Monday, March 16, 2009

Divorce Agreement

A liberal minded friend sent me another one of those right-wing forwards. It was a cute little “divorce agreement” that would indicate the radical conservatives of the minority are not fond of living within anything resembling a democracy anymore.

After reading the message allegedly written by a law student, one excited reader gushed, “THIS IS SO INCREDIBLY WELL PUT AND I CAN HARDLY BELIEVE IT'S BY A YOUNG PERSON, A STUDENT!!! WHATEVER HE RUNS FOR, I'LL VOTE FOR HIM. PASS IT ON!”

My friend needed some help. “My poor misled relatives are in need of a cure. You got one?”

I’m no law student, but I do know each side is entitled to counsel and representation in a divorce. I’m afraid the only cure for radical right-wing indoctrination is a curious and open mind. Unfortunately we cannot force healthy emotional and intellectual growth upon the unwilling party.

I usually prefer not to impose into family issues, but I was asked. Here is the “divorce agreement” along with some fair and equitable terms I have added.

Divorce agreement:

Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al:

We have stuck together since the late 1950's,
(You mean since Reich Winger Joe McCarthy screamed that everybody he didn’t like was a communist? Hey, that sounds familiar. And we'll ignore Nixon's Enemies List) but the whole of this latest election process (You mean when the guy with the most votes won.)has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has run its course. Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right (Obama won. Most Americans voted for him and want him to succeed. Republicans are not just against Democrats; they are against democracy.) so let's just end it on friendly terms. (So we can still be friends.) We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.

Here is a model separation agreement:

Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass. (We tried that in the Civil War, but if you insist, we’ll take the Northern states and West Coast.) That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.

We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them. (Great. So we don’t have to redistribute our tax money while two thirds of all the corporations pay none.)You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU. (OK. We’ll take justice and civil liberties for the common folk.)Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military. (And we’ll arm those who swear to protect and defend the Constitution.) You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell (You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them). (Now if you can’t be nice, you shouldn’t sit at the adults’ table.)

We'll keep the capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street. (What you mean is corporatism, where these companies help write the Republicans’ laws to help themselves to more of the people’s money. And I bet this won’t be the only time you side with greed.) You can have your beloved homeless, homeboys, hippies and illegal aliens. (You mean those people made homeless by Republican corporations that moved their jobs overseas? And you mean the aliens illegally hired by some of those same Republican corporations?)

We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks. (Greedy Wall Street CEO’s are your kind of people. Smart rednecks know those CEO’s are Republicans.) We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood. (As long as you take Jerry Falwell, Jim Baker, Pat Robertson, Ted Haggard, and Fox “News” with you.)

You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us. (You were threatened by Iraq?) You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. (And everyone else with a conscience?)When our allies or our way of life are under assault, (Our way of life includes the Fourth Amendment, which was assaulted way more by Bush than the terrorists.) we'll help provide them security.

We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values. (And we’ll keep the Bill of Rights, democracy, tolerance, and equality.) You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U. N. but we will no longer be paying the bill. (Speaking of paying the bill, there will be no more red state socialism to bail your asses out. Let me explain so you understand. Most Republican states, those states that voted for Bush, receive more federal money than they pay in taxes.)

We'll keep the SUVs, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru station wagon you can find. (Ya’ll better leave those Northern state union-made vehicles with us, and keep your Southern state non-union Asian type cars.)

You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors. (You’ll have all the jobless families bankrupted by health care costs.) We'll continue to believe healthcare is a luxury and not a right. (So you believe in profit over people. Which is why we say health care is integral to the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.)

We'll keep The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the National Anthem. I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute Imagine, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing, Kum Ba Ya or We Are the World. (We’ll also keep all the music ever recorded by drug users and drunks. That includes Hank Williams, Elvis, and Johnny Cash. And you can dance to military march music at your party rallies.)

We'll practice trickle down economics and you can give trickle up poverty your best shot. (Where have you been the last three decades? The rich got trickled up tax cuts, while the middle class has been trickling down the drain.) Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag. (You seem to have trouble remembering the last 8 years. History comes in books, documentaries and even movies. Remember, you don’t like that stuff. And Palin couldn’t remember any Supreme Court Case she disagreed with other than Roe v Wade. There’s Limbaugh’s anointed leader for you.)

