Monday, September 30, 2013

The Long Game

I am now ready, based on my experience, to predict what the Republicans are really up to in Washington.  What is going on this week is just a trial run, to refine their strategy for shutting down the government.  The real action is going to come in a few weeks, with the debt ceiling fight.

The Republicans will know after tonight that they indeed do have a way to stop anything from happening in Congress.  They will use this power to refuse to allow a raising of the debt ceiling.  At that point the economy of the United States and the entire world will stand at a precipice, ready to plunge into chaos.

Obama will be forced to use whatever power he has to avert this catastrophe.  No matter what he does as President, it will be alleged by Republicans to be a violation of the Constitution, based on the totally fictitious argument that he has no right to do anything without Congressional approval.  This will serve as the basis for them to institute impeachment proceedings against Obama.  It will be their intention to draw the process out for a year, during which every Republican lie and smear will be paraded in front of the American people.  Thus, the entire 2014 election campaign will be carried out before a background of the most vicious attacks on Obama and the Democrats, given a sickening veneer of respectability through the Republicans' gross misuse of their Congressional power.  In the course of this coming year, we will see the massive economic resources that can be mustered by the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Karl Rove et. al. devoted to a virtually unendurable bombardment of the population with the most vile, hate filled propaganda, until most Americans will be just begging for it to stop.

In this environment, it is hard to predict what the outcome will be.  If the Republicans take back the Senate, through their orgy of hatred, Obama and Biden will be removed from office.  Who knows who, by that point, will have seized the speakership of the house from the hapless drunk who now holds it, and will then ascend to the Presidency.  If the Republicans cannot do that, they very well may let the world economy collapse, try to blame it on Democrats and hope to win the 2016 Presidential race.  Either way, we are likely in for a display of hatred and treachery that will surpass anything we have ever seen in the history of this country.


Green Eagle is Stunned

Well, here is a right wing smear that has even Green Eagle reeling from the sheer audacity of it.   Wingnut talk show host Erik Rush is pushing the following theory:  The recent killing spree by a psychotic individual at the Washington Navy Yard was actually ordered by Barack Obama as "retaliation" because the Navy was about to arrest Obama.

Let's just leave aside for the moment what it is usually called when a branch of the military "arrests" the legal head of state (that part of it seems just fine with Erik,) and ask why, in Erik Rush's opinion, the Navy was about to arrest Obama.  Well, because Obama, facing a failed vote to let him attack Syria, was so committed to war that he was about to detonate a nuclear bomb in the middle of Washington D.C. and then claim that the Syrians had set it off, all to force Congress to let him go to war.  Yes, he was going to kill millions of Americans and destroy our Capitol in order to win a vote in Congress.  That is just so like everything we know about him.

The sad thing is that this degree of irrationality is only one step beyond what we are hearing from a good number of the leaders of the Republican party today, and at the rate things are going will be accepted by the mainstream press as a reasonable position which needs to be debated.

This is a hopeless situation.  There is not a shred of a chance of working out reasonable solutions to our problems with people like this, who are willing to embrace the most loathsome, ludicrous explanations for things, rather than have to face how utterly misguided they have been all these years.  Welcome to chaos.

Bill O'Reilly Explains the Bible

That highly respected biblical scholar and all-around great guy, Bill O'Reilly, has graced us with a book explaining what the bible is really about.

Well, here is Bill's revelation of what the life of Jesus was all about:
"Bill O'Reilly's new book says Jesus died to free the Jews from taxation
The basic argument of the book is that Jesus died because he interfered with the taxation-heavy Roman revenue stream. The reason the Jews eagerly anticipated the Messiah, writes O’Reilly, is, “When that moment arrives, Rome will be defeated and their lives will be free of taxation and want.”
Over the years, I have made the claim that all Conservatism in this country is about is "cut my taxes."  Right wingers don't want to pay their share to run the country, and that is the whole story.  The rest is nothing but window dressing designed to distract attention from the overwhelming greed of Conservatives, the nation's true bloodsucking welfare class.

Well, here it is- all Jesus cared about was cutting taxes.  This is the true religion of all of these miserable people who claim to care so much about their faith.  In the end, that's all there is.  There is not one shred of real belief or decency in any of them.  They ignore the open preaching of Jesus to create a false God who is concerned with things that Jesus said nothing about, or would have condemned.

I know that when I have made my claim about Conservatives and taxes, many people disagreed.  Well, I have to thank Bill O'Reilly for spelling it all out.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Extortion, Explained

I think it is a good idea to take a look at the extortionate demands the Republican party is now making in return for not crashing the global economy.  If you haven't looked at them in a little detail, you probably have little idea just how piggish and extreme they are.  So here, from a list compiled by Ezra Klein, are some of the details, along with Green Eagle's comments:

a yearlong delay of Obamacare-

An attempt to destroy legally enacted legislation through brute force financed by the rich.

Rep. Paul Ryan’s tax reform plan-
A massive giveaway to the rich, financed by cutting programs for the poor and middle class, and a total non-starter when it was proposed as actual legislation.  Now, they will try to blackmail the country into accepting it.

the Keystone XL pipeline-

A giveaway to the energy industry, with no appreciable benefit for the American people.

more offshore oil drilling-

A giveaway to the energy industry

more drilling on federally protected lands-

A giveaway to the energy industry

rewriting of ash coal regulations-
A giveaway to the energy industry

a suspension of the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate carbon emissions-

A giveaway to the energy industry (is this starting to sound a little boring, already?)

more power over the regulatory process in general-
A giveaway to virtually every large corporate interest in the world

reform of the federal employee retirement program-

I.e. cutting federal employees' pensions to help pay for the above

an overhaul of the Dodd-Frank financial regulations-
Making sure that Wall Street guys can continue to plunder our savings, and seeing to it that another depression is just around the corner.

more power over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s budget-

I.e. gutting its ability to protect consumers.

repeal of the Social Services Block Grant
Here is a partial list of what Social Services Block Grants pay for:

"SSBGs fund a variety of initiatives for children and adults including:
  • Daycare
  • Protective services
  • Special services to persons with disabilities
  • Adoption
  • Case management
  • Health related services
  • Transportation
  • Foster care
  • Substance abuse
  • Housing
  • Home-delivered meals
  • Independent/transitional living
  • Employment services"
So, in the end, making the poor and middle class pay for more giveaways to the rich

more means-testing in Medicare-

I.e. cutting people off from medical care, to leave more money available for the rich

repeal of the Public Health trust fund
And here is some of what the Public Health trust fund will pay for, at a cost of about $1 billion a year:
Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
Alzheimer's Disease Prevention Education and Outreach
Clinical Preventive Services Task Force
National Public Health Improvement Initiative 
State Healthcare Associated Infections  Prevention
Immunization
Tobacco Use Prevention
Environmental Public Health Tracking

and more.

