Where were the Tea Partiers when…

January 7, 2011

This list flies around e-mail distribution lists from time to time.  A debate I was having on Facebook last night with a high school friend who’s very conservative made me think about it; I’m glad I saved it the last time I received it.

Subject: YOU FINALLY GOT MAD…

You didn’t get mad
when the Supreme Court stopped a legal
recount and appointed a President.

You didn’t get mad
when Cheney allowed Energy company
officials to dictate Energy policy and push us to invade Iraq.

You didn’t get mad
when a covert CIA operative got outed.

You didn’t get mad
when the Patriot Act got passed.

You didn’t get mad
when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.

You didn’t get mad
when we spent over 800 billion (and counting) on said illegal war.

You didn’t get mad
when Bush borrowed more money from
foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined.

You didn’t get mad
when over 10 billion dollars in cash just disappeared in Iraq.

You didn’t get mad
when you found out we were torturing people.

You didn’t get mad
when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing
policies that shipped 6 million American jobs out of the country.

You didn’t get mad
when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.

You didn’t get mad
when we didn’t catch Bin Laden.
You didn’t get mad
when Bush rang up 10 trillion dollars in combined budget and current account deficits.

You didn’t get mad
when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

You didn’t get mad
when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.

You didn’t get mad
when we gave people who had more money
than they could spend, the filthy rich, over a trillion
dollars in tax breaks.

You didn’t get mad
with the worst 8 years of job creations in several decades.

You didn’t get mad
when over 200,000 US Citizens lost their
lives because they had no health insurance.

You didn’t get mad
when lack of oversight and regulations
from the Bush Administration caused US Citizens to lose 12
trillion dollars in investments, retirement, and home values.

You finally got mad


when a black man was elected President
and decided that people in America deserved the right
to see a doctor if they are sick. Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption,
torture, job losses by the millions, stealing your tax dollars to make the
rich richer, and the worst economic disaster since 1929 were all okay with
you,
but helping fellow Americans who are sick…Oh, Hell No!!

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Vandalism and bumper stickers

August 4, 2009

A while back, I think on the blog but maybe on Facebook, my old college friend Lee and I had a conversation about, in part, acts of vandalism and simulated violence committed by members of various political persuasions.  I think it was on the blog, if I remember correctly, in reference to one of my posts about Sarah Palin whipping crowds up into violent frenzies.  Anyway, Lee and I have known each other for a long time, and while our exchanges occasionally get a little testy, they’re generally pretty respectful and, I hope, interesting to people whose commitments aren’t as entrenched as ours.

With that in mind… it’s been a strange week around my neighborhood.  I was out with the dog about 7 am last Monday or Tuesday, when I noticed a neighbor’s car that had been vandalized.  My neighbor has a Mercedez that had, until recently, an Obama sticker that was partially covering the Hillary Clinton sticker she’d put there originally.  I don’t know for sure that she was making a specific point by leaving the Hillary sticker partially visible, but I expect so–she doesn’t seem like somebody who’d be sloppy enough just to leave a misapplied sticker the way it was.  Anyway, her passenger-side rearview mirror had been all but snapped off, and the stickers were gone.  I couldn’t help but think those were related in some way.  A few days later, I noticed her car parked in the parking lot my landlord owns (there are more spaces than residents, so she rents out spaces to other people).  Not only was the passenger side mirror broken, but now the driver’s side mirror was broken (smashed, but still attached) too.

In the 6+ years I’ve lived in this neighborhood, I can count on one hand the number of vandalism incidents we’ve had; that’s probably the main reason I believed the vandalism to her car was politically motivated.

As it turns out, if it was motivated by her bumper stickers, than the vandal(s) is an equal opportunity property destroyer.  My neighbor’s next-door neighbor was a McCain supporter; he had stickers on both his pickup truck, which he uses for work, and his BMW, which is usually parked on the street (we have very little off-street parking in West Chester).  I didn’t see it, but apparently both the mirrors on his BMW got smashed as well, and the McCain stickers have been removed from both the car and the truck.

I’m no police investigator, but it seems hard to imagine that these acts weren’t politically motivated.  There are plenty of expensive cars in the neighborhood.  There are plenty of cars with visibly expensive things to steal inside of them.  There isn’t anything that pins these 3 vehicles together except that they’re the only 3, at least the only 3 that are around the neighborhood all the time, that had election stickers on them.

Maybe it’s a coincidence, but maybe not.  Anyway, whoever you are, you’re an idiot.  If you’re trying to prove anything, all you’re proving is that you’re an idiot.  If there’s some kind of ideological statement getting made here, it’s being buried by foolishness.  Give it up.


McCain and the Stimulus Package

January 27, 2009

Senator McCain says he won’t vote for the stimulus package as currently written.

So?  That’s why we didn’t vote for you.

I hope President Obama and Congressional Democrats seize this opportunity to show Republicans how utterly and totally Republican policy was repudiated in November’s election.  The Democrats simply don’t need Repubican votes to pass whatever package they want.  So the Republicans can bluster all they want.

Of course that won’t happen, but a guy can dream, can’t he?


Ted Koppel flashback

November 1, 2008

As I was walking home from school yesterday, I kept having this flashback to an episode of “Nightline” right before the 2000 election.

With all the GOTV hype in high gear, Koppel ended the episode with a remarkably brave commentary, something along the lines of, “Yes, voting is essential to democracy, but if you don’t really understand who or what you’re voting for, stay home.  Don’t cast a bad vote just because you think you’re supposed to.”

I can’t help but think about that commentary as I read/hear news that many likely Republican voters believe the most bizarre things, and are likely to cast their votes based not just on a lack of information, but on actual misleading information.  Some believe Barack Obama is a closet Muslim radical; others believe he and Bill Ayers are plotting some kind of terrorist attack; others believe he’s laying the groundwork for a revolution; some believe he supports socialized medicine, or a government-sponsored revenue-distribution system.  And those aren’t the really weird ones.

