Hilarious politics

September 17, 2014

Of course it is not just Facebook where certain arguments will be presented in a written, photographed, or possibly a digital format. You could find the same thing on various websites or YouTube video. Very precisely on websites where pure bigotry against President Obama takes center stage. Or YouTube videos in which the ignorant misrepresent their understanding of another language, plus the era and context in which it would have been initially penned or spoken. Say for example, biblical scripture found in the Old Testament. Over the course of centuries in which the Old Testament (also the Tanakh) would have been jotted down, and those books contained within it finally accumulated together and canonized, there were pagan cultures surrounding the Jewish people. But as of yet, there were no Islamic peoples or Christians then in existence. Christianity did not officially get its start until well into the first century AD. Islam as a religion, did not arrive until about the Tenth century AD. So, I don’t know how the original Jewish language of many thousands of years before, could be made to apply to Barack H. Obama’s name today. But someone trying to employ a scripture out of Isaiah, I believe, tried to do just that. Just as they tried to photoshop “devil horns” for the man, during his ISIL speech. The latter in particular was being shared extensively throughout Facebook.

I also saw this hilarious photo of a guy writing this comment on the dusty back window of his car, to display his foolishness to the world: Obama is the antChrist. That’s right, “ANT CHRIST!” Just as more locally, the ignorant GOP and “TEA Party” types post “your savior” Obama, to the Democrats who also happen to post comments to the Spokesman-Review website. However, “savior” and “Christ” are not interchangeable. A savior is a person who preaches a message, to inform people of what it would take for them to lead a better life. A happier and more healthy life. Christ however denotes a “king.” Being an Aramaic word for king. And the background for saying someone is a “Christ,” has to do with that person being anointed for that particular role or task. This is according to some religious scholars.

Well then, “anti” having two meanings: in opposition to, or false; coupled with “anointed one” or “king;” then an “anti-Christ” is a “pretender to the throne.” In this case, “the throne of God.” A person who tries to make certain claims to greatness under very false pretenses. Really, is it all that hard to figure out? In Jesus’ lifetime, he literally did warn his followers and disciples against people who make specific false claims. Inclusive of seeking to cast out demons in Jesus’ name. At one point Jesus warns that his putative followers “will not find him” among those who falsely make this or that claim. At another point, Jesus said of those who would “cast out demons in his name,” that if they have not followed the teachings of the master, Jesus would not know them. Here are two very telling examples of false teachers or would be false leaders. Expounding on the same theme, the Apostle Paul would later declare, “do not follow this man or that, do not even follow me…” For everything that was being instructed, presumably was so that his congregations would follow Christ (King) Jesus. The argument of false teachers and being warned against them, was around even before the Book of Revelations.

With the Book of Revelations, the anti-Christ took on the dimensions of an ultimate tyrant. In the centuries that have since followed the writing of this last book in the New Testament; regrettably, there have been many occasions for ultimate tyrants to make an appearance. Only as human migration entered new territories, has the reach of any “ultimate tyrant” expanded. Under the agenda or cause deemed either religious or political, agendas or causes for which wars and invasions were made possible, could an ultimate tyrant lay waste to far more territory and many more people’s lives. With the advent of greater and more sophisticated technology, could even more property and territory be absolutely decimated, and many more lives lost. To pin the “ultimate tyrant” label on a single president however, because you hate the fact that he isn’t white and a Republican, with an “American name” (what ever that is supposed to mean); must be met with a derisive snort. We still do elections here,we can replace any politician every two, four, and six years. “The ultimate tyrant” is the guy you can not get rid of.

Citizens United among other recent SCOTUS decisions has led to “Corporations are people,” “as people, corporations can claim religious exemptions to federal laws,” “money is the same as speech.” SCOTUS rulings that give the Koch bros, Monsanto, those who comprise “War Inc.” (another video viewed on Facebook), unlimited access to the same government that the voters install through our election cycles. With understandable cries of alarm from the (old) left about the rise of Oligarchies. Or even more out there, fascism. With reference to the Book of Revelations, the third horseman of the apocalypse was a man who carried weights and measures. You know, a man of business. If in the course of his career his apocalyptic ride was to bring the false king in his wake (according to the History Channel), well that false king wouldn’t necessarily be found in our Presidential elections. Rather, the false king is a coalition of people who turn politicians into corrupt puppets, so that they will only be answerable to the money used to buy them. With very brazen ads to that effect found even on Facebook. George Bush was a businessman (however he failed in his various ventures) before he entered politics. You can say of him (as you can say of any Republican desirous of having him become President) that the conditions were set up to make our current circumstances (where business oligarchies rule behind the throne) possible. After all, government should be run more like a business. More correctly, government ought to have precisely one special interest that it most surely should answer to, those with the most influence and money to make things happen. As noted above, the ultimate tyrant is the guy you can’t get rid of. With plenty of money to spend or otherwise hoard, ultimate tyrants could rise up in an otherwise “capitalist system” and use that system to beat humanity into compliance. We already saw the start of it when President George Bush entered office. Given the international reach that these people like the Kochs, Waltons, Monsanto, etc. have now; the world is quite ready for the rise of an anti-Christ all right; but he isn’t in the White House. No, they are the ones buying judges and politicians.

Attitude: it isn’t the clothes

September 15, 2014

I read the George Nethercutt editorial in last week’s “The Inlander.” Seems he bemoans what has become our increasingly laid back world. People are too busy texting, or talking loudly in their phones, to pay any attention to other people. Or for that matter, to even pay any attention to everything that is part of their general environment. He’s of the opinion that if more people wore suits, that might change our culture.

Bob Hope was quite the comedian in his time, and did a number of funny movies, inclusive of “The Ghost Breakers.” But this movie also came from and represented an era that I have no doubt Mr. Nethercutt would like to ignore. There is a segment in this movie where Mr. Hope has his African-American manservant completely dress him. Seems he is completely incapable of putting on and tying his own shoes. Yes, he is wearing a suit and tie. And in the fifty or better years since this movie was first shown in theaters, that is one of the least funny segments in the entire show. But then, our attitudes seem to have changed a bit, perhaps for the better. So, Mr. Nethercutt pines after a time when men wore pin stripe suits and bow ties to ball games? There was also a darker undercurrent that existed in that same time frame that no pin stripe suit could ever hide. A little historical research would very quickly reveal it.

