Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all. ~~Hypatia
Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all. ~~Hypatia
REFRESHER COURSE ALERT!!!
Recently I got a friend request from a dude I recognized immediately as a nut. His Facebook icon was “Ted Cruz in 2016.” As I said, a nut.
Now, I should know better, but I could hardly turn down the chance to tell him he was an idiot before he unceremoniously “defriended” me could I? So I hit, the friend button and began a rather torturous journey into lala land or the land of the not-quite-right-in-the-head folks.
I picked up a good half dozen to eight “defenders of the stupid” and proceeded to get into a number of fights immediately. As one would expect, all the trite Fox/crazy right memes came to the fore. Since most of the arguments were on gun rights, I got the usual, “guns don’t kill people”, and criminals aren’t gonna obey the laws, and variations on those themes.
After lengthy logical argument and citing of actual facts, I was confronted with the usual right wing nothingness. One guy just posted funny pictures and called me Sherry McMoron and quote, “liberish”, as if that sealed the deal on my inconsequentialism.
And the point is, that when people are “out there in the ether” there is no point in argument. They aren’t capable of arguing, except for a “you stupid troll” between burps from the beer guzzling.
When you see somebody who is absolutely clueless, beware. You think you can patiently start at A and proceed slowly and deliberately to Z and when you are finished they will smile, and say, “I get it now. Thank you, I’m going to read more carefully from now on.”
But they don’t. They say, “you stupid troll,” and scratch their nether regions, smile and the mini thrill and reach for another Budweiser.
This will always happen no matter your level of debate and logic skills. And the reason is simple, if not understood by most. It’s not you. It’s not your argument. It’s their brain.
Study after study shows that the conservative brain is a brain that lives in fear of the bad world it is surrounded by. It cannot make sense of it all, and it feels threatened. Simple answers that package their fear and put it away is what they yearn for and gravitate toward. The are frightened and they are insecure in this big world. Small and simple answers that assure them that all will be right, captures them faster than any fact or logical deduction ever could.
They will cling to what is familiar, reassuring, and safe every time over logical argumentation that leaves them feeling insecure and unsure. It is not how they want to think, it’s how their brains function. It’s called compartmentalization. It allows the victim to ignore all contrary information and when necessary isolate contradictory beliefs behind walls that keep the conflict at a minimum. (I believe in creationism, while at the same time encourage my niece to get gene therapy for her cancer diagnosis, never bringing to the fore that gene therapy is a result of evolutionary biological research.)
Eventually we all come to realize that “there is no point” in arguing with such types, but we continue, at each new juncture, and with a different right wing nut case in the cross hairs, we fall victim to trying again. And we get the same result.
Lest we be declared insane for trying to get a different result from the same activity, we have to finally admit that such is a waste of time.
EXCEPT THAT. . . .
Facebook is a unique forum. We all have friends on Facebook, and they exist in a variety of forms–relatives, old old friends we have moved far from, new friends, eternal friends, coworkers, associates, church friends, organization friends, and the list goes on to infinity. These myriads of “friends” bring forth a variety of individual talents.
I am graced with some great Facebook friends and I owe them a debt of gratitude. They have taught me so very much. Their passion, while not necessarily mine, has served to inform me on many a subject I would be unaware of without them.
I would never know how cruel and awful housing small whales and dolphins in small tanks is, alone and without their families. I would never know about the issues regarding Monsanto, and Tyson and other vile corporate entities that endanger our health in the chase for the almighty dollar. I’ve had my theological foundation firmed, and loosened by a couple of theologians I know.
I could go on for a couple of pages. You see, I know all sorts of people in the Facebook way, and by and large, I’m enriched from the experience. The people I disagree with, remain small, but more importantly they are vehicles for dissemination.
Here’s where I tie this all together. . . .
While it is unprofitable in general to get into discussions with right wing crazies en mass, isolated encounters in otherwise friendly terrain, does serve a purpose. And that purpose is, they give one the excuse to lay out all the arguments that you can muster on an issue.
Rather than be the usual waste of time that we have encountered in large groups, in small ones, you don’t get overwhelmed. Much like big corporations make it hard to be sued by “papering” the opposing counsel with so many requests, demands, depositions, discovery, endless motions and so forth, when six or eight people are all ganging up on you, well, most people don’t have TIME to respond properly.
Responding improperly does more harm than good.
Why does this matter?
Because in every group, there are outsiders, people who live on the fringe, reading but almost never uttering a word. They are not crazies, but they aren’t politically aware either. They are busy living their lives, and barely bump into most of the political and social issues of our day. They do however, at leisure, read posts and comments, blogs and so forth.
They are not ideologically motivated. They are bright people, normal in every sense of the world except they aren’t much interested in the body politic or how it functions. Until it waylays them personally (and many it never will), they don’t get involved.
But, they do read. They do comprehend. They do get logic, and they do check out links. They will listen to a cogent argument and if not offset by superior information going in the other direction, they will agree with you.
They won’t deliver fliers in their neighborhoods or make phone calls for a candidate, but they will vote (if not too inconvenient) and they will vote consistent with the facts as they have come to understand them.
They are your audience always.
You have to trust that they are there. They are, I assure you. Every once in a while I get a message or email from one of them, telling me they have “lurked” for some time, and agree or have been led to agree to this idea or that.
Those are the people you are writing and talking to. They don’t have time to do the research you do, but they appreciate it. They can tell the difference between your citation to reputable sources and the other sides reliance on “common sense”.
