TWH, May the Fourth (be with you) 2016. Open Letter to the Ruling Class

An Open Letter to The Ruling Class from We The People

Dear Ruling Class:

  • We The People are tired of running this country. We don’t want the responsibility that goes with being a voting member of a democratic republic. Please take away our right to vote.
  • We the People are tired of thinking. Thinking takes too much effort. Please tell us what we need to know in as few words as possible. Three word phrases are great. Nice and catchy. Easy to remember. Short and sweet.
  • We the People are tired of caring. We’re emotionally burnt out. Whether it’s abandoned puppies in animal shelters or polar bears starving in the Artic because of something that’s going on that takes too much thought to figure out – enough already. We get it. We’re supposed to care for these helpless creatures. But we can barely afford to feed our family and pay our rent. We just don’t have the emotional reserves to care about anything anymore.
  • We the People are tired of deciding what’s best for us. We want you to decide for us on some of the most basic decisions, especially when it comes to being pregnant. We want you to make the decision on whether our women should have the option of having an abortion or having an unwanted child. We want you to decide whether we should have access to birth control. Or even if we should know about birth control in the first place. That’s just too much responsibility for us.
  • We the People are tired of having our jobs shipped overseas. We want you to abolish the minimum wage, so that we may compete with workers in other countries on an equal footing. We know that in a competitive market, the lowest price gets the business and with the minimum wage, We the People cannot work for the lowest price.
  • We the People are tired of public education. Our kids complain about homework and testing all the time. Frankly, we’re tired of our children whining. Please take mandatory schooling laws off the books so we don’t have to send our kids to school any more. We’re tired of Back to School Night, of Science Fairs, and endless fundraising. Since public schools are failing, We the People are tired of wasting our tax money on them. Parents that want their kids to receive an education should pay for it out of their own pockets. Unless they send their children to a Christian School. In that case, we want our government to pay for it. It’s only fair, because we are a Christian Nation.
  • We the People are tired of hearing about things we can’t control. Things like the climate. Or safe drinking water. Or breathable air. Or safe food. We know you control the media, so please stop telling us we can’t drink the water or breath the air or eat certain foods. Time after time we have voted against GMO labeling. What part of “We don’t want to know” do you not understand?

We know that what is best for you is best for us, for you have told us so. And so we give you everything you want, and in return, you keep us safe from terrorists and gays and transgendered people using our bathrooms.

Oh, and thank you for repealing the assault weapons ban. We the People sleep soundly at night, comforted in the thought that we have more guns per person that any other civilized country on Earth. Just in case we need to kill an intruder. Or rise up in rebellion against a government that takes away our freedumbs.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Monday, May 2, 2016: So How Was Your Week?

I haven’t been around much lately. I don’t want this to turn in to some giant complaint, so I’ll be brief. A couple of weeks ago I awoke with some minor back pain which got worse and worse over the next couple of days (along with some pain in my side if I moved wrong.) Not only was I unable to go to work, I had to go to the emergency room, since the doctor I went to said she couldn’t give me anything stronger for the intense back pain. While there were no broken bones, there were a couple of disks separated oddly (is about the best way I can describe it.) They suggested I “establish a relationship” with an orthopedic surgeon. That part’s taken care of, he’s one of the best in the country, and I’ll make an appointment with him him soon. Which is good because over the weekend, I had one of those famous home accidents in the bathroom. I was wearing very slippery socks and they gave out on the bathroom tile floor, which made me fall straight down on top of the edge of my bathtub, squarely on the right side of my chest. No blood, and no head injury. And it hurts quite a bit, but there’s no bruising or discoloration of any kind, and my breathing isn’t labored at all because of it. I think I got lucky and just got a little bruise. Funny thing is, the drugs they gave me at the ER were great for the back and side pain I had, but didn’t really help the chest bruise so much. Oh, well. Despite all that, I think I had a better week than Larry Wilmore at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. Personally, I didn’t find it particularly funny. Maybe the jokes were too inside for me. I hope you’ve had a better week.

This is our daily open thread. Have fun.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, April 30th, 2016: The View from Outside

We’re all tired of the U.S. media’s love/hate minute-by-minute coverage of The Donald, so I thought that ThinkProgress’s article on Trump’s international coverage might be interesting.

Occasionally humorous, i.e.:

MEXICO: “…the man who managed to make us miss the Bush clan” and “El Deforma, a satirical news site similar to The Onion…has included articles about Canada building a wall in case of a Trump victory and Pink Floyd building the wall if Mexico doesn’t pay for it.”

SOUTH AFRICA: “South Africa’s the New Age called Trump “arguably the most successful internet troll in today’s political spectrum,” noting that much of his social media commentary “reads like a laundry list of troll tactics.”

Sometimes insightful:

CANADA: “…the Globe and Mail’s conservative columnist Margaret Wente noted that a majority of Americans “would rather swallow arsenic than vote for Mr. Trump” and predicted his fall. “If Donald Trump were a stock, my advice would be to sell it now,” she wrote. “The one thing that has to happen is that Mr. Trump will have to change. And he can’t. His most deadly foe is himself. Mr. Trump has no situational awareness. He has no ability to take advice, or build bridges, or learn from others, or direct a team.”

