Wednesday, May 28, 2014


The recent terrible stabbings and shootings near Santa Barbara seem to have renewed the interest in misogyny as if, somehow, misogyny has just now been discovered. This is weird, I think, as misogyny is as American as apple pie. Actually, I should say, misogyny is a long-standing and integral part of the fundamental Western-European paradigm of belief that has served us for the past several hundred years. This is a topic that could easily be a lifetime of work and thought and is rather complicated as well as in a way inexplicable. But, in brief:

Start with the claim that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. That is, the development of an individual reflects the evolution of the species. When translated to cultural evolution this means that present day “savages” represent an earlier stage of mankind. There was an evolution from savages to barbarism to civilization. Carried a bit farther this was interpreted to mean that children represented an earlier stage, they were thought of as “little savages.” The art of children was believed to be a form of “primitive” art, and children’s thought was believed to be “primitive” like the art of primitive savages. Given the belief in ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny, and given the extension of this idea into the evolution of culture, this made sense at the time. It seemed clear that cultures had evolved from savagery to civilization and individual human development evolved in much the same way: the thought of children was similar to that of our “primitive” ancestors, their art was similarly “primitive” and as they matured they reached “higher” stages of thought and understanding. Australian aborigines, Bushmen-Hottentots, and other such Black people were lower on the evolutionary scale than, for example, American Indians, Asians, and so on up to the “highest” people of all, White people, especially White Western-Europeans. This was the “great chain of being” that culminated in White superiority.

Women did not escape their position in this fundamental belief system even though in a sense they were outside of it and could have been excluded from it. Although there was no obvious logical reason for it, women became part of it because it was claimed they were really like children, and, as such, also like “savages.” Consider what was written about them by noted authorities of the time:
 Cesare Lombroso was most probably the most  important criminologist of the nineteenth century and perhaps the first  to equate women with children and savages:

“We also saw that women have many traits in common with children; that their moral sense is deficient ; that they are revengeful, jealous, inclined to vengeances of a refined cruelty. In ordinary cases these defects are neutralized by piety, maternity, want of passion, sexual coldness, by weakness and an undeveloped intelligence. But  when a morbid activity of the psychical centres intensifies the bad qualities of women, and induces them to seek relief in evil deeds; when piety and maternal sentiments are wanting. And in their place are strong passions and intensely erotic tendencies, much muscular strength and a superior intelligence for the conception and execution of evil, it is clear that the innocuous semi-criminal present in the normal woman must be transformed into a born criminal more terrible than any man.”

Lombroso’s views on women were shared by others at the time. Paul Broca, an authority on brain size, argued that women’s brains were smaller than men’s, not only because they were smaller than men, but qualitatively. Gustave LeBon:

“In the most intelligent races, as among the Parisians, there are a large number of women whose brains are closer in size to those of gorillas than to the most developed male brains. This inferiority is so obvious that no one can contest it for a moment; only its degree is worth discussion. All psychologists who have studied the intelligence of of women, as well as poets and novelists, recognize today that they represent the most inferior forms of human evolution and that they are closer to children and savages than to an adult, civilized man.”

Even Darwin linked women to past stages of civilization:

“It is generally admitted that with women the power of intuition, of rapid perception, and perhaps of imitation, are more strongly marked than in man; but some, at least, of these faculties are characteristics of the lower races and therefore of a past an lower state of civilization.”

Like Aristotle, who believed woman had fewer teeth than men, but never bothered to actually count their teeth, these early authorities simply imposed their beliefs about women into the widely accepted paradigm of the time. When you consider that women only achieved the right to vote in the U.S. in 1920, and even after that were often legally considered children with respect to property rights, were expected to be subservient to their husbands and so on, it is obvious that misogyny survived for a long time, and still does in some respects. As the word misogyny first appeared (I think) in the 1600’s it has been with us for a long time.
An examination of the position of women historically as well as ethnographically would no doubt shed some light on this perplexing problem, but that is for another time.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


 adjective \(ˌ)in-ˈtäl-rə-bəl, -ˈtä-lə-rə-, -ˈtä-lər-bəl\
: too bad, harsh, or severe to be accepted or tolerated : not tolerable

