The world in which the dots seldom truly connect

IMG_3180Years ago, while monitoring the latest inanity of Rush Limbaugh, I was interested to hear Rush twist the words of the late Jack Kervorkian, to some known as Doctor Death, on the practice of helping terminally ill patients with assisted suicide.

The medical compassion of Kervorkian offended arch-conservatives, who seem to take consistent pleasure in insisting that a life in pain and misery is still much better than No Life At All.

Who can forget the hand-wringing intrusions on the end-of-life events surrounding Terry Schiavo, the woman lost to a coma, and whose husband simply wanted to give her a dignified ending? So-called life experts ranging from Sean Hannity to Every Other Conservative On the Planet turned the woman’s case into a battleground for medical and personal ethics, claiming that she should be kept alive no matter what.

The hand-wringing of End of Life issues continued when the Affordable Care Act came down the pike. Conservatives rushed to the forefront by claiming there would be “death panels” shutting down care for people in old folks homes and beyond. The lies were rampant. Rush: “The bureaucracy is going to make the decisions. You aren’t. And it’s in the House bill. Once you reach, I don’t know what the age is, every five years, it’s in the sixties, every five years some counselor shows up.” And Sean Hannity: “In other words, they would mandate that those who get government care literally could be pushed to refuse care.”

These were exaggerations of lies about the plan. But conservative power trips always start with the fearmongering inaccuracies. For example, that day I listened to Rush Limbaugh blabbing about Dr. Jack Kervorkian, he falsely quoted a description by the doctor of what he favored in life. Kervorkian advocated what he called “personal autonomy” in being able to choose the timing of your own end when terminal illness tears out the quality and meaning of life.  But what Rush chose to hear, and how he characterized the words of Kervorkian was a very different thing. “He’s in favor of anarchy,” Rush claimed.

Autonomy and anarchy are two very different things. Autonomy means independence or freedom, as of the will or one’s actions.” And that’s a value most conservatives would gladly embrace. Yet in this instance, Limbaugh saw it a different way.

After all, personal autonomy could not possibly extend to the right to end one’s own life when faced with a terminal illness, could it? That, according to Limbaugh, equalled “anarchy,” defined as: a state of society without government or law,” and political and social disorder due to the absence of governmental control.”

How very ironic that Limbaugh and his cohorts should claim that the absence of government equates to chaos and anarchy. Neoconservatives going back to Ronnie Reagan have long and loudly complained that government is the source of our society’s problems. Where does this hatred of government go when use of government suits the conservative claims to morality?

This is the cognitive dissonance and a refusal to “connect the dots” in conservative ideology pertaining to both morality and government. While conservatives advocate personal liberty and responsibility in public, too many it inconvenient and difficult to grant that right when they find something in the world that is uncomfortable or contrary to their highly selective and often repressive morality.

So they turn to government as the tool to impose their views upon society as a whole. This is how (and why) conservatives oppose the so-called “gay agenda.” That “agenda” is nothing more than a push to be granted the same civil rights to marriage and work compensations as defined by the United States Constitution. But again, this is an inconvenient truth to the ugly, judgmental morality favored by arch-conservatives, who in finding their own beliefs logically indefensible, choose the tool of law as a means to ignore that their convictions do not align with America’s founding principles.

Conservative hypocrisy on issues of personal and civil justice cross the entire spectrum of human existence. In religious discourse, the claims that “religious liberties” are blocked in by community refusal to post signs bearing the 10 Commandments on public property…or imposing group prayer in public school classrooms…or returning the Pledge of Allegiance to its original version in which the words “Under God”  were not included… are all somehow all intrusions on the free expression of religion in America. When in fact, these actions of barring imposition of religion on the public are in keeping with the constitutional call for freedom from religion if one so chooses under America’s freedoms.

So you see, the goals of conservatives are not about religious freedom at all. They instead favor religious imposition, specifically (and typically) a conservative Christian version of said faith.

But let’s examine the “religious freedom” claim from another perspective. No Christian conservative of record has ever come out in support of allowing Muslim students to bend down in prayer during public school time in accordance with the demands of Islamic faith. That brand of religious freedom apparently cannot be tolerated in America. That fact proves the dots of logic never really connect in conservative ideology. It is aggressively hypocritical to claim any such thing.

