Tuned into the echo chamber

 

Joe Walsh.jpg

Joe Walsh, AM 50 “The Answer:. Not the musician.

Yesterday on the way home from the art studio, I tuned into AM 560, The Answer, a conservative radio station based here in Chicago.

The afternoon drive shift is occupied by Joe Walsh, the former Congressman and peripatetic Tea Party advocate whose appealing voice and communication style is one or the most seductively conservative personas you will ever hear.

I extend that compliment because I really do appreciate that radio is a craft. To be an effective radio personality you must have the voice, yes, but also a method of delivery that compels people to listen.

There are many such compelling radio personalities on the air. Rush Limbaugh is clearly an effective communicator. His audience loves his blustering style and critical takedowns of anything that he considers un-American.

Hannity and the like

Sean Hannity is the pretty-boy communicator that functions well on both TV and radio. His voice has that wonderful clear quality that cuts through the airwaves to make you feel as if you’re sitting next to him, sharing thoughts and bitching about liberals. He can make even the most outrageous lie or twisted argument sound palatable and true. And that is his dark art.

Bill O’Reilly is a talented writer as well as a TV personality. His “no spin zone” is however, completely devoted to spinning items on the news cycle to a conservative palate. Thus he exemplifies how conservatives effectively corner the market on hypocrisy.

None of these guys is stupid. They are, however, masters at manipulative communication. They are all practiced stewards of conservative disgust with modernism and liberal ideology. This is the reason they exist, and their shows all reflect the money-making value of expressing populist disgust with anything metaphorically democratic.

Dead for life

Flag Waiver.jpgThat is true with both the Constitution and the Bible, both of which conservatives claim to protect with their very lives. Originalism is the principle defense mechanism for the United States Constitution, and the hero of all time in that category is Justice Antonin Scalia, who proclaimed that document “dead for life” in that no one should be able to vary from its initial meaning or context.

And while none of the personalities mentioned above are theologians, they still appeal to those who consider a literal interpretation of scripture to be in alignment with the original interpretation of the Constitution.

Spit it out

These are the foundational belief systems of conservative commentators. Line it up and spit it out by whatever means you can use (For @realdonaldtrump, it is Twitter) to justify the fundamental contentions of conservative ideology or the baseless information used to deflect commentary from whatever source it arrives.

This red-meat ideology does not hearken to much seasoning or high criticism from a liberal perspective. Which is why, when Meryl Streep attacked the neoconservative movement and it’s Hair Apparent, President-elect, Donald Trump, even those conservatives who hold their nose at the thought of his inauguration still rushed to his defense.

This was the case with our local boy Joe Walsh, who took the critical remarks made by Meryl Streep at the Golden Globe awards that took to task Donald Trump’s mocking of a disabled reporter. Walsh ignored the actual point in her words and turned her forum into his own screed about how liberals look down on the rest of America.

The Rules

So, let’s take stock of why and how this works. The First Rule of all such conservatives is simple: Never, ever admit that a liberal might have a point even about even the worst representative of your ideology.

The Second Rule is to take any issue and turn it into a point of anger toward liberals. Thus oe Walsh took Streep’s remarks about the violent nature of NFL football and Mixed Martial Arts and turned them into a populist claim that Streep was “looking down her nose” at all fans of football and the UFC.

Well, she was making a point based on fact, not looking down on anyone. Even the NFL has to admit that many of its athletes suffer massively from participation in the sport. The suicides of multiple athletes suffering brain injuries has even led leading prospects to abandon the game rather than risk a life ruined by brain disease caused by multiple traumas such as concussions. These are facts, not liberal opinion. But men like Joe Walsh care little about such realities because they do not align with the dismissive ideology of the neoconservative, Tea Party lot that cannot admit facts that stand in the way of their beliefs.

Gambling with concerns

And let’s ask a few questions to document the real situation. Do NFL fans truly care if the athletes that play their favorite sport suffer lifelong injuries, debilitating conditions and brain disease? There is very little evidence that they do. Yet another former NFL player took their own life by gunshot a week ago. The news cycle swallows up the story and the talk show hosts on ESPN make believe it matters and then everyone gets back to the injury reports and the point spreads on the games this weekend.

Nor do they really care in the long term if their favorite players abuse their wives in domestic violence, arrange dogfighting rings or do performance-enhancing drugs. What seems to matter to most football fans and their sports talk radio cheerleaders is that they line their asses up on Sunday and play the game. It’s a toughman’s sport, and they’re well paid. What’s the problem?

The sad thing is that the same mentality carries over to the conservative refusal to adequately fund benefits for our military veterans. For all the lip service given to “patriots” and kissing the ass of the military, the simple fact is that conservatives don’t, in the end, care about anything more than blocking funding or cutting costs for the VA. It happens over and over again, yet conservatives still make the claim they care more about the military and veterans than liberals. But the truth does not bear that out.

