#152 Believing the Unbelievable (2006)

All Rights Reserved © 2006 Thomas W. Day

There's a movie you ought to see on the web, 911 Loose Change.  Suspend your credibility for a moment of 90 minutes and listen to the charges made in this film.  After you watch it, come back and hear my opinion of this interpretation of events.  If you've already watched Loose Change, stick around and here comes another rant. 

You back with your doubting cap firmly in place?  Ok, here I go.

I know you don't want to believe that Bush and his corrupt little band of rat-bastards blew up the Twin Towers, Building 7, and/or the Pentagon.  I'm glad you have some sliver of optimism left in your shredded little hearts.  I do too.  Honestly, my vote is still out.  I know the movie is mostly sensational.  I know many of the points made have been refuted by moderately believable sources.  Obviously, what little remains of our free press is ignoring this possibility out of fear, disbelief, and . . . more fear.  Like the Kennedy and the grassy knoll, Martin Luther King's assassination, Bobby Kennedy and his lack of security in 1968, and the deaths of Wellstone and his family, I doubt that I'll live long enough to hear the truth about any of these national disasters.  It's possible that we have heard the truth.  Maybe all of these nation-altering events were as simple as the government has described them.  

However, here's the real question you should ask yourself.  Do you believe the Bushies wouldn't do something exactly this vicious, traitorous, and evil if they thought they could get away with it? 

No, you don't.  I don't either.  I can't imagine a deed foul enough that, if there were profit in it for them, that these vicious sub-animals wouldn't do.  Bush would betray his father, kill his children, smother baby kittens, bankrupt his neighbors, and sell this country to the highest bidder for a few million in profit.  For hundreds of millions, Cheney would shotgun an old friend, disown his lesbian daughter, take an ink eraser and a pair of scissors to the Constitution, and hand over the keys to the national defense to Saudi Arabia, North Korea and China.  Both of these men have emptied Fort Knox for exactly these financial causes and they will do more, much more, before they leave office. 

You know it.  I know it.  Even their supporters, who will lose everything by the time these vile mobsters have gone to hell, know it.  Anyone smart enough to breathe without assistance knows these men are amoral representatives of the worst humanity has ever bred. 

As much as they hated him, even the dumbest neocon knew that Clinton wasn't vicious.  Their "fear" of Clinton was more fear of ideas than action. They were terrified that he might extend civil rights, for women and minorities.  They were worried that universal health care might piss off their corporate masters.  They scared that Clinton might actually do something about the environment and, somehow, limit their access to oil and carbon monoxide.  That fear was more an exercise in motivation than real.  Clinton was proud to call himself "an Eisenhower Republican," so he was no real threat to the Establishment.

The fear is real with the Bushies and neocons, though.  The only thing that, maybe, saves us from absolutely believing the premise of 911 Loose Change is that these guys are fools.  Georgie's goofy lady lawyer friend, Harriet Miers, said "George is the smartest man I ever met."  Come on.  Is there anyone out there who doesn't know at least a hundred men who are smarter than G.W. Bush?  If this is the kind of folks Bush surrounds himself with, we have a margin of safety, because they can only accomplish so much with their limited abilities.  Incompetence will only protect us so far, though.  Eventually, even the dumbest man (Hitler or Mussolini, for example) can create massive havoc on the country and the world.  Given time, the neocons can turn back the clock on democracy, equality, science, justice, and progress.  They will divide this country into a dim shadow of its former greatness.

This is the kind of people who are running the store in Washington.  Dumb as bricks, crooked as the Dismal River, and vicious as rabid coyotes.   If they didn't plane-bomb New York and Washington, we all know they would if they thought they could get away with it.  The real question is, "if we know that, why don't we do something about it?"  Are there any real Americans left.  Citizens who believe that government is for and by the people?  Are there any voting citizens who understand that "people should not fear their government, governments should fear the people?"  If not, the "freedoms" that Bush keeps babbling about, as he removes them, will vanish faster than the assassin's bullet that took our most optimistic and courageous social and political heroes. 

