Facts and Palin

It is strictly an accident whenever the two meet.

Some of the blame of the current oil spill can, in fact, be delivered to the door step of the former president of the USA and his sock puppet GW Bush.  It was Cheney’s opening up the government to the big oil companies and their deregulation and minimal oversight that led to the conditions that caused the accident.

Palin.  As long as there are angry white Republicans she will always have an audience for her inane, inaccurate and insipid commentary. 

Looks like she’ll have the spotlight for at least two more years.

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What’s Eatin’ Your Thetan?

Inquiring minds want to know.

The thing is…Scientology is as “real” as Christianity, Mormonism,  Islam, Judaism, and all the rest of the invisible friend cults.  All religions deserve as much skepticism, incredulity and suspicion that Scientology so deserves.  They are all based on concepts that are quite ludicrous and that demand a complete rejection of common sense, intelligent inquiry, and historical reality.  Jewish zombies, midnight rides to heaven by “the” prophet, the “chosen people.”  All nonsense.  No more or less so than the absurdities that pass for the theology of Scientology.

Here’s a helpful hint.  Step away from the invisible sky beings and just live your life.  No one’s watching and no one cares.  There are no demons, angels, cherubs and no Gods nor Devils.  Now…get out there and have fun.

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Dumbing Down For Jesus

Or for the conservatives that like their history covered and smothered with a big dash of right-wing propaganda.  Newsweek points out the ten silliest changes to new textbooks voted for by the good ol’ goobers down at the Texas Board of Education and BBQ stand.

Texas Cooks the Textbooks

NEWSWEEK’s guide to the 10 silliest changes that will likely be in the new Texas textbook curriculum

Who says school is boring? The Texas State Board of Education will make a final vote today on a long list of controversial changes to its textbook standards. The 15-person board, dominated by 10 Republicans, is expected to approve many alterations that give a conservative slant to the study of U.S. history and economics. Fittingly, today’s meeting opened with a prayer by board member Cynthia Dunbar, who “used the opportunity to lay out her views that the Bill of Rights and the constitutional founding of America were divinely inspired by her Lord Jesus Christ,” according to the Texas Tribune.

And the Lord Jebus Christ he loves his subjects dumb and simple. 

Liberals across the country fear that, because of the state’s size and buying power, Texas’s new requirements will influence textbooks sold in other states. Below, 10 of the conservative, reactionary, or just plain bizarre changes the board is likely to adopt:

You can read the piece to see how the picks go.  But here is the first one:

1. Many of the proposed changes come from Don McLeroy, a creationist, former school board member, and dentist from Bryan, Texas. One of his gems: students must learn to “evaluate efforts by global organizations to undermine U.S. sovereignty.” To clarify, he’s referring to the United Nations, not Goldman Sachs.

Yes, I want my kids to know about all those plots to undermine our sovereignty.  Especially from within.  Like that Obama feller.  He wants to take your guns and send you to one of them re-edumukashun camps.  Best learn em early to watch out for that.

Dumb and ill/misinformed seem to be conservative values. 

It looks like they’re doing a good job of circumventing reality and forcing their ignorance on their kids.  And yours if you live in Texas.  I hear the faint strains of a John Lennon song with a slight change…”Imagine there’s no Texas.  It’s easy if you try…”

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Since It’s Sunday

Chris Hedges, a reporter and author who I have read quite a bit of,  recently had some comments about fascism and America’s readiness to accept it. 

And I tie this in with my Sunday sermon is because of Mr. Hedges has pointed to the rise of this fascism as a by-product of the religious right.  Here is a very good explanation of that given in the sixth year of GW Bush’s presidency,

I have always been a proponent of the idea that we, the USA has always had fascist tendencies.  We didn’t need to wait for Mussolini to declare a political movement by that name.  After WWII we sided with many former fascist regimes over our former communist ally the Soviet Union.   We supported brutal militaristic fascist governments in  Central and South America, as our own corporations were kept somewhat in check here at home and our military more a tool of enforcing our strong-arm market policies around the world.  Meanwhile Mom and Pop in the 50’s cooked the chicken that was in every pot and went to those jobs that allowed them to buy all those cool new appliances and luxuries that were before the war just dreams. 

