Trump and his followers are so 2002


2002 arrived on the heels of the 9/11 disaster.

Perhaps you can recall the atmosphere in the country in 2002. The tragedy of 9/11 had just happened, and people were scared that other terrorist attacks might be coming along. The people sworn to protect us had somehow forgotten to do that, and the consequences were about to be shifted back to the American people.

Along came the Patriot Act and a series of surveillance requests that granted the government almost unlimited powers to informationally monitor American citizens. This was ostensibly done in the name of protecting our rights to free speech, freedom and the American Way. And to further that philosophy, Bush told us all to go out and go shopping.

That was 2002, the year the Bush administration began ramping up excuses to go blast away in Iraq. It wasn’t really a plan, as we learned later, but an excuse to use America’s military might for imperialistic reasons in the Middle East. It went badly after the bombing ended. There was no management plan. There was looting in the streets, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis lost their lives.

Then American soldiers began a campaign of torture and our military rounded people up and put them on a base in Cuba, of all places. We didn’t even have trade relations with Cuba, yet we owned a prison in Guantanamo. That kind of international management is the product of the fear and anger we were sold in 2002.

And let us not forget the lies used to sell that fear and anger. American and international arms inspectors found no real evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, yet people believed it when General Colin Powell pushed out curried “facts” that were all fictionalized. But the fearmongering that sold that lie was begun in 2002. Fox News trumpeted the lies for all it was worth. The divisive, angry voice of Rush Limbaugh ruled the airwaves, and even the likes of Howard Stern jumped on board the Bomb the Muslims campaign. And Donald Trump was interviewed by Howard Stern back in 2002, and these days denies that he supported the invasion of Iraq. But this is how the conversation actually went:

“For months, Donald Trump has claimed that he opposed the Iraq War before the invasion began — as an example of his great judgment on foreign policy issues. But in a 2002 interview with Howard Stern, Donald Trump said he supported an Iraq invasion. In the interview, which took place on Sept. 11, 2002, Stern asked Trump directly if he was for invading Iraq.

“Yeah, I guess so,” Trump responded. “I wish the first time it was done correctly.”

Because that’s how too many people thought in 2002. No one knew what to make of the people who were lying so boldly to our faces, and with such force. So Donald Trump has simply stolen that playback and brought the fearful attitudes of all those duped by Bush and his henchmen and updated it for the election.

But it’s 2016 now, people. We should know better. We’ve learned what Dick Cheney is really like. We’ve learned how his position on Iraq from 1991 to 2002 was a complete flip-flop. The money he stood to make from invasion of Iraq overwhelmed his principles. And his principles were already based on outrageous notions that America could rule the entire world with impunity. He insisted the entire action in Iraq would take weeks and that we’d be welcomed as heroes. The fact that he presided over torture in the very same prisons where Saddam Hussein tortured Iraqi citizens just might have had something to do with the fact that everyday Iraqis refused to trust American intentions.

But in 2002, when Cheney was working behind the scenes to map all this out, pushing Bush around like a schoolyard bully and his lackey. America could not imagine that our President and Vice President could be so shallow, vicious and naive. But they were.

And some of us knew and recognized this in 2002. But we were called Bush-haters for resisting the loss of freedoms and the wars of choice. We were told we were not “patriotic” in refusing to support the insane actions of an administration clearly bent on war. We were called even worse names as well. Because it was 2002. And a lot of people were afraid to fight back against our own government when we’d already seen an attack on our own soil. That had not really happened at that scale before. And the Bushies took advantage of that.

But that was 2002, and this is 2016. And the nation can’t possibly fall for the same bad instincts conservatives have been selling for so long. Or can they?

Because the people now following Donald Trump are spouting the same brand of fear that Bush and Cheney sold back in 2002. Perhaps we’d hear it better if we all picked up our Motorola Razr phones and listened through those devices? Because it’s the exact same load of fearful crap repackaged, and badly wrapped, in the golden fleece of Donald Trump.

When his campaign makes promises to Take Back America it is really more a threat to take us back to 2002. Because you may recall that the Bush administration also sold fear on domestic policies, blocking major medical advances in stem cell research, resisting critical science about global warming, and literally extracting language from research papers and scientific data that did not fit their political opinion. This brand of politics is called Mind Control, and the authoritarian followers who were drawn to Bush ate it up like candy.

That hardly explains why some independents are drawn to Donald Trump. But again, let’s go back to 2002 and examine how the country got to be such a mess in such a short time under Bush. Recall that the 2000 election between Al Gore and Bush came down to a decision from the Supreme Court, who essentially installed Bush as President. Justice was not served, yet Gore acted with class and elected to support the President.

So Democrats were somewhat reeling from the tidal shift of the Bill Clinton years, which were by many measures prosperous and well-managed, to the Bush years when even our military could not protect the Pentagon. Think about that for a moment. For all the claims that Republicans better understood the military and knew how to protect Americans, somehow our lead military base in Washington was struck by some sort of exploding object. No one seems to be able to produce a reasonable video of an actual plane hitting the building. The best we supposedly have is a cheesy surveillance video that does not show a plane at all.

In any case, how is it that the Pentagon is such a paragon of weakness even when it was already clear that something really bad was going on in New York City? The answer is simple: According to the doctrine of 2002, nothing could touch us with Republicans in power. America was ostensibly the most powerful, well-armed nation on earth, with a Commander in Chief who could read the soul of leaders such as Russia’s Putin, just by looking him in the eye. And the Bush family had close ties with the Saudis and especially the bin Laden family. How could something like 9/11 ever happen if we had things under control?

Well, we’re being asked to believe the same load of crap from Donald Trump in 2016. He claims to be able to negotiate “deals” better than anyone on earth. He wants Mexico to pay for a wall, and has basically told the Chinese to go fuck themselves. He considers his own council the best authority on a multitude of subjects. And he appeals to independent voters because he appears to answer to no one.

That is his appeal. That The Donald answers to no one. Well, we’ve already tried that formula back in 2002. And it led to military disaster, thousands of lives lost and American soldiers killed, and an economic crash that nearly ruined America forever.

It was all so 2002. Let us hope that people come to their senses in 2016.


The American Way and Cowboy Roulette

IMG_3852As we roll into the actual election cycle it might be good to recall some of America’s history to help explain how we got where we are.

Arguably the most famous period in American history is the settling of the American West. The period is often celebrated in sentimental terms with movies about cowboys and Indians, gunslingers and gold rush frontier towns.

Back in the 1940s and 50s, when Americans seemed to need heroes to make them feel good about their nation’s history, cowboys molded in the likes of the singer Roy Rogers filled our TV and movie screens. We were taught to view these cowboy types as real problem solvers, rationalists and western heroes. Yet the message behind the movies was more sinister: give a guy a gun and a grin and all would be right.

But as the 1960s evolved into the 1970s, the narrative began to evolve. Along came Clint Eastwood and a series of sphaghetti westerns in which squinty sneers and gray morality was the call of the day. The men we saw on the screen never held back on shooting one another if the situation called for it. This was American justice in its most raw form. There appear to be many who still believe in it, trading in arms and politics as a matter of course. Oliver North comes to mind.

Buddy films

The evolution of cowboy heroes from righteous gunslingers to dark moralists took a long path of movie compromise, humor and woe. Films such as the epic buddy film Butch Cassiday and the Sundance Kid mixed heroism with a penchant for criminal behavior. And people could not help cheering the charming figures on the screen. The heroes almost always figured out how to come out victorious in the end. But Butch and Sundance did not finally escape their criminal records. They met their bloody fates in the face hundreds of guns held by the Mexican Army.

