Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Drill, My Ass

Dear Prez,

First, congratulations on getting health care reform launched. Much remains to be done, but we have begun.

I will not personally benefit from reform, but I've been lucky in that regard. The benefit I will have will derive from knowing that many more people will have access to health care than before. As a former schoolmarm, I've known too well that many kids had no more than the school nurse to see to their illnesses and injuries. In Vermont Howard Dean and a bunch of good legislators pushed through our Dr. Dinosaur program to provide health care for children. Now you all have called the insurance companies on much of their bullshit, and --who knows?-- maybe adults can have health care, too.

So bravo on that one. And good for you on the student loan funding, too. We retired schoolmarms like to see that sort of thing.

But what has driven me to the insulting Photoshop image above is the offshore drilling on the
East coast. Good God, Mister President. What are you thinking??

Oh, some people say. He's just being a realist. A pragmatist.

Bullshit, I say. I think that you are blowing off your environmental responsibilities.

Sorry, Boss, but you need to take to the classroom again. It's time to instruct America on the need for alternative energy sources and provide programs for their research and development. We have seen a few tax credits waggled our way, but we have not seen the full-tilt-boogie
promotion of the refinement of these technologies.

Silver-tongued rascal that you are, you need to get out front on this one. Opening up drilling on the East coast is a tacit admission of either ignorance or defeat. You want your administration to have lots of solar installations in the Southeast and Southwest to show for its time in the White House. You want to have pushed legislation through for other emergent technologies.

What your legacy should NOT be is one of oil spills up and down what is already a fragile, compromised coast.

And leave the other one alone, too.

Over the weekend I was listening to a public radio show that I admire, and everyone was talking about the northwest passage that would be opening up, thanks to global warming. They were discussing it as if it were no big thing.

They seemed to be overlooking the fact that those ice caps help to cool even the temperatures in even some of the hottest parts of our planet. Lose those safeguards, and how are our fellow world citizens supposed to survive in equatorial zones?

When I hear about half-ass policies like that, I get into the I've-got-mine thinking that I so despise. I think, I probably won't live to witness this.

But my nieces and nephews will. And their children. And all those kooks with the hots for The Rapture.

Come on, Mr. President. Do you really want Sasha and Melia to live in a world of drought, of famine and panic?
Some of your own relatives and their descendants will be taken down.

And then there are the polar bears. Don't you care about the polar bears?

God. When I think about all this, I'm glad we all die.

When I die, a few people will be sad and say that I was a nice person, and a few more might say that I was a fool, but that's where I end. My legacy ends with the people I taught and those to whom I imparted a few of the basic kindnesses.

But you, Big Guy, will be remembered for so much more. You'll be the guy who broke through on health care reform. But if you aren't careful, you will be remembered as the guy who dropped the ball on the environment, who made it impossible for health care to take care of all the new afflictions that will result from a more heated up and polluted world.

Back off on the drilling and get bold about the development of alternative energy sources. We are significantly behind other nations. China! Israel! India! Hit the road and see what other countries are doing, then come back energized and show our citizens what good new things are possible.

Sincerely yers,

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Calling All Dopes: the GOP Needs and Wants You

Now is the time for all really stupid people to come to the aid of their party.

No sweat--the GOP has embraced its tacky little base; some folks actually thought that Republican candidates would forsake the support the Teabaggers. Nonsense--they are the increasing base. Never reject a vote.

What does it take to be a Republican? Either lots and lots of money or a severe case of A.D.D., accompanied by an affinity for Fox News (this last a capacity for tolerating the endless repetition of the day's no-substance talking points) and a disinclination to question authority.

Being hypocritically horny helps, too.

Take the latest item about Michael Steele's foray into Voyeur, a bondage-themed club in West Hollywood. Jonathan Strong reports:

...FEC filings suggest, Steele travels in style. A February RNC trip to California, for example, included a $9,099 stop at the Beverly Hills Hotel, $6,596 dropped at the nearby Four Seasons, and $1,620.71 spent [update: the amount is actually $1,946.25] at Voyeur West Hollywood, a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex...

Praise the Lord! How 'bout them family values?

How will Faux News spin this one?

Monday, March 22, 2010


On a Don't-Want-To-Know Basis

If there's anything Glenn Beck represents, it's the resistance of white America to know any negative views that black Americans have of them, especially those based on fact and experience.
Black folks have long known that the sharing of their actual perceptions of white folks were nothing but trouble. There's a long tradition of silence in the black community.