And more! As if that were not enough.  Any sentient observer of the American political scene will be aware that the above is pretty much a list of every piggish theft of our national wealth which the Republicans have been pursuing for decades.  And here it is in one neat little package!  Not, mind you, with a shred of pretense that this can possibly be enacted by democratic methods with the approval of the American people, no matter how many billions their rich masters have spent spreading every lie they can think of, to deceive the people into believing that only the rich deserve the aid and protection of the government.  No, they are now reduced to achieving their corrupt agenda through threats and extortion, because they themselves realize that even the American voters aren't stupid enough to voluntarily resign themselves to becoming third world peasants.  So they are now going to try to jam the end of democracy down our throats, by making the alternative the impoverishment of everyone who is not already very rich.


Will it work?  Not if Obama acts the way he is now talking.  But of course, he has talked tough and acted weak so many times before, that I for one have no confidence in a good outcome  We'll see soon what happens.  In the meantime, like a trip to the dentist, at this point, the sooner it's over with, the sooner we can get on with (whatever is left) of our lives.

Friday, September 27, 2013

How It Starts

And how it ends:
And if you think I'm kidding, you're not paying attention to things.  I've just about had it with pretending that the United States is just going through some sort of normal swing.  Ted Cruz is now the leading choice to be President among Republicans.  It sure makes you understand how so many jackasses could have supported Hitler and Mussolini back in the day.  I never did understand that until the last few years, but I do now.

Wingnut Wrapup

Respectfully dedicated today to Allen West, who, after being kicked out of the army for torturing prisoners and barely surviving one term in Congress before getting booted by the voters, has now been fired by PJ Media, one of Wingnut Wrapup's main sources for right wing piggishness, for some sort of violent anti-Semitic outburst which we all know has to go far beyond the details that have emerged.  Bye Allen- again.

Leah Barkoukis, Town Hall:  "Samuel L. Jackson to Obama: Stop Dropping Your G’s, “Be F***ing Presidential”

Barack Obama to Samuel L. Jackson:  "I got Osama Bin Laden.  You got some snakes.  On a plane.  In a movie.  Listen, when I can use your advice, I'll get back to you.

Jonah Goldberg, Town Hall:  "Ted Cruz, the GOP's Obama"


Ha.  What next, "Green Eagle, the GOP's Kobe Bryant"?  That makes just as much sense.

Daniel J. Mitchell, Town Hall:  "Is Defending the Second Amendment akin to Supporting Slavery?"


It pretty much is these days, yeah, Daniel.  Judging from who supports both of those things.

Ben Shapiro, Town Hall:  "What happens when all of America's major metro areas go blue and those populations control states with conservative rural populations? What happens when those conservatives get sick of paying for the excesses of leftist governance? "

Well, I hope they stop the excesses, seeing as how they mainly consist of Democrats in the cities supporting Conservatives in rural areas.  I'd really like to see all of you self-reliant patriots support your own lives for a change.

Andrew C. McCarthy, PJ Media:  "If Ted Cruz’s Plan Is Implausible, What’s the GOP Establishment’s Plausible Strategy Against Obamacare?"

Rage.  And lies.  Pretty much the same as always.

Rick Moran, PJ Media:  "Socialism in Action: Venezuelan Government Takes Over Toilet Paper Factory"

Man, that sure is a world-class outrage.  The Koch brothers taking over our Congress?  Not so important.

Gina Miller, Renew America:  "Defunding and stopping Obamacare--it's now or never"

It's never, Gina.  Deal with it.

Michael Bresciani, Renew America:  "Has the pope taken his first steps into Last Days apostasy?"

Well, he's trying to act like a decent human being.  The Pope not acting like an out of control jerk- why, that must be a sign of the apocalypse coming.

Laurie Roth, Renew America:  "Egypt has the guts to do it--Will America, before it is too late?"

What, build some pyramids?  Embalm our leaders?  No, stop...I don't really want to know.

Newsmax:  "Roger Ailes: I Don't Fear Jon Stewart"

Well, aren't you the tough guy, Roger.

Melanie Batley, Newsmax:  "Obama's Approval Ratings Tank"

Oh my God!!!!  They've tanked to...let's see now...exactly one point below the place they have been in late September for the last five years!  He's finished!

Tony Lee, Breitbart.com:  "Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), one of the architects of the defunding Obamacare strategy in the Senate, compared the the battle to defund Obamacare to the Revolutionary War."


What, you couldn't get Hitler in there somehow?

AP:  "$1M of suspected cocaine found in kidney bean cans in Mass."

They should go to New Orleans.  That's pretty much a standard ingredient in red beans and rice.  Pretty much explains why there's a trombone player on every street corner.

Daniel J. Mitchell, Town Hall:  "Daniel J. Mitchell: Should American Taxpayers Pay a $1 Billion Bribe to Get Syria to Drop Chemical Weapons?  I viscerally object to the notion that good people should pay bad people not to do bad things."

Well, great, Daniel.  How about if we stop paying corporations to cease polluting our air and water.  Make them pay to fix the problems they caused.  Why is it that I suspect that Daniel isn't quite ready to go that far with his idea?

Debra J. Saunders, Town Hall:  "Debra J. Saunders: Congress Should Cut Food Stamp Program...When House Republicans voted to cut the food stamp program by $39 billion over the next decade, Democrats charged GOP cruelty. Strategist Donna Brazile wrote that the move was a "heartless act," not "an example of government tightening its belt or making tough choices."

Tough choices- choosing to give more money to rich people and less to poor people.  Yeah, that was really a tough choice for your side, Debra.  Of course, you guys are good at this particular tough choice, having made it about fifty thousand times in a row now.  So, let's be even more savage to the poor- after all, isn't that what Jesus wanted?

Brad Jackson, Red State:  "The Impact of Ted Cruz’s 21 Hour Obamacare Slugfest"

Nothing.  That was the impact of Ted Cruz's "slugfest," Brad.  Nothing.  Deal with it.

Michael Walsh, PJ Media:  "Ted Cruz is helping to smash the Styrofoam columns. "

Well, good.  At least that will keep him off the street.  Just remember to clean up after yourself when you are done, Ted.

Reverend Austin Myles, Renew America:  "Church bombing in Pakistan followed by earthquake - coincident?"


Austin, everything is followed by an earthquake eventually.  Austin continues:

"It is time for all Muslims to thlnk about the possibility of having been deceived by the religion they have been recruited into which is contrary to every tenet of the true God, who will not be mocked."

I think you should give some consideration to the same thing, Austin.  If you get my point.

