Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Was it only a year ago the liberal New York Times hired Bill (the-always-wrong-Neocon) Kristol? They always did like doing their share of shilling for Bush/Cheney. Ask Judith Miller about WMD’s. Or ask them about how wonderful the Israeli government treats Palestinians, or about how evil Iran is. And while you're at it, ask why it took them a year to report Bush’s illegal NSA surveillance program.
Remember last January when the Mukasey Justice Department decided to investigate the destruction of the CIA’s interrogation tapes, otherwise known as the famous “torture tapes”? Americans can rest assured that the evidence of crimes was successfully swept away as if the torture never happened. And besides, it was so important to protect the identities of the interrogators. After all, they were “just following orders”; proving the Nuremburg defense is valid as long as it’s in the interests of the US government and the Bush Administration. Like their “investigation” into the legality of waterboarding, justice was successfully obstructed.
There was a little known victory for freedom early this year. Simple civil disobedience and merely reading the wrong words could have been labeled as radicalization and terrorism under Democratic Representative Jane Harmon’s Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act.
Along with its failure to impeach Bush Administration criminals, the House of Representatives will never atone for this shame and dishonor to our Bill of Rights. The “Thought Police Bill” overwhelmingly passed through the House by a 404 to 6 vote, and was sent to the Senate. Thanks to a flood of complaints from everyone from the ACLU to the John Birch Society this fascist amendment to the Patriot Act was allowed to wither and die.
Then Big Brother comes up with these demonstrations of one step forward, two, or three, or more steps back: First of all, with the National Applications Office, Big Brother wants to watch us from the sky.
From The Raw Story:
DHS satellite spy program going forward despite objections
'Ridiculous' to think program doesn't violate Posse Comitatus, ACLU lobbyist tells Raw
The Department of Homeland Security has been given the money it needs to begin turning international spy satellites within the country's borders, despite lingering fears about the program's lack of focus and the potential for it to infringe upon Americans' civil liberties. After more than a year of delay, Congress quietly authorized DHS to begin sharing data gathered by military satellites with civilian and law enforcement agencies. A $634 billion spending bill signed into law earlier this week provides funds for DHS to establish the satellite surveillance program, known as the National Applications Office, without addressing the myriad concerns about NAO privacy and civil liberties protections that had been delaying its implementation.
And then there’s the unsettling issue of biometric surveillance.
CLARKSBURG, West Virginia (CNN) -- The FBI is gearing up to create a massive computer database of people's physical characteristics, all part of an effort the bureau says to better identify criminals and terrorists.
But it's an issue that raises major privacy concerns -- what one civil liberties expert says should concern all Americans.
The bureau is expected to announce in coming days the awarding of a $1 billion, 10-year contract to help create the database that will compile an array of biometric information -- from palm prints to eye scans.
Kimberly Del Greco, the FBI's Biometric Services section chief, said adding to the database is "important to protect the borders to keep the terrorists out, protect our citizens, our neighbors, our children so they can have good jobs, and have a safe country to live in."
But it's unnerving to privacy experts.
"It's the beginning of the surveillance society where you can be tracked anywhere, any time and all your movements, and eventually all your activities will be tracked and noted and correlated," said Barry Steinhardt, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Technology and Liberty Project. ...
Remember what we learned from a patriotic retired technician at AT&T?
"Wiretap Whistle-Blower's Account
Former AT&T technician Mark Klein has come forward to support the EFF's lawsuit against AT&T for its alleged complicity in the NSA's electronic surveillance. Wired News publishes Klein's public statement.
Statement From Mark Klein
For 22 and 1/2 years I worked as an AT&T technician, first in New York and then in California.
What I observed first-hand:
In 2002, when I was working in an AT&T office in San Francisco, the site manager told me to expect a visit from a National Security Agency agent, who was to interview a management-level technician for a special job. The agent came, and by chance I met him and directed him to the appropriate people.
In January 2003, I, along with others, toured the AT&T central office on Folsom Street in San Francisco -- actually three floors of an SBC building. There I saw a new room being built adjacent to the 4ESS switch room where the public's phone calls are routed. I learned that the person whom the NSA interviewed for the secret job was the person working to install equipment in this room. The regular technician work force was not allowed in the room.
In October 2003, the company transferred me to the San Francisco building to oversee the Worldnet Internet room, which included large routers, racks of modems for customers' dial-in services, and other equipment. I was responsible for troubleshooting problems on the fiber optic circuits and installing new circuits.
While doing my job, I learned that fiber optic cables from the secret room were tapping into the Worldnet circuits by splitting off a portion of the light signal. I saw this in a design document available to me, entitled "Study Group 3, LGX/Splitter Wiring, San Francisco" dated Dec. 10, 2002. I also saw design documents dated Jan. 13, 2004 and Jan. 24, 2003, which instructed technicians on connecting some of the already in-service circuits to the "splitter" cabinet, which diverts some of the light signal to the secret room. The circuits listed were the Peering Links, which connect Worldnet with other networks and hence the whole country, as well as the rest of the world...
And not last and not the least, we have to thank Bush and his Democratic Party friends for the new FISA Amendment. In June Obama proved he could be a good corporate guy and allow retroactive immunity for the telecoms who helped the Bush Administration spy on us. Feingold and Dobbs wanted to filibuster the amendment, showing us how only a few of our politicians really care about our Bill of Rights.
And this is only a segment of the US Government’s war on civil liberties. We will stay tuned.
Then there are the other noble wars. In March the number of US troops killed in Iraq reached 4,000 with the deaths of four soldiers in southern Baghdad. That glorious surge was bloody, but we aren’t supposed to think about that part.
And our “victory” in Afghanistan got uglier as well. More soldiers were dying ,and even a greater number of civilians were being killed. I dread to think how Obama will step up this cataclysm.
We also saw further confirmation of the machinations of the Military/Industrial/Media Complex. In April the New York Times reported on the cozy relationship between the media and its military "analysts".
"To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.
Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.
The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air."
There's more proof that certain connected folks can gain huge profits from the "good wars" they get from their war mongering.
And remember in August how exciting it was when Johnny McBomb Bomb said we are "all Georgians"? That was before Americans learned that the war was started by his Georgian buddy, and foreign policy advisor Randy Scheunemann’s lobby business client, President Saakashvili. That would make Georgians all Americans, right?
And who can forget the lessons of September 2008? Americans finally see the rewards of the Republican dogma of deregulation. The economic story is only beginning to unfold. Next year will offer a better perspective on the fall of the Great House of Cards.
Yes, it’s been a fascinating year. What else happened?
Oh, yeah, there was an election.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Yes, it's time again for another feel-good/liberal-hating/right-wing forward. And you all know how much I love those little misguided, Fox addled, authoritarian brain farts.Here's today's pea-brain patriot's piffle.
Subject: FW: A Marine!
A United States Marine was attending some college courses between assignments. He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the courses had a professor who was a vowed atheist and a member of the ACLU.
One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes." The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am God. I'm still waiting."
It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Marine got out of his chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him; knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold.
The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence. The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked, "What the hell is the matter with you? Why did you do that?"
The Marine calmly replied, "God was too busy today protecting America's soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid shit and act like an asshole. So, He sent me."
THIS IS GOOD, KEEP IT GOING.
Then God told me to send this to the other fortunate recipients of the Marine story.
And in other news headlines:
Disturbed Veteran Assaults College Professor: Two More Victims Of Bush's War of Error
After his arrest, the Marine with undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder claimed he heard the voice of God telling him to attack the professor.
The Bush Administration is pressing the VA to reduce the number of PTSD cases by reclassifying the problem as "adjustment disorder", and thus providing the vets with less treatment and benefits.
After a forensic psychiatric examination, the ACLU offered to represent the Marine's case in court, free of charge.
The Marine later apologized to the understanding professor and said, "Thank God someone is there to protect the troops".
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
A little flashback to three years ago. "Only" three years ago, when there was still plenty of time for impeachment. (Thanks, Nancy, how can we ever repay you?)
The New York Times was letting it slip out. It turns out they were still in the Bush Administration's pocket. Yes, even then, three years after their sycophantic WMD propaganda scare, the ever so "liberal" New York Times was still suckling at the teat of the Beast by withholding the story for an entire year. How patriotic of our corporate Ministry of Truth.
This time it was about the Bush Cartel's secret warrantless spying on Americans.
We crazy lefties, and other Bill of Rights enthusiasts, were scorned and ridiculed for screaming about these crimes for years.
Remember this story? Outrages and lies highlighted.
Bush Secretly Lifted Some Limits on Spying in U.S. After 9/11, Officials Say
By JAMES RISENand ERIC LICHTBLAU
WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 - Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.
Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.
The previously undisclosed decision to permit some eavesdropping inside the country without court approval represents a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices, particularly for the National Security Agency, whose mission is to spy on communications abroad. As a result, some officials familiar with the continuing operation have questioned whether the surveillance has stretched, if not crossed, constitutional limits on legal searches.
"This is really a sea change," said a former senior official who specializes in national security law. "It's almost a mainstay of this country that the N.S.A. only does foreign searches."
Nearly a dozen current and former officials, who were granted anonymity because of the classified nature of the program, discussed it with reporters for The New York Times because of their concerns about the operation's legality and oversight.
According to those officials and others, reservations about aspects of the program have also been expressed by Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, the West Virginia Democrat who is the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and a judge presiding over a secret court that oversees intelligence matters. Some of the questions about the agency's new powers led the administration to temporarily suspend the operation last year and impose more restrictions, the officials said.
The Bush administration views the operation as necessary so that the agency can move quickly to monitor communications that may disclose threats to this country, the officials said. Defenders of the program say it has been a critical tool in helping disrupt terrorist plots and prevent attacks inside the United States.
Administration officials are confident that existing safeguards are sufficient to protect the privacy and civil liberties of Americans, the officials say. In some cases, they said, the Justice Department eventually seeks warrants if it wants to expand the eavesdropping to include communications confined within the United States. The officials said the administration had briefed Congressional leaders about the program and notified the judge in charge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the secret Washington court that deals with national security issues.
The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting. Some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists has been omitted.
While many details about the program remain secret, officials familiar with it said the N.S.A. eavesdropped without warrants on up to 500 people in the United States at any given time. The list changes as some names are added and others dropped, so the number monitored in this country may have reached into the thousands over the past three years, several officials said. Overseas, about 5,000 to 7,000 people suspected of terrorist ties are monitored at one time, according to those officials.
Several officials said the eavesdropping program had helped uncover a plot by Iyman Faris, an Ohio trucker and naturalized citizen who pleaded guilty in 2003 to supporting Al Qaeda by planning to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge with blowtorches. Continued...
And three years ago we were blessed with this beautiful voice of sanity. I really, really miss this woman.
They Wouldn't Lie to Us, Would They?
by Molly Ivins December 17, 2005
AUSTIN, Texas - As one on the liberal side of the chorus of moaners about the decline of civility in politics, I feel a certain responsibility when earnest, spaniel-eyed conservatives like David Brooks peer at us hopefully and say, "Well, yes, there was certainly a lot of misinformation about WMD before the war in Iraq, but ... you don't think they, he, actually lied do you?"
Draw I deep the breath of patience. I factor in the long and awful history of politics and truth, add the immutable nature of pols — fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly — and compare Tonkin Gulf, Watergate and Iran-Contra with the piddly Curveball and Niger uranium. I prepare to respond like a reasonable person — "Of course not actually lie, per se, in the strict sense" — and then I listen to another speech about Iraq by either the president or the vice president and find myself screaming, "Dammit, when will they quit lying?"
Civility is fine. On the other hand, sanity has its claims, as well.
I have been listening with great attention to the series of speeches President Bush has lately given on his newly revealed "Plan for Victory." Of course I was pleased to learn we have a plan for a victory, which consists, it turns out, of announcing: "We cannot and will not leave Iraq until victory is achieved. ... We will settle for nothing less than complete victory."
Unfortunately, the White House claims it produced this once supposedly secret plan in 2003, when it is actually a public-relations paper written less than six months ago, which is pretty much the way things go credibility-wise these days. It has long been clear that this administration thinks it can spin reality to a blue-bellied fare-thee-well, but isn't it a tad late for this?
Of course, it's an awkward time to be a doom-and-gloomer, too. Who wants to remind everyone this isn't working just when all those brave Iraqis just risked their lives to vote again?
Democracy is a grand thing. Unfortunately, a vote has never yet created an operative military brigade.
Bush claimed in his Naval Academy speech that 80 Iraqi army and police battalions are fighting alongside American units, while another 40 are taking the lead in fighting. But last summer, military leaders told Congress that three of the 115 Iraqi battalions are capable of fighting without U.S. help, and in October Gen. George Casey, the American commander in Iraq, lowered that to one.
Of course all Texans are raised on the "Never retreat, never surrender" model, but it does ring just a little hollow when the administration's own plans for a draw-down of troops are dominating the news.
So as not to completely abandon my colleagues still yearning for civility, I point out that Bush and even Cheney are making progress. For one thing, they now acknowledge reconstruction is not going entirely smoothly, a refreshing degree of candor.
Also, Bush now acknowledges we are fighting more than just terrorists. In fact, most of the people we're fighting are themselves Iraqis who don't like us being there. The fact that their government has asked us to leave is still politely passed over. This has already cost us $277 billion, with at least another $100 billion to come.
It does seem a little silly, though, to call for "complete victory" without acknowledging that the war itself is not going well. The number of attacks on American and Iraqi troops per day grows steadily worse. Rep. Jack Murtha, who is very close to the military, says insurgent incidents over the past year have increased from 150 per week to over 700 per week.
Bush's claims on reconstruction are likewise mind-boggling. It's not "fits and starts" — there are rampant overcharges, corruption, lack of oversight — it is a zoo. At least $8 billion the United States provided Iraq's Coalition Provisional Authority is unaccounted for, and Halliburton alone has already been accused of $1.4 billion in unreasonable and unsupported charges.
One night in mid-September, George W. stood in New Orleans' Jackson Square, with the floodlit facade of St. Louis Cathedral in the background. He promised help for housing, education and job training: "The work that has begun in the Gulf Coast region will be one of the largest reconstruction efforts the world has ever seen. ... And tonight I also offer this pledge of the American people: Throughout the area hit by the hurricane, we will do what it takes, we will stay as long as it takes to help citizens rebuild their communities and their lives."
Hey, you know, another mission accomplished.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Any resistance by a liberal or moderate person to the new police state tactics was always met with the old “soft on crime” accusation. Anyone else see a familiar pattern here?
I would point out that the War on Drugs would be a dress rehearsal for the coming War on Terror. A lot of people listening to our conversations would quickly dismiss us as the paranoid lunatic fringe for thinking such foolishness.
This was not to be the last time that I really wished I was wrong.
As history teaches those of us who pay attention, we can see how both the War on Terror and the War on Drugs operate by similar methods with similar results.
Both are over-reaching militarized operations against problems best addressed by other strategies and tactics.
The War on Drugs is militarized law enforcement used as a tool to address what is best described a medical and public health issue. Drug users are generally non-violent citizens. The War on Drugs exacerbates the damage of drugs and destruction of life.
The War on Terror is an over militarized reaction to what can be best dealt with as a law enforcement problem. Terrorists are criminals. The War on Terror exacerbates the death and destruction from terrorists.
But, since we do not have publicly financed elections, Congress and the Executive Branch owe their souls to the big money boys of the corporate military/industrial complex. They wield the metaphorical hammer. And they see every problem as a nail to be fixed by their only tool.
The public’s perception of these problems is formed by the corporate media. The media love to sensationalize crime and terror. They also love their cozy access to political power and corporate advertisers. Truth and fairness always take a back seat to these interests.
This is why the War on Drugs and the War on Terror are, by nature, endless. So why do we fight endless wars we know we cannot win?
Because someone does win. And it’s not the public. We pour our tax dollars into the black holes of secret police and military budgets. And for all the financial cost and loss of civil liberties, we are promised safety and law and order that we will never see.
The winners in the War on Terror are the war profiteers like Halliburton, KBR, and Blackwater. Armament industries and weapon and ammo manufacturers are doing quite well. Other winners are the terrorists themselves. Bin Laden and al-Qaeda gained more recruits and funds after Bush’s invasions than they ever could have before.
The winners in the War on Drugs are the pharmaceutical, tobacco and liquor corporations. You know, the partnership for a drug-free America crowd. The drug testing, surveillance, and corporate prison industries are also quite happy profiting from the misery of others.
Billions of dollars of Drug War loot are being sucked up by corrupt cops and violent drug dealers. They love the War on Drugs.
The losers are the same in both wars. The taxpayers are duped by politicians and the corporate media. We are throwing more and more money at a problem that will never be fixed by the institutions that profit from the status quo.
And the real victims of the two wars are those innocents caught in the crossfire by the opposing sides. All the cruel and senseless bloodshed could be eliminated by ending the cruel and senseless policies.
The story is getting old, but hope is out there.