Social gambles

The same goes for vital social programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare. Conservatives claim to have better solutions for all these programs, but in forty years since Ronald Reagan there have been zero practical proposals other than cutting these programs by privatizing them. But as we’ve seen by how conservatives handled the eight years under Bush and company, that can lead to economic collapse.  Conservatives love gambling with such concerns, and are now in a position to toss social programs to the curb. Yet they literally have no game plan in place to replace Obamacare other than some plays scribbled down on a Congressional napkin somewhere.

This short-term approach aligns with the short-attention span conglomerate that is the NFL, an organization that obsessively works to occupy the brainwaves of its fans 24/7, 365 days a year. Similarly, the Republican Party cares farm more about gaining power than the practicality of its policies. It is good at winning elections but terrible about the game plan of actual governance. That’s why the state of Kansas went bankrupt under Brownback, and why the Bush years resulted in a massive recession. Republicans don’t now shit about how to run a country. They just think they do, like armchair quarterbacks bitching about how Ben Roethlisberger or Eli Manning can’t play the game.

Fantasy league

The entire Republican Party is like a football fantasy league with little regard for the long-term well-being of either its players or its fans. For all the social commitments and charity efforts by those involved in the NFL “family,” the dehumanization of pro football players is too real to deny. Thus we live in a world where Fantasy Football leagues and gambling sites dominate our culture and where Fantasy Football “players” are freely objectified by reducing them to a mantle of depersonalized statistics. This it the same level of consideration given by Republicans to the real life effects of Obamacare, Medicare or Social Security on real Americans. The party lives in a fantasy world of its own ideology. They believe they can buy and sell options and their gambles will all come out good in the end.

Blood fighting

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Painting by Christopher Cudworth titled UFC.

The same can be said of participants in the sport known as “mixed martial arts.” For years, the sport existed as a breed of backroom violence on the same level as cockfighting or dog-fighting. Only these were real-live human beings beating the living crap out of each other. And considering the mixed martial arts strategy known as “ground and pound,” contestants are literally locked into positions that amount to fighting with their cocks. Considering the general homophobia rife within the party, it is a wonder conservatives haven’t found that dynamic sufficient grounds to ban the sport for fear that it will encourage other young men to grind their genitals together.

And yes, the sport of boxing has for decades produced the same sort of concussive entertainment. Google “Mike Tyson knockouts” and you’ll get both the massively violent results of that boxer’s successes and failures. His rather sexualized career also included rape and domestic abuse, yet he remains a favorite for what he did in the ring. And isn’t that nice that people are so willing to dismiss these potent realities and social disgraces to foment the violent fantasies of victory and suppression?

The real lesson is that what goes up in violent sports also always comes down. Mike Tyson has learned and publicly acknowledged the difficulties he faced in coming from poverty into wealth, and the perversions he engaged when his trainer died. Directionless and disabused, he like George Foreman as well engaged in a liberal dose of self-assessment and has redeemed his life in many respects. That does not mean that Foreman did not find his faith, which many conservatives would love to claim as a sign of his contrition. Instead, the humanist realization that a radical selfishness drove downfalls drove both men to liberalize their worldviews. They became more tolerant, more forgiving, more accepting of others and themselves. They grew beyond the violence of their sports.

And American needs to do the same.

Gladiators and emperors

Society has always thrilled to the populist destruction of heroes and villains in public places. The Roman Colosseum was only one of many ancient theaters where the lives of other human beings were destroyed for public entertainment. Some of this violence was by choice while others, such as gladiators, were typically forced or thrown into combat for the simple joy of witnessing violent ends.

And that’s what Meryl Streep was criticizing. Because the sport of politics and the destruction of lives is just as real in popular culture as it is in the sports arena. When Donald Trump clearly set out to mock a disabled reporter, his position of power was used to threaten the weak. This is no better than Nero throwing Christians to the lions, or burning them at the stake. Given enough authority, warped emperors and fascist-oriented world leaders will sacrifice anyone that stands in their way.

Low instincts and mass appeal

But Joe Walsh refused to acknowledge the low instincts he chose to advocate over a reasonable dissection of Trump methodology. Instead, he went after the low instincts of the masses with a tribal defense of pro football. He was literally drawing a parallel between NFL football and basic American values. That is not only a false contention, it illustrates a complicity that borders on no morality at all. But let’s admit it, Meryl Streep is right. As defined by pro football and mixed martial arts, lowbrow violence has enormous mass appeal. We already knew that from the Roman Colosseum. It just needed updating.

