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Tea Bagging the Military

April 14, 2010

When you raise your hand and take the oath of service in our military you do it with an understanding that you will be held to a higher standard than the average citizen. It also means that you live under a different set of rules. These rules are called the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The only rights and privileges you have as a service member are those afforded to you under the UCMJ. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you give up all of your rights under the constitution, but you are expected to exercise those rights with a certain amount of restraint and dignity.

It’s called “good order and discipline”. If you decide to act in a manner that disrupts said “good order and discipline”, or brings discredit upon the armed forces, then you’d better be ready to pay the price.

Having served in the military for nearly a decade I have some experience with this process. Civic activity was fully allowed as long as it was carried out in a manner befitting a member of the armed services. Rule of thumb: If anyone in your chain of command would disapprove of your actions, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.  Others may have had different experiences, but that was the general stance taken by my various commands.

With regard to the new Tea Bagger group, “Armed Forces Tea Party Patriot“, all I can say is, they better be damn careful.

Here is a short list of the more pertinent Punative Articles from the UCMJ.

881. ART. 81. CONSPIRACY

Any person subject to this chapter who conspires with any other person to commit an offense under this chapter shall, if one or more of the conspirators does an act to effect the object of the conspiracy, be punished as a court-martial may direct.

882. ART. 82. SOLICITATION

(a) Any person subject to this chapter who solicits or advises another or others to desert in violation of section 885 of this title (article 85) or mutiny in violation of section 894 of this title (article 94) shall, if the offense solicited or advised is attempted or committed, be punished with the punishment provided for the commission of the offense, but, if the offense solicited or advised is not committed or attempted, he shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

(b) Any person subject to this chapter who solicits or advises another or others to commit an act or misbehavior before the enemy in violation of section 899 of this title (article 99) or sedition in violation of section 894 of this title (article 94) shall, if the offense solicited or advised is committed, be punished with the punishment provided for the commission of the offense, but, if the offense solicited or advised is not committed, he shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

888. ART. 88. CONTEMPT TOWARD OFFICIALS

Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

892. ART. 92. FAILURE TO OBEY ORDER OR REGULATION

Any person subject to this chapter who–

(1) violates or fails to obey any lawful general order or regulation;

(2) having knowledge of any other lawful order issued by any member of the armed forces, which it is his duty to obey, fails to obey the order; or

(3) is derelict in the performance of his duties;

shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

894. ART. 94. MUTINY OR SEDITION

(a) Any person subject to this chapter who–

(1) with intent to usurp or override lawful military authority, refuses, in concert with any other person, to obey orders or otherwise do his duty or creates any violence or disturbance is guilty of mutiny;

(2) with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of lawful civil authority, creates, in concert with any other person, revolt, violence, or disturbance against that authority is guilty of sedition;

(3) fails to do his utmost to prevent and suppress a mutiny or sedition being committed in his presence, or fails to take all reasonable means to inform his superior commissioned officer or commanding officer of a mutiny or sedition which he knows or has reason to believe is taking place, is guilty of a failure to suppress or report a mutiny or sedition.

(b) A person who is found guilty of attempted mutiny, mutiny, sedition, or failure to suppress or report a mutiny or sedition shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct.

909. ART. 109. PROPERTY OTHER THAN MILITARY PROPERTY OF UNITED STATES– WASTE, SPOILAGE, OR DESTRUCTION

Any person subject to this chapter who willfully or recklessly wastes, spoils, or otherwise willfully and wrongfully destroys or damages any property other than military property of the United States shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

916. ART. 116. RIOT OR BREACH OF PEACE

Any person subject to this chapter who causes or participates in any riot or breach of the peace shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

934. ART. 134. GENERAL ARTICLE

Though not specifically mentioned in this chapter, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court.

I believe most Teabagger nonsense is just that, nonsense, but a lot of it could definitely land a military member in hot water under Article 134, and if an officer is involved it could possibly warrant an Article 88.  If any of the more “fiery” rhetoric is actually acted upon (i.e. property damage, assault, threatening behavior, or conspiracy to carry out a crime) those members involved will be facing very serious consequences.  This is not something to be taken lightly, and I would warn those people still in uniform, reserve or active duty, that they have obligations far beyond some petty political grandstanding.