So just how bad does something have to be or become to be intolerable, even absolutely intolerable? And when it does what, if anything can be done about it? There are several things going on at the moment that I find intolerable. For example, I believe the continuing Republican whining about Obamacare, and their continuing nonsensical votes to repeal it, is intolerable. They have wasted hundreds, if not thousands of hours of time, and millions and millions of dollars of taxpayer money on this absolutely futile attempt and are still talking about it. Why have they not been stopped? Why has this been allowed to continue well beyond the point when it became obvious it was simply a complete waste of time and money? Is there no one who could have stopped this nonsense? Well, of course there is. John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, could have stopped it, but didn’t.

What about Benghazi? There have been multiple official investigations on this so-called scandal, at least 50 hearings of one kind or another, 25,000 pages of documents provided, testimony by relevant witnesses, and It is by now perfectly obvious what happened and what went wrong. There is nothing new to be learned. So why do we now have a new committee to investigate it once more, another complete waste of time and taxpayer money? Could no one have prevented this? Why, of course, John Boehner could have refused to set up this new committee, but he didn’t. Personally, I find this absolutely intolerable.

I am not citing these two examples simply to castigate John Boehner. There are many officials, including President Obama, who are refusing to exercise their authority even when they have it. Why is this so? I suppose the simplest explanation is “politics.” Our elected officials no longer do what might well be seen as the “right” thing to do because it is not the politically expedient thing to do. Political considerations are now more important than the interests of the people. Take gun control, for example. It is common knowledge that the vast majority of citizens believe in certain kinds of gun control, even members of the NRA, but we cannot have it. Minimum wage is another example. The citizenry is overwhelmingly in favor of raising the minimum wage, but we do not yet have it, and may or may not ever have it. Food stamps, unemployment insurance, Medicaid, Social Security, jobs, all favored by a majority of the people but apparently beyond the capability of our elected officials to manage in the public interest . There is an obvious disconnect between the public interest and what happens in the corridors of power. We know the reasons for this, corporations and the wealthy control our elected officials, and cause them to act for their private interests rather than for the public interest. This is, I submit, absolutely intolerable.    

The most obvious locus for intolerability has to be the Republican Party which has refused for the past six years to participate in government at all. It is, put simply, the party of “no.” They announced this would be their policy as soon as President Black (oops, I meant Obama) was elected and they have stuck with it with remarkable obstinacy. They have done everything possible to keep Obama from succeeding at anything, and because they have been relatively successful at this they now have the temerity to blame Obama for the very problems they, themselves, have manufactured. Just as they wasted much of the Clinton Presidency with false claims and outlandish opposition, they have wasted the six years of Obama’s Presidency. Whatever you may think of Obama, and he clearly has his shortcomings, there is no doubt our country would be far better off if the Republicans had not elected their near treasonous strategy to prevent him from succeeding at anything. The Republican Party has now succeeded in becoming absolutely INTOLERABLE. Unfortunately there is nothing in our (false) democracy we can do about it except vote them out of office at every opportunity. Where is a benevolent dictator when you need one?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Voting in North Idaho

Yesterday was primary voting day in Idaho. I decided to vote even though I recognize that as a Democrat my vote is meaningless. The fact is, or so I am told by my friends, that if you do not vote in two consecutive elections you will be removed from the voter rolls. I don’t know if that is true but I assume it may be, and although I know my vote is meaningless I treasure it and would not want to lose it, especially with the Presidential election coming up in 2016. .

Apparently there are new rules about voting in Idaho. First, I had to display my photo identification. I never had to do this before. The nice elder ladies that volunteer year after year to man the polling places know who I am (I’ve been voting here in the same place for more than 20 years), but even so I had to display my driver’s license. This unnecessary bureaucratic nonsense aside I then had to tell them I was a registered Democrat so as to get a Democratic ballot (we now have three choices: Republican, Independent, Democrat). This means, of course, that I was immediately identified as a Democrat (an evil, disgusting “liberal”) to anyone within hearing distance, so much for a private, secret ballot. As there are rarely, if ever, more than one Democratic candidate for any given position, they know not only that I am a Democrat but who, precisely, I am voting for.   

