Chris Christie’s Faux Revolution 2010

Aquarian Weekly 5/26/10 REALITY CHECK

N.J. FAUX REVOLUTION 2010 Checking in on Governor Chris Christie’s Reduce-Government Experiment

When the Reality Check News & Information Desk moved its operations to the mountains of Northwestern New Jersey in the late summer of 2001, there was some trepidation as to the level of local politics it would cover. There had been major fallout in New York from years of underhanded and admittedly vicious attacks, not to mention ill-conceived unabashed mockery from Albany to Gracie Mansion, never mind Westchester contacts that became both rankled and legally vindictive. But the pull of N.J. politics and its tawdry history wet our appetite for shenanigans like never before.

Chris Christie In WonderlandWhen called upon we came with swords sharpened, but usually stayed out of the “regular dealings”. Even now when called by friends and most recently my esteemed attorney to join a fight on school budgets and the teachers’ union, we tend to balk. This is not out from lack of concern or civic duty, but a regrettable deficiently of faith that any type of petition, rally, or endless political meandering could curtail The Machine.

It was a flaccid and mostly mean-spirited expose of The Machine that this space eventually offered to the Huffington Post upon its request last year for us to make heads or tails of what regularly goes on in this state. Motivated by our two-part investigative piece in 2004 entitled, “Notes From The Cesspool”, the popular liberally-based news site asked yours truly to expound on our published assessment that “the Garden State had reached an enviable level of corruption so fantastic it trumps the nightmare that is Florida.”

Once again the veiled attempt to paint an understandable framework to N.J. political doings ended in my final salvo which concluded that “politics here is akin to a social dizziness, a kind of all-encompassing paranoia, like Steven King’s Jack Torrence wielding mallets at his family for a shot of beer.”

And this is what current governor, Chris Christie took ownership of this past January, becoming the first Republican to run this mess in a dozen years. Christie’s aim, stemming from the fervor gripping the entire nation in this The Year of the Faux Revolution, wherein taxes must be cut as entitlements grow or at the very least keep rolling along untouched, was to slash the state’s bloated budget and make the hard choices in cutting into N.J.’s massive deficits.

Problem for Christie, as it is across the nation, as recent primaries and soon-to-be mid-term elections portend, is two-fold: As much as the citizenry rails against taxation, it also does not want its stuff taken away, and that’s where Democrats — which run the state’s legislature and will likely (despite national Republican gains this fall) will be running the legislature come 2011.

Christie, once a symbol of anti-establishment uprising, has now become The Man. The fickle public has once again seen the sacrificial way of The Budget Cut, and it is not happy.

Christie, once a symbol of anti-establishment uprising, has now become The Man. The fickle public has once again seen the sacrificial way of The Budget Cut, and it is not happy. This fuels Democrats to cry, “I told you so” and then to fuel fears of going without while completely ignoring the obvious need to choose between endless government-provided measures, from stop lights to libraries, and lowering an exploding deficit hardly ceased by an expanding tax burden.

The backlash against Christie’s proposed school budget cuts and general state-run services has been rabid. Many of the same groups polled, and eventually those who rushed to the voting booths to sweep in an anti-incumbent, anti-big government, tax cutting, fiscally responsible alternative, are now roundly pissed. These are the same socially liberal and fiscally moderate independents, as well as so-called hardline blue dog Democrats and staunchly conservative Republicans who had swung more to the Left than ever before in 2008, and were then roundly pissed at what they believed was a snow job by our current president.

Mainly, these people; whoever they are and whatever they represent, do not know what the hell they want. Either that or they are incapable of dealing with the parameters of reality as presented by measuring factoids, like, for instance, simple math.

N.J. Democrats, for their part, have been crying “tax cuts for the rich are not fiscally responsible and leave the middle class wanting”, which has a certain comforting if not recidivist ring to it. Ultimately controlling the coffers, and using the tide of “keep your hands off my entitlements and keep my kids in schools and make damn sure cops are patrolling my neighborhood and garbage is picked up weekly” to battle Christie’s hard-swallowing budget proposals has sent us all back to Square One.

Hence the recently proposed Millionaires Tax sent to the governor’s desk as this goes to press, which will most assuredly be vetoed by Christie, despite his backtracking on eliminating senior property tax rebates in his current budget plan. Christie, who has been chewing daily on humble reality pie of his own, now sees the silly notion of actually balancing budgets and cutting taxes in a state where there is an expected level of living, which is highly expensive and never fully paid for, but continues to roll along madly. As if finally giving into the delusion of his electorate, Christie claims with the restored benefits, the budget could still be balanced.

This kind of talk renders the Christie Experiment in Change as neutered and useless as what has become of the country’s perspective on Barack Obama’s attempt at such a notion. And it will absolutely put the kibosh on the populist rage that swept 47 year-old Rand Paul — a fair Libratarianm but lousy politician — into the national spotlight; another post-Boomer type that ignores the writing on the wall, which reads in bold caps: GOOD LUCK, SUCKER.

So let New Jersey’s misfortune in No Solution is Palatable be a lesson to the rest of the nation.

Unless someone actually has the balls to raise taxes to pay for more stuff or cut taxes and ignore the public’s hue and cry in getting less stuff, there will be another election between bellowing billboards with fancy ties propped by powerful slogans which will result in the same old song and story.

Reality Check | Pop Culture | Politics | Sports | Music

 

Read More

Arizona Calling (SB1070)

Aquarian Weekly 5/12/10 REALITY CHECK

ARIZONA CALLING How Law 2010 Pushes Immigration Reform to the Brink

Though many people will disagree, I believe Senate Bill 1070 is what’s best for Arizona. – Governor Jan Brewer upon signing into law Senate Bill 1070 on 4/30

Jan Brewer's Mighty Pen Upon the launching of my web site in the early months of 2000, a 3,000-word screed from a concerned Arizona law officer was posted on its now defunct Sound-Off page. It emphatically stated that if in the following decade the United States government didn’t do something about the state’s “sieve border security”; there would be “terrible bloodshed” and “dire consequences”.

Bingo.

Fast forward those ten years, and Arizona now has a Wild West showdown of murderous proportions, whose death toll rivals the slaughterhouses in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A grievous dereliction in the federal government’s duty to provide for the common defense and preserve U.S. sovereignty, long derided in this space, has reached such a pressure point in Arizona that its local government thought it necessary to enact what amounts to an abject mockery of constitutional law.

SB1070, rubber stamped by Governor Jan Brewer, is nothing more than a hand-cupping, throat-shredding scream for help.

Mission accomplished.

For the bellow has been heard loud and clear.

Worded very much as the last vestige of survival, stemming from a Mexican drug lord war spill-over which has resulted in a plethora of random beatings, stabbings and collateral violence against Arizona’s citizens, the 1070 Law could not have hoped to survive a national outcry of racial profiling and unconstitutional tyranny, but more importantly the bevy of ensuing lawsuits and a predictable Washington intervention.

Fact is Brewer and the Arizona Senate ran out of legal and sane options. Because no one in an ostensibly free society could accept Law 1070 as a sane or legal option; in fact, the thing is so completely irresponsible, it even leaves the police at risk.

