Saturday, January 31, 2015

Wingnut Wrapup

More of the finest in self-serving lunacy, from our counterparts on the stupid side of the aisle:

Conn Carroll, Town Hall:  "Obama Celebrates Abortion on Anniversary of Roe v Wade"

Because of course he did.  He danced in the streets.  Right after he celebrated Communism and Sharia law too, and had a picture of Satan tattooed on his chest.

Matt Vespa, Town Hall:  "Bush To Romney: Hey, Let's Talk About How We Can Avoid A 2016 Bloodbath"

Stay home.  That's about all I can think of.

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "WOW! Kid Rock Blasts Michael Moore and Seth Rogen"

Wow!  Kid Rock!  Kid Rock blasts Seth Rogen!  I guess liberalism has finally died!

Linda Kimball, Renew America:  "Evolution: anti-creation religion of secular atheism & the Green Dragon"

The Green Dragon?  You mean the inn in Martin Chuzzlewit?  I didn't even know that was a real place.  And you think she calmed down after that?

"The goal of Illuminism is imposition of a worldwide totalitarian occult pagan state. During the 20th century Illuminism took the form of scientific socialism and scientific communism. Today it is 'green' Technocracy, a scientific dictatorship calling for the radical transformation of traditional Western economics, government, law, energy, orthodox Christianity, and humanity, which is why it maliciously fosters the atheism, amorality, envy, chaos, blood-letting and revolution necessary for the undermining and overthrow of already existing governments."

Well, there you go.  I guess that settles that.  This miserable nonsense goes on for a couple thousand words, including a long section claiming that evolution and quantum physics are forms of occult religion.  And people actually believe this.

Alan Caruba, Renew America:  "Why isn't it treason?"

Why?  WHY?!!??!?!  Why isn't it treason?  Why isn't what treason?  Oh when Obama sent five people home from Guantanamo after twelve years in which the government could not find anything to charge them with.  And when Obama wouldn't let coal companies ruin the planet.  And his "long record of lying."  That's treason too.  It's all treason.  Off with his head.

Republicans deliberately destroying the economy to make Democrats look bad while the Dems are stuck trying to fix the damage Republicans did, or conspiring with foreign leaders to undermine our foreign policy?  That's not treason-that's patriotism.

Bryan Fischer, Renew America:  "Obama's philosophy on taxes violates the 8th and 10th Commandments"

I guess Jesus violated the eighth and tenth commandments too, when he fed the poor.  What passes for Christianity among right wingers is so sick that it's hard to believe that anyone takes it seriously.

John Hayward, Breitbart:  "REPORT: UK NO-GO ZONES SPARKING TENSION BETWEEN BLACK AND MUSLIM COMMUNITIES"

Pretty amazing considering  that UK no-go zones don't exist.  But then, look at all the "tensions" that God sparks, and he doesn't exist either.

Now, let's see how they really feel:



From a publication entitled "The Daily Stormer,"  not in any way to be confused with this:



Michelle Malkin, Town Hall:  "Michelle Malkin: Obama's Bloody Yemen Disaster"

Because something bad happened halfway around the world.  Thanks, Obama!

And the Congressional Budget Office announced today that the deficit for this year will be almost exactly one third of the deficit that Obama was handed by the Republicans.  He's cut the Republican deficit by two thirds.  Coverage of that on the right?

Conn Carroll, Town Hall:  "CBO: Deficits To Explode As Obama Leaves Office"

Because guessing about the future is so much more important than what has actually happened.

Ron Paul, Town Hall:  "Education is Too Important Not to Leave to the Marketplace"

In plain English:  No matter how important education is, it's not important enough to prevent rich people from destroying it for their personal profit.

Katie Kieffer, Town Hall:  "Physician, Heal Thyself! With Gunpowder...Gunpowder is bullet-proof preventative medicine for American physicians. Every doctor should have the option to carry concealed in clinics and hospitals."

At least it would have the advantage of allowing them to generate their own customers when business is slow.  FREE ENTERPRISE, hooah!

Daniel J. Mitchell, Town Hall:  "Ronald Reagan...He’s definitely the greatest president of my lifetime and, with one possible rival, he was the greatest President of the 20th century."

The "one possible rival", never mentioned by name in Daniel's piece, of course:  Ended the worst depression in American history and beat the Nazis.  Reagan: Started the country on the path to the second worst depression in American history, and beat Grenada.  Daniel, do you know how pathetic you are?

Rick Moran, PJ Media:  "Palin’s Trial Balloon...Palin dipped a toe in the 2016 waters"

And got it bit off by a shark.  Here's an amazing excerpt:



The idea that anyone ever took her seriously is truly frightening.

And of course, the recent snowstorm in New England produced the predictable results.  Imagine that- snow in Boston in January!

Derek Hunter, Town Hall:  " Were you hit this week by all the climate change?  Boston was covered in it. Actually, thanks to the mainstream media, the whole nation was covered in climate change. The only thing missing from the coverage was any proof, but that doesn’t stop the alarmists...The science is indeed settled: No one knows what’s going on with the climate, and anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something … or angling for a government grant. 

This week gave us more examples of just how clueless and dedicated the devout members of the Holy Church of Global Warming truly are. Their dedication makes Jehovah’s Witnesses seem like magazine salesmen not working on commission and Scientologists casual fans of the science fiction of L. Ron Hubbard."

No proof.  Apparently the fact that 14 of the warmest 15 years in history have happened this century, or the fact that 2015 was the warmest of all, does not constitute the slightest proof of anything, but the fact that it snowed in Boston in January does.  So despite the mountain of evidence, right wingers are going to continue collaborating with the energy companies to destroy the human race.  All's fair when money is involved.

Emmett Tyrell, Town Hall:  "The 'Conservative Movement' is also over. Conservatives won. Conservatism is now a national intellectual and political force. To speak of conservatism today as a 'movement' belittles it."...Conservatism has blossomed into the major intellectual and political force of our time."

Well, anyway, since the last time that Conservatism blossomed into the major intellectual and political force in the world:
So, I guess that is sort of an accomplishment. Today's conservatives just need bigger banners, I guess, and they would be right up there vying for first place.

Jerry Newcombe, Town Hall:  "How is Calling for National Revival "Controversial"?  Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal did something supposedly controversial. He called for a national revival."

He also called for the entire government and all of our cultural institutions to be forcibly taken over by right wing Christians, and run according to their miserable phony religion.  Is that controversial enough for you, Jerry?  Or is that just fine?

Leon H. Wolf, Red State:  "Scott Walker, Presumptive 2016 Favorite"

Well, considering that this continually under investigation, corrupt pimp for the rich is the darling of the Koch brothers, who are about to swamp the Presidential election with their ill-gotten money, Leon may be right.

Michael Walsh, PJ Media:  "Think Scandinavia Is Paradise? Think Again"

I mean, their populations regularly rank as the happiest on earth, but who are you going to believe, a pack of foreigners, or our home grown wingnut experts on everything?

And now the least likely story to end up amounting to anything:

Kabita Maharana, International Business Times:  "Horse shaped UFO spotted over Mexico volcano"

Whatever.


And you won't want to miss this event:

Kevin Scholla, Breitbart:  "Freedom Lovers: Sarah Palin, Ted Nugent Team Up For Wild Day at Texas Ranch"

What, the world championship of drunken incoherence?

Wynton Hall, Breitbart:  "Nearly Half of Uninsured Say Obamacare Too Expensive"

Not "Over half of uninsured can now afford insurance under Obamacare."  Oh no.

Joel Pollack, Breitbart:  "Why the Left Hates Bibi, the Modern Man"

Because he is a violent right wing jerk?  That's why I hate him, anyway.

John Fund, National Review Online:  "The Scandals at Justice...The Senate must demand answers."

This story revolves around some absolutely incomprehensible comments about a settlement in a case involving a forest fire in California.  That's the "scandal."

Remember John Ashcroft?  Remember Alberto Gonzales?  Or John Mitchell or Ed Meese?  In fact, practically every Republican Attorney General has turned out to be a crook.  But oh, no, something about a forest fire, and Holder is the really corrupt one.