Which brings to mind as well this famous movie scene in which the authority of the Mexican Federales is called into question by a typical white guy hiding behind a rock and holding a gun. He gets an unexpected response:  “Badges?” the Mexican lawman asks. “We don’t need no steenking badges…” the Federale protests when asked to show his identification.

Spirits of America Past, Present and Future

One could argue the same scenario is playing out today with angry white American citizens demanding to see identification from people they suspect of being illegal immigrants. Invited into America by capitalists eager for cheap labor, the Mexican migration basically reversed the manner in which the white population of America first occupied and then overthrew territory all across the North American continent. The racial and economic instincts that white people leveraged to conquer Latin America and steal land from Native Americans while simultaneously capturing and enslaving African people has resulted in a turnabout much like the Dark Ghosts of Christmas Past came to haunt Scrooge in his miserly misery. It’s the same story among people who say “Bah Humbug” to integration, immigration, and racial diversity. Instead, they want to Take Back America to a time before the spirits of America Past, Present and Future came around to haunt them.

Because to take America back to that version of reality would mean embarking on the ugly business of taking away rights earned through decades of justified protest, legal and political action.

Concealed Carry

To fight back against this tide of wortwhile and justified change, the anachronists and authoritarians who yearn for a more discriminatory America has endeavored to create a social environment in which their so-called values can be enforced even if they are, by Constitutional and moral standards, quite illegal.

Through Concealed Carry laws passed in all 50 states, America has become a country in which guns and criminal morality are essentially the law of the land. The political cowboys that have conspired to install Concealed Carry laws all over the country have convinced people to be so afraid of “the other” they feel obligated to carry a gun with them wherever they go. Since when is this an expression of freedom? Since when did becoming armed equate to the full privilege of American citizenship? I’ll tell you when: It happened when people sold their conscience in favor of their fears.

Racial bang ups

And let’s not lie about the purpose of those laws. They are racially driven, designed principally to arm white citizens against the perceived threats of racial overthrow.

These same advocates bitterly blame all gun crime on a black population of Americans that has all too easily embraced the vigilante lifestyle of our former heroes in the unsettled West. This fact that this narrative feels like a bit of stolen history to people claiming to be “law-abiding gun owners” is just one of the ironies of so-called Concealed Carry laws.

The balance of gun ownership was never supposed to tip in favor of minorities when guns became the law of the land. Regardless of the racial intentions of groups like the NRA, it has been fear of minorities that defined how gun power has been used to impose racial standards. And if you want to know more about how white people have operated in that context, using guns and assumptions of authority over the land, read the book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee about the genocide carried out against Native Americans on the North American continent. Of course the irony is that white profiteers and traders were those who sold guns to Native Americans in the first place. Let us never forget that the love of money is ultimately the root of all evil, and the source of most escalations of violence in this world.

Militias and marketing

The fearful perception of imbalance, of minorities owning guns like white people, has spilled into politics and evolved into a potent and publicly stated distrust of the very government by member of militias, who all-too-frequently happen to be mostly white, and boldly racist. The NRA, sensing a marketing opportunity, has ably represented the commercial interests of gun and ammo manufacturers by turning racial fear into a prolonged campaign to sell weapons and bullets.  install Concealed Carry laws.

The same fear drives Concealed Carry laws that have further evolved into dangerous statutes such as Stand Your Ground, a clearly warped interpretation of the Second Amendment right to bear arms because it imbues everyday citizens with the power traditionally invested in police.

And the police have proven to be a source of blatant racism and violence as well. People are being shot down in the streets by police who judge people to be threats for violent behavior based on profiling them by race.

These attitudes spill over into violent words and actions toward people of religions other than white Christian Evangelicals or Catholics. Therefore a black Muslim is automatically a threat, or an Arab citizen in general. We don’t need to go far back in American history to identify periods when attitudes evolved into actions. The incarceration of Japanese American citizens during World War II is just one such example.

Threats to the American Conscience

alg-donald-trump-jpgSo the arc from prejudice to act is not a long leap. Not in American or in any other nation on earth. Which is why the angry, racially tinged words of Donald Trump are such a threat to the evolution of the American conscience. When he brands all Mexicans “rapists” or criminals his word hold weight with those waiting for an excuse to express their disappointment and rage toward those they view as invaders on their land.

And in the global context, Donald Trump issues threats against political alliances that have worked for decades to keep the peace. His version of a better reality involves nothing more than his cowboy instincts about who owns the rights to water, land or treasure. He’s a throwback for sure, an evil land baron who wields a hard hand against anyone in the town or region who would dare to resist him.

We tried that for eight years with that inept cowboy President George W. Bush. Only he was more like the town drunk with a gun than a truly evil land baron. That was Dick Cheney behind the scenes, a snarling sheriff who did not believe in mercy and would even torture people in their prison cells if he though it would bring him information about who might be riding into town. It doesn’t take much of an excuse for some cowboys to wear the black hat and do dark things while believing they stand for righteousness.

And like the Sharon Stone character in the gunslinger movie The Quick and The Dead, the Democrat Hillary Clinton has a tragic backstory that makes her the target for much public criticism and doubt about her ability to lead the fight against the evil land baron Donald Trump.

But you may recall the character played by Gene Hackman in the Quick and the Dead seemed to have everything in his control as he pitted one gunslinger against the other while keeping the most dangerous gunslinger, a compromised preacher played by Russel Crowe, in public chains.

All was confused morality until the Sharon Stone character finally helped put a bullet in the head of the Gene Hackman character. In classic movie fashion, you could see the light right through the hole in his head. Or maybe that was another cowboy movie. But you get the point. Merciless assumption of power and cruelty often backfires.

And we can expect that type of backfire to ultimately catch up with Donald Trump. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not suggesting he be assassinated. No one deserves that fate. But tell that to John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bobby Kennedy or John Lennon. All were murdered in part for their principles, which resisted the cowboy belief in violence as a source of justice. The same held true for the murder of Abraham Lincoln, and even the shooting (but not death) of Ronald Reagan. The cowboy instinct is built too strongly into the American fabric, and that brand of power cannot be allowed to fall into the hands of the wrong people. Not at the top of society, nor at the bottom. Because in between, the rest of us are merely targets waiting for our role in the game of Cowboy Roulette.


Is it time to take guns away from the police?

FIREARMYet another shooting of an unarmed man by police has taken place in Florida. The incident heightens the fact that police are using their weapons too freely.

Which means that perhaps the police need to have their guns taken away. 

The police are stuck between a rock and a hard place. If they don’t have weapons, they’ll get shot by people who do. And if they use their weapons too quickly, they get blamed for using too much force. So let’s do the rational thing and protect the lives of police officers. Let’s take their weapons away.

This might seem counterintuitive to some. The police need guns to protect themselves, right? In fact, taking away guns from police holds real potential to illustrate just how far the nation has gone in granting gun liberties to so many people. The number of weapons with power and potential to kill has escalated, if not by number, then by meaning. It’s all escalated thanks to the unwillingness of gun advocates to limit the purchase of military-grade guns. And our police are paying the price of that judgement.

Aggression, fear and response

In Great Britain, most police do not carry guns. In situations where gun violence is threatened, police are forced to use patience and numbers to disarm gun offenders.

