An Invitation to Rick Santorum
Right, Ricky. Every class lecture, I spend the entire 75 minutes pouring Leftist drivel down students' throats. I'm teaching economics and finance at the college level, indoctrinating them to the point where they grow poorly trimmed beards and wave firearms while they scream, "Death to capitalism! Death to Ludwig Von Mises! Death to credit derivative swaps, non-zero interest loans, and anything that keeps me from getting free music and movies that take ungodly amounts of money to make just so I can download them FOR FREE!"
Mr. Santorumyou pulsating stellar wind of hypocrisy, fluff, and Right-wing clichésyour bloviating disconnect is laughable. For all but one lecture, I teach hard-core, Western-style capitalism, with barely a chance to mention anything other than the standard economic models of the Classical and Keynesian schools, both of which are predicated on conservative assumptions and not-very-surprising results from those conservative assumptions (although that 18th Century prewash actually leads to some pretty uncomfortable results for Right-wing and modern "conservative" simpletons like you). Given the depth, complexity, and scope of what I need to teach this self-pitying generation of narcissistic failures of parenting and society in generaland fighting as I do a losing battle against the pop-academic airheads on the Right and the Left with their staggering truckloads of "education reform" tripeI can pretty much promise that you would flunk my most basic finance and economics courses cold. Subsequently, or perhaps concurrently, you'd whine and bitch that I had somehow been mean and unfair to you.
Yes, Rick Santorum, thirty-plus years as a college teacher have accorded me the ability to see a flunky strutting in the door before he even makes it to his first failing grade on one of my (very traditional) tests. You look the part, and you talk the part. If you think you're something other than the poster boy for academic probation, here's the deal, sir: enroll in my one of my classes. Do it, Frat Boy, and I'll shut your pie hole before you can say, "Where do I go to drop this course?"
Do it right away. Bring cameras for plenty of photo ops. Bring your Right-wing supporters. Make it a one-semester, bigger-than-big rally. Let everyone see just how "Leftist" I am; then let them all see just how worthless your claims are, you uninformed little demagogue.
Desecrating the Dead
"Several CNN on-air journalists are criticizing Dana Loesch's recent comments supporting the U.S. Marines who allegedly urinated on the dead bodies of Taliban forces.
"Loesch, a CNN contributor, made the comments during her radio show Thursday. Among other things, Loesch said of the incident: 'I'd drop trou and do it too.'
"Such views brought sharp criticism from some CNN on-air reporters."
I have little use for journalist cherries posing thumbs up or thumbs down on specific military actions unless the deeds rise to the level of clear crimes against individuals and groups, and by that I refer to the living. Where were all of these grunting armchair warriors when the Navy Seals shot and killed an unarmed woman who "lunged" at them after they had just shot and killed her unarmed husband, a rather famous terrorist and perfect excuse for ever-escalating denial of any supposed right to privacy? Oh, wait, the White House was wrong; she was only wounded in the leg. Fog of war, and all that. Yes, sitting there watching the whole thing in real time on multiple monitor feeds from headgear cams gets that fog really thick. Photo ops like that are way too news-worthy for circumstantial accuracy about who died and who didn't, especially when you're killing a terrorist.
Wait, she wasn't exactly "wounded." Our heroes wouldn't do that, of course. It was collateral shrapnel.
Wait, the 12-year-old daughter says her father, the late Osama bin Laden, was captured and then executed. Lying little snot, right?
Oh, that's right, those Navy Seals were heroes because it was Osama bin Laden they shot, although I can't say I saw the body, the corpse having been dumped at sea out of respect or some such facile reason. I can't say I saw the video, either. Marines, take note: it's all about spin, all about controlling the media, all about keeping those videos and photographs from getting hauled up into that fog of public opinion, informed or uninformed as it might be.
Terror Alert Level raised to Confetti for that one! Yay! Mr. Obama gets butch to shut the neocon cherries up for a few minutes. Liberals and conservatives join hands for a moment of unity in extrajudicial executions of the indicted-by-10 years-of-propaganda and their menacing wives, except that part about his wife, she wasn't killed, she was shot in the calf; no, she got some shrapnel. Did I mention that the 12-year-old girl is a little liar?
Yay, Obama. Yay, heroes. Boo, Marines who pee on dead warriors. Boo to everyone who can't keep horror videos from going viral.