When the black power movement split off from the more civil Civil Rights movement, we white folks had a bitter taste of what our history of racial relations had wrought. I remember reading the Muhammad Speaks paper in the late 60s and wondered just how I'd gotten so Devilish in my limited history, but I had to acknowledge the abuses and exploitations recorded by Malcolm X, W.E.B. DuBois, Countee Cullen, Billie Holliday, Nina Simone,and others as I combed the literature for more documentation of what had gone wrong.

I read what black Americans finally had to say about us. I'd read enough in the white press to know that every time a black person had been arrested for a crime, I'd seen him identified by his race. I'd been the watcher of many a cartoon invested with black stereotypes, whether Bosco and Baby or Disney crows. I'd even giggled as my seventh grade boyfriend drew monstrous lips on his caricature of Nina Simone when "I Loves You Porgy" climbed the top 40 charts in 1960.

As a gay person, I know what lack of exposure to oppressed minorities can do to the silent-but-deadly (like a fart) majority. There's nothing better than lack of exposure, either to the people or to their realities, to maintain the status quo.

While the members of the s-b-d majority still holds the floor (and its days are numbered, if you pay any attention to demographic projects), they can articulate their cluelessness to their fellows. They can utter their fear-phrases and trigger the formation of more militia groups and identify those whom they think should be silenced for their honesty.

White liberals may have had their moments with w.l. guilt, but in a sense, they paid their dues and came to understand that there were lots of Americans that didn't enjoy the same level of privilege that they did.

Now we have a president who dares not fill us in on his own experiences. You want the experiences, you read the book. He's the president of all the American people, now, and he can ill afford to remind us of what his experiences are. There are lots of the unbalanced awaiting the call of the extreme right to do what their icky media counterparts suggest.

In the meantime the Republicans have ordered a thousand cases of Pink Pearl erasers and a gross of buckets of White-Out for the undoing of the one show of strength that the Democrats have mustered in the recent health care reform effort. By God, they're gonna pay.

After all, the people who don't want any frank opinions from African-Americans on institutionalized racism aren't hot to hear about what life without health care is like, either.

They're just more inconvenient truths.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I Oughta Be in Pictures


Saturday, March 06, 2010


Tea Partiers: Corporate Dupes

What fun the fat cats are having as the wee folk of the Tea Party movement take to the streets.

After all, they're off the hook, these Inglorious Basterds who wrecked the economy, and the government is standing in on punching bag duty.

Not that the gub-mint doesn't deserve a couple of major whacks for its bedtime romps with these scumbags. If the Tea Partiers are pissed about that, and the misuse of stimulus dollars for Wall Street bonuses, then allow me to brew up my own pot. I'm also somewhat fussy about how my tax dollars are spent: enough with the wars and the fat cats, and let's get going on eco-friendly technologies and getting people back to work.
But what seems to have happened is that the Tea Party movement has turned out to be a grab-bag for every ignoramus with no idea of who's pulling what strings.

The trouble with people who get their news from Faux News is of course that there is no news issuing forth from that Rupert-Rag. All that's to be had is not-so-righteous indignation that assumes the form of the Phrase of the Day. Over and over we hear their various non-journalists in near lip-synch. (And who gives a damn if Obama does use a teleprompter? Yet it's become another phrase to be dropped into every Republican reference to the president. Thanks a bunch, Roger Ailes, for your utter dedication to the insubstantial.)

We Americans are a proud-but-loud lot to begin with, so there's no problem getting a variety of the Terminally Sincere But Not Terribly Informed to join your parade. And in these hideous times, what better activity for those hours of unemployment than to raise your voice in execration? (So close to excretion!)

The trouble is, we have to be up to snuff on who really does pull the strings. And those folks don't exactly want to be identified.
If you'd like a global perspective on these rascals, I do recommend John Perkins' Confessions of an Economic Hit-Man. It's his memoir regarding the role that the U.S. has played in securing contracts for its corporations on public works projects that foreign countries can ill afford. Or check out the film Arms for the Poor, and see how our defense industries sell of old materiel to disputing factions in foreign lands. They might also enjoy The Global Banquet: the Politics of Food. Then maybe we can have a conversation about who's really in charge.

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