False Truths

Yes I know this article, Eight False Things the Public “Knows” Prior to Election Day (click on title), has been posted widely on Facebook, and everyone is on Facebook, so you’ve already read it.  But read it again.

One other observation before I sign off for today: last week while visiting a relative who is addicted to right-wing radio shriekers, I overheard one of the shriekers (doesn’t matter which one) say that OF COURSE Obama isn’t responsible for the financial mess the nation is in.  But, Bush didn’t do it either.  The guilty party?  NANCY PELOSI!!!!!

Oh PULEEEZE….why don’t you just point fingers at Gloria Steinem while you’re at it?  Don’t get me started because I don’t have that much time to write today, and that kind of idiocy isn’t worth my time anyway.  What galls me, though, is that these shriekers state this sort of thing as fact and move on, usually giving slim or none-but-hearsay as evidence, as was the case in this episode.  I’ve even heard them, more than once, state thing like, “Obama is a Muslim and was born on Pluto” as if it were fact and then quickly move on to something else, as if one of their blinkered listeners would be sharp enough to catch the stage-knife jab.  Of course they do this all the time — they have to keep repeating the Big Lie just to refill the empty kettles between the ears of the addle-brained before some actual truth starts to seep in from somewhere else.

I wonder when I’ll hear one of them admit to being an idiot and move on just as quickly?  But I’m not holding my breath.

Stop me before I torture someone

Now let’s get this straight: the former Bush administration openly admits to having tortured prisoners, only it wasn’t really torture because the Fat Man says it wasn’t and Dick Cheney thinks it was so nice that it got good information for the U.S. (which is odd because it wasn’t torture) and in fact it was so nice that the Fat Man thinks Nancy Pelosi should undergo waterboarding, which raises the question why he doesn’t volunteer to try it himself.  It might be even better than Viagra, after all.  Now, is that because waterboarding isn’t torture, or because it is?  I lost track.  So, apparently,  has everyone else.

Anyway, I am no fan of Nancy Pelosi.  But I’m not a fan of this bullshit, either.

Nancy Pelosi is currently being blamed by the Right because she failed to stop the Bush administration from torturing prisoners, which they say they weren’t doing, or that waterboarding isn’t torture, or that they were getting good information they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise because they were regularly giving the prisoners these nice, horizontal showers.  And of course, after a certain point no one could stop the Bush Administration from doing whatever the hell they wanted to, because they just went ahead and did it anyway.  In the name of God, of course.

So what the hell is Nancy Pelosi being blamed for?  (5/18/09 update: maybe it’s this — apparently the Republicans now want Pelosi to apologize to them because she said the CIA lied to her; either that, or she has to prove that the CIA lied to her…and then apologize to the Republicans.  Oh, excuse me.  Now they’re not only the paragons of perfection, but also judge and jury.  And here I was thinking the Republicans should apologize to us for all the crap they’ve put us through since 1980 or so.  I suppose I should beg their pardon, but I won’t.)

I’ve never blamed Pelosi for anything more than being a giddy liberal who is about as helpful to her country as is Newt Gingrich.  Both are bought-and-paid-for corporate pawns.  They just express themselves differently.  Gingrich, for example, might by some stretch of the imagination be guilty of actually approving torture — he’s that sort of wild and crazy ultraconservative wingnut guy — but the same thing is definitely stricken from bleeding-heart tree-hugger Pelosi’s uniform.  Which just makes all this finger-pointing an even more a stupid, shameful waste of time.

So, are you sitting there scratching your head?  Good.  Because so am I.

Like I just said, the only torture going on right now is this twisted, illogical crap that’s being foisted on the rest of us while as usual, nobody in Washington D.C. gets anything done.

My only wish is that they shut up and get on with their lives.  We can’t be concerned specifically about torture anymore because the people who were responsible for it — the Bush Administration — are tongue-twisting their way out of being held responsible, which robs us of the satisfaction of seeing them held responsible for anything at all.  They are attempting to add waterboarding to the lost list of disasters that they weren’t responsible for that, oddly enough, happened between 2000 and 2008.   That was an era when, if I remember correctly, there was a Republican administration in the White House and for a long time a Republican majority in Congress, and the Democrats were a minority party stumbling about in utter disarray, much as the Republicans allegedly are now.  Yet only the Democrats were responsible for anything bad that happened during the Bush administration– and it seems like most of what happened in that period was very, very bad.  Interesting.

Which is to say that the current scheme of blaming Nancy Pelosi shouldn’t be allowed to fly.  If they weren’t torturing anyone, no one is to blame — not even the Ultimate Liberal herself.

Obama and the Fat Man: Clinging to Disaster

I am disappointed in President Obama for dignifying Rush Limbaugh with any notice at all.  Look where it’s got us: the right-wingnuts are probably going to nominate the Fat Man for sainthood any day now.  (To those who cheer the Fat Man, I have only one question: what has he done for you lately?  Or ever?  Think harder than you ever have in your life, because you will have to in order to come up with a plausible answer.)

The official notice freed the Fat Man from having to even try to make any kind of sense, not that he ever tried very hard to begin with.  Come to think of it, he never tried at all.  But now his factual fractures have deified him in the minds of those who hysterically hate that guy in the White House, to whom they refer with what is known as the “N word.”  No doubt the notice has also injected the Fat Man’s countless imitators with delusions of grandeur, meaning only that there is more of his brand of bloated blather to come, and when it does, it will be louder than ever before.

Now don’t go off on me, saying how mean us left wingers are.  I’ve already made it clear that I’m not left-wing.  I’m an immoderate moderate; my new goal is for there to be something in this blog to piss every extremist off.  If you are left-wing or right-wing, I want to make it clear that people like me are your worst nightmare because you have no convenient tag for us. 

