to kill us all and about the need for another Crusade and who, like Joe McCarthy uses accusations of harboring Islamic terrorists and nuclear attack plots to throw his weight and his books around.

I don't know that Dr. Paul L. Williams wrote this, but I doubt that the perpetrator of this would ever identify himself or the PAC that employs him. The e-mail goes on to list 22 ( 20 or 26 in some versions) White House staff that Mrs. Obama "employs" at our expense while others of us poor Liberal dominated serfs have to stock shelves at Wal-Mart. Nothing is said about the people who own Wal-Mart or their lifestlye or whether we elected them. Indeed nothing is said of the dodgy Doctor either.

It portrays her as someone much like Marie Antoinette, haughty and disdainful of lesser people, which of course is a confection more airy than the cake Marie legendarily Suggested the French poor should eat.

She has no official duties, it's misleadingly stressed, although it seems that every First Lady since and including Martha Washington has indeed served in many capacities as a diplomat at large, good will ambassador and hostess. Laura Bush was widely praised in that role.

What's not pointed out is that her budget and number of "attendants" is just about the same as Laura Bush had. Nobody called her Queen Laura or threatened to kill her and her children. Only the mind of a Republican could dream up such such ugliness and dare to disseminate it -- and don't expect them to take responsibility or apologize. The best we can hope for is some rhetoric about "Liberals" "whining" about Bush and some foul, rancid, reeking attempt to equate and justify their disgusting behavior because after all "Liberals criticized Bush."

Don't believe it? I politely refuted the claims and replied. My answer from the person who sent my my copy was exactly that - seething fury about how I will
"just have to get used to it and suck it up because you damn communist bastards have been preaching hate for years."
These are your "conservative" values, your family values. This is your party of morality and personal responsibility. Good, Christian folk from small towns in the heartland where all the good Christian values come from. What costume will they put on after someone finally acts out their Satanic passion play? I don't want to think about it. God damn them one and all.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bully for Teddy

It's a funny thing, the conservative American mind. Talk about quotidian things, work, the weather, and they can be charming, witty, companionable and seem intelligent, but stay away from politics if you don't want to have to discard many friendships. Beneath the mask can lie a morass of anger and ignorance as deep and foetid as hell itself.

I've very often had people express nostalgic longing for a president like Teddy Roosevelt - a hunter, fisherman, outdoorsman, soldier, adventurer and writer of books; a man not afraid to conquer and not likely to apologize for it. A conservative's conservative. Someone who stood, square jawed and well armed astride the American horizon in a time of unlimited freedom, opportunity and prosperity when the lower orders knew their place. Thus are the dreams.

Of course Teddy was often denounced as a Communist Agitator. Today his opinions would have the Sarah Palins and Joe who isn't a plumber flapping in a frenzy like decapitated chickens. He espoused a graduated income tax and more government regulation of financial markets. He advocated more government social programs such as housing for immigrants. Of course there were no Nazis then to be falsely associated with American progressivism and no way to compare him to Hitler as today he inevitably would be.

Roosevelt's time had seen the effects of economic booms, panics and busts in rapid and relentless quick step. Economic inequality was growing, monopolies were tightening their grip on free markets and massive accumulations of private wealth were threatening democracy. His vision didn't include doing nothing or faith in the power of doing nothing or blind trust of the altruism of the very, very wealthy.
"Those who oppose reform will do well to remember that ruin in its worst form is inevitable if our national life brings us nothing better than swollen fortunes for the few and the triumph in both politics and business of a sordid and selfish materialism "
said Roosevelt in a famous 1910 speech calling for a "New Nationalism" One wonders what bizarre grotesqueries of accusation would emerge had it been given today. Would people be carrying weapons to his speeches, would he be called a tyrant, would there be hysteria over the way he was "dismantling freedom?" Would they question his citizenship, his patriotism; accuse him of murder? It's hard to tell but surely Barack Obama has suffered worse for less radical statements.

Of course Teddy had to remind his audience after he said
"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration"
that he was quoting Abraham Lincoln because he was regularly being called a totalitarian himself - as well as a Communist. Perhaps such things never change, but the perception of an America that's sliding irretrievably down a slope toward the antithetical perdition of communism and fascism because sentiments such as those of Lincoln and Roosevelt are essentially "far-left" and "liberal" and we're being assured of it daily by mindless maggots with megaphones.

It seems that the Niebelungs of negativity have been crying wolf for a very long time, but look at how well the average man lives today compared to how he lived a hundred years ago when poverty consumed most of us and faith based laws restricted huge numbers to certain neighborhoods, certain jobs, certain levels of education, certain expectations of justice in an essentially Hobbsian society.

Somehow I cannot believe that a hundred years of progress toward more liberal goals have made us justifiably disgruntled. We live longer, live better, cleaner, healthier and have far more freedom to alter our circumstances for the better. The slope has not been slippery, the slope never existed. Progressive income tax has not stifled entrepreneurship which has thrived even in times of over 80% top brackets and in fact it seems to dampen economic cycles. It seems the only wolves that have shown up were wearing conservative clothing and warning us of wolves.

