Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Voice in Alaska

There comes a time, when someone comes along, who gives voice to what you've been trying to say.  They capture both the spirit and feeling of what you, yourself, have been unable to articulate.  You read what they have to say and you find yourself silently nodding in agreement and saying "Yes!"  "Exactly!" and "Thank you!" to no one in particular.

Jim Wright has been that voice for me.  I first came across Jim's work this past summer during the Israeli / Palestinian conflict.  So many I knew had such strong opinions and I could only think, "these assholes...again?!?"  One of Jim's themes during his essay was I care...but I don't really care...  I became a fan!  Jim captured it all in, "An Eye for an Eye in the Country of the Blind."  

Jim writes a blog at www.stonekettle.com.  A gun owner and retired Naval Chief Warrant Officer with over 20 years of service, Jim is the "worst" kind of political junkie:  a moderate.  I think.  Jim doesn't brand himself, but damn--he makes a lot of sense!  I think I like that.  There is a whole lot of labels out there, but not many of them making sense.

Especially the conservatives of this country.

Something has happened in this country in the past six years.  A fog...  A cloud...  A psychosis...that has really brought out the worst in people  I'm sure the conservatives would say, "Duh!  Obama!" but that has never made sense to me.  This President has been rather impotent; his only real "success" has been Obamacare and the numbers are still out on that.  It's been a real study to try and understand the hate directed at this President and as Jim has recently written, this is waaay beyond "loyal opposition."

There is a nationalism--and an unhealthy one at that--and an appetite for war in this country the likes I have never seen in my lifetime.  I have read about such things in history books in the years preceding both "Great" wars.  This must've been what it was like 1911 and 1938.

There is a readiness of violence--directed towards our own citizens by their fellow citizens--that bothers me to my core.  I'm told to worry about the border, my neighbor, the dark-skinned guy down the street, ebola and so many other exotic threats.  I worry about what is close to home.  I understand the potential dangers these other things hold.  I don't understand our own citizens turning on one another.  The more I try to understand the less it makes sense.

The thing that has really bothered me the most are these "johnny-come-lately," would-be Minute Man, "devout partiots;" who scream daily about "liberals" and subscribe to every nutty conspiracy theory and talking point out there.  They scream about Marxism, and socialism, and communism, and liberty, and rights...

...and it occurs to me, no one used to talk like this.  "Liberty" was a word so sacred it was relegated to the textbooks; its meaning so massive--it wasn't used lightly.  Now it's a bumper sticker.  Marxism, socialism--all the "-isms and -ists" were fears of bygone years now resurrected.  We didn't have people losing their mind over the Pledge of Allegiance, or the lack of school prayer, or who gave the opening prayer at the City Council meeting.

These things simply weren't issues for people.  It's all very recent that this has happened and if you take the time to think back, you'll realize it to.  The very people who scream about America and liberty and whatever their flavor of the week is this week, weren't behaving like this in 2008 or 2007.

Now one can grab the giant far-left liberal paint brush and simply pronounce these people as racists who can't accept a biracial President.  More likely, they've fallen for many of the--as Jim Wright calls them--"provable lies" and rhetoric spewed forth over the radio and internet.  How can so many, say the same thing, with the same vocabulary, almost word for word?"  

It's really becoming that simple now.  These folks are either rabid racists or have allowed themselves to be beguiled to such an extent their complaints are all uniformed.  It's either ignorance or gullibility and were it or they not so dangerous, it would be almost pathetic.

Without further adieu, I'd like to present Jim Wright's latest blog, "Self Abuse."  Go there and read.




 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Question for the States

“Marriage is a question for the States...”
~Sen. Ted Cruz

Conservatives are not in favor of big government telling you what you can or can't do.  They are, in favor, of having a lot of smaller governments telling you what you can and can't do!  It's easier to screw you at the local level.  Less people vote.  No one really cares who the 3rd Ward Council Member is--it's not their ward.  And do we really care about the school board?  

We should.

There is a lot you can say negative about today's conservatives--scads in fact--but I'll give them this:  they are motivated and they have a plan!  These guys have been in "election mode" since Obama took office.  Some believe they are motivated by racism.  I do believe that is the case for some of them--it's clearly apparent.  However, the underlying motivation isn't all that important after all these years.

The Republican "Scream Machine" has given conservative constituents any number of reasons to be motivated.  Fear works.  Innuendo is convenient.  Baseless conclusions are popular.  Lies are regular.  It really doesn't matter anymore.  The "Negative Nancies," "Debbie-Downers," and "Sad Sacks" of conservative media have successfully beguiled their constituency through numerous ways.

This is a constituency that buys into the Muppets being "socialist indoctrination tools."  They'll support a candidate who believes his Republican opponent is a robot.  They elect leaders, who believe the Boston Bombing was a "false flag."  "False Flags," in conservative speak are events that were supposedly staged by the government.  One Tea Party lunatic, Stella Trombley, raised the False Flag specter because the victim who had both his legs "supposedly" blown off, wasn't "moaning" in pain.  Sandy Hook is another False Flag for some of this dimwits and let me tell you--those parents sure are committed to "the bit."  There is plenty of gullibility and ignorance to go around with this lot.

Add to this gullibility and ignorance a steady diet of negative media and you have all the motivation you need.  Contrariness, has been forever popular, with the nay-sayers.  The stock market reaches a record high?  It's a "bubble" according to the cons.  The stock market plunges a few hundred points?  Well that's just "indicative of this President's horrible policies!"  Gas climbs higher during the summer?  Proof that Obama is trying to 'break us' all!  Gas drops lower in the fall?  It's an election tactic by Obama!  Obama sends 100 soldiers / advisers to the Congo?  He's starting another war on another front!  Obama decides to not send troops immediately to Libya during the Arab Spring?  He's letting all those people die!

Get an idea of how the game is played?

The genius is, is that the motivations of the conservatives doesn't have to make sense to them.  No matter how silly, outlandish, far-out, or just insane the idea is; they can rationalize it!  Unfortunately...this only works for them!  It certainly hasn't worked on a national level, despite Mitch McConnell's 2009 goal.  There's a reason for this and it has nothing to do with "voter fraud" or "government hand outs."  The reason is quite simple:  Non-conservatives aren't part of that echo chamber of conservative noise.