April 2006


#151 Magic and Stupidity (2006)


All Rights Reserved © 2006 Thomas W. Day

Ronald Reagan believed in the "magic of the markets."  Nancy believed in the magic of astrology.  G.W. Bush believes in the magic of a military that he busted his butt to avoid serving in during his misspent youth and a version of Christianity that would be unrecognizable to Christ.  Many of the seriously freaky neocons believe in all sorts of magical religious weirdness.  G.W.'s good buddies, Enron psychos Kenny-boy Lay and Jeffy Skilling, believed in the magic of money and power as do the conservative freaks with whom Little George surrounds himself. The religious right curses everyone with the power of their gods and nature seems intent on squashing the Red States.  The religious whackos claim that's because the nation tolerates homosexuality, abortion, and/or racial equality.  Nobody questions why the gods appear to be picking on the "true believers."  Is that magic?

Bush has done everything he can to avoid reality and because the country is filled with fantasy lovers, he's still getting away with it.  Bush allowed Enron to crush California's economy and pervert an already viciously ignorant and corrupt California political system.  Bush's corporate buddies raided the national checkbook and blew through the country's savings before 911 gave them an excuse to spend even more cash on themselves.  Magic.

Bush and Cheney presided over the worst breach of security in the history of the United States, somehow turning that into a reputation for defenders of the nation.  They claimed that "nobody" had considered using airplanes as weapons, even though Tom Clancy wrote a book that described a terrorist wiping out the Senate and killing the President with a plane.  The public and press appeared to be as amazed as Bush.  Magic. 

Then, Bush and CRAP fabricated a list of Iraq's weapons of mass "descrucion" that would have humiliated the old Soviet Union.  Because this group of traitors and criminals had a near-perfect record of failure, incompetence, and corruption, their fairy tail found few doubters in Congress, in the media, and among the majority of uninformed and timid citizens.  The Bush dipshits declared the war "over and won" long before it was barely started and acted surprised when their invading army wasn't showered with flowers and barrels of oil.  The American sheeple were just as amazed.  Nearly 3,000 dead Americans and a half-million dead Iraqis later and the end of this war isn't even in the territory of being in sight.  Magic, fuckin' magic, and unbelievable fuckin' magic. 

Follow those circus acts with Katrina and New Orleans.  Nobody, but nobody, is surprised that New Orleans was wiped out by a hurricane.  The place is twenty feet below sea level.  As the globe warms, we've seen an increase in east coast storms, many of which are going to sink Florida and Louisiana.  Not only that, but there is at least a week's warning when an actual hurricane, say Katrina, is going to hit the beach, or the levies.  With that background, the Bushies manage to ignore all this information and claim "nobody expected" this kind of disaster when New Orleans is flattened and washed out to sea in the Mississippi mud.  A good portion of the country appears to believe this fantastic tale of incompetence.  A year later and New Orleans and most of the Gulf Coast is still a disaster zone, the country is broke and still pouring money down the Iraq toilet, and we've thrown most of the freedoms Bush claims "the terrorists hate us for" away in one unpatriotic Patriot Act after another.  Freakin' magical magic done with fuckin' amazing magic.

Bush gets caught tapping the telephone lines of terrorist organizations like the Quaker Church, Greenpeace, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and other well-known scary people and Congress immediately wants to launch an investigation into who ratted out the traitors.  It reminds me of the "Stop Squealing" gangbanging rapper campaigns going on in New Jersey.  Obviously, it's a worse crime to rat out a President who violates the law than it is to be an actual criminal/traitor.  Now that's not only magic, but great comedy. 

What could be next? 

What it won't be is a courageous press growing a testicle and doing its job to protect our democracy.  It won't be a majority of Democratic Senators and Representatives acting like Democrats instead of gutless Republicans.  It won't be Bush and CRAP admitting that they've done the worst possible job of managing and protecting the country and showing themselves the door out of honor, humility, and disgrace.  If any of those things happened, it would be real magic.  Wouldn't it?