Taxing ideals

NFL football also has another interesting similarity to Donald Trump that Joe Walsh failed to acknowledge. For reasons having to do with a brand of corporate welfare to which everyday citizens are never availed, the NFL as an organization does not pay any taxes. Its profits including massive public incentives for teams to build stadiums all flow back into its violently protective coffers.

Yet somehow the league has had trouble coughing up even the most basic funding to assist the health and lives of players who have given their health and minds to the sport. The NFL players union has had to fight tooth and claw to get some money back to assist players destroyed by the game. Some retired players have despaired at their condition, taken guns to their chest or head, and ended their lives. Read this story about Dave Duerson. And the NFL has basically said, “Oh, that’s too bad. At least you made some money while you played America’s sport.”

Tapping out

That’s what the deal is in all this. As long as someone is making money, somewhere, it doesn’t matter what happens to the rest of the world. If someone shoots themselves as a result of the damage they endured, that’s their choice. That’s a real dose of hardline conservatism, right there.

Along those lines, these athletes do choose to engage in these sports. Yet it is still hard to find real justification for the brain-pounding, ground-scrabbling sport of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championships). The sport is largely graceless striving, a bout of outright, unmitigated violence using fists, feet and elbows and even choking to generate a “submission” or “tap out” indicating that one competitor is close enough to death to finally give up.

That’s the sport that Joe Walsh used to criticize Meryl Streep. That’s what Joe Walsh considers more important than defending the legitimate prose of a journalist doing his job despite a physical disability. That’s why Meryl Streep tried to document the difference in what America is becoming versus what the nation has accomplished through its many amendments to the Constitution (a living, breathing document indeed) that has worked to deliver civil rights and protections for all, not just the powerful, privileged few or the otherwise ignorant, selfish masses that don’t give a rat’s ass what happens to others.

And that is exactly what Donald Trump represents.

Selfish defense

Yet all Donald Trump could find to say is that “Meryl Streep does not know me,” as if the litany of ugly public statement by Trump were no indication of his true and ugly personal character. These are the words of a most selfish idealogue, a man so inconsiderate that even his peers, also selfish and self-centered conservative ideologues such as Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and even New Gingrich find it hard to defend the man known as The Donald. They hold their nose and kiss his butt in public because politics is also a form of Mixed Martian Arts. It’s winner-take-all from the conservative point of view. Get the other side to Tap Out. Whatever it takes. No compromise. No quarter. Smashmouth. And if you happen to ridicule a disabled reporter along the way, so be it. At least we won.

Shameful nutshells

Joe Walsh knows he should be ashamed of himself for his remarks about Meryl Streep. But something in him has grown so suspicious and defensive about the reason and intellect upon which this nation was founded that he is constantly forced to invent new ways to defend the indefensible irony of his own beliefs. This is neoconservatism in a nutshell, a worldview that corners the market on hypocrisy every single day of the year.

Conservatives love to mock the so-called impracticality of Hollywood and its largely Democratic representatives. They have tried, over the ages, to equate the bleeding heart concerns of actors with communism or socialism or anti-patriotism but have failed time and again for the simple reason that liberalism remains, and always will be, the baseline ideology upon which American was founded, and upon which all progress has been gained.

Denial as a worldview

That is no act. That is reality. But men such as Joe Walsh and Rush Limbaugh go about denying that realities such as hunger in America actually exist, or that Planned Parenthood actually prevents far more abortions than it ever performs.

And that is why neoconservatives such as Joe Walsh deserve to be shouted down. They may have a powerful format and a willing audience, but that is only an indication that the lowbrow populism they advocate is as prevalent as any other pandemic likely to cause the downfall of the human race.

They are, in a word, a disease to be reckoned with. And the only cure is truth. Those of us tuned into the echo chamber will have to be vocal and forthright. We will have to hold these neocontrarians accountable for what they say and do.

It may be a 24 hour job, 365 days a year.

 

 

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Reasons why America should feel shitty

 

Flies on Shit

Wait, could it be? For a second there it looked like a face on the rump of that shit. 

Almost two years ago when the 2016 election campaign had just begun, I’d written quite a bit already about the achingly awful qualifications of prospective Republican presidential candidates. Every one of them was a shitty choice. None of them had leadership qualities or anything resembling a broad enough worldview to serve as an effective president. And I said so.

 

Long before that patent situation served up such a stink, I’d spent quite a bit of time on social media savaging and ridiculing neoconservative thinking on subject matter ranging from health care to religion to social issues and culture. This consistent engagement on such subjects proved frustrating to some of my conservative friends. A few unfriended me on social media such as Facebook. Frankly, I was glad to be rid of them. Their cognitive dissonance in defense of Republican failures on the economy, speculative wars and backward cultural and social policies reeked like a pile of confusing shit.

At one point, it was passed along to me that a casual acquaintance and cycling friend who had followed me for a while on Facebook was Unfriending me. A friend passed the reason along. “He says you make him feel shitty.”