Non-conservatives don't buy into the routine and regular panic offered by the GOP and Tea Party, but there is enough of their numbers who do.  While these idiotic claims and pronouncements are dismissed and laughed off routinely, regionally they've gained traction.  That traction has led to a host of conservative nut jobs being elected to relatively low-level posts but seeking extraordinary change.

Many school districts have struggled with Tea Party coups and fortunately many districts have fought back.  Creationism, anti-union tactics, and an urge to focus on a right-wing view of the Constitution have spurred many of these communities to unseat Tea Party representatives. Jefferson County, Colorado is but one of the latest and more high profile examples of the Tea Party, quite literally, trying to white wash history--heavy emphasis on the "white."

It isn't just a white wash of history and creationism being thrust into our classrooms--the implications are bigger.  The party and ideology that has made personal liberty its supposed passion and regularly parrots government conspiracies that will "enslave" us all, comes up pretty short in the personal liberty category on the local and State level.  Despite continuous whining about the deficit, jobs, the economy, and our position in the world at large, conservatives at the local level have a very strange agenda. 

Voter ID laws are popular to combat voter fraud.  "Fraud" which previously was never an issue is a major issue.  While many can get behind the idea of an ID to vote, it's the other particulars of these bills that are often the issue.  Frequently voting times are changed.  Polling places are moved.  Early and absentee ballot rules are changed as are registration requirements.  In short, many of these "voter ID" bills have less to do with IDs than creating barriers to vote. But hey...that's not "tyranny" right?

Gay marriage is a favorite issues for conservatives to flog.  How many times have we seen the GOP block same sex marriages only to see the ban overturned?!?  It would seem to be a wasted effort on the conservatives' part, but they just can't help themselves barking up this tree.  Is this part of that "liberty" they keep droning on about?

"Religious Freedom" is another favorite of the conservatives.  Of course, they're only talking about "religious freedom" for Christians--not everybody.  This has manifested as prolonged battles over which make-believe Sky Daddy is going to be prayed to at the beginning of City Council meetings.  More seriously, it's been hidden behind in an attempt to legalize discrimination as seen in Arizona's "I'm Not a Bigot, My God is" bill.  Who is shredding the Constitution again?    

“Marriage is a question for the States...”

Of course it is.  It has to be.

Nationally, conservatives simply don't have the numbers to ban same sex marriage Federally.  Don't despair conservatives!  It doesn't mean you guys won't try!  Ted Cruz has already said he'd seek a Constitutional Amendment.  I am a bit confused...I thought the Federal Government telling us we can't do stuff was 'bad...'  Thankfully, with the "world on fire" according to many conservatives, we're going to tackle that "hot button" issue of gay marriage.

How do these idiots get elected?

Hating our government and calls for revolution and Civil War have become real popular--too popular.  I know a lot of self-styled "patriots" out there are all worked up over their rights and the Constitution.  They've bought in to this anti-Federal mentality and just adore the idea of State's rights.  But when you start thinking about your rights, you're not a "patriot," you're a selfish douche bag.  When you start thinking about everyone's rights, well...you might just be on the right path.  And if you can do that, you might just realize who is infringing on rights.

 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fear: The New Constant






The are so many things I'm supposed to frightened of these days that I am losing track!  What the hell is wrong with us?!?  When did we become such pussies?  When did the slightest bit of news give way to rampant speculation, a certainty of destruction, and all these idiotic prognostications?  After this past week, I'll tell you what I'm afraid of:  I'm afraid I'm living in a nation populated by complete morons.  Sincerely.  I can't believe what I'm reading.  I can't believe what others are writing.  Oh--and where to begin??  Ebola?  Isus?  Muslims?  Which inflated fear shall I address first?


Let's start with the Muslims, here at home, first.  There were some Tea Party rallies and conventions this past week and boy did the stupid come with them.  At an Ohio Rally, some dip shit preacher made the claim that "it is well known that about...17...members of the Muslim Brotherhood have infiltrated our government."  This is one of the popular Tea Party theories and one the stupidest.  Were it true, the elected Tea Party and Republican "patriots" of this land are complicit in treason.  It is, after all, "well known" and when something is "well known," you...estimate.


Now according to these fine, "freedom loving," anti-big government types, you can do anything you want in this country...as long as you follow the Ten Commandments.  If that statement strikes you odd--congrats!!  You're starting to see idiocy of their position.  There aren't simply laws newcomers should follow, it's a conversion of faith.  One view point.  That's not a assumption on my part, the dip shit preacher went so far as to say that we can't run a country with 2, 3, or 4 view points.  "It doesn't work on the football field.  It doesn't work in government!"  Obviously that whole "governance through compromise" is lost on these people, but that isn't a surprise for anyone who has been seriously watching these lunatics. 


Don't worry!  You're going to have a lot more "liberty" and be free of "tyranny" if you just agree to everything they say and convert to their faith.  Won't the "freedom" be grand?!?

I won't claim to have a particular fondness for "Muslims."  Then again, how do you know someone is a Muslim?  Aren't we really talking about Arabs in general and just assuming they are Muslims?  I don't care for their dress.  I've never tried their food.  It "bothers" me to hear them talk in their language.  I find it to be an ugly language.  But, I don't fear them.

These are the "smart ones!"  These are the ones who decided to get the hell out of their war-torn, arid, sandy, radical, medieval, superstitious shit hole of a country.  We go to the market and bitch about parking.  They go the market, quite happy, that the bus and market didn't detonate!  Yeah, they have weird Dr. Seuss looking places of worship (should they actually be Muslim) and their faith is often associated with intolerance and violence, but is it really so different from Christianity?

Beheadings you say?  I see your beheading and raise you burning witches and stoning gays.  Sharia Law?  I give you the Ten Commandments, forced right up your ass, wrapped in "liberty!"  Subverting followers to their faith and sowing discord?  Have you been watching these other assholes?

Speaking of beheadings:  According to Ted Nugent, we were all supposed to be in mortal combat with Isus on September 11th, right here in the streets of America!  How many did you kill?!?!?