To wit:

The law lists a Context of Arrests; in other words, the fashion in which the Arizona police are to enforce it: Routine policing (bar brawl, speed trap), Routine suspicion (no hunches), and Not relying solely on race.

How then, you may rightly ask, is anyone going to effectively round up illegal aliens, of which by the way there are — according to the Office of Homeland Security (your tax dollars at waste) — 460.000 in Arizona today, without racially profiling, working on hunches, or going beyond “routine policing”?

The answer is they cannot. Thus, the 1070 Law is set up to fail, or at the very least, set up to cause illegal search and seizures, police-state abuses, and those rough-and-ready lawsuits. Truth is the damn thing is an atavistic draconian national embarrassment.

And yet this brilliantly directed showpiece by Arizona lawmakers, fronted dramatically by their governor, has now fully engaged the federal government and our president, who correctly pointed out in numerous speeches hence the law’s ridiculous constitutional liability and hardly a concrete answer to what now amounts to a new and improved concern for Immigration Reform.

Once again: Mission accomplished.

The mere fact that the president is on this subject, faced with massive oil spills, a Tennessee flood disaster, a Time Square terrorist plot, and the endless financial reform histrionics, is a bell-ringing success for crazy bill gone even crazier law.

Make no mistake about it; because of Arizona’s desperate and wholly reckless legal hissy fit, the nation’s eyes are now squarely focused on what has been an escalating problem for states bordering Mexico. It is no longer merely an argument about fining businesses who employ illegal aliens, their free health care or running under the radar of national security and other tertiary criminal activities. Now it’s lunatic drug dealers and gun runners blasting away at suburbanites; mothers and children being hacked to bits on street corners and the elderly bludgeoned by thugs who waltzed unhindered across our border.

This is why 70% of Arizonans back the law, just as you would too, if you were frightened for your life. Intellectually, there is a reason to raise eyebrows, as I surely did in the months following 9/11, as Air Force fighter planes whizzed the East River or tanks remained parked outside the Lincoln tunnel. Overkill? Police state? Or a reasonable response to a horrible breech of national security.

There is little arguing the law’s ratification as anything other than unconstitutional chicanery or the wild plea for federal assistance long overdue, but it does come with some precedence.

Since 1940, federal law has dictated that aliens must carry papers, such as U.S. citizens keeping passports at the ready in foreign countries, including all of Europe. Moreover, since 1976, the Supreme Court has recognized that states may enact laws to discourage illegal immigration without being pre-empted by federal law. As long as Congress hasn’t expressly forbidden the state law in question, the statute doesn’t conflict with federal law and Congress has not displaced all state laws from the field, it is permitted. This is why Arizona’s 2007 law making it illegal to knowingly employ unauthorized aliens was sustained by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Basically, it seems, Arizona can do whatever the hell it wants, save Martial Law, which is pretty much next.

Ah, that is until the vagaries of carrying out the law — the whole reason we have laws is the penalty levied if said laws are broken — then a great deal of problems arise. And the backlash is going to be expensive in an economic downturn. Therefore, without further ado, I give you, with the teeth of a rabid dog, the federal government’s time to face the music. Suddenly, amidst the wrangling over Health Care Reform and Financial Reform, bailouts and stimulus packages, here comes a state begging Big Government to do its job or else.

Don’t think this will not be an issue come November when the Live Free Or Die set and their candidates of choice weight in on its aftermath, from civil libertarians to xenophobes.

Mission accomplished.

Reality Check | Pop Culture | Politics | Sports | Music

 

Read More

Our Case Against Financial Reform

Aquarian Weekly 5/5/10 REALITY CHECK

G-R-E-E-D Humanity’s Case Against Financial Reform

I tried to break the spell–the heavy, mute spell of the wilderness–that seemed to draw him to its pitiless breast by the awakening of forgotten and brutal instincts, by the memory of gratified and monstrous passions. – Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Two men watch as two wolves struggle for survival. The first wolf is kindness, the other is greed. One man asks, ‘Which wolf will triumph?’ The other smiles and says; “The one I fed.” – Native American Proverb

Goldman SachsThe principle hazard of the columnist trade is its guarantees of repetition. The aim is to take a fresh angle to arguments or unfolding current events and spin them in a readable and oft times, hopefully, convincing manner. We do none of that here. Repetition to the point of revulsion is our practice. You would be correct in assuming it something of an art form. It may be presented in various and mainly vulgar and chaotic ways, but it is nonetheless the same tired crap.

For nearly fourteen years now, the Reality Check News & Information Desk has regurgitated one particular point — whether dealing with politics, social issues, pop culture, art, music, sports, or civilization’s frailties and triumphs — that human nature is what it is, and no matter how one wishes, hopes, even prays to alter it through speeches, protests, laws and other tawdry over-reaching miasma, it remains human nature.

And nothing in the realm of human nature is as strongly defined, nurtured, and set alight than greed.

Freud and his minions would argue sex, and others of a more spiritual slant would cite love, but they are both way off. Love & Sex are emotional offshoots of greed. From the moment a child latches onto a breast for milk or grabs some inanimate object and attaches a sense of self-esteem and comfort to it, irrationally blurting, “Mine!” thus begins a sense of entitlement and destiny engendered in a spirit yearning to breath free. It is nothing more than greed; pure, unblemished, and groaning with hormones.

Egalitarian all-for-one-and-one-for-all concepts are unnatural. Sharing; the most selfless act we teach our youth, is unnatural. Do you share your spouse? Maybe, if there is a special arrangement and it’s kind of your thing, but mostly, you don’t. You also don’t share your home, but for a few days or a room or two, or your car or your bank account, unless it is part of another spousal arrangement, and so on. These are possessions granted as such by a free society. It is the blessed freedom to build ownership, but, alas, also the freedom to lose it.

This is the beauty of America; in all its horror and glory. The liberty bestowed on our human nature, unbeknownst to generations of peoples from all over the globe, allows us to find out about ourselves. This has led to terrific progress, greatness, and societal evolution; well documented in volumes of U.S. history, and it stands to reason that the no-so flattering elements are also part of that history.

It is a history built on the freedom to break it all down to one common denominator; greed. A bunch of British landowners wanting to gain ownership of property — a word denoting greed — carved out of the wilderness. Period. Basically, the Declaration of Independence is a 1,338 word hosanna to “Mine”! This country’s entire formation, foundation, and evolution in a brutally and furiously free nature, is all about G-r-e-e-d.

Its ultimate manifestation is Wall St.; the speculation of trade, commerce and economic fluidity; where the everyman to the titan can take his most precious commodities and send them adrift on a wing and a prayer, striving for fortune with a modicum of fear it may disappear in a puff of smoke. And if the art form of the columnist is repetition, then those who call Wall St. home deal in prognostication, and all the manipulation and subterfuge that comes with it. Guess work. Con artistry. The enticement of the gamble — the definitive greed high.

A risky place to play with human nature, but one built on it most primeval form. It beats in us, as a heart of darkness.

Certain members of our society, some in the media, and others in our churches and most in a civic capacity, tend to separate human nature from our institutions. It is an easy target, mainly because institutions are so prevalent. It is simpler to cast generalities upon subjects we don’t like and ignore the diametrically opposed equation when something we do like is attacked in the very same fashion. This allows for human nature to define, for instance, something like Wall St. bankers or massive investment firms with their cloudy vernacular and inside jargon, as an evil conglomerate.