As a veteran, my advise to those in our military who don’t like taking orders from our duly elected president, or find the current representation in our congress not to their liking is this:  Voice your displeasure at the ballot box, and if that isn’t good enough then finish your obligated time and get out of the military.  I served under two presidents, Bill Clinton, whose tenure I have mixed feelings about, and George W. Bush, a man who I find so utterly repellent that I cannot even say his name without adding an expletive to one end or the other.  I served my country honorably, even under a disgraceful, lying, torturing war criminal with a group of fawning, ignorant clowns in congress to help him out.  Quit acting like petulant children and serve your country with a little dignity.

Dead Peasants

April 11, 2010

29 lives.

That was the cost for Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey Energy, to keep running coal. Coal pays the bills at Massey, not coal miners. They’re just cogs in the machine. When the machine blows the cogs out, you replace them and turn the machine back on. It really is that simple. When Don Blankenship looks at his workers, he does not see human beings, he sees peasants that are only there to run coal and are nothing more than a cost to be cut.

29 lives at Upper Big Branch.

12 lives at Sago.

2 lives at Aracoma.

“If any of you have been asked by your group presidents, your supervisors, engineers or anyone else to do anything other than run coal (i.e., build overcasts, do construction jobs, or whatever), you need to ignore them and run coal,” said the memo, a copy of which was obtained from Bruce E. Stanley, a lawyer who represented the widows of the victims of the Aracoma mine fire. “This memo is necessary only because we seem not to understand that coal pays the bills“.

Actual memo (PDF)

Coal miners cost money, coal pays the bills.  Bills for the $2.2 million in fines for over 3000 safety violations at Upper Big Branch since 1995.  Bills for the legal costs of contesting $1,128,833.00 of safety violation fines. Bills for the $3 million spent to buy Don’s own personal Judge on the West Virginia Supreme Court.  Bills for a trip to the Monte Carlo with the state’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Elliott “Spike” Maynard while a $77 million lawsuit was pending before the court.  Bills for over $6 million trying to buy the West Virgina state government for the Republican party.  I guess you have to have priorities when you’re running a business.

Non-union miners are playing russian roulette with their own lives, and any miner who votes for a conservative is cutting his own throat.  Union mines are safer mines, period.  The anti-union actions taken by conservative politicians and big business have directly contributed to hundreds, if not thousands of deaths over the last three decades.  Without strong labor organizations and regulation enforcement conducted on-site by union officials, these mines are death traps.  How many will die in the next catastrophe, or the next?  How many will it take before action is taken.  Organize and Unionize, that’s the only way to push back, or just wait in line to die for company profits.

Don Blankenship has run his coal empire like a feudal lord, and in that spirit he has treated those brave men in his employ like serfs working for his own enrichment and power.  The Blankenships of the world see our laws and regulations as quaint at best, and as a threat to their power and profit if they require even the barest of expenditures on safety and environmental protection.  Men like Don Blankenship will spend millions to fight against safety and environmental regulations, millions paid for in blood by his workers and the surrounding communities, without even a second thought.  Until we hold these criminals accountable for their crimes they will continue, and lives will be lost.

But hey, what’s a few hundred more dead peasants?

P. S.

Mine War on Blackberry Creek

“You Say You Want A Revolution?” An Open Letter to the Militias

March 29, 2010

Dear Right-wing Militia Members,

Hi. How’s it going? Not too good huh? I heard some of you fellas had a bad weekend. It’s gotta suck getting raided by the feds, I mean that’s some stressful shit. I guess If I was you I’d cooperate and wait for my day in court. No use getting shot up now that the cat’s out of the bag, you know? You’re all pretty lucky that way really, getting a day in court is kinda rare for a lot of people in this world. Yup, we’re all damn lucky to have laws and civic structure that provide for the protection of our rights; you know, a government. Yup, damn lucky.