There's no loss of credibility for Ted, despite the epic street brawl's non-event.  There never seems to be for any of the conservative clowns that make some grand dire prediction or pronouncement.  We were supposed to get rounded-up by FEMA camps--for some reason, no one has yet to explain.  Churches were supposed to bombed by B-52s and drones.  Let's not forget the complete, utter, and permanent take over President Obama was to have launched after his second inauguration.  It would seem that our Nubian overlord and Dictator-for-Life was quite magnanimous in letting this silly Ohio Rally happen.  I can't blame the lunatics who vomit forth these idiot ideas.  The blame has to fall on the moronic Americans who continuously buy into the bullshit, time and time again, after non-event after non-event.  One would think that after six years of a steady diet of wild prognostications and dire events that never materialized that conservatives would wake up!  One might think that with all the imminent threats looming over us, that some conservative some where, would ask, "Hey....just a minute, if we have nukes at our border, a plot to expose us to ebola, and the Muslim Brotherhood in our government; why the hell are we bothering with gay marriage and abortion?!?"

But it doesn't happen.

Isus is scary because they are beheading people.  We should do something!  Really?  The entire region is goddamn scary!!  I was sold on this back in the '80s when car bombs in market places were common place.  They're willing to blow up their own goddamn people because of some silly cleric's say-so.  That's scary!  Why it has taken a few beheadings (which isn't all that abnormal or even provocative for them under Islamic Law) to "spook" us is beyond me.

The conservatives have been howling over this!  As if they give a rat's ass...  I don't know what they are bitching about, because there isn't much light of day between what Isus is doing and what was being talked about at that Ohio Rally.  Isus wants one view point, based heavily on Islam.  Ohio Tea Partiers also believe one view point, based heavily on Christianity.  Now aside from the name on the door of the magical sky-daddy, where is the difference?  I can tell you which is a bigger threat to this country...

We not only have to fear Isus from afar, they are "sneaking in through our border!"  Ever wonder how conservatives "know" this?  Do they have teams of watchers sitting at the border watching camel riding, scimitar wielding, jihadist crossing the border?  Or are they just making shit up?  I'm going to go with the latter, not because I know better, but because I'm "iffy" on the whole "security briefing thing" from any Tea Partier after the certain approximation of "about...17" Muslims in our government.  For a group that has their finger supposedly on the threats to this country, they're a bit short backing up their evidence!

Oh--and the fucking border!  How many years have we been made to be afraid of the border?  In the first Gulf War, we were told that Scud Missiles and nukes would be launched against us.  How are you faring with the radioactive fallout?!?  After 9/11, we were going to have dirty bombs, suitcase bombs, nuclear suitcase bombs, and biological attacks just streaming across the border.  This past summer, we were "invaded" by an army of Guatemalans lead by Dora the Explorer!

Now...if you missed out on the 9/11 non-event of battling Isus in our streets, were you at least able to throttle an 8 year old Latino with ringworm?

None of this matters now because we are all going to die from ebola, but not before we share our righteous indignation that we are actually letting our own citizens back in to the country to care for them.  Welcome to America!  Don't stumble because we'll push you out of "paradise!!"  Of course, Obama is responsible for this too!  He wasn't screening passengers at the airport!  He must've been too busy planning drone strikes on churches...or was that 2009? 

Fox's resident twat, Laura Ingram has scolded the President for not banning these people and letting them back into their own country.  Can you imagine if he had banned them?!?  I can just imagine the "conservative concern" for the "poor Americans forgotten and disowned by their country!"  For now, the conventional wisdom of these dummies is that infected Americans should stay where they are--it is after all--"they're own fault." 

Tom Degan, who writes a great blog called, "The Rant," has said that this President's autobiography should be subtitled, "Damned if I Did...Damned if I Didn't!"  I've stopped wondering what Republicans want this President to do.  What I am confident of, is that it will be the exact opposite of what he is doing, even if it was a position previously supported by them.  If the significance didn't carry such dire consequences, the State of our country would almost be comical.  For a group that had done its damnedest to portray this President as some type of Constitution shredding tyrant, it's mind boggling to see these dopes upset he isn't shredding the Constitution.

Fear is one of few constants this new breed of conservatism offers.  It's a "circle-the-wagon" mindset.  Make sure you convert to Christianity, else you won't be allowed inside the wagon circle, protected from the imagined or manufactured threat!  If you're seeking answers from today's conservatives, it's simple:  Give yourself to God.  God will fix everything, because "our" God is "better" than "their" God.  Beside the atrocities committed in "our" faith, although like atrocities committed in other faiths, had "good" reasons.

We have some complex stuff going on in the world right now and the conservative "solutions" is turn yourself over to some magical absentee sky-daddy, who is going to protect us from the followers and teachings of the other other magical absentee sky-daddy.  This is the plan?!?!?

You need to be afraid!  And not just afraid, but overwhelmed too.  It is a lot to think about--so just don't!  Give yourself over the angry people and their God and they'll take care of everything!  They haven't let you down before have they?

Cower and fear Muslims, Arabs, non-whites, ebola outbreaks, and especially non-Christians!  Fret about hand-to-hand combat on your own front lawn from an enemy an ocean away!  Pay no attention to the imminent threat, danger, and calls for violence from far too many of the white supposed Christians, who are going to "save" you.

Stay fearful my friend!

Fearful and stupid. 


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Republicans Are People, Too

Something wonderful happened this week.  Something wonderful and terrible happened this week.  Vinny Minchillo, a Republican strategist launched a new website and campaign called, "Republicans Are People, Too.

Let's just chew that over shall we?

A Republican strategist and campaign strategist for the Romney campaign, felt it necessary to remind us all that Republicans are human.  They also have feelings too, so be nice!

"Did you know? Republicans drive Priuses. Republicans recycle. Republicans listen to Spotify. Republicans put together Ikea furniture. Republicans are white. Republicans are black. Republicans are Hispanic. Republicans are Asian. Republicans read the New York Times in public. Republicans use Macs. Republicans are grandmas, daughters, Moms. Republicans are left handed. Republicans are doctors, welders, teachers. Republicans donate to charity. Republicans enjoy gourmet cooking. Republicans shop at Trader Joe’s. Republicans like dogs and cats, probably dogs a little more than cats. Republicans have tattoos and beards. Republicans have feelings. Republicans are people who care. Republicans are people, too.
 ~on screen text of the video~


Minchillo's site notes that people "...will stick up for Genghis Khan before they'll defend a Republican."  I have to wonder...what--no Nazi reference?  It does seem to come up in their talking points oh-so-often.  But ok...Genghis Khan...

