QUOTE OF THE MONTH

“Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it’s from Neptune.”

-Noam Chomsky

And You Thought There Weren’t That Many Stupid People

gun_mama-1It can send chills down your spine just thinking about it.

I bet you had no idea before the Inter-Tubes were invented that there were THAT many stupid people in the world, and a great huge hunk of ‘em live in the good ole US of A.

I mean if we are so dang special as the Righties insist with our X-CEP-TUAL-ISM, and it’s all God-given as the last best chance for humanity and all, why it seems that God would not allow that many stupid people to reside on the golden waves of grain and all that purplely majesty, noh?

Well, as I said, we lived in a our naivete until the danged old Internet showed us that there was just a lot more of them fools than we thought. Before it, one might run across only one village idiot in a lifetime. No more.

Nothing has brought forth the dancing dunces more than our current President, who happens to be both smart, and accomplished as well as exceptionally thick-skinned. The marching morons seek excuses for how a Black man (half-black as they so often point out) can be any of that stuff, so they have spent the last six years or so sweating the small stuff, attempting to uncover that he is a savant in disguise and is really a walking-talking Ken doll with some Russian/Kenyan/Marxist/Jihadist Svengali operating the levers and pulling the strings.

Two wildly unimportant in incidents occurred in the last could of days that goes to show just how ground-slitheringly anphibian these “people” really are.

The first one involves the President giving a speech somewhere, and making a joke about getting back to Chicago and his house, and finding on his desk a fair amount of old mail, including some old bills. As is apparently common, a transcript of the speech is released, and some fart-head noticed that the “old bills” phrase was omitted. The White House explained that it was just a transcription error.

But the whacked out world of conspiracy theory gunned up the motor and went full bore.

At Blaze we found these comments:

Boompa2 writes: Spyder-News Alert–It was just reported that an Operative from Citizens United, posing as a TV repair Man, infiltrated the Obummer residence. While in Barry’s office, the Operative found the stack of unpaid bills. At the top was an envelope titled “Pay Per View”-Past Due. A movie titled “Chicks With Richards{inset nickname}” was viewed 666 times @ $14.99. No wonder the joke was left out. Oh yeah, catch the 666? Boompa went boompa on his head I bet, and now sees double. Where is Boopa1? Check the cellar or the freezer.

pa-native interjects:

We all need to check our “white privilege” before judging Obolas statements…

You see, slavery existed by a bunch of dead guys years ago, many of which NONE of us are related to in any way…but we need to keep paying reparations to all the “victim classes” out there for a better America…

sarcasm of course…I know my family immigrated here LEGALLY in 1920, assimilated, loves America and has been Patriots since we hit Ellis island, where we were screened for disease, lice, infection etc etc… Gosh its good to know your lineage, right stupid idiot. Good Obola, Obama…but thanks for the history lesson…”slavery existed by a bunch of dead guys years ago, [many?] of which NONE of us are related to in any way….” Gosh prose like that warms my heart.

You might think the WSJ would attract a better class of people. You would be wrong.

five01c3 complains: So if Obama lived in Detroit, his water would have been turned off ages ago. Gotcha. Air Jordans and flip phones are way more important than water, anyway. Do I sense just a tad of racism in their five? Mixing all those lies into one bundle makes it efficient I guess.

Alone explains:

I don’t know why anyone would be surprised at this remark “unpaid bills” what would you expect from a welfare baby!

Has anyone ever noticed how the left is only concerned with itself. There doesn’t seem to be any concern for those of us that pay for them. That would e a right pithy argument dear singular idiot, if only the RED states weren’t the biggest eaters of the free pie. Facts are such damnable things aren’t they?

conspiracy-300x225 Right after this little “major event”, we get of course the amusing and rather endearing episode of our President being teased by a young man. The fellow, knowing his girlfriend is all kinds of nervous about voting next to the President of the USA, walks by and says, “Mr. President, don’t touch my girlfriend.”

The President ad-libs a few lines, the lady giggles in embarrassment, and when later interviewed they both seem like the nicest of people.

Everyone who saw it thought it cute and playful, handled superbly by the President.

Well, not quite everyone.

Ya see the nut jobs over at World Net Daily have a different take.

vettelover advises: Pretty sure Barry does not like girls. Yes we know, you and your ilk of whack-job believe the President is gay, that Michelle is a guy in drag and the kids belong to somebody else. Next weeks meeting of the first class morons meets at eleventy o-clock under neath the McD’s sign on NOBODY COULD BE THIS STUPID AVENUE.