Astute Bloggers:  "IN ANY NORMAL JOB INTERVIEW, LORETTA LYNCH'S "ANSWERS" WOULD GUARANTEE THAT SHE WOULDN'T GET THE JOB!"

In any normal job interview, the interviewers would be trying to find a qualified candidate, not pandering to their crazed, hate-filled base.

Lloyd Marcus, American Thinker:  "Some on our side are pandering to Obama's lie that raising the minimum wage will help fix income inequality; once again calling wrong right and right wrong. As Palin suggested in her speech, the GOP should be educating voters to the truth"

The truth that, actually, giving poor people less money will fix income inequality.  That's obvious.  I mean, if you pay people more, they will have less, right?  And of course it took that economic genius Sarah Palin to point that out to us.

And I guess this was inevitable:

World Net Daily EXCLUSIVE!  "(michael)SAVAGE: DISNEYLAND MEASLES PART OF OBAMA'S 'MEDICAL GENOCIDE'  'The killer flu, TB – all the result of this anti-American government'

I mean, how long did you think it would take before some idiot right winger found an excuse to blame the Disneyland measles epidemic on Obama.

Andrew C. McCarthy, Renew America:  "There is only one way to stop Obama from setting jihadists free: impeachment"

Glad to see they haven't really given up on that yet.

Chris Queen, PJ Media:  "Godless Militants Go After Alabama Town"

The "Godless militants" being, in this case, the ACLU, which sent the town a letter objecting to the town council's voting for a resolution “acknowledging the blessings of God and expressing a desire to seek Divine guidance.”  The wrote a letter!  How dare they?


Sending a letter- that makes you a Godless militant these days.

David Steinberg, PJ Media:  "L.A. Times Headline: ‘Do Conservatives Die Sooner?’ L.A. Times Article: This Study Is Nonsense"

Of course it would be totally true if Conservatives were forced to fight in all the wars they are constantly agitating for.


And let's just finish on this:

Matt Vespe, Town Hall:  "Obama's America: Red States Bore The Brunt Of Federal Grant Cuts"

God in heaven above, guys- you're the ones that wanted the cuts.  What are you complaining about?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Mitt Quits

And you can't believe the idiotic explanations the mainstream press is trying to make to cover up the obvious reality:  he couldn't convince enough of his fellow rich sociopaths to finance his run.  That's it.  No other reason.  The rich sociopaths are already coalescing behind the figure that I have been saying is going to be the next Republican nominee- the Bush guy.  Despite Mitt's whole life having been consumed by greed, he never convinced the really heavy hitters that he could be trusted enough to do their bidding without question- something that they can count on with Bush.  So, Bush it is.  Nothing left to see here but a few rides around the circus tent by the Republican clown car, and then, the rich guys get their nominee, as they always do.  Then all that remains is for them to spend the next two years in the almost incomprehensibly difficult task of convincing anyone but the usual right wing zombies that they give a God damn about the middle class.  That appears to be their plan, and good luck with it, guys.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sleeper Cell

The notion of the "sleeper cell," a group of subversives planted in a country with orders to live anonymously like normal citizens until called on to do their damage, really grew into a popular idea during the cold war, promoted by the same sort of people who now talk about Sharia law in the Unites States, and Al Qaida troops coming across the Mexican border, to sow fear and panic among the American people.  We've heard such utterly unsubstantiated talk a lot, the last few years, about Muslims in the United States and Europe.  But curiously enough, the most malignant sleeper cell in the country, which has done damage so immense to the American people that Al Qaida or ISIS could never dream of such accomplishments, continues on its course of destruction with essentially no opposition.  This sleeper cell consists of the five corrupt "Conservative" Justices, carefully implanted on the Supreme Court by a concerted Republican campaign going back to Nixon's elevation of William Rehnquist to the Court.

The appointment of George W. Bush to the Presidency in defiance of the real national vote was the first major blow to our country from the Conservative bloc of justices.  It succeeded in devastating our economy and our standing in the world through aggressive war and economic collapse, all the product of a patently fallacious and unjustified decision.

The second blow to the United States was the infamous Citizens United decision, again decided by the five Conservative Justices on the basis of clearly fallacious reasoning.  We were assured by these Justices (among other falsehoods) that their decision was fine because it could never lead to any sort of abuse of our democratic system by the rich.  Well, here is the result: it is now the intent of two people- of course the Koch Brothers- to spend nine hundred million dollars in the next campaign.  To understand what that means, look at this chart, cribbed from Mother Jones:
What you can see here is that, thanks to the Citizens United decision, we have the phenomenon that two rich brothers can now spend more on a Presidential campaign than both parties combined spent on any Presidential campaign in our nation's entire history before 2008.

I'm not going to go on to rail about the destructive effects of such a cancerous growth in the political power of the super-rich; we all can see that.  But I will say that, if this is not stopped, this single Supreme Court decision, made by five corrupt Justices, will destroy this country in short order. That's all it will have taken; no armies, no nuclear weapons, no suicide bombers, just five corrupt people put into the right place at the right time, by a party that has run off the tracks and now cares nothing for the fate of our nation.



Update:  This is just by way of comparison, but the total spending of all parties in the UK's parliamentary elections in 2010 was under $50 million, or less than six percent of what the Koch Brothers are planning to spend to buy the White House.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Senate Republicans Go About Their Business

Sometimes you just can't believe how brazen people can be. The Senate Republicans, now that they are in the majority, have changed the name of the Senate Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution, civil and human rights.  It's now called the subcommittee on the Constitution, and the chairman has announced that its main activity in the coming Congress will be to "investigate" President Obama's alleged abuses of the Constitution.  I guess that's the most important thing on their agenda, now that the country's civil and human rights situation has improved so much that they don't need to worry about that any more.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bibi

Now that the execrable Benjamin Netanyahu has determined to spread some of his malice by interfering in American foreign policy, I want to say a little about him that I think Americans fail to realize.

I first started encountering Netanyahu in the nineties, and he immediately had a familiar feel to me. He reminded me of nothing so much as the demagogic, lying, self-serving politicians that populate the Republican party in the United States.

This was something that Israelis could not be expected to understand, of course, but for a more fundamental reason than the fact that they didn't live here.  Netanyahu was the first Israeli leader who had not participated in either the struggle for independence or the early years of the State of Israel. Israeli politicians before him, however awful some of them may have been, always had a commitment to the welfare of the State that came from their role in its founding, and which provided a sort of brake to their self-serving instincts. Somewhere, buried in all of them, was a real commitment to the good of Israel; Netanyahu was the first politician in Israel to have none of that, and to consequently feel no restraint about using the combination of lies, fear mongering and the synthetic generation of hatred that we have come to know so well here in the United States.

But, as gullible as Americans are toward that sort of thing, they at least have some painfully learned suspicion of the motives of politicians.  The Israelis had no such immunity, although I am sure they will develop it now, confronted with the great damage that Netanyahu's overreaction/tantrum in Gaza has done to them.

In fact, the worst of these Israeli victims of Netanyahu's behavior have been the Jews who were forced out of Arab countries after the foundation of Israel.  Their entire previous experience of government left them open prey to the machinations of the Israeli right, and they form by far the largest bloc of Netanyahu voters.

So, it is only to be expected that this very American style politician would collaborate with American Conservatives to damage this country's efforts to conduct diplomacy.  He thinks like them, he belongs with them, and he will act like them.  Which is to say that he cares for nothing but his own status and power, and will make any kind of devil's deal that he thinks will enhance them.

Joe Franklin

I read in the New York Times this morning of the death of Joe Franklin, a New York TV personality who was perhaps the main creator of the TV talk show as we know it today.  He remained a local broadcaster, so most people never had a chance to listen to his show, but I wanted to remember him today, because he uttered one of the great quotations in American life:

"Sincerity is everything.  Once you learn to fake that, you'v got it made."

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Brief Comment About Anti-Vaxxers

The Disneyland measles outbreak has given a bit of negative publicity to the idiots in the anti-vaccine movement, so naturally it's an opportunity for Green Eagle to cast his cynical light on this movement.

