Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Other Lemmings

Here is one I liked from The Progressive Daily Beacon: "Epler's World: An Inconvenient Republican Truth..."
W.C. 'Bill' Epler, February 10th, 2007

There's a sad game many of us have been playing which it's time to stop. It's called: "Surely our Republican neighbors have been duped."

We know these people; some of them are our in-laws, some of them are our neighbors, some of them are colleagues at work, and we just can't bring ourselves to believe that they live in the same moral/irrational sewer as George W. Bush.

But isn't that exactly what people said about the German supporters of Hitler during WW2? That's a rhetorical question, because, yes, that's EXACTLY what people said about the German supporters of Hitler during WW2. And they were wrong, dead wrong, monstrously wrong. That's what the Nuremberg trials were all about.

We can't have it both ways. It may be comforting to think that our Viva Bush neighbors, relatives, and colleagues are brainwashed puppets, but it's not that simple.

People support George Bush because in some sense they "are" George Bush. Republicans = Bush - he hasn't raped anyone. The doors to their bedrooms have always been open.

So what does this mean? It means that what is now happening in America isn't politics as usual. What's happening is virtually a species war.

Republicans aren't just Americans with different views, even though that probably used to be true when politics was Americans debating Americans (this was when Republicans were Americans first and Republicans second).

But that's no longer true and here's the proof. Let's use Jesus' dictum of, "Ye shall judge them by their fruits." Isn't that what Jesus meant? Wasn't he warning us not to be taken in by spinning? Walking the walk is what counts, not talking the talk.

The same thing is true for Republicans. You can't support an irrational, immoral thug without being an irrational, immoral thug. And that includes our sisters, our fishing companions, and our employees.

This is a hard and desperately painful truth, but it must be confronted. Republicans (with exceptions that prove the rule) are like the sleazy suitors of Penelope who Odysseus came home to in Ithaca. When he massively asserted himself to rid his kingdom of their cancer, one of them asked him why he was so furious. Remember his answer? He said, "It's because you were trying to steal my world."

That's the definition of a Republican: Someone who's trying to steal your world. Someone for whom might makes right and the end justifies any means. Someone for whom money is God and who is willing to do ANYTHING to get more, including killing your children.

So these aren't neighborly disagreements anymore. These are people who are anti-science, anti-environment, and contemptuous of humanity. Their spirituality is fake and stinks. Evangelicals are where Christianity ISN'T. Jesus spoke of love and compassion. Compare his words to the recent terrorist remarks of people like Pat Robinson. The marriage between Republicans and the Christian Right (or the UN-Christian Wrong) is truly made in hell.

So no more blinders, please. Time to see it like it is. Republicans aren't dupes and neither were the supporters of Hitler (or your tyrant of choice).

So long as this is unclear, we will keep trying to have ethical, rational conversations with criminals who break into our homes and abuse our families. And we will keep trying to have ethical, rational conversations with people who pretend George Bush didn't murder New Orleans through unimaginable incompetence.

It helps to see that Republicans really KNOW that Bush's energy policies are raping Mother Nature, and that Republicans really KNOW that Bush has lied to us about everything in Iraq in order make greed vampires like Cheney/Halliburton rich beyond the dreams of Midas.

. . . they also well know that 9/11 was an avoidable horror that happened on his watch!

The point is that Republicans aren't deluded or "taken in" by these things any more than all of the rest of us, it's just that they simply could care less so long as the cash register keeps dinging and they get to keep one upping all the non white, non Protestant, non old money, non good ol' boy suckers -- and so long as their pitiful Religious Right fear of life gets to hide on the other side of the universe from reality. And our President? Well, doesn't his smirk say it all?

It's been said that terrorism isn't the problem; terrorism is a symptom of the problem. Same thing here. George Bush isn't the problem; George Bush is a symptom of the problem.

Today's radicalized Republicans are the problem.
In other words... those who still support these psychos... what the hell are they thinking!?

Monday, March 26, 2007

I'm back 8^)

Well, it seems like forever since I last posted. I feel bad about it being so long... you know, fellow bloggers, that feeling you get, that you owe the world a daily post, and you feel pressured to provide it, and when you don't, you feel like you've let everyone down? Am I just crazy?

I tried several times to post a Youtube video, but I keep getting an error message and it won’t work (aauugghh!). Is it just me? I welcome any helpful hints here.