Well, when conservatives (and so-called neoconservatives) set out to make the lives of so many people a living hell by blocking equal rights for gays, ridiculing civil rights efforts for minorities and publicly torturing women (can you say Rush Limbaugh and Sandra Fluke?) over health care and reproductive rights, someone has to speak out.

The shitty behavior doesn’t stop there, however. Neoconservatives went on the attack toward President Obama before he was installed in office. But Obama had done nothing to earn their ire on the order of what Donald Trump has just done to insult Americans. So conservatives went “desperate” by insisting he was a Muslim to make him look like he was a sympathizer with Islamic terrorists. Still others attacked him on grounds of the legality of his birth certificate. That was just a shitty attempt to disqualify the man for political reasons, yet there were underlying racial insults behind those attacks as well.

When Obama exhibited genuine leadership or would not give in to such torments, dog-whistle campaigns emerged insinuated he was “uppity,” a racially driven conflagration designed to threaten and control our President. The attacks on the looks of his wife were similarly ugly. And they never relented.

It is next to impossible to counter such ignorance and prejudice. People who think and act that way, all the way up to national leaders such as Sen. Mitch McConnell, are just shitheads by nature. His angry promise to block all attempts at governing in order to make President Obama a one-term president was a display of shitty character.

Yet some people seem to admire shitty characters. It’s in their blood to choose ugly and angry behavior over a considerate or God Forbid, academic approach to problem-solving and policy. That’s why men like Vice President Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld proved so popular among neoconservatives eager to whip the world into shape using military force or even torture to get their way. The motto is Be Shitty to Others Before They Can Be Shitty to You.

Religious conservatives aren’t much better. Throughout history conservative cabals have consistently defied the “turn the other cheek” admonitions of Jesus Christ to side with zealots and nationalists eager to win the world for Christ through war.

This is a really shitty thing to do to the fundamental precepts of Christianity, which calls us to “love our enemies.”

But let’s admit it: Jesus had his hands full even in his own day with religious legalists and warlike zealots, one of whom turned out to be the disciple that betrayed him to the authorities. These are the types of shitty believers who think they know better than God how to run the world.

Zealots for Christ are still running amok in the world, starting new Crusades toward other religions and acting as if they have absolutely no confidence in their own God, lest they should leave it all to faith and trust as the Bible says. Instead, they grab hold of the Bible and make it a bludgeon for creationism or Manifest Destiny or hating gays for simply existing on this earth.

It’s all the work of narrow-minded zealots who don’t like to be held accountable for the cause and effect of their shitty ideology, which actually blows over like a house of cards when held up to the merest intellectual or moral scrutiny. But zealots never let that happen, because their approach to theology is to attack first, and apologize never.

As a result of all this defensive posturing, conservatives, as a rule, know quite well how to defend their shit better than anyone else. And they use creative methods.

A favorite practice of conservatives (social, political, religious, fiscal) is to accuse the other side of the very faults they find so offensive in themselves. This is the Repression Factor in all conservatism. Rather than come to grips with reality, it is far easier to deny instincts of fear or failure or sexual desire than to act in good conscience and seek out the reasons why those repressive instincts exist.

But sometimes its just mean-spiritedness that drives repression. That’s how conservatives “Swiftboated” the honorable military career of John Kerry. It is also why neoconservatives and the Alt-Right accused Obama of being Muslim to paint him as a sympathizer with Islamic terrorists. That’s a really shitty thing to do, and lacks any significant conscience.

Which is why I don’t feel any real need to apologize to my conservative friends for making them feel shitty the last few years. Because the outcome of this Republican shitstorm is the election of Donald Trump to President of the United States. Even devout conservatives know this is a really shitty outcome for the party. Yet they’re holding their noses and chortling “victory” because they think they’ve won.

But that reminds one of the old joke about the guy that lost his sunglasses down an open latrine. He goes in to grab them and his buddy asks how much shit he can expect to encounter if he jumps in to help.

“It’s only ankle deep!” Comes the reply. So the friend jumps in and find himself neck deep in raw sewage. “I thought you said it was only ankle deep!” he moans.

“Well, I dove in,” his friend replies.

And that’s a perfect allegory for where we find ourselves headed into 2017. We’re all neck deep in a really situation because 26% of America saw fit to vote for an orange-faced maniac who treats everyone he meets like shit.

That’s why I’ve been so willing to make my conservative friends feel shitty for so long. Because I saw this coming. I knew where the ugly Bush years were leading us, and what it meant that people saw fit to treat President Obama like shit just because he was black, or they thought he was Muslim, or believed he would take away their guns.

That was the shit sandwich neoconservatives and the Alt-Right served America the last eight years. Now we’re all told we have to eat it. Some of refuse. And that’s why I’ll keep on making conservatives, friends and otherwise, feel really shitty about what transpired in 2016.

