Friday, October 31, 2014

False Advertising

So I'm driving through the neighborhood, burning some more precious fossil fuel, because why the hell not, and what do I see?

There, on one of my more prosperous neighbors' front yard, not one, but two Doug Ducey for Governor signs!

And what does it say on the sign?

"Opportunity for all".

See, now this is the kind of shit you just can't make up.

Opportunity for all? Really? 

I guess "opportunity" doesn't include public education. 'Cause the Ice Cream Man doesn't give a single dip whether the schools are adequately funded.

Says we can't afford it. No, the best thing would be to do away with the state's income tax. That will lead to all sorts of cool stuff! Just like cutting taxes always does! Trickle down, trickle down, hooray hooray!

That old fraud Reagan is rotting in his grave, but we are still plagued by the spawn of his "government is the problem" dictum. That, and its evil, retarded twin "run government like a business."

Government isn't a business. No, not even an ice cream business. And people who believe that government should be run like a business don't understand much about government or business.

But hey, for the sake of argument, let's say that government is a business. Ducey still isn't a good choice. After all, look at the jobs he created: one guy got very rich (that would be Ducey), a few people did well (those would be his franchisees--except for the ones who went under and ended up suing the Dougster), but the vast majority of jobs created were of the minimum wage or just barely above minimum wage variety. You know, the people who need public assistance to get by? Now, I understand that that is the ideal Republican economic model, but I'm not convinced that having a bunch of folks trained to stick gummy bears into ice cream is the best way to face the economic challenges of the future.

If you want to see what the Ducey brand of Republican economic "opportunity for all" can do to a state take a good, long look at the disaster that is Kansas.

Once elected one of the first things all of these parasites do is sell off the public commons to their rich buddies. Because the free market is the best solution for everything! And all of those things that you thought belonged to "we the people"? Well, guess again.

Unless you're an oligarch, a complete idiot, or the kind of person who wants to see just how bad things can get, Fred DuVal is the only choice for Governor of Arizona.

By the way, my well off neighbor with the Ducey signs made his money in agriculture. Which means he definitely benefited from government subsidized water and quite probably benefited from unskilled, cheap labor, i.e. Mexican migrant workers. Other than that he's just another "self-made" rugged individualist Republican.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Chances Are You're Not Going To Die From Ebola

Unless you're unfortunate enough to be stuck somewhere in West Africa, chances are you're not going to die from Ebola.

No, more likely you'll get shot by some Second Amendment nut who feels "threatened" by you.

Or you'll die from all the pollutants those free market, Ur-capitalists the Koch brothers and their ilk continue to spew into our air and water.

Or you'll get t-boned by some teenager driving and texting.

Or you'll eat too much fast food and fall over from a stroke or a heart attack.

Or, if you're a black male between the ages of, say, 6 and 86, maybe the cops will gun you down--just because they can.

Hey, you could always OD from prescription drugs! That's increasingly popular.

And, if you're female, I hear back alley abortions are making a big comeback in certain Red States. I guess that is the understandable Republican free market response to Obamacare.

Of course, there's always the "I didn't know it was loaded" and therefore it was a "tragic accident" that Bobby shot Billy, or Suzy, or Uncle Jeff, or Grandpa, or you, or, what the hell, himself.

Finally, if you're silly enough to listen to Fox News, your head just might explode from all the bullshit they pump out 24-7.

Hey, this is America, God Dammit! We've got plenty of ways to die before your time...

But chances are you're not going to die from Ebola.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

When In Doubt, Shoot The Black Guy

There's your American justice system in a nutshell.

I just saved you the cost of several years of law school.

What the hell, here's another:

Rich people are always innocent.

And one more, just for luck:

A white person with a gun is a patriot, a black person--with or without a gun--is a threat.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hey, Let's Just Pretend None Of This Ever Happened

History is such a messy thing. I mean, gosh, you've got slavery and racism and religious wars, you've got genocide against native peoples, you've got Dark Ages, and Inquisitions, and all manner of barbarism. And let's not forget the constant ongoing thievery of the ruling classes.

No wonder our conservative Republican and Libertarian friends want to rewrite it, erasing all of the bad stuff from high school history curricula.

Children's heads should never be troubled by the truth. A questioning child is an unruly child, after all....

Thank God there are, all across this great land of ours, Republican controlled school boards and legislatures sworn to protect the little darlings!

