ENOUGH already

Lately every U.S. holiday, whether it be Memorial Day, Labor Day, or the 4th of July, has been overtaken by “honor those who fought for your freedom” slogans.  The latest and dumbest I’ve heard was “No soldier ever fought for socialism.”

Let’s just drop that last one before it starts making sense to too many people, which it will if it gets repeated often enough.  There’s so much wrong with that statement that it would take another post to rip it apart, and I’m not in the mood.

Well, maybe I am.

Memorial Day is, by definition, militaristic.  What I’m objecting to is the militarization of the rest of the holidays.  Labor Day has become a real dilemma for a lot of wingnuts, but they try to militarize it anyway. I’ve also seen attempts to militarize Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter, for crying out loud.  Everything has to be about the soldiers who fought for our freedom, or else you are so MEAAANNNNN and you are not honoring our SOLDIERS without whom you would not be able to BARBECUE HOT DOGS AND HAMBURGERS TODAY!!!!!!

Next I swear I’ll hear that we should toast the soldiers with champagne on New Year’s Eve…or else we are DISRESPECTFUL OF THOSE WHO MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE.  It’s starting to seem that even if one spent every holiday prostrate in the cemetery, dead tired after having decorated every male’s grave with flags, these people would still not be happy with the person’s Americanism.

Seriously, yes, we should honor our soldiers.  But let’s face it: it’s been almost 70 years since we fought a war that had anything to do with our freedom.

Plus, our soldiers are coming home from our latest police actions to find that there are no jobs and no homes for them.  I don’t call that honoring them.  And yet, most of the people who are shouting the pro-military slogans the loudest at every holiday are the same ones who shout “socialism” the loudest whenever any benefits program is discussed.

They are, in fact, the ones who don’t want to support the soldiers, yet are so fucking grateful for the soldiers’ service.

The simple fact is that the U.S. was never intended to be a militaristic state.  Yet it has become one, with a series of meaningless wars dragging on forever and sucking the life out of our economy…and out of our soldiers.  What we are fighting now is for oil.  Period.  And we ought to be looking beyond it.

Alas, to do so requires science, and most of those shouting about the horrors of socialism also hate science with a passion.  And so we keep sending soldiers off to police actions so we can have more and more oil, until there is no more.

What it is, is rampant conservatism…fear, really…at the expense of our future.

So please…no, no “please”…just drop the militaristic crap.  Look at what’s really happening before you talk.  Don’t use the military as a crutch with which to beat the rest of us over the head just to make yourself feel more holy and correct.  There’s a term for that: pain in the ass.

And the 4th of July is the celebration of a document that declared our independence from a militaristic, corporatist state…England at the time.  Keep that in mind.

Stupid of the Day Award goes to anyone who promotes the “militarize everything” crap.  And have a happy 4th.

You’d better keep quiet about unicorns when…

Just a short post here: am I alone in finding it deeply ironic that “Queen Ester” Palin is giggling about Democrats living on “unicorn ranches spreading pixie dust around” (she actually did say something like that recently), when she herself is…well…Queen Ester?  And her clone, Christine O’Donnell, feels the need to go on TV and assure Delaware that she’s not a witch (which, of course, totally depends on the definition of “witch”)?

Best to keep quiet about unicorns, sister.

Freedom of Self-Censorship

Just got the news that Helen Thomas has elected to retire in light of her ill-chosen words about Israel.

As I said in the previous post, the other day I was force-fed the likes of Medved and Weiner while on a family car trip.  During those few minutes I heard more offensive garbage lobbed through the airwaves than I’ve heard from Ms. Thomas ever since I’ve known about her — which is roughly since the early 1960’s.

Now, imagine Ms. Thomas as a right-wing radio host being forced into retirement because of that same remark about Israel.  Leave alone the facts that (1) she’s 89 years old and it’s about time, and (2) it would never happen, answer this: would that be a good thing or would we be hearing cries of censorship imposed on poor righteous God-fearing wingnuts by left-wing socialist communist pinko gay Nazis (with the accompanying tears and fake outrage)?  I’ll wager it would be the latter.  Weiner, in fact, called Thomas a “witch”  just before he blamed Obama for her words and then launched into some birther crap.  Talk about a double standard.

