Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Why I’m "Considering" Voting for Trump

Why would any sane person consider voting for Trump? Good question.

I’m NOT considering voting for Trump as the way to “make America great again”. That’s not going to happen. Only fools and fascists fall for that crap. Trump would only bring xenophobia, racism, war, torture, group punishment and more medieval methods to deal with problems of our modern era. 

Trump declared, "They probably think we’re weak, we’re stupid, we don’t know what we’re doing, we have no leadership. You know, you have to fight fire with fire."

The crowd responded with chants of “USA! USA!”

Like Bush before him, Trump would further destabilize the world and make America more lawless and belligerent than before. The potential damage he could do is limitless.

And that’s why I would consider voting for him. Our country is rigged for the elites and broken for the citizens, and cannot be repaired as it is now.

The “tear it all down and rebuild” idea is something to be considered, and nobody could help bring it all down faster than Trump. The only problem is the people suffering most now would have to face an even greater loss of democracy, along with more privation and austerity. 

It will be ugly. But that never stopped them from voting for Republicans and Corpo-dems before.

Older people vote for the party that wants to privatize their Social Security and cut Medicare. Too many apathetic younger people don’t have any interest in their future. Yes, it is the definition of insanity to repeat the same failed pattern.

So, why not consider “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”? Let’s steer this stinking ship of fools into the iceberg. We’re doing it anyway. It’s only a matter of how fast we do it. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a good life. I have no young children to worry about. My future doesn’t matter so much anymore. Why should I care?

That’s why I would "consider" voting for Trump. It’s good to at least consider every possibility, right?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

How About Freedom AND Safety?

I grew up in the Great North Woods and hunted from a young age. I learned early that some rights are contingent on responsibilities to safety. I own firearms…and I’m not trembling in my ammo can, fearing Obama’s coming to take them away. 

Many gun owners are really afraid of this false and manufactured “threat to freedom”. It is due to appeals to emotion, reinforced by political propaganda and corporate PR.

I’m very familiar with the gun debate and think I’m with the mainstream public on this. We don’t need AR15s and AK47s for sport or self defense. Weapons of modern warfare should have been restricted long ago. Actually they were once, then Bush let the restrictions expire.

I think new sales of weapons of war, as well as their large magazines, could be banned and not one American would be less free or less safe. We have a Second Amendment, yet we don’t arm psychotics, or have the right to machine guns, RPGs, and flame throwers. This is for good reason. It is a reasonable and sane point that we are all for some kind of gun control. It is a matter of degree.

For many, this reasoning doesn’t resonate well with such an emotional issue. Emotions can affect how we react to events and how we think of things. Reasonable discussion can be difficult if not impossible when emotions are involved. Extreme Ideologies prey on emotion, and allow only ideologically filtered information. 

Both freedom and safety are emotion-charged concepts.

I will attempt to appeal to reason and provide an alternative point of view on some points presented for consideration, and I will also offer appeals to emotion for perspective.

“What better incentive for  hastening of a tyrannical police state than a disarmed populace?”

Perhaps a better incentive for hastening for a police state would be a population of ill-informed souls conditioned by corporate media to never understand, or even be exposed to, the words 'Inverted Totalitarianism" and “Neo-liberalism”. They are engineering the demise of democracy and the entrenchment of unchecked economic political power. Educate yourself on these terms, and you’ll understand what I’m saying.

The previous Republican Administration has proven the government can get away with a war of aggression, mass surveillance, torture, and indefinite detention without charges. Let’s also remember that just before the invasion of Iraq 70% of Americans falsely believed Saddam was an ally of al-Qaeda and involved in 9-11. 

Americans believed Saddam had aluminum tubes for a nuclear weapons program, "biological labs", stockpiles of WMDs, and other falsehoods 

Corporate media wasn't interested in dissenting voices. Relatively few were allowed. The New York Times and Washington Post, along with CNN and FOX "News" simply parroted the claims of Cheney and other Neocons.

Corporate media programming and manipulation, lack of public interest and involvement, and our easy acceptance of propaganda are how we become intellectually disarmed for tyranny.

BTW German civilians in the 1930s had guns. Seems gun owners had no problem when they were pro-police.

