The Face of Modern Sedition

SEDITION: Incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority.

During a recent visit to see my father, we had an interesting conversation concerning politics (as we are wont to do; I don’t think I’ve ever had a prolonged conversation with him in which politics didn’t become part of the discussion). He pointed out something concerning recent attitudes within the Republican party, especially these darned TEA baggers, that he believes is cause for concern. It’s one of those “those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it” scenarios that he believes isn’t being taken as seriously as it should be taken, especially by the politicians in power right now.

He reminded me about my own country’s history (which I admittedly don’t pay as much attention to as I should) by pointing out that one of the leading instigators behind the American Civil War was Abraham Lincoln’s election as president. Before Lincoln was even sworn in, 11 Southern states declared they were seceding from the Union to form the Confederate States of America. Outgoing president James Buchanan and Lincoln both declared this secession to be a rebellion.

Sedition.

That moment in our history led to the pitting of American against American, and ended with more than 600,000 dead and more than 400,000 wounded. Hard to believe that fewer than 200 years ago, we were “refreshing the tree of liberty” with the blood of our own.

Ah, there’s a frightening quote being bantered about by Republicans. Back in 1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter that “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

[Loba Tangent: I wonder how these “Moral Majority” Christian conservatives within the Republican party feel about Jefferson’s stance on religion. He is, after all, the same person who wrote things like, “Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear,” and “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” Ooh, or how about this one: “If anything pass in a religious meeting seditiously and contrary to the public peace, let it be punished in the same manner and no otherwise than as if it had happened in a fair or market.”]

So we have people like William Kostric, the gentleman pictured to the right. In 2009, he attended a protest outside a town hall meeting on health care reform in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He carried a sign that read “It is time to water the tree of liberty.” In the center of this sign is visible the snake graphic from the Gadsden flag, which stated beneath the snake, “Don’t Tread On Me.” Kostric had a loaded 9mm gun visibly strapped to his leg. President Obama was in attendance at this meeting.

When interviewed by Chris Matthews, Kostric didn’t think it was “a relevant question” to be asked why he brought a loaded gun to a presidential meeting. I’m not going to post a link to this interview, because I honestly found Matthews’ combative interviewing style to be appalling, but I do find Kostric’s response disturbing. As a former student of literary analysis, I was taught to look for meaning in many forms, including symbolism. And I have to say, there is pretty clear meaning in the image of someone strapped with weaponry holding a sign about watering the tree of liberty (especially knowing how that quote ends in bloodshed), standing outside a location where the President of the United States is in attendance.

Regardless of what I think of Obama as President, I find this kind of behavior frightening. I find the feigned innocence, like Kostric’s comment that Matthews was asking irrelevant questions about his gun-toting antics, to be even more frightening.

Especially when similar sentiments surface in the speeches of people running for political positions. People like Sharron Angle. I’ve been keeping tabs on her for a while. She is a TEA Bagger currently trying to unseat Harry Reid as one of Nevada’s U.S. Senators. She’s said some pretty…interesting things throughout her run for Reid’s seat.

Things like she’d like to see the complete elimination of the U.S. Department of Education. Or that the separation of church and state is unconstitutional. Or that unemployment benefits have spoiled Americans from wanting to go and find real work (although she’s also on record as stating that it would not be her responsibility as a U.S. Senator to bring jobs to Nevada, which currently is the state with the highest unemployment rate, at more than 14 percent).

However, it’s her stance on the Second Amendment of the Constitution that worries me the most. During an interview with Lars Larson, Angle is quoted as saying the following:

Our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason, and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. In fact, Thomas Jefferson said it’s good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years. I hope that’s not where we’re going, but you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies.

Second Amendment remedies? It’s time to water the tree of liberty?

I don’t care how much Angle backpedals regarding her Second Amendment remedies. I don’t care how irrelevant Kostric thinks Matthews’ questions about him toting a loaded weapon outside a presidential town hall meeting might be. Both of these people have put forward imagery and ideas that translate to one thing: armed uprising against the government. Bloodshed.

Sedition.

