Jul. 23rd, 2011 12:41 pm
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I am relieved that the perpetrator of the Norway attacks turned out to be a right-wing Christian fundamentalist.

If he had been a Muslim -- even one not connected to any particular terrorist group -- the shrieking, hand-wringing and dire warnings here in the U.S. media would have been unbearable. They'll be coming for our children next! Pantywaist liberal "tolerance" doesn't work when you're dealing with savages! Look where it got Norway! Political correctness will kill us all! THIS IS A WAKEUP CALL!!

But because he was a right-wing, Christian fundamentalist, anti-immigration gun lover who espoused views that happen to be popular with many right-wing groups in the U.S., this man will be dismissed as nothing but a lone wolf lunatic who was not influenced, inspired or incited by anyone or anything. Then this horrific story will quietly fade away, hopefully before someone at Fox News gets their tender feelings hurt and starts bewailing the proliferation of "liberal intolerance" and "left-wing hate speech."

Yes, I am relieved.


Jun. 12th, 2011 07:44 pm
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Conservative lunatic Ann Coulter had this to say today on CNN:

"It's hard to take treats away from people...yes, it's very hard to take the treats away once you start giving them away."

The "treats" she's referring to are Social Security and Medicare, two of the only existing social programs in the United States that allow elderly people to have guaranteed income and access to medical care. Keeping elderly people out of poverty and in some semblance of good health are "treats."

What in God's name is wrong with these people? And more importantly, why the fuck does an outrageous, offensive, inhuman comment like this go unchallenged by the show's host, Fareed Zakaria? He only asked her if it would "work." Why didn't he ask her what sort of human being thinks that such undeniable necessities are mere "treats?"
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Sarah Palin is hardly worth talking about, but these soundbites from her current cross-country tour of great American landmarks are too good to pass up:

In Boston, reflecting upon Paul Revere:

"He who warned, uh, the British that they weren't going to be taking away our arms uh by ringing those bells and making sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free and we were going to be armed."

Palin's just a few years older than I am, so I know if they were teaching Paul Revere's Ride during my gradeschool days, they were sure as hell teaching it during hers. Frankly, Paul Revere's Ride is one of the few tidbits of American Revolution history that is remotely captivating to a grade-schooler. I remember the story and I'm an America-hating liberal. I wonder why a great patriot like Palin doesn't seem to know anything about it.

In New York, at the Statue of Liberty:

"This Statue of Liberty was gifted to us by foreign leaders, really as a warning to us, it was a warning to us to stay unique and to stay exceptional from other countries. Certainly not to go down the path of other countries that adopted socialist policies."

This is getting like that TV show, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? Regarding Sarah Palin, I think the answer is a resounding "no."

Palin is obviously ignorant of even the simplest tourist-trap factoids about American history, so she makes up her own. Not surprisingly, she fabricates versions that support her extreme conservative beliefs. So the Statue of Liberty becomes some kind of coded warning from France not to turn into...France (France is just one of the countries that American conservatives consider part of the great Axis of Godless Socialism). Paul Revere's Ride morphs into a stirring tale of gun rights (which is especially hilarious considering that Al-Quaeda released a video yesterday instructing would-be terrorists on how easy it is to buy guns in the U.S., literally saying, "So what are you waiting for!?")

It doesn't even matter that she's being widely mocked for stuff like this. First of all, it plays into her never-ending claim that the "lamestream media" is out to get her, and her followers eat that up. Second, she doesn't give a shit about real American history, she only cares about the extreme-right conservatism that she thinks is the real story of America. Her followers eat that up too, and an awful lot of them think she'd make a great president.


May. 2nd, 2011 07:00 pm
oselle: (Default)

Meanwhile, some conservative bloggers are also very busy... criticizing the president's speech. Seems they think it was kind of uppity.

Personally, I'd appreciate it if reporters would stop saying that "It took ten years to find him." It did not take ten years. It took just over two back to the beginning of Obama's administration. Finding Bin Laden was never a priority for Bush. As early as March 2002, a mere six months after the September 11 attacks, Bush was already saying, "I truly am not that concerned about him." Indeed, I think he was not concerned about him at all. The invasion of a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 was the prime military directive of Bush and his administration. Bin Laden was a potent and convenient boogeyman and I think they liked having him around to fill that role. Any suggestion by Bush that he was actually searching for Bin Laden was nothing but "Dead or Alive!" swinging-dick theatrics for the rubes, who gladly ate it up.

