Archive for the 'Americans are stupid!' Category

Sep 13 2015

Recent Reading

Besides the volume of recent work, I have been deeply involved in several books recently. Not really an excuse for my lack of steady posting, but it did provide a different sort of diversion. Below are my reviews of three of the best of the group. ( I have finished 7 in all since mid-July).

The first book was an oldie,  but goody. It is from the 1970's and it is Saul Bellow's, To Jerusalem and Back, A Personal Account. Published in 1976, the book is a fascinating series of anecdotes and stories about all aspects of the experience of Israel during that decade and the decades before. Bellow writes of a discussion with Jean Paul Sartre published many years earlier. He has a brief view of the power ( or lack thereof) of the United States Sixth fleet, back during the time that the US Navy actually put ships in the Mediterranean ( of which I was a part in the late 1970's). The book is a report of the authors personal experiences but it is much, much more than that-it is a series of vignettes that show the complexity of modern Israeli life. What is amazing to me is just how forward looking Bellow was. He was writing in 1976, but his observations still hold true today.  As one critic said, " Forty years later, it's like reading last week's news analysis from the Middle East. If he hadn't been one of the great novelists of the 20th century, Bellow might have been one of its greatest journalists." That's a pretty good summation of the book.



Along the same lines, and as an adjunct to my job, I try to read a lot of background material on Israel. I had stumbled on Bellow's book in the library and I am glad I did. Interestingly enough, I tried to add it to my Kindle library and Amazon said it is not available to readers in the US, due to copyright restrictions. I found that interesting, if not a trifle disappointing. 

For the reason I listed above, I also completed reading a newer book that does the same thing as Bellows book-provide unique insights into the complex puzzle that is Israel.  The book is by Ari Shavit, who is a writer for Haaretz newspaper, and it is called, My Promised Land. The book is a series of interviews and retelling of specific pieces of Israel's history staring with the first waves of Aliyah ( emigration to Israel) that began in the 1890's and moving up to present day ( 2012).

We meet Shavit’s great-grandfather, a British Zionist who in 1897 visited the Holy Land on a Thomas Cook tour and understood that it was the way of the future for his people; the idealist young farmer who bought land from his Arab neighbor in the 1920s to grow the Jaffa oranges that would create Palestine’s booming economy; the visionary youth group leader who, in the 1940s, transformed Masada from the neglected ruins of an extremist sect into a powerful symbol for Zionism; the Palestinian who as a young man in 1948 was driven with his family from his home during the expulsion from Lydda; the immigrant orphans of Europe’s Holocaust, who took on menial work and focused on raising their children to become the leaders of the new state; the pragmatic engineer who was instrumental in developing Israel’s nuclear program in the 1960s, in the only interview he ever gave; the zealous religious Zionists who started the settler movement in the 1970s; the dot-com entrepreneurs and young men and women behind Tel-Aviv’s booming club scene; and today’s architects of Israel’s foreign policy with Iran, whose nuclear threat looms ominously over the tiny country.

As it examines the complexities and contradictions of the Israeli condition, My Promised Land asks difficult but important questions: Why did Israel come to be? How did it come to be? Can Israel survive? Culminating with an analysis of the issues and threats that Israel is currently facing, My Promised Land uses the defining events of the past to shed new light on the present. The result is a landmark portrait of a small, vibrant country living on the edge, whose identity and presence play a crucial role in today’s global political landscape.


In reading the book I was struck by two of the main points that he raised. First, he points out that both the Israeli right and the Israeli left have yet to come to grips with a central fact that lies at the heart of Zionism-namely that whether they realized it or not, the movement was built on the foundational idea of dispossessing the current occupants of Palestine, in favor of a group of people who had no modern historical ties to that particular chunk of real estate. They only have a thousands year old religious mystery to cling on to that underpinned the reason why Palestine and only Palestine could be the Jewish State. Shavit very skillfully points out that one cannot duck that particular fact, and it is at odds with the narrative of Israel as a benign civilizing force in the region.

The second issue, and its one I had not given much thought to before, is the idea that the Holocaust changed the demographics of the Zionist movement dramatically. It is important to remember that Herzl's vision of Zionism was essentially a European one. The Jewish State he envisioned was to be a a modern, sophisticated and technologically advanced and Europeanized society. Herzl was aware of the Sephardic Jews ( Oriental or non-European Jews) but he tended to discount that.

Herzl completely rejected the race theories of Israel Zangwill. He became increasingly aware of the existence of Sephardic Jewry, but he envisioned the Jewish State as a state of Europeans, who might speak German. In his diaries he wrote:

"I believe German will be our principal language…I draw this conclusion from our most widespread jargon, 'Judeo-German.' But over there we shall wean ourselves from this ghetto language, too, which used to be the stealthy tongue of prisoners. Our teachers will see to that." (June 15, 1895, Diaries, 1: 171)

In The Jewish State, Herzl envisioned the government of the new state to be an "Aristocratic Republic," apparently modeled on contemporary Austria or Germany. In 1902, Herzl published a utopian novel about the Jewish state,  Altneuland (old-new land) a vision complete with monorails and modern industry.  Altneuland envisioned a multipluralistic democracy in which Arabs and Jews had equal rights. The novel concludes, "If you will, it is no legend."

Der Judenstaat and  Altneuland were visions of a Jewish state to be populated by European Jewry, who in 1900 were far more numerous than the tiny remnant of oriental and Sephardic Jews in Muslim lands and the Balkans. Herzl himself was no doubt aware of Zionist yearnings among Sephardic Jews. His grandfather was a friend of RabbiYehudah Alkalai, a Zionist precursor. But Herzl addressed his vision to the Jews of Europe.

Shavit points out that the Holocaust destroyed that vision and changed the planned demographics of the new state of Israel. A lot of the initial immigration to Israel came from the Sephradi population, especially as the Arabs turned away from toleration to outright hostility. Those population numbers had a distinct impact on Israel's politics and societal views and Shavit points out that those effects are still present.

Shavit is a great writer and the book is very readable and fascinating to immerse yourself into. For non-Israelis, and Americans in particular I would recommend this book as a must read. It shatters a lot of myths-and that is a good thing. Americans need to understand Israel as it really is, not as they think it it is.




The final book I have been reading off and on is a return to one of my favorite writers and historians, Arthur Schlesinger. A while back I read his collection of letters and posted a review.  Subsequently his journals have been published. They are much more candid than his letters and his insights into many of today's political figures when they were younger are amazing to read.Schelsinger is a great writer and I particularly got some great satisfaction out of his description of Charles Krauthammer. It is simply priceless as it points out what a slug Krauthammer really is, long before the rest of us really knew about him:

Last night I appeared on ABC's Nightline (Ted Koppel), leaving an entertaining dinner party given by Ahmed and Mica Ertegun for Irving Lazar. My combatant on the show was a fellow named Charles Krauthammer who writes particularly obnoxious neo-conservative trash for the New Republic and other right wing journals. His special line is that a mature power must understand the vital need for an imperial policy and for unfettered executive secrecy in the conduct of foreign affairs. He argues this line with boundless self-righteousness and sublime ignorance of American history. He is also, alas, a paraplegic, having dived into a waterless swimming pool. The joy of dealing with Krauthammer perhaps tempted me into undue vehemence. I have been trying to establish a new and more benign television personality. His performance was surprisingly feeble, and I was unnecessarily testy. Still, it gave me much satisfaction. [Political cartoonist] Jules Feiffer called this morning and said, "If Krauthammer were not already in a wheelchair, he certainly would be now after the pounding you gave him last night.