Of course this is nonsense. Evil is just an intangible quality we attach to shit that doesn’t work in our favor. It is used against us when those in opposition want to paint us with the same broad stroke, whether al Qaeda or some other ridiculous palaver, as we in turn use it to wipe them out.

If anything, Wall St. and everything it stands for is based solely and completely, and I dare say, uncompromisingly on our inherent lust for greed.

Make no mistake about it, Wall St. exists because people want to make money, not advance society or observe moral obligations, or serve the greater good. Sometimes these ideas happen as a consequence of “making money”, but more times than not, it’s the bottom line. Its aim is to feed the greed, and use our freedom to grab the brass ring in any way, shape or form it can.

But then when those freedoms are “abused”, as in the case with much of the crazed feeding frenzy that sank the economic solvency of the Western World in late 2008, whether it’s massive banks or irresponsible investment gurus, a fantasy housing market or other tried-and-true free market scams, the ensuing outcry rings a tad hypocritical.

Do people take their assumingly hard-earned cash and dump it into a system to buoy the spirit of humankind or prop up the economic structure of its people at large? Or do they do it to grow it for a sense of financial security — another buzzword for greed.

Big dividends/Big losses; all part of the free market society, which explores the very nature of our being. But people being people, we love the former part of the equation and the latter not so much. If the latter happens then things must be regulated and controlled and goddamn it people have to go to jail for acting like…well. acting like us, only on a much wilder and wholly criminal way, of course.

I’ve recently heard an alarming number of our citizenry, from the president to many pundits and politicians claim that the free market system does not exclusively subsist for greed, that it is not some bizarrely massive casino, and that somehow the freedom to make scratch is outweighed by the thorny issue of losing one’s shirt.

This is gobbledygook, like vapid yakking about Founding Fathers and American Spirit and Shining Cities on Hills.

Freedom, really true freedom, allows for human nature to run its course, and to regulate, castigate and investigate its ambitions runs counter to our own nature, the nature to grab and hold and keep away from others.

Like what I told the jeering throng at the NJ TEA Party Tax Day extravaganza two weeks ago; if you really want freedom, true American, unhinged freedom, be prepared to have a stark and yawning chasm between winners and losers, survivors and victors.

Financial Reform?

Good luck.

Reality Check | Pop Culture | Politics | Sports | Music

 

Read More

Tax Day Speech (TEA Party)

Aquarian Weekly 4/21/10 REALITY CHECK

TAX DAY SPEECH 2010
NJ TEA Party Coalition Rally

The following is a transcript of a speech given by the author at the First Anniversary of the NJTPC on 4/15/2010 at 4:30 pm on the Hackensack Green, Hackensack, NJ.

Good day.

I’d like to begin by pointing out that you people are idiots. And by that I mean stupid, since I am assuming, as idiots, your vocabulary is limited. Please forgive me if you are not an idiot or by chance are an idiot but not so much as to need the “stupid” qualifier. It’s just that my only exposure to Tea Party enthusiasts and their paid speakers and media sounding boards are usually manipulated by main stream corporate news organizations; and I have to tell you this half-assed “movement” of yours is very often displayed as an agonizingly long line of inarticulate goobers with little to no grasp of the King’s English or of the nation in which they are trying to reconstruct. Seriously. I have abused my fair share of narcotics in the past and basically mainline French absinthe on weekends, but it is difficult for me to reconcile this kind of behavior to the appropriate chemical stimuli.

Please keep your boos and caterwauling until I am finished. We have a lot to get to before we bring out the usual parade of slobbering slogan jockeys. But don’t panic; in order to make the reality medicine go down smoother, I have agreed to throw in the occasional fist-pumper every paragraph or so, like “Death to the Weird!” and “Go George Washington!”

Now at this point you might rightfully ask yourself; why would the NJTPC invite this asshole to deride us so viciously before uttering a single word that soothes our sense of isolation and fabricated angst against a massive and uncaring government that wishes to steal our hard-earned money and control everything we do? Fear not! What stands before you is a tried-and-true rebel. I have fought this battle in a dark vacuum of spite without all the flavor-of-the-month fanfare you posers enjoy.

You see, long before you decided what level of government over-reach would motivate you to waste a perfectly good workday waving grammatically-challenged signs dressed in American Revolution regalia, I was the founder and chief officer of the AAPGF, or as it is known in the fringe group industry; Artists Against Puritan Goat Fuckers.

The AAPGF, to which a fancy logo and a detailed manifesto have been available for over a decade on-line, is a turn-of-the-century brainchild of great independent thinkers, whose ranks today number in the thousands. We believe without compromise, that the authority and power of our governing bodies have gone far enough. Many Republicans here today who are ironically tying to piggyback this “movement” actually fought against its unyielding principle of individual liberty by using bullshit arguments about children, obscenity, God, the greater good of society and other tyrannical gibberish.

Ah, thank you. I see I’ve hit upon your buzzword. Good to see some of you are still awake. The special Kool-Aid will be administered shortly.

“Up with people!”

My founding of the AAPGF aside, what ultimately garnered my invite to your gathering today is my repeated and thus far thwarted attempt to secede my meager stretch of land from the Union, much of my tribulation is well documented on my web site, so I shan’t belabor it here.

But believe me when I tell you; I’m a lifer. This is not a hobby for me, nor is it a calculated attempt at politics or middle-aged outrage, as what appears to be the case for an overwhelming number of you soft-bellied small-timers. I’ve been to the edge and back with government; federal, local, you name it. And I’m here to say the entire thing is fucked and must be broken down and rebuilt from scratch. It is flawed and screwed, and its atavistic foundation, cobbled haphazardly as it was under cannon fire during a heat wave two hundred and forty or so years ago, while still the best example of governance in the history of human civilization, is nothing more than out-dated Euro-Trash.

I’m talking about heavy lifting people. Voting another group in over the group that came before has kept The System growing and its expansion widening for most of these two hundred years. This is why I’ll assume you guys are waving the Don’t Tread On Me flag. I’ve proudly unfurled one of those on every property I’ve inhabited for three decades. It is the only flag that should fly. The American version is tainted and besmirched and until there is justice for all should be our pariah.

“No more free lunch!”

So what are we trying to accomplish; you know beyond the awkward social ineptitude and yelling?

Well, I decided, that instead of sharing my fairly radical and somewhat scarily reasoned ideas today, I wish only to breakdown what it is your aim and to point out as succinctly as possible its utterly ill-conceived and badly fostered platform.

I have in my hand the NJTPC’s Core Principles. It’s Mission Statement, and I paraphrase, is “to restore and protect the founding principles of our nation”, which, as already stated, for a “movement” is silly. You’re supposed to reject a system that isn’t working, not make specious claims that its origins were bastardized. What is this; the Russian Revolution meets the dawning of Christianity? All philosophies are bastardized.

“Down with pie charts!”

Okay, now onto your thirteen principles, and by the way; nice under-grad symbolism with the original thirteen colonies. I dig that.