This proves my point that right-wing flap-jaws have more freedom of speech than anyone else.  I dare anyone to prove otherwise.

It does not work, part II

Now about that Facebook petition advocating putting a law in place that welfare recipients have to be drug-tested…


Okay, so this petition was probably dreamed up by a teabagger.  That means that thinking is not part of the equation here.  Great; that explains some of it.

First of all in the “does not work” category is the issue of the assumption that everyone on welfare is also on drugs, which is as false as the assumption that everyone who is not on welfare is not on drugs.

Second comes the issue of socialism. You know, teabagger, that thingie that is commie and socialist and Marxist and takes your freedom to own a gun away.

Third, if you don’t want to pay taxes, who is going to pay for this and how?

HOW is a big issue.  I mean HOW are you intending to carry this off?  Mass round-ups?

And WHAT will you do with those assholes who are on welfare and also are on drugs?  Submit them to reprogramming? Isn’t that…um…socialist?

(Oh you say Reverend So-And-So can cure the drug addicts if you give him millions in donations.  No.  All Reverend So-and-So is going to do is buy himself a tv show, get his hair done, wear fancy rings, say stupid stuff, and possibly misuse your money and abuse minors as well.  If Reverend So-and-So is associated with the Catholic Church, most of the above has already been done for him, so why bother?)

Why are you so FOR mandated drug testing and so AGAINST healthcare reform?  Yes, darling, the two are related.

All I can say is, this petition is stupid.  And so, to all who dreamed it up and all who have signed it, I have the prize: a Stupid of the Day award.  Take a bow, morons.

Glenn Beck Slightly Overestimates Himself

All I can say is that it was bound to happen.  There’s a certain audience in this country that is just large and crazy enough that pretty much no matter what Glenn Beck whines about, whether real or imaginary (mostly imaginary), he can be certain they will nod their noggins in agreement.  I can often hear the marbles rattling all the way over here.

I could never sit through his show, but I’m now informed that a few less marbles are rattling today.   Why?  Because apparently Mr. Beck has advised avoiding certain Christian churches that speak in code — as if he himself doesn’t — using such really dangerous terms as “social justice.”  In Becktonian logic, which only Beck and the voices that speak to him alone truly understand, that translates into “socialism,” you know.  And so he must cry and rant and warn the country he so loves: stop going to church!

And I bet when he said this he thought (if he does think) that his followers would merrily skip after him down his new Crazy Street.  Right.  Small problem here: reality.

It’s hard to imagine reality getting in Glenn Beck’s way, but here’s some that does: delusional ego aside, Glenn Beck has nothing on Christianity.  Church is home to millions of Americans.  Beck offers nothing but tears as a refuge.

More seriously, the heart and soul of the former “teabagger” movement in the U.S. — the one that ended in a for-profit convention just a while back — is a certain form of Christianity.  The targets of this movement, who likely make up a large part of Beck’s audience, are right-wing Christians who will not stand for any attack on Christianity, even if it means that Beck thinks he can accuse them of “socialism.”  He has, (however accidentally), tapped on a knee and discovered the deepest reflex reaction: (some) Christians are now MAD at him!  Yes, HIM!  Glenn Beck!

Ah-HAH.  But let me temper this enthusiasm a bit.

A lot of bloggers and even some regular media commentators are now wondering out loud if Beck has finally gone too far.  I’ll wager he hasn’t, and quite like the Fat Man, can’t.  Further, what’s being missed here is that some of the Christians who are voicing the most outrage aren’t likely Beck fans to start with.  Those are mostly the ones who recognize that Jesus was rather a huge fan of things like “social justice.”  You know, those damn progressives.

Unlike the Fat Man, Beck does seem to suffer permanent consequences now and then (however, they never seem to stop him for long).  It’ll be interesting to see what the permanent consequences are in this case, if any.  I’ll be watching…but not too closely.  Why not?  Because I’m guessing that the sort of thing Beck said is only considered really, really bad if someone like Elton John or John Lennon says it.  So this is not the last of Glenn Beck.

P.S. — of course Beck has earned the Stupid of the Day Award anyway.

The High Price of Hysteria

According to this, the teabaggers have now turned on the Republican Party and are vowing to take over.  (So what does that make it?  The Tea-Party Party?)