I have to first state one of my longest held beliefs: there is no one on earth easier to lie to than yourself.  That is because people believe lies, by and large, not because they are plausible, but because it suits their purpose to do so, and there is no one on earth that has a greater interest in believing your lies than you do.  So the line between deliberate lying and self-delusion is often a very fine one.  Still, I do not believe that the anti-vaccine movement is about health issues any more than I believe that, when Conservatives rail against higher taxes they are really trying to uphold some invisible passages in the Constitution.

The popular conception of the anti-vaxxers is that they are predominantly liberal, and I have no reason to doubt that.  Nevertheless, they have joined Conservatives in one of their most characteristic behaviors- cloaking their self interest in a host of insignificant side issues.

For in the end, here is what is going on with them:  they are trying to take for themselves and their families the benefits of "herd immunity," without having to pay the minimal price of getting vaccines for themselves and their children.  They are simply after a free ride, while letting others take the risk. And in this they are exactly like Conservatives who shriek with fury whenever their own interests are threatened, but who are just as angry when any of their tax dollars go to some other group.

In the end it's just selfishness that is behind the behavior of anti-vaccine groups- the same selfishness that is behind anti-immigrant groups, anti-black groups and all of the host of right wing fanatics.  And like right wingers, they will go on year after year proclaiming the same long-proven falsehoods to justify their position, rather than be honest with others or themselves, and admit that they just want it all without paying the price.

An Outrage

File this in single statements that make it utterly unacceptable that a person should even have a shot at running for President of the United States:

"Former Fox News host Mike Huckabee said on Thursday that if he was elected president then he would have "God's blessing" to fight a so-called "secular theocracy" that had been imposed by atheists."

And these are the guys who claim they are the only ones that care about the Constitution.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dead

Who cares?  The next one will be just as big a pig as this one was.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wingnut Wrapup

Today's Wingnut Wrapup dedicated to Dinesh D'Souza, for the most piggish analogy I've heard lately:

"AN INTERESTING PARALLEL: MLK was targeted by J. Edgar Hoover, an unsavory character; I was targeted by the equally unsavory B. Hussein Obama."

Martin Luther King, of course, being targeted for his advocacy of equal treatment under the law; D'Souza found guilty of campaign finance fraud.  Exactly the same thing.  Just don't count on having a national holiday to remember your great sacrifice, Dinesh, at least not until Rand Paul or Rick Santorum is elected President.

And how about this:

Willard "Mitt" Romney:  "Under President Obama the rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse and there are more people in poverty in American than ever before."

Run, Mitt, Run.  Say, ready to release those tax returns yet?

Katy Kieffer, Town Hall:  "Why Orthodox Jewish Women are Happy"

Why do you think?  It's because they shut up and do what they are told.  That's the key to happiness, apparently.

Matt Barber, Town Hall:  "Incest: The Next Frontier In ‘Reproductive Freedom’

Yup, in case you haven't heard, liberals are about to expend all their political capital campaigning for legalized incest.  I bet you knew that already, right?

Shawn Mitchell, Town Hall:  "Give Obama Credit for Lower Gas Prices?  Ronald Reagan was a rhetorical genius. He was smarter than you and I. He could..."

Well, enough of that.  What does Ronald Reagan have to do with answering Shawn's question about lower gas prices?  Who the hell knows?  But I guess mentioning Ronald Reagan means the Conservative has automatically won the argument.  Because- Ronald Reagan!!!

Gayle Trotter, Town Hall:  "Iraqi Ambassador to the US: We Must Cleanse Iraq of ISIS"

To quote Tonto, "Who you mean WE, Kemosabe?"  How about doing it yourself, Mr. Ambassador?

Leon Wolf, Red State:  “Hate Speech” is not “Any Speech You Hate”

No, but if you are a right winger, it is any speech you like.

Jake, Red State:  "The Obamacare Penalty could be Bigger than Many People are Expecting"

Yeah, it could require quartering lizard people in your house too.  No evidence that it will do either, but you never know.

Leon Wolf, Red State:  "Fiorina 2016: A Campaign Without a Raison D’être...In a year in which the GOP promises to field its strongest field of qualified and experienced candidates in a generation, and in which there promises to be a veritable buffet of viable options for establishment and movement conservatives alike, for some reason the existence of Carly Fiorina’s bizarrely pointless 2016 campaign continues to be a story worth reporting on for the political media."

In a field absolutely stuffed to the gills with campaigns without any raison d'etre, apparently the only one to raise the ire of Leon is the one by a woman.  Funny, that.  Back in the kitchen, Carly.

Karina Fabian, PJ Media:  "Why Frozen Is Actually About Gun Control"

Because...Oh, why bother.

Alan Caruba, Renew America:  "NASA keeps telling "warmest" lies...Remember that 2014 started off with something called a "polar vortex" to describe the incredibly cold weather being experienced and remember, too, that we were being told that it was evidence of global warming! That's how stupid the "Warmists" who keep saying such things think we are...The U.S. and the rest of the world are setting records, but they are records for how cold it has become everywhere."


Well, let's take a look:

It's all a lie, see?  Look at all that cold.

Jerome Corsi, World Net Daily:  "BENGHAZI INQUEST COMPROMISED...'I think Gowdy has been warned away or threatened'...The independent Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, or CCB, has been doing its own investigation and working behind the scenes for the past year and a half to make sure Congress does the job the executive branch has failed to do: namely, to get to the truth of what happened and to hold people accountable."

Benghazi.  Because what would Wingnut crazy be without a little Benghazi?  By the way, The "Independent Citizens' Commission on Benghazi" seems to be a creation of World Net Daily, one of the all time leaders in appearances at Wingnut Wrapup.


And let's hit the stupidity of the left for once:

John Nichols, The Nation:  "What to Do About Record Low Voter Turnout? Call a Holiday!"

How about this?  Maybe an allegedly left-leaning party should run on policies that the overwhelming majority of Americans want, such as fair taxation of the rich, a decent environment, a government that actually concerns itself about living conditions in the country, a committment to not act like bullies all over the world, etc.  Maybe that would work better than a holiday.

Senator John McCain:  "No one understands the world today in the way that Lindsey Graham does, in my view.

Yeah, like nobody understands how to do brain surgery like Donald Duck.

Leah Barkoukis, Town Hall:  "European Law Enforcement Agencies: On Second Thought, Maybe Firearms Would Be Helpful"

Because they didn't have any.


I guess Leah didn't watch much TV during the French terrorist attacks a couple of weeks ago.

And, the psychotic delusion of the day:

Michael Schaus, Town Hall:  "The Democrat Party Killed the Conservative Dream of MLK Jr."

There is not sarcasm nor outrage enough in the world to respond to that remark.  But believe me, it represents the dominant Conservative response to MLK day this year.

Moe Lane, Red State:  "Remember when ‘ritual human sacrifice’ was an archaic term?"

No, but I do remember when "torture" was an archaic term.  Too bad it didn't stay that way.

Labor Union Report, Red State:  "Boeing Unionization Poses An Existential Threat To South Carolina’s Economy"

Tough shit, buddy.  Maybe you guys shouldn't have built your economy around who could get their employees to work for the least.  In case you didn't notice, Boeing had an eighty year history of building great passenger planes, and then they closed down their union plant and moved to South Carolina, where they could pay non-union people half of what the old employees got.  The first plane produced there? The Dreamliner, which they can hardly keep in the air.  Coincidence?  Maybe. Maybe not.


And someone needs a history lesson:

Kathy Shaidle, PJ Media:  "Isn't it weird how central Charles Manson was to the Sixties' "peace and love" scene? "

Anyway, Kathy also claims that David Crosby was worse than Charlie Manson, and tells about a thousand other lies.  About a bunch of sixties musicians.  Which proves, I guess, that liberals are evil. As I always like to point out, when you have to attack someone from fifty years ago, it just proves that you've got nothing on the people you hate today.

Stephen Green, PJ Media:  "Study: Gay Mormon Men Divorce Straight Mormon Women"

How surprising.