They recognize that common sense to the right wing is akin to “what I want to believe is true because it makes me feel better.”
Your efforts are thus not offered in vain. Remember that you talk not only to who is directly before you, but all those who are within eye or earshot.
What it means for me personally, is to try to remember, (no matter how angry I often become at intransigent thinking), that calm, factual offerings are much more successful that bombast and snappy retorts that serve to explain only how loathsome the right wing fanatic can be.
So I thank all those who have taught me so much on Facebook. And I am thankful for Facebook which provides that unique platform allowing me a cornucopia of “friends” that insure a range of opinions, talents, passions, and hard facts.
The post is powerful, more powerful than you think. So do be mindful of the audience out there, ephemeral as it may appear. This is your job. They depend on you for accurate information on an unimaginably wide source of things. Surely you can offer your services on a few of them?
Make a difference!
I’ve been having a hard time of it lately. If you’ve ever seen Key and Peele the comedy due, you know about Luther, the anger management guy who speaks for the always calm and cool, Barack Obama. I think I need Luther to speak for me, because when I start to write, my fingers start jabbing the keys so hard I think I’ll go through the board.
It’s all well and good to disagree on things, but when lives are on the line, well, stupid really gets on your nerves.
You can imagine the fun I’ve had arguing with gun nuts. Always the same story.
GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE, PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE.
Hello? This means exactly what?
Guns provide the mechanism for killing people for people hell bent on killing people. Especially if they want to kill a lot of people very very fast. Your stupid notion that the gun is the not the problem, is just that. . .stupid. You can’t discern the difference between a person who kills someone with a knife and someone who uses a semi-automatic weapon to mow down twenty people.
THE ANSWER TO A BAD GUY WITH A GUN IS A GOOD GUY WITH A GUN.
Yeah? Except that isn’t really true.
Pulling a gun during a shootout doesn’t work well especially if you are not in a uniform that designates you as a good guy. People don’t want to be mistaken for the shooter, so guess what? They don’t pull their guns much.
WE THE PEOPLE ARMED WITH THE 2ND AMENDMENT ARE ALL THAT STANDS BETWEEN US AND TYRANNY.
This little gem comes direct from the NRA, who have rewritten history in an attempt to turn an amendment meant to insure state militias, turned into a personal right to have any and as many guns of lethal force as you wish.
Read Steven’s dissent in Heller if you want to know the truth. The purpose of the 2nd amendment is made clear by the opening clause: A WELL-REGULATED MILITIA BEING NECESSARY TO THE SECURITY OF A FREE STATE, THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.
We are hear talking about the rights of a state to insure its own security by being able to raise a militia of local citizens to BEAR ARMS for the state. The first time the amendment was invoked was by President Washington to put down a local rebellion of citizens against paying a whiskey tax. They were with violence prohibiting the federal agents from collecting the tax.
Washington called upon the governors of a few state to call up their state militias under the second amendment and to enforce the collection of the tax.
In addition, REGULATION is in the text. regulate means that the government can quite obviously pass laws and and rules as to how the amendment actually works.
Madison in a earlier draft of the amendment, included a “conscientious objector clause for those who object on religious grounds to doing military service. Of course Scalia didn’t care about such things.
THIS IS JUST THE FIRST STEP TO TOTAL CONFISCATION.
No it’s not. You have no evidence of this whatsoever. The NRA doesn’t even believe this, but it’s proven to be a useful tool to sell more guns.
Buy them now, before we run out. A local gun store owner in Oregon happily informed us that she had just placed another order for the gun owner favorites: the AK type weapons that are beloved by the nuts. She noted, there is only a small window after one of these shootings and they must take advantage.
One fool explained that when the President pointed to both Australia and Britain as places with no mass shootings like ours, he was hinting at his intent to confiscate “all our weapons”. I was invited to be one of those who will come knocking and demand your guns. How would I like that job, he deflected.
It’s all so awful. You ask them for their solutions. They have none, except to buy more guns and wear more guns, and caress more guns. A new tack is to round up unemployed vets and send them into schools to protect the littluns.
We want vets, many who are suffering from mental issues of their own to work the hallways of our elementary schools? DO WE REALLY WANT OUR BABIES TRYING TO LEARN IN SUCH AN ENVIRONMENT? Do we want weapons in our classrooms? Do we want to accept the ensuing accidents that must happen?
Is this the best YOU can do?
It’s not the best I can do by a long shot.
I once lived in Detroit. I had windows covered with bars, and an alarm system. I looked around carefully before I went out after dark. I did not dally going to my car in the driveway (I stopped parking in my garage when I opened it one more and four teen boys ran out, I having interrupted their theft).
When I moved out of Detroit, I realized quickly that fear was not normal. I no longer had to lock everything. I no longer had to jump at the “wrong” sound at the “wrong” time of the night. I was no longer subject to sirens and helicopters with search lights. Police running down my sidewalk happened no more.
And I discovered something.
Living in fear under lock and key, was no way to live. Moreover, it was not the way that MOST people lived. I’ve lived nearly twenty years in four different locations since then. I have lived without fear. I live normally.
IT IS NOT NORMAL AND WE SHOULD NEVER ALLOW IT TO BE NORMAL TO HAVE ARMED CIVILIANS WANDERING AROUND “TO KEEP US SAFE.”
