Letting Entertainers Control Your Thinking?

They Make Money from Your Indecision

They Make Money from Your Indecision

We live in a country in which we increasingly let paid entertainers do our thinking for us. As a result, we are advocating our favorite stand-ins against the entertainers we don’t like. It could be as simple as watching Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert, laughing, and leaving the whole argument as, “What you said!” Or it could be as nefarious as chewing our fingernails in fear listening to Glenn Beck (above) or Sean Hannity and going to bed angry.

Remember: These people are all well-paid entertainers. They aim at a particular demographic and work on them so as to keep them coming back for more.

I used to be very upset with these fake pundits, particularly those on the right. If you go back and look at my earlier postings are the tags “conservatives,” “republicans,” or “tea-party,” you will find that I had spent a lot of time getting exercised by people who were just doing what they were paid to do. Rush Limbaugh doesn’t care whether I hate his guts, no more than the actors who played James Bond villains like Auric Goldfinger or Ernst Stavro Blofeld care whether audiences detested them. These guys are all paid villains. It’s what they do for a living.

To uneducated yokels who have been “left behind” in dying rural areas, they are calls to action coming as if from the mouths of angels. Scores of our fellow Americans have been killed because people with a tenuous grasp on their sanity have decided to pick up their guns and take direct action. Rush didn’t tell them to shoot anybody. Glenn didn’t do it, nor did Sean. Even Wayne La Pierre of the NRA didn’t give his blessing. They’re innocent of all wrongdoing, while these poor loonies are surprised that people not only hate and fear them (instead of showering them with candy and flowers) but want to see them receive the maximum punishment.

The danger of using stand-ins to do all our thinking for us is that we could make the mistake of thinking the whole world believes in what their particular set of entertainers say. When they suddenly discover how divided we are, it could come as a serious shock.

So, Democrats, watch Faux News for a while just to see the snake oil that is being sold to the feeble-minded. And wingnuts, stay up late and watch Stephen Colbert or Bill Maher just to see that people may think differently from you.

Take away those blinders, and see the mess we’re in!

 

The Real Reason Cantor Lost

Read On for My Peerless Analysis

Read On for My Peerless Analysis

This may strike you as being unscientific, but the reason Eric Cantor lost his seat in Virginia is that no one liked him. He was always a whiny presence on the Washington scene.

Of course, the fact that he may be replaced by an even more dangerous Tea-Party-type is certainly no cause for celebration. The fact is that people who live in Confederate sh*thole districts are not likely to vote for anyone who will do anything but attempt to govern by hijacking or obstructionism. We live in the Disunited States of America and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

You may recall the whole “Left Behind” Evangelical myth that, in the End Times, the saved are wafted to Paradise while everyone else has to suffer the various beasts of the Apocalypse while the saved are eating Corn Nuts and drinking Duff Beer while fluffing their wings and cheering on the Four Horsemen. I think that the people who vote for insufferable right-wing nutjobs have been “left behind” by science, the economy, technology, and everything associated with good sense. All they’re left with is Jesus and their guns.

God help the rest of us!

 

American Spring No Show

I Guess the Weather Was Inclement

I Guess the Weather Was Inclement

Today was supposed to be the day. Millions of irate patriotic Americans would descend on Washington to get rid of Barack Obama and his libtard legions. I looked at their Facebook page for clues as to what happened to this massive convergence of right-thinking Americans, and where they could have gone instead. Maybe they’re all seeing the new Godzilla instead, which opens today in Los Angeles. Or else there’s a sale somewhere on military-style assault rifles. In any case, it appears unlikely that the Obama Administration and its Kenyan Communist stooges will be supplanted by something more in line with the thinking of the psychotic masses.

In what news commentator Rachel Maddow calls “a big nutball day in Washington and Bunkerville,” confused hordes will gather to enforce American Spring’s aims, which include “Restoration of Constitutional government, rule of law, freedom, liberty ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’ from despotic and tyrannical federal leadership.”  I guess Bunkerville, Nevada is where Cliven Bundy is holed up with his militia followers waiting to pounce on anyone who shows up to collect grazing fees on land his family has worked since the 7th century A.D.

The self-proclaimed official website of American Spring laid out their plans in full:

Phase 1 – Field millions, as many as ten million, patriots who will assemble in a peaceful, non-violent, physically unarmed (Spiritually/Constitutionally armed), display of unswerving loyalty to the US Constitution and against the incumbent government leadership in Washington D.C., with the mission to replace with law abiding leadership. Go full-bore, no looking back, steadfast in the mission.

Phase 2 – One million or more of the assembled 10 million must be prepared to stay in D.C. as long as it takes to see Obama, Biden, Reid, McConnell, Boehner, Pelosi, and Attorney General Holder removed from office.
Consistent with the US Constitution, as required, the U.S. Congress will take appropriate action, execute appropriate legislation, deal with vacancies, or U.S. States will appoint replacements for positions vacated consistent with established constitutional requirements.

