Friday, August 27, 2010

Season of the Witch

Will the process that's been so noticeable since Nixon's retreat result in civil war, or will the collapse of government be as invisible as a black hole in the midst of the raging litigation now being planned by the Republicans to mark their return to power? The legal assault on Bill Clinton, that was retribution for the legal actions taken against felonious Richard Nixon and his corrupt administration, was notable for its attempted parity.

Charge for charge, and almost word for word, the Gingrich gang and its Starr inquisitor attempted to make charges of propositioning a woman payed handsomely to make them, and having asked his secretary not to tell his wife into impeachable treason. That the Democrats have again usurped their perceived mandate of heaven and taken control ( sort of) once again, plans are already being made to cripple Barack Obama as they did Clinton, come November 8th and never mind that Obama seems faithful to his wife -- it doesn't matter.

" Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) – are quietly gearing up for a possible season of subpoenas not seen since the Clinton wars of the late 1990s,"
says Politico today.
"How acrimonious things get really depend on how willing the administration is in accepting our findings [and] responding to our questions,” adds Kurt Bardella, spokesman for the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who refers to his boss as “Questioner-in-Chief.’"
I'm assuming Obama won't readily accede to the inevitably trumped up and specious charges, but you never know, judging from his restraint in bringing up the GOP's singular failures, gross misrepresentations, war crimes and constitutional infractions, but acrimonious? That's as close to real humor as a Republican has ever come.

There are no angels in this dogfight, but the Republicans have an undeniable record of unrestrained, immoderate and rabidly vicious assault on all fronts when they're defeated and more so when that defeat is so clearly merited. They don't like rules except when the rules protect them. They love secrecy but decry it in others. They don't like taking responsibility for their failures, but find fault with anything and everything in their opposition and they don't give a damn if they're right or wrong as long as they gain power.

The November elections are only two months away, but the pyre is already under construction waiting only for the witch hunt to begin. It doesn't matter what Obama does or whether he succeeds or fails. I doesn't matter if he picks up every stitch, it's still going to be the season of the witch.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Big Brother's keeper

Tiger Woods named his Yacht "Privacy." It's obvious why he was seeking it, but we assume incorrectly that we have any right to privacy in these days of The Patriot Act and the mass marketing of fear.

Monitoring our phone calls, reading our e-mails -- that's old hat. Forcing us to produce birth certificates and citizenship papers for any cop who decides your car is weaving even if you're ancestors have lived in Arizona for 15,000 years -- coming soon to a Confederate State near you.

But wait, there's more.

Law Enforcement agencies are now adding vans equipped with side scan x-ray units that can inspect the contents of your car as well as the contents of your jockey shorts if you're walking down the sidewalk. Probable cause, my ass -- and yours.

Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go according to Time Magazine. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals -- the one Fox insists is so Liberaliberaliberal tells us we don't have a right to privacy if our cars are parked in our driveways. Search warrant? Don't make me laugh; they don't have to show you no stinking search warrant, at least not in the nine Western states under its jurisdiction, not to install the device or to use it to see who you visit or even how fast you drive . We have no reasonable expectation that the government isn't tracking our movements even if we pay cash at the gas station and at toll booths and don't use a cell phone. We're fools if we do.

Sound like a Libertarian, don't I? I'm not and I'm not because I am not blaming this on a straw man government, I'm blaming it on you. I'm blaming it on us. We voted for the people who are doing this, we supported the Patriot act, we wallow in the fear mongering the retailing of idiot rage that "justified" it. We fall for their distractions, their distortions and we bark and growl like Pavlov's dogs. When they push our buttons, we push their buttons on the voting machines.

Sure, the Ninth Circuit is Liberaliberaliberal, when they insist you can't use your religious beliefs to stop people from marrying, but they're not are they? They're not when they argue that your home is their castle as is your car, your mailbox and your telephone, and by pretending we're Conservative we vote for the people who appoint them to take our freedom and make us thank them for their trouble.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The price of freedom

It's something to give lip service to when you're proposing or conducting a war of aggression, preferably a hopeless, poorly organized one. When it comes to tolerating the views of others, the freedom of others: speech, religion and the rest of what the bill of rights guarantees, our hypocrisy comes shining through. Our cowardice, our irrational fear, our bigotry.