Rudy Takala, Renew America:  "FreedomWorks finds electorate looking for conservatives...Last week's polling data released by FreedomWorks indicates that voters – especially young voters – have become far less supportive of a powerful federal government since President Obama assumed office"

Of course, these are the same people that predicted that Mitt was going to win in a landslide.

Pamela Geller, American Thinker:  "America was once thought of as a light unto nations. Obama has single-handedly extinguished that light."

Without any help from your guys George Bush and Dick Cheney invading an innocent country, killing half a million people, torturing people and throwing them in prison without trials.  Oh no, that had nothing to do with extinguishing our light.  It was all Obama and...something.



Rewrite note:  I took out the tuches jokes.  Even Green Eagle has some sort of self-respect.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dead Man Walking

I hope Ted Cruz is having a real good time throwing his tantrum in the Senate, because Green Eagle is able to announce that

TED CRUZ'S POLITICAL CAREER IS OVER.

 Ted and his true peer as a conscienceless demagogue

What we've just seen the last couple of weeks is this guy Ted Cruz, a freshman Senator, making life holy hell for Republican Congressional leaders, all in pursuit of his own fame and power.  Do you think they will ever forget that?

Here's something I learned long ago, from my brief experience with Republican insider politics:  Henchmen who are willing to do anything can be useful for a time, but you have to remember that if they will stab someone else in the back for you, they will be willing to stab you in the back when it suits their purpose.  You may use them for a time, but it is essential that you get rid of them as soon as they have served their purpose; otherwise you have taken a wolf into your house.  Well, Ted has now shown the Republican leaders that he will push anyone off a cliff if he thinks it furthers his goals.  That cannot be tolerated and therefore I guarantee you that he is as dead as a mob squealer getting fitted with his concrete overshoes. 

We Liberals, who loathe this guy for being a sociopathic monster, don't have to do a thing.  We can make our popcorn and sit back and watch the show, while his late friends dismember him.

Funny, the Republicans are not the sort of "superior men" that might consult the I Ching, but this book contains some advice about exactly this point:


    "Six at the top means:
    The great prince issues commands,
    Founds states, vests families with fiefs.
    Inferior people should not be employed.

The war has ended successfully, victory is won, and the king divided estates
and fiefs among his faithful vassals. But it is important that inferior people
should not come into power. If they have helped, let them be paid off with
money, but they should not be awarded lands or the privileges of rulers, lest
power be abused."

This is a lesson that Republicans understand so much better than Democrats, who took years to get rid of even a treacherous weasel like Joe Lieberman.  Maybe that's because, being such vicious human beings themselves, they innately recognize the danger posed by a Ted Cruz much faster than Democrats.  In any event, I guarantee that they do recognize it, and they will do whatever protects them.  That means flushing this specimen of human detritus down the toilet, and that's what is going to happen.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ted Cruz Explained At Last

Of course we have been wondering how a person that allegedly went to Princeton and Harvard could possibly believe the things Ted Cruz says, which do nothing but make us laugh uncontrollably.  Well, after seeing the following picture of this "Ted Cruz," Green Eagle has finally solved this deep mystery:

That's not Ted Cruz- it is clearly Bill Murray, who has done his fellow South Carolina resident Steven Colbert one better by actually becoming a U.S. Senator, to give himself a national platform to tell his jokes.

There, isn't that a lot more believable than the notion that a jerk this out of control is actually in the Senate?  I bet you feel much better now, knowing that it is nothing but a Saturday Night Live skit.  You had us all scared there for a while, Bill.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Asymmetry

A few stories from the New York Times this morning:

"Mall Becomes War Zone As Gunmen Kill Dozens In Nairobi Terror Attacks"

Muslims killing non-Muslims at a facility partly owned by Israelis.

"Israeli Soldier Lured Off and Killed"

By a Palestinian hoping to use his dead body to manipulate Israelis into releasing his brother, convicted of a gun attack, from jail.

"3 Coalition Soldiers Shot Dead in Afghanistan"

By Islamic forces, needless to say.

"Suicide Attack Kills Scores in Baghdad"

A Sunni killing at least 72 people at a Shiite funeral

And of course, this one:

"Claiming the Heart of Jerusalem...Small groups of Jews are increasingly ascending the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City..."

Now, just guess which one of these stories, involving over a hundred forty murders, is described as:

"...a provocation that could undermine the fragile peace talks started this summer....Palestinian leaders say the new activity has created the worst tension in memory around the landmark Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, and have called on Muslims to defend the site from "incursions."

Yes, some Jews attempting to pray at their most holy site is far worse than dozens of murders carried out in the name of Islam.  As long as this asymmetrical thinking continues to be acceptable by Muslims, there will be no peace in the Middle East.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Do Not Call Up That Which You Cannot Put Down


-The famous maxim of Howard Lovecraft.



Here is something I've believed about Lovecraft, which has been largely ignored by his devoted readers (I am one too).  Lovecraft's work was actually very prophetic and politically significant.  From the early 1920's Lovecraft was virtually the only writer to envision a rapidly approaching time when one person or a small cabal would have the power to destroy humanity.  Nuclear science made this a reality militarily within ten years of his death, but advances in communication and propaganda technology, coupled with the concentration of previously inconceivable wealth in the hands of a few, have now made it possible politically.

Over the last half century, and with ever increasing intensity, the Republican party has set about creating in the United States a cadre of living zombies, people filled with rage and hunger, and immune to any kind of introspection or critical thinking.  Like any Lovecraft villain, the leaders of the Republican party were absolutely sure they could put down this army of the mentally undead whenever it suited their purpose.  And like all Lovecraft villains, they were wrong.

We have seen a long succession of leaders now, who have nothing in the world to offer except their willingness to pander to the mindless, voracious minions they have created, telling themselves at every step that they are in control and that the minions will do whatever suits the interest of their betters.  Palin, Bachmann, Ryan, both Pauls, Gohmert, Alan West, and now perhaps the most vicious of them all, Ted Cruz, who openly states that he believes the entire Senate should consist of 100 people like the unrepentant race hater and corupt corporate tool, Jesse Helms.

Today, we are confronting an ugly reality- similar to, for example, the one faced by Weimar Germany in the 1920's- it is far easier to destroy democracy than it is to create it.  The hordes of ignorant, greedy, hate-filled intellectual zombies the Republicans deliberately called up out of the swamps of American dysfunction are now running things, and those oh, so wise grifters like Gingrich, Boehner and McConnell are now helpless captives on a runaway train, with disaster the only conceivable future.

