The Right’s Lust for Lust

I shouldn’t be surprised about the Right’s blatant hypocrisy about the intrusion of government, but it always gets me.

I mean, from art, to books, to comic books, to movies — it’s always hate this and ban that.  The far right tried to ban nonfiction about birth control in the 1800s.  Shakespeare is still censored in today’s high school texts.  Tarzan novels were banned from several libraries in the 1930s because Tarzan and Jane weren’t married.  (Actually, they were, way back in 1913 in The Return of Tarzan.)  The ultra right tried to destroy the comic book industry in the ’50s.  And watching Elvis gyrate on “The Ed Sullivan Show” was an obscenity the cameras could not show.

With one hand — the hand the right-minded magicians want you to keep your eyes on — they point at taxes, and they wave the flag of Freeeeeeedom and proclaim at the top of their lungs, “No more government control!  Stay out of our lives!  We’re the good guys!” 
With the other hand — the hand that’s actually pulling the bait and switch, the sleight of hand you’re not supposed to see — they point at Eeeeevil books and dirty, filthy movies, and they whisper for “More government control!  We need you to control our urges!  We’re the good guys!”
Of course, their reasons are all wrapped up in the American Flag, and at the top of the flagpole is a shining, golden cross, for that conservative parade has behind it the taint of so-called morality.  Their morality.  One-sided morality.
And, of course, the Left is the bad guy — for wanting the government — all governments — to stay out of our bedrooms and our minds.
Bedroom?  The Men in Black can stay the hell out of my whole house.   The First Amendment comes first in the Bill of Rights because it is the most important — it is the single most valuable guarantee of our rights as individuals.
Groups don’t decide what we can read.  Mob-mind morality doesn’t choose what we can watch.

Stay out of my mind’s library.  I really don’t need a Big Brother.

About those damned lies…

A brief, intelligent and dead-on essay by Mark Evanier on the lies of the Far Right. This is how it starts:

I used to have a friend who would jokingly quote the maxim, “A lie is as good as the truth if you can get anyone to believe it.” Funny how I keep thinking of that as I read about this whole “Death Panels” nonsense.

End-of-life Counselling is a very good idea, not only for the government but for the person whose life may be ending soon. If someone wants to make the case against things like Living Wills and Advanced Directives, I wish they’d speak up and make it honestly…but I don’t think anyone does.

When Sore Losers and Mad Cows go on a Rampage

Have you been keeping up with all the crazy flying around the Conservative Loonisphere? KeeeeyRIIIST! Who let all the bugs outta the Right-Wing Roach Motel?

Above and beyond the GOP cattle rustlers herding busloads of cattle AND sheep into town halls, mooing and bullying the speakers with monosyllabic catcalls and childish name calling —

Above and beyond the threats of violence; the democrat hung in effigy, the swastika painted on another democrat’s door; the anonymous revolver left behind at a town hall — do ya get the message yet, you commie fags?

Above and beyond the whips of fear being cracked across the bleeding back of America by Sarah “Death Panel” Palin and Rush “ObamaNazi” Limbo —

Above and beyond all the snippets you’ve seen on TV —

— there’s a hell of a lot of stupidity deliberately being generated by the mouthbreathers of the Republican monkeymachine, and a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on:

• This laundry list of lies about the Health Care Act. It’s been making it’s way from one conservative web site to another — and not a single one of them credible. It was submitted under false pretenses to the comments of this blog last week. It started out as an anonymous list — Hey, why the hell own up to something full of bullshit and lies, right? — but it’s now been sourced, as close as can be, to Virginia’s very own Liberty University. You know, the one founded by that upright, moral citizen, Jerry Falwell. Lies? Sent out by Christians? NO! SAY IT AIN’T SO, JERRY! Don’t you and the true brethren believe in the ninth commandment?

Sure don’t look like it. Jerry might be long gone, but his hatred and poison still live on.

They had to have been separated at birth. Or one is the reincarnation of the other. NO — Phyllis Schlafly is still alive, just like the coelocanth, the living fossil of Madagascar. So what could explain . . .

CLONES! That’s it! Sarah and Phyll are clones!

