Didya watch it? I know, only the truly masochistic would. I did. Well, to put it honestly, I listened, preferring to stare at the slow slinking demise of the New York Mets for some reason, while I listened to the chatter of the squirrels in Boulder.
Now I have to admit. it was full of all the boring nonsense one would expect but it had its moments. I rather thought that notes were being passed among the contestants: Please guys, don’t beat up on each other. It’s Hillary who is the enemy!” Most forgot, usually because it was so much easier to attack the silliness that passed for policy among the “I just wanna be President” crowd.
Well, if you insist.
Let’s start with the undercard, where the refuse from the wars have gathered to lick their respective wounds of NOBODY CARING and pontificate as if at a child’s tea party, of what “might have been.”
For the life of me, I can’t remember half of the four that graced the screen, dressed up in their Sunday best, with every cowlick plastered down. I do remember Bobby (not my real name) Jindal, and his protestations that one need look no further than Louisiana to see the fine results of Republican economic policy. I was forced to agree with Bob that, yeah, I had not seen an uptick in suicide rates in Louisiana, so he must be right. All was well in Louisiana.
A tiny thing called facts, tend to dull Jindal’s luster however, as Louisiana is floundering economically and is especially in trouble when it comes to health care and education. But no matter, Jindal assures us that it’s really all just smoke and mirrors and all is really really okay.
But the real star was Ms. Lindsey, who wants to be president like more than getting a new puppy even. He told us so repeatedly all night. “Please make me your president!” he shouted at every opportunity.
You see, Ms. Lindsey is very upset. Ms. Lindsey was a JAG officer way back when, and spent a bit of time in Germany, defending hapless GI’s who found themselves at the wrong end of military justice. After that he joined the Guard, and rose to Colonel. Still the fly boys ridiculed the hapless not-homosexual soldier with his lack of “combat” duty, so of course Lindsey became a flaming Hawk, joining forces with Angry Old Man McCain, to bitch and moan about how things should be done in their “man’s army.”
Based on this understanding, Lindsey popped up at every question with some version of “PLEASE MAKE ME PRESIDENT AND I WILL STOP THIS CRAP”, crap being defined as whomever seems (in Lindsey’s estimation) to be kickin’ our butts. What remained unsaid, but was clear was what he really meant, “PLEASE MAKE ME PRESIDENT SO I CAN KILL SOMEBODY, ANYBODY, AND STOP THE SOLDIER BOYS FROM RIDICULING ME! I’LL SHOW THEM!”
Moving upstairs to the main event, well, the hilarity ensued, the face palming was inevitable, and we knew from the beginning we would get our moneys worth. Would Trump attack Carson? Would Carson be awake? Would Jeb strut naked and show his balls off? Would Huck plead for Ms. Davis to be vindicated? Would Christie bellow and look Mafia-ready? Would snot come from Theodore’s nose when he snickered? Would Marco tell us all over again about his “family story of arriving in Nirvana on the good ship Freedom?
We were not disappointed.
They say that no politician quits a campaign for any reason except the money is gone. Well that’s not entirely true, but close enough. Kasich we must assume has reached that point. He took on both Carson and Trump, calling their candidacies essentially crazy. He didn’t just say they were unqualified, he said they were crazy. He is not crazy he insisted. He’s done stuff. All the stuff that needs to be done, he’s done. But then everyone says they have done stuff up there on the stage.
Kasich led the charge of attack against fellow combatants. The others looked on hopefully but with a careful non-committal face, waiting to see how he did. The punches glanced off both of the crazy duet, and Kasich made reservations for his “holiday to get over losing”.
Now that “sorta establishment character” Kasich was disposed of, Jeb, licked his lips and thanked mother again for her words of wisdom, “dammit, Jeb, can’t you be a man like your brother?”, and leveled his eyes at brother Marco and let him have it. “If you can’t do your job in the Senate, maybe you should just resign!” Jeb! grinned and waited for all the pets to come his way, “good boy Jeb!”
Alas, Marco had his prepared retort at the ready. You never complained about John Kerry or Barack Obama when they too off time from their Senate duties!” he whined. Jeb! blinked. Mom never told him what to say next. So he blinked again. Marco smiled, and snuck another lick of his lollipop.
By now the others were getting restless. Theodore was prancing in the wings waiting to impress the hell out of no one with a rendition of “I was proud to lead the fight. . . .” NOT noting that he lost every battle. He got attention by yelling at the commentators who seemed an odd collection of forest creatures brought forth to “outdo Fox”at being Fox.