Would you agree to this? (As revised.) If so, please pass it along to other like minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet you ANWAR which one of us will need whose help in 15 years. (Oh, right, just like Wall Street needs us to bail them out.)


John J. Wall, Law Student and an American

P. S. Also, please take Barbara Streisand & Jane Fonda with you. (You must be a very OLD law student to remember Babs and Jane.)

I hate to see an ugly divorce. I would still be happy to suggest an offer of reconciliation.

We would prefer this dispute be resolved through liberal education in lieu of conservative indoctrination. Should any member of the conservative party ever conclude that cooperation, honest communication, and compromise have a rightful place in our national discourse, they are more than welcome to rejoin and participate in the process of liberal democracy.

United we stand.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Uncle Dave's Counsel

I need to start attending these Conservative Political Action Conference gatherings. It’s a veritable buffet of right wing idiocy just waiting to be chewed up. I’m still learning about what went on at the CPAC during the last week of February.

I was aware of the featured speakers like Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Rush Limbaugh, but it was just today I read about Jonathan Krohn.

Jonathan is the bright young wunderkind of the conservative movement.

He was not yet 14 when he asked the CPAC organizers for an opportunity to speak at their conference. He has already written a book “Define Conservatism” outlining his conservative “core values”. Isn’t that precious? Or is it precocious? Maybe it’s both.

You may wonder what his parents were like, for him to embrace the right wing at such a young age.

It seems Mom is conservative, but says, “Politics bore me”. Dad is a talk radio listener. So, it’s not entirely young Jon’s fault he’s been sucked into the Dark Side. It’s kind of sad seeing a smart kid raised by uninformed parents.

Heck, I don’t blame the kid. I was once a budding little right winger. I rebelled against my jazz musician father. I liked to hunt and fish and had no time to listen to jazz. When I was Jonathan’s age I loved reading WWI and WWII history and wanted to be pilot in the Marines. I was ready for glory.

Then I got sick with rheumatic fever and learned my vision was not good enough to be a military pilot.

Something else dissuaded my military ambitions. My older brother was sent to Vietnam in 1966. I saw the worry in my mother’s face every day he was over there.

I began to ask myself some serious questions. For what cause or reason could my brother possibly be killed in that little country so far away? The more I learned, the less I liked about that war.

Soon my interests developed elsewhere. Since I was not going to be a soldier, philosophy, music and literature began to occupy my time. I picked up a guitar and listened to the Beatles and the other anti-authoritarian voices of that era’s music. And I learned to love jazz.

But I digress. I just wanted to point out there’s hope for this intelligent young lad. Maybe he doesn’t have anyone close enough to talk to him about the other side. Perhaps he needs a kindly old Uncle Dave to sit with him for a while to help clear a few things up.

The first thing I’d do is praise little Jon for his speech at CPAC. I’d tell him of my speech to the American Legion. They kindly sponsored my trip to Boy’s State to learn about government. We could talk about how good it feels to be applauded by a bunch of conservative folks.

After that bit of bonding I would discuss the contents of his speech and his book.

He told the crowd he defined conservatism on “four categories of principle”.

They are respect for the Constitution, respect for life, less government, and personal responsibility.

He explained, “In the conservative viewpoint we believe that it’s principle based. It is the people first, the people’s rights based upon principled views. It is an ideology of protecting the people and the people’s rights.”

I would say to him, “Good for you. I like to see a principled young man who is concerned with protecting people and their rights. That’s what we liberals love about our Bill of Rights.”

Liberals also love democracy. Did you know conservatives don’t care so much about that? Here’s what American conservative movement leader Paul Weyrich said. "I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of the people. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

Then I would tell him about how the leaders of American conservatism were the most destructive force ever unleashed upon our Constitution. I would tell him about Habeas Corpus being one of America’s greatest legal principles, and how conservatism worked to eliminate it.

I would entertain him with stories about how conservative laws called The Patriot Act, The Military Commissions Act, and the FISA amendment represent the complete opposite of respect for the Constitution.

I would inform him of the Warner Defense Authorization Act and recent Bush Department of Justice memos giving the president dictatorial military powers over American citizens.