We don’t have to take this shit. And we won’t.

 

Why Donald Trump so perfectly represents today’s Republican Party

Donald Trump's proposed golf courseDonald Trump is leading the polls among Republican candidates for President of the United States. The man needs no introduction of course. His bloviating style and grandiose gestures are all too familiar in the public sphere. Which makes him the perfect Republican candidate by today’s standards in the ostensibly conservative political party in America.

Bankrupt ideology

There’s really nothing conservative about Donald Trump at all. Not if you analyze it. But that’s precisely aligned with today’s Republican Party, which is comprised of politicians whose claims of fiscal responsibility, profound religiosity and commitment to smaller government and individual freedoms have all proven to be lies over the last 30 years.

  • The Bush era fiscal policies nearly bankrupted America with an economic crash
  • Today’s conservative religious leaders primarily concern themselves with the role of faith in gaining votes and winning approval with single-issue voters on abortion, teaching of science and discrimination against gays
  • The vow of smaller government is belied by regular intrusions of conservative policies on individual freedoms pertaining to women’s rights, gender orientation, corporate versus individual citizenship and money in politics.

In other words, the supposed priorities of conservative policies are, at their very heart, a bankrupted ideology of hypocrisy, euphemism and bully politics disguised as friendly attempts to represent the interests of a supposed minority. That would be the 1% of richest Americans.

And into this void walks Donald Trump, who almost perfectly represents the shallow and bankrupted ideology of so-called conservative politics.

It makes perfect sense. Trump built his empire, if you want to call it that, on a series of business bankruptcies. So he’s rather a good symbol for Republican policymaking, which demands that you walk away from past mistakes and never admit they happened. That was the entire philosophy of the Republican policy in the wake of a disastrous eight years under George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

The economy was wrecked. Two Republican-led wars dragged on without a purpose or goal in the Middle East. Terrorism had spread and grown. The middle class was suffering. Policies of discrimination against women, minorities and Muslims, to name just a few, were being blindly rubber stamped by Republicans in both the House and Senate.

The country was a mess after Bush, but Republicans refused to accept any responsibility for their trashing of the economy or American foreign policy. Instead they flatly pledged to block or defeat any Obama initiative that came along. Once again, this was a morally and ethically bankrupt way for any political party to behave, but Republicans embraced the goal to make Obama a “one-term President,” to quote Mitch McConnell.

A mile wide and an inch deep

2016possiblegopcontenders101The Republican Party has proven itself to be a mile wide and an inch deep when it comes to the flow of American life and commerce. That’s why there are so many candidates necessary to cover all the shallow concepts upon which Republicans are set to run. There appears to be no emotional, intellectual or spiritual depth among any of these candidates. Several have criticized the Pope for actually advocating the actual teachings of Christ. Others like Bobby Jindal are playing strange racial games with their personal brand. Claiming allegiance with the Confederacy despite the birth heritage of his parents in India, Jindal demonstrates the shallowness by which appeals to Republican voters are being made.

Bad reality

The GOP is like a bad reality show with its strange assortment of half-realized characters running for President. We have the sick repeats like Rick Santorum and Rick Perry. Then Chris-Christie-in-a-baseball-uniform-7there are the cartoon characters like Chris Christie (what a perfect reality show name…) and the timeworn specter of Jeb Bush, who doesn’t even use his family name in his campaign logo. It’s just Jeb! because using the Bush name is a blanket admission that his father and his brother were both royal screwups at the job of President.

In walks The Donald

Against this backdrop of fools and scoundrels, Donald Trump steps forward like the point guard on a perpetually losing basketball team that still has a fan base of diehards. And we mean that term to be taken literally. The Republican fan base of elderly white men, who typically tend to be very angry and threatened by change, is now dying fast.

But Donald Trump is the phoenix of all phoenixes. He represents the eternal flame of anger that has driven the party whose entire political approach has been to discriminate, divide and drive deals behind the scenes (anyone recall the 2000 election and the Supreme Court) in order to gain and keep power. This is the most deeply respected tradition among all for the GOP. Win first, and worry about the details later. That’s how Mitt Romney ran, and fortunately lost. He almost ran again in 2016, then thought better of it. Pretending you have depth gets old after a while.

Happy to be shallow

Donald doesn’t even think he needs all that. His tone deaf slams of Mexican people proves that he cares not who he offends. Even GOP caretaker Reince Preibus is freaked out that Trump is so blatantly exposing the understanding among Republicans that the tried and true method of Republican election appeal is to pit social groups against one another by posing the idea that one group is a threat to another. That’s how Republicans win. There can be no other explanation.

