Tuesday, July 15, 2014

R.I.P. Archie Andrews 1941-2014

Archie Andrews of Archie Comics is dead.  ...or he soon will be.  In the 75th issue of Archie Comics, a special double-sized commemorative issue, Archie will die.  Don't weep overly much for Archie.  He lived a ripe ol' life until the age of 73 and that ain't bad.  Archie spent those 73 years in the prime of his life as a teenager--dating, sharing milkshakes, eating hamburgers, and worrying about if he was going to take Betty or Veronica on a date.  He never worried about high blood-pressure or had to think about "bad cholesterol" and he didn't suffer the embarrassment of erectile dysfunction or the indignity of a prostate exam.

Archie Andrews spent 73 years in relative peace and bliss.

Archie's death isn't what has the conservative Republicans up in arms.  (As I write that last sentence, I'm struggling to remember when Republicans weren't up in arms over something...) They are rather immune to the notion of sympathy.  This is an electorate after all who would like to solve our current border crisis with landmines and drawn weapons.  Conservatives are very comfortable with death, even the death of children.  It isn't the fact that Archie dies, that angers Conservatives; it is how Archie dies that has this moronic electorate frothing.

Issue #75 of Archie Comics will show Archie's last moments of life as bravely jumping in front of a bullet meant for Kevin Keller--Archie Comics' first openly gay character.  Keller's character is running for the U.S. Senate on a gun reform platform.  A deranged gun man decides he is going to "vote" early and Archie intervenes and dies.

See?  I told you they don't get choked up over the loss of life.  I do catch a whiff of disappointment the "homo" wasn't killed.  Really!  What has happened to this country where we don't let others get shot?!?

Queue the conservative outrage.

Archie's death has been called, "elitist," a "liberal indoctrination tool," "what happens after 50 years of liberalism," a "mandate for PC behavior," and "liberal propaganda."  Genuine fans of Archie are confused and shocked as well, with many wondering what such an extreme story line was ever introduced.

 Comics in general have become "more sophisticated" over the years.  The story lines have grown to reflect real world issues.  In the past four years, Archie Comics has dealt with a number of adult issues.  Fifty-years of sitting in a malt shop and not getting passed first base with Betty or Veronica only takes a readership so far.  So yes, more adult themes have been introduced.  Among many of the conservative comments I've read, I was surprised to read the outrage over a gay character in comics, more so than a Senate candidate campaigning on a gun reform platform or even Archie's death.  Regardless, conservatives have decided that "liberals" have destroyed another "American Icon."

They call it a "propaganda tool." I call it life--ripped from our headlinesWhy was Archie shot?  Because that is what happens in this country.  Despite conservative talking points and countless pro-gun memes floating about the internet, young people are being shot!  Sure!  The shooters have any number of weapons at their disposal, but they are choosing guns.  The movie patrons in Aurora weren't bludgeoned by a baseball bat.  The attendees at Gabby Gifford's Tuscon event weren't stabbed.  And the children of Sandy Hook weren't forced fed with a fork and died of diabetes.  They were shot.

If conservatives need to define for themselves some "villain" who concocted the fall of an "American Icon," they need only look at our daily headlines.  Texas is reportedly a bastion of safety due to its lax gun laws.  That didn't stop Ronald Haskell from shooting and killing four children and two adults and wounding a seventh.  Note, once again, that Haskell didn't bring pharmaceutical "poisons" to kill the family.  He brought a gun.

So yes, dear conservatives, Archie will be shot.  It isn't as if being shot is all that rare in this country.  It's becoming quite fashionable.  Yes, there was a gay character and in a comic book!  Yes, somebody wanted to kill him.  Why that amazes conservatives is beyond me.  Just recently we had a conservative candidate advocating for the stoning of gays.  Is shooting gays that big of a stretch of the imagination?  Maybe Keller's sexuality is secondary to conservatives and they object to his fictional gun reform platform or the notion that someone might try to kill him over it.

Is that so hard to believe?

Constitution Party Candidate David VanDerBeek promises to lead an "armed resistance" against any gun confiscation by the government.  Although there isn't any gun confiscation program, VanDerBeek wanted to "one-up" his fellow Oath Keeper nut jobs and maybe squirrel away a few votes in the process.

