Republican History Class- The Rise of Capitalism Part 1 – Those Crazy Romans. Advertisements
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Reading the Tea Leaves as the Tea Party Leaves
Was there EVER a Tea Party? Is it just a figment of the media’s collective imagination? The only time hear about the Tea Party seems to be when it gets sued for overbooking hotel rooms to the tune of ¾ million dollars. Add to that the fact that puppetmasters/ con men like Grover Norquist with his laughable No tax Raises ever pledge and Karl Rove wasted well over ¼ BILLION dollars to push Tea Party “darlings” who failed miserably. Republicans all over America, especially our friends in the Republican Cargo Cult just can’t turn off Fox News long enough to figure out how they blew (another) election when they had this ‘massive grass roots movement’ looking to vote out their hated Anti-Reagan, President Barack Obama. Well the answer is as simple as it is disheartening to the Right- the Tea party doesn’t, hasn’t and never will exist. More and more republicans seem to be coming around to my way of thinking as they flee Grover Norquist and crucify Karl Rove. Don’t worry though, theres not enough rational Republicans left to win an election of any consequence. Most have become absolutely apoplectic trying to figure out how the Democrats ‘stole’ the election. Most are in the grips of a deep and abiding self hating denial that Republicans are a dying breed only capable of making enemies and creating Democrats all day long in spite of their intentions to the contrary.
Their out of touch comments on race, gender and of course Todd Akin’s ‘”legitimate rape” followed by utter failure at the polls has exposed the Tea Party for what it is, or more appropriately ISN’T. It isn’t a real political party, it nominates no one, loses elections for Republicans and creates Democrats.I have found credible supporters on the right who completely back up my assertion. On the November 20th installment of the nearly unwatchable Hardball with Chris Matthews Matt Kibbe of Freedomworks and sporter of the worst sideburns this side of the Civil War emphatically insisted that there is no Tea party, merely “Tea Party Ideas” and a “set of issues” that define Tea party thought. He quickly dismissed Christine O’Donnell and Todd Akin as whack job non tea party candidates from the “social conservative” wing of the party, therefore not true tea baggers. This in spite of repeatedly agreeing with and endorsing their ideas. Even a big time righty pundit can’t pretend theres a Tea Party without self contradicting and appearing completely but yet somehow militantly rudderless
Interestingly the only example of “Tea Party Ideas” Kibbe could come up with was insisting the non existent Tea Party Tea Party was “colorblind” (easy for something that doesn’t even exist) and hated Ear Marks. About the only thing he could back up his ideas with was that they have destroyed candidates who would have won and replaced them with sub-par lunatics with baggage like being a self professed Witch. He seemed quite proud of this.
Kibbe then went on to extoll the virtues of Climate Change Denial and the likelihood of Intelligent Design to prove he was a scientific believer and not a whacko from the “social conservative’ faction of the non existent Tea Party who just happens to be willfully ignorant. His proof of his assertions was the Federal Government just can’t seem to pass a budget. He seems oblivious to the fact he had just boasted that his non existant Tea Party wielded huge influence by primarying out likely winners with whack jobs who are forced to explain how they weren’t a witch. I love Matt Kibbe he’s so out of it and self contradicting he proves my point for me. His ‘I know you are but what am I?’ rejoinders were guy bustingly inept. The Red Bull addicted Chris Matthews didn’t even need to shout him down. Matthews was probably still pissed though considering he gets paid to do primal scream therapy and laud his ridiculously idealized idea of JFK (at every possible excuse). Matthews is a walking mess of Liberal stereotypes and a self hating guilt ridden white apologist who mimes being bummed about his success.
Kibbe must have been on crack to fail so terribly destroying Matthews misinformed point of view and mock worthy assertions and simply eating the guy for lunch. This unexploited huge opening comparable only to the New York Jets Offensive Line really reinforces the fact that the tea party is more a mantra for unspecified knee jerk lefty hating. The non existant tea party is a GIFT to progressives.