It’s the dog-whistle racism that calls Republican bigots to the voting booth. It’s the idea that women must be controlled and put in their place, and that gays cannot possibly be allowed to have a seat at the table that drives patriarchal voters and the fearfullly religious to the polls. That’s the Republican base, as it were. A mile wide and an inch deep.

Trump exposes all that ugly truth like it was bare wire exposed to the sun for the first time. And as such, he’s the perfectly imperfect candidate for the GOP at this time in history. It has the GOP absolutely freaked out that Trump walked in and took 15% of the polling, higher than any other shallow candidate on the block. He’s making waves in the shallow Republican River, in other words.

So let’s just hope they go with The Donald. At least that would be both entertaining and honest. The rest of them are liars and power mongers disguised as candidates, so why pay attention to their so-called “debates” which will actually be held on a level that an 8th grade political science class could top.

But if there fans in the room, The Donald’s hair will stand up like a flag of desperation amongst those otherwise racially airbrushed and economically strafed political candidates. The Donald for President. At least he’s honest about his dishonesties.

The Confederate flag is the perfect symbol for angry losers and selfish winners

confederate-flag-1-1024x768Some people in the American South seem to think the Confederate Flag stands for freedom and the will to put up a fight in the face of tyranny. They also conveniently like to ignore the fact that the Confederate Flag came to represent the interests of people who happily enslaved other human beings to get cheap labor and enrich themselves.

It’s a rather disgusting fact that the Confederate flag has continued to hang over states in the South.

But it makes a perverse kind of sense. What other flag has been used to celebrate getting your ass kicked in a war? Well, from that perspective perhaps the Confederate flag does have more in common with the United States Stars and Stripes. America’s track record since World War II is decidedly mixed when it comes to winning and losing wars.

Vietnam was arguably a disaster in terms of lives lost and public relations for the United States. Fears over communism drove the war, but so did an obsession with world dominance that has bled into wars in Iraq a couple times. And let’s not even talk about Afghanistan. We’re still over there shooting at people in an act of presiding over a Civil War in a nation that has nothing to do with our real national interests. We could have pulled out of there the weekend after we “missed” getting Osama bin Laden and the world would not be any worse off than it is now.

America missed warnings about terrorist strikes, then tried to make up the difference by bombing and torturing people that had very little to do with the real reason why we got hit in the first place. Which was sticking our nose into the business of Middle East. Our devotion to Israel stems from moneyed interests that further want to protect a Confederate country formed from political actions back in the 1950s. Don’t believe me that Israel is a Confederate state?

confederate
ADJECTIVE
[ kənˈfedərət ] joined by an agreement or treaty:
NOUN
  1. a person one works with, especially in something secret or illegal; an accomplice:
VERB (confederated)
[ -ˌrāt ] bring (states or groups of people) into an alliance:
Israel flagWe don’t traditionally think of Israel as a Confederate state because the Judeo-Christian tradition refuses to accept that anything other than nationhood is acceptable for the Jewish state. But let’s not forget that Israel got is ass kicked several times by other forces in the Middle East. God apparently approved or let these things happen. The temple in Jerusalem got leveled a few times if Bible memories serve.
To be frank, Israel was reformed as a nation out of human will and in response, in some measure, to the outright massacre of millions of Jews during World War II. The argument over whether re-establishing Israel as a state or nation has raged ever since. Millions of Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East wish they could put an end to Israel. Its confederated status flies in the face of a history in which Israel appeared and disappeared over the course of history. As a result, key cities such as Jerusalem clearly share multiple roots in faith and tradition. The Crusades never really settled anything. They basically acted as a combined religious and civil war over jurisdiction of the region. The installation of the Israeli confederacy has resulted in permanent civil war in the region. 
Home bound
If America had accepted or enacted a similar outcome on its own soil, the Confederacy would still exist. The Confederate flag would fly in place of the stars and stripes.
And some people might like it that way. Had history taken a different course, the Confederacy might have been able to permanently refuse equal rights to black slaves in the South. After all, in the wake of the Civil War the South still enacted virtual slavery with Jim Crow laws enforced by lynchings, torture and discrimination.
Groups such as the Klu Klux Klan, which still claims to be a Christian organization focused on purity of the white race, played a major role in the ugly drama of the Old South.
Slowly these forces lost primary influence in the South. The Confederacy lost the Civil War. Civil rights movements struck down racist laws and granted black citizens of the United States full rights.
The Confederacy lives on
FlagWaiverYet the determined spirit of the Confederacy refused, in many respects, to die. The allegiances that drove the original Confederacy live on in full relief. The defiant response to America’s first black President in Barack Obama was in full evidence with statements by leading southern politicians such as Mitch McConnell, who vowed behind a white veil of innocence to make Obama a “one term President.”
It’s all the same stupid, confused logic of the Confederacy reborn. In the name of freedom the neo-Confederates ignore the history of the racist roots of the Confederacy and all its claims to “states rights” and “less government.” But really there is no logic behind the claim that less government equals better government. Because the less our government stands for human equality and opportunity, the more egregious the offenses become against those whose status is less than white or privileged by law in some other respect. We’ve already witnessed the greatest transfer of wealth in American history from the middle class to the richest 1%. That happens to be the same percentage of slaveholders in the South. Do you see the picture now? The neo-confederacy would prefer to make slaves of us all. That is why the Confederate Flag should offend every one of us.
We’ve seen the actions of racists for more than 200 years. We’ve seen corporate interests ignore the impact that pollution has on the environment. We’ve watched discrimination according to sexism and sexual orientation. We’ve seen all this falsely supported by claims that the Bible supports such views, and that God favors a political party that claims to represent freedom even as it works tirelessly to limit or remove the freedoms of others.
john-boehner2-1024x780We’ve even watched the neo-Confederacy try to tie all this to national and individual prosperity, all while protesting social programs such as Social Security and Medicaid that clearly leverage the nation’s collective wealth to protect the elderly and sick in times of needs.
But the neo-Confederacy seeks to secede from a nation dedicated to helping others. Because just like the conservative causes that claimed to protest the second World War while secretly funding the Nazis with weapons in acts of clear war profiteering, and like the neo-Confederates who leveraged the Iraq War into a mercenary profit machine, the neo-Confederacy is a mean-spirited movement to divide America and reap profits from its hulking corpse.
Symbols of ignorance