Am I reading too much into these instances? I don’t think so. I think these things were said or performed in the hopes that people would analyze them and find meaning in the inferences. Do I think there are enough people in this country willing to answer the call for an uprising? I honestly don’t know anymore. I recently read a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center on a group that calls itself the “Sovereign Citizens.” Begun back in the 1970s, now more than 300,000 people claim to be members. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Sovereign Citizens movement is:

…a loosely organized collection of groups and individuals who have adopted a right-wing anarchist ideology originating in the theories of a group called the Posse Comitatus in the 1970s. Its adherents believe that virtually all existing government in the United States is illegitimate and they seek to “restore” an idealized, minimalist government that never actually existed. To this end, sovereign citizens wage war against the government and other forms of authority using “paper terrorism” harassment and intimidation tactics, and occasionally resorting to violence.

“Occasionally resorting to violence.” Such as when father and son Sovereign Citizens killed two police officers during a traffic stop in May of this year.

Perhaps this is the ultimate way to destroy America. Terrorists need do nothing more than sit back and watch us destroy ourselves. Seems like we’re already on the way there. I can only hope that reason is still strong enough to prevail. Admittedly, though, I’m really beginning to wonder…

Unbridled Hypocrisy

So, let me get this straight (and that particular pun will become more apparent in a moment): These TEA baggers, lovely conservatives that they are, don’t want to be taxed any more by the federal government because, as they so plainly put it, they are Taxed Enough Already. But they don’t mind donating money to the RNC, which in turn uses their donations for such worthy tasks as taking in a light repast and some equally light bondage play at a West Hollywood club known for its “[i]mpromptu bondage and S&M ‘scenes’ being played out on an elevated platform by scantily clad performers throughout the night.”

Yes, that’s right TEA baggers, your RNC donations may have helped cover the cost of a $2,000 tab run up at a lesbian bondage club known as Voyeur (yeah, probably mildly NSFW, but it plays a pretty tune). A place where the women wear all variety of bondage accouterments, including horse bridles, and simulate sex acts, I guess as part of their dinner service (I wonder, is it like at Lonestar when the servers just suddenly stop what they’re doing when the music starts playing and it’s time for the hourly floor show?). Personally, I think that’s so much more awesome than paying more tax money to the federal government.

This latest revelation about the RNC made me so simultaneously giddy and furious that I had to marinate on it for a while before even composing any kind of rational thoughts. Giddy, you may ask? Of course! I love schadenfreude, especially when it involves revelations of utter hypocrisy within the God-Ordained Plutocracy (Ooh! There’s one I haven’t used in a while!).

But why furious? Because this is precisely the kind of bullshit that makes me hate the Republican party. These self-assumed scions of morality, who sit on high, damning the sins they so eagerly accuse the Democrats of committing and embracing…why? Because as long as you’re pointing out the “sins” of others, hopefully no one’s going to be noticing that you’re doing the same damned things.

What makes me even more furious, though, is how the Republican party has convinced so many people that they’re the responsible party, that they’re the ones who should be in charge because they know how to manage funds and reduce debt and grant all their constituents three wishes and a chicken in every pot and a Lexus in every garage and a free sparkly pony…and all with a tax cut or three thrown in!

Never mind that the national deficit we now rock was caused by the reign of a Republican president and his Republican Congress. We’re not supposed to remember that. So just shake your heads vigorously and let the GOP control the vertical and the horizontal on your Etch-a-Sketch brains.

Oh, and of course, keep fighting against true evils, like health care reform. Because poor people don’t deserve health coverage and it’s perfectly acceptable for pharmaceuticals to continue to drill us dry and for doctors to prescribe completely unnecessary tests and procedures that often don’t do anything to help us and in some cases kill us…but not before the insurance companies are tapped to pay out. And if you don’t have insurance? Don’t worry. You won’t get those tests or procedures, even if you actually need them.

Sigh. I feel anger sparks in my fingers now.

Is the recently passed health care reform bill perfect? Of course it isn’t. Will everyone be happy? Nope. Then again, name me one thing that everyone can universally agree upon and I’ll show you a second season episode of TNG starring Dr. Crusher. Nothing is ever going to please everyone. Nothing is ever going to be perfect. But this should not be the excuse to continue to avoid doing something that should have been taken on decades ago.