My thanks to Libby at The Impolitic for disgusting me with yet another view of America that will be broadcast around the world and justify more hatred of us and more acts against us and more revulsion at our pose of being a moral example. We're not and as Jefferson said " I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just." If I were a believer, I'd be headed away faster than Lot could run out of Sodom.

It's infuriating that one of the bravest men I've had the privilege to observe was called a coward by a mob too cowardly to allow religious freedom in New York, cowardly enough to make disgusting religious taunts they'd never tolerate against themselves even if they were accurate -- which they would probably be. I tremble for my country. I tremble with rage at the bigots, the cowards, the enraged hordes of ignorant savages and I tremble at he dawning conclusion that perhaps we have no reason to be proud of America and that we've rarely been any better than this.

There is a price to be paid for freedom, but it can't be paid for in this kind of currency. It's not paid for by attacking Iraq or by supporting corrupt governments or toppling democracies abroad. It's certainly not paid for rioting against freedom and the allegedly sacred rights of man. If this is the voice of America, everything our enemies say about us is true and we have no right to pretend to be a moral example to anyone.

American blood on American Soil

Well maybe not blood - it was only some bits of stucco and brick, but you know. . .

President Barack Obama is "gambling with Human lives" says Texas Governor Rick Perry. I'm afraid he's not talking about any of our current foreign wars, and anyway, gambling with military lives is worth the patriotic fervor we need to keep the proles supporting Republicans.

He's not talking about the death cult that executes prisoners without much apparent concern for evidence of innocence. He's not talking about tossing out mining or oil drilling safety rules as "communism." He's talking about a stray bullet coming harmlessly across the border into El Paso from Juarez and hitting a wall, shedding American brick dust on American soil. It's happened once or twice before with no harm done to anyone, but it's Obama's fault according to the hysterical hyperbole of Rick because -- well just because.

Human Lives are being endangered because Obama is president and the failure of previous administrations to stem corruption in a country not our own is not worth discussing lest it place blame upon white shoulders, or heaven forfend; Texas gubernatorial shoulders and take all the fun out of our national game of "pin the blame on Obama." Yes, says Rick, we should amass troops on the border but to what effect he doesn't tell us. The drug lords we finance with our drug policies aren't going to notice or care. Perhaps they could form as a wall of human flesh to stop the spent bullet that strays over the border every few years? Or perhaps he'd like to invade Juarez, Tijuana and Nogales. After all we haven't stolen any property from Mexico for years and we really need another illegal invasion, don't we? We'd be protecting Amer4ican lives and we'd be welcomed as liberators and it would pay for itself and there are credible rumors of enchiladas of Mass Destruction. Remember the stray bullet! Never forget! wave more flags! Unhinged we stand!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Club Vulgus

Any perusal of comment sections on such public forums as leads one to the inescapable conclusion that there is a vast sunless sea of people united by the conviction that their incomprehension results, not from some inability on their part, but from the stupidity of those they identify as a Liberal Elite. Being uninhibitedly glib in the facility of self promotion through Liberal bashing is a cheap initiation fee and all the dues they deed pay to belong to the only club that will have them as a member.

Reading this morning, for instance, of a rather uninteresting Van Gogh floral arrangement having been stolen from a Cairo museum and about suspects having been apprehended trying to flee Egypt, I encountered the predictable comments amongst which are:
"I am starting to think that Americans are the most entitled, dumb people on this planet. Are all Americans as dumb as this post implies? Or are you just the dumb liberals- who we always knew were dumb? If you are not happy with living in the USA then I will pay for you to move somewhere else. "
What an ugly picture! 50 million? covet much? Oh look, shiny baubles!!!! I MUST OWN THEM AT ALL COSTS!!!!"

More copy book comments followed in quick non-sequitur: about Republican lobbyists, the foolishness of art in general and other populist drivel scarcely worthy of having been scribbled on the walls of the worst toilet in Scotland, although I suspect the grammar, spelling and logic might be better in that venue. The rabble are only to happy to pay their dues.