Hey, while I’ve got you all here, I’ve got a few questions and a couple of comments for you about your little “group therapy sessions”, if you don’t mind.

First of all, what exactly is your plan? I’m not talking about your little Call of Duty multiplayer squad tactics either, I mean what are the ends that will eventually justify your violent means? If you’re intent on resorting to cheap terror tactics and blowing up innocent people, you better have some idea about what it’s all for. Are you planning to reinstate the Confederacy? Or are you more interested in forming an all new non-government that only acts as a middle-man in connecting consumers to private service providers like pay-as-you-go firefighters? Perhaps you just want to get another old white guy back in charge like the good old days, huh? Whatever it is, I think you’re really aiming high for what you’re actually capable of, which isn’t much.

What do you think most people think when they see you fellas running around in the woods doing your little live-action RPG shtick? Do you think they respect you? Do you think they’re scared of you? Which is better? They certainly don’t respect you, so is fear enough? Is that what your really going for? If so, I’ve heard of some guys over in Pakistan that you might get along with really well. They run around with guns trying to scare people too. Maybe respect would be better after all, huh?

I guess my point is that most of you guys probably have families, and you love and care about them like everyone else, so go home and care for them. There are problems in this world for sure, but nothing that will be solved by a bunch of guys running around the hills with guns and building explosives in their basements. That will only get you arrested or shot up by law enforcement. You seem to be confused about a lot of things right now and really afraid of what you think is going to happen, but you all need to seriously take a deep breath and relax for a minute before someone gets hurt.

I know we elected a black guy to be president, and I know you’ve all heard terrible things about him. I know. But seriously, you need to turn off Fox news and talk radio, and really think about what’s important. Have things really changed at all since the election? Not really, we haven’t changed much in this country since the glory days of “W”. We still have the same tax rates, the same energy situation, the same crap-ass economy, the same wars, hell we haven’t even done a damn thing to roll back his national security policies. That’s something that a lot of people are upset about, but you guys shouldn’t be. Sure we don’t openly torture people anymore, and we’re trying to figure out what to do with that goddamn mess down in Gitmo, but really what’s changed? We passed an Insurance reform bill that was almost identical to what republicans where suggesting fifteen years ago. What are you so mad about?

Listen, you guys need to calm down and take stock of what you have for a minute and stop all this foolishness. Revolutions are messy, dangerous, miserable goddamn affairs even when they’re fought for something real and important. What you guys are talking about “fighting” for is just ridiculous, and the people who are feeding you this crap know it’s ridiculous. Don’t die for Glenn Beck’s ratings. Don’t die for Rush Limbaugh’s hatred. Do yourselves and the country a favor, turn off that garbage and just turn on some old Beatles tunes…

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out
Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
all right, all right

Peace

Sound and Fury

February 12, 2010

One of my favorite lines from any Shakespeare play is Macbeth describing life as,

…a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

It is much the same for politics, as we all know.  The elected officials, candidates, media personalities, and of course we bloggers are all part of the din that swallows up intelligent discourse turning it to incoherent yelling and name-calling.  I accept my role in this, as my yelling into the wind really doesn’t change the volume, and nobody reads this crap anyway.  That being said, as someone with a bit of experience dealing with wingnut rubes and other loud mouths on the right, I would like to offer up some pointers to our timid friends in Washington who call themselves Democrats, just in case a couple of them stumble through here.  Listen up.

They’re never going to like you.  They’re never going to work with you.  They’re never going to play fair.  That is the reality you need to understand.  These people have no shame, and no compunction.  Remember that.

They pay no price politically for obstruction and lying.  None.  They will however pay big time to their bat-shit crazy base if they so much as pretend to go along with anything you want to do.  You will not change this situation by having conversations with them.

If you want to push forward with your agenda than do it.  Quit this “bipartisan” fantasy nonsense and get to work.  The American people don’t give two shits about how many people on each side voted for Medicare, they do, however, overwhelmingly love the program and think it was a great idea.  Nobody is going to count the votes on an effective jobs bill and wonder to themselves if the paycheck they’re receiving had bipartisan approval.  Do Your Job!!!