Somehow, it largely works. But in America, we’re so far out of balance the police are opening fire in some cases before they even ask questions of suspects. The police fear for their lives, so they shoot first and in many cases don’t even bother to ask questions later. Their subjects are in the hospital, or dead. That feels like a solution to gun crime, but’s only a solution to the threat of a gun. It belies the meme that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” The mere threat of a gun on a person is enough to get police to shoot first. It’s the idea of guns that is causing police aggression and fear.

Concealed Carry lies

In America, the reason why Concealed Carry laws were installed was to give regular citizens the supposed power to defend themselves against whatever they perceive as threats. There are as many guns as citizens in America right now. So the problem of gun crime should be solved by now, correct?

Instead, the unpunished gun violence being perpetrated by police in America has our public servants increasingly viewed as a threat to public safety.

So let’s take the guns away from the police. Retrain them to rely less on guns. Makes sense.

And if violence and gun deaths escalate, we’ll know for sure the falsity in claims that Concealed Carry laws are a suitable solution to “maintain the peace.”

Changing expectations

We need police officers to carry out the law. But we need to change the expectations placed upon them by society. Heading out to enforce that law when they essentially expect to engage in gun battles in order to subdue suspects is causing many officers to operate under conditions so stressful they have resorted to a distorted view of reality in dealing with potential lawbreakers. That’s how racial profiling evolves as a tool for identifying suspects. It is a convenient and yet ignorant handle by which police feel they can gain control over their thankless jobs.

But the truth is sad. Profiling gives police a target more than it gives them insight.  

It’s really no different than the soldiers sent to Iraq with Rules of Engagement that prevented them from firing at will. Well, the enemies or terrorists or fearful everyday citizens they encountered did not have that playbook at hand, or abide by it. So our soldiers were not fighting a battle they could win.

And that’s because the war in Iraq should have been a police action reliant upon increased and aggressive diplomatic engagement. Not war.

So the parallels are evident in the manner in which we throw our police into situations where their lives are threatened by the proliferation of guns and the militarization of our society. They operate in what are essentially terror zones. These might be urban neighborhoods, but they also might be country farms where people obsessed with paramilitary psychology and hatred for the government consider police a tool of evil.

The NRA doesn’t care about police

The NRA has been no help in protecting the lives of our policeman. So let’s take the police completely out of the gun formula and bring them back into the realm of sanity. Let’s take away their guns.

What will this accomplish? It will illustrate the dangerous social imbalance created by our prevailing gun laws. Concealed Carry and Open Carry are nothing more than veiled attempts to install vigilante justice. They give license even to supposedly law-abiding citizens to take the law into their own hands. People get killed by those who determine for themselves what they consider a threat, and what the law means.

An unarmed police force

An unarmed police force will likely be converted into a considerably more cautious and respectful police mission. And if confronted by aggression with guns in the public, these situations must be 1) avoided until numbers can arrive 2) documented and 3) reported in full with the media. We’ll have real statistics on who is doing the shooting.

And what happens when mass shooters attack everyday citizens? That’s indeed a job for a militarized unit trained to confront terrorists and other heavily armed assassins. The regular police are generally unable and ineffective when confronted by mass shooters armed with machine guns and other military-grade weapons. Yet it’s become so common it is not hard to identify the need and level of force necessary to take out a crazed or determined shooter. Get the police out of harm’s way in those situations. Call in the weapons pros if need be. If citizens are going to militarize themselves and attack society, then we need to confront the enemy within our borders.

But we should also seek to disarm or prevent those unhinged from normal society by putting strict controls and measurements equal to attaining a driver’s license in society. All guns should be trackable, and any every gun, just like every car in America, is the responsibilty of the owner with legal consequences if weapons are stolen or used for insane purposes.


Advocates of the current advocates of gun rights as they stand must be held accountable for each and every instance of gun threats against the police. If these outnumber a reasonable social balance in America, then the laws that govern the nation pertaining to gun rights must be changed. That is the only way to gain some sensible perspective on these issues.

And if police forces object to these standards in having their guns taken away, then it also illustrates the fact that our current gun standards are inadequate to provide civil protections.

Taking guns away from police will no doubt illustrate the insane idea that arming every citizen to the teeth is a protection for American society. We’ve known for too long that when both the police and the public are equally armed, the police will always be outnumbered.

Sold a bill of goods


Because honestly, according to the manner in which our Constitutional gun laws have been interpreted, it is the duty of regular citizens bearing weapons in Concealed Carry to mete out justice and protect themselves from other people with guns. That’s the narrative we’ve been sold by the NRA, and it has profited their constituents, the gun manufacturers and ammo dealers. So let’s force their hand. Take guns away from the police, and document how that goes. If the NRA is correct, peace will reign in America because millions of law-abiding gun owners will police the streets in place of our unarmed police.

So let’s force their hands and show them we care about the police. Take guns away from the police, and document how that goes. If the NRA is correct, peace will reign in America because millions of law-abiding gun owners will police the streets in place of our unarmed police.

Then let’s see how brave, intelligent and Constitutional our gun laws really are. Chaos has a way of pointing out the truth. Perhaps that’s what it will take to blast the truth into gun zealots and their militarized police buddies.



Dancing at a funeral is no surprise with George W. Bush

George-W-Bush Singing and Dancing.jpg

The video from the memorial service for five slain Dallas police officers was disturbing. There was George W. Bush dancing and laughing as if he were attending a child’s birthday party. It was, to say the least, highly inappropriate behavior from a former President of the United States of America. Frankly, it was quite insane behavior for anyone.

Michelle Obama tried her best to bring dignity and respect to the situation. But Bush was having none of it. Looking drunk or crazed, or a little of both, he kept swinging hands and singing out loud like a preschooler high on cookies and Kool-Aid in the year-end pageant.

It was a shocking display. But let’s not forget that this isn’t the first time President Bush has embarrassed the nation. At another very public event, he proudly yucked it up over his failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The irony was bitter considering that America invaded that nation based on specious contentions that Saddam Hussein had WMDs that he planned to use against America.

Never mind the fact that international inspectors had done their jobs and found no traces of WMDs anywhere in Iraq. To counter that evidence, Bush and his snide administration trumped up their own “evidence” as reasons to invade. That pack of lies led to thousands of American soldiers dead or wounded in Iraq. Yet Bush thought it sensible to make jokes about his enormous folly that cost thousands of American lives and trillions in American treasure seeking to prove the point that America was the most powerful nation in the world.

In horrific fashion, Bush even tried to cover up evidence of American lives lost in that cowboy venture. The Bush administration banned photographers from taking photos of the war dead arriving back on American soil. Hiding the truth is the most cynical act a politician can do. Yet Bush had no qualms in doing so, even when it effectively dishonored the sacrifice of those willing to give their lives for their country.

The company of fools

It made America look like fools to go along with the insane plans of the President. Yet the facts are clear: George W. Bush and his Republican friends thought they could easily fool the nation into believing their doctrine of imperialism was the best course of action for America. And at first, many believers were fooled by the fear and terror Bush threw in their faces. Ultimately, however, became clear that it was lies and complicity that led America into that war. Those of us who protested the Iraq War at the time were branded unpatriotic. That’s a fact that still angers true (and actual) patriots to this day. We knew that whole Iraq strategy was a partisan farce.

Laughing in our faces

When a domestic crisis hit during Hurricane Katrina, Bush again demonstrated a near total lack of grasp of the situation. People were drowning in New Orleans. Then the population lacked food and supplies to make it through the initial stages of when hunger and thirst were a threat. Loss of homes and places to live were desperately needed. Indeed, the delays and shortcomings of the self-oriented Republican administration were a massive failure, and the American people knew it this time. Yet Bush saw fit to compliment his inept and incompetent FEMA leader by saying, “You’re doing a heckuva job.” 