1. Rights are endowed by God. Governments are instituted by men.

The musket and the sword endow rights. The people choose democratic governments. And while I understand this mocks the very notion of a Tea Party in the sense that our present construct provides taxation with representation, these are the facts; and although you are entitled to your opinion, not so much the facts.

2. Support for U.S. Constitution.

The original or the amended version? If it is the former, then all women and minorities will be asked to please leave; along with those with limited land ownership. You’re all excluded. These are your principles, not mine. I only wish to deconstruct them.

3. Support of the Tenth Amendment – states sovereignty.

If we are going to adhere to the original founding principles, then there are no states. Therefore these “principles” – which are defined as immutable and handed down by an invisible deity – are rendered null and void.

4. Rejection of global governance and the ignoring of the laws bound by the Constitution are punishable as treason.

Who are you guys going to elect that will not be bound by global governance and won’t challenge the authority of the constitution, because you cannot name one president and hardly any single legislative branch member who hasn’t engaged in this activity.

5. Only the founding fathers original interpretation of the constitutional is valid.

Once again, women, minorities and lower middle classes exit stage left.

6. Rejection of all tax laws.

Any group that considers taxes as a form of slavery really wouldn’t embrace prison. I would wipe this off the list myself, but that’s just me.

7. Free Market over any government regulation.

For more information on how this has been an abject failure and led to the most socialist laws known to this republic, please see the Roaring Twenties. When you have sufficiently been educated on the recorded disasters of an unchecked Free Market, then we can talk. Until then, please stop giving me the finger. You need to blame your parents and the shitty school system for your frightening level of ignorance.

8. Rejection of tyranny.

Agreed, but most of the language in your principles sound a bit authoritative, like “We only accept the original form of the constitution.”

9. Rejection of usurping the checks-and-balances of governance.

I will respectfully leave this alone, for its populist sentiment is at its basest form a “All puppies are cute” kind of thing.

10. The government is at service to the people.

Well, I thought we were Free Market. There is no government service without the people, and if the people are going to “be” as opposed to “being represented by” the government, then Principle #10 directly refutes Principle #7 and turns this thing into a pseudo-Bolshevik rally, and I did not bring my notes for that one.

11. Reserve the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

What the hell are you doing in Hackensack?

12. Reserve the right to remove our consent to be governed.

Please see an earlier principle for the jail solution. I think many of you would likely benefit from incarceration of some kind, but again, I wouldn’t recommend it.

13. We only support candidates from whatever party that adheres to these principles.

Good luck.

Okay, so in conclusion, I offer my sincerest wishes of fortune on your meaningless journey to nowhere, as I will conclude with the same slice of wisdom I offered to an anti-war rally four years ago, when similar mud-brains thought by electing new guys to the same System would end the fifteen wars we’ve got going.

Do yourselves a favor; ignore the ugliness of the big picture; get laid and have a beer. Better people than you have given up far more for less. Write it off as a loss and try and be happy. It could be worse, you could be gay and pay all the taxes for half the rights.

Thank you and God bless me and everything I stand for, and god damn the rest of it.

“Happy Tax Day!”

Reality Check | Pop Culture | Politics | Sports | Music

Read More

2010 U.S. Allies Run Amok

Aquarian Weekly 4/14/10 REALITY CHECK

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE…

Rumors of Afghani President Hamid Karzai’s drug use in the wake of his inflammatory anti-American comments are highly suspect. While it is true that Karzai has an insatiable appetite for chewing pure hashish bricks, it would be hard to tie this activity to the insane gibberish he decided to announce to his people after meeting with the president of the United States two weeks ago. Drugs are merely an excuse for being a self-destructive asshole. Stating that the U.S. fixed an election he won and that its armies, which now keep him from being executed, must leave or he will join those who aim to execute him is the talk of an idiot, not a hash fiend.

Hamid KarzaiKarzai suffers less from drug abuse than politics. He is a politician, and as such, must play to his base, which consists of religious lunatics with an irrational hatred of western values or some such voodoo bullshit. Moreover, many of these constituents see Karzai as an American stooge. He must turn this around quickly, faced with a looming deadline in which the crucial U.S. presence in that lunatic asylum ends.

Karzai’s loose-canon babbling matters little, since his days are numbered. Anyone with any grasp of Middle East political savvy has given him less than a week to live the minute the last marine leaves. What does matter is that Karzai is just one of several U.S. allies continuing to act smugly in the face of our generosity and military sacrifice. At least Karzai has the balls to be a two-faced conniver, unlike the last president of his former neighbor, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who kissed America’s ass for years after 9/11 to hide the embezzling of millions of U.S. tax dollars.

Musharraf and Karzai are symptoms of this antiquated U.S. foreign policy that was rightfully born during the Second World War but continued haphazardly during the Cold War; this penchant to capture the hearts and minds of nations through force, executions, and coups to better promote democracy and freedom throughout the world to the point of military disaster and near bankruptcy.

The tribal kill-tank that is today’s Afghanistan is an unfortunate offshoot of America’s secret war to kick the Soviets out in the 1980s, which was left to disintegrate into chaos once the job was complete. Another fine example of the U.S. spending blood and treasure to correct its original foreign policy catastrophe.

For an even more pertinent model, check out Iraq. As stated ad nauseum in this space for years, despite naive drivel that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11; if the first George Bush didn’t play war hero in Kuwait, there would have been no U.S. military presence on “holy ground” and al Qaeda would not have had a prime source for causing the kind of havoc it did in the 1990s, which lead inevitably to the horrors of 9/11.

These are tough economic times. Extravagances like being responsible for the survival of an ungrateful and obstinate pack of morons must be addressed.

The worst part of the whole Afghanistan/Iraq goofiness is the United States did not get the proposed stranglehold on oil riches after decades of playing half-baked neo-con dunderheaded international three-card monte with half the region.

Then we have the always-intriguing call for democracy in Palestine, which was made manifest in open elections wherein the people chose a world-class terrorist outfit. Not to mention it is perfectly legal for citizens of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, two main allies we liberated and protected, to openly donate funds to al Qaeda.

But the Arabs are only half the problem here.

Nowhere in the Fourth Estate is there a more pro-Israel stance than exhibited in this space. It has raged for years about its sovereignty and applauded its military brilliance, but this latest nonsense with that strutting ass, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over treaty-busting settlements in the Gaza Strip, summarily shoved in the face of the American vice president in March, is as sad as it is suicidal. Without U.S. weapons and mounds of cash, Israel would have been a smoldering heap by 1978.

Netanyahu is the prize thoroughbred in the smirking stable of American lackeys that operate under the delusion they have control over their fate. It started in the spring of 1996, which happened to be the month I spent in Israel. I was in country when Netanyahu had three hyperbolic-laden debates with then Prime Minister Simon Perez and then on Election Day, when he acted as if he’d conquered Europe. Netanyahu’s militaristic, right wing nationalism is cute, but exists in his own fantasy. He is a puppet of the United States, as every one of his predecessors has been (of which he is one, having been ousted in ’99 before returning in late 2005) and his successors will be.

It’s just the way it is, jack:

No America, no Israel.

Netanyahu’s demand for the United States to stay out of Israel’s business is akin to crazy people waving signs at Tea Party rallies to keep the government off their Medicare.

