Sunday, August 30, 2015

More Border Wall, Yay!

Well, here is a really meaningful proposal:  Scott Walker, floundering in near irrelevance as a result of the work of Donald Trump, suggested today on Meet the Press that the United States cannot be content with a border wall between us and Mexico; we must also build one between the U.S. and Canada.

Well, as Mr. Walker should know, being a governor of a State right across Lake Superior from Canada, the border between the United States and Canada, the longest border between any two countries on earth, stretches for 5,525 miles.

Current costs for the construction of border walls along the Mexican border are running at around $7.5 million a mile. The cost varies dramatically depending on the terrain, but using this as an average, we are looking at about $42 billion just to build the thing- about ten percent of next year's projected budget deficit.  Then, of course, there is the fact that the wall would be a useless boondoggle unless it is constantly patrolled along its entire length.  I'd say they would need at least one border patrol agent for every mile, times three for the three shifts in a day- about 15,000 new employees.  That would cost, with fringes, well over a billion dollars a year, plus the cost of equipping them with military level equipment.  And all for nothing but jingoism and fearmongering.

But of course, the whole Republican primary this year is nothing but an exercise in who can incite most hate and anger in their base, so I am sure that this idiotic proposal will be accepted as an acceptable Republican contribution to our national discussion.  This is the sort of thing that has become acceptable these days.

Friday, August 28, 2015

European Refugee Crisis

Two stories in the news today:  70 or so dead refugees found in a truck in Austria; and an equal number in one of the seemingly endless supply of unseaworthy boats trying to cross to Europe from North Africa.  Meanwhile thousands try to sneak through the channel tunnel to England.

What interests me is the almost invariable reporting of this as a European story.  People seem to have so given up on any hope that the people generating this problem in Syria, Iraq and North Africa have the capacity to ever deal with the problems that they are deliberately generating every day.  And let's just be blunt here: most of these people are not economic migrants, they are refugees from Islamic sectarian wars.  This is not a European problem, although Europeans are bearing the cost.  Of course, it is not a good idea for people whose own inability to control their viciousness killed fifty million less than a century ago, to act too ethically superior, but that was then, and this is now.  Moralizing about the past does nothing to solve the problems of the millions who are being displaced now.

It is time for the rest of the world, particularly the people in Europe and North America, to stop treating Muslims as some sort of subhuman savages who cannot be expected to live in peace with others.  This problem is never going to be solved inside Europe; only when governments and lunatic religious cults in the Middle East and North Africa give up the notion that it is right to kill in the name of God.

Well, that is easy to say, but how do you make them behave?  I don't have a clue, unfortunately, but certainly, it isn't by pretending that this is just a refugee resettlement problem to be borne by someone else, far from the endless conflicts.  The nations of the world are so held in thrall by Saudi oil, and the damage the Saudis can do to their economies, that they are petrified of the truth.  Maybe they need to think twice about the price they are paying to avoid a temporary pain at the hands of the Saudis.  Maybe it needs to be made clear to the Saudis that if they do to Europe what they recently did to Russia, their leaders will be stripped of their rule.  Maybe it's time that someone else control the flow of Middle Eastern oil, so nations are free to do the right thing without subjecting their citizens to economic sabotage.

Anchor Baby

Can someone tell me how the term "anchor baby" suddenly turned out to be some sort of racial taunt?  It has been used for years, and seems to me to be a pretty descriptive term with nothing obviously racist about it, yet all of a sudden it is as taboo as the n-word.  Is this one more loony product of the "trigger warning" people?  Does someone actually think it is a winning issue against the likes of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump?  I just don't get it.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Murder of the Day

Funny that a guy can murder two people on live TV, and then post the worst selfie in the world about it, and no one in the U.S. seems to care.  Oh, there's plenty of excitement about the spectacle of it, just no one cares that it adds to the roughly one multiple gun murder in this country every day.  I think most people have just given up even pretending that these people's lives are more important than corporate profits, and are just getting on with their lives.  Until they come in for their own little burst of fame, barely more than Andy Warhol's canonical 15 minutes at this point, and then vanish forever from public consciousness.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

We're Scaring the World Again

I mentioned that my wife and I recently got back from a train trip across Canada.  On the way, we met people from many countries, and the first thing every one of them wanted to know about was Donald Trump.  They are really afraid about how far into outer space the American people have gone, and I sure wish I could reassure them that this is going to lead nowhere.  Five thousand nuclear weapons in the hands of a mean-spirited, egomaniacal carnival barker- now that's a comforting thought, huh?  Yet, if all of the Republicans, including their financiers, unite behind this jerk, it could happen.