I have so many idea-inspiring links saved that there is no way I could possibly get them all organized and written about. I mean, piles and piles of ‘em, mountains of ‘em, folders stuffed with ‘em. But that's okay. I'll just jump back in with some free-form stream-of-consciousness commentary, just like the good old days.

One thing that has happened while I have been away is that Sacramento Ca, the capitol city of a state that is regarded as one of the nation’s most liberal, lost Air America. Lost it! That means I don’t get to listen to Randi Rhodes at lunchtime anymore, which I used to enjoy a lot.

Sacramento has had major problems delivering Air America from the beginning. Again, this should not have been the case here on the blue left coast. It started out okay, but it was on a station with a very weak signal, so it was quite hard to pull in most of the time. Still, I loved listening to Rachel Maddow et al in the morning, etc.. Then, they suddenly dropped that station, and jumped to another. They compounded things by not broadcasting Air America stuff all the time, replacing it with local programming. They also made asinine decisions like replacing Rachel Maddow with Jerry @$%#! Springer. Stupid. It was just a downward spiral from there. Finally, AAR tanked in Sac.

Air America’s failure in the Sacramento market was like a gift from heaven to local right-wing commentators. It was mortifying… it seemed to validate all the Rush O’Hannity bullshit about how progressive talk is doomed to failure in this country. Maybe they’re right. Maybe we’re in too much of a minority. Or, maybe their audience listens to the radio, while ours concentrates on the internet. Who knows?

The good news is that the original station, the one that AAR was on before the switch, remains true to their progressive roots, and carries Mike Malloy (go, truthseekers!).

So, lately I have tuned in a couple of times to rightwing talk radio to see what they’re up to. Yikes. I’ll tell you what: if we were judged on debate points, we would have no worries at all. For example, I listened to Michael Medved, a right-winger who fancies himself to be quite “fair and balanced,” and whose show I supposedly one famous for allowing honest debate.

During a call-in show about impeachment of “president” (sic) Bush, what do you suppose his response was to those calling for Bush’s impeachment? You guessed it: “If you’re going to go back and retroactively impeach presidents,” (employing the metaphysical strategy that one reason not to impeach Bush is because his actions took place in the past), “why not go back and look at Clinton?” oh, yes, he did, “because [he did this and he did that and blah blah blah]…”

I had to laugh. The theme of the program was that impeachment of Bush was a bad idea propagated by “Bush-haters”. And his defense was that it isn’t fair to impeach Bush after Clinton did all those horrible things. I wanted to say, “Dude, guess what: Clinton is not president anymore! You had your chance while you were impeaching him for that other stuff… what, eight years ago?! It’s over!” Or, as the right-wingers love to say, “Get over it!”

And, it goes on. I have no progressive talk radio where I live. Pity me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Just For a Diversion: The World of Music Nerds :)

Okay, here's a step away from current events. Some of you already know I check out the usenet newsgroups now and then, and one in particular is alt.guitar.bass. The following post there made me chuckle a little... this is so totally a great example of guitar-nerd-speak. I know you twang-bar-kings out there will dig it, and those of you who are not musicians can get a giggle at what some people consider understandable conversation:
"Consider this scenario. I want to substitute the G7 - as the V of a 2-5-1 progression in C - with a tritone. So I pick a Db7 chord. When it comes to creating an impro line around this chord, do I use, as a first choice, a lydian Db7 scale? Additionally, can I also consider G7 as a Bmin7 b5 chord, and again what are the scalar possibilities available, other than the lydian approach?"
I wanted to reply to it with a smartass remark about avoiding a dominant flat on a minor-7-sus-4-pentatonic triad, but I was nice and didn't. By the way, Carlos Santana says it's all in the soul, anyway.

Friday, March 9, 2007


I've been gone so long it's crazy. I feel bad about not blogging since... Presidents Day? Yikes. I got really busy in January, and the ripples were winding down in February, but I'm ready to come back now.

As for political blogging, news gets so totally fucking depressing that I can hardly stand it. This article kind of addresses where it's at right now... and it only scrapes the surface.

I can hardly stand it anymore.

Here's the article:

Turn off the life support: America is dead


03/09/07 "Capital Hill Blue" -- -- Maybe, just maybe, it's time to pull the plug on this failed democratic republic called The United States of America.