You waves frantically: ObaMao is quite the embarrassment to the People of the United States of America!!! His tyrannical reign is coming to an end. Can I get an Amen!!! So he’s Chinese? Wow, that explains everything. Thanks for the info YOU FOOL.

tuffone3 wonders: If a white man said the same thing to the president, would the president have called him a brother? He is half white, after all. And why exactly are you so obsessed with his parents ethnic background again? Do not, I repeat, do not get a DNA test. You will not like the results, I am fairly sure of that.

Moga Moa has the answers:

He better worry about Obama trying to feel him up

I suspect this planned photo op was a pushback against blacks suspicion he’s a pervert homosexual. Ya know what they say, them that crows pervert the loudest are usually stinkin’ terrified that they are PERVERTS themselves. Just sayin’

I mean seriously people. I’d just hate to be a Republican and know that these are my peeps. They walk into voting booths across America and vote for the same jerks you do. I mean does it make your skin crawl? Or perhaps it gives you a big warm fuzzy. Crazy is as crazy does.

** all the above are actual comments from these publications.

Drowning in a Sea of False Equivalency

Science-vs-BSEverywhere we look it seems we see the ugly head of stupid reasoning attaching itself to every issue we face today. Issues are not debated, they are attached. By that I mean velcro strips of “arguments” are thrown at statements that do nothing to actually argue the real point, or offer enlightenment in their own right. They usually obscure, deflect, and defeat real argument.

Case in point is false-equivalency, or as it is known in the GOP dumbed down inopposite: comparing apples to oranges. You see, a perfectly good way to end an argument is to just stroke one’s chin and utter, “ahh, but now you are comparing apples to oranges,” and then sagely walk away, while your befuddled opponent scratches their head and wonders how to respond to that.

For uttering the words, “apples and oranges” is not an argument, but rather a clever device to stop everyone in their tracks while they ponder how what they just said could be of no more worthy comment than to point out that you failed comparison class. But did you?

I know the term false-equivalency is a big mouthful, and something that requires neuronic interplay, so bear with me dear GOP friends. I’m writing this slowly in the hopes that by reading it slowly you just might get a hint of what we are talking about. I’ve been engaged in a couple of conversations recently and all seem to succumb to the “I really don’t have an argument, so hey, I’ll just throw this canard your way, and Good Day!”

Case in point:

The GOP has been Halloween scary when it comes to this Ebola thing. And as the GOP often does, it presumes its sad cadre of listeners/followers can’t remember last Saturday from Mother’s Day, so it says stupid things figuring it can get away with it. While all the GOP was running around in their clown cars lighting everyone’s hair on fire with the “WHO’S IN CHARGE” allegations, they conveniently forgot that they were IN CHARGE of blocking the obvious person to be in charge.

You see, they blocked the nominee for Surgeon General Vivek Murthy a good while back. Dr. Murthy drew this scorn because he had had the temerity to suggest that gun violence in this country was a national health concern. Even though, as SG Dr. Murthy would have zero control over gun laws, the NRA wizzed it’s collective pants and ordered its minions to put a stop to the nomination, which they did.

Now I would be the first to tell you that in all likelihood, the Ebola fright week would have happened in any case, since the GOP is firmly convinced that frightened Americans tend to vote Republican and thus will miss no opportunity to so terrify where possible, but rational people see the GOP walking into their own poop as it were.

Enter the equivalency provocateur, who told me, “aw shucks, you guys wouldn’t approve of Bork. So nominate someone who can get confirmed, and stop whining”.

Essentially, all denied nominees are the same.

This is false equivalency. Nominees have been rejected by  both sides in the past, but ostensibly it is because they are unfit in some manner for the office to which they are intended. Such was not the case in Mr. Murthy’s case–his medical credentials are unassailable. He simply was unacceptable to a small lobbying group. Murthy undoubtedly would make the same argument regarding the need for better safeguards in cars. And it would be as repellant for him to be dismissed from consideration by the auto lobby.

In fact, as regards the Consumer Protection Agency, the GOP was actually clear: Richard Cordray had been denied the job for years by recalcitrant Republicans, not because he was not qualified, but because they hated the agency and were trying to make it powerless, by keeping it headless. They fully admitted that Cordray’s credentials were impeccable.

Claiming that “both sides do it” is not an answer, its avoidance of the real issues of why one party has decided that not governing is the new way to govern as the minority. Instead of working with the majority and trying to tone down legislation that has majority support, they aim at obstructing all legislation and such has been their stated decision since a week or so after Obama entered the White House in 2009.

Case in Point:

Among the other asinine arguments about how we aren’t doing enough about Ebola, is the usage of it, as a means to whine about the border security issue again.

We can talk all day about border security, how more people have been deported under Obama than Bush, how more agents have been deployed under Obama than Bush, how more fences have been constructed under Obama than Bush and on and on, but of course, that doesn’t fit the meme the GOP wishes to pursue, so instead we talk about how terrorists who are carrying Ebola will be crossing our borders willy-nilly and infecting everyone before they die.