Men would dress professionally to go to the office. But unless they are on a business trip, why would they wear a suit on all occasions? The same thing would be just as true of the women. Besides, a suit denotes that you are a person of class. It would be highly suggestive that you are a person of money. You are a person of great success and seek to impress with the clothing you wear. That would be entirely true of Mr. Nethercutt. So, maybe his real issue isn’t that enough young men are not dressing for success; it is instead that they are so busy texting and talking loudly in their phones, that they aren’t noticing him! I’ll sympathize just a bit. These days, a lot of people are very self-centered. I seem to have “lost” a Facebook “friend” when she took a selfie of a most hideous looking hair style and thought that this is what she wanted in a “do.” More power to her, I gave her a “like” and thought I would have a little fun with it. Like at least one other guy, right? I also mentioned my new book “Are You a Space Alien?” now on Amazon.com. That was when the woman turned into a real bitch and engaged in a lot of shrill ranting, screaming and attacking that anyone could take away from her “moment in the sun.” I was only going to share my accomplishment. So the woman can’t seem to recognize the spirit in which it was intended (now I seem to have become “more important than herself” because I am a published author”—as if Facebook is now some kind of competition on questions of self-importance), and decides to “unfriend me.” I won’t miss her.

Oh and by the way, the woman is only a journalist… Onward. I don’t see where dressing professionally would change the kinds of attitudes that people choose. After all, it is an attitude that you do indeed choose. People actually do choose to be caring and compassionate, a business suit or otherwise dressing professionally, doesn’t enter into it. Also, people also choose to interact with other people: smiling, waving, and engaging in greetings. A business suit won’t make it more likely. On the other hand, walk any day of the week through say Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. You are sticking to the sidewalks where possible, you watch for traffic, you turn on the crosswalk signal light, you wait for the signal light to change on your behalf… And you would swear that no matter what their age or gender, it must be a blind person at the wheel. They will run right over the top of you in an utter hurry to get to their destination. No smart phone in sight, these are drivers who pay attention to nothing because they feel they own the road. You have to become a defensive pedestrian as a consequence, of dealing with people who truly have that kind of lack of consideration for others.

The demand that people “wear suits” or otherwise dress professionally, is a superficially cosmetic argument against our so-called “eroding standards and values.” Does Mr. Nethercutt wear a suit when he vacations at his summer home in Idaho? I highly doubt it. But that is not the point. Our eroding culture, values, and standards are from the choices we make, not the clothing we wear.

The Sucker Game

September 6, 2014

(This title is not a rip off of the books titled “The Hunger Games.”)

I picked up the latest copy of “The Inlander” today, and there was Robert Herold opining about the ideology of government hating politics. Further, how House Representatives such as Cathy McMorris Rodgers seems to hate the people she wants to keep putting her back into office. I really won’t go much into his hilarious commentary. Sincerely, it is hilarious. But that is not to make fun of the man. Instead, it is an unintended stand up comedy about the people in the 5th District.

I have not lately visited the Spokesman-Review, however I know whereof Mr. Herold speaks in terms of government hating trolls whom people like Newt Gingrich have fed down through the years. People generally living in a district that is high poverty, labor exploitative; and a Representative who is opposed to food stamps, women’s pay equality, and birth control. Referencing Facebook, my Democratic Facebook friends sometimes post links, photos and etc. that tends to get a bit hostile toward our current interpretation of “capitalism.” I “shared” one such post, where it is to be acknowledged that major corporations don’t feel they have a responsibility to include worker pay plus a decent 40 hour work week into their cost of doing business. So now, they want to kick the can over to the government. The business interests do want socialism; and people like Cathy McMorris Rodgers tell her constituents to just suck it up. You aren’t getting a thing from government while I am around. However, at the end of Mr. Herold’s opinion column, seems that Loudoun County, Virginia has become the place to be for extremely wealthy people. Make that extremely wealthy lobbyists, who absolutely do not hate the government that they want special favors from.

So when ever I see some rash and otherwise absurd comment about “too much government,” and what makes the “party in charge” commie or socialist. At least one of my responses does come to mind, “That’s for guys like you, not for the wealthy and influential who insist on big government being there for them.” Because you see, that is the actual facts of the matter. Government shouldn’t be there “for the people.” And it is the people who are being taught to hate its very existence. Government should only be there for the wealthy and well connected; as though we were trying to recreate, not just an oligarchy, but also an aristocracy. Meanwhile, people are taught to hate the government, by the very politicians who still want to be re-elected into that very same evil entity. That is what is hilarious. Further, I had seen Rep. McMorris Rodgers’ ads. Oh yes, she will go to Washington, D.C. and fight the very things that would most likely assist her constituents. That is, the people who vote for her. As for her real constituents, the people who can now spend unlimited amounts of money on the behalf of her campaign; she won’t fight Washington, D.C. where she is in a position to do something for these specific special interests.


