Saturday 8 September 2012

The Right isn't wrong, they're nuts

Is the Earth flat yes or no? Did God create the world six thousand years ago yes or no? Was the collapse of the twin towers of World Trade Center caused by a controlled demolition yes or no? The debates rage on with little possibility at arriving at a mutually acceptable explanation. For the most part, many of these controversial issues seemingly remain innocuous. If my neighbour believes the Earth is flat, it doesn't directly impinge on my freedoms. Unfortunately, a belief usually doesn't stop with the person believing something; that belief leads the person to want other people to believe the same thing and to set up rules to control how other people live their lives. If that person's favourite colour is blue, it doesn't matter if my favourite colour is red. But if that person then wants to paint the entire town blue, the buildings, the streets, even the park benches, well, hold on a sec, I think you're going too far. You may want the entire town to be blue but I don't and it's my town too.

In the aftermath of the Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida and now the Democratic Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, I thought to rehash some of the more amazing leaps of logic (Or should I say faith?) in the Conservative camp. You may insist the Earth is flat, but the facts are now in, they have been double checked, and you are wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. And to continue to insist that the Earth is flat is beyond ludicrous, it now makes me question your sanity. No, I'm not seeing that debate is going to work here. When people hold onto their beliefs in spite of evidence to the contrary (Are you still smoking!?!), I realise that we have crossed over into The Twilight Zone. There is no logic. There is no truth. There is no process by which we rationally and objectively determine the correct answer. These people have truly drunk the Kool-Aid and there is no coming back to reality.

Not everyone is paying taxes. It's not fair!
50% of Americans own 2.5% of the wealth in the U.S. or $1.45 trillion. These people are for the most part so poor, they pay no taxes because they earn nothing or next to nothing or they earn so little tax credits for the poor reduce their taxable income to nothing. The top 1% own 33% of the wealth.

The conservative media use buzzwords like "class warfare" and "socialism". Notice how the conservative media focus on the idea that 50% of Americans pay no taxes. But, but, but the "no tax" refers to federal income tax and the statement in no way looks at what taxes anybody would be paying elsewhere at a state level or a municipal level. However the most important point left out of this rhetoric is that these 50% of Americans are the poorest in the country. The poorest!

I watched several Fox News broadcasts where people like Eric Bolling and Gretchen Carlson repeated over and over again that 50% of Americans are not paying taxes. Are these people brain dead? It is outrageous that this type of ill-informed, illogical, misleading commentary is allowed to be aired as legitimate political analysis. Then again, what's worse? Them? Or the loony-tune viewers who swallow this bulls**t as fact?

All the rich are not billionaires
Warren Buffett, gazillionaire, writes the Op-Ed piece "Stop Coddling the Super-Rich" in the New York Times on August 14, 2011 in which he says that he pays 17.4% in taxes while 20 other people who work with him pay an average of 36%. One of the richest men in America is paying less tax than others. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Buffett is rich. Like really, really rich. Shouldn't he at least be paying the same as everybody else? That is, 36%? I would have expected a gazillionaire to probably be paying more. After all, he can afford it.

I watch a Fox News broadcast and Eric Bolling chastises Buffett by saying, "All the rich are not billionaires." While technically speaking, that statement is correct; the entire point of the conversation has gone completely over Bolling's head. This is representative of the short-sightedness, no the complete f**king stupidity of the Conservative end of the political spectrum.

The average person in the street isn't a millionaire. That's the point. Buffett wonders why he's being given a break while those farther down the economic ladder have to pay more. Why is the burden of supporting the country thrust onto the backs of the middle class, the poorer people while the rich get big, honking breaks? Jesus H. K-rist, they're rich, goddamn it!

History is meaningless: Obama's War in Afghanistan
During Clint Eastwood's unusual impromptu speech at the Republican Convention, the actor criticized Obama as many right-wingers do while completely ignoring history. It's like George Bush sets the house on fire then hands Obama a fire extinguisher and now the GOP is criticizing Obama because he's having a hard time putting the fire out.