Of course now the national conversation will jump from Obama's "fake" birth certificate to Bin Laden's "fake" corpse. In fact, I expect Donald Trump to weigh in on this within the next couple of days. Then Trump, and others, will be invited on television to be interviewed by so-called journalists as if this is somehow a legitimate and serious topic for debate, while anyone with a brain sits there and facepalms in agony. Years from now, there will still be people in this country who will talk about the "conspiracy" surrounding Bin Laden's death, because they will never be able to accept that it was a Kenyan Muslim Marxist jiggaboo who took Bin Laden out, not their beloved "Mission Accomplished" flight-suit cowboy, "Mama Grizzly" Palin, or any one of a host of tough-talkin', gun-slingin' real Americans.
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It looks like Arizona, yesterday.

And I don't want to hear, "he was just crazy."

I especially don't want to hear the rhetoric needs to be toned down "on both sides."

The inflammatory, violence-inciting, crazy-person-inspiring rhetoric is coming from one side, and it's not just a few "fringe" bloggers or local radio hosts. It's coming from hugely popular right-wing celebrities with round-the-clock media exposure, from elected Republican officials, and from conservative candidates for major offices all over the country.

Need proof? Here's a list.

Don't bother looking for a similar list on that "other side." It doesn't exist...and if it does? It's probably something Glenn Beck made up.

*For those who don't know, "Second Amendment Remedy" refers to a statement by last year's Republican candidate for U.S. Senator in Nevada Sharron Angle: "You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact Thomas Jefferson said it's good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years. I hope that's not where we're going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take [U.S. Senator from Nevada] Harry Reid out."
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I imposed a moratorium on talking about this kind of stuff on my journal but this is too extraordinary to pass up.

A group of conservative activists is pressuring the governor of Virginia to cut off all funding for Planned Parenthood (for my foreign readers, Planned Parenthood is an organization that provides gynecological services, including birth control and abortion, usually to lower-income or poor women Corrected: See [ profile] july_july_july's comment below). Among those activists is an elected Republican official, Delegate Bob Marshall, who had this to say about his rationale:

“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” said Marshall, a Republican.

“In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.”

I suggest you take a moment and let that sink in. If you're a human being and not a conservative borg, your first reaction is probably to say that's despicable. And it is, but it's so much more than that.

Let's ponder the sheer insanity of this statement.

First: "The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically." Okay, I'd like Bob Marshall to produce some hard data on this. I want to see CDC/NIH statistics that women who have abortions, especially of a first conception, go on to have handicapped children.

Second: Note the blurring between pseudo-science ("nature takes its vengeance") and the Biblical malarkey that follows. Which one is it? Is this fictitious increase in handicapped children a biological side-effect of abortion or is it the wrath of God? Or does Marshall believe those are one in the same?

Third: How would Marshall explain the handicapped and seriously ill children born to women who have never had abortions? How would he explain the perfectly healthy children born to women who have had them? I'm sure if pressed on this, Marshall would stammer something about how he just meant that women who have abortions are playing Russian roulette with their future children. Okay, that argument might work if there were any scientific proof that abortion causes future birth defects, because biology is sometimes a guessing game. After all, some people can smoke for fifty years and still not get cancer. But since Marshall goes on to yammer about "special punishments," is he implying that the very terrible wrath of God is itself selective about these things? And if so, why?

Fourth: Based on Marshall's reasoning, as long as you bring that first conception to term, you're in the clear, because only the first-born is special in the eyes of God. So then can you go on to have as many abortions as you want? That's quite liberal of Bob Marshall.

Five: It goes without saying but I'll say it anyway: What kind of sick fucking bastard goes around saying that handicapped children are a punishment from God?

There are so many reasons to get outraged about this kind of shit but not the least is because, outside of blogs and more liberal news outlets like MSNBC, this sort of thing doesn't get coverage. The anti-choice religious maniacs in this country operate under the very positive-sounding label of "pro-life" and are usually depicted as people who just happen to have opinions and values guided by their Christian faith. This is baloney. They are not pro any life except the kind that they can exploit, namely fetuses and occasionally, people in irreversible comas. And as for their values? Their values are perfectly illustrated by Bob Marshall's statement: sick, backward, medieval perversions of both Christianity and any sort of natural human decency. THIS is how these people should be depicted. As the sick, twisted fucks that they are.