It is a fair claim that Americans are uneducated on our history and Constitution.

I would be careful of demeaning others’ “lack of understanding the Second Amendment”. There is no one indisputable “understanding” of the Second Amendment. Beware the ideologues who tell you otherwise. The founders didn’t say it was for armed rebellion if your party lost an election. It might just be about the outdated militias. See what I mean? The same applies to much of the rest of the Constitution.

We were a free society before AR15s. We would still be as free without them. They do not grant, bestow or assure freedom. The Bill of Rights does.

I don’t understand how innocent humans being slaughtered is an acceptable “price of freedom” for grown men wanting to play soldier or militia. I know a lot of these guys, and they are misinformed and afraid. And someone profits from misinforming them and fueling their fear. They respond to appeals to emotions wrapped in words like freedom, liberty, and patriotism.

It’s too late to undo the harm, and future harm, from military style weapons in circulation. The bloody epidemic of weapons of war has been unleashed and will only grow worse if no action is taken. The more weapons of war in society, the more piles of bodies. See Aurora Colorado, See Newtown. See Orlando. See San Bernardino. See Iraq. 

But it's getting better, so we don't need more gun laws, some say.

“Gun violence has fallen dramatically since the '90's (Firearm-related homicides dropped from 18,253 homicides in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011)”

Yes, the overall firearm homicide rate is down, largely because the crack epidemic subsided and the 18-24 year old population bracket has shrunk.

What else has changed? 

The number of mass killings by semi-automatic rifles has risen. Like it or not, the NRA has made it easier for terrorists to buy weapons of mass murder. 

Someone profits from this slaughter. (Blatant appeal to emotion.)

“So taking all of that into consideration, (Firearm homicide rate lower than death by auto, tobacco, alcohol, etc) or please remind me why we need to start taking away people rights?”

As noted, see the right to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre. It is not taking away a right to employ reasonable limits, unless you want the right to shout “Fire”, and to have mortars and artillery. Again, we’re trying to be reasonable here.

BTW, Are not the victims and families really the ones who had their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness taken away?  (Blatant appeal to emotion.)

“The gun wasn't the problem, it was the fault of a poor vetting system and the radical ideology of the shooter”

Of course the shooter was the problem, but, again, shall we ask the victims if the assault rifle was not a big part of the problem?  (Blatant appeal to emotion.)

“Every time something like this happens people stand on the graves of the victims and try to capitalize on tragedy and take away freedoms.”

I agree. 

Who really capitalizes?  That would be the NRA and the makers and sellers of AR15s. They are the ones who profit most after these horrible incidents. It can be argued that military style weapons in abundance make us less free, especially the victims. (Final blatant appeal to emotion.) 

There’s that “More than one understanding” thing again. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Projection from Human Scum

I hate Right Wing racist sociopaths. They have always been a cancer on humanity.

Walking tumor George Zimmerman wants to profit from the sale of his murder weapon. If that's not despicable enough to human decency, he adds insult to murder.

“They didn’t raise their son (Trayvon Martin) right,” Zimmerman said. “He attacked a complete stranger and attempted to kill him.”

“Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin did everything they could to capitalize on her son’s death. She was never a mother figure to him. Tracy Martin couldn’t have cared less about their son. He treated him like a dog without a leash...Sure, I’m sorry for any parent that has lost a child. That being said, I also believe it’s their duty to have an internal dialogue to see what they should have done better and what they should have done appropriately.”

(How many times has Zimmerman been in and out of trouble with the law again?)


Thursday, May 5, 2016

What American Fascism Looks Like

How deep does hate run in the hearts of far Right cons?

Conservative "Christian" Republican leaves disabled woman on the side of the road:

Tow Truck Driver Leaves Woman With Disabilities On Side Of Highway Because She Supports Bernie Sanders

WASHINGTON — When 25-year-old Cassandra McWade got in a car accident on a highway in Asheville, North Carolina, on Monday, Ken Shupe drove his tow truck to the scene. But when he saw that McWade, who has disabilities, had Bernie Sanders signs on her Toyota Camry, he decided he wouldn’t help.

