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The Liberalism of Barack Obama

I really really really need to stop reading articles about politics. It just keeps setting me off. The latest was this, based on Gallup polling which suggests the Democratic “brand” is down in the porcelain fixture:

George W. Bush drove Americans away from conservatism, but Barack Obama is even more rapidly driving Americans away from liberalism.

Liberalism? Liberalism? Really? As represented by David Swanson’s little summary, for instance?

… tripling of weapons sales to foreign dictators last year, Obama’s willingness to cut Social Security and Medicare, the kill list, imprisonment without trial, warrantless spying, corporate trade agreements, the continued so-called “Bush” tax cuts, the war on Afghanistan, the drone wars, the increased military budget, the murder of Tariq Aziz and of Abdulrahman al Awlaki, the weak auto efficiency standards in the news that day, the refusal to prosecute torturers, Obama’s sabotaging of agreements to counter global warming, etc.

The “etc.” includes little things like dumping the civil rights of half the population so that the state can be seen as supporting religion.

If that’s a “liberal,” I have this nice bridge in Brooklyn to sell you (needs minor repairs but is an essential artery).

Here’s an alternate theory. Maybe people object to betrayal. He did not, after all, campaign on any of the stuff he’s done. And he’s done none of the stuff he campaigned on. Maybe they don’t like Obama.

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Being down on Republicans is all the Democrats have?

This article set me off. Shorter version: ZOMG! The Republicans are racists.

Look, pardon me for being snooty, but if that’s news to you, you haven’t been paying attention. The Repubs have been chasing the racist vote ever since it became available in the early 1960s. Before that, the Democrats had it sewed up. But then they had a brief come-to-Jesus moment and went and supported Civil Rights in the early 1960s, and that was that.

Everybody, everybody, knows the Republicans are racists. The more interesting question is why the Democrats have such a hard time convincing people they’re the Good Guys™.

Could it be because people aren’t total idiots? Could it be because they see that the Obama crew worked hard to bail out the banks and did next to nothing for regular folks? Could it be because they see unemployment up over their ears, and a White House that’s bored by their plight? Except in campaign speeches.

On one side we have racist corporate shills and on the other side we have corporate shills. On one side we have women-hating troglodytes and on the other side a man of wealth and taste who quite agrees that bishops shouldn’t have to put up with anything so anti-religious as civil rights for female citizens.

So pardon me for not caring when the well-dressed shills who are selling me out tell me to get hysterical over the other well-dressed shills who are selling me out.

Now, if there was a side defending my civil rights, if there was a side pushing Medicare for All, if there was a side with a real economic stimulus that switched us to green, clean, sustainable energy, then I’d be listening.

(You might say there is such a side, but, as Jill Stein pointed out, “[In Egypt], it was illegal to have third parties. Here it’s just impossible.”)

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Here’s an idea: civil rights for everyone!

You know, everyone. Including those everyones who are female.

Rights are the solution to the Todd Akinses of the world, and it would be unspeakably obvious if people could remember that rights matter.

For some reason, even people on the left don’t get it. I had somebody say, when I was carrying on about free speech rights and Pussy Riot, “Fuck theories of speech. Free Pussy Riot.” So, let’s see. “Forget about rights. Give ’em their rights.” Uh huh. That makes a lot of sense. And that’s the “thinking” on the left.

People don’t even get it when it concerns their own rights. There are way too many examples, but here’s just one from Lexia commenting at Reclusive Leftist: “…the woman’s mother, who had worked as a nurse (she had wanted to be a doctor), but mostly as a wife, and so was left at retirement age, divorced, impoverished and living in a trailer with thirty seven leaks….

“The woman’s mother said to me, in response to some remark I made about women’s rights: ‘But that has nothing to do with us.'”

I’m not sure where this reluctance to think about principles comes from, but that’s why we have a problem. That’s why we can’t see that


I know we’re not supposed to shout, but, honestly people, what is so hard about that concept?

