Neither ruthful nor …

… veracious.

After we listened to Obama’s SOTU, I forced myself to sit through one of the multifarious opposing “responses”. Geoffrey walked the dog, unable to stomach what followed.

Mc Morris Rodgers

Mc Morris Rodgers’ failed attempt to relate to the average American family listening to her ‘you’re on your own’ counsel.

It was no response at all, of course. Clearly they write this flummery without acknowledging what the President actually said, even though I am fairly sure they have advance copies of his address. No matter. They neither care about accuracy, nor any show of understanding about the human condition.  As Mc Morris Rodgers sat in a comfortable, supposedly homey setting (on a silk-covered Chippendale settee — do you have one in your living room?), in an inky dress befitting the dark concepts she issued, I thought about the 50+ million Americans living in or circling the rim of utter impoverishment.  I heard her emit a litany of barren platitudes while she made a vain attempt to tug at heartstrings by recounting the story of her special needs child, presumably both to show that even far right wing women have some warmth, somewhere in their Stygian souls as well as to send a dog-whistle to the religious right that she chose not to abort a handicapped child.  She represents the flinty callousness that is bred above all in rural America among families where the patriarch rules with an iron fist and has no truck with extending a helping hand to anyone, including family members.  I could write a tome on this topic alone and what these early influences do to create and aggravate the kind of hard-nosed independence that simply means we waste valuable human resources, allowing those who just need an occasional boost, to founder and ultimately burden society with despondency and dependency, if not violence and tragedy.

I won’t dignify the other official Republican speeches.  Especially and above all that Ubertarian physician whose selfish and economically skewed positions are increasingly ubiquitous, leading me to wonder how much of it he actually authored himself, true to type. He exemplifies the principle that even those of limited mental faculties can earn a higher degree. He is a disgrace who merits no further attention.

ALEC

These are the organizations writing our laws. Do you think they have any bias? They have bought Republicans and Democrats alike in our Congress.

On the other hand, Obama, who has been far too capitulative, calm and understanding, laid out a series of clear, specific and resolute steps toward restoring the entire country to sound fiscal health and firm moral footing. He expressed a steely resolve that was encouraging.  He is going to stand up to the stoney-faced obstructionists who sat on their hands for the entire hour. Every single issue we are facing today, whether it is endless war, corruption at the highest levels of our military, hunger, poverty, homelessness, booms and busts, global warming  and pollution (an empirically verified fact), energy shortages, under-employment, out of control gun violence, strife in the Middle East and Africa, crumbling infrastructure, etc., can be solved in large part by raising all people to full employment, providing pragmatic training, mental and physical vigor, and dignity in the process. Much of this can be achieved with an eye to the future by instituting universal pre-K, a wise and proven investment like no other. Most of this would already be well underway and millions would face far less suffering, had these unreasonable and selfish people just stepped out of the way, or at least contributed some positive and constructive measures of their own.

Another thing we can do, and the President spoke eloquently, succinctly, and perhaps too briefly about this, is put all women in this country (and globally, for that matter) on a completely equal footing with men economically.  Women are over 50% of the population and are continuing to suffer disenfranchisement on almost every level. It is an abject waste of valuable potential and why any woman would identify with the oppression that any group espouses, mystifies me. (And what does it tell you that women-and-their-runaway-libidos -Huckabee is now the early front-runner for the GOP 2016 race?).

In the dark universe that these people occupy, their magical thinking is directly related to naked bigotry and racial prejudice. This man, far from being a ‘kommandant’, socialist, has followed a set of centrist policies that make Clinton look like a radical. He has bear-hugged Wall Street more than any other President outside of Dubya and the Dow reflects their close partnership. We have become the punchline of the international community for the deplorable behavior of these extremists, who march in lock-step each day, receiving their Frank Lund talking points. Yesterday, before Obama even opened his mouth, they were screaming that he should be sued for overstepping the reach of his Executive powers because he has issued orders (well within his purview and fewer than any president in our history). And what was the one order he promised to issue? Helping federal workers to get a (barely) living wage.  Hardly radical or abusive.  Yet some have even accused him of staging a coup. It is very hard to sit by and watch these relentless and unmerited attacks on this sober, competent and well-intended man.  After five years, both Geoff and I are fairly sick of it.

kochs

These men are multibillionaires who want to control our bodies, our minds, our food and energy supply, the air we breathe and water we drink, our international relations – in short every single thing we think and do. Are you signatory to this?