When we again remind them, then why aren’t we talking about the Northern border too then, we get the “that’s comparing apples and oranges”.

When asked to explain that, they figuratively, smile slyly and walk away.

Because of course it is not comparing apples and oranges. The Northern border is more than twice as long as the Southern, and as best I can learn is “secure” to about 1%, I’d hazard a guess that is mostly at the Great Lakes, which presents a sort of barrier itself and the St. Laurence, and at points of entry such as Sarnia, Windsor, Buffalo, and Niagara. Other than that, its wide open and as everyone knows, a few thousand of our citizens entered Canada to avoid Vietnam a few years back if you recall.

Who’s kidding who?

If you were a terrorist, might you consider it in fact easier to enter through the north than the south?

If you buy any of that nonsense in the first place that is.

Case in Point:

Some one posts about Cheney and Haliburton being responsible for the existence of ISIS in the first place.

Now that’s probably a stretch. I suspect that they have a part to play in the rise of ISIS to be sure, pushing a needless war that allowed war profiteering companies like Haliburton to make billions at the expense of over a 100,000 Iraqi lives to say nothing of our own losses. That is something we could discuss.

But the response we get is not a defense of Cheney and company, but rather, a “let sleeping dogs lie” kind of theory because “history can’t be changed”.

No indeed history cannot be changed, but that is hardly an argument. It’s not even rational good sense on it’s own merits. To know and learn from history gives us the hope at least that we don’t make the same mistakes. So said George Santayana however inelegantly he might have worded it. And as others point out, we are constantly learning it better;  we seldom write one definitive history of anything, but continue to gather information and reflect on the subject from myriads of angles.

But it does offer to shut down the conversation does it not?

And that’s all that the GOP seems good at.

anti-evolution-bill

At all costs, we must avoid what we don’t want to confront. I think you get that when you sign the card, “I register as a Republican,” along with your requisite button and US flag pin.

These are false equivalencies, or simply avoidance period. Don’t be confused. It’s the first line, and usually the only line of defense you will get. We don’t argue with the uber right to convince them, for that is usually not possible, we seek to inform the fringe who are listening in and actually want to learn.

Continue to be clear with your facts, scrupulous in your research, and quick to admit any mistake. You can count on the fact they won’t do any of these things, and a fair listener/reader will end trusting your version. The point is after all, truth.

Accuracy-Climate-Science-Segments-Cable-News-Networks-2013-Chart

Another Angle

panicI think it’s the Boomers fault.

If like me, you grew up under the specter of the ATOM BOMB and “duck and cover” exercises in school, you can see that we are at fault.

Since us Boomers all feel that we grew up pretty much okay, except for the one quarter of us who are certifiably insane right wing ranters who think denial of the obvious will some how insulate them from extinction at the hands of an angry god, we figure that we best instill a large chunk of panic in the national diet so that upcoming generations will grow strong like us.

This explains, I think, why media grand viziers seem determined to make each and every “event” one in which we should all be checkin’ our survival rations and “bug out” plans.

It should be, therefore, clear why  ALL the media is in a panic about EBOLA. The fear of God requires it ya see, for only after learning to hold one’s bladder and sphincter in the face of impending death can we come out the other side as well-rounded happy and content people that most of us Boomers actually are.

Of course on the far-far-right in a galaxy too stupid to find it’s way in orbit, the media has all sorts of unusual if not predictable explanations. WorldnetDaily which is peopled by a class of subhumans intractable in their level of stupid, it’s all a deliberate plot by the dark guy Barack Hussain to rid the planet (Amerika that is) of white people. Secretly of course all black people have been issued hazmat suits. (The fist bump signals, “I got mine, you got yours?)

Every Republican running for office is pondering whether we should close the beaches or just nuke the hell out of the continent of Africa and make the world safe for white people. The media, meanwhile is busy asking questions like, ” are we prepared, should people fly, should they poop, and WHO THE HELL IS IN CHARGE?” Which is all quite funny since the Surgeon General would be the obvious person to be in charge but we don’t have one, because the NRA doesn’t like the choice, and the CDC functions with a slashed budget, again because the NRA is afraid that somebody might suggest that gun deaths are a national epidemic and where the hell are guns sales going then?

There is a story, but of course, not one that anybody bothers with, because gosh and darn it, one might have to think a bit, and actually go out in the FIELD and ask questions rather than simple vomit (yikes, where’s the HAZMAT suit?) out trite talking points?