No respect, self or otherwise


So it should not be any surprise, perhaps, that George W. Bush did not know the somber meaning of an occasion when respect for the slain officers should have been paramount. He was dancing around as if he were attending a religious revival. Perhaps that provides the ultimate explanation. For Bush projected his strange brand of faith onto all sorts of situations over his tenure and beyond. But all it has proven is that he’s a goddamned fool.

There was absolutely excuse for him to be dancing during that memorial event. But then again, there was no excuse for why he was elected in the first place. It was both a theft of the voter’s will and a theft of conscience that the merry dolt named George W. Bush was installed as President in the first place.

And what that means to America is that it can happen again. The same people who dismiss the likes of the idiocy of a jokester like Bush are rallying behind an even greater jerk named Donald Trump. There is no excuse for that support other than the fact that people do not understand that he’s dancing on the grave of what America once was, a nation with a conscience.

It keeps happening because people who think and act like George W. Bush keep getting elected to prominent positions by people who can’t tell the difference between dancing at a funeral and dancing a strip club. It’s the pornography of American politics. And welcome to it.

The patent neurosis of Concealed Carry

Neurosis: a relatively mild mental illness that is not caused by organic disease, involving symptoms of stress (depression, anxiety, obsessive behavior, hypochondria) but not a radical loss of touch with reality.

Guns_1000Last night while listening to the Sam Roberts show on Sirius radio, the discussion centered around the latest killing of a black man by a cop in Minnesota. Roberts struggled to show respect to the nation’s police whose culture centers on protecting their own whenever a difficult choice or a public relations crisis hits an officer that has used excessive force. While discussing the issue with a New York state trooper who called into the show, Roberts stated, and I paraphrase: “You need to get the good cops to start saying they do not support this kind of behavior.”

To which the cop replied, “There were 50,000 black people stopped today, and this was the only incident of its type. The rest were all handled well and people went home.”

It should not be too difficult to see the imbalance in that arithmetic. Why are 50,000 black people per day being stopped by police? What type of profiling is going on that leads to that kind of suspicion? Doesn’t that level of interaction generate reasonable suspicion about the motivation of police, even resentment? And aren’t the odds actually in favor of the fact that something bad is eventually going to happen when that many people are essentially being haggled every day?


From a broken tail light to a murder. That’s how one of these police interventions just turned out. And the reason? That’s simple too. Cops are afraid for their lives. The New York state trooper admitted as much. “We don’t know what’s going to happen on any traffic stop,” he intoned.

The discussion then turned to the fact that when a driver has a gun in their vehicle, it is their responsibility to inform the office right away. “At that point,” the trooper explained (again in paraphrase)  “it is the responsibility of the Concealed Carry citizen to inform the officer and turn over their weapon to the police.”

Now we can actually see how dangerous the world has become because of laws like Concealed Carry. Combined with weapons carried illegally, Concealed Carry laws have upped the ante on the presence of guns all across America.

Self defense?

Concealed Carry advocates love to cite the right to carry weapons in case of the need for self-defense. But what about our police? To those chartered with enforcing the law, Concealed Carry adds an entirely new level to the fear of being gun-whipped at a normal traffic stop. So let’s stop for a moment and think about the term Concealed Carry. That literally means you can legally hide a weapon on your person. How are police supposed to know if a gun is legally or illegally carried? If everyone has the right to hide a weapon on their person, there is no safe place in America.

Concealed Carry has created an additional layer of legal burden and a threat to civil order on all of society. Which makes it quite ironic the law is so favored by conservatives, who purportedly hate regulations of any kind. Yet the unintended consequence of Concealed Carry is that law enforcement is now trapped in a situation where the power balance is exceedingly in the public’s favor. Concealed Carry has forced an entirely new layer of inquiry to every police stop in the country. But the real fact is even more disturbing: The police are literally outgunned, outmanned and out of control all across the nation.


In response, the police have had to militarize to counteract the number of weapons now owned by Americans legally and illegally. They have also been forced to change their culture to one of patent aggression. That’s just to save their own lives. That’s why cops throw people to the ground, cuff them automatically or use tasers to subdue those who question their arrest. If you stood at risk of being shot by any citizen that you stop, wouldn’t you do the same thing?

The reason why Concealed Carry was passed, and why there are now more guns than citizens in the United States, is that the patent neurosis of gun ownership has been promoted in America by a selfish and well-funded minority that purposely confuses fear with freedom. The reason for that approach is that fostering fear is a highly profitable venture for gun manufacturers and politicians who get elected by backing the self-interest of those who chose to live in fear. The net result is that attitude has been forced on American society, which has succumbed to the collective neurosis with Concealed Carry laws. Just like slavery which was once a legal and supported aspect of American society, Concealed Carry is sold as beneficial to society and something the nation cannot do without. As a result, we are all slaves to the gun industry and its henchman.

But let’s step back and take a rational look at this dynamic that the idea that people have to carry weapons in order to enjoy the basic rights of American citizenship. That is plainly neurotic, and possibly manic. We thus live in a bipolar society created by those who are depressed by the idea of not having enough weapons. Yet there are more guns than people in the United States. Neurotic.

Mental illness

One of the excuses given for mass shootings by gun lobbyists is that most are committed by people that are mentally ill. Yet mental illness can be manifested in many ways. The structure of a fear-based society dependent on guns is a reflection of a collective neurosis. We know this because other societies in the world are able to function without such proliferation of guns. And in societies such as Australia where weapons such as assault rifles have been banned, the number of mass shootings has been greatly reduced. That leaves America standing alone in a global society, violent as a crazed and jealous cousin at a family reunion.

We also know there is mental illness afoot when gun advocates refuse any responsibility for the crimes perpetrated by other gun owners. Where is the remorse for those gunned down by police when those attacked are clearly innocent? Instead, gun proponents hide behind the shock of the event and say, “It’s too soon to talk about gun control in the wake of this tragedy. We need time to process and let cooler heads prevail.”

But now the shootings simply overlap from week to week and even day to day. Last night in Dallas, Texas, snipers opened fire on Dallas police and killed five officers in cold blood. And guns are not the problem?

Neurosis as a way of life

Organizations such as the NRA have shown no sincere commitment to this problem. Instead, they advocate even more guns as the solution to the problem.  NRA supporters speak in terms of fear to defend their position that Concealed Carry is a necessary layer of protection in America. And hidden behind those fears, but not very well, is the patent racism shown by both the police in their arrest methods and by society in blaming blacks for the majority of crime.

Yet the predominant number of mass shootings in America have been committed by neurotic and perhaps psychotic white males. The gun lobby absolutely refuses to connect its collective neurosis with the pattern of psychosis driving shooters to act on their imagined power by using weapons in the streets, at shopping malls, even public schools and theaters. But we’ll say it here: the collective neurosis of rife gun ownership simply becomes too powerful for some people to resist. They can kill easily using guns, and guns are easy to obtain, so they go do it. There’s nothing magical about that. The neurosis of our gun mentality creates a straight line equation.

Invented for killing

Guns were invented for killing. There is no getting around that fact. They would never have been invented had it not been the need to kill more efficiently in war. That history, and the collective neurosis that leads to all violent wars, is the reason why America is at war with itself.