Now it should be noted that if you go this route, the Republicans will say mean things about your policies and pretend that you shut them out of the process while crying crocodile tears to their media friends.  However, I should also note that if you don’t go this route, they will do the same fucking thing.  Remember when I told you earlier that they have no shame?  Well they don’t.  If you find yourself under attack in this manner, which you will, there is a simple way to combat it.  Here is a ten step outline that any capable Democrat should be able to follow.  These steps apply whether you’re in front of a camera or not, but it’s much more effective when there’s an audience.

  1. Grow a spine.  You’ll need one for later on.
  2. Gather your talking points together in a way that will allow for easy absorption by the public.  We’re dealing with insane news cycles, adult A.D.D., and three minute interviews here, so keep to the point.
  3. Get in front of a camera.  The media clowns love confrontation, so this should be easy.
  4. Remember that you’re not a Republican, so you’ll probably be met with hostility either from the host or from the “expert” they have on to “debate” you.  Don’t let this scare you.  (I know it’s hard.)
  5. Keep in mind that the imbeciles on cable news think they have to “balance” the truth with bullshit, so get your main points out quickly and don’t back down.
  6. Once the firing starts the only way to go is forward, so do not allow them to push you back.  Remember that you have facts on your side, so use them.
  7. The host or the other guest will try to cut you off and filibuster the whole segment.  That is their shtick.  Don’t allow it.  Even if you have to interrupt them, point out what they are doing and say what you went there to say.
  8. When the host or the guest say something stupid, ignorant, or flat out lie (which they will), call them on it immediately.  Don’t let it go.  Make them own up to it on air.
  9. Change the dynamic of the interview by asking the host why they allow their Republican guests to lie with impunity.  They are terrified of being considered illegitimate, and it will go a long way in making them more responsible in the future.
  10. Remember that the “expert” you may be talking to is quite possibly no expert at all, so making them look foolish on air will make them think twice about coming back.  Don’t worry about looking mean or arrogant, they’ll call you that anyway, just remember to stay strong.  If you can make them storm off the set, that’s even better.

Well maybe by some incredible twist of fate, someone in power will actually read this and use it.  I doubt it, but it’s nice to dream I guess.  Feel free to distribute, and let me know if you have anything to add.

The key to success in politics these days, unfortunately, seems to be directly related to your volume.  There are a few key Democrats who have had success at this recently, but only a few.  Hopefully some of the leadership will wake up soon and realize that while the Republicans are all sound and fury, signifying nothing,  that doesn’t mean Democrats should stay out of the fight.  The sound and fury will always be there, it’s time to push forward and, for the good of the people, make it signify something.

The Chickenhawk Hustle

February 9, 2010

What is it about wholesale slaughter and misery that gets these fools all tingly inside?  This insane talk about going to war with Iran as some sort of winning political strategy for Obama is seriously demented.  It started last week with this dumbfuck from the National Review, Daniel Pipes:

Just as 9/11 caused voters to forget George W. Bush’s meandering early months, a strike on Iranian facilities would dispatch Obama’s feckless first year down the memory hole and transform the domestic political scene. It would sideline health care, prompt Republicans to work with Democrats, make netroots squeal, independents reconsider, and conservatives swoon.

Seriously, this is one of the stupidest goddamn paragraphs I have ever read in my life.  This guy works for a think tank?  Really?  I thought you had to have at least some capacity for abstract thought to work at a fucking think tank.  Daniel Pipes, you’re as sharp as a bowling ball buddy.  I must say, however that your casual attitude toward using illegal acts of war for domestic political gain is quite revealing.  You’re a real humanitarian.  Tell me something Dan, in what backward-ass alternate reality do you think President Obama could make conservatives swoon, even if he wanted to?  You and the other racist scum on the right have done nothing but demonize Obama since he announced his candidacy, and now you want to give him political advise?  I have some for you, STFU!

Unfortunately Pipes isn’t the only one saying this crap.  John “The Stash” Bolton spouted it on Monday as well.

There are two outcomes, one is Iran getting its nuclear weapons, the other is Israel or somebody uses military force to stop it. That’s where we are.