A few days ago, just after the nurse was confirmed as a patient, a bunch of nurses representing some nurses association started talking. And at first it seemed weird and rather silly. Ya see, at first the only question was “how could this nurse contract EBOLA? After all, we had been assured that all them medical folks knew the “protocols” and so it must be this damn African thing was a lot more dangerous than we had been led to believe (enter cries of “it’s Obama’s fault”).

My first reaction was that this was just a bunch of nurses arguing that they were not to blame (the CDC insisting that for a caregiver to come down with the virus meant that there had been a break in established protocols). I kind of laughed it off.

But it was more than that. It turns out the National Nurses Union was giving the country information that was not forthcoming from the people in charge. Certainly nobody at Texas Health Presbyterian was making these admissions. The information the NNU was providing came directly (so they claim) from nursing personnel at THP, information that they were afraid to share openly out of fear.

Why you ask?

Because like most of the South, and increasingly almost everywhere, Texas is a right-to-work state, and the massive THP is not unionized. Nurses there had a story and they were afraid for their jobs to relate it. The NNU received their reports and relayed the information anonymously to protect them from retaliation from the corporate heads.

The reality is that the first patient with Ebola was left in a common area (with other patients and medical personnel) for “hours” after being brought in by ambulance before he was transferred to secure isolation. Senior nursing supervisors complained of this to no avail apparently. Further, nurses were not given proper hazmat suits but used fairly flimsy “contagious disease” coverings that left parts of their bodies exposed. Protocals were “not in place” and the required equipment was not there. Higher ups in the administration of the hospital apparently would not ask for help.

What does this all mean?

It’s hard to say, but surely it should be looked at. The fact is that it is hard to believe that in a unionized business, workers would be afraid to speak out against dangerous conditions. Unions are there for that reason, to protect them against being fired. Further, unions themselves put their foot down and insist on corrections or threaten a strike. It is entirely possible that the the secondary infections could have been avoided.  Of course it may not have been either, and we make no blanket assertion because it is an unknowable.

However, we do know that unions are in place for just these sorts of things–to give workers the ability and protection needed to speak out about issues that often they know much better than suits far removed from the scene do.

It continues to be appalling that our apparently poorly educated folks never learned how much their good life today was due to the unions that are quickly becoming a quaint history notation. Many of these people grew up in union homes and should know this without more. Yet, they have so readily been misdirected to blaming unions for their present financial woes whatever they might be. Surely unions are not perfect, but without them, the worker is left to the devices we see in play at DHP–proper actions being taken too late to be effective.

Just something to think about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking Out the Trash

overfillIt’s the same old problem we all have to deal with. Too much in the brain, info leaking out all over the place, staining the carpet and being an utter embarrassment in a five-star restaurant. It’s time  once again to empty the overload, sifting through the flotsam,  using that awful “pile” system–this stays, that goes. I keep going to Containers R Us looking for a better filing storage system, but the fine folks there continue to look confused.

I only lay out my “garage sale” offerings in the hopes that you might find  something you need, or at least can assure me that you too suffer from the same sort of waste in your own life. Just call it my way of assessing periodically my own sanity.

So here goes:

1. There is nothing quite so gratifying and well just down right “mission accomplished” feeling than handing the husband his “honey do” list every morning. They all look so wide-eyed surprised like deer caught in the headlights. You can see that flicker of defiance, followed almost immediately by utter resignation and defeat. Priceless feeling isn’t it ?

2. There is, I am convinced nothing quite so sweet as that moment when you wake up in the morning, realize there is still time, stretch, roll over, and feel you are the perfect temperature, the bed is perfectly comfortable, the weight of the blankets is perfectly in balance and the feel of the sheets is silky soft. This must be akin to the womb I can only conclude. It lasts only a few moments and that is as it should be. You either fall back asleep or make you way up, since the feeling only lasts as I said for a few moments.  I have had great sex in my life, but I think this tops that for exquisiteness. But then, I’m 64 and perhaps I would have answered differently at say 27.  (Putting this back in the save pile, since it may have value if re-incarnation is true. I can ponder it again when I’m 27.)

3. Is anyone interested in a whole lot of random “facts” about the Green Bay Packers? Try as I might, my brain absorbs far too much of this crap every week during the season. I can assure you it is against my will, but the neurons keep firing and cartwheeling these bits of nonsense to storage areas. The big question of the week: Is Aaron Rodgers a great quarterback or the greatest quarterback? Seriously, I care? Anyway, I’m pretty much offering a whole box of trivia like this for free to any taker.

4. The moment when you realize that your pet runs the household. I struggle between fear and amusement. Who does he think he is after all? He generates no money, and neither cooks nor cleans. On the other hand, having failed to be “worth anything” he gets his way in most everything, commanding us to come out and “sit with him” even when it’s too cold, hot, windy, or whatever. He then promptly lays down and goes to sleep. He has figured out that sighing a lot and whining hits a nerve that is so irritating that it must be squelched by acceding to his wishes. I am still not sure how this turn about occurred. He started out so meek and mild and so utterly slobbery grateful to be rescued we feared he would never stop groveling. The good ole days alas.