But what crazed scientist would dare go against the laws of God and Man to recreate Woman in her most rabid form?
Oh, the humanity!

• Have you ever been attacked by a rabid liberal? This guy says he has — and at a town hall, loaded with the right-wing’s bullying thugs. Hmm. I wonder how the fight started?

The funny thing is, even though he’s against the Health Care Act, this clown is uninsured. He would be completely covered if we had universal health care right now. As it is, he’s asking for donations to cover his medical costs.

Hey, maybe he could get some of those samaritans and angels at the insurance companies to pitch in.


The girl has balls!

Gov. Mark Sanford’s wife left the dumb son of a bitch for cheating on her. I’m damn proud of her! Hilary should have done it!

So, while Marky Mark is crying in his state-paid-for-beer (probably PBR draft) because his squeeze moved out and because he CAN cry for me, Argentina, it looks like he’s also been stealing some of the South Carolina beernuts and no one’s noticed . . . until now.

Did Evita like yer $1,265 haircut? ¡Oooooh! ¡Muy macho!

• To quote his profile,

Ed Brayton is a journalist, commentator and speaker. He is the co-founder and president of Michigan Citizens for Science and co-founder of The Panda’s Thumb.

Ed is also incredibly intelligent and he does not allow pseudoscience, belief, disbelief or stupidity to get in the way of the honest, plain and simple facts. I urge all of you, if you have any regard for science and understanding the natural world which surrounds us, to visit his daily blog, Dispatches from the Culture Wars.

Ed today referenced this “fair and balanced” article about the Health Care Act and a hero of mine whom I will probably never meet, Stephen Hawking. He’s smarter than us all. His mind is a supernova.

The important thing is that the idiot who wrote this fair and balanced article has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. Pundits talk about the democratization of the Internet and that every voice can be heard; this voice is one that belongs under the category of village idiot.

His point: under the health care plan in Great Britain, upon which — DUH! — the socialist Obama’s plan is based, the great Stephen Hawking would be left to die! OMG! FML!

Funny thing, though: Hawking does live in Great Britain, is a distinguished professor and author, and he has been reaping the benefits of comprehensive British health care for 45 years.

ONE REALLY HOT DAMN FUNNY THING: all the references to Stephen Hawking have been removed from the article since this morning! YES! Go look for yourself! Then go to one of the cached pages on Google, and you’ll be able to read the part the bastards cut out:

The U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) basically figures out who deserves treatment by using a cost-utility analysis based on the “quality adjusted life year.”

One year in perfect health gets you one point. Deductions are taken for blindness, for being in a wheelchair and so on.

The more points you have, the more your life is considered worth saving, and the likelier you are to get care.

People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.

The British are praised for spending half as much per capita on medical care. How they do it is another matter. The NICE people say that Britain cannot afford to spend $20,000 to extend a life by six months. So if care will cost $1 more, you get to curl up in a corner and die.

In March, NICE ruled against the use of two drugs, Lapatinib and Sutent, that prolong the life of those with certain forms of breast and stomach cancer.

The British have succeeded in putting a price tag on human life, as we are about to.

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I hate bullies and I hate liars. Just thought you ought to know that.

• Rush Limbo has for years made old people chortle until the snot ran outta their noses when he mentioned those damn Feminazis. Hyuck, hyuck! Hey you feminazi kids, get outta my yard! Ha ha ha! Chuckle!

Lately, our president has been labeled by The Large One as a nazi. No, I don’t mean the more appropriate president named Bush, who had art covered up and American citizens spied upon. May I see your papers? I mean the current prez, the one who wants people to be well and healthy — not the one who wanted to wage war and kill the foreigners.

Here’s a piece by a non-partisan source that examines media for bias. And for lies.

Hmm. I’ve heard that RUSH IS RIGHT.

I don’t think so.


More later, when the bullshit starts overflowing again and I can’t take it any more . . .

UPDATED: Attack of the Rabid Sore Losers

Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I am occasionally amazed at the drooling stupidity of the American public, and how so many mouth-breathers are willing to be led lemming-like by the mouthpieces of the far right who do nothing but lie — lie loud and lie strong — about everything that they are against.