Of course it is a most uninspiring painting and it's proposed value would have been more appropriate to the late 1980's when Japanese corporations were buying up Western art and Van Gogh in particular as part of a scheme to transfer money illegally between corporations. I doubt it could be sold at nearly that price today, yet still; one of the uncountable things that mystify the untaught crowd is art and it's monetary value. That which is not understood needs to be denounced as worthy of only fools -- and of course Liberals. If you want to belong to the Vulgus Indoctum after all, you need to pay your dues. I wonder if one could earn life membership by offering to finance the expulsion ( as a Liberal elitist parasite ) of anyone who might distinguish between Van Eyck and Van Dyke or perhaps have a nice little solution for Fermat's theorem. I might in fact, apply for the deportation so kindly offered, but that any of these folk-slingers could afford the sort of place in Monte Carlo I have in mind, I have serious doubts.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sharia in Flori-Duh

I used to bridle at the popular smear: Florid-Duh -- after all I live here, but perhaps it's time to recognize that this smelly shoe fits pretty well and we can't avoid wearing it. My suspicion began back when a State Representative balked on passing a bill mentioning Animal Husbandry for fear it would lead to legalizing marriage between people and animals and now that I read about Daniel Webster, candidate for the US Congress, who is endorsed by the Orlando Sentinel and former Governor and Presidential brother, Jeb Bush as well, I have to confess. We're not just the Sunshine State; we're Flori-Duh.

Webster is no political neophyte and hardly an outsider to the Republican Party. He was Speaker of the Florida House, Majority Leader of the Florida Senate and was in the State Legislature for 28 years. While there, he introduced a bill which was meant to create something he calls "covenant marriage" and others have called the "Roach Motel Marriage." You can check in, but you can't check out. Under this law, so closely resembling what one sees only in Taliban controlled areas, there is no excuse for divorce except for the infidelity of one partner. If both are unfaithful, you don't check out. If your partner beats hell out of you, sets you on fire or molests your children, you live with it for the rest of your life. So much for the Republican fable that it's the Liberals looking to institute Sharia law in the US.

Certainly, the history of bizarre Congressional proposals is rich with idiotic attempts such as this, but remember, Dan Webster is not considered beyond the pale of modern conservatism, he's a favorite son of what's left of the Republican Party; a party not satisfied only to roll back all progress in human rights since the 1960's, but the 1860's and perhaps the 1760's. Don't forget the recent and still popular Vice Presidential candidate who spoke of Witches as a real problem or the elected officials who don't believe in evolution and think Geology and Archaeology are fraudulent.

If there are many of them who can smell the idiocy, they're too partisan to mention it and indeed, the ride they've been taking on the wave of superstition, suspicion and stupidity has taken them a long way and they're along way from giving it up. The wave never seems to break and it won't until we break it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Beck's dangerous idea

It's marvelous that Charles Darwin still scares the hell out of people. Marvelous that is, if you're not convinced that our species has little survival potential because the peculiar adaptation to a changing world we share with no other species, is beginning to make it impossible to adapt to the changing world brought about by that adaptation. Human intelligence is very new development and far from making us the pinnacle of evolution, it may yet prove to be another example of overspecialization making us vulnerable to extinction as our existence depends ever more on coping with an ever more complex world.

That we may have risen to the level of our incompetence, beyond the level of the average person's capability to understand invokes the Peter Principle. That there are people like Glenn Beck who thrive on breaking the tools we've used so get us this far, subduing intelligence and reason and critical facilities as well as the body of information we've accumulated, assures the eventual end of civilization and without civilization, we're not exactly the fittest things in the jungle, are we?

It may seem strange to cite Glenn Beck when talking about matters of intelligence, but it's no stranger than listening to him make that old and silly and certainly illegitimate claim that Charles Darwin is the "father of modern racism." It's an argument that can't be seen as such by anyone familiar with the modern, scientific concept of evolution or indeed someone smart enough to realize that Darwin didn't invent that process any more than Newton invented gravity or inertia making him culpable when someone hits you over the head with a rock. It takes, in fact, something more than Beckian stupidity and something more like mens Rea, as the lawyers call it: evil intent. Evil intent is a distinctly human property as Mr. Beck amply demonstrates. Darwin didn't invent humans.

Ask the moron on the street what Darwin was all about and he'll likely say "survival of the fittest" and he'll be wrong. He'll be unlikely to revise his opinion since the natural algorithm that produces speciation and biodiversity is more complex than he's willing or able to assimilate and the body of evidence might as well be buried on Mars for all he knows of it. Survival of the fittest is a flattering concept anyway, since we've survived so far and therefore can call ourselves fit and masters of all we survey.