Conservatives have spent many years and much energy telling non-conservatives what "sheeple" they are and how they don't "see the big picture."  Since 2009, you've had to notice the record number of forensic accountants among conservatives who understand our deficit and recession.  There is no end to the list of foreign policy "experts."  Name your issue and conservatives are certain "liberals" caused it.  For all their "mastery" of knowledge, claims of pending doom, worries about our economy, and emphasis on social issues, the grown men and women of the Republican Party actually give a shit about the death of a fictional character.

I shouldn't be surprised.  It isn't the first time that the GOP have cited fictional children characters as "indoctrination tools" or contrived some "anti-conservative" message to tether to fictional characters.  What is striking about the conservative reaction to Archie's death, is that the outrage over a fictional character dwarfs, much of our real world death.

Just name the name the massacre or arena of gun death:  Aurora, Tuscon, Sandy Hook, coffee shop, nursing school, Virginia Tech, Washington ship yards...the list goes on and I'll show you a conservative indifference.  In Aurora and Tuscon, victims were blamed for not expecting to be gunned down.  Sandy Hook never "happened," it was "False Flag."  For many of the other shootings, they were "the price we pay for living in a free society."  As one knucklehead conservative poster once said, "I'd rather live in an unsafe freedom, than a safe tyranny."

Archie wasn't gunned down for some "indoctrination tool."  Archie was a price we paid for living in a free society.  Isn't this "unsafe freedom" grand?!?  Archie was "freedomed to death."  I have to wonder what the conservatives reaction would be if Archie had died at his high school, shot to death in the library, like the kids at Columbine.  Would we hear any outrage then?  We didn't hear any for Sandy Hook or Columbine.

Death in comics is a fairly fluid thing.  Publications these days are notorious for "offing" marquee characters in an attempt to boost circulation.  In that vain, Archie joins Captain America, Spider-Man, and Superman as "A-listers" killed off.  Issue #76 of Archie Comics is said to flash forward one year from the time of Archie's death.  The supporting cast will continue on dealing with the aftermath.  It's hard to imagine Archie Comics without Archie.  Time will tell if Archie's death is final or not.

Who knows...  Archie Comics #100 might also be a special double-sized commemorative issue where Jughead wakes up from a bad dream after a run in with bath salts and realizes he was dreaming.  For us, our bad dream will continue.  Real world "Archie's" will continue to be shoot and killed.  They will die in malls, at college, in the high school, or perhaps another grade school.  As our bad dream goes, the conservatives will rail on about "freedom," and "liberty" and won't have much outrage for the death of the real world kids.  Then again--all bets are off if one of the real world "Archie's" gives their life to protect a gay.  Then we might see some outrage from the Right.

Friday, July 11, 2014

An Open Letter to the Children of Central America

(Attn I.N.S & Border Agents:  Please translate the following as I, unlike many other American protestors, realize the children of Central America probably can't read!  If they can, they probably can't read in English!  But hey...somebody spent a lot of money on signs!)

Hi Kids!

Uncle Lorax here saying, "Hello!"  Welcome to your brief stay in the United States of America!  You've had a long trip--a perilous trip by some accounts--and Uncle Lorax feels the need to give you a dose of reality.

What--the hell--where you thinking?!?  Why would you come to the United States?!?  Has word of our intolerance, xenophobia, latent racism, and general selfishness not reached beyond fine Mexico?  Surely you've heard rumors or whispers.  Did no one say to you, "You're going where?!?"  Maybe you don't have far reaching newspapers, the internet, television stations--or for that matter a television or a home--but I refuse to believe no one warned you of the level of assholery that exists in our country.

You're not welcomed here!  Don't take that personally...  Many of us who were born in this country, paid our taxes, served in the military, and did no harm to others aren't welcomed here either.  We're a country that doesn't get along with ourselves; so you really can't expect us to be welcoming of others.  Those people with the signs and who making so much noise?  Those are conservatives.  They're not very nice people and they are very confusing.  You did nothing wrong--they yell at everybody!