Joel Gehrke, National Review Online:  "Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) urged colleagues not to oppose the House-passed legislation blocking President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, warning that Congress will be “a museum piece” if they do."

"Museum piece:"  something that is on display to the public but no longer serves its intended function.  I think the Republicans made Congress a museum piece about six years ago.

Guy Benson, Town Hall:  "Obama Administration Releases Convicted Al Qaeda Operative From Civilian Prison"

He served his term.  But who cares?  Lock him up forever.  That's justice American style.  And notice, it's the "Obama administration" that let him out, not the nation's justice system.  I guess the notion that you get out of jail when you've served your time is just another one of those outdated liberal ideas, now that we are in a Perpetual War on Terror.

John Stossel, Town Hall:  "President Obama sure is consistent. His State of the Union address sounded like his other speeches: What I've done is great! America is in a much better position. We've created a manufacturing sector that's adding jobs. More oil is produced at home. I cut deficits in half!"

All of which are, apparently, bad things.  And by the way, John, Obama cut the deficits by two thirds, not half.  Remind me again: what did your guys Reagan and Bush do to the deficit?

Now, this particularly incisive analysis of the State of the Union Address:

Michael Schaus, Town Hall:  "Comrade Obama Reads Teleprompter for 6th Time to Both Houses of Congress"

Comrade...teleprompter...  Boy, they'll never give up a good smear once they have found one.  And while we are on the subject of Communism:

Ransom Notes Radio:  "Two Free Years of Communist College for Everyone!"

Communist college.  Because if it is good for anyone but billionaires, it's Communism.

Bill Tatro, Town Hall:  "From Multiplier to Domino...The reality of falling gas prices has finally hit home. It is no longer 1973 when the bulk of every dollar put into the tank went to a Sheik who could care less about the well-being of the American public."

Oh no, things are a lot different now.  Today, a lot more of that money goes into the pockets of a sociopathic billionaire who could care less about the well-being of the American public.  That's a lot better.  Because unlike the Saudi Sheiks, those billionaires are spending much more of their money right here at home- buying elections.

Streiff, Red State:  "Obama uses SOTU to announce surrender to Iran"

Man, I must have dozed off during that part.

Alan Joelny, Red State:  "Obama Omits “God Bless the United States of America” at End of SOTU Speech"

IMPEACH!  What he said instead is, "God bless this country we love."  He is clearly a Communist Muslim if he doesn't say it exactly the way Alan Joelny want him to!  By contrast, Alan points out that Reagan ended ninety percent of his speeches asking for divine guidance.  Of course, in Obama's defense, Reagan needed divine guidance a lot more than Obama does.

Paula Boyard, PJ Media:  "Ted Cruz Wins SOTU Postgame with ‘More Cowbell! More Cowbell!’

Which apparently was decided on the basis of which responder could make the biggest dick out of themselves.  Who didn't know that Ted was going to win that one?

Barry Farber, World Net Daily:  "BEING FAIR TO ROMNEY"

Ha ha.  Why?


And finally, a special shoutout to Joni Ernst, the first person in years to have delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union address without destroying her own career in ten minutes.

Ted Cruz Acts Like a Jackass Once Again

The ever arrogant Ted Cruz decides to deliver an unscripted response to the State of the Union Address, because whatever Ted Cruz rattles off at any time is surely better than a speech weeks in the crafting from the President.  Ted then tried to remove it from the internet, showing that there is one more thing he knows nothing about.

Well, here it is- the usual mixture of lies, delivered with the patented Ted Cruz smirking contempt for everyone but himself:



Boy, aren't you glad that whoever ends up being President two years from today, it won't be this jerk?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Liveblogging the State of the Union Address

Oh, who cares?

Obama Approval- Gee, I Wonder What Changed

Here's a chart I cribbed from Daily Kos showing the current state of Obama's approval ratings:
Before getting on to my main point, can I just point out how far from the norm delusional Republican voters are?  There is only a two point difference in disapproval between Democrats and independents.  The gap between independents and Republicans is 37 points.

Well, here's a little of how the reporters at Daily Kos account for this change:

"Imagine that! Obama decides he'll fight for people, approvals soar...So what could it be? I have a theory 

* Obama issued executive order shifting immigration enforcement efforts away from deporting the undocumented parents of United States citizen children... 
* Obama has called for free community college tuition... 
* Obama has stood strong against Keystone XL... 
* Obama announced actions to reform police departments nationwide... 
* Obama normalized relations with Cuba...* Obama announces plan to expand paid sick leave..."

Sorry, guy, you are dead wrong.  Green Eagle has a theory too, only Green Eagle's theory is the right one.

Here's one thing that Republicans know instinctively, that Democrats never seem to figure out:  Polls don't make one bit of difference on any day except election day.  Before that, Republicans spend billions of rich people's money to lie and smear Democrats until the gullible American population buys into it and does what they want.  After election day, Republicans don't give a damn about what the American people think, so they cut off the propaganda money and, bit by bit, Americans discover that life under Democrats isn't so bad after all.  Unfortunately, what they think now means nothing.  The only thing that matters is what they think in early November, 2016, after another multibillion dollar dose of Republican viciousness, at which point a lot of them will remember that they actually hate a party that isn't owned by rich people.

Monday, January 19, 2015

How Stupid Do You Think We Are, Barack?

So, Obama announces a massive initiative to transfer the burden of paying for the country's needs marginally back to the rich, where it belongs.

Yippee!!!

Of course, he waited six years to do this, and then did it a few days after Republicans took over both houses of Congress, making it more likely that an asteroid will hit Disneyland than that this tax change will take place.

Well, I'm sure that never occurred to him.  I'm sure that it is just an accident that he waited to make a proposal like this, until the very moment that he knew it would have zero chance of being passed by either house of Congress.

I mean, we'd never ever suspect Obama of promising good things to the American people only when he will never have to explain to the rich why someone took him seriously and actually made them happen.

Anyway, my prediction:  The Cubs will win the World Series before this becomes law.  Ten times.

The Truth About "Police Violence"

Which most people will never see, because apparently this story is not important enough to make it into the mainstream press:

"White ‘survivalist’ gunman shoots black Oklahoma police chief 4 times — and walks free 

A Sentinel, Oklahoma man who shot the town’s police chief four times on Thursday morning was allowed to walk free after questioning. 

According to NewsOK.com, Police Chief Louis Ross was shot in the chest three times and once in the arm while responding to a bomb threat at a private residence. He survived with only minor injuries thanks to a borrowed bulletproof vest that he had put on only moments before. 

A caller reported that a bomb had been planted in Sentinel Community Action Center, home of the local Head Start program. 

Chief Ross and deputies from the Washita County sheriff’s office traced the call to Horton’s residence on State Route 4. Officers entered the residence by breaking down the door. 

Encountering no one in the first room they searched, Ross proceeded into a second bedroom, where Horton shot him four times. 

Officers took Horton into custody, but said that they had “insufficient evidence” for an arrest."

A "survivalist," i.e. a right wing maniac, makes a bomb threat, and then shoots the police chief trying to arrest him four times at point blank range, and there is "insufficient evidence" for an arrest, either for the bomb threat itself, or for the attempted murder committed in front of several other police officers.  Is this the new kinder, gentler policing we have all been clamoring for?  Well, let's take a closer look.  Here's the shooter:

And here is the police chief that was shot four times:
Get it now?

Of all of the terrible incidents of violence involving police lately, this may well be the worst, because even though no one was killed, it makes it absolutely clear what this is all about.  It is not an issue of police killing civilians- it is about white people shooting black people, which is apparently perfectly legal in this country, even when the white guy is a would-be terrorist and the black guy is the police chief.

And yet, as far as I can tell, the mainstream press has decided that this story means absolutely nothing, and is not even bothering to mention it.  So I guess it never happened, in this wonderful country of ours, so free of race hatred that everyone is treated the same, regardless of the color of their skin.  Because of course, jaywalking while black is a far worse crime than trying to shoot a black person when you are white.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Wingnut Wrapup

This edition of Wingnut Wrapup dedicated to the Republican party, for chosing Jodi Ernst, the most lunatic new member of Congress, to deliver their response to the State of the Union address.  Because of course they did.  Oh well, this "opportunity" basically destroyed the national hopes of Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubeo.  Here's my guess: it's going to happen again.

