Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

It’s that miserable time of the year. Right wingers are miserable because Obama will be president. Lefties are miserable over Bush being, for 54 more days, president of our once magnificent country. Never has so much utter failure and sheer disaster been dumped on an incoming president. The excitement of the election has subsided into a relatively moderate mix of anticipation and anxiety.

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

Our New Conservative Friend

I saw an interesting survey while watching the Sunday pundits this morning. The USA Today/Gallup poll was gauging the public’s reaction to Barack Obama getting elected president last Tuesday. The poll found that 67% of the American people felt proud that Obama was elected. And 67% felt optimistic as well. Gee, maybe God DID bless America.

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

Morning In America

Time to wake up! It’s morning in America! Wipe those bleary teary eyes and look at what we’re up against.

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

My Endorsement

I was watching the Colbert Report the other night and was delighted to hear Stephen endorse Barack Obama for president. Yes, what a shock! Then he went on to explain his reason. He wants to get a good job running a combine on a new collective farm if Obama wins. Of course, Stephen said he would VOTE for McCain, while endorsing Obama.

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

Rhymes With Witch

It looks like Michigan has its own red spots. There's not really much to add to this little gem. I'll bet she thinks she's one of those REAL Americans.


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.