The Watering Hole, Monday, November 23rd, 2015: NatGeo, Take Me Away!

I can’t deal with “Ugly Americans” [of course, “Ugly Americans” = “Republican Presidential Candidates and their Fans/Supporters”] anymore; we keep thinking, “How can these guys sink so low?”, then, the next hour or day or week, one or two or several of them come out with such outrageous shit that we really need a new word to define what circle of hell lies beyond “outrageous” or “horrific” or “despicable” or “abhorrent” or “inhuman” – sorry, I need more words!

And I’ve had it up to HERE with the holidays being turned into meaningless “shop-’til-you-drop” commercialism [how about if “Black Friday” could be turned into “Black Lives Matter Friday” – hell, make every day of the entire Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday shopping season a day of protests]. So I’m going with some beautiful photos from National Geographic to start the week.

Here’s some pretty birds, from “A Flight of Birds”, a section of NatGeo’s Photo Ark, including a photo capturing the iridescent plumage of the Purple Glossy Starling, such as seen below,
and a more close-up shot of the Javan Rhinoceros Hornbill, like the one seen below:
javan rhinoceros Hornbill

And if you prefer a larger gallery for leisurely viewing, here’s more from NatGeo’s 2015 Photo Contest. The “Week 10” group includes a brooding sunset photo of Godafoss Waterfall in Iceland – here’s a chilly winter shot of the falls, just to start the calming process:

This is our daily Open Thread – enjoy the views or rant away – or you can do both!

The Watering Hole, Monday, October 26, 2015: Why Is Ben Carson Still Running For POTUS?

He is Dr. Ben Carson. He is running for President of the United States of America. He doesn’t believe in Evolution.

Listening to him talk about it it’s clear he doesn’t understand how Evolution works, which might contribute to why he doesn’t believe in it. I guess to be more accurate, I should have said that Ben Carson doesn’t believe in Evolution as he understands it. He might be pleased to know that most scientists don’t believe in Evolution as Ben Carson understands it, either. Carson thinks that species changed into other species, which then changed into other species, and so on. Of course that’s not how it works. They didn’t “change into” other species, they were born of other species but with slight genetic variations that gave them advantages over others of their kind born without it. I’m not going to waste good intelligent people’s time with a defense and explanation of how Evolution works and why the vast majority of scientists still recognized as scientists by their peers believe that Evolution is how we came to be the creatures you see standing before you in the mirror each day. And I’ll never convince those who argue that because we can’t as yet explain how it all works right down to the tiniest detail that it can’t possibly be true and so we must have been created just as we are just like the Bible says. Those people do not wish to engage their critical thinking skills and, you know, think critically about something. I believe Ben Carson to be one of those people. We’ll see why later.

About a week ago, Carson suggested that we could have caught bin Laden sooner if we had declared that we would be energy independent. Not, as our good Friends at Raw Story put it, if we had been energy independent, but simply if we declared we would be energy independent within five-ten years. And I know this because he said the Arab countries would be come so concerned they would have…I won’t spoil it. Read what he said:

“Declare that within five to 10 years, we will become petroleum independent. The moderate Arab states would have been so concerned about that, they would have turned over Osama bin Laden and anybody else you wanted on a silver platter within two weeks.”

Pressed on how that would work in real life, Carson added:

“Well, I think they would have been extremely concerned if we had declared — and we were serious about it — that we were going to become petroleum independent, because it would have had a major impact on their finances,” Carson offered. “And I think that probably would have trumped any loyalty that they had to — to people like Osama bin Laden.”

When it was pointed out that the Saudis had no loyalty to bin Laden and had kicked him out of their country, Carson countered with that standard Conservative tactic of denying Reality:

“Uh, well, you may not think that they had any loyalty to him, but I believe otherwise,” Carson said without further explanation.

I know Carson doesn’t like those who think critically because a couple of days ago he told Glenn Beck he would use the Department of Education to “monitor our institutions of higher education for extreme political bias and deny federal funding if it exists.” You can listen to him give rapid fire yes or no answers that prove he’s on the wrong side of most issues.

He explained to talk show radio host Dana Loesch (who has joined Chuck Todd, Erick Erickson, Eric Bolling, Liz Cheney, Dana Perino, and Sean Hannity as Famous Conservatives Who Have Blocked Me On Twitter) that he would only block Liberal speech on campuses because he believes only Liberals engage in “extreme” speech. (If that doesn’t tell you how extreme his conservatism is, what will?) He says, “And it’s not appropriate for public funding to be used to indoctrinate students in one direction.” First of all, education is not “indoctrination.” Any candidate for POTUS who refers to education this way is unfit to be POTUS, for they are saying they wish the American people to remain ignorant and not learn new things. Second, Liberalism is not “one direction,” but rather the expansion of the mind to look in many outward directions where things don’t have the sameness that looking inwardly only shows. It’s called being “open-minded” and it is the very definition of being Liberal. You don’t go to college to be told what you already knew. You go to college to expand your mind and learn things you never knew before. For example, I went to college to learn why one plus one equals two. Not to learn that one plus one equals two. I mastered that the year before. But why does it equal two? Why doesn’t it equal three or four or some other number? I’ll save you several thousand dollars in education costs and reveal the answer: One plus one equals two because “two” is what we call the number you get when you start with one and add one to it. And “three” is what we call the number you get when you start with “two” and add one to it. And “four” is what we call the successor of “three.” And so on. Rather anticlimactic, I suppose. I bet you were wishing it was some really cool story about word origins or something but, no, it’s simply a matter of definitions. We had to call these numbers something, so we called them what we did. One was going to be the first number after Nothing. And Two was whatever came after One. And Three whatever came after Two. That’s also why they’re in the order they are. Two follows One because Two is what we call whatever follows One. I won’t get into how we’re actually referring to symbols, because that would only confuse the matter. The point is I never would have learned that had I not gone to an institution dedicated to opening my mind and teaching me things I didn’t already know. And to hooking me up with people who could get me LSD.

And if religious extremism, foreign policy naivete, and a complete misunderstanding of the purpose of an education don’t convince you he’s unfit for any public office, perhaps his paranoia will. Buzzfeed is reporting that Carson has been told (and therefore believes) that he is “in great danger” because, and pardon me if I am unable to get through this because it’s so absurd, he challenges “the secular progressive movement to the very core.” How is? What is? Where the? Why would he think he is “in great danger” from the “secular progressive movement”? I can’t speak to whether or not there are threats that pose a great danger to him, but I hardly think any such threats would come from the “secular progressive movement” (whatever that is.) I’m atheist (secular) and a Liberal Libertarian (sort of progressive), but no form of opposition to his political views I take would involve physical harm to his person or family. Whoever told him that was projecting his own framework of the world onto the suggestion. He told Carson this because he believed that’s what he would do if he were on the other side. But he has no idea how the other side would think or else he would be ON the other side. They simply don’t get this. I can’t speak for any racist or white supremacist groups, but I won’t dispute he may be in danger. But let the experts in law enforcement who know more about what’s going on than we’ll ever know pinpoint the source of the dangerous threats. I’m sure it will surprise you, Ben.

“But, Wayne, you incredibly handsome and intelligent guy,” you say, “Carson is a man of medical training who must surely understand the medical reasons why an abortion might be necessary. Might he be open-minded enough about that to see why a woman should ultimately be the one to decide if she will have an abortion?” Well, I’d say you were right about me but wrong about Carson. No, he opposes abortion and wants to see Roe v. Wade overturned (never going to happen.) As he said just this past Sunday, he doesn’t even think there should be an exception for cases of rape and incest. The problem is his internal framing of the issue. He likens the collection of cells that is on its way to probably being a human to being a slave, and equates the slave owner’s right to do whatever he wanted to with his property to a woman deciding to kill her own baby (which is not what it is at the point in the pregnancy of which we speak.) Remember the little talk before about Evolution? He doesn’t believe in that, so he doesn’t believe it’s possible that the pregnancy could produce the next species after Homo sapiens sapiens. Or it could produce a mutation that isn’t genetically beneficial to survival of the species, such as the inability to breathe oxygen into your bloodstream. If you believe in Evolution, it is arguable that we’re not necessarily talking about a “human” baby, since we’re talking about something that is only weeks along in its development. And if you believe Women are equal citizens under the law, and if you believe that Everyone should have the right to decide what to do with his or her own body, and if you believe that these choices are just that – choices – that you have the right to make, then you cannot believe Ben Carson would make a good President. Not for this country. Take it from a handsome, intelligent guy. So why is he still running for POTUS?