I would ask him how the conservatives’ embrace of the death penalty and wars without provocation is respect for life. Would opposition to health care access for 50 million Americans also be considered respect for life? It would seem conservative respect for life is focused primarily on the fetus. Where’s the respect for life after birth?

I would explain to him that for conservatives, less government means less regulation for Big Business, but more intrusion on personal life decisions.

I would ask him if he could show me any examples of personal responsibility from the Bush Administration’s lies, war, torture, politicizing of the Justice Department, and violations of the Fourth Amendment.

Then I’d ask him if he knew that liberals actually believe those principles, rather than using them to merely screen their true motives of greed and power over the majority of the American people.

I would ask Jon if he can see the politicians who espouse conservatism are the ones who are most enmeshed with corporatism. I’d point out to him that conservatism ALWAYS supports the interests of big money over the public’s needs. Every conservative initiative is directed at promoting corporate agendas to the detriment of people’s rights.

Conservatism, in effect, will always step on the little guy to make it easier for the big shots. Remember “promote the general Welfare” is the part of the Constitution’s preamble that conservatism disdains.

Finally I’d tell him about the conversation I had with my nephew last August. He’s an ambitious young businessman and he told me “all regulation is bad”.

The next month the financial world collapsed because the conservatives had stripped away all regulation.

I haven’t heard any more such talk from my nephew since.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Apology And Agreement

Last week I wrote about Rush Limbaugh’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Although there are some other topics I need to address, I can’t go on in good faith until I correct my errors.

I didn’t start actually taking notes until a couple minutes into his speech. I told you I was an amateur reporter, and it shows. The truth is, I misquoted Rush. And for that I must apologize.

Yes, I now join the esteemed company of Republicans who went crawling back to Rush to apologize for their transgressions against the Big Boss of the GOP. I guess I know how it feels now for Michael Steele, Phil Ginrey, Mark Sanford and all the others.

If I am going to pick on Rush, it should be for what he said, not for what I thought he said.

I wrote that Rush liked to make liberals “defend Stalin”. Maybe my hearing is going, along with my short term memory. Days later I got a copy of the transcript of Rush’s speech and learned the true context.

He was joking about his security. He said, “In fact, I would like to introduce to you my security chief, a man who runs all of my security. His name is Joseph Stalin. I am safe from any liberal attack, in public, because they would be afraid of offending Stalin.”

My aging ears heard something like defending, rather than offending. So let’s set the record straight. We liberals are “afraid of offending Stalin”, not that we defend him.

I also wrote he said, “Stop thinking you’re a minority”. What he really said was, “But the main thing to do here is stop thinking that we are a minority.”

“Same difference", you say? I just want to be accurate.

And now it’s time for some even more painful honesty. I agree with something Rush said in the first minutes of his speech.

He said, “We want every American to be the best he or she chooses to be. We recognize that we are all individuals. We love and revere our founding documents, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. [Applause] We believe that the preamble to the Constitution contains an inarguable truth that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life. [Applause] Liberty, Freedom. [Applause] And the pursuit of happiness. [Applause] Those of you watching at home may wonder why this is being applauded. We conservatives think all three are under assault. [Applause] Thank you. Thank you. “

Now, now, I know he botched it when he said that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” was written in the Constitution. Just because the CPAC folks were about to give him a Defender of the Constitution Award, doesn’t mean poor Rush has to KNOW anything about the Constitution.

Besides, he was about to make a broader point, the one he and I share. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, wherever those notions come from, are in trouble.

“We conservatives think all three are under assault.”

Right on, Rush! I’m with you there, buddy. I must be a conservative too! Woo hoo! So, why did you support and defend Bush and Cheney while they ravaged our Constitution? Oh I forgot. You’re only an entertainer.

Since I have the transcript of the speech, I feel I must make amends to Rush and plug a couple more of his enlightening statements.

His very next sentence was, “We don't want to tell anybody how to live.”

Oh, really? That’s news to me. I guess they only want to tell people how NOT to live. Big difference, eh?

I’ll tell you one more, just to give you the flavor of the event. In defense of his wanting Obama to fail, he rallied the crowd with this lie.

“Did the Democrats want the war on Iraq to fail?”

“Yes!” The conservatives roared with one great voice.