March 2006


Hypocracy on Display

John Oliver does what he does as well as anyone on the planet, exposing Repuglican hypocracy. These assholes are like the Bush war criminals who knew Iraq had WMDs "because we still have the receipts." They are convinced that the rest of us are fraudulent voters because they do it so often and so shamelessly.

#150 Murder in South Dakota (2006)

Rat Rants 2006

All Rights Reserved © 2006 Thomas W. Day

One of the dullest states in the nation, South Dakota, is trying to lead the country into the 21st Century, leaving Roe vs. Wade, science, logic, and rational law in history's dust. You gotta wonder why women live in a state that doesn't even consider them to be a critical character in their own abortion.  The newest anti-abortion legislation penalizes a doctor who performs an abortion, the doctor and pharmacist who prescribe and deliver "morning after pills," and anyone with an IQ higher than a piece of toast. 

Who is making these nutty laws?  Who's electing the idiots who make the nutty laws?

Taking a look at the state's demographics, I found that South Dakota population growth is half the nation's average, while the birth rate is at the norm.  So, more folks are leaving the state than are immigrating to this intellectual dead zone.  Surprise! 51% of the population are women.  Dumb women, apparently.  The state proudly boasts that 80% of its citizens are high school graduates.  Just guessing, I'd suspect that not many of that number are women.  I wonder what the South Dakota berka looks like?  While you wouldn't expect this to be a state full of scientists, I was surprised to see that science is even taught in South Dakota schools. As dumb as their politicians are, it appears that the average high school graduate is no worse equipped than the national average.  I have to wonder if South Dakota suffers more than typically from the usual Midwest "exodus of the intelligent?"

The state isn't particularly concerned with children already born.  Like most of the country, a significant percentage (16%) of children live in poverty and a substantial percentage (36%) live in low income families.  Education-wise, the state has a high school graduation rate that is slightly higher (4% higher) and substantially fewer college graduates (18% fewer) than the national norm.  Not surprisingly, the state is overwhelmingly white (85%, compared to 58% nationally) with the majority minority being "American Indian" (10.7%).  In just about every educational measurement, SD is pretty much in the middle of the pack.  It's a depressingly poorly performing pack, but South Dakota isn't as overwhelmingly moronic as I'd expected.

If nothing else, I think this proves that statistics are not often useful data. Some aspects of the stats prove that South Dakotans are less than committed to bettering the lives of children once they are born.  So, what does the state's most recent piece of legislative foolishness mean to the rest of us?

Taking this idiot attempt to control abortion at its face value, let's look at what South Dakota legislators are saying.  The doctor who is asked to perform this operation, an abortion, is contracted by a woman and, often, her male partner.  If the doctor performs the operation, he/she is going to be prosecuted as a Class 5 felony (five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines).  The woman, on the other hand, is assumed to be a helpless, defenseless idiot; "Nothing in this Act may be construed to subject the pregnant mother upon whom any abortion is performed or attempted to any criminal conviction and penalty."  Judging by the general simplemindedness of the majority of South Dakota, I think that assumption is probably correct. 

Per this silly piece of shit legislation, a woman who becomes pregnant and requests and pays for and subjects her unborn child to an abortion is guiltless.  Obviously, she must be too dumb to know what she's doing?  A man/husband who, with the woman, also conspires to request the abortion is also innocent of any crime?  The only person being prosecuted by this moronic law is the doctor, the hired help.  This is, obviously, a chicken-shit way to short circuit the process, attacking the extremely limited supply of professionals who provide the service instead of the unlimited supply of customers who want the service.  That doesn't make it right or logical, though.  Just like all conservative totalitarian attempts to regulate human behavior by superstition, ignorance, arrogance, oppression, and tyranny, this legislation is seriously stupid. 

