Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Social Security is going bankrupt!
Uhm, no. Social Security is not going to go tits up. Without tax hikes or sale of lots of Treasuries on the open market to pay back the bonds in the Social Security trust fund it’s not going to be able to pay all the promised benefits, but frankly even the 60% of the promised benefits that it will be able to pay worst case is more than enough for me to live on in retirement (granted, I qualify for the maximum benefit due to years of six-figure salaries and have modest needs for retirement income since I own my retirement property clear and outright and it’s in a state with no property tax on most residential property and thus need money only for utilities and maintenance, but even folks with more modest income will still get a good shake from Social Security).
Medicare is not going to go tits up either. Before the Baby Boomers allow Medicare to go tits up, they’re going to mandate it as the single payer health care insurer for America, and thus use payroll taxes on the young to pay for their retirement health care. On average the typical person will be paying less for Medicare than they currently pay for private insurance even with the subsidy of the prunes so it’s a win-win all the way, nevermind that the health insurance companies hate the idea (duh, they’d be like buggy whip makers in 1928 after the automobile had displaced horse and buggy nationwide!). So it’s going to happen. If you work in the health insurance business, I suggest that you do like the buggy whip makers and get another job, yours is going to get obsolete as soon as the boomers realize they need young farts to subsidize their Medicare and that the only way they’re going to get that without a revolution is to extend Medicare to all.
In short, whining about how Social Security is a "scam" and that there is a Social Security "crisis" is bullcrapola. Just typical scare tactics by people who know only the bullshit talking points handed down to them by their Party commissars on Faux News and Talk Radio…
August 6, 2001. President George W. Bush attends a conference with National Security Advisor Condi Rice and representatives of several intelligence agencies to be briefed about a threat to America. These representatives of the nation's intelligence services brief the President, at this Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB), that Osama bin Laden is planning to strike America, and furthermore that he plans to hijack an airliner. At the end of it, Dear Leader tells the intelligence agents "Okay, you've covered your butts now" and goes on vacation. No action is taken to tighten surveillance on known al Qaeda agents or tighten security at airports.
On September 11, 2001, four jet airliners are hijacked and three of them are flown into buildings while one, apparently after a struggle with passengers, is crashed into a field. Over 2,000 Americans die.
It continues to mystify me why 1/4th of the nation still continues to insist that George W. Bush exhibits leadership, when it has been clear for over six years that nothing of the sort is true. Dear Leader's notion of leadership is to go on vacation. It's the only thing he knows how to do, apparently, he has spent over 20% of his Presidency on vacation. While any normal President would have sounded alarm bells at a briefing stating that a known enemy of America who had killed hundreds of Americans over the past five years was planning to strike again, and would have ordered the nation's security apparatus to locate and neutralize the threat, George W. Bush... went on vacation.
I don't agree with the 9/11 conspiracy freaks who think that surely no President could be so incompetent thus he must have known that 9/11 was coming and thus 9/11 was an inside job. This President has proven too many times that yes, he really is that incompetent. Still, I know where they're coming from. That level of arrogance, stupidity, and incompetence simply is hard to believe. Too many people, still, would rather believe that their President is an evil machiavellian mass murderer of Americans than that he's, well, a fuckin' moron. Well, except for the 27% of True Believers, who apparently lack the brain mass that God gave a housecat and think that going on vacation is decisive action against America's enemies...
In a previous message regarding "Dr." Michael Savage extolling gold as an investment, I implied that he didn't really have a doctorate degree. Uhm, I gotta post a correction there. He does. Under his real name, Michael Allan Weiner (sounds like "whiner"), he has a Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley in Nutrition, and wrote a number of books in the 1970's and 1980's about various dietary supplement regimes (the most famous of which is his book "Getting Off Cocaine", where he advises an herbal regime for kicking the coke habit). If I were planning a series of meals to meet the dietary needs of a diverse population, I'd definitely consider Dr. Weiner to be someone whose expertise, if offered, would be valuable. Financial advice... uhm, no.
is .... BWHAHAHAH! C'mon, did you really think I was going to do a Romney/Lieberman style "plan" for solving Iraq's problems? Get real, folks. The time when I, or any American, had the moral standing or any standing at all to say anything about how to "fix" Iraq is long gone. As a nation we have proven to be utterly incompetent and inept at the task of ruling an Arab nation. There is literally nothing that any American pundit or politician has ever uttered or implemented that did anything except make things worse.