Better to teach them happy fantasies and Bible stories about how well cared for and content the slaves were, how Reagan was a saint, FDR was the devil, how evil welfare is, how wonderful the free market system, how benevolent the job creators were and are. Evolution is the Devil's work, Darwin only wants to deceive you, Jesus rode a dinosaur, and the Founding Fathers were inspired by God Himself.

Don't worry, be happy! After all, ignorance is bliss, baby! Pure, unadulterated All-American bliss!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Et Tu Leon?

Another day, another "insider" memoir questioning President Obama's handling of the Bush-Cheney Middle East Morass.

This time it's from Leon Panetta, former CIA chief, former Secretary of Defense, ongoing Clinton family apologist.

Panetta's main criticisms of Obama are these:

A) He didn't argue hard enough for US troops to remain in Iraq. You remember Iraq, don't you? That war that Bush-Cheney lied us into? That multi-trillion dollar dark hole that Hillary Clinton voted for? Yeah, that Iraq. First of all, Bush negotiated the SOFA troop withdrawal--not Obama. Secondly, the government of Iraq didn't want us to leave troops there. Thirdly, the American people were and are sick and tired of that pointless (unless you're Halliburton or Blackwater or a card carrying member of the Military-Industrial Complex) war.

B) He did not arm the Syrian rebels fast enough. Hillary and Leon urged that we arm them in 2012. Of course, even at this late date, no one is really sure which--if any--of the Syrian rebel factions we can trust. For instance, the Syrian rebels included ISIS/ISIL. If we had guessed wrong 2 years ago, and a guess was all it would have been, they'd have even more American weapons than they have now. This would be very good for American arms manufacturers, but perhaps not so good for the security of the region.

C) He should have worked harder to reach compromises with the Congress. (At this point, feel free to give out a long, disgusted sigh).

Apparently Panetta is from the delusional Beltway school that believes that if only Obama had been nicer to the Republicans things would have been different. Played more golf with them, shared a bottle with Boehner now and then, taken Gohmert to the circus. You know, Beltway stuff. If only he had tried a little harder--like Clinton would.

And if only the Jews had been nicer to Hitler things would have been different. You know, invited him to sit Seder or sent him some rugelach for his birthday.

Let's set aside that the entire project of the Republican Party--since before Obama's first inauguration--has been to thwart whatever he proposed. Even those things that were initially Republican proposals. The Republican idea of compromise during the Obama years has always been "do exactly what we want--or we will shut down the government."

Despite what you might hear on Fox News, Iraq is a dangerous bloody mess because Bush-Cheney and their merry band of neo-cons, of which Hillary Clinton is an honorary member, wanted to a) show Poppy Bush how it should've been done; b) get their hands on all that oil; c) help "protect" Israel; d) all of the above. As far as I'm concerned, all the shit since then is on them.

At this point, Leon Panetta is just another Clinton family shill. His every utterance from here on out will be in service of getting Hillary elected and polishing Bill's legacy.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Shocked! Shocked! Yet Again

A big headline on the front page of The Arizona Republic announces a teacher shortage in Arizona!!!!

No shit?

Gee, you think the fact that the state doesn't value education or teachers at all has anything to do with that?

This state had to be sued in order to force it to adequately fund public schools. Sued! Naturally, the state lost, but, of course, they're still refusing to pay up. Because we value education only as long as it take us to say "we value education."

And when I say "we" I mean the Republicans who have been running Arizona for a long, long time. And when I say "running" I mean "into the ground."

As a man on the radio in my long ago youth was fond of saying, "this is a state that glorifies bankers and vilifies teachers."

That's not entirely fair. Only public school teachers are vilified. They are, after all, members of a union (gasp!), and therefore the root of our problems.

If, on the other hand, you start a charter school, whatever your "qualifications", you will be exalted. State money will be showered upon you. You can even pick and choose what kind of students you want--or don't want. And no questions will be asked. No standards will be enforced. market solution?

This assault from the right on public education can probably be traced back to the Supreme Court decision in Brown vs The Board of Education, back in the 1950's.

See, and this is going to surprise the hell out of you, living as you do in post racial America, but some white people are racist to their very core. I know, I was shocked to find it out myself. Shocked!

So, in the places they control, and that includes Arizona, everything becomes a game of keeping "them" away from "us". Depending on where you live, "them" can be African-Americans, Latinos, poor whites, or a combination thereof.

Since public schools are often full of "them", we must keep public schools in a constant state of disrepair and disarray. Because a permanent undereducated underclass sure comes in handy come hiring time...

And, as an extra benefit, we can blame the teachers (and their union, of course) for not being able to do the impossible job we've given them.

Talk about a win-win!