Mc Morris Rodgers represents a party that is run by Koch Industries, through their State Policy Network, a murky and labyrinthine maze of small, not-for-profit, veiled lobbying organizations hiding behind shell corporations calling themselves ‘think tanks’ — a term that apparently impresses a lot of gullible, low information activists.  The Koch brothers tried to buy themselves a toady in the Oval Office by pouring almost a half billion dollars into secretive groups that systematically churn out papers replete with lies.  They have infiltrated every red state, red governorship and the congressional districts under their spell in a brazen but covert and cowardly attempt to bring the United States and the world under the control of a tiny group of greedy and unscrupulous plutocrats, convinced they are entitled to the wealth that billions of the underclass made possible for them. They brook no interference and are fierce in retaliation.  There is no valor in taking unfair advantage of others and then turning one’s back on them as ‘inferior’.

Chris Hayes expressed my ideal perfectly last night by saying, Americans should not rest until every person in this country who is able and willing to work has a good job that lifts him or her out of poverty into a thriving middle class that affords a safety net of help through the bare spots, health care and educational opportunity.  Every single one of us deserves no less in a civilized and humane society — the one the Founding Fathers envisioned and fought for.

The insatiable zero-sum crowd, for whom someone else’s success implies less for them, will eventually be culled from this country because they are on a suicide mission as they age and retreat to the far end of the limb they unwittingly crawled out on when Reagan worked his voodoo on the American people. As we awaken from the hypnotic trance we’ve been in for thirty very odd years, the Progressives are taking back the conversation and that far-Right branch is groaning under its own weight. We will move this country forward to universal prosperity without the dead load of these troglodytes.

Mendacious and ruthless public “servants” should deeply offend decent Americans, and the least each of us can do is raise our voices in protest, then vote these dangerous shills out.

underemployed in america

These are the faces of the 98%, among whom virtually every reader of this blog and its author is counted. A living wage, reproductive rights, non-discrimination, a nation with full employment, at peace in the world is what we want. Don’t we deserve that much in 2014 America?

Images: pbsnewshour.org,greenpeaceblogs.org, nsiaf.org,whitehouse.gov

paw2014-s

14 Comments on “Neither ruthful nor …

  1. Wonderful commentary, Beth! I haven’t had the chance to watch the SOTU address in its entirety (busy week- more on that later, I hope) but have caught clips here and there. And, like you, I feel that responding in any way to the GOP responses is allowing them far more dignity than is warranted (Jon Stewart got some good digs in, though).

    We are genuinely at a crossroads- both here and in the US- and the parts of Obama’s speech that you have highlighted, along with voices like yours, lead me to hope that we are at a stage where we are awakening from our collective ‘trance’ (love that!) and realizing that the extremists are running away with our world.

    Great post!

    Like

    • Thank you Cole. That SOTU was about as even-tempered, modest and benign as they come. You would never know it, based on the knee-jerk indictments from the flat-earth crowd on the right. I think De Blasio’s win in NY and the multiple investigations underway on another bully, C. Christie, in NJ herald the reawakening of the center-left. I could not believe the way the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal got away with overiding the wishes of the American people with the left sitting back, with the help of the so-called liberal media, and letting them do it. Stupid, irresponsible and cowardly! We have to stop napping.

      Like

  2. I really have to wonder to what what dogs these far-right loons are whistling at this point. It seems insane to me to cling to these crusty old “values” that don’t apply to much of anyone in this country any more. Their numbers are smaller and smaller all the time, and yet the voices get louder and louder. Why are they allowed so much air time in the press when they represent so few people? They are nothing if not masterful at being outraged, shrill, and fearful. It is a depressing, selfish, nasty worldview they foster, and I daresay the majority of the country is freaking sick of it. Yet they’re still doubling-down on the bigoted, sexist rhetoric at every opportunity. It boggles the mind.

    Like

    • Really, they are such nihilists. Backed into a corner, intelligent people would repent and reform. These people just triple down. Their jeremiad against Obama is nuts! Thank you Marey!

      Like

  3. While I will respectfully disagree with the legitimacy of “reproductive rights,” I do sympathize with your support of everyday Americans, especially the disenfranchised, and I commend you for this principled position, Beth.

    Perhaps I suffer from a national bias, but I am pleased that federal politics is less ideological and polarized here to the north, or so it seems to me.

    Like

    • Women have a right to birth control. It is absurd to think that a woman should be denied the ability to control when and if she gets pregnant. I am against abortion as any decent person would be, but to force a woman to be at the mercy of men who do not have to make the personal sacrifices that are involved with pregnancy, de facto and by definition, is antiquated. Do not think for one minute that the issue is really the sanctity of life. It is control, above all, over women — the subserviance of women has had a long and well documented history. We have to find some other way to deal with unplanned pregnancies. There are options, but no one wants them because they cost money and, above all, they involve parity for women and for some people, including some women, that is unthinkable.