Steve Gleason of Spokane, Washington ultimately went pro-football when he joined the New Orleans Saints. Then his personal tragedy struck in the form of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. These days, the man can not move at all. That is how far and how fast this illness has progressed. For this, he and his family have my full sympathies and blessings. So, out comes the “ice bucket challenge.” Accept having a bucket full of ice water dumped all over your head. After that, donate what you can to the ALS search for the cure fund. Or skip the bucket and just donate the moolah. It started in Spokane, Washington, I think. Then it went international. I also saw people post videos of the “ice bucket challenge” that was sometimes goofy, idiotic, outright troubling, or all in good fun. I can certainly hope that money has come in to aid in a search for the cure of ALS. However, there are people such as “Right Wing News” who decided to exploit that for their own purposes. And you guessed it, a “FACEBOOK ‘friend'” decided to pass on something that was utterly crude. Seems the bucket will now be filled with urine and turds and President Obama (among others) are nominated to dump it on their heads… I suggested to this fellow, after advising him of what the “ice bucket challenge” was supposed to be about; that if he liked it so much, he should dump that bucket on his head and post the video to Facebook. Apparently, he didn’t like the idea of completely humiliating himself in front of the rest of the world. He’d rather that the other guy do so—such as President Obama. My personal opinion? You don’t have to love the Presidents whom the people elect. In fact “Slick Willy” (Clinton), “Tricky Dick” (Nixon), “The Chimp” (Bush), “Ray-gun” (Ronald Reagan) are all obviously names spoken in mockery. It is something that any President can expect when being elected in a country built upon dissent and presumably a democracy. However, to make public a demand that any President inclusive of President Obama should publicly humiliate themselves, such as “Right Wing News” described; will I think create quite a retaliation. I could have said to this fellow, that if he wants respect then he also needs to give the same. Or I could have said, given who and what you say you represent, then that is something you do not do especially where it may serve your own interests. After all, the kind of people who’d post something this crude in the first place, would have no respect for the “FACEBOOK ‘friend'” in question. He’s just another sucker, prepared to be used by people to get their really pug ugly message out. And afterwards, to be dispensed with, when he no longer serves a purpose. Much like, you see, McMorris Rodgers’ constituents in the 5th District.

Interesting times

August 29, 2014

I will begin this blog post tonight with a bit of a discussion on the Thom Hartmann T.V. show found on RT a Dish Network channel.  I got just a tad tired of watching “Inside Edition” and what actually amounted to warmed over celebrity news, and decided to check my channel favorites.  I modified my list and when I was done, I hit the channel guide to find something a bit more interesting to watch.  Thom Hartmann proved interesting to watch.  Well he had no problem identifying “Progressive” as being “for the people.”  I will only agree with him to a point however about what is now identified as “conservative:”  promoting or otherwise being a camp follower of the rich and powerful.  At any time in American history, we did have periods of time when the rich and powerful were upheld in all things.  Anything they wanted to see happen, did happen.  And when economic disasters struck, it was of course the people themselves who were left holding the bag.

However, there was one woman in his “Your Take, My Take” segment who apparently bought into the GOP talking points.  Precisely, President Obama hadn’t followed through on his big promises.  Well now, what I find more than a little interesting here, how much do you pay attention to actual news?  If you can post a YouTube video asking Mr. Hartmann such a question, or send a tweet asking him another question, then Googling on line news should be entirely possible.  President Obama has been very active carrying out his agenda.  It has been the GOP who have tried to slow the President down or to stop him all together.  If you want to get angry about someone or something, become informed and get educated.  Blame the right people for why this country is not in better shape today.

What was really hilarious however, a true “Libertarian” had to first be a millionaire or a billionaire living in a lawless society.  Well now, checking out Somalia where there is no actual government, and piracy seems to be the only way in which money could enter that extremely poor nation; a millionaire or a billionaire you would think anyway, would surely wish to have the layers of security surrounding them that only governments and laws can provide.  Just ask J.P. Morgan/Chase where on the news this evening, that giant bank reports a security breach.  In a truly lawless society, how secure would the millionaire or billionaire really be with all of his wealth?  Not really.  The reason why the Koch bros are all opposed to Medicare, Social Security, and etc. in their reinterpretation of what they think “Libertarian” is supposed to mean; because it might help the little guy whom they already care nothing about.  That is, before you then get into this discussion of Koch bros style of corruption.  And how flagrantly the GOP show the rest of their constituents, just how readily they wish to be corrupted.  In this case, “conservative” now means how willing you are to be bought by the Koch bros of this world, how willing you are to personally serve the interests of people like themselves.  Only, when would the Koch bros and others like them, finally decide that a politician is a useless middle man?  If folks like Thom Hartmann are worried about the loss of Democracy in this nation today, then that is a particularly chilling thought they fall short of contemplating as of right now.  If wealth can buy anything inclusive of government, then wealth should simply put you in the position of being that government. 

I have some particularly enlightening discussions with one of my neighbors.  Earlier today, we had something of a discussion about the new radical smear job on Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Something of what she said, being lifted out of context and compared to what Hitler had once said.  Never mind that Hitler’s views of “society” involved his “master race” theory and all that it would take to create one.  If you weren’t an acceptable member of the “master race,” you could get yourself very dead.  What Hillary Clinton said, would have been a bit more viable to the modern era of this country and its politics.  Say, you are a corporation that fracks for natural gas.  Is your need for profit as that corporation, one that must supersede the health and well being of your neighbors and future customers?  If you are the person who faces cancer risks from fracking, then you are more likely to agree with Ms. Clinton and the environmentalists, than you would with the corporate profits that literally do come at your expense.  Society is a collection of individuals.  Take the rest of “us” out of that equation and what do you have left?  It still takes “us” to make those corporate profits possible.  So, the real problem here isn’t wealth or even the desire to obtain it.  The real problem here, is the fantasy that some people with a great deal of money, suddenly develop: they forget where and from whom their wealth is actually rooted.  As long as they don’t wish to invest in the rest of society, and wish to disconnect from what they regard as the “common run of people,” then what do they do when they discover that wealth isn’t an unlimited resource?  It still takes the common run of people to generate it.  Political theory drives this particular “Libertarian” thinking.  And it is a political theory that ultimately drives a wedge between wealth and a capitalist society.

Ferguson, MO was on my mind for awhile. Being often on Facebook, I saw some particularly blow by blow accounts, inclusive of arson, vandalism, and looting.  But the first night that I could watch a new “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart nailed it with his soliloquy about race.  Especially after he played a number of clips from Fox News, natch, in which the anchors and etc. were whining repeatedly about who the real “racists” were.  Among other things, of course.  So Mr. Stewart duly informed his wide-spread audience about race.  To include one of his correspondents who happens to be an African-American dressed to the nines in a suit.  The cameraman, a “homeless elf type,” as Mr. Stewart said. And where they were going and what they planned to do once they got there.  Who got stopped?   It wasn’t the white homeless looking dude.  After that, Mr. Michael Che was looking for that one safe place where he wouldn’t have a deadly run in with a cop.  Only when he thinks he is safe in outer space, that is when a cop actually does show up…  Major gut busting LOL! over how that skit was fully played out.  Ultimately, my views of the people who entertain their devoted fans on Fox News; if “race” offends end the bigotry.  By ending the bigotry then you won’t be “offended” any longer.