We laughed at the clown car in 2012, and were all set to laugh at it this time around too, until the Republican party topped itself by finding an entire clown car in one person- a single character embodying all the hate-filled irrationality and lust for violence that Republicans have been worshiping for years.  Why shouldn't they nominate him?  He is their perfect candidate.  And then we can see if any sense of self preservation and common human decency can outweigh the heavily financed insanity that will be his campaign.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Wingnut Wrapup

It's been so long up there in Canada that I fear my sarcasm generator has atrophied a little, but here goes- back to work:

Ken Klukowski, Breitbart:  "Myths about birthright citizenship—promoted by liberals, embraced by establishment Republicans, and repeated by mainstream media pundits without critical examination—have been debunked by experts spanning the political spectrum. But none of those people are being given A-list treatment by major media outlets to respond. 

Instead, the voices given the biggest public platforms are commentators who lack any professional credentials on the topic, who breezily assure viewers that “of course everyone knows” that the Fourteenth Amendment confers citizenship on everyone born in this country."

"Experts."  Experts "debunk..."  Well, here's the text: decide for yourself:

" All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States"

Funny that the same people who insist that the second amendment confers a right to posess weapons more violent than anything the founding fathers could have ever imagined, can't read this simple sentence.  Their "experts," by the way?  A former law clerk for Clarence Thomas, a guy who works for the Koch Brothers funded  Heritage Foundation, an article in the "Texas Review of Law and Politics," whose stated mission is to publish  "thoughtful and intellectually rigorous conservative articles--articles that traditional law reviews often fail to publish," i.e. Conservative lies, and Hans Von Spakowski, the Bush administration Justice Department tool who spent his time converting the Civil Rights division from dealing with crimes against black people, to fighting the imaginary persecution of right wing Christians.   Experts spanning the political spectrum- right.  Spanning the spectrum from criminal right wingers to mentally ill right wingers.

Matthew Boyle, Breitbart:  "GOP CONSULTANT: GET CLOSE TO TRUMP THEN ‘SHIV HIM IN THE RIBS,’ LIKE ‘BRUTUS KILLED CAESAR’

The standard Republican strategy for just about everything, as far as I can see.

D.W. Wilber, Town Hall:  "Hillary’s Top Ten Excuses To Avoid Jail"

D. W. forgot this one:  She didn't do anything illegal.  Of course, why should that stop Republicans from throwing her in prison?  It worked so well in Na...  Oh there I go again!  Godwin protect me!

Town Hall:  "Jeb Bush Won't Say He'll 'Rip Up' Iran Nuclear Agreement"

Well, maybe he'll "stuff it in the wastebasket."  Or "light it on fire."  Or "eat the paper it's written on."  Will that do?  No, only ripping it up will satisfy the legal experts at Town Hall.

Meghan Fox, PJ Media:  "Planned Parenthood Blasts Music That ‘Sounds Like It Came From Hell’ at Peaceful Protesters"

The horror!  That is so much worse than saying things like this about them, which comes from later in this article:

"We know they are delivering live, whole babies (who are kicking!) and cutting their faces off to extract brains"

No shame at all.  Man, these people should be writing for the ScFi channel.  Planned Parenthood, on the other hand, are monsters for playing music that right wing assholes don't like.  They should just be thankful that Planned Parenthood didn't play any Buddy Guy- he'd have them running home and hiding under the bed.