Anybody who proposes a "plan" that does not a) immediately remove U.S. troops from Iraq so that they quit acting like a bull in a china shop and fucking things up (note -- it's a soldier's job to fuck things up, preferably enemies-of-America things, so don't blame the soldiers for this, blame the men who sent soldiers in to do a policeman's job) and, then, b) immediately start paying anybody who's not American to "fix" the situation however they so propose to fix it, regardless of whether the Iraqis are sitting on "our" oil or not, and then, c) pay hundreds of billions of dollars in reparations to the Iraqi people over the next ten years for the damage we've done to their infrastructure and their society... any plan that doesn't call for turning the problem over to someone who, like, knows their shit (which ain't anybody American when it comes to Arab societies)... any such plan should be greeted with only derisive laughter. Because, unfortunately, every single plan that has ever been proposed by any American doesn't pass the giggle test when you run it by an actual Iraqi.
It's time to face facts: We fucked up, and like Bubba in the fancy dish shop, we just ain't got the smarts to fix it. Best thing we can do is get out, and pay for the damage we've done, and hope that the proprietor of that there fancy dish shop can get the old smashed stock repaired or replaced without our "help" (other than our money, of course). At this point in time, anything we do in Iraq, regardless of how well intended, will only make things worse. We might not like knowing that America is not omnipotent and rah rah USA whatchamacallit, but facts is facts, people. We just ain't smart 'nuff as a people anymore to fix even our own fuckin' bridges, much less Iraq's.
As some of you know, I subscribe to World Nut Daily's news flashes so that you don't have to. In the latest news flash, I learned an interesting thing: Mit Romney is a terrorist supporter.
See, Mitt Romney sez that the way to get those darkies overseas to love us is to, like, be nice to them. Give them money to buy food and clothes. Build bridges and water treatment plants and roads for them. Open up health clinics and schools for them. That kinda thing. Like Hezbollah does. But any real Republican knows that darkies don't understand it when you're nice to them. The only thing darkies understand is force. That's why Hezbollah is so popular in Lebanon, because they kill so many Lebanese. Uhm, except they don't. They give the Lebanese people free food, run a construction company that builds bridges and houses for them, and so forth. Which darkies view as weakness and thus view you as someone to disdain if you do that kinda stuff for them. Which is why Hezbollah so unpopular in Lebanon. Except they aren't. WAH! Mommy, logic is making my Republican head hurt, make it stop, WAH!
So anyhow, the Mitster stuck his foot into his mouth. But never fear. I'm sure that, like with abortion, universal health insurance, gay marriage, and other such issues where the Mitster believed one thing before he believed another, next week he'll believe that the proper way to deal with those darkies overseas is to bomb and kill them, just like all good Republicans believe. Because, after all, being nice just isn't as much fun. Even if it actually works at gaining friends, unlike the bomb'em to the stone age thingy, but hey, he's a Republican. Logic? BWahahahhah!
The Coultergeist (sorry, no linky, I won't drive hits to the harpy) has come up with the latest crime that the Democrats are guilty of: They're being nice to teachers.
Good call, Republicons! Everybody knows that the best way to deal with the people who are raising your children (because you're too self-centered, selfish, apathetic, and/or stupid to do it yourself) is not to be nice to them. If your kid isn't doing well in school, remember, it's not your kid's fault for being lazy, apathetic, or just plain stupid. It's the teacher's fault! Why, if the teacher wasn't so selfish as to work for almost nothing for twelve hours a day during the school year trying to pound some knowledge into the heads of ungrateful little brats who would rather be anywhere else, if she'd just wave her little magic wandy thingy abra cadabra like Hairy Potter, your kid would be a genius instead of an ignorant, self-centered apathetic idiot!
Yessirree, them Demon-craps. They just don't know how to treat teachers. Why, they say teachers ought to be paid more to deal with your demon spawn? Oh the horror! They say teachers ought to have better working conditions rather than working in dungeon-like Early Industrial settings with leaky roofs and drafty windows? To the gallows with them! Why, ever good Republican knows that the only way to deal with a teacher is to come in with a belt and start walloping the hell out of her for ruining your child with them thare "idears" thingies, yessiree!
