Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Teabagger Weekend, Part Deux

So I posted to Facebook (guilty) a nice analysis of Glenn Dick's "we're not racists" rally by Christopher Hitchens.

I received a negative comment from my musician friend Max Corona. I would like to respond to two of his statements.

"Our country is in the toilet." -- Well, W. must have forgot to flush.

Rush Blowhard and Glenn Dick were calling for Obama's impeachment on his first day of office. I was taught that patriotic Americans get behind every new president, regardless of party, and give them at least a little chance to pull the country together and lead -- say 90 days.

But not our super-patriots, no sir! They're making 10s of millions of $$$ shouting at people and making them angry, they're not going to let something as unimportant as the future of our country get in the way of their income. In 1992 Rush Blowhard was the same way with Clinton: he called for his impeachment the day Clinton was inaugurated.

"People have had enough" -- enough of what, exactly?

Obama is fighting, fighting, fighting to get us out of the hole Bush left us in. Time and time again he tried to get input from everyone involved and got nothing but complete and 100% obstructionism from the Republicans. So again, enough of what?

If it's "enough" of the Fox News "outrage of the day", do yourself a favor and stop watching Fox News. It is 100% and completely a propaganda organ of the Republican Party. The president of Fox News, Roger Ailes, was media consultant for Nixon, Reagan, and Bush #1, and is currently considered to be the most powerful Republican in the US. The Wikipedia article says he may run for president in 2012, but, why would he? Like Glenn Dick and Sarah "Hooked on Phonics" Palin (aka "The Quitter"), it's much easier to sit on the sidelines, get outraged once a day, make 10s of millions a year, and not have to actually serve your country.

I was having lunch yesterday with a very bright young architect. Fox News was on the TV -- the blonde who looks like she just bit into a really sour pickle (I wonder if they get sneering lessons from Darth Cheney? Didn't his mother tell him his face would get stuck if he kept screwing it up like that?). "If Fox News won't make you mad, nothing will." was his offhanded comment -- how true, and how sad for this country.

I hear that MSNBC is bad the other way -- so don't watch them either. During the election (the only time I watch TV news), I watched CNN, and they had both liberal and conservative commentators -- seemed fair to me. But their ratings greatly trail both Fox and MSNBC -- the analysis being, people don't want both sides, they just want their side :-(

Response over. Back to Glenn Dick's "we're not racists" rally. They really did do an admirable job of toning everything down. I already discussed two of its themes: "christian", which excludes me along with probably half of the immigrants to the US in the last 20 years; and "values of the founding fathers", which basically translates to state rights, which make it much easier for the hereditary capitalist oligarchs (aka old money) to control things and keep their sacred traditions, such as slavery, safe from "northern aggression".

Their third theme was "Honor the military". Two of my brothers served, and all our hearts go out completely to those with family members currently fighting for the US. That said, I'm betting that former Haliburton CEO Darth Cheney still has major influence in Republican circles -- can you say, "military-industrial complex" -- against which we were warned by the man who coined the term, former general and Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower?

Did you know that the military budget of the US is currently almost as much as the rest of the world combined? That's it's 10 times that of China?

Boy, won't it be great to get the Neoconservatives back in control?

One thing's for sure tho, if the jobless rate does not go down, Obama probably will not be reelected. Hard times tend to bring out the worst in people. I recently read one of the saddest and scariest stories I've read in a while in "The Year's Best Science Fiction (27th Annual Collection)": "Escape to Other Worlds With Science Fiction", by Jo Walton. The Axis wins WW2, the Great Depression never ends, and we can't betray each other fast enough :-(

Much as I'd love to blast them, I don't think I can blame the slow recovery on Republicans or capitalist oligarchs. I saw yesterday that there are over 10 million unoccupied houses in the US now. We really, really did overbuild in the last boom. And real estate is usually what leads us out of a recession. Oops.

I wonder how many homeless there are in the US? As of 2008, looks like tops of 2.5 million. So there are 4x vacant houses as there are homeless in the US??? Maybe the homeless numbers are much worse with all the foreclosures? I wouldn't think so, I would think most of those people went back to rental properties more within their means, but, with the high unemployment, maybe not?

Hmmm, maybe we need to see if we can get some more Mexicans up here to soak up that surplus housing? Or maybe sub-Saharan Africans? Or, even better, some Indonesian Moslems?

To capture another post I made to FB, I was starting to worry that I wouldn't get to rant about the ultra-rich any more, what with Bill Gates and Warren Buffet talking half of the richest people in the US into leaving much of their money to charity. But then, saved by the Koch Brothers! Thanks guys! Eat the rich, oh yeah, eat the rich -- the flesh is sooo nicely marbled!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Teabagger Weekend

You can tell it's a big Teabagger weekend. Riding my bike I saw a pickup truck flying the stars and bars (in addition to the stars and stripes). 9/12 driving to Naples we saw 2 or 3 40-50 foot confederate flags flying. But teabaggers aren't racist, no sir, not at all. They want to "return to the values of the founding fathers" -- and if half of the founding fathers happened to be slave owners, no biggie.

I say, enough of such half-ass measures, let's return to the values of the barons who forced King John to sign the Magna Carta! Why regress to 18th century values when we can regress to 13th century values? Now you're talking!

I laugh when conservatives talk about "the values of the founding fathers", as if these guys were able to foresee the evolution of the US and the world for centuries to come. They were revolutionaries, steering by the seat of their pants. They didn't know how things were going to turn out. And if something didn't work, they tried something else. Duh. I believe that they would be very pleasantly surprised at how their great experiment is turning out.

I think that appeals to "the values of the founding fathers" are code for "state rights". And, frankly, for many, many things, state rights are not the way to go, because, it's too easy to buy a state government.

That's why Random Paul's assertion that coal mine regulation and inspection should be handled completely locally makes you want to cry. The coal barons own the governments of those counties, the chances that they're going to "do the right thing" when it conflicts with their margins are slim to none.

Here's another example, from USA Today: "Study: Drinking water polluted by coal-ash dump sites".

The electric power industry is lobbying to keep regulation up to individual states, but environmental groups argue states have failed to protect the public and EPA should set and enforce a national standard.
Much easier to buy state officials than it is Feds.

Another of the teabagger code words is "christian values". This is just a way to exclude newer non-christian immigrants from Africa and the near and far east. In the 19th century, the WASP majority used their catholicism as an excuse to exclude Irish, Italian and German immigrants. Same old tricks. To quote Bob Dylan, 1963:

A South politician preaches to the poor white man
"You got more than blacks, don't complain
You're better than them, you been born with white skin" they explain
And the Negro's name
Is used it is plain
For the politician's gain
As he rises to fame
And the poor white remains
On the caboose of the train
But it ain't him to blame
He's only a pawn in their game.
You keep hoping that as older conservative reactionary types die off, these old reactionary attitudes will die off with them. I smile when I'm out biking Sunday mornings and see church parking lots filled with 90% white-hairs. And, we are making progress, we did elect Barack Obama. But, the powers-that-be, the good old boys, the ones born with the silver spoons in their mouths and their dupes, will not give up, and we can't either.