      Thank you for commenting, Michael.

      Like

      • My apology, Beth. I agree with you on the general desirability of birth control, when employed as part of a responsible lifestyle. As eliminating risk does tend to alter human behaviour, I must confess to needing to do further thinking on the topic. Interestingly, I’ve just begun Lionel Tiger’s “The Decline of Males” which does touch upon this broader topic.

        I am so used to pro-abortion advocates using euphemistic language that I made the mistaken assumption that “reproductive rights” was a similar such euphemism for abortion. I am in agreement with you here, although I believe that there are sincere opponents to abortion who genuinely believe in the sanctity of live perspective.

        While you may not agree with them, I suspect the primary argument that I will be advancing in my sequel regarding abortion as a social phenomenon will be of intellectual interest to you.

        Like

        • And, I should have asked you to define your terms.

          My solution for the abortion issue is to assign an advocate for the foetus to each case and then the decision can be made with the putative father, the mother, and the foetus surrogate all having to argue the case for its survival.

          There is no way abortion is going to be eliminated. The tide has turned on this, for good or bad, just like gay marriage is now inevitable. Women will have abortions legally or illegally. Now it is just a matter of ensuring safe and legal procedures, up to a certain time limit, according to settled law at the federal level.

          Since you and I are in the luxurious armchair position of opining on this serious matter and do not face the dilemma ourselves, of having an unwanted child, it is easy for us to say what we think should be done, across the board. But nothing in life is that generalisable and so I refrain from having an overarching opinion on it, save my own personal conviction that abortion is, for lack of a better term, a killing, immediately following conception. I would not do that to my own foetus, but cannot say what I would do in some one else’s circumstances. Each person involved (the three, as I have said) has a right to a say, but perhaps a weighted right. Those weights would favor the infant, the mother, and the father in that order, imo, as they are stakeholders in that order. The impact on the infant is complete, the mother, secondarily and the father, tertiarily for obvious reasons.

          However, people are perfectly comfortable murdering billions of sentient beings every day, every hour. Drawing the distinction that human life is that much different, more sacred is a religious conviction not a humane, scientific nor legal one. To me, all sentient beings are approximately equal in matters of life and death and slaughter.

          Now you have my full thoughts on this and any thing further will be of interest to me. I am always open to other people’s views! (But hard-pressed to change mine, since I have given this two decades thought and reading/research, etc., given my profession).

          Like

          • A contentious topic, certainly. And I, for one, am sympathetic with women who find themselves in a situation of unwanted pregnancy. However, such sympathy does not alter my analysis of the topic.

            My opposition to abortion I would have to describe as initially having been intuitive. That it seemed wrong as a general rule I held to be self-evident. Notwithstanding exceptional cases where the mother’s life is in clear and present danger, I find every legal argument advanced by ardent advocates of abortion – and let’s not be coy, these are the radical/ideological/gender feminists, by and large – to be vacuous upon being subject to critical scrutiny.

            My opposition to unrestricted abortion is now immutable. In my divorce ordeal, I repeatedly noted inherent similarities between the feminists who maliciously interfered in my divorce to aid my ex-wife and my ex-wife herself, who has expert confirmed narcissistic personality traits.

            The resulting gender narcissism thesis which resulted explains the ideological feminist’s pathological need for unrestricted induced abortion to be a “right” which women must always be on guard to defend.

            My current book, which test readers of both genders report as being a gripping read, lays the foundation for the profound arguments which are to follow in the sequel. All made in Harry Potter-simple language

            Interestingly, the thesis predicts that ideological feminism will destroy itself upon being exposed to its own true nature. One would think that support for abortion might also evaporate.

            I look forward to your perceptive insights. Please let me know if you’re ever interested in having a read of the book. No worries if you’re too busy or not interested. themirrorbooks@gmail.com. I do have one professor who already supports the thesis.

            Like

            • Well, I think I can only say a few things. My clinical experience has been with young girls who have been raped by family members. It is cruel to expect them to raise the baby that resulted. There are far too many nuances to the topic of unwanted pregnancy and abortion to boil it down to runaway or pathological feminism. There is just no credible scientific proof of that.

              When you are describing or trying to understand a group that has experienced widespread and systematic abuse for long periods of time, you have to realize that mechanisms will arise to enable that group to cope and avoid insanity. Just as there has been long-term racism leading to the emergence of groups like the Black Panthers, and age discrimination against senior citizens leading to the benign AARP, the fact that women have been physically subjugated for thousands of years — which is indisputable fact — has meant that certain groups have arisen in response. While I might not endorse all their beliefs, behaviours and tactics, neither can I say their existence nor all their actions are pathological.