President Clinton’s health care plan was defeated in the ’90s because of their lies, and now the lies continue, primarily for two reasons: because conservatives want their power back and they’ll do anydamnthing to get it, including hiding behind God and American patriotism, and because they hate President Obama because he’s a democrat, he’s intelligent, and he’s black.

Joe Conason is a writer who suffers no fools, and he’s written an exposé about two of the leading liars in the news today:

If the current effort to reform American healthcare ends in frustration, much of the blame rests on our political culture’s empowerment of deception and ignorance. Fake erudition is revered, every hoax is deemed brilliant, and prejudice is presented as knowledge — while actual expertise is disregarded or devalued.

This revelation is just the tip of an underlying strategy by the far right which is designed to be invisible to us, the public, just as we are supposed to become simultaneously outraged that Obama isn’t an American, that he’s a racist, that his health care plan is Socialism, that God would never allow global warming to happen, and that Judge Sotomayor was a dyke in an all-girl Hispanic gang.

Okay. I made that last one up. But some of you believed it.

No matter how many pundits mocked her on Fox News and on talk radio, Hilary Clinton was right when she referred to a “vast conservative conspiracy.” From conservative think tanks and stealth-attack programs being funded by the rich and powerful Annenbergs behind the scenes, to the amateurish actions of the politicos with perfect, blow-dried hair and cheesy flag pins (such as Virginia’s Eric Cantor and his lame-ass job fair), there is a war going on — it’s a war for our wallets; it’s a war for raw power and mass control, no matter what. And it’s not a war being waged by the little people or the liberals — it’s one being waged by the conservative bullies and rich elites who have been kicked out of the sandbox, but are now scheming to take over the whole playground — and then blame those who are against them.

Do you know all the dirty tricks that are being played on us? Here are some, if you don’t believe me. Do the research. See for yourself.

UPDATE: SATURDAY 7:25 pm _________________________

. . . and the Republican lies keep gushing out, just like Old Faithless. Go here for more Obama hatred, health care fear-mongering, and how Medicare is socialist.

Obama’s Missing Birth Certificate

. . . can be viewed, by you, our elected officials, the rest of the world, and Rush Limbaugh (if he hasn’t eaten the rest of the world), right here. Obviously, it was never missing, nor has it been mysteriously concealed from our sight, nor did aliens take it when they stole JFK’s brain from the secret warehouse in Area 51.

In addition, you might want to head over to this piece at Salon if you want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about all those lies, rumors, myths and lies (they tend to lie a lot) the far-right is spreading about the President. Anything titled “Crazy right-wing myths about Obama 2.0: The post-inauguration edition of odd things conservatives believe about Obama. Teleprompters! Hitler Youth! Satan!” is must reading.

At least for people who want the truth.

Fear and Loathing in Tea Party Land

Every tyrant who has lived has believed in freedom — for himself.
• Elbert Hubbard

The outright hatred and racism evident on our televisions during the so-called tax protests clearly illuminated the true reasons for these “spontaneous” gatherings: conservatives, afraid their lifestyles will be taken away (and their political power) and fueled by stealth promotions on Fox News (“We deny everything!”), want to be listened to. The pictures available on the web show the depth of their outrage — it’s non-existent. The tea parties were carnivalesque in atmosphere, and the angry “protesters” showed up less to protest than just to be seen on camera.

It was, plain and simple, a freak show, a circus of the disenfranchised, desperate to be heard, and their Maobama t-shirts, their badly-written posters, their reliance on conservative tropes and cliches — and lies — showed the majority of Americans just how backward and egotistical the far-right fringe really is.

The tea parties coincidentally came right on the heels of a federal study warning that far right extremists could perhaps prove dangerous. This study, is, of course, President Obama’s fault, and conservatives are up in arms that the government will soon be watching them.

First: we needed a study for that? Hell, extremists on any side can be dangerous.

