Position Briefs

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One of those rare times that I side with conservatives...

Time for another article where I may break with the "liberal orthodoxy" as it were. (Contradiction in terms intentional, BTW.) Regarding the recent supreme court decision to lift city, state and local bans on hand guns, I found myself nodding my head (though admittedly not pumping my fist) in approval. Gun Ownership Rights is one of the few issues that I lean conservative on; probably due to my non-corporatist Libertarian philosophy, I suppose. It’s not really a VOTING issue for me – I despise guns, I don’t own a gun, and I don’t ever intend to own a gun... but I do appreciate that the CHOICE of whether or not I own a gun is my own to make, and nobody else’s.

The thing is… I’ve just never bought into the Liberal’s argument that more gun control laws mean less crime. First of all, as Liberals rightly argue all the time: CRIME stems from MAN Y factors, but primarily socio-economic ones. It’s about POVERTY, not GUNS. If you’re broke? You’re more likely to commit a crime. And your ability to LEGALLY obtain a handgun, for the purpose of committing a crime, is completely irrelevant. And the very idea that if you outlaw handguns, that only outlaws will have them, seems to be proven by the comments of the people interviewed for the NPR segment most of whom were trying to make an argument against the supreme court’s decision and in favor of upholding the ban. One of the comments, from a Chicago resident (and I’m PP’ing because I can’t find a full transcript) was pretty exemplary of the argument:
“We have shootings every other day; people getting killed in gang violence; we need less guns not more!”
Now… that’s sounds all well a good, but think about it: If there’s a gang shooting ‘every other day’ in the city, how effective IS that gun ban? Not very, I’d say. In fact, it seems to me that – just as the conservatives usually argue – all that law has done is kept guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens! It was a later comment in the program that, IMHO, spoke more to the heart of the matter. This was from the neighbor of a burglary victim, (again, PP’d)

“We’re not going to go out and shoot anybody, but the criminals had better think twice about coming into our homes and thinking they can do as they please, because some of us will be armed.”
(OK – THAT got a fist-pump from me!)

Now… If you’re a liberal and you can’t see why THIS LIBERAL feels this way, and you need a different perspective on this to better understand my point of view, I see a lot of parallels between gun control and immigration reform.

Fist of all, you’ve got to ask yourself: What is the PURPOSE? If the purpose is to know exactly WHO owns a gun (or WHO is coming into the country) then you need people to voluntarily comply with the registration process (or the immigration process.) If your purpose is to LIMIT gun ownership (or immigration) then complying with the system will NOT give many people what they want. So they simply won’t comply.

If registration and licensing was CHEAP, EASY and generally allowed ANYONE (other than, say, convicts and the mentally ill) to legally own a gun, 99% of the population (far more than do now) would gladly register their guns, comply with the system and you’d know exactly who’s armed and who’s not. And you can now MONITOR THE SITUATION, and police can go in prepared, informed and plan according to the situation they’re facing. Likewise, if our immigration system was quick, easy, cheap and generally let anyone (except, say, terror suspects and drug smugglers) into the country, 99% of the incoming immigrants would be happy to comply, and you could successfully MONITOR THE SITUATION. And in BOTH cases, concerns about security are better served by creating a system that, if people complied with it, GAVE THEM WHAT THEY WANTED: Either a legally owned gun, or legal entrance to this country.

But arguments about security – in both cases – are either woefully misguided, or outright bullshit:

Misguided: You can’t physically stop people from coming into the country. And any thoughts that you CAN are absurd. What’s more – the very idea that we even SHOULD is, as I’ve said, counterproductive. Also, you can’t use the LAW to stop people who are already predisposed from BREAKING IT from obtaining a gun. Again: We’ve tried and yet we still have a “gang killing every other day [in Chicago.]

Outright Bullshit: Let’s face it: “security” is just a more pleasant sounding term substituted for what the respective agendas REALLY ARE. Liberals want FEWER GUNS, period. Conservatives want FEWER MEXICANS, period. And THAT’S why neither group is buying into my argument that you need to GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT in order to get them to comply with the law. Because they DON’T WANT TO GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT. In both cases, each group has agenda designed to take something away from the very people that they expect to comply with their laws! The incentives are completely backwards, and yet we are so quick to comdemn those who do EXACTLY AS WE SHOULD EXPECT THEM TO!

And in every case, we need to stop trying to force our personal agendas on everyone else and focus on the tangible, security issue. And the only way to have true security is to KNOW what the hell is going on! And the only way to do that is to have a legal system that 99% of the population is HAPPY TO COMPLY WITH. And the only way you’ll have that is if you only ever say, “No,” to the smallest, most narrowly defined group as possible. Because then, those groups that DON’T COMPLY will stand out as the exception instead on mixing into the crowd...

...Well, maybe not ‘mixing into the crowd’ so much as BEING the crowd.

It’s very rare indeed that I’ll side with the Wing-Nuts, but this is once instance in which I truly believe the Right got it RIGHT.

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Oh yeah, and ClassicLiberal? Again we see a 5-4 decision with Sotomayor siding with the dissenting Liberal block. I totally get (and share) your beef with Kagan, by why are you so down on Sotomayor?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

GOLD STAR AWARDS, June, 2010

Time once again to expand my personal Hall of Fame, now prominently displayed on the right hand side of my blog.  (I just realized, shouldn't a liberal's HoF be displayed on the LEFT? Oh well. LOL)  Paralelling Major League Baseball's HoF elections, we're up to 1949 which saw one BWAA induction and two by the Verteran's Committee.  So that's one Gold, two Silvers:


The Charlie Gehringer Gold Star #19: Left Hook!

Many of you will already be familiar with ClassicLiberal and his blog.  He's a regular commenter here, and I've referenced and linked to his work many times.  If there's any one source that I go to find out where the REAL Liberals mindset is - not those who are merely democrats, or Obama supporters - this is where I start.  And I highly recommend his blog as a great source of analysis and information on just about any issue.  And the best thing, for me anyway, are the times I've actually disagreed with him!  There's nothing both more rewarding and more frustrating than debating with someone who you don't really disagree with in any broad idealogical way.  I still disagree with him about the healthcare bill and filibusters, for example, but I also found his opposition to these things to be among the most well informed and well reasoned out there.  (Hence my repeated recomendation of his blog during the health care debate.)  This will likely be the first of many blogs that I've found becuase they're written by people who have commented here, but I'm happy to make it the first.


The Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown Silver Star #19: Engrish

I'm sorry.  There's nothing funnier than the unintentionally hilarity that comes from a botched translation.  And the fact is that translating between Japanese and English (and vice-versa, I'm well told) is HARD.  All the same, some of these pictures will make laugh so hard it will be the equivalent of 20 sit-ups.  I need it translating more!


The Kid Nichols Silver Star #20: Fartparty

Julia Wertz is the coolest, funniest, most dark and twisted chick I've never met.  I only recently discovered her amazing work, but I'm totally hooked.  It's not a web-comic, per se, since her books have been published, but she's got a good smattering of example strips covering many different, personal topics on her website.  She's just totally, awesomely funny.

I posted one of her strips a couple days back.. Here's anoyther one. Click to see it full-sized.  (And BUY HER BOOKS!!! LOL)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A truly beautiful piece about Ireland

Conchobar emailed me this NYT article.  It was written by Bono and is in response the the Saville Report issued the week before last, echoing my own sentiments but with an eloquence that I could never hope to achive.  I cannot even summarize the most imprtant thing I took away from it better than the man himself:

If there are any lessons for the world from this piece of Irish history ... for Baghdad ... for Kandahar ... it’s this: things are quick to change for the worse and slow to change for the better, but they can. They really can. It takes years of false starts, heartbreaks and backslides and, most tragically, more killings. But visionaries and risk-takers and, let’s just say it, heroes on all sides can bring us back to the point where change becomes not only possible again, but inevitable.


None of us must ever forget this.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank Conchoar for sending me the article, Bono for writing it.

Wow...

I had other stuff to do tonoight, and other stuff I wanted to blog about first, but nothing inspires a completed spontaneous blog like coming accross something amazing when you've got other stuff you want or need to do.

I found an absolutely amazing video on YoutTube just now.  It's concert footage of Bruce Springsteen performing Bob Dylan's Chimes of Freedom.  Now... I've spoken before about my admiration of Harry Chapin as both a musican and a human being.  I want to say that, without a doubt in my mind, I believe that Bob Dylan was the greatest American Poet of the 20th Century.  And as many truly legendary musicians in thier own right over the years have covered him, the only one who has ever done even a passable job of capturing the life, soul and sprit of Dylan's lyrics is the Boss.  This is just... beautiful.

Yet another Oil Spill...

I heard about yet another oil-spill related, ongoing travesty on NPR this morning. This one is in Peru, in the Amazon Rain Forrest, and has been going on for the past 30 years. Here is a transcript of the program. As with the 50 year travesty going on in the Niger Delta, I urge every one to read this story as well.

I’ll say it again: THIS INSANITY NEEDS TO END.

My favorite part of the whole debacle might be the response of Peru’s President, Alan Garcia:

When indigenous communities began to take a stand against big companies operating in their territory, President Alan Garcia wrote an editorial criticizing their position. He used the fable "The Dog and the Manger" to make his point.

In the story, a dog falls asleep in a manger and wakes up to bark at the cows who want to eat the hay — even though the dog himself can't eat the stuff. The moral of the story is: Don't begrudge others something you can't enjoy yourself. In the editorial, the hay was Peru's natural riches, and the president compared the spiteful dog to Peru's indigenous people.