It's a fairly short non-sequitur from there to "only the fit should survive" which of course is not Darwin and certainly not Dan Dennett but Republican, Conservative, Libertarian, Glenn Beckian. How better to describe the contempt and lack of concern for the helpless and unfortunate than to link it to the Scroogian "let them die and decrease the surplus population?" It's not Liberals after all who decry compassion when it costs us anything, it's Conservatives.

That evolution occurs and is the process through which all existing life forms have differentiated themselves from other life forms, right down to whatever primitive life-like chemistry preceded them, is not conjectural. It's not in doubt and not without an overwhelming preponderance of evidence. It's more solid, I could argue, than Newtonian physics, but the important factor is that it's not about survival of the fittest and doubly not about the idea that one racial or ethnic group needs to enforce the fallacy by persecuting another. Darwin is about an inevitable natural process and inevitable and natural things don't need enforcement.

The Nazis did not seek to eliminate other "races" than their mythical Aryan brotherhood because of Darwin or Huxley or any of the countless archaeologists and geneticists who have cemented evolution as a basic science -- they used a fallacious and mendacious misstatement of it because they were racists seeking scientific basis, just as Glenn Beck does. Make no mistake, I give the comparison in all seriousness. Fake science, bad science and specious arguments lie behind many movements, most of which are highly dangerous. The public hasn't the brains or the knowledge to see through it and many who have have been hypnotized by one Svengali after another.

Using a fake simulacrum of science to bolster animal instinct, putting a stolen lab coat on greed, bigotry and racism does not serve to smear real science. In fact as Glenn Beck uses such tools to burn science in effigy he may be making stupidity an important survival factor.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The ownership society

So now it's "Obama's Mosque" and why the hell not, since there appears to be no bottom at the deep end. All the hysteria about the "most far left liberal politician since Trotsky" has all the traction of a bald tire on a wet road as Obama panders to the right, the Birther blowhard, Orly Taitz, would up in contempt of our most conservative high court and the legion of dire prediction demons has failed to infect anyone but the swine. We didn't fall into a deep depression and slowly, most things are getting better. Half the TARP funds have been repaid at interest. No army has poured across our weakened borders into the arms of Obama, the flow of illegal aliens has diminished and deportations are up substantially despite all the howling. Obama isn't rounding up Republicans, we haven't turned the army over to the UN, and yes, his ratings although they've fallen since he was elected, are still better than Ronald Reagan's.

Of course the predictions of recession that were denounced as treasonous by the right wing chorus during the previous administration did come true, the reasons for the most expensive war in our history were false and the benefit of the radical tax cuts not only failed to materialize but produced no new private sector jobs and earned us a 8 trillion dollar loss. But enough of that liberal America hating treason -- it's Obama's fault for bailing out US business, even though Bush asked for more money and less oversight. It's Obama's fault and the Mosque that isn't actually a Mosque located in what isn't the World Trade Crater in a neighborhood with a substantial Muslim population and where there's already a Mosque must be shown to belong to Barack Hussein Obama.

And why not? They're already snickering that he isn't Jesus Christ and if he were, I'm sure they'd make sure the analogy was perfect. It's Obama's Mosque and when that blows over, there will be some other idiotic calumny and on and on, while there continues to be nothing useful and nothing that hasn't been debunked or proven disastrous coming out of the racist right wing rabble of hare brained hooligans posing as patriots.

So now it's Obama's Mosque as if his predecessor hadn't spent far more time in them, praising (to his credit) Islam and Muslims as a religion of peace and peaceful people and good Americans. It's Obama's fault and they'll take back America: xenophobic, imperialist, feudal, monopolistic, theocratic, undereducated, over opinionated, 'we're number' one America where Beethoven is a dog, Michelangelo is a virus and a Mosque that isn't a Mosque is Obama's and a recession that isn't Obama's is.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Yes you can, no you can't

Private morality does not seem to me to be the state’s business unless it compromises the public welfare.

-Bishop Shelby Spong-

Yes you can, no you can't, yes you can, no you can't. It must be infuriating for California's same sex couples looking for stability and security in their lives. Gay marriage opponents have again succeeded in blocking further unions pending yet another appeal for reasons known only to themselves -- although most seem happy to tell you why they're against it.

