Sunday, August 30, 2009
If you read or see nothing more today, at least watch this from Lietta's blog, Widely Read.
I'd even suggest subscribing to Widely Read
Saturday, August 29, 2009
What follows exemplifies how civically handicapped we as a participatory society are.
“Obama wants to rebuild New Orleans. Build it and they will come. They? The debris that Katrina chased out.”
- talkmaster Neal Boortz
Neal Boortz, American Conservative
Philosopher Broadcast Blowhard via Think Progress:
“Boortz has also called the overwhelmingly black, poor victims of the Katrina disaster in New Orleans “human parasites” and “deadbeats,” even suggesting that a victim of Hurricane Katrina consider prostitution instead of “sucking off taxpayers.” Although Katrina’s devastation cost this nation $80 billion, killed thousands, and displaced a million people, Boortz believes “Katrina cleansed New Orleans.”
Not only do we desperately need a legitimate two or multi-party system, we need two or more legitimate political and economic philosophies.
American “conservative” broadcasters sing a very limited Johnny-one-note tune that affords very little intellectual substance to citizens who consider themselves politically conservative but not politically nuts.
Other than subscribing to conservative think tank mailing lists, conservatives don’t seem to have any sources of legitimate size and popularity where a non-partisan advocacy of conservative principles gets espoused.
Some might think Boortz is a minor player whose words, like those of “God hates fags” Rev. Fred Phelps, are the ravings of a minor player. However in the broadcast of hate business, in terms of audience, Boortz seems to be behind only Michael Savage, O’Reilly, Hannity and the great Oz himself, Limbaugh.
All of them of course will make their dough by keeping angry white males angry and feeling persecuted.
True … Obama was elected because a genuine American majority got mad, turned off the reality shows, car races and games, analyzed their wallets and bank accounts and took their anger to the polls.
But Obama was not elected by voters whose prime motivation was hatred and prejudice against white males and fundamentalist self-righteousness hypocrites. There was no need for that.
Broadcast liars like Boortz, Hannity and Associates accomplished that task for everybody by turning their audiences into perceptual villains.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
In the early 1950’s his opponents didn’t stop him, were in fact intimidated by him. As my friend Jason Osgood pointed out yesterday, Joseph Welch, who finally challenged McCarthy on national TV was in fact – like Joe McCarthy - a Republican attorney.
Welch asked McCarthy to justify his tactics and behavior as both were aware that a large national audience was watching.
If someone comes to meeting and releases a foul flatulence that drives everyone else out of the room, perhaps the best antidote is not to try to out-fart or attempt fart-suppression. Rather tallow those for whom the offender befouls the air see, hear and smell the act in the absence of outside attempts to deflect or redefine the action and odor.
Seems to me that if you try to shield others from the smell, your own shield will absorb so much of the smell that any who encounter your shield will notice that it smells just like the original offenders.
Therefore the perception is possible that there must not be any difference between the farters and the shielders.
Is this a time and opportunity to give them all the rope they need?
I see where the CEO of Whole Foods is defending the health care-as-commodity idea, equating support for it as some sort of national moral duty based somehow on "personal responsibility" (his words.)
Suggestion I guess is that American civic duty to support what in reality is a pretended capitalism is in fact limited to our country's welfare capitalism. I do not see how his arguments could be expanded globally in a common humanity context.
Bottom line for this captain of industry is the spoken or unspoken conviction is that America is above the rest of the world and hegemoniacally entitled to a different set of standards than anyone else on the planet.
Which I guess means that Earth is America's planetation.
how Republicans have become nothing more than nihilists (although I've been aware of that word for a long time, I've never understood it well enough to use in a sentence.)
In my perception the current tactics of opposition to health care reform seems more like bomb-tossing anarchy where the objective is not to come up with useful alternatives - absolutely not at all - but to simply and violently be opposed to anything not connected with Republicans or the junior high level philosophy proudly miss-spelled and miss-pronounced currently as conservatism.
What Goldwater and more recently John Dean discussed is not the Limbaugh nonsense that seems the only authorized uniform for any and all Republicans active today.
For the more prominent party hopefuls who are not fools a la Palin, (for example Romney) have to remain quiet, keep to themselves and venture not out of their lairs.
Their pointed silence speaks louder than any speech they could make. The proof of their political cowardice in not challenging Flush Limbaugh for the soul of conservatism is the deafening silence.
The current crop of wolves are of the "were" type - are in fact more like relentless badgers - and nobody safely dances with them.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
The local Republican Party published an article in the Pacific County Press in which they demand an apology from Brian Baird for his remarks about disrupted town meetings with “ lynch-mob and brown shirt tactics.”
Most who have read my writings over the years understand that I am for the most part an opinionated old guy with a tendency to make no apologies. Contrary to the opinion of certain American traitors who've worked hard to convince America that "liberal" is a dirty word - unpatriotic, dangerous, despicable, or socialistic, I remain willing to advocate for liberal as well as conservative positions in which I believe.