Apparently the conservatives in Peru are no less whores to industry than the conservatives here are. The flaw in this idiot’s analogy would be that the problem is not that the "cows" want to "eat the hay"... It's that they want to shit in the manger!

Now THERE’S an analogy you won’t see on the mainstream media!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Funny Web Comic

Was browsing some really old web-comics when I came across this gem:

























I'm sure SOME of you won't find this amusing, but not being a religious man myself (did'ya ever get that impression?) I really dug it.  The whole strip (Fartparty) is pretty funny actually.  She's got a pretty twisted sense of humor.  Right up my alley.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

NYT Article on the Oil Spill... and NOT the one in the Gulf!

Some great comments from y'all in the oil spill piece.  I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read and comment on it. 

The NYT ran a piece about the oil contamination that's been going on in the Niger Delta for about tha last 50 years now.  Unbelieveable. I urge everyone to read that.  And remeber the term, "externalization of cost" the next time someone tells you how "cheap" oil is as an energy sorce: It's cheap because these companies never have to pay to clean up after themselves afterwards.

This insanity needs to end.  Electric Cars, Solar, wind... I favor Nuclear myself, in the near-term anyway.  But the "burning shit" model (oil, coal) of generating power needs to end.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

More on (Moron) the Oil Spill...

Eric Bohlert of MMFA had a great piece today, comparing today's coverage of Obama in the Gulf spill, to the coverage of President Bush ('41) following the Exxon Valdez spill.  I'd like to vent a little more about that.

I’m getting a little bit tired of the criticism being leveled at Obama over this spill. Not because I think he’s been perfect, or because I think he above criticism, but because the criticism has largely been completely lacking in any substance at all. More and more, for both sides, I’m hearing pundits whine about the tone he’s taking, the priority he’s giving it, whether or not he should have called for prayer… basically BULLSHIT. Not one person, that I’ve heard, has come out and said, “He should have done [this]” or “He should be DOING [this].” Well, there’s one: Gov. Bobby Jindal and his damned sand burms. But in that case the Army Corps of Engineers deemed the plan to be an ineffective waste of a scarce resource they’d need to deal with the disaster later on. Now… I had no idea that SAND was so fucking precious, but I’m not about to argue with the Army Corps of Engineers, and Governor Jindal is certainly in no position to. (The day I start asking lawmakers for engineering judgments, I’ll start asking engineers for legal advice!)


And don’t get me wrong: Chris Mathews and Keith Olbermann and both entitled to their opinions and are paid to give them. If nothing else, their comments show that MSNBC is hardly just the liberal version of Fox. Remember: They were willing to criticize the President here, just as they were willing to criticize the Democrats during the health care debate. Despite their unwillingness to adopt the Right’s love of the far Right and blind hatred of Obama and the Democrats, they’ve shown themselves to be more objective politically than Fox has ever done.

But I’m still sick of this “His TONE wasn’t stern enough.” WTF?! Is there some tone of voice he can use to plug the hole? Do really think that him ranting and raving (and threatening?!) like a lunatic would somehow “motivate” BP to get its act together? That’s nonsense! BP is TRYING. It’s not that I like BP, right now I hate them, but there’s no doubt in my mind that THEY’RE DOING ALL THEY CAN at this point! Yes: Obviously they could have done more last month, last year, 5 years ago and 10 years ago. But they’re not sitting on some magic cure all at the moment! They simply do not have the technology to deal with this, because it DOESN’T EXSIST. They’re already running around, Apollo-13 style, trying to make the cap for [this] fit onto the pipe for [that] using [this stuff.] They’re not going to make up for 30 years of the industry’s use of inadequate technology in a week just because Obama found the right tone. And his tone is all they got, because there is nothing more, that I’m aware, that Obama can actually DO here. The coast guard was mobilized on day one. The National Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers has been involved from day 1. If there’s something OBAMA is supposed to be doing, WHAT EXACTLY IS IT?! (And if you say “sand burms” I’m going to punch you, and the refer you to an earlier piece I wrote, with a lot of capitalized expletives in it.)

But they HAVE to make this BAD for Obama. The oil lobby cannot afford for this to be “Obama’s 9/11” (for energy policy) so it’s got to be “Obama’s Katrina.” And they’ll find any way to MAKE IT that. Yeah… I’m finding the analogies to be getting a bit moronic as well. You know what this is? It’s Obama’s GULF OIL SPILL. That’s it. It’s not 9/11 (sorry, Mr. president) it’s not Katrina (sorry pundits) and most ironically of all, consider the source, it’s certainly not “Obama’s Iran Hostage Crisis.”

That last one came from Rush Limbaugh, IIRC, presumably because constantly calling it “Obama’s Katrina” keeps reminding people of BUSH’s Katrina. So… better to find a Democrat’s debacle to compare it to. I think it’s telling that they had to go back over THIRTY YEARS to FIND one, but even so they couldn’t have picked a worse example. Because the LAST THING the pro-oil conservatives really want here would be for a well respected newscaster, today’s “Walter Kronkite” (though I’m not really sure who that would even BE) to be counting the days, and reminding people, on a nightly basis, what a huge disaster this is. Not that is would make much of a difference, I think most people have a pretty shrewd idea anyway, but “today marks the umpti-fifth day since the oil started flowing into the Gulf” would NOT help their cause any.

I’ll judge Obama’s "performance" on this based on the legislation that comes out of it. If he can get up to start to leave the path were on, and start to embrace clean energy and sustainable behavior? Then he’ll get top marks from me, regardless of the tone he uses.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How the mortgage crisis SHOULD have been handled

OK... We all know how the mortgage crisis came about.  Banks knowlingly lent money to high-risk borrowers with little to no equity in their homes.  Properties were over valued by complicit apprasiers, as were the resulting securities sold by the banks to get those loans the hell of their books and into someone else's hands.  But the way we've gone about dealing with the resulting foreclosure crisis leaves much to be desired.

Now... A lttlie background.  I've got a 15 year balloon mortgage at 6.125%.  That was an OK deal at the time (we were coming of a 5-year balloon about a year before all the shit really hit the fan, so we were actually pretty lucky timing-wise!) Right now rates on a 30-year fixed are about 4.1 to 4.5%.  So I could save about $200 a month or so if I could refy.  Now, I've never missed a payment, and can comfortably continue to pay I'm doing now.  I also have excellent credit.  So on a personal level I'm a very low risk borrower.  But like many people I'm underwater.  So while I could pay back the loan, obviously with even less risk that I represent at my current, higher rate, the bank won't even talk to me.

Which is bullshit. 

Now... if I were 90 days BEHIND on my mortgage?  Then the gov't would (try to) force them to deal with me.  How's that for a backwards incentive?  What's more, the banks are so well protected by this loop hole that it's still far more likely that I'd be forced into forclosure than get the loan modification.  So while I'm not one of those guys saying "Where's MY bailout?" - I recognize that I AM benefiting from my neighbor being bailed out - I AM getting frustrated at a system that rewards, indeed encorages, every kind of bad behavior - borrowing too much, high risk lending, NOT PAYING YOUR BILLS - and punnishes me for (1) acting responsibly and (2) for market forces which are completely outside of my control.  And I'm not even looking for a reduction of  PRINCIPAL - that's just BULLSHIT, and I'll get to that in a moment - I just want to take advatgae of the lower market interests rates.  But I can't... BECAUSE OF THE MARKET!

Now, one of the big problems with the old system was the inherent conflict of interest involved in having the mortgage brokers hire (and pay) the appraisers.  It USED to be that they could just make a phone call, and get an apraisal.  That may have been problematic in some markets, but get this: NOW, not only do I pay for appraisal - $300-$500, whether or not I end up getting the loan - but if the rate falls again after I get the appraisal, I can’t get that better rate with the same bank that the appraisal was done for, and I can’t transfer that appraisal to new bank! So I'd have to shell out AGAIN!  Why is that?  Govenrment regulations, I'm told.  Nice going, morans!


Now, I think there was a much simpler way to stem the bleeding here.  And, as usual with MY proposals, and as is so often NOT the case with Gov't, it puts the responsible CUSTOMER first.  There is a wide perception that a lot of these people "just borrowed too much."  To be sure, that's true of some, but by and large, the bigger problem was that so many people were faced with unforseen rate changes or ballons that expired (meaning that the now owe the entire balance) that they would notrmally just have re-finance at the new market rates, but CAN'T because there's no equity, or they're underwater, so the bank won't approve the new loan.  So they lose the house, despite the fact that they could have made payments at the current, 30 year fixed, market interest rate.  And their foreclosure hurts the market and puts that many more people under water and it's a viscious cycle.  So THOSE are the people who I'd help first.  And I'd do it thusly: For a predefined, finite amount of time - say, two years - anyone who had made their last [6?, 12? some number] mortgage payments on time, and can continue to do so, based on thier current income, AUTOMATICALLY QUALIFIES for a re-fi, at their current principle, plus closing costs, at the current market interest rate.  That alone would have made this "crisis" basically manageble.  And no one gets "punnished." Banks continue to do business with their best customers, stabalizing their own income and the value of their assets, while the GOOD customers benefit from the favorable market conditions and get to keep their house.  (And obviously this would not extend to anyone buying a new house or a second home, etc...  Just thier primary residence.)