Finally and briefly, a Facebook friend shared a video of a squirrel munching contentedly, on an apparently venomous snake.  The snake fights the squirrel, the squirrel fights back, and the squirrel is noshing on the snake’s tail as the now bloodied snake is trying to crawl away.  Under the circumstances, I’d say that 21 December 2012 brought something into existence, something very strange, when a squirrel decides that snake makes a most delectable lunch.  And “The Nation” manages to catch the GOP laying aside all pretenses, about how corrupt they truly choose to be.

You can’t separate the two

August 20, 2014

Phil Membury’s letter to the Coeur d’Alene Press 20 August 2014, was off the wall hilarious.  He claims that he isn’t “criticizing the writer” he is only criticizing what people write.  Well, to put it very briefly, if you know the person by what they write, then you criticize the person for what they wrote.  That has been my experience over the years when ever it comes to letters being written and published to the Press.  The critiquing authors don’t like what someone else wrote, so they send in these hyper-critical letters about the authors in question.  Or, they send in letters fully intent on smearing the authors’ good name.  Mr. Membury has been as guilty of that as anyone else in the past.  So now, he tries to claim, “I don’t know this person well enough…” (which has never stopped him before), and then goes on to launch his latest diatribe.

It kind of reminds me of how a bully would act.  “You made me do it!”  “You are the one engaging in ad honimen attacks.”  (It can’t be me, after all!)  But who else is doing the writing to truly hurt, shame, or embarrass others?  Well, it has Mr. Membury’s name at the bottom of the letter.  Instead of writing a long letter trying to “defend himself” and deflect his particular problems unto others, Mr. Membury could make it a brief letter and explain why he disagrees with someone else.

As a rule any more, I don’t get the Coeur d’Alene Press.  If I go down to the park’s Club House on a Wednesday or a Friday, I may see letters to the editors to which I may or may not respond.  Some of them being just bad enough, to bring further attention to on the blog.  Others being just ridiculous enough, for me to send in an e-mailed letter to the editor.  A few weeks earlier, Mr. Hans Neumann wished to express all this outpouring of grief and outrage over the death of the dog known as Arfee at the hands of a Coeur d’Alene Police Officer.  To which he wished to compare some 50 million odd abortions/aborticides.  I am quite prepared to argue that if you want to express “humanitarian concerns” for fetuses, then being just as humanitarian toward say your neighbors, should be a logical extension.  Mr. Neumann isn’t known for “love thy neighbor” letters.  Neither is Mr. Membury or other radicals who typically populate Kootenai County.  I had also seen some hostile to illegal alien children, currently populating the U.S. borders, in letters to the editors.  Just as on Facebook, the news feeds show me videos or photographs of “white” humanity opposing “brown” children.  Of “white” Republicans proclaiming that “brown” children are likely carrying diseases.  What wasn’t being asked, until this female journalist got on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” why these kids were even trying to cross our borders in the first place.  She had a ready answer:  drug cartels, the crimes they spawn, the violence and corruption that are the very consequences of their activities.  So, in countries where these drug cartels are basically running the show and the governments in these countries seem incapable of handling them and bringing them to justice, then apparently it has become a fact that these kids are fleeing for their lives. 

If abortion/aborticide is supposed to be an “humanitarian” crisis of some 40 years in the making, then the humanitarian crisis now on our respective borders is also more immediate.  But which one gets the handwringing and which one gets the obviously bigoted reaction?  You know something, the fetus is a “child in the womb” according to these modern day “Christians.”  These illegal alien children were only born.  I can think of no sharper disconnect between a “born” child and one “not born yet,” that to watch our utterly embarrassing reactions to at least on humanitarian crisis.  Simply because it might cost us something in money, time, and effort to actually address and resolve it.  Which is why I regard the anti-choice argument as lacking in any real morality or even sincerity.  A “Christian” can only be all for having that child brought into the world, until it actually costs something to make that child a part of American society.  I don’t know in all honesty, how you can be a humanitarian on the cheap.


 

“Inside Edition” was presented on Facebook not so long ago with reference to these pastors of megachurches and etc. who through donations from their congregants:  amass fleets of private jets, build personal mansions; in short, they have become vastly wealthy people who are tax exempt.  At least one of these people was just arrogant enough to proclaim, that his private airport and fleet of jets was in “the service of the Lord.”  The bible I have read must not be the same bible that he was referring to.  I don’t find any supporting scriptures, about amassing vast fortunes at the expense of your congregants, as being quite okay with God.  Just as I do not hear, how these “immensely wealthy pastors,” are reserving any of that money for charitable purposes.  One private jet can cost in the millions, what about a fleet of them?  How much money does it cost to buy land and build as well as maintain an airport?  What if that money was sent instead to places, where children were caught up in the tribulations of drug cartel operations?  If American Christians and their pastors were prepared to put themselves at risk, trying to secure the lives and fortunes of these children?  Or, how much would that money now amassed in grandiose mansions, fleets of jets, and etc., help the impoverished people in this nation?  Job creation, preventing home foreclosures, housing the homeless?  After all, it isn’t their own earnings which these pastors are currently amassing, it is the wealth of others.  I truly don’t believe that God expected the priests in his service to get rich at the expense of others.  Presumably the last time it happened, Jesus was sent along to make some public criticisms about that kind of practice.