It should also be noted that according to Rachel Maddow, Planned Parenthood currently receives the whopping sum of about $36,000 in funding from the state of Virginia, primarily in Medicaid payments that are no doubt covering services other than abortion.

I really need to leave. The country.
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From time to time, I've been called out by commenters regarding my intolerance of Republican and conservative ideology and the people who support them. And one thing that's often said is that even if I can't agree with those positions, I should "at least" respect the opinions of others.

I think we've gotten to a place where people think their opinions are sort of like babies -- darling creatures that should be universally cooed over merely by virtue of being babies. Just as no decent person would ever tell someone their baby is ugly or even funny-looking, no decent person should ever call out someone's opinion as being misguided or bigoted or just completely nuts. Every opinion has become equally valid merely by virtue of being someone's darling opinion.

This problem of course didn't start online or among the everyday public -- it was created and nurtured by our mainstream media and our press. Within the last couple of decades, it has somehow become mandatory for the media to cover "all sides" of a debate -- even when some or at least one of those sides may be absolutely deranged. This is called "fair and balanced" reporting and not what it really is -- giving a national platform, and thereby lending credibility, to hidden-agenda idealogues, corporate shills, religious fanatics, and in some cases, flat-out lunatics. In the mainstream media's case, I don't think it has much to do with "respecting" opinions and more to do with ratings, sensationalism, and the fact that we don't have a free press -- we have a press that is essentially controlled by huge corporations that lean heavily right. This nonsense has become so entrenched that many of us now believe that the polite thing to do is to have -- or at least, to express -- respect for all opinions.

It wasn't always like this. There was certainly a time when the press did a better job of reporting reality instead of giving a voice to blathering idiocy in the name of "balance." Rick Perlstein has a great piece about it in The Washington Post:
"It used to be different. You never heard the late Walter Cronkite taking time on the evening news to "debunk" claims that a proposed mental health clinic in Alaska is actually a dumping ground for right-wing critics of the president's program, or giving the people who made those claims time to explain themselves on the air. The media didn't adjudicate the ever-present underbrush of American paranoia as a set of "conservative claims" to weigh, horse-race-style, against liberal claims. Back then, a more confident media unequivocally labeled the civic outrage represented by such discourse as "extremist" -- out of bounds.

The tree of crazy is an ever-present aspect of America's flora. Only now, it's being watered by misguided he-said-she-said reporting and taking over the forest."

Read the whole article here.

We need to abandon the fallacy that all opinions are equally valid and that every crack-brained theory, manufactured paranoia and demonstrable lie somehow deserves thoughtful, respectful public debate in our largest media channels. All this fairness and balance is killing the country.


Mar. 8th, 2009 09:21 pm
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More conservative wisdom from California Republican Congressman, John Campbell:

"The achievers, the people who create all the things that benefit rest of us, are going on strike. I’m seeing, at a small level, a kind of protest from the people who create jobs, the people who create wealth, who are pulling back from their ambitions because they see how they’ll be punished for them."

I thought the Republicans were supposed to be the party of Joe n' Jane Sixpack, hockey moms and NASCAR dads and "real" Americans. I wonder how many of those types earn more than $250,000 a year? Because clearly, anyone earning less than that is a non-achiever who creates nothing that benefits anyone. Everyone get that?

Don't you just love it when scumbags show their true colors? I'm not surprised...this is what I've always known about the Republican establishment. They're the party of the wealthy and all that "real Americans" shit was never anything but...shit. But damn, I hope this is coming as a real wake-up call at least to some of the folks out there who've been voting Republican all these years. The people you voted into office THINK YOU'RE LOSERS. And they always have.

Oh and by the way, where the fuck are all the "Christians" while this is going on? I don't recall Jesus saying, "I came that you might have life and have it to the fullest...but only if you make more than $250,000 a year." The Jesus that I read about went into the temple and kicked some money-changing ass. And had precious few good things to say about the rich in general. Oh what the fuck am I thinking? No one gives a shit about Jesus or anything he actually said.
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GOP Chairman Michael Steele has just become the latest prominent Republican to offer up a timid, hand-wringing, mea culpa apology to radio host Rush Limbaugh for daring to critcize him. My God...I've known for years that the Republicans were pathetic but even I never suspected that they were pitiful enough to have sworn such terrified fealty to some bloated, cigar-chomping talk-show ranter who spends his free time enjoying sex tourism in third-world countries.

