Monday, August 23, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Roger Aislesland--If you want your children to gain an accurate picture of American history from life, keep them as far away from Texas and Fox News as humanly possible. For no logical reason (which is their wont), we've got an entire weekend of little blurbs and even entire shows with gushing over one of the most useless presidents in American history besides Herbert Hoover or Warren G. Harding: Calvin Coolidge. Who? Exactly.
Like George W. Bush, the ignorant and unimpressive Coolidge prided himself on being away from his desk more than previous executives, so much so that it almost became a pastime photographing him lounging around the White House lawn and at his personal residence. Being a Republican in 1920s America, after the demise of the Progressive movement (at-the-hands of middle-class and wealthy patrons like Woodrow Wilson), and after the destruction of unions like the I.W.W. and a brief collaring of the AFL, Big Business and finance were able to pretty much do whatever they wanted to, and they did.
Banking regulations? There weren't very many in those days, and Coolidge wasn't going to push for them anymore than his predecessor and successor did. As we know, the crash of 1929 was coming, and it came thanks to a lack of regulation of the banking system. Coolidge was so ineffectual and immobile that he was referred to as "silent Cal." The notion of a hands-off government was popular with a certain crowd then too, and it's likely to get the same results, another global crash.
Needless to say, Coolidge was Ronald Reagan's "favorite" president, albeit he was once a New Deal Democrat. What he really was was a lifeguard and sportscaster who couldn't act, got in over his head in Hollywood, and ran to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Chamber of Commerce (CoC), and corporations like General Electric, when his mistake-of-a-career began naturally going south--but that's another story for another time. However, this story really is about Reagan and his legacy as a president, the destructive legacy of his administration's ideology and policies.
Why? A couple of weeks ago, former Reagan administration adviser and Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), David Stockman, wrote an Oped column blaming Reaganomics and the GOP (and the DNC) for wrecking the economy, for killing it. Stockman was one of the primary architects and salesman of "Reaganomics," meaning massive deregulation of business and finance, returning us to those "glory days"of the 1920s when there was none...and we got the world's largest global economic depression. These crazy ideas gained real credence after Reagan and have continued into today; just watch Fox News at almost any given time of the day and you'll see it.
In fact, you'll see these once-wacky notions of economics (cut taxes for the wealthy, increase spending, especially defense and handouts to the aforementioned rich) arill being preached as gospel on CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, and much of the rest of the conglomerate owned mainstream media. Naturally, the majority of the public doesn't see it this way, and these memes are falling into very real disrepute as millions of Americans lose their livelihoods, their homes--their very way of life. If you want a great example of an ignorant, hollow-eyed nebbish contributing to the downfall of a nation while being applauded by a new generational round of middle-class fools, you need look no further than Coolidge...or Reagan. Or Clinton. Or Bush I and II. Or President Obama.
There's a good reason few remember--or even care about--Coolidge and why he was chosen for a callous and mercenary rewrite of American history: market extremists in this nation always go running to a remote and untouchable past that never was, a hallmark of nihilism and a retreat into the abyss. That's why this economic crisis is really a referendum of the last 30 years of class warfare in America, courtesy of both major political parties, but more of the responsibility rests with the Republican Party. Not only are they not the solution, they're a nexus of anti-Americanism, potentially poised to drag us kicking-and-screaming into Mother Night.
Calvin Coolidge? Who gives a shit? They just come off like the dorks that they are, with no answers since they're the problem.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
With all of the calls for him to resign or to even be fired (the latter coming from Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson), you have to wonder if Shakespeare ever imagined political theater so hollow, so empty that it's not even entertaining anymore, just pathetic. Why bother? Indeed. Gibbs's remarks were to the Moonie-owned The Hill, a staunchly conservative paper, meaning a cargo cult-within-a-cargo-cult, and apparently the outgoing press secretary felt quite at home in making the statements that he did. Why wouldn't he? He's the same kind of cretin. Yet, why? Why make such stupid remarks?
The answer is simple. He and the administration that he represents aren't especially different from--say--the GOP itself and hate their base at least as much. What choice are we left with here in a roundly rightist political culture that doesn't reflect or even acknowledge the views of the majority of Americans on social issues? That's what's known as a political crisis since there really is no opposition party in American politics, only two branches of one pro-business one; one that represents an oligarchy but not the public. Yes, now the president is worried that his agenda will be endangered (a good thing in the end) and is engaging in some last minute social spending such as a paltry $3 billion for those who have or will lose their homes. Then, there's the diehard municipal/teacher/police vote that was paid for with much more and will likely ensure more Democratic votes--the primary motive for doing it at all. This kind of a mess is nothing new to American history, but it is a regression, back to the bad old days of the 1880s-90s when the "robber barons" (now we simply call them the "rich," "CEOs," and "Wall Street"). Once again, thanks Ronald Reagan, and Richard Nixon, but you couldn't have done it without those wily Democrats.