And in cases where the dangerous dots should be connected, as in the recent instance in which Donald Trump issued a veiled edict to beckon “Second Amendment people” to take out his opponent in order to carry out a twisted form of political justice, conservatives wrongly try to fob it off as a joke. They refuse to connect the dots at all.

The same goes for the refusal to connect the dots between mass shootings, gun crime and the massive proliferation of powerful guns in America. There are now literally more guns than people in the United States. It should be simple math that tells the story. The police themselves are outgunned and outmanned by this fact, and have thus been forced to militarize. The result is that we now have not one, but two supposedly “well-regulated militia” squared off in the public sphere. Guns take lives through both murder and suicide. They enable the madness that takes over the human mind, yet are celebrated in popular fiction and in Wild West tales of gunslingers and heroes who kill or assassinate for a living. What do we think is going to happen when these are the kinds of dots we choose to connect between solving troubles and killing those with whom we disagree?

Yet conservatives have ignored these disturbing straight-line causes of violence, and as such have fobbed off Trump’s calls for violence toward protestors and ignored his cloying association with racists. The Republican Party turned a blind eye to his misogyny and indeed, some in Christian conservative circles even welcomed him in direct defiance of the tenets of a faith that by definition calls for extensions of forgiveness and love. But Trump promises power, and the Christian church and the Jewish faith before that has fallen prey to the seduction of flawed yet powerful leaders. Even God reputedly told David at the end of his life that he was not fit to build a temple in his honor because there “is too much blood on your hands.” And after that, the Catholic Church was seduced into power-hungry madness and politics, slaughtering its enemies, sending mercenaries out on Crusades, persecuting Jews, torturing people for blasphemy and acting like religious goons until Martin Luther came along and started the Protestant Reformation.

But it hasn’t stuck. People in religious power still don’t get that they are often the self-righteous enemies of God. One can see that in the manner in which the current Pope Francis is castigated by political conservatives for expressing the very tenets of Christian faith. “He’s not a true Christian!” they scream through the news media.

Into this void in morality comes Donald Trump like the new King Herod, swinging those promises of power and debauchery around like there’s no tomorrow. He’s even bragged about his penis size in public, and lusted after his own daughters. This is a man of corrupted values of near biblical proportions. And yet conservatives have been forced to embrace him in a devil’s kiss because he bears the political covenant of a party.

That has freed the man to go around wildly calling for nuclear strikes as a pre-emptive global strategy. Trump thinks he is a king of the world before he is even crowned. He takes only his own counsel as worthy of consideration. These are the antics of an insane ruler, a modern Caligula as it were. But not a man adept at connecting the dots, except those he chooses to promulgate his own self-serving reality. Madness, in other words.

Those of us with brains have connected those dots, and we don’t like what we see. The disconnected process by which Trump rose to potential power is a direct result of broken logic that fuels the entire neoconservative movement, that led us into Iraq on falsified information and that led to thousands of American lives destroyed in a war of choice. We also murdered hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq and yet wonder why terrorism still persists.

That would be the product of our own hate as a brand of diplomacy, force as a tool for justice, propaganda as a form of “fair and balanced” information, and lies as a cruel joke foisted on the American people. Obama did not cause ISIS or ISIL or whatever you want to call it. He merely fulfilled a course into which America was forced by people determined to rule without responsibility. Even a responsible president cannot immediately cure that insanity once it has begun. He is even “blamed” for the withdrawal from Iraq that was negotiated by the administration of George W. Bush. The Iraqis demanded it. So the lies about Obama’s “mess” in the Middle East are actually the product of cause and effect. We broke those countries and it has cost trillions in time and treasure trying to fix them.

And given this record of falseness in domestic and international calculation, we can therefore also connect the dots clearly connecting the lies and misinformation distributed by conservatives about Hillary Clinton.  These are contraindications of the bankrupt aims of neoconservatism, which cares only about power, not the people it is supposed to serve. They hate Hillary Clinton for the things she does best, which is play hardball politics and bat back information that may or may not be fact. She may in fact be one of them, as a possibility, which is why both the Right and the Left have suspicions that have not been resolved. The whole thing reads more like an ugly sibling rivalry than a classroom scuffle.