There's a reason--several actually--why Genghis Khan gets a pass, but the left-handed, recycling, cat loving, Trader Joe shopping Asian grandmother does not.

More than likely, 'grandma' is just a thoroughly despicable ignorant human being.

Genghis Khan was pure.  He was murderous tyrant intent on conquering all.  He didn't hide behind faux-patriotism.  He didn't lie to you.  He didn't use religion to compel you or to make you feel fear.  Khan was a butcher and didn't try to hide it.  He wanted to conquer the world and kill and he did a pretty good job at it.  Khan in his own sick and murderous way was pure and honest.  No secrets.  No guess work.  No propaganda.

Republican Conservatives can learn a thing or two from Genghis Khan.

It's telling that Republican strategists have to start humanizing their party.  There's no greater damning evidence to prove that some--an ever shrinking minority in the GOP--are seeing the extinction of their party happen before their eyes.  

They are going to need a much bigger website.

The damage has already been done and the wound is mortal.  This is no "victory" for Democrats or Liberals or even Independents.  What we are witnessing is the slow suicide of the Republican Party.  It's a morbid scene.  We're torn between wanting to help and standing mesmerized looking at all the ignorant gore.  It'll be strange and weird to see them go and while there have been many battles, it isn't like Republicans are like Hitler!

Hitler actually tried to get his country's economy going again...

It's actually extraordinary that Minchillo's website was even thought up.  It's not as if your average self-styled conservative gives a shit about what others think of him or her.  In fact, they sort of hold it as a badge of honor.  They call it "American."  These are the "new" "conservatives"--the ones who decided they were "red to their core," starting February 2009 when the black guy came into the White House.

Take a shot!  Somewhere a "conservative" just decried the 'race card."  Unfortunately, it's true and as much as true conservatives or Republicans want to deny it; they have a whole new breed of lunatic representing them.  Bigots, Christian Zealots, your garden variety conspiracy nuts, libertarians hell bent on revolution or civil war, homophobes, and seemingly every ignorant asshole with an 7th grade education hitched their wagon to the GOP.

...and they took them!

Willingly.

Without reservation or complaint.

The desire to win and win back the White House trumped reasoning and good judgement.  It no longer mattered who ran for office--Ku Klux Klansmen could run for Sheriff and the GOP didn't mind.  It was an "R" on the ballot.  No matter how crazy, ignorant, insensitive, or stupid a comment uttered by one of their own; the GOP stayed in lock step with one another.  It's all about the win baby!

Lying has become standard for the GOP. I don't even understand why their constituency tolerates it.  Mostly because it is the constituency that is being lied to.  PolitiFact.com charted statements by Democrats and Republicans and ruled that today's Republicans were three times more likely to lie.

Even today, Senate nominee Tom Cotton (R-AK) has doubled down on his lie of President Obama hijacking the farm bill and turning it into a food-stamp bill.  Although his statement has been widely discredited, Cotton is still buying more ad time to lie and mislead his constituents.  It's all about the win baby!

Republican constituents--don't think you get to decide that winIt wasn't a Republican that was highlighting the voting irregularities in 2012.  It was Rachael Maddow.  Maine, Missouri, and Iowa all saw GOP voting irregularities, but don't believe me--ask a Ron Paul supporter!
It is good I suppose that someone in the GOP is trying to show some commonality the GOP has with us all.  Although, I have to wonder about beards.  It seems to me they are particular about who wears beards.

But to say the GOP "cares."  Really?

Besides themselves, for whom?

I know they got choked up over the Syrian Conflict.  They wanted to send soldiers, money, and food over there to help the "humanitarian crisis."  Some GOP were so taken aback, they even put aside (temporarily) their overwhelming need to find some way to humiliate fourth graders for receiving a free or reduced school lunch.  So "choked up" by the "humanitarian crisis" overseas, one might--might--have forgotten how this Party cut funding to Meals-on-Wheels, ended extended unemployment benefits, and spent dozens of fruitless attempts to end medical coverage for people who finally were able to afford coverage through the ACA.

The GOP cares?

Well if bombing and military action are part of the equation, they can be "caring" I suppose.

GOP:  You're going to need a much bigger website.

Future historians and sociologists have their work cut out for them.  The time we live in now, will not make any highlight reels.  It's a regressive time, a time in which conservatives have embraced old fears, created some new ones, and have shown we have learned nothing from our past history.  These days we have conservatives calling for the internment of Arab Americas, a repeat of the pointless and destructive policies of the World War 2 era, we thought we learned our lesson from already.  McCarthyism is seemingly alive and well, as conservatives declare who and what is or isn't "American."

It is the ridiculous, utterly preposterous, desperate, and just plain ol' silly notions and ideas that today's Republicans insist on believing and parroting that historians and sociologists will have the hardest time explaining.  Perhaps they'll be gentle and just not mention the embarrassingly ignorant claims of today's GOP.  Perhaps enough time will go by where scholars can only conclude that these claims were made in jest and couldn't quite possibly be the undeniably "truths" conservatives hold them to be.

It's almost daily that some idiot ass conservative makes headlines for saying something so goddamn ignorant, foolish, or outlandish.  It's become their brand really.  It's not "remarkable" anymore.  It has gone on for so long and so unchecked, it's almost shocking when a Republican says something reasonable.  Take Republican Glenn Grothman (R-WI), who is headed from the State House to the House of Representatives.  Grothman is pretty "garden-variety" as far as Tea Party Republicans go.  He believes labor laws should be changed, because none of us really want "time off" from our jobs.  He's against mentioning homosexuality in sex education classes, as our children are seemingly so dull-witted and prone to suggestion, they might start copulating with the same sex as soon as the word is mentioned.  Like many of his brethren, Grothman doesn't believe men and women deserve the same rate of pay.  He also doesn't believe in Affirmative Action for any group--unless it's a man being paid more than a women.

As I said, Grothman is typical of today's GOP.  He's one of the "normal" ones.

We've talked briefly about the new breed of lunatic that has declared themselves "Republican."  These are the "Republicans" who believe the government is waiting to round us all up into "FEMA camps" and that we are all being poisoned by "chem trails" from planes.  They are convinced that "death panels" exist and that "gun-grabs" are around every corner.  They believe the government destroys towns with tornadoes, using "weather weapon stuff" and collapses homes in Florida using "targeted sink hole" technology.  They are "patriotic," "love this country," and yet convinced its destruction is at hand. 