After the last two election cycles, I backed away from lots of writing. At 63, I want to retire as soon as possible from my full-time job at the local welfare office in South Bend.
That's right, the welfare office - where a day doesn't go by without older American residents of our county coming in seeking any kind of relief from medical expenses that take larger and larger bites out of their fixed income.
It’s also the office where younger Americans come in - not asking for a welfare check - but to find out if there's any kind of help with medical expenses. They don't want a government hand out. They seek a way to keep their families safe. And they are not seeing or hearing any constructive ideas from reform opponents, especially the current minority party, it's willfully propagandistic leadership and its public broadcast shills who are all talk and no solution.
I may not be the county expert on health care reform, but I'm willing to bet that short of medical professionals, I see the problem more closely and with more clarity than most citizens nationwide who have gone to town meetings scared, worried and nervous. They seem to feel that way because they are driven by outrage and fear inspired by the disinformation and outright lying that has come out of desperate Republican political organizing, coaching and talking point tactics.
That those outraged are constituents same as me is not something I challenge. I expect them to attend the meetings. But if they come to just constantly rant in a loud voice with pointing fingers while offering nothing else and stopping everyone else from participating, I take exception.
I’m impressed with original thoughts. Anyone who knows me will tell you I'm old, slow and gab a lot, but I know a purpose-driven talking point when I hear one and immediately grab my wallet.
I also read a lot and look stuff up when I stumble into something interesting or scary. If we get scared or worried, that last thing we should do is lazily let someone else tell us, “Don’t think. I’ll tell you what to think.”
But that’s what we are seeing. I don't need talking points from Keith Olbermann any more than we need words pronounced with pretended wisdom by Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity.
As for Brian Baird, this excellent US Representative does not owe anyone in the 3rd Congressional District an apology unless he has personally insulted or sullied a specific individual by name. To my knowledge he has done nothing of the kind.
I also suggest that Nansen Malin, Pacific County Republican Party Chairwoman and Republican 3rd District Co-Chair owes all voters in the 3rd District an apology for assuming that we are stupid and gullible. Nansen should be ashamed for trying to BS young and old voters who aren't going to keep buying the current lemon no matter how often you change the tires and repaint the fenders.
Let me share something personal with you. If I stopped working at the welfare office today, my monthly medical insurance payment to cover my wife and me would be over $920 per month. That's where we have come over the past decades for not giving a damn about economic politics on the national level.
So leaving employment with a mortgage coupled with almost $1000 a month allocated to free market medical capitalism is the best we can do for each other in this country?
Do I owe it to my doctor who chose his vocation based on the assumptions of not merely making a living, but a living that buys a house that overlooks Willapa Bay with a mortgage possibly double the size of my monthly income? Is granting him his wish while quietly and without protest spending all of my pension on my own shelter and medical expense somehow showing patriotic and civic consideration for the economic realities of economic health care capitalism?
Do I buy into the idea that my $900-per-month extorting insurance company can rob me as a reasonable and undisputed right to economic profit in any or every area of life?
There are those who try to say that it’s not that simple.
I disagree, the solution IS that simple. What makes people step away from it is that it can be hard and ugly – well an ugly and hurting hardship to those least vulnerable by virtue of income or prosperity that is based on health care as a commodity.
If we can see health care as a commodity, can we agree that defense is a commodity since the intent is also citizen safety and well being? Can we then agree to stop that sort of government spending and subsidy on weaponry, systems and personnel that is done outside the norms of free-market competitive capitalism?
What about our recent historical decisions to consider the need for other public necessities and well being as commodities? Deregulation … how has that worked out for us?
This is where we’ve arrived with our stupid ignoring of and allowing the evolution of the non-democratic notion that health care is a commodity; that business has a right to put a price tag on health care and offer it only to those who can pay.
So we are capitalists and don’t understand that health care is not the same as access to the cars for which we paid the going market value years ago and in many cases will drive around until they are too broken down to run anymore.
If health care is a commodity, will we have to shop around for used health care because we can’t afford the newest market version?
If we shift gears, alter our basic assumptions about what is the best and most effective definition of common good, who will be hurt by backing away from corporate capitalism and moving into universal health care, universal education, and adequate universal housing for all citizens?
The lobbyists may lose their jobs. But then they might be grateful that the thousand dollars or so that they have to pay from their possibly smaller incomes will no longer be an expense their new job has to cover.
Health care and insurance workers may lose their jobs and have to look somewhere else to provide for their families. Was that ever a concern to corporate capitalist sociopaths who laid off workers and destroyed pension funds with impunity?
I’d rather we have to find ways to help unemployed former health care workers find work than keep dumping over half my retirement into a system that doesn’t care for us at all.
Lies and noise aren't going to help us and that's all I can see from political opposition to health care reform. I think we will better take care of each other by telling the reformers not to back down.
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