Look. Urinating on killed combatants is demonstrable collapse of good order and discipline, and that happens from the top down; but, then again, let's hang the grunts just like we did with the Abu Ghraib jail keepers, and let's make sure once again that the top of the chain of command gets off the hook with their sincere lies. That way, those too-important-to-hang people might be able to serve in the Obama Administration after they've done their worst for the Bush Administration. After all, Mr. Obama wants to be respected by the big boys.
That's the same reason he'll let the Iranian nuclear weapons situation get real ugly fairly soon. We mustn't look like wimps going into the 2012 general election.
That chickenhawk Dana Loesch says she would pull her panties down and urinate on dead enemy fighters, too, just like the soldiers in that video did. Good for her. I'll just turn the other way. Seeing bloody corpses is bad enough. Watching candyass pseudo-journalists pee just might ruin my appetite.
It's almost as bad as watching what remains of the liberal apologists spinning for President Weathervane. No wonder I've lost so much weight the past few years.
Where Once Lived Pioneers
I took this photograph yesterday during a walk through a cold, barren woodland area. Even in the bitter breeze, the stillness was haunting.
About a half mile from this place, an elderly lady lives in a large house that sets at the edge of a small ravine. She and her siblings grew up in this shack that was their home on the lonely, unforgiving Prairie.
I wish I could say that I stand on the shoulders of the millions of my great, unheralded fellow countrymen who came before me, but that would be such a lie; instead, in their shadow I grovel in the self-indulgent weaknesses of modernity that are my barter of their legacy. I have no one other than myself to blame for that.
Neither have I anyone else to blame for what became of my country, where once lived the great, unheralded millions, who had not the luxury of self-indulgent weakness.
I Am Not Anonymous
Your empire will end quietly long after I am dead. My work here, almost seven years of my life, energy, and worth, will change nothing. It never did; it never will. You know that as well you know the radicals, fools, misfits, and chanters will change nothing, certainly not at this point. Although you must flex the great power of the state for those who are the state, for what it's worth, those demonstrators have no idea. You should not hurt them so much; in time, they'll understand their powerlessness, even if you decide to make them believe otherwise just to silence their cacophony.
I already understand: the revolution has ended; the team from Ragville lost, and it's just as well that they did. They never did keep a trophy for very long before taking it to the pawn shop, anyway.
Leave my Websites alone. The content here is no threat to you.
Neither am I.
Other Than Courage
You made your choice. Fade into failure with it.
Invitation to the Night
Without the will to destroy your enemies in the moment of your greatest advantage, you ensure not their gratitude that you spared them, but instead their opportunity one day to smite you.
While you may believe that sparing wrongful men who preceded you is the expression of all that is good, all that is humane and even civil, in your feckless display of mercy and ambivalence, you put your own future at great risk; but far worse, you condemn those you pose to lead to suffer at the hands of those enemies you were too cowardly to shatter once and for all.
Whatever you wished to do for those who looked to you for leadership, history in its parsimony will dispense with your excuses and merely note your name in the pages of the defeated, the ruined, the failed. The names of your enemies will be lionized in the chapters of the victors: theyvile, mean, and awful as they werenot you, will write the history of our time.
Ours will be only the small work of burying our hope in the sullen grave of your failure.
Fate and Destiny
If you are afraid to openly defy authority, you are not alone. Corrupt, wrongful, hopelessly irredemable authority is dangerous: it offers no apologies to the wronged, it makes no exceptions to the commoners, and it suffers no changes from its failures. When threatened, it lashes out, often without warning, in trivial circumstances. When embarrassed, it is quite ready to punish those who have exposed its venality. When held to account, it uses honesty as a tool of lies even as it uses lies as a resort of legitimacy in governance.
The people of the rightless sovereignindeed, the peoples of all the world in that sovereign's shadowdo not live to be free if such freedom threatens their duty to comply, their purpose to serve, and their calling to conform. It will hold up fools, charlatans, and madmen, and they will make words that sound like yours. This will frighten and deter you, and you will question yourself, your reasons, and your fury. You will feel the need to stand down, to believe your thoughts, words, and actions are the same as those you would revile; and the state will ensure that you imagine the worst of consequences if you do not tame your wrath.
