Monthly Archives: May 2011

Live-blogging the Apocalypse!

Um, nothing yet…

I’ll post immediately if this changes…

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The fairy dust WORKED!

So on the heels of a young gay man having beglittered Repugnican Tea Party presidential aspirant Newt Gingrich at a book signing in Minneapolis earlier this week, advising Gingrich to “feel the rainbow” and to “stop the hate” (see video grab above), the latest Gingrich campaign-stop snafu that they’re reporting is that Gingrich’s cell phone went off in the middle of a campaign pitch in Iowa — and that the ring tone was Abba’s “Dancing Queen.”

That’s gay enough, but Gingrich’s response to the ringing cell phone is even gayer:

“I love that sequence. The energy. The excitement,” he said of the ring tone, which was taken from the musical “Mamma Mia.”

Showtunes. Abba. “Dancing Queen.” “Mamma Mia.”

Yup. Just toe-tappin’ good fun…

Gingrich vows to plod ahead*, which makes me happy, because with campaign stories like this, it would be a crying shame for him to give up now.

*Gingrich, who is widely known for his Donald Trump-like low-self esteem, recently described his current presidential campaign as “something that happens once or twice in a century, a genuine grassroots campaign of very big ideas,” adding that he “[expects] it to take a while for it to sink in” for us mere mortals as to how momentous his current presidential campaign is.

Of his turbulent campaign startup, he helpfully, humbly explained, “Ronald Reagan’s opening week in the 1980 campaign was filled with bumps. It happens if you’re the candidate of ideas.”

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Stop lynching Cornel West and hold Barack Obama accountable for once

 Harsh words: Professor Cornell West, seen here with then-senator Barack Obama on the campaign trail in New York, has turned on the president

So many black progressives have been thrown under Barack Obama’s bus (Jeremiah Wright, Van Jones, Shirley Sherrod, et. al.)  that the bus no longer can move an inch. Let’s not add the corpse of Cornel West (pictured above with Barack Obama when Obama was campaigning for the White House) to the under-bus body count.

Left-wing activist and scholar Cornel West is under fire for, among other strong statements, recently having called President Barack Obama “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats,” adding, “And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.”

I have no real problem with those words because I have no problem with the truth. The truth is the truth, even if only one person in a thousand (or ten thousand or a hundred thousand or a million or…) is willing to utter it in a sea of lemmings. (Or, as Ted Rall aptly calls Obama’s allegedly left-of-center followers, “Obamabots.”)

The only exception that I can take to calling Obama “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats” is that I don’t know that it’s necessary to emphasize “black.” A mascot of Wall Street oligarchs or a puppet of corporate plutocrats is a problem, regardless of the mascot’s or puppet’s race, sex, sexual orientation, religious orientation, age, etc.

Maybe West emphasized “black” because at least on some level he expects a fellow black man to be progressive, like he is. But, as West himself has acknowledged, Obama “[grew] up in a white context,” so “all he has known culturally is white.”

Because Obama is not the descendent of African slaves and because he was raised by his white mother’s family, it is unfair for descendents of African slaves, like West, to expect Obama to be a carbon copy of themselves*, and, it seems to me, because he is half white and half black, it always has been Obama’s own prerogative to embrace one half more than the other, even if he had a choice in the matter, but, given his upbringing, I don’t see that he had much of a choice. (Children don’t get to pick who raises them.)

My problem with Obama is that he has betrayed his progressive base. He made campaign promises — promises that I took seriously, not cynically, as in the assertion that all politicians make and then break their promises, and so you’re stupid if you believe otherwise — and then he systematically proceeded to break his promises, denouncing his left-wing critics as hopelessly delusional about political reality as he did so (and his “bots” dutifully, blindly follow his lead in that).

Obama promised “hope” and “change,” and because of his promises I gave him hundreds of dollars and my vote. But instead of “hope” and “change,” we still have an economy in shambles, we still hand over billions of dollars to corporate welfare recipients, and we still give the war profiteers billions of our tax dollars via the bogus warfare in the Middle East and elsewhere while the American empire rots from within here at home.

Oh, but we got Osama bin Laden! But that and a quarter won’t even buy us a Coke and a smile.

I don’t claim to agree with West on everything, because I don’t know everything that he has proclaimed, but I like him. I saw him speak here in Sacramento (where he was raised) some years ago, and I was moved by his talk about the black American experience to the point that I got tears in my eyes. (Unfortunately, I was one of the only white people in the audience, and maybe even the only one, and brother West was, for the most part, preaching to the choir; those who really should have been there, who really needed to be there, were not there. [But doesn’t it almost always seem to go that way?])