 

 

Stakeholder v Shareholder

August 12, 2014

Robert Reich brought out recently, a commentary about the one time stakeholder capitalism.  That is, where businesses were prepared to do business within their communities, and generally have a stake in their customers, employees, and neighbors.  The kind of stakeholder capitalism where the cost of doing business included, paying your employees good enough wages that they could support themselves through honest work.  And further, recognizing that your employees were likely to become your customers, when it came to the purchasing of the products initially manufactured.  I have discussed this before, in many ways and not just here on the blog.  So I will now ask this question, who also is the shareholder?  And that is not just the individual who buys or invests an interest in that particular company or corporation.

Until I left J.C. Penney, I was such a shareholder, investing in J.C. Penney stock with a percentage of my wages.  Only the corporate headquarters seemed to be of an opinion, and passed on down to store managers nation wide, that people like me could be hired but we weren’t deserving of good paying jobs.  My investment in J.C. Penney stock was supposed to be retirement money through a 401(k).  At the end of my employment there, I wasn’t given enough hours with wages to feed a rabbit, let alone decently pay bills or put food on the table.  Apparently, some investors and shareholders can be kicked to the curb if they are employees of said company.  So what is meant by investment in reality?  Seems to me, that it should be mutual.  The employee is making your money for you, then you should thank that employee by providing hours and wages.  Apparently not.  By actually employing that person with an understanding of:  an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.  Apparently not.  Instead, J.C. Penney, WalMart and others, create “the taker class” by refusing to uphold that particular maxim.  Which the Republicans can then condemn as a “burden on the rest of us.”  But who are “the rest of us?”

I wouldn’t know if the late “Government is the problem and not the solution” President Ronald Reagan was a man bought by the corporations.  But obviously his “supply side economics” was a spear head against not only a government actually having a stake in this society, but also, neither do businesses have to maintain such a stake.  Problem with that kind of thinking, while said corporate interests could pull up those stakes and disinvest in actual society, they still want their customers to come from that same society.  Just as the government itself still wants its taxpayers to come from that particular society.  It was the sort of disconnect that would take about 30 years, to completely wreak havoc on the American economy.  But it did in fact do so by the time George W. Bush entered office.  With an economic meltdown before he left office. So, you don’t want to employ an American workforce, or what American workforce you have, you want working as cheaply for you as possible.  Where can they go to spend that pathetic little paycheck that you insist on giving them?  The round figure of $60.00 a month from March to April, before I quite working for J.C. Penney altogether, wouldn’t have added to the Walton Family profits.  What it would have done was technically qualified me for welfare.  These were a destitute person’s wages, they were not the kinds of wages that would have supported my taking care of the bills for my new home, property taxes or rent.  With a store manager who was literally hoping that I was on, or soon would be on, some form of public assistance.  That’s right, public assistance.  Apparently, the store manager at the time, couldn’t wrap her head around the fact that public assistance comes from taxpayers.  In order to pay taxes, you must first be gainfully employed…  You must also be able to live in a state, where the political party would actually care about the people [you the store manager] insist on making as poor as possible.  Not here in Idaho.  Oh yes, I could quit working for J.C. Penney, but it was ill health brought on by tons of stress, not just because of the pathetic looking paycheck.  I also doubt that an illegal immigrant would have worked for $60.00 a month, as it wouldn’t have been worth his time or effort.

President Ronald Reagan made it quite clear to anyone caring to listen, that the government you vote for has no stake in you.  But the money that corporations invest in government, members of government will answer to that, because this is shareholder or investment money you see.  And the government as a business, needs to account only to its shareholders.  Like J.C. Penney or even WalMart, the Republicans in particular forget just who all their shareholders are.  Your vote is just as much of an investment into that same government as are your tax dollars.  Your public contributions on your form 1040 (as an example) are as much of an investment in political campaigns as are more private donations.  The problem with the “shareholder” concept in private enterprise or politics, is who you don’t recognize for that shareholder and therefore, whom you won’t account to at the end of the day.  So, the GOP once called this “federalism.”  There are others who say this is “fascism,” economic “fascism.”  I don’t think this kind of thinking deserves a label, period.  if you can’t see people until you see them as your putative customers.  Or if you can’t see people until you cajole them to vote for you in a political ad.  Then what do you see?  The day that pure greed needs a label or a political justification, is the day that I have to shake my head at this kind of truly twisted thinking.  No, it isn’t “fascism,” it is greed.  It isn’t “supply side economics,” it is greed.  It isn’t “we can’t be truly competitive until…” it is greed.  It was the consequences of greed that caused the American economy to go into a tailspin before Bush left office.  The SCOTUS “Citizens United” decision was the consequence of greed.  the Hobby Lobby “Religious exemption” claim, upheld by SCOTUS, was the consequence of greed.  If you are greedy, you have no stake in anything.  And if you have no stake in something, neither is it factual capitalism.  Capitalism as currently defined “in pursuit of profits” (I’ll agree, as a business owner myself and someone who also wishes to sell the books that I write), doesn’t take into consideration that “profits” don’t just come from investors, tax breaks, subsidies, and etc.  They also come from your employees being gainfully employed, who ultimately are customers of the products you manufacture. (I can only sell my farmers market wares or books to people who actually have money to spend.)  If you as the corporate CEO can’t see that, then this is just downright greed.  Call it what it is, just greed.  Capitalism has no future where just greed is concerned.  And greed is the most anti-capitalist threat to the business world, that in these modern times, they are likely to confront.  Not “socialism,” not government regulations, not taxes; greed.  That is the true bottom line.

Fascism? It begins with thou

August 8, 2014

You can find the latest Leonard Brandt letter 8 August 2014, published at http://www.cdapress.com/.  Otherwise, I will discuss certain of its absurdities here.  At least Mr. Brandt did introduce an interpretation of fascism that I best understand as well:  people who dictate to you, how you should think.  People who declare with whom you may properly associate with and further, whom you ought to serve:  IE in business, as a customer.  In short, fascism is bigotry personified and glorified through and by government itself.  I have heard that fascists had praised “capitalism.”  Precisely, that form of capitalism, that had no qualms trading with the enemy before or during times of war.  But in Mr. Brandt’s case, “fascism” is now forcing a business run by Mr. Brandt, to serve customers who are among the LGBT community.  Which I regard as interesting.  Even more interesting is how he uses Jesus to argue how much of a victim he has become.