Tim Murray -- "Not a Robot!"
They believe in freedom from "tyranny," yet advocate for laws that promote Christianity and legalize discrimination, limit who can marry who, and who can vote--and when.  They love their papers!  Lest you think I am only describing the far, far, far, fringe of the Republican Party, I should remind you of Timothy Murray, would be Republican nominee for Oklahoma's 3rd District.  Murray was beaten soundly by the GOP incumbent Frank Lucas, who garnered 82% of the vote.  Murray contested the election results on the grounds that:  Frank Lucas was hanged three years ago by the World Court and replaced by a robot! 

Go ahead...Google it.

I'll be right here.

This lunatic mentality among the GOP is not the fringe, it is the growing base of the Republican Party and as unnerving as it is that Murray was even allowed to run for Congress, bare in mind that 18% of Oklahoma's 3rd District actually backed this guy!!

The once "weird," "far-out," "crazy" ideas of the new breed of Republicans aren't so out of the ordinary anymore.  Claims and allegations no longer have to be substantiated.  Claims and allegations that have been disproved are ignored and embraced as fact by the constituency.  A little know Sheriff's race in DeKalb County, Alabama is making headlines, as the supporters of the Republican nominee base their platform on the "fact" that President Obama will declare a dictatorship.

"Obama is determined to be a dictator with the executive orders he signs.  He has left the US Constitution in shreds. If Obama decides to run again (against US law) or declares a National Emergency to suspend elections in 2016, what will our Democrat sheriff do? I am concerned he will go along with this lawless president.
~Betty Mason, wife of Republican State Party Leader


 Just an aside here:  I find myself embarrassed for Republicans who have these morons in their midst.  The "Executive Order" thing, while popular amongst the retards of the GOP, has been disproved continuously.  Still these dummies hang on to this notion like stink on shit, convinced that these Executive Orders are "proof" of some tyrannical, dictatorial regime.  For the record:  Obama has used Executive Orders the least of all Presidents over the past 40 years.  It might be time for the party of "We're Not Racists" to either learn to fucking count or get over it.  At the very least, just don't see it as a "monarchy" when Obama circumvents the idiots in Congress to make your government work for you.

This type of fear runs amok among the new GOP and their supporters.  I've lost track of the things I'm supposed to be afraid of:  dirty bombs at the border, nukes at the border, ebola patients causing outbreaks, B-52 bombing churches, Isus in our streets beheading us on 9/11, Guatemalans spreading disease, socialism, communism, Marxism, economic disasters...but the fear is all a sham.  It's all about the win baby--and you just have to be dumb enough to buy into at least one of the lies.

While we're on the subject of fear, I don't worry about the stupid border, bombs, Muslims, or diseases.  Conservatives on the other hand spook the shit out of me!  Any group of people who can rally around candidates who believe their opponent is a robot or that the President is a "demon" because a fly landed on him, is a bit off-kilter to me.  The idea that there are would-be conservatives out there who honestly believe the government is using "sink-hole technology" for shits and giggles is more than bit disconcerting.  This culture of fear weaved by the today's GOP, while laughably silly, is dangerous.  This constant manufacturing of "government plots" was just enough to make one Paul Ciancia walk into LAX and kill a TSA agent--or "jack booted government Gestapo thug"--as they are called by some right-wing outlets.

Today's conservatives talk about "liberty" and "freedom," but they aren't talking our liberty or freedom; they are talking about theirs.  This group that is so "patriotic" and devoted to "love of country" seems awfully anxious to start shooting other Americans.  Impeachment, revolution, and Civil War are talked about openly by today's conservatives.  They realize they are a minority.  What they don't realize is that their own views and values are contributing to that minority status.  They don't talk so much about democracy any more.
There is, the not-so-veiled threat of Civil War and revolution.  We'll all be "safe" and "happy" when the wing-nuts come with their guns to protect us from the government we voted for. 

Prius--Proof Republicans are Just Like You and I
This shouldn't unnerve any of us.  After all, Republicans drive Priuses and some have tattoos, and go fly fishing.  They are just like you and I...with that one little difference of wanting "stone" gays or start a Civil War over the Affordable Care Act.  Still--besides the wanton, indifferent, depraved, and ready violence the GOP suggests or offers--they really are just like you and I.  

Really.

Republican strategists can try like hell to find some common ground with the average voter, but the damage is done.  The GOP has embraced and accepted crazy as their brand.  It's about the win baby!!  They won't condemn the lunatics in their own party.  They won't rebuke comments.  They won't question the wisdom of political platforms.  They can recycle all they want, declare their love for dogs or try to find some common ground that might make us forget the platform of bat-shit crazy they have adopted and accepted, but it's too late.

The ignorant gore is everywhere.

Friday, August 29, 2014

There's Something About Sarah...

Sarah Palin is a genius!  It's about time someone said it!  A g-e-n-i-u-s.  Some might disagree with me and they need to step back and look at this modern marvel in a non-partisan light!  We all know the story...  Suddenly plucked from political obscurity to become John McCain's running mate; the GOP hoped the allure of the first female Vice President might be enough to trump the prospect of the nation's first bi-racial President.  It wouldn't be the first time the GOP used smoke and mirrors versus substance.  It's rumored that McCain wanted Lieberman as his running mate, yet the prospect of having two old and rather boring white men seek the nomination seemed so yesteryear. 

Then she spoke.

Many recoiled at the obvious lack of readiness Palin presented to be one heartbeat away from the Presidency.  However, some--quite a few in fact--flocked to this enchantress.  There was just something about Sarah!  She didn't have to be correct.  She didn't have to have a grasp of vocabulary.  She didn't need to know history, geopolitics, or even be familiar with Supreme Court cases.  Indeed, her relative ignorance made her stronger!

I look back at the fallen candidates of my lifetime:  Walter Mondale, Geraldine Ferraro, George H.W. Bush, Dan Quayle, Ross Perot, Admiral James Stockdale, Bob Dole, Jack Kemp, Al Gore, and ...y'know I can't even think of his running mate.  Wasn't he the one that had the secret baby?  John Edwards!!  More recently, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.  I actually had to look up Dole and Kemp and that leads to my point.  Does anyone remember these guys?  With the exception of President Bush (41) and McCain, the others have faded into relative obscurity and political purgatory.