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Ben Carson, Ben Carson’s fitness or lack thereof to be POTUS, how much less handsome and intelligent Ben Carson is than me, or anything else you wish to discuss.

The Watering Hole; Friday October 23 2015; Benghazi!!!

We spent several hours yesterday watching the live transmission of Hillary Clinton testifying before the House Benghazi Tribunal . . . err,  Committee. The absolute ABSURDITY of questionings from the entire Republican side of the aisle reminded me of some old quotes which, for some odd reason, now seem to perfectly define the Republican Party’s undercurrent idiocy that was SO implicit in those proceedings. Amazing (see Jim Jordan, R-OH, for grand and CURRENT exemplification).

“The Constitutional right to talk nonsense does not include protection against being thought a fool.” ~Robert H. Kroninger (Superior Court Judge, CA, retired)

“Politicians & Diapers Both Need to Be Changed, and for the Same Reason”
(source unknown)

“So let us regard this as settled: what is morally wrong can never be advantageous, even when it enables you to make some gain that you believe to be to your advantage. The mere act of believing that some wrongful course of action constitutes an advantage is pernicious.” ~Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.)

“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself.” ~Mark Twain

“The Democrats are the party of government activism, the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller, and get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then get elected and prove it.” ~P. J. O’Rourke

“Dare to be naive.” ~Buckminster Fuller

“Some minds remain open long enough for the truth not only to enter but to pass on through by way of a ready exit without pausing anywhere along the route.” ~Sister Elizabeth Kenny

“The masses have never thirsted after truth. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.” ~Gustave Le Bon; The Crowd

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” ~H.L. Mencken

“If the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded.” ~Noah Webster – (1758-1843) American patriot and scholar

“Just be what you are and speak from your guts and heart – it’s all a man has.” ~Hubert H. Humphrey

“Day-to-day life within an empire consists of the deceitful leading the disengaged.” ~Phil Rockstroh; October 12, 2006

“I’m sick and tired of a bunch of despicable Republicans who will not debate real policy, who won’t take responsibility for their own mistakes, standing up and trying to make other people the butt of those mistakes. It disgusts me that a bunch of these Republican hacks who’ve never worn the uniform of our country are willing to lie about those who did.” ~Sen. John Kerry; October 31, 2006

I was puzzled as to exactly why so many of the GOoPers on the committee were so persistently interested in blasting Sidney Blumenthal and his email communications with then-Secretary Clinton. It wasn’t until I ran across this line that I finally got it:

“[H]ypocrisy is at the center of the Republican idea.” ~Sidney Blumenthal, in How Bush Rules: Chronicles of a Radical Regime; 2006

Apparently whomever it was that said ‘the truth hurts’ nailed an entire political party to the cross.