Theodore shook his mighty finger at the panel of questioners, and cried, “Foul! You ask mean questions!” he pouted. “Why if our answers seem insane, it’s not our fault. It’s your crazy questions that are the problem.”
Fear captured the crowd. You could hear the whispers among the handpicked stupid, who had all clearly admitted by oath in front of people that they were Republicans. “It’s just like Fox says, the MSM is just all in the pocket of the left. Can’t trust them. Can’t listen to their demon lies.” Theodore grinned, his job complete.
But what captured me utterly last night was one question and one answer. I doubt it did others, but it struck me so hard that I was literally jaw-slacked gobsmacked.
Question: There’s a hedge fund manager that bought the rights to a drug and then upped the price by 700% because he can. Do you think the government should step in, and how, to rectify this?
Ben gave some answer, that reflected his limited understanding of market economics. Mostly he shied from endorsing that anything should be done.
Well, that’s not what I expect from a doctor. Surely not one who engaged in some of the most delicate and serious of medical procedures–operation on the brains of infants.
What should I expect from a doctor?
“You know, I’m a doctor. For many years I operated on the brains of very small children. I entered medicine so I could help people, and I found helping the most vulnerable among us very rewarding. It’s no exaggeration to say that I have literally held a person’s brains in my hands. The idea that any person would deliberately deny a human being, a child, a life-saving drug because their family could not afford it, is an obscenity to me. I’m not sure how we should regulate such behavior, but I know that nobody should ever not receive a life-saving drug or procedure because they can’t pay for someone’s desire to become rich.”
That’s what a normal person would say wouldn’t they?
Ben Carson is not normal. He’s not even close. There is something very very wrong with that man. I’m not sure too many saw that.
My take on it all?
- Kasich is just waiting for the money to run out. He took his shot and it had no effect.
- Huckabee is in this for reasons other than winning. He knows he has no chance. His only hope was the “I pretend to be a Christian because it helps cover up my ugly underbelly of beliefs” crowd and they all seemingly belong to Ben.
- Jeb! is toast. He looks increasingly dazed, bored, cranky, and befuddled. He always thought he was smarter than his brother, and the notion that he’s not, is very hard to bear.
- Rubio had a good night because he’s good at rapid fire “sincere” answers, but frankly his lack of experience is showing. He appears a bit childish and pouty, and his “personal story” is getting a bit old. He’s like a very energetic puppy who gets so excited his steps in his own doo. He will not prevail as Hillary would eat him for lunch.
- The Donald had an okay night, said nothing outrageous, seemed largely above the affray and was given the win by those who vote on such things. I have no idea why.
- Benjie becomes more horrifying with each minute. His answers have you jumping between silly and scary. Ultimately although he’s a good spot to hide your bigotry behind, his responses are so repulsive that smarter heads will prevail, unless of course they are overwhelmed by the slow-thinking base who find him an answer to prayers.
- Carly always sounds good at first, but the staccato delivery wears thin rapidly as we see that it’s all rehearsed, and the words never change. Her determination to just say no to any contradiction will leave her friendless in the end.
- Theodore, did okay but this never seems to make much difference. He waits impatiently with Huck for Carson to collapse. Theodore is evil personified, but has the indignant arrogance to make the stupid think he cares. He cares only about being king. The rest of the world knows him for the wretch he is.
- Christie the donut man, is a master at “straight talk” which is really very crooked talk, dressed up with bravado. He will continue to go nowhere, but he’s good for a line or two in the press.
- Randy? Who?
Fervent Wish: That Ms. Lindsey gets a hand up and gets in the adult debate next time. I wanna hear more of his “PLEASSSSSEEE make me President!”
So what was your impression?
If you ask your average Merikan about demagoguery, you’re probably going to hear about Stalin and Hitler and Mussolini. If you are specially lucky, you might hear reference to Joe McCarthy. A significant number of Merikans, perhaps most, won’t have a clue what you refer to, beyond a vague sense of “bad” floating in the air.
It’s no secret that American youth are fairly poorly educated in this country. While there are plenty of reasons and excuses for this, top of the heap is probably because they are taught lies.
Such is underway in Texas anyway, where new textbooks will play down slavery as a cause of the Civil War, and emphasis a lie–states rights–as being its motivation. Now states rights had something to do with the Civil War, but not in protecting states rights–in actuality it was the states rights of northern realms that they despised and set out to separate themselves from. In fact, up until the 60’s there were specific “southern” textbooks on these issues, not used in the rest of the land. We are returning to that era, when again, Southern kids will be taught a different “history” than the rest of the country.
