Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'll vote for Bill Ayers before I vote for Sarah Palin!

OK, this had to be said. I don't know Bill Ayers. I don't sit on boards of big city improvement organizations. But I know this:
  1. Bill Ayers is a man of conviction, and is not owned and controlled by business and corporate interests.
  2. Bill Ayers is married to a woman of conviction and purpose, who has made a difference in her world (Bernadine Dohrn, I hope I've spelled the name correctly).
  3. Bill Ayers has had almost 40 years to be found guilty of a crime, and has not, and instead has pursued a career in higher education, and continues to work in public for the public good.
  4. Bill Ayers is not a puppet of another agenda (the neo-cons and Karl Rove), and instead made his own decisions and continues to think and act for himself based on his own convictions.
The SDS inspired me as a teenager because they were confronting an intolerable government (Herbert Hoover? Spiro Agnew? Richard Nixon? Assassinations of public figures? the Vietnam war? the draft?) carrying on an intolerable war. It was enough to turn even the avuncluar Dr. Spock into a radical. The spirit of protest and insurgency followed the civil rights movement, and brought about the women's movement, hippies, rock culture, the peace movement, and the state of California (I kid, I kid). I'll venture to say if you weren't an anti-government radical in the 60's then you were probably either a snivelling toady, hopelessly uninformed, or high as a kite and weren't interested. Or, like Barak Obama and my fiance, a toddler.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and the signers of the Declaration of Independence were radicals-- fighting against an oppressive government, killing public officials, blowing things up, and basically carrying out a terrorist agenda. They also built the most amazing country and form of government ever seen on earth. From bombs, battles, assassinations, and outspoken written declarations of purpose were born the Constitution and our three branches of government, and the richest, most powerful and diverse country on earth.

Sarah Palin is a yapping, sneering puppy, who also happens to be a sock-puppet for the Republican power elite in this country. She is, like our president George W. Bush, a dimwit who has been coddled and protected from seeing and hence understanding anything about this country except to learn to nod their heads in approval at anything the Republican power structure says is true. They're Ditto-heads, and I'm glad to finally think those heads are going to roll this November. I believe Americans are on the verge of sweeping away the doofus-ocracy and electing a government which actually represents their interests. Go back to Alaska, Sarah. Watch for the Russians, and give us a call on your cell when you see them. We'll be down here in the lower 48 paying off the debts your party left us with, and working to make the country a better place for the rest of us.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Kind of American I Am

Dear Sarah Palin,

I heard a bit of a speech you made last week about “kinds of Americans,” and it caused me to think about just what kind of American I am. Here are some of the things that thought process brought to mind:
  1. I'm the kind of American who believes our country is the land of second chances. America at its most basic is a system of laws. Those laws are simultaneously all-powerful and non-vindictive. When you break a law, you pay the penalty and then you're free to go. I believe this is one of the characteristics that makes this country great and strong. If none of us were ever able to finish paying the piper for the excesses of our youth, this would be a different country, indeed.

  2. I'm the kind of American who believes I'm free to express myself in any way that doesn't break the law, and doesn't cause hurt to others (no yelling “Fire” in a theater”). I also believe you're free to express yourself in the same way. We don't have to agree with one another. We don't even have to listen to one another. But we do have to allow the expression of others with whom we may disagree.

  3. I'm the kind of American who believes, with Barry Goldwater, that “radicalism in defense of liberty is no vice.” Some other prominent Americans have also cleaved to this belief-- I'm thinking of George Washington, Patrick Henry, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln, among the more notable.

  4. I'm the kind of American who believes the way to accomplish a common goal is to work with my neighbors toward achieving that goal, even when I don't agree with my neighbor on much else. Related to this, I believe one measure of my success is how often and how well I have worked with others on common goals, and not how many times I've fleeced them. And my working with my neighbor on some issue doesn't make me be just like my neighbor, it only means we share this common goal.

  5. I'm the kind of American who believes the role of government is to provide security to its citizens by protecting her borders and administering a set of laws enacted by the majority, which govern the interactions among her citizens. Any activity of the government which cannot be directly subsumed under these two responsibilities should be considered suspect.

With this short list in mind Sarah, I'd like to address your comment about the current Democratic presidential candidate “palling around with William Ayers.” Regarding Mr. Ayers, about whom I know nothing (though I remember reading some of his wife's work back in the late 60's and early 70's), I refer you to the numbers 1 through 3 above. He's free to express whatever he believes. If he's broken the law, and paid his dues, then he's free to go. And if his mode of expression is more radical than yours or mine, it is likely due to the depths of his beliefs. It does not prove his belief wrong, just as Eric Rudolph murdering family planning doctors doesn't negate the anti-abortion movement. Any national level civil servant is obligated to uphold the entire Constitution. Freedom of expression isn't idealism-- it's the law!