So, inspired by Koppel, I want to revive his plea.  If you don’t have real information on which to base your decision, stay home.  Pretty much everything the Republicans have said (or helped shadowy activist groups say) about Barack Obama over the last 2 years is a lie.  Al Gore was right during his speech to the DNC; the reason the Republican Party lies so much and so nastily about Obama is that they’re very, very scared of him.  And not scared of his race.  And not scared of his religion, or his charisma, or his public-speaking ability.

The Republicans, at least the ones who really run the show, are terrified that he will give our country back to the citizens, instead of a small group of ultra-wealthy elite who have been pillaging our souls and our treasury for the last eight years.  They like being in charge and being able to steal with impunity, and they’re scared that an Obama presidency will end their game.

They should be scared.  They should be even more scared when millions of voters who have tired of their theivery show up at the polls to oust the Republican party from the White House and Congress.

If you don’t understand, because you don’t have enough good/true information, why that needs to happen, stay home.  A vote for the Republican ticket is NOT a vote for your own self-interest unless you’re ultra-wealthy.  A vote for the Republican ticket is NOT a vote for the collective good of the country, which they couldn’t give two shits about and never have.  A vote for the Republicans is NOT putting “Country First.”

And if you think it is, you’ve been misinformed.  So stay home.


Where did the USA go?

October 31, 2008

It’s probably too close to my bedtime to take this question up, but I have to get it out of my system…

At the DNC, Al Gore’s speech asked why this campaign is so close.  I wonder that too.  How on Earth is it possible that anybody could vote for that ticket?  How is it possible that they might win?  Can anybody *really* imagine Sarah Palin as President?  Can anybody really imagine John McCain with the authority to make decisions about war and peace?  Does anybody who isn’t already filthy rich really want to hand more of our hard-earned money to people who already own everything?  Does anybody really believe that making the rich richer will help anybody but the rich?  Does anybody really believe that offering health insurance tax credits to middle and low-income citizens will help them get insurance?

If you can answer yes to any of those questions, we don’t live on the same planet, much less the same country. 

It’s unspeakably frightening and sad that anybody believes a word that comes out of the mouths of those liars. 

Barack Obama and Joe Biden are no princes, to be sure.  But both are committed to giving our country back to the people it should belong to: US.

Or in the punk-rock anthem terms of the Dead Kennedys’ “Stars and Stripes of Corruption”:

“This land I love it too/I think I love it more than you/I care enough to fight the Stars and Stripes of Corruption.” 

God (Gods/Goddesses) bless Jello Biafra.


McPalin can’t get their stories straight

October 26, 2008

On “Meet the Press’ this morning, McCain “guaranteed victory” in the election.  Meanwhile, at a rally in Florida, Palin accused Obama of acting like he’d already won the election.  That, of course, comes on the heels of Obama’s repeated insistence over the last week or so that his supporters not be overconfident because the election hasn’t happened yet.

So, it’s OK for her running mate to act like he’s already won the election, but not the other guy (the fact that Obama hasn’t done anything of the sort notwithstanding).

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be able to lie so easily and often.  If the stakes weren’t so high, this would be an interesting study in a person’s ability to ignore facts, evidence, truth, reality… It’s really quite amazing.

Go home, Sarah.


Class warfare (or, I wish Obama WERE a socialist)

October 24, 2008

[Just a quick note to readers: I passed the 5000 visit mark last night!  Thanx to everybody who reads this stuff.]

As a follow-up to my last post, which is an article from Truthout explaining that Obama’s tax plan isn’t “socialist,” and that the Republicans are either wrong or lying (or both) when they claim the plan is socialist:

The other day, McJerk and his staff used the phrase “class warfare” to describe the plan.  And Obama, in one of those moves he “has to make” in order to be “viable” as a candidate, responding with a lengthy explanation for why that isn’t true.  And it isn’t; he’s not trying to kill the rich or to make them poor.  He simply wants them to pay their fair share of what it costs to run a country, especially a country that trips over its own feet to make the rich able to get richer.

I miss John Edwards (infidelities notwithstanding) at moments like these.  The reason I supported Edwards during his campaign was his willingness to say (in less shrill terms than I’m about to), “Damn right it’s class warfare.  The rich have been conducting class warfare against the working class in this country for decades, maybe even centuries.  Why shouldn’t the working class fight back?”  In other words, yes it’s class warfare, but it’s not the workers that are starting it; the war has been going on, one-sided, for a long time.

If Barack Obama really were as liberal as his enemies (oops, I mean opponents) made him out to be, he’d be saying something along these lines.  He wouldn’t just attack “greedy” corporations because there’s no such thing as a “not greedy” corporation.  He wouldn’t keep asserting the “one bad apple” theory because they’re all bad. 

As I’ve argued for years, capitalism (especially the kind of state-sponsored capitalism we practice in this country) is inequitable (and therefore unjust) by definition.  The whole system is predicated on an imbalance of power; owners have it, and workers don’t.  There’s no way to generate capital without exploiting and alienating the working class.  Small businesses are (usually) better, because at least owners can’t shield themselves from workers by hiding behind massive layers of middle management.  But as long as we’re in a system that privileges stealing the products of other people’s labor for profit they don’t share in, economic justice if awfully hard to come by. 

So when Obama says he wants to “spread the wealth” around, he’s not saying he wants to level socio-economic hierarchy or to destroy the caste system we refuse to acknowledge we live in.  He’s saying that the wealthy can spare *some* of their extreme advantage so that the rest of us can afford to live lives that aren’t simply about survival and false hope that someday we can be exploiters too.