A demagogue is one who through resort to fear and prejudice, appeals to the common people, in an attempt to manipulate their approval to gain personal power and influence. Lies are a common vehicle used to gain the support of lower socioeconomic classes which is then used to gain the ends (usually hidden) of the demagogue.
Americans think they are smarter than the average demagogue, and always have. We look at people such as Hitler, Stalin, and others of that ilk with a certain disdain, sure in our adolescent minds, if not our later adult ones, that such a thing could not happen in the good old USA, because we are “on to them” sorts. And the slightly smarter among the great unwashed will use Joe McCarthy as an example. Sure we toyed with demagoguery for a bit, but in the end we censured Joe and sent him packing, destined to go down in history as a rather sinister chap who in the end was admonished, “Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”
So, we sit in smug superiority.
We of course were and are wrong. We are no better at ferreting out demagoguery than your average Athenian was when Cleon was stirring the people to behaviors we normally don’t associate with Athens in the classical period.
We live in a soup of demagoguery with any number of suitable candidates lined up to become the populist hero of the day. Fox Noise serves as the propaganda disseminator with plenty of minions named Rush and Ann and Rich and Sean ready and willing to spout the memorized script of why “they” are destroying America, and “we” must get out our guns and show them we will not tolerate their warped secular world.
We finally, at long last, sat down and watched Game Change the other night. Sure, it was filled with lots of giggles and nodding, as we saw our Sarah entering the national stage. We saw the almost comical cluelessness on anything beyond the demagogue’s rhetoric. We watched as she puzzled over basic European history, attempting to take notes (on paper in the beginning, precursor to the famous hand writing), and figure out who was who, and what was what.
And we saw the debacle of interviews that broke open the wisdom of hirin’ Sarah wide open finally, and exposed what McCain referred to as the “dark side” of Populism–the degree to which it is based not on facts and well-thought out logic, but rather instilling and promoting fear and anxiety regarding “others”.
Sarah is pictured as sitting mesmerized listening almost spellbound to the criticism of her. Yet, either through brilliant acting, or truth, one sees a startling revelation. Sarah is not studying her detractors to learn what she is doing wrong, so much as she is carefully examining her detractors for weakness, and how she might better exploit it.
She studies, not foreign policy position papers, but what makes people smile or frown, what makes them cheer, what makes them nod in approval. She is all about one thing–how best to sell Sarah, and reap of course the benefits–fame, and more importantly fortune.
Sarah, as we have come to know, is really only about becoming wealthy. She forcefully and loudly proclaims that “they are boxing her in”, preventing her from doing what she does best–talk to the common folks. She ends up in a long and exhausting war with her handlers over who will control the agenda.
And of course, we have seen the fine results. After the election, Sarah made all her own decisions and she’s managed in six years, to not be the “new young leader of the GOP” that McCain predicted, but rather she has become a cipher in the conservative movement. A few thousands still shout her name, but largely the great uber right wing has moved on.
But the not surprising popularity of Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker remind us all too well, that there are more than one ready to take over the mantle from Ms. Palin.
Cruz, following the SCOTUS decision regarding marriage equality enters the arena with the lie: a few people who were never elected by us have dictated to the rest of us how we must live. Now of course, Cruz leaves out that this is exactly how our constitution intended. It is what was established in Marbury v. Madison. Trump contends that Mexico is sending us criminals, and then sets out to find an example to make his case.
Walker advises he will do to the Middle East problems exactly what he did with unions in Wisconsin–destroy them. Santorum suggests that the rights of every real Christian are at risk if gays marry. Jeb, not quite as capable as demagogues go, wrings his hands and mutters the code words, but doesn’t exactly know how to utter them convincingly.
We need not fear that demagogues will become extinct. We must fear that we are perhaps more susceptible to them than we thought.
Look, we live in a busy world. As has always been the case, the vast majority ignore politics and worry about paying the electric bill and getting packed for that fishing trip to the lake. But while you sublimely watch fireflies at water’s edge, back in the recesses of taverns and game rooms in fancy townhouses and estates, grifters like Sarah are busy trying to figure out what will scare you into voting for them.
I’m not expecting you to spend two hours a day reading what’s going on in the world. It would be nice if you took that interest in the now and future, well mindful of the past, but that’s asking too much. Half aren’t mentally up to the task, and half of the rest are just too bored by anything that doesn’t speak to the World Federation of Wrestling.
But I ask you to remember one thing. The better it sounds the more likely it is to be not true.