I think I know why you came here.  Our poorest families struggling to survive have more safety, food, sanitation, and amenities than you can imagine.  Why, we have game shows where we send people who live here, to go live for a week, in some of the countries you came from.  You call those places "home," we call it "prime time programming."  We give prizes for living in your country for a brief time.  Our meals come to us in "courses."  We eat "appetizers" before we get to the real meal and follow the real meal with dessert.  You might think this country has a lot of money--and you're right to think that way.  We just don't like spending it!  That's called selfishness kids and it is born of greed. 

 I hope you get to go home soon!  Kids you have no idea of the First World Hell that you stumbled upon by crossing our border.  None!  Kids don't do well in this country.  We don't particularly care about them.  Those meanie, frownie-faced, loud sign wavers--the conservatives who make up roughly half of our country--really aren't big on kids going to school and learning.  Okay--they like the idea, but just don't want to pay for it.  We have lunches at our school, but they don't want to pay for that either.  Our schools aren't that safe either.  We have things called "lock-down drills" that teach you how to hide from gun men who want to shoot kids.  Oh...and we have a lot of dead children at our schools.  The sign wavers call that "freedom."  Yeah...I don't understand it either

You're not safe here!  Those sign wavers who complain about not having enough money; took a day off from work to yell at you.  Some of them even felt our police and soldiers at the border should have pointed their guns at you.  Don't be surprised by that.  Our country has gotten used to pointing guns at children.  Why after 20 of our own children were gunned down in a school, some of those sign wavers agreed that those children's deaths are "the price of our freedom."  As I write this, I'm reading about people far to the North of you, who never met you, that want to put landmines along our border.  That way if you come back, you'll be blown up.  Yes, these people have signs also.  Sign wavers are very good at yelling and thinking of ways to scare or kill people.  When those 20 kids died at school, they didn't grab signs then.

I know some of you hoped our doctors would make you better.  The sign wavers don't like people to get better--even the ones that live here.  Even folks who pay money through a special program to get better-- the sign wavers don't think they should have that.  So I'm sorry we can't fix your boo-boos.  It's a shame too!  In many of our towns, we have store after store after store.  We have so many stores we forget their names and mix them up.  These stores have medicines--rows and rows of medicines--so much medicine that sometimes it goes "bad" just from sitting on the shelf for so long and so we throw it out.  But the sign wavers are clear on who should have medicine and it's not you.

Go home!  I know home seems like a dangerous, dirty, and scary place, but it isn't all that different than America.  You have rebels who want to take over your country?  So do we!  You have scary men walking around with guns?  So do we!  You have a hard time learning, staying out of the cold, and seeing a doctor?  So do we!  The difference is, at least at home, you're not hated for the color of your skin.  Why I doubt that even those scary gunmen at home have thought about using landmines to blow up children!  You are safer and much better off at home than you are here.  Trust me!  Whatever postcard you read about America was all wrong!

Now...if you need help at home...well might I suggest a Civil War?  Americans love wars.  It's not important what you fight about, we'll come help you--even the sign wavers!  We don't call it "war," we call it a "humanitarian crisis."  That's where we pretend to care about you and it gives us reason to kill people without being involved in whatever started the war.  The sign wavers love to show how "tough" and "strong" America is.  That might seem silly considering some of them want to landmine our border to keep you out, but the sign wavers believe that.  You might be wondering why we have to go to war first to help people rather than just helping them.  Well the sign wavers are really keen on trying to export our way of life just to show you how "wonderful" we are.

Yeah...I told you they were confusing.

Have a safe trip home.  Remember tell your friends about the sign wavers!


Uncle Lorax

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Politics of Contrariness

Back in August of 2013, I did a piece, "Confidence at 7.4%" that still holds true to this day.  At the time unemployment fell to 7.4% and rather than the GOP offering cautious and guarded optimism, they decided to attack the numbers. The number weren't the "real" numbers.  The jobs weren't good jobs.  They jobs were low pay and didn't offer any benefits.  This was just yet another example of the politics of contrariness shown by the GOP--to be in opposition of the Obama Administration at any cost--just 'cause.

Often this contrary politics of the GOP has a tendency to turn around bite them in their own ass.  At least from an outside perspective.  If you're thoroughly in the conservative bubble, what has been
said, proposed, and enacted by your party is seemingly forgotten.  I didn't forget what Tea Party darling Michelle Bachmann had said about minimum wage, so I really doubted that the GOP cared what these jobs paid.  In Bachmann's own unchallenged opinion, unemployment would tumble if we just didn't have that pesky minimum wage. 