“But I’m not neurotic!” you can hear the panicked voices of so-called law-abiding gun owners complain. And that may be true, to an extent. Yet the collective neurosis that led to Concealed Carry laws across the nation affects us all. It is plainly paranoid to need to carry a weapon around with you. It’s a sign of social stress when a person cannot deal with society on anything but defensively violent terms.

Fear rules

Mix that with racist fears, or fear of “the other” of any kind, and it is clear that America’s phobia about being gunless is a mental disorder of a national kind. The patent neurosis of Concealed Carry is an admission that fear rules. It is a symptom of an addiction to the idea that vigilante justice is heroic, and that the national character of America is formed through violence, and that shooting another person is a solution to a problem.

It is not. Instead, the neurosis of Concealed Carry reveals the fact that gun owners are, without exception, responsible for 1) the fear of cops both within the force and 2) fear of the cops from the citizenry at large. It’s a repeating cycle of a fearfully militarized society. In other words, a patent neurosis.

Fear creates war, which is why more Americans have died from gun violence (both by force and self-inflicted) than all the American soldiers ever killed in foreign wars. That, we must admit, is a sign of a neurosis that must be cured. Because too many of us are dying while trying to figure it all out.

Perhaps if we treat the nation’s gun obsession as a collective mental illness, we’ll be better able to assess its impact on society. That way we can get to the reasons why so many people feel so afraid in a nation that is supposed to stand for freedom, but instead has created a prison of its own paranoia.


The continuing saga of the fuck-ups and the fuck-yous

urlNow that the effects of Brexit are becoming real in terms of uncertainties in world financial markets, international trade and basics like where people are allowed to live, people have begun to realize what an honest-to-goodness fuck-up it actually turns out to be.

Stalwarts will long insist that Brexit is the step toward political freedom Great Britain needs to take. The Scots and many other sections of Great Britain, which itself is a union of nations, will forever disagree considering that country voted 62% to 38% to Remain in the European Union.

Flirting with Fuck Ups

Those voting for Brexit surely did not understand all the political and economic ramifications of the decision. These were the fuck-ups who drove the big fuck-up. Such is the nature of angry populism, which can lead even to fascism in the wrong political hands. Here in the United States, we’re flirting with a massive fuck-up of our own in Donald Trump, the designated nominee for President of the United States for the Republican Party.

This is a man who flaunts his failed marriages and failed businesses and dares people to challenge the perception that he’s not a massively famous fuck-up. In that respect, Donald Trump issues the world a massive Fuck You every time he shows his orange face in public. His hair is a fuck up. His speech pattern with all its perverse Yoda-like and backward braggadocio is definitely the hallmark of a habitual fuck up. He starts with his false contentions and qualifies them as he goes along.

And a Huge Fuck You

His fans (whom we must hesitate to call voters for the moment) all seem to love his Fuck You message. Former Republican politicians such as Joe Walsh, now a conservative radio host on AM 560 in Chicago, have publicly stated they would rather “blow this thing up” than let a Democrat such as Hillary Clinton win the election. Walsh and his ilk were critical of Barack Obama before the man even took office. The Republican-led Congress have behaved like a pack of massive fuck-ups for all eight years of Obama’s administration and have done nothing of any consequence except shut down the government and pass about 50 appeals to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Other than that, they’ve spent all eight years of their authoritarian rule telling the American people and Barack Obama to go Fuck Off.

Trump steps into this Fuck Your role perfectly because his “Take Back America” campaign theme cloaks the extremism of his supporters behind a bit of patriotic language. Never mind the fact that the America for which his supporters yearn is one with racist roots and based on an economic model that was gutted by the very Republican Party to which so many conservatives and angry independents claim to subscribe. All those manufacturing jobs shipped overseas and down south to Mexico by free market capitalists with globalism fever are never coming back. America has created some 11 million new jobs since Obama helped turn the economy back around, but less than 1% of those jobs have gone to people without college education.

Fucking duped

That means all those honest, hard-working Blue Collar Trump Supporters have been fucked over by the very people they claim to support. The union system in America has been trumped by a euphemistic Right To Work campaign that says Unions Are Bad, Jobs Creators Are Good. At least the national elections in which Obama won and then retained the office of President prove America still has some common sense. But the Fuck Ups still know how to win local elections where rube anger is so easily leveraged into repeat terms for Congressman and Senators selling Pro-Life as the ticket to national office.

Here in America, we may yet see a Texit if the State of Texas gathers enough Fuck You votes to secede from the Union. At least America might be freed from the fascist control of public school textbook content if that were to happen.

But again, a Texit would be a fuck-up on the order of the original Civil War, in which a small slice of controlling slaveowners convinced thousands of Confederate loyalists to go fight and die so that white people could continue to own and torture black people for profit and entertainment.

Sophisticated Fuck Ups

The people who support Donald Trump are following the same sort of instincts. Just as slaveowners were calculating fuck-ups with enough sophistication to rig the system to their own favor, and damn the consequences of human rights and equality, so has Trump played American Fuck-Ups for all they’re worth in running away with the Republican ticket.

dick-cheneyRemember that Trump comes on the heels of the biggest Fuck Up and Fuck You administration in American history. George W. Bush was a primo fuck up. He let 9/11 happen on his watch and then let psychopaths like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and the like loose on the world. The Bush administration sold fear like it was bitter candy, convincing gullible Americans through lies and manipulation that there was a connection between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. And what was the Bush advice when America was shocked by the 9/11 attack? “Go out and shop.” That’s what he said.

It was all an ugly breach of public trust followed by one horrific fuck-up after the other. The Hurricane Katrina debacle and the Bush indifference to people’s suffering perfectly symbolized what would later happen to the American economy under his watch. Fuck Ups like that always lead to Fuck Yous from their authoritarian authors.

Petulant ignorance

The petulant ignorance shown by American “conservatives” in support of Bush and his torturous presidency amounted to a fuck-up of massive proportions. Yet even with the catholic brand of support for Bush and his evil bishops, there has never been much will to confess to the crimes and abuses perpetrated on the American people. Instead, we’re all told by conservatives to Look Forward rather than look back at the recent fuck ups of the past. Bush and Cheney were the dual kings of Fuck You, claiming rights to the Unitary Executive, with Bush proudly stating that his job would be “easier if I were a dictator.” They should have been tried for war crimes but Obama in a show of good will refused to pursue those actions. It would have been good for America in the long run to demonstrate how evil and corrupt those criminals really were (are) but to Obama’s credit he truly did Look Forward and has done a stellar job of leading the country despite resistance from the pack of racist fuck-ups who insist their ways are better.

And that brand of tripe is now in full evidence in support for Donald Trump.

Don’t you get it? Can’t you see the message Brexit is sending America? Don’t you understand that if you support Donald Trump, whether he is genuinely a serious candidate or simply a man thriving on a massive media campaign whose theme is Fuck You, this is not a good direction for America to travel?

If you can’t see that, then you really are a fuck up. And in that case we all have one thing to say: And that is Fuck You for being so goddamned stupid.





The truth about political correctness

Political correctness (adjectivally, politically correct, commonly abbreviated to PC) is a term primarily used as a pejorative to describe language, policies, or measures which are intended not to offend or disadvantage any particular group of people in society; in pejorative usage, those who use the term are generally implying that these policies are excessive.


“When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.”
–Dresden James

So the big complaint of the conservative lobby and the Donald Trump crowd, in particular, seems to be that political correctness is the source of all problems in America. The claim seems to center on the idea that political correctness is infringing on American freedom of speech. But let’s take a close look at that claim.