But Trump is the scary uncle in all this, which is evidenced by his own fearfmongering reproach. Weird Uncle Donald with his secretly sexual past recently fixed his angry stare at his female opponent, pointing fingers while questioning her mental fitness for the job of President. This was Trump’s reaction to the fact that his own sanity was being questioned by legitimately concerned professional psychologists, who see clear signs of psychopathy, sociopathy or some other pathologic condition to which he will never admit, but confesses to daily in his words.

Meanwhile, conservative Internet bandits have been distributing a photo of Hillary Clinton being helped up some icy stairs during a campaign event last February. Their claim was that she is in poor physical health as well. The photo was posted out of context, and far out side the realm of truth.

But that’s been the tool of conservatism for so long, there is no longer any truth left in the movement. So many have falsely tried to connect dots in the Hillary Clinton narrative and been debunked in hearings and the court of law that it is the punitive actions that count, not the results. The Right has done this to promote belief that she’s a crooked human being. Some on the Right love to claim that supposedly sane people have simply refused to connect the dots in her political history. But when those dots are scrambled to a pointless, pointillist approach of peppering her narrative with untruths there can be no credibility. The truth is paved over with the lies and hatred of her accusers.

Yet Trump can stumble and bumble and make up disconnected lies at will, and rabid conservatives buy his disconnected thoughts lock, stock and barrel. Because there is an investment in his lies. It is the only way conservatives can further bury the consequences of poor governance and the failed policies that have gutted America, torn up our global reputation and turned the nation into a reactionary republic rather than a leader in the world. Were it not for the steady, considerate hand of President Obama, criticized as he was from the moment he took office, there would be no recovery at all. Romney or McCain or Palin or any in the line of hard-line zealots would have gutted social programs and further impoverished America’s aging and poor. Compassionate conservatism is yet another lie.

It’s the difference, you see, between people who advocate personal autonomy, which stands for freedom and thought enterprise. This stands in direct contrast to political anarchy, in which people advocate for a candidate who wants to blow up his enemies or have them shot in order to win.

We can either connect the dots in what this man says, and stand for autonomy as a nation, or we can degrade into anarchy. Because that’s what Donald Trump represents.

 

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On Bernie Sanders and Ralph Nader

150430-berniesanders-editorial.jpgListen, I was listening to Bernie Sanders long before he was Bernie Sanders, candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. He was a weekly guest on the Thom Hartmann show to which I regularly listened. I liked his ability to answer political and legislative questions in real time, right over the air.

The political stumper that Bernie has become is a somewhat different creature. He’s right argued that the political system is rigged against him. He’s correctly asserted that America’s economic system has giant flaws. He’s proposed massive public investment in America’s educational and health care systems. I even agree with him that America has all the money it needs to pay for these supposedly “socialistic” programs that are in fact simply the logical actions of a nation determined to improve the lives and minds of its citizens.

Because honestly, the Republican Party has done everything it can to divest Americans of the opportunity to make a fair living, get a good education and put it to work in an equitable economy. We’ve watched Republicans publicly flog the Unemployment Compensation system and accuse people thrown out of work by the economic crash of being “too old and lazy” to want to go back to work. We’ve heard Republicans use rampant racism to disenfranchise those they most fear. That would be anyone with brown skin or a different religion that outnumbers the dwindling numbers of angry, largely white so-called Christians who hardly lift a finger to reconcile their capitalistic dogma to their equally dogmatic fundamental brands of faith.

Republicans are a hot ideological mess compared to men like Bernie Sanders. Republicans are more like an ideo-illogical mess. They’re don’t even claim to be whores with hearts of gold, because their repressive tendencies always seem to hide some massive personal scam waiting for exposure. Just ask Dennis Hastert if you don’t believe it. Or Newt Gingrich. All those fundamentalist Republican preachers in sex scandals.