And now on with the show:

Matt Vespa, Town Hall:  "GOP Stand By Scalise, Waits For This Whole Thing To Blow Over"

Because of course they do.  I mean, what's wrong with one of your top national party leaders hanging out with an ex-Klan leader and neo-Nazi, and stating that he agrees with a lot of the guy's positions?  The base loves that kind of talk.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman, Town Hall:  "New Year Joy"

Because we will still have the pleasure of being lectured to by Newt Gingrich's sister.

Sarah Jean Seman (yes, that's really her name,) Town Hall:  "New Year's, The 'Especially American Tradition'...President Ronald Reagan called the New Year’s celebration “an especially American tradition.”

Because nobody ever thought of celebrating it before the Greatest Nation In The World came along.

Aaron Gardner, Red State:  "The tale of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)speaking to a convention of white supremacists, which we now know isn’t exactly true, was fed to a liberal blogger, and the greater media, by the son of Scalise’s 2008 Democratic challenger."

So, here's the story that they have decided on:  Yes, Scalise spoke the same day as the white supremacist convention, in the same room where it was held, to mainly the same audience, with the same racist banners hanging on the walls, and he advocated the same views, but he wasn't really at the convention- it was all just a conincidence.  Buying into that one yet?  Apparently a lot of right wingers are, because its all over the wingnut world. So there.

David Sollway, PJ Media:  "Does Canadian Country Music Have an Identity?"

Does anyone care?

Walter Hudson, PJ Media:  "Black Lives (and All Others) Only Matter if Property Does"

Well, spit it right out there, Walter; let us know how you really feel.  After all, if corporations are people, I guess property is as valuable as lives.  Walter makes the point that all protests are acts of violence.  Think I'm kidding?

"My thesis was simple. There’s no such thing as peaceful trespass. If you’re going to encroach upon the rights of others, you are not being peaceful. You are committing an act of violence."

It was not an act of violence, on the other hand, for a cop to put eight bullets into a jaywalker, or for 1500 right wing idiots to pull guns on federal agents.  I hope you have appreciated this lesson in Conservative jurisprudence.

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "BREAKING: Ferguson Protesters CUFFED & MACED After Storming St. Louis Police Headquarters...They were going to hold a sit-in protest for four-and-a-half hours until they were maced and cuffed."

As you would expect, this was a great thing, as far as Jim Hoft is concerned.  Here are the protesters, doing what earned them a good dose of mace:

I mean, we can't allow that in this country.

And now, a Sovereign Citizen removes himself from the gene pool:

“At approximately 12:30 pm officers made contact with Robert Lawrence at the Dothan City Animal Shelter after he attempted to turn a stray animal over to an employee. Lawrence, a sovereign citizen, became disorderly after being told he could not leave the animal without producing identification. After repeatedly being told to calm down, Lawrence was advised he was being placed under arrest. A physical altercation ensued, to which Lawrence was shot in the abdomen."

At least he precipitated his own death, instead of that of a cop, the way Sovereign Citizens so often do.

And now, News from Fantasyland:

Jeff Jacoby, Town Hall:  "White Racism Has All But Disappeared From US Politics"

Right, Jeff.  You run with that.  Jeff argues that Black people voted in the last couple of elections, even though White people did everything they could to stop them, so everything is just fine.

Brian Birdnow, Town Hall:  "Obama As Economic Svengali: The Master Magician and His Media Allies Strike Again"

One of a number of articles I've read lately, to justify the fact that, after years of blaming the collapsed Bush economy on Obama, they deny any credit to him when it finally improves.  No, he is like Svengali, just mesmerizing us into thinking things are better.

Scott Ott, PJ Media:  "How Can It Be That I Wept for Pharaoh at the End of Exodus: Gods and Kings?"

Maybe like all Conservatives you were rooting for the dictator.

Ellis Washington, Renew America:  "Does France reward terrorists?"

Yeah.  It rewards them with a bullet to the head, in case you didn't notice. So much for the "cheese eating surrender monkeys" thing.

Gina Miller, Renew America:  "The hideous, evil face of homofascist hate"

I didn't actually read this article.  I thought you'd like the headline, however.

Jim Kouri, Renew America:  "Paris terror attack: Mayor de Blasio weakened NYC security"

I guess Mayor DeBlasio is somehow responsible for the Paris attack.  Forget it, Jim.  We all know it's Obama's fault.

Cliff Kincaid, Renew America:  "Republicans must investigate where the media fear to tread"

Probably talking about Benghazi there.

Bethany Blankley, Town Hall:  "Bobby Jindal Leads the Saints in the Greatest Game Ever Played...One of the most impressive leaders I have ever met is Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. A strong family man, devoted husband, father, and son, and perhaps one of the most astute and articulate politicians I know, hes also quite hip."

God in heaven above, if that doesn't make you sick to your stomach, I don't know what will.

Shawn Mitchell, Town Hall:  "America: Too Many of You are Morons...Can you imagine in a hundred lifetimes the media solicitously describing Christian violence against people "who mocked the Savior Jesus"?

Well, yes, Shawn, I could imagine that.  What I don't seem to be able to imagine is the media actually reporting the Christian connections of the right wing terrorists who repeatedly attack people in our country.

Now, the Bad Metaphor of the Week:

Rev. Austin Miles, Renew America:  "Freedom of speech throats need tonsillectomy"

Huh?  And now I would like to present the Conservative notion of freedom of speech, brought to us by the very same Reverend Austin Miles:

"IT IS WAY PAST TIME TO MAKE "FIRE IN A THEATER" A LAW AND TO ENFORCE IT WITH STRICT PENALTIES.  In the glow of that petition, as a citizen, I demand "Fire in Theater" charges to be filed against: 

The Associated Press for running excessive news reports regarding the Ferguson, Missouri mayhem... 
"Reverend" Al Sharpton and "Reverend" Jesse Jackson (I choke and gag when I see that title falsely used by them). Their rabble-rousing (they call it Freedom of Speech) resulted directly to the race riots, and the murder of the two New York police officers, with others taking place at alarming rates. Those two "reverends" told their disciples to chant, 'What do we want?" (Response) "Dead Cops." When do we want it?" (Response),"WE WANT IT NOW." The desired results by the Communist sponsored agitators demands arrest and imprisonment. 

The Southern Poverty Law Center led by Morris Dees who has used Freedom of speech to cause harm to all Christian organizations and Christians ..They are stirring up atheists, criminals and mental cases to declare war on the Christian church and communities.
Every Communist Organization in America such as Communist Party USA (CPUSA) and Revolutionary Communist Party, with other left leaning groups who use Freedom of Speech to cause unrest rioting and anarchy resulting in injury and killing. No this is NOT Freedom of Speech but another misuse of the First Amendment to cause havoc and destruction of nations, and this MUST be stopped now!"

I see.  The SPLC.  No word about the endless parade of people at the "Reverend" Miles' own website who call Barack Obama a Communist dictator, a Muslim terrorist and the antichrist, and calling for him to be removed from office by any means necessary.  For example, this remark, from the end of "Reverend" Austin Miles' own article:

"CLOSING NOTE: Stay tuned for part 2 which PROVES the Communist connection and leadership of these race riots orchestrated to weaken America to make it easier for Communist leaders to swoop in and take command of the U.S. And it will not be as subtle as the stealth action to PLACE Obama in the Oval Office to assist in that very purpose. Check back."

Oh, we will.

Bill Federer, American Minute:  "Founders learned liberty without God is tyranny"

A curious article that does not cite a single founding father saying any such thing, except for some guy named Governeur Morris, but has a lot about the French revolution, and a bunch of quotes from some English guy.  Typical Conservative scholarship.

Aaron Klein, World Net Daily EXCLUSIVE:  "U.S. politicians on video with underage sex slaves?"