The puzzle is that there are people who take Krauthammer seriously as a deep thinker.

Those lines were written in 1986, long before Krauthammer sold his soul to the devil that is Fox News.  They remain as true today as they were then. Schlesinger saw his mediocrity long before the rest of us. 

Its a fantastic insight into a half century of history and well worth the time to read. The best part is, that because it is a journal, you can leave it and come back to it. That is what I have done for the last month. Whenever I have extra time, my old friend Arthur Schlesinger is there-thanks to the modern innovation that is Kindle.


No responses yet

Jun 19 2015

With clockwork precision

A mass shooting happens in America every three to four months or so. Charleston, home of my beloved alma-mater, took its turn in the barrel yesterday.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — A white gunman opened fire Wednesday night at a historic black church in downtown Charleston, S.C., killing nine people before fleeing and setting off an overnight manhunt, the police said.

At a news conference with Charleston’s mayor early Thursday, the police chief, Greg Mullen, called the shooting a hate crime.

“It is unfathomable that somebody in today’s society would walk into a church while they are having a prayer meeting and take their lives,” he said.

The police said the gunman walked into the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church around 9 p.m. and began shooting.

Eight people died at the scene, Chief Mullen said. Two people were taken to the Medical University of South Carolina, and one of them died on the way.

“Obviously, this is the worst night of my career,” Chief Mullen said. “This is clearly a tragedy in the city of Charleston.”

And with equal predictability will be the cycle of excuses, recriminations and most disturbingly the Fox News deflection of the real blame for these events. Tired old shibboleths about the intent of the Founding Fathers in writing the 2nd Amendment will be trotted out out for the 989th time. Real change however? Just     NOT    GOING   TO   HAPPEN. This is the mediocrity America accepts as the cost of "freedom".

Freedom? Really?  How about the freedom for the rest of us to be able to conduct the daily transactions of society without fear of being shot by some lunatic?

The ammosexual defense of their kink is predictable and almost certainly incorrigible. Driven (and heavily armed) that’s a view that’s managed to hold political sway over the mushy majority for whom the notion the the liberty of the gun-sniffing few outweighs the freedom of the rest of us to assemble, travel, speak without fear of suppressing fire. What drives that is, at least in part, the normalization of gun fetishization. Which is what you see above. And is what must be shamed out of the public square.

Nope, No, No sirree Bob. Because, "Murica!". Second Amendment. Protect against tyranny in government. Pick you own sick and twisted metaphor.

Nothing ever changes.

The truth is made worse by the reality that no one–really no one–anywhere on the political spectrum has the courage to speak out about the madness of unleashed guns and what they do to American life….

The reality is simple: every country struggles with madmen and ideologues with guns, and every country–Canada, Norway, Britain–has had a gun massacre once, or twice. Then people act to stop them, and they do–as over the past few years has happened in Australia. Only in America are gun massacres of this kind routine, expectable, and certain to continue.


No responses yet

Apr 03 2015

Coming full circle

Back in 2008, I wrote two posts about the subject of gay marriage, coming down rather firmly against the idea. The recent events in Indiana, coupled with the rather disturbing efforts of people like David Green to enforce their screwed up views of right and wrong have now convinced me that I was wrong and need to change my mind. Now mind you, I am really not a fan of any marriage, gay or straight-so completely useless is the institution in my humble opinion-but if we do have this screwed institution than who am I to care about sleeps with who and who marries who.  Watching the actions of that bag of hammers,  Mike Pence, made me a believer that I was on the wrong path.

Its especially a sweet revelation because it places me in firm opposition to others who should know better.

(By the way, prior to putting up that post-there was a Diversity Thursday post up taking the Secretary of the Air Force to task for something she should be taken to task for. But interestingly, in the comments, the supposedly egalitarian and oh so welcoming (sic) "front porch" got well and truly trolled by a commenter who brought up more than a few unpleasant truths, that caused them to have a collective fit. Kind of makes me wonder what the real reason for taking the post down was. A change of heart or not liking someone not backing down to the collective bullying that can go on in the comments section? Alas the post is down so we will never know).

But back to Indiana. 

I question the need to pass a law entitled "Religious Freedom Restoration". What, exactly, are they trying to restore? Is there something preventing the citizens of Indiana from going to church where they want? Are people not being allowed to voice their opinions? The answer to both questions is no-especially if one reads the garbage that passes for commentary over at say: The Federalist, Red State, or the Town Hall Harlot. Regrettably free speech, such as it were, is alive and well in those cesspools of humanity. "What problem are they really trying to resolve here?". Certainly its not about fixing gay marriage-its already legal in the state. 

As we saw in the Hobby Lobby case this is about one particular area, the outrage that a certain percentage of America feels when they can't dictate to others what they can and cannot do in life, by using the leverage of economics to hit them over the head. Hobby Lobby was trying to avoid his lawful responsibility as an employer. Indiana was trying to pass a feel good piece of legislation in order to allow discrimination, legal discrimination,  by zealots who were not content to leave a firewall in place between one's personal beliefs and one's public obligations.

The Indiana law was and is particularly egregious because as originally written it was designed to empower that type of discrimination. While not a license to discriminate-it does set the boundaries of the legal recourse against it:

These laws are instructions to courts on how to assess claims for religious exemptions to a wide variety of law. In general terms, they lay out (1) who can use the law; (2) what kinds of cases it will apply to; and (3) what standard the court will use to decide whether the claimant has a right to an exemption.

In two of these areas, the Indiana law as enacted and signed is broader than the federal RFRA or most other state laws. It provides religious protection to more businesses than the federal statute does, even after the Hobby Lobby case; and it explicitly provides a defense in actions between private parties, such as, let’s say, discrimination suits (the federal statute is silent on this issue, and federal courts are split). Beyond that, it allows businesses or individuals to challenge legal actions even before they happen—if they are “likely” to happen.

So when the “fix” is finally unveiled, read it carefully. And for a crash course in what shouldn't be there, look at the Arkansas religious-freedom bill that Gov. Hutchinson refused to sign on Wednesday. This bill makes the Indiana law look like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It begins with this reassuring finding: “It is a compelling governmental interest to comply with federal civil-rights law." But consider that federal civil-rights laws currently do not protect against discrimination by sexual orientation; the “finding” is not part of the actual statute; and, most importantly, the Arkansas legislature does not have and never has had the slightest power to set aside or reduce the scope of any federal law. It’s as generous as a “finding” that “in Arkansas, light is given permission to travel at 186,000 miles per second.”

I've seen a lot of writers argue that by requiring people to deal evenly with all people in the market place it somehow makes them "accomplices" in sin they disapprove of. That's complete and utter crap. When you enter the commercial arena you enter a legal world where you must live by your corporate responsibilities. Unlike what Mitt Romney said- corporations are not "people too my friend"-and thus don't have "free exercise" rights.  As Charles Blow wrote in the NYT, "I would argue that when you enter the sphere of commerce in America — regardless of your “deeply held religious beliefs” — you have entered a nondiscriminatory zone in which your personal beliefs are checked at the register, and each customer is treated equally."

I mean really, if you as a hotel clerk rent a room to a couple wanting to revel in some adulterous sexual delights, does that make you a participant in the act? Certainly not. All you care about is whether their credit card transaction was approved and that they don't damage anything in the room. What they do inside that room is their business-not yours. 