You do not need guns to prevent the government from overreach. If the government wants to stop you from mouthing off, it will kill you, and no weapon you have will make a difference.
You’re way of life will not end because gay people can marry each other. I’m quite sure almost none of them will want to marry you and with good reason.
ISIS is not plotting to blow up your neighborhood. It is quite more likely that you will die from a bee sting or be blown up by your neighbor’s arsenal when it goes off in a house fire.
You are not being attacked as a Christian. Nobody has ever stopped you from reading the bible you want, interpreting it the way you want, and going to the church you want. There is no war on Christianity, and as much as you want to think of yourself as a martyr, you aren’t. You would piss your panties should the feds show up and demand you become a Sikh or Buddhist, and all to many of you would bow and ask for the rules of proper worship.
If it sounds good, and makes you feel vaguely selfish–it’s a lie and you are being selfish. Don’t fall for it, even though it would mean a cut in your taxes and some sort of wispy comfort that your way of life is being protected. It isn’t and won’t be. We are becoming both NON-white and NON-Christian. It’s a fact. Learn the word ameliorate and learn it well.
If in doubt, don’t vote. A stupid vote is worse than no vote at all. Remember the demagogue is not looking for a smart vote, but a stupid one. Don’t take the bait. There is really nothing in it for you. EVER.
But keep an eye out for Sarah. She’ll be opening a supermarket near you.
Oh, the day I realized that I had the answer to most everything. When I got it all figured out, and knew that the remaining puzzle pieces were all gonna fit. In my picture of the world.
It should be a national holiday, shouldn’t it? And I know, now you are grabbing a blanket, some snacks and sitting down to listen carefully as I explain the answers to all your hearts questions.
Sarah Palin continues to bring down the IQ level of the planet simply by breathing. She interjected herself and her simpleton daughter into the Duggar fray. She uses big words of which she knows not. Pedophilia comes to mind. Sarah, coming to a supermarket opening near you.
I ponder how profoundly the world changes. I mean, one doesn’t have to be a genius when it comes to history to understand that Jews and Arabs were natural allies for a good many HUNDREDS of years before they weren’t. Jews found some safety in Arab controlled lands at least when it came to the Christians who often slaughtered entire towns of them during the Crusading years. Muslims allowed them safe haven and allowed them to practice their faith largely unhampered.
And let us not forget that Jews fled places like Spain, often ending in Muslim held lands, to avoid Torquemada and his forced “conversions” of Jews to Christianity. Muslims fared no better.
Yet today, we have a Middle East Muslim population determined (rationally or otherwise) to eradicate “Israel from the map”. Actually I think that refers more to the physicality of the state rather than all people Jewish, but still, a hell of a turn of events wouldn’t you say?
Is it in the water? No. It is the result of trying to pretend you’re holier than thou, when you are not. That’s why the GOP continues to find itself mired in the cesspool of sexuality wrongdoing virtually ALL the time. Hastert and the Duggars are simply the latest examples. We ain’t talkin’ your garden variety adultery ya know.
Like wrap your brain around the fact, that while wringing his holy hands in shock and dismay at Clinton’s adultery with Monica, the Speaker (Newty) was busy on his third serial adultery himself (and treating his ex in the despicable manner only a man who thinks of women as disposable arm candy can).
Newt stepped down in favor of Bob Livingston, who stepped down even before he formally took the gavel, having played around with as many as four women not his wives.
And then they settled on Dennis Hastert.
Well you know how that turned out. And then there was that guy who was pantin’ after pages. And the prostitutes, and the gay liaisons. And plenty of regular old adultery. It’s not that the Dems don’t engage in bad behavior, but it seldom flies in the face of their public hypocritical stances on gay rights, and the sanctity of marriage and all that other rot.
If I hear one more Republican strategist talk about the “wonderful field of candidates” we have this season, I’m gonna vomit.
Seriously do you paint crazy glue on your face so as to not crack up when saying that shit?
I read this and it seems accurate. The song says, “only the good die young.” That might well be true. I’m living proof. I ain’t good by design that’s for sure. My heart leads me to places that seem to rail at inequality, injustice, and all manner of dickish wrongitude, but it’s from no desire to be good. Just how it turned out. Education is a powerful teacher.
Speaking of which, living well is the best revenge I’m quite sure. And once I learned that, I spent my time trying to live well, which made living well much easier I gotta say. And knowin’ that the people who dislike me the most live these narrow mean little lives, well that’s my frosting.