Oh, and while we are visiting with Meghan Fox, here's a little more:

Meghan Fox, PJ Media:  "My Baby Screams in Restaurants and I am SO Sorry!"

Well, thanks for sharing that with us, Meghan.  Slow news day, huh?

Paula Bolyard, PJ Media:  "You Won’t Believe What My Son Was Called for Saying He Loves America and Supports the Police"

No I won't, because I was already too bored to read the article and find out..

Michael T. Hamilton, PJ Media:  "Why Our Family Will Keep Watching ‘The Cosby Show’...Why dethrone such a show now, when it is needed most?"

The real reason:  They don't give a damn how many women he drugged and raped; they're all for him if it pisses liberals off.

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "Dozens of North Korean Subs Have Left Their Bases… Can’t Be Located"

Can't be located by you, Jim.  But then, I don't think you can locate your underwear in your dresser without help.

Lloyd Marcus, Renew America:  "Which GOP contender will keep their word in the WH"

They all will, Lloyd.  They'll keep their word to the Koch brothers.  As for their stupid "base," fat chance.

Laurie Roth, Renew America:  "Some googly-eyed search engines just aren't bigger than God, now or in 2016"

Huh?

Susan D. Harris, Renew America:  "Preterists in sheep's clothing: the growing plague of end times deception"

Man, these guys are going off the deep end.  "Preterism," which I had never heard of until today, apparently has something to do with the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D.  I am sure that will be a very helpful guide to our conduct in the world today.

Cliff Kincaid, Renew America:  "Kremlin TV backing "Bolshevik Bernie" for President"

"Bolshevik Bernie."  Whatever.

Bryan Fischer, Renew America:  "Birthright citizenship is unconstitutional"

Even though it is in the Constitution.  Man, these people are certainly adept at creative thinking.

Thomas Beaumont, My Way:  "Cruz outshines Bush at Americans for Prosperity summit"

The way things are going these days, a free screening of "Battlefield Earth" could outshine Bush.

Quin Hilyer, National Review Online:  "On Immigration, Santorum Adds Substance"

There's a laugh for you.  As well as a real sign of what a pathetic bunch the Republican Presidential candidates are, when people are counting on Rick Santorum to bring "substance" to the race.  His substance on illegal immigrants?

"...a 25 percent cut in the number of legal immigrants. On top of the by-now familiar steps to curtail illegals — new walls, new border technology, more agents at the border"

New walls and new agents.  What a creative, never before suggested solution!

Allahpundit, Hot Air:  "Should the GOP be trying to draft more candidates into the race?"

Oy.


And now the award for the most meaningless jingoism of the day:

"Ron Paul: For Immigration Answers, Look to Liberty"

Liberty!  Hooah!  Liberty to do what?  Who knows?

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "As Stock Market Tanks Obama Heads to Vegas to Push for More Solar Energy"

Somehow, those two things are related.


And, continuing with the Stupidest Man on the Internet:

Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit:  "Activist: Aborted Baby Found Discarded among Chicken Bones in a Kentucky Fried Chicken Box"

Today's Story Least Likely to be True.  This alleged incident happened thirty years ago, and of course there is not one shred of evidence that it is real. I can find no verifiable mention of this claim before the idiot Jim Hoft wrote about it yesterday; now it is spreading like ebola all over the right wing blogosphere, where it will incite outrage for a couple of days before disappearing into the ether.

Laurie Roth, Renew America:  "Google--Big rabid dog"

Whatever.  Laurie has this to say:

"Stand up for freedom of speech and the truth this election cycle"

Which, since she is a right wing shill, of course consists in sending her money.


And now, sad to say, some of the most abominable racist lying I have ever seen:

Ellis Washington, Renew America:  "Kristallnacht DemocratNacht"

Yes, this son of a bitch is going to go there.