They claim to be upset that the Constitution is, you know, like threatened or something.  Interesting, since most of the teabagger set I’ve met can’t quote much more from the Constitution than one or two parts of the Bill or Rights.  In fact, most of them know the first part of the sentence about guns and that’s it.  Yep, they have heard about the Free Speech part, but they’re not sure they like it.  And that Freedom of Religion thing…well, that’s okay as long as you don’t start talking about Separation of Church and State, you Marxist socialist Nazi commie pinko you.

The rest of what they seem to be upset about is even more nebulous: stuff about taxes that don’t exist, “socialism” —  a term which the vast majority of teabaggers cannot define, and Nazi’s that aren’t there except among the teabaggers themselves.  Oh, and I forgot the Commies, who aren’t anywhere anymore.   Which brings us back to the subject of taxes.

What is their impetus?  Love of country, allegedly.  Kind of reminds me of the saying, “I love mankind, it’s people I can’t stand.”  Love of country, eh?  Which one?  The U.S. these people claim to love is one I am not familiar with, and never have been.

A lot of things come to mind about this supposed insurrection.  “Bite the hand that feeds you,” is one.  “Bite me” is another. 

But the overriding feeling is that this news may be fake.  I, for one, haven’t been able to tell the difference between the Republican Party and the teabaggers for a long time now.  So could this be yet another invented controversy, kind of like a professional wrestling match?  Very possibly.  (A give-away seems to be the suggestion in the linked article that the tea-baggers actually might support some Democrats. Yeah.  Right.)

Why would they do this?  To bully everyone into line.  Fox New’s line.  Then Fox can create a revolution and report about it while denying they had anything to do with it, which is what I suspect they’ve been trying to do since last November.  Ratings, you know.  Fox was widely discredited after the election (after all, they failed to install Wingnut Barbie into the almost-Presidency), and in danger of becoming passe.  This, I suspect, is their attempt to keep the blinkered idiots who still watch them from finding out how beside the point Fox really is (not that they ever would, because they’re too stupid), while getting more people to watch their network out of sheer amazement at how far they will go.

If that’s the case, Fox knows less about the world outside of Murdoch’s inflated noodle than even I had previously suspected. 

However, the teabaggers are real, even if this threatened Republican-Party takeover isn’t.  I suspect a lot of them are cowards (certainly they are all morons), but even cowards can be very dangerous.  This is because nothing is scarier than a terrified moron with a gun.  Especially if s/he has been shown how to pull the trigger.

It’s one thing to walk up to a gun-toting teabagger and say, “put that thing down before you hurt yourself;” it’s quite another when one of them, driven to the edge by numerous fears placed in the ol’ noggin by Fox and the right-wing-crazy flapjaws, actually goes out in public and does something unspeakable.

It’s happened already.  And I’m afraid it may happen again if all this fear-mongering isn’t brought under control.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, it won’t be brought under control without a violation of the Bill of Rights which the wingnuts will perceive as yet another threat.  But there is such a thing as unprotected speech, and sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Real-life Death Panels

Found this interesting article on Sarah Palin Truth Squad.

Don’t think it’s only happening in California, either.  Fact is, as mentioned here on Civilization Rant before, death panels are real, they do exist, and they exist because our healthcare in the U.S. is treated as a for-profit commodity even when it’s administered by supposedly nonprofit organizations. 

By the way, I used to work for one of those alleged nonprofits, and can tell you a bit about the creative bookkeeping that is used by this type of healthcare provider.  They are always at risk of losing their nonprofit status and spend lots of time and a fair amount of money trying to figure out ways to hide what they actually are, which is good old-fashioned for-profit corporations.

Further, they are corporations that have entire departments devoted to finding reasons to deny coverage (insurance companies) and sometimes even care (hospitals and other direct providers).

Clearly this is one sector where a government take-over might help, if only because the government is so lousy at keeping secrets that if there were any government death panels, we’d surely find out about them immediately.  And there’s no “death panel” provision in the healthcare overhaul bill, anyway.  That’s something Sarah Palin invented out of direct experience in Alaska, remember?

Federal governmental intervention in healthcare certainly can’t hurt.  And it might keep some people alive.  Gosh.  How awful is fascism.