If that is not bad enough, when I went to place my ballot in the box I was required to state my name, out loud, and my address! Thus I was not only identified as a Democratic, and a liberal, but they now know exactly where I live! So what, you might say, but when you live in an area populated by large numbers of ultra-right gun nuts who hate liberals it does make you nervous.

Frankly, I doubt this procedure is legal or even constitutional. But it was passed by our overwhelmingly Republican dominated state legislature that seems to pay little attention to such mundane things as federal laws and constitutions (even though they claim they will defend to the death the Constitution of the United States, a document I doubt most have them have ever read or understand).

Anyway, it was an interesting experience in voter suppression, if that is, in fact, what it was intended to be. I suspect the photo identification is a deliberate intent to keep some Hispanics from voting, but the requirement to state your name and address could conceivably be just a stupid idea that was not really intended to dissuade people from voting, even though it might. I have had at least two people tell me they would not vote if they were required to state their  address publicly. As we vote in precincts it is already obvious more or less where we reside and this requirement would seem unnecessary.I don't know if they intended this procedure to be a subtle form of voter suppression (I'm not at all certain they are that sophisticated), but perhaps they did. 

I gather these rules only apply to primaries and not to the general elections. But if they have already identified you as a Democrat they know you are harmless and can be written off as irrelevant. To be a Democrat in a small town like ours, surrounded by right-wing extremists, you might as well have the plague. To be a Democrat is to be a liberal, and to be a liberal is to be a socialist/communist/Obama-loving/ anti-American/atheist who wants to take their money and give it to others (even though virtually everyone in the county is on the “dole” in one way or another). And you certainly do not want to be a scientist. Scientists are people who devote their lives to preventing ordinary people from doing whatever it is they want to do. After all, who needs to worry about global warming, the environment, health care, schools, roads and bridges, food stamps, unemployment insurance, Social Security, jobs, and stuff like that when the End Times are coming?

“Representative government is artifice, a political myth, designed to conceal from the masses the dominance of a self-selected, self-perpetuating, and self-serving traditional ruling class.” 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

On Equality

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

These are the opening, often quoted lines of the Declaration of Independence, as written by Thomas Jefferson and edited by Benjamin Franklin. I often wonder what it is they were thinking when they wrote them as they are so demonstrably untrue. First, slavery still existed during the Revolution, but surely they did not mean Blacks were equal to Whites (perhaps they didn’t think Blacks were “men?”). And certainly they did not believe Blacks had a “right” to liberty (or even, I suppose, the right to the “Pursuit of Happiness.”

Second, I note also they said nothing about the rights of women. While it is true that “men” can at times be the generic term for “people,” it seems unlikely to me that was true in this case as women were still believed to be the property of their husbands and certainly did not have the same rights as men.

Third, they cannot have been unaware of the obvious fact that all men are not, in fact, created equal. There remains to this day the nagging belief on the part of some that Blacks are not equal to Whites. But even more obvious is the undeniable facts that some men are larger than others, some stronger than others, some smarter than others, some healthier than others, some more highly motivated, some more talented in some areas than others, some more creative, thoughtful, and some could work harder, lift more, last longer, fight better, and so on and on. These completely obvious conditions are undeniable, the Founding Fathers had to have been aware of them. They could not have been thinking about the equality of wealth as they were among the most wealthy people of the time and certainly were not thinking of dividing wealth up equally.

So what could it have meant to them when they thought it was “self-evident…” and what of “inalienable Rights?” It could not possibly have been self-evident, nor did every man have rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If physically and behaviorally all men were obviously and demonstrably not equal, and if they were also not equally wealthy, what could they have been thinking?

I confess I have pondered over this for years and I still do not understand why it was written as It was. It makes no sense now and I suggest that in the context of the times when it was authored it made even less sense then. To me, extrapolating from “inalienable rights” and “consent of the governed,” I conclude the only interpretation that makes sense to me is that all men (men then, “persons” now ) have an inalienable right to vote (consent to be governed).But I don’t believe this is exactly what it meant to them as they must have had a narrow and idiosyncratic definition of “men,” probably having to do only with White men who were also property owners or some such thing.   