Do the objections make sense or are they simply a reflection of a selective morality with perhaps a bit of personal anxiety adding a note of passion? The appeal that came quickly after the judicial decision to overturn the ban tells us that
"California, 44 other states, and the vast majority of countries throughout the world continue to draw the line at marriage because it continues to serve a vital societal interest."
And what would that social interest be? Why,
"to channel potentially procreative sexual relationships into enduring, stable unions for the sake of responsibly producing and raising the next generation."

Astonishing, isn't it that the conservatives behind this can still make a living challenging the right of the State to serve social needs while advocating it so vociferously in this instance. Doesn't Social Security and Medicare and welfare and don't income taxes serve a societal interest? Is there any evidence anywhere of a negative effect on the public welfare of allowing gay marriage?

Sure, I could ask silly questions about why older couples past child producing age are allowed to marry or people who don't want to or are unable to have offspring are exempt from the Biblical mandate to go out there and get pregnant. I could ask why the State of California can find a right anywhere in its constitution or the Federal Constitution to promote Christianity and I could snicker at the fact that it really doesn't matter whether people are married -- they make babies anyway and I could point out as well that stable, married gay couples seem to do as well if not better at raising children, but we both know I wouldn't get a sensible answer because the position isn't about any of those things. It's about a personal repugnance concerning the private behaviour of other people with its origins in a religious tradition not recognized or supported by the government of the United States. Preventing a social contract between same sex couples serves no more legitimate a societal interest than outlawing interracial marriage, segregating public facilities, keeping Jews out of Palm Beach hotels or preventing women from voting. Yet that same rhetoric was used to defend those things and worse.

Pace the nauseous nattering of people like Sarah Palin and a large number of Republican hypocrites, there is no clause in the constitution saying "insert the Bible here." The objections are an excuse and nothing more and they are neither supported by facts or reason.

Another frequent argument is that the court which overturned the ban was " ignoring the will of the people" which of course is part of the job description of the legislative branch; that being another bulwark against the mob rule our founders were so rightly worried about. That is, or should be embarrassing to those who have made careers bloviating about "activist judges" since what they're calling for is a judge who rules on personal and political sentiment rather than a strict interpretation of the law. Is this hypocrisy or duplicity? Does it matter?

Marriage isn't about breeding, it's about property and responsibility and the right of one person to care for another without legal hindrance. The law isn't about bringing a Christian or Jewish or Muslim utopia to the world in preparation for it's destruction. I agree with bona fide Libertarians that the role of government in promoting some vision of public good needs to be limited and its ability to intrude into the most private and intimate parts of the human experience needs to be restricted to matters of the utmost need. There is no need or evidence of need here. There is no logical or factual consistency here and the allegedly conservative position isn't conservative. It's everything conservatives tell us they hate: an intrusion into life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by a self appointed group of moralizers. Morality is not the government's business. Sin is not the government's business: It's God's business. God can handle it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Another final solution?

During WW II the Germans were the bad guys and the French were the good guys, right? Well, some of them certainly were and some of them certainly still are, but if we're looking for another example of the banality -- and universality -- of the hidden but still present nastiness in apparently civilized nations, the examples are everywhere. Examples of the kinds of sentiments that brought us the persecutions, deportations and atrocities my parents' generation went to war over.

No, I'm not talking about the increasingly hostile attitude toward non-aryan immigrants in the American South, but about France and the European Union of which it's part. The Nazis ( and the Inquisition in its time) were less successful in eliminating the Roma, or the Gypsies as it was once more common to call them, then they were in eliminating the Jews or Europe.

Now that travel within the EU has been made so much easier; a basic right of European citizens, France has many Romani camps and that bothers many Frenchmen who are eager to attribute all kinds of mayhem in good old Lou Dobbs fashion. French President Nicolas Sarkozy seems happy to raise his poor ratings by pandering to that good old European Family Value of racism and ethnic prejudice. He plans to break up some 300 Romani camps in the near future and send the Roma back to Romania because of "security problems." As yet, I haven't heard talk about re-establishing them in their ancient homeland in Rajasthan, but maybe that's still too touchy a subject just now.

France isn't the first to expel this wandering group who have appeared as bogey men in a thousand years of European folk lore. Germany Denmark and Italy, for example are instituting similar policies of attributing selected offenses to a group and punishing that group with expulsion rather than individuals actually accused and found guilty. It's doubly disturbing because, of course, Romanian citizens are normally free to reside in EU countries, or so I'm told.