Then there’s this little goody, clearly intended for the Committee’s Arkansas nutcase; he should take it to heart and maybe one day learn enough non-Arkansasian English to facilitate his ability to communicate with folks whose IQs exceed 75:

“One sign of our unity is our English language. For newcomers, it has always been the fastest route to prosperity in America. English empowers. We support English as the official language in our nation … thereby fostering a commitment to our national motto, E Pluribus Unum.” ~from the Republican Platform, 2008

Finally, and though I’m not one who very often likes to quote Dan Quayle, this little one-liner of his will probably prove to be the perfect end result summation of this Benghazi committee’s impending collapse, along with their ultimate reward:

“If we do not succeed, then we run the risk of failure.” ~Vice President Dan Quayle, to the Phoenix Republican Forum, 3/23/90

I guess the bottom line is a simple one. NEVER in all my 73 years have I EVER witnessed such an endless parade of STUPID combined with pure and unadulterated SPITE. I can say with some impunity that I’m actually ashamed to be resident in a country that has sunk low enough — during my lifetime, for chrissake — to elect such a chorus of nitwits to positions of governmental authority. If the electorate doesn’t very soon toss each and all of those ignorant bums out, it’s very easy to visualize this nation’s upcoming demise, and all within the lifespan of a great many alive today.

Aeschylus spoke what seems to well-describe the frustration of each and every functioning mind out there today when he wrote, in ‘The Libation Bearers’:

“Here once more . . .
the tempest in the race has struck . . .

“Where will it end? —
where will it sink to sleep and rest,
this murderous hate, this Fury?”


The Watering Hole; Thursday August 27 2015; “Anchor Babies”

“We are here to support American values.
America was built with immigrants.”
Juan Gomez
(Vice president of United Voices for Immigrants,
Teacher of English to immigrant adults,
Peruvian immigrant
April 9, 2006)

Anchor Babies. I find the demeaning attitude implicit in those two words to be infuriating. And ridiculous. And STUPID! No wonder Republicans use them on a daily basis.

Donald Trump initiated the latest round of nonsensical anti-birthright bias when he suggested that if he were to become President, he would deport each and every “illegal” or undocumented immigrant, and that he would then find the means to override the opening words of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, the line that grants birthright citizenship WITHOUT EXCEPTION via the words:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

Since Trump first mentioned his racist and white supremacist ego-maniacal fascistic proposition, most if not all “candidate” occupants of the Republican Clown Car have voiced agreement with his ‘unconstitutional’ thesis. Their responses have ranged from the ridiculous to the bizarre (especially Jeb Bush who aimed his hateful rhetoric at Chinese and Asians rather than the more “popular” Hispanic brand). But the bottom line remains: the GOP has morphed from an all-inclusive and reasonable politic to become little more than a white supremacist, hate and fear motivated classical Fascist movement, one whose intent seems to be the redefinition of this country.

I could rant for days on the absolute asininity of the GOP’s “positions” on this and on most other matters of national and humanitarian import, but in deference to sanity I’ll hold back. A little, at least. But I will answer Jeb Bush’s idiotic response to the journalist who asked him about his use of the words ‘anchor babies.’ “You give me a better term and I’ll use it,”  Bush replied. Seems to me that’s an easy one. How about, “children”? I should think that would be clear and obvious, esp. to the politic that sees the fertilized egg as a ‘person’ worthy of full constitutional protection. I guess that concept must only apply to white zygotes, though, and surely not to brownies and Chinks and Japs and . . . well, you know.

Funny too how “anchor babies” weren’t an issue when white Christians first came to North America back in the seventeenth century. I mean, it seems crystal clear that each and all of those immigrants were effectively illegal, undocumented, etc. I admit I find it curious that today’s Republicans, when they’re bitching about “anchor babies,” never mention the atrocities those Pilgrim “anchor babies” were at least partially responsible for over ensuing generations. Why is that I wonder?

A recent article in the Washington Post by discusses what he refers to as “Donald Trump’s nativist bandwagon.” In it he notes that

Trump would abolish birthright citizenship: the principle, embedded in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, that anyone born in the United States is an American, no matter the legal status of his or her parents. Sen. Ted Cruz promptly claimed he’d always opposed birthright citizenship, too, a claim the Houston Chronicle quickly disproved. Bobby Jindal and Ben Carson joined in, as did Scott Walker, though he didn’t seem entirely sure. Jeb Bush stayed admirably aloof from the mob.

(Hiatt apparently wrote the piece before Bush jumped on board and criticized Asian/Chinese “anchor babies” rather than Hispanic “anchor babies”). He goes on to quote Doris Meissner, who ran the U.S. immigration agency under President Clinton and is now a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute.

“What’s the belief system, the social cohesion that binds us? . . . A commitment to democracy, participation, equal rights, opportunity, due process, government by the people — people have to be full members of the society for that to be real and flourish.”

Hiatt further notes that the anchor baby “problem” will fix itself eventually. The children of the undocumented will be citizens, and they will grow up — as children of immigrants, legal and illegal, generally have — to better their lot, sometimes to prosper, almost always to contribute.

If, on the other hand, American-born children were denied citizenship, the number of people illegally here would swell. By 2050, according to a study a few years ago by the Migration Policy Institute, nearly 5 million people who had been born here would have no legal claim to remain — or, if having even one undocumented parent was deemed disqualifying, as many as 13 million.

“With all the problems illegal immigration presents, at least it’s a one-generation phenomenon. It self-corrects with the next generation born here,” Meissner told me. “A permanent underclass where disadvantage is transferred generationally is a terrible counter-force.”

Hiatt is, in my very humble opinion, precisely correct in his thesis. The “problem” that has so gripped the imaginations along with the irrational hatreds and fears of the American political far right (aka the GOP) is nothing other than an expression of their own inborn insufficiencies, coupled with their white supremacist and ego-maniacal attitudes. “Anchor babies,” meanwhile, are children who will become — courtesy of the Fourteenth Amendment —  the next generation born here, each and all of whom will be citizens, and they will grow up — as children of immigrants, legal and illegal, generally have — to better their lot, sometimes to prosper, almost always to contribute. 

Meanwhile, it seems the time to put an end to the political insanity as preached, practiced, and imposed by today’s version of the Republican Party has definitely arrived. The insanity of never-ending fear and hatred theses that drive their current politic makes life miserable for far too many real and genuine people even as it appeals to far too many — mainly those with shriveled souls (aka Republicans).

Therefore the obvious question: what sort of future might the 2016 electoral process portend? Current polls that show the ego-maniac Donald Trump leading all other clown car occupants. To Ann Coulter, the notion of a “President Trump” serves as Proof That ‘God Hasn’t Given Up On America Yet’. George Will, on the other hand, has suggested that Trump’s immigration plan could spell doom for the GOP. With any luck at all, Will’s thesis will be proven to be absolutely accurate, given that if this country is to have any semblance at all of a sustainable future for its people, GOP “doom” is mandated. If Trump can pull that off, fine. If another candidate should be chosen from the current crowd, with luck the ego-maniacal ghost of the Trump candidacy will continue to do his candidacy’s dirty work and pave the way to a progressive nation, a true Democracy that addresses the well-being of ALL its people rather than just its (white) oligarchs and power mongers.

And once civility replaces their fascistic hatred, let there be NO MORE TALK OF ANCHOR BABIES!

“Marches will only get you so far. There has to be
an electoral component to get the Republicans out of the majority.”
Armando Navarro
(Coordinator of the National Alliance for Human Rights,
a network of Hispanic activist groups in Southern California
April 9, 2006)


The Watering Hole; Thursday June 25 2015; Saul Alinsky

Recently — very recently — I happened across yet one more wingnut mean-spirited reference to Saul Alinsky (I forgot to mark the place, which I have since also forgotten — one of the “benefits” of aging). In any case, the remark was (predictably) both vitriolic and deleterious, with all dirt spouted in the direction/context of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and today’s “Democrat” Party.

Saul Alinsky. I remembered the name, but the reason for the recollection was foggy at best. So I dug a bit, hoping to find a memory refurbishment along with explanation of  maybe some of the current vitriol. Conclusion: Google is cool. With a few quick mouse clicks, I found myself reminded of days long past, of days back in the ’60s when I was but an innocent college kid. Back then, Saul Alinsky (1909-1972) was a community organizer in Chicago (sound familiar?), one who had spent much of the 1950’s organizing various Afro-American community efforts on civil rights issues. In the 1960’s he set up organizer institutes to train others, and his reputation began to spread.