The facts are simply this. Crime in the US is at an all time low. We all can recall some anecdotal story that suggests that we are not safe, if we go back enough years. But the reality is that what was once common (the house break-in) is a fairly rare occurrence today. For instance, in 1970, the rate of burglary was about 1,085/100,000. That was down to 670/100,000 by 2012.
You probably don’t need a gun at home to defend it. And if you did, more than likely you would be so excited, scared, and confused at the time that you would not use it successfully anyhow. Why? Because you are not trained to handle such a situation.
Something like 2/3 of the American population doesn’t have a gun. But there are more than 300 million guns. The statistics are clear, those who have guns (white men, over 55, high school graduate only, once married at least, are the most likely to be involved in gun violence. More guns means more violence essentially.
Yes, we are exceptional all right.
In all the ways that no one wants to be.
Ben Carson says we are drowning in a sea of “political correctness.” Which seems to mean nothing more than that being POLITE and RESPECTFUL interferes with his ability to appeal to the racist, nativist needs of his constituency.
No doubt, some will see my appeal to stop using the terms “illegal” or “illegal aliens” as an attempt to “pretty up” a bad situation by alluding to people’s sense of decency.
Well I am in some ways doing just that. I’m trying to appeal to your sense of decency, if such a thing is still to be found in the body politic of twenty-first century America.
I come by this opinion honestly, meaning that it is not something that I have suddenly acquired, but rather it is the product of a lifelong interest and pursuit of what it means to be an immigrant in America. It starts out in one of those silly situations of life that appear meaningless–being a teen.
We hung out with a bunch of boys from another high school, one more racially diverse than our own, which boasted no African-Americans and as far as I can remember, no notable members of any other ethnic group either. We were all pretty much white folk of one variety or another. Anyway, with my other friends, I was from time to time exposed to “others”. One of them was a kid named Valentine Rodriguez. I can’t remember a thing about him, nor what he looked like, (other than CUTE), but his name I never forgot. I found him as exotic as his name.
Being a resident of Michigan it was not unusual at certain times of the year to see trucks full of brown-skins moving from farm to farm, picking crops. As a lawyer, I also came in contact with migrant workers from time to time as they fell victim as do we all, to various driving infractions that required a court appearance.
When I was in serious examination as to whether I should continue with my entry into the Dominican Order, I contemplated and talked with people from various organizations in D.C. and locally about possible ministries I might engage in once I had reached that point in the convent. I wrote on the topic of Hispanic issues and thrilled to one of the more enticing of theologies–liberation theology, which had developed in the Medellin Conference in the 50’s led by such notable theologians as Gutierrez, Sobrino, and Boff. I devoured their books.
Ultimately I ended up retiring with my husband to Las Cruces, New Mexico, I small city on the southern border of New Mexico, one where the population is fairly evenly split between Anglos and Hispanics.
From all such experiences I have learned a great deal, and my passion, respect, and enjoyment of Hispanic culture in all its multiplicities continues to delight me. My neighbors are so diverse that it truly is a place of no majorities. My life, as you might expect is so thoroughly entwined in the native cultures I live in, that there is a true blending and it would be hard to separate one cultural experience from another, as we adopt bits and pieces from each other and construct a new paradigm that is “New Mexican” in nature.
The need for immigration reform is apparent to all yet the manner of that reform divides white American into deep chasmic chaos. For growling in the depths of the American scene is a harshness and anger that recurs as the continuing call, by a small segment, for the draconian answer to it all being deportation.
While most everyone but the hateful few, know this is both immoral and impractical, it doesn’t stop the arguments. And it doesn’t stop the hurt that is inflicted both upon the undocumented worker him/herself, but also those of us who know them intimately and feel their pain.
It HURTS to hear this sort of talk.
These people first of all, possessed this land long before we did. We here in New Mexico, as well as parts of Texas and Arizona and California, were once Mexico’s lands, and were peopled by them and other natives in the region. That changed when Anglos discovered value in these lands (New Mexico was something of an exception. The land is not so valuable, and so it developed with less of the usual American swagger and power. Today we are a constitutionally bilingual state, and we guard our cultural richness carefully.)
Beyond that historical fact, we must turn to the horrific record of American involvement in South America per se. We have continuously through multiple administrations supported vicious dictatorships who willingly allowed American business interests to rape the country financially (as long as they shared in the stealing) while their populations suffered in poverty. (Thus the rise of Liberation theology to offset the Church’s real past assistance to the dictators in maintaining order.)
So in some real ways the situations in many Latin countries today is one created by Americans, who now it seems are upset that these populations often flee their native lands in search of some hope of a future for their families. They cross the border because we in part are responsible for the fact that their native countries are a wasteland of poverty and crime.
Look, people from South America are no different from you. If they come here destitute, unskilled, and with nowhere to turn, it is no fault of their own. If they send their children across hundreds of miles of lands to reach America, they do it because it is far safer for them this way than to remain in their countries. They love their kids, and want the best life possible for them. They are no different from you.
And when they come here, the vast majority find friends or relatives who have come before. They seek employment. They work hard jobs that you probably don’t want, at wages you would not tolerate.
Yet, there is an ugliness that surrounds the issue as people like Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal and others demand that more severe alternatives be considered other than what most see as humane and fair–a process that will lead to citizenship for people who have lived here for decades.
And it results in awful statements by folks with little actual data suggesting that they are taking stuff that belongs to “us”. The facts are otherwise.