However, it does open up some creative opportunities for people wanting to commit other types of crimes.  Simply put, the South Dakota law says that the only person guilty of a crime-for-hire is the hireling.   If this anti-logic spreads to other South Dakota criminal laws, an employee violating a law is a criminal.  An employer who requires, requests, or specifically contracts that employee for the purpose of violating the law is disassociated, legally, from the crime. Practically speaking, this has been the way the law works for corporations since the beginning of Corporate America.  I guess it's about time that other areas of criminal law apply the same twisted logic.

Deep in the heart of the Mob, hit men must be considering asking their clients to stay away from South Dakota these days. It only makes sense that the guy who does the hit is screwed in SD, but the person who paid for the contract should be held as innocent as a woman wanting an abortion.  What's the difference, after all?  If you want someone whacked, try to hire the job done in South Dakota.  Murder is legal in that state as long as you don't do the killing yourself. 

February 2006


#149 A Foolish Immigration Policy (2006)

All Rights Reserved © 2006 Thomas W. Day

The recent stupid chain of events in Europe and the Mideast have illustrated how incompatible Islam (and, probably, religion in general) is with democracy.  Islam has a long, primitive, painful history as a repeat theocratic offender.  The best government all of the Islamic nations has managed is a collection of corrupt kingdoms and a much larger collection of dictatorships.  The worst they have managed is the trampling of the free speech rights of most of the world's democracies.  The recent rampage of ignorant fools raging across Europe over the "abuses" of the free press is all the evidence I need to know that it's time to send Islam's children a message. Like Christian conservatives, Islamic conservatives are afraid of their own shadows and freedom is a concept that they view as subversive and heretical. 

I can not, for the life of me, imagine a good reason for why we have allowed ourselves to become so degraded that we care about the opinions and superstitions of a pack of retrograde desert hillbillies who haven't managed a moment of technological success or a single cultural achievement since long before the time this country separated itself from England.  I lie, I know why we do it.  We do it for the oil.

I wrote, way back in 2001, that the best way to get revenge against the people and cultures that attacked this nation on September 11, 2001 was to wipe out their primitive economies.  I still say that's the best tactic.  After the complete failure of Bush's primitive fight-fire-with-fire tactics, I'm more convinced that I was right five years ago.  It's not like they have anything other than oil to sell.  They don't have intellectual properties.  They don't have an education system of their own among the entire lot of Islamic nations.  To learn even the most basic modern skills, they must send their children and the children of their slaves to the universities of the nations that they hate.  We are among those nations.

Do we really have so little respect for our culture, our history, our science, our democracy, our nation that we would sell it for a few drops of oil? 


However, I'd like to propose something different.  I'd like to suggest that we all, every single western culture, stop wasting cash on trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's asshole and turn our attention to divesting ourselves of Arab oil.  Brain-dead Bush has blown almost a half-trillion dollars trying to convince Iraqis to consider becoming a civilization.  The current "plan" is to burn up at least another one-and-one-half trillion dollars before we give up and go home with a religious dictatorship left behind.  It ain't gonna happen.  After centuries of illiteracy and corruption and superstition, Iraq and the rest of North Africa is not going to flip directions and become enlightened.  And, honestly, I don't know why we should worry about it. 

Sooner or later, we have to consider our own self-interest.  Closing the boarders to students from terrorist states and religions is a start.  Shutting off commerce with those countries is at the heart of closing down the terrorist states.  Once we have completely wreaked their economy, we can expect considerably more cooperation in hunting down bin Laden and any other fruitcake we want to talk to.  But my advice is that we take as little of their help as possible.  They want ten times the value of everything they offer, so we need to wean ourselves from them to get their price down to what it's worth. 