It is refreshing to me to see certain corporations recognize that they cannot sit idly by on the sidelines while this type of things goes on. When Tim Cook, CEO of arguably the most powerful corporation on the planet speaks out publicly, may be it is time for the worthless idiots like Allahpundit and Erik Erikson to stop and listen. (By the way,  just being on the same side as these guys should make you examine your own positions carefully. ).

This is where we are coming to what really offends the conservative side. They hate seeing their own tactics being effectively used  against them. Indiana is being justifiably made to suffer consequences for its own stupidity-and people like Tim Cook are hitting these people in the one area that really matters to them and their beliefs-their money. I hope it continues and I hope it really comes to hurt Indiana. When you find yourself to the right of NASCAR, maybe, just maybe, you have gone a bit too far.


And, for those of you keeping score at home, the following is a partial list of the institutions that are more progressive and that make more sense on this issue than Mike Pence does.


Dan Quayle's Old Family Newspaper



The state of Arkansas

Which gets to the point I wrote 7 years ago, "-marriage, like it or not, s evolving. And it should evolve because its current construct, as well as the demographics of those who practice it,  are changing dramatically. And if there are people who “want to be childless and partner less”- well they have their place too……..But in the end, short of a radical return to the 50′s, its coming. How we really live with it will be another story. If it makes marriage and divorce laws evolve to ones based on fairness and not entitlement-well then I guess I’ll have to welcome that change."

And so I have. Keep up the pressure, you Godless heathens! You are always winning if Mike Pence is losing.

2 responses so far

Mar 19 2015

The madness is spreading…….

I was a Republican for  a very long time. Over 26 years to be exact. But the party I supported was the party that tried to actually improve the lot of average Americans in many ways. The Republican Party used to be a center-right party, conservative but mainstream. Now it's the home of extreme views. The Republican party used to care about the environment, it favored universal healthcare. A mandate to buy insurance was a Republican idea. Even Richard Nixon-no galloping liberal he, understood the need to fix the American system, and he certainly would never have dared gutting Medicare the way that the Zombie Eyed Granny Starver wants to. And even on taxes-the party was not insane. Under the old Republican philosophy, the purpose of taxation is to raise the revenues needed by the government. They believed, in theory, that the government shouldn’t spend money it didn’t have, so sufficient revenues were needed.

But now? All the men of stature and maturity have been driven out of the party or have died,  and what is left, is a group of spoiled children egged on by an increasingly overweight, selfish, and ignorant electorate, kept ignorant by a self serving bubble of its own truths and making up its own versions of the universe.

If you don't think so-you might want to check this out before speaking.  The party I knew is dead-killed by deranged crazy people.

We marvel today at the utter blind stupidity with which the European powers stumbled into a cataclysm. Centuries from now, historians, probably working on houseboats floating above what used to be Delaware, are going to look back at this period in our history and wonder how we tolerated a political party gone so completely mad, much less how we continued to empower it, election after election. They are going to marvel at how all the institutions designed to check the spread of the madness refused to look at it and call it what it is. These people are going to think American democracy was some sort of weird contagion that overcame the country, like ergot infecting the nation's wheatfields. They're going to believe we all just went crazy and ate ourselves.

No responses yet

Jan 02 2015

Follow ups

Happy New Year to all.  Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu! Kotoshi mo yorishku onegai shimasu.

I , unfortunately had a quiet new years, definitely not the one I wanted to spend skiing. You can thank the S.O. for that because of continued inabilty to make a decision and her repeated failure to recognize that money is only as good as the experiences it buys you. So while I did allow my self the pleasure of getting reasonably intoxicated and watching the fireworks displays. 

New Years day was also quiet, thanks primarily to the bad weather here-and the fact that nothing is open. I binged watched Netflix all day and evening.

When not doing that I took the opportunity to read the reaction to the Fallows article I wrote about a couple of days ago. There have been some excellent responses, many from military and former military who are not so blinded by simplistic thinking and ideology , which allowed them to see Fallow's main points and understand them-even if they did not agree with them. There are 7 follow up posts and everyone of them is worth a read. They can be found here, here, here, here, here,here, and here.

Of course there are the folks who didn't like the article and took the time and effort to use criticism to cater to their audience of sycophants.  Now mind you, it is not as if there are not things to disagree about in Fallows article, what I guess is most troubling about this one overly long and other rather short criticism is that they basically are guilty of the same thing they accuse Fallows of: ideological snobbery. Both Phibian and ID spend more time shooting the messenger than discussing the message. That's to be expected these days on the mil-blog circuit, and as I have pointed out repeatedly before, the comment sections are more about shouting down any dissenting opinions than having an honest discussion.

You can read it all yourself and you should. But in particular when you read Phibian's rather long criticism you should ask yourself if he doth protest too much. Because the answer to that question is definitely yes.

Specifically I found the following that I think should be addressed:

1) First, whether or not, Fallows was drafted or not is really not germane to a discussion of the idea of a program of national service now. And its more than a bit elitist to use whatever happened in 1969-which was by far a different time and a lot of people did not relish our continued involvement in Vietnam.  To continue to beat the tired old drum about how much one hates baby- boomers is really to miss the point.

2) For all the complaints about Fallows using so called left wing code words-Phibian does exactly the same thing.

Next are a few code words; note the use of "chickenhawk," an old school mid-00's moonbat clickbait word – the national security equivalent of "tea bagger." Usually not used by serious people in serious work, but by people who are intentionally trying to be insulting and to pick a fight. Smart move by Fallows, at it will raise the defensive barriers by all the "right" people … and therefor encourage them to keep reading while getting a nod of approval from his preferred audience ofHuffington Post readers, I guess. What he does do, and this is a shame as the topic deserves something better, is to raise a hint of a shadow of his old bugbear since the end of the first Nixon Administration, the draft (more on that later).

Next you have "careless spending." This is a tease, as most of this is just recycled arguments we all know about the amount of money we spend on DOD and what on … and for Fallows, that means getting his F-35 plushy out and beating it hard with the wiffleball bat.

"Strategic Folly" opens his review of how Obergruppenführer Wolfowitz, Darth Cheney, and Bushitler brought about the heartbreak of psoriasis because they refused to turn over the national security apparatus to the editorial board of The Atlantic and the Department of Homeland Security to Katrina vanden Heuvel's knitting circle over at The Nation.



Ummmmm. No. Chickenhawk is an excellent word to use because it quite accurately describes both the condition and the contempt that should be held for it. Serious people do use the words and for good reason-it pretty much captures the failures of those who plunged America down the rathole of the last 14 years.  No one, certainly not Fallows,  is proposing turning the National Security Apparatus over to anyone. They are asking that they be held to account for decisions that they should have known better than to make. Iraq, in particular, represents a foreign policy disaster and its not just liberals saying that. Plenty of conservatives have stated that too. 

And as for the F-35, its killing the rest of Naval Aviation. So can't we really have an honest discussion about a program that is so expensive and for the Navy at least, so un-needed?

3) Phibian takes the opportunity to extol the virtues of the "real" Americans who live in "flyover" country. First of all, contrary to what he states, its not so great. Trust me I have lived among the morons "our wonderfully diverse nation." Trust me, its not so great and if the comment section proves anything, it is not so diverse. He misses the real point that Fallows was trying to make-its also not the area where large populations of the people live.  Many areas of his "real America" are the most economically depressed however, and don't kid yourself, that had a lot to do with who volunteers and who doesn't.