Salary really isn't a concern for the GOP when it comes to the average voter.  Shortly after August 2013, the GOP House ended extended unemployment benefits.  They decided that the "takers"--the unemployed--were being enabled to be lazy.  They went so far as to compare the unemployed to feeding wild bears.  It wasn't as if the GOP House was going to let the unemployed sit around.  They just wanted them working and they didn't care if the jobs were good or not. 

For the party that has spent the better part of a decade complaining about and trying to repeal Obamacare, you just have to wonder.  Here's a law that demands personal responsibility and attempts to fix the "free rides" that have driven prices up in health care that the GOP opposes.  Yet back in August, it was bad for you to want to use Obamacare and bad for you not to have benefits through your employer.

How the contrariness, duplicity, or even schizophrenia of the conservative message isn't seen by their constituents is beyond me.  They complain about low paying jobs, while fighting against minimum wage hikes.  They complain about a lack of benefits, even the one benefit the worker would pay for.  It makes sense on only one level:  to be contrary to the Obama Administration.

The first weekend in July of 2014, I expect for the GOP to again attack the new 6.1% unemployment rate and record benchmark of the stock market.  We won't be allowed to share a collective sigh that our long recession may be fading behind us.  The emphasis of the GOP attack won't truly be on American workers, working conditions, wages, or benefits; these are but props to wield as a cudgel against Obama.

Already Fox News has floated some negativity towards the new unemployment rate.  Charles Payne of Fox tweeted, "Is the jobs number too good for the stock market...equity futures are drifting lower not sure how to react."  I think given implied skepticism, Charles knows exactly how to act--in contrariness.

There is a theory in economics which does support the idea that lower unemployment can spur higher prices.  Expect for the GOP to follow this vain of attack, even though the lower unemployment is what they have wanted since 2009.  After all of this contrariness, I doubt even Republicans can verbalize what they want coherently.  They have spent so much effort and time being contrary, they've forgotten to lead with their own ideas.

For good or bad, economies usually become "owned" by Presidents, who in my humble opinion, have very little to do with the economy.  The new unemployment numbers have nothing to do with anything President Obama has done and primarily that is because Republicans don't let him do much.  Still, come the mid-term elections, the unemployment figure of Obama's Presidency may get even lower.  At that point, will the GOP continue to be contrary out of sheer stubbornness?  I'm betting yes.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Lies & Excuses

The NRA would like very much if the media stopped referring to Elliot Rodger as the "shooter" or the "gunman."  Rodger, if you remember was the hapless twit who couldn't get laid and decided he would kill people to alleviate his "blue balls" condition.  Let's review the body count:

Elliot Rodger Tally Board

In all, 22 people were affected by Rodger's "blue ball" condition.  The NRA would not only like to point that out to you, but would like to stress that 8 people were hurt or killed in a non-gun way.  Shouldn't that just put the whole gun thing on the back-burner?  The NRA wants to know why we don't refer to this guy as the "Stabby Guy" or the "Really Bad Driver who Stabbed Three Asians."  What is our insistence in bringing up the gun?

Well...the majority of the victims were affected by gun fire.  Sorry boys, but the gun still gets top billing!  And why not?!?  With his gun Rodger was able to 50% more damage rather effortlessly.  Perhaps the attention on Rodger's gun wouldn't be as pronounced if the NRA spent more time acknowledging the growing frequency and senselessness of mass shootings rather than rushing to the defense of guns and trying to find any ol' silly way to minimize their impact.

We're living in a time of exemplary marketing.  Words used are very specific and targeted.  The Obama Administration is referred to as "The Obama Regime."  The political supporters of this President and his allies are his "junta."  Regime and junta are purposeful words.  They imply a sense of illegitimacy.  They conjure images of third world dictators running amok. 

If you throw enough mud at a wall, some of it might stick.  As far back as May 30th, the NRA has been railing against the media for using the words "shooting," "shooter," and/or "gun man," believing these words "sell" or bring in ratings.  I suspect the real truth is that on some level, the NRA realizes that the proverbial gun-toting genie is out of the bottle and shooting up the town all too frequently.  While the NRA can conduct focus group tests on any number of trendy non-gun euphemisms for how people are dying; the basic fact of the matter is your average nut case chooses a gun for his/her deed after obtaining it legally.