Perhaps enough time has passed that the embarrassment of being caught at the same old Collective Guilt by Ethnicity game isn't enough to make EU member countries circumspect. Certainly that's true in the US where most citizens can't clearly remember as far back as the Bush administration, but equally certain is that looking for ethnic scapegoats in times of economic trouble is not something that died in a Berlin bunker in 1945.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Becoming the monster?

I'm old enough to have learned to delay anger at any reports about or coming from the area formerly known to some as Palestine. Initial reports are so often untrue or exaggerated that caution is always advised. If it is true, of course, that the government of Israel has caused part of a Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem to be bulldozed, my anger is going to be well into condition red -- the more so if, as has been reported, the demolition is related to the construction of a Museum of Tolerance planned by the US based Simon Wiesenthal Center.

So I'll hold my temper a while longer although I fear that Nietzsche's warning about becoming the monster you set out to fight may be waiting to make a comeback.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Terrorists win! Terrorists win!

It's hard to say they didn't and their victory has nothing to do with the incompetence that let Osama bin Laden escape from Afghanistan. What can you call it but a victory when we've borrowed and wasted trillions on wars that we simply can't afford and we've been torn apart politically and culturally to the point where we will defend the indefensible, accept the unacceptable and every passing cloud seems like a piece of the sky falling.

Nearly nine years after the attacks on New York and Washington, the World Trade Center towers have become like the relics of some saint to be preserved in some myth if not in a jar while the contrived phrase "they hate us for our freedoms" echoes in mockery while one by one, the freedoms we pretend are a reason for their resentment are put against a wall and shot -- by us.

Any war, just or unjust, aggressive or defensive, necessary or the result of lies, is a test of the freedoms of speech and of the press. This alleged war has been a test of freedom from unreasonable searches as well, but now even freedom of religion is being tested both in the legislature and by the propaganda organizations with seemingly unlimited money, power and influence over the rage addled minds of the public. The millions of riders on the New York Transit system will soon be reading ads showing yet another picture of the twin towers and an airliner along with a crescent. Why There? it asks. Because we have freedom of religion, I answer. Because the government may not legislate against the free exercise of a religion or determine that one religion is to be preferred over another, I say to the ignorant, uncaring mob and the sinister forces that play them like pawns.

Does anything support the myth, popular in Islamic countries, that the US is out to destroy them and to kill Muslims better than this ad, this attitude, this anger? Of course we're eager to engineer Armageddon and so are they. Of course the Terrorists have won, since to bankrupt and confuse us and weaken us and set us against our principles and best interests was exactly what they set out to do. A popular uprising against justice and the rule of law has been the goal of many but none has been so successful in my lifetime as what has been accomplished by bin Laden and the Neocon Republicans with the aid of various radical supremacist groups foreign and domestic.

Why there? Well to be truthful it isn't there, only near there, but the answer is the same as it is to the question of why we didn't forbid radical Christian churches in Oklahoma City or the political anti-government speech that brought about the Federal Building attack and continues to fester. Because we all have the right to worship without interference from anti religious groups and from the government. That would be the government that's supposed to stay out of our lives, but only if we're of an approved religion.

We don't forbid KKK meetings even in neighborhoods full of people the Klan hates. We allow Tea Party extremists to wave guns at political rallies and threaten the lives of the president's family and to overthrow the government by force. We allow Christian churches to preach about the coming destruction of the Jews, the infidels and the end of the world anywhere they damn well please. But they're not Muslims, as a rule.

Our founding fathers offered praise for Islam, told Muslim leaders this was not a Christian country. There have been Muslim citizens in this country for centuries. There are millions of born in the USA Muslims in civilian and military life. When you take away the rights of one citizen for illegal reasons, you take away the rights of all and indeed if "they" hate us for being free, they're effective in making us less so and with our eager cooperation.

There's a bell tolling for us, for our freedom, for our souls and that thing up there in the steeple, wrapped in the flag and ringing it doesn't look anything like Osama.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

And so it ends

The United States of America is doomed; at least in any form that can honestly be called a Democracy. Of course it may remain for a while as a pseudo Democracy where government and business are intertwined to the extent that no likely coalition of individual citizens has enough power to elect representatives who are not owned by some powerful entity, as any coalition that emerges is likely to be organized around fictitious causes and motivated by delusion provided by powerful, corporate interests.