Now... if someone TRULY borrowed too much?  And there's just no way they can afford the 30-year fixed market rate? (Or even a slightly lower rate?)  I'm inclined to say, "Sucks to be you." If you lose your job and you're unemployed for a few years?  Guess what? It's likely that ANYONE would have to sell / foreclose / go into bankrupcy.  For better or worse, THAT'S HOW THINGS WORK IN THIS COUNTRY.  By reducing the PRINCIPLE of the loan, you're giving free money to the least deserving customers.  OK - I'm alright with punninshing the banks a little (and helping out the borrower) if the bank was truly predatory.  BUT... most of these loans were "predatory" becuase of the future interest-rate hikes!  So what's wrong with simply forcing the conversion to a 30-year fixed (or longer maybe? Why NOT a 40 or 50 year? They have 100 year loans in europe!) at market rates if the person can afford that, and saying "sorry, but we can't help you" to the people who CAN'T?  Seems to me that if they had done JUST THIS, at least at first, the economic fallout would not have snowballed as much as it did, and much of the resulting economic and fiscal fallout would have been mitigated.  And the Banks would be discoraged from pursuing these kind of bullshit loans in the furture! See? Everybody wins, except the people who just went crazy wth their debt.  (And for them, there's bankrupcy.)

And even if you agree with the IDEA of "helping people out" by lowering their principle?  It ain't happening anyway.  The program's a MESS. It really hasn't done what it's set put to do.  Too many loopgoles for the Bank, and it's WAAAY to complicated.  And that's not a Liberal/Conservative issue or a Democratic/Republican issue.  The issue is that BANKS have too much influence, and LAWMAKERS never try the simple solution.  Again - that not Lib/Con or PUb/Dem either: it's because almost EVERYONE OF THESE BASTARDS on BOTH SIDES of the ailse is a friggin' LAWYER.  And making the law simple would but lawyers out of business.

My rant for the day.

My Note to BP Pensioners: Go pound oily sand!

Speaking of Britain, there was rather a lot of criticism of the Obama administration for calling on BP to suspend it’s dividend payments until the damages related it’s oil spill are paid for. Now… I’m not completely heartless on this issue. I break with the mainstream liberal voice when it comes to taxing dividends for the very same reason that this criticism was being leveled: The broadest beneficiaries of those dividend payments are pension finds, and retires who actually depend on that income. (Well, that and it’s double taxation, but I don’t feel like giving the moon-bats here a lesson in basic Accounting right now, so we’ll go with “sympathy for old people” for the time being.) The rhetoric of the British Pensioners has been largely along the lines of “Hey America, don’t fuck with my retirement income! You want the oil? You PAY FOR it!”

Hey, British Pensioners? GO POUND OIL SATURADTED SAND!

First of all: We DO pay for it. BP has never been in the business of giving oil away for free to anyone. If they don’t charge enough to cover the cost of contingency plans? Not really OUR problem. I’ll get to the phenomenon of “externalization of costs” in a moment, but I’d have no problem with a MODEST gas tax increase (nothing like the nonsense they have in Europe however) which, considering how much gas we burn, would go a long way to getting more research done, and getting these kinds of things cleaned up. The cost is ultimately borne by the consumer anyway (again, see “externalization of costs”) so whether it’s in the form of a tax, or a price hike which the company would pretty much pocket ANYWAY, I’m all for it. And right now, so are most Americans. One Republican vote in the Senate is all that stands between our newly lubricated shoreline and the beginning of real energy reform.

Second of all: While I sympathize with your loss of income, you must also realize that it is TEMPORARY. That may not be the case for much of the fishing industry in the gulf. Businesses has been destroyed, people have lost everything, and that's before you even factor in the long-term ecological damage, the cost to repair the coasts and the long term economic effects that moving away from Gulf Oil Drilling. Long story short? Our problems are more expensive than yours, and have been CAUSED by a BRITISH company, operated in violation of both what would be the required safety protocols in Europe, and what is accepted industry practice over here. As it is our Government is pursuing a case of Criminal Negligence against BP, its case bolstered by BP’s own internal documents and BP company insiders. I’ve heard more than one legal expert describe the criminal case against BP as a “slam dunk.” So before you open your gobs, consider for a moment what you’d be calling for if an AMERICAN firm had violated your industry standards, fouled your beaches and destroyed your coastal industries, all in pursuit of greater profits for themselves and their shareholders. Somehow I don’t think the plight of the average AMERICAN pensioner would be very high on your list of priorities. And rightly so. NOW STIFLE!

Oh yeah: EXTERNALIZATION OF COST. This is the phenomenon that allows many of these companies to make claims like “oil produces the cheapest energy on a per volume basis” and things like that. There are two reasons why this statement is “true.” (Notice the “quotes?”) ONE is that they make arbitrary assumptions about the pay-off period for solar energy. Now I’m not sure what a given “volume” of solar energy (sunshine) looks like, but I do know that it is not a fuel being consumed. (Next time you here this, challenge one of thes efools to show you what a gallon of sunshine looks like!)  Which means, on a usage basis: It’s FREE. So the only way they can assume a “cost” on a per unit of energy generated basis, would be to amortize the manufacturing cost of a solar panel over its life. And what do they assume for its life? Well, whatever they need to to make oil sound cheaper, of course! The other reason is the “externalization of cost.” This is the fact that they do not include in the cost of their products, the costs associated with disasters, pollution, clean-up, global warming and other environmental impacts. The costs, unless the company is exceedingly generous in volunteering to take on, are largely paid by SOMEONE ELSE. And that’s how they want to keep it. If they can keep those costs EXTERNALIZED (off their books, and thus out of the business case) they not only can keep raking in record profits, but also make the case that OIL IS CHEAPER. Pollition CONTROL sosts the company. POLLUTION usually costs everybody else.  The same goes for coal, and just about every other industry that pollutes: As long as someone else cleans up the mess? Their business case is sound. And for the past 30 years, the three Republican administrations and the Republican Congress which dominated the lone Democratic one (until now) has been more than happy to ignore the problem and support this practice. 

I hope Obama has the courage to do otherwise. I’ll pay the tax, and to hell with any whiny pensioners. I’ve got a word of advice for you lot: DIVERSIFICATION.

PM David Cameron, Lord Saville and Northern Ireland

Although it’s not an American issue at all, I want to commend the handling of the inquiry into the event of “Bloody Sunday” in Northern Ireland, 30 January, 1972 by Lord Saville and British Prime Minister David Cameron. In their willingness to take a stark look at those tragic events, and take responsibility as a government for an event that led to over thirty years of increased violence, they have shown a level of class and character that many American Politicians and certainly most of the Punditry should learn a lesson from. As a note to the “blame America first” crowd of RW bed-wetters? THIS is what “taking responsibility” actually looks like. Great Britain was fighting TERRORISM. Terrorism that was on their own land and threatening their citizens every day, having cost tens of thousands of lives. The IRA represented a far greater threat to the English Citizenry (which the Northern Irish are a part of) that Al-Qaeda has ever come close to being to the Americans. And yet, they have still shown the ability to take an objective look at their conduct and take responsibility for the atrocities committed in the course of “defending their sovereignty.” Compared to these two men, whom he would call “traitors” were they American and looking into our own actions in the “war of terror,” Sean Hannity is no more than a puddle of pig’s urine.

As a side note, about the English… Many years ago I was in Leicestershire on business, at a test lab supporting the validation of some of our products for the European Market. Their senior test engineer and I were getting on rather well. We shared an interest in European History and he took me to Bosworth Field, to the spot where King Richard III fell in battle against the soon-to-be King Henry VII; fascinating stuff. Anyway… at one point he asks me about the national origin of my NAME. I explained that while the name (and my family) is Italian, being adopted myself I have no Italian blood in me. He then me asked about my own heritage and when I replied, “Irish, French and German,” he almost spit out his drink, laughed out loud and said, “Wow, I’m surprised we even get along!” LOL

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Helen Thomas, Conservtaives and Israel

Helen Thomas announced her retirement earlier this week amidst some controversy over some remarks she made back in May saying that the Jews [Israeli’s?] should “Get the hell out of Palestine.” Not the most diplomatic way to put it, admittedly. She went on to say they should, “Go home” to “Germany [and] Poland.”

Now Thomas has had a long distinguished career. She’s 89 years old – by itself almost reason enough to retire, though presumably she enjoyed what she was doing. She’s always been known for a rather sharp tongue – which is why I will miss her, as she was not afraid to hold either party account able for their vices – so it’s not all that surprising that in saying something about a subject as controversial as Israel, she was probably bound to raise a few eyebrows. But there are two specific aspects of this whole mess that particularly bother me. I’d like to say my bit about them, but then also take a step back and look at what else might be going here, in a less partisan way.

The first, and most obvious problem, is the hypocrisy being shown by these so-called Zionists on the Right. How many times have were heard these same people complain about the Jews in Hollywood, the Jews on Wall Street, the Jews in the White House Cabinet, the Jews on the Supreme Court, the Jews in the ACLU, the Jews in Labor Department… It seems the only Jews these people DON’T have a problem with are the ones in Israel and Palestine! And beyond just anti-Semitic comments that are routinely thrown towards any Jews that are not actively shooting at Palestinians, how many voices on the right get away with ten times that level of bigotry – towards gays, blacks, Muslims, liberals, atheists – EVERY SINGLE DAY, and yet if anyone called for THEIR retirement? If anyone suggested that Rush Limbaugh, or Mike Savage, or Ann Coulter, or Pat Buchanan should step down over the hateful, bigoted, racist and homophobic rhetoric that they spew on a DAILY BASIS, you’d be laughed off the stage!

WHY? Why is it OK for Conservatives to trash every racial, religious, political and societal sub-group under the sun – including JEWS - but if a Liberal with a distinguished career, who’s had awards named after her, says ONE THING against Israel she has to retire?

That’s patently absurd. It’s completely idiotic! Which brings me to my second point…

Which is that: SHE HAD A POINT!