5. Are you like me? Yeah, I know, that’s a pretty broad spectrum I guess. Okay, as in how you drink coffee. That narrows it down. I do not believe that I have drunk an entire cup of coffee since 1979, in March.  The 22, to be exact. Since then and before then, I sip. And then I forget, and then it’s cold. That used to be the end of it back before the microwave days. Pour it out, pour another, drink a bit, pour out, pour new. Today, we got us the microwave. And everyone knows that the main purpose of a microwave is to reheat your cup of coffee. Or make popcorn at work. Anybody done any study about how many times a single cup of coffee can be reheated before it’s carcinogenic? It keeps me up at night, and I gotta let it go.

Dagger of the mind

6. American television, unencumbered by censorship such as all the Amazon originals and HBO stuff, and whatever else, reminds me of barely pubescent boys who have secured a Playboy and are busy giggling behind the garage. I mean such things are undeniably better than almost anything on “regular” TeeVee, but the common denominator of why this is so seems to be the penchant for these not TV shows to show a lot of frontal nudity and an even bigger desire to show simulated sex. Maybe it’s not simulated, has anybody asked? It’s hard to find “integral to the plot” in most of it. I don’t mind it much. I’m too old to feign embarrassment. It’s just something to mostly get past to the guts of the real stuff.

7. Speaking of which, it now seems de rigueur to have blood erupt in great spurts when shooting people in the land of make-belief. Now doubt it appears more “authentic”. Some suggest that making it look “icky” helps to convince children that this is a bad thing to do as opposed to in the 50’s when Matt winged his enemy who then crumpled to the ground only to arise clutching said arm through which no hint of red appeared. That apparently “encouraged” kids to pick up guns and shoot people for real thinking that nothing all that bad would happen. Seeing blood spraying everywhere, even in your face, cuts against doing such nasty things. Ya think?

8. I’m never sure just how strict I should be with myself. Some folks actually make lists of what they want to do and then happily check them off as being “done” such as “put stamps on envelopes”–DONE! The really loony ones include (5 min). I’m told a few of our more intelligent folks actually set out how much time they would devote to each subject of study each day–philosophy of man, 3 hours, mathematics 1 1/2 hours of thinking and 1/2 hour in actual calculation. I can see doing this I guess when you are 33, have 3 kids, a job and a spouse. There is a lot to be worked out so that nobody is left in front of the library and there is actually some food in the fridge. But I’m thinkin’ that the less complicated one’s life is, the less one need do this. And then there is the thing of R E T I R E M E N T, which should mean retiring from all that WORK, and just doin’ what feels good at least most of the time. I think I am still too strict with myself. The inner mother needs to be kicked down the stairs. Slam that basement door on the old bat and party!

9. I’ve come to believe that the news is really not about learning about the world at all but rather in watching the comedy of a bunch of self-inflated idiots make fools of themselves. I mean, a very few weeks ago, it was all about how hoards of terrorist children were coming to Merika to subvert our way of life. Then it was ISIS. Then it was EBOLA. In the midst of all this is the circus that is known as the “midterms”. Not tests of course, though then test my patience. I see the nurses of America are up in arms. They feel “blamed” for EBOLA now, cause they forgot to wash their hands. Do you often feel that most of the people you know are crazy?

10. The Contrarian informed me that in Saturday’s paper, above the fold, was a story about ISIS, one about EBOLA, and then the biggest news story in our parts–a coyote attacked and killed a chihuahua in it’s own back yard. I can attest to the concern, since there were signs on the community mailboxes warning everyone to “keep your chihuahuas indoors”.  We have coyotes all over our neck of the woods. Diego and I have come upon more than a dozen in a year. They of course don’t consider Diego food, since he weighs more than they do. The trouble is, the dogs in our neighborhood bark a lot, and I can’t tell the difference between, “the meter reader is on my block” from “there’s a coyote! there’s a coyote!” I do know that a siren brings out the suprano in all the dogs, Diego having one of the best howls of all. It’s quite a group sing-a-long.

Well, I feel a bit more light and airy now.

Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day. Or is it the start of a new do over?

 

More Patriotic Bullshit

bullshitSeldom does there rise up an example of abject stupid of such gargantuan proportions as a fellow named Todd Kincannon. It is perhaps, should be we prone to speculating on God’s designs, His way of showing the rest of humanity how not to do it.