Yes, I consider Cornel West to be a brother, but I am concerned that perhaps he and I define the term “brother” differently. I consider someone who shares my progressive values and worldview to be my brother or sister, regardless of his or her race, age, sexual orientation or even religious orientation. As a fellow democratic socialist, I consider West to be my brother. But, because I am white, would West call me “brother”? I would like to think so, but I’m not certain.**

I can’t know what it’s like to be a descendent of black slaves, and I would never, like Bill Clinton or at least John Kerry did, insinuate that I, who although I’ve always been middle class was born into some degree of white privilege, truly feel black Americans’ pain. I have not walked in their shoes, so I cannot, and so I do not, make that claim. (Bill Clinton was called by many as “the first black president,” and Kerry once stupidly stated that he wanted to be “the next black president.” I find such faux familiarity to be disrespectful as well as false.)

Even if he would not call me “brother,” I am not going to jump on the bandwagon of throwing Cornel West under the bus like Barack Obama threw his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, under the bus, and then Van Jones and then Shirley Sherrod. I think that such rhetoric as that of Salon.com editor Joan Walsh (who was a staunch Billary Clinton ’08 supporter before she became an Obamabot) that West has had a “tragic meltdown,” not only is overblown but is deleterious to progressivism.

Walsh writes of “the unrealistic left” (which is, I surmise, akin to the Obama administration’s “professional left”) and proclaims:

I’m on record saying that despite my disappointments on the economic and civil liberties front, I support Obama’s re-election: He’s as progressive a leader as we’re able to elect right now, and if you have issues with him – as I do – it’s time to work to elect strong Democrats at the state and local level. I’m pro-Obama – and also pro-reasonable organizing efforts to push him left.

“[Un]reasonable.” “[Un]realistic.” These are interesting terms. Fucking fact is, Obama had the nation’s good will and both houses of Congress controlled by his party for two fucking years, and he squandered that rare opportunity to push through a progressive agenda.

For that alone he does not deserve re-election, but sellouts — Obamabots — like Walsh, who actually make such statements as “despite my disappointments on the economic and civil liberties front, I [still] support Obama’s re-election” since Obama is the lesser of the politically viable evils, are destroying what’s left of the left.

How can we actual leftists have “unrealistic” expectations when so-called “Democratic” sellouts like Obama don’t even try? How can you know what’s possible and what’s impossible to achieve, what is realistic and what is unrealistic, when you surrender from the very fucking beginning? The establishment Democrats almost always surrender before the game even begins. Meanwhile, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors roll out such radical ideas as decimating Medicare. Yes, they are stupid, but they’re bold.

As the Repugnican Tea Party traitors succeed in pushing the nation’s politics further and further to the right, Obamabots like Joan Walsh help the wingnuts by contributing to the rightward drift of the Democratic Party, which began under Bill Clinton, by excusing anything and everything that establishment/Clintonesque Democrats do or don’t do, simply because they use the “Democratic” label — and because these Democrats in name only are, the Obamabots assert, the best that we can do. (And besides, what do you want? A Repugnican president?)

That Barack Obama isn’t as bad as are the Repugnican Tea Party traitors who want to be president just doesn’t fucking cut it for me. He’d have to do much better than that for me to give him another penny or my vote again.

Obama’s new campaign in which you can buy a T-shirt or a mug displaying his birth certificate and the words “MADE in the USA” under his portrait —

— is clever, but the nation needs an awful lot more than more clever Obama campaigns right now, and on the heels of having been punk’d by the “hope” and “change” campaign, I, for one, am just not in the mood to fall for yet another clever Obama campaign. (Although if I were working on the Obama campaign, my snappy slogan might be something like: “Barack Obama 2012: Really This Time!”)

I suppose that I have to give props to Team Obama for finding a way to turn the pathetic and racist birth certificate bullshit into a fundraising campaign, but I cannot, in good conscience, give Team Obama even a penny, as clever as the new campaign is.

At some point this sellout shit has to stop. I, for one, don’t want to be responsible, even minutely, for its perpetuation — even by buying one of the clever T-shirts or mugs.

But back to brother West.

Let’s not make him into a scapegoat for the serious failings of Barack Obama as president of the United States of America. Instead, let’s continue to talk about identity politics versus political ideology and what roles they have and what roles they should have in rescuing the American experiment from the edge of the abyss.