Palin is unique among the other "also-rans." She has the least legislative and executive record and experience.  She doesn't have the business acumen of Ross Perot or Mitt Romney, she hasn't served years in government like Bob Dole or Kemp, in fact she doesn't even have the claim to fame of being the first female Vice President nominee, following in the steps of Ferraro.  If she excels in anything, it is her ability to be a gaffe machine, surpassing even Dan Quayle.  Criticisms of Sarah's gaffes only make her stronger.  There is something about Sarah!

Maybe the stupid in this country feel "safe" around Sarah.  She isn't much brighter than any of them and perhaps that is a welcome non-threatening sign to the dimwits of our nation.  Palin's audience was primed and ready to go before she even spoke a word, thanks to the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck.  Unlike these men, who took the time to understand basic talking points and policy, Sarah "went rogue."  Her speeches become more like a bizzaro-conservative Mad-Lib.  Seemingly random words and fragments of ideas tumbled from this woman's mouth, yet she quickly learned if she dotted her words and fragments with other words like "socialism," "tyranny," and "liberty," the crowds ate it up. 

As she spoke, the McCain camp reeled.  She was off message--simply hurling political hand-grenades toward the Obama camp.  It made many--enough--to vote for Obama.  We can only wonder what substance the McCain campaign may have demonstrated with Lieberman with the VP nod; but even off message, Sarah was adored.  To these folks, she wasn't "off-message," she was a "firebrand."  If only she could be as useful as a burning stick...  It didn't matter that she was off-message!  It didn't matter that she may have been proverbial Alaskan albatross around McCain's neck!!  Sarah's admirer's were angry and her nonsensical, overly-smug, blitherings dotted with "socialism," "liberty," and "tyranny" struck a chord with her admirers.  Read the transcripts!  You have no idea what the hell she's talking about or its relevance, but goddamn it sounds oh-so important and impassioned!!  There really is something about this woman!

John McCain--who?!?  Even with a loss on election night, Sarah's admirers gleefully looked forward to 2012.  Who wanted McCain anyways?!?  He was too old!  He didn't say "liberty" enough!  Sarah!  Sarah!!  Sarah!!  The enchantment was complete.

"Dummy" you say?  In 2009, Palin resigned her Governorship half-way through her first term.  Rather than her followers question her oft spoken "love of country" and "love of service," they applauded her move.  Her spell complete, the "dummy" from Wasilla, Alaska traded up; leaving the measly $125,000 a year Governorship for a $7 Million book deal.  In fact, during the time period between her resignation in July of 2009 and April 2010, Palin had earned at least--many speculate much more--but at least $12 million dollars.

The "P.T. Barnum" of American politics knows her skills and intelligence are limited.  Yet she is bright enough and savvy enough to realize that their are millions of Americans who hang on her every word.  These are the dummies!  Blindly, faithfully, reverently--these hapless schmucks actually think that Sarah will "rescue the Republic" by running for the Presidency again.  I got news for the dummies out there, Sarah may be a "great patriot," but she's a much better capitalist.  As we seen with Alaska, her capitalism trumps patriotism.

There's no reason for Sarah to go back into politics!  For what?  A pay cut?!?  Sarah Palin, like P.T. Barnum is an example of the American Dream!  The $12 million she made in the year following her resignation wasn't even inclusive of her Fox contract.  Hey--if a bloated, disheveled, unshaven Michael Moore can be rolled out to give commentary on...anything--why the fuck not Sarah Palin?!?  This Machiavellian marvel of the modern age capitalizes on her celebrity-like status.

From the sidelines, she collects money through her SarahPac, sprinkles it out amongst Tea Party candidates, thereby continuing to stay in the eye of her admirers.  She gives political commentary of the quality one might over hear in a diner.  She throws the occasional political hand grenade.  Writes books.  Has books written for her.  Gives speeches about nothing and collects staggering pay days.  Sarah really doesn't "do" anything, she's more of a brand than an influence; but that doesn't stop her blind faithful from buying books, writing the checks for the "big" speeches and tuning in.

Who's the dummy now?

Geeesh!   I forgot about Dukakis and Bentson!!  Dukakis!!  Again, I prove my point, there is just something about Sarah!  Christ...I even think I voted for Bush 41 that time!


P.T. Barnum supposedly once said, "There's a sucker born every minute."  Sarah seems to understand that.  Her political relevance is the equivalent of an Seinfeld episode--it's about nothing, but it sounds oh so gosh darn important.  The bizarro-conservative Mad Lib speech format works for the masses.  They ask and require nothing more...to Sarah's relief.

The movie "Game Change" which showcased the McCain/Palin ticket of 2008 was largely dismissed by Republicans.  Steve Schmidt, the senior campaign adviser for McCain/Palin endorsed the film.  Julianne Moore's Palin shows a woman overwhelmed by the scrutiny, facts, and figures of the campaign.  Woody Harrelson's Schmidt realizes the campaign is doomed.

However, there is a remarkable scene where Moore's Palin has a surprise phone call from her son serving in Iraq, just before the Vice Presidential debate.  Moore's Palin is seen as a mom wishing she could protect her son.  You get a sense that if given a choice for an extra 60 seconds of talk time, Palin would have readily left the race.  It's not a completely demonizing film of Palin, in fact, the above scene truly humanizes Palin. 

If this scene is true, then we have an unvarnished look at who Sarah Palin really is.  It isn't pundit, Tea Party king-maker, author, or Vice President--it's mom.  Regardless of your political affiliation you find yourself momentarily rooting for Sarah.  You have to wonder if we saw more of this Sarah Palin on the campaign trail versus the "Momma Grizzly," would this country accept a sincere, genuine, mom with limited political knowledge?

Sarah has suffered many blows since 2008, some deserved, many in retaliation, and some undeserved.  Recently she gave an interview discounting Tina Fey's portrayal of her on Saturday Night Live.  Palin felt that Fey's portrayal didn't have much to do with the election.  Au contrair!  While much of Fey's schtick is attributed to actual quotes Palin alleged said (Palin never said, "I can see Russia from my house.") it was Palin's own incoherent Mad Lib speeches that gave Fey's performance credibility and believability. 