While vocabulary and perception have become important to the NRA as they attempt damage control, the framing of their message is even more important.  Vocabulary is learned through repetition.  The fear, scandal, and manufactured 'wrong-doings' by the Obama Regime and his junta invoke emotion.  When people are emotional, they don't think.

I had a conversation with a young man last night, whom I've known since he was a young teen.  He was in the throws of right-wing rabidness about a video where a soldier "destroyed Obama's gun-control plan."  I asked what the plan entailed.  To my dismay, I was greeted with the standard right-wing talking points:  Chicago...right to self defense...media agenda...forks killing people and so it went on and on. 

At every twist and turn, my younger friend parroted how guns should be excused.  Forks can cause diabetes!  Drunk drivers kill!  Pharmaceuticals kill!  I, in turn, reminded my friend that on a bad day, people aren't running into movie theaters and force feeding others with delicious pie to cause diabetes.  They're grabbing a gun.  But more importantly--what was this plan he was talking about.

After 45 minutes of riding the pro-gun talking points train, I again asked, "What is the plan?"

"Well...he's (Obama) given speeches about Sandy Hook and stuff and told Congress to do something."

Speeches.  "And what has Congress done?  What's this gist of the plan?  Is it just an idea?  Is there a piece of legislation?  A formal bill to be signed?"  I asked.

"I dunno..."

If there is one area which we give credit to the pro-gun conservative crowd it is marketing.  Manufacture an issue, use specific vocabulary, to create fear, mistrust, and emotion and you need not rely on fact.  We have a lot of young people falling prey to this clever marketing campaign.  I don't object to my friend's point of view.  I do object to the manipulation he embraced.

Gun violence--not fork violence, will never lessen until the NRA and like groups stop with the lies, manipulation, and excuses.  One can be pro-gun and realize that not everyone should have a gun, nor is that a slippery slope to consider.  At the end of June a 5 year old Kentucky boy shot and killed his two year old sister.  His mother had left the room where the boy had possession of his .22 rifle. 

God's will?  No responsibility for a loaded rifle?  No responsibility for inadequate supervision?  Blame God, not the person or the gun?  Convenient.  Her time was simply 'up.' 

This is prime example of why the NRA wants to control the vocabulary and the discussion.  You won't see gun groups coming out to condemn this idiotic behavior.  There will be no admonishment.  There will be no great discussions about gun safety.  There certainly won't be a rally about personal responsibility.  And I doubt God will be clumped into the "liberal criminal" pile either.

I have to wonder why the lies, excuses, and manipulations are embraced over common sense.  Is it that pro gun groups don't care?  Or is it a fear that if they called out some of their let's say--idiot--brethren that they are weaker?  I think it's a fear of weakness--the concession that too many idiots do have guns--which backs the pro-gun crowd into a corner, where myth is safer than truth.

I've said it before, until the pro-gun crowd is willing to stand in front of the 2nd Amendment, they will forever be seen as cowering behind it.  Gun owners can advocate for gun rights, as well as responsible ownership and that would be a welcome sign.  Unless their brethren objects to some junta telling them what to do...  

 Now it's no longer video games, "liberal-Hollywood," or the lack of Jesus that is the cause of these shootings.  God is "lonely."  When God is lonely, he likes the company of 2 year olds and he won't take them in their sleep--he'll make sure a bullet tears through their body first.  Some faith eh?

It's but another lie and excuse.


Monday, June 30, 2014

One Nation Under God...that's it--*just* under God

We are a step closer to being more of a theocracy today than a democracy.  The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision to grant employers the right to reject mandated contraception coverage through the Affordable Care Act is a win for conservatives.  After the months of debate a few things are pretty clear about this issue.  The first, is that conservatives have no idea how insurance works!  I know el' Rushbo went on a three day, nine hour rant over Sandra Fluke, but he basically lied to his listeners and despite what his listeners know and have lived--the idiots believed him!