My point here is that extremism does not work, and it’s what got us where we are today.  So unfluff your feathers and read on:

In both cases — Obama and the Fat Man — we are seeing the cause and cost of clinging to failed policies.  Those policies have already led us to disaster.  What more do you want?

That is to say that I’m disappointed in Obama for regurgitating some of Bush’s failed policies.  “Stimulus” is one.  I got about $1,000.00 worth of “stimulus” checks during the Bush administration.  All of the money went to pay bills.  That’s probably what will happen with any “stimulus” money I get from the Obama “stimulus” package.

Fact is, everyday living has become too expensive, and the paychecks of the majority of us have not kept pace.  In fact, many of our paychecks have been exported, in smaller pieces, to other parts of the world.  That does not work.

Clinging to the past does not work.  Neither does recreating the past.  Nor does blaming Obama for Bush’s failed policies (as of now he is only guilty of repeating some of them), which some right-wingnuts have been doing since before Obama took office.  On the other hand, people like Nancy Pelosi have taken all this as carte blanche to become more giddily liberal than ever.  This is another fragment of the past that has never worked, and for the same reasons: it is unrealistic and unproductive.

Trying to frighten people into clinging to the past only works in the short run.  We are now at the point where for many, after 8 years of George W. Bush, fear is no longer working.  They’ve learned to shrug at manufactured fear just as they quickly learned to shrug at the color-coded “terror alerts.”  Trying to deflect attention from this fact by claiming that Obama is the one trying to scare people is only singing to the choir.  I believe it’s called “projection.”  Whatever it is, it’s a waste of time and it does not work, at least not indefinitely.

Hopefully that point will reach everyone before long.  But I worry that before some Fat Man fanatics realize it, they’ll have to suffer a tragedy that they cannot blame on the guy they call “N”, not that they won’t continue to try.

Among the causes of possible tragedies big enough to penetrate thick skulls are many, many things that did not begin in November of 2008, or even in January of 2009.  For example:

COBRA never worked.  Putting a reduced-rate COBRA in place won’t work, either.  COBRA needs to be scrapped.  The only thing that ever made sense about COBRA was its name, because indeed, it bites.

Employer-based health insurance does not work in a “global” economy — especially not one that is failing. 

Our healthcare system does not work in a “global” economy.  It makes U.S.-based workers uncompetitive.

Mass immigration, legal or not, does not work in a “global” economy.  Part of this is because of the cost of taking care of those who take “the jobs Americans don’t want,” (remember who said that?  It wasn’t Obama), and part of that is the cost of healthcare, especially for those who are not paid well.

Mass layoffs do not work.

Housing as a quick-windfall investment tool does not work.

“Trickle down” does not work.  We’ve been trying it since around 1980, which is plenty long enough to prove that it does not work.  Time to move on.

“Trickle up” does not work, either.  That’s part of what got us where we are.

The war in Iraq does not work.  If anyone was looking for economic salvation in a “wartime economy,” that ecomony was apparently dead a long time ago.

Looking for the jobs of the past to return, does not work. 

Saying “yes we can” doesn’t work if we can’t do anything.

Saying “no we can’t” is what got us into this mess to start with.

Declaring any truly new idea to be dead before it is even tried does not work.

Worshipping every word a puffy overpaid pundit pisses does not work, either.

Which brings me back to the Fat Man and his ilk: Right-wing radio does not work, and dignifying it with official notice doesn’t work, either.  It only feeds egos that clearly need no feeding — look at the Fat Man’s “this was my first national address” blather if you need evidence.  The Fat Man is living his own Hollywood script, and apparently believing it as well.  The scary part is, so are several million of his faithful.

The fact is that right-wing radio offers us no help and no ideas.  It is merely about bullying, fearmongering, and name-calling.  It has been effective on a large minority of heads that are empty enough to be filled with this kind of drivel, but brainwashing never works very well on more than about a tenth of any population.  (On the other hand, giving the Fat Man real responsibility for what he says might expose him as a windbag to a few of the less-brainwashed, which is probably what Obama was hoping for.  Unfortunately, the right-wingnuts are so lost in fear of the “N” right now that whatever few empty heads chopped off apparently were canceled out when the Fat Man movement sprouted a few more out of its ass.)

The Fat Man’s followers may be relatively few, but they are loud, and they have control of the Republican party, and they are committed to stopping anything from being done about anything by using the Republican party for that purpose, for no other reason than to “prove” that Obama is no good.  Nice work if you can get it.  And if Obama gets past their wall of stupidity and actually gets something done, they will claim his victories for their own.  No matter how they will do it — they just will.  When reality has lost its grip, nothing anyone knows as a fact matters anymore.

That brings us back to the point: extremism does not work.  Marx’s famous statement that religion was an opiate for the masses can be translated into a modern version: extremism is now the opiate for the masses.  Extremism is the new religion.  And it does not work.

Let’s get serious.  The fact is, it happened: we woke up one day recently and the world was different.  This snuck up on us while the Bush administration and people like the Fat Man were desperately trying to get us to look the other way, and apparently were doing a very good job of it for a long time.  It also snuck up on us while people on the other end of the spectrum clung to 1960’s hippie-wish thinking, humming, “I’d like to teach the world to sing” while visualizing a perfect world where everyone would stand around holding hands, smiling and being multicultural.

All of that is old now.  All we have left is new, and we have to figure out how to deal with it.  Pointing fingers is just pointing fingers.  Reassigning blame is a mere diversionary tactic.  Clinging to disaster is not an option.