Much is made about the supposed “fact” that undocumented people “get government freebies”. This is not true. They don’t. They are not eligible for welfare, food stamps or Medicaid. They pay into the SS through their taxes and do not become eligible to receive any of the benefits. They do this to the tune of $100 billion in the last decade alone.
They do not take American jobs. As pointed out, most Americans won’t do the jobs they will. Any number of studies show this to be true. Ask Alabama what happened when it became illegal to hire anyone who was undocumented. Their crops rotted in the field as white workers found the work “too hard” or “boring” and walked off the job after a few hours.
Current estimates are that they pay in between 10-11 BILLION more taxes than they receive through any source. They thus add a positive to the economy that is numbered at about 10 billion annually. The is above and beyond what they send back to their home countries to help remaining relatives.
They are told to get to the “end of the line.” The “line” is now 4.4 million people long, and there is no real hope that any of them could enter legally for years. In 2013, nearly 73,000 parents were deported from their so-called anchor babies. They will not be allowed to return until their child is 21 and can petition for their return.
Worse yet, in a climate that claims that they are a strong criminal element in the country, the studies and numbers show otherwise. In the ten-year period between 96-06, statistics show that crime was lower in the states with the highest illegal immigration rates.
Those are facts.
Just for fun ask yourself this: Do you think the Canadians referred to Americans who fled to their country to avoid the draft as “illegal aliens”? The answer is no. They were referred to as “immigrants” and processed accordingly.
What must be admitted or realized is that all the scary stuff is designed to make you afraid. And fear motivates people to vote. And they want you to vote for them, not because their words are true, but simply because fear of ANYTHING works for them.
We, down here in the borderlands (yes, that’s the term we actually use), find your hysteria silly and amusing and sad and disgusting all at once.
It needs to stop. These are real people, just like you and I. And it’s time we give them the help and compassion they deserve. They pull their weight and then some. It’s time to recognize your misdirection and seek the real source of your misery–the sleight-of-hand-artists who depend on your acquiescence in their desire for power and money.
As the “photo” above illustrates, crucial to all such undertakings–the pretence that THE DONALD does not really count. Nothing to see here folks, the great “HAIR” will soon depart. Well he was supposed to by now, but has tenaciously clung to the tattered remnants of Ronnie Reagan’s spurs, winking and nodding at the great masses of dumb-ass racist mother-fuckers who keep thanking God for blessin’ them with a giant of a candidate in THE DONALD.
Donald need say nothing. He need only flash the pearls in a sea of Mar a Lago suntan to get the juices of the gun rack lovin’ beer guzzlers who are more familiar with a baseball cap than THE DONALD will ever be.
The fireworks started immediately with The Trumpet: “Hey you, Randy Paul, whatcha doin’ here boy? You got 1% support, you aren’t supposed to get a stand.”
Randy, looks taken aback, and moans, “Why you pickin’ at me, squirrel head–thanks Bobby (I love the Brady Bunch) Jindal for the hair metaphor. I’m an opthamologist and I fight for your right to form boards and certify YOURSELF in My America!”
But the one to watch was Carly. She stalked THE DONALD, waiting for her moment to pounce. That was after she pinched Scotty, manager of the Koch subsidiary, also known as–Wishconsin. That’s because everybody wishes they weren’t in Wisconsin, especially Scotty. Wish on Scotty, you’re headin’ north my son, and you aint’ comin’ back.
Carly is a formidable debater. She can rush off a three-minute soliloquy without missing a beat, taking a breath, or breakin’ a sweat. She is GIFTED in that. She made Hamlet weep for shame. What comes out of that precise tight little mouth is worthy of a cesspool, but she CAN deliver it.
Donald retreated with a “you are beautiful Carly” which was surely sufficient to insure she is eligible for a runway walk at the next Ms. World or Ms. Universe, or Ms. Multiplex, whichever comes first.
Ben shows why Ben won’t be president any time in the normal course of human evolution. What started out as a joke, has become, I am more and more convinced, empirically proven: Benjie Carson is an idiot savant. He can wield a scalpel like no other, but the dude is flatly the dumbest thing on earth on any other subject.
Richly, he leads the pack in the chutzpah finals. A man who was raised in poverty, given the advantage of every single government program then in existence that assisted his growth from cradle through college, now suggests that the US is rotten at the core because it keeps the “spigot of goodies” flowing. Only when it stops, will people have the ability to fend for themselves as nature meant, and as he was taught even though he never had to test that theory out in his own life.
Well, Benjie who owes somebody called Abe a debt of gratitude, as well as numerous of his brothers and sisters in color who bled, fought, and died for his freedom, this same BLACK MAN now urges that the solution to the “illegals” is to turn them into a permanent underclass of American workers–the slave laborer, whom we will permit to live in America and work for next to nothing in Merika, but never vote or have any of the accoutrements of civilized citizenship. They will be guest workers. ( see Qatar. UAE, Saudi Arabia if you want to see how such systems work in reality.)
I guess Benjie didn’t spend much time reading about the FUCKING HISTORY OF SLAVERY IN THIS COUNTRY. Which is probably clear from the fact that he thinks that Obamacare is akin to the same “free goodies” and is as bad as slavery itself.
Can I get an amen that this jerk is an idiot savant?
Did anyone believe CC’s dramatic “I care about the little guy” routine?