Yet that same sovereign will declare itself different from those it governs even as it claims its legitimacy derives from the consent of the governed: in its own wrath, in its own magnificent hyperbole, in its own madness, the sovereign must be exempt, and its exemption must extend even to morality. Whether it openly claims connection to some god or feigns detachment from any particular way of worship, it nevertheless holds itself forth as the fashions of so many gods always have. In subtext or boldness, the state that does not draw its rightfulness from natural law must of necessity author itself as a god above such law. In so doing, it must then, of equal necessity, author for its subjects their fates.
If you are afraid to defy authority, even when you know it has lost its way with no hope of return, you are not alone. Defy that authority, anyway.
Your fate has been written for you, but your destiny is yours to write.
Butterflies and Hurricanes
Rebecca Mansour, an aide to Sarah Palin, says of the infamous Palin Website graphic showing crosshairs over congressional districts targeted by the Tea Party Movement, "We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights."
No, of course not.
Open Forum: Final Exams Week Edition
Enjoy the political commentary, and click on any graphic to get the code to republish it for others to see.
And finally, one from Thanksgiving just to let the esteemed President of the United States know the high regard in which I hold his spineless, authoritarian-leaning, center-right self.
As soon as I have finished administering and then grading my last round of finals, I will indulge in publishing a small frenzy of articles and graphics addressing the usual topics of America's descent into an authoritarian state, the looming economic problems facing the country, the latest and disastrous education "reform" mania, and the continuing carnival of hypocrisy writ large by the Tea Party and its beacons of stroboscopic imbecility. While I'm at it, I'll have more than a few choice words about Barack Obama.
I also plan to tell a few strange and interesting stories. At least one of them, I'll bet you'll have a hard time believing, so I'm not sure yet how I should go about writing that little piece.
Not to worry, though. I also have a dessert recipe post, complete with pictures, that I shall be posting at week's end. It's double Dutch apple pie. I might even put in a link to a picture of what I look like more than a year after going Medieval on my own sorry state of health and physique.
But that's all for later. Thursday night, I give my last final exam to a class of about 180 upperclassmen. The exam comprises 30 multiple choice questions, a section of work-out problems, and then five short essay problems. Every time I do this, I wonder why I put the students and then myself through such an ordeal, but then the obvious answer occurs to me: if I want to be good at predicting the future, I should participate in creating it.
Say what you have to say in comments; this is an open forum. If you're the last one out the door, turn off the lights, shut off the coffee pot, and put the cat out.
Wait. The cat stays in.
Oh, yes, and the coffee pot stays on. Ditto for the lights. This is an all-night establishment. Here at Al's Diner, the party at the end of history never stops.
Until, that is, history does, first.
To Mr. Obama
Mr. Obama, stand up for us.
Just this once, cease your endless game of "balance," your wearisome two-step of "moderate" positioning, posing the way you constantly do as some sort of progressiveliberal, evenwhile predictably and unfailingly pandering to the siren call of a security state that drags us ever deeper into the inescapable maw that hungers to make a people with too much freedom into a docilized, unfree people.
We are not the terrorists you are looking for. We never were. It was the governmentthe government that you, sir, now headthat failed us on that awful day more than nine years ago. It was not we who destroyed those buildings; it was not we who killed our fellow countrymen; it was not we who conspired to let the blood of this wonder of constitutional democracy.
It was not we who hated this country.
Whatever war was to be waged against the vile maniacs who attacked us, it has now been nine long years, and that war continues unabated. Instead of having defeated that enemy, as we have defeated horrible and powerful foes in the past in far shorter order, this war against terrorism has not been won and has, in fact, become a war not just against hateful men and women who want to harm us, but also, with increasing aggression and disturbing escalation, against us.
That war now engorges itself with the despicable perpetuation that crafts us as the enemy waiting in every line, at every encounter with government, in every communication to strike. We have become the people of an occupied land, a populace that must be thoroughly demeaned, degraded, and diminished.
The war on terror is lost, Mr. Obama. If the goal were to protect our freedom, the war has been lost, sir.
The government "of the people, by the people, and for the people," in President Lincoln's magnificent words, now demands that we stand naked before its employees; it arrogates to itself the "right" to watch us in all our comings and goings in the commons; and it stands immune to retributive vengeance through law for anything it claims its enforcers do as "official duty."