My husband and I chatted the other night about how in our darker days (before we met or otherwise) when one sits and daydreams about the “perfect life”, well, reality caught up with us both. We are living it now. Both of us, rather blissful, sober in our assessment, very very aware of how lucky and blessed we are.
We love where we live (it ain’t called land of Enchantment for nothin” folks). We love our home and fitting it to our needs and desires as perfectly as possible. We love our companion pets whom we are privileged to care for. Most of all we love each other. After nearly sixteen years we still are never bored, and seldom disappointed. We laugh, and almost cry occasionally at how lucky we are.
I recall my father saying very sarcastically as he sat in his chair, his life fading away before his eyes, “And they call these my golden years.”
Well, they are truly golden for me, and I wake with such anticipation and such eagerness each day, fulfilling all my dreams and hopes for how I would live and do in these years after the working was finished.
But I’d still like a spare million should you have it. I can do more.
Rudy 9/11 Giuliani opens his gums and spouts off as to how this President, really doesn’t love America as we do. Rude then goes on to explain that Obama was raised “diff-rent” from you and me, and none of that stuff is racist cuz ya know he had a white mama.
Rather than pick apart the blatherings of a has-been irrelevant hack, let’s look at the whole concept of what it means to “love one’s country.”
I’m not sure exactly what it means myself. I have no idea what it means to love a thing like that. I mean the concept is quite foreign to me, and I suspect it is to most people of they were pushed to tell exactly what they meant by it. Most people work from metaphor, taking it to mean that they support what the country was framed to stand for, and they think voting is a requirement of good citizenship.
I am not a boundary person you see. I look at maps and say, “oh dear, that makes no sense. Why is that line there?” Most of that stuff arose from long ago times and most dealt with wars. A bit of it is due to natural features of the land. Most of the lines throughout the Middle East are arbitrary and stem from meddling from the West, and truth be told, it’s why things are in such turmoil there today.
I do love humanity, which I think is quite natural being a part of it. I figure I’m one of the lucky ones, and I figure I’m no more entitled than anybody else. The accident of birth landed me in a land that allows me to pretty much do as I wish and do it fairly pleasantly. Someone’s being born in Bangladesh should entitle them to no less. So I’m all for making things a lot more equal. I’ll happily give up some if I can improve the lives of people who have almost nothing.
I recognize everyone doesn’t believe like I do, because they have been raised by parents, governments, businesses, and media to “want it all” with fine phrases like “work ethic” and “bootstraps” and “survival of the fittest”, to name but a few. They deserve more because they work harder and they judge their value and others by what’s in the garage of life.
If ever a metaphor was made for the GOP it’s the black hole. The GOP is on the event horizon. That’s the spot on the edge of a black hole from which there is no return. Destruction is inevitable since the gravitational pull is stronger than any known counter force to pull out. Yet to the observer, the person or thing poised on the event horizon seems to remain there forever. It’s basic astrophysics.
Or one can use the analogy of catch 22. Either works fine.
You see the GOP is always damned either way at this point. It is all of their own making, so there is no desire to rescue them. They are caught in the black hole of the tea imbibing community of dunces. They must feed the tiger lest the tiger eat them alive which of course it inevitably will since one must go mad under that sort of pressure eventually, and thus falter and succumb to the fangs.
The GOP cannot get away from the tea crazies. So they invariably make remarks such as Rudy did. And the Walkers of the party will continue to be non-committal in rejecting such tripe. One cannot poke the tiger, after all. Meanwhile, they remain mired in place at the event horizon while in reality, bit by bit they are eaten alive.
There is no meaning to “loving my country” any more than there is to “supporting our troops”, wearing flag pins or saying loudly that America is Exceptional! Similarly, the idea that one must confess one’s Christianity in order to be viable is without merit. The latter particularly is egregious, since there is a no religious test clause in the very constitution that these flag wavers so profess to be willing to die for.
In reality, constitution protectors don’t really mean it at all. They mean the constitution as they interpret it, and with the parts left out that they don’t like.
Do you love your country or only the ideal of it? Do you love it in spite of its true history or do you doctor that up to meet some standard you have erected to satisfy your personal needs and wants? I read where one woman in talking to her right-wing relatives learned that they opposed the current state of teaching American history because it “just wasn’t necessary to rehash all that old stuff. Sure slavery was bad, but we ended it. We should concentrate on what makes America great.”
Does anybody have a clue where that sort of nonsense leads? Well, not to go into that of course, but it does, you have to admit, lead to all sorts of entitlements based on “we’re just so damned superior” and “you can’t manage without our guidance.” Anyone smell the odor of Arian purity and world domination in there?