I was talking to my father about this and he said that he thinks it's wrong for the President and Rahm Emanual even to mention Limbaugh's name because it gives him free publicity and makes him seem more important than he is. I disagree. The truth is that Limbaugh is clearly WAY more important than we'd ever imagined. It is vital for the Democrats, and any thinking person, to hammer away at this multi-million-dollar piece of filth because he has apparently become the true leader of the Republican party and the embodiment of conservative philosophy.

As much as this sickens me I find it blackly hilarious too. I've so often heard conservatives sniff that they don't let "celebrities" (i.e. liberal celebrities like Bruce Springsteen and Matt Damon) tell them who to vote for. No...they just let a FUCKING TALK SHOW HOST become the single most influential voice in their movement, so important that elected government representatives and supposed party leaders bow and scrape before him and live in terror of his disfavor. Yeah, those conservatives sure don't let anyone tell them what to think!

To be honest, though, the title of my post is misleading. Limbaugh makes WAY too much money to EVER want to be president. And why should he want to be president when, as long as a Republican's in the White House, he gets to tell the president what to do anyway?

Somehow it seems fitting to include this here as well:

A new nationwide study of anonymised credit-card receipts from a major online adult entertainment provider finds little variation in consumption between states. However, there are some trends to be seen in the data. Those states that do consume the most porn tend to be more conservative and religious than states with lower levels of consumption, the study finds.

Pornography and Rush Limbaugh. The twin pillars of conservative values.
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John Cole again:

"I really don’t understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. Imagine trying to negotiate an agreement on dinner plans with your date, and you suggest Italian and she states her preference would be a meal of tire rims and anthrax. If you can figure out a way to split the difference there and find a meal you will both enjoy, you can probably figure out how bipartisanship is going to work the next few years."

This reminds me that last week on the Today show, Matt Lauer questioned whether Obama had screwed up from the get-go by creating a stimulus package that "he knew would be unpalatable to the Republicans."

Can someone please fucking tell me why we should be wasting one second of precious time worrying about what is "palatable" to Republicans? Haven't we learned by now that anything that's to their taste is going to choke the rest of us?


Feb. 4th, 2009 10:10 pm
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I feel like I'm spamming you guys with posts on the economy and politics and I know that an awful lot of you don't follow my journal to read this kind of stuff but dear God I can't believe what's going on. It's especially important for you people in other countries to read this because you might still be basking in that lovely inaugural glow and thinking that things are going to start getting better now but you need to know that the very people who failed so horrifically over the last eight years are being given a nationwide platform on just about every news outlet to spew propaganda about the president's economic stimulus and it's working and the Democrats are doing nothing to stop it. Polling shows that public support for the stimulus package (already cleverly re-dubbed "the spending package") is dropping and where the fuck are the guys who ran such a brilliant campaign? Where is all that amazing PR and grassroots organizing and messaging?

The Democrats are doing what they've always done -- assuming (incorrectly) that the American public is "smart enough" to figure out what's really in their own best interest. If that hasn't been true since the day we elected Ronald Reagan, why would it ever be true now? Not to mention, how can the vast majority of Americans possibly be expected even to know what's in their interest when all they see and hear is that the stimulus package is "larded up" with pork and free condoms and God knows what and what's really, really gonna save the economy is more tax cuts.

John Cole over at Balloon Juice says it best:

"The problem is who is informing us with what. Our media is simply failing us. Why have they not asked the Republicans how tax cuts are going to provide jobs? Why are they not laughing openly when the Republicans bring up capital gains tax cuts as part of a stimulus package. Why are they not asking the Republicans to explain how infrastructure spending is not stimulus? Why are they pretending this woman’s minor tax oversight is on par with outing a CIA agent or letting tens of thousands of people soak for a week in New Orleans. Why are they gleefully reporting about Joe the Plumber giving economic advice to the House republicans while their colleagues are writing about the Republicans being unified in opposition to the stimulus and putting two and two together and realizing that the opposition to the stimulus from Republicans is based on the deep thoughts of a drug addled radio host and a guy who installs toilets?