Now, this disaster may be only days away.  Paul Krugman (as usual):

"...at the moment, it seems highly likely that the Republican Party will refuse to fund the government, forcing a shutdown at the beginning of next month, unless President Obama dismantles the health reform that is the signature achievement of his presidency. Republican leaders realize that this is a bad idea, but, until recently, their notion of preaching moderation was to urge party radicals not to hold America hostage over the federal budget so they could wait a few weeks and hold it hostage over the debt ceiling instead. Now they’ve given up even on that delaying tactic. The latest news is that John Boehner, the speaker of the House, has abandoned his efforts to craft a face-saving climbdown on the budget, which means that we’re all set for shutdown, possibly followed by debt crisis."

And a very real likelihood of a collapse of the world economy.   Here's some more Krugman:

"...this story is all about the G.O.P. First came the southern strategy, in which the Republican elite cynically exploited racial backlash to promote economic goals, mainly low taxes for rich people and deregulation. Over time, this gradually morphed into what we might call the crazy strategy, in which the elite turned to exploiting the paranoia that has always been a factor in American politics — Hillary killed Vince Foster! Obama was born in Kenya! Death panels! — to promote the same goals. 

But now we’re in a third stage, where the elite has lost control of the Frankenstein-like monster it created."

Frankenstein's monster, only because he didn't think of comparing it to its real literary equivalent:  Cthulhu- a single entity with the capacity to destroy all humanity.  Krugman suggests that the momentum behind this apocalyptic fit of destruction is now inevitable- the Republican party we have today is, against all rational self interest, intent on pulling the house down around them.  Well, I guess that is what I believe too.  At this point, as I said recently, they may as well get on with it and do all the damage they can, and then we can either exterminate them like the vermin they are and get on with repairing the damage, or we will succumb to their violence and irrationality, and the United States of America will vanish from the world like Rome, Assyria, Babylon and so many other great civilizations that exist today only as vague dreams of a distant glory.

Friday, September 20, 2013

More Irresponsible Lying from the Mainstream Press

Today's example from Reuters via this execrable article at Yahoo:

"In the short term, the White House's decision to strike a deal with Russia over Syria's chemical weapons bailed President Barack Obama out of a Syria use-of-force vote that he was likely to lose.

But in the medium term,  what has transpired after the  August 21 chemical weapons attack  in Damascus has clearly favored Assad, Russia, Iran.
Assad

The most significant change in the White House position is that it now seeks to "transition" Assad out of power only after his chemical weapons are destroyed.

That means Assad is no longer a "dead man walking." And he immediately used his newfound standing to demand that the U.S. stops threatening to strike Syria and ceases arming Syrian rebels or else Syria won't fulfill the deal."

So, let me get this straight.  A couple of weeks ago, Assad denied he even had chemical weapons, and the Soviets backed him up.  Now, he has admitted he has them, and has agreed to destroy them, all of which Obama accomplished without firing a shot.  But it's a tremendous failure on Obama's part because Assad just might, someday, back out of the deal he was forced to accept, and therefore, Obama is responsible for Assad still being in power, which Obama was not trying to change at all.

After the massive, almost incomprehensibly huge military failures of the Bush Administration, which the press applauded at every step, you'd think they would cut Obama a little slack and at least not attack him as a failure for accomplishing his objectives without bloodshed.  But of course, you'd be wrong, because the press in the United States today are not the Republicans' dupes, they are the Republicans' collaborators.

And that is one more reason why the great story of the United States is coming to an end in the lifetimes of many of us alive today.


An Absolutely Amazing Discovery

"Places with higher gun ownership rates also have higher firearms-related deaths, a new study finds."

Who could have ever guessed that?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tom DeLay's Wife: 'He Was Being Punished By The Liberals'

And?  What's your point, lady?  Tom DeLay is and has been for years a monstrous criminal sucking the life out of the government and the American people.  Are you trying to tell us that he doesn't deserve to be punished for that?

Forget it.  He and all of his Republican friends deserve far more punishment than we will ever be able to dole out to them.  That's one of the reasons this country continues down the slope to hell.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Plea to Republicans

Shut the damned country down, already, and get your tantrum over with.

More Nothing on Guns

From the Washington Post this morning, the following useless comment on the state of gun control in this country:

"Everything was supposed to change after a man with a semiautomatic weapon mowed down 20 elementary school children in their classrooms last December. But for the politicians, nothing changed."

Supposed to change.  Saying "I told you so" is little consolation, but by the day after the Sandy Hook shooting, I said that nothing was going to change, because that is what was "supposed" to happen- supposed by the rich people who own the country today, whose attitude is that nothing will come between them and their grotesque profits.

This time, the tone is different.  I don't even hear anyone even suggesting that things are going to change this time around, regardless of the fact that 90% of Americans favor those changes.  Everyone knows that nothing is going to change, unless gun manufacturers figure out a way to make even more money by changing something.  And the endless deaths are just collateral damage in the war to concentrate ever more money in the hands of a few hundred families.

And this is not just about the NRA.  It is exactly in keeping with the way the rich have rigged the game in every part of the economy, so that no interests except theirs are even considered when politicians decide how to run the country.  After all, is murdering a dozen people for profit really that much different than impoverishing tens of millions for the same purpose?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Abominable Monsters

The people that many Americans have turned their government over to.  Case in point today:  Detroit.  Here's a story that came out of this sad city in the last couple of days:

"Major Detroit Power Outage Stretches Into Second Day...- The power is still off in Detroit.  Parts of the city’s downtown and midtown districts were knocked offline Wednesday when the public lighting system experienced an overload due to excessive heat. 

“Some institutional public lighting customers are experiencing service interruption caused by extreme heat, cable failure, and routine maintenance — all combining causing system overload,” said Robert Warfield, a spokesman for the Detroit Mayor’s Office.  The outage is affecting Wayne State University’s main campus, the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, the City-County building, the Detroit Historical Museum, and the People Mover — all of which are closed until further notice. 

Gary Brown, the city’s chief compliance officer, said officials are not sure when the power will be restored.  “DTE has been feverishly working with this problem all throughout the night. I’ve been talking to the supervisor that is literally in the hole, so we’re certainly hopeful that we’re going to get the situation involved by mid-afternoon,” Brown told WWJ Thursday morning."

Well, I'm certainly glad that the city's management, which was forced on the people of Detroit in a coup engineered by the State's Republican government, is on top of the problem.

Oh wait, we didn't quite get the whole story, did we:

"Detroit’s dictatorial administration intentionally cut power during heat wave...Last week on Wednesday, September 12th, during a 90+ degree heat wave and the day after an escaped prisoner terrorized the city, Detroit Chief Compliance Officer Gary Brown intentionally and without notice cut power to major buildings in downtown Detroit...According to Brown, seen in the video below gleefully and derisively recounting his decision, he had asked the buildings to reduce their energy consumption but, when they didn’t do so quickly enough, he cut power to “send a strong message”.