Which brings us back to the idea of national service. Several excellent authors have debunked Phibian's main assertion that "We are a representative republic that has no natural need or desire for a large standing army. Neither you nor I would want to live in a republic that used the police power of the state to randomly put its citizens (due to the small numbers needed and that could be afforded, a draft would be far from universal, and an exceptionally arbitrary lottery) under bondage without an existential threat just to make a socio-political point – or as Mike Mullen puts it – force pain on the population by intentionally keeping the nation weak until crisis. Let me be clear; a draft in peace is an anathema to a free society and is tyranny without an existential threat breathing at the door. Full stop."

Back the train up. The United States is a representative nation that has a large standing Army, and has had one ever since the second World War. And no matter who is in office it will have one for at least the next 20 years or so.  It would be nice to man it more evenly-and national service is an acceptable means to do that.

Two other points. I always find it so interesting that the same generation who praise today's military leaders as being "so much better" than those of us who came in the late 70's and early 80's, finds the idea of dealing with reluctant Sailors and Soldiers so utterly frightening.  Its a cop out-and not necessarily a fair representation of their ability to lead. They could deal with it if they had to-and a lot of folks would succeed in such a military, certainly far more than would fail.

But again it misses the real point that Fallows is making. Draft or no, too many of the American people got a free pass when the nation was supposedly in an all out "long war". If not asked to serve, they did not even get asked to pay for it-through either a surcharge on something everyone uses like gasoline, or skipping tax cuts that were clearly not in the nation's interest once the war was under-way.

And don't kid yourself either, a lot of people who could serve, don't-because they don't want to take the time away from getting to be a rich executive by the time they are 35. And service is a tradeoff, and don't let anyone tell you it is not. The longer you stay, the more certain doors close. True a lot of other doors open-but it does not negate the first statement. Furthermore-he is ignoring the role of national service in paying for schooling and leveling the society, as it does in Israel.

The second point is probably the more serious. Because I think the reaction to Fallows article in certain corners actually proves his point. The military is becoming insulated from the society it serves and that is not good. And certain segments from within do hold their civilian counterparts in contempt, all protestations to the contrary.  The country is self selecting and not having the conversations it should have. The fact that folks want argue with Fallows is fine. But argue the points on their merits, not some self styled pedestal that with just a little effort you can be pulled down from. Get out of the echo chamber and see the way the world really is-not just the idealized vision you think you see.

And that, my friends is the worst thing of all with how we hold discussions these days in the blogosphere. I just had to get that out there. 

UPDATE! Fallows himself published probably the best stated analysis of the views of those who disagree with him from mil-blog land. Its a great point and sums up the stupidity of the viewpoint well:

This kind of misunderstanding, inadvertent or purposeful, goes with the territory of public debate. It foreseeably leads to a kind of tribally minded angry response. Tribal? As in: 1) this guy seems to be against us; 2) since he doesn't like us, we don't like him; 3) therefore whatever he's saying is probably wrong.

That's a minority response; I'm touched and overwhelmed, in a good way, by the volume and sophistication of the submissions I continue to receive. 



6 responses so far

Jul 20 2014

Six New States????

Nothing like coming back to the land of the free-home of the stupid. I remain just furious every time I see someone come out in support of this incredibly ridiculous idea.

The plan would split the state of California into six smaller US states — each with its own governor and legislature — as you can see in this map:


The proposal's chief backer, venture capitalist Timothy Draper, argues that with six states instead of one, government would be more decentralized and responsive. "The existing breadth of industry and various interests in California is untenable," Draper has said. He argues that the state's economy and educational systems have stagnated, partly because of the state's centralized bureaucracy — and he thinks dispensing with this bureaucratic baggage would allow for more innovation in governance. Under his plan, he told Gregory Ferenstein at TechCrunch, "Each new state can start fresh. From a new crowd sourced state flower to a more relevant constitution." Then, these "start-up states," as he calls them, "will be able to compete with each other, for us" — trying to lure businesses and residents.

So this is what I spent 29 years of my life in the service of a great nation, all so some rich douchebag can come along and propose an idea as positively dangerous and destructive as this? NO! I tell you. NO! Both the Constitution and the Civil War settled this-and quite simply, it is in really bad taste to even raise this issue at all. It is sedition pure and simple. "Any region caught leaving the State of California will be shot for desertion. Any one advocating the leaving of California will hung for sedition."

I can't tell you how much this really bothers me-and how much I hate people who dare to speak in its favor. California has a long and proud history-and until it started letting crackpots control the voting process by passing things like Prop-13, and giving credence to assholes like Grover Norquist. It deserves a lot better. The United States has a long and proud history too. And don't kid yourself, if an idea like this were to come to pass, it would destroy the United States. Maybe not right away-but it would start the US down a path it does not want to go down. I could see the US going the way of Europe-or Africa, increasingly smaller political entities, when in reality it needs bigger ones.

God this makes me angry. It really does. The reason the Union is inviolate-is that it forces, in the end, the people to decide,maybe after a lot of stupidity-such as that we are seeing from our teabagger crazed loons, maybe not-that they have to work to solve problems. Taking the lazy way out is not an option. You don't get to break up states! ( yes Texas, this applies to you too, spare the crap about your "special" status. You forfeited that when you took so many military bases.)

The State has problems, yes. The US, has problems too. But the solution is not to break up the Union-or to cede the solutions to a solution similar to the Balkans-and we have seen how well THAT has worked. Both California and the US have straightforward solutions to their problems. They just need to the will to exercise them-and stop letting crazed lunatics control the agenda.

I DID NOT give 29 years of my life in the service of my nation-only to see it kidnapped by rich bastards who care not a whit about it. NO!

Play nice in the comments or I will boot your ass in a heartbeat. I feel very strongly on this issue.

23 responses so far

Jun 30 2014

An open letter to Mr. David Green

For those who don't know, Mr. David Green, he is the worthless, religious zealot who runs Hobby Lobby. Today, in a decision that highlights just how political and out of touch with the law the Supreme Court has become-and how dysfunctional the American government has become-he was given a free hand to fuck over his employees.


Dear Mr. Green,


     First, I suppose, we should get the pleasantries over with:



The Supreme Court, in one of its worst decisions in a long time, just handed you a victory that you do not deserve-and is in no way fitting of your supposed reputation as a Christian. Need I remind you of Christ's warning to your kind?

"Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."

You believe, at least according to the statements of your Facebook page, that you are somehow being oppressed. I sure would like to know how. How is it you are being prevented-by the simple exercise of your corporate responsibilty to provide health insurance to your employees, some of whom might actually want or need , a good old fashioned, balls deep, at whatever time of the month they want, fucking? Without a condom if they so choose? How exactly is that keeping you from making the $3.3 billion in revenues last year that your worthless excuse for a corporation made?  Or better yet-how do you reconcile your supposedly devout beliefs with the  more than $73M invested in mutual funds, some of which invest in manufacturers of contraception, including some forms which are specifically named in the complaint, even though there exist several boutique mutual funds that specifically screen companies that are not in line with their client's religious beliefs? How do you sleep at night?

And please, Mr Green, worthless fuck that you are, how do you explain to those of us who actually do have a decent understanding of American History, The United States Constitution, and other such pertinent details, how you can fashion yourself as a champion of religious freedom, when in fact you are giving preference to one belief system over another? You want to know how I know that? Mr Madison told me-when he wrote rather fortellingly about what a worthless man you are:

"The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it. Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? that the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?"