Now don’t get me wrong. At this point in history, any objective observer is forced to conclude that both the Israeli’s and the Palestinians have BOTH committed so many atrocities that each has lost their claim to the moral high ground years ago; DECADES ago. So it’s not as simple as “Tell ‘em to get the hell out of Palestine.” BUT… That would certainly go a long way towards resolving the immediate conflict. right or wrong, there’s no denying that. And I don’t see any reason why an American Citizen does not have the right to side with the Palestinians, considering the History of the region. I DON’T. And I don’t necessarily AGREE with Thomas’ statement. But she still had a point, and she still has the right to express her opinion. Outrage over her comments by the Right, IMHO, identify them as nothing more than hypocrites who love Israel, but hate (or at least have been shown to be perfectly willing to say disparaging things about) Jews.

And as for the idea that the remarks were insensitive because of the holocaust? Because they suggested that Jews go back to the countries that persecuted them? People: the holocaust ended over SIXTY YEARS AGO! The Nazi party has been OUTLAWED in Germany! And while I don’t think it’s the business of an American Journalist to tell ANYONE where to live, I don’t buy the holocaust reasoning because nothing would finally heal that wound, once and for all, like German and Polish Jews returning to their TRUE homeland, and those countries welcoming them back! Again, I’m not telling ANYONE where to live, but what better way to destroy the last remnants of Hitler’s legacy than for a couple million formerly German Jews to return to Germany, and reclaim the GERMAN heritage? It’s not as simple as that, I realize, but what a SYMBOLIC and SPIRITUAL victory that would be!

OK. Let me get off the topic of Right Wing Hypocrisy, and ignore Zionism completely and touch on one aspect of this that is actually a bit more sympathetic to her critics. A while back I had written a few harsh pieces that were critical of White, American Christians. And my post prompted one of my once regular commenters [Duta] to ask me why I hated my own race so much. Now… obviously I don’t hate white people. I’m white, my wife is white, my kids a white, and even within my relatively diverse community and office, pretty much all of my close friends are White. But there’s a reason that I’m proudly a member of what Sean Hannity calls the “Blame America First” crowd: Your own behavior is the only behavior you can control, and it’s the easiest to fix. Looking inward, examining how your own behavior contributes to the problems you face is a sign of enlightenment. A sign of humility. Having the automatic impulse to blame the other guys for all your problems? That’s a sign of nothing more than bigotry.

Helen Thomas is not a Jew. She’s of Lebanese descent. So while it’s not surprising that she’d be inclined to support the Palestinian position, it’s hardly something that should be automatically viewed as a principled stance. If Joe Lieberman had made the same comments? (Not that he would, but if he did…) he’d be far more likely to get a pass. Since he’s Jewish, his criticism of Israel is easier to accept as principled criticism, while his comments on the Palestinians are much easier to dismiss as bigotry. Likewise, Thomas was in a unique position to condemn some of the Palestinian tactics, and be taken very seriously – because she’s closer to that side! And it is exactly this lack of introspection, of basic self-awareness that so many on the Right utterly lack. Blaming America first does not mean failing to recognize that our enemies have committed heinous atrocities. It’s just making sure that WE DON’T and that we don’t fail to acknowledge it when we do. It would be like calling Dr. Bill Cosby a racist for criticizing the Black community. Does Dr. Cosby hate blacks? No, of course not. But he’s showing that he principled enough to take his own community to task for its problems. Now... if any WHITE PEOPLE who want to jump on that bandwagon? You’d better make DAMN SURE your own house is clean before you do!

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m well aware that in the eyes of the Zionist Conservative, Israel can do no wrong and Conservatives can do no wrong, and they’ll use any excuse available to take down ANY liberal, let alone one as well-respected as Thomas. It’s a shame that it happened, and I don’t think it should have.  I just believe I looking at these things from many different points of view, and I think I've fullfilled that principle in this case.

And hey… she’s still 89 years old.

So whatever else might happen, I wish Ms. Thomas a happy retirement. I sincerely hope she enjoys it! In the words of Master Yoda, “Earned it, [she] has.”

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Taking it Down, point by point

I mentioned a few posts back that I found this highly offensive piece of RW garbage on an autism discussion blog.  It has little to do with autism,well... nothing really.  Which is about all it has to do with REALITY.  So while most of you will be in the choir for the following bit of preaching, just in case there are any conservatives who stumble by, I'd like to show that we can, in fact, "defend [our views] by reasoning and logic when challenged."  It is in fact the person that WROTE this who has a mental disorder, and I'm not talking about his (supposed)  Aspberger's Syndrome.  More like leprosy of the brain.  I'm going to go just about line by line here, just for fun.  Maybe I can get some of the fools to stop taking for granted everything Fox and Limbaugh tell them. Maybe get them to question some of those "sacred dogmatic assumptions" I was talking about in my last post.

After reading a recent article posted on Autisable titled "Asperger's = Atheist?", it also made me wonder if liberalism in general is a mental disorder that can be found on the autism spectrum.

First problem: ATHEISM does not equal LIBERALISM.  (Chris Hitchens, for example, is no liberal!) Second problem: There is no school of political thought of philosophy which is a "mental disorder," either on the spectrum or otherwise. Maybe you should try actually examining something BEFORE you judge it. 

By liberals, I don't necessarily mean people who simply vote Democrat. Rather, I'm referring to leftists who have really lewd, extreme, off-the-wall beliefs.

Oh, this should be good.  Remember now: LEWD, LEWD (!), off the wall beliefs!

For example, people who worship Obama like he's their God despite the fact that everything he has done in his 1 1/2 years as president has been a failure, as if they are proud that the failures have taken place (not to mention their only argument supporting him is that anyone who disagrees with him is a 'racist').

Turn off the AM radio for five minutes, and open your mind for some strait talk. First off all: NO ONE worships Obama like a God.  That's RW nonsense, fabricated because we don't accept their predisposition to automatically judge him badly over ANYTHING and EVERYTHING.  Treating someone fairly is NOT "worshiping them" in the case of someone we judge well in the end, nor is it "HATE" in the case of someone that we judge poorly, like YOU or whomever you got this email from.  Second: WHAT failure?  Seriously.  The economy's improving, the Dow's up, The War is going better than ever, more people will have health care,  banks will be better regulated... WHAT FAILURE?!  The only "failures" are the unnecessary concessions he's made to the REPUBLICANS. Finally: Almost no one is baselessly calling you lot "racists."  That's another RW lie.  I've got ten people acting like the victim for every actual accusation.  It's nonsense.  You want to know why we might think you're a racist?  Because you think the president is a failure without ever being able to give and example of an actual failure! So... what SHOULD we conclude exactly?  Give us another reason, and we'll gladly debate you on that level.

Then there's the people who believe that it's unjust for companies to grow too large or for people to become too enriched, yet they have no problem with a super large federal government and 90% income tax rates.

NOBODY believe this. PERIOD.  NO ONE.  A company becoming "too large" means that if they fail, they could take down the whole economy, or have to be bailed out by tax payers. And NO ONE (Lib's OR Con's) likes doing THAT.  It's not about being JUST, it's about managing risk, and the conservatives are largely on board with that now, they just don't want to let OBAMA sign the law.  So to prevent him from getting credit for fixing the mess, congressional republicans are acting like babies and risking another meltdown.  Also - no one HAS EVER proposed 90% tax rates.  That's a pure, baldfaced, unadulterated LIE. (And/or you don't know how a progressive taxation system actually works.)  I'm not going to explain it all here, but even when we had a TOP TIER income tax rate of 90% (back in the 1940's and 50's) NO ONE was shelling out 90% of their income to the gov't.  Only 90% of their income OVER THE AMOUNT WHERE THAT RATE KICKS IN.  Their effective rate was not much higher than anyone else's, since we all pay the samey rate of the first X dollars we all make, rich or poor.  And in any case, NO ONE is proposing bringing that top tier rate back. NO ONE.  If you heard we were, who ever told you that IS A LIAR. PERIOD.

Then there are the ones who claim the handful of sex scandal cases in the Catholic Church are an abomination and that the practice of Christianity should be limited because of it's "discriminatory" practice, like not legalizing gay marriage and abortion. However, they don't seem to have a problem with Muslims blowing up buildings, terrorizing towns and other countries, beating and killing women that don't cover themselves in public or sin against Allah, and stoning anyone perceived to be a homosexual even by an iota to death.

More utter nonsense.  We "hate" Islam every bit as much as we "hate" Christianity.  Which is to say, that we don't hate either, but we will also treat neither as "sacred" and will  hold BOTH accountable for their misgivings.You vastly overestimate the threat of terrorism, relative to our RESPONSE to it, and as far as those poor towns and villages go? Hey - we don't like religious dictatorships over there anymore than we do over here.  But the answer is to separate church and state, not to create a Christian theocracy over here to balance out the Muslim caliphate over there!  Other than the likes of Limbaugh and Coulter I'll never understand where you people get the idea that we all LOVE ISLAM.  How does not wanting people killed, blown up and tortured, FOR NO REASON, AND WITHOUT DUE PROCESS constitute "love" or "support"?  I mean: THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE ATTACKING THEM FOR IN THE FIRST PLACE, RIGHT?  How on earth do you justify do all the same things that you are using to show how bad they are?!  Bigotry justified by religion is NEVER acceptable.  It's wrong when THEY do it,m and it wrong when YOU do it.  The difference? You're HERE.  You're IN THIS COUNTRY and INFLUENCING THIS COUNTRY'S LAWS.  They're not.  So you DO pose a great threat to our freedom than they do. Because YOU have power here and they don't.  So sue me for not granting you unlimited power.