So the current Republican administration of Detroit, which seized power in an outrage as great as any that has ever happened in this country, now has licensed itself to cut power to large parts of the city during a heat wave, because its people were not doing what it wanted.  Brown was lying when he said “DTE has been feverishly working with this problem all throughout the night. I’ve been talking to the supervisor that is literally in the hole, so we’re certainly hopeful that we’re going to get the situation involved by mid-afternoon,”  They weren't working to resolve the problem at all.  Why, it wasn't even a problem, but a solution, imposed by themselves to punish the citizens of Detroit, who were not interested in complying with the orders of a dictatorial administration forced on them,  What's next if they refuse to comply with Republican demands?  Cutting off their water?  Shutting down hospitals?  Mass arrests?  Shooting people on sight?

What were the people doing in Detroit that was such a threat?  Were they rebelling, rioting in the streets, shooting government personnel, inviting terrorists to fight alongside of them?  No, they were not following orders to turn their air conditioners off.  Listen, we are so outraged by the use of poison gas on civilians in Syria, by a non-elected government, and yet this is only one step away from that.  Here is the reality of Koch brothers financed Republican rule, and is nothing but a brutal dictatorship.

And yet this horror and the its implications will go unnoticed by the American people and their mainstream press, while they pay microscopic attention to the latest phony Obama scandal cooked up by the right.

This behavior is a recipe for the descent of a once great country into disaster.  Everyone involved with this sordid incident should be removed from positions of responsibility, and this includes the State government officials who made it possible by seizing power from the democratically elected government.  But nothing will happen, and soon we will hear of worse outrages that will be ignored too, until finally the press gets the hint, and this sort of thing is allowed to continue unreported.  Because anyone who reports things like this will be, like Edward Snowdon and Julian Assange, a traitor.

Then, our government in places like Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida, can really get to work.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Wingnut Wrapup

I've been pretty lax about this lately.  Here's a load of nonsense for those who care:

Alan Sears Town Hall: No City of Man Without the City of God...Compromising religious beliefs should not be the cost of citizenship. These beliefs are essential to prompt man's consciousness and help society flourish."

Unless you are a Muslim.  Or a Buddhist or a Hindu or anything but a right wing "Christian."

Charles Krauthammer, Human Events:  "A president doesn’t commit soldiers to a war for which he has zero enthusiasm."

We just had eight years of a President with all sorts of enthusiasm for war.  How did that work out?  Personally, I'm looking for calm decision making in a President, not "enthusiasm" for killing people.  Just call me crazy, I guess.

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "Obama Calls Syria Presser… Shows Up 35 Mins Late"

The Horror!  Impeachment!

Madeline Crabb, Renew America:  "Believe it or not, the United States of America as we have known it, no longer exists. It is being destroyed from within and without. While we have been "tip-toeing through the tulips," trying not to offend anyone, the Radical Left has been working at warp-speed to not only offend conservative, traditional, patriotic, Christian, and yes, even gun-toting Americans, but to conquer and enslave us as well. We either capitulate, or stand-up and speak truth with boldness. But first, we need to discern the truth."

"Discerning the truth" in this case being a euphemism for swallowing about five thousand right wing lies.

Michael Bresciani, Renew America:  "Do scientists go to heaven -- what will they do there?"

Take a nap, I suspect.  Michael has more stupidity to spill out:

"people with higher IQs are more likely to trust in their own intelligence rather than place their trust in God."

No, they are more likely to trust their own intelligence than the malignant fairy tales told to them by some greedy con-men disguised as preachers, who don't care about a thing but how much they can sucker out of the rubes.

Rev. Austin Miles Renew America:  "Do dogs go to heaven?"

They've got a better chance of getting there than people like you do, "Reverend."  At least they don't make a living lying to the American people.

World Net Daily:  "Startling Evidence of End of World Prophecy...What if 9/11 was not a senseless act of terror, but a deliberate divine judgment of immense prophetic significance?"

Yeah.  What if?  What if monkeys live on the moon?  What if the Wizard of Oz were real?  What if?  What if Republicans acted like loyal Americans for a change?  Nah, we've had enough fantasy for one day.

World Net Daily:  "PENTAGON CAN'T AFFORD SYRIA OPERATION... The U.S. military, struggling after defense cuts of tens of billions of dollars, will be unable to pay for attacks on Syria from current operating funds"

We can't afford a couple of million dollar missiles.  What we could afford was a three trillion dollar Republican military disaster in Iraq, put on the credit card.  Maybe those two things are related, huh?  No, it's all because Democrats gave too much money to black people.  There, that makes a lot more sense.

Paula Bolyard, PJ Media:  "Why Liberals Hate Tim Tebow...Many Tebow-bashers really have a problem with God."

Sorry to burst your bubble, Paula, but liberals don't give a damn about Tim Tebow.  Too bad for him that his Lord didn't make him a little better football player, though.

Joseph Farah, World Net Daily:  "WHY THEY WATCH WND LIKE HAWKS"

Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but I can tell you why Green Eagle watches WND like a hawk- I get a large part of my biggest laughs from you, Joseph.

Star Parker, World Net Daily:  "A POLICY CHANGE TO BUILD BLACK WEALTH...Star Parker explains why African-Americans have less invested for retirement"

What, because they have been systematically discriminated against in both education and the workplace for a couple of centuries?  No, that's not it.  The real culprit?  Social Security!  Just do away with Social Security and soon black people will all be rich!  That's Star's answer, believe it or not!

Star Parker is black herself.  I really think the reason race haters like the people at World Net Daily hire people like her is that they are trying to convince people that black Americans really are stupid.  Well, thanks for helping out with that, Star.

Matt Barber, World Net Daily:  "America's fall: The modern-day Roman Empire"

Why it's all because we aren't Christian enough, according to Matt.  I'd like to remind Matt that the collapse of the Roman Empire pretty much coincided with its adoption of Christianity as the State religion.

Susan D. Harris, American Thinker:  "those unpretentious souls who lived in centuries past, plowing by day and reading the Bible by lantern light -- had a deeper and more correct understanding of  their purpose on earth, and the very meaning of life itself -- than any Sartre, Rand, Hegel, or Alinsky could ever have."

Yeah, Susan?  Well, unfortunately, they are all dead, and in their place we have a pack of ignorant, stupid hate-filled yahoos that are driving this country into oblivion.  So, enough of your (utterly fanciful) nostalgia for the past.  Try dealing with reality for a minute, why don't you?

Astute Bloggers:  "100,000 Deaths in Syria are basically Obama's fault"

Well, you just knew it was going to come down to that in the end, didn't you?