President Obama has less than two years left to serve, and the Republican day care school replacement brigade still can’t talk of much else. Meanwhile it would appear that Jebbie hasn’t read a newspaper in six-plus years, since a big chunk of his foreign policy team is made up of his brother’s fine collection of idiots that led us into the morasses of both Afghanistan and Iraq. He doesn’t know that Wolfowitz was one of the architects of the Iraq policy with his pre-emptive strike crap? He doesn’t know that along with Cheney and others, the Iraq foray was something these fools had wanted to do for a decade or so and found 9/11 a good excuse for? They are liars and arguably war criminals if we collectively had the stomach to clean up our own shit behind us.
Yet this is where we live today. In a world steeped it seems in a party which is caught between the tiger which is devouring it, and reality which it can only spit niceties at as it throws yet another bone in the other direction. Stop being the party of stupid, Bobby Jindal said, while being stupid. We welcome everyone, except not Log Cabin Republicans to CPAC. I’ll take a pass on that evolution question if you don’t mind, I’m not a scientist.
We live in a world where David and Charles Koch, family owners of Koch Industries, owners of subsidiary ALEC, writes the legislation word for word of the bill their CEO Scott Walker of their other subsidiary Wisconsin, signs into law regarding “right to work” (which is really nothing but right to work for next to nothing), causing even old timer Republicans who still have some shred of decency left in them, to say, “this is just fucking wrong.”
Is this love of country? They would surely say yes, the country they want to have, wherein all decisions are filtered through the prism of “is this good for the bottom line?”
Love my country?
Only an insane person would love this. Place that constitution, the preamble will do, against the fabric of stupid today and see how well that fits. A person could stand on a stump and recite non-stop this bundle of crazy for weeks without end. Today, we will pass a law that says sex education must never allude to the possibility of enjoyment but only procreative elements that are of course abstained from by good little girls, and winked at by bad little boys. Today we will ban yoga pants, cuz damn I wanna do what’s right for Merika. Today I’ll suggest that good education money is wasted on them blacks who just collect welfare anyway. Today, I’ll work hard to make sure only “our sort of folk” can vote. Today, I’ll cash that check from Exxon-Mobile and vote to let them drill baby drill in your fucking front yard.
Love my country?
Are you serious?
It is said (or at least it should have been said) that the human brain is pretty much capable of coming up with anything. I mean we humans have invented the most amazing ways of torturing people and killing them off bit by bit.
Go into any supermarket and stroll down the soda pop aisle or cereal aisle and you can see that we can invent several dozen variations on a theme, making each appear fresh and new.
But I swear I cannot come up with a viable version of comedy that stresses conservative themes and is funny at the same time. It would be a bit like pushing matter and anti-matter too closely together. It just implodes.
What on earth is funny about all the things that the GOP is for? They are for cutting taxes for the rich. That’s gotten to the point that nowadays we are sending money to them since they “pay” taxes in the negative.
They are for trying to offset their growing state deficits by adding “luxury” taxes to food and other necessities, taxes that cruelly attach more to the poor than any other group.
They are for the life of the fetus, which is surely laudable if it were coexistent with care for pregnant mothers, babies, health care, and a host of services to support that fetus as it grows to old age. But they are not.
They are against government intervening in the lives of ordinary people unnecessarily. They call this regulation. But the forms they wish to dismiss are those that protect people from dirty water, dirty air, shoddy manufacturing practices, unfair labor practices that endanger and diminish people. They figure kids, rather than get a free lunch should sweep the school for their dinner.
But when it comes to regulating behavior, they can’t get enough of regulations. They want to and do, try to regulate every aspect of women’s bodies when it comes to reproduction and girls bodies too. They seek to regulate what women wear. They seek to protect the rights of others to treat fellow human beings badly based upon personal ideologies that they call a “religion.”
They seek to express American exceptionalism by meddling around the world, upping the ante everywhere, bloating defense budgets to accommodate their need to puff out their chests and “prove” America is better. At the same time, they protect themselves and their offspring from standing on any battlefield they create.
They seek to pretend that race and ethnicity no longer are of any concern in their America. They turn the page by flipping the equation such that anyone who brings up the issue is dubbed a “racist”. They employ a few dark faces, who for the price of personal fame, are willing to nod genteelly in agreement. They twist and cherrypick the words of great civil rights leaders and try to claim them as their own.
They live every day using every convenience devised by modern technology. They tweet and fly, pick up their fancy lattes, take their youth-enhancing shots at spas, drive computer directed cars, yet when it comes to any science that impinges on their gravy train of K Street lobbyists and the free-flowing money that is funneled their way, science becomes pure bunk.