And how too-does this particular case square with your rather blatant cases of anti-Semitism, you supposedly being able to "turn the other cheek".

In September 2013, a shopper reported being told by an employee of the store in Marlboro, New Jersey, it did not carry merchandise celebrating Jewish holidays. While the store carried Christmas items, they did not carry items related to bar mitzvahHanukkah, or Passover. The store employee told the shopper that these items were not sold, due to the owner's Christian values. In response, Hobby Lobby apologized for the employee's comments, stating that it has carried Jewish holiday items in the past, and would do so in test areas beginning in November 2013.


Of course it doesn't and just brands you as the worthless hypocrite I already knew you were. Would that I can grab you by the shoulders and slam your white haired visage against a concrete wall. But of course I can't. Your wealth buys you a level of protection your rather overworked employees will never be able to enjoy.

I despise you sir-and the supposedly upright things you believe in.  I have beliefs too-and your zealotry impinges on them. I believe that people should be free to have as much guilt free and consequence free sex as they can with whoever they want. I further believe that their employer should have no interest in what they do away from work or who they have sex with. I believe that access to health care is a right-and you as an employer should have to pay your fair share of that cost, because it is your responsibility as a corporate citizen. Furthermore- I do not believe that corporations have the same rights as you do individually. Corporations do not have souls.

A Christianity that seeks to rid itself of interacting with sinners or infidels is not a Christianity I recognize. A Christianity that can ascribe the core religious nature of a human being to a corporation is theologically perverse. Corporations have no souls. They do not have a relationship with God, as Jonathan Merritt points out here. And a Christianity that seeks to jealously guard its own defenses rather than embrace the world joyfully and indiscriminately is not one that appeals to me.


Here is the bottom line, you grey haired, Christianist freak: As a business owner-you are a corporate entity. Businesses are not people, and don't have the same rights as people do. As an individual, you have a right to whine to your fellow churchgoers about the decline of American society. Your business, however, has no right to dictate what insurance it will or will not pay for-and has responsibilities as a corporate entity to its employees first. Your church is not a part of that equation nor should it be.  How long till you convert to Christian Scientist? And decide paying for AIDS medications or chemo-therapy is against your beliefs?  A government has a responsibility to regulate its society-against the worst acts of its citizens, and Mr. Green, your beliefs are just as reprehensible as someone who steals from other people. You are stealing as well-just under a legal sanction to do so. Corporations are not people. If you can't live with that-you should close up shop. I mean its not like you will starve-you have a ton of money.

"This ruling chips away at the notion of a naked public marketplace, where we can leave our faiths behind and simply buy and sell goods and not worry about anyone else’s religion or lack of it. And that’s a loss. "

But you don't really care about that do you? I didn't think so you worthless excuse for a human being.  A real Christian knows where the boundaries are-and "renders unto Caesar, what is Caesars". That you feel compelled to impose your twisted and sick version of Christianity. Personally, these types of decisions, and the rabid beliefs of those who support it, do more to alienate me from the faith than it does to win me over to it. And I am a believer-just not your kind. America is as much about the freedom to sin as it is about the freedom to worship, and religion has no place in the work place or politics. If to be a "Christian business owner" is to be like you-then I will take a pass.

There is really no convincing you otherwise I know that-which is why this now has to be about hitting your where your heart really lies, in your pocket book. Labor unions need to organize truckers strikes against you. Other businesses need to refuse to trade with you. I count my blessings that I no longer live where your stores are located, but neither the SO or I will patronize your businesses. They and you suck.

This decision is a big loss for the United States and for the Christ you claim to love so much.

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go to bed, maybe indulge in some Onanism, and go to sleep-praying for your imminent and painful demise.

I am ashamed to be a citizen of the same country as you.


11 responses so far

Jun 12 2014

The real winner on Tuesday night.

Apathy, hypocrisy, laziness, sloth, selfishness, and greed. They are all still hung over from celebrating their victory on Tuesday night.

 Another election season in the United States has come and gone. This previous Tuesday, a series of primaries in the most reactionary,   southern states produced a variety of results. It is my purpose today, to set the rest some of the most ridiculous commentary from the thugs of the blogosphere. They of the “Tut tut-I am so superior” set, think they can take the opportunity to lecture the rest of us on how we don’t get it, along with the usual notes about limited government is better, and power should be returned to the states. There will be a cite of James Madison to prove this-even though when you actually research it, Mr. Madison had no use for any of their philosophy.

Let us start with the expected result. Lindsey Graham trounced 6 Teabag loons all of whom thought that it somehow made sense for South Carolina to jettison a Senator with a great deal of seniority, because they don’t think he is crazy enough. Of course this is South Carolina, a state that has not been in the mainstream of American thought since before 1861. The GOP voters there actually showed some sense by voting for Graham-and against my fellow wearer of the ring sending her packing as she so richly deserved.

Of course Nancy Mace was never in it to win-rather it was build a campaign organization, test the waters to see how many Citadel alumni really remember the true circumstances of her being the “first” woman to graduate the Citadel, and build contacts for a her real ambition:  to run for a Congressional seat in some back water district in Georgia or South Carolina where the deluded Teabag folks she so casually allied herself with reside.

Moving on, the shocker of the night was, of course, the loss of Eric Cantor in the Virginia 7th district. Now some of the usual hacks are out proclaiming how this proves the public is fed up with Washington ways somehow this shows that Cantor was out of touch with the American people. If so, then its hard to see how the guy that beat him is much of an improvement. David Brat is hardly a worthy person to be elected to a school board-much less to the United States Congress.  Despite his assertions that his victory was a “gift from God”, trust me I can assure that God had nothing to do with it. ( And if he did, it just shows how much God really hates the United States.).

I mean really, its not like Eric Cantor was some sort of beacon of moderation in American politics. By tossing him out the voters in Virginia basically said that, “we don’t really care about being able to accomplish anything, we just want someone who will reaffirm our intrinsic selfishness and stupidity. Phib says it is because Cantor became to aligned with “Washington”. I say, that is utter and complete nonsense.

You know why Cantor lost? Dollars and lazy, stupid, American voting habits. Let’s start with the latter first.

The 7th district in Virginia has 758,000 people in it. In 2012 about 381,000 of them voted, 223,000 of them voting for Cantor. (And probably for the Mittster too, who after all represents the same kind of elitism that both Cantor and Brat are examples of). Now fast forward to 2014. Only about 65000 people, out of a population over 10 times that number voted. And only 36000 voted for this religious , Ayn Rand loving whack job. That is barely 5% of the district’s population and certainly less than 10% of the districts total GOP registered population.

Now in today’s America, where 27% percent of the voting age population would vote for Satan if he were to actively campaign against Obama-aided and abetted by a set of media organizations that prey on the weak minded. (Glenn Beck supported Brat after all) it probably is not that hard to get 36000 motivated idiots    voters to get out and vote for a certified whack job.

The second set of numbers is the dollars that media rabble rousers spent to make sure the faithful voted against their own self interest. Worthless people like Hugh Hewitt, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, and the ever hate able Mark Levin. Drudge of course was right there-egging on its completely clueless readership.  The Teabag front group , Americans for Prosperity gave Mark Levin ( he really needs to be run over by a bus) 800,000 dollars to get the word out. And Brat himself appears to to owe his job to Cato Institute president John Allison.