Astute Bloggers:  "TIME FOR A NEW SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE - HERE ARE A FEW SUGGESTIONS"

And the number one suggestion?  Louie Gohmert.  Also on the list, Dick Cheney, Mark Levin, John Bolton, Allen West, and on and on.  Why do the Astute Bloggers hate America?

Eric Owens, Daily Caller:  "This week in anal hazing in American high schools"

I think we'll give that one a pass.

Leah Barkoukis, Town Hall:  "States Promoting Insurance Exchanges: Maybe People Will Enroll if We Don’t Call it ‘Obamacare’

People really like what's in the law, but they hate what you made them think it's all about.  I bet you right wingers are so proud of the success of your billion dollar campaign of lies.

Kurt Schlichter, Town Hall:  "Liberalism Twerks Normal Americans"

Isn't it just so cute when they try to be hip?

Ben Howe, Red State:  "Over the last few weeks as the crisis in Syria has come to a head, I’ve found myself in nonstop arguments about what, if anything, to do."

Really?  Nonstop arguments about Syria?  You really need to get a life, Ben.

Teresa Mull, Human Events:  "KERRY: FIGHT VIOLENCE WITH VIOLENCE?"

Right, Teresa.  What a stupid idea to fight violence with violence.  Just imagine what a disaster it would have been if we'd done that during World War II.  These people are so filled with blind hatred of Obama that, if he invented a cure for cancer, they would declare that cancer is fun.  Not for themselves, of course.  They'd be the first ones lining up for the drug.  But for all the rest of us, dying is better than admitting that Obama was right about anything.

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "Obama Commemorates Labor Day with Communist Promises - “That’s why, over the past month, I’ve traveled all across America, laying out my ideas for how we can build on the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class. A good job that pays a good wage. A good education. A home of your own. Health care when you get sick. A secure retirement even if you’re not rich.” 

A good job.  A good education.  Health care.  COMMUNISM!  No wonder in recent polls, more Americans have a more favorable view of socialism than capitalism.

Jeff Crouere, Town Hall:  "Our Never Ending Obama Nightmare...Along with the tragic economic consequences of Obama’s policies, Americans are now witnessing the dangerous effects of a left wing, inexperienced community organizer serving as Commander in Chief."

Of course he just got an agreement today for Assad to give up his weapons and let the inspectors in.  So wingnuts like Jeff have to get all their articles calling him a failure out there really fast, before the agreement actually works, when they will all decide that it means nothing, like they did when he got Bin Laden.

Guy Benson, Town Hall:  "Delaying Obamacare is unacceptable!  Except when we do it -- five times, all on our own.  Then it's totally fine, of course.  And legal.  Because Obama says so."

There's a difference between delaying certain provisions of a law to make sure they work, and delaying the whole thing to give Republicans more of a chance to destroy it.  That distinction is obviously lost on Guy.

Guy Benson, Town Hall:  "This Has Been one of the Most Humiliating Episodes in Presidential History"

Except that it worked.  Other than that, a huge failure.

Streiff, Red State:  "From the position of a partisan I’ve enjoyed Obama beclowning himself over Syria. As an American I am appalled at the incompetence of it all."

See my response to the last wingnut tidbit.

Charles Krauthammer, Human Events:  "The fruits of epic incompetence...Obama gets to slink away from a Syrian debacle of his own making.The post The fruits of epic incompetence appeared"

Syria agrees to destroy its chemical weapons; no one is killed, not a shot fired.  Epic incompetence, I tell you, EPIC incompetence!

Rachel Pulaski, Gateway Pundit:  "Another Obama Failure:Russian Man Brutally Raped and Tortured For Being Gay After Obama Met with LGBT in Russia"

Like I said, it's all Obama's fault.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Real Threat

Do you need to be reminded why our country has gone from the strongest economy and society in the world to little more than a third world nation?  No, it's not Bashir Assad with his poison gas, or a few dozen Al Qaida murderers in Benghazi.  It's not the imaginary bands of black criminals roving our cities, or the welfare chiselers who are consuming less than 1% of our national budget.  Here is what is really destroying us:

"An almost completely unknown group with strong ties to the Koch brothers has identified itself as the secret source of almost a quarter of a billion dollars received by conservative political groups in 2012.

The group, Freedom Partners, raised $256 million in the year following its creation in November 2011, and made grants totaling $236 million to conservative groups...“a totally unknown group was the largest sugar daddy for conservative groups in the last election, second in total spending only to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS.”

A quarter of a billion dollars, spent in one election by one secret group of the hyper-rich.  Those of you out there who have normal incomes, and did what you could in 2012, giving maybe $100 to one candidate, $25 or $50 to another, and had to stretch to do that, think how many of you it takes to counterbalance this one group of the many that the Kochs fund (let alone all the others out there.)  And don't forget that until the last few days, no one even knew this one existed.  How many more are lurking in the dark corners of our political system, making an utter mockery of the notion that we live in a democracy?

I'm not going to go on about this.  I've talked about it enough over the years.  All I wonder is if there is any cure to this problem other than letting it get so bad that things end up like this:

Right now, I just don't see any more likely solution to this country's problems.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

And Another Right Wing Fail

The wingnut marches on Washington have been coming thick and fast these days.  Today, on the first anniversary of BENGHAZEEEEEE!!!! a right wing march was called to assemble by the Capitol.

Here's a photo of the magnificent turnout:

Nothing to say about this, really, except that the press will go on pretending that there is massive American support for pursuing these endless Conservative phony outrages, so they need to receive lots of coverage.

Intelligent Discourse, Wingnut Style

From one of our favorites, World Net Daily, this screen capture, illustrating the sophisticated level of analysis we have come to expect from Republicans:

And no, I did not play the video.  Really, enough is enough.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

No End to the Lying

In the post below, I covered the utter failure of the million man march on Washington this week, organized by Police Chief Kessler and an alleged cohort of other law enforcement officials, as a result of which Obama was going to be driven from the country.

Well, as usual, right wingers seem to live in another world than we do.  Here is a photo from the march's facebook page today showing the monumental success of the march:

/
Man, that is impressive, isn't it?  I guess there really are a lot of people out there who want to destroy the country.  Even God seems to have shown up.

Well, just for comparison of what a left wing crowd might look like, here is a photo of the recent ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's march on Washington, obtained from PBS coverage of the event.  I'm sure it will be pitiful compared to the above:


Wait just a minute here...there is something frighteningly similar about these two photos, the second of which was on TV weeks before the Kessler march.  Did the exact same people show up for both marches and stand in the exact same places?  Is this proof of some sort of bizarre space-time anomaly?

I don't think so.  Here's what I think:  unable to live with the utter humiliation of their turnout in Washington, these jerks just published a photo of the Martin Luther King anniversary march and claimed that it was their own march.  I guess they are so stupid that it never occurred to them that it would take someone like Green Eagle about five minutes online to figure out what the picture really was.