Phase 3 – Those with the principles of a West, Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, Lee, DeMint, Paul, Gov Walker, Sessions, Gowdy, Jordan, should comprise a tribunal and assume positions of authority to convene investigations, recommend appropriate charges against politicians and government employees to the new U.S. Attorney General appointed by the new President.

At the end, there is this reassuring footnote: “*All actions in Phase 2 & 3 will be consistent with the U.S. Constitution.” Boy, that’s good to know. I was worried there for a while.

Click here to see what the Twitterati are saying about the big event.

 

A Hero I Wouldn’t Wish Upon a Dog

Thye GOP Loves Nevada Ranchers

The GOP Loves Nevada Ranchers

If it weren’t so pathetic, I would laugh at Cliven Bundy and other GOP folk heroes like Joe the Plumber (remember him?). It never seems to take very long before the “Cliven” turns into a “Cloven Hoof,” around the time he opens his mouth in front of the news media.

Let’s face it: Rancher Bundy is a tax cheat and, in the process, a Federal Government nullifier. He makes a big thing about paying his taxes to the county but doesn’t appear to recognize that there are fees for grazing on Federal lands—lands that have been Federally owned since the conclusion of the War with Mexico.

Is it any surprise that the latest GOP folk hero rhapsodizes about the good old days of slavery? He knows his audience, and he will keep braying like an ass until, quite suddenly, everyone will be fed up with him and he will be seen as just another embarrassment to the Government Optional Party.

 

The Pendulum Swings Both Ways

The SCOTUS Retards: Thomas and Scalia

The SCOTUS Retards: Thomas and Scalia

Although I am by no means a Communist, I have a certain belief in dialectics. Somethings happens (THESIS), opposition emerges (ANTITHESIS), and finally some sort of compromise solution emerges (SYNTHESIS). With the McCutcheon vs. FEC case just concluded, the U.S. Supreme Court gives wealthy individuals the right to in effect donate as much money as they want to the party or issue of their choice through SuperPACs which redistribute the funds. Although they still cannot write a megacheck directly to a particular candidate, I’m sure that won’t be long in coming.

What the so-called 1% (actually, a much smaller percent that) don’t realize is the hatred and opposition they are sowing. The superwealthy and the corporate elite have succeeded in infiltrating and gutting a major political party’but not without hard feelings. The more they ride roughshod over the feelings of American voters, the more likely there is to be a reckoning of some sort to redress the balance. There will be no Thousand Year Reich for the likes of Sherman Adelson and the Koch Brothers. They may be at their apogee wight now in terms of influence, but angry crowds are massing in front of the Bastille, and with luck their efforts will be taken apart brick by brick.

I am convinced that many or perhaps even most viewers of the Faux News channel are aware that the fix is in and are just waiting for the right time to cast their vote.

At least, I hope so.

A Republican Designed by Cubists

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA)

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA)

Every time I look at a picture of Troglodyte Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, I think of the cubist paintings of a century or so ago. The lack of symmetry of his facial planes is rather marked; and I cannot help but wonder if it represents some seismic disaster in his brain. His right eyebrow seems to be an inch or more above his left eyebrow. Seems quite appropriate for a rightist, no?

Compare with the portrait by Juan Gris below and you’ll see what I mean:

Portrait by Juan Gris

Portrait by Juan Gris

G. K. Chesterton vs Conservatism

G. K. Chesterton

G. K. Chesterton

We have remarked that one reason offered for being a progressive is that things naturally tend to grow better. But the only real reason for being a progressive is that things naturally tend to grow worse. The corruption in things is not only the best argument for being progressive; it is also the only argument against being conservative. The conservative theory would really be quite sweeping and unanswerable if it were not for this one fact. But all conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change. If you leave a white post alone it will soon be a black post. If you particularly want it to be white you must be always painting it again; that is, you must be always having a revolution. Briefly, if you want the old white post you must have a new white post. But this which is true even of inanimate things is in a quite special and terrible sense true of all human things. An almost unnatural vigilance is really required of the citizen because of the horrible rapidity with which human institutions grow old. It is the custom in passing romance and journalism to talk of men suffering under old tyrannies. But, as a fact, men have almost always suffered under new tyrannies; under tyrannies that had been public liberties hardly twenty years before. Thus England went mad with joy over the patriotic monarchy of Elizabeth; and then (almost immediately afterwards) went mad with rage in the trap of the tyranny of Charles the First. So, again, in France the monarchy became intolerable, not just after it had been tolerated, but just after it had been adored. The son of Louis the well-beloved was Louis the guillotined. So in the same way in England in the nineteenth century the Radical manufacturer was entirely trusted as a mere tribune of the people, until suddenly we heard the cry of the Socialist that he was a tyrant eating the people like bread. So again, we have almost up to the last instant trusted the newspapers as organs of public opinion. Just recently some of us have seen (not slowly, but with a start) that they are obviously nothing of the kind. They are, by the nature of the case, the hobbies of a few rich men. We have not any need to rebel against antiquity; we have to rebel against novelty. It is the new rulers, the capitalist or the editor, who really hold up the modern world. There is no fear that a modern king will attempt to override the constitution; it is more likely that he will ignore the constitution and work behind its back; he will take no advantage of his kingly power; it is more likely that he will take advantage of his kingly powerlessness, of the fact that he is free from criticism and publicity. For the king is the most private person of our time. It will not be necessary for any one to fight again against the proposal of a censorship of the press. We do not need a censorship of the press. We have a censorship by the press.—G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Two Socialists: Pope Francis & Jesus