A couple of points to be made here:  Jesus’ position on “the enemy” can be found in a scripture in Luke, “Love even your enemy, pray for those who persecute you.”  If Mr. Brandt feels he is being persecuted for example:  running a restaurant and having to serve dinner to a gay or lesbian couple (and quite frankly, he wouldn’t know if they are or are not).  He already has a biblical scripture that requires of him to serve them regardless.  “For God makes the sun to shine on the good and the evil, the rain to fall on both the righteous and unrighteous.”  Literally, a love that does not allow you to discriminate.  As opposed to fascism, that indeed prefers that you can do so, with predictably deadly consequences.  Mr. Brandt’s real argument seems to be: “fascism” is telling him he can not discriminate against some customers, through an example of refusing to serve them and finally shoving them out the door.  Nor allow that he can show a more favorable attitude toward others, who are deemed to be his kind of people.  In other words, the Jesus he wants to prop up his letter, is a Fascist.  Or politically correct.   It says, what of the bible Mr. Brandt did not read today.

Quite frankly, I am afraid that Mr. Brandt lost me when he started whining at the LGBT being able to claim American rights for themselves, that quite literally he could personally take for granted.  Therefore in history, Fascism is revealed as official government bigotry.  That bigotry which was aimed as a deadly weapon against some people, first by making them non-citizens, and finally subjecting such people to the most brutal of assaults, etc. that was possible.  Gays and lesbians, gypsies, Jews, and etc. were among the unwelcome “pestilence” that made the “host nation and its people” weak.  With reference to Hitler and Mussolini.  Oh yes, that kind of fascism.  Is Mr. Brandt facing a Kristallnacht (sic?) if a couple of gays want to be married and choose Mr. Brandt’s commercial business, for catering services at their wedding?  No.  Nor is he facing the destruction of property, if for religious reasons, he wants to refuse to offer his services to this particular couple.  But if he knows what the “thou shalt not discriminate laws” are; then he is at his own risk for a valid lawsuit and fines, for failing to comply with anti-discriminatory laws.  Laws that say you can not discriminate, are not “fascist.”  Jesus himself who said that “love must be perfect” (again with reference to Luke) was never a Fascist.  Question:  given the letter that Mr. Brandt had published, what then does that make him?

Benghazi: waste of tax dollars

August 6, 2014

The House Special Select Committee to investigate Benghazi, and of course to find cause to “impeach” President Obama, finally declared an end to a two year old investigation.  No bangs, no whimpers, just closed the investigation with this understanding that no crimes or coverups were involved.  Now if the Republicans had been prepared to accept the obvious at the time the Benghazi incident had occurred, well then we wouldn’t see possible billions of tax dollars wasted on a futile investigation.  For anyone who knows better, Benghazi was a political opportunity and one to be milked for all that it was worth.  As long as the Republicans kept Benghazi on the front burner, then news media such as Politico.com, Fox News, and the MSM could treat it like a “what will Benghazi do as far as Hillary Clinton’s chances for the presidency?”  Or “is impeachment in the wind for our current President?”  Why would “impeachment” even be on the radar?  After all, George W. Bush had far more actual scandals throughout his two term presidency, a greater likelihood that he wasn’t prepared to follow constitutional law, but the GOP weren’t prepared then to do their due diligence.  In President Obama’s case, the GOP had to manufacture reasons to whine about his even being in office.  Oh and by the way, from what I have seen on Facebook, if this is true about “TEA Party” groups getting heavily funded by specific donors; then the IRS would have excellent cause to investigate them in particular for their 501(c) charitable tax exemptions.

It is an election year, and Congress has less popularity “according to the polls” than President Obama.  One reason why is the GOP.  The refusal to do anything at all for their constituents GOP.  The willingness to immediately turn on and stab the backs of the people, whom the GOP want to have vote for them.  On Facebook, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has judicial approval for his “anti-union” law.  Did anyone forget to tell the guy who presented on Facebook, Gov. Walker’s celebratory fist pump, that union members are also taxpayers?  The money that Gov. Walker supposedly saved with his anti-union law, is money that won’t enter the economy.  Mainly because it came out of the wallets of union members.  Next question is, who did get all that “saved taxpayer (union inclusive) money?”  Gov. Walker being anti-union, is only a quarter of the story.  Gov. Walker stabs the people in the back with his anti-union law, and still expects the people he shafted to put him back into office. 

Or perhaps social media is creating some unique problems for the GOP.  It may not be official polling, but there are a lot of people very disappointed with how the GOP have turned out.  You want to investigate to the grave and beyond, Benghazi?  How about the veterans you won’t support, the struggling poor, and the elderly?  How about the crumbling infrastructure that at some point, even the super wealthy have to drive on?  Fracking and the toxins it produces?  Monsanto and the toxins it creates that might produce immunities for certain types of pests in the insect world, plus superweeds.  But not necessarily are human beings so quick to evolve, and avoid the toxins that Monsanto produces and introduces to the food supply.  Or the newest labeling for corporations escaping their tax obligations:  inversion.  Well, if they want to become a foreign corporation, then they should not get subsidized and etc. by this American government.  Reap all the rewards, so to speak, without the honest labor.

So, the GOP close up shop on Benghazi and according to what I have seen on Facebook, the (old) left takes into consideration that the news media, especially Fox News, doesn’t say anything further about it.  Why, they wonder?  No scandal, no sensationalism, therefore, no news.  So the next big question is, who drove the Benghazi story?  The GOP politicians, or the news media?  Suggests here that it is a chicken and egg story, which came first?  When you really pay attention to what the news media has actually said and reported on during the Obama Presidency to date, there is no indication that they have been “in the tank for him” at all.  The investigation effectively exonerates our President, and the news media says effectively nothing, except for what gets reported on (linked incidentally) through Facebook news feeds.  No scandal, no sensationalism, no news, and no apology for not doing their (the news media) jobs right.  Maybe the GOP closed the door on this investigation, because they were worried about the only polls that matter in November.  Benghazi is the least of their worries.  It is the constituency that the GOP did not serve, and who’s tax dollars they wasted, who are the Republican politicians’ greatest concerns.  Notice that I don’t say “conservative.”  A conservative politician would have gotten to the facts sooner, had laid everything out on the table faster, and determined in the least amount of time possible what went wrong.  A conservative politician would neither have wasted people’s time or money, on an endless investigation.  Obviously, the GOP aren’t conservative. 

