Apparently preaching to the choir is much easier than trying to convert people into her deranged choir.
I know, I know, by paying attention to her we give her what she is seeking, but her statement is just too perfect an example of a conservative sounding like a North Korean press release that I just had to share.I suppose this is the thing that I find so fascinating about her; she embodies the sort of cynical ideologue who can instantly switch positions and direction while somehow maintaining orthodoxy. It’s like watching a real life version of the official who in the middle of the speech exhorting the war with Eurasia to switch the enemy to Eastasia. The irony that the modern American right wing sounds like Trotsky raving against Stalin has a mellow richness that only comes with careful aging.
Archive for the politics Category
Apparently preaching to the choir is much easier than trying to convert people into her deranged choir.
No Rubber Duckies for May 35th & The Joy of Selectively Censored Propaganda #sympathy4theconspiracytheoristsPosted in arguing with lunatics, current events, politics on June 9, 2013 by furious buddha
I do have sympathy for the conspiracy theorists among us, no, not Alex Jones, who is a John Edward-level d-bag (and what is awesome is that we have two completely different people who basically have the same name who qualify for that distinction); no, I sympathize with those true believers who are sincerely trying to Put It All Together into a Grand Unified Theory of Who Is To Blame. By this I mean that there are actual conspiracies and plots all over the place, it’s just that none of them is so grand and unified as to put anything approaching all of it together. Consider the first link above; a Chinese citizen certainly has to deal with a reality that uncomfortably resembles the writings of George Orwell, complete with a central party that believes it has some kind of ownership of its citizens. (It is this idea that is so repugnant in its primitivity; this notion that a state or a political party owns the people like the gods of Sumer and Akkad owned the people of their city states in ancient Mesopotamia is perhaps the most regressive idea that underpins totalitarians.)
But I have become digressive.
It must be tough, though, because there are all these dirty little plots and tricks being worked everywhere you look, it seems; the thing with the Time cover is one of those things that are like candy for the conspiracy seekers. It is a perfect example; the rest of the world saw an ugly unsubtle cover declaiming that Guantanamo will always exist and the North American cover features a portrayal of the Mayor of Chicago that is so disconnected from reality in its absurd flattery that it is as if it was crafted by someone who didn’t know anything about the city or the political creature that is occupying its executive position. It literally brought to mind the stuff produced by the Ministry of Truth when they would rewrite old newspaper stories in ’1984′; one of my favorite bits is when Smith, the lead character whose job was to rewrite yesterday’s news, realized that the best thing to replace an unpleasant political truth with was a puff piece about a hero that he would just create out of thin air.
The thing is that we are all under surveillance to one degree or another and it is naive to think that your clever phone that can tell you how close you are to a Starbucks or a diaper fetishist doesn’t leave electric clues as to what you are doing in the restroom stalls of coffee shops. This doesn’t mean that each of us has our own man in black assigned to read our emails and make transcripts of our telephone calls; for one thing, there simply will never be enough men in black to do the job. On the other hand, people are getting traffic tickets via spy camera and their pharmacy is telling the grocery store about their medical conditions so that their checkout coupons are better targeted to them. These are generally minor compromises made for convenience but when we made the Patriot Act the law of the land we compromised everything for a sense of security.
Here’s the problem for Obama; as a Senator it makes perfect sense to argue for the principles of privacy and the individual rights of citizens but after being elected President he has an entirely different set of responsibilities and priorities that force him to recalculate his perspective on these principles. When he became President the law of the land was the Patriot Act as it still is now; if he were to refuse to utilize all of the tools it authorized him to use he would effectively be hampering the perfectly legal work of the national security apparatus. Politically speaking, he has nothing to gain and plenty to lose for restricting law enforcement from legally exercising their authority. While the warrants issued sound incredibly broad, they are all perfectly legal under the laws we have imposed upon ourselves. As one of the people who has always argued against the broad powers granted the government by the Patriot Act, I get to utter a weary and sad ‘I told you so’ yet again and scratch one more mark into my cell wall and point out that we can change the law and make better ones, but since this Congress is getting ready to try and repeal Obamacare for the forty-something-ish time I’m not very confident about that happening right now.