As a gay man, for instance, while it would be great to have a gay or lesbian president, I’d much rather have a heterosexual president who actually is progressive than a gay or lesbian president who, like Obama, is too cowardly or too personally comfortable (or both) to pursue a progressive agenda.

Similarly, I’m not impressed by the mere fact that Obama is the first actual (half-)black president. There are plenty of wingnutty black men, such as (not in any certain order) U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” Clarence Thomas, recently booted Repugnican National Committee chair Michael Steele, former Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell (who delivered the pivotal state of Ohio to George W. Bush in 2004 much as how Katherine Harris had delivered the pivotal state of Florida to Bush in 2000), and presidential aspirants Herman Cain and Alan Keyes, and I’d never want any of them anywhere near the White House, not because of the color of their skin, but because of the content of their character. (On that note, I once saw Al Sharpton speak here in Sacramento [in early 2005, I believe it was], and I still remember his quip that “Condoleezza Rice [yet another black wingnut, as well as a war criminal] is of my color but is not of my kind.”)

The problem with Barack Obama isn’t that he isn’t “black enough.” The problem is that he isn’t progressive enough — and that he had promised to be progressive, but broke that promise.

That is the discussion that we need to be having instead of kicking around brother Cornel West.

P.S. I highly recommend the article on Cornel West by Chris Hedges that stirred the West brouhaha. It is here. In the article, Hedges quotes West as having said other things that are making people butt-hurt, such as that Obama “feels most comfortable with upper middle-class white and Jewish men who consider themselves very smart, very savvy and very effective in getting what they want,” which to me more or less seems to be true, whether it’s considered politically correct or not, but Hedges also quotes West as having said other things that aren’t being repeated as much as are his “controversial” statements, such as

“This [Obama’s presidency] was maybe America’s last chance to fight back against the greed of the Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats, to generate some serious discussion about public interest and common good that sustains any democratic experiment.

“We are squeezing out all of the democratic juices we have. The escalation of the class war against the poor and the working class is intense. More and more working people are beaten down. They are world-weary. They are into self-medication. They are turning on each other. They are scapegoating the most vulnerable rather than confronting the most powerful.

“It is a profoundly human response to panic and catastrophe. I thought Barack Obama could have provided some way out. But he lacks backbone.”

and

“Can you imagine if Barack Obama had taken office and deliberately educated and taught the American people about the nature of the financial catastrophe and what greed was really taking place?

“If he had told us what kind of mechanisms of accountability needed to be in place, if he had focused on homeowners rather than investment banks for bailouts and engaged in massive job creation, he could have nipped in the bud the right-wing populism of the tea party folk.

“The tea party folk are right when they say the government is corrupt. It is corrupt. Big business and banks have taken over government and corrupted it in deep ways.

“We have got to attempt to tell the truth, and that truth is painful. It is a truth that is against the thick lies of the mainstream. In telling that truth we become so maladjusted to the prevailing injustice that the Democratic Party, more and more, is not just milquetoast and spineless, as it was before, but thoroughly complicitous with some of the worst things in the American empire.

“I don’t think in good conscience I could tell anybody to vote for Obama. If it turns out in the end that we have a crypto-fascist movement and the only thing standing between us and fascism is Barack Obama, then we have to put our foot on the brake. But we’ve got to think seriously of third-party candidates, third formations, third parties….”

Yup. This perhaps was our last chance to turn it around, and Obama thus far has only blown it. Ironically, West could have been talking about himself when he noted that the people “are turning on each other,” “scapegoating the most vulnerable rather than confronting the most powerful,” because right now they’re scapegoating West instead of confronting Obama, who apparently likes the presidency only for its perks. He certainly has no stomach for the hard work that a truly progressive president has before him or her.

Anyway, I also recommend Chris Hedges’ book Death of the Liberal Class, which is about “liberal” sellouts like Joan Walsh who in their cowardice, laziness, selfishness and hypocrisy aid and abet the right wing in the right wing’s destruction of the nation and the planet.

*West also remarked that “Obama, coming out of Kansas influence, [with] white, loving grandparents, coming out of Hawaii and Indonesia, when he meets these independent black folk who have a history of slavery, Jim Crow, Jane Crow and so on, he is very apprehensive. He has a certain rootlessness, a deracination. It is understandable.”

“Deracination”? Is an identification with a history of slavery required to be considered to be black? Is Obama really required to identify with the descendents of black slaves when he is not such a descendent and was not raised by the descendents of slaves? Is this not demanding too much of Obama?