How ’bout Mikey’s attempts to be relevant?
Or Scotty’s blinking as the ideas were moving too fast for him to keep up?
Or Rubio’s ever-present hankie wiping his frightened brow?
By far some of the best stuff came from the under card, led by the perennial favorite in hilarity, Ms. Lindsey Graham. Lindsey is perhaps my favorite, because while awful shit is projectile vomited from his mouth every 3.2 seconds, Lindsey otherwise is funnier than just about anyone I know.
He dressed down boy king, Bobby Jindal, much as a parent might gaze forgivingly at their child. “Still growing, he is, but he looks to make a fine cut of a fellow by the time he has.” (said while nailing down the cowlick with spit).
Ms. Lindsey, who (squirrel) likes to talk about how dangerous everything is, did just that, (squirrel) reminding us that the Middle East is a scary place and he will keep us safe, cuz he’s been hanging with the “guys” all these years, and they assure him, that we gotta go kick butt and they’re the ones to do it. (Squirrel). Lindsey will of course act all commander in chiefy, while he yearns to get his hands on some hot barrels of his own.
Meanwhile Theodore The Canadian Cruz raised the subject they just all loved to talk on–Iran. No more scary country exists. They are seconds away from the launch codes. They shout “death to Merika” and mean it. War!
War excites them all. We may have to folks they shudder in supposed sympathy. We won’t want to, but “fear, fear, blah blah, fear, fear, blah, fear” they go. We just may have to for our own good doncha know and the good of the world (which they will fitfully not believe for like a millennia, but someday they will thank us.)
Ahh, the smell of napalm in the morning. Brings back such memories don’t it?
And everybody, just everybody was shoutin’ their “not a politician but an outsider” bona fides. Nobody is a Washington “insider”. No, Captain Marvel, otherwise known as JEB! or Jebbie, is gonna be THE DISRUPTOR”. I mean, that sent a shiver down even my spine.
There were moments of anticipated high drama which fizzled: Donald is cornered on his alleged claim that autism and vaccines might be related. Of course the medical community will tell you that there is no such relationship. Trump is on to the gotcha moment brewing, and slyly mis-directs: “I wasn’t talkin’ about the vaccines themselves but the AMOUNT. I believe the doses are too high. They should be spread out over more years.”
Ben is given his chance to eviscerate THE DONALD with some real and actual medical knowledge and . . . .he agrees, that the dosages may be too high. To make it worse, Randy chimes in that he agrees. Trump walks away unscathed, and grinning.
They tried to gang up on him, they tried to ignore him. They tried to make his petty disagreements with Carly self-centered as puff boy, Chrissie said, “this ain’t about you and your jobs, it’s out THEIR jobs”, pointing to the well-dressed audience. It probably wasn’t about theirs either but it was a cute aside.
My predictions: Oh they are no better than the next gals.
I see Walker departing soon. He did little to help himself and he needed to take off his clothes and wiggle his wiener in order to get attention. He was too shy apparently.
Huck and Randy are dead in the water but will probably hang for a while. Same for most of the rest. As long as the last dollar is left to be spent, they will drag their wrinkled asses around the country talking to anyone who will listen. I mean, their spouses aren’t gonna listen to that shit any more, somebody’s gotta be found who will.
Oh there is so much more to come. But this was a great one, much better than the Foxy beginning.
Weirdest thing that happened: Hugh Hewitt, pummelled by THE DONALD for an earlier interview, completely caved in and admitted on air in public, that he didn’t pronounce the Arab words correctly, which was why Donald failed to know the difference between Kurds and Quds. Hewitt even admitted that Trump was the “best interview” ever.
So the 4th estate sinks to unimaginably new levels of useless propaganda mongering.
And the beat goes on.
I’m not a flag-waver. Surprised? No I didn’t think so. I don’t believe in exceptionalism. I don’t believe that this country is any better or worse mostly than most others. I could probably happily live in any of a dozen other places and be as happy. As free surely.
So yesterday is a strange day for me. I admit to a morbid? fascination with the day in some respects. The National Broadcasting Company always plays the tape of the Today Show. I still listen with awe at the confusion and tentative explanations offered as the events unfolded. Katie Couric puzzled questions are reassuring still.
One does what one does on such a day. Mostly one remembers how quickly fourteen years has gone by. Then we focus on where we were, what we were doing, as the tragedy focused on planes down, buildings down, people reacting.
Some suggested that they get angry all over again. At Muslims presumably. I’m sure most don’t discriminate much as to “which” Muslims. Fox has used the day as a means of scaring the shit out of people once again, comparing our impending Iran deal with some sort of shameful response to the horror of 9/11.
I get angry. But not at Muslims.
I get angry because all of this crap was so entirely foreseeable to anyone who bothered to pay attention. See the neo-Cons didn’t see it coming because they live in a bubbly world where Merika is God’s favorite child and they are the elders appointed by themselves to guard this teenager against the vicissitudes of a global body politic.
In the mind of a neo-Con on September 11 at 7:30 a.m. EST, nobody would have the guts, nerve, or death wish to attack America in it’s heart. Striking both it’s financial and military might at the same time. Actually the presumed third target was Congress, which would have made it a perfect trifecta of middle fingers.
But neo-Cons don’t live in the real world. To listen to Dick “the Dick” Cheney today is to know that. He still has no clue. Among the myriad of peoples across the globe who have reason to thrill to the chant of “death to America”, the Saudi’s and a few others were not the least bit cowed by Merika’s might.