By comparison to those lying zealots, Bill Clinton is a saint. And his wife Hillary still has not been proven to have done one wrong thing. Sure, she exaggerates a twitch or two, but she’s a political realist in the end.

That’s far more than can be said for men like Ted Cruz with his goddamned God Complex. Or Donald Trump who seems to think he’s a Golden Idol worthy of worship. The rest of the ungodly mess that Republicans sent forth for inspection withered and sank like a troop of squalid mushrooms sprouting from a shit pile. Scott Walker? There’s a foul stench around him. Jeb Bush? He smelled a little too rich and ripe. Even that stinker Mitt Romney cropped back up for a few weeks. And what did it get him? A portabella goodbye, that’s what.

So I’m not dissing Bernie Sanders on that level at all. I like Bernie compared to all these fecal greaseballs. And Bernie is a genuine contender. I’ll definitely credit him with that.

But I don’t get the feeling he wants the Democrats to win. Bernie distrusts the entire system, and with good reason. There’s just one problem with that. A man like Bernie can deliver true evil into power.

03-ralph-nader.w529.h352.2x.jpgIt happened once before with Al Gore and Ralph Nader back in 2000. Gore would have made a wonderful, rational and considerate President of the United States. But Nader went after anti-establishment, populist voters from a greenish stripe and wicked off just enough votes to keep Gore out of the White House. And in so doing, he let George Fucking Bush get in.

That moment in history has cost America dearly. We got the lying-est White House ever. True evil came in the back door with that vicious bastard Dick Cheney. Add in a right-wing-nut-cabinet that took us to war on lies in Iraq, and that ignored the clear warnings of impending terrorist attacks…which ultimately delivered the excuse they were seeking for action in the Middle East…and Ralph Nader starts to look like a real selfish villain in all this.

And I’m equally concerned right now that if Sanders tells his supposedly smart voters not to support Hillary Clinton, we could get a President Trump in the White House. Or just as bad (maybe worse) a President Cruz.

That would be fucking stupid. There is no way either of those men deserves to use the White House restroom, much less sit in the Oval Office.

Bernie Sanders and Ralph Nader have way too much in common for my taste. I’m trying to figure out what it is about determined Jewish men that makes them such a danger to American interests. All I tell you is that King David did everything God told him to do. Yet when it came time to build a temple to God, David was told he had too much blood on his hands. There’s a lesson in that somehow. It is possible to care about your cause a little too  much.

I love a revolutionary as much as the next person. Because John Lennon knew the benefits and risks of revolution.

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out

What we’re witnessing is the destruction of America. But it’s not the work of liberals destroying traditional values, because it took more than 100 years of liberal political revolution to give equal rights to women and blacks. It’s taken just as long to make progress for gays and other minorities. Those are Constitutional values that are actually fulfilling the vows of our Founding Fathers for equality. Conservatives have fought that revolution tooth and nail, and helped destroy American lives in the process.

And it’s not socialism compromising the benefits of capitalism, because without regulations, free markets clearly and frequently spin out of control. We have the Great Depression and the Recent Recession to illustrate that fact.

It’s not a black President that threatened to destroy America, but fear of that man that promulgated a fierce wellspring of ugly racist populism now being fed by men like Donald Trump. And it’s not a lack of religion that destroyed the influence of Christian values in America, but the prostitution of biblical knowledge to fit a highly opportunistic brand of religion that shed the teachings of Christ to don the trappings of power.

And to combat these horrific influences on our culture and the nation at large, it is important that we not allow the leaders of this brand of political furor and zealotry to take greater control. Already we’ve seen what the warmongers can do to the national treasury with the post 9/11 escapades and nation-building overseas. We’ve seen media like Fox News cheerlead these ventures and lead with euphemisms such as Fair and Balanced to confuse and propagandize political priorities as fact.

You’re all witness to these devastating games, and some refuse to question their own roles, clinging to single issue contentions over abortion, gay marriage or taxes as excuses for installing liars and zealots and religious nuts into positions of power. Those people have no concern for America as a principle. They only care about America as an instrument for their repressive desire for control, hatred and bully politics.

And that’s what scares me about men like Bernie Sanders and Ralph Nader. They don’t seem to see the forest for the trees.