Isn't a new nationalism what we need today? The old kind and the old attitude and the old maxims and the old and vicious, dishonest and hate-filled rhetoric has never done us any good and have now brought us to the brink.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Georgia on my mind

Florida, the state I live in, does not allow "open carry" of firearms. To get a permit to carry concealed, one has to attend a safety class, have a clean police record, clearance from the county sheriff or police chief and submit a set of fingerprints. Like Mack the Knife, the weapon must be kept out of sight and may not be used to intimidate or threaten anyone. You can't, if armed, sit at a bar or other "place of public nuisance" and may not bring it into private property or a court house or police station without permission.

Apparently it's different in Georgia. Although it's hard to get a clear explanation of the State code, it seems you as a permit holder, can walk around with an AK over the shoulder and a pair of .50 caliber Desert Eagle automatics in your belt -- and more if you can carry it all. You can dress in camo, festoon yourself with weapons and ammo belts like Pancho Villa and attend a political rally or event or demonstration and according to Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) you definitely should! It's been happening of late; people showing up at public meetings where "Kill Obama" signs and signs comparing him with Hitler are displayed. Never mind the obvious danger to the country and to any President who tends to make delusional, stupid and ignorant people very angry,
"they have the right to do that"
Gingery told Chris Matthews yesterday. An interesting assertion in a state that has had so much to say about who you could marry, what you could do after you did, where you could buy a house and what kind of provocation legitimized a lynching.

Of course if you had tried that during the recent Republican era, you'd most likely have been bussed outside of town to a "free speech" area, if you somehow avoided any altercations with the police and secret service. But that was then, this is high noon in Dodge City. What better way for a determined terrorist than to come unarmed into a public arena, grab Bubba's old Colt Gummint model and blaze away at the President, Governor, Senator, etc. What better way to show them city boys just what we think about the way they do things up North.

Whether Gingery thinks the way to preserve one's rights is to abuse them in the most extreme way possible or whether he secretly hopes to intimidate the opposing party into submission: whether he'd just love to see Joe Biden in the oval office this year, It's impossible to tell. Perhaps he's only hoping that being surrounded by a hostile ad hoc militia will force Democrats to listen to their ravings about Death Panels, re-education camps, rationing of medical care, free medical care to illegal aliens, galloping Marxism, slippery slopes, the president's citizenship and the loss of precious bodily fluids, but really -- don't we already have Fox News and Rush Limbaugh for that?

Monday, August 17, 2009

The public Option is not dead - maybe.

President Obama is being excoriated right and left - well mostly left - for having abandoned the public health care option in health care reform. Are we buying into the propaganda once again? It's not true, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said on Face the Nation yesterday. The president is still committed to the idea.

Although Heath and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told us on the same day that it's "not essential' leading to the speculation that the idea had been dropped, now we're being told she "misspoke." Was she being used as a stalking horse to try out the idea? I don't know, but if the admittedly unscientific CNN poll showing that 57% of us think it is indeed essential has merit, the huge and boisterous tumult trying to tie it to every vestige of evil that can be pressed into service is mostly sound and fury and a tale told by Republican opponents. Presumably, the number who think it's merely a good idea is even larger.

We're not going to have reform without it says DNC Chairman Howard Dean.
“what a public option is essentially what veterans and people over 65 have — it’s Medicare.”
A sentiment which reflects what many of us supporters have been saying all along in the face of dire warnings about death panels and summary executions and worse.

The amplitude of the argument, which still seems to be growing louder has made us forget that health care reform is a very popular goal and with some insurers talking about very substantial hikes in premiums I don't think public support has waned very much at all.

Congressional support is another matter of course with Kent Conrad (D-SD) proclaiming on Fox News yesterday "The fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the United States Senate for a public option. There never have been," There is some justification, to put it mildly, for public disillusionment with Congress.

I wonder how many letters, calls, hookers and e-mails it takes to equal the power of corporate contributions, junkets and three martini lunches.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Public Option.

In Grand Junction Colorado yesterday, a student asked Barack Obama if the "public option" wouldn't be unfair competition to insurance companies that need to make a profit. The presumption behind the question is that making a profit from any enterprise is a fundamental right and that the government needs somehow to insure that profit -- and insure that nothing interferes with maximizing that profit.

This is not the first time such questions have come up in our history. There was a time when fire departments were independent and could choose whether or not to put out the fire in your house depending on whether or not they had an agreement with your insurer, if you had one at all.

Sometimes competing departments would engage in disputes over who had the right to fight the fire while buildings burnt to the ground. Sometimes there were arguments between homeowners and competing fire departments as to what the bill would be before one bucket of water was thrown. Sometimes less honest firefighting companies would loot and pillage while they worked. Some were accused of arson.