Turn off the life support. Disconnect the IVs. Bring in the priest for last rites. The US of A is brain dead with no chance for revival.

Some 40 years ago, I lost friends in the heat and squalor of Vietnam. They died in a war that never needed to be fought, supporting a cause that didn't exist for a government that lied to justify the fight.

A few years later, as a young reporter, I wrote about the attempts of Richard Milhous Nixon to destroy the Constitution of the United States. He failed because the system worked and both Congress and the Supreme Court exercised their powers in our system of checks and balances to restore order to a faltering nation.

"The lessons of Vietnam and Watergate provide a roadmap for the future," I wrote at the time. "With luck, our leaders can use that roadmap to avoid the mistakes of the past."

Now, 33-and-a-half years after the Vietnam War came to an end without resolution and Nixon left office without honor, I'm losing family of friends in the heat and squalor of Iraq. They die in a war that never needed to be fought, supporting a cause that doesn't exist for a government that lied to justify their sacrifices.

Another despot occupies the Presidency, an evil man whose lust for power surpasses Nixon and who poses a far greater danger to the Constitution. This time, however, the system is failing to protect America from despots. George W. Bush rides roughshod over a compliant Congress. The Supreme Court, packed with knee-jerk right-wingers who helped put Bush in office in 2000, abdicated its role long ago.

For a moment - a brief one to be sure - we held out hope that the voice of the voters might be heard after the November midterm elections. But turning out the corrupt Republican leadership of Congress was not enough. Democrats who control the House lack the balls to take Bush on and the razor-thin majority in the Senate can't even get a vote together on a non-binding resolution.

Democrats Thursday unveiled a plan to bring troops home by the end of 2008 but Bush is already threatening a veto if the bill gets out of Congress, which is probably won't.

In the meantime, we've learned that Bush lied about both the size and cost of his "troop surge" that he claims will bring peace and stability to Iraq. Not only are we sending more troops in than he said, at a cost far higher than he projected, his own general on the ground says they will have to stay longer than he told the American people earlier this year.

Over at the U.S. Department of Justice, an contradiction of terms if we over heard one, the FBI has lied repeatedly about its use, and abuse, of the rights-robbing USA Patriot Act to obtain information on U.S. citizens. I find it disturbing that in all their rhetoric about restoring America to the people, the new Democratic leadership of Congress doesn't say a damn thing about repealing the USA Patriot Act, an ill-conceived bill crafted by former attorney general John Ashcroft, and hastily voted into law after 9/11 by shell-shocked representatives and Senators who later admitted they hadn't even read it.

Today we learn that the federal government, at the direction of the White House, routinely ignores the Freedom of Information Act and hides more and more government documents under a cloak of secrecy.

Both Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid joined with Republicans to vote not only for original passage of the USA Patriot Act but also to reauthorize it. Bush has used the act to justify spying on Americans, wiretapping without warrants and strip away the last protections of the Constitution.

While Congress slept and the Supreme Court looked the other way, the Bush administration has gone on its merry way seizing absolute control of the United States government. He fired independent thinking U.S. attorneys, replacing them with lockstep right-wingers who share his view of totalitarian control of government. He ignores the laws of Congress, issuing "signing statements" that give him the power to do whatever he wants. When the federal courts declared his wiretapping of Americans illegal, he ignored the ruling and appointed an in-house review panel that declared the program "legal."

It doesn't matter who controls Congress. Congress is a dead institution, ruled by timid legislators who no longer exercise any real role in the governing of this nation.

It doesn't matter what the Supreme Court may or may not do. The President of the United States has declared himself a "war time President" and granted himself dictatorial rights that no one in Congress or the Court appears able to successfully challenge him.

The America we used to cherish is dead, replaced by a ruthless dictator. The America that more than 3,100 men and women died for in Iraq no longer exists. We might as well pull the sheet over Uncle Sam's head and prepare for the funeral.

Or can we, as a people, regain control of our government? Perhaps, but doing so will require drastic measures. I'm not talking about kicking out one party of political hacks and replacing it with another: Been there, done that, witnessed the failure.

We need to rethink this experiment called America. Maybe we need to start with a clean sheet of paper. Maybe it's time to recognize that our present America is a rotting corpse, devoured from within by the cancer of politics, corruption, greed and a lust for power.

Maybe it's time for a new American Revolution. After all, the last one started because another guy named George tried to destroy our way of life.