              And by the way, while one or another academician may offer a personal opinion on a topic or a theory, only statistically significant (i.e., verified in empirical research on large numbers of a population) proof can validate any theory, no matter how persuasive it may seem. I like what Richard Feynman, perhaps the greatest mind of the latter half of the 20th century, said: no matter how elegant the theory, if it doesn’t match experiment, it is wrong. So, theorists can start the conversation, but researchers are the only ones who can finish it.

              So, if your theory appears to have merit, it can be taken up by a social science student — either a Masters or PhD candidate — to develop a method for testing its validity. You can think about pursuing that. Otherwise, it can stand on its own as the ideas of someone who has expanded it through selective library work.

              Like

            • Beth,

              The basis of my thesis was an observation which consistently repeated itself, both in my own personal experiences and then in the recorded observations of lucid and accredited scholars, although these scholars did not have the concept of gender narcissism from which to interpret their own observations.

              As far as epistemology goes, I have defaulted to something analogous to a geometry, in that I define the axioms that underpin the logical structure. Consistent with Occam’s Razor, these axioms or assumptions are minimized, and hence the solution is to be preferred. I believe certain theories in theoretical physics – string theory, for example – are technically geometries and not theories per se.

              As for “selective library work,” adopting a gender narcissism perspective automatically requires critical examination of feminist works to identify evidence of psychopathology, of which there is plenty. Former feminist and professor of English Janice Fiamengo openly speaks of feminism’s false scholarship, consistent with my thesis, which she knows of and has offered her qualified support for. As for the academic works that I do cite, they are least rigorous if not outright classics.

              I will be recommending that academics scrutinize my broader thesis and its constituent elements. I am quite clear in my book that I am not an accredited expert or a scholar. However, the thesis itself predicts that there would be ardent opposition to such work within academia. Hence, I adopted a military perspective and chose to communicate my ideas to a popular audience, as it will be extremely difficult to suppress thought expressed via such means. I had considered continuing with formal post-graduate education, but upon reflection I decided that earlier communication of the basic thesis was more important that its ultimate refinement.

              My experience is that the thesis consistently and rationally explains how feminism manifests in the Anglo-American nations. It has yet to fail in this regard.

              I have liaised with at least one lady who was sexually abused in her youth since I started blogging, and I consider the sexual abuse of minors to be a particularly heinous crime, one that I understand splits 75%/25% between male and female perpetrators. As a father of three including one daughter, I have more sympathy than words can express for victims of such abuse, especially when pregnancy results.

              It’s not that I have adopted a Manichean position on abortion, but rather that I have found what I believe to be a consistent aspect to it as a central pillar of ideological feminism.

              I hope I have not abused your hospitality with this somewhat lengthy comment, and I apologize if I have. Should it ever be of interest, you are most welcome to scrutinize my first book at your leisure, without fear of offence should you disagree or not like it. themirrorbooks@gmail.com . No worries if you are not interested or do not have the time.

              Like

  4. I have no academic objection to any theory. However, library work just doesn’t equal research and proof. I can select information out in the broad spectrum of literature available to support any theory I hold. But that does not constitute proof. Nor does impuning feminism (whatever that really means any more, other than women attempting to hold their own in a male-dominated world — ALL over the world, not just in Anglo societies) as pathological in origins explain atrocities on women, merely as a result of their more vulnerable physiology. Theories abound, support constructed inductively just isn’t scientific. It may illuminate certain aspects of phenomena (just as mathematics can intersect with unifying theory, like ‘string’ theory as you suggest) but it does not constitute verification in real terms. I enjoy reading ideas, but I cannot fall in love with them just because they suit me. That would just be lying to myself, to gratify my ego — something to which we are all prone, unless we discipline our minds to do otherwise.

    You have not abused the guest’s right to comment. Say anything you like here. I spent the last twenty-five years studying science and am quite secure in the rigour it imposes. If I have time, I will certainly read some of your work. I am open to all ideas, but after that, I look for sound foundations in empiricism. All else is philosophy or logic — not science. ❤

    Like

  5. Thank you :-).

    Precisely! That is what ‘ivory tower scientists’, whom my alma maters fiercely defended, do. We need people whose minds roam free to observe and theorise. That is what mathematics is — and it dovetails conveniently at times with science.

    But, anecdotes, even many of them seemingly pointing to an explanation, do not constitute evidence. Otherwise I might think all engineers, like the narcissist I invited into my life at one time, might be sociopathic or borderline. Clearly that is specious.

    You put your ideas out there in print, you will get feedback from the public and perhaps someone who is hunting for a research project who will be intrigued with your concepts.

    Like

It's your turn! I want to know what YOU think :-)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: