The Watering Hole, Friday March 1, 2013; Gone, Wasted, Broken — and Sequestered?

 Gone, Wasted, Broken —
An Elegy on America

Gone now, America’s halcyon days
Where Reason stood tall and grand in the sun;
Brilliance defined Her equanimous ways –
Gone now, expunged, all Her triumphs hard won.
E. pluribus unum: Her goal was clear;
One chosen from many, She alone rose
Reflecting the grandeur of cause sincere,  
Gone now, forever corrupted by woes.
Environments  Poisoned with gas and fume;
Waters  Mercurial, deadly as wars;
Broken  A people, too cold to exhume;
Uberty  Transposed to desolate shores;
Society  Crushed, then forced to concede
Hegemony – now become pow’r . . . and greed.     

We have to face the reality that we who call the United States of America our home reside in a nation that is either on the brink of a rapid decline or is already well on its way down that ever-steepening slope. Why is that? Why is it happening? What’s happened to ‘bring it on’?

The sonnet above is an acrostic attempt on my part to not only poetically summarize elements implicit in America’s national demise, but at the same time to surreptitiously name one of the recent major players in the process. Note the first letters in each of the three words in the main title: G_W_B; also note the first letters of each of the sonnet’s fourteen lines, in order: G_W_B_G_E_O_R_G_E_W_B_U_S_H.

George W. Bush and his administration were not, of course, the first shots fired in support of America’s national demise, nor were they the last. But when one recalls the upsurge in the nation’s status during the Clinton years and the almost immediate fall from grace following the ‘selection’ by the US Supreme Court of GWB as president in December of 2000, it’s not much of a stretch to presume that the Gone, Wasted, Broken premise picked up a lot of speed at that moment, and that the steepness of the downhill slope increased dramatically as well. Political corruption in support of greed and power — and war — has a way of slowly but surely not only causing havoc and suffering, but also of revealing itself as the culprit.

An obvious question remains: what’s the genesis? Why? Why should there ever develop — in a Constitutional Democratic Republic such as the United States — a movement designed to overturn and disparage the very things that make it possible for the nation to maintain a semblance of freedom and economic prosperity for all? Historically, the standout reasons most often reflect the intent on the part of the body politic to use the talents and ethics of The Many as tools, with but one single purpose in mind: to further enrich The Few.

When did America’s downhill slide commence? Technically, on the day of her founding. She was, after all, a nation built by fair-skinned European invaders on a “new” continent inhabited by aboriginals who were, by virtue of their dark-skinned nature, easy to spot, easy to hate, and, thanks in no small part to the slightly elevated technology brought to the continent by the European immigrants, they were also relatively easy to kill, to overwhelm, to control. And too, there were the Africans, brought by the Europeans to do the hard and demeaning work in the agricultural fields of the South — black slaves who were officially defined, in the US Constitution of 1787 (Article I, Section 2, Clause 3), as being the equivalent of three fifths of all other Persons. Historically, in other words, the United States did not get off to a particularly equanimous start . . . racial hatred and distrust were, in effect, parcel to her character and remain, to this day, as major players in her political profile.

A review of more recent history — roughly the last 100 years or so — exposes the up and down cycle which is defined by the relentless clash between (a) the never-ending quest on the part of The Few for MORE power, for MORE wealth, and (b) those charitable programs designed to appease the needs of We the people — The Many — those who are embraced by the Constitution’s first three words. A cursory review of history quickly reveals that the consequences of (a) are, almost without question, eventual (and potentially severe) economic recession and/or depression, often war, whereas the consequences of (b) are far more beneficent and include relative prosperity for The Many, attainable without the imposition of any level of “suffering” upon The Few — who nevertheless remain obsessed with their lust for wealth and power.

During his State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt suggested that the nation should implement a second bill of rights to include, for all Americans:

  • The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
  • The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
  • The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
  • The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
  • The right of every family to a decent home;
  • The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
  • The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
  • The right to a good education.

Roosevelt’s concept has since been labeled “Socialist” and “Redistributionist” (by representatives of The Few) and “Unfinished” (by spokesmen for The Many). Interestingly, Roosevelt included, when he characterized that which is commonly viewed as classic “rightist reaction,” words which were, indeed, predictive of America’s current dilemma. He said:

“One of the great American industrialists of our day—a man who has rendered yeoman service to his country in this crisis—recently emphasized the grave dangers of ‘rightist reaction’ in this Nation. All clear-thinking businessmen share his concern. Indeed, if such reaction should develop—if history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called ‘normalcy’ of the 1920’s—then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home.” (bold highlight added)

Roosevelt equated “rightist reaction”  and the “‘normalcy’ of the 1920’s” with “the spirit of Fascism.” Imagine it. Then take a quick look around at the obtuse politics of America today. Consider the extreme Protofascist right wing’s so-called Tea Party and the notables amidst them, including, among numerous other “favorites,” newcomer Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas. Note also spokespeople for ‘the cause’ such as Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and virtually the entire broadcast staff at Fox “News”, and don’t ignore the nearly fifty members of the House of Representatives and its Tea Party Caucus, including such (presumed) luminaries as Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Steve King of Iowa.

FDR was spot-on correct when he equated the grave dangers of ‘rightist reaction’ in this Nation” to “the spirit of Fascism here at home.” We are surrounded constantly by both, and though they are not (yet) in the majority, their obstructionism has effectively brought the government of the United States to a standstill, and their threat to both the national and global economies is as immediate as it is pervasive.

Next up — scheduled for this day, March 1, 2013 — the latest effort on the part of the American Protofascist movement’s extreme right wing is to impose political minority control on the US Government. Popularly called the Sequester, it’s an economic abomination designed and intended (a) to derail any potential success America’s first Black President might ever hope to achieve in resurrecting the plundered economy and the overall National Failure brought forth by the previous administration, and (b) to return to the so-called ‘normalcy’ of the 1920’s” by the forced diminishment of financial/banking regulatory procedures as well as by the eventual destruction of each and every remaining vestige of that “Socialist” President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Greed and Lust for Power have, again and as usual, quite literally devoured the American Right Wing. The overall consequence is surely to be the continuation of their implicit intention, i.e. the immutable national destructions noted above In Gone, Wasted, Broken, brought forward yet again by the errant economic philosophies embedded within the eternally negative “rightist reaction” to any and all legislative attempts designed to improve the quality of life of The Many, of We the people.

Also on the Protofascist agenda and currently surfacing as an issue in various states is the proposed modification of existing rules of Electoral College vote distribution. The goal is to take advantage of Article II (Section 1, Clauses 2, 3, and 4), plus Congressional District gerrymandering in a way which will shift the outcome of presidential elections to the Protofascist side of the ticket, potentially to guarantee election of a right wing President even if the popular vote goes the other way by virtually any margin, landslide included. Some might dare consider the concept to be parcel to suppression of the ‘one man, one vote’ ideal, and they’d be correct. But still, the issue would almost certainly be deemed ‘Constitutional’ by the nation’s highest court — although instead of ‘Constitutional’, the word “Putsch” may well be the more appropriate, more descriptive choice.

Perhaps in final analysis it was, indeed, George W. Bush himself who said it best of all the day that he announced:"This is Historic Times"

“This is Historic Times.”

Or, perhaps it would more behoove us to heed the words of Thucydides, who wrote, circa 400 BCE . . . The strong do as they can, while the weak suffer what they must” . . . and then proceed from there to explore whatever means might prove necessary to restructure and repair that reality once and for all. I suggest the latter course, noting that Thucydides also pointed out that “Praise is due to all who . . . refuse dominion, yet respect justice more than their position compels them to do.” Are We the people prepared to “refuse dominion”? Willing to respect justice”? Compelled to act to save our country, and then do it? Sadly, I have my doubts.

**************

This is today’s open thread — have at it!

66 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Friday March 1, 2013; Gone, Wasted, Broken — and Sequestered?

    • Keith Ellison is a fine example of what the human species as a whole might aspire to one day become — tolerant, spiritual, intellectually down to earth, honest, and one who cares about the fate of his fellows, a true and brilliant illume.

      Sean Hannity is the precise 180 degree opposite of Keith Ellison: he’s intolerant, non-spiritual, intellectually way out there on another planet, dishonest, and one who could care less about anyone but himself, one with all the ‘illume’ of glowing swamp gas.

      Of course, Hannity describes himself as a “Registered Conservative,” so what else could we expect? I mean, within THAT (eternally disgusting) reality at least he’s good at one thing: demonstrating on a daily basis that yes, he lives up to and readily/willingly places on full display his “unpotential.”

      The Hannitys of this world are in fact rather similar, in concept and in their collective effect, to turds floating in punchbowls.

      • I assume Hannity lives and votes in New York State. Here in New York, we have a Conservative Party and a Liberal Party who often, though not always, also nominate the Republican and Democratic candidates, respectively, on their party lines. Usually, but not always. Sometimes the Democrat isn’t liberal enough, or the Republican conservative enough. But when you register to vote, you can register for those “alternate” parties. You can vote in their primaries, too. And on election day you can cast your vote for the major party candidate anyway. It’s a good way to deny being a “Registered Republican” or “Registered Democrat.”