So remember, boys and girls: Vote Republicans. Because them Demoncraps, why, they're... they're... nice to teachers. GASP!
As some of you know, I've placed myself on a few of the right-wingnut mailing lists just for the entertainment value. While the results have been entertaining in a way, I haven't posted much about it. That's because while entertaining, they're also rather sad or pathetic.
Case in point: "Dr." Michael Savage (Ph.D.-Mail Order) sent me an email extolling gold as an investment.
Now, first of all let's dispense with a common myth that somehow gold has some sorta inherent value. It doesn't. It's just this shiny metal stuff. You can't eat gold. You can't wear gold. Gold doesn't keep rain off your head or heat your home in the winter. Frankly, as a useful commodity, gold pretty much sucks, meaning that its only value is whatever you can trade it for.
And if you're going to trade a useless commodity for something, well, gold kinda sucks there too. You can't go down to your local grocery store and pay in gold. Unlike that green toilet paper stuff with pictures of dead Presidents on it, you can't buy a burger with gold. You gotta trade it for that green toilet paper first, which is cumbersome to do and involves fees and such.
And finally, gold isn't portable. It's heavy.
All in all, this means gold really isn't very useful as a money. Maybe back in Roman times, when every farmer and shop keeper accepted gold as payment for stuff, but not nowdays. Nowdays it's just this shiny metal that for some reason has this mythos built around it that it's something special, instead of just another metal like lead or iron or copper or whatever.
So why do Republicans rattle on about the "gold standard" as if it were something desirable? Well, it's because gold has one attribute that paper money doesn't: the government can't create more of it. The amount of gold in the world is pretty much fixed, and isn't growing very fast because all of the easily-mined gold was plucked up long ago.
Now, at first glance that might seem desirable. But the deal is, it's only desirable if the amount of goods and services in your economy are fixed and the number of people in your economy are fixed. If the number of people grow and correspondingly create more "stuff" (assuming that per-capita productivity at least holds constant), what you end up with is more "stuff", but not more money. That means deflation -- i.e., if it took $5 to buy some "stuff", now it only takes $4 to buy some "stuff."
You might say, "what's so bad about that?". Well, if you're a millionaire, nothing. You have lots of money, and now that money is going to go further. But if you work for a living, your own services are "stuff". If you're a farmer, the food you grow is "stuff". So you get paid less too. So you don't come out ahead. Only the rich guy does. And if you owe any debts -- if you owe a mortgage on your house, or on your farm -- you now are getting paid less (in admittedly more valuable dollars), but you have to pay back this loan that was taken out in cheaper dollars. In essence, your wealth is getting transferred to the wealthy -- they loaned you $1000 that would be worth $800 in today's money, but you have to pay them back the full $1000.
A perfect example is the deflationary spiral at the start of the Great Depression. Herbert Hoover refused to turn on the printing presses to keep the supply of money at least steady, and as banks collapsed, the money supply collapsed -- there were fewer dollars in the economy chasing the goods and services in the economy. This deflationary spiral resulted in huge numbers of small businesses and farms collapsing as they could no longer pay their debts because the debts were not re-calculated into the now-more-valuable dollars, thus creating windfalls for the big businesses and wealthy agri-businesses that took over their assets and farms and customers. It was the biggest transfer of wealth from the working class to the wealthy class ever in American history, and a perfect example of why Republicans are always rattling on about the gold standard -- or anything else that could cause a deflationary spiral, for that matter.
So anyhow, back to "Dr." Michael Savage (PhD-Mail Order) and his gold scam. It is a scam, you know. You never actually get the gold he's "selling". It is supposedly being held in a warehouse for you that's more "secure" and besides, gold is heavy, y'know, you really don't want to be lugging around all that heavy metal do you? Reality is that you are being sold "shares" in a gold-purchasing consortium. Some of the money you're putting into this consortium may be used to purchase gold. But most of it is going to "expenses". Like the expense of paying "Dr." Michael Savage hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to tout the scam on his radio show.
So anyhow, that's the low-down on gold and right-wing scam artists. Gold. You can't eat it, y'know?