Yes, the Citizens United decision was another step in the destruction of Democracy and the reduction of the power of the private citizen, but the real leash around our neck is Rupert Murdoch's lie machine.

I got an irate e-mail today with a link to a hysterical Fox news diatribe. To the casual viewer, it would seem that a town in New York State had decided to give Hispanic voters 6 votes as opposed to the one vote everyone else has. That would, they say, allow non-citizens, the unregistered voters and the otherwise ineligible Hispanics to outvote that traditionally disadvantaged bloc: White Christians.

There must be a better word than lie for this deceitful passion play, but lie will have to suffice and lie it is because what has been portrayed as a breach of constitutional law, the creation of an activist Obama court ( even though the decision was made under the Bush administration) and an affront to democracy, is simply the time honored practice of cumulative voting. Port Chester New York, has a voter base that is about 46% Hispanic. That being less than a majority, it's unlikely that the Village Board of Trustees would include a single member of Hispanic origin. That's the sort of exclusive majority rule Righties like and to allow a voter to give one vote to each of the candidates or to give more than one to a lesser number of candidates makes it possible to have a representational board of representatives. That's the kind of Democracy Righties hate, because it allows representation to those who are by virtue of race: inferior and dangerous.

Enter the Fox. The hysterical minstrel show leads the viewer to believe that any Hispanic, whether eligible to vote or not will be given 6 votes and everyone else will have only one. Branching out from that bald faced lie, are all sorts of accusations and misrepresentations and characterizations all designed to show how under the Democrats and Liberals and Elitists, the country is going to hell and the constitution ignored.

As I said, there should be a better word than 'lie' and perhaps there is: Libel, subversion, treason and if I had a thesaurus, I could come up with a dozen, but what matters is that we have an internal enemy who has already conquered and infected the minds and souls of America and is progressing further toward supporting insurrection day by day. I'm only illustrating one of countless assaults on truth, reason, decency, democracy and the dignity of mankind, but it's enough.

Is there any hope? Not on my part and my vision of the future is the jaws of the Fox around the throat of America, forever.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Never forget 9/11

Unless it might cost offshore corporations some taxes, that is.

Well industry self regulation has been a great thing for America, hasn't it. We've all become prosperous and freedom is ringing everywhere here in Utopia now that industries we depend on can write laws and make national policy in secret. Now that they can write their own permission slips to embark on dangerous and ill advised policies and of course give unlimited financial support to politicians who handle the paperwork for them. Of course it's not government intrusion - it's not even government, at least not a government elected by or responsible to the American people. Private security companies can fight our wars for us without having to tell us what they do or how they do it - they're private, after all. Responsibility and accountiblity are, of course, COMMUNISM, as some Republicans have told us. Paying for the damage you've done is a shameful thing to ask of a Corporate Lord - the very kind of government intrusion that might take a burden off the taxpayer and place it on the corporate elite. That damned Obama!

It's all worked out so very well that there's hardly anything left to privatize, except perhaps justice itself. Now that the BP leak seems to have been plugged, it's time to figure out what went wrong and why it went wrong and who allowed it to go wrong. Who better to examine the evidence but BP, Transocean and Halliburton? We can't have our enemy, the government we elected, mucking about and trying to place blame on the guilty instead of Barack Obama, the "enviros" and the customary straw men. Offshore based companies in the business of exploiting American resources for their own profit must always be protected from the consequences of their actions and from the wrath of fish hugging liberals.

So important is that, that our own Whorehouse of Representatives is willing to sacrifice the 9/11 responders suffering from serious illnesses resulting from their efforts on behalf of our country, and why? Because of a rider that attempted to disadvantage Corporations like our beloved master Halliburton that has moved to Dubai so as not to pay takes on the windfall profits we've given them and perhaps to be out of reach when we notice how many billions they have let disappear without explanation.

It's OK, we don't want or ask for an explanation because nothing matters but taxes and if we're really nice, Baron BP and Lord Halliburton will cut taxes and we'll all be rich!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

It's all opinion

And thus spake Fox:

"The Ninth Circuit court as a record of being overturned" said one voice at the table.
"Obviously it deserves to be" said another. "This judge just doesn't understand the situation."
"Well she's famous for making rulings based on her opinion. What we need are decisions based on law!"
Of course, like most clubs, mine has a policy discouraging political talk at the dinner table, but in practice, that means "Liberals shut up, Fox is talking here."