But the conservatives have got it wrong. The study was conducted under the Bush administration and was just now released. Face it: The difference here is that W. and his cronies would have squelched the results from being made public. Nothing wrong here. Go on about your business. On the other hand, President Obama has, for the most part, been open with the public, and in doing so has proved that his administration, so far, is going to remain as open as possible. The results are the results, he didn’t ask for them, but there they are. Let’s move on. And as to conservatives being monitored — remember who started watching innocent citizens after Sept 11, 2001. Phone tapping, email gathering, the attempts to access library records . . .

Let those without sin cast the first stone, okay?

Paranoia. All this is the result of the unarticulated conservative fear — the knee-jerk, emotional response ingrained in our forebears when tribe fought against tribe with stones and sharpened sticks for fear that their food would be taken away, or their way of life somehow changed . . .

It’s the us or them mentality. It’s cro-magnon against neanderthal. And what that boils down to is a dangerous, irrational and unspecified fear: There is something out there, and it scares me . . . so let’s kill it!

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy, that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
• John K. Galbraith

After a post a few days ago about the tea parties, an anonymous reader left me a message to go to a website and read a press release from their “group,” the Chester Patriots. I wish I could have — every time I tried, something on his group’s site froze my computer.

What I could see, however — mentions of 9-12, We Surround Them, the Federalist Papers — was enough to start some more research on the Internet, and gave me enough clues that suggested what I would find would be conservative propaganda.

It is — but it’s worse. It’s conservative propaganda — and an agenda — promoted by ultra-right whack job and on-air talking head Glenn Beck.

Glenn Freakin’ Beck.

The Joker.

Newton’s First Law of Motion, also called the Law of Inertia, which states an object in motion tends to stay in motion, would seem to imply that an operation that starts fucked-up tends to stay fucked-up.
• Larry Beinhart

The 9-12 Project takes its logo from the first cartoon — editorially or otherwise — published in an American newspaper, designed and published by Benjamin Franklin in the Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754.

(Of course, it’s telling that the Beck Marketing Machine had the temerity to steal, and then subvert, Franklin’s cartoon, without even giving the founding father credit on the website. They added two pieces to the American snake, and gave it the tail of a rattler with twelve segments. But this is piddling. The cartoon has been out of copyright for about two hundred years, so they can do what they want with it. Benjy, however, an intelligent 18th century liberal, scientist and hedonist, is probably rolling around in his grave.)

Since Beck and his marketing machine are in charge of these agendas, I have complete and utter faith that they are now — and will end up, just like the Moral Majority, Jimmy Swaggert and James Dobson’s career — fucked up beyond all recognition.

The main body of the Beck Snake is made up of nine principles:

1. America Is Good.

2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.

3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.

4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.

5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.

6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.

7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.

8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.

9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.

On the surface, all this sounds great. But let’s be realistic, shall we? (And you can make your own conclusions about how these are derivative of the Ten Commandments.)

1. America Is Good.
But we can act badly. Don’t even try to defend our actions in the cells at Guantanamo. Yes, America is ultimately good . . . but we can be better.

2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
I know many loyal Americans — and moral Americans — who do not believe in God. Conservatives do not have a monopoly on God, Christianity, or on simple, moral living. And are you aware how many Americans don’t believe, don’t go to church, and don’t cut their hair?

3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
Good advice. More politicians, religious figures and psychics should heed it.

4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
This completely disavows the authority of Americans who choose to be single. And to what exactly does it refer?

5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
Tell that to Nixon, Bush and Cheney.

6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
Ideally, we WOULD have those rights. But those are not rights as guaranteed by the Constitution. The phrase is not law at all, and is from the Declaration of Independence.

7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
Who said you had to? I don’t get this one.

8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
No, active dissent is perhaps the most American activity one could take. But why is it so many conservatives fight against dissent, especially when it’s aimed at America itself?

9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.
Sounds to me like somebody is afraid of something . . .

And the 9-12 Project’s 12 Values:
* Honesty
* Reverence
* Hope
* Thrift
* Humility
* Charity
* Sincerity
* Moderation
* Hard Work
* Courage
* Personal Responsibility
* Gratitude

Not sure how Charity got in there, considering the 7th Principle . . .