My Country Right or Wrong?

To sum it up sincerely, what is threatened by political correctness is the political philosophy of “My Country Right or Wrong.” This is the idea that true patriotism forgives all ills because American interests, especially those of an economic nature or issues of sovereignty supersede all worrisome notions that America could be mistaken on any front. That, my friends, is the original version of American political correctness.

For several centuries, the Ugly American version of political correctness has presumed that we are incapable of offense in the world because our version of democracy is so superior. Some Americans love to believe it is impossible for our nation to offend anyone in the world because America is so great it need not apologize for anything it has ever done, or ever will do.

“The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.”
–Aldous Huxley

Toe the Line

This is an inverse form of political correctness. It is the demand that everyone “toe the line” and preach America’s supposed exceptionalism that has been far more damaging than any progressive attempt to halt use of offensive terms here at home and abroad.

This radical belief that America has no faults has long been the brand of political correctness advocated by conservatives. It is the politically correct idea that American policies are believed never to offend or disadvantage any particular group of people in society. Enforcement of this politically correct ideology has been bold and harsh. Critics of American policies are shouted down on grounds that they are being unpatriotic. To put it bluntly, that is a political correctness bordering fascism. It directly suppresses freedom of speech and the very aspects of democracy the Founding Fathers of the United States of America sought to encourage.

This conservative version of political correctness is the poisoned version of the American republic that Liberals and Progressives have worked to deconstruct for years. The process is never easy. When a liberal President reaches out with an apology for an American action to other nations, conservatives complain that gesture is a sign of weakness or contrition, when in fact it is the dialogue of diplomacy and collaboration. Nationalistic zealots might not approve, but it is the politically intelligent thing to do when international or domestic signs of contrition are due.

“The best way to protect your own freedom is to watch everybody else’s back. That’s the essence of community.”
— ski racer Bode Miller

Courageous admissions

In fact, it is a show of strength and confidence to acknowledge flaws from the past, present, and future. Certainly the nation of Germany has had the courage to acknowledge and admit the flaws of their actions under Hitler, including genocide. So should America acknowledge its domestic denigration and genocide of Native Americans, which vilified “Indians” just as Germany targeted Jews, and we killed just as many people. America has also failed to admit that its commercial fortunes were originally built on the backs of slaves. The abuse, torture and murder of black citizens continued for another 100 years after slavery was officially ended. Racism is still rampant and bald-faced in the current political climate. Yet there are people who insist there is no such thing as racism, and that we should not talk about it. This is the most persistent and perverse form of political correctness of all.

“Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation.”
— Coretta Scott King

Politically Correct Characters

The My Country Right or Wrong philosophy has produced politically correct characters such as Oliver North, who acted on aggressive, politically-correct instincts without approval of the American people. North thought his personal brand of exceptionalism was superior to the law. It also aligned with the notions of America as a faultless and therefore unquestionable entity.

And let us be clear: zealous so-called “patriots” have been engaging in these “politically correct” operations for decades (even centuries) in the name of the America people. There is evidence that both American and foreign political figures have been hunted down, harassed, spied upon, and even shot and killed by so-called American exceptionalists. All in the name of enforcing a political correctness that American interests are superior even to the very liberal teachings of God and Christ in the Bible.

Indeed, the fascist version of political correctness has long merged an aggressive version of God and country together. These religiously motivated zealots forever merge the American Dream with the notion of Israel as a Holy Land and an equally flawless ally in a perceived war against the world itself.

Political corrections

This is the political correctness that we need to question, the version that attempts to excuse (and not compensate) for the disadvantages imposed on people according to race, origin, orientation or disabilities. That form of political correctness will never admit that America has a screwed up history and needs to account for its bad behavior somehow.

“Political freedom is a society’s safety valve, allowing the passionately critical a nonviolent way to express their dissatisfaction with the status quo.”
— David Cole

But of course, the immature minds that wail about today’s form of political correctness cannot (ever) imagine that it is the very thing they claim to hate in others that they hate most in themselves. This is also a common psychological problem seen in people who publicly persecute homosexuals while engaging in secret gay relationships. Rather than be truthful with themselves, they attempt to compensate with loud, aggressive indictments to hide their (undeserved) self-loathing.

The same holds true for politicians spouting the virtues of family values while having extramarital affairs. Self-denial is a common pattern in the real, more corrupt world of conservative political correctness. It also happens to be the most damaging form of self-denial to the personal and political interests of all involved.

This pattern of thinking also defines racism, in which one claims superiority based only skin color. That’s how white Americans convinced themselves that “redskins” were fodder for Manifest Destiny, or that “blacks” or “niggers” or “slaves” were destined to serve the white race. One can only cringe at the angry self-loathing coming through the slavemaster while in the act of whipping the backs of slaves bloody. All while claiming to inflict the very grace of God through his actions.

“The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. . . The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.”
— Martin Luther King Jr.

Founding Slavers

Even the Founders struggled with this self-image. Several held slaves, and some even slept with them while writing a Constitution that only granted black Americans status as 3/5 of a person. And when black soldiers came home from World War II, they found a nation still rife in prejudice and discrimination. Muhammad Ali won the world title in boxing only to be denied service at a coffee counter in his home town of Louisville, Kentucky.

All these examples prove the foolish nature of American exceptionalism as a worldview. And all these wrongs would remain “right” unless the genuine efforts of liberals and Progressives were ultimately, somehow successful. It also requires a willingness to confess that America’s originalistic brand of political correctness has been wrong for too long.

How the political correctness of literalism kills

It’s the same sad story with biblical literalism as well. The idea that only a literal interpretation of a King James Version of the bible is an acceptable source of truth is just one of the popular memes favored by fundamentalist Christians.

Never mind that biblical scholarship has found flaws even in the King James version of the Bible, or that Jesus himself went to great lengths to contradict the political correctness of literalism evidenced in the Pharisees and scribes of his day.

Jesus went to the cross in defiance of that form of political correctness.  He stood up to moneyed power and the corruption it created in faith. He sacrificed himself to a truth that stood outside the politically correct vision held by those who secretly admired yet feared him. His own friends and family called him crazy for this stubborn, self-endangering worldview. And Jesus was forced to admit that a prophet is seldom accepted in his own town.

And that’s the truth about political correctness to this day.

“To befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.
— President Theodore Roosevelt




The Florida killer had a knife, now why didn’t he use that?

FIREARMOne of the arguments thrown out in defense of guns in America is that a knife can kill just as easily as a gun. “So it’s not the guns,” goes the supposed rationale. “It’s the people who are the killers.”

Well, that’s an interesting argument in context with a murderer who shot fifty people dead in a nightclub using an automatic weapon. He had a perfectly good knife on his person. Why didn’t he just use that?


The answer is simple. Guns are a much more efficient method of killing people. Automatic weapons commodify the act of killing. They turn it into a commercial enterprise. Killing people wholesale without ever having to look them in the eye or have physical contact is made so much easier by the simple act of owning a weapon designed for mass shootings.

Automatic weapons have no place in civilized society. Australia banned them back in 1996 and there have been no mass shootings since. That’s the actual free market in practice, by the way. Just like chemicals that poison people, or medicines that cause dangerous or fatal side effects, some products are ultimately banned from public use. That’s what civilized societies do.

Uncivilized societies exonerate both manufacturers and sellers of such products by claiming the law protects them under the auspice of free enterprise. In the case of guns, the uncivilized society that America has become also promotes several brands of vigilante justice in response to the question of whether it is guns that kill people or people who kill people. The logic goes like this: “If you put enough guns on the street, the problem will fix itself.”