They prefer stupid, cute-talking bobble heads to thoughtful men and women.
They prefer “common-sense” to education, except when they visit the doctor or the dentist or the accountant or the lawyer, or the airport pilot. Education is for elitists, who are people who want to be better than the average person, meaning they get embarrassed when they haven’t a damn clue what is being said.
They are all for individuality, and they mean that they will say that everyone is equal, and you can just do the best you can. If it don’t work out, why that poor house thing back in the twenties wasn’t so bad, and we got a lot of free road work done. See don’t you feel better knowing you are paying for your own gruel?
They want to, therefore, end social security, cuz individuals properly prepare for their own old age. John-Boy is remembered fondly and surely was going to care for his ma and pa. You don’t need medicare either since health care is no right but a privilege reserved for those who have managed to acquire sufficient funds to pay for it.
There is no need either for unemployment benefits because it’s your job to foresee that free markets might end your job. Worse, if you are so down and out as that, you probably are not of sufficient moral character to withstand the urge to just sit on your ass and suck off the rest of us anyway, and we can’t have that.
Food stamps? Hunger builds character. See the above regarding unemployment benefits regarding your unfitness for food.
Housing? Ditches are quite comfortable in summer I hear.
And let’s not forget the churches. Our fine Christian houses of worships are dedicated to helping the “truly” poor, whatever the hell that means. Not so much non-Christian houses of worship which are really just oxymorons, cuz that’s what my Jezus said, after all, somewhere; at least he implied it.
I mean two thousand years of working on that issue, is a good start!
Immigrants were us two hundred or so years ago, and that was fine. Everyone knows white trash from Europe beats red skins any day. And immigrants are really good at cleaning houses and mowing lawns and picking fruit. They don’t want hardly anything for the privilege. But too many? Oh now, that makes you an ALIEN and an ILLEGAL.
Those words are words of fear, because damn, I’m following all the good rules set up by my betters, and fuck, life is still not any better, so somebody is to blame, and my betters say it’s THEM.
So, we can hate us some Mexicans and, hell all of South America pretty much just cuz. But we will not hate the Cubans, at least the rich ones who escaped Fidel. They are not aliens or illegals, but good people who lost their wealthy land holdings and much to be commiserated with.
We can hate us some Arabs, as many as we want and wherever we want, because we just want their oil, them that got it at least. The rest? Who cares?
We can ignore all our history and all of the worlds for that matter just because it interferes with the narrative we have to tell ourselves today to get to sleep. I mean the past is the past, why dwell on uncomfortable things like slavery and partitioning and supporting dictators and crummy stuff like that. It just makes me feel bad, and, after all, we have to deal with TODAY right?
Let’s make history a quest to make our kids good Americans! And we know what will do that. Put God back in school! In fact, let’s turn over education our youth to private enterprise, cuz they will do the job better and cheaper! And they will never have an ulterior motive to teach our kids anything that was wrong, or quietly made themselves look like the best thing since sliced bread, will they?
Let’s continue to push for not letting those who think against us vote. Let’s continue to make judges do what we want them too.
Let’s put a gun in every graduate’s hand. And I ain’t talkin’ about graduating from college, or even high school. Grade school is old enough to understand proper gun usage. Carry it proudly son. It’s what the Founding Fathers wanted for sure.
This is what the Grand Overly Dead Party thinks. Now, if you can come up with how to make this funny, do tell. I can’t come up with anything. Not a damn thing. A wake? I can come up with that, but not comedy.
I’ll try to be nice here, but please don’t hold me to it.
First of all, fundamentalist Christians refuse to accept that this description to the left is actually what is described in Genesis as the structure of the earth and universe. As you can see, it is not a globe at all, but rather a series of pillars, o’er covered with a “dome” with water above it, and of course below. The sun and visible planets and stars are inside the dome.
If you read the flood stories, you will note that this depiction allows for the waters to both arise from the earth and the sky. It also accounts for the oft-heard phrase, “four corners of the earth”. The “earth” was actually a flat disk. This is acknowledged by Jewish experts who ought to understand their own texts better than others, one would think.
Since even the most staunch Christian fundie accepts the spherical actuality of the globe, you can see why they can’t accept this actual description of Genesis but must fudge it to account for reality.
My point is simply that fundamentalism is based in large part on a fanatical belief in the truthiness of a book, and it is a self-serving literal-ness at best. In this they are no different from other fundamentalists in other religions. As any Muslim will tell you, fundamentalist jihadists misread and twist the Quran in a similar fashion in order to get it to “say what they want it to say.”