At least 5 Senate seats have been all but given away with psycho candidates. None gained a national office, managing to merely flood the idiot convention that is the US House of Representatives with one and done ideologues like hate spewing Wild Wild Allen West. Fortunately West is among the many tea bagger maniacs NOT returning to Congress. Florida also boasts Governor Rick “Skeletor” Scott, as man who said whatever people wanted to hear and then went about destroying a multi billion dollar infrastructure project to kick off his masterful suppression of jobs and votes in Florida. Scott knew going in his job was to serve his masters well, not to govern. The beauty of this is that another crazed bagger can run unopposed to outflank Scott to the right and perpetuate more fraud on the oppressed citizens of the part of Teabagistan know as Florida.
Florida is a great example of a real mess created by the fake tea party. The constant ballot tweaking to make them impossible to fill out and take as much as 45 minutes to read and certify, the fixing of local races and general incompetence have destroyed any accurate voter based demographics to allow the Republicans to Gerrymander. Over a decade of blatant voter suppression and dishonest county electors means that the best empirical evidence, an accurate count of who voted how and where, is at best a crap shoot.This is part of a negative feedback loop thats turning Florida Bluer and Bluer even faster than minority population votes. living through 2011 in Central Florida (thank GOD i am back in Queens!) i met MANY a gun loving Good Ol’ Boy who was just so disillusioned they were either throwing their votes away on dementia sufferer Ron Paul or just so pissed that they were willing to stand in line for up to 9 hours to vote for Obama. Having no job thanks to Rick Scott freed up enough time for the oppressed citizens to navigate his intentionally frustrating voting laws. To many outside of Florida who haven’t seen this disturbing prequel of what a Romney
tea bagger America would have been like the stupidity of Skeletor’s methods just seem like “tough love”. Easy for people who love fetuses but hate children, especially educating them. Uneducated children almost invariably grow up to be Republicans. Fortunately most are so turned off to politics they don’t even bother to vote.
We have just seen how the Right Wing Echo Chamber has trapped most on the right in a Fox News created fantasy land where Romney was barely edged out by Obama gifting poor people and how far off their vaunted ‘Internal Polls’ were. In fact the Polls on the Right were so far into “Dewey Wins” ineptitude that its hard to say whether it was merely misguided, intentional propaganda or a combination of both.
Part of my case is the fact that even though there seems to be almost NO EVIDENCE of people showing up en masse to support the Tea Party; C-PAC and other weird ultra-right organizations have perpetuated the myth of a Tea Party just by using the word at their hate cabal’s. Is there even a movement of any appreciable size that REALLY believes in the Tea Party, which is subject to some debate in and of itself.
The Tea Party Supporters seem to break down along the whacky rights “Three G’s”, or if you’re not into the whole brevity thing; God, Guns and Gays.
Depending on who you talk to all, some or none of these things are important. Talk to a Tea Bagger and its really a roulette wheel of ignorance as to what their delusion is.
Guns- Ok, so we all know Americans just LOVE guns. The NRA is a pretty damn big lobbyist and has really spent millions over decades to deeply affect the attitudes towards guns, especially handguns. When I spent my year living in Central Florida I was shocked how many shootings there were. After awhile shock changed to disgust. It was a 30 second story pretty much every time. Sometimes a couple of people or a cop would be shot. The Trayvon Martin murder happened while I was there. What shocked me most was not that there is an American city with a violent crime problem, but how the people who live there have been conditioned to think. To quote Clint Eastwood, “He shoulda armed himself”. That’s right, you are the idiot for not owning a weapon. You can get duly licensed pistol and carry permit by the non background checking and seemingly unrelated to guns, The Florida Department
of Agriculture. Go figure. This is a stupid as blaming someone whose house was firebombed for not having a bigger hose.
Guns are here to stay. Even if massive resources were brought to bear, we are decades away from a from a societal shift away from Gun porn obsession. The problem- some people are simply impossible to convince the government is somehow going to take their guns away. Where this comes from is anyone’s guess. The best theory I have- this was the seed from which Fox News sprang.