Americans are beginning to wake up to the Drug War con. So far, thirteen states have voted to allow medicinal marijuana use. This is good news. It shows that we the people still have some power over the political and corporate interests.
The established power brokers will always resist progress, so the people must always continue to press their struggle for justice and fairness.
American democracy depends on the activism and participation of the common folk of this country. This is why the Reich Wingers are always working to suppress the voters in any way they can.
They will probably renew their efforts more than ever because they are already at war with the Obama Administration. We can look forward to increased dirty tactics from the racists, war mongers, Bible thumpers, mercenaries, and corporatists from the far Right.
If the Clinton era was the breeding ground of the Fox/Limbaugh reactionary right wing media, we can expect a similar outpouring of artificially whipped up rage from the same actors to disrupt and derail any initiatives from Democrats.
We need to push for the enlightenment of the public by illuminating the realities of the failed right wing policies. Our counter-propaganda efforts need to be as unrelenting as their false propaganda has been through the years.
The renewed propaganda surge is already here. I once again received one of those conservative viral e-mails. I’ll show you the message and my response.
I HAVE TO PASS A URINE TEST FOR MY JOB... SO I AGREE 100%. Like a lot of folks in this state, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit. In order to get that paycheck, I am required to pass a random urine test with which I have no problem.
What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test. Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them? Understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their BUTT, doing drugs, while I work. ... . Can you imagine how much money the state and country would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check? Pass this along if you agree or simply delete if you don't. Hope you all will pass it along, though. ... Something has to change in this country -- and soon.
Urine tests are unjust because the war on drugs is a wrongheaded failure. It is stupid to impose hardship on anyone for victimless crimes. Rush Limbaugh and Cindy McCain didn’t have to lose their privileged positions and income for their drug addiction. Why should the poor and working class be held to harsher standards?
Too many good employees lose jobs, not because of impaired work performance, but because of politically incorrect recreation on the weekend. Punishment solves nothing. If there is a real problem, treatment is the cheaper, more humane solution. All those anti- tax fiscal conservatives should understand the drug war is a huge waste of our tax dollars compared to a sane policy of treatment and rehab.
Substance abuse will never be solved as a Big Government law enforcement problem. It is a health issue and needs to be addressed as such.
Americans are brainwashed to be eager to give up rights to their privacy. The idiots who say “tap my phone, I’ve done nothing wrong” have just given totalitarians the right to dictate everything else over their lame asses.
Who are more dangerous to human life; dry-drunk, lying war mongers, or peaceful hippies minding their own business?
Right Wing Authoritarian personalities will never understand. They are so much better than everyone else, you know. They love seeing brown folks and other “inferior” people suffer. The drug war is their perfect tool to impose their intolerance on others.
There are many sane reasons to de-criminalize cannabis, or other drugs for that matter. If cannabis was used for textile, fuel, medicinal, and other applications, it could be taxed and actually help our economy recover.But, corporate/police state interests are against it. It is the profiteering by narrow interests that keep it illegal. The same kind of narrow interests are tearing our economy apart. You'd think someone would learn. But since the US corporate government is NEVER wrong...
We Americans still have the choice. We can take a reality-based look at the issues of drug use and terrorism. We can respond with a reasoned approach, free of the influence of those who would profit from ill-considered policies. We can choose health, life, progress and a better economy.
Or we can give the bloody terrorists, murderous drug cartels, and the cold-blooded nexus of corporate government all the money and power they could ever desire. We can choose to continue down the paths into failure, bankruptcy and the certainty of more loss of life. All we need to do is keep waging our wars on drugs and terror, and stay the course.
Let’s hope the new administration takes a sane look at the policies that do not work and have never worked. Saving our economy and our Bill of Rights is the kind of change we can all believe in.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Thanksgiving is upon us with its own familiar and familial mix of anticipation and anxiety.
Corporate America is desperately hoping there’s enough consumer cash left in our pockets to give them a profitable shopping season. I wouldn’t want to be them right now.
The collapse of the unregulated greed-fueled economy has shifted everyone’s expectations for the coming year. Hopes for a happy and prosperous new year are deflating into a nervous desire for simple survival. We all have a sick stirring of dread in our collective gut about the remaining effects yet to be felt from the ruinous Bush Administration policies of pillage, plunder and scorched earth.
And so now in this setting Americans are expected to celebrate Thanksgiving. The only thankful soul I’ve seen so far, other than the Decider eagerly planning to “refill the old coffers” with his retirement speaking engagements, is the turkey pardoned by Sarah Palin. Yet, why do I think his pardon will not be honored?
Somehow I still have to feel a sense of thankfulness.
For one thing, I’m damn thankful I was not one of those early pilgrim settlers. They went though almost as much hell as they inflicted upon the native tribes. No, I wouldn’t care to trade places with them.
I’m also very thankful I’m not a “liberated” Iraqi. Those poor souls have suffered more than their share.
I guess that makes me thankful to be a citizen of the collapsing empire that has finally come to realize the consequences of unleashed corporatism and its over-extended projection of power.
If you’re the kind of person who can’t stand to be bored, you can be very thankful. We will not be bored witnessing the events of the coming years. I’ve come to understand how much I would be happy to simply be bored. I guess that’s some small insight I could be thankful about.
I am truly thankful for all the great bloggers out there for me to read. I am also thankful for the discerning and kind readers who may enjoy these little rants. We can be thankful we’re all in this together and are able to share our individual perspectives. It is good to know there are many others out there like us.
So let us be thankful for the simple things. We have home and hearth, family and friends, and food and drink.
Let’s enjoy our brief bubble of hope before the next administration takes the helm. At least we can be thankful that after January, we won’t be as disappointed, angry, and frustrated as we’ve been for the past eight years.
And finally, we can be thankful for not having to worry about having too much money anymore.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
But, wait. You realists are probably wondering about the rest of the public.
It reported 30% said they are pessimistic. And 27% even said they were afraid. I think I can relate to someone being pessimistic. Been there, done that.
More troubling though, is how would all those poor souls become afraid? It’s not as if there were prominent Republican types accusing Obama of being some kind of secret, madras-schooled, Muslim radical. There couldn’t have been good, church-goin’, uninformed pageant divas out there saying he was pallin’ around with terrorists or nasty stuff like that, right? It has nothing to do with the fact that on the Thursday after the election, Rush Limbaugh used the words “Obama” and “fear” together about six times in the five minutes I heard him.
I don’t know. I give up. I don’t have a clue why good authoritarian Americans would be afraid.
I DO know that, according to our favorite conservative with a conscience, John Dean, 25% of our population are Right Wing Authoritarians. His book “Conservatives without Conscience” explains how Right Wing Authoritarian personalities are devoted to their leaders, no matter where they lead them. The RWA personalities remain loyal followers, regardless of facts or conditions that would suggest to everyone else that new leadership is required. RWA folks do not believe that all people are equal, and they would even think totalitarian rule would be a good idea. One other interesting point about RWA personalities is they all consider themselves conservatives.
Not all people who consider themselves conservative are RWA, but half of them are. And they are very vocal and active, which is why it is up to moderates and liberals to be constantly vigilant, and not allow them power over the rest of us.
It’s strangely amusing to think of these loud, militaristic bullies and tough guys being fearful. But, since they are told by their leadership to be afraid, then that’s just what they’ll be. They march lockstep all the way, whether to glory, or to trembling, sputtering confusion. How odd.
The Bush Administration is the greatest ascension of Right Wing Authoritarians in American government. We’ve had them around for many years, but this is their pinnacle. We see RWA personalities from Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Gonzales, down to Libby, DeLay, Abramoff, and Blackwater CEO Erik Prince. And yes, we can’t forget John McCain and Sarah Palin.
We learn from John Dean and Bob Altemeyer, Dean’s source on authoritarian personality research, RWA personalities are revealed by their own answers to questionnaires and surveys. They share a number of characteristics. The Right Wing Authoritarian leaders are social dominators and are typically men. They oppose equality, desire power, cheat to win, and take advantage of “suckers”. They are pitiless, vengeful, manipulative, dishonest, mean-spirited, militant, and nationalistic. Their Right Wing Authoritarian followers are men and women, submissive to authority, aggressive on behalf of authority, conventional, highly religious, mean-spirited, intolerant, narrow-minded, hypocritical, moralistic, dogmatic, and highly self-righteous.
I would add that they seem to share the psychological mechanism of projection. They accuse others of the wrongful or undesirable behavior they themselves act out. There are numerous examples, but one of my favorites is Sarah Palin accusing Obama of being a socialistic “re-distributer of wealth”, while forgetting she bragged about taking oil companies’ tax dollars and re-distributing them through checks mailed out to Alaskans.