Then came the public option, and for the most part it works better than anything else. Everyone is covered, the insurance companies are doing fine and whole towns rarely burn to the ground any more. Moreover the argument that forming a municipal fire department to be funded by the public is unfair to the private sector's right to profit or is "socialism" has faded away in the light of experience. It's simply been far more economical and efficient than allowing multiple private companies to compete with each other and able to decide which fires they will fight and which they will not.

Is this an apt analogy? That's the question we need to ask of people like Zach Lahn, the student who questioned the President. Instead of looking for guidance only to our own unexamined credos, or to the plastic wrapped opinions handed out by insurance companies and the politicians they own, we need to look at history for examples. I think there is insight to be derived here. Perhaps he would agree.

Sometimes the public good and the public safety is best served by a public agency rather than multiple agencies who by definition and nature are motivated to ration services and keep prices as high as possible.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

How does it feel?

It's tempting to make all kinds of comparisons between the angry arrest of Professor Gates and the not so angry exchange between the scruffy looking 68 year old police found strolling through a minority neighborhood of Longbranch New Jersey last month. They had received a call from a resident concerned that a suspicious looking white man was wandering around. The funny part though is that even after confronting him, the two officers in the New Jersey Police squad car didn't seem to know who Bob Dylan was.

The experience of growing old sometimes only feels like everyone else is growing younger and you hear quips about knowing it's happening to you when the police, your doctor and all the other "authority" figures turn into children. I wouldn't necessarily expect a 24 year old to know all the much about the seminal figures of 20th century culture, but Bob Dylan? Who else looks or sounds like Bob Dylan?

The elderly gentleman accompanied the two officers whose combined age is less than three quarters of his own, back to the Ocean Place Resort and Spa where the tour was staying -- where he was identified by the no doubt amazed roadies.

There's no information about whether the police asked for an autograph, but I doubt it. They thanked him for his cooperation, but it's not like he was any kind of celebrity after all.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Death Panels never die

I haven't heard a peep in the news about this being VJ Day; the day when WWII was over and the last military victory the US ever had. Sure, we've blown many things up and lost tens of thousands of our soldiers and killed millions of people, but those weren't so much wars as attempts at interfering in other countries that had not declared war on us, some of them based on invented scenarios.

I tuned in to MSNBC this afternoon wondering if this country of born-yesterday geniuses would bother to remember the end of the largest, deadliest war in human history, but what I got was a panel of simpletons trying to lend dignity to the idea that having Medicare pay a consultation fee to your doctor should you happen to seek counseling about what to do if you have a fatal disease will lead to summary executions.

"It's the slippery slope argument - it's easy to see how you can go from the government being involved in health care decisions to the government executing you."
say the smug voices. No it isn't actually, not even if you're currently hospitalized with paranoid delusions. It isn't because paying your doctor bill is not getting involved in the decision making. It isn't because there is no slippery slope argument, only a slippery slope fallacy unless you can establish that paying someone's bill gives you the right to kill him - and you can't.

Yesterday I replied to yet another viral e-mail purporting to show how Barak Obama is insisting that Our military personnel should "pay their own damned insurance since they're volunteers." It was followed by endless expressions of undying hate. Of course it's another fraud -- I've yet to get one that wasn't -- but in return for my polite reply showing how the words came not from Obama but from the comedy writers at the Daily Show, I got an e-mail so hideous and grotesque with hatred of "liberls like me" it was quite incomprehensible.

When it gets to the point where ordinary Americans with ordinary, respectable lives and credentials are less coherent, more hate filled and more willing to believe the utterly preposterous simply because our president had a black father, there is reason for the reasonable to worry. There is great temptation for many of us simply to wash our hands of this dirt and let the country go the way of the Third Reich.
"The Death Panel idea has legs because it's easy to understand"
said the Republican apologist on MSNBC. Lies are designed that way, the truth just is what it is. Let's hope the country is more than it seems.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rationing, Death Panels and Takeovers, Oh my!

Is it a lack of determination that keeps me at this? There are times I just want to sail away into the sunset and forget about our idiot's Republic that seems hell bent to destroy itself in an orgy of irrational anger -- but I don't. Sometimes it takes only a word to start me off again and this time the word was "rationing."

On thing that's consistent about American politics is the practice of hiding your worst vices by preemptively accusing your opposition of it. If your practice of rationing health care to maximize profits hangs around your neck like a decomposing albatross, if you let people die because your top executives need their 20 million dollar salaries and the lobbyists and Congressmen need to be kept rich and happy, you make up a story about Obama and rationing and you stage public events where people pretend to be furious at it until eventually people do become furious enough that they stop thinking and start screaming.

Ask Wendell Potter, former vice president of CIGNA quit his job at Corporate Communications because of the company's decision that the life of 17 year old Nataline Sarkisyan was not worth saving: the liver transplant cost too much so the CIGNA Death Panel refused, calling it "experimental." Although outcry from the public and organizations such as the California Nurses Association caused CIGNA to re-focus on how much the bad publicity was costing them and relented, it was too late and the girl died.