There's no evidence that they are in any such video, but THERE'S NO EVIDENCE THAT THEY'RE NOT!!!  And if there are any such videos, you can be assured that whoever is on there IS A DEMOCRAT!!!  So I guess that proves that.  ARREST THEM ALL!!!

Lloyd Marcus, American Thinker:  "A New Year: Why, Mr. President, Why?"

I don't know, Lloyd, but it happens every 365 days- and it's been going on since even before Obama was President.  I actually suspect that Lloyd believes that if we could just do away with years, there wouldn't be an April 15th, so he wouldn't have to pay any income tax.

Jim Guirard, American Thinker:  "Mitt Romney as the New Reagan for 2016...The parallels are hard to miss...On April 11 of last year, Newsmax.com posted an article of mine not only recommending that Romney run again, but predicting that he will succeed in that effort as "the New Ronald Reagan" – not by claiming that noble identity for himself, but by a gradual realization by the American public that this is, indeed, the case."

"A gradual realization by the American public..."  Sorry to break it to you, Jim, but I think the American public "gradually" realized just what they think of Mitt Romney last time out, and that isn't going to change.  Well, the guy has already tried every other lie in the known universe.  This is the only one left.  Just don't put your money on anyone falling for it.

Rodney L Pearson, American Thinker:  "Will School Lunches Destroy Progressivism?"

Probably not.  But then, you never know.  Best to let the kids starve.  That will eliminate any chance of them growing up to be progressives.

And now this guy again:

Rev. Austin Miles, Renew America:  " a fully orchestrated race war has erupted between blacks, who have been brainwashed into believing that they are mistreated in a society of 'white privilege" and are at war with white people who they think stands in their way..."

"...blacks, who have been brainwashed into believing that they are mistreated..."- what a ludicrous idea.  Where did they ever get that notion from?  Why, we all know that since the election of a Black President, the whole country is run for the benefit of black people (and Muslims) and every White person's heart is just overflowing with love for them.

The Reverend, who has been outdoing himself lately with hatred, elaborates:

"If you were watching the news broadcasts about the protests in New York City, you undoubtedly saw many people carrying signs reflecting their beliefs. But wait. The people holding those signs don't look even barely capable of having printed the signs themselves, so you might wonder who the sponsor of the rally could be."

And here's the photo the Reverend uses to illustrate his point:

Because you-know-who couldn't possibly make a sign.  So who is really responsible for the protests we have seen lately?  Who else? The Communists:

"BLACKS-WAKE UP!! You are being used to help overthrow America in order to facilitate the Communist take-over."

And by the way, it's not just the Communists:

"NOW THE REAL TRUTH: So who is initially behind this maneuver that was launched from the days of old? Satan, the enemy of all mankind"

Satan AND the Communists.  And the black people.  Whites, you might as well just give up now.  No way you can defeat that coalition.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Republicans Go To Work

Here's a list of some of the things that our new Republican majority Congress has done in the last two weeks to carry out its pledge to work on behalf of the American people;

Voted to cause a false crisis with Social Security and then force a reduction in benefits.

Voted to end abortion.

Voted to make a "technical" change that would kick millions out of the ACA.

House GOP voted to ban  EPA from seeking expert scientific advice...While it forbids biologists from talking about biology, oceanographers from talking about oceans, and climatologists from talking about the climate, it does allow corporate CEOs and thier hired scientists to advise on any of those things.

Introducing the Orwellian "Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act,"  which would do neither of those things, but would do away with many regulations on  private equity firms, allowing them to resume their destructive behavior which was a major factor in causing the 2008 crash; including loosening rules on derivatives trading and damaging transparency requirements for Wall Street.

Republicans in the House voted to pass a bill adding 70 steps to the process of approving regulations, in a blatant attempt to extend the process by years, and make it impossibly cumbersome.

House Republicans, showing the total commitment to national security that they are always talking about, passed a bill to defund the Department of Homeland Security if Obama doesn't give up on his moves on immigration.


I don't think I need to go on the expected rant about the stupidity and ignorance of the American people, who allowed this to happen.  The ignorant, hate filled, greedy fools that voted to let the Republicans do this are going to get what they deserve.  It's just too bad that the rest of us are going to get it too.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Who the Welfare Queens Really Are

I know you've seen things like this before, but here's another one- from the Washington Post, via Daily Kos, a chart of the percentage of each State's revenues that come from the Federal government:
By my count, 16 of the top 20 money-grabbing States are Republican, with two sort of inbetween States (New Mexico and Maine) and two Democratic ones (Oregon and Vermont.)

Of course, real evidence like this will only increase the shrieking from Conservatives about how Democrats are taking all the money and giving it to you-know-whom, because you can't have a cherished Republican belief, on which they build their electoral strength, revealed to be a fiction.

I'll tell you- I think it's high time that we have a real economic experiment in this country and give the Republicans what they claim to want:  Your State only gets back from the government what it paid in.  Let's see how all of those self-reliant patriots feel after a few years of that.

A Helpful Reminder To Texas Republican Congressman Randy Weber

Yes, Hitler did go to Paris, but it was not to participate in a rally to promote understanding among the races.
Perhaps that slipped your mind, or maybe they skipped that part of World War II in your Texas history classes, so they could spend more time discussing why Phyllis Schlafly and William F. Buckley were more important to our country than Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Death In America- We Should Be So Proud

Proud that nothing in the world is more important than our fictional "second amendment rights."

From The Economist, this news that will surely warm the hearts of our right wing fellow citizens:

"ACCORDING to data gathered by the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), deaths caused by cars in America are in long-term decline. Improved technology, tougher laws and less driving by young people have all led to safer streets and highways. Deaths by guns, though—the great majority suicides, accidents or domestic violence—have been trending slightly upwards. This year, if the trend continues, they will overtake deaths on the roads."

And here's the chart they provided:
I am sure that the news of this milestone in our evolution as a country will be met by this guy and the people like him with tremendous rejoicing:
Proud to be an American, Hooyah!!!

Yes, The White Race Is On The Way To Extinction

So is the black race, Chinese and French people, and every other racial or ethnic category.

Since the development of world wide mass transportation, and since the apparently earth-shaking discovery that there are actually worse things than a mixed race couple, the disappearance of these visible but genetically insignificant differences has been inevitable.  The difference in appearance between people from, say, Norway and Nigeria has been maintained for centuries by their relative isolation, which enabled people to maintain the same status as purebread dogs.  Now that we can't keep people apart, and will never be able to do so again, it's inevitable that a certain percentage of white men are going to find a woman like this
or this:


more appealing than a woman like this:
And the same can be said for men and women of all races. And so, bit by bit we are all going to become the same.

Tough luck for you, hate filled people.  Your great grandchildren are probably going to be people like the ones that fill you with disgust today.  I just wonder how many people you will succeed in killing between now and then, and how much violence you will decide you are entitled to perpetrate before your type is gone for good.

And Now For Something Else Depressing

I want to recommend that you spend a few of your precious waking moments taking a look at the comments section of this article on Yahoo:  "Four Jews Killed in Paris To Be Buried in Israel Tuesday."

I just don't have the heart to reproduce any of it here, but this seemingly unexceptional piece of news produced an absolutely frightening outpouring of hatred toward Jews.  And this is on a mainstream website, not the Vanguard News Service or Stormfront.

You know that every single one of these subhumans will deny to their dying breath that they are haters- they are just telling the truth.  In this regard, of course, they are exactly of a piece with the millions of race baiting jerks in this country who will scream in outrage if you call them racists, but who feel free to engage in open hatred and threats toward Black Americans.

I need hardly point out that the vast majority of these comments come from right here in the good old U.S. of A.  This country is in for some really ugly times before this is straightened out.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Oh God in Heaven Above, Can Her Stupidity Get Any Worse?



Ha Ha...Green Eagle got suckered by a satirical post about Sarah Palin.  No, I'm not going to leave it up and make a bigger fool out of myself than I already have, but at least I'll admit that I fell for it.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Public Service Announcement

Green Eagle wants to interrupt his usual commentary to provide the following picture of terrorist Hayat Boumedienne, who is still at large, so that if anyone sees her, they will recognize her:
There. wasn't that thoughtful of me?

