Paranoia strikes deep…

October 23, 2008
Un-American Activities Committee

Un-American Activities Committee

C’mon you Baby Boomers, sing along…”into your life it will creep…”  Well, to paraphrase Eldridge Cleaver, Un-American activities, or the alleging thereof, are as American as apple pie.

Now we have Representative Robin Hayes saying

“…liberals hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God.”

Not to mention Michele Bachmann of Minnesota who suggested that the news media should:

“…[ investigate] the views of the people in Congress and find out: Are they pro-America or anti-America.”

Gee, how would you know?  Funny, also, that she thinks the media, that supine tool of the Liberal Elite would do a decent job of digging out the truth.

Yep, it’s getting pretty nasty as the right wing is backed into a corner with nothing to declare but its stupidity.  And just in case you thought that this is a recent phenomenon, check out this classic essay by Richard Hofstadter on the Paranoid Style in American Politics.

This really is a right-wing thing, too.  When have you heard liberals talking about how conservatives like McCain “hate America?”  We just think he’s a jerk.


Mocking God

October 20, 2008

Some choice words from Sarah Palin, chief theological spokes-person for the Republican ticket:

She expressed support for a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. “I wish on a federal level that that’s where we would go because I don’t support gay marriage,” she said.

For those who claim there is no separation of church and state in the Constitution, I guess this is fine.  We might as well have amendments stipulating appropriate sexual practices, theologically acceptable rates of interest on loans, and dietary rules to be observed in all public places as well.  Maybe, just maybe, the government should back out of defining marriage entirely, even at the state level.  We could all be on a level playing field – with civil unions – and then we can get married by whatever priest, rabbi, mullah, brahmin, or witch doctor we select. 

Notice, also, how the usual “conservative” stance on states’ rights is dropped in favor of morality to be legislated from the Center when the issue is of such earth-shaking importance.

In the interview she also discussed her personal religious beliefs and said that “faith and God in general has been mocked through this campaign.”

Getting a little grandiose in her complaints here, I think.  She has certainly been mocked, but I don’t recall hearing much “God shall be mocked…” stuff at all.  Perhaps she thinks she is G-d? 

I like the “God in general” part too.  Well, at least the mockers aren’t focusing on God-trivia, like his hairdo in the Sistine frescoes, and stuff like that!

She’s a disgrace to our country.


We, terrorists all!

October 8, 2008

This cover on the New Yorker magazine caused quite a (negative) stir recently.  Disgusting and reprehensible were words applied to it, I recall.  It seems, now, however, that it was pretty much on the mark.  Yes indeed, listen to Sarah Palin talk and watch McCain’s ads (“Obama, too dangerous for America!”) and this cover appears to have been strangely prescient.  “This is what we’ve come to,” it was saying, and it was right.

I guess I’m a terrorist too, or at least a sympathizer.  I occasionally attend cultural events in town at a foundation administered by a fellow who did time for some criminal political activity in the 60s.  Oh, yes, and my wife has crossed paths in the field of adult education with Cathy Wilkerson, the Weather Underground member who demolished her parents’ townhouse in Greenwich Village with a too-sensitive bomb. 

I think Obama was in grade school while this was going on.  Palin probably wasn’t born yet.

Guilt by association.  Palin & McCain, the Grand Inquisitors.


Are YOU experienced???

September 17, 2008

What a topsy-turvy few weeks in the news it’s been!  Let me mention my highlights:

Federal Government declares it will let Lehman fail to protect the principles of the free market.  Rep. Barney Frank declares Sept. 15 Free Market Day.  Sept. 16 Federal Government effectively nationalizes AIG.  This under a Republican president!

John (Keating Five) McCain, the Republican candidate, lambastes the “greed” of Wall Street and calls for more government regulation.  Experience, Oscar Wilde said, is the name so many of us give to our mistakes.  Has John learned from his?   He did recently say that he knew little about economics.  Time to hit those textbooks, John!

Republicans, whiter and richer than ever, have a convention at which they rail against the elite.

Does experience matter?  OF COURSE – Palin has none…ooops, it doesn’t REALLY matter!

David Brooks, at sixes and sevens over the nomination of an airhead evangelical for veep practically endorses Obama-Biden.  What other conclusion can you draw from his recent column?  He just can’t face the facts of it.  (Shocked, shocked!!! that Republicans would nominate such a person simply because she assures their rabid base of religious nuts.)

News reports say that the Fed bailout of AIG may actually be quite profitable for the taxpayer, as was the loan bailout of Mexico in the 90s.  They charge high interest rates, and they get to call the shots, having dumped the shareholders.  Why not do this more often a reporter asks?  “That would be socialism…”


2 + 2 = 5

September 4, 2008
Our Big Brother

Our Big Brother

Will I ever tire of citing George Orwell and his book, 1984?  As I like to say, “It’s always 1984 somewhere!”  Right now, it seems like it’s then right here in the USA.  In his book, Orwell has the Party functionaries say that if The Party says the laws of arithmetic are suspended, then 2 + 2 = 5 and that’s it.  Believe it or die!

George Romney told the RNC that we need “a party of big ideas, not Big Brother!”  This from a minion of the party that has implemented domestic surveillance and suspension of habeus corpus.

The Republican flunkeys, one after another, tell us that we should elect their man because “Washington is broken!”  Uh, yeh…YOU’VE been in charge for the last eight years.  No wonder it’s a mess!

Funny also that the bedrock American political culture, even at the RNC, seems to be Democratic:  references to profiles in courage (JFK), the glass ceiling being shattered by Hillary and Geraldine, calls to service (FDR)…etc.

Keep calm…


Democratic Transparency

August 30, 2008

Democratic Transparency - James Gillray

The content of political rhetoric is fluff, spin, and image mongering.  More so today than ever before?  Perhaps.  For those who are interested, the truth is not hard to find behind the colored pictures of the magic lantern show of television.

Every once in a while, I come across an article or a letter in the NYTimes that nails it right on the head.  Simply, and without complications.  Here is my latest entry:

To the Editor:

John McCain’s choice of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate is reminiscent of President George H. W. Bush’s choice of Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court.

Faced with public sentiment for an African-American to replace Justice Thurgood Marshall, Mr. Bush said, in effect: “You want an African-American? Here’s one who will consistently work against most African-American interests.”

Mr. McCain, thinking that he can seduce supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton, says: “You want a woman on the ticket? Here’s a solidly anti-choice woman who’ll work against women’s interests.”

Interestingly, both choices play the same game of identity politics that Republicans claim to abhor.

Their cynicism is shameless.

Joseph Russo

Bristol, R.I., Aug. 29, 2008

Thanks, Mr. Russo.


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