 There's other things, such as their belief that humans are equivalent to other animals, yet they are the ones who somehow are capable of destroying the earth, as if the earth is fragile; and how they believe illegal aliens and terrorists should have more rights in this country than even actual citizens.

I'm not even sure what the first line means.  Are you talking about animal rigths activists?  Or people who try to protect endangered species?  If so: What gives you the right to inflict pain on, or commit genocide on, an animal? I'm not exactly an animal rights activist myself (I eat the meat & wear the leather, baby!) but I'd LOVE to hear you're justification for driving a species to extinction just so we can cut down a few more trees.  As for the illegal aliens and terrorists?  No one is proposing giving them MORE RIGHTS than citizens.  That's BALONEY.  At best, we'd treat them as EQUALS.  And the REASON for this is one that you conservatives should be able to appreciate: We don't trust the government! Yes, you read that right,. We don't want to give the gov't the authority to torture, or detain without process or performer unreasonable searches and siezures because once you give them authority they will inevitably abuse it.  THAT'S why we want ALL people treated as well as Americans: The preamble says "inalienable HUMAN rights" not "inalien, AMERICAN rights."

As someone with aspergers, I would not correlate a relationship between aspergers and liberalism.

That's generous, seeing as how you haven't presented a shred of evidence of that.

 Rather, I would classify liberalism as its own unique mental disorder.

Wow, how profound, considering how you haven't presented a shred of evidence of that!  (You've only proven that you do not, in fact, understand ANY of the positions liberals actually hold!) And as I said in the beginning, why don't you try examining and understanding something first, BEFORE you judge it or classify it.

 Not many people consider liberalism to be an actual mental disorder because it's never classified or analyzed as such in our wonderful educational institutions.

Yeah... that's because our "wonderful educational institutions" insist on pesky things like FACTS and EVIDENCE to back up a theory, before reaching any conclusions.

 It baffles me though how liberals will not only dissent from common sense, but will hold anyone who disagrees with their crazy world views in high contempt.

No.  This is not what you really mean.  What you meant to say was, "It baffles me though how liberals will not only dissent for the sacred dogmatic assumptions that we hold dear, but will hold anyone who holds these dogmatic assumptions to be sacred in high contempt."  Now... if you'd said it THAT WAY, you'd be right.  You see... "Common sense" as you put, requires you to buy into to all that sacred dogma that you never really think about; never really examine.  If you'd take the time to do so objectively? You'll find that rather a lot of it doens't make any sense at all, and that which does requires you to see it only from a single point of view.  And if you feel you're being abused, maybe we're just getting back for the ~20 years of abuse we've suffered at the dishonest hands of Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter, etc... and the kind of people who WRITE trash like this!


Okay, any group of people is going to argue in favor of their beliefs because everyone has their own beliefs and is entitled to them, but try to argue with liberals on why they think and believe what they think and believe.

You haven't DONE this.  Your distorted presentation of our so-called "positions" and "beliefs" is proof positive that you've NEVER spoken to any actual liberals.  You're just going with the distorted view of liberalism that the arch conservatives and hard-core right wing have given you.  It does not resemble any REAL LIBERALS at all!


 If you ask them, for example, what has Obama done that has helped America or why marxism is an ideal philosophy to follow.

What an absurd question!  OBAMA IS NOT A MARXIST.  We wouldn't even HAVE an answer, because most liberals aren't MARXISTS either!  You're asking us to defend something WE DON'T BELIEVE!  (How and Why would we DO THAT?!) What's more Obama's,  done PLENTY to help America.  (He cut YOUR TAXES, for example!) The economy has gotten better. Our standing in the world has improved.  He could do a lot more, but for some reason he insists on listening to YOU PEOPLE, who have no idea what YOU'RE talking about, and no idea what HE'S really talking about either!)

They may present reasons for these questions, but they are house-of-cards arguments at best.

Or they may not... Seeing as how that's not our position.  We can't defend words that you put into our mouths, and we don't intend to.

When you try to present facts to knock down the house-of-cards to get them to provide more convincing answers, they don't answer those questions.

Again, when you're asking us to defend a philosophy that is not ours, and all you;re really trying to do is trap us in some sort of "GOTCHA!" moment, no reasonable person should be surprised that you'll leave the conversation unsatisfied.  Again: Drop these dogmatic assumptions, like "We're all marxists" and try LISTENING.  You'll find out at least that you're wrong about what liberals think.  On a good day, you might actually learn how wrong conservatives are about MOST THINGS.  (And I'd LOVE to hear some of your "facts."  Becasue I haven't heard a single one yet!)

In fact, they try to dodge the question and bring up some stupid irrelevant comment.

Like, oh, I don't know... "That's a straw-man!" for example?

For example, you want to know from a liberal why Obama is such a great president who is good for America.

OK, fair question...

 You even go as far as pointing out facts such as how every policy Obama has created has further damaged the country by continuously running up the deficit, imposing draconian regulations that are meant to punish businesses for being successful and benefit only the federal government, has hurt our relations overseas with our allies, and has considerably weakened our national security.

LOL! ROTFLMAO!  Yeah.. REAL objective.  So... we're supposed to buy into all those assumptions, concede EVERY POINT,  and THEN tell you why we like Obama?!  HAHAHA! That's HILARIOUS!  How about: WE DON'T AGREE WITH YOUR PISS-POOR ASSESSMENT OF THINGS, for a start.  How about: Your judgement is completely and utterly divorced from reality?  (Or completely hypocritical, in relation to the Deficit.)
You desperately want to know what Obama has done that is so good for this country because the other side, who supports him, must have an answer that is reasonable, right? Wrong! All you're going to get is some verbiage like "Bush is a warmonger and and you're a racist if you don't support Obama!"

I'll say this unequivocally.  If you get that for an answer... If you REALLY get that for an answer... You're not talking to a liberal, you're talking to an IDIOT.  On the other hand, if you ask the question the way you did above, and you can't have a reasonable discussion assessing those various judgements... then YOU'RE an idiot!

 This isn't just psychobabble coming from stoned college kids who upkeep blogs on the Internet either; you hear this kind of nonsense from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and MSNBC news anchor Chris Matthews.

Neither of those people has ever said anything like that in response to a question like the one you asked.  I'm flat out calling BULLSHIT on that.  Neither one has EVER answered a question like the one you asked, with an answer like the one you gave.  You're full of shit.  You're lying.  BTW... you may not realize this, but Chris Mathews is no liberal. Don;t believe me? The VERY LIBERAL Media Matters for America named him [conservative] "Misinformer of the Year" in 2005.  Again: Let's put down these sacred dogmatic assumptions for a moment, and try looking at the actual EVIDENCE for a change.  It takes work, I know, but you just might learn a  thing or two and come away a wiser person.
The biggest problem is this mental disorder has plagued our educational institutions and our media.

Again - you haven't demonstrated that it's a mental disorder.  All you've shown is that you are in serious need of more accurate information.  THAT'S the jobs of our schools and media. Informing you. Not dispensing RW propaganda like this crap.  BTW... the media? NOT LIBERAL.  That's just more trash from people that are so far to the Right of REALITY that any remotely objective analysis looks like moon-bat propaganda to them.  The FACT is that the media consistently and predictably leans conservative.  And that's ALL of the media.  Note: MSNBC gives a daily show to former Republican House Representative and proud conservative, Joe Scarborough.  No other station gives ANY regular shows to liberals. PERIOD. NONE.  The myth of liberal media bias is just one more of those "sacred dogmatic assumptions" that you've accepted without any critical evaluation.  It does not stand up to scrutiny.  At all.

Kids are taught daily that America has been the most vile and corrupt country in the history of the world, Christianity should be shunned because Christians are fascists (while Islam is nothing more than a religion of peace), the earth is fragile and humans have been destroying it for the past three generations, capitalism is evil because people become rich and greedy, people who are for securing our borders are racists and should be fined and arrested (as opposed to people who actually enter this country illegally), using corn to fuel cars is an adequate substitute to oil despite the rise in food prices, and sex should be a daily activity encouraged in school by the distribution of condoms.

What the fuck school did YOU go to?!  No one is being taught anything like this!  America is taught OBJECTIVELY.  We've done great good, and we've committed great evil.  Considering that we were one of the last countries to finally abolish slavery, and it took a civil war to do it, I'd say that qualifies us as IMPERFECT.  Nothing regarding the virtue or flaws of Christians OR Muslims is tough in any public school. PERIOD. To do so would be a violation of your first amendment rights, and liberals wouldn't have it any other way.  If your school is teaching you that ANY religion is inherently good or ANY religion is inherently evil - SUE THEIR ASSES OFF.  Because that's against the law, and a violation of your civil rights. The earth is not fragile, and no one is being taught that. What is being taught is the FACT that it's ability to sustain life is.  And we're not "taught" that we're destroying it, we're being SHOWN EVIDENCE that we're destroying it.  There's a difference.  Actually, plenty of lliberals think ethanol from Corn is a mistake.  That's not AT ALL something that liberals support universally.  Your view on sex - apart form being the very first example of a "lewd" belief (a word you used in your opening salvo) - is again, no more than a distortion.  Keeping condoms from teenagers will NOT stop them from having sex.  Teenagers have been having sex long before the invention of latex.  We favor a frank, objective, well informed discussion, with actual facts so that you can make informed choices about sex, and we want condoms made available to anyone who DECIDES to have sex, to prevent the spread of disease and unwanted pregnancy.  You mind telling me what's wrong with that?
So, this may have come off as a political speech, but I believe it is more than that.

Personally, I believe that it's LESS, but you're entitled to believe what you want.
 If a group of people have outlandish, extreme, radical views that they are unable to defend by reasoning and logic when challenged, then I do believe that said people have a mental disorder.