In 1969, in fact, a Wellesley College student chose Alinsky’s work as a subject for her pre-grad thesis entitled “There is Only the Fight: An Analysis of the Alinsky Model.” The student, Hillary Rodham (yes, THAT Hillary), interviewed Alinsky a pair of times for the paper in which she included this, her summary of Alinsky’s philosophy:

“Much of what Alinsky professes does not sound ‘radical.’ . . . His are the words used in our schools and churches, by our parents and their friends, by our peers. The difference is Alinsky really believes in them and recognizes the necessity of changing the present structures of our lives in order to realize them.”

Not long thereafter — 1971 — Alinsky published his third book, Rules for Radicals, A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals. In it, he included the following list of thirteen “power tactics” which, in his context, were methods for organizers to use that were based on principles of direct action via nonviolent conflict and with purpose being to empower the oppressed, the poor, in the ‘modern’ American society. His thirteen rules read as follows:

1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.”

2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people. When an action or tactic is outside the experience of the people, the result is confusion, fear and retreat…. [and] the collapse of communication.

3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)

4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”

5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.”

6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”

7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Man can sustain militant interest in any issue for only a limited time….”

8. “Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.”

9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”

10. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.”

11. “If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside… every positive has its negative.”

12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”

13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and ‘frozen.’

Diabolical and evil, right? Maybe also subversive? In the same book, Alinsky also noted that . . .

As an organizer I start from where the world is, as it is, not as I would like it to be. That we accept the world as it is does not in any sense weaken our desire to change it into what we believe it should be – it is necessary to begin where the world is if we are going to change it to what we think it should be. That means working in the system.

Alinsky. Diabolical. Anti-American. Obviously.

Shortly before his death in 1972, Alinsky, in an interview in Playboy Magazine, pretty well summarized his worldly views and goals in a mere 65 words:

I’ve never joined any organization — not even the ones I’ve organized myself. I prize my own independence too much. And philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it’s Christianity or Marxism . . . The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by such religious and political and racial fanatics, from the persecutions of the Inquisition on down to Communist purges and Nazi genocide.

In spite of Alinsky’s soft-spoken attitudes and philosophies, in recent years the words ‘Saul Alinsky’ have become the approximate equivalent, in GOP vitriol, of words such as Soros, Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, etc., ad infinitum. The various right wing noise machines have, in fact, spread the anti-Alinsky vitriol via each and every available medium, always in the process linking the “Marxist” Alinsky with prominent Democrats, in particular the former Chicago Community Organizer Barack Obama, and Hillary (Rodham) Clinton, 1969 Wellesley College graduate.

In January 2008 — during the run-up to that year’s November elections — Richard Poe published an article entitled Hillary, Obama And The Cult Of Alinsky in which he notes that “Alinsky viewed revolution as a slow, patient process. The trick was to penetrate existing institutions such as churches, unions and political parties.” Not sure I’ve ever seen a better example of the right wing’s penchant for subtle wordsmithing and meaning alteration than that one, but given that Poe’s co-author on their book which lambasted “George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Sixties Radicals” was David Horowitz, the surprise is minimal at best.

Meanwhile, the seeds of right wing baloney in re Saul Alinsky and his philosophies continue to sprout and grow. A good example is in this, the text of a January 2014 viral email that made the rounds and undoubtedly raised a bunch of wingnut eyebrows in the process. It is, in effect, a complete and total rewrite of Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” noted above, primarily designed to lambast President Obama by linking him to the falsely vilified Saul Alinsky.

Obama was influenced by the writings and philosophies Saul Alinsky, author of the book, “Rules for Radicals,” and later by Frank Marshall Davis, with similar philosophies.

Barak [sic] Obama followed the philosophies of these ‘role models’ throughout his days as a Community Organizer for ACORN, using tactics that appeared to some as ‘shaking down’ businesses in exchange for not branding them ‘hate groups.’