    • Thanks, pachy. I have a few minutes before I head out to the doctor for a case of the flu, I mean a few blood tests. For those who don’t have the stomach to actually watch the inSeannity…

      The petulant toddler got his ass handed to him, face to face, by Keith Ellison a couple days ago so he organized the modern equivalent of a lynching. A little (attempted) character assassination, a little ad hominem, and a whole lot of guilt by association complete with references to Mr. Ellison’s “radical college days”. Of course, he didn’t invite Mr. Ellison to respond or find a single offensive or bigotted statement from Mr. Ellison himself. He just trotted out the usual list of black radicals and, because Mr. Ellison doesn’t spend every waking moment condemning them, inSeannity simply projected their hateful words onto his victim.

      inSeannity’s final conclusion is that Mr. Ellison is just as “scary” (Yes. InSeannity used that word.) as the KKK. And he did it all while surrounding himself with a couple lickspittles, who happen to have dark skin, to give him cover. The rabid weasel isn’t a racist because he had two paid black people there to agree with his every word and no black person would ever agree with a racist (spit!). It was one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen on FAUX”News” or anywhere else and that, as you all know, is really, really, disgusting.

  1. Sequester May Revive ‘Amtrak Joe’ Biden

    Choo, choo! Coming soon, Amtrak Joe may be riding the rails once again.
    At a meeting in Washington yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden told the nation’s attorneys general there was one good thing about the sequester’s $85 billion budget cuts going into effect tomorrow. Instead of taking a plane for trips to his home in Delaware, Biden plans to take his transportation of choice – the train.

    • FuxNation comments
      Ignorance and hate persists
      Here’s a few samples

      astroglidebarry And the prestigious ‘dumbest fossilized neegrah bittch in the universe’ award for 2013 goes to…

      MAXINE WATERS!!! Woohoo! Take a bow Maxine, you toxic piece of liberal excrement.

      Seriously, this cow’s brain must be being butfukked by a tapeworm cause DAMM!

      shadetree56 maxipad is what you get – when you draw a district around a ghetto. Racist voters who don’t care how dumb they’re rep is – as long as they’re b!ack.

      antiobammy Open your mouth and let me Krap in it.opps someone already did Maxi.

      poetopoet1 @aridland Racist, she is black you know, black is absent of color and brains.

      • Good thing there’s no embedded racism in this country anymore (the blatant stuff is bad enough). Fortunately for us all, ever since Lincoln started the Republican Party 159 years ago the Republicans have remained free of any of it. Ask Hannity, I’m sure he has all the stats.

      • It’s too bad we can’t present these comments to the SCOTUS to prove to them that racism still exists and there must be protections for blacks and minorities. Because right now, Scalia thinks everything is where it’s supposed to be. Maybe it’s all part of his “original intent” philosophy on the Constitution.

        • The “original intent” was to kick the slavery issue down the road some 20 years, when all or most of the original founding fathers would be dead.

  2. NASCAR’s Suspended Jeremy Clements: What Did He Say To An MTV Blogger?

    “I was there to do a fish-out-of-water story about going to NASCAR and having a wild, crazy weekend. And, we were doing interviews with many of the drivers, and I was on the way to another interview — we were looking for [driver] Johanna Long’s trailer — and the NASCAR publicist called Mr. Clements over and asked him for help finding her,” Beckerman said. “He walked us toward where she was, and on the way over, I explained to him that Guy Code is rules for guys, how you treat your friends, how you treat your ladies, things like that. I was there to do a humor piece, so I asked him what would be Guy Code for race car drivers, and he blurted out [a phrase that used the n-word].”

    Beckerman said that Clements didn’t use the phrase in reference to any specific driver, but was instead illustrating that “if you drive roughly, you’ll be treated roughly.” He wrote the quote down in his notes (the conversation was not recorded) and, since he was in the presence of a NASCAR publicist, continued to speak with Clements for a few more minutes, before going to interview Long. Then, on Thursday morning, as the story continued to unfold, Clements called him to discuss the quote and let it be known that he regretted making it.

    Found this looking for entry lists for this weekend’s races, and thought I’d get it out before you heard it from somewhere else.
    A USA Today article has more:

    According to Clements, he will miss at least two races. He violated Sections 7-5 (NASCAR’s Code of Conduct) and 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing).
    However, NASCAR will have him complete sensitivity training before he can be considered for reinstatement.