Todd was once upon a time executive something or other in the GOP of South Carolina, and grad-u-ate, of the law school of the University of South Carolina. That second part should give parents of graduating seniors pause. Somehow that university failed to weed out the chaff and gave this fool a degree.

By now, you no doubt have heard of Todd. He is an equal-opportunity coconut of the first order. In fact, as I said, he may well be the prototype of all nut jobs.

In response to Ebola, Todd suggests that we just “humanely” put them down. He has also tweeted that we need to deal with ISIS pretty much as Columbus dealt with the “filthy savages” he found in Merika–exterminate them. He suggests that African-Americans are good but Africans are savages with AIDS and Ebola, and our President is the latter. There is more, but who cares. The official GOP is pretty much disowning the guy who seems intent on encouraging the scorn.

I rail about stupid, but not stupid in general. Nobody can be faulted for being stupid if that is their fate based upon too few brain cells. I mean one can’t control such things and the most one can hope in such a case, is that the few that exist can get together and counsel their owner to keep his beak clamped firmly shut to notify as few as possible of the infirmity of being rock stupid.

What I rail at is stupid that is willful and deliberate (if there is a difference between willful and deliberate, otherwise I’m repeating myself). There is no excuse for it. Yet people hide behind “two things you don’t discuss in polite society are politics and religion” and other such trite phrases. Another is being “too busy”. Well aren’t we all? If you want to take that route, then you by definition leave the field to those who are so rich that they have nothing but leisure or so rich they have a vested interest in things being done their way. Neither is a good thing, yet this is what we find today.

Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of The New Republic, was recently interviewed by Stephen Colbert and had this rather profound remark to make:

“A thoughtless citizen of a democracy is a delinquent citizen of a democracy.”

Unlike other forms of government, we get the government we elect, we get the government we demand, we get the government that we choose. If we choose to opt out by our failure to learn the truth about all the issues that confront us, if we fail to vote, we are unworthy of the land in which we live. We are not patriotic, we are nothing but ignorant “feel-good” loafers who are so involved in our own lives that we can spare none for the country we claim to love so much. Patriotism is a good deal more than thanking veterans for their service, singing national anthems, and critiquing the correctness of Presidential salutes upon exiting Marine One.

Opinions don’t count, opinions based on actual facts do. And actual facts are discerned through a sifting process of reading and THINKING about a host of sources, determining what can and cannot be given credence. It does not involve looking for arguments that support what one really wants to be true because it suits one’s worldview, religious needs, or pocketbook.

We have to laugh at the likes of a Ted Cruz, who when confronted with the fact that SCOTUS was refusing to take up a number of circuit cases involving same-sex marriage laws, determined that this inaction constituted some gravest of all forms of judicial activism. We have to shake our heads at the continued doomsday reports from the hate groups like Family Research Council who beat the drums of impending Armageddon should people of the same sex be allowed to marry. Mike Huckabee has threatened to leave the GOP if crazier heads like himself don’t prevail and carry on the fight against this god-less movement.

The FACT is that this idiocy of fundamentalism is not something that can be traced to the apostles of our Lord. This brand of fundamentalism with all it’s “inerrancy, creationism,anti-climate change, and young-earth-ism” is of recent vintage, being born in the early 60’s, about the same time that a periodic Spiritual awakening was occurring among the Boomers. Most went the way of exploring an expansion of God, encompassing other faiths, and new approaches, but the reactionaries withdrew and made God smaller and easier to fit inside their tiny braincases.

The FACT is that homosexuality is not by any means “prohibited” in the bible, and anyone who suggests it is, is engaging in the same literalist interpretation that is  incorrect and utterly unsupported by biblical experts around the world. The literature is extensive and profound on the issue and only awaits the fundamentalist’s courage to actually read it. Contrary to their claims based on nothing, learning truth does not destroy God, but rather it makes God really God, and not some human caricature designed to make one feel okay about ones miserable self.

We are awash in a sea of stupid these days. And for reasons that should shock and astound us all, the stupidest of all seem to seek office. Like minded stupid people find solace across the Internet, finding compatriots of ignorance and losing what should be their isolated “otherness” mantle that used to keep them securely locked in their garrets tormented by a world that rejects their insanity. Such people don’t procreate, since in small town America their numbers are still so small that they seldom by chance run into someone as stupid as themselves and join forces. At least pre-Internet that was true.

Over sixty-percent of 18-20somethings in the GOP are okay with same-sex marriage. What does that tell ya? It should tell you that you need to rethink your stupid, but of course, being stupid you won’t. You’ll rail that this generation of kids just wasn’t properly disciplined with the belt as you were, and thus has grown up without real morals.

Real morality I hate to tell you, has to do with respecting other people and their rights. But you won’t learn that any time soon, since you protect your thin-skin by surrounding yourselves with others like yourselves and then telling the biggest lie of all–most people are like us. Well, they aren’t.