Our health care industry in this country is horrid. We’re nothing more to these people than a means to make money. Money that they, in turn, use to pocket politicians from both sides of the aisle to ensure that they can continue to make maximum profits in the name of health “care,” Hippocrates be damned.

And are we angry about this? NO! We’re angry that the government is trying to step in and repair what has been allowed to devolve into such an utterly unchecked train wreck. We’re angry that someone is trying to do something to help us.

How dare they?!

And, of course, the ever-vigilant, ever-pious Republicans are at the very forefront of instigating this anger. Instead of trying to work with the Democrats to just this one fucking time try to come together and do something for the good of the people rather than the good of the corporations (who are not people, you stupid effing Supreme Court wankers!), what do they do? They help fund the efforts of TEA baggers (you know, with RNC donations not used to fund bondage parties). They send out their pretty (empty) talking heads like Sarah Palin, to burble insipid but easy-to-chant mantras like “Repeal and Replace” or “Lame-stream Media.” And they offer no alternatives, no solutions. No help.

I’m sorry. I don’t want my new lair to be an angry lair. But this has me so furious. So frustrated. So utterly disgusted and disappointed in the whole lot of fools. Truth is, it’s too late for health care reform for so many members of my family, and that truth has struck a vein of sadness within me that aches more than any palliative effort could ever hope to relieve. But it’s not too late to offer help to so many, including even those who have been duped by the bloviators into believing that these reform efforts are bad.

So what’s it going to take to get people to see beyond the shallow sheen of obfuscation and realize that we deserve better than what we’ve been getting? And that, while a little side order of lesbian bondage play with your meal might be more fun, maybe putting that money into reforming a system that we desperately need to reform might do a bit more good in the long run.

A Special Punishment

Here, then, is a statement made by Robert G. Marshall, a Republican delegate from the Commonwealth of Virginia, during a press conference to oppose state funding for Planned Parenthood:

The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children.

In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.

Hmm. I guess we’ve been misinterpreting that “suffer the little children” verse all this time. Of course, that’s from that pesky New Testament. True Republicans like to keep it real and kick it Old Testament.

I wonder: Will Sarah Palin be as forgiving of Marshall’s statement that a child’s handicap could be the result of God’s “special punishment” as she was of Rush Limbaugh’s “satirical” use of the word “retard”?

http://cloudfront.mediamatters.org/static/flash/player.swf

By the way, Sarah, “kook” is some of that inappropriate, unnecessary, time-wasting name calling you refer to. It’s also a derogatory word for the mentally ill. Guess you were being satirical, too.

The Cure for What Ails Us

As I was driving to work this morning, I heard a news announcement that Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is considering retirement. The soon-to-be-90-year-old Justice Stevens is the oldest member of the Supreme Court, where he has presided as an Associate Justice since 1975.

The thing that struck me about this is the longevity factor. Seems that other than our entertainment elite (minus those who decide to speed up their mortality through various nefarious means), our government seems to be better than the Fountain of Youth for its upper echelon. Fellow retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will soon turn 80. Former South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond was almost 100 when he finally passed. West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd? He’s now the Senate’s oldest member at 93 years of age. How about presidents? Ronald Reagan was 93 when he died. So was Gerald Ford. Richard Nixon made it to 81. Bush I is on the downward slope toward 90, this year turning 86. Bush II and Bill Clinton, both a spry 64, can expect quite a bit more time on their hands, if the longevity of their predecessors is any indication of what they can expect. Hell, even the Dark Overload himself, Darth, er Dick Cheney is still rolling merrily along at 69 (which is, ironically, both his age and the number of heart attacks he’s had in the past decade).

Add to this the relative stability of the health of our political representatives along with all the obvious teeth whitening, Botoxing, and face tweaking that’s going on there, and what does all this prove? To me, it proves that those in political service to this country are getting something that the rest of us are sorely lacking: excellent (and in the vanity instances, excessive) levels of service and attention from the health care industry. Our politicians are guaranteed some of the best health care that this country has to offer, no questions, no waiting, no refusals. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself: Here’s the homepage for the Federal Employees Health Benefits program. Go ahead and take a look. I’ll wait.