Now rationing is the thing with transplants. The supply is severely limited and systems are in place that attempt to make distribution equitable, but it's not based on the cost. That's not the case at CIGNA nor is it indeed in American health care. Our "system" if you can call it that, will decide how much your life is worth to them and whether or not you've paid your premiums, they will refuse treatment if it will eat into profitability. They will do so even though profitability is growing rapidly. Rationing of health care: it's nothing personal, it's just business and it's just about profits.
"I know from personal experience that members of Congress and the public have good reason to question the honesty and trustworthiness of the insurance industry."
testified Potter to the Senate Commerce Committee last month. He related how unprofitable companies were purged, to maximize profits and he's now telling CNN that the buzz words and hackneyed phrases being shouted at Town Hall meetings come straight from the wordsmiths of the Insurers.
"People talk about the government takeover of the system ... that's a buzz term that comes straight out of the insurance industry," says Potter.

Rationing of treatment is not new, nor has it anything to do with who's providing it. When resources are limited, it has to occur, whether it's because there aren't enough organs or operating rooms or surgeons or equipment. Indeed when kidney dialysis was developed in the early 1960's, a committee was set up in Seattle's Artificial Kidney Center for instance, to ration the use of their machinery. I hesitate to call it a death panel, but if you needed time on the machines, a group consisting of a minister, a banker, a labor leader and a housewife picked by the Center would ration it based on such criteria as your record of Church attendance, net worth and marital status. In other words private parties could decide what your life was worth and factor their profit into the equation. It wasn't until the "government takeover" which was Medicare that opened up access to almost everyone in need and perhaps lessened the ability of insurers to indulge in profit based rationing. They sure as hell don't want much more of that at CIGNA.

A great deal of thought goes into choosing words like "death panel" and "rationing" and "takeover." They are chosen with surgical precision so that using by them as accusations, the corporate death panels, the corporate rationing of health care and the monopolistic trusts that indulge in them are protected from the truth.

Now contemplating just how dumb are the people plugged into the corporate matrix, I'm back to wanting to give it all up and let the country sell itself deeper into slavery and dependency on those who see the American People as sheep to be fleeced.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Ok, I give up. It's impossible to win an argument with someone as totally dishonest as Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck or as stupid as their followers. The relentless, rabid and utterly false accusations of forced euthanasia, "death panels" and health care rationing continue despite the fact that the most rigorous reading of HR 3200 reveals nothing of the sort - and indeed nothing of the other sorts of lies they're telling. You could go look, but you won't and if you're a Republican you'll read one thing and swear you saw another, just as I could roll up the president's birth certificate and shove it up your nose and you'd go on asking for it, insisting it wasn't there, you flat-Earth bozo with too few dendrites to make a synapse.

So go ahead you demented, perverted self-righteously dishonest enemies of everything good and true. Go ahead; sit in your mother's basement with the spiders and watch Fox lies. E-mail everyone you know and assure them Obama's going to murder your kids and eat your grandmother and take away your guns too because Beck says so. I don't give a shit. A country with ten people like you in it wouldn't be worth saving anyway. Take it all you deranged psychotic cretins - whatever's left. You deserve the kind of shithole country you are making this into and you can have it.

Sayonara, assholes! I'm elsewhere.

Rounding up the righteous.

Glenn Beck, that bottomless sack of snake shit, is trying to make you forget that the last administration set new highs in illegal surveillance of private citizens by referencing a small item at the web page which asks that the endless stream of e-mail lies be forwarded so that the truth may prevail. The site, if you care to look, has information and videos that attempt to disprove the mostly baseless claims. The professional liars are alarmed and so they want you to be alarmed -- and so they break out the swastikas again and try to pin them on the Democrats. "They're rounding up the conservatives, they cry, while trying not to snicker. "they've created a new 'Information Czar'" says the bullshit Czar, Glenn Beck.

People who invent psychotic scenarios and dress them up as dire warnings are "conservatives" you see and only trying to help you see that Obama is a fascistcomministmuslim and illegal alien -- conservatively speaking.

If you're like me, you've had enough of the Palin "death panel" fraud and a great many others and forwarding them to Snopes or Factcheck simply doesn't help much. Returning them with comment to the people who sent them to you doesn't help either. Depending on the Media to refute the obvious and childish fabrications is a lost hope, but it seems that Mr. Beck and Senator Cornyn and the other professional traitors and haters of honesty are afraid someone will get to the bottom of it all and trace the sabotage, the lies and the psychotic ravings back to the RNC and into their own hard drives from whence it originates.

Behold, we're now all being asked to "squeal on our neighbors" say the folks who wanted to have postal letter carriers peek in our basement windows a few years ago and encouraged librarians to spy on those of us who read. Obama is making up a list, just like Santa and he's going to put all those people who tried to warn you that Obama is Hitler into camps.

Did I mention that Poland invaded Germany? The Liberals don't want you to know.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Feeding the birds.

