Monday, September 09, 2013


Claptrap (pretentious nonsense) would appear to be a perfect one word description of what is going on in the halls of Congress (and elsewhere, when it comes to politics and such). One doesn’t have to look far to spot it, just listen to the news or read a newspaper or magazine where you will find that claptrap seems to be the distinguishing feature. Claptrap seems to be the main, perhaps only, stock-in-trade for some (think Palin, Bachmann, Inhofe, Gohmert, King, Cruz, Cantor, Ryan, and many other Republicans.

The primary focus of the claptrap brigades at the moment seems to be focused on Syria President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry seem determined to attack Syria even though such an attack would be a war crime, and even though there is massive opposition to such an action on the part of the general U.S. public and most other countries. To this end Kerry keeps insisting we must do this because Assad has “used poison gas on his own people.”Kerry insists this is true in spite of the fact there is no clear evidence that Assad was responsible and a distinct possibility the rebels did it to force the U.S. into their civil war. Kerry points out that the use of such a weapon is forbidden under international law, it “crosses a red line,” and thus it must be punished. As such weapons have been regularly used by other countries, including the U.S., and nothing much has been done about it, I conclude that most of what Kerry says is little more than claptrap.
Claptrapery (if there is such a word) abounds and flourishes when it comes to the subject of Iran. There is no evidence that Iran is actually attempting to make a nuclear bomb, and our own intelligence tells us they are not, but this does not keep virtually everyone from asserting in one form or another that they are. Indeed, the basic assumption (speculation, if you will) seems to be that Iran is proceeding apace even though that is not an established fact. Iran has been (and is) portrayed as part of “an axis of evil,” a sponsor of terrorism, the mortal enemy of Israel that it wants to see blown off the map, and, in general, a pariah in the Middle East. That all of this is basically claptrap does not keep it from those (Israel and the Saudis) who want to see it eliminated from promoting it at every opportunity.

Nowhere is claptrap more prevalent than Republican claims about President Obama. In fact, there is just about nothing but claptrap when it comes to our 44th President. They have tried everything: he was not born in the U.S., he has not produced a genuine birth certificate, he is a socialist, communist, fascist, a dictator, a Muslim, a Kenyan, an incompetent, weak, ineffective, a poor leader, he has not produced jobs, Obamacare is the worst disaster to ever occur in the U.S., he was responsible for Katrina, and blah, blah, blah, all absolute claptrap. I am certain that if Republicans had cooperated with Obama in any way he would be seen in a very different light. Their attempt to destroy him and his Presidency has done immense harm to our nation. I don’t think it is far-fetched to say that history will show that racism brought our country to a virtual standstill during the Obama administration.

It seems to me that if ever there was anything approaching “truth and beauty” in our (pretend) democracy it met its death knell during the Bush/Cheney nightmare years when both truth and beauty gave way to utter claptrap. This is now found its way into our mainstream media and our national dialogue. Having embraced claptrap so eagerly we now find ourselves devoid of credibility, devoid of moral authority, devoid of ethics, and increasingly devoid of international respect, to say nothing of also being devoid of infrastructure, education, jobs, decent wages, a first-rate medical system, and even national self-esteem. Unregulated capitalism and global warming may well destroy us, but not to worry, there’s plenty of claptrap to go around.

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