Done? Okay, let’s continue. Now, in all fairness, this is the same program that is offered to all federal employees. The difference? Well, I’m assuming that the Speaker of the House or the longest-serving member of the U.S. Senate isn’t going to go to just any doctor. They’re going to go to the best. Best doctors. Best service. According to FactCheck.org:

In addition, members of Congress also qualify for some medical benefits that ordinary federal workers do not. They (but not their families) are eligible to receive limited medical services from the Office of the Attending Physician of the U.S. Capitol, after payment of an annual fee ($491 in 2007).

Not a bad setup, if you ask me. And the coverage? This federal health insurance program covers from 72 to 75 percent of the premiums.

By the way, if you haven’t already figured this one out, since these are all government workers, We The People are the ones fronting the money to pay for all of this. But you knew that already, right?

So, here’s what I really don’t understand. Why aren’t the members of Congress, who are receiving these enviable medical benefits thanks to the people who A) voted them into office, and B) pay their salaries and their premiums with our tax dollars, bending over backward to make sure that we get the same benefits they do?

I don’t care if I sound totally naive on this one. I’m serious. Why aren’t they right now working toward making sure that everyone gets the same medical coverage that they enjoy? Did they at some point decide that we commoners don’t deserve it simply because we’re not morally deficient enough to want to be politicians? Does being politicians make them think that they are somehow more deserving? Or maybe I’m just assuming too much and, really, it’s the initial selling of their souls at the outset of their careers that grants politicians such enviable longevity over us mere mortals.

I know that I’ve been relatively quiet about this entire topic thus far. And I’m being a bit sarcastic/funny in my take on it now. Really, though, this is something that I take quite seriously. The last decade has been unusually unmerciful to both sides of my family. I’ve lost a significant number of relatives in this time frame (of course, any loss is significant to the ones who are losing), many due to serious health-related issues, and I currently have a critically/terminally ill family member who is not faring well at all at this present time.

And what are the health care professionals doing to aid in this present case? Barely stabilizing said patient before discharging them with little more than a wave goodbye and a “Don’t let the gurney hit you in the ass on your way out the door.” This patient is no longer able to get out of bed of their own volition. No longer able to walk, to tend to themselves without assistance. Doctors haven’t even given a concrete prognosis. But you can bet they make sure to submit their paperwork to the insurance company for their payments.

Meanwhile, doctors did everything short of bathe Strom Thurmond in the blood of sacrificed virgins to keep him going. And I’m willing to bet there isn’t one member of Congress who would ever be discharged from a hospital anywhere at any time with the same lack of regard from their medical staff that we’ve witnessed in our case.

And why? Why aren’t the American people getting the same level of care? Why are we getting consistently shafted when it comes to our medical coverage and the treatment we receive when we’re ill? And why isn’t our government taking the current health care reform debate seriously? Why, instead of pandering to talking heads and bloviating about socialism and death panels, aren’t they taking a serious and honest look at the current system (which is blatantly FUBAR) and trying to make it something that will actually work for the American people?

Oh. Wait. Could it have something to do with the billions of dollars that health care-related organizations are shelling out to these politicians? Head on over to OpenSecrets.org and you can take a look for yourself how much money these organizations are funneling into politicians’ pockets. Money they’ve bilked, incidentally, from people like you and me. Like the nearly $30 million that pharmaceutical companies donated to both parties back in 2008 (including more than $1 million they donated to Senator Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign). Or the nearly $10 million they’ve already donated this year. Or the more than $250 million the pharmaceutical manufacturers spent last year on lobbying.

OpenSecrets points out this obvious truth:

The pharmaceutical manufacturing industry stands to lose if President Barack Obama’s plan to institute a public health insurance option succeeds. A government-run plan, because of its size, would have considerable negotiating power to draw down drug prices.