Wow… just wow.  Thanks for that deep, and informed insight into such a complex subject, Dr. Zoidburg.  Only two outcomes, who would have thought?  I mean with so many variables at play in a region of the world where instability has become the norm and solid human intelligence is very difficult to get, well I just thought there would be other options for possible outcomes.  But I guess not.  Hey, just to be sure, lets ask another specialist in middle-eastern studies what she thinks about an attack on Iran as a political strategy… Oh Sarah!

WALLACE: How hard do you think President Obama would be to defeat in 2012?

PALIN: It depends on a few things, say he played — I got this from Buchanan — say he played the war card. Say he decided to declare war on Iran or decide to really come out and do whatever he could to support Israel–which I would like him to do. That changes the dynamics of what we can assume will happen between now and three years. Because I think if the election were today, Obama would not be elected.

WALLACE: You’re not suggesting that Obama would cynically play the war card?

PALIN: I’m not suggesting that, I’m saying if he did, things would dramatically change if he decided to toughen up and do all that he can to secure our nation and secure our allies. I think people would shift their thinking a bit.

Hmpffth…  Sorry I puked a little in my mouth just then.  She’s absolutely right that people would shift their thinking a bit.  They would think, “Didn’t this guy run as an anti-stupid-war candidate, and now he’s starting another one?”   My god, what would we be caught up in right now if this woman were president?  I make fun of these imbeciles a lot, but really this is pretty chilling stuff.  How in the name of Zeus’ butt-hole are we suppose to pay for another war?  Not to mention that pesky troop number problem we have.  Is this some kind of fucking game to these ass holes?  We’re talking thousands of dead soldiers, tens of thousands maimed, and hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of dead civilians.  I guess that would be a small price to pay for Sarah and the gang to get some political points back home.  You call yourself a christian Sarah!?

I served on active duty as an enlisted man for nearly ten years.  These fucking chickenhawks make me sick.  How dare they discuss sending troops into harms way for political gain, and then shield themselves and their families from service.  At least Sarah has a kid in the military, but that just means she should damn well know better.  Playing politics with the lives of our military members is not just revolting in its cynicism, it’s a slap in the face to everyone who has followed orders and put themselves in harm’s way.  How dare you suggest such a thing you bunch of spineless cowards.

Talk To The Hand, Sarah

February 7, 2010

$100,000.00

That’s what the Tea Baggers paid to have their High Queen address the masses, and boy did they get what they paid for.  A piss-poor rehash of her vice-presidential stump speech, and a scripted “Q&A” session where she had to read notes scrawled on her hand to remember the answers.  Seriously. (Go to the link for pics and video, I don’t want to sully my page with her likeness.)

Is she even trying anymore?  Is this some kind of stunt?  How could you really be this dim?  Good god Sarah, how long does it take to prep for answering screened questions with boilerplate, bumper-sticker answers?  I know your damn talking points well enough to answer those questions without writing them down on my hand like a fucking junior high kid cheating on a history test.  Hey Baggers, if you got another 100 grand you want to part with I’ll spout some slogans at you for twenty minutes.  Here’s a free one:  “Sarah 2012: She Has Glasses. They Make Her Look Smart!”

Seriously Sarah, if you really cared about this right-wing populist “movement”, you would stay the hell out of it.  You have fucked up everything you’ve ever done, and this is no exception.  Leave the public speaking to the intelligent and capable people, and just retreat back to your facebook page to be fawned over by the rest of the rubes.  Believe it or not, there are intelligent people in the Republican party.  An endangered species to be sure, but they’re out there.  So please, Sarah, just go away for a while and enjoy the book money.  After all, that’s the one thing that turned out pretty well for you, and you know why?  Because you didn’t have anything to do with it.

The Tennessee Train Wreck

February 6, 2010

MY GOD, THE HUMANITY!!

It’s hard to look away from something so terrifying in its spectacle, yet wildly entertaining in its incurable stupidity.  (See Paris Hilton and Jersey Shore)  Like a train wreck, it attracts the rubberneckers just wanting a glimpse of something horrid that they can talk about later.  Sometimes seeing someone way more fucked up than you are, can be very reassuring.