With insurance, you pay into a pool, based on risk and likelihood of loss.  It's not an individual account.  Whether it's medical, car, property, or life insurance you're covered to that policy's maximum from after that first premium.  In essence, we all pay a little towards everyone else's risk.  It's pretty "socialistic."  So if on day one of your policy and you're a redneck from Alabama who totaled his truck muddin' or a Boston liberal who broke their ankle ice skating--that first premium paid into your insurance company doesn't equal what will get paid out in your claim.  Translation:  Other people paid for your screw up!

This is a basic fact of insurance that escapes conservatives.  To single out a procedure or a certain medication is very peculiar and let me tell you--it has nothing to do with "religious freedom" or costs and has a whole lot to do with appeasing "God."  There is a great deal more to this argument that can be said of imposing religion rather than "religious freedom."
"So you want us to pay for your birth control?"  Sure.  Why not?  Since we've covered how insurance actually works, why not cover birth control?  Tell ya what--in return for covering birth control, we'll give some concessions also:  I'm sure many would have no issue giving your family full access to all medication, treatments, surgeries, and therapies.  It is why we bother with insurance in the first place.  We won't care that your husband has a high-risk job (cop, fire fighter, soldier), is a hunter, and who drives a ATV.  It's okay that your son skateboards, plays football, and does back flips off the high dive at the pool.  Your daughter can continue ice skate, cheer lead, and play soccer.  Many will accept your family's high-risk behaviors that might take money out of our pool.  You don't even have to buy us vibrators--thankfully erectile dysfunction medications aren't covered by this ruling.

But this was never about cost or who was paying for what.  This was about God.  It's also where the conservative thinking gets balled up into a knot of contradiction.  Contraception is akin to abortion--at least how they see it.  Those precious souls ought to be born and brought here.  As for why--I have no idea.  Here's a group of anti-social, intolerant, irrational people who have already decided that half the country is composed of lazy slobs and they want to see more people!
The supposed 60 million illegal immigrants don't count.  They don't want those people.  They're "dirty," "lazy," and "thieves."  No sir!  They full-on Americans...half of which they can condemn for being lazy slobs!!  I just don't get it!  

This group is constantly whining about schools, head start, school lunches, and no jobs--but they want more people?!?  Abortion is bad...so naturally you take away contraception.  When you're anti-abortion and anti-contraception, you sound more like "anti-sex" than "pro-life."  How "God's Law" is helping the conservative agenda is beyond me.  Sounds like they shot themselves in the foot.

Conservatives are also big on "the slippery slope."  This is where today's ruling really gets scary.  I suppose it might be "easy enough" for women for to simply not work for corporations who have "religious principles."  But hey--if you can weasel down your insurance premium with God at your back, it isn't going to take long for some other 'faiths' to get in on the act.

Anger issues?  Anxiety?  Depression?  All traits demonstrated by today's conservatives!  Best hope your boss isn't a scientologist, who decides you're better served by a 1,000 year tour of duty in the Galactic Navy, than by medication and therapy.  But who am I kidding?  We're only talking about the "real" religion--Christianity--not all that other made up stuff right?  We don't care what Muslims, Jews, or even Scientologists thinks...

...and that's why today's ruling wasn't about personal responsibility, cost, or even religious freedom.  It was about imposing religious beliefs on others.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Great WTF Moments in Conservative Politics

Just when I had thought Republicans had reached the zenith of possible stupidity and idiocy, they manage to surprise me. Maybe they subscribe to the ol' adage that any publicity is good publicity, but to me the pettiness, senselessness, and sheer stupidity of their comments makes me question their maturity and sanity.

If any of these GOP dolts are visually and audibly representative of why you should give up on the GOP, it's Ann Coulter.  This smug, arrogant, obnoxious, twat has made a career off of hurling political hand grenades into the public discourse.  She seems to delight and bathe in the negativity she spews and the scorn that she earns for her comments.  It is as if Ann's singular purpose in life is to remind us how spiteful, hateful, arrogant, obnoxious, and smug Conservative Americans are or at the very least to set the benchmark for these awful traits for Conservative Americans. 

Feeling somewhat left out of recent events, Coulter made the pronouncement that the World Cup is "contributing to the moral decay in America."  This is Ann's "hot-button" topic?  Among Ann's nine-point rationale for how soccer is contributing to our moral decay, she cites:  the use of the metric system, that it's foreign, it isn't "rough" enough, and there isn't much spotlight on individual achievement.