Death toll

Only that isn’t happening. There are still 30,000 people a year who die from various kinds of gun violence. More Americans have died from gun violence here at home than all the soldiers that have died in all wars fought on foreign soils. So the claim that the gun problem in America will fix itself is a massive lie. That lie is designed to do only one thing: sell more guns to enrich those who manufacture and sell them.

Blood for profit

The National Rifle Association is a commercial trade organization designed to sell guns. It claims to represent the Second Amendment as well, but that is nothing more than a ruse to do what its paymasters want it to do. Create more fear and sell more guns.

The NRA must cheer every time a mass murder takes place. Because that’s when their fearmongering constituency gets all riled up and worried the government is going to come take all their guns. So the NRA plays that game because it creates more profits for its association sponsors. It’s that simple. The NRA is the Chamber of Commerce for gun violence. Because it sells more guns.

Four types of gun owners

There are four kinds of gun owners in this world.

Erratic: People who own guns and act crazy.

Unintentional: People who own guns and accidentally shoot or kill others.

Intentional: People who purchase guns with the intent to harm or kill others, or themselves.

Responsible: People who own guns and abide by laws designed to manage their use.

That last category parallels the Second Amendment call for a “well-regulated” militia. Because without laws in place to govern how guns are sold, distributed and used, there can be no social order.

However, the first three categories typically have the most impact on American lives because gun violence is a vexation on the freedoms and liberties of all who live under the auspice of the United States Constitution.

Second rate ideas

The NRA and other gun proponents love to focus on the latter part of the Second Amendment rather than the former. That is, the focus on the “right to bear arms” supersedes all authority to regulate the type and use of guns in a free society.

But when erratic, unintentional and intentional people can still easily get their hands on murderous weapons and use them wholesale on the streets of America, the gun lobby is a massive failure of the Constitution and the citizens it is designed to protect and serve.

Even the police now fear for their lives on a daily basis in America. Do they fear knives? Sure, in close situations knives can be murderous. But what the police fear most is guns, and military-grade weapons in particular. Because the world is full of erratic, unintentional and intentional people with high-powered guns, rifles and automatic weapons. And there is no excusing the fact that America ignores that reality on a daily basis.

And people get killed as a result. Sometimes 50 at a time, and many more maimed, and lives devastated.

All because it makes someone, somewhere, very rich.

The Bible has something to say

The Bible says two important things about all of this. Thou Shalt Not Kill is one of the 10 Commandments. It specifically addresses the issue for which guns were designed, to kill.

The Bible also says that “the love of money is the root of all evil,” which covers the profit motive driving so much of America’s production and sale of high-powered weapons and guns in general. It seems sick to profit from the death of others, but that is exactly what the gun industry is all about in America. Case closed.



Are we supposed to be impressed by Republican failures?


An explosion rips through the South Tower of the World Trade Towers… “after the hijacked United Airlines Flight 175, which departed from Boston en route for Los Angeles, crashed into it Sept, 11, 2001. The North Tower is shown burning after American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the tower at 8:45 a.m.” But of course, many people now question this narrative. and have come to recognize this event for what it was, a symbol of Republican failure to protect of govern the nation in any effective way. 

It has been difficult since the 9/11 tragedy to get the rational attention of any Republican in America. The narrative goes like this: Everything our nation did was necessary to protect our national security and sovereignty.

Of course, the source of that narrative fails to recall that 9/11 happened under Republican watch. A Republican administration failed us miserably in translating reasonable intelligence into actionable defense.

And to make matters worse, the Bush administration took their own failures and turned them into excuses to invade Iraq, a nation that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. Thousands of soldiers gave their lives and tens of thousands more were maimed for life for reasons that changed by the week during the Iraq War.

This was a massive failure of conscience by the Republican Party, which through fear and manipulation and falsified evidence convinced hawkish Democrats to go along with the plan for imperialistic attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq.


Meanwhile, domestic issues such as financial regulation and infrastructure repairs were either pushed to the backburner or ignored completely as America poured trillions of unbudgeted cash into the “war” efforts. The result was nearly a complete collapse of the free-market system in America. The supposed defenders of capitalism and enterprise absolutely failed in their duty to monitor and foster a health economy.

And as if that were not enough, America failed by committing blatant abused of civil and personal rights at home and abroad. Our soldiers tortured and even killed prisoners in Iraq and in black sites around the world. All were done under the watch of the Bush administration. Meanwhile, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans while our leaders callously refused to engage and assist those in dire emergency situations. This was a brand of torture on a grand domestic scale, like waterboarding an entire city and blaming the victims for their weakness.

Without conscience

Republicans failed to govern with a conscience in the majority when they held the presidency, all of Congress and Senate, and the Supreme Court as well. Instead, they passed self-serving legislation such as Citizens United, called corporations people and pretended the Patriot Act was not a major invasion of personal privacy.

Where did the principles of the Republican Party go? Why have conservatives failed so miserably when the opportunity to govern has been laid in their lap? The answers are painful and simple. The only thing Republicans know how to do well is breed the brand of fear that helps them get elected and hold power. Beyond that, the conservative movement in America is bankrupt in ideas on how to make the nation a better place to live.

Standard issue

Oh, we all know the standard claims that conservatives love to make. Cut taxes for the jobs creators. Well, they did that and the economy crashed anyway. Conservatives also want to privatize Social Security and kill Medicare. Yet those programs are the only source of income and healthcare for millions upon millions of Americans whose long investment in the American economy is merely being repaid by the collective power of money put in trust with the government. Is that such a bad thing, that people in old age should expect to live with some source of financial security and medical protection?

Republicans seem to think so. They brand Social Security and Medicare a “failure,” but on what basis? They claim Americans can “do better” using the free market to plan for retirement and pay for medical expenses in old age.

These are lies carefully couched in political jargon. The economic crash of 2008 proved beyond doubt that no form of investment vehicle, not even the family home, is immune from the devastating cut from market forces when speculation is allowed to run rampant in the market. Some people lost their homes and their entire investment portfolios, forcing millions of retirees back into the labor force where their age and their time away from work were instantly counted against them.

This is a failure of both reason and economic sense. Because on the other end of the market there were millions of young people seeking employment and finding the labor market jammed with aggressively defensive Baby Boomers trying like hell to keep their jobs knowing that their earnings and saving might not be protection for the future.

The 2016 Election

And that brings us to the election of 2016 and the candidate the Republican Party has advanced for consideration as President of the United States. For eight years Republicans have complained that Barack Obama has ruined the economy. Yet the facts tell a different story. Every month when the reports come out there are tens of thousands of new people hired back into the workforce. Every economic indicator under the sun points to recovery for the economy. Of course the national debt and deficits are still a problem. We spent our way into a hole trying to correct the devastating actions of Bush and Cheney and their ilk. But Republicans blame Obama for these imbalances.

This worldview is divorced from the reality of massive Republican failures to govern or legislate with any effect of conscience the last eight years. Congress is supposed to pass laws and the Senate is supposed to conceive and implement positive changes for the pursuit of health and happiness according to the Constitution. Instead, both branches of government whined and moaned about Obamacare and even shut down the government in a whining attempt to get their way, and a refusal to compromise in any way.