CNN - Sep 3/2012
Politics of Clint Eastwood's empty chair By John Avlon, CNN Contributor
The only mention of the ongoing war in Afghanistan on the Republican convention's final night came not from Romney, but Clint Eastwood, who offered a line that implied we never should have gone there in the first place and that Obama should have removed troops immediately rather than offering a timeline. This got huge applause in the hall because it was a criticism of Obama. The fact that it would have been seen as a seditious attack on Bush-era policy just four years before was ignored.
The most credible criticism of Obama is that the deficit and debt have exploded under his watch. But even on this solid ground... [it ignores] the fact that surpluses were turned into deficits under President George W. Bush and that the Romney-Ryan deficit reduction plan, such as it exists, could actually increase the deficit by prioritizing additional tax cuts and making military spending 4% of GDP.

You're going to vote Republican. America is doomed!
The Republicans published their platform and clearly laid out where they stand on all sorts of issues, from women's rights, gun control, and the military to the economy. Considering the number of pages devoted to women's issues like abortion and birth control which basically denies a woman control over her own body, I would have thought that if you are an American female you'd be royally freaking out. Apparently not.

BlogHer - Aug 27/2012
Newt Gingrich: What Women Need, the GOP Can Deliver by Stacy Morrison
Ms. Morrison writes about her chance to interview Newt Gingrich and quotes his three reasons why American women need Mitt Romney.

"Look, I think women are first of all most concerned about the economy and jobs. And they’re concerned about the future, about the ability of their children to GET a job. Second, I think they’re concerned about a healthcare system that doesn’t cut them off from their doctor and doesn’t dictate whether they can get a mammograms or whether or not they can get the appropriate treatments. And third, I think they know that energy independence -- producing enough fuel both to create manufacturing jobs and to lower the prices of gasoline and heating oil -- makes their lives both safer and better."

First of all, Mr. Gingrich, a healthcare system that doesn't cut them off from their doctor? What? You are suggesting that under Obamacare you will be cut off from your doctor? You do realise, sir, that your statement is a complete fabrication designed to scare people into voting Republican. And I would also mention sir that it was you who suggested that Barack Obama's health care reform would result in "death panels". With all due respect, Mr. Gingrich, you ought to be ashamed of yourself for misleading the American public.

But look at the following exchange between commentators on the above article.

Guerilla Mom
I care about reproductive freedom and choice. I care about women not backpedaling 40 years. I care about women's health and safety. I have to care most about this, because the GOP is using it as their poster cause. Any woman isn't totally disgusted by the GOP's complete disregard for our basic human right to control what happens in our bodies is not paying attention. Also, Newt - don't speak for women. Ever.

Cindyhuber, obviously a Conservative, responds:
You're kidding right? Seriously? The economy is in the tank, the country's dollar is circling the drain but according to you, this years entire election is all about the "VAGINA..." If I didn't think you were serious, I would laugh my butt off...But this much we can agree on...Newt doesn't speak for you, but he does speak for me...

Okay, Guerilla Mom is outraged at how the Republicans are taking away her rights as a woman. But the curiosity is Cindy Huber's response. Yes, the economy is in trouble but because she perceives this as a far greater problem, the "vagina" issue as she calls it is unimportant. It's funny, if you personally don't require an abortion, getting an abortion is unimportant. If you are married and don't need birth control, getting birth control is unimportant. If you are working and can afford health insurance, getting health coverage because you can't afford it is unimportant. Basically this seems to be a general view of the world which says, "I'm okay. I don't understand what your problem is." If you've never had to get food stamps or been to a soup kitchen, you have no idea of what poverty is. If you've always worked, you have no idea of how some people who are willing to work struggle to find work. I think it might be going too far to suggest that Conservatives don't care, but I do think they are a myopic lot.

On Twitter, I ran across the following comment:

Hey @SandraFluke? I'm not worried about what's below my belt. I'm worried about the direction of the economy and my country.