This all brings me to share a “special comment” with you. I was going to respond in the comment thread, but I feel this individual is entitled to some of the attention he craves.
I’d like to thank our conservative reader for his thoughtful comment.
You insignificant coackroach! How can you speak of stealing an election when you just won! This anger and irreverant stupid thinking is what keeps you detestable liberals in the hole of dispair. How is it possible that only Republicans steal elections? No, no fraud or misappropriations by the Dems, right? Obama was clean as a whistle regardless of his Chicago politicking and all the shady associations. You better understand the facts as they are my little "roach". Do your homework before you speak. Look at he election maps. The majority of the country is red! You may not like it, but conservatives can actually vote across party lines at times and when they really have indifference for their chosen candidate they stay home. Remember this my little pest: 57,000,000,000 that is the number that voted against the O man. It is a very fine line indeed! You Libs own nothing. The Hill in nervous and for good reason. I see red in 2010!
I’ll try not to let the flattery of his opening sentence go to my head. As a humble gentleman of mature years, I understand my insignificance in the big picture. By reminding him of a cockroach, I wonder if I am being complimented as a tenacious survivor of a great human cataclysm; perhaps something on the scale of the Bush Regime’s wanton destruction of human lives and the Earth’s environment.
But enough about me. Let’s return to our conservative reader’s own words and give them their due consideration. He was kind enough to enlighten us with his clear thinking and his probing sense of history and current events.
Let’s assume this is a question. “How can you speak of stealing an election when you just won!”
We’ve had eight years to practice.
“This anger and irreverant stupid thinking is what keeps you detestable liberals in the hole of dispair.”
Funny, for some reason I don’t feel angry right now. How about all the rest of you liberals out there? Do you think he read those irreverent words at the top of the blog? So Mark Twain WAS a detestable liberal, after all. If only Obama COULD bring some kind of hope to the liberals’ hole of despair. My, how our bleeding hearts suffer so pitifully.
How is it possible that only Republicans steal elections? No, no fraud or misappropriations by the Dems, right?
Good questions. How on Earth can this be possible? Republicans would never steal an election. They couldn’t purge voter registration rolls of thousands of eligible voters in Florida before the 2000 election, right? They wouldn’t crush the will of the majority of American voters by stopping the ballot re-count, would they?
Wasn’t it back in 2003 when Wally O’Dell, the CEO of Diebold, said he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year”? It’s not like there was complete Republican control over those electronic voting machines, right? There couldn’t have been any tampering with those easily hacked and altered voting machines. Ohio Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell had no conflict of interest running the election, did he? He knew they didn’t need no stinking paper trail.
SO WHAT if one of the machines counted more votes for Bush than the actual number of voters?
“Obama was clean as a whistle regardless of his Chicago politicking and all the shady associations.”
If you say so.
“You better understand the facts as they are my little "roach". Do your homework before you speak. Look at he election maps. The majority of the country is red!”
Wow! Look at all the red on that map! You got me there, pal. If all those red acres of land had only voted for McCain, things would be different.
“You may not like it, but conservatives can actually vote across party lines at times and when they really have indifference for their chosen candidate they stay home.”
And this is why I dearly love thoughtful intelligent conservatives.
“Remember this my little pest: 57,000,000,000 that is the number that voted against the O man. It is a very fine line indeed!”
Fifty-seven billion, eh? It’s like you have one of those Diebold chips in your head, adding all those extra votes for the Republicans.
“My little pest.” How endearing! I’m beginning to like you, too. I am so happy you stopped by. Really.
“You Libs own nothing. The Hill in nervous and for good reason. I see red in 2010!”
Yeah, we libs own nothing. We’re just a bunch of socialists who share everything, air, water, public lands, parks, even our culture, arts, education, knowledge, experience, ability to think for ourselves, all that stuff you might think is worthless.
And I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re seeing red right now.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Oh, I know what you’re thinking, “Hey, what do you mean ‘what we’re up against’? Didn’t the Democrats just win the presidency, senate and house?”
That’s right, but just because democrats are in majorities does NOT mean they are in charge. They have corporate string pullers working to get them to dance to their tune, and media jackals are nipping at their knees already.
Just today on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, we heard Tom Brokaw squawking on about the US being a “center-right country” and blathering about all the red acreage on the political map. As if the LAND is what’s center-right so we better be too.
I’m sick of the media spouting this crap right after we elect an African-American Democrat for president. What the hell does that say? Does Brokaw think that means we still want the Republicans to dictate the agenda? How is this election an affirmation of this center-right crap?
Give me a break. This is the corporatist propaganda that irks me down to the last fiber of my being. You just KNOW the media and the Republican echo chamber will be harping on about how Obama better not try anything that could be labeled progressive or worse yet, liberal.
It’s going to be up to us to make a lot of noise to break through the media swill. We have got to hold the Democrats’ feet to the fire. We must keep the pressure on them constantly to let them know who put them there and why we did it. They don’t give a bat’s fart about what we want unless we hound them at least as much the fundies and neocons hounded the Republicans into their freedom crushing agenda.
So up and at ‘em! To the barricades if need be. We are still at war for our freedom. The Bush Fascism machine remains standing and won’t come down by the initiative of self centered corporate democrats. Get on the phones and call them. Write them. Send letters, emails, cards, or telegrams. We need to rattle their cages and kick some ass if anything is to be done around here. You and I both know it.
Just because the neocons have been defeated does not mean they are out of business. They will be slithering from underneath their rocks sooner than Obama can take the oath of office. They are enemies to peace, freedom and our very survival. We must not simply defeat them. We must ELIMINATE THEM from our government. They are engineering their next takeover even as we celebrate the election.
So, hooray for Obama! Enjoy the celebrations.
Now let’s get real. We have a lot of work to do.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Ever since his courageous presentation in front of Bush and the sycophantic press corps, Stephen has been one of my favorite real American heroes. I feel I must follow his example and endorse a candidate for president.
Since endorsements for president mean very little, whether it’s from a Hollywood star or Dick Cheney, it shouldn’t matter that my endorsement comes at such a late date in the election season.
First the bad news; I cannot endorse someone who voted for Bush’s FISA law. It was a horrible act of pandering to the corporate telecom industry, and an un-American assault on the Fourth Amendment of our Bill of Rights.
Therefore I will not endorse Barack Obama.
I hereby endorse Brian Moore for president.
Who is Brian Moore? Thanks to his appearance on the Colbert Report last week, many of us now know he is the Socialist Party candidate for president.
And in the style and manner of my hero, I will endorse Mr. Moore, but I must vote for Obama. After all, the first priority in reversing the USA’s descent into fascism is to remove the Republican Party from the White House. And the most practical way to do that is to vote for Obama.
Should the forces of darkness prevail and the Republicans steal the election again, many of us have justifiably considered moving to Canada. If the Republicans steal the presidency again, then any trace of democracy here in the US is dead and there is little reason to linger in a totalitarian empire in decay.
Oddly, it turns out, there are conservatives considering their options if Obama wins.
I know a bright young Republican couple who say they are moving to Canada if Obama wins.
None of that socialism crap for them, by Jiminy. They won't stand for it!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
November 1, 2008
Grosse Pointe Farms woman denies Halloween candy to Obama supporters’ kids.
A Grosse Pointe Farms woman has doled out political tricks by refusing Halloween treats to children whose parents support Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Shirley Nagel passed out candy Friday — but only to those who shared her support for Republican presidential candidate John McCain and running mate Sarah Palin.
Fox 2 News says a sign posted outside Nagel's house, about 12 miles west of Detroit, served notice to all trick-or-treaters. It read: "No handouts for Obama supporters, liars, tricksters or kids of supporters."
Nagel tells WJBK-TV that "Obama's scary." When asked about children who'd been turned away empty-handed and crying, she said: "Oh well. Everybody has a choice."
Fax and phone messages were left today at numbers listed in Nagel's name.
Friday, October 31, 2008
As most of you know, John McCain was a guest on the program on September 12th. He didn’t expect to get the toughest questioning he’s ever seen, before or since, on a national TV broadcast. To the disgrace and shame of our nation’s TV “journalists”, Meet the Press, CNN and the rest were softball picnics in comparison.
After McCain talked about rolling back Supreme Court decisions, Whoopi Goldberg asked him if he wanted to return to the days of slavery. Barbara Walters checked him when he crowed about Palin not talking pork-barrel earmarks.
The best part came when Joy Behar brought up the McCain ads accusing Obama of wanting to teach sex education to kindergartners and referring to Palin with his lipstick on a pig comment. “Now we know that those two ads are untrue, they are lies. And yet, you at the end of it say you approve these messages. Do you really approve these?"