The NRA is an early experiment in non reality in a world where baseball players were endorsing cigarettes and selling Oldsmobile’s in the off season. It worked. As time marched on for a long time media drove at the same, now seemingly leisurely pace. Simply perpetuating the increasingly untrue idea that a gun was a very necessary and important tool so indispensible only a Commie wouldn’t want you to have one. Almost in spite of itself though, the pro gun movement evolved. “Guns Don’t Kill People, People Do.” Was a catchphrase as effective as “Jackpot Justice”, a term used to describe the motivations of a septuagenarian who needed internal vaginal skin grafts after a cup of McDonalds coffee collapsed in her lap due to faulty design and insanely hot coffee. The idea is, throw people a fish and watch them slap their flappers together.
Ask JFK if guns don’t kill people, ask Malcolm X, ask Bobby Kennedy or MLK. Oh wait, they were killed with GUNS! So I guess “guns Don’t Kill People. People Do” is a great slogan because anyone who can say otherwise is as dead as disco.
God- this one’s a bitch to understand because traditional Christian values are
supposed to be the biggest cornerstones of the compassionate side of the Tea party. This is the side that would force a raped woman to produce a ‘gift’ from a man who is not a criminal, but a Messenger from God. Well how do you put the messengers of God in jail? The people;e in Sodom and Gomoherra only wanted to have sex with Gods messengers and they were basically nuked according to the Bible. In fact in all the billions years 4000 years of Republican history this may well be the most important biblical thing to have actually OCCURRED already. The most important stuff in the Republican Bible is stuff that hasn’t happened yet, namely, the fucking Apocalypse and making sure all the nice people will all get ready to all get “raptured away” while the rest of us suffer through unimaginable pain and are finally cast into the flames of Gehena. Thanks a lot Tim Tebow!
Gays– You would think that God would be happy his children were loving and not hurting each other. Thankfully the republicans disabuse of of our ignorance concerning a loving, caring God. That’s the Commie’s God.
Republican God is an angry guy who just detested all the fun those crazy Sodomites were having. Seems simple enough, but by extension, God, who in the space of 4000 years has interceded on an almost annual basis directly into our lives, is a pissy neighbor who needs to be kept happy. God is the opposite of Government. He is Big, REALLY BIG. He’s entitled to tell you how to live and in exchange you give him money, plenty of sweet, sweet money. So take heart that the Bible says not only “An eye for an eye,” but also- ‘Love thy Brother as Thyself’ Like the famous “Jefferson Bible” , which removed all mention of the supernatural, the Republican Bible stresses the Supernatural, basically a 236 year backward intellectual jump. That itself is impressive. Furthermore the Republican interpretation of the Bible contains a heavily redacted, narrowly read ball of total ignorance only the complete truth. The part about Jesus NOT riding a dinosaur to work,
well that was such ridiculous and nonsensical no one even thought to put it in because a talking snake is hard enough to believe cut out by heretical, pre reformation monks.
So when 2 men kiss, anywhere, God gets on Priceline and gets his Messengers ready to go turn peoples wives into pillars of salt. All fun of any kind NEEDS to be suppressed. This works GREAT for the Tea party. They are old, they are angry, they are few in number. Like all Cults they are driven to reproduce in the largest possible numbers, but they are old and their sick ideas will die with them.
Guns seem safe, so the tea baggers supporting that concept seem to be spinning their wheels like an overloaded El Camino in the snow. Somehow the myth of the absolute need to have a gun to avoid being a gay atheist just won’t loosen up.Go figure.
God? Well for a while he wasn’t quite as big as the Beatles, and his earthly ambassadors were busy doing the worst things imaginable, but he’s not going
anywhere, if he actually IS anywhere, but that’s a WHOLE ‘nother blog post! So God- safe. Not gonna lose any influence. If anything he should intercede to get himself some less hateful messengers here on Earth.
Gays?- Well gay people are in some trouble. Its always been hard for a gay kid growing up amongst the gay people in violent denial in the Hell hole that IS Texas, but I think the danger level has gone up, sadly. The end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, emergence of Gay Rights and even gay Adoption is motivator for people who just hate fun. You would think so longs as they either invite you to their party you don’t have a whole lot to complain about (because they party like no one else).