But our corporations, and fascism stripped of its racism and militarism is corporatism, got stronger. They got more consolidated,  they got deregulating candidates elected, they, apparently now own the US Supreme Court which sided with them to flood money into campaigns unchecked, and they made a seamless merge between corporation and state.  Lobbyists to Congress and from Congress to lobbyists.  From General to propagandist and from journalism to corporate PR rep.  On one of the channels owned by just five corporations now or any of the other media which they own all of.

Sinclair Lewis is misquoted as saying in “It Can’t Happen Here” about fascism coming to America written in 1935 just before WWII as he saw how easy it would be for it to become entrenched here, “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a bible.”  In fact it was “wrapped in a flag and whistling the Star Spangled Banner.”  But I agree with the misquote.  Because fascism will latch onto whatever yields power.  If it can use the symbology and emotionally stirring rhetoric of religion then it will.  In fact that is exactly what Hitler did.  His rhetoric was full of Christian buzz words, clichés and themes.

Henry Wallace, former vice president under FDR said:

“[American fascists] use every opportunity to impugn democracy. . . They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution..”

This is the Christian right Tea Baggers in a nutshell today.  Roosevelt and Wallace in a conversation about American fascism said: 

American fascists  “who are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so,” FDR’s Vice President added, ” but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.”

Between the Christian “Dominionists” and the corporate driven “Tea Party” and the already existing level of merge between corporate and state, resisting fascism is a lot like shoveling sand against the tide.  Either that or peeing in a dark pair of pants.  It may give you a warm feeling but nobody notices.  It appears to be only slightly slowed by this administration, but with Goldman Sachs saturating its roster, I am not so sure about even that.

Our fascism is not the Mussolini/Hitler type.  It is the frog in the pot with the water slowly rising in temperature around it.  Christ and Corporations.  It’s bad news when they are joined to do battle with democracy.  Does the water feel warmer to you?


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Of Course He Does

That’s the Pulitzer Peace Price Winner.

The Hill reports:

Obama Defends Escalation of Afghan War In Address To 2010 West Point Class

President Barack Obama on Saturday used a speech to West Point cadets to defend his escalation of the war in Afghanistan.

Yeah, buddy.  I sense another Pulitzer coming his way.

Speaking before about 1,000 cadets — many of whom will be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan — Obama cited continuing threats to the U.S. by violent extremists while proclaiming that American intervention has “brought hope” to the Afghan people.
“The war began only because our own cities and civilians were attacked by violent extremists who plotted from that distant place, and it continues only because that plotting persists to this day,” Obama said in prepared remarks at the military academy in upstate New York.

You know,  I am sorry but…Obama is presenting a pretty twisted view of history here.  The attackers were mostly from Saudi Arabia.  The Taliban were not plotting against us.  Osama bin Forgotten, a Saudi may have been plotting against us and living in Afghanistan, but the Afghan government nor its people were.   But if you kept dropping drone missiles on my family and holding my brothers, sons, father with no access to courts indefinitely, if you supported a corrupt government here in my country that robbed me blind and only served to enrich itself, then I might plot against you also.  In fact I know I would. 

Violence begets violence.  Noble intentions don’t count for anything.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions.  We are on that road in Afghanistan.  Some day we will have to get off of it.

Apparently that day won’t be any time during Obama’s term in office.

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Anti-Government Rhetoric…

It caused the deaths of two police officers, a proponent of anti-government rhetoric and, unfortunately, his 16-year-old son.  Though his son was apparently guilty of the violence in this episode as well, he was following his fathers bull shit and was virtually brainwashed.  Perhaps by 16 his die was already cast.  We’ll never know.  But his father got what he was looking for, of that there is no doubt.  