These people really are idiots, and shameless ones at that.  Luckily, there are not millions of them as they claim, but apparently almost none.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Oh, the Humanity

As you know, Green Eagle has specialized over the years at bringing you the latest news about the many massive pathetic marches and demonstrations constantly planned and carried out by the teabaggers and their ilk.

Just a couple of days ago I posted about the latest one, planned by many patriotic groups, most notably the police chief from Pennsylvania who has distinguished himself lately as a world class jackass.

Here's a sample of the publicity for this great patriotic gathering of the American people, furious that our President is black a Communist Muslim foreign-born traitor:


Why, look!  September 9th- that's today!  Is Obama still running our country or have these patriots succeeded in their righteous demands and packed him off to Kenya, where he came from?

How lucky we are to be living in an age when we can almost instantaneously witness such a massive, historic event! Here is a picture of the National Mall taken in the middle of this afternoon, where we will be able to witness the power and the righteous anger of true American patriots:


Wait! Surely something is wrong here!  Where are the promised crowds?  Can it be that no one showed up?  What has happened to the patriotic spirit of the American people?  Even Jim Hoft, the biggest liar about right wing demonstrations in the country, didn't touch this pathetic failure.  Oh well, we will just have to wait for Thursday, when two million motorcycle idiots are promised for a ride through Washington, D.C.  I'm sure that event will be even bigger than this one was.

Now, if I can control my sarcasm long enough to make a real point, let me say that this has happened over and over again.  Even the biggest right wing draws in the country- Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin et. al.- cannot produce anything resembling an impressive turnout.  Though the mainstream press will continue promoting these people, who are in fact nothing but suckers who have swallowed a gigantic load of corporate propaganda, their number is essentially insignificant.  There never really was a tea party, beyond the few hundred idiots bused in to demonstrations with corporate money.  There is no real libertarian movement in the country beyond a pack of pathetic losers who sate their sick, damaged sense of powerlessness by hating the poor and the downtrodden.  There is no mass movement for FREEDOM and LIBERTY, only a pack of greedy racists that don't want to pay taxes and don't want to share the bounty of this country with anyone different than themselves.  Ignorance, greed and racism- that is what these people have to offer, and despite the insistence of the chattering heads on our televisions and in our newspapers, not very many people seem to be taking them up on it.  Otherwise, we might have seen at least a couple hundred people in all the blocks of the Mall shown above.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Another Baby Step Toward Fascism

I've written before about Pennsylvania police chief Mark Kessler, who has taken to threatening the lives of any politicians who oppose him, and Democrats in general.  I have noted how his showing up at local government meetings with an armed, and very hostile gang of like minded right wingers is totally reminiscent, except in scale, of the tactic for which the SA was created, and which Hitler used right up until the 1933 action that did away with all other political parties.


A couple of pictures of Kessler's armed idiots showing up
to intimidate opponents at open government meetings.  This is
the way the United States should be run, right wing style.

Well, here is another sort of behavior by Kessler and his followers that bears comparison to some historical events:

"The real story is Kessler’s call for a military coup.  Kessler has called for a massive march to be held next week in Washington, where he hopes the military will join with the people to “give the tyrannical government 48 hours to step down. 

Here is Kessler’s call to action from his Facebook event page...: 

“we need millions upon millions of American people to attend and march on Washington DC, September 9th, (peacefully,)...now the Egyptian military has sided with the people and has given the tyrannical government 48 hours to step down or the military will intervene...
...we can do the same here, but we need millions and millions to stand up go to Washington , and have our military stand with we the people & the constitution once and for all !" 

His model is the Egyptian military coup."

His model is not the Egyptian military coup.  He has two real models here: First, Mussolini's march on Rome in 1922, in which fewer than 30,000 armed participants manipulated the gutless Italian government into relinquishing power to the Fascists.  And second, Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch in 1923, an attempt to seize power in Bavaria through force, in which Hitler imagined the German military would join his marchers and overthrow the state, handing power to Hitler. Despite having failed, it served as the springboard for the Nazis' rise to control Germany over the next decade.

Kessler's dream.  And don't kid yourself for a moment that it has
anything to do with Egypt.  Here is what he really believes in.

Like all hard right wingers, Kessler knows the history of Fascism in Europe all too well.  He is well aware that relatively small groups with extreme ideologies managed to capture the popular attention, and use their notoriety to eventually gain power.

Now, of course, Kessler is not Hitler or Mussolini.  He is a colossal jackass with delusions of grandeur and an apocalyptic hunger for violence. So his grand march on Washington is undoubtedly doomed to be a humiliating failure- or the failure would be humiliating if the mainstream press reported on things like this as it should- as a clear sign of the ludicrousness of the American right's claims to speak for any significant segment of the populace.  No, instead it will disappear into the empty well of history, along with the several right wing Marches on Washington designed to collapse the government, that happen every year.  The press, and its rich owners, have too much invested in the fairy tale of the mighty right in this country to let reality come between them and a good story.  But as long as this sort of thing is allowed to pass as legitimate political activity, there is always the danger that we may wake up one day to discover our country controlled by a 21st century version of Hitler or Mussolini.  At this point it should be clear that this is not a deluded fantasy, but a real possibility.

Anyway, Green Eagle will be back in the coming week to let you know if we are still being led by President Obama, or if we now must swear allegiance to Fuehrer Kessler.

No End to Right Wing Gun Idiocy

Or the nearly unbelievable stupidity of the majority of people who live in the center of the country:

"Iowa Debates Permitting Blind People To Carry Guns In Public...As lawmakers across the country debate gun safety laws, law enforcement officials in Iowa are split on whether the state should continue issuing guns to blind people."

A note:  Iowa is not issuing guns to blind people, just permits to carry them in public where, if there is, say, a shooting at a mall or a school, they will be easily able to zoom in on the bad guys and shoot them without hitting any innocent bystanders.  Because, freedom!  This article is illustrated with a picture which has the following caption:

"Michael Barber of Altoona, Iowa, examining a gun with his hands. Barber is blind and doesn’t believe eyesight is necessary to fire a weapon effectively."

Unless, of course, you mean by firing a weapon effectively, hitting an appropriate target.  If all you mean is shooting your gun into who knows where or what, to prove what a big man you are, well, then, go ahead and issue those permits to blind people, as well as three year olds, people with severe brain damage and anyone else who thinks owning a two pound piece of metal makes him a real man.  Of course, here's the expected right wing claim:

 "...unlike driving, which is considered a privilege, gun ownership is generally understood to be a constitutional right, making it difficult to impose limitations on it."