Mr. Obama, cease your rhetoric. Set aside your thought that your policies are mature because you appease authoritarians. Dismiss those around you who tell you that anything is more important than the freedom of your nation's people to be left alone.
For once in your life, Mr. President, lead, and do so fearlessly. You are the only one who can set aside the chains of failed policies into which you have been brokered by those before you.
LEAD, Mr. Obama. Lead us back to freedom. If you cannot, then the consequence could very well be more terrible than you could imagine: we might have to find our own way back.
Spirits of the Uncleanly Commons
If it's fine with you, too, don't check your car for a tracker. If it's not fine with you, perhaps you can remove it; but if you do, resist the urge to destroy the nasty little device, since the FBI will come to demand its "government property" back, and you most certainly want to avoid an indictment for destroying government property (or selling it on eBay, for that matter, what with how the hapless buyer might not give you a five-star rating after the FBI's SWAT-style paramilitary honkers come rappelling down through his roof with flash-bang grenades and action-movie Ninja-wear outfits).
Oh, yes, one more thing: the Obama Administration supports the warrantless use of these trackers. Let's give President Hope-'n-Change a free oil change and a nice round of applause for once again not letting that silly old Fourth Amendment interfere with good old authoritarian excess for the new American century.
Notwithstanding the First Lady's recent expression of gratitude that prayer circles around the nation are "keeping the spirits clean" in the neighborhood of the Obamas, we as a nation are in dire need of an long-overdue exorcism: apparently, J. Edgar Hoover is still running federal law enforcement from his no-doubt gruesomely decorated townhouse in Hell.
With the help of his Unholy Legion already on the bench at the Supreme Court, Mr. Hoover's sponsor on the throne in Hades may soon approve a fiscal stimulus package that includes the much-anticipated Teabagger Moose Lodge & Trailer Park at the Capitol Building in Washington.
Let's see Mrs. Obama's "clean spirits" deal with that rezoning nightmare.
Portrait of a Post-Modern Conservative
This altogether favorable depiction of what passes for a post-modern American conservative is the latest of my graphics at the Cheezburger Network. Pass this picture around. The Right-wing fanatics cannot be shamed for how they talk, but they can be shown for what they are.
Do so. They are people unlike us, and the more that simple point is made, the more the zealots will be marginalized as once they were, back when people like that were an embarrassment to everyone, even to their own kind.
You Won't Like the Future
As it stands now, the U.S. House of Representatives will fall to the Republicans this November. The Senate majority held by the Democrats will be eroded.
Far from moderating in the wake of the general election rout of 2008, the GOP has descended further to the right, embracing what appears to many progressives as a comical swirl of everything from transparently obvious, hokey hypocrites to mentally unstable, blubbering odd balls. These leaders of the so-called "Tea Party" movement will be anything but comical, though, when their social celebrity status becomes actual political power.
You won't like the future, I promise you that. The man elected President of the United States in 2008 has failed to lead, and quite specifically, he has failed to lead the citizenry away from the mesmerizing influence of moral decline sold like snake oil with words like "moderate" and "compromise," words almost willfully at contrast with equally voiced words like "change" and "hope."
Fearlessness was not in Mr. Obama's vocabulary. It never will be. But you knew that, didn't you? you who have read my articles; you who earnestly decry commercialism cast to maximize consumer acceptance; you who were actually following the career and voting record of then-Senator Barack Obama; you who at least ought to know the difference between hypnotically howling speeches full of vagaries and the fiery political roar of a man who votes from a progressive conscience rather than a politically apparent expedience.
No, you won't like the future. It will be the place where zealots of extremism feed on the pastel passions of the lazy, who in their great numbers want nothing other than a way forward paved by paid shouters elevating unapologetically greed-driven celebrities promising rectitude with the phony wink of the hypocritical and the knowing smirk of the ignorant.
You won't like the future. It's the place where the weak believe in leaders who think nightfall is a place of compromise with the darkness. In their folly, such failed guardians of freedom are destroyed by the strong, those who either believe in embracing the darkness, as the American electorate will do in November of 2010, or believe in setting ablaze the night and battling through to the morning, as the Democrats refused to do after November of 2008.
No, you won't like the future.
But it will come, anyway.