It is time to face the hard truth: Nation building, like Liberalism and Conservatism, is a failed American philosophy, which for some strange reason seems to go on unchecked.

But the American tradition of repeating mistakes aside, there is a tried-and-true American staple that is currently misguided: anger.

As Americans go loony over a tepid National Health Care Reform Law their government spends billions a year to prop up the damaged social construct of sanctimonious blowhards and backstabbing narcissists half a planet away. Not to mention our kids losing limbs and lives over this miserable shit.

Under this kind of geo-political meandering you would think the United States would have stopped the Congo War by now, which has claimed over five and a half million lives since 2001. Maybe we’d stop doing business with China, which is an abject civil liberties joke. Perhaps we might consider storming the Vatican and eradicating the systematic raping of children?

In January of 2003, this space called it Selective Heroism; all that talk about Axis of Evil was stupid and expensive. It didn’t work in Viet Nam or any of the ensuing meddling.

These are tough economic times. Extravagances like being responsible for the survival of an ungrateful and obstinate pack of morons must be addressed.

Reality Check | Pop Culture | Politics | Sports | Music

 

Read More

Health Care U.S.A.

Aquarian Weekly 3/24/10 REALITY CHECK

HEALTH CARE U.S.A.A Half-Century of Fear, Morality, Lobbying, and Defeat Gets Its Vote

One thing I can say about this Barack Obama guy, he kicks my cynical ass every time. No way an African-American, liberal, neophyte can even show up to a fight with the Clinton machine, much less defeat it for a shot at the most powerful post in the land. Really? No way this guy can turn around and beat a white, right-wing military veteran in a mostly center-right and still annoyingly xenophobic nation. No? And there is no way in my lifetime there will ever be any sort of national health care reform, never mind a single piece of significant sweeping social legislation with the kind of national debt, unemployment and rabid anti-government fervor throughout the land. Guess what?

Obamacare  In a few days from the writing of these words, there could be an actual passing of a bill through congress that will in some way ultimately affect — one side argues completely, the other slightly –17 percent of the United States economy. Agree, disagree, whoop it up or gnash your teeth, this is a big one. As far as presidents and history go, a really big one; politically, socially, and perhaps even indefinably.

If you think fourteen months of hemming, hawing, pushing, lying, paying-off, manipulating, decrying, backstabbing, protesting, more lying, and normal, ugly democratic silliness, then try over fifty years of it. This is how long this country and its elected officials, mainly Democrats with the notable exception of Richard Nixon, have attempted in some way shape or form to tackle the enormous and in many ways unwieldy United States health care system.

Harry Truman, in the wake of an age of big foreign military triumphs and HUGE government reforms, coupled with the last gasp of overwhelming trust in the nation’s political system, could not do it. Neither could it be accomplished by the otherwise domestically effective Lyndon Johnson, the last chief executive to work with the legislative branch to this mass degree. The aforementioned Nixon gave it a go, but stalled. And the last guy to make it a political clarion call armed with a predominantly Democratic congress, William Jefferson Clinton, mucked it up. Not this guy. It looks like this guy is going to pull it off.

Not since LBJ’s Great Society and the Civil Rights bill has a president asked his party to fall on a sword for a vote. In 1964, Johnson, a dyed in the wool Southern Democrat from the old-school, asked similar Southern Democrats representing racist counties all through the South to cast a vote that assured the extinguishing of their profession. It was filibustered and argued and threatened as tyranny then, as this bill is facing now, on the grounds of state sovereignty and other fair and salient legal and constitutional arguments. But the Civil Rights bill and the martyrs from both sides of the aisle were on the side of not just a moral argument, but a Bill of Rights one.

This time, however, there is no bi-partisan effort nor is there any more than a hazy ideological divide on what is exactly moral; allowing millions of Americans in the world’s richest nation to go without some kind of health care or the stringent idea that it is something of a gained privilege to be able to afford to see a doctor if one is ill. And then there is the fall-out; simple human nature to inevitably abuse such programs, wherein an entitlement becomes just another teat for the unfortunate or even lazy to suck dry at the expense of the always-burdened middle class.

When something needs to be done, we’re warring and banning and throwing money and political rhetoric around as if the very structure of existence depended on it, or we do absolutely nothing. It’s an either-or game we play with everything.

And how far to go? This is always the quarrel, whether it’s the extent and expanse of the unregulated business monopolies or creating massive government entitlements to curtail the damages of an historic economic meltdown. Sure we need to fight the Commies, but at what cost, for how long, and how many lives are sacrificed for how many screw-ups? Sure, let’s federalize the banks, create a national highway system, or how about crush one half of the American economy at the end of the gun because slavery is immoral. Maybe all these restructures could have been piecemealed, brought along slowly to see what happens, but that’s not the American way. It never has been.

When something needs to be done, we’re warring and banning and throwing money and political rhetoric around as if the very structure of existence depended on it, or we do absolutely nothing. It’s an either-or game we play with everything. What is also the American way is to water down what is left of the original intent of a progressive all-consuming government-controlled, single-payer pool, as practiced by Great Britain and Canada and other smaller, less diverse nations, to twist in the most convoluted way as to not be estimable by the most learned among us.

This is how things get done and have been done since those who came before us made it up and then amended it, and still there are the exceptions, like when two presidential candidates are battling out an election in the courts and one is handed the job and the rest complain that its illegitimate, but it’s really not, it’s just the way it goes.

And that’s history in a nutshell, from war and peace to bill-making and ballot-counting.; petty, underhanded, spiteful, and mainly jerky. It is simple math: The majority of the vote sends those to their gig and they do what they will, and if it doesn’t sit right after a period of time, they go bye-bye. In November of 2008, the United States elected Barack Obama and a boatload of Democrats. You would have to assume people, even those who use the Daily Show and Glenn Beck as their news sources, understand the ramifications of this maneuver. You’re going to get government stuff. Just as you know when you elect Oil Men, you’re going to get crazy wars for oil.

Still, it is hard to fathom its come this close, and if a Health Care Reform Bill becomes law this week than this is what the Barack Obama administration will take into history as its legacy. Nothing done from here on in, barring another in an endless series of pointless wars will be as significant for good or ill.

Reality Check | Pop Culture | Politics | Sports | Music

 

Read More

TEA Party Fun

Aquarian Weekly 3/17/10 REALITY CHECK

THE CURIOUS CASE OF “THE AL QAEDA 7”Defining the Enemy in the Age of Hypocrisy

Here we go again; more political agenda masquerading as public outrage with cheaply framed ham-fisted watchdog techniques. As boring and antiquated as James Madison’s smear campaign against John Adams during the 1800 presidential campaign against his boss, Thomas Jefferson, its methods reek of American tradition, often misunderstood in its time by neophytes and professional chicken littles as uncharted calamitous abuse of power, treason and other grade-school malarkey passed off as editorial comment.

Keep America SafeThis week another in the long line of innocuous watchdog groups, made legitimate merely by its Internet presence, decided to take on the Justice Department for its failure to release all nine names of lawyers hired by the federal government despite their history of defending members of al Qaeda, in so doing ostensibly putting into question their patriotic loyalty. An ad run on YOUTUBE by Keep America Safe, founded by so-called journalist and full-time whiner, William Krystal and the unfortunate offspring of the polluted Cheney genes named Liz, strongly suggested a cover-up, neatly dubbed The Al Qaeda 7.

