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Saturday, August 28, 2004

The Price We Pay 

Most adult Americans recognize the truism "a mind is a terrible thing to waste" as the United Negro College Fund's tagline. The thing that makes it memorable, aside from being concise and undeniably true, is that it frames the intellect's value in emotional terms. In other words, it's an appeal to the heart on behalf of the brain. To its credit, the UNCF has used its tagline effectively to make people aware of what is arguably the most tragic consequence of a society that promotes unmediated self-interest above its own well-being.

America burns the minds of its poor like it does gasoline. And the poor are forced to appeal for charity - just to give their kids a fighting chance to escape the poverty engine.

But the poor aren't the only victims of wasted potential. In a society that promotes unmediated self-interest above its own well being, everyone suffers to one degree or other from wasted potential. Without the security that mediation provides, people burn more energy competing than they do learning, creating, discovering, and enjoying.

Gradually and by increasing amounts, such a society consumes its wealth. In this manner, America is currently cannibalizing itself. The probable consequences of that behavior aren't difficult to predict.

With an increasing scarcity of resources, competition between people becomes more intense. And one by one, human qualities are shed - revealing the savage underneath. When competition becomes too intense and humanity fails to persist, the result is chaos.

The astounding fact about America's predicament is that a group of powerful people - using the instrument of the Republican Party - are deliberately exacerbating it. Their intention is to push their country to the edge of chaos - where conditions will be favorable for the ultimate coup: a radical restructuring of society on their terms.

Along the way, they cynically reap the benefits of the madness they promote. As Americans peel off their humanity, the rich get richer and everyone else fights for shrinking scraps.

Perhaps all of this would still be invisible to me had our Czarbusto and his neoconservative Rasputins not made it abundantly clear in their writing - and in their actions. I won't go into detail here about neoconservative ideology, nor will I recount the criminal disasters resulting from its application; much has been written about these topics already. Instead, my focus here is on the promoters and their propaganda - and on the victims.

Case in point: Charles Krauthammer - master neoconservative pusher, and recent addition to the Right's rabid bulldog brigade. I've already taken him to task for being a disingenuous, hypocritical crybaby. Now it's time to take him to task for being a shameless liar, incorrigible hypocrite, virtuoso crybaby, and topnotch mind squanderer.

The mind of a poor child is unquestionably a terrible thing to waste, and with his latest steaming pile of perversions for the Washington Post, Krauthammer demonstrates that the mind of an educated man is the most terrible thing of all to waste. History reserves a special cage for the schemers and peddlers that deal in misery.

The Pressure-Cooker Theory
By Charles Krauthammer

Krauthammer begins his rant by framing Democrats as vainglorious soresports. Using chess as a metaphor for politics, he recounts two stories - selected to convince us that Democrats have been behaving like his favorite vainglorious soresport chess masters since the time of Ike.

There's an obvious problem with his metaphor though. Do you think he notices? I think he does, but let's point it out to him anyway.

Señor Krauthammer, the problem with your metaphor is that chess doesn't tolerate cheating.

Imagine that Alekhine had won at Baden-Baden by moving pieces when "Democrat soul" Nimzowitsch wasn't looking. Or imagine that Alekhine had technically lost, but somehow managed to convince the judges that he had won. Better yet, imagine that the rules of chess allowed for the wealthier man to purchase the right to control his opponent's pieces.

If scenarios like that were possible, the game of Chess would be worthless. Don't you think it's perverse that we don't tolerate cheating in games, yet we reward it in politics? I think it is, and "masters" like you - who actively work to undermine the rules, appall me in particular.

By the way, don't be confused by all the talk about "playing chess" that's coming from the Democrats. Unlike Republicans, Democrats tend to hesitate before using more appropriate analogies - like warfare - for a civilized "game" whose rules have been thoroughly undermined by unscrupulous people like you, Señor Krauthammer.

Now that we've pointed that out to Señor Krauthammer, it's fair to dismiss the rest of his half-cooked victim-blaming tripe for what it is: the vicious, desperate projections of his own demons. Get a load of this quote:

"Democrats feel a mixture of horror and contempt for the huddled masses..."

Amazing... and he says it with a straight, sweaty face. I think he's starting to lose his marbles.

He says that Democrats will need therapy if Bush wins. What he really means is, "I'll need therapy if Bush loses." He may even be thinking, "I'll need a new job if Bush loses." Or perhaps, "I'll need a lawyer if Bush loses."