Suggesting that all fundamentalists are cut from the same cloth, sets the Christian right on edge. They deny it of course. Indeed if you look at the Wikipedia entry on fundamentalism, you discover that it is not limited to even religion at all but pertains to any ideology which is reduced to an irreducible set” of precepts which cannot be deviated from in any respect. A strict literalism is imposed as to the agreed upon rules.
Bob Altemeyer has done some exceptional work in this area, and makes his main research “The Authoritarians” avail as a PDF file here. The Wikipedia entry, while certainly nothing but a starting point, has a fine bibliography to get your started located here. Psychology has done much work in the area and you might start with this Pathos article, which will lead you to books and studies. Another well-researched book might be The Fundamentalist Mind by Strozier, Termen, Jones, and Boyd. This should help get you started if you wish to learn more. Again, don’t accept my word for it, go to the actual sources.
My point is not to rehash what is common knowledge, among anyone who wants to understand why we are troubled in this country with a segment of society which continues to place it’s personal religious interests above the common good, and most would say common sense. It is rather to point out by the above, that these are not choices made by rational minds, but rather what certain brain configurations are prone to fall into. Since in most cases it is extremely hard to eradicate or upset these mindsets, the only solution is to be ever vigilant to keep them out of the decision-making arenas of our common lives.
This we have done a poor job of doing.
Since we believe that religion is a matter of personal preference, we are loath to interrupt those preferences by any sort of “test” to eliminate those belief systems that threaten us all. And I agree that we should continue to do so. But we must also recognize that there are those among us who want a world much different from the one we inhabit. It is their stated purpose and their heartfelt belief that we should all be forced if necessary to accept their world vision in the guise of a government reactive to their vision of God.
They believe in a nutshell that all laws must be referenced to a book, the Bible in this case, and that of course they will tell you what the Bible says should be the law.
You may or not be aware that James Inhofe, (R-Ok) is the new chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. Inhofe has for years argued that climate change is a hoax. Inhofe has received, tens of thousands of dollars from fossil fuel interests to fund his campaigns. Of course he tells you that he is a true believer, and perhaps that is true. It is always hard to say. But in any case, the Senator is prepared to argue that 98% of the scientific community is wrong on the issue of man-made climate change, and that his fundamentalist-driven approach is true.
What Inhofe admits, is that it doesn’t matter if climate change is occurring. Man is arrogant to go against God in this matter. As his proof he raises Genesis 8:22 which is God’s promise:
As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
Of course they also interpret that “as long as the earth endures” involves a “self-correcting resilience” that they nowhere find in the bible, but assume.
What I am being asked to accept is that the US and by implication no one else, should do anything about the clear evidence of a catastrophe in the making because of what a few people who are in no way experts in either the bible or the science of climate have decided is best for us all. Are you willing to stake the lives of your children and grandchildren on their being right?
Is Inhofe any different from the thousands who have gone to stand upon hilltops on the appointed day and hour to await the second coming, always to return home at dawn, a home that often no longer is theirs since they have sold or given away everything to insure God knows them as the true believers they profess to be?
Are we to go instead to live in Chief Justice Roy Moore’s world in Alabama? Judge Moore tells the Governor in that state to ignore a legal judicial pronouncement from a federal court on the illegality of a gay marriage ban because the judge has determined that the bible told him otherwise, and by fiat he proclaims the federal court decision as “unconstitutional.”
So much for the rule of law. While running for governor himself, Moore decried evolution teaching as “distorting our way of thinking”. Yet, the electorate in Alabama saw fit to elect him as Chief Judge of their Supreme Court, making him the greatest interpreter of the law in the state. This is sanity?
My point is that these people are dangerous to OUR life. We can laugh at them, we can face palm their stupidity and their childish emotional needs all we want, but they have carefully and for the most part quietly wormed their way into positions of power within our country. They have infiltrated school boards, city councils, state legislatures, and obviously on into our higher governmental positions where they, armed with pseudo-science and pseudo-theology, restructure our laws to fit their kingdom to come as they view it.
We ignore them at our peril. If we don’t stand against this sort of soft-headedness, we cannot expect an electorate who by and large is too busy to think these things through themselves to do it for us. We will find ourselves soon before the modern-day Inquisition defending truth against a country that is now governed by a rabble of no longer able or willing to discern truth from fantasy religious fanatics. They are NO DIFFERENT THAN JIHADISTS PEOPLE.
You have been warned.