The socialism of sociopathy

Sociopath: a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocialoften criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

IMG_8609Perhaps you noticed the difference in tone between the Republican and Democratic debates? The Republican “debate” was all about name-calling, angry accusations and selfish calls for political support because the “other guys” both within their own party and political opponents outside the realm of Republicanism are doing it all wrong.

Basically what we saw was a line of sociopaths socializing over a menu of red political meat. And to no one’s real surprise, they were eating their own.

Contrasts

By contrast, the Democratic debate focused on issues of substance, and when issues like the Hillary Clinton emails came up, candidate Bernie Sanders steered the subject back to matters that mattered. “Enough about your damn emails,” he barked. “Let’s talk about real issues.”

See, there really is a moral equivalency that needs to be measured in the nature of how Republicans conduct themselves and the manner in which Democrats are trying to solve America’s problems. Notice the difference there? For a lineup of sociopaths, it’s literally impossible to think about the impact of what they’re saying about others. They don’t care. They’re antisocial to a major degree.

Crass and uncaring

Donald Trump is leading the polls on the Republican side. His misogyny is so bald-faced and crass. His entire campaign is about the fact that “he’ll do this” and “he’ll do that.” And it will be better. He’ll force people to the table to negotiate. And if they don’t like his deals, he’ll dump them and move on. He’s the king of anti-socialites, primped with a bad hair style and a bad brain beneath it. He’s a sociopath.

And yet he rallies the sociopaths who love his style. That’s because there’s a brand of socialism that emanates from sociopathy. That’s how organizations like the Klu Klux Klan were able to help impose Jim Crow laws that favored whites across the nation. All social advantage was conferred to white people through economic and political power. Blacks were denied jobs and even a seat at the counter or on the bus.

This is the most evil brand of socialism. Here’s how it is defined:

Socialism is a social and economic system characterised by social ownership and/or social control of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy, as well as a political theory and movement that aims at the establishment of such a system.

Do you begin to see how it works? Sociopaths like Donald Trump and Marco Rubio (who acts like a serial murderer) and Chris Christie and so on…love to claim they favor capitalism as a socioeconomic system. But their brand of capitalism does not provide equal opportunity for all to participate in the system. By definition and design, the Republican Party has concocted through a combination of Good Old Boy political favors and outright bribery and control by industries such as oil, pharmaceuticals and even agriculture, turned America into a socialistic oligarchy.