Gee, Maybe It’s OK to Be Socialist

Gee, Maybe It’s OK to Be Socialist

Now our right wing pundits are all attacking Pope Francis for being a Marxist. He has been deemed to be guilty for caring about the poor, just as Jesus Christ was some two thousand years ago. In fact, Christ had no compunction about attacking the rich:

I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:23-26

Southern Nazarene University has an interesting website with Old and New Testament verses regarding the poor. Here is a little nugget I found from the Epistle of James:

“Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, ‘Here’s a good seat for you,’ but say to the poor man, ‘You stand there’ or ‘Sit on the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and becomes judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love Him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?” James 2:2-6

Then there is this from 1 John 3:17-18: “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”

One doesn’t have to delve too deeply in the Bible to find that it is all stacked on the side of the poor and against the rich. And yet, so many right-wing Conservatives believe exactly the opposite. Why? Because it is the rich who are bankrolling them, not the poor.

It seems to me that Pope Francis is the real Christian, and all the pundits aligned against him are heretics who deserve to be burned at the stake. (Dear me, it’s my Catholic background coming out again.)

 

 

Talking Point Nation

I Don’t Know What the Tiger Represents, but of the Piglets There Is Little Doubt

I Don’t Know What the Tiger Represents, but of the Piglets There Is Little Doubt

Every once in a while, some rabid right-wing nut job tries to take me on in these postings, but I never let them get very far. This is not a debating society; and all these goons have to offer are “talking points,” usually from some out-there conservative ideologue such as Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly. Typically, these talking points eventually all fall apart because they ultimately rely on some premise which I cannot accept.

For instance, anything that relies on the authority of the Bible or the Constitution is not automatically guaranteed acceptance from me. After all, I think the Second Amendment is a piece of excrement that appears to justify the NRA and other recidivist organizations, now that King George III is safely dead. And according to Article I, Section 2, isn’t our President three-fifths of a human being? (I think he’s twenty-fifths of a conservative Republican.) I know the wording has subsequently been amended, but the House of Representative’s record of racism makes me think they had crossed their fingers behind their backs. Besides, the bewigged Fathers of Our Country were men, not demigods, and as such made many mistakes and evasions that subsequently led to Civil War and hundreds of thousands of casualties a few decades later.

And don’t get me started on the Bible! Although I am by no means an atheist, I think most Bible-toting Evangelicals are little better than the Khmer Rouge, the Taliban, or Peru’s Sendero Luminoso (“Shining Path”) guerrillas. Quote some out-of-context verses at me, Sonny, and I’ll gladly demonstrate to you how you’re probably in violation of the strict dictates of the Books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. I respect heartfelt beliefs, but note that I may be immune to them.

So if you read what I have to say and thing you can turn me around based on some Oxycontin-inspired argument that Rush Limbaugh pooted out of his butt cheeks, don’t expect me to provide you with a forum.

I suppose I admire how you clowns can hang together, which is convenient for the voters who will kick your Tea Party behinds out of office come next year.

The Perpetual Outrage Machine

“We Should All Get Along, But Progressives Should Be Hunted Down Like Nazis”

Glenn Beck: “We Should All Get Along, But Progressives Should Be Hunted Down Like Nazis”

The level of political discourse in this country has descended to the level of low buffoonery. Instead of rational political thinking, we have people saying things that are so patently offensive that it is amazing that there is an audience for them. Yet there does, in fact, exist a minority of Americans who live and breathe for just this sort of thing. And there are a large number of people both in politics and the media who have no qualms about supplying it.

It seems that Americans are so thin-skinned that anything will set them off. I used to be one of them. I used to read Salon.Com and RawStory.Com religiously, glowering at stories of the things that American wing-nuts would say to get a rise and develop an odd kind of infamous reputation that, somehow, was not considered repellent by certain people. Today, I discovered that there is a website called Liberal Outrage of the Day, so I guess it cuts both ways.

From Democratic Party money raisers, I am contacted seven or eight times a day with the latest Right-Wing outrage, accompanied by an appeal for money that would presumably be used to combat the named offenders. I have long since stopped reading these e-mails. Stories about what Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, James De Mint, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and their like now are like [fetid, stagnant] water off a duck’s back. The people who so crudely attack my political values are doing it for fame, power, and money—not to change my mind. They don’t care what I think, just so long as they can appeal to the saps who send them checks in the mail.

I now consider myself a centrist, someone despised by “libtards” and Tea Partiers alike. American politics is now a vast, fetid morass that breeds nothing but disease. The trick is to avoid getting infected by it.