Ignoring the fact that these idiots vehemently defended the first president to suffer a significant attack on two major American cities by foreign intruders since the War of 1812, Keep American Safe has every right to besmirch the Justice Department and Attorney General Eric Holder by calling into question the legitimacy of its federal employees. Its members and founders are American citizens, and as such pay their salaries. They deserve, as we all do, the transparency of our government, its agendas, and its effect on its citizenry. Transparency or bust! I get it.

The problems with this half-assed ad hominem attack begin to emerge when you consider the fact that just four short years ago the KAS founders argued tooth-and-nail the right for then Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to dismiss over two dozen federal attorneys on political and not performance grounds. And when pressed on the issue of the highly unconstitutional Patriot Act, run rather illegally by the very same Justice Department they are now criticizing, with its fancy spying on American citizens, again, a stringent defense on the grounds of, get this, national security.

Whew, the hypocrisy meter just busted. Let’s pause to adjust the sucker and continue if we can keep the laughter to a minimum.

All of a sudden transparency is tantamount, whereas before it was something close to treason to suggest the government tell us what the hell it’s doing. Nifty.

All of a sudden transparency is tantamount, whereas before it was something close to treason to suggest the government tell us what the hell it’s doing. Nifty.

Oh, and by the way, it is important to point out at this juncture in the rant that anyone can and has uncovered the names of these lawyers merely by surfing the Web.

And lest we forget the steaming pile of hypocrisy offered up by the other side, we now have scores of liberals up in arms that anyone, never mind conservative axe-grinders, dare question the integrity of the Justice Department, which was rightfully battered for years during the scarred Nixon and Reagan administrations.

Questionable backgrounds of lawyers? Shit, this is tidily winks for the Justice Department, the home of the most heinous rogues to ever chair a position of power in the guise of law enforcement, offering a gaggle of attorney generals so completely undaunted by such nonsense as constitutional rule their names and deeds echo terror in the hearts of those unlucky to remember.

In my lifetime alone we have the president’s little brother, Bobby Kennedy, who not only sat on the assistant counsel of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations under the drunken monster that was Joseph McCarthy, but also had the audacity to take the mob to task after its machinations put him and big bro in power in the first place. Then there is the always hilarious lying to the Soviets about the removal of U.S. missiles in Turkey whilst the entire eastern seaboard of the United States stood in peril. Oh, and who can forget the always fun-loving John Mitchell, who not only fought to enforce civil rights laws in the South and sought conspiracy charges against protestors of the Viet Nam War, but also merrily bankrolled Dick Nixon’s multi-million dollar domestic spying, smear and surveillance schemes before being shuffled off to prison.

Why stop there?

The legend that is Edwin Meese III, whose murderously ill-conceived crackdown on student protestors in Berkeley as then Governor Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff made him the perfect dupe for the bungling crimes of Iran-Contra, which only succeeded his unlocking the door for the social conservative movement that summarily wrecked the Republican Party and allowed a bunch of voodoo men to gain power over the ensuing decades.

And there’s barely any space left to discuss Janet Reno’s massacre of lunatics in Waco, Texas with a war-time arsenal of tanks and bombs, John Ashcroft’s post-9/11 use of the FBI as some weirdly formed Gestapo with a questionably legal Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and the sacked Operation TIPS that is so incredibly criminal it is far too complicated to detail here.

Business as usual.

Then there is the question of why any member of a terrorist cabal, especially a non-citizen, has a right to an attorney under U.S. law, which this space has already weighed in on more than once. To summarize: Anyone with a lust for martyrdom fueled by religious fantasy to destroy property, life and limb, has — to any reasonable estimation –officially checked out of society anyway, U.S. or otherwise. Fuck them.

But the thing is we can’t really “fuck them”, because whether Left or Right, America must stand for a rule of law or we as a nation, as a people, would be no more civilized than the bleating scum who aim to tear us down. Even if these wretched sons of excrement were tried in a military court, which some argue is better than a civil setting, representation must be provided, and assuming these attorneys are American citizens, they would have to be present. Does this make them terrorists? Does it make them sympathize with terrorists?

You see, Keep America Safe is just another “group” that has to find another “group” to paint with a broad brush as “evil” or “wrong” to justify the standing of their group, just as John Adams’s enemies painted him as a backstabbing Tory for his defense of British soldiers following the infamous Boston Massacre, perhaps the one incident that cemented in the minds of the colonists a spark of revolution; a revolution, mind you, championed as no other by Mr. Adams.

Reality Check | Pop Culture | Politics | Sports | Music

 

Read More

Health Care Summit?

Aquarian Weekly 3/3/10 REALITY CHECK

HEALTH CARE SUMMIT? Death Rattle With Suits

The forty-fourth president of the United States appears to be as possessed by a doomed agenda as the last one. Maybe at this point Barack Obama has no choice. It has now been over a year and there is still no National Health Care Reform Law, only a massively incoherent pile of legislation that now only a minority of Americans want and less understand, a Democratic Party if not split, certainly splintered over, and a Republican opposition that despite hundreds of its amendments added to the thing, continue to rail against it for political leverage.

Before The StormIf the 2/25 Health Care Summit between lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle chaired by the chief executive displayed anything, its that whatever remains of the National Health Care debate is merely a death rattle, some distant bugle call over a bloody and silent battle field.

For the most part, the crazy talk was over. It was lawmakers doing what lawmakers do, muddy the facts and refute the rebukes. Over seven or so hours of speeches and debate, boring presentations of facts and figures, and the obligatory spate of pointless drivel, there remained the same conclusion as when it began; the current Senate version of Health Care Reform is vehemently opposed by every Republican, hardly endorsed by moderate Democrats, and barely a boon for Liberal ones.

What began in spirit as a negotiation continued in a series of disjointed debates. And as hard as the president pained to keep it civil and above-board, many on his side and the other reduced it to talking points and posturing. There was serious points made, but just as many derided. So, as my beloved maternal grandmother, Carmella Martignetti, the great political philosopher of the twentieth century once mused; “It is over, but it doesn’t know enough to lie down.”

For his part, the president revealed a side to him that I once believed, and to a lessoning extent still believe is his strongest asset, the ability to rise above the fray, beyond mere politics and generation, someone who is not tainted by Boomer angst and old-line rhetoric. It is a side that was rarely seen during his first tumultuous year, wherein this massive undertaking of national legislation which makes up roughly 17 percent of the federal budget was not enough to send him to the Hill but once. This legacy-making moment came and went, came again and then went again, with a steely resolve and almost robotic detachment.

Only one speech given at a special assembly of congress last year, arguably Obama’s only effective oratory to date, could begin to budge events, but even that was not enough. Bringing us to yesterday’s performance, which was even and presidential, a true display of leadership, and not in that phony, affected way you might have seen by pros like Reagan or Clinton, but more down and dirty with a bit more polish than the “everyman” version utilized by the last guy. An objective observer, if there is such an animal anymore, would have to admit to its courageous outreach and balanced effort to determine the agreements, differences and spaces between both when coming to difficult conclusions about a major overhaul in federal legislation.