How truly conservative of her.  Ann's rationale is the "brick and mortar" of today's conservative thinking.  If something is different, strange, or foreign--we should avoid it and not master it.  It isn't violent enough for her liking.  Most importantly, success depends on everyone's contribution, and for conservatives like Ann this is too close to "socialism" for their liking.

Not to be out done, Fox News frequent panelist, Dr. Keith Ablow decided to take crazy and ridiculous to an even higher level in an epic battle of "one ups-manship" in conservative thinking.  Dr. Ablow, who has a doctorates in--of all things--psychiatry, has suggested that the entire World Cup event was nothing more than a conspiracy to mask and distract from President Obama's Presidency.  Ablow's claim was so outrageous that even his fellow Fox panelists felt he was off his rocker. 

That's right!  An event begun in 1930 and held every four years has--in Dr. Ablow's addled mind--been facilitated to cover President Obama's political flank. 

Still--it gets even crazier!  Meet Timothy Ray Murray a Republican candidate for the 3rd District of Oklahoma.  Murray was recently trounced soundly by incumbent Representative Frank Lucas.  Lucas garnered 82.5% of the vote.  This left Murray with but one avenue:  Claim that Lucas was dead and that the person who won the election was a body double!  I shit you not!!

Murray has since filed a formal protest with the Board of Elections and released a statement on his website.  The statement goes on to say that Lucas was executed by the World Court three years  ago and has been replaced by a robot look alike.  In fact, Murray's website claims other leaders have been replaced by robots as well.

Now I had thought the Conservative Right had completely reached rock bottom going after fictional characters and childrens' programming.  You might remember the contempt they showed for Fred Rogers.  Mr. Rogers, his entire neighborhood, and the "Land of Make Believe," are responsible for a generation of "entitled adults," at least in the minds of Conservatives.  As "proof" of this alleged corruption, conservatives stressed that Mr. Rogers would tell the children they were "special."  There was also the assertion that The Muppetts were "socialist" and liberal indoctrination tools and we can't forget the resurrection of Captain Planet either.  Although off the air for 15 years, Conservatives dug up Captain Planet as "proof" of a "Hollywood liberal agenda" that was "anti-business."  Apparently, kids should like toxic waste in the conservative mindset.

This--is our Republican Party.  The idiocy of these statements are not isolated statements.  These statements enjoy broad support and shared sentiment among the Republican electorate.  This is the mindset that wants to govern our country.  They not only want to govern--they need to govern.  It is imperative that they govern!!  ...and they need your vote to do it. 

Don't worry if you're not excited about voting for them.  They are working on that!  Bogus claims of voter fraud and calling for voter ID laws, which more often than not have to do with polling times and places, rather than IDs are just one way these guys are trying to "spare" you from wracking your brain.  Some in conservative circles have even suggested that only Christians or land-owners be allowed to vote and until this country drinks the proverbial Tea, they still need your vote.

As for what you're voting for, I have no idea what the hell that is completely.  As primary night in Mississippi showed, Conservative Tea Partiers just don't understand our reluctance to them.  "Have your read the Tea Party platform?"  I have.  As for as statements and ideas go, the platform isn't that bad.  It's the unwritten, but oft-spoken, methodology of how they plan to achieve this platform that gives many of us the "willies."  As grand as their platform purports to be, it's a platform being shepherded by people who are intimidated by the metric system, by those who believe "robot dopplegangers" are taking over, and that 80+ year old sporting events are part of some "New World Order" cover-up.  Oh...and lest we forget about the "socialist" Muppetts!

Conservatives and the Tea Party can offer unicorns and pallets of gold bullion as part of the platform and it still won't be enough to erase the mass crazy of this cult.  It is this constant level of irrational, out-of-touch, "WTF" statements that cause Democrats to cross party lines and save a five term bigoted old curmudgeon like Thad Cochran

I imagine Mississippi Democrats and some Republicans weren't "wild" about Cochran, but they aren't fans of "crazy" either.  Cochran's opponent, or at least his supporters, stooped to some political lows trying to prove Cochran was having an affair.  At least one State Tea Party official arrested in the aftermath of this debacle has committed suicide--he blew what little of his addled-brain he had left out!