Like an atomic clock going off exactly on time, a slack-jawed denizen on Facebook hit me with: "In the real world, what better candidate that can actually be elected would you suggest?" Besides being the usual straw man argument one gets from the unfortunate few middle-class whites who bother to vote (which is why registering poor and minorities is always a good idea), this kind of a comment ignores how rigged the electoral process is and that they keep voting for people who wish to impair it over and over again once they're in office, and that's for starters. There's a point where you're just another battered wife, a dupe, a mark, a moron. There was a better candidate than Barack Obama and Gibbs worked to take him down in 2004, for the the DNC and the Kerry campaign: Howard Dean. Yes, they've beaten Dean down into submission and made him parrot their absurd talking points, but there was a time, not so long ago...
But it was the Foghorn Leghorn-like Gibbs that worked overtime putting out attack ads against Dean and his reasonably progressive agenda--too reasonable for the DNC and its biggest backers. Dean's also from Alabama and has been advising on a Southern strategy for the Obama campaign/administration for some time. These are the same people that wanted Barack Obama in office and not someone like Dean since he might actually come through for the public and not Wall Street. In addition, when Team Clinton came onboard, we got more of the same cronies from that sordid, pro-business administration, making for a curious form of non-nostalgia. Why am I one of the only people in America who knows that Hillary Clinton has served on the board of Wal-Mart and is a major shareholder, for example? Thanks to a compliant media, never mind all the high talk of the Obama administration having to confront a "combative media," most Americans don't know this. One wishes they were combative, at least for the right reasons, which would be a very real change.
Gibbs is right(ist): I'd trade the Pentagon for a Canadian-style health care system in a heartbeat. For those who think we need defense spending that's 600 times greater than the next highest spender, you're the ones who are "crazy," and if you don't live to see the tyranny you're constructing, your children certainly will. With luck, it's all going to collapse before then anway. You've been lulled into a Pavlovian call-and-response--you feel fear when the political and economic establishment rings 'dem bells. What does that make you?
Would I be satisfied with "Kucinich as president"? Damned straight I would. Fire all of them. Fire the next ones if they're the same. Fire them all, and shut them out of the political process forever, and anyone like them that doesn't serve the public interest, let alone won't listen to them. Eventually, the public will stop speaking and start acting. At that point, Mr. Gibbs will have a lot of explaining to do. Will it be too late? Who knows, but he's going to own a part of the social chaos if it does in fact unfold, and as much as any Bush II operative. That's not a stretch since the Obama administration has kept most of them onboard.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Can those of you who believe this stupid notion take a running jump at yourselves? Do you pine for the lost lives of Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Saddam Hussein, Attila the Hun, Ronald Reagan, Julius Caesar, the Borgias, J. Edgar Hoover, Richard Nixon, Ted Bundy, Quisling, Sidney Reilly, Aleister Crowley, Roy Cohn, Gilles de Rais, Eichmann, Himmler, Beria, Custer (don't get me started), and every asshole that ever lived that drew breath for too long on this rock called earth?
Are you really that stupid? Sadly, the answer is a resounding "yes," you are that fucking stupid, and it shows, like a pregnancy in its sixth month. As stupid as you are, you'd have a mountain of excuses for these bastards while they were alive, and in slave-like manner, in death. You're a bona fide idiot, a moron, and an asshole. How does it feel?
Here's how it works in the real world, with people who are well-balanced and don't possess your superhuman skills of assholism and rationalization: They point-out when someone's been bad.
I know this is somehow a mystery to you, and you usually make excuses that you're "clumsy" when your significant other beats the crap out of you, or you keep voting against your interests, again and again, like an animal (OK, that's unfair to the animals). This is because you don't get it, or much else. I have witnessed the family of the deceased chanting at a funeral parlor that, "Finally, the son-of-a-bitch died, praise God!" Were they wrong to do this? Who the fuck are you to say otherwise? That said, who are you to tell people who have been affected by recently deceased politicians--very negatively--to make it clear what they did to them and what they think of them? Your only care, frankly, are how the comments affect Y-O-U. That's not as enlightened as you present it, but we already know you're full of shit.
In short: who do you think you are?
No, one shouldn't speak ill of living dead either, the real message.