But what was the point really?

An objective observer, if there is such an animal anymore, would have to admit to its courageous outreach and balanced effort to determine the agreements, differences and spaces between both when coming to difficult conclusions about a major overhaul in federal legislation.

Firstly, it is far too late. This should have been done, as clearly and concisely with a trust in the electorate to comprehend, from the very beginning, rather than the lofty presentations and bully-tactics that ushered it in and pushed it through. But most importantly, there is no time, never mind the four-to-six week psuedo-deadline given by the president at summit’s end, to cobble together four or five or ten disparate philosophies over spending, the extent of government involvement, regulatory ceilings and floors, and the stemming of insurance and dictatorial fraud both in the private and government levels.

The next and only step for this president and his Democratic majority is to turn to Reconciliation, an oft-used process of avoiding a filibuster threat with a mere majority of fifty-one votes over the required sixty that is always vilified by the opposition until it gains power. It is pure democratic politics, as the law allows. Democrats and Republicans alike have used it to great effect, most dramatically with the infamous Contract With America in the mid-nineties. There is nothing to deride beyond its premise, which is another debate entirely. And although ramming a bill through a Reconciliation vote is an easy target to bash as one-party tyranny, as both the president and vice president decried when used several times by the previously Republican-controlled congress, it is now the only way any Health Care Reform bill is turned into law.

The Republican stance that there should be a new, drafted-from-scratch or piece-meal bill is at best naïve and at its worst, and probably more to the point, vindictive. It has no basis in reality. It would be tantamount to opponents of the Iraq War asking for the troops to be sent back to the ships and re-deployed the moment they reached the outskirts of Baghdad. The mere idea that anyone would articulate this in public is as hilarious as it is frightening.

And so the political fallout of Reconciliation, the only option beyond backing down for the president, will be devastating. Independents are gone for Obama now. And although National Health Care was one of the central themes of a stirringly successful 2008 campaign, in the face of ten percent unemployment, a dipping housing market and a slower recovery than anticipated, it has not only lost national traction, it has become a political albatross.

The president has three years to win the disbelievers back or get them to crawl back if the Republicans send a weak retread like Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney in opposition, or if a true conservative voice like Ron Paul emerges in a populist TEA Party configuration and hands the White House back to him on a silver platter.

For congress, the overwhelming majority of which is Democrat, it must do what it has never done; stand united. There are as deep divides among Democrats as Republicans over many details in the bill. There is even a deeper distrust between House Democrats and their colleagues in the Senate, which deconstructed the House bill and executed any chance of a Single-Payer Option, the treacherous Third Rail of Health Care Reform.

It is an election year. The Democrats are looking at substantial losses. The Republicans have shown no interest in compromise and the majority party has shown it does not care. This president, like the last one, has bet it all on one hand, and as he wisely stated at the summit’s conclusion, the results will out and its denouement is what elections are for.

Reality Check | Pop Culture | Politics | Sports | Music

 

Read More

TEA Party Fun

Aquarian Weekly 2/24/10 REALITY CHECK

THE INDEPENDENTS SPEEPSTAKES TEA Party to Green Party to Reform A-Go-Go

In the agonizing hours of November 5, 2008, following the near annihilation of the Republican brand, its most celebrated voice, Rush Limbaugh apologized to his listeners for TEA Party Local #421“carrying the Republicans water”, ignoring his sworn allegiance to conservative ideology and the glaring facts at hand to defend what he said was a party gone astray. It was self-serving and silly – essentially Limbaugh’s tired act for the past two decades – but it rang true. In his own clownish way, he stumbled onto something more than a half-baked guffaw and uttered a coherent plea, which was later picked up by many of the talking heads at FOXNEWS, the GOP broadcast network. The Republicans, they all said, were not very Republican with their nation building and federal government bloating and TARP bailout stimuli.

And for a time both Limbaugh and more pointedly FOXNEWS held this ground. What choice did they have? The president was a Super Man and the Democrats had a Super Majority, and the progressive movement, so damaged by Viet Nam and the Reagan Revolution, the Contract with America and 9/11 xenophobia, was now front and center, representing a nation that had been sold atavistic palaver about being “center-right”.

But over the past thirteen months the wind has shifted dramatically, as it will when someone as kinetically charged as Barack Obama streaks into the White House with so much promise following the dirge of a weakened predecessor. As stated time and again in this space over the past year, Joe Cool’s symbol of the Left’s Hopes & Dreams has eerily mirrored that of Ronald Reagan’s meteoric New Right rise of 1980. Then, just as quickly, with a sagging recession and a fallout in the Hope Department, there were heavy loses in the polls and consequently two years later on Capitol Hill.

The idea of the fifteen-minute fix and immediate satisfaction or else is an American institution. Comes with the territory, jack.

And so suddenly those who kicked the Republican brand to the curb and subsequently embraced and then trumpeted fringe Right movements, most notably the many and varied TEA Parties, are once again grab-assing at the laziest route to a return to power. Why not re-brand the Republican Party with the same exhausted bullshit that has made it as abject a failure as the Democrats for well over a century and a half?

The pendulum swings and people conveniently forget what ushered in the alternative.

Usually it is sound if not recidivist advice.

Problem is there now appears to be a segment of the fragmented street rabble crazies who actually believe a national third party is a viable alternative to what conservative NY Times columnist, David Brooks recently framed this way: “I just don’t see how we get out of the fiscal hole if Republicans are not willing to raise taxes and Democrats not willing to cut spending. I’m actually beginning to think, for the first time in my life, there’s a prospect for a third party at some point in the future.”

Uh-oh.

Last summer FOXNEWS, along with colossal drug concerns and anti Health Care Reform lobbyists, helped promote, bankroll, and lend legitimacy to what the mainstream could only then best describe as angry, disenfranchised lunch pail enthusiasts, whose most vocal exclamations were horrendously grammatical and explicitly racist banners. Entertaining, colorful and highly motivated Jerry Springer rejects had apparently captured the very real outrage of a nation barely able to cobble together two original thoughts without a spate of banal anarchism. Ah, but between the specious rants about the Founding Fathers and laughably insipid definitions of Tyranny, there lies a germ of true democratic spirit, one in which may take down not one, but two parties in one fell swoop.

One can only dream.

Entertaining, colorful and highly motivated Jerry Springer rejects had apparently captured the very real outrage of a nation barely able to cobble together two original thoughts without a spate of banal anarchism.

A dream we’ve kept alive here since the day we began to send words to press.

To wit: The February 20 issue early in the election year of 2008, in a piece entitled, INDEPENDENCE RULES, Reality Check issued this synopsis of American Politico: “The two-party system, which has halved the ideological soul of this nation for over a decade, has now reached its breaking point. The special interest fobs and extremist twits who have monopolized the national discourse for decades are being swept under by a tidal wave of independent voting. Republicans and Democrats are crossing lines. Fiscal conservatives fed up with social fascists, liberal lions pissed at whining granola heads, war hawks and peaceniks, activists and casual observers are jumping around like never before.”