I have to shake my head. The economy is more important than "what's below my belt". Is it just a one or another choice? And what's the kicker? The above critics of the vagina issue seem to be oblivious to the possibility the Conservative plans for the economy would actually leave them worse off.

In talking about Obamacare being passed, I wrote:

A report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies states: "Lack of health insurance causes roughly 18,000 unnecessary deaths every year in the United States." (Wikipedia: Uninsured in the United States: Consequences)

Just imagine. People do not have any health coverage because they can't afford it. Statistically, out of that group of more than 40 million uninsured, eighteen thousand die from lack of proper treatment or timely treatment. Note that the source of this information is not some fly by night back alley source; it's the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. When I published this, a commentator wrote to me and said he didn't believe it; it was all just a bunch of "liberal BS". What!?! I return to The Twilight Zone. Even if a Conservative is presented with a verifiable fact, he chooses to ignore it.

Is the Far Right full of crazies?
I followed the various debates during the GOP process of selecting their candidate to run against Barack Obama. I heard the strangest, craziest, and downright stupidest things I had ever heard in my life. It is totally beyond me how anyone, absolutely anyone can listen to any of these people with any degree of seriousness. John McCain made the gravest of errors by picking Sarah Palin as he seems to have opened the flood gates to a group of people who are utter crackpots. This is giving centre stage to people who never should be allowed in the theatre, never mind being allowed to take the podium.

"As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border."
-Sarah Palin, explaining why Alaska's proximity to Russia gives her foreign policy experience, interview with CBS's Katie Couric, Sept. 24, 2008

"I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out under another, then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. I'm not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it's an interesting coincidence."
-Rep. Michele Bachmann , on the 1976 Swine Flu outbreak at Fort Dix (and only at Fort Dix) when Gerald Ford was president, April 28, 2009

"Our nation needs to stop doing for people what they can and should do for themselves. Self reliance means, if anyone will not work, neither should he eat."
-Michele Bachmann, saying the unemployed should starve.

"It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in child laws which are truly stupid…These schools should get rid of unionized janitors, have one master janitor, pay local students to take care of the school."
-Newt Gingrich, advocating for an end to child labor laws so businesses can fire union workers and replace them with cheap labor.

And did any of this craziness stop? Paul Ryan in his speech during the Republican convention, blamed Obama's policies for the closure of a GM car plant in Janesville, Wisconsin. The truth is that the last car produced by the plant was in late 2008 while George W. Bush was still president and the closure of the plant was a decision made by GM during the financial crisis. (ABC News - Aug 29/2012: Paul Ryan Links Obama Policies to GM Plant Closed Under George W. Bush) Even when Ryan was later confronted by this discrepancy, he refused to back down saying that he was talking about the spirit of supporting the American worker. What?

Fox News, long looked upon as the defender of the (Conservative) faith, actually came out and criticized Ryan for his speech of August 29, 2012. Criticized? No, Sally Kohn of Fox News crucified him: anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech. (Fox News)

You didn't do it yourself
Obama gives a speech in which he says that anybody successful didn't do it all by himself, he had help along the way. The Right goes nuts saying the president has slighted every small business owner who has built his business himself.

That's not what Obama said. And no matter how many times you repeat it, that's not what he said. Take any one single sentence out of context and you can make anybody say anything you want. But the more important issue is this. Anybody who doesn't understand that we all rely on the roads, the water, electricity is an idiot. Anybody who doesn't understand that his customers could have chosen his competition, is a fool. Anybody who doesn't understand that his education has contributed to his success is blind. Anybody who is successful has been helped along the way numerous times.

Americans succeed because they live in America. I don't care how smart you are or how hard you work, if you lived in Afghanistan or Iraq or Iran or North Korea, you wouldn't be one one hundredth as successful you are by living in the United States. Yes, just by the simple fact you live in America you have an advantage people in other parts of the planet don't have. To all the Conservatives who jumped on the bandwagon by taking exception to Obama's remarks, you are a short-sighted arrogant individual who has absolutely no idea of how lucky he or she is for being American. It is that lack of appreciation for the country, for the society, for the collective we of the nation that makes the Republican Party not the party of the people, but the party of the narrow-minded myopic self-interest groups. (ABC News - Jul 16/2012: Did Obama Say, ‘If You’ve Got a Business, You Didn’t Build That’?)

Final Word
Years ago, in a university course on macroeconomics, I was introduced to the bizarre partnership between politics and the economy. The economy, it was said, works in 10 year cycles; implement a policy, you need to wait 10 years to see it bear fruit. Politics on the other hand works in a 4 year cycle and those who seek power promise what in the short run may lead to their being elected as opposed to what may be best for everyone. There is this on-going conflict between doing what's right for the economy and doing what's right to keep your job. The majority of the electorate are concerned with their own situation right now with little regard for what's coming down the road so politicians are catering to them and their short-term vision of what's right.

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The United States of America is in a difficult situation and the people are a fickle bunch. They have completely forgotten about the previous president and are strictly concerned with the one currently sitting in the Oval Office. They give him the worst economic situation since The Great Depression and are then upset he hasn't set everything right. Oh he's set a lot of stuff right but admittedly he hasn't set everything right. Unfortunately everyone seems to forget that it is very easy to set a house on fire but not so easy to put it out.

I read over the 2012 Republican Platform and the Democratic Platform. My take in 10 words: Democrats = warm and fuzzy; Republican = cold and prickly. Vote Republican and let's see history repeat itself. Oh and one more thing, if you're a woman you can kiss your vagina good-bye.


my blog: All the rich are not billionaires
Two plus two doesn't equal five. Seems obvious; it's a no brainer, right? Heck, I'm sure even Forest Gump would get that one. However, when you enter the political arena, all bets are off. Two plus two can be made to equal five. If anybody says two plus two equals four, they could find themselves branded a socialist or worse. Hitler said two plus two equals four and we all know how bad he was so if you say the answer is four, I say you're anti-Semitic and denying the Holocaust.

my blog: If I can pay, the rich can pay
According to Forbes, Mr. Warren E. Buffett, age 80, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, investor extraordinaire, is worth fifty billion dollars and ranked the third wealthiest man on the planet, number two in the United States. In the New York Times dated August 14, 2011, Mr. Buffett has penned an article in The Opinion Pages called "Stop Coddling the Super-Rich". He starts out by making this statement: "Our leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched."

my blog: The 2012 Republican Platform: Are ya scared yet?
Scribd.Com has The 2012 Republican Platform and it's downloadable as an Adobe PDF. I have printed it out and read the entire document. The New York Times commented on a draft of this document in an editorial by saying, "The Republican Party has moved so far to the right that the extreme is now the mainstream." Has the GOP lost its way or has it lost its mind?

BlogHer - Apr 27/2012
What DON'T You Want From The Election? JOIN US! by Stacy Morrison
We DON’T want the same lip service to our needs at election time, and then politics as usual in the new year. We want real answers on complex issues, and compromises that serve the public, not politics.


Site Map - William Quincy BelleFollow me on Twitter

1 comment:

Opsimath said...

If you got your way, and all of the rich were taxed at 100%, it would only take the government 98 days to spend it. But that doesn't matter to guys like you, so long as you can continue on in your "the economy is in the crapper because those rich guys aren't taxed enough" canard. I make under $16/hour, and yet I'm not gullible enough to fall for the class warfare bs. I want my boss to pay less taxes so that he'll be more likely to give me a raise. If my boss is taxed as much as you'd like him to be, I'd be more likely to be laid-off. It's too bad that people like you walk around with your blinders on, simply leaning on your insults as an ideology. It's too bad you can't see the fact that government wastes millions upon millions of dollars, and that using the rich as a scapegoat is just that. The rich can't save us, and neither can the politicians. But we can at least SEE that the politicians are playing us by blaming the rich. They want to shift the power from the rich so that they can be in complete control. And they figure that if we're foolish enough to believe that we ought to raise taxes on anyone when they routinely squander our money already, then complete control will be in the bag.