Some surprisingly self-serving and hypocritical:

ISRAEL: ““As an Israeli Who Loves America, I Am Worried by Trump,” wrote Ari Shavit in the liberal publication Haaretz after a series of Trump victories in February. “After the astounding victories of the vulgar populist in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, it is clear to all that America is no longer the country we have known. It is no longer a nation with a prudent economic establishment, a contented middle class and a stable political system. It is no longer a nation confident in itself, its identity and its future. It is a frightened, angry America. An America that has lost its way,” he wrote. “To an Israeli who spends considerable time in debates about Israel between Boston and San Francisco, Trump is a relief. Suddenly Israeli politics seem a little less embarrassing.”

“…in March, Naomi Zeveloff published a piece in the Forward on how Trump’s offensive style was actually winning many Israeli admirers. “If America elects a person who advocates discrimination and condescension and even resentment toward minorities, maybe we won’t be so criticized by the West,” Yaron Ezrahi, a professor emeritus of political science at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, explained to Zeveloff regarding Israeli right-wing thinking on Trump.”

The TP article is very long with loads of links, and overall it’s pretty disturbing. But I recommend wading through it.

This is our daily Open Thread–okay, it’s the now-usually-Late-Afternoon Saturday edition. Go ahead and talk about stuff.

TWH, 04/27/2016: DC Circuit Court Upholds Deportation Law

A little noticed provision slipped into the latest military funding authorization bill survived judicial scrutiny last week. While the provision only affects residents of Washington D.C. it could have ramifications nationwide.

 

The anti-immigration provision was allegedly added by Mitch McConnell in an effort to appease the Tea Party caucus. It reads, simply enough, “All non-native people residing within the boundaries of Washington, District of Columbia, shall be deported to their country of origin.”

 

A legal challenge to the provision went before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals where it was upheld. The Court noted Congress had the power to make laws affecting Washington D.C. The Court further ruled that the language “non-native” was not ambiguous – that the statute applied to any individual whose ancestry did not include the indigenous peoples of the North American Continent before the arrival of peoples of European descent. The Court also interpreted “residing” to mean individuals with permanent, seasonal, or temporary residence within the District of Columbia, and excluding those who visit, staying in the nation’s capital two weeks or less in any given year.

 

With its ruling, the temporary stay on enforcement will expire in 30 days, barring intervention by the Supreme Court. Given the 4 – 4 split on the Supreme Court, it is highly unlikely the matter will be taken up for review. By the end of May, 2016, virtually all Senators and Representatives will be deported back to their ancestor’s country of origin.

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Monday, April 25th, 2016: Take a Deep Breath

Old orchard in spring

Old orchard in spring

I know that I’ve trotted out this photo a few times over the years, at least in springtime. But it is one of my favorite pictures, and, well, it’s Spring. Although the apple blossoms are barely budding yet, lots of other flowering trees are blooming and the air is fragrant in the warming sunshine. The first of newly-mown lawns add their evocative scent. Bees are humming and I saw my first butterfly of the spring on Thursday. Of course, this also means that there’s a pollen alert every day, and this spring for the first time my allergies have escalated to the “burning eyes” level. But as long as I can breathe through my nose, even a little, I still want to stick my head out the car window like a dog and drink it all in.

Breathe in the springtime – it’ll do you good.

This is our daily Open Thread–what’s on your mind?

Sunday Roast: Let’s Go Crazy

The year 2016 has been pretty rough on the music world.  It’s too depressing to make a list of the amazing artists who’ve slipped the mortal coil…

Let’s Go Crazy is my favorite Prince song; it’s just SO perfectly Prince.  Purple Rain is the iconic Prince song, but Let’s Go Crazy — to me — is Prince & friends having a shitload of fun making great music.

Speaking of Purple Rain, Bruce Springsteen opened his most recent show with a tribute to Prince Rogers Nelson.

I truly hope that Prince made arrangements for his unreleased music to come out over the next few years.

This is our daily open thread — Post your fav Prince music, if you can find it!

TWH, Hump Day, 4/20. Need I say more?

So, yesterday Hillary Clinton notched a victory in Wall Street’s home state. She now has 1893 delegates to Bernie Sanders’ 1180. Ms. Clinton only needs 490 delegates out of the remaining 1704 delegates still available to clinch the Democratic nomination. If not for the wisdom of the upper echelons of the Democratic Party, it would be a much closer race: 1424 to 1149. But Democratic Superdelegates have thrown their weight behind Wall Street’s choice and they will not be dissuaded by popular opinion. That’s what makes them so “super”.

On the other side of the political spectrum, Trump trounced the opposition in New York. He walked away with 60% of the vote to Cruz’s 15%. The Republican delegate count now stands at Trump, 845; Cruz,559; and Kasich, 147. Trump needs 392 out of the 734 still available to have the nomination locked up. If he keeps picking up delegates at the rate he did in New York, Trump will walk in owning the Republican Convention.

Now, while you, gentle reader, are digesting the ramifications of the above, for something completely different:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/20/420-meaning-the-true-stor_n_543854.html

OPEN Thread