Not a big deal. You could pretty much yank out an archived piece around here for the past dozen years plus and read something or other trashing the two-party system, but this time it was a growing reality which had been covered a year and half earlier on June, 13 2007. In this space under INDEPENDENCE ’08 appeared the results of a Gallup poll, which painted an evenly divided electorate: Republicans, 27 percent; Democrats, 34 percent; Independents, 38 percent. The following analysis was then offered: “Despite exit polling of stark contrasts in conservative vs. moderate vs. Evangelical voting blocks on the Right and women, black/Latino, and an economic range voting block on the Left, nothing has crossed the divide of this polarized nation than the quickly emerging, highly influential, and increasingly mighty Independent vote.”

And into this vacuum emerged the first African American, predominantly liberal neophyte to gain the White House. And it has not begun to close one iota. In fact it has become a gaping maw, which may swallow him and whatever poor sucker dares face it.

There was a time, as it was for George W. Bush the months following the 9/11 attacks, when the country was ready for The Big Leap. Bush, for all his failings and chronic stupidity took it. Not so much for Joe Cool, who demurred when he should have pounced, sequestered, then media blitzed when he should have hammered home The Deal.

And maybe it was too much to ask. There hasn’t been a single major sweeping change in legislation since 1964. This is what awaited this president and this dead-on-arrival congress, predominantly made up of federal government zealots, who had the electorate by the balls and still could not get a thing done.

This week Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, one of the few Democrats with a chance in hell of retaining his seat this fall, up and quit. Why? Upon the occasion of his hissy-fit resignation, he told an interviewer that two weeks prior to giving up he and several fellow Republicans co-sponsored an anti-deficit bill, only to find out later they turned around and voted against it for what he deemed was “purely political reasons”. Well, of course they did. Probably the same assholes who voted against the Recovery Act and then took bows back in their states for the dumb shit it paid for.

And so as Brooks concluded, there is indeed “unprecedented levels of distrust in Washington”, at least since the decades prior to and following the Civil War. And from its ashes comes the TEA Party, and whatever it is or wherever its going will chip away at the final progressive movement of any of our lifetimes and whatever is left of ancient conservative wisdom.

 

Reality Check | Pop Culture | Politics | Sports | Music

 

Read More

“We The People” 2010 Model

Aquarian Weekly 2/10/10 REALITY CHECK

WE THE PEOPLE

The American people are smart enough to do this on their own. – John Boehner, Ohio Republican Representative, when asked on Meet The Press if there should be federal government regulation over the purchase of health insurance across state lines.

Part of our 2010 Faux Revolution is the expulsion of ridiculously unsubstantiated nonsense like using the American People whenever someone is trying to make, prove or back up a point. There is no real American People, and if there were such an animal there is no way they would be willing or able to agree en masse on everything stated daily by debaters, lawmakers, executives, pundits, etc. It is a fantasy, which is a nice way of saying it is a blatant lie, and it must stop. In fact, all mention of any kind of “people” in solidarity must cease, especially when pitching ideology. The good of a group is never considered when ideologies are being thrown around. It is only good for the ideologues espousing their creed for an explicit segment of society. The rest is a steaming pile of bullshit.

American PersonThere is one exception; as is the rule in every scientific postulation: The American People adore free stuff or want a lot of stuff, but not pay a lot for it. This, of course, is not particular to the American People, but Human Nature in general. “Free” is the most popular word in any language, but since we are built as a nation on the concept of Free, it comes with the territory. This is why populism is so popular among the American People. Give us more cops! More parks! More malls! More roads to get to the malls! Bring the mail! Protect the kids! Kill the bad guys abroad! Keep the banks honest! Taxes? Fuck that!

Then there is the Oedipal angle of the American People. Who did this terrible thing to us? Oh, it’s us!

For instance, lately, the American People have come to their senses about institutions; suddenly they all suck. Government, Organized Religion, Banks, Military, almost all forms of systemic authority are under scrutiny. Ah, but who thought up these institutions? Who runs them? In most cases who chooses who runs them? And who supports their perpetuation? The American People do. Did I miss something? Are the Russians running our banking system? Who makes our laws and enacts them? Scandinavians or Americans? And are these people or pods of some kind?

Right now you’re shouting, “Hey, I didn’t vote for…” or ” I did not choose…”, but then aren’t you also a member of the American People?

A-ha!

I love when American People in a position to opine while speechifying broach the distinction between the American People living on Main Street and the American People running Wall Street; as if only one such group is defined as the American People, which is apparently at odds with the thinking of the American People.

Another queer aspect of the American People quotient is its inability as a group to determine what is acceptable for the individual as opposed to the whole, and most importantly how individual conscience deals with society at large.

There is one exception; as is the rule in every scientific postulation: The American People adore free stuff or want a lot of stuff, but not pay a lot for it.

Two prime examples of this would be Abortion Rights and the Environment.

Several polls annually state a majority of the American People is against abortion as an act, the act of yanking a live healthy human fetus from an otherwise healthy female host. Yet, if faced with an individual case, say, your daughter is raped by a retarded, herpes-ravaged dope fiend at a Death Metal Concert, there is some leeway. Usually, in a bizarre twist many American People who do not want the government regulating their use of weaponry have no problem dictating the possession of actual living tissue inside fifty-one percent of the populace.

Oh, and although the American People are all for drilling for oil or wiping out forests to build Wal-Marts, it’s not so cut and dry if it is taking place across the street. In both cases we have a “We’re against it, but…” and a “We’re all for it, but…” issues continuously presented as one solution to please the American People.

Another excellent and more pressing illustration is the National Health Care issue. Like Social Security, Medicare, Education, and other mass government-run entitlements, there is at first an opposing yammer of “socialism” or “tyranny”. Then, after it is instituted, whether it works or not, it’s a Third Rail, an untouchable “right” of the American People. First the American People are against it, and then once they have it, the American People fight like rabid dogs to keep it. In most circles this would be called schizophrenic behavior, in more select ones, fucking hypocrisy.

Then there is the case of the American People not realizing who is among the counted, as in every possible Gay Rights issue known to us.

Right now there is a congressional hearing going on to determine if it is unlawful to deny members of the United States military, which is of course apprised of American People, their right to be openly gay.

This is spectacularly asinine in several fascinating ways, not the least of which being that whilst engaged in military service American People are no longer considered “civilian”, and thus their normal everyday distinctions as woman or man, black or white, poor or privileged, etc, no longer apply. The idea of an army of one is an Army of One. This accounts for the similarity in haircuts and uniform, not to mention a singular code of decorum. The individual aspects of the American People are stripped from them, including determining the worth of a soldier by where he/she places his/her privates in any given act of coitus.

But that’s nothing compared to the outrage of debating a government employee’s individual rights while completely ignoring those of the American People who happen to also make up our homosexual citizenry. This is not only the proverbial “cart before the horse” as much as it is “the contents of the cart before the cart is even assembled”. Never mind the goddamned horse.

So, okay, we’re agreed? The American People do not want national health insurance just assuredly as the American People crave it. The American People include the entirety of the American People regardless of sexual or political preference. Therefore we conclude unequivocally to never dump the American People on the American People again.

Reality Check | Pop Culture | Politics | Sports | Music

 

Read More