Guess that’s why they’re working so hard to grease the palms of as many Congressional “leaders” as they possibly can, on both sides of the aisle. For example, Republican Senator Richard Burr from North Carolina has received almost $100,000 in contributions from pharmaceuticals this year. Burr also happens to be quite a vocal opponent of health care reform. Democratic Senator Chris Dodd from Connecticut is slightly ahead of Burr on the pharmaceutical donations, so this is indeed bipartisan. Dodd also happens to be the senior member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which, according to Dodd’s Web site, “has jurisdiction over our country’s health care, education system, employment, and retirement programs.”

Hmm.

How about insurance companies? OpenSecrets writes this:

Insurance companies staunchly oppose the idea of a government-provided health insurance option, which President Barack Obama and most congressional Democrats support. These businesses fear that implementing a “public option” will eventually lead to “single-payer” health care, which they say would mean the collapse of their industry.

Guess that explains why the insurance industry has already made more than $14 million in contributions this year. Rob Portman, Chris Dodd, Chuck Schumer, Earl Pomeroy, and Barney Frank are the top politicians receiving this money. Interestingly, all but Portman are Democrats.

How about health professionals? $27 million in donations so far this year. Harry Reid, Tom Price, Blanch Lincoln, Chris Dodd, Arlen Specter, and Ron Wyden are the top five recipients here. Hey, look, it’s Dodd again! And it’s all Democrats at the top of this list, minus Price!

What does all this mean? I don’t know. Call me jaded, but I can’t imagine that these industries are shelling out such large sums of money to support reform that they fear will cause an end to their steady plundering of the Golden Goose. So they keep doling out the cash and all we’re getting is petty bickering and obfuscating jingo dingo lingo to draw our collective attention away from the simple, glaring truth that not one member of Congress has to go through the bullshit or suffering that we peons must go through regarding health care.

Maybe that’s what should change. Maybe if we changed it so that politicians had to contend with the same treatment we get, had to deal with the same coverage issues we all face…maybe then we’d be getting a little less obfuscation and a little more serious action.

Yeah, right.

I have so few hopes regarding our political system, but I honestly had hopes about Obama’s focus on health care reform. Never mind that I’m firmly of the opinion that it’s too late for reform and time for a tabula rasa approach (yeah, who in Congress would be willing to do that?). But I had hope in this instance. Instead, we yet again have deferred to name calling puerility and a whole lot of commotion to go…nowhere. Will something come from all this? Maybe. I’m not holding my breath though. I’d hate to pass out, hit my head, and require medical attention.

Jackass Democrat: Eric J. J. Massa

Another fracking moron in politics

It’s been a while since I visited this topic, eh? Truth is, there are enough jackasses in the Democratic party that I could do one of these posts every day for the next year…and still be nowhere near finished.

[Don’t get all uppity, GOPers…you’ve got more than your fair share of jackasses.]

Actually, though, today is a bit of a bipartisan effort, since Representative Eric Massa was originally a Republican who switched parties because of his opposition to the latest Iraq war. That’s all well and good. Massa does deserve some respect for standing by his convictions as well as for serving his country (he’s former Navy).

However, his recent behavior chips away massively at any respect reserves he may have previously stockpiled. Massa was part of the 2008 coup by the Democrats to take control of Congress, becoming a freshman representative from New York, that awesome state that’s given us such classic politicians as Rudy “I like to dress in drag and fuck around on my wives (but not at the same time…yet)” Giuliani and recently disgraced governor and winner of the New York Chapter of Hookers and Hos’ 2009 “John of the Year” award, Eliot Spitzer-Swallows.

Anyway. Back to Massa. Again, he’s a freshman representative, which means he’s still in his first term. Most politicians don’t resign after one term. Most should, but most don’t. So, of course, there’s going to be curiosity. Massa gave as his reason for resigning the fact that his previously diagnosed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma had returned and he wanted to resign and deal with that and spend time with his lovely beard wife, Beverly, and his children.

Problem is that he received this diagnosis back in December. He continued to run for re-election until his resignation on March 3. Dude, that’s slow, even for a politician.

Of course, then Massa changed his mind. It wasn’t really because of his diagnosis. It was because there might have been a teeny tiny little ethics investigation going on pertaining to some of the things that he had been doing during his first term. Just minor things, really. Nothing to get overly concerned or curious about.

