Posts from — April 2010
Tax day April 15 gave the teapartyers an opportunity to show their strength by staging protests. The rally in Ft Lauderdale did make me a little anxious, for good reason… because the American people cannot be credited with naturally good judgement. George Bush is proof of that.
I hate to be stereotypical of a whole mass of people but my low opinion of the teapartyers in particular is justified by facts.
I have spoken with a few of them and on the first occasion, the dude was a spittle machine. He was sprinkling everywhere. I almost needed a wetsuit. He started off calmly enough but soon mutated into a sort of manic figure with bulging neck veins, flaying arms and screechingly disturbing voice. I saw the type at Bellevue and nothing short of a frontal lobotomy is helpful.
Other occasions made me realize that they are generally devoid of logic and reality… but really, when one’s main source is Fox news then inanity is expected. Another symptom is of course racism, masked by code words… today’s popular favourites being thug and gangster. And finally, hypocrisy.
I noted with interest that while the mobs railed against ‘overspending’ and wanted to cut the deficits, no one mentioned ending the wars and bringing the troops home.
Ending the wars would save money, but many mothers, wives, children and husbands would be grateful for being able to be with their loved ones. But saving lives is not the republicants/teapartyers priority, even if its American lives. The same for their opposition to the health care bill, “Save lives? We can’t afford to”.
Also never mentioned, is cutting back on weapons spending. America, with 5% of the world’s population, spends 40% of all the money spent on military purchases. Like the Pentagon, conservatives never see a weapon that costs too much and should be avoided. Their preference is guns over butter. I guess the thought is you don’t need to produce food if you can steal it.
There are two accusations that are illogically confounding if one but thinks. Obama is turning the country ‘socialist’. Firstly, most of them have no idea what socialism is. One ‘near socialist’ programme, universal health care, does not a socialist make.
Obama has not deviated much from George Bush’s playbook, to the dismay of those who mandated him to dismantle the gross errors of the Bush administration. Granted, Obama is a better manager, but that’s not he point.
It’s clear that Obama is centre, in American politics. Any accusation of socialism is clearly asinine.
The new one is that Obama is favoring blacks. I wish that someone would tell the blacks that, ‘cause we sure nuff aint seen it, suh!’. I can’t figure exactly what they could be thinking of. I mean the biggest ‘crash programme’ is the bailout of the banks, Wall Street and the auto industry. Not that many blacks there.
And logic is something they don’ appreciate. They castigate Obama for the bailout and stimulus money given to the financial sector. Yet they oppose regulating the same sector responsible for causing the crash, as if left alone, Wall Street will clean up its act. Riiiiight. Like leaving the fox in the henhouse and expecting it to become vegetarian.
But again Obama has created a dilemma for the republicants. The indictment of Goldman Sachs, and the release of the emails of them boasting how they had defrauded the American people, will make only the most foolhardy vote against financial reform. But no one ever accused the teapartyers and the republicants of being even a little bit sensible.
I watched news shows on Sunday morning and it was incredible to see how the hosts and panel members danced around what was obvious.
Their claims that the democrats and Obama were unpopular because Obama has forced a debate about big government vs small government rings patently hollow. The same for the supposed rationale about deficits. Big government has been around for some time. These cretins said nothing because their party was in power. While Obama was forced to add to the deficit, it was multiplied by George Bush, a republican president, with the clear assent of the republican party.
What no one wants to state openly, is that many Americans resent their ‘black’ president and openly want him to fail, so as to justify their bigotry of how unworthy ‘blacks’ are. It matters not one iota to them that the country might be bouncing back from the George Bush inspired economic devastation.
The other truth? A considerable % of Americans are just plain stupid. Just look around you.
Oh yes, another thing about the teapartyers. They lack originality. Their arguments, accusations, symbols are all borrowed and regurgitated. I saw one sign, “How is that Hopey Changey thing working for yah!’, parroting Sarah Palin, when she thought that the health care bill wasn’t going to pass. Now that it has passed, that quote is redundant.