So where are these people? They can’t fill a hotel with people. They are only seen in very tight shots and almost only on FOX News. Its likely these people number in the dozens, even in a population center like Manhattan their aren’t enough people to produce a decent tinfoil hat brigade for the Tea Party.
The Tea Party is a catchphrase, just like “Jackpot Justice”. There are no ‘members’ per se. Sure a chapter exisats here and there, but theres no cross coordination. Its an imaginary space monster from a poorly written third season episode of Original Star Trek. Fear them not.
#TOC, afghan massascre, Afghan National Army, Afghanistan, Asia, Bradley Manning, General David Petraeus, George W Bush, NATO, Private Bradley Manning, Rachel Maddow, robert bales, Taliban, Tea PArty Sucks, United States, US Withdrawal from Afghanistan, Westboro Baptist Church
Where Empires Go To Die
In the decade plus since United States Forces effectively invaded and toppled the outlaw Taliban Regime in Afghanistan nothing has been accomplished and the toll continues to rise. With NATO scheduled to leave in 2014 pretty much one way or another the elephant in the room is-“Why Wait?”
—A decade wasted
Now into a second decade of strife the roots of the conflict; namely the degeneration of Afghanistan into a veritable perpetual state of civil war, are still pushing fruit from the rocky soil. The Taliban seem to be everywhere and
nowhere. They remain a threat and hard numbers on their membership are simply unavailable. These vicious goons will do anything for money, place no value on lives of themselves or any others and live off and outdated and widely disavowed interpretation of Islam. Only in a dystopia like Afghanistan could such a movement thrive.
Where do these fanatics come from? Doubtless the lack of education, in particular for girls, plays a role. In 2002 it was estimated that less than half of all males and more than 3/4ths of all female Afghani’s had any education at all. It sports the ignominious distinction of having the highest illiteracy rate in Asia. Illiteracy makes it impossible for anyone to research anything first hand. Analytical skills are never formally developed by professional educators. The end result would inevitably a person whose world view was dependent on those who can read having an enormously disproportionate amount of influence. In Afghanistan an Islamic version of the Westboro Baptist Church would be considered relatively moderate, at least in its actions. Imagine a nation where outside the capital almost no one can read looking to a few mullahs, who roughly equate to radical Apocalypse Preachers, for all their information, especially religious matters. A nonstop highly localized but unified anti American philosophy is constantly being espoused. Unlike Apocalypse Preachers elsewhere, they have some ‘proof’ of their visions. This proof is what the United States Military has termed “Collateral Damage” mixed regularly breaking atrocity stories and a stark cultural difference which leaves both sides in perpetual shock. Mutual understanding and acceptance still appear to be out of reach and qualify as mere wishful thinking. The Occupation in and of itself engenders a hateful attitude towards NATO. The populace at large, whatever their education level or analytical abilities, will not risk defying the Taliban. The Taliban have burnished their reputation as murderous thugs who can terrorize effectively even if their numbers are small.
–Green on Blue and the overt failure of Nation Building
The Kabul Government installed by George W Bush in 2002 has a reputation for ineffective corrupt actions second to none in the world. Good billions are thrown after bad into a roaring furnace of pointlessness.
The entire approach of Nation Building for Afghanistan proceeds from a false assumption- That anyone in Afghanistan WANTS a nation. Afghanistan is a nation that can be viewed as a collection of fiefdoms run by an overlord of sorts. This the core weakness of the Nation Building approach and the greatest ally of the insurgency.
The gains of the NATO Coalition have been limited and may be of no benefit to NATO’s mission. Literacy rates have surely risen, but the kind of dent this has made in the Afghani world view is not quantifiable. It is a fair assertion to imagine a slowly dwindling but still unbelievably high rate of illiteracy may take a generation or more to have any impact. While admirable, educating the Afghani’s has apparently yielded very little fruit. A generation that was of kindergarten age to the age where a American would be graduating High School has apparently not resulted in the hoped for sudden and acute emergence of Common Sense and aversion to violence. Attacks on Afghan girls by Taliban aligned extremists are a sustained and heartbreaking thread of tragedy running through the entire American War.