McCain responded with another lie, of course. “Actually they are not lies.” Come on, Johnny. Everyone not sucked into the Fox News propaganda network knows they were lies.
For too long now the news media has been self-censoring itself to the point where they will repeat the right wing lies without challenge or fact check. The women on the View demonstrated great courage to refuse the usual corporate media lapdog role. Whoopi, Joy and Babs gave Americans their best view of the real McCain. They all deserve the Medal of Freedom for telling the liar to his face he's a liar. No wonder Larry King likes to have Joy substitute for him on his show.
But, wait. Isn’t there a loyal Republican cast member of the View? What about Elisabeth Hasselbeck? Her views are so far to the right that there are constant rumors about her taking a job at Fox. You gotta give her credit for chattering the Republican Party talking points at the other women. She feels she needs to talk as much as all the rest combined, just to assert the Right Wing lies. It may not take brains to lie about Obama wanting to raise everyone’s taxes, but it does take determination to spew the disinformation at such high decibels over the other’s voices. The poor girl has to constantly interrupt everyone just to keep on her message that Obama pals around with terrorists. Bless her cold, authoritarian, little heart.
I bring all this up because Ms. Hasselbeck has inspired one of her fans to launch their own viral email forwarded message. It was just my luck to finally receive her devoted follower’s passionate communication about how proud they were to be white. The title of the message was “PROUD TO BE WHITE - IT'S OK”.
Well, since it was “OK”, I thought I’d go ahead and read it.
And you know what? I didn’t think it was OK at all. So I responded to the sender and all the other recipients of this crap with an introduction of my own.
Be sure to scroll to the end for the part that’s really OK.
I don’t need to share it all with you, but here’s some of it so you get the idea. And I added my comment at the end.
On the heels of the discussion on The View this last week:
PROUD TO BE WHITE
Someone finally said it.
How many are actually paying attention to this?
There are African Americans,
Asian Americans, Arab Americans,
Native Americans, etc.
.....And then there are just -
You pass me on the street
and sneer in my direction.
You Call me ‘White boy,’
.....And that’s OK.
But when I call you Nigger,
Kike, Towel head,
Sand-nigger, Camel Jockey,
Beaner, Gook, or Chink,
.....You call me a racist.
If we had a White Pride Day
.....You would call us racists.
If we had White History Month
.....We’d be racists.
If we had any organization for only whites
to ‘advance’ OUR lives,
.....We’d be racists.
In the Million-Man March,
you believed that you were
marching for your race and rights.
If we marched for our race and rights,
.....You would call us racists.
You are proud to be black,
brown, yellow and red,
and you’re not afraid to announce it.
But when we announce our white pride
.....You call us racists. .
I am proud.
.....But, you call me a racist.
Why is it that only whites can be racists?
There is nothing improper about this e-mail.
Let’s see which of you are proud enough to send it on...
And if you’re proud to pass this along, you ARE a racist and probably a Republican.
And you think Joe the Plumber is a real licensed plumber making over $250,000 a year. Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, the Republican apprentice plumber, (If he’s a plumber at all) is a liar and swindler looking for fools to give him their money. He might be taking YOUR MONEY soon, for his new dumbass book or country music CD. Small minded, uninformed people with big egos are common authoritarian personalities in the American far right. Joe shares these same characteristics with his beloved Bush and Palin.
And one more thing. Please do (sorta) what the proud, white, democracy-hating Americans say in their flyers down south:
Democrats vote Tuesday. Republicans vote Wednesday.
Monday, October 27, 2008
They had the gall to endorse Barack Obama for president. Are they ever in for it if Sarah Palin wins her quest for unlimited, and as she informs us, constitutionally flexible, Cheney style power.
I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s already been given the phone taps to the editors’ private numbers by now. Heck, I bet she’s got her first dude cooking up some of that famous patented Palin vengeance to serve them once she’s back up north. It’s gonna be a long dark winter for those nasty gotcha journalists.
And speaking of gotcha journalism, did you catch that interview she and Johnny granted to NBC’s Brian Williams? Williams foolishly tried to ruffle her feathers by bringing up Colin Powell’s endorsement for Obama. She just reminded Williams that she and Johnny already had endorsements from 4 or 5 former Republican Secretaries of State. Who needs Powell anyway?
It didn’t matter that Powell and McCain were both republicans, or even that they were both Vietnam War veterans. Rush Limbaugh clearly saw that Powell was supporting Obama only because they were both black. Nothing escapes the great oxy-moron’s keen insight.
Williams couldn’t resist exposing his liberal elitist bias when he asked her who she thought the elitists were. The humbly garbed Sarah saw right through that little ploy. We learn that it’s not about being a member of the rich and famous ruling class that makes one an elitist. No, it’s those liberal socialists who think they are better than the Real Americans from all those pro-America small towns.
And I was so gullible to think $22,000 worth of professional make-up work would qualify someone as elitist. I suppose the McCain's $270,000 annual wages paid to their domestic staff wouldn't make them elitists, either.
Finally Williams futilely tried to snare Sarah with his gotcha question about who the terrorists are.
Brian Williams: Is an abortion clinic bomber a terrorist under this definition?
Sarah Palin: [Sighs] There’s no question Bill Ayers, via his own admittance, was, um, one who sought to destroy, er, our US Capitol and our Pentagon. That is a domestic terrorist. Ah, there’s no question there. Now, others who would want to engage in harming innocent Americans or um, facilities, that, uh, that would be unacceptable. Uh, I don’t know if you’re going to use the word “terrorist” there, but it’s unacceptable and, uh, it, er, would not be condoned, of course, on, on our watch, but I don’t know what you’re asking is if I regret referring to Bill Ayers as an unrepentant domestic terrorist. I don’t regret characterizing him as that.
Brian Williams: I’m just asking what other categories you would put in there. Abortion clinic bombers, protesters in cities where fires were started, Molotov cocktails were thrown, people died.
Sarah Palin: I would put in that category of Bill Ayers anyone else who would seek to campaign to destroy our United States Capitol and our Pentagon and would seek to destroy innocent Americans.
You see, it’s not terrorism when you bomb abortion clinics with their evil doctors, staff, and patients. Come to think of it, those kinds of people are not even REAL Americans, let alone innocent Americans.
It may be unacceptable and not condoned, but easily forgiven and pardoned if the bomber is a real American.... Like say, Joe the plumber. We can’t use the word “terrorist” for those who believe that bombing is a form of oh, say, religious expression. Those fundamentalist types are part of what is called “the base”. They are the common folk who always fall in line behind the wedge issues to vote republican. Sarah was brought into the campaign to appeal to the base.
How can we call someone who thinks God wants them to punish the wicked enemies of their religion a terrorist? Sarah can clearly judge such distinctions.
It’s not like they’re crazed Muslim fundamentalists who think Allah wants them to kill infidels. Now those nuts are clearly terrorists. They even label their radical group with the sinister name of al-Qaeda. That would be the Arabic word for “the base”.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Only from the Reich Wing and corporate media lackeys are intelligent, thoughtful, eloquently reasoned statements deemed negative.
The McMedia pundits were all excited about proclaiming McNasty's anger "winning" debate points. Facts had no place in their judgment. And that's the direction they tilt the viewers.
Reasonable and thoughtful people are not the ones the media and Republicans are spinning.
Really, now. What does it say about Poor Johnny McBush when his big line for the entire debate was, "I'm NOT George Bush,"?
If only Obama would have replied, "Well, John, at least you're not George Bush 10% of the time."
Meanwhile at McAngry’s post debate rally, he enlightened the crowd of Joe Sixpacks about his 96 year old mother.
She flew over to Paris for a little Christmas holiday tour, like most of our parents always like to do that time of year.
She was denied a car rental because of her age. Hmm. I wonder why they’d do that?
Anyway, McMomma showed them Frenchies what an average regular American Granny Sixpack would do. She went and bought a NEW CAR for herself.
Ha! Take that you liberal elitists!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I think Jennifer is far more beautiful. And I’m not talking about just her physical appearance, either.
Along with other political and business leaders, she is participating in the Michigan Food Stamp Challenge to raise awareness of poverty and hunger. The state has about 1.3 million residents on food stamps. She and her family are living on a typical allotment of less than six dollars-per-day’s worth food stamps this week.
She also has the unenviable job of managing a state ravaged by twelve years of Bush League Republican Governor John Engler. He was on Bush’s VP list before Michigan voters preferred McCain in the 2000 primary.
Engler walked away with three state pensions after eliminating them for state employees who had the misfortune to get a job after he came into office. Engler’s legacy left Michigan with the nation’s highest unemployment rate of around 9 %.