You have no guts, no integrity, no moral compass, and not a modicum of intelligence. You  are unable to hold up your end of a “debate” and are reduced to coded ad hominem attacks to replace the arguments you cannot make. You prefer to believe what makes your tiny simplistic world work for you, and damn the vast rest of humanity who must be wrong-headed, atheistic, commie, socialist, fascist, feminist, racist, lazy and dogs. Half of the above you couldn’t define if put to the test. You wave the flag and tout how “blessed” you are and “share if you love God too”. You question everyone else’s faith while not following a single dictate of the man you claim as your savior.

And still, and still when it all comes down to it, you have to try to cheat to win an election. So where are your hordes of followers? The two thousand who showed up for your “family values” annual lovefest? The three who showed up at your border protests? Or was it the 2 semis and 4 pickups who showed up for your Washington protest? You can try to suppress Democratic votes, but the result will be the same as last time. We will vote in greater numbers than ever before.

And you will lose, and lose and lose until finally you all retreat to your basements and your hoarded food and weapons while we continue to create a world that is fair for all. We have a long way to go, but at least we are moving forward, and you can only slow things down, never stop it.

Stew in that!

 

 

The New Black Man on the Block

Dr.BenAnybody who knows me knows a couple of things about me. One, I believe education is the only sound way to move humanity forward, and two, education need not necessarily be formal to produce an educated person. Plenty of folks have done it on their own, and while harder and somewhat precarious, one who is determined will be educated.

One of the things that was indelibly imprinted upon my cerebral cortex around the time I was in law school, or perhaps after that hellacious thing called “the bar exam”, was the realization that some people can matriculate fully through nearly the hardest subjects imaginable, and be dumb as the proverbial rock. When I got to know lawyers who were stupid, I immediately concluded that there were an equal number of stupid doctors, physicists, and psychiatrists. An important object lesson when you contemplate handing over your gotten gains to an investment counselor.

As everyone who is anyone knows, Ben Carson, neurosurgeon extraordinaire, and compelling story of rising out of poverty man supreme is the new darling of the excruciatingly insane right. When Alan Keyes, Allen West, and Hermie Cain have stumbled while carrying Confederate dreams, Ben has jumped forth willing to sacrifice his integrity and soul for a chance to be “somebody” nay, the only-body with dark skin in the white party of the GOP.

I read about Carson well more than twenty-five or thirty years ago when I was a fledgling lawyer in Detroit and indeed I was impressed with his story of being raised by a single mom in Detroit. He was indeed a stellar image in the tarnishing mirror of inner-city poverty. So I don’t come to the party late as it were and as so many of my rather uninformed, Patriotic platitudinous Tea Imbibing acquaintances  have.

To hear them talk, Ben discovered both sliced bread, the true Ark and by virtue of his status as real honest-to-goodness hero, he has the creds to talk with authority on any issue at all. Being smart means you can be an expert on everything.

But alas, our Ben is but what used to be referred to as an idiot savant–supremely gifted in one area (brain surgery) while he is at best equivalent to a seven-year-old on most any other subject.

This is a man who, given all his education part of that being in BIOLOGY FOR GOD’S SAKE, insists that evolution is false. This is a man who equates health care for the poor to being “next to slavery, the worst thing that has happened to the Black community.” This is a man who today attacks the AP standards in American History suggesting that they more likely train the next generation of ISIS fighters.

Proving that he has not read the material at all, he falsely claimed that there were two paragraphs about George Washington and none about Martin Luther King. What really incensed him is that the material devoted time discussing the behavior of Americans toward Native Peoples, the internment of the Japanese during WWII and the vileness of Jim Crow. I mean seriously folks, teaching truth is so wrong when you are trying to build a nation of sheep who will OBEY their betters.

The fact that Carson has learned so well to obey his, is apparently his proof that everyone should be like him, so that, should some poor person have a certain gift, they too can aspire to be the puppet paraded around the circus ring to “prove” the Good Old Party of white indeed is an equal opportunity exploiter.

All of this matters naught to the empty-headed faux patriots out there who say they are just itching to vote for Carson for President. He tells them what they want to hear after all, and that’s always much better than the truth. One can only hope that one dies the sweet death of delusion before the house comes crashing down.

Of course, Ben, like all the others who pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps, forgets all that guv’mint help they got along the way, as they dance the NO SOUP FOR YOU tap for the pleasure of their white betters who coo at them like the house pets they are.

Ben won’t be going far, though he is part of the dream ticket, I’m told. With Cruz as President and he as VEEP, the GOP can probably get away with at least 60-1000 years of never having another candidate of color in their midst. Sarah had her chance, so that’s one bird down and two to go.