Passersby might also have seen a yellow flag amongst teapartyers, with a coiled rattler and the words ‘Don’t tread on me’. Interesting, except that same symbolism was used by leftist student demonstrators in the late 60’s.
I’m amazed by the whole brouhaha surrounded the recent roman catholic church scandal over child-abusing priests. Amazed, not by the actions of the priests, or by the cover-up, or even the likelihood of the present pope being culpable, but because people have this ‘how can this be true?’ look on their faces.
History, my friend, history. The church, particularly the roman catholic church, has always been about power, money, corruption, politics. It is bred in the veins of the Vatican. They cannot live without these devices, the way I cannot live without a heart. It is intrinsic, in their veins, part and parcel of what makes them who they are.
The church has never been for the people. Granted, individual priests might strictly follow the tenets of gods, but the church itself behaves more like a corporation. Putting everything but its own corruption behind it.
The people? The church believes that the communicants are there to serve the church, by giving their wealth, obedience and credulity.
And after every scandal and ‘tut tut’, the church reverts to tits basic nature and its audience accepts the status quo.
But one only has to look at history to recognize the massive failures of the church. So many popes have been corrupt and abusive of power, can the lower order be pure? I have no doubt that the church behaves as badly and even worse than corporations as walmart, macdonalds and blackwater.
They finessed genocide over the centuries and even turned blind eyes to Hitler’s purge of the Jews.
They blessed the pillaging, rape and murder of the invading hordes as they alongside the king’s or queen’s men brought death and destruction to their enemies. The church promoted, and profited from the carnage. The more the dead, the greater the spoils. Sexual perversion is the least of the church’s sins.
The Vatican today, has not really changed. It is still about a white old boys club. It is still about wealth and power by all means necessary. And when you control the word of god, you can have the luxury of no conscience. That’s what the papacy is about… yeah, yeah.
I’m not a democrat or a republican because I don’t align myself to any political organization. But commonsense tells me this.
The democrats never vote as one. There are always dissenters. Not always good, but that’s party democracy. It’s therefore more difficult to pinpoint who is most susceptible to corruption.
The republicans on the other hand, vote in lockstep. It’s statistically impossible for a group of over 100 to vote the same way all the time, and be democratic. That only happens in cults and the mafia.
Are republicans corrupt? It’s reasonable to believe that simply because of their voting trend. They are anti-environment, anti-jobs, anti-unions, with the inclination to support the most odious of anti-people measures. They tend to take the active role of corporate lackeys.
While I will not go into ‘vote buying’, it is clear that the republicants are morally and ethically challenged, when it comes to doing the people’s business on the people’s behalf. The problem unfortunately, lies not in their corrupt nature, but in the stupidity to those who continue to be confounded by them.
On one of the said morning shows, a popular conservative pundit was saying that the conservatives like voting for principled republicans. Unfortunately, one of the names he forwarded was republican Marc Rubio, who is wants to represent the people of Florida as a senator.
This perhaps requires the redefining of ‘principled’. Wasn’t this the party leader who used the party credit card for his and his family’s own personal aggrandizements, and when caught claimed that he didn’t know he shouldn’t have used it for personal expenses such as groceries, plane tickets for his wife, car repairs, wine buying, online shopping from Apple, and fine dining.
Though he claimed that there was no malfeasance, he still refunded the party over $16,000.00. Yet, the embezzlement is being overlooked by holier-than-thou republicans.
What a weird world we live in.
While I can fully appreciate our prime minister fighting for the rights of Jamaican citizens, his advocacy on behalf of Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke is a little too self-serving for my taste. Actually, it does follow the Golding pattern… see NDM.
Makes me wonder where he was before when other Jamaicans were getting extradited and even kidnapped.