All this seems to be lost on those who believe the Confederate flag stands for anything other than fighting for the cause of selfish interests and ignorance. And as for the battle to keep Israel afloat in a sea of resistance, the only true solution lies in recognition of other culture’s claims to the same historical claims of territory.

That’s how the United States converted from a Union and Confederacy to a single nation. Rather than the divisions of ignorance, race and selfish interests, it was respect born of mutual needs that ultimately brought reconciliation and peace.

You can wave all the flags you want, but in the end it is the white flag of peace that truly matters.

Speaker of the House John Boehner speaks with future Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell and it’s a conversation for the ages

The following conversation has been transcribed from the official records of the first phone call between Speaker of the House John Boehner and possible future probably Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The conversation took place two nights after the recent Republican landslide in the election. 

john-boehner-gaveljpg-6706b1f02a6d1dabBoehner: Hello Mitch? Are you there?

McConnell: Wait, my Bluetooth isn’t working. Is this Boehner? John Boehner?

Boehner: Yes indeed my friend! We won! We won!

McConnell: I know. I’ve waited for this moment all my political life. We really put a stop to Obama this time. Just like I said when he was elected. Remember when I said that? Then I said the single most important goal was to stop Obama for a second term. And I know that didn’t happen but now we really stopped him didn’t we?! We stopped him.

Boehner: He’s still President, Mitch.

McConnell: Yeah but now we can fix that. We can… what can we do?

Boehner: Impeach him. The House has been talking about that for years.

McConnell: Oh you guys talk about all kinds of things over there don’t you?

Boehner: We’re very good talkers. Now we’re going to be even better doers. Because we have you over in that Senate place.

Businessman Matt Bevin Challenges Senate Minority Leader McConnell In Primary ElectionMcConnell: Because we won! We really won!

Boehner: Mitch you have to stop saying that. You’ve got to act like you expected to win. That’s how winners behave.

McConnell: Yes. Not like you act whenever you lose, right? Because you tend to cry alot.

Boehner: I’m crying for the America that I love, Mitch.

McConnell: I know how you feel. I always looks like I’m about to cry. Well not cry actually. My face just naturally does this sort of pouty thing. I think it’s because we live south of the Mason Dixon line that things about America make us cry? What do you think?

Boehner: I’m from Ohio, Mitch.

McConnell: Oh yeah! Go Browns! They’re in first place you know! They’re winners just like us!

john_boehner8-620x412Boehner: So what’s the agenda over there in the Senate, Mitch? What do you want to accomplish?

McConnell: We want to stop Obama, Johnny Boy!

Boehner: Okay, sounds good. How do we do that?

McConnell: We stop him, that’s how! We stop him stop him stop him and stop him. And then we stop him some more!

Boehner: Yes, I agree. He’s had his way with this country long enough. But then what?

UkraineMcConnell: Let’s….kill Obamacare! Kill kill kill kill kill! We’ll hire the NRA if we have to. We’ll shoot Obamacare full of holes and leave its smoking carcass on the steps of the White House!

Boehner: It’s just a law, Mitch. It’s not actually Obama.

McConnell: It isn’t? Why do we call it Obamacare then? Isn’t that why everyone hates it? Because Obama is bad for America? He can’t possibly care for anyone can he? Other than himself and his socialist buddies?