 In any case there are now Republicans who do not believe all persons have an inalienable right to vote as they are busily engaged in stripping away such rights wherever they can. Unhappily, at the moment it appears that no one truly has the inalienable right to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. When the President can kill you at his discretion, when your every move and conversation is recorded, and when you must work for wages that keep you in poverty, these so-called “Constitutional Rights” are no more than “pie in the sky.” Need I bother to say anything about the inequality of wealth? 

I don’t truly know what the Founding Fathers had in mind but I doubt it was anything like the current situation and I am not enough of a historian to pursue it. Just be careful when you hear various people spouting out loudly about constitutional rights.

“The dead should not rule the living.” 


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Vintage Rove

I’m sure the few occasional visitors to Morialekafa are mostly unaware of my previous attempt to add a new verb to our language. It seemed to me that if a noun like quisling (the name of a Norwegian traitor in WW II) could be added to our language, there was no reason an additional verb could not be. Obviously I have not been successful at this. The word and definition I suggested to be added (6 -7-12) are as follows:

“roviate v. to smear, slime, malign, denigrate, and attempt to destroy an opponent through the use of innuendo, rumor, slander, outright lies and any other despicable means available. Roviation works more effectively when done in collusion with major media.”

Obviously Karl Rove was the stimulus for this attempt as he was well known for using such means against opponents, such as the rumor that John McCain might have fathered a black baby, a woman running for office might be a lesbian, another candidate may be a pedophile, and etc. This is somewhat reminiscent of a ploy once described by Lyndon Johnson who apparently said, “I could accuse him of having sex with a goat. It wouldn’t be true, of course, but it doesn’t matter as he’d have to work like hell to deny it” (this is not an exact quote but contains the gist of it. I confess I don’t even know if this was true). It should be obvious why I am now bringing this up again, at least if you have been following the news.

Rove is at it again, having suggested that Hillary Clinton may have suffered some kind of brain damage, claiming she had been in the hospital for 30 days and was wearing glasses that were meant for such conditions. Neither of these claims are true, of course, as she was hospitalized for only four days and they were not that kind of glasses. But not to matter, this is vintage Rove, and even though it will be perhaps a year before she even declares to run in 2016, it’s never too soon for the ”roviation” to begin. It is not hard to imagine how badly the 2016 campaign will become degraded thanks to Rove and his buddies (if, indeed, he really has any buddies).

Rove has attempted to backtrack a bit, claiming he didn’t mean it, but meant only to bring up the legitimate issue of her age and health. But whatever he might be, Rove is not stupid. The dirty bastard knows exactly what he has done. And now that he has planted the seed, no matter what Hillary does or says, or no matter what the doctors may say and do, there will be some on the brain damaged right that will always believe and say Hillary has brain damage. Roviation is a truly insidious technique that will be front and center from now on, presumably to discourage Hillary from actually running at all, and failing that, to defeat her if she does. Free speech, unfortunately, is easily abused.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Me and Kati (17): Kati's Epic Battle

I didn’t think we would have another conversation so soon, Kati, but your behavior has been so completely appropriate (for a cat, that is) I feel I must speak up. It must have been quite a night. I can’t believe I must have slept through it.

Kati, there were tiny feathers everywhere, along the downstairs corridor, in the furnace room, and many more in the bathroom. It must have been an epic battle, there were feathers everywhere, on the counter, in the sink, in the bathtub where, I gather, the major battle occurred, as the towels were all pulled off the racks, the rug was wadded up in the corner, and it did resemble a battlefield. I fully expected to find the remains of some little bird testifying to your feline prowess. Imagine my surprise (and delight) when I slid back the shower door and found a tiny, somewhat bedraggled but still alive tiny sparrow, alert, (and I surmise very angry) and still able to fly perfectly. Kati, you lost. The sparrow outlasted and outfoxed you. I was a bit upset, especially as I was unable to catch the little creature and release it. Finally, I opened all the doors and hoped it would escape. I guess it must have as I have not seen it, or any trace of it, anywhere in the house. How do I know it was you, Kati, as I did not actually witness the event? First, you were the only cat around. Second, you have a tradition of bringing your victims into the house (Spencer leaves his outside or at the front door), and I have never seen Midnight kill a mouse or a bird (I think he may think it beneath his dignity as he engages in serious combat with nocturnal cats that usually tear him to pieces).