If Czarbusto triumphs again, America will have dysfunctions that psychotherapy can't cure.

With that wonderful thought, dear reader, I leave you for now. If you don't mind, I'd like to chat with Señor Krauthammer. If you wish, you may stay and listen.

How long does it take you to write an article, Señor Krauthammer? I bet you can crank one out in 30 minutes.

For me, it's not that easy. You can probably tell that I'm not a trained writer. As of this moment, I've devoted more than 12 hours of my life to this message. I shouldn't be doing this, Señor Krauthammer.

Do you mind if I call you "Charlie?" Thanks.

That's right, Charlie; a decent, capable, and creative person like me shouldn't be squandering their energy this way. Would you like to know why I'm doing it despite that? I know that you already know why, but let me tell you anyway.

I'm writing so that people like you will know that others can see exactly what you're doing. Your "neoconservative" ideology is contemptible, and the policy you promote is proving to be disastrous to the world I love. I can't sit by and watch you get away with it. My writing is my personal protest.

What you may not realize, Charlie, is that my protest is evidence of a phenomenon that your beloved neoconservatism unleashed. All the honest, courageous, and creative people are pointed at people like you now. Congratulations. If things keep going the way they are, eventually your people will have to do something about this pheonomenon. Will they attempt to imprison it? Will they exile it to Mexico? What do you think, Charlie? Should we use history as a guide?

I know you can't wait to ask me, so let me tell you what I'll do if Bush triumphs in November. I'll keep watching, and writing. And my writing will gradually improve. Will your propaganda improve in the next four years, Charlie? I have a feeling that it's going to become increasingly difficult for you to justify what your associates have in store for America. There's your personal little pressure-cooker.

You are correct that I feel hostility, resentment, and disdain toward the Republican Party for what it has done to this country. But envy? Excuse me before I pee myself laughing.

Oh, by the way, Charlie - go fuck yourself. ;)

Friday, August 27, 2004

A Tale of Two Evils 

Why do Republicans promote the "wisdom" that voting is a choice between two evils? My new article on the Democratic Underground addresses this question.

A Tale of Two Evils
By Violet Lake

"They know that for a patently inferior product to be able to compete in the "free market" of ideas, the integrity of the market must be destroyed first. It doesn't matter to them that people depend on this market to thrive. For Republicans, it's a small sacrifice to pay for power."

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Have Another Banana 

Did you catch Ed "the laughing hyena" Gillespie on the Daily Show?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

He gave Ed McMahon a run for his money.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Republicans are incapable of uttering a sound without lying; they're trapped in a giant lie.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Relax, I'm only referring to serious players like Ed. The rest are merely...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Sensitive Nuts 

Today I read that "Dick Cheney expressed opposition to a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage."

What a guy that Dick Cheney is.

I don't know how you feel, but I appreciate it when a psychopath expresses his opposition to a crime that he's in the process of committing.

He must be one of those Republican "moderates" that I keep hearing about.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Plan B 

Republican royals are slowly realizing that there isn't much tolerance in this country for right-wing agendas. They know that their precious party might not survive their chosen "uniter" - the Knave of Crawford - who has the Midas touch in reverse.

With the Republican Party gone, who will be left to defend the big guy?

Well, America's favorite big guy - of course. You weren't expecting them to fold, were you?

In their September issue, Wired magazine declares "rage against the machine," and tries to explain "why Arnold (and not the two other guys) is the future of American politics."

Here's the premise for the article, titled "The New American Idol":

"Politics as usual? Hasta la vista, baby. The radical center has flexed its muscle in California, short-circuiting the parties and going direct to the people. Now it could sweep the nation."

Golly gee, Mr. Goopers, do you really think it'll sweep the nation? You think the suckers will buy it? Right up the center, Mr. Goopers?

That's why you're the boss, Mr. Goopers - you think of everything.

I'm just kidding, Mr. Goopers. We both know you're an asshole.

You did help me learn a valuable lesson though. I learned that in the future, I'll have to be more judicious with the toilet reading I select with my frequent flyer miles.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Indelible Paradigm 

The ultimate goal of the "conservative" mentality has always been to postpone the inevitable, by any means and for as long as possible.

Its strategies and tactics are ancient; only the weapons and players change. It haunts human history, determined to fight the same battles, over and over again.

And the inevitable advances one tragedy at a time.

Human nature resists itself when it accepts only blood, tears, and death - as proof of the sanctity of life.