How republican of him.
Anyway, when asked what her family was buying with the food stamps, Governor Granholm said, “A lot of macaroni and cheese.”
But I suppose Sarah Palin knows much more about poverty. She may have seen a homeless person on the side of the road during her Hate Fest tour of the lower forty-eight.
McCain's two most influential advisers represent the worst ideologies that have been destroying America.
Economic advisor Phil (Enron Loophole) Gramm is an engineer of the economic collapse.
Foreign policy advisor Randy (Neocon) Scheunemann is a war mongering Cheney/Rumsfeld crony.
How the hell can that crew possibly bring any kind of positive change?
Oops. That’s too complicated.
Johnny McBombBomb is simply a straight-talking maverick war hero.
And Obama is simply a terrorist.
We’ve heard the words at recent Palin and McCain rallies. Some were even uttered by the two candidates.
“Who is the real Barack Obama?” asked McCain.
The self-proclaimed ethical Sarah Palin has an answer. Obama is “not a man who sees America the way you and I see America.”
She also tells us Obama says all our troops do in Afghanistan is kill civilians. The faithful followers yell, “Treason!”
What are we to do about Obama Bin Lyin pallin’ around with terrorists? “Kill him,” came the recommendation from one loyal conservative.
Meanwhile, a meeting took place in Virginia on Sunday.
In McCain's Gainesville office Virginia Republican Party Chairman Jeff Frederick spoke to campaign volunteers who were about to go canvassing door to door.
The devoted foot soldiers for the cause of "Country First” (Trade Mark) were getting their talking points. Frederick urged them to show the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden.
Referring to the bumbling former radical Ayers, who never hurt anyone, Frederick told them, "Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon. That is scary."
A proud but indignant woman added her own bit of nonsense. "And he won't salute the flag.” Not even the one pinned to his lapel, apparently.
A confused conservative male volunteer offered his tip, "We don't even know where Senator Obama was really born." I wonder if he knows, unlike Obama, McCain was not actually born in the United States.
Maybe we don’t know everything about Barack Obama, but we certainly have learned something about the McCain/Palin gang of true believers.
After all the hate and ignorance spewed at Palin and McCain rallies lately, it's now time for my tasteless little joke:
What's the difference between the Nuremburg rallies and Sarah Palin rallies?...................Lipstick.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
He wants us to respect each others beliefs, and I will let that stand.
But, come to think of it, I have no idea what his/their "beliefs" are, other than the typical right wing talking points they repeat.
Or is that just a cover for their inability or unwillingness to think for themselves?
Is that what they really believe? Do they think liberals have no values or sense of responsibility? Do they really think liberals hate this country and our freedom?
How can they claim to oppose “big government” and at the same time surrender our privacy rights? How can they demonize taxes and still want a vast imperial military presence around the world? Is it their desire to revert our society to medieval theocracy?
They seem to dig in and not want to open up about what they really think. Maybe they simply believe that liberals are to blame for all the evil in the world.
Their beliefs are personal, and they are uncomfortable with any questions about them.
Too bad we can't ask them without their getting defensive, belligerent, or evasive.
We can really only know what they are against.
By their support of the Republican Party we can presume they are against most of the progress made through the last century.
They have blocked or reversed a middle class standard of living, civil liberties, collective bargaining rights, pensions, open government, separation of church and state, health care rights, workplace safety standards, environmental standards, regulation of big business, reproductive rights, corporate and government accountability, public access to legal representation, public education, the fairness doctrine in media, negotiable prescription prices for Medicare, and a minimum wage. That’s just mentioning a few off the top of my head.
As I saw on a bumper sticker, "Just what are conservatives conserving?"
Monday, September 29, 2008
I got a response from my old friend with the different political viewpoints. I was glad to see he read (I think) my whole message. I hope he wouldn’t mind if I share a bit of our exchange with you.
“...and your first paragraph was all that I needed to read. I appreciate the fact that your opinions are well researched, and I am certain that every day you read things that support your beliefs. All I ask is that you respect mine.”
It’s a good thing to “conserve” a friendship with a “liberal” amount of understanding.
I think I see from this experience what it all boils down to. It’s that word, “beliefs”.
He said, “...I am certain that every day you read things that support your beliefs.”
I’m sure I do, but I would tell him, if the subject could be discussed, I also read a lot that does not support my beliefs. I’m glad he understood my opinions are based on research. That would give them at least some grounding in verifiable reality. Then he mentioned respecting each other’s beliefs.
Hey, wait a second. There’s that word again.
Ok, let’s see what that word means.
According to my American Heritage Dictionary:
Belief –1. The mental act, condition or habit of placing trust or confidence in a person or thing. Faith. 2. Mental acceptance or conviction in the truth or actuality of something.
3. Something believed or accepted as true; especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets, accepted by a group.
I don’t think I have any beliefs when it comes to politics and politicians. That would mean I have trust, confidence, or faith in the “truth” in politics. And that whole element of faith would be terribly misplaced. I may have faith in friendship, faith in love, faith in my wife and faith in God. But I do not have faith in economics, politics, parties, government, politicians, and media. For them I have opinions, and plenty of them.
Here is what I believe. I believe people hold onto beliefs in a party or politician in a way similar to someone who has accepted a particular religion, or leader, or even a religious cult leader. It could be like someone’s desperate belief in their abusive spouse.
At one point in their life they decided to believe in someone or something, and they cannot reflect back on the decision. Like authoritarian followers whose decision to embrace the leader is irrevocable. It would be like doubting their purpose in life.
You could have a family member who joins a cult or marries a liar and cheater, and you may try to plead with them about the mistake they are making. They would only turn from you and follow their own misguided beliefs.
Someone may start out voting republican because their parents did. And that’s it; end of all consideration. They will support the party while being oblivious to the radical course it has taken. They just don’t pay it any thought or attention.
It is somehow wired into certain human brains. Their own beliefs are never questioned. It is up to our judgment whether we accept the person into our lives or not. If they accept us, we owe it to be there for them. Some lucky souls out there eventually see the light.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
You tell them Bush is a liar, and they tell you Clinton lied. (Never mind the frequency and consequences.)
You say Big Business needs rules to follow, and they tell you regulation is bad.
You point out that the media is corporate power, and they tell you it is liberal.
You might say Obama is a Constitutional scholar, and they tell you McCain is a maverick war hero.
You may say Chris Matthews said of McCain, "We're his base." They will tell you the media supports Obama.
You want to discuss issues and events, and they want to tell you Hollywood is evil and leftists are hateful.
You tell him Rush Limbaugh said this about a woman battling cancer, "But back to Elizabeth and the Breck Girl. I'm sorry, my friends, I just -- I can't. It just seems to me that Edwards might be attracted to a woman whose mouth did something other than talk."
And Rush said, "This is about chaos, this is why it is called Operation Chaos[...]the dream end, if people say what is your exit strategy. The dream end is this keeps up to the convention. And that we have a replay of Chicago 1968, with burning cars, protests, fires, literal riots and all of that. That's the objective here."
You tell him Michael Weiner Savage said, "Oh, you're one of the sodomites. You should only get AIDS and die, you pig. How's that? Why don't you see if you can sue me, you pig. You got nothing better than to put me down, you piece of garbage. You have got nothing to do today, go eat a sausage and choke on it. Get trichinosis."
And Savage said, "I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, 'Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot.'"
And you may tell him Glenn Beck said, "I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out of him. Is this wrong?"
And you may tell him Neal Boortz said, "It's Ramadan and Muslims in your workplace might be offended if they see you eating at your desk. Why? I guess it's because Muslims don't eat during the day during Ramadan. They fast during the day and eat at night. Sorta like cockroaches."
And recently in Alaska, a local conservative radio personality, Eddie Burke, lambasted anti-Palin demonstration organizers , "Call and tell those Socialist Maggots what you think of them. I'm not telling you to burn down their houses or tar and feather them, but someone should teach them how to love their country and support Sarah." He gave out the phone numbers of the organizers to listeners who made threatening calls....And they will say those are isolated comments taken out of context.
And around and around it goes.
That happened to me today, and I had to sit back and think about how to deal with it. We have been friends for decades and have been through a lot of merriment and madness together. I value the friendship and hope he will take a moment to read these words I sent to him.
I didn’t mean to jump all over you about politics. I Hope you’re not too upset about it. Hearing someone say they “like Sarah” can trigger a reaction.
It’s just that Sarah the likable, but vengeful, Church Lady scares me. It’s not only her church’s Armageddonist indoctrination. Everything I’ve learned about her indicates she is George Bush in a skirt.