You've summed up perfectly how I feel about most conservatives; especially ones who write, believe and distribute collections of lies and distortions like this garbage.
Of course, I probably wouldn't be writing this if I didn't feel it was a major issue.

Oh.. you've got some major issues all right.
Liberalism has plagued Europe and is plaguing America. The only end result is misery.

Yes, you started out with the assumption that it's a plague, and misery and a mental disorder.  But you present NO EVIDENCE to support that.  It's like I was supposed to agree with every bullshit lie you told and every bullshit assumption you made and in the end shrug my shoulders and say, "Yeah, you're right."  The only problem? YOU DIDN'T ACTUALLY ADDRESS ANYTHING I (OR ANY LIBERAL) ACTUALLY BELIEVES!
All you did was start out by saying, "I can't believe you people actually believe this stuff!" and proceeded to rant about a bunch of stuff WE DON'T BELIEVE.  If anyone wants to show me why Obama is such a lousy President, by all means have at it.  The fact is, I've heard nothing but sharp, principled criticism of him from the left and nothing but outright lies and vile distortions like this crap from the Right.  If your party and/or philosophy had any value, GEORGE W. BUSH wouldn't have experienced eight years of failure in which he accomplished nothing and backslid on every single issue facing this country.

And if you don't believe me, I defy you to name ONE ISSUE that we made progress on during his tie in office.  I've issue that challenge before and no conservative has ever been able to answer it.  None even made an ATTEMPT.  So come on, let's hear it conservatives!  Tell me ONE SPECIFIC THING that Obama has done wrong, or ONE ISSUE that George W.  Bush made any progress on.

Gooooood luckwithat.

How Conservatives Think (~part 2)

A looong while back, I penned this piece pointing out what I thought was the central flaw in HOW Conservatives think. Not WHAT they think, mind you - because it's not like I always agree with Liberals anyway - but HOW they think and HOW the reach their positions and HOW they defend them. Because whether I disagree with them or not, I find HOW they think to be completely offensive, intellectually.

Before I argued that Liberals form their positions based on evidence, while Conservative form their positions and then evaluate any and all evidence accordingly. I still stand by that, but it's not really the ROOT of the problem. Nor is it really the difference in how Conservatives and Liberals think, at their cores. The biggest difference between is that Liberals have no sacred, dogmatic assumptions.

Conservatives go into every debate, and try to solve every problem, starting out with a sacred set of assumption. Tenets that they believe to be both sacred and self evident and that they simply CAN'T examine, or challenged in ANY WAY. These are things like...

1) Raising Taxes is always bad, lowering taxes is always good.
2) Increase [non-Defense] Spending and/or "Growing the Government" is always bad.
3) Christianity is always good, and can do no wrong, on the virtue of its Christianity.
4) America is always good, and can do no wrong, on the virtue of its being American.

This list is hardly exhaustive, but I think you get the idea. And the Conservative would likely look at that list and say, "Yeah, so? What's wrong with that?"

The then go on to ASSUME that the Liberal position MUST THEREFORE be the opposite. That...

1) Liberals want to raise taxes.
2) Liberals want to grow the Government
3) Liberals hate Christianity
4) Liberals hate America

The problem here, and where the conservative errs is that it's not the overall sentiment of the statement that we necessary disagree on: It's the "ALWAYS" part. It's in the assumption that these tenets can NEVER be challenged and NEVER be violated no matter what the situation or problem might call for! This is evidence of the "black and white" thinking that they engage in. They decide something is either ALL GOOD or ALL BAD and then never question or examine that assumption.

To the liberal, there ARE NO "sacred, dogmatic assumptions." The Liberal knows that just about EVERYTHING is both good AND bad. EVEYTHING has positives and negatives. NOTHING is black OR white. Some things are pretty dark grey, and somethings are a damned light shade of eggshell, but nothing is INHERENTLY good or bad to a liberal. Everything, every possible solution to a problem, is always on the table.

That's why (as I've been trying to hammer into Floyd's think, empty head these past couple days over on MMFA) Liberals, right or wrong, cannot be called "sheep." (Or "sheeple" as he tried tried to call [just] me, even though that would be plural.) We can be WRONG: I've disagreed with other Liberals right here on this very blog! And if two Liberals disagree, which happens ALL THE TIME, at least ONE of them has to be wrong! (OK, yeah, I know: not necessarily. Just think like a conservative for a moment.) So we can be WRONG. But in being wrong, we cannot be SHEEP. Because we don't follow a prescribed dogma. If someone were to ask me for something all liberals believe, I wouldn't have the slightest idea what to tell them, other than, "Make no assumptions, nothing is above examination or questions." There simply IS no other set of assumptions that a Liberal uses when forming his position. Evidence of this is the fact that Republicans almost alwasy vote in lockstep with each other, while the Democrats can't even order lunch without it looking like an excersise in herding cats.  So who's the sheep?  The ones who are always unified or the ones who are always bickering?

And THAT'S really where I think we need to attack the conservative mindset and where I think we might actually (eventually) WIN. Because you're not going to change WHAT people think very easily right now. They're just too misinformed, and too locked into their dogmatic world view.  But if you can change HOW they think - IOW: If you can get them to ACTUALLY think; to throw away their sacred dogmatic assumptions, to throw away the "black or white" view of the world, and get them to recognize that EVERYTHING has positives and negatives and that where the REAL debate is is over how we PRORITIZE our judgments, how we VALUE the various positive and negatives... If you can get them to do that... Shit, you've turned them into a liberal, right then and there, even if they don't even change their position!

And THAT is how I wish we were debating - not form the point of view of assuming mutually exclusive, binding assumptions - they way THEY want to argue, but from an AGREED upon set of FACTS - that tall tings have positive and negatice - and from the POV of prioritizing our various agendas and issues. If we could do THAT, then progress will be made. Because once people start question that which they used to take as sacred, it is inevitable that SOME of their positions - which were based upon little other than these sacred dogmatic assumptions - will start to change as well.

As I said in my previous post, WHAT they think is not nearly as frustrating or as damaging as HOW they think. (Or really... the fact that they DON'T.)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Stupidity knows no bound...

I was just over on an autsim related site that I visit every now and them, when I came accross THIS.

Now I'm not one to use the "R-word," especially as it quite posisble that the person who wrote this may have actually been a member of the autistic / aspbergers community, but if there was ever a reasonable application, THIS WOULD BE IT.

I'll give the board the benefit of the doubt and assume it's just spam, or that the poster got an email from some RW loon and figured it would make for some good sport, but COME ON!

I mean, youv'e got to love it when someone starts out saying, "I can't believe these liberals believe this stuff!" And the proceeds to list a hundered or so points that liberals DON'T in fact believe.  The conservtaoive lack any self-awareness at all.  They really have NO IDEA how wrong they are, or even that they can even BE wrong. On second thought, screw WRONG, they have no idea that they are anything short of PERFECT.

It's really absurd, and I'd take it aprat point by point, by why bother.  I'm not going to waste my time dignifying it like it deserves any serious consideration.  These idiots are so stupid, they can't even recognize stupidity.  God damned fools.

BTW - that item is NOT typical of the usual content of that site.  Usually I find most posts to be rather interesting.  I can't believe the moderators chose to leave that up.  Totally off-topic, and complete RW garbage propaganda.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The impilcations of this are pretty scary...

Just read an article about false and manipulated memories on Slate.

The findings were pretty surprising, but the IMPLICATIONS are downright scary.  It's pratctially a Blueprint for how the RW Media (which is to say, ALL of the media) operate.

And the WORST offender, BY FAR, is Glenn Beck and revisionist historical rants.  I think this lays out why we cannot risk letting Glenn Beck re-wrtie history.  He's dangerous, and so is Fox, and so is the Right-Wing, Conservtaive bias that infects practically EVERY level of the media to varying degrees.  And this article does a great job of showing why.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The New Republican Logo

I'm glad to see that BP is finally making SOME progress in closing off that well.  Hopefully I didn't just jinx it!

In any case, a few posts back I suggested revising the Republican Party's Logo, to go along with the whole "Bay of Rigs" thing.  (Which, despite having been the brainchild of Rush Limbaugh, I still say is funny as hell!)  Anyway, I'd like to share my proposal with you all.  Here it is:


Feel free to forward that image to whomever you like.  If you can manage to remember to tell them where you got it from, that'd be really great, K? 

Backtrack... Backtrack... Backtrack...

Upon further review of the play, it has been determined that "Niceguy" Eddie may have overreacted.

Yeah.

Unlike my right-wing contemporaries, I do admit when I'm wrong, or when I go too far, and yesterday night, I went too far, RE Umpire Jim Joyce.

Don't get me  wrong - it was still the worst, and most significanlty bad, call in MLB history.

But Joyve showed a lot of class after the game, and at today's game.  And Galarraga himself showed a lot of class both on and off the field.  No dramatics, no whining.  Hey: HE knew he threw a perfect game, so what does the rest of it really matter, huh?  But I would be remiss to continue to rant and rave about Joyce after he had admitted his mistake, apologized to - and was forgiven by - Galarraga.  My anger was REALLY aimed at the umpires of old that I remember, who would stedfastly refuse to acknowledge even the most nboneheaded calls as mistakes.  So I have been shamed by the class and sportsmanship displayed by these two men.  And as pationately as I feel about this, it just goes to show that you shouldn't go writing anything - that anyone else will see- when you're REALLY angry.  This is the third time in my life that I've broken that rule and each time I've written something that I've regretted.