It needs to, though, because the Patriot Act is bad law that allows people who too easily get intoxicated by tiny sips of power to have as much as they like with almost no oversight. Consider the general who was running psy-ops on senators and congressmen, or more recently, how the hacker who exposed the Stubenville rapists got raided by the FBI and could end up doing more time than the rapists. Even the tempest in a teapot that is the IRS controversy is an example of this kind of bureaucratic overreach to be endemic to the system. What is amusing is that so many of the people who were all too happy to hand this kind of power over to a feckless idiot like Bush clench up at the idea of a guy like Obama wielding it; it’s like it never crossed their minds that a rich conservative white man might not always be in charge.
They’re just legitimate businessmen making a legitimate product. I strongly recommend reading this rare glimpse into how gun manufacturers view things; I found what Ugo Beretta had to say particularly insightful and the legal protections enacted by Congress on behalf of the gun industry to be extraordinarily unwise.
Wouldn’t it be nice if it were this neat and simple? The balance has shifted, surely; the paranoid flailing of the NRA and their mouthpieces shows how off kilter they are. We are not as organized as them but we need not be. What we need is for politicians to know that we vote and we care about this issue. We need to keep the pressure up and not be distracted by shiny things. We need to keep up our end of the conversation and look for solutions that are pragmatic and Constitutional; we need to hold people accountable for what they say.
Speaking of which; so here’s some domestic terrorism.
Only the perpetrator of an act of violence should be held legally responsible but the burden of karma and sin that produced it can be a thick web that snares many souls. People like Alex Jones and Glenn Beck are multimillionaires who have amassed their wealth through base demagoguery; they lead flocks into fearful and confused pastures where they can be more suitably fleeced. Ted Nugent is a fourth rate musician and first rate bullshit artist who lacks the credibility to be included in an assessment with Alex Jones and Glenn Beck. That these people use their media megaphones to lie and spread paranoia is despicable, that they taint our collective unconsciousness is dreadful, that simply listening to them for too long can make you stupid and angry is undeniable; that their fake patriotism is a scoundrel’s shield should be as obvious as Beck’s false piety or Nugent’s tin machismo or Jone’s pretend sanity but somehow it isn’t. And so people think that the Communist Kenyan is sending tornadoes and hurricanes with his weather machine and government agents to take their guns and round them up into camps; and once enough people really believe these dark plots threaten America some of them are going to take action. Unpredictable and crazy actions. Actions born of lives in desperate isolation prodded into paranoid terror.
And we know how those actions rarely involve studious research and informed debate.
If the victim of this attack was an active duty soldier then there is a purely semantic argument to be made that this was technically not terrorism, but that would facile in the worst way; clearly, this cowardly ambush and grisly slaughter in broad daylight is a terrorist act of unjustifiable murder regardless what political or religious cover the perpetrators attempt to claim.
It totally looks like the Mayor of Toronto actually smokes crack. Like, on the street, with the people who supplied to him, which is pretty hardcore. Even Marion Barry did it in a motel room with a hooker, which might not qualify as someone you trust, but I mean, if I were to do crack I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t feel safe buying it from a crack dealer let alone doing it with them. And I don’t want that to sound elitist; there is a spectacular story about my first cousins’ cross country crack binge that brings tears of hysterical laughter to the eyes of my listeners but breaks my heart to tell because I still love him and my grandmother still reads his letters from prison.
Which brings us to the strange scandals here at home.
One of the reasons I haven’t written much about Benghazi is because while the right wing has worked itself into hot frothing lather of rabies over it, I still don’t see what the problem is any more than the Republicans who freely move the goalposts all over the field do; I think the conservatives who have been fabricating emails actually in some strange way agree with me that the biggest problem with the Benghazi scandal is that the only scandalous behavior has been on the part of the GOP who are trying to make political hay with the bodies of Americans murdered by our enemies on foreign soil. When one looks at the big picture or for that matter, specifically the attacks that occurred on the previous administrations watch that were never investigated as a complete failure of Bush’s foreign policy, the crass cynicism of Republicans in this case is clear to behold. When one considers that the Republican Congress voted to cut the Embassy security budget by $300 million, one should question why we are blaming the Executive Branch for the failure to protect our diplomats.
While we are speaking of Republicans and budget austerity, it seems that the tragedy in Oklahoma is going to make things awkward for the Senators of that fair state that repeatedly voted against and schemed to reduce federal aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy. Senator Inhofe is a practiced hypocrite so he will probably have little trouble performing the requisite contortions to justify whatever position he finds himself in. Of course, it would be reprehensible to suggest that the people of Oklahoma be punished for the poor politics of their representatives, but they do vote for these people and should realize that there are consequences for those decisions; if we are going to slash taxes and cut services, infrastructure and safety nets things get real very quickly. It is one thing to get all giddy about Ayn Rand while you’re hanging on the quad with your bros, but in the aftermath of an EF4 tornado Objectivism is as useful as a bucket with a hole in it. I am wrenched to hear the stories coming out of Oklahoma and I just want to hold my own loved ones near. I pray that everyone who can be saved is and that the victims will be spared any further wrath of nature while they recover.