Fey's turn as Palin during the SNL skit of the Vice Presidential debate, where Fey as Palin asks, "Is this the talent show portion?" slayed audiences.  You just never knew what wackiness Sarah was going to say.  It was befitting.

But who is laughing now?

There is something about Sarah!  As foible as Dan Quayle, as ridiculous as Dukakis, as cantankerous as  Ross "Can I Finish?" Perot, Sarah has proven to the test of time.  She is regarded as a leader.  The party, at times, looks to her and she has cemented a safe and secure status for herself that pays well and has no liabilities.  Her fans ask nothing of her, yet hope she will run for President one day.  They'll continue to be strung along as long as possible.  In the meantime, Sarah has launched her own TV channel.  Her daughter, Bristol, has found her own limited celebrity status and has begun a political blog--possibly foreshadowing a political future for herself.

...and all it took was some incoherent Mad Lib-like speeches dotted with "liberty," "tyranny," and "socialism."  Like Barnum, she's taken the dopes of this country for a ride and made herself one hell of pay day by doing very little.  As Barnum said, "There's a sucker born every minute." 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Fallout From Ferguson

When people talk about "American Exceptionalism" or make some broad claim of how the United States should be doing...this or that in our foreign policy, I have to wonder what country they are seeing.  If Ferguson is teaching us anything, it is that we should worry more about our own domestic affairs, than foreign affairs, and be more humble than haughty.  What has come out of Ferguson is not pretty.  Clearly race, inequality, and racism are still issues that our society needs to deal with and before we can even deal with those issues, we need to work on a method of dealing with these issues before we even get to the solution.

As I read the headlines and commentaries, there is plenty of ugliness and hate being dished out all over this country.  The vehemence and certainty of events each side holds--without any conclusion of evidence--is startling.  Yet, there are issues and concepts voiced by both sides, that if examined, might actually bridge the political and cultural divide in this country.  With that some observations of Ferguson:

The Use of Force:

I've been surprised by the certainty of guilt directed at Officer Darren Wilson, by news groups, feeds, and pundits I follow.  By many, Wilson has already been tried and convicted. For supporters of Brown, his past, who he was, or his actions during the shooting are remarkably immaterial.  Officer Wilson killed a unarmed black man.  We still don't know what happened during that altercation, save that 10 shots were fired, 6 of which struck Brown.  No matter the facts, I doubt there will be any closure.

One thing that has bothered me in reading the "prosecutions" of Wilson, is that police should expect to get "banged up" during the course of their job.  No matter the perceived threat, police should be willing to roll around, struggle, and in general--"street fight" suspects to prevent another Michael Brown.

I disagree entirely.

There a lot of hot-headed, violent people in this country, who think nothing about hurting or assaulting others.  In Pennsylvania, a park ranger was beaten by a skate boarder.  The ranger had directed the skaters to another location where the activity was permitted.  The beating was videotaped with on-lookers watching and cheering.

No--I don't think we should open the door to the expectation that police should get "banged up" doing their job.  You've got to be a pretty ballsy and a out-of-pocket individual to seek a confrontation with law enforcement.  If you have any belief that your life is going to "bettered" by locking up with the police, you really need a reality check!  You're not going to win.

Yet, across this country, the stories of people being harmed or killed by police, seeming unnecessarily continue to dot our news feeds.  One observation or claim that has been made, is that the Ferguson police despite having access to "military-like" vehicles and equipment, do not have tasers equipped to them as a basic standard.  That observation may be moot considering Officer Wilson felt the need to fire 10 shots.

The Militarization of Police:

It hasn't been a major secret, but since 9/11 our police forces have been "decked out."  Observers in Ferguson have been shocked and unnerved to see police more militarized in their dress, equipment, and tactics.  The presence of armored vehicles with mounted machine guns now has many, who appear to be on the "Left" side of the political spectrum bemoan our "police state."  Oddly enough, conservatives have longed complain about the coming "police state," and while many dismissed it as sensationalist whining over such trivial things as Bloomberg's big-soda-ban, they meant this as well.  Which is also odd, because it was their idea.

Now we a see a call to end such funding to police departments despite a decade of tacit approval for such funding.  The looting and rioting has been denounced, but there haven't been any calls to end that completely either.  Most recently, President Obama has ordered a review of funding, equipment, and training given to police who have such equipment at their disposal.  It will be one of those "feel good" reviews.  No significant will come of it.  I can't imagine the Federal Government dropping off military style vehicles and equipment to "Mayberry, USA" without a few conditions.   

Race & Racism:

We can't talk about Ferguson, without talking about race or racism.  Seemingly we aren't allowed to.  You're a "racist" if you don't accept that Wison killed Brown in cold blood.  You're also a "racist" if you believe that Wilson killed Brown because of the color of his skin.  The sign to the left is also "racist."  It's not a bad joke, insensitive, or tasteless--the sign is "racist"--or so I'm told.  The website "GoFundMe" is racist.  Every Brown supporter is "monkey," every Wilson supporter a "racist."

"Racist," like so many other powerful words in our language, is being used so freely and frequently, that it is beginning to lose its weight and meaning, becoming a watered-down slur or dismissal of another's thought.  

Racism surely isn't dead in this country.  The sound bytes, tweets, and written commentary from people at large, underscore this in a big way.  However, in Ferguson I can't seem to shake the feeling that the idea of race, as an underlying and supposed cause of the shooting, has been interjected by others.  Michael Brown was unarmed and shot at 10 ten times and struck by six of the bullets.  This is the issueThis is where the focus should be.  However both sides have been quick and quite free to interject race because "you know how those monkeys are..." and "anytime police have a chance to kill a black man, they will...

Inflammation of the situation has come from both sides.  The arrival of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton has many Wilson supporters rolling their eyes decrying the "race card."  While these supporters assume that the arrival of Civil Rights leaders means a "shield" or "excuse" for the black community, the supporters of Wilson aren't listening to what is being said by either men.  Being unarmed and shot at 10 times is a civil rights issue.  Likewise the arrival of the Ku Klux Klan and the establishment of a "GoFundMe" account for Wilson's defense is also receiving criticism.  Wilson does get a defense--doesn't he?