McCain scares me too. He is a militaristic authoritarian. (He said there would be a place for Dick Cheney in his administration.) I’ve called McCain, along with Hillary Clinton, a war monger. And they are, by definition.
I also understand why Obama can scare someone. And it’s not because he’s black, although racism will unfortunately be a factor in the election.
I happen to spend an inordinate amount of time watching and reading political stuff. I even read the positions of republicans. George Will’s recent assessment of McCain is an interesting example. Then there’s Pat Buchanan’s warning about McCain’s neocon foreign policy advisor Randy Scheunemann.
There are many of us who rightly view actions by both Bush/Cheney and Pelosi/Reid as threats to our Constitutional democratic republic. I seriously consider Obama’s FISA vote as a betrayal of our Fourth Amendment.
Here is the truth, and I believe you understand this, too. People who call themselves liberal and people who call themselves conservative, have far more in common than the divisive media and politicians would have us think.
I hate the poisonous connotations that have been injected into those words. Both words, liberal and conservative, have become defined by their respective opposition to the point of contradictory meaninglessness. For example, neo-liberalism is neo-conservatism. Same thing, but who’d know it?
Corporate media and corporate bought government both thrive with an ill-informed public. I distrust them both and make it my business to learn the truth. We need independent voices in media. All we hear is partisan crap.
This is all I wanted to say. We can happily avoid the subject of politics. We have much to share and life is too short.
I hope he will read this and respect where I am coming from. If not, I may have lost a friend to the Reich Wing koolade cult.
Monday, September 22, 2008
That’s if I’m correct in presuming those Iranian built missiles aimed at “guess who” being America.
Never mind the number of American “nucular” missiles now aimed at Iran. The right feeds us lies and hysteria to remove rational thinking and real issues as factors in the upcoming election.
Since we have an abiding love for taking on stupidity, fear, hatred and ignorance here, I will let you read the “news flash” and then my comment in response.
Verified with snopes.com
ORLANDO LAST WEEK, AT A CITGO STATION REGULAR WAS PRICED AT $3.62 PER GALLON. THERE WERE NO CUSTOMERS. HOWEVER, ACROSS THE STREET WHERE I FUELED IT WAS SELLING FOR $3.65 PER GALLON AND ALL PUMPS THERE HAD CARS WAITING TO FUEL.
Have you noticed how the Citgo signs have disappeared in the past 7-8 months? Very clever move by Chavez. But guess what CITGO IS CHANGING ITS NAME TO? This is serious Americans...make sure you read.
Chavez is NOW getting a Russian Weapons Factory built by Putin. The RUSSIANS are building an AK-47 Kalashnikov Assault Rifle factory in Venezuela to give armament support to Communist Rebel groups throughout the Americas
Chavez NOW has IRANIANS operating his oil refineries in Venezuela for him. It is likely only a matter of time, if not already, before Chavez has Iranian built LONG RANGE missiles, with a variety of warhead types aimed at.... Guess Who? CITGO is NOW in the process of changing its name to PETRO EXPRESS due to the loss of gasoline sales in the USA due to the recent publicity of ownership by Chavez of Venezuela .
Every dollar you spend with CITGO or PETRO EXPRESS gasoline will be used against you, your basic human rights, and your freedoms. He will start wars here in the Americas that will l probably be the death of millions.
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT because Chavez is starting to feel the loss of revenue from his holdings. HE OWNS CITGO. This is a very important move which everyone should be aware of.
ANNOUNCED JUST RECENTLY, CITGO, BEING AWARE THAT SALES ARE DOWN DUE TO U.S. CUSTOMERS NOT WANTING TO BUY FROM 'CITGO-CHAVEZ,' HAS STARTED TO CHANGE THE NAME OF SOME OF THEIR STORES TO: 'PETRO EXPRESS.'
DO NOT BUY FROM 'PETRO EXPRESS'!
PETRO EXPRESS' IS ALSO 100% OWNED BY 'CHAVEZ.'
KEEP THIS MEMO GOING SO THAT EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT IS HAPPENING.
BOYCOTT CITGO AND 'PETRO EXPRESS'.
MAKE SURE THIS IS PASSED ON TO EVERYONE IN YOUR E-MAIL LIST IN THE UNITED STATES AND OUTSIDE OF AMERICA !
So I sez...
Thanks for sending this. It deserves our attention, but not for the reasons intended by the originator of the message.
This is right wing hate and fear mongering. The American radical right wingers spread lies because they want to distract us from what they are doing.
They are destroying both our economy at home and innocent human life in countries that never attacked us.
The Bush administration hates Chavez and calls him a dictator because he nationalized their oil resources. Hugo does not “own Citgo”.
Because Bush’s Big Oil cronies are not profiting from their country, Venezuela and Chavez are denounced as communists. Chavez is a socialist, but he is attacked as a commie because Americans are completely ignorant about the differences between communism and socialism. Sweden, Finland, and Denmark are socialist, but since they have no oil, we don’t call them communists. They DO have universal health care and college education, though. Hmm.
Bush backed a coup against the legally and democratically elected president Chavez. Hugo is no angel, but he has every right to regard the Bush administration as a hostile regime.
Bush, not Chavez, rules an empire and starts wars. No country is stupid enough to attack the US, but Americans are fooled into thinking so by radical right wing republicans, war profiteers, and neocon warmongers like Cheney and McCain.
Even after the Iraq debacle, our government is still corrupted by these warmongers. They prosper by frightening Americans into letting them pursue their bellicose ideology.
Venezuela will not attack America. They justifiably feel like we are about to attack them. That is why they do business with Russia and Iran.
Someone even wrote “verified with snopes”, but check for yourself.
Please pass along this information and link to the snopes.com page for a reality check.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
However, I take some comfort in knowing that I’m not alone in my density.
Johnny the Deregulator offered words of comfort for our nation’s distress over a wobbly Wall Street this past week.
The "fundamentals of the economy are strong", he assured us with his straight talk. And if you didn't know, like I didn’t know, that really means the American workers are strong.
Thank goodness he went back to explain his statement for those of us that are a little dim on the complexities of our economic challenges.
He is so right. We American workers are STRONG. And any democrat that disagrees with him is WEAK.
This should be enough to prove that the wisdom of Johnny McFinance is beyond our simple comprehension.
If America can trust anybody to fix this mess, it will be Johnny McKeating. He, and fellow maverick Sarah the Vindictive Church Lady, are just what we need to "shake up Washington". AND they promise to eliminate the greed and corruption on Wall Street as well.
Even more comforting is the fact that Sarah has the credentials to handle this crisis. After all, she can see the Bank of Wasilla from down the street where she lives.
I can sense the dissipating despair and anxiety, lifting like a fog from our collective uncertainty.
I hear he’ll start a “9-11 commission” to get to the bottom of all this and tell us where to go next. He probably meant a “de-regulation commission”, but I’m afraid to guess. He’ll tell us what it really is after he decides we’re ready to know.
It’s a good thing he has all those lobbyists working for him. I bet they’ll have more than a few good ideas about what to do for those poor Big Money orphans.
And since Johnny McHero was a POW, he's more than qualified to provide the clever foxes to watch that Wall Street henhouse.
Our money is safe.
So, sleep soundly America. You’ll get used to those lumpy mattresses.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
"This election is not about issues," said Davis. "This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."
We can be certain their idea of a “composite view” will not be grounded in reality.
Yes, the public will be shown meticulously staged images of McCain and Palin. The media will be saturated with the commercially sculpted illusions of the Republicans’ competence, history, and above all, character. American voters will be lured into selecting their future leadership from their caricature more than from their character.
The war in Iraq is an issue.
The looting of our treasury is an issue.
The destruction of the Constitution and rule of law is an issue.
Energy independence is an issue.
Our jobs and healthcare are issues.
And the Republican's message is WHAT?
This election is NOT about issues?
Only in Amerika.
Friday, September 5, 2008
and pick a few fights FOR THE FUN OF IT”!!!!
If this election is about character, my friends,
then we see Johnny McMaverick was a bully.
This bully likes to talk tough.
This bully wants to command his own army
and he wants to rule a militarized empire.
He wants to fulfill his ambition.
This bully is known for outbursts of temper.
This authoritarian bully has picked a successor.
She thinks our wars are God’s Task.
She would be putty in the Neocon’s hands.
And they are all waiting for their next chance.
But don’t be worried, my friends.
Johnny will be fine.
For a while.
But for now…
He’s ready to get America going.
And what does he repeatedly call on us to do?
In addition to fight, that is.
He wants us to serve.
Serve something that is greater than ourselves.