Dave Brat, the guy who won yesterday, may have had a lower profile than Cantor, but as Salon's Jim Newell pointed out, prominent members of the right-wing demagogue community pulled out all the stops for Brat:

… it was hard not to notice this morning that Drudge, in the prime upper-left real estate of his site, had listed a full 14 links regarding immigration and a supposed impending push for "amnesty" among the House Republican leadership….

What gives on this sleepy Tuesday? …

Hmmm … maybe something about Tuesday … primary season … it's a Tuesday during primary season … Ohhhhhhhh, we get it: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's primary is today!

… The [Cantor-Brat] race hasn't gotten that much national media coverage, but it’s sure grabbed the attention of the prominent right-wingers who devote their entire lives to stopping comprehensive immigration reform. There's Drudge, of course. And Ann Coulter. And radio/TV personality Laura Ingraham, who recently suggested that the United States should have traded Eric Cantor to the Taliban for Bowe Bergdahl. And the writings and tweets of Mickey Kaus, now of the Daily Caller, have been indistinguishable from those of a Brat staffer in recent months.

Glenn Beck also backed Brat.

Taken together it paints a much different set of reasons for Cantors defeat. Lazy Americans, most of whom are too stupid to understand the seriousness of the issues at play, who can’t be bothered to get out and fulfill their one and only civic duty, combined with a relentless , agenda driven propaganda machine epitomized by my least favorite Canadian , Mark Steyn, and conspired to create a set of circumstances that have foisted this rancid sack of human excrement, David Brat,  on the government of the United States.

This is how low your democracy has fallen America.  This is what passes for “principles”  in the brave new world of our Gaultian overlords.

A note of clarification: This is not to debate, by the way, Phib's assertion that there are people who spend too many tours in DC. He's clearly right about that. But that's a simplistic explanation at its heart.  We have to ask ourselves why that is-a Navy gets what it rewards. And a Congress gets what it legislates. The Congress, your Congress,  has essentially been useless for the last 6 years, primarily, "[because] the primary bona fides for Republican members of the House of Representatives is how thoroughly you can refuse to do the job of governing, especially in the area of immigration, but also as regards the critical elements of the national economy. " The Navy can fix its DC problem anytime it wants to by setting board precepts that reward operational excellence. Congress could fix a lot of the Navy's problems by voting for straightforward revenue increases and supporting the effort to leave the wars behind us.

However, its not DC-or the fact that there are a lot of foreigners who want to live the American dream working there-that are at the heart of the American problem of today, nor is it a reason Cantor lost. The real problem dear Brutus is our American selves-and how lazy and stupid our populace chooses to be. Aided and abetted by some really evil people ( yes that's you Messer's Steyn and Hanson) who prey on that selfishness, that laziness and overall lack of comprehension-the results are not surprising.

5 responses so far

May 28 2014

There is such a thing as decorum.

I once again, marvel at the stupidity of the pro gun community. The bodies from the Santa Barbara are hardly even cold-and yet we have to hear this:

"Your dead kids don't trump my Constitutional rights." – Joe the Plumber (yea, that guy) to the families of the Isla vista shooting victims,


Somehow, the word "douchebag" does not seem to cover it.  But then "Joe the Plumber" has a long history of stupidity. There are more eloquent ways of defending the Constitutionality of the 2nd Amendment. Sorry, but I find the statement callous, regardless of how it was prefaced.

Lets pretend shall we? Even if there is some merit to his argument ( of which there is not-again, the second amendment only makes sense when the first sentence is included), there is such a thing as timing and decorum. I mean really, did he have to make this point now? Really?

And he's not the only one. Look at this:

Here is a recording of a robocall received today by a voter in the 25th Congressional district, touting Tony Strickland's pro-gun stances, voting record, and support from organizations like the NRA.

The timing could hardly be more tasteless. Just yesterday, a UCSB student shot over a dozen people and killed six (three by stabbing) – most of them fellow students. Tony Strickland actually represented Santa Barbara and Isla Vista in the State Senate until late 2012, and many of these victims were likely former constituents of Strickland's.

I am always amazed these folks have a propensity to come out strongly immediately after a shooting. Can't they wait a while and be discrete? Can't they let the process of mourning go on? I mean after all-it is not like anyone is going to do anything substantial to stop it-or at the least, severely limit the ability of people to get guns they have no business having. 20 dead children? Too bad.  6 dead-13 wounded, "well I feel your pain but I have to have a gun to open carry to Chipolte".

I'm sorry, if you need more than a pistol, a shotgun and a rifle, to defend your family, then you have made some really bad lifestyle choices. And trust me on this one-I have made more than my fair share, but in all of them I never needed a weapon. 

This is neither the time or the place to have this discussion. That idiots choose to make it the time, completely disgusts me. Save your f*cked up arguments for when someone actually brings a meaningful gun control bill to the House floor. Because you will never have to use them. In our current world there is no Congressman with the ability to do so.

And idiots like Joe know that. So all they are doing is pissing into an open grave. I would hope even gun nuts find that offensive.

Charles Pierce sums it up well:

This is a country now at war with itself. This is a phrase that is generally tossed about when political debate gets too heated. It was popular to say it back in the 1960s, when it seemed quite possibly to be true, with leaders bleeding out on balconies in Memphis or kitchen floors in Los Angeles, and students bleeding out from gunfire on college campuses, and half-baked revolutionary idiots blowing themselves up in Greenwich Village. But this is not the same thing. This is a country at war with itself for profit. This is a country at war with itself because its ruling elite is too cowed, or too well-bribed, or too cowardly to recognize that there are people who are getting rich arming both sides, because the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, so you make sure that it's easy for the bad guys to get guns in order to make millions selling the guns to the good guys. This is a dynamic not unfamiliar to the people in countries where brushfire conflicts and civil wars are kept alive because distant people are making a buck off them.  In Africa, war is made over diamonds and rare earths. In South America, war is made over cocaine. Here, for any number of reasons – because Adam Lanza went crazy or because Elliot Rodger couldn't get laid – and the only constant in all those wars is the fact somebody gets rich arming both sides…


There are not enough words to describe how these pro-gun fanatics suck.





6 responses so far

Dec 17 2013

A Fox News Christmas……

Stuart Varney- who once was a competent business reporter, before he sold his soul to the devil Roger Ailes, would love this wonderful re-telling of "Its a Wonderful Life".



The douchebags folks at Newsbusters can't see the humor in this-but trust me, it strikes closer to home than one might think. Trust me, Noel Sheppard, I've spent Christmas with conservatives. You may think they are rooting for George, but only because its a movie. In real life-they root for no one but their own selfishness.


No responses yet

Oct 03 2013

The Vandals are hard at work.

Congress imposed a government shutdown? Fuck you, pay me. Oh, had a fire? Fuck you, pay me. The place got hit by lightning? Fuck you, pay me.


( All posts will start with this until the shutdown is over).


I awoke this morning at my usual time and I started to get up. I've got to get to work! Then I realized, that no, I don't have to because my worthless excuse for a Congressman, the not so Honorable Mo Brooks-had selfishly willed that I can't. So I got up,  made coffee,  surfed porn read the news, and tried to figure out how to file the insurance claims I need to file since I need every penny I can get.

It was never supposed to be this way, I tell myself. How did it get this crazy?