Trump is a boil on America’s ass

alg-donald-trump-jpgThis is not an American form of government. It is despotism. So it is no coincidence that a massive failure of good judgement and conscience such as Donald Trump has ascended to the throne of the Republican Party. Conservatives have failed us for more than 40 years now. The Party of Reagan was wrong when he was in office, and it has only gotten worse as the cognitive dissonance over religion, politics, economics and civics have been bundled into one massive, ugly boil on the ass end of history.

Donald Trump is that boil. And we can either pop his white head and be done with it or let him fester into a massive infection that threatens the health of the entire nation. That’s how ugly and dire this situation really is.

But Republicans and conservatives will refuse to admit it. Many are licking the boil that is Donald Trump as if it were a sex organ, not an infection. It’s a disgusting sight to see, and people of conscience are not impressed.

Yet that’s the Republican Party of today. More concerned with the salve of power than the pain of honesty about their own failures.

Why the liberal doomsday never comes true

IMG_6707One of the strident complaints leveled by conservatives against liberals and progressives is that they constantly decry doomsday scenarios that never come true.

But there’s a good reason why the bad things about which liberals hew and cry never come about. Liberals actually do something about them to prevent doomsday from coming about.

Environmental doomsday averted

For example, in the 1970s the environmental movement began to make real traction in the public eye. Environmentalists warned about the dangers of industrial and chemical pollution. Liberals warned that air pollutions was not good for public health. So-called tree huggers and Save-the-Whalers and birdwatchers gathered forces and made their voices heard.

And even Republican President Richard Nixon got involved by signing the Environmental Protection Agency into being.

The nation’s liberals recognized that devastating levels of damage were being exacted on the world’s waters, land and air. Many species of wildlife were being treated with extinction. Only 60 years had passed since a species of bird known as the Passenger Pigeon had been literally hunted into extinction by mass harvesting. The American Bison was on the verge of blinking out of existence. Whooping cranes were down to the last 60 or so birds on the planet. Peregrine falcons were virtually an unknown species in the lower 48 states. The national symbol of the United States, the Bald Eagle, and its sister species the osprey were having successive years of nest failure due to the cracking of their eggshells from the trickle up effect of a pesticide known as DDT in the environment.

Yet rather than give in and let the doomsday scenario of mass extinctions take place, liberals dug in and fought for the banning of certain types of dangerous pesticides. In league with government agencies such as the EPA and backed by rulings such as the endangered species act, the harshest chemicals affecting our environment were regulating. Massive polluters were cited by law and punished. Billions of dollars were set aside in Superfund accounts to pay for the costs of environmental cleanup.

Rivers so polluted they once caught fire were able to recover from the effects of industrial dumping into streams and lakes. The blight on forests and lakes caused by acid rain from coal plants was arrested and cleaner forms of energy were investigated. The stunning fear caused by an event at Three Mile Island led to analysis of the role and safety of nuclear power in America.

Nuclear option

All the while, liberal protestors echoed by singer-songwriters such as Jackson Browne and Neil Young took aim at the ignorance and greed causing the near doomsday realities of nuclear meltdown and chemical pollution so thick and pervasive it caused the residents of entire towns to live under the threat of cancer and birth defects, sickness and death.

These were real doomsday events in the making. And had liberals not shown the temerity and wisdom to fight back against toxic pollution, habitat degradation and loss and wildlife extinction, the healthier environment we now have in America would certainly not exist.

All these efforts protected the health and safety of millions of people in America. Because as goes the environment, so goes the human race.

Civil rights doomsdays

Liberals saw the social justice in all that effort. Liberals and progressive have continued to push the nation deliver civil rights for all citizens. The “environment” of the nation is thus a healthier place for all its citizens to exist.

Without benefit of these civil rights efforts, black people and minorities would continue to live under segregation and persecution on many fronts. The many deaths of black people from lynching and torture are undeniable evidence of the fact that the conservative wing of America was incapable of controlling its most extreme wing. And without that control, prejudice loomed like a doomsday for centuries in America.

But that doomsday, while not entirely averted, has not fully arrived either. Through liberal political enterprise and the leadership of men such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the walls of segregation and prejudice have been razed.

However, we are still sorting through the rubble. And some Americans typically of a harshly conservative, often ignorant bent, would prefer to build the walls of prejudice back up. These racial zealots whine about legitimate civil rights as if they were the exception in a democratic republic, not the rule. They simultaneously claim their own civil rights are being infringed and that they are being restricted in their freedom of speech by so-called “political correctness” that seeks to prevent hate from being spewed through politics or social media.

Religious doomsday

Sadly, the name God is often evoked to justify the hateful actions and rhetoric of those whose ability to imagine a better world has been choked off by their own vision of doomsday. How ironic it is that the very same people who on religious grounds claim America is in moral decay and headed for doomsday are the very people who seek to deny civil rights to women, blacks, minorities, and gays. Their priorities have more to do with access to power and appeasing their notions of unswerving authority than anything akin to creating the Kingdom of God here on earth, which is what the Bible actually encourages.

Instead, the true doomsayers embrace an End Times theology that spatters like blood across the face of conservative theology. These are the real doomsday preachers. And their most common mode of offense (and defense) is to accuse liberals of their own worst flaw, which is not believing in the future.

This brand of self-doubt spills into politics, where conservatives claim to hate the very government they represent. This self-hatred is the self-fulfilling prophecy of doomsday conservatism, where everything is supposedly going downhill and always will, until the end of time. Yet there are many conservatives who claim to be the happiest people on earth. But as the Bible clearly points out in the tale of the Good Samaritan, when supposedly holy men walk past another soul in need and ignore that need, they are the very people God will choose to ignore on that day of judgment, if it ever comes.

A perversely fashioned zygote

ZygoteYet conservatives continue to claim the high ground. It’s as if they’re never read the many passages in the bible where Jesus chastises the chief priests for their moralizing, legalistic ways. Or the parts where Jesus points out that the love of money is the root of all evil.

Instead, we’re left with a perversely fashioned zygote made of political, social, fiscal and religious conservative cells. This unholy creature proclaims doomsday at every turn. Political conservatives have shut down the government. Social conservatives say that granting gays the right to marriage will be the end of America. Fiscal conservatives have already crashed the economy a couple times in American history and predict another crash while telling people to “buy gold” as if that would stave off an economic doomsday of their own making.

And finally, religious conservatives lay claim to the Doomsday of All Doomsday predictions. That would be the End Times, the Rapture, Armageddon and the Apocalypse. The End of the World is a favorite topic of the Christian Right. The subject crops up with even though the events predicted in Revelation already happened long, long ago. The Doomsday appeal of owning the bookends of Creation and Apocalypse are literally too good a story to relinquish.

No credit where credit is due

But it sounds pretty good to accuse liberals of being the naysayers and doomsday predictors in this world. That way anything bad that happens out of your own negativity, selfishness, neglect, prejudice, legalism and persecution can be blamed on people simply trying to make the world a little better place. And succeeding, for the large part.

Because many types of doomsdays have been averted through the heart, soul and humanism of liberalism. But you would never know it from listening to conservatives.

Of course, extreme conservatives also claim that global climate change is just another false liberal doomsday scenario. Perhaps it helps that so many Christian conservatives (between 30- 50% of the American population, some studies say) do not believe in evolution or even the basic science of geology. With that level of scientific ignorance at work, there is no wonder the world considers America such a pack of selfish dolts.

Maybe conservatives are right. Maybe there is a doomsday right around the corner. If so, it will be one of their own making through denial and unwillingness to work through practical means to make the world a better place.

And if they do cause the world to end, they will deny it until the day they day.