Oddly, I’ve been reading an older book these last couple of weeks. It’s by my political mentor of sorts, Noam Chomsky. In Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance, Chomsky sets out in detail some of the major assaults Merika has lodged against other parts of the world in the quest for market domination and political control.
It ain’t pretty as they say.
We have consistently, around the globe, supported repressive regimes, demagogues, fascists, and in some cases, plain old everyday psychopaths who promised and did deliver markets to the American economic machine, and the promise of military bases to house the swelling military complex. We have supported them in opposition to the people and democratic yearnings.
We watched as native populations were in some cases descimated, and in others simply exploited so that American interests could gain wealth along with the thieving “leaders” of each country. The poor remained poor, often got poorer, and the US puppets lived lives of privilege.
We can discuss any part of Latin and South America and find the deadly results, whether it be Guatamala, Nicaragua, Columbia or El Salvador. We can easily move to Kosovo and of course Iran. We could go on forever probably.
There is no wonder why so many across the world hate us. I should say, hates our government. Most know the difference. Is it any wonder that radical extremists found purchase in such fertile soil?
You say you are mostly unaware of all this? Yes, I assume you are. Because guess what?
This shit isn’t being offered to you on the nightly news each evening. No. The powers that be have too much control for that.
The average American has almost no idea how hideously evil our behavior around the world has been.
And that rises to the point of criminality at this point.
We live in a bubble in the US. Most of us were born here, raised here, built our lives here. We raise kids, pets, and ourselves. We travel, we work hard, we love entertainment. We give lip-service to God when called upon to do so, and wave our flags at appropriate “national” holidays.
And we don’t know how vile our leaders have been and continue to be. We don’t know of the awful but simple truth that when polled, the REST OF THE WORLD VOTES THE US AS THE BIGGEST PURVEYOR OF TERRORISM ON THE PLANET.
And it’s all because we live in the bubble of American greatness, that REQUIRES we believe all the rest of the world should bow to us as superior to them, and as their parent. If you don’t believe me, sift through state department and military archives and see the references to other peoples in other places as “children” and “those who have no experience with freedom” and must be “led” and “controlled” lest they botch it all up.
Guess what? This pisses the hell out of those people.
And we are not aware because we are too busy discussing the relative merits of the latest addition to the hotdog offerings at the local supermarket. Is Nathan’s better tan Koegels?
We are unaware, and we explain that we can’t be held responsible. For after all, we are busy forging lives, raising families and preparing for retirement. We are BUSY, and being Americans that’s all the excuse we need.
Except 9/11 happened, and other shit happens around the world as bad. And we caused it. And we can pretend it’s not our fault because we weren’t aware, but failure to act when one should is as awful a crime as acting when one shouldn’t.
I hear it from all those prissy and oh-so-nice folks we all know. You know the ones I mean. The ones who are always the first to volunteer, never speak unkindly of anyone, always have something baked for a friend in need. You know, the nice folks.
Most of you are that. And all the nice folks say, “It’s not polite to discuss politics or religion in polite company.” What the hell does that mean? Do you walk in and ask, is this polite company? What horse manure.
Here’s a little message.
You don’t get a democracy because a handful of folks who do happen to care sets it up for you and it just goes merrily along it’s way. We have ample evidence that economic systems don’t run well unregulated and left to the damning greed of the corporate warlords.
Democracy is messy and it’s hard work.
It demands and requires the attention of the better share of the population affected or it will deteriorate into what we have today: an oligarchy of corporate 1%’ers who operate only from greed and are more than willing to see the “work force” of America reduced to little more than slave labor.
Think America sort sucks now? Well?
Look around. Get off your rear end and read and study and learn what the fuck is going on in the world. THIS IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS A CITIZEN. You don’t have the luxury of suggesting that that sort of thing bores you, or is too hard to figure out. Nuts.
While you’re explaining why you can’t be bothered, others are organizing to take away even more from you until you are nothing more than a propaganda receptor for those who are controlling your every act.
So don’t tell me, you don’t “discuss politics or religion”. You damn well better because only the power of the numbers will turn this ship of state back on course. And it’s YOUR responsibility as much as any others.
Just stop telling me you aren’t paying any attention because you are bored, irritated, at a loss for time, or any of a hundred other excuses. Because I’m gonna tell you that you are not pulling your weight. And I’m gonna suggest that if you don’t want to be part of the solution, well keep your damn mouth shut, and don’t vote.
At least leave the governance to us if you can’t be bothered. They say opinions are like ass holes, everyone has one. Well, yes, I suppose. But are you ready to be told that your opinion is that of an asshole?
Oh, well then learn something of what you attempt to speak then. And LEARN, for heaven’s sake, WHAT THE HELL YOUR GOVERNMENT HAS DONE, AND IS DOING.
And then fight for democracy.
This blog sometimes participates in SoCS.
I thought we got all this cleared up last time around? The opinion thing? The notion that NO, we don’t go around generously offering each other the opportunity to “tell me what you think,” since what you think often can be documented on toilet paper quite frankly.
But two of ’em were at it this week alone, tellin’ me that their ignorant ideas were worthy of dissemination in the court of public opinion. One told me Bernie was a dirty dog but Hillary was an angel. I explained that he was delusional and then unfriended him. Another did the usual crap about how America went to hell the minute we prevented the “lamb” (Jesus) from accompanying our lil one’s to school each day.