And while I would have reversed the call, I'm not surprised that that spineless jellyfish Commissioner Selig did not.  But you know what? I'm not even sure that would be the right thing to do anyway. The moment is past.  And Galarraga doesn't need his name in the record books to know what he accomplished.  (I still would have done it though!)  And like Craig said, in resonse to my last post - this will likely be far more memorable anyway! 

Plus, I'm sure Joyce will love the fact that for the rest of his life, he'll be known as "the guy who screwed up the perfect game." LOL. 

So every now and then, there is SOME justice. :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jim Joyce singlehandedly Justifies the use of Capital Punnishment

This might be THE worst call of all-time.

Jim Joyce should be fined $10 Million Dollars, permanently banned from Baseball, and beaten to death in the public square.

A once in a lifetime opportunity for a pitcher and and this waste of donor organs blows it on a call lke THAT?!

To channel Al Capone: I want him DEAD! I want his family DEAD! I want his HOUSE burned to the GROUND!

I don't care how many times this asshole gotit right, this ONE CALL renders his entire career a colossal joke. He is now the Bill Buckner of Umpires.  Actually, my apologies to Mister Buckner, his error was nowhere NEAR this level.  So on second thought, calling Joyce that is an high insult to BUCKNER.

Baseball should have instant replay, period.  What the hell, if the call stands then eject the challenging manager.  But this is a level of incompetence rivalled only by BP's Crisis Response Team.

Next time Galaraga throws to First, with Joyce making the call, he just just drill him right in the back of the head.

What a fucking asshole.  Armando Galarraga threw a PERFECT GAME tonight.  I don't care what the history books say.  They SHOULD say "Jim Joyce is a useless piece of shit umpire who has no business putting on the uniforn unless he's going to a halloween party."

Congratulation on your perfect game, Armando.  May Jim Joyce burn naked in the 9th circle of hell, the incompetent, half-blind, fucknut.

Un-be-fucking-lievable.

The Bay of Rigs

Rush Limbaugh must have been a fantastic bully in grade school.  And I don't just say that as one of the typical liberal attacks on the man.  I say that because if he has a singular skill, something he's just REALLY GOOD at, it's making up goofy names for things that stick in people's heads.  He was like that kid in school (usually the bully or one of his lackey's) that could find some rhyming, vulgar perversion of pretty much ANYONE'S name. Something that made a really catchy chant or something. Remember: This is the guy who coined terms like Feminazi, Testicle Lockbox, etc...  Most of these are just purile and offensive of course, but evey now and then - credit where it's due - there are some real gems.

Fruit of Kaboom?  Come on... admit it, that's pretty funny.

And his latest - Obama's "Bay of Rigs?"  Come on - that's pretty clever, no?  I mean, yeah... It missies the mark completely and is a pretty pathetic attempt to blame Obama for... what?  Not banning all off-shore drilling, and hence given them a change to portray as some kind of paranoid environmentalist for not allowing the practice that led to the disaster that they're now trying to blame on him... You know what? Let's not even try to follow thier "reasoning" there.  So much circular login and catch-22's make me dizzy.  Gives me a headache. 

But "Bay of Rigs" is still way better than the media once again trotting out "Obama's Waterloo." I mean...How many Waterloo's can one fascist, communist dictator HAVE anyway?  If Napolean was allowed this many Waterloo's, he could have taken over the entire world.    Or "Obama's Katrina."  I don't recall 20,000 people, 1,300 vessels and [the hurricaine equivalent of] almost 2 Million feet of containment boom being sent to 17 different staging areas to protect said areas during Katrina.  I remember some Jackass from Texas doing a fly-by, playing air guitar and saying "heckova job, Brownie."  They may WANT this to be Obama's "Katrina" - as in, the moment that the public starts to turn on him in a big way, like they did on Bush.  There's only one problem: You can't just SAY "Katrina" over and over again and somehow make it so.  There needs to be a collossal fuck-up on his part (you know, kind of like during Hurricane Katrina?) for the meme to have any teeth. 

As for the "Waterloo" comparison?  This is far more likely to be BP's "Waterloo" or the Oil Indusury's "Waterloo" or Off-Shore Drilling's "Waterloo" than Obama's.  I mean... who was the Party of "Drill Baby Drill"?  Who's the party that's always poo-pooing environmentalistrs, government regulators, industry watchdogs, etc... I'm telling you.  This should be the REPUBLICANS' "Waterloo" or - since they're all a bunch of cowboys, and they hate French so much anyway - the Republicans' "Alamo."  (Considering how much they all  "remember the Alamo" it's funny that they always seem to forget that we LOST at the Alamo. LOL)

Do you know what I'd be doing from now until November if I were runnign for office as a Democrat?  I'd be constantly running a commercial which starts out with the Drill-Baby-Drill chant, complete with the most recognizable icons of the Republican Party (Palin, Bush, the guy I'd be running against...) and have it slowly morph so that by the end the chant has changed to SPILL, BABY SPILL.  Maybe turn the Republican Logo into something like this:

(Mastodons stuck in the Tar Pits)

Because this disaster can only REALLY be a problem for the Republicans.  There's no way to completely pevent something like from happening and, as BP has been busy proving for the last month, there's no way to fix it if it does.  About the time this shit starts washing up on the beaches of the British Isles, maybe people will start realizing what a disastrous energy policy it really is!  And they're the ones that have been puching so hard for it all these decades!  Heckuva of a job, Pub's!

But there's something here that the conservative mind can't seem to wrap it's head around: It's not about what happens on who's watch.  Nor is it the PERSON who makes a policy good or bad.  If you ever bring up George W. Bush to a conservative, many are quick to acknowledge the failure of the MAN, even as they aregue for the very policies he supported!  It's like the problem was just Bush and Bush alone and not the policies he advocated for - like, oh, I don't know... Scrapping Kyoto and pushing for expanded drilling, perhaps?  And they assume that we think the same way - that we flocked to Obama on the basis of the man alone.  That somehow if they could just tarnish the Obama brand, people will go back to their brand.  And granted... some will.  Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck have made a career out of this phenonmenon.  But what is lost of these fools is that Liberals never viewed Obama as this Messiah figure that they tried to lampoon him as.  He could never be our George W. Bush, becuase we never invested so much of our faith and hope in him they way they did with Bush.  We have no problem criticizing Obama. In fact... the more liberal you are, the more likely it seems that you'd be willing to take him to task.  But they just don't get this.  They just don't understand that we don't follow our politicians in a sheep-like manner the way they do.  That's the Democrat's biggest problem as a party: No unity!  The Republican's all march in lockstep, and yet somehow WE'RE the "sheep!" WTF?

Now granted... Obama probably has SOME egg on his face for announcing expanded of shore drilling a mere two (?) weeks before the exploision that kicked off this disaster.  But this rig's permit was not granted as a result of that statement and you can bet he's going to go back on that statement big time moving forward.  Otherwise this really would be  his "Waterloo."  And Rush Limbaugh can whine all he wants how how environmentalists are "happy" about this disaster.  We get no satisafaction out of saying "I told you so."  What can't be ignored is that we were right, they were wrong, and our ENERGY POLICY needs to change.  The short term damage is now every bit as serious and the long-term consequences.  But the public needs to be constantly reminded who was REALLY advocating for this policy.  Becuase it's not just about WHO is in charge, but WHAT THEY STAND FOR.  And "more of the same" should no longer be palatable to ANYONE.

"Bay of Rigs" is still pretty funny though...  Let's just make sure it's appled to the Republicans, K?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How NOT to argue a point...

In the past I've expressed my sincere appreciation of the conservative posters over on MMFA. As much as I really love the sight's comments, it's the discussions and debates that ensue below each item that really keep me coming back. Of course every sight has these, but over the years, IMHO, the level of discourse there, heated though it may be, just seems to be on a much higher level than what I've encountered elsewhere. And while there have been countless liberal posters that I've admired, it's the CONSERVATIVES, those people that I've butted heads with full force that have really kept me interested, and made it so much fun. So I'll stand by everything I said in my earlier post, with one exception:

FLOYD IS A FUCKIN' IDIOT!

Since MMFA has closed comments on the item we were "debating," I'll have to post my reply to his last post here. This is a bit unnecessary, perhaps, but he really pissed me off. And if I'm going to respond somewhere, it may as well be HERE. So I won't hold it against you if you decide to skip this post. This is really just meant for him, in case he has the balls to try and take me on here. It might seem be a bit petty of me to continue a discussion from somewhere else back here. I mean, there is a lot of serious shit going on in the world today, right? Aw, fuck it.  He pissed me off, and this is MY blog. And as far as I know he doesn't have one, or I'd go THERE. So fuck 'im. I'm going to put his stupidity on display here for all to see, as I pull his last response apart point-by-point.
Brilliant. I am talking about the barrier being built. YOU claim it is "WAAAAAY OFF TOPIC". Hey, einstein, the barrier plan IS the topic. And you whine that I can't read. Here's a cake, cause you sure take it.
What he's hoping her is that nobody realizes here is that I was referring to his inexplicable question / mispaced quote: eddie-- Tell us again how confusing the basics of the American progressive tax system is. Now, to his credit he DID acknowledge that this was a cut-n-paste error. All I did was tell him that I had in fact taken that topic up as well in my blog, but to please comment [here] rather than [in MMFA] since that would be "waaay off topic." But hey, why pass up an opportunity to have your attempt to make someone else look stupid completely backfire on you, huh?
eddie-- You, sir, are the one conlcuding it's GOOD just because a Republican came up with it.
I don't like the plan "just" because a republican came up with it. I think it is better to protect the area from a MASSIVE oil spill (and getting larger by the minute) any way you can, quickly. If you're idea of protecting that area is to let the oil soak in then clean it up afterward, then you go ahead and think that is a good idea. Maybe you would like to let it get soaked with oil then they can burn the oil away. Wow, another brilliant thought.