Bush Administration VA Secretary hits the road. Something about failing to deal with the rash of brain-injured patients that have hit the VA's doors ever since the insurgents in Iraq figured out that rattling soldiers around with IED's scrambled their brains even worse than Dear Leader's cocaine-befuddled brain. How *dare* those disabled soldiers demand medical care after they come back from Dear Leader's little war for oil!
An Iraq war critic encounters an Iraq war supporter
The Iraq war supporter says, "It's not dead! It's just... resting! Yeah!"
Well, if it's been "resting" for four years, mate, it isn't bloody likely to get up and start rumbling a samba, right? Let's face facts. This parrot is deceased. Dead. Gone to meet its maker. Kaput. If it ain't been won in four years, it ain't gonna get won. Saying this parrot needs "more time" ain't gonna make it any less stiff. The only reason it isn't pushing up daisies is because the shop keeper err Bush Administration keeps nailing it to its perch and selling it to more gullible idiots who come through the door. But this parrot is, in the end, *dead*.
One of the rational conservatives out there, John Cole, reports that a lot of prominent evangelicals and a token Mormon got together last night to discuss theology and the Bible. This prayer meeting was apparently televised nationally (darn, I'm going to have to get my television out of the closet one of these days!) and addressed important issues such as the Big Bang Theory vs. the Biblical account of creation, the importance of the salvation brought to Man by Jesus Christ, etc.
Oh wait, that wasn't a prayer meeting... that was the Republican presidential candidates' debate. Because, after all, we must have our priorities straight. The Iraq war, health care crisis, collapsing immigration system, national debt, global warming, well, those are all trivial things. The important thing for Presidential candidates to debate is whether the Genesis account of Creation is 100% factual or not. Just as the important thing for Byzantine intellectuals to debate in the 8th and 9th century was iconoclasm, not the fact that the Muslims were whipping their butt on the Anatolian frontier. Remember, what's important in a Presidential candidate is not how he handles worldly concerns like, say, how to secure our borders. As with the Byzantine emperor in the 9th century, securing the borders isn't important. How a politician handles religious arguments... why, that's the important thing, not how well he handles running the country, y'know?
O’REILLY: But do you understand what the New York Times wants, and the far-left want? They want to break down the white, Christian, male power structure, which you’re a part, and so am I, and they want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have."
Because, y'know, white males are 36% of the population, yet 79% of the Senate, so they're obviously an oppressed minority and besides, we gotta keep the darkies and uppity wimmins in their place, yassah!
George W. Bush does a passable imitation of a moron. But is he?
A bit of history here. I lived through the Reagan administration. The administration of Ronald Reagan was one of the most corrupt in our nation's history. This was an era of $500 hammers and $2 billion dollar bombers. More Reagan Administration officials were convicted of high crimes and misdemeanors than even Nixon officials.
Yet none of this seemed to stick to Reagan personally. Why? Because he projected the image of the affable moron to the general public. When Ronald Reagan appeared before Congress and replied "I don't recall" time after time when asked questions about breaking the law against sending money to a bunch of Somoza's drug-running goons called "Contras" by the Reaganites, everybody just shook their head and sighed. Because they believed him. Surely he was just too senile, too genial an old fool, to have anything to do with planning something so vile and evil as financing the drug dealers who brought the crack cocaine epidemic to Los Angeles?
Thing is, Reagan really wasn't that senile. Oh sure, he wasn't a detail man by any means. But on the important things, he was notorious for listening to everybody's input, then making a decision that showed he had a firmer grasp on the big picture than anybody else in that room. For example, when the U.S. involvement in the Lebanese Civil War on behalf of Israel caught U.S. troops in the crossfire and a couple hundred U.S. Marines got blown to smithereens, Reagan told the Israelis, "Screw you, you're not worth one dead American" and pulled the Marines out and let the Israelis and Syrians figure it out. He had an firm grasp of the big picture -- that there wasn't a single U.S. interest being served by having American troops in Lebanon -- and yanked the troops out (after running a few raids to "punish" Hamas, and shelling the heck out of the Muslim suburbs with 16" shells from a U.S. battleship).