We had only a jumble of disconnected phrases from which to discern Sarah Palin's plans for the future and a possible reason for her abandonment of the governorship of Alaska. We have a few more complete and coherent sentences from Florida Republican Senator Mel Martinez but probably no better idea of why he's walking away and where he's going. "Feeding the birds" is the clearest hint he's given us of his plans.

I wouldn't blame anyone for not being aware that a US senator from a large state spontaneously resigned yesterday. The press has been otherwise occupied with trying to make it less obvious that Big Pharma and the Republicans are trying to disrupt any rational discussion of health care reform using violence and intimidation and symbols and tactics of the Third Reich. Martinez tries hard to emphasize however that it is indeed spontaneous and of his "own free will" and nobody is pressuring him. That he brings up that strange notion, rather suggests that someone is.

It will be up to Governor Charlie Crist to replace Mr. Martinez, but Crist will be leaving the Governorship to run for Senator himself and so isn't going to be motivated to replace him with anyone unbeatable -- which is a nice, but unavoidable conflict of interest.

On a more local level my State Representative Ken Pruitt recently resigned "for family and financial reasons." As Pruitt wasn't shy about endorsing the fundamentalist agenda, I'm not sorry to see him go, even though I have to wonder what the family and financial problems were and what improprieties might be involved. Of course his replacement is no less fond of government support of Christian institutions and the first thing one notices about him is his striking lack of intelligence, but one has to expect that in Florida.

But something is happening here and neither I nor Mr. Jones knows what the hell it is.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Ben Stein's Money

I have to say I loathe Ben Stein, so I was pleased to hear the New York Times has fired him for conflict of interest. Dispensing financial advice from the Sunday Business Section while being a spokesman for which offers free monthly credit reports for only $359 seems reason enough, but of course there was the financial advice itself. Ben gets his prognostications from the same source on Neptune that Jim Cramer does.
"I’m writing this on Aug. 13, 2007… the stock market is cheap on a price-earnings basis, profits are fabulous… and in the long run, both here and abroad, stocks are a lovely place to be." [emphasis mine]

That's classic Ben Stein bad advice and bad enough to suggest seppuku to a more honorable man. In fact, it closely mirrors the bad advice of his close friend Cramer and to the point where Stein was willing to tell us all that Jon Stewart had "yelled and cursed" at him when in fact, it was not true. That's classic Ben Stein projection -- or outright lie, if you prefer. I did mention that I loathe him, didn't I?

For anyone who still thinks Ben has ever had much to offer beyond the faux elitism, the wildly dishonest defense of Creationism and enduring belief that Richard Nixon was not a crook, I will refer you to the Ben Stein Watch archives; about to close it's "doors" now that the mission has been accomplished. Let's hope it really has been.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The sky is falling

I live in a small county in Florida. Violent crime rates in this county are declining with 486 per 100,000 population last year. In Pittsburgh they are also declining with about 1070 which is none the less about twice the national average. of course far from all of violent crimes involve firearms. A great many involve fists, beer bottles, baseball bats and knives, but Pittsburgh has much, much more restrictive gun control than Florida and probably fewer guns.

For what it's worth, traffic fatalities in Florida are at 14 year lows and even if shark and alligator attacks and lightening strike fatalities reflect a growing population, you can't say it's getting more dangerous, despite the constant appeal to the relentless fiction that it is.

You'll be reading about the four people killed in Pittsburgh by a misogynous, racist, paranoid and perhaps schizophrenic nutjob for some time and you will hear suggestions that this could have been prevented by even tighter gun control although there won't be any practical, or constitutional, suggestions short of blanket confiscation. The won't be any evidence that such has ever been the case. Pittsburgh already requires guns to be registered. Florida does not.

There are many reasons that you might consider Pittsburgh to be more dangerous than an unincorporated town in Florida, but obviously registration Vs. non registration requirements aren't a significant factor, so can we dispense with the knee-jerk reactionary rhetoric and the stereotyping of gun owners -- but we won't. We'll hear the same axe grinding, throwing out the same sparks and we will continue to advocate the same cures that haven't had any effect and ignore whatever it is that has.

Just watch and see.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Dinosaurs don't pay taxes

In a way, we might look at the vast, seemingly endless and profoundly deep ignorance of Americans as a resource. Certainly many people make a good living from it. People who have less than an intelligent 4 year old's grasp of reality are willing to spend money to have their pathetic fantasies upheld in places like Dinosaur Adventure Land where you can view fake animals in a fake surroundings made to resemble fake history and pretend that the most certain things can be less certain than baseless conjecture.

Yes, I'm talking about Florida where for decades fake was like a second name for the state and sleazy roadside attractions and amusement parks made it a Mecca for kitsch enthusiasts and carloads full of rubes and hicks percolating down from Dixie. Much of it is still here, like the Weeki Wachee Mermaids and alligator wrestling and Lion Country Safari but as far as I know nobody is claiming that the mermaids are real or the lions were dropped off in Florida by Noah on his way to Turkey.