As a collection of cultures, they have demonstrated that they are intolerant of every freedom held dear to a free society.  Their violent reaction to the horrible threat of . . . cartoons proves that they can't be trusted with sharp objects of intellectual stimulation.  Let the "guys sitting around" continue to sit around until they starve to death.  The reason there seems to be no shortage of idiots willing to strap on a bomb and walk into a crowd is that these fools have no other options; nothing to lose.  We need to lock them down and lock them out so that the discover they have quite a lot to lose.  Once the oil money dries up, we ban their ruling freaks from civil society, eliminating their ability to be playboys and perverse freaks outside of the constraints of their own countries.  Make all the whackos live together, with no avenue for escape from each other, and they will implode.  The few intellectuals their cultures generate will be driven to do something to fix their countries, because they'll go nuts having to live with the fools who make up the majority of those places.  Until they are valuable contributors to the world community, the world's majority economies will be encouraged to boycott these places and their citizens, and refugees.  They will be forced to suffer the consequences of their fantasies and corruption and they will become another example of "the destructive meme." 

In the meantime, we've focused all of our energy on fighting terrorism by ripping the funding from the terrorists.  We've also freed ourselves from the tyranny of oil and oil money.  We might save the world from the side effects of world-wide oil use, if it isn't too late for that.  We could punish three perfectly evil groups at the same time; Islamic terrorists and American oil executives and the politicians they own. Seems like all the motivation a country could need.

We will be creating a peaceful world for our children to enjoy, instead of a never-ending war that will only get worse.  We will free ourselves from this Orwellian future that the conservatives seem to want to create.  They want it so badly that they are willing to sacrifice everything good about humanity, about our way of life, about life itself. 

We can't continue to fight ignorance with ignorance.  We have to use the tools of science.  Tools that democracy invents faster than any system in history. 

February 2006


#148 Coming to America (2006)

All Rights Reserved © 2006 Thomas W. Day

A lot of young, smart, hip, politically-alert United States citizens are thinking about immigration.  Some are considering the effects of uncontrolled, irrational over-population of an already resource-crowded nation, some are trying to find a sane political system, some are convinced that the United States is about to go on a fascist witch-hunt and don't want to be "the last Jew looking for transportation out of Germany."  Maybe more than any time since the Civil War, there are more good reasons to leave the United States than there are to stay.  These are terrifying times and most of the terrorist forces are internal.  The possibility of Orwell's 1984 becoming a reality have never been more likely. Vancouver is being overrun by immigrants from the United States and housing prices are reflecting the cash those immigrants are moving from this country to Canada.

The problem with Americans immigrating outward is that most of the countries we'd consider immigrating to don't want us.  Our limited educations have limited our options.  We only speak pidgin English with a variety of accents, only a few of which are intelligible to folks outside of our regional neighborhoods. Rarely does a US citizen offer the receiving country the advantage of competency in the local language.  Many of us are not particularly talented, technically, socially, or politically.  Our education system has short-circuited our natural abilities to learn complicated disciplines and techniques, which suggests to the immigrating country that we may be a liability on their carefully designed economic systems.  So, those countries design restrictive immigration policies that require huge non-interest-bearing bonds (the most desirable European destinations ask for nearly a million dollars in non-interest-bearing bonds), long periods of unemployment designed to prove self-sufficiency, and have installed a huge variety of minor violations that will result in instant deportation (and loss of those security bonds).. 

The simple fact is, even for the best of our best, as immigrants United States citizens are not particularly welcome anywhere outside of our own boarders.  An even more discouraging fact is that most nations would rather suffer Islamic fundamentalist immigrants with no skills of any sort, no interest in fitting into the local culture, and a tendency toward violence at the hint of any perceived slight toward their native superstitions.

On the other hand, our government is particularly interested in maintaining low labor costs.  You can jabber about cynical humanitarian reasons for maintaining high immigration rates until you are almost liberal, but we all know our government represents our ruling class.  That group of anti-patriots doesn't want to pay a living wage for the services they fancy.  Have you noticed how many wannabe high government officials have lost their jobs when someone found that they had hired undocumented house-help?  This isn't a trend, it's the way of our world.  Actually, it's their world; the rest of us just rent a space in an unwanted corner.