Boehner: Actually there are a few things about Obamacare that people actually like. But the Supreme Court is probably going to get together and fix that for us before we have to pass any laws about it.

McConnell: Yeah yeah yeah! I love that John Roberts and that Scalia guy. What’s his name. Antonin? Yeah. I hear he likes to shoot things too.

Boehner: Are you talking about Dick Cheney, Mitch? He’s the one who shot his hunting partner in the face.

McConnell: Let’s take Obama hunting. Then we could shoot him in the face! People would love that. Think of the headlines. “Republican Congressman accidentally shoots Obama in the face!” I bet we’d make the headlines on Fox News!

Boehner: All we have to do is call them if we want anything on the news, Mitch. Didn’t you get that memo back in 2000?

McConnell: What memo?

Boehner: The one that said we get to write their talking points.

McConnell: They sent me a different memo. They said they’d give the talking points to me! Well whatever. It works either way I guess.

john-boehner2-1024x780Boehner: Speaking of which. I just got a call from the US Chamber of Commerce. They’re calling in the chips on getting all these Republicans elected. They want a real pro-business agenda before the 2016 election.

McConnell: Wait, there’s another election? I thought we won won won!!!

Boehner: Well we won the mid-terms. Now we have to get a Republican President elected. That would give us a Republican White House, Congress, Senate and the Supreme Court. What do you call that, a quadfecta?

McConnell: You forgot the Constitution. Don’t we own that too?

Boehner: The Constitution is a book of laws, Mitch. It’s not an arm of government.

McConnell: Well we have to stop this goddamned Obama. He’s the devil I tell you.

Boehner: That’s what Pat Robertson tells us anyway. It makes me sad to watch the devil get so much power in America.

Businessman Matt Bevin Challenges Senate Minority Leader McConnell In Primary ElectionMcConnell: How can we get our religious friends involved. What the hell happened to that Santorum guy anyway?

Boehner: He’s been in psychotherapy ever since that Dan Savage guy named some ass foam after him.

McConnell: But he’s a Catholic! He’s stronger than that isn’t he? Let’s call the Pope! Let’s get this Santorum guy working for our side again!

Boehner: Didn’t you get the other memo last week? It looks like the Pope isn’t really on our side. He believes in evolution, thinks economic justice is the responsibility of government and says that being gay isn’t all that bad. He’s really quite a socialist.

McConnell: Wait till Jesus hears about this!

Boehner: Don’t go there Mitch…

McConnell: Jesus was a Republican! He helped us win win win! We prayed to God that we would win and we did! We won we won we won!

john-boehner-cryingBoehner: Now I am gonna cry. It’s true isn’t it? Jesus really is on our side!

McConnell: If we grew beards we could all be like Jesus! Jesus, that would be something wouldn’t it John?

Boehner: I could be John the Baptist to your Jesus Christ! Plus, I think the voters already know we have a good relationship with Jesus, Mitch. Polls show that the same 30% who don’t believe in evolution vote in lockstep with Conservative Republicans. That shows that Conservatives are winning. Three out of ten people you see walking down the street do not believe in evolution. Our education policies are working!

McConnell: Hey, wait! I bet they don’t believe in global warming either. And if 30% of the people don’t believe in global warming or evolution, and 50% or so believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, that’s 80% isn’t it!? That’s a mandate! We’ve got a mandate to rule America with a conservative fist! We can pass any laws we want, can’t we?

Boehner: There are a few Democrats left. But most of them are Unitarian Universalists. They believe in anything. So we’ll get them sooner or later too.

McConnell: What about the kids? Do we have the kids on our side?

Boehner: Well kids don’t really buy religion these days. Not the organized kind anyway.

UkraineMcConnell: That’s okay. We control their student loans. We’ll jack those rates up to 20% and make them our Republican slaves. They won’t be able to afford to go to the polls. That will fix them. They’re the ones who voted for Obama in the first place. But we fixed them, din’t we Johnny? Because we won! We really won.

Boehner: So next Tuesday we take down Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Thursday we’ll nail Obamacare if they Supreme Court can’t do their job and then we’ll rub out the minimum wage so that people can get back to work just like Michelle Bachmann said. I miss that girl, don’t you?

McConnell: Did you hear her family got in a big fight?

Boehner: That was Sarah Palin’s family John. But just think! She could have been the Vice President, or even the President if McCain had kicked. Wouldn’t that have been something?

McConnell: It almost makes you want to cry.

john_boehner8-620x412Boehner: Almost. But I’m a little dehydrated. So don’t make me do that.

McConnell: Well, let’s drink to our success then! And see you on the other side of Obama. Let’s go get him!

Boehner: Heck yeah! Go Red Team!