Now, while Floyd is entitled to his opinion about how best to deal with the situation - and Governor Jindal would seem to be on his side, there are a few people whose opinions he hasn't addressed. And they're not mine or even President Obama's. The people that disagree with Gov. Jindal and Floyd are the FUCKING ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS! Now he does a lot of putting words in my mouth, in terms of other lousy options, and asks what I might do instead. Floyd? I have no fucking idea. Not a clue. And unlike you, I have no problem admitting that. Know why? IT'S NOT MY FUCKING JOB TO KNOW THAT SHIT! I don't know the first thing about cleaning up an oil spill. Neither does Bobby Jindal. Neither does Barack Obama. And, unless you have a PhD from Exxon U. that I'm unaware of, neither do you. There are some people who DO know however. A lot of them work for BP. (So far...? I'm not that impressed.) Do you know where some other might be? IN THE FUCKING ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS! You know... that long-haired band of environmentalist hippies that is the U.S. FUCKING MILITARY!

I don't know if the sand burms would be a good idea or not, but that being the case, I'll trust the judgment of the Army Corps of Engineers. Their judgment, seeing as how it's their job to make it, should be good enough for Bobby Jindal and it sure as hell should be good enough for fucking FLOYD!


WHAT, pray tell, do you think would work better than to block the oil from reaching land? Oh, wait, let me guess. You would prefer to whine that the oil not be spilled in the first place and you will whine and whine about who caused the spill and who ignored regulations and who should pay for the repairs. Hey, nimrod, the oil IS spilled. Time to act is NOW, not after you finish whining about WHO caused it.

There's some truly beautiful misdirection going on here. First of all, see above as far as who's job it is (not mine) to figure out how best to deal with the situation. There are only so many times I can type "FUCKING ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS" before it loses its impact. In any case, here's the readers digest version of what they had to say:

1) It probably wouldn't work.
2) If they DID work, they'd protect the sensitive marshes in Louisiana at the cost of the sensitive marshes in Mississippi.
3) They wash away in a matter of days
and
4) The particular type of sand is apparently a pretty scarce resource (who knew?) so it's not wise to waste it on something so stupid.

Now... The ACE has submitted a modified proposal but Gov. Jindal, in his infinite technical wisdom, has rejected it. And I'll be the first to admit that I haven't the slightest idea how else they'd use that sand. Again: Not my fucking job. But if I have to decide between the judgment of a politician or that of a team of engineers, regarding the effectiveness of an engineering project, I'll that the engineers’ judgment EVERY FUCKING TIME. PERIOD. And to me it's completely irrelevant whether that politician is a Democrat, a Republican, a Political Genius or an idiot like Bobby Fucking Jindal. I don’t want Politician’s making engineering judgments anymore than I want engineers making political ones. If the ACE says the project is a waste of a scare resource, THEN IT'S A WASTE OF A SCARCE RESOURCE. So STFU, and accept that your "plan" SUCKS.

Also - notice how he says liberals are "whining" about prevention? Yeah. "Whining." Floyd? We've be "whining" FOR THIRTY FUCKING YEARS ABOUT IT! And if anyone had been LISTENING in past three decades, this wouldn't have happened. And as we get no satisfaction out of being right all the time and having nothing to show for it but saying, "I told you so," you're goddamned right we're going to "whine" about it a little more. Because maybe, just maybe, after a disaster like this some people might finally realize just how shitty an idea this energy model really is, who's been fighting to KEEP it (Conservatives) and whose been "whining" in an effort to enact something better (Liberals.)

And shit... at its worst, at “whining” doesn't completely deplete a precious resource that the Army Corps of Engineers says they'll need later on to deal with the disaster!




Yeah you schooled me alright. You schooled me into seeing how idiotic liberals are when they whine and whine about who caused the largest oil spill in decades while ignoring that something NEEDS TO BE DONE. That is classic liberalism... whine about what caused it, but refusing to actually DO something to fix it.


There's a delicious irony (or maybe just some bitter hypocrisy) at work here. Because Jindal's plan represents a microcosm of conservative planning in General: Do something, ANYTHING, today, and to hell with the consequences on (almost literally) tomorrow. And then? Once you've "done something," whether it's slap a band-aid on it, or just dump a bunch of much-needed sand into the ocean, go right back to what you are doing. THAT is classic conservatism: Keep fucking things up the say way over and over again, and then dismiss your critics as “whiners.”


Where was CLinton's massive solar panel deal? Where was Clinton's super EV plans? Where were Clinton's great 'take us off oil dependancy' plans? Typical liberal, blame a republican when no democrat did anything to correct the problem you whine is present. What regulations were put in place when the democrats took control of the political system in 06? Did any regulations appear when Obama took over in 08? Geee, NO ... NONE. But, liberalism tells you it is ALL Bush's fault. Even when he was out of office for a year before any drilling even started on that platform. OBAMA called for further off-shore drilling, OBAMA WANTED to allow BP and others to drill any way they wanted to. Bush did too, but so does OBAMA. Obama IS president, he is in charge, he is NOW responsible for regulations that oversee those platforms. Too bad it takes a major disaster for him to wise up and see he should have done something a little earlier. And all you can say is: Bush caused it.

Actually, I had blamed REAGAN in this case, but whatever. I'll bite.

I think you'll find that Obama took a lot of flak from Liberals over that expanded off-shore drilling. The "typical liberals" were echoing concerns of those "whiny" environmental groups you lot so often mock. And you know what? I wasn't even really among them. I realized that, sadly, we DO need a lot of oil at the moment, shitty though that reality is. But you've got to love how it's somehow BAD for us to blame Republicans when the polices they've championed for thirty years now lead to disaster, but somehow it's OK for them to BLAME Obama because he threw them a bone and gave them something they’ve been fighting for. I mean how insane (or just flat-out fucking stupid) do you have to be to not see the difference between saying "How dare you give them that concession?" and "How dare you give us that concession?!"

As for Clinton... Again, I've never claimed to be a hug fan of Bill Clinton, but between 1981 - When Reagan took the Solar Panels off the White House roof and 2009, when Obama took office, Clinton was President for exactly EIGHT of those TWNETY-EIGHT years. And he had a Republican controlled Congress for six of them. A Republican controlled Congress that indicated it’s refusal to sign the Kyoto Climate Treaty, I might add. But hey, so what? I guess that's all Clinton's fault, huh? Hey asshole: Clinton and/or (President) Gore would have gladly signed Kyoto, and we’d have started working on those Solar Panels some 8-12years ago. But the REPUBLICAN Congress wouldn’t sign Kyoto, the Supreme Court would let the will of the people decide the President, and Bush chose to give preference to the Climate deniers, as the Republican’s are wont to do. So yeah, I guess I am blaming Bush. But, hey: If he didn’t FUCK EVERYTHING UP, the everything wouldn’t be his fault! (Duh.)


Go back to your blog and continue whining to your liberal cohorts.

Thanks, I will. Just one problem: You lot are perfectly welcome to come by and try to take me on any time you like. I promise you that I don't moderate comments based on politics or even foul or abusive language (that would be monumentally hypocritical of me, no? LOL). Only blatant spam. So, by all mean, take your best shot. (But if this pathetic attempt is it? Don’t waste your time, or mine.)


Go to mmfa and continue reading and believing their constant lies and misinformation.

See my "Level One" through "Level Three" from a few posts ago. Identifying something as Liberal is not the same as proving it false. But you idiots never seem to be able to wrap your heads around this.


You're a sheeple in sheeple's clothing.

Really poor grammar, dude.  Don't try to be clever. (Just be yourself!) You see, in your mind I'm a "sheep." "Sheeple" would be plural. And despite the awesome intellectual presence that I represent on the 'net, I can assure you that there's only one of me.  I'd still rather have my shepard be the Army Corps of Engineers than Bobby Fucking Jindal, however 

You don't fool anyone.

Well THANK GOD for that: I'm not trying to! I'll leave "fooling people" to the conservatives and the fools who follow them. I'm trying to CONVINCE people, using facts, reason and good judgment. (I suppose I could do with a bit more DIPLOMACY as well, but oh well…) You might try it yourself sometime, but I better warn you ahead of time: Some idiot conservative will probably "whine" about you being a liberal.

Thanks to anyone other than Floyd who bothered to read all this. I hope you were entertained. I know I had a blast.

As to Mister Floyd? I’ve wasted enough of my time on you. This is WAY more consideration that you deserve.

-----------------------

OMT… What might be the single most absurd part of this whole sad comedy is that MMFA’s original point was that Jindal was lying when he said he was [PP] “Still waiting to get approval” to proceed with the sand burms. OK… I guess this was technically true, because he did NOT yet have approval. But he was lying by implying that he hadn’t heard back at all. He had. His proposal was shot down. In conservative-speak this is the equivalent of saying “God answers all prayers, but sometimes the answer is no.” So he might be “still waiting,” but he’s going to be waiting forever since his idea was REJECTED (rather than ignored) and he’s in turn rejected the ACE’s counter-proposal. "Waiting for approval" is not the same thing "already got rejected."  By that logic, I'm "still waiting" for Loraine Garrison from the 10th grade to go out with me. (Of course, not being Bobby Jindal, I realized about 20 years ago that this wasn't going to happen!) What is lost on the useless waste of key-strokes that I’m debating with here, is that whether Jindal’s idea was good or bad, he can’t say he “hasn’t yet gotten an answer.” That’s a lie. Period. He did. And the answer was, “No.”

Hey Floyd…