Friday, January 9, 2015

While We Are Obsessed With 12 Dead in Paris

No one seems to be interested in this story:

"Nigeria: 2,000 feared killed in Boko Haram's 'deadliest massacre' 

Hundreds of bodies – too many to count – remain strewn in the bush in Nigeria from an Islamic extremist attack that Amnesty International described as the “deadliest massacre” in the history of Boko Haram. 

The five-year insurgency killed more than 10,000 people last year alone, according to the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations. More than a million people are displaced inside Nigeria and hundreds of thousands have fled across its borders into Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria."

I guess the world just has its priorities.

Oh well, now that the Palestinian Authority has been farcically allowed to join the International Criminal Court, I am sure we will soon see Boko Haram doing the same thing to prove their legitimacy as an upholder of the rule of law.

Update:  I am now reading that Boko Haram did not in fact kill 2,000 people in this incident, they only killed several hundred.  Okay, I feel so much better now.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Does This Story Seem a Little Strange to You?

From Reuters, this news, which I find a little disturbing:

"Saudi man ordered to leave U.S. over Texas army base incident... A Saudi national who prompted a four-hour lockdown at a U.S. Army post in Texas in November when he claimed to have a bomb in his car pleaded guilty to two federal charges on Thursday and agreed to leave the country in a deal to avoid more prison time. 

U.S. District Judge Fred Biery agreed not to sentence Mutasim Abdul-Aziz Alati, 24, to prison on condition he leave immediately and not return for the rest of his life."

We have people sitting in Guatanamo who have been incarcerated for twelve years without even having charges brought against them.  Here's a note about what can happen to people who make terrorist threats:

"Depending on the state and the nature of the threat, a conviction for making a terrorist threat can result in a prison sentence of 40, and even 100 or more years in prison."

And let us not forget that Saudi Arabia was the origin of 15 of the 19 9-11 bombers, as well as the home of their leader, Osama Bin Laden.  And after that incident, numerous Saudis were spirited out of the country too.  So, somehow, this guy received a penalty of time served (about a month and a half) and was set free after promising not to come back, a guarantee which I am sure must be taken very seriously, coming as it did from a man who threatened to bomb a military base.  Am I just a paranoid loon, or does this sound mighty suspicious to you too?


In The News Today

From the L. A. Times:

PAGE 1:  12 FRENCH PEOPLE KILLED BY TERRORISTS

Page 3:  Over 50 Yemenis blown up by terrorists

Page 7:  10 bodies and 11 severed heads found in Mexico


-Just to keep things in perspective.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Too Many Cops

So, the NYPD slowdown, in which New York police are making 90% less arrests in many crime categories, is now about two weeks old, without much of a change in peoples' lives.

I just want to express my sincere appreciation to the New York Police Department for unselfishly agreed to conduct this massive experiment.  I think we can already see that it demonstrates that there are far too many policemen employed by the City of New York, and in an act of budgetary discipline, it is only right to stop this waste by cutting several thousand police jobs.


And a little agreement:  I've been thinking about this for a few days,and I'm glad that others seem to be doing the same.  This, from Daily Kos:

"perhaps the NYPD could continue this style of policing with a lot less resources and manpower! Why have a bunch of bums sitting around doing nothing on the taxpayer's dime? Especially when crime is still under control and falling. Especially when the work stoppage has had no effect on the community whatsoever, except perhaps making everyone, including the NYPD, relax. 

Mayor de Blasio should applaud the NYPD for demonstrating how much they need a lot less people to keep crime low and preserve order. Then, start laying people off and giving the slimmed-down remaining force a well-deserved raise."

Right on there, Daily Kos.  Except maybe for the raise part.  You don't get a raise for throwing a tantrum.

The Cartoon

In case you've never seen it, here it is, the Danish cartoon of Mohammed that started such a vicious tantrum on the part of his followers, which has now claimed ten more lives:
If the Western press had not been so cowardly, and had reproduced this around the civilized world, these ten French journalists would be alive today.  I really can't do anything about this tragedy except take the minuscule risk of letting people see what is, to Islamists, sufficient justification for mass murder.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Evolution and Epistemology (Boy does that sound boring)

While I'm thinking about religion,  I'd like to get this other thing out there.  It has to do with evolution and the left wing confusion about what the fight against evolution is really all about.

I started reading the writings of the anti-evolution people back in the Sixties, initially by digging up a number of the books on the subject mentioned in the chapter on evolution in Martin Gardner's seminal Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, and then visiting Christian bookstores to find more.  This was not too long into the rebirth of opposition to the notion of evolution, which forms a significant part of my account.

Attacks on evolution from religious people, and their associated denial of the geological evidence that the world is very old, actually predate Darwin; these people could see the direction that science was going, and almost from the time they first realized how out of joint scientific discovery was with biblical doctrine, they were attempting to refute it.  Most of their writings were, of course, composed of the same type of ignorant gibberish that characterizes the works of Creationists and Intelligent Design loons of today.  There were some clever exceptions, however, which leads me to one of my favorite arguments against the long existence of the world, to be found in a book called Omphalos, by one Philip Gosse, published before The Origin of the Species.  Briefly, Gosse argued that, when God created the world, he had to create it as a going concern.  For example, a river needed a river bed, or it would just flow out over the land and dissipate.  This river bed would give the appearance of having been created over time.  Also, when God created the world, he couldn't populate it with newborn animals, or they would all have died without adults to care for them;  he would have to create adult animals that would appear to have a history stretching back before the moment of creation.  It was always surprising to me that Gosse's argument was never highly regarded by anti-evolutionists, because it does explain a lot.  Anyway, the notion that God would deceive people in the act of creation seems to have been so appalling to religious characters that willingly swallowed so much patent Biblical nonsense, that Gosse was left by the side of the road.  Sad to say, I once had a nineteenth century copy of Gosse's book, which stood proudly alongside the works of Alfred Lawson, the most lunatic scientific nut of all, but it disappeared long ago.

So, all sorts attacks on the notion of evolution continued to be produced until about the early 1920's, around the time of the Scopes monkey trial.  It was not because of the trial that the diatribes against evolution died out- in fact rather the opposite.  Remember that Scopes was originally convicted at his trial; it was only later, in the face of almost universal public ridicule that the judgment was overturned.  This was because by that time, the evidence for evolution had become so overwhelming that it could not be denied, and so the strident religious opposition to evolution died away.

There things pretty much remained for three decades.  And then a strange thing happened.  Right wing religious organizations once again began to produce a host of anti-evolution works, and the opposition to evolution re-emerged from the grave.  Given that evidence in favor of evolution had only grown more solid in the intervening years, how could this be, and on what basis could it be challenged?

Here, we come to the heart of my story.  Having read a good deal of the literature produced during this period (roughly 1955-1970,) I noticed a strange phenomenon:  These polemics were based not on biology or geology, but on what I can only describe as epistemology.  Let me explain:  Epistemologists are accustomed to divide knowledge into two categories, a priori knowledge, that which can be derived from pure reasoning, and a posteriori or empirical knowledge, that which can be known by examining facts in the world, gathering evidence and drawing conclusions.  The religious dismiss a priori reasoning, and substitutes a third source of knowledge: divine revelation, as contained in the Bible and as conveyed to them directly from God.

There is no example of a posteriori reasoning for which there is as much evidence as evolution and the geological discoveries that go along with it.  And that, I believe is why evolution re-emerged as an object of religious contention.  In the end, right wing Christians are not interested in evolution at all.  What they are interested in, and why they work so hard to deny it, is that in the process they believe they are striking a death blow at the entire legitimacy of a posteriori reasoning itself.  That, in their impoverished epistemology, leaves only one source of real knowledge: divine revelation, or in reality, whatever they decide is true.

He who controls what is true controls everything, in the end.  This entire struggle is not about religion; it is about power.  The Christian right is trying to establish their ownership of official truth- to  cement their sole right to say what is true and false.  They thereby will (they believe) seize the right for themselves alone to make every decision about life in our country.  Their intent is no different than that of any other would-be dictator; they merely cloak it in pseudo-religious claptrap to deceive the ignorant.