Every effort to confine Americanism to a single pattern, to constrain it to a single formula, is disloyalty to everything that is valid in Americanism.
•Henry Steele Commager

On the surface, most of those principles and virtues aren’t bad at all. As a matter of fact, I already follow most of them — and the Beck Marketing Machine says that it’s all right if you don’t believe all their tenets — you can believe just seven of them, your pick, and you can still be in the club. That’s about as scientific as a Facebook quiz — Which Car are You?

The problem is, it doesn’t really matter if you follow these principles — you still have to declare yourself a conservative to be considered a patriot by the Beck/Limbaugh/Fox News entourage.

Why do I say that? Look at the 9-12 Project’s homepage. They have “news” and opinions on the left hand side, and not one of the items pertains to their principles or virtues. Instead, they all push forward the traditional conservative propaganda: Anti-Obama, anti-the Environmental Protection Agency, anti-Hispanics and immigration . . .

In other words, they’re hiding behind the tenets of so-called patriotism and American values in order to promote their real agenda: taking America back from the liberals — THEM — and exploiting it for the conservatives — US.

Which brings us to WST — We Surround Them. From Glenn Beck’s website:

“Do you watch the direction that America is being taken in and feel powerless to stop it?

Do you believe that your voice isn’t loud enough to be heard above the noise anymore?

Do you read the headlines everyday and feel an empty pit in your stomach as if you’re completely alone?

If so, then you’ve fallen for the Wizard of Oz lie. While the voices you hear in the distance may sound intimidating, as if they surround us from all sides the reality is very different. Once you pull the curtain away you realize that there are only a few people pressing the buttons, and their voices are weak. The truth is that they don’t surround us at all.

We surround them.”

I laughed when I read this, because this is exactly how I and most of my friends felt during the eight years of the Bush regime.

And it requires just a little bit of clearing up. Both Liberals and Conservatives are in minorities. The majority of Americans are simply people who go about their lives, day by day, strong enough not to have to declare their devotion to one side or another, but who can see the forest for the trees; who can judge for themselves if an issue is not white or black, but a shade of gray.

Conservatives: you most definitely are surrounded.

But we’re not your enemies. We’re not THEM.

We’re Americans. That’s all.

Many people never grow up. They stay all their lives with a passionate need for external authority and guidance, pretending not to trust their own judgment.
•Alan Watts

Why would anybody like the Chester Patriots — probably a bunch of nice guys I could hang out with and share a few beers with — follow as shallow and callous a radio/tv personality as Glenn Beck? Is their innate need to be led so strong that they will, lemming-like, follow a leader blindly as long as he waves the flag? As long as he gives them the lip-service they crave?

Make no mistake: Glenn Beck’s name is on this project, but the leader behind it is his marketing machine. This is promotion. This is mobilization of his hardcore fans in order to maintain his ratings. Ratings = commercials and sponsors; and commercials and sponsors = $$$$$$.

You have been used by Fox News and the Conservative think tanks and herded into your Tea Parties like sheep, bleating against the unstoppable wind.

Conservatives: you’re being used by the Joker for his own gain — not yours. And the joke is on you.

They’ll nail anyone who ever scratched his ass during the national anthem.
• Humphrey Bogart

Looks Like the Tea Parties Backfired

And they have no one to blame it on but themselves and the far right, whacked out fringe.

“While the anti-tax sentiment of the protests may have been sincere, the images pulled from the events have often been offensive, embarrassing, or politically problematic.

“It is a development that has tripped up the GOP before. The rallies outside McCain-Palin events included some of the same bile that was seen at the tea parties: charges of fascism, terrorism and other malicious criticisms leveled at Barack Obama. And it did the Republican ticket little good in its efforts to bring moderate voters to the cause.”

Here’s the column at the Huffington Post.


The Peasants are STILL Revolting

Wow! Not only are the airwaves filled with know-nothing commentators saying the word “teabag” repeatedly, but this manufactured revolt by Fox News and a couple of conservative think tanks are really forcing some good writing out of the liberals. There are benefits, after all!

Go here for a great — and truthful — piece on how conservatives make up America’s peasant class, and go here to read how insane these “teabaggers” really are . . . because their taxes are getting lower.