The poor suckers at the Tea Bagger convention in Tennessee have been duped into become the Side Show attraction of the week.  Those poor dumb bastards actuality paid hundreds of dollars into the pockets of a for-profit enterprise to go to this thing.  Rubes!  Since when do you have to pay to hear Tom “I’m a Chickenhawk” Tancredo spout ridiculous, race-bating bullshit like this

Tancredo: Every year, the liberal Dems and the RINO Republicans turned up the temperature ever so slightly. It seemed after awhile that we’d all be boiled to death in a cauldron of the nanny state.

And then something really odd happened — mostly because we do not have a civics literacy test before people can vote in this country.

[Applause]

People who cannot even spell the word “vote,” or say it in English — [applause] — put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House. Name is Barack Hussein Obama.

You see all those [applause] parts in there?  Those people are applauding a return to the Good Ol Days of Jim Crow, when we could keep all the brown-skinned folks from having a voice in Our America.  This is what the Baggers are really all about.  A return to racism and patriarchal control instituted as law.  This is what they mean when they get all teary eyed yelling “I want my country back!”, and run around with misspelled signs accusing everyone else of being Nazis.  Tea Baggers are suggesting that instituting an ignorant, racist, inhuman Corporatist Plutocracy in this country is a return to national values.  I guess they’re not too far from the mark, given some of our history, but most people want to progress beyond this crap at some point and maybe aim a little higher for our future.

You know what’s really ironic about the Side Show in Nashville?  Fox Nooz single-handedly propelled these fools on to the national stage with months of free promotions and coverage worth millions of dollars in advertising, and then turn around and say that their ideas and beliefs are “on the fringe” of the Republican party and don’t represent their own views.  It’s the worst kind of corporate astro-turfing and manipulation, and it shows in glaring detail how far they are willing to go in pursuit of profit and power.  We know that most Republicans believe some pretty questionable things, and all you need to do is gaze into the void that is the Tennessee Train Wreck to see where the Rubes get it from.

Billo and Rover Don’t Like Simple Questions

February 5, 2010

Billo the Clown and Karl “The Math” Rove brought the thunder after hearing about that pesky poll exposing the mouth-breathers in the Republican party.  They don’t like it dammit, not one bit…

What a display of rhetorical daring and skill.  I mean, labeling this poll a “fraud” when it was taken from a broad sampling of participants representing every region of the country and asked simple yes-or-no questions about their personal beliefs, and then not providing any reasoning or proof for that labeling takes real balls.

Karl’s complaint about the question “Do you think President Obama was born in the U.S.?” not having sufficient choices for answers was amazing. (And only 36% answered no! Hahahaha)  You’re right Karl, “Yes, No, or Not Sure” is not nearly an adequate amount of answers for such a complex question.  You could not possibly cover the breadth and nuance involved in such a query by simply answering yes, no, or not sure.  To adequately plumb the depths of the right-wing thinking on such a matter would require several answers, each more  compelling and persuasive than the next.  Tell us Karl, how would you answer that question?

This is ridiculous.  These guys should take one look at this poll and be off walking the halls of Fox Nooz patting each other on the ass for a game well played.  For christ sake, this is the crap they’ve been peddling for years now, and here’s rock solid proof that it’s selling big time to the rubes.  Give yourselves a hand boys that’s something to be proud of, isn’t it?  Or maybe not.

It has to be tough for the barkers over at Fox Nooz to constantly walk the tightrope between saying absolutely crazy things, and retaining a shred of legitimacy.  It’s really quite an act when they pull it off, but most of them aren’t even trying any more.  Their problem with this poll does not stem from any guilt about what they do for a living, but from desire to be seen as “thoughtful and serious” journalists.  This poll exposes the rank underbelly of lies that they’re actually selling, and that is a threat, not to their viewership who will never quit watching, but to how they’re perceived by everyone else in the media.  Personally, I don’t think they have anything to worry about.  Anyone who could think less of them won’t, and those who would think less of them, already have such a low opinion that it can’t get any worse.