“He said, ‘I can’t tow you ... you’re a Bernie supporter,’” McWade recalled. “I was like, ‘Wait, are you serious? You’re kidding me.’”

Ken Shupe, a 51-year-old from Travelers Rest, South Carolina, was very serious. “I’m a conservative Christian, I’ve just drawn a line in the sand,” he said. “I’m not going to associate or conduct business with them.” (The incident was first reported by FOX Carolina 21.)

"I’m the farthest thing from a bigot or a racist", Shupe declared. 

I guess this rules out this "not bigot" and "not racist" from helping Blacks, Muslims, gays, and Latinos. 

This is what Con-servative American fascism looks like. No service for the stinking Jews, er, Bernie supporters, or any non-Republican. 

This is the country they want to "take back". 

And they think Jesus loves them, and wants to spend eternity with the bigoted jerks?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Greedy Needy or the Needy Greedy?

We’re seeing a lot of Thomas Sowell’s “Whine of the Wealthy” thrown in our faces,  “I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else's money.”

Who has made these claims? No one was quoted or cited supporting these assertions. It’s a straw man, of course, a favorite fantasy adversary of the far Right. That fact doesn’t matter, does it? It is framed to appeal to emotion, rather than reason. Liberals want to take your hard-earned money and give it to the lazy undeserving poor.

Maybe Sowell and his parrots should first try to understand why they make such a statement.

Understanding is always secondary to slogans for the far Right. An understanding person would not display such open subservience, shilling for the tax-dodging elites, and their cold indifference to the non-wealthy.

This is up there with “Let them eat cake” in deliberate scorn for the poor people of the world. It is also open scorn for our Constitution’s mandate for taxes and providing for the general welfare.

Ok, “why it is greed to want to keep the money you have earned”.

First, only the arrogance of the rich can produce the whine about not “keeping their money”. Actually most Americans need to spend rather than keep the money they earn.

Scrooges hoarding their money is what we used to call miserly,  being unwilling to share with others, a lack of generosity. How is wanting a hundredfold, or thousandfold, the wealth you need for a comfortable living NOT greed? It rejects the very definition of the word.

Second, how are not having enough money to make ends meet, and needing food stamps to feed children, greed?

Instead of understanding these reasonable definitions of words, the Right pushes their preferred terms like “takers” and “parasites”, suggesting financial need is a moral failure instead of what it really is, the failure of capitalism itself. This moral failure is framed as theft, by wanting to “take somebody else's money”.

Both socialism and capitalism are known to “take somebody else's money”. The former does it for the public good and Constitutional general welfare. The latter does so for itself, even as far as to buy politicians and rig the economy and public policies to support their economic agenda. De-regulated Capitalism allows corporate power to regulate itself, and privatize profits while socializing losses. The rich dodge taxes and hide their wealth in places like Panama. How’s that for greed? Not yet? Not for our American aristocracy.

This growing dominance by economic power fueled the expansion of the corporatism that has been drawing us into neo-liberal inverted totalitarianism, described by Sheldon S. Wolin in his book, “Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism”. Lust for political and economic power doesn’t count as greed, of course. Not for our American aristocracy.

Dare we call it greed when their “free speech” money corrupts public policy that cuts food stamps and benefits for the poor, while it leverages tax cuts, incentives, and numerous other “trickle up” benefits to the wealthy elites? Not for our American aristocracy.

Dare we call it greed when the coddled offspring of billionaires whine about paying an estate tax when the old miserly scrooge dies? Not for our American Aristocracy.

So it’s fine for the rich and the banks and corporate elites to “want to take somebody else's money”. But it is moral failure to want to feed the poor. Got it?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

History/Current Events Quiz

For students of history and observers of US politics I offer this short history/current events quiz:

Republicans or Nazis...?

...Crushed unions and opposed minimum wages for workers.

...Demonized and scapegoated minorities.

...Invaded countries without provocation.

...Opened prison camps where inmates were incarcerated for indefinite time, had no legal counsel, no charges and no conviction.

...Suppressed voter rights.

...Sent mobs to obstruct vote counts.

...Openly scorned democracy.

...Embraced fanatic nationalism and war as the first resort.

...Pushed propaganda portraying their kind as a “master race”, or other claim of “Exceptionalism”.