Worse yet, said Texan (too many of the damnably stupid are from Texas you know), announced that she saw no “issue” in her post and said she intended to continue to support the Rebel flag and her “spiritual Baptist” beliefs. She begged me to unfriend her, being apparently unable to negotiate that difficult terrain without assistance from someone with an IQ at least 20 points higher than her own.
I obliged. I gathered from the supportive friends and family who were “with her” that such folks still in search of real intelligence, hang together, uplifting their common stupid to new levels of extreme height.
But that’s not what I’m talking about today. No, today I speak to a similar kind of stupid, but different as well. For there is a stupid that is fairly stupid, but knows they are talking stupid too. I mean, they know they are LYING, for it is impossible to be this stupid. You get my drift?
You may have heard about the lady clerk in Kentucky who refuses to issue any marriage licenses, forcing the entire county to live in premarital sin, because God informs her that gays are not marriage material. To each other that is.
Now I find this argument compelling in no way whatsoever. It utterly fails to meet any known test of “religious freedom” ever conceived, except in the mind of a Frankenstein oriented Christianist. It doesn’t even pass the smell test.
We start off in the state of Kentucky which is no state at all to be in. Pretty, I’ll give it that, given my cursory look at it from the cabin of a 74. It’s pretty “enough” as Barack might say. Beyond that? Oh, well, it is on the list of secondary refugee camps for the stupid. See, Texas can’t figure out what border to sit on, the one with Mexico or the ones with various US states, all seeking to rid themselves of the stupid. Such folks are placed on Greyhounds and bussed south to Texas. When Texas becomes overwhelmed, they send the extras to places where stupid people are uncommonly comfortable–i.e., Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and of course Kentucky. Whew, well now you know.
It strikes one as likely that the stupid people of Kentucky actually think that it is safe to equate the handling of paper work for gay couples seeking marital union, a complicity of sorts. After all, I’m being asked to do something in my job that I find icky, thus Jesus must find it that way too, and He certainly wouldn’t be turning any water into wine for them, so, I should refuse to be a part of it as a “good Christian”.
I mean it probably seems that way to Kim, being that she’s so new to all this God stuff in the first place. Or second or third, or gracious goodness, four times. Yes, Oh you were unaware? Ms. Kim, the clerk has been MARRIED FOUR TIMES IN HER QUEST TO LIVE A GODLY LIFE. And the set of twins she conceived in her second marriage were actually with the guy who became the subject of her “until death do us part or you piss me off” on the fourth occasion.
Kim’s a bit confused and new at all this Christian stuff. You gotta cut her some slack and excuse that she just might be simply stupid and not duplicitously so.
So Kim follows “God’s law” which she couldn’t identify as being from where should you demand to know. She doesn’t, but the little preacher guy who baptised her in the blood of Jesus “sometime after her fourth and she swears final marriage, and after washin’ in the baptismal fount of forgiveness, told her it’s so. God don’t like Him no homosexuals, and no don’t ask Him why he created them thus in the first place.
So let’s leave Kimmy out of the equation, because she’s sorta not sure what is goin’ on anyway.
The people from Liberty Counsel are quite another thing. Schooled in the colosseum of colossal stupid, students who graduate from this den of dumb are admitted to the bar for reasons that defy logic and Thomas Jefferson. But they gotta know better.
Surely, they know that Kimmy’s lament doesn’t rise to the level of an actual defense of anything. Well, perhaps we wouldn’t vote to put her down since she’s too stupid to know better. But surely they know this.
Religious freedom is the freedom to believe what you want and to worship at a place that agrees with you,if one can be found. You can talk about what you believe, and you can try to get others to agree with you. That is religious freedom.
This is not about religious freedom.
Every job, federal, state, local, public or private, profit or nonprofit, has a thing called “job requirements.” They are the “things” an employed person does while at work. They can change over time. They can increase in number and type and they can shrink.
Ms. Davis has a job that now includes issuing marriage licenses to a larger group of people than a few months ago. She claims to do this would impinge upon her religious beliefs. It probably does.
However, the answer is not to deny the public the service their taxes pay for. The answer is for Ms. Davis to resign her post, given that she is now unable to do her job as required.
She cannot impose her self-determined opinion on what God might want to her job and claim that she can’t be forced to do it.
First and foremost her opinion is wrong, quite plainly. Any number (in fact the majority) of theologians and biblical experts would inform Ms. Davis that her personal conclusions about what God wants are not reflected by an accurate reading of anything in the bible. Therefore there are actually NO religious laws being broken by her new job requirements, only one that she creates herself.
Think about that.
Let’s ask 319 million people to all do or not do parts of their jobs based upon their religious interpretation of the relevant spiritual text of their faith. Can you see that this might be a tad unwieldy?
This is not remotely what the Founders had in mind.
Your religious freedom stops where mine starts.
Ms. Davis may be a perfect fraud. She may be nothing more than a willing dupe to a group of religious fanatics who are still trying to set up a modern-day theocracy in the US. Or she may be a true believer of the fundamentalist variety, where all personal bigotry usually finds a home somewhere in the bible as justification.
But it is not religious freedom, and Liberty probably knows that. It has its own agenda. See above.