The Mad Genius of Glenn

February 4, 2010

Glenn Beck is a genius.  An ignorant, loud-mouthed, fear-mongering, cowardly, sociopathic genius.  He is truly king of the Carnival Barkers.  This guy has turned crazed rhetoric and conspiracy theories into gold.  Literally.  He hypes up fear of Armageddon and then pitches buying gold as a bulwark against the coming darkness.  Boy does he know his audience.

The pant wetting crowd on the far right in this country are so easy to manipulate by fear and prejudice that he doesn’t even have to break a sweat.  He could convince these fools that another biblical flood is coming because of the evil “socialist-fascist-nazi-commies”, and then sell them shamwows by the truck-full to hold back the water.  Dumb fucking rubes.

I guess what really garners the minuscule amount of respect I have for Beck, is his sheer audacity.  This clown scrawls out his insanity on a giant chalk board like a mad scientist, and instead of being laughed off the network, he get’s huge rating bumps and new book deals.  God bless America, where even strung-out former shock jocks can find Jesus and peddle rambling  misinformation and madness to the masses, making millions of dollars for themselves and their corporate masters!

The mad genius that is Glenn Beck can only truly be appreciated when you look at  what he’s accomplished in his relatively short public life.  This man has almost single-handedly plunged the Republican party into the arms of the Teabaggers, rendering them helpless against the rabid insistence on purity from the right.  The Republicans are quickly being rendered down to their most basic elements of hate, fear, and ignorance.  This purging of moderation from the party is suppose to somehow exorcise the George Bush demons of borrow-and-spend policies, and usher in a golden age of small government and free market fundamentalism that will take us all to the promised land with Jon Galt leading the way.  Beck’s grand vision probably isn’t quite as grand as the Teabagger’s though, and likely consists of a luxurious retirement to his gated community while the rest of the world burns.

That, I guess, is his true genius.  When the house of cards collapses on itself and nobody’s left to pedle his noncence to, he’ll just quietly slip away to the country club and enjoy his millions while all of the people he conned are left standing outside the gates with their God, Gold, and Guns, but no food or ammo.   I wondering, at that point, if a synthetic stock tastes better than a wooden one, or if Goldline will trade back some of their worthless coins for a box of mac and cheese?

On Spotting The Rubes…

February 3, 2010

An interesting occurrence yesterday that coincided nicely with this observation was the release of a new poll conducted by Research 2000.  The poll, commissioned by Daily Kos, asked over 2000 self-labeled Republicans for their thoughts on some of the more, uh-um, questionable ideas being pitched by most of the loud Barkers on the right.  Needless to say, it was a revealing list of statistics.  Here are a few of the nuttier ones..

  • 63% think Barack Obama is a socialist, 16% are unsure.
  • 36% do not think Obama was born in the U.S., 22% are unsure.
  • 55% are not sure if ACORN stole the presidential election in 2008, 21% are sure of it.
  • 77% think public schools should teach bible stories instead of science, only 7% unsure on this one.
  • 23% think their state should secede from the U.S., 19% are unsure.  (My personal favorite)

That’s just five of them, there are 25 questions total.  Check out the cross tabs and demographics.  Fascinating, in a morbid and disgusting sort of way.

So how do you spot a Rube?  Well I can say without a doubt that anyone who believes  any of the ideas listed above is an absolute Rube.  They have swallowed, hook line and sinker, everything the Barkers have fed them.  Everything.  These are the folks that join Amway, and send their bank account numbers to Nigerian princes (or televangelists).  Absolute gullibility.

Do you want to know what they won’t believe though, no matter what?  The truth.   You can demonstrate without a doubt that they have been fed a line of bullshit, and they will never believe it.  That’s how you spot a Rube.  They will never believe that everything they’ve been told by the Carnival Barkers like Beck, Limbaugh, and O’Reilly is absolute nonsense, because if it doesn’t fit into their shallow, ignorant, and repressed worldview, or feed on their fears and prejudices, they cannot accept it.  They are Rubes.

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