“They certainly did,”
Rush affirmed. Never mind many Democrats not only voted to let Bush start the war, they voted to fund it for years.

Lucky for Rush they don’t tax lies.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What To Do?

The liberal media are at it again. The Corporate News Network CNN liberally gave Rush Limbaugh an hour and a half of air time Saturday. They must really miss Glenn Beck.

I dutifully listened to the whole thing so most of you didn’t have to.

From the content of Limbaugh’s speech we see the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC was quite the little hate-fest.

But Rush said they didn’t hate anybody. Yes, he said that, but the lies and contradictions spoke volumes to the contrary. Rush also put on a spectacular display of the old tried and true right wing art of projection.

Amateur reporter that I am, I took some notes during Rush’s often declared “first address to the nation”. That’s what he called it after pointing out that his speech was on Fox and C-SPAN. Poor CNN didn’t even get acknowledged.

First address to the nation. And he used this phrase repeatedly. That little joke was about the funniest thing he said all night. So funny, in fact, that many of the attendees laughed at the little quip all ten times, or so, he said it.

Conservatives. They really are a simple lot. No wonder they’re so gullible they buy into anything their idols tell them. The crowd could not contain their adulation for their hero. They would frequently leap to their feet and shout their cheers. They would chant “USA, USA” with raised fists. It was like watching an American remake of “Triumph of the Will”.

Let’s take a look at some of those remarks from the old Oxy-moron.

He loved referring to Obama as the “messiah”. And he also kept to his tactic of using the word “fear” as close as possible to the name Obama. I reported this to you back in November immediately after the election. He loves this practice so much I bet he uses it every day.

First comes the set up. He tells his listeners the president is, "one of the most gifted politicians, one of the most gifted men I have ever witnessed. He has extraordinary talent."

Could this be the same kind of “talent on loan from God” that Rush possesses?

I’m afraid not. Now hear this, all you bleeding heart liberals. Poor Rush is heartbroken.

We learn, "It just breaks my heart that he has not used that extraordinary talent and gift to motivate and inspire the American people to be the best that they can be. He's doing just the opposite."

Have you been noticing that too? Who could be so stupid to think Obama could inspire anybody? Rush tells us the opposite is true. “Obama wants people in fear.”

Thanks, Rush. Is there anything else? I was not to be disappointed.

Did you know Obama and the “Democrat Party” are “all about control”, and want to impose “authoritarian government power”? Wow! This calls for a good civil libertarian like Dick Cheney to come save us from those nasty authoritarians.

Once again we see the old psychological defense mechanism of projection. This is where they accuse others of the wrongful or undesirable behavior they themselves act out.

Here’s some more of the democrats’ diabolical plan. They “foment and create anger” in order to “destroy peoples’ futures”.

Why can’t those democrats be nice like the republicans and start up a couple endless wars?

Maybe they should question people’s patriotism, or scare voters by saying the terrorists will kill them if they don’t make the right choice.

What with those liberals and their treacherous and treasonous Democrat Party, it is nothing short of saintly of Rush to refuse to hate such evil. Even after he told his audience of the horrible punishment dealt to the poor victimized rich class. When Rush says “punish”, he means having to pay taxes. Those darn liberals want to steal your money and give it to those who don’t want to work.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t Bush start a program called TARP that takes a trillion of our tax dollars to give to crooked bankers? Not to worry. The financial meltdown was caused by the democrats. And we learn from Rush that the whole TARP thing is unconstitutional; well at least after Obama became president.

And besides, who do those democrats think they are, taking your money? Rush said, “They don’t have the right to take money that is not theirs.”

So how are they going to pay for the republicans’ wars? And never mind what that liberal hippie Jesus said with that, “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” claptrap.

“Liberals!” The very thought of them is enough to make a Reich Winger’s blood boil. Who’d even want to talk to them? Ah, but Rush says he welcomes debating with liberals. Yes, sir. He said he likes to make them “defend Stalin”.

So you may ask, what is a good conservative to do when the Democrat Party has the Oval Office and majorities in both the House and Senate? What can you do when Obama has over a sixty-five percent approval rating? What sage advice did Rush impart to his masses?

Rush spoke these profound words, “Stop thinking you’re a minority.”

Stop thinking, and keep listening to Rush. How easy can it get?