I sit and watch as various GOP contenders for the rabbit’s foot award all weigh in. Jindal, Rubio, Paul, Cruz, Huckabee all jump on the “religious persecution” bandwagon and utter inanities that make one blanch. The rest hem and haw and go for a version of blah blah blah that hopefully will trigger no response.
Surely they aren’t this stupid.
But maybe they are.
It’s why livin’ in Merika is hard.
Hey, next time we create a new country, let’s set an IQ minimum okay?
This agin’ shit is pretty much play it by ear ya know. I ain’t never been here before. So if I don’t always get it right, hey, I’m a work in progress.
See I take no responsibility for all this. The world I mean. It purely sucks if you look at it all, into every nook and cranny as they say. It purely sucks.
We don’t learn from our mistakes, we don’t see the trends from multiple strands of social interaction across the globe. We mostly are oblivious. We use trite phrases to avoid thinking.
We say stupid things like, “everybody is entitled to their opinion.” What the hell does that mean? Does it literally mean that one of the hallmarks of humanity is the right to spew any sort of fermenting slop as one’s “opinion” thereby classifying it along such noted remarks as “I came, I saw, I conquered”, “we have nothing to fear but fear itself” and “Mikey likes it.”
I’m supposed to accept that your “opinion” about Donald Trump being a breath of fresh air is equal to my assessment of the probability that the dark matter in the universe is sufficient to close the universe from permanent expansion? I don’t think so.
See, we have got this notion that everybody is entitled to an opinion. They are not. This is not a handout in which every newborn is checked at the door. “Yep, little Ralph has his “opinion rights” right here in his diaper. Let him go forth unto humanity to spake his piece.”
Spake his piece?
Okay, let’s get this straight.
You are entitled to inclusion in the human race on very limited standards. Basically you must have the general physical equipment of legs and arms and knees. Mostly, but hey if you are missing one or two, not a problem. If you resemble being human more than say being a salamander, you fit the bill.
This does not entitle you, however, to a soapbox and a microphone. Nor does it entitle you to open your yap whenever you wish to spout some personal preference for anything if it is swimming in a sea of “just my opinion”. Your opinion is worthless flotsam unless it is tied to this thing we call FACT.
Facebook is a collector of such human dramas masquerading as intelligent people. Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of really smart folks on Facebook, millions of them in fact. It’s just that they are jumbled up with all sorts of misbegotten refuse who have the appellation of “human” while having little in the way of grey matter. And the latter sort continue to intervene in adult conversations with their “opinions” which contain nothing but the machinations of their six brain cells operating at half power for thirty seconds.
And of course, the rest of us who are not tied to personal preferences and the desire to hang on to every penny we’ve managed to accumulate at the expense of the continuing efficacy of the planet if that’s what it takes, have to “address” these cockamamie “theories” as if they actually made sense.
So here’s the low down bottom guppies. If you are a marginal human being, meaning that you shouted “whew” at the end of twelve long years of recesses, punctuated by football floats and sneakin’ a peek at Ms. Andrews boobs when she bent over to help you with long division, and called that “being educated” then, here’s what you must do.
Shut the FUCK up. Unless it has to do with what brand of weed killer works best on fescue, shut the FUCK up. You don’t contribute to the conversation, you embarrass it. You can’t put two coherent thoughts together. Hell, you don’t HAVE two coherent thoughts.
Stick to birthin’ babies, greasin’ axles, and giving McDonald’s a reason to exist. They created bowling alleys for you. They created comic books for you. They created Disneyland for you. MOMA? Don’t trouble your often pretty head about that. Keynesian economics versus Hayekian? Stick to those abs.
See how easy this is? You return to the stuff you do best and leave us along to puzzle out the state of the world and the solutions to all those problems you haven’t really got time to think about anyway, since you really have to decide–should Hulk be the VP nominee or Sarah for the Trump machine?
See, we want you to think about that, cuz it doesn’t matter what your answer is. It has as much chance of happening as hell oozing into your toilet and nippin’ your nuts while you count backwards from a hundred and count ammo.
I’m pretty sure that your “average Joe” is pretty content to ignore politics and religion as being boring if they really thought about it. The average Joe is pretty happy with being average. He averages through life. He works, he retires, he fishes. His wife raises kids, retires (though few recognize the difference) and knits. Their parents did the same, and probably their grandparents. They think this is swell.
The rest of us, we are never satisfied. We are terrified of getting “set in our ways”, and doing the dreary ordinary things of each age category. We yearn to know everything, the faster the better. Our routines are only set in order to get as much done each day before we tear it all apart and set up new ones so we don’t get “set in our ways.” We flit from one thing to another, gleaning a bit of knowledge each time so that as we age, we do in fact become “wise” and able to discourse on hundreds of topics with some basic understanding.
I figure it is the “rest of us” since I never have believed for one second that I was very unique. Oh unique in the obvious sense, so we all are, but unique beyond the obvious? Naw, I doubt it very much. The Internets are good for that sort of thing–lettin’ you know you are not so unique as you think.
The Internet humbles the savage beast, or takes down the arrogant a peg or two at least. And sadly it has the worst possible effect on the stupid. A computer is so simplistic in its operation that it allows the most lacking in brains to get on it and find to their amazement, that their dumb notions are shared by a segment of humanity. And that makes them feel, what they are not–SMART.
And that gums up the entire works.
Was a time when stupid people knew they were stupid.
I’m guessin’ about that, but I know one thing, nobody thinks that today.
Hell, seventeen of them are running for President.