And apparently Obama is still following those radical rules today.

How to create a social state by Saul Alinsky:

There are 8 levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state.

The first is the most important.

1) Healthcare — Control healthcare and you control the people

2) Poverty — Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.

3) Debt — Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.

4) Gun Control — Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.

5) Welfare — Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income).

6) Education — Take control of what people read and listen to — take control of what children learn in school.

7) Religion — Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.

8) Class Warfare — Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.

Now, think …

Does any of this sound like what is happening to the United States?

Notice the “author” of the above attributed his diatribe to Saul Alinsky, author of the book, “Rules for Radicals,” but included nothing written by Saul Alinsky. The entire of the text (attributed to Alinsky by inference only) is bogus, clearly intended as anti-Obama and anti-Democrat-in-general verbal drivel that is typical of propaganda everywhere.

Herr Dr. Goebbels would surely be proud of today’s American right wing propaganda machine, given that it so closely obeys a great many of Goebbels’ precepts. As he himself summed it,

“Propaganda is not a matter for average minds, but rather a matter for practitioners. It is not supposed to be lovely or theoretically correct. I do not care if I give wonderful, aesthetically elegant speeches, or speak so that women cry. . . . We do not want to be a movement of a few straw brains, but rather a movement that can conquer the broad masses. Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths.”

There’s probably no better definition of the GOP’s current noise machine anywhere. Not that we should be surprised, of course. There does remain, however, a diametric difference between the views of Herr Goebbels (read also: America’s right wing, aka GOP) and Saul Alinsky. As Alinsky put it,

“My only fixed truth is a belief in people, a conviction that if people have the opportunity to act freely and the power to control their own destinies, they’ll generally reach the right decisions.”

Amen. Ideal America defined. Thank you, Saul Alinsky.


The Watering Hole; Friday May 29 2015; Constitutional IQ’s

It seems obvious to me that what I choose to call Constitutional IQ is a yardstick of sorts, one which measures a candidate’s (or elected official’s) appreciation of constitutional details when putting forth a proposition for action. For my purposes here, I assume that those who comprehend and appreciate constitutional premises fall into the positive range where the pinnacle is, say, +100. Similarly, those who willingly (or unknowingly) disavow constitutional guarantees fall into the negative range where -100 is as low as anyone can ever attain.

With that in mind, we can begin by citing the basic premises of the American Constitution’s intent, premises which are briefly noted in its Preamble as follows:

We the people of the United States, in order to

form a more perfect union,
establish justice,
insure domestic tranquility,
provide for the common defense,
promote the general welfare,
and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,

do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Notice that the general term “people” is not broken down into categories; there is no mention of origin, or whether immigrant or native born. Nor is there any mention of gender, race, ethnicity, or even of sexual preference. There is no mention of religion and certainly no mandate, nor is there recognition of any preference of belief, and no penalty for non-belief. My best guess is that each and all ‘non-mentioned’ concepts and realities were deemed by the founders to fall under the blessings of liberty umbrella.

There is also no mandate anywhere in the entire document (as amended) that ‘hate and fear’ be deemed drivers of American constitutionalism, although today if one listens to the current crop of Republican 2016 presidential candidates, one might assume that their collective vision of the Constitution requires that each and all of its premises are most assuredly driven by same.

For example: Republican candidate Rick Santorum invariably finds fault in so many of the nondescript blessings of liberty that it becomes difficult to fairly judge his constitutional IQ. Here, for example are ten of his most bizarre theses which, when coupled with his 5 Worst Smears — Attacking Gay Rights, Working Women & Church-State Separation amply demonstrate his constitutional illiteracy. And since all of the above amount to just a surface scratch on his political agenda, it’s a mark of utmost courtesy on my part to assign him a constitutional IQ somewhere in the range of -50.