It will be interesting to see what historians have to say about this time in our history.  You have to wonder if this level of stupidity, foolishness, and paranoia might all go away and evaporate after Obama leaves office.  Or is it here to stay?  I can only imagine our grandchildren studying this time in our history and wondering why such petty nonsense was ever raised into the public eye.  Maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe this level of idiocy has always existed and was thankfully glossed over by history.  Any rate, I'm anxious to read what the history books have to say in 20 years.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Curious Case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

When news broke that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was free, I was glad.  Never did I consider if he was "worthy" of freedom.  As a non-conservative, deciding who is and who isn't "worthy" or "American" is not one of those luxuries I afford myself.

Bergdahl's freedom comes at the price of five Al-Queida captives who languished at Guantanamo Bay and facilitated by the nation of Qatar.  This deal alone has many conservatives outraged.  Reportedly, Congress is to be notified 30 days before any prisoner transfers from Guantanamo and our "tyrant-king" of a President didn't hold up Bergdahl's release for paperwork.

It also meant that the GOP couldn't politicize this transaction for 30 days.  As much as they chide Obama for not closing Guantanamo, they seem really eager to hold onto five prisoners and keep the doors open.  We also have a policy of not negotiating with terrorists.  Some feel that bartering for Bergdahl's release will open the doors for other service men to be abducted.  Still, you can't help but to feel the usual "sour grapes" coming from the GOP that Obama did something.  Can you imagine the faux-outrage if Obama did let him rot?

Bergdahl comes with own luggage as well.  There is evidence, in letters penned by Bergdahl and sent home,  
suggesting that Bergdahl didn't believe in our mission in Afghanistan and the he may have went AWOL with the intention to desert. Bergdahl's father Bob has had what some feel to be "suspicious" Twitter posts, which seem sympathetic towards the plight of Afghan children.

Combine this with our President not notifying Congress and "breaking the rules," then bargaining with terrorists, and a deed that may be remotely construed as a "success" for the Obama Administration and it didn't take long for the conservatives to work up their outrage.

There are some who just feel that Bergdahl should have been forgotten.  If he was AWOL, if he did mean to desert--all the better.  Let him rot!  The cost of five Al-Queida prisoners and not kissing Congress's ass was too "expensive" in their eyes and therefore Bergdahl should have been left for dead.

The case against Bergdahl is somewhat damning.  Reportedly, he mailed his uniform back home, signaling to some that he no longer wanted a part in this war and no longer wanted to be an American.  He and his father grew beards--"Muslim beards" which to some denotes them now as "jihadist."  For many conservatives, this is an open and shut case!

But y'know...I remember hearing something about "due process" a while back.  It was a charge led by the Conservatives.  They cited the Constitution and railed that "every American deserves their day in court!"  It was such an issue that Sen. Rand Paul nearly pissed himself filibustering about it.  The U.S. just didn't have the right to write people off.

Who did Conservatives want to make sure had "due process?"  Anwar Al-Awlaki--"The Bin Laden of the Internet."  At one time, Al-Awlaki was considered the #2 man of Al-Queida and might have gotten Bin Laden's old job if we hadn't stuck a drone up his ass, killing him, his bomb-making best buddy, and son.

Conservatives howled!  After Al-Awlaki was an American, by birth, having lived here for the first seven years of his life.  After that, he pretty much decided to hate on the ol' USA for the rest of his years and he had an impressive rap sheet of bombings and recruitment for Al-Queida.  This guy--this fucking guy--deserved "due process" according to the Conservatives.  The last thing we should have done was kill him.  We should have captured him, had a trial...y'know drag the bullshit out for 8 months just so we can kill him anyway! 

For the 13 hours Rand Paul made the case of what it meant to be "American," and how important due process was for all citizens.  Sgt. Bergdahl is apparently not given that same courtesy.  Logically, it doesn't make sense and it hasn't made sense for years, unless you understand the true childish nature of the logic.

Where ever Obama stands--oppose him.

This is the waste of time the Conservative movement has become.  In one breath they champion a man who actively tried to destroy us.  In the next, they are ready to condemn a 23 year old who went AWOL and didn't believe in a war.  This is the idiocy the wants your vote.

I wonder if Bergdahl takes to the internet and calls for Jihad against America, if it would change the conservatives' minds.