Cheney Rules 

In his latest essay for Time, Charles Krauthammer cries foul on the Democrats.

"In an election year, it is too much to expect serious and complicated moral issues to be treated with seriousness and complexity. Nonetheless, the way Democrats have managed to caricature and debase the debate over embryonic stem-cell research stands in a class by itself."

Why Lines Must Be Drawn
By Charles Krauthammer

Hey, Charlie, go fuck yourself.

I'll be ready to take you seriously on the day that the dunghill you're perched on becomes a garden.

The most significant difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Republicans aren't interested in gardening.

Why is it that "in an election year, it is too much to expect serious and complicated moral issues to be treated with seriousness and complexity"? Do you suppose that it's just politics? Politics by whose rules? Who gets to "set the tone?"

Republicans are discovering the pitfalls of setting the wrong tone. And still they refuse to change it. Perhaps they don't realize that the onus to deescalate belongs to the aggressor. Wishful thinking of course...

You're just sore because Democrats are scoring points with the most sophisticated (yawn) Republican plays. And you're worried, because you're aware that the hollow ideology you defend and promote is not as resilient as liberalism.

Can Dick W. Cheney's neo-conservatism withstand a continuous, concerted, Republican-style ridiculing? I don't think it can, because the truth is that Dick W. Cheney's neo-conservatism is in fact ridiculous. Draw a line around that.

We can debate about embryonic stem-cell research another day. Perhaps I'll make a concession to your tortured argument, and apologize for being rude.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Slippery Slop 

Republicans never pass up a chance to assail liberalism as the fount of "moral relativism."

"Everything is equal to you people," they say. "If we don't stop your amoral, valueless activism, eventually things like incest, bestiality, and cannibalism will be perfectly acceptable life-styles. My children... God's word..."

(Yawning) You know the spiel.

Try telling a republican that their political philosophy is an offensive, decaying, half-baked pile of logical fallacies, megalomaniacal superstitions, and hijacked words.

Of course it'll probably take more than just a sentence, but see how fast you can make them seek the protection of the "moral relativism" they love to decry.

"Just because I believe that doesn't make me a bad person," they'll say. "I have a right to my opinion too you know; it's a free country. How dare you... God made..."

It's terribly touching. Who would have guessed that fascists were such sensitive, vulnerable people?

Tell them that if their philosophy were a meal, it would be a bloody goat bladder filled with high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, and tiny photos of real food.

Try marketing that shit, Karl Rove.

Note: If you're a republican, and you take offense at being lumped into the above pile -- stop hanging out with people that make you look bad. If that doesn't work for you, try taking your party back from the fools you invited.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Even Sometimes Love 

"I think a lot of people in our time who have become conservatives did it because they had a certain and particular kind of mind. To choose just one facet, they have a natural respect and even sometimes love toward human beings, while at the same time having no illusions--none--about who we are. Man is not perfect and is not perfectible, at least by other men. We are what we are; God made us and gave us freedom; we use it to ill and good; man best operates through certain arrangements and traditions, and those arrangements and traditions are best animated by respect for the individual and love of liberty."

Now Is the Time
By Peggy Noonan

Peggy Noonan's essay for WSJ's OpinionJournal offers a clear look at the "heart" of one conservative's mind. Noonan is not what one would call a "mainstream" conservative -- at least not in George W. Bush's Republican Party. Her political views are closer to the libertarian variety: a gaseous, parricidal blend of classical liberalism and objectivism that has taken a backseat to neoconservatism and Christian fundamentalism as conservatism's prodigal philosophy.

Judging by her attributions, it's clear that she holds classical liberal values in high regard -- perhaps as high as the regard she holds for her illusions. Yet she frames "those arrangements and traditions best animated by respect for the individual and love of liberty" as things that interest only "a certain and particular kind of mind." Understandable, considering that her fellow "particular minds" keep the word "liberal" covered in chickenhawk feces. As a result of this ritual soiling, (to deprive liberals of an honest historical narrative), Noonan's brand of conservatism resists the honest historical narrative required of any serious philosophy.

To be fair, an honest historical narrative would only be a slight improvement. There's still the problem of the ever-evasive illusions.

To paraphrase her certain and particular words, (honest historical narrative added): "I became conservative because I believe in classical liberal values, and, I believe that human beings are fundamentally and helplessly flawed. Don't complain to me because it wasn't my idea; that's the way the Big Guy made us. And by the way, that's why I'm helping President Bush get reelected."

Talk about illusions...