“No, no, seriously, it’s nothing! Stop trying to look behind that curtain! Wait, did I say there was an ethics investigation? No, I meant, there should be an ethics investigation! Against all those mean bully Democrats who are roughing me up in between sessions because I wouldn’t vote for Obama’s healthcare reform. They’re terrible and not nice and Nancy Pelosi stole my lunch money and Harry Reid keeps giving me atomic wedgies and so I’m going to take my toys and go home. See? That’s the real reason right there! No need to keep investigating!”

Oh, but wait. Could it be that the real reason that Massa resigned is because of allegations of sexual misconduct involving some of his male staffers? Allegations that include sexually aggressive language about wanting to “frack” a male staffer (or as sexually aggressive as one can be when they include the word “frack” as a part of their vocabulary; seriously, don’t do that…it gives us honest geeks a bad name), as well as this incident, in Massa’s own words on his recent appearance with Glenn Dreck…er, Beck: “Not only did I grope him, I tickled him until he couldn’t breathe and then four guys jumped on top of me. It was my 50th birthday.”

Wow. I may have just vomited in my mouth a little. Oh, and Glenn, you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself when you apologized at the end of this show for wasting an hour of America’s time. Trust me, bucko, this isn’t the first time you’ve done that.

So, there you have it. Yet another desultory ass clown from the American political desert. I’m so glad he switched to the Democratic party before all this came out. Not that there’s really that much difference between the parties anymore anyway, but I always get a warm, fuzzy feeling whenever a Republican politician is found for having sexual proclivities that their party is supposed to be so adamantly against. Now I not only have to contend with the fact that Massa finally imploded after he became a Democrat, but he also is apparently a Battlestar Galactica fan. DAMMIT.

Fracking douchewanger.

NOH8 From…Republicans?

Yes, that is Cindy McCain. Yes, that Cindy McCain. The one so many (myself included) referred to as John McCain’s Stepford Wife.

I officially take that back.

A major representative from the Republican party, coming out (haha) against California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage? This is HUGE. Even bigger than when Laura Bush stated in a 2006 interview with Faux News that she didn’t think gay marriage should be used as a political tool. She went on to say, “It requires a lot of sensitivity to just talk about the issue – a lot of sensitivity.”

[Okay, is it just me, or did she pretty much sound like she was implying in that statement that her husband obviously wasn’t the Mr. Sensitivity in question? I always loved that quote…]

Cindy McCain is not the first in her family to support NOH8. Daughter Meghan posed last summer:

Meghan goes into detail in this article for The Daily Beast about why she posed. Papa John continues to toe the GOP line of marriage equals one man and one woman. I’m guessing family gatherings at the McCains can get pretty testy sometimes.

It’s too bad the Republican party doesn’t really take women seriously. This double strike by the McCain women might have actually done something good. Although, they are both attractive, and Sarah Palin has proven that GOPers will pay attention to a pretty face. Of course, she also proves that no one really pays attention to what that pretty face is saying…

[Yep, still poking that bear…what are you going to do?]

Either way, I have to confess I was absolutely stunned when I saw this photo of Cindy McCain. It takes a lot of courage to stand for your convictions when all those around you are in opposition. She proves there is most definitely truth in the phrase “Those who ignore an angry shout may strain to hear a whisper.”

Cindy, I think your wordless stance is screaming volumes right now. I hope your party is listening.

Know What Happens When You Assume?

Your party loses a senate seat that was held by a Democrat for nearly 50 years.

I’m so sick of American politics. We will never accomplish anything great so long as we continue to play these petty games. And I’m pointing at both parties when I say this.

What’s even more frustrating is the fact that we’re so stupid that we’re playing along! Even though we’re the ones who are getting the ass-end of the deal each and every time. Do you really think these politicians care one way or the other? Get real. If they win, they get to play the game. If they lose, there’s plenty of high-paying work waiting for them out there as they bide their time before running again. Or not. Makes no difference to them. It’s not like you’re ever going to see them standing in the median strip with a sign that reads “Will Filibuster for Food.”

No, we’re the ones who suffer. But we’ve been completely anesthetized to reason by stupidity. Ignorant, bloviating talking heads on the television and talk radio, obfuscating the truth with phrases like “Obama Death Panels” and “TEA Baggers.”