Of Benghazi itself, nothing more than an opportunity for political opportunism.  The lives of four Americans are less important than the latest means to bash the President.  When you look at the whole picture on Benghazi, it does become politically clear.  Benghazi was without question a tragedy.  Was it possible for such a tragedy to be avoided?  Not likely.  Given the radical and volatile elements now existing in the Middle East.  It was bound to happen regardless of what security measures are put into place.  Any investigation should examine the evidence and seek out new measures to guard against the hypothetical next time it happens.  This Benghazi investigation wasn’t about that.  It was about an opportunity to “stick it to” a hated President, and further, to forget about working for the voters.  It was about power and an opportunity to use that power against a sitting President.  But it wasn’t about the U.S. Constitution.  Specifically that article that states:  Treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors. 

Today’s Congress, especially its “TEA Party” element, has probably done far more to have itself impeached with respect to the U.S. Constitution than even the President has done.  Regardless of whether you think the IRS was right or wrong, the VA health centers having legitimate scandals to address, or even whom President Obama wants or does not want in his cabinet.  “High crimes and misdemeanors,” precisely those known and defined under federal law, isn’t some label you slap onto something in order to justify actions that are purely political in nature.  The evidence of a high crime must exist, before you can impeach.  It didn’t work with Clinton when it was Monica Lewinsky, it won’t work now with President Obama.  And where the evidence did exist of high crimes in high places with the Bush administration, the GOP obviously weren’t going to hear of it.  My suggestion to the voters is, you don’t like the partisan hypocrisy, this time, vote with your best interests in mind.  The next time, create something in these political parties that serves the interest of the nation and not the self interests of the people you elect.  The GOP did not mind wasting your money on Benghazi.  Don’t plan to return them to office.

Recognizing tornadoes

July 25, 2014

Damaged willow tree on Mt. Carrol Street June 2007 tornado

DSCN0438

23 July 2014 at Oak Crest Manufactured Home Park

DSCN0439

Returning to my home on the day of 23 July 2014, the maple tree had been sheared, heavy limbs had crashed down on my neighbor’s back deck and buried one of my raised beds. Interestingly enough, the container garden on the deck was unscathed.

 

The Weather Channel finally acknowledged that two types of tornadoes are known to exist. One type, common to the midwest, is a thunderstorm producing funnel cloud. The other type, is referred to as a dynamic tornado. More commonly thought of as a whirlwind. You may or may not see a funnel cloud with a dynamic tornado, but just take a look at the photos, dynamic tornadoes can be just as destructive. 

Years ago I watched a video in which, the only way you knew a tornado was in progress, was to watch a bunch of debris being tossed above the city skyline. No funnel cloud in sight. Nor was it a “straight line” wind. Debris was floating and swirling about in the wind, and being lifted possibly hundreds of feet in the air. Here in the Inland Northwest, we may sometimes see funnel clouds. But more often than not, we get high winds with a torque. In short, the “swirling winds” that KHQ TV, etc. finally got around to acknowledging, was a thunderstorm generated dynamic tornado. This severe thunderstorm that generated a dynamic tornado, pounded eastern Washington, to Northern Idaho, and finally made quite a mess in Canada. A two state, two country weather system that left one hell of a damage track behind.

You can call me a “storm chaser” if you like. However, unlike the people who take lengthy trips into the midwest to catch a glimpse of, or take videos and photos some pretty nasty funnel clouds; I can be sitting at the Kootenai County Farmers Market downtown location and watch a monster storm move in. 23 July 2014, I am set up to do business on 5th Street and Lakeside Avenue in downtown Coeur d’Alene. I am waiting for the bell to ring so that we can start our business, I am kind of knitting on a scarf for the fair, and I am keeping a weather eye out for the building clouds over to the west. A supercell appeared in the clouds and I pointed it out to other people. The supercell disappeared after awhile, but the clouds were greenish (evidence of hail, lots of hail). The clouds got all ruffly looking (much like you would see in the movie “Twister”). Then they were curving kind of odd. Then the lightning bolts flashed red, fanning out from a central point. The wind buzzed even as the rain began to fall. A good thing for the easy ups being held down by weights, or they would have gone aloft. As it was, my own stuff for sale, was getting scattered across the ground in what was now a drenching downpour. I get it collected no matter what and restore it to my table. The wind seems to quiet a little, although the rain is still coming down pretty good. I go over to talk to a fellow vendor and a gust of wind pops my picnic umbrella up and sends it flying. You don’t get to do much business after that. We [the vendors] had probably been an hour on site before were breaking down to go home. When I got back to mine, I was looking at quite a mess.

The night of 23 July 2014, I checked in with Facebook and either saw news footage of the aftermath of this storm, or personal photos and videos from people who saw how much this storm had wrecked theirs or their neighbors’ property. Riverside Mobile Home Park, many parts of Spokane, Washington, some guy’s private hanger filled with planes, Silverwood R.V. Park… In the next two days, as I discussed our latest tornado phenomenon with my neighbors: one elderly lady expressed that there was no warning before the dynamic tornado hit Oak Crest. She acknowledged swirling winds. Neighbors living behind my own mobile home, were trying to rescue their personal property in a few frantic moments 1. Their gazebo about to fall over, 2. The wind was trying to pull an A.C. unit out of the window. So, on top of everything else, this tornado had quite a bit of suction to it as well. It also apparently angled, and sheared a bunch of limbs off another tree, behind another mobile home at the “corner” of Marlborough Avenue. Meanwhile, barely clipping branches and leaves off of trees on the other side of the road. I hadn’t gotten home yet, when the tornado blasted through Oak Crest. For anyone who might be my readers from the midwest, how familiar does this sound to you? One neighbor didn’t think it could be a tornado, because he saw no funnel cloud. Yet he did describe lightning damaged trees and others being uprooted in a “furious gust of wind.” This at the Golf Course where he has a job. The Golf Course is approximately two miles south of Oak Crest and possibly a mile west of the Park. He didn’t see a funnel cloud. That doesn’t mean anything. A dynamic tornado doesn’t have to produce a funnel cloud to still cause a tremendous amount of damage.