Just in case the irrational indignation, double-standards, and immature idiocy of all this might escape you--What did we want to say about "American Excpetionalism" and how other countries and cultures should conduct themselves?  Supporters of Brown would be quick to point out that the likes of Egypt and China have condemned the police response in Ferguson.  ...because Egypt and China have just awesome records on human rights, civil rights, and race...  Please...
The Prosecution:

I don't know why we don't do a better job with prosecutors in this country.  Going way back to Marcia Clark and the O.J. case to the fumbled Trayvon Martin case, our prosecutors seem entirely inept.  One might wonder why we even bother to employ them.  They never seem ready for "prime time" and even if they might be, they never seem wanted for the case at hand.

Robert McCulloch is slated to be prosecutor in the Brown case.  Brown supporters have started a petition drive to remove McCulloch from the case because he has close ties to the police and has favored law enforcement in criminal cases.  No shit!  You mean that the prosecutor gets along with the police and doesn't side with criminals?  This is a "thing?!?" 

Critics also point to the fact that McCulloch's own father was killed by a black man in 1964 while on duty.  They also cite a incident from 2000 in which two alleged drug dealers were killed by police and no charges were filed.  A Federal investigation subsequently found that the two suspects were unarmed and not moving towards the officers.  Admittedly, one could argue that McCulloch may not be the may not be the "best" prosecutor for the Brown case.  Howerver, to make that argument, one would also need to explain why residents of St. Louis County felt this--now supposedly compromised--prosecutor has been allowed to stay in office for the past fourteen years.

Questions Unanswered:

If the assumption that McCulloch won't be fair in his prosecution because his own father was killed by a black man, isn't that "racism?"  More to the point of the great civil rights issue in the Ferguson case--Why did St. Louis County elect this man to begin with?  Wasn't he "tainted" before hand?  Can any prosecutor by a prosecutor if their family was affected by a crime?  Surely if there were questions about the 2000 incident, why again, have they let McCulloch continue to serve?  

If Wilson is acquitted, is that "racism?"  Is it a loss for civil rights?  Is it a court-sanctioned mandate for police to shoot--quite liberally--at unarmed people?  History and numbers would seem to be on the side of Wilson.  A Cato Institute study in 2010 tracked 11,000 incidents of alleged conduct between April 2009 and December 2010.  Of that number, only 9.7% were found guilty and of that number only 36% served jail time.

If Wilson is convicted, is he a "sacrificial lamb?"  Will he be railroaded to appease the minority communities?  Would such a conviction convince his supporters of "reverse-racism" and a perceived "protected" status for blacks?  Wilson's own actions of firing 10 shots may be his own undoing.  In a legal sense, these 10 shots can either be viewed as 10 separate actions or one single action, depending how a jury processes testimony.

As the evidence begins to be presented to the grand jury, nine of the twelve jurors will have to look at the facts and evidence of this case, to answer the question:  Why were 10 shots fired at an unarmed man?


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rick Perry's No Good, Horrible, Bad Day


Rick Perry has had better days.  Today the longest serving Governor in Texas history was booked on two felony counts of abuse of power stemming from his indictment on Tuesday by a grand jury for coercion and official oppression. 

Where did this come from?!?

Perry was having a great summer!  His name continued to be bandied about as a possible contender for the GOP nomination in 2016.  He had a high-profile image and voice on the border crisis.  Conservatives delighted when he didn't shake Obama's hand.  Rudeness is a plus with that crowd.  He invigorated the conservative masses by sending the Texas National Guard to the border to deal with the crisis.  The guard wasn't going to do anything different than what was already occurring at the border, but it made conservatives happy that someone other than Obama was doing the same thing. 

Perry enjoyed a lot of press this summer.  Those 60,000 people at the border were a God-send to Perry's political future.  He was able to do the "I told you so!" dance.  Yet, in all of the press coverage, there was never any mention about a grand jury investigation or even possible indictment.

Meet Rosemary Lehmberg.  Remarkably she heads up the State Public Integrity Unit.  The photo to the left is one of many taken during her rather animated booking for DWI.  Rosemary is also a Democrat and as the District Attorney for Travis County, in which the capital of Austin resides, it would be her job to investigate any wrong doing by the Governor.  Remarkably, the City of Austin, is supposedly a "liberal bastion" and has a tendency to put a Democrat at the helm of the D.A.'s office.  How the people feel about alcoholics, remains to be seen. 

I've been told that prior to her arrest, Lehmberg had already been investigating the Governor.  However, I haven't found any corroboration to that in print.  After Lehmberg's animated arrest--and it was animated--Governor Perry wanted to see the D.A. resign.  She refused.  Later Perry threatened to and subsequently vetoed $7.5 million dollars earmarked for Lehmberg's unit.  Whether this amount is portion or the entire budget is unknown.  Perry wanted her gone!

...and who wouldn't?

If we're to have any integrity in politics, how do we let a D.A. with Lehmberg's responsibility continue to serve, when she herself has committed arguably one of the most preventable and dangerous crimes we have?  If Lehmberg's time in the pokey and subsequent pictures are any indication of the woman, I'd have to say she was a definite power drinker.  Most people have the common courtesy to simply pass the hell out at this point.  Lehmberg clearly has some alcoholic stamina going for her.

So what is the big deal and why the indictment?

Well some Left-leaning government watchdog group was...well...watching and made a claim for "abuse of power."  It's a claim that wasn't dismissed and one that seemed credible enough to warrant the convening of grand jury.  A grand jury, who, felt there was something in the evidence presented that warranted a criminal complaint.  This is pretty simple logic, but not so for many conservatives.  To them, it's another "liberal plot" and while this entire process underscores that something in Perry's actions didn't line up with either the "letter of the law" or the "spirit of the law," many conservatives deflect with "Obama's crimes."

Believe me--Democrats would like to see nothing more than an Impeachment hearing.  We're giddy with anticipation for the "crimes" to be rolled out and listed.  One day one of these conservative "patriots" will step forward and end the "tyranny" of Obama.  Until then keeping their political base rabid with conspiracy theories and threats of government take-over will have to suffice.

Perry could receive up to 109 years in jail for the charges.  Fairly extreme.  I don't care for Rick Perry, but I don't think the world will be "safer" locking up the man.  At the end of the day, both sides can spin this any ol' way, and the fact remains that Perry wanted a power-alcoholic out of office.  The idea isn't criminal, the methodology may have been.  We'll see...