Not every parent of the victims agree with this. blame the shooter not the gun. Thousands are killed every year without a shot fired. Luckily only 3 died in Boston.
I look at Boston and I see how easy it was for a foreign terrorist to arm themselves to the teeth. Al-Qaeda sees it too and mentions it prominently in their training manuals.
Guns are tools and I’m not blaming guns for a damned thing. I am blaming the irresponsible chuckleheads who think guns are toys and the neurotic obsessives who make a fetish of their guns; I’m blaming the paranoid liars who make it impossible to have a conversation about an enormous problem in these Unites States. If the NRA were a legitimate organization they would be leading the conversation instead of trying to stifle it and gut the regulations that exist and promote the increased proliferation of firearms; they don’t represent their members, they represent arms dealers. During Obama’s Administration there has been one piece of gun law passed, and it was to allow guns to be carried onto Federal lands, which is an expansion of gun rights. The Supreme Court recently overturned over two hundred years of judicial thought and now recognizes the 2nd Amendment to mean an individual right to bear arms, which is a radical change in favor of the NRA point of view. Activist judges have thrown out gun bans in cities like Chicago and are forcing the State of Illinois to allow concealed carry, which is an expansion of gun rights that completely overrides local control and states’ rights (but I didn’t hear any complaints from conservatives about that). The assault rifle ban has been lifted for a decade. The paranoia and irrationality of the NRA and those who stand with them is now dangerous to all of us.
How well has the Chicago gun ban worked all these years. How many people have been killed by knife or drunk driving since the shooting. Gun ownership was protected in the constitution for a reason. Until the constitution changes the right remains.
The homicide rate has skyrocketed since the gun ban was lifted. The Constitution says ‘A Well-Regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed’. Well regulated’ is what we are talking about here. There were no police forces in most of the colonies or a standing army at the time and citizens were responsible to come when called with their gun. Which was a musket, not an AR-15.
Also, drunk driving deaths are down to historic lows even as the rate of deaths by firearm are increasing; there are some forecasting that by as early as 2015 more people will die by gunfire than by traffic accidents-not just DUI’s, but all traffic accidents. Also, there are 16 times as many knives as guns in circulation, so unless there have been more than 61,380 knife murders since the middle of December the comparison doesn’t work well for guns. In any case, I don’t understand what the threshold for acceptable loss of life is so that people can own more firepower than an infantryman had in Vietnam.
Again, no one is discussing banning guns , just ‘Regulating them Well’. Like the Founders said to.
[I've heard NRA officials and lawmakers that do their bidding use the term 'slippery slope' when trying to frame their rejection of the Senate bill as a reasonable position despite the fact that the logical fallacy they are employing in the argument is actually called the 'slippery slope'. They may as well be saying 'The False Dilemma of our Circular Reasoning Begs the Question of our Straw Man's Equivocation, so suck it. Furthermore, their slippery slope is as steep as it is paranoid; the jump to confiscation from background checks or even registration is a madman's leap that cannot be regarded seriously.]
Dennis Prager is a third rate right wing hack who excretes content for the likes of NRO and other terrible websites, as well as poisoning the minds of Americans through his syndicated radio show. He is a moral scold who frets about gays destroying the institution of marriage while he himself loves getting married so much he’s done it three times He also thinks that there are no hungry children to speak of and that if there are, those children should be ripped from their parents and put into foster care. Unmitigated audacity of this magnitude is nauseating to behold; that he probably congratulates himself for what he thinks are his brave and daring observations is sad in the same way as a clown stuck in a meat grinder is sad*.
*It’s sad because it is very difficult to wash clown out of your meat grinder.
It’s like they’re electing him to spite the rest of us.
But then, the state of South Carolina is kind of like your drunken cousin who got a tattoo of the word ASSHOLE across his forehead, so this shouldn’t be a big surprise.
The Daily Caller is embarrassing itself again.
It’s good to know that children represent something besides collateral damage to the gun industry; maybe since they are beginning to see them as a potential market they might be willing to do something to keep them from getting shot.
Oh, I’m sorry! Conservatives aren’t effete crybabies! They are brave maverick-y rogues!