Out of context

July 23, 2014

In this morning’s (23 July 2014) Coeur d’Alene Press, was a letter to the editor by one Ed Torrence.  I glanced through that letter, that is I did not choose to read it, because it was larded through with the usual talking points.  “Liberalism spreads like cancer.”  “SCOTUS and the POTUS usurping our powers.”  “Progressive politics.”  Even further, “how we need to vote for ‘conservative candidates’ with a backbone.”  Finally, “our need to take this country back, and if you haven’t voted you are part of the problem.”

So how about a history tour?  You know, when “progressive politics” was actually against the state and all forms of oppressive authority, that would have diminished the standing of some people in society, and elevated others.  Especially of the latter, where their financial circumstances were such as to make them a “revered” presence.  The actual progressive politics or socialism, even anarchy, was in reaction to this “Social Darwinism.”  Precisely, I am “socially fit” because of all the money I have.  Certainly the argument of the late 19th century to the early 20th century, up and until the financial crash of 1929 that led to the great depression.

Or even the progressive politics of the 1960s, which was anti-war, anti-authority… With reference to the Underground Weathermen, Students for a Democratic Society, etc.  But of course, Mr. Torrence isn’t discussing an originally left wing “anti-statist” point of view here, he wants to reserve that argument for these unidentified “conservative candidates.”  Liberalism or “progressive politics” is that of a central authority, who gives no consideration to constitutional constraints on government before, laying even more tyrannical claims on the freedom of individuals.  What is so interesting, is that the deep red anarchists used to say the exactly same thing.

I addressed the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision in a previous post.  If anything, I can agree with Mr. Torrence as to the liberalism (statist activism) of the Judicial branch of government that did indeed usurp the freedom of individuals and handed them off to corporations such as Hobby Lobby.  The Hobby Lobby decision was one of five justices (I believe) appointed by Republicans, who truly had taken the powers and rights of the people away from them.  Now, exactly whom would Mr. Torrence recognize as being “conservative?”  Further, on who’s behalf would he “take this country back?”

If it costs money to build a Crisis Mental Health Center in Kootenai County, Idaho; it also costs money to subsidize, or give tax breaks to major corporations, agribusiness, and wealthy individuals.  If it costs money to educate young children, it also costs money to tax exempt churches.  If it costs money to provide subsidies for health care to the very poor, it also costs money to pay legislative and congressional salaries.  If it costs money to take care of the veterans of war, it costs money to send them to war.  If welfare and food stamps cost money, in order to feed young children, then opposing birth control makes that a most ironic argument.  And while I will agree that a woman who smokes, drinks, takes drugs during pregnancy, isn’t doing her “unborn child” any favors. Apparently, it is cheaper to send an e-mail to complain about it and compare such an act to aborticide, than to spend the money to actually do something about it. 

Government that outsources to private enterprise the technology that it wants to receive costs money.  To turn to private (for profit) prisons to place its convicted inmates, also costs money.  The Idaho Luna educational “reform” laws in which out of state businesses would receive huge chunks of taxpayer money, until it was voted down state wide, would have cost a whole lot of money.  Not only that, but there is no proof of efficiency or even cost effectiveness, when it comes to this symbiotic relationship between government and private businesses.  Instead, going back to Ronald Reagan’s complaints (and I think those complaints were legitimate at the time), private enterprise in general sees a free meal ticket through government, and will seek to take advantage of it when ever it can.  When outright fraud isn’t being perpetrated by far more criminal sources.

So yes, the U.S. Constitution isn’t being strictly followed, but that is true of both the Democrats and the Republicans.  An out of control government bears as much of a Republican imprimatur as it does of the Democrats.  Spending other people’s money isn’t party specific.  Neither is representing only specific special interests, party specific.  So, identify what is supposed to be “conservative with a backbone” as opposed to “progressive politics?”  Because “conservative” has become a pro-business and pro-wealth argument.  “Conservative” is now an argument that oligarchies are preferred to people actually having a Democratic say in their government.  Just as “conservative” is a demonstration of deep contempt being felt towards one’s fellow human beings.  Of this latter, against whom then would you “take this country back?”  The poor, the mentally ill, the disabled, the elderly, the children you previously said you wanted born into this world?  And if “progressive politics” is a label to be tossed at everything you don’t like, such as: starting with Franklin D. Roosevelt, who used the federal government to begin the process of lifting this country out of a depression.  A Lyndon Johnson, who’s “great society” introduced the war on poverty.  Or even President Barack H. Obama’s Affordable Care Act which only harkened back to Thomas Paine’s “Rights of Man.”  Well, it is a “progressive politics” that only demonstrated a government of the people that tried to promote the common welfare.

Then is “conservative with a backbone” supposed to be against the common welfare?  I’ll put it bluntly to anyone who holds that kind of thinking:  You were born here.  You have the advantages in everything this country provides.  You have the advantages of prior legislation and SCOTUS decisions that assisted you in voting rights, when you could legally drive, hold a job and the perks that came with being employed.  What you are granted with marriage and the number of children you have in your family.  What you have in privileges or rights in general that come with being an American.  You are guaranteed streets and other infrastructure to travel on, you can go to a public library.  You can take your family for a picnic in a public park.  A policeman or fireman answers your 911 call.  The snow removal guy makes it possible for you to go to work.  You are still going to complain?  That isn’t “conservative with a backbone,” that’s just being a spoiled rotten child.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 100 other followers