Well, That Didn't Take Long

Remember about three hundred thousand Republicans running for election last fall swearing at every step that they never, never, NEVER would ever cut Social Security?  Well, that didn't last long:

"With a little-noticed proposal, Republicans took aim at Social Security on the very first day of the 114th Congress. 

The incoming GOP majority approved late Tuesday a new rule that experts say could provoke an unprecedented crisis...The largely overlooked change puts a new restriction on the routine transfer of tax revenues between the traditional Social Security retirement trust fund and the Social Security disability program. 

House Democrats are sounding the alarm. In a memo circulated to their allies Tuesday, Democratic staffers said that that would mean "either new revenues or benefit cuts for current or future beneficiaries." New revenues are highly unlikely to be approved by the deeply tax-averse Republican-led Congress, leaving benefit cuts as the obvious alternative."

Well, this should let people know just how far they can trust the word of a Republican.  As if we needed another lesson.

In particular, the millions of brain-dead geezers who willingly forgot the fact that Republicans have been trying to destroy Social Security ever since Democrats created it, and who cheerfully put the Republicans in charge, can now take a great deal of pleasure, I guess, in pulling millions of other Social Security recipients down into the Republican black hole along with them.  Misery loves company, I guess.

Monday, January 5, 2015

On Conservative Lies

It's been a really slow news time the last couple of weeks, and honestly, I didn't feel like ruining everybody's Christmas season with my usual mean-spirited carping, so I've let things slide for a little while, but I guess it's time to get back on my hobby horse and ride it to death again.

Today's rant was inspired by an article in the Sunday New York Times, which has given me an opportunity to complain about one of my pet notions- the explanation for the fact that the Republican party has totally let go of any responsibility to deal with reality, and just seems free to blab out whatever suits their purpose at the moment.  Most people in the media who even dare mention this startling development seem to treat it, as the Times does, as some sort of mass attack of hypocrisy; I think they are wrong about that.  But first, let me present some of the Times' argument to set the stage:


"G.O.P. Turns to the Courts to Aid Agenda
WASHINGTON — As Republicans prepare to take full control of Congress on Tuesday, the party’s leaders are counting on judges, not their newly elected majority on Capitol Hill, to roll back President Obama’s aggressive second-term agenda and block his executive actions on health care, climate change and immigration.
On health care, Republicans in Washington have sued the president and joined state lawsuits urging the Supreme Court to declare major parts of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. On climate change, state attorneys general and coal industry groups are urging federal courts to block the president’s plan to regulate power plants. And on immigration, conservative lawmakers and state officials have demanded that federal judges overturn Mr. Obama’s plan to prevent millions of deportations.
Democrats say the legal moves reflect a convenient turnabout for the Republican Party and a newfound willingness to seek an active role for the judiciary when it benefits conservative policy goals..."

Conservatives have railed about "judicial activism" for years, but the minute it suits their purpose they resort to it without a moment's hesitation.  In the same manner, States' rights has been a rallying cry of Conservatives since 1828, but the minute it stands in their way (the classic example being when they had a chance to steal the 2000 Presidential election) out the window it goes.  And we are all familiar with their ranting about fiscal restraint whenever Democrats want to spend a dollar, but when Republicans are in power, the deficit explodes, without a shred of concern from them.  We all (I hope) remeber Dick Cheney's cynical comment in 2004:

"Reagan proved that deficits don't matter. We won the mid-term elections, this is our due."

As i mentioned above, this is always chalked up to hypocrisy or mere opportunism, but I think there is more at work here than that.  And what is really happening here is an infection that took place when Republicans began to systematically mix religion and politics.  However, this infection did not spread from politics to religion, as right wing politicians rushed to exploit the gullibility of large masses of people; in fact, the infection spread the other way, from religion to politics.  It is this which is the subject of my comment.

I must diverge for a moment to discuss something known as Christian Apologetics:

"Christian apologetics (Greek: ἀπολογία, "verbal defence, speech in defence") is a field of Christian theology which attempts to present a rational basis for the Christian faith, defending the faith against objections.
Christian apologetics have taken many forms over the centuries, starting with Paul the Apostle in the early church and Patristic writers such as Origen, Augustine of Hippo, Justin Martyr and Tertullian, then continuing with writers such as Thomas Aquinas and Anselm of Canterbury during Scholasticism."

Apologetics has, as you can see, a very respectable history, going far back in time, and featuring the works of some of the Church's greatest thinkers.  However, anyone who has actually tried to read, say, Aquinas' Commentary on the Metaphysics of Aristotle will know that these writings are among the most abstruse and difficult to comprehend religious texts ever written.  There is, however, a substrate of apologetics, pushed not by great thinkers, but by religious proselytizers like the Moody Bible Institute, or the "educators" at Liberty University or Regent University.  This branch of learning is devoted not to abstruse philosophical commentary, but to developing a systematic argumentative technique- a one-way strategy that can have no outcome except the desired one, and in which no intellectual honesty exists in any way from the practitioner.  It is designed to convince the unbeliever, while crushing any possibility that there can be any communication from the unbeliever to the Christian.  I think that anyone who has spent time talking to Evangelicals has encountered the result of this attitude in their absolute impermeability to any sort of reason.

A "justification" for this technique, which is nothing more than an open form of dishonesty, is, so they claim, to be found in their belief that if someone does not accept what they are saying, that person is doomed to eternal damnation by their loving God.  Thus, no matter what sort of deviousness is necessary to manipulate the non-believer, it is in his best interest in the next life to be persuaded.  Looked at from outside, this is a classic example of "ends justify the means" thinking, but it is appealing to those who want to stoke their egos with the feeling that they are in posession of absolute truth and are acting as the agents of almighty God.

Whatever the intent of the practitioner of this linguistic dark art, the results are predictable: in the hands of most, it quickly becomes an excuse to say anything, whether the speaker believes it or not, in order to achieve his goals.  And when stripped of even the minimal morality that Evangelical Christianity might be supposed to have, and applied to political discourse, something really bizarre is the result.

I must diverge here to say something obvious about how the rest of us think.  When we enter into a political discussion, regardless of our prejudices or preconceptions, we do it with at least a committment to say what we really believe, and to try to move toward some kind of truth.  This seems to be so obviously the point of our conversations, that it never occurs to us that someone else would systematically be doing something totally different.  Yet, for Conservatives, that is not what their conversation is about at all.  For them, their pronouncements are not intended to find the truth, but simply to get what they want at that moment.  As with the Evangelicals trying to save the infidels from damnation, they have freed themselves from the petty restraints of honesty in pursuit of a higher goal.  Of course, their higher goal generally consists of nothing but lowering their own taxes, but that doesn't stop them from applying the mental gymnastics, originally developed to a fine art by the religious, to justify the most blatant dishonesty.  This is the reason that they can spend years railing about issues like States' rights or judicial restraint, only to throw them out the window the second they don't produce the desired results.  This is not hypocrisy because they are not going against what they believe; they are just seizing on whatever intellectual tool will achieve the desired result.  It is no more hypocritical than switching from a flat screwdriver to a Phillips one, when they have a Phillips screw to remove.  Of course, licensing oneself to tell any kind of lie to achieve one's goals is grossly dishonest, but it is not hypocritical.

So we come to the greatest achievment in all of Conservative thought:  the systematic creation of an entire alternate reality in which whatever they want is clearly justified.  This is the reality where cutting taxes on the rich increases government revenue, where whatever vestigial racism is left in this country is the work of Blacks, where our mild mannered middle of the road President is at one time both a Communist and a secret Muslim infiltrator, where the Iraq war was a tremendous success, where torture isn't torture, where giving health care to millions is a crime against the American people, where Republicans cut the deficit and Democrats increase it, and where even Hitler is a liberal.

And many people claim to believe all of this- not because they really do, but because it licenses their greed and hatred and love of violence.  This anti-rational unleashing of the worst aspects of the human condition is the price we pay for standing idly by while they force their will on the country and on the world.