Of course I forgive you Kati, after all you just did what cats do, and as you have no concept of evil you were not motivated by that. There is no evil in nature. Animals and birds do not torture and kill each other out of evil desires, they just do as they are programmed by nature to do. Evil is an invention of humans, and while it may look like you are torturing your birds and mice that is not really what is involved. You might well say you are merely playing with them.

Human thought is often strange and one thought most often leads to another. The sight of that feisty tiny sparrow made me think, of all things, Benghazi. Why Benghazi, because Republicans have been attacking that tragedy and trying to turn it into a scandal, but like you, Kati, they have lost. Thinking of Benghazi then led me to think of our foreign policy. Whereas your basic nature prompts you to attack anything that moves, our foreign policy seems to be the opposite, if it doesn’t move (in the direction we want it to), attack. Following this completely insane idea, motivated by Hubris and the crackpot idea that we are exceptional and should therefore control the world (especially all the oil and other resources), we have managed in recent years to become a pariah nation believed to be the greatest threat to peace on the planet (along with the Israelis who seem to control our foreign policy in the Middle East while they continue to pillage Palestinian land and water).  

It does appear that as some have suggested, the “American Century” is over, and it will be downhill from here. We, like you Kati, have lost. We no longer lead the world in much of anything, having sacrificed our young people, infrastructure, manufacturing, morality, nation, and even our planet itself, to the one all-important, obsessive goal…PROFIT. Let’s all make money while the planet burns, continue to elect absolute know-nothings to office, ignore science and reality, and bask in the glow of the Tea Party nincompoops. It’s the American way!

And the way, Kati, I did not appreciate the half dead mouse under my chair this afternoon.
“I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it,” Rubio said. “I think severe weather has been a fact of life on Earth since man started recording history.”

Presidential candidate Marco Rubio

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Yes, Follow the Money

Now that the Supreme Court in its not very worldly wisdom has decided that money is speech and those who have it in abundance can spend as much as they want to try to buy the elections, there is an attempt by Democrats to keep up, to try to raise just as much as Republicans. They do this in large part by asking small donors to contribute as much as they can, even sometimes suggesting as little as $3.00. I now receive emails from Democratic candidates in states far from where I live. Perhaps they realize that I would not be donating to local Idaho Democratic candidates who are, to begin with, scarce, and also doomed to lose. If you are a Democrat in Idaho your vote, realistically, doesn’t count. But I digress.

Many of the solicitations I now receive on a daily basis start out by saying something like, “The Koch brothers have already committed X amount of their massive fortunes to defeat so-and-so, we have to raise similar amounts to try to win.” I’m not sure that trying to raise as much as the Koch brothers, Karl Rove, Addelson, and others is even possible. But even if it is this strikes me as a genuine “Suckers game,” a monumental scam.

Consider where all the money goes. Most of it is spent on expensive advertising on television or newspapers and such. But who owns or controls most all of the media? The very people who are offering up vast sums of their own money are the same people who own the media. This is, simply put, a situation in which they take money from one of their pockets and put it in another of their pockets. Basically, over time, they break even. So why do they bother to spend so much money, the more the better?

That’s where the suckers come in. When Democrats spend money it goes to the same media as Republican money does, but Democrats, for the most part, do not own or control the media. In their case they are basically taking money out of their pockets and depositing it in the pockets of their opponents. If this is true, and it seems to me it is, at least roughly true, it follows that the more money Republicans front, the more they stimulate their suckers to contribute. It’s the same basic principle that constitutes all of their activity, taking from the poor, so to speak, and giving to the wealthy. This seems perfectly obvious to me. I would like someone to explain to me why it might not be true. 