Ohio Man, Son Killed After Ark. Cops Fatally Shot

– An Ohio man’s resentment of authority and run-ins with the law was enough for a local sheriff to warn that he could be dangerous if confronted by law enforcement. Years later, the sheriff appears right: The man and his teenage son are suspected of fatally shooting two Arkansas police officers during a traffic stop before they died in a shootout.

 Jerry Kane Jr., 45, of Forest, Ohio, and his son Joseph Kane, believed to be 16, were killed during an exchange of gunfire with officers in a Walmart parking lot, Arkansas State Police said Friday 

One thing that seems to go hand in hand with the anti-government group is…guns.  Big, hairy full auto sons of bitches that can really help the world see that justice and liberty is what they are all about.

The shootings came about 90 minutes after West Memphis police Sgt. Brandon Paudert, 39, and Officer Bill Evans, 38, were attacked with AK-47 assault rifles after they stopped a minivan on Interstate 40 in West Memphis on Thursday, authorities said.

AK-47s.  I do not like being stopped by the police any more than the next guy, but killing two cops with sub machine guns because you have some sovereignty issues?

Jerry Kane, who had a long history with police, used the Internet to question federal and local governments’ authority over him and held debt-elimination seminars around the country. He recently complained about being busted at a “Nazi checkpoint” near Carrizozo, N.M., where court records show he spent three days in jail before posting a $1,500 bond on charges of driving without a license and concealing his identity.

Well, it looks like Mr. Kane decided to escalate things. 

Mark Potok, who directs hate-group research at the Southern Poverty Law Center, said Kane had not been in the group’s database before Thursday. But he said that was not surprising, given the “explosive growth” in the anti-government movement in recent years. With 363 new groups in 2009, there are now 512, Potok said. Members of so-called patriot groups don’t recognize the authority of the U.S. government and consider themselves sovereign citizens.

 363 New groups in 2009.  Well, these are two anti-government, violent extremists that won’t be troubling us any more.  How many more like them are listening to the drum beat of intolerance from the right every day and building up steam that will need to be vented through the violence valve?  We’ can only wait for the next eruption.

Cause and effect.  Words have consequences.  And another couple of parasites on the backs of us all bite the dust.

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Corn Pone, Simplistic Brainwashing

Or as it is otherwise known as, the standard gibberish of any Palin and Beck speech.

Mr. Olberman, take it away:

Of course these two are caricatures of actual informed and concerned people.  They are shallow, showboating, riding the pony as long as it runs, entertainers paid to be inflammatory.  But…the scary thing is…the people that applaud them.  The people who quote them as a source of information, the number of people, and I have spoken to many, who claim that Beck is the guy they trust.  The one that is looking out for them.  And Palin is a kook that is riding a gravy train  that is really a crazy train, but her followers see her as a potential U.S, presidential candidate.  That is scary to think about.  The number of deluded, clearly misinformed, radicalized, haters, racists and religious freaks waiting for some charismatic somebody to come along and pull them up on that train and ride it all the way to righteousness.

And Palin and/or Beck are those some bodies.  And instead of standing for what all these neer-do-good followers espouse; democracy, freedom, liberty, economic security and every other American concept, ideal and dream,  Beck and Palin are diametrically against all of those things.  Theirs is a twisted and warped image of America where racial profiling, putting people into classes of “who is a real American” of wanting war and destabilization, enmity towards all who are different.  Religiously, politically, ideologically…different means enemy.  They have a twisted view of America where reality, history and facts have no place if it interferes with their vision. 

Palin and Beck are Buffoons.  They are just rodeo clowns under the big media/political tent.  But their followers are your neighbors.  The believers are voters.  Their flock are the ones who would welcome fascism because what Palin and Beck represent is fascism.  Real fascism.  Corporatism with a nasty disposition and a big scoop of racism sprinkled on top.

Let’s hope the clowns’ faithful that have swallowed their corn pone, simplistic brainwashing have nothing but twisted dreams to occupy them and neither Beck, Palin nor what they represent ever take hold and have the power in this country.  It won’t be pretty.

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