**West has referred to economists Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman as “brother Joseph Stiglitz and brother Paul Krugman,” and so I tend to believe that his definition of “brother” is about ideology, not race, but he also has referred to Obama as “brother,” yet rather clearly disagrees with Obama’s politics, so I am uncertain as to his own personal definition of the term.

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Newt has been Trumped

Even a casual political observer can see that it’s already over for Repugnican Tea Party presidential aspirant Newt Gingrich, who seems to have flamed out about as quickly as did Donald Trump (whose presidential aspirations, I’m guessing, never were serious).

The only question now is when Gingrich will acknowledge that it’s all over.

In one week, Gingrich has been skewered for having criticized Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Rep. Paul Pretty Boy Ryan’s plan to destroy Medicare — after all, Eddie Munster cum J.C. Penney catalog model Ryan is being groomed to be the party’s next Ronald Reagan (although there sure seems to be an awful lot of Next Ronald Reagans…) — and Gingrich was even the victim of a public attack with fairy dust.

Gingrich has been raked over the coals for having told the truth about Ryan’s plan to destroy Medicare. Gingrich, on Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” called Ryan’s plan “radical” “right-wing social engineering.”

How you back away from such a strong statement as that I don’t know, but the Repugnicans now are reporting that Ryan and Gingrich have kissed and made up, no hard feelings, blah blah blah.

While Gingrich has been lambasted for not having marched in lockstep with the Repugnican Tea Party, even Paul Ryan seems to recognize that he’s politically toxic, as he decided earlier this week not to run for a U.S. Senate seat in his home state of Wisconsin that because of a retirement is up for grabs in November 2012. (I had wanted to see a showdown for the Senate seat between Ryan and fairly progressive Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold, but alas, that is not to be…)

Yesterday, Gingrich was “attacked” during a book signing in Minneapolis by a young man who proclaimed, “Stop the hate!” and sprinkled him with glitter:

In this image taken from video, a protester dumps ...

Associated Press photo

(I’m, um, guessing that the young man is gay and that he was making a statement about Gingrich’s homophobia. To the young man I say: You go, girl!)

I have a feeling that if he keeps campaigning, Gingrich is going to be embarrassed like this frequently.

However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gingrich keeps on going. In polls taken over the past month, Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump occupied the top four slots of Repugnican Tea Party presidential favorites, so with the two of them having dropped out* within the past week, this pretty much leaves Gingrich’s toughest competitors Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, and Palin hasn’t announced that she’s running.

But Gingrich has not only the present, but has contemporary American history, against him. Since Dwight D. Eisenhower, no U.S. president has not been at least the governor of a state, a U.S. senator or U.S. vice president before moving on to the Oval Office. (Take that, Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul!)

While Mitt Romney isn’t widely loved among the Repugnican Tea Party, I still expect him to emerge as the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee.

Increasingly, it seems, no one else wants that job.

P.S. I finally watched the video of Gingrich’s beglittering, and yes, it was a harmless protest against Gingrich’s history of homophobia.

“Nice to live in a free country,” Gingrich remarks falsely as he brushes away a shitload of glitter from the table on which he’s been signing copies of his book after the protester has been escorted away.

Why is it when wingnuts make statements like that, that they just love freedom, especially their opponents’ freedom, they’re just not believable?

*A wingnut recently left a comment stating that I’m ignorant for having stated that Barack Obama’s having ordered the assassination of Osama bin Laden was meant to boost Obama’s political standing, but not long after bin Laden’s assassination, both Huckabee and Trump bailed out, so, it seems to me, yes, bin Laden’s killing certainly coincided at least with the period of time in which Repugnican Tea Party candidates need to be deciding whether or not they’re going to run against Obama.

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I had Schwarzenegger’s love child, too

File photo of California governor Schwarzenegger ...

Reuters photo

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, wife Maria Shriver of the Kennedy clan and their four children, who now range in age from 13 to 21, are pictured in 2006. (Not pictured is the child, who now is at least 10 years old, that Schwarzenegger now admits he had with his maid household staff…)

True, I’m another male, but hey, Arnold Schwarzenegger is potent! He found a way! And, he gets around!

But seriously, the governorship of Repugnican Arnold Schwarzenegger was a sham from the very beginning, even if he had never laid a finger on another woman outside of his marriage to Kennedy clan member Maria Shriver.

