Yes, stuff happens, and there doesn’t seem much we can do about it. The President gave a fine and rousing speech, somewhat bolder than predicted, more aggressive than expected, more passionate, and in general better received than expected (some Republicans apparently see the “handwriting on the wall, so to speak”). Of course the speech will count for naught if the bill he sends to Congress cannot pass or gets so diluted as to be useless. Predictably, some have said it was too little, too late, others say it was “right on,” and still others were more interested as usual in football. I thought it was a fine speech as speeches go, but let’s see what happens. He did manage to put the Republicans in a somewhat awkward situation, about time.
Rick Perry, leading candidate for the Republican nomination, managed to survive his first debate without falling on his face, but he did say something that should immediately disqualify him from serious consideration. His claim that Social Security is a “monstrous lie” and a “Ponzi scheme,” which he apparently believes, are plain and simply false, in addition to being politically suicidal and absurd. It is not clear to me how he can possibly now extricate himself from this “monstrous claim” now that he has stuck by it. No doubt some Republicans, especially Tea Party Republicans, might want to believe this, but they are probably the same ones that believe we used to live with dinosaurs. I guess some of them will never give up their futile quest to undo what FDR achieved, a program that has served us well for seventy some years.
Of course we should observe the anniversary of 9/11, on Sunday, the actual anniversary. I don’t know why we should start observing it two or three days in advance and then probably two or three days afterwards. I mean no disrespect for the dead and their mourners but I suspect the time spent on this is just another excuse to tell us nothing about what is actually happening in the word, especially the Republican attempt to reduce us all to wage slaves and serfs.
This is also now the time to celebrate our great victory in Iraq! Now you may not consider Iraq a victory, especially given the several thousand American dead and the ten times more wounded, along with the trillion or more we spent on it. There is also the fact that the “war” was launched on a bed of outright lies, involved torture and other war crimes, and has brought shame and disgrace on our nation. But as of now it must be seen as a great victory. Consider what I believe to be the facts, and ignore all the lies we were told about WMD’s, wanting to overthrow a terrible dictator, Iraq being a threat to the world, freeing Iraqi citizens, bringing democracy to the Middle East and the rest of the absolute hogwash we were told. The basic facts have to do with oil (of course), American interests in the Middle East, and the Bush/Cheney desire for regime change. We certainly weren’t bothered by Saddam Hussein being a dictator, we love and support dictators all over the globe if they cooperate with us. We also knew Iraq was not a threat to us. And we certainly didn’t want regime change just for the sake of regime change, we would not have accepted a replacement for Hussein that was anti-American. No, we wanted to overthrow Hussein to replace him with an American puppet who would cooperate with us. This has now been achieved. We have established the largest embassy in the world, with a staff of some 25,000, and we have also (I believe) managed to establish four permanent bases that will be home to several thousand American troops for a long time. Iraq has thus become another “client state” which is exactly what we set out to accomplish. So much for withdrawal from Iraq, we may well face some continuing and serious opposition from some factions in Iraq but that is merely the price you pay for empire. So we have won a victory, but a Pyrrhic victory at best, and not one of which I think we should be proud.
Meanwhile the criminal Republican enterprise, financed by the Koch brothers and others, continues their attempt to win in 2012 by any means possible. In many states there are attempts to disenfranchise as many voters as possible, almost all democratic voters, of course. It is no coincidence that similar attempts are being attempted in several states at the same time, along with attempts to destroy unions as well. By insisting that voters have photo identification cards they are targeting younger voters and minorities who are known to vote democratic. Wisconsin I think has the dubious distinction of leading the way in this sleazy behavior and may have gone too far towards the functional equivalent of a poll tax. Governor Walker and his cronies know they cannot win in a legitimate election so they are desperate to change the rules and undermine the basic right to vote. Unless the courts intervene there will no doubt be more and more devious means employed between now and 2012.
The one Senator that is a veritable fountain of good and sensible ideas for saving Social Security for 75 years, for creating jobs, and in general doing the right thing for the people, is Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont. He will not run for President. I think he should be drafted. However, as he is a self-described socialist, he would not be acceptable to the masses who have been brainwashed into believing that socialism is worse than child abuse, pedophilia, premeditated murder, arson, rape, animal cruelty, homosexuality, incest, bestiality, atheism, and crimes against humanity all rolled into one. Such is life in the last bastion of unregulated capitalism where the wealthy consume the poor and throw their bones to decompose along with our jobs, infrastructure, education, medical care, environment, or anything else that might give even a glimmer of pleasure to the “little people.”