Given that Republicans control the major media they could, I suppose, simply make it more difficult or even impossible for Democrats to use it, and given their propensity for trying to deny the vote to Democrats, you might wonder why they do not do so (there could be laws against this, I do not know). But that would, of course, reduce their profits, thus they try to get Democratic suckers to spend as much as possible.
This would appear to be another example of “them as has, gets.” Under this arrangement Democrats are at a considerable disadvantage. Given the importance of the media in influencing public opinion Democrats cannot ignore it and must participate somewhat. This raises an interesting question, just how much does money and advertising actually influence the vote. It would seem clear that those who spend the most do not necessarily win, so why the emphasis on raising as much or more money than your opponents? Obviously there are other factors involved, it is not a matter of buying votes even though it might seem that way. If I had anything to do with it, which I certainly do not, I would suggest that Democrats not try to match the virtually unlimited resources of the billionaires and corporations, nor would I try to match them ad for ad. I would opt for quality over quantity and limit the number of ads but make them much more creative and focused (with so many ads by Republicans you can be sure most of them will be pretty stupid). I would also utilize the U.S. Postal service (not yet a privatized Republican controlled business), and I would spend tons of money on just plain old-fashioned getting out the vote. It is well known that if more people vote Democrats have an advantage, if fewer people vote the advantage goes to the Republicans. If Democrats do not vote in record numbers the Republicans could very well take the Senate, keep the House, and return us to the 19th century. Power to the People!

You only have power over people so long as you don't take everything away from them. But when you've robbed a man of everything, he's no longer in your power - he's free again.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Me and Kati (16): Weary...

 Kati, you are the only one I can talk with in this remote sea of right wingers, true believers, and other odd characters.  I have been for some time finding it harder and harder to blog. I’m not sure why this is, perhaps I am just getting too old, have little creativity left, am lazy, increasingly uninterested, or, I have finally just grown weary of watching the witless Washington warmongers wishing for more wars and, otherwise, for all of our real and important problems to somehow magically disappear without requiring and action or effort on their part. I realize they are too busy collecting their bribes to have much time for governing.

I confess, my little feline friend, I do not know what to make of it all. I certainly do not know what to think of President Obama, who seems to have a strange and complicated problem of bipolarity in both the domestic and foreign policy realms. 

Domestically, Obama appears to be on the right side of the general public as he is for jobs, a minimum wage, fair pay, unemployment insurance, universal health care, education, and infrastructure improvements, the environment, immigration reform, and even taking action against global warming. How can I not respect him for these priorities? On the other hand, he seems to be in bed with the Big Banks and Wall Street and is obviously in favor of pumping as much oil and gas out of the ground as fast as possible. He may even approve the ghastly Keystone pipeline. I think he also believes in nuclear energy although that is an issue that seems to be dying. And, although he talks transparency, he doesn’t “walk the walk,” has been very secretive and hard on whistleblowers, as well as on immigrants. Some of these latter interests do not seem to jibe very well with the former, and seem to me a kind of bipolar witlessness.

When it comes to foreign policy I am even more bewildered. He has managed to more or less extricate us from our two failed “wars,” and has even managed up until now to keep us from starting new ones, with Syria and Iran at least, this in spite of the attempts by the Neocon hawks and Israel to push him into such foolishness. I believe he should get much credit for this. But I had thought he and Putin were getting along reasonably well and cooperating in some important areas, but now the coup in Kiev seems to have ended that important relationship. Why Obama would have joined with the E.U. to overthrow a democratically elected (although granted, terrible) President in Ukraine (presumably to draw Ukraine into NATO), and is now supporting a new Ukraine government that includes neo-Nazis as well as anti-Semites, and is urging them to attack, murder and burn the pro-Russians in the Ukranian east, I do not understand. This seems to me clearly inconsistent with his otherwise foreign policy attempts, again apparently bipolar witlessness.

It has been suggested that Obama’s mistake was keeping on many of the Bush appointees and some of his opponents (as Lincoln is reported to have done). Thus while Obama might have been in favor of diplomacy his Secretary of State and others were more hawkish and have influenced him to do things he might not have elected to do on his own, the cases of Syria and Iran are good examples. Hillary Clinton and Gates apparently wanted to get militarily involved in Syria and damage Iran. I suspect, Kati, there may well be some truth in this explanation, and it may well be that Obama was not completely “in the loop” when it came to the coup in Kiev. It is also quite possible, I believe, that Obama and Putin may be secretly cooperating to keep the Ukraine situation from getting completely out of hand. Of course I do not know what goes on in the corridors of power. I like to think this Obama/Putin collaboration might be true. If it is true Obama is owed even greater respect.