The biggest failure of the Occupation is undoubtedly the Afghan Army and Security Forces. These entities simply can NOT be trusted. They are easily corruptible and their porous ranks seem easily penetrated by operatives of the Taliban and al Qaeda. The insurgency has grown and mutated to take advantage of this.
Green on Blue Attacks, where Afghani security forces turn their weapons on their
American counterparts became an almost daily reality before NATO Forces ended joint patrol and training operations with the Afghan Army this past summer.
Green on Blue is such a potent weapon, and so impossible to guard against that they have changed the way the Occupation is implemented and perceived. The Afghan Army and Security Forces are the very definition of failure. They are a dangerous and random element. One can only imagine illiteracy amongst it ranks is prevalent. This is a key aspect why the Iraqi Occupation was a comparative success. Iraq had a high level of education and an abundance of college educated members of their society. Despite regional differences which may one day result in a fragmenting of the current Iraq, there was a sense, spread by state run media, that Iraq had a National Identity. A degree of cohesiveness made it one country, at least to the point where perception and reality overlapped. Brutal oppression was embodied in one man, a hated and reviled dictator. Sadaam Hussein’s execution was a unifying moment of the sort the Afghani’s never had.
In Afghanistan fiefdom was and is the norm. No one evil dictator was available to embody the nation’s frustration. While surely oppressed, Afghan’s never had a modern frame of reference to show them a better life. TV, electricity, air
conditioning and other modern conveniences taken for granted just don’t exist.
Enter NATO. Killing off one warlord after another seemed to be producing results. One valley at a time was occupied and a concerted attempt to bring the 21st century to that fiefdom would be undertaken. This did little more than create targets. Power Stations can be blown up faster than they are built. A few brutal acts of terrorism can intimidate an entire village if not the nation at large into shunning education for reasons that are readily apparent. Being an illiterate live person still beats being a well-read corpse or being doused in kerosene and set afire. No amount of Baywatch re-runs, if they are even available, will change this simple fact of life- In Afghanistan seeking an education is an impediment, especially for girls, to staying alive.
–Two minutes and 22 months to Midnight-
NATO’s mission is set to wrap up by the end of 2014. For America, our military and the Afghani’s this can’t come soon enough.
The looming question- what will these next 2 years produce to legitimize America’s longest war? Education has been a failure and has played into the hands of the terrorists we were originally there to fight. The Nation Building experiment is a failure of monumental proportions. The Kabul Government is a front for corruption led by an unqualified bi-polar madman. The mullah’s still hold sway over the majority of public opinion. The Afghan Army is a dangerous and uncontrollable rogue element that can NOT be trusted in any way. Cultural change never materialized, one Koran burned by mistake or a culturally insensitive act or remark regularly result in mass civil unrest that gets NATO troops killed and injured.
Staying will not change any of this. Osama bin Laden is dead. Killed by roughly 60 highly trained commandos in a raid that could have taken place in 2002 and spared the United States all the Blood and Treasure that is still being wasted trying to force the 21st Century onto a rural and agrarian society still dependent on Opium as its biggest
cash crop. Opium is a renewable resource. Stability and legitimacy are not.
Kabul is doomed. Afghanistan should be effectively quarantined. It has little to offer the outside world. Westerners, even armed, trained masses of soldiers, simply aren’t safe and clearly not accepted. It’s a medieval society barely past the Dark Age that they could fall back into at any time. Anger is a renewable resource easily harvested by the influential radicals who hold sway outside the capital.
The obvious comparisons are the American War for Independence and Vietnam. A far off Imperial power fights an unpopular, endless low intensity war where casualties mount despite success in the few real battles fought. Lone wolf operations are infinitely possible, sniping and IED’s are not preventable. So far it seems by simply refusing to give up the insurgents have taken control of the conflict.
There’s no reason to stay. Comparative figures for how much tax money per capita is spent by the United States per Afghani versus US Citizen are unavailable but would surely be eye opening and may well show that average American has benefitted less from the taxes they pay than the Afghani’s we pay to protect and force democracy on. It’s a safe bet the Afghani’s have seen more. America’s economy is tanking, the entire world is spinning plates to avoid Financial Apocalypse. Afghanistan has been a blood soaked money pit. The solution- we should leave tomorrow. No transition, no draw down. Leave.