Many feel that this is not a legal issue on the rights of Jamaicans at all, but that Golding has great disincentive not to kill or have Coke extradited. This certainly doesn’t disprove the perception of the links between criminals and politicians. But of course, I’m not saying that Coke is a criminal.
Bringing up the charge that the US is not doing enough in stopping the transshipment of guns to Jamaica is also certainly true. But we must look at the timing. This is not a new issue, and it is not difficult to perceive a self-serving reason for this renewed attention.
But turn as he might, he is twisting in the wind. The Americans are just gonna apply more subtle pressure, and the we will see. Some of us might feel it necessary to pray for him in his predicament, even though these ‘men of god’ should very well understand that one cannot serve both god and satan at the same time. Sometimes when you sell your soul, the demand for it comes before the hereafter.
April 25, 2010 3 Comments
Yea yea. You have all behaved like good citizens and mailed in the census forms so your interest is done. But though I’m not going to make a day job of this subject, I’m going to do one more. Why, because of the question of Race.
By the time I was 13, I became pre-occupied with Race, and probably that’s why my anthropological references fit that time frame. Today’s internet yields a wide gamut of related information based on diverse discussions and research.
I was recently reading a book review of “The History of Whiteness”, by Nell Irvin Painter, and recognized if nothing else, that the whole concept of race and race labels keep changing.
When the tanned skin Greeks were in ‘ascendancy’, they regarded their lighter rivals from the north as inferior barbarians. At one time in North American history, on the east coast, Jews and Italians were considered ‘non-whites’. On the west coast where the Chinese were the ‘social outcasts’, Jews and Italians were ‘white’.
After my 2nd post on this issue, the Miami Herald ran a story alleging that many Hispanics had an issue with how the census bureau identified them. The bureau claims that Hispanic isn’t a race, and by extension neither are Columbians, Argentineans, Venezuelans. Yet the census would find Jamaicans acceptable as a race category. The Hispanics obviously have a grievance.
The world’s melting pot yields a wide range of mixtures that are forever shifting and thus can never really be measurably accurate. Such blurring of racial lines underscores my point that the census department ought to stay away from race in compiling its statistics. What the United States government is doing through the census, is entrenching the country’s racial divisiveness, creating new labels of distinction instead of erasing them.
My long held belief still stands, that defining someone by race (we are more products of our culture) is inherently stupid… and the sooner we get over race-based issues, the better. I mean, what’s the point?
Many have bought into believing in superiority based on race or religion. These are always gonna be false claims because racial or religious superiority can’t be measured. I am certainly not inferior to anyone. These concepts are based on subjective parameters, and unless they are all universally agreed to by every single person, they are useless.
Even the concept of racial equality is bogus, but because social scientists recognize the uselessness of trying to find agreed upon parameters, the convention (not fact) of equality is agreed upon.
The census bureau could obviate the problem by asking about nationality, rather than confusing race and nationality. Ask me my place of birth and I readily say Jamaica (which by the way is in another section of the survey). Asking me to endorse Jamaican as a race is patently flawed.
PS- Time magazine ran an interview with the census director recently and he claimed that every census, there are ‘cranks’ (haha) who input HUMAN for race. Well, add one more rabble-rouser to the list, please.
Because the internet has somewhat democratisated opinions (anyone with a computer can post one), whenever I see news topics I’m interested in, I check the comments. Democratised opinions doesn’t necessarily mean intelligent comments, and the postings often offer not just a sample of thoughts, but a finger on the pulse of America… and that’s how I conclude that not only is this country highly racially polarized, that many of the attacks on Obama stems from his colour.
Though a sports story can produces good public analyses, when a black player is involved, a racist tone quickly appears. The same for crime stories. When the transgressor is white, the comments are hateful but rarely racist.
Harsh, unfair and even stupid comments have long existed for presidents, increasing when the vox populi have easier access to broadcast media. Bush took lot of insults, even from the likes of me… but it was rarely racist.
The blame for the country’s economic collapse fell on Obama before his inaugauration. Commentators and their lackeys claim that Obama is bringing socialism to the US without one shred of evidence. Most don’t even know what socialism is.
It isn’t a coincidence that Obama is the most threatened president ever.
After the stories broke about the FBI raiding and arresting some militia members, I saw this comment, “And the rabid murderers of the Federal Bureau of Incompetents have once again been unleashed to terrorize law abiding patriots. For eight years these murdering b@stards were held in check by the rule of law, now they have been given free reign to ‘shock and awe’ any who dare question the majesty of this administration”. Really? The FBI? Held in check? The Bush records don’t support that.
Another comment- “KILL every stinking Liberal you see if this is a witch hunt , stand up and fight to the death or be a liberal lemming with obamafare”.
Some weeks ago, I commented that one of the outcome of all this hateful rhetoric, would be attacks on black people, as proxies for Obama. I stick to that caution.
As much as I think that Obama and the democrats have well played a poor poker hand to outsmart the republicans, there is one thing that still concerns me… and that is the continuing popularity of Fox.
In the first quarter of this year, Fox’News’ enjoyed its best period ever and I’ll have to watch to see if the numbers go down for the year’s 2nd quarter. Afterall, this stretch was during the high point of the health care bill, when the dissonance was at its highest. If there is a fall off for the 2nd quarter, that will tell us a lot.
People particularly democrats, tend to underestimate Fox’s influence. That’s because they don’t understand the need of many Americans to be led by the nose… people who gravitate to what they want to hear, someone who will guide them to think because they are too lazy to think for themselves.
If the network loses some ground, it means that the independents who swung to the station, are having 2nd thoughts about allying with the teapartyers. If the numbers remain up, that’s bad news but not necessary calamitous.
Several stories from Jamaica caught my eyes recently. Minister of Tourism Ed Bartlett recently predicted 2 million tourist arrivals to Jamaica this year. Bartlett was using some numbers to justify his decision with American Airlines… the decision that Contractor general said he never passed by the cabinet.
As much as I would like the dear minister to be proven right, I was long warned by an industry insider that the minister is prone to exaggeration. In fact, my contacts in Ochi tell me that the season has so far been a disaster and that many of the major hotels are hemorrhaging badly.
When I was there is November, the season certainly didn’t appear to have a grand start. So we will watch. Interestingly, comments in the Jamaica Observer, support what I am saying.
Another recent report states that “Jamaica’s economic performance among worst in the region”. Really not much of a surprise.
Recently, Joe Matalon, head of the Private Sector of Jamaica (PSoJ) gave his assessment of Jamaica’s economy, in Ft Lauderdale. Again unsurprisingly, his recommendations were another can of same ol’ same ol’.
Nothing I heard left me with much hope for progress. Even those who are in position to make the needed changes, are locked into old and muddled wishful thinking, “Let’s just keep hanging on, help must come”. The definition of madness indeed.
This joke can perhaps sum up Jamaica. When asked about the extradition of Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, the prime minister says, “I keep telling Obama, that Jamaica does not export Coke”.
According to reports coming out of Jamaica, the prime minister is apparently relenting and will ask the courts to make a decision on Dudus. According to the story, the courts will be asked if minister Lightbourne ‘… was right to deny the extradition request’.
Since I don’t know the exact wording, I’m not sure whether there is some loophole there. I would have felt better if the courts were to decide whether Coke was extradictable. I bet Golding is buying time.
The story also said that private lawyers were to be retained. It doesn’t say who would be paying for them. Hopefully not the taxpayers.
But one line brought me some mirth… “Mr Golding says he’s ordered… the attorney general Dorothy Lightbourne to have the court rule on two issues concerning her decision”. I can just see Mrs Lightbourne thinking, “MY decision, Kemo Sabe?”.
April 8, 2010 2 Comments