Take religion, for instance. At this point, it’s enough to say, “But it’s my religion!” to excuse just about anything. The media just stand there, being respectful, when a Todd Akin says “Women don’t count. I’ll tell ’em when they’ve been raped. I’ll tell those uterine incubators what to do. It’s my religion.” The Left mostly nodded along when Obama quite agreed that Catholic bishops shouldn’t have to put up with anything so anti-religious as female citizens making their own medical decisions. (But because he’s such a nice guy, it won’t be as bad as if that horrible Other Party was giving the bishops their wishes).

May I make a suggestion? I think we need a Church of Savage Death to all Godbags. They’re interfering with my religion, which is that we all leave each other in peace.

Yeah, I know. That’s about as logically consistent as destroying women while Allah is said to be Merciful and God is said to be Love.

It always takes only about one step to fall into complete logical absurdity if religion is put above civil rights.

It’s obvious if you think about it at all. No other right means anything if you are not, as the old language had it, secure in your own person. If you can be imprisoned until you agree with me, you have no freedom of thought. If I can requisition a kidney from you (because I’m dying and my life is at stake and you’re a perfect match and my religion is pro-life), you’re nothing but ambulatory organ storage.

If all that drivel was understood in the context of rights, the Todd Akinses and their spiritual cousins, on up to the mild-mannered and socially acceptable versions in the White House, would all be obvious for the antidemocratic throwbacks they are. They’d never get near the teevee. Because the media are dimly aware that no religion is so important that it can demand human sacrifices. Not even female ones.

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Throwing away your vote on a “loser”

I can’t stand either liar running for Prez. But I’m told I have to vote for one of them or I’m so-called “throwing my vote away.”

Listen to that closely. Let’s take this out of politics for a second, just to make it clearer. Pretend I’m in Walmart, looking for a lawnmower. But something odd has happened since the last time I visited the store about twenty years ago. There’s nothing but shelves and shelves of fully recyclable turnip twaddlers and artisanal lego doghouses.

So, since I need a lawn mower, my only choice is to plunk $100 down on a twaddler. Otherwise I’m throwing my money away.

Say whuuuut?

The worst thing that could possibly happen to me is leaving with nothing? Really?

I know. In the political world, Walmart will follow me home and foist off on me either the twaddler or the doghouse, no matter what.

I don’t see how giving them my money — or my vote — improves my situation in any way. Paying to get something bad only increases my loss. I don’t need either of the useless blots. I need better choices.

As Jill Stein said recently,

“[In Egypt], it was illegal to have third parties. Here it’s just impossible.”

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Okay. Now it’s a heat wave

The interior of Southern California has been slow-roasting, like everybody else in the U. S. of A. It’s so bad, people are being told to use their A/C less, to let their houses go all the way up to 78°F (25°C). The utilities have been moaning about having barely enough power to meet needs

They’ve been bewailing the temporary shutdown of the San Onofre nuke like the loss of the last drop of drinking water. (The thing has cracks in hundreds of steam pipes due to design flaws.) It provides 2200 Megawatts. It’s loss is terrible. We’re all dying out here.

A complete load of horsefeathers. I live near two natural gas power stations, and they’re barely ever even on. If it’s as bad as all that, you’d think they’d have to use them, yes? One produces 560 Megawatts, the other 1516MW. But they don’t. Especially the 1516MW one. If I see it running two days out of the year, that’s a lot. Admittedly, I don’t spend my life staring at it, so I might miss a day or two, but not much more than that. The other one seems to run maybe 14 days out of the year.

Then, yesterday I went for a hike and saw this:

view of Pt. Mugu

Nice, you say? What are you complaining about, you say? Well, look at those two wisps coming out of the two power plants. They’re running! They’re producing power!

Ormond Beach Generating Station

Half of it is down right now due to a fire, so it’s only producing about 730MW. (Notice also that line of photochemical smog.)

Mandalay Generating Station


The neat thing about natural gas plants is the utlities get pollution credits for them because they’re so (relatively) clean. So — this is just a wild guess — by not running them, they can use those credits for dirtier plants of theirs. Or sell them to other needy utilities.

Meanwhile, they can weep and wail and gnash their teeth over how we must turn the nukes back on now now now! Or else we might have to turn the A/C all the way to 79°F.

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