The fake history park in Florida flaunts things on their website like the idea that "the more is known about DNA the more difficult it is to escape the conclusion that all things have a personal creator." Of course there's no way around calling this a complete lie and if there is anything ineluctable about what's taught in Dinosaur Adventure Land is that nothing they say has any basis in fact whatever. Evolution as the origin of species and indeed as the origin of life from natural algorithms and natural law is not on its way out, isn't "just a theory" that Science is moving away from in the light of new data. Of course, the age of the Earth and of the universe is very accurately known and sorry, our planet is more than 4 billion years old and no man ever saw a trilobite or a Gorgonopsid or a Sauropod.

It's more than possible to escape the conclusion that existence of living organisms demands the existence of a deity and all their miracles and all the attempts to demonstrate otherwise have been shown to be fallacious and fraudulent. Yet, the Creationists persist in marketing their perverted epistemology demanding that unwillingness or inability to understand opens a window into understanding -- as though ignorance and stupidity were virtues. Wisdom through ignorance certainly winds through Christianity's bowels like a tapeworm but particularly through the kind of cartoonish fundamentalism sold like tawdry talismans at a flea market to tourists in T shirts.

It must be apparent that I view this kind of militant superstition as a cancer threatening any progress in learning and perhaps the safety of civilization itself and so you won't be surprised that I have to smile a bit to hear that an amusement park built on lies and the mockery of truth is in big trouble with the IRS for not paying employee withholding taxes and is due to be seized. Hardly surprising is it, that people who make a living telling lies and attacking the truth are dishonest?

Hardly surprising either that Kent Hovind, who founded the park and a ministry, Creation Science Evangelism, simply to profit by lying, would forget that Jesus told his followers to pay their taxes: “Ἀπόδοτε οὖν τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ” or "Render unto Caesar. . ." Matthew 22:21

Hovind's position was that since he and his brothers in dishonesty worked for God, they didn't owe any taxes to the Government at all. I don't know what Jesus' position on obstruction of justice or last minute, back-dated, illegal transfers of property to avoid seizure was, but of course anything Jesus is supposed to have said is "just a theory" right? The argument was persuasive enough to get him 10 years in the slammer. For once Jesus and the Law -- and I -- seem to agree.

The quiet American

Normally the rescue of captured Americans gets tremendous coverage; launching over-dramatized movies and mini-series and giving politicians a platform for unrestrained self adulation and patriotic buffoonery: but not always. Sometimes we puff up a story until, like Jessica Lynch, the hero has enough of the lies and walks away. Sometimes we make the hero look like a traitor. Welcome to the ugliness of American tribalism.

When the rescue is facilitated by someone the Republicans need as a symbol of inaction and incompetence; when a political enemy walks into the lion's den and returns with two young women many had given up for lost, it becomes necessary to bring in the creeps. That starts with C and that rhymes with B and that stands for Bolton. Perhaps it was the short notice, that explains it. John Bolton went on the air almost instantly after Fox's report that Clinton along with Center for American Progress President and CEO John Podesta had pulled off a rather John Wayne gambit and had secured the immediate release of journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee who had been arrested for espionage and sentenced to hard labor in a very nasty North Korean prison. Perhaps it was simply the desperation one feels when one's enemy leaves one on the sidelines throwing tantrums like Yosemite Sam while the damsels in distress are rescued from the dragon. Perhaps the Republicans are simply jealous of the international prestige of Clinton when compared to any president since Eisenhower. Perhaps Bolton just had no other tools with which to try to dismantle the story and rebuild it as a straw man, but that's just what he did.

It's "rewarding bad behavior" said he. It's "negotiating with terrorists" said he. It's "legitimizing the regime." It's going to make them kidnap more Americans so they can get visits from ex-presidents. It's pathetic and childish and disgusting and embarrassing to listen to him, but then, he's only repeating the line the GOP has used for decades -- even while Saint Ronald was selling arms to someone at war with us.

Whatever one might say about Clinton and his liberal commandos, we got our fellow Americans out of there without beating our chests like impotent apes, waving our dicks and threatening nuclear annihilation unless the country disbands and turns its assets over to Halliburton. What could be more emasculating and humiliating to Republicans?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Bill Clinton's mission accomplished

George W. Bush may have looked good in his tailored flight suit with the sock stuffed in his pants when he pretended to have just made a carrier landing all by himself, but in terms of courage, the guy who denied having got drunk and crashed his car and walked away from National Guard duty couldn't, as Charles Bukowski used to say, carry Bill Clinton's balls in a paper bag.

President Clinton is now returning home with the two young American reporters being held at hard labor in that stinkhole North Korea. Mission Accomplished.

Birthers, believers and bananas

There are those -- a lot of those for whom any hint of apology for or embarrassment about the United States of its actions is treason and unforgivable. That's unforgivable and perhaps sometimes treasonous since it tends not only to reward, but promote our bad behavior.

