Friday, September 19, 2014

Fear Is The Mind Killer

I shared the comment below. In response to friends' comments, I added:

Republican Maine state Representative Lawrence Lockman said in 1995, “If a woman has (the right to an abortion), why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t (in most cases) result in anyone’s death.”

Once a group, perhaps especially a political party, becomes dedicated to the tactics of hate and fear they find themselves carried along by their own self generated avalanche. An endless barrage of new, ever more shocking declarations are required to maintain their movement's energy.

Apparently this individual has already apologized for his statements, but the mere fact that he felt not only free but even obligated to make them means that no apology is sufficient. Worse, he doesn't seem to repudiate it. He's just sorry he said it and it got reported. Every parent knows this one. "I'm really sorry I got caught. I'm not sorry I did it, only that you caught me."

My question is, why do any women vote Republican? Why are there still Log Cabin Republicans? Even allowing for gerrymandered districts, how can any Republican be elected to anything?

Much of the answer lies in taking a closer look at a phrase from the cult classic Dune. "Fear is the mind killer," say the Bene Gesert Witches. Partly correct. Any truly powerful emotion is the mind killer. Fear and hatred, currently all that the Republican Party has to offer, can very quickly destroy the already limited capacity of the human mind to think in a rational manner.

Note: I have long thought someone should rewrite the novel and call it Prune. The Benihana witches are seeking the ultimate household appliance, the Cuisinart Hat Rack... There's lots more but there's no point in going on because either you like Dune and don't appreciate my trying to spoof it or you don't really know what the hell I'm talking about, so I'll just hush up.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Dancin' The Hypocrite Rag

The oh so very Christian Republicans adore the teachings of Ayn Rand. They say "Jesus" endlessly while doing the work of the implacably atheist Rand.

-- Think of it like a vegetarian opening a steak house. --

Matthew 6:24
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."

But the Republicans sure try hard!

(Oh, on a side note, Ayn Rand died poor living off Social Security. So much for opposing big government programs and rallying for “personal responsibility.”) Jesus Christ believed in helping the poor; feeding the hungry; opposing greed; believed in acceptance; taught to provide for the needy, all while preaching love and generosity. Ayn Rand believed that we should only worry about ourselves, that the “self” is the only thing that matters and essentially charity was stupid. - See more at:

Everyone In Rome Wears A Toga!

In response to the often repeated Internet meme regarding how Republicans cannot possibly be anti-minorities since Lincoln freed the slaves:

The facts do not support your position. Yes, the Republican Party was once the most liberal party on the face of the planet. Conservatives all over the world bitterly condemned Abraham Lincoln and his supporters. They were called the Radical Republicans because they were so extremely liberal. Does this mean that the Republican Party is liberal today?

That was 150 years ago. It does not mean they are liberal now. The Romans threw Christians to the lions in the past. That does not mean the Romans throw Christians to the lions today.

In the 1960s when the Democrats became the party of civil rights, a group of Democrats called the Dixiecrat's rebelled. They ceased being members of the Democratic Party and became members of the Republican Party. They did this because the Democrats were in favor of civil rights and the Republicans were totally opposed to them.

The Democrats were supporters of Jim Crow over 100 years ago. They became the enemies of Jim Crow in the 1960s. The Republicans were supporters of Jim Crow only 50 years ago. And much more recently than that.

People change. Political parties change too. To say, "my party was liberal during the Civil War" does not say anything about what your party is today.


Congress has also declared: Money equals speech. Peace equals war. Facts are whatever makes Congress feel good. Reality isn't real, and if reality was real, it wouldn't matter anyway. Being a good Christian means doing the opposite of whatever Christ said. Patriotic Americans do everything they can to support international corporations while destroying American jobs. Rich people who make money by manipulating financial markets and stealing other people's money are "job creators".

Oh well. What's the point? You get the picture.

Dreams of Glory

I am sorry to say that Americans love the idea of war (yes, right now we are tired of them, but just wait a few years and we will eager for the next) and we absolutely adore the dream of the citizen soldier. When it gets real and starts to take time and cost money, we lose interest.

I wish we were more realistic and fair, but we love romance and fantasy enough to put our soldiers in harm's way, and we lack the maturity to deal with the results. I hope this will change and we will grow up as a nation. I doubt it, but I have hope.


A Fantasy Curriculum in Hobbiton

I made a Facebook response to a Fox News claim that in the past every school had a curriculum which included gun safety and gun usage. The response I made was that I had never encountered such a lesson in my years in school, cleaning schools, teaching in school, or running a school.

Someone responded, "They should've said except in California."

I then noted that I had attended school in: Mississippi, Oklahoma, Connecticut, and the Department of Defense school system. A friend added that she had attended school in Massachusetts and didn't notice any of the supposed gun curriculum either.

A Failing Democracy

It isn't that America is a failed democracy, it is that we are a failing democracy. I believe we will turn things around and return to being a successful democracy, but it will not come soon nor be easily accomplished.

Posted in response to a news report that Amnesty International has, for the very first time, sent observers to America in order to monitor possible human rights violations. I'll bet you can guess to which city these observers were sent. (Hint: Ferguson, MO.)

Note: I regard the ongoing failure of democracy in America as a direct result of 30 years of Republican dominance of American politics. Even when a Democratic president was in the White House he was pushed to the right by the growing extremism of the GOP. The same applies to Congress.

A Startling Contrast

"Convert or die!", Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of ISIS.

"Convert or die!", Phil Robertson, leader of the Duck Dynasty.

It certainly is obvious which one of these is a follower of Christ, the Prince of Hate. I mean Peace, the Prince of Peace.

Prevent Fascism...By Acting Fascist!

Once again, the Koch brothers and their fellow travelers are using words when they do not know the meaning of those words. In the post which stimulated this response, they carefully avoid specifics while their supporters repeatedly referred to well-regulated capitalist systems as being fascist or, at least, invariably leading to a fascist dictatorship taking over the entire country.

If in fact the concept is correct, then England, France, Italy, Finland, Japan, and all all the wealthy countries of the world other than the US are already fascist. They have all followed economic policies the Koch brothers and their colleagues claim are automatically deadly to freedom. Of course, that fact doesn't matter because the Koch brothers and their colleagues don't give a damn about facts and reality. They care only about the emotionalism that they can use to generate fear and hysteria and thus gain their goals through the panicked reactions of a population turned in to a political mob.

Obviously, a well regulated capitalist system has nothing to do with fascism. If it did, then America post World War II was a fascist country from the 1950s through the 1970s. Historical note: it wasn't.

Disturbingly, much of what the Koch brothers are trying to accomplish actually does copy the fascist economic system. No, I didn't call anyone Hitler. I referred to the fascist economic system.

It's important to note that not all economists agree that there was a specifically fascist economic system; however there were common elements, especially in those of Germany during the 1930s and 40s.

The system was built upon private ownership. It was built on monopolies. It was built on a few becoming extremely wealthy and using their wealth to maintain political power. It was based upon workers having little or no power. It was bitterly antiunion. It guaranteed that the wealthy capitalists would face no real risks because if the company did face an economic failure, the government would immediately bail them out. The system was a social Darwinian system which assumed that classes were necessary. The superior would rise to the highest class, the wealthy, while the inferior would naturally degrade into the lowest class, the workers. Regulations, especially environmental regulations, were despised. It was assumed the Darwinian effects so desired by the system would be muted by such regulations.

So far, the real Fascists, especially those in Germany, adopted an economic program nearly identical with that of the Koch brothers and their conservative allies.

Now, we must note there were differences between the fascist system and with the Koch brothers' proposals. For example, while there were a few regulations, the German government took an active and, if it desired, a total control of investment.  Nevertheless, most of the significant features of a fascist economic system are replicated in the Koch brothers' proposed economic system for America.

See the following article:

Excerpts from the article follow. It is a long read, but clearly reports the elements of a fascist economic system, which is in many ways very similar to the Koch bothers and GOP economic policies, while it is significantly different in a few ways. Please don't just take my word for it. Read the article and do some research on your own. I don't need blind, mindless agreement. I need thoughtful intelligent conversation.

...On the whole, except in a few cases, nationalization of the economy of the fascist states developed on the basis of private property and of private initiative, but it was subordinated to the tasks of the state. As part of the relations between workers and employers fascism was guided by the principles of social Darwinism: the strongest prosper, while the weaker are rooted out. In economic practice this meant on the one hand, protecting the interests of successful businessmen, on the other the destruction of trade unions and other organizations of the working class, "the use of extreme violence to suppress the working class and all working people." 

...The Nazis favored corporatism and class collaboration for assuming - as opposed to the Socialists - that the existence of inequality and the division of society into classes - it's good.

...the responsibility of taxpayers to private capitalist enterprises, the state thus covers failures of the capitalists' profits - business and private individual.