The cool thing, for the low-brow ruling crud, about wanton immigration is that they don't have to pay for . . . anything.  They can de-fund education, because there is no shortage of desperate mid-tech refugees from totalitarian third world nations who will self-educate themselves, to the point necessary to fill the shrinking technical requirements of US jobs. Instead of paying a living wage to current citizens, the management class can pay a subsistence wage to a desperate immigrant.  Better yet, they can pay a fraction of a living wave to an illegal immigrant under threat of deportation if the employee complains. 

I want be perfectly clear about this.  It is not rational to consider illegal immigrants as criminals.  In a moral society, it is irrational to criminalize an effort to improve your life, to attempt to ensure a better life for your children, to leave a corrupt political system to immigrate to a more democratic place.  We can only call this “illegal immigration” because it violates our laws, not because it violates natural law.  The most damning thing we can say to the immigrant is, "Sorry, you'll have to go back home, fill out the correct paperwork , meet the requirements of this country for immigration, and please try again.  Thanks for taking an interest in the United States.  Have a nice trip back to where you came from."

The real criminals, the only immigration criminals, are the United States citizens who hire these immigrants in a blatant, intentional, and treasonous effort to violate the laws of this country.  This specially protected group of traitors and terrorists can wipe out any services the government provides to anyone but them.  They'll convince the uneducated masses that these basic services are "welfare" and convince the drooling middle class that anyone accepting welfare from the state (even if that "welfare" was actually an insurance program paid for by that same group of people) is un-American.  Soon, the only job left for the government will be to suppress populist political movements, to invade foreign countries to obtain natural resources for corporations and their executives, and to manage the distribution of national wealth and resources to the ruling class.  Which, if you honestly analyze the former Soviet Union or the current communist Chinese state, is exactly the practical result of communism.  This class of criminals are our ruling elites; best represented by the current President and his pack of inbred hillbillies.

For the rest of us, the question of immigration should be very simple.  Immigration drives down wages, reduces the opportunities for our children, overpopulates our cities and nation, strains the capacity of social systems, damages democracy by diluting the acumen of the electorate, and increases the power of the elite.

While monkey-boy Bush chatters about "jobs that Americans won't do," it's pretty obvious that he won't work for a pittance.  Our elitist spoiled rich kid President seems to think that his government income barely pays for part-time employment, based on the dozens of extended vacations he takes every year.  The number of jobs that Americans won't do is rapidly on the rise, because jobs that used to be middle class occupations are quickly being shipped to China and India or handed over to third world immigrants at minimum pay or less.  We "won't do" those jobs because they don't pay a living wage.  Americans seem to be doing multiple jobs a lot more often these days. 

Even more obvious, Cheney, the hand that turns the hurdy-gurdy crank for incurious George's dance, won't even work for the hundreds of thousands in salary and perks the Vice President receives.  Cheney still has his fingers and wallet stuck in Halliburton and other corporate and political income sources.  He practically laughed at the suggestion that part of volunteering for public service meant that you have to stop draining the public cash register until your stint of "service" was finished.  Cheney has always had and eaten his cake, from years of employment in corrupt political regimes from Nixon to the Bush family.  If he didn't have to work for only a few hundred thousand in 1972, why should he suffer now?

The rest of us do the suffering for him.  Under the guise of keeping waves "reasonable," Cheney and Bush and the Republican part drag wages below the poverty line and suppress both the economy and our political system.  Hard times are a conservative's wet dream.  When people are scratching for survival and worrying about hanging on to their marginal jobs, they don't worry about fine points like justice, racial equality, the social net, public education, or their children's future. 

When times are bad enough, humans commonly bash in the heads of their youngest children to conserve resources for adults and older, more independent and productive children.  Conservatives seem to put a real premium on the ability to rampantly use capital punishment as long as the criminals are poor people.  Maybe that's the conservative ideal.  Actions always speak louder than words.

January 2006