And then there’s presidential candidate Rand Paul whose recent remark that the issue of abortion rights would be best handled “by the states” rather than “under the 14th Amendment” and his ambiguous answer to the question of “when does life begin” were, as commentators on the left and the right have pointed out, somewhat confounding since Paul has sponsored a Senate bill that aims to undermine Roe v. Wade by defining life as beginning “at conception.” Tossing aside the fourteenth amendment in favor of a panoply of religious arguments doesn’t sound like something a genuine constitutional advocate would ever even contemplate. On the other hand, he does recognize the privacy premises of the fourth amendment, so I’m guessing Rand Paul’s constitutional IQ to fall somewhere in the vicinity of -10.

Meanwhile, Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s contribution to the 2016 Republican clown car is engaged in his current task of doing whatever he deems necessary to convince the religious right that he’s one of them. In one of his recent gigs, he attempted to convince anti-choice leader that he really Didn’t Mean What He Said About Abortion Being Between ‘A Woman And Her Doctor’. And according to the head of the Susan B. Anthony list, Walker said that “using the language of the other side to support our own position is a good thing, but you can only do it if people aren’t trying to call you out and quoting you out of context.” Right. Use any excuse possible to convince the far right religious movers and shakers that the blessings of liberty do not apply to those who violate a religious opinion while undergoing procedures that are constitutionally acceptable and protected. Clever, Scott, very clever. For that I assess your constitutional IQ at -104!

OK, that’s about all I can handle today. And gee, I haven’t touched on Ted Cruz, or Lindsey Graham, or Carly Fiorina, or any of the rest of the current and projected stars in 2016’s Theater of the Absurd. I do suspect, however, that the three listed above have viably demonstrated their sub-basement constitutional IQ’s. I also assume the rest of the field to be extremely competent at doing the same. I cannot, in fact, recall a single instance where any one of the 2016 clown car candidates has ever spoken in support of a more perfect union, or unencumbered justice, or domestic tranquility, or an unencumbered common defense, and definitely not any level whatsoever of general welfare. They are all, however, definitely supporters of the blessings of liberty — for corporate entities and for the ultra-wealthy 1% who enthusiastically fund their bogus loyalties and will apparently stand any unconstitutional ground imaginable — for the right payoff.


PS: This just in. Marco Rubio  points out that Gay Rights are ‘A Real And Present Danger’ To Freedom, thereby earning himself at least a -35 in the constitutional IQ department.

The Watering Hole; May 1 2015; “Can the Dumb — Define the Divine?”

Premise number one: the world of humans is insane. See links below.
Premise number two: the place to find sanity is in the world ‘out there.’ See pix below.


Pat Robertson: God Will Punish America For Persecuting Anti-Gay Activists

Yah sure ya betcha.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGOP Rep. Bill Flores Links Baltimore Riots To Gay Marriage

OK. Right. Makes perfect sense.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASteve King: ‘What Happens To The Demographics Of America’ If Birthright Citizenship Continues?

Prolly will turn the whole world upside down, right? Right.

Hollydot reflections 276Obama Is ‘Pulling The Strings’ In Baltimore So He Can Seize Control Of The Nation’s Police Forces

Oh no, not again. Another one?

Bugs on Buffalo Gourd Blossom 331Anti-Gay Activists Urge ‘Resistance’ Before Marriage Equality Destroys ‘Just About Everything’

Nothing new there. Some stuff makes it, some doesn’t.

0320-572Capitol Prayer Service: God Will Punish America For Legalizing Gay Marriage

Oh . . . BITE ME!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASheriff Mack: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Is ‘A Very Senile And Evil Person’ Who Will ‘Destroy Marriage’

In the words of Emily Dickinson, “when the Wind is within —
Can the Dumb — define the Divine?”

Pasture Bull 258

Gay Marriage Is The Work Of ‘The Devil Himself

Scary scary. That does it, I’m gittin’ outta here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABernie Sanders: People Didn’t Die To Create A Democratic System Of War Between Billionaires

And Pax vobiscum.

Cottontail in snow 958OPEN THREAD

Dedicated to the modern GOP vision for America, which is:

Wupatki main[All photos by frugal]