We can trust Johnny can come up with
somewhere or another for us to serve.
Even if he has to DRAFT a whole new jobs program.
So get in line and stand up straight.
Sound off, you maggots!
(If you put these lines to a military drill cadence,
you’ll get more of the feeling.)
John McCain has news for you.
He’ll tell you just what to do
Fight and Fight and Fight and Fight.
All day long and through the night.
I don’t know but I been told
John McCain is getting old.
What if Johnny’s heart is failin?
Then we got Church Lady Palin
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Soon Mordor in Minnesota will have finished its evil rites and its legions of authoritarians will march into the countryside to spread their message of fear and hatred.
Their convention ends, but not before leaving us with a shocking vision of their idea of law and order.
Local police and sheriffs, working with the FBI, (So you know this was instigated by Republicans in Washington DC) conducted preemptive searches, seizures and arrests.
Glenn Greenwald described the taste of American Fascism received by those who were planning on peaceful protest.
"Teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets."
Here is what was reported by Marjorie Cohn at CounterPunch.
The raids targeted members of "Food Not Bombs," an anti-war, anti-authoritarian protest group that provides free vegetarian meals every week in hundreds of cities all over the world. They served meals to rescue workers at the World Trade Center after 9/11 and to nearly 20 communities in the Gulf region following Hurricane Katrina.
Also targeted were members of I-Witness Video, a media watchdog group that monitors the police to protect civil liberties. The group worked with the National Lawyers Guild to gain the dismissal of charges or acquittals of about 400 of the 1,800 who were arrested during the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York. Preemptive policing was used at that time as well. Police infiltrated protest groups in advance of the convention.
Nestor said that no violence or illegality has taken place to justify the arrests. “Seizing boxes of political literature shows the motive of these raids was political,” he said.
Anyone even THINKING of photographing the demonstrations were targeted as enemies of the fascist state. Thought Crime is no longer a dark vision of 1984. It is now a tool of Amerikan totalitarianism.
All those right wing fanatics gathered in one place seemed to have released dark and evil emanations into the atmosphere. The Thought Police flew off into a kind of pheromone induced frenzy of beatings and arrests. They passionately indulged in their love of police state brutality. The Republicans’ SS inspired uniformed thugs relished their opportunity to put the boot to the public’s throat.
They are vanguard in the streets of Johnny McTorture’s gestating New Reich Order.
What kind of monstrous despotic thinking has brought us to this horrible state?
Maybe we can find clue in what the authoritarian Right has said.
"God gave this President and this President's Party one more chance. God heard the fervent prayers of millions of values voters to keep His hand on America one more time." -- Paul Weyrich, Heritage Foundation founder and Washington Times columnist
"Thank God that George Bush is our president." -- Rudy Giuliani
"George Bush is a leader for our times. When we sing 'God Bless America,' it is a prayer, and I believe this person is part of God's answer." -- U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman
"'I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it." - George W. Bush
And this is from our new Reich Mistress Queen Sarah. “Pray for our military. Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right for this country - that our leaders, our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God."
As the swastika adorned belt buckles of the Wehrmacht said, “Gott mit Uns”.
Yes. God with us.
The unholy crusade of Sarah McChurchlady is now unleashed on what little remains of our freedom and democracy.
This leaves me asking this simple question.
Why does God hate America?
Monday, September 1, 2008
After years of "Compassionate Conservatism", jobs have disappeared by the millions, unions have been demolished, health care benefits have been slashed, and pensions are fast becoming relics of the past century .
American workers now have to labor extra hours for less pay to collect their severely weakened US dollar.
American voters will soon have a choice.
They can elect Obama, who has promised a tax cut for the vast majority of Americans.
Or they can vote for Johnny McGreedy, who wants to make his personal $400,000 annual tax cut permanent.
Maybe they can figure this one out for themselves.
But, wait! Look Out! What about Osama Been Forgotten?
Omigod, I Ran wants nucular energy! After their history of interfering in our affairs and attacking America, we gotta stop them!
Oh, no! Russia actually invaded a sovereign nation! NOBODY does that in the 21st Century! How COULD they? Those godless commie beasts!
Help! Help! We need a former POW and a vengeful Church Lady to save us!
No matter what it costs, please, please help us. We're frightened. We want Johnny McMorewar to do Whatever It Takes!
Thank God we have a good corporate media to tell us this aristocratic, elitist, favored son of the military industrial complex is actually a straight talking maverick war hero.
Now our decision is much easier to make this November. Yes, I'm feeling safer already.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
You may have heard about the call for their flock to pray for rain on the Democrats in the stadium in Denver. It turned out to be a sunny day.
I guess God had other plans. That won't stop the Republicans, though.
It’s looking like they are going to have to steal another election.
They may have to show once again, their god doesn't approve of democracy.
Just like in 2000.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Johnny McRealestate replied, “Could I just mention to you, Jay, that, at a moment of seriousness .I spent five-and-a-half years in a prison cell. I didn’t have a house. I didn’t have a kitchen table. I didn’t have a table. I didn’t have a chair. And I didn’t spend those five-and-a-half years because, not because I wanted to get a house when I got out.”
It’s gonna be a LONG two months before he steals this election!
How many more times will Johnny McP.O.W. play this card? Since Americans are eating this crap up by the buckets, I predict at least another couple dozen times.
I hate to tell you folks this, but America has been held POW for eight years now.
And we are all in for serving at least four more years as Prisoners Of WARMONGERS!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
At the very least it was an idiot’s guide to voting.
I’m particularly filled with pride by having the good fortune of seeing Ted Nugent was a previous recipient of this crucial message. Don’t you love it when your email address gets mindlessly forwarded along with the propaganda out to the seething masses?
The spam was kindly sent out by a “Good Republikaner” who took on the mission to alert Americans to the dastardly deed of one “despicable” Barack Obama.
What offending horror could Obama have committed this time?
Here’s what I learned. The wording is left as it was received.
“WHAT A DISGRACE!!! AND HE IS ALL AMERICAN????
Obama The Patriot - Removes American Flag From His PlaneBarack Obama recently finished a $500,000 total overhaul of his 757. And as part of the new design, he decided to remove the American flag from the tail...
What American running for President of the United States would remove the symbol of his country? And worse, he replaced the flag with it with a symbol of himself... Obama is such a despicable human being.
Please forward this if you're not ashamed of our country and our flag & if think this is a disgrace.”
Not wanting to be ashamed of our country, I did the patriotic thing. I replied to my fellow Americans with whom I was privileged to share this news.
Thank you for bringing this urgent and compelling matter to my attention. I was wondering who I should vote for.
This really makes me think hard... And it is clearly the biggest REAL ISSUE that finally made up my mind. It sure does make me mad!
Why does Obama HATE AMERICA??
The MONSTER! He had his plane repainted! Every other presidential candidate does this for the last part of the campaign, but Obama did it wrong.
Why would anyone even think about voting for Obama?
That would be disgraceful and un-American. Just like removing the stylized flag image of the North American Airlines corporate logo on a plane. It was not a REAL flag, of course, or even a “symbol of his country”. It was a CORPORATE LOGO. Why, come to think of it, desecrating a corporate logo should be a crime in itself! Never mind there’s still an accurate flag depiction next to the exterior registration numbers on the plane. Just like on McCain’s plane.
It would just be stupid to elect Obama. Especially if you think about the outstanding public service we’ve seen from Bush and McCain.
Republican leadership sure has done a “heck of a job” with our employment opportunities, our economy, and international respect. And for our own good, I’m sure; they devalued our dollar to an unbelievable low. The Canadian dollar is leaving ours in the dust. If you have to ask what the dollar value of the Euro is now, you can’t afford it.
CEO pay has gone up even faster than OUR purchasing power has declined. And who can’t love the sweetheart tax breaks and legislation for the pharmaceutical industry and Big Oil? Corporate lobbyists and big business SHOULD be allowed to continue writing our laws to maximize their profit. That’s what good government is for, right? The more we transfer our tax dollars into rich Republicans’ pockets, the greater America becomes.
Our kids will love us for the trillions of dollars of debt we’ll leave them. They will thank us for the lessons in responsibility and character. Just like making an example of those losers facing bankruptcy for medical expenses.
And above all, we can’t let the tax breaks for the richest Republican donors expire. They’ve already bought the government, why tax them, too?
And so, my friends, it is simple to see. What kind of fool would think change is needed?
God bless America! And may He continue to bless us with the greed that makes Him love US best.
I could have sent my response along to “Uncle Ted”, but I’m just a little too worried about straying within rifle range of him. He’s a better shot than his buddy Dick Cheney.