Yet because he played the genial fool, he literally got away with murder. When he died, nobody brought up the fact that he had one of the most corrupt Republican administration since the days of Ullyses S. Grant. They just remembered the genial old cowboy who was a nice old dude. So here's a question: Is Bush really as incompetent and stupid as he seems? Or is this just another Reagan-style act to avoid being prosecuted for the crimes of his subordinates (e.g. obstruction of justice by Alberto Gonzales, illegally wiretapping Americans without FISA approval, etc.)?
And in order to protect him, a black helicopter will jam all cell phones within a quarter mile of him. Because he must be protected, regardless of the harm that it does to the business district of Sidney. Just as the poor innocents of Hong Kong must be protected from the beastiality and incest of a certain dirty book that was much beloved by the late Jerry Falwell. Ah, I do enjoy reading the tabloids! BTW, now that the terrorists know that cell phones are going to be jammed, I'm sure they'll just use another frequency. Like, say, the same one that the Secret Service uses?
Next up: Because of the possibility that someone might send poison gas towards the Holy New Roman Emperor's person, all air shall be banned from a half-mile radius of His Holy Eminence The Bush. Want to breathe? Tough! The Bush must be protected from that aweful "air" stuff!
H.L. Mencken once said of democracy, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
Well, in 2000 and 2004, that was pretty much true. (And spare me the silliness about the Busheviks "stealing" those elections... if the apathetic majority had really cared who was President, the only way the Busheviks could have "stole" those elections would have been at gunpoint). But in 2006 something odd happened: The common people changed their mind.
The result from the Busheviks has been... telling. Right-wing zealots who only months before had been touting the virtues of democracy are now showing their true colors as anti-democracy royalists. They want democracy only when the people vote for them. When the people do NOT vote for them, the right-wing zealots say "governing is too important to leave to the people!" and want to impose a military dictatorship.
Personally, I believe that the common people deserve to get what they want good and hard. They want lower taxes? Fine. They get what they want good and hard, in the form of collapsing government services, corrupt officials, disintegrating schools, and crumbling national infrastructure. Sooner or later the common people usually come to their senses and want something else good and hard. The same, unfortunately, is not true of dictators. Generally dictators just continue on their path until they destroy their country. Or as Winston Churchill once put it, "Democracy is the worst of all forms of government except all the others that have been tried." As for the Bushevics and the 27-percenters who still support them, I have only one question: Why do you hate democracy?
As the Bush administration's so-called "AIDS czar," Deputy Secretary of State Randall L. Tobias was criticized by some for emphasizing faithfulness and abstinence over condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.
In a 2004 interview, Tobias explained his approach as "A and B and C. . . Abstinence works. 'Be faithful' works. Condoms work. They all have a role. But it's not a multiple choice, where there is only one answer."
Friday, Tobias resigned. Guess why. Oooh, a madam calls him as a witness in her prostitution trial! No sex, huh? This sounds a lot like someone who didn't inhale. I wonder if he was wearing a condom when he was doing this not-having-sex thingy?
Republicans. They talk all the time about how important it is to keep your dick in your pants, all the time that they're porking half the neighborhood and their neighbor's pets too. Then they whine and bend their knee and claim they're "saved". Bah humbug. People who make a big production of being "saved" are generally just goddamned liars. Real Christians know that salvation is what you do, not what you say. Or as the sayin' in Texas goes, if you're all hat, no cattle, don't bother calling yourself a real Texan. You're just a goddamned Connecticut Yankee pretending to be a Texan.
Silly girl. Everybody knows that if our leaders don't lie, the TERRORISTS WIN! And Little Baby Jesus will cry. Haven't you heard? Mayor Rudy says that if lying politicians can't be elected to office, another terrorist attack will happen. Because, you know, no terrorist attack has ever happened while a Republican President was in office, or while a Republican Mayor was in charge of New York city. And the only proper response to al Qaeda bombing the World Trade Center in 1993 was... uhm... moving the city's disaster management center into the World Trade Center? WTF?! But hey, none of that matters, because Mayor Rudy looks simply mahhhhvelous in pink...
So remember, boys and girls. We must elect politicians that lie (especially politicians who look pretty in pink), or the terrorists will swim across the Atlantic Ocean with knives between their teeth, sneak into our bedrooms at night, and kill us all!!!!!
More to follow, after I finish cursing SOB chickenhawks and get my breath back...
"Keep fighting for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce."
-- Molly Ivins, 1944-2007
"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men."
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