You can call me naive all you want, and I know I have a habit of falling for BS talking points, but I guess it is finally clear to me- it really is all just a game to these people."

Yes it is, and in this game we are ALL going to lose. To quote John Cole again:

"I am seriously buying a generator, a goat, and a plot of land in the mountains for when the shit goes down. These people are killing us."
oselle: (Default) just hit rock bottom and keep on digging.

Two examples of why I don't watch network "news:"

1) After all the campaign blather about whether Obama seemed too "elitist" and all the glorification of Joe Sixpack wisdom and small-town values, it was pretty fucking bizarre to see high-society cadaver Sally Quinn on Dateline last night lockjawing about how vital it is for the President and Mrs. Obama to be part of the Washington D.C. social circuit. Gee, Lady Quinn, don't you think he has a FEW more important things to worry about than making the Beltway party scene? Go keep a crypt somewhere, you hag.

2) Joe Scarborough on this morning's Today show blithely uttered the jaw-dropping nonsense that the "partisan nastiness of the past 12 years" was "a generational thing." No, Joe, it was a REPUBLICAN thing. The endless persecution of Bill Clinton for one non-scandal after another and his eventual impeachment over a blowjob was not carried out by members of any particular "generation." It was carried out by REPUBLICANS. Just as the partisan hackery, cronyism and corruption of the past eight years was not "generational." It was REPUBLICAN. Say it loud, Joe: REPUBLICAN. REPUBLICAN REPUBLICAN REPUBLICAN.

Will the bullshit never stop?
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...and quacks like a duck, would it be wrong to call it a duck?

Your average Main Street conservative here in America often complains that "elites" (i.e., educated city folk) unjustifiably ridicule them for being stupid. The Republicans and leaders of the conservative movement have gotten an awful lot of mileage out of this. I have genuinely made an effort not to see conservatives as stupid people but then I read a quote like the following, from an Arkansas woman named Audrey Loewer:

Obama did not get her vote, either. "I don't know what will happen to people around here if he puts restrictions on guns," Audrey says. "Me and Wayne, we're lucky, we have jobs. With the tight economy, there's gonna be more thefts.

"You see people come in here, you can watch how they buy. They fill up two or three baskets when the check comes in at the first of the month. Then they'll come in at the end of the month and you see Vienna sausages and Spam in their cart. They'll load up on bread."

Okay so...Republicans destroy the economy and people, by Loewer's own admission, can barely afford to eat because of it. Hunger (caused by Republican-destroyed economy) may drive people to theft. Therefore, Loewer votes Republican because her big concern is that she'll need a gun to protect herself from all the people driven into poverty by the Republican economy.

How can I not call anyone who thinks like this stupid? This woman is stupid. She is dangerously stupid. Audrey Loewer of Arkansas is a stupid, stupid, stupefyingly STUPID woman and it's stupid like this that has almost brought America to its knees.

And you know what? Not just stupid but callous and cruel, too. She sees that by the end of every month people in her community are reduced to subsisting on bread and Spam and her response is...get me my gun? Is that "compassionate conservatism" in action? I'll bet on top of seeing herself as quite smart, this stupid bitch also considers herself a real fine Christian, a great American and a genuinely good person.

Read more stupid here.


Nov. 4th, 2008 11:03 pm
oselle: (Smiling bxw)
CNN has just reported Barack Obama with 297 Electoral College votes.

Barack Obama is the next President of the United States.
oselle: (Angsty bxw)

Now we hold our breath...


Oct. 8th, 2008 10:02 pm
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The McCain-Palin campaign is becoming increasingly ugly and the ticket's supporters are sounding more and more like a raving mob. People at McCain-Palin rallies have started shouting out things like "Traitor!" and "Kill him!" regarding Obama and they've even started lashing out at the press that attend the events. This vicious old man and his ignorant viper of a running mate are riling up the most gutter instincts of the most mindless part of their base and doing it with such shameless falsehood and such repellent good humor that if I saw it in some dystopian science fiction movie I would think it was over the top. Jesus, I'm expecting them any day now to pull off their human heads and reveal themselves as Kang and Kodos.

It boggles my mind that Obama is only eleven points ahead of these two grinning grotesques.


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