The right-wing fucktards love their time machine. Step, for a moment, into mine:

In November 2002, the uncharismatic incumbent Democratic California Gov. Gray Davis won re-election to a second term by only 5 percentage points over his bumbling Richie Rich frat boy Repugnican opponent, Bill Simon, who, to give you an idea of his caliber, at the climax of the gubernatorial campaign claimed that he possessed photographic evidence that Davis had accepted a campaign contribution on state property, in violation of state law — only the photograph that Simon produced quickly proved to have been shot inside of a private individual’s home.

Since a bumbling fool like Simon still came so close to unseating Davis, the Repugnican sharks smelled Davis’ blood in the water. Repugnican California U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, the richest member of the U.S. House of Representatives and a little Napoleon and Joe McCarthy hybrid, wanted to buy the governorship (like billionaire Nutmeg Whitman tried to do in November 2010), and so he fronted about $2 million of his own to initiate the petitition drive to force a gubernatorial recall election.

But Hollywood action movie star Schwarzenegger swooped in and Little Napoleon’s dream of buying the governorship for himself came to a crashing halt. There were dozens of candidates in the circus-like October 2003 gubernatorial recall election, including Hustler publisher Larry Flynt, the late child actor Gary Coleman, and (former?) porn star Mary Carey (all three of whom made the top 10 in the final election results).

The first question on the recall election ballot was whether or not Davis should stay or go; 55.4 percent voted that he should go. The second question on the recall election ballot was who, if Davis were ousted, should be the new governor, and those who voted that Davis should remain in office still were able to pick his replacement, if it came to that.

The individual who got the most votes was Schwarzenegger, with 48.6 percent of them. Coming in at second place was then-Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, a Democrat, with 31.5 percent, and coming in at third place was establishment Repugnican politician Tom McClintock at 13.4 percent. (Bill Simon actually ran in the recall election but came in at 12th place, with one-tenth of 1 percent of the vote, and Issa did not run in the recall election at all. Who could compete with the Hollywood action movie star?)

So the California gubernatorial recall election of 2003, while it did not violate the letter of the state’s law, violated the spirit of democracy, a tenet of which is that if you lose an election because your candidate was weak, you suck it up and you run a better candidate next time. You don’t orchestrate what essentially is a do-over election less than a year later with a stronger candidate (in this case, a celebrity).

But wait, there’s more.

As Schwarzenegger ran for governor in 2003, numerous women came forward and claimed that he had sexually harassed — in some cases, sexually assaulted — them over a period of several years.

Although the Schwarzenegger campaign did its best to paint all of the women as liars, as unlikely as it was that that many women would have come forward with such allegations and be fabricating them, Schwarzenegger did at first promise to subject himself to an investigation of the sexual misconduct claims — after the recall election, of course. And, of course, this “investigation” was going to be conducted by a private investigator hired by Schwarzenegger.

But after the recall election, Schwarzenegger decided that no such investigation, even one bought and paid for by himself, was necessary after all.

So Schwarzenegger came into office and into power in 2003 under circumstances that were shady* at the very best, and I’m not even going to go into his pre-recall-election ties with the sleazy corporation Enron, which the Enron-supporting Repugnicans unfairly and hypocritically used to beat up on Gray Davis.

And today we know one more piece of information about Schwarzenegger that if we had known in 2003 he probably never would have been the “governator”: that at least a decade ago Schwarzenegger sired a child with one of his household staff. (I’m thinking that that would be a maid, but the media are using the term “household staff,” which I suppose is a little better than “household technician.”)

The Los Angeles Times reports that Schwarzenegger reports that he told Shriver about his love child only after he left the governor’s office in January. The Times reports that very apparently Schwarzenegger supported the child financially while the child’s mother was to keep her mouth shut — or perhaps, because the child’s mother also was married to someone else when the child was conceived, she decided herself to keep quiet, and wasn’t coerced into silence — and reportedly, Shriver had no idea about this arrangement between Schwarzenegger and his in-house baby mama until after Schwarzenegger left the governorship, and thus their fairly recent separation.

Baby mama left the Schwarzenegger household in January after at least two decades of having worked there, the Times reports.

So, tarnished, methinks, is Schwarzenegger’s legacy at least here in California, and I think it’s safe to say that his political future, if he had one (he probably didn’t), is no more.

Schwarzenegger is the very same man, after all, for whom the white-supremacist wingnuts wanted to change the U.S. Constitution so that he could run for U.S. president even though he was born in Austria, while Barack Obama, because he’s half-black, was badgered for his birth certificate even though no sane individual believes that Obama was not born in Hawaii.