...Denounced those who opposed their war of aggression as "siding with the enemy".

...Openly stated a desire for military dominance of the world.

...Expanded a security state and imposed warrantless surveillance on their own citizens.

...Allowed torture by government agencies.

...Promoted “Family values” while claiming God was on their side as they started wars and embraced torture.

...Employed the “Big Lie” tactic in propaganda efforts.

...Elevated party loyalty over the general welfare of their country and citizens.

...Demanded Loyalty Oaths.


BOTH the Republican Party and Nazi Party are known for these acts of destroying democracy and their crimes against truth and humanity.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Inoculated Against the Truth

Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker describes herself as politically “mostly right of center".

This seems a valid assessment on her part. She proved she was not on the far fringe of the Cult of Con-servatism.

Like a few other mildly honest and minimally thoughtful Republicans in 2008, she was forced to admit Sarah Palin was "clearly out of her league".

While this realization is admirable coming from a Republican, it is par for the course for liberals and other Americans who were paying attention.

It’s nice to see she still has at least one eye open to the even more radicalized Republican Party candidates this time around.

Ms. Parker recently wrote a column titled “Trump supporters are inoculated against the truth”.

She writes:

“By now it’s obvious that lecturing Donald Trump supporters about why they shouldn’t vote for him only confirms their convictions.

The challenge for people who fear a Trump presidency even more than others covet it comes down to: How do you convince the inconvincible? How do you persuade the proudly un-persuadable?

The answer of course is, just as you can’t teach someone what they don’t want to know, “You can’t persuade the proudly un-persuadable”.

If we substitute “Republican” for Trump we reveal the frustration that every sane clear thinking person has with the cult of Con-servatives being fed so many lies and so much anger.

Parker continues:

“This was apparent in Nevada when Trump won rural voters who should have belonged to Ted Cruz, based on the all-important public-lands issue. The federal government owns a whopping 84.9 percent of Nevada’s land. Cruz promised he would return the land to the state; Trump said he wouldn’t.

One insider told me that when Cruz researchers showed rural voters news video of the comments, most rejected the video as doctored. They were inoculated to any truth that ran contrary to their beliefs. Data be damned.”

Exactly. Thank you very much.

Unfortunately she’s still seeing reality with only one open eye. What she’s missing is the entire Republican base is “inoculated to any truth that ran contrary to their beliefs. Data be damned.”

Parker then displays one more piece of valuable insight:

“The irony is that this deep distrust of the establishment and the media is the Republican Party’s own handiwork. Its leaders and operatives have been preaching for decades that the government and journalists can’t be trusted.”

Thank you, again.

She brushes ever so briefly upon the elephant in the room. But alas, this was the only time she mentioned the Republican Party as having something to do with their base being “inoculated to any truth that ran contrary to their beliefs. Data be damned.”

It wasn’t Trump who first poured the far Right kool-ade about Marxist Obama’s birth certificate, death panels, government takeover of health care, climate science denial, liberal media, only liberals are racist, and the thousand other lies necessary to dupe Americans into voting for Republicans.

The lies of Republicans led to trillions of dollars added to the national debt, and the needless deaths of thousands of Americans over certifiable lies about Saddam being allied with al-Qaeda and non-existent “Nukular” aluminum tubes.

Their lies were toxic, with deadly real world consequences. So too will the current batch of lies lead to human tragedy if believed by too many Americans.

And there are still many true believers today that are inoculated to any truth that runs contrary to their beliefs. Data be damned.

Parker concludes:

“The tragedy is that, of all those mentioned here, the most untrustworthy and dishonest is Trump. He undeniably lied a few days ago when he said he didn’t know anything about David Duke in what otherwise would have been the easiest disavowal in political history. In fact, Trump specifically mentioned Duke in a 2000 interview that many have heard by now.

It doesn’t matter, does it? As I’ve noted too many time to count, “Beliefs trump facts” with the cult of the far Right.

Trump knows this. And so do all the other liars of the far Right,

The lesson of fascism's "Big Lie" has been assimilated completely into the propaganda of the Republican Party.

Ironically, and unfortunately, Kathleen Parker is still inoculated against the truth far more than she realizes.