The kids at Jefferson County Colorado who are trying to prevent their school from dumbing down and patriotizing up their curriculum have no idea just how wonderful they are. They shame millions of adults who should know better.

Beating a Dead or Dying Horse

clinging to the past_thumb[2]I hear from people now and again that the time of individual blogging has peaked. I don’t know if that’s true, and have no particular desire to investigate it either. I know that people who have  blogged have come and gone but I don’t think that is meaningful. That’s a lot like saying that when the inline skating craze erupted, millions of people joined in only later to discard it when they didn’t find it so fun six months later.

People who might have something to say but don’t care much about being a writer will naturally not stick with blogging.

There may be other reasons. People are, I suspect, rather sure that what they have to say is meaningful to others. Bloggers find out just how fickle this is. I’ve been doing this since 2007 or so, and while I’m okay with those who seem to read me, I never “took off” and certainly only a few find anything to comment upon except in a rare instance. I don’t do it for the public applause surely since there often isn’t any.

People who are not really interested in writing per se find Facebook useful enough to get their point across. I use it quite a lot myself, but it cannot take the place of a substantial piece.

I keep changing the focus of my blog, and no doubt that is not helpful, but little do I care. While politics consumes me, I’m far from the best spokesman around. There are, honestly, hugely better sources than moi.

If I pride myself on anything when it comes to the pen it is my ability to blend in a certain snarkiness that some find amusing. I love to twist and turn a phrase and catch people off guard. I’m not nearly as good as say Driftglass or Uncle Charlie Pierce I must say, but I try. If you have no idea of whom I speak, well, so much the poorer are you.

It seems we are headed for another damn war, one that I seriously don’t support. There is entirely too much drumming going on on the far right and that suggests to me that more is being made of this ISIL danger than is real. Most people figure our men and women will be risking their lives once again, and apparently nearly half seem okay with that.

I find that odd given that our government (whether one includes down to local city councils or not) is chock full of seriously stupid and demented people. I’m not sure what it says that so many are so willing to put their lives in the hands of lunatics who believe the earth was created 6,562 years ago, that Jesus rode dinosaurs, that climate change is just a hoax as reported to them by big oil and gas, that giving more money to the rich will someone make middle class people rich, and that God created a whole segment of people gay just to make them live a life of celibacy as some kind of statement to the Catholic Church that they too can learn to keep it in their pants.

I mean if you are that crazy, well, swamp lands abound that are yours for a few grand. i have the deeds.

What this all suggests to me, wasn’t clear to me until a while back, when again, I wondered why I continue to find a whole lotta people continuously reliving their “high school” days as the “best” times of their lives.

oh-you-peaked-in-high-school-and-continue-to-judge-everyone-but-yourself-where-do-you-find-all-the-time-to-prepare-for-your-next-reunion-enlighten-me-please-thumbI mean seriously? Those were the best years?

Most people find the teen years tolerable at best, painful at worst. We were unsure of ourselves, unsure of the future, and subject to the incessant drum of peer pressure. I figure perhaps the truth of the matter is, is that those were the kings and queens, the quarterbacks and class presidents, are pretty much the Bricks of the day, relegated to drunken evenings reliving the glory days because life just has turned out as full of mendacity as Big Daddy suggested.

There is both irony in that and poetic justice, for to not live in that world of favored click drove us who lived on the outside to fear that our lives would never amount to anything, and that these pretty faces with their athletic prowess and perky breasts were destined to continue being “better” all our lives.

Perhaps that is why we rejects of the acceptable struck out to far-flung campuses and escaped the confines of the “scene of the crime” of our youth.

And when we returned figuratively or otherwise to “home” we were amazed at how small and provincial it all was, and how small and silly most of those lives lived then were.

While we found some of our old friends had weathered the years well, and were thinking and compassionate, all too many were shriveled and cold-hearted, predictably shallow in their thinking and unable to care about anyone but their own clan. Karma is a bitch as they say.

While all that “talking about the old days” was fun for the moment, soon we find ourselves with little else to say, and we stand around much as we did at those awful sock hops, starring at the floor, wishing we could disappear. When we turn and walk away, and survey the world we now inhabit, we take a deep breath, smile, and chuckle at our good fortune at having escaped. Forever after we watch from the sidelines, bemused as we watch the chitchat continue of “remember when. . . .”

Who says the zoo has to have visible bars? We know who is free and who is not don’t we? The exhibits of “how it could have turned out” are both object lessons and light amusement.

Yes, karma indeed is a bitch.

I ponder when I hit my peak. Mostly I conclude that I haven’t yet, and probably will still be reaching it when I breathe my last. But damn, it does seem to get better and better, and that’s a hell of a lot to be grateful for.