Most who have heard about the Schwarzenegger love child (and is/are there more than one love child, I wonder?) probably feel sorry for Maria Shriver and for her children, but I can’t help but think of the damage that the fraud who is Arnold Schwarzenegger did to the entire state of California. We can’t get back the years that he was governor, the years in which he’d promised to turn the state around but only drove it even further into the ditch.

Maria Shriver isn’t Schwarzenegger’s only victim, although she is symbolic of his apparent view of women: that they are objects to be used, whether for a cheap sexual thrill or a rung to be stepped upon on the ladder to high political office. (The governorship of California, the nation’s most populous state, was the very first elected office that Schwarzenegger had ever held. Not at all bad for a political novice.)

Arnold Schwarzenegger has millions of victims: Californians who would have voted very differently in October 2003 had they known then what they know about Schwarzenegger today — what Schwarzenegger reportedly deliberately kept not just from his wife, but deliberately kept from us all.

P.S. I’ve always been miffed at Shriver for having been supportive of the male chauvinist pig Schwarzenegger — coming from the Kennedy clan, her marriage to him and her political support of him considerably helped him to win the governorship of the blue state of California in 2003 — and no, I don’t let off the hook the millions of Californians who stupidly voted for Schwarzenegger in 2003. And he won re-election in the gubernatorial election of 2006, beating the uncharismatic and nerdish Democratic candidate, then-State Treasurer Phil Angelides, 56 percent to 39 percent.

(For the record, I voted for Democrat Cruz Bustamante in the 2003 recall election, and for Angelides in 2006, but the state’s Democratic Party really fucking blew both elections. In denial that Gray Davis might actually be recalled, the state party did not rally around any replacement candidate, apparently believing that to do so would have been taken as a sign of defeat — so Bustamante was pretty much left to campaign on his own — and the state’s party insiders rallied behind Angelides in the party’s gubernatorial primary election when the much more charismatic State Controller Steve Westly had the better chance of beating Schwarzenegger in 2006.)

*Of course, as the worthwhile documentary “Nuremberg,” which I saw last night, portrays, the right-wing Nazi Party came into power under shady, manipulative circumstances at best, and Schwarzenegger’s father was a brownshirt. They seem to have done things a certain way in that part of the globe… (Also, Schwarzenegger was buddies with Nazi war criminal Kurt Waldheim, whom he even invited to his wedding. I find any associations with the Nazi Party, such as the fact that Pope Palpatine was a member of the Hitler Youth, to be chilling, even if those with the associations [or their defenders] claim, correctly or incorrectly, that they had no choice in the association [as is the case with the pope].)

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(Revised:) Mike Huckabee wins the White House!

Repugnican Tea Party douchebag Mike Huckabee announced last night that he isn’t running for president in 2012, but since he’s busy helping to rewrite U.S. history in order to indoctrinate the youngins, hell, he can just write right now that he won the 2012 presidential election and that he was the nation’s Best! President! Ever!

Many others have covered Huckabee’s participation in the selling of really bad cartoons on “American history” for home-schooled kids (such as here and here, and Rachel Maddow has covered it too). The cartoons are so fucking bad that they appear to be parodies by the creators of “South Park,” but oh, they’re not parodies…

The episode that predictably deifies Ronald Reagan (which notes, among other things, that “he worked against Communism in Hollywood” [not that he was a McCarthyite]) has this nice little image:

051211huck.jpg

Yes, that appears to me to be a knife-wielding, menacing mulatto. In the video he apparently commands the good little white kids (who have access to a time machine, but of course as long as we’re still anti-science we’ll never get to that point): “Give me your money!” Subtle!

(If I had written the little video, I might have had the good little white kids retort: “First show us your birth certificate!”)

The Orwellian right-wing attempt to rewrite U.S. history is nothing new. Glenn Beck has the online “Beck University,” and its home page proclaims, “LEARN REAL AMERICAN HISTORY.” (Also on the home page is a link to a nice little video of Glenn titled “Presidents You Should Hate,” because Glenn’s a good little Mormon boy and God wants him to hate and to tell you whom to hate [you have to subscribe to the website to get Glenn’s God-given insight, though…]).

One of “Beck U”’s “professors” — and all of his “professors” appear to be middle-aged to old white men, shockingly — is David Barton, a white wingnut who has thought himself qualified enough to write on rewrite black American history:

I’m thinking that maybe Anita Bryant should write a book on gay and lesbian American history. Perhaps Maggie Gallagher could take some time out of her crusade against marriage between any two consenting adults to be a co-author of the enlightening, setting-the-record-straight (wink wink) historical account.