No case can be made for staying. Everything that needed to be done, killing and capturing the Murderer’s behind 9-11, is complete. Osama bin Laden swims with the fishes. Every single motive to stay beyond that has failed. This is textbook Mission Creep.
There is no dishonor in immediate withdrawal. The wasted years must come to an end. The Dystopia cannot be fixed. In Afghanistan things will be upside down until
they themselves decide otherwise. This is the time to leave, lest the final images from our longest war be like those of the Vietnam fiasco. That war was summed up in one picture. The images of a heavily overburdened Huey helicopter struggling into the air from the roof of the United States Embassy. It’s an image of failure. Staying any longer serves no purpose beyond stoking the furnaces of the War Pig Corporations with more blood money.
We should run like Hell.
–The Brutalization of our soldiers and loss of our Military Professionalism
Fighting a 15 year war has not been easy on the military. This is the sort of thing that can turn even the most even keeled person into a homicidal maniac. The obvious cases, like the attack on Afghan civilians by SSgt Robert Bales are so horrible they numb the mind. How a man who grew up in the midlands of Ohio
could one day find himself building a funeral pyre of woman and children he had murdered shows how far the military has been stretched.
Consider as well murdering coward Major Nidal Hasan. Hasan showed open contempt for the country whose uniform he was somehow allowed to wear. Apparently too incompetent to be a surgeon he was apparently re-tasked as a shrink. Rather than showing compassion and using his medical training to help
them with PTSD and other pitfalls of return to a nation that only realized we were at war when CIA Director and ex-General David Petraeus’ affair went viral. Despite this, and other bizarre incidents where Hasan seemed like a malevolent version of Klinger, desperately trying to avoid doing his military duty by dressing in drag, or in this case hardcore Muslim religious garb; not much was done in the way of checking this guy out. While within his rights to dress however he wants, this is not exactly the kind of thing your average soldier wears to pick up groceries at the base PX. Add to that the breakdown in screening and the massive labor gap the military deals with every day bridging the gap between the do-able and the necessary. There were no shortage of complaints regarding Hassan’s dishonorable and outright weird behavior, the fact he was a self-radicalized Muslim extremist was just barely popping onto the radar when Hasan went operational and betrayed his medical oath, military oath and the Pledge of Allegiance in a trifecta of treacherous
Consider lastly Private Bradley Manning. Manning is perhaps the most intriguing and polarizing figure in all of America’s 21st century wars. History will likely judge him more kindly than he can expect at his imminent court martial. Was manning ever a good candidate for high security work where he would see things that would shock the mind and perhaps even poison the soul? Now that we know the results the answer screams back “NO!” The idea that a 20 years old private, the lowest rank in the military, could have access to top secret databases and be allowed to bring CD’s capable of re-recording video and downloading a great deal of damaging information is mind blowing. Where’s Psy-Ops when you need them? Manning was not prepared for his job and those who assigned him to it share some of the blame.
It doesn’t seem like it would have taken a Blade Runner level personality scan to know this kid could have done a better job in another MOS or maybe even wasn’t the best fit for the military in the first place.
It is an open question whether Manning can make a credible assertion that he simply refused to comply with what amounted to an Unconstitutional Order. It seems a long shot. Manning will likely do considerable jail time. The information he provided, perhaps naively, to Julian Assaange and the Wikileaks people (who no longer seem all that crazy about Assange), was devastating and is akin to the Pentagon papers and the Uncounted Enemy Scandal of these wars.
It is a military filled with competent soldiers who are dedicated professionals, this goes without saying. However the sheer weight of numbers needed to prosecute war a half a world away has resulted in a rift between the ideal or even acceptable soldier what passes for acceptable in the face of the need to accomplish vital tasks, even support tasks, in a situation that has been apparently being done on an ad hoc basis for a decade and change.
Afghanistan may not be able to solve its own problems, but 13 years of American help hasn’t changed much. The Karzai regime is a disgraceful corrupt sham and the continual shameful waste of our blood and treasure there needs to end before the scheduled withdrawal in 2014.