I'm not even going to get into a discussion about whether a blind person running around in public with a loaded gun can be considered a "well-regulated militia."  I might as well try to disabuse someone of the notion that a donkey is a kind of duck.  But what I would like to suggest is this:  When we find the freedoms that we do have in this country threatened, it is more often than not a result of misuse of those freedoms than of some nefarious plot to enslave us all.  I think a perfect example is the freedom of religion, which is threatened in this country by its misuse by Scientologists, con men like Pat Robertson and Aryan supremacist groups disguised as religions.  Eventually this sort of thing will have to be stopped, and if we cannot find a way by that time to distinguish between real religions and phony ones, we are going to be in a great deal of trouble.  The same is true of the second amendment.  If we cannot look at what the people who wrote that amendment really meant (and they left clear comments on that subject) we are going to inevitably end up in nonsense like the question of giving blind people concealed carry permits.  And once these bizarre issues make their way into the court system, packed as it is with right wing judges, far more damage to the second amendment is likely to be done than anti-gun people ever thought of.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Curse of Bush

So, we've all been forced to listen to a couple of endless weeks of the meaningless idiocy that is all that comes anymore from the Very Smart People and our miserable excuse for a mainstream press.  And we have also seen that our abused populace is still so traumatized by the nation's adventures in Iraq that they are incapable of judging any foreign policy issue except through the lens of the recent military disaster brought to us by the last administration.

Bush and Cheney, sad to say, still largely rule this country.  Their willful plundering of the economy has left us with virtually no maneuvering room to remedy the financial collapse they caused, and now we see that their unimaginably incompetent management of our foreign policy and our military has left the vast majority of the American people incapable of reacting rationally about any assertion of our role in the world, no matter how minor.

We expect nothing, of course, but blind opposition from Republicans, who can conceive of no way to regain power beyond sabotaging everything the Democrats try to do, in the hope that things will be so bad at election time that their old black magic will work on the American voters one more time.  But with this issue, it is both sides that are compulsively against action- even a left wing treasure like Alan Greyson seems unable in this case to escape from knee-jerk reasoning.

Not that I am arguing in favor of military action against Syria, I am not.  I have yet to hear the Obama administration to articulate anything which seems likely to do more good than harm.    All I am saying at this point is that Bush and Cheney, and Rumsfeld and Colin Powell and Condi are still largely controlling our national reaction to a crisis.  It took 40 years for the trauma of the Vietnam war to subside to any degree, and I suspect that, given the utter, unmitigated disaster that our aggression in Iraq turned out to be, it may be a good deal longer before the American people are capable of rational thought about foreign policy.  Thanks a bunch, George- your unfitness to be President lives on.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I Can't Stand This Much Longer

I cannot take the soul-crushing boredom of the absolutely inane national "discussion" we are having over Obama's potential launching of a couple of missiles into Syria.

Obama and his people (including the more-than-usually-hapless John Kerry) on the one hand, cannot articulate a single target for their potential attack that would change a thing in Syria if it were eliminated.  And the Republicans and many liberal Democrats too are resorting to a pack of meaningless, foolish arguments to oppose Obama, squandering whatever chance this country has to have a meaningful discussion about foreign policy, and what we can and cannot achieve.

Other than the fact that this idiotic argument is largely drowning out the Republicans' last minute campaign to get Americans to cut their own throats rather than give themselves medical care, it is already clear that this whole sordid affair is going to do nothing but leave our national decision making process even more irrelevant and dysfunctional than before.

Thanks a lot, all of you politicians and thanks to the press too, for all of that.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

More Bad Reasoning on Syria

This time mainly from the left, typified by this headline from Daily Kos today:

"We can't be spectators to slaughter, except for all those other slaughters"

The essence of this argument is that, because we did nothing about Rwanda, nothing about the slaughter in the Congo and next to nothing about the endless series of ethnic wars perpetrated in Sudan, we don't have the right to do anything about Syria.

Put this baldly, the argument seems (I hope) idiotic.  But like the claim that we can't trust Obama because we couldn't trust Bush and Cheney, it is a principal refuge of liberals who don't want to see the United States do anything in Syria.

Well, I guess if you buy the notion that, once you have done the wrong thing, you are never allowed to do the right thing, this might make sense.  But I don't think that many of us believe that people can never change.  In fact, when I hear either one of these arguments, what it makes me suspect is that people who resort to this line of reasoning do not have any substantial reasons to sit and do nothing while innocent people are slaughtered.

This doesn't mean, by the way, that I support military action against Syria.  I still haven't heard a viable suggestion about what resources of the Assad regime could be destroyed without tipping the balance of power in Syria to the current opposition, which seems to have been (as far as I can tell, seen through the lens of our miserable press) totally co-opted by the worst sort of revanchism and religious extremism.  But if we oppose Obama's intentions, let it be on the basis of real issues, not patently irrelevant knee-jerk reactions.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Nuclear Power Industry- Our Friend


Here is a horrible story from the BBC that would be shocking if it weren't all too predictable:

"Radiation levels around Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant are 18 times higher than previously thought, Japanese authorities have warned...Last week the plant's operator reported radioactive water had leaked from a storage tank into the ground.
It now says readings taken near the leaking tank on Saturday showed radiation was high enough to prove lethal within four hours of exposure."

This nuclear disaster took place two years ago, and of course we are just learning the truth about it today.  How could a massive leak of radiation gone unreported all that time?

"The Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) had originally said the radiation emitted by the leaking water was around 100 millisieverts an hour. 

However, the company said the equipment used to make that recording could only read measurements of up to 100 millisieverts.  The new recording, using a more sensitive device, showed a level of 1,800 millisieverts an hour."

Have you ever heard of a more disingenuous response to a terrifying situation?  The reported leaking of radiation was small, because that's all their equipment could measure.  Suddenly someone tried a different device and, lo and behold, the radiation turned out to be 18 times greater than they claimed.

"Experts have said the scale of water leakage may be worse than officials have admitted."

And who could have predicted that?  Except for the fact that this behavior is perfectly in accord with the response of the nuclear industry to every accident they cause- to lie and lie and lie about it, only admitting what has become clear public knowledge. This puts millions if not tens of millions of people at risk, but that means nothing to them if it might risk their profits.

We have had enough evidence in the last sixty years to establish some clear facts:  There is no such thing as safe nuclear energy, and the failure of nuclear power plants holds the risk of destruction on a scale never before seen.  Furthermore, those responsible for operating these plants, both in private industry and government, have proven themselves incapable of being honest with the public about the dangers, or of doing one thing more than they absolutely have to in order to correct the problem.

It is time that nuclear energy be phased out.  Yes, this is going to be a major problem for countries like France and Japan which rely heavily on nuclear power.  But they have had half a century to face up to the risks and they have utterly failed to do so.  Now, they must pay the price.