Oligarchy: a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution.
When you put the two words together, Socialism and Oligarchy, and study how our economy has been manipulated to push wealth to a small fraction of ownership, you begin to realize that the socialism proposed by candidates such as Bernie Sanders is really more like a market correction than it is an attempt to socialistically redistribute wealth from one segment of society to another.
We recently saw the result of a market correction as managed (and designed) by the greedy sociopaths currently running our economy. America’s wealth convulsed and contracted, and millions of people lost millions of dollars, jobs and wages became depressed as a result. Meanwhile the richest got richer. We were literally told that the tax dollars of everyday Americans would be necessarily used to bail out banks that were “too big to fail.”
Convenient untruths
Well, isn’t that convenient? Meanwhile millions of middle class and often middle-aged Americans were cast out of work, and companies refused to hire them if they were out of work more than six months. Then a cast of sociopathic Republican Senators and Congressman began to blame these Americans for collecting unemployment insurance. They refused to pass a bill that would allow people to keep collecting said insurance as they continued looking for work. They further accused people of not even trying to look for work.
I sat around the table at a business luncheon in 2009. Around me sat a group of local businessmen, all who blanched when the banking industry speaker admitted that companies like his would not soon loosen restrictions on loans for capital and payroll loans. You could feel the anger and frustration surge, for these were good conservative people who ran businesses that employed other people. They felt abandoned by the very system they supported. They were victims of the socialistic sociopathy of oligarchic capitalism. But one wonders if they recognized it, or would ever change their vote to people that actually cared whether their businesses survived.
It’s doubtful.
Hierarchies
The sociopaths at the upper levels of the economy have zero empathy for other people, you see. By definition they entirely lack “a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.” And when the economy tanked, many of them actually gave themselves performances. Big companies held parties using the federal dollars they received in bailouts. That is the most sociopathic thing one can conceive. 
See, it has become a pattern in the America that the socialism of sociopathy works against the interests of everyday people trying to make a living, run businesses, raise a family and enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
And as if the economics of sociopathic socialism were not enough, the political Right also wants to rule the inside of a woman’s body, and prevents the Equal Rights Amendment from even being considered for passage.
Well, shoot
Meanwhile, the sociopathic socialists also constructed a gun culture in which the rights of everyday people who do not want to own or possess guns are being forced to consider their own safety just by attending school or going to a movie theater. The sociopathic socialists tell the world that guns make the nation a safer place to live despite the fact that 30,000 annually die from gun violence. Guns are the perfect expression of sociopathic socialism, because they now are legal for Concealed Carry in all 50 states, and lobbies are working to pass Open Carry laws so that people can walk around brandishing weapons in public.
Stop and think about that for a moment. We’re talking about a fully militarized society at that point. All people who do not carry weapons would be at a social disadvantage wherever they go.
Fighting back meekly
Small efforts to combat this brand of sociopathic socialism still exist. One can find No Guns signage on the doors of churches and businesses that do not want people carrying weapons. And yet, the sociopathic socialists warn that it is No Gun Zones that are the most dangerous places because it confers advantage to so-called criminals with guns.
How is this logic even tolerated? Well, the slogan for gun rights that trump all other rights is “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
And that, my friends, is the most sociopathic statement ever concocted. It actually invites people to kill. Look at those last three words. “People kill people.” That’s the slogan for sociopathy. And now it is socialized into our country’s lexicon.
Good gun owners
Granted, there are millions of gun owners that use and keep their weapons lawfully. But they are doing precious little to prevent the sociopathic strain of gun owners from ruining their rights as guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Instead these lawful gun owners either weakly or submissively go along, or else get on their Right To Bear Arms stump as if standing proudly above others on grounds of the Second Amendment and ignoring the part about a “well-regulated militia, being necessary for the security fo a free state…” was justification enough to ignore the fact that our police are being shot and killed and hundreds of thousands more people per year are harmed by gun violence.
Hate, fear and aggression
This is the socialism of sociopathy. It harnesses hatred, fear and aggression to confer political power on those whose worldview has no empathy, and whose greed blinds them to the mechanics of true democracy, which works to provide an equal and fair playing field for all citizens.
It’s no coincidence that political leaders like Paul Ryan cite the sociopathic writings of Ayn Rand as a model for his own behavior. Or that men like Newt Gingrich could deliver an ultimatum note to his wife in her sickbed from cancer, and take part in all sorts of other schemes while hypocritically castigating President Clinton for his affair. And that supposed Good Guy Dennis Hastert was paying hush money all these years to cover up his own transgressions while pretending to be a man of high honor.
All of them, sociopaths. These are not people of good character, and they have assembled a political party around principles that are exclusionary, manipulative of cultural norms and backed by a strangely sociopathic brand of Christian faith that is literally divorced from the teachings of Jesus Christ.
It all requires a considerable amount of cognitive dissonance to sustain. But the fundamental sociopathy behind a cultural force that works against social welfare by blaming the victims of its policies for causing ill to society is the methodology of a sociopath with psychopathic disorder.
Psychopath: a person with psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoraland antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc.
Think about the Rush Limbaughs of the world, who with his multiple failed marriages still feels it’s his right and responsibility to tell women how to live and what to do with their bodies. Or Bill O’Reilly, caught in multiple lies about his journalistic history, and yet he claims to operate in a “No Spin Zone.” 
These are manipulations of image that exhibit sociopathic and psychopathic tendencies. And yet millions of people buy their schtick and pipe up with “dittos!” to Rush Limbaugh and his ilk. 
This is the socialism of sociopathy. It’s a sickness American needs to cure. But there’s a problem in that people with the illness seldom recognize it in themselves. And so they vote even against their own interests just so the person who appears to be below them on the social ladder will not get a leg up. That’s the socialism of sociopathy. 
America is a sick place sometimes. 
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