Of course when it comes to witlessness nothing can compare with the behavior of Republicans. They have positioned themselves as being opposed to virtually anything that might help ordinary people. The polls are quite clear on minimum wages, unemployment insurance, jobs, and etc., but in spite of the obvious majority of support for anything the desires of common people are irrelevant and the desires of the 1% are favored by the GOP. Now they have even set up a new committee to investigate Benghazi even though the facts of that tragedy are already known and have more than abundantly been made clear. If their goal is to win elections this is witlessness carried to an obvious extreme. Kati, you are such a good listener. No matter what I say you just lie there on my lap and purr. I forgive you your occasional witlessness as you, being a cat, don’t know any better, and what you do doesn’t harm anyone. The witlessness of humans is not the same.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Benghazi or Banzai?

Banzai, during WW II, for anyone who might not know, was a Japanese term that referred to a kind of last ditch, human wave, more or less suicidal attack when everything else had failed.

It seems obvious to me that the current Republican obsession with Benghazi is nothing more than their last ditch, probably hopeless “banzai” attack on Obama/Hillary and the 2016 Presidential race. All else has failed for them, their belief that Obamacare would fail, the economy would fail, unemployment would rise, they could find an IRS scandal, and so on. So now, in desperation, it’s just Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi, all the time. They are doing this because they are at a loss for anything else to do, being intellectually bankrupt, having accomplished virtually nothing for the past six years, opposing Obama at every turn.

This obsession with Benghazi may very well backfire on Republicans as it occurred two years back and has already been investigated to death with several hearings, much testimony, documentation, and so on. It is clear what happened during this truly tragic event, and also clear there was no White House cover-up, and also clear that Hillary had little or nothing to do with it (other than being Secretary of State at the time).  Even so, Darrell Issa refuses to let it go, having failed miserably to find a scandal anywhere.  Someone referred to Issa as a “mangy attack dog.” I think that is unfair to attack dogs everywhere. Issa has managed to waste millions of dollars of taxpayer money and untold hours of time for the past six years and has accomplished nothing (except getting himself lots of publicity). One of the things I find the most disturbing about our political system is the lack of any overriding authority, someone, somewhere, somehow, to just make fools like Issa stop doing more obvious damage than they already have. You might think that his (so-called) peers in Congress would themselves have made him stop, but they are either helpless or are themselves delighted in such arrogantly stupid, wasteful, and unnecessary behavior. They are not called the greatest do-nothing Congress for no reason. Every time Republicans bring up Benghazi, Democrats in Congress should shout Banzai! Banzai! Banzai!

Now that Israel has (completely predictably) managed to destroy another attempt to solve the Israeii/Palestinian problem (which probably should be simply termed the Israeli problem),  where do we go from here? My bet is the answer will be nowhere. Kerry is said to be considering waiting six months and trying again, an idea so laughable as to be ridiculous. It could not be more obvious that Israel does not want a solution, preferring the status quo, and it is equally obvious the United States is so biased in Israeli’s favor it will never succeed in being an honest broker. The United Nations is going to have to wake up and take some truly meaningful steps to force Israeli compliance with a two state solution however painful it may be to Israel. Israel is and will continue to be a true apartheid state unless the world unites to prevent it from continuing, as happened with South Africa.

It looks like we are beginning to see the end of American hegemony, the American century, or whatever you want to call it. Putin is quite likely to put an end to how things have been for the past century. If, when the current unrest in Ukraine is settled (hopefully diplomatically), Putin might well opt for closer ties with the European Union, especially with Germany. Russia has enormous natural resources, Germany has all the know-how to exploit them. Thus if a Eurasian entity emerges it will be a world powerhouse to easily challenge American hegemony. If, on the other hand, Putin decides to turn eastward, to China and India, a similar world power would be created, also strong enough to challenge U.S. hegemony. Ultimately, our meddling in the affairs of Europe and Asia, will probably bring about one of these two results, Putin will emerge as the real winner. We may, indeed, have attempted one coup too many. 

 “One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards.” 
Oscar Wilde