Okay, here’s an important message to all those protesters who support the “Taxed Enough Already” crusade. Consider this me doing my Good Samaritan duty for you all: STOP CALLING YOURSELVES TEA BAGGERS.

Do you know what tea bagging is? Do you? If you did, you sure as hell wouldn’t be letting your grandma call herself a Tea Bagger. It’s just WRONG. STOP IT.

When are we going to wake up and realize that true change is brought about with hard work, focus, and determination. Not with silly mantras and cutesy catch phrases. And it’s not going to happen overnight. It’s also not going to happen until we pull our heads out of our asses, block out the divisive external forces (fathead commentators, I’m talking to YOU), and start focusing on what is going to benefit us all as that mythical “one nation, indivisible” that we blather on about in that Pledge of Allegiance we all were made to recite as kids.

[Ugh. Don’t even get me started on that…what do 5-year-olds know about allegiance?]

Aren’t any of the rest of you tired of all this bullshit?

Clarification of Intent

Oh, but I poked the bear this time. It’s funny how mention of certain people will bring crazy to the lair like stink brings flies.

Just an FYI: Comments about Sarah Palin bring crazy.

I received a comment through my contact tab that left me feeling a bit…agitated. I’m not going to post it here because most of it was an offensive litany of every type of insult the author could string together in a grammatically offensive way. Call me what you must, but at least do it with linguistic acumen, please.

I will, however, reprint the following line:

Your problem, like most liberal feminazies, is the fact that you hate Sarah Palin because she’s a real REPUBLICAN woman who proves you can balance career, family and faith SUCCESSFULLY.

Okay. Random capitalization issues and the misspelling of the pedantic “Feminazi” comment aside, this sentence includes quite a bit to which I would like to reply (sadly, it also includes several things that I have heard several times before). First, I don’t hate Sarah Palin. I’ll even go so far as to say that I think some of the things she accomplished as mayor of Wasilla and as governor of Alaska greatly benefited her constituents.

Some of the things. Not all. I find many of her political beliefs, statements and actions to be offensive, particularly many of her comments about “real America.” I don’t live in those little “pockets of patriotism” in the middle of the country that Palin prefers to consider more American than those bleeding-heart coastal states. Still, I pay my taxes, I obey the laws, and I enjoy my freedoms, including the ones that allow me to critically analyze what I hear…especially from those with aspirations of leading this country.

So when I hear a politician say things like that, that ostracize large swaths of the country, my spidey senses tingle. You can’t lead a country if you discredit and dismiss those parts that don’t conform to your somewhat limited ideals. And that, I think is a cornerstone of my dislike of Palin: her dismissive attitude toward things that she cannot or does not want to understand. Couple that with her ersatz folksiness and it’s a combination destined to piss me off.

And, no, I am not charmed by her “geegollygoshdarnyoubetcha” wink/wink public persona. It’s something suitable for a local sportscaster-cum-beauty-queen. It’s not suitable for someone who wanted to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. I suppose this is where I reveal myself to still be quite the erudite liberal, but I expect a certain degree of intelligence and decorum from my political leaders. I don’t buy into the idea that my representatives need to be plain-speakin’ folk I want to go hunting and drinking with.

These are people who are representing us not only on the national but on the global stage. I think that’s something that many Republicans miss. It’s not just us here. Our political leaders need to be able to interact with representatives from around the world, with intelligence, with understanding, with diplomacy…not with a fucking wink and a “You Betcha.”

As for the “faith” part of Palin’s masterful balancing act? I question any politician who allows their religious beliefs to color decisions they make that will impact the lives of constituents who may not live according to those same religious dictates. And I’m willing to bet every last penny in my bank account that the author of this comment would feel the same way if the religion in question was anything other than the religion they follow.

Religion is a personal choice that belongs in politics about as much as chili paste belongs in hemorrhoid cream. And if you make or support any legislation simply because of your personal religious choices, you don’t belong in politics.