Of course there is no way that I can apologize to the world for the "Birther" phenomenon, its psychotic proponents and demented followers, but it's surely embarrassing to contemplate the way the world sees us, which must be very much how we would see some naked savages from Papua New Guinea who happened to have nuclear weapons they were constantly threatening us with. Pardon my unforgivable frankness, but I'm embarrassed to be an American -- once again.

Of course it's worse in the South, the former Slave States where segregation, lynching and Jim Crow policies were only stopped with great effort and physical force in my youth and where even NASCAR and college football take a back seat to believing as a popular sport. Believing without evidence generates disbelieving despite the evidence and so early poll data in Virginia seems to show that almost half of Virginians believe Barak Obama was born in Kenya and that the official State data showing he wasn't, was planted over 40 years earlier in the hopes that he could one day run for president.
". . . a result making me want to bang my head against the table, the first round of calls for our Virginia poll this afternoon founds voters in the state almost evenly split on whether they thought the President was born in the US"
said PPP communications director Tom Jensen. I can well imagine.

Whether Public Policy Polling, who is conducting this poll is or is not a good prognosticator or data gatherer, responses to their announcement at their web site were centered around personal attacks and obscene comments about the snottiness of elite liberals rather than the data or the apparent insanity and delusional condition of the Birthers. Not one of them gives a damn about facts. Not one is capable of self doubt.

Of course believers rarely if ever choose what to believe without assistance and an examination of the obviously mental inventors of the libel such as Orly Taitz can make you want to put a noose around your neck -- or hers depending on your proclivities. If this woman gave you a used Rolls, would you even sit in it without a hazmat suit? None of the "birthers" would be imaginative enough to cook up this story, they got it the way Germany got Fascism: from a band of brownshirt organizers and disruptors and hooligans.

No problem for the bigots, for the believers, for the people who equate fact and reason, law and decency with fascism: Southern Whites, who for over 150 years have stood on their beliefs, on what they have been told by hatemongers to use against freedom for anyone but white males. No problem at all. If it feels good, believe it. If challenged by facts, slime the challengers, but never give up, never surrender, never stop hating.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Glenn Beck is the Anti-Christ

These are wicked, crazy, frightening people says Glenn Beck and he's right -- absolutely right. Anyone who would broadcast a story that, the site that explains the government's cash-for-clunkers program will trick you into signing away the rights to all the information in your computer is wicked, crazy and frightening.
“They can continue to track you, basically forever, once they’ve tapped into your system … it’s so broad that they can do just about anything.” says Beck's vampiric foil Guilfoyle.
“I know who our czars are now, and this collection of these czars, these are evil people. These are wicked, crazy, frightening people.” replied Beck on his Fox News program.

The show went on to have Jonah Goldberg lie that if you log onto the site with Skype, you're giving them permission to listen to all your phone calls - something their hero Bush did with Fox's blessing.

It's a lie of course, says Kos and I'd like to think that by now someone in the Foxhouse would have bothered to notice that the privacy statement Beck showed us wasn't from at all but from a system registered dealers use to report the sales. you couldn't log into this system if you wanted to. I'd like to think there would be some kind of apology - in fact I'd like to see some kind of criminal prosecution, wouldn't you? I'm sure we won't. I'm sure we will see and hear more and bigger and more outrageous lies and no one will do a damned thing as we slide into ruin.

Hail Satan!

look, folks!
Right here in River City.
Trouble with a capital "T"
And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool!

Yes sir, Crooks and Liars has the story behind all our troubles. Barak Obama is the anti-Christ and "the Bible" proves it, at least it does if you're a demented, ignorant and dishonest idiot. Proof of course, to people who deny reason itself and prefer to believe what they're told by professional liars like World Net Daily, isn't what proof is to the fully rational -- but I digress.

What is or is not in the Bible of course has always been at issue, wars being fought and people being exterminated over such questions and for my part, although I know it's no more an accurate account of real history than the Gilgamesh Epic, I count the Gospel of Luke as a twisted derivative of some other book written by someone who was nowhere near Jesus of Nazareth in time or place or theology.

None the less, there are people who insist that God wrote it although which of the three it might be I don't know. Worse yet; there are people who insist that the book written long after Jesus' life on earth and in a foreign language in a foreign place and selected for the canon by a Roman high priest, predicts that US President, Barak H. Obama is in that nauseatingly idiotic Aristotelian tradition where things create their opposites: the Anti-Christ.

Of course if one doesn't believe there ever was a Christ, whether it be King David or Jesus H. it's a hard sell, but it's a hard pile to peddle if one simply knows a thing or two about certain languages and isn't situationally psychotic ( or a Fundamantalist if you prefer.) There is a word in Hebrew: (בָּרָק) usually transliterated as Barak and meaning Lightening. There is a word in Hebrew usually transliterated into English as Bimmah meaning amongst other things a platform from which scripture is read. It's sometimes translated as a High Place or ritual platform or altar.