  3. (CNN) — The ground just swallowed him up.

    A Florida man lying in bed fell into a sinkhole that opened suddenly beneath the bedroom of his suburban Tampa home, calling out to his brother for help as he fell, a fire department spokeswoman said Friday.

    Five other people, including a 2-year-old child, escaped from the home.

    Rescuers had to pull the man’s brother away from the edge of the sinkhole as it ate away at the ground under the home, according to Jessica Damico, a spokeswoman for the Hillsborough County Fire Department.

    The man was presumed dead, she said, after monitoring equipment lowered by engineers detected no signs of life.

    But rescuers can’t go into the hole to check — it’s too dangerous. Authorities say they worry the hole is still spreading and the house could collapse at any time.

    Authorities evacuated nearby homes as well — in case the hole keeps growing,

    http://ktla.com/2013/03/01/man-swallowed-by-bedroom-sinkhole-feared-dead/#axzz2MIo6lhi7

  4. Our current demise began in 1980 with the election of Raygun. He began the dismantling of the middle class in preparation for the takeover by corporate power and the 1%.

      • He can’t wait to do another! I might take him to a hobby shop next week and see if he wants to part with some of his pocket money. That Spitfire is hanging over his bunk bed now.

        • He did a beautiful job, TtT. Let me know when he’s ready to move on to RC planes. I can’t train him via the intertubes but I can offer advice and point you to bargains.

          • That Airfix Spitfire was a quite a bit beyond his capabilities, but like his pinewood race car in December he sat and listened patiently, helped cut out all the pieces and did some of the easier pieces and painting.

            • That’s how I started about 5 decades ago. A 1/48 scale ran somewhere between $.75 and $1.50 as I recall. The last time I took a longing look at the plastic models I nearly fainted!

            • Scale has nothing to with it other than where you store it.
              When I was sixteen I bought a Piper Cub and stuck it in my moms living room and started rebuilding it.
              Full scale Piper Cub, no joke.
              They figured it was better than a life of crime.
              Take him to a glider port and stick him in a glider.
              He’ll take to the air like a duck to water.

            • BTW. I just ordered my birthday present. I went with the purple because I’ve never had a purple plane and the red is out of stock. It will use the same power system as my current plane that will hover at 1/3 throttle and it should be about 5 ounces lighter. I am very, very, excited! Now I just have to figure out if I want to make a pair of skis or wait until the snow melts.

              http://www.precisionaerobatics.com/product_details.php?pid=229

            • Scale can have a LITTLE bit to do with stuff. When I was a kid, one of our small town’s local ‘craftsmen’ built a boat for water skiing on the local lake. He built it in his basement, where his workshop was. Far as I know, it might still be in there — too big to get it out without remodeling either the house or the boat. 🙂

  5. QOTD:

    White racists are those who use their power to oppress black people. Black “racists” are those who use their 1st Amendment rights to complain about it.

    • Personally, I think the REAL “problem with American Family Values” falls squarely at the feet of balding and aging old white fartface Protofascist/Republican males (well, at least they used to be ‘male’ . . . or so they’d like us to believe) — like Ron Johnson, like Bitch BcConnell, to name but two o’dem.

    • I suspect he was simply spouting the party line. America has been a racist country since the first white European planted his foot on the shore and spotted an Indian. Today, his descendants are looking ahead a few years, and when they realize that soon they’ll be a “minority” and no longer fully in charge of everything, well, then the shit gets in the fan. That’s what Scalia is: shit in a fan.

  6. Well, Danica had an abysmal qualifying at Phoenix, slotting in at 40th. My old favorite driver, Mark Martin, got the pole though, so it wasn’t a washout. There’s two more practice sessions tomorrow, so maybe she can get the car better. She ran pretty good here last fall, but that was with the old version car.

  7. pete, in case you check in here…
    Watching the flight video – I do believe the one you were writing about…
    it was the Foo Fighters (I had watched one that had the Mighty Mighty Bosstones)
    IS THIS THE TUNE:

    • Thank you Wayne. I think Mr. Sulu never watched much TNG or DS9, or he would have understood that! Some Republicans are just plain Cardassian.

      How about that for an Ed Show? Krugman, Reich, and Takei all on one show!

      • I think they’re more like the Borg. No matter how many times they say “resistance is futile”? The only people who can’t resist are those who have already been assimilated.

  8. Oh shit!

    My 17 year old cat is refusing treats and bleeding from her vagina. This is not good. Bear with me, my friends. I just went from manic to deeply depressed in about an hour.

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