The Watering Hole; Friday July 17 2015; “. . . I love America. But I also despise America.”

I recently happened across an article that was originally published in The (Amman) Jordan Times, and was re-posted on C&L under the title Oh, America! The author was unnamed, but in the body of the article he pointed out his background as a journalist in the USA, as follows:

I left England to do my master’s degree in America. I worked on the staff of Martin Luther King. I wrote a foreign policy column for nearly 20 years for a famous American paper and was selected for that role by one of the greatest editors of modern times, an American Jew who told me the day he took me on, at the age of 33, to “write what I wanted, when I wanted”.

He then describes America as he sees it. The entire of the article is quite compelling, and is as able a summary of today’s American “dilemma” as I’ve seen anywhere. The author’s opening salvo reads:

The United States of America has a “culture of ignorance”. Around half of all Americans appear to feel no shame about that being so.

In the south the total probably goes up to around 65 per cent, whereas in the north (and including California), it goes down to 35 per cent.

It is a rough and ready way of putting it, but it is the other 50 per cent who voted for Obama.

Obama-types are less religious, more scientifically orientated, less racist, more pro healthcare for the poor, more aware of the world outside, more convinced that war solves little, and knowledgeable to the extent that they know their immediate neighbour, Canada, does a much better job of making a good life than their country does.

It’s the “culture of ignorance” half that is now pushing for a tougher military response to the menace of Daesh, of pumping up military muscle power vis-à-vis Russia and of persuading itself that more troops in Iraq could sort out what eight years of military occupation did not and could not.

It is this half which tried to sabotage America’s economic recovery after the 2008-9 crash by demanding tax cuts for the wealthy and cuts in social welfare for the poor, and refusing to study or countenance Keynesian uplift economics.

[. . .]

“So I love America. But I also despise America.”

He ends the article by stating what is to my eyes the obvious conclusion:

America teeters on the edge of abandoning reason.

Obama has tried to fight this. He has partly won and partly failed.

Sad to say, it is doubtful that any successor will do better.

The bottom line is that as far as I can recall, I have never run across a more precise and concisely written analysis of this nation’s dark side, the side which presents itself daily as the political movement — the Republican Party — that is born of and supported by our “culture of ignorance.” The devolution of the American politic across the last 35 years is most certainly stunning to those who have dared to pay attention, and the ultimate consequences clearly are of devastating impact to any who are not blinded by ignorance, greed, and/or irrational hatreds.

The sad fact remains that America’s dark side is on full display virtually ever day of every year, and for all the world to see. Just yesterday I took a quick peek at a couple of websites and quickly found this small handful of darknesses attributable to both the “culture of ignorance”  and the culture of political corruption which together so often motivate the conservative right side of our political spectrum. Here, in no particular order, are examples of what would be seen, by any sane culture, as pinnacles of nefarious behavior. I’ve included a few pertinent lines from each of the links, lines which serve to clearly demonstrate the ignorance and corruption that is on such wide display all across this nation.

Avi Lipkin: Satan-Worshiping Obama Hopes To ‘Destroy The Human Race’

“President Obama is a Muslim. If you’re a Muslim, your god is Satan; if you’re a Muslim, then you are criminally psychotic. This is the plan to destroy the human race. This is something that Allah wants. (T)he only way for Allah to be greater than the God of the Jews and the Christians is to kill every last human being on the face of the earth, that’s the plan of Islam.”

BarbWire Pundit: United States Is ‘A Spiritual Cesspool’ Led By Satan

“Ultimately, he [Satan] will enable you to be sexually ensnared and enslaved in a web of perverse bondage and spiritual peril. You will be a slave to Satan and his minions. You will be left empty, broken and destitute. This is where we are…

“We’ve … found a secret memo coming out of the Justice Department. They’re now going to go after 12 new perversions. Things like bestiality, polygamy, having sex with little boys and making that legal” ~ Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

“I’m sorry to say this, but it’s over. Satan has control.”

Court Orders Prosecutors To Stop Investigating Scott Walker’s Alleged Illegal Coordination

In a major victory for Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s Supreme Court ruled early Thursday morning along partisan lines to halt the investigation into whether the newest Republican presidential candidate illegally coordinated with right-wing advocacy groups during his 2012 recall campaign.

Saying they want to “prevent the chilling of otherwise protected speech,” the Court’s four conservative justices ordered that the probe be terminated, and that those working on the case “permanently destroy all copies of information and other materials obtained through the investigation.” They also emphasize that anyone connected with the alleged crime is not longer obligated to cooperate with investigators.

Kevin Swanson Nostalgic for Time when Homosexuals faced Death Penalty

Pastor and radio host Kevin Swanson of Generations with Vision [has] expressed nostalgia for the Pilgrims’ approach to homosexuality, when it was punishable by death.

“A Christian perspective ultimately brought the death penalty upon homosexuality between roughly 350 AD and roughly 1850 or so, for about 1,500 years that form of life had pretty much been eliminated except here and there, it was in the closet, but it was almost unheard of for over 1,000 years, until recently. Of course, now you have a massive, massive increase in this kind of thing.

“I say this is a really bad idea for somebody to stand up against the laws of God. Realize that this is a brave venture, this has been about a 30 year plan, a 40 year plan maybe, to completely consume America with a pro-homosexual agenda, and I just don’t think it’s going to last, I think you are going to see Jesus Christ coming up against this kind of thing . . .”

America has indeed become a nation that is, it seems, far easier to despise than to love. Is it possible to reverse the trend? To reorient the politic? To educate the ignorant? I have my doubts.


61 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Friday July 17 2015; “. . . I love America. But I also despise America.”

  1. Wow Fru, that post does capture a lot of how I view America, 26 years after being exported from the UK as part of what was called at the time ‘Thatcher’s Brain Drain’. I was, I think, the second or third engineer BP sent to work for the newly acquired Sohio at the start of 1989.

    And yes the culture of ignorance, “we don’t care if we know nothing about the world, it’s not important and doesn’t make a difference, we’re the best anyway, so who cares what the world thinks” was what I encountered in Ohio at worst to a sort of innocent curiosity, knowledge of the world came from TV and Warren Zevon songs…. maybe I generalize, but that’s what I recall. in the pubs and clubs my friend would sidle up to a couple of girls with “Hey my friend here is English, come over here Terry and say something in English!” And yes, there were some who were expecting gobbledegook to come out of my mouth, or occasionally I would speak German until my friend couldn’t hold it anymore.

    The battle to teach Creationism in schools, ‘American exceptionalism’, keeping kids from being able to afford college without going into the serfdom of debt, the media’s unwillingness to do anything but follow Kim Kardashian’s bum around, to do nothing to stop the country’s descent into the murderous export of fear and paranoia to all things foreign and not ‘us’ in 2003 …. all of these things will slowly drive this country to the edge. And there’s a crapload of weaponry out there to go over the edge with out there.

    Wow, in the middle there is the not unexpected bad news of Scott Wanker getting off Koch-free from his various illegalities in his 2012 re-election.

    And finally to this “Satan will enable you to be sexually ensnared and enslaved in a web of perverse bondage” – all I have to that is “Hail Satan!” (Satan follows me on the tweeter by the way – not sure why)

    Still its Friday, its sunny, I am still alive and mostly healthy and so is my family and AndytheTurtle and I are finishing painting a model plane this evening….. simple things, help hold back the urge to scream. A good day to all here 🙂

    • I wonder if anyone has ever looked at the impact of the Iraq War on the outlooks and mindsets of the ordinary American soldier. Who went there full of ‘American exceptionalism’ and the firepower to back it up and assumed ‘we would be welcomed as liberators’ and then ran slap bang into reality, reality that didn’t give a shit about exceptionalism or anyone’s sense of superiority. Maybe the same thing happened in Vietnam. I think perhaps WW2 was different because of the hard upbringing of the Depression for the Greatest Generation left a legacy that America was not perfect and also that the defeat of Germany and Japan was so obviously the right thing to do.

      Is this a reason that PTSD incidence is so high among the Vietnam and Iraq vets? Or maybe the WW2 and Korean vets just sucked it up like they did in the 30s.

    • I was born in the early forties in a small town in S. Minnesota, and lived there till 1960 when I was off to college. There was NO racial or ethnic hatred, not even a whisper of it. Most residents were of Swedish, Norwegian, or German extraction; there was “competition” between those origins, but it was ALL in fun and invariably laughable. In the early fifties a Hispanic family from Texas moved in, bought a farm, and became part of the community. I never heard a bad word, no epithet, ever, from anyone. In the County Seat 13 miles up the road, there was a black family that was as much a part of the community as anyone else. Again, never a word or epithet from anyone. Period.

      I left in 1960 for college. There I met people — races and ethnicities — from all over the country and from around the world. Everyone was accepted, equal, including the fellow from Ghana (the first black person I ever really got to know — great guy, he was). In Nov 1960 when JFK was elected president, there were a handful of verbal critiques based on the fact that he was Catholic. Most of them were either laughable or humorous by intent. No hate. All was well.

      Then came the Nov 22 1963 assassination of JFK and EVERYTHING!! began to change. LBJ reversed Kennedy’s Vietnam pullout before JFK was in the ground, and the shit was in the fan. The MIC got the war they wanted; I got my draft notice in spring of ’65 and had to drop out of grad school to take a job as a chemist/microbioligist in a secretive biological-chemical warfare laboratory to avoid being sent as a grunt to the Nam. Then came the assassinations of MLK and Bobby Kennedy (i.e. the SILENCING of progressive and tolerant voices), the election of Nixon, and the more rapid slide into the the country’s homemade shit soup. Then Reagan popped up and the fascist takeover became almost official. Education was severely cut at all levels, and evangelical religious nutcases (and the hate-fear they espoused) gained a loud voice.

      And so here we are. The country that I once knew, which I was once proud of, once loved, has become the despicable mess of today where the “culture of ignorance” and political corruption define it.

      I still wonder if the JFK assassination wasn’t intended/orchestrated to, in fact, elevate ignorance and fear and irrational hatred to the levels we currently see. There’s a hell of a lot more corporate profit in it than apparently there ever was in those day of ascending equality, of no war, of science, vibrant space exploration, etc.

      My response to all of what I’ve seen in my 73 years here is easily summarized: “So I love America. But I also despise America.”

  2. Dear Jeb,

    Thank you for the pep talk on how we Americans (North Americans) need to work more hours so that we can grow the economy to support your scheming, lazy, .001%, lucky sperm club, sanctimonious ass.
    Apparently, spouting idiocy runs in your family and it is not a recessive gene or brain damage as originally suspected in your brother. Then again, you don’t believe in evolution so you can blame it on gawd instead of the reality of having a set of fucked up genes or, perhaps you have brain damage.
    Periodically boredom sets in as I work my ass off trying to appease unreasonable customers that would screw me out what little I actually take home after overhead so, I enjoy a good Horatio Alger pep talk followed by the usual “bootstrap” lecture.
    I could go on but I don’t this will find its way to you and if it did, I would have to send someone along with it to explain it to you (a proctologist) because the everyday working class person easily understands that your head is way up your ass.



    P.S. Next time you get a colonoscopy get a note from your Dr. with pictures showing just how far up your ass you have stuck your head.

    • I might add that Jeb! “I am not a” Bush now that he is converted to a left-footer should pay attention to hat the boss, Frankie P has to say about the world every now and again.

      But then, he is his mother’s son….. as Molly Ivins noted: “Meaner and more of a fascist than his brother, Shrub, who is sort of harmless really” – I paraphrase.

  3. This is something that Allah wants. (T)he only way for Allah to be greater than the God of the Jews and the Christians is to kill every last human being on the face of the earth, that’s the plan of Islam.

    Forgive me if I sound ignorant, but I thought they all worshiped the same God but under different names. How could one version of Itself want to be greater than the other two versions of Itself? I know I’m just an atheist who isn’t supposed to know about these things, but…

    • I didn’t take it seriously at first because Walmart shoppers are in a class of their own to start with but once he mentioned Piggly Wiggly, I knew shit was about to get real.

        • I starting watching that movie, with no idea what it was about. I was just about to quit on it, when she shows up.

          • When I was young – the local fish and poultry shop would kill their own chickens.
            The truck of live chickens would go down the street (we’d wait to see if a chicken made it to freedom).
            Arriving to the shop – the ‘double garage’ warehouse: the chickens were hung upside down. Cluck, cluck, squawk, sqawk, then silence – we never saw the neck being done to whatever they did – that was done behind a panel.

            • I worked at a machine shop in Monett, Missouri, when I was 19. The rear entrance of a poultry plant was across the road. Until cold weather, the garage doors were open, and you could see the trucks come in, and smell whatever that smell was. It was a while after I got back in Alabama before I could eat chicken.

            • This one is for House too.

              I learned to pluck ducks and clean fish by the time i was seven and never had any issues with the brutal aspects of harvesting game. But? My first job out of college was setting up a plastic tray blow molding line in a Minnesota processing plant. They did everything from freezing vegetables to canning various meats. And when I say “various” we are talking about the stuff that Hormel won’t put in Spam! Well? It put me off food all together. I’m 6’1″ and by the time I found better employment I was down to 135lbs. Oddly enough, I later would fall back on managing restaurants during my decompression stints between “real jobs”. I ended up losing weight every time but a big part of that was from managing teenagers I wasn’t allowed to beat!

    It is winter down under, but still: record snow. Bill Shrapnel photographed a kangaroo in the vineyards around New South Wales.

  5. 500-Acre North Fire Prompts Evacuations, Shuts Down 15 Freeway, Burns Cars in Cajon Pass

    A dangerous, fast-moving wildfire spread through the Cajon Pass on Friday afternoon, burning at least 10 vehicles stopped on the 15 Freeway and prompting mandatory evacuations in the Baldy Mesa area.

    The fire started about 2:30 p.m. off the freeway just north of State Route 138, prompting the closure of all lanes of the southbound and northbound 15 Freeway soon after. Responding fire crews were stuck in traffic, authorities said.

    The North Fire was at 500 acres about 3:45 p.m., and firefighting aircraft were temporarily grounded due to drone activity, the San Bernardino County Fire Department stated on Twitter.

    Several vehicles stopped on the freeway were burning, aerial video from Sky5 showed. It was not clear if anyone was injured, and firefighters arrived on the tarmac just before 4 p.m.

    Chris Hayes is out there reporting on the water crisis, and now he’s on the scene for this fire.

  6. There’s a Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Dinner on C-Span. All five Dem candidates are going to speak. Chafee’s speaking right now.

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