"why did America wait 8 long years (from Hitler's appointment as Chancellor of Germany to Congress repeal of the Neutrality Act, Nov. 4, 1941), before the FDR administration would criticize or act against the Nazi regime? Because FDR (like all Democrat Socialists) are doctrinaire anti-Semites whose Nazi-like policies are given social standing and moral legitimacy by the legions of Jewish sycophants who voted for FDR (4 times) and the few he allowed inside his administration (Secretary of Treasury Henry Morgenthau being the most conspicuous). Indeed despite British PM Winston Churchill literally begging FDR day and night to help Europe, to help the Jews being sent to Hitler Holocaust ovens unmolested. Historically, FDR's delay until Japan's bombing of the U.S. military base at Pearl Harbor (Dec. 6, 1941) made FDR and the Democrat Socialist Party complicit with rest of the Western World in the mass murder of European Jewry... 

Hitler and Goebbels demonic Kristallnacht lasted two days, yet its devastating effects against the Jewish people lasted many, many decades, even to this day. Nevertheless, an exponentially greater genocide against humanity is the DemocratNacht (Democrat Night), which has been an existential Democrat Holocaust that has been unleashed from the pit of Hell ever since the first slaves arrived in America in 1619 literally where Holocaust Democrats, brick-by-brick have deconstructed America, American exceptionalism, and our Judeo-Christian traditions and institutions, especially the Courts, the Church, the Family and Culture."

I can't even bring myself to comment on this.  Renew America is a major, mainstream right wing website, and this is what they are selling to their hundreds of thousands of readers.  What hope does this sort of thing leave for the future of our country?

And with that, enough already.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Fourteenth Amendment

The pertinent section these days, at the very beginning:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside."

Let's remember the reason that this amendment was enacted in the first place, and why it did not become part of the Constitution at the beginning of the country, but only a century later.

After the Civil War, the nation and its government were filled with Southern reactionaries who had a hundred schemes to deny the vote to ex-slaves.  Those who supported the destruction of slavery knew that these schemes would continue to be promoted until a sufficiently racist Supreme Court would give an okay to one of them*, and that would legalize the permanent second class status of blacks. Birthright citizenship was enacted not to create anchor babies, but to prevent white people from revoking the citizenship of blacks.  It's existence can be totally traced back to the intransigent racism that still existed in this country after the Civil War, and which continues to this day.  So, Republicans, if your absurd nightmare that millions of the wrong kind of people are going to come here and vote Democratic because of this were true, you would have nobody but your own God Damned racist, hate filled selves to blame.  Suck on that, jerks.



*Too bad for them that they couldn't have held out until the current Supreme Court, which would probably accept a petition to classify ex-slaves as domestic farm animals.

It's Still Alive

Can we now stop pretending that the coarse, vicious diatribes of Donald Trump are pushing the Republican party in a direction it doesn't want to go?  Trump is simply openly speaking what they all believe, just without the tattered cloak desperately pulled over the truth by advisers and political consultants.  We are constantly getting glimpses of the racism, hatred of women, xenophobia and love of violence from other Republicans; the only difference with Trump is that he is letting us see it all at once.

Do Not Call Up That Which Ye Cannot Put Down

This IS the Republican party.  It is the party of Reagan, of Nixon, of Bush.  It is a party of hatred and greed.  That is all it is about any more, and I, for one, thank Donald Trump for presenting it to us out in the open.

I am almost sympathetic with certain Republicans who now seem to believe that Trump is a Democratic plant.  They're wrong, of course.  There never was a Republican candidate more representative of the base that they have worked so hard to create, and now they are stuck with that base, and their champion.

Bernie and Black Lives Matter

Well, I'm back from the Canadian Rockies (very nice) and ready to start complaining again.  In truth, as far as I can tell from the very limited internet connection I had in the last two weeks, not much has changed in the world. Here's something that bothered me at the time and which may be old news at this point, but I want to say something about.

There is no one in the U.S. Congress with a stronger civil rights record than Bernie Sanders.  Since at least 1963, he has been working for equal rights, even being arrested in the process.  So why did a Black Lives Matter activist, one Marissa Johnson, choose him to attack in public, in a transparent attempt to damage his standing among minorities?