Well here is why:

This is the unspoken subtext of what the vandalism is all about. This is the real motivation behind all the tricornered hats and the incantations about liberty and all the conjuring words that have summoned up the latest crisis in our democracy. Corporate money is the power behind all of it, and that corporate money has but one goal — the creation of a largely subjugated population and a workforce grateful for whatever scraps fall from the table. To accomplish this, the corporate money not only had to disable the institutions of self-government that are the people's only real protection, it had to do so in such a way that the people expect less and less of the government and, therefore, less and less of each other, acting in the interest of the political commonwealth. (The dismantling of organized labor is a sideshow to the main event in that the goal there was to cripple organized labor's political power within the political institutions so that there would be no countervailing force that could be brought to bear against the destruction of its power in the workplace.For all the endless bloviation about the dead-hand of government, what the vandals in Washington are shooting for right now is a subject population whose tattered freedoms depend on the whimsical ethics of the American corporate class. This is the really deep game being played here, and they're more than halfway to winning it.


Got that? Having already fucked me and the lifesyle I need to live with the sequester-these assholes are now going for the rest of my existence. This, in a world where Jamie Dimon made 23 million dollars last year-with stock assets of worth over 3 times that-when the man should have been really getting ass raped in prison. ( For those that don't know-Jaime Dimon is the CEO of JPMorgan, the organization that fucked us all in 2008 with its bad bets on real estate, and then got bailed out 100 cents on the dollar). In case you have been living in a cave somewhere, let me remind you that JPMorgan is negotiating to pay $11 billion or so in fines to settle some regulatory investigations. These fines are on top of the billions of dollars of other fines that JPMorgan has already paid to settle other investigations, and the other billions of dollars of fines that JPMorgan will presumably pay to settle the investigations not settled in this $11 billion-ish settlement.  Interestingly enough-there are people who don't think he should be fired. The money is in the economy to fund the things that need to be funded in the Federal Budget.

Jamie Dimon does not have to sweat paying his bills. But he is part of the crew that is making sure I am sweating mine.

Fuck you, pay me.


3 responses so far

Sep 26 2013

Why I am glad they don’t have CSPAN over here.

So I don't have to listen to assholes like Ted Cruz babble on for 21 hours.

Law #1: Godwin’s Corollary Law of Teabagging Congress

“As any Teabagger protest in Congress grows longer, the odds of a comparison involving the Nazis or Hitler approaches ’1.’ Corollary: The first person to mention Hitler or the Nazis on the floor of Congress automatically loses the debate.”

You  knew Cruz was going to go there. Which is why its more than appropriate that Jon Stewart and he staff watched the speach so you didn't have to.

What Jon Stewart said.




Ted Cruz needs to be one of the first to go against the wall when the day comes.

No responses yet

Jul 25 2013

The reality of the situation is disturbing at times.

There are times, only a few, that I think that the election of Barak Obama-while quite necessary from the stand point of stopping some of the lunacy of the Bush years-may have been a bad thing in the long term. Perhaps it would have been better to plunge on into the Great Depression that Grandpa McCain and the worthless whore woman from Wasilla would have plunged us into.

Of course the problem with that line of thinking is that its nonsense, and besides which, McCain could have had a stroke and we could have had shit for brains as the first female commander in Chief.

Nope. It was the choice we made and we chose correctly among the available options.

Nonetheless, the election of Barak Obama has set into motion the largest lust for vengeance ever seen in this country since Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court house; the direct result of which is that the Republican party went insane. And when they do win a majority in Congress or the Presidency-stand the fuck by, life in the once proud United States is going to suck.

A lot. Take the altered reality of Hill Valley California in the altered timeline of Back to the Future part II, and times it by ten. That is the misery our Galtian overlords are waiting to inflict upon us.

The barbarians are at the gate-and I fear we will not be able to hold them off much longer. It might just be time to apply for that Thailand retirement Visa and drop off the face of the earth.

Charles Pierce provides us a glimpse of the trailer from the disaster movie that will be shown when it happens:

Of course, all of what he's railing against here has been going on since 2010, when the American people put their brains in a jar and elected a House Of Representatives full of Louie Gohmerts and a Senate minority for which Bob Bennett of Utah was Che Guevara. (Emphasis mine-SS) The president has paid a fearsome price for neglecting his primary duty as the leader of his party — to make the Republican party pay an even more fearsome price for rendering itself into the retrograde monkeyhouse. If he had fulfilled that duty as leader of his party, he would have been better able to fulfill his duties as leader of the country. Now, he's pushing back against a resistless tide of complete, unfettered vandalism and lunacy, as best expressed in the lead story in today's Times, in which the House majority produced its wish-list that absolutely will become law the first chance they get to enact it. They do not bluff. This was no posturing. This is what they believe good government is, and it is what they will do to the country if they ever get the power. This was the trailer for the eventual disaster movie.

The big concern that I have is that Obama is just coasting right now-hoping he can just hold on till 2014 and maybe, just maybe, he might get a favorable election result. Fat chance of that.

Meanwhile, I get stuck with a 20% pay cut-and the very real possibility of losing my job next year-because he has yet to dramatically take on and call the GOP agenda what it is: an agenda " infected by an almost pathological mean spiritedness".

The drift cannot go on -for this year or for the remaining 3 years. And much as it pains me to admit it-the President bears a part of the blame for this. His speech the other day was a good start-where in he bluntly pointed out what we have known since 2009:

"Once upon a time, in the middle of the last century, America had a thriving economy in which the middle class was at the center and everyone — poor and rich alike — did better. But then, starting in the late 1970s, a group of self-serving rich people began to sell a promise that if we took better care of them, their wealth would trickle down, and that would help everyone else prosper. The country bought that line. And for three decades both parties yielded to it. The results were great for the very rich — and disastrous for everyone else. Wages stagnated. Inequality became extreme. Mobility slowed. By 2008, things were so upside down and we had so lost our way that the economy collapsed. Out of that ruin, many began to remember the old ways: the truth that lasting growth and shared prosperity come from the middle out and not the top down. Now we are joined in a battle of ideas to see whether middle-out economics can dethrone trickle-down."

But with out execution-its nothing. It's all well and good to say it. But the crazy loons like Ted Cruz et al-they don't care, they will just wait the President out and hope they take the Senate  in 2014. Meantime-the disastrous drift would go on.

The popular viewpoint among the Teabagger set is that its all the President's fault-as witness James Taranto's latest stupid unhinged rant over at the Wall Street Journal. ( Zimmerman could have shot him instead of Trayon Martin-then it really would have been justifiable homicide).  But its not true-both sides could find a reasonable middle ground,  but they won't.

And so the slide towards my eventual unemployment will continue…………

Like I said-at this point in time, Mr Pierce may have it right:

By now, though the president is loath to point it out, it's obvious that, in terms of addressing the country's real problems, there was no particular point in having elected him twice, because there was no serious intention on the part of the opposition to recognize his administration as being possessed of a legitimate mandate to do anything, and no serious attempt on the part of the courtier press to push back against the very real danger of what that situation implies.

Anybody know of a bar for sale in Pattaya? Or what the number of that truck driving school was?


12 responses so far

Jul 21 2013

Some people remain true to form.

Some people are just incapable of change. Or understanding anything. Like Jim Hoft, The Dumbest Man on The Internet. Or his worthless colleagues at the Liars Club. Consistently-worthless pieces of s**t, each and every one of them.