All of this is a moot point anyway. Palin is out of politics, and I think that her decision to join forces with Fox News has pretty much nailed shut any option of returning to the political arena. Someone serious about a future run at the White House would probably right now be focusing inward, taking stock and improving their grasp of events and information that impacts us all on local, national, and global levels in an effort to balance out their lack of experience. Are we seeing that here? Oh no, you betcha we’re not. She’s a fame seeker, desperately latching on to anything that will keep her in the spotlight until the last vestiges of life have been drained from her seemingly interminable 15 minutes of fame.

I still don’t understand the Palin phenomenon, although I must confess that I strongly believe that she would have long ago faded into the ether if it weren’t for the fact that she’s just so darn cute. It’s the flip side of Hillary Clinton’s campaign experiences. I would describe Clinton as knowledgeable, experienced, articulate, and sensible. The media described her as having cankles. As looking frumpy in her suits. As “who wants to watch her age for the next 4 to 8 years.”

Flip the coin and you’ve got Palin, with her implications that only pampered, privileged people do things like get passports, or her attempts at solidifying her foreign policy experience by citing that she was governor of a state that rested between Russia and Canada. Because, you know, those wacky Canadians are always looking to invade Alaska and steal their polar bears.

But people took her seriously when she said these things. They took her seriously even when she failed to know why there was a North and a South Korea or when she didn’t know what was meant by “Bush Doctrine.” Uh, that’s your boy there, Sarah. Shouldn’t you kind of have an idea about what you’re campaigning to inherit? They took her seriously when she couldn’t even name a specific vote or law or action from John McCain’s political career that supported her overuse of the word “Maverick.” I swear, she used that word so many times, she almost ruined my love for Top Gun. And that really would have pissed me off.

But she looked GREAT each and every time.

Again, it’s all about celebrity and celebreality. We’re far more interested in pretty than substantive. And, yes, before you even say anything, I consider Obama to be another prime example of this phenomenon. Was he the most qualified Democratic candidate? Nope. Was he the best dressed and the most dapper? Oh, you betcha. “Brains before beauty” is so last millennium.

So, there you go. I have nothing else to say on the matter. I wonder if my commenter will feel the same…or if I’ve just poked the bear even more.

Terminator 5: Rise of the Gipper

governator

I was looking at a recent photo of “The Governator,” when something quite troubling struck me: When did Arnold Schwarzenegger start looking like Ronald Reagan?

Okay, so the above image has been given a little…assistance from me in proving my point. But I dare you to tell me all the places where Ahnold begins and Ronald ends. I know that both are former actors-cum-governors of the great state of KAHLEEfornia…but this is a bit ridiculous.

Of course, you could call me out on my hypocrisy right now, since it does seem that I’m poking fun at Arnold for looking like the 62-year-old man that he is. I am the one, after all, who railed against Mary McDonnell for all the plastic surgery she got while starring on BSG.

If it seems that I am being hypocritical, I do apologize. I think I’m more fascinated by the fact that Schwarzenegger has been cut off from the rest of his plastic Hollywood herd by his gubernatorial endeavors. Running California into the ground doesn’t leave much recuperation time for vanity stops with the plastic surgeon like the ones he used to make (or is there anyone out there who believes that his jaw shrank and shaped itself naturally?). So I admit that a part of me admires him for believing so much in his political objectives that he would leave behind his vanity. Part of me, though, wonders how difficult it must be for a man who once based his entire career on his looks and his muscles to have to actually look his age while all his counterparts move forward to their fifth, sixth, and seventh faces.

Ahnold’s political service will come to an end in January 2011, unless he plans to run for a congressional seat. There will be no “Presidenator” in his future, however, thanks to that messy Constitutional amendment about needing to be American-born.

I can’t help but wonder if, on January 21, 2011, there’s going to be a hot time at the old plastic surgeon’s that night. True, Maria’s been keeping the family sawbones busy with her slow transformation into Skeletor, but I suspect that the doctor is champing at the bit in anticipation of Ahnold returning with a valiant, “Come on! Do it! Do it! Come on! Peel me! I’m here!”

Okay, that was a lame ending that only Predator fans will follow. I’m sorry. I just didn’t want to end it with some reference to “I’ll be back.” Again, sorry. Just look at the image again and think happy Ahnold thoughts.