Well, maybe a clue can be found in her statements about who she really is:

"My parents are both Tea Partiers. I'm mixed. My mom's white and my dad's black. And they're both big Tea Partiers and that's how I was raised....I do want to say I am a very devout Evangelical Christian... And people who know me locally and nationally in my organizing work know that that is why I do what I do. And so yes, I did run up there and confront Bernie Sanders because of my religious convictions, absolutely."

Of course, she brackets this with a couple of pro forma claims that she's really, really left wing now, but of course if she is, she's the only fundamentalist Christian on earth that is driven by her religion to have progressive values.

I am going to state the obvious and then be done with this:  Marissa Johnson is a right wing dirty trickster no different from James O'Keefe and the people who made the lying videos about planned parenthood.  She had only one intention on earth, and that was to damage black support for their greatest ally in the Presidential race, by playing on the same mindless rage that drives right wing thinking across the country.  Of course, she or her handlers counted on the mainstream press to ignore that obvious fact, so it worked.  All's fair in love and politics, I guess.  At least Republican politics.




Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Surge

I'm in difficult blogging circumstances here, but I really want to recommend this article by Juan Cole, perhaps our greatest Iraq expert, about what a colossal disaster the Republicans' beloved surge was.

Www.johncole.com/2015/08/surge-created-Hillary.html

It also reveals what an incompetent idiot General Petraeus was, as an added benefit.

The Republicans are determined to blame their Iraq disaster on Hillary and Obama, so it is a good idea to keep the truth in mind.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Brief Note

I'm going off on a train trip across Canada for several days.  No internet on the train.  Just mentioning this so you don't think I have fallen off the edge of the earth.  I'll be back soon.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Debate

As far as I am concerned, the only interesting thing about the recent Republican "debate" is the lengths the mainstream media are going to in order to pretend that anything of the slightest interest happened.  In fact, things went exactly as you could have predicted- Trump was a boor, Jeb was a boring, not very smart, privileged child, Christie was a bully, Rand Paul was a pathetic imitation of a smart guy, Scott Walker was a preprogrammed hustler.  In the eyes of the press, that made it a highly successful evening; no one self-destructed beyond repair, and the Republicans can go on pretending that they are a reasonable alternative to Democrats, instead of the endless collection of corrupt hustlers that they really are.

Ho hum.  Another day in modern America.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

My Favorite Headline of the Day

From Daily Kos:

"New York man who lost leg in homemade bomb explosion had KKK and Confederate memorabilia"

Just in case you are confused too, here's a very meaningful comment:

"We don't know the import exactly of what these sort of inflammatory items might mean only to say that they were in the immediate vicinity," said Jack Alsup, an assistant U.S. Attorney."

No, we just can't figure it out.  Because, how could the two things possibly be related?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Trump

I'm still standing with my view that the current runaway popularity of Donald Trump among Republican voters, 15 months ahead of the election, is just an infantile act of fury, from a group of people who have been told ever since Ronald Reagan that government is nothing but a crooked scam to rip them off, and that if it didn't exist, they would all be rich by now.  The Republican party has created a monster, and now it can't keep it in its cage- at least for the time being.  But if the last eight or so Republican Presidential choices indicate anything, when it comes down to it, these people are going to have the Republicans' rich backers once again cram down their throats a candidate that will do the bidding of the likes of the Koch Brothers and the Waltons, at which point, as they say "Democrats fall in love; Republicans fall in line."

Right now, that candidate, in my perhaps worthless opinion, is still strongly likely to be Jeb! with the nauseating Scott Walker an outside possibility if the Kochs decide to spend a significant part of their billion dollar war chest on the Republican primaries.  I don't think that is going to happen, however.  The difference between Jeb! and Walker isn't all that great, and it pales in comparison to the lure of having a Republican in the White House in 2017, to make permanent the corporate corruption of the Supreme Court, destroy Social Security and Medicare, and to start a couple of highly profitable wars in the process.

By the way, have you ever seen a greater example of denial in the history of mankind, than that involving the American voters who seem to actually believe that if the Republicans control Congress and the White House, they will not destroy Social Security and Medicare?