And Charles Pierce had the temerity this weekend to point that out:

There is nothing in there that any sensible person would gainsay. There is nothing in there that could be interpreted as being in any way "divisive," unless you happen to be a person who considers the basic reality of the everyday contact between the races as being inherently divisive. (And, maybe, as a bonus, having said all that will make the president less likely to appoint Ray — Stop 'N Frisk — Kelly as his director of Homeland Security.) But it was unquestionably the most direct public remarks the president has made as a black man since he rose to prominence in 2004. As such, dear Jesus, has it jumped on some people's last nerves. Take, for example, the Dumbest Man On The Internet, who thinks the president's unremarkable remarks are a declaration of war on white people like him. Or some allied morons. But this swill is going to get some traction in more respectable circles because, in making those remarks, and in sounding for one of the very few times like what once was called a Race Man, the president broke what a lot of people assumed was a covenant he'd made with them when they permitted him to be president. That covenant was fashioned for him during his speech to the Democratic convention in Boston, wherein he told a divided country everything it really wanted to hear about itself. He was going to be the living demonstration of the progress the nation had made. His job, in addition to being president, was going to be as a redemptive figure. That was the deal by which the country would allow him to be its president.


See, it drives guys like William Jacobson, Hinderaker, and the rest of the herd of chronically stupid people-just up the wall that anyone might actually say the truth. Namely that it is a sad commentary on the state of the United States where: 1) People feel compelled to walk around with guns they have no business having-and the government of the respective states of Florida and Texas and others aid and assist them in that quest. 2) That people think it is perfectly fine for a non-policeman to gun down an unarmed man simply because he was walking down the street.

And to point out the criteria by which Zimmerman decided to stalk Martin and thus incite the altercation that got Martin killed-to point out that it was racial. That really spools them up.

But the facts are still the facts-as much as rumbling herd of morons who read the columns over at Breitbart's Mausoleum tell you differently. Don't read the comments there-it will make you despair of humanity in general and Americans in particular. Want to know why the United States of America is declining in the global competition? Just take a look at the Breitbart audience and multiply it a 1000 fold. Ramapant stupidity is spreading in the land of my birth.

I don't know which is more screwed up, the "Not Guilty" verdict-or the inability of the right wing to attribute it to tragic set of circumstances, which were completly avoidable.

Take this little gem for instance:

NB: I have included links for purpose of citation. I do not recommend going to any of them, except Wonkette.

As per an article released the 17th, Gateway Pundit is now circulating speculation that Trayvon Martin’s purchases—Skittles and Arizona-brand fruit juice—were to be used to create “lean” — aka sizzurp, purple drank. His source is American Thinker, which claims that a 2011 Facebook interaction between Martin and a friend included the former requesting a hook-up for codeine, to make drank.


What this guy says:


No responses yet

Jul 15 2013

The Zimmerman verdict

There is not much for me to say about the verdict. I feel about the same way I did when OJ was aquitted-shock that it happened, and no surprise that it happened exactly the way it did in Florida. Florida's gun laws suck-and the "stand your ground law" that Zimmerman based his defense on, is poorly written and unevenly enforced. 

The two key issues of the case for me are: 1) Zimmerman followed Martin-after he was specifcally advised not to.  In essence he picked a fight he didn't have to pick-and could have left to trained law enforcement officers. 2) Despite the opinion of the jury, the case for self defense here was weak at best. Because Florida's law is written so poorly-and has a lot to do with determining Zimmerman's mental state-logical burdens of proof would not and could not be met:

Contrary to popular misconception, the burden of proof lies on Zimmerman to demonstrate that he acted in self-defense, not on the state to show that he didn't. "Innocent until proven guilty" only applies to culpability for the offense in question, and no one has argued that Zimmerman didn't pull the trigger that ended Martin's life. While someone who has committed a violent crime obviously has the right to defend himself, we set a dangerous precedent if we automatically give the benefit of the doubt to the murderer instead of the victim. Not only does the victim lack a voice to present his or her side of the story, but any murderer who has been caught will naturally be inclined to argue that his or her actions were somehow justified. Because a murderer's word is obviously suspect, and because murder is not an offense which we can afford as a society to sanction without the strongest of all possible reasons, we must demand that one who is known to have taken another human life establish beyond any shred of doubt that he or she had good reason to do so — and punish them, for the sake of protecting the sanctity of human life, if their culpability can be established and their justification cannot.

Zimmerman never convincingly proved that his life was in danger. His bloody nose and the scrapes on the back of his head do suggest that he and Martin were involved in a physical altercation of some sort, but had he had his head smashed against the pavement several times (as he claims), he would have sustained far worse injuries than that. As the evidence stands, all we know for certain is that he and Martin had a fight, which does not translate into justifiable cause for thinking his life was in danger. If, for example, two men are involved in a barroom brawl, and one pulls out a gun and shoots the other, the killer shouldn't be exonerated simply because both parties were equally engaged in the act of violence; he is only justified if he can prove that he had good reason to fear the other party would have killed him if he had not acted first. A charge of manslaughter may be substituted for a more severe account, but it is ludicrous to claim that he should be entirely acquitted. Similarly, Zimmerman simply fighting with Martin does not justify Zimmerman killing Martin precisely because the only sound evidence that could have proved his life was in jeopardy — the severity of his bodily injuries — failed to meet that standard of proof. In short, there is no good reason to believe beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman had to end Martin's life.

What's probably more troubling are the reactions of the brain damaged individuals who inhabit the Liar's Club and those of the totally deranged at "Breitbart's Mausoleum". It is the reaction of the learning impaired at of these locations that make one ashamed of the human race in general-and Americans in particular. If you want some real evidence of the decline of American civilization and the corrupting effects of a fake news organization like Fox News-just read some of the comments there. Then take several showers to wash the filth off of you.

Matthew Rozsa summed it up well-its time for a "J Accuse" type letter to the country as a whole:

Yet millions of people have ignored the facts, and the rather basic logic that can be applied to them, because they want to take his side. Even before the photographs of Zimmerman's injuries were released, or before Martin's character was smeared by Zimmerman's defense attorneys, these same people were scrounging around for ways to defend Zimmerman and condemn the child whose life he took. For all of the talk of political correctness inconveniencing white people, the primary beneficiaries of braindead etiquette are the racists who are allowed to spew their bile and then hide behind disclaimers of their own so-called "color blindness."

I say enough. And I add to that disgust the following:

I accuse George Zimmerman of being a common murderer, for the reasons explained before.

I accuse Zimmerman's defenders of believing that Trayvon Martin deserved to die because he was a black male.

Some of them undoubtedly have deluded themselves into thinking that they aren't racist; others, just as certainly, know that they dislike black people but lie so as to avoid the stigma of being labelled a "racist." All, however, are basing their opinions on the fact that Martin was black. If both men had been white, these same people would never dream of arguing that a heavyset adult male with a firearm could be defended for stalking an unarmed child and killing him. These same people, whether they admit it or not, would rightly dismiss his claim to have acted in self-defense once the aforementioned evidence was presented to them. Because Martin was black, however, they readily bought into the stereotypes our society teaches about African American men, and formed their opinions accordingly.

Finally, I accuse our society of systematically targeting African Americans using the same logic employed by Zimmerman, his supporters, and the Florida jurors.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

20 responses so far

Next »

  • Categories

  • Previous Posts


  • Want to subscribe to my feed?

    Add to Google
  • Follow me on Facebook!

    Just look for Skippy San. ( No dash).
  • Topics

  • Meta