Regarding Mr. Obama's relationship with Mr. Ayers, I would refer you to number 4. Government, at any level, is about identifying and accomplishing common goals with our neighbors. If we can't get past individual disagreements to find our common interest, we will never accomplish anything. And no politician has the right not to work on a goal in common with the rest of the community, even when they disagree strongly on other issues. You might have a property line dispute with your neighbor, but you both need to have water and sewer lines. If you walk into a meeting of people working on water and sewer and find your neighbor there, do you stop the meeting and leave? No. If your neighbor gives you fifty bucks toward fixing the utilities, has he capitulated on the property line dispute? No! If you accept the donation, have you capitulated? No.

So let's call your comment what it really is-- a seamy, sleazy attempt to cast guilt by association onto one honorable man for working toward a common goal with another man, who can be made to appear to be less honorable. I know you're just mouthing marketing speak. I know it's a desperate attempt to galvanize your voter base. I know you didn't really say baldly and explicitly what your broad innuendo hints-- that Mr. Obama is at heart a terrorist and sixties radical who is probably right now planning the downfall of white middle class America. That's fine. I'm not naive. Political campaigns are created out of hyperbole.

What your remarks show me, however, is that you're the type of American who doesn't believe in second chances; who doesn't believe others should be free to express their own opinions, who doesn't believe it's OK to be radical when the situation calls for it; who doesn't believe it's important to work together with your neighbors to achieve common goals, even when you disagree about some things; who believes the role of government is not only to promote the common good, but to enforce a common doctrine. I hope you think about this the next time one of your children runs a stop sign, when Todd shares a joint in the woods with his friends, and when your ticket and party are defeated in November.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Let's call it what it is... Doofusocracy

Eight years of George W. ("What Me Worry?" ) Bush has made a large percentage of the American people ready and even willing to be governed by idiots! He's proven all you need is an attitude and a couple of platitudes, the ability to surround yourself with sycophants, an ear attuned to the sharks and operators around you and a flag lapel pin and-- wool gael dangit-- you're ready to rule the country! Without blinking, I might add!

I assume the Doofusocracy supporters have decided, since they're going to get fleeced and robbed by the establishment anyway, they'd rather it was by someone whose motives they understand.

Remember when high politics was peopled by statesmen? When the statesmen surrounded themselves with thinkers and achievers? Remember when people wanted persons on the Supreme Court who were smarter than they were? Remember when the National Science Foundation was run by and for the advancement of science? Remember when the highest duty of high government was to defend the Constitution? Remember when the statements of politicians were taken at face value, and did not have to be processed through our "marketing speak" decoders?

No more. The age of the Doofus in high places is upon us. Please fall into step at the back of the line as the virtual tide of doofuses marches like lemmings up over the next hill to extinction... err, I mean glory! And don't blink. No matter what, don't blink.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Barracuda Has No Teeth!

There's a big buzz in the news today, summarized in the New York Times as "Palin, on offensive..." This newest tempest in a teapot unmasks the Republican ticket (and their supporters) as a bunch of non-thinking ditto-heads with a viciously anti-intellectual bent, and a vacuous and cynical engagement with ideas in general. The Times article dutifully quoted Palin from one of her most recent campaign stops in the heartland, and I couldn't have asked for a better group of quotations to illustrate what this air head and her dim-witted handlers and supporters stand for.

First, a bunch of Palinisms, with twisted syntax, ugly thought formation, and sketchy "talking point" logic:
“This is not a man who sees America as you see it, and how I see America,” [how's that for twisted syntax?] Ms. Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, said in Colorado, according to a pool report. “We see America as the greatest force for good in this world. If we can be that beacon of light and hope for others who seek freedom and democracy and can live in a country that would allow intolerance in the equal rights that again our military men and women fight for and die for all of us. [go ahead and parse that sentence again, because it's broken!]
Now, a stunning leap of (il)logical thinking...
“Our opponent though, is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country [wait, you mean A=B or you mean A=BC, I get it mixed up]."
Then... a BURST of lies!
“Well, I was reading my copy [lie #1, she doesn't read] of today’s New York Times [lie #2, she esp. doesn't read the Times] and I was interested [lie #3, all her news is vetted and pre-digested by handlers] to read about Barack’s friends from Chicago,” Ms. Palin said at the fund-raiser in Englewood, Colo. “Turns out one of Barack’s earliest supporters [lie #4 he's an acquaintance, not a supporter] is a man who, according to The New York Times, and they are hardly ever wrong [lie #5, she doesn't believe this], was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol. Wow. These are the same guys who think patriotism is paying higher taxes.[lie #6, only a neocon stooge would phrase it that way]
Well that's it-- the barracuda has no teeth, and nary a brain. Please, can't we just spend the next six weeks thinking about the baseball playoffs and let Sarah stew in her own juices? If you are a woman and considering voting the Republican ticket because they've got a woman there, I would think again. This woman is a threat to women, not an ally. Think about it.