Now comes the "proof" part. "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." (Luke 10:18) Put Barak and Bimmah together and you guessed it. QED. Our president is lightening from a high place ( if you leave out his middle name) and the antithesis of the man, whatever that means, who somehow, in some illogical way, was the heir to the throne of Judea.

Of course Luke isn't written in Hebrew or Aramaic but in Greek and the man who wrote Luke was a Greek ( the traditional names weren't assigned to these books until many years later) and so one has to wonder why he was speaking about our President and if somehow he was thinking in a language he didn't understand can we be sure he wasn't writing in code about the Commander of the prophetess Deborah's Biblical army, the late blues man Lightnin' Hopkins or a character from Amos and Andy? There is no way to get from the Greek Astrape to the Swahili/Arabic Barak or even a flash of light from the altar to the kind of Satan that crept into Christianity in the late first century. It's enough like logical progression for the legions of the unwashed however and a great reminder that half of Americans have double digit IQ's and little education.

Mr. Obama was, of course, named for his Kenyan father and in Swahili, a language filled with Arabic borrow words, the word means "blessed" as it indeed does in pure Arabic. Its cognate in Hebrew is Baruch, also a common name amongst the Jews. We see it in both languages used that way: baarak Allaah fiik or baruch ata hashem -- ( Borchu et Adonai in Aramaic as every Bar Mitzvah boy knows) God bless you or blessed is God, respectively.

There is no logical or honest progression through which we can pass Barak Hussein Obama,"blessed and beautiful Obama" as it means, and transform it into the metaphorical source of all evil with his origins in Babylonian and Persian mythology. Indeed one would have to pass it through that source of evil itself and that's just what has been done. What else in the phenomenal world can transform beautiful and blessed into ugliness and evil but the Republican hate machine?

There is no Devil but the devil in Man and no more devilish men than the men of the Republican Party, WorldNetDaily and the Religious right. Think about this when you listen to them crying about "Character assassination" of Sarah Palin. Look upon them and despair. If you're a Christian, think about the people that have made Jesus into a dirty joke and say something about it. If you don't think our government should be based on lies and the product of hate and stupidity wake up and never vote for a Republican again.

Poor little Palin, part II

"I continue to be surprised at the vicious attacks on her. I've never seen anything like it"
says John McCain on Of course that's not nearly true or credible and of course "viciousness" is not what distinguishes the many criticisms of Palin from the criticism McCain himself endured; criticism that he handed out and that he observed being handed out to people like John Kerry while standing by saying little or nothing. Indeed the hypocrisy of anyone in any way part of the Republican establishment of the last decade who is still crying about how poor Sarah has been treated is something the like of which I've never seen. What distinguishes complaints about her ethics with accusations that McCain sired an illegitimate, black daughter or that Barak Obama was born in Kenya and is a Marxist who wants to destroy the country, are the facts behind them -- or not behind them.

McCain and his party would very much like you to think that what really sours people like me on candidates like Palin are her daughter's pregnancy or some details of her private life that should be beyond public scrutiny. Indeed the campaign was complaining about such things far in advance of public awareness, making it apparent that they intended to make her an antihero and to run on sympathy rather than on any strong capabilities she might have. Of course any suggestion that anything in a candidate's life should be beyond scrutiny when made by a Republican is so hilarious as to be horrifying while there is ongoing hysteria about things that are not part of Obama's life being treated as controversial by people who know better.

That Palin lied about refusing earmarks, about being opposed to running up debt, is a small matter compared to the accusations of treason she smilingly made against Barak Obama in her pedantic sing-song tones and nothing said against her suitability compares with Republican accusations against McCain made by the Bush camp. Of course complaining about criticism alone and without reference to the content and the facts of the matter constitutes deliberate misrepresentation. Is it vicious to accuse Palin of ethical violations when there are legal proceedings based on formal accusations? Is it vicious to mention misstatements, to mention lifelong dedication to witch hunters and heretic persecutors or other things which are incontestably true?

If so, what then are accusations based on lies and distortions? If so what do we do with a candidate whose entire campaign was run upon such things while she whined about how unfair it was to criticize her at all?

It's rare enough for a governor, even a governor under indictment, to simply walk away from the job without explanation, yet Mr. McCain would like us all to believe that she was forced out by the nefarious and vicious Liberals who just can't stop asking why she did it. It's an insult to the electorate, of course, but no more of an insult than the McCain/Palin campaign was. They've been getting away with insulting and assaulting us for a long time -- because we're stupid, because we're emotionally and tribally driven and too often only informed by those who insult us.

That McCain is still playing the victim game; the poor, suffering and forgotten hero game, doesn't speak well for him. That he's still viciously attacking efforts to fix the problems his party created while offering no other suggestions than the same policies that caused them and the same policies that turned the crash of '29 into the Great Depression, doesn't recommend him either, but his misplaced loyalty that drives him to cover up for the VP candidate who may have cost him the election all by herself certainly suggests self-delusion, a total lack of independence and the kind of situational honesty that makes me so very glad he lost.