Wednesday evening at the would have been a good time to start a diet, my appetite fading as my gorge rose. Yet I said nothing. Nothing would have mattered or could have stood up to the wave of regurgitated Fox propaganda. None of those present had any background in constitutional law and like virtually all Americans have a very hazy view of what it says: indeed a hazy view of the entire Arizona Immigration law in general. But they have opinions to support any inchoate anger -- the anger and the opinions furnished by Fox News and all it costs is your freedom.

Opinion? What is a judicial decision but an opinion of what the law says? Yes, of course Article 1 section 8, clause 4 of the constitution gives all power over naturalization to the US congress, but does that grant exclusive power to regulate immigration? Perhaps there is a valid discrimination to be made, but if so, the conservative one would be that the Constitution does give the Federal Government sole power to determine who will require a visa, have a visa and what the terms thereof shall be and so it's reserved to the Federal Government to enforce those rules and no to some small town Sheriff or small minded Arizona governor buying votes from the hysterical mob.

Yes, sure, that's an opinion. As I said, any court decision is the opinion of the court and to any intelligent person, the law is open to interpretation and always will be - that's why we have the ninth circuit court in the first place. Should I be impressed that my dining companions are so knowledgeable about the history of that court? Not at all, since their rhetorical unanimity shows them to be a conduit leading from Roger Ailes's rectum to my ears. It's all opinion, but not reasoned opinion based on the law. It's based as Ailes has asserted publicly, on ratings and the sales value of anger.

My nausea having begun to subside, I was formulating a polite reply, but the rush to get home in time to watch Hannity and Beck preempted the effort. I haven't been back.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Kill the cuts

There seems to be a difference between the ultra right as represented by Ayn Rand disciple and 'free markets cure all ills' cult leader Alan Greenspan, and the ultra right as personified by the rabble rousing opportunists who feed the vernacular conservatives of America. Dilatory though he may be in admitting that free markets are no more free or self steering than a car without a driver, he's none the less not as retarded as people who claim to see Russia over the horizon, staple tea bags to their hats and shriek about tax increases they didn't get. He does, albeit slowly, question the ad hoc axioms upon which he bases his theories and thus, through doubt, he thinks, he learns, he changes.

Amidst the tumult of irate e-mails calling President Obama a liar for personally having raised the cigarette tax ( a tax is a tax, after all ) and a communist for unleashing THE BIGGEST TAX INCREASE OF ALL TIME, which actually is nothing of the sort, it's refreshing to hear Greenspan utter:
"I am very much in favor of tax cuts but not with borrowed money."

What he's dismissing is the lifeblood of Republican economic policy and has been at least since the Reagan administration: tax cuts pay for themselves. It's policy that along with a huge increase in government agencies, military spending and a war now having cost more that World War 2 was supposed to be paid for by tax cuts, but failed. It was paid for by borrowing from foreign sources with our independence as collateral. A rational person must have noticed by now that it doesn't work and never has worked and virtually always precipitates a recession. An irrational man, a Fox man, a Conservative man, even a Libertarian man, chants liberaliberaliberal, constructs straw stuffed scapegoats and tries to distract us with fairy tales about the President's religion and parentage.

"The problem that we've gotten into in recent years is that spending programs with borrowed money, tax cuts with borrowed money, and at the end of the day that proves disastrous."
said the Former Federal Reserve Chairman on NBC yesterday. It's axiomatic in our new propaganda soaked world that fixing a problem is far less effective and more expensive than hiding it under foamy lipped hysteria, and so the tax cuts that were designed to expire this year by the Republicans who wrote them into law, become a surprise betrayal by Obama. Those liberals are betraying us by following the law we wrote!

The tax cuts, that if renewed will cost us $2.2 trillion to $3.8 trillion over the next decade and put us that much further in debt, since no, they will not pay for themselves as has been demonstrated but will further impoverish the nation but to the benefit of a handful of people and corporations. But that debt must be thought of differently than any debt incurred in extending unemployment benefits and the glaring hypocrisy must never be acknowledged. For are we not conservative?

"You don't agree with Republican leaders who say tax cuts pay for themselves?"
asked David Gregory on Meet the Press.

"They do not."
was the emphatic reply.