Perfectibility is a comically impossible standard. If civilization relied on perfectibility, human beings would still be swinging from vines. Why bother to improve anything if it can't be made perfect? Have you ever met a person with that attitude?

The "god" device is an intellectual copout, as well as an appeal to ignorance. Thanks, but no thanks. You may have to drink poison as the cost of doing business, but please don't piss in the public well.

Noonan's conservatism abolishes every incentive for a concept to which conservatives love to pay lip service: personal responsibility. If people are not "perfectible," and things like freedom are magical gifts from above, then what business is it of hers to attempt to improve perfect the lives of others? Personal responsibility is redefined as the responsibility of a person to look away. Nifty excuse -- if only she practiced it.

Despite the "hands-off" implications, and despite her professed respect for the individual, she's eager to support insanely aggressive policies to affect the lives of every one of us. Go figure. But hey, right or wrong, someone has to defend the unpopular position. (That's why Gosh made conservatives.)

In the end, it's not whether we choose to interfere in the lives of others; we're going to do it anyway. What counts is how we interfere. If only certain and particular people were more liberal with their love...

Thursday, August 12, 2004

The Walls of Perception 

My life's circumstances have put me in a unique position to observe the more nuanced aspects of human nature. It was never my intention to arrive here, at these exact coordinates, although it feels sometimes like the fulfillment of an artist's compulsion to explore perspectives. To be sure, the reason for my unusual path through life is more complex than just that -- in its entirety perhaps more than I'm capable of understanding. But I concentrate on the perspectives here because they have a value outside of myself.

What would you think if I told you that I have a special ability? It's nothing supernatural, mind you, although it can pack quite a metaphysical punch. As I mentioned, it wasn't my intention to acquire this ability; to that I'll add that it's usually not to my advantage to exercise it -- the results can be costly.

As a younger mariposa, I experimented -- perhaps a bit too much -- with my special ability. Now it's something that I give as a gift for friendship, although I'm not above playing occasionally for delicious kicks.

As a gift to the readers of this blog I offer the following observation from my bag of kicks.

Men flower when they overcome irrational fears.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Dirty Words 

Here's a little secret about conservatism: as a philosophy, conservatism is subordinate to liberalism.

Liberalism is a major philosophy because it represents a genuine breakthrough in the philosophy of government. In contrast, and despite the starry-eyed aspirations that its adherents have for it, conservatism will always depend on other philosophies for its existence. At worst, it is a second-rate, parasitic, and reactionary ideology; a mishmash of principles that are merely a front for motives that defy principle. At best, conservatism can serve as a useful counterbalance to its host philosophy.

In the U.S., conservatives are supposed to be conservative liberals, and many of them still are -- basically liberal. But the conservatism of George W. Bush with its rabid -- and precisely targeted -- anti-liberalism is indeed anti-American, and anti-Western. The simple truth is that America and the "Western World" are defined primarily by a history of commitment to liberal principles.

President Bush is correct when he asserts that Muslim religious extremists hate us because of our freedom -- in other words, our commitment to liberal principles. What he fails to mention is that Christian religious extremists like him hate America for the same reason. He was telling the truth the other day when he said: "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

If the Republican Party were magically able to take the "liberal" out of Western culture, not many of us would be pleased with the result. I suspect we would end up condemning them for robbing from us the very things about our culture that are good and just -- the very things that cost us the most. And we would condemn ourselves for letting them turn our world upside-down.

I'm sure that one of the first items on their agenda would be to change the term "liberal arts" to "conservative arts." Then, they would commission thousands of monuments for town squares all over America -- dedicated to conservative heroes like Charlie McCarthy and that other dummy... what was his name? That's right -- Dan Quayle. That's just what my town needs: a giant bronze statue of Dan Quayle signing the "No Potatoe Left Uneaten Act."

Joking aside, many liberals still don't realize that they have the home court advantage. Conservatives have done such a masterful job of redefining reality that most people just assume that we live in a conservative world. Not a chance Dorothy, you were having an elaborate nightmare complete with flying chimps, wicked dipshits, and senile wizards.

Here's another little secret before I disappear again: we're not living through the "End of Times," just the end of conservative times. The silly pricks always go too far. That's how humanity evolves, by the way: silly pricks go too far, and the rest of us take notes. One would guess that the silly pricks would eventually learn to beat the system. But if there's only one thing that can be said about silly pricks, it's that there's no stopping them -- once they've committed themselves to their nuts.

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