The radical-right-wing attempt to rewrite U.S. history is chilling, but while I don’t want to underestimate the radical right’s harm to the nation and to the world, I can’t see a day when their “history” ever becomes mainstream. True, our mainstream U.S. history taught to public schoolchildren is whitewashed as it is, more or less teaches our children that the U.S. never can do any wrong (even the many, many episodes of the oppression of minorities are portrayed as just little potholes in the Road to Freedom, you see), but Huckabee’s and Beck’s brand of U.S. “history” is highly unlikely to make it very far outside of its apparent target audience of home-schooling parents.

One child who is home-schooled in wingnuttery is a tragic loss — not only will the successfully brainwashed child be unable to function in a world in which his or her backasswards beliefs are in the minority, but the world will have lost a fully functional human being — but the percentage of parents who would expose their children to stupid white male propaganda thankfully remains small. Most parents want their children to be well-adjusted, functional, productive adults.

Anyway, Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and a former Southern Baptist pastor, has indicated that God doesn’t want him to run for president, but I think that even Huckabee, as off of his rocker as he is, knows that his ilk is a dying breed and that he can’t win the White House. White people who hate non-whites, non-“Christians,” non-heterosexuals and non-Americans and who believe that women should be subservient to men are finding it increasingly difficult to succeed on a national political stage because their numbers are decreasing.

The Internet, too, while it contains a lot of garbage, also has made it increasingly difficult for stupid white men and their supporters to keep the masses ignorant by keeping information unavailable to them. The wingnuts no longer can stem the flow of information as easily as they have in the past.

The wingnuts can put all of the revisionist books and videos out there that they want. I wish them luck in “protecting” their offspring from being exposed to what the saner members of the much larger world believe. This is exactly what they want to do, of course, and thus, home-schooling.

This is, of course, the largest logical weakness of such oppressively closed systems: If the system is so accurate, so true, so right, then why must it shut out the rest of the world? Why must it be so encapsulated?

Anticipating this question from the home-schooled kiddies, apparently, one of Huckabee’s “history” cartoons has one of the kiddie characters declaring (at the triumphant end of a cartoon on World War II): “What we see in here [in their time-machine travels] isn’t always the same as what we read in books or see on TV. So what? We know the truth, and that’s good enough for us!”

Wow. That says so much more than I could continue to say right now.

But I will say good fucking riddance to Mike Huckabee, who never will be president of the United States of America* — except perhaps in his really bad propagandistic cartoons for the kiddies.

*The Associated Press notes:

Ed Rollins, who chaired Huckabee’s 2008 [presidential] campaign and had been talking with fundraisers about a 2012 Huckabee bid, said it would be difficult [for Huckabee] to find another opportunity like this.

“It was all there for him,” Rollins said.

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Red scare redux

 

The Cold War still rages on for some (namely, those who are still living in the 1950s).

This book, a must-have for any home-schooling parent or parent thinking about home schooling, actually is in amazon.com’s top-100-selling books as I type this sentence.

Wow.

It’s interesting. When the wingnuts can’t find any other argument against or criticism of Barack Obama, they resort to racism. When they can’t find any other argument against or criticism of the left, they resort to red-baiting.

Yup. For the treasonous troglodytes among us, the Cold War still rages on, and when they can’t win an argument against a left-winger, they resort to visceral denunciations such as “Communist” or “Socialist” or one of their variations. It’s the adult playground equivalent of calling your opponent a doodoo head.

For all of their blather of “freedom” and “liberty,” the members of the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party don’t want our children taught that any other socioeconomic system outside of capitalism is even a remote possibility. Didn’t the actual Communists absolutely forbid that any other socioeconomic system be taught to their children? Didn’t they also wish to brainwash their children, to shackle their minds? So the actual Communists and the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are different how?

(Similarly, the members of the Taliban and other “Islamofascists” and the “Christo”fascists here at home have an awful lot in common. The content of their delusional belief systems differ, but their hypocrisy, self-righteousness and their ignorance and evil are the same.)  

Capitalism is a key method of keeping peoples in bondage, so of course the members of the radical right defend it. Especially as the excesses of capitalism have pushed the American empire to collapse, and Americans just might be considering other socioeconomic systems right about now, those who benefit from capitalism on crack want to preserve the status quo that benefits them but harms the majority of the American people.

Capitalism is based upon the idea that when thievery and virtual slavery are committed in the name of capitalism (or one of its variations, such as business), they are good. Indeed, the nexus between capitalism and “Christo”fascism, which also teaches that evil is “good” when “Christians” commit it, is so strong that the two virtually are interchangeable (along with militarism, because God and Jesus love it when we slaughter us some more Muslims!).

Capitalism is based upon the idea that getting filthy rich by paying your employees as little as you can get away — by stealing the lion’s share of the actual value of their labor from them — and by charging your customers as much as you can get away with — by stealing as much from them as you can, too — is good. The key belief of capitalism is that screwing over your fellow Americans (and others) is good. That’s an awfully weak premise for a socioeconomic system, and the capitalists know it.

This blatantly greedy, selfish thievery that is capitalism isn’t called thievery or exploitation or slavery or even wage slavery or the like. It’s called “initiative” or “hard work” or the like, even though most of the rich and super-rich among us don’t actually do much work. (I don’t count protecting and expanding one’s own personal empire as work. I count as work as doing something that is productive, that benefits others.)

But to try to keep us serfs from going after them with pitchforks and torches, the plutocrats repeat this narrative that the rich and the super-rich are rich and super-rich because they are hard workers, and those of us who aren’t rich (the vast majority of us) aren’t rich because we are lazy. And the plutocrats have billions and billions of dollars with which to reinforce this propagandistic bullshit. It’s a good bet that their money is behind the book that is pictured above.

It is critical for those of us who oppose the right-wing traitors’ Orwellian attempt to snuff out Americans’ ability to even think that a better, more just and more equitable socioeconomic system is available to us to counter their red-baiting bullshit when we see it.

If I had a nickel for every time some right-wing fucktard threw the epithets “Commie” or “Socialist” at me, I’d be as rich as the Koch brothers.

But I don’t shrink away from the mindless red-baiting, which is meant to intimidate and to thus shut down the debate.

Yes, I am a socialist. I believe that the best socioeconomic system for the United States of America would be democratic socialism. It’s pretty fucking clear what runaway capitalism has done to the nation (and to the planet, with its melting ice caps), yet the treasonous, selfish individuals who are guilty of economic malpractice (and treason, because they have harmed their own nation) are the same ones who are crowing that what we need now is even more of their brand of capitalism.*

Capitalism is eating itself alive, like a serpent swallowing its own tail. Capitalism is dying because it’s a dysfunctional, defunct socioeconomic model. It brings misery for the masses and excesses for the few.

This isn’t opinion. This is just fucking fact. It’s quite measurable and observable. And it’s not just evident, but is fucking obvious, all around you.

Our children need to be taught facts and reality, not right-wing bullshit. Our duty to our children is to give them the knowledge and the tools that they need in order to make their lives and the world better. Trying to perpetuate the ignorance of the past — such as “creationism”; whitewashed versions of American history that make the conservative, “Christian,” presumably heterosexual white man the triumphant victor and keep women, non-whites, non-heterosexuals, non-“Christians” and other historically oppressed groups down; Bible-based homophobia (and other Bible-based hogwash); anti-science, pro-business/pro-profiteering stances such as that climate change isn’t real; and the assertion that any discussion of a socioeconomic system outside of capitalism is “Commie” (which we can’t even define correctly but just “know” is something really, really bad) — is to cripple our children, is to diminish their chances for success in a rapidly evolving world, a world that continues to evolve around us whether we want to evolve with it or not, whether we want to reach for the stars or whether we want to retreat into our caves (you know, to go back to the “good old days,” such as the 1950s, when women, non-whites, non-heterosexuals and non-“Christians” knew their place!).

And I feel sorry for our public-school teachers, who routinely come under fire from ignorant, backasswards, wingnutty parents for not passing down those parents’ abject ignorance and backasswardsness to all of our children.

The effect of this political pressure and oppression from the treasonous fucktards on the right is that all of our public-school children get, at best, a watered-down education that instead of teaching them to strive for solutions to our problems only teaches them to perpetuate our problems, which only ensures the collapse of an American empire that cannot remain competitive in an increasingly globalizing world.

*Amazon.com notes that Joe Kernan “is the co-anchor of CNBC’s longest-running program, the top-rated morning show ‘Squawk Box.’ Before television, he was a successful stockbroker with top firms such as Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney.” So a former Wall Street weasel sings the praises of capitalism. Oh, what a shock! And amazon.com notes that Blake Kernan is “a fifth-grade student” and apparently is the girl who